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penworks

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penworks last won the day on June 28

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  1. For those interested, my books are discounted beginning today until next Wednesday to celebrate the 4th of July. Details here.
  2. Some of you know that in 1987, I escaped the fundamentalism and cult control of The Way International when I drove away from TWI headquarters in New Knoxville, Ohio, and never went back. I don't intend to return there in person. However, by checking in here at GSC every once in a while, I end up revisiting, by way of people's memories and documented facts, some of the terrible problems that issued from cultic beliefs and behaviors of Way leaders and some followers. I also rejoice in much healing. Your stories are important and I thank you for them. Today, I watched the televised coverage of Cassidy Hutchinson give her testimony of what happened behind-the-scenes in the White House leading up to, during, and shortly after the insurrection at the nation's Captial on Jan. 6, 2021. What struck me was how powerful a calm, fact-based, and as-best-as-I-remember personal testimony can be. Likewise, personal testimony here at GSC by former followers who tell the truth about what happened to them while associated with The Way can and HAS helped people understand the dangers of cultic manipulation. And I KNOW it has helped steer some people away from The Way. Some of them write to me. Some of them, particularly some from my daughter's generation whose parents are still in denial about the abuses of VPW, etc., reach out to me after reading Undertow. Thank you, Greasespotters, for your support of Undertow over the years. I urge all of us to continue telling our stories in a manner that invites thoughtful consideration. It's up to us to inform and to heal former Way followers when we can. Let's lay off any distracting nonsense (that shows up in some threads here) and remember: every word matters.
  3. "The recovery process for me post Way has involved taking back control over each area of my life that I had relinquished control to the Way. It has been a slow arduous process ..." It is that! From what I've seen and read from former Wayfers, few do this. Please, take time out to reflect, study, rethink. Life is short.
  4. Recently, a person whose been involved with TWI and an offshoot contacted me after she read Undertow. We had a wonderful phone conversation which inspired me to send her an article about what I did after escaping TWI. So ... here's the link to that article, which is a blog post on my website. Charlene’s Post-Cult Nonreligious Alternative | Charlene L. Edge (charleneedge.com) Cheers, Charlene
  5. Oh, if only everyone who knew of such abuse in TWI could have, would have stepped up and spoken out or kept such a list. At least two brought lawsuits against the second president of TWI. I think there are many of us who know women abused by TWI leaders, dead ones, current ones, and TWI offshoot ones, who must be suffering from PTSD as this news story gets played. I am sickened all over again. So, in my view, we should get someone to do away with the whole "business model." Yeah, right. If only ...
  6. I love what you said here, OldSkool: "I am the first to admit that I really do not understand the depth (or true meaning) of what is communicated throughout scripture due to historical and cultural differences." Oh, if only everyone who opened a Bible admitted that!
  7. My favorite source on synchronicity is a little book of 111 pages: The Tao of Psychology: Synchronicity and the Self by Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D. Pg. 6 - "[C. G.] Jung described synchronicity as an acausal connecting principle that manifests itself through meaningful coincidences. There are no rational explanations for these situations in which a person has a thought, dream, or inner psychological state that coincides with an event." I think most people try to make meaning out of what happens in life. That, among a few other things, motivates me to write. Cheers, Charlene https://charleneedge.com
  8. Hi Junebug120, I knew Donna Randall. I was in the second Way Corps training program (1971-1973) and she and Gene, her husband, lived at HQ at that time in the trailer near the ones for the Corps. In my memoir, Undertow (see the thread here about that) she appears, although I did not use her real name. She was Wierwille's "research" secretary beginning before he even filmed the PFAL class. She taught the Way Corps a class on biblical research keys. The woman who taught me Aramaic, Bernit* Jess, is also noted in my book but by her real name because she was already deceased when I published it in 2017. She was Donna's friend. My story covers the years of my involvement, 1970 - 1987. Donna was still around when I left, but not prominent. For more history on The Way, I suggest you try and find a copy of The Way Living in Love by Elena Scott Whiteside. Donna is written about in that story. You can also send me a private message here, and I'll try to answer any questions you might want to ask me. Cheers, Charlene Lamy Edge
  9. The rabbits built themselves a new house as they were fed up with the hole thing.
  10. Seems to me there's no end to this rabbit hole. While I was in the research department at Way HQ (long ago and far away) there was an attempt by some members of it to study the history of the text in more depth. Walter C*mmins initiated this. When Geer showed up and challenged LCM, that project backfired. The endeavor raised too many uncomfortable questions that, to those who admitted it, revealed the fact that VPW's legacy of fundamentalism (he was already dead by this time) was incapable of allowing honest inquiry into textual or historical Scriptural research. I witnessed this situation and write it in the latter part of Undertow. After I got out of TWI, I spent some time sorting out my evolving thoughts about the Bible and what it is. I came across lots of sources in the good old public library and college libraries. This was the late 1980s and 1990s when people actually browsed around in brick-and-mortar libraries to see what they might discover on the shelves. I later found scholarly works online. For this thread, I'll just offer three sources that were helpful to me. But I realize my interests are unique, not for everyone. For those interested, here you go. I'm not promoting Amazon as THE place to buy these books, I only include links to Amazon to give information about the books. Wide as the Waters: The Story of the English Bible and the Revolution it Inspired by Benson Bobrick. 2001. Wide As the Waters: The Story of the English Bible and the Revolution: Bobrick, Benson: 9781451613605: Amazon.com: Books. The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament by Bart. D. Ehrman. 1993. I think Ehrman is the finest, most accessible scholar today working in historical research regarding texts. Amazon.com: The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament: 0884915134810: Ehrman, Bart D.: Books This last one was eye-opening to say the least. The End of Biblical Studies by Hector Avalos. 2007. The End of Biblical Studies - Kindle edition by Avalos, Hector. Religion & Spirituality Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com. These days I'm happier out of the biblical research rabbit hole. I read lots of fiction and poetry and even write some of it myself. Peace, Charlene https://charleneedge.com
  11. Short answer: yes. Longer answer: Wierwille called us Way Corps members his "kids." This habit was deliberate on his part. Obedience was a primary goal of Wierwille's... he touted God as asking us to obey "His Word." Obey, obey, obey. That's what parents ask children to do. Infantile people do not question authority. They obey it.
  12. Hi folks, First, an update on how Undertow is still going strong since its publication five years ago (and a little more). It's been sold around the USA, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, and who knows where else through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and The Book Depository, which offers free world-wide shipping. As of 12/31/21, there were 1,475 copies (incudes paperback and ebook) that had been sold. So, I send a big thank you to Greasespotters for helping me get that story out. It's two stories in one, as Frank Schaffer described it on the front cover of Undertow. The two stories are: my personal one, and one about The Way organization that shows the devious Wierwille at work, up-close. TODAY cults are still in the news. Diane Sawyer did a special program that aired last night about Heavens' Gate. Here's a link to info: In Exclusive Interview, Former Cult Member Reveals She 'Never Stepped Foot Out the Door' | PEOPLE.com So, more people are asking questions about cults. I know you can tell them some good answers. BTW - some grown up kids of my former Way peers have been contacting me lately, thanking me for Undertow that gives them important and healing info their parents do not or cannot tell them. They are thankful. Some are mad. More voices may be coming here with stories of abusive Way leaders, but also of wonderful recoveries from the darkness of The Way. I'm humbled Undertow has helped them on their journeys. Stay strong. Charlene https://charleneedge.com
  13. Yes, they (VPW's "girls") hid the fact that they slept with him or rather interpreted their liaison with VPW as "serving the man of God," which really means they slept with him because he intimidated them into doing it, preying on their sympathy. Or did they get brainwashed into believing they were "helping" him? I know some who would answer YES to that question. I recall a meeting in the fireplace room of VPW's house, which was the basement. It was sometime in 1976 or 1977, during the year I was separated from my then husband who left me there in Nov. 1976. There was a third Corps person who wanted to divorce his wife. VPW, in his chair alongside the fireplace, Drambouie in hand, confronted that person about divorce, stating that his (VPW's) situation served as an example of "staying together no matter what." He said that even though Mrs. Wierwille had had a hysterectomy which debiltated her from enjoying sex, he stayed with her. That was commitment. I did not want to know this. He foisted this information upon us whether or not we wanted to know the intimate details of his marriage. In hindsight, I realize that telling us this was possibly his ploy to gain our sympathy. Perhaps, I think now, it was his effort to justify his extra marital affairs. But that's just my opinion. We'll never know for sure. I do know I felt VERRRRRY uncomfortable with his telling us this most personal information. Why would a man do that?
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