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Everything posted by penworks

  1. Short answer to Rocky's original question in my opinion is NO. Toxic manipulation called love bombing is not good ... understatement of the universe.
  2. Hi, this is Charlene Edge writing to say that Undertow is my insider story of 17 years in The Way, serving as a leader and biblical researcher for Wierwille's agenda. You can read chapter one of Undertow for FREE at http://charleneedge.com. Cheers, Charlene
  3. penworks

    Cat Woman

    You're right. That "cat woman" may not be the one I'm thinking of. Also, I've published a book using my real name so stating my real identity here is no big deal to me. My own website, too, is public.
  4. penworks

    Cat Woman

    Hi there Goldstar. I happen to know exactly who that so-called Cat Woman was, but decline to name her here. But yes, she starred in that awful "dance" production that LCM was in, titled: Athletes of the Spirit. A totally bogus interpretation of Ephesians 6. So welcome to GSC. There's plenty of TWI history to be found here. If you have questions about years 1970 - 1987, I'd be happy to help. You can check my profile here at GSC for more on that. Cheers, Penworks, a.k.a. Charlene Lamy (Bishop) Edge
  5. I am interested in finding out what the top reasons were for people getting involved with The Way International.
  6. I knew this woman, but not well. Like most of us, she was idealistic, kind, and good intentioned. So why did she stay so long? IMO, time spent in the cult is relative to a person's needs. What strikes me is how a person misses or denies or misinterprets warning signs. I suppose part of it has to do with survival. Like her, I did that for years, too, especially the misinterpreting or rationalizing of warning signs. Psychologists tell us it's because there's a need in a person to cling to the status quo ... a variety of reasons are clear, i.e. fear of loss of community, loss of certainty, loss of feeling secure about "knowing the truth." I think we all can relate. It's a need so great that admitting what we're doing or believing or giving our loyalty to is bad, or a fraud, or a con, is just too much. We'd crack. Don't we all remember when we "woke up" and how hard that was to admit we had been duped or abused or stolen from? For some of us we nearly did crack up. Some I know have spent time in mental health hospitals, or are in serious therapy, or on heavy medication, or have lost themselves to alcohol or drugs. Or suicide. Breaking up is hard to do. Some people had a casual involvement in TWI. Others were encased in it like in an airtight plastic bag. Breaking free is HARD. I think it's a miracle any of us are here and able to compose a complete sentence. Maybe I should speak for myself, but truly, for those of us who were sold out for so long and gave so much, creating another life post-TWI has been VERY hard work and if it weren't for many good people (many are here on GSC), healing love, education, and time, I can't imagine what would have become of me... So If you ever read this, Melanie, STAY STRONG and breathe deep. It's possible to heal a little every day with love, education, and time. And I ditto what Skyrider said, that Offshoot groups formed by former WAY leaders are not a good option because in general they repeat the patterns from TWI. Besides, bottom line is that the Bible is always open to interpretation by man. The notion of "the accuracy of The Word" is just that, just a notion. No one has it. It can't be had. But that doesn't mean you cannot find valuable things in the Bible. Just question what people tell you it "means." Cheers, Penworks a.k.a. Charlene Lamy (Bishop) Edge I can be reached at http://charleneedge.com/Contact
  7. Here's an idea: we each drop out of this topic and go read a book.
  8. Mike, just so you know, VPW even said himself that his writings were fallible. Here you go .... PFAL book page 83: "Not all that Wierwille writes will necessarily be God-breathed; not what Calvin said, nor Luther, nor Wesley, nor Graham, nor Roberts, but the Scriptures--they are God-breathed."
  9. Undertow is at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Peace. What an amazing way to keep the propaganda going ... with more propaganda! With posts like these, you keep yourself and others from climbing outside the TWI box and learning new things, like what research really means. Your spouting off about VP's so-called research would be funny if it weren't for the fact that it shows how some people are still very delusional when it comes to understanding what VPW did. To me, this is a sad reminder of the damage he caused. Penworks. P.s. My real name is Charlene Edge and my personal story of being on the research team in The Way can be found in my book, Undertow.
  10. What an amazing way to keep the propaganda going ... with more propaganda! With posts like these, you keep yourself and others from climbing outside the TWI box and learning new things, like what research really means. Your spouting off about VP's so-called research would be funny if it weren't for the fact that it shows how some people are still very delusional when it comes to understanding what VPW did. To me, this is a sad reminder of the damage he caused. Penworks. P.s. My real name is Charlene Edge and my personal story of being on the research team in The Way can be found in my book, Undertow.
  11. Thanks for giving the context of that letter's impact, DWBH. I happened to be at HQ when you guys sent it out. I did not see a copy then. I hadn't seen it until 10 minutes ago. When you wrote it, I had already resigned from the Research Department (all that drama is in Undertow) and I was sewing draperies in the OSC at the other end of the hall. I was also trying to gain some sanity by attending college classes at OSU in Lima and packing up my stuff to get the hell away from HQ that August. I wish you and I had had a chance to talk then ... I know how hard it is for anyone who wasn't around at that time to grasp how chaotic the whole shebang was. Over the years I've tried to paint the picture for former Wayfers and for outsiders who never heard of TWI. The best analogy I have so far is to say it was like a tornado came through a small town and demolished a lot of it. A few survivors tried to rebuild using the same kind of original materials, but some of the people who closely examined the situation discovered that the original materials were rotten to begin with. They decided that the best use of their time and energy was to rebuild other kinds of houses elsewhere.
  12. Thanks, Chockfull, for providing that link. Undertow is also available at Barnes and Noble. Independent bookstores and public and university libraries can order it easily, too. The ISBN is 978-0-9978747-0-9. NEWS UPDATE: Part II of the American Studies blog interview is now published at http://blog.asjournal.org/escaping-fundamentalism-interview-charlene-l-edge-part-ii/ Cheers!
  13. Here's a bit more detail: ICSA was never bought by Scientology or any other organization. ICSA has always been independent. In the 1990s the Cult Awareness Network (CAN) was driven into bankruptcy as a result of law suits. Scientology or individuals associated with the organization obtained certain assets of CAN in the 1990s. See this article for a detailed history of the cult awareness movements in North America: http://www.icsahome.com/articles/changes-in-the-north-american-cult-awareness-movement”
  14. After doing some research, I just found out that the group you're referring to, Thomas, was Cult Awareness Network (CAN). That's was a different group.
  15. No. I have no idea what group you might be referring to. You can check the history of ICSA at http://www.icsahome.com Here's a snippet: In December 2004 AFF (American Family Foundation) officially changed its name to International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA). The change of name had been discussed for many years. Until a few years ago, those who felt that "AFF" had established an identity and was "known" had prevailed. However, several factors tilted the name-change decision in favor of those wanting a change. First of all, the constituency of the organization has changed over the past 25 years. Initially, nearly everybody who contacted AFF for help did so because he/she had a child involved in a cultic group. AFF's unique role was to bring these parents into contact with helping professionals, increasing numbers of whom became interested in and/or involved with AFF as time passed. By the early 1990s, however, the majority of people contacting the organization were former group members who had left their groups without an intervention ("walk-aways"). By the late 1990s, AFF and people associated with the organization had completed a sizeable body of research and an increasing number of people, particularly researchers, from outside the United States began to get involved with the organization. At some recent conferences 25% of the attendees were from outside the U.S. Today, we speak of our four international "constituencies" of family members, former members, researchers, and helping professionals (including mental health, law, clergy, educators – some of whom are also former members of groups or family members of involved persons). Consequently, although "family" may have reflected the organization's focus in its early years, it no longer is THE focus, though it still remains a vital concern. Most people favored "cultic studies" because it expressed the organization's interest areas without being so narrow and precise as to exclude phenomena that might be similar but not equivalent to those associated with the admittedly vague concept "cult." Many high-control or abusive groups from which people leave are not necessarily "cults" in a strict sense, but they may nonetheless resemble "cults" in some ways. "Cultic studies" also gives us a link to the past, for our journal has used that term since 1984 and our main Web site has used the term for the past several years. For more visit, http://www.icsahome.com/aboutus/name-change
  16. Hi Grease Spotters, I thought I'd pass this info from the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) along to you in case you or someone you know would want to attend this conference. High-Control Groups: Helping Former Members and Families Santa Fe, New Mexico - November 3-5, 2017 ICSA offers a whole lot of info to help people. I have spoken at two of their conferences, although I won't be going to this one. More such conferences are available throughout the year at different locations. Cheers, Penworks Online Information Online Registration ICSA will conduct a conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico November 3-5, 2017. This conference will focus on the helping needs of former group members and families and will include a training track for mental health professionals. Conference sessions will emphasize discussion so participants can address issues pertinent to their individual concerns. The conference will take place at La Fonda on the Plaza, one of Santa Fe's finest hotels, located in the heart of the old city. Santa Fe has been chosen to give ICSA's western supporters an opportunity to attend a conference closer to home. It is also a lovely setting for those who come from other parts of the USA, Canada, and the world. Speakers include some of the cultic studies field's most experienced mental health professionals, as well as former members and family members who will share their experiences. More Information is available online: http://www.icsahome.com/events/conferencesantafe (links to hotel etc. on left). Attend this conference if you are interested in how psychologically manipulative and demanding groups can hurt people and what can be done to help those who are harmed. The agenda will address the needs of those seeking help and those who want to help others. Among the topics to be explored are What helps people leave cultic groups and relationships? Dealing with cult-related trauma Coping with triggers Building relationships and communicating with the cult involved After the cult: who am I Support groups Exit counseling and conflict resolution Spiritual issues in recovery What churches can do Cults and children Case discussions for mental health professionals Postcult sexuality Hypnosis Because Santa Fe is a “daytime” city, we have scheduled 2-hour lunch breaks so that attendees can enjoy walking around old Santa Fe, where there are numerous art galleries, museums, and quaint shops, as well as stunning Southwest architecture. The hotel will permit the special conference rate 3 days pre- and post-conference for those who wish to spend time touring Santa Fe and its environs. Call La Fonda’s Reservations Department at 800-523-5002, #1 or 505-982-5511, #1. Give group code 873870. Please call between the hours of (Mountain Standard Time): Monday – Friday: 7am-8pm; Saturday: 8am-5pm; Sunday: 9am-5pm. Or register online. Please tell others about this conference. We hope you join us! Online Registration (https://icsahome.givezooks.com/events/high-control-groups-helping-former-members-and-families)
  17. The topic question asked what was the purpose of The Way Corps training? I was in the 2nd Corps. I'll venture this. The purpose was to indoctrinate us with Wierwille's ideology (propaganda) and have us spread it "over the world." We were unthinking puppets. There's enough on this website to fill a planet with information about how this was done. Besides the few that have spoke up here, I would like to see more "Corps trained" people speak out about the sham that Wierwille perpetrated. Hello?
  18. Well, I grew up in Salisbury, MD and have relatives in D.C. so I may get up there. Will let you know. Send me a message on my Contacts page through my website.
  19. Tonight at my local library, only 4 days after Hurricane Irma reeked havoc in our town, about 20 people showed up for my presentation about cult life. I expected 2. Gee, do you think people are interested in cults? Duh.
  20. Hi GreaseSpotters! This thread is very good and very timely. Thank you everyone for contributing. In the near future I am giving another talk, this one titled "Life in a Cult: How I Lived and How I Escaped" which is sort of a Cliff Notes version of my own story. I will also include general info about high-demand, high-control groups of any kind. I've learned a lot about ways to communicate on this topic from the International Cultic Studies Association Lately I've run into people who, when they find out about my story, gasp and say "how did you ever get out?" as if I were held in chains in a basement. They've seen Leah R.'s show on T.V. and shudder that I was in a similar situation. What I emphasize are the psychological "chains" that held me for so long. They were just as real, at least to me ... I admit I have not yet watched Leah's show ... just not ready to plunge back into the topic, but I will eventually. The similarities posted here between Scientology's tactics and TWI's are helpful guideposts. Again, thanks. Warmest wishes, Charlene
  21. That was part of an actual children's fellowship song we taught to the kids back in the 1970s and 1980s. Simple lyrics for young minds.
  22. penworks

    Any Word?

    It is an interesting time. I won't say who, but one person on that list of "signers" recently contacted me to say she just finished reading my book, Undertow and appreciated it (not her exact words). Mmm...
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