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Everything posted by penworks

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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”
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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)
  9. 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?
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. 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...
  15. Yes, they do say Paul's letters were "written" by Paul (just as every other book was written down on parchment or vellum or whatever by a man) but the documents, VPW insisted, are exactly what God wanted Paul and the others to write ... God told them what to write. VPW made it very clear his position was that the men were merely the writers BUT God was the author. Which led vpw to say that therefore the Bible is God's Word. That doctrine is throughout every bit of TWI teaching I ever heard. Anyone hear differently? I will never forget VPW shouting, "Either it's God's Word or it isn't!" That doesn't seem to leave any room to disagree in wayworld.
  16. Right, this is not exclusive to TWI, of course. And IMO what is "inspiration" is subjective. I enjoy parts of the Bible as wisdom literature, but have many questions about a lot of other parts. There is much history of the canon that's available and interests me, but no, I no longer hold to Christianity's view that the canon we see in the KJV is the Word of God in the way TWI means it. It's been a long journey for me to reach this point ... just my personal take on the situation, not meant for everyone for sure. My point here was that anti-gay teachings are what we should not be surprised to hear coming from folks who take the Bible as the literal Word of God. What else could they really say and stay true to their belief about Scripture?
  17. There's no getting around it. This doctrine that gay is not okay is the ONLY stance TWI can take on the topic because they believe that the verses they quote are GOD'S WORD. They hold to the idea that if the Bible says something, then you can't debate it. Period. TWI does not acknowledge the fact that St. Paul's letters were written by guess who ... Paul! TWI does not believe that any other verses they quote to "prove" homosexuality is "of the devil" were written by men who held those views, by men who lived in a culture that promoted those ideas, that lived thousands of years ago. TWI believes GOD told men what to write down and whatever of those writings made their way into the documents that make up what we call THE BIBLE are exactly what GOD says about everything. This is all in the PFAL class and hasn't changed to this day, as far as I know. Right? Have you checked their most recent websites? I'm preaching to the crowd here. But I don't think we can gloss over the fact that these problems (like hateful speech against gays, etc.) stem from believing that the Bible is God's Word. Remember VPW's old saying, "If God says it. That settles it!"
  18. Also, the "family / household" distinction caused a major uproar in the research department in the 1980s. There is no substantiation in the Bible for how VPW taught it. This terrible uproar is described in my book. Anyhow, "household" was VPW's divisive word to label faithful Wayfers who obeyed him and stuck with the program. His program.
  19. Yes, writing is hard! Who knew?
  20. Just for the record, from my experience in the 2nd Corps, when VPW was trying to explain principle #1, he said, among other gobbled jargon, that it meant having common horse sense, so LCM parroted that. Initially, I was confused as to what VP really meant by it. I think he was, too. Maybe he got the idea from someone else. Ultimately, I decided it meant listening to my intuition, which I thought came from God, like directions for my personal life, what we used to call "revelation." To me, that was spiritual perception and awareness. If you ask me, that is different from common sense. Who knows? Why do we care? I care insofar as I use examples like this to show people (college students in particular) how mixed up and manipulating VP was. He usually gave conflicting and/or confusing messages, so no surprise here.
  21. Hi Chockfull, Just a note to offer one major correction about publishing my book Undertow. On my website I have written about how, after rejections from publishing houses (every author knows this process takes a long time) I created New Wings Press, LLC and "self-published" the book. I hired professionals to edit and design it. I gathered promotional blurbs from experts, other former Way followers, and authors in the field. The print-on-demand company I used is IngramSpark. They have dependable distribution channels around the world. So, in essence, I did what a regular publishing company does, but paid for it myself. And now it is up to me to also do the marketing. Thanks for the mention here. I hope Undertow reaches many former Way folks. It is now available in e-book, too. That cost me a bundle for Ingram to make, but every penny spent on this project was worth it the moment I got the first of many emails telling me it helped that person heal. My intention was exactly that ... for it to heal and inform. I describe this process on my website, http://charleneedge.com Cheers, Penworks a.k.a. Charlene Edge
  22. Well, as I said before, the reality is that TWI did and still does exist. Each of us had a different sort of experience, which is not news, but I think it is important to remember that fact. For help in sorting out what happened, I suggest this resource: http://icsahome.com. I have given a couple of presentations at ICSA conferences and folks find my memoir helpful, too. Cheers, Charlene
  23. I agree that it is "garbage" insofar that it is propaganda. But I think it does have a certain value: it's a good case study on VPW's sick thinking (and lack thereof) and a red flag about the dangers of cults, showing people with a story (instead of a dry explanation) about how cults reinforce their beliefs by spinning their own closed-group fantasy that, to them, makes sense. On a personal note, psychologically it's weird for me to read it because part of my recruitment episode is in that book told by my 19-year-old self. For my daughter, it's a window into her parents' former lives (her dad is in the book, too) showing her our idealism and misplaced trust in VP. It shows his manipulative practices, delusions, egomania, false humility, and narcissism (and other things too many to list here). Just my 2 cents ...
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