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Everything posted by penworks

  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. 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!"
  4. 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.
  5. Yes, writing is hard! Who knew?
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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 ...
  10. OldSkool, many thanks for your story, a litany of abusive tactics if there ever was one. Your first-hand accounts from more recent years than mine (1970-1987) is valuable to me and many others! This part of your story can't be said enough ... "The way international had been hide vpw's evils for years. But because of craig martindale's evils being brought into a court of law they have had to white wash every aspect of TWI into the bland, boring crap it is today. Most disgustingly, they blatantly hide vps plagiarism, the fact that he was a sexual predator and adulterer. They hide that he was a drunk. he was mean, short tempered, kept body guards. They especially hide the way east and west and the hostile takeover vpw did to Heefner and Doop. My God, where would the list stop if I were to continue? They way is a preservation society that has elevated victor paul wierwille above Christ and knowingly covered sin after sin of it's founder and successor(s)." Keep speaking, keep thinking, keep the healing going ... Ciao for now, Charlene
  11. Hi everyone, John Juedes published a number of pamphlets about TWI over the years, some with Douglas V. Morton. In about 2007, I ordered a packet of these booklets, one of which is called "From Vesper Chimes" to "The Way International: The Founder, History, and Activities of The Way Ministry," by Juedes and Morton. They did amazing research and documented it well. This address may be old, but there it is from the inside cover. Maybe you can still get this booklet if you want to: C.A.R.I.S. P.O. Box 1659 Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201
  12. I'm not an eyewitness of those years, but I have some info about that time. First, I was in the second Way Corps (1971 - 1973) with a woman whose parents lived in Troy, OH and who raised her and her sister during the 1950s and 1960s to follow VPW's teachings, although they'd discontinued going to headquarters and supporting VPW. I met her father once, and he said they didn't like VP's arrogance, but stayed faithful to The Word (VP's buzz word for his teachings). She went in the Corps because she got hooked on VP's so-called revelation. She stayed in the Corps despite her parents' not liking VPW, and she's still in TWI today. Last year in Orlando, I met a woman from Van Wert, OH. We have a mutual friend who introduced me to her after she learned about my book Undertow. She met me and we talked a couple of hours while she told me stories, including that she had dated Don Wierwille in high school! She showed me her high school year book with her photo in it and Don's photo in it. He was their class president. She remembers her mother saying something was "odd about Wierwille," but she didn't have enough curiosity to find out more. Maybe her mother did, but her mother didn't share more details with her. I have an old Way Magazine from July/Sept.1969. On the cover is a young couple holding hands, walking through a field with a wooded yard in the background. The words, "The Walk of Youth" are below the photo with an arrow pointing right, as if hinting we should open the magazine. That is the title of an article by VPW called, "The Word speaks to the "Now" generation. The Walk of Youth." A key phrase is, "Become an example of the believers" and the article expounds on I Timothy 4:12. As an example, the second article is called, "The Walk of Youth on College Campus," which is about The Way Home down the street from East Carolina University. This is where I was recruited in 1970. The article is a patchwork of little essays by these people: John T. and Mary Somerville (Mary is VPW's second eldest daughter) who were the Way Home "directors" at that time. Later "directors" would be John and Pat Ly*n, who were there when I took PFAL. Other essays are from people who lived in the house and other students who fellowshipped at the house on a regular basis. The next article is by Pete* J. Wad*. I think there are some posts here on GSC that he wrote. He is in Australia now and runs his own Christian group. Walter J. Cum*ins wrote the next article. It's titled, "Walter Cum*ins discusses the walk in darkness," which is about the two gods and how to be born of either seed, etc. The issue has an ad for the 1969 Summer Youth Advance and for a Way family camp in Minnesota. Bernita Jes* has an article about the Oriental Backgroun in the book of Ecclesiastes, and there is a Children's Corner with Audrey Hamilt*n encouraging kids to learn the Word at The Way. The News from Headquarters section includes a new phone number for HQ 419.753.2523. A report on a Pentecost Truth Rally in Columbus with 300 people. Then the Board of Directors met. 480 new PFAL grads were recorded from the previous year. A Renewed Mind camp was held at HQ and a West Coast Women's Advance was held near San Francisco. 29 women came, including Mrs. VPW. I see some familiar faces in the photo of young women who soon afterward entered the First and Second Corps. There are letters of thankfulness near the end, a Bulletin Board with dates of classes and advances, and an Our Times editorial by VPW. Here are a few quotes from it: Opening, "In our day, the denominationally organized bodies are in a position of ecclesiastical desperation. They manifest an acculturated church marked by a conformity of unbelief and bureaucracy. ..." He goes on to bash churches in ways many of us have heard before. At the end, there's an ad for Sunday Evening Fellowship, offering, "Here positive and accurate teaching of The Word by Dr. Wierwille and other teachers. Enjoy bright singing and good fellowship with like-minded believers. Everyone welcome to these non-denominational services." Yikes! I'll refrain from editorial comments of my own on this material. I suspect you already know my opinions, anyway. I'm at http://charleneedge.com Cheers.
  13. Hi, BlueCord. I am Charlene Edge and I wrote the memoir, Undertow, that Rocky mentioned. You can read the first chapter FREE on my website's Home page and you can order the book online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and at independent booksellers. Libraries can also acquire it easily. It's in paperback and e-book form. Below is the link to the thread about old letters VPW wrote to the Way Corps. I am not sure who created that website. Cheers!
  14. Room for another splinter group? Of course there is. This is a big country! I hear there's a small group gathering hoping to establish the good old Way days on another farm in Ohio run by R. Zel*v. But it sounds like peanuts compared with this outfit. Or maybe they'll join together. TWI mind control, in my opinion, runs deep amongst them all ... I knew many of them back in the day.
  15. Congratulations, BlueCord. I wish you the very best on all fronts! (and backs )
  16. ha. guess it should read. marked and avoided former 2nd Corps grad ...
  17. Like I said on the other thread that referred to this letter, the delusion continues. For one thing, the "accuracy of The Word," is a mirage. If you don't believe that, try looking at any number of different versions of the Bible and see the differences. It's pretty obvious to anyone who reads carefully. To me, this letter is evidence that the signers are so enmeshed in the ideology that VPW dreamed up, I doubt they will ever change. But I am proof people can extricate themselves and really change, so I can't predict what will happen with these folks, despite the decades they've invested. I can tell you that in about 1998 or 1999, I contacted Do+tie Mo*nihan, who was at the time the Limb leader of Florida with her husband, Bob. I had found their phone number in the telephone book (ah the pre-internet days, at least for me). I was divorced, attending college, and working full time. I had been out of TWI for more than 10 years. The reason I called was to ask how her experience in graduate school for mental health counseling had helped her help people in TWI. I was considering going into that field. I also wanted to find out how she could justify continuing with TWI knowing of its extreme problems. At the time LCM was still president. She met with me, but she had asked if she could bring another 3rd Corps grad, a TWI-ordained woman with her, someone I had known over the years, too. Understand, I had not seen either of these women since 1987 at HQ just before I escaped. I said sure, bring her. We met in a café in Winter Park, FL. During a friendly, but surreal conversation, at least for me, I asked Do+tie why she had stayed with TWI. She said she wanted stand with her ordained husband. She also said she was a simple believer. Let the research be done by others, she would believe it,. like Uncle Harry used to say. It was then I told her flat out that TWI had never been a research ministry. I had been on the research team, which she knew because she was at HQ when I resigned from the team. I told her that "The Word" was whatever Wierwille said The Word was. Period. She looked shocked. She turned to her friend and they exchanged a glace I knew too well. I'm sharing this because it is not news to at least one of the signers of this document (Do*tie) that The Word was of Wierwille's making, yet she and the others persist in their delusional beliefs about Wierwille and the Bible. Those two things combine to make a strong tonic. In my view, this letter is proof of mind control if there ever was proof. Any ideology that tells you that your feelings do not matter, only The Word matters (which VP said all the time) is abusive. No one deserves to be abused. No one. People who were abused and continue to rationalize it, continue to name it something else, continue to dismiss it, will only continue to perpetuate it. What I recommend is that we keep sharing our stories here. You'd be surprised who might be reading them. There is another way of life, a better way, than offered by The Way International. We need to share our stories with our children and grandchildren. I can't tell you how many second generation Wayfers (or who they are) have contacted me about my story in Undertow, thanking me for shedding light on TWI, telling me it has helped heal them. If TWI was so great, then why do they need healing? Why do we need healing? Isn't it a pity that it's all come to this? That VPW's legacy is pain, confusion, and destruction? My hope is that the generation my daughter is a part of will someday see these GSC posts and learn from them, look through this window into their parents' pasts and understand the seriousness of mind control and its collateral damage. Sadly, they are a part of it in some form or other, some more than others, but many are still in denial just like their parents. Spread the word about helpful resources. I'm hoping to be part of a healing solution, which I think involves serious education. In my view, one of the best books for understanding all this is Bounded Choice by Janja Lalich. To those interested, you can check out Lalich's book and others at your local public library. In 1987, libraries were the immediate source of my healing. Then came people I could trust who did not have any stake in my life other than to encourage things that served my best interest, not their ego. Cheers, Charlene Lamy (former married name: Bishop) Edge former marked and avoided 2nd Corps Grad
  18. Thanks for posting this, Rocky. It made me laugh in amazement ... then sigh with disbelief ... the delusions continue ... really, the delusions began with VPW.
  19. Just a follow-up to the last post. Undertow in e-book format is now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and many other places, like Kobo. Note: On Kobo they put the book designer's name, Duane Stapp, alongside my name, which makes it appear as if we were co-authors. We are not. He designed the cover and the book's interior. He had nothing to do with writing the book. Cheers!
  20. I have read a book about Wierwille's type of rhetoric that, if you want to really enlighten people about Wierwille, you could recommend: Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism by Michelle Goldberg. 2007. Recently someone mentioned it on my blog post series, Fundamentalist Fridays. From Goldberg's book, we can learn a lot about Wierwille's teachings which still influence today's version of The Way: Pg. 53, "It [the Christian Nationalist movement that conflates Christianity with patriotism] was happening in the churches, especially megachurches, temples of religious nationalism where millions of Americans gather every week for exultant sermons that mingle evangelical Christianity, self-help, and right-wing politics. ..." Wierwille did the same thing. Mingled those three ingredients. I offer this information just In case you don't realize what you would be recommending to others ...
  21. FYI - for those interested, on Amazon, the "Look Inside" feature is now active for Undertow. Also, the e-book is finished being converted by IngramSpark and should show up on booksellers' websites in one or two weeks. Cheers.
  22. Hi everyone, and thanks, higherground30, for reading Undertow and sharing your response here. I want you all to know I often mention this website to "outsiders" when I give talks because I want them to know so many people are still sharing and caring about their TWI experience even after so many years. It affected many of us profoundly. The healing continues ... I am getting emails and notes through my website Contact page from people I knew many years ago who say the book is helping them in one way or other. That is my reward. Cheers to the courageous ones who speak their truth here and everywhere. You inspire me. Yours, Penworks a.k.a. Charlene L. Edge at http://charleneedge.com
  23. Excuse me, MRAP, but I hope you realize how hurtful it is to say, "Most folks here on GSC hate, and I don't mean dislike, they hate JS and STF, primarily because of having a past existence with TWI." That's a terrible accusation. I happen to be one of the "most folks here on GSC" and I do NOT hate anyone. I am asking you to consider apologizing for that statement. It is true many of us have serious concerns about TWI offshoots and for very good reasons. But those reasons, at least for me, do not include any personal hatred for the people who run those offshoots. My concerns include these things: I think some groups run by former TWI leaders and biblical researchers use various techniques of mind control just like VPW used. For instance, if you question their authority, you're the one with a problem. Freedom of inquiry is not encouraged. Their position on the inerrancy of Scripture is firmly in place, just like in TWI. (that is a hallmark of fundamentalism). New Testament dogma, primarily based on Paul's epistles, is the most important thing, not the simple Golden Rule. Non-negotiable dogmas, like the Bible is THE WORD OF GOD (really? men wrote it, translators worked on it, versions were formed, etc. etc.), promoted in these Bible groups often bring emotional and intellectual harm to followers. Critical thinking atrophies. Love is lost. That is what worries me. BTW, I happen to have known most of these "offshoot" leaders during my TWI days. I do not like what they are doing, but I do not hate them. There is a difference, at least to me. Cheers, Penworks
  24. Here's my opinion. First, my questions are: which books of "his" do you want to recommend and why? If you do recommend any, I hope by now you have heard that much of what he published he plagiarized from other fundamentalists like E.W. Bullinger, J.E. Stiles, etc.. This fact is documented in many places here on GSC and other websites.. In my opinion, I would not recommend his books based on that fact alone. Also, there are some of his books that have his name as the author but were not written by him. They were written by various members of this biblical research team over the years. None of those people are at TWI headquarters any longer. There are good reasons for that. I'll finish by saying that once you begin looking into what Wierwille's teachings in his books really are, you'll see they prop up the assertion called "inerrancy of the Scripture." VPW put it like this: the Bible is God's Word, God is perfect, therefore His Word is perfect. He didn't say which version of the Bible is God's Word (there are many).There are mountains of problems with inerrancy and with VPW's simplistic statement about the Bible having to be perfect. Think about each part of his statement. Have you done that? If you are going to recommend a book to someone, it is a good idea to know what that book is really promoting. To me, much of VPW's positions reflected in his books are demeaning to other Christians' points of view, bigoted against other religions, and he often twisted Scripture and used it out of context to support his ideas. (he is not the only one who does this). Example: He insisted that the Greek word for "soldiers" in Ephesians chapter six, "must be wrong" because believers are athletes. Again, why did he make things up like that? He cherry-picked what he wanted from the Bible. Sometimes he took things literally, other times figuratively. So, as you can see it is not my choice to recommend anything he has his name on. It's up to you. But think about what you are promoting. What kind of behaviors result from believing the dogmas that VPW claimed as "the truth?" In my experience, which was 17 years in TWI and as a member of his "research team," believing TWI teachings narrowed my mind, warped my identity, limited my choices. That is just the tip of the iceberg. Ciao for now, Penworks
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