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Everything posted by Abigail

  1. I find arguing over the proper definition of the term "apologist" in this context of "VPW apologist" about as silly as arguing with WD over legal termonology. The fact is, it is a grouping and pretty much stereotyping of a small number of people here. It is often used to dismiss what they are saying (and at least some of the time they have something valid to add) and at least WD, if not anyone else, has made it clear they find it offensive. Therefore, as we are asking WD to use more wisdom and compassion regarding responding to personal testimony, I think it is fair play to ask others to refrain from calling people "VPW apologists." Two sides - again.
  2. Am I wrong in my perception that WD did not post on those threads until after someone else brought his name into the thread? I am not condoning bad behavior on his part, I am simply pointing out that with some posters, this is a two way thing. BTW, I suspect of Paw and the moderators had a "strong opinion" about banning WhiteDove, he would have been banned by now. I am assuming at least one of them saw exactly what went on in those threads, and opted to delete the posts, rather than ban him.
  3. Awww (((Rascal)))) I wasn't offended by the "load of crap" comment - I knew what you were trying to say. Lucky for you though, that I had my "big girl" pants on
  4. Okay, back to judging others . . . . I guess this topic strikes me especially right now, given all of the controversy and tensions we have seen in the forums of late. Anyway . . . the ability to make judgments is a unique one to humanity. To the best of our knowledge, the rest of the animal world cannot and does not judge moral character. Unfortunately, while we have the ability to judge between good and evil, we often misuse it. We make snap judgments without enough information, we forget to be empathetic, we set standards for others that we ourselves often fail to achieve. We should look for the good in each other - see the whole person and not just the flaws that irritate us. There is a talmudic teaching that says "Don't judge your fellow until you have been in his place." I usually say, "until you have walked in his shoes." Rabbi Telushkin then points out that Noah was considered to be a righteousman who was blameless in his generation. The Rabbis asked "why does the Torah add "in this generation?" The most favored answer to this question is that it emphasizes that Noah lived in a generation of moral depravity and only in such a generation could Noah have been seen as great. Had he lived in a more moral generation, he would not have been so special. Another Rabbi, Rabbi Lakish argued that if Noah was capable of being righteous in such a depraved generation, the he would also have been righteous in a more moral generation. This is because if "someone like Noah could grow up without a good role model and emerge as righteous, how much greater would he have been iwith support and encouragment from other moral people." Of course, as in all things there is a balance to this. I'd say many, perhaps most of us ex-wafers clearly understand that there are people out there who are pretty much morally deprived!! That is covered later in the book, I believe. :)
  5. JJ, I'm going to back up and cover some of the things I left out, the move forward (if time permits) and hope something in all of this answers what you are looking for. :) This first part probably has nothing to do with what you are looking for, but when I was going back through some of this it struck me as important. Rabbi Telushkin writes, "The acknowledgement that we have free will and bear resopnsibility for our actions is the essence of human dignity." Earlier he wrote of a Holocaust survivor, Viktor Frankel, who said "soemtimes the only free will we hav is how we choose to meet our death." Franekel spoke of those in the concentration camps who would give away their last piece of bread to help another person. It wasn't just an act of kindness, it was also one of the few freedoms they had left, to chose to die with some level of internal dignity. In Judaism, improving ones character is the goal in this life. The Midrash states "The Torah's commandments were not given to mankind for any purpose other than to refine people." I agree with this concept. What else could our purpose here be? We certainly aren't going to take all our stuff with us when we die, so accumulating weath certainly isn't the point!! Rabbi Telushkin later writes, "When trying to improve your character, don't despair and lose heart when you do something wrong . . . we must remember that even imperfect or incomplete improvement is far better than none at all." He also quotes Rabbi Israel Salanter who was responding to Rabbi Chayyim regarding a book he was publishing, "If all you accomplish is to evoke one sigh from one reader, then your book is worthwhile." In my own experience, most of the greatest lessons I've learned in this life were the result of a poor decision/mistake I had made.
  6. ROFLMAO Bride - that truly is funny. Talk about getting lost in the details!!!!!
  7. ROFLMAO - Obedience was definitely something that didn't come naturally to me!! I think somewhere inside I knew that, even though I didn't think of it on a conscious level back then. That probably has a lot to do with why I never went WOW or Corps - it was hard enough just to be obedient on a twig level!!
  8. With regard to the parental supervision, Eyes, my parents divorced when I was 8. My father was very busy building his career and had limited visitation with us anyway. My mother went back to school, worked, and eventually remarried only to lose my step-father to cancer a short time later. So, by the time she was done with school and somewhat done grieving (his loss really took a lot out of her - she pretty much disappeared inside herself for about 4 years) and remebered she had children, it was pretty much too late. I was 17 when she finally decided I needed some discipline and guidance in my life, at which point I was convinced I was all grown up, new everything, and was not going to stand for being treated like a child. I moved out when I was 1/2 way through my senior year.
  9. She certainly did! I have never been able to explain that part of it to anyone, I guess in many ways I didn't truly understand it myself, but when I read Kristen's book it all fell into place and made sense.
  10. I guess for me, reading this book, I see so very many parallels to my own life. Certainly we had vastly different experiences with TWI in many respects. She was in and out before I was even in high school. BUT, as I re-read chapter 1, I am struck by this 14-year-old girl hanging out at "John Pope's" house, no parents around. She is biking across town to party with college kids. Where is the parental supervision? I think I was 13 the first time I ever went to a frat party. I was 11 or 12 when I was introduced to cigarettes, alcohol, and pot. I have an older brother and step-brother to thank for that. :) I got soooo sick at that frat party! We were drinking beer and wine and smoking hash. The room flipped completely upside down and I grabbed the couch so I wouldn't hit the ceiling. Man, was I sick. My girlfriends finally managed to get me home, in between bouts of barfing. I walked into our apartment and my step-dad was in bed - he was sick, he had cancer and was going through chemo or radiation. I opened the fridge door to get a piece of bread because my step-brother had told me once that if you thought you were going to puke you should eat something. Well, I got sick all over the kitchen floor right in front of the fridge. My step dad heard me at that point. He told me my mom was out looking for me and asked me if I had been drinking. I admitted I was. He told me to clean up my mess. That was pretty much the end of it. I don't recall my mom even discussing it with me.
  11. I guess I am not sure I can help you, JJ. If I understand you correctly you are looking for things to help you believe t here is a God? things to make God more real to you or things to help you have a relationship with God? Perhaps I am still not understanding what you are saying. Are you asking how do we remain holy in God's eyes, given our human imperfections and the fact that we will never live our lives perfectly? If you are looking for answers to the first set of questions, I am not sure I can help you or that this book will help you. I am not one who is good at, or even tries to convince someone else there is a God. I wouldn't even know how to go about doing that. If you are looking for answers in regard to the last question - remaining holy in God's eyes, in spite of our inperfections - I think we do that by continuing to learn and grow. God knows our frame, that we are but dust. The entire point of this life is to learn and grow, to become better, (note - NOT PERFECT), to learn whatever it is we are here to learn. I don't think that is really such a difficult task. The Rabbi does handle this in the book and I can go back and share some of what he says, if you are interested.
  12. Dot - CLICK HERE Then look to the right under Recent GS Radio Episodes and you will see Amazon.com Search Sexual promiscuity at an early age is very common among girls who have been molested.
  13. I'm not sure what you are looking for JJ. Does he go deeper how? I haven't read much past that poem yet. I'm taking it in small bites through the week, because I don't have the same amount of time to read like I do when I spend the weekend lounging on the beach. There are Old Testatment Bible verses to support what he says. There are Rabbinical arguments that I find interesting, but am not always so sure others here will be interested in . . . Yeah, he goes deeper, depending on how you define it. Could you give me something more specific? If I know what you are looking for, AND if it is in his book, I'll share it with you.
  14. Abigail

    The Flogging

    Mark I don't think you will find a "one size fits all" answer regarding the rod of correction. I do believe it is symbolic and refers to the authority of the parent to teach a child and that it isn't about hitting a child.
  15. Abigail

    The Flogging

    OMG Dooj, that is exactly what I was told to do with the boys and they were babies! They were only 1 and 3 when I left TWI!!! I refused. Sometimes I faked it. I would take my son out of the fellowship meeting , which generally was enough to get him crying, probably because he sensed my frustration. Sometimes I would hit my own leg with the spoon just to make the sound. Good lord! So it did come from HQ on down!!! At one point, near the end of my TWI days, the branch coordinator and my fellowship coordinator invited me out to lunch. I knew I was "gonna get it" because they never ever did that before. I was right, they wanted to tell me how I was parenting the kids all wrong. Instead, I talked the ears off and barely let them get a word in edgewise Course, I did eventually get reproved for that as well, but at least I didn't have to sit there and listen to them undermine my confidence in my ability to parent my children. p.s. I didn't suggest making this its own thread because I thought the other thread would get too off course. I suggested it because I didn't want your story to get buried!! Stories like yours are needed - they let other people who are luking out there know that they are not alone in what they experienced.
  16. If you go to the "front page" or "home page" you will find a spot (I think it is on the left hand side toward the bottom but my memory may be fuzzy on that) where you can search amazon from Greasespot. That is what I used to order the books and in both instances I had them in less than 5 days.
  17. Abigail

    The Flogging

    Cake's story and DWBH's response should be in a separate thread in the Way forums, IMO. It will sadly be burried and lost forever in this thread, I am afraid. Cake, if you are so inclined - cool! If not, I understand.
  18. I wanted to started a thread about those things in the book that "struck" us the most. I was hooked at the "Foreword" written by Lorna Goldberg, MSW, LCSW. She discussed the catch phrases TWI uses "The Word means what it says . . . " was her example. Others that come to mind off the top of my head are "we have no friends when it comes to the Word" and "the Word, the Word, and nothing but the Word." As I read the book, I think a lot of things that hit us, perhaps more subconsciously than consciously, really came to light. I think those catch phrases, and one could include the "greasespot by midnight" of Martindale, had a lot to do with why some of us stayed, despite our doubts and misgivings. Those catch phrases became so programed into our brain!! Lorna Goldberg then goes on to write, "Wierwille quickly became the powerful father figure she lacked . . . a group that would protect her and provide guidelines that society and her parents had failed to do." That statement really sums up my involvement with TWI. Yes, I was looking for God, there is no doubt in my mind about that. I was reading the Bible on my own and begging God to show me His will. But the motivation behind that search was an intense need for guidance and direction in my life. I was in my early 20's and my life was a mess. My parents really never gave me much guidance growing up. They didn't teach me about God, they didn't teach me much about the society we live in, and really the instilled very few moral values in me. So, there I was, in my early 20's, strung out, a walking nightmare that made a mess of everything and everyone I came near. My mother was dying. My brother, sister, and grandmother were looking to me to take charge (cause believe it or not, as messed up as my life was, in my family I was considered to be the one with the "good head on her shoulders). Along comes TWI. My first fellowship was incredible. These people had real homes. Nice homes - not run down rentals in horrible neighborhoods. They had families. Functioning, loving familes (at least they didn't appear that way one the outside). They had social skills. They had "the Word" and most of all they accepted me into the fold with open arms.
  19. I will look for the book, Belle, thanks! Now back to the book I'm up to chapter 5, which s "The Ignored Commandment". The ignored commandment is to use justice in judging our fellowman. While the Biblical reference is in the context of the Judges, it is generally understood within Judaism, that this applies to everyone. In his section on "judging with empathy" he quotes a prayer that I think is beautiful: "Help us to remember that the 'jerk' who cut us off in traffic last night may be a single mother who worked nine hours that day and who is now rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do the laundry, and spend a few precious minutes with her children. Help us to remember hat the pierced, tattooed, disinterested young man who couldn't make change correctly at the register today is a worried nineteen-year-old student who is preoccupied with whether hep assed his final exams and with his fear of not getting a student loan for next semester. Remind us, Lord, that the scary-looking 'bum' begging for moneyin the same spot every day is a slave to addictions that we can only imagine in our worse nightmares. Help us to realize that the old couple walking so slowly through the store aisles, blocking our shopping cart, is saving this moment because they know that, based upon the biopsy report she got back yesterday, this may be the last year they will go shopping together."
  20. Sadly, Jim, I think VPW was a symbolic father to many people. And not a very good one at that. But, we all have to grow up and leave the nest at some point, no? Or else remain stuck in adolecense forever - I guess some do.
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