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Posts posted by Rocky

  1. 2 hours ago, T-Bone said:

    A great point there, Socks…you using the word “inertia” reminded me of something I found on Wikipedia regarding mindset  

    “A mindset may be so firmly established that it creates a powerful incentive within these people or groups to continue to adopt or accept prior behaviors, choices, or tools. The latter phenomenon is also sometimes described as mental inertia, "groupthink", and it is often difficult to counteract its effects upon analysis and decision making processes.”


    I heard something on the news the other day about an investigation left on autopilot…This idea fascinated me so I found a definition of autopilot  

    "The literal meaning of autopilot is a device that steers a ship, plane, or spacecraft by itself, without a person. However, the expression “on autopilot” has developed a different meaning. Here are some typical uses of the expression “on autopilot,” which should make its meaning clear:

    He wasn’t thinking very hard, he just did his job on autopilot. 

    Instead of driving to school my brain was on autopilot, and I started driving to work!

    By the third week of her campaign for mayor, Quimby was making all of her speeches on autopilot.

    As you can tell from the examples above, to do something on autopilot means to do it without focusing on it, without thinking about what is happening."


    In a sense I can think of a certain mindset as being on autopilot. Where I’m doing something, going through the motions without really thinking about it.

    I agree with you - things could change – but that depends on if top leadership is willing to make the effort to change the direction of the existing mental inertia. That's a pretty tall order.


    Autopilot is something humans do without conscious thought. That's what habits are. Much of what we do every day is done without conscious thought.

    1.autopilot - a cognitive state in which you act without self-awareness; "she went about her chores on automatic pilot"; "too much of the writing seems to have been done on automatic pilot"; "she talked and he dozed and my mind went on autopilot"

    automatic pilot

    unconsciousness - a state lacking normal awareness of the self or environment


  2. 2 hours ago, WordWolf said:

    So long as he kept it under wraps, he could-and did- use that tactic repeatedly. It's blatantly manipulative, which is classic vpw when the cameras were off.  The 'Zero Corps' all walked when he pulled that- so I suspect he fine-tuned his ploy by offering his "second chance" immediately the next day.  That's purely speculation, however (I'm speculating he added the second chance the next day and for that reason.)

    Seems like a reasonable inference.

  3. On 2/8/2020 at 9:59 AM, Raymo said:

    How important is it to "honor the fathers"? Those fathers in the faith who have affected our lives in some positive way, should be honored, shouldn't they? Not everything everyone does is good, and not everything they do is bad. We do not want to bless evil, and neither do we want to curse those things that are good, right?

    I was just thinking about how much time we spent in the scripture at the cross of Jesus, in the PFAL class. Thinking back on my 60 + years of life, I can not recall anyone ever, taking me through so much time on the events of the life of Jesus, at the cross. Nobody ever did that with me that I can recall, other than VPW in that PFAL class. Did all that time at the cross have a positive benefit on our lives or not? Well how many people stood up when we were told to set our things aside, stand up, and speak in tongues? It was not at all uncommon for every new student to do exactly that.

    I'm not saying that everything we were taught about those crucified with Christ was accurate. Today I don't believe as I was told back then, and did go along with. However, just thinking about how much time we spent on the events at the cross, is amazing. We really did hear about Christ and him crucified, right? Who has ever done that with us? Maybe some people have had that happen to them, before or since PFAL. I don't know, but I don't think it would be the majority.

    I received the Holy Spirit with the manifestation of speaking in tongues, when I was reading a chapter out of one of his books that were a part of the class. which as I recall we had to purchase separately...long time ago to recall for me, but one of those small books had a very short chapter called "How To Speak In Tongues."

    It was in PFAL, that I learned about where we got the scriptures. It was in PFAL that I received a respect and reverence for God. He really was with us in our meetings. Christ really was evident though us. through our lives, and the Holy Spirit actually was manifest among us. though the manifestations of the Spirit we functioned in. There was so much good in PFAL. Not everything in it was necessarily right on, but there was so, so, so much good and correct in it, right? Sure you know that's right. (VPW must have known the value of acknowledgement of the truth is. It's important. He knew how to draw that out of us, at times when we needed it.)

    So I leave with this question to think about: How important is it to honor the fathers and mothers of the faith? (those who have taught us, and led us into the truth, and mentored us) Remember that it is those who honor the truth that can benefit from it, right? Now none of our teachers are the truth itself. Jesus is the truth, as well as the life, but every life has something to be honored, doesn't it? How have we been doing at that?

    I would wonder, Raymo, if you by chance might be able to show us chapter and verse what God might have said to us in the Bible about how important it is in the grand scheme of things.

  4. 3 hours ago, skyrider said:

    The trunk of this tree was at wierwille's ancestral farm in Ohio.  All monies from all the limbs and branches and twigs was to be deposited in this one account.......THE WAY INTERNATIONAL BANK ACCOUNT.  Once deposited, the money stayed invested in their accruement, investment and control.......an anti-Christian ruse, indeed.  Tens of thousands of "leaves" have fallen from that tree throughout the "winters of its betrayal."  The exploitation of the youth is the song that is sung here at GSC.......


    To those who still peddle this wierwille-way-tree ruse......they can kiss my Ash.


    Bravo! :jump:     

  5. 14 hours ago, waysider said:

    Some might enjoy THIS series with Joseph Campbell. It explores the power and necessity of myths and heroes.

    Campbell seems to focus on the mythology of the "hero." Which, IMO, is all well and good but stories and myths that communicate life aren't always about a, or the, hero.

    They are about concepts, ideas, notions. Making the abstract more tangible.

    In terms of the topic of this thread, I would ask if we consider Adam, or Eve, heros?


  6. 8 hours ago, socks said:

    And Adam and Eve and the Fall and that stuff - 

    This may seem a little sideways, but I'm thinking of how Disney's Mickey Mouse has been described by some writers as "Adam before the Fall", a character who has no guile, no ill intent, and would deliberately cause no harm to someone else but who is overwhelmingly happy living "in the moment", etc. etc. 

    In Disney's world Mickey might do something wrong but it wouldn't be with a deliberate intent to break the rules. This is elaborated on in "The Sorcerers Apprentice" (based on a poem by  Johann Wolfgang Goethe in 1797) where Mickey's "sin" is to try and be the "Sorcerer". Mickey's fine in the beginning working in and with what he's been given but going on his own to try and wield the power and authority of his "Boss" he's not able to do it and it gets out of hand. Without the correct training and oversight and ultimately by stepping outside his role by his own will, he fails.

    So there the pure heart of the character goes it's own way thinking he's up to the task - there's no subtle voice of disobedience from another telling him to disobey - step out of his given authority - he decides on his own. It's within him to want to be like the Sorcerer and to go outside his apprenticeship. 

    That's not the Bible's story of course but it makes me think of Adam and Eve, before "the fall"....and if their error was disobedience we have to accept that they were knowledgable enough to not make that mistake. Genesis makes it sound like it was a "once and done" sort of thing, they were told what to do and what not to do and it was fully expected they had all the resources they needed to act accordingly. So what happened? 

    That question takes me to the question, what is "sin". Disobedience, yes, but not every rule that's broken is done by deliberate disobedience. A toddler child will knock over a glass on a table but doesn't even know what the glass or table really is or why they shouldn't hit it with their hand and knock it over. We don't punish that child - or do we? Jesus taught for use to become like children, that to be great in the Kingdom of God we must be humble, like children. Children aren't perfect and their humility isn't the result of a perfect decision on their part. 

    Which brings me to the body/soul/spirit part of all this and the loss of mankinds status with God in the original setting they were placed. There's a lot of theological struggle around understanding what man lost through his disobedience and gains through faith in the obedience of Christ. Cause from that angle it's all about our inability to be 100 per cent obedient to God - right? But Christ, the Perfect Son, lives and dies on our behalf and opens the door to the future for all who follow Him and believe "in Him"  which means to accept his being the son of God, who lived, died BUT was resurrected by God's doing and who now resides in a place or state with God, in a favored status of "His right hand". 

    We're told in Genesis that the disobedience will cause them to die. They're told by someone else, no that's not what happens. There may be some specific thing about the "Tree" but if it's a matter of the knowledge of good and evil being revealed BY the act of disobedience then it's pretty simple - while they may have been pure at heart, they would be able to make a logical decision to do something other than what God told them AND to do it as if God was wrong, as if sure, that's what God said but now they're thinking otherwise, maybe not. So "sin" was made not as a mistake but as a decision. Seems unlikely doesn't it? But even today we have the saying "cut your nose off to spite your face", so maybe it's not so unlikely. 

    And following the storyline of Genesis into the rest of the Bible they did start dying. Assuming they weren't going to die physically before that, now they would die physically. That was and is more than these bodies, it's all about "us", the me of me, the life, indeed, the pneuma of me and who I am. 

    To me the Bible's all about LIFE, life, our lives, this life, the fact that we come into being, are born with an expiration termination date based on a bunch of factors but the overall state of our "pneuma" is that it will end and "die" at some point. 

    "Pneuma hagion", spirit or life that is holy, separate, God's pneuma, won't. Doesn't. 

    If I stop for just a second and look at "pneuma" as less a thing and more a kind of thing, with a quality and characteristic of life, it's much easier for me to understand. Instead of it being like a change in batteries, it's more of a transformation, one that we can actually now participate in to a degree in these "old wineskins" to some degree by the transformation of our minds, thoughts and actions, and even in a renewal of our "heart", our innermost essence of our being. 

    To me the administrational thing isn't a tug of war, or a matter of theological debate. It only exists in any form because of the overall timeline and the events. If I follow the events and learn from them, I end up in the same place today - a rank Gentile who is now part of God's family. What was lost is reborn. I am now entered into a series of events that go forward into eternity. 


    Did you ever take any philosophy classes in college?

    "Philosophy courses are different from other college courses you may have taken. Tests in philosophy require you to explain concepts in a clear and concise manner rather than to simply regurgitate information. Philosophers do not write research papers but instead write argument papers and this too can be a daunting task for those students that are unfamiliar with it."

    Your ability to ponder Christian/biblical concepts/notions, think them through and explain what you think about them is probably most why I enjoy reading your posts and comments. The one I quoted above included. I don't know that I would have ever come up with anything like you did but I find it quite intriguing.

    I see you as a philosopher of Christianity. Hopefully, that doesn't offend you.

    As for me, I'm inclined to look at the Bible as (you mentioned the other day) a story or rather (in my case) a collection of stories. Stories are intrinsically crucial to humanity. But not necessarily because they may or may not be factual.

    Greek and Roman mythology is all about communicating important stories/concepts to people even though we understand them to not be factual.

    That said (about how I now view the Bible), I see great value in how you explained Mickey Mouse as analog to Adam. And how you described a new(er) understanding of sin than I had thought of maybe ever.

    So, again, thanks for sharing your insights.

  7. For anyone who might be interested.

    Edx, an online platform delivering MOOCs, Massive Open Online Courses, regularly sends me email listing course offerings.

    Both Edx and Coursera offer many (if not most or all) of their courses for free unless you'd like an official certificate for completing each course.

    Today I learned that the Rochester Institute of Technology, a world renowned engineering school, is offering one they call Critical Thinking and Problem Solving.

    The hitch is that the class is oriented to business applications rather than the Humanities. But I have to figure there'd be at least some overlap.

    About this course

    In today's business environment, organizations have identified critical thinking and problem-solving as skills that are integral to an employee's--and their organization's--success.

    The most successful professionals can assess the environment, analyze a situation, design a solution, and ultimately win in a competitive scenario.

    This course, part of the Soft Skills Professional Certificate program, will demystify, discuss, and provide application techniques for critical thinking and problem-solving in a business context. Learners will draw connections to their work experience by analyzing and critiquing case studies. Best practices for problem-solving will be discussed and illustrated including how to weigh alternative solutions, incorporate feedback from stakeholders, and how and when to start over.

    This course may be audited free of charge. Learners also have the opportunity to earn a verified certificate of completion. Exclusive learning opportunities such as live events hosted by subject matter experts will be available for verified learners.

    Learning objectives include:

    How to perform strategic analysis and assessment

    How to perceive and assess a critical need and design a tailored solution

    How to identify key stakeholders and ensure their needs are met

    How to employ adaptive problem-solving

    How to work through obstacles collaboratively

    How to analyze failure to improve future performance


  8. 6 hours ago, memeandonlyme said:


    Thank you for sharing the video, I hadn't seen it. I don't watch tv but heard Megan Kelly had left tv for a bit. Did she leave because she was battling the sexual harassment to save her career?

    Btw, I don't watch commercial television either, but do watch YouTube, Hulu, Amazon Prime video and PBS online.

    I just ran into an Associated Press news story about this recently released (in France, and in French) book about an adult woman detailing her experience as a young teen (13-15 years old) having had a sexual relationship with a much older man who happens to be still alive and previously a celebrated literary star in that country.

    While twi excuses sexual misconduct by its clergy with adult (sometimes married) women, the interpersonal dynamics at work in the power relationships in twi weren't different from what this French author describes... at least according to what I've read in English. Here's one of the book reviews on Amazon translated into English:

    In 1993, Gabriel Matzneff published a book in which he recounts his adventures with young V., 13 years old when he was 50.
    V., this is Vanessa Springora, the very one who publishes today The Consent... The very one that, from 1986 to 1987, was Gabriel Matzneff's little victim under the complacent gaze of much of the intellectual world of the time. Bernard Pivot will shamelessly say to Matzneff during one of his shows: “You are still a kitty collector”...
    Here you go.
    Everyone knew very well that Matzneff only touched very young virgin girls or young boys aged 11 or 12...
    Here you go.
    Everyone knew he was a criminal pedo who went to Manila regularly to satisfy his little boy fantasies...
    Here you go.
    Everyone knew it, even the President of the Republic of the day... Even Vanessa Springora's own mother.
    Here you go.
    Yeah, but Gabriel Matzneff was an author, so it changed everything. Because Matzneff knew how to manipulate and seduce with words. Because he made young Vanessa believe that there was nothing wrong with the fact that a 50-year-old man had sex with a 13-year-old child.
    Springora uncomplacently recounts how Matzneff spotted her, seduced, isolated, submissive and ransacked her. That's the predator.
    Then she tells the story of how she tried to escape this grip.
    She tells the story of a 13-year-old girl, caught in the clutches of a most fearsome narcissistic pervert.
    She tells how this predator himself has carefully recounted in books published by major publishers his sexual adventures with minors... without shocking anyone, without justice interfering with them... without anyone worrying about the fate of the young victims...
    At my humble level, I thank Vanessa Springora for publishing this book. I thank her on behalf of all of us: the abused young girls, the hookers, the “who did not dare to speak”, the “who spoke but who were rebarred”, the “who survived”, the “who did not survive”, the “who drove away”, the “who were annihilated by a narcissistic pervert”, the “who believed” that it was all their fault ”...
    In short, I thank her from the bottom of my heart.


    • Like 1

  9. 6 hours ago, memeandonlyme said:


    Thank you for sharing the video, I hadn't seen it. I don't watch tv but heard Megan Kelly had left tv for a bit. Did she leave because she was battling the sexual harassment to save her career?

    I don't know why she left NBC, but certainly the harassment has been a significant factor overall in her decision processes.

  10. 5 hours ago, T-Bone said:

    I think this thread is also another reminder to those who have already been seduced by TWI and may feel they have some vague inkling they have been duped. I left in 86’ and looking back on my somewhat lengthy exit experience – I’ve come to the conclusion my decision to leave was ultimately more about the methods of TWI to shore up their doctrine and practices rather than about any particular doctrine itself.


    Rocky and Word Wolf have made excellent points about regret; we are only human – imperfect and unfortunately without a time machine – so we can’t go back and re-do situations where we screwed up, failed or were taken advantage of by others. Rather, I believe being human and imperfect we are nonetheless endowed by our Creator with some kind of “indomitable machine” that enables us to bounce back from failures and overcome obstacles.


    Regret  is to feel sad, repentant, or disappointed over something that has happened or been done, especially a loss or missed opportunity; to feel sorry or unhappy about something you did or were unable to do…There will always be regrets - - but if we never felt sad, repentant or disappointed over something that happened where would the impetus come from to decide to change our course of action? I also tend to think the stronger the regret, the stronger is the stimulus that drives us to change something. We may not yet know what that something is – but we still may find that the gears are already in motion in our head – to question, to challenge, to modify how we look at something. After a while – I think you may find the baby steps you’ve taken and what you’ve achieved and have to be thankful for will by far outweigh the regrets.

    I said leaving TWI was a long and slow process for me. It was a series of baby steps. Doing something – even something small -  is better than doing nothing. Back then there was no Grease Spot …Penworks had not yet written “Undertow”. I did my own research on doctrine and practice – even looked at books outside of those promoted by TWI, did a lot of thinking…questioning…challenging… talking to others who had left TWI or were thinking about leaving. I Thessalonians 5:21 was my motto during these baby steps times “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good”. You may want to spend more effort in scrutinizing the methods and practices of TWI rather than fretting over a particular doctrine. In other words, look at how they reinforced their teachings and way of doing things. Perhaps you'll notice some of the hindrances they've put in place to frustrate clear or critical thinking. "Prove all things" applies to methods and practices too.

    In the end, maybe regrets can be just one chapter in the book of your life – a chapter that is a lot shorter than the chapters on baby steps and the chapter on what you’re grateful for.


    So dear TWI follower, what is stopping you from considering the ideas on this thread?


    here's Penworks' book "Undertow"


    Wonderfully eloquent. 

  11. 47 minutes ago, WordWolf said:

    I'm sure there were better ways to spend your time, so I don't disagree.

    I hope you consider that lives aren't always efficient, and that NOBODY has a life with NO regrets.  If you'd lived that way, you'd have been a different person, and perhaps part of what makes you who you are (in a good way)  might be missing if you'd lived differently.    That doesn't change the reality, but hopefully you'll conclude it was not ALL a waste of time.   Me, I've found I learned a lot about compassion after getting hurt and needing compassion.   I didn't like learning it that way, but.....

    WW, you nailed it.

    Penworks' book, Undertow provides great insight on her experience in twi. She has made it her mission to shed light on the cult experience. She could do that only because of her 17 years in twi.

    I wrote this (which Penworks included at the beginning of the book),

    “Undertow is a gift to young people and their families who want to understand the inner workings of fundamentalist cults. Charlene Edge’s experience parallels much of my own twelve years as a follower of Victor Paul Wierwille’s ministry. Undertow sheds light on the decisions, questions, and longings that she encountered, and ultimately worked her way through. In the words of Canadian author Matshona Dhliwayo, ‘Books are kinder teachers than experience.’ May Undertow be a kinder teacher to you than Charlene’s seventeen years in The Way International were to her.” —Steve Muratore

    I'm now reading Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead by former Secretary of Defense James Mattis. He makes the same point about learning from others' mistakes (that I did when I said that about Undertow).

    Mattis also poignantly demonstrates numerous examples of learning the hard way, through one's own experience. He doesn't call it regrets, but does powerfully make the case that learning from others' mistakes is quicker and often less painful.

  12. 27 minutes ago, WordWolf said:


    The short of it is that they way didn't "go" bad because vpw set it up "bad" behind the curtain, and just hid it from his audience.  From the beginning, vpw knew to tell the public one thing from Scripture, and wait until he was in private to pervert its contents and say the opposite.  (Like how God was OK with ORGIES.)   lcm was a well-meaning, earnest student in college when he heard of vpw,  which led eventually to lcm's life being destroyed.  vpw KNEW he was conning us, so he knew who to tell WHAT.  lcm thought vpw was really hearing from God, so he was sincere- which is why he got caught.    vpw was the one who taught lcm that he was supposed to cheat on his wife-  that he had to "loosen up" on the subject of marital fidelity, and that lust was a "need" and that, when he traveled, he needed to find women to "meet his needs" locally, and so on.   lcm was carefully groomed to seek out sex outside his marriage, just as vpw carefully identified more vulnerable women and groomed them to be ok with extramarital sex.    Nobody put a physical gun to lcm's heads or their heads, but there was YEARS of manipulation by vpw to set it all up.  vpw started because HE was fine with cheating on his wife, so he set things up to make it easier to cheat on his wife.  He taught lcm to imitate him, so he also taught him to cheat on his wife.     So, yes, lcm was an a-hole, but he didn't start out that way.  He was also one of vpw's victims, which is why he victimized others. 

    So, yes, lcm and the women were adults, but it wasn't QUITE as simple as a firm "no" to a blunt request or offer of sexual relations.  vpw set up locations, and doctrines, to make it all easy-  places to contrive comfort and privacy,  doctrines to make it OK with God and to put himself above questioning.  etc.   I'm sure a few women wanted the attention of the star-  vpw WANTED more of those women in twi-  but the majority were COERCED into things, some of them by being drugged unconscious. 

    If all of this helped you see that it was possible to cheat on a marriage, and for you to decide NEVER to do it, then good for you, that's a good conclusion to draw, and to be commended, IMHO.  Please save a little compassion for the women who just wanted a class on the Bible and ended up told that they needed to please God by just going along with this leader and letting him do sexual things to her.

    This video is NOT about the political spectrum, in either direction.

    The value of this Megyn Kelly moderated discussion is expanding on the dynamics of workplace power that leads to sexual harassment/abuse.

    I believe it also illuminates points WordWolf made in the quote I cited in this comment. Though Kelly's interview doesn't suggest Ailes drugged anyone to commit rape or obtain sexual favors. But she and the others do dramatically show how power dynamics can play out... and much of that kind of thing DID happen in twi with vpw and lcm.

    A key difference between what Kelly and her colleagues experienced is that what happened in twi was self-justifying rationalizations twisting bible verses and claiming it was "God's will." It probably took a long time for a woman who submitted to figure out that it wasn't necessarily in harmony with what God really intended for her... I don't think God ever told women to be thankful that they got emotionally manipulated and sexually abused as a matter of course.


    • Like 1

  13. 55 minutes ago, memeandonlyme said:


    If there were cases of rape then absolutely, I care for those women and think he should never see the light of day again. I didn't hear those stories, but it could have been because adults used to protect children from such things when I was a little girl.

    I understand. There are several first hand records on this forum. I suspect there are multiple topics about which adults in twi didn't tell you the whole story... one reason likely was that they didn't get the whole story from "leadership."

    • Like 1

  14. 2 hours ago, memeandonlyme said:

    It's too bad the Way went so bad. I was in it as a young kid and was about 12 when the scandal broke about CM having sex with other women. I remember hearing adults talking about those "poor women". I remember thinking,  even at my young age, what poor women?, they CHOOSE to have sex with a married man and cheat on their husbands. I never felt sorry for any of those women and I was more disgusted at them for all the stupidity it took to do what they did. They can say all day that he made claims that god wanted him to be with them but, these were grown foot women who knew exactly what they were doing. They wanted the attention from the star of the show and they got it. I can't say for sure, but that experience as a child may have been what set in motion my fervent refusal to ever be with a married man . If that was the best I got from my Way experience, that is pretty darn good. 


    Hi Memeand...

    Yes, that's ONE way it happened for some of them. Not necessarily the only way.

    Glad you got locked into your mind not to even get started messing around with married men.  :wave:


  15. 2 hours ago, socks said:

    Reminds me of the 7 basic human needs, an expansion of Maslow's hierarchy 5 human needs. Those focus on individual where the social suite would be group focused. 

    In these the expanded 7 needs are from the view of systematic organization, rather than hierarchical. I haven't studied it in great detail but I assume that viewing them as a system allows for flexibility that wouldn't be as useful in a hierarchy/prioritization approach. Still - my early impression was that the move to a holistic 7 point system of human needs may reflect the times more than anything else. But then, what doesn't, he asked...?

    Understanding and growth
    Connection(love) and leisure
    Contribution and Creation
    Esteem and Identity
    Self-governance(Autonomy) and Freedom
    Significance and purpose

    Compared to:


    My impression of how these two kinds of things work is that the social - group contracts we form together assumes that the most basic need of "survival" is either at stake or accomplished (or in an incremental stage) - put another way, survival is always the box we're checking at a perception level - if it's just being in a meeting with people that we don't know well, and that awkwardness of being unsure how to act or what to say, or not knowing if someone we care deeply about cares about us in a reciprocal way - there's a theme of survival there, albeit not physical life for death but of the emotional layered kinds. We can not be worried about it but all priorities would always re prioritize to recognize the fundamental requirement of survival. 

    If it's at stake then each of the social suite would serve the fundamentals - so friendship establishment would mean sharing food or helping gather firewood for a shared fire, etc. "Cooperation" would serve the greater need of the group surviving, which really means that each individual survives. 

    So - self interest drives our social structures, by necessity. 

    For conversation sake I might propose therefore that if that's the case and in regards to The Way Inc. there was a strong survival element to it that led the individual to see failure or success as something that was always in immediate play. We would read in the Bible that we "were" born again and that we "are" Sons of God and that our "standing" was one of assurance and confidence 

    But our state could always be rocky, "in or out of fellowship", our"walk" wasn't really treated by VPW in the day to day business of the Way as one of stable assurance, EVERYthing was always one hit away from being "off the Word" and "of the Adversary"........in reality the daily success and survival of the individual was always in danger, on a razor thin path of good/bad, evil/righteousness.  

    "No friends when it comes to the Word" could really mean "you swim in a tank of sharks and some of them are your co workers"...............

    Just some random thoughts here, will kinda gestate this. Thanks! 

    Ruminate on! Or gestate or gesticulate, whatever suits your fancy. :wink2:

    I believe you're on the right track.

    Christakis' book is more about how societies form without necessarily any conscious intent. And yes, Maslov's hierarchy does seem to correlate closely with the Social Suite as articulated in Blueprint.

    But you nailed a couple of key sociological issues we lived through in our time in Wierwille's society/subculture.

    Consciously or not, VPW (and every other cult leader, because in this regard twi was far from unique) established a method for giving people a sense of belonging and then controlling their behavior (to a degree) based on threat to withdraw that sense of belonging.


  16. 46 minutes ago, penguin2 said:

     "Bless n treat" 

    Interesting thing that occurred to me this evening.

    It seems spookily Orwellian that (or how) twi changed names of holidays and words to songs.

    Each instance was clearly intended to mark/enhance the image of twi as better or more correct or more right than anyone else.

    In that regard, it just elevated the narcissistic nature of wierwille's subculture.

    • Like 1

  17. 8 hours ago, Taxidev said:

    As it's said, a rose by any other name...

    Yes, on the field, TWI absolutely celebrated christmas and valentine's day, and st patrick's day, and every other pagan ritual celebrated in the USA, just with their own twist, like that makes it all okay.  Just another of their twisted logic BS methods of control.

    I understand how twi labeled them all as pagan. But twi's interpretation of culture wasn't necessarily the most rational much of the time. :wink2:

  18. 30 minutes ago, WordWolf said:

    I think a lot of people either have never heard of Sociology, or don't think it's useful.  The sometimes-forgotten brother of Psychology, Sociology studies groups where Psychology studies individuals.  (I've done some work with both at the university level.)   Sociology can break down how groups tick and what draws people to them, or what keeps people in them.     Since twi was largely about group dynamics and groupthink, studying it with the lens of Sociology could be quite useful.   I don't think vpw knew the names of any principles he used in manipulating and conning people, but I think he used many of them, almost ignorant of their details, but knowing enough to put them into practice. 

    So, this book is probably a good idea for a read.

    Wierwille may have heard of B.F. Skinner, but a good bit of what's in Christakis' book hadn't been figured out before Vic died.

    Totally agree with you that twi was largely about group dynamics and groupthink. When one realizes what kind of commune activism had taken place prior to twi, it can make one wonder how we weren't able to see it all before we got involved. Alas, I'm now old enough for Medicare and it has taken me a lifetime of reading to learn about.

  19. FWIW, Bill Gates (THAT Bill Gates) reviewed Blueprint on Goodreads.com

    He closed his review with this paragraph:

    "I didn’t expect to finish a book about behavior feeling more hopeful, but Christakis surprised me. It’s easy to feel down reading news headlines every day about how polarized we’re becoming. Blueprint is a refreshing reminder that, when people say we’re all in this together, it’s not just a platitude—it’s evolution."

  20. This is NOT a book about politics. Rather, it's about sociology (among other disciplines) and provides insight on social structure of TWI, the WOW Ambassador program (and whatever succeeded it... Way Disciples?) and the Way Corpse.

    The book examines and synthesizes history of group dynamics similarly to how Sapiens (by Harari) synthesized human history.

    To me, the perspective examining groups all over the world and throughout history gives perspective on the experience we had in TWI far more than exclusively using the Scriptures to understand the subject(s).

    Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of Good Society is available for purchase on line and at bookstores. But it's also available in some public libraries.

    The author (Nicholas Christakis) offers insight on what he calls the Social Suite.

    These eight traits form what he calls the “social suite”:

    1. Individual identity
    2. Love for partners and children
    3. Friendship
    4. Social networks
    5. Cooperation
    6. Preference for your own group
    7. mild hierarchy
    8. Social learning and teaching

    We, who participated in TWI's regimented programs can see just by looking at this list some of the reasons why Wierwille's model society didn't work.

    But you can get much more insight by reading the book.

  21. 2 hours ago, Raf said:

    What is the difference between atheism and nihilism?

    Good question.

    And it depends on how you define nihilism.

    Personally, I look at nihilism as a "glass half empty" subset of atheism. To nihilists, as I interpret the term, values are of no value. Nothing matters ultimately, therefore nothing matters now. 

    I don't believe life must have an imaginary purpose in order to have a purpose at all. It is all we have. And it is worth preserving. 

    That's a short answer. But no, atheism and nihilism are not the same thing, and believing there is no cosmic justice does not make one a nihilist.

    I agree with Raf. Atheism ≠ nihilism even though there may be some overlap.


    Why you should help others. (From the Daily Stoic)

    “Though pagan,” Wyatt-Brown writes, “the Stoics recognized the brotherhood of man. The greatest virtue was helping others for one’s own sake and peace of mind as well as theirs. Justice, goodness of heart, duty, courage, and fidelity to fellow creatures, great and lowly, were abstractions requiring no divine authority to sustain them; they were worth pursuing on their own.” 

    [...] what does he mean by pagan or divine authority? The author is making an important point about Stoicism. Most religions tell us to be good because God said so. Or they tell us not to be bad because God will punish us. Stoicism is different. While not incompatible with religion, it makes a different case for virtue: A person who lives selfishly will not go to hell. They will live in hell. And both these points are related to the final and most important part: We are all connected to each other, and to help others is to help ourselves. We are obligated to serve and to be of service. 


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