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Everything posted by CollateralDamage

  1. In case you can't find it on FB...
  2. It's been a while, folks.

    I'm not going to be a regular contributor as I've found getting too far into these threads starts to spin me in a grumpy spiral and I can't yet get to contributing without losing sleep about what could have been or what's been done to others.(Honestly, my wife can handle me grumpy! Happy wife, Happy Life!) I enjoy reading what all of you contribute, sharing your experiences as well as the good that processing and "getting it out" can do. Feel free to drop me a line, but know I am not a regular and might take time to respond as I don't log in frequently. 

    "Better out than in, I always say"- Shrek


  3. I'm glad you liked them! I was cracking up making them- I'll see about making a few more. Any requests?
  4. Thanks for amplifying this concept, skyrider. My perspective is from a perfect, stereotypical Wafer from birth, compliant unto the last detail. We were bred to contribute to Mecca: Live around other believers (read CORPS) or MOVE to be in closer proximity them Expected to help at EVERY function (free labor) from planning, parking, set-up, cleaning, etc. and scout out free locations (or host ourselves, but most of us had crappy apartments and reached out allowable limit with the landlords) Work Hardily in school to go to a university Find a post-secondary school with other believers (very important) and dissuaded from other ideas /classes that challenged our beliefs or time to help win others BUILD THE BASE and get numbers. A class every quarter was pushed at all costs, far above content and spiritual enrichment. Although not explicitly mandated, implied to get a middle-class job that did NOT in any way impact our Sunday, Fellowship, or time to give to classes. This amounted to lower-middle class jobs and to drop any other position that made you work on those times (just look at the current WAY DISCIPLES model and their love of Panera for low-paying, highly flexible schedules) Tithe/ABS as religiously as possible. Only once was I talked to in person about my name being off of a weekly ABS blue form. Not to get too into finance because "the love of money is the root of all evil". Stocks being controlled by the Adversary Financial planning for Wafers was dismal, including a college workshop where I was told to expect a windfall from a dying relative to pay for a house/college. Really? All of my family are poor Wafers with nothing to leave but a name tag. They asked to see our monthly budget in college and EXPECTED ABS to come out, even if we were not earning an income. Cutting of the hose of blessings, you know. There was a small series on how to save for a car or larger purchase, but that was essentially explain how a monthly budget worked. Keep you head down, don't do anything with money, live a quiet lower-middle income life, donate all free time/money to the cause, and WIN WIN WIN those paychecks souls. It's as sad as it is reassuring that those with titles/responsibilities in the establishment had similar experiences. God was the final Giver- put your head down and do his work now and he will take care of you. Don't you dare take thought for the morrow. Well, I am now baby! I'll retire with over a million in my bank, a pension, two paid-for houses, and the knowledge that I would have had nothing if I didn't leave the Matrix. I am creating the windfall for my children that the Way took from my family.
  5. Hello Grace- Thank you for the kind words and sharing your perspective. I feel the pain second-hand as I watch my parents struggle, but know the reality of those who did labor in vain for the cause suffer more. I hope you find the process of writing as helpful in recover as I have. I don't post much anymore (or log on as much) due to an anger spiral that seems to kick up when I start going in too deep, but it feels good to get it out. And bourbon. Happy Hunting- CD
  6. SOMEONE was busy! DWBH, all of your comments caused them to retweet all of their old tweets to cover it up (go figure)! What you post doesn't show up on their public feed, but it does on their private view.The retweets caused some to panic.
  7. The awkward fallout of LCM left all of his material discredited and blacklisted. No one ever said his name, and his R&E book was only quoted IF THERE WAS NO OTHER SOURCE AVAILABLE. Even then, he doesn't get attribution, just the book title. There was an appendix on his (? his name was on it, but who knows) work on Angels, but not sure if that is still passed out with the class. Hence the reaction to diversify every STS and class, each now taught with a different teacher each time. Every segment of every class and STS someone new. Much easier to reshoot a segment than the whole class should someone go rogue. It also means you can no longer trust one person and their study. It must all be checked and rechecked and scrubbed. That meant going backwards to that which has been already been proven. Collaterals. I know I'm not alone here.
  8. Truth. Although my parents weren't quite at that level, there was this paranoia and double-triple checking everything. Then, if (or when) something went wrong, the fire that descended was past down until the lowest level broke down and felt terrible. It fell on the weakest level (branch, fellowship, coordinator, assistant, etc. ) one that wasn't "spiritually sharp". MacCarthy levels of making sure you could pass it on to someone else. You did everything you could. When all of that failed, just blame the spiritual of thought-patterns that could not be proven. Rough.
  9. Thanks Rocky. I elaborated similar thoughts here. Life is better in color.
  10. 100% agree. As I mentioned earlier, most of this is for me to process and get things out. I feel like Neo unplugging for the first time (movie brain too) and needing a place to stretch, grow, and assimilate into the wonderful world that is out here. Glad to hear it helps/entertains others! Will do!
  11. Agreed. When you're only looking at the world through a heavy filter (Wafer lurkers, this means you!), it's like looking at the world in black and white. In fact, they engrained this in us all the time, that everything is black and white. God's way or the highway. A or B. This is the ONLY way to scrub a toilet, every other way is "not the best". Once you step away from the very forced lens or black or white, you can see color. Yes, it is certainly overwhelming at times, but I'd take the color all day every day. Only taking the "highs" from the myopic view that my cult and my desires are the center of God's thought/world is so trivial. It also resulted in a false (and in my current experience a very limited) sense of happiness. You FEEL like things are blissful, but there's no substance behind the ear to ear grin. The result for me was attributing EVERYTHING to God ("Thanks God for this awesome parking spot!" and "Thanks God for the exact tissue I needed when I needed to sneeze. You know my every need!") and none of it on my own hard work, determination, or just how fortunate things can or cannot be. The colors come in recognizing your (and others) accomplishments and what we as a society can and cannot due. God=Good, Devil=Bad. Black and White. Actually living in the world and sharing/contributing to the greater common welfare of man and shaping the human experience- Color.
  12. lol. I remember L@dwig was a top seller/pimp for that stuff. Had a bunch of names under him and sold his "business" for a hefty sum, around $250,000. Gotta turn those tricks from ABS. Magnets in the shoes. No Return for you wafers, the magnets would keep them stuck to their shoes on earth! No rapture for you!
  13. My apologies WW. I looked through the humor forum, but didn't think to look there. Also bourbon. LOVE the new orange book! I'll make a few more and post them here if that's the proper place. We could make a booklet
  14. Oooo- me! Do any other atheists out here experience a deeper sense of sadness now at terrorist events/world catastrophes now that mythical deities are not to blame? Back when I was chugging the Kool-aid of popular mythology, it was easy to dismiss any quackery with "Well, the Devil is the god of this world and has control." or "God would NEVER let that happen to us believers." Example. Example. Now that I don't attribute these terrible things to myths, I cannot easily sweep them away ("they must have not been believers. They HAD a chance to believe") and I have a profound sadness that humans can use these myths to disregard real human tragedy. Tell me I'm not the only one. I was in a foundational class on 9/11. I kept on hearing that it was the devil that caused it because of Adam and nothing would ever happen to us believers. How dismissive to trivialize the killing in the name of a slightly different god, and the lives lost by saying it will never be you. I was in a Mexican restaurant when the Paris attacks occurred, and the shock of others eating away while the punch-to-the-gut realism on the small TV screen in the corner hit me that this was done in the name of a religion. Same for Charlie Hebdo. I cried for the first time in years at how sad that truly is, striped of the lens/filter of religion. Anyone else (who has no need for myths) feel this kind of reaction now?
  15. I blame the bourbon.
  16. Certainly, you know as well as I do that numbers are uber secretive. I have no way of knowing exactly how many. Here's what I do know to be true: 1.) The last service I went to, I saw about 80ish people in attendance. The same 80ish I saw each and every time sitting in the same 80ish seats. The aud. was a desolate wasteland filled with nametags. 2.) Many regions/areas continue to condense. There are "out to pasture" assignments that those who have fought in the trenches go to retire. I cannot speak to who are filling the roles of the "retiring" positions, as most are younger but not in my circle(s). 3.) The move to social media platforms (Twitter, digital Way Mags) have been implemented to increase the appearance of size/validity with the younger crowd. You'd have to be desperate to open up yourself to the potential ridicule and onslaught that a malicious few could do on Twitter. For those Boomers out there who need reference- Imagine being able to Google "The Way International" and have GSC come up as the first hit. That would be amazing! Well, Twitter and hashtags allow for the most popular/recent tweets to come up. You # correctly, and those curious about TWI could get whatever is being said by whomever most recently. It takes a desperate brand to open up to that much potential bad advertising. An interesting note, they have stayed off of FB for some bizarre reason. There are about 20 smaller groups (at least) that people have self organized, from singles to prayer groups to larger undertakings. There's even those who feel compelled as if it were their mission to post a thought of the day or mini teaching series. That can't be sanctioned. Why let that spin out of control and open up Twitter? Who's running this????? 4.) Same ole' same ole'. Everything looks/feels the same 10-20 years ago (except artwork. Why so bad?). Formulaic magazine articles, doctrine, overly-scripted and read word-for-word STS, Way Prod... There's small tweaks, but big parts are just stationary. Coasting off of long-term ABS investments and a system that has "worked" for decades. Don't rock the base that is left. And the base that's left likes it just the way it is, apparently. 5.) Huge push towards getting my (the younger) generation to take over. I suspect that has to do with the aging out of the boomers and older leadership. However, those in power still seem to have a reluctance to become more nimble, agile, and change. Go figure. But "GO CORPS!" and "WAY D!!!" ads are everywhere in the mag and onilne. I never did get that. Those who are sold out are going to anyway. 6.) The offspring of Corps are either way into it or way out of it. Very little of our generation can stomach just ho-hum attendance or be lilly poinsettias. Not sure where that comes from, but I don't think our attention span is long enough to put up with something we don't REALLY care enough about. We don't have time for that. Others have left because of the stance on gay marriage or the lack of community giving. They feel churches are a better fit. And they are. 7.) Most field corps have jobs, PERIOD. It doesn't really matter how much $$ comes in to a branch, but from the aging base I would say not much, you have to work. It was explained to me in the late 90's that it was essential to ABS because a portion of the area $$$ went to keep the Corps members in that area full-time ministers and not full time employees. They needed to be spiritually ready all of the time to move for God and the stresses of a job could not allow for that. Many peddle their part-time gigs or pyramid schemes to their followers. I remember finishing a DTA class and then being served a hard-sell on a reverse osmosis water system (with magnets!!!) during refreshments. They wanted me to sign-up right there and brought a laptop to do it. What? The company had lots of magnetic garbage that went counter to the DTA session we just finished. Hypocrite much? 8.) Many rules exist, but state to state, region to region, it can be like the Wild West. You never know what flies where and which rules are important. MI has some CRAZY folks following some 70's style fellowships/limbs and lock-step loyalty. East coast has literally CRAZY folks running things. Parts of OH are everything in between. It's a mess in terms of quality and consistency. There are still good folks (AND good fellowships), but good luck. 9.) I need more bourbon. I'll keep looking through the threads and add where i see appropriate. When I was in it, I was really in it. I think we all were. I really wanted to change the world and help people and thought I was the faithful remnant. These (very small and aging) people do too, and it seems without a younger group, it will just die out with its members. There's a big nest egg there, and there will always be a fight to control however much is there, so I never see it dissolving unless unforeseen liabilities drain the nest egg, but TWI will likely always be around, no matter how small, because of the $$$. *edited for bourbon mistakes
  17. Thanks All- It's tough looking through the HUGE amount of material and trying to find how to add to the discussions already going on. I find a rabbit hole to jump into in just about every thread and the desire to get off thread too enticing! I'll try to look through and post in the proper threads and not make a mess. THERE"S JUST SO MUCH!!! I've needed this outlet. I'm pretty much an open book, so ask away.
  18. I remember my time in the late 90's as being one word: MAGICAL. I was barely old enough to take it, religiously taking all other retakes and the packet on time to be eligible. By my time, it was a Rite of Passage to enter fully into the functioning body. I was third gen. and it was expected. It was never a matter of if, only when. I anticipated and enjoyed the entire experience. I remember waiting with anticipation for what new material was in there. I wanted to know about devil spirits and how to actually operate the manifestations. I wanted that binder to complete the set. I wanted that new blue name tag (green was out... blue was in). I wanted to belong in my Branch and family. Most of all, I wanted to actually make a difference in life. While there, it was taught by the MOG himself at the mothership. That meant meals and mealtime etiquette with all of its quirks. I remember how peculiar it was to have kelp at the table, and openly putting in on everything because our person at the head did it as well. Another secret seasoning that ONLY TWI had and used. All sessions were in the WOWA (soon to be renamed PVA) and it was so "special" to be in that building at the non-typical STS time. I remember waiting for each new packet of the syllabus. How strange is it to only get small parts at a time? The reason given was so we wouldn't get distracted, but what learning institution worth its salt parcels out and controls every paragraph of their content? (Rhetorical). By this time, the syllabi were no longer outlines, but almost word-for-word transcripts. The didn't want you to look or read it, just to listen, relax, and "take it all in". That was made clear numerous times. I didn't care- I wanted to know the secrets of the Bible no one had heard for generations. I wanted to do that stuff of the Gospels and Epistles. One day, there was a storm forecast for our afternoon of unstructured (yet highly organized) time. Weather radar had the storm pointed right at the mothership. We got in our morning study group of about 12 and prayed that the storm would dissipate, God's Word would move, etc.. I watched the radar later that day from my room and watched the storm split and break up. Granted I was only 16 and had no real understanding of meteorology and the unstable nature of weather in July in the Midwest, but I thought this was PROOF that what I was learning and doing was... miraculous. Any small treat, event, special song (I recall one called "I'm Gonna Wash My Feet In The Blood Of The Wicked" too edgy to make it on any Way Prod CDs) was made or done just for me. I felt pampered and left proud of my new sense of empowerment and purpose. Every thing had a purpose reason behind what it was and why it was there. The AC for me was a pivotal moment that turned me into one of the uber committed for years to come... until I could look and think critically at what was actually there. I was sold on the packaging and made to feel like the most chosen person on the planet. New secret information that only a select few from Martin Luther on forward had EVER possessed, a "miracle" of a rainstorm breaking up, special meals with kelp, 24-7 indoctrination, access to walk in the Promised Land, being a compliant third gen. 16yo... MAGICAL.
  19. It seems they are pleading for new Twitter followers to boost numbers. For amusement value, check out the awkward use of Twitter by Boomers that want to help. "We're the New Dynamic Church in the 21st Century..."
  20. This. The hardest part of getting out is having to re-evaluate EVERYTHING you touch, interact with, and think. I find bits of baggage in every decision I made the first year out. Now, 2+ years out, it still isn't gone. Relationships, communication, morality, finances, etc. There's a few healthy quirks, but most had to be scrapped. I felt like and angsty teen all over as I rewrote my life. Subliminal bullies.
  21. https://twitter.com/thewayintnl
  22. WHAT?!?!?!?? I was always uncomfortable with the whole monetary element and lack of disclosure. Small church around my neighborhood would do more for the community than this "giant" worldwide ministry. I remember having a branch of 120 people with Corpse that had to get regular jobs to offset costs. Even if 60 people gave 10% (which we all knew was spiritually disingenuous... bump that up baby!), made the mean American HH income of $50K, that should mean around $300,000. That could never support our leadership. And I made (and gave) much more! I found these a few years back. The reports from '07 and earlier had financials, from 08 and on, just a sheet. An interesting read, but still never matching up in terms of income. Where did it go? How was it hidden?
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