I did not know this site was still up. When I got out of the ministry (around 1993 or 1994) I was so hurt and confused. I eventually went to this site and No Way Out (my story is still up there, I was Jennifer). http://minet.org/www.trancenet.net/noway/experiences/jennifer.shtml I did not have bad initial experiences with The Way other than their persistence that I go to as many meetings as I could. It was not "each one win one" - it was a quota contest.
(Please excuse this digression) I left when it became too difficult to fight the leadership anymore. The midnight scream fests, the accusations where they grabbed onto any innocent thing I said or did and tried to turn it into some kind of spiritual disobedience (before a meeting started I mentioned I was so stressed I considered a wine cooler before a meeting, but I decided not to. That comment was met with "So you said you felt like having a wine cooler at dinner before a meeting. Why would you think that?? What did you mean by that comment?"). Then I was a little too stubborn. At one midnight meeting I was yelled at for something I did that was as simple as missing a meeting or telling someone something biblical, and I yelled back "and what is wrong with that?"... and no verses were ever brought up, no "bringing it back to the word", just a fight. Then when I moved to a new location, I walked in to say hello to the new leader's wife, and she immediately began to tell me all my problems (excuse me, we just met)... and when I answered with "I am sorry, I will try to not do that in the future" she became livid because I would not engage with her. (Wow it felt good to finally say all of that "out loud").
Now to this thread of sexual abuse. When I was in, there were groupies that I nicknamed "darlings". I hung out with the Reverend P. because he spoke the word to me. It was that simple. I was so in love with God, and this leader talked about the bible constantly. I was shocked when he tried to become physical with me mostly because I was naïve and young, and I was living a dream to be around so much Bible - I saw it coming but so many people talked me out of those observations when I brought them up. I must have misunderstood, right? I was a groupie for God! I think so many of us were, right? Isn't that what excited us? Once I declined the leaders overtures, that was when the really bad things happened as mentioned above. I was suddenly accused of things I never did, my fellowship was told to stop coming, but no one told me they were not going to be there. When I asked where, they said "you didn't know? We were told to have twig at a different location". I was pushed into a very bad marriage with a dishonest man (Way Corps, who has since earned his practical ministry degree and is in a new ministry. I hope God worked a miracle.). In spite of all the backhanded dishonest tactics, I tried to stay. I fought for the way it had been in the early days, and I reminded leadership of the verses of love and tolerance. I dared once to pray for believers in every ministry, not just ours! I stood up to them in front of others, and I nearly died trying to put it all back together. I became so ill. When I left, I was labelled "mark and avoid"... and I was in good company but didn't realize it yet. The reason the leadership got away with so much is: (everyone sing along) "if you were not there and did not see it yourself, it did not happen". You can't accuse anyone based on "rumor", only my story was not a rumor. I was a witness. And believe me, no one in that ministry will believe anything said by any of us because of that saying. CL