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Oakspear last won the day on October 26 2021

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  1. Popped in here after checking The Way's website. Way Ambassadors? Is that a retread of WOW Ambassadors and/or Way Disciples?
  2. I just went through all my old Messenger messages...found the one where you messaged me about being an agnostic
  3. Not very often, but I was tipped off that my name had been mentioned...
  4. Thank you I was just about ask why it was in quotes
  5. 20 years ago this weekend my first wife threw me out. I had been invited to leave active participation in TWI a few months previously. With her Waybrain thinking patterns, she convinced herself that she was "unequally yoked". This was not a surprise, as we had been having marriage trouble for several years, and for her, me being kicked out of TWI was the last straw. Ex-Mrs. Oakspear was one of those Wayfers who was convinced that her own interpretation of "The Word" was the correct one, no matter what local leadership or anyone else thought. She regularly conducted private M&A against other Way people, refusing to have anything to do with anyone who she deemed "off the Word". She enthusiastically latched on to Martindale's ant-gay hysteria, seeing "homo-sympathizers" everywhere, even accusing several people. In one of Martindale's classes (it may have been Defeating the Adversary) he mentions that the King James phrase "keepers at home" is translated from the Greek word 'oikodespotes' i.e. the ruler of the home. She interpreted this to mean that she, as the oikodespotes, had the final, or even the only, say in what went on in our home. In her doctrinal island, I was just about qualified to bring home a paycheck. Of course, if something went wrong, like a flat tire, one of the kids getting sick, or anything that typical TWI thinking ascribed to "lack of believing", it was me, as "head of the household" who was responsible for the gap in our "hedge of protection". If there was any disagreement, there was no discussion, no consensus, no compromise, just her way or the highway. A few years before we split up a new Corps grad was sent in to our area. previous "leaders" had been somewhat wishy-washy and were intimidated by her and some of the other likeminded women. This new guy was a LCM clone and wasn't putting up with her crap. This was when she turned on me in earnest, needing a target. She would regularly go to leadership to complain about me, and would gossip about me to other twig members. At home, if she had a problem with something I had done, instead of talking it over, she would convene a meeting of our older kids who were grads and "confront" me. One of the things that I am really bad at is getting myself out of a bad situation under my own terms. I tend to hang on and try to work things out until I am tossed out against my will. I knew things were bad, but I tried to turn things around, putting up with abuse so as not to escalate situations. Finally I was given a choice to either leave, or she would take the kids and leave herself. Not much of a choice. Of course I wasn't perfect. I used to say that I understood what I had done to lead to our divorce and my ex-wife also understood what I had done to lead to our divorce. About 4 years after all that I married my current wife (whom some of you met at Steve and Cindy's wedding) and just passed or 16th anniversary.
  6. This has been a problem on its way for 30+ years. The late 60s/early 70s numerical growth was fueled by young people who wanted something different than what their parents' churches had to offer. As cultish as we now know TWI has always been, for us young people back then, TWI, at least upon our initial exposure, was exciting. For the children of the first few waves of PFAL grads, TWI was their parents' church and was anything but exciting. Besides, by the 90s there was an evangelical or "full Bible" church on every street corner that claimed to deliver the same "accuracy of The Word" that TWI did...there was plenty of choice, it wasn't just TWI vs. mainstream Christianity any more.
  7. Heck, TWI ALWAYS celebrated Christmas in ways virtually indistinguishable from most American; if they were consistent about not honoring days or seasons they'd be like the JWs & December 25th would be just another day. I mean, why was it a household holiday?
  8. When I got confronted about my GSC involvement by the Limb Coordinator 20 years ago I was presented with a pile of paper containing my posts under my original alias: Twyril.
  9. I met John Lynn in person twice. He was the Region leader & New York Limb Leader when I got involved in TWI. First time was when he opened up his office to a handful of us from Queens to sit and observe how his day went (I'm reasonably sure this was something he did regularly). It was pretty strange though, one of us started to ask a question and he told us that there would be no questions or conversation, we were just there to observe. So we spent all day sitting quietly watching him do paperwork, read the Bible and take occasional phone calls. I tried to convince myself that I had learned something, but I'm pretty sure that I didn't. We had been invited to stay for dinner, but if I remember correctly, Pat Lynn put us to work deboning chicken and cutting up vegetables and John was nowhere to be seen when dinner was ready. It was within a year after taking PFAL. The second time was when for some reason he was going to teach at our Way Home. Our living room/dining room was packed like sardines - the enclosed porch behind him was filling up fast, as was the kitchen at the back of the house. We hadn't had much notice that this was happening and one of the roommates had cooked some fish for lunch that day. And the house smelled like someone had cooked fish. We frantically doused the place with air fresheners and lit candles...to no avail. When he arrived (well before the place started filling up) he stopped, sniffed the pungent air and with a straight face said "You guys want to cast out that devil spirit before I start?" and then burst out laughing and suggested we open the windows! I enjoyed his humor and thought he was a very effective speaker and humorist. (I still can remember snippets of "The Devil's Bathroom" and his funny summary of PFAL), and didn't pay much attention to what he was doing once I got out of TWI
  10. There's a certain amount of "believing their own b-s" that causes some TWI top dogs to be out of touch. Wierwille, in my opinion, knew he was running a long con; Martindale, on the other hand, believed it. He really believed that he was the MOGFOT. Even people who didn't buy the scam that either of them was ordained by God to "teach the Word", there was still the belief that TWI was where "The Word" was being taught, the doctrine is fine, if only we can "get back to The Word" in our practices it will all come together. I would guess that any Way Corp grads who left did it for a good reason and have landed on their feet somewhere, in a church, or an offshoot, or happily living a secular life with little thought given to religion. But a segment of TWI still buys into the "grease spot by midnight" line.
  11. Are there even TWI limbs that have a significant number of active people these days? I seriously doubt it. I left not too long after you did (2001) and there were already a number of "limbs" that were more than one state. My state of Nebraska was one of them. First we were "overseen" by the Limb Coordinator of South Dakota, then we we got handed off to the Kansas City Branch Coordinator. Before that, our "branch" was two anemic twigs. I can't imagine it got better in the last 20 years. I have no doubt that the paperwork and micro-managing from HQ will be just as onerous if running a busy Limb with dozens of twigs and heathy branches or a ghost limb with some scattered "believers".
  12. And they were oblivious to the fact that meeting people in social situations was probably more successful in recruitment than door-to-door, where most people are defensive to start with
  13. I don't recall him saying he SIT'd first in his Payne office; do you recall where he said that? I would not at all be surprised if he contradicted himself on this though.
  14. One of the things I see Wierwille doing time after time is basing some aspect of his teaching on someone like Bullinger, but completely misunderstanding the point. Here's an example that I found that I posted on the "Snow Job" thread some years ago:
  15. Even without the (likely true) aspect of being "overseen", it makes more sense to have them somewhere where they can possibly have an impact. But TWI leaders will never admit that the old way was wrong when they change to something new.
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