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Lifted Up

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Lifted Up last won the day on August 20 2019

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About Lifted Up

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  • Birthday 09/28/1950

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  1. 40 years and three months ago was my sexual assault at HQ.
  2. I have forgiven myself; I hear it too many times not to listen, from my counselor, male survivor support group, my faith resources, and a few pertinent online pages. I don;t worry about closure with the ex-Way community, or anyone acknowledging this male being sexually assaulted. But I am very active in the general community; my non Way related friend who helped me break my silence also having co founded a national abuse prevention group, and helping me to laugh and smile (That's her job with everybody). But being loosened up (I heard those words specifically used about me) was not a loosening up, or playing around. And of course that loosening up term was one of VPW's.
  3. I decided that what good things the Way contributed to in my life had to be re-evaluated. When I was sexually assaulted in the name of the "love of God" all things, good and bad, had to be reviewed because the good, whatever there might have been, was used to hurt. Intent doesn't matter. Like one thing I participated in, using believing to degrade and belittle others, the most obvious example being chastising people for not believing...and therefore not being faithful to God...because they had incurred some illness, in many cases things as minor as mild sniffles. Anyway, I know I am far from alone in having to associate big hurts with what was presumably God's Love being taught, and ex-Way people are not alone: I have come across some in my male survivor support group who have somewhat the same problem, being sexually abused in church, often as children. Therefore, I am re-learning God with the help of my sexual assault counselor and faith based support. Of course this wipes out the ,myth of the Way being the only place God could be really taught. I think I have covered this before on posts elsewhere, but briefly, the teachnig by VPW that leaders (such as corps men) were entitled to have their sexual needs fulfilled (for the good of the ministry) was the reason why I was sexually assaulted by two women. Easy to understand, especially after reading Charlene Edge's account (in "Undertow") of how she discovered that even VPW had women around who went along with his sexual "doctrine". Maybe a little irony in how I am now learning abut our Real God, and considering forgiveness, even as I have recieved recent indications that my main assaulter still doesn't think she could have hurt me. Men, in the Way and in the world, are often perceived as sex starved animals who cannot be hurt by sex and so my "loosening up" (I overheard clearly that term being used specifically about me i the event) and it still was just "playing around" to her. I think I can extend forgiveness because I have learned from my counselor and others what it is, and more importantly what it is NOT. I just wonder if it can be accepted. But I understand also it is for ME, not them.
  4. I am pretty open online and non anonymous, but feel it is best to stick with my handle here. Well, here and in my male survivor group, were we are supposed to stay anonymous. I can relate to others who have been hurt in the name of "God's love", some of them were abused as children in their churches.
  5. Yes, I remember now loads of details from my Way time, even though it took time to remember some of them , including my "loosening up". But that disclaimer is actually what helped keep my mind glued onto Way like thinking, even after my body was yanked out of the cult.
  6. That is what FINALLY started to wake me up was the multitude of testimonies. I finally admitted that yes, the abuse COULD have happened, but I said I needed first person testimony, still unaware that I could have looked for it in the mirror. That testimony came in the form of "Losing the Way". Later, with the help of a wonderful survivor (and non Way related) friend, I remembered my own sexual assault. Nnot by VPW of course, but due IMO to hhis doctrine that corps men should "loosen up" ( or be loosened up). And I agree,he fully believed he WAS "THE man of God" BTW am I doing better on my post quoting? Seriously. I don;t want to confuse.
  7. The problem with the presumed "good" is that IMO it is what got so many of us into trouble. Like his "humble souding" disclaimer at ROA 1976 after he elicited the automatic "NO" shout to "Finally, my brethren, be strong in VP Wierwille". IMO it is just one of many things he did to delude HIMSELF into thinking he was THE "Man of God." That is why teaching about God and the bible with the same methods used in TWI is of little value IMO. That comment may be better suited for the "offshoots" topic. But this thread mentions the abuse. and that abuse is what sours survivors, and should sour others, on the motives behind the "good".
  8. Yep. In any event, we corps were not going to question him, even in just our own minds.
  9. Point taken. This was the first time I had tried to reply bit by bit instead of making just one reply at the end.
  10. You said it. very long time = a lifetime. In mysexual assault work and counseling, the lifetime nature of that event is stressed. And of course people went through a lot more in our cult.
  11. As long as I'm around, I may as well mentioned the meeting VPW called all us corps going WOW to in the woods at ROA '78. He made sure we each got a burger, then cautioned us to watch ourselves sexually, because he did not want to pay for any more abortions. There ws no hint of anythng moral in his tone either way, on this issue; he sounded like he just wanted to avoid his "ministry" getting a bad name. Hmmm, "either way", was that a Freudian pun?
  12. Sexual assault/rape/abuse had already been rampant by this time, right? And not just by VPW. Was it around this time that VPW told LCM he should "loosen up" sexually? People used to talk about that a lot on these forums years ago but I never knew what time that VPW to LCM edict was presumably issued. But I know the term was used before December 1979, because that was when I was "loosened up" involuntarily (i.e. sexually assaulted0 by two corps women. How do I use this term in my case? Because, after the assault, escaping to and freezing in my upper bunk, the two women told the men abut it. And the men (my corps "brothers") talked about it, not knowing I was in the room in my top bunk frozen but listening. (This was all after "lights out".) At least one said he thought it wqs good that I had been "loosened iup"; yes, he used those exact words. I never let on that I overheard. So, there is at least one male TWI sexual assault survivor around.
  13. I'll say this; you name names. You don;t seperate Barnard, but from the rest of you post I certainly understand why. I recognize several names, including that couple. The reason I mention Barnard is that your grouping him in with the others goes with the fact that to a survivor, ignoring rape/sexual assault/sexual abuse can hurt as much...even more....than the original act. I suppose I should consider my prime assaulter in the "on and on and on" group.
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