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Lifted Up

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Lifted Up last won the day on April 18

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  • Birthday 09/28/1950

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  1. Oh, no argument. Of course it wasn't written down as official, which would be admitting to the actual practice. No more than my friend's brother would admit to what he thought was his right to abuse her. And no more than VPW would officially admit to what he thought was his right to rape and/or assault so many women. But verbally he sure promoted the idea of Way leaders being entitled to have their sexual needs met. And for many, even some women, there was a duty and even willingness to act according to what our MOGFOT said and did. I was not immune to that idea of course, in many ways discarding my own personal values to obeying what I thought was God's will as spoken by our leader. But that assault was so strongly against my values that I froze in a very confusedand ashamed state, until the fear of an even greater shame prompted me to escape to my bunk on the men's side of the trailer and freeze there. As it turned out, the shame was enhanced again when some of the others arrived in the dark, not knowing I was there in my upper bunk, and unknowingly revealed to me all that the two women had told them about their "playing around", and, yes, they specifically used the words "loosened up" about me. I could give even more details. BTW, as a side factor, IMO we in many ways were treated as children in the corps, even though we were supposed to be adult leaders. That is why my non Way friend, who helped me break my silence, knew to suggest a book written (by Mike Lew) for male child abuse survivors, despite knowing my assault happened as an adult. But she co-founded a national organization to fight child abuse and knows a lot on the subject. Oh yeah, I wil give one more detail here; the two women who assaulted me were alone on their side; as most or all of the others were away on LEAD at the time. Again, you are right, loosening up was not official doctrine (maybe effective doctrine from the practrive) as that would have been admitting to, among other things, VPW's abuse and promotion thereof among his followers.
  2. Healing IS possible, but a sexual assault victim never "gets over it". I haven't. Sad.
  3. I guess at the time of my HQ assault in 1979, which was not too long after Rome City was acquired, the "loosening up" doctrine had been given to most of the corps, and I suppose staff that weren't corps. In "Undertow" Charlene Edge notes that when she learned that VPW had many women, and that many had been hurt, she notes that she also learned that there were women willing to go along with this doctrine. I figure that included helping to loosen up some of the men. I had not heard specifically about anybody, female or male, as young as you were being hurt, but it doesn't shock me. Yes, when something like that happens, it takes a long time to recognize all we went through, when, as was certainly the case with me, the idea that our leaders could do no wrong was so ingrained in my mind. And, cult or no cult, rape and other sexual assault can do terrible things inside one's mind, even if and while the victim does not consciously recall the event. My non Way (female) friend who helped me was repeatedly raped by her older brother, even while she was filming the TV show in which she was a child actor. In later years, when she reached a slack time in her life, the prior abuse hit her hard. She is doing well now and thus was able to help me, but no one ever "gets over it". Something else...people all around may have a terribly erroneous conception that males cannot be hurt by sex. This attitude was extra cruel in the Way. My main assaulter still thinks it was all just a game, playing around, and I think STILL has no conception how much she hurt me. You would think that people would understand better the hurting of someone in the 7th grade, with with old Way attitudes still in place in many people, I'm not so sure. I commend you for your courage in speaking up.
  4. "Loosening up" was a doctrine reflecting VPW's preaching that the man of God should have his sexual needs fulfilled so he could do the work of the ministry. That filtered down to me when I was sexually assaulted at HQ in 1979. Yes, it was just a game to my two female assaulters, and had I gone along with this "game' no doubt all would have been well. After I slinked away and froze in my upper bunk...after lights out...the rest of the guys came in the room bit by bit. Of course, lights out in the corps meant.....just that, so they started talking about me, because the two women (the others on the women's side were away on LEAD) had told the guys all about their "game" and how they had enjoyed it. I didn't, contrary to what I was supposed to feel, but the talk centered on how it was good that I got "loosened up". The guys soon went off to sleep, never realizing I was there all the time. It took me 38 years to fully wake up and break my silence, though the process started back in 2008 with the publication of "Losing the Way" It was actually a non Way/cult person who was a child abuse survivor who helped me fully remember in 2017 . The effects of VPW's sexual doctrines had far reaching effects, as many know, but, yes, there were some males affected too....at least one anyway. And of course Martindale sure did "loosen up".
  5. 40 years and three months ago was my sexual assault at HQ.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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".
  12. Yep. In any event, we corps were not going to question him, even in just our own minds.
  13. Point taken. This was the first time I had tried to reply bit by bit instead of making just one reply at the end.
  14. 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.
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