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Lifted Up

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Everything posted by Lifted Up

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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".
  6. Yep. In any event, we corps were not going to question him, even in just our own minds.
  7. Point taken. This was the first time I had tried to reply bit by bit instead of making just one reply at the end.
  8. 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.
  9. 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?
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. I think your original analysis is accurate. That is how both cult and sexual assault survivors are called liars. The idea is to throw doubt into the survivor's testimony, and point out all the years that have passed to suggest nobody can remember details that far back. Then, the real key...even if the question is answered ("nope...not once") the accuser(s)' last word is far from being given.
  13. I got my sexual assault at a lower level that fall of 1979 at HQ. I mentioned some things about it yesterday in the language thread, since "loosened up" was specifically said about me. (I was not supposed to hear it said). My main assaulter (not VPW of course) is involved in an offshoot of sorts to this day. I can't help but wonder if Barnard later had some sort of loosening up in TWI...if he did, he no doubt went along with it instead of running and freezing like I did.
  14. Actually, yes, I knew you are the one. And I might have mentioned to you once upon a time that "Losing the Way" is what really opened the door for this then waybrained male to begin believing all the talk about rape and sexual assault I was hearing on these forums, which in turn slowly led me to recalling my own sexual assault all those years ago. And recall it in detail to boot. But it was your relating in "Undertow" of the testimony you got about how some women were happy to go along that struck home. I had been reading the "talk" on Greasespot about VPW telling LCM he should "loosen up" sexually, so when in 2017 I finally fully recalled my own assault, the term hit me in the face. The two women who assaulted me had obviously assumed it was just a game; corps men couldn;t be hurt by sexual stuff now, could they? In that spirit they told my corps "brothers" about the "event", including a couple of interesting details about what they did and, in one case, what one of them enjoyed. I, having fled and froze in my upper bunk after lights out, heard the men talking about it, not realizing in the dark that I was there. They specifically said that they thought it was good for me to be "Loosened up", specifically using that term.
  15. OK basic question for this topic. What is considered an offshoot and/or TWI related splinter group? My sexual assault happened in TWI, but one of my assaulters is involved in what I would consider one of them. Thus my spending time on this topic/thread. Whether or not a particular group has any TWI-ike sexual activity happening, I am interested in how they view the TWI stuff. Do they acknowledge it while saying they are clean, or do they refuse to acknowledge even the TWI hurts?
  16. The coffee was sometimes during breaks as well as after class, but certainly not before. I never got a call to do it before anyway. As for my "caring" remark, caring. as most people realize, caring does not necessarily consist only of sweet words. I have a friend...OK for now a FB fried, but she is a lifelong friend of my best survivor friend...who IMO has a great sensitivity to others who are hurting, and who at times expresses choice words at those doing the hurting. .
  17. Thank you. I remember hearing this talked about on GS years ago but I was still waybrained at that time and had not yet recalled my own loosening up, not by my choice. It explained why some Way women went along with VPW's sexual "doctrine" and were glad to serve the "man of God", or help loosen up other leaders, even low level ones like me. Charlene Edge in "Undertow" writes of how she got testimony of how some women went along even as others wee being badly hurt.
  18. When I first came onto Greasespot, like many getting on after Waydale, I wasn't talking about the sexual assault because I was still Waybrained and had not recalled it. But still, there was no gender listed under names and for whatever reason many assumed I was female. I corrected people on a couple of occasions but did not make a big deal of it. As females doing assaulting, Back then I guess the Way Corps was already getting VPW's "doctrine" that "men of God" (Way Corps) had to have their sexual needs fulfilled so they could properly do their work. I guess that was also roughly the time when, as I heard a lot of talk about in those early Greasespot days, that VPW told LCM he had to "loosen up". Well, I don't know for sure where the idea came from, but I got that "loosening up", i.e. sexual assault. It surely was just a game to the two involved, largely because of a corps stereotype...SAME one that exists in general society...that men are men and can't be hurt by sex because we are always so sex starved that it is doing us a favor to play those "games" and loosen us up. We talk about there gender stereotypes sometimes in my male survivor support group. But I was deeply emberassed...shamed...as I finally re-lived when I went over the "event" for the first time with my counselor just over a year and a half ago. Here is the clincher: after I finally escaped to my top bunk and re-froze, a little later the other men came in. It was after lights out, so everybody got ready for sleep in the dark. Then they started talking about the event, because the two women had told them all about what happened, again, as if it were a game. The guys did not know I was already quietly frozen in my bunk. Then I heard the them say specifically that it was good for me to be "loosened up". This is ONLY speculation, but I can't help but wonder if anything like this happened to Victor Barnard, perhaps with him going along with the "games" or "loosening up'" , thus later becoming the prolific abuser that he was in his own cult...and maybe with a lot less skill and authority in hiding the abuse that VPW displayed. Kathy Niclaus, I am beginning to discover you are quite the caring person. Never mind what you believe or don't believe. And if you feel you made a mistake, maybe is was lack of coiffee's fault LOL! I have to get that in because I was a known lifelong NON coffe drinker, yet I was put in charge of the after-class coffee crew at Emporia for several months. It was during that stint one time that VPW drifted in from his coach and ""invited" (as if I could turn him down) me into the coach to eat a pastry. We didn't chat, I just ate while he worked. I guess they trusted me to make the coffee according to instruction, and figured as a non drinker I would not be tempted to alter its prescribed weakness? (and waste Way resources?) One more thing. Obviously I was waybrained during my corps time. I think all of us were. I won't go into the details, but I would love to offer forgiveness on this event. But I am not sure it will ever go beyond me writing an unsent letter.
  19. Oh, Kathy, FYI I made a FB friend request, provided it's your page I found. I am really not anxious as to whether you take it or not, but at least yo can know who I am (if you care about that either LOL.)
  20. Kathy, I think it is the same attitude I have seen in non-Way circles. succumbing to the fear of bringing a bad name to the particular group, but having no fear.....i.e. no sensitivity....of hurting again and again those already hurt. I know of a survivor who tirelessly fights abuse in churches she is associated with, yet not discarding her faith. Knowing that ignoring hurts destroys peoples' faith, like mine was so damaged in the Way. She is the same lady who was at the forefront of the Michigan tate/USA Gymnastics abuse fightng; Rachael Denhollander.
  21. Kathy does that mean you also felt the Way taught that non-straight people were not capable of compassion?
  22. I listened for less time then you but continued to believe it for longer, i.e. around three decades. My waking up on this subject, as on a few other things, started with my best survivor friend's account of a very caring friendship she had had in the past. This friend eventually died of AIDS. But I quickly learned in real time that her testimony, and her friend's caring, was real., mainly thrugh other friends I met through her. And, even before my mnd was really changed, the seeds were planted, unintentionally, by the hate spewed in LCM's rants.
  23. I was led to believe in the Way and Way Corps that gays and lesbians did not have the capacity for real care and compassion. I was very wrong. I see lots of it, and benefit from some of it.
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