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Why did you take "THE CLASS?"

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I took the class because my mom had gotten involved with TWI and was gung-ho for "the Ministry.". Didn't really have much choice, but I was ok with it because I loved reading Bible stories as a kid.

I had a limb coordinator's wife who told me she took the class because she wanted to be right. At the time it sounded like a good reason, but now it just sounds weird. I don't care that much about being "right" and having the correct answer in black and white for everything just seems... Well... Pompous.

I'd like to hear some viewpoints from people who weren't "raised in The Word ™" as to why you took the foundational class, and why you stayed afterwards. Were there warning signs in the class that you ignored? And which class was your foundational class?

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I took the class because my mom had gotten involved with TWI and was gung-ho for "the Ministry.". Didn't really have much choice, but I was ok with it because I loved reading Bible stories as a kid.

I had a limb coordinator's wife who told me she took the class because she wanted to be right. At the time it sounded like a good reason, but now it just sounds weird. I don't care that much about being "right" and having the correct answer in black and white for everything just seems... Well... Pompous.

I'd like to hear some viewpoints from people who weren't "raised in The Word ™" as to why you took the foundational class, and why you stayed afterwards. Were there warning signs in the class that you ignored? And which class was your foundational class?

Mine was the videotaped pfal class.

I was the first one in, in my family. I was a newly-minted Christian who had been raised

with inadequate answers from my local church, so when I needed answers, it was obvious they

were making it up as they went along. So, I discarded all of Christianity, thinking NONE

of it would have the answers I needed. I spent about 3 years as a teenager sampling all

manner of foolish talk. It was only after someone spoke some real Bible to me that anything

really made sense. (It's true that if the truth is on the lips of anyone, it is still truth.

The person who spoke it to me was an awful Christian-but they were probably the only one who

was willing to dirty their white gloves and "meet me where I was."

The locals in my area were better Christians than I'd known in church, so I wanted to learn

all I could-which, of course, meant I signed up for "the class" as soon as I could scrape

together the money.

Locally, we were pretty good. I wasn't inside THAT long, and didn't get THAT close. The

higher the twi tree you got, the more suspicious things got-but I wasn't there. It was

when lcm started spazzing out publicly and demanding an oath of allegiance that I really

saw any problems. I poked around the next ROA-which was after most of my locals had left

to join the new geerite faction lcm had inadvertently started. By the end of the ROA, I

clearly had seen enough to convince me that any accuracy I had seen even a year before

was GONE- as were the people speaking it. twi was now all politics and religion, with

a Bible disguise.

Of course, as time progressed, the geerite faction was more evidently sliding off into error,

also. So, I left everybody and just stayed unaffiliated. Technically, I still am- although I

have associated with Christians in different groups informally.

Looking back, of course there are a few warning signs in the taped class. At the time, I was

still new and in "learn everything" mode, and missed them. However, if things had stayed the

same, I would have begun figuring things out soon-I already had some complaints about how

vpw defined some manifestations like "word of knowledge."

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Date and switch. By the time I found out, midway through the class (audio tape), I was hooked and stayed to finish anyway. Then, the local leadership put me to work right away so I kept pretty busy for the first 3 or 4 years doing local meetings and classes and so forth. Somewhere during that time frame I took the advanced class. It was extremely depressing to discover there were no great spiritual lessons waiting to be discovered there. Maybe the most depressing two weeks of all the time I spent in "the ministry". Next, I went into Fellowlaborers of Ohio. It was there I began to see that we were living a life of delusion. I better stop there for now.

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Date Bait. I married the wow(Mr Bramble) that got me in PFAL. Also was at a huge changing point in life--graduating from college, job hunting in a recessed job market. Discouraging. So the new guy/new beliefs were the most exciting things around.

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My brother-in-law begged us to take it. His daughter had been somewhat of a problem in her late high school years. Once she went to college he expected more of same but she calmed down and became the model daughter and student. She had taken "the class" and so had he and his wife and they attributed it to that. He never trusted anything...so he asked me to take it and find the hole on the argument because he couldn't. I didn't either and thereby lost a whole lotta years of my life although I did learn a lot of things that are true.

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I took PFAL because I knew what the Methodists said about God and I knew what the Catholics said about God. I wanted to know what God had to say about Himself.

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I was looking for a family..

I think this is why I stayed as an adult. My parents went into the FWC after I was slightly over the kid age limit, taking my siblings with them. I realized today that it hurt a lot. I remember crying at my boyfriend's house because "God was taking my family away.". (I later broke up with that boyfriend because my parents were upset he didn't want to take the class.). I felt abandoned, and went WOW to try and have some sort of group I could stick with. Those people took the place of parents and siblings... And when my parents wrere dropped from the WC and made mark and avoid, I dropped them (now ivrealize I partially did this because I felt they had abandoned me.)

Screwed up stuff. I won't do that to my kids.

I don't think I even really understood what family was until I married into my husband's family. They never give up on each other - even when they have screaming matches between brothers, or one of them does something asinine, they are still there for each other in an instant.

And that is what I thought twi was.

And it was the OPPOSITE of that.

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It was sold to me as the wonder class. It would solve all my problems. I was gullible enough to believe that crap, back then anyway.

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quote:

I'd like to hear some viewpoints from people who weren't "raised in The Word ™" as to why you took the foundational class, and why you stayed afterwards. Were there warning signs in the class that you ignored? And which class was your foundational class?

I definitely was not raised in the word. Had a flippant attitude toward religion in general. Much of that was based on the other kids on my street. Not much religious discussion, but I KNEW they weren't any 'holier' than I was.

Took the foundational class for the same basic reason I did pot for the first time: I trusted the person(s) who turned me on to it. The guy who got me in the word I'd known for years. We both played guitar. I respected him as a person. He seemed to have his life together in ways I didn't, yet he wasn't self righteous about it. He had tried in the past to convince me of the God of the bible, but I spurned him. This time he was taking foundational pfal himself and he was much more bold, yet, again, without being self righteous about it. At that time my thoughts often had a dilemma; on the one hand, there must be something about the bible worth knowing otherwise why is it still here, but on the other hand, I don't want to be like all the religious people I'd met whose lives seemed to be dominated by useless rules.

So after talking to the guy who got me into the word I made a bold decision, just between me and God. I would spend 1 year trying to be a Christian, trying my best, following wherever I was led. But if I saw no discernable results, then I would go back to being a non Christian. I think God can work with an attitude like that. "Wherever I was led" began with this guy and the fellowship he was in. Three months later I was in the foundational class.

Why did I stay afterward? As said earlier, it had become (and still is) my family. I don't speak for all, but in my case, the spiritual family was much more of a 'rose without thorns' than my earthly family ever was. Still true today.

Warning signs? This implies that there was something to be warned about. To me, this is up for debate. People will always let you down. Even those in your family, earthly, spiritual, or otherwise.

I can speak more conclusively about 'warning signs' regarding the time I left twi. During the so called 'fog years' and for 5 years beyond, I gave LCM the benefit of any doubt. But during the time period 1989-1994 the warning signs were from the way we were treated at fellowship. It just wasn't as loving anymore. I wasn't an individual who needed to give and receive love now, as much as I was now a renewed mind unit who either "produced for the cause" or didn't. That shift of focus in expectation was the biggest warning sign to me. In 1994, when LCM began the debt purge, homo purge, etc., there was no more doubt to give the benefit of.

My first foundational class was $100.00 for both foundational and intermediate in Jan/Feb 1977. Twelve new students, 10 of which finished the class, and it was a film class.

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I took the class because I had totally screwed my life up. Growing up in a family that was not functional, having been adopted and other sorted details which I won't bore you with, I went to college and started drinking and partying. It was fun for awhile. But, then I noticed I had trouble concentrating, my school work went down the tubes and I suddenly realized the dream I had of being a teacher was diminished and I didn't know how to "fix" myself. In my senior year, I was standing on the quad and thinking, how did this happen to me? I hadn't graduated, my friends had, they had jobs, I didn't....I was a mess....when someone walking by me handed me a pamphlet on God. That jogged my memory to when I used to go to church as a kid. And I said to myself, God is my solution. Only God can put my life together (which has always been true and any given time). I had become suicidal etc.......so I prayed that when i would get a job that there would be someone who could teach me about God and help.

I found that not only was there just one, there was 13 of them.....all reading the same book, "Power for Abundant Living" and when I asked if they knew about God, that was an open door. I was like, Thank you God, Thank-you!! I signed up for the class and couldn't wait for it to start.

I was in TWI for 13 years, and I would say that at least 9 or 10 of those years, it was good for me. I quit drinking, got my finances straightened out, and thought I had found the perfect family that I never had.

But things started going south....and because everyone here already knows the story, I'll refrain from it.

For me, it was the Best of times and the Worst of Time.

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Me too, the best and worst thing I ever did, getting involved in that mess.

I took PFAL because someone told me to and in my fearful compliance I followed my blind leader(s) straight into the mess.

My story is around here somewhere, I think.

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It was relentlessly shoved down my throat, and I realized that in order to continue to hang with these nice people, with their friendly little Bible fellowship, who seemed to like me, that there was no way around it. That I was so damaged that I allowed anyone who paid me a little attention, to coerce me into a religion class that I had no interest in, probably speaks more about my sad state, than the merits of the way or the class.

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Why did I take "THE CLASS?"

Reflecting back on decisions made is a daunting task. Several years ago, I tackled this introspection and came forward with this explanation......and started a thread.

Transition and Transference

Here at the cafe.......lots of discussions and exploration of past decisions attempt to uncover the attractions and reasons for committing years of our lives to twi. Like many of you, I find it beneficial to dig back into the recesses of my mind and shine some light on the question why?

Two things immediately surface:

1) Transition: At that point in time, I was a teenager looking for *meaning in life* and was heading off to college. My world was changing........transitions in location, education, emotion, friendships, and just about every aspect of life. Free-wheeling along and alone and vulnerable, I also was in need of some spiritual ground to stand on.

When traveling, one is vulnerable to unfamiliar situations, road conditions, accidents, car-jackers, muggers, etc...... one should be wary and vigilant at all times.

2) Transference: When WOW Ambassadors witnessed to me during those college years, I was intrigued by their love and care and devotion to spiritual truths. Spending that year with them gave me insight into spiritual commitment, daily prayer, heart-felt communication.......all those things that embody the Chrisitian walk as a unique member and participant in God's household.

My mistake.........I transferred these first-hand qualities assuming that twi leadership at hq, and indeed wierwille, were the spiritual impetus and guardians of these truths. Just teaching or taking pfal does NOT entitle one's spiritual worth.

I did NOT do my homework......I did NOT take the time to check out twi's credentials. The hype and hoopla of twi and all that "they" offered led me astray. Guess I was looking forward rather that UPward.

Now.....I really don't "dig" into my past much anymore. I pocketed a few gold nuggets along the way, made some good friends, and on in life I go.

I will forever be thankful for The Cafe and all who patronize this establishment with thought-provoking conversations and empathetic ears. Thanks.

.

Edited by skyrider

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why did I take PFAL? looking to promote harmony with my family, and give me peace in my life, i.e. no more stress. Wonderful ideals, unfortunately TWI didn't really/actually live up to that. Wasted time that should have been focused on college and my major, and possibly destroyed any romance/dating or potential marriage. Too bad I can't rewind my life, would have been happier never hearing about The Way International or Victor Paul Wierwille.

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A great lapse in judgement.

I was coming off a very hard breakup with my first love and was travelling aimlessly 1000's of miles from home or anyone that I knew trying to figure out what happened....

I really didnt have all that much interest in the bible but it was a prerequisite to stay in contact with some nice people I met during an otherwise very harsh period of my life.

It was the beginning of 'unconditional' love with lots and lots of conditions

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:eusa_clap:

At first when I saw this emoticon I didn't see it as someone clapping; I saw it as someone foaming at the mouth.

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I truly believed God led me to it because I wanted to know what His Word "really" said. I found out what VPW "really" said that other people had already said.

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For me, the short answer is "date and switch". But it's really a but more complicated. By the time I took the Foundational class, I was beginning to see warning signs. Her parents clearly did not approve of their daughter and I dating, nor did TWI. She gave me ambiguous signals A) I like you but B) I want to obey my all-knowing leaders. I do not know if this was a genuine quandary or just part of a Con. Her parents were the Big Wheels in the Fellowship, and her mother had actually asked the FC to move me to another Fellowship. He approached me, but when I questioned why he backed off, unwilling to order me to leave. Then it got interesting. When I agreed to take the Class, all talk of my departure was put on hold. And even better, it was agreed that the Girl was to be my study buddy or Class guide or whatever TWI calls it! She took the class with me. She called me multiple times a day to chat and see "how I was". We sat together at class, went out to dinner afterwards, sometimes even dancing! (This is too strange to make up!) But I had a strnge feeling that at soon as the class was over, she was going to ditch me, and one of the main reasons I stayed through the class was to see if my instincts were correct. The class itself was disappointing. I had hoped to see how one was supposed to apply the principles of TWI to your everyday life. What I got was a hodge-podge of pseudo-science and weird biblical "interpretations". It was great entertainment for a mere $100. A few times I had to bite my fist, am I the only one questioning this bunk???? There was some great material for Saturday Night Live skits!

In the end, my suspicions proved absolutely correct. As soon as the class ended, the Girl broke off all contact with me. A few weeks later. I was "confronted" in front of the Branch and ordered to toe the line or leave. I stayed around a few more months, for grins and giggles, but I finally bailed.

The Class seemed to be very important to them. Amazingly, They didn't want me to hang around Her, but were willing to lay this completely aside to see me finish this Class! Then they had no problem with seeing me leave. Looks like the Numbers game gone mad. A) They must have really been hard up for stats. B) Stats must have been really important, and C) stats mean more than actually keeping people.

Fascinating stuff!

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This is a text book example of how they operated, Doc. You have my sympathy. The "study buddy" thing you referred to is call undershepherding. They even had a class that taught how to do this. It was called Witnessing and Undershepherding (The W&U Class). For me, the realization came in session 5 when I discovered, by accident, my "study buddy" was actually "engaged" to the class instructor. By then it was too late for me. I was hooked. I stuck around for the better part of the next 20 years. My bad.

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This is a text book example of how they operated, Doc. You have my sympathy. The "study buddy" thing you referred to is call undershepherding. They even had a class that taught how to do this. It was called Witnessing and Undershepherding (The W&U Class). For me, the realization came in session 5 when I discovered, by accident, my "study buddy" was actually "engaged" to the class instructor. By then it was too late for me. I was hooked. I stuck around for the better part of the next 20 years. My bad.

Thanks, Waysider. Truth is truly stranger than fiction! Oh, that's right : she told me that the Adversary would try to prevent me from completing the class, and that she would be there to "help" me when the Adversary threw "stumbling blocks" in my path. They were correct that I would complete the class with her accompanying me. But on the other hand, it was a big contradiction for her to "help" for the Class, then tell me to take a long walk on a short pier when it was over! After the class I received a nasty email from her mother, telling me that I would never speak to her daughter again. She said point-blank that the only reason her daughter had spoken to me in the first place was to "lead me to Christ like the Apostles."

I subsequently called the Branch Coordinator out on this. I told him that apparently the only reason she had dated me was to lure me into TWI. Two interesting things happened. First, TWI's "official position" was that we had never "dated", but he did not dispute this or even mention it at all. (I guess it all depended on the definition of the word 'is', oh, sorry, wrong date!) Second, he suddenly became a wimp. It was apparently one thing to be big and strong when you were standing with five other men in front of a crowd, but another thing to talk to someone one-on-one. He hemmed and hawed a bit, then very weakly said that he had known her for years and he "[didn't] think she would do that sort of thing". This was fascinating because what she did was obviously with the approval (and perhaps direction) of her parents and TWI, as they had all pretty much told me. But now, he was basically putting it in her lap. There was no talk of meeting with all parties and resolving the issue like I had been told was the case when "problems" arose.

I told the BC that if the Apostles had brought people to Christ by dancing, dining, going to concerts, etc. then Jerusalem must have been a totally rockin' place. Party on, Dudes!

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Doc, unfortunately, your situation was all too common. If it helps, it wouldn't have gotten any better had you 'toed the line' and stuck around. Local leaders were forever sticking their noses into anyone who was dating, and finding fault with one, the other, or both. The biggest stumbling block was always someone not being committed enough.

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Doc, unfortunately, your situation was all too common. If it helps, it wouldn't have gotten any better had you 'toed the line' and stuck around. Local leaders were forever sticking their noses into anyone who was dating, and finding fault with one, the other, or both. The biggest stumbling block was always someone not being committed enough.

Hiway, I think you are absolutely right: when you get to a certain point, nothing you do matters. It's more about their agenda than you. It was pretty hard just walking away, but in the end was the best thing. It was fairly clear cut by the time I decided to bail. I imagine what it would have been like if I had managed to have a relationship that was 'sorta' working. As time went on it would have been harder to leave like in some of the other situations I've read about.

In retrospect I guess I was lucky that those people were so transparent and not actually clever!

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