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Well, Doctor said.......

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Not all degrees from non-accredited institutions are bogus are they? Some are well recognized within specific fields. Some states allow licensing for non-accredited degree holders in certain areas. Some are even prestigious degrees. It all depends on where they come from, the program, and the degree. No? Or do I have this confused. I don't think I do.

Some Christian schools may opt out of or be denied accreditation for doctrinal reasons. A few that have been accredited in the last few years, have been well respected institutions within their field without accreditation.

There are more non accredited "degree mills" than not, but lack of accreditation does not automatically make a school a degree mill does it? It is also a matter of regional, national, and international recognition.

Do the schools where VP "bought" his degree even exist anymore? I could find very little non TWI related information. The information that I did find simply stated that Pikes Peak was a diploma mill. Interestingly, it churned out more than one nut job. VP was in some illustrious company. Billy James Hargis?

Is the info about the school out there somewhere? I would be curious to see it and it would probably good for a few of us to actually understand what it means to buy a degree as opposed to earning it. It speaks to character. It speaks to commitment. If these were lacking in VP's approach to the bible even then.....it may be more difficult to deny the importance of what his assumed title really means.

However, he was a trained theologian wasn't he? No? Are his other degrees legit? He did have some credentials. He was deemed qualified in some ways by some accredited institutions.

To me, THAT is the irony.....because he was not qualified according to the very faith and book he claimed for himself....and that bothers me far more than his title or lack of legitimate title. That causes me to ponder people's continual commitment to the man and his theology far more than what they call him or if he was a genuine PhD holder. It is more difficult to escape the reality of our blind devotion to a man instead of God when his qualifications are held up to the light of scripture. That is when we make the choice who to follow or believe.....in my opinion.

Excellent post, Geisha, as well as raising some very good questions on the topic..

People can get confused with words like "accredited", "authorized", "certified", "bona " fide" "legitimate" and so forth...Doing a little digging,at least currently, it seems that the State of Colorado is limited to "authorizing" religous institutions, i.e. seminaries,to grant degrees in higher education according to their own doctrinal standards....Colorado only requires that the institution be "bona fide", that is, that it mainly fits in the framework of tax exempt status...Seminaries cannot, at least in Colorado, confer secular degrees, such as in liberal arts and so forth...Accreditation, at least as of this time, is done through 46 various, private accrediting institutions....I have no idea how accrediting institutions recieve their accreditation....

A degree in Theology is not the same as a degree in Philsophy....A doctorate in philosophy,would have to fit in the framework of the government's oversight on higher education... A doctorate in theology would only have to fit in the frmawork of the institution granting the degre...Martin Luther King had a doctorate in philosophy....VPW's was in theology....As far as I know, MLK's doctorate would qualify him to teach at Harvard or Yale, VPW's would not---no matter how accredited....

Good seminaries may choose not to be accredited because among other things, it is an expensive process...A theologion from an accredited Catholic seminary may teach courses on " more adventurous traveling through St. Jude" or "How to cut your purgatory time in half" and still fit within the framework of his or her particular denomination's degree granting guidelines...If you think about it, it wouldn't make sense for a government entity to oversee degree-granting guidelines for religous organizations---separation of Church and State and all that...

The question should be, not whether VPW's doctorate is phoney or not--as long as he fulfilled his particular seminary's guidelines, it is a doctorate...How cheap it was is certainly open for debate...To your later point, I believe he was well educated and versed in the scriptures---enough so that had his life continued on a Christian path would have earned him the title of "Dr."....Were there such a thing as defrocking a doctorate, that may have even been a call to vote on...

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The question should be, not whether VPW's doctorate is phoney or not--as long as he fulfilled his particular seminary's guidelines, it is a doctorate...How cheap it was is certainly open for debate...

Well I started a seperate thread on this...

It seems that Pike's Peak Seminary was basically an 8 bedroom residence (house) that a few people with ThD degrees ran a correspondance school out of. From what we can piece together degree requirements probably consisted of some form of writing to be submitted by correspondance, and possibly an in-person evaluation of a sermon (VPW refers to two such presentations). Also some form of dissertation was required.

You can get down a murky path talking about accreditation topics, but I think more to the point would be an examination about the rigor of the core curriculum for the degrees. Certainly in this respect Pike's Peak Seminary would be far less work than any known school's doctorate of divinity, and during that time period a degree from there would be looked down upon for legitimate reasons to the point where we see Wierwille not putting the name of the school on any of his published works.

So yes, VP's doctorate degree comparatively to his contemporaries pretty much was a write a couple of essays and send in some cereal boxtops type of degree.

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Chockfull, thanks so much for starting that Pikes Peak thread.....very helpful info! Pikes Peak doesn't sound like a real academic grind.

VP's (yes, no, maybe) PhD, or ThD?is kind of a muddy area. It was surely not regionally or nationally recognized, but unless I know what was required by the program I am just guessing about it....it all sounds pretty shady to me. I would LOVE to see his correspondence work....just for the heck of it.

If his degree was in homiletics and not theology.....that makes it more ironic because he actually was a master at preaching. VP was a very skilled preacher. He kept all of us enthralled and most of us were kids who had been turned off by church! He knew exactly what he was doing. Of course, what he preached is another topic.....but his delivery was excellent.

Too strange.

Thanks Simon for all that info, really interesting......Pikes Peak probably did have the right to confer a degree....VP probably could technically use his title(at least in Colorado)....but, morally use it? Well, not so much......I think the question is....what was it really worth?

VP got some mileage out of it, but I like the cereal box tops analogy.

Edited by geisha779

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So what we're really saying, then, is that Wierwille wasn't really a Doctor, but he was no less a doctor than oodles of other preachers wandering around the country with the title "The Rev. Dr."

I've met a number of people with that title, and let me tell you, I don't find it that far-fetched.

But then, I don't recall asking anyone with that title where they got the title from.

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The 1967 edition of "Recieving the Holy Spirit Today" had "Victor Paul Wierwille, TH.D" as the author on it's cover....I had imagined that that stood for Dr. of Theology....I suppose "Dr" in front of his name sold a few more books, even though most of them were part of the package when one paid their PALF donatation...

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Thanks for the clarification, WW

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The 1967 edition of "Recieving the Holy Spirit Today" had "Victor Paul Wierwille, TH.D" as the author on it's cover....I had imagined that that stood for Dr. of Theology....I suppose "Dr" in front of his name sold a few more books, even though most of them were part of the package when one paid their PALF donatation...

I don't think it was so much about selling that one particular book as it was about creating an air of credibility for the whole package.

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If I turned in something like "Receiving The Holy Spirit Today" for one of my writing assignments, my prof would flunk me, not for the content, but for the lack of scholarly integrity.

Love,

Steve

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So what we're really saying, then, is that Wierwille wasn't really a Doctor, but he was no less a doctor than oodles of other preachers wandering around the country with the title "The Rev. Dr."

I've met a number of people with that title, and let me tell you, I don't find it that far-fetched.

But then, I don't recall asking anyone with that title where they got the title from.

Yes....

_____________________

He was a Doctor in the same slipshod and shady manner that he was a Minister. As Simon has mentioned, he completed his course work and earned his degree according to the standards set forth by Pikes Peak....that makes it a doctorate. What that doctorate means is the gray area. Technically, it wasn't a phony degree. Technically, he was Doctor VP.

Technically, those who still refer to this long dead man as DR. are not in error.....perhaps they just haven't thought it through, don't care, or have decided it is legitimate enough for them to still use the title when mentioning him. Who knows what people are thinking...unless they tell you. :)

I am assuming, because VP himself ordained others....that he had retained his title as a Reverend. Please correct me if I am wrong on this. I don't remember anyone ever calling him Rev VP. except in the memoirs.

At some point and time....he did qualify to be ordained...at least according to standards set forth by his denomination. Breaking it down we can now see that his title as a minister was about as meaningful as his doctorate. To be fair....I don't know what was running through his heart and mind at the time he was ordained, but later in life....his actions boldly declared his intent and it was not in line with what the scriptures or his denomination reveal a minister should be.

He may not have been a brilliant academic, but he was not a stupid man. He was smart enough to know how to assume as much authority as possible. This includes his doctorate, his title as minster....and he was able to convince most of us that he had direct authority given to him by God almighty. The man managed to axe Christ from Christianity for the most part.....no easy feat there. At least he convinced most of us......

He was very good at what he did.....it ensnared many of us for years......but, despite johniam's protestations.....while he was good at what he did......what he did was very very bad.

Evil can be insidious......VP's particular brand of evil was no exception.

Edited by geisha779
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quote:

So, there's 2 possibilities here.

1) vpw lied, and the entire Tulsa story, from arrival through exit, including the snow and the

incidents involving speaking in tongues, was all one big lie.

2) vpw-who has been proven to have lied on other occasions to us- was telling the complete

truth, and a bunch of angels went around lying to him.

Whenever the devil gives you 2 and only 2 choices, they're both wrong.

In the movie 'Ghost' Whoopie Goldberg's character, the hookie pook lady tells Demi Moore's character, whose husband (Patrick Swayzee) had recently died, "Look! Either 1) I'm making all this up, or 2) your husband is alive!" Both bogus. Husband was dead; not making it up; got info, ironically, from 'angels' (devil spirits).

No, VP didn't lie. Why would he have to? The apex of that whole Tusla trip was that he met Stiles, they spent time together, and he SIT. Either he met Stiles, or he didn't. Why don't you guys question whether he actually met Stiles or not? Because he DID. That's all that matters. Why would he have to lie about that? Gullible? Who is more gullible than someone who has heard the truth, tasted of God's grace and mercy, and then dismissed it just because of someone else's weakness of the flesh. Yeah, the devil believes in people being gullible. It's one point of temptation he gets a lot of mileage from.

I feel like the guy in John 9 who was healed of blindness. You say "give God the praise, for this man (VP) lied about angels!" Whether he lied about angels or not, I don't know. All I know is, whereas I was blind, now I see. I wasn't physically blind, but I was broken hearted with no help in sight until I got rescued by this "cult". Praise God!

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I think my interest in the topic is mainly getting an understanding if VPW "went south" in his life and teachings or if he started out there or precisely when he did go south or if there was a trigger, like power corrupting or what...Perhaps to understand more of his doctorate, it would be good to know why he pursued one to begin with...According to VPW, he went to Lakeland College in Sheboygan because his father told him he was going to go there, since his father had donated money to their church throughout the years...After recieving his Masters at Princeton Theological Seminary, he got a job in Van Wert...Usually people pursue higher education and degrees in order to obtain a better job...Not being very familiar with protestant denominations, I'm not sure how the smaller, independants recognize degrees and such amongst themselves...Obviously, an ordained minister from a Catholic seminary would have a difficult time getting hired as a Southern Baptist pastor...I would think, though, that when VPW pursued his higher education, his target 'audience', if you will, were the smaller, less mainstream denominations...Perhaps his doctorate gave him more marketability as a pastor in the Church of his choosing?

Anyway, it's doubtful to me his initial intentions were to get the quickest credentials possible so he could pursue his dream of founding a cult...By the time I joined on, he marketed his credentials as one who completed everything the establishment had to offer, and his version was better and more genuine...To tell you the truth, I don't think his 'product' started out half bad...Church in the home, more abundant life, giving,loving and so forth are pretty good messages to live by...But when money and power became centralized and the cultism rooted itself to where the organization took over it's purpose,it may have been then that the evil found it's way into the door...Perhaps.

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quote:

So, there's 2 possibilities here.

1) vpw lied, and the entire Tulsa story, from arrival through exit, including the snow and the

incidents involving speaking in tongues, was all one big lie.

2) vpw-who has been proven to have lied on other occasions to us- was telling the complete

truth, and a bunch of angels went around lying to him.

Whenever the devil gives you 2 and only 2 choices, they're both wrong.

So now WordWolf is THE DEVIL? You're pathetic.

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"Either he met Stiles, or he didn't. Why don't you guys question whether he actually met Stiles or not? Because he DID. That's all that matters."

Really? That's all that matters? It doesn't matter to me one iota whether or not he ever met Stiles.....because it's totally irrelevant to everything being discussed. As a matter of fact, I happened to meet Brigadier General Paul Tibbets, some years before he died. Was it a memorable experience. Yes. Does it have anything to do with this discussion. Not the least little amount. Maybe VP really met Stiles AND lied about the details of the experience. Have you ever considered that?

Edited by waysider

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quote:

So, there's 2 possibilities here.

1) vpw lied, and the entire Tulsa story, from arrival through exit, including the snow and the

incidents involving speaking in tongues, was all one big lie.

2) vpw-who has been proven to have lied on other occasions to us- was telling the complete

truth, and a bunch of angels went around lying to him.

Actually you are presenting two choices as the only ones, which is false. It's not the devil, not WordWolf, it's you summarizing and limiting the choices to two.

IMO what is closer to the truth is that VPW's Tulsa story was a genuine one to a point. He was seeking genuine experiences in the gifts/manifestations - that's why he went to BG Leonard to learn and went to one of Oral Roberts meetings. He faked the languages on Oral's stage, so that wasn't Oral's fault. He met Stiles, Stiles led him into a genuine experience that was life changing for him of speaking in tongues.

In the midst of this, VPW's ego took over and his Machiavellian tendencies. He needed to turn a major experience in his life into an experience that would change the crux of Christianity. So he had himself a little conversation with God that involved bargaining (which is false - you don't bargain with God). Here I mean the "I'll teach the world if you teach me" side of things. Except VPW fibbed on who initiated that. Then he made up the "prove it to me" side, and the snow story. Then as time went on he embellished the tale. This is a telltale sign of a lie - over years a true account pretty much remains the same as it is retold. A lie needs embellishments because the truth never was at the root. Now that information is much more readily available, it's easy to prove the weather accounts false. His wife didn't tell the same embellishments in her printed account.

So what does that leave you with? A God that will reward someone seeking even knowing the character flaws in them and their heart. And a man with character flaws that lied.

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I'll clarify the point I was making before. I thought people would understand it from the context.

It is obvious that we have 2 possibilities:

A) vpw lied completely about the Tulsa incident as regards to all the SUPERNATURAL claims he made-

that is, the blizzard that shut down the city, which has been proven to have been false,

and then the claim that Stiles specifically attended the event because God told Stiles

(we only heard this from vpw, of course, and not Stiles) to show up to minister the spirit

"to one man", with vpw insinuating that was him,

and then compounding that lie when caught by saying angels must have shown up at all 4 phone calls,

answered the phones, and lied to vpw all 4 times to keep him in town.

B) vpw told the absolute truth all the time concerning that incident. Despite him having been proven

to be a liar at other times as well, he told the absolute truth that angels zipped around the

various transit agencies of Tulsa, answered the phones, and lied to vpw,

and God or an angel told Stiles to go to the Tulsa meeting specifically to minister "to one man."

As I see it, there's no third possibility concerning whether there was a blizzard. vpw originally

claimed there was one, but weather reports and Mrs w contradict this, making it impossible.

When vpw found out the weather reports contradicted him, he didn't react like someone who was

stuck in a city due to a blizzard (I was there, the airport was shut down, recheck your dates

and your city) but instead switched to "Ok, there WAS no blizzard or any snow, and I must have

had angels lie to me on the phone each time I called someone." vpw never addressed how he could

be convinced there was a BLIZZARD on the same day the weather hit 60 degrees Fahrenheit,

and there was not a flake of snow on the ground or in the sky. If asked, he most likely would

have added to his story again and said angels must have flown around, made illusions of snow

in the ground and on the sky, and convinced vpw that the temperature was actually about 40-50

degrees colder than it actually was. (For those wondering, that's about the difference between

"I can't wear a jacket since it's too hot" to "I need a coat and it's cold enough to begin snowing.")

Having said all this, it's predictable, although no less tragic, that there are people who will

read that and say "Yes, vpw told the truth. Angels flew around doing that while vpw was being

ministered to by Stiles who was in town because God specifically sent him to minister to vpw,

who taught God's Word like it hasn't been known since the 1st century."

It's a free country. vpw himself had said that if a man wants to be stupid, he can stay stupid.

This, apparently, has been embraced by adherents to wierwillism.

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Yes. The "snow on the gas pumps" story could have been a vision. (Who else saw a tablecloth with unclean animals land on Peter's roof?) But the "snow in Tulsa" story just doesn't add up. "God made me see snow and hear voices telling me the transit systems were shut down" just doesn't make any sense. Lying is a far more likely explanation.

George

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Yes. The "snow on the gas pumps" story could have been a vision.

George

Maybe....EXCEPT we find this on page 180:

==================================================

"So the next day I talked to God again. I said,'Lord, if it's really true what you said to me yesterday, if that was really you talking to me, you've got to give me a sign so that I really know, so that I can believe.'

"The sky was crystal blue and clear. Not a cloud in sight. It was a beautiful autumn day. I said, If that was really you, and you meant what you said, give me a sign. Let me see it snow'. My eyes were tightly shut as I prayed. And then I opened them.

"The sky was so white and thick with snow, I couldn't see the tanks at the filling station on the corner not 75 feet away."

======================================================

This contradicts Wierwille on two key points he is known to have taught.

1. In the Advanced Class, he taught that the "dew on the fleece" incident in the O.T. was a one-time event and that you can not tell/ask God to give you a sign.

2. It conflicts with his teaching in the Foundational Class that you must always believe BEFORE you see and not vice-versa.

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It's also interesting to note how that story CHANGED.

The first time I got revelation was FAR less dramatic, and I can recall what happened,

what I did right, and what I did wrong, in excruciating detail.

(I can prove it, too. I have an eyewitness who got all the details he didn't see a relatively

short time after- and he can probably retell it nearly identically to how I'd tell it.

That must have been over 20 years ago.

So, MY significant incidents, I remember those clearly and they stay the same over the DECADES.

vpw supposedly has a much rarer incident with God, but can't seem to keep the details straight.

First he tells of hearing from God.

Then his re-tellings include the snow.

Then the snow changes- the earliest accounts match the one in Mrs w's book,

and say the sky was BLACK with snow.

The accounts after that, and BARELY so, perhaps 2 years later-

suddenly have the sky WHITE with snow.

It's almost as if vpw kept trying to fine-tune his story, looking for the most interesting

things to add to it, and to correct obvious factual inaccuracies like a whiteout blizzard

looking black instead of the white of a whiteout. (Thus the term "whiteout.")

Of course, some people not only refuse to consider the possibility that vpw lied about all

that, but get offended that others even THINK about it and post vpw's own contradictory

testimony, to the point they verbally attack those who do so and insult them, slapping

labels on Christian posters like "the devil."

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It's also interesting to note how that story CHANGED.

The first time I got revelation was FAR less dramatic, and I can recall what happened,

what I did right, and what I did wrong, in excruciating detail.

(I can prove it, too. I have an eyewitness who got all the details he didn't see a relatively

short time after- and he can probably retell it nearly identically to how I'd tell it.

That must have been over 20 years ago.

So, MY significant incidents, I remember those clearly and they stay the same over the DECADES.

vpw supposedly has a much rarer incident with God, but can't seem to keep the details straight.

First he tells of hearing from God.

Then his re-tellings include the snow.

Then the snow changes- the earliest accounts match the one in Mrs w's book,

and say the sky was BLACK with snow.

The accounts after that, and BARELY so, perhaps 2 years later-

suddenly have the sky WHITE with snow.

It's almost as if vpw kept trying to fine-tune his story, looking for the most interesting

things to add to it, and to correct obvious factual inaccuracies like a whiteout blizzard

looking black instead of the white of a whiteout. (Thus the term "whiteout.")

Of course, some people not only refuse to consider the possibility that vpw lied about all

that, but get offended that others even THINK about it and post vpw's own contradictory

testimony, to the point they verbally attack those who do so and insult them, slapping

labels on Christian posters like "the devil."

Further yet....some people rushed to defend wierwille's contradictory accounts by saying that perhaps the "almost black blizzard" meant that it was night (when wierwille specifically stated that it was a clear, sunshine morning).

Even a few ex-twiers who had LEFT WITH THE EXODUS OF 1987 refused to consider that wierwille was outright lying about the "snow-on-the-pumps revelation."

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Johniam, the artful dodger. Oblivious to logic and reason.

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Johniam, the artful dodger. Oblivious to logic and reason.

Actually IMO he is playing devil's advocate (just a phrase people) around here sorting things out for himself. Many of us have gone through similar cycles, although possibly not as prolifically as johniam.

I don't mind it - it spurs people to think, write, state their opinions and conclusions. All healthy in a free speech environment. Try that in TWI and see how long you last before being tossed out.

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On 8/8/2011 at 4:26 PM, Thomas Loy Bumgarner said:

Why is Victor Paul Wierwille the 1st(grandson is named after him by John Paul, not to be confused with the late pontiff) called Doctor? Because he is the last of aliens from the dead planet Gallifry and is the Lord of time, traveling in an disguised outhouse called the Tardis, and "J" is his traveling companion. He actually prefers women as his companions. The RV changed into an outhouse when the chameleon circuit got fried. :biglaugh:

Thomas, great post!!  I like people who are clever, and witty!

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On 8/5/2011 at 8:49 PM, waysider said:

From now on, I think I'd like to be referred to as "The Crown Prince".

Well, I did manage to consume the better part of a fifth of Crown Royal, in one setting, many years ago.

(Mamma Mia!)

Way, if you are the Crown Prince, than I am Princess Grace.  Just kidding!!

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