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How was your identity changed?


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Charlene..... Wonderful piece, as usual, from your blog. In response to your invitation for input, I submit the following for your consideration along with that of The Greasespot community. As you,

Steve mentioned the problem of "the artificial language we used to distinguish ourselves from outsiders." I like that point. Identify that artificial language (I call jargon) and you're half way ou

For those born into The Way, we might pose the question as "How was your identity SHAPED by The Way?"

The biggest way that my identity changed was the tendency to be arrogantly sure of my own opinion (even if "my" opinion was really a second-hand opinion gotten from someone else). When I left The Way I thought I left behind this "I know that I know that I know" crap, but it took me a while to shed that mindset. I also had absorbed some of the Way model of how to be a leader, i.e. yelling and humiliating people. As a middle manager, I was pretty ineffectual applying this method in the real world. This also took a while to change.

Indeed... and it took major emotional trauma for me to realize that crap was messed up. Trauma in the home and in the workplace.

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The biggest way that my identity changed was the tendency to be arrogantly sure of my own opinion (even if "my" opinion was really a second-hand opinion gotten from someone else). When I left The Way I thought I left behind this "I know that I know that I know" crap, but it took me a while to shed that mindset. I also had absorbed some of the Way model of how to be a leader, i.e. yelling and humiliating people. As a middle manager, I was pretty ineffectual applying this method in the real world. This also took a while to change.

Indeed... and it took major emotional trauma for me to realize that crap was messed up. Trauma in the home and in the workplace.

The subject of Self-Identity is one that twi has deliberately, and selectively, put on the "back burner"

since like 1977.......and going forward, sees it as anathema in twi's transformation of renewed-mind loyalist.

Even though wierwille projected this persona of an overbearing, arrogant authoritarian.....I remember a time

in twi [1974-1977] when agape love, heart, compassion, tender-hearted, etc. were qualities to aspire to

and elevate in teaching. I remember when Ephesians and its truths were touchstones of truth in one's spiritual

walk....ie walk in love, walk in light, walk circumspectly. It was THAT model and mindset that I longed to

embrace and emulate to others.

Believe it or not.....there was a time in twi when states had men's and women's advances [retreats] and much

time was spent on practical teachings on the husband's duties in the marriage relationship. Other books and

reference material was highlighted to drive the message. One book, Man of Steel and Velvet was delved into....

both sides of male development.

BUT.....THAT twi disappeared from view around 1978 and I deeply suspect that wierwille's corps program was the

major factor in this transformation. IMO, seemingly.....wierwille's pathological perversions and narcissistic

longing for a legacy of consequence gained substantial momentum, and a tipping point, as indoctrinating corps

went forth to leaven the whole of twi. Twig coordinators were replaced by arrogant corps; department staff at

hq were being infiltrated by corps grads. Twi BECAME a two-tier system: corps versus non-corps. Those who

were corps were perceived as "more spiritual." And, wierwille's *vote* was the ONLY ONE THAT MATTERED.

The conflict and trauma of these disturbing, mixed messages has been reverberating throughout the whole of twi

for FOUR DECADES.....ie Peter J. W@de exiting [1975]. Those closest to wierwille, those with integrity of heart

......detected where this was headed and cut ties. After the filming of the 1967 pfal class, where wierwille

heavily plagiarized wholesale......the pathological perversions and narcissism came storming thru the door as

vpw launched his "zero corps" program into twi. Undaunted by his ineptness and failures, wierwille continued

to drive his passions and lusts into his "training program." Wierwille canonized his corps program to go forth

as the successive voices of his plagiarized legacy, a subtle delineation from leonard/stiles/bullinger that

would give credit to wierwille and solidify his stature for the generations to follow.

.

Edited by skyrider
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I cannot say that my identity changed. I was a stinking(?) hippie of sorts, forced to live in a hellish new landscape.

I am still a stinking(??) hippie of sorts, but I bathe regularly.

If I had half a chance, I would run off and live off the land somewhere..

:biglaugh:

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On 9/17/2015 at 6:01 AM, DontWorryBeHappy said:

Charlene.....

Wonderful piece, as usual, from your blog.

In response to your invitation for input, I submit the following for your consideration along with that of The Greasespot community. As you, I too am interested in opinions, comments, snide remarks about what I post. Thank you all for the same.

Identity theft in terms of "how did vic affect my identity formation"? Very interesting question. It requires intense self-reflection and introspection, neither highly objective when dealing with such fundamentally crucial issues of being human. The process of identity formation is a lifelong process. It has been studied, analyzed, digitalized, and described often, by various scientific, sociologic, and psychiatric disciplines. One well-known Behavioral Psycholgist has described a lifelong process of Human Developmental Stages by identifying 8 different stages spanning a typical human lifespan of 76-80 years in the populations of "developed" nations. The critical stage we're specifically addressing here is called "Identity Formation", and the thesis identifies the typical age range or time period of this stage as taking place during the ages of 20-32.

If one looks back at the common experience many of those of us involved deeply with vic's way, it is not surprising that many of us devoted those years of critical identity formation to activities like fellowship, WOW, and most deadly, the way corpse "training". Here in the Uniied States, the average person between the ages of 20-32 is doing what? Attending and graduating from college or trade school, leaving home and striking out on their own, developing a sexual , social, and intellectual identity, experience profound relationships with males and females inside and outside the nuclear family. Decisions like career/profession, marriage or not, children or not, more education or different education or not, travel.......all those things, kind of bubble, bubble, toil and trouble around for 10-12 years and badda-bing, there we are approaching middle age before we even know it.......LOL!

Now, throw all that onto the "WOW field" or into "The Way Corps", under the totaltalitarian control of a paranoid narcissistic sociopath, serial sexual abuser and rapist, alcoholic Nazi, and ask yourself, "might that have had any influence on any of those identity formation activities and choices we made during that critical stage of human development? What was the answer? Obvious I suppose. It was for me.

That is why the process of actually disentangling oneself from a cult, (talk about quantum entanglement!), can be very difficult, because it is an identity crisis. Who am I? Why am I here? What am I "supposed" to DO? The cult and it's totalitarian leader answered every one of those questions over and over and over again for us. Vic reproduced his perverted, pathological brand of christianity in as many as he could hoodwink and manipulate it into. He was skilled at selecting the hundreds of victims of his serial rapist lifestyle. His "teachings" were all designed to reproduce the pathological Aryan behavior and thinking that governed vic and therefore governed the way. That is what governed the indoctrination and success of the "training". It is also what governed and influenced the "volunteers" and the life-choices they made during that stage of identity formation.

The developmental stage immediately prior to identity formation is Adolescence. Age ranged described as typically age 12-20. The "art" of vic's sociopathic skills, and really those of all totalist systems, is to maintain the follower in the psychoemotional stage of adolescence in order to gain complete control over the entire stage of identity formation. A kind if "forced" or "imposed" adolescence so to speak. Look at the amount of influence such totalist control can bring to bear upon a human being stuck in adolescence for 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50 years?!!

One soon discovers that one's entire identity has been formed by group think and acceptance of the perverted, pathological lifestyle of a drunken Nazi. Now THAT can be disturbing!

But, more disturbing is the difficulty many cult refugees face in summoning up the personal and/moral courage required for identity re-formation. It can be a daunting task, and many often find themselves unable to honestly deal with it. It can and often does become dysfunctional.

So, that's my input Charlene and fellow Greasespotters. Whaddya think?

DWBH, wow!!  The things I learn from the GSC; thanks for all the information. Now, I am beginning to understand why I got involved in TWI, and why I was happy to get out of it!:knuddel:

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On 9/17/2015 at 5:01 AM, DontWorryBeHappy said:

(SNIP)...Identity theft in terms of "how did vic affect my identity formation"? Very interesting question. It requires intense self-reflection and introspection, neither highly objective when dealing with such fundamentally crucial issues of being human. The process of identity formation is a lifelong process. It has been studied, analyzed, digitalized, and described often, by various scientific, sociologic, and psychiatric disciplines. One well-known Behavioral Psycholgist has described a lifelong process of Human Developmental Stages by identifying 8 different stages spanning a typical human lifespan of 76-80 years in the populations of "developed" nations. The critical stage we're specifically addressing here is called "Identity Formation", and the thesis identifies the typical age range or time period of this stage as taking place during the ages of 20-32....

(SNIP)

...The developmental stage immediately prior to identity formation is Adolescence. Age ranged described as typically age 12-20. The "art" of vic's sociopathic skills, and really those of all totalist systems, is to maintain the follower in the psychoemotional stage of adolescence in order to gain complete control over the entire stage of identity formation. A kind if "forced" or "imposed" adolescence so to speak. Look at the amount of influence such totalist control can bring to bear upon a human being stuck in adolescence for 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50 years?!!

One soon discovers that one's entire identity has been formed by group think and acceptance of the perverted, pathological lifestyle of a drunken Nazi. Now THAT can be disturbing!...(SNIP)

 

 

 

On 9/17/2015 at 10:40 AM, penworks said:

Many thanks for taking the time to respond like this and include the valuable info on developmental stages. Bingo. That tender age window is what made many of us so vulnerable to VPW and his indoctrination.

I think those of us in The Corps were probably changed more and in worse ways than anyone associated with TWI. Ever.

Last thought for now: I have heard that counselors these days evidently shy away from using the term "arrested development" to describe what you described above so well, but I think that term is very useful. Grow up and think for yourself, was my mantra after leaving TWI. It pushed me to examine, think, and think about what I was thinking. That's one reason I like it here. People try to think about what they are thinking and decide whether it's good or not, bigoted or not, loving or not, true or not.

Cheers and thanks for all the insights. You guys are wonderful,

Penworks

Great thread and great posts by all !

I wanted to respond to some things at the beginning of this thread.

After looking up the definition on self-identity (see my links below) I think wierwille’s homogenization machine of indoctrination (classes, programs, teachings, events, etc.) was the business end of the identity-altering process.

Like a drunken wannabe artist, wierweille’s technique was to slop googobs of drab colors over a unique and original work of art (each person)…I bet he was so proud of what he “made” out of those who followed him….”our father in the word” yeeeecchh !....in the art world I think that would be called vandalism.

The posts I’ve quoted resonated with me because I was young and impressionable when I got into the way international; and like many young folks I wanted to fit in.

It didn’t really matter what unique qualities or potential you may have had – as far as TWI was concerned it’s all malleable and all gets slammed around anyway…put through the wringer… so the remix is something more suitable…or rather useful to a new social context – life in a cult.

I have always been an inquisitive and creative person…for this thread - to sum up what 12 years of involvement with the way international did - it was to help me slip into “something” more restraining – like maybe a mental/emotional straightjacket.

I’ll keep it brief here – but I’ve mentioned on other threads how within the first year of my involvement local leadership put the kibosh on my almost incessant reading and asking questions of stuff in the Old Testament and the Gospels – instead I was encouraged to keep reviewing PFAL stuff.

 And as far as any creative outlets I had (drawing, painting, writing poetry and songs) that also suffered a slow and boring death by the stifling “ambiance” of way-culture. By the time I made it into the corps I gave up on trying to do anything creative and resigned myself to becoming a good salesman and marketing manager for whatever the way international had to offer.

but I think the human spirit is resilient – and once freed from a cult’s control – we can bounce back…and I’m not saying we revert back to what we were before we got involved with a cult. Life and growth doesn’t work that way. Hopefully we’re wiser and the injuries are slowly healing and the scar tissue makes us a little tougher too.

== == == ==

Definition of Self-identity :

the quality that makes a person or thing different from others

webster on self identity

== == ==

the recognition of one's potential and qualities as an individual, especially in relation to social context.

oxford on self identity

Edited by T-Bone
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On 9/20/2015 at 7:48 AM, skyrider said:

Yeah....and let me give you a corps-man's perspective on this.

We, too, were under that dastardly whammy to submit......every week, every corps meeting

[corps phone hook-ups] nearly half of the 3-hour "teaching" was ordering us around, what to do,

what not to do, study this, report back, etc. The "man of gawd" was the one LEADING.....and to

us corps husbands, it didn't matter one whit in the marriage relationship. The chain of

command.....hq, region, limb --- we had enough on our plate without hardly a decision to make

ourselves.

Week after week, I was on the phone with a region coordinator telling me what I needed to do

to better run things. He wanted me to always report back. He kept wanting to insert himself

into my limb responsibilities. Faxes and more faxes. Quite often I would tell my wife....

be thankful that you don't have to deal with this crap every week.

And, for us too......it took some time to get a NORMAL husband-wife relationship after exiting twi

than being lorded over by the cult command.

.

Sky, wow!!  I am so thankful that I never went Corps.  It seems to me that there was a lot of BS in being in a leadership position it TWI, well some leadership positions.  I honestly don't know how you, and your family put up with all that garbage for years, and years.  I know I would have left a lot sooner than you did.  I never realized how much garbage some of the Limb Leaders had to deal with; I would have quit, and gone some place where TWI, couldn't find me.

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