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CollateralDamage

30 years is MORE than enough...

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lol.

I remember L@dwig was a top seller/pimp for that stuff. Had a bunch of names under him and sold his "business" for a hefty sum, around $250,000. Gotta turn those tricks from ABS.

Magnets in the shoes. No Return for you wafers, the magnets would keep them stuck to their shoes on earth! No rapture for you! :evildenk:

Yeah, the L@dwigs . . . I was about to ask :biglaugh:

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.....3.) The move to social media platforms (Twitter, digital Way Mags) have been implemented to increase the appearance of size/validity with the younger crowd. You'd have to be desperate to open up yourself to the potential ridicule and onslaught that a malicious few could do on Twitter. For those Boomers out there who need reference- Imagine being able to Google "The Way International" and have GSC come up as the first hit. That would be amazing! Well, Twitter and hashtags allow for the most popular/recent tweets to come up. You # correctly, and those curious about TWI could get whatever is being said by whomever most recently. It takes a desperate brand to open up to that much potential bad advertising.....

That was precisely what happened for me! I was so desperate (M&A'd by TWI) that I wanted to write a huge long grovelly letter of apology in hopes of being readmitted. I couldn't remember their zip code. Googled TWI and GSC popped up as the first item. The name sounded intriguingly familiar... the reading was horrifying but had a ring of truth... the rest is history. That long grovelly letter never got written. Thank God for Pawtucket and for GSC and all who run the cafe now.

I can't say it was the first hit but a variation of that happened to me, also. I got on-line, looking for a replacement of my PFAL book and stumbled into this place. Probably the best "wrong turn" I ever took.

I always find it so interesting how Grease Spot was maybe a key factor in some folks' decision to leave TWI. I guess it so fascinates me because I want to better understand the thought process that got me into TWI and the thought process that led to my decision to leave it.

the process of me getting in: Leaving aside the swarm of subtle influences – be it intellectual, social, emotional, or whatever tugs the "under-shepherders" gently applied to me – I'm left with an embarrassing thought – perhaps I was pretty much passive as a newcomer checking things out. I was very much the Rob Petrie (of Dick Van Dyke show) pushover type when interacting with "sales personnel" anyway – but I am getting better – which reminds me - behind every Rob Petrie type I do believe there should be a strong woman like Laura Petrie – and that's my Tonto. Matter of fact – Tonto was the one who got me interested in Grease Spot – Tonto is a great scout - even before Grease Spot she was into Waydale, TransChat or whatever those websites were called.

the process of me getting out: The Internet was a great thing for me to check things out. Yeah – I had already left TWI years before but now rather than being passive I could take an active role and look into whatever I want. I think that is the way it should be. It is a self-guided journey – heavy emphasis on self – I am in control…I can go at my own pace…take as much time as I need to process.

Online it's just me and my thoughts….and a computer of course. No one is getting in my face browbeating me or laying it on thick and sweet. And now that it's been so long since I left those insidious little "safety devices" that I absorbed have been disabled; that's those subtle automatic responses that seem to pop up when an idea comes along that's counter to the TWI mindset – like "oh you're entertaining thoughts from the devil", "you're questioning the Word", "you're doubting God", "you're not being thankful for the ministry taught you the Word" so on and so forth – you may remember the drill…

Collateral D, i'm so glad you're here! You're posts on this and other threads are so thoughtful and inspirational to say the least and i love your sense of humor. Rock on!

so the "moral" of this post is: if you have a pulse and can get on the Internet – there's hope for you yet – this post is dedicated to all TWI lurkers out there.

PS: as a TWI lurker you may want to think in terms of a soldier who is not sure yet if they are in enemy territory – and honestly you are the one to decide which side is the enemy of course; so for your own safety and security – trust no one…I'm sort of being facetious…sort of not…do not reveal to anyone the doubts or half formed decisions you have or may start having……watch the skies…keep looking…keep watching the skies…ooops sorry – switched analogies and started quoting from The Thing from Another World.....what?! what!? so some people have waybrain i have movie brain... biglaugh.gif

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the process of me getting out: The Internet was a great thing for me to check things out. Yeah – I had already left TWI years before but now rather than being passive I could take an active role and look into whatever I want. I think that is the way it should be. It is a self-guided journey – heavy emphasis on self – I am in control…I can go at my own pace…take as much time as I need to process.

...No one is getting in my face browbeating me or laying it on thick and sweet....

100% agree.

Collateral D, i'm so glad you're here! You're posts on this and other threads are so thoughtful and inspirational to say the least and i love your sense of humor. Rock on!

As I mentioned earlier, most of this is for me to process and get things out. I feel like Neo unplugging for the first time (movie brain too) and needing a place to stretch, grow, and assimilate into the wonderful world that is out here. Glad to hear it helps/entertains others! Will do!

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I always find it so interesting how Grease Spot was maybe a key factor in some folks' decision to leave TWI. I guess it so fascinates me because I want to better understand the thought process that got me into TWI and the thought process that led to my decision to leave it.

the process of me getting in: Leaving aside the swarm of subtle influences – be it intellectual, social, emotional, or whatever tugs the "under-shepherders" gently applied to me – I'm left with an embarrassing thought – perhaps I was pretty much passive as a newcomer checking things out. I was very much the Rob Petrie (of Dick Van Dyke show) pushover type when interacting with "sales personnel" anyway – but I am getting better – which reminds me - behind every Rob Petrie type I do believe there should be a strong woman like Laura Petrie – and that's my Tonto. Matter of fact – Tonto was the one who got me interested in Grease Spot – Tonto is a great scout - even before Grease Spot she was into Waydale, TransChat or whatever those websites were called.

the process of me getting out: The Internet was a great thing for me to check things out. Yeah – I had already left TWI years before but now rather than being passive I could take an active role and look into whatever I want. I think that is the way it should be. It is a self-guided journey – heavy emphasis on self – I am in control…I can go at my own pace…take as much time as I need to process.

Online it's just me and my thoughts….and a computer of course. No one is getting in my face browbeating me or laying it on thick and sweet. And now that it's been so long since I left those insidious little "safety devices" that I absorbed have been disabled; that's those subtle automatic responses that seem to pop up when an idea comes along that's counter to the TWI mindset – like "oh you're entertaining thoughts from the devil", "you're questioning the Word", "you're doubting God", "you're not being thankful for the ministry taught you the Word" so on and so forth – you may remember the drill…

Collateral D, i'm so glad you're here! You're posts on this and other threads are so thoughtful and inspirational to say the least and i love your sense of humor. Rock on!

so the "moral" of this post is: if you have a pulse and can get on the Internet – there's hope for you yet – this post is dedicated to all TWI lurkers out there.

PS: as a TWI lurker you may want to think in terms of a soldier who is not sure yet if they are in enemy territory – and honestly you are the one to decide which side is the enemy of course; so for your own safety and security – trust no one…I'm sort of being facetious…sort of not…do not reveal to anyone the doubts or half formed decisions you have or may start having……watch the skies…keep looking…keep watching the skies…ooops sorry – switched analogies and started quoting from The Thing from Another World.....what?! what!? so some people have waybrain i have movie brain... biglaugh.gif

Great insight in that post, T-Bone.

Btw, I can't help but think Penworks' upcoming memoir on her seventeen years in twi might speak to those concerns. I hope it will.

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Truth was, it was the collaterals being taught again and again and again. LCM was disavowed, never to be mentioned. All that was safe was the collaterals. So that's where everything went, and still are.

" All that was safe was the collaterals."

Gawd, it is so amazingly pathetic that it creeps me out just thinking about it.

When I read something like this [from a poster who exited twi 2 years ago...ie 2014]

it only confirms how utterly bankrupt that sales pitch was/is.

Reminds me of those little "pocket-readers" that twi sold in the early-70s that we

took with us at work for lunch breaks or witnessing. See, you could take the word

collateral-snippet with you at all times. And, 40 years later....its the collaterals,

the collaterals, and nothing but the collaterals. lol

Same deal, different decade.

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" All that was safe was the collaterals."

Gawd, it is so amazingly pathetic that it creeps me out just thinking about it.

When I read something like this [from a poster who exited twi 2 years ago...ie 2014]

it only confirms how utterly bankrupt that sales pitch was/is.

Reminds me of those little "pocket-readers" that twi sold in the early-70s that we

took with us at work for lunch breaks or witnessing. See, you could take the word

collateral-snippet with you at all times. And, 40 years later....its the collaterals,

the collaterals, and nothing but the collaterals. lol

Same deal, different decade.

The awkward fallout of LCM left all of his material discredited and blacklisted. No one ever said his name, and his R&E book was only quoted IF THERE WAS NO OTHER SOURCE AVAILABLE. Even then, he doesn't get attribution, just the book title. There was an appendix on his (? his name was on it, but who knows) work on Angels, but not sure if that is still passed out with the class. Hence the reaction to diversify every STS and class, each now taught with a different teacher each time. Every segment of every class and STS someone new. Much easier to reshoot a segment than the whole class should someone go rogue. It also means you can no longer trust one person and their study. It must all be checked and rechecked and scrubbed. That meant going backwards to that which has been already been proven. Collaterals. I know I'm not alone here.

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<takes a seat and pulls out a menu>

(snip)

....Fast forward to a fourth generation being born. Numerous requests from insiders to go on Staff and change from within. By this time, my life had changed. The grind of finally getting (and keeping) a real job meant hard work. I began to feel like everything in the ministry was a motion. Same old collaterals. The articles in the magazine were SOOOO predictable, as were the overly scripted services. Title, personal anecdote, verses, three main points, conclusion, blanket "Let's continue to..." statement... repeat. I felt as if I wasn't learning anything. To challenge myself and scratch my own spiritual and intellectual itch, I started my own studies and digging. ANy time I would bring these up, I was chastised for going solo and delving into what was already researched. I should re-search what is already available. By this time, I could hear an introduction and immediately know which verses would come up. One STS, I wrote on my wife's notes five verses. Sure as dang, each one was ticked in the course of that scripted speech teaching. I stopped taking notes. I stopped putting time into my teachings at fellowships. I started coasting. I could see others going through the same motions. I used to talk about all of the interesting connections and parallels the moment a great teaching was done. Now I saw how quickly others began talking about their week, their boring lives, their.... anything but the bible. Truth was, it was the collaterals being taught again and again and again. LCM was disavowed, never to be mentioned. All that was safe was the collaterals. So that's were everything went, and still are....

(snip)

" All that was safe was the collaterals."

Gawd, it is so amazingly pathetic that it creeps me out just thinking about it.

When I read something like this [from a poster who exited twi 2 years ago...ie 2014]

it only confirms how utterly bankrupt that sales pitch was/is.

Reminds me of those little "pocket-readers" that twi sold in the early-70s that we

took with us at work for lunch breaks or witnessing. See, you could take the word

collateral-snippet with you at all times. And, 40 years later....its the collaterals,

the collaterals, and nothing but the collaterals. lol

Same deal, different decade.

The awkward fallout of LCM left all of his material discredited and blacklisted. No one ever said his name, and his R&E book was only quoted IF THERE WAS NO OTHER SOURCE AVAILABLE. Even then, he doesn't get attribution, just the book title. There was an appendix on his (? his name was on it, but who knows) work on Angels, but not sure if that is still passed out with the class. Hence the reaction to diversify every STS and class, each now taught with a different teacher each time. Every segment of every class and STS someone new. Much easier to reshoot a segment than the whole class should someone go rogue. It also means you can no longer trust one person and their study. It must all be checked and rechecked and scrubbed. That meant going backwards to that which has been already been proven. Collaterals. I know I'm not alone here.

Collateral D, I speak for myself (and presumably or at least hopefully for many others here as well) when I say this – it is refreshing to have you at Grease Spot – and really this is my shout out not only to you but also to the other posters of your generation!

Most of the time I feel like what I have to say is not relevant anymore – like I'm an old WWI vet who acts like he's living on borrowed time so he must keep telling his story of life in the trenches while he can. But what I gather from your posts is that it's the "same ole same ole" in TWI – but in a new wrapper. Makes me think of everything produces after its own kind as illustrated in Matthew 7: 15ff - you get bad fruit from a bad tree – and that bad fruit holds the seeds that will produce more bad trees…etcetera, etcetera, etcetera….a threefold perpetuation of ad nauseam.

And by no means do I want to take away from your thunder – or the thunder of the other new gen. posters. On the contrary, I believe the new gen. posters at Grease Spot are sounding the clarion call to discernment for their generation.

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Certainly, you know as well as I do that numbers are uber secretive. I have no way of knowing exactly how many. Here's what I do know to be true:

1.) The last service I went to, I saw about 80ish people in attendance. The same 80ish I saw each and every time sitting in the same 80ish seats. The aud. was a desolate wasteland filled with nametags.

2.) Many regions/areas continue to condense. There are "out to pasture" assignments that those who have fought in the trenches go to retire. I cannot speak to who are filling the roles of the "retiring" positions, as most are younger but not in my circle(s).

3.) The move to social media platforms (Twitter, digital Way Mags) have been implemented to increase the appearance of size/validity with the younger crowd. You'd have to be desperate to open up yourself to the potential ridicule and onslaught that a malicious few could do on Twitter. For those Boomers out there who need reference- Imagine being able to Google "The Way International" and have GSC come up as the first hit. That would be amazing! Well, Twitter and hashtags allow for the most popular/recent tweets to come up. You # correctly, and those curious about TWI could get whatever is being said by whomever most recently. It takes a desperate brand to open up to that much potential bad advertising. An interesting note, they have stayed off of FB for some bizarre reason. There are about 20 smaller groups (at least) that people have self organized, from singles to prayer groups to larger undertakings. There's even those who feel compelled as if it were their mission to post a thought of the day or mini teaching series. That can't be sanctioned. Why let that spin out of control and open up Twitter? Who's running this?????

4.) Same ole' same ole'. Everything looks/feels the same 10-20 years ago (except artwork. Why so bad?). Formulaic magazine articles, doctrine, overly-scripted and read word-for-word STS, Way Prod... There's small tweaks, but big parts are just stationary. Coasting off of long-term ABS investments and a system that has "worked" for decades. Don't rock the base that is left. And the base that's left likes it just the way it is, apparently.

5.) Huge push towards getting my (the younger) generation to take over. I suspect that has to do with the aging out of the boomers and older leadership. However, those in power still seem to have a reluctance to become more nimble, agile, and change. Go figure. But "GO CORPS!" and "WAY D!!!" ads are everywhere in the mag and onilne. I never did get that. Those who are sold out are going to anyway.

6.) The offspring of Corps are either way into it or way out of it. Very little of our generation can stomach just ho-hum attendance or be lilly poinsettias. Not sure where that comes from, but I don't think our attention span is long enough to put up with something we don't REALLY care enough about. We don't have time for that. Others have left because of the stance on gay marriage or the lack of community giving. They feel churches are a better fit. And they are.

7.) Most field corps have jobs, PERIOD. It doesn't really matter how much $$ comes in to a branch, but from the aging base I would say not much, you have to work. It was explained to me in the late 90's that it was essential to ABS because a portion of the area $$$ went to keep the Corps members in that area full-time ministers and not full time employees. They needed to be spiritually ready all of the time to move for God and the stresses of a job could not allow for that. Many peddle their part-time gigs or pyramid schemes to their followers. I remember finishing a DTA class and then being served a hard-sell on a reverse osmosis water system (with magnets!!!) during refreshments. They wanted me to sign-up right there and brought a laptop to do it. What? The company had lots of magnetic garbage that went counter to the DTA session we just finished. Hypocrite much?

8.) Many rules exist, but state to state, region to region, it can be like the Wild West. You never know what flies where and which rules are important. MI has some CRAZY folks following some 70's style fellowships/limbs and lock-step loyalty. East coast has literally CRAZY folks running things. Parts of OH are everything in between. It's a mess in terms of quality and consistency. There are still good folks (AND good fellowships), but good luck.

9.) I need more bourbon. I'll keep looking through the threads and add where i see appropriate. When I was in it, I was really in it. I think we all were. I really wanted to change the world and help people and thought I was the faithful remnant. These (very small and aging) people do too, and it seems without a younger group, it will just die out with its members. There's a big nest egg there, and there will always be a fight to control however much is there, so I never see it dissolving unless unforeseen liabilities drain the nest egg, but TWI will likely always be around, no matter how small, because of the $$$.

*edited for bourbon mistakes

Since I left staff in 2015, maybe I can help with some of these questions.

1) This is about accurate. There are a few visitors from other cities/states, but most of the time it's just the staff folks in attendance. The big crowds are for special occasions like Pentecost, the Anniversary, Resurrection Sunday, etc.

2) Former VP Tom Mullins was able to get a retirement policy put into place that states that you can't work on staff full time after 68 years of age. You can still work part time (and then volunteer as much as you'd like). As for who is replacing these folks, from what I've seen it's the newly graduated Corps. Whether they have any experience or not, they're just thrown into the spot.

4) Concerning rocking the base, it doesn't happen. I've seen people canned just for mentioning that they thought things weren't handled the proper way. RFR is on a massive power trip. If you don't agree with her you're gone.

5) They do try to get young people involved, but they don't listen to any ideas to grow. It's like they are trying to get the younger generations to become mindless automatons to carry on with the ministry exactly as it has been going. They squash any attempts at change.

7) This really strikes a cord with me, because they have the money to purchase cars or equipment that they "need", but they sure as hell don't want to pay anybody over time. They have sign up sheets for "Volunteer work" in other departments in order to make sure the work gets done. I don't know where the money is going, but I have an idea that it stays among the higher ranking "members".

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Welcome, BlueCord!

The thing about the youngsters is quite telling.

Once upon a time, vpw had a small group of people.

He started twi with working full-time for a local church as their pastor-

while he was working up a side-business of twi. He did a radio program

and tried to rope in young people, and he edited Christian authors and

quietly picked up some of their work-a handy thing when he was doing a

sermon a week for "his" church. Once he took B G Leonard's class and

began reteaching it as "his" class, he had a product he marketed-

especially once he retyped JE Stiles' book and later added some of

EW Bullinger's work into it.

However, twi was still a footnote at MOST until vpw heard about the

hippie Christians in Haight-Ashbury and went over. He succeeded in

hijacking some of them from their dawning ministries, and set them up

as the recruitment arms for twi on both coasts. (Virtually all twi

growth stems from those handfuls and all the people they brought in-

and the people those people brought in.)

IN SHORT, twi's rise was due to vpw recruiting youngsters by all

cheating and lying he could manage.

So, TODAY,

they're trying to lie and cheat to get youngsters to join.

However, the world is different now-so the "they won't hear

the truth" business doesn't fly now.

So, they don't want the kids for anything else but to CONFORM and

to RECRUIT OTHER KIDS. Somehow, it's not a big attraction for the

youngsters to join a group so they could follow orders and live in

fear. Imagine that!

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

The other thing was the INCREDIBLE cheapness vpw founded twi with.

The site was the family farm. He bought out his brothers and sold

the farm to twi. This allowed him full use of the site while skipping

taxes and passing costs over to the organization. As he filled the

place, he always looked for the cheapest possible way to accomplish

things. He went to auctions and closings to get used items at the

lowest price. He used the lowest grades of wood and told people to

build things out of them.

Ever hear how he filmed pfal? He paid for the studio, then "bought"

the furniture for the class. As soon as the filming was finished,

he returned the furniture for a refund, saying he wasn't satisfied

with it.

Ever hear that class coordinators are told to buy a TV for the class,

then return it as soon as the class is over? Same strategy as

before- cheat others and save money. The concept of "investment"

in things is almost nonexistent. The only place the money actually

flows is at HQ- and even there, only among the cadre. Everyone else

is exhorted to VOLUNTEER to work more hours FOR FREE.

So, there's some COSMETIC changes with twi, but really, the SUBSTANCE

has remained the SAME.

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The other day I had an epiphany. I realized that I had been a SLAVE. I was used and mistreated and worked for nothing. How the hell did that happen? It's been almost 30 years since I left and I still am dumbfounded to think about it sometimes.

Oh yeah, not only did we work for nothing, we paid THEM for the privilege of doing it.

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The other day I had an epiphany. I realized that I had been a SLAVE. I was used and mistreated and worked for nothing. How the hell did that happen? It's been almost 30 years since I left and I still am dumbfounded to think about it sometimes.

Oh yeah, not only did we work for nothing, we paid THEM for the privilege of doing it.

The main reason I don't consider twi (or Scientology) to be slave labour IS because members PAY

for the privilege of being their thralls. Slaves don't actually pay to be slaves.

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The main reason I don't consider twi (or Scientology) to be slave labour IS because members PAY

for the privilege of being their thralls. Slaves don't actually pay to be slaves.

I think groups like TWI and Scientology are parasitic in nature.

As an organism, a parasite lives off another organism (the host) by deriving nutrients from the host. When referring to a person or group being parasitic – it means they habitually exploit others and give nothing in return.

I think some folks here have referenced the powerful imagery in The Matrix scene where the vast cells of human "batteries" are shown that power the matrix.

neo-wakes-up-640x353.jpg

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I agree-they would properly be called "parasitic" for exactly those reasons.

vpw saw people, all his life, more as resources than as actual people.

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The awkward fallout of LCM left all of his material discredited and blacklisted. No one ever said his name, and his R&E book was only quoted IF THERE WAS NO OTHER SOURCE AVAILABLE. Even then, he doesn't get attribution, just the book title. There was an appendix on his (? his name was on it, but who knows) work on Angels, but not sure if that is still passed out with the class. Hence the reaction to diversify every STS and class, each now taught with a different teacher each time. Every segment of every class and STS someone new. Much easier to reshoot a segment than the whole class should someone go rogue. It also means you can no longer trust one person and their study. It must all be checked and rechecked and scrubbed. That meant going backwards to that which has been already been proven. Collaterals. I know I'm not alone here.

Hello CollateralDamage, great intro, welcome. I don't visit here often, only like today when I couldn't sleep because I was having WOW year or Advanced class flashbacks. We probably bumped into each other throughout the years, I left about 20 years ago but I was active from '90 thru the end of '94, tried sheepishly to get back in up until '99 or 2000 whenever Loy's lawsuit became public. I was at the Advanced Class Special where LCM taped the DTA class, what a trip, I felt so special for about a minute.

Anyway the point I wanted to make is this. It's a damn good thing TWI ditched PFAL, they had no idea what they had with that class, the indoctrination Vic does in it. All they needed to do is run PFAL classes and Vic's Intermediate and Vic's Advanced class and rake in the money. What he did in PFAL alone should be studied by mind control researchers because he uses multiple techniques for trance induction, and implanting phobias, trigger words. All TWI would need to do is stick to Vic's playbook say all the buzzwords in the TWI loaded language dictionary and people would still be coming in droves. But everyone has an ego, and the Fox has to rule the hen house.

Anyway I bid you well,

Seth

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On March 25, 2016 at 0:08 AM, CollateralDamage said:

<takes a seat and pulls out a menu>

Hello All-

There's quite a bit to unpack from 30 years. Bare with my rambling thoughts as they all get down.

A third-generation "legacy", I only knew TWI as truth absolute. A child of the 80's, I remember growing up and having The Way being the only way. I took each class in the entire class series the exact week I was eligible, and repeated every chance I could. I only knew LCM as the fount-head of all things godly, and worshipped with (at) him through the birth of the new class. I soldiered on through his fall and stood behind my identity as a chosen part of the faithful remnant throughout the early 2000's. I pursued a degree and lead fellowships, certain I held forth what I knew to be the epicenter of the spiritual world. Once I got close to graduation, the promise of getting a job became VERY real. In a market the began to shrivel, I went from interview to interview, each time putting in hours of deliberate, thoughtful prayer and reflection, certain that the God I knew dwelt in my fellowships and that I was told would never let any wrong befall would come through in the clutch. Each time, nothing. Each time, disappointment. Each time, words came from those more seasoned as "Renew Your Mind", "It's not the spiritually best for YOU!", "God's got something bigger for YOU!". This was the first time I needed to prove God had my back. Long story short, I cobbled together enough to get by, but nothing close to the Eph 3:20 I was told time and time again.

I got married, to an amazing and supportive spouse, who left her church to join up. She realized if she wanted tot be with me, she had to drink the Koolaid, and drink she did. She practically did a keg stand with that Hawaiian punch. Together, we weathered many situations that were far from the rosy scenes painted on STS tapes (or CDs or VHSs). Real life was hard as hell, and the God of the lectern and the magazine was not as quick to come through. There was always an explanation, mind you, but should not have to be this hard. "Maybe we're not studying enough. Maybe and hour daily is just a start.". "Are we giving enough? We're at 20%, but could we do more to prove our commitment to God and not our paycheck". We ABSed our meager earnings, lived in apartments, drove our terrible, leaky, beaten cars, and gladly taught others on how much God loved us and would provide. Any positive event in life was championed as proof of TWI's system. It began to seem like a lens that made all the bad not their fault and any positive thing their cause. Perspective.

Fast forward to a fourth generation being born. Numerous requests from insiders to go on Staff and change from within. By this time, my life had changed. The grind of finally getting (and keeping) a real job meant hard work. I began to feel like everything in the ministry was a motion. Same old collaterals. The articles in the magazine were SOOOO predictable, as were the overly scripted services. Title, personal anecdote, verses, three main points, conclusion, blanket "Let's continue to..." statement... repeat. I felt as if I wasn't learning anything. To challenge myself and scratch my own spiritual and intellectual itch, I started my own studies and digging. ANy time I would bring these up, I was chastised for going solo and delving into what was already researched. I should re-search what is already available. By this time, I could hear an introduction and immediately know which verses would come up. One STS, I wrote on my wife's notes five verses. Sure as dang, each one was ticked in the course of that scripted speech teaching. I stopped taking notes. I stopped putting time into my teachings at fellowships. I started coasting. I could see others going through the same motions. I used to talk about all of the interesting connections and parallels the moment a great teaching was done. Now I saw how quickly others began talking about their week, their boring lives, their.... anything but the bible. Truth was, it was the collaterals being taught again and again and again. LCM was disavowed, never to be mentioned. All that was safe was the collaterals. So that's were everything went, and still are.

Last flash is to the moment I realized how crumby the long-term TWI plan is for those out in the field. Find a menial job, work hard and don't rock the boat. Try to witness but we only need seats for the class- if it's just a connection, move it along. SELL SELL!!!! Find an apartment, move every few years, drive a 5 year+ model car (and keep that cardboard so you don't mess up the driveway). Long-term planning? You don't need that. God's got you. I woke up one day to realize my parents have no retirement and no equity of ANY kind. I didn't want that. I began looking at houses and tried every way to get one without getting a loan. Couldn't do it, so I tried to ask permission. Another post needs to explain this hot mess, but needless to say it was not on the menu. I forged ahead to the disapproval of many.

Kid number two arrives- I stop going to STS. Our last trip, I don't even open my bible. I hear and scrutinize the entire presentation better than I had every encapsulated with my notes. (Oh the notes, but I digress...). On our way home, my wife says "What an electrifying teaching!". I let the air clear for about 5 seconds and say "Was it?". Her face was as white as the audience at any given STS. We then discuss very openly our current role in the ministry and where we saw our spiritual lives. Needless to say, it was the beginning of the end.

We limped along for a few more years, mainly because of the sweet people that genuinely did care about others and the large family/friend connections. This is certainly a fact that cannot be overlooked, but we were killed with kindness and not won by spiritual truth. We eventually decide to skip fellowship for any convenient reason, attend other church services on Sunday mornings, and try on many religions/denominations. It came to a road that lead to us moving and telling our new coordinators we were out. I felt it necessary to go out on my terms, not middle-fingers a-blazing, but with a truthful talk.

We left about two years ago. There were some rough times, including much anger that has not fully gone away. I still struggle with what could have been or should have been, a fact that I can't completely let go of, but am getting closer. I burned my syllabi and collaterals, but still have their haunting memory (and .pdfs! that's a fun post as well!) in my mind. Religion is no longer something I value, and, current spiritual beliefs aside, I was able to emerge with clear and cogent truths I hold to, truthfulness and integrity being paramount.

I have spiritually sherpa'd a few others out of TWI, and gotten immense satisfaction for helping them think and process, not just bad-mouthing their religion. It's rewarding to truly help people, not blanket their needs in retemories or promises of a brighter day that never comes. It's rewarding to see them break the chain of mediocrity and a quiet life of apartments and ABSing to pay for staff cars (another post). I loved helping them and reassuring them the devil will not take them should they decide to take off the name tag.

My bourbon is getting low, as is my battery. Time to refill both. I have lots to say, and not sure how much/when to do it. I have many damning things, but not sure how it could help me or others. I don;t want to go back to the post-exit anger and rage that consumed my evenings (too late for that today! Oh well...), but I think a healthy processing and sharing for those who discover this site (like I did) will help clearer thoughts and heads prevail. I know TWI is not the epicenter of the spiritual world. I know TWI is pyramid of those working the ladder upward. I know TWI is a shell built on a few books and lock-step loyalty. I know that 30 years is far too much CollateralDamage.

Hi CD!!  Wow, where did you learn to write like that??!!  In MHO, you are a true Wordsmith!!  I too am new to posting at the GSC, but so much of you said, in your post is sadly true.  Since coming to the GSC, I have learned about the great number of longtime staff members that TWI has let go!!!  OMG!!!  These people probably had some idea that that if they worked for TWI in their Salad Days. they would be taken care of, in their Golden Years.  Instead, far too many found out during the eleventh hour, that TWI cruelly threw them away out, like a used diaper.  Every time I read this, I get seriously p----- off!!! Many of these people have no retirement plans, no pensions, no savings, no

SS; nothing!!!  TWI made promises to these people to take care of them when they entered their Senior Years, and now, TWI is defaulting on their promises when these staffers need them the most!!!  How ungodly. and inhumane can one organization be!   Yes, I am sure the people on the top rungs of TWI, have made plans concerning THEIR retirement.  What concerns me is how the rank-and- file will live when they leave TWI's payroll.  I am almost old enough to retire, and I have options.  Many of TWI's former staff, lack options.  TWI is sitting on piles of ABS; they are far from being bankrupt, yet the leaders will not share the wealth with most of the former staff members.  How evil, and uncaring TWI is!! 

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On 10/30/2016 at 10:02 PM, Grace Valerie Claire said:

Hi CD!!  Wow, where did you learn to write like that??!!  In MHO, you are a true Wordsmith!!  I too am new to posting at the GSC, but so much of you said, in your post is sadly true.  Since coming to the GSC, I have learned about the great number of longtime staff members that TWI has let go!!!  OMG!!!  These people probably had some idea that that if they worked for TWI in their Salad Days. they would be taken care of, in their Golden Years.  Instead, far too many found out during the eleventh hour, that TWI cruelly threw them away out, like a used diaper.  Every time I read this, I get seriously p----- off!!! Many of these people have no retirement plans, no pensions, no savings, no

SS; nothing!!!  TWI made promises to these people to take care of them when they entered their Senior Years, and now, TWI is defaulting on their promises when these staffers need them the most!!!  How ungodly. and inhumane can one organization be!   Yes, I am sure the people on the top rungs of TWI, have made plans concerning THEIR retirement.  What concerns me is how the rank-and- file will live when they leave TWI's payroll.  I am almost old enough to retire, and I have options.  Many of TWI's former staff, lack options.  TWI is sitting on piles of ABS; they are far from being bankrupt, yet the leaders will not share the wealth with most of the former staff members.  How evil, and uncaring TWI is!! 

Hello Grace- Thank you for the kind words and sharing your perspective. I feel the pain second-hand as I watch my parents struggle, but know the reality of those who did labor in vain for the cause suffer more. I hope you find the process of writing as helpful in recover as I have. I don't post much anymore (or log on as much) due to an anger spiral that seems to kick up when I start going in too deep, but it feels good to get it out. And bourbon. 

Happy Hunting-

CD

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On 11/23/2016 at 10:00 AM, CollateralDamage said:

Hello Grace- Thank you for the kind words and sharing your perspective. I feel the pain second-hand as I watch my parents struggle, but know the reality of those who did labor in vain for the cause suffer more. I hope you find the process of writing as helpful in recover as I have. I don't post much anymore (or log on as much) due to an anger spiral that seems to kick up when I start going in too deep, but it feels good to get it out. And bourbon. 

Happy Hunting-

CD

Thanks!!  But it really ticks me off when people are abused, especially in the name of God.  I have had it happen to me, and it really p--ed me off!!  TWI has the money to take care of all of its staff members, but it won't.  Only the elite got taken care of.  What about the people who dedicated their lives to that cesspool?  They matter!  I thank God every day for my VA benefits, minute as they are.  I live a simple life; but I know that God takes care of me. What about all those that TWI have kicked to the curb?  How will they survive in their Senior Years?

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On 25/03/2016 at 3:08 PM, CollateralDamage said:

<takes a seat and pulls out a menu>

Hello All-

There's quite a bit to unpack from 30 years. Bare with my rambling thoughts as they all get down.

A third-generation "legacy", I only knew TWI as truth absolute. A child of the 80's, I remember growing up and having The Way being the only way. I took each class in the entire class series the exact week I was eligible, and repeated every chance I could. I only knew LCM as the fount-head of all things godly, and worshipped with (at) him through the birth of the new class. I soldiered on through his fall and stood behind my identity as a chosen part of the faithful remnant throughout the early 2000's. I pursued a degree and lead fellowships, certain I held forth what I knew to be the epicenter of the spiritual world. Once I got close to graduation, the promise of getting a job became VERY real. In a market the began to shrivel, I went from interview to interview, each time putting in hours of deliberate, thoughtful prayer and reflection, certain that the God I knew dwelt in my fellowships and that I was told would never let any wrong befall would come through in the clutch. Each time, nothing. Each time, disappointment. Each time, words came from those more seasoned as "Renew Your Mind", "It's not the spiritually best for YOU!", "God's got something bigger for YOU!". This was the first time I needed to prove God had my back. Long story short, I cobbled together enough to get by, but nothing close to the Eph 3:20 I was told time and time again.

I got married, to an amazing and supportive spouse, who left her church to join up. She realized if she wanted tot be with me, she had to drink the Koolaid, and drink she did. She practically did a keg stand with that Hawaiian punch. Together, we weathered many situations that were far from the rosy scenes painted on STS tapes (or CDs or VHSs). Real life was hard as hell, and the God of the lectern and the magazine was not as quick to come through. There was always an explanation, mind you, but should not have to be this hard. "Maybe we're not studying enough. Maybe and hour daily is just a start.". "Are we giving enough? We're at 20%, but could we do more to prove our commitment to God and not our paycheck". We ABSed our meager earnings, lived in apartments, drove our terrible, leaky, beaten cars, and gladly taught others on how much God loved us and would provide. Any positive event in life was championed as proof of TWI's system. It began to seem like a lens that made all the bad not their fault and any positive thing their cause. Perspective.

Fast forward to a fourth generation being born. Numerous requests from insiders to go on Staff and change from within. By this time, my life had changed. The grind of finally getting (and keeping) a real job meant hard work. I began to feel like everything in the ministry was a motion. Same old collaterals. The articles in the magazine were SOOOO predictable, as were the overly scripted services. Title, personal anecdote, verses, three main points, conclusion, blanket "Let's continue to..." statement... repeat. I felt as if I wasn't learning anything. To challenge myself and scratch my own spiritual and intellectual itch, I started my own studies and digging. ANy time I would bring these up, I was chastised for going solo and delving into what was already researched. I should re-search what is already available. By this time, I could hear an introduction and immediately know which verses would come up. One STS, I wrote on my wife's notes five verses. Sure as dang, each one was ticked in the course of that scripted speech teaching. I stopped taking notes. I stopped putting time into my teachings at fellowships. I started coasting. I could see others going through the same motions. I used to talk about all of the interesting connections and parallels the moment a great teaching was done. Now I saw how quickly others began talking about their week, their boring lives, their.... anything but the bible. Truth was, it was the collaterals being taught again and again and again. LCM was disavowed, never to be mentioned. All that was safe was the collaterals. So that's were everything went, and still are.

Last flash is to the moment I realized how crumby the long-term TWI plan is for those out in the field. Find a menial job, work hard and don't rock the boat. Try to witness but we only need seats for the class- if it's just a connection, move it along. SELL SELL!!!! Find an apartment, move every few years, drive a 5 year+ model car (and keep that cardboard so you don't mess up the driveway). Long-term planning? You don't need that. God's got you. I woke up one day to realize my parents have no retirement and no equity of ANY kind. I didn't want that. I began looking at houses and tried every way to get one without getting a loan. Couldn't do it, so I tried to ask permission. Another post needs to explain this hot mess, but needless to say it was not on the menu. I forged ahead to the disapproval of many.

Kid number two arrives- I stop going to STS. Our last trip, I don't even open my bible. I hear and scrutinize the entire presentation better than I had every encapsulated with my notes. (Oh the notes, but I digress...). On our way home, my wife says "What an electrifying teaching!". I let the air clear for about 5 seconds and say "Was it?". Her face was as white as the audience at any given STS. We then discuss very openly our current role in the ministry and where we saw our spiritual lives. Needless to say, it was the beginning of the end.

We limped along for a few more years, mainly because of the sweet people that genuinely did care about others and the large family/friend connections. This is certainly a fact that cannot be overlooked, but we were killed with kindness and not won by spiritual truth. We eventually decide to skip fellowship for any convenient reason, attend other church services on Sunday mornings, and try on many religions/denominations. It came to a road that lead to us moving and telling our new coordinators we were out. I felt it necessary to go out on my terms, not middle-fingers a-blazing, but with a truthful talk.

We left about two years ago. There were some rough times, including much anger that has not fully gone away. I still struggle with what could have been or should have been, a fact that I can't completely let go of, but am getting closer. I burned my syllabi and collaterals, but still have their haunting memory (and .pdfs! that's a fun post as well!) in my mind. Religion is no longer something I value, and, current spiritual beliefs aside, I was able to emerge with clear and cogent truths I hold to, truthfulness and integrity being paramount.

I have spiritually sherpa'd a few others out of TWI, and gotten immense satisfaction for helping them think and process, not just bad-mouthing their religion. It's rewarding to truly help people, not blanket their needs in retemories or promises of a brighter day that never comes. It's rewarding to see them break the chain of mediocrity and a quiet life of apartments and ABSing to pay for staff cars (another post). I loved helping them and reassuring them the devil will not take them should they decide to take off the name tag.

My bourbon is getting low, as is my battery. Time to refill both. I have lots to say, and not sure how much/when to do it. I have many damning things, but not sure how it could help me or others. I don;t want to go back to the post-exit anger and rage that consumed my evenings (too late for that today! Oh well...), but I think a healthy processing and sharing for those who discover this site (like I did) will help clearer thoughts and heads prevail. I know TWI is not the epicenter of the spiritual world. I know TWI is pyramid of those working the ladder upward. I know TWI is a shell built on a few books and lock-step loyalty. I know that 30 years is far too much CollateralDamage.

Mate! Collateraldamage thanks heaps for your sharing your story I can only relate to alot of what you said

A bit late to the party mate but here have a coffee on me 

 

 

 

 

 

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This has been said before.  There is the felt need to discard all when stepping out of the mire and crap of a very bad involvlement.  Don't throw the baby out with the bath water - the word is the baby.  TWI did teach some actual Biblical truths, if it did not, it would never have grown to what it did - TWI became corrupt.

Hold close the truths of the Word of God and unshackle the rest.

You will find it hard to identify with nearly all organized religeons, don't expect to get a total 100% fit.  Go with what's comfortable.  Seek fellowship, even if it's a guy/gal sitting on a park bench - that's fellowship that exceeds a structured church setting.

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20 hours ago, MRAP said:

This has been said before.  There is the felt need to discard all when stepping out of the mire and crap of a very bad involvlement.  Don't throw the baby out with the bath water - the word is the baby.  TWI did teach some actual Biblical truths, if it did not, it would never have grown to what it did - TWI became corrupt.

Hold close the truths of the Word of God and unshackle the rest.

You will find it hard to identify with nearly all organized religeons, don't expect to get a total 100% fit.  Go with what's comfortable.  Seek fellowship, even if it's a guy/gal sitting on a park bench - that's fellowship that exceeds a structured church setting.

SMH... btw, MRAP, have you read Undertow yet?

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CollateralDamage, that is my story too. I read your story after popping in and out of here for a few years, so I just registered here and will post as soon as I can. Thank you for the succinct summary! 

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On 3/24/2016 at 11:08 PM, CollateralDamage said:

I felt it necessary to go out on my terms, not middle-fingers a-blazing, but with a truthful talk.

I've poised for a similar meeting myself. but appreciate the maturity in this statement. At some point, till take the time to tell my story as well.. it's still being written though.

 

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