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skyrider

Cults: The Art of Deception

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When you're young........four years is an eternity. 

Four years of high school, four years in college, or four years in the military........and you are a different person at the end of that juncture.  You enter as a neophyte and graduate with knowledge, potential,  confidence, support systems and growing skill sets.  And, for those who have strong supportive parents, relatives and siblings.......the family unit generally provides an increasing supply of support and networking to help you navigate this journey of life and fulfillment.  Roads of success stretch out before you. 

If you're young, displaced and/or broke..........six months is an eternity.

The reasons for "displaced youth" are vast.........broken homes, abusive fathers, alcohol, sex, drugs, identity, trauma, conflicts, etc.  And then, cult leaders are conspiring to target your vulnerability.  They build their followings, and livelihoods, on the backs of "good-hearted" followers......preaching and exhorting them to faithfully witness daily to bring others into the fold.  You "earn your stripes" by witnessing and shall be rewarded in eternity for it, they preach.  The cult leaders, the big-wigs, are above the fray of door-to-door witnessing and have far more important things to attend to......but demand that witnessing is one of the highest forms of obedience.  So, cult zealots take to the streets, to college campuses, the local bookstores and nearby parks.......scanning the landscape for isolated individuals. 

The cult offered a pseudo-family......to those who gave servitude.

Every cult and splinter group knows the art of deception.

~~~~~~~~~

A quick review of wierwille and twi sheds light:

  • Wierwille pastored in Paine, OH and Van Wert, OH.......and was contentious against church board
  • Like a caged animal, wierwille was constantly pressing "the edges of his confinement" to find a way out
  • He labeled it "spiritually searching"........others might label it "narcissistic"
  • In 1953, he stole BG Leonard's foundational class and taught it as his own
  • In December 1957, he breaks from church to a class-based ministry
  • Teaching 10-12 classes per year (1958-1966).......most went back to their churches
  • In 1967, wierwille films pfal......and then needed "instructors" to oversee film classes

It is apparent that wierwille struggled immensely for ten years to get this work jump-started.  All those years of traveling and teaching live classes yielded miniscule results.......and they struggled to pay the bills.  Even though wierwille was adept in homiletics, there were few from those nearby towns who desired to venture over to hear wierwille's teachings.  Of course, his reputation as a rabble-rousing youngster and womanizer was rumored far and wide which didn't help matters when he moved his operation from Van Wert back to the family farm.

The filmed class extended the reach of twi........and, when a few guitar players and firebrands took the stage, twi never was the same. 

Several times, when I was around Dorothy Owens or escorting her......she talked about how the hippies and younger generation revolutionized twi's thinking and standards in the late '60s.   Barefoot and out of control, they started coming to the summer camps.  Hell.....they didn't even know proper etiquette or protocol.  So, Dorothy, being the retired school teacher and all, was assigned to teach classes on dining room etiquette, proper utensils, dress and protocol. 

Looking back.......I firmly believe that it was *the youth culture* in twi, and surrounding its events, that was so enticing.  In utopian bliss, this cult-ure was to refrain from all negatives......everything was "great."  How are you today?  "As He is".......or....."In the heavenlies" was the reply.  Smiles, and hugs and greeted with kisses.......what's not to like?  Not a care in the world (God's got it covered.)  A world without responsibility.  Rock of Ages camping......where you stayed up half the night talking with others from distant lands.  The youth factor begot MORE youth.  Girls and guys everywhere......on an eternal "spring break."  Who needs Ft. Lauderdale when you've got the rock of ages?   It's not necessarily the beach that's the destination.......it's the people and the drunken fun.

Sure, the Bible and all was deeply important........but the passions and likeminded youth culture were mesmerizing. 

Around 1974, wierwille's arrogance could not contain itself as the corps program was growing in leaps and bounds.  Visions of grandeur were dancing in his head and he was going to show church elders from New Knoxville to Van Wert, he was exhibiting the great power of God.  His narcissism had bloomed. 

We thought we were free.

We thought we were serving the Lord.........until the scales fell from our eyes.

In twi, four years of in-residence training was an eternity.......of indoctrination.

 

 

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8 hours ago, skyrider said:

When you're young........four years is an eternity. 

Four years of high school, four years in college, or four years in the military........and you are a different person at the end of that juncture.  You enter as a neophyte and graduate with knowledge, potential,  confidence, support systems and growing skill sets.  And, for those who have strong supportive parents, relatives and siblings.......the family unit generally provides an increasing supply of support and networking to help you navigate this journey of life and fulfillment.  Roads of success stretch out before you. 

If you're young, displaced and/or broke..........six months is an eternity.

The reasons for "displaced youth" are vast.........broken homes, abusive fathers PARENTS (not necessarily only fathers... otherwise I agree completely), alcohol, sex, drugs, identity, trauma, conflicts, etc.  And then, cult leaders are conspiring to target your vulnerability.  They build their followings, and livelihoods, on the backs of "good-hearted" followers......preaching and exhorting them to faithfully witness daily to bring others into the fold.  You "earn your stripes" by witnessing and shall be rewarded in eternity for it, they preach.  The cult leaders, the big-wigs, are above the fray of door-to-door witnessing and have far more important things to attend to......but demand that witnessing is one of the highest forms of obedience.  So, cult zealots take to the streets, to college campuses, the local bookstores and nearby parks.......scanning the landscape for isolated individuals. 

The cult offered a pseudo-family......to those who gave servitude.

Every cult and splinter group knows the art of deception.

~~~~~~~~~

 

Sure, the Bible and all was deeply important........but the passions and likeminded youth culture were mesmerizing. 

Around 1974, wierwille's arrogance could not contain itself as the corps program was growing in leaps and bounds.  Visions of grandeur were dancing in his head and he was going to show church elders from New Knoxville to Van Wert, he was exhibiting the great power of God.  His narcissism had bloomed. 

We thought we were free.

We thought we were serving the Lord.........until the scales fell from our eyes.

In twi, four years of in-residence training was an eternity.......of indoctrination.

 

 

 

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On ‎3‎/‎21‎/‎2018 at 11:32 AM, skyrider said:

(SNIP)

The reasons for "displaced youth" are vast.........broken homes, abusive fathers, alcohol, sex, drugs, identity, trauma, conflicts, etc.  And then, cult leaders are conspiring to target your vulnerability.  They build their followings, and livelihoods, on the backs of "good-hearted" followers......preaching and exhorting them to faithfully witness daily to bring others into the fold.  You "earn your stripes" by witnessing and shall be rewarded in eternity for it, they preach.  The cult leaders, the big-wigs, are above the fray of door-to-door witnessing and have far more important things to attend to......but demand that witnessing is one of the highest forms of obedience.  So, cult zealots take to the streets, to college campuses, the local bookstores and nearby parks.......scanning the landscape for isolated individuals. 

The cult offered a pseudo-family......to those who gave servitude.

Every cult and splinter group knows the art of deception.

~~~~~~~~~

(SNIP)

 

Skyrider,  you’ve got that right !

Dads are a big deal in a child’s development…I think of my relationship with my Dad before TWI…my Dad was a medic in WWII and received 2 Purple Hearts…he suffered from PTSD ever since and I believe that contributed in part to the dysfunctionality in our family…He was not abusive, not an alcoholic, never fooled around on Mom, always provided for us, took us on vacations, taught me how to use tools, and turned me on to sci-fi movies after which we would philosophize about stuff. But Dad was always somewhat distant emotionally, often had nightmares – I could hear him down the hall from my bedroom – Mom would explain later “about the war”…which brings up other times when he would be watching a war movie on TV and Mom would get on him about “watching that stuff when you know it gives you nightmares”.

But as I grew older and became influenced by the counterculture of the 60s – the emotional distance between Dad and me increased. I hope all this isn’t too far off topic – but I believe all that was part of what set me up to be attracted to wierwille and his cult; this was my vulnerability…I am very ashamed to confess this – but there were a few times when I remember wishing he could have been my father. I was taken by his charisma and warmth and how he seemed to really connect with people…ugh - gag ! now it just makes me wanna  barf - that I would trade my wonderful, loyal, hardworking and loving Dad for some lying, thieving weasel.

Well, I think I became a truly repentant prodigal son after dumping that fvcking fake “father-in-the-word” wierwille when I left TWI and for my “penance” worked on reconnecting with my Dad until he passed away – and you can tell Sister Dolorosa that has been one of the most enjoyable acts of repentance in the history of New York Catholic Boys.

…again – hope the details of vulnerability relates to your thread.

Edited by T-Bone
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Terrific posts Skyrider and T-bone! Thank you both for such self-reflective insight into the myriad, varied, yet quite profound, psycho-emotional factors which caused so many of the idealistic youth of the 60s to be prime “cult bait”. I was among them as were you, and all of those who spent any amount of time getting gobbled up by all the various “spiritual growth” programs offered by the cult.

The doctrine they manufactured was certainly “self-supporting, self-propagating, and self-governing”, especially adept at manufacturing “spiritual needs” which only their manufactured doctrine could meet. Then, add in the guilt motivation of “Gawd has no hands but our hands blah blah blah yada yada yada in the name of Jesus Christ amen, with a little “what has this ministry cost YOU? How much have YOU given to God? Christ was willing to die! Are YOU??”, and, of course, a lot of fear of “not measuring up” to whatever shifting  “spiritual priorities” were manufactured to maintain the ever-changing standards of “the prorgram(ming)”, moving the goal posts of that “spiritual maturity” which gawd required of his “douloi”, further and further away, requiring more and more $$ and “training” for never-ending programs living only on a “needs basis”. Not a cult, eh?? LOL!

The “Art” of sociopathic, malignant, narcissistic behavior disorders ALWAYS includes “charming” and “engagingly manipulative” personality traits in those so afflicted. Such behavior is not only diagnostic, but also predictive of future pathological behavior as the patient progressively decompensates while the disease progresses, and goes untreated. This hindsight is 20/20 though. It is the result of my post-cult Nursing education and 25 years of practice.

Remember the old adage, “ if only I knew now what I knew then, I woulda, shoulda, coulda.....”? I have learned through life experience that such thinking is self-defeating. It deals with “what IF” instead of “what IS”. That sabotages any productive self-reflection while rationalizing continued behavioral inaction as a “frustrating waste of time”. That inaction and rationalization freezes your identity at whatever stage you are willing to accept in order to relieve the frustration. Usually, that locks folks into the identity formation stage of human development. Normally, that stage occurs during the ages of 21-32. How old were YOU at the height of your TWIt involvement? In the Corpse? Way Home? WOW VET?Bet it was somewhere between age 18-32, unless you had a kid or 2.

There are as many psychoemotional factors contributing to our being “cult bait” as there are individuals who unwittingly became cultists. IMO, posts such as Skyrider and T-bone have posted here, are the greatest weapons we here at the GSC have in our arsenal of FACTS and eyewitness accounts from honest, altruistic, and concerned ex-wayfers, of the other side of the TWIt stohree. TWIt and it’s offshoots hate this site because it exposes the purulent underbellies of each and all of their cults. The Truth only hurts those who stand against it! Selah...........peace.

 

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20 hours ago, DontWorryBeHappy said:

Terrific posts Skyrider and T-bone! Thank you both for such self-reflective insight into the myriad, varied, yet quite profound, psycho-emotional factors which caused so many of the idealistic youth of the 60s to be prime “cult bait”. I was among them as were you, and all of those who spent any amount of time getting gobbled up by all the various “spiritual growth” programs offered by the cult.

The doctrine they manufactured was certainly “self-supporting, self-propagating, and self-governing”, especially adept at manufacturing “spiritual needs” which only their manufactured doctrine could meet. Then, add in the guilt motivation .......

.......SNIP.......

There are as many psychoemotional factors contributing to our being “cult bait” as there are individuals who unwittingly became cultists. IMO, posts such as Skyrider and T-bone have posted here, are the greatest weapons we here at the GSC have in our arsenal of FACTS and eyewitness accounts from honest, altruistic, and concerned ex-wayfers, of the other side of the TWIt stohree. TWIt and it’s offshoots hate this site because it exposes the purulent underbellies of each and all of their cults. The Truth only hurts those who stand against it! Selah...........peace.

 

Thanks DWBH....

Yes, TWIt and its offshoots hate this site.  None of them have a site where open thought, discussion and questions are in public view.

And lately, here at GSC......there has been many new posters coming to this site.  Some are second generation kids who were raised in twi and are now grappling with the aftermath of this evolving cult that has consumed their wayfaring parents and relatives.  Adding to this complexity are the dozens upon dozens of offshoots with their books and classes claiming that THEY hold the spiritual mantle of truth.

Stop the merry-go-round.........and let's take a walk.

In the late 60's, several factors emerged that contributed to the rise of cult leaders and those attracted to cults (lifestyle and doctrine). 

  • The socio-dynamic of church involvement was changing rapidly. 
  • The counterculture of the 60s was a diaspora into the '70s.
  • Technology was advancing......pfal filmed on 16mm, then VHS-format
  • Displaced youth.......searching for meaning, acceptance, belonging

Note:  One generation of displaced youth propelled twi forward to the cult that it is today.

Wierwille cut ties with his Van Wert Church in 1957.......to follow in the steps of many elders, and contemporaries, who traveled across the country teaching at retreats and church-related seminars. Some of the men on this list and the year that wierwille encountered them:  E. Stanley Jones (1944), Rufus Moseley (1946), Perry Hayden (1946), Glenn Clark (1948), J.E. Stiles (1951), Starr Daily (1952), and B.G. Leonard (1953).  For thirteen (13) years, wierwille was taking notes and gleaning from their ministries......all while he was on Van Wert Church payroll.  And, it seems apparent........that Leonard's foundational class in 1953 is what spurred the impetus of wierwille to, finally, break from the denominational structure.

From 1958-1967, wierwille taught live pfal classes and Mal George helped teach a handful of them.  Going into their tenth year........and the results were miniscule.  Nearly 80% of students from all those classes never committed to The Way, Inc.  The strategy of reaching church-people "with the word" was a bust......wierwille's independent undertaking was barely paying the bills.  And, the BRC was a non-descript rural building with no church bells or steeple........and very few people.

So, wierwille threw caution to the wind in 1967.......and stared into intense, glaring lights to teach and film a 36-hour class.  Strapped for cash, time and "borrowed" furniture, wierwille was under immense pressure to get this class filmed in an allotted time frame.  Crazy as all this was......the confluence of technology, the counterculture hippie movement, and displaced youth provided a wave of interest, excitement and involvement to wierwille's rogue underpinnings.  Youth leaders and guitar singers bridged the gap between homiletics and hippies........and the displaced youth soon found a place in an Ohio commune.

Note:  One generation of youth leaders and guitar singers bridged the gap between homiletics, hippies and holy spirit.

Wierwille NEEDED the youth far more than they needed him or his teachings.  He exploited their involvement and their vulnerabilities.  Many young leaders came and left.......but their zealous involvement and connections brought waves upon waves of other displaced youth longing for belonging.  And, even though the zero corps was shut down....... those corps from 1-5 went forward with ten years of solid commitment......AND THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING.  In their zeal, WOWs beget more WOWs......and corps beget more corps.  The *youth factor* was the driving force of the movement.......not wierwille.  And, those early years (1968-1974) at headquarters would infiltrate the minds of scores upon scores of corps grads to follow.

The displaced youth had found their "family".......and a place to call home.

As headquarters grew into a full-fledged compound......it became self-contained.  You didn't need to go anywhere, for anything.......except beer and wine.  Heck, even George Jess wine was known to be available to a select few.  Hardly needed to leave grounds......

  • Three square meals a day......
  • Snack shop......and grilled burgers after meetings
  • In-house entertainment.........indoor/outdoor, bands, dancing, fun
  • Personal services.........haircuts, laundry, taxes, dentist at Indiana Campus
  • Car services.......help with repairs / barter services
  • Who needed much money?........many lived on-grounds and walked to work

Note:  One generation stayed so long......that they started having babies.

Corps were graduating year after year and getting married.  By 1976,  a second generation of "cult-babies" are being pushed around in strollers.  No, it wasn't many at first.......but six years later, by 1982.......babies and strollers were everywhere at corps week and roa.  And, why not......the youth had "found a home."  The displaced youth had moved from transition and were transferring these perceptions and identities to this pseudo-family.  Wierwille addressed aspects of "this place is your home" on many a night owl.  I knew many who considered Mrs. Wierwille as the mother that they never had, or knew.  Others, whose father or mother died prematurely, took refuge in this "Uncle Harry Nostalgia" and was furthered when the Corps Chalet was being built.......that corps could stay for a couple days whenever they were passing by.

Not only the commune lifestyle, but the doctrine.........I remember several times when wierwille taught about ownership versus stewardship.  Why do you need to OWN things?.....wierwille claimed.  It only slows you down, burdens you with the world.  It's far better to have access of the ministry's stuff, than to own something yourself.  Here you get to enjoy the way woods, the house of his healing presence, and all......without the expense and maintenance of it.  All those years of evolving rhetoric......1) Burn the Ballast, 2) Burn the Chaff, to 3) Uncle Harry Day.  Get rid of anything that is holding you back.......record albums, yearbooks, instruments, trinkets/jewelry, worldly books, family heirlooms and keepsakes, etc.  Each year, around March 17th..... the communal fire at headquarters would roar as we rationalized the process and felt heavy guilt to obey.  The manufactured doctrine and lifestyle was set ablaze......until 1985, when the death of the man and his fire ceased.

What started out as a search for meaning, acceptance and belonging..........yielded years of detours, dead-ends and blind alleys. 

So, yeah........there's a lot to unpack from these cult travels.

 

.

Edited by skyrider
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On ‎3‎/‎22‎/‎2018 at 11:39 AM, DontWorryBeHappy said:

Remember the old adage, “ if only I knew now what I knew then, I woulda, shoulda, coulda.....”?

it's backwards, but the intended meaning is clear enough.  And which of us hasn't had those thoughts from time to time?  Given that they're probably the normal result of reflecting back on something in order to learn more of how or why it went down the way it did (and pausing to wonder what life might be like now had different choices or actions been taken)... perhaps such things only become "self-defeating" when there's a failure to adjust our thinking and perception -  not just of what happened, but just as important - of life going forward.  Live and learn (another old adage...)

On ‎3‎/‎22‎/‎2018 at 11:39 AM, DontWorryBeHappy said:

The Truth only hurts those who stand against it!

Can't say that I wholly agree with that.  But, perhaps your intent in capitalizing it was to tie it only to Christ.  Seems there's just too many times I've seen (and experienced) it where the truth not only hurts... it hurts a lot.  To the point of many, many tears.

Speaking of old adages, another is "Times heals all wounds."  Though we might agree that it's actually God (not time) that heals, there is something to be said for the soothing effect of time on the wounds that seem to result from hearing or learning the truth.  And there are certain wounds (of a different nature) that time may do little or nothing for.  Fortunately, pain (actual pain) is not the same in our thoughts or memory as it is when experienced.

 

Edited by TLC
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5 hours ago, skyrider said:

Note:  One generation of displaced youth propelled twi forward to the cult that it is today.

I don't think it was only the "displaced" youth that were attracted to it, or a part of fueling its growth.  Granted, it was, in many respects, what the older generations of conservatism (and status quo) here in this country might deem to be rebellious... against capitalism, materialism, and the war. (that may not be all inclusive, but you get the drift.) Times, they were a cha___n__gin'. 

The future was terribly uncertain, and part of that meant... looking for a better way.  We lacked answers.  The denominational churches at the time were (by and large) dying.  Cults were on the rise.   How many of us were searching?  Well, easier to ask... which of us weren't?  So many things and events (Woodstock, for example) were anomalies. 

And (for the record), VPW himself said that he was a product of the times. Whatever that meant (or allowed), y'all can figure out or debate.  Consider how many were searching for answers... which for some undoubtedly meant, hungering for truth... and ask yourself, Would God allow an entire generation (the baby boomers) die of starvation?  Well, people typically don't die of starvation; they die of malnutrition.       

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On ‎3‎/‎23‎/‎2018 at 4:19 PM, TLC said:

I don't think it was only the "displaced" youth that were attracted to it, or a part of fueling its growth.  Granted, it was, in many respects, what the older generations of conservatism (and status quo) here in this country might deem to be rebellious... against capitalism, materialism, and the war. (that may not be all inclusive, but you get the drift.) Times, they were a cha___n__gin'.       

Well, I was using the term "displaced" in a general brushstroke of the people and the times.......

More categorically, those who were involved around that 1969-1972 era give reference to .........youth, hippies, kids, druggies, dopers, displaced Christians, searchers, etc.

 

Jim Doop, The Way West and VPW

 

On ‎6‎/‎15‎/‎2006 at 9:21 AM, Sunesis said:

If you do a search on the net re: Jesus Movement or Jesus Freaks, you can find the history of a true revival among us young kids that was a true movement of God in the mid'60s through early '70s.

As time goes on, I believe it is us who have loved God since those days and our kids and grandkids who may be the last generation before the Lord returns.

The Jesus movement was a true revival, which has not been seen since in the U.S. Wise, Heefner, Dopp, Lonnie Frisbee, and a few others, were the ones God worked with to bring this about. It all started with a vision and revelation to Lonnie Frisbee, who won literally thousands to the Lord in California. He was 18, 19? I consider Jim Dopp to be not only a spiritual man, but a founder, and historical figure of this movement, along with Frisbee, Heefner and a handful of others. Jim Dopp is living history.

My take, from what I know is that these men, inspired of God, started a true revival.

VP reads about it and went to California for the sole reason of finding these men. He did not go for loving reasons. He plays the class for them, Frisbee and others leave after a few sessions and decide to keep doing what they were doing, the result is the Vineyard here and in Canada.

Dopp and Heefner liked the class, go to H.Q. and one does the Way West, the other the Way East. I was there - a "groovy Christian of Rye" in high school in the Way East in NY. I have never seen another revival like this in my lifetime. It truly was amazing.

VP promises them there will be little intereference in their ministries.

Then, VP sits back and waits.

He waits for these men to grow THEIR ministries.

Once it gets big enough, he fires them - publically. He humiliates, shames and demeans them, in front of the body of Christ, and the money is now sent to H.Q. VP now takes over.

My feeling is, VP hijacked these mens' ministries. VP was a wolf in sheep's clothing, - he waited until the evangelization these men and their ministries were doing for God resulted in thousands of people being won to Christ through them. VP waited until it was exploding then fired them, and took their ministries for himself. He was able to get two of the founders of a true revival of God to our baby-boom generation, away from the true movement and into his.

The men were young, they loved God and his Word, and were manipulated by VP. They woke up soon enough though.

Compare the fruit of those men who, in the meetings and class VP ran for them when he first visited, decided not to go with him and continue with their ministries. Result?

The Vineyard is still thriving and growing today, TWI is a dead ministry.

Regardless though, Dopp, Heefner, and others will have their rewards in heaven.

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Lots of people post about wierwille's shenanigans.......and how he hijacked the ministries of Heefner and Doop.

And.......the WOW program was instituted because vpw didn't think people were rising up to hear and obey God's callings.

 

On ‎3‎/‎25‎/‎2005 at 9:24 AM, Tom said:

I wonder about the relationship between the Way East & West & HQ.

It was definitely before the way was incorporated. In those days - in my mind, at least - VP wasn't the big dog back then. Jesus was.

I remember the Way Corps light bearers came to NY (in '72 or '73?) to "set us straight" because we weren't following the way tree properly. One of them went witnessing with my fellowship & took me aside & asked me if I was loyal to Dr. W. That question had no place in my mind. I told him that God had placed me in a position to feed all these people that were showing up for fellowship & that I was like an animal that eats light & feeds light to these people & that was all I cared about. If VP gave me light to feed them - fine; if Heefner gave me light to feed them - fine. It was the light that mattered. I told him that I hadn't confessed VP as Lord, but Jesus.

Personally, I believe Jesus had set up what I referred to as bands of ministering - the joints and bands referred to in Ephesians by which the whole body has nourishment ministered to it from the head, Jesus. It was an organic thing - a beauty to behold. I quickly had over 30 people in my fellowship & it was like I always knew where everyone was & how they were doing. I also knew whom I should go to for what - depending on my need.

THe Way Corps light bearers came in & just chopped all that up - replaced it with the lines of authority of the way tree.

That was in Long Island after Heefner left in Rye & Perez left in Long Island.

My understanding was that God told Heefner that if he went to NY to move the Word, there would be a great following of the Lord Jesus Christ that would rise up there.

Perez came to NY - Long Island - from California - for the same reason - God told him to go to NY & that the Word would move there if he did.

All that very effective God telling people to go places to move the Word was, of course, replaced by the WOW program. As I remember it, VP said that he instituted the WOW program because people weren't rising up to go where God was telling them to go. It was to help them get over their fear, & it was just supposed to be for 2 or 3 years until people matured in their believing to follow God's lead on their own. How the fambobula are people supposed to rise up to follow God's direct direction when VP just instituted that all such guidance was to flow down from HQ? Duh!! Obviously THAT never happened.

My memory of the centralization of the ABS is similar. VP complained that immature believers were abusing the ABS - & poor little VP had no way of knowing where the ABS was going. That summer, Perez & his assistant, Eddie Goebel, a couple of sharp fellas, put together a system whereby VP could track the ABS. At summer school - I guess in '73 - they presented the plan to VP. I remember them coming back after meeting with VP - they were bummed. VP had made up his mind that all the money was going to go directly to HQ. I don't know about him saying that it was OTHERS who moved him to do that against his wishes - I find THAT very hard to believe. He might have said that, but phffft - in those days VP was all about becoming the top dog. That was the direct effect of the WOW program, the "takeover" in Kansas, California, & NY, the centralization of the ABS, the incorporation of the way, the insitition of the way tree. All those moves replaced Jesus with VP, & changed the character of the Way West & East into something that looked similar, but was, in nature and character, very different. I do remember Perez & Goebel said that VP had said that the centralization of the ABS was only going to be for a brief period until people rose up to be maturely responsible enough to hadn't the money themselves. Again, like the WOW program, THAT never happened. How the heck were all these people doing such a great job with the souls of people when they couldn't handle the unrighteous mammon? Isn't that supposed to be impossible according to the bible? VP left them in charge of souls, but took the money. Just not right, biblically!

Again, I wonder about the legal relationship of the Ways East & West to HQ. It seemed to me that Doop, Heefner, & Perez just sort of handed the thing over to VP when we all should have told him just to kiss off, but maybe there was something other than VP being THE MAN working, something legal.

Still, wouldn't it have been royal if everyone said, "Fine, VP, you keep it," and all left & kept doing what we were doing anyway?

Why didn't we?

BTW, I wish I knew who all you 5th Corps people were. I was in that 1st year in the 1st Special Corps.

Tom

Edited by skyrider

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This was Jim Doop's last post:

.....bold-faced for emphasis

 

Quote

Originally posted by jimdoop:

Since it's my birthday, I would like to make a brief note. I turned 68 today- the same age as Victor when he passed away. I made my stand against him when he went back on his word and changed what he had taught me and many others. THAT was when the love and grace went out of his ministry. He set himself as the MAN OF GOD, and stopped acknowledging other men of God's contributions to his spiritual development.

I saw this coming in 1969. 1971 was when I heard his plan-how he was going to take over the states rights of all the fellowships, and he was going to control all of the states and their MONEY.

(That is, was, and always will be the root of ALL evil.) I was receiving more money into THE WAY WEST then he was at headquarters. The agreement was that I-"THE WAY WEST" would send H.Q. 15% each month, for abundant sharing each month. I did this every month. I kept my word.

I had spent 15 years in the "real world", and had learned enough to know that people lie, cheat, and steal. Victor was so sincere that I gave him a chance to prove himself. I believe that is what most of us did. As things worked out, he failed. His word wasn't any good. He taught one thing and did another.

All of are hearts have been broken-but not by God. His Word is always faithful. His Word is always truth. His promises work just as well today as they always have for getting the rent or house payment paid. Please all of you keep your brain and heart on God's Word. He loves us and will always bring us to victory. Filled with the power of the HOLY SPIRIT. we THE BELIEVERS, have been given enormous power in this age of DARKNESS. Be prepared. LOVE GOD AND YOUR FAMILY OF GOD.

Thanks for putting up with me, and I hope you heard my message. We cannot expect any help from anyone other then from GOD. If you know of anything better, please contact me, .. at jddpp@yahoo.com

Serving Him,

Jimmy Doop.

2005, September 8th.

 

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Not saying they (Doop and Hefner) didn't have a significant impact on TWI's growth... I'm simply not persuaded it's as much as some here seem to want to portray it as being.  Probably because I don't think it was (in the mind of many back then, if not the majority) any particular individual's ministry.  At least, not at first.  Granted, somewhere along the way it transitioned from "the ministry of reconciliation" into "the Way ministry"... evolving as VPW's ministry (TWI), or into Wade's, or Hefner's, or Lynn's, or Finnegan's,  or _________ (fill in the blank)'s ministry.

Seems to me that 'bout the time anyone "takes the reins" of a particular group or movement (however it's labeled), the head of the body is no longer the head (at least, not in practice.)  What tells your little pinky finger to bend in such and such a manner?  The hand? Or the arm?  Or the mouth? Nope.  It's the head, and only the head.  Without Christ at the helm, how "spiritual" are the actions of anyone... or any ministry... going to be?  

Edited by TLC
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On ‎3‎/‎21‎/‎2018 at 12:32 PM, skyrider said:

The reasons for "displaced youth" are vast.........broken homes, abusive fathers, alcohol, sex, drugs, identity, trauma, conflicts, etc.  And then, cult leaders are conspiring to target your vulnerability.  They build their followings, and livelihoods, on the backs of "good-hearted" followers......preaching and exhorting them to faithfully witness daily to bring others into the fold.  You "earn your stripes" by witnessing and shall be rewarded in eternity for it, they preach.  The cult leaders, the big-wigs, are above the fray of door-to-door witnessing and have far more important things to attend to......but demand that witnessing is one of the highest forms of obedience.  So, cult zealots take to the streets, to college campuses, the local bookstores and nearby parks.......scanning the landscape for isolated individuals. 

The cult offered a pseudo-family......to those who gave servitude.

Every cult and splinter group knows the art of deception.

~~~~~~~~~

A quick review of wierwille and twi sheds light:

  • Wierwille pastored in Paine, OH and Van Wert, OH.......and was contentious against church board
  • Like a caged animal, wierwille was constantly pressing "the edges of his confinement" to find a way out
  • He labeled it "spiritually searching"........others might label it "narcissistic"
  • In 1953, he stole BG Leonard's foundational class and taught it as his own
  • In December 1957, he breaks from church to a class-based ministry
  • Teaching 10-12 classes per year (1958-1966).......most went back to their churches
  • In 1967, wierwille films pfal......and then needed "instructors" to oversee film classes

It is apparent that wierwille struggled immensely for ten years to get this work jump-started.  All those years of traveling and teaching live classes yielded miniscule results.......and they struggled to pay the bills.  Even though wierwille was adept in homiletics, there were few from those nearby towns who desired to venture over to hear wierwille's teachings.  Of course, his reputation as a rabble-rousing youngster and womanizer was rumored far and wide which didn't help matters when he moved his operation from Van Wert back to the family farm.

The filmed class extended the reach of twi........and, when a few guitar players and firebrands took the stage, twi never was the same. 

Several times, when I was around Dorothy Owens or escorting her......she talked about how the hippies and younger generation revolutionized twi's thinking and standards in the late '60s.   Barefoot and out of control, they started coming to the summer camps.  Hell.....they didn't even know proper etiquette or protocol.  So, Dorothy, being the retired school teacher and all, was assigned to teach classes on dining room etiquette, proper utensils, dress and protocol. 

Looking back.......I firmly believe that it was *the youth culture* in twi, and surrounding its events, that was so enticing.  In utopian bliss, this cult-ure was to refrain from all negatives......everything was "great."  How are you today?  "As He is".......or....."In the heavenlies" was the reply.  Smiles, and hugs and greeted with kisses.......what's not to like?  Not a care in the world (God's got it covered.)  A world without responsibility.  Rock of Ages camping......where you stayed up half the night talking with others from distant lands.  The youth factor begot MORE youth.  Girls and guys everywhere......on an eternal "spring break."  Who needs Ft. Lauderdale when you've got the rock of ages?   It's not necessarily the beach that's the destination.......it's the people and the drunken fun.

Sure, the Bible and all was deeply important........but the passions and likeminded youth culture were mesmerizing. 

Around 1974, wierwille's arrogance could not contain itself as the corps program was growing in leaps and bounds.  Visions of grandeur were dancing in his head and he was going to show church elders from New Knoxville to Van Wert, he was exhibiting the great power of God.  His narcissism had bloomed. 

We thought we were free.

We thought we were serving the Lord.........until the scales fell from our eyes.

 

 

 

Thank you for this post, Skyrider. You sum up what the overall atmosphere was at that time, and it had a little "utopian" feel to it for sure. I was at HQ in the 2nd Corps, 1971 - 1973. We felt invincible for God. We felt our goal was what God wanted, "The Word Over the World." But it was a man's goal, an egotistical, ridiculous idea ... to put it mildly.

 You mention local ministers at that time. Recently, I got a note from a current minister in New Knoxville, Ohio. He gave me permission to publish it on my blog, so here's the link if you're interested https://charleneedge.com/echo-in-new-knoxville-ohio-minister-reads-undertow/

 

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11 hours ago, penworks said:

Thank you for this post, Skyrider. You sum up what the overall atmosphere was at that time, and it had a little "utopian" feel to it for sure. I was at HQ in the 2nd Corps, 1971 - 1973. We felt invincible for God. We felt our goal was what God wanted, "The Word Over the World." But it was a man's goal, an egotistical, ridiculous idea ... to put it mildly.

 You mention local ministers at that time. Recently, I got a note from a current minister in New Knoxville, Ohio. He gave me permission to publish it on my blog, so here's the link if you're interested https://charleneedge.com/echo-in-new-knoxville-ohio-minister-reads-undertow/

 

Beautiful letter by a local New Knoxville pastor.  I'm going to quote part of it:

"Anyway, let me assure you that there are some ex-Way members who have left and found other church homes in this community. Some are members with me in the ministry of NKUMC. Some of them were with the Way in the 70s and 80s.

May the Lord continue to provide to you the healing that only He can deliver. He has obviously already begun this work, and my guess is that He did it without the exclusive help of an “anointed” clergy guy!

Have a great weekend!

Dennis Gaertner, Pastor"

---------------------------------------

To me the distinction between how Dennis works and how the Way AND R&R work is Dennis is perfectly comfortable letting Jesus Christ be the head of the body and work in that capacity to heal.  

To the Board of Pharisees of the Way, and the elitist excommunicated from the R&R group, they don't think this way.  To them, deliverance comes not through the work of Jesus Christ as head of the body and to work His capacity to heal, it comes through your behind in a chair listening to them "teach the Word".  It comes through their manipulation and control, where they want to take advantage of the simple.   It comes through "working a plan" that the head Pharisees came up with a decade ago.  

Antichrists all.  Putting themselves above their savior.  

Maybe some Way Staff members should go hang out a NKUMC and make some friends.  They will be the only ones they have once they are shunned by the Way.

Thx for sharing penworks.

 

 

 

Edited by chockfull
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On ‎5‎/‎21‎/‎2018 at 11:20 AM, penworks said:

Thank you for this post, Skyrider. You sum up what the overall atmosphere was at that time, and it had a little "utopian" feel to it for sure. I was at HQ in the 2nd Corps, 1971 - 1973. We felt invincible for God. We felt our goal was what God wanted, "The Word Over the World." But it was a man's goal, an egotistical, ridiculous idea ... to put it mildly.

 You mention local ministers at that time. Recently, I got a note from a current minister in New Knoxville, Ohio. He gave me permission to publish it on my blog, so here's the link if you're interested https://charleneedge.com/echo-in-new-knoxville-ohio-minister-reads-undertow/

 

Thanks Penworks........

Just so you know, I've gone back and re-read most of your book.  So much detail.  Thanks.

I know that I repeat myself......but, for me, it was NOT the class that kept me involved all those years.  Nor was it wierwille.  It was *the youth factor*........hundreds of young men and women who were high on life and living.  NOT just the way corps either.  Hundreds of advanced class grads were right there with us, in the thick of things, giving diligence to serve the Lord.

In looking at Jim Doop's last post.......it is poignant it that *The Way West* did NOT need wierwille to thrive.  The Way West was dynamic with the spiritual leadership and direction of Jim Doop!!!  Wierwille was a shyster, an opportunist.......who stole and co-opted his way thru life. 

And that R&R Railroad.......Moynihans, Forts, Horneys, etc. are about three decades behind in figuring it out.  They probably never will.  Either dumbdang wierwille-idolatry or two-fold the opportunists and evil workers of the mother cult.

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Get ready to watch the A&E special program next week on Cults and Extreme Belief. Janja Lalich, Phd is interviewed. She enthusiastically read and blurbed my memoir, Undertow, before I published it, and with this televised interview, she will help more people understand the recruitment process.

It airs on Monday, May 28th at 10 pm, then continues at its regular time on Tuesday, May 29th at 10 pm.

Here she is in a promo clip: I posted it on my Facebook page 

You can "like" the A&E page on Facebook. Cults and Extreme Belief

About Undertow:

“A magnificently written life story that sheds light on the enticing ways of cult recruitment and indoctrination ... An important and must-read book—more gripping than a mystery, Undertow will sweep you away.”—Janja Lalich, PhD. Professor Emerita of Sociology at California State University, Chico, author of Bounded Choice: True Believers and Charismatic Cults

 

 

Edited by penworks
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4 hours ago, penworks said:

Get ready to watch the A&E special program next week on Cults and Extreme Belief. Janja Lalich, Phd is interviewed. She enthusiastically read and blurbed my memoir, Undertow, before I published it, and with this televised interview, she will help more people understand the recruitment process.

It airs on Monday, May 28th at 10 pm, then continues at its regular time on Tuesday, May 29th at 10 pm.

Here she is in a promo clip: I posted it on my Facebook page 

You can "like" the A&E page on Facebook. Cults and Extreme Belief

About Undertow:

“A magnificently written life story that sheds light on the enticing ways of cult recruitment and indoctrination ... An important and must-read book—more gripping than a mystery, Undertow will sweep you away.”—Janja Lalich, PhD. Professor Emerita of Sociology at California State University, Chico, author of Bounded Choice: True Believers and Charismatic Cults

 

 

Direct link to the video clip on Facebook.

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The second episode was on Jehovah Witnesses. The third one coming up on Tuesday, June 5, will feature several people from different groups. Which ones they are is not disclosed on the A&E website. I am eager to tune in and find out!

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Future episodes include the Moonies/Unification Church and Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints(Warren Jeffers).

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8 hours ago, penworks said:

The second episode was on Jehovah Witnesses. The third one coming up on Tuesday, June 5, will feature several people from different groups. Which ones they are is not disclosed on the A&E website. I am eager to tune in and find out!

Watched both episodes. Brutally honest. Thanks for the heads up penworks. 

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On 5/31/2018 at 12:35 PM, Thomas Loy Bumgarner said:

Future episodes include the Moonies/Unification Church and Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints(Warren Jeffers).

next one is the Children of God

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Too bad they don't cover TWI.  But it's so inconsequential now that there's not much to cover.  More Ex-TWIs than current "members".  Can't say "members" can we.  No members in the Way, only the BOD.  But as a non-member you must commit your mind, your soul, your life.  But you're not a member!

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Wish I could watch this program, but it's not available here. 

Aha!  Just found some items by Lalich on YouTube.  Might be worth a look.

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17 hours ago, Twinky said:

Wish I could watch this program, but it's not available here. 

Aha!  Just found some items by Lalich on YouTube.  Might be worth a look.

Do you have computer access to A&E television's website?

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On 3/21/2018 at 9:32 AM, skyrider said:

The reasons for "displaced youth" are vast.........broken homes, abusive fathers, alcohol, sex, drugs, identity, trauma, conflicts, etc.  And then, cult leaders are conspiring to target your vulnerability.  They build their followings, and livelihoods, on the backs of "good-hearted" followers......preaching and exhorting them to faithfully witness daily to bring others into the fold.  You "earn your stripes" by witnessing and shall be rewarded in eternity for it, they preach.  The cult leaders, the big-wigs, are above the fray of door-to-door witnessing and have far more important things to attend to......but demand that witnessing is one of the highest forms of obedience.  So, cult zealots take to the streets, to college campuses, the local bookstores and nearby parks.......scanning the landscape for isolated individuals. 

The cult offered a pseudo-family......to those who gave servitude.

Every cult and splinter group knows the art of deception.

For the record, every young adult can be vulnerable.  Did any of you see this story tonight?

High School senior ditched by his friends on prom night.

John Richards, a DJ for Seattle radio station KEXP, read a letter on May 31 about the high school senior, Jackson Loop, that had been sent by his mother, Sheila Loop; he also played the mom’s request — LCD Soundsystem’s “All My Friends.” Jackson had been excited to go to prom with a group of band friends, the letter explained, but on Saturday, May 26, the day of the prom, he got a group text saying they weren’t doing pre-prom pictures, so he waited until 6 p.m. to get dressed up in his brand-new, custom-tailored suit.
 

“And then he waited, and he waited, and he waited,” Sheila wrote. “No one responded to his texts or picked up his calls. His younger brother and sister and I watched him as he started to realize that he was being ditched and I have to tell you that in my 18 yrs of parenting I have never felt so much pain. It was mixed with an indescribable amount of rage. This was… painful. Then, after he changed out of his suit, he saw all of their pre-prom pictures on Facebook, and he all but collapsed in the kitchen.”

The saddest thing is that Jackson ultimately wasn’t too surprised that he’d been treated this way. He had often told his mother that he felt like an “invisible, throwaway loser.” His whole life she’s witnessed his struggle to fit in.

-----
[The good news is that Jackson had other friends...]

But there was a happy ending to Jackson’s story — thanks to another, more authentic group of friends, made up of juniors in the band. They saw what happened and sought to right the wrong.

So that Monday, after doing some CrossFit to blow off steam, Jackson headed over to Sophie’s house for what he thought was a “regular hangout.” His friends, all dressed in formalwear, greeted him at the door, shouting, “Happy fake prom!”

[full story with video at the link above]

Anyway, the bottom line as it relates to this thread about cult deception is to illustrate the intensity of needing to belong.

Edited by Rocky

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