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RW67

TWI BGSU New Knoxville

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I thought I'd chime in after stumbling onto this which brought back some memories.

I was first introduced to TWI in the early/mid-2000's in Bowling Green, OH at BGSU. I was invited to attend fellowship / bible study, but had no idea it was TWI. They didn't seem to like to call it that, or a church, etc. I noticed a lot of the people I was meeting were only close friends with other members. They had friends, but their closest friends were all members.

I noticed a couple things though. I felt like some of them didn't fully agree with everything, but they were too concerned about screwing up their group of friends all associated with TWI. 

I remember "messing around" with a girl who was very involved in TWI. She was paranoid people in her "branch" would find out, so anything we did had to appear like it was innocent.

The funny thing is, I messed around with another girl in TWI also, while one of my friends did as well. It was all the same. They were all doing things that went against their cohorts, and they were all keeping it secret from each other, even though they were all doing the same thing.

I noticed something odd though. Some of the girls from New Knoxville looked like sisters but they were not related. I thought this was strange because it's a small town and their families had moved to New Knoxville in the 70's, so none of them were from the area originally.

Then, I saw the father of one of the girls. First, they didn't look alike and even more perplexing to me was she was slightly taller than her father. That's not normal. Usually a female is shorter than her dad, almost always.

Recently I read about the wife swapping that was going on in the early 80's and it struck me that it's plausible these children of TWI might not actually be the biological children of their mother's husband. (Assumed father).

Moving along. I was never invited to any of the fellowship nights by the 2 different girls I was messing around with (roughly the same time, maybe it was, I was a horny college guy).

Eventually a guy I was working with at BGSU invited me to come along. It spooked me off though. They acted very open in public, but in the fellowship, it seemed like the views were a lot more strict and not as accepting of traditional beliefs. Then they spoke in tongues. That did it for me. I thought they were freaks and hypocrites.  I didn't believe that BS.

I remember feeling like they were watching me though. It always felt cult-like, but without being one of those obvious cults. They could plausibly deny being a cult through the ministry but the whole structure and conditions have all the hallmarks of being a cult.

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Are you asking if TWI is a cult? The answer, of course, is yes. Unless you ask them. In that case, they'll tell you they are a bible study group or a teaching ministry or whatever it is they currently say to be euphemistic. And, just so you know, they've been known to use a recruitment technique called "date and switch"  to proselytize new members. I don't know if they still do this  but, in essence, the idea is to feign personal interest in you. Once you are more committed to the group than your relationship with the individual, they move on to the next prospect. Speaking in tongues was supposed to be the hook that snagged you. I'm glad it didn't.

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Hello, RW67!   I hope you enjoy your visit. You're certainly welcome to stay. We have information to answer all sorts of questions, and we socialize as well. (Scroll down to the Games forum to see us hanging out.)   

 

I had some thoughts about some things you said, I hope you don't mind me responding to them.

 

"I was first introduced to TWI in the early/mid-2000's in Bowling Green, OH at BGSU. I was invited to attend fellowship / bible study, but had no idea it was TWI. They didn't seem to like to call it that, or a church, etc. I noticed a lot of the people I was meeting were only close friends with other members. They had friends, but their closest friends were all members. "

The time says a lot about the interactions. In the 70s into the early 80s, things were pretty much in their heyday at twi.  Once we hit 1985,  we got into "the fog years." In 1985, vpw died, and some leaders tried to speak up about abuses and corruption.  That didn't get any results, so they took off.  lcm- vpw's successor and President of the group at the time- described himself as wandering around in a fog for a few years.  Around 1989, lcm drew a line in the sand, and demanded a personal oath of loyalty to himself from each twi leader. (One phoned him to say that it sounded like that was what he was demanding, and lcm more than confirmed it.)  This resulted in about 80% of the group's leaders leaving or being kicked out for refusal to swear this oath, and about 80% of the group that was around a year before left with them, leaving twi a fraction of what it was before (20% and dropping.)  lcm spent the next few years ineptly flailing around and thinking any fool thought he had was directly from God Almighty- leading to orders that made the group bleed money and hemorrhage more members.   Eventually, he was kicked out by his wife and rfr for a number of reasons, most of them kept secret, and none of them actually explained to the rank-and-file. (They found out anyway by coming here.)  The 2000s were pretty much the dry toast version of twi.  rfr has no personality, and can't bring in someone WITH personality because she'd live in fear they would replace her. So, the place gets less skilled and less relevant, and more boring, every year.  

So, the 2000s was rfr era, micro-managing at hq, and boredom everywhere, while rfr lived off the ministry.

twi'ers, by the 1990s, pretty much only associated with outsiders to recruit them or as needed, and socializing was kept to a minimum.  By the 2000s, outside socializing was disapproved of, but some people flew under the radar.

I think it's fascinating that they never wanted to use their group's name.  I've seen that before, and, yes, it's a warning sign you're dealing with a cult, or a scam. But I repeat myself.

 

"I noticed a couple things though. I felt like some of them didn't fully agree with everything, but they were too concerned about screwing up their group of friends all associated with TWI. "

Involvement with twi, for much of its existence, can be characterized by what insiders are afraid of.  They're always afraid of being kicked out and losing their only friends, their family, and what they're told is their only hope of pleasing God.  So, they swallowed their disagreements and were able to stay in.

 

"I remember "messing around" with a girl who was very involved in TWI. She was paranoid people in her "branch" would find out, so anything we did had to appear like it was innocent.

The funny thing is, I messed around with another girl in TWI also, while one of my friends did as well. It was all the same. They were all doing things that went against their cohorts, and they were all keeping it secret from each other, even though they were all doing the same thing. "

 

An ex-Mormon once told me a joke about how inviting a Mormon along to fish will mean they will drink all the beer- unless you invite TWO Mormons along, in which case neither of them will drink ANY beer because they'll be scrutinized by each other and unable to have a drink.   twi seems to have developed to that point as well. Want any fun? Better have it in secret.

 

"Eventually a guy I was working with at BGSU invited me to come along. It spooked me off though. They acted very open in public, but in the fellowship, it seemed like the views were a lot more strict and not as accepting of traditional beliefs. Then they spoke in tongues. That did it for me. I thought they were freaks and hypocrites.  I didn't believe that BS.

I remember feeling like they were watching me though. It always felt cult-like, but without being one of those obvious cults. They could plausibly deny being a cult through the ministry but the whole structure and conditions have all the hallmarks of being a cult."

 

Being a cult makes it easier to pass for a cult.  :)    When socializing/ "witnessing",  the group will try to pretend they're fun, alive, relevant. Once you show up at a meeting, you'll find it's more boring than any church you left (or, at best, just as boring.)   Everyone there is scrutinized, and the meetings are rigid and dry.    It amazes me how often twi'ers will refuse to advise people about "mannies" before they attend their first meeting (speaking in tongues, etc.)    That backfires when people have no chance to get used to the idea before seeing it.  But it makes sense if you don't see PEOPLE but only see recruits, and only see them as RESOURCES.      BTW, whether "mannies" are of God or faked in some way is a subject we've discussed here a number of times, with people on both sides of the issue.  (I was on the "it's real" side before the discussions, but changed positions when the other side made too much sense and had things to say for which I could not find a sensible refutation. But either position is permitted here- this is not a cult, after all. ;)    )

 

I hope you enjoy your stay here, for however long that is.

Edited by WordWolf
Fomatting.
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Welcome, RW.  Be aware that most posters here are long since gone from TWI, many in the 1980.  Things haven't changed too much, though.  I left mid-1990 I suppose (the date is not etched in my memory).

Wordwolf refers to VPW, LCM and RFR.  These are the three previous leaders of TWI, namely, WP Wierwille (founder and chief cult leader), died 1985; LC Martindale (leader 1985 till late 1990s, when his sexual misbehaviour with many cult women came to light); and Rosalie Rivenbark (a rumoured lesbian, who is, was, or appeared to be cohabiting with the former wife of LCM).  The current leader is JY de Lisle, but RFR has her hand so far up his back (if not other parts) that he is virtually a  puppet mouthpiece for her and she still runs the show.

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