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rebuilding trust post vpw, regaining some spiritual sight, and naming abuses!


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 Hey folks! Let me know if I should try to find a thread that already is on this topic...

To restate something from a  reply I just posted, maybe my Trust-o-Meter is functioning well enough that I can now return here to GSC and interact more... This past week I have had several marathons in which I read lots here; so helpful to see various POVs, individual ways of processing, different folks' experiences, and DWBH's posts re: restorative justice and not sweeping abuses under the rug.  Again, thank you SO MUCH for keeping this site up and running bros and sis's!!

Rebuilding trust post vpw w/ new spiritual sight and confidence re: doctrine/Biblical interpretaton- It was a good exercise to stop and separate what "the teacher" stole from others, and what was original to his dossier/public pontificatings. Yes! The latter was a bunch of hog wash phooey! :nono5:  Damn! And when it came to teaching re: the non-virgin birth, getting all excited re: Esther's preparation for her big night with the king, ETC ETC... That doctrinal sexualizing (along with the accompanying filthy practice) was a factor that resulted in powerful men feeling entitled to helping themselves to young women, with a trickle down effect, and in personal injury for the victims, myself included. This is one area of vpw's many slippery slidings, of course, but is the one that I am focusing on in recovery right now.

It has been so good to have the veil lifted re: the BLATANT PLAGUERIZING AND ALL OF THE IMAGE BUILDING, NARCISSISM, MANIPULATIONS OF ALL SORTS.

I could write much more, but for now will just say that I am so very glad, along with several others here at GSC,  that Jesus and the Father will be the final JUSTICE/INJUSTICE NAMERS. And 2 Peter 2:21 "It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them." WOW!!!   Leaving the final judgment up to God and Jesus, getting in my punches here and there, and going on my merry way!  :dance:

Blessings to all this fine day!!! <3 <3 <3

 

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Hey, annio!  It's quite something, isn't it, when the scales start falling from the eyes!

You won't untangle everything all at once, so don't beat yourself up about it.  You will soon work out what's most important for you to know, to understand, to put right.  I'd say (though others here would differ) that the Lord will show you where you need to start.

If you are attending a church of any kind, how do the people interact?  Does it seem forced, too friendly, not friendly enough; do they seem to care for each other without being intrusive in each other's lives?  How do the leaders behave?  Quietly, humbly, approachably, listening; or overbearingly / dictatorially / or otherwise a bit uncomfortably?  It's okay, you can check out various churches.  Or, should the desire take you, check out non-Christian organisations.

I try to love God; love my fellow human beings and try to help them; and try not to be too cynical or jaundiced when people say things that seem a bit "off" (you and I probably say/said wacky things too in early recovery mode!) 

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  • 3 months later...
On 5/21/2019 at 11:37 AM, annio said:

 Hey folks! Let me know if I should try to find a thread that already is on this topic...

To restate something from a  reply I just posted, maybe my Trust-o-Meter is functioning well enough that I can now return here to GSC and interact more... This past week I have had several marathons in which I read lots here; so helpful to see various POVs, individual ways of processing, different folks' experiences, and DWBH's posts re: restorative justice and not sweeping abuses under the rug.  Again, thank you SO MUCH for keeping this site up and running bros and sis's!!

Rebuilding trust post vpw w/ new spiritual sight and confidence re: doctrine/Biblical interpretaton- It was a good exercise to stop and separate what "the teacher" stole from others, and what was original to his dossier/public pontificatings. Yes! The latter was a bunch of hog wash phooey! :nono5:  Damn! And when it came to teaching re: the non-virgin birth, getting all excited re: Esther's preparation for her big night with the king, ETC ETC... That doctrinal sexualizing (along with the accompanying filthy practice) was a factor that resulted in powerful men feeling entitled to helping themselves to young women, with a trickle down effect, and in personal injury for the victims, myself included. This is one area of vpw's many slippery slidings, of course, but is the one that I am focusing on in recovery right now.

(SNIP)

Maybe the “Trust-o-Meter” is another name for critical thinking skills. I think it might be like a muscle…while in TWI, critical thinking skills are not something one is encouraged to develop…so the muscle atrophies. Grease Spot is a great place to get various points of view…I believe humility is an important element too – and since I don’t know it all, it pays to check out what others have to say. It would be impossible to make a 3-D rendering of an object if all I had was my one perspective. What’s behind it? What’s on the side? And if others had just the same perspective as my frontal view that wouldn’t help to complete the rendering.

And perhaps critical and creative thinking go hand in hand. I’ve learned a lot more about Bible stuff after I left TWI – reading and listening to other sources – analyzing – and then seeing various options on how I can apply stuff I learned.

keep on with the keeping on

love & peace

T-Bone

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  • 10 months later...

Hey, am trying to post this in a relevant recovery thread...

So! Review- What is it that attracts some ppl to the claims of a cult leader especially in uncertain times? And what are some better paths?  My thoughts for starters:

1) Do NOT Look for safety in an uncertain world without tools to discern con artist leaders with their abusive practices.

Recommended: GET TOOLS! Look Only to God, or do what grounds You if you need that.

2) Do NOT Latch on to the idealistic idea that ONE human leader or system (theology, culture, political group, denomination, etc) can have THE corner on Truth or Best Practices, etc.

DO- Enjoy exploring, debating, allowing for nuances, differences in experiences, cultural backgrounds, etc. Look to the Bible if so inclined, for a look at how the early church enjoyed diversity yet stayed faithful to Jesus teachings and sound doctrine.

3) Do NOT Buy into the idea that sacrificing to/for these idealistic, black-and-white-Truth-carriers is logical and good. Let yourself get burned out, stay in co-dependence.

DO find your own balance re: giving and healthy self-care, etcc.

Thank you again for providing a good place to process these things!

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Great post,  Annio! I think Grease Spot is a great place to think out loud, exchange ideas and perspectives and occasionally find old friends and even make new ones…I like the points you made using uncertain times as a springboard – everything in your recommendations goes along the lines of self-determination - the process by which a person controls their own life – which is something many of us slowly gave up as we got more and more involved and further committed to the cult.

This is just my 2 cents on it all – but I think there’s something of an ebb and flow to life – there’s times of decline and there’s also times of increase…constant fluctuations…uncertainty…personally I find the book of Ecclesiastes so fascinating because it describes life’s journey in part as trying to understand and even accept all the frustrations and uncertainties along the way.

The Way International preyed upon our feelings of uncertainty. It’s been so long ago – I can’t remember exactly how it went - in PFAL didn’t wierwille claim to offer something like a firm rock in an ocean of doubt, speculation and uncertainty. Cults satisfy the desire for absolute answers ( see  what to know about the psychology of cults     ). I think a lot of PFAL and wierwille’s teachings in general were nothing more than pat answers – typically very simplified and they sometimes seemed evasive and often didn’t adequately address the topic. That’s probably why class coordinators would often defer inquisitive students to hold all their questions until the last session of PFAL and even then with some very eager students who still persisted with questions, class coordinators might employ other deferring tactics – encouraging them to take the class again, follow wierwille’s recommendation to set aside all other reading material for several months and read only the epistles addressed to the church or some other means to postpone giving them an immediate fully satisfactory answer.

I remember what it was like to be young – feeling almost invincible and fearless…adventurous – always willing to check out something new – I had a lot of self-confidence in being able to figure out how things work (being a self-taught musician, visual artist and technician). But what I lacked was well-developed critical thinking skills (as touched upon in Annio’s points 1 & 2). Unfortunately, in the way corps I found that my self-confidence…and really all the stuff that made me me was constantly being attacked and torn down – I guess I was supposedly being rebuilt from the ground up with “The Word”. In this hollow (not hallowed) institution of marketing-all-things-wierwille I would become another valuable crew-member on the TWI-tanic – supposedly an unsinkable ship that was in $hit-shape on an ocean of doubt, speculation and uncertainty…34 years later (present day) I’m happy to report I didn’t go down with the ship.

I’m glad I left when I did. Now I strive to improve my critical and creative thinking skills and have a lot more self-confidence in my journey through life…and I’ve become a lot more accepting of people regardless of their beliefs or background since we’re all in this together – and it’s called life…This is a crazy year of uncertainty – the convergence of the pandemic, the politicizing of corona-virus, global recession, social unrest…and things might just get worse before …or if they get better. What will be the new normal?

 

I found an interesting article on  link11 ways emotionally intelligent people overcome uncertainty    and thought some Grease Spotters might enjoy – so click on link I just gave – to whet your appetite I’ll leave you with a little excerpt:

Our brains are hardwired to make much of modern life difficult. This is especially true when it comes to dealing with uncertainty. On the bright side, if you know the right tricks, you can override your brain’s irrational tendencies and handle uncertainty effectively.

Our brains give us fits when facing uncertainty because they’re wired to react to it with fear. In a recent study, a Caltech neuroeconomist imaged subjects’ brains as they were forced to make increasingly uncertain bets—the same kind of bets we’re forced to make on a regular basis in business.

The less information the subjects had to go on, the more irrational and erratic their decisions became. You might think the opposite would be true—the less information we have, the more careful and rational we are in evaluating the validity of that information. Not so. As the uncertainty of the scenarios increased, the subjects’ brains shifted control over to the limbic system, the place where emotions, such as anxiety and fear, are generated.

This brain quirk worked great eons ago, when cavemen entered an unfamiliar area and didn’t know who or what might be lurking behind the bushes. Overwhelming caution and fear ensured survival. But that’s not the case today. This mechanism, which hasn’t evolved, is a hindrance in the world of business, where uncertainty rules and important decisions must be made every day with minimal information.

As we face uncertainty, our brains push us to overreact. Successful people are able to override this mechanism and shift their thinking in a rational direction…

To boost your EQ, you have to get good at making sound decisions in the face of uncertainty, even when your brain fights against this. Fear not! There are proven strategies that you can use to improve the quality of your decisions when your emotions are clouding your judgment. What follows are eleven of the best strategies that successful people use in these moments.

== == == ==

Stay sharp and stay safe

Edited by T-Bone
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10 hours ago, annio said:

Hey, am trying to post this in a relevant recovery thread...

So! Review- What is it that attracts some ppl to the claims of a cult leader especially in uncertain times? And what are some better paths?  My thoughts for starters:

1) Do NOT Look for safety in an uncertain world without tools to discern con artist leaders with their abusive practices.

Recommended: GET TOOLS! Look Only to God, or do what grounds You if you need that.

2) Do NOT Latch on to the idealistic idea that ONE human leader or system (theology, culture, political group, denomination, etc) can have THE corner on Truth or Best Practices, etc.

DO- Enjoy exploring, debating, allowing for nuances, differences in experiences, cultural backgrounds, etc. Look to the Bible if so inclined, for a look at how the early church enjoyed diversity yet stayed faithful to Jesus teachings and sound doctrine.

3) Do NOT Buy into the idea that sacrificing to/for these idealistic, black-and-white-Truth-carriers is logical and good. Let yourself get burned out, stay in co-dependence.

DO find your own balance re: giving and healthy self-care, etcc.

Thank you again for providing a good place to process these things!

SOME good advice.

However, "Look Only to God?" What does that even mean anymore?
 

Looking to God is what got many of us trapped by Wierwille's version of god and his social system.

THE most important thing adults need to do (AND teach their children to do) is develop critical thinking and analysis skills. A good bit of what you listed is a part of a healthy critical approach to religion. And don't be mistaken, one of the first things cultists do is make the point that their version isn't really religion but a relationship with God. That's fundamental for establishing the walls between Wierwillism (and any other cult, because he was far from unique) and other people of faith.

There are (educated) people who escaped from twi who still think that truth is something they get from god by revelation. In practice, and by definition, that makes them subject to being blown about with every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:14) because what it boils down to is that they believe something to the effect that their first thought is from God. That was in the advanced class on PFLAP but did Wierwille ever show where it said that in scripture?

I don't think so. But HE TOLD us the definitions of what he categorized as manifestations of the Holy Spirit. And for a long time, many of us believed him.

 

 

Edited by Rocky
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3 hours ago, T-Bone said:

The Way International preyed upon our feelings of uncertainty. It’s been so long ago – I can’t remember exactly how it went - in PFAL didn’t wierwille claim to offer something like a firm rock in an ocean of doubt, speculation and uncertainty. Cults satisfy the desire for absolute answers ( see  what to know about the psychology of cults     ).

Very true.

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24 minutes ago, Rocky said:

In practice, and by definition, that makes them subject to being blown about with every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:14) because what it boils down to is that they believe something to the effect that their first thought is from God. That was in the advanced class on PFLAP but did Wierwille ever show where it said that in scripture?

Here's some things that scripture says:

Is 1:18 - “Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD.

Prov 11:4 and 24:6 both tell us that there is "safety in a multitude of counsellors"

And we can consider the lives of prophets and evangelisers as set out in the Bible.  Some talked/consulted with others; some others just went their own way - and maybe got into trouble.

 

I think there's a time for "first thought" - for example, in extreme danger - but mostly, almost always, there's considered thought and discussion with others whose views can be respected.  Those others may or may not be Christians; if so, may or may not be Christian leadership.  God gave us brains to think with, "common sense" to help us, and gave us other people that we can talk ("reason") with; and where there is no-one else to talk to, he gave a book full of examples of "how to do" and "how not to do," to help guide our thinking.

And, of course, TWI squashed any kind of "first thought" by compelling obedience to leaders in all capacities - even one's unqualified twig leader, who of course had to defer upwards, and so on.  If you didn't follow your twig leader's pronouncement and things went pear-shaped, it was your fault for doing your own thing and not listening to God.  If you didn't follow your twig leader's pronouncement and things went well, there was no "credit" anywhere.  I think this got worse as TWI got more erratic.  In the LCM era, it was a real lockstep approach.  

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On 8/11/2020 at 9:36 PM, T-Bone said:

Great post,  Annio! I think Grease Spot is a great place to think out loud, exchange ideas and perspectives and occasionally find old friends and even make new ones…I like the points you made using uncertain times as a springboard – everything in your recommendations goes along the lines of self-determination - the process by which a person controls their own life – which is something many of us slowly gave up as we got more and more involved and further committed to the cult.

The Way International preyed upon our feelings of uncertainty. It’s been so long ago – I can’t remember exactly how it went - in PFAL didn’t wierwille claim to offer something like a firm rock in an ocean of doubt, speculation and uncertainty. Cults satisfy the desire for absolute answers ( see  what to know about the psychology of cults     ).

I found an interesting article on  link11 ways emotionally intelligent people overcome uncertainty    and thought some Grease Spotters might enjoy – so click on link I just gave – to whet your appetite

Stay sharp and stay safe

Thank you for these links T-Bone!!

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