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annio

corp meeting when vpw was confronted with leader's sexual abuse

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Any one remember the corpse week meeting (hope OK to use a DWBH's "satirism"... feels so GOOD) in the big tent in '80 I think, in which a courageous guy stood up and expressed the idea that the sexual activity of Pa&l Virgil*o in Idaho with young female believers, should be addressed?? I sure do... (Will share in another post about the reasons I particularly remember, and perhaps what I would stand up and say now, heh heh.:anim-smile:)  There was vpw with some other leading men sitting on a raised platform up front, with an audience of all of the corpse folks who had come in for the week attending the open meeting. After the speaker basically intimated that the sexual abuse (by the handsome young musician limb co-ordinator) was wrong and should be addressed, vpw made light of the request and quickly deflected it by saying that it wasn't really a sin.  NEXT?   Oh yeah. Lesson Learned for/by me. And particularly by all of the young raised-in-the-way folks who had been sexually abused. Oh Yeah...  :angry::CUSSING::realmad::mad2::smilie_kool_aid:   Hope you can follow me... All I want to write in this post. Thanks for reading whoever does!

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Well Annio......I absolutely remember that meeting because I was standing about 30 feet from Virgilio during that entire incident. And you are absolutely correct! Dictor paul totally glossed over it in a jocular, dismissive, manner, as if it was a matter of fact. But “no problen”! Drunken pervert John Wilmer Townsend, future Fog Years Twustee, was the Western Region Guy at the time. He was as dirty as dictor paul himself! His own wife, in her corpse graduation speech in 1972, bragged how she slept in the same bed with dic’n’dotsie during her entire time in-rez with the first corpse! LMAO!

Let me State this: During my entire time as a Region guy and the Trunk guy, THE NUMBER ONE REASON THAT CAUSED ME TO FIRE “LEADERSHIP” WAS SEXUAL PREDATION/ABUSE AND ADULTERY. NUMBER TWO WAS EMBEZZLEMENT. The perps number in the scores! That’s all that needs to be said, imho. 

Edited by DontWorryBeHappy
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BTW.......

The other “leading men” demagogueing from the stage were Da Forehead, as Corpse Director, and “Rev” Beence Finnegan”, Trunk Coordinator. Another two dirty sexual predators who never confronted the Verge.

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Thanks MUCH DWBH. Taking awhile to process these things... Anger, sadness... Really do appreciate your stand and stance. It's helping me to see the heart of God as well, since my lens had gotten pretty muddied in this area. <3

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You’re more than welcome, Annio. I appreciate your personal courage and honest transparency. YOU are a survivor, but more importantly, you are a thriver! You are on the right track, imho. Take your time. Thoroughness is helpful as is caveat emptor regarding professional therapeutic help should YOU choose such a course. Regardless of what you choose, support and helpful counsel are available to you here and in your community! YOU GO GIRL!...............peace.

Edited by DontWorryBeHappy
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Sexual assault/rape/abuse had already been rampant by this time, right? And not just by VPW. Was it around this time that VPW told LCM he should "loosen up" sexually? People used to talk about that a lot on these forums years ago but I never knew what time that VPW to LCM edict was presumably issued. But I know the term was used before December 1979, because that was when I was "loosened up" involuntarily (i.e. sexually assaulted0 by two corps women. How do I use this term in  my case? Because, after the assault, escaping to and freezing in my upper bunk, the two women told the men abut it. And the men (my corps "brothers") talked about it, not knowing I was in the room in my top bunk frozen but listening. (This was all after "lights out".) At least one said he thought it wqs good that I had been "loosened iup"; yes, he used those exact words. I never let on that I overheard. So, there is at least one male TWI sexual assault survivor around. 

 

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As long as I'm around, I may as well mentioned the meeting VPW called all us corps going WOW to in the woods at ROA '78. He made sure we each got a burger, then cautioned us to watch ourselves sexually, because he did not want to pay for any more abortions. There ws no hint of anythng moral in his tone either way, on this issue; he sounded like  he just wanted to avoid his "ministry" getting a bad name. Hmmm, "either way", was that a Freudian pun?

 

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18 hours ago, Lifted Up said:

because he did not want to pay for any more abortions

Why would "he" have to pay for any abortions?  Might he have caused the event requiring the abortion ? :angry:  

Does he mean, he did not want TWI to pay for any more abortions?  Would be a first, for TWI to accept responsibility for meeting someone's (?)needs(?).

Obviously, from your post, there was no hint of "don't do it because pre-marital sex is not appropriate for unmarried people" or, "God says no, to sex before marriage."  (Doubt anyone would have paid him any attention on that, anyway, LOL.)

 

(Not even going to discuss the question of abortion.)

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Wow re all you all are sharing/ discussing...Good Q re the timing of the worst abuse by vpw et al.... (Have to peck away on my phone right now, but may discuss further at another time.) Blessings all!

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wish vp had given the same talk in '79 Wow re all you all are sharing/ discussing...Good Q re the timing of the worst abuse by vpw et al.... (Have to peck away on my phone right now, but may discuss further at another time.) Blessings all! 

And will add that I wish vp had given the above mentioned talk in '79 and that my limb leader had followed the advice, as I (when in a vulnerable mental state) risked getting pregnant due to his advances several times... Damn! 

When the shock, horror, and pain subside, you won't be hearing from me any more except to support others who are also taking a good while to process and heal from the abuse and cultism... Looking forward to the day!!

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1 hour ago, annio said:

When the shock, horror, and pain subside, you won't be hearing from me any more except to support others who are also taking a good while to process and heal from the abuse and cultism

That's why a lot of us old-timers continue to hang around here - to help newbies.  It takes a very long time to fully recover - if one ever does recover - - let's say, till the pain of it becomes less.  As time passes, more personal horrors sneak up into the consciousness and have to be dealt with.

Stick around - or come back when you're ready, share your latest horror memory.  We understand.  We know the manipulation and mind-control you were subject to.

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On 8/19/2019 at 5:17 PM, Twinky said:

Why would "he" have to pay for any abortions?  Might he have caused the event requiring the abortion ? :angry:  

  He was warning us to "watch ourselves" for that reason; of course I know nothing about the presumed abortions he was referring to.

Does he mean, he did not want TWI to pay for any more abortions?  Would be a first, for TWI to accept responsibility for meeting someone's (?)needs(?).

  Following my above response, I don't know about the acepting responsibility part.  There is no question that he taught the corps that idea of "men of God" (corps) having to have     their  "needs met". That certainly came ibnto play in my own sexual assault, though I can't say if that came from the two women involved who knew that teaching, or more directly from higher up.

Obviously, from your post, there was no hint of "don't do it because pre-marital sex is not appropriate for unmarried people" or, "God says no, to sex before marriage."  (Doubt anyone would have paid him any attention on that, anyway, LOL.)

Yea, no matter how you look at it, obviously the idea he was trying to instill was don't bring a bad name to the ministry, nothing to do with what was right and wrong in the sight of God, who was being ignored. I have no desire to start an abortion debate, but you're right, he obviously wasn't telling us this for any oral or god;y reason.

(Not even going to discuss the question of abortion.)

As I said, no desire to do that here either.

 

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On 8/21/2019 at 4:24 PM, Twinky said:

That's why a lot of us old-timers continue to hang around here - to help newbies.  It takes a very long time to fully recover - if one ever does recover - - let's say, till the pain of it becomes less.  As time passes, more personal horrors sneak up into the consciousness and have to be dealt with.

Stick around - or come back when you're ready, share your latest horror memory.  We understand.  We know the manipulation and mind-control you were subject to.

You said it. very long time = a lifetime. In mysexual assault work and counseling, the lifetime nature of that event is stressed. And of course people went through a lot more in our cult.

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5 hours ago, Lifted Up said:

 

LiftedUp,  for the benefit of us reading your posts, PLEASE make some distinction between the quote and your post.

You quoted Twinky, and wrote in the quote-box, and did nothing to indicate what was Twinky and what was you.

With the current software, one thing I do is to do a quote-box like you did, then, below the box,  move the parts I'm quoting, and put them in quotation marks.   Then I reply separately below them before I repeat the steps.  That way, everyone can find the original quote easily, and can see what the other poster said, and what I replied to.   Another thing I do (less common)  is to write in the quote-box. but put my words in boldface and brackets to separate them visually from the original quote.   (I can also do all of that at once, which makes it a LOT easier to see the difference.) 

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If I get you right, LU, it was more a matter of "don't get caught and make us look bad" than a matter of "do what's right and avoid what's wrong."  I agree.

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23 hours ago, WordWolf said:

LiftedUp,  for the benefit of us reading your posts, PLEASE make some distinction between the quote and your post.

You quoted Twinky, and wrote in the quote-box, and did nothing to indicate what was Twinky and what was you.

With the current software, one thing I do is to do a quote-box like you did, then, below the box,  move the parts I'm quoting, and put them in quotation marks.   Then I reply separately below them before I repeat the steps.  That way, everyone can find the original quote easily, and can see what the other poster said, and what I replied to.   Another thing I do (less common)  is to write in the quote-box. but put my words in boldface and brackets to separate them visually from the original quote.   (I can also do all of that at once, which makes it a LOT easier to see the difference.) 

Point taken. This was the first time I had tried to reply bit by bit instead of making just one reply at the end.

 

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23 hours ago, WordWolf said:

If I get you right, LU, it was more a matter of "don't get caught and make us look bad" than a matter of "do what's right and avoid what's wrong."  I agree.

Yep. In any event, we corps were not going to question him, even in just our own minds.

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I understood your reply, Lifted Up.  People have different styles of responding to things they quote.  And sometimes the function doesn't work as well as one might expect.

It would be fair to say that everyone who gets to, say, 25, has some baggage to "process."  Heck, even by 5 years old, some have already waaaay more than their fair share to have to deal with. 

Unfortunately, TWI burdened anyone with more than a passing acquaintance, with a lot of unnecessary baggage - guilt, fear, intimidation, abandonment by God, sexual mores shot to pieces, family relationships shattered - they took our vulnerabilities and exploited them; they took our strengths and told us we were relying on our own strength not God's (not even on the abilities that God himself may have given us).  No wonder many escapees were confused (at best) and terrified (at worst) when getting away from the place.

Oh yes.  TWI leaders were very good at "confronting" people (what an aggressive term!) and not at all good when it came to being confronted themselves. They thought God was in their every word and action, or so they'd have the minions believe.  Most churches would prefer to "come alongside" someone with a difficulty - whether a difficulty caused by lack of knowledge, or a difficulty from their own wilfully inappropriate behaviour of some sort.

We are ALL sinners by nature.  And we ALL need grace to extinguish our sins.  Real grace and loving kindness, I mean.  Not pretend grace to match the often pretend anger and the definitely pretend faults.

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Very helpful Twinky!! Thank you!:wave:  And I modified your last paragraph a little so I could put it in my own words- hope OK!  "...we ALL need grace in this life. Real grace and loving kindness, I mean. Not pretend/false grace to match the critical controlling spirit's words and actions, and the power/sexual abuse of women (and men), and the definitely pretend/false faults and failings.

And personal-  I failed in the way corps, SO WHAT??? I broke down under the pressures, OF COURSE!!  I did my level best but it wasn't good enough - well YES, I was recovering from previous and current trauma!

And now, my recovery is happening in amazing ways! Jesus was there all along! The "God who sees" never abandoned, and there are folks as here at GSC, who are caring and sharing wonderfully!

Best to all!!:beer:

Edited by annio
more thoughts came, heh heh. Thank you!
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I did not know this site was still up.  When I got out of the ministry (around 1993 or 1994) I was so hurt and confused.  I eventually went to this site and No Way Out (my story is still up there, I was Jennifer). http://minet.org/www.trancenet.net/noway/experiences/jennifer.shtml  I did not have bad initial experiences with The Way other than their persistence that I go to as many meetings as I could.  It was not "each one win one" - it was a quota contest. 

(Please excuse this digression) I left when it became too difficult to fight the leadership anymore.  The midnight scream fests, the accusations where they grabbed onto any innocent thing I said or did and tried to turn it into some kind of spiritual disobedience (before a meeting started I mentioned I was so stressed I considered a wine cooler before a meeting, but I decided not to.  That comment was met with "So you said you felt like having a wine cooler at dinner before a meeting.  Why would you think that??  What did you mean by that comment?").  Then I was a little too stubborn. At one midnight meeting I was yelled at for something I did that was as simple as missing a meeting or telling someone something biblical, and I yelled back "and what is wrong with that?"... and no verses were ever brought up, no "bringing it back to the word", just a fight.  Then when I moved to a new location, I walked in to say hello to the new leader's wife, and she immediately began to tell me all my problems (excuse me, we just met)... and when I answered with "I am sorry, I will try to not do that in the future" she became livid because I would not engage with her.  (Wow it felt good to finally say all of that "out loud").

Now to this thread of sexual abuse.  When I was in, there were groupies that I nicknamed "darlings".  I hung out with the Reverend P. because he spoke the word to me. It was that simple.  I was so in love with God, and this leader talked about the bible constantly.  I was shocked when he tried to become physical with me mostly because I was naïve and young, and I was living a dream to be around so much Bible - I saw it coming but so many people talked me out of those observations when I brought them up.  I must have misunderstood, right?  I was a groupie for God!  I think so many of us were, right? Isn't that what excited us? Once I declined the leaders overtures, that was when the really bad things happened as mentioned above. I was suddenly accused of things I never did, my fellowship was told to stop coming, but no one told me they were not going to be there. When I asked where, they said "you didn't know? We were told to have twig at a different location".  I was pushed into a very bad marriage with a dishonest man (Way Corps, who has since earned his practical ministry degree and is in a new ministry.  I hope God worked a miracle.).   In spite of all the backhanded dishonest tactics,  I tried to stay.  I fought for the way it had been in the early days, and I reminded leadership of the verses of love and tolerance.  I dared once to pray for believers in every ministry, not just ours! I stood up to them in front of others, and I nearly died trying to put it all back together.  I became so ill.  When I left, I was labelled "mark and avoid"... and I was in good company but didn't realize it yet. The reason the leadership got away with so much is: (everyone sing along) "if you were not there and did not see it yourself, it did not happen".  You can't accuse anyone based on "rumor", only my story was not a rumor. I was a witness.  And believe me, no one in that ministry will believe anything said by any of us because of that saying.  CL

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When it comes to stories of "and a twi leader abused his office and sexually assaulted the flock", it all comes back to twi. He educated lcm and some other leaders that this was ok with God or that God WANTS this sort of thing,  and they went along,  foolishly equating every fool thing out of vpw's mouth with Divine Revelation (mainly because that's what he taught them to think.)    vpw started it, set up the ring of silence, and set up the whole system to use to get away with it.

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But for all the wrong that TWI did, I have things I am so grateful for.  In the early days, we were told to "read for ourselves" "confront leadership" "make up our own minds".  That was vastly different from the church I had grown up in.  The Word was living and real.  I have so many miracle stories, and they did not stop after TWI, I have them from recent times as well, they just keep happening.  My lost dog falling out of the air at my feet is among my favorites.  She had been lost three days and we live near ranches with cattle, coyotes, owls, pigs... just so many things that could have killed her.  I spent three days putting one verse in my head "I will trust in the Lord with all my heart and lead not to my own understanding.  In all my ways I will acknowledge Him and He will direct my path."  I emphasized WILL direct my path. I kept thinking and dreaming of a large bird and I prayed that was not a warning of how she would die.  I went home for lunch on probably the third day and I was so uncomfortable that I went back out driving and calling her name.  I went over a mile from home.  I saw a vacant lot that had just been cleared with an incredibly large bird in the tree in the back.  I got out of the car thinking that bird had to mean something.  I called and called but nothing.  As I turned to walk away to go back to my car, I saw her tumble out of the air at my feet.  I learned that kind of unstoppable believing through TWI only because they did at times teach the truth that no other ministry taught.  I believe God did put me there for a reason, but I stayed longer than I should have.  So while they were also not perfect, as so many other religions are imperfect, they helped "perfect" my believing, even if inadvertently. I won't throw the baby out with the bathwater.  I am grateful for many of Wierwille's teachings whether he fully lived in that light or not.  He was right on so many things. Maybe God worked through him as best as He could. Something about that man had to have been right with God at some point. TWI was something God lead me to for a reason that altered my life favorably forever, so I will take the good and learn to part with the bad.  Men fail, God never fails. 

 

Edited by Just call me Darling

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I've said it before and I'll say it again:

"I'm glad I got in, and I'm glad I got out."

I'm not aware of anyone whose story had NOTHING but negatives, but some people certainly feel that way after suffering quite a bit in twi.    I think vpw had ulterior motives when he DID speak the truth, but it was spoken nevertheless.  He benefited people almost accidentally- and partly to bait the hook with some food.  I won't say there was NO benefits in the process.

 

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