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


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4 hours ago, Grace Valerie Claire said:

Annio, I was sexually assaulted by two of the men in my family, over 50 years ago.  I have spent my entire life recovering from it.  Thank God for therapists, and medication.  Both of them are helping me in my process of recovering. 

Wish you all the best on your journey of recovery, Grace.

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As for motives, since we have so much information on vpw's life and comments, we can trace a relatively clear path, at least in his own words. We know that vpw told the early corps that he consid

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 i

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

19 hours ago, Grace Valerie Claire said:

Annio, I was sexually assaulted by two of the men in my family, over 50 years ago.  I have spent my entire life recovering from it.  Thank God for therapists, and medication.  Both of them are helping me in my process of recovering. 

God bless you Grace! I believe your courage and empathy is a big deal - and a blessing - not only to the folks here at Grease Spot but also to anyone else who crosses your path.   :love3:   :knuddel:

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I appreciate your coming alongside Grace and sharing. <3  Am very glad you are recovering, and YES, it is a LIFETIME process for many of us. Often only those who have  experienced it can truly understand, eh? Best to you!

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15 hours ago, T-Bone said:

God bless you Grace! I believe your courage and empathy is a big deal - and a blessing - not only to the folks here at Grease Spot but also to anyone else who crosses your path.   :love3:   :knuddel:

T-Bone, what a lovely thing to say to me!!  You make me blush!!:love3:

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44 minutes ago, annio said:

I appreciate your coming alongside Grace and sharing. <3  Am very glad you are recovering, and YES, it is a LIFETIME process for many of us. Often only those who have  experienced it can truly understand, eh? Best to you!

Annio, thanks so much!!  However, I have tried to discuss this issue with my family, and they don't want to talk about it.  For decades, incest, and sexual assault was something that families didn't talk about.  I used to be embarrassed to discuss it with anyone, especially a man.  However years ago, I finally told my VA Counselor about it.  For me, that was the beginning of my healing.  My oldest brother was one of the men, involved, and to this day, he denies it.  I know what happened; he was , and is a sick puppy.  My life has gotten better, and today, my life is good!!  God is merciful!!  However, my brother's life hasn't been all that great; he suffers from various mental, and physical problems.  He lives in a Hell of his own making, and I am thankful he lives far away from me!!  Annio, please do yourself a huge favor; get professional help for your abuse.  I did, and it has been a blessing.  I wish you well, on your road to recovery. :wave:

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Hey, catching up here, and wondering about something that is healing and fun to envision, I think with some Reality to it anyway - how a small but effective #MeToo movement might have influenced twi starting at corps week/ROA in '80?

I can envision myself having recently been seduced by Pa#l Virgil#o, hearing him be excused by vpw from the front stage during the public confrontation at that big top corpse meeting. (Hence this thread.)

Huh! So at that point, I could have sought and kept seeking doctrinal and emotional support from ppl like the two women leaders (one a limb leader, the other a large branch leader) that I heard upholding Biblical morality saying that fornication and adultery are wrong, (one earlier in '80; the other in '83 when she accusingly confronted me about having sex with my limb leader, which incidents I had reported myself... Oh well.)  Maybe sound clear sexual doctrine could have had some influence; maybe some ppl tempted to follow vpw's example/teachings/inferrences would have received the doctrine/reproof/correction and controlled their libidos; maybe some ppl would not have been sexually abused and avoided that suffering. Maybe folks would have come back to following Jesus, and His oh-so-clear teachings on self-control, the  sanctity of marriage, etc... And Paul's teachings too!!!

Of course, one way or another we most likely would have had to leave the organization; Jo#n Schoenh#eit was fired less than 6 years later... But I think much good could have come out of declaring and living The Truth, and looking back, such a splinter group could have provided many Godly benefits that Christian movements did give young ppl during the '70s and '80s.  My fantasy(?) continues - Maybe some faithful brothers would have joined... Maybe more and more women would have come on board... Maybe a Top Leader or two or three would have repented or spoken out for the voiceless, and begun teaching sound doctrine??    The End.   Blessings to you Cafe bro's and sis's.:beer:

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Great post, Annio ! Your post reminded me of something along the lines of what I shared on Grease Spot years ago – your post got me thinking so I googled “is it healthy to reimagine a past experience?” (which got me to a Psychology Today article that’s pretty much on point - I’ll give excerpts and link below); I also learned there’s a term for it – counterfactual thinking (which led me to a Wikipedia article – I’ll give excerpts and link below).

 

First here’s what I said in a 2006 post about reimagining the time wierwille showed our family corps his doggie-porn video:  

"I've fantasized about time travel – or maybe it's more like a Quantum Leap episode – where I'm actually back in one of my TWI experiences – but I know then what I know now – and also have the nerve to stand up for my convictions – sort of a new and improved me displacing the wimpified spineless dullardesque core of my being…I can just imagine the re-make of the pajama party incident in my first post: We've just finished watching that sick doggie/women porn video, old Pervertwille is now showing that porn pen to the 16 year old girl. Suddenly I jump up while at the same time bellowing out some primordial roar that has amassed such force that I can no longer contain it. Of course all eyes are now upon me – but my eyes are locked in with his – I can hear Maverick's voice in my head "I've got tone, I've got tone!!!!!!!!!!" And then I slowly…deliberately…with all the emotion and drama of a thespian on steroids I say, "It is a disgrace for me to be here today. Why don't you just pack up all your perverted paraphernalia, Spanish Flies, Jedi mind-tricks – along with your lecherous weird-willie, get on your mobile-sacrificial-altar-for-sex-slaves [a.k.a. the Motor Coach] and get the heck out of Rome City."

I know that's kind of weird and strange thinking – but I actually do that sometimes – not to re-write any personal history, or re-interpret an experience to absolve myself of shame or guilt – but use it more as a self-corrective tool. My mom used to say "two wrongs don't make a right", [praise to mothers for passing on such great proverbs]. It's wrong to not get angry at the stuff VPW did! Putting my conscience on the back burner is wrong on my part! It is a sin of omission! I don't know - is there such a thing as hijacking someone's moral compass? Anyway – I'm not one to blame something like this on someone else. I turn that righteous anger on myself sometimes – as I realize how I was not vigilant in the care of my soul – and I let a thief inside…That anger hurts – yes a stinging motivation to change – but as you mentioned from that book on your Righteous Anger thread – in that righteous anger I also begin to see things from God's viewpoint – His creation at war with itself….I see it as a part of the healing process of my conscience.

(From TWI's Sedative to the Conscience )

 

As silly, ridiculous and farfetched as my above quantum leap episode sounds – imaginatively reframing that event the way I did accentuates the importance of having a moral compass, not letting a cult leader dazzle, bamboozle or bully my soul into submission, nor buying into the “freedom” or “spiritual maturity” peddled by a predator who himself was enslaved to moral depravity. I cannot change what happened in the past. But I can choose to learn from my mistakes.

As far as what-if scenarios - It goes without saying that if I never took PFAL…or never went WOW…or never went in the way corps…I never would have been so exploited by a cult…and realistically speaking if I would have actually made such a big scene as I reimagined at the Rome City Campus I would have been immediately escorted off campus in my pajamas and back jack  :biglaugh:  . Indeed there’s been a lot of folks who stood up to wierwille, Craig, etc. and lived to tell about it (whether they left "under their own steam", or were thrown out, or reassigned to a Twig in Siberia…or whatever  ) – and I say kudos to them !…my counterfactual thinking represents how I learned to wake up from a Kool-Aid drunken stupor and grow a spine.

I tend to look at my bad cult experiences as some costly battle scars that have made me thick-skinned... armor-plating against ravenous wolves.

== == == ==

Next this article “When Is Reimagining the Past a Sign of Emotional Health? Counterfactual thinking linked to depression and anxiety lacks empowerment” by Barb Cohen (a teacher, writer, and educational advocate with seventeen years of experience parenting an autistic daughter) has a few interesting ideas I wanted to point out.

She mentions research that indicates people suffering from severe anxiety and severe depression ruminate over past experiences more than people identified as emotionally healthy and in light of that what’s critically important to our mental well-being is focused reflection on bad experiences but with the intent of learning what we can from past experiences and moving on; counterfactual thinking can be beneficial when we reframe a narrative in terms of cause and effect – which really is just rethinking what alternate action or decision we could have made which would produce a different result.

Barb relates an experience of her being mugged and rather than focusing on the prevalence of crime which would deny her any power to change – she focused on what made her an easy target to muggers - and what she needed to change going forward. From her article:

“…If only” thought processes have a name: counterfactual thinking. By altering in our imaginations an element of something that has happened, we can learn how to act differently in the future (If I had studied harder for that test, I would have performed better on it. Next time I’ll study harder.), or we can better appreciate what we have (It took me two hours to get home from work, but it would have been worse if I’d been the person who was injured in the car crash that tied up traffic).

This all makes sense and seems rather intuitive. What’s interesting is that the parameters people alter are predictable and intimately connected to their emotional well-being. Most people will mentally revise actions rather than inactions, causes rather than background conditions, and controllable events over uncontrollable ones. In contrast, people suffering from anxiety or depression, or those with atypical executive functioning pathways, mutate elements that are likely immutable.

Consider the following true story: When I was in college, I spent a semester studying and working in Washington, D.C. The apartment building in which I and the other students were housed sat adjacent to Rock Creek Park in a not-so-nice part of the city. One evening after work I went to the Kennedy Center to purchase a ticket to see Hal Holbrook performing a one-man show as Mark Twain, and then I took a bus back to my apartment. I disembarked at a bus stop about three hundred yards from my apartment at approximately 7:00 in the evening, i.e., after rush hour crowds had subsided. A light rain had begun. Most of the other commuters who got off the bus with me walked down the sidewalk, mostly heading north, but I chose to cross the street and then walk north. As I walked north, alone, on a dark, drizzly night, I kept my head down to keep my face dry. I was preoccupied thinking about the weather and about Hal Holbrook, an actor I’d had a crush on ever since I saw All the President’s Men where he starred as Deep Throat. Before I realized what was happening, three young men were right in front of me, and one was reaching for my purse. I held onto my purse, and another of the young men punched me in the face. The first one grabbed my purse and they fled south. The incident destroyed forever my perception of my own invulnerability.

Now, as an experiment in counterfactual thinking, there are a lot of ways this scenario could be changed. On the “grateful” side, the three boys could have dragged me into Rock Creek Park and hurt me well beyond a swollen jaw. On the “learning from the incident” side, I could have held my head up and stayed aware of my surroundings, or I could have walked on the same side of the street as the other people, or I could have handed my purse over immediately. All of these changes involve actions rather than inactions, causes rather than background conditions, and controllable rather than uncontrollable events. And, in fact, I now walk with crowds, scan the streets, avoid walking alone in the dark, and instruct my children to hand over their valuables immediately if they are approached by robbers…

… Research shows that people suffering from severe anxiety and severe depression ruminate over past experiences more than people identified as emotionally healthy. Ideally, people learn what they can from past experiences and move on. In fact, replaying a counterfactual scenario repeatedly usually results in the counterfactual seeming less plausible with each replay…

… What accounts for the nature of a person’s counterfactual thinking? Agency. For upward (how things could have been better) counterfactual thinking to be functionally beneficial, one needs a coherent story of cause and effect. Then the cause must include a personal action or decision. If this criterion is absent, it’s time to make peace with the event in a Buddhist sense of acceptance or to stay mired in it unhelpfully. Finally, an actor needs to have the ability to effect a change in future behavior. That’s a tall order…

… Framing a story is an act of will. When we build a narrative (and we each have a multitude of correct narratives), we are implicitly building a story of cause and effect for our lives. I choose to blame my lack of vigilance for my mugging, because I can change that. If I chose to focus on the prevalence of crime, I would also have a valid narrative, but it would deny me any agency. It would be true, but not as useful as some other versions of the truth. Counterfactual thinking is a powerful instinct. Whether or not we grow with it is like choosing at a fork in the road. What was down that other path?”

End of excerpts

from Psychology Today – when is reimagining the past a sign of emotional health

== == == == 

And here’s some excerpts from Wikipedia on counterfactual thinking which I found interesting. Basically I think we’ve all practiced it many times in our lives – since it’s how we learn from our mistakes and try to avoid dangerous and undesirable scenarios...who knew - it's a real thing with a name....anyway here's Wikipedia:

“Counterfactual thinking is a concept in psychology that involves the human tendency to create possible alternatives to life events that have already occurred; something that is contrary to what actually happened. Counterfactual thinking is, as it states: "counter to the facts". These thoughts consist of the "What if?" and the "If I had only..." that occur when thinking of how things could have turned out differently. Counterfactual thoughts include things that – in the present – now could never happen in reality because they solely pertain to events that have occurred in the past…

Counterfactual thoughts have been shown to produce negative emotions, however they may also produce functional or beneficial effects. There are two types of counterfactual thoughts, downward and upward. Downward counterfactuals are thoughts about how the situation could have been worse; and people tend to have a more positive view of the actual outcome. Upward counterfactuals are thoughts about how the situation could have been better. These kinds of thoughts tend to make people feel dissatisfied and unhappy; however, upward counterfactuals are the kind of thoughts that allow people to think about how they can do better in the future. These counterfactual thoughts, or thoughts of what could have happened, can affect people's emotions, such as causing them to experience regret, guilt, relief, or satisfaction. They can also affect how they view social situations, such as who deserves blame and responsibility…

One may wonder why we continue to think in counterfactual ways if these thoughts tend to make us feel guilty or negatively about an outcome. One of the functional reasons for this is to correct for mistakes and to avoid making them again in the future. If a person is able to consider another outcome based on a different path, they may take that path in the future and avoid the undesired outcome. It is obvious that the past cannot be changed, however, it is likely that similar situations may occur in the future, and thus we take our counterfactual thoughts as a learning experience. For example, if a person has a terrible job interview and thinks about how it may have been more successful if they had responded in a more confident manner, they are more likely to respond more confidently in their next interview…

Another reason we continue to use counterfactual theory is to avoid situations that may be unpleasant to us, which is part of our approach and avoidance behavior. Often, people make a conscious effort to avoid situations that may make them feel unpleasant. However, despite our best efforts, we sometimes find ourselves in these unpleasant situations anyway. In these situations, we continue to use counterfactual thinking to think of ways that that event could have been avoided and in turn to learn to avoid those situations again in the future. For example, if a person finds hospitals to be an uncomfortable place, but find themselves in one due to cutting their finger while doing dishes, they may think of ways they could have avoided going to the hospital by tending to the wound themselves or doing the dishes more carefully…”

End of excerpts

from Wikipedia – counterfactual thinking  

 

sorry for the long post, folks - but I thought there was a lot of helpful information to pass on.

good night - sweet dreams everyone

 

:sleep1:

Edited by T-Bone
formatting, typos and counterfactual thinking on how I could have made this post more concise...too many choices so I gave up on counterfactual thinking...besides I'm tired...it's late...I'm going to bed...
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Whoa HO! T-Bone!! HI HO Silver!! :beer: Excellent info re: counterfactual thinking, etc, AND Hell yeah!! re: below. :eusa_clap:Rippin'!!! Ripping up the enslavement, conscience-dulling strategies, idolatrous holds, etc. :mad2: You have inspired me to come up with my own "Ride em cowgirl" scenario. :nono5::realmad:

On 10/16/2020 at 12:37 AM, T-Bone said:

"I've fantasized about time travel – or maybe it's more like a Quantum Leap episode – where I'm actually back in one of my TWI experiences – but I know then what I know now – and also have the nerve to stand up for my convictions – sort of a new and improved me displacing the wimpified spineless dullardesque core of my being…I can just imagine the re-make of the pajama party incident in my first post: We've just finished watching that sick doggie/women porn video, old Pervertwille is now showing that porn pen to the 16 year old girl. Suddenly I jump up while at the same time bellowing out some primordial roar that has amassed such force that I can no longer contain it. Of course all eyes are now upon me – but my eyes are locked in with his – I can hear Maverick's voice in my head "I've got tone, I've got tone!!!!!!!!!!" And then I slowly…deliberately…with all the emotion and drama of a thespian on steroids I say, "It is a disgrace for me to be here today. Why don't you just pack up all your perverted paraphernalia, Spanish Flies, Jedi mind-tricks – along with your lecherous weird-willie, get on your mobile-sacrificial-altar-for-sex-slaves [a.k.a. the Motor Coach] and get the heck out of Rome City."

 

On 10/16/2020 at 12:37 AM, T-Bone said:
On 10/16/2020 at 12:37 AM, T-Bone said:

 

It's wrong to not get angry at the stuff VPW did! Putting my conscience on the back burner is wrong on my part! It is a sin of omission! I don't know - is there such a thing as hijacking someone's moral compass?

Agreed re: sin of omission, thank you; something to be repented of. And also good Q. I can trace the gradual hijacking of mine no doubt.

On 10/16/2020 at 12:37 AM, T-Bone said:

my counterfactual thinking represents how I learned to wake up from a Kool-Aid drunken stupor and grow a spine.

I tend to look at my bad cult experiences as some costly battle scars that have made me thick-skinned... armor-plating against ravenous wolves.

Amen, excellent re-framing I'd say. Ah! "re-framing" as in carpentry, and as in rebuilding our spiritual, mental, emotional houses upon the foundation of Truth and Love, with the precision and care of skillful kind workers in the true House of God, the Body of Christ, and helping others to do so as well. I have definitely used counterfactual thinking a great deal to restructure broken places, and to bring life into deadened and immature parts.

Your post was so rich T-Bone! Gotta move on, but thank you for it all!!

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On 10/8/2020 at 12:51 PM, Grace Valerie Claire said:

Annio, thanks so much!!  However, I have tried to discuss this issue with my family, and they don't want to talk about it.  For decades, incest, and sexual assault was something that families didn't talk about.  I used to be embarrassed to discuss it with anyone, especially a man.  However years ago, I finally told my VA Counselor about it.  For me, that was the beginning of my healing.  My oldest brother was one of the men, involved, and to this day, he denies it.  I know what happened; he was , and is a sick puppy.  My life has gotten better, and today, my life is good!!  God is merciful!!  However, my brother's life hasn't been all that great; he suffers from various mental, and physical problems.  He lives in a Hell of his own making, and I am thankful he lives far away from me!!  Annio, please do yourself a huge favor; get professional help for your abuse.  I did, and it has been a blessing.  I wish you well, on your road to recovery. :wave:

Grace, your heart is so beautiful. I was sexually assaulted in the Corps in 1979 by peers. I was being "loosened up" as per VPW "doctrine", and I know that was it because I overheard those exact words used about me. I only fully recalled my assault in 2017, thanks to my survivor friend who is amazing. I think of her when I read your post because she suffered repeated sexual abuse as a child from her older brother long ago. But she is also doing well, having helped co found a national child àbuse fighting group. And she knows lots about the subject: her compassion and knowledge of problems façed by us male survivors is what helped me. But perhaps even more importantly, despite never being in a cult, she knows we were in many ways treated as children. She recommended a book by Mike Lew for male child abuse survivors despite knowing my assault happened as an adult. When I told her the book was helping me, she replied that she knew it would. She also gives me a very vital medicine for recovery: laughter. You have probably seen her sometimes on tv.

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4 hours ago, Lifted Up said:

Grace, your heart is so beautiful. I was sexually assaulted in the Corps in 1979 by peers. I was being "loosened up" as per VPW "doctrine", and I know that was it because I overheard those exact words used about me. I only fully recalled my assault in 2017, thanks to my survivor friend who is amazing. I think of her when I read your post because she suffered repeated sexual abuse as a child from her older brother long ago. But she is also doing well, having helped co found a national child àbuse fighting group. And she knows lots about the subject: her compassion and knowledge of problems façed by us male survivors is what helped me. But perhaps even more importantly, despite never being in a cult, she knows we were in many ways treated as children. She recommended a book by Mike Lew for male child abuse survivors despite knowing my assault happened as an adult. When I told her the book was helping me, she replied that she knew it would. She also gives me a very vital medicine for recovery: laughter. You have probably seen her sometimes on tv.

LU, thanks for the compliment, but if I do have a "beautiful heart", it's due to God.  God has rescued me, from so many potential mistakes, I have made over the years.  Sexual assault is sexual assault, whether it happens as a child, or an adult.  I also have access to wonderful therapists; they believe me when I talk about my childhood trauma.  I have spoken to a number of female Veterans, who experienced Military Sexual Trama, (MST), while serving in various branches of the military. Interesting, many people forget men are also victims of MST.  LU, years ago, a woman here at the GSC, described her sexual assault in graphic images, during her time in TWI.  It made me cry, but it also made me realize many of us, are victims of sexual assault.  There is life after sexual abuse, but it has taken me decades, and decades to process my experiences of sexual abuse as a child.  But, God is merciful, and He is capable of healing our hearts.  For this, I am thankful. 

 

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