Jump to content
GreaseSpot Cafe
Thomas Loy Bumgarner

I regret ever being in The Way International

Recommended Posts

On my Facebook page I wrote that I wished I had never heard of TWI and Victor Paul Wierwille. I wasted time from 1973 through 1979 instead of focusing on college and music. I should have graduated by 1978 instead of 1982, been a full-time church musician until at least 2019, and had a better Social Security amount to retire on. But I was young and foolish. I could have bought all of Bullinger, Pillai, Lamsa, Errico, Watchman Nee, Torrey, etc. at Christian Bookstores and have my church purchase Alpha and other DVD's on Christian doctrine. A word of warning to others who might be seduced by this cult.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure there were better ways to spend your time, so I don't disagree.

I hope you consider that lives aren't always efficient, and that NOBODY has a life with NO regrets.  If you'd lived that way, you'd have been a different person, and perhaps part of what makes you who you are (in a good way)  might be missing if you'd lived differently.    That doesn't change the reality, but hopefully you'll conclude it was not ALL a waste of time.   Me, I've found I learned a lot about compassion after getting hurt and needing compassion.   I didn't like learning it that way, but.....

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, WordWolf said:

I'm sure there were better ways to spend your time, so I don't disagree.

I hope you consider that lives aren't always efficient, and that NOBODY has a life with NO regrets.  If you'd lived that way, you'd have been a different person, and perhaps part of what makes you who you are (in a good way)  might be missing if you'd lived differently.    That doesn't change the reality, but hopefully you'll conclude it was not ALL a waste of time.   Me, I've found I learned a lot about compassion after getting hurt and needing compassion.   I didn't like learning it that way, but.....

WW, you nailed it.

Penworks' book, Undertow provides great insight on her experience in twi. She has made it her mission to shed light on the cult experience. She could do that only because of her 17 years in twi.

I wrote this (which Penworks included at the beginning of the book),

“Undertow is a gift to young people and their families who want to understand the inner workings of fundamentalist cults. Charlene Edge’s experience parallels much of my own twelve years as a follower of Victor Paul Wierwille’s ministry. Undertow sheds light on the decisions, questions, and longings that she encountered, and ultimately worked her way through. In the words of Canadian author Matshona Dhliwayo, ‘Books are kinder teachers than experience.’ May Undertow be a kinder teacher to you than Charlene’s seventeen years in The Way International were to her.” —Steve Muratore

I'm now reading Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead by former Secretary of Defense James Mattis. He makes the same point about learning from others' mistakes (that I did when I said that about Undertow).

Mattis also poignantly demonstrates numerous examples of learning the hard way, through one's own experience. He doesn't call it regrets, but does powerfully make the case that learning from others' mistakes is quicker and often less painful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Thomas Loy Bumgarner said:

 A word of warning to others who might be seduced by this cult.

I think this thread is also another reminder to those who have already been seduced by TWI and may feel they have some vague inkling they have been duped. I left in 86’ and looking back on my somewhat lengthy exit experience – I’ve come to the conclusion my decision to leave was ultimately more about the methods of TWI to shore up their doctrine and practices rather than about any particular doctrine itself.

 

Rocky and Word Wolf have made excellent points about regret; we are only human – imperfect and unfortunately without a time machine – so we can’t go back and re-do situations where we screwed up, failed or were taken advantage of by others. Rather, I believe being human and imperfect we are nonetheless endowed by our Creator with some kind of “indomitable machine” that enables us to bounce back from failures and overcome obstacles.

 

Regret  is to feel sad, repentant, or disappointed over something that has happened or been done, especially a loss or missed opportunity; to feel sorry or unhappy about something you did or were unable to do…There will always be regrets - - but if we never felt sad, repentant or disappointed over something that happened where would the impetus come from to decide to change our course of action? I also tend to think the stronger the regret, the stronger is the stimulus that drives us to change something. We may not yet know what that something is – but we still may find that the gears are already in motion in our head – to question, to challenge, to modify how we look at something. After a while – I think you may find the baby steps you’ve taken and what you’ve achieved and have to be thankful for will by far outweigh the regrets.

I said leaving TWI was a long and slow process for me. It was a series of baby steps. Doing something – even something small -  is better than doing nothing. Back then there was no Grease Spot …Penworks had not yet written “Undertow”. I did my own research on doctrine and practice – even looked at books outside of those promoted by TWI, did a lot of thinking…questioning…challenging… talking to others who had left TWI or were thinking about leaving. I Thessalonians 5:21 was my motto during these baby steps times “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good”. You may want to spend more effort in scrutinizing the methods and practices of TWI rather than fretting over a particular doctrine. In other words, look at how they reinforced their teachings and way of doing things. Perhaps you'll notice some of the hindrances they've put in place to frustrate clear or critical thinking. "Prove all things" applies to methods and practices too.

In the end, maybe regrets can be just one chapter in the book of your life – a chapter that is a lot shorter than the chapters on baby steps and the chapter on what you’re grateful for.

 

So dear TWI follower, what is stopping you from considering the ideas on this thread?

 

here's Penworks' book "Undertow"

 

Edited by T-Bone
formatting
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, T-Bone said:

You may want to spend more effort in scrutinizing the methods and practices of TWI rather than fretting over a particular doctrine

Worth repeating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, T-Bone said:

I think this thread is also another reminder to those who have already been seduced by TWI and may feel they have some vague inkling they have been duped. I left in 86’ and looking back on my somewhat lengthy exit experience – I’ve come to the conclusion my decision to leave was ultimately more about the methods of TWI to shore up their doctrine and practices rather than about any particular doctrine itself.

 

Rocky and Word Wolf have made excellent points about regret; we are only human – imperfect and unfortunately without a time machine – so we can’t go back and re-do situations where we screwed up, failed or were taken advantage of by others. Rather, I believe being human and imperfect we are nonetheless endowed by our Creator with some kind of “indomitable machine” that enables us to bounce back from failures and overcome obstacles.

 

Regret  is to feel sad, repentant, or disappointed over something that has happened or been done, especially a loss or missed opportunity; to feel sorry or unhappy about something you did or were unable to do…There will always be regrets - - but if we never felt sad, repentant or disappointed over something that happened where would the impetus come from to decide to change our course of action? I also tend to think the stronger the regret, the stronger is the stimulus that drives us to change something. We may not yet know what that something is – but we still may find that the gears are already in motion in our head – to question, to challenge, to modify how we look at something. After a while – I think you may find the baby steps you’ve taken and what you’ve achieved and have to be thankful for will by far outweigh the regrets.

I said leaving TWI was a long and slow process for me. It was a series of baby steps. Doing something – even something small -  is better than doing nothing. Back then there was no Grease Spot …Penworks had not yet written “Undertow”. I did my own research on doctrine and practice – even looked at books outside of those promoted by TWI, did a lot of thinking…questioning…challenging… talking to others who had left TWI or were thinking about leaving. I Thessalonians 5:21 was my motto during these baby steps times “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good”. You may want to spend more effort in scrutinizing the methods and practices of TWI rather than fretting over a particular doctrine. In other words, look at how they reinforced their teachings and way of doing things. Perhaps you'll notice some of the hindrances they've put in place to frustrate clear or critical thinking. "Prove all things" applies to methods and practices too.

In the end, maybe regrets can be just one chapter in the book of your life – a chapter that is a lot shorter than the chapters on baby steps and the chapter on what you’re grateful for.

 

So dear TWI follower, what is stopping you from considering the ideas on this thread?

 

here's Penworks' book "Undertow"

 

Wonderfully eloquent. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...