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cult and sexual abuse tactics of vpw (from Old Way tapes thread)


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(Hope OK  to do this; don't want the discussion to be buried in the old way tapes!)

A few quotes from the Old Way Tapes thread that are on this excellent needed topic IMO, and my thankful reply:

14 hours ago, WordWolf said:

IIRC, he spent a few MINUTES out of 7 sessions of the CFS class that might be considered to cover adultery or fornication.  There was I Corinthians 7:1 and 2, and I think that's about all he covered on the subject.  He said the literal on "touch" in 7:1 meant "to help himself", so a man wasn't supposed to "help himself" to a woman.    He also mentioned "flee fornication." ( I Corinthians 6:18a) , but he didn't get into it.  He talked about someone drawing a picture of Tick (the dog), with a flea on his head, with the caption "flea fornication." He didn't actually teach we were supposed to FLEE fornication, but he had time to describe the drawing in detail. 

For a class that was 7 sessions long, the number of verses covered was scant, and the actual hand-out of verses was 2 pages long.   I've heard there was some teacher's guide with more verses, but I've never seen one.   All the students got was 2 pages- one on the virtuous woman and a chapter in Proverbs, and the other on vpw claiming that the "original sin" was an act of, ahem, "self-love" (or "self-abuse" if that's how you think of it.) 

The classes that everyone was expected to take were the BAIT, so they never outright stated his most perverse stuff- he saved that for private meetings on-campus to the Corps, to the staff, and so on.    Taped sermons touched on them sometimes, but generally not to any great degree. 

He was grooming us to extend our bounderies of acceptance.

(Sorry, the belows didn't copy well)

14 hours ago, WordWolf said:

 

10 hours ago, waysider said:

 

[Waysider posted: He was grooming us to extend our bounderies of acceptance.]

[T-Bone posted: I agree. Wierwille’s modus operandi was in developing an undercurrent that grew stronger as one became more involved with the organization (like joining programs and staff).

Undercurrent: an underlying feeling or influence, especially one that is contrary to the prevailing atmosphere and is not expressed openly; a current of water below the surface and moving in a different direction from any surface current…teachings available to the general public were seemingly benign promoting study of the Bible, offering keys to overcoming adversity and finding fulfilment in life. All that supposedly wholesome sounding Bible stuff on the surface hides the undertow. You'll find it's all about wierwille's skewed interpretation of the Bible commingled with lies... Your hopes and dreams become entangled with the busy work of the ministry. Any false sense of happiness and fulfillment really depends on how much you commit to an organization. Christian, beware these are treacherous waters! The deeper you go the more you find wierwille’s influence leading you further and further away from the simple and honest life of a Christian. Wierwille was like Captain Nemo and my experience in TWI was like twenty thousand (or more) lies under the sea.]

 

Me, Annio now:  Well expressed and Ah YES, THANK YOU!!! These posts are extremely helpful to me for several reasons-

1) Am still recovering from various way ministry abuses and they give needed big picture context

2) Have had discussions with an old friend recently who still connects to/with Chris Geer folks; now I can see more clearly the reasons for her continued adulation of vpw and inability/ unwillingness to accept the trauma that I went through.

3) I can see parallels betw the modus operandi of vpw and Harvey Weinsten, Jeffrey Epstein, Catholic priests, et al.  Weinstein was a bully in general, several ppl testified, so naturally this can extend to a man's sexual relationships with women who need his support/connection to advance their careers. A male assistant said working for him was like "being in a cult". Vpw was a bully with power in general, and used sex as a way to bring "privileged" young women into his inner circle using his false mog persona. There are numerous parallels between all of these predators, the normalizing cultures around them, the addictions they had, the sense that they were untouchable re: the law/consequences, etc.

4) All of this is building up my desire to DO something. Since I left the way in '88 and transitioned with others into Chris Geer's fold for a good while, and since CG led me to the motor coach in '80, I did research and found his home address: 13 Casselton Rd, Raymond, ME, 4071-6727. Maybe I will write him a letter... Maybe I will write Kris Skedgell about how much her wonderful book Losing the Way meant to me; she was at the family camp where I took PFAL in '74 (and where a young man just about seduced me)... 

Maybe I will contact the young leader who helped himself to me during my way corps interim year (so ironic that vpw taught [oh so benignly as has been said] that 1 Cor 7:1 could read "a man should not help himself to a woman"... Talk about reverse undercurrents...). We shall see...

Maybe CFF folks would give a listening ear? That would be helpful. They have alot of my trust in other areas; DWBH's sharing about his conversation with Kevin Gigou and I think Sarah, confirmed my positive regard for them.

5) And all of this is building up my desire to find some closure, as much as is possible here on this earth. We shall see!

Yep, I have been able to process alot by posting here; apologies if I share too much info... So good to know you all are here!! And maybe I can support others on their journeys from time to time.

Cheers, and best to you all!!

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, annio said:

...Me, Annio now:  Well expressed and Ah YES, THANK YOU!!! These posts are extremely helpful to me for several reasons-

1) Am still recovering from various way ministry abuses and they give needed big picture context

2) Have had discussions with an old friend recently who still connects to/with Chris Geer folks; now I can see more clearly the reasons for her continued adulation of vpw and inability/ unwillingness to accept the trauma that I went through.

3) I can see parallels betw the modus operandi of vpw and Harvey Weinsten, Jeffrey Epstein, Catholic priests, et al.  Weinstein was a bully in general, several ppl testified, so naturally this can extend to a man's sexual relationships with women who need his support/connection to advance their careers. A male assistant said working for him was like "being in a cult". Vpw was a bully with power in general, and used sex as a way to bring "privileged" young women into his inner circle using his false mog persona. There are numerous parallels between all of these predators, the normalizing cultures around them, the addictions they had, the sense that they were untouchable re: the law/consequences, etc.

4) All of this is building up my desire to DO something. Since I left the way in '88 and transitioned with others into Chris Geer's fold for a good while, and since CG led me to the motor coach in '80, I did research and found his home address: 13 Casselton Rd, Raymond, ME, 4071-6727. Maybe I will write him a letter... Maybe I will write Kris Skedgell about how much her wonderful book Losing the Way meant to me; she was at the family camp where I took PFAL in '74 (and where a young man just about seduced me)... 

Maybe I will contact the young leader who helped himself to me during my way corps interim year (so ironic that vpw taught [oh so benignly as has been said] that 1 Cor 7:1 could read "a man should not help himself to a woman"... Talk about reverse undercurrents...). We shall see...

Maybe CFF folks would give a listening ear? That would be helpful. They have alot of my trust in other areas; DWBH's sharing about his conversation with Kevin Gigou and I think Sarah, confirmed my positive regard for them.

5) And all of this is building up my desire to find some closure, as much as is possible here on this earth. We shall see!

Yep, I have been able to process alot by posting here; apologies if I share too much info... So good to know you all are here!! And maybe I can support others on their journeys from time to time.

Cheers, and best to you all!!

Great post Annio !!!

 

Closure: a sense of resolution or conclusion at the end of a work or project; a feeling that an emotional or traumatic experience has been resolved; an often comforting or satisfying sense of finality…I don’t know if typical closure is possible on some things that happen to us…but I think there may be some sense of bittersweet triumph when we repurpose our “scar tissue” to warn others or help others recover from a similar experience…and I am sure the courageous way you (and others) have shared of your experiences continues to frustrate the hell out of the modus operandi of sexual predators.

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20 hours ago, annio said:
 

3) I can see parallels betw the modus operandi of vpw and Harvey Weinsten, Jeffrey Epstein, Catholic priests, et al.  Weinstein was a bully in general, several ppl testified, so naturally this can extend to a man's sexual relationships with women who need his support/connection to advance their careers. A male assistant said working for him was like "being in a cult". Vpw was a bully with power in general, and used sex as a way to bring "privileged" young women into his inner circle using his false mog persona. There are numerous parallels between all of these predators, the normalizing cultures around them, the addictions they had, the sense that they were untouchable re: the law/consequences, etc.

4) All of this is building up my desire to DO something. Since I left the way in '88 and transitioned with others into Chris Geer's fold for a good while, and since CG led me to the motor coach in '80, I did research and found his home address: 13 Casselton Rd, Raymond, ME, 4071-6727. Maybe I will write him a letter... Maybe I will write Kris Skedgell about how much her wonderful book Losing the Way meant to me; she was at the family camp where I took PFAL in '74 (and where a young man just about seduced me)... 

YES,,,there are lots of parallels between abusers and assaulters and rapists who committed their acts in what at first seems were radically different environments.  The (non-Way) friend who helped me break my silence about my own Way sexual assault once told me that abusers often seem to be reading from the same script. (she is also my favorite entertainer).  Power is the key word for the perpetrator, and shame is his/her tool to subdue the victim. Shame is often described as the master emotion by the leader of my male survivor support group. In that same group, I have come across survivors from churches who went through ordeals much like I did in my cult. I certainly have seen strong cult similarities between the Way and followers of a certain politician who is basically an avowed abuser. And I know about the desire to do somethng, again, not Way related but there is so much to do. Since my friend is a child abuse survivor who co founded a national group, I went to work for that group. At one point, she recommended a book written for male child abuse survivors, even though she knew my sexual assault happened as an adult in a cult (The Way of course). And, in obedience, we were treated like children in the Way, even in the Way Corps. BTW years ago, Kristen Skedgell's book was a big awakening for me as well. For decades, I did not want to believe such bad stuff happened in the Way to anyone, much less to myself, of course not recalling my assault during that time. "Losing the Way" was a big step in my awakening.

 

 

 

 

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I posted the below on the Old Way Tapes thread but this is better where it belongs:

 

I have a distinct recollection of some early "grooming" material ie PFAL, that talks about moving boundaries  Maybe it was in "renewed mind" class.  Cursed are those who remove their neighbours' boundaries.  According to VPW, this is not just the field boundaries (the obvious as referred to in Deut 27 and Prov 22 and Prov 23 (among other places) but the boundaries of other people's minds.  And yet - that's exactly what VPW was doing with us - moving the boundaries of our minds.  For some, who had poor boundaries, that could possibly have been a good thing (note: could.  But the actuality was that boundaries were probably pushed further out in an unhealthy way; vulnerable people were very easy prey).  For most of us, that would be moving the boundaries of good commonsense rules instilled by our parents or society. 

But actually, for all of us, what he was doing with his teaching was precisely removing boundaries: he was replacing those societally decent sexual and other behavioural boundaries by his own perverted boundaries of what was decent behaviour and then instilling a new boundary of "lockbox."

Deut 27: 'The one who moves his neighbor's boundary marker is cursed.' And all the people will say, 'Amen!'

Job 24: Some remove the landmarks; they violently take away flocks, and feed thereof.

Prov 23: Remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless:

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On 1/17/2020 at 9:04 PM, annio said:

all of this is building up my desire to find some closure,

Think the best way to do this is to examine your own boundaries.  Why do you say to yourself, "This is okay but this other is not"?  What are you comfortable with?  Why?  Where did you learn that it was (or was not) okay?  And, most important, if you still adhere to Christian principles, "How does this line up with [mainstream] Biblical teaching?"  I add "mainstream" as a starting point - you can't believe everything that is supposedly Christian doctrine, but there is a general consensus and it will stop you picking up some other out-there cultic idea of right and wrong.  A consideration of Proverbs early chapters might help with clarity.

You're learning from your mistakes and the tricks that have been played on you.  Forgive yourself for being fooled.  Use your experiences to be watchful for others, and to teach them how to be watchful - revenge!

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I have forgiven myself; I hear it too many times not to listen, from my counselor, male survivor support group, my faith resources, and a few pertinent online pages. I don;t worry about closure with the ex-Way community, or anyone acknowledging this male being sexually assaulted. But I am very active in the general community; my non Way related friend who helped me break my silence also having co founded a national abuse prevention group, and helping me to laugh and smile (That's her job with everybody). But being loosened up (I heard those words specifically used about me) was not a loosening up, or playing around. And of course that loosening up term was one of VPW's.  

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  • 2 months later...
On 1/25/2020 at 1:10 PM, Twinky said:

I have a distinct recollection of some early "grooming" material ie PFAL, that talks about moving boundaries  Maybe it was in "renewed mind" class.  Cursed are those who remove their neighbours' boundaries.  According to VPW, this is not just the field boundaries (the obvious as referred to in Deut 27 and Prov 22 and Prov 23 (among other places) but the boundaries of other people's minds.  And yet - that's exactly what VPW was doing with us - moving the boundaries of our minds.  For some, who had poor boundaries, that could possibly have been a good thing (note: could.  But the actuality was that boundaries were probably pushed further out in an unhealthy way; vulnerable people were very easy prey).  For most of us, that would be moving the boundaries of good commonsense rules instilled by our parents or society. 

I call this brain washing. See if you are trained to think in a certain way and dwell on it long enough- your mind can be guided by a pig
especially if you have got to the stage where you trust him enough to do his bidding.
When Hitler got up the podium to "preach" hatred of the jews to the nation of Germany,
A lot of people didnt take him seriously but day by day he hammered the same old theme of why
the jews were scoundrels and rats that must be exterminated.
As this went on day after day, there came a time when the people of Germany convinced themselves that the jews must be eradicated
from society. Middle classs and honest christians were volunteering to take turns to take a gun with them
and finish off their given assignments - killing a jew
Ordinarily these honest middle class working people would never even dream of doing such a thing
Why did they do it? They were "protecting" the nation from the "merciless" jews who were going to "enslave"
them. Hitler himself was a devout catholic and was considered a family man

In the case of VPW- it was a case of systematic brainwashing- it's over a series of classes
People are committed to it because they have paid for it- VPW says he is charging because 
people wont take the class and quit if he doesnt put a price for the class- That's right so he can
properly brain wash them to accept him as a creditable, trustworthy and Godly man with the utmost integrity.
He talks about it a lot so it will be etched in people's mind- Satan's servant must have definitely done his homework
The pfal class is the starting point where he builds such an incredible amount of trust and credibility- a "man of God"
honest, truthful and he talks a lot of the heroics of Paul and Jesus Christ was a man's man- That was true
but VPW was helping himself to credibility by associating himself with others with an undeniable proven track record
VPW  was a shameless pig who rode on the reputation and bravery of people like  Paul and Jesus Christ and people make the mistake
of ascribing trust and integrity to VPW - wow what a man, we think. 

Pfal class- Build trust, credibility and integrity-
He talks about it so much that we associate trust, credibility and integrity to VPW

Intermediate Class -Demonstration of the "power of God" 
We see in action a "mighty man of God" like we have never seen before
Finally someome teaching us to "intrepret" toungues and "prophesy"- He hides behind "forth telling" because everyone is entitled to it
Fore telling- Only true prophets called by God can do it but forth telling- VPW can teach you- it doesnt matter if he is liar- you dont know 
about it (world's best kept secret) . Mrs VPW bag is a kid's lunchbox when compared to what's VPW's character like

Christian Family & Sex Class- Priming & Loosening up of Sex Boundaries

I reckon this is the whole aim of VPW in this class. It's priming women for his private sexual rights to any women -especially the young ones who
go through his "brainwashing and trust building classes" . I dont know if he charged for this class but I never got to take it
The ones targetted by VPW as we know are told that they are a very special calibre of women who can handle the task
of relieving "overburned and stressed " "man of God" by satisfying his sexual need
and people succumb to these lies because they have been trained to trust and obey along the lines of a top notch soldier 
It remind me of the movie called "true lies"

These type of brain washing and extending the boundaries doesnt happen overnight- it's over a period of time
and people dont even realise what's happening to them and how they are extending the boundaries to let the bear in.
TWI distances itself from other cults by saying and it's so common (again gain credibility by associating
with Godly people in the bible by saying - "Oh The pharisees and general public also called the band of 
people following Jesus Christ -a cult" 
So we are thinking to ourelves, Hmmm! That means TWI must be in the same boat as the disciples of Jesus Christ
This is a trap- where people dont even check TWI because they think that if they check TWI- they are going to get the
same reaction from the church groups or general poulation. Well VPW is a "greeaaat" minister of the Lord- how dare they?
Why should we let other people call us a cult when TWI is such a wonderful organization "teaching" people the word
Not realising that VPW is the most shameless wild pig there is - as someone once said an active resident  of sodom and gomorrah
would blush if he saw what goes on at TWI

This is why parents have a duty to love their children and nurture them with the word of God
so there is a protection around their children constantly. Even older people have been conned and this
is why whenever someone gives "religious class". The first thing to do is to check the "teacher" 
out and check the "organization out" thoroughly before serious harm is done
if only I had gone to the internet to do a bit of reearch on TWi and I might have found GSC and
it would have saved e years of heartache
VPW used to say people should pray and just trust God and dont worry (meaning dont check)
what the children have gotten to- dont worry God will take care of it
Yeah right (A godly responsible parent will both pray, trust God and check on their children whereabouts and
what they are doing)

Just because someone is teaching the bible doesnt necessarily mean they are good people
I cannot stress this enough- they need to be checked out thoroughly before one takes any type
class especially a religious class.

I wonder how many people quit after taking the pfal class or midway through the class and
never turned up. Smart move -I must congratulate them.
It would be interesting to get their feedback.

My advice to those who have been seriouly hurt by VPW is- God loves you very much
he reached out to me when I cried out to Him for truth in an amazing way
Spend time with God in prayer and communing with God and let God heal your heart
GSC is a great place also online for other people who have been similarly hurt to share
how they have overcome the hurt inflicted by TWI in the past and found closure

I have been hurt tremendously and it's going away and I can forget it becaues
God has something so beautiful for all of eternity for me- and I tell myself my TWI is a spit in bucket
It's gone forever

 

 

 


 

Edited by Waxit
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  • 3 months later...

I saw someone post this in the friend tracker section and I believe it deserves more attention. A number of people have addressed the culture of sexual predation that VP left behind him. I can't say how much TWI was involved in this, but whatever the background this is still absolutely sickening. 

Former BOD member Robert McCulloch was convicted of Abduction, Gross Sexual Imposition, and Public Indecency with a 7 year old female:

https://www.icrimewatch.net/offenderdetails.php?OfndrID=2050019&AgencyID=55149

He was on the Board sometime between 2009 and 2012 judging from a post and the WayBack Machine:

On 11/13/2009 at 9:42 PM, OldSkool said:

 

Board of Directors

* Rosalie F. Rivenbark, Chairman of the Board

* Jean-Yves De Lisle

* Robert McCulloch

* Vince McFadden

* John Rupp

 

https://web.archive.org/web/20120722062936/http://www.theway.org/index.php?page=home&lang=en

I don't know if this crime was committed when he was on the board, but it is possible because he was convicted in early 2014.

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VICTIM WAS A 7 YEAR OLD FEMALE.  

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(If it is in fact the same Robert McCulloch.  It's possible there are other men with this name, though McCulloch as a surname probably isn't that common.)

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11 hours ago, Twinky said:

(If it is in fact the same Robert McCulloch.  It's possible there are other men with this name, though McCulloch as a surname probably isn't that common.)

I worked at HQ during the same time as @OldSkool, and I can verify that the picture here looks like an older version of the man I knew.

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Hello any reader or poster, thank you sooo much for the replies from awhile ago! I'm doing a book purging thing, and am ripping out old way ministry book pages to recycle/toss- Feels Good! No GREAT!!  The mental, emotional, and sexual abuse, mind control, career sacrifices, etc I experienced in that "ministry" are the cause for my writing here in the midst of my recovery.

Been thinking- In my early 20's I had seen what group think did in several racist southern churches (I stopped attending), so vowed NOT to get involved in any Christian group to Belong Somewhere. But was desperate for Christian fellowship and more of God's power, and after 4 months of  WOW fellowships, said Yes to taking the class after a trip to HQ and seeing the camaraderie in the community and going to the Resurrection Sunday SNService/communion time. 

Huh, the decision was definitely an All or Nothing Thing due to the pressure to take the class and the rather unorthodox teachings, which it Never Should Have Been! (As has already been stated here very well.) So I told the WOW's yes I will take the class, (took it later in the summer at a family camp), and then was handed a blue book and told to read the first chapter 50 times for my own good. Damn. But already by that time, I was trusting them and the "WE have the Answers" thinking...  Oh well, b/c of my original vow, it was a little easier to leave twi in '88 with the Chris Geer folks, I think. But the transition into the more main stream Christian church after 35 years of vpw influence... Am finally thinking for myself about all KINDS OF DOCTRINAL AREAS! Some practical ones too.

(I AM glad that the pentecostal church I go to now is moving more towards home gatherings; we are doing ALL home church Sunday gatherings atleast two times a year beginning soon in prep for possible future times when we have less freedom...) ANYway, it is Good to be rooted and grounded in God's Good Soil of Truth and Love, and more healthy personal function!!

Best to ALL here!!!:beer:

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2 hours ago, annio said:

I'm doing a book purging thing, and am ripping out old way ministry book pages to recycle/toss

They go well on a woodburner or bonfire, too! :biglaugh:

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2 hours ago, annio said:

Hello any reader or poster, thank you sooo much for the replies from awhile ago! I'm doing a book purging thing, and am ripping out old way ministry book pages to recycle/toss- Feels Good! No GREAT!!  The mental, emotional, and sexual abuse, mind control, career sacrifices, etc I experienced in that "ministry" are the cause for my writing here in the midst of my recovery.

(snip)

ya know...recycling way ministry books means something else to TWI-Splinter groups  :spy:

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14 minutes ago, annio said:

Not sure what you mean T-bone...?

There are hundreds [if not thousands] of splinter groups still teaching various parts of VPW doctrine. Those groups would love to gain access to 'old way ministry' books and materials.

 

People are still running PFAL classes.

 

 

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22 minutes ago, annio said:

Not sure what you mean T-bone...?

Sorry for any confusion – I was trying to make a joke; for clarification I was just playing off the idea that splinter groups reuse and/or regurgitate many of wierwille’s teachings - in other words recycled way-doctrine.

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Even just a month and a half ago, a guy posted on the 7th corpse thread looking for PFLAP materials to run the class in other languages.
 

 

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Ah, gotcha T-bone, Rocky, and Galene :wave: And thank you waysider for the colorful table-stabilizing idea!

Seriously, I suppose some ppl who have never known any Bible whatsoever would benefit from learning about Romans 10:9-10 e.g., SITing, and various other Bible verses. Maybe they could benefit from some truths, and then SPLIT! when the pressure starts being applied. (I know about a friend's son who was being pressured to give up his epilepsy medications and save $$ for their foundational class, and who finally stopped attending local fellowships...) So I will resist the temptation to respond to a request for materials by sending em my ripped up pages with lots of cross outs and comments in the margins!

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Food for  thought? Hope of interest to some... Am processing a little/lot more, heh heh: from an article based on the book ‘Terror, Love and Brainwashing: Attachment in Cults and Totalitarian Systems’ by Alexandra Stein © 2016 (She quotes other authors from time to time); "There are five features of a totalist system I had identified based on Arendt and Lifton’s work." -

1) "... the leader is both charismatic and authoritarian. ... "Not all leaders want to get rich, gain sexual favours, or grab political power. But all want utter control over others." [Yep]

2a) "‘In the centre sits the Leader, separated by an inner circle who spread around him an aura of impenetrable mystery’. These leaders rule over isolating, steeply hierarchical and closed structures, some with front groups serving as transmission belts to the outside world."  [Loyal wow's and way corps were promoters? The early power grabs and reassigning way corps often without their needs/requests being considered; sending out wow's by "revelation"..." Maybe sometimes, I really don't know...

2b) "...followers [way corps in residence, ppl at on staff at root locations], face a triple isolation: from the outside world, from each other within the closed system, and from their own internal dialogue, where clear thinking about the group might arise." [Lock box, Chris Geer's role, other virtual pimps, fire hosing repetition of PFAL and other classes, etc]

3) "The third element of totalism is the total ideology:... The exclusive belief system is controlled entirely by the leader, empowering him or her through the creation of a fictional world of secrets and lies."  [Yeah, the dispensationalism IMHO, hidden plagiarizing, vp's perverted sexualized stuff...]  "‘After a while, things that seemed preposterous seem normal’ The fictional, invented quality of the total ideology reinforces the confusion and eventual dissociation experienced by followers."  Damn!  "...no questions or doubts are allowed. Should you voice your concerns, a network of monitors will turn you in for reeducation. Should that reeducation fail, then you are cut from the group, never to speak with your former compatriots again."  [I definitely experienced that in Sept '88 when I and others were not going to be loyal to LCM; best friends M&A-ed us...]

4) Here's where it gets pretty deep and psychological; not all in the way were/are thusly trapped I think, but I was...] "For a totalist system to wield complete control, the leader must tap fear. The process of brainwashing that totalist systems engage in is one of psychological, coercive manipulation where the leader or group alternates terror with ‘love’. Bowlby said that when we are frightened, we don’t simply run away from the fear, but run to a safe haven, ‘to someone…’ – and that someone is usually a person to whom we feel attached. But when the supposed safe haven is also the source of the fear, then running to that person is a failing strategy, causing the frightened person to freeze, trapped between approach and avoidance." [Again, obviously some experienced this more than others. I had experienced lots of trauma with my parents and in a first marriage, and had no where else to go... Until I finally recovered enough from the traumas to Look Only to God, begin to question the spiritual emptiness in the Chris Geer fold, and begin to explore other Christian groups.]

5) "Having disabled logical thinking about the traumatic relationship, the leader can then introduce even more of the fictitious ideology to explain away and redirect the follower’s terror. It’s a positive feedback loop with a biochemical element: physiologically, the victim is engaged in an effort to manage their cortisol or anxiety levels by seeking proximity to a safe haven, but never succeeding in attaining adequate comfort. It is for this reason that we can predict that cultic systems will attempt to interfere with and control any alternative attachment relationships a person might have. To fail to do so would allow the follower to find a safe haven elsewhere and potentially escape the emotional and cognitive control of the group. This is the same thing we see in controlling relationships such as in cases of domestic violence, of the Stockholm Syndrome or, frequently, with pimps and prostitutes, as well as in human trafficking."  [I did not stick around long enough to experience this, but a few folks I knew did.]

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Last  post for now! Re: the fear factor for some who stayed in twi into the 2000's (that I know of), and another contrasting person:

I may have shared before... When I visited HQ in '09 and had my car tires about 3 inches onto the property, the Security guy told me to leave. I engaged him a little, told him I just wanted to pray there for a bit as I had not been back in 21 years. Got no where of course. Then I asked "What if I don't leave?" The paranoia was very apparent- his eyes just kind of glazed over and he appeared to dissociate; the terror of not doing his job well enough? Outer darkness awaited!! I left.

The second time I visited 3-4 years ago around Sunday afternoon service time, and couldn't resist taking pix of some of my favorite places, and got a security fellow who was more feisty; when I explained that this had been my home and I'd been in the ministry for 14 years, etc, it got competitive! He had been involved for 30+ years! I tried to establish that we wre bro and sis in Christ, but to no avail.

Oh well, such were my adventures upon returning to HQ!

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