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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.

Edited by T-Bone
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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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