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skyrider

Vern Edwards: The Decision Is Yours

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The Way International has a new president and Chairman of the Board:  Vern Edwards.

Unless Rosalie Rivenbark has installed some little "trip-wire" in twi's decision-making process......Vern Edwards, the new president, presides over the decisions and direction of The Way International going forward.  At his discretion, he can convene a board meeting with Bill Greene and John Rupp to discuss and implement direction, mandates, guidelines and/or yearly themes that could change their stagnant trajectory.  Clearly, it is well-documented from sources and disgruntled, exiting corps members that twi's classes, programs and sunday service attendance are all dismal.  Thanks, Rosalie......ppffffttt.

So, it doesn't take rocket-science brains to know that you, Vern, have a decision to make.  You are at the crossroads of.......1) Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results [known commonly as insanity] or 2) Have the fortitude to make the hard decisions that challenge the status quo and everything that you've been doing the past 30 years that twi claimed were "doing the Word."  No one reaches higher plateaus by following in the steps of losers.

Do you follow "the footprints in the sand" of your lord and savior, Jesus Christ.....the mediator between God and man?

Or, do you follow "the paved blacktop walkway of twi" that Rosalie mandated for 20 years during her reign.......where dull denominations and cults rule with heavy hand and manipulate the followers to their will?

Imagine the possibilities of living a spiritual life......in all of its fullness. 

  • Walking in newness of life.......not in the spirit of the law, but in the spirit of FREEDOM.
  • A life that is pleasing the lord......undoing the burdens of guilt, fear and shame.  Healing the broken-hearted.
  • Engaging with fellow-disciples in their time of fear and trepidation.......walking on storm-tossed seas.
  • Breaking the chains that bind the soul of man.  Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.
  • Teach the One Body of Christ......wherein, Jesus is the head of that Body!
  • Members in particular.  Everyone is needed.  Everyone is valued.
  • Eliminate the top-down caste structure that wierwille implemented.
  • Eliminate the two-tier system wherein corps rule over non-corps.
  • Pray that the "scales fall from your eyes"........that you might see.
  • Humble yourself before the Lord.......to see His Majestic Will.

Stop deceiving yourself, Vern.  There is no way that The Way International is on the right path.  No way.  No how.  Many have documented the numbers that some 150 way corps exited The Way Ministry BEFORE that August 16, 2016 confrontation letter.  Then, Rico Magnelli demanded Rosalie step down.....and he was given the bums-rush outta there.  Months later, a swath of way corps undersigned that March 17, 2017 letter to the Board of Directors......and that went nowhere.  Clearly, long-standing way corps laid out their grievances and demands in that letter and now, three years later......you are at the helm.

How many new attendees are coming into the corps program this August/September?   Five?  Ten?  The Way International is hemorrhaging more long-standing corps than it is adding to the ranks.  How can that possibly be God's will?  If the way corps are "God's crack troops" like wierwille often said.......how can THAT possibly be right?  Less way corps is good?

Obviously, there needs to be a true cleansing of the camp.  True sanctification.  Not just pithy-themed mandate, but a true repentance of heart!!

The decision is yours, Vern.  You are at the crossroads.  You are the man at the helm.  You are in charge of steering this ship.  Where it will go and where it ends up is your doing.  Hopefully, you make wiser decisions that your predecessor, Rosalie.  In her 20-year tenure, you guys marched in circles and never advanced.  In fact, it seems clear that by all measures except one, the dollars hoarded away.......Rosalie failed miserably.  

Choose wisely, Vern.  If you follow the twi-grooming, then you too will fail.

Start with repentance and present yourself humbly before the Lord.  And, you'll need to summon His strength and courage if you're ever going to break the chains of the traditions of man .....especially, the chains that wierwille brought to the corps program.  Break those chains!!!

 

 

.

Edited by skyrider
  • Upvote 1

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Well, it's said that the first 100 days is the most important in any new administration/corporate changeover, etc.  Not quite sure when Vern was installed as Prez, but by 1 May he was writing a Prez's blog.  So, as of now, he's at least 66 days in.

In his own words, his manifesto is: "...This was the heart of our Founding President, Dr. Victor Paul Wierwille, and it is still the model for leaders in The Way Ministry today. My goal is to minister and to serve you the most valuable thing available on the face of the earth, the rightly divided Word of God. [as set in the VPW model]."...I am excited to lead our Biblical research, teaching, and fellowship ministry as we endeavor to move in the direction of God’s omniscient guidance. Together we can kindle our passion and zeal and strengthen our firm commitment to see God’s glory and power manifested in our lives; we can take that Word which prevails in our hearts and move it to the world!"

That's some excellent Way-speak.  Just take a look at the jargon and buzz-words.

Here's his statement in full: https://www.theway.org/blog/a-sharing-from-our-new-president/

Doesn't look like much choice under Skyrider's two alternatives: 1) Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results [known commonly as insanity] or 2) Have the fortitude to make the hard decisions that challenge the status quo and everything that you've been doing the past 30 years that twi claimed were "doing the Word."
Of course, Vern isn't limited by Sky's reductions.  Vern might have some "third way" or even "fourth way."

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Yikes! Interesting manifesto to set before Edwards. Color me totally not optimistic that there will be any change in direction, doctrine or practice in twi anytime soon.

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5 hours ago, Rocky said:

Yikes! Interesting manifesto to set before Edwards. Color me totally not optimistic that there will be any change in direction, doctrine or practice in twi anytime soon.

 

Yeah.....and it's going to get more dismal if they don't change course.

Rosalie was 60 years old when she started marching everyone in circles.  Now, 20 years later.......she's 80 and left the building in shambles.  What could Vern possibly accomplish by following her mentorship?

 

 

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Vern Edwards, Bill Greene and John Rupp..........you just might want to give this March 2017 letter more consideration.

  • A list of grievances
  • Pointing out the contentions and strife
  • Detailing the dismal state of The Way International

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Quote

March 2017

Dear beloved Way Corps ministers,

God’s abundant blessings, mercy, and peace be unto you. As Way Corps ministers, we have been and continue to be deeply concerned with the direction our beloved ministry has taken. This is why we persist in sounding the alarm.

We wholeheartedly desire revival and restoration for our ministry of Biblical research, teaching, and fellowship. The entire Way Corps household should realize the need to restore this ministry back to the heart and Biblical truths as initiated by our Founder, Dr. Victor Paul Wierwille. He earned respect many times over by teaching the greatness of God’s Word, leading from the front, and cultivating individual believer’s long suits. He did not ask others to do what he had not done many times himself. This respect cannot simply be transferred. Those succeeding in the same position must earn respect themselves. This involves leading from the front rather than pushing from behind.

We remain firm in our requests to bring our ministry back to "It Is Written," so the Word of the Lord may have free course and be glorified, starting with:

  1. Lift the non-Biblical “no debt” policy that excludes classes and service to those in debt. Rather, continue to teach God’s will of living within our means, working heartily as unto the Lord, and sharing of our abundance.

  2. Eliminate the “absolute” power of the current self-appointed board. Replace it with a larger elected board with established term limits and input from the entire Way Corps household.

  3. Bring The Way Corps meetings back to their roots to include spiritually energized, in-depth teachings of God’s Word with an emphasis on scope and a word-by-word study of the scripture.

  4. Redesign Sunday Teaching Services with an energized service and teachers that motivate and inspire believing. Stream the teachings—we have the fiber optic cable already in place to do so. “Spiritual weakness and inability is caused by improper diet and neglect of the Word.” --VPW

  5. Rethink how Way Corps assignments and placements are handled. Post open positions. Way Corps assignments should be in conjunction with each Way Corps minister, ensuring these decisions really are “best for the individual” and then the ministry by having open discussions and transparent motives.

  6. Reestablish the Word living within a base of youth to lead us into the next generation, or the ministry will not survive. Reenergize their participation by respecting their needs for “Hot Bible,” musical alternatives, listening for and seeking their input, and honoring their desire for fellowship with one another.

  7. Reestablish a research team. This is vital to restore the foundation of our ministry to the integrity of the Word.

  8. Reach out to re-engage Way Corps ministers who have been dropped or have discontinued their Way Corps service due to their conscience based on the Word, family needs, health or other issues.

We know this is not an exhaustive list, but only several of the basics. You will likely have other concerns you would like to see addressed.

Our Lord Jesus Christ showed us how to best evaluate leadership by his simple statement: “By their fruits ye shall know them.” In Matthew 7:15-20, he warned as follows:

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

 

The fruit of our current leadership for the past decade has become increasingly apparent.

 

  1. In the past 10 years we have lost over 150 Way Corps ministers. Combined with continuing small in-residence Corps classes, the overall Way Corps numbers are in a sharp decline.

  2. The number of new graduates who stand following completion of classes is dropping. Because qualified Advanced Class candidate numbers have dropped so low, there is no longer a need to do a class every year.

  3. There has been a steady decrease in the number of believers seeking employment at The Way International and there is a high turnover rate.

  4. Attendance at Sunday Teaching Services at The Way International Headquarters and at on-the-field phone hookups is consistently low.

  5. The Way International has a book value of all assets over $68 million, however believers often pay a facility fee to meet as a State or Branch, or they meet in only “budget” or “free” spaces.  There are less and less full time ministers on the field and in many Regions only one full time couple in the entire Region. This inequality is non-Biblical and begs the question of how the abundant sharing is utilized. There is no transparency. (II Corinthians 8:14)

  6. There is continued mistreatment of long-standing, faithful believers and leadership. Without dialogue and nothing resembling I Timothy 5:19-21, numerous ministers—including seasoned Officers, Region coordinators, State coordinators, Branch coordinators, and others on Headquarters Staff—have been abruptly removed, mishandled, and in several cases barred from fellowship. This is inexcusable.

  7. The Board of Directors have refused to dialogue regarding the Biblical confrontation for which they were rebuked on August 12, 2016. The attached letters were sent asking for representatives to meet with the Board of Directors and later to attend the Region coordinator’s meetings so concerns could be effectually represented. The only option given was meeting with one couple at a time, not in a suggested Acts 15-type leadership meeting. The Board of Directors continue to move ahead unrepentant.

 

These are factual indications of their fruit. Additional questions need to be asked: Do we have the same laughter, joy, and wholehearted goodwill and love for one another that we once knew and loved in our beloved ministry? Why have we not had any nationwide Way Corps face-to-face meetings where we can fully share and learn from one another in an open manner? Why is the labor for and loyalty to a few select individuals exalted above commitment and devotion to our heavenly Father? These things have thwarted the purposes of God.

The future of our ministry is in peril. This information is intended as a call to action. We have not undertaken this mission lightly, but rather with prayer and a multitude of counselors working together. We recognize our first letter was “loud” in that it addressed issues openly. It is now essential to “yell long” as the Way Corps continue to arise, allowing God to bare His mighty arm. It is time to boldly speak up; we stand approved before God, not men. We will no longer cover for the Board of Directors.

Your one-accord voice is needed. As stated in Acts 4:20, after being commanded by the chief priests and elders not to speak at all, nor teach in the name of Jesus, they simply replied, “We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” They went to their “own company” and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them, Acts 4:23. As a result, in verse 24, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord. Boldness to speak the Word, signs and wonders, and a multitude of believers with one heart and soul was the fruit. Great grace was upon them all.

Many of us have informed our “own company” of our Biblical confrontation and why it was done. We have encouraged the believers to pray for our ministry and live the Word. The results have been a greater commitment to “It is Written,” relief that their concerns are being addressed, and a thankfulness that the Word of God is the foundation of our lives. It has been an answer of peace. We encourage you to do the same as God works in your heart.

It must be the Word, the Word, and nothing but the Word.

The numbers that support a change at the Board of Director level are consistently growing. You can contact us at: revivalandrestoration@outlook.com and/or contact us personally with any questions or comments.

Lovingly in Christ,

Ray and Sandy Beets, Ted and Ramona Bidon, Paul and Connie Brooks, Brett and Dale Byers,

Kevin and Melody Carter, Todd and Michelle Cencich, Michael and Cindy Fort,

Gary and Patricia Frederick, Scott and Kristina Froelich, Matthew and Laurie Harmon,

Ed and Jacque Horney, Mark and Terri Ladwig, Aaron and Kelly Lapp, Darrell La Salle,

Rhett Major, Bob and Dottie Moynihan, Rich and Vera O’Neal,

Buddy and Donna Pressler, Stephen and Patty Fay Roberts, David and Cecilia Rowe, Jon and Lisa Ryan,

Michael and Billi-Jo Sanders, Phil and Sue Shelton, Rick and Marian Schilling, Jeffrey and Chrissy Skeltis,

Gene and Sherry Slavit, Sean and Mary Strickland, Walter and Christina Uyehara…plus dozens more

 

 

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I've heard that Rupp is the Chairman of the Board. This stems from a push to bring the way TWI is run closer to that of other "non-profit organizations" which means increasing the independence of the Officers from the Board of Directors. Besides the lack of one man calling the shots, there are other factors ruining the possibility of reform. The majority of current followers (in the US I mean, TWI has a much more vibrant and sizable following in some West African countries and Venezuela) are converts from the Martindale era and some of current leadership stems all the way back from the Wierwille era. At their age, neither the leadership, nor the followers have much interest in change or reform. Everybody wants to keep the status quo. 

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But there is one glimmer of hope with Vern: he is by no means an elitist. He really believes what he is doing and doesn't give himself special privileges. 

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While I understand and agree with many of these March 2017 letter grievances.......there are underlying reasons why twi's board of directors will NOT relent on their stance and mandated policies.  Thus, people like the Moynihans, Sheltons, and Horneys are unable to uncover this spiritual abuse and deceit until they realize that wierwille consolidated power and control decade after decade under the guise of "It Is Written."  When he garnered power over others......he never relinquished control.

For example:  The first two points of contention and strife.

 

Quote

We remain firm in our requests to bring our ministry back to "It Is Written," so the Word of the Lord may have free course and be glorified, starting with:

  1. Lift the non-Biblical “no debt” policy that excludes classes and service to those in debt. Rather, continue to teach God’s will of living within our means, working heartily as unto the Lord, and sharing of our abundance.

  2. Eliminate the “absolute” power of the current self-appointed board. Replace it with a larger elected board with established term limits and input from the entire Way Corps household.

 

1.   Twi's Board of Directors uses the "no debt" policy to keep corps leadership and advanced class grads in subservience.  In twi's authoritarian role, they deem home mortgages a debt......a calculated method to keep way corps from home ownership.  Corps grads who are homeowners (mortgage or no mortgage)......are not able to take on new corps placement assignments in another state.  If they did get reassigned, then they'd have to go thru the process of getting the home ready for sale.....and what if it didn't sell?  Thus, these corps grads are "off-limits" (generally speaking) when their names come up in twi's annual placement meetings each March.

Of course, there is a double-standard policy when it comes to corps staff.  Corps people like John Linder got a mortgage in 1981 or 1982 when The Way Credit Union made these home loans available.....and twi sanctioned those home/car loans.  BUT.....that was short-lived when twi realized this gaping error of judgment.  Many corps staff bought homes in New Knoxville, St. Marys, New Breman, and Wapakoneta and stayed on staff for 25-30+ years.  ["All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."  George Orwell].  The Way Credit Union allowed corps and advanced class grads borrow money and "go in debt."  Until they didn't allow it.

Twi is a cult.....not because of its beliefs, but because of its methods.  In this instance, the "no debt" policy is the strong arm of authoritarian control reaching down into the personal life of their followers/disciples.  When young people grow up......build equity, livelihoods, careers and families.....many become independent and break free from twi's grip of dependence.  So, the "no debt" policy helps to nip that in the bud.  Some long-standing corps have discovered that after 35-45 years in twi they have no equity or retirement funds.  Sad reality.

So......to Bob Moynihan and others who still want to restore the ministry back to "It Is Written"......might want to dig a little deeper to discover what parts were scripture-based and what parts of The Way International were levers for power and control over others.  Just saying.....

~~~~~

2.  Eliminate the “absolute” power of the current self-appointed board. Replace it with a larger elected board with established term limits and input from the entire Way Corps household.  Okay......let's delve into this one.

In 1958, 1959 ...........wierwille utilized "a larger board of directors" [local branch coordinators from Troy, Piqua, Urbana, Columbus] to assist the trustees in decision-making on growth and outreach of The Way, Inc.  One of the major topics of concern was the search for a permanent headquarters [p.232......Mrs. W's book, Born Again to Serve] .....when vpw called a special meeting of the Board of Directors on April 5, 1959.

On p.241......."At the annual meeting on June 7, 1959, Dr. Wierwille read the constitution and bylaws of The Way, making copies available to everyone.  The purpose of the Board of Trustees was also read:  To be responsible for all management and business of The Way.  The defined purpose of the Board of Directors was read, which said the board was (1) to serve in an advisory capacity, (2) to represent the various branches of The Way, and (3) to accept responsibility to help move the ministry of The Way."

Mrs. Wierwille's book spends 11 pages (p.232-242) detailing the Trustees....Victor, Harry & Ermal....having correspondence, meetings and feedback with the field "board of directors" on the major decision of finding and allocating monies for a new, permanent headquarters.  Contentions arise and wierwille sends out two letters back-to-back.....1) April 17, 1959 letter to "Dear Member of the Board of Directors" and 2) April 17, 1959 letter to "Dear Graduate of Power for Abundant Living Class."  Clearly, there was MAJOR disagreements surfacing because one paragraph in the letter to the board members states, "On June the 7th will be the Yearly Meeting.  We are not interested in the negatives and doubts, but interested in developing the positive and good, so as to be able to do a better work for the Lord in carrying out the ministry whereunto He has called us and wherein He has privileged us to serve."  [TRANSLATION:  Get on board with our decisions........or hit the road, Jack.]

On p. 233........."When we rented our South Washington Street home in Van Wert, we didn't know how temporary this location would be, as we were very focused on getting the ministry up and running, self-supporting, and growing.  Now it was becoming very apparent to us that a larger and more permanent headquarters for The Way needed to be established.  So the representatives of the Board of Directors from the various branches looked around their areas for potential headquarters sites.  Some of these people were eager to have the headquarters established in the localities where they lived, such as in Troy, Ohio, Fort Myers, Florida and Chicago, Illinois.  In one case where a property was found, the Board of Trustees thought the site didn't have enough acreage so they decided not to pursue that location any further.  But some of the members of the Board of Directors became so upset with this decision that they left the ministry.  Dr. Wierwille stated that we must have lost thirty people because they thought he was totally wrong in his decision to reject that site.  And the loss of thirty followers was a major blow to us in those transitional years."

  • 30 people.......the first mini-exodus of The Way, Inc. happened in 1959
  • Some were members of the Board of Directors

It seems rather convenient that Mrs. Wierwille's book ends in 1961......when they move from Van Wert to the ancestral wierwille homestead near New Knoxville.  The contentions and turmoil manifest itself in the closing pages of her book.  On Thursday, February 2, 1961.......moving day arrived and was a very blustery, frigid winter day.  The temperature reached 10 degrees with blizzard conditions.....and Harry's furniture trucks were hauling the last loads of furniture at 10pm and 10:30pm.

Whatever field "board of directors" meetings occurred in the years to follow......we don't know.  There is no Volume II to detail wierwille's life between 1961-1985. 

I highly suspect that wierwille phased out that policy .......and the "absolute power" of decision-making was formidably instituted at the Trustee Level only.  Thus, what the corps requested in that March 2017 letter had already been tried......and shut down decades earlier.  That's The Way it was.

 

 

 

.

Edited by skyrider
typos and editing

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3 hours ago, skyrider said:

Twi is a cult.....not because of its beliefs, but because of its methods.  In this instance, the "no debt" policy is the strong arm of authoritarian control reaching down into the personal life of their followers/disciples.  When young people grow up......build equity, livelihoods, careers and families.....many become independent and break free from twi's grip of dependence.  So, the "no debt" policy helps to nip that in the bud.  Some long-standing corps have discovered that after 35-45 years in twi they have no equity or retirement funds.  Sad reality.

So......to Bob Moynihan and others who still want to restore the ministry back to "It Is Written"......might want to dig a little deeper to discover what parts were scripture-based and what parts of The Way International were levers for power and control over others.  Just saying.....

Salient insight into the significance of TWI as a cult.

However, in order to succeed in that effort to dig a little deeper to determine which aspects of the subculture are scripture based and which were levers for power and control, IMO, would take more than understanding scripture. It will also take an understanding of and insight into social sciences and humanities, which are generally gained when people commit to post-secondary education, either in universities or extensive reading in those fields.

That takes us back to the fundamentals of cultism, namely Wierwille's demand that newly indoctrinated followers only read Wierwille's books. 

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11 hours ago, skyrider said:

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

For example (btw, 11 hours ago, skyrider quoted the above from the R and R documents, rather than just saying it), gaining an understanding of that bible verse could hypothetically be attained by a "research team" continuing the Wierwille model of parsing each word in the original languages and/or studying Orientalisms... or people studying anthropology of Middle East cultures, and sociology/psychology. But the organization would have to have established flow of knowledge/understanding/wisdom that precludes the centralized "power over" (emotional abuse) that you get in twi and spinoffs therefrom.

Edited by Rocky

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On 7/4/2020 at 4:04 PM, skyrider said:

The Way International has a new president and Chairman of the Board:  Vern Edwards.

(snip)

Do you follow "the footprints in the sand" of your lord and savior, Jesus Christ.....the mediator between God and man?

Or, do you follow "the paved blacktop walkway of twi" that Rosalie mandated for 20 years during her reign.......where dull denominations and cults rule with heavy hand and manipulate the followers to their will?

Imagine the possibilities of living a spiritual life......in all of its fullness. 

  • Walking in newness of life.......not in the spirit of the law, but in the spirit of FREEDOM.
  • A life that is pleasing the lord......undoing the burdens of guilt, fear and shame.  Healing the broken-hearted.
  • Engaging with fellow-disciples in their time of fear and trepidation.......walking on storm-tossed seas.
  • Breaking the chains that bind the soul of man.  Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.
  • Teach the One Body of Christ......wherein, Jesus is the head of that Body!
  • Members in particular.  Everyone is needed.  Everyone is valued.
  • Eliminate the top-down caste structure that wierwille implemented.
  • Eliminate the two-tier system wherein corps rule over non-corps.
  • Pray that the "scales fall from your eyes"........that you might see.
  • Humble yourself before the Lord.......to see His Majestic Will.
  •  

Stop deceiving yourself, Vern. 

There is no way that The Way International is on the right path.  No way.  No how.  Many have documented the numbers that some 150 way corps exited The Way Ministry BEFORE that August 16, 2016 confrontation letter.  Then, Rico Magnelli demanded Rosalie step down.....and he was given the bums-rush outta there.  Months later, a swath of way corps undersigned that March 17, 2017 letter to the Board of Directors......and that went nowhere.  Clearly, long-standing way corps laid out their grievances and demands in that letter and now, three years later......you are at the helm.

(snip)

.

 

19 hours ago, skyrider said:

Vern Edwards, Bill Greene and John Rupp..........you just might want to give this March 2017 letter more consideration.

  • A list of grievances
  • Pointing out the contentions and strife
  • Detailing the dismal state of The Way International

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Our Lord Jesus Christ showed us how to best evaluate leadership by his simple statement: “By their fruits ye shall know them.” In Matthew 7:15-20, he warned as follows:

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

 

The fruit of our current leadership for the past decade has become increasingly apparent.

 

 

7 hours ago, Rocky said:

For example (btw, 11 hours ago, skyrider quoted the above from the R and R documents, rather than just saying it), gaining an understanding of that bible verse could hypothetically be attained by a "research team" continuing the Wierwille model of parsing each word in the original languages and/or studying Orientalisms... or people studying anthropology of Middle East cultures, and sociology/psychology. But the organization would have to have established flow of knowledge/understanding/wisdom that precludes the centralized "power over" (emotional abuse) that you get in twi and spinoffs therefrom.

You can analyze minutely verses like that in Matthew 7 on wolves, corrupt tree and evil fruit – but if you have a cultic-mindset like I had in TWI – you might not see who it applies to. In the if-the-shoe-fits-wear-it scenario – way back when, if you would have asked me “are you in a cult?” my response would be “nope - it don’t fit”.  I was blind to the manipulative and deceptive tactics of TWI and could not see that the real fruit TWI produced was usually exploitative by nature – their ways and means...their methods were infused with  taking unfair AND unethical advantage of followers for the convenience, profit and advancement of those in the power structure - the hierarchy that encompasses the most powerful people in The Way International…the wolves in Jesus’ warning conjures up images of rapacious animals – aggressively greedy or grasping... predators ruthlessly exploiting their prey.

 

Somewhere along my journey through The Way – unperceived by me of course - there were mental habits and beliefs instilled that frustrated or suppressed clear thinking - basically orienting me to think TWI’s doctrine and methods were the be-all-and-end-all of what’s important and crucial to life…Such is the nature of self-deception – which is “a process of denying or rationalizing away the relevance, significance, or importance of opposing evidence and logical argument. Self-deception involves convincing oneself of a truth (or lack of truth) so that one does not reveal any self-knowledge of the deception.” ( from   Wikipedia - self-deception    ) My 12 years of involvement can briefly be summed up as a continuous effort of spinning my wheels thinking I was getting somewhere in life. Just keep confessing and believing someday it will finally work.Keep your nose to the grindstone – think of the drudgery of way-corps-indentured-servitude as a way of being free from the cares of this world...Matthew 6:24 says you cannot serve two masters…and I was such a compliant little sheep that for all practical purposes the board of trustees, corps coordinators, and any other Pharisee wearing a way corps name-tag held more sway over my life than even the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

For me it took the chaotic and irksome $hit-storm after Chris G’s “passing of the patriarch” to somehow expose a chink in my armor of ignorance – questions and doubts came rushing through the gap. That was the beginning of my escape out of the rabbit hole. “Against logic there is no armor like ignorance”... Laurence J. Peter educator,  psychologist, writer (best known for the development of the  the Peter Principle    )

It takes some courage to damn the torpedoes and face those doubts and questions head on. “We deceive ourselves because we don’t have enough psychological strength to admit the truth and deal with the consequences that will follow.” (clinical psychologist Cortney S. Warren Ph.D.)

 

On a side note, I believe self-reflection is a necessary part of interpreting or understanding the Bible - in other words, determining if or how it applies to me. And even in secular applications some habit of self-awareness matters – to determine if something is a good fit for us, to honor our uniqueness instead of just absorbing some popular mindset, and to become more comfortable and confident as we learn to be ourselves. (see  Psychology Today What is self-awareness  )

 

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On ‎7‎/‎5‎/‎2020 at 1:24 PM, rubina said:

I've heard that Rupp is the Chairman of the Board. This stems from a push to bring the way TWI is run closer to that of other "non-profit organizations" which means increasing the independence of the Officers from the Board of Directors. Besides the lack of one man calling the shots, there are other factors ruining the possibility of reform. The majority of current followers (in the US I mean, TWI has a much more vibrant and sizable following in some West African countries and Venezuela) are converts from the Martindale era and some of current leadership stems all the way back from the Wierwille era. At their age, neither the leadership, nor the followers have much interest in change or reform. Everybody wants to keep the status quo. 

 

The glaring inconsistencies just keep on coming.......

On one hand.......wierwille was this incredible "man of God" who walked by revelation and is to be honored in their "Spiritual Hall of Fame."  Praise be his name.   The myth of the man must live on.......to bring $$$$ to their coffers.

On the other hand......wierwille set himself as the president and premiere decision-maker of the Board of Trustees.  Despite the fact that many of his enablers knew of his plagiarism, sexual predation, and drunkenness.....wierwille bullied his way thru meetings and had his goons get rid of those who raised legitimate objections.  Now. 35 years after his death......twi is "bringing their practices in line to that of other non-profit organizations."

In other words....dismantle the power of how wierwille ran things and bring in more accountability.  Wierwille was able to run roughshod over others and get his way.  But now, with Vern as the president......it's better to rein in what wierwille instituted and follow what other non-profit organizations do.

Ain't that a kick in the head.  LOL.  :spy:

 

 

.

Edited by skyrider

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Here's another "kick in the head"......

Page 225 of Mrs. W's book......."In the month of September (1958) we made the following offer in our publications:  For a donation of ten dollars to the ministry, a person would be sent a free copy of Kenyon's great book The Father and His Family, if requested; for a gift of twenty-five dollars one could request the book by E. W. Bullinger, How to Enjoy the Bible."

So.....send twi a donation and they pocket the extra money and send Kenyon's or Bullinger's book to you.  :biglaugh:

What is that?  A Middle Man concept.  They play the "middle man" to send to you another preacher's/teacher's book?

Did I say that wierwille was a plagiarist?  Here.....he's just using a marketing ploy to recruit others to his fold......

 

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As a grad of the 2nd Way Corps, I thought I'd pipe up and say a few words.

It's no secret that I've rejected associating with The Way and have left its teachings in my rearview mirror. Nevertheless here's my opinion about what Vern should consider doing as the new Way president (although I'm not convinced he'll ever read this).

Consider this, Vern:  Many former Way Corps besides me have realized from personal experience that there is no "accuracy of The Word" that exists for anyone to "return to."

In light of that, I ask: What is the purpose of The Way? 

This is just my opinion, but since The Way's "bedrock of biblical research" has been found to be full of holes, plagiarism, and Scriptural abuse, doesn't that sinking ship make the organization of The Way without a purpose?

If I were Vern, as far as the organization goes, I'd disband it.

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I can now confirm that Vern is the president, John Rupp is the chairman of the board and that Donna Martindale is the CEO. This was announced at the last STS. 

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1 hour ago, rubina said:

I can now confirm that Vern is the president, John Rupp is the chairman of the board and that Donna Martindale is the CEO. This was announced at the last STS. 

Sounds like an excellent way to muddy the waters so that nobody knows who is responsible for what.

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2 hours ago, rubina said:

I can now confirm that Vern is the president, John Rupp is the chairman of the board and that Donna Martindale is the CEO. This was announced at the last STS. 

 

1 hour ago, Rocky said:

Sounds like an excellent way to muddy the waters so that nobody knows who is responsible for what.

 

Why do I think Rosalie and Donna cunningly set this in motion?  LOL.   Give Vern and John little perky titles and a micro-managed lane to run in......to stroke their egos.  Yet, behind the CEO-curtain is where the power, control and money-management resides.  Rosalie and Donna win the long game of power!!!

1.  Vern Edwards is the president..........he oversees Sunday Service Teachings and outreach/class promotions

2.  John Rupp is the chairman of the board.........he sets up board meetings and manages hqtrs staff concerns

3.  Donna Martindale is the CEO.........as Chief Executive Officer, she sits in the corporate chair overseeing the power/money

 

P.S.  Didn't some of us tell you that Rosalie, before stepping down, would install Donna Martindale into power?

 

 

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On ‎7‎/‎4‎/‎2020 at 5:04 PM, skyrider said:

The Way International has a new president and Chairman of the Board:  Vern Edwards.

Unless Rosalie Rivenbark has installed some little "trip-wire" in twi's decision-making process......Vern Edwards, the new president, presides over the decisions and direction of The Way International going forward.  At his discretion, he can convene a board meeting with Bill Greene and John Rupp to discuss and implement direction, mandates, guidelines and/or yearly themes that could change their stagnant trajectory.  Clearly, it is well-documented from sources and disgruntled, exiting corps members that twi's classes, programs and sunday service attendance are all dismal. 

.........snip

 

 

Well............Rosalie DID install a little "trip-wire" before leaving the scene.

  • Donna Martindale has been installed as CEO.
  • So, Vern........any big decisions by you are neutered.

You don't get Rosalie's gift ministry of "Administrator of Stealth" without a long-suit in deception.

 

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1 hour ago, skyrider said:

 

 

Why do I think Rosalie and Donna cunningly set this in motion?  LOL.   Give Vern and John little perky titles and a micro-managed lane to run in......to stroke their egos.  Yet, behind the CEO-curtain is where the power, control and money-management resides.  Rosalie and Donna win the long game of power!!!

1.  Vern Edwards is the president..........he oversees Sunday Service Teachings and outreach/class promotions

2.  John Rupp is the chairman of the board.........he sets up board meetings and manages hqtrs staff concerns

3.  Donna Martindale is the CEO.........as Chief Executive Officer, she sits in the corporate chair overseeing the power/money

 

P.S.  Didn't some of us tell you that Rosalie, before stepping down, would install Donna Martindale into power?

 

 

Now, that explains why Donna was not made President.  Donna was given all the REAL power, and Vern and John were given the visible offices.  That's right out of Rosalie's playbook.  Control everything you can from hiding, but make sure someone else is up front to take all the blame.   This time, Rosalie was able to design the offices SPECIFICALLY to do exacgtly that.  So, Donna has all the power (and controls all the money), and Vern and John have shiny new badges and pretend to run everything, and handle all the decisions that have no effect on the money and power.  

And if they actually prove effective, then Donna gets to eject them and install someone less effective.

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Donna - a puppet on a string.

 

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Vern has 2 choices-  jump ship and leave twi,  or stay in twi.   So long as he stays in twi, there's no downside to accepting the big chair.  If he refused, he'd probably be punished by being "reassigned" so someplace useless.   So, he takes the chair and at least PRETENDS he can do something. 

Until he realizes how much he's wasting his time, he's going to stay in twi.  Eventually, I expect he'll be ejected because he's not useful anymore, or ejected sooner because he was actually effective and doing something.   Either possibility ends with him being thrown out of twi at a time of their convenience.  Everyone before him was DISPOSABLE, and either jumped ship or was kicked out.   Vern's actually going to be SURPRISED when it happens to him, because he's different.  He can succeed where THOUSANDS before him failed. 

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6 hours ago, penguin2 said:

I wonder if Vern knew that play before or after he accepted his powerless position?

 

5 hours ago, WordWolf said:

Vern has 2 choices-  jump ship and leave twi,  or stay in twi.   So long as he stays in twi, there's no downside to accepting the big chair.  If he refused, he'd probably be punished by being "reassigned" so someplace useless.   So, he takes the chair and at least PRETENDS he can do something. 

Until he realizes how much he's wasting his time, he's going to stay in twi.  Eventually, I expect he'll be ejected because he's not useful anymore, or ejected sooner because he was actually effective and doing something.   Either possibility ends with him being thrown out of twi at a time of their convenience.  Everyone before him was DISPOSABLE, and either jumped ship or was kicked out.   Vern's actually going to be SURPRISED when it happens to him, because he's different.  He can succeed where THOUSANDS before him failed. 

 

Twi has evolved. 

When wierwille was president......he was the CEO, the Chairman of the Board, the Founder, the Teacher, the Preacher, the Researcher, the Plagiarist (oops), the Book Author, the Music and Talent Screener, the Way Corps Director and the P.T. Barnum of the Traveling Circus.  No one could fire him.  No one could confront him.  His enablers and inner circle were loyalists to keep his secrets to his deathbed.

Martindale assumed the same power.......but he did not have the same leverage over the youth as wierwille.  The presidency held the power over the cult followers.  And, martindale was determined to follow that template.  Martindale had to lead his peers......many of whom, were "spiritual equals" in their eyes.  Many of these men were now 35-40 years old with families and responsibilities and expenses. They were no longer content to follow this meager chain of command, but saw the opportunity to create their own group of followers.  Others went on to higher education and/or further their careers.

Rosalie was no leader, or teacher.  Her voice was like nails on a chalkboard.  She knew that the only leverage she held was that of a  lead-from-behind administrator.  After a few transition years, she discarded martindale's class and assembled a new class featuring three teachers.  She kept wierwille's material front and center......while she worked in the shadows, behind the scenes.  She was shrewd and cunning and manipulative.  After 17 years of managing the declined expectations and rumblings in the camp, she was ready to step down.  Her replacement choice of JYDL was a mistake, but she was looking for a loyalist who could be the front man president AND keep the corps in line. 

Now, Vern is the president.......who has been assigned a lane to run in.  His job is to "teach the Word" and present twi in the best possible light.  He is the veneer over the rotten wood of the cult underneath.  The twi-president is easily disposable.....i.e. Jean-Yves (in Montana).  Sure, if he does a good job for 5-7 years......he might get an extra splash of money in his mundane retirement years.  But the CEO, Donna Lombardi Martindale........she will be there for DECADES.  The ceo is where ALL THE POWER resides. 

Amazingly.....20 years ago, and Donna's husband was ousted from twi as a sexual predator.  Craig Martindale was king of the cult.....and "could have sex with any woman in the kingdom" according to wierwille's doctrine in pfal.  From documented reports, LCM's sexual abuse/predation had come to the fore by 1985 during those "Spirits in the Athletes" production.  Hitting on the lead woman.....and others.  Fast forward.......to the 1998 July Advanced Class and a corps woman and the Colorado court case.  Then, in 1999.....Paul All-en confronts martindale about having sex with Allen's wife, F. 

Twi has to get their lawyers involved as martindale was charged in TWO sexual harassment cases!!  1) Allens   2) Barnes

Craig Martindale was ousted......and slithered away to Toledo in the middle of the night.  No formal announcements.  No good-byes.  No thanks.  Gone!

Donna Martindale, as corps wife.....according to twi/corps policy SHOULD be ousted too.  That is what has ALWAYS HAPPENED to other corps.  Rosalie covers for Donna in this new two-tier "corps policy."  Rosalie gives Donna job titles to help her incrementally raise her stature.  Year after year, Rosalie makes sure that no one is able to confront the double standard that gave Donna a free-pass.  Now, 20 years later............DONNA IS THE CEO OF THE WAY INTERNATIONAL.

 

:biglaugh:    :spy:   :biglaugh:

 

 

 

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Oh... Donna Martindale as CEO....that explains everything. Rosalie sets her girlfriend in charge and has the lap dogs running around Donnas feet. Rosalie is just too old at this point. By putting Donna in the true power chair she insures her legacy of ineptness. New boss same as old boss.

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9 hours ago, skyrider said:

 

 

Twi has evolved. 

When wierwille was president......he was the CEO, the Chairman of the Board, the Founder, the Teacher, the Preacher, the Researcher, the Plagiarist (oops), the Book Author, the Music and Talent Screener, the Way Corps Director and the P.T. Barnum of the Traveling Circus.  No one could fire him.  No one could confront him.  His enablers and inner circle were loyalists to keep his secrets to his deathbed.

Martindale assumed the same power.......but he did not have the same leverage over the youth as wierwille.  The presidency held the power over the cult followers.  And, martindale was determined to follow that template.  Martindale had to lead his peers......many of whom, were "spiritual equals" in their eyes.  Many of these men were now 35-40 years old with families and responsibilities and expenses. They were no longer content to follow this meager chain of command, but saw the opportunity to create their own group of followers.  Others went on to higher education and/or further their careers.

Rosalie was no leader, or teacher.  Her voice was like nails on a chalkboard.  She knew that the only leverage she held was that of a  lead-from-behind administrator.  After a few transition years, she discarded martindale's class and assembled a new class featuring three teachers.  She kept wierwille's material front and center......while she worked in the shadows, behind the scenes.  She was shrewd and cunning and manipulative.  After 17 years of managing the declined expectations and rumblings in the camp, she was ready to step down.  Her replacement choice of JYDL was a mistake, but she was looking for a loyalist who could be the front man president AND keep the corps in line. 

Now, Vern is the president.......who has been assigned a lane to run in.  His job is to "teach the Word" and present twi in the best possible light.  He is the veneer over the rotten wood of the cult underneath.  The twi-president is easily disposable.....i.e. Jean-Yves (in Montana).  Sure, if he does a good job for 5-7 years......he might get an extra splash of money in his mundane retirement years.  But the CEO, Donna Lombardi Martindale........she will be there for DECADES.  The ceo is where ALL THE POWER resides. 

Amazingly.....20 years ago, and Donna's husband was ousted from twi as a sexual predator.  Craig Martindale was king of the cult.....and "could have sex with any woman in the kingdom" according to wierwille's doctrine in pfal.  From documented reports, LCM's sexual abuse/predation had come to the fore by 1985 during those "Spirits in the Athletes" production.  Hitting on the lead woman.....and others.  Fast forward.......to the 1998 July Advanced Class and a corps woman and the Colorado court case.  Then, in 1999.....Paul All-en confronts martindale about having sex with Allen's wife, F. 

Twi has to get their lawyers involved as martindale was charged in TWO sexual harassment cases!!  1) Allens   2) Barnes

Craig Martindale was ousted......and slithered away to Toledo in the middle of the night.  No formal announcements.  No good-byes.  No thanks.  Gone!

Donna Martindale, as corps wife.....according to twi/corps policy SHOULD be ousted too.  That is what has ALWAYS HAPPENED to other corps.  Rosalie covers for Donna in this new two-tier "corps policy."  Rosalie gives Donna job titles to help her incrementally raise her stature.  Year after year, Rosalie makes sure that no one is able to confront the double standard that gave Donna a free-pass.  Now, 20 years later............DONNA IS THE CEO OF THE WAY INTERNATIONAL.

 

:biglaugh:    :spy:   :biglaugh:

 

 

 

 

On 7/8/2020 at 11:17 AM, penworks said:

As a grad of the 2nd Way Corps, I thought I'd pipe up and say a few words.

It's no secret that I've rejected associating with The Way and have left its teachings in my rearview mirror. Nevertheless here's my opinion about what Vern should consider doing as the new Way president (although I'm not convinced he'll ever read this).

Consider this, Vern:  Many former Way Corps besides me have realized from personal experience that there is no "accuracy of The Word" that exists for anyone to "return to."

In light of that, I ask: What is the purpose of The Way? 

This is just my opinion, but since The Way's "bedrock of biblical research" has been found to be full of holes, plagiarism, and Scriptural abuse, doesn't that sinking ship make the organization of The Way without a purpose?

If I were Vern, as far as the organization goes, I'd disband it.

Skyrider, your post got me thinking of how much more complex the inner-workings of TWI are. It’s wheels within wheels (not to be confused with Ezekiel’s wheel  :rolleyes:   ) :

“If you say that there are wheels within wheels, you mean that there are a number of different influences, reasons, and actions which together make a situation complicated and difficult to understand. ‘Our culture is more complex than he knows. Wheels within wheels.’ ”  (from   Collins dictionary )   …Exploring how TWI institutionalized social controls has always held my interest – but you got me thinking of another angle – that looks at the heart of the problem – who really runs the show.

 

I like the timeline of the secret and not-so-secret managerial tactics of a cult in your post - wheels within wheels…makes me wonder if it’s even worth it to address any of the issues you mentioned in your very first post to the new president ( here  )  – maybe that’s all just slapping a Band-Aid on the deeper problems of a mini puppet government – “a government which is endowed with the outward symbols of authority but in which direction and control are exercised by another power.” (  from Merriam Webster    )

I believe Rosie the puppeteer is cut from the same cloth as wierwille - a predator or parasite. “…the social predator or parasite is also a puppeteer, but in a different way. Unlike the narcissist, they don’t need an audience, what they need are victims so they can act out as either a predator or a parasite. It doesn’t matter to them if it’s family or a stranger, so long as their needs are met. They are just as content stealing their mother’s life savings or moving from one spouse to another, so long as they can leech off their spouse’s bank account. While the narcissist prefers a servile audience, the predator parasite merely needs a human host that can do something for them.” (from  Psychology Today      )

For some reason I thought of the plot twist in the film  The Dark Knight Rises  . Without giving away too much to those who haven’t seen the movie yet – I was shocked when someone who was close to Bruce Wayne – turned out to be somewhat of a puppeteer and taking advantage of that relationship, is able to get close enough to stab unsuspecting Batman…So I don’t know if any kind of reform or makeover can salvage TWI – and if I were you Vern I’d watch my back.

Sooooooo…I think Penworks has the right idea – dissolve TWI.

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