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Vern Edwards: The Decision Is Yours


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3 hours ago, Rocky said:

Reaping the consequence of refusing to learn lessons of life from anything outside the tiny little box of their orthodox interpretation of Wierwille writings and practices, conspicuously labeled within the cult system as The Word of God. But many of those practices were nothing more than self-justifying sins of the flesh. And I'm not suggesting that was only limited to Wierwille's and Martindale's openly secret practice of adultery.

The financial practices governing the Way's labor force was rotten too.

With blinders on the Boards of Trustees, they appeared to learn nothing of consequence over the last 40-50 years except for how to screw people financially.

But I digress.

 

Oh yeah........twi had its own hamster-wheel of justifying its doctrines and practices.

Have the 2nd and 3rd generations ever heard the story of what life was like before 2000?  before 1980?

Of course.....twi's practices have been self-serving.....and only self-serving......for a long, long time.

It didn't have to end this way (spiraling down to its doom).  It seems to me, those years 1977-1979 were ripe with outreach and "Word in Culture."  With musical groups and outreach......some professional athletes from the NFL and tennis were taking pfal.  A professional bull-riding clown took the stage to speak at roa.  Doctors, professionals and business people were coming on board.  When the 1979 Rock of Ages came around......there was an arts, music and crafts tent for the sole purpose of purchasing merchandise from other believers and enhancing Word in Culture. Another tent was set aside for an evening "Dinner Theatre"...... where you pre-purchased a ticket for dinner and a theatrical performance (following the big top teaching).  Imagine that!

Yeah, imagine that.  There was more to this event than just the pilgrimage to the Big Top to hear Dr. Victor Paul Wierwille teach another sermon.  The spotlight was no longer solely on the cult leader on main stage.  Imagine the possibilities.

"Word in Culture" was the growing buzz-word.  The fire had been lit.....and the flame was growing.  The tent was a-buzz with believers selling their wares to others  All kinds of music groups and solo artists were popping up.  Cassette tapes of Lisa Lochridge and Dave Lutz were flying off the shelves.  Not the "Way Productions sanctioned music" that was promoted from the main stage.......but the upcoming singers that were putting out good songs.  Simple, down-to-earth music from the heart. This "Word in Culture" sparked a short-lived movement of enterprise from the bottom up.........NOT from the top down.  

Musicians, composers, writers, short-stories, artists, cartoonists, sculptors, screen-printers, etc.......lots of energy on the rise.  

Medical WOWs.........nurses, doctors, interns, administrative types.  Another arm of outreach.

Military WOWs..........Paul Norcr0ss headed up medical outreach and worked alongside the Trunk Office and International Outreach to help military personnel stationed throughout parts of the world.  Some military guys were given special exceptions for corps training and/or their corps assignment.

Why is any of this important now?

  • There was a short window in time when twi almost (maybe?) broke from its cult-trajectory and let people live freely.
  • That short time frame of "Word in Culture"........was closed back down, because twi could NOT control its outcome.
  • By 1980 Rock of Ages......there was no tent set aside for buying/selling other believers' merchadise.
  • Songs, wording and content HAD to be pre-approved and filtered thru upper cult management.
  • Many of the hippie-types saw the writing on the wall.........and left.

And, yeah.........add coerced-corps labor during in-residence training into the mix.  Then, heap a mandatory "corps week" on them so that all corps are required EVERY YEAR to attend.....and don't leave until the Rock of Ages is over.  This burdened the corps exponentially.......financially, family responsibilities, work/career challenges, nearly 3 weeks away from work each year, keeping corps from promotions or career paths, etc. etc.

The Way International has refused to learn the lessons of yesteryear ...........for 4 decades !!!

This story didn't start in 2000 with Rosalie.........it started a long, long, long time ago.

 

.

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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. Neverthele

Been there and done that.  It took me working at HQ and seeing the hypocrisy and everyday meanness for me to even consider looking online.  And then a couple years after that before I realized God was

Oh yeah........twi had its own hamster-wheel of justifying its doctrines and practices. Have the 2nd and 3rd generations ever heard the story of what life was like before 2000?  before 1980?

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12 hours ago, skyrider said:

 

There are reasons why TWI was not as formidable in 2017......as they thought they were.

1.  Years of dissenting voices had been percolating below the surface.  By August 2016, they sent the Board of Directors a letter of concerns and grievances.  This dissenting group viewed this as an Acts 15 attempt to confront "the church elders" and resolve this growing divide. According to reports, the directors would not meet with them as a group......but offered to meet separately with couples, attempting to divide and conquer the group.

2.  Thus, this dissenting group of corps marshaled greater numbers to their side.  The chasm had widened.  These corps want Rosalie to resign.....ousted from her position of power over them.  So, even though Jean-Yves is "installed" as president.....Rosalie RETAINS her position of power as vice-president.  The corps instantly recognize this as a ruse.  Jean-Yves is nothing but a figurehead.  Rosalie holds the power.  By March 2017........letter to directors signed by 60 corps (and implying dozens more agree).

3.  In this confrontation, the directors are dealing with major players.  Four couples have been corps coordinators......overseeing campuses and several hundreds of corps thru the years.  Plus, they'd gone on to oversee regions, limbs and branches.  Other major players had been hq-staffers for decades......in security, investment, legal, international outreach, etc.  No longer were these corps 30 year olds.........they are NOW 60-70 year olds and pi$$ed at the system of corruption.

4.  Add in the factor of social media.  How much communication and organization was done via phone/texting one another?  How many years have these corps been visiting GreaseSpot Cafe's site and read the thousands and thousands of threads here?

5.  Rosalie kept pushing and pushing these corps to do more.  Yet, many of them simply wanted the respect and public thanks from the directors for their decades of service .....and then, retire graciously. The cult could not and would not allow this. 

6.  There's a saying....."Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."  Well, what about these corps who had been scorned?  Did the directors think that they could dispose and trash their reputations like twi did to others decades ago?  Hello???  The internet is here.  Social media is here.  NO LONGER CAN THE DIRECTORS SILENCE THEIR CRITICS.

7.  In business, it is said that one displeased customer will go on and tell his experience to 12 others.  That's 12 other people who have heard and are now influenced by a rotten business or an overpriced service.  Bad publicity travels around the city faster than you can imagine.  What did the directors think would happen?  Are they SO CLUELESS that they think bad business goes unspoken?

8.  Imagine......40+ years in twi-service and now THIS?  You don't think that is going to cut deeply?

9.  So, yeah......the directors have sowed the wind and shall reap the whirlwind.  No surprise.  These corps are going to keep telling others......friends, co-workers, kids, grand kids, etc.  How many will stop tithing/absing to twi altogether?  How many will start going to another splinter group?  How many will finally recognize this whole ruse as a cult experience?

10. Will twi every learn?  This is no longer the 1970s when wierwille was able to rule with dominant power over others.  Today, the internet and social media has changed everything.  This latest toll has INDEED been a significant blow to twi.  

 

Skyrider, I always like your detailed analysis…you got me thinking…so I set aside the fact that we’re talking about an abusive and exploitative cult. Instead I thought along the lines of something neutral business-wise (if that’s possible) of the day-to-day business operations that make it sustainable and that create some inherent value of the organization…well…I have nothing new to add to what you said – but just thinking about wierwille’s heavy-handed business model, brought to mind a familiar topic to many who have been in the workforce for a while - why employees leave managers, NOT companies. In other words, usually workers leave not because of some beef they have with the business in general - but because of something or some things they find unbearable about their manager...   What follows are a couple of excerpts from articles addressing that:

"Given how much you depend on your manager, it’s not surprising that the mountain of evidence shows they affect your job satisfaction and decisions to leave.

Managers are usually most, if not all, of the following:

A major influence on your work and priorities.

The critical advocate (or detractor) for your promotion or bonus.

In the best position to help resolve issues & challenges you face.

Someone you must interact with on a daily basis (or if you go too long, it’s a problem, too).

Because of this, a person’s manager is often the best or worst part of an employee’s job. " (from  Lighthouse article on leadership & management )

== == == ==

 

"We’ve all heard the sayings. People don’t leave companies, they leave managers. People don’t quit their jobs, they quit their bosses. The way I see it, people just really don’t won’t to work for a boss who doesn’t support them or for one whose poor and ineffectual behavior actually puts employees’ career prospects and promotional opportunities at risk. Bad bosses compel good employees to leave their jobs even when they like the company." (from    Forbes article     )

 

Bad leadership has certainly compelled some TWI-followers to leave a ministry that they were heavily invested in and have strong feelings for. You’ve mentioned before that what makes TWI a cult is not their beliefs but their methods. Overall I think that’s true. But recalling my own mindset way back when I tend to think there’s some intertwining of the two - beliefs and methods – where certain aspects of one may feed and/or strengthen the other. At the core of my beliefs was the idea that the Bible is the Word of God – but suffused to that was the occasional reminders to be loyal “remember WHO taught you The Word”. The Way International is like a cult of personality  (see  Wikipedia - the cult of personality    ) - that revolves around wierwille – propaganda, repeating big lies, embellished and/or fabricated incidents, excessive compliments/praise that created an idealized hero, an almost perfect persona of an apostle...a teacher…THE man of god for our day and time and hour.

== == == ==

 

:offtopic:   A digression on dissenters/splinter groups:

wierwille’s charisma, teachings and forceful methods of control may have worked well when he was in his prime...but he's dead and gone now...even so, some core beliefs and methods are a bit entwined and still persist  -  he's like the ghost in the machine though the organization is now just a shell of its former self. I’d venture to say the dissenters, the disgruntled, the dissatisfied who have voiced their concerns in-person, by letter or phone or on social media have seriously tarnished the supposedly golden image of wierwille/TWI…and when it comes to splinter groups, I sometimes wonder what is the motivation to carry on their beliefs by starting their own thing. There’s such a wide variety of existing churches, non-denominational organizations, groups, fellowships etc....I think it's possible to find some place to fit in - unless they still cling to the idea they are all that's left of the truly enlightened ones who have cornered the market on truth. Is it a matter of pride or fear of losing one’s hard-earned status, TWI-credentials, or special place in a caste system?

I don’t know – just thinking out loud…I get it – employees often leave because of managers and not the company itself…what I wonder though is over time  how much splinter groups will inadvertently manage themselves just like TWI…how would they respond to a dissenter who says they no longer think wierwille’s teaching on the manifestations was entirely correct? How would they respond to someone who says “You know, Grease Spot has a lot of threads about wierwille being an unabashed plagiarist – what are your thoughts on that?”.  Would there be any kind of pressure or patronizing to try to get the person to toe the company line?...okay – end of digression.

 

11 hours ago, Rocky said:

Reaping the consequence of refusing to learn lessons of life from anything outside the tiny little box of their orthodox interpretation of Wierwille writings and practices, conspicuously labeled within the cult system as The Word of God. But many of those practices were nothing more than self-justifying sins of the flesh. And I'm not suggesting that was only limited to Wierwille's and Martindale's openly secret practice of adultery.

The financial practices governing the Way's labor force was rotten too.

With blinders on the Boards of Trustees, they appeared to learn nothing of consequence over the last 40-50 years except for how to screw people financially.

But I digress.

Thinking about what Rocky said – I looked up an old article  (    from   Forbes article on how to learn from your mistakes     ) on how to learn from your business mistakes, listing 7 vital steps:

·         Step 1: Review your aspirations. Going into each business initiative, you should be clear about your aspirations.

·         Step 2: Detail your results to date. While you’ve determined that the initiative is a failure, there are different degrees of failure. You need to precisely describe the current state of affairs and where you see things going.

·         Step 3: Identify the discrepancies. What’s important is to quantify, where possible, and highlight everywhere you can, the differences between what you expected and what has happened.

·         Step 4: Compile a list of all the “mistakes.” Without attributing blame or responsibility, put together a list of all the errors that resulted in each discrepancy. Very often the best way to do this is to construct a matrix, as many of the same mistakes produced multiple discrepancies.

·         Step 5: Specify the lessons you need to learn. By carefully considering the causes of the discrepancies, you’re likely to see both core singular errors in judgment as well as broader-based patterns of miscalculations. From these conclusions, you need to tweeze out the lessons so as not to repeat the same mistakes.

·         Step 6: Aggregate the mistakes from a number of failed business initiatives. Often you will not see a pattern of miscalculations by evaluating a single failure. Only by considering a number of unsuccessful ventures will you recognize the decisive mistakes you’re making.

·         Step 7: Learn the bigger lesson. Across multiple unsuccessful initiatives, you can determine ways of thinking, habitual actions, and repeated poor judgments. From here you can discern the bigger lessons you need to master in order to ensure you only make new mistakes.

A powerful lesson from self-made millionaires is that failure is inevitable, and as long as you learn from your mistakes, you can take constructive steps to reach greater and greater levels of success.

== == == ==

 

After reading all that - I thought maybe with TWI there's a special twist to these 7 vital steps mentioned in Forbes article - it's what they define as a mistake and what they define as success. Maybe keeping wierwille’s teachings and methods properly enshrined accomplishes what they want most – keeping those dollars rolling in to support their rinky-dink operation – moral-blinders be praised ! Hey, I’ve got an appropriate business slogan for The Way International:

                                                                                                    You don’t need us - but we sure need you

 

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What kind of an organization bleeds its members of their resources, time, loyalty and when those members are of a reasonable age to retire, gives them NOTHING?? And why does a so-called non-profit have millions sitting in the bank? When those millions could be used to help "move the word" on the "field" or reward the faithful with a decent retirement?  It's pathetic. The only people reaping a reward are the despots at the top.

And I'm wondering why the R&R people took so long to finally dissent and then leave.

 

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3 hours ago, outandabout said:

What kind of an organization bleeds its members of their resources, time, loyalty and when those members are of a reasonable age to retire, gives them NOTHING?? And why does a so-called non-profit have millions sitting in the bank? When those millions could be used to help "move the word" on the "field" or reward the faithful with a decent retirement?  It's pathetic. The only people reaping a reward are the despots at the top.

And I'm wondering why the R&R people took so long to finally dissent and then leave.

 

 

Outandabout.........ironic, ain't it?

Young, zealous people sign on the line to "Go Corps."

  • The program includes........1)  Isolation, 2) Intimidation, 3) Immersion, 4) Indoctrination and 5) Idolization.
  • What could go wrong?  The brochure said...."Trained Christian Leaders for A Lifetime of Christian Service."
  • Lots of Red Flags of Emotional Trauma, Conflicts, Confrontation and Sexual Abuse......Thousands Exit.
  • But.....But......."They tell us that WE are the faithful remnant of God and will be rewarded if we stand."
  • There are STILL way corps around who consider victor paul wierwille as their "Father in the Word."
  • To even associate wierwille in a father-figure manner adjoines psychological abuse to indoctrination.
  • Add 20, 30 and 40 years later...........and the Abused have become the Abusers!!

It seems apparent to me..........after 10 years (1958-1967) of driving from city to city to teach pfal, wierwille finally realized that he NEEDED youth leaders to front his organization.  Wierwille was failing........and he needed a new schtick.  So, he devised the subliminal messaging of "coming to the farm to be with your TRUE FAMILY.  Here, we have Uncle Harry (vpw's brother) and Aunt Sevilla (vpw's older sister).  Hey, stay a couple of weeks and attend the upcoming Summer School. 

Love-bomb them.  Treat them special.  Add music, campfires and night owls.

Many were displaced youth, transient hippie-types.......looking for belonging, looking for a place to call home. 

Go WOW.  Go Corps.

With more and more distance from one's family and roots.......the cult becomes "family."

Cults and the Art of Deception

Stockholm Syndrome

 

 

 

 

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I just saw this today on Amazon.

In this award-winning memoir, Alexandra Amor shines a light on cults so that others might learn from her heartbreaking experience. Amor gracefully and sensitively explains how ordinary and intelligent people get seduced into joining cults, why they stay despite the emotional and psychological abuse, and what the long process of recovery looks like once someone leaves a cult.

I haven't read it, but the narrative sounds intriguing.

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On 8/16/2020 at 2:39 PM, skyrider said:

 

Oh yeah........twi had its own hamster-wheel of justifying its doctrines and practices.

Have the 2nd and 3rd generations ever heard the story of what life was like before 2000?  before 1980?

Of course.....twi's practices have been self-serving.....and only self-serving......for a long, long time.

It didn't have to end this way (spiraling down to its doom).  It seemed to me, those years 1977-1979 were ripe with outreach and "Word in Culture."  With musical groups and outreach......some professional athletes from the NFL and tennis were taking pfal.  A professional bull-riding clown took the stage to speak at roa.  Doctors, professionals and business people were coming on board.  When the 1979 Rock of Ages came around......there was an arts, music and crafts tent for the sole purpose of purchasing merchandise from other believers and enhancing Word in Culture. Another tent was set aside for an evening "Dinner Theatre"...... where you pre-purchased a ticket for dinner and a theatrical performance (following the big top teaching).  Imagine that!

Yeah, imagine that.  There was more to this event than just the pilgrimage to the Big Top to hear Dr. Victor Paul Wierwille teach another sermon.  The spotlight was no longer solely on the cult leader on main stage.  Imagine the possibilities.

"Word in Culture" was the growing buzz-word.  The fire had been lit.....and the flame was growing.  The tent was a-buzz with believers selling their wares to others  All kinds of music groups and solo artists were popping up.  Cassette tapes of Lisa Lochridge and Dave Lutz were flying off the shelves.  Not the "Way Productions sanctioned music" that was promoted from the main stage.......but the upcoming singers that were putting out good songs.  Simple, down-to-earth music from the heart. This "Word in Culture" sparked a short-lived movement of enterprise from the bottom up.........NOT from the top down.  

Musicians, composers, writers, short-stories, artists, cartoonists, sculptors, screen-printers, etc.......lots of energy on the rise.  

Medical WOWs.........nurses, doctors, interns, administrative types.  Another arm of outreach.

Military WOWs..........Paul Norcr0ss headed up military outreach and worked alongside the Trunk Office and International Outreach to help military personnel stationed throughout parts of the world.  Some military guys were given special exceptions for corps training and/or their corps assignment.

Why is any of this important now?

  • There was a short window in time when twi almost (maybe?) broke from its cult-trajectory and let people live freely.
  • That short time frame of "Word in Culture"........was closed back down, because twi could NOT control its outcome.
  • By 1980 Rock of Ages......there was no tent set aside for buying/selling other believers' merchadise.
  • Songs, wording and content HAD to be pre-approved and filtered thru upper cult management.
  • Many of the hippie-types saw the writing on the wall.........and left.

And, yeah.........add coerced-corps labor during in-residence training into the mix.  Then, heap a mandatory "corps week" on them so that all corps are required EVERY YEAR to attend.....and don't leave until the Rock of Ages is over.  This burdened the corps exponentially.......financially, family responsibilities, work/career challenges, nearly 3 weeks away from work each year, keeping corps from promotions or career paths, etc. etc.

The Way International has refused to learn the lessons of yesteryear ...........for 4 decades !!!

This story didn't start in 2000 with Rosalie.........it started a long, long, long time ago.

 

.

 

Let me state emphatically........that I am sure how I viewed "Word in Culture" [back then] was very different than how wierwille viewed his "Word in Culture."  To me, tt was the well-springing of truth, faith, hope and lovingkindness expressed in music, arts, crafts and writing.  Fiction, nonfiction and short stories.  The Garden of Living Waters near the wierwille home was in the early stages of being constructed.  The Sno-Way.....the building of an all-terrain vehicle was underway in one of the buildings. The energy and creative [dare I say that word...lol] talent was amazing to behold.  But then........the very fact that this Word in Culture tent and Hospitality tent [dinner theatre tent] were shut down at the next Rock of Ages spoke volumes.  

I seriously doubt that few people in twi have any idea the extent to which this excited the corps and staff at hq.  The fact that this episode is so rarely discussed on GSC shows how this, too, has disappeared down the memory hole.

Twi could NOT CONTROL this exponential expansion of youthful energy.......but rather, herding people around at large events that they could do.  Having one's butt firmly planted in a seat for another teaching was their specialty.  Meetings, meetings and more meetings.  Advanced Class '79.  Living Victoriously [1982].  Sound Out '84.  Big meetings where wierwille commanded the spotlight.......to indoctrinate the followers.  Easy-peasy.  

For decades to follow...............butts in seats was the control method of choice.

It didn't have to end in a death spiral.......................splat.

 

.

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1 hour ago, skyrider said:

 

Let me state emphatically........that I am sure how I viewed "Word in Culture" [back then] was very different than how wierwille viewed his "Word in Culture."  To me, tt was the well-springing of truth, faith, hope and lovingkindness expressed in music, arts, crafts and writing.  Fiction, nonfiction and short stories.  The Garden of Living Waters near the wierwille home was in the early stages of being constructed.  The Sno-Way.....the building of an all-terrain vehicle was underway in one of the buildings. The energy and creative [dare I say that word...lol] talent was amazing to behold.  But then........the very fact that this Word in Culture tent and Hospitality tent [dinner theatre tent] were shut down at the next Rock of Ages spoke volumes.  

I seriously doubt that few people in twi have any idea the extent to which this excited the corps and staff at hq.  The fact that this episode is so rarely discussed on GSC shows how this, too, has disappeared down the memory hole.

Twi could NOT CONTROL this exponential expansion of youthful energy.......but rather, herding people around at large events that they could do.  Having one's butt firmly planted in a seat for another teaching was their specialty.  Meetings, meetings and more meetings.  Advanced Class '79.  Living Victoriously [1982].  Sound Out '84.  Big meetings where wierwille commanded the spotlight.......to indoctrinate the followers.  Easy-peasy.  

For decades to follow...............butts in seats was the control method of choice.

It didn't have to end in a death spiral.......................splat.

 

.

Dare I say, it was Wierwille's failure of both imagination and a massive failure due to his narcissism which stunted the "auxano" growth that the dancing president talked about before he got side tracked by the sexual abuse Wierwille told him he needed to practice. That narcissism appears to have totally displaced the agape love we read about in the Bible.

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4 hours ago, skyrider said:

 

Let me state emphatically........that I am sure how I viewed "Word in Culture" [back then] was very different than how wierwille viewed his "Word in Culture."  To me, tt was the well-springing of truth, faith, hope and lovingkindness expressed in music, arts, crafts and writing.  Fiction, nonfiction and short stories.  The Garden of Living Waters near the wierwille home was in the early stages of being constructed.  The Sno-Way.....the building of an all-terrain vehicle was underway in one of the buildings. The energy and creative [dare I say that word...lol] talent was amazing to behold.  But then........the very fact that this Word in Culture tent and Hospitality tent [dinner theatre tent] were shut down at the next Rock of Ages spoke volumes.  

I seriously doubt that few people in twi have any idea the extent to which this excited the corps and staff at hq.  The fact that this episode is so rarely discussed on GSC shows how this, too, has disappeared down the memory hole.

Twi could NOT CONTROL this exponential expansion of youthful energy.......but rather, herding people around at large events that they could do.  Having one's butt firmly planted in a seat for another teaching was their specialty.  Meetings, meetings and more meetings.  Advanced Class '79.  Living Victoriously [1982].  Sound Out '84.  Big meetings where wierwille commanded the spotlight.......to indoctrinate the followers.  Easy-peasy.  

For decades to follow...............butts in seats was the control method of choice.

It didn't have to end in a death spiral.......................splat.

 

Just some quick thoughts here - with wierwille being an unabashed plagiarist and a control freak – maybe the creative process and creative people truly mystified him as something very foreign and outside his comfort zone – hence he would lower the boom...was it something that threatened him and his "leadership"? was he envious of creative people? Did he want to control the creativity of others?

Before I joined TWI, I went to an actual accredited college  :spy: to learn more about the visual arts as well as being a musician active in bands from when I was 16 up until I left TWI in ’86…In my humble opinion inspiration and ideas sometimes seem to arise out of nowhere. Creativity doesn’t work like an on-demand movie-streaming service. Creative people tend to be less routine oriented, extremely curious, observant, and adventurous - sometimes to the point of shaking things up. Those traits don’t agree too well with the homogenizing tactics of TWI - attempting to render everyone the same – nice-behaving followers...Uggghhhh – the monotonous and mundane life in the way corps – teachings, teachings and more teachings – reviewing PFAL stuff over and over again. Don’t ask questions that might challenge the curriculum. Don't ever question TWI's way of doing things. "Remember, world out and Word in". Just ignore or endure the hypocrisy and Pharisee-ism so obvious in some of the elder corps and campus coordinators. And don’t buck the system. There were even the occasional teachings that stressed how the Devil has so infiltrated and poisoned the arts and that talented Way-believers (those who were TWI homogenized, systematized, and mesmerized of course)    were the only ones who could put "The Word" back into the arts. …I’m glad I got out of that straight-jacket. That’s all for now…good night – sweet dreams.

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8 hours ago, Rocky said:

Dare I say, it was Wierwille's failure of both imagination and a massive failure due to his narcissism which stunted the "auxano" growth that the dancing president talked about before he got side tracked by the sexual abuse Wierwille told him he needed to practice. That narcissism appears to have totally displaced the agape love we read about in the Bible.

 

THIS !!!   :eusa_clap:

 

 

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Why does The Way International have an auditorium.......and not a church, chapel or cathedral?

  • Answer:  Wierwille's narcissism

When one looks analytically at the last 8 years of wierwille's life.......what was the major thrust of his involvement?  Where was he investing his major energy. concern and resources to from 1977-1985?

  1. PFAL '77........live teachings and presentation of Power For Abundant Living Class (taught at Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana)
  2. Advanced Class '79 .......... live advanced class taught in Athens, Ohio (at Ohio University)
  3. High Country Caravan Productions......casting and filming of 10 or 12 (??) short productions for promotional/marketing purposes
  4. Living Victoriously (1982).......live teachings and class presentation at twi (hat tip to E. Stanley Jones  ....:wink2: ..)
  5. Sound Out '84 ......live presentation of Harmony of the Gospels AND Way Productions performing at The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN

Productions.  Productions.  Productions.

So.......when a local farmer died and his land came up for sale, wierwille rushed to buy the land.  This new purchase gave twi the opportunity to build west of the way woods.  And, what did they want to build?  An Auditorium.  Not a church, chapel or cathedral.....of course not.  The Way International didn't want to present itself as another denomination, or religion by building a church.  But they definitely wanted a stage.   :biglaugh:

Wierwille and Geer walked the property in 1982 or early 1983 to envision this new project.  Yep, they walked the paces to get the size and scope of this auditorium.......an auditorium that would have a production stage, full-dressed front and back curtains, an orchestra pit, a grand rehearsal room, sound room, a balcony that had side seating like grand theaters, and theater seating.  The one thing missing was the popcorn.  :anim-smile:

Seriously?  An auditorium?

I thought wierwille's ministry was about teaching the Word of God, the truths that hadn't been known since the Apostle Paul?  What happened?  Why the detour to productions as the central focus?  Could it be that wierwille's narcissism devoured the stated purpose of his ministry?

Doesn't everyone want an auditorium with an orchestra pit to run their Sunday Teaching Services?

 

 

.

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On 8/20/2020 at 12:51 AM, T-Bone said:

Don't ever question TWI's way of doing things. "Remember, world out and Word in". Just ignore or endure the hypocrisy and Pharisee-ism so obvious in some of the elder corps and campus coordinators. And don’t buck the system. There were even the occasional teachings that stressed how the Devil has so infiltrated and poisoned the arts and that talented Way-believers (those who were TWI homogenized, systematized, and mesmerized of course)    were the only ones who could put "The Word" back into the arts. …I’m glad I got out of that straight-jacket. That’s all for now…good night – sweet dreams.

 

T-Bone.......yeah, cult conformity and rigid obedience cowers the soul and poisons the creative heart.

Long gone are the days when songs-from-the-heart, murals, paintings, artwork, sculpting, wood crafting, etc. .......were overflowing at the various campuses and hq.  Each year, the graduating corps would give their labor of love to some worthy gift or renovation project on campus to commemorate their time at that campus.  It was amazing to see the incredible talent within each graduating corps group.

Men like Buddy Curry Family 5 [RIP] had incredible skill and talent.  He built this incredible oak desk for wierwille.  Scores and scores of talented people.......

Yet, wierwille, martindale and rivenbark seemed blinded by their obsession to keep the corps clone factory running.  How could they NOT see this?  Did their lust for power and control consume and blind them?  Was it the old adage?.........."Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

With each passing year, I found it harder and harder to give "double-honor" to this spiritual leadership.  How could they be that obtuse to what was happening all around them?    Corps were stifled......and began exiting by 1977.  The independent types were moving to greener horizons.  And, more heavy-handed legalism was creeping in.   I doubted things in wierwille's era......and stayed.  I doubted things in martindale's era.......and stayed till August 1998. 

Damn, it really did become insanity............Insanity on Steroids

I could add so much more.  I should have written a book.  

 

.

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  • 1 month later...
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.  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!!!

 

 

.

Sky, thanks for the information.  

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On 8/4/2020 at 8:55 AM, skyrider said:

 

The Way International Cult thrives best when there is strict, authoritarian control over their followers:  1)  Rulers and 2) Followers.  No middle ground.  No middle class of wealth, independence and self-rule.  No advantage to the cult if families are taking their kids to the lake on Sunday for a day of memories. With more prosperity comes more independence.......and more family outings, vacations, traditions and memories.  With more prosperity and upward mobility......a father is able to provide more for his family and gain respect in his career field and community.

Why did wierwille teach certain aspects of "spiritual growth" and give other verses the silent treatment?  Answer:  he wanted to subjugate (control) the people.  Of course, he gave lip-service to prosperity.......advancing "spiritual maturity" and discouraged higher education especially to the corps.  Wierwille's corps letters are filled with his opining that corps were abandoning him (as early as 1977).    Anyone who thinks that twi went south because of craig martindale.......hasn't connected the dots, yet.

So, now.......why won't twi's board of directors relent on their "no-debt" doctrine?  Why do they vault themselves into the position over YOUR FINANCIAL AFFAIRS? 

What gives them the damn right to invade your space, your personal decision-making?  INDOCTRINATION.  The cult rulers have pushed and confronted you for years, decades.  They've wormed their way into every fabric of your life.......twi is a cult.  They do NOT want you to gain independence.  They do NOT want you to gain more prosperity and build equity and advance forward.  They want to subjugate you.

Do you ever think back to those early Rock of Ages.......and think about the message it portrayed?  Yeah, sure....there were laughs and good times among our "friends" and many held onto those nostalgic memories for decades..... but there was sweltering heat, downpours, mud, wet tents, chilly nights, cold showers, sickness, poverty, confrontations, coerced-labor, beggars wanting money to go WOW, home-again propaganda, etc.   Ain't it great to be home again?     ppffffffttttt

And, if you see any of them R&R folks knocking on your doors......ask them, "Why do you want to RESTORE that?""

 

 

.

 

Posted:  August 4, 2020

"So, now.......why won't twi's board of directors relent on their "no-debt" doctrine?  Why do they vault themselves into the position over YOUR FINANCIAL AFFAIRS? 

What gives them the damn right to invade your space, your personal decision-making?  INDOCTRINATION.  The cult rulers have pushed and confronted you for years, decades.  They've wormed their way into every fabric of your life.......twi is a cult.  They do NOT want you to gain independence.  They do NOT want you to gain more prosperity and build equity and advance forward.  They want to subjugate you."

 

Six weeks later..........twi's no-debt mandate has been waived for their 2021 Advanced Class students and grad class.

Could it be that too many people have been visiting this GSC site and voicing dissent with twi's policies and subjugation?

Or, twi NEEDS to waive this policy to jump-start activity from years of hemorrhaging?

This policy has been in place since 1994........and NOW, they changed it.

BOOM.

 

 

.

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On 8/19/2020 at 8:32 PM, skyrider said:

 

Let me state emphatically........that I am sure how I viewed "Word in Culture" [back then] was very different than how wierwille viewed his "Word in Culture."  To me, tt was the well-springing of truth, faith, hope and lovingkindness expressed in music, arts, crafts and writing.  Fiction, nonfiction and short stories.  The Garden of Living Waters near the wierwille home was in the early stages of being constructed.  The Sno-Way.....the building of an all-terrain vehicle was underway in one of the buildings. The energy and creative [dare I say that word...lol] talent was amazing to behold.  But then........the very fact that this Word in Culture tent and Hospitality tent [dinner theatre tent] were shut down at the next Rock of Ages spoke volumes.  

I seriously doubt that few people in twi have any idea the extent to which this excited the corps and staff at hq.  The fact that this episode is so rarely discussed on GSC shows how this, too, has disappeared down the memory hole.

Twi could NOT CONTROL this exponential expansion of youthful energy.......but rather, herding people around at large events that they could do.  Having one's butt firmly planted in a seat for another teaching was their specialty.  Meetings, meetings and more meetings.  Advanced Class '79.  Living Victoriously [1982].  Sound Out '84.  Big meetings where wierwille commanded the spotlight.......to indoctrinate the followers.  Easy-peasy.  

For decades to follow...............butts in seats was the control method of choice.

It didn't have to end in a death spiral.......................splat.

 

.

Sky, I remember the Rocks of 1978, and 1979.  You are so right; a lot of people sang, and they were very good.  ROA 1979 was my "Homecoming. "  Those of us who had successfully completed our year, were welcomed "home". (Back to the ROA). Those Rocks were fun; people sang, and met up with people they hadn't seen in some time.  The music from the "Big Top" at night was so good!!  Remember the slogan, "fun, food, and Fellowship?"  Those early rocks were so good, I couldn't wait to go to them.  I went to seven of them in ten years, and enjoyed most of them.  My last ROA was 1987, and it wasn't very enjoyable.   It seemed to me, most of the fun, and joy had disappeared.  I couldn't leave fast enough, and I knew I would never go back, and I didn't.  Those early Rocks were full of good times, and good people. 

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It was stated that after 1980 there was no tent devoted to believers arts and crafts. There was a 'word in culture' tent through the early 80's where artists and crafts people sold stuff. I spent roa 83, and 84 in that tent pushing 'Glad magazine' and greeting cards . I recall a push back in'85, where the sentiment changed to 'why should our people be making a profit off of the believers' and it was shut down, which effectively drove us out of business, as who else was going to buy the thing.

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On 10/1/2020 at 5:33 AM, skyrider said:

 

Posted:  August 4, 2020

"So, now.......why won't twi's board of directors relent on their "no-debt" doctrine?  Why do they vault themselves into the position over YOUR FINANCIAL AFFAIRS? 

What gives them the damn right to invade your space, your personal decision-making?  INDOCTRINATION.  The cult rulers have pushed and confronted you for years, decades.  They've wormed their way into every fabric of your life.......twi is a cult.  They do NOT want you to gain independence.  They do NOT want you to gain more prosperity and build equity and advance forward.  They want to subjugate you."

 

Six weeks later..........twi's no-debt mandate has been waived for their 2021 Advanced Class students and grad class.

Could it be that too many people have been visiting this GSC site and voicing dissent with twi's policies and subjugation?

Or, twi NEEDS to waive this policy to jump-start activity from years of hemorrhaging?

This policy has been in place since 1994........and NOW, they changed it.

BOOM.

 

 

.

Oh, so if they change the no-debt policy is that like saying "Ooops, sorry, didn't mean it. Sorry you lost out on equity and a credit rating. Sorry if you sold your house to go live in a rental. Sorry some of you got kicked out over this. We didn't really mean it after all".

Edited by outandabout
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