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Nostalgia Bias


chockfull
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I ran across this article in Psych Today talking about “nostalgia bias” where people attach to and recollect only positive things about their past.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/checkpoints/202302/exploring-nostalgia-bias

I wonder if nostalgia bias is what keeps many of these people who have been abused by TWI hanging around and pushing for better times.

Nostalgia bias would be a huge reason behind the modern TWI push of going back to PFAL and back to the “Word Over the World” messaging.  Taking items from the highest participation period in the cults history the strategic approach is to make the Way “feel” like the good ole days in the hippie times where people were strumming guitars in parks and witnessing and thousands were “taking the class”.

 Nostalgia bias can keep people hanging around doing the same things sending in the same checks listening to the same stories obeying the same dictators.  It can keep people only reading the same “collaterals” for decades without ever considering new and better sources.

I actually am opposed to the nostalgia bias making my life’s decisions and want to and am purposefully crafting my future in the direction best for me, my family, my peace of mind, and my spiritual development outside the constrained inputs from a cult.

 

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Funnily enough, I was thinking of this only today.  Thinking of the positive things I'd learned and done in TWI (and there definitely were some positives).  Some were where confidence had been expressed in me where I'd never done a thing before.  Some things were enjoyable - especially at the beginning of each year.  And I met some awesome people (most of whom, regrettably, soon disappeared - whether voluntarily or pushed is a mystery), both within my Corps and on staff - mostly low-level staff, I have to say.

However, there were many negatives.  One of which was the destruction of any confidence of any kind that I had.  The sense of oppression and fear that developed.  The micromanagement.  The face-meltings for using one's God-given common sense instead of checking with some "leader."  The snitchiness and brown-nosing of some others of my Corps.  The spying on each other, and the paranoia that developed from that. 

 

Now, I am part of a great church that genuinely and heartily serves its community.  All the churches of all denominations work together in my small city to reach out to all groups of people.  But nobody is bullied into doing anything; people want to participate and don't have to be asked.  I only have to look at the awesome people in my church and associated churches within the benefice and within the community, to see something amazing and so diametrically opposite to anything in TWI that - well, it's joy and sunshine, contrasted with misery and drabness.

 

I'm a little nostalgic for the friends I'd started to make, some of the fun we had, and the sometimes sense of cameraderie.  But that's all.

There is NO BLOODY WAY that I would or could endure the organizational thuggery now.  Maybe that should be NO BLOODY WAY for emphasis.

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9 hours ago, chockfull said:

I actually am opposed to the nostalgia bias making my life’s decisions and want to and am purposefully crafting my future in the direction best for me, my family, my peace of mind, and my spiritual development outside the constrained inputs from a cult.

More power to you in that endeavor. :drink:

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  • 1 month later...
Posted (edited)

Happy New Year spotters!

I am bumping this thread for all those who may still be stuck in TWI nostalgia bias.  Perhaps you like me have seen a recent depiction of the “Jesus Revolution” with all of the social happenings in the 60s and 70s that preceded the Way Ministry and other groups like Calvary Chapel and all of the tales about the groovy Christians of Rye NY or the Life magazine articles or the House of Acts in SF California.

Seeing all of that I was reminded of the motivation I had in my youth to seek out grassroots truth in the form of spiritual wisdom from the Bible and Christian fellowship.

As I pursued that as a primary goal in life, got married, had kids, and worked out how to live as a Christian man father and husband I ran into direct conflict with the cult I was in, The Way International, and what the Bible taught about Christian life, marriage, family, careers, debt, and many other major categories of life where they were stepping beyond scriptural boundaries and into areas of life in the nunya category.  Nunya d@mn bidness.  I also witnessed several leadership couples where the Way broke up their marriage, convinced them they had major spiritual problems and forced them back into their training program again.  And I witnessed the Way performing libelous acts talking about these people to their congregations and acting well beyond any authority reasonable for a church group.  I witnessed any attempt to restore equal balance met by excommunication.  

So the times I could be swayed by nostalgia and the idea of a large church with many friends (they were fake) I recollect the doctrinal and practical manipulation of these people and others who have published their accounts, and I thank God on my knees that I am no longer subservient to little Napoleons and their Machiavellian imaginations and their evil acts against those in their own house.

I thank God for freedom, like the freedom that the concept of the United States of America can bring when people aren’t being political moral midgets, like the freedom that emancipation can bring and has brought to minorities, like the freedom to worship God without any sense of lack of worth that another man or woman tries to introduce.

There is a time for nostalgia.  I can break out an old vinyl album I replaced and go back to my roots, to a simpler time filled with faith without manipulation, to a time of infinite possibility.

But I have zero nostalgia of being under the authority of moral midgets and performing rote roles of service to magnify others and their egos.  I will not sacrifice my future and family’s future to run a church for a group too cheap to build one in my house and try and hype a new lie which is the same old lie.  God did not speak to Victor Paul Wierwille and give him divine instruction for all mankind that he would teach “the Word” like it hasn’t been known since the first century.  That is a lie from a book they no longer claim and a lie that is not in the man’s biography written by his spouse.

Freedom > Nostalgia

Edited by chockfull
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13 minutes ago, chockfull said:

 God did not speak to Victor Paul Wierwille and give him divine instruction for all mankind that he would teach “the Word” like it hasn’t been known since the first century.

Yeah. This.

It sits there like a duck.

Edited by waysider
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2 hours ago, chockfull said:

So the times I could be swayed by nostalgia and the idea of a large church with many friends (they were fake) I recollect the doctrinal and practical manipulation of these people and others who have published their accounts, and I thank God on my knees that I am no longer subservient to little Napoleons and their Machiavellian imaginations and their evil acts against those in their own house.

I would hope that freedom you enjoy and for which you are thankful extends to having no care for whether such people agree or disagree with you or see things the same way you do. THAT would be a freedom worth rejoicing about. :eusa_clap:

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"God did not speak to Victor Paul Wierwille and give him divine instruction for all mankind that he would teach “the Word” like it hasn’t been known since the first century.  That is a lie from a book they no longer claim and a lie that is not in the man’s biography written by his spouse. "

 

In case someone particularly nostalgic- who doesn't know any better- has just arrived, read that, and said aloud "Oh, yeah? Prove it!", I'm going to reply.

First of all, the Burden of Proof is on the person who insists on the existence of something, the one who says "this is true."  In this case, that means the burden of proof is on the one who claims that the alleged 1942 promise was true.  So, they are asking the wrong question to begin with.

However, I'm not done.  In many cases, where some claim has been made, we can look things over and confirm or dismiss them.  Let's look at the claim.  vpw claimed that God Almighty spoke to vpw himself and said that He (God)  would teach him (vpw)  God's Word as it hadn't been known since the First Century if he (vpw)  would teach it (God's Word) to others.  Further, vpw insisted that he demanded God prove this by making it snow.  A moment later, he was in a complete snowstorm and could see nothing out the window.

First of all, the claim in taped pfal was that vpw had dedicated his life to God's Word.  Nobody heard this 1942 Promise until much further into twi.  Second of all, his own WIFE heard nothing about this in 1942. She wrote that he first told this to the early corps- so the first words out of his mouth that day to here weren't "Honey, something amazing happened today and I have to tell you about it..."  (I've heard claims that Mrs W was wrong and people heard of it in the mid-1960s. Even if true, it doesn't change him saying NOTHING to his wife when is ALLEGEDLY happened.

Third of all, vpw's claim CHANGED.  When he first made the claim, the sky filled with snow was "BLACK" with snow.  Later, he claimed he was in a white-out (my phrasing), where the sky was all white.   If the man had a genuine experience with God, he would remember if the sky suddenly turned all-WHITE or all-BLACK, because even the legally blind can tell the difference between an all-white and an all-black sky.   However, if vpw was making this up, and later heard that an all-snow sky is all white, he would change his story.  If he was repeating a miraculous occurrence, he would have added comments. "I know the sky SHOULD have looked all white, but there it was- all BLACK outside my window in the middle of the day..."  This change reflected someone trying to convince people of a story he was making up and fine-tuning as he heard objections. 

Fourth,  all weather reports of the day show no snow anywhere in the state.  He never claimed it was a VISION of snow, but real snow.  However, let us continue AS IF he claimed it was a VISION of snow.  Then the rest of his claims should be examined for all their faults.

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So, vpw did teach others.  So, if the first part of the alleged 1942 Promise was correct, then it was completed, like a contract, with both parties delivering what they were supposed to.      But, did vpw teach "God's Word like it hadn't been known since the 1st century"?

No.

First, nearly 100% of everything he taught has been traced to other Christian writers or teachers whom he plagiarized.  So, each of his teachings was on something as someone knew in the 20th century already.  Was that a made-up promise, or was it the promise of a being so uninformed it didn't know people were already teaching the Bible and writing about it?  Or was it a lying spirit that promised this?     The possibilities vpw was listening to a lying spirit or a stupid god are even worse than vpw just lying and plagiarizing.

Second, what was "God's Word as it was known in the 1st century"?   Nothing like twi!   People knew God's Word by experience and in power. The written texts studied ad nauseum in twi were largely UNKNOWN in the 1st century.   People read the Torah, taught, prayed, healed, and saw miracles.  The selling points of Christianity were results, not clever men at pulpits teaching a new Greek word or making a bad joke.   Christians were decentralized, Christians had no head honcho on the Earth, Christians had no codified "Statements of Belief."  Christians weren't tithing.  Christians weren't buying books or paying money for classes.   In short, the 1st century Christians did NOT resemble vpw's claims or twi in any way other than vpw CLAIMING they were the same.  Talk is cheap, and the reality was VERY different.  If you want to see something of the 1st century in vpw's work, review the "ministry" of Simon the sorcerer.

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There were some good times.  There were some good people.

There were more good times at the beginning of my stay there.  What should have been good times later were frequently tinged with fear of having done some unknown and previously undescribed wrong, and what face-melting that might bring.  Sometimes the good times were tinged with secrecy - as if, on a "Christian" campus, one shouldn't be enjoying fellowship and an impromptu birthday party with other believers.

I spent time working with Multi-Services and mostly enjoyed that, and what MS did was quite varied.  Also, it was good fun at times preparing for RoA because there was more freedom to do things and to hang out, rather than rushing off to a class or obligatory other event.  And it was good times preparing for a big meeting, like the Easter gatherings.  But both of these were punishingly hard work with very long hours, while we had to present ourselves with smiles and big welcomes.  (Even slaves can smile and find a moment of fun!)

I miss some of the people.  Some were the best, most honest and deepest, funn-est, people I knew.  Most of them got run off fairly quickly.  And some were the most priggish, spying, talebearing brown-nosers that I ever met.  Many of those graduated and as at a few years ago, were still with TWI.

 

Nostalgia or not - despite the norm of daily ups and downs - my life is happier and more content now than it has been in decades - ever since I got entangled with TWI.    Some aspects. especially my work situation, weren't so great before I got involved, but they got a jolly sight worse when seeking help and support from a bunch of kids that didn't know anything of life, or of practical Christianity.

I go for regular eye tests.  I don't need to look through PFAL-tinted glasses any more :evildenk: .

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  • 2 weeks later...

On the nostalgia bias front I see that the BODolts have paid money to patent the term “Word Over the World”.  Tm.

Your ABS at work.

Now if they could only patent the term “world peace” then they could collect a lot of money at every Miss America contest.

:biglaugh:
 

All u other WOWs are cheap imitators lol.

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19 minutes ago, chockfull said:

All u other WOWs are cheap imitators lol.

I was curious as to how this fit with what the S.O.W.E.R.S. program is doing, so I tried to look at their site. I got a warning that the site is not secure.:wink2:

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2 hours ago, chockfull said:

have paid money to patent the term “Word Over the World”.

Spiritual warfare? Or economic warfare?

Gotta protect their "intellectual property" don't ya know?

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On 1/20/2024 at 9:23 AM, Rocky said:

Spiritual warfare? Or economic warfare?

Gotta protect their "intellectual property" don't ya know?

Yes it fits right in with Bible accounts like the twelve meeting the seventy where they said “we own the trademark on everything you’re doing” and called them “swagger jackers”.

:rolleyes:
 

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17 hours ago, chockfull said:

Yes it fits right in with Bible accounts like the twelve meeting the seventy where they said “we own the trademark on everything you’re doing” and called them “swagger jackers”.

:rolleyes:
 

Wow! :biglaugh:

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On 1/20/2024 at 8:52 AM, chockfull said:

On the nostalgia bias front I see that the BODolts have paid money to patent the term “Word Over the World”.  Tm.

Your ABS at work.

Now if they could only patent the term “world peace” then they could collect a lot of money at every Miss America contest.

:biglaugh:
 

All u other WOWs are cheap imitators lol.

:doh: :biglaugh:  :smilie_kool_aid:

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On 1/21/2024 at 5:55 PM, chockfull said:

Yes it fits right in with Bible accounts like the twelve meeting the seventy where they said “we own the trademark on everything you’re doing” and called them “swagger jackers”.

:rolleyes:
 

:biglaugh::doh::eusa_clap::biglaugh:

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Charity,  whatever that is can't be opened. 

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