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Eyewitnesses:1977 to 1980. Your stories?

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I moved to Minney-soda in 1978. Decided I wanted to go wow and when I put my application in I said I wanted to be assigned to this area, since it was new to me, I had no *old man hangouts or friends* here.

Well -- not only did I get *sent* back here, but we had 5 wow families sent here that year.

G*ne and D*bbi* N*sgoda had an old church building that they were living in, and they turned the upstairs sanctuary into a coffee-house for performing arts, while they lived in the downstairs area. The coffee-house was called the *Uncle Harry Coffee-house*, and Joyful Noise came and performed there in 1978.

I remember the neighbors (in the area) being curious about the big *Silver Eagle Bus* parked outside the church. The coffee house was far from being complete when Joyful Noise showed up, and I remember Richie D*bartolo (sp?) being pis$ed off because he had to help lay down the carpet in the building.

To his credit -- he did say later (that evening) that he was irritated at first, but saw the overall picture of the family working together, to get something done.

And yea -- I have the concert on tape. :)

It was good to see Dean again (he was my twig leader back in Indiana in 1977) and it was great to hear Joyful Noise up here in our neck of the woods. :)

That was 1978. I might talk later about the TAKIT tour that blew through Minneapolis, but not now. :)

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I am fairly certain the year was 1977.--------One Friday evening after evening meal in fellowlaborers we were told were were going to be honored with a special training session which was about to commence immediately. Just time for one cigarette or a trip to the restroom take your pick. This was not optional nor did we know about it when we signed up as has been implied on another thread regarding commitments. The introduction was very positive and laid the groundwork for an enlightening weekend. I do not recall the title of the "class" but it sounds very much like what has been described in the discussions of "momentus". AS the sessions progressed it became apparent we were in for an "I'm going to break you" type of scenario that typifies many peoples perception, or experience in boot camp. The 'instructor' was well known and his initials were J.L. There was screaming, there was face melting and the phrase "I think" was worthy of one very severe verbal lashing. "You either know that you know or your worthless foot doesn't belong here."One night and two long days of this worthless crap. Highlights included being literally locked in the building and made to sit in the dark with a mandate of what seemed at the time like hours. One of our beautiful sisters who was naturally prone to shyness,snapped under the pressure. she was then molded into what I call a Stepford believer and remained that way for the rest of her commitment. She moved on to WC after graduation. If you are reading this,kiddo, I mean no offence. I only mean that we thought you were pretty darn cool just being yourself. Imagine sitting in a locked building in rural America hundreds of miles from home with no way to contact the outside world and ordered to maintain complete silence. This 'class' set the precident for what would follow. One time we were awakened at 3 am and ordered to report to limb headquarters in 20 minutes. It was ahalf hour drive so you do the math. Again we sit in the dark for who knows how long in complete silence only to be told the program was cancelled. Get out when the sun comes up. The sun comes up and we are told revelation has changed : We are to stay but must walk a fine line if we are to continue. GOD is displeased with our past performance. It goes on and on and I hope I haven't bored anyone to tears.

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Lets see. in 76 I was asked to drive two twi girls to the region coordinators house after they were found drunk in the washington memorial pool. As I recall they were gonna be charged with public drunk except someone convinced the cops they had been drugged. Apparantly they met up with and witnessed to two navy men and drank some wine, apparantly the wine was laced with stupid drugs and the girls took off their clothes in lincolns pool.

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Well I was definitely around in those days.

Took the class in 1976. it was cheap then. Video class.

George I may have met you way back when, Spent alot of time in Bloomington to take classes and being in Shirley for meetings.

Went to P.F.A.L. 77 and had the time of my life. Later when the Changed film came out, we went to downtown to Chicago to see it. I was surprised to see myself in it.

Went out wow in 78 to Texas. Remembering getting up and going to get gas, people were panicked to get some. None was for sale for awhile so I walked to work as well as my wow brothers. Finally gas was available but the lines were long. Didn't read the papers much to know what was going on around me in this country.

Attended the advance class in 79.....

One of our wows was scooped up and taken to be deprogrammed. Jenelda Williams. I remember hitting the airports also looking for Mo...ty. The Krishnas were big back then......

Stayed in Texas after wow and ran a fellowship. Moved back to Il. in the 80's.

All this time was good.....some personal weird situations with leadership.....but I won't go into that.

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Adds spacing and punctuation to the post...

I am fairly certain the year was 1977.

One Friday evening after evening meal in Fellow-laborers, we were told were were going to be

'honored with a special training session', which was about to commence immediately.

Just time for one cigarette OR a trip to the restroom- take your pick.

This was not optional nor did we know about it when we signed up as has been implied on another thread regarding commitments.

The introduction was very positive and laid the groundwork for an enlightening weekend. I do not recall the title of the "class" but it sounds very much like what has been described in the discussions of "momentus".

As the sessions progressed, it became apparent we were in for an "I'm going to break you"

type of scenario that typifies many peoples perception of experience in boot camp.

The 'instructor' was well known and his initials were J.L.

There was screaming, there was face-melting and the phrase "I think" was worthy of one very severe verbal lashing. "You either know that you know or your worthless foot doesn't belong here."

One night and two long days of this worthless crap.

Highlights included being literally locked in the building and made to sit in the dark with a mandate of what seemed at the time like hours. One of our beautiful sisters who was naturally prone to shyness, snapped under the pressure. She was then molded into what I call a Stepford believer and remained that way for the rest of her commitment. She moved on to WC after graduation. (If you are reading this,kiddo, I mean no offence. I only mean that we thought you were pretty darn cool just being yourself.)

Imagine sitting in a locked building in rural America hundreds of miles from home with no way to contact the outside world and ordered to maintain complete silence. This 'class' set the precident for

what would follow.

One time we were awakened at 3 am and ordered to report to limb headquarters in 20 minutes. It was ahalf hour drive so you do the math. Again we sit in the dark for who knows how long in complete silence only to be told the program was cancelled. Get out when the sun comes up. The sun comes up and we are told revelation has changed : We are to stay but must walk a fine line if we are to continue. GOD is displeased with our past performance. It goes on and on and I hope I haven't bored anyone to tears.

Well I was definitely around in those days.

Took the class in 1976. it was cheap then. Video class.

George I may have met you way back when, Spent alot of time in Bloomington to take classes and being in Shirley for meetings.

Went to P.F.A.L. 77 and had the time of my life. Later when the Changed film came out, we went to downtown to Chicago to see it. I was surprised to see myself in it.

Went out wow in 78 to Texas. Remembering getting up and going to get gas, people were panicked to get some. None was for sale for awhile so I walked to work as well as my wow brothers. Finally gas was available but the lines were long. Didn't read the papers much to know what was going on around me in this country.

Attended the advance class in 79.....

One of our wows was scooped up and taken to be deprogrammed. Jenelda Williams. I remember hitting the airports also looking for Mo...ty. The Krishnas were big back then......

Stayed in Texas after wow and ran a fellowship. Moved back to Il. in the 80's.

All this time was good.....

some personal weird situations with leadership.....but I won't go into that.

Your choice what to go into and not,

but if you can tell us some of it while leaving names and obvious identifiers out,

it might be very useful to someone or other here.

So, if you can be persuaded to share a bit more?

(If not, hey, thanks for what you've shared so far.)

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I took the class in NYC in Feb of 1978. I had been inrotduced to twi while in HS in upper westchester, so in a way I was the second or third generation of the Rye, NY explosion.

I need to think of incidents. But, life in twi in NYC was sweet. We were a pretty tight-knit group on Manhattan. P*p Pr.... was our BC and P@t M@u*r was my twig leader (THAT was the term then.)

I went into the Corps the nest Aug. I never felt like I needed to. I just wanted to. Perhaps I was wanting to fast track it.

I DO remember hearing P*p one day whispering about not talking to Peter Wade if he came into town. That he had some kind of debbil spurt. I never heard anything else about that. Maybe there was someone else who was kicked out of the corps - (5th or 6th) for something in their research paper - but the memory is very fuzzy.

The stuff about "survival" and MAL (More Abundant Living packs) didn't start until the my first in-rez year. We all had to buy a bunch of geer - backpacks, wool socks, and some military grade equipment because the end of the country was a possibility. (Still have most of that stuff packed away somewhere just as it was all that time ago.)

I'll post more - I need some specific questions to answer to trigger memories.

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1977 to 1980 was a weird time for me. I got into the Word in my hometown of Levittown, Long Island. A friend of the family who posts here as "Ayla" got me to start going to fellowships and in April of 1977 I finally took the PFAL class. Long Island was a cool place. We were young and loved God and enjoyed life and being together.

In June of '77 I got married to a believer from Larchmont.

My sister had suggested that northeast Pennsylvania had a lower cost of living (since we were just starting out) so from June of '77 to June of '79 we lived in Scranton. The first summer we met some WOW's in town and hung out with them and it seemed the area had a large believer population. At one meeting we were told there would be a meeting of the people who would be there after the Rock. We went and there were about six people there. Everybody else either left town or just stopped going. My wife and I had some serious culture clashes with the people there because the fellowships became cold and religious. We would go back to Long Island for a visit and you would walk into a Twig there and just feel the love. Then we'd go back to Scranton and wonder what the hell was wrong. But from what I read here it sounds like that's how a lot of fellowships were. We had a confrontation with our branch leader and when Franklin Smith, who was in charge of Pennsylvania at the time, came in to settle the matter he totally sided with the branch leader. After awhile we spoke to our Twig leader and said "look, we're not getting blessed so we quit". A month later we moved back to Long Island. We went to a couple of fellowships but were so burned by the Scranton experience that we didn't start going again untill 1981.

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Summer 1978 I took PFAL , enjoyed the best 3 months of my life . I never had open bible before TWI , so I believe everything they taught . We college kids , take the class then A bear would dance the night away. ROC 1978 , blue or red wrist band, still ask if was at the wrong place. . The sad part two people I new were deprogrammed , one was grabbed at the ROC 1978-hope . My understanding Peter S call his family said he was, WOW, and Janet D family could never understand how she happy working at copier place with college degree. This happens in central NY area 1978-1979 . I think that she went to see her family that when Janet was grabbed , very sad . It still remembers " Father Nept", old man at 25 , saying after taken the class I was still Jewish very strange!.

I got back a letter from TWI saying we notice yours scores for AV 79 class not as high we like then to be .you allow to go to the class: cost about $ 550- &525 for the two weeks The university saying we only charge about $250-275 We don't know what TWI does with rest of the money.

PFAL 1978 included the IM class 1-15 were taught two seeds, So now I knew my teacher that did not agree with TWI teaching was a seed boy, born of the devil . I was also told that V Pee may introduce MR seed Boy on stage at AV 1979, this had happened in the past . I would ready these things when it happen.

The fellowships were sweet In Ithaca NY 1978-1979 , I happy I took the class then. and move in with the other student grads.

I was very scared Bear when the " the seed of serpent part of class was taught. . It was no help we were told we could not be "born again of the wrong seed ". Being a newbee in 1978 this was scary stuff . :wave: .

Edited by andy Bear

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The Twiight Zone(I just saw this old thread!)

I was around 1978. I loved ,absolutely loved The Way,the People and I wanted to know all about

the bible.

I wanted to take the class the moment I saw the "Change Film" .

After I took the class I signed up to go out Wow,in Oklahoma City there were 28 Wows and everyone

of them I thought were just fabulous people,my wow year was going to be fantastic.I could hardly wait!

I love my twig,my branch leader and the whole thing was very exciting and there is nothing I wanted to

do more than serve God.

I dropped out of college,quit thinking about "my future" in law enforcement or the military and traveling

light I went out Wow like so many others I saw at ROA that summer.

Well.....my wow year sucked! Got sent to a "morman college town"(Rexburg Idaho,then Blackfoot Idaho)

for petes sake!!!! WTF

It was the blind leading the blind,I think we ran 2 classes the whole time and kept our head in the word

listening to tapes over and over and over,during christmas we were sent some tape by vpw to listen to

every week!

I wrote a letter,which came out on the "love letter cd" about how excited I was and vp said I was 1 in a million.

or something like that (don't have it anymore I burned everything)but my parents were very sad that I

had decided NOT to be a Catholic anymore(not that I really was ever "into that either"

So anyhoo back to "Potatoe state" very boring and dull,I slept on the floor for 6 months in a sleeping bag

and worked as a housekeeper,waitress...whatever was available for those hours(you know)

I made a good friend (or so I thought with the other twig leader who I will just call "MJ"(until in later yrs

after I got out I called and she hung up on me because I tried to tell her twi was a cult)

It's okay I understand it was like a reflex reaction like GAGGING YOURSELF by accident. But...you know

God love her cause we were just all in the same boat treading water to a nowhere promise land wanna be!

After 79-80 I went wow again :doh: I know!!! :asdf:

went to D.C. this time requested it because my father worked at the Pentagon and my mom at Air Force One.

Thought I might kill 2 birds with 1 stone and serve God(again because I really didn't do a very good job in

Idaho and felt I gotta try this again(like a freaking gambling addiction! you can NOT win)and try to keep

my"earthly family" around too.

Ha...wrong answer! after that I just kinda lost it and dissapeared only to resurface wanting to return to

The Way.

Committed as ever went Military Wow and then I was able to see :thinking: hey....something is just NOT RIGHT here :blink: then I left in 82.

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I first took PFAL in 1975 and went WOW in ’77.

It was sort of funny preparing to go “on the field”. Some things “came up” which tried to dissuade me from keeping my promise to go. I remember well the conversation I had with my father (who really didn’t approve of this “cult”) just prior to leaving…

“You are what?!” he said, “You are letting your car get repossessed because you are not supposed to have any debts before you go? And you are turning down a job offer for twice what you ever made in your life? And you are leaving a new girl friend behind? And you even told me that one of your higher-up ministers [Walter Cummins] is taking a giant step “down” to lead the twig you are in? And for all this, you are taking off with 3 people you haven’t even met yet to go somewhere in the country that you don’t even know about? And when you get there you won’t have a place to stay, or a job waiting? Melvin…..you’re NUTS!!” (Note: In hindsight, I guess it was a little stupid, huh? Ha! Ha!)

We left for Wheeling WV on a Saturday morning (just after the ROA was over, of course) and had to camp out in a KOA for a week when we got there. (2 guys – 2 girls) We woke up the following Saturday to discover that the guy who drove us had left already and was heading back home to California – and all my “little memories” were in his trunk. I had only kept the “most important things”, as was suggested by the leadership. (I never got them back!) He had been complaining about not having a home to stay in. However, we found housing that same day. The landlady looked at me kinda funny with those two girls. I felt like Jack Tripper in “Three’s Company”!

During the year, one of the girls got involved with someone I had witnessed to and had taken the class. She got back into drugs with him and left. The other girl fell in love with a nice guy who had been coming, who had also taken the class, and had two cute young boys from a previous marriage. (Instant family for her!)

SO – I was alone the rest of the year from about March to August. (I somehow managed to “peddle” two more classes) I admit that in some ways it was the best year of my life. It’s not so much that the ministry was looking after me, but I did learn to trust God, who always seemed to come through for me. I had been somewhat afraid to be on my own for the first time, and that happened. But all was OK; it wasn’t so bad after all, learning to pay rent and bills and cook for myself.

After the year was over, I married a waitress from where I had been working my part-time job all year. (the marriage lasted 9 years)

There is a lot more to the story, but I’ve typed enough for now, so will let you all go.

Thanks for listening.

Spec

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You know what I remember about my first ROA? Elvis died. That is what I associate with my first ROA. I don't remember any teachings, songs, who I camped with (now that I am racking my brain I think it was Jackie and Cheryl. I will have to call Jackie tomorrow and ask her) or how I arrived there. Fuzzy, yes fuzzy. No, I was not on drugs...funny, har, har...I was in a laundrymat in New Knoxville??? Yeh, I know you don't know where I was either. It came on the television in the laundrymat that Elvis had died. Kuhraaazzzyyy, Elvis died while I was at my first ROA. That was a sign of things to come.

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George and Ca Dreaming......Good to hear you both on this thread. I know I have probably met you both.

In 75 I took the class in Bloomington.......and knew all the people you talked about. Brought back the memories. It was a great time! People were fun, they were free, leadership was loving.....I wouldn't have stuck around if it had been the way it was in the end. But it sure changed and went down hill. I guess like a book says, "It was the best of times, and the worst of times" which pretty much describes my experiences.

The best of the times....I'll always look back on and love the people I knew with a special place in my heart during the mid 70's, to late 70's. Just hearing some of their names brings back this longing of, "Wish I could see them again" feeling. Music was awesome with a coffeehouse almost weekly and night owls. It was a wonderful time in my life. I've not ever had such a great experience with people since I left TWI than I did then. It was healing to my life and it really needed healing. But, I don't know when exactly it started changing, but it did. Leadership became dominant and controlling...and you all know the rest of the story....."The worst of times" for me.

But those first 5 years or so......they were great and I do thank God for them and for the people I was around. I'll never forget them.......

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I don't remember any news except Jonestown and a Bob Segar concert,I stayed away from tv and newpapers

and magazines for most of the time I was in twi.

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You know what I remember about my first ROA? Elvis died. That is what I associate with my first ROA. I don't remember any teachings, songs, who I camped with (now that I am racking my brain I think it was Jackie and Cheryl. I will have to call Jackie tomorrow and ask her) or how I arrived there. Fuzzy, yes fuzzy. No, I was not on drugs...funny, har, har...I was in a laundrymat in New Knoxville??? Yeh, I know you don't know where I was either. It came on the television in the laundrymat that Elvis had died. Kuhraaazzzyyy, Elvis died while I was at my first ROA. That was a sign of things to come.

Kimberly, I think the year Elvis died, the ROA was held at the Sidney fairgrounds. I remember my son going across the street to the little mom and pop store for something and running back to tell us the news.

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I don't remember any news except Jonestown and a Bob Segar concert,I stayed away from tv and newpapers

and magazines for most of the time I was in twi.

I pretty much stayed away from newspapers as well.. they were pretty much held up for ridicule in the first session of the class, being so "negative"..

as far as 1977 to 1980, life was pretty "calm".. only dealt with a few insane "leadership". For the most part, they left us alone..

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Those years were still filled with great things...I was so very committed to it all, but I gotta tell ya, it never totally owned me. I still thought and chose to do things...even if not what the twi-issue mandate was.

I was blessed with a great family, (dare I say, my natural family) whose moxy, patience, unflagging love, and strong sense of self served as a support...even tho the head of the clan was adamantly opposed to this werewille guy and his band of oh-my-gods.

By 1977, I was a vet "in-state WOW," "Area Booster," 2 X College WOW and good doo-bee...lol...an adv class grad a few times and doer and see-er of signs, miracles, and wonders. For real. It really was grace that kept me from being killed any number of times...by friendly fire, even...lolol.

Met a guy in '75, also in Theatre, (a profession not readily adaptable to the idiot demands of The Way) and together we laughed, loved, and moved da woid and had a pretty great time. We met and dealt with lotsa categorial jerks in "the ministry," but filtered it thru and kept on with what (we thought) was our prime directive in those years...to love God, and serve Him, first hand and by example to others. Each one win one, some, or whatever.

Married him in '78 (proposed to him while on tour in Dick VanDyke's hometown)...celebrated 30 yrs. together this past year.

I wrote, performed and toured for the foremost comedy house in the country in those years, and all across the land, I sought out "fellowships" to hang with bee-leavers...often they would come (as a guest) to our show and be amazed at our "freedom in Christ." Born again groupies, some. Funny to think back on it.

When home in Chicago during those years, we had a (rightly-divided) comedy group (lololol) that often performed with the likes of Bob Stanley, New Horizons (when they were first invented), at the Rock, the Indiana campus, and other venues where Ralph D. and Johnny T. were overseeing some travelling music faction of the ministry. Sheesh...got a troll full of memory chips there...

May not be a popular thing to say here, but thinking back on it...we had a helluva good time...not easy, often, but good. I don't think we (me and the hubster) ever really lost sight of who we are in Christ, instead of just being absorbed into a globular vehicle of sorts.

There was all the hub-bub about "corn field cults" and such in the Chicago papers...Jonestown...and cult, cult, cult awareness.

I remember that we often joked that as far as cults went, we #1...lol...scarey...

We had long passed out of the peace and love era, and were long into the new "me generation" thing...a lot of flat out unorthdox things were being promulgated as far as allegiance and do or die-ness...we took those things one at a time and considered their efficacy before application.

I can understand how people can be manipulated and mooooved along...how a frog in a slowly brought to boil pot can end up dinner...and alot of other badly mixed metaphors...lol...nothing happened quickly or overnight that was overtly or perceptibly wrong. It was conjured with a madmanical accuracy and a sighandmystic percision by a host of peeps.

That little bend of years probably marked the apex and clocked in the beginning of our end with The Way...

Great folks...alot of them at the top of their game...there was a very strong sense of community among us, very real and abiding.

I miss the heart and soul of that.

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In "77" I took the "class" 1rst part of January.3 weeks later I was in a little ole island called

Diego Garcia.About 1200 miles off the tip of India.The fwig leader decided he did not want to do

twigs.So my next twig was roa 77.Wow,after going from isolation to like 10000 people,It was a big deal.

Even there I saw stuff that all was not right in whoville.AS they say the rest is history.

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Matilda,

Probably saw you and hubby back then, lived in the area and Bob and new horizons were strong, I forget what you called yourselfs back in the day, but you were all pretty funny. Those times were truly fine....btw I asked my husband to marry me..and 25 years later we are still enjoying life, w/out de way...

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May not be a popular thing to say here, but thinking back on it...we had a helluva good time...not easy, often, but good. I don't think we (me and the hubster) ever really lost sight of who we are in Christ, instead of just being absorbed into a globular vehicle of sorts.

You're not alone there. It's just sad it didn't work out that way for everyone...

George

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LindaZ, thanks for the memory lifter. Geez, that was some time ago. Fuzzy, yes fuzzy. I think that was the last year the ROA was at the Sydney fairgrounds.

Matilda, your post reminded me of my helluva good time. Some not so..but for the most part.

".....there was a very strong sense of community among us, very real and very abiding. I miss the heart and soul of that." I echo those sentiments. Jackie and I were talking about that today. Geez, we were young, innocent and just wanted to do what was right in the sight of the Lord.

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I remember 1978 very well. I moved from Central New York State to VA Beach, VA.  I was witnessed to in the Winter of 1978, took the class in May of 1978, did the Intermediate in June/July of the same year.  I went out WOW in August to Joliet, IL and had a terrible year.  We damn near starved to death; I lost well over 30 pounds.  I know our branch did at least 3 classes that year, perhaps more.  The winter of 1978-1979 was horrible, even by Chicago standards.  To this day I have no idea, how I made it through that year.  I couldn't wait to go to the Rock for my pin.  The day after I received my pin, my mother and I went back to NY State.  I stated college in the fall of 1979, and lived in a Way Home for a year.  A year was all I could take of that bulls--t, and left when the year was up.  In 1980, I was in college, and enjoying my life; I signed-up two people for the class.  They left after a few months; I should of left with them.  Well that was my life from 1978-1980.

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