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Eyewitnesses:1981-1984..Your stories?


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As always,

we're looking for events centering around this time.

Recollections of EVERY kind would be appreciated.

To help "jog" your memory,

here's a few events from twi and US history

for that timeframe:

1980:(just before we start):

"Jesus Christ Our Passover" was published.

It was written by the research staff,

and says "by Victor Paul Wierwille"

on the cover.

1981: Sandra Day O'Connor becomes the

first female Supreme Court Justice.

1981: "Dynasty" first airs,

as does "Hill Street Blues."

1981:Iran releases the embassy hostages.

1982: twi manufactures a 40th anniversary.

1982: vpw installs lcm as president.

1982: "Jesus Christ Our Promised Seed"

is published. See the note about JCOP.

1983: Reagan begins implementation of the

"Star Wars" Strategic Defense Initiative.

1984: live pfal at Camp Gunnison.

1984:Gartmore House is purchased in

Gartmore, Scotland, and named the

"Way College of Biblical Research."

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Living Victoriously 40th anniversary June 1982

Sound out 84 was in Nashville at the grand ole oprey.

THAT was fun.... three or four days at the opry land hotel....great food best manners .... one night at the grand ole opry they had a history of way productions....had most of the folks who had ever preformed...wonderfull show..the other night I think they were preforming and taping high country caravan...

There was formal dining, we dressed up, had to learn to use our best manners, it all felt so special.

LCM and walter were teaching a chronnological time line of the gospels.....I really enjoyed that series.

roa 79 Renewed mind the key to power

roa 80 Your call to service

roa 81 ?

roa 82 God`s call to unity

roa 83 Reaching the world with the word: Go tell

roa 84 Reaching the world with the word: Living Epistles

On a personal note, I was a wow in 79/80 and at the advanced class in Emporia in 84

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I think 81 ROA theme was 'God's call to love'. I know love was in there somewhere.

That time period struck me that the ministry was gaining credibility...that the roaring of the adversary about cult! cult! cult! was losing it's impact. I was a twig coordinator for much of that time. I was not the kind of twig coordinator you could trust your life to, but I could put together a good teaching once in awhile and I served free coffee, so I always had people there. But like I said, I felt like the anti cult witch hunt that was so strong in the late 70s was losing its grip; it felt better to tell people I'm a way believer.

As for events, the ones that stand out were Living Victoriously and the 84 Advanced class at Emporia. There were people in my twig who had the AC before me and it felt good to have that nametag finally. One thing now seems significant about LV: the schedule was crazy! Two and a half weeks of teachings morning noon and night. Even during meals Bob Moynihan and Tom Jenkinson got on stage and recapped everything before you could have possibly finished eating. How can one assimilate anything at that pace? At least at the AC they let you have afternoons off.

But I would have to categorize that time period as the best of TWI times for me.

Edited by johniam
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I was a WOW in 1980-81, so I was living in One-Horse, Nebraska as 1981 dawned. It was late 1980 that Wierwille announced that Martindale would succeed him as prez of TWI.

I remember thinking "who the heck is Craig Martindale?" Getting involved in TWI in a large area that had few Way Corps, you just didn't hear about LCM all that much. especially since these were the days where "phone hookups" were relatively rare. My WOW year was the first time that I was around Way Corps much. I tended to view the guys in the "chain of command" of the Way Tree like Vince, Ralph, and JAL, as the likely heirs to the MOG.

Our Limb Coordinator came out to visit us shortly after the announcement and asked me what I thought about the "President-Elect", which is what Wierwille and everybody else called Martindale. The title didn't sink in with me, since nobody elected him, and we had a real president-elect, Ronald Reagan, waiting to take office in a few months. So my response was "we'll have to wait and see, he doesn't seem too awfully bright". I wish I had a picture of ol' Ronnie's face at that moment.

When my WOW year ended I stayed in Nebraska and ended up coordinating a twig and a Way Home. I was also apprentice Corps, but never went in because I was no good at raising money.

During this year I really saw how "leaders" in TWI felt that they had a mandate to interfere in peoples' lives. Without getting into a lot of details, I saw in my own life, and the lives of those around me, "leaders" inserting themselves in every aspect of the lives of those they supposedly led.

I got married right before ROA '82, and saw the interference continue. I disassociated myself from TWI in early 1983, but was convinced that the problems that I saw were local, and not part of a larger pattern.

During the year following ROA 1981, although branch and limb coordinators were no fun to be around, twig was fun, and we enjoyed what we were doing. There were a lot of wayfers in their late teens and early twenties, so there was an active Way social life. Witnessing was a natural thing, because we were always out together doing things.

Toward the end of the 1981-82 "ministry year", things began to get more regimented, and got even worse after ROA '82.

There was also some lying about how many people were actually active in local TWI. The outgoing Limb Coordinator had split all of the twigs in Lincoln around New Year's 1982, so that there were around ten smallish twigs. However, before ROA, most of the "new people" had left, about half of the twig leaders went into the Corps, and a sizeable group went out WOW. Outgoing LC failed to mention the reduction in numbers, and still had "on the books" ten twigs.

The incoming LC was assigned to be the Branch Coordinator of six or seven of these paper twigs, and a Corps grad held over from the previous year had been assigned as a Twig Area Coordiantor of three or four others. Imagine the surprise of the new LC when he found enough people for about four medium-sized twigs, including the one he and his wife were going to run!

To me, mid 1982 into 1983 was when things began to really go downhill. Not at all the "best of times".

Edited by Oakspear
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I got into the Word during this time. I was teaching country school, but in '83 went wow because how could I get married and be a good wife if I didn't go and grow on the wow field?

My wow year was a bit of a shock. Two people in my wow family were from the same area, and I guess things were much more legalistic in that area(Atlanta). So we had conflict the entire year about legalism, following orders etc.

When I first got into the Way I thought women and men were on an equal footing, with women clergy etc. I learned differently my wow year though. Both my wow brothers were 'courted' by the leadership, given special attention, assisted him in classes etc, and heavily pressured to go into the corps. My wow sis and I were expected to 'keep house' for our wow brothers. They did no housework the entire year.

Gossip and tattling was a big issue. When one of our new PFAL girls told me she was pregnant and planned to have an abortion, I knew things would go haywire if she told anyone else.She did have the abortion, it was her decision, only she, the guy and I knew about it, which was dam near a miracle.

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  • 7 months later...

Sound Out 84 was (I think) initially a tribute to Joyful Noise.

(Socks -- yes? no? maybe?)

I do know it was also being billed as *The Harmony Of The Gospels*, and held at the Grand Old Opry, there in Nashville Tennessee. Bunch of us from Minney-soda drove down for the event. I was married at the time, and we stopped in Lebanon, Indiana (at my in-laws) the first night, then in Bloomington (at my folks house) the next night ( a mere 100 miles away from the in-laws), and then next day hit the road for Nashville.

The weekend (which was a great time of reconnecting with folks we hadn't seen for a while),

was reduced to a 10 tape teaching series, of which I still have a copy.

LCM and walter were teaching a chronnological time line of the gospels.....I really enjoyed that series.

Out of those 10 tapes -- 7 or 8 are pretty much worthless. The only one who actually taught about the *harmony*of the gospels was Walter when he did his teaching about *The Acceptable Year*. (My IMO)

The only other tape from that series with redeeming qualities, was lcm teaching the *Ordination Of The High Priest*. Docvic was there in body, but not in spirit. The teachings he offered were as anemic as they come. (again -- my IMO). He put in the appearance on stage, tried to *teach*, but it was token, only. He was on his way out, but still loved the limelight. :(

oh -- yea -- just my IMO.

Edited by dmiller
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I don't remember much from that time period except the 40th Anniversary spectacle. We went to Boston.

There seemed to be a prize for the bc/tc who could get most of "his people" there because I remember a whole lot of pressure to get us there. We went, and we had a good time more or less. The banquet was a little over the top for me, though. I had been primed for a great banquet but it was nothing more than scarfing down an "ordinary" restaurant meal so lots of people could talk at me. I was disappointed, but maybe the dancing afterwords was fun, we had kids to put to bed so we left early. We let them swim off some pent-up steam first in the hotel pool.

I was very impressed with the last meeting we attended. It wasn't the last of the weekend, because we left early.

There was quite a snowstorm blowing in and there was quite a lot of stuff on the ground already by that time on late Sunday morning. VP took the microphone and announced that if people would stay for the rest of the weekend, TWI would pick up the tab for anybody who couldn't get home and needed another night in the hotel (we were supposed to check out sometime in the afternoon, I think). I don't know if anybody took him up on that offer, there was no way we could stay anyway. It would be interesting to find out if anybody did have that need and what happened.

Husband crabbed all the way home ( it was a long grueling drive for the most part) and was so disappointed at the event that he was loath to attend any other major function for a very very long time.

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Was witnessed to in 81... Florida Beach... guy went wow that year... turned out he was a Heroin addict, thief & liar!

82 went to Nashville... way function there... what was that?... a weekend type deal... Received my first Confrontation from Mr. Wierwille... I didn't oblige his advances :realmad: what an a**whole

83 went wow... Corps people were out of control... do as I say, not as I do type deal... their leadership covered for them~ Big push for numbers...

Many 'things' went on... but have suppressed most of them... wanting to forget I suppose~

Edited by SafariVista
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Folks, I was unable to find the journal but I'll enact a more rigorous search this weekend. I hope to find some pictures too.

Meantime, I found two magazines that discussed this event, the September/October 1984 Way Magazine, the one with the Wierwilles and Doggie on the cover in the Twig Hopper.

The other magazine was an article in the March 1985 issue of American Motorcyclist.

Excerpts from these give some background information:

Rev. Ellie Ray Allen, the Cycle Master, did most of the coordination of this event:

"To see the Word of God live in the sport of motorcycling, Rev. Ellie Ray Allen, formerly an AMA Class C racer, more recently a graduate of the Seventh Way Corps, and several other believers who enjoy the sport, formed the Family Motorcycle Club... With Ellie Ray as president, the main purpose of the club is to bless people by teaching Biblical ethics and their application to the sport of motorcycling. Since it is open for anyone to join and will be organizing tours and other activities in the future, the club also serves as an excellent avenue of outreach to move God's Word.

"Why would this diverse group decide to participate in such an undertaking? Dr. Victor Paul Wierwille, founding president of The Way International, a Biblical research, teaching and fellowship ministry, organized the group tour as a way of emphasizing family involvement in the sport of motorcycling. The common bond joining us together was our shared love of God, this country and motorcycling."

At the Sunday nite service the evening before, Wierwille listed the three goals of the Calgary 1984 Tour: (1) to bless the believers, both those on the tour and those we visit; (2) to bless our country and Canada; (3) to live the more abundant life and to fellowship.

On July 2, 1984, the Family Motorcycle Club launched its maiden tour from New Knoxville, Ohio, to Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and back. We planned to be gone 27 days, covering 5,627 miles through 13 states and two Canadian provinces.

Twenty-one people, six Harleys, two Hondas, one Kawasaki, one Triumph, one Yamaha, two custom coaches with trailers, and one dog -- Adda, the Wierwilles German shorthaired pointer. Our 21 riders and passengers came together from Louisiana, Texas, New York, New Jersey, Indiana and Ohio. They ranged in age from 25 to 69 and included three sets of grandparents and a number of parents and singles. Among us we had everything from airplane and auto mechanics to a word-processing specialist and a cotton broker. Three were qualified motorcycle mechanics, one an emergency medical technician and another a nurse.

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Guys, it was a real exciting trip, a great blessing to me; and for the sport of motorcycling pretty darn rare I think. I've never been able to do something like this ever again, and its been 22 years now.

Here's more information:

"One of the key ingredients in such a marathon tour is organization. For almost a year prior to our departure a steering committee of experienced motorcyclists planned our itinerary and plotted our route. Through discussions among the group members, we reached a consensus about our plans. Fortunately two of our participants had ridden to Calgary, Alberta our final destination, the preceding summer to gather information about routing, weather and points of interest.

"During the planning months all believers were invited to join. We had decided beforehand that for such a tour we could take a maximum of twelve cycles," Ellie Ray remarked. "We required experienced cyclists who knew their equipment and had at least a 750cc machine.."

By fall of 1983, the full-time participants were chosen. The first of many lists we assembled set forth the requirements of each participant. Equipment, personal gear and physical conditioning for each rider were very important. We knew that such a tour would not be practical for novices regardless of their enthusiasm. Riders with less than 750cc machines were discouraged and everyone had to be ready for any weather conditions, from temperatures below freezing to over 100 degrees -- rain or shine.

While reviewing the applications, the steering committee was setting up accommodations in advance. They contacted state police in each of the 13 states we would travel through to determine the best roads.

In case of construction or poor conditions, alternate routes were selected. Each cyclist received a handbook and checklists and safety reminders.

Plans were made to carry a portable computer in one of the support vehicles to log each bike's performance each day. It would monitor mileage, maintenance and repairs under changing road conditions and temperatures. Maintenance checks were performed on each motorcycle prior to departure.

Edited by oldiesman
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memeories of that period?

If you dont mind my random ramblings--I havent thought of it in along time so they are coming out asthey come.....

I was moving around from place to place in 81 and more or less not associated in The Way but (my fault) reconnected in early 82.

There was a huge promo blitz that year to get "4000 for the 40th", They did huge regional get togethers and pushed classes all year culminating in Living Victoriously, then corps week and the ROA. They didnt make the 4000.

There were about 12(?) or so outreach cities where WOWS were concentrated. i was sent to one of them Tampa/St.Pete, with about a hundred others, where we lived without furniture or cigarettes most of the time for the first few months. The Wow family was a battle every few days.

It seems the Wows in my area were always getting together that year. We had Wow teams of two or three families that got together most everyday, and get togethers of meetings, classes and events with all the rest of the Wows pretty frequently. The numbers dwindled steadily throughout the year. Some left, others disappeared and you didnt know what happened , and at least one corps guy was thrown off for getting some new twiggy pregnant

I think we were for the most part kept seperate from the civilian believers.

Martindale was 'installed' on October 3rd 1982 in an event ( It might have been a week long deal) that was built up like the coronation of a new king. oooooooo aaaaaahhhhhh.

The whole branch of about 200 got together to either listen to it live or watch it on video and we all had to stand and vow to 'stand by this man' or some other bull.

My wow team ran 3 classes and managed to hang together the whole year, athough my corps WOW sister tried to get me thrown off a bunch of times because she couldnt control me-- going so far as to call the trunk coordinator Ralph on one occassion. I felt like leaving usually about a 50 or a 100 times a day but got 4 or 5 people involved anyway. (sorry folks...). I went to the advanced class that year which was a disaster ( car got burned to crispy as we were going and we lost all of our belongings which is another story for another day, and the class was empty and vacuous to me

83 was my first apprentice corps year, but thankfully i dropped it. SInce there was a huge amount of Wows Pat Hughes was given the title of WowVet Coordinator that year and there were a whole slew of events and classes originally planned nationwide to take adavantage of us fools that never really panned out.

The Wows of 82 were all encouraged to stay and alot did, and a series of way homes were set up and we pretty much did a Wow type thing-- work low level jobs, pool our funds, run fellowships and classes and genuflect to the people in power.

I became a twig coordinator that year sort of by default when a guys life sort of became unglued. It was SSDD- classes, meetings, meetings, classes,, more meetings, then another meeting about how to do more classes, then another meeting about how to have more effective meetings about meetings about classes.

I took it seriously at the time-- Our branch had changed around and we went from a more or less lovable goofball type of guy to a more controlling and demanding type of guy, who laid out a whole years worth of crap for us to do on the first or second day we met him.. when the classes were going to be, how much money we had to bring in--a ll that type of thing. He was a stand when i enter the room type of guy, who could appear kind but had a ferocious streak that could come blasting out at any moment.

That was about as high up the way tree that I wanted to go, I had little or no dealings with HQ other than the ROA,listening to tapes, and reading magazines. I knew who they were but I never felt comfortable approaching any of them.

My little twig was OK, looking back we were all screwed up, but I did like them, We stayed somewhat on the fringes but involved enough so that we were still feeding the monster. I was too naive to be aware of any massive corruption at the time . It was what it was, at the time it seemed good, now its like Lalaland

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Here are the dates and locations where we stopped:

July 2 Shirley Illinois

July 3 Des Moines, Iowa

July 4 Decatur, Nebraska

July 5 Badlands, South Dakota

July 6 Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota

July 7 Billings, Montana

July 8 Helena, Montana

July 9 Seeley Lake, Montana

July 9 Kalispell, Montana

July 10 Kalispell, Montana

July 11 Roosville, British Columbia

July 11 Banff, Alberta

July 12 Banff, Alberta

July 13 Banff, Alberta

July 14 Calgary, Alberta

July 15 Calgary, Alberta

July 16 Great Falls, Montana

July 17 Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming

July 18 Pocatello, Idaho

July 19 Ogden, Utah

July 20 Gunnison, Colorado

July 21 Pueblo, Colorado

July 22 Garden City, Kansas

July 23 Hutchinson, Kansas

July 24 Emporia, Kansas

July 25 Columbia, Missouri

July 26 Quincy, Illinois

July 27 Rome City, Indiana

July 28 Headquarters

Edited by oldiesman
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I guess it's ok to mention the folks' names who participated in this event. Some of these names will sound very familiar to some of you. I have nothing but the fondest memories of these wonderful people.

Along with the Wierwilles, here's the list and occupations of the full-time folks back in 1984:

Cotton-broker Dave Scherz and his wife, Gaye, from Oak Grove, Louisiana;

Clarence and Barbara Taylor, both welders with Allison Gas Turbine Operations (both worked on the new engines for Ambassador One) from Greenwood, Indiana;

Lance and Linda Evans (he is a tool and dye maker) from Colonia, New Jersey;

Tim and Ellen Warga, Eleventh and Sixth Corps graduates, currently from Canandaigua, New York;

Rev. Bo Reahard, First Corps and Branch Coordinator in Atlanta, Georgia (who brought along a portable computer to handle all the daily statistics and produce daily reports on the tour);

Mark Tompary, Seventh Corps, who works as a mechanic for Fleet Services at Headquarters;

Jeff Gardner, College Division, currently finishing up his Master's in chemical engineering at the University of Houston, Texas;

Phil Polizotto, a word processing specialist from the Bronx, New York;

George Lee, who works as flight mechanic at Headquarters;

Rev. Ellie Ray Allen, who works as a surveyor (Allen and Associates), from New Bremen, Ohio;

Linda Emmons, Seventh Corps, from New Bremen, also working with Allen and Associates.

Driving the support vehicles were:

Rev. Joel Burke, Fourth Corps;

Bill Warga, College Division; and

Peter Esmonde, Eleventh Corps

and finally, Elena Whiteside, the historian and photographer.

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80-81 Wow Dorchester, ma , 2nd wave which meant I started a school year in NY, went wow in October, went to a 2nd school. LC didn't like my teacher, 3rd school. 4th grade, 3 schools.

81-82 Wow Fall River, MA (we went Wow three times , all in Mass.) Started at one school, had to move because of dispute with Landlord (we didn't pay the rent, if you call that a dispute). When we moved, I had to go to another school. 5th grade two schools. This was our apprentice year.

82-83 In residence in Rome City. Started at How Military School because I lacked discipline, as my grades were slipping (gee wonder why). Moneyhands didn't like that my non way family members were paying for me to go to private school and said it was not fair to the other kids. Moneyhands made me drop out even tho it was paid for. Moneyhands kid went there but I could not. I guess that IS fair??? Started going to Rome City School. 6th grade 2 schools. My aunt and uncle out 1 years tuition.

83-84 supposed to go to NY for our interum year. My father, who at this point hadn't seen me in 4 years, was happy I was coming back to NY and enrolled and paid for me to go to an elite performing arts jr. high school. TWI changes family corps policy, no interum year because kids were going to too many schools and bouncing around too much (ya think?) No performing arts school for me, back to Rome City. Only one school that year but a huge lost opportunity. I end up not seeing my dad (he was possessed anyway) for two more years as we end up going wow again for our practicum year. 7th grade 1 school, 1 lost chance.

That's 7.5 schools in 4 years. I was an A student before this mess, D student after.

That's what i remember from those years ha ha

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Thanks for giving us the "kid's eye view" of WayWorld.

Gawd, I'm sorry for the crap that we put you through, I really am.

I don't think I know you but I had my own kids that we dragged all over the country in

pursuit of the Yellow Brick Road, or whatever it was we were after.

I do know Moneyhands, though - at least in passing. One would hope that Karma

catches up with that dip$%&t REAL soon.

Lordy, the needless hurt and deprivation that was handed out to you kids for absolutely nothing...

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1983 the year i joined

couldn't have been any happier at the time

whole family thought i was loopy but other than that a pretty good time

missed out on sound out 84

kicked myself for years after about it

but went to advanced pfal class in summer of 1984

remember motorcycle club coming through to visit

right after advanced class rock of ages 84

then wow year

thought i was going to die <--figure of speech

anyway interesting story about wow year. got sent out with 3 other people

2 boys 2 girls typical wow situation

for myself going wow was my ticket out of living

with my parents for the next 15 years

like my younger brother ended up doing

(which ended up being a smart move for him after all

because today he's a college grad and fairly well off

and i'm posting on computer forums about the old days)

so i loved the getting away from home part

big time as we used to say

however my wow brother he had kind of a hard time

getting along with our two wow sisters

right off the bat there was talk of sending him off the wow field

which i thought was not the right thing to do

because after all he didn't do any of the three

"unforgivable" sins of the wow field

namely violence, abuse of drugs, or an homosexual act.

really the only thing that seemed to be wrong with him was

that he wasn't getting along with the two girls

me he didn't bother and anyway any small differences

should fall away by virtue of the fact that we were

all in the same boat and we were supposed to be a team

right? apparently not.

so anyway not one month into the year we get a visit from

the limb staffer who's charged with coordinating all the

wow families in our state who immediately recommended

that my wow brother be kicked off the field due to

devil spirit possession.

i tried to stick up for him by saying look maybe there is

some problems but he has alot of potential

but this limb staff individual wouldn't hear of it saying to me

in no uncertain terms, "so what? what good is potential

if the guy doesn't live up to it?"

making like i was talking out of turn

i knew at that point i better shut up and not say

"so is God so weak that he can't help out my wow

brother on the field as He has done for so many others

who came before us?"

next thing you know they'd be kicking me off the wow field

and that is something which at the time would have meant

defeat, failure, shame!

little did i know that all of those things would haunt me for the

remainder of the wow year anyway because of so many

compromises that i felt had to be made in the interest of

nothing more than staying on the wow field

and why did i do this you may ask? what drove me to such

a pathetic state of mind where staying on the wow field

meant more to me than standing up for a principle

regardless of what happened?

well the answer is simple i did it all to impress some girl

shame on me!

now i have a blue wow pin and the girl married some

other guy anyway

so remember stand up for the right

because everything you're afraid of will happen anyway

if you don't!

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