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Radar OReilly

A Night that will live in Infamy

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Today is the anniversary of what turned out to be the beginning of the end of The Way International, the public release of PASSING OF A PATRIARCH.

On that night, April 23rd, 1986 I was on staff at hq. I was working at my job at the switchboard along with my boss (and dear friend) Peter Qualtieri who was the switchboard department coordinator. He and I were locked into the office having received prior notice that something of monumental proportions was going to happen in the auditorium that night. The atmosphere was incredibly tense, it was April and still very cold outside but we had the air conditioning blaring and were both wearing our coats..it seemed to hard to breathe without the a/c.

For those of you that don't know, Chris G_eer was seated at the desk on the auditorium stage, a loaded handgun within his reach. L. Craig Martindale was also seated on stage on one of the purple velvet parsons chairs. Outside the xecutive back entrance to the auditorium, Don Wierwille was being physically detained by a HEAVILY ARMED member of the Twi safety department.

That was my first year on staff having just graduated from the way corps the previous July. The next 8 ½ years of my life were dedicated to trying to survive the fallout of what happened that night. At first, it was all about trying to get up every morning and make it through the day. Who to trust, who to talk to, what to think and believe, how to overcome the dreadful sense of foreboding and destruction. I was a confirmed COMPANY GAL, and totally threw myself into the support of twi, and the bot. My loyalty to twi never, ever wavered, I believed with my entire heart that Chris G_eer's "novel" was at the most 10% accurate and 90% fiction. From that day in April of 1986 through May of 1989 I lost virtually every one of my closest childhood, high school and way corps friends as they "deserted twi like the rats they were," or so I thought THEN.

I made new friends with other members of "the counter-revolution" and together we worked our butts off (LITERALLY 16-18 HOURS A DAY) to try and rebuild what we loved about twi. Beginning with placements of 1989 we became the new limb coordinators, the new cabinet members, the new trunk office regime. We worked tirelessly for the cause we believed in..then beginning 1993, most of us began to wake up to the fact that WE HAD BEEN HAD.

To those of you still in, this fact alone should shout alarm to you:

Almost all of us that were there for the counter-revolution are out now.the Shroyers, Clapps, Mosquedas, Lallys, Lichts, even VP Wierwille's own children, we were again faced with the hard cold facts that twi was rotten from the inside out and could NOT be rebuilt or salvaged. Almost every person of Way Fame from the 70s, 80s, and early 90s has left..many post here, some openly, some anonymously.

The way corps, limb, region, department, cabinet and campus coordinators,and indeed BOARD OF TRUSTEES that remain in power at twi were all HAND PICKED by the devil-spirit infested, accused rapist that is the former president of twi and his right hand compatriot, the current president of


To those of you still in..Please, please do not waste the precious years of your lives to come to the same conclusion that so great a cloud of witnesses have come to before you. Twi is putrid, what little fruit it has comes forth putrid and no amount of wishing, hoping or work is going to change that.

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Radar -

Could you please elaborate on why Don Wierwille was held backstage with an armed guard? Thanks.

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I haven't heard about this happening at HQ at all. We were living in Hawaii at the time, and didn't hear much of anything untill much later. This didn't make it out there at all.

A gun was within Chris G. reach?.....What was going on? We heard that Chris wrote a book, and not to read it....but this wasn't the mind picture we had at all....

Could you just elaborate a little more on the beginning part also please.

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Thank you Zix.

Okay, I've read what was there. Now about the meeting in Ohio. Was it in Ohio? It must have been, because Radar said she was working at the switch board there?

Obviously some anger had built up in the BOT, and guns were involved, guards....? Was Chris G invited to speak to....? who? Corps, the whole ministry?

Just wondering, sounds so wild!

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That is a good question.


Don Wierwille was completely against allowing Chris G_eer to have access to the followers of twi. He had battled with LCM over the issue but LCM strong armed him, and forced his acceptance of the matter. There are people who have copies of the three trustee signatures admitting that everything Chris G_eer said in that narrative was true. Don Wierwille was forced to sign it, and few people know or have seen he accompanying letter that he wrote explaining his true opinion and what he believed to be the true facts. The woman who typed the letter for Don was at one time amongst my most beloved of friends I know her account of this to be true.

Don was held OUTSIDE the back entrance by armed guard to assure the fact that he would not go on stage and interrupt the reading of the paper.

I am relaying this information as I remember it, even today,15 years later I am still at odds with my feelings as to what happened that night....all I know for sure is that it changed the course of my life forever.

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Thanks so much for your posts!! I found out later about this reading but not about the details you are mentioning here. I had always wondered what Mrs. Wierwille thought and did while this was going on...

If Don strongly disagreed with what was in the paper, did she also disagree? Was she simply "trapped" in a world her husband created? Was she also strong-armed by Craig and his cronies?

I remember when Craig taught the Galations teachings (after the fog) he commented that VP had tried to get his doctors to tell him he could'nt/shouldn't go to Gartmore, and that Mrs. W also did not want him around CG.

Anything you can tell us would be greatly appreciated.

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I too, remember when this document hit the ministry and ripped it apart.

I too, lost every last friend I ever had, when I decided to stick around

and help rebuild the ministry I felt God had called me to. I also considered

those who bailed out during that time "rats", who abandoned Craig at a

time I felt he needed our support. Knowing he had NO ONE in the

research category, my husband was first at the bat to step in and fill

what gaps were left by teaching Greek to The Way Corps.

I personally visited Craig in private when he came to Word in Business in

Chicago right after Ralph had left. At the time I was not privvy to all the

inside information about what had gone wrong. After speaking with him,

being assured he was totally repentant of the errors he had made, I was

only interested in helping Craig back on to his feet and supporting him in

his efforts (which I thought were) to rebuild The Way International.

My husband and I began supporting Craig with all the research we could,

and fighting for the ministry amongst our people on the field, and with

the WC my husband taught. We drew a line in the sand with the people

we knew before POP and let them know we were dedicating to rebuilding.

During Greek class just prior to the Galatians teaching, my husband drew a line with TWC in

support of Martindale. This, when even the in resident WC were divided in their

support for him. We cut off all correspondence with lifelong friends and

relatives. We built a strong group of believers in NW IN who not only

were absolutely wonderful folks, unified in purpose and spirit with each

other on the Word, but who were also fiercely loyal to Martindale

because WE WERE.

But, we began to see things twist and turn around 1993. The God that

was being preached became more and more foreign to the one I had

originally learned. The research we had sent in was being corrupted. And

the things we were currently sending in were not being heard. I

challenged the Eve/lesbian baloney that was being tossed around. Found

myself on the wrong side of the battle on that one. Not too long after

that, research we sent in went unanswered and unused. Soon my

husband was told not only was our research no longer wanted, but that

we should stop researching altogether. Eventually the entire ministry

became so perverse we could not justify our continued involvement.

How devastated I was to learn the details of not only what he had done

before POP, but what he resumed doing with *gusto* afterward, right

under my nose, all the while receiving and utilizing the gifts we offered

him in order to help rebuild what we truly believed was a godly ministry.

He had to know that had I been aware of what he was doing, that my

husband and I would have turned the ministry upside down on him.

I see now how he *used* us directly after POP in order to help regain his

position of power with TWC and the people on the field. He used our

research, and he used our loyalty, and our leadership. And when he was

again secure, he no longer *needed* our support.

Martindale wanted to go *unchallenged* in what he did with the doctrine. He effectively began eliminating anyone who would question what he was doing, and who could work the languages better than he could. He also had to know I would never buy into his *lifestyle* so we were only allowed so close and that was it. And when he saw I would not buy every party line that came down the pike, he saw that he could no longer trust our leadership.

Martindale *betrayed* every single person who stayed with him after

POP. We gave him the second chance he so desperately wanted and he

blew it badly. And those who so supported him, who were loyal to him,

who wanted to help rebuild the ministry, he gutstripped them and left

them for dead.

Craig, I want you to know.... WE ARE NOT DEAD

I also want you to know..... WE WILL NOT GO AWAY


There are those of us out here, who KNOW YOU,

And are committed to TELL ALL THAT WE KNOW.

Edited by Catcup

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Radar; you said.....

Almost all of us that were there for the counter-revolution are out now.the Shroyers, Clapps, Mosquedas, Lallys, Lichts, even VP Wierwille's own children, we were again faced with the hard cold facts that twi was rotten from the inside out and could NOT be rebuilt or salvaged. Almost every person of Way Fame from the 70s, 80s, and early 90s has left..many post here, some openly, some anonymously.

If the Clapps, Shroyers, and VP's kids "faced with the hard cold facts that twi was rotten from the inside out and could NOT be rebuilt or salvaged" it seems that they still haven't faced the fact that much of if not most of what VP plagiarized was wrong.

It seems that CFF continues to hold VP in high respect and teaches what they learned from him.

Any ideas why these wonderful folks can't seem to let it go???

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I, too, remember this night vividly. I was not on any of the Way properties, and I was far away from Ground Zero. I also was no longer supporting TWI by attending its fellowships or donating any money.

But I did have a few close friends in the 14th Corps, who, at the time, were in the home stretch of their final year in residence.

Even without any idea whatsoever about what had been going on, I knew something devastating had occurred. I regularly spoke to one of my 14th Corps friends, and she just clammed up. There was a distance placed between my friends and I that never quite went away.

Years later, my friend told me that the reason for this was that they had been TOLD that if they SPOKE of this meeting and the reading of POP outside of that room, THEY WOULD DIE.

My heart broke when she told me that. My friends were (and are) good people who only wanted to serve God and His people. What happened to them was really nothing more than being threatened by THUGS.

There is no end to the evil of what happened that night. All who helped orchestrate it must either entirely repent or bear a mark of shame for the rest of their lives.


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Another great first person account of this event can be found in Karl Kahler's book The Cult That Snapped. Karl was in-residence way corp at either the kansas or indiana site and was listening to @#%$ the night he read that thing.

I heard Don Wierwille's taped account of that night, as did many others, the Leadership tapes, I believe they were called.Required listening in 1992. I recall that Don said he stood at the back of the auditorium and that he wanted to yell out NO! A THOUSAND TIMES NO!!!

That's about all I remember from his comments about the event but perhaps someone else might remember more.

Mostly I just remember Craig's fasinating account of how the Adversary tricked all of them into beleiving @#%$.

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Great thread Radar.

I was non-Corps staff at headquarters in 1986. The meeting took place on a Corps Night, so of course, I wasn't there.

This bookstore worker bee had no freakin' clue. I have only the vaguest memory of a general somber tone the next day. It think someone must have told me something heavy had gone down the night before, but it was all very clandestine (and if what Ellen said is true, I can certainly understand why). I was clearly out of the loop, and like a good little worker bee, I probably spent the day blessing all the paperwork that crossed my desk.

Fortunately, by the time Corps Week rolled around later that year, I had the sense to sneak into a damn meeting and hear Chris Geer read POP again. It was the beginning of the end for me.

I regard the paper with an appropriate amount of salt these days. Yet it served a purpose in my opinion... by inducing an upheaval.

Edited by pamsandiego

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One of (if not THE BEST THING) great things about being free from the clutches of TWI is that we are all free now to decide what we want to think, and believe for ourselves. YOU apparently have not quite gotten a grasp on that fact. I personally choose NOT to pass judgement on anyone's spiritual choices any more.

Now that we are free of twi....we can do what we want, when we want to do it, we are free to decide what to believe, what to think and where to worship. If you choose not to believe a word that VPW ever said or taught.........more power to you, God Bless and God speed. Please allow others the same right and freedom.

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Java Jive

I feel a bit awkward speaking on behalf of Mrs. Wierwille...*this is a

disclaimer*....I AM SPEAKING SOLELY FOR MYSELF HERE, and nothing I am saying

is necessarily a reflection on her children.

I don't know how I feel about the phrase "trapped" in the world her husband

created. Mrs. Wierwille's situation is complex, a blend of age (she is

close to 90), culture, and interpersonal dynamics that come from a different

generation. It is easy for people to pronounce judgement on her about all

of this...but for me, having had a German-born grandmother, almost the same

age as Mrs. Wierwille, that was raised within a days drive of New

Knoxville..somehow, on a human level, it all makes sense to me. But back to

the subject:

Chris Geer did not like Mrs. Wierwille, actually the word despise comes to

mind. There were whole sections of written narratives about her that Don,

Howard and even LCM would NOT ALLOW to publicized. All three of them were

willing to be personally crucified but were not willing to allow C Geer "to

go there" in regards to Mrs. I believe that she considered Geer a liar, a

snake and a self serving excuse for a man, at one time she personally said

to me that he was "among the deceivers, not the deceived"..this view was

(and is) pretty much held by the entire Wierwille family, of that I feel

confident. Part of her opinion comes from the fact that he was attempting

to destroy everything of value to her...the legacy of her husband. VPW had

been dead less than one year at the time of POP and she was still in deep



CRONIES? As long as Mrs. Wierwille is alive there are many things that will

never be published here at GreaseSpot or anywhere else. She is very much at

the mercy of twi, RFR and Donna Martindale. Twi's handling of Don

Wierwille's death and memorial service should have clued everybody in to

that. D. Wiewille doesn't own her home, twi does, they sold HER family

ancestral home (The Kipp Farm)to help finance LCM and the other five's legal

defense in the Allen's lawsuit against them.

Java, the entire Galatians teachings were inspired by the research done by a

15th corps grad woman that was on staff in the corps director's

office....Craig didn't even come up with THAT himself. It is pretty safe to

say that nobody, EVER wanted VPW to be around C Geer, but that is because

Geer was always coming up with kooky stuff....for any of you that want to

know...it was Geer that started all that Illuminati stuff, it was Geer that

came up with the paranoid practice of sending the safety department to

S.W.A.T. training, it was Geer that trained the German short-haired dogs and

the dobermans to be attack dogs. In fact, one of them was so vicious and

uncontrollable that as soon as VPW died, they packed that dog overseas to go

be with his Frankenstein creator....not even Paula Butler could contain that


I am not blaming every wacko thing twi ever did on Chris Geer....VPW and

plenty of others came up with some hair brained ideas (the green foam on the

trailer in the woods, the Sno-Way, etc.) but there were valid reasons for

people not to trust Geer.

So, how did Passing of the Patriach change your life?

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"One of (if not THE BEST THING) great things about being free from the clutches of TWI is that we are all free now to decide what we want to think, and believe for ourselves. YOU apparently have not quite gotten a grasp on that fact. I personally choose NOT to pass judgement on anyone's spiritual choices any more."

I didn't mean this to sound like I'm passing judgement on ANYONE. It's just an honest question that I have. It seems like the rest of the Wierwille family are not mentioned as being involved with any "group", and in fact are probably like a lot of us.....still loving God and preaching the good news.

I have been very surprised at how much the regular Christian community are aware of what we thought was "hidden knowledge" of the Word. I heard a pastor teach that they know that Jesus died on Wednesday and rose on Saturday before 6 pm. I've heard a pastor teach that there were more than two crucified with Jesus. I always thought that TWI had the only knowledge of those facts. These pastors simply adhere to traditions to not cause division at this point in time. The bigger picture is to get people born again and to help them have a personal relationship with God.

My question [rhetorical] is why be with a group that mentions VP at all if that when it is often a stumbling block to new believers? I have personally had that happen to me when asked where I acquired my knowledge.

I only wish these people well, they are free to live their lives just as I am.

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Interesting thread. I went to high school with Chris Geer, he was a few years older than I. We got in the word about the same time, and I served under him when he was limb leader of Massachusetts, in 1972-75 or thereabouts.

I also happened to be on a phone hookup the night he read the passing of the patriarch. He was at least as psychotic and meglomaniacal as VPW. I didn't surprize me that Geer was armed or that he had people restraining Don, though I didn't know of the bad blood between them.

A fact I don't hear reported much is that Geer said he was back in the US because of a death in his family (his grandfather I believe) and took that time to come to HQ. After the corps meeting that night, I called up to give him my condolences as an old friend and spiritual brother. It was 2 weeks before he called me back and it was so bizzare talking to him.

I was there when the conspiracy stuff started - Geer ran one of the first "way homes" as the limb home of Mass - a home owned and donated (or at least used with consent of) Linda MacDuffie. So you can blame him for the way home concept too. I couldn't verify that he started it - my guess would be that he certainly gave vpw an outlet for the more wacky ideas. And between the two of them they were like two bad boys with too much authority and money.

Geer, by the way, got married in the first "mass wedding" at the rock of ages (don't know whose idea that was) but those later morphed into the corps weddings.

Geer was a person who threw all he had into serving someone else and worked so hard on all the meaningless details as if that were a badge of honor. I remember someone had given the limb of Mass an old printing press and he would be up till all hours jiggering with it to get it to print some monthly newsletter he sent out. Never occurred to me at the time he probably would have saved money (not to mention time and hassle) just to take the thing down to a print shop and get on with his life.

This was a mentality of "poverty" and making do that pervaided the way. The original idea behind way homes was to save money and enjoy living together. They didn't get controlling till much later. Nobody every said "Hey, if god is a god of abundance why don't we just make enough money to live where we want?"

Geer was a fanatic about it and loved the macho image. He loved guns and dogs and secrecy and paranoia. As did vpw. Now that I read your post I'm not sure who inspired who more, but they sure did feed off each other.

I never heard of Java - I got out too soon for that I guess.

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Chris Geer is a very sadistic, mysogonistic man. I have seen him first hand rip someone to shreds, and enjoy it, eventually hissing at the person. He is also paranoid. But, sadistic is the word I would use that describes him best.

Radar, you would probably know the dates of the special clergy meeting, but when Chris had them in the BRC, in front of the whole audience, he pulled out his .45 that he carried and put on the shelf in the podium. Here's a man so afraid, he thinks his clergy will kill him, plus, it was used to intimidate anyone who maybe, might want to differ with him. What I have never understood is why the clergy didn't tell him to shove it, but I guess with a crazy guy with a .45, wisdom says, that's not the place to bring it up.

When we had POP read to us at corps week, I was appalled that those of us in the tent were surrounded by armed "safety" people.

Mrs. Wierwille was right, Chris was the deciver. He played games. He'd drop a bombshell and then run to Gartmore. He instigated shockwaves, and instead of being there to be part of the solution and mess, he himself, singlehandedly created, he ran, and expected everyone to come running to him. I always wondered why LCM didn't just tell him to buzz off right then and there. Why was everyone so afraid of, and so respectful of Geer? All of us in his corps knew what a hard, cold man he was. But, VPW loved him. I can only imagine what Geer and LCM must have on each other.

  • Upvote 1

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Okay, I'm a bit confused here. What exactly was the timeline of this thing hitting the field?

Because now that I think about it, I don't remember the impact hitting our area until the spring-summer of 1987. It was right before I was supposed to go into the corps. That was when various friends called me to say they quit. That was when Ralph D. came through our area. I distinctly remember because spouse and I had several heated debates about whether or not to go in residence at HQ. (He won and we went.)

I guess the simplest way to sum up the impact that paper had on my life is that it marks the time when I stopped exercising free will and started allowing them to dictate my every move. I decided that in order to fight for them, I ought to not just believe them, but believe IN them whole-heartedly. (meaning I believed they were working for God and doing His bidding) Once we got to HQ we were taught that the way to be a part of the solution was to stop all the in-fighting and strife. Obedience was the key to godliness. At the time it made sense to me because I saw a lot of folks acting either holier-than-thou and like a bunch of conspirators and I didn't like it. I was glad when they cleared out. Funny how having the truth regarding a situation can totally change your opinion of who were the bad guys and who were the good guys.

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As a Corps grad on staff at the time, all we knew was that Chris Geer was going to teach Corps night that night. What a bombshell!

It's my memory on the subject that the Corps who were listening in at root locations that night were the only ones to hear the whole thing until the following Corps Week. At Corps Week, we all gathered into the main tent and heard it together.

It was the next morning that our sixth corps brother, Harry Cox, was killed instantly by a huge truck, on his way from the Moynihans' residence, where he was staying, presumeably while on his way to the breakfast tent. I've always thought that Harry was probably distracted from his driving, thoughts focused on the presentation of the night before. He was reported by the truck driver to have run a stop sign.

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