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No Way Out

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Unfiltered From: <Davelup@aol.com

Message-ID: <970323213021_1484543386@emout12.mail.aol.com>

To: piedtech@intrlink.com

Subject: no way out

Hi Jim,

You'd like to hear my story, huh? That's not one even I've even been sure I wanted to look at or even write about. But I've just encountered someone else who got aquainted with someone who had been involved with a cult...not The Way. I just spent some time telling her where she could find out more or maybe get help for them. They also walked out on their own, but are in bad need of exit counseling.

I haven't really organized anything in my head. I got involved around late fall of 1982. I was at a turmoil time in my life. I needed something spiritual in my life. I met a young lady who was taking PFAL. Through her, I got involved. I went WOW. Ended up in Boston. Last place on Earth I wanted to be. It was a lousy year. We had constant financial problems and the Corp leader of our family and the one male member didn't get along. They were always arguing. We got the heat turned off more than once. We had very little food but were expected to provide the refeshments for all the WOW gatherings. ( There were over ten 'families'.) I finished the year. Went to the Rock of Ages. Welcomed home.

The next year I stayed in Boston with my WOW sister. Another lousy year of financial problems and a short and dangerous tempered male. He finally changed after leadership was asked to step in. My Wow sister got married at the end of that year. I ended up in another household with three other women. There was constant bickering and one gal couldn't hold a job more than a few weeks. We ended up supporting her. She also got pregnant and we paid for the abortion. (She owed everyone money and never paid anyone back.)

The next year two of the gals moved and a couple others moved in. That household lasted about six months. Two of us moved into a small apartment. One moved in with men and the last, because of her reputation ended up at theYWCA. (Same gal I mentioned above who couldn't hold a job. I saw her later. She still couldn't hold a job and was living on the good will of her parents.)

The gal who moved in with me lost her job and absconded with the rent money. I ended up not paying my bills that month and having to pay half my salary to the landlord. I kicked this room mate out. Another gal from twig moved in for a few months. She moved out with about a week's warning. She was going WOW.

At that point, I'd had enough. I decided to get a second job and live by myself. Not something ministry leadership approved of. I was suppose to live with fellow believers. I chose not to. I drifted away from the group after that. Went through a mini breakdown. Delayed Stress Syndrome they call it. Believers walked in and through my life after that. I made new friends. Rediscovered myself and my independence.

About two years later I went to twig again. The folks tried to keep me with them for as long as possible. I finally said I had to go home and feed my cat. Which I did. And I left. I never went to twig again.

I moved to Denver. I needed to learn to trust again. The only way I could do that was to live around my family. I worked in a bookstore. I found a book called "Combating Cult Mind Control" . It helped me to understand what happened. I began to admit I was in a cult. I had another mini breakdown...ie Delayed Stress Syndrome. Some flashbacks. Not real fun. But after that I began to put my life together.

The one thing I took from Hassan's book was 'take the good stuff with you.' Because of my experiences I became a much stronger person. More independant. More questioning. I don't even believe everything taught from the pupits anymore. I learned how to research the Word of God on my own. The churches DON'T teach the complete truth. They too follow myth and legend. Its a sad state of affairs when a graduate of a local seminary states they went through the program and still believe in God.

But, there is a quiet movement going among God's people. There are many studing the Bible, many still attending church, and who are saying, "Excuse me, but where are your laws, custums, et el? stated in the Bible?" Its nice to see. There are even truths taught in The Way which are now being preached from many pulpits. Like the wiseman NOT being at the manger when Christ was born.

I have found, too. I've discovered a far more loving heavenly father than the one I was taught about in church growing up. I believe in healing, which I didn't before. I've learned to love the unlovable and how to be more forgiving. I can even witness to and minister to homosexuals. Not something you'd catch alot of Christians doing now a days.

So I can't say The Way stole five years of my life. They helped shape me ways I never dreamed possible. But GOD did all the healing. HE lead me in paths and directions I would not have thought to go. My ministries are healing and counseling. I still speak in tongues...God and I went through that doubt too. One, He reminded me I could do this as a child. That was when I was saved. I quite doing it cause it scared me. I hadn't been taught in the church about it. Two, I've heard the language I speak on a PBS special. All I remember is that its a South African dialect. I use it only for prayer and praise.

I pray more now than ever. Usually for other people. I've gone on with my life and have become the artistic, creative, warm, loving, gentle, Christian woman of God I was meant to be.

Not exactly what you expected to hear was it? I've forgiven the leaders of The Way for what they did in my life. Christ would.

Anyway, did you hear from many ex-Way members? There are a few folks I'd love to track down just to find out how they're doing. Not much chance of that I'm sure. This country is just too big and most are probably scattered to who knows where.

In Christ,


From: Ron Hykes

To: piedtech@intrlink.com

Subject: Looking for local Fellowship, Answers and Peace of God - again

Dear Jim: God Bless in the name of our risen Lord, Christ Jesus!

I was thankful to find your website! I thought that we were going to "gut" it out alone for awhile. I was a "member" of the Way for just over 10 years, my wife for 18. Last month, after a lengthy bout of high anxiety, we announced to our Twig Coordinator that we were leaving. It was an ugly confrontation. He was full of accusations. Mostly, he accused us of not counseling with him and allowing outside pressures to affect us. Well, that's not true. You know the story. We tried several times to confront issues within the household that we felt were causing division and strife, but we were always told that we were wrong and out of line. We were told not to question leadership. Yadda, Yadda, Yadda.

Finally, we had enough. We told them that we no longer could agree with the direction that the Ministry was heading. That we felt leadership had lost sight of the greatness of the Word and had begun to teach the greatness of leadership. We told them that we wanted to leave before we were "booted" and before our lack of agreement caused other opinions to be formed. For our honesty, we were told that we were possessed, sold out to the adversary and made Mark and Avoid.

My wife and I are Grads of the Advanced Class (Martindale's) and were Twig Coordinators for 3 years. I stepped down when the Ministry insisted that we hold fellowships 3 times a week, plus weekend leadership meetings and monthly area meetings. I couldn't keep that pace and my job at the same time.

We're hurt and angry. What happened to the ministry that taught and lived the Word? What happened to needs getting met in the Twigs? What happened to the love of God in the Way? We miss the fellowship. We miss the congreation of like-minded belivers.

You websight was an eye-opener! We learned so many things that we did not know. We are thankful that you and other believers are out there with healing words and comfort. It's good to know that we were not crazy and that many others saw/see it too.

The Way International has systematically, especially over the past 3 years, become a very dangerous cult of people who blindly follow the directions of Craig Martindale. Those who do not follow are confronted - sometimes drastically. Those who do not change are kicked out, told that they are of the devil, and are made mark and avoid to Way faithful. Those who can still think for themselves leave on their own. There are a huge number of people who want to leave but are afraid to do so. Personally, I see another split coming.

Well, enough venting. God Bless you and keep up the good work. We'll be watching your website!

From: HammondC3@aol.com

Message-ID: <970312090036_-1706818846@emout01.mail.aol.com>

To: piedtech@intrlink.com

Subject: Re: the Way

I had been involved with the way since about 1971. At the time, I was living on Long Island where I was raised. When the Way first came to the NY area, it exploded and perhaps as many as 100 new PFAL graduates per month were processed for the next following couple of years. It was an innocent time for us in NY. The instruction came at a time when there was a famine of information from the organized denominations, and that coupled with the sixties drug movement, made for a very receptive audience. The Way succeeded in communicating that the Bible was the revealed Word and Will of God. This was a new revelation to many...and the teaching was convincing. However, as the work on LI grew, so did the administrative woes. The headquarters at New Knoxville OH, became more and more intrusive to the work in NY. Also, the doctrine started to shift from being focused on God and more on the messenger. Coupled with large successful meetings and festivals and media attention, VP Wierwille, began to enjoy some long awaited recognition. Along with the perversions that I do believe accompanied his early ministry, this new attention was intoxicating and added fuel to the fire of his desire for control. Many of us were duped by the seducing spirits and intimidation techniques used to control the potential leadership and workforce that had developed across the nation. It took me many years to recognize the "spell" I had been under. Throughout those years there are horror stories of leadership's extra-marital incidents nad even teachings that these things were necessary to the well rounded leader's ministry. Many people participated and were hurt in the process. Finally, upon Wierwille's death, there was an attempt by many to reveal the sin that had pervaded the ministry. A large division ensued and a number of splinter groups resulted. I think because of the starvation for spiritual truths, many of us did not stop to check every morsel that went down our throats so to speak, and as a result, some bad doctrine found its way through the ministry. You and I may differ in what that doctrine might be, however, and these days I am more prone to believe that I do not have a corner on the market of spiritual truth. Secondly, I feel that Wierwille's rejection by the denominations was at the core of his motivation to develop a belief system that caused the Way to function outside of mainstream Christianity. These days it is my utmost desire to work within the entire body of Christ to help any way I can for God.

On of the things I read at you web site that I must say never happened in all my 17 years of involvement, was speaking in tongues being used in a disorderely fashion. In all fairness, if the way was guilty of anything in the Holy Spirit field it would be on the side of restriction of the operation of these things for the sake of doing things decently and in order. I never saw (particularly from a doctrinal view) anyone speak in tongues in a detrimental manner. At any rate there is plenty to lay at the feet of that ministry that was a hinderance to God's Word. I am endeavoring to stay true to that Word, and to God in my life today and I am thankful still for the way in which He worked in my life, despite the Way International. I feel qualified having been involved in the hierarchy to some degree to answer questions that you might have from 1971 thru about 1985-6. But i did find it interesting that the Way today was in support of David Carresh (sp?). Can you document this? I don't doubt it, but again I must say that the paramilitary aspect of criticism was also highly exaggerated. Yes there was training on handling a firearm, but it was a very small part of training. (ie-boy scouts). Yes, there were many guns owned by individuals, but it was never suggested that we form a civil defense...We were always taught that we wrestled against principalities and power (spiritual fight). The reason I wish to provide balance to your criticism of the Way, is because I think there is great validity to much of it and it would be a shame to have the expose debunked for a few errant facts. Let me know if I can help you in any way.

God bless you, Ralph Graham

From: Dutchmanaz@aol.com

Message-ID: <970514202041_-896651006@emout05.mail.aol.com>

To: piedtech@intrlink.com

Subject: no way out home page


As a former member of the Way Int'l, and PFAL graduate, I read your comments with interest.

I must say, however, that the people I associated with in the Way were completely different than what was described. Many of the principles that were taught are valuable lessons in life, while some (and I must say, like some of your comments), are, in my opinion, complete bullshit. Speaking in tongues a hyperventalation technique???? While I do think it is merely babble, I hardly think that they are trying to induce suffering and maybe death--my God, then their tithe rolls would drop. The wife swapping things go completely against what was taught in our twig, and family values were very much emphasized. I've not been to a Twig meeting for about 2 years, as I did not care for the direction that I felt they were trying to get me and my family to go. Maybe much has changed in these 2 years, and perhaps things have changed.

I respect that you are trying to convey information about the Way, however, I feel that perhaps you should offer solid proof of your accusations prior to belittleing what very well may be a decent organization. I say again that I myself do not agree with all that is being taught.



P.S. replies would be welcomed

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