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Official Response of TWI to News 5-Part Exposé

The Wapakoneta Daily News
Dear Editor:

I was appalled at your newspaper's recent efforts to discredit The Way International in the series of articles you published between April 25 and 30. This was without debate the most incredible example of "yellow journalism" that I have ever experienced. After receiving a request for an interview from a reporter who said he was writing an article for The Wapakoneta Daily News, we kindly and openly responded. He said he wanted to write an article about our response to Newsweek magazine's mention of our ministry in their April 7 issue. Two and a half weeks later, there it was; the story he said he was writing followed by a tidal wave of unfair, biased, prejudicial and hurtful articles printed in both The Wapak Daily News and The St. Marys Evening Leader. The Way Ministry has never taught or practiced the terrible things your newspaper printed about us. But there are plenty of people in this area who will think so because of what you have done. What kind of journalistic talent does it take to gather discrediting information off an internet web site? I have found web sites that say equally terrible things about the Roman Catholic Church, the Jewish faith and the Republican Party, but I don't elevate their claims above my own common sense. How can you call what you have printed unbiased and responsible when you unfairly focus 90 percent of your attention on a disgruntled former leader and a disenchanted former follower who both left The Way Ministry over a decade ago? There are hundreds of people in this community who could have given you sterling reports about our ministry and the fine people who fellowship with us, but their responses would not have accomplished the predetermined direction and goals that motivated this series. Talk about manipulation and an all-out effort to control what people think! You have no idea and I am certain that you are not willing to take responsibility for the hurt that you have caused. The people of The Way Ministry have been a part of the New Knoxville, New Bremen, St. Marys community for over 35 years. Our children go to the same schools as your kids. Our followers are business owners, factory workers, school teachers, doctors, etc.

But this week we and our children are living in a shadow of religious prejudice that you have fabricated. The shadow will pass and for the most part many of the level-headed citizens of this area have gone out of their way to express their regret for the way your paper unfairly and cowardly misrepresented our beliefs, our lives and our reputations. You have had your say in the media, we will have ours the same way we always have - by the way we live our lives honestly, openly, morally and confidently.


F. Bradley Thorp

Director of Personnel

The Way International

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