The WOFF “Don’t” List – Part 3

     As we seek to continue listing the “don’ts” for the members of WOFF, this post warrants a brief recap of the “don’ts” list so far. There were some of the obvious; no alcohol, no tobacco, no movies, no TV, no radio, no newspapers, no magazines. Books were evil, if not checked out by leadership. (especially books quoted from in these posts!)  Don’t read your Bible too much! We have also covered some “don’ts” for attending services. Don’t buy a car or house or interview for a job or plan on attending college or even chose your classes with out “getting it checked out”. Alas, I realize I have inadvertantly omitted a couple of the finer points which add to our yet ever growing list of “don’ts”.

     WOFF members don’t drink alcohol or even root beer or Cheerwine®, or diet Cheerwine®. There was some doubt cast on ginger ale for a while. I am not sure the status of that “don’t”. Are the reasons obvious enough? The following scripture was used for many “don’ts” – a tool for making many things off limits. 

1 Thessalonians 5:22 (Amplified Bible)

22Abstain from evil [shrink from it and keep aloof from it] in whatever form or whatever kind it may be.

      Root “BEER”? Cheer-“WINE”, Ginger- “ALE”.  Yep, that appears like alcohol to Jane and members of WOFF. Well, more accurately, they think others will think less of their “holy walk with Jesus”, if they are seen drinking these beverages. “It could cause others to stumble“- that was a common addition to the previous rationale for many of the “don’ts”.  I know of a male member who was a diabetic who was specifically told he should not buy diet Cheerwine®. Also, don’t use cooking sherry or other types of alcohol in your cooking! You could stir-up a taste for alcohol and before you know it you will be having wine with your meal.

     Verse 21  of the previous passage was not as equally stressed, but as important none the less:

     21But test and prove all things [until you can recognize] what is good; [to that] hold fast.   

     I believe that was the Apostle Paul’s plea for good common sense BEFORE he mentioned “abstain from evil”.  He was no stranger the Law of Moses and knew how constricting the “daily don’ts” of the law had become over time. Suppose that was why he did not advocate returning to that OLD covenant and the regime of restrictive “man-made laws”? I hear the reasoning from WOFF members now. “But, these are not “man-made” rules; “God” spoke them to us!” We are not under the Old Testament”.  Okay, please, keep reading.

     Before we go futher into the list, I remind my readers  that I will not be able to recount every don’t. I simply don’t know them all.  But, please, don’t blame me! Some of these don’ts are not bad as a guidelines. But, remember to stay at WOFF you don’t have a choice. You do the do’s (a subject covered later.)  and don’t do the don’ts or you may be in rebellion and put out!  Also, I may list a “don’t” from one time period of my time of 16 years that turned to a “do” or a “maybe do”, depending on if you heard God or Jane Whaley say you could do that thing. Above all else, let us not confuse the matter of “don’ts”. 

      As a further explanation; it is not the specific list of “don’ts” that is the vital issue at hand when discussing life at WOFF. Certainly in this country, many folks can and do abstain from many things in the name of keeping their religious preferences. Many other religious groups that are organized in a similar fashion as WOFF have equal or even more “don’ts” to observe. The point is the great number of very minute conduct rules and how they are used to control members who seek Jane’s approval.  That is the purpose of this series of posts. Many folks who live around WOFFers see the way they dress alike, act alike and even talk alike. ( I know- I were one. My closet still has several pairs of khakis and button-down shirts.) These posts will list many of the rules that kept/keep WOFF members in the Jane Whaley approved group . You will also learn some of the “reasoning” behind the LONG list of  “don’ts”. I will not even consider that I could provide “reasons” for all of the “don’ts”, but I will give what I know and remember from my time at WOFF. Don’t stop here… there is more.. select the prompt to read more..


      Adding to the don’t list for attending services- You don’t carry a knive of ANY type on the grounds of WOFF. Even my little pocket knife was considered contraban. The reason was given that “Federal law” prohibits such. There was/is a private school on the property. Who cares if that reason was true? It was a prominent repeated “don’t” for WOFF members. That was enough to get someone to hide their pocket knife in their car and park in the field across the street when possible! (just a warning to those who visit WOFF.) Oh, the way a person’s attitude could change, if they forgot and realized that the knife is still in their pocket while they have already come into the building!  

       The school was mentioned. I learned that there were certain pens, pencils, erasers, and scissors that had made the “don’t” list. As best as I remember, many times it was because a certain pen (or ?) would “stir -up others to have to have one just like it.” So, it was banned. And then, there were the rules for school shoes! Finding the right shoes was always a struggle. There was a service explaining the “Nike® Don’t” = No Nike® ANYTHING! The word originates from some Greek mythological character. ( see link here-       That “don’t” was church-wide. No sweats, no shirts, no bags, no ANYTHING with Nike®. Also, men should be aware that wearing solid white tennis shoes – “just was not right for a man”.  The Johnston Murphy® Outlet and Bargain Shoes® were popular places to get WOFF approved shoes.

      One service stands out when considering the entertainment “don’ts”. Jane learned that a certain family had been “caught” in their new van. The van was equipped with a DVD player with screens in the back. Another member who lived in the neighborhood had apparently noticed the family in their van watching the screen and reported the observation. As it turned out; the family was watching a video of their son’s wedding from a few years earlier.  Jane chuckled and called the man’s name during the service. “Come tell us what you and your family were doing in the van.” So, this fellow (later joined up front by his wife, if I remember right..) came to the podium to take his scalding. He explained that he and family had been watching the wedding video not supposing anything was wrong. They were completely deceived! Jane Whaley speaks up and tells him he still has the “video devil in him and probably in his whole family! He immediately senses the correct response and asks Jesus along with everyone in the church as well as his family to forgive him for allowing such sin. There may have been more to the exchange, but the point has been made. As he returns to his seat, he would then stop by Jane’s chair to kneel and personally thank her, for pointing out his sin, for her loving God, loving him and his family.

     These are a few more examples of life at WOFF. Can you see how living in “Don’t-ville” was tough in many regards? I am ready to call it “Don’t-dale” in honor of the hometown of Spindale, NC. To the readers from FLDS, does any of this sound familiar?

     Please, consume the information on this site responsibly. Be sure to tell every member that you know at WOFF about this blog. It could very well save their life. There are readers at WOFF. I hope this is a help to them.

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      (Please, take time to read the Terms of Use for this personal blog. As mentioned, the information about WOFF is from my memories and recollections as perfect as that may be or not be. )

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