“Carolina Blues” at WOFF? (1)

    In previous posts, I have mentioned that my use of Google Alerts®. This is a free service that searches the Internet daily for key words and returns them in an email set to your preferences. I use terms such as Word of Faith Fellowship, Jane Whaley, mind control, religious cults and spiritual abuse. This is a great way to keep up on certain specific content without trolling the web yourself. Who has the time?

    Recently, one of my searches brought back a blog post containing a reference to the conference in Washington, DC held in July 2010 by the Christians United For Israel (CUFI). The headline was CUFI Linked with Controversial “Demon-Blasting” Church . I have not read all of the content on the host blog. I do recommend following the link and reading this entire post. The blog title is “Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion”. It is written by Richard Bartholomew. He is quoting an article from “Charisma” magazine, as well as other sources.

    This post I considered such a good find. There are two topics from that post which I will take up. One is the conference in Washington, DC where Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) displayed their Holocaust Museum. Yes, there are pictures at Flicker® which I will link to in a future post. There are some pictures of Congressman Heath Shuler posing with the WOFF group. Was I surprised? All of that is for another post. You can get a head start and read the post from Bartholomew.

    Today, the subject has to do with the reference toward the end of the article to Jane Whaley being quoted in a book by Michael Cuneo titled “American Exorcism” (copyright 2001, published by DOUBLEDAY, ISBN 0-386-50176-5) This can be purchased at amazon.com. My copy was purchased used for $1.69 plus shipping. What a BARGAIN! The reference in the blog post for a quote from Jane Whaley was for page 235. In my edition, that was incorrect. Chapter 12 of this book if titled “Carolina Blues” and this is the section about WOFF and Jane Whaley.

   

    “Carolina Blues”- what a great title! From what I gather, the time frame for the author to do his research was the year 2000. I could be wrong but, as I remember that was just before or just as WOFF sent four folks to the University of North Carolina Law School. They all graduated and passed the Bar exam. So, now there are “Carolina Blues” at WOFF-so to speak. There are even some more folks being trained at that fine University. A couple being trained for law and one for dentistry, if my sources are right. There may be more by now! Was the author ahead of his time or could he have been referencing something else? Let’s go through the chapter and find out.

    No, I have not read through the entire book, at this point. Are you surprised that I went straight to the section on WOFF? In light of that, I cannot comment extensively on the book. Those comments can be a post for another time as the subject certainly is valid when discussing the events throughout the years at WOFF. For sure, Jane Whaley and WOFF teach and practice “deliverance”. Mr. Cuneo apparently uses the terms “exorcism” and “deliverance” interchangeably in places. In the series of posts titled – “My Experience with Loud Prayer, Blasting and Deliverance”-Part 1, found here.. http://religiouscultsinfo.com/?p=599 , I began my discussion of this topic.

   Before we look at Chapter 12, let me give a brief summary of Chapter 11 “The Hegewisch shuffle”. This chapter is the first one in “Part 4” titled “The Rough-and-Ready school”. This is important to our discussion as the author compares this church and WOFF at the end of chapter 12. Cuneo begins Chapter 11 outlining the ministry of Pastor Mike Thierer, who he describes as “a small, balding, amiable man in his early forties”. (page 167). From there he describes a deliverance session he witnessed for a person named Brian. The pastor ended up wrestling with Brian during the deliverance. He also listened to all kinds of cursing while he attempted to control all kinds of maneuvers by Brain. At one point, “..but Brian flailing, kicking, screaming, tosses him (the pastor’s assistant) aside and starts gyrating furiously, twirling Pastor Mike around and around in an airplane spin, sending his glasses flying. (page 167) The author continues with this: “Throughout the auditorium, demoniacs are paired off with exorcism ministers, wailing thrashing, regurgitating. Demons are being expelled in gushes of vomit and strands of mucus, and assistants pick their way through the heaving mess, handing out paper towels, holding brown paper bags to peoples’ chins. …Across the hall an attractive, middle-aged blonde woman named Linda wails constantly, a high pitched air raid siren of a voice.”  (page 168)

   First off, just reading this account brought back many memories! How about other WOFF survivors or even present WOFF members? Does this sound familiar? WOFF may or may not have been as dramatic. It is all a matter of perspective. I certainly have seen my share of “deliverance scrums”. Piles of folks on top of or huddled very close to each other, as maybe one or two folks who needed “help” were towards the middle or at the bottom of the pile. Yes, the sweat would roll. I will share more on that later. Back to Hegewisch Baptist Church, they are on the web and the same Pastor is there. See link here- http://www.hbcdelivers.org/ – gotta love their tagline- “We Deliver!” Why mention this? Stay tuned as Cuneo makes a keen comparison between Hegewisch and WOFF at the end of Chapter 12.

    We will start Chapter 12, but have to finish the review in another post. There is just so much to cover….! (And still we will get back to the CUFI conference.) Cuneo moves on with this, “Hegewisch Baptist, in fact, isn’t even the best-known member of the rough-and-ready school. This distinction probably does to the Word of Faith Fellowship, a network of churches based in Spindale, North Carolina, and headed by the husband-and-wife team of Jane and Sam Whaley. The author goes on to outline the February 1995 expose done by Inside Edition. The video clip is still on the web, a simple search for “Jane Whaley” brings up the link. He describes those video clips: … “footage of frenzied exorcisms at the Whaley’s flagship church Spindale: men, women, and children stomping the floor and pounding the air with clenched fists, wailing and screaming, faces scrunched into masks of fury. There were interviews with former church members, who sounded like recently tunneled-out POWs, accusing the Whaley’s and their henchmen of child abuse, mind control, and other crimes against humanity.” (page 183)

    After watching the clips, which observer from the outside, along with present or former members, could disagree with the picture he paints with his words? I lived in it for years. How deceived was I? Might I add another question, which part has changed? The only answer I can render is that this “prayer drama” may not take place as often as in years past. But, which other part has gone away completely? Is there reliable proof that anything has really changed? In my opinion, the mind control has not lessened but become more efficient and sly in many regards. Don’t misunderstand- it is all still very predictable.

   On a personal note, just by pointing out the deception I lived under, does not automatically make me or other WOFF survivors- God-haters or prayer-haters. Acknowledging the deceptions in my past does not mean I have thrown out the Truths I see in the Bible. ALERT! You can leave WOFF and still love God. A healthy recovery includes “emerging from broken” and stabilizing in your relationship with God and His Truth. As I have stated before, you can reject the message of WOFF, the methods of WOFF and still love the members of WOFF. Why? Because as a survivor, you know their struggles and you can understand the emotional roller coaster of a WOFF membership.  

    Back to the book, Cuneo outlines the background of the Jane and Sam Whaley, their trek to Tulsa, OK, and their ties to Kenneth Hagin Ministries. He goes into some detail to explain the connection. In previous posts, I have mentioned what I believed was the reason(s) that Jane and Sam broke from that Word of Faith group. Cuneo does not expound on that, maybe for some other reasons. “Their wish was God’s command. Name-it-and claim-it. Christians who were poor, or in bad health, had only themselves to blame. Their faith was deficient, they had surrendered authority to Satan and his demons, and they were almost certainly in need of exorcism. Health and prosperity were godly; poverty and sickness were demonic. It was as simple as that. (page 186) He is describing the background of the Whaleys. He states it pretty accurately, in my opinion.

    In the past, I have concentrated on the break that Jane and Sam had with Hagin over the questions: “Can Christians have devils?” and “Do they need and can they receive deliverance?” I now see I over-stated the magnitude of this break. When you listen to Sam as he talks before an offering is taken, he still repeats the Hagin gospel. He may try to dress it with WOFF-talk, but, I believe he is still centered on the Kenneth Hagin message(s) in many areas. After all, who could deny the WOFF fixation on the “signs” of prosperity? Okay, who could deny it and still be looking at WOFF-life and be viewing WOFF members? If Jane was so opposed to the message of her past, then why do her people still fixate on the “health and wealth” message? They get it from somewhere. But, what do I know; I was only under her preaching for the better part of sixteen years.  

   One last point for this post, Cuneo makes some observations about many of the churches that preach the Word of Faith message, “Denominationally non-aligned, they operated their own ministries- big time, lucrative ministries, for the most part- and were sometimes seen by their followers as prophetic figures with direct pipelines to heaven. This was the world in which Kenneth Hagin’s Gospel of Health and Wealth flourished, and in which Jane and Sam Whaley and others of their ilk made a regular practice of blasting demons to smithereens.²”  (page 186, emphasis added) Well, who is he describing?

    We will continue with the review of this chapter in the next post. For sure, you will not want to miss Cuneo’s take on the “parade of minivans” when he shows up unannounced at WOFF-land!!! This is all so rich and there is so much of it! Comments welcome from anyone who has seen the “parade of minivans”.

    Thank you, for taking time to visit and read this blog.  Please, consume the information on this site responsibly. The author is not a licensed mental health professional and encourages those that need professional help to seek it. The intent of the material is to inform and be a resource. Be sure to tell every member that you know at WOFF about this blog. There are readers at WOFF. Comments are invited from all readers, including present or former members. Polls are not scientific and no private information is gathered.

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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. ) Scripture references are Amplified Version unless otherwise noted. (Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation ) This is post number 175.

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One thought on ““Carolina Blues” at WOFF? (1)”

  1. Oh, John, I must get this book!!! But the statement you made about former WOFFer’s not being GOD haters is good. I have found, personally speaking, that the opposite if quite true!!! I had and still have some problems with religious organized churches. (Kind of a trust issue) But I feel the wonderful love of my Father in such a tangible way. I am so thankful for what HE has brought me out of and the things HE has taught me. HE LOVES US SO!!! In that cult of WOFF Father is put in such a box wrapped in fear.(But it is really fear of not pleasing Jane) And Father is not like that. He said allow the children to come unto me. And I am HIS child!! Love and hugs and prayers to you my friend. Keep up the good work that HE has given you!!

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