Taking It to the Street- Spring Missions Project

   

WOFF is UNSAFE
Near the End of the Walk
2nd Sign for Project
2nd Sign for Project

     Today was the Spring Missions Project in Spindale, NC. The two pictures tell only part of the story. I wore the “WOFF is UNSAFE” board in the front and the “Ask Questions…” board on my back. I walked up and down Oakland Road for about 45 minutes. It was hot and I was very thirsty when I was done. Where do I start but the beginning. It took much longer to make the signs than I first planned. But, my previous time helping a teacher in the Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) School paid off. Now, don’t get me wrong, I did not help every time there was a bulletin board need, but, I helped enough to learn how to make letters when you run out! I had to make several letters in order to complete the task.  Though I have a long way to go in making posters, glad I paid attention during those times!

 

   I also want to give a shout out to the young lady that helped me at Staples®. She was so kind and helped me save some money along the way. After I mentioned to her the purpose for the purchase, she stopped and thoughtfully asked- How is your life different now that you are out? Honestly, the sincerity of the question was so intense. I was not able to tell her a very meaningful answer, but I hope she reads this blog to find out more. I started with the obvious such as my personal freedoms have been restored when it comes to many different areas of media and other choices. I did admit to her that there is not much to watch on television, but, at least I have the choice and I don’t have someone telling me what to do about it. I can watch movies and not have to report to someone about my “sin” in doing so. Though I find the quality choices are few. Reading newspapers doesn’t get me put in the discipleship room. Where is that now, anyway? Also, if I don’t have to reckon with not obeying that “person”, either Jane her person in “leadership” – I could miss heaven. Sounds odd – doesn’t it? But, as a WOFF member those things are “normal” everyday expectations and conundrums to deal with.

    The answer which would have reflected more depth would have been to convey the deep feelings and intense emotions over losing my family and the ones I once considered friends. The transition into this stage of my life has been full of perplexing situations and personal drama. I must admit, I have not been able to find the handbook on exiting WOFF or similar groups. It was/is different with each person and one volume could/would not cover every variable. As I look back, I may have done things different considering the old adage – if I knew then what I know now!  

   Let’s get back to the project at hand. I began my walk going away from WOFF. It took Wayne Hall, the WOFF security guy, 17 minutes to start filming me. I remembered what Jane had said to “show yourself friendly.” So, from the beginning and all through the filming of my walk, I did my best to wave to the security team and their cameras. It caught some of them off guard and a couple half-waved back- then they righted themselves and returned to their security team pose. Honestly, that security team filmed me from 6:07 PM until I stopped shortly after 6:30 PM, as far as I know! Why would I expect anything different? Though, I had nothing to hide. I was walking as much on public property as I could and I avoided getting close to their WOFF-land as I did not want to “stir them up” any more than I already had. They took more pictures of me than my mom did when I was born! Glad I wore my best khakis!

    As I started some folks hollered and wanted to know what my sign said. I told them and I will not write what they hollered back. But, I did press on. It was obvious that some folks paused in their vehicles to read the sign. Some reacted but, most looked puzzled and kept going. The warmest reaction from WOFF members came from those coming off the ramp from Highway 74. I was coming back across the bridge and made sure to show myself friendly and wave. Some waved back – obviously before they read the sign. I wondered if they would get in trouble for waving. The security team was filming me and certainly caught WOFF members- well, showing themselves friendly of course!  

    Near the end of my walk, two things happened. First, I stopped to ask a local fellow to take my picture and he did. I say “Thank you” to him. Next, I received a telephone call from a strange number. I was cautious, but answered it. [I had my cell phone number on the second sign, but for privacy – did not post it in this revision. Contact me – by email. WOFF members KNOW my cell number by now. It has not changed in almost 10 years.] The fellow was asking about the signs and expressed his shock when I told him just a partial piece of my story. I encouraged him to visit the blog. He promised he would. He said, “I am into God and all, but, I hear there are some strange things that go on over there.” I just pointed him to the blog for my story. What would you have replied?

    So, John, why the Spring Missions Project? To find the first answer read the post, “The Day the Protestors Were Beside the Road…” found here: http://religiouscultsinfo.com/?p=1947 .  One of the key points in the post was the anger in the protestors expressions did nothing for me when I was inside WOFF. That is partially why I wanted to “show myself friendly”. I have nothing against the regular members of the WOFF. I do not take long amounts of my personal time combating their doctrinal beliefs. What I do take issue with are the PRACTICES of WOFF that I know went on while I was there and in all likelihood still remain in the group. It is not the creed, but the deed! This is a public invitation for those that know me to contact me and let me know if anything that I have written about has ceased to occur inside WOFF. If so, and I can verify it, I will post about it and present the new practices and if I am told, the new reasoning for the changes. For the most part, I think things have remained the same and in some cases only gotten worse.

   The second answer to the question of “why” is this: signs contain words and by seeing the words they are remembered. (Regardless of the blasting prayer to get them out.) Those words that are seen may allow some WOFF member to start considering their life and desire to think for themselves. No, I do not expect 30 or 40 members to call me up and thank me for the signs. I don’t expect a mass WOFF exodus over today. I may never hear a positive word from a WOFF member about the Spring Missions Project. In fact, after this post, I may have some negative things to deal with about today. But, at least I am giving some of them the opportunity to consider an alternate view of WOFF and its practices. I have NOTHING to hide when it comes to my time inside and the way I came out of WOFF. I have nothing to hide about what I have learned since my exit. If I was hiding, I would not be writing these posts. Who is the one who practiced/practices hiding what really went/goes on inside of WOFF? Okay, who keeps it going? They (we) all practiced hiding WOFF things during WOFF days. It was expected and normal. Comments welcome.

  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.

     Look on the right side of any post for the option to subscribe by email for notifications or RSS feeds notifying of new postings. It is a great feature. Also, find more posts by selecting “Categories”.

       (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 292.

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

9 thoughts on “Taking It to the Street- Spring Missions Project”

  1. Very good project John and nice signs. We admire your courage and your desire to help educate people on the destructive practices of the WOFF. If others whose lives have been damaged in our former cult (New Testament Christian Churches of America, Inc.) and yours (WOFF) would have the same zeal to speak out against and warn people about the dangers that exist more people would start asking questions. I’m sure that you will be the topic of a few messages and many people will wag their heads, but I know there will be some that will ask questions? What would cause this man to wear a sign in protest? If you can save one person from the heartache and grief that comes when a person is deceived into wasting years of their youth in a cult, every sacrifice you made and every dime you spent and every minute you gave to that cause becomes worth it.

    Many people will do their homework before becoming a member of a church. Now a days, with google you can find vast amounts of information about any business and any church at the touch of your finger on the keyboard. When I type in WOFF Jane Waley, it leads me to your blog really fast. Just having your blog in place has given people the ability to do a little homework on the WOFF before they attend or if they have been to a service and red flags are going up, they can research the Queen of WOFF and find your blog. What you are doing is a great work, a service for God and helping the unsuspecting people to save years of their lives.

    Many in our former group are severely brainwashed just as they are in WOFF. When I was a member I wouldn’t have given anyone the time of day who opposed what I believed in. I would have thought that they were of the devil. But it’s working. We’ve had a minister that used to be my pastor in one of the churches that I used to attend that was influenced to leave by reading the blogs and recognizing the pattern of abuse that he endured during his 20+ years of unwavering faithfulness to our former cult. He has a lot of dirt on the organization and has been sharing some shocking true stories. This kind of publicity is what makes others realize that they are in an abusive cult. As you very well know yourself, that when you give everything you have, every ounce of energy and your money and time to a group; you are actually giving a big chunk of your life to them. This is way too much power for a group to have over a person. I know that there are people in WOFF that read your blog and see the common sense and wisdom that you share.

    We are very encouraged when we read your posts and we hope that we also through the sharing of our experiences can confirm the accuracy of your experiences so that others will be able to make the move toward freedom. You are doing an awesome work and we will continue to keep you in our prayers.

    Don and Ange

  2. Don and Ange,
    Thank you for your kind words. Yes, I considered the head waggers and there were some of those, some onlookers and some WOFF members. However, what does that matter? Great you are getting some feedback in your efforts to help others. It is like planting seeds – though I am cautious how I use the analogy. I would like to quote you in a post soon on the effectiveness of survivor blogs and forums. Several controlling groups have been effected by the Internet and its uses. Keep up the fight- for freedom(s).

    Best to you both….

    John

  3. Mike,

    Thank you, for taking time to read and comment. One goal is to raise awareness of the practices within the group. Also, I believe if more folks were aware of the deeds on the inside, there would be better support for those that do leave and decide to put WOFF behind them. Many times I think WOFF gets a pass because it parades as a “church” and folks assume that what goes on in their church is practiced at WOFF. A closer look reveals that not to be the case. Please, share any other questions you may have.

    John

  4. I just found this blog, and I look forward to reading more about your story. I am a Rutherford County native living in Raleigh now. In my mid-30s, I know some of the WOFF story, but I will read more to get the bigger story.

    I am proud of you for your courage. Thank you for raising awareness.

  5. WOFF has enjoyed the benefit of public perception that a “church” would never do the things you’ve described. Most people here like going to church. They like their preacher. They like the time spent with others. It’s hard for these people to imagine a world where your preacher decides what you wear, who you talk to, where you go, what you drive…a world where you are under constant surveillance and scrutiny. A world where you’re filled with demons and your only chance of heaven is through one person. Jane rules by fear: fear of being out of God’s will; fear of death; fear of hell. That fear has been expertly chronicled by you in this blog. WOFF is a cult. Families have been and continue to be destroyed by the WOFF. The stories you’ve told are true. They’re simply too outlandish for most to believe…

  6. Mike,

    Please, explain “feel like this”. When I was inside, I saw the results of the zeal as it happened to and in the lives of other members. But, wrongfully so, I thought, as I am sure at least some other present and former WOFF members think or thought; the negatives will not affect me. It is not “if”, but, “when”… when will you or your family and/or friends (as WOFF members) be affected by the dynamics within the group? For some, the effects are delayed, for some the realities happen sooner.
    Does this help? Thank you for reading and commenting.

    John

  7. The fact that most locals can tell that WOFF members are from WOFF just by looking at them should speak volumes. What other church’s members can be identified by the way they dress and their hairstyle? How about the raspy voice from simply “praying”. As you locals read this, consider: how many families in your church have been divided because of your church’s policies? How many of your church members have taken custody of another member’s child (or children)? How many unrelated people in your church live in the same house? Work for the same church member-owned company? Only go places in groups with other members of your church? Refuse to celebrate the birth of Christ? Any one factor wouldn’t make them a cult. But when you look at the big picture, it is clear that this place is not a church. It is a cult. They simply have a better PR machine. And fielding a church league softball team can’t change that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *