Thursday, while I was working at a Credit Union, I came across a jar full of change gathered from different places within the office. I notice an odd shaped “smashed penny” in the jar! For those that may not remember, that was CONTRABAND at Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF)! Yes, it is true. So, I fished around in the jar and found another one and took them out. Oh, how evil was I? I put them in my pocket and proceeded to the manager’s office to explain this “contraband”. This was obviously a very minute issue on their radar and it hardly garnered any response at all. Why? I think because this person had ceased to be amazed at the absurdities I tell them about WOFF regulations AND the fact that it was a PENNY! To this person, there were/are bigger issues in life.
Below is a quote from the post about this issue at WOFF. It was originally posted on March 20, 2010. I have added some comments which add more understanding.
More Don’ts for the WOFF “Don’t List” http://religiouscultsinfo.com/?p=1087
While on family getaways or day trips, who has not seen the machines that take pennies and imprints an image on them? Well, some young folks close to me (my children!) enjoyed collecting those pennies very much. One service, one of the teachers and assistant principal of the school (Jennifer C.) got up to make the new “don’t” known to all. “No more smashing pennies! You are destroying government property.” I am not sure, but she may have been (gagging on and) swatting gnats at the same time she was telling us this new don’t. Does this one make sense? Please, comment if you are a penny smasher.
Okay, I admit, I enjoyed the whole penny smashing/collecting deal. I was actually excited to find the pennies in the jar. Having been away from WOFF since July 2008, I must admit I never researched to see if Jennifer C. was onto something or was she blowing WOFF smoke in order to make herself feel better and win some kind of favor with the Queen Rule Maker? So, I did a search just now and found the following answer to “Is smashing pennies legal?”
“United States (YES): The United States Codes under Title 18, Chapter 17, and Section 331, “prohibits the mutilation, diminution and falsification of United States coinage.” However, it has been the opinion of some individual officers at the Treasury Department, though without any indication of approval, the foregoing statute does not prohibit the mutilation of coins if done without fraudulent intent or if the mutilated coins are not used fraudulently.” Source – http://www.pennycollector.com/faq.html
The source just happens to be a website for collectors of the pennies! They go one to say the activity is illegal in Canada. Well, maybe that is not a great source. Another source – http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=426715 – says among other things that the key word is “fraudulent”. The smashed pennies are not being used for fraudulent purposes and the net effect on the supply of money is not sufficient for the U.S. Treasury to be concerned. After all, how does the U.S. Treasury account for or recoup the coins and paper money lost every day in washing machines and under car seats and down drains? The U.S. Treasury cannot give its blanket approval because of where it may lead, but, they are not chasing 8 year old little boys or girls down the street to arrest them for smashing a penny! Get a grip!
What shall we conclude? If this “WOFF don’t” is still in place and being enforced by not allowing WOFF children or adults to smash pennies for souvenirs, then it is a smashing example of the overreaching “Law” used at WOFF to control the members. Can we say “Pharisee”? Did Jennifer C. realize she was sounding like a “Pharisee”? In my opinion, no; generally Pharisees are blind to their true condition. She thought she was doing others a service by stopping such a heinous practice of smashing pennies. She may have slept better that night knowing she had done “the will of God”. Can we say – SAD? Can we also admit that the WOFF-life that I experienced and that others still live through is replete with controls that are meant to prevent a member from making their own choices apart from the pre-determined or better described-“Jane-determined” way of life.
Steven Hassan in his book, “Releasing the Bonds” (copyright 2000- Freedom of Mind Press, ISBN 0-9670688-0-0), outlines the Behavior Control measures that are used in harmful mind control groups. Not all factors listed have to be present to indicate danger. He lists seven things under Behavior Control, ALL of which I experienced at WOFF. I will list them in brief and relate back to the smashing pennies prohibition. My comments are after each method used.
I. Behavior Control
1. Regulation of individual’s physical reality
a. Where, how, and with whom a member lives and associates. (yes)
b. What clothes, colors, hairstyles the person wears (yes)
c. What food a person eats, drinks, adopts, and rejects (yes)
d. How much sleep a person is able to have (most certainly)
e. Financial dependence (so, true! You work for who?)
f. Little or no time spent on leisure, entertainment, or vacation (Are you kidding? Leisure was a four letter word!)
2. Major time commitment required for indoctrinations sessions and group rituals (how often were we at Church?)
3. Need to ask permission for major decisions (and minor ones!)
4. Need to report thoughts, feelings, and activities to superiors (open your heart- right now!)
5. Rewards and punishments (behavior modification techniques—positive and negative) (yes, for certain)
6. Individualism discouraged; “group think” prevails (odd man out was soon put out – for good)
7. Rigid rules and regulations (we have listed these and yet, still there are more!) (page 42)
Hassan explains more, “Behavior Control is the incremental regulation of a person’s physical reality, which includes both his environment (where he lives, who he associates with, what he eats, when he sleeps) and his conduct in many forms, including sleep deprivation or manipulation, change of diet, invasion of privacy, separation from friends and other newcomers, and isolation for workshops or other indoctrination exercises. (page 46)
While I was in WOFF, I did not see the growing list of WOFF Don’ts as extending into the private and personal areas of each member’s life. It was sold as “the next step in God” or the “new way God has for us to walk”. Who would want to “walk in God’s ways”? “What would you hold back from God?”So, when Jennifer C. stood up and smashed the smashing of pennies, I did not see it for what it was— yet another “incremental” step in the long list of “rigid rules and regulations” as we all followed – at least outwardly- in the “group think” mode. Expressing doubt or contrary opinions or desires was seen as REBELLION. Who wants to be known as “rebellious”? All of this from seeing smashed pennies? Yes, as the months and years pass, I see many areas where WOFF/Jane Whaley controlled my life and attempted to alter it forever.
Two more things in closing, the website, http://www.pennycollector.com has a page outlining location of machines that smash pennies and imprints them. This page also shows images of the finished products. This was so interesting. Next, below you will find a picture of the two thought provoking pennies I found. The one on the right is especially EVIL! It is a token promise for a kiss or hug anytime or anywhere for the holder! Such debauchery! Right? Double click the picture to read the pennies.
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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