Is Simple Assault a Vital Part of the Word of Faith Fellowship Practices? (1)

Recently, I obtained some very disturbing information about new discipline practices that have evolved at Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF). If my source is accurate, and I have no reason to think that their knowledge is less than up close and personal; then it appears that Simple Assault has become a consistent tool for “correction” inside WOFF.

Before I give the account, let me say that after I left in 2008, it took a while to decompress and as it were- begin to assimilate and process that experiences over the last 16 years. I was in denial for a long time as to the intensity with which Jane Whaley’s edicts were carried out. After all, didn’t she speak for “God?” While I was inside, I wrestled with that required basic belief which faces every WOFF member. Does Jane speak for God? For some to deny it would mean they would soon “meet the authority of God in Jane Whaley.” That translates into her making a show of how much she owns you and has the power to direct your life at ALL levels. Many times, this revelation was accompanied with loud shouting, shrills of “prayer” and in some cases- physical restraint until you bowed your knee to her. When it was happening to others, there was in me a disengagement and denial that I would ever be required to do that. Oh, I was wrong and therein was the beginning of my exit story- previously told on this blog.

Why do I insert these musings here? For this reason, for outsiders it is next to impossible to convey the level of power, influence, control and fear-hold that Jane has over her members. Honestly, not everyone is controlled to the exact same degree, but, everyone is controlled at some level or they don’t stay. As I tell of the new discipline measures which have developed, do not think for an instant that the intense interactions have not been allowed or even prompted – at the minimum – APRROVED by Jane Whaley herself. NOTHING happens twice inside that group without Jane’s approval. So, here we go…

Previously, I wrote a post titled, “Jane’s Perception Became Your Reality…” – found here- http://religiouscultsinfo.com/?p=4875 . The basic idea of which was to illustrate that you did not have to be guilty of a sin to be considered guilty of a sin while living at WOFF. If Jane thought you were guilty, then just start confessing. She had heard God regardless of your position. In like manner, recently if a male is accused of having an unclean thought towards a female, then that male sits down and the female, who the thought was about, is allowed to come up and slap him in the face while he remains still. It was said that some in the group were getting upset by seeing the slapping. As a response then, the person who was slapped would get up and tell everyone how blessed he was and he was grateful and needed to be slapped in order to get a breakthrough!

What have we just learned? Slapping is an approved method at WOFF to help someone stop having thoughts. Those that have been slapped may then encourage others that they are better for being slapped. If the aforementioned accounts are true, then, we must first look at some information about “slapping” under North Carolina Law. For now, we will stick to slapping between adults. (I am not an attorney or law scholar. I will only quote “legal” sources.)

A simple search using “is slapping a simple assault in NC”- brings back several interesting reference links.

First, we will quote from an article from a law firm titled-“Assaults: Misdemeanor and Felony” found here: http://www.chetson.com/felonies/assaults/ -viewed February 28, 2013.

An assault can be an unlawful touching, or it can be an act in which the victim is never touched, but is put in imminent fear of being touched. A touch is a general word, meant to describe everything from a slap to a strike with a bat, to worse.

In North Carolina, there are dozens of different kinds of assaults. Some are misdemeanor assaults; the lowest is a Class 2 misdemeanor for which there can be a variety of punishments depending on someone’s criminal history.”

Well, here slapping would constitute assault. We examine more from the article.

“North Carolina recognizes two forms of assault. The first form of assault is an act or attempted act or an appearance of an attempt to immediately physically injure another person. An assault may either be a touching, or an attempt to touch another person. If the defendant has attempted to unlawfully touch another person, but has missed, the defendant has committed an assault.”

So, we learn here that even if the WOFF female missed on the slap, she could be guilty of assault. Just attempting to unlawfully touch someone could be an assault. And for those that think that assaults are just males on females, read this posting about a woman who slapped her boyfriend and ended up in jail.

(source link- http://www.expertlaw.com/forums/showthread.php?t=92847 , viewed February 28, 2013.)

Simple Assault in North Carolina  January 13, 2010

My question involves criminal law for the state of: north carolina

my bf and i got into an arguement the other night…i smacked him a couple times in the face and made some marks and scratches…..he then locked me out of the apartment and wouldnt let me back in…..i called the police for help, thinking they would just get me back into my apartment…..they ended up arresting me because my bf had scratches on his face…i had to spend the night and jail and it was pretty traumatic…..now we both have to go to court, as he’s been subpoened……he doesnt want to testifiy against me or press any charges…..i went in front of the judge and was given a $100 unsecured bond. i dont have any other prior charges like this, however i do have 2 dwi convictions from 5 years ago……i just dont know what to do, dont know what my options are, if my bf should or shouldnt show up to court, what would happen if he didnt…..i just need some all around advise for what to do and what to expect. thanks for everything!!

The response on the legal forum, in part was…

First, you need to know that when you summon law enforcement, they do their job, which is to enforce the law. The days of dealing with couples who are physically abusive with each other by telling them to walk around the block ended 15 to 20 years ago. If there is suspicion that a crime (which slapping someone IS), and particularly if someone has marks on them, you can always COUNT on being arrested. If you need a locksmith, call a locksmith. If you need counseling or therapy, get counseling or therapy. If you call police, you’ll get a law enforcement response. Asking police to let you back into an apartment where you just committed a crime against the person inside is like robbing a bank and asking police to help you pack the loot in the trunk.

In some 90% of domestic violence cases, the victim doesn’t want to participate in holding the offender accountable for their criminal actions (remember, in the eyes of the law, crimes are committed against EVERYONE in society, NOT just the victim). However, because the very nature of domestic violence is that it tends to escalate over time, prosecutors take these cases seriously, and if they have the ability to make their case without the participation of the victim, they often will (in this case, the photos and the officer’s testimony of the marks they saw can be more than enough, even if your BF never enters the courtroom). His appearance in court isn’t needed unless he gets a subpoena ordering him to appear. If he receives one, he needs to show up or the court can issue a warrant for his arrest for contempt of court. When judges tell people to show up, they really mean it….”

Did you notice this legal source said slapping was a crime? They also said that “(remember, in the eyes of the law, crimes are committed against EVERYONE in society, NOT just the victim).Does that mean that the “crimes” happening inside any group such as WOFF are committed against EVERYONE in society? Now, does knowing this not make the inner workings of WOFF more of a concern for law enforcement specifically and the surrounding county in general? When assaults – even under the guise of some “religious practice” happen in any group- we should all be concerned! I am no constitutional scholar on any level, but, does it make sense that “protected religious freedoms” would include the right to assault someone else- even if they say it was “good” for them? It is not good for me to think that simple assaults are included in acceptable WOFF practices- between adults.

Where did this group begin to segue into such behavior? I don’t know for certain, but, I have my ideas. If it does not offend, I will offer them.

In a previous post reviewing the court’s Findings of Fact from the McGee custody case, I wrote about the reported practices which have evolved among the children at Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF). The entire post titled “Findings of Fact….” Can be found here- http://religiouscultsinfo.com/?p=5023

As mentioned in previous posts, the discipline of the children has morphed into Jane’s grandson leading a group of children to blast other children and adults. It has also been reported that these children are allowed to hit, punch, slap, kick and push the ones receiving prayer. So, at what age do you tell a child that it is no longer God’s will to hit someone in prayer? I am not sure it will be stopped at any age.”

In some groups- “the children shall lead them…” Is it likely that once the behavior among the children included hitting, slapping, kicking and pushing; that the boundaries for common decency and respect were moved for this conduct between adults? This could occur especially when certain children of leadership were held up as examples of godly and holy and pure before God? Would not it follow that adults should model their behaviors? If this did not happen consciously, it could have happened subconsciously. And if Jane Whaley approved it either openly or by not stopping it, then common sense was set aside and the acceptable course was only to follow the ‘word of the Lord” through Jane…right?

This brings us to more questions which we will start here and finish in another post. Is it considered simple assault when a child hits another child? When a child hits another child under the guise of a “religious practice” is that a protected “religious freedom?” If adults cannot and most definitely should not, hit or slap one another, what makes it acceptable for children? Which attorney wants to stand and argue that one? Tomblin, Farmer and Morris- are you ready? I think a few of you have a vested interest in the debate-right?

More questions – Is there any direct or indirect responsibility for the adult who condones or empowers children to hit, kick, slap or punch other children outside of certain sporting events? Even in these controlled contact sports, there are rules; everyone knows them and protective equipment is worn. Is WOFF-life now considered a contact sport? Do WOFF children being hit or “corrected” during prayer or “discipline” know the “rules”? Is there protective equipment issued for them during a “prayer” session or while they are being “disciplined” by the child-man? Have any of the aggressor children or youth left marks on other children or youth? Does this exacerbate the question of culpability for the condoning adults – whether they are present or not? As a parent of the child being hit, or pushed– are you liable for the physical and emotional damage done to your son or daughter during this “religious practice”? Could you as a custodial parent be charged with neglect?

What person in complete sanity would allow children to hit or push each other in the name of religion? Do you let your children do this at your church? Do any readers here want to use the comment section to defend the first practice of slapping between adults or the second one of slapping, hitting or pushing among children – all in the name of WOFF religion? I welcome the debate. Soon, in another post, we will review these questions and how they pertain to the “Injunction” from June 2005. Remember, “It is never too late to wake-up and leave…” Steve Hassan.

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. Jane told me. 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”.

Guest posts reflect the opinions of the writers. Their opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of John Huddle or any other persons affiliated with this blog.

Please, take time to read the Terms of Use for this personal blog. As mentioned, for posts written by John Huddle, any information about WOFF is from his 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 430.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

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