How far will you go to protect “the will of God?”

In the previous post, I put forth the idea that faithful WOFF members keep the true inside dynamics secret from the outside family members. Secrets are also kept from co-workers and any acquaintances. This should be no surprise even for a group of that size. Today, I want to add two more concepts that will help explain why and how this could happen and how a WOFF member sees this as perfectly normal and “the will of God.”

Several months ago, I wrote on the difference between “brainwashing” and “mind control.” The post was titled- WOFF Members are NOT Brainwashed- Really? – found here . The supporting text for this was found in Steven Hassan’s book, “Combatting Cult Mind Control” (Copyright©1988, 1990- by Steven Hassan, Park Street Press, ISBN-0-89281-311-3). In short, the idea was that in a case of brainwashing, the controllers are thought of as adversarial or “… typically coercive. The person knows at the outset that he is in the hands of the enemy. … Abusive mistreatment, even torture, is usually involved.” (page 55)

“Mind control, also called “thought reform”, is more subtle and sophisticated. Its perpetrators are regarded as friends or peers, so the person is much less defensive. He unwittingly participates by cooperating with his controllers and giving them private information that he does not know will be used against him…. Mind control involves little to no overt physical abuse. Instead, hypnotic processes are combined with group dynamics to create a potent indoctrination effect. The individual is deceived and manipulated – not directly threatened – into making the prescribed choices. On the whole, he responds positively to what is done to him.” (emphasis added- page 56)

Let me state that for avid readers of this blog, I don’t want to confuse you. I have stated that there is increasing physical abuse inside WOFF which from the text is characteristic of “brainwashing.” My contention is that the abuse is INTENSIFYING the effects of the mind control dynamics which have been in place for many years. For now, we will call the dynamics “mind control” and address the reasons for the transition later. I also contend that the increasing abuse is causing frequent angst in those who have labored under the idea that leadership was “friends or peers”. For some, the abuses have begun to severe their allegiance to the group and will cause them to leave WOFF.

Let’s restate the growing theory. WOFF members keep inner group dynamics secret because in the mind control environment, they see the leadership as “friends or peers.” Let’s add the pseudo spiritual parental notion here. Many in WOFF refer to Jane as Momma Jane or Grandma Jane or some derivative thereof. Who would willingly tell the family secrets and violate the trust of “family” or “friends or peers?” This allegiance presents a big hurdle for those feeling violated or abused inside the group. Members may have thoughts such as; Who will believe me that a person as harmless looking as Jane would approve or even participate in abusing me? Something must be wrong with me. This is the guilt/shame dynamic we discussed previously.

The resulting behavior is to ignore and try to excuse any abuses seen as a result of WOFF life. Faithful WOFF members, who witness abuse, whether emotional or physical, must lie to themselves in some way to settle the inner conflict that these behaviors ignite. Here is where the Scriptures have been abused as tools to soothe the inner conflicts. Scripture was not meant to cover abuse – but to expose it. Inside WOFF, Scriptures are used to justify the abuses as “the will of God.” This inner lying brings with it a heavy price and a huge emotional burden. Some who leave still refer to Jane as Momma Jane. I suspect this is to continue the charade and to cover the inner conflicts which WOFF life spawns. After all, when Jane ceases to be Momma Jane, what other results will the survivor have to deal with in relation to the inner conflicts created by WOFF-life?

In previous posts, we have cited resource material from “Escape” written by Carolyn Jessop. (“Escape”- authors Carolyn Jessop and Laura Palmer, Copyright©2007 by Visionary Classics, LLC, published by Broadway Books, ISBN 978-0-7679-2756-7). Today, we will use another excerpt to explain the dynamics inside of WOFF.

“… Even if a family knew there was severe abuse going on in another family, no one intervened… We would hear stories about sexual and physical abuse in other families, but nothing was ever done to stop it. As a community, the feeling was that the outside world was our enemy. Its laws and rules did not apply to us in any way. There was no way that someone in the FLDS would report abuse that they’d witnessed or suspected to the authorities for investigation. Anyone who did that would have been seen as a traitor to the entire community. (emphasis added- page 37)

This, my friends, is the same attitude inside of WOFF. No one reports the abuse because you would be seen as a traitor to the entire community and to Jane and to “the will of God.”

John, are you saying that WOFF members believe it is “the will of God” to hide abuse? It is not made that simple. It is “the will of God” to protect “the will of God” for the people of God and the gift of God in Jane Whaley. If that means that abuse does not go reported- then they feel justified by doing “the will of God.” It is difficult for any WOFF member to see the inside practices as abuse. They are confused by the confession that the person was experiencing a new level of “the will of God.” If a member admits that abuses are happening inside of WOFF, they will soon be on their way to more of “the will of God” or OUT of the group.

John, what about all the lawyers inside WOFF? How do they reason away not reporting any abuses to authorities? I can’t say, I have not asked them directly. My contention is that Jane has her lawyers not to uphold the law, but their real job is to protect her right to do “the will of God.” They are mere marionettes on her strings of total control.

As a recap, faithful WOFF members under mind control keep inside dynamics secret because leadership is seen as their “friends or peers” who want “the will of God” for them and everyone else inside the group. To report WOFF inner dynamics as “abuse” would be to betray “the will of God” for themselves and the entire community. This conflict is complicated by Jane’s use of Scripture to excuse her edicts and excesses as “the will of God.”

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 and Josh confirmed it.

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, 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 483.

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