Category Archives: Behavior Control

AP: Brazilians funneled as “slaves” by US church, ex-members say

For years, the smoke and mirrors used by Jane Whaley and her leadership at Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) has created an aura of deception, filled with misstatements and euphemistic renaming of their practices. Screaming is called prayer, verbal and physical abuse is called “love.” Private sexual relations between and husband and wife are not private, but are regulated by church leadership to “keep out the unclean.” Members are prohibited from free access to news sources including radio, television, newspapers and computers because they are “not able to hear God and stand against the devil.” Unpaid forced and coerced labor is called “volunteer work.” These highly restrictive church practices equate to “walking in God’s ways with God’s people.”

Now the individuals damaged from the years of chicanery are speaking out. The latest installment of the Associated Press’ ongoing in-depth investigation has been released. The long needed reporting of the secretive church practices is clearing the smoke of confusion and angst which hangs thick over Old Flynn Road. There, the church compound serves as the hub of the WOFF-kingdom in the sad ongoing saga of abuses revealed by the AP. The aim is not only for the souls of the members, but this report reveals the aim is to capture “slaves,” laborers- mostly unpaid to work at the church or school or for businesses owned by church leaders, as well as in their homes.

The AP report: This link has the full text, pictures and video. (click icons bottom right of image)

“When Andre Oliveira answered the call to leave his Word of Faith Fellowship congregation in Brazil to move to the mother church in North Carolina at the age of 18, his passport and money were confiscated by church leaders – for safekeeping, he said he was told.
Continue reading AP: Brazilians funneled as “slaves” by US church, ex-members say

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Who is rubbing her feet now?

Is it true? A good foot rub takes the stress away from aching feet. Surely it does. Consider this from two survivors of Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) talking about their experience rubbing Jane Whaley’s feet.

A few years ago, a survivor told me in casual conversation that they rubbed Jane Whaley’s feet at her beck and call. I just listened and asked few questions. Looking back, I should have asked better questions. This individual did not present their participation in rubbing Jane’s feet as voluntary. Like many things inside WOFF, this was “ministry.” Who cares if you want to or that is late at night and you are tired? This person gave me the idea they just did it because they had to. It did not seem truly voluntary.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago and I am talking to another survivor. Out of the blue, they tell me they were also commissioned to rub Jane’s feet. At any time, they were subject to a call for foot ministry. To the point, they had blisters on their hands. Yikes! I also detected a forced submission – no genuine willingness- just duty.

The names of these two survivors is not important or my focus. My point is the attitude in common with both- each not knowing the other had told me their foot ministry story. There was no pre-planned coordination. Knowing that part of the scene brings more clarity for me. The glaring common trait in both cases was the feigned forced affection to give the illusion of willingness to perform the task. If this task was glamorized as “ministry,” then what else inside WOFF is classified as ministry? What other “labors” are classified as ministry and require an appearance of submission, all the while the member is churning inside?
Continue reading Who is rubbing her feet now?

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On this, I Agree with Jane Whaley…

Recently, I was told that Jane Whaley, leader of Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF), declared from the pulpit that many would leave the will of God this year. Translated, many will leave WOFF. Okay, the person relaying it to me called this declaration a “prophecy.” For whatever the motivation, for whatever the reason; I must say I agree with the prediction. Last year was a banner year for defections. The list of survivors leaving WOFF seems to be growing by the week. The exact reasons vary I am sure, but many have already, and looks like soon will leave the WOFF kingdom. The unofficial total ranges from 50 upwards to 80 or more in the last 18 months. I am not sure if any of that number includes ones leaving the Brazilian churches.

For the Faith Freedom Fund, this means another busy year ahead. We are not called upon to help every survivor. Some exit-takers find their own resources. However, last year was the busiest year I can remember for helping survivors. I find the work satisfying on one hand and heart breaking on the other. The stories of abuse coming out of that place seem to grow in intensity with each passing month.
Continue reading On this, I Agree with Jane Whaley…

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Bullying in the Name of Jesus- Revisited- Karel Reynolds Shares Insights? Speak out!

August 21, 2014 I wrote, “Bullying in the Name of Jesus” found here. After watching an episode of “Without A Trace”, I expounded on the North Carolina Anti-Bullying law and how the evolving practices inside Word of Faith Fellowship were in violations of the law, in my opinion. Most of the post is included below.

The subject of bullying has again raised its ugly head in the events in Cocoa, FL. The schedule for the Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) Word of Faith Christian School (WFCS) Holocaust Museum found here tells us that Karel Reynolds will share insights on “Bullying and the Holocaust.” No, I am NOT kidding you. The second-in-charge leader of WFCS which employs heavy handed, all encompassing measures of behavior modification (punishment) reported as more and more abusive, will stand up in front of total strangers and teach on the bullying measures of the German regime? Does the irony cause you to catch your breath and utter words of disbelief? (or worse?)

From the resource link:

“Viera author Jaimie Engle will lead a seminar on ways to prevent bullying, on Monday, April 20, and repeated on Wednesday, April 22, both nights from 6–7:30 p.m.
Engle wrote the anti-bullying children’s book Clifton Chase and the Arrow of Light after her son was bullied at school.
“Remember, with #everykidsvoice we can #targetbullying to stop it!” she said.
Museum director Karel Reynolds will add insight on connections between bullying and the Holocaust.
A full schedule of lectures on various Holocaust topics will be offered from Monday to Thursday.”

Jaimie Engle: How can you share the stage with Karel if you know ANYTHING about WOFF/WFCS? Please, Ms. Engle, don’t lower yourself and allow your lecture to be soiled by the words of a leader of such a recognized oppressive environment. (Contact Ms. Engle on Twitter -#jaimiengle or email – jaimiengle@cfl.rr.com)

These are a few comments I received back after sending out the schedule to survivors of WOFF. (anonymous – I did not ask permission to reveal names)

“I just read that article. She (Karel) should know all too well what bullying is. She’s been doing it for 20 years.”

“Well…she IS an expert on bullying! Jane said it from the pulpit that is was the gift of God in her!”

“…the disconnect between everything they think they know and stand for….

It is time to speak out. Contact Jaimie Engle by email or Twitter and let her know about WOFF/WFCS and the deeds done to the children in order to have the “600 Piece of Student-Created Art”. Ask her to refuse to carry on this charade by sharing the platform with Karel Reynolds.

In the words of David Pelzman, “WOFF puts the funk on the word- dysfunctional.” That sums it up for now.
Continue reading Bullying in the Name of Jesus- Revisited- Karel Reynolds Shares Insights? Speak out!

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Controversy over support of WOFF Holocaust Museum continues (video)

The drama in Florida concerning the Word of Faith Fellowship(WOFF)-Word of Faith Christian School (WFCS)Holocaust Museum added another chapter Tuesday night. The city council of Cocoa held their first monthly meeting for April. Included in the public comment section were two individuals from the local Sister Cities group seeking continued support from the city, and President of Temple Beth Shalom, David Pelzman who spoke for the local Jewish community in reconsidering the council’s resolution of support for the WFCS Holocaust exhibit.

The lady speaking for the Sister Cites group admitted her organization found out about the WOFF indictments in March. That is not in dispute. What is in dispute is when did Ron Shelton, Program Director of the upcoming display, know about the five WOFF Indictments?

The Sister Cities representative put forth the idea that the indictments had nothing to do with the children or the museum. She asked for continued support of the Sister Cities project.

David Pelzman made an impassioned presentation on behalf of the local Jewish community. He stated that Ron Shelton was presented information about the indictments in mid-December. Going on, he pleaded with the council to see the children of the school as no different from the leaders, members and the work of the church. He stated the Jane Whaley is the leader of the church and a principal and teacher in the school. He likened the Holocaust display to the true story of the concentration camp, Theresienstadt. At this camp, the Germans organized a concert given by Jewish prisoners “who could play music” against the background of a “Hollywood set” to the watching eyes of the International community. He recognized no difference in what WOFF does in using the “Holocaust museum project to hide (from) the eyes of a moralistic and ethical society.”
Continue reading Controversy over support of WOFF Holocaust Museum continues (video)

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“Dishonesty is the result of perfectionism.” – Nori Muster

After leaving the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) conference held in early July, I have an increased desire to learn about dysfunctional groups, the results of being involved in such groups and how to heal from involvement in them. These desires have led to searching and more time spent reading. As sometimes happens when I am reading more than one book at a time, the ideas in each resource begin to cross-pollinate and relationships are noticed between the materials. As mentioned in the previous post, I am reading- “Rebuilding Shattered Lives: Treating Complex PTSD and Dissociative Disorders” by James A Chu, (Copyright©2011 by John Wiley and Sons, Inc. Hoboken, NJ ISBN- 978-0-470-76874-7). The author focuses on treatment models for adults who have experience abuse in their childhood.

At the same time, I have been reading – “Cult Survivors Handbook: How to live in the Material World Again” by Nori Muster. (Copyright©2010 by Nori Muster, published by Blurb.com, www.norimuster.com) Though I have not completely finished either book, I need to share the understanding that has come so far. [As a disclaimer, by quoting these works I do not assume any endorsement by either author of my conclusions or my work on this blog. ]

In this post, I will provide resources supporting the title and relate the findings to the high-demand faith group, Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF), which I departed in July of 2008. I will also quote from Chu’s work in describing the results of child abuse as seen in adults. My contention is that the perfectionism in WOFF has highly detrimental effects on its members and requires dishonesty on several levels in order to remain a faithful member.
Continue reading “Dishonesty is the result of perfectionism.” – Nori Muster

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Adult Members Suffer “Child Abuse” at WOFF

Many times the question comes up to me concerning how people can become a member in a group such as Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF)? In answering this question, I often reflect on my own path into the group. While considering that road, I must also admit not everyone joins following the path I did, nor does everyone become a “faithful” member in the same time frame as me. Though the dynamics of influence are the same for almost everyone to be connected or drawn into WOFF; each individual has different needs and may identify with different positive parts of the WOFF presentation in order to decide to join. Some may need a job or place to live, while others need financial help, child care or just new friends. Likewise, not everyone becomes emerged in the sub-culture to the same level on a set timeline. That being said, not everyone develops the same intense dependency on the leader, Jane Whaley; but, I would contend that every faithful member develops some degree of dependency and that level of dependency determines their evolving emotional state and how they respond to the punishment for breaking the unwritten rules.

Regardless of how difficult as it is for those on the outside to understand how an adult could become so dependent on another adult for very common basic decisions, it is the state that many faithful WOFF members find themselves in– daily. Just how that happens has been discussed in previous posts on this blog. For now, let’s acknowledge that it does and that it is a common occurrence in high-demand faith groups which use mind control techniques. We will use a few resources to confirm that fact.

“Cult members are expected to surrender autonomy, and often must ask permission for routine activities, like using the bathroom.” (Releasing the Bonds, Steven Hassan, Copyright©2000, Freedom of Mind Press)

As previously mentioned on this blog, WOFF controls many aspects of a member’s private time in the bathroom, especially the males.
Continue reading Adult Members Suffer “Child Abuse” at WOFF

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