Category Archives: Books, Resources

Books, Resources for learning about religious cults

FaithFreedomFund.org – Q&A

For the past few years, I have worked with the Faith Freedom Fund helping survivors of Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) as well as survivors from other groups. During my time inside of WOFF, there were many misinformed statements made by the leadership about the purpose and people behind this support group. While many of us await the release of the AP Investigation “Broken Faith”; I thought it a good time to address some of the misinformation that was told WOFF members.

First, let me go on record as saying I took help from Faith Freedom Fund (FFF) during my first few months after leaving WOFF. My brother suggested I call the main contact at the time, Cal Sayles. Cal later reminded me of how skittish I was during the first few contacts over the phone. I would not even give him my name until I agreed to meet him at a fast food place in Shelby. There we talked about I don’t remember what- probably my exit drama. After that meeting, I kept in contact from time to time with Cal. Over the years, as I progressed in my open protests walking down Oakland Road, it became a regular thing to pass on survivor requests to the leaders of FFF.

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Valuable Resource: CULTNEWS101.com – FREE Sign-up!

The email alert feature of CULTNEWS101.com has proved to be a very timely and valuable resource. The emails contain a listing of the subjects or groups referenced near the top followed by headlines and links either directly to the source article or back to CULTSNEWS .com. Yes, it is rare that something “free” actually contains value. However, over the last few months, this service has allowed me to follow news stories about groups I was already aware of and introduced me to developing stories about other groups. Not once have I regretted sharing my email address in return for the quality content provided.

The founders of CULTSNEWS101.com are Patrick Ryan and Joe Kelly. I first met them at the 2014 International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) conference in Washington, DC. They were both cordial and helpful in answering my questions. Again, in 2016 at the ICSA conference in Dallas, TX; we met and I felt encouraged talking to Pat. He seemed to recognize we were both warriors on the same team. It wasn’t until I approached Pat about doing an interview for this blog did I realize how experienced and accomplished they both have become over the years. Through email, Pat was kind enough to offer answers to the following questions.
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Choose Yourself, Choose Your Happiness…

Yes, I know. Even writing a title like this one scares me. Deep down inside there is a horn blaring- don’t say that! People will think you are SELFISH! You can’t choose yourself-first! You must do for others first. You are a worthless piece of no count nothing. Remember the song- JOY? Jesus then Others then You… what a wonderful way to spell JOY… Announcement! That song doesn’t tell the whole story. It was a fine song for children in summer vacation Bible school who were learning to share their toys.

Do you have that voice in you? Always consider yourself last. Put others first; others and their needs and their desires ahead of everything you need or want? How is that working for you? Sleeping good at night? Always smiling?

Okay, I know from being a parent there comes time to sacrifice and make choices for your children. Those are not the times and choices I am writing about. I am aiming for those thoughts and habits which don’t consider your own needs and therefore you are not fulfilled and able to make those quality choices which help others around you. Let me explain.

First off, after my time at Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF), I shy away from making blanket endorsements for any man or woman who is teaching their ways to success. It could be business or religion or any other area. I hesitate giving anyone total approval. With that said, today’s post stems from my reading a book by James Altucher: Choose Yourself! –originally published 2013. For disclosure, I am not finished reading this book. It is not a prim and proper book. The language is frank and frontal. However, if you can see past the presentation and hear the message, this book may be one to read.
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“The Crossroads of Should and Must” and Much more…

This series of events has become a pattern for me. I have been coming home late from work, grabbing a snack and plopping down for “a few minutes in front of my small television to watch something to relax me before going to bed…” Ultimately, I fall asleep sitting up sometimes with my contacts in or sometimes not. Startled by an unknown something, I awaken to see some YouTube video playing and immediately wondering how long I had been asleep. I try my best to remember the last time I looked at a clock and do the math. Two? Three? or four hours? Four. It felt like much less time that I had slept.

Last night, I repeated the pattern. After a long shift at work, I arrived home and convincing myself that this time would be different, I promised self to only stay a few minutes on the couch. Well, I am not sure what awakened me just at that moment, but four hours later with my eyes screaming for oxygen, I wake up and see an interview playing on the screen. Two young folks were talking which did not catch my attention at first. Then I honed in on their conversation. They were extolling the benefits of getting the right amount of sleep! Great, as if I did not feel guilty enough, here I wake up on the couch when any normal person would have been in bed getting the “right amount of sleep.”

Next, the lady began to say that when she get the right amount of sleep her dreams were vivid and real and in some ways she felt held keys to her wake hours. She described a sequence of events where she found an apartment which she had dreamed about over and over… Now, I am intrigued. The young man interviewing Elle Luna spoke about her new book. My mind raced, this lady has a book? I grabbed a pen and wrote her name down hoping to search for the book after getting more sleep. Yet, I could not stop watching the interview even after peeling the contacts out of my dry eyes and brushing my teeth.
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Analogy: The Truman Show vs. the Life of a WOFF member

(This post was written and submitted by someone wishing to remain anonymous. I edited for readability and share it now. Comments welcome.)
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Is your boat about to hit the dome?

Recently, I watched The Truman Show (1998) and it is a perfect analogy if you are, or have been a member of the Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF). If you have not, I suggest you to watch it. It is a great movie and will certainly trigger your mind to look at things in an entirely new perspective.

The Truman Show is a movie based on a reality television program, where the central character, Truman Burbank (Jim Carey) lives in a small town. The small town is encapsulated in a huge dome. There are thousands of cameras hidden throughout, and his every movement is captured by one of them.

Since the star was a little child, he thought that where he lived in his town was the best place in the world to live, and there was no place which could even compare. Over and over, the members of WOFF are told that. No better place than Spindale! No other church gives so much truth as we do.

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Sunday Afternoon- Relaxed and Informative (Pictures)

Sunday afternoon was a beautiful day in western North Carolina. The gathering at Great Expectations and More in Rutherfordton turned out to be a gentle reflection of the outside weather. Mary Hornback and her family were so kind to open their doors again to a reading from “Locked in” and a time of questions and answers. Those in attendance were responsive with some very insightful questions. Words are hard to find to fully express the satisfaction of knowing the truth about the Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) is getting out week after week, month as month since the release of my book, “Locked in”, in September 2015.
Friends and followers of the saga came together to direct questions and express their concerns and observations. My hopes are that everyone left with hope for changes in the near future. There are more copies available and keep checking for announcements for future events.

2016- The Year of Change in Rutherford County! (Thank you, Mary for the pictures! )

Sunday, Feb. 28th
Sunday, Feb. 28th

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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.
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