Category Archives: Uncategorized

Repost of Podcast Explains Struggles of Life Inside WOFF

After publishing “Locked in”, I was afforded the opportunity to participate in an interview from Steve and Becky Lyles. The connection was over Skype and the sound quality is not perfection, but it is adequate. During this podcast, I answer questions about life inside of Word of Faith Fellowship. This was recorded before the AP Investigation- Broken Faith was released.

Listen, comment and share. I go into more detail here than in the book.

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Winds of Destruction- listen here.

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AP – Broken Faith- Unconventional Rules on Sex and Marriage

This article details some of the odd but absolute rules for those in relationships and married couples. I have included a few excerpts. The full report is here.

SPINDALE, N.C. (AP) — When it comes to relationships, marriage and sex, Word of Faith Fellowship members must follow strict and unusual rules — or risk severe punishment, former members say.
Some of the edicts:

— Congregants need permission from leader Jane Whaley and other ministers to get married, and it then can take months — or even a year — before the newlyweds are allowed to have sex.

— No one is allowed to date without permission, and most relationships and marriages are arranged by Whaley and ministers.

— On their wedding night, couples are permitted only a “godly peck on the cheek.” When they get in bed together, they must roll over and go to sleep.

— For all married couples, love-making is limited to 30 minutes, no foreplay is allowed, the lights must be turned off and only the missionary position is sanctioned.”

In my book, “Locked In”– I share some of the same odd practices. I detail many of the same rules as mentioned in the above article and the one following. I list 145 rules in my book. The list was never written down; you were expected to remember “by the Spirit of God.” Of course, when you forgot one, you were “in sin and out of God’s will” and subject to a rebuke or worse.

“Sect rules include no TV, movies or reading newpapers”
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AP Investigation – Broken Faith (main video)

The Associated Press has released its extensive report centering on the abuses suffered by ex-members of the Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) in Spindale, North Carolina. There are two main articles released so far and a video containing testimony of ex-members. More media will be released in a few hours. Below is the full video which now includes the WOFF response.

The first article titled “Ex-congregants reveal years of ungodly abuse”.

Continue reading AP Investigation – Broken Faith (main video)

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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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AP Investigation “Broken Faith” Promo video

This Associated Press Exclusive promo video came across the AP Twitter account earlier today. Please, share across all social media and email. Visit here later this evening for more info on the AP Investigation reports.

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Survivor of WOLCC Speaks Out as Defendants are Sentenced

A few days ago, I received an email from Kristel Leonard. She is a former longtime member of Word of Life Christian Church (WOLCC) in Chadwicks, New York. Her message to me offered to answer questions about her brothers, Lucas and Christopher Leonard. I immediately became interested in her perspective and story. Recently, she publically began speaking out about the damaging effects of mind control. Today’s post is about Monday’s sentencing hearing. In a future post we will hear from Kristel as she recalls her time inside WOLCC and her exit from the group.

As a review:

On Sunday, October 11, 2015; Lucas and his younger brother, Christopher, were called into a “counseling session” by the leader of WOLCC church. Pastor Tiffanie Irwin arranged the meeting which stretched into the wee hours of the next morning. From what authorities learned later, the two teens confessed to sins never committed in an effort to be expelled from the group that after many years they wanted to leave. Investigations revealed these feigned confessions resulted in an untethered rage and anger fueling physical violence ending in the death of Lucas and severe injury to Christopher. Authorities also believe that statements from leader and Pastor Tiffanie Irwin being in contact with her brother who was participating; added to the intensity from which she bore culpability for the outcome.
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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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