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Information Control – Books -part 5 (cont.)

     As we continue on the subject of Information control and books, let me relate my personal experience. Seniors in the church school would dual enroll in certain approved classes through a not so local community college. The one class I had personal knowledge of was an online version of a class on the Holocaust. It was open to adults in the church by the teacher and I wanted to enjoy some time with a high school student taking the class. My knowledge of the subject was very limited.

     The book list was not long. I did read most of the material. One book was a pictorial of the time period. So, per the teacher, my book was “covered with sticky notes” by another concerned teacher close to the situation. So, as an adult my book was censored. Why did I let it happen? “You never want to appear “ungrateful” for someone taking the time to cover an “unclean picture” that “may attack you”… In order to continue with the class, I went along. The goal then was spending time with the student – not proving a point on censorship. The time spent with that student was more important than making waves. The goal was accomplished. I enjoyed the class regardless of the censorship.

     Why bring it up? It proves many points. One was the lengths people inside a mind control group will go to in order to get along and stay, versus being singled out and corrected in front of the group or their family. I wanted to be a part of the class and knew compliance to the censorship was not an option, but a requirement.

      Next, the teacher of the class at the community college holds a leadership position in WOFF. She preaches fairly often from the pulpit, as Jane allows and also serves as one of the administrators of the church sponsored school. She has taken Holocaust projects from her students and displayed them at certain public venues in the area, in years past. Her main class at the community college is the Holocaust class. She should be very familiar with Hitler’s Information control methods used to separate the German people from the outside world. Hitler’s learning position came as a “propaganda officer” in earlier years.

     In April of 2008, during a sermon preached at WOFF; this teacher in the school and community collage chided in a very demeaning manner anyone in the church who wanted to read the newspaper, watch TV or listen to the radio. She mocked this “person” by saying, “I just want to know, I just want to know…” She wagged her head and used a very mocking tone. The irony was so overwhelming! She has studied the effects of Information control during Hitler’s reign of terror. Yet, she gave her personal endorsement from the pulpit of WOFF for censorship, OBVIOUSLY with Jane Whaley’s approval. This person’s message was in total agreement with messages Jane had preached in years past. How could this teacher in the community college setting deny what she had studied in the years past? Does she not even doubt in her own mind the harm of using censorship on a group of people?– Or in her mind, “Do the ends justify the means”? Again, as Hassan writes, “When you control the information that a person is allowed to receive, you limit their capacity for independent thought.” (Releasing the Bonds, copyright 2000, page 42)  Her involvement in WOFF continues to be a subject of amazement.

     What more can be said on this incident? What price do people pay to stay in a group such as WOFF? What is the cost of ignoring the obvious Information control that exists in both FLDS and WOFF ? What advantage does this teacher derrive from ignoring her knowledge of well documented mind control in Hitler’s reign and be a willing accomplice to push the SAME MIND CONTROL on the folks at WOFF?

     “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” – Adolph Hitler

     Please, consume the information on this site responsibly. Be sure to tell every member that you know at WOFF about this blog. It could very well save their life. There are some good readers inside of WOFF. I know for sure.. 🙂

      (Please, take time to read the Terms of Use for this personal blog. As mentioned, the information about WOFF is from my memories and recollections as perfect as that may be or not be. )

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FLDS vs. WOFF – the Similarities – part 5

     In “Releasing the Bonds”, (copyright 2000) Steven Hassan outlines the characteristics or marks of groups that practice mind control. He supplies the B.I.T.E. model as an easy way to remember the major parts of his well researched ideas. We mentioned this in the first post: Behaviour control, Information control, Thought control and Emotional control.

     Let us look at some ways that both FLDS and WOFF use Information control. Hassan writes, “When you control the information that a person is allowed to receive, you limit their capacity for independent thought.” Hassan explains the areas o f control;  “2. Access to non-cult sources of information minimized or discouraged  a. Books, articles, newspapers, magazines, TV, radio” (pages 42, 43) (emphasis added)

     We can stop here and immediately see similarities between FLDS and WOFF. Brent Jeffs in “Lost Boy”writes that ” in my early childhood, the church was nowhere near as strict as it became. We were allowed children’s books… Later, Winnie and his friends were banned by Warren, who thought humanlike animals was sacrilegious. Ultimately, the only books he allowed were the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and his own teachings.” (page 55)  Then later, “Even books- particularly children’s books – were forbidden. The images in these books were idols. Kids should learn to read from the Book of Mormon or from Warren’s approved writings. Unapproved books were burned at Short Creek.” (page 103)

     Elissa Wall in “Stolen Innocence”writes, ” While we were able to watch TV when I was much younger, life had grown more constricted under Rulon Jeff’s direction. In an attempt to cleanse the people of all outside influences, he banned television, films, and video games. Through Uncle Warren we’d been told that the prophet had ordered that all the books in the school library that were not priesthood approved be burned…  ” (page 37)

     As with FLDS, WOFF has gone through changes in the degree of information control over the years. Some areas have become more strict and some less. Television has been a “no-no” in regular member’s homes for many years. At the church, the television sets are called “monitors” so the children won’t be “confused”. These monitors are connected via a closed circuit broadcast system set-up in the buildings on the property. As mentioned, Jane has at least one television in her home and “God tells her when to watch it”. Other folks would “give over to it when God didn’t say and it would take them over.” So, that is why “regular” members don’t have TVs in their home.

     Radio is “of the devil” and many a person has been scalded in front of the church for being caught or admitting to listening to the radio in their car. That “music or whatever you “gave to” (listened to) will take you to hell!”. One lady said that her  husband was listening to music in his car while he drove around for work; was one reason they separated and eventually divorced. She found evidence of that music in his car! He would not stop listening to music that was not church (Jane ) approved! 

     Children’s books: ALWAYS a big deal at WOFF. Earlier on, I can’t remember one approved children’s book. Later, a member who serves as a librarian in a public school, would bring books to Jane and others in leadership for approval. She then would offer them for sale as a “fund raiser” for the christian school…? So, that was nothing but a seed bed of strife as something obviously would be missed and a parent would fuss because their child saw something “ungodly”. Eventually, the person who “approved” the book would stand up and admit they had missed something and as Sam would put it “every man for himself..” Which never was the case, since everyone lived so closely, that ANY book your child had someone else would see and if it did not “feel right” to them you would be reported… 

     Then there was the “sticky note” solution. Just cover that picture with a sticky note! And warn the children- if they lifted the sticky note, they would be in big trouble! It would show them that there was SIN in their life! Well, I know of what I write because at times, to help a teacher in the school; I would cover the pictures  in the children’s school books- myself! Yes, I am guilty! Why? It was the accepted practice and to kept things going smoothly, you helped the teacher. You NEVER asked “Why are we doing this?” Rest assured, I have seen the error of my ways.

     Things at WOFF may be different now, but I seriously doubt it. There was a time when there was a push to simply write their own curriculum. (Now, that would be an FLDS, Warren Jeffs thing –  if I had ever heard of one!) Not sure how that has progressed or died away. There had been a publicized push years ago for the school to get accredited. That was put on hold with Jane’s assault trial. Not sure if the push has begun again.

     We will continue in the next post with more on books.  Then, lets talk about magazines and the dreaded newspaper. I do hear a whole lot of “quacking” goin’ on!

Please, consume the information on this site responsibly. Be sure to tell every member that you know at WOFF about this blog. It could very well save their life. There are some good readers inside of WOFF. I know for sure.. 🙂

(Please, take time to read the Terms of Use for this personal blog. As mentioned, the information about WOFF is from my memories and recollections as perfect as that may be or not be. )

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FLDS vs. WOFF – the Similarities – part 4

     As the list similarities between FLDS and WOFF grows, it is evident that the mode of operation used by the two leaders is the same. There is evidence of strong control and autocratic leadership methods in each group. FLDS being patriarchal and WOFF being matriarchal; with one central figure in each group who holds the power. (before Warren Jeffs “retired” with his arrest..)

     Warren Jeffs was reported in “Lost Boy” as thinking of “himself as a singer/songwriter, but from my perspective (Brent Jeffs) he really didn’t qualify as either…His singing was amplified over that of the congregation, and often sounded off-key.” (page 59)

     Jane Whaley also took the position as main songwriter in WOFF. She admittedly had no formal training for music, but that did not stop her. She would write songs often “hearing” them during a service. The whole order of service was predicated on whatever Jane “heard from God”; so we stopped and listened as Jane and her support group would gather around the piano and hammer out another song. The whole congregation was expected to “pull on God” to help “birth in the song of the Lord”.. Not every time was a song finished, it may be shelved until a later time.

     In addition, ALL songs sung during praise and worship or any part of the service had to be Jane approved. If Jane was not in the sanctuary, you can rest assured she would be listening on the monitor in her office. (if she was in town) Occasionally, when she was out of town, she still would be listening to the service. Or she could be called by a lieutenant who suspected something was “not right with the music.” She has called back in on her cell phone and corrected whoever was leading the music. That person got things “off track” and she would call to “get things back in the direction God wanted them to go…”.

      Most services the musical instruments would be a piano, electric keyboard and one guitar. Other instruments were added and taken away from time to time according to “what was working in the musicians” at the time. Jane finally heard from God that children could learn to play instruments. Then, some let the instruments occupy a “bigger place in their heart than Jesus”, so Jane stopped music lessons for a long while. As of late, I hear certain children have begun to play their instruments again, “after getting their breakthroughs…”

     There would be no playing of the instruments at home unless “leadership had a ahold of it”…  Jane did not want the children to “be taken over by the music devil”..

     There were three refugees from the Christian music industry that had taken refuge at WOFF. ( I suppose they are still there..) One had been a recording artist and traveled as a drummer with a rock music “superstar”. He had stories that he mainly kept to himself as he has fought drug addition for years. He has been in and out of the church several times over the years. He would always “find a place of repentance” and Jane would let him back up on stage to sing after who knows how many battles with drugs??…  Another man from a European country was an expert sound mixer or producer. He had helped bring certain music styles from Europe to America several years ago. He also had been part owner in a specialty guitar manufacturing company in Europe. The third “refugee” was a Christian music producer out of Nashville who had worked with several leading Christian recording artists. Each would get up and warn the young people of the horrors of not “submitting to Jesus” while playing or singing the song of the Lord. They would name names of several leading Christian artists who had major messes in their personal lives…

     In “Lost Boy”, Brent Jeffs explains the restrictions on movies and music. “Movies were especially bad and to be avoided… And, of course, radio and tapes and CDs— except for Warren’s hymns and speeches— were blasphemous and could get you in trouble if you were caught with them. Some people would listen to his sermons on tape throughout the day.” (page 103) (emphasis added..)

     In “Stolen Innocence”, Elissa Wall writes, “We were encouraged to listen to tapes of Uncle Warren’s important sermons as frequently as we could. Often in school we would hear these tapes wafting out of the loudspeakers as we went about our day. We also would listen to them at home the way other families would listen to music.. I searched for answers in the tapes… If I didn’t understand something, it was better not to say it aloud than appear to be questioning priesthood principles.” (page 52)

     For years at WOFF, the only approved music tape was a praise and worship tape that WOFF produced. We wore out our copy. Also, like FLDS; we were encouraged to hear every service by coming back to the church and listening to the tape; if we had missed it for some reason. And for those “in discipleship” or on “church discipline” – listening to tapes of Jane’s sermons was an important part of “submitting your heart to find a place of repentance” or find out “where you had missed God.”..

    As with FLDS,  movies were not allowed at WOFF. But, Jane did allow folks to “hear God” if they should go to see “The Passion” a few years ago. It was truly a sight to see all those WOFF members in a movie theatre! It was strange, you were being watched to see if you were “giving over” and liking or lusting after the whole movie thing. We all came back to the church for prayer afterwards. The next service, one lieutenant got up and told everyone how wicked the movie was and we all were encouraged to repent for going. Jane had not gone. But, she knew ahead of time this movie would “test our hearts” to see if we still had the “movie devil” in us…

      Again, the similarities between FLDS and WOFF stare us in the face. I close with a quote from one who was revered at WOFF, Ronald Reagan. His funeral was taped and watched as a church service. No one watched it at home,  since no one but Jane admitted to having a TV in their house. “God told Jane” when to watch television. Many times she would watch “Christian” television. She would come back and update us on who “had truth” and who didn’t. I can’t remember her ever saying she totally agreed with any television preacher. Also, Larry King’s last interviewed with Tammy Faye Baker was taped and shown to the whole church..please, tell me why? We also watched as a church, the History Channel’s documentary on the “Origins of Christmas”. But that is for another day…

Okay, here is the simple quote:

“Facts are stubborn things.” – Ronald Reagan

Has anyone seen a “duck” lately?

Please, consume the information on this site responsibly. Be sure to tell every member that you know at WOFF about this blog. It could very well save their life. There are some good readers inside of WOFF. I know for sure.. 🙂

(Please, take time to read the Terms of Use for this personal blog. As mentioned, the information about WOFF is from my memories and recollections as perfect as that may be or not be. )

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Why Am I Explaining These Points?

     I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. – Thomas Jefferson

     Considering the above quote: Do cult mind control groups thrive on “tyranny over the mind of men”?    

     Why am I doing this? Why go to the extent to breakdown the similarities between FLDS and WOFF? First off, having been in WOFF for many years and under the near complete delusion that all was well within that group; it fascinates me to see how wrong I have been. It completely has my attention that I let the “little things” and questions go unanswered and allowed myself to be a part of a group that is SO FAR from normal. The nagging questions on the inside of me were not just “the devil”. It was the voice of sound reason, common sense and God wanting me to wake-up! Amazing…

     There were things that the group provided that I wanted. There was a camaraderie that existed when it was an “us against the world” kind of deal. You rarely ever stopped and ask “Why?” Why do so many folks think we are a cult? Why are there protesters in the street leading to the church holding signs about Jonestown and other such things? Why do so many other local churches organize a group to help folks get out of here? Why do we write down license plate numbers of strange cars when they come down the street? Why do the men dress so much alike? Why do the women have to show their new dresses in front of the whole congregation and take them back to the store if someone else already has that dress? Why did we all shave the facial hair off (if you had any…) in some euphoric demonstration of adherence to a new religious rule? Why do we men submit to the “only white or blue shirts” in the church services? Who first voiced that rule? How did I feel when other men got called out for having the wrong color shirt on in the sanctuary? How did I ignore this? Why did Jane explain the proper way to put toilet paper on the roll during a church service? Why did even the children correct or point out folks who did not follow the “toilet paper” rule? Why are we not allowed to take notes during a church service? Why is the leadership in general and Jane specifically so concerned with appearance? Does ironing your khakis make you a better Christian? Does wearing blue jeans “take you to hell”?

     There were things going on that never set right with me. But, what do you do? You know that voicing ANY negative thoughts or just plain good old fashion questions could land you in hot water. (you could be put in “church discipline” or even put out of the church – just for asking questions. Does that sound healthy?)  So, now that I can learn the answers to the questions I was never supposed to ask; it actually is overwhelming at times. It is hard to think about many other things other than getting answers and sharing them. Answers for me could help someone else who dares asks the same questions… Could WOFF actually be the ONLY group in the world that has it right? Are we the only ones that are going to make it in the end times? Now at WOFF, it was said, “We know we are not the only ones with Truth. There has to be other groups out there, we just have not found them yet..” As far as I know, there never was a search party sent out to find the “other groups” who had Truth. It was just known that others were “not walking where we were.. others did not have the revelation we had…”

     In “Lost Boy”, Brent Jeffs reflects on a time in sixth grade when a boy spoke up with a similar question.  “..(he) asked how our people could be the only ones in the world who are right. I can still remember the teacher’s reaction. It was as if she’d been hit in the face. She immediately grabbed the kid and dragged him into the hallway, shouting “You come with me. NOW!” I don’t know what happened to him, but we didn’t see him until the end of the day and no one ever asked a question like that again.” (page 75)

     So, yes to a large degree this whole practice is therapeutic. And it is a joy to think that others are concerned or even interested in my journey. For it is the similarities between the two groups that help draw obvious conclusions. If it quacks like a duck, if it waddles like a duck… it is more than likely a DUCK! FLDS is a “duck” for sure, and the case is being presented that WOFF is a “duck”. Be assured, there are yet more similarities to expound upon.

Please, consume the information on this site responsibly. Be sure to tell every member that you know at WOFF about this blog. It could very well save their life. There are some good readers inside of WOFF. I know for sure.. 🙂

(Please, take time to read the Terms of Use for this personal blog. As mentioned, the information about WOFF is from my memories and recollections as perfect as that may be or not be. )

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FLDS vs. WOFF – the Similarities – part 3

     Elissa Wall with Lisa Pulitzer wrote “Stolen Innocence“. (copyright 2008) In this book, Ms. Wall explains many aspects of the daily life in a polygamous household. She also explains church history and authority structures of how the FLDS was run.

     The “prophet” had far reaching power and authority in FLDS. “The prophet decides when two people marry, when families can form, and when families that are not working are to be reorganized.” (pg 17) This power brought with it a lot of fear in the FLDS members. Especially when there was “one man rule”..

     Jane Whaley has this same kind of power and authority at WOFF. She exercises authority over who is married, when households can form and when households are not working, she says when and how they are to be reorganized. This power over members is given by default to Jane by some members. Some members own their own houses with other members living with them. Who lives in that house is STILL dictated by Jane – if you are submitted to “God’s will”. Ultimately, Jane is THE one who hears God in these situations as well as EVERY OTHER question at WOFF. Do not be fooled; if you “join” WOFF, then where you live as well as MANY other things will be under Jane’s direction, either directly or indirectly. Those who live in church owned properties are ALWAYS at the direction of Jane about where they live. Just like FLDS; when the very place you sleep and raise your family is subject to immediate change, there is a level of fear associated with that knowledge which can lead you to ignore many issues and rationalize that it is not worth making a scene or questioning leadership. You could lose your home, your job, your family….if you raise the wrong questions.

     Elissa goes on to explain further. “It was common practice to expel men, and in extreme cases women, whom the priesthood considers a threat… All that’s required is for the prophet or someone acting at his direction to say” “You have lost your priesthood”. The significance of this is enormous for believers, as it creates a culture of fear. If a husband loses his priesthood, his family is literally no longer his. In addition, he has to leave his land and home because his home is owned by the FLDS Church and controlled by the priesthood. Faithful wives and children will accept these decisions and wait to be reassigned to another man. In the meantime, the father is told that his only chance to win back his family is to leave and repent at a distance.” (page 18) (emphasis added by author)

     Elissa Wall continues to share that as she was growing up, “..I was taught that I should never do anything to go against the prophet or priesthood. Doing so would ultimately be going against God himself.” (pg 17-18)

     Who can count the number of families that have been broken up because of the same type of power that Jane Whaley possesses? Who can measure the emotional trauma over hearing either from Jane or one of her lieutenants: “You are out of the church. You need to stay away until you find a place of repentance.” Yes, many times it was men, but at times women were expelled, also. Even the highest ranking lieutenants, were subject to being put out and told to “seek God and repent”. There were times Sam Whaley was rebuked in services by Jane and “put out to find a place of repentance”. Even if you spent years in the church, there was always the underlying  faith destroying fear of “What could that person have done to be put out? I want to know so I don’t do that!” Seeing others “put out” was enough in many cases to keep people in line for months or years. The whole situation was to solidify and consolidate Jane’s power base and make sure all members knew who was in charge. A few times, Jane would recount what a person had done to be kicked out. (some times in veiled terms, sometimes not..) That would even further strengthen the fear of other members! The result was fear of Jane more than God. She “spoke for God” and did not allow others to buck or voice doubt of her perfection in that area.

      During my time at WOFF, the ONLY times I heard Jane repent was for mis-pronouncing a name or mispronouncing a word. She would go through fits and scream at members in the services quite frequently. But, “leave her alone, God must be angry with us as Jane is HIS messenger.” Many times, I heard her come into a service screaming,” The sin in here makes me sick!”.  So, after that the joy was hard to show on our faces and many cowered, “What did I do?” Is it my turn to be blasted?” But, don’t get up to use the bathroom during a service, “You should have done that BEFORE the service.” That was always a big deal; lines in the bathroom before service were always long! Also, don’t ever fall asleep or nod in a service. Jane would say- “That “sleep devil” is attacking some in here! Stand up and move to the back so you can hear the WORD! You may miss the very WORD that would keep you from going to hell!”.

     The very first Sunday service of one seminar a few years ago, it was learned by Jane that a certain senior citizen was going to the local grocery stores and picking up fliers for other member’s to use. Jane looked befuddled and said, “No one told me about that…”. She ordered the lady to stand up. This lady was more than half way back in the sanctuary and not far from where I was sitting. Jane said a few things at a high volume and it was plain to see that the senior was shaking. Jane stormed out, but not before she screamed so all could feel it, “Your sin affects me!” What you do in this community is a reflection of me! It was clear that even the best of intentions mattered not. The lady collapsed in a heap crying. She was in “discipleship” (put in another room and not allowed to be in the sanctuary while watching the services on a monitor) until she found a place of repentance. This was another display of the constant fear-based control that Jane Whaley used and continues to use at WOFF.

     The list of similar characteristics and control techniques in FLDS and WOFF continues to grow. There are more yet to come.

     Please, consume the information on this site responsibly. Be sure to tell every member that you know at WOFF about this blog. It could very well save their life. There are some good readers inside of WOFF. I know for sure.. 🙂

(Please, take time to read the Terms of Use for this personal blog. As mentioned, the information about WOFF is from my memories and recollections as perfect as that may be or not be. )

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FLDS vs. WOFF – the Similarities – part 2

     Brent Jeffs makes it clear in his book, “Lost Boy”; that there were many times that the leadership of the FLDS church coined a special word to soften the meaning or actually hide the true meaning of a phrase or activity. In WOFF, that happened regularly. Many of the phrases have been used already in postings here. However, here is a recap of the terms used in WOFF, either coined or re-defined to meet the needs of leadership, ie. Jane Whaley. (Jane Whaley had the final say as to what term to use and how to use it in any situation.)

     When I first came out of WOFF, I had to re-adjust my vocabulary so many folks could understand what I was saying. To explain the terms I had used meant explaining why I left WOFF and there usually was not time for that while working.

1. Take hold – In WOFF could mean- shape up…? Get with the program! Put a lid on it! Just obey what you have been told! The phrase could mean many things according to the context. “Take hold of that person” – help them “get their heart right” and submit to what ever Jane said or was dictated from the pulpit.

2. Open your Heart, – Share you heart, tell ALL your sin to someone who is “taking hold of your life”… In FLDS- “reporting in” (Lost Boy-pg 120)

3. “Fulfill your call“- move up the ranks and pass on the control to others, repeat the message until others get it through you… It was said many times; “You will never full your call until you help someone else fulfill their call.”  The way this transpired was you finding someone else to “help open their heart” and “take hold of them”.Help them..”find their place of submission in Jesus”, or in the group- which ever was more obvious.

4. Stay submitted”– meant don’t get mad about something that you don’t understand. AND don’t ask any more questions about it! Also, you could be reminded to “be sweet”… One leader spent several sermons talking about how he was learning to “be sweet” and how that “helped” him.

In FLDS; the equivalent- “Keep Sweet“. (Lost Boy-pg 29) You are not supposed to have the “bad feelings” or thoughts- if you did, then don’t voice them.. “Don’t refuse a blessing…”

5. “Everyone loves Jane Whaley and Jane Whaley loves everyone- if they don’t show that love they are listening to the devil!” This was Jane’s admitted rationale statement she used to justify why others may shun her or speak evil of her. She said this thought helped her approach others that may not seem ready to “be sweet” to her… (This will be a posting all by itself later..Have you ever heard of Narcissism?.)

6.  “fine tuning” In WOFF; this meant getting further instruction or interpretation on a situation from Jane.    “Adjustments”- In FLDS,  this meant changes in the rules. (Usually more strict…)

7. “Work Projects“- In WOFF, this was taking time after normal work hours and on Saturdays to work at someone else’s house helping them. It could also be at the church or on a church owned property. Supposedly, there was a list that Jane and one of her close “helpers” kept of houses that needed paint, carpet, or other changes. Early on, many men were told that they needed to get involved in these work projects ESPECIALLY if they had a handyman type skill. I painted for a while until it was obvious that doing this would leave little to NO time for family activities. (which in some cases- men were told that they “gave to perversion” with their family so, why would you need to spend that much time with them?”) Getting involved in helping others would “help you come into your place in the ministry.”  

In FLDS- “Saturday Work Days” – young boys of 14 on up in age were expected to do the SAME THING on Saturday as was mentioned for WOFF. It appears that both groups used the standard “guilt trip” techniques to shame folks into leaving their families and “help” others with their houses. It was meant to save folks money but at what cost?

8. “Receiving a Blessing“- In FLDS, never refuse a blessing, it was seen as ungrateful and nonspiritual and not “being obedient“. Being obedient was a cornerstone of FLDS (and WOFF). (Lost Boy -pg 12, 31)

In WOFF, your “blessing” could have a big mortgage payment or even a large car payment attached to it, strange “blessing” in many cases. Anything that may be evidence of a “prosperous” lifestyle had to be a “blessing”. Sam Whaley often mentioned how his friends would drive through the church parking lot and see the cars of members. They would say “Sam, your folks must be doing good… not an old car in the lot!”… Sam was so happy to hear this!

9. In WOFF- go get “checked out” to see if you are hearing right? Is this time for me to get married?” that is with Jane Whaley of course. Jane claimed to never direct anyone without knowing their was a mutual interest from both parties. But, all relationships and ALL marriages were Jane approved or IT DID NOT HAPPEN. And if a couple “sinned” before they were able to get married, it could be called off or postponed indefinitely by Jane.

In FLDS- a woman could “present herself” for marriage. The prophet would ask her if she had a vision of who should be her husband. If she had heard right, then the prophet may set-up a quick wedding. If not, then he may direct her to go back and pray more or tell her straight out who she would marry.  (Lost Boy -pg 18)

10.  In WOFF- “singles fellowship nights”where a sinlge man and single woman could talk and “be guarded” in their conversation- many times over dinner at the church. These meetings were often accompanied by teaching on “God’s way for relationships”.  

In FLDS – “Fireside gatherings” (Lost Boy -pg 19), FLDS would allow young singles over 15 years old to come together and teach them about Mormon marriage relationships. Afterwards, they would allow them to socialize over snacks.

11. “One man Rule”  (Lost Boy-pg 15), In FLDS, One man rule was just that. Counsel from other men in leadership was not needed or heeded.

In WOFF – in theory, Jane Whaley has a Board of Directors and a group of “leadership” that she asks questions and allows to be in her office when members come in with problems. But, so let it be known, so let it be written – Jane has the final say in EVERY matter of the church. In 16 years, I remember only one time did Jane share her pulpit with an outside speaker (politicians courting the vote…excepted..) Dr. “Z” from Africa was allowed to come speak. After Jane “prayed” for him and he left the building; Jane said he was not “walking where we are” and discounted just about everything the man said. She did not want any “error to take root in us”..

12. In WOFF- “That did not feel right”. The phrase could mean different things at different times. Most of the time someone used this phrase to arrest the attention of someone else about something they did or said. It could involve an individual or a group of folks and by using the phrase; you were putting them on notice that the whole situation was now going to be reviewed by someone in leadership. (most likely – Jane.) Then it could be checked out to see if everyone involved was “giving to Jesus” and “had a hold of Jesus” and, and ,and… many times it was a whole big deal and new doctrines, rules and edicts came from these times. For this was when things were “fine tuned“… What was the outcome? Many times it served as an exhibition of Jane’s power to determine what was sin; who was in sin; who was right and who was “giving to devils” and , and, and, – a further clarification of who was in charge- Jane.

Explaining the special code words and their meaning that has been present in both FLDS and WOFF will take more postings. Let it be sufficient to show the number of code words and their similarities listed in this post are more than just one or two. The “code” words are also indicative of the similar practices in both groups.

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FLDS vs. WOFF – The Similarities – Part 1

     “To Follow by faith alone is to follow blindly.” Benjamin Franklin

     In “Lost Boy” (copyright©2009 by Brent Jeffs and Maia Szalavitz, ISBN-978-0-7696-3177-9) , Brent Jeffs outlines the message he heard preached over and over. It was the basis used for the authority over the lives of the members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of latter Day Saints (FLDS). From his account and others, the preaching and practice seemed to match.

“…We, your leaders, know the Word of God; you must obey us. … Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, … We know what’s good for you. We are God’s prophets, seers and revelators. Our revelations come straight from God Himself… I love you and want to save you in the Celestial Kingdom of God. So, if you will keep the grand teaching that we are trying to get over: Keep the Holy Spirit of God! Keep sweet! It is a matter of life and death.”  (page 60) (emphasis added by blog author)

     Later in the book when describing a survivalist training class taught at the church school: “Like everything else, it made sense only retrospectively- as yet another way the church leadership terrorized and controlled the people. By frightening us, they ensured we would obey unthinkingly, rather than considering how absurd their prophecies really were. It is amazing how well fear can work to surpress rational thought, something I unfortunately experienced over and over during my time in the church.” (page 99) (emphasis added by author)

     These statements and practices were obviously used as a basis for the power and authority structure of FLDS. As with many cults, the authority over the lives of the members was far reaching and fear based. First and foremost in FLDS was dictating the family structure. Wives and children were assigned to men with no consideration for personal feelings. Other daily matters like dress, hairstyle, job selection and entertainment choices were determined by leadership in the church. (reference pages: 26- living arrangements, 56- television,  72- clothing, 90-clothes during swimming, 102 -relationships, 104- idolatry, in the pictures notice the white shirts on the men in picture of them dressed for church, page 185- job selection, pictures of children dressed alike and the list goes on…)     

     What was similar to this at Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF)? Are simple everyday matters of life controlled by Jane Whaley or other lieutenants? Let me begin by noting that not everybody is in the exact same situation at any one given time, in a group like WOFF. New members have been given “more grace” in times past. Also, not every veteran member is required to accept the same control measures from Jane or other lieutenants on every point. My inside knowledge of WOFF stopped July 8, 2008. It actually began to wane before that – starting June 6, 2008. All that being said, I have NO evidence of any major changes within the group from any source either inside or outside.  I am told by a source closer to WOFF, that things for the children have “lightened up”. (more on that later…)   

     So, the degree of oversight or “control” felt by each individual member is different at different times in different situations.  Like FLDS, ” This is the principle on which the government of heaven is conducted- by revelation adapted to the circumstance in which the children of the kingdom are placed“.  (page 60)  

     Now that the disclaimers are finished, we will discuss one area of control exercised in both groups. FLDS: “Reporting in was one of the many ways the church leadership monitored the members. Once a month, every man would report on his life and sins to his priesthood head. Nothing was off limits. You had to tell everything…. You knew it would filter up to Warren if it was bad enough.” (page 120)

     In WOFF, this was called “opening your heart“. It was not limited to once a month and not just to men.  Everyone from children up was encouraged to “tell all” and keep your heart open to the person “taking hold of your life“.  And yes, you knew that “it would filter up to Jane if it was bad enough”… Many times other folks would be implicated and interrogated because of a child’s confession of a matter to an adult that was not their parent. Spouses would tell on spouses and co-workers on co-workers for things done that “may not feel right”..  There was a highly developed reporting system of these “open your heart” sessions.

     “This kept Warren and his henchmen on top of all the gossip and gave them material to use against you if they wanted leverage to keep you in check.” (page 121) The guise was to help, the function and purpose was to control in FLDS and WOFF. More in the posts to come….

P.S. Is there trouble brewing in Brazil?

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