Tag Archives: B.I.T.E. Model

“It is never too late to wake-up and leave…” Steve Hassan (video)

Over the last few weeks, there has been a major increase in the supply of material that is fitting for this blog. It has been hard to focus on what to post next. Today, I received notice of this video and stopped everything to watch it. The speaker is Steve Hassan, a leading author and expert in mind control techniques and an ever-giving resource of help for those wanting to understand cults and their nuances. We have featured his work on this blog before; however, this video has some timely comments on current events surrounding the subject of cults and mind control. We will review a few excerpts and tie them back to subjects discussed previously on this blog.

The video is less than twenty-five minutes long. He recently spoke at the Society for  Ethical Culture in NY and apparently he has many friends there.

Continue reading “It is never too late to wake-up and leave…” Steve Hassan (video)

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If WOFF is SO Safe, Then Why the Constant Drama?

   During my years at Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF), I never considered the group “unsafe”. Why? Well, at first glance, it appears to be a “Christian” church group that may take certain beliefs to an extreme application. For most of the beliefs, I went along and did not question. What about the constant drama scenes that occurred? How did that affect the morale or outlook of regular members? From my memory, during my time inside the group, I believed many of the explanations put forth to justify the drama of those inside the group and the major exit dramas of those who left or were put out. Many of the years while inside the group, I was not looking for a way out or alternative explanations for the nagging questions or very repetitive drama scenes.

   But, the drama scenes continued to occur and after a while even a very faithful WOFF member has to wonder – Why? So, what were some of the reasons put forth for the emotional upheavals and seemingly dramatic exits for what some considered as “faithful” WOFF members? Yes, I know we have discussed this here before on the blog, but, I have an additional point to make today.

WOFF is UNSAFE
Near the End of the Walk

   Continue reading If WOFF is SO Safe, Then Why the Constant Drama?

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Don’t Smash Those Pennies!

   Thursday, while I was working at a Credit Union, I came across a jar full of change gathered from different places within the office. I notice an odd shaped “smashed penny” in the jar! For those that may not remember, that was CONTRABAND at Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF)! Yes, it is true. So, I fished around in the jar and found another one and took them out. Oh, how evil was I? I put them in my pocket and proceeded to the manager’s office to explain this “contraband”. This was obviously a very minute issue on their radar and it hardly garnered any response at all. Why? I think because this person had ceased to be amazed at the absurdities I tell them about WOFF regulations AND the fact that it was a PENNY! To this person, there were/are bigger issues in life.

   Below is a quote from the post about this issue at WOFF. It was originally posted on March 20, 2010. I have added some comments which add more understanding.

More Don’ts for the WOFF “Don’t List”  http://religiouscultsinfo.com/?p=1087

While on family getaways or day trips, who has not seen the machines that take pennies and imprints an image on them? Well, some young folks close to me (my children!) enjoyed collecting those pennies very much. One service, one of the teachers and assistant principal of the school (Jennifer C.) got up to make the new “don’t” known to all. “No more smashing pennies! You are destroying government property.”  I am not sure, but she may have been (gagging on and) swatting gnats at the same time she was telling us this new don’t. Does this one make sense? Please, comment if you are a penny smasher.

  Okay, I admit, I enjoyed the whole penny smashing/collecting deal. I was actually excited to find the pennies in the jar. Having been away from WOFF since July 2008, I must admit I never researched to see if Jennifer C. was onto something or was she blowing WOFF smoke in order to make herself feel better and win some kind of favor with the Queen Rule Maker? So, I did a search just now and found the following answer to “Is smashing pennies legal?”

Continue reading Don’t Smash Those Pennies!

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“Using Wisdom”

     As I read different books by different cult survivors and cult experts and learn that the phrases and actions that I experienced at Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) were NOT unique in many regards; it still continues to shock me. Before leaving WOFF, I would have NEVER conceded that there was any other group in America, much less several other groups, that acted and behaved as we did at WOFF. Call it ignorance, call it naïveté. Call it a willful blindness to the very few warnings were allowed to slip past the guard of Jane Whaley and those in leadership. Whatever you call it, I suspect I am not the only one. For those other survivors who have left WOFF, I hope you are learning along with me. For those outside of WOFF, who have never been in a controlling group, my shock is probably hard to comprehend. Nonetheless, we move on with our review of a book written by a survivor of another group with many similarities to WOFF.

       We have posted from this source before. “Breaking the Chains” Overcoming the Spiritual Abuse of a False Gospel (Copyright © 2009 by Shari Howerton, ISBN- 978-0-9713499-4-0). This book has been an emotional read for me. The feelings and emotions of the author come through clearly in many places and I can readily identify with her. It has been hard to read more than a few chapters at one time because of my own memories that so mirror many reflections of the author. In the chapter titled, “Using Wisdom”, I found material that I was very familiar with. The author writes, “Growing up in such a tight-knit community leads to lives becoming deeply intertwined. Most marry within the group.” (page 160) Let me stop here and mention that though I did not grow-up within WOFF, I spent many years there and became very intertwined in several lives. At WOFF, NO ONE marries outside the group. NO ONE even has a friendship/dating relationship with the opposite sex, outside of WOFF. If you want a relationship of that nature outside of WOFF, you leave the group to pursue it. Do I need to mention names, here? So, WOFF is MORE controlling than the author’s group.

     Continue reading “Using Wisdom”

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Permanent Dependent Underclass? at WOFF? (1)

     This phrase has been used to describe certain groups of people in years past. This description has been used to describe folks who are being supported in various ways on a long term basis. Through the dependency and all that entails, their own abilities to provide for themselves are curbed or eliminated. Thus, they become dependent on the programs or government in place at the time. It is not “permanent” unless the folks believe they have no way out or deserve to be supported.

     As I have heard discussions about this topic nationally, it made me consider what I had seen and been a witness to in years past. Was one effect of living at Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) under the direction of Jane Whaley; to move members to total dependence on Jane and the “benefits” of living at WOFF? Think about how many folks live who are members of WOFF. At my last count, there were about 20 companies or independent contractors a person could with or work for. There was also the Christian school. My numbers are not current, but the meaning is still there.

     When my tenure began to draw to a close, I lived in a WOFF household. I worked for a company owned by WOFF church members. Except for my part-time income, all of our family income was tied to or related in some way to WOFF. My “family” doctor was a WOFF church member. My podiatrist was a WOFF member. The electrician and plumber who came to fix things at the house were WOFF members. There was a WOFF church member owned restaurant where you could eat breakfast or lunch. Previously, there had been a furniture store to buy furniture or Jane’s adopted daughter would buy home furnishings and sell it to members of the church. There were two very talented seamstresses who could repair or make clothes, as well as curtains and complete bed sets. In the church ‘bookstore”, ladies could be premium make-up. (Not really many books sold there.)

     Continuing on, there was a fellow who did excellent cabinetry and one who could frame anything that stood still. There were painters and carpenters and folks who could install carpet. There was even one fellow who performed pressure washing on houses or vehicles. Of course, Sam Whaley would buy cars and trucks from the Statesville Auto Auction, when a member needed. There was a realty company. The financial aide director for the local community college was a WOFF member- that helped. Talking to the right person (WOFF member) could get you appliances at a deep discount. Last count in 2008, there were four home-grown attorneys and one lady who sold/sells insurance for just about any need. One fellow was in residency to finish his medical training. Another man attended University of South Carolina Medical school. One doctor in Tryon, NC was a dermatologist and he had WOFF staffers, though he was not a WOFF member. There was one dentist in town, who was not a WOFF member, but two of his assistants were WOFF members.

    Continue reading Permanent Dependent Underclass? at WOFF? (1)

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The WOFF “Don’t” List – Part 5

      We move on to the fifth installment in the series titled, “The WOFF “Don’t” List”.  The subjects are varied. We will pick back up with games. There were/are so many “don’ts” in the area of entertainment.

      Steven Hassan in “Releasing the Bonds” (copyright 2000) explains the “B” in his “B.I.T.E.” model. The “B” stands for “Behavior control“. Defined as the “Regulation of individual’s physical reality… the list includes regulation of clothes, hairstyles worn, food the person eats, drinks, amount of sleep and financial dependence. This next part is a direct quote, “Little or no time spent on leisure, entertainment, vacations.” (page 42) During my time at WOFF, there was very little time for adults to spend on leisure or entertainment.

     One entire service was spent delving into what possessed several men and young boys to be taken over by the “ping pong devil”.The competition for the “King of Ping Pong” of course did not measure up to previous “don’ts” established at WOFF. The meeting ended as all participants were led to repent to Jesus and to the whole church as well as Jane Whaley personally. After that service, the pool table did not have a chance! Yet, another entry in the “don’t” column.

     Just a quick one, here. WOFF members don’t whistle. Jane said “It was better to sing the words and not loose confusion”. Besides, whistling in mixed company could be mis-understood.

      One service several years ago, Jane Whaley stood up and held up a set of camping toys. They had been left on the previous Friday night in one of the classrooms. She was using this to make a point. “Who did this?” She went on, not waiting for someone to admit the “sin” and explained we “don’t” allow these toys. “It teaches our children that playing with fire is okay”. The person who felt responsible stood up and interupted Jane to admit their gross sin. Jane is all her loving caring attitude snapped back and told the person that she already knew who did it. She was not going to reveal it in front of everyone. (She obviously was using the scene to further establish her power as sole authority on children and toys…) The person sat back down and finished taking their scalding in the privacy of their own thoughts. Similar scenes were played out with play tools. “We don’t let our children have those. They will confuse them with real tools and could get cut or hurt handling a real tool when no one is looking.” When would that happen? WOFF children are not left alone at any point. Well, that is the way things were years ago. “Don’t leave them alone, the devil is waiting to attack them.”

     At one point before my time at WOFF ended, there were 34 children under 5 years old. (as far as I can remember..) I saw several playing with toy musical instruments. Cute. But, also another “don’t” from previous years that changed to a “do”. Reason: “We have ahold of these children at a higher level. They don’t have the systems in them that your children did. God can trust them with more.”  Another example, years ago a “don’t” was concerning children’s Bibles. “We don’t give them the ones with pictures. After all, those pictures don’t show Jesus as he really was…” Before my departure, that “don’t” switched to a “do”. I saw many children’s Bibles with pictures and shortened stories. Years ago, another don’t was not allowing children to make noises like animals. Well, that changed. I heard certain ones quacking like ducks and mooing like cows. Cute. But, some “don’ts” seem to be relative. It depends on who your relatives are as to exactly how many don’ts are placed on you…                  (see quote from Steven Hassan in part 4 http://religiouscultsinfo.com/?p=750   )    

      Don’t be late going anywhere if you are a member of WOFF. One called prayer service during the week, in March of 2008; Jane announced that the doors would be locked at 7:00PM. She was tired of people dragging in late. So, promptly at 7:00PM those “on watch” locked the doors and that was it. I know a man that was locked out and he went back to his car to “fellowship with Jesus” and had a “grand time”. Sure he had to answer to someone about his tardiness.  Several times, Jane would complain to the congregation about Sam not being ready when it was time to leave their house and go to the services. Not sure if she ever left him, but it sounded like she would in order to “get ahold of Sam”.

     There may be a better place to put this quote, but I will put it here to bring some perspective….

  Luke 11:42 (Amplified Bible)

42But woe to you, Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every [little] herb, but disregard and neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done without leaving the others undone.(A)  

     Disregarding the “love of God”, certainly WOFF members don’t do that. (see previous post here… http://religiouscultsinfo.com/?p=498  )  As long as you don’t mess up my stay in “Don’t-dale”, I will show you “love”.  In short, you don’t talk to those who have left unless Jane gives the okay. That is the “love of god.”

     The list of “don’ts” is not finished. We will continue in future posts…

     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 readers at WOFF. I hope this is a help to them. Use the comment section to let me know of any “don’ts” that I missed.

     Look on the right side of any post for the option to subscribe by email for notifications or RSS feeds notifying of new postings. It is a great feature.

      (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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Book Review: “Slave and Citizen” by Nathan Irvin Huggins

     This book, “Slave and Citizen” written by Nathan Irvin Huggins, subtitled “The Life of Frederick Douglass” (copyright 1980) was an inspiration to me during the first few months of leaving WOFF. The investment was only 49 cents. The benefit was immense. I picked the book up at a used book store.  It was a relatively quick read of only 185 pages. My emails and notes show I read this book in September of 2008.

     The book outlines the life of Frederick Douglass from his birth to his death at the age of 77 in 1895. He had risen from slave to being a Statesman and Ambassador to Haiti for the United States. He advised President Lincoln and had many other accomplishments. The intriguing part to me was his life beginnings and how he learned to read.

     In 1825,… Frederick was sent to live in Baltimore, MD to the house of Hugh and Sophia Aduld. There is the city he caught his first glimpse of freedom. Mrs. Auld took time to teach Frederick to learn to read the Bible. He was a quick learner and Mrs. Auld was excited to show her husband. Her husband not happy at all, in fact he was enraged. “Hugh Auld with course and brutal language told his wife that slaves should never be taught beyond their station. ‘Not only was it illegal to teach them to read, but it would spoil the best n[igger]r in the world.’ A slave, ‘given an inch, he will take an ell,’ he said. A slave should know nothing but the will of his master. ‘If you learn him how to read, he’ll be running away with himself.” The text goes on… “Frederick … on the other hand learned the most important lesson of his youth: there is something unnatural about slavery;…” (page 5, emphasis added)

     I read this passage in September 2008, about 60 days of being out of WOFF. Those were frightful times as I was struggling with the notions put in me while in WOFF. Those who leave are “under a curse, Judases, digging themselves a deep hole” as some would say. So, this passage woke me up! The reason that Information control is so heavy at WOFF, is because, “If you learn him how to read, he’ll be running away with himself.”  Teaching slaves to read was illegal. Of course members are allowed to read- their Bible.  In the cases of students: textbooks are monitored and censored. Allowing members to read ANYTHING they want is illegal at WOFF. Otherwise, those dutiful, hard working, tithe giving members will get ideas and be running away with themselves!

     After I read this I sent an email to a dear friend. In the email, I share how I read this between 3:00AM and 5:00AM and could not sleep! It all made sense. Keeping members from the newspapers, TV, magazines, most every book and other sources of information; keeps them “in their place”. (if I may be so bold to use a WOFF phrase!) Also, as Frederick Douglass learned, “..there is something unnatural about slavery.” It is unnatural to not have access to the free flow of information. The choice to partake or not partake should be up to the individual, unhindered in any way.

     A common form of information control involves blocking out any critical or negative points of view.” Some cults simply forbid members to have access to any non-cult material such as newspapers, magazines, television or radio, and the Internet…”. These words from “Releasing the Bonds” by Steven Hassan (copyright 2000) make it very clear. Religious cults as well as other mind control groups, attempt to control the information available and thus “keep their members from running way”!

     One main “breach in the dam of control” for me occurred when I searched the term “shepherding movement”. The similarities between the religious move of control in the 70’s and my life experiences at WOFF were too stark to ignore! That started the process of my “running away”.  If the WOFF experience had not been so blatantly like the stories of control I was reading about; I may still be at there, today. Here are some links to the type of information I read:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shepherding_Movement 

http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/04/shepherding.htm

There are plenty of other sources for this subject.

     To my good WOFF readers: you may think that you have free access to all the information sources that you want. You just don’t “want to read the newspaper or watch television or freely surf the Internet”. I remember that rationalization tool. Is it really true or are the consequences of admitting to partaking of the “forbidden” too great for you to risk a violation? Remember– “there is something unnatural about slavery”. In reality, you had to give up your freedoms to continue to be a part of the group. Isn’t that “spiritual slavery”?

     So, to the newest members: did you realize that in order to keep the job or housing you were given that you would have to give up your freedoms in so many areas? Has the spiritual bondage been too slow in developing for you to notice? How is that “..freedom in Christ” working out for you? My critics from WOFF say I don’t use enough scripture. For them:

My precaution was] because of false brethren who had been secretly smuggled in [to the Christian brotherhood]; they had slipped in to spy on our liberty and the freedom which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might again bring us into bondage [under the Law of Moses].
Galatians 2:3-5 ( Amplified version)

     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 readers at WOFF. I KNOW for sure and will share that post. Holocaust teacher: Are you reading this one?

     Look on the right side of any post for “Categories”, select the drop down box and view any previous post by selecting “Uncategorized”. Use the slide bar on the right to scroll down to the bottom. Select “Previous Entries” to review older posts. As always, comments welcome.

      (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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