Tag Archives: Cult Criteria

Understanding the Word of Faith Fellowship Response to Recent Reports of “Slavery”

The text message telling me about the Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) press release from July 30, 2017 ended with “smh.” This is a new abbreviation for me, it left me wondering. I searched and found it means “scratching my head.” After I quit laughing about my temporary confusion, I pondered the answer to the obvious question- Why and how would Joshua Farmer and Jane Whaley consider their press release appropriate?

This post is my answer. First, the text of the release – source: www.wordoffaithfellowship.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Word of Faith Fellowship Responds to AP reports regarding “enslaved” members

Spindale, North Carolina – July 30, 2017 — We are appalled to learn of the allegations published by the Associated Press regarding foreign members of our church being “enslaved”. Many of these allegations are obviously preposterous on their face and they are all false. It is ludicrous that people now claim they were in an abusive environment at our church but admit that they traveled from Brazil to the United States many different times, returning repeatedly to their place of alleged enslavement. Clearly, there is a group of people determined to stop at nothing in their campaign to destroy our ministry. We are confident that the truth will ultimately prevail and we remain hopeful that the public will see through these fabrications and see them for what they are.

Next, the release includes a quotation of II Timothy 3:1-5 (Amplified Bible). The release is closed with acknowledgment of Sam and Jane Whaley and Attorney Joshua Farmer- Farmer and Morris Law (828) 286-3866.

The standard WOFF strategy is followed here by saying “Many of these allegations are obviously preposterous on their face and they are all false.” This is standard WOFF practice to deny accounts of wrong doing by calling the testimony of survivors of their group- lies and false.
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AP: US church goes to Brazil; instills fear, splits families

In light of the most recent Associated Press release- “US church goes to Brazil; instills fear, splits families – I believe it is appropriate to repost this review titled: “More Thoughts on WOFF and Brazil” from August of 2010. (click “back” button to return here)

The lead paragraph from this article:

SAO JOAQUIM DE BICAS, BRAZIL (AP) — At the Word of Faith Fellowship churches in the Brazilian cities of Sao Joaquim de Bicas and Franco da Rocha, the signs of broken families are everywhere: parents separated from their children, siblings who no longer speak, grandparents who wonder if they will ever know their grandchildren.

This AP release goes on to chronicle the process of WOFF taking the practice of destroying families from North Carolina to Brazil. The Brazilian churches have become a sad reflection of WOFF NC. Jane Whaley’s ministry of destruction and pain has indeed transferred its dark stain seen and felt in America to Brazil.

Read the post below and note the heartache and angst. The WOFF-effect on families is real. It is indeed an international travesty.

On a personal note, my daughter is expecting or has already delivered her child this month. I am one who wonders if I will ever know my grandson…

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Jane Whaley and her crew from Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) have been making trips to Brazil for many years. The first time I knew about the trips was in 1992. At that time, I heard about previous trips in previous years made by members of the Greenville church traveling with WOFF members to Brazil for seminars. There was always a certain mystique associated with the trips and the privilege of going to help the Brazilian church members. During the early years, those who did not go to Brazil would hear about shopping trips to rock shops and eating at Brazilian restaurants.  The seminars would also include many deliverance sessions and teachings about WOFF ways and WOFF life. Many of the teachings were about “hearing God” as Jane or certain others would speak, with Jane’s approval. For sure, the church members in Brazil would emulate WOFF members and end up copying many of the WOFF ways and in order to live in WOFFness.

   Since my time at WOFF ended in July of 2008, I have heard several accounts of WOFF doings that as a member inside of WOFF, we just did not learn about. Why would that be? A few months ago, someone began to let me know about things happening in Brazil. At first, I was shocked. But, as I considered what I knew has/had happened in America over the whole WOFF saga, it all began to make sense. What I will share here is from a translated email sent to me from Brazil. The names of the church members affected are not the key part of this story. The key thing about the scenario of events is to note the strange and sad similarity to previous events here in North Carolina and/or in other states caught in the WOFF-web.

Continue reading AP: US church goes to Brazil; instills fear, splits families

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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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Fenner Case: Next Hearing May 19th- 2:00PM

The next chapter in the Matthew Fenner case is scheduled for Friday, May 19th at 2:00PM. Rccatalyst.com reported on May 9th an additional motion placed on the agenda for the hearing. A Motion of Discovery filed by ADA Garland Byers seeks the preview of all documents, photographs, video recordings which Brooke Covington’s defense attorney David Teddy plans to use during trial. The State also requests to learn if Teddy plans to use insanity, self-defense, voluntary or involuntary intoxication as her defense along with the reuqest for a list of any expert witnesses. A copy of the Motion is found in the article at Rccatalyst.com.

The list of Motions include:
– Defendant’s Motion for Change of Venue,
– Defendant’s Motion for a Bill of Particulars ( opposed by the State in Rccatalyst.com-here)
– State’s Motion for Joinder of Offenses for Trial
– State’s Motion in the Alternative to a venue change s Special Venire (jury pool),
– Motion for Discovery

One more motion by the State filed March 22nd- Motion for Jury View & Testimony During Jury View was discussed in a previous hearing, but not listed in the Rccatlyst.com coverage.

The Motion for Change of Venue will determine the future of this case when and where it will be held. The outcome of the Change of Venire will tell us from which county the jury pool will originate, if different from Rutherford County. The Motion for Jury View if approved will allow the jury to visit Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) and have Matthew describe in sworn testimony the events that unfolded the fateful night of January 27, 2013. My friends, we are not surprised that Jane Whaley is fighting this Motion with her own attorney, John W. Gresham. She is putting her foot down, her hand held up high and her shrill cry peeling the paint off the walls in warring prayer to squash any effort to cast her beloved sanctuary as a potential crime scene.
Continue reading Fenner Case: Next Hearing May 19th- 2:00PM

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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.

Thank you, for visiting often and sharing the posts here. Hit back arrow to return here.

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”
Continue reading AP – Broken Faith- Unconventional Rules on Sex and Marriage

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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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