Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) supports, runs, dictates and determines the direction, emphasis and content of the Word of Faith Christian School (WFCS) Holocaust Museum display. To make statements with intent to misconstrue or blur the obvious relationship is short-sighted, replete with fantastical thinking and borders on deception. How do we know this relationship to be true? The reason is there is no one higher in authority, rank or power in WOFF than Jane Whaley. She is the Principal of the WFCS and the leader of the WOFF. As much as certain individuals would attempt to deny or blur the intimate relationship between these two groups of folks, they are indeed one in the same. Children who attend the school and their parents are members in WOFF. If there are students whose parents do not regularly attend, support and confess agreement with the doctrine and practices of WOFF, they are indeed the extreme minority, if they exist at all.
Ron Shelton, a retired pastor in Florida, viewed the WFCS display in Washington, DC in 2010. He was enthralled, engrossed and possibly enamored with the entire concept and display. He was so moved, he contacted the Jewish Community leaders in the Cocoa Beach area and convinced them to join his vision and help sponsor a display of the WFCS exhibit at the Space Coast Convention Center. He is the director of those efforts as witnessed by the quote from the website
“The purpose of The Holocaust Museum Central Florida 2015 Project is to reverse the trend of ignorance and denial about the Holocaust. This museum is unlike any other of its kind, featuring the incredible artwork of students from elementary to high school age. Designed to be viewed by all ages, this museum tells a heart-wrenching story through the eyes, hearts, and hands of young people dedicated to searching out and portraying the truth of this horrific chapter in world history. The unique interactive nature of this museum allows visitors to speak to the young artists who share the true stories of the people and events portrayed in these artistic creations.
Ron has no doubt put in countless hours of hard work pulling this event together. There are civic leaders and local government leaders as well as many schools anticipating the arrival of WOFF/WFCS for the display April 19th-23rd. Flyers have been distributed, school groups have committed to attend. (The listing of schools attending is on the Facebook page for the event.) Local media has been used to advertise the event and solicit donations. I do not know how much of that money is directed to WOFF/WFCS. For the purpose of this post, the amount is immaterial. In no way am I slighting the efforts of countless volunteers or the education emphasis to improve awareness of the Holocaust and the history surrounding this tragedy.
Continue reading Jewish Leaders Pull Support for WOFF/WFCS Holocaust Museum in Florida
Google Alerts® provided me the article about Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) found on The Blaze.com®.
“Church Accused of Beating Gay Man During ‘Deliverance’ to Remove Homosexual ‘Demons’ Posts Public Response Defending Its Members” found here. Interesting- it is posted under ‘Crime.’
The Blaze.com is a news site provided by Glenn Beck’s group. Mr. Beck has ties to Christians United for Israel (CUFI) as a speaker at their convention in 2013. See here. WOFF has in years past had strong ties to CUFI, though everything is subject to change. How close the ties are now has been hard to gauge.
The public response from WOFF is found here. In order to help explain the language of the response and how this statement fits with Josh Farmer’s disclaimers, we will break it down and provide context. After graduating from WOFF in 2008, I believe my experience inside will help others understand WOFF-speak.
Continue reading The Blaze reports WOFF posting…
Recently, in a conversation with a friend, I told him that I had a fascination in watching historical depictions about the early struggles of our country. I told him the struggle for independence from Great Britain was similar in many respects to a Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) member deciding to leave the group. He said he could see the similarities. In an effort to explain life inside of WOFF, I will share my thoughts from my time and observation while inside.
Last night, I watched another installment of the HBO documentary series “John Adams.” The beginning of the mini-series shows the struggles of our country and the divisions which took place over the idea of independence from the mother country- England. The leaders first expressing such radical thoughts as making a Declaration of Independence were not always received with gladness. The American colonies were divided at times and there was much heated debate between many who would later end up with their names etched in our history books. England supposedly offered “protection.” The downside was the taxation without representation in Parliament as a cost for such “protection.” Yet, the King’s edicts were to be followed regardless. He spoke and those in his kingdom were to obey. Long live the King! And your personal opinions did not count and could cost you dearly, if they were contrary to the King.
Continue reading Is WOFF an absolute religious monarchy?
After leaving the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) conference held in early July, I have an increased desire to learn about dysfunctional groups, the results of being involved in such groups and how to heal from involvement in them. These desires have led to searching and more time spent reading. As sometimes happens when I am reading more than one book at a time, the ideas in each resource begin to cross-pollinate and relationships are noticed between the materials. As mentioned in the previous post, I am reading- “Rebuilding Shattered Lives: Treating Complex PTSD and Dissociative Disorders” by James A Chu, (Copyright©2011 by John Wiley and Sons, Inc. Hoboken, NJ ISBN- 978-0-470-76874-7). The author focuses on treatment models for adults who have experience abuse in their childhood.
At the same time, I have been reading – “Cult Survivors Handbook: How to live in the Material World Again” by Nori Muster. (Copyright©2010 by Nori Muster, published by Blurb.com, www.norimuster.com) Though I have not completely finished either book, I need to share the understanding that has come so far. [As a disclaimer, by quoting these works I do not assume any endorsement by either author of my conclusions or my work on this blog. ]
In this post, I will provide resources supporting the title and relate the findings to the high-demand faith group, Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF), which I departed in July of 2008. I will also quote from Chu’s work in describing the results of child abuse as seen in adults. My contention is that the perfectionism in WOFF has highly detrimental effects on its members and requires dishonesty on several levels in order to remain a faithful member.
Continue reading “Dishonesty is the result of perfectionism.” – Nori Muster
Many times the question comes up to me concerning how people can become a member in a group such as Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF)? In answering this question, I often reflect on my own path into the group. While considering that road, I must also admit not everyone joins following the path I did, nor does everyone become a “faithful” member in the same time frame as me. Though the dynamics of influence are the same for almost everyone to be connected or drawn into WOFF; each individual has different needs and may identify with different positive parts of the WOFF presentation in order to decide to join. Some may need a job or place to live, while others need financial help, child care or just new friends. Likewise, not everyone becomes emerged in the sub-culture to the same level on a set timeline. That being said, not everyone develops the same intense dependency on the leader, Jane Whaley; but, I would contend that every faithful member develops some degree of dependency and that level of dependency determines their evolving emotional state and how they respond to the punishment for breaking the unwritten rules.
Regardless of how difficult as it is for those on the outside to understand how an adult could become so dependent on another adult for very common basic decisions, it is the state that many faithful WOFF members find themselves in– daily. Just how that happens has been discussed in previous posts on this blog. For now, let’s acknowledge that it does and that it is a common occurrence in high-demand faith groups which use mind control techniques. We will use a few resources to confirm that fact.
“Cult members are expected to surrender autonomy, and often must ask permission for routine activities, like using the bathroom.” (Releasing the Bonds, Steven Hassan, Copyright©2000, Freedom of Mind Press)
As previously mentioned on this blog, WOFF controls many aspects of a member’s private time in the bathroom, especially the males.
Continue reading Adult Members Suffer “Child Abuse” at WOFF
As I have been doing my daily deeds, I have been reflecting on the ICSA conference attended last week. There was so much good information shared and many new relationships formed. It was a lot to take in all at once. So, as happens with me and I suspect others, I remembered things said during meetings that at the time did not get my attention or make an “Ah Hah” moment. Today, I remembered a quick comment made by a speaker that has since jarred me. I cannot remember exactly which speaker said this since I believe it was in a session where a panel of counselors and experts were leading the meeting. The comment paraphrased was “Leaders of these groups have to control their members because of their own insecurities.” The manner in which it was said conveyed the speaker’s position that we all should remember this. This is where we start when understanding the motivations of a leader of a controlling group. We must get past the smoke and mirrors of any religious authority or special enlightenment. We must push through the euphemistic phrases used by the leader and even the leadership. The reason for the control of a group leader to keep people INSIDE the group is NOT healthy. The motivation is from the leader’s own insecurities. Okay, that being said, we are talking about destructive controlling groups here of which I firmly believe Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) has become one of those groups.
The statement remembered today brought me back into focus on several levels. When getting caught up in telling the horror stories of members inside and those who have left, lost in the menagerie of descriptions replete with heartache and drama is the starting point. Lost can be the reason for the leader’s profound motivation to keep people within their grasp and control. The starting point is the leader’s dysfunction, NOT the state of those recruited into the group. Time after time, people pose the question often in a sense of superiority – How could anyone get involved in a group like that? Though this question is viable in the discussion, it is not the starting point. The starting point is the dysfunction of the leader and the measures growing out of that dysfunction which trap victims in the web of control. In my opinion, the leaders of these groups are NOT mentally healthy. True some evolve into a black hole of dysfunction, but that still does not excuse the outcome nor should it cause us to begin with the victim when considering the evolution of the group.
Continue reading Remember This…
In the previous post, I put forth the idea that faithful WOFF members keep the true inside dynamics secret from the outside family members. Secrets are also kept from co-workers and any acquaintances. This should be no surprise even for a group of that size. Today, I want to add two more concepts that will help explain why and how this could happen and how a WOFF member sees this as perfectly normal and “the will of God.”
Several months ago, I wrote on the difference between “brainwashing” and “mind control.” The post was titled- WOFF Members are NOT Brainwashed- Really? – found here . The supporting text for this was found in Steven Hassan’s book, “Combatting Cult Mind Control” (Copyright©1988, 1990- by Steven Hassan, Park Street Press, ISBN-0-89281-311-3). In short, the idea was that in a case of brainwashing, the controllers are thought of as adversarial or “… typically coercive. The person knows at the outset that he is in the hands of the enemy. … Abusive mistreatment, even torture, is usually involved.” (page 55)
“Mind control, also called “thought reform”, is more subtle and sophisticated. Its perpetrators are regarded as friends or peers, so the person is much less defensive. He unwittingly participates by cooperating with his controllers and giving them private information that he does not know will be used against him…. Mind control involves little to no overt physical abuse. Instead, hypnotic processes are combined with group dynamics to create a potent indoctrination effect. The individual is deceived and manipulated – not directly threatened – into making the prescribed choices. On the whole, he responds positively to what is done to him.” (emphasis added- page 56)
Continue reading How far will you go to protect “the will of God?”