Tag Archives: Leaving a Cult

Permanent Dependent Underclass? at WOFF? (2)

     Towards the end of the last post, I wrote this about Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) – This is the closest thing I have seen or been apart of, that would be classified as the development of  a “permanent dependent underclass”. Jane Whaley needs “regular” members to be submissive, “stay in their places”, “tithe and give offerings” and not stray, so others can grow dependent on her “spiritual”, as well as natural provisions. 

     After reflecting on these words, I do not want others to get the wrong impression. For the most part, on the outside; these WOFF members who helped others in the church performed their services as a ministry of helps, with a great attitude. Not once did I hear grumbling from a WOFF member about helping others. Many would donate the labor and use of their tools, if the receiving member could pay for the parts. At times, a person helping another member, would even donate the parts or supplies. There was great sacrifice for many folks- since who has a water heater start leaking in the day time or during the  weekdays?? Some repairs were planned, but many were needed right away.

     Many folks would volunteer to watch your children on the spur of the moment, no charge. Others would cook and provide meals. Some community folks and relatives of Jane Whaley, would be the benefactors of WOFF ladies cooking during family funerals or sickness situations. Jane always wanted to be made aware of who in your neighborhood might have a serious issue where WOFF members could “reach out”. WOFF even put out a cookbook years ago. I have mine! Yes, there has been outreach to non-members on occasion. One person in the community voiced there shock to me, when they heard of WOFF donating several gifts at a baby shower to a non-member. Actually, this person regularly attends another church. Many folks giving the gifts were not known by the mother-to-be.

   Continue reading Permanent Dependent Underclass? at WOFF? (2)

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What Thoughts Helped Me Leave WOFF – Part 3

        This is the third post in the series which explains the events and thoughts during the events which proceeded my leaving the Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF). The previous post outlined a meeting held on church property in which several minsters tried to “help” me see the error of my ways. Jane Whaley’s “adopted” daughter presented several intense arguments that were warnings of my decadent, sinful condition. Once there appeared to be no progress, Jane Whaley was called in to deliver the “strong rebuke”.  She screamed as she pointed her finger in my face- “You are full of wickedness and sin!”. Next, she screamed at the person next to me and told them- “And you let him be so!” Jane left and on cue, this person begins commanding me to give up my sin. This meeting had a profound affect on me. The shocker was the leadership in the meeting considered this a normal course of events. How do I know? Because they all supported each other and raised the bar of attempted behavior modification – together. I was evidently not the first person subject to such measures and I suspect not the last. These meetings were the WOFF modus operandi. Why should I think any different? Are there any former members who also went through such a meeting?

     Regardless, at the end of the meeting, I was fired for not giving up my part-time work. (and not bowing to the group control efforts.)  Incidently, at that time, I was in the middle of a three year contract with a website provider. My part-time work included support of this site. Buying out of the contract, would not have been feasible. In a few days after this meeting, I had found another contract for work and started working and providing for my family. But, in the days and weeks that followed; the attempts to modify my behavior would only intensify. Much of the efforts used are not appropriate to recount in this public forum. In the future, this consideration may change.

     A side note, in the days after the meeting on April 9th, there was a scheduled meeting at the community college where the Holocaust teacher from the church, taught and still teaches. A Holocaust survivor was coming to give their testimony. It was directly related to the class I had taken over the Internet from that community college.  I had completed the class but, after a fellow in leadership and the Holocaust teacher conferred;  I was banned from the meeting. Yes, I was banned from a meeting where the featured speaker was a Holocaust survivor! Think of the deep irony in that scenario! The Holocaust teacher was a direct influence on that decision. Is that crazy or what? The lady who studied the rise of Hitler and the Third Reich- banned one of her students, who passed the class with a high grade, from a class meeting- why? Does this mean she mixed her classroom responsibilities with her perceived role at the church, and chose the administration of church doctrine or practice, over the student’s interests? Are there any readers from the community college- yet?

    Continue reading What Thoughts Helped Me Leave WOFF – Part 3

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What Thoughts Helped Me Leave WOFF?? Part 2

    This post will layout more events which led to the thoughts which I had in order to decide to leave Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF). My time in the group as a member living locally, was six years. That period followed the ten years of involvement through the Greenville, SC church. In March of 2008, Jane Whaley had called a “closed door” prayer meeting during which I had been rebuked my immediate (job) supervisor. This all led up to the meeting on April 9, 2008.

     April 9th was a Wednesday. There was a “normal” church service. After the service, I was told to be in a meeting in one of the leaders church office. He happened to be the father of the family that owned the property management company for which I had been working. Another person, who was close to me, was standing in the hall way waiting to go in with me, to the meeting. Actually, I thought that was odd. The folks needed for the meeting squeezed into this small office with me sitting in a chair sorta backed into a corner. This position would be critical to the presenters of the case against me. Each would take their turn.

       The son of the family of owners of the company I worked for; opened the session by saying he had heard some of the things I had been doing- through the supervisor. He said, he was shocked and though I had asked permission from the supervisor to tend to some other business; if he had known- it would not have been allowed. From there, the son and father presented me with an ultimatum- “Quit your part-time obligations or you will lose your job-be fired- tonight.” I hung my head to gather my thoughts. After I did not jump and say “Praise, God- thank you for cutting me off from that part-time work!”  The conversation rachetted up and other “ministers” more experienced and skilled in abusive tactics came into the room. The first was the woman who had put me in discipleship several weeks previous for reading headlines of newspapers and telling someone about it. (read here.http://tiny.cc/cpmlw ) She had a lot to say- but the subject changed into warnings about sin and how I was walking a thin line and needed a heart change! She got louder and louder. When she would take a breath, other “ministers” would begin from another angle. I felt like I was drawn within  my body and watching a nightmare unfold of which I had no control. This was such an intense attack that I was reeling emotionally. I admitted some things to try to stop the frequent volleys and the barrages of accusations, to no avail.

     Continue reading What Thoughts Helped Me Leave WOFF?? Part 2

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What Thoughts Helped Me Leave WOFF?? Part 1

     Truthfully, I have put off writing this post for several weeks. But, after certain emails and comments which I have received; I believe it is time to share these events. This post will reveal several of the thoughts I had while I was going through the process of leaving Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF). In previous posts, I have shared certain ones, but here the events that led to the thoughts will be put together for a more accurate picture. There came a point where I was forbidden to be on church property. What happened that would cause me to leave the group all together? Not all thoughts and events which occurred are fit for this public forum; but those may be shared under different circumstances. In reality, I did not think the path of separation from WOFF would take the path that it has. But, who can really know the future except God, Himself?

     Readers should not make the mistake of thinking that these exact same thoughts would help their friends or relatives leave WOFF. Everyone had their certain individual thoughts that allowed them to go into WOFF and they must have their own unique thoughts, in order to leave. No two people go in or come out the exact same way. There can be “freedom thoughts” tailored to each individual and those help the most. The struggles of those who leave should be an indication of the mind control and turmoil that goes on inside the group. No other church that I have attended -EVER- has had the intense emotional baggage and wreckage with leaving, as when I decided to leave WOFF.

     Let’s go back to August 2005. During several years previous, I had worked for the property management company which is owned by a family in the church. The hours were long. (Read this post to learn about an event previous to 2005- http://tiny.cc/6ii3q ) August 12, 2005 was a Friday. That was a long day and I ended up working until mid-night in Gaffney, SC. The thought that day was- “That is it! I done. I am looking for other work.” After the events in 2003, I had pushed away the thought because of the junk I went through the first time I went looking for other work. Within weeks, I had secured a contract for other work and approached the owner about training someone else. I was leaving. Over the next few weeks, I trained someone else as my replacement.

     Continue reading What Thoughts Helped Me Leave WOFF?? Part 1

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Everyone Loves Jane and Jane Loves Everyone- Sorta

    In two previous posts, it has been mentioned the phrase used by Jane Whaley of Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) to describe her relationships to members and non-members. This post contains material from several different statements that Jane Whaley has made over the years. The statements may not be presented in correct time order but, the main points will be clear.

     The statement by Jane early on, was “Everyone loves Jane Whaley and Jane loves everyone. If they don’t (love Jane) then they are listening to devils.”  This was first mentioned in post about terms.. here is the link:  http://religiouscultsinfo.com/?p=101    

    There was a statement later about the “love of God”. “The love of God is the love of God.” Jane goes on to explain:  “I love Sam and O____ (man in church leadership..) the same. It is the same love. I just show that love differently to Sam”.(Whaley)

     Yet, another time she was talking about folks that had left and how she loved them all. “Well, there may be two folks if I saw them walking down the street, I would cross over so I didn’t have to speak to them. Only two, or maybe three…”

     Again, these statements may not be in time order and may not be exact quotes, but the meaning is clear. The first statement is revealing all by itself. For Jane to say that if you don’t love her, you are listening to devils??? How narcissistic can a person be? But, Jane was allowed to say it and sincerely believes that statement about herself and about its affect on others. She is no doubt the center of her world. If you don’t agree – you are of the devil.

     Concerning the second statement, I remember being in the service where she uttered those words. She knew it would be “misunderstood”, so she quickly added the part about showing the love of God to Sam– differently. No further explanation was given and the impression was that it was not much “differently”.

     The third statement only ignited a wondering and inquiry into who had made Jane mad enough that she would not even meet them on the street? In public, Jane can be the sweetest thing since jelly toast. But, for her to admit that she was so put out with someone was strange. Well, not that strange since she was referencing those who had “betrayed God” and left WOFF. That left the list wide open.

Continue reading Everyone Loves Jane and Jane Loves Everyone- Sorta

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Dr. Paul Martin of Wellspring Retreat said…

     A few weeks ago, there was a post entitled “Am I Wrong? Please, Let Me Know…..”. ( see link here.. http://religiouscultsinfo.com/?p=117 ) That post seemed to be one of the factors initiating a response by two WOFF members which I tell about here… “A Knock at the Door“.. http://religiouscultsinfo.com/?p=572 . The basic question was  “If I am wrong based on the facts and not emotions, then please, show me ..?” If my comparison between FLDS and WOFF is off base; then show me with facts.  In the series, “FLDS vs WOFF”‘, I outline many similarities between these two groups, especially in the mind control techniques used on their members.

     To date, there have been several confirming comments posted as well as the reply in the post listed above about the visit from two WOFF members. In January, a leader from WOFF called to complain and question his name being listed in a post. That call inspired a finalization of the legal disclosures on the blog as well as the beginning of regular posting. About five weeks later came the personal visit to my residence of the WOFF members. One of them accused me of posting “lies, all lies”… This criticism did not give me much to go on since there were no facts disputed. There was only intense emotion expressed. I recognize the emotion and respect the right for its expression. Folks in groups like WOFF often have intense emotion.

     The second person mentioned in the “Knock at the Door..” post, did say that I mis-stated the facts concerning our conversation. She said it was in person and not over the phone. Okay, I may have been wrong in telling the circumstances. But, where are the facts being disputed concerning the way WOFF members are treated? What WOFF member will stand up and dispute the major content of these posts and let us all know that things are well and emotionally balanced at WOFF? Has Jane Whaley changed in two years since my departure? Has the religious mind control stopped and are people allowed to leave the group whenever they chose? Has the “Holocaust teacher” stopped chiding folks for wanting free access to all information sources? Sources which may not shed a positive light on WOFF? Is there full, written financial disclosure to the members of WOFF?

    Continue reading Dr. Paul Martin of Wellspring Retreat said…

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“Stolen Innocence” by Elissa Wall- Review

     In previous posts, I have quoted often from this book. This book is 438 pages, beginning with the struggles of a child born into the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FDLS). The book has three main parts that cover the years of her life up until the end of the trial of Warren Jeffs. In Part 1, she outlines her childhood days living in a polygamous family and the struggles inherent with that structure. Her family grew to include eleven brothers and twelve sisters. At one time, there were three mothers in her house- married to the same man, her father.

     The insights into her childhood including her perspectives and thoughts about Warren Jeffs, were a key to the book’s value for me. She describes her interactions with Warren Jeffs and her eventual marriage to her first cousin- Allen Steed. She fought the arranged marriage vehemently. However, in FLDS, she would be forced to follow the word of the Prophet “Uncle Rulon”, as dictated through Warrren Jeffs.  Her story of anguish at the eventual marriage was heart wrenching. The ominous “authority” that Warren Jeffs secured over the members of FLDS smelled just like the same situation at Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) involving Jane Whaley. This fact made reading this book and others about FLDS, so enlightening to me.

    After the illegal marriage ceremony held at the Hot Springs Motel in Caliente, Nevada; Elissa struggles intensified. She explains in the second part of the book her struggle just to survive. She spent many nights in her mom’s company in order to avoid contact with her husband. Later, she would spend nights in her truck and that would lead to an encounter with Lamont Barlowe. Their friendship would eventually lead to a legal marriage and two children.

     Continue reading “Stolen Innocence” by Elissa Wall- Review

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