Tag Archives: Word of Faith Fellowship

Why No Note Taking During the Service!

     Several times it has been mentioned that during the services note taking was not allowed. Well, this was not always the case. It changed during a service when a woman came to the microphone. She was an office helper and it was common to see her at the podium making announcements. She said she had just read the notes from the notebook of a certain young man. She called his name and it was known she had been “helping” this young fellow and his family. This fellow’s father was the construction worker in the post about the magazine prohibition.

    The woman began to explain to Jane and others in a general address, that she had looked around during the services and seen people taking notes and not paying attention to “the word” (usually being preached by Jane). She put forth the idea that taking notes was a distraction. In order to prove her point, she began to read to the whole congregation the notes the young man had taken. Now, some were incomplete thoughts- BUT, THEY WERE NOTES! They were his personal notes!  It would be a safe assumption to say he did not expect them to be read aloud to the congregation. The content of the pages is NOT the issue here. From this discovery by this fledgling lieutenant, Jane approved the banning of note taking during services. The only approved note taking was scripture references: no dates, no names, no personal reflections, nothing but scripture references with not even a word or two about the scriptures!  

      The effect was clear and near immediate. “Note Nazis” sprang up EVERYWHERE! You were encouraged to watch your neighbor and make sure they were “taking hold” of the new dictates. Being watched for such details was a horrible feeling that just perpetuated itself on so many areas at WOFF.

     Several children took special interest in their ability to critique and report on adult behavior. During one service, a young boy told his mom that a visiting Brazilian was taking notes during the singing. The mom felt her usual pressure to make sure she reported any transgressions, told Jane in front of the whole congregation. Jane immediately called this man’s name and he was visibly flustered. He went to the front to talk to Jane and explain himself (get checked out..). After a brief conversation, Jane announced to everyone that the notes were okay because he was taking notes on the songs for his church in Brazil. So, the tension was diffused. However, the commandment to keeping watching the behavior of everyone in the service was clear. No one, well almost no one was exempt.

     This spying behavior is clearly explained as a characteristic of a destructive mind control group in Steven Hassan’s “Releasing the Bonds” (copyright 2000) . During the explanation of the B.I.T.E. model of common mind control behaviors; he explains the “I” as representing “Information control”. He explains: “People are expected to spy on one another and report improper activites or comments, such as criticism of the leader, doctrine or organization.” (page 49)

     It should also be noted that the spying requirement on each other was in FLDS. Elissa Wall in “Stolen Innocence“, outlines a situtation where her older sister went to Warren Jeffs about the doubts her mother was having. This led to the break up of her family. ( page 55) This was totally acceptable behavior in FLDS. Yet another similarity between FLDS and WOFF.

     The stopping of members taking notes went along with the increased contol over the audio or video tapes of the services. Since the “attack in 1995” (Inside Edition);  the tapes of services were increasingly controlled. First, you had to sign the tapes out with the person running the sound booth. You could take them with you but, were warned not to leave them in your car! “That could open the church up to an attack.” Next, you could not take the tapes off of the property, you had to listen to them in the fellowship hall. This was required for people missing a service or many of the folks on church discipline. Most nights of a week long seminar, tapes of the morning services or previous evening services were played after the evening service. If you missed the morning service, you were expected to stay after the evening service and watch the tape. Yes, WOFF would score pretty high when it comes to “Information control” as compared to other well documented religious mind control groups.

     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.

      (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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The $50,000 Offering

      One evening service, Jane came to the podium and said “we need $25,000 to meet the bills in the office”. She went on to say God had told her that some folks were saving money for their children. “God said to give it”.  What kind of pressure was this? With the environment already described, would this cause certain folks to feel bad or evil if they did not give up their children’s inheritance? The person that “hears God” on every matter in the church just said “God said to give it”…

     Later after the offering was taken and counted, Jane came back to the microphone. She was very excited, “We have had a miracle”. The offering had been counted and it was $50,000! (wow, on the first try!) She then shed a tear and thanked those folks who had obeyed God say to give the money they were saving for their children.  By the offering coming in, it confirmed to Jane she had obeyed God in her “putting it before the people”.

      One of the first questions in my mind, what will you do with the “extra” $25,000? But, as we have discussed, it was never mentioned. There is no complete open accounting of the offerings given by the members. It only leads to more questions. What is all this money being spent on? It was mentioned that it takes $20,000 a week to meet the bills. So, what is done with the million or so dollars taken in over a year? Some of the larger needs we were told were property insurance and taxes. The church has people watching the grounds 24/7. This is supposed to help get a discount on the property/liability insurance. Men or couples “volunteer” to take shifts over night. The premium was “high because some folks had made a claim against the church insurance” according to Sam. We were also encouraged to not put large amounts of cash in the offering if it was not in an offering envelope. The IRS did not like that.

     If more than one offering had to be taken because we have not “met the budget”, then folks would be strongly encouraged to inquire of God, again! Sam would say, “If we don’t get the need met the first time, some folks are not “hearing God”!  As mentioned, some services the plates would be passed three or four times, “until we get it”.. Then folks would be chastised for not giving the right amount the first time the plates were passed!

     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.

      (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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Jane Whaley – the Medical Debt Collector

      On Sunday, after an evening service in December of 2007, there was a list read from the podium of members that needed to report to the fellowship hall. My name was on the list and I immediately tried to figure out the purpose of the meeting from the other names on the list. It was a mystery, but not for long.

     After the group was all in the room, Jane Whaley came in as her daughter and another lady were already at the front of the room. Jane began the session by saying that a certain doctor in the church had not taken a salary in two years.  She wanted to talk to those in the church that owed him money. She was given a list of names and balances. (apparently, I did not see the list, but she constantly referenced it during the meeting.) Jane’s daughter and the other lady worked for the doctor. The second lady  was the doctor’s daughter! They were answering Jane’s questions about who was paying and who was not, in front of the whole group!

     Jane began addressing individuals calling their name, saying how much they owed and asking what they could pay? One of the attorney’s in the church was present. He asked why he was there? He was told in front of everyone- “Your grandmother owes a balance” (under $300). He immediately stroked a check, handed it to the doctor’s daughter and huffed as he left the room. That answered my question, if Jane had sought legal counsel before she set out to “help her friend..”.  

     Next, Jane called the name and amount owed for an African American lady sitting close to the front. “You owe this amount- (she stated it)- You have not paid since (she named the date)…When can you pay? Jane then brought her mother into the conversation by asking her to explain why her daughter was not paying? The accused lady began to recount her struggles of finding a job. Then Jane and her daughter chimed in that it was her fault she could not keep a job. Jane’s daughter told her – God has given you several jobs and you are not grateful. You attack God’s plan by the way you act on your job. Finally, it was either Jane or her daughter who told the lady in front of everyone that if she could not pay, then find another doctor. Actually, it was addressed to everyone, if they were not able to pay then go to another doctor.

     There were about 25 folks in the room. My name was called, but the daughter of the doctor told Jane I was paying every month. Every person’s information was reviewed by Jane, some people she would not call out for what ever reason. But, it was clear, Jane was “trying to help her friend”.

     So, what is wrong with this picture? My background is consumer debt collection. I have been in this field for most of 28 years. I have heard several attorneys speak on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA),  as well as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996(HIPMA). Though I have never personally been cited for violations of these two acts, I have seen others who were accused of such violations. In my opinion, this meeting was a total violation of both FDCPA and HIPAA. Not only Jane, but her daughter and the doctor’s daughter were violating the rights of EVERYONE in the room who where protected by these laws. There was an attempt to excuse the meeting as “trying to help a friend”, but the privacy of each person was violated. The audacity of Jane Whaley to call out individuals and reveal their medical debts in front of others is AMAZING! Obviously, she did not seek any counsel as to the legality of the meeting, otherwise the attorney who left a huff would have redirected her efforts. But, what is new about that thought? Jane seeks help from no one who would stop her personal agenda.

     Why would no one have sought help with this meeting before? I do not know that someone has not, but if someone has, they risked being shunned and put out of WOFF for even bringing up the questions. I left the meeting in total shock about what I had just witnessed. I had seen power displays before from Jane in different situations, but this one was one of the most blatant displays in my 16 years of involvement at WOFF.

     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.

      (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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The Church Service No One was to Talk About

     Sunday evening meetings at WOFF would often times include the discussion of “church family” issues. Sometimes issues were addressed in an open forum. Jane would ask a question and  open the podium for others to ask questions or tell what they saw during a “situation”.  At times, families or households would be called up front and stand before the congregation while the situation was being discussed.  These meetings could include public rebukes for anyone in attendance or listening over the phone to the service. Also, most engagements or births were announced in these services.

     One Sunday service, (not sure if morning or evening) Jane said, “I think we have an announcement?”.  Then the as the couple that was to announce came to the podium. This happened to be a couple slightly older than the normal range for first marriages. The fellow had come to WOFF a few years ago and had gone through many struggles and changes. The lady had come from Texas and may have been a part of a very large church there. She worked on staff at WOFF. He worked selling granite at a church-member owned company. The woman had been a “friend” to the fellow for a while. As he went through his adjustments and struggles, she was there to “help” him. They had been on two or three “ministry” trips together with other folks. So, this was not a surprise.

     Next, another older couple got up to announce that “God had shown them they were to be married”. He was quite animated and asked Jane if they could get married VERY SOON. Well, just asking Jane did not guarantee the ceremony would happen quickly. They still had to “walk out a relationship” and get some more “breakthroughs”.

     I am not sure of the order of the next few events. But, there may have been some singing and/or prayers of thankfulness offered. Members started coming to Jane who always sits on the front row, and speaking in her ear. This was common for many folks to do. Some even would kneel before her. Men and women of all ages made their way to the front. Jane soon allowed the “news” to start being told. The people were coming telling Jane that “God had shown them who their mate was to be..” When Jane had a “release” about it, she would nod or give some signal. The couple would come to the podium and speak into the microphone what had just taken place. They were “set on course in a new relationship” and the understood part: this would lead to marriage.

     The couples kept coming and coming. The flood gates were opened. By the end of the service, there were 21 couples engaged in the church! Most of them had been first acknowledged in this meeting. Each one had “checked it out with Jane” before moving to the podium to share with the congregation. Some had been friends for a while, some had never spent time together they were just “obeying God”.

     Towards the end of this time, Jane began to tell the members that this was not a service to go out in the community and talk about. Why? Some folks coming were under the legal age of consent and had heard to marry this person that they had never spent any time with… Jane said she was not sure about some of the younger couples of high school age, especially the ones in eleventh grade. But, she would “carry the whole situation and see where God would take it”. She did say “others would not understand what God had just done so don’t go talking about it loosely”. This was a service that I didn’t know if I understood. The behaviors displayed were strange even to one who had been in the group for years.

     WOFF had been rightfully accused of monitoring closely the personal intimate lives of married couples. So, how would this news of impromptu relationships approved by Jane be understood within the surrounding community? Several folks have been married since this services. But, I have no updates on the young high school age folks that said “God told us to be married”.

      Later, Jane announced that one man had already been on the phone calling his son who had left the church, telling him if he was still in the church; God may have given him a mate! It was truly one of the strangest services I had ever experienced in the 16 years of attending WOFF. This is the only service I remember that Jane wanted kept secret.

     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.

      (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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Jane Whaley makes $600 a month (sorta)

     One service the subject came up and Jane Whaley shared how much she gets paid a month. She said she gets a check for $600 a month. From that $600, she gives Sam $200. Sam volunteered at that point that he “squirrels away” his $200 for a future time. Sam is also a licensed used car dealer. He buys cars for those in the congregation and makes “about $500 a car”. ( If you buy a car from somewhere else, you are paying too much! says Jane.)

    The impression given was that the $600 a month was Jane’s total compensation. The problem with that is vast. Everyone in that service had been to her house on 40 + acres. We remember her saying that she and Sam had taken out mortgages every property possible including their home, to pay attorney bills. Everyone had heard about the shopping trips in NC and also to Atlanta for the dresses and jewelry she had to buy. Many there heard her say at another time, “If all my clothes were laid out, it would cover 2 city blocks!”. We knew she had a cell phone, television and a pool at her house. Just a quick look at her lifestyle would cause anyone to wonder how she makes it on $400 a month?  So, is it reasonable to think that the “church” pays for her house, cars, cell phone, new clothes, trips out of town and other things. But, why would we not know for sure?

     Last January, I attended a church in McDowell county. That Sunday, they were handing out the Annual Report from the previous year! This report outlined  offerings received and expenditures made during 2008. It was a pleasant shock for me as a visitor to be given this report. Why? Because in my 10 years in Greenville and 6 years at WOFF, there was NEVER a report issued to the members as to the amount of offerings received and expenses paid. After attending seminars and services for a total of 16 years at WOFF, I had no idea how much was received and where it went. Did others know? Well, maybe a handful of folks, like the Board may have known. Someone said (I do not remember if Jane or Sam) in one service that the church needed $20,000 a week to meet the bills. That makes over one million dollars a year brought in, if the “budget” is met. Would it not be reasonable to openly account for a million dollars of revenue to the people who gave it?  

      Did the Greenville church or WOFF –  EVER issue any written information to the members about where the money was spent? No, not that I ever remember. There were always pleas for more money. I have been in services where the offering plates were passed four times. Maybe one offering would be for tickets for Jane’s pending trip or some other “special need”. The other times the plates were passed, Sam or the lady in the office who “balanced Jane’s personal checkbook”, would say “pass them until we get it…”  Many times, we would all have to wait until the offering was counted to see if we were dismissed or if the plates needed to be passed , AGAIN! That rang hollow when there was no open accounting. We were told many times that the CPA for the church “said we were more than above board in the use of the ministry money.” Really? He also was getting paid to perform a service. Why not let the folks know where their “tithes and offerings” were being spent?

     In the beginning years, both pastors of each church, Greenville and WOFF; claimed to not know who tithed. However, by the end of my tenure, that changed. Jane would say she looked at the offering records and “knew who tithed and who did not”.. She then offered a disclaimer- “I know when you are tithing by seeing if it (the amount) is consistent. If it is not, then you are not tithing.” Wow, people on bonuses or commissions were in a tight place… they were certainly assumed as “non-tithers..”  Of course, it was preached tax refunds were a blessing that you needed to give tithes and offerings from to the church.

      Sam would get up to receive offerings and make it plain: “If you are not being blessed financially, you are not tithing.” A person’s faith was called into question if they were not “blessed financially”.  At some services, people would get up to testify about “how God was blessing them financially”. There was almost always funds raising projects for one cause or another. Certain individuals would accept the task of keeping the find raising projects coming for the school of other needs, yard sales, car washes, bake sales, make-up sales, picture sales, fruit sales and more.

     Here is a link to the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. This is how churches who want to be open with finances report and disclose to their members… http://www.ecfa.org/Content/7Standards.aspx

     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.

      (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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The Toilet Paper Revelation

     One service seemingly out of no where, Jane Whaley said; “God had told her the right way to put the toilet paper on the roll”. She went on to other subjects then came back to the subject. She asked if we (the members..) wanted to know what God had said? The impression she got was that we all wanted to know.

     Jane then went on to explain that one day (recently was the impression we were given) as she was in the bathroom, she heard God tell her the right way to put the toilet paper in the roll. She said the right way is with the paper rolling over the top. “Do you want to know why?”, she asked. She said that there was less wasted, than if the paper rolls from underneath.

     She went on to also say that God had been dealing with her about folding the end of the paper when she was finished. (as done at a hotel)  As mentioned in previous posts, because of not being allowed to take notes during the service, the date of this revelation is unclear. But who would forget such an essential life enhancing revelation from the Apostle Jane Whaley? It not only was talked about that day, it was the buzz in the church for several days.

     The fallout from this service was amazing. True to form, children began to scrutinize the paper habits of those in their household! There were self-appointed “TP Police”. Some were more vocal than others. Do you know the thoughts that one would have when you finished and had to make to the choice, fold or not fold? Or if it was your turn to change the roll, over or under?

     The pressure to be on the right side of this revelation was VERY GREAT! Because many households had more than one family, bathroom habits were visible by more than your immediate family members. The toilet paper pressure became greater and greater. There was even the question of bringing the paper to a symetrical fold with a neat point and how to best accomplish that! Lessons were available.

     The foray around making sure everyone completes the requirements for toilet paper roll direction and folding neatness became intense. Jane Whaley came to the podium a couple of weeks later to moderate the frenzy. She pointed out that the conversations had gotten out of hand. She reminded folks that she had shared what God told her. It did not mean God would require that same thing for each one of us. Whew! Maybe the bathroom inspections would be less intense! The frenzy did die away – gradually. But, to this day, I still hear that question- over or under? Finally, I have stopped feeling the pressure to fold!

     Why bring this up? Why would Jane bring this up? What could be the basis for Jane even feeling justified to express concern in this area? Many times, I heard the following scripture mentioned when addressing seemingly small details of daily life… 

Job 36:5 (Amplified Bible)

5Behold! God is mighty, and yet despises no one nor regards anything as trivial…

     The whole line of conversation seems off kilter and evidence of the narcissism that Jane displays in her everyday life. The reaction of the members and the effects that “revelations from God” have on this group are amazing and potentially dangerous.

The one on the left is better…   🙂



     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.

      (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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Am I Wrong? Please, Let Me Know….

     “Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.” – Thomas Jefferson

     Am I wrong about the list of similarities between a group like FLDS and another group such as WOFF? Am I wrong based on the facts and not emotion? It matters not how much you or anyone else love and admire Warren Jeffs or Jane Whaley. What are the observed facts about the control methods used in both groups?

     If you are in WOFF; you may say you are not being controlled. If that be the case, then express a desire to watch the news and not depend on the father-son news reporting team to funnel the “important” events to you in a service. If it be the case that there is no control over the information allowed; then subscribe to the local newspaper and read it and talk about what is in it to other members. If you are free to chose, then buy a new television and subscribe to satellite service as Jane does. A source that knows, says there are two satellites on Jane’s roof. (or at least there were a few years ago.) If there is no control going on at WOFF, then listen to your radio in your car with other members present. Why would WOFF members not be allowed to do these things?

     Concerning the beliefs in each group, they do differ. But, does that matter? No. The beliefs in many groups actually go through changes just as the methods to control individuals go through evolution and change. As far as the individuals in each group, there are very likely sweet, loving people in both groups. I can vouch for many in WOFF as being good hearted, decent people who would help you do most anything needed.

      It is the control methods used in everyday life of the members that has caught my attention. That is where lives are controlled and hurt – in the daily application of the control techniques seen in both groups. It is not just these two groups. As will be shared in weeks to come, the control methods are pretty much the same in most EVERY religious controlling group that I have studied. It is as if a “Handbook for Religious Cult Leaders” has been written and is being sold to certain individual leaders! Maybe the “book” is handed out for FREE! But, as people follow the instructions in this common scenario for controlling folks; it costs dearly. Families are broken, relationships are torn, individuals experience fear, confusion and anxiety. Children experience intense fears not beneficial for them and which may well scar them for years to come. Irrational fears begin to govern the lives of otherwise stable group members. It is amazing the dynamics of how individuals succumb to the “group think” and group pressures felt as the leaders mold and fashion the lives of their followers.

     And to all you good WOFF readers; if I am wrong on everything, then you have nothing to worry about. If I am wrong on most things, then you have a little to be concerned over. Thus, if I am right and accurate in my observations to any large degree, then all of you should take note and begin to ask some of the same questions that many who have left asked and are still asking. Asking questions is NOT a sin, no matter what you have been told. (read the quote above..)

     As Brent Jeffs said in “Lost Boy”, “It is amazing how well fear can work to surpress rational thought..” (page 99)   When the fear based control methods such as the ones outlined in previous posts are used day in and day out; the effects are devastating. Many folks do not know the depths of how they are being affected until they leave and have stopped being molded and directed by narcissistic cult leaders. Many former members try to stuff down the feelings, questions and doubts. But, it is best to get the answers to the questions that may haunt and badger those who leave a cult. There is help available.

Questions and comments may be sent to author@religiouscultsinfo.com

     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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