Our last post explored an article in Charisma Magazine® about Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) and their Holocaust Museum display. It was dated October 1, 2013 and can be found here. The article was written by Marcus Yoars. Here is the contact information for Mr. Yoars: firstname.lastname@example.org main tel:407.333.0600
This post will review more material from the article and contain more thoughts on the subject. The Art of Remembering mentions that Word of Faith Christian School (WFCS) has “no art teacher.” It also featured Nahum Burgeson and his insight into how the Holocaust work began. Without a doubt, Nahum is a talented artist. The article also quotes Nahum, “I know without a doubt that God flowed through us to do this, “… When we first started, many times we would have a problem getting the paintings to look right. But, as we cried out to Jesus, you could see fruit. The more and more we cried out, the better we would get.”
A recent gander at the website for Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) revealed a new header on the home page. The purpose was to direct visitors to the article recently released by Charisma Magazine® posted online October 1, 2013. The article titled-“The Art of Remembering” features Nahum Burgeson and the story behind his art work as well as extolling the “multilayered miracle taking place in tiny Spindale, NC.” Before we review some information about the article, let me give the link and some of my own reflections on Charisma Magazine®.
The article can be found here. Oh, reading this article and perusing the website brought back fond memories of years gone by as well as some very disturbing questions. First off, I so enjoyed the memories of actually receiving the magazine in the mail for many years and devouring the content of every page… I cannot deny I was an avid fan before the magazine even went digital. Then as we moved to Greenville in 1992 and began to attend Grace and Truth Fellowship, our hunger for the magazine began to wane. Certainly by the time we moved to Spindale in 2002- the magazine was off limits and held no content which was meaningful to those “walking with God” and serving the Lord at WOFF.
There is so much I want to share about one of the latest dramas going on around this nation; I have a hard time knowing where to start. Not very much of it is positive, but, all of it is interesting and much of it gives insight into the past and present state of things at WOFF. The drama which unfolded in Cleveland Ohio concerning the captivity and now freedom for the women held by Ariel Castro is mind boggling. The control, abuse and torture he forced on his victims will have people talking for a long time. He apparently used physical force, constraints and lots of fear to control those women for YEARS. Castro used actual chains on his victims. Since this story broke earlier in the year, Castro was sentenced and one month into his jail time, he hanged himself. (see link here)
“The women were initially kept chained in the basement of Castro’s dumpy home, but later permitted to live upstairs on the second floor.” Read more here. and an interview with the first victim- here.
February of 2010 on anoither blog, I wrote about Jane Whaley’s Toilet Paper Revelation. I was in that service when the “revelation” was introduced to the members of Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF). Yes, some went overboard and it got out of hand. Jane actually tried to moderate the exuberance with which some began to monitor the bathroom habits of their fellow members. It was in reality a fiasco. But, at the time, I did not understand the lasting detrimental effects. During my stay at WOFF, I witnessed CH get publically rebuked by Mark Doyle for using a urinal in an airport bathroom. It was not God’s will for WOFF members to use urinals. This was just a hint of the controls yet to come. During my years there, the urinals were partitioned off so you could not view the person beside of you. Apparently, this is not the end of the controls of personal bathroom habits. Allow me continue.
Fast forward to this year and yet more bathroom controls have been explained to me. Recently, I have been told that the urinals were totally removed from the bathroom s at WOFF. For recent visitors- is this true? I have no reason to doubt it. If that were the end of the controls, I would not be writing this post. Reports coming out of this group have gone into more detail. I will try to be as tasteful as possible in explaining the restraints that I understand to be in place at WOFF.
This is the next installment seeking to answer the question of how Jane Whaley controls the members of Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF). The first post only covered two parts of the answer. There are several parts to the answer to the ever resounding question. Here is the summary from the first post…
From Phillips’ work, we learn that many people have and will confuse the voice of their conscience with the voice of God. He says that the conscience is not a reliable source of guidance because even though some would argue it is our final moral guide; the conscience can be trained with wrong perspectives from our environment and/or the people around us from whom we take counsel. In our desperation for answers to life’s important issues, we often seek answers from our peers or ones we respect. In my opinion, Jane Whaley’s narcissism colors her perspectives and when seekers come to her, the counsel given is ultimately oriented to serve her and the voice of her conscience which she claims is the voice of God Himself.
In essence, Jane commandeers and seeks to supersede the ability of her faithful members to hear the voice of their conscience and/or if we may say- the voice of God speaking to them individually. Her position of super-spiritual authority demands that her faithful members relinquish the right to assert that they can or have heard the direction for their life independent of her required input or approval. The culmination of this process is more gradual for some than others. For those recruited into the group, the process of surrender to Jane may come in small steps of surrender masked or euphemistically labeled as surrender to the will of God. At any point along the journey, a new recruit may stop to consider the outcome of denying Jane the control she requires and demands, but, the consequences of refusal would be severe and will be the source of major emotional trauma and damage. Refusing Jane her control over you may cost your job, your home, your family and years of lost enjoyment of life.
As I begin to write this series of posts, it strikes me as odd that it has taken me so long to come to some conclusion or feasible answer to the question: How does Jane Whaley exercise control over her members of Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF)? This is a question I have had to face many times since leaving the group. Well meaning folks have posed it in many different forms. Jane Whaley herself had openly scoffed at the notion while I was inside the group. She would sarcastically mock those who accused her of controlling over 400 members. How could she do that? She was only one person. And over the years, at different points while writing this blog, I have experienced sentinel moments of epiphany that moved me closer to a satisfactory answer. This series of posts is meant to explain the next step of my understanding of this complex subject.
This part of the answer will not come from directly comparing Jane to leaders of other groups that exhibit the same or similar practices. That part of the foundation of my answer has been well documented. Next, let me address the scoffing that I have witnessed Jane herself exhibit at the above question. It would be difficult for the patient to accurately diagnose this disease. Would anyone really expect her to layout with any understanding the reason why or methods she employs to work her deeds over so many? Does a cat know it is a cat? Does a dog know it is a dog? Does a person who exhibits such pathological behaviors really understand the deviousness and destructiveness of their own behaviors? I see no evidence that she does. So, even though Jane will be made aware of these posts, I don’t expect her to call and thank me.
Wednesday, I had a conversation with a fellow employee. They were telling about their plans for the weekend and mentioning they were seeking a sunrise service for Sunday morning. I encouraged them that where they were going there should be one. I then mentioned that while in Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) – we did not celebrate Easter. So, what kind of look do you think the person gave me? Polite unbelief? That is an understatement.
This person asked how the (group) rationalized that one. How does a Christian group convince their members to NOT celebrate a remembrance that is so vital to the foundation of Christianity? Then there came the zinger- “How were you convinced not to celebrate Easter?” Have any other survivors of WOFF or other groups ever had this happen? You let it slip out what beliefs or practices your former group has and you get pegged to defend the seemingly odd practices?