The Way The Truth and The Life

Posted in the Marion Forum

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Curious

Greer, SC

#1 Nov 2, 2008
Just curious to see if anyone has any information on the "Cult" or whatever it was years ago, I've heard stories that it was in the woodlawn area in that rock building. I would love to here some interesting stories about it.

“Distrust Elected Officials ”

Since: Apr 08

Rutherfordton

#2 Nov 3, 2008
Old copies at the public library have info. This was in North cove on the main road just before the railroad bridge. The leader was a guy named Ben Sappio. I don't know if the spelling of his name is correct. Back when Marion had businesses on Main Street, I remember many Saturdays in town when young people would come up to you and ask questions like "do you want to ride in a time machine"? They would then "minister" to you about their version of the Christian faith. I remember this question being asked of me many times. The Mcdowell News reported on how the members cared for their children. There were allegations in the county the infants were held in cages and I remember the McDowell News writing about it. Early 70s I believe.
Curious

Greer, SC

#3 Nov 5, 2008
Thank you so much! I was not sure if the McDowell news ever reported on this due to it being so long ago. I will definaltely go to the library and check it out.
Highwayman

Marion, NC

#4 May 25, 2011
the cult operated in a motor lodge like motel in North Cove. They treated women terribly and murdered newborns who were unwanted. most of the time the murdered babies were male. they kept the children in cages when they became old enough to stop needing so much care. all members of the commune gave their paycheck to the leader of the cult. most of the members worked in local factories.

“I am Cooper.”

Since: Feb 10

Location hidden

#5 May 25, 2011
I'm interested in this also... what years was it active?

What motor lodge was it in? Was it the one right after Huskins Branch?
travelin man

Hickory, NC

#6 May 25, 2011
It was still there in '76. At the old rock motel where the water slide is now. Practiced "free love" or so I was told.

Since: May 11

Burnsville, NC

#7 May 26, 2011
Cooper Discoverer wrote:
I'm interested in this also... what years was it active?
What motor lodge was it in? Was it the one right after Huskins Branch?
No...way farther north on 221....just before the Golf course at the railroad overpass. I also heard way back then that this was a branch of the infamous Jim Jones cult of the 1970s.

“I am Cooper.”

Since: Feb 10

Location hidden

#8 May 26, 2011
Hmmm, I wish there was more information on this... extremely interesting.

I'd like to know "who" the leader of it was, what happened to it, what exactly went on there, if anyone we know was really involved...

Was it just a migratory group of people? Did most of them leave? Or did they scatter around McDowell..
travelin man

Hickory, NC

#12 May 26, 2011
History tourism anyone? Sounds better to me than fort interstate or the kentucky fried house. Bring your swimsuit.
craziness

United States

#15 May 27, 2011
Some of these people worked for my father in a local factory. Apparently they were good workers and not so weird that they couldn't hold a job. They walked around Marion in white robes and sandals. I bet some old people know more about this.
please

Belmont, NC

#16 May 27, 2011
Cooper Discoverer wrote:
Hmmm, I wish there was more information on this... extremely interesting.
I'd like to know "who" the leader of it was, what happened to it, what exactly went on there, if anyone we know was really involved...
Was it just a migratory group of people? Did most of them leave? Or did they scatter around McDowell..
it was right before the railroad overpass the restaraunt there the antique store and the hotel that only a part is left the flood took most of it out several years back there was all sort of rumors dont know if any were true they would beg people to come and see for themselves the good people of mcdowell rode them out of town on a rail doesnt pay to be too different in these parts.
wondering

Marion, NC

#17 May 27, 2011
craziness wrote:
Some of these people worked for my father in a local factory. Apparently they were good workers and not so weird that they couldn't hold a job. They walked around Marion in white robes and sandals. I bet some old people know more about this.
I was born in the 60's so I don't remember much of things from the 70's, but my mom has told me stories about some of the people from that cult. She one thing that stood out was that the people would stand on the sidewalk and stare directly at the sun.
please

Belmont, NC

#18 May 27, 2011
wondering wrote:
<quoted text>
I was born in the 60's so I don't remember much of things from the 70's, but my mom has told me stories about some of the people from that cult. She one thing that stood out was that the people would stand on the sidewalk and stare directly at the sun.
dont remember them doing that but I do remember the purple magic shop that was on main street in the late 60s wasnt in business long they were ran out of town too
Ruger-Man

Asheville, NC

#19 May 27, 2011
craziness wrote:
Some of these people worked for my father in a local factory. Apparently they were good workers and not so weird that they couldn't hold a job. They walked around Marion in white robes and sandals. I bet some old people know more about this.
Wages were turned over to the leader of cult, kids kept in cages,Brain washed,etc: Real bunch of wierd "O"s
Stanly

United States

#21 May 28, 2011
The Mcdowell News did a story about the babies in cages and they were written by I think Robert Lingerfelt ( Robert was a well known sports writer and coach in the Marion youth sports ). He did a undercover deal and actually hung out at the " The way , The Truth and Life " . It was the Old rock Motor lodge on the left before the Rail Road bridge on 221 in north Cove .. You could also ask the family that owns the Dairy farm ( English Farms ) I think they either had a problem with them or employed members of the cult/Sect .. It made the front page , the pictures of the Baby cages really were nothing more than regular cribs with a wire top added .. But with a few good pokes with a sharp stick the DSS become involved and they were gone as fast as arrived .. Mid 1970's .. Scott Hollifiled from the McDowell news should be able to help you research this question
tweet tweet

Wilmington, NC

#22 May 29, 2011
grace wrote:
There was a guy that was from Marion- Charles Crouch everyone called "Boonie" he was perfectly fine when he was in high school. He joined this cult and when he came out he was completely Bonkers! I mean he did not know his family friends or anything --drugs was used and abused there.I think it got so bad that they actually were ran out of town.
This is the absolute truth! Boonie was a great guy and now he is forever ruined!
craziness

United States

#23 May 31, 2011
hearsay as fact. it's a mcdowell co. tradition!
Glenwood

Wilmington, NC

#24 Nov 24, 2011
I was a teenager when The Way, The Truth, The Live moved in to North Cove. They were very strange young people. They tried to get you to come to visit. The best I can remember in the 80's SBI came and closed it down. The McDowell News showed pictures of cages, that children where kept in.
Nebo wrote:
I no "Boonie" personally and his name is not Charles Crouch. I have talked with him about his stay there as well as his mother and according to them it was not all that people say. Although he didnt go into great detail, he did share a few stories about the people there including Mr. Sappio and the jobs he held there. He also did not leave there "crazy" and is very aware of who is family is and loves them very much. I agree with "wondering" asking Boonie about this is at this point in his life is probably not a good idea.
Piggy Blaster

Marion, NC

#26 Nov 25, 2011
McDowell News Reporter wrote:
You wont info on the WTL Way Truth And Life? Well it was a breeding ground for some local politicians and county employees,,
Jerry Hunter was a preacher there
Butch Hogan was a usher
Chucke Abernathy played the skin flute
Larry Seagle mowed grass
Keith Renfro sold crackers at the door
Chicken nugget your about to smacked with a paper again.
Bad Boy For Sure

Cumming, GA

#27 Nov 26, 2011
Piggy dont bite the ass that feeds you twink.. smack smack lets get together and talk oh I forgot your very afraid,, very very very

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