The Way The Truth and The Life
Juice

Marion, NC

#211 Jan 18, 2013
sigmund wrote:
Juice, nothing offensive about your statements.
Considering 'commune' would have been one of the definitions of WTL, I think you would of liked many of the things offered there. Unfortunately, you would have been 1 or 2 and we would of have to put you in one of the cages :)
I hope I didnt offend, just more info for Mom.
Lolz. None taken.
Benb28655

Morganton, NC

#212 Jan 18, 2013
During the mid to late seventies I worked in a local furniture factory. Three girls from WTL came to work in my dept, they were very hard workers, I was 18 at the time and became attracted to one of the girls whose name was Penny Collins. She told me how the church (commune) started in Opa Locka, Fla and how they came under persecution there because of their practices, one being that the women in the church wore pants. She showed me newspaper clippings of the accusations. So they moved north to Marion NC. The girls would talk to all the single guys in the dept trying to get us to come visit. Several times I drove by contemplating visiting but never did. I saw lots of men, women, and child sitting in a large circle at WTL looked like they were reading the Bible. A year of so later I remember reading an article in the Morganton NC, News Herald about how the leaders of WTL was accused of holding Vietnam refugees against their will at the commune, and I believe the Federal government stepped in and took action to get the refugees freed. Shortly there after the WTL moved on north. But after all these years I still wonder what happened to everyone at WTL. I know Penny did say that they turned their pay over to the leadership and everyone shared their pay to support the commune. Years later visiting what use to be PTL in Charlotte, it reminded me of the peace I felt looking at the Bible study circle at WTL. Just a bunch of believers sitting around talking about Jesus, musicians playing upbeat contempoary Christian music. Everyone seemed to have one common goal and that was to worship Jesus. I know some will think and say bad things about the Bakers, but same as the leaders of WTL it all started out about assembling together in one Spirit. Then the world/sin comes in and destroys the dream. But when we get to heaven, then we can all sit around and worship Jesus together with no fear of sin coming in to destroy .

9
mark in time

Reidsville, NC

#213 Jan 20, 2013
Most of these posts have been quite enlightening. Thanks to you that were open & truthful. Strange to me, parts of roughly 8 hrs out of some 1/2 mil hrs of life are still so vivid in my mind. Been 38 yrs, so this is to the best of my recollection.

18 yrs old, thumbing up 221 to Banner Elk on a Sunday morn, late Aug or early Sept in 74. A fellow in a older gray chevy pickup gave me a ride. Said he'd just got off work. After some small talk ended up having a meal with him, his wife, & another couple in a trailer across the road from the motel in a big field. Good food & conversation. A nice & very pleasant time.

I was invited to a church service across the street. Sure, why not, I was game. We went into the lobby area of the old motel. More nice friendly people. The pastor was very animated. An extremely high energy talk. He was using an overhead projector to illustrate his sermon. He drew out how his congregation was going to sit & judge the people of earth from heaven. He kept stabbing the projector with his pen & talking rather forcefully. The music was beautiful. 10 or so instrument band. Played well together and the crowd sang enthusiastically. The pastor played a sax. I thought he played good.

After the service I got turned over to some other people. Don't remember much bout them. Was invited to have supper at the pastor's house. Why not? I think 20 - 25 people at the table. Everybody appeared to be bout my age or a little older. Pastor & wife at head of table. Think we had spaghetti.

After the meal & some more small talk a young lady approached me & said she was going to show me where my bed would be. I had noticed her during the meal. She had been noticing me also.(I'm still infatuated to this day. Long dark hair, big brown eyes, perfect form, I close my eyes & wounder what if?) She picked up my backpack & led me into a large dormitory type room filled with bunk beds. She placed it on the floor by a bottom bunk near the middle of the room.

A few words & she left me there. I stood there & pondered the situation. After a moment or so I picked up my backpack, walked out the front door to the highway & put out my thumb. Didn't take long to get a ride. Made it into Banner Elk as it was getting dark. Never went back.
mark in time

Reidsville, NC

#214 Jan 20, 2013
About a 1 1/2 years later I think I found out what the pretty girl was all about. Me & some friends were walking down a street in San Francisco, Ca. A beautiful young red head lady with striking green eyes approached us. We were all mesmerized & followed her to the Church of Scientology. I took some of their tests there. They said I was really messed up & needed to buy some of their books.

WTL didn't ask any thing of me but to stay, Scientology people wanted money. Pretty girl both times. I do not believe in coincidence.

I read earlier in another post there was no drug use there. I have always wondered about that. Nobody was acting especially strange, but every one had that tripping look in their eyes. Dilated with that lsd sparkle. I thought every one was drugged. Right or wrong these were my thoughts. This was a big factor in my leaving.

Since: Jul 12

haverhill mass

#215 Jan 21, 2013
They did all that for you for nothing and the accusation against them is they had this tripping look in their. I've heard that same thing said by JW's about Christians. Maybe it was just the love of the Holy Spirit shining through them.
I think the girl you mentioned may hae been Addrianne Goldstein

Since: Jul 12

haverhill mass

#216 Jan 21, 2013
If it was Addrianne forget the what ifs, she was married.
jacknchina

Charlotte, NC

#217 Jan 22, 2013
"That tripping look in their eyes" was probably lack of sleep. Everyone worked full time jobs and did intensive Bible study or chores late into the evening. No one used attractive women to pull guys in. The community was very strict about guy and girl relationships. But, you were probably right to leave.
mark in time wrote:
About a 1 1/2 years later I think I found out what the pretty girl was all about. Me & some friends were walking down a street in San Francisco, Ca. A beautiful young red head lady with striking green eyes approached us. We were all mesmerized & followed her to the Church of Scientology. I took some of their tests there. They said I was really messed up & needed to buy some of their books.
WTL didn't ask any thing of me but to stay, Scientology people wanted money. Pretty girl both times. I do not believe in coincidence.
I read earlier in another post there was no drug use there. I have always wondered about that. Nobody was acting especially strange, but every one had that tripping look in their eyes. Dilated with that lsd sparkle. I thought every one was drugged. Right or wrong these were my thoughts. This was a big factor in my leaving.
mark in time

Reidsville, NC

#218 Jan 22, 2013
dbellerose wrote:
They did all that for you for nothing and the accusation against them is they had this tripping look in their. I've heard that same thing said by JW's about Christians. Maybe it was just the love of the Holy Spirit shining through them.
I think the girl you mentioned may hae been Addrianne Goldstein
LOL Didn't take long for a knee jerk reaction to my post. The interweb never disappoints.
mark in time

Reidsville, NC

#219 Jan 22, 2013
jacknchina wrote:
"That tripping look in their eyes" was probably lack of sleep. Everyone worked full time jobs and did intensive Bible study or chores late into the evening. No one used attractive women to pull guys in. The community was very strict about guy and girl relationships. But, you were probably right to leave.
<quoted text>
Ummmmm, lack of sleep. I can see that. Definitely will treak a persons physical appearance. Curious... Why do you think I was probably right to leave?
Sigmund

Buffalo Grove, IL

#220 Jan 25, 2013
Mark-----A lot of people came to WTL the same way. You could of stayed.

I DO NOT know, nor does anyone else know who the girl was that caught your fancy but as jacknchina said WTL was strict. Being a Church group, I am sure you would of figured the right situation out and knew how to act IF she was married or if not.

As you missed it and if you stayed, they probably would of, with Bible in hand, taken you down the 'Roman Road'(Romans 3:23,5:8, 6:23, 10:9-10 and 10:13). They would of afterward hoped you Prayed something like: "Dear God, I confess that I am a sinner, and I am sorry. I need a Savior. I know I cannot save myself. I believe by faith that Jesus, your Son, died on the cross to be my Savior. I believe He arose from the grave to live as my Lord. I turn from my sin. I ask You, Lord Jesus, to forgive my sin and come into my heart. I trust you as my Savior and receive you as my Lord. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me."

The look in the eyes COULD of been real love, joy, peace and happiness.:)

You can get those eyes if you meet Him.
jacknchina

Charlotte, NC

#221 Jan 25, 2013
Good post, Sigmund! I believe that those who were called to salvation through the WTL fellowship would have seen the truth through all the "outward appearances". We were young people and a bit extreme in our interpretations of the Bible and Christianity but for the most part we loved God and one another. We shared our faith openly even though it made us unpopular. God used us in spite of our weaknesses. This could probably be said of all Christians everywhere through the ages. But in the end, only God can judge. 1 Corinthians 4:3
Sigmund wrote:
Mark-----A lot of people came to WTL the same way. You could of stayed.
I DO NOT know, nor does anyone else know who the girl was that caught your fancy but as jacknchina said WTL was strict. Being a Church group, I am sure you would of figured the right situation out and knew how to act IF she was married or if not.
As you missed it and if you stayed, they probably would of, with Bible in hand, taken you down the 'Roman Road'(Romans 3:23,5:8, 6:23, 10:9-10 and 10:13). They would of afterward hoped you Prayed something like: "Dear God, I confess that I am a sinner, and I am sorry. I need a Savior. I know I cannot save myself. I believe by faith that Jesus, your Son, died on the cross to be my Savior. I believe He arose from the grave to live as my Lord. I turn from my sin. I ask You, Lord Jesus, to forgive my sin and come into my heart. I trust you as my Savior and receive you as my Lord. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me."
The look in the eyes COULD of been real love, joy, peace and happiness.:)
You can get those eyes if you meet Him.
Juice

Marion, NC

#222 Jan 25, 2013
Truly beautiful. A nice thought for the day. I thank you as well.
Hannah

Fort Lauderdale, FL

#223 Jun 24, 2013
None of the WTL could have happened without the UN-conscious mentality of its followers.
Nearly 100% of the followers of the WTL were out-siders or people who felt like outsiders (or romantically involved with them). Perfect prey for Religious Fanatics BECAUSE using the Church system, as their vehicle, they could develop an Identity----and NOW they now were "children of God." This was their Identity which they would fight for (take a look at the Religious systems of the Radical Muslims----not too much different). Watch the movie Seriana (Clooney).

Presto...you know have a perfectly programmed specimen to do your dirty work and propagate the system and build DOWN LINE. The ultimate goal is Power. Power over the minds of sheep leads to power in numbers. More sheep....more eyes looking....more power.
Ben Sapio "was the WTL" as evidenced by its demise upon his ex-communication by its own members (that's pretty bad when a group you started throws you out for committing Homo-sexual acts within the Flock, especially while you are married).

Ben was a closet narcissistic homo-sexual---a big receipt for disaster. In his mind, he would reason that Homo-sexuality was OK and a "non-judgment behavior by God" as long as he was doing the "lords work" (which was to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ). As long as Ben was doing the Lord's work...everything was kewl (including sucking ding-dong).

HOW ANYONE can over-look AND IGNORE this fact, is a problem for the follower...not the Narcissist LEADER!

It took a long time to figure this out---as i came from a broken home (like 90% of the flock). Kids from fragmented Broken homes are typically ignored by their parents and become perfect targets for the predatory Religious Narcissist. AND THE EQUATION IS "You have a passive vulnerable victim...and the predatory Religious Narcissist who's hunger for power over another is their main drive.
I watched this character Manipulate young minds to GIVE UP any future on this planet and join "the none-life"...a life who's whole focus was not life on earth---but a life beyond reality. The victims and outcast are the targets.

IF you are still a follower of any type of commune or religious cult like the WTL, i urge you to seek professional counseling while there is still time to save your mind.

Better yet, do a search for Ben Sapio and read some of the articles written about him and his back ground and how WTL made their money.

If this is not the propagation of Evil, then i don't know what is.
Hannah

Fort Lauderdale, FL

#224 Jun 24, 2013
mark in time wrote:
Most of these posts have been quite enlightening. Thanks to you that were open & truthful. Strange to me, parts of roughly 8 hrs out of some 1/2 mil hrs of life are still so vivid in my mind. Been 38 yrs, so this is to the best of my recollection.
18 yrs old, thumbing up 221 to Banner Elk on a Sunday morn, late Aug or early Sept in 74. A fellow in a older gray chevy pickup gave me a ride. Said he'd just got off work. After some small talk ended up having a meal with him, his wife, & another couple in a trailer across the road from the motel in a big field. Good food & conversation. A nice & very pleasant time.
I was invited to a church service across the street. Sure, why not, I was game. We went into the lobby area of the old motel. More nice friendly people. The pastor was very animated. An extremely high energy talk. He was using an overhead projector to illustrate his sermon. He drew out how his congregation was going to sit & judge the people of earth from heaven. He kept stabbing the projector with his pen & talking rather forcefully. The music was beautiful. 10 or so instrument band. Played well together and the crowd sang enthusiastically. The pastor played a sax. I thought he played good.
After the service I got turned over to some other people. Don't remember much bout them. Was invited to have supper at the pastor's house. Why not? I think 20 - 25 people at the table. Everybody appeared to be bout my age or a little older. Pastor & wife at head of table. Think we had spaghetti.
After the meal & some more small talk a young lady approached me & said she was going to show me where my bed would be. I had noticed her during the meal. She had been noticing me also.(I'm still infatuated to this day. Long dark hair, big brown eyes, perfect form, I close my eyes & wounder what if?) She picked up my backpack & led me into a large dormitory type room filled with bunk beds. She placed it on the floor by a bottom bunk near the middle of the room.
A few words & she left me there. I stood there & pondered the situation. After a moment or so I picked up my backpack, walked out the front door to the highway & put out my thumb. Didn't take long to get a ride. Made it into Banner Elk as it was getting dark. Never went back.
You were lucky my friend...and the TRUE GOD was looking out for you.
Inge

Los Angeles, CA

#225 Jun 24, 2013
Cooper Discoverer wrote:
I started this thread in 2008, and am very interested in the topic. I don't have any useful information nor proof of it's existence, but want to learn as much as I can about it.
Word of Faith fellowship in Spindale seems very much similar to this.
Any information you want to post about your past, I would be very interested.
I was a member, briefly in 1976. My husband at the time got me to go to their church services. They had Bible studies on I think Wednesday nights. Married women were not allowed to talk single men alone, like in a kitchen. The Pastor (who owned a beauty salon) decided which members would marry who. Members were required to proselytize to get more members. I think he also had a radio show that claimed we were in Last days. One day at the start of church service...it was common practice that members would stand up (in a dark auditorium) and confess their sins. The 1st male stood up and said he had sex with the pastor...then another male stood up...and then another. Then mayhem broke out. That was the end of that group and then the local newspapers got ahold of the story, and all kinds of allegations, including child abuse were made. I thought they were kooks from the start.

Brenda in Morganton

Lincolnton, NC

#226 Jun 25, 2013
I got to this site because I am originally from Marion, born 1947 and was trying to find out about some murders which happened around the same time as the WTL people were in Marion. I was living in TX at the time. Remember my sister telling me our family thought she was nuts for attending a WTL service. Maybe the murders were a long time after: Some girl named Cat is all I can remember, and maybe I'm mixing it up with the WTL. For anyone from Marion, I'm also interested in the Wilkinson, or Wilkerson murder of the 1950s or 60s, a wealthy woman, and I think some transient was convicted, then later a valuable ring which was stolen, was found in the possession of her son. Thanks.
Adria

Inman, SC

#227 Jun 25, 2013
here is a miami newspaper article about sapio http://news.google.com/newspapers...
Adria

Inman, SC

#228 Jun 25, 2013
just google him tons of old newspaper articles come up
Sigmund

Buffalo Grove, IL

#229 Jun 27, 2013
All my past isnt so rosey either and let him who hasnt screwed up cast a stone, but I wish I had read the aricles about Ben. Interesting, but if you hung around him enough you knew there was something different, didnt know it was criminal.

It would of real memorable if I was there when/if those confessions about Ben took place. They must have started open confessions after I left as no one ever confessed their sins in front of everyone in the auditorium whilst I was there.

I was with them since florida and left weeks before they split up into 'satelites'. Great education. Hated the Copperheads.

Regarding Ben, who amazingly is still getting press, if he, in my beliefs, believed in Jesus, I know where he is now. Saul of Tarsus was on his way to kill Christians before he met the lord, believed and became Paul...... and we know where he is :)

Thanks for the News clippings.

For the furniture worker, I also worked with Penny at that plant, I worked the 'stapler' gun.
was a member

Lutz, FL

#230 Jun 30, 2013
searching the Way the Truth and the Life out of curiosity I came across these blogs.

It was sad to read as most of what is written is absolutely not true.

I was with the first group of members that came up from Miami moving the ministry to NC. My wife and I were the last people to leave after the property was sold to another 'Christian ministry'.

Ben Sapio was the Pastor. He was kicked out by the congregation due to immorality. I was one of the deacons to kick him out. The group was not forced to close by anyone or any organization. There were some things that were not right and I would in no way defend or condone any of them. Unfortunately most members were young and in many cases naïve like myself. However there were many lives saved and changed to this day because of that ministry.

There was an article in the McDowell News but it was a total lie. No one was murdered, that's insane. I was there when the reporters came and took pictures and scurried off only to see in the next addition this picture of what was stackable cribs (now at churches and nurseries everywhere),on the front page with bold front line print title BABIES KEPT IN CAGES. RIDICULOUS AND UNBELIEVABLE! After legal intervention they were forced to retract it all in the paper.

Don't know if this forum is still up and running but if anyone wants to know the truth just respond with your question and I will tell you.

For the record I have worked for a well know company for 33 years. My wife is an underwriter for major Life insurance company. We are Christians and members of the Southern Baptist convention.

be careful what you read and believe.

God Bless,

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