A False Perception
What I am writing about here is central to the damaging effects of the fellowship of Wayman O.
I asked my pastor/leader one time about the attrition rate in the fellowship. I had been beginning to notice that most people left our churches after a period of time. This was not readily apparent in the early days. When a girl, who was one of the first four converts of the Tucson church, left the church after being there for four and a half years, we were astonished. We thought, "How could someone who had been a solid member for that LONG actually "backslide"? Most of us, at that point in the church, had been there for two or three years or less. Sure, we understood there were "flakes" who just came for a few weeks or months and then left. But to see one of the founding members leave the church like that was shocking to us. She was in ministry, and was slated to be a pastor's wife.
Quite a few years later it was becoming apparent that long term people did indeed leave, and that this was actually a common occurance. I had noticed it with my own church over the years, and in the mother church as well. So, I asked my pastor/leader about it. His response was, "Well, that's everywhere." I was disturbed by this answer. Yes, I knew that other churches also lost long term members all the time. I also knew that over a 20 year period they could lose 90+%. But we were always told that we were different.
Now there is a key element here that people need to be made aware of. In non cult churches, it is a given that people will come and go over the years. People move, they change denominations and beliefs, they just stop going to church, they marry someone in another church or religion and join up with their spouse's group, etc. But the perception that people have as members of the fellowship of Waymanchrist is that they will stay until they die or Jesus comes back. This is the key difference.
People in the fellowship are never educated on the attrition rate at the membership level, and the pastor level. They are trained to believe that in times past God "cleaned house" and many left, but now God has a new crop of people who will serve Him. They don't get it. They don't have a clue that the chances are overwhelming that they leave the fellowship at one point or another.
This goes back to the corrupt teaching that the Lord has placed the members of the fellowship in their specific fellowship church. It is point blank taught that leaving your fellowship church will take you out of the will of God, out of the covering of God, and into the hands of Satan. They will skirt the issue sometimes with broad statements like, "We have never said that you have to go to this church to be saved," but the real teaching is that if you leave the place God appointed for you, then you will not survive as a Christian believer, and will as a result be damned.
So fellowship people settle into the false perception that they will be fellowship people for as long as they live. They simply never dream that they will in fact leave one day. None of the leaders who left the fellowship could have seen themselves doing so circa 1986. Many, many young people who were advid disciples during the 70s, 80s, and 90s would never have thought that one day they would hit the exit for the last time. There were many in those decades who were totally given over to getting sent out and building "powerful" fellowship churches, who have long since left Waymanland. There were many who for varying periods of time pastored fellowship churches, who have also left the Wonderful World of Wayman.
This perception that you will always be a part of this fellowship that God "placed you in," is what gives the leadership the power to abuse and exploit people to the max. I remember talking to a pastor who had taken a large church from another pastor, and that other pastor had left the fellowship. There were rumors that the "rebel" pastor was going to come back to the same city and start another church. The fellowship loyalist pastor told me, "The problem with this whole rebellion thing is that it gives people an alternative." In other words, if the "rebel" pastor started another church in the city, then people in the fellowship church might feel like they have a choice on where to go to church. Fellowship leadership's power to abuse, expliot, and control people is related to the perception that they can't go to any other church and be "right with God."
Fellowship people are convinced they can't leave, and so they see themselves as being in the fellowship as long as they live, or until Jesus comes. If they knew that they are going to eventually leave anyway, then they wouldn't put up with the abuse for a moment. So the illusion must be maintained in members right up until they do actually leave.
What this is like is a person working a really bad job. A job where the pay is low, the work is hard, and the conditions are deplorable. Your boss convinces you that if you leave then you will never be able to find another job, and you will die in poverty. So you work that job for 20 years until you just can't take the abuse any more, and you leave. Then you discover that you were lied to, and that there are plenty of other jobs that pay better, have better conditions, and much better bosses. Unfortunately, at that point, you have lost 20 years to a lousy employer.
You can talk to any fellowship disciple in the height of his religious dedication, and he will laugh at the idea that he would ever leave "the greatest move of God in the earth today." No matter how many statistics you put in front of him of the attrition rate, he will blow it off. If he is a 7 year disciple, then when you try to show him how many from 20 years ago have left, he will laugh at that and dismiss it as what I previously said, "God cleaning house."
This false impression that people have that they will never leave is a key ingredient in the whole fellowship scam. I might say that those who do stay are primarily those in positions of prosperity and power, but even a large number of those people have left. I think there are a handful of people who stay for 30+ years who just can't function in any other social setting after being there for so long. But the vast, vast majority of people leave. Unfortunately, this does not become a reality to them until they actually leave themselves.
I remember pulling out a copy of Tucson's version of the Trumpet, the Gospel Pioneer, and seeing a picture of the people in my church standing out in front of the church building. The picture was about 10 years old. I calculated that 80% or more of the people in the picture no longer attended my church. My church was the same size or slightly larger, about 130 people. But the people from just 10 years ago were mostly gone.
I also remember going through some old photos. There were some black and white photos of a wedding in Tucson where my ex wife was the brides maid. Some pictures were taken from behind the pastor, and you could clearly see the congregation. I was stunned at all the people who used to be the main members of the Tucson church who were no longer there. The entire wedding party was gone. Again, about 80% or more were gone. And remember, I was looking at this picture quite a few years ago. There are no doubt more gone now.
The church that sent me out in 1980 no longer exists. The Tucson church has been almost completely replaced. Sure, people leave other churches, but those people know they can leave any time. Fellowship people, while they are in it, really believe they will be there the rest of their lives or until Jesus comes. Sure, some, if not most, plan to be sent out. But they plan to stay a part of Waymanland forever. Statistics reveal that this is a false perception. But Wayman and the boys will milk that false perception for all that it is worth.
And that is the final analysis. The fellowship of Wayman O. creates a mindset in people of their staying all their earthly lives in the fellowship, and this mindset allows massive abuse, exploitaion, and control. It is designed to take people for all they are worth, use them up, cast them out, and move on to other victims. What a racket!