Challenge to Pres. Martindale

I recently read the series of articles on The Way International published by the Wapakoneta News and St. Mary's Evening Leader. I was pleased to see that the public schools discipline children who call classmates "wayfers."

Shortly after that, I heard a tape of President Loy Craig Martindale responding to the articles during the May 4 Sunday evening service at the Way auditorium. He called the ten or 20 people who wrote or were quoted in the articles (including me) such names as "snot-nosed punk," "St. Mary's puke sheet," "morons," "not have two brain cells to rub together," "lies and malarkey" and some profanity. He also mused how wonderful it would be if all journalism and law schools were burned down. The same parents who were upset when their children were called "wayfers" laughed and applauded when their President insulted other people in these more extreme ways. His tirades provided dramatic contrast from the dignified choir music and hymns sung before and after. Witnesses say his profanity is even more intense in less public settings.

Wise parents and schools normally discipline children who use such language, knowing it is a sign of immaturity, it hinders communication and keeps the child from honestly considering needed changes in their lives. While the president of The Way Int. (TWI) is accustomed to such crude language, the president of the United States counts such language beneath his dignity. Although Martindale says he favors "sheer logic," he seems unaware name calling is a basic fallacy of logic known to even beginning students in logic.

Although Martindale loaded his remarks with crude name calling, he did not answer particular charges the articles made against TWI. Ironically, he criticized the reporter for not checking all charges with him (even though he declined to be interviewed), but made no effort to answer them for his own people. He told his people to write to the newspaper, and of course many did as they were told.

Martindale said he could easily rebut all the charges even when he is "half drunk" (and then began to say that he never stops at just half drunk). I challenge Martindale to drop the immature name calling and respond to issues raised in the article, including these three:

1. Deceitful claims and lies. Founder V. P. Wierwille claimed that he could not leave a conference in Tulsa in December 1951 all trains, buses and planes were "snowbound" by a blizzard. Weather service records record no blizzards in the whole month and only about one-half inch of snow the week before and the week after. Please, Mr. Martindale, show how this fact is actually "lies and malarkey."

2. The article noted that although the preface of "Receiving the Holy Spirit Today" claims that it is the most original coverage of the subject and that Wierwille wrote the book himself, he actually plagiarized (stole) sections word-for-word from J. E. Stiles' book written years before. For instance, compare Stiles page 128 with Wierwille page 120 (2nd edition). (Editing for later editions made the plagiarism a little less word-for-word, but the copying is still obvious.) Plagiarism is a type of theft and misrepresentation. Please show how this assertion is "lies and malarkey."

3. Scores of women claim married Way leaders had intercourse or other intimate sexual contact with them. While it may be difficult for Martindale to prove that they are all lying, it would be helpful if the trustees would release a statement saying that a) all these allegations are false; b) present and past trustees never had intimate sexual contact with women other than their own wives; c) the Bible forbids sexual intercourse with anyone except their own spouses; and d) trustees will discipline, or even "purge, mark and avoid" leaders who engage in or approve such extra-marital sexual activity. Most Christian leaders outside TWI, including myself, would be happy to issue such a public statement. We challenge the trustees to do the same. Why would the trustees not want to make a public statement on something so essential to the stability of the family and marriage as faithfulness to one's wife or husband? If they don't want to make a clear statement- what does this say about their faithfulness to their marriage vows and the likelihood of betrayal of their spouses?

In contrast to Martindale's name calling, many articles carefully document examples of ignorance or deception in Way writings, such as the above topics. If Way followers really think for themselves, it would be wise for them to read details on these important topics. We found that many are afraid to do so because of pressure put on by leaders. They fear being purged, marked and avoided, which is an indication that Martindale actually does have more control over them than the Pope has over Catholics (another assertion in the news articles). If Way followers wish to anonymously see some material, they can find some on the Internet at www.empirenetcom/~messiah7 or by mail at 7070 Palm, Highland CA 92346. To protect their privacy, mail would be sent without a return address and with a different postmark.

If they don't examine these important responses, do they really think for themselves?


7070 Palm, Highland CA 92346 May 27, 1997


"The Way Kids Say" section of the May-June issue of The Way Magazine recounted an incident in which a family was listening to a tape by President Martindale. When the tape was turned off, a child said, "Don't turn God off! We need to listen to Him!"

The mother added, "I thought about what a great illustration she had given us all; when a man of God is speaking the Word, it is God talking to us!"

It is true that when people hear the Scriptures, it is God talking. However, when men, including Martindale, speak anything other than a direct quote from the Bible without comment, then faulty men are talking, not perfect God.

Sadly, many followers of TWI confuse the two. They really do treat Martindale's words as though they are revelation from God to be obeyed without question. Some go so far as to say that they must obey "the man of God" (Martindale or his representatives) even when they believe that Martindale is saying things that are inaccurate or wrong. They are led to believe that anyone who disagrees must be wrong, because "the man of God" can't be in error. This mistaken attitude eventually leads them into false teaching and practice.

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