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Gwen Shamblin Lara 17: The Hair Apparant


HerNameIsBuffy

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1 hour ago, WeirdHarold said:

I don't recall grace widow being used by RF at all.

I need to clarify -- I never thought RF used the term, just maybe the concept as it applied to Gwen's divorce. My interest is in how they spun the divorce.

 

2 hours ago, Howl said:

Others will be able to clarify how RF spun the divorce from David and remarriage to Joe. 

I hope someone will!

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, throwaway9988 said:

I think they might have gone to Lipscomb University pre-RF (?) although I don’t know whether they finished degrees or not. Does anyone remember for sure? 

 

I don’t know for sure. When I looked on Elizabeth’s Facebook page recently, my neighbor popped up as a “mutual friend.”  He is about her age and did go to Lipscomb. I wondered if that was the connection. We live about thirty minutes from Nashville.  
 

I have also discovered another distant connection to this tragedy. Brandon Hannah’s parents are members of the church we attended before the pandemic. We had never met this couple; but based on posts about their loss, they have been longtime members - back to Brandon’s childhood, it seems. 

Edited by usmcmom
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The RF leaders didn't have to spin anything about Gwen's marriage to Joe Lara. These shameless people were all star-struck and were thrilled to be "upping their game". They were all dreaming of movie business contacts popping up on their omnipresent IPhones. Obviously they all want to be onstage and on screen as much and as often as possible. Look at that church building. Not an altar in sight, only an enormous sound stage with a phalanx of lights and cameras aimed at it. 

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1 hour ago, NarcissismKills said:

The RF leaders didn't have to spin anything about Gwen's marriage to Joe Lara. These shameless people were all star-struck and were thrilled to be "upping their game". They were all dreaming of movie business contacts popping up on their omnipresent IPhones. Obviously they all want to be onstage and on screen as much and as often as possible. Look at that church building. Not an altar in sight, only an enormous sound stage with a phalanx of lights and cameras aimed at it. 

Do the chairs rock and have cup holders? In the early 2000s a mega church was built near our rural home. Yep, huge sound system stage, rocking chairs and cup holders. The traffic increased about 1000 fold on Sundays. 

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1 hour ago, SassyPants said:

Do the chairs rock and have cup holders? In the early 2000s a mega church was built near our rural home. Yep, huge sound system stage, rocking chairs and cup holders. The traffic increased about 1000 fold on Sundays. 

The cinema near here did that AND I get to see some fun movies. Wouldn’t get me into a mega-church with an overamplified praise band, though, but to each her own. ;) 

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55 minutes ago, MamaJunebug said:

The cinema near here did that AND I get to see some fun movies. Wouldn’t get me into a mega-church with an overamplified praise band, though, but to each her own. ;) 

I was surprised when I went to the church it was big but not huge inside I thought from the video angles that it was at least twice as big as it actually is. And that some young people go up to an hour or more early to save seats for family and friends so they can get a seat. 

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11 hours ago, throwaway9988 said:

I think they might have gone to Lipscomb University pre-RF (?) although I don’t know whether they finished degrees or not. Does anyone remember for sure? 

Pretty sure they both went to Lipscomb and then the persecution (for something related to Gwen/RF/weigh down) got too much and they both dropped out. I don’t believe either finish. Granted this was before my time, this is just want I remember being told or hearing while a member 

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4 hours ago, Queen Of Hearts said:

For those asking about how Gwen justified her divorce, here is a bit of 'light reading' on the cult's (Gwen's) view of divorce and when it is justified.

 https://www.remnantfellowship.org/divorce-and-remarriage/

I plead guilty -- TL;DR. I've tried to read it several times but my eyes glaze over and my mind wanders when I get about two paragraphs in. I was hoping someone more patient and diligent than I had actually slogged through it and could offer me a short summary. If not, I understand completely!

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45 minutes ago, ManyGoats said:

I was hoping someone more patient and diligent than I had actually slogged through it and could offer me a short summary.

Kids, don't try this at home.

Gwen, you're good.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, ManyGoats said:

I plead guilty -- TL;DR. I've tried to read it several times but my eyes glaze over and my mind wanders when I get about two paragraphs in. I was hoping someone more patient and diligent than I had actually slogged through it and could offer me a short summary. If not, I understand completely!

I could not read that entire thing. I feel like their intention was to make it as difficult to understand as possible. It is also so vague that it can be used to justify any divorce for someone like Gwen while at the same time telling others they can’t get divorced. 
 

From what I can tell they are claiming “adultery of the heart” because her husband didn’t follow Gwod’s teachings. They also seem to be implying that husband number 1 was antagonistic towards Gwen(and therefore God). In this particular case “increasingly immoral” appears to be a code word for gaining weight.

Quote

But what about the opposite situation? What if the unbeliever is a pathological antagonist, always mocking the Church and the Saints? What if the unbeliever does not allow the spouse to fulfill the commands of the Heavenly Father? What if they have an aversion to being around any Saints at all? What if this unbeliever uses anger to control the spouse and children, or the unbeliever grows increasingly immoral? In this situation the believer has grounds for divorce due to abuse, oppression and persecution. 

 

Edited by formergothardite
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2 hours ago, formergothardite said:

In this particular case “increasingly immoral” appears to be a code word for gaining weight.

I just had an image of that hostile unbeliever Gwod's ex husband running around furtively eating chips that had been licked and then abandoned. 

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8 minutes ago, Howl said:

I just had an image of that hostile unbeliever Gwod's ex husband running around furtively eating chips that had been licked and then abandoned. 

Or he ate an entire piece of cake while drinking a non-diet coke!  Gwen would totally view that as abuse, oppression and persecution.

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52 minutes ago, formergothardite said:

Or he ate an entire piece of cake while drinking a non-diet coke!  Gwen would totally view that as abuse, oppression and persecution.

And if he refused to share, so would I!  :) 

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Queen Of Hearts said:

For those asking about how Gwen justified her divorce, here is a bit of 'light reading' on the cult's (Gwen's) view of divorce and when it is justified.

 https://www.remnantfellowship.org/divorce-and-remarriage/

I thought to myself, piece of cake (!), how hard could it be? Then I read to the end of this FIRST PARAGRAPH and, well, no. This makes no sense, literal or otherwise, and I can't go on. 

Spoiler

This has long been debated, but I believe that when God gave Israel a long time to get things right and then finally divorced, He set the example for earthly marriages. Man is the one who has distorted the Scriptures, leaving oppressed people in burdensome situations, or if allowing divorce, have shamed those involved to an extent where they are once again oppressed. This is not the intent of G[w]od. When God divorced Israel, He then remarried, creating a new covenant with a forever faithful Bride.

Pretty easy to tell that G[w]od was absolutely desperate to get out of her miserable marriage. When Mr. Semi-Buff Hunk o' Burning Love showed up down the street he must have seemed "heaven sent," and the rest, as they say, is poorly revamped theology. 

Edited by Howl
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18 hours ago, ManyGoats said:

I need to clarify -- I never thought RF used the term, just maybe the concept as it applied to Gwen's divorce. My interest is in how they spun the divorce.

I got the impression the public spin was "divorce? What divorce? I don't see any divorce! Here, lick this chip."

4 minutes ago, Howl said:

I thought to myself, piece of cake (!), how hard could it be? Then I read to the end of this FIRST PARAGRAPH and, well, no. This makes no sense, literal or otherwise, and I can't go on. 

  Hide contents

This has long been debated, but I believe that when God gave Israel a long time to get things right and then finally divorced, He set the example for earthly marriages. Man is the one who has distorted the Scriptures, leaving oppressed people in burdensome situations, or if allowing divorce, have shamed those involved to an extent where they are once again oppressed. This is not the intent of G[w]od. When God divorced Israel, He then remarried, creating a new covenant with a forever faithful Bride.

Pretty easy to tell that G[w]od was absolutely desperate to get our of her miserable marriage and when Mr. Hunk o' Burning Love showed up down the street, the rest, as they say, is poorly re-written theology. 

Anyone remember if this went up prior to her divorce or if it is a post-divorce word salad meant to confuse/bore any questioners into submission?

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9 hours ago, ManyGoats said:

I plead guilty -- TL;DR. I've tried to read it several times but my eyes glaze over and my mind wanders when I get about two paragraphs in. I was hoping someone more patient and diligent than I had actually slogged through it and could offer me a short summary. If not, I understand completely!

As someone who is divorced (twice) who had dealt with a lot of religious guilt over the first one I dove into this and I think it all boils down to this passage cleverly hidden amidst the word soup (it's not even organized enough to be a word salad.)

Quote

The Remnant affirms the sanctity of marriage. A Remnant marriage by definition is one where a man and a woman are both believers; therefore, they have put God, Christ and His Church first. Both are idol free and truly believe in putting others above themselves, and as a result, they are never egocentric, always looking inward, and never projecting fault onto others, which creates a marriage that is full of peace, tranquility, love and respect. Unity and harmony are expected as God’s will is first in both the husband’s heart and the wife’s heart. 

The bolding is mine.  How many people do you know who could live up to the never and always mentioned above?  I may not have experienced a good marriage, but I've seen them from the outside and I've noticed that most of them are made up of humans.  Humans, by nature, are imperfect.  Sometimes we get a little too self absorbed, sometimes we are too focused on others to the detriment of ourselves.  We can all blame others for bad things in our lives at times, even if upon reflection we see and address our own errors and hold ourselves accountable.  None of that makes us evil or unworthy of having a partner.

And she was very clever in never being egocentric and always looking inward.  How would one live a life of only looking inward without being highly egocentric?  This is a built in out clause as it's so contradictory it would be up to interpretation.  And if you want out of your marriage with RF's blessing this gives you the instructions of how to rationalize it to yourself and spin it to others.  

Unity and harmony are expected.  She doesn't say always, but it's implied IMO as lack of same means God's will isn't first in their hearts.  Even the best marriages have moments of lack of unity and harmony.  Maybe not often, maybe not serious...but they have them.  I defy any two pair bonded people to share life's ups and downs in complete agreement at all times.  That's why listening, understanding, and compromise as needed is so important in any decent relationship.  Again...another out clause.  

I've written policy for most of my career.  I know built in wiggle room when I see it.  

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Please forgive a Shamblin-newbie question (I didn't follow this group too closely, as the "thin-for-Him" was/is a bit triggering for me). I see a few people referencing licking chips - did she really advocate for licking chips instead of consuming them? I googled a bit, but I can only find a thread title here and a link to buying a weigh down workshop chip clip. 

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Just musing:

What role did David Shamblin play in the formation of WD & RF?  Likely the blog has had no evidence of his existence, much less significance, since Mr. Lara showed up in Ms. Lara’s life.  
 

Off to The Wayback Machine! Who is David Shamblin and what did he do to help found the Brentwood Boggle? 

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Just now, Marshmallow World said:

Please forgive a Shamblin-newbie question (I didn't follow this group too closely, as the "thin-for-Him" was/is a bit triggering for me). I see a few people referencing licking chips - did she really advocate for licking chips instead of consuming them? I googled a bit, but I can only find a thread title here and a link to buying a weigh down workshop chip clip. 

Yes, she did.  I also avoided this thread for the most part due to it being triggering for me as well, but a lot of her theology is based on destructive behaviors caused by ED.  

Also, Fritos are in the bible.  Which will never not be funny to me.  But that I was actually tempted to buy a bag to lick a couple caused me to step away from reading this thread for a while.  Some of us know the very fast and real slope of going to licking/chewing food and spitting it out to needing to swallow and discovering purging.  Her entire food regime is based on everything they taught against in treatment for ED.

She was a monster and I don't think anyone will ever know the amount of damage she caused teaching people to harm themselves.  I could nope out of a thread, but people raised in her cult couldn't just close a browser.  If there is an afterlife I hope she is gifted compassion and then the understanding of how harmful she was so she lives with the guilt for eternity.  

Good thing I'm not a prophet.

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5 minutes ago, HerNameIsBuffy said:

Also, Fritos are in the bible

God liking Fritos so much that he put the recipe in the Bible will never not be funny. 

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, HerNameIsBuffy said:

Yes, she did.  I also avoided this thread for the most part due to it being triggering for me as well, but a lot of her theology is based on destructive behaviors caused by ED.  

Also, Fritos are in the bible.  Which will never not be funny to me.  But that I was actually tempted to buy a bag to lick a couple caused me to step away from reading this thread for a while.  Some of us know the very fast and real slope of going to licking/chewing food and spitting it out to needing to swallow and discovering purging.  Her entire food regime is based on everything they taught against in treatment for ED.

She was a monster and I don't think anyone will ever know the amount of damage she caused teaching people to harm themselves.  I could nope out of a thread, but people raised in her cult couldn't just close a browser.  If there is an afterlife I hope she is gifted compassion and then the understanding of how harmful she was so she lives with the guilt for eternity.  

Good thing I'm not a prophet.

This. Because when it's ingrained in you that speaking ill of Gwen is pretty much sin, it's hard to deprogram that even if you manage to leave. This is the only place I've found where former members & family of members speak out (though it's my hope there are others I just don't know about).

Edited by Blue
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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, MamaJunebug said:

Apologies if this has been posted. 
 

Early RF Years. Elizabeth (Michelle) co-authored Mom’s emails

Lots more than just that, but it stood out that Elizabeth co-signed at least one of the emails that the authors of this piece noted as cult like in early RF history. No mention of David though, IIRC

This part struck me

Quote

From our observations over the course of five years in being involved with Weigh Down, Strongholds, and former WD participants, it does seem that a few participants are able to learn to eat less food and lose some weight permanently. Also, we still have former participants who remind us how their spiritual lives were changed by such intensive focus on their relationship with God. However, we can also remember many people who left the program early because it wasn’t working for them, as well as people who felt condemned and guilty because they were not able or willing to accept Gwen Shamblin’s food intake standards as God’s will for them.

Bolding mine.  Yes, to the first sentence, because when you develop an ED that entails severely restricting your eating you will tend to lose weight.  It happens to everyone whose body is literally being starved of required fuel.  Also many people with ED tend have issues with control and little rituals around food are very common.  Some get obsessive about exercise, some only eat certain foods, certain ways, at certain times (various combos of those) and every single person I've ever known with an ED had a...ritual again for lack of a better word, for when they would slip and eat outside their MO in order to regain control and assuage the guilt.  For people of a religious bent she not only gave them that, but she gave them what I am sure seemed like a gloriously gift wrapped out in eliminating the guilt claiming this is what God wants.

After my initial treatment I felt a tremendous amount of guilt every time I'd lapse because I knew how worried my parents would be if they knew.  There is a great deal of shame for many who suffer from ED, which is why we get so damn good at hiding it.  She takes away the shame by presenting it as not only healthy but holy.  Between her and Josh Duggar I'm overusing the word evil lately, but I think it fits for people who are happy to cause devastating harm to others for their own ends.  

Those others who left because they couldn't do it?  In this case failure is a very healthy thing.  Their body recognized the eating approach as wrong and they listened.  

So out of curiosity, what was her philosophy on people who are naturally thin but eat all the time?  My mom was always slightly underweight, to the point where she'd complain about how fast the baby weight fell off when she was trying to keep some of it.  And she ate like she should have weighed 900 lbs.  She ate often, generous portions, and a lot of high sugar/salt/fat junk food.  So what did Gwen say about the members of RF who eat a lot and have no weight to lose?  

Edited by HerNameIsBuffy
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