The Painful Truth About The Worldwide Church of God

Email: Sweet and Sour
(Page Two)

(Mail from Kooks, Nuts and Loonies is on another page)

Email, Indexed by DATE


New on 4/24/98:

Ed, I just read the most recent email letters posted to yor site.

I just can't believe the gall of this clown that wrote to tell you that basically (if I read it right) It's your fault for following armstrong and having your life screwed up through his crap.

As one of many duped and suckered individuals myself, I REALLY take exception to his letter and it's premise that, well, you don't need this kind of a site now, everybody knows. That's Bullshit.

I didn't know until I got on the net and found this stuff on the various sites.

I NEEDED them.

If this Guy had an ounce of compassion for those he left behind when he left, He'd realize how important this information is.

By the way.Got David Robinson's book. Very Informative, on the REAL armstrong.

Didn't mean to go ito a rant, but that letter just "T"d me off.

God bless....

Mike Grundhoefer

Dear Ed:

I've had a few days to review your retort and reexamine my motives, and what I actually wrote. My observations are as follows:

1) One of the reasons I wrote what I wrote in an effort to point out that your experience in the Worldwide Church of God was not the only experience and to comment on the surprising level of bitterness in your website....I have to say the letter from Bob Gerringer to Charles Hunting is an exception, and the Daughter of Babylon book, too.

If, what you call bitterness offends you, why do you keep coming back for more? Just stay away since you are so perfect and your Bible condemns bitter people. Why would you even want to get close to us? We are the lepers of your bible. Stay away lest our bitterness poison you and you are forever lost.

I have compassion on those that have been abused and you say to them: deal with it. I have empathy and you say that we only have ourselves to blame. You went off and enjoyed your freedom, and I stick around and try to free people with The Painful Truth. Because I am here to help people see how they were misled, I am bitter. You leave them in their ignorance and you are God's little pet, qualified to condemn me and others as bitter.

2) Everyone one was essentially taught the same thing (you lament that all were not taught the same). I gave you my impression of teaching at heardquarters (sic, must be the AC education) (from my perspective)....there were some like you at heardquarters (sic) that took the teaching to an extreme, and failed to use common sense, and Bible study to achieve balance in their lives. Some reading this may think that because I lived at headquarters that I was able to access more information, or received different teaching.....that is an assumption without merit....as I said, there were many at headquarters just like you hearing the same things I was hearing, and yet reaching totally different conclusions, and applying the teaching in their lives in a totally different manner.....maybe the conclusions about the healing teaching you reached were your own, and not what was intended.....I mean...isn't that a remote possibility?....no, I guess you wouldn't be able to admit that even if it were so.

As HWA told us many times, half of the members would not make it into the kingdom. Did you consider yourself in the half that would make it? How could you possibly think that you were if you did not do all that God's Apostle told you to do? Cults do not encourage freethinking. I've got good news for you, YOU were never IN the cult. You may have sat there, and even given money, but if your mind was not controlled, you were not a member. You were not a true believer. There is no way that you can understand what the rest of us went through. And, NO, the conclusions were not mine regarding healing. They were obviously the teachings of the church. Just read The Healing booklet. It says it all. It wasn't just me, it was everyone who could read and had a conscience and wanted to serve God with all their heart, and maybe being ignorant about the bible helped too.

3) I had access to the same information you had 20 years ago....I cited nothing in my letter to you that you didn't know (the change in the D & R doctrine, Pentecost, financial irregularities).....the first two were announced publicly, so please don't tell me you didn't know about the doctrinal changes, the financial stuff was circulating in the rumor mill for years.....all over the country....most chose to ingnore (sic) the rumors and believe Herbert W. Armstrong, and Stanley Radar. I can't believe that in some remote part of your heart there weren't doubts and questions, that you chose (for whatever reason) to ignore, like most of the membership at the time did. Because I chose to leave in the '70's and you chose to leave later does not mean I feel superior to you.....I made my decision then, you made yours later.....why you waited that long is a whole other discussion.

Are you kidding? It was "Satan attacking the church." It was "God is in charge." It was, "Even if the ministry makes a mistake or is wrong, God will make it right." It was "all about government". We were here to learn "government now so we could rule later." When changes were made, it was God who made the mistake and now revealed "new knowledge" to Herbert W. Armstrong. We did not have access to all the information you did. We were told not to read newspapers on certain days lest our minds be poisoned by Satan. We were told not to listen to rumors and to even put down those who might try to tell us something "negative" and to even turn these persons in to the ministry. People sent Ambassador Reports to me and I would throw them away or turn them in to the minister. I waited longer because I was more devoted to following God, according to Herbert W. Armstrong's teachings than you were. I repeat, if you thought you were free to think, you were not IN the cult. Leaving was no problem to you because you weren't IN.

4) Even after the doubts surfaced in your heart (and you know they did) about the church years ago, you continued to "waste your life and money" by choice...I know...you were afraid of losing your salvation, so was I. I don't consider one minute of my life in the Worldwide Church of God to have been wasted. I value the Bible education I received.....I'm way ahead of many Christians I meet today because of the extensive Old Testament training I received...many Christians today have no point of reference to the Old Testament, other than they know it exists. I value the strong moral up bringing that was taught to me at church, home and college. I, by the grace of God, was sheltered from the drug culture, having to serve in Vietnam, and the free sex movement. I made friends that I still have, and value to this day. I have a personal relationship with God, and Jesus Christ because of my early training in the church, and I know the value of forgiveness.....unforgiveness (sic) always leads to bitterness, and bitterness to illness....it's in my self interest to forgive those who have wronged me...and please understand, I left the church wounded too. I refuse, however, to indulge unforgiveness (sic) and waste more years of my life (and money) hating those who hurt me...many of them are not worth the effort to speak the words. A wise man once said, and I quote..."if you choose unforgiveness you will ultimately become just like the object of your unforgiveness" (sic). As Christians we are OBLIGATED to forgive...it is not my opinion, nor is it an option....of course you know this. My observation after wading thru your website is that the unforgiveness (sic) pouring out of many sections is palpable.

I laugh at your being way ahead of many Christians today because of your "extensive Old Testament training." Hehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehe. So you didn't believe some of this crap and left while us dummies stayed. But you still are trapped because you still believe some of it. I at least am free from all these religious spiritual burger franchises. Same salvation burgers just different condiments.

"Unforgiveness?" KISS MY ASS! Even God requires repentance before forgiveness is required, according to your bible.
Wouldn't a minister of God see that some people may have a hard time mindlessly forgiving such egregious errors, all done in God's name, without true repentance?
If they really think that people are "bitter" and therefore condemned to eternal death because of their actions, wouldn't a true representative of God do whatever was necessary for the healing of people, even just one person? Even if it meant for that minister giving up his "job" as a minister and getting out of the religion "business?" Or is the money just too good and too easy and do they enjoy feeling important too much to do whatever is necessary, like sign my apology page, and save some miserable, bitter soul? Well, we see how many signed up. They are, plain and simple: Hirelings.
Its all about money folks.

5) I find it interesting that because I question, instead of joining in your condemnation fest, and that because I tried to live a balanced life in the church (not one of extremes) I am accused of "siding with them", and of being lukewarm. I don't feel superior to anyone. I tried to do everything in moderation. I guess I could write a few 1000 words about my life, and conduct in the church to disprove your accusation that I was lukewarm....but what would the point be...you would then find some other way of descrediting (sic) me, because if you can't descredit (sic) me, then you only have one other alternative....forgive and move on....I don't think you want to exercize (sic) that option.....maybe I'm wrong and your respone (sic) will prove me wrong.....that would be great.

I will forgive every minister who will sign my Ministerial Apology page.

I could move on at any time. I guess I am a glutton for punishment from pompous religious types like you. (No good deed goes unpunished.) I just am not the type of person to discover a way to freedom and then go off and leave my brothers and sisters still sitting in prison. I guess that is what you did. I make the truth available, to those that want it, that their loving church leaders won't tell them because they want to keep them in slavery. I don't even care what they do once they learn the truth. Go ahead and stay in the xCG's. If they do that after they find out how they were used and misused by corrupt men in the past, that is their business. I would hope that people would learn to never trust another man (or a book) again with their spiritual life but I doubt that many will do that. Some people need to have others do their thinking for them. Been there, done that.

6) You apparently believe that the definition of having your whole heart in the work WAS to ignore your family, follow in lock step everything you were told, and to give your money without question......did you never pursue personal Bible study, and "prove all things" as we were continually exhorted to do (even if they really didn't want us to, we were told to)? You know nothing of me, and yet you use perjorative (sic) terms like seat warmer to describe my commitment to church....doesn't that strike you as a presumptuous thing to say.....isn't that a lot like the presumptuous treatment we received at the hands of the ministry? They always seemed to think they knew just what was going on in our minds....even though they didn't. You seem to have become just like "them". You seem to be guilty of the very thing you hate.....your response seems to have proved my point. I use the word "seem" because I don't know your heart....only God has a window into your mind.

Hey! I didn't start calling people seat warmers; it was Herbert W. Armstrong and his bullies. I'm sorry, but you fit the description they gave. And "seat warmers" does not describe commitment but a lack of commitment and that is what you describe of yourself. Actually, I give you credit for being smarter than I was, at the time. But, as I said before, you were not a member of the cult. Your heart wasn't in it and you proved it by not doing all that they preached at you and then by leaving the church.

7) The way you prove something other than what Herbert W. Armstrong taught is to read the Bible, and trust what it says....if you do, then the next conclusion you logically reach is that the church isn't the one true church. If you are predisposed to reach only one conclusion then you stay in the church 20 years longer. As soon as doctrines began to be changed, some began to ask that very question.....if this is the one true church then how could we have been wrong about D & R, Pentecost, Passover? What other doctrines are wrong? Apparently (and I can only guess, because I don't know you) you liked the idea of belonging to an exclusive club and were willing to ignore those little questions in the back of your mind in order to remain a member of that club. You sound very inteligent. (sic) .....surely you had questions 20 years ago.....are you really asking me and others to believe you had no doubts, no questions all that time?

Yes, I thought it was great to be in "God's one true church." Now I repent of such foolishness in dust and ashes because none of them are God's church; they are ALL men's churches. See my answers to #3, above. Seems to be just rehashing the same point. I'm not asking you to believe anything about me. The Painful Truth is not about me or my stupidity. It is about a man and his hirelings who used God and childlike people who wanted to follow God, to make money. As Herbert W. Armstrong said to his daughter: "God gave you to me." He looked on us loyal members in the same way, calling us "dumb sheep" and screwing us just like his daughter. Herbert W. Armstrong and his gang had better hope that the Bible is not true because they are in deep trouble if it is.

8) Check your math....I became an adult at age 18, and left at age 28....that is 10 years as an adult not 7....this is a small point, but indicative of your narrow view and attempts to descredit (sic) and invalidate my experience. Is 10 years of waste less valuable than 25.....waste is waste is it not? Because I do not count my years in the Worldwide Church of God as waste my viewpoint is invalid, or naive?

Check your own math. I said "as an adult out of college." While at AC, you were definitely not treated like an adult, you were not tithing as an adult, on a full income. You were living a sheltered life under constant supervision. Your college fees were heavily subsidized by the rest of us cult members who were under the spell of herbie and his gang and dumbly going out and getting loans in order to pay third tithe. I wish that I could say that I only spent 6-7 years of my adult life in the cult. Unfortunately I spent my peak earning (and giving) years in the cult. They are fighting now about how they are going to divide up all the loot from the sale of the Pasadena Campus for ministerial retirement while I will have NO retirement because of this church. I bet that you will. So I guess there is a difference.

Once again, in closing, my point is EVERYONE had doubts at some point, including me, and failed to act on them immediately. I chose to do something about my doubts in1978, you chose a different date. Feel free to post my name.....most people who know me already figured out I was the one who wrote you.

Yeah, I can' hear them now: "Who do you think that self-righteous goof was that wrote to Ed? Oh, yeah, I thought it was Clarke too....."

Best Regards.....Clarke A. Hockwald,
chockwald@compuserve.com,
Worldwide Church of God member from 1961 to 1978...child for 7 years, and adult for 10.

No. Child for 7 years, student for 4 years, adult for 6 years. There is a difference.

I suppose that your reaction to some criminal raping people would be to say that they must have been asking for it?

Maybe we were na

Maybe you think that the person raped was responsible for what happened because they should have kept that window closed; or we should have known about cults and how they work.

Maybe you think they were responsible for being raped because they trusted people, were gullible; or too bad you trusted God to not let you be misled or trusted that the Bible was God's word just because some religious huckster told you it was.

Does knowing that you were partly at fault for being victim of a rape or a religious huckster make it easier to tolerate the fact that there are still criminals out their raping and misleading people in the name of God?

Should we let the crooks off the hook because we were stupid?

Who do you think God will hold more responsible, the criminal or the victim?

If I can help someone stay away from people that will abuse them, I will do what I can. I will not just call them dummies for letting it happen or tell them how smart I was for not letting it happen to me.

Don't bother responding to this because I will not inflict your pompous religious superiority (which is really ignorance) on the readers of The Painful Truth anymore.

You don't have a clue.


 

New on 4/26/98:

Hello Ed:

Keep this website going!

I was inducted into the Worldwide Church of God in 1967, and quit in 1974. Marked in 1978 for trying to get my wife and family out. My wife finally left in March of this year after 40 years in the monstrosity. Our children are non-religious and possibly scarred for life. Our extended family is damaged beyond repair and many alienated from each other.

This thing deserves to have all the candlepower of a million scrutinizing searchlights shined on it till the combination of heat and light broils it into the ruination it deserves. You are right. The Exit _Support Network is right. This thing and other things like it are the product of hidden social terraformers who have been busy crafting an Orwellian world from behind the scenes. Human monsters are picked for their charisma and their lack of humanity and allowed to have a lifetime of living above the law in maharaja-like splendor while doing their hidden masters' bidding. Look at the list. Herb, L. Ron Hubbard, Judge Russell, Oral Roberts, Joseph Smith and dozens of others who have had much wealth but lesser notoriety. I resent being used as part of a socialist people-control experiment.

I bought a computer 6 months ago and i am on it for many hours per week learning the real truth about all the levels of this corrupt world . Sure, there are some lies and exaggerations on the net, but there is much information that can be cross-checked and verified by many independent witnesses.

Go for it, Ed!!!

Name Withheld

Dear Name Withheld,

I don't think there are really any big conspiracies. Doesn't really matter anyhow because we are not in control. We can't do a thing but keep our eyes open and try to beat the system or at least use it as much as possible.

I read a lot of conspiracy theories years ago. You can't prove anything and you can't change anything. Look at Clinton. He is nothing but scum but gets a pass on everything. We, as a people, get what we deserve. If the American people cared, they would run him out of office. They don't care. I don't think it is a conspiracy other than the press not doing their job because they like him.

As far as ministers like herbie and the rest, anyone can do the same. As P.T. Barnum said, "There is a sucker born every minute." The fields are ripe to the harvest. There are plenty of people more than willing to take advantage of dummies like we were. There is no conspriacy in that. Crooks are crooks and dummies are dummies. The two will meet.

David Hulme is starting his own church now. There are still plenty of herbie's dummies left to go around.

I wouldn't waste my time trying to research conspiracies, but if it make you happy......

Regards,
Ed


 

Hello again Ed:

Got your reply this AM.

Yes, it makes me happy.......But I prefer not being patronized. It is your website and, like the Tom Leykis show, you can respond to me any way you want to. I entered your world but I did enter it complimenting you and encouraging you.

For the record, I am not some loser out here who has just discovered conspiracies. I have just discovered the Internet. I never paid any attention to it before and did not know what a resource it was. I am a little past the age of avid computer users and I had no one to show me what the net was till a friend at work took me on a tour. I left the Worldwide Church of God when it was not fashionable. There was no one to talk to. I was shunned and alone. It took years to get over it. It took years to financially recover from it. It took decades for my wife to see the light.

The world is a deadly and treacherous place and I have spent over 20 years looking under rocks to find out why it is the way it is. I started studying conspiracy in the mid-70's, but much is not in print. The most controversial things didn't get aired till the Internet was born. I am new only to the net, not to the study itself, and my conclusions are the opposite of yours. World- class manipulators are discovered, mentored, financed, and protected by others far up the food chain. Store-front hustlers and independent scam artists don't have the Rothchilds and Hapsburgs send condolences to their funerals. They don't get flight clearances to totalitarian countries on request. They aren't "ambassadors at large".

We were a "Tuskegee" experiment. and it was a success. A multigenerational test. We starved ourselves, wrecked our nests, allowed handlers to control our sex lives, our jobs, our billfolds, and suffered like boot camp trainees through decades of the greatest overall prosperity the world has ever known. And we did it for a promise from a charismatic leader. We never had to receive the payoff (the masses never do), we were content to believe it was out there somewhere. Dr. Mengele would be proud. Ever hear of "Operation Paperclip"? Or Reinhard Gehlen?

Good luck, Ed. Sorry we couldn't meet on more equal ground. Too many scars, I suppose. You may post this if you like. Scarred but intact.
catman@teleport.com


 

Al,

Sorry if I offended you. Sometimes we have to be really careful while writing so as not to offend unintentionally. I didn't intend to talk down to you and sorry if I did.

You may be completely right about all the conspiracies. My point is that, even if it is true, we can't do a thing about them. They are in charge and we couldn't change anything if we wanted to. To me, it is not worth worrying about.

You are to be commended for seeing through all the Worldwide Church of God crap much sooner than most of us. It must have been very lonely out there.

My best to you,
Ed


 

Ed,

You're site has become so well organized and user-friendly. Thanks. It saves me time and still allows me to stay abreast.

By the way, I wish more of the folks who write to you were as "bitter" as you! Don't let it get to you. This is the fruit of Herbert W. Armstrong. This is the legacy of Worldwide Church of God. It's sad and I'm positive God is not pleased when men try to take His place in our lives.

Always best regards to you. My husband and I, like you, gave our best years to them. Financially, it is not as good as it would've been. On all other fronts, you know we are the stronger for it. When the rest of the world is suckered into the next cult mindset, we will be on full alert.

Dorothy Malm


New on 4/27/98:

Hi, Ed! Unfortunately, at the moment I have to ask to remain anonymous if my comments should make it to your web site. I hope someday to be in a position to shout from the rooftops.

First off, I've been enjoying your site for quite some time "from the closet." Although I no longer consider myself a member of any manmade church, I currently still attend the Worldwide Church of God Dallas congregation occasionally. Up until this past weekend I really thought we were in a class apart from the rest. We have a very "progressive" pastor, and have in fact been meeting on Sunday for almost a year. Our worship services are very joyful and Christ-centered for the most part. We have a female worship leader, and men and women participate equally in most facets of the services.

In keeping with that theme, the Dallas congregation hosted last weekend a women's conference -- a weekend-long series of workshops and "inspiration" for Christian women, regardless of church affiliation. Some 500-600 were in attendance. But I must say that what I witnessed Friday evening made the first meeting my last!

About midway through the meeting, Carn Catherwood (the father-in-law of our pastor) addressed the crowd with a "Tribute to Loma Armstrong." Now, as if this wasn't enough to wake me up, the topic of the tribute was "What a Friend We Have in Jesus." Apparently, as a young minister, Mrs. Armstrong had informed Mr. Catherwood in no uncertain terms that "You young ministers just aren't emphasizing Jesus Christ in your sermons." (Like ... duh ... maybe she should have summoned her husband from their daughter's bedroom long enough to discuss this problem with HIM, since he made the rules.) She also informed Young Carn that anytime he led songs in her presence in the future, that he WOULD include the song "What a Friend We Have in Jesus." (Hmmmmm ... If I recall, it was her beloved Herbert W. Armstrong who eventually removed any trace of that song from the Worldwide Church of God repertoire.)

But here's the kicker ... After Carn's fond reminiscences of Loma's attempts to control him, we were treated to a beautiful, soulful a cappella rendition of "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" by a lady attending the conference, and the audience was invited to join in, which most of us did with gusto. Unfortunately, the moment was hopelessly marred forever (for me, anyway) by a slide show accompanying the song ... an assortment of photos of Loma taken at various stages of her life, probably half of the photos including none other than Herbert "Jesus-Was-A-Newscaster" Armstrong!

I'm sorry, but is this not the ultimate dichotomy???!!! The man who - either with or without Loma's blessing - perverted and reduced the Gospel of Jesus Christ to some kind of advance news story, glorified bigger-than-life, in living color, to the tune of "What a Friend We Have in Jesus."

When, oh, when will the Worldwide Church of God exorcise Herbert W. Armstrong from its midst?

It just makes me want to puke!


 

Dear Sirs:

I really appreciated the article on mother's rooms in Worldwide Church of God.

That "service" probably has done more to drive second generation Christians out of God's church than any other. Children were made to feel unwelcome and unwanted.

When I was a young girl, I lived in Spain. The Spaniards have a great love of children. If a child or baby cries in public there, the mother doesn't make a mad dash to hid in a closet somewhere because the child is committing the "unpardonable sin" of being heard in public. The contrary is true: People come out of the woodwork to see what they can do the help the mother and her child. Once, we were in the market and the maid's niece was crying. The fish monger's wife made tea and brought bread for the child because she thought that the baby was crying because she was hungry. One gentleman began to fan the baby with his newspaper because he thought that the baby might be crying because she was hot. At least seven other adults stopped to sing a lullaby to the baby while her mother tried to rock her to sleep.

That reaction to a crying baby is far different than the reaction that mothers in Worldwide Church of God got when their babies needed something. Children are very smart - they know when they are wanted and when they are not. In Spain, their needs were treated as important, so important that even strangers felt the responsibility to stop and try to help.

In Worldwide Church of God, their needs were treated as nuisances, so annoying that it had to be removed from the congregation ASAP to the nearest broom closet to be dealt with.

It is no small wonder that second generation Christians are a rare species in the churches of God.

Thank you for the opportunity to speak my piece.

Sincerely
Name Withheld


 

New on 5/11/98:

Dear Ed,

You are doing great, keep up the good work. I for one trully appreciate the time and effort you put into this site. I hope every Worldwide Church of God member monitors it.

Now to the point. The magazine "Christian Century" April 15, 1998 issue, available at my local library has an article on page 388 entitled
"When Creditors Come Calling - REFUNDING TITHES AND OFFERINGS".
The article pertains to Cedar Bayou Baptist Church v. Gregory Edwards in which a Texas court has ordered the church to refund all the tithes this member paid. He was tithing then went bankrupt and apparently continued tithing. His creditors took the church to court under the fraud statutes and won. It seems the Federal law on fraud requires you recieve something for your money. The court ruled that all the years this man tithed he recieved nothing in return and his creditors ended up stiffed when he went bankrupt. This was ruled fraud and the church was ordered to refund in excess of $50,000 to the man. Every dime he'd ever paid in tithes. If you can, please read this article.

I don't know how this relates to you but over my 23 years in the church I went bankrupt and continued to tithe and support the work before, during, and after the proceeding. In fact I went bankrupt twice over that 23 years. In many years I was giving several thousand dollars a year plus commuting 200 miles (round trip) at least once and sometimes 2-3 times a week to church. And serving me and my family into the ground. I suspect my tithes and offerings approached 80-100 thousand dollars during those years. And it really was fraud to those creditors, and wrong of me. Even though I received "counsel" both times and really was encouraged to take bankruptcy ie "a year of release" so to speak. I suspect there are thousands in my shoes.

I just wanted to bring this to your attention and request that if you are ever aware of any suits etc. along this line please contact me.

In closing I had a visit of a current Worldwide Church of God church family ( their son visiting my son) and it was the most profound and disturbing thing I've had in a long time. Their mindset was exactly the same as ever. No change in their perception at all. They were totally uninformed about anything that has gone on or exposed. They apparently have been instructed not to believe anything found on the Internet. As it's all yellow journalism and bitter hate filled lies. God put them into the church and they intend to die there. They actually feel that its the true church and all the problems were legalism and that's been corrected now. And the world embraces them and in the future they'll be used to educate them.

In my experience legalism was the tip of the iceberg as to what was wrong with Worldwide Church of God. This was incredible how ignorant and under mind control they still are. I silently prayed for them during their visit. And then prayed for myself, as I know I was exactly that way. An animal shouldn't be treated that way much less a man with a mind in Gods image.

Sincerely,
Name Withheld


 

New on 5/12/98:

Perhaps if God would sentence those bastards to shovel the shit they were so adept at producing, six days a week, 52 weeks per year, for the entirety of the alleged millenium I might feel that they got their just deserts.... but considering the number of people whose lives they destroyed... I doubt it.

Name Withheld


 

I am visiting my parents and my Dad showed me your web site. It is really impressive.

My Dad has sent me some of the letters that have been sent to you. My personal favorite is "Dance Hall Daze". I literally laughed until I wanted to cry.

I haven't been to any church since the end of 1996. I cannot ever remember being so happy. To be honest, I can't spend too much time reading this material that people are sending to you. It makes me bitter and angry and if you remember correctly, I am definitely not that type of person. It reminds me that I wasted a great deal of my youth not doing what every child wants to do....fit in!

Instead, I am just living my life as if the past never happened. It just makes me more determined to make my own decisions in life and be happy because they are MY decisions.

Well, I had better get going. Take care,

Name Withheld


 

Hi Ed,

Do you have any info about the "lochner tape"?? Maybe you could provide some info about it on you webpage.

Thanks for all the info. You've got a great webpage.

Name Withheld


New on 5/15/98:

Your web page looks really great, again thanks for all the wonder infomation on these subjects. You've been added to my favorites list...


 

Hi Ed,

I've visited your site several times and think you're doing a great service for all us exiters of Worldwide. I love all your topics!

One thing I wanted to ask tho. You used to have a link to the Exit & Support Network. Now when I click on it it says "Server error" What's up? Are you gonna fix it or it is out of commission for good?

E-mail me back as it will take me forever to go thru all your letters to see if mine is ever listed.

Thanks

Name Withheld


 

Wow it sounds like you former wwcg members are pretty ticked off and I cant blame you . I looked you guys up because my Dad is on this Sabbath day Baptist Kick and he seems all mixed up about Jewish laws and customs .

My Dad used to be a regular Baptist type I knew when I was young. He used to listen to Herbie all the time but I didn't pay much attention .

My Dad is also into hypnotism , anyway I know he listens to short-wave radio all the time. He is listening to some weird stuff . He really is getting some weird ideas and I'm getting concerned. I think he is getting into wwcg radio stuff . I'm a Christian. I guess I need to just pray for him and trust God to handle it.

Are the seventh day Baptists the same as wwcg? Is that what you mean by daughters?

Well this Internet thing is pretty new to me. Its amazing what you can find. I had no idea I would even be looking stuff like this up.

I sure hope you guys recover from your wounds and can carry on. Looks like you might be helping others out. Forgive my ignorance about this whole situation . Don't turn me in to the FBI. I don't hate anyone. Well use your discretion. If you think I'm evil go ahead but I'm a good guy. A little silly sometimes .

Anyway pray for my Dad and me to know what to tell him . Take care,

Name Withheld

Thanks for your message. No, I don't think you are evil or anything like that. Neither do I think your Dad is evil. Just mixed up, misled, deceived. That is what we get for trusting other people to lead us in spiritual matters.

Christians start off with the premise that the Bible is the Word of God (without any proof whatsoever) and then look to other men to teach them about it and what is required for salvation. It is all confusion, every church teaching something different from the same book, all saying that their way is the only right way. Is God so weak that he needs men to tell us about Him? And should it be up to us to find the one church, because, according to the Bible, it can only be one, that will correctly lead us to Him? Does God look at us as just a bunch of rats in a maze that He hopes we find the right way out? Otherwise tough? It seems that most Christians look at it this way. That is why they are afraid to investigate what they believe.

The healthiest thing for your Dad and everyone else would be to throw your Bible out, stop listening to Religious pimps and you would be surprised at how close to God you can really get.

Of course, your Dad is not going to do this. You can't make him. All you can do is present him with evidence contrary to what he believes already. Seems like most people are so afraid of losing their salvation that they think they have found in a particular religion, that they can't even entertain a possibility that they may be wrong. That is how so many people have been burned, tortured, maimed, killed in the name of religion. It is done by people afraid to think that they may be wrong and don't want to think about any other way. If they can just kill off the opposition, that proves they are right. And they get it all out of the "Holy" Bible.

I don't know about the Seventh Day Baptists. Don't think it is related to the Worldwide Church of God. But I haven't kept up with all the spin-offs of Herbieism. Must be well over 100. All it takes is some nut like Herbie to think of a new spin on religion and if he is a good enough salesman, or finds enough dumb people, (there is a sucker born every minute) before you know it, you have a whole new religion and people believing they are now in the "one true church."

My advice to you would be to keep your Dad off the Internet.

Regards, Ed


New on 5/25/98:

Ed,

Thanks for the web page you have. From what I read on variouis listservs it's helping those that need it.

I just finished "Childhood Lost", and I was wondering how Dale is today. Do you know anymore about him?

It's sad to think about all those that Herbert W. Armstrong messed up. Thanks for sharing your experiences to help others.

I know that you are not religous, but aren't sure how you feel about God, but for what it's worth, you are in my prayers Ed, and I hope God blesses you.

Name Withheld

Thanks for your message and concern about how I feel about God. I think you can tell be reading my responses to various emails and my "Letter to My Nephew", how I feel.

But basically here it is:

I believe there is a God.

I do not think the bible is inspired by God; it is flawed.

God would not inspire something that is flawed and make our salvation conditional on belief in it.

Religion, all religion, is a fraud. It is used to control people and/or make money.

If it were important to God that we worship Him in a particular way, He would make it obvious; no doubts. Anything less would mean that God is not even as fair and nice as He expects us to be. If that is the way He is, He isn't worthy of my worship.

I believe, just by using common sense, that we should be good to one another and help one another. I don't need the Ten commandments to tell me right from wrong. Everybody just play nice.

Common sense says that, if there is a God and if this life is all there is, then it is a most futile existence for the majority of people who have ever lived. Hopefully there is something better waiting for us all on the other side. The only ones that know for sure are dead, the rest of us are just hoping we are right. Religionists, deep down inside, hope they are right and everyone else is wrong. I hope everyone is wrong and God is bigger than anything we could possibly imagine.

Regards,

Ed


New on 5/29/98:

Dear Sir,

I have been browsing the web to find info on the WWCG. My parents belonged to the group (Pasadena, 1960's). I had a nervous breakdown about 12 years ago. I had flashbacks to when I was a small child...bad memories. I asked my parents about them but they didn't want to talk about it. They were kicked out of the church in the late 60's for some reason.

Unfortunately, I feel that I and other members of my family continue to suffer. Odd, but I have felt suicidal since I was 11, and no amount of talking with psychiatrists , taking anti-depressant medication, attending a mainline Christian church (Methodist), becoming a vegetarian/animal -rights activists , studying biology and rhetoric at university, practicing yoga, etc. has helped. But reading your message has helped.

Today, I awoke with a suicidal urge, out of the blue as they usually occur, and I started to pray, as I usually must do in order to hang on for another hour, and somehow, I found myself viewing websites discussing WWCG.

I felt like I had finally received some validation...where I could find none before. I feel as though a miracle has occurred, maybe the first one in my life.

Thank you.

Name withheld


I have been in contact with Dale Brown "(Childhood Lost)"and relayed your concerns about how he is today and some of your skepticism.

Below you will find a combination of 3 different emails regarding those subjects.

Ed


Hello again, Ed:

Thank you for sharing some of your reader's responses with me. To know that one's words touched others is the highest compliment that can be paid to a writer. It is my hope that those who read the story might recover from that wreckage comforting similarities and a handful or two of smiles.

In answer to your questions: I am not a professional writer although I write a great deal. I have written poems, songs and several books which I've never had published and most of which only my wife ever sees. The most recent, other than the material I sent you is, "The First Fairy Tale." Written largely in the same vein, it chronicles religion from its biblical beginnings through history and on up to the present day. Although there is a chapter detailing the life and times of Apostle #13 and the Radio Church of God, it, primarily, delves into all the strange and inventive beliefs humans have concocted in their ceaseless quest for answers to unanswerable questions.

My vocation is my family, my beautiful wife and our two children, a girl, Desiree, age 5 and a boy, Joshua, age 3. I am 50 and my wife, who's 44, doesn't remember how old she is. Much of what I write is for their later reading when I am, perhaps, not around.

I want them to know that a father's love can be soft, gentle and kind; that life need not be be a total waste in the absence of fear. As a father and a husband, I have neither the desire, nor would I derive any pleasure from, having my wife and children "fear and tremble" before me. I can't imagine any one but a bully or a sadist who would. Such a being or person who requires this type of obeisance must, in my twisted estimation at any rate, suffer from a severe lack of self esteem.

I have derived much comfort and mental sustenance from "Painful Truths" and I wish to thank you for the time and effort you've put into it. I have enjoyed all the paths and waysides into which it leads and am secretly flattered you saw fit to include my ramblings.

Thank you for the superb website.

Dale

___________________________________________________________

Good Morning Ed:

You may, of course, post my previous e-mail. Melissa, my bride, told me after you published the narrative "You know, don't you dale, that people who read it are going to want to know what happened to you.? They're going to hope for a happy ending."

Our happy ending began seven years ago when we met. She also is bi-polar and had been a church member for over twenty years. Up until we met my life was full of bleak disappear occasionally interspersed with fleeting moments of dizzying elation. The fact that I began taking Lithium, a naturally occurring element apparently lethal to demons and theology alike, smoothes out the ride and has contributed to our enjoyment of life, our children and, each other.

Thank you for the time and effort it took to publish the narrative on your website.

________________________________

Dale,

Thanks, I will be posting your "rest of the story" message on the web page.

Naturally, when you write something, you will run into skeptics. Below are the only two that commented. Do you have any response?

Best Regards, Ed

At 01:19 PM 5/26/98 -0500, you wrote:

Even though the basis of his story may be true, some of it has to be fiction. Who can remember that much detail from when they were 12? And I just don't believe a 12-yr.-old has that kind of ability to come up with such good one-liners in every response to adults.

Mary ____________________________

Some of the chronology seemed wrong, as well... For instance The Plain Truth About Child Rearing didn't come out until later than he seems to have placed it...

Ken


Dale's response below:

Hi again, Ed:

I'm somewhat surprised by all this attention.

My response to Mary would be that I, like many bi-polars, was precocious as a child and of markedly above average intelligence. My favorite literature by age six was the Encyclopedia Britanica. That, coupled with photographic recall, made creative sarcasm a favored medium of expression at a somewhat youthful age and, due to the innate cruelty I and other children suffered, made detailed reminiscences inevitable.

If she could, perhaps, imagine having a six year old child who (among other things) conversed in terms more appropriate to a college setting and placed that child in a church where intelligence and literacy were highly suspect in adults, to say nothing of a child, and then visualize the reactions of the "brethren" she might, perhaps, begin to understand.

Regarding Ken's observation: The plain truth about child rearing had been taught and implemented by Herbert W. and his church long before it was codified into a booklet. Ex-members who might not remember specific sermons on the subject over the years, nevertheless remember that tract and all that it implied without me having to go into intricate detail. It was for this reason I chose to use the booklet symbolically. The actual date of its release was, to me, of relative unimportance.

Thanks for allowing me to respond to these concerns.

dale brown


 

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