Email: Sweet and Sour
(Mail from Kooks, Nuts and Loonies is on another page)
Email, Indexed by DATE
New on 8/30/98:
I wanted to send an email about my situation. It may or may not have bearing on whether I have been abused or not, but here goes.
In early 1990 or so, I was disfellowshipped for being gay and being seen as a possible divisive tool in the church. The minister took no regard for the evidence in my life that the Holy Spirit was working with me and for that I am angry. I followed the wishes of the leadership and left the church at the age of 20.
Close to 8 or more years have gone by now and I had hoped that the changes brought about in the Worldwide Church of God would prove positive for me. I could have lied to the ministry and not told them about my homosexual relationship, but in turn chose honesty over deception and told them. Would it have made a difference if I had not told them? Of course not. Mr. Tkach and other ministers do not want me in the church because I am too opinionated and outspoken. I thought the control issues had ceased. I was wrong.
I have since been in contact with many people within the Worldwide Church of God and hope that my little voice can cause some change to take place. The continued abuse of members and ex-members is evident. I may be speaking with a little bitterness, but what can I do? I have repeatedly been barred from the fellowship of the Worldwide Church of God on numerous occasions.
It was ok a decade ago to baptize me and remind me of my obligation to pay tithes, but as soon as I was honest and trusting I got slapped in the face. Another testimony to the cult-like abuse the Worldwide Church of God still utilizes.
New on 9/27/98:
It not only continues my friend. It is getting worse under the leadership of Gerald Flurry and his Philadelphia church. They really scare me.
I was there for a brief time before getting expunged. However I have friends still there who are in fear of losing their "eternal souls," if they even so much speak with me, or any one on the outside.
The people running this outfit absolutely scare me. They remind one of the Jim Jones Group and Guyana, and The Hale Boppers down in San Diego. Most all of them have come from the WWCG. My own history goes back to the early 70's when I first became aware of the WWCG. My story is not entirely relative at this time. Suffice it to say that I was spared the humiliation of blindly accepting all of the drivel. I have been on a path of revelation for many a long year. Keep up the work that is profitable for the edification of those in search of kernels of truth. Sincerely,
My inlaws have been victims of Armstrong for many years now. Some of them have woken up to the truth, unfortunately others have not.
I hope you will help many Worldwide Church of God members by exposing the painful truth about Armstrong!
I just found "You might Have Grown Up in the Worldwide Church of God if .... " and had to say I laughed so hard !!! It's Great !!!
I was a "church brat" myself and attended SEP and AC in Aug. 76- Jan. 78.
Reading some of those lines really brought back the memories. Thank God I left the church in 1989 after getting a divorced ( from another church brat ) and being told by my local minister " You know, you can never date again in the church!"
What a Crock !!!
Thanks for the Laughter !
Love your website, Truth is true.
I am a 79 au grad, worked in the Holy of Holies (4th floor of admin in pasadena) for several years and spoke to the close "higher ups" who also confirm hwa's antics are all true; also dated the comptroller of that era, who had hair raising stories to tell about Garner Ted Armstrong as well.
But I am free of all this many years ago! still keep in touch with several dear friends still caught in the web of one or other cog; guess it would be too terrifying or life shattering to see clearly at this time.
best to you Name Withheld
(Name withheld) hot mailed me the news of the impending sale of the university campus. (The noise you hear in the background is Joe jr. doing a tap dance.)
There are both good and bad things he can do with the proceeds:
GOOD---Give it back to us in allotted shares. Hey, it's our dough! (not likely)
BAD---Add it to his Swiss bank acct. (More likely)
GOOD--For crying out loud, build churches for those poor suckers in the boonies, l-o-o-ng overdue. Get them out of empty store fronts, Masonic halls, schools, abandoned night clubs, etc.(Not likely)
BAD--Give all the ministry a 100% raise and a new Lexus and keep the rest.
GOOD--Create a foundation for those who have been spiritually abused.
BAD--Buy himself a deluxe yacht. a luxurious hideaway in the Bahamas and a larger getaway plane.
GOOD--Transform Headquarters into what it is: a huge 3 ring Barnum & Bailey circus and invite one and all to attend.
Instead of giving sermons, make it mandatory for all local ministers to don clown outfits and put on their acts (they've all had experience) which would garner much more attention, especially, since instead of a closing prayer, they toss out $100 dollar bills to congregation.
(Man, would that church grow!)
New on 9/28/98:
I am a member of the Worldwide Church of God.
I am far from afraid to read what you have to say. I agree with quite a bit of what you have to say. Assuming you are a Christian I feel the desire to ask why it is that you do not feel the need to be more appropriate in your message. Insultng those you are trying to help does not work. I have been readng the literature posted hear periodically over the past 3 wks. or so.
Today a friend who has left the Worldwide Church of God sent me a link to "Herbie And The Hillbilly". Is your message one of hatred and anger or of LOVE for those who have been lied to and undermined in their attempts to sincerely honor and worship our Lord? Calling Mr. Armstrong, "Herbvert", will not inspire anyone to understand your message. It only serves your apparent purpose of spreading hatred toward a man who is long since dead.
Yes, the Worldwide Church of God may celebrate the incarnation and resurrection, which I have on my own celebrated for years. I found it somewhat humerous the way you goofed on the churches unwillingness to call it Christmas and Easter. On the other hand if in her wisdom the Worldwide Chuch of God chooses not to use the word Christ Mass for her incarnation celebration , since we are not Catholic and do not celebrate the mass what wrong can truly be found in that. For me, and this is only my opinion, it serves as a reminder that it is an Incarnaton Celebration and not a day for keeping the things of old w/ the label Christ added to them. This is how I want my Incanation celebration to be, and so why not keep the name pure also, although I have no problem with whatever another chooses to do for their celebration,....so why do you???) The same goes for the Celebration of Christ our Lord's resurrection.
Once again, if the church in her God given love and wisdom decides not to be offensive to as many as possible, and not to offend any for the sake of wording, then she is to be congratulated for her care and concern so as not to offend the least who may not come along as quickly as another.
Why would you assume I am a Christian? A rhetorical question. You assume that only Christians can be nice people or even want to be nice or loving. As a matter of fact, the opposite is more the rule than the exception.
If you are insulted by anything on my Webpage, I'm sorry. But, just don't come back for more truth. The information is there for all who want it and for those that are insulted, they don't have to read it. I don't care what people believe or don't believe and am not interested in "saving" anyone. I provide the information, the truth, you go save yourself. And I don't even think you are "lost" so there is no need for me to save you. And I don't want any money from you, I just give you the truth. Your Church wants your money and lies to you.
I am insulted by the Worldwide Church of God's lack of true, deep repentance for all the harm that has been done in the name of God and their concentration on one thing: MONEY.
I do not hate hwa, I hate the worship of hwa. The man has to be destroyed by the Truth so the worship of him and the using of him to control people and make money will end. The wcg still uses him even though they know all the stuff on The Painful Truth, yet they will not disown him because he means money to them. I hate the hypocrisy of a "church" that would not do as their Bible and their Christ says when they injure someone: to go and make that person whole. You see, that would mean giving up their blessed money and they couldn't do that. They walk by the untold number of bodies lying in the road and move on with their "newfound Christianity." It would mean all these ministers giving up their jobs in shame at their failure to represent the true God and for all the lives they have ruined. It would mean a shame at even using the name of the Worldwide Church of God because of the shameful and sordid past.
You look on "the Church" as something from God, while in fact, it is a man-made business organization. God, in fact, is far above such money-grubbing, people controlling businesses. God has nothing to do with any of the xCG's or Catholics or Protestants or Buddhists, etc........ He doesn't need Religion. Religion is a legalized con-game and I can only hope that God will hold all those responsible for using and misusing His people, which are really all people.
And, in case you wonder, personally, I am a joyful, humorous, fulfilled individual with a long happy marriage and a great family and I feel very close to God. And what you think of me does not concern me in the least. What may sound like anger to some is nothing more than sympathetic contempt. It is because there are a few, like myself, that will not just go away and get on with our lives, although this page takes up less and less of my time, that the rest of those who tell me to "just get on with my life" can go away without feeling guilty about leaving their brethren still trapped in a prison of lies. After all, we don't all have to be policemen and keep an eye on the bad people if there are some that are willing to do that. I may go away, but this page will be here to expose the Truth about the wcg and hwa for a long, long time.
New on 9/29/98:
Just to clear up any misunderstandings:
I assumed you are a Christian because I thought I read that you were a member of the Worldwide Church of God, (at least at one time). I know plenty of nice people who are not Christian. (How is it that you came up with the idea that I think that only Christians can be nice ,.... or was that just another of your false accusations? After all you do not seem nice and I thought you might be Christian!
What I meant is that you assumed that only a person who is a Christian would even think of being nice. Naturally, you do not think I am nice since I tell you things you do not want to hear.
I make no false accusations. In fact, if you or your church can prove anything on The Painful Truth to be false, I will remove it. I have offered that from the beginning.
I can understand Tammy's article and agree with it and yet at the sme time I wonder if they just are not understanding the severity of what this church has done, (along with many other churches all who as far as I can tell have some falsehood.)
If all churches have falsehood, then none of them can be from God. And that is what I think. None of them.
You say you don't hate Herbert Armstrong , and yet you don't capitalize his initials. I never worshipped HWA and I don't know of anyone who did.
I don't fail to capitalize hwa's initials because I hate him. I do it because I have no respect for him.
Our minister has so wonderfully tried to help those bodies lying in the road.
Oh, I guess he has access to the millions of dollars that will be made with the sale of Big Sandy and Pasadena Campus'? I suppose he is going looking for all the persons whom this church has just ruined their lives and is trying to make things physically right? How about all the people that never got a college education, is he now putting them through college? How about all the people that had their families broken up by his teachings? Is he going to them and asking what it would take to make them physically whole again or what type of compensation they should receive for their anguish and suffering? How about all the people that will have no retirement because they were blackmailed into sending everything they had to the church? Is he funding their retirement with the Sale money or his own retirement? What would the Christian thing to do be for a Christian minister that has done so much harm? What about all the people that are sick to this day because of the teachings of this church? Is your minister now paying the medical bills for these people?
I could go on but it is obvious that these men are not interested in anything but themselves and money. Are they more like Mother Theresa who lived to help and heal people, or do they just talk the talk and not walk the walk? The answer is obvious.
The ministers that were unwilling to teach the "truth" have left. the ones remaing are just as us lay members.
"Truth" as you presently define it. Next year your "truth" will be different. Everyone's "truth" is different. So nobody is completely right. In that case, it must not really matter what your "truth" is at the moment.
Most ministers have failed to represent the true God in some way or teaching or another. Look at David's behavior, and God did not make him step down from the throne but rather when he had repented he considered him righteous!!
See my . David Defense WebPage
We are not in the Worldwide Church of God leaders minds and hearts to know if they are money grubbing. We can think what we want but we do not "know" these things.
If I may quote the Bible: "You will know them by their fruits."
You are correct in that God doesn't need religion. God chooses to use religion though.
God will work with us no matter what we do. He works with us in spite of religion, not because of it.
I am very concerned for those who have left us and no longer worship God' or who have continued to believe lies. What can they gain from a webpage they cannot bring themselves to read because of the choices of wording, harshness, and ridicule. I wanted to let you know that you have an opportunity to help a lot of people. As one of the people who is a member of the Worldwide Church of God, and who read your literature, I wanted to offer some costructive criticism. You could be doing so much good. In the beginning of your letter when you said that you are not interested in saving anyone you sounded as though you are not interested in the well being of those who are still believing lies, but in the last paragraph you sound sincerely concerned as am I.
I am concerned that people have the truth hid from them by the very people they trust to tell them the truth. But I don't think it is my responsibility to try to speak smooth words to try to convert them to my way of thinking. I don't feel anyone is lost because they are in the wrong church so I don't feel any responsibility to try to rescue them from any church.
The Worldwide Church of God was very wrong but please don't reject Christianity because of that, (and I am not sure if you have done that).
I have not rejected Christianity because of the wcg. I have rejected it because now I can think for myself. I can read books other than the Bible. I can reason and come to conclusions without some self-appointed representative of God telling me what to think.
God is bigger than Christianity, the Bible, or Religion. If you haven't researched these areas then you are trapped in a belief that you know nothing about. Think about it: what religion would you believe in if you had been born in China or Japan or India? You would be caught up in their religions and not Christianity. You would think that you were right and everyone else was wrong. You would be willing to defend your beliefs to the death. You are a Christian because you were born in the USA? and the predominant religion is Christianity. So you are a Christian and will defend it to the death. But you have not researched it and compared it to other religions. You have not researched the book that it is based on to see if it is believable. You just BELIEVE! You have faith without proof, because that is what faith is. It is a delusion. You convince yourself or allow others to convince you that something is true and then you BELIEVE in the face of evidence to the contrary.
Please look at the good you could do for those that are still caught up in falsehood. I would sincerely like to hear from you again if you want to respond to this email. What I have written here i have written to you in absolute sincerity. I am noone of great importance. I am just a person, a child of God, who felt compelled to speak to you about these issues. I thank you very much for reading my letter and for responding.
I will speak the truth and trust God to inspire people to do what He wants, not what I want.
I am not the one trying to manipulate and use and get money from people.
I hope you and your loved ones are well and enjoying the blessings of our God.
Just a note to express something I feel is lacking in your publications. I hope you will take it in the spirit it is intended.
First of all...we all tend to be a bit myopic when we are dealing with things that are so very near to our hearts. Our spiritual life is so dear to us and we are so vulnerable in that area that we tend to personalize and idealize most aspects of our faith.
One must understand that there is no heaven on earth. If you are looking for perfection in human beings you will ALWAYS be hurt.... ALWAYS.
I do not in any way dispute the things you have written and espouse, however, I think you need to widen your perspective and see how the church and your experiences with the church fit into the broader scheme of the teeming billions on the earth today.
For instance...I grew up in a military family....you don't have time to listen to the horror stories that I had to live through, and grew up knowing about...all around me and in every family I knew.
All I'm saying is....human beings are not very pleasant to be around when you strip away the layers of deceit we ALL live in. Almost always what we achieve is done in spite of ourselves.
That is why the things Jesus actually taught us to do in our relationships with others is almost totally ignored. That is why what has happened has happened. We never really listened to Christ telling us how to love one another.
Reread the sermon on the mount and let forgiveness and love be your guiding light and remember how small we all really are.
God bless you,
Thank you for your message.
I hope you don't think that we should ignore criminals simply because we are all sinners? Some are worse than others. Does it hurt to expose the evil that is done in the name of God? I don't think so if it may help people free themselves from slavery to a system that is really anti-God. Since you seem to think that all our hurts fit into the "broader scheme of things" then why try to avoid being hurt at all?
If people would live according to this man, Jesus, just doing what he said, this world would be a much better place. But they don't and won't. Christianity is much, much more than Jesus.
So, if I were to just pack up my webpage and go away, would that be showing love to those still trapped in lies and deceit? You can bet that those ministers in the xCG's would love that.
Sorry, it is because I care about these misled people that I still stick around. I'm not trying to get revenge, there is no way they could pay for all they have done to me and mine. I'm just trying to help people understand what was done to them in the name of God.
As for forgiveness, they may go to my webpage, Worldwide Church of God: WCG Ministerial Apologies and sign-up. Then I will forgive them. They have to repent first. They have to get out of the business of religion first. They have to walk away from the Money Machine first. They have to quit controlling people first. They have to be so ashamed of what they have done that they just can't face the people anymore. They have to believe that there is a God that is going to hold them responsible for what they did in His name and be so afraid that they can't possibly continue their scam. They have to go and get themselves some honest jobs. They have to give the proceeds of the sale of the campus' to a true charity. That will be a true repentance worthy of forgiveness. Anything less is just worthless.
New on 10/1/98:
We are not who we used to be.
Please check us out now and update your "painfull Truth"
If you are a Christian you will Praise God for What he has done in the "World wide Church of God.
It is a whited sepulchre, full of dead men's bones.
If your church wanted to do as Christ would do, it would not spend its money on the retirement of "ministers" but it would devote all its resources to finding all the people that this church has simply ruined their lives and helping them to be made whole again. Anything other than that is not following Jesus Christ and it is not living in fear and reverence of a God that sees all things and will judge accordingly.
You can't just move on with your new beliefs and not clean up the mess you left behind you. That just proves that you are not truly trying to follow Jesus Christ. Remember the story of the "Good Samaritan?" You are not only the ones who are passing by the poor beaten person laying in the road, you are the ones that beat him and left him there. And I say "you," because you are the inheritor of the history and legacy of your past perverted and abusive leaders, if you are a member, and if you are a minister, you probably are directly responsible for beating this person. You still hang onto the name of this abusive church and you hold in reverence and respect the founder and his appointee even after they have been exposed for what they really were.
Saying everything is better now is not good enough. Go right the wrongs. Make the crooked straight. Mend what you have broken. Stop lying and deceiving people. Do it at whatever the cost and trust God to provide for you. Then maybe God will visit your church. But, until then, it is just a money making organization and God has no more to do with it than He does with any other business. In fact, He is probably just a little ticked off at what your church does in His name.
If your church's actions reflect what "Christianity" is all about, I want nothing to do with it.
Oh, and I don't believe I see your minister's name on my Ministerial Apology page. Did he just forget to sign up?
My son is involved with a young lady who is a member of the Global Church of God, can you give me any information about this church?
I hear that Herbert W. Armstrong is the founder?!
Can you tell me what their false teachings are and how to sway this person to seeing the truth?
Global is run by Roderick Meredith. He is a Herbie clone. Just read anything that Herbie ever taught and Meredith believes the same thing.
How can you convince this lady that her religion is false? Good luck. What would it take for me to convince you that your religion is false? Religion is built on faith not on proof. You would have to have serious doubts about your religion before you would even listen to me. If you can destroy her faith in Herbie, you might have a chance.
Your main hope is to convince your son of what these people believe and what he will have to deal with if he marries this woman.
Just for starters:
1. Divine healing not doctors, except for Meredith, of course.
2. They will flee to a "place of safety" in the wilderness some day. She will try to take their children if he will not go too.
3. Three tithes plus offerings. She will be wanting to give her/their money to these crooks.
4. Their Saturdays will be completely taken up with church related functions.
5. Their children will not be able to participate in school activities because of the Sabbath. They will be the "strange" kids at school. They too will be indoctrinated with the screwy beliefs of Armstrongism.
6. He will be looked upon by the brethren as an "unbeliever."
It goes on and on.
Here is a link to their booklets page: http://www.worldahead.org/booklet/
New on 10/6/98:
Thank you for putting Thomas's Paine's book, " The Age Of Reason" on your Painful truth site. I've been already reading his books and others. I've just read Patrick Henry's " Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death" speech and I noticed the words " The Painful Truth " in his speech and I thought of your site. It is interesting to read about the founding fathers of our nation and to read about our American history. I wish that I could write or speak words that inspire as much as these great men of our country did!
I've been wondering lately what you think about Thomas Paine's beliefs in God and what do you think concerning God yourself? I guess you have already said what you think, but can you say more? I'm not sure exactly what I think at this time about God. If we don't believe in the God of the bible this makes me wonder, now what do I believe?! It changes EVERTHING in ones life! Where do I get my values of right and wrong from? So many other questions come to my mind!
My husband and family don't know what I've been going through of late,( at least completely) and I'm concerned about being open with them about some things that I think. My husband thinks the things that I've been reading are corrupting my mind, but I don't think so. I will be more brave to speak my mind in the future, but after being wrong about so many things in the past, it's hard for me to believe that I just may actually have some truth now! I think that it's better to be in the position of not being so sure. In the past we have been SO dogmatic about every thing. We knew the art of 'not winning friends and not influencing people!'
Please don't put my name in your site. You may put my letter in your site if you think it is important. Maybe some day soon I'll be more brave enough to say," put my name in your site", ( bad grammar and spelling and all!) Do you keep all our letters that we sent you in the past, because I was wondering if I need to repeat things I've said before, so you'll remember that I've been a member of Worldwide Church of God?
Reply to above letter:
Paine is so absolutely logical that I can't disagree with him. And what a great name to have on The Paineful Truth! Never thought of that before. I do think we tend to follow those with whom we already agree though. I'm sure not many "Christians" are going to be swayed by reading Paine. The defenses will go up, the mind will turn off and the reader will stop reading. In fact, I hesitated to put the book up since it may turn some people away. Whatever. I'm not trying to get a following. I wouldn't follow myself. All I want is for people to finally THINK for themselves.
I believe in God. I believe He takes an active part in my life. I have had many incidences similar to Paine's escaping death through the providence of God although not as dramatic. I have been blessed physically and spiritually since I left the Worldwide Church of God. I have a peace of mind that I never had in the cult even though now I think that I know virtually nothing about what the future may hold in this life or afterwards. I trust that God is in charge and will work things out for the best. Read the book, I think the title is, "Everything I need to know I learned in Kindergarten." Everybody just play nice. Don't hurt people. Do good to others. Live in awe of God and His creation. There has been so much evil done in the name of the God of the Bible that the book should be banned on that basis alone.
I understand how you feel about being unsure of what the real Truth is. I think that the only people that are sure are the ones that are living in a fantasy world. Did that for twenty-five years. Some people are so dogmatic about their beliefs that they will not believe anything else even if they are hit over the head with it. They can't change because they have too much of their lives invested in their beliefs. To admit that they have been wrong for so long is something they can't accept. They would rather not even think about it. And, of course, the cult feeds them the crap about losing their salvation if they "turn back." Its all mind control.
If you don't write for a while, it would help if you would refresh my memory. I get a lot of email through various other connections and it is hard to remember everyone that writes.
Best wishes in your search for God. It is a lifetime project but I don't think you have to go too far to find Him. I think He is very near to each of us. Maybe even inside us. Maybe we are made of "God," of "God Essence?" Maybe the whole creation is made of God's Essence? Whatever. He is a lot bigger than any of these Business (Religious) Organizations make Him and it is a lot simpler to worship Him than they want us to believe.
New on 10/18/98:
I have this website bookmarked and visit it from time to time for new stuff. My husband and I still belong to the WWCG. Yes, we are glad to be enlightened from the massive errors of the past. All the years we attended WWCG during the Armstrong era, we personally never "worshipped" HWA and we had our own personal takes on certain doctrines not neccessarily in agreement with the church's stance at that time.
We did adhere to forms of doctrinal obedience out of superstition and fear--neither of which are acceptable to Jesus Christ for following Him. I consider this no different than other Christians fearing to shop or work on Sunday, play cards, dance or partake of alcoholic beverages (or other types of legalism) because of "hell fire and damnation".
I accept the fact that our founder, HWA was a very flawed man and I believe that the unresolved sins in his life kept him from truth he should have been preaching. But that is the past, and I am happy with the direction the WWCG is going in. I see the fruits that our church is getting far, far away from charasmatic leadership, and coming into greater and broader thinking that each of us has responsibility to evangelize Jesus Christ and to use our individual gifts as God has given us to achieve that (with prayerful consideration of His will).
All that aside, I must disagree with your confusing invective about what you are saying we call Christmas. We do not use the name "Incarnation" in our congregation. The word Christmas also appears in our literature (check out the PT some time, why don't you--you might be surprised about what's in it.)
We use the real name: Christmas, participate in the Christmas Shoebox program that sends gifts to poor children overseas on Christmas Day. The future will bring more ways to celebrate the birth of Christ in the community of our other Christian brothers and sisters of other denominations as well as to use the Advent season to evangelize to unbelievers.
My husband and I enjoy a Christmas tree, presents, a beautiful Nativity scene I proudly display. Many people in our congregation send Christmas cards as well as incorporate traditional Christmas decorations in their home as well as gift giving. I know of noone referring to Christmas as "Incarnation." I tell people, "Merry Christmas".
Our pastor doesn't beat around the bush about Christmas and has given tremendously beautiful sermons about how we can glorify our Savior on this day--after all, He certainly was born--and it doesn't matter which day or month it was.
I don't mind reading bad stuff about how we were. Other denominations have their own "dirty little secrets" or big ones which ever the case might be. Everyone has a choice about what organization they decide to be involved in and why. No body came and twisted our arms and brainwashed us all these years to be "mind numbed robots" of the WWCG.
Just like millions of human beings who make various choices about behaviors and lifestyles, we all have a motivation for doing something--be it fear, money, sex, security, superstition, etc. We also have the choice to get out of it.
I know the point of this website is to utterly condemn the WWCG today and this particular "essay" about Christmas seems to fall in the "damned if they do and damned if they don't" department.
I am not brainwashed, I am no longer a Pharisee nor a legalist. I do not condemn other Christians who differ in certain doctrinal positions (it's all peripheral anyway), even Catholics whom I regard as just as Christian as myself. I enjoy my church and look forward to more spiritual growth as we move away from limiting paradigms of the past.
It does take time for people to get used to new paradigms. How about the Christian masses in general who need to get used to a new paradigm that's coming in the near future that Jesus Christ actually expects them to get out of their comfortable, little self-serving paradigms and programs and get cracking in their own communities and becoming the eyes, ears and hands of Jesus Christ?
Sheesh, I hope that you might have some nice thing to say about us in the future. We're not perfect, but neither is any other church. I guess were like Avis--we're trying harder to become responsible, respectable members of the entire Body of Christ.
With computers and the internet so available to everyone, I think that if anyone is truly interested in the dirt on HWA, they will seek it out (just like I did, thank you). Would it really serve a constructive purpose for the WWCG to throw that special box of manure of facts about HWA into the fan and faces of members of whom many already are aware of those nasty things? Some people just want to close the door of the past and move on.
The people I know in the WWCG are focused on the present and future--not the past of which we can't do a thing about anyway.
Yeah, we gave up significant amounts of money and lost certain opportunities and for those who lost that and more, to paraphrase Shakespere, "the fault is not in our stars, but ourselves." Let us all look to the ignorance of superstition, fear, insecurity and the idea that we can somehow use or manipulate God by good works--faults that lie within ourselves--and not blame charasmatic leaders who exploit these faults.
It just seems a mature way of putting all this in perspective.
I appreciate facts but not petty hair-splitting.
Okay, maybe the Incarnation article should go on my humor page, I'll give you that. But you have to admit that I did quote their own official document in regards to the usage of Incarnation instead of Christmas. The local congregations do seem to have a little freedom to do as they please in this regard and as the local minister "allows" but "headquarters" has to play a kind of word game about it. I just love the way they "play with words." Shows me that nothing has changed, still trying to control and manipulate. Just like Clinton: "Well, it all depends on how you define "Incarnation" or "Tithe" or "Holy Day" etc.."
I did say something nice about your church, see my article on "Finally Doing The Right Thing" But as I say in the article, they probably only did it because I threatened to sue their butts and they thought I had a good chance to make it a class action and to win. The words CLASS ACTION makes them have bad dreams. Their happy dreams have dollar signs dancing in them.
I guess the whole point of the site now is that they are just like any other big business. They are in it for the money. In the case of religious businesses, they will sell you God, forgiveness, a life after death, peace of mind, superiority, a feeling that you know a secret, that you are special to God (more special than any other child of God,) that you are "God's People", it goes on and on. (And yes, you as a Christian, do feel you have all these things over non-believers. If they don't have Jesus, they are lost.) Find out what the people need or want and then sell it to them. Religious hucksters.
And NO, they aren't any worse than any other Religious Con-men out there. I have had it with them all. And no, I wouldn't read any of your propaganda. Its all the same. I can think for myself now. Don't need any pamphets or tracts. My hope is that, with exposing hwa (acutally should be ha, since he really had no middle name; Ha, ha, ha on all of us) and the wcg, people would see what has been done to them in the name of God and start thinking for themselves not just move on to another religious huckster. But for most people, their religion is too deeply set in their minds and faith (which is a mindless belief in something unprovable) comes before reason.
Yes, some people do just want to close the door to the past and move on, including Joey and his gang but is that the Christian thing to do? Sheesh, do I have to blow the dust off of my Bible and prove it to you? I could do it very easily and so can you. You are living in self-denial. You know that your church is not right with God and never will be while your past is so corrupt but don't want to acknowledge it. You want all these people that your church has damaged to just die and go away so that you can say that your legacy is no worse than any other church. As if that is an excuse acceptable to God. While these injured people are still around, your church has an obligation to try to right the wrongs, not just move on. How could you possibly act this way and call yourselves Christians? I really don't get it. Must be a new form of Christianity not found in the Bible. Is this the "new paradigm" you were talking about? I always thought you based your lives on the Bible. But I guess when it gets in the way of making money or holding on to it, things can be explained away: "Tippidy tappidy, tippidy tappidy...... Oh Gawd, we are such good dancers! We have the "Money Shuffle," the "Corruption Excuse Soft Shoe," the "Holy Days Are Holy, Are Not Holy, Cha Cha," the "Garner Ted Armstrong Co-ed Foxtrot," the "Retirement Rumba," and more. Just write us a letter or question you local minister they have been taught all the dances."
I would say that, if your church is trying so hard to act like Christians, then I will be anxiously awaiting your sending me documentation of how they are not going to use the loot gained from the selling of Big Sandy and Pasadena campus' to perpetuate themselves and their retirements but to seek out and repair all the lives they have laid waste and laying in the road behind them. Tell me how you get around my Good Samaritan analogy? Show me that they have cleaned up the mess they have as a legacy. Show me that they will publicly admit the history of the church, just because it is the truth and the members have a right to the truth and risk a lot of angry people. Show me that they will do what is right regardless of the cost to themselves. That would seem to be true Christianity. And how can you trust leaders who do not have the moral integrity to tell the truth at all times regardless of the cost? They are continual tap-dancers, Clinton clones. They must love to see him continually get away with all his evil so they can take lessons from him. Or did they give lessons to him?
I would say that expecting a "Christian Church" act Christian is not petty hair splitting. But, if that is not important to you, stay away from The Painful Truth, don't want to offend you.
Side Bar: I don't know if it is legal to put peoples E-mail address out there for spite, or how Godly that is..
I grew up in "The Church". I am 28 now I quit going at about age 22 and felt quite guilty at the time. My mother is no longer attending that church and I am Thankful especially in light of some of what I have been reading... With all that said I have questions. Who are you? A former member, or Minister? Are you bitter? I must say that there were some missed opportunities in life that Worldwide Church of God caused and if I spent my adult life as my mother did, I ma be a little more bitter. My sister seems to have some problems due to that cult.
I will tell you what I remember, my motto in life is to take what good things I can out of situations. I remember A lot of traveling, I met a lot of really nice people who were trying to live a Godly existence. I got to Travel SEP Big Sandy, Orr Minn. And Anchorage Alaska. I played Basket Ball and I knew I had good people around me.
I am not saying these things you write are not true or that they shouldn't be written. I am wondering if people are in that much pain now from the past. I pressed on and I am now a member of the USAF.
Thanks for the time you took for this page, it is really sad that some of us thought we found something special and were wronged, I chalk it up as an experience, and take the good memories and keep them in my heart.
I look forward to your reply.
My email address is there for all to see. I identify myself on my "Why The Painful Truth" page. If "Christian" people want to write me nasty, hateful email, I don't feel bad in the least about publishing their addresses; it is to shame them. I stand up for what I write and they should too. Legal, illegal? Who do you think will prosecute me? A cyberspace court? If you send me a snail mail letter, do I not have a right to your address, if you put it on your envelope? Is the letter not mine to do with as I wish? It now belongs to me not to the writer. If you were famous, I could sell it perfectly legally.
If you have been able to walk away from the cult without any bad feelings, good for you. If you read more of my website, you will see that many people do have some very real reasons for being thoroughly pissed.
May God bless you in your service to this country. I hope you never have to see any action.
You made some good points in your answer to my E-mail, and I do appreciate your reply, although I could send you a snail mail letter with no return address.
I have read your page almost every day since I first discovered it and I agree that I am one of the lucky ones who didn't put a life's worth of money more importantly lifetime into such a scam. The more I read the more I could see why people would be pissed. I started to remember how I trusted the leaders of the cult and than I realized how my mother and family were taken advantage of, and it made me more angry.
For people who spent there lives believing in such corrupt people, it was almost as bad as trusting a Louisiana politician,(I am from there so I can say that)But at least you knew the politician was a crook. Anyway I think your page has a purpose keep it up.
I read your jolting analogy, comparing wcg members to the wounded victim treated by the good Samaritan. Very well put -- and thought-provoking.
I wrote to you a few months ago, telling you that I planned to write to Garner Ted Armstrong. I did that, including a 4 page pamphlet, ASLEEP!, that I give to JW's at my door. I wrote Garner Ted Armstrong that I felt much of it applied to him and his church.
I know you don't accept the Bible and churches. That's fine with me; I'm not a church goer. I simply tried to get Garner Ted Armstrong to accept the fact that there are Christians outside his and other "Sabbatarian" churches.
He wrote a one page reply, repeating the same old superficiality: you don't keep the Sabbath= you're not a Christian. He also wrote this: "I do not believe any person is a 'Christian' who is either ignorant of God's law, or in direct rebellion against it." Too bad he hasn't seriously applied that statement to own life. His brothel habit involves(d) premeditated "direct rebellion"; it's not "passion of the moment", but planned forays into infidelity, paid for with his herd's tithes and offerings.
Groper Ted so easily and generously forgives his own direct rebellion against the 6th commandment. Over and over again. But this modern Pharisee won't tolerate those who "break the Sabbath". They shouldn't judge his private fornication's, but he takes every opportunity to judge their private relationships with the Creator. Can you spell H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-E ?
Pharisee Ted would have asked Jesus this question, after hearing the story of the good Samaritan: "But did he observe the Sabbath?!"
By his own definition, Garner Ted Armstrong is not a Christian, and should disfellowship himself. If he were a real man, he would have kicked himself out of the wcg and the church/money business at the outset, when he realized he wouldn't (not couldn't) stop playing around on the sly. He's brave behind the mike, but a moral coward. And he's never had to work in the real world, like the rest of us, as far as I know.
Remember when Garner Ted Armstrong's sleazy ways were leaked to the church? At first they were justified! "All the great men of God had strong physical appetites." What arrogant horseshit that was!
Lucky me, I was put on his mailing list! One letter from Mr. Bible included THREE donation envelopes! I wrote to his web site:
"Please remove my name from your mailing list. I never requested to be included on it...
"The front page of The Intercontinental News ("...What The Church is NOT") uses the same old Armstrong tactic of emphasizing "how we're different" from "Christianity". Of such is the kingdom of the cults.
"Garner Ted Armstrong's personal letters continue the theme of "any day now, the end's right around the corner", by culling the latest tragic news stories, and rewarming them for donor consumption...
"The Armstrongs point(ed) their fingers at other Christians and churches as fulfilling Christ's statement that many would come in His name and deceive many. The sad but ironic truth is that the Armstrongs fulfill the prophecy: they deceived so many of us into believing we were the only TRUE Christians.
"The convenient effect was and STILL IS -- TITHES AND OFFERINGS INTO Garner Ted Armstrong'S ORGANIZATION AND PERSONAL WALLET. As HWA hypocritically put it, "the way of GET!"
"Remember, the Candlestick Maker can also be the Candlestick BREAKER. Good luck with your Creator."
Ed, I don't expect you to put this long letter on your web site -- or to read all of it! If you do, include my name and e-mail address if you'd like:
Harlan Simantel, happy wcg survivor
Please remove my post from your website (located in your "Personal Experiences" section, under the topic of "Sexist, etc."). At the time I submitted it, it seemed like a good idea and certainly made ME feel better--but I have since come to understand the concept of "self-leadership". "Self-leadership"--or "Christ-centered leadership" enables one to wholeheartedly contribute/support the organization of my choosing (even disjointed, "abusive" churches with a cult-past!) based upon my OWN purpose, direction and vision without depending on THEM to provide that leadership FOR me. Included in the concept of "self-leadership" comes the ability and discernment to just expect others to disappoint or hurt me, without allowing their dysfunctions and abuses (as well as my "victimization") control me. In short, I have found it helpful to study what kinds of behavior patterns human beings experience when they undergo major, traumatic change, such as what is occurring in Worldwide Church of God--and actually gave a workshop/seminar on this topic at the Palm Springs feast site this year (which turned out highly successful).
So, as you can see, my perspective has changed dramatically and I do see progress and growth in Worldwide Church of God. It IS helpful to identify and evaluate the abuses of the past, but I don't believe it is healthy to dwell (for very long) on the ugly, disgusting things that people have done to one another. It is most effective/healthy to move forward first, before drudging up the past, and then let go all together. It has also been helpful for me to consider where we are in society today--and it is obvious that the 1990's is a decade of deception in the way of "Emotional Exhibitionism"--and I believe that many of the testimonies on your website are reflective of that factor.
In any event, I am attending my local Worldwide Church of God fellowship once again--and the minister to whom I refer (who was transferred to another area) and I seem to have begun the reconciliation process that we have been praying for, for some time now.
I guess if they can give you a position and make you feel important then its okay for them to be a whited sepulchre, full of dead men's bones.
Take a look at my new page at "hiearchy.htm" You can take a top seat.
Your message is gone. Don't need any from those that would sell out their fellow victims of this money making machine. Just forget all the evil that was done in God's name. Don't go back and clean up the mess your church made. Just get on with your new, feel-good Christianity.
All that blood money from the sale of the campus' should be used to repair the lives that were ruined by your beloved church not to pay for the retirement of the men that caused so much damage. Certainly would not want to "drudge up the past" when present money is concerned. Actually, it is not really "Present Money" because it is what was purchased with "past money," our money. Its all about MONEY not Christ, not Love.
Oh, the money helps so much to help them forget the evils that were done in God's name. How these "Leaders" can sleep at night just amazes me. I would really be scared if I were them. But they must not believe that there really is a God that is going to hold them responsible.
I have no "position" affiliated with the Worldwide Church of God (I'm not even back on the books as a member) other than being a Prayer Warrior and "best possible intercessor" in the Lord.
Yes, I am striving to do that (forget all the evil that was done in God's name). Genuine forgiveness and reconciliation through the power of prayer is the untapped resource that so many "Christians" fail to use in lieu of allowing others to keep them victimized, in a state of anger and disgust. Anger, bitterness and revenge are the devil's playground for our souls.
It is my desire that the Lord use me in whatever way He will, for the specific purpose of "cleaning up the mess" and empowering others to become fully surrendered to His will.
There is no place for "feel-good Christianity" in the life of someone who is seeking to take up the cross and suffer with the Lord.
Do you consider yourself as a "Good Samaritan" when you openly trash and condemn other human beings on your website?!!! Don't you understand that you are actually giving honor to the devil???? It doesn't matter what others (the "leaders") have done to you or to others--REAL leadership begins with OURSELVES and being big enough to forgive unconditionally and let bygones be bygones. There is NOTHING that has EVER been done to any human being, that is WORSE than what our Lord and Savior experienced as a human being on this earth! As the recent saying goes, "The Titanic sank--GET OVER IT!!!"
If it's all about MONEY and not Christ, then why do you insist that the "blood money" is needed to repair the lives that were "ruined"? "Ruined" is a matter of perspective or the way we see things. And the way we see things is a CHOICE governed by the way we know (or don't know) the Lord. I don't give a flying rip about what they do with their freaking MONEY!!!!
And you know what? It isn't about THEM--it's about YOU and the Lord. It's about ME and the Lord. Forget the "THEM". The best approach for feeling victimized, hurt, ruined, etc. is to ask the Lord how to forgive, and then to pray for those who hurt you and for healing for all concerned. That is the way of the Lord. That is a win-win situation. Bitterness, based on presumptiousness is not. Bitterness is death. I will pray for you....
So just let the criminals walk away with no punishment. Let them spend their loot on themselves and not on the people that they stole it from. Turn open the prisons and let them all loose. Just forgive them. What a crazy world that would be. But not much crazier than the world you live in already.
Sorry, I don't believe in a devil. I think humans can do enough evil all on their own; just look at your church. And I think that if a person accepts evil, especially when it is done in God's name, then that person is evil too. Put yourself in that category.
Return the blood money to the people that it was stolen from and it is no longer blood money. That is how you clean it up. Keep it and use it for your own selfish purposes and the blood of the victims of this ungodly business is on your hands.
Yes, you have been bought off by your feeling of self-importance. Oh, you couldn't help but tell me how important you were that you gave a presentation at the Feast and you are a Prayer Warrior and "best possible intercessor" in the Lord. Sheesh! You are so vain you must break mirrors by walking past.
And now you tell me that you are "helping" people but you are really helping the ones who are hurting people by perpetuating and condoning their organization and their lies.
Yes, I do consider myself a Good Samaritan. If people are trashed by whatever is on my website, they are trashed by the truth about themselves. They trash themselves.
Ignorance is death. Stupidity is death. Believing a lie is death.
Do not pray for me. I ask God that none of your prayers would apply to me, if they do get past your ceiling. Pray for yourself. You need them more than I do. Pray for the people that you are misleading in your vanity.
Why can't I find anything about Ron Howe's suicide. Mr. Howe was our minister several years and one of my fondest memories of him was that he felt it was ok to come to Bible Study in the clothes we wore to work since there was often not time to go home, shower, change clothes, eat, and drive to the study location.
I was in the church for over 25 years and sacrificed tremendously, and I can tell from your article about you and your family that I don't have to expand on that.
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