The Painful Truth About The Worldwide Church of God

Email: Sweet and Sour(maybe)
(Page Eight)

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

Email, Indexed by DATE


New on 3/14/99:

Dear Ed,

Thanx for producing this site...I have learned a lot ... especially from the Chuck Gerringer letter to Mr. Hunting. Never knew about that. I have generally tried to keep up with news and info on the WWCG over the years since I was put out in 1986. But this is the best site.

I was put out of the wwcg for coming to see clearly and preaching and teaching that the real problem in the church was self-hate which led to hatred of others which led to more hatred etc. So I began to correct myself with love. And I began to preach and teach that Self-love was the solution for the sin of self-hate. This was done from the inside and to help as many people as I could. I realized that I was taking a chance with my vocation in the church, my career, etc but I figured if God wanted me in no one could get me out, and if He wanted me out no one could keep me in. When the hierarchy found out and couldn't reconcile it with their strong belief in self-hate, and I wouldn't give up my new found belief, I got my answer: God wanted me out.

Now,

I did not then and do not now blame the wwcg for not having the total right attitude of Love and Respect that they were not given, nor for not doing what they didn't know and still don't know.

So, Ed, when I go back to my beginning contact with the wwcg, I blame me: it was my problem of self-hate for being wrong that made me willingly give up my freedom of thought to let others do my thinking for me in order to make me right in order to love myself. Due to that self-hate and self-disrespect, I checked nearly all my brains at the door: all these ministers and all these members there before me who had proved everything couldn't be wrong, etc. But they were and I was: no one ever suggested repenting of the sin of Hate and Disrespect in attitude and spirit to being wrong, being fools, being Catholics, being Jews, being etc. No, we were allowed and encouraged to hate and to disrespect whoever and whatever we wanted as long as we DID right! Hate the pig and hate that pork, as long as you DID right by not eating pork. Keep the sabbath out of hate for sundaykeepers!

We were always right in the hateful attitude: the very attitude that made our good totally wrong and so evil-spoken of! But that hateful attitude fit right in with my addicted attitude of hate I had brought in from the world and which was in and of the world from which we were trying to flee. We were trying to flee the world but not its attitude of hate and Disrespect. We were going to keep that. That's why we each and all of us were responsible for our little parts in corrupting with Hate and Disrespect the organization we all were a part of, and still are responsible for it now that we are back where we all started from.

At least I could never understand what Paul was talking about in 1 Corin 13 about if you did this or that but had no love.... To DO the right thing was Love, wasn't it? Nor Luke 18: 9: The parable about those who did right but DESPISED others.

So Ed, as the member I was at first and as the member-minister I was at the end, for the wrong attitude of hating and disrespecting myself as others which led me to hate and disrespect others as myself, I repent to God. And for anything I said or did in that wrong attitude of Hate and Disrespect, I now in love and respect also repent to God and do humbly apologize to everyone now in and now out of the wwcg. Also out of Love and Respect for all, I totally and unreservedly forgive anyone for any Hate and Disrespect they had for me, and I forgive all for anything which they thought, said or did against me.

And in that attitude of Love and Respect, I would like to humbly suggest that the list on this site for ministers also include the word 'members' for members.

The reason is clear, Ed: all of us were involved:

we all ignorantly and unwittingly aided and abetted each other's wrong attitude: minister to member, member to minister, member to member and minister to minister. which is the primary cause of all the wrong actions.

Each member is a minister to him or herself.

Now there is surely a greater degree of responsibility as ministers, but as we found out at the end in the end, no degree of power a minister nor ministers nor the whole wwcg with ministers, members and all could stop you and me and anyone member from holding our ground once when we had decided to choose to do so, come disfellowshipment or whatever.

Also remember who were more in number: the ministers or the members? And so who were the people who willfully and willingly in Hate and Disrespect carried out the marking announcements, etc and who because of their number had more opportunity to carry out the sentence to avoid you, pretend not to see you and wouldn't speak to you on the street or wherever, and etc?

Remember?

Ed, if that suggestion is implemented, it would help so many more people who frequent your site and who are still carrying out the mistaken attitude of H & D we had before wwcg, which attitude of H & D we had more indelibilized in the wwcg by the wwcg and us, and which attitude of H & D resulted and results in the policy of blaming everybody else except ourselves for decisions that each of us participated in.

The reason why that blame-game idea dies so hard, Ed, is simply because that is the result of the the very idea of Hate and Disrespect for being wrong we all had before the wwcg, and which is why each of us willingly allowed the wwcg to exploit: for us to feel good: we were the only right church people and everybody else was wrong and so to be blamed!

Yeah, we were a part of that world, but our parts were minor, it was that pope or some world leader or satan who was really to blame.

If I hate myself as wrong, when I am wrong I am going to be in a hateful attitude, then I am going to deny it and lie about it to myself and then to others, and if and when I have to admit that I am wrong, I am going to blame others or circumstances or whatever or anything else and any one else except me for my mistakes. If I hate myself as wrong, when I am right and you are wrong I am going to hate and disrespect you as myself. If I love myself as right and wrong, when I am wrong, I will still be in the right attitude of Love and Respect, and so I will admit my wrong, and go on.

If I love myself as right and as wrong, then when I am right and you are wrong, I will still love and respect you as myself, and in that attitude of L & R get you to take yourself first not to the wrong you did, but first to the only first base there is: that of Loving and respecting yourself as right and as wrong, that the first sin is to hate you as wrong or as any word. Then in that repentant attitude of godly Love never to be repented of, you will admit and move on, never to repeat again.

To get someone to repent of an action without getting them to change their attitude of the sin of Hate simply means that they are going to repeat the action simply because they are back to the status quo ante: the same sinful attitude which caused the first action is still there. So one guess as to if they will repeat the same or similar action.

What would the world say and do now if we, now back in the world, were to ask the world in the figures of our families who were always against the wwcg all along, to repent and to sign up for their part in allowing us to go into the wwcg?

The first thing they would rightly say was:

That was your decision!

Story done!

Now the whole truth is that to the extent they were hateful to us, we were driven away by that hate, but only because we hated haters, and so we ended with the real haters like ourselves! So it takes two with the implicit, hidden agreement to hate ourselves. But my part is my responsibility, and their part is theirs.

Hope that this is not too long nor involved. Keep up the good work. And if I can ever be of any help, please be sure to let me know

100% Love and Respect,

Gordon Godfrey Harry

REPLY

Gordon,

Sorry, but I have a very hard time following your logic about hate and love. I never joined wcg because of any hatred for anyone. I joined because they had the answers to all the questions about the purpose of life and especially because they even gave hope that everyone would, indeed, be saved in the end. No other church I had ever heard of ever gave me answers like that, even though they were wrong.

Your trying to say that members owe someone an apology is appropriate but not on my apology page. They owe personal apologies. I have personally apologized to my sons and my family. I also apologize to the whole human race by rejecting all religion since they are all exclusionist, divisive and ungodly.

I did not know many hateful people in the church. I think they were all basically good people. Yes, we are to blame for being stupid. The ministry is to blame for misusing stupid people. They are more culpable and therefore a more appropriate apology is needed.

I wonder if your feelings of hatred were shared by your fellow minsters moreso than with the members?

This self-flagelation by yourself and so many others is so Christian. "I must deserve this or God wouldn't have let it happen to me." "I must forgive whatever evil was done to me or God will not forgive me." Someone said on one of my other pages:"If I were to treat my children the same way Christians believe God treats His children, I would be in jail."

Being stupid and vulnerable should not make you partly guilty of a crime. Same as saying that a woman was asking to be raped by being in the wrong place. Yeah, she may have been stupid for being there but that does not give the rapist a pass for raping her. Or, I bear responsibility for someone stealing my furniture because I left my door unlocked.

To say that we should have held our ground as members is to reject the reality that standing your ground would mean that you would miss out on God's Kingdom and any afterlife. There was no ground for a truebeliever to stand on. Our job was to worship the ground that the ministry walked on. Anyone who truly believed in the teachings of the church knew that we never really had an option of standing our ground.

We as members were more in number? What did that ever have to do with it? They had God on their side. Who can stand against God? When we were interviewed for membership we were asked if we would submit to their authority. If we had not answered yes, like fools, we would have not been members of God's one and only true church.

Did you miss that sermon : "Its all about government?"

So, are you saying you want to sign the Apology list as a former minister?

Which category??:

A. I am so sorry that I no longer feel qualified to preach.

or

B. I'm sorry but MY God is so weak that he needs ME to do His work for Him and I need your money to do it.

Regards,

Ed

REPLY

Dear Ed,
Thank for your response. I will answer your letter with comments after yours.

Ed wrote:
Gordon,
Sorry, but I have a very hard time following your logic about hate and love.

Reply:
Before we can love and respect others, we must love and respect ourselves. So if I do not love and respect you, it means that I don't love and respect myself. And our brains work by words and their opposites, all of which have images and letters. So if I don't have love and respect myself as the words hopeless, wrong, ignorant, illiterate, lost and etc, I am not going to be able to love and respect others as myself, and I am going to get hopeful, right, saved educated or found at all costs not just because I want to have love and respect for myself, but more importantly also because I hate being ignorant, illiterate, lost, wrong and hopeless. This backbeat of Hate and Disrespect will cause me to go overboard and to overreact in trying to get what I want. So I will be so right, and so saved and so educated and so found whenever right and etc. Then with the same Love/Hate attitude, if I subsequently conclude that my attempt is wrong, I am going to overreact in feeling that it was so wrong and in over-pulling back in the opposite direction. This is why so many people find it so hard to find that golden mean: how much to push vs. how much to pull? I will find it so hard to find the right balance because the right balance is in the attitude of 100% Love and respect for myself as all others and so for all others as myself, rather than in equal time or equal whatever. So if I do not love and respect myself as all words and their opposites, I am going to serve you an apology or a cup of coffee in action, while not serving all my love and respect. And as you know, words or actions without genuine Love and respect mean nothing.

Ed Wrote:

Your trying to say that members owe someone an apology is appropriate but not on my apology page.

Reply:
Understood.

Ed Wrote:
They owe personal apologies I have personally apologized to my sons and my family. I also apologize to the whole human race.

Reply:

That is a great example:

Ed Wrote:
I wonder if your feelings of hatred were shared by your fellow ministers more so than with the members?

Reply:
It was equally homogeneous throughout ministers and members. That attitude was so ingrained and taken for granted and never addressed that it was invisible to everyone. On the other hand, we were all taught that the problem was really too much self-love.

Ed Wrote:
So, are you saying you want to
sign the Apology list as a former minister?

Reply:
Yes.

Ed Wrote:
Which category:

Reply:
A. I am so sorry that I no longer feel qualified to preach

Regards,
Gordon Godfrey Harry
ggharry@ix.netcom.com

REPLY

Gordon,
Thank you for signing the Apology list. I think you are thinking more about this love/hate thing than I ever have but I have to admit that there was not a lot of love in the teachings of the church and so maybe you are right. Whatever. I take your apology in the spirit in which I feel it has been given. Would that there were more like you.

Just think: The list has doubled in one day! That shows that God is with us. Hehehehehehe....

Now maybe you have started a snowball rolling down hill....

I will be putting your email address along with your name, just in case someone would like to thank you personally.

Regards,

Ed


 

Hi,

Thanks for your response. You really are providing a wonderful service to so many as I'm sure you hear very often. I'm glad there are still men and women of courage out there.

You commented that it is okay to go through the rituals if you feel the need to please or appease God. What if it isn't to please or appease God? Does that make it different, do you think? What if you keep the Sabbath because you feel better when you set aside the time to rest and reflect?

We have 2 teenagers raised mostly in the Worldwide Church of God and through them partly I understand that our culture teaches that the man and woman should be equal as you suggested would be more ideal. Your qualifier was good about the man being honorable, etc. But even in gay/lesbian relationships there tends to be a dominant and submissive partner. It only seems natural, even in the animal kingdom. It doesn't mean the woman is a mindless doormat.

Anyhow, so much of what IS in the Bible just seems to make sense. Do you see it that way at all?

One other thing. I'm looking forward to reading more of the web page/site tonight. I'm wondering about something. In my experience in the Worldwide Church of God I saw some families who "checked their minds out," so to speak, at the door and others who didn't. I feel that in some ways our family didn't. When asked to abandon me and our newborn twins and 2 others kids in the "pews" so he could run the tapes, my husband said NO, he wouldn't leave me alone and after a meeting of deacon and minister, they changed their stupid rules. Things like that. I understand that a good share of the responsibility for the pain, double standards, etc., etc. is in the ministers/leaders of the Worldwide Church of God. But I wonder if a good share of the anger, pain, hurt, regret might be directed towards the parents who chose to "check their minds out at the door" and basically sacrificed their families.

Anyhow, thank you once again for your kind comments and TIME that you are giving to help others. You are a very wonderful example of someone who is selflessly giving, which is very refreshing when one is confronted with so much craft.

Sincerely, Diane

REPLY

Diane,

You Wrote:
What if you keep the Sabbath because you feel better when you set aside the time to rest and reflect?

Reply:
Whatever. But I can do that anytime I want. Don't have to wait for a special day to do it.

You Wrote:
Anyhow, so much of what IS in the Bible just seems to make sense. Do you see it that way at all?

Reply:
No, not at all. Apparently you haven't gotten very far on my site.

You Wrote:
In my experience in the Worldwide Church of God I saw some families who "checked their minds out," so to speak, at the door and others who didn't.

Reply:
That was me. I checked my mind out at the door. I was a true believer. Those of you who weren't were a lot smarter than I was but ol' herbie never really considered you a true member of his cult. You were part of the 50% who just didn't get it and would be left behind. He, of course, was still more than willing to take your money.

You Wrote:
Anyhow, thank you once again for your kind comments and TIME that you are giving to help others. You are a very wonderful example of someone who is selflessly giving, which is very refreshing when one is confronted with so much craft.

Reply:
Glad you have judged me correctly before you find out I am no longer a Christian. Tends to color a person's opinion. I can just hear Junior and his gang telling people that "you can't believe that character, he isn't even a Christian." Like you should believe him because he says he is Christian. I put truth above money, he doesn't.

Regards,
Ed

REPLY

Hi Ed,

Thanks again for taking the time to answer each point. Very interesting, especially about any day is fine to rest. I mean, I don't agree, from my own experience, but I think it is very interesting that after all that you've been through that you don't remember any "joy" in the Sabbath. I'm not trying to change you. I just think it is very interesting.

I don't care if you aren't a Christian. I have gotten that far in your page. I think your views are extremely interesting. Why would that matter that you aren't a Christian? I think you said you believe in God, and even that wouldn't make much difference. If you were ever embroiled as much as you say you were in Worldwide Church of God you are definitely in a very different category than someone, say, like my dear, sweet father who was VERY VERY much against organized religion. He and I still had great conversations about religion.

Your point about us being the 50% that Herbert W. Armstrong said "didn't get it" and who weren't "truly converted" may be what Herbert W. Armstrong felt. But of course that wouldn't bother me because I always saw him as a man and never felt that he was between God and me. You and I both know he was a man riddled with fault and error and what matters is how God saw it all.

I really do appreciate you taking the time to share with me your thoughts. I haven't asked much with this letter and I'm sure you have many new people writing you that need a bit of encouragement (or straightening out!). So, I may not hear from you again. I say, "Keep up the good work." I'm sure your first wife would be very moved by your zeal in defending others from some of the pain you both went through. You are very kind to do so. I will say that it hurts me to read about your first wife and the pain she went through without taking aspirins, etc. as she died. She sounds like a sweet and innocent young woman. There isn't much more to say than that, so adios, and may God be with you and thanks again. I feel very enlightened.

Diane


 

Ed,

I just read the letter from Diane on your mailbag site. She's right when she says that she couldn't "digest it all." She states that narcissistic personality disorder was a characteristic of those "drawn into the Worldwide Church of God." I don't believe that is stated anywhere on your website. As bad as the Worldwide Church of God was, it is hard for me to believe that an organization could exist where everyone acted like Adolf Hitler. Of course, I am reminded of many deacons who were tyrants and might qualify as narcissists but not really the members. Many of us came from abusive and authoritarian homes. Therefore, we didn't think there was anything strange about the authoritarianism in the church. The sad thing is that many of us were taught that it was godly to be abusive and demanding to our precious children and wives. (If husbands genuinely love their wives and children, they do not need to demand honor and submission to their superior position as family patriarch.)

Diane doesn't see anything odd about glamorizing the "ideal" Worldwide Church of God wife. She says, "I must admit that I LOVE a lot of the doctrine of the old Worldwide Church of God such as no Christmas, the beauty of the sacred calendar, the honoring of the husband (I'm a wife who has seen this work in our family), the wife picturing the church, and for what it's worth the anointing worked for me on 4 occasions, tithing at least on gross, etc." If she really finds herself in such a happy situation, I doubt if it has anything to do with the type of calendar she has or the placebo effect of olive oil or sending a tenth of the family income to misguided televangelists. If this makes her and her family happy, it seems to be a strange formula to me. Since the Worldwide Church of God no longer teaches those things overtly, how does she maintain her happy marriage?

She states that it's amazing that "we all might have been Herbert W. Armstrong's under different circumstances." That's a scary thought and, thankfully, not true. Please don't confuse the victimizer with the victims.

Bruce


New on 3/15/99:

Thanks for your site, it helps to know I'm not alone in having sad memories. I did not grow up in the church, I got duped by the slick mass media blitz by GTA and later Herbert W. Armstrong and attended the church as a "called" young person. I was never baptized and tithed relatively little before I left in the early 80's.

Mine come from knowing meeting some of the other young people who grew up and left at the same time I did, we worked together and one became my workplace enemy, before we had our falling out they confided in me about some of the stuff about Herbert W. Armstrong's immorality and corruption in the Worldwide Church of God. The parent's were still attending Worldwide Church of God and secretly getting the Ambassador report, there was some trust in me involved. I had to keep my mouth shut of course. What really was the last straw was when Herbert W. Armstrong got divorced, I already knew that it was in the works but the minister never said a thing about it.

I want to visit the Ambassador Auditorium after Legacy Partners is through with it, I wonder if they'll let Gerald McFlurry book an evangelistic campaign there someday? Maybe they'll change the name too?

Name Withheld


 

Hi Ed,

Thanks again for taking the time to answer each point. Very interesting, especially about any day is fine to rest. I mean, I don't agree, from my own experience, but I think it is very interesting that after all that you've been through that you don't remember any "joy" in the Sabbath. I'm not trying to change you. I just think it is very interesting.

I don't care if you aren't a Christian. I have gotten that far in your page. I think your views are extremely interesting. Why would that matter that you aren't a Christian? I think you said you believe in God, and even that wouldn't make much difference. If you were ever embroiled as much as you say you were in Worldwide Church of God you are definitely in a very different catagory than someone, say, like my dear, sweet father who was VERY VERY much against organized religion. He and I still had great conversations about religion.

Your point about us being the 50% that Herbert W. Armstrong said "didn't get it" and who weren't "truly converted" may be what Herbert W. Armstrong felt. But of course that wouldn't bother me because I always saw him as a man and never felt that he was between God and me. You and I both know he was a man riddled with fault and error and what matters is how God saw it all.

I really do appreciate you taking the time to share with me your thoughts. I haven't asked much with this letter and I'm sure you have many new people writing you that need a bit of encouragement (or straightening out!). So, I may not hear from you again. I say, "Keep up the good work." I'm sure your first wife would be very moved by your zeal in defending others from some of the pain you both went through. You are very kind to do so. I will say that it hurts me to read about your first wife and the pain she went through without taking aspirins, etc. as she died. She sounds like a sweet and innocent young woman. There isn't much more to say than that, so adios, and may God be with you and thanks again. I feel very enlightened.

Diane

REPLY

Diane,

You Wrote:

I mean, I don't agree, from my own experience, but I think it is very interesting that after all that you've been through that you don't remember any "joy" in the Sabbath. I'm not trying to change you. I just think it is very interesting.

Reply: I can't tell you how much better our lives are now that we are not subject to such manmade slavery.

There are actually Seven days in a week again. It is like I really have a life. My wife met a lady friend that left the local wcg about the same time we did at the store today. Her comment was that she actually had a life again too. She has her money too which tends to make having a life again a lot easier on people. I can actually go to McDonalds now and not look at what everything costs and then end up with the cheapest hamburger since I will be home in two hours.

The way my life used to be, my time was continually devoted to keeping God happy. I had to get my prayer time in. I had to do my Bible study. I had to go to Bible Study once a week to be bored to tears by some incompetent local elder. There is another day shot. Then there were all the meetings, Spokesman Club, Graduate Club, Deacon's, Candy Sale, Orange Sale, Plaque Sale, YOU meeting/practices/games in some far-flung city taking up a whole weekend. Then the time and money wasted on the "Holy Days"...................

Yes, while we were in the system, the sabbath and the holy days seemed like they were good things. But, once seeing what real life is like, there is no comparison. I wouldn't go back to it if they paid me. I like being free without ministers putting guilt trips on me, making me do things that I really don't want to do, all with the backing of God and the threat of losing my eternal life. I like deciding where I will go on vacation and where I stay. And I like having all day to do whatever I want while on vacation. And I like not having to spend every penny that I have with me or having to turn it over to headquarters. And I like having only tour guides and bums beg me for money instead of some pompous ass of a minister.

Oh yes, freedom is so good and the sabbath or the holydays cannot compare to it. To say there was some good in it is like saying "I made a lot of friends in prison and learned a lot of lessons and I guess I had some good times with my friends but would I like to go back? No."

You wrote:

I don't care if you aren't a Christian. I have gotten that far in your page. I think your views are extremely interesting. Why would that matter that you aren't a Christian? I think you said you believe in God, and even that wouldn't make much difference. If you were ever embroiled as much as you say you were in Worldwide Church of God you are definitely in a very different category than someone, say, like my dear, sweet father who was VERY VERY much against organized religion. He and I still had great conversations about religion.

Reply:

You are very enlightened and tolerant. You have to be kidding though if you think that people would not discriminate against me because of my religion. I was on an email list recently where a man advertised for a job where he wanted to try to get Christians first.

Listen to what your Dad told you about religion.

Best,

Ed


 

Email, Indexed by DATE


Click here for Page One, Email letters.

Click here for Page Two, Email letters.

Click here for Page Three, Email letters.

Click here for Page Four, Email letters.

Click here for Page Five, Email letters.

Click here for Page Six, Email letters.

Click here for Page Seven, Email letters.

Click here for Page Eight, Email letters.

Click here for Page Nine, Email letters.

Click here for Page Ten, Email letters.

Click here for Page Eleven, Email letters.


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