The Painful Truth About The Worldwide Church of God

Email To The Editor
(Page 44)

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

 


1/7/01

To webmaster or whoever wrote it:

 Just found out that WWC articles are on the world wide web! Just never thought about looking before, and have been on internet since March of this year! (What can I say, grew up in the church, still can't think for myself, (ha ha!).

 Well, there ARE others out there like myself! I, Tammy, grew up in church. Began at age 6, I remember the first time I went to church. My father carried me inside! (No siree, I NEVER would've gone willingly) Wasn't my idea.

 Left church in '83. Thought to myself "Why ARE WE HERE?" Just couldn't take it any more.

 Well, it's been 30 years since my introduction to WCG and all the hiding things from school friends, all the shame! And hey, now I'm NOT ALONE!


 I believe that the focus should be on God and his word, not what has happened in the past. I will pray for you.

REPLY:

 So go focus on him, if you can find him; nobody else has. He/She/It is well hidden.

Don't pray for me. Pray for the starving babies and children in Africa. But that doesn't do any good either, does it? God doesn't care about them so why would he care about me when I am well fed and healthy and just have a problem about people that lie and make up stories about him?

Stay off my website; you might confuse yourself with the facts.

Editor  


 It there anyway that the ex-remembers can sue the WCG to collect money from the sale of the Pasadena Campus? I know people that gave their life savings and inheritances to the "Work". Now, to have the property sold for commercial purposes seems a violation of even tax exempt laws.

Lowell


In this world are so many ignorants that they try to ridiculise the word of God and they don't have any knowledge of it. Where in the bible says that the first man ate an "apple" Can you show me? Because as far Ihave read in the bible says tha the first man take a fruit and ate it. You know what happen to you that you are so wise that you teach God. agape.

Rafael


 In other words you can say what ever you want, but you can't stand the opinion of other people. You sound like Fidel Castro style from Cuba, if some body don't agree with you SHHHHHHHHHH.

Rafael

REPLY:

Rafael, 

I didn't reply to you just because I don't have time to get into senseless debates with bible believers, so go play somewhere else. All the debates have been done already and bible believers lost, big time, they just don't know it. Now, you can believe in it, if you want, but you do not have any proof at all that it was written or inspired by any god. That is all pretty well covered on the Bibliolatry Page.

So, believe it if you want but don't expect other people, who use their brains, to believe it too. When you believe it, you are telling your brain that you don't want to be confused with the facts. You are willingly believing lies and that is your prerogative. I do not and that is my prerogative.

I think Fidel would throw your ass in prison if you didn't agree with him and told him so; so I don't think I am like Castro. I would like to free you from your prison of religious myths and fairy tales, but you don't have to listen to me if you don't want to. And I don't have to answer any of your email.

You are free to surf on, now, and find a website that is more to your liking. I don't make anyone read The Painful Truth, you go there of your own free will. I would suggest that a less truthful, bible oriented site would be more to your liking, there are plenty of them out there.

Editor


HIYA:

Since god allows/creates the suffering you have experienced... god is weak, evil, uncreative, or immoral.... YOU get to decide! Bye! ( free will is not possible if any of the 4000 gods REALLY exist)

George


 Thank you very much for your efforts to show the truth; It is really very hard for me to explain my feelings.

Thanks

Alpay


 Dear Editor,

A recent e-mail from my dad brought out anger in me that I didn't realize I still carried. The e-mail was titled "Pagan Holidays" and it prompted me to search for recent information about the wwcg and also "Church of God, Eternal", this is how I came upon your website.

My husband of only seven years doesn't understand why I've spent almost all of the last 48 hours on the internet, or why I didn't cook dinner. *smile* I attended Catholic schools growing up but didn't pay attention in "Religion" classes. Twenty-five years ago at the age of twenty I started searching for answers about life. I knew almost nothing about the bible then. I wanted to learn more about the "church" my dad was involved in. My dad had already left wwcg at that time to follow Raymond Cole's splinter church, "Church of God, Eternal."

In 1975 I started attending Raymond Cole's services. We met in a grange hall at Eugene, Oregon. My involvement was for a relatively short time, (about a year) but the damage is still with me to some extent. Maybe sometime I'll write more about that experience.

Knowing that I still have scars twenty-five years later, after my one year of involvement with this cult, I can only imagine what the aftermath of spending decades in it must be like. I don't think you are a nut. To me, it seems like your website is a healthy way for you to recover from the pain this cult has caused you, and help others at the same time. When you refer to Herbert Armstrong as "herbie" it takes the "power" away from him. It made me laugh and I needed that! It reminds me of a tool that a therapist I know of uses to help sexually abused little girls. She has them draw penis's and then gives them scissors so they can cut them up.

I blindly followed the teachings of Herbert Armstrong. It seemed that Raymond Cole's services were all about "the truth" that was revealed to Armstrong and how the wwcg had abandoned "the truth" After reading the world wide church of God, eternal's web-site, it's obvious to me that Raymond Cole is still stuck on the same thing TWENTY-FIVE years later! Do you know Mr. Cole?

From reading the wwcg's website it looks like they are giving the apology you asked for. I don't have a clue how this church still has members!!!!!!!! I don't attend any church on a regular basis but I do believe in Jesus Christ and the bible.

Until I read your website I had wondered if Herbert Armstrong was sincere and maybe just deceived himself when he first began preaching...... Thanks for providing a place for me to vent!

Pam

 REPLY:

 Pam,

Thanks for your message. Always glad that the PT helps people to put their life's experiences in the proper perspective.

Naturally your husband will not understand but you can be grateful that, at least, he is not messed up in that way also. Tough getting any sympathy from someone who hasn't gone through the same thing, though.

I don't know Raymond Cole and have not visited his website.

No, the WCG has not and never will give the apology that I and many others want. It isn't a matter of robotically saying "Oh, all right, I'm sorry" and moving on. True repentance by representatives of Jesus would mean attempting to FIX all that they damaged. That would cost money. That is asking too much.

Regards,

Editor

 REPLY:

Dear editor,

I agree the money is a huge issue. Has anyone approached the leaders of the "new and improved wwcg" or, approached the leaders of the churches that are now embracing wwcg about the money? (I haven't read everything on your site yet)

 I'm sure glad HWA wasn't into the Kool-Aid (sp?) thing! *smile

*Thank you for the sensitivity you have shown by warning Christians that some parts of your web site may be offensive. Of course, I'm reading everything anyway. It does cause me to further question my faith, but that's OK, because it also causes me to look to God for answers. I've also learned the hard way to not put my trust and faith in man.

What makes me feel sick inside is that the brain-washing was so intense and so ingrained into every area of the member's lives, that after the lies are exposed, it can't help but leave thousands with no Hope. I feel SO ANGRY about this. Sometimes I feel SO STUPID too.

 For years after I left the splinter wwcg group I was still looking to other churches and man for answers. It was like I missed the first day of school when all the answers were passed out. I now know God reveals Himself to all of us and part of being an adult is to take responsibility for my own beliefs.

Raymond Cole claims his church is the only remnant left that is still following the truth that was revealed to all baptized members of the wwcg prior to 1972, when the wwcg started falling away from the truth.

Sometimes I think I need to keep digging because every once in a while I have a fleeting thought of "what if they were right?"

While reading Raymond Cole's, church of God Eternal's web site I came across a July/2000 letter he wrote to his church. I found it ironic and could see so clearly how he twisted scripture. This is the scripture he was using to tell his church why he FEARS to be with other splinter groups from wwcg. (I'm quoting scripture to vent NOT to preach) This is R. Cole's message to his church about former wwcg members:

Isaiah 1: 13,14 : Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations--I cannot bear your evil assemblies. Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts, my soul hates. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. THIS IS WHERE RAYMOND COLE STOPS QUOTING SCRIPTURE AND ADDS HIS OWN TWIST, LEAVING OUT 15-17 : When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. (I underlined "learn" because in the same letter Raymond Cole emphatically states: "OUR FORMER BRETHREN KNOW BETTER"

What did this scripture mean to Raymond Cole before 1972? What did it mean to Herbert W. Armstrong?? I actually sent an e-mail to R. Cole asking him this and a few other questions. I'll never hear from him, he probably doesn't even remember me.

My dad left the splinter group in about 1979. We can't discuss it because he thinks Raymond Cole started doing things contrary to scripture and seems to still believe Herbert W. Armstrong was given the truth but he's not sure where it is anymore. It breaks my heart to see him so lost.....My mom always knew it was a crock and she resented Herbert W. Armstrong.

Guess I'm finished venting for now. (are you still reading?)

I want to ask you a few questions but will send them in another e-mail as this is getting too lengthy.

Pam

 REPLY:

 YOU WROTE:

 I'm sure glad Herbert W. Armstrong wasn't into the Kool-Aid (sp?) thing! *smile

REPLY:

Yeah, but probably half of us would have followed him out into the desert and died there. Lots of people sacrificed their lives, their marriages, their children. Not too much difference. As long as the business was making money there was no reason for Herbie to kill the golden geese (us).

YOU WROTE:

 It does cause me to further question my faith, but that's OK

REPLY:

You know, they always told us to "prove all things," but how could we question our "faith?" Our faith was what was supposed to be unshakable. We had to have faith until the end or we would lose our salvation. Yet our faith was in a book. Our faith was in what other people told us the book said. True believers know that they had better stay away from any information that may reflect negatively on the Bible because that is the foundation of their faith and their hope, or so they are told. You would think that "god" would want us to question our "faith" just to make sure we have it right. What kind of "god" would want us to keep believing something when it may be completely wrong? Many people find a lot of comfort in that type of god, though. They are perfectly willing to let others do the thinking for them and tell them what to believe. The less intelligent and uneducated are more inclined to this type of religion. Maybe that explains some of the "ministers" we had.

YOU WROTE:

"after the lies are exposed, it can't help but leave thousands with no Hope"

REPLY:

Yes, it is a shock but after the feeling of "no hope" you move on to being glad that you are no longer a blind puppet having your strings pulled by liars. Is it better to have "hope" in a mythical afterlife and give up this life to a false religion or to just "not know" if there is any afterlife and being able to make the most of this life, uncontrolled by greedy, lazy, power-hungry men? Each person can decide that for his or her self.

If you want to read a really good book, I would recommend "The God Part of The Brain." It is very interesting in proposing that the belief in a god, believed by people all around the world in different cultures, is part of our animal brain. That we, most of us, need it for survival of our species since we, above all other species, realize that we will die; that we could die at any minute. It is a paralyzing, fear inducing realization. The "god part of the brain" allows people to have hope, even if it is false hope. Intriguing and thought provoking book.

YOU WROTE:

"My mom always knew it was a crock and she resented Herbert W. Armstrong."

REPLY:

That must have been an interesting marriage. I don't know how some spouses survived the idiocy and waste of money and time.

Regards, Editor

REPLY:

 Dear Editor,

What a way to spend New Year's Eve, I'm pondering questions about what life is all about and my husband is out trying to help the world. He's a police officer and for years I've been trying to counter the pain he sees by sharing my faith...so in a way my husband is effected too. I can't talk to him about this. Another thing I feel ANGRY about is that my husband is one of the thousands of men and woman who put their lives on the line so people like Raymond Cole and all the other hypocrites who say it is a sin to carry guns can live in a safe country! Why don't they just go live in Petra now and avoid the rush!

Tonight I spent a couple more hours reading through your web site. The massive damage that started from one man is incredible!

I want to ask you a few questions. Please know I'm not trying to sway anything you believe. I'm searching for myself. Some of the questions I'm asking you are the questions I'm asking myself.

1. What is Ekklesia? All I could find out about it is a church-type web site.

REPLY: Ekklesia was an email forum that no longer exists. It helped a lot of people sort out their feelings and get information.

 2. In the FAQ part of your web site you mentioned that at one point you and your wife decided you could read the bible for yourselves.

* How long did you read on your own?

REPLY: Not long. I figured that I would have to start at "is there a god" before I could continue reading the book. Then I would have to prove that the bible is or is not god's word.

 * How far did you go in digging up past sermons and literature from Herbert W. Armstrong and reading for yourselves how he twisted the scriptures?

REPLY: I had all the literature. I had all the back issues of the Plain Truth and Tomorrows World and Good News and WWNews and the booklets. All of them. I had read it all. I didn't have to go back and reread it. It was in my brain.

*How did you get from reading the bible on your own to not believing in the bible?

REPLY: See above.

* Did you read for yourself what the bible says about the Love, Grace, and Mercy of God, that wasn't part of Herbert W. Armstrong's teaching?

REPLY: I have no problem with the good and loving parts of the Bible. Many other books have the same things in them; they are not God's word either.

* Did you read where the bible says we aren't capable of following the law?

REPLY: Doesn't really matter to me.

3. I'm not ready yet to read the books disputing the bible. I think I will need to at some point. Why do you give so much credence to books disputing the bible when they are also written by man and knowing there are probably just as many other books countering their views?

 REPLY: I can use my own common sense to see where the bible is filled with contradictions. Just look at the first two chapters of Genesis. All I needed was someone to tell me that they see the same errors that are very plain to most of us. The books that counter the expos, of the bible only tell you that what you read in the bible doesn't really mean what it says, that you have to have the right translation, etc, etc., blah, blah. That is a bunch of crap. I'm supposed to put my faith in a book that has errors in it and try to figure out what a god wants from me because my eternal life depends on my getting it right but he/she/it can't communicate it plainly to me?

 * Did you come to the place of not believing in the bible before you read these books?

REPLY: It happened over a period of time. I remember talking to a friend of mine who had been about six months ahead of me in all of this and thinking: "am I going to feel the same as he does six months from now?" Turns out the answer was yes.

 My opinion: The bible is the living word of God. It is one of the many ways God reveals Himself to us. I have experienced His Holy Spirit showing me His love while reading the bible.

 REPLY: You have no proof of this. You have only feelings influenced by the desire to have it be right and a definite desire for it not to be wrong.

4. Have you ever had that experience?

 REPLY: Have I ever had a religious experience? I had one once after reading Dr. Hoeh's article: "You Can be Imbued with the Power of God." This was when we felt we really could no longer not pay for all the literature we had received and started to tithe. I felt a genuine chill there. Turned out to be very wrong and a big mistake in my life.

5. You state that what we believe today is the truth and tomorrow the truth may be something else. Isn't it more likely that what we believe today is our reality and our reality may be different tomorrow? And that Truth doesn't change?

REPLY: Same thing. Whatever is your reality, that is the truth to you. You may be talking about some kind of Godly Truth but what is that? Where do you find it? Is it in a flawed book and you have to find it?

* And the word "truth" may trigger thoughts about Herbert W. Armstrong's lies and deceit?

REPLY: Doesn't really bother me.

6. Even though this is what I believe today, or at least all I can accept at this point, These are hypothetic questions for you.

* If the bible were true, and knowing that Herbert W. Armstrong was not of God, wouldn't this be even more tragic to know than believing the bible isn't even true?

 REPLY:

From http://www.secularspirituality.org/whatlose.html

"One of the supposed selling points of believing the Christian message is expressed thus: If the Christian is wrong, and there is no God, no Jesus, no heaven, no hell, you lose nothing by believing. But if the Christian is right, then you risk Hellfire and Torment and Wailing and Gnashing of Teeth Forever and Ever Amen, courtesy of the God you are supposed to want to spend eternity with.

So, says the Smiling Evangelist, best to play it safe and believe. What have you got to lose?

 What have you got to lose by believing the fundamentalist message? Only a lifetime in which you could have lived the way you really wanted to live, according to what you really believed. Only a lifetime in which you could have pursued the goals, the dreams, the projects that really mattered to you.

Only a lifetime unhampered by the need to make everything fit into the confines of an Evangelically Correct world view.

Only a lifetime free of having to justify your every thought, opinion, word, and action with a proof-text or argument from the Bible.

Only a lifetime.

* * * What does it profit to gain a delusional sense of security about an unverified and improbable "afterlife" and lose the one life you know you have? "

 *Would it mean that a mission was successful?

REPLY: I don't know what that means.

7. I can't imagine wanting to live in this world without Hope. I know you're right when you say Christians should have nothing to fear from other views. My own beliefs and foundation isn't strong enough yet to not have fear. I've never had my faith shaken like this before. Did you experience fear after you left the church?

REPLY: I can't call it fear. I don't like not having my little baby blanket to suck on but I feel like I am free from the chains of religion.

* Do you and your wife actually have peace of mind?

REPLY: I wish everyone could feel this way, but I know everyone can't handle it.

8. You mention that you believe there is a God because of the "interventions" and "answered prayers" you've experienced. I have also had many of these experiences when not attending a church. If there is a God who is powerful enough to answer our prayers and intervene for us then wouldn't it make sense that He also is powerful enough to be in control of this world?

REPLY: I don't know about these experiences anymore. I wonder at a God that would intervene for me and help me get a job when he lets flies crawl over a little child with its bones showing through and stomach distended by hunger and dying in the hot sun of Africa. I tell that god to go help someone else; I am doing just fine.

* Couldn't it be true that the suffering in this life really is just a blink of the eye compared to eternity?

REPLY: All we know about eternity is that we want it, or we think we do. This life is just a blink of the eye. It may be all we ever get. We should make the most of every minute and suffer as little as possible.

* And that our perspective is too limited to see the whole picture?

REPLY: I agree, we have a limited perspective but we have just as much perspective as anyone else. We have just as much information as anyone else. We are just as intelligent as anyone else. We don't need other people telling us what to believe. Look what happened to us when we listened to others telling us what to believe.

* Could Herbert W. Armstrong's brainwashing still be effecting the thinking of some of the former members to the point that if there were a loving God who paid the price for us to be free some can't accept freedom because it was HWA's way or no way for so many years that they are still under his influence?

REPLY: Yes. But there is no evidence that this ever happened. None at all. You can choose to believe it but that doesn't make it so.

 In early November I was given the opportunity to travel overseas for the first time. One of the places we went that I'll never forget is Djibouti, Djibouti. I had never even heard of this country before and nothing could have prepared me for the heart-breaking, poverty and despair I saw in the peoples eyes, it was much different from seeing pictures. This was also a time when God revealed Himself to me (another story, but He showed me He was in control even in Djibouti)

The day after I got home I was unpacking and feeling sooo fortunate to realize how blessed we are to live in the US. At that very moment I received a call informing me that a friend who had wanted to die for a long time had thrown herself in front of a train on December 1, (just like she had been saying she was going to do) and that she was brain dead and it was just a matter of time before she dies. She's 34 yrs.old, was beautiful on the outside and even though she's intelligent, she's a little girl on the inside. My husband and I had been trying to reach out to her for some time. She found life to be very painful and has wanted to die since she was 15 years old. I was one of many who immediately prayed and sent out numerous prayer requests. As she started making rapid progress I shared the wonderful news with my dad, this was just a few days after he sent me the "Pagan Holiday" e-mail. He informed me that she was healing because her injuries weren't fatal, period. I guess he still believes that God is neutral to everyone except those who were "enlightened" through Herbert W. Armstrong. It was at that moment that I realized I still carried baggage from wwcg because I was thinking he may be right. I got so angry and thought "what the fuck?"

I have not quit searching since then and I can't quit until I find my own answers! The results of my friend's suicide attempt and recovery so far, is that she seems to be fully aware of her surroundings, she can't talk much because the trachea tube opening isn't yet healed, her face is disfigured even after reconstructive surgery, she lost one hand and most of the other hand, she lost a few toes but there's no spinal damage so she is up and walking around the hospital, and she wants to die now more than ever.....

This has been too much too soon for me. If there is not a Loving God then wouldn't the kindest thing for me to do be to show her how to do it right? I don't have a clue what to even say to her now.

REPLY: I'm sorry to hear about your friend. It is very sad.

If this sounds like the rantings and ravings of a crazy woman it's because it is. I feel like a crazy woman. But feelings change and I still believe there is Hope.

If you are still reading thanks for listening and even if you're not at least I have a place to send it!

REPLY: I don't have all the answers. I have my own answers. I try to make the information available so that everyone can read and make up their own minds. I hope they can find peace.

Editor

Pam

 REPLY:

 Dear Editor,

You say "look what happened to us when we listened to others tell us what to believe," quite so.

Are you open to asking yourself if you inadvertently are still being influenced by what others believe? I realize that we can't help but be influenced and also influence others to some degree and this is how we grow. This isn't the influence I'm talking about.

As you know, Herbert W. Armstrong isn't the only one who had, or has, his own agenda. He's not the only one who is out for power and money at others expense, nor, are churches the only organizations that can be destructive.

Today I was reading through one of the sites where the writer was taking scripture from the bible to disprove the bible. He was clearly doing the same thing HWA was doing with scripture. Taking it out of content and twisting it to back his position.

 For what it's worth: To me, it looks like there's brainwashing going on behind the scene of many links I've come across from your web site. Are you keeping in mind that the very nature of being brainwashed is not realizing it? What makes me wonder if this is happening to you is that you went from "knowing" some things in your life could have only have come from God, to "not knowing" if they really did. Again, this is not trusting your own perceptions and experiences. I suspect this came about after you started reading books about other people's believes.

As far as the children dying from starvation......In the US we are dying from the results of our own gluttony, many of our best-sellers are about weight loss, we have the means to help these people, why do we sit back and blame God? Who is evil here?

There are true Christians living in the same horrific conditions as these poor people in order to help them......they aren't questioning God! It's us who sit back and do nothing that blame God. It's also the people who want to convince others there is no God, in order to validate themselves, that love to use this for their arguments. I doubt if there are ANY atheists living in third world countries helping these people. The wealthy and intellectuals who do not believe in God, donate and leave their money to universities to promote more of the same thinking.

Of course we have as much perspective as any others, including ministers. I was talking about man in general having a limited perspective. Yes, less educated and less intelligent people can be easier victims to target, and maybe they made good ministers for Herbert W. Armstrong. But, also, many highly intelligent and educated people follow cult leaders.

Some of the most brilliant minds in our country believe in the bible. Many mensa members are Christians. Many, many of our scientists will tell us that science and the bible are not at variance. Some scientists say the world is so complex that the only logical explanation is that it was created by God.

Better get off my soap box and spend some time with my family. I intend to to keep searching for my own truth.....

Hope I haven't offended you in any way.

Regards,

Pam

 REPLY:

 Yes, I think you ought to just sort this whole thing out on your own and believe whatever you want; I really don't care.

If you don't find anything that is useful on The PT, move on.

Naturally, I don't support everything nor believe everything on sites that I link to. Some of the articles that are written by people other than myself, on The PT, I do not support. I do not support some of the statements that I made years ago. I don't continue to go back through 600+ pages and try to keep them up to date. If you find a contradiction in my writing, it is probably because I have grown past that particular way of thinking.

When you find some proof that there is a god that cares about us or that the bible is his word, please let me know, I'll publish it on the PT site.

Now, go away and leave me alone. You can't come to where I and a lot of other people are overnight. It takes years. I will not be answering any more questions. Work it out for yourself.

Editor

 REPLY:

 Dear Editor,

Fair enough, I'll go away, but first I want apologize to you for the tone of my e-mail sounding so confrontative, at this time in my life a private journal is more appropriate for sure.

I wish you the very best.

Sincerely,

Pam


 Dear Editor

I just came across your web site and it was a "painless" experience. I was doing a search looking for a publisher of a booklet that was published 50 years ago. Didn't find him or his organization but I found you.........

Just to put myself in perspective, I was there at the inception of Ambassador Report. In fact, the article on tithing was written by me, based on my experiences of carrying out "tithe checks" through the computer department. I actually kept the mailing list for the Ambassador Report [as small as it was at the time] on the computer I was responsible for at Occidental College, where I had migrated after leaving AC in 1974.

I haven't had the time or the 'chutzpah" to go through all of your material. It does bring back pain in some ways -in other ways, I met a lot of great people, some of whom are still good friends, although far away, probably in your neck of the woods -the "left" coast.

All the best,

Gary


 I grew up in the Church. I left after I realized what a hall of mirrors it was. Your website is impressive in what I see as balance of WYSIWYG and wonderfully satirical commentary.

After my experience, I wholeheartedly believe that ALL organized religion is a house for a man-made deity...be it God, Jesus, whatever. I believe a site like yours helps sharpen the edge for people who need to make some decisions. Do I believe in WCG's God (or one of the offshoots variations) or am I gonna take an honest look at the messenger...and the dark side of the message? I am grateful for the enduring principles of goodness that the Church brought me. Too bad it was half-digested in a pile of steamy human manure.

Michael  


 I was in HARMstrong's MK-ultra cult from 1966 to 1996. 30 years in the church of HARMstrong. Reminds me of a book I read called "50 Years in the Church of Rome" which described all the evils an ex-Catholic priest saw during the time he was being spiritually abused by the RC church 150 years ago in Canada.

I have started reading all the online issues of Ambassador Review/Report and managed to find my way to your cleverly named web site. After doing all the ARs I will start reading all your material, too. I hope I can contribute in some way by submitting info or articles from time to time. I worked at the evil HQ from JAN 70 to JUN 74 in data processing. I probably know you, too, but I can't tell for sure since last names are wisely not revealed.

Speaking of death threats, I remember a good friend of mine, a fellow data processor named Jim Stewart, telling me in the early 1970s that if Herbert W. HARMstrong told him to go out and kill someone that he would do it. When he said that I thought to myself that if HWA had ever ordered me to kill someone I would have killed him. The spirit of true believer will make people do all sorts of bizarre things. Some have even been known to drink cyanide-laced KoolAid because that's what their mass movement cult leader wanted them to do.

I read one issue of AR in ca. 1977 but decided to stay with the flawed cult because I still believed in "God's government". HWA convinced me, and I believed him, to obey the official leader of the church. Then when he died the new official leader kept saying the same thing. Then when he died in 1995 and the boy wonder apostle took over, I attended a regional ministerial conference in MAR 96 at which the entire gang of four (Tkach, Albrecht, Feazell, Schnippert) sat on a stage and answered audience questions. I asked what should I do with my utter confused mind. Their group answer, which was an official command from the official leader of "God's government", was to find a Christ-centered "fellowship" with which I was more comfortable and join them. I was only to happy to obey this new command from "God's apostle". I am now in a "fellowship" of one or less and am very comfortable with all my fellow church members (none) and its leaders (none). The answer from the gang of four is basically to join the church of your choice, all churches are equally valid (and thus also equally invalid), what was once pagan is still "historically" pagan but now paganism is irrelevant so believe and do anything you want as long as you are sincere. I quit attending three months later. Thank God (i.e., thank HARMstrong).

I am now convinced that any human organization that has more than one person in it is definitely guilty of some kind of power abuse, even including the Girl Scouts. I am now doing a lot of reading and trying to decide what I really believe and, what is more important, what I should believe. I still believe in the existence of some kind of God, but I'll just be damned if I can understand how any human being can possibly know what He wants us to do. I absolutely believe in love, kindness, fairness, and truth. Other than that I am not yet very sure.

Please feel free to publish this email in any way you want.

Bill


 On your webpage.htm you have a link to "An Analysis of Transformed by Truth." This looks like the old ESN link to "Transformed by Truth or Transformed by Lies?" When I clicked on this link it came up as: http://yourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/103232_252/Heretical.htm

ESN no longer has the above webpages.

Please fix this link so others may read the article. Thank you.

 ESN

 REPLY:

 You know what? I have never noticed any links from your site to my site yet.

Let me know when they are working.

Editor

 REPLY:

 No, we don't have you linked and I doubt if we will for certain reasons. I was only saying that if you want to link that article the link wasn't working. It doesn't matter to us if you keep the link unbroken.

Andrew ESN

 P.S. Let me just say that we can't link every site that wants us to. We appreciated you linking to us and to Mike's PCG Page because it helped the exiters and/or those looking for info and help. That's what's important here--the exiters, not if we agree or don't agree with what's on your page

 REPLY:

Yeah, I bet you are just overwhelmed with other sites wanting to have reciprocal links.

I am no dummy. I know why you won't link to The PT.

It is not because I think that I "need" any references from your site. I get more hits than you do. I just thought that, if you want to promulgate your propaganda with a link from my site, then I ought to have the same privilege. You benefit much more than I ever will from a reciprocal link.

If you want to help these people then you ought to realize that there may be some that could use the "help" that they will get on my site rather than on yours. But in your typical "Christian  love," you would rather see people rot in hell than have any other beliefs than "Christianity."

I will make sure that all links to your site are removed until you have reciprocal links to my site. Let your god send you people to "help," I rely on humans and 'luck;' they are a lot more dependable.

Editor


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