Email To The Editor
(Mail from Kooks, Nuts and Loonies is on another page)
Well I'm sorry that you feel the way you do about praying. I will stay off your web site, but if God so cares about the sparrow and knows the number of hairs on your head, he does care about you. Paul had a problem with people as well, but God used him to bring much needed help to his people.
A sister in christ
Ask yourself one thing: Where do I get all this information about God? The answer is: You get it out of a book.
That book cannot be proven to have been written by a god or even a person inspired by a god. It is a book filled with the deeds of an evil, fictional god. I hope that there is a godly god somewhere, but it is not in that book. It is a book filled with contradictions and errors. It cannot be any guide from any god worth following.
This god that you worship and say cares about me has a heck of a way of showing his affection to the starving to death children in Africa, or the abortion babies in the USA, or etc. etc.
I don't have a problem with people. I have a problem with people that blindly accept fables and fairy tales as facts out of one book that they cannot prove is from god but will not accept them from other books that are just as provably not from god.
The Painful Truth is bringing much needed help to people by providing information that they can use to free themselves from the trap of religion.
Can I ask a question or two? Did you grow up in the worldwide church of God church community? And if you did were you always an agnostic(sp?) and if not, and you believe there is no such Bible, or God then why waste your energy on those who choose to live by a different moral code then you? What about the KKK, the Black Panther's, the child molesters? They are so much more evil then a church who professes to live for a God( a different moral code), who tells us to love him and others.
Believe me, I'm the last person who just believes anything, more often then not, I'm a doubting Thomas where I want to see the proof. However, I do belive our lives are not suppose to be without good and evil, but when good prevails, (living by the moral codes Christ gave us about how to treat others and how to have a prayerful life with God) it does bring peace to our life. Even if you choose not to believe in a God, and you lived by the moral codes or whatever you wish to call them of the Bible, this still would bring peace to your life. It's a law of nature, and science. I believe there is a creator, and their is a Jesus who died for me, but real christianity isn't just believing in them only, it is living the walk daily. It is in how we treat others and our creator daily. God has answered too many prayers of mine, he has provided for me when there has been no one else to turn to and he has given me insigt that goes beyond my own humanness. I've had plenty of things in my life to have reason to be angry and to turn away from my church due to others shortsidededness and hurtfulness, but I don't give myself the burden of wasting my energy on their behavior or things I cannot change, and you shouldn't either. Life is too precious to waste on revenge or staying angry. In the end it only hurts the person who stays in this frame of mind. We all have our walk in life, with trials, sins and growth, it is how we choose to learn from these opportunities that weakens or strengthens us.
A sister in Christ
Apparently you did not read the FAQ page, as I have requested every person that wants to send me an email message, so as to save you and me a lot of Questions that already have Answers.
then why waste your energy on those who choose to live by a different moral code then you
Because they made a mess of many lives with their teachings, they blackmailed a lot of money out of people. I feel that the Jesus they profess to follow would have them clean up their mess before they are allowed to go on with their money-making schemes. I will not let the criminals off the hook.
They are caught, they are convicted, they must pay for their crimes. They just can't say they have "found Jesus" and now they are not responsible to all they have damaged in the past. They just can't sell all the assets that we paid for years ago and use it to line their own retirement pockets and use it to fund their present business. Jesus would have them give it back to those they stole it from, not use it to continue to pay the very men who were responsible for the abuse or who belittle it now.
God has answered too many prayers of mine, he has provided for me
I don't suppose you realize how ridiculous this is. Why would God answer your prayers and let other people, little children, babies, innocents, be tortured, or starved or blown up with bombs? Are you so much better than them? Did you get some answer to prayer that you would not have traded so that a little aborted baby would live? If you would say "yes" then you are a person I would have in higher esteem than the god that would not do the same.
In order for god to answer a prayer of yours, he would have to change everything that would have happened otherwise, forever down into the future. See the Consequences of Answered Prayer page.
We all have our walk in life, with trials, sins and growth, it is how we choose to learn from these opportunities that weakens or strengthens us.
Well, I guess if you are raped or robbed or one of your children are killed, you can just chalk it up to your growth and not send the cops after the criminals, even when you know who they are. After all, this is just "your walk in life." We have police and judges and courts for a reason: God isn't protecting us from bad people; we have to protect ourselves. When we know that an evil thing has occurred, we are no better than the German people during WWII who knew about the atrocities done to the Jews but did or said nothing.
All I'm doing is telling the truth about this so called "church." They want to move on with their money making machine and forget about all the damage that they are responsible for. If you are a member of that church or one of its daughter churches, then you and all your fellow members are just as responsible for that evil as the ones who did it. You associate yourself with evil and you become a part of the evil. See the "Worldwide Church of God Members Indicted by the Court of Heaven" page.
Life is too precious to waste on revenge or staying angry.
Well, is it too precious to waste on helping people understand the truth about what happened to them? Is it too precious to waste on giving people peace of mind to know that it wasn't they who were crazy but the church that they were members of or born into that was crazy? Is life too precious to waste on freeing people from the bondage of fables and fictions all dressed up in religion? Yes, it is for most people, but if this webpage goes away, I don't see too many others waiting to take its place. I'm sure that the Worldwide Church of God and its daughter churches would be more than happy to see that happen.
Now, if you are a member, you answer some questions of mine on the FAQ page: Answer FAQ #2
If you are not a member, then quit telling me to stop wasting my time by wasting your time telling me to stop wasting my time.
My garsch....!! I have been laughing my rear end off for the last 30 minutes going through this last email page....! <grin>
Dang....You aren't cutting no one ANY slack!! Ha!
I approved of the thoughtful dialog with Pam....until, of course...(and we all saw that coming, right? ) her wee little bit at the end.....
I just felt compelled to let you know that I and many others realize that hearing this bogus BS must get really tiring at best.... Abrasive to the heart and damaging to the spirit at worst....
Just wanted to give ya a pat on the back, there, Ed and say...."Keep the chin up!"
You are and have been a precious resource... even for the 80% of the people that probably never contact you or the Forum.... The 'Invisible Crew'..
If I can do anything to help out just let me know. And I mean this personally......
Your life is an open experiment. You are the scientist. Your life is a manuscript book. You are the musician. Your life is a banquet table. You are the cook. Others will rattle off theorems and maxims they claim reflect (your) reality. Don't believe. Others will sing siren songs and insist on feeding you because you MUST be starving. Resist temptation and find ways to feed yourself. We have a brain to reason with, hands to shape with and imagination to intuit with. All these tools, and what a pity it is when we leave it up to others to do what we do best. Your life is in your hands. You are the creator.
You were a kid once. Kids are very wise. When Kid A finds a tool, he uses it. If Kid B tries to take Kid A's tool, Kid A will resist passionately. It's a way of saying: use your own damn tool. Sometimes Kid A will be nice and offer his tool to Kid B. But only for Kid B to build Kid B's own creation. Kid A will promptly find another tool and leave Kid B to happily create.
I just read on Exit & Support Network's site why you and them aren't linked to each other. Did you know that link of yours to Mike's E. page ends up linking people straight back to ESN's main pages? That's where I ended up and it's the same site. I wondered if you knew that.
They must be pissed that they will no longer get any references to their site from The PT. Tough.
Shows what good "Christians" they are when they take private emails, not even addressed to them, and post them in public. We at the PT have nothing to hide, though. So, whatever.
Maybe it takes an agnostic website, (which I consider the over-riding theme of The Painful Truth to be, after exposing the Worldwide Church of God for what it really is), to teach Christians what it means to have integrity. Just shows their true colors and that the ends justify the means where true believers are concerned. That type of reasoning is what led to the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Holocaust, etc.
We at The PT are not afraid to have links to "Christian" sites. We feel that our Agnostic beliefs will win in a fair fight with Christianity, for those with an open mind. It is Christianity that is afraid of people learning that their beliefs are bankrupt. We are also not afraid to have links to homosexual sites although we are not homosexual any more than Christian.
What link are you referring to from my site to theirs?
It must have been one of your older links pages. I don't see it up now. Good for you. Mark Tabladillo has a lot of the same emails posted on his site also ("Analysis of ESN") and it looks like that is what ESN was coming back at in defense. Oh well, I'm not interested in their BS anymore.
What a surprise! I tell them that I will no longer be giving them links until they do a reciprocal and all of a sudden somebody "asks a question" that they have to "answer" regarding why they don't link to certain evil sites.
They must be in quite a panic now that they will have to rely on God to provide them people to "help." They realize how undependable that is.
I have now read all of the ARs online. Next project is to read all of Renehan's book online. Next is to read ALL your info. I have started seriously browsing your site and have a comment and a question. After that will be David Robinson's book. Then everything by Orlin Grabbe. This will take many light years and lifetimes.
The comment is that I want to read it ALL, and am a little frustrated because there are so many links within each article of yours, each such link goes to another great article with more links in it, etc. etc. Almost an infinite loop. That's my problem, though, and not yours. You have obviously spent a LOT of time putting all this together, and I deeply appreciate your effort.
I browsed one of your first pages (Accountable, They need to be held accountable for all the damage), noticed the names of ministers High and Garrett, suspected it was from someone where I used to attend, checked the author's name (Rachel), then browsed some more, and finally realized I know her and her whole family. I never really heard their story as to why they left. I am very glad to be able to read this page. I lived in the area and knew them all very well (Really good people.)
My question is that I tried to click on the apology page and went to either a weird internet error or else an all blank page. I used to be a local church elder, was in the visiting program, preached lots of messages about loyalty and all that shit, and did my fair share of damage. I would like to apologize if I could using your page, but it isn't working. I would also like to read any other apologies that have been posted. I heard 20+ years ago that when HWA changed his D&R teaching in 1974 that Brian Knowles had the humility and balls to write a letter of apology to every person he could contact whom he had told during his years as a field minister that they had to break up their marriage if they wanted to be members of "God's true end-time Pharisaical cult". I suddenly had great respect for Brian.
Bill, Thanks for your message. We would certainly welcome one more sincere apologetic former minister to add to the many who have signed up.
Thanks for letting me know that something was wrong with one of my prime pages. Got it working again from my backup. Now you can read it and decide if you want to sign it.
Keep reading the other pages and let me know if you find any other bad links.
Best Regards, Editor
I found another page or two that had the same error/problem as your apology page, but I can't remember right now which they were. I'll read through your ENTIRE web universe sooner or later and let you know whenever I find another. Obviously, the apology page is very important. I tried to update it directly myself and was unable to, so here is what I would like to say:
"I worked in the Data Processing Center in Pasadena for 4.5 years, helping to automate the processes by which the Worldwide Church of God was able to expand. Then, after being let go in 1974 because of a budget cutback, I moved to the east coast (mainly to get as far away as possible from all the chaos in Pasadena but still be in the church). I was a deacon and then a local church elder in the Washington, DC area congregations for over 12 years. I did not do or know about many of the things for which this web page is apologizing, but I did my share. I preached often about loyalty to "God's government" (meaning the chaotic mismanagers at the headquarters of God's true end-time Pharisaical cult) without really knowing what I was saying or doing. I was quite sincere and did plenty of Bible study to back up my sincerely wrong preachings. I was an energetic ringleader in the distribution of the Plain Truth magazine for years, which spread the rot to many new people. I did many other things to perpetuate and increase the scope of the cult's control for which I am now profoundly sorry.
I have read the PT website for some time now, and I am really amazed as to how Herbert W. Armstrong wrecked so many lives with his warped brand of religion. I wish to share an interesting account of how I was caught up in Herbert W. Armstrong's nonsense.
In 1982, following an automobile accident, I began to start my spiritual quest. As I sought out different churches and groups to find my answers, I also searched the radio and TV. It was during one of those evenings while tuning in the radio when I first heard Herbert W. Armstrong's "The World Tomorrow" on station WRVA in Richmond, Virginia. That station had a lot of transmitting power, since I was listening to the show in West Virginia. As I listened to Herb, I saw him as a man who supposedly knew a lot about the Scriptures and God's will for mankind. I would follow along with my Bible and hang on to every word. Within a few months I found my first copy of The Plain Truth magazine. I was amazed by the "in-depth" research of Herbert W. Armstrong and his disciples on quite a few doctrines, such as marriage, dating, holidays, world domination, etc. Well, everything seemed harmless until 1983.
In the fall of 1983 I was involved with a religious group at the college I attended; I began to attend their functions and studies as well. It was also about that time I read Herbert W. Armstrong's doctrine about Christmas being a pagan holiday and I was in sin if I celebrated it. Like so much of his poison, I swallowed it whole. Then, the real fur started to fly. I found myself at odds with my family and even some of my college friends because I was very opposed to what they were doing. The Herbert W. Armstrong trap had been sprung, and I was caught like a rat! As the next couple years wore on, I embraced his doctrines on marriage and divorce; I even tried to slip some of Herb into the campus Bible studies. More friction. I ordered Herb's book The Modern Romans and was reading it at my parents' house when my dad saw it and read it for himself. He said he had very strong feelings against Herbert W. Armstrong and what he was talking about; out of love and respect for my father I did not go into any further discussion on this matter. As I went further and deeper into the twisted mind of Herbert W. Armstrong, I felt more compelled to believe what he said to be gospel, and clung to every word. I also continued my education, completing my degree in 1985. I did not understand why I was still trapped in my vices of alcohol, fornication, and sleaze even though I was busy with church and school. I started questioning my faith, especially after a brief stay in Texas with a roommate who practiced a different religion altogether. During this time, I read some of his books and found only more questions. Yet I wasn't ready to shake off the Herbert W. Armstrong yoke.
After my return from Texas, where I had my first major experience with professional failure, I questioned many things; I wondered where God was in the midst of al this. In the winter of 1986 I joined the Navy and saw this as an opportunity to get away and get established. I still had my struggles with alcohol and sleaze, and one afternoon in Chicago I asked myself "who is right"? I went to a religious bookstore and bought some literature on cults and strange religions (along with a book on Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard); as I read through the literature, my view of Herbert W. Armstrong started to unravel. Herb was found to be a man full of errors as well as inconsistency; many facts were unearthed after Herb's death that same year which disproved many of the things he taught in his publications and broadcasts. I found the venomous grip of HWA finally slipping away. Before I left for my next duty station, I also was blessed with the opportunity to meet and join up with a ministry which was far more solid and supportive than HWA ever dreamed he could be. In the months, and years, to come, I found major improvements in my relationships with co-workers, friends, and family members. Free of the bonds set upon me by Herb, I was also able to celebrate traditional holidays like Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving in peace and a clear conscience.
Compared to others in this forum, I am very lucky in the fact I was never in any of the Worldwide Church of God congregations nor had any contact with their ministers. I am also thankful I was freed from Herb before I absorbed some of his other, deadlier, doctrines such as not seeing doctors. I see how many people were ruined by this man and his teachings; while this forum is not for advocating one religion over another, I still hold fast to the Christian faith and will offer support to those who need a friend or who desire to seek a renewed spiritual journey. Thank you for letting me share my thoughts and experiences.
If only you have been around 25 years ago.... It wouldn't have made any difference, I was too young and stupid anyway. I only suffered about 15 years before, "by their fruits you shall know them", that I and my wife realized that we preferred not to be with these dickheads even if it was somehow remotely the truth. This site greatly helps to debunk (unbrainwash) that remote possibility.
Keep up the objective good work.
Unfortunately this site embarrassingly shows me what a complete fool I was!!
Yeah, we were all pretty dumb. As P.T. Barnum said, "There is a sucker born every minute." Herbert Armstrong, his henchmen and wannabees, recognize and take advantage of the suckers.
You are right, we wouldn't have listened if someone had told us back then. In fact they were trying to tell us through The Ambassador Report, but we wouldn't listen since we would be in danger of losing our eternal lives.
I have been going through the Ambassador Reports and they have been most helpful. Thanx for posting them! (And thanx for whoever is posting them on Alta Vista.)
You used to have Bruce Renehan's book DAUGHTER OF BABYLON on your site. Is this book still available on line? If not, can you recommend where to buy it?
Thanx again for keeping this site going.
Let me know if you still can't find Daughter of Babylon on the site.
It can no longer be purchased.
I wonder if anyone could provide me with some information.
A PCG Minister, Mr. Mark Nash, was recently released from prison, where he had been incarcerated, apparently for taxation evasion.
I can find no detail on the net and would appreciate you help in advising which site to log onto.
Whilst I was attending Church in Bendigo Australia, (sometime in the late seventies or early eighties) a young person (male I believe) committed suicide. It was announced at church services that this had increased his parents faith.
At the time I thought (and still do) how ridiculous and sick!!
Well the next week his younger brother committed suicide, oddly there was no further announcement about the parent's faith being strengthened!!
I did not know the family personally. I think (from memory) they attended church in the Shepparton area (a sister church of Bendigo at the time)
This is just another sad but true story, showing the tragic effects of church teachings and the crap way ministers bent the truth to suit their own purpose!! I mean how any minister could make such an announcement is beyond belief!!
Sorry I cannot remember the names of these people
Why are you not open to discuss anything concerning religious views?
Have you already made up your mind?
I'm not open to discuss it because there is nothing new to discuss. It has all been discussed long before you and I arrived on the scene. There are no definitive, provable beliefs regarding God. Why waste time discussing it? It is chasing after the wind.
Yes, I have made up my mind. But I am open to proof. Prove to me that there is a god that cares about mankind. Don't quote the bible or any other "holy" book. Don't waste your time because I can guarantee you that I won't read it. Whenever someone starts throwing quotations from these books around, I stop reading.
Everything has a cause and effect. A flower has a seed. A seed has a germ. The germ has cells. etc. etc. Ultimately, everything has an origin. Logically, the beginning origin has to be a Creator. Nothing comes from nothing. Some huge cosmological explosion that happened out of nothing is simply illogical. If I took a stick of dynamite and ignited it and there was an explosion a house would not appear. The ordered universe that we see today with all of the physiological order, could not have simply appeared out of thin air or by mere luck. That simply contradicts the laws of Thermodynamics. A supremely intelligent and orderly Creator is the logical conclusion. As far as the word "religion" is concerned, I can not support religion. Religion is simply man-made. However, I do not believe that the ultimate issue is about man. The ultimate issue is about the existence of a higher power.
As Aquinas said "reason leads us to faith". Because of history's chroniclers, we believe that Alexander the Great ruled most of the civilized world for a season. We believe that Napoleon fell at Waterloo. We believe that Patrick Henry died in a duel with Aaron Burr. We believe in these truths by faith. There is little, if any, empirical proof of these occurrences, but we accept them by faith. Therefore, I believe I can prove that God cares about mankind, but only by history and reason and not necessarily by scientific data in a laboratory. I am not a scientist by trade. However, faith can be credible and reasonable. I do not believe that there are no definitive or provable beliefs regarding God. If you accept that God exists, then why do you accept the notion that He is impersonal?
We believe that Patrick Henry died in a duel with Aaron Burr. We believe in these truths by faith. There is little, if any, empirical proof of these occurrences, but we accept them by faith.
Well, I believe that it was Alexander Hamilton that was killed by Aaron Burr, not Patrick Henry. Maybe you ought to quit relying on your "faith" and read some history. I believe it because it is historical, with many witnesses, and documentation, not by faith.
If you accept that God exists, then why do you accept the notion that He is impersonal?
Does your existence prove that you care in a personal way? Hitler existed. Herbert W. Armstrong existed. I can prove that God does not care and is impersonal to humans just by looking at the news for the last couple of weeks. See the work in progress entitled "Acts of God."
Aquinas said Reason leads to faith.
REPLY: I think if you will go back to the original Greek word "bullshit," used by Aquinas, here translated as "Reason," you will see that what was really meant was that Rationalization leads to faith, or Faith necessitates Rationalization. Thomas Aquinas in his religious fog, cannot be trusted to think clearly.
However, faith can be credible and reasonable.
I have to question your ability to reason.
I stand corrected on the Aaron Burr quote. I was simply giving an analogy that even though we don't have a video tape of the duel, we believe it happened because we trust our history books.
Just because tragedy happens does not mean that God is impersonal. It simply means that we live in a fallen world. It is reasonable that God could use tragedy to lead us to a greater understanding of His nature.
You're condemnation of Aquinas seems more emotional than reasonable.
It is reasonable that God could use tragedy to lead us to a greater understanding of His nature.
It is a nature that we would not tolerate in humans, so, I don't know why we would accept it from a "god." Any god that wants my respect would have to be better than my neighbors, at least, and this god that you worship falls far short of even the worst of my neighbors.
If we could be talking on the cell phone to those people in India who are still alive under the rubble of the earthquake last week, we could tell them that they should be appreciating their gaining a greater understanding of God's nature. I'm sure that will be very comforting as they starve to death in darkness under tons of stone and steel and as they slowly go mad.
Ah, yes............ God uses tragedy to help me understand that I don't want anything to do with him/her/it. I can just see myself acting like god by inflicting some kind of miserable death on one of my children just so they can learn more about my nature. I don't think so.
There is no end to the apologists for an uncaring, uninvolved, unloving, hidden god.
Death is a part of life. That's just the way it is. My mother died when I was 11. I never knew my father. My grandparents raised me, until my grandpa died and my grandma got too sick to care for me. Prior to my moving in with my grandparents, I was abused and neglected. Yet, my life has been incredible because of my relationship with God through Jesus Christ. The psychiatry never worked. Actually, it made my life more miserable in many ways. A Sovereign God has established the universe in an organized and orderly fashion. He has created physical laws as well as spiritual laws. Sin equals death. Death reigns supreme in the universe as a physical and spiritual law, apart from outside intervention from the Creator. God is not the author of death. Sin is that author. God does allow tragedy to occur. But we do not have to allow those tragedies to ruin our lives.
But we do not have to allow those tragedies to ruin our lives.
Easy to say as long as you are not the DEAD people. Their lives are definitely ruined.
Yet, my life has been incredible because of my relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
Your life has been incredible because of your relationship with a mass delusion and dumb luck.
This dialog is over. You are just a little too religiously wacked out for me to handle anymore. Any further messages from you will be blocked.
I am an unusual case of a half-wit who got Sucked in by the church. I was about 13 years old when I started reading church literature along with the bible. I was amazed at what I was learning. I couldn't believe that Christmas was not really Christmas and Easter not Easter etc. I started attending services at 14. My mom was catholic at the time and she thought I was being silly for listening to this church. My whole family would make fun of me, and argue, etc.
Everyone in the church thought I was so mature for joining and studying the bible and finding the true church at such a young age. I really felt as if these people were my new family. Mine was a bit over slightly dysfunctional, so the church made a great substitute. I never really had to give money to the church because I only got a job after I left, and I got to go on fun YOU trips all paid for etc. I think everyone felt sorry for me. I finally left the church right at my 17th birthday. I couldn't take the doubts anymore. I still felt like the church was the one true church but I just couldn't stay. I was a vegetarian and everyone thought that was questionable.
The ministers were always "advising " me that my diet should not go in front of my religion. This made me feel less than acceptable to the other members. The reasons I left: I am a feminist who was constantly tortured by the "wives submit" etc. and women cover your body or else you are a sinner. I also had a slight crush on another girl in the church and I knew I was just torturing myself. Also I read the missing dimension in sex when I was 13 and the part about masturbation made me cry since I had been doing it since I was tiny. I prayed that god would forgive me for each time I had ever done it. The incredible guilt I felt is beyond description. I got so crazy in that church. The girl I had a crush on also went to my school. One day I caught her smoking at school. Well I called her mom and the minister. She wasn't mad because I think she understood the craziness. She was white and she liked a black guy who wasn't in the church and she was always sneaking around to see him. This was 1991-92 so her parents couldn't admit it was because he was black but they admitted it to her. They were long time members and had both gone to AC. Her Dad is still a minister today. I definitely saw racism in the church.
I was searching for the church just out of curiosity on the web and I found you. You believe everything I believe. I have never seen it in print before. Thank you for putting into words what I have felt for a long time [the agnostic thing I mean].
Today I am a very tired 25 year old mom of a 2 year old and a 5 month old. I am still looking for complete happiness in my life. I think we should all keep searching.
It must be nice to be your age and know what you do now about religion. I'm sure my life would be very different if I had what you have now, 32 years ago. Still, I wouldn't give up my wife or my sons, so, it hasn't all been for nothing.
Happiness is pretty elusive and temporary. I look at the earthquake over in India and see those thousands of people dead and devastated by absolute tragedy and I think my life is pretty good right now.
Good luck on your quest of happiness.
I am a life long and current member of the Worldwide Church of God. I visit your site occasionally and find it thought provoking. Reading what you and your members have to say regarding religion and Christianity in particular helps me better formulate logical defenses for my beliefs. And I do find my beliefs evolving over time.
I have a question for you.
Do you consider yourself a Deist? What you say sounds very much like you are. Do you also consider God to be in time and space as opposed to outside of time and space? You mentioned that you have experienced His interventions, so that would lead me to presume you consider God to be in our universe and thus subject to the concept of time.
Well, I can't say that I really knew what a Deist is until I looked it up in a dictionary:
Deism is defined in Webster's Encyclopedic Dictionary, The doctrine or creed of a Deist." And Deist is defined in the same dictionary as: "One who believes in the existence of a God or supreme being but denies revealed religion, basing his belief on the light of nature and reason."
Also: deism \"dE-'i-z?m\ n, often cap : a system of thought advocating natural religion based on human morality and reason rather than divine revelation
I guess you can tentatively label me as a Deist but possibly one that believes that there must have been some being that started this whole process and designed all that we see. I cannot accept evolution as being the primary force in the development of such complex organisms. But, as far as this god being a part of this Universe, if "it" is, then "it" must be sitting around in a drunken stupor, not really giving a rat's ass about what is going on, at least on this planet. I see no logical indication of godly intervention.
At one time I believed that god had intervened for me many times. But I find it too disconcerting to think that this god intervened for me to get a job a number of times, or helped my father get a job when I prayed about it, or gave me favor in someone's eyes, while there is so much death and destruction of innocents all over this world. The things that I perceived as answered prayers or interventions do not compare to all the unanswered prayers that others are crying out to this same god.
I wonder if these "interventions" are all a type of synchronicity, where all of us are part of a whole that is bigger than each of our little parts as in "The Holographic Universe" by Michael Talbot. I have read parts of the book and find its premise very intriguing.
I can't say that any more than one of the interventions in my life were something that I asked for. So, maybe what people attribute to answered prayer, is just a matter of dumb luck. How many people will write down what they pray about ahead of time, specifically, and then tell you when they get an answer? I'd like to meet one person that can get specific responses to specific prayers from his god.
So, all I can say is that I have not come to where my beliefs are, right now, by finding a particular belief and then hitching my horse to it. I have read a lot and spent a lot of time thinking things out on my own and if these beliefs coincide with some particular belief, then you can label me that for the next ten minutes. I encourage everyone to do the same.
I just wanted to drop you a note of thanks. I grew up since birth (1971) in the WWCG. It was all I knew. As ALL who read your pages know, life was very different for those of us who had no choice in being a member of this organization. I was fortunate to have left at the age of 14. Even though that was 16 years ago, there are still many scars.
(bear with me, there is a point) When I was a child, I was raped by my female babysitter. For many years now I have recalled those events of sexual abuse and I haven't found them to be very deeply scarring. I know that physical rape is a terrible thing for almost everyone, and I surely do not discount that. Even so, there was a different form of rape that has left behind far deeper resentment and fear in my life, that of course being spiritual rape. The fact that my experience with sexual abuse is so insignificant compared to the abuse of mind and soul is powerful to me. Even to this day I find much of my reasoning and personality riddled with faulty church aligory. It is boggling. All of this in the face of a free willed and free thinking mind.
Since the age of 14 when I had left the church, my goals were set on seeking freedom. I mean that real freedom which we all had hoped to know and understand. Sadly it was held up before us like a carrot to a horse. Still, I knew the principle was sound, and off life went with me to seek. Thankfully there has been much freedom and responsibility learned on my part. Both are such a gift, bigger then any wrongs done to me.
So here is the reason for my letter to you. I know well how us children of this church thing were hurt. I also know how those who chose to be there were hurt as well. Certainly, I understand as we all do how horrific a "recovery" it is to undo all this mental and spiritual damage. Then the question comes up of restoring this. Some folks are mad about the money they lost, some about the freedom, some about the control, others have other things. We all seem to agree where the main aggression came from. I for one, knowing full well what was done to me, don't want a thing from the church people, and they owe me nothing.
There are many reasons why I feel this way, and maybe you too can understand. First of all, if they were so good at screwing me up, why then would I ever want them to try and fix me? They obviously don't know how to. It is like when you leave a relationship with someone and they think you'll be worse without them! Us humans usually leave because we are worse WITH them. Like the saying..."You'll never find anyone like me" (as your leaving)... WELL I would hope not. It seems to me that the idea of having the church help us recover from them is double trouble.
Secondly, I felt sick and rotten when I was around those people. Even going to them with the notion that I might get some reward seems far to deep a price to pay again. They honestly do not have anything that I want. When I consider how screwed up my own head was because of this church, I could only imagine how screwed up theirs were and still are. I can think of no vendetta or punishment for those people worse then what they have done to themselves. People like me are so angry at how messed up things were..... can you imagine still believing those lies?? Can you imagine how hopeless those people must feel? How desperate? My desperation and resentment have subsided greatly from years of confronting the truth about that stuff and moving forward. Yes they did a lot of harm, great harm, and there is no getting away from that for them. Today I actually feel dread whenever I think of the burden that ANY fanatical religious person must carry. What a great freedom I have found.
There is that key, and why I am owed nothing from those who spiritually raped me.. freedom. Today I have freedom from any aggressor like this. I have no desire to be near them and they have nothing. To seek and account of what I might be owed by them whether financial or physical or mental and spiritual is a fruitless adventure. To me it is like a dog returning to it's own vomit. For years I have been angry that I was angry. I just will not allow them to have that much space in my head anymore. Man do I hope all of those who suffered find that serenity. Peace of mind and joy are beautiful rewards, we just can't B.S. are way to them, they must come honestly.
Just as a footnote here, none of the stuff I have mentioned has come from "the good Christian standpoint" it is just pure common sense. Scientific knowledge and common sense were other things stripped from those of us who were taught we had to do as other men have told us. That was nonsense, I was born free. Being born knowing very little is the proof.
So I wanted to thank you for your site here. So many of us have our walls up. It is difficult at best to have a conversation with anyone who has been through the church. We all feel so hurt, those still mingling with the aftermath and those who left it all. It seems here on your site that people can write about their experiences and be heard without nearly as much argument. I just wish to say to any who are hurt or confused.. you are loved and understood. I know very intimately the pain you have all shared. I know the hatred that some of you have expressed, I know the insanity that some of you have expressed, I know the fog that some of you have expressed, the tortured hearts, the unwillingness to let go, the need for redemption, the feeling of loneliness, the questions. It is wonderful to still see that we people seek. We seek the truth, and yes it does set us free.
Thank you all for sharing your experiences. Every one of you have given a lot to the rest of us in doing so. Some of us have hard roads to travel, but I do know well that there is peace ahead for any who really are willing. I found the greatest moment of peace came in just recognizing that I was no longer there to be raped. Then came the road of weeding out the B.S. from my mind. Pain in life is a surety, but suffering really is optional. Today I am not superior to other humans, today I am not "special", today I am not alone, Today I am no victim of anyone's ideas.
I wish you all peace.
One comment about your not wanting anything from the present Worldwide Church of God. You did not give hundreds of thousands of dollars of your hard earned money to them under threat of eternal death. Surely, none of us wants the worldwide church of god to do anything for us other than give us our blackmail money back or turn it over to a legitimate charity, such as the Red Cross. It is not a reward but a refund due to non-delivery of product. The continued use of this money to feather the beds of the present owners of the organization is intolerable. You were just spiritually raped. Lots of us were raped and robbed.
And, just to be perfectly clear, I'm sure that none of us expects these hypocrites to suddenly have a twinge of conscience and decide to run their business the way "Jesus" would. Just pointing out their hypocrisy.
Good luck in your life. Good to hear that you are free of any such slavery to fables and fiction.
I went thru years and years of poisoned personal development by being involved in the Worldwide Church of God. I was 18 at the start and finally got free at 35, when I found the painful truth and the ambassador report. I was a "baptized" member from 18 to 28 when I was disfellowshipped for medicating my painful church existence with drugs. For the following 5 years I felt like a "sinful" person that deserved what he got, then I found the truth. Sure, like most people I have "issues" to work thru, but I ain't a bad person because of being kicked out, or failing to completely give up my individual personhood into Armstrongianism/Tkachism. I have grown and developed satisfactorily in these last years. I gravitate from disinterest in the former controlling element of my life to absolute anger and hostility. What those fucking bastards are responsible for, not only in my life, but others. Every time that I listen to or read JWT JR.'s apologetics for the Worldwide Church of God and his "bravery" to change, I feel so angry. It's still the same old trip, just with a new cover. For example, look at the new article he wrote on predestination. The summary is the same as always. "Look at these deceived Christians, misunderstanding the truth.....as opposed to our great intellectual understanding of these doctrines". Its a church of intellectual understanding, nothing about spirituality. And the only part of the church he represents is the top echelon, the ministry at headquarters and some other places. It's like there are 2 levels to the church---1) the public presentation, being the headquarters group that associates with other churches and Christian publishing groups (you can read this group bragging about itself in the various church newspapers), and 2)the lay members that still belong to a manipulative cult and are manipulated as ignorant sheep. The only change is the #1 focus their efforts toward different recipients for different purposes than before. The local churches aren't much different at all. Two different and divergent groups held together for #1's economic benefit.
James Meister firstname.lastname@example.org
PS. My pc was down for 2 months. Could my friend from Britain please contact me again. We met here or on the discussion group
I just found out who this guy was. I go up to this bar/club every Thursday to sing karaoke, and this man comes in every week and totally attracts attention. Nobody can miss his white hair. He carries himself very well.
So I finally asked a man up there who "he" was and he said, "that's Garner Ted Armstrong. he's a world famous preacher.. and a womanizer".
I got online last night and did some searches for him and found your website. I could not get the video clip from the newsgroup, so I'm following your advise and emailing you about it. Anyway you could send it, or give me another link to somebody who has the clip??
Thank you very much
I am amazed by your website. I never realized that my family (if you could call it that) experience was very similar to others who grew up in the church. Born on the Sabbath day at home, of course, I was the baby of six. Growing up I just explained our lifestyle (because of the church) as different to other kids my age in school. That was the easiest way to back out of questions asked about why I had to leave when the class participated in holiday observances.
I don't know. After reading all I have throughout your site, I realize what myself and my siblings went through was "normal." What a sick realization. I guess right now I really cannot let myself explain the horrible things that have occurred throughout my life. I can add to the suicide list, add to the stories of abuse, and luckily also add to the stories of recovery.
Please do not post my email address, but if you have comments, I would be curious to hear them.
Thank you for your website, it is a very painful truth.
I am concerned about a friend that is involved in the Worldwide Church of God (breakaway group) in the North Dallas, Texas area, probably Denton County. If you have any information on this specific breakaway group led by Gerald (don't know last name). If you have any information, please supply who group is led by and where they meet and what their beliefs are.
I think that the church your friend is enamored with is the Philadelphia Church of God, mesmerized by Gerald Flurry.
Just look at all the wacky teachings of Herbert W. Armstrong and substitute Flurry as the wacko leader instead of Herbie. There have been numerous reports of this church preparing to flee to Petra. I predict that they will not flee as long as they are able to be fleeced.
At one time this was their web address, don't know if it is still active: http://www.pcog.org/about.html
Is there any way you could get information on the Philadelphia Church of God and its doctrine. My friend is taking her 7 year old son there and he constantly talks about how scared he is on what he is hearing. They already have him convinced that he will die because the world is coming to an end and they are telling him a certain date. What church would do this to a little boy. If I could get enough information, the father would take this to court.
Anyone having access to copies of Philadelphia Church of God "sermon tapes" or any other materials that would be useful to this man, please let me know and I will put him in touch with you.
I discovered your site on the net. You may publish my email as I am just a learner.
I read the Philadelphia Trumpet regularly and find it informative and generally in line with scripture.
Herbert Armstrong though, struck me as being a rather joyless type of man with a sallow countenance.
I know nothing of his personal life, and can only go by the post-decease abuse recorded on your site which I find full of bad language and distastefulness.
The writers of your site could also perhaps bear in mind that anything written off the record remains standing much more than just verbal reiterations.
It reminds me of Matthew ch 23.......
Chris Newnham Australia
I was reading your information on Worldwide Church of God. I am interested in learning more. I was a bit confused by one comment about not caring what people believe about that fairy tale book. I believe the book is ok but there is a lot of confusion and disagreement about it. I also read the comment you made about loving god and your neighbor. I agree with that and make no claim to having any special understanding of the bible beyond that. My family's experience with the Worldwide Church of God has been tragic to say the least. I am still looking for resolution.
Keep reading; there is a lot to learn and unlearn.
Regarding the Bible, you need to start with reading The Age of Reason:
After that, read the articles on the Bibliolatry page.
Then, you may understand why your experience with the Worldwide Church of God has been tragic and why it won't get much better until you get rid of that evil book.
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