The Painful Truth About The Worldwide Church of God

Email To The Editor
(Page 53)

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


7/22/01

 Check out what Daniel Pouzzner has to say about Christianity on his huge website called The Architecture of Modern Political Power:

http://www.mega.nu:8080/ampp/

Go to this website's main page, then click on "Ancient History" in the column titled "Table of Contents", then scroll down in the Ancient History text until you see Chapter Table of Contents, then click on Christianity. He is very much into the conspiracy theory of history, but look past all that and read what he says about Christianity. Very good stuff.

It helps to know what the newly coined word "meme" means (I had never heard it before). Here is a definition to help: "Memes are contagious ideas, all competing for a share of our mind in a kind of Darwinian selection. As memes evolve, they become better and better at distracting and diverting us from whatever we'd really like to be doing with our lives. They are a kind of Drug of the Mind. Confused? Blame it on memes." There is a new book called "Virus of the Mind: The New Science of the Meme." Looks pretty interesting.

Bill Fairchild


What has been happening with WCG UCG PCG and Garner Ted Armstrong. I have heard no good write up in the last year?

William

REPLY:

I don't keep up with WCG's spitoffs.

I think the most current thing with WCG is that they have sold the Pasadena property. Don't know whether they have moved out or not. I really don't keep up with them. I'm more interested in what they DID and are unrepentant for, than what they are doing right now. Now they are mainstream Christianity.

Read the Pasadena Real Estate articles on the HWA and Worldwide Church of God Exposed Page.

Editor

REPLY:

 Ok ... I can appreciate that I am more interested in the future. What good is it to live in the past, what is done is done. We know how we have been burned, but maybe we are stronger for it. Still it is part of our lives and the friends we have created in the past do not change and we can not forget.

Hence I think it would be of great service to have current information on what these organisations are doing to keep up with people we know, satisfy our curiosity and ensure that if any other unsuspecting people fall into these types of traps at least they will fall in knowing the past and the eventual outcome.

Religion is a business. The leaders need to take up a sword to get you motivated to act and of course pay them. Though honestly I really believe that most of these leaders believe in their causes. Their mode of operation is clear; they scare you with impending doom, send you to hell, tell you are special and better than the others, convince you that the others are living scandalously and they have a better way. Nationalism, sexisms, racisms and racism are similar. People like a good scare, scandal and/or feel special there will always be someone there to satisfy that need it is a good business as it strikes at the inner sole. What is the sole? Is it just our belief in wanting to live forever? Yes it is a nice thought I think.

It is my belief that most time when people take up a sword either spiritually or physically the result is clear. I know the bible talks about taking up a sword, but frankly I am not sure I believe in the bible any more if this is what it leads to. Most ex-HWAers are agnostics. HWA has lead everyone into the wilderness they believe nothing now this is his legacy and the most saddest part of the story.

The story is not over it will continue. Perhaps one day mankind can learn, but I do not think in my life time. We have no choice but to continue and enjoy what life we have. Each day I live I gain more knowledge but know less. I have a strong shield, but not in bitterness against those with a sword. The only sword I take up is to fight those who have swords and to disarm them. This is a difficult task. I hope I am wrong and there is a God and we do have an objective in life other than our human experience. If at one time we need to take up a sword it will be clear and we will do it reluctantly we will not need one of these people to tell us to at a rate of 10%.

I hope to see you in the "place of safety" good luck and continue the work,

William


 Way to go, Alex!!!!

Yes.... Yes..... Yes.

This is exactly and precisely what I have been trying to say over and over again. Your article made me see how clumsy and incomplete my attempts have been, but it is a fact that religion is nothing more -nothing more -than a psychological drug. Religion has no more substance or reality than a line of cocaine or a puff of smoke.

Your article inspired me to redouble my efforts on an article that will be titled something like "Wooden stakes through the bible's heart." I will load up the biggest, heaviest and most powerful guns of reality and logic that I am capable of. I will fire every weapon at my disposal from my mental battleship. And all weapons are targeted and locked on the bible.

Come on, Alex -John O -Bill F -editor -and others....

Let's kick some ass.

 JimV
NoMoreCults@aol.com


 Hi Editor

 I'm writing to ask you why do you think that people who read your website and don't like it feel compelled to write you letters bitching and moaning and wailing about it? I personally don't like porn, so I just simply DONT GO THERE. Its that simple. I don't sit down and write all those sites about how disgusting I feel they are, I just simply don't go there. That's all. There are people who write to your site who identify with other people or situations and its therapeutic for them to vent. So...what happened to live and let live, huh?


From: Bluebomber351@aol.com
Subject: What other subject

 I find something enteresting about you. After the tons of time you spent broiling in hatred making countless pages about the WWCG and slinging mud and garbage in other people's faces, twice friends of mine sent e mails to you addressing questions you had about bible issues and offering answers which were not profane or threatening. Your responses were poisonous and you blocked their future responses.

At least if you are going to bash other people who didn't do anything to you and who's offenses are essentially none of your business in the first place, you could take some responding. It must be hard festering all that hatred and self righteousness.

Your fingers must be tired.

 Deb Francis


I was a member of the Worldwide Church of Trouble from March of 1972 till March of 1973 when I was excommunicated.

I was lied to about my parentage. I was supposed to believe that I was born to various couples that Mama and Daddy used to know. The other members my age would not have anything to do with me. My having anything to do with anyone even a little bit older was considered a sin. I was not allowed to date and marry. I thought that I had found someone to help Mama finish raising me, but at the first sign of trouble, he turned on me. I found someone I wanted to marry, but I was told that, if we married, her son would be sent to his father the wife-beater, because he would be better off. When they were finished with me, I was raving mad and suicidal.

After being excommunicated, I became Catholic and am very happy.


 ED

I am deeply troubled by your website to find the terrible truths about Herbert Armstrong and some of the members of the World Wide Church of god. I consider myself a free thinker and have always questioned religion, luckily I was never a part of a church and have no religious background. I have always believed in the Creator, not the God that religion portrays. I find your spirit with regards to these matters uplifting, and I believe that you (if you believe it or not) have the spirit of God in you. The reason is that the bible says (I am not quoting as I am sure you know the passages that I refer to) that even the most elect will be led astray and you are devoting a lot of time to see that the truth of this is revealed. The bible also says do not fear man and do not bow before any man, this also needs to be revealed to people trapped in these cults.

 I know you are skeptical on the bible and I don't blame you, I was for a very long time. I found that through ignoring man's teaching of the bible (which the bible's message promotes) and through mediation and common sense (which the creator gave us) I am finally starting to piece together the message of the bible. Most of it being History, part of it being a purpose for mankind, LOVE.

You are a tool ED, the creator is helping you (whether you know it or not) to attack the 'divisions' (religion) which we are warned about in the bible.

I am not a bible basher, I take it for what it is and try to understand it. I believe Jesus existed, even though there may be no real evidence outside of the Dead Sea Scrolls or other ancient writings, I believe this man did live. I rebuke the Church for making him into a god for their own glory. The bible tells me that Jesus was just a good, clever man, he was an example to the world of how we should all be, if nothing else.

 I think the miracles have been extremely overexagerated and I believe that this is one of the traps of our age. We should accept the supposed miracles in the bible as mere metaphors (because we don't and can never possibly comprehend them). Forget all the fairy tales and stick to the goodness that most of us already have in our hearts.

 I respect your honesty and hope that you can still believe in the God who loves you, and has given us free will so that He can determine our characters. Do not let these religions win, they will if they have deterred you from the true God.

NB: You may already know this, however, Hell/Hell Fire as we know it from religious teaching does not exist in the bible. The ancient word that was translated to Hell was in fact a Hebrew word 'Sheoul' this means 'grave'. It also says that the dead are conscious of nothing, doesn't quite fit with floating to Heaven or burning in Hell, don't you think? I don't know where this fictional place of Hell originated, I have a good idea it was the Roman Catholic Religion way back in the Inquisition days, purely to scare people into submission.

Anyway, I could go on forever.

Please reply if you feel the need.

 JACKIE


Dear Painful Truth,

    Thank you so much for your website, for the service you are providing.  My husband and I quit attending in 1996, but I was so hurt and depressed that I haven't looked at info for or against the WWCof G on the net. As clean a break as possible was what I felt I needed in order to heal.  I cannot believe how different I feel now that I have read your website and others critiquing the WWCof G.   

It sounds trite but I literally feel like I am waking up after a bad dream.  I guess I was suffering from clinical depression more than I even admitted to myself.  The world seems a brighter more hopeful place than it has for a long time!  I don't think this is just because of the websites but it certainly helps to know other's stories, it affirms and validates my own story.  It helps me to look back more objectively than before.


First let me say that I am very impressed by your site and have found the fact that such a site exists a comfort, as I had no idea there were so many people out there like me, who were abused in the WWCG. In my experience, most "normal" people are not aware of the WWCG. However, while I'm amazed at the amount of time and effort that has obviously gone into your site, it seems that in almost everything authored by you, there is extreme bitterness. While, it is acceptable to be right down pissed and angry about the injustices of the church and to do all in one's power to stop others from being abused by it (which it appears you're doing) it is another thing altogether to be bitter and consumed by hatred. I have watched this bitterness destroy the lives of my brother and sister, and almost myself, as well as other former members, and it is a very scary and destructive thing. In the end, the church wins and the former member who has been victimized by the church is further victimized by his or her own bitterness toward the church. It is a vicious cycle. Just curious if you had any thoughts about this and if there is any other way (other than this site) you have attempted to work through your anger at the church. I am always interested in hearing how others have successfully overcome the pain caused by the WWCG. I am also interested as I am a social worker/clinician who has done extensive research into treatment of cult victims and has had extensive therapy as a result of the abuses of the WWCG myself.

Sincerely, Cassandra

REPLY:

Regarding your "bitterness" comments:

Whatever.

Are policemen bitter?

Are reporters bitter?

Are historians bitter?

Is telling the truth bitterness?

Is exposing evil bitterness?

I just got back from a three week vacation where I didn't even check my email.

I am now remodeling my bathroom.

I haven't updated the webpage for almost a month although I have a lot of material. I also have some ideas for some new articles but don't have the time to write them out. One is "Having Faith is Turning Your Brain Off." Another is "Ministers of a Book, Not a God." The last two articles that I wrote were 6/8/01 "Quotations To Remember" and 1/30/01 "Acts of God." Is this someone consumed with "bitterness?"

I could go on but I have better things to do.

If being "bitter" means that I am NEVER going to go away or let these "criminals in the name of JESUS" get away with their crap, then I am happy to be bitter. If any "god" condemns me for this, so be it. People have a right to know the truth and they are not going to get it from the people that are milking them like cows.

Editor


Dear Editor,

 I have noticed your page has not been updated in quite a while. I have learned a lot from what your site, it helped me so much. I still question things, I guess its a way of learning. I have learned a lot from your site------. Things I would have never questioned! You helped me so much in seeing through this! We are no longer in any religion or hope ever to be in any.

 I always for the most part try to be kind when responding to anyone. Its the way I was even before attending WWCG. I know in your disclaimer you stated about AOL not being that great I still keep it because of my artwork, that's it! I submit my graphics art work to AOL.

 I always check your site out because I find your articles enlightening to me and I am willing to help others that have been through this also. And your articles to me are very interesting to me and my husband both!

 I think at the last time I sent you an e-mail about the offshoots -at that time maybe 150 -I bet there as so many more what a shame!

 I had an e-mail that responded to me from your site -talking about starting another offshoot ( but in a different way) I responded in a kind manner I told him we did not believe in religions but I would listen to him. I I see through all of the phonies. I would have never understood this if it was not for your site. And I learned a lot!

 I am not critical of any one for there beliefs, that is up to them. But one thing I know I do not believe in religions, and know there are errors in the Bible. We have bought some books from your site also. That have helped.

 IN all I hope you are doing well and keep this site to help others that have been through WWCG!


7/29/01

 An open letter to MikeM: the developer of Militant Smokin Homo Yogurt ;

As a white queer gal, I was puzzled by the latest installment on this website; a text written by a white heterosexual man trying honorably to figure out why "they", that is certain people - namely gays, and Right Wing Christians, seem to need to proclaim and preach their lifestyles, to the point of annoyance to the rest of "us". "Just shut the heck up about it!" was MikeM's admonishment, leave me in peace! Do you see me going around bothering the hell out of people who don't live like me?! MikeM equalizes Right Wing Christians and "militant gays" by observing that both groups have Real Big Mouths. Dare I suggest that before placing someone's words in a safe contained plastic container in an avoided aisle at a grocery store it is always preferable to examine the speaker's motivations for Mouthing Off? Dare I suggest that there is a huge motivational difference in the Mouthing Off of militant gays and Right Wing Christians? Dare I suggest that there may be reasons ! why you, a white heterosexual male, do not need to go around Big Mouthing just so that you can live your life as you see fit?

Go ahead Mike, (sigh)put me in the yogurt aisle if you need to avoid me if you will, (actually, that would be a pleasure - yogurt is a staple of my diet!) but avoiding me will not make me go away. And I will not shut the heck up about it. So I will do you a flavour, uh, a favor I mean, and tell you why:

I invite you to imagine the following scenario.

The antagonism began as early as you can remember. As a heterosexual white male (HWM) you are bullied, ridiculed, and beaten on the school grounds. Your gay parents realize there is something "wrong" with you and send you to a shrink. You receive "treatment"; medications, shock therapy, and days sitting on the shrink's couch trying to cure yourself of your heterosexuality. At home, you are ridiculed, bullied, and beaten for being heterosexual. At church, you hear that because you are heterosexual, you will burn forever in the Eternal Lake of Fire, and you learn to hate yourself for being heterosexual and begin to learn how to act and be like everybody else. You know that if you admit to your family that you simply cannot be cured of your heterosexuality, they will throw you out in the street.

As an adult, you know that your chances of being assaulted and harassed in the street walking home from a night out, are almost 100 percent. In fact, every single heterosexual friend of yours has been accosted in the street because they are heterosexual, and so you feel like you're next; you are very careful where you walk after dark and you never walk alone. In some parts of your own country, these chances are greater than in other parts of the country, so you choose your locations, nights out, and bars, very carefully. Almost every time you go out, you are the invisible target for derogatory jokes, heterosexual bashing and every time, you have to make a decision whether to stay safe and silent, or rather to defend your heterosexuality and risk ending up like Matthew Sheppard, beaten to death and left to freeze on a fence, just because he was heterosexual. You know that in some countries you could be put in the slammer for being seen on the beach holding the hand of the ! woman you love, so you choose your holiday spots very carefully. You have a greater chance than anyone else you know of being fired from your job because you are heterosexual, so you plan your career, carefully. In fact, because other people believe that your heterosexuality is dangerous to Our Youth, your choice of a career is anything that doesn't come within 20 feet of children; teaching, child development, psychology, art therapy, counseling, sport coaching, special needs children, etc, are all taboo career choices for you, because you are heterosexual. Because you are heterosexual, your government will not allow you to marry the woman you love. And because you and your fianc, are not recognized by the state as a "real couple", you choose, very carefully, whether or not you will have kids - for if you do - you know that one of you, being the one who did not bear the child will not benefit from joint child custody laws and if you break up, you may never see your ! children again. You know that even if you do have children, your children will be bullied, teased, beaten and ridiculed at school - just like you were - because you are heterosexual. You hope to god that neither you nor the woman you love will ever fall sick; because the state does not recognize you as a "real couple", you do not benefit from spousal health coverage and on top of it - if one of you ends up in the hospital, you will not be able to visit each other as you are not recognized as "family" by the state. You watch movies, read books, go to plays, but in all your searching, there are no heterosexual heroes nor role models to be found; worse, you go to movies, read books, go to plays, and all you see are gay people, bashing, ridiculizing, and bullying heterosexuals who are considered to be "sick", "abnormal" and needing to be "cured". Often as a heterosexual, you are blamed for all kinds of things: terminal illnesses, violence, pedophilia, and mounting divorce rates, ! etc., that you know you have nothing to do with. You spend most of your adult life wondering if you are indeed, as everybody seems to think you are, a monster.

Every single day of your heterosexual life, you must make a choice between passing as gay, hiding your heterosexuality, living in silence, for the comfort of others and for your life, or outing your heterosexuality, and taking a chance of losing everything. Some days, you need comfort. Some days, you get so sick and tired of not having access to the same kind of civil life as everybody else, that you will risk being ostracized, losing your children, your job, your friends, your family, your life, and out your heterosexuality to the world.

Okay. Get the picture? If you haven't yet - here it is, in a nutshell.

Perhaps for you, a HWM, silence equals comfort - the luxury of living your life the way you choose. For any minority - whether that be a coloured or a rainbowed minority silence does not, and has never, won comfort.

Only a few years ago, the picture painted above, was (and still is in most of the world, even in some States) the brutal harsh reality for gays and lesbians. Gay people have learnt, through losing enough of our rights, and our friends, that if we don't stand up and demand the same civil rights and treatments the heterosexual majority enjoys, they will not be handed to us on a silver platter. We will continue, in our silence, to have to mourn our brothers and sisters, beaten bullied, killed, simply because they were gay. We will, in our silence, accept the injustices of a legal system that does not recognize our rights. We will, in our silence, accept the prejudices, hatred, and misunderstandings construed to demean us. We will, in our silence, let the world know that we accept the deaths of the likes of Matthew Sheppard as our rightful fate. Gays and lesbians, unlike you, cannot afford the luxury of silence. It has, and continues to all around the world, cost us our lives! .

Until you are being bullied, beaten, prejudiced against in the laws of your country, at risk of losing your job, children, and life because you are heterosexual you do a disservice to humanity by attempting to silence those who are still fighting to gain the same privileges you, as a heterosexual white male, take for granted.

As an ex member of the WWCG, I am puzzled that you seem to have forgotten what it feels like to be considered as a minority. When a minority proclaims loud and proud their rights, we, as ex-members of the WWCG, should recognize that old feeling in ourselves that remembers being ostracized, bullied, and prejudiced against because of our minority status, and support those minority voices, even as those voices shake our core beliefs, our privileges, and everything we take for granted.

But then again, I don't really know why a heterosexual man would get so peeved at someone else insisting on enjoying the same rights as they do. "I dunno how in the world this exists. Through some unexplained process, some folks appear to have a sexual taste for folks (not) like them. They seem usually ok folks, but I have to admit", I wonder why they have to be so loud about it? Why do they want everybody to live like they do? Why do they tell me to shut up every time I want to talk about my gayness, when I have to live with their heterosexuality every time I walk out of my apartment, go shopping, go to a movie, read a book, watch TV, etc.etc.etc.?

And why does one of them think that a Right Wing Christian preaching his religious beliefs, is the same thing as another human proclaiming that he or she deserves to be treated as every other human being?

And why is he going to think that I'm a "militant" just because I insist on having the same rights he enjoys? And why is he going to package my voice into a consumable dairy product when I insist on not shutting up about this?

Mike do you know that the bacteria present in yogurt actually complements the healthy bacteria colony in your gut, helping to combat any nasty fascist pathogens that might be wrecking havoc with your digestive system? Got a problem digesting non-heterosexual lifestyles? In that case, eat me. Eat me now. At least a cup a day, will keep those fascist pathogens away.

In peace, a matronly non-militant smokin purple yogurt slurping proud to be here and queer queer queer,

Sparkes.


2 the Editors:

It's good to see that so many readers appreciate the site.  Many have been blessed as a result, and the site's opened many eyes.  It's undoubtedly changed (for the better) many lives.  That's great.  But there are many unwarranted criticisms.  So, for here it's worth, I'm gonna do some bitching.

TO THE WHINING ONES, AND CRITIQUES.

1)  This site is fundamentally a labor of love.  The editor does all this at his own expense, and NO ONE gets paid for their work here, and NO ONE gets paid for contributions.

2)  It's duty (as I understand) is to inform, expose corruption, and educate people - re WCG & + - as to the real "plain truth."

3)  The reason we haven't heard from the spin-off cults is because they're mostly broke.  People are being educated.  They're leaving.

4)  This site is EDUCATING people all over the world.  I've tons o'private emails that tell me they're sending these articles everywhere.  On the top of each site article, there's a line and link that says:  "E-mail this article to a friend."  Please do so.  You can "cc" hundreds of folks.

5)  If you don't agree with an article, then you don't have to.  Anyone's free to dis-agree.

6)  As a teacher (among other things), I've learned that there are two ways to teach people.  Everyone's different.  You can feed them the info with sugar, or you can use a sledgehammer.  The methodology is mixed for both types of people.  But (as I see it), this website must cater for all types of people. 

7)  But, in all cases, whatever comes will be mixed with info that will EDUCATE people.

4 wot it's worth.  Best 2 all.  JohnO


Your web page lacks purpose...

Try going after Swaggart, Schuller, et. al.....you know, those that want to sell you little crosses to hang around your neck. Get with

the program, folks. In my area, a man, 30 yrs a deacon in the biggest Baptist church in hundreds of miles, was recently convicted of bilking hundreds

of thousands from unsuspecting widows over the years.

Try wisdom: no human will stand before God without sin (HWA or whomever)...people are people, but truth is truth. Read your bible my friend...

when you find the part where God sanctions the Council of Nicea and others of those wonderful little conferences that are the capstone of human ignorance (even to this day).....send me a note, ok.

Dan

REPLY:

 YOU WROTE:

Your web page lacks purpose...

REPLY:

You must not have read many of its 700+ pages or the FAQ.

YOU WROTE:

Try going after Swaggart, Schuller, et. al.....

REPLY:

I will go after those that I know something about. You go after Swaggert, et. al.........

 YOU WROTE:

convicted of bilking hundreds of thousands from unsuspecting widows over the years.

REPLY:

Well, he must not have been as good at it as Herbie and his jack-booted thugs. They are responsible for bilking MILLIONS of dollars from trusting, god-fearing people, mostly lower to middle class. They are still getting away with the con-job, long after herbie's been dead. Hopefully, this web page will be able to help those who are ready, to escape without feeling guilty.

YOU WROTE:

Try wisdom: no human will stand before God without sin

REPLY:

Try thinking for yourself instead of vomiting ignorance at me. You have no proof at all that anyone will stand before this god of yours. You just "believe" it. I will expose evil, now, for what it is because I have no faith at all that any god is going to take care of this in any afterlife. Now is what we know we have. Now is the time to settle problems and rebuke evil.

YOU WROTE:

people are people, but truth is truth

REPLY:

Truth is what can be proved, not what is merely "believed."

YOU WROTE:

Read your bible my friend...

REPLY:

Sorry, I've read it enough. I know now that it is nothing but a fairy tale book that has a little history and little truth and a little wisdom. Altogether it is an evil book and this world would be a lot better off if all Bibles were burned.

YOU WROTE:

when you find the part where God sanctions the Council of Nicea and others of those wonderful little conferences that are the capstone of human ignorance (even to this day).....send me a note, ok

REPLY:

When you can prove that the bible is God's word, send me a note,okay? I know that you can't so will not be holding my breath waiting for you to do it. You would be the very first person in the world to do it. Until then, your faith is in a book, not a god.

Editor


REPLY:

A truly sad human being you are

REPLY:

Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...........

I think that you forgot to prove that your fairy tale book was "written" "inspired" or "authored" by any god worth worshiping, or that your god is any more real than the boogeyman.

A very evil god you worship.

See the new article: "Wooden Stakes Through the Bible's Heart"

Editor


 I very much enjoyed your article "Wooden Stakes Through the Bible's Heart". I am sad there may not be a god.

 Gregory

REPLY:

 Greg

There may be a "God" of some kind, or at least a Creator Entity. It's just that whoever or whatever it is, it has nothing to do with the bible or manmade religion. We cannot learn truth until we eliminate superstitions and fables.

Jim


 JimV -

Just a quick note to say "Excellent!!"

Recently I have had several small articles published on the PT website. They were quick and dirty little 'dagger strikes'.

Whether it was your intention or not, I thank you taking my small thoughts and fleshing them out into a serious and excellent expose'.

Keep it up, friend... We will prevail in the long run!

Regards,

Mike Minton


I came upon your page, The Painful Truth, in my occasional search for something to help me in my own cult problem. Decades ago my mother tried to get me into the Jehovah's Witnesses. Those people are bleeding heart liberals compared to what I've read on your webpage. It makes me feel almost ashamed that so many of you have overcome that and I'm still having problems with my former cult, not as a real presence, but as a persistent shadow in the back of my mind. I've become a closet atheist, despite my interest in both religious ideas and the occult. My mother on the other hand claims to be a mainstream Christian, but still occasionally mouths pseudo-JW ideas, like the dinosaurs being the "beasts of the field" mentioned in Genesis, etc.

I have accidentally found some solutions, not from religious sources, but from a political one, Tom Paine. It is a mistake to regard religion as solely religious with no toehold in politics or the other way around. We have been fortunate in the U.S. to have a reasonable amount of religious freedom, in the form of the separation of church and state, or rather churches and state, with every church careful that no other religion get more influence than what the law allows. In other countries and in our own earlier history, this was not the case. I won't go into detail because I am an awful historian and have to keep a notebook to keep my facts straight. So to consider this problem just one of religion and not political or psychological or economical or impinging on other subjects will only stifle  your access to answers. See for yourself:

"These are the times that try men's souls: the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it NOW, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: 'Tis dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed, if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated."

What the ex-cult member fights for is his/her freedom, as surely as if that person was shooting redcoats waybackwhen. This is a good analogy, because freedom is not something we can be given, but something that we must fight for (even in situations where those in authority seem to WANT to give us freedom, what a paradox!), whether it be with guns or with ideas.

In all my searching in WebPages and libraries, I haven't found anything that has helped me better than this.

I have my own analogy on my rejection of religion. People ask me why I reject religion because of minor problems, like rejecting a dog because of it's fleas. Forget about picking off the fleas one by one and smashing them with a stone, just shoot the dog and the flea problem will die with it

Robin

REPLY:

Robin,

Thanks for your message.

I couldn't agree with you more. I have been promoting Paine for a long, long time. See his "Age of Reason" book on my website.

As far as getting over the cult experience, I think it will always be with us, but that is a good thing because, as long as we don't forget what happened, we will not let it happen again.

Regarding the "minor problems" with religion, they are not minor at all for those who use their brains and demand just a little bit of evidence before devoting their lives to worshipping a book.

If only it were possible to "shoot the dog." The fleas have too much power and those that are infected by the fleas are virtually beyond help. They don't realize that they have given up their freedom for useless, unproven, "hope" that there may be an afterlife and that they can please the vengeful god of the Bible by doing things for him. They give up their present life in hopes that they can buy themselves eternal life. It is a sad commentary on the weakness of mankind and the fear of death.

Regards,

Editor.


Hi:

I ran across your article on sexploitation. I have one question. Why are you so against the bible? I am an advocate for victims of exploitation and am very much opposed to the covering up of miscondcut by faith traditions.

E. Scott

REPLY:

 Why am I against the Bible?

Answer:

I am not against it as a book.

I am against people giving it more validity than any other book.

I am against people "believing," with absolutely NO EVIDENCE at all, that it is somehow a book "from God."

I am against people quoting from this book and telling me "God says............." when they cannot prove that any god says anything in the book.

I am against the usage of this book to manipulate and control gullible people.

I am against all the evil that has happened in this world because of this book.

I am against all the murders and wars that have taken place because of this book.

I am against all the hatred inspired by this book.

I am against the subjugation and humiliation and belittling of women in the Bible.

I am against the slavery that is condoned in the bible.

I am against a nation writing a book that gives godly approval of their murderous nature. In effect, saying "God made me do it."

I am against "scholars" that, instead of studying the book to figure out IF it makes sense, study HOW to MAKE it make sense. They are excuse makers for errors and contradictions and for a "god" that has a real communication problem but is going to fry you if you don't figure out exactly what he wants from you before you die. A "god" that, supposedly, made us with a weak human nature but then gets pissed off when we give in to that weakness, according to the Bible.

When it comes right down to it, Christians have rejected every other "Holy" book, I have just rejected one more book than they have. I have rejected it because I have read it and studied it and have found it deficient and unworthy of any god that I would want to worship.

Just by my experience alone, I would say that 99.999% of all bible believers have NEVER taken an objective look at the book and tried to decide, based on what is in the book, whether it really is a "godly" book. They just, like lemmings, follow those that came before them and blindly believe. I am sickened by this and try to make available those materials and arguments and texts that someone can use who may be interested in proving what he or she believes.

I also am an "advocate of victims of exploitation," that is why I am against the Bible.

Editor

REPLY:

 Dear editor:

What you say has truth in it, of course. The bible has been abused and misused. But so has the Koran, the Talmud, The Bhadghadvita. It is humankind, flawed that then takes something good and uses it for evil.

Look at guns. They are not evil. We use them for food. Or Knives. We use them for food. But they are also used to maim, to harm, to decapitate.

I do believe in God and in His Word. But I do not believe in abusive pastors using the bible to justify their preying on vulnerable congregants.

Judith Herman writes in Trauma and Recover, that victims of the atrocious lose their faith. They wonder, "Where was God when I was being abused?" But, it is not God who abused them, it was man. And, my heart breaks for those who then cannot see God as loving and kind because man has distorted His image.

You seem passionate. So am I. We agree to disagree. I have no porblem with the bible. I have a problem with those who use and abuse the bible, to hurt. I am not interested in being attacked personally, for my beliefs. That is my choice. You choose to not believe in the bible. That is your choice. I respect that. One thing we agree on is that people should not be victimized by clergy and other helping professionals.

One question, did you always not believe in the bible or did someone use it to abuse you, or did you become cynical from seeing how much pain and wrong was created through the misuse of this book? Do you say people for whom the scriptures has brought inner peace and healing beyond comprehension are just in denial, snookered, or do you repsect that they actually have this experience.

I ask this, not to convert you, but to understand.

E. Scott

REPLY:

 You Wrote:

The bible has been abused and misused.

Reply:

Are you saying that, if you took away all the misuse of the bible, it would be a good book to base a religion on?

I am not talking about using the Bible as a weapon to hit somebody in the face.

I am saying that there is plenty in the bible that condemns any god that would inspire such tripe. I am saying that no good and perfect god could have anything to do with the book.

You Wrote:

I do believe in God and in His Word.

Reply:

Why?

Do you have anything to base that belief on?

What criteria did you use to rule out every other book in the world as not being inspired by "God," but you have found that this book passed your test? (I REALLY want to know this. Here is you chance to convert me.)

You Wrote:

And, my heart breaks for those who then cannot see God as loving and kind because man has distorted His image.

Reply:

Show me the "love of God."

All I see is death and destruction in this world. See the Acts of God page.

The only good and love that I see is what man does for himself or for others. And, if you want to point to the god of the bible, I can show you a god of death and destruction, killing millions of people. Christians do not love this god, they fear him, and rightly so because he is going to burn them up if they don't find the right way to do what he wants.

You Wrote:

One question, did you always not believe in the bible or did someone use it to abuse you

Reply:

I studied it and believed it, religiously, for 25 years of my adult life. I will not say that anyone "used it" to abuse me because they only did what was written in the book. They preached the bible and the "truth" in the bible abused me. You want to switch the blame here but the facts are that there is plenty in the bible that can abuse people and ruin their lives without anyone twisting it or misusing it.

 Just, for example, a simple reading of the book, without anyone abusing your thinking, will show that this god held women in very low esteem. If a person were a good Christian today, they would have to follow the example of the bible and look on women as second class citizens. Is that good? Is that what god thinks is good for a religion? Apparently.

You Wrote:

Do you say people for whom the scriptures has brought inner peace and healing beyond comprehension are just in denial, snookered, or do you repsect that they actually have this experience.

Reply:

I would say that they are on a spiritual drug. They have inner peace because the book has promised them a life after death. There is no proof at all that the book has any authority to promise this or that it can, in the end, deliver the fulfillment of the promise.

They choose, in the face of all evidence to the contrary, to believe, with no proof at all, just because it gives them this inner peace. They are willing to absolutely turn off their brains in order to believe. That is what faith is. Yes, I do think that this is an actual "experience," some kind of inner glow or feeling. The same thing can be achieved with other drugs. These other drugs have no more power to make their dreamlike rush to be "truth" or "reality" than does religion. They all are just for right now.

The inner peace that comes from having faith that something is true with no proof, does not prove anything other than that people are so afraid of dying that they will grasp at anything to get their "fix."

Some people couldn't survive all the death, randomness and destruction in this world without having some kind of hope to keep them from going crazy. If it is a false hope, and they need it, so be it.

You Wrote:

I ask this, not to convert you

Reply:

Not much to be worried about there, believe me. I've been converted out of religion. Nobody could drag me back into that nightmare ever again. No backsliding for me.

Editor


 About you writing on h. w.a. knew the roman church was GOD's true Church. I know dung when I see or smell it. That stunk.

 SABBATHPREACHER@aol.com   

REPLY:

 What you are smelling are the rotten fruits of herbie and his gang of lying thieves.

Herbert W. Armstrong was dung and now, thankfully, he is very dead.

I only wish there were a god that would give him what he really deserves.

Editor


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

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