The Painful Truth About The Worldwide Church of God

Email To The Editor
(Page 72)

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


1/31/03

Dear Carmen,

I read with great interest your firefight with the editor of Painful Truth. You guys both put on quite a show.

I did want to ask you something, however. In one of your letters to him you made the following statement:

God HAS made sure that people could know Who He is. It's called the Bible. Those who don't have the Holy Spirit living inside them, cannot possibly understand. I used to think the Bible was a bunch of fairy tales until I "saw the light". You have a choice to "see the light" or remain in the dark.

I have to ask you - isn't that a contradictory statement? You say that one cannot "see the light" without the Holy Spirit inside them; yet you also say everyone has the choice to "see the light" or not. May I point you to John 6:44, which says that no man can come to Christ unless the Father draws him. That seems to negate your point about everyone having the choice, doesn't it?

Or am I missing something?

John


I read your email to the editor of The Painful Truth. In part, you stated the following:

I read a few of the articles on your web site. It is quite apparent that whoever wrote them has a lot of pent up hatred inside.

You don't seem to mind fostering hatred and malice in your web site among your fellow man. I don't see anything particularly positive or helpful to people about your web site.

As a regular reader and sometimes contributor to the PT, I am probably one of those you are referring to. Before you go making judgments about who is filled with hatred, I think it would be to your benefit to read more than "a few" of the articles. Go back and read a LOT of articles, and in particular the Horror Stories. I trust you never had the pleasure of being a member of the Worldwide Church of God or any of its daughters (at least I hope not, for your sake); judging us without walking in our shoes is very much like judging a rape victim for being angry at her attacker. In fact, the analogy is almost exact.

As for being positive or helpful, once again, it only proves that you never went through what we did. Hundreds of people have written the editor thanking him for creating that web site (go back through the emails and see for yourself). The existence of the Painful Truth website is a testimony to cult survivors that there is life after "living death". We are not filled with hate, we simply hold our persecutors accountable. What's so wrong with that? And if a few of us are filled with hate, isn't it better to express it in a safe environment than to keep it pent-up inside where it will eat at us until we die? Better to express it safely rather than act on it and take vengeance?

Hatred is a normal emotion. So is compassion. You have no idea whether I have hatred in my heart, and I have no idea if you have compassion in yours.

John B


 This is a question about your web site, are you not concerned about the message you are giving teenagers? I work with them, and once they read this site they feel even more worthless. I guess that people do have a right to freedom of speech, but I do wonder at what cost? Teens are at a fragile stage in their life and something like this could be very confusing. There are adults who are also fragile but at that stage of the game, they make choices teens are still feeling things out. This is not a critisism but a question- Where is your responsability? You actually have a good write up, to scare alot of people from making any  comments to you. Again people make choices but web sites like yours can make a huge impact on a teen going throgh sel-esteem issues. Thanks for taking the time to read. Hope you will take my comment into consideraton.

Jenny

REPLY: 

 Jenny,

I don't understand how learning the truth about the Worldwide Church of God and Religion in general is going to hurt anyone's self-esteem.

What part of Truth is bad for self-esteem?

I sure wish that I would have found my website when I was a teen. I wish I could have taught my sons the truth when they were teens and when they were children. I think truth is much better than lies and fairy tales. If only all teens could know that religion is just a con-game.... Think of how much extra money they would have if they were not giving it to religious bloodsuckers. They could then spend the rest of their lives realizing that they have to be in control, as much as possible. There is no "man in the sky" that will protect them or help them. They will protect themselves and their families. They will go to doctors because they know that they cannot depend on a god to heal them. They will educate themselves. They will know that all things are not going to work out "okay" unless they work them out. Their lives will be so much better. That will give them good self-esteem.

Unfortunately, I don't think a lot of teenagers will be reading my site. The ones that do, I welcome and wish them a good life free from the drug of religion. I wish the same to you.

Editor


Editor,

I am horrified to see Earl Williams being spoken of highly on ESN's site. When I was in his congregation, he was extremely abusive, in many ways: misogynistic, saying people should not to go to the doctor FROM THE PULPIT, not to mention the many abuses I personally endured at his merciless hand.

I wish that before they had endorsed this individual, and painted him in such a shining light, they had looked a little closer at his background. He to me represents the worst, most sadistic emotional and psychological cruelty that the cult practiced, and indeed did perpetrate much of it himself, with the assistance of some 'local elders'.

 Heather


Dear Editor,

I read with great interest articles on your website recently. One article re: the late Herbert Armstrong of the then World Wide Church of God. Another article written by an ex: follower of the Jehovah's Witness denomination.

Their problems were dealing with the British Israelite theory, as to whether it is fact or fiction?

I to am an ex: church-goer, and I have spent over 40 years of my life dealing with the British Israelite story, studying much in secular and biblical histories in proof of this story.

During that time I found rules and regulations of various denominations did stop their thinking processes on various ideas of peoples and biblical prophecies. Nevertheless, I studied during those years the above denominations also, along with many others. Each church touching on truth here and there, only to lose truth again because of those rules and regulations to think by.

I studied Herbert Armstrong from the very beginning of his teachings, having received years of magazines. At first the man touched on many prophecies giving correct answers, only to lose them again in confusion of secular and biblical history. Nevertheless, he helped to open up man's thinking processes who were submerged in dogma and ritual, if nothing else.

One thing I learned one must have, that is TIME in learning and it is in Jesus our Lord's words: Matthew 7/7. "Seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you".

So we must never give up in doing so!

Many of biblical answers are built on "that" foundation starting the building soundly upon the stones of the Old Testament, which continues its building with other stones of the New Testament, with Jesus as the Chief Corner Stone.

Then, one realises the Bible is Israelite history of both houses of that nation, cover to cover. Only "then" does Biblical Israelite Prophecy stand strong against the winds of change! Peoples hearts will then know fact from fiction!

Please read the book called "Where the Carcase Is" written by Hiraeth, on the Web.

Sincerely,

A Lover of Truth

REPLY: 

Lover of Truth,

As long as you keep reading the bible as though it is from a god, you will not find the truth that you say you love.

It is a book filled with errors, falsifications, lies and contradictions. Any god associated with this book is an evil god and not worthy of worship.

You cannot use this book as a reference, and expect any intelligent person to accept it, any more than you can use Grimm's Fairy Tales.

 

Editor


 Dear Editor,

Thank you for your site hwarmstrong.com . Although it doesn't fix anything, or change the past, and doesn't even tell me anything I hadn't already concluded myself before finding it, it's great to read a rational opinion and commentary about the Worldwide Church of God. When I tell people I grew up in a strange religion or wacked out cult, the name Worldwide Church of God doesn't quite conjure those images in most peoples minds.

I was born in 1973 to parents who both had attended Ambassador College in Pasadena. Both parents worked for the church. My father answered doctrinal questions by mail and my mom typed and interpreted for the deaf members. My grandfather worked in the church Maintenance department. My uncle was and is still a minister though I'm unsure which splinter group he's part of now. Much of my family (on my fathers side) was in the church while the rest weren't talked about much and always with a disappointed sigh.

I remember being at the "sit in" when the church protested the inquiry by the state of CA. For 2nd grade through high school graduation I attended Imperial Schools. When I was 14 I began to work summers and school breaks with my grandfather for the church's maintenance department. In that time I saw firsthand the extravagant lifestyle of the ministers who lived on campus and visited Armstrong's house. A couple years after high school I stopped attending church and then later was laid off when the church began to lose money and splinter. I always paid attention during the services and came to understand their doctrine and the various forms it took, very well. One of the best things they ever taught was "don't take my word, look in the bible." That's what eventually freed me.

My upbringing was horribly traumatic but, all things included, I'm doing well now. Were Armstrong's prophecies a little more on the mark and world events slightly different, we all could have ended up drinking Kool-Aid in Petra.

Best regards,

Dave


2/15/03

From: <charnock@juno.com

Good Day,

 I read your opinions concerning your "kind of" bitterness. Your bitterness is the motivation driving this website. I see no peace what ever in your tirades against a fellow sinner. Herbert Armstrong made in the image of God is just like you and vice-versa.

 How about a study on the debased man looking up to God; which is of course the antithesis of looking down on man.

 To realize yourself as a pathetic sort is also to debase Gods image. You are made in Gods image, yet fallen. I know many "former members" here were I dwell. A lot of them have turned to the LORD seeking Mercy and Grace. To realize self as depraved, is also to admit need of Redemption. Cry out for Mercy !

 His by Grace, Charnock

 Regeneration precedes Faith EPH. 2:5

REPLY: 

Charnock,

I wonder if you ever have any lucid moments? If so, I'm sure they are few and far between.

YOU WROTE: Your bitterness is the motivation driving this website.

REPLY: Yeah, I'm just burning up with bitterness. Its like an acid that I drink every day just to keep that ol' bitterness flowing. I'm sure that I will very shortly just dissolve like an Alka Seltzer tablet dropped into a glass of water. That is, unless your Jesus has enough power to save my bitter ass. So far He has proven to be pretty impotent when matched against my terrible bitterness. Jesus, it seems, acts in a way completely consistent with his nonexistence.

YOU WROTE: your tirades against a fellow sinner. Herbert Armstrong

REPLY: Sorry, but I couldn't hold a candle to the evilness of Herbert W. Armstrong.

YOU WROTE: Herbert Armstrong made in the image of God

REPLY: Well, if you are talking about the evil god of the Bible, I will give you that Herbie had to be a man after that god's heart.

YOU WROTE: How about a study on the debased man looking up to God; which is of course the antithesis of looking down on man.

REPLY: Huh? How about a study of people believing in things that they have absolutely no proof of at all.

YOU WROTE: To realize self as depraved, is also to admit need of Redemption.

REPLY: To realize that there is no god that gives one good shit about any of us, is to realize that there is no one to save us but ourselves. If you really think that you are depraved, I hope your religious delusions keep your depraved mind occupied enough that you don't hurt someone.

YOU WROTE: Regeneration precedes Faith EPH. 2:5

REPLY: Quoting a book of fables to an intelligent person is not very productive.

Editor


 Hello Jenny

I just read your email  and the concerns you express regarding the Painful Truth, and the impact it may have upon children. You state that "teens are at a fragile state in their life . . ." and I would certainly agree.  I know I was when I first tuned my radio at 15 years of age to that Spirit-Begotten liar Herbert W. Armstrong.   In fact there are many contributors and readers of this site who were sucked in to this Christian cult as naive teenagers.

You inquire, "Where is your responsability (sic)" and I would ask where is the responsibility of Christianity?  Herbert Armstrong had us all believing that the world would be coming to an end in 1972.  Do you call that responsible?  Was that the truth?  We have seen the results of Christian predators from the "holy" roman catholic church. Perverts and queers wearing the garb of priests with the cross ever before them.  Look out, kids.

If the Surgeon General mandates warning labels on cigarette packages then he ought to require the following notice to be placed on all religious literature, broadcasts and buildings:  "Warning:  The Surgeon General has determined that participation in religious activities can be dangerous to your mental health".  And the legal age to participate in any religious activity should be 21 years of age.  Like other forms of drugs, religion should be a controlled substance.  After all, we do need to protect our children--don't you agree?

Bob


In the below referenced email on the email to the editor page, John attempts to point out a contradictory statement in Carmen's email. I would like to point out another. One of the paragraphs reads:

"God HAS made sure that people could know Who He is. It's called the Bible. Those who don't have the Holy Spirit living inside them, cannot possibly understand. I used to think the Bible was a bunch of fairy tales until I "saw the light"."

I think it's more than worth pointing out that one learns about the Holy Spirit from the Bible; thus, you must FIRST read the bible and feel some level of confidence about its validity before proceeding to baptism and the receiving of the Holy Spirit. So it's a good old fashioned catch-22, and surely the all-wise God would've figured this out. How can we understand the bible without the holy spirit? Yet, how can we know anything about the holy spirit without first reading about it in the bible? But if we can't understand the bible properly without the application of the holy spirit, then it looks like--to put it bluntly--WE'RE SCREWED!

Art Z


Hi Editor,

 I just read John B.'s article on the Armstrong Worldwide Church of God booklets revised. It was absolutely hysterical. I remember all those booklets in their original, but far less accurate form. Kudos Mr. B. But I made the mistake of reading them while I was eating breakfast and almost choked from laughing so hard. What a riot!!!! Thanks for starting my day with some fun.

June


Dear Sir,

I am very sorry for the ordeal you went through with the Worldwide Church of God, my sister is also a member of this "church", and while she is happy with it; her 17 year old son seems to have serious emotional problems[he has been in the church since he was 3].Our family never asks any questions about her church, everything seems to have an air of mystery about it. We [the family]did ask things early on but soon learned it was'nt a good idea.I have read enough about it to know that it is a load of poppycock! Having said all that...I have to say, I strongly disagree with your beliefs as well.I do believe in a just and loving God who is still creating miracles.I have living proof of his love and goodness everytime I look at my beautiful 3 year old son[born 22 yrs into our marriage, I had been told I would never be able to a child].But he was not the first evidence of Gods love and goodness, there have been many! I will keep you in my prayers,whether you want to be there or not!Love in Christ,K.Stanley

REPLY: 

 YOU WROTE: I have read enough about it to know that it is a load of poppycock!

REPLY: I gather that you feel that everybody else's unfounded, unprovable, unbelievable, imaginary, mind-boggling, incredible beliefs are poppycock but YOUR unfounded, unprovable, unbelievable, imaginary, mind-boggling, incredible beliefs are straight from your god. I would suggest you read about your own religion with the same critical examination and find that it is a load of poppycock also.

YOU WROTE: I had been told I would never be able to a child

REPLY: Why is it that your god can only do these "miracles" if a doctor makes a bad diagnosis first? I wonder why your god can only "heal" internal problems that may be hard for a doctor to diagnose? Haven't heard of any amputated legs or hands or even fingers suddenly, miraculously reappearing. But, I guess that is what you get with a god that has limitations.

Here is a miracle for you: have a doctor amputate your husband's genitals and then contact me when you have another baby by him. I will accept THAT as a miracle. Anything other than that is just your wishful thinking, looking for something to give an uninvolved, uncaring, hidden, god credit for so you don't think too much about it and realize that you have really been abandoned by your god. But, don't feel bad about it; we all are in the same boat.

YOU WROTE: But he was not the first evidence of Gods love and goodness, there have been many!

REPLY: Well, certainly. I made a whole list of god's interventions in my life. Then I realized that I only wrote down the positive things and tried to forget about all the unanswered prayers. The odds are that if you wish on a star often enough, every once in a while your wish will come true. Conveniently, we disregard all the multitude of wishes that did not come true. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, that is when "god" says NO.

YOU WROTE: I will keep you in my prayers,whether you want to be there or not!Love in Christ,

REPLY: I will pray to Casper the Ghost, for you, whether you want me to or not! My prayers will be just as effective as yours and will be answered with the same probabilities of "yes" or "no" as yours will. Casper is a very good ghost! Friendly too.

In Casper's loving name,

Editor

 REPLY: 

 Dear editor,Recieved your e-mail,never have I felt so battered and abused so early in the day,what contempt and hatred you have for people who's beliefs are different from your own!I am not now,and never will be, one to argue beliefs, I think it is futile and a huge waste of time.If, at this journeys end, I find I have been 'dupped" I have lost nothing, I have lived a good life, had fun, and treated people with respect and dignity {the way I appreciate being treated }.If, on the other hand YOU ARE WRONG, you have lost EVERYTHING!! All things considered, I like my way best.I will not e-mail you againso I will leave you with the words of the lovely Alice to Ebeneezer Scrooge "may you be happy in the life you have chosen.

 REPLY: 

YOU WROTE: what contempt and hatred you have for people who's beliefs are different from your own!I

REPLY: Wait a minute here. You were the one that said: "I have read enough about it to know that it is a load of poppycock!" All I said was that your poppycock is no better than your sister's poppycock. You have contempt for your sister's beliefs; I feel the same way about both of your beliefs. Does that make me worse than you?

And, by the way, I have no hatred for those that believe different from myself, if they just believe whatever they want and leave me alone. I think you are projecting your own hatred at me because I have pointed out the flaws in your own mindset.

YOU WROTE: If, at this journeys end, I find I have been 'dupped" I have lost nothing, I have lived a good life, had fun, and treated people with respect and dignity {the way I appreciate being treated }.If, on the other hand YOU ARE WRONG, you have lost EVERYTHING!!

 REPLY: Ah yes! Pascal's Wager. This is a very feeble argument for making yourself a slave to your imagination. Forgive me if I don't bother to answer this myself. Here is a quote from another webpage that thoroughly debunks your living in fear of your imaginary god.

From:

http://www.abarnett.demon.co.uk/atheism/wager.html

 Pascal's Wager is quite simple, and superficially appears to be a strong and compelling argument for theism. However, a little close scrutiny soon reveals the flawed logic and reasoning behind it, which actually makes it one of the weakest arguments a theist could come up with.

The Wager Pascal's Wager can be presented in many different forms, usually something like this:

"If you believe, and God exists, you gain everything. If you disbelieve, and God exists, you lose everything." Alternatively :

 "It makes more sense to believe in God than to not believe. If you believe, and God exists, you will be rewarded in the afterlife. If you do not believe, and He exists, you will be punished for your disbelief. If He does not exist, you have lost nothing either way. "

It amounts to hedging your bets. The consequences upon your death are shown here:

  God exists God does not exist
I believe Go To Heaven Nothing
I do not believe Burn In Hell! Nothing

 

The worst case for the theist is no afterlife, the worst case for the atheist is an eternity in Hell. You can see why this appears to be a potentially convincing argument - it is sensible to choose the least-worst case.

The flaws

The most obvious problems with Pascal's Wager are:

How do you know which God to believe in? There are plenty to choose from, and if you pick the wrong one, you could be in big trouble (e.g. what if you choose Jesus, but get to heaven only to come face-to-trunk with Ganesh?). This is known as the "Avoiding the wrong Hell problem". If a dozen people of different religions came to you with Pascal's Wager, how could you possibly choose between them? After all, many religions are quite specific that they are the One True Religion, and not any others. Jesus Christ said "I am the way, the truth and the light. None shall come to the Father except through me." [emphasis added] and no doubt most other religions make similar claims. If a Christian considers the Wager as strong support for his faith, surely he must accept that it is equally valid for all other religions when presented to himself?

God is not stupid. Won't He know that you're just trying to get a free ride into Heaven? How can you sincerely believe in a God simply out of convenience?

If there is no God, you have still lost something. You have wasted a good portion of your life performing the various devotional rituals, attending Churches, praying, reading scripture and discussing your deity with His other followers. Not to mention giving your hard-earned money to the church, wasting your intelligence on theological endeavors and boring the hell out of people who really don't want to hear your Good News.

Can you get away with just sort of generally believing in a Supreme Being, without specifically believing in one particular Deity? Probably not - God will still know what you're up to. Also, many Gods are quite particular about how they should be worshipped. Many born-again Christians will tell you that the only way to Heaven is through accepting Jesus Christ as your personal savior - nothing more and nothing less. General-Deity-Belief and being nice simply won't do. Many people believe that all the different religions are merely alternative routes to the same destination. Nice and tolerant (if a little warm'n'fuzzy) though this may be, there is no valid reason to accept this stance over the fire-and-brimstone fundamentalist position : if the fundies are right, then the un-Saved liberal theists are in just as much trouble as the nonbelievers.

Few, if any, atheists disbelieve in deities out of choice. It's not as if we know the god is really there, but somehow refuse to believe in it (for example, see if you can choose to truly believe that Australia does not exist). Most atheists disbelieve simply because they know of no compelling evidence to suggest that any sort of god exists. If you want an atheist to believe, show her some good evidence, don't just say it's in her best interests to believe even if there is no god. A person cannot choose to sincerely believe in something, just because it is pragmatic to do so. Sure, you could say all the right prayers and attend church regularly, but that is not the same thing as actually believing, and any God worth his salt would obviously see straight through that.

It is quite insulting. It amounts to a thinly veiled threat, little better than saying "Believe in my God or He'll send you to Hell" (in fact, this is often the form it is presented in). Also, the theist making this threat assumes that the atheist believes there is a Hell or a God to send her there in the first place. If you don't believe in Hell anyway, it's not a scary thing to be threatened with - a bit like saying "If you don't start believing in unicorns, one will trample you to death while you're sleeping." Who would be worried by that?

It is often self-refuting, depending on the person's description of God. If you believe that God will forgive anyone for anything, or judge people purely on how they lived their life and not what they believed, or that everyone gets to Heaven regardless (unless maybe they were genocidal cannibal serial killers), then the Wager is meaningless. You might as well say "Believe in God, or you'll... erm... go to Heaven anyway." In such a case, it doesn't make a scrap of difference whether the person believes or not.

Pascal's Wager is hopelessly flawed. It sounds good at first, but poke it with the spike of reason and it quickly deflates, letting out all the hot air.

An alternative - The Atheist's Wager

This seems to be much more reasonable, both for atheists and theists :

"It is better to live your life as if there are no Gods, and try to make the world a better place for your being in it. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will be remembered fondly by those you left behind. If there is a benevolent God, He will judge you on your merits and not just on whether or not you believed in Him."

(And if God is not benevolent, he's gonna git ya whatever you do!)

This can be shown as:

  God exists God does not exist
I believe Go To Heaven because
you believed
Wasted life praying etc.
I do not believe Go To Heaven because
you're a good person
Made the world a better place

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3/3/03

I'm not one for long talks as you. Remember his book United States and Great Britain in prophesy years ago? Can you look around? Who is the only one backing us in the war so far? My, My. Have a good day.
 

starellon1

REPLY: 

YOU WROTE:

I'm not one for long talks as you.

REPLY:

I can see why; it is because you have nothing convincing to say.

YOU WROTE:

Remember his book United States and Great Britain in prophesy years ago?

REPLY:

Well certainly. It was what he based the start of his cult on. HE PLAGIARIZED IT!! Almost word for word! He started God's True and ONLY church by stealing the screwed up and loony ideas from another person.  http://www.hwarmstrong.com/ ar/Roots.html

As a matter of fact, DNA studies have proven that there is no connection to other descendents of Abraham by those other than Middle Eastern people. See http://www.hwarmstrong.com/ u_s_and_bc_in_prophecy.htm

"New York, NY - According to a new scientific study, Jews are the genetic brothers of Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese, and they all share a common genetic lineage that stretches back thousands of years. This genetic brotherhood does not include non-Jewish Europeans."

The question is: Why would anybody want to be, in any way, remotely connected to Israel? Their God has treated them horribly and the Bible describes Him as a genocidal, narcissistic, sulking preteen, unpredictable maniac. I assume people want to be associated with this god because they think He will help them in some way but, judging by His past performance, they stand a much better chance of being deserted, defeated and dead.

My oh my.

Editor

REPLY: 

I am going in to read your articles that you sent me and yes they are serious statements. But as far as you blaspheming God like you did, sir, you will be held accountable and I don't think he's gonna put up with this for very long from you. He does intervene on his own behalf. You giving your "opinion" on Mr. Herbert Armstrong is one thing (he is/was human ), but NOT GOD.

REPLY: 

If God had cared one little shit about his name being blasphemed, He would have incinerated Herbert W. Armstrong, his brownnosing minions and all other "self-appointed servants of god" and not let them mislead people with a pack of lies, all in His name.

You can't blaspheme something that does not exist or, at least, has presented no logical evidence for an inferior being to believe in Its existence.


I challenge your weak, ineffective, impotent, hidden god to produce some evidence for a person with a brain to believe in IT. Otherwise, your "god" can take His place alongside all the other mythical gods that have littered the dung heaps of history with their non-existence.

I am not afraid of your god. If it is as evil as the Bible god, I want nothing to do with IT. If there is a god and it is not the Bible god, but a loving, benevolent god, I'm sure IT will understand when a halfway intelligent person cannot accept unbelievable things without proof and will take that into consideration. Such a god will surely look askance at those, such as yourself, that will believe anything they are told, and are afraid NOT to believe, simply because the tellers purport to be representatives of ITself.

You believe on Faith, which means you have no proof at all. I will hold onto my beliefs until I have some proofs for them. Shame on me. My, my.

Editor

REPLY: 

You sound like a hostile defensive person, defending something that you yourself am not even sure whether it exists or not. I'm not one to keep squabbling with one's personal opinion, so therefore let's just leave this one alone and thank you for replying.

REPLY: 

Just what am I defending? I am attacking a figment of your imagination: your god. I may sound hostile to you but it is only because you are afraid that I am right.

If you are not one to keep squabbling, quit replying to me with more accusations. That will end this exchange.

Editor


Hello Editor

I would just like to comment on the recent article "Angry with god?" by Russell which recently appeared. Thank you, Russell, for a very eloquent and insightful article which echoes my sentiments in a way I could never verbalize. You really strike a chord with something deep inside me. When I reminisce about my days with the church it is not the way I was ripped off monetarily which angers me. It is not the abuse from the pulpit which angers me. It is not the lies about the imminent end of the world which angers me. What angers me is the way I was sold on the concept of a "god" who "loved" me. I am embarrassed at having spent so much time on my knees praying to a god who doesn't give a damn about me (or anyone else). I feel stupid about fasting in order to get "closer" to god. I feel like an idiot for shaking the crumbs out of my toaster in preparation for the days of unleavened bread. I feel humiliated at being tricked into thinking that there was this great being way off in outer space somewhere who "called" me out of this world to be one of its elect. Russell, I share your anger, and I feel your pain, brother.

Bob


 First, let me just say that I would prefer that if this is posted, it just be signed anonymous. I have been posted on this site in the past, and used my full name, but I believe that the UCG thugs/leaders troll these pages for info. I do not wish to give my sister any confirmation-in her mind anyway that I am plotting ways to drag her out of her hallowed cult. I am not doing this, although it is tempting. I learned a long time ago that it is a waste of time.

I thought that my dear sister and I had made some progress toward being closer, despite my being an ex Worldwide Church of God member. I have taken a legitimate interest in her life for the last couple of years. Actually, I took an interest several years back, but quickly learned that it is true that no good deed goes unpunished, when dealing with brainwashed people anyway. As a result of reaching out to her, with no ulterior motives whatsoever, I was rewarded by being viciously gossiped about to other family members. She basically labeled me an immoral, brainless punk.

She also determined that a certain mishap she had during the few days she visited me several years ago, was due to the God's Will theory. Ex WCG'rs will recognize this all purpose excuse/explanation. The mishap was due to the fact that she was associating with a Satan inspired, unconverted former convert and that just isn't a Godly thing to do. Never mind that this mishap didn't occur on my property and I was nowhere around when it happened. You know, these cult followers can't burden themselves with the facts.

After this fiasco of a visit, I found out what she really thought of me. I truly thought that she had softened in her perception of me, and being that I wasn't so cynical back then, I took it at face value. I backed off of trying to be close to her and my other family in United for a while.

One of the real kickers in my relationship with my sister, is that a few years ago when she was having trouble with our mother, I was encouraging her to treat our mother with a little more respect. My mother would call me(Ex Worldwide Church of God member by this time) bawling about the mean way her precious daughter was treating her. I talked to my sister on numerous occasions beseeching her to just "be nicer". That was one of the worst mistakes of my life. My mother repaid this unselfish act by badmouthing "that influence" to my sister. Yes, once my teen sister was back in her brainwashing clutches, mother began trying to drive a wedge between sis and myself. Not just trying, she actually did it. And silly me was the one who helped put the sister back in those clutches.

I can't believe that although I was out of the Church and knew I would never go back, that I thought it was a good thing to encourage my sister to have a relationship with the woman who helped bring so much misery to our lives.

Boy, did that ever come back to slap me again and again. It still does. Yet, I have lately tried to forgive my mother of all this and move on.

Cult members everywhere will be thrilled to know that this sister is now a devoted UCG member looking down her smirking nose on all of us filthy God's spiritless sub humans.

Never learning my lesson, I am mortified to admit that I helped this sister to attend the ABC school that United is operating. This is the Ambassador College knockoff where all good little God's people go to become even more smug as they learn God's truth.

For some inexplicable reason, I thought that despite the fact that she would be attending full time brainwashing classes, it would be a good experience because she would be gaining some much needed lessons in independence. I thought that by helping her out a little financially, it might help ensure that she would be able to stay if she wanted.

You cultists out there will also be happy to know that my sister is more arrogant and self righteous than ever. While she is not above accepting my money, she is above a close relationship with me. She recently made this crystal clear. I gather that her ABC school has been successful.

Even after having lived most of my life brainwashed, I do not get Worldwide Church of God and all the multitude dissident CG'S version of godliness. I suppose that as long as one attends "the Church", keeps Sabbath and Holy Days and isn't sexually promiscuous(if one is just a mere member, not leader. We all know about sexual behavior standards for God's leaders.), that's a good person. While I do not attend any church, keep Holy Days or refrain from eating leavening during certain days, I am not promiscuous. I would also say that I would put my morality up against theirs any time. Yet I am scum.

People like my sister can run around being hateful and selfish and see themselves as future gods of the universe. They can throw hissy fits when someone doesn't ride to rescue them from their self induced dramas and whine to their mummies or some such person, who lives on a mere pittance. They can use up their money for brainwashing school, while saying they aren't worried about not having a job to pay for expenses. Of course, the reason they don't have a job is because God's people can't work on Friday evening or Saturday and refuse to work Sundays because then they would miss out on socializing with other of God's great people. I wish now that I had no part in helping perpetrate this idiocy.

Will the school help these poor dunces get jobs when they complete it? Heavens no, why would one think such?! Will it give them a recognizable degree or certificate upon completion? Oh dear me, no one outside of UCG is going to recognize this drone program. Yet, these people are encouraged to come and learn "God's truth from qualified instructors". Does ABC school hold classes in the evening, so it's non independently wealthy students can hold full time jobs? Tsk, tsk, what an silly notion!

Hopefully, I have learned my lesson. I am sick of being used for financial benefit, while being thought of as some ignorant, immoral piece of excrement. Of course, I don't even receive credit for being a somewhat decent person on the occasions that I have helped this person. It doesn't count, because all "well read" church goers know that God can even use a jackass for the benefit of his people.

I can go on with the stories of my reaching out, only to find out that I am little more than a useful nuisance to her. I am not saying that I have been perfect. I did some stupid things some time back that I have repeatedly apologized for. These weren't actions against my sister, but things I felt bad about nonetheless. I don't claim to have been the best sibling growing up. But I wasn't the worst either. My mother counted on me to act like an adult when I was only a child myself. Consequently, I think my siblings probably didn't view me as just a kid like them.

I thought I was over my ill feelings toward Worldwide Church of God and their ilk, but I am not. I see now that there is never really any escaping it for good. At least not as long as some loved ones are still caught in the ghoulish grasp.

Just a side note for ex members out there. If you really wish to flummox these people who are in one of the daughter CG's, make reference to the fact that they left "the Church". It is the truth, but funny how they don't see it that way. They see it as if the Worldwide Church of God left them. It's really very funny, in a morbid sort of way.

Add mine to the list of many thanks for this site.

Anonymous

REPLY: 

Thanks for your message. Sorry I haven't gotten back to you sooner. I've
been trying to start a new business and it takes much of my time.


Ah yes, the arrogance and self righteousness of many Christians is incredible. It brings to mind the black "Christian" gal on the current "Survivor" program. Such an upleasant person always praising Jesus and being just an incredible representative for him. Seems as though religion makes people worse than they would normally be because now they have god on their side. "Thank you Jesus!"

Editor


I'm a Christian now; won't apologize, won't back off, and WILL NOT preach to you or anyone else about how you've chosen to recover from Herbert's tortures. You find the path you need to recover, you follow it. I have NO fight with you, however you made it.

Whoever you are, I'm glad you're alive and free.

On the other hand, I've not made it to "perfection" in my beliefs; I still have a tendency to tip my PORK BACON, lettuce and tomato sandwich, or my SHRIMP, LOBSTER, CATFISH bite toward HELL, wherever that may be, and say, "FUCK YOU HERBERT". I'd probably just punch Garner Ted out if I ever saw him again, see if he'd "turn the other cheek" so I could punch it, too.

To this day, I cannot go into a church other than for a funeral or wedding; I can't have a man standing before me as an agent of God, telling me how it should be done. I don't think I can ever do that again. I never did by choice. I got dragged into the nightmare when I was six.

However, on the brighter side, I was thrown out (not excommunicated, they were afraid of losing the considerable tithes of my parents) when I was 16. I had decided, two years before, that this entire WWCOG thing was bullshit, and I wasn't going to play by their rules anymore.

That made one minister I don't have to try and forgive; I don't care about his motives, his actions set me on the path to deprogramming myself and living a life instead of following a program run by a lying con man.

I can tell you there wasn't enough money for me to attend more than two years of college; that went to help Herbert present Steuben Crystal to some wog so he could gain more victims in the wog's country. I have long hair to this day, and will probably die with it if it doesn't fall out first. I've not completely healed, I'm not sure I ever will. After 31 years away from it, I can still find parts of the programming intact, which means more damage to undo.

Finding this site, and others like it, though, gives me hope, give me strength and clarity. The madness goes on, just the wolves have changed their wooly disguise.

This site, to me, is important; maybe some kids will run across it, and be saved by the internet; there wasn't one when I was being tortured. If those kids shake loose, think for themselves, and gain the freedom of spirit to decide for themselves how they should live, then your work is all the more praiseworthy.

 Arnie 


From: "Michelle Ross" ih8calc@yahoo.com 

Subject: mistake #1

 It's clear that you are not a very educated individual, in many more ways than just spiritually and theologically. For one, Webster's states that incest is "Sexual relations between persons who are so closely related that their marriage is illegal or forbidden by custom." I'm not condoning Mr. Armstrong's mistakes of all those he misled, but your insistance that he committed incest by marrying a third cousin is stretching it a bit far.

REPLY: 

There are only 10 pages on my site where the word "cousin" is even mentioned. None of them even refer remotely to Herbie:

http://www.hwarmstrong.com/age-of-reason_letters.htm

http://www.hwarmstrong.com/responsibility.htm

http://www.hwarmstrong.com/men-women-gods-3.htm

http://www.hwarmstrong.com/email-055.htm

http://www.hwarmstrong.com/email_047.htm

http://www.hwarmstrong.com/email_054.htm

http://www.hwarmstrong.com/my-grandpa.htm

http://www.hwarmstrong.com/join-a-cult.htm

http://www.hwarmstrong.com/ar/AR46.html

http://www.hwarmstrong.com/horror-3.htm

 I don't know of anyone that objected to Herbie marrying his third cousin. I think what people get a little upset about is Herbie screwing his daughter over a period of 10 years while he was supposedly starting "God's true and only church." Now, if you don't think that fulfills the definition of "incest" I have to wonder just which one of us lacks intelligence.

http://www.hwarmstrong.com/faq.htm#35

But, speaking of intelligence: You say that I'm "not a very educated individual." That may be true to a certain extent but I am a lot smarter than you.

Am I the "not a very educated individual" because I do not accept the Bible as God's Word, since it is riddled with inconsistencies and contradictions and downright errors, and I think that any perfect being would be appalled to be associated, in any way, with such an imperfect book? Does that make me a "not a very educated individual"?

Or, are those who are "not very educated individuals" those who do believe this book is divinely inspired and it's Fairy Tales are true, such as God killing off all living things but saving some humans and a whole bunch of animals on an Ark, all less than 5000 years ago; or God giving directions to a man to kill his son as a test of his loyalty to Him? Those people are put in jail or executed these days. Why aren't they believed, but some old guy in an ancient book of other fairy tales is believed and revered as a patriarch? Just because everybody else believes it? And how many teenage mothers have given "virgin" births? More than one named Mary, 2000+ years ago.

Or how about people that worship and make a god out of a man that they cannot prove ever existed? Or they believe that a serpent talked. Or the whole creation was made in 6 days. Or they believe the sun stood still, when it is the earth that revolves, not very scientific there, but it is just as preposterous to believe that the earth stood still. I guess I am the "uneducated" one.

According to Isaiah, the moon produces its own light and the earth does not move. Isa. 13:10 I guess that I am the "uneducated" one. Is it "uneducated" for me to expect the god that inspires the bible to be just a little bit smarter than the people he is inspiring? Isn't it just a little strange that this so called "god" can't inspire these writers to NOT have the same superstitious and ignorant lack of scientific knowledge as the rest of the people of the age in which they live? But, I guess that I am the "not very educated" one.

The bible teaches the denigration and subjection of women but I do not believe that. That makes me "not very educated".

The God of the Bible sanctioned and even instituted slavery, but I feel it is evil. I am the "not very educated" one.

Jonah was swallowed by a fish, a donkey spoke, a stick turned into a snake. I guess if I do not believe these things, that you do, I am the "not very educated" one.

Anybody who looks into the Bible and comes out believing that God inspired it keeps his "faith" only by subverting his own reasoning and denying reality. But I am the one who is "not very educated"!

If a person rejects logic, evidence, science, and reason, as most Christians do, who is "uneducated"?

I think people that ruin other people's lives, for money, ought to be responsible for the harm they have done regardless of the claim that they are God's representatives and therefore immune to that responsibility, contrary to their supposed Savior's teaching, and that makes me "not very educated".

I could go on and on but why bother? I'll take my brand of "not very educated" over religious "education," (read: brainwashing) any day. At least I don't have to turn my brain off in order to believe the things that I do. You do.

Editor

REPLY: 

 His thoughts are above our thoughts. Of course, I nor any human being can answer questions that we often ask.

Riddle me this, do you have a college education? I said that you are not highly educated because it is obvious that you have not studied theology and church history in the depth needed to renounce the Bible and Jesus' teachings. I would encourage you to take some theology courses at a college so you can study the Bible and THEN make your conjecture about its fallacy. A lot of your arguments are emotionally, commonly, and rumor-based, and I think they'd have much more validity if you used weaknesses known to the church intelligentsia.

So if you believe in a God that created the entire Earth, what makes it so hard to believe in the virgin birth?

As for the Bible teaching a lack of respect for women, have you read Luke recently? And keep in mind the context, culture, and time of these documents women did not have the same position in society 2000+ years ago that they do now.

How could God condone slavery when he freed the Israelites from it?

Do you really believe Christians reject logic, evidence, and science? Have you not heard of any scientists that proclaim the existence of God by the research they have done? You must have a very small world.

You sound like you would be much more acceptant of the Bible if it was demythologized. There are philosophers out there who believe the same thing you do (concerning the miracle stories and such), but they have done their research and convinced themselves that everyone else is wrong.

See what I mean? Your logic has some holes in it that you may be able to fill if you were educated in theology.

Good luck.  

REPLY: 

 YOU WROTE:

 His thoughts are above our thoughts.

REPLY:

 Aaaaaaaa...... right.

YOU WROTE:

 Of course, I nor any human being can answer questions that we often ask.

REPLY:

 Well, certainly you can. You just don't like the answers that are obvious. When you stop making excuses for an uninvolved god or a nonexistent one, you will have your answers. Its really quite easy.

YOU WROTE:

 Riddle me this, do you have a college education?

REPLY:

 Does your god only allow people with college education to understand enough that they will turn off their brains and believe unbelievable things?

YOU WROTE:

 I would encourage you to take some theology courses at a college so you can study the Bible and THEN make your conjecture about its fallacy.

REPLY:

 All I have to do is find ONE verifiable passage in the Bible that is in error and then I will know that I cannot trust anything in the book. If you admit that one thing is wrong or misleading, you will never know what you can believe is truth or error. Your firm foundation is destroyed and what you believe is on faith alone; meaning: you have no proof at all, you just want to believe it.

YOU WROTE:

 A lot of your arguments are emotionally, commonly, and rumor-based, and I think they'd have much more validity if you used weaknesses known to the church intelligentsia.

REPLY:

 Huh? Does that make sense to you? I guess I need a college education to understand that.

YOU WROTE:

 So if you believe in a God that created the entire Earth, what makes it so hard to believe in the virgin birth?

REPLY:

 I see no other explanation than that some superior being possibly creating the Universe and etc. I see no reason and no evidence for ANY virgin births. Ever. I see many myths for many "gods" having virgin births. Should I believe them too?

YOU WROTE:

 As for the Bible teaching a lack of respect for women, have you read Luke recently?

REPLY:

 Very thankfully, no.

YOU WROTE:

 women did not have the same position in society 2000+ years ago that they do now.

REPLY:

 And your god had no problem with that.

YOU WROTE:

 Do you really believe Christians reject logic, evidence, and science?

REPLY:

 Well, of course. I were one. I know how you think.

YOU WROTE:

 How could God condone slavery when he freed the Israelites from it?

REPLY:

 Its not up to me to understand the contradictions and irrationalities of your god.

YOU WROTE:

 Have you not heard of any scientists that proclaim the existence of God by the research they have done?

REPLY:

 It never ceases to amaze me how the fear of death and the desire for a hope of life after death will make some of the most intelligent people revert to blithering idiots.

YOU WROTE:

 You sound like you would be much more acceptant of the Bible if it was demythologized.

REPLY:

 No. I would be more willing to accept it if it was inerrant.

YOU WROTE:

 and convinced themselves that everyone else is wrong.

REPLY:

 Yes, they have convinced themselves. So what?

YOU WROTE:

 Your logic has some holes in it that you may be able to fill if you were educated in theology.

REPLY:

 Thank you but I prefer to keep my brain as free from garbage as possible. If the only way to be saved is to go to college and study theology, not many people will be with you and your god when they die.

Editor

 REPLY: 

 An uninvolved or a nonexistent God? Didn't you say yourself that you can't believe the universe was created by anything else than God? Sounds pretty involved and existent to me. How can you believe in part of the Bible (the creation story in Genesis, literal or not), but not the rest? Your theology doesn't make sense. An education does matter when you're trying to project beliefs on others. Anyone more educated than you is not going to put up with your ideals for a second. There's no basis to them. It does not require an education to be "saved." Credibility (education) is required to convince others of your standpoint. Your arguments are too shallow without credibility.

I WROTE:

A lot of your arguments are emotionally, commonly, and rumor-based, and I think they'd have much more validity if you used weaknesses known to the church intelligentsia.

YOU WROTE:

Huh? Does that make sense to you? I guess I need a college education to understand that.

I SAY:

Sure looks like it, don't it, Sherlock?

I WROTE:

As for the Bible teaching a lack of respect for women, have you read Luke recently?

YOU WROTE:

Very thankfully, no.

I SAY:

There ya go. You have no strong argument against anything until you've done your research on it.

 A closed mind is the wrong mind. There's nothing more old-Worldwide Church of God than your mindset right now (i.e., pride, self-righteousness, narrow-brained, etc).

What a sad web we weave.

REPLY: 

Well, you have won me over with your love and good example. I really want to be a good Christian just like you now.

Sorry but I don't have time for going back and forth like this. You are just too intelligent for me since you believe in talking donkeys and the sun standing still and virgin births and such. I guess I will have to go to college to be as smart as you.

Editor

REPLY: 

I think I'll just say what you're probably expecting... I'll pray for you.


REPLY: 

How sanctimonious.
I challenge you to have your god do something provable.
Put up or shut up.

Editor


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