The Painful Truth About The Worldwide Church of God

Email To The Editor
(Page 77)

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


11/18/03 Please note: This date is the date I am updating this email page, and not necessarily the date written or received. You'll notice that I am choosing to not comment a lot on most of the email input; there's a lot to catch up on here, and I'm mostly concerned with the Reader getting his email up, and articles posted than hearing myself. Sorry if these are a bit out of order as well.

---------------------------------------------

From: Bill F
To: < Cory H >
Cc: < editor@hwarmstrong.com >
Sent: Monday, October 20, 2003 9:08 AM
Subject: too smart to be gullible?


> After reading Bill Fairchild's stories of his thirty years in the WCG I
> must confess I am a bit confused as  to just what I am supposed to come
> away thinking ;.  B.S. degree in Applied Mathematics from North Carolina
> State University and never any problems sending lots of
> money in tithes
> and offerings to HWA

The part about my having a B.S. in Applied Math. from N.C. State Univ. had
two purposes:  (1) it was part of my general background before getting into
the cult; it represented four years of my then 22-year-old life, so it was a
very important part of my young life at the time; and (2) it was intended to
show that I have a logically and analytically oriented mind, that I have an
above average intelligence, and that therefore NONE of us can reasonably
expect to be immune from normal human gullibility.  Or perhaps that
gullibility has no correlation to intelligence.  I now believe that ALL
human beings are equally gullible, and that only by accident are a few of us
able to learn early on of our own gullibility and how to deal with it so as
to avoid being taken in by fraud.

I was taken in by the poor Biblical scholarship disguised as genuine
scholarship, and the emotional writings with some smatterings of logic in
them.  I had not had any formal training in logic, propaganda, Biblical
scholarship, human behavior, how to recognize when someone else is
attempting to manipulate you, how to resist being manipulated, etc.  Some of
us learn these things as we go through life simply by paying attention to
the situations we get into and the many mistakes we keep making, even though
we may never have any formal training in these matters.

Everything the cult said made sense to me at the time, and followed
logically once you accepted their basic premises.  Only after finally
getting out from their clutches, having my mind freed to explore other
ideas, reading things about that cult's leaders that were being kept from
me, reading about how all cults in general operate, and reading widely about
other areas involving religion, propaganda techniques, the human quest for
power over other humans, and the normal need most humans seem to have to
give power over themselves to others and let others control their lives and
make important decisions for them, did I begin to understand that all the
basic premises upon which so much else flowed logically were false.

If you can accept that 2=1, then we can logically deduce many important
principles from that premise.  Of course, they will all be false principles
because the foundation is false.  And if you try to build a bridge based on
such faulty mathematics, the bridge will collapse.  2 is not equal to 1.
But if you accept that it is and you are led logically step by step, you
don't understand why everybody else cannot see that the ridiculous things
you are doing are perfectly logical.  All other disbelievers must be blinded
spiritually because they cannot understand the clearly obvious teachings.

Both of my parents also had college education and above average
intelligence.  My mother told me after I dropped out of the cult that she
and my dad had often discussed my being in that cult, and they would shake
their heads and wonder how someone as smart as I was could not see through
the scam.

No matter how smart someone is, a cult can suck him in during a weak time in
his life, when something major is missing in his life.  That's why cults
commonly do things to new members like "love bombing" them, keeping them
isolated from outsiders, keeping their education and indoctrination coming
only from the cult, and anything else they can do to strengthen their ties
to the cult and weaken their ties to anything other than the cult.

If you need any more help with your confusion, please email me directly.

Bill Fairchild
Douglas, Mass.
20 OCT 2003

 

--------------------------------------------

 

From: Ed
To: editor@herbertwarmstong.com
Sent: Sunday, November 16, 2003 12:53 PM
Subject: Re: boy, oh boy

Yeah, Art, I'm with you. This "belief" thing is so mindblowing that sometimes I would just like to scream. But this is not just confined to those who may not have the best education. Even some of the more "intelligent" people cannot deal with a logical mindset when it comes to religion and the fact that they will some day die. It is a tremendous force of self-preservation that complells these people to switch off their logical thinking, if they have any at all, and go into mind-numb-robot mode.

Here is a quote that you may find interesting:

"....Man can contemplate his own mortality and finds the thought intolerable.
Any animal will struggle to protect itself from a threat of death. Faced
with a predator, it flees, hides, fights or employs some other defensive
mechanism, such as death-feigning or the emission of stinking fluids. There are many
self-protection mechanisms, but they all occur as a response to an immediate
danger. When man contemplates his future death, it is as if, by thinking of
it, he renders it immediate. His defense is to deny it. He cannot deny that
his body will die and rot--the evidence is too strong for that; so he solves the
problem by the invention of an immortal soul--a soul which is more 'him' than
even his physical body is 'him.' If this soul can survive in an afterlife,
then he has successfully defended himself against the threatened attack on his
life. This gives the agents of the gods a powerful area of support. All they
need to do is to remind their followers constantly of their mortality and to
convince them that the afterlife itself is under the personal management of the
particular gods they are promoting. The self-protective urges of their
worshippers will do the rest."
[Desmond Morris, "Religious Displays," _Manwatching: A Field Guide to Human
Behavior, 1977, Abrams, New York, p. 149-51.]"

Regards,
Editor

 

To: editor@hwarmstrong.com
Sent: Friday, July 04, 2003 1:50 PM
Subject: boy, oh boy

Editor, please post somewhere on the recent email from kooks, nuts, and loonies page, that the stated premise that the universe appears to be designed does not necessarily lead to the conclusion that the Bible is his word! I'm referring to Marcy's email(s). I'm always dumbfounded when people begin by talking about the wonders of nature and conclude by stating that the God of the Bible MUST be real. This kind of thinking is further proof that Logic 101 should be required coursework in high school.

Art Z

----------------------------------------

From: "deb d_______
To: <Editor@hwarmstrong.com >

Sent: Wednesday, August 06, 2003 7:10 AM

(I'm resending this cause I'm not sure I sent it to the right address
before.)
Hi Editor,
I was just reading your email pages and had to comment on something
someone said. They said that they had "big answers to prayer." I had to
laugh. Bear with me. I never once in my life had a prayer answered, no
matter what I did. And the ministers always said it was, of course, my
fault. I was told that if I fasted then God would hear me. I used to fast
for days and pray my heart out and got no response from Mr.God. I grew up in
a foster home where I was told every day that I was less than scum and
worthless. I was beneath everyone. I grew up feeling inferior and unworthy,
and when I joined the church I thought that even if no one on earth loves
you, every one said that God did. Well, he didn't. No matter how hard I
prayed or gave tithes and offerings or tried to be good or keep the
commandments, etc. I just wasn't good enough for God either. The first crack
in my faith was when I had a kitten that I dearly loved who was the first
being to ever love me...he was my boy...and one day when I was out my foster
mother had him poisoned. He was only eight months old. He suffered horribly
before he died...the whole time I prayed and fasted and begged God with deep
dying sobs and all my being to please please God, please help him and let
him live. I even asked the ministers to annoint him which they refused. My
kitty died a horrible death and I felt like the world had come to an end. I
can't even describe the horror and agony and pain and loneliness I felt.
Some people say it was "only a cat" but there are other people who
understand how I felt about him. Anyway of course the ministers put it on
me. I must have done something wrong. It was of course my fault...now on top
of everything else, it was MY fault that my kitty died. I didn't understand
how it would have hurt God to have let him live, but He wouldn't.. (nice
God, huh?) Anyway I say all this to tell you that it must be nice to have
this god give big answers to someone's prayers when he wouldn't let a lonely
unwanted girl have so much as a little kitten to love her... like it would
have been any skin off his nose to have let him live...but it was the first
sign that there was something wrong somewhere, something was rotten in
Denmark. And through my life he never once answered a prayer. The church
used to say that if you tithe and give god his ten percent that he would
provide all your needs. Haaaaaaa!!!!! I'd tithed faithfully to this god for
years and sent offerings and he let my child and I wind up homeless and
hungry. Nice guy, huh? Of course the believers will have a million billion
excuses to explain this "god's" behavior. And of course it will be all on
me. Funny how the atheists and non believers I knew never wound up homeless
or hungry. As the years went by it just became obvious that if there is a
god he sure is a cold heartless one...favoring some people with millions
while he lets others starve and suffer and die, even children. Made no sense
to me. ( As the ministers used to scream if you asked a question, "ARE YOU
QUESTIONING GOD?) that was their standard answer, and I say "no" cause I
feel that there just couldn't be one. Because I used to think all
along."having a god and not having a god...what's the difference?" None. So
thank you for letting me vent that.

Megan

You're welcome, Megan. Nice rant...:)

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To: editor@herbertwarmstong.com

Sent: Sunday, November 16, 2003 12:53 PM

Subject: Re: From Someone Who Grew Up In It...

DC: Thanks for your message. Yes, life is confusing to those that will use their brains. There must be answers, right? We logically think that there should be. We want answers. We need answers. But, unless you are willing to turn off your brain and mindlessly follow those who say they have answers, without any proof, you are not going to find any answers that will satisfy you. That is the one thing that we should all learn out of our cultic experiences: Don't accept anything without proof. Religionists rely on your fear of death to keep you in line. They say they have the answers but it is all BS. No meat. No potatoes. Only false hopes. Religion is a drug. The only answer is that there are no answers. Get the most out of this life, it may be all we get. Good luck to you.

Editor

 

----- Original Message -----

 

Sent: Thursday, July 10, 2003 3:05 PM

Subject: From Someone Who Grew Up In It...
Orginal Letter sent to h ttp://home.datawest.net to Dee but return letter said best sent to you. Happened on their site by mistake - I assume, and it just hit home....I could fully relate to alot that was being said.
I could fill books I think instead of just a letter but only recalling some things below...most of my entire first 17 years (about 66-79) I can't seem to remember at all...I attended wwcg for my entire childhood with a brief return in 83 at Big Sandy.

Any contacts with prior kids that grew up in it at the time may be referred or email shared.....


Thank You

Subj: DEE...------Ok...Giving This A Shot--IT is very long...  
Date: 7/9/2003 11:54:57 PM Central Daylight Time
From: RareKnightt

First Letter...more might follow.....scarely brushes some things I recall,etc...


Frankly, I have no real clue why I'm writing...I was actually doing some research on the old WWCG to see if I could find some stuff and original writings...as part of my "rethinking a lot of things".

Let me explain...

>From about the age of 4 or 5, when my mother was "called" and started with the wwcg (which then had churches in Atlanta and later Chattanooga,Tn. ) and until about the time I was 16-17 years old, and again briefly a couple of times...(attending the above locations as well as Big Sandy-TX, Gasden-AL, Rome-GA )...and  going to camp at SEP-Orr several times -- I grew up in "the church".

It was what I knew and the lader times it was in more of a "searching for what I knew capacity" of belonging.
My mother continued to attend right up until about the "split" and about the same time lost my brother at sea (95), both of which kind of sent her over the edge and became someone extremely bitter...we still do not talk.
In fact, just after she had quit I lit into her about it was what she knew and belived in...even though I had long been away from it and knew little of what was going on in general...and in fact - doing my own thing because I certainly was not interested in "any of that crap".

I did occassional "lone" to return to "something" that was true and real and had a base of belief...but can't say I really believed most of that...
I just grew up living it...I didn't really have a choice.

I certainly felt anger and contempt for any other teachings in the world...especially anything to do with any "christain" churches that numbered in the many "different" names and messages.

It made me sick to hear someone even say "Jesus"...after all...who in
the hell could think "floating on some cloud with a harp or burning forever without the aid of a feeling body in tow" like these "idiots were spewing out of their mouths like some dam nuts...as far as I was concerned...religion was a complete and total ripe off.

Please excuse the extra wording but use it only in this context of expressing what I did in fact feel.

I still, later, had a yearning for "something"...but certainly nothing that was religous in nature...after all - if there's only one true real GOD why couldn't "they" name him (in my name...ok...what name?...if he said come in my one name how is it there's hundreds used....this was my thinking) about any of the rest by then.
Why were there so many different kinds and types of teachings....so, over time, I half heartedly studied them all...not any of the mainstream christan stuff...but alot of eastern stuff...always looking for some clear answers that made since.

To me...a higher mind...a higher intellenge, a greater power...which was in me and everything else as one giant body seemed alot more real and direct.
Like I said..I studied it all...if it was taught...I bet I've at least looked into it.
And while alot of things made more since than others and all religions must really all be the same at the very core and we all simply...whether over one or many lifetimes end up becoming an ever intensely growing light which at it's futhest point is GOD....the culmination of us all as we became perfected.

Thing is...because of everything I was "gaining knowledge of"...I was only becoming more and more confused by the minute...something pulling me back to what I did know growing up but hardly wanting anything "JESUS" of whomever was associated with because that made no sense.

Recently I have been watching more and more christan tv...ie: TBN and several of the shows...which in the past may have scannned over breifly and certainly flicked off of should someone have stepped into the room.

Due to many circumstances of (once again) some things falling apart I became more willing to be alittle more open...even some prayer but still interjecting bits and pieces of all else I seemed to know...but trying.

My wife grew up in "these other churches" and was in fact married to a minister for 21 years before they parted and before i met her. She detested the "thing" because it had not been a great experience but alot different than my own experiences...in and out of any given thinking on it.


But we both are trying now...not sure where it's going exactly...but trying to be more silent and open...hoping for a more direct link to a "KNOWING"...neither of us can at this point really say we believe in any thing...but we do want to have a KNOWING.

But back to the start...


I happened on your site while looking for other wwcg related stuff...maybe looking for something I had missed somewhere...not sure why.
And when I started reading some of your site I was briefly thinking that "yelp", here's the other side hitting what I knew about as a kid square in the mouth with what must be their "vision" and why everyone else was wrong.

I was just fixing to click it off and go somewhere else...really thought I had when I must of hit another link on here...and read some more about some of the things "alledged" to have occured....only then....I couldn't say my typical "bullshit" and go on....hell, I had lived most of what I was reading...saw alot of it....not sure I dared wonder about it.

I remember growing up with nothing...sometimes nothing to eat or wear...but always tithing. I remember being beat daily by my mother...but...that was "just the way things were back then"...though I always though excessive and contributed it just inexperience of a woman at that time raising 3 boys alone.

But I recall, what I can honestly say must of been quite a few men visiting us and spending the night or weekend in my mother's bed...all usually new people at church visiting from some other place. I thought nothing of it. Kids didn't dare think anything like something could be going on. And now even recall there was an elder in the local church who went around every few weeks or month to drop off a case of "foot washing" wine to all the widows and unmarried women. While we occassional did have a small glass of wine with meals...I ask myself now how did we go through 4 gallons of it so often...maybe it means little...I don't know what any of it means. But some things just don't add up anymore...and as I remember some things...alot more doesn't add up.

I remember that for along time we were on food stamps and welfare and I believe on 3rd tithe help most of that time...yet I remember that it was always received in cash and from one of the decons...

....it was said that this was to keep from losing welfare benifits if she had gottten a check from wwcg. I wonder now
...and why I'm repeating this now is beyond me but I destroyed several relationships because I loved the acts and thoughts of watching my wife/g-f with other men...had no clue where that fetish came from or why...but continued for several years...been awhile since those days but I wonder now...what I may have SAW and somehow FORGOTTEN...I can't say. Was there alot more in my childhood that I choose to forget or was too painful to remember...what I do recall...the too little of was not good stuff.

I remember too that there were several times deacons were over to BEAT (spank us for unruly behavior at church) us...I suppose my mother had to rest from beatings for a bit sometimes. I have no clue...in fact...with all that I do know I have so little memory of growing up...I was out helping the family by mowing yards...that's mostly what I recall that resembled good.

I remember several reports of women being "taken" by deacons or related type men who would meet in parks or what have you and ended up "having an affair", or so it was said when later caught. It was usually those being counseled to leave their husbands.

Some of these things I have not gave thought to in years and did not come here to write all this or remember stuff I barely remember or to "take the other side", but now...it's like...something is trying to pour out of me...trying to "become sense"...And my entire life for the most part since has been fear of trying things, hatred for anything authority...even those I was breifly a police officer in the Army...I despised anything "structured"....Only now...and admittedly after reading some of the letters from others on your site has it occured to me that alot of my life is beginning to make ALOT more sense as to how I've thought, acted, choices I've made,etc...

I have recently prayed(meditated-whatever) to come to some kind of knowing instead of the mass confusion..and that if I could only know some kind of truth and light with clarity then the rest would have to be one hell of alot easier to do than what has been.

I'm trying...that's all I can do...I've created or found so many "paths" in my years I've been screwed up over what in the hell is even true...but I'm trying...mostly by just being silent and listening...by asking and hoping.

I don't know what I know....and that's the point.

Thank you for listening....this is incredibly weird...I have not ever mentioned most of this stuff to anyone...including my wife...this is almost crazy///or is it?!

Thank You...

D. C.
P.O.Box 676
Wetumpka, Al.36092

replies to:
beavercreekplace@aol.com




...reading some more...
...maybe more later...and sure..add me to email should others from the areas and locations I attended and sep be interested.

Again...I'm still unsure why I've replied here...but it seems to be directed and in search of answers lead me hear and to do this...

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To: < editor@herbertwarmstong.com >
Sent: Sunday, November 16, 2003 12:54 PM
Subject: Re: Ministers response



I think we gave ministers altogether much too much respect.
They are all, basically, parasites. They live off of the fears of others.
One of their main jobs is to explain why the bible doesn't mean what it says
and why it means what it doesn't say. "God's" chief excuse makers.

Don't expect any answers that make sense. Religion doesn't have to make
sense. It can't make sense or you wouldn't need faith.

Editor


----- Original Message -----
From: "J G"
To: < editor@hwarmstrong.com >
Sent: Monday, July 14, 2003 7:36 PM
Subject: Ministers response


Editor,
I was talking to a minister a few days ago and mentioned that I had read
Gen.3, and could find no mention of any sin committed.
I ask him, "What was the  fall of man, and what was the sin ?
He replied," Why would you want the answers to such questions"?
I already know the answer, but I don't think many 'ministers' do, or even
care.
Jim

------------------------------------------------

To: < editor@herbertwarmstong.com >
Sent: Sunday, November 16, 2003 12:55 PM
Subject: Re: Does the Dead Sea Scrolls mean anything? If they mean
something, does that mean I'm going striaght to hell?



Susie,
Thanks for your message.
YOU WROTE:
It is very clear to me that all this misfortune happens precisely because of
religion.

REPLY:
I think we can agree that there is an awful lot of evil that is done in the
name of religion. Who really needs a devil when we have religion?

YOU WROTE:
a lot of my nagging suspicions from reading that little black book.

REPLY:
That's all it is: a book. Remember that. There is  no proof at all that it
is any more than just a book.

YOU WROTE:
Accordingly to it, my grandmother, who had passed away in 1997 due to
cancer, and had done nothing but good deeds all her life, will go to hell.

REPLY:
Yes. Exactly what it teaches.
As Robert G. Ingersoll said: "God so loved the world that he made up his
mind to damn a large majority of the human race."
Is that the kind of God that anyone that can use their brain would want to
worship? I guess maybe if you are one of those that will be saved. To hell
with all the rest as long as "I" get my butt saved. What a loving god.
If there is a God who finds it appropriate to condemn for all eternity those
who live by reason and sensible judgement, then I have to conclude that this
is not a god but a monster. Who would want to live forever with such an
irrational being? Who needs a devil when you have a god like this?

YOU WROTE:
I am now more or less what you would call a Deist, sometimes Agnostic

REPLY:
I know what you mean. This is where you will be when you can think for
yourself and think logically.

YOU WROTE:
But getting acquainted with the little black book had been a crippling
experience for me.

REPLY:
Unfortunately for you, you actually read it.
Most Christians don't even know what is in the book or what the teachings of
their church are. But they will defend it to the death; most likely the
unbeliever's death, not theirs. They don't know what they believe, they just
believe. Its called "faith," meaning that they don't have to have any proof
of what the believe, all they have to do is "believe" it. Yeah, I know, it
is crazy. It is like a cancer of the brain. You could feel sorry for them if
they were only harming themselves. But they are not satisfied with just
practicing their religion and leaving other people alone. No. They have to
inflict their insanity on others so that they can feel like they are indeed
right if more people than themselves believe their insanity.

YOU WROTE:
I get bad panic attacks at night sometimes, wondering what would happen to
me if I was wrong?

REPLY:
Kind of a twist on Pascal's Wager.
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

Why worry about it though? If there is a good and just God, will he condemn
you for demanding believable proof before you will follow ANY religion? I
would think that HE would praise you for not following any fool that comes
along and tells you that he knows what god wants you to do. Why would you
believe him? Why should you have to accept someone else's ideas about how
you should follow a god? Maybe this person had a personal revelation from a
god but that proves nothing to you. You are not responsible for what someone
else believes. You are responsible for yourself and, if you accept anything
without proof, you must be considered a fool or at least gullible.

Also see my page regarding who is responsible for communicating directions
and instructions at www.hwarmstrong.com/communication.htm   Any god
worth his spiritualness would have to accept the responsibility for
communicating whatever He wanted to His creation, otherwise He is without
excuse and can't place the blame on his creation.


YOU WROTE:
And my final question to you is, does the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls
means that my disbelief in Christianity is wrong?

REPLY:
The only thing that the Dead Sea Scrolls prove is that the Jews/Christians
have a book that is old. It doesn't prove that the book is holy. It doesn't
prove that the book was inspired by a god. It doesn't prove that everything
in the book is true or should be believed. All it proves is that the book
has been a very succesful tool for controling people for a very long time.
It has been a good money maker for unscrupulous men who are too lazy to go
out and get an honest job.

All you have to do is try reading the book and you will see that it is a
garbled mish mash of a bunch of religious crap. Religious scholars realise
that it is filled with errors and inaccuracies. Ministers spend their lives
trying to defend the book and try to make excuses for it.  They go around in
circles. You can't understand it until you believe it but you can't believe
it until you understand it. And so it all goes back to Faith. Faith meaning
that you must believe without having any proof.

YOU WROTE:
Hopefully one day I can convince my poor cousins and friends to stop
tithing.

REPLY:
Good luck. They do it out of fear. Fear is the great tool of the religious
con-men.
I have never been more "blessed" than after I left religion altogether. I
have all my money and I have all my time. God, if there is a god, has not
cursed me one little bit. I was more cursed by the religious con-men.

YOU WROTE:
Hopefully the ills of reading the bible will disappear finally.

REPLY:
The more you read and educate yourself about this evil book, the more you
will be glad if you never see it again.
Here is a good place to start:
http ://www.infide ls.org/library/historical/fai.shtml

Good luck to you in your search for truth. Don't accept anything without
proof. And don't accept their "proof" without proof.

Warm regards,
Editor

-----------------------------------------

From: "Ed"
Sent: Sunday, November 16, 2003 12:56 PM
Subject: Re: favoritism


Lisa,
Yeah, the bible is obliviously written by men and not any god. How we could
have ever thought otherwise explains how so many continue to revere such an
evil book.

Regards,
Editor


----- Original Message -----
From: "Lisa W"
To: < editor@hwarmstrong.com >
Sent: Monday, September 22, 2003 11:42 AM
Subject: favoritism


Hi again.

Was looking through your list again of the "God of the
Bible" and had another thought about God's favoritism.
You sited the scripture in Deut. 14.  If you read on
into Deut. 21:15, you see that He also shows
favoritism toward a first born son.   There is no
issue of a man having two wives and hating one of
them.   But, there is an issue with showing partiality
to the son of the loved wife over the one of the hated
wife.  It says that the actual first born son, if that
of the hated wife, should still get a double portion
of inheritance.  No respecter of persons?  Except
maybe when it's a son, not a daughter and a first born
son over all the others.

Another point I see here is that if God is addressing
the "two" wives without issue of it being more than
one, then it appears to condone polygamy.   This is
also supported in 2 Samuel when God takes credit for
having given David his wive-S as a gift.   If the God
of the Bible didn't condone polygamy, why give
multiple wives as a gift?  And why not condemn it
while addressing the loved wife and unloved wife of
one man, not to mention that a man would be in discord
by "hating" a wife.   Yet, again, there is no issue of
him having more than one wife, nor hating one of them.
The only issue made here is that God wants the first
born son to get godly favoritism with a double portion
of inheritance.    And all the good little Christians
argue that the Bible doesn't have inconsistencies.
Why do they think each church has something different
while coming from the same books?

Again, I appreciate all the effort you've put into
your site.  I enjoy reading it and hope more people
find it so that they might open their eyes!

Thanks,
Lisa E W

---------------------------------------

Subject: Re: Prayers Are Answered in W. Virginia Hometown:

I think you miss the point of my article. It makes fun of any "god"
involvement in this incident. People do all the work and an impotent god
gets the credit.
If a person gets saved during a war, it was god's will and thank you Jesus.
If a person gets killed saving the person, it was god's will and blessed be
the name of the lord.

It is insanity. God is a crutch for weak minded people.The article is not
about Jessica Lynch.

Editor

----- Original Message -----
From: "William B"
To: < editor@hwarmstrong.com >
Sent: Sunday, September 28, 2003 10:43 PM
Subject: Re: Prayers Are Answered in W. Virginia Hometown:


Just read the article about Jessica and how God saved her.
Here is the real story about Jessica.

Her Iraqi guards had long fled, she was being well cared for - and doctors
had already tried to free her. Her rescue will go down as one of the most
stunning pieces of news management yet conceived. It provides a remarkable
insight into the real influence of Hollywood producers on the Pentagon's
media managers, and has produced a template from which America hopes to
present its future wars. The BBC's  'Correspondent'  program reveals the
inside story of the rescue that may not have been as heroic as portrayed.
The story they were told has entered American folklore. Private Lynch, a
19-year-old clerk from Palestine, West Virginia, was a member of the US
Army's 507th Ordnance Maintenance Company that took a wrong turn near
Nassiriya and was ambushed. Nine of her US comrades were killed. Iraqi
soldiers took Lynch to the local hospital, which was swarming with fedayeen,
where she was held for eight days.
Releasing its five-minute film to the networks, the Pentagon claimed that
Lynch had stab and bullet wounds, and that she had been slapped about on her
hospital bed and interrogated. It was only thanks to a courageous Iraqi
lawyer, Mohammed Odeh al-Rehaief, that she was saved.
Trouble is that doctors now say she has no recollection of the whole episode
and probably never will. Her memory loss means that "researchers" have been
called in to fill in the gaps.(Meaning, tell more lies).  The doctors in
Nassiriya say they provided the best treatment they could for Lynch in the
midst of war. She was assigned the only specialist bed in the hospital, and
one of only two nurses on the floor. "I was like a mother to her and she was
like a daughter,"says Khalida Shinah
"We gave her three bottles of blood, two of them from the medical staff
because there was no blood at this time,"said Dr Harith al-Houssona, who
looked after her throughout her ordeal. "I examined her, I saw she had a
broken arm, a broken thigh and a dislocated ankle. Then I did another
examination. There was no [sign of] shooting, no bullet inside her body, no
stab wound - only RTA, road traffic accident," he recalled. "They want to
distort the picture. I don't know why they think there is some benefit in
saying she has a bullet injury."
The doctors told us that the day before the special forces swooped on the
hospital the Iraqi military had fled. Hassam Hamoud, a waiter at a local
restaurant, said he saw the American advance party land in the town. He said
the team's Arabic interpreter asked him where the hospital was. "He asked:
'Are there any Fedayeen over there?' and I said, 'No'." All the same, the
next day "America's finest warriors" descended on the building.
"It was like a Hollywood film. They shouted, 'Go, go, go', with guns and
blanks and the sound of explosions. They made a show - an action movie like
Sylvester Stallone or Jackie Chan, with jumping and shouting, breaking down
doors." All the time with the camera rolling. The Americans took no chances,
restraining doctors and a patient who was handcuffed to a bed frame.
There was one more twist. Two days before the snatch squad arrived,
Al-Houssona had arranged to deliver Jessica to the Americans in an
ambulance. "I told her I will try and help you escape to the American Army
but I will do this very secretly because I could lose my life." He put her
in an ambulance and instructed the driver to go to the American checkpoint.
When he was approaching it, the Americans opened fire. They fled just in
time back to the hospital. The Americans had almost killed their prize
catch.
None of the details that the doctors provided Correspondent with made it to
the video or to any subsequent explanations or clarifications by US
authorities. It overshadowed the fact that the Americans found the bodies of
her colleagues. It was perfect reality TV, made with the active cooperation
of Donald Rumsfeld.  The Pentagon has no misgivings about its media
operation. It is convinced that what worked with Jessica Lynch and with
other episodes of this war will work even better in the future.

William

------------------------------

----- Original Message -----
From: ArtZ
To: Editor
Sent: Saturday, July 05, 2003 12:06 PM
Subject: Re: boy, oh boy

Thanks Ed, that's an interesting quote. Another ingredient of religion and religious thinking that insures its survival - and drives me nuts - is the notion that God uses human agents to urgently spread his message and urgently procure his will on earth; when, all along, if he wanted all this done that darn bad, all he needed to have done is start talking! He could clear up the religious inconsistencies, get everyone on the right path, insure that there's plenty of food and water for everyone, and so on. But we know that's not how it works. Hence, in the Christian tradition, the urgency of "spreading the gospel" -- getting it to as many people as possible, because time is short you know!! -- and helping those who can't help themselves, etc., Now, no one would object to the ethical importance of the latter, on the human level, but it is mind-boggling how people can truly believe a LOVING GOD expects finite humans to aid the world's unfortunate, while he sits and watches the whole drama unfold and does absolutely nothing. Furthermore, these same Christians/other religionists believe that indifferent human beings are among the most despicable kinds of people - the kind of people who live in luxury or even moderate wealth and comfort, while turning a blind eye to the poor, starving, and homeless, and suffering of the world. Well, that's exactly what their God is doing! My mother was watching the news the other night, and the reporters were walking through an Iraqi village of some sort, and it was showing the very, very poor living conditions of these people. There were lots of kids around, and that sent her over the edge. She couldn't stand it, she thought it was awful. I asked her if she would do something about it if she could, and she said, "Yes! Of course!" I said, "Well, then you are a better 'person' than God, because he CAN do something about it and doesn't." I think it's the first time I've ever seen a light bulb, however dim, go off in her head.

Art Z

----- Original Message -----
From: Editor
To: Gregory H
Sent: Friday, July 04, 2003 3:50 PM
Subject: Re: boy, oh boy

Yeah, Art, I'm with you. This "belief" thing is so mindblowing that sometimes I would just like to scream. But this is not just confined to those who may not have the best education. Even some of the more "intelligent" people cannot deal with a logical mindset when it comes to religion and the fact that they will some day die. It is a tremendous force of self-preservation that complells these people to switch off their logical thinking, if they have any at all, and go into mind-numb-robot mode.

Here is a quote that you may find interesting:

"....Man can contemplate his own mortality and finds the thought intolerable.
Any animal will struggle to protect itself from a threat of death. Faced
with a predator, it flees, hides, fights or employs some other defensive
mechanism, such as death-feigning or the emission of stinking fluids. There are many
self-protection mechanisms, but they all occur as a response to an immediate
danger. When man contemplates his future death, it is as if, by thinking of
it, he renders it immediate. His defense is to deny it. He cannot deny that
his body will die and rot--the evidence is too strong for that; so he solves the
problem by the invention of an immortal soul--a soul which is more 'him' than
even his physical body is 'him.' If this soul can survive in an afterlife,
then he has successfully defended himself against the threatened attack on his
life. This gives the agents of the gods a powerful area of support. All they
need to do is to remind their followers constantly of their mortality and to
convince them that the afterlife itself is under the personal management of the
particular gods they are promoting. The self-protective urges of their
worshippers will do the rest."
[Desmond Morris, "Religious Displays," _Manwatching: A Field Guide to Human
Behavior, 1977, Abrams, New York, p. 149-51.]"

Regards,
Editor

---------------------------------------

----- Original Message -----
From: fosterchyld@_____

To: < editor@hwarmstrong.com >
Sent: Sunday, October 12, 2003 4:14 AM
Subject: Just Some Thoughts



To The Editor:

First of all I want to thank you for the site you have made available. I
have been following it off and on for a few years now, though I don't recall
exactly when I first found it. It has given me a sense of sanity to know
that I am not the only one that is still healing.

I spent sixteen years in the world wide church of god while living in New
Jersey. I witnessed and experienced many traumatic things during that time.
I am sure we all did. I do not know how much my words can do to help anyone
else, other than perhaps adding to the knowledge that although the memories
and painful emotions that come with those memories may never leave us, there
is always still hope because- we made it out.

I have not marked this e-mail private, nor do I desire my name or e-mail
address to be withheld. However, if you decide to post this on your site I
want to say to anyone who may read it, that I do not hold any one minister
or person who may have been in contact with me responsible for what happened
in the past. The psychological control over everyone in that church is far
too rampant to ever find anyone to blame. Even those that hurt me the most,
were more than likely hurt as well.

I was raised from birth within the church, as were my older brothers. When
world wide fell apart my father left the church, and found peace in a
christian belief system. At this time I also left the church. My mother
however chose to follow Roderick Meredith, first to Global, then on to
Living. She still remains within the grasp of mind-control. I am twenty-one
now and have moved far away from New Jersey, partially hoping to leave
behind the memories.

I have heard comments that those of us who were young children in the 80s
and teens in the 90s escaped the brunt of the church's poor practice of
religion. I don't agree. Perhaps some things were more relaxed, but most
rules were just as strict, and the same beliefs were preached.

After leaving the church, I dove straight into atheism, although not truly I
suppose. I could not shake the belief that World Wide's version of god
existed, and for that reason I hated anything to do with god or religion.
Until recently I could not even tolerate the terms "god" or "jesus" and
insisted that if friends had to speak about religion they must shorten the
words to "j-word" or "g-word". I could not tolerate anyone talking about the
end of the world, because it angered me so much. This would not have been so
bad if I had not hated myself as deeply as I hated the idea of god. I hated
myself for two reasons. First, for leaving the church. Second, for ever
believing in it in the first place. It's interesting how our emotions can
work on two levels at once.

Since then, with the help of a wonderful friend who also grew up in the
church, and other wonderful friends who have been tolerant of my views and
my emotions, I have healed quite a bit. I am now studying comparative
religion for the sake of knowledge, though have no intention of ever
claiming a religion. I found everything I needed as far as spirituality is
concerned, within myself. I am also studying to become a metaphysical
minister, which I'm sure contradicts myself, but for reasons I won't take up
your time to explain, it feels right to me.

I guess the reason I am writing this is because for many years I didn't
believe I would ever be free, despite whether I was in or out of the church.
This was magnified by the difficulty of having a family member still within
the church. My mother is a wonderful miserable woman, who I wish I could
reach in and snatch out of the hands of those beliefs. But that's her
choice, not mine, and until she figures it out I won't punish her for
believing the same things we all did for a long time.

But now I am free, and if you are an ex-member so are you. Maybe the
nightmares don't go away completely, but they will get less and less. Maybe
the fear, and the old beliefs, still haunt you, but they haunt less and
less. The world I grew up in seems like a different lifetime completely.
Yet, it is still an important part of what made me who I am today. Maybe had
I a normal childhood, if there is any such thing, I would be leading a very
different life, whether happier or not. I like who I am today, I like my
life today, though I still struggle. I hope that we all can get to that
point and beyond. I think this site helps people to do that, however they
choose to do it.

I had friends in the church who were almost siblings as much as I saw them.
I was homeschooled and the church was my whole world. I care about the
people, including my own family, who suffered and are still suffering. I
bless each one of them, not with god's blessing, or goddess', or allah's, or
any other figurehead of any religion, and certainly not with my own
blessing, but a blessing that can only come from within each of us, for us.
The blessing of the knowledge of hope. Come what may, we made it out, and
though we struggle, we are no longer controlled. I am embracing my freedom.

Kellie F (Chesterfield, NJ)

"...we are no longer controlled. I am embracing my freedom. "

Love that! Be well and stay strong.... Editor

-------------------------------------

----- Original Message -----
From: everprince
Sent: Thursday, November 13, 2003 12:15 AM
Subject: wrong

You never disproved the bible, it has been, as it has been since archeology began and before, proven to be historically accurate. As for the bible advancing nonthing, where is your common sense? The founders of the usa were Christians who left to get away from what you are complaining about. Also, how is getting eternal life advancing nothing?

Just because you don't see miracle whirlwnds or pillars of fire (and even if you did big deal) doesn't mean people havn't gotten eternal life. Your life is apparently very boring, as broed as many Christians are, and needlessly, most of use realize life won't always be striving with God for what we want, or what he wants.

Stop making comments without backing it up, opinions will be and always have been useless filler thatn usually lead people to hell.

http://religions.cjb.net read it

No thanks. I'd rather have my teeth drilled and read Michael Moore.... Editor

----------------------------

Sent: Tuesday, September 16, 2003 9:30 AM
Subject: GTA bites the dust


http ://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=34620

And his family can't understand why he wasn't healed! Irony? Just
desserts? Whatever....

Scott

-------------------------------




 

 

 

 

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