Email To The Editor
(Mail from Kooks, Nuts and Loonies is on another page)
I was hoping you could help me find some people I'd like to be able to contact directly. Last known locations for them would be fine, if that's what you have. The reason for my request is that I am doing research for an article (or perhaps a monograph) on the role of the various apostate movements in bringing about the changes that the WCG has undergone in the last decade. (Or the lack of such role, if this should be the case.) I have a small grant from the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion that has helped me travel to Pasadena and spend time researching in the church archives there. I've interviewed a number of people about these events, and would like to be able to interview more. Hence, this email query to you.
I would like to be able to find Ted Herlofson, Virginia Kineston, and Sherwin McMichael, for starters. Would you happen to know where I might find them?
I appreciate any help you might be able to give me.
Brenda D______, Ph.D.
Don't know those people, Brenda. Maybe one of the Dear Readers here can help?
Reply to Jeff Diehl:
I responded to your earlier post, and will respond to this one as well.
You ask "why were we in the church".
My dad's mother was a religious fanatic. They were Lutherans, but even as a young teen at home, my dad questioned some of the teachings. Being the youngest, he probably had that thing about wanting to please his parents, so he remained in the church. He married someone he never should have and moved several states away due to his job. She cheated on him and they get divorced. My dad travels to the opposite part of this country (USA) and meets my mom on a job assignment. They end up getting married and move to the midwest.
Meanwhile, my dad, looking for answers and probably feeling guilty about the divorce and such, was ripe pickins for a fast talking minister who sounded SO SURE about the future. My dad felt his church had let him down, and here was a church with an answer for everything. The worldly churches couldn't be right, because they were "satanic". Promises of ruling in the millenium with Christ and becoming a king and a priest was pretty heady stuff.
My parents took the PT and listened to the broadcasts all through the 60's. My dad started tithing to the church YEARS before becoming baptised and allowed to attend church. I would hardly call that "greedy". They believed they were helping with "God's work". (Little did they (or I) know about all the Dom Perigon and trinkets from Harrod's of London.) They counseled once in the mid 60's, but the church decided they weren't "ready" yet. Finally, in 1971, after getting the third degree counseling (divorce info included), my parents were both baptized and allowed to attend church. My dad's divorce was ruled fraud (on the ex-wife's part) by the ministry at the time. So our family remained intact, unlike scores of others who were forced apart by having to choose between God/the church vs. Love/their family.
In some ways, I wish my parents would have had to choose. Maybe we could have all avoided this whole "true" church/cult experience.
I was 11 when we came into the WCG in 1971, so I had a normal, happy childhood. Suddenly I had to drop out of scouts (Saturday activities). There were no other WCG kids in my school at the time, and no Jews either, so I was the weirdo of the school. I did hang out with some other freaky religious kids, and lost several good friends. The friendships I was able to maintain, became rather strained at best. They never could remember about Christmas or birthdays. They couldn't understand that I believed Christ was our Saviour. Couldn't do school functions and dances. Couldn't date. This was before YOU officially started. Luckily makeup was "OK" when I became old enough to wear it, so I didn't have that burden to bear as well.
I remember we had some very long winded sermons, boring as hell most (but not all) times. A friend at church advised me to take many notes, and the time would go faster. It helped somewhat. Taking notes meant listening, so I heard all the sermons about the tribulation, place of safety, being a "true Christian" and STILL not qualifying to live forwever! Nazis, meat hooks, photos in the PTs about the concentration camps were pretty frightening. I WANTED God's protection, because I knew if I was tortured, I would probably deny God and the church, and lose out forever. I read Ann Frank's Diary many times. I read The Hiding Place , and whatever else I could find about nazi Germany and the camps. I had this great fear growing up, that I could never measure up, and would end up being tortured and killed in a death camp. "1975" was coming quickly, and was a constant worry.
Even when 1975 came and went, it was all "just around the corner", "the next decade", and eventually, "before the end of the century".
Finally, HWA died, things started changing. Several of the changes were for the better, but the "trinity" thing and the "nature of God" was very confusing. Our own minister didn't understand the changes, so he preached on safe subjects, like love, and Christian living. My husband and I finally left WCG in 1995.
We left WCG in 1995 because of the lies from Tkatch. "This is not a change" or "you ALL misunderstood it wrong". Yeah, right. My parents and sister left 9 months later. We all ended up in Global, which became Living. My husband and I quit Living, and were churchless for awhile, then saw Gerald Flurry on tv one day. The program was very obviously aimed towards Worldwide members. My BIL wanted us to look at the PT website before we got so excited about the PCG. But we didn't. We figured Satan had gotten to him and he was going to lose out on everything, so we better not go there. So we attended PCG (after getting the third degree) from early 2000 until Nov. 2001. Before long, I (we) were getting fed up with the PCG, so I got online and looked up the PT website.
UNfortunately, our last year in PCG was a third tithe year. Bummer!
My parents and sis are still in Living. My mom is the most open minded, but she says "if we leave the church, where would be go". My dad is the religious fanatic in our family, so mom and my sister follow him along in what he wants to do or feels is right. I've tried to show them stuff off the internet. Mom will read through some things, but overall Dad won't. My sister is afraid to question "church authority", so she goes along. They're not happy though.
So "greed" (spoken of in earlier posts) is not what keeps my parents going. They honestly BELIEVE that they will be kings and priests one day with Christ, and teach the world the way to live. They've (along with my husband and I), have sent multiple thousands through the years. They think they are serving God, so they stay. I (we) thought we were serving God.
Why did I first start attending? I was a kid and got stuck.
Why did I stay? I came to believe the church (even though petty issues bothered me) teachings. Fear of losing out on eternal life (and never seeing our little stillborn baby again) is what kept me in as long as I did. Also, frying in the lake of fire did not appeal to me either. Plus I knew my parents would be deeply hurt if I quit, so I stayed 7 years longer than I really wanted to.
Why did we leave? Because of what we found out online and through books about "the apostle", the MANY financial, spiritual and emotional abuses that have happened in "the church". Not to mention the suicides, ruined health, and needless deaths of many. Lies, hypocrasy all started at the top by our "grandfatherly" figure Herbie, himself.
Celebrating two years of freedom!
Hi Ed Sr,
I got to your site chasing information about Bobby
Fischer - I'm a chess fan. I had known for decades in
a vague sort of way that he was involved with WCG, a
cult that kept peculiar sabbaths etc, without ever
learning more about the cult in question.
I found your site absolutely fascinating. I've never
been a cult member - religion has very little meaning
for me but I have seen a few friends and family
members go through absolute shit because they got
sucked into some cult or the other. The worst part of
it was of course, that they didn't even figure that
they were going it while it was happening.
I never understood why. Your site goes a long way
towards helping me understand how these situations
occur. I think you're doing a great job educating
people in general though very few of them will believe
Don't let the loons put you off. Keep going!
Thread-Topic: Some Historical Facts
To: <firstname.lastname@example.org >
I found your website fairly interesting however I do have some questions for you as well as some points my self. These are mainly of a historical nature as I have somewhat of a passion for the subject.
You mentioned that religion led directly to the period called the dark ages called this because of the misery thar so many people were afflicted with at this time (your article titled a stake through the heart of the bible). However this is not completly accurate as one of the main causes of the name the dark ages is in fact because compared to other periods there is little documented about it. That is to say it is called the dark ages because we cannot see it. You also mentioned how religion had not offered any technological, medical or educational systems. Again this is not completly true. the Benedictine monk Mendel did extensive resarch on the subject of Genetics the priests at the temple of Apollo in Greece were some of the first to logically begin catalouging the causes of disease, now while not very successful it does show a enthusasim for a sicientific line of enquiry. The monks of the middle ages also give us a basis of Western Democracy. While this is usually associated with Greek Athenian Democracy in fact the system of electing a rulwer who then rules for a set period of time (often 7 years) in fact is a later development. In addition there is the art which religion has inspired as can be demonstated by St Pauls Cathedral in London the Parthanon in Greece or the Pyramids in Egypt.
You mentioned how religion leads to stagnation and a backwards society. However this point can not be completly proved after all almost every Society has had religion at the centre of it yet has been able to develop. For a 21st century example the British head of State the Queen is also the head of the Anglican Church. The Romans Greeks and Eygptians all believed extensivly in religion yet could not be associated with a backward society. By comparison the Soviet rule was very much a athiest state yet killed millions while the atrocities perpetuated by the Chineese governmentare also backed up by an athiest state.
It follows then that religion is a factor in history rather than a complete cause of anything. Take the Dutch Revolt in the 16th century the traditional view of this was a war between Protestants and Catholics however other causes such as the Tenth Penny Tax the oppression by the Duke of Alva and Spanish Imperialisim also played their part. Indeed the factions in this conflict were fairly flexible in their support. William of Orange (not to be mistaken with the later king of England) was a Catholic fighting for the Protestants untiol late into the revolt. The same can be said about the situation in Northern Ireland. The Ulster Unionists and IRA deal so much in drugs and guns now that they are more like gangsters than relgious fanatics. This can also be linked back to the fact that just because someone believes in God does not mean that a war fought by them will be due to religion. Take the First World War, the American civil war, the Persian War of Conquest, the Campaigns of Alexander the Great, the Vietnam Warthe Icelandic Sea War and so on were all wars which although the combatants may have had religious beliefs these weren't the causes themselves.
At university I do course in historical documentation and the use of sources (although my degree is in Economic History). Strangely enough the New Testament is a a prime example of a reliable histrical source. Why? Because the first copies we have are almost certainly written within half a generation of the original authors. When one looks at the works of Euripidies and Tacitus actually in our possesion now which are copies hundreds of years older than the original sources, then a historian has to take note of the New Testament as a serious historical document. This is coupled with the fact that evidence of Jesus (Jesus Christ is another story) is backed up by independant Roman sources from Ceasers administration. The writings of the Gospels is also rational in terms of its historical significans, the cencus the killing of the innocence by herod and Barabas. by this reckonong then no historian could simply disregard the gospel writers as insane fraudelent mabey but not insane.
I need to ask, what you believe the creators of Christianity got out of it bearing in mind Roman persucution lasted for 150 years?
Some questions, what research goes into your sites? I ask this because you mentioned one of your sources as the discovery channel. Having been involved in History programs myself very briefly it has to be said I have to point out that popular historty programs can be fairly misleading as to how actual evidence was obtained. For example watch any program about Gallillieo and you will be told he proved the world orbited the sun and was called a heretic and imprisioned. In fact at the time of his imprisionont he did not have the complete proof about his theory yet wrote a book about it anyway, the Pope informed him he could not mislead people about things which weren't certainly true. Gallillieo publishd the book anyway and was then imprisioned in his house (not a dungeon) until he hads proved his theory correct at no time was he called a heretic as this not a matter of religious doctrine merely civil protection. The point is that your arguments will become clearer and less emotive if acedemic books are consulted rather than T.V or in many cases websites.
I would also be interested in your view on other religions such as Jewish or Muslims or Buddists.
I hope this letter is as imformative to structuring your futher arguments as your website was I hope it finds a place on your website which seemed to have fairly strict rules as to what was allowed. If you feel you could not put this on the site I would be most grateful to know why so I alter my style
Structuring my arguments, Bernard?
I have no intention of entering into any lengthy debates with fundies who promote the historicity of jesus and the bible. If you'd have spent some time on the Bibliolatry Page, http://www.hwwarmstrong.com/bible-idolotry.htm , you would have gotten the gist of my feelings on the matter.
Your post doesn't tell me which article, specifically, you have a problem with. Your statement: ..."This is coupled with the fact that evidence of Jesus (Jesus Christ is another story) is backed up by independant Roman sources from Ceasers administration." lacks any specific proof as well. Not surprisingly.
Go forth and bring us proof positive of the existence of jesus, and how the Babble is anything but a collection of old, edited, rewritten, and tampered-with writings -- by men -- a couple of thousand years ago or less. Telling me that the NT is 'historical' and of significance does NOT equate to its also being Divinely Inspired, accurate, or believable.
Nov 30 Edit:
You said: "...(your article titled a stake through the heart of the bible)...."
Ya know? I realized after re-re-re-reading your post, that you were speaking of "Wooden Stakes Through the Bible's Heart" By Jim V. Is that correct? It's kinda tough to tell.
That is one intelligent piece of work, sir, and one I would recommend you re-re-read again. In fact? If I had to pick only ONE article on this site, to recommend to a New Reader, this might well be it. Jim hit the nail on the head.
Thank you for reminding me, and for the chance to bring this great article back to the forefront of our attention. Ya done good, Bernard.
A reply to Bernard M. and his e-mail entitled>Some Historical Facts
Who can take you serious when you have 46 errors in spelling during your
discourse? Further, anyone who writes on a modern computer has a spell
check. What is it with you? Are you stupid or just plain illiterate? Perhaps
you are another ignorant ass Christian that speaks out with authority within
the confines of a high school GED!
Here we go again. Jeff Diehl apologizes...or does he?
Jeff Diehl wrote:
You keep missing the point that if someone (like a hillbilly, which again I apologize for) would give their last dime while "serving road kill" to their family was all in the name of God, you're deluding yourself. That guy would give everything he had in order to change his own personal situation for the better. Starve his family, loose [sic] his job, live in poverty, not give medicine, etc. etc. That's greed (mixed with stupidity), not trying to do the work of God. God was who they had to go through to get what they wanted. That's the point you keep missing.
Well, it's clear that logic is not Jeff's strong suit. Jeff, are you naturally stupid, or do you have to work at it? Is this the kind of thought process one can expect to have if one is raised by a Worldwide minister such as your father?
Please break it down for me (and for all the readers on this website who have real minds and can think):
Giving your last dime is greed?
Seeing your family go hungry is greed?
Losing your job is greed?
Living in poverty is greed?
Obeying the church's ORDERS to avoid medicine is greed?
Paying out 1st, 2nd, and 3rd tithe, plus "generous offerings", special donations, and turning in "excess" 2nd tithe is greed?
Your final comment: God was who they had to go through to get what they wanted. That's the point you keep missing.
What? Huh? Excuse me? What did they want, and when did they get it? You call this GREED? Do you own a dictionary? Have you looked up the word "greed"?
Jeff, I think you're brain damaged. Children who suffer from malnutrition often don't develop normally. Your neurons aren't firing. You probably didn't get enough white sugar as a kid.
Or maybe you're just a fucking idiot!
Brenda D.'s mention of Virginia Kineston reminds me of the most
incisive and succinct statement ever made about Herbert W. Armstrong. At
one time this woman was a major player at Headquarters, and knew what she
was talking about. When asked why she hated and despised Herbert, she
replied: "Well, it gets into the core of his personality. I think the man
is a liar, a thief, and a pervert, and I have absolutely no use for him."
This quote is from Ambassador Report #28 July 1984, available for viewing at
this web site.
Linda's response to Jeff mirrors my own answer to his question
concerning the real reason we were in the WCG. Fear of the future was my
initial motivation. Basil Wolverton's illustrations had as much to do with
my "conversion" as any of Herbert's written or spoken words. This was in
1967. The booklet "1975 in Prophecy" had a huge effect on me. I hate to
admit it but I was most interested in saving my wife and myself from some
horrible fate and was willing to do whatever was necessary to avoid it. But
I was also intrigued by the "kings and priests" carrot dangled before me.
Why I stayed for 28 years I don't know. Partly because my wife was happy
there, partly because church members were the only friends I had, and partly
because I truly felt I was a part of something worthwhile were secondary
reasons. But the main reason for my initial contact with Box 111 was the
fear I allowed the WCG to instill in me. With that in place, I was
basically putty in their hands.
Also, Linda's mom asked a question I too have often heard: "If we
leave the church, where will we go?" I went to the public library and later
to the internet. It is amazing what one can learn when you cease censoring
your own mind. I learned that religion is the slickest con game ever
devised. Someone once said, I think it was Voltaire, that religion was born
when the first wise man met the first fool.
Bernard M. was wondering if he should alter his style. I offer this
advice. It has been 40 years since my college English classes, but I
believe your style is what is called "pretentious" and it is never a
substitute for thought. So, yes, you should alter your style. Good writing
is clear writing. By the way, who was "Gallillieo"?
JWG? That was a good post... How many times have I myself echoed this..."kings and priests" indeed.... Good recap.... Thank you.....
Yes. Linda's responses have been pretty damn worth noticing, IMO.
You spoke of Brenda's post: another Reader wrote in this ---
Yo, Editor, dude...
In reply to Brenda D______, Ph.D., who is looking for Ted Herlofson et al...
I'm not absolutely certain, but I believe I heard within the past year or so
that Sherwin McMicheal has passed on to the great Cult in the Sky. Casper
called him home, if ya git my drift. Haven't seen Teddy Boy in a dozen
years, don't know the lady at all.
Rock on, dood!
Brenda, if you give me permission, I'll pass on some email for your quest here. Or post your email address for any replies to you....Jorge knows some things about some things. (How's that for a non-statement? :)
I was reading your page of hate e-mails. I couldn't get all the way through
it, it's just too long. However, I am a little intrigued by the one who was
ranting and raving about how terrible it is to get medical help when God is
supposed to be our ultimate healer.
I can't help but remembering:
1. Paul was never healed of his blindness even though he repeatedly prayed
2. Luke, you know, that Christian about whom the third book of the new
testament was written, was a physician.
As for the editor, I can understand your bitterness. I have experienced
extremely similar situations growing up in Worldwide; the alcoholism, the
physical abuse, the mental abuse, the emotional abuse, the subjugation of
women, the lack of medical care, the lack of dental care. I'm at a point
myself where I don't feel so bitter, but rather empty and feeling lost.
I wish I could offer you more than just empathy, but right now, I don't even
know how to help myself. I'm just trying to keep a positive outlook.
I wish you well, and healing.
Halcyone Carla G______
Carla --- Granted, you're writing to Editor Sr.. I'm the New Editor, but I must ask:
What the hell is "bitter" about showing proof, evidence, that you've given your life over to a conman, and then helping others to see that as well? Sharing the experience after-the-fact with others who have been duped? Others who have been wounded? Bitter? No.... But an awful lot of Fundies want to pigeon-hole it that way.
I wish you well also, Carla. Trust your own mind. Think. Don't ever for another minute give your life to another conman-Priest/Politican. Stand up and be the positive person that you can be -- all it takes is listening to the world, the news, and thinking, and trusting those small voices in your head that say, "This is bullshit...."
Best to ya,
From Jeff Diehl:
Dear Editor, John B, Linda, MAM & others:
I certainly hope everyone had a good thanksgiving, and
enjoyed the company of friends and family. I
appreciate everyone's candor and educated responses
concerning my first posting, and hopefully, this will
be the last. I admit, this has been one of the
healthiest, most stimulating debates I've had in a
long time, and even though i've thrown a couple sucker
punches and taken a few shots to the gut, I would like
to think that it has bettered all of us. I certainly
have learned a lot about myself in the past few weeks,
and hope to utilize the thoughts and ideas from this
forum to see this particular subject in a new light.
For the record, especially to John B. and MAM: I
openly admit, I did not have a bad life. The "you
might have been a preachers kid" was meant more as a
tall story than an attempt for anyone to feel sorry
for me, or my brother, or any other "PK" for that
matter. All of you are absolutely correct. We were
among, as several of you put it, the elite. Our dad's
had a new car all the time, and to those who did not,
I understand how that must have looked. The heat and
air always worked, the gas was paid for and so were
the repair bills. During the Feast, we got a yellow
sticker instead of a green, which got us much better
parking than most others. We got to stay in a nice
place at the Feast (as did many, many other members,
not just ministers). We got better seats during
church. We got the "Minister's Hospitality Room", in
many cases when my parents were in charge of it, most
of the church members from home cooked, baked & helped
make the food for the ministers & their bratty kids to
sit around and eat. We could run in the hall and if a
deacon, hall monitor, public safety officer or usher
told us to stop, all we had to say is, "my dad is a
minister". Pretty much the ultimate backstage pass to
the Feast. To answer John B.'s question, the answer
is no. I did not ask to be a preachers kid, but I
sure was glad to be one. In the wake of all that has
been said over the past few weeks, I would not change
a single thing about the way we grew up, if I had the
chance to do it over again.
I enjoyed the editors quote: "" All that is necessary
for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing ."
(Edmund Burke). I could not agree more. In fact,
that's true about any schoolyard fight when you see
bullies picking on small kids, and cheering them on,
when deep down inside you want to help, but fear
you'll be laughed at next. It's a well thought out
and applicable quote to both my dad, and perhaps
several ministers who fall into the same category. I
really learned a lot from that insight, so thank you.
That's from my dad, to anyone who cares. That's why I
can defend him.
To answer the question I posed to MAM, which the
editor in turn posed to me, "why were you in the
church, think about it?". I was born into the church,
and growing up it was what was taught to me, so that's
where it began. But going to church, listening to the
Young Ambassador tapes, doing YES lessons and coloring
pictures of the lion and the lamb, the world tomorrow
sounded pretty damn good! Getting into my teens and
going to district and regional basketball, volleyball
and track (yuk), I loved every minute of it. All of
the YOU got to stay in hotel rooms, eat together,
travel together & hang out together. And since we
couldn't do anything with school (Friday night
football, Saturday little league soccer etc), then I
wanted something fun for myself (very much so greed).
And that was the material return on investment. You
could have fun and be in the world tomorrow, as long
as you gave up life in the "other world". I
understand this is trivial compared to losing a job
due to church, giving all of your money to church etc.
But the motive still remains the same. I wanted to
ensure my delivery to "the place of safety" so that I
wouldn't have to suffer the embarrassment of the
second resurrection, or don't even think about the
third. The lake of fire sounded like a pretty bad
So in order to secure my own safety, freedom, the
chance to ride a polar bear and live in the world
tomorrow, all I had to do were several things. No
lard, no Twinkies, no Friday football, no Saturday
sports, no dating a girl outside of the church, no
ham, shrimp, Jell-O, no Saturday morning cartoons, no
Friday night Knight Rider show, do YES lessons, in
addition to regular schoolwork, do NOT get a job in
high school requiring work on a Friday night after
five or starting before Sundown on Saturday and many,
many other trivial things. All of that to get in.
That's how bad I wanted it (and mind you, I was 15
years old when I finally quit going to church, not 40)
I'm only 29 now.
Do I still suffer from the teachings of the church?
In a way, yes. I remember my parents always telling
us, "it's better to give than receive". True, it
feels good to give to someone else who doesn't have
what you have. The problem (as so many members
already know) is that it lends itself to being taken
advantage of. I've given more bums in my city a
couple of bucks here, a couple of bucks there for
"food", or "diapers" or whatever seemed like the nice
thing to do. But in the end, I'd love to have that
money back. And on a small scale, I understand Ed
Sr's frustration. It's not like the money I gave them
went for food, it went for drugs and alcohol (I'm not
trying to make broad generalizations, but it did)
just like the 3rd tithe never went to orphans and
widows, it went to the ministers (not ALL ministers,
but it did). However now instead of getting mad at
the world for not enforcing panhandling in my city, I
don't give them the money. And, I'm much happier for
I guess what I meant by "greedy, really really
greedy", was that I myself never spent any time trying
to recruit new members or kids. And most of you
probably didn't either. Sure, we say we "honored
God", but that was only because we had to. Not many
people in the church (or many churches for that
matter) love god so much that they would endure the
pain & suffering that so many did. It was only to get
what we wanted. I enjoyed the aloofness of "being in
the club". There are times when I wish I could go
back to that state of mind. Protection from the
outside world by being in the Worldwide Church of God
was great. And I can't imagine from what I saw
growing up that all of the church members suffered
24/7 while being in the church. I have a lot of fond
memories with many different members, kids and adults,
that I wouldn't trade for the world.
Everything must come to an end at some point. The
past is what makes us who we are today. It's up to us
to decide who we want to be. Linda indicated that she
is still recovering, and I'm sure that many more are.
Alcoholics who have been sober for 10 years still
consider themselves recovering, yet go on to very
productive and meaningful lives, without still placing
blame on whose fault it was. In the end, it's our own
selfishness, greed and self indulgence that gets us to
our final destination.
By the way, my brother and I did tithe. It used to
piss me off something fierce to give two bucks out of
my monthly allowance in the offering (which is a lot
when you're twelve). However, I can still remember a
sense of pride filling out one of the cool yellow
envelopes to put in the basket, instead of just
dropping in cash.
And for all of the content of this massive website,
which truly houses many peoples feelings, experiences,
and mostly venting, I think Ed Sr said it best.
"I place a value on my brain and will no longer turn
it over to those that want to tell me that they know
what god wants from me, without any proof."
I wish him luck with his retirement, and hope that he
is able to set the bag of bricks down and walk away
from the past. From the eyes of a young "little
brat", thanks again MAM, I hope that you all start
enjoying the present and looking to the future,
instead of living and dwelling on the past and more
importantly, placing blame and accepting
Thank you for allowing me to visit your forum, share
your experiences, and tolerate my opinion. We are all
right, and we are all wrong. At least I learned
something from spending time here. I hope to be able
to check in, in the future.
PS. If you still don't know what GELCO is, you must
not have been a ministers kid. :)
Ya know Jeff? That was a pretty good post. I am impressed with anyone trying to learn something, especially in such a touchy area as this subject. And that's really the object here, after all: learning just what the hell we went through with this cult. Why we did it... Is there something wrong with me for...? How could I EVER think...? Am I the only SOB out there who still gets "guilt shivers" if I go fishing on Saturday morning? Why do I stare at the night sky and feel fear, for harboring the secret thought that "god" doesn't really exist?
A lot of venting DOES go on here. And while I'm no psychologist-type, I can appreciate that, for a lot of people, the mental-emotional pus-draining helps do exactly what you suggested -- move on to better, greater things, with better understanding.
Others here will opine in their own words, but I'd say you're welcome back here anytime, Jeff.
PS -- Oh yeah... Don't be talkin' no more smack about rednecks and roadkill and such.... Don't you know that "roadkill" is considered a basic Food Group with us "hicks"? <grin>
Been offline for a while now and just checked in on the 'ole shinning light of "real" truth.
You well know about "new" truth that replaces the "old" truth because it can only be revealed in "increments" truth. And "new" truth is vital because it clears up all of the confusion created by the "old" truth that isn't "truth" anymore, and was only "partial" truth when is was "new" truth. New truth explains the confusion created by a god who claims he is "not" the author of confusion, yet continually confused the hell out of his "apostle" despite divinely revealed truth and understanding directly from the flawlessly perfect JC and the HS who cannot err even if they tried.
And new truth is especially vital when the HS gets confused about how many days there are until Pentecost, and reveals the wrong number of days to the Apostle -- and it takes many, many years of new truth to clear up this old truth that was "false" truth and forced gods people to keep the wrong day in order to keep the right day, because the new truth proclamed the wrong day to be the right day, but it was proclaimed as truth until the "new" truth became "old" truth and could then be replaced by "newer" truth. The HS changed the new truth into old truth and then back into newer truth simply by proclaiming that 50 was actually 49, and that 49 was actually 50.
Thus the new truth that was "not" truth became "old" truth so that it could be replaced by "newer" truth that was much truer than truth that was once proclaimed to be "new" truth but was now proclaimed to be "old" truth.
I cannot remember if the above is new truth that will "always" be new truth, or if it's new truth that might become "old" truth and will have to be replaced by "newer" and maybe even "newer than new" truth -- I'll get back with you on that....
Thanks a lot for what you said about my article, I am stunned...
I have no idea who the new editor is.
Don't feel bad, Jim. I sometimes don't know myself either:)
Dang good email -- I meant what I said.
The truth is, though, after this? I think I need a cold one... You made my head hurt....
I enjoyed the recent exchanges sparked by Jeff Diehl's
letters. And I appreciate your indulgence to allow
us to continue to vent our thoughts in this forum.
Jeff's rhetorical question of "Why were you really in the Church?",
wanted us to admit our own desire to save our butts from the
alleged later doom promised by the aberrant cult of the WCG.
No doubt that was a desire as the need for self-preservation is
indeed strong in the human species. This is likely an evolutionary
coping mechanism to insure the survival of the species.
But I submit that there is a larger reason for our being in the WCG
or any other religion created by man. It is because of the failure to
follow one of the best pieces of advice to ever have been offered
as a guide to a personal philosophy: Examine your premises.
In this brief letter I refer specifically to questioning those things
assumed or taken for granted. And religious matters are vastly
those things to be examined. The whole of our experiences in the
WCG was built around assumptions carefully fed us by the culture
we are a part of and our handlers who have to get us to happily
surrender our time, treasure and talents--especially our treasure.
Those handlers of ours never wanted us to question the basic
structure made up of unproved assumptions.
I've been thinking about this whole thing as it has come up from time
to time on these websites. Just who is to blame for our having
wasted our lives in Armstrongism? Many of the defenders of the
cult want us to blame ourselves as suggested by Jeff. No doubt
Jeff, as a loving son, wants to hold his dad as blameless. But his
father was a willing participant in herb's racket. So was I. I spent
16 years as a teaching Elder passing on to my fellow fools the
claptrap doctrines I was fed, believed, and lived for 25 years of
my captivity. (You can read an interview with me at
I have been free from religion now for about eight years. My start
on that road began when I questioned my premises in the
last year of my involvement with the wacky world of Armstrongism.
Allegedly true doctrines, allegedly delivered from on high to the
alleged Apostle to the alleged true members of the Church, were
being dumped wholesale by Big Joe in favor of allegedly truer
teachings required to be believed. And other circumstances
came into play forcing me to finally question my assumptions. And
those assumptions had to do with a god, a son of that god, and
an allegedly holy book. All this was was part of my premise
collection. (You can read my exit story on this site. See "How
Did We Get Out?" in the collected papers).
I don't want to expand too much on this subject as it could quickly
become book-size. But I do want to focus on how we are affected
by not questioning the premises particularly in the COG tradition.
Let's start with some relatively recent history going back to the
the first half of the 1800s. That was the time when one
William Miller in New England began preaching and teaching about
the date of the return of a saviour. He had his Bible, a concordance,
and his charts and drawings. It's a fascinating story because it
directly relates to the WCG as a direct descendant of William Miller's
false teachings. A good book on the subject from a Seventh-day
Adventist stance is Francis D. Nichol's, "The Midnight
Also see the fascinating account in C. E. Sears's online book , "Days
of Delusion" on the Seventh-Day Adventist site at
Now, what Miller and his associates taught was pure bunkum. And
I'm sure that there were those back then that said to themselves,
"This is BS." Those people went on to distance themselves from the
movement as they examined the premise, at least of date-setting.
Those folks had no influence on us.
But there were those who didn't question the larger premises of
god/son/bible/prophecy, and even after the collapse of the Millerite
movement, kept the ideas alive. These morphed into The SDAs,
The Advent Christians, the Jehovah's Witnesses and others. The
Church of God movement came down from The SDAs. It's all been
documented. One can trace from William Miller all the way to
Herbert Armstrong just as the many spin-offs of the WCG can
be directly traced back to Herb. It's all so linear whether coming
The point I am trying to make is that the madness continues as
people refuse to question the assumptions of god/son/bible. So
if these are taken as a given then any nut or thug coming along
that will play the right tune for you will have your time, treasure,
and talent. Especially your treasure. The present handlers of the
WCG and some of its spin-offs are masters at keeping the
My observation of the WCG refugees on these various websites is
that the great majority have a common problem in never questioning
their basic assumptions. They ignore the questions that should be
asked and continue in the madness to allow themselves to be
continually afflicted by other handlers, some as ignorant as they,
some out for purely the treasure and adulation. It's so sad. But
people like Flurry, Meredith, Dankenbring, and Little Joe love to have
Take the case of Linda just posted above. She is a descendant
of unquestioning folks and she, herself, doesn't appear to be in
a questioning mode. Again, I mean the questioning of the whole
basic aspect of Christianity and religion in general. Her mother
asked, "if we left the Church, where would we go?" How about
going into the bright, sunlit uplands of freedom in the rejection of
make believe. But that wasn't considered. Premises were
unquestioned. The dull, proud path continued to be trod. I wonder
if Linda can break the flow. That's the whole thing. The flow
of assumptions being passed to other unquestioning folks has
to be broken.
Recently, there were two papers posted on the web that illustrate
exactly what I am pointing to. Two women from the WCG wrote
up their experiences for us. One examined her premises and
is now free and the other continued on in her assumptions leading
to much more suffering. You should read them.
I just dealt with a tiny piece of time from the collapse of the Millerite
movement in 1844 to the fractioning of the WCG 150 years later. In
this time hundreds of thousands of lives were adversely affected
because people failed to examine their premises. And the madness
continues as revealed in these web pages. Well, it no longer directs
my basic approach to life as I broke the flow. I questioned the
whole basic structure of the god premise and ending up throwing it
into the ashcan of discarded mental rubbish man has accumulated
during his brief appearance on this small, blue marble in space.
I like to think that long after our time men will shake their heads in
wonder at some of the make believe we now hold as true. But
that day will be long in coming while men still avoid questioning
their premises. It takes courage to do so, but the payoff is
immeasurable. I know for sure.
Just think of what your life might have been if William Miller back
in the 1830s had heard a small voice in his head saying "This is
bullshit" about his Baptist teachings. He could have broken the
flow leading to our wasted lives. He died with his assumptions
intact after ruining lives in his time with his false teachings. Then
the madness flowed unquestioned down to our time.
Remember, the history of religion is the story of the few wise
manipulating the many foolish.
Thanks for reading.
Jim Baldwin (WCG 1967-1992)
"Just think of what your life might have been if William Miller back
in the 1830s had heard a small voice in his head saying "This is
"This is bullshit", indeed..... Well said.
Jim has given me permission to also post this as an article, so you will see it there soon as well, with the links and all in working order.
This is a fitting end to Email Page 80. Thank you, Jim....
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