A collection of Facts, Opinions and Comments from survivors of Herbert W. Armstrong, Garner Ted Armstrong,  The Worldwide Church of God and it's Daughters.
Updated 01/22/08 02:44 PM PDT

The painful truth about Herbert W. Armstrong, Garner Ted Arrmstrong and the Worldwide Church of God

Articles Pertaining To Herbert W. Armstrong, Garner Ted Armstrong and The Worldwide Church of God

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Email To The Editor
(Page 99)

 

10/22/07

 

Hello:

 

I read the articles regarding Richard Markland in your web site at:

and

You wrote: 

The first thought that crossed our minds, of course...could this be the same Richard Markland who so recently graced our email pages?  A quick web search suggested that it probably is.  Assuming "our" Mr. Markland is the same Richard Markland who writes for 7times.org, he has been quite prolific in recent years on the internet.  We found several samples of his submissions [here  here  here  here] and quite a few others as well.  We also found two news stories (Dayton Daily News and WHIO TV) about the "Covington man" who had been convicted of rape, and this link tells us that "our" Richard Markland is probably the one from Covington, Ohio.

We're still not 100% sure we're talking about the same man.  But if we are, there seems to be a certain logic to it all.  Perhaps Mr. Markland, if he really is guilty, has more in common with Herbert Armstrong than we ever imagined.

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

I can confirm beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Richard Markland that graced your email pages and who wrote for 7times.org and www.worldnewsbulletin.com as well, was indeed a follower of Herbert W. Armstrong. Oh boy was he ever. He began attending when he was just 14 (he was born 7/25/51) in Ohio. He moved to Washington state to avoid the draft and from there moved to Pasadena, CA. where I met him in 1973/1974. I can also confirm beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is the same Richard Markland who was convicted of raping his granddaughter (his second wife's (Linda) son's daughter) and is now in prison. Leslie Turvey in Canada has a "Richard Markland list" in which he sends out periodic updates from information he receives via email from Richard's mother Treva. This is definitely the same Richard Markland (full name, Richard Allen Markland). How do I know this you ask? I am Mr. Markland's first wife.

Pamela
Texas


Wow!  Thanks for writing, Pamela. 

I think what impressed me the most with your ex-husband's communications was his unbridled arrogance and hostility.  In retrospect, I now realize he must have already been on the hook for the rape charge at the time he first contacted us.  Imagine someone facing the likelihood of a life sentence taking the time to attack this website.  One would think he had more important things on his mind.

 

Dear Ed,

I have read much of your website about the painful truth about the WWCOG.

I am a former member of WWCOG (from 1968 till 1979) and suffered many of the same things some of your posters related on the pages of your site. I find your recommendations of finding the truth by reasoning for yourself to be a truth many "Christians" will find hard to swallow but certainly a truth in itself. It takes some people many years to recover from their experience in World Wide. Some never do recover. I consider myself recovered because I no longer allow my experience with WWCOG to have a hold on my life. Perhaps someday I will relate how I was truly saved from WWCOG and Christianity but for now I want to say I hope you continue with your website. Anyone looking for the truth must examine the church they are in, the bible they read and the theory of God. Yes, just as you say, start from the beginning. Very good advice.

Mario

(Please do not use my whole name if you post this to your website as I am not willing to give much time to answer those who will try to "save" me.)

No problem, Mario.  Your identity is safe with us.

 

Hello,

I wrote my horror story already, but I just read Anna's. I really want her to know she is not alone. I had a nervous breakdown a few years ago. Thankfully, I had loving family and friends to help me through, and I was able to get back on my feet and keep my kids and job. I know how hard it is. I have succeeded in some ways, but there is still a very hurt angry person in here that is trying to work it all out. I am still in counseling. I encourage Anna to do the same. It really is helpful.

Debi

 

10/26/07

In a message dated 10/23/2007 4:54:36 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, painfultruth@comcast.net writes:

Thank you for writing.  Your letter has been posted at the website.  Iím very curious about what life was like with Richard Markland, but I respect your privacy and will not askÖunless you donít mind talking about it J.  I never heard of him until he wrote here out of the blue just about a year ago, and I havenít heard anything of him since his sentencing in January

You're welcome. We were so young when we got married. I was 19 and he was 23. I was raised in WCG and so keeping the holy days was familiar although difficult to keep living in the real world as an adult. The financial aspect of it was a huge struggle. Neither one of us were prepared for married life and really didn't have any family to help us. Richard was basically a good guy, I thought. We were just so naive.  

Richard married Linda, a divorcee with two boys, a few years after we divorced. I read in one of his posts that he wasn't very nice to her the first nine years of their marriage. I assume this was due to anger, possibly from our divorce which Richard didn't want. I was surprised though to read his articles on www.worldnewsbulletin.com . They were seemingly full of condemnation, perhaps like the articles HWA used to write. Personally, I prefer articles that uplift and teach. 

As for Richard's conviction, I was shocked and horrified when I discovered that he had been convicted of "felony rape and gross sexual imposition of an 8 year old child." I read in one of his posts after his wife Linda died that his son's were angry and blamed Richard for Linda's death. It is possible that this had something to do with the conviction. The Richard I knew loved children. I find it difficult to believe that he could have done anything like that. Only God knows for sure. 

But as for his condescending attitude, he wasn't really like that when I knew him. He was a lot nicer. Stubborn, yes, but much nicer. He could be condescending on occasion when I would get angry with him, but nothing like in his posts. I guess that is something he developed later in life for whatever reason. 

Personally, I got a lot of use from your web site. When I discovered it a couple years ago, I sat here and read as many of the articles I could. If found it to be of great help in dealing with the pain I endured as a result of WCG. For example, my mother died when I was just 15 because she had a brain tumor and wasn't allowed to take any medication. My father worked in Administration at Ambassador so I found the information concerning many of the people there very interesting. 

Thanks for listening. 

Blessings, 

Pamela

Thank you for the reply.  For the sake of justice, I hope Richard really is guilty.  If heís innocent, then I hope he gets vindicated quickly.  Has anyone contacted the Innocence Project concerning his case?  They dedicate themselves to freeing the innocent, and have been very successful.  I believe the man in charge is named Barry Scheck.  You can probably find them on the internet. 

You didnít specify whether you wanted your letter made public.  I wonít post it at the website unless you allow it. 

Iím glad you found our site useful.  Thanks so much for contacting us. 

John B

In a message dated 10/26/2007 10:55:34 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, painfultruth@comcast.net writes:

Has anyone contacted the Innocence Project concerning his case?  They dedicate themselves to freeing the innocent, and have been very successful.  I believe the man in charge is named Barry Scheck.  You can probably find them on the internet.

 I don't know. I'll have to find out. I have heard about this project. Thank you for this information. :)

You didnít specify whether you wanted your letter made public.  I wonít post it at the website unless you allow it.

I don't have a problem with that. I haven't said anything, I don't think, that would offend anyone.  

I always say, "God allows and He disallows." So if Richard is innocent as he says he is, then God has a reason for his incarceration. If he's guilty, then he deserves what he got. Either way and for whatever reason, he's right where God wants him. That is the painful truth. 

Please forgive Richard for his thoughtless and condescending statements. Often times "hurt people hurt people." It seems that Richard is one of those people. I feel for Richard's parents. His mother is 79 and his father is 83. This is very hard on them. In addition, Richard's younger sister just lost her husband to cancer. They have a 13 year old son. So the family is suffering right now. 

Take care, 

Pamela

 

10/30/07

I just wanted to point out that on this page: http://ejm.tripod.com/sharon1.htm there are links to the Flurry's "Raising the Ruins", Ron Dart's "Born to Win" the "Great Lakes Church of God" and the Hulme's "Living Church of God." Considering all the devastation that has occurred as a result of HWA's cult, I found it a little odd that these ads would be on your site.  

Just thought I'd pass that along. 

Regards,  

[name removed by request]

That is an archived website, as far as I know.  The Painful Truth used to be hosted at tripod, but later moved to other locations.  I have no idea why those ads are there, unless someone has resurrected that page.  The current staff of Painful Truth have no connection with that website. 

But thanks for pointing it out.  I can see why you would be confused. 

John B

 How Can We Be Right?

Man does not know his time: like fish caught in a treacherous net and birds trapped in a snare, so the sons of men will be ensnared at an evil time when it suddenly falls on them. (Ecclesiastas 9:12)  No one knows the day or the hour when Christ will return, be said he would return like a "theif in the night."  How can we be ready, America, for the return or our Lord.  Eighty percent of Americans claim their religion is "Christian."  From the people I've seen and met and know, this is unbelivable .  We are not "right" in the sight of God as a nation, I do not believe.  How could we be?  In the US its mostly about ME. 

Our nations founders they proclaimed the name of God. Most believed Jesus Christ had granted them eternal life. Back then, it was usual to say, "He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Trust and believe in Christ tonight. Jesus did not just live without sin and die. He's our Savior! He is the promised Massiah! He rose from the dead and is now at God's side. Thats what Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and Paul all said. Pray for forgiveness in the Name of God's only Son. Fight the war against evil inside you. In the end you can tell who won. Not just anywhere in America can I say this tonight:( God the Father/Son/Holy Spirit gives me the right. On my knees right now I bow before the Lord and cry. How can we be right? 

Do nothing but complain about the empire that is growing. Less people will hear the Truth. Less people will be knowing, about Jesus. At CHRISTmas call it Xmas. Did we really leave CHRIST out? We entroned Santa with the children gathered around him downtown. They made sure there was no baby in a craddle in a manger around the square anywhere to be found. Christians can worship for christ's sake, but watch out for sounds they make. Teach all of man's theories from science, and make up some good rules. Teach nothing from the Bible to our children in our schools. Don't even mention the Name of Christ. The empire grows tonight. How can we be right? 

On the evening news they did not say but acted as though all will be OK. Although, we haven't taken care of the USA. Now hear what God's other nations say about US: "You go to war, for peace sake, and act as though you really care. Look at the messes you have made here and there. It is sad, but it is true. Even the economy get depressed about it. Sometimes it makes the world blue. Lots of Americans do little. Maybe sit around and fuss. There's not much talk about faith in Christ, and they use God's name to cuss--"Jesus." Money is their god in these days, and wealth is what they worship." That's what other nations say about the late-great USA. But, if there's oil over there, we'll cross the sea and fight with you to show you that we care. There's other forgien attrositie, but we just don't have any more pennies to spend. Its just not in the best interest of our nation. We're capitalists, you see. The profit motive justifies our exta liberties. A little faith is all it takes. See what a difference America makes. Just look where we fight and why. How can we be right?  

Entertainment keeps us occupied. Hours just staring at the TV inside. There's a radio in the shower which stays on for hours. All the components still stay dry. Its more peaceful inside, when the hot water runs. The treasures keep down the complaining as our world is in a swirle and down the drain our wealth is draining. These things costs us a lot of money, and they are very entertaining. They are a means to the end of our never-ending pursue of happiness. Leave the lights on. Its less dangerous. Here we are now. Entertain us. With computers. Full of software. Through wide-screens windows. Into the world we stare. You can even sin. When you login. Many sex sites. Make you burn inside. Now these images. Stuck here in the mind. Sex in the White House. At least they've tried to hide. How can we be right? 

America, the beautiful; God set his grace on thee. One nation under God. With indivisability? Now what does that mean? And are were realy free with individual justice and liberty? Our nation is falling apart at the seams. Government controll grows, and down the drain it all goes it seems. Have we lost God-given rights? A mother can kill her unborn child. We live in the "Church Age," and the "End of Days" are foreseen. You know what I mean. This county and my faith and my right to proclaim the Name of Christ Jesus as Savior and Lord are worth fighting and dieing and living for. Its harder to know who to trust these days. Even the government. Man, he's never always right. You can still trust Jesus in The End.  

"LET GOD BE FOUND TRUE, THOUGH EVERY MAN BE FOUND A LIAR" (Romans 3:4)  

"THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE" (Romans 3:10) 

"IT SHALL BE THAT EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED." (Acts 2:21) 

"GO INTO ALL THE WORLD AND PREACH THE GOSPEL TO ALL CREATION." (Mark 16:15)

Thank You!

 [unsigned]

Boy, have YOU got the wrong website!  If you wanted a soapbox, you got it -- this time.  But don't bother sending any more tortured sermons because they won't be posted.  Herbert Armstrong is dead and you would do well to let him rot.  Your message makes no sense to me, though I suspect a good psychiatry student would love to get his hands on you.  Do yourself a favor and stay away from sharp objects.

11/07/07

Dear PT,

I just discovered your site, and there's another suicide that should be mentioned. Dan Thomas was an outfielder with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1976 & '77 who was known as the "Sundown Kid" because, as a WCG member, he refused to play on the Sabbath. Because baseball games are regularly played on Friday night and Saturday afternoon, this hastened the premature end of a promising career.

A few years earlier, while in the minors, Thomas had been given a lengthy suspension for slugging an umpire (I'm not sure if he was in the WCG when this happened, but I don't think he was). His last appearance in organized baseball was in the Inter-American League, an independent minor league that operated in 1979, and folded in mid-season.

On June 12, 1980, Dan Thomas hanged himself in a jail cell in Birmingham, AL, where he was being held on a rape charge. He had turned 29 on May 9. The Sporting News carried an obituary.

J.M.

Correction:

Dan Thomas died in Mobile, AL, not Birmingham, according to

www.baseball-reference.com.

J.M.

Thanks for that information.  I was never aware that any Worldwiders ever made it into pro baseball, though I knew one who had elicited some interest from the (then) California Angels.  It would have been impossible to be a church member and play pro ball; even Sandy Koufax played on the Sabbath, and when he missed the first game of a World Series because of Yom Kippur, it was headline news (Walter Cronkite led off with it on his CBS Evening News program).  Tragic.  Any idea if he was guilty of the rape?

 

Reply:

A quick internet search found that it was apparently a statutory rape charge.

The Sporting News did a feature story on him in the May 18, 1974 issue, while he was playing for Shreveport in the Texas League. He was the Brewers' 1st choice (and 6th overall) in the 1972 free agent draft.

J.M.

 

Dear Sir/Madam:

This being the age of Facebook and blogging, it had to happen--I was just contacted out of the blue by someone I haven't seen for nearly two decades who grew up with me in the Bethlehem, PA, Worldwide Church of God congregation.  I stopped attending after my senior year of college, right around the time that the major doctrinal changes were about to be announced.  I heard about the upheaval from my parents and various family friends, but I didn't give things much thought.

Your site is a real eye-opener and makes me feel very, very lucky that I had the parents I did.  They were more strict than those of my friends in school, and my father taught Level 6 of Youth Bible Lessons, so I was possibly pushed extra-hard to take good notes during services and stuff.  I was kind of dorky and unathletic, so maybe having been available on Saturdays for Little League would have helped me have more friends from pre-school age onward, but I never felt like a total outcast at school, especially after tenth grade when people started thinking about college and smarts became a respected commodity.  My parents really wanted me to go to AC ("God's college"), so I declined acceptances to other colleges and went.  Within six weeks, I thought I was going to go crazy from the stifling anti-intellectualism and gruesome pressure to be smiley and bouncy all the time.  I called my parents and explained that it wasn't for me--they were very disappointed, but they paid for me to come back from Texas to Pennsylvania, let me live at home for the next year while I worked to save money, and helped to pay when I started at a [Satanic secular] college the next fall.  (I do remember, when I left the gates of AC in a friend's car for the final time, that the guy who signed my luggage and me out muttered under his breath, "You've got more balls than the rest of us, buddy.")

I really had no idea that there was so much ridiculous advice being emitted by the ministry and swallowed by people who had ceded their free moral agency to the church.  Or that tithing had pushed so many people over the edge financially.  How very sad, especially for the children who were drafted into attendance and want by martinet parents.  Glad to see that most of your posters have a measure of sardonic humor about the situation.  Your site seems to be doing a good service.

Yours very truly,

Sean Kinsell
 

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Sean.  That's what we hope for.

 

11/11/07

Wow!  After a conversation with my sister this afternoon, I decided to Google Herbert W/Garner Ted Armstrong and the WCG. 

I had forgotten a lot of things from my youth experience with the WCG, now some of the "You might have..." list seems kind of amusing to me.  However, I recognize the impact it made on my family from regular "services" until the late seventies, and to this day their behavior.  I, even at a young age, felt like something was up, but remember the scolding after many too many questions "Why?" 

I wonder what happened to all those followers from the Louisville KY area, and then the thousands at the Ozarks, Poconos, Pasadena, and I don't remember where else. 

Hmmm, thanks for the flashback. 

Chicago

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

Greetings

I have been researching the church all day today, in hope that I can understand my childhood a little better, and finally let go.

I am in Australia, I have just found your Hall of Shame, photos - where, I must say, that I have sat in church and listened to most of those Australian Ministers preach - and even more scary, is that several (I mean - most) of them, still operate today!!!! Your Hall or Shame dates back to the 80s, so for 20 years or more, these men have known the truth and continue to preach.

Will I name names? - why not, okay, Mr Mark Ellis, Mr Gavin Cullen, Mr Terry Villiers, Mr Rod King, Mr Carl Karlov, Mr Ross Beath, Mr Chris Hunting, Mr Whitting, Mr Rod Matthews, Mr Soleyma, Mr Jayasekera, Mr Bob Regazzolli (I notice that his brother Gary is not in it), both Rod and Alan Dean, Mr Ron Kelly, Mr Bill Bradford was the most scary person, I mean, he was powerful. I have known all of these ministers personally, I mean, first name basis at the SEP camps I attended, and to find out this information, today, I am nearly physically sick to be honest.

I was born in 1975, and taken to the Worldwide Church of God since I was two. I left over 10 years ago, when I was 21, and even then did not think of myself as a free-thinking mature adult. I still find it hard to wear make up, just because I grew up without it, even though they changed the policy when I was about 15 - that makes it what, 1990-ish.

I was not allowed to wear it to school concerts, and when @ school for christmas and easter, I was put @ the back of the classroom, with my back to the other children's activities, on request by my mother. I was therefore ostracised, by my peers, all through my schooling years.

I really have no amazing horror stories, only that my mother forced me to sit and take notes during the sermon - I did not play in church like the other children (during sermons), and was not allowed to play outside after church either.

So the church had a negative impact on my mother, who in turn forced it onto me. My father was not interested, and has regrets that his only holidays, were spent @ the Feast of Tabernacles, where he did not chose the destination, and his other regret, was that he and I are both scarred, from not having celebrated my birthday as a child, and sharing the joy of gift giving etc.

It is hard for me now, to understand Christmas, this is a very big scar, as yet, I do not have children of my own, and when I do, I do not know, what to teach them about christmas. I don,t want to lie to them, I want them to know that Santa is B..S.., but, my partner believes in the magic of christmas, for children. I must say, that even now, this church has mentally scarred me.

I also find it hard to celebrate my birthday, even now, after 30, at a time when most people have celebrated it all their lives - I have only celebrated my major birthdays (as is common after adult years - you do not need to celebrate every year, as you are no longer a child, and by rights, should have celebrated every year while you were a child) I have had a big celebration for 18, 21, 25, 30 - so i have celebrated my birthday in a big celebration - 4 times - when by now, I should have done it 30 times and it should be old hat, it is still new to me.

I am honestly shattered to find out that I grew up in what was considered a cult. This alone hurts so much, for I was a child, and forced to believe, by my mother, who was forced to believe, by the church. I was brainwashed, and I had no choice, in fact - until now, did not honestly understand the full meaning of what I lived through.

It is honestly bewildering that there is so much information out there about the WWCG and HWA, and @ the time, they made it like it was the only true church etc, and that they were huge - yet nobody had heard of them then, and nobody has heard of them now, well not in Australia, (perhaps this is a different story in America), but it is not well known in Australia, and when I refer to WWGC in conversation of my childhood- I say that it was like the JWs or Seventh-Day Adventists - as these are much more well known in Australia, and recognised as cults - in fact - more so, the Exclusive Brethren. I live down the street from some of them, and down the street from their little gathering spot - I have to use all my will power not to shout out obscenities @ them.

I found plenty of information on the Wikipedia - I had no idea the power HWA honestly had @ the time.

I want to say, thank you for your informative website - if I had of found it 10 years ago, I may not be so messed up now. Not that I would say I am messed up bad, but 20 years of WWCG can be a lot to get over.

I am using my partners email address.

I had better remain anonymous, sorry

Melb Australia

I'm glad you found us, and I hope you find some answers in our experiences.  The Christmas issue can be difficult for ex members, and many are forever unable to observe it after the WCG experience.  Like you, I was indoctrinated from a very early age (age 4), but unlike you I stuck with it for 40 years.  When I got free I had to rethink every opinion I had ever held, and I learned what it really means to have an open mind; without one, the task was impossible. 

My answer to Christmas is that, yes, it's a pagan holiday, but so what?  Even the names of months and the days of the week are pagan.  We are a product of where we came from, and the entire world has filtered down from pagan roots.  You simply can't escape it.  I live in the U.S. and here Christmas is a national holiday in addition to a religious one.  I observe it in a purely secular manner.  Christ was never a part of Christmas and I don't observe it with him in mind.  It's simply a nice winter holiday for my family to get together and exchange gifts.  I feel zero guilt about that and look forward to it throughout the year.

I don't know if that helps.  What you have to do, I think, is remember that everything they taught you must be regarded with suspicion and weighed for validity.  If they taught you something good, then hang onto it.  If they taught you something negative, reject it.  Keep in mind that the "best" lies are those that contain a grain of truth, so even though it's true  that Christmas is pagan, ask yourself if God really cares.  Millions of Christians observe it to honor Christ, and their intent is pure.  They always told us that God looks on the heart.  (And by the way, Jeremiah 10 is NOT talking about a Christmas tree.  History records that the Christmas tree began in Middle Ages Europe, not in ancient Sumeria.)

The bottom line is to follow your conscience.  No matter what I do or what anyone else does, square it with your conscience.  And use logic, not emotion.  If you are doing something out of fear, then stop doing it.  Research it, get emotion out of the way, and proceed on facts.  Don't trust fear, because it will keep you in a cage.  You've already escaped once, so don't let yourself get caged again.

Best of luck to you, and Merry Christmas.

John B

 

11/15/07

 

Hi all,

I was a member of the WWCG. I left in 1992. 10 years was quite an experience. I am not bitter any more. When I look back I really did enjoyed the fellowships, the singing, giving glory to God, and all kind of church activities for all diversity of age. Tithing was a toughty. All through these years I felt that there was something not right, yet I couldnít put my finger on it.

I left just as Abraham did ďby faithĒ. Went in the wilderness, which mean not getting involved in any congregations or denominations. Use the Internet to search the truth and understanding. Find out where I error.  This error was base on Replacement Theology. Look it up on the Internet. Living as a Jew under the law while the Bible clearly stated that I am no more a gentile or a Jew.

This is what I am and believe today: I am a born again Christian, fundamental and evangelical, non-denominational, believing that Christ is the head of the church (His Body) with my citizenship in heaven awaiting His return for His bribe (the rapture) while He judge the nations of this world and purify His people Israel, then to reign here on earth for a thousand years with them while the church is in heaven to reign with Him for everlasting life. My belief is not base on the Replacement Theology, which was of the WWCG and many other denominations.

Now I understand what Martin Luther desperately war for. By Grace, By Faith, By the Word of God.

God Bless you all

Andre 

 

11/19/07

John Pestana taught Portuguese at Ambassador College and translated WCG material into Portuguese from 1961 to 1965.  When the Portuguese department proved unfruitful, he was transferred to Ambassador press.  In 1967 we "escaped" to Florida.  He worked as a printer at the University of South Florida, retired, and lapsed into Alzheimer's Disease.  He died, confused but praising God, in 1996.   I, his widow, have ended up (believe it or not) as a very healthy, happy, Roman Catholic! 

Bobette Pestana


Catholic is as good as any.  Thanks for writing.

 

11/25/07

Dear Sirs,

Hello.

I am wondering if you have any information on a man in or near Wausau, Wisconsin who is currently in prison for molesting, I believe, two girls, and this man is a former member of WWCG. I don't know if he was a member at the time of the crime.

I recently met a woman who told me about this, and she believes the girls lied. This made me think of something I read about it some time ago, but don't remember if what I read was on your website, since I cannot find anything about it on the "ExitSupportNtwk." or by doing any "Google" searches. I am just curious, due to how to proceed concerning what this woman believes. Thanks! (the reason I cannot ask her further is because she is a relative of his).

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Sybil in Green Bay, WI

The only person I know of who fits that description would be Richard Markland.  He was convicted about a year ago and given a life sentence.  You can read more about him here: http://www.hwarmstrong.com/richardmarkland1.htm

We first heard of Mr. Markland when he wrote to us.  You can read that exchange here: http://www.hwarmstrong.com/email_095.htm#10/01/06_Markland1 

If Mr. Markland is truly innocent, I suggest contacting the Innocence Project, which can be found on the web.  They specialize in freeing the wrongly convicted and have been quite successful at it. 

John B

12/13/07 

I have never been a member of *CoG but I was thinking about joining.  I had been raised Catholic but that just wasn't seeming right to me anymore.  After reading for days the views of Armstrong and the followers of the church I felt they had all the answers and I would surely upset God by not joining their true church.  If it weren't for your web-site, I might have been sucked in completely.  After reading it I realized, at least in my opinion, that there is no true church.  They are all the same.  So I just wanted to thank you for organizing this.  It helped prevent me from making a huge mistake.   

Dave

     

Dave,

Thatís great news!  No, itís fantastic news.  The whole purpose of our website is to warn people of the danger, and it is very gratifying to hear that we have succeeded to any degree whatsoever.  Thank you for writing; your letter makes the entire effort worthwhile.

John B

 

12/14/07

on your website:
http://www.hwarmstrong.com/bible-translations.htm
Someone or you states:
"Think about that one, Ed! Can you imagine the impact on the Bible story, and all the numerological implications that has? It blows away 40 years in the wilderness (Moses probably made the trip in a couple of weeks), 40 years in captivity, the temptation of Christ for 40 days, that Moses was 40 when he fled Egypt and 80 when he returned, that Sarai was 90 when she gave birth (more likely 50), etc. All the carefully constructed "meaning" of all the biblical tales collapses into a heap of broken words because of a simple translation error."

This appears to be wrong, becuase of the information found at wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_Aramaic 
which basically says that very very little of the Old Testament was written in Aramaic, which is the majority of what was cited as possibly incorrect use of "many things."

Now wikipedia's articles do not show precisely which parts of the New Testament was written in Aramaic rather than Koine Greek, so I won't go there.

my question to you is if you read this: are you going to change your website or just ignore it?
-Sincerely,
Someone who read part of your website.
 

Thanks for reading part of our website.  It would certainly take you a very long time to read all of it.

More importantly, thanks for citing the Wikipedia article on Aramaic.  I think Wikipedia effectively refutes the premise of the article, and I am very happy that you pointed it out.  Since the article is part of the historical record of this website, it will remain where it is, as evidence that we do, indeed, correct our errors whenever possible.

John B

 

12/16/07

Hello Ed,

As one who has left wcg 6 years ago, after about 40 years "fellowshiping" we spent the majority of our working life heavily "supporting" the work.

My wife a D.C. Nurse and Home Birth Midwife have had some "interesting" experiences.

We were told if she delivered a baby on the sabbath, we would be marked and disfellowshiped.

In retrospect I do not know why, but despite going ahead and delivering quite a number of healthy babies they backed down and did nothing.

I always wondered why hwa shifted to Pasadena, but apparently the corporate laws were much more generous in Ca. He cold be corporate sole.

In the Feb 1939 GN Article he presents a good exposition of how there was no pyramid of power.

Apparently he wanted to keep the tithes and offerings and not send them to Stanberry HQ. of cog7.

But in Pasadena he seems to had a change of heart.

Maybe a bit more background for those who are interested.

Vic.

Thanks for the citation, Vic.  We already have that letter on the website, so I'll link to it instead of reproducing it here.  It's a very important letter.

 

Hey I just wanted to say thank you too. It seems to be all too rare that people take the time to read and consider an email. So thanks.

-Brandon

You're welcome.

 

12/24/07

My name is Shawn, and I am also a survivor of the cult practices of Armstrongism.

My mother joined the World Wide Church of God when I was seven years old. My life was not great before she joined the cult, but man was it terrible after she did.  I was so happy to have stumbled across this site, I have always felt alone in this world until I read Anna's story.

My childhood and hers were indeed in a paralell universe. I am now turning close to 40, I have overcame all of those scared and desperate feelings - thanks to having found my soul mate.

Soon I will send you my horror story to share with the other unfortunate victims of this nightmare "church". 

Thank you so much,

Shawn

That's why we're here, Shawn.  Thanks for writing.  I look forward to reading your story.

 

12/28/07

My husband and I met at a Feast of Tabernacles in 1992.  We married in 1993, despite a few objections from a few ministers.  I think we have the last laugh on them because we've been married 14 years now, we have a beautiful six-year-old son--and we "officially" left that cult several years ago, after not attending for a few years.  We have had to file bankruptcy because of those jokers!  

At least our son hasn't had to sit through a boring sermonette.

 BTW just because a group misuses the Bible, doesn't mean the Bible itself is false.  In fact, I can easily use the King James Bible to disprove Herbie's Heresies.  I'm now a Christian--a Bible-believing Christian.  Would you guys believe--forcing people to tithe is unscriptural?  (I'd like to see what Tkach and his yes-men think of that!)

Alexandra

Happy to hear from you, Alexandra.  Glad you got a husband out of the deal -- at least it wasn't a complete waste of your time.

To address a couple of your points:

1.   I can easily use the King James Bible to disprove Herbie's Heresies.   I'm sure you can.  I can also use the King James Bible to disprove the King James Bible -- but that's a subject for another day.

2. Would you guys believe--forcing people to tithe is unscriptural?  Absolutely!  That was the motive for the crime.  Once I understood that, I was gone.  Have you read The Tithing DilemmaAside from Ambassador Report, it was the most important factor in helping me escape the WCG. 

Thanks for writing.

12/30/07

John O.,

I know how it feels to go fishing and instead of catching fish, you catch another fisherman. 

Nevertheless, I made some remarks about Apollonios in my Family Voter Bloc newsletter which you might find interesting.

A conspiracy headed by Dio Chrysostom wrote The New Testament.  I quote some of the massively many parallels between Dio and TNT in support of that conclusion.  I say there that Dio used Apollonios as a model for the Jesus of Mark's Gospel.  This ascription of authorship explains why Jesus so closely resembles Apollonios, but also explains why Mark's Gospel can display the Homeric content which Dennis R. MacDonald puts on display in his book The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark, Yale University Press, 2000.

The Family Voter Bloc has a website, www.famvoter.org, Google search recommended.  In the newsletter for July 7, 2007, I give a condensation of the newsletter for August 10, 2006, titled The Origin of The New Testament.  In The Origin I describe an Odyssey, reminiscent of your own, which led me to Dio and my conclusion about him and The New Testament conspiracy.  I also point out thematic and explicitly verbal parallels between TNT and other Pagan philosophers, ranging from Pythagoras and Herakleitos, thru Euripides, to Epictetos. 

Google brings this website up with the search parameter Family Voter Bloc.

I greatly enjoyed reading your web posting, not only about Apollonios but about the Worldwide Church of God, and your answers to FAQs. 

I differ from the implication in your remarks about Christian morality and values.  When separated from theology, Christian philosophy offers a rewarding value system and personal Way of Life. 

Thanks much for your attention, and for the info in your website.

Arthur F. Hallam

 

12/31/07

Everyonce in a while I stop by The Painful Truth. 

I was surprised to read http://www.hwarmstrong.com/ar/AR49.html#Herman_L._Hoeh but the mentioning of J.W. Tkach sr's habit of touching other males made me remember the time when I was a student at AC/AU and I had my camera at Lake Loma and he offered for someone else to take a picture of himself by my side.  Needless to say, if anyone sees that picture I don't seem too happy in it (the sun fas hitting me on the face) and my arms are crossed... I guess that a reaction right after Mr Tkach touched the back of my jeans just because he wanted to and did so in a fast move type of thing... 

Everytime I told this to some of my friends at AU they looked at me as if I was inventing it hahahaha... 

Happy new year!

[name withheld by request]

I'm not surprised people act that way.  Denial is a powerful thing, and people just don't want to believe that the man chosen by God to run the "church" would do such a thing.  As for me, I knew the man, and when he became the top guy I was stunned.  I believe you.

Happy New Year, and thanks for stopping by.

John B

 


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