Email To The Editor
You are doing a good job Jim and a needed one. I'll suggest you have helped many who are inclined to seek wisdom over hype, freedom over tyranny, and the hardest of all, thinking for yourself, becoming independant and aware. The one power you have taught with vids and blog.... learn to decern the various forces positive and negative, and the mental marks that reveal the charector of all individuals.
Yes, the choice that people have is up to them. To make a choice for them would be impossible due to the variables in their lives, experience and emotions. Information is what we all need to make choices that serve our interests and not those of others who care not for us.
James, I am enjoying the volley you are helping Ex Australian churcher with. Got them and you thinking. I know that you already know what level of developement they are at, by your resposes to them. You are going to help pull them to realization outside of a book they hold true, but they do not know themselves why they hold the bible so true! You'll get round to stimulating that area of the brain as well, but I feel this one may stay in denial for a spell yet.
You live in USA, and I in Canada.. but we are kin I am seeing. I wonder how many realize you cannot be "Holy" even if you endorse that notion , without having been "wicked" as well. Without wicked there is no good and without good there is no evil. Absolute evil is "Good" and absolute Good is evil, and is all the same force. I am certain you understand in greatest detail the notion I have presented.
Good work Doc!
In the end, the cultist will come to the logical conclusion if they listen to that little voice of reason we all have been born with. Some ignore this voice to their own detriment for decades. The solution to coming out of a cult intact (as much that may be possible) and being free of all the rules and regulations is to rebel outright. It is at this point that the member has made a decision and has acted on it.
As it seems, many continue to go on to other cults or Jesus pimping churches where they pay and pray. Most go this route until they apply what they learned from the first experience to the second experience.
If they make the proper connection they soon find that the whole of Christianity is a hoax and has not the validity of logic. The power of the priest is sin and sin is the power over that mind which is filled with the fear of death and the unknown that follows.
For others, they continue to believe in a higher power but realize that they need no man to be connected to God. They go it alone in faith and living their lives as Christ would expect of a true Christian.
You are astoundingly wise James..yes, Nannar Sin was the first alien to enforce religion big time on the people, after Adapta, the first priest on earth, You'll note the crecent moon in the eastern religions (Muslim) and I think you know..the moon god...
All a way to control slaves.... and you are freeing the slaves!
Just bumped into your website. Reminded me of the pain I went thru 39 years ago ending. It was in the Herbie glory days with Ganer Ted doing back -up.
What pure hell it was..7 years wasted ..lots of sexy girls passed by,( my age 13-19) but well made up for after the split with WCG.. You had to leave it cause you saw they be insane, even back then. Nice to see they are dead now.. old Harold Camping went nuts too..with the JW..
It took me 10 years perhaps more to fully return to normal after all the B.S. to defeat the last thread of programming, but it was the best thing I could do.... leave the minister on the side of the road... babling fear and guilt.. and I never looked back.
Your site would have helped speed the recovery a lot... but it was not around then.
Good work my friend.
This is what the Painful Truth is all about. Recovery!
And my thanks goes to the founder of this site, who created it in the 90's. Due to his efforts, I too started down that road to recovery. Your more than welcome my friend.
The painful truth is very interesting actually, now that I am reading a bit of history within it's pages. I like the content the lessons learned and the critical values, and ultimate realization it provides. It caries a very powerful messages, of mental health, and freedom,and puts folks that naturally search for truth on the right track.
Thanks again. I plan on concentrating on more of the history aspect this coming year. If we can understand the past perhaps we can control our future.
I was a member of the WWCG for twenty something years. I have not had an affiliation with the WWCG or any of the splinter groups since 1991. Recently, one of my children told me about this web site. When I began reading I had a hard time stopping. It brought back so many memories of what I now recognize as the worst time of my life. Reading the articles stirred up so much anger in me. My anger is not just with the church and everything that happened but even more so with myself for having been so blind and stupid that I gave up twenty years of my life. It is hard to believe that I allowed myself to be duped and led to the slaughter so easily.
When I first began attending, I was very happy to have found what seemed to be a happy, focused group of people who sincerely believed everything that they were being taught. My first minister, Leonard Schreiber, was fantastic! He was warm and accepting of both my husband and myself at a time when we felt that we were being judged and condemned by our family and friends. My first couple of years in the church were good ones. I felt like I was a part of a big happy family. So many of the women seemed to be happy doing what we believed were our roles as "virtuous women". I felt loved by, and I loved all of those women. It didn't take long however, to realize that all of us were "suffering" some of the same trials in our marriages and our home lives. We also realized that if we wanted to enter into the kingdom of God, it was our responsibility to "suffer" and to do it without complaint. As it was once explained to me by Fred Davis (my minister at the time), "It isn't about what you need or want. What is important is your husbands position in the Kingdom of God". It is hard for me to believe that I ever bought into such bull.
In 1991, I moved out of the area and never attended the WWCG again. When I started this email, I really wanted to vent and tell my story. I soon realized that it would take far too long to do it in this venue. I do want to thank everyone responsible for this site. It has been helpful in reminding me that even though I put out of my consciousness all of the terrible things that happened, I am not close to being healed and I need to find a way to truly put all of this behind me.
Thanks for the note Lois. I and others appreciate what you have to say.
It was an occasion to celebrate when a new minister came to town that was worthy of respect. As it seems, they passed from the scene much too quickly.
When you hear from a minister "It isn't about what you need or want. What is important is your husbands position in the Kingdom of God" know that this man was taking free choice from you and placing your husband above you, as if you had nothing worthy to offer. I never could figure out what the women's position in the "kingdom" was about. Maybe their taking care of all those dead children who never received competent medical care.
Yea, based on the sources of info coming from religious hobbies I’d say you are pretty much on target. Clearly all of those religions are based on emotion. As we all should know, there is no competition between emotion and facts. One little emotion will win over a stack of facts a mile high. A couple of old sayings describes it. “Don’t confuse me with facts, my mind is like concrete, all mixed up and set”. And. “If truth makes one uncomfortable, by all means cling to error”.
The pattern I see looks like this: From Adam until Christ left earth there was always contact with God via one prophet or another. A constant contact so to speak. After Christ’s ascension there has been no close contact. Of course the Mormans think differently. But it is abundantly clear that their prophet probably was speaking to an Angel, but, an Angel from where.
America is unique in that we have hundreds of religions. We are the only country in the world with such a track record. And it all started after the big New Madrid, MO., earthquake of 1811 and the big volcano somewhere in the Pacific in 1815. Before that there were only a hand full of churches, Lutherian, Wesleys, Catholic etc. But after those two big events, churches popped up all over America like daisies in the spring time.
So, deleting all those custom made religions leaves me with only a very few thing you can nail down. The most conspicuous one is the laws of physics. They are not nebulous. To illustrate: If you bail out of an airplane at 10K’ altitude in the sky and your parachute doesn’t open, you can have perfect faith that you are going to bust your ass when you arrive at a sudden stop on the ground. That is something that you can put your finger on. You don’t need some preacher to convince you because it is self evident. A law of physics.
Now, I think the same one that made the laws of physics also made the laws of social conduct. There is, however, a small difference. The penalty for violating a law of physics is immediate. Not so with the laws of social conduct. The penalty for violating a law of social conduct is virtually always delayed for some time and of variable degrees of severity.
As I mentioned in my letter to the restored Herbie church, if you want to gain good health you stop doing what you are doing that causes bad health. So, it is exactly the same thing as the above example. If you don’t want to bust your ass by hitting the ground at approximately 150 mph going straight down, then you don’t commit any act that causes the syndrome of high velocity and sudden stop.
The same designer created the laws that govern health and ground impact. The former is delayed and the latter is immediate.
Churchianity obviously doesn’t understand the simple. Clearly David Pack doesn’t. After reading his long and convoluted dissertation on divine healing you have to conclude that he is devoid of understanding.
A century ago there were religious charlatans as we have now days. But the people of that era were of better character in that they lived their religion. You know, feed and cloth the poor, take care of the widows and orphans. Now days the church-ed folks sit back, pay and pray. No living your religion is necessary. Just get out that checkbook and buy your way into the kingdom. What a concept!
So when you wrote "Churchianity obviously doesn’t understand the simple" I respond by saying they do understand. They just don't give a shit! Its all about corporate growth. Just like a Kmart. Put on a happy face for the public and grow your product while increasing your wealth. Where are those 99% and why are they not protesting these rich church corporations?
The days of magical thinking end for most of us when we realize what religion is. Its all about saving your own ass from death. To reach that decision takes honest self examination then decisive action in order to end your exploitation. That is being faithful to the truth and yourself.
03/03/2012 This is in reply to PT Contributor below.
“The comment from the Ex-member Australia is a good example of someone who doesn't think logically”
That’s why I have a degree in Mathematics and no doubt he/she doesn’t.
“Christianity is not the only religion that preaches truth about good & evil.”
“....and that you should live a good life because its better then living a life of evil deeds.”
On the one hand you claim truth about good and evil but logically there is no good and evil if there is no God as you seem to claim.
“And since the person who wrote you doesn't have the background, or the ability to do so, he or she is taking it on blind faith, not fact.”
How logically can the person who doesn’t know me come up with that? But of course the Bible says” the just shall live by faith” and it also says “Only the fool has said in his own heart there is no God”
Take a close look at everything around in the universe and marvel if you have a scientific enough mind to comprehend its glory. If you are intelligent enough, logically it points to a creator with unimaginable super intelligence.
Try doing what God/Christ instructs and see whether that works or not. Logically if it doesn’t work why would anyone do it? My experience over numerous years is that the word of God is rock solid whether I like it or not. Whether you like it or not, there is no wisdom , counsel or understanding against the Lord.
The earth wasn't created in 7 days, and a
whole lot of other stories never happened.
“Most people haven't learned to think
further then what they read when it comes to religion.”
Just a few comments which I hope clarifies a few issues.
A slew of broken promises (promises from the bible and pulpit) followed us blue ribbon tithe payers. We prayed and what did we receive from the lord? Dead wives, dead children, sisters, and
This is assuming that this god was of love without the reinforcement of any book. I would have to look at the creation to draw my conclusions as you have done. The difference is, I simply cannot accept a book as a word from god. There is just to much conflicting logic in doing so.
I have read your your reply and links but I think you are missing the point that seems logical to me that if there is no God then there are no such things as moral truths. If there is no God then one may as well steal , cheat, lie, murder etc as long as one can get away with it without punishment by man. Frankly I don't steal because of a belief in God, however if this isn't a moral truth I would be stupid not to do so as I reckon I'm smart enough to get away with it and prosper.
If you can show me a moral teaching of Christ that is false then do so.
There are pages and pages of proverbial truths that still ring true today, 1000's of years later.
"If this god wanted humanity to have knowledge of him," I don't think God does because God is creating characters that will be obedient to his ways in his absence, so how much more in his presence. The wog was the perfect example of how people falsely behaved when they thought that they would become rulers. God wants people who believe in his ways and not in him falsely for self gain, this can't be achieved by him revealing himself directly to all mankind.
If the devil rejected God in God's presence, how much more likely would humans also do so, (e.g. Adam). The character to follow God ways in this world against the odds is the character that God knows he can trust for eternity. God created all and as unfair as this may seem to some, he has the right to do what he wants. The Bible says God has created all things for himself, yes even the wicked for the day of doom,
and he will have mercy on who he will have mercy.
"If there is no God then one may as well steal ,
All the best to you also, and if there is a God, may he bless you, and everyone on this earth.
"Buddha taught much the same." I don't think so.
"For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two–edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Buddha's teachings don't expose our innermost thoughts and desires.
"Do no harm to those who don't harm you." Christ commands to love your enemies and do good to those who despitefully use you, even sinners don't harm those who don't harm them. Christ's law is better than man's. As you said previously that the cardinal mind is not subject to the law of God, only true love comes from God's spirit living in us. No matter how good you may think you are without his spirit, to be cardinally minded is death.
The beginning of all wisdom is the fear of the eternal, but he who is made perfect in love fears not. The cardinal mind doesn't want to obey God's instructions but to decide for itself what is right and wrong. God is not a hypocrite he lives by his own instructions. Obedience to the cardinal mind
"No matter how good you may think you are without his spirit, to be
Which do you chose, and why?
"You can live your life as you please doing no harm because it is part of your inner core"
The bible reveals our inner core to be inadequate and unless you have God's holy spirit you cannot live a life that is truly good and holy. The devil no doubt believes his inner core is good as well.
"or you live your life by a book because ...." not out of fear but because you respect God's authority as he is the creator of all things, and his ways are absolutely better than any other. You say you use logic and discernment. Even the foolishness of God wiser far than man is. Science tells us in this dot "." there are 1000000000000000 atoms. Can you comprehend that? Can you make even one atom? Need I say more?
Though you say the bible is full or errors and contradictions I have never found any.
The comment from the Ex-member Australia is a good example of someone who doesn't think logically.
– Christianity is not the only religion that preaches truth about good & evil.
– The most classic flaw in all this is that those who follow this path are following without evidence, and that they require me/you to prove their ideas, theories as false. YOU AND I HAVE TO PROVE THEM WRONG. I didn't write the book, and it's up to the Authors and users to prove with empirical evidence that what they so faithfully believe is true. And since the person who wrote you doesn't have the background, or the ability to do so, he or she is taking it on blind faith, not fact.
– HWA was the first person to say prove me wrong, but your not aloud to question his methods or his preaching. So how do you want to prove him wrong. There was never a debate.
– That means the although morals are part of the Bible, the people preaching them aren't tell you the truth, since non of the stories ever happened.
– On the one had you've got a great story, but it's all fiction. We all read fiction, and often there is a moral behind each story, but that doesn't mean we go around following the author as if he was a god.
– Most people haven't learned to think further then what they read when it comes to religion. They have been brainwashed since childhood to believe it as the truth, never to question it. That's some 20 years of exposure. Undoing this is difficult. You tell a lie long enough people believe it.
Maybe he or she should simply consider the Authors of "The Book" as people who wanted to tell a nice story with great characters so people would understand the there is hope, and that you should live a good life because its better then living a life of evil deeds.
Thank you for your input on this topic.
For some folks it is hard to accept that a lifetime of bible study and church attendance was wasted time. Your time is your life, and to spend all your physical efforts in pursuit of a future life based on a book is ludicrous.
But as I said before, it is their time and resources to use as they choose. Until they listen to that inner voice of reason, they will continue to pursue pipe dreams and fairy tales.
Yes we all fell for it. The vast majority of everyone in the world has fell for something. Some people will never wake up.
Look at all the dumb Pekkerheads that are Obama voteries. When a person is up to his ass in something like religion their mind has been closed and their leaders keep them closed. It is sort of a self brainwashing situation. People's gods can not make mistakes.
I had an aunt that had her favorite radio evangelist in LA. Every day that preacher's voice came blasting out of her radio. He was a powerful preacher and had a large following. He was screwing a member's wife. The wife's husband found out about it.
So he followed them to a motel one night and while he was in the saddle the husband walked in with pistol in hand and filled them with lead and left them stacked that way. The newscasters had a field day around LA. It was all over the radio and newspapers.
That following Friday evening her son and I would have dinner with my aunt, his mother. We began to tease her about her favorite radio preacher and how he was found dead on top of a dead woman.
What was her reaction? "He was framed, he would never do a thing like that". So it goes with most people, their god can do no wrong.
I got involved in the WCG via my brother. He is a very gulible man. I was working in the Louisiana offshore oil drilling business in the 1950s. There was a variety of religions down there on Grand Isle, LA. Catholic, Baptist, and the usual others.
Being raised up by a religious mother I always thought it was the right thing to be. But as a teenager I rebelled against it just like most every one else. Then after a 4 year hitch in the Navy and out on my own chasing skirts and not being vary happy I became very vulnerable to a good propaganda machine. I think everyone reaches a point like that in their lives wherein they come to what seems to be a dead end and are looking for something fulfilling, real, something that seems to make sense.
Since we have tried all the things the society has to offer and we are not fulfilled then religion, in all it's mysteries, presents a relatively new unknown. We look around us and see what appears to be happy people in their religion and think, maybe I oart to give it a shot, I've tried everything else and no joy. I think everyone comes to this crossroad sooner or later. And when they do, there is a HWA ready with a snare.
So along comes a real sharkie like HWA with a new and very different kind of bait. He was a very vsggy salesman and knew that the competition wasn't catching all the bottom feeders. So he invents a new message that seems to show that all the others are wrong and it makes for a good bait.
Of course not everybody is all wrong and nobody is all right. Learing comes in basically 3 ways. We learn by gaining knowledge and from other's mistakes and from our own mistakes. HWA had some of it right just like virtually all the other religions. I learned some things that were right and some things that were wrong. So, I hang on to that which is right and shed the rest.
But one thing though is that most of us will likely never make the same mistake again. There are only two chances that I would ever fall for another HWA, zero and none.
OK, now, having said all that here is another possibility. Maybe it is meant for mankind to experience these kinds of things to teach us a lesson that is not taught in any school, college or university. Schools don't teach that kind of knowledge. I guess you can say that that is the U of HK. University of Hanrd Knocks.
Yea I know that is old and hackneyed, but it works. Even at my age of over 80 I still get a kick out of learning, whether it is technical or non technical. The older we get the smarter we get, that is unless our brains are pockled in sugars. That's where Alzheimer takes over.
Enough of this crap.
I enjoyed our back and forth exchange. I appreciate you sharing your recollections and experiences of a lifetime.
HWA was like the Cyprinus carpio, commonly know as the Carp. A bottom feeder. And like the carps anatomical structure, his religion was created from four or five other cults doctrines.
After reading your last comment about the Christ myth based on astrology I would like to say that I have also read the articles and found them confronting, however the words of Christ are what make it truly clear that these are the words of God and not men. I have never in any other book apart from the bible found instructions like Christ’s. From my experience I would have to say they are absolutely true whether we like or acknowledge this as being so. If you can point out anything Christ said that is false then say so, otherwise the argument for Christ is overwhelming as I see it.
Like it or not, there is no wisdom, nor understanding or counsel against the Lord.
The video explains how the messiah myth began. Its the same story told over and over but with different names for the gods.
As to the site, I present other ideas than the ones we were taught as children. If someone wants to embrace Christianity its their business. If another wants to become an atheist that is their decision. I present facts as best as I can. Its up to the reader to make their own decision, such as you have.
Thomas Jefferson saw great thing's in the bible. He cut passages from the bible and pasted them into a book, discarding the other teachings. Can you blame him? He saw what was good and ran with it. What he did not agree with he tossed.
As I said what you say on the surface about the messiah myth has merit, however unless you can show that what Christ said is false, and my experience has always been that all his teachings are true, then I am forced to believe in him. The sayings and teachings of Christ are not those of normal people. No one ever to my knowledge spoke as he did. That's how I see it.
"...unless you can show that what Christ said is false, and my experience has always been that all his teachings are true, then I am forced to believe in him."
It would depend on what he said. I can't prove or disprove that the Christ even existed. You would think that the secular authors of his day would have wrote about him but they didn't. This leads me to believe that the Christ spoken of most likely did not exist.
As I said, some believe, others do not. I personally cannot accept him as God but I do agree with the basis of his teachings. Keep in mind that many of the quotes attributed to Jesus can be found in the writings of Buddha, who preceded Jesus by four hundred years.
I love your site and am grateful for all the information you've posted online to assist people like myself who became attracted to the WCG over 20 years ago and have only just now disassociated myself from them. Unfortunately I was only a teenager when I came across the "Plain Truth" magazine at my cousin's place. He had picked it up from a local news agency as it was free and he was using it to help brushup on his English skills since he had recently migrated to Australia from Italy.
I have an avid interest in the Bible and even wanted to become a Religious Education teacher at high school, but after learning what I did from the WCG literature my whole worldview was changed and so I decided against it. I told my parents that I wanted to join the WCG, but they forbade me and I regret listening to them since if I had checked them out sooner I probably would've let it go and followed my aspirations to become an RE teacher anyway. But, since I didn't I never really knew what else to do with my life and always thought my life would be sorted when I join the WCG or later UCG, after the fallout with the WCG.
And it was a couple of years ago now that I joined the UCG and have in the past several months come across a lot of inconsistency with their teachings that have led me to question the legacy of HWA. For instance, all I see are broken homes and splintering churches left in the wake of HWA's death and the meltdown ofthe WCG. Besides that I disagreed with their view that the "night to be much observed" was the night after the Passover, whereas I was of the view that it was another title for the Passover. I also believed that the Feast of Tabernacles, which they compel their members to celebrate at sponsored sites, could be observed in local congregations just like the other holy days and festivals. And only recently I came across Russell Earl Kelly's comprehensive book "Should the Church Teach Tithing?"and I agreed with him completely. I even discovered from Pam Dewey's site that HWA was baptized by a Baptist minister without any "laying on of hands" and felt this was totally inconsistent with their teaching that one had to be baptized with such to receive the Holy Spirit.
From your "Painful Truth" site I learned of the allegations of incest between HWA and his daughter and recently GTA's sexual assault of a masseuse. I couldn't believe it! More so I know how loyal followers of HWA explainaway his sexual immorality, but I couldn't understand why if the allegations were false any Christian wouldn't protest such in public unless their was an element of truth to it. I then came across James's article on "Politicians, Priests and Pornographers" and couldn't agree more with it! I only wish that the California investigation into the WCG had been successful because then I, like many others, probably would never had become enamoured by this group at all.
Anyway I do have a question though in relation to the allegations of incest and it being a reason for his divorce from Ramona Martin. I was wondering if you have any links or know where I may be able to find online court transcripts that mention these allegations and HWA's response to them? For instance, I remember reading somewhere that he was questioned about this and his only remark was something like "There have been times in my life when I've been very far from God" and if that's the case then he's definitely not denying it.
Okay so I look forward to your response and thanks for your time and assistance.
"There have been times in my life when I've been very far from God" That was excerpted from Ambassador Report #27. http://hwarmstrong.com/ar/AR27.html
Okay thanks for clearing that up for me James. I thought HWA made that remark in court not to his son GTA. But, so, was he asked any questions relating to the incestuous relationship in court and have such transcripts been reproduced online? I only ask as I'd really like to know what HWA's reaction was to such allegations. And I believe that a court transcript would be solid evidence. I had read the following news article a while ago and even circulated it around via email to members (even the pastor!) of the local UCG congregation I'd been attending up until this year. Of course I never received any reply from any one. But, the article gave the implication to me that RM was aware of HWA's incest during her marriage with him and that it was a given. I also read somewhere that it wasn't long after it was brought up in court that HWA quickly settled with RM. It's a pity that RM and even Dorothy Armstrong have since died, I believe, otherwise it'd be interesting to get their views on the matter once and for all.
I recall reading about the "incest" several years ago, I can't remember exactly when. Maybe I read it in the late Richard Nickel's "Giving and Sharing" newsletter, I don't know. I do remember that wherever I read about it, it was dismissed as allegations by disgruntled former members. So I rejected it as well. Shows how naive and stupid I was at the time. I mean, I believed the allegations of sexual abuse by Catholic priests, which was a reason I left the Catholic religion, but when I heard about such abuse by HWA I believed those who claimed it was lies and untrue. It was a few years ago now that I recall reading Bob Thiel's defence of HWA and at the time I was still a devotee of HWA and had recently joined the UCG, so that was probably 2010. But, it's only been in the past year that I've started re-evaluating the beliefs and practices of HWA and WCG and found myself disagreeing with a lot of it. I think to myself well if it was alright for HWA to be "eclectic" in the sense of cutting and pasting up doctrines from here and there to make up his own religion then why can't I check it all out for myself and come to my own conclusions rather than believe one man.
I came across Keith Hunt's site and he's been great as he has been open and honest about HWA's failings like no one else I know personally especially from UCG. He left WCG back in the 1970s I think. I found that at UCG services it was very much like you couldn't question things openly and had to basically nod your head in agreement with everything we were being taught in sermons etc. For instance, I remember after having emailed my views about the NTBMO and FOT to a few members that at a service afterwards I was talking with a young couple and brought up the FOT and the look in their eyes was like, "Quick we've got to move away otherwise he's going to talk about the stuff he wrote to us about!" They looked very uncomfortable, but I didn't repeat myself. And just their reaction to me said it all how their minds have been programmed to conform to a "cultish mentality" to such an extent that they're afraid to discuss alternative views or question their worldview. It's sad.
Anyway the last time I attended UCG services was December 31, 2011 actually and I haven't gone back. I'm aware of some independents and may fellowship with them as they are more liberal in allowing people the freedom to believe differently in various matters, otherwise I'll remain alone like so many others. We'll see. I feel like I've been sleepwalking for the past 15 years of my life and now I've woken up to discover that I've been hallucinating and that things I thought were true are false and now I have nothing to show for it being thirty something, unemployed, with no friends and still living with my parents! Things could be worse I guess--I could've stayed asleep for the rest of my life believing, as one couple from my UCG congregation put it, "total nonsense"!! :)
I am writing to request my name be removed from the Hall of Shame. Although I was a member for many more years (30) than I was a pastor my regret for having anything to do with WCG is beyond words. I became a “Pastor” about a year after the change in doctrine. Members were leaving in droves and some of us who stayed were given the responsibility of hosting house churches. I did this for about 2 years then went full time for about 5 moving to Illinois and later to Missouri. It was a awful experience. I honestly tried to help but members were so shell shocked, angry and lost that I finally realized the whole organization needs to close down. I pray for the day when a news report comes out stating WCG has disbanded. I left the ministry and the church in 2006. My wife and I now belong to a small Methodist church. I wish to deeply apologies for any thing I ever said or did, or left unsaid or undone that hurt anyone. The people I hurt the most were members of family. I can not believe I was so ignorant, vain and stubborn for so long. There are many things I have done in my life that I regret and feel deep sorrow for. My involvement with WCG is not only something I regret but am deeply ashamed of and likely will be for the rest of my life. By the way, I refuse to call the organization by its new name , Grace Communion International. They can can run but they can to hide from what they were, what they did to innocent people, and how they continue to try to fool everyone into believing they have become.
Anyway's, my parents left "the Church" in 1974. My parents have always loved and cared for this very special child.
None of my siblings joined the Church, or even considered it. In school we didn't participate in parties, holiday's, dances or sports. We didn't work real hard to prepare for our future because the world was going to end in 1974. Plus, secondary education was really made fun of from the pulpit. I guess I can be thankful that neither I or any of my sisters were young adult females in "the church."
We celebrate Christmas, go to Church when, where, and if we choose, dress as we please and make our own decisions. We even use the doctors and hospitals when we are sick. I guess that shouldn't be such a big deal, but I am extremely thankful for that freedom.
My parents never really did get comfortable with the use of modern medicine, and in I'll the first to agree that there is a lot of corruption in that field as well as many others. My sister seizes several times daily, has a nurse a couple times a week, sees a doctor once in a while and is other-wise cared for by my elderly father.
Mom passed away a couple years ago. So....life goes on. I wish we could undo the harm. I'll never forget the few people in church who really were kind, the children who were needlessly crippled or died, the nights of no sleep while my parents fought and argued trying to make sense of it all.
I'll never forget the special music. One young man (who left before my family) could sing "the Holy City" in such a way as to erase all the evil. I wish the best to all who have been there, all who are there and all who will be there.
There really is a light at the end of the tunnel.
(Name withheld by request)
Thank you for sharing your story with the readership of the Painful Truth. It is unfortunate that Armstrong-ism is the gift that keeps on giving even after we discard it.
At some point of time, all of us were grasping for straws, grasping for something to hold onto, grasping for something that promised to give us a sense of certainty and security. We allowed ourselves to be morally cripple through Herbies op-ed pieces that were biblically and morally indefensible. Your parents were just the type of people that Armstrong sought to prey upon.
It is important to understand that Armstrong operated under a particular ideology: a set of beliefs based on the root metaphor of the transmission of force. Psychological projections that stirred within us a fear of death, fear of the unknown, fear of some god who punishes, kills and torments human beings. We were even told before baptism that God will hold us responsible for what "we know." There was no walking away from the cult. You were screwed the day you made first contact.
Then there were those who just wanted to believe the lies that made them feel intellectually and spiritually superior to others. We all called it "the truth." In reality, all of it was just a lie. Without a doubt, Armstrong-ism is like no-fault insurance against personal responsibility. We should have known better.
It was unfortunate that Armstrong had no real morals and was so ethically handicapped. He reduce those who supported him down to the status of domestic animals, or pets if you will. Except there was no love, no real food or drink to sustain you and your family. Instead what you received was a streak of cruelty that enabled him to find pleasure in his destructiveness. In the end, his dramatic hyperbole and criminal manipulative psychological techniques destroyed an untold number of the faithful.
Look at the experience this way:
1. Armstrong-ism is something like a hothouse plant. It shoots up, but lacks the strength to defy the years and withstand the heavy storms of scrutiny.
2. We the sheep had the freedom to choose the patch of grass in Armstrong's pasture, which we would graze while growing wool and mutton for our master(s). When we tired of being fleeced, we found greener pastures, pastures that we owned, pastures that supported us on our journey towards sanity and abundance.
The take-away message of this:
Divide your family.
To those who may be just discovering the Painful Truth for the first time, the necessary first step towards recovery is to look at Armstrong-ism with new eyes. Eyes that are unclouded by a lifetime of false information and deception.
That which enslaved your mind and manipulated you through the endless hoops of Armstrong-ism. That which was taught and propagated by the Harveys Bristol Cream casuist, Herbert W. Armstrong.
I just found your site for the first time and I found it to be a good resource. My father still very much believes that Armstrong was a great man which has been the subject of much debate between us. I thought your page on prophecies Armstrong made, then re-made, then re-made, etc.... was great. (prophet-1.htm this is the page I'm referencing). It may be on your site and I missed it but I'm wondering if you have or know where I could find the full articles or speeches where he made these quotes. My concern is if I show my father the web page he will simply say you took things out of context or outright made them up. Any information or ideas you may have would be greatly appreciated and just a really great job with the entire web-site, truly a top notch resource for disputing Armstrong.
Hi there Nature Girl,
Nature Girl Replies:
THANK YOU SO MUCH! That site is absolutely perfect! I've been looking for an archive just like it. I'll show my father and let you know what happens, and if it's something you feel your readers would want to hear I would have no problem with you sharing. Again thank you so much I've really been looking for this and you really can not know how helpful you've been and just how much I genuinely appreciate the help you've given me.
Lyndon Larouche is heading towards 90, and the more I learn about him and his history the more I'm comparing him with Herbert Armstrong. Any thoughts?
Have just sent a couple of e-mails to COGWA. I critique David Treybig's 'The Mystery Of The Kingdom.'
Now that they've broken away from UCG, they've got to rewrite all of Herbert Armstrong's pamphlets YET AGAIN! Simpler to do what I hear many ARE doing - just send off to PCG for the originals. You can do this quite safely without having to get involved with Gerald Flurry personally. (The only advantage of researching Armstrong et al. over researching the JWs is: David Pack or Bill Dankenbring [is he still alive?] don't come knocking on your front door.)
The only difference I can see between UCG and COGWA is the latter's readiness to admit that there once WAS a church called WCG and there once WAS a little old man called Herbert W. Armstrong.
(Somehow, I can never imagine him being young.) The 'Who We Are' page in the Treybig booklet says:
'The Church of God, a Worldwide Association, is one of several [sic!] organizations tracing its roots through Herbert Armstrong.' I almost spilled my tea when I read 'several.' SEVERAL? Ones of any substance amount to six: UCG, COGWA, CoG-IC, PCG, LCG, RCG. Never mind all the others. Reminds me of that short story by (I think) Robert Heinlein - scientists programmed a computer to list all the names of God. When it finished it switched itself off - and the universe disappeared too. (Have I got that right?)
The Hulme gang fascinate me the most, but only because you can't find out much about them: none of the usual Armstrongite paraphenalia, just that flashy VISION magazine full of worthy articles about child-rearing and brain science - with bits & pieces of 'The Work' in between. Hulme (a bit like GTA) thinks he should rewrite the New Testament in his own words. His group's opacity (even by Armstrongite standards) is quite frightening. 'Invitation only' feasts, apparently - meaning: no interlopers from any of the other 'several' organizations.
Thank's for writing the Painful Truth.
I never thought Herbert was like Lyndon Larouche but I should have. Larouche was an political extremist, conspiracist, and was involved with mail fraud. Armstrong was a religious extremist, satanic conspiracist and yes, committing fraud by imitating a journalist that eventually got people on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars in order to support his lifestyle and bogus work.
As to the Bill Dankenbring, yes I think he is still kicking out a mill of books through his child-like website(s). Following in the ways of his father Herbie, Bill is also author, prophet and apostle. Who could have guessed that he like so many others in the sick world of Armstrong-ism would have taken this identical path! Praise the lord and pass the basket!
As to Hulme or COGWA, what's the difference? What you lie about or how you tell the lie? Its all the same! Its all about profits and prophets. Movie scripts could be written from these sideshows.PT Editor,
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