The Painful Truth About The Worldwide Church of God

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1/22/00

 Hi Mary:

I don't have a lot of data to give you, but I think Rader left when he did because he'd fleeced the Worldwide Church of God enough, and felt there was little reason to continue for profit. And people were waking up to him. Time to find another church.

Waterhouse was diagnosed as psychotic by a professional psychiatrist. Those at AC laughed at his ramblings and considered him to be a convulsive baboon. He became an "evangelist" because in the late 50's and 60's, he was blindly loyal to HWA, and that's all that was needed. His avalanche of verbal vomit made him a speaker, and his travelings for Herbert qualified him for the college's roving idiot. No one on campus took this character seriously. He was the Goebels of A.C., with less intelligence.

The only reason, and logical one, that I can see as to why Tkach replaced HWA, was because of the latter's ego. GTA had some charisma with the membership, and in some strange places, Meredith was highly respected. Either of those would be admired and eventually claim to be "apostle" and accepted as new leader. HWA would have eventually been forgotten. And HWA knew this. But NO one knew Tkach. In making him head of Worldwide Church of God, Herbert would have no challenge to his leadership . . . even in death.

HWA, as we've now seen, was a complete ego maniac. He could never see anyone replacing him as the "head" of Worldwide Church of God. So, he picked a corrupt, innocuous, little nobody for the job. HWA's ego extended beyond the grave, as Herbert hoped to live forever by having NO ONE ever replace him. That's why he picked Tkach, knowing that little jerk had nothing that anyone could desire in a leader. If HWA couldn't live forever in the flesh, he wanted to live forever in people's memories. His ego went that far.

Hope this has helped.

Best. John


 

 I'm an ex-member of the WWCG and PCG. I was curious as to what credability do you have or proof (no pun intended) on your story about herbert drinking the way he did what are your sources?

christian

REPLY

Hello Christian:

Thanks for the note.  HWA alcoholism has been confirmed by my own personal observations in many a meeting with him, and from a multitude of sources, both from friends and others whose word is reliable.  Please check some of the sources at the attached Ambassador Website.

A most happy HWA tried to play down the rumors at one time when I was there.  He told us he only had the occasional beer.

The only time I remember that HWA had beer was when he scoffed down handfuls of peanuts and drank a 12 pack during a worldwide Church FAST.

Best.  John.


 

 John This is an odd question, I know, but I was asked this recently and really wasn't sure how to respond.

 With knowledge of his prior disfellowshipments, "personal problems", etc, how did Garner Ted manage to form a splinter group at all, with his father still alive? I could see him forming one now, easily. But then?

 (I was a small child at the time and do not remember).

REPLY

 Hello Shawn:

The problems between HWA and GTA, and the latter's departures, had nothing to do GTA's problems, women, gambling, alcohol, or anything else. The incessant problems ALWAYS had to do with differences in running the Worldwide Church of God. HWA wanted to always be in charge and do things "his" way which GTA disagreed with. BOTH men wanted to run the show, and BOTH wanted to be "God's one and only Apostle."

Even, at one time, HWA ostensibly turned to controls of the organization over to GTA, but the old man wouldn't get out of the way and let him to the job GTA was given. Rader saw to that. That was in 1977-1978. Herman Hoeh commented, in a sermon at the time: "When Mr. Armstrong turns the reigns of the ship's authority over to his son, the senior Mr. Armstrong has a very difficult time about getting his hand off the wheel."

So, GTA's departure to form his own group is not surprising. It was predictable. Teddy couldn't get his own way and figuring he knew how to be a better apostle he started his own group when after, in 1978 he and papa had a complete split regarding the organizational policies and "who was in charge." This was the same and ONLY reason that GTA was kicked out the first time too. It had nothing to do with GTA's promiscuity. In fact, HWA was worse.

Best. John


 

1/27/00

 Hi John,

I just finished reading your article on the PT website about the excessive drinking in the wcg. I can add some extra information to this. Not only did some of the ministers drink too much, some of them actually were guilty of drinking and driving. Back in the sixties when I was in college at Big Sandy, I was on the "piano list." Students on this list were assigned to play the piano for Sabbath services in outlying church areas. The congregations in Dallas, Fort Worth, Shreveport, and other cities within 2-3 hours of driving distance from the campus did not necessarily have their own resident minister. A number of them were "served" by ministers who lived on campus. Some of those ministers were Ron Kelly, Ben Chapman, Dale Schurter and Leroy Neff, just to name a few.

Most Sabbaths, a junior or senior male student assigned to give the sermonette, possibly his date for the day, and a piano player would accompany the minister and his family to one of these church services. More often than not, the minister stopped at a liquor store on the way back to Big Sandy. Quite often, he would hand out beers to those of us in the car, and then instruct us to keep the cans down low, in case we met, or were passed by, a patrol car. Of course, he proceeded to drink his beer(s) during the drive back to campus. What a great example (not!) to impressionable young college students, and, especially, to the little children in the car!

This seems so outrageous to me now, that I can hardly believe it, but I saw it with my own eyes.

Joyce Rutter


 

 Dear Mr. Ouvrier [because I so despise "Dear John" letters]:

Since self-esteem is a hot topic these days, I thought I would try my hand at it at:

http://www.all2true.com/html/pages/esteem.htm

Your suggestions would be welcomed [at dbecker@mind-set.com].

John, you have been writing some excellent articles, especially lately: The one on Alcoholism is tops.

John, you are the very first paid minister of the wcg [PAST or present] who has ever even acknowledged my existence. Thank you for giving me credit in "Ockham's Razor" [Shucks, twarn't nuthin']. It is much appreciated (does help build MY self-esteem).

Oh, life is so fun! I hope that you are not annoyed at my exuberance: Some might take offence at my last e-mail about the cat; I was having fun and meant nothing mean-spirited or vicious at all. I hope it was accepted in the same spirit it was given.

All blessings, peace, and joy to you all!

Warmest regards, Douglas


 

 

Hi Guys:

If you remember, I promised to pass on any information about the Seattle WA murder/suicide in the late 70's that involved the pastor.

Although the info I now have comes from a source that's private, I now remember the details as being true, having read about them in the Ministerial Bulletin at the time . . . around late 1977.  The ex-member recalls the incident happening in 1975, but we (as hirelings) only got wind of it in late 1977.  So did the pastoral ministry, and GTA tried to put the lid on it at the time.

The whole mess concerned the pastor Don Weininger and his wife.  His wife had her own career, apart from the hireling ministry, as a realty agent.

She had contacted a prominent (and black) divorce attorney to file the necessary papers, and Weininger tried to stop her for going through with something that would undoubtedly end his ministry.  He took a gun to the meeting.

While the attorney was temporarily out of the room, Weininger shot his wife and then himself.

Another Worldwide Church of God casualty.

That's all I have, and all that was given in the Bulletin, but I'd long forgotten the names involved.  Now you know.

Best.  John.

 REPLY

Dear John,

    That is just such an amazingly sad story. There are so many issues, it seems, that the couple needed to address. They probably had no where to turn for help within our ranks. After all, they were the experts!

    Weininger was also functioning under double load of arrogance. Not only as a husband, but also as pastor of his church area. If he received an extreme male-dominance upbringing (only God knows) and brought that into the ministry, it certainly could lead to a potentially explosive situation.

    But a minister with a hand gun? Whoa.  Mr. Ed Mauzey made my husband give up his gun before he would baptize him. (It was a Smith & Wesson Model 29 .44 magnum double action revolver with a six inch barrel that he carried on his person continually because there had been two separate, but concurrent, death contracts put out for his life due to his job as an officer at San Quentin State Prison.)

    Ed insisted that we had to live by faith in God's deliverance. So we did, and Mike disposed of his weapons. The death of one of the fellows that issued an death-edict against Mike was kind of interesting. He belonged to an inmate prison gang named the Black Guerilla Family or called the B.G.F.  Because of their ties to the street, they were responsible for the deaths of all of their attorneys that had fallen out of favor with them in Berkeley, California. Mike was on that list because of his in-court testimony against their imprisoned leader. Well anyway, this guy was out on the basketball court in the super maximum security area in the middle of the prison, which is situated right next to the death row. There was an amazingly small puddle of water on the court which he stepped in to retrieve an out-of-bounds ball. His foot slipped a bit and he leaned towards the rock wall to catch his balance and simply bumped his temple against the wall - and instantly died on the spot, releasing Mike from that particular contract. One down - one to go, but you can only imagine our relief when we heard the news.

    So, back to the minister. What did he need his gun for? Just curious.

Loving Regards,

Dana

  REPLY

Hi Dana:

Re the following query:

    So, back to the minister. What did he need his gun for? Just curious.

Apparently, from my source, it was common for some ministers to allow guns.  Our area in Reseda was renowned for people having guns.  They always claimed they were for "sport."  No one cared, but - as the ministry always said:  "Just as long as you rely on God."  Yeah  . . . right!

GTA, Thornhill, Les Mac, and others all had guns, and so did HWA's bodyguard.   They claimed later that they were never armed.  Ha!  Come on  . . . who's ever heard of a bodyguard without a weapon?

Weininger took his gun to that fatal and final meeting with obvious intent . . . his wife was either going to drop the divorce suit, or else.

And so  . . . or else.

Like you said.  It's a terribly tragic scenario, but one that typified so many other Worldwide Church of God horror stories.

Best 4 now.  John.

 REPLY

John,

    Your response is so amazing to me, I have having difficulty finding words. Talk about being willing to place a burden on others that you would not be willing to carry yourself! Mike suffered from Post Tramatic Stress Syndrome for YEARS without the comfort of personal protection that the ministry apparantly afforded themselves!

    Damn them!!!! My poor husband would wake up in the middle of the night screaming while he was trying to put out the fires on our mattress that he was dreaming inmates were lighting to kill us. (During one confrontation the inmates set all their mattresses on fire, then ignited all of their toilet tissue and threw it burning out of their cells into the air and sent it cascading down the tiers in flames for more confusion.)

Damn them.

Sincerely Yours,

Dana

   REPLY

 Hi Dana:

And I don't blame you.  I'm just as pissed off as you, and for other reasons as well.  They're more than hypocrites, who cared nothing about people  . . . they ARE tares.  This was your (below) comment, and it's well taken.

"Talk about being willing to place a burden on others that you would not be willing to carry yourself!"

I've not communicated with Mike, but quite obviously, our hearts go out to you both for the suffering that you need NOT have had.  We're all truly sorry for this hurt in your family lives.

But, when we think of it, didn't the whole concept of Worldwide Church of God reflect the same madness?  So many had guns, at least at home, in those days.  Who cared?  Look at our example.  The leadership drank.  The leadership bullied people like many husbands did.  The leadership were stiff and cold.  The leadership were arrogant.  The leadership had guns.  I even had a high powered air gun, and we'd all said, "If any SOB comes in here, we'll shoot him."  We trusted God  . . . sure, but we carried the weapons.  "Praise the Lord," as the song went, "and pass the ammunition."

There are many (and I've seen them) instances of divine protection.  That's true, and I'm not negating any of that.  But some of the ministry hinted that God does for us what we cannot do for ourselves.  In other words, this was taken to mean, protect yourself (with whatever means) and if you can't, then God will help you.

Friends of mine, who lived in Tucson and attended services when HWA was alive in 1979, told us personally that they'd seen HWA's bodyguards (PLURAL) next to the "Apostle" with their coats open.  Their large weapons could be clearly seen.  HWA had armed bodyguards.  And while he was at services, his wife, Ramona, was running her specialty shop - called "Mystique" - in Tucson, and it was open every Sabbath.

Thank God we're out of the cult.

Hope Mike is much better, and you both can sleep in peace now.  Bless U both.

Best.  John.

REPLY

Dear John,

    From the bottom of my heart, thank you for today's communications. You have no idea what a relief it is to Mike to have these matters discussed. I knew that some brethren carried weapons, but our minister instructed us, personally, not to. We took that as a PERSONAL command from God and acted accordingly. We were NOT aware of the overwhelming hypocrisy of the ministry and Mr. Armstrong, in particular, in this matter. But, we were also not aware of the overwhelming harm they were causing individual members all over the world, either. If we had been in their shoes, we would have been packing heat too! Armstrong and his henchmen had every reason to be afraid, but I doubt they lost as much sleep as the people who cared so much for their undeserving !@#$%'s.

    Yes, we did receive what we still believe to be supernatural intervention - and we remain eternally grateful to God for that. We also remain grateful to God for having been led out of the world wide church of god, and living long enough to do that.

    We are also enormously grateful to all of the correspondents that are making this healing process possible.

 Respectfully Yours,

Dana

REPLY

Hi again Dana:

Maybe some of us hirelings were real gullible, but we thought that it was mainly common knowledge about HWA and his armed henchmen.  There were those in the Tucson church, that we personally knew, who talked about all this as if this were common knowledge, and we felt like we were really stupid for not knowing.  This came out later in our tenure with Worldwide Church of God, but we ourselves  (the lower echelon) never bothered to carry weapons around, as we personally had nothing to worry about.  If some individual ministers thought the practice was wrong, then so be it, and I can't judge them. 

But we do NOW know that the upper tares in the Gehanna chaff pile KNEW of their own untoward actions, and decided to protect themselves against "enemies."  I understand that "Evangelist" Stan Rader also had the same protection.  Or better. 

If weapons were supposedly wrong, then why did "Evangelist" Dibar Apartian have a shotgun stashed in his own living room?  This was the same shotgun his son used to blow his head off when no one in the church listened to this particular young man's cry for help.

What madness went on!  And it's all starting to come out now. Yukkkkkkkkk!

Best blessings again, Dana, and take good care. 

Best to Mike.  John


1/30/00

 Dear John:

First of all, let me tell you how much it means to know that at least one minister was willing to walk away from the cult and support himself.

 My husband, like many others during the Vietnam war era, was in the military when he was "called" to be in Worldwide Church of God. Becoming a conscientious objector after you have voluntarily enlisted is no easy thing, and he could so easily have gone to prison. As it turned out, he was such a model airman, that he received an honorable discharge, after about a year of his c.o. application. Now, I don't have a quarrel with the idea of anyone being a c.o. But here is what gets me. The church espoused violence big time when they referred to the "heathen" who would not keep the feast of tabernacles after the return of Christ. And remember how "we" were going to have to "force" people to be happy? And how the church taught us to spank two month babies!!!!??? What a mixed up theology we had. And now to learn that ministers in the church kept guns. That the leaders had ARMED bodyguards?

 Oh well.

 My husband and I left the Worldwide Church of God in 1995, after they renounced the doctrinal heresies of HWA's era. Because of the timing of our exit, some of the local church leadship assumed that we were "having problems with the changes". The irony was that we had come to the conclusion that the church was a cult and the teaching "heretical" before the leadership did, but the ministers/local elders couldn't see it when we showed them the scriptures that made us change our minds. My reason for leaving was that our 80 member Blackfoot, Idaho cult was toxic as hell. Two obnoxious, self-righteous families vying for pre-eminence and what a pain. No boundaries. People would demand to know the most personal things, thinking it was okay to ask. After I had come to the conclusion that we weren't the only righteous people around, in fact I was beginning to think we weren't too righteous at all, and I didn't know anything about the Armstrongs or the leadership's hypocrisies, our local elder's daughter demanded to know if I thought we were the only true church, and I told her I didn't. She looked at me strangely and said, "well, you've always been a free-thinker." Somehow, the way she said it, knew it wasn't intended as a compliment! The next week, her AC grad brother gave a sermonette and said "it's okay to be open-minded, but you don't want to have such an open mind that your brains fall out."

 Another odd thing. Steve Nutzman's (a former Worldwide Church of God minister, now I think with UCG) father, who was a really great old guy, came back to the church in 1986 after HWA died. He used to ride to services with us. After we got to know him, he told me that he had left in the 70s because he had learned about HWA's incest w/his daughter. I was stunned. I asked our pastor, Wilbur Berg (there's that name again!) if it was true. He was quite irritated by my question. I know, because his answer was "Mr. Armstrong repented of that years ago, so why are you bringing that up now?" I took his answer as an affirmative, wouldn't you have?

 Blessings! Kathy

 Reply:

Hello Kathy:

And thanks for your letter and good words. In those days, there were two minds about guns in the church. Some ministers abhorred the idea while others didn't give a hoot. It depended on your particular minister. But it's not like everyone was packing a weapon, even though many hirelings didn't care what you had at home. This behaviour was justified by many as "sporting" weapons. Sure yeah, right . . . .44 Magnums, .357 Magnums, .38 revolvers, .32 snub-nose, .45 automatics, silencers (yes silencers), .22 personal automatics. When was the last time a "sporting" hunter used such close range weapons and walked up to an elk and blew it away at less than 20 feet?

But the overall teaching was still that "God protected us" and yes, I've certainly seen many of those latter incidents. There were decidedly two faces over the matter, but the hypocrisy at the top was . . . well typical. Berg's comments on Herbie's incest are most interesting. He never said anything about that fact during he and his wife's 1979 (all expenses) church paid, one month "working vacation" in Hawaii . . . for the work, of course. I wonder why not?

I'm copying Ed on this, as he'll keep your last name private, but your communiqu, will help others and confirm what's been said so many times.

Thanx again, Kathy, for a most interesting letter.

Best. John

 Reply:

 Dear John:

Thanks for your response. I think the key to Wilbur Berg's blindness is to be found in what he told you about being primarily "doctrinally oriented". He and his wife were looking for absolutes when they came into contact with RCG/WCG. He told us over and over again that the main thing to look for in a church was doctrinal purity, which he felt that HWA had. I reminded him when he told me the bit about "the main thing" that that was not the sign which Jesus said would identify his followers, but rather, their love for one another. He looked rather surprised, and said, "well, yes, that's true!" But for all that, I believe he was bogged down with the proof-texted theology he had been taught. I'll admit, it was rather formidable to overcome, at first, having been raised on it since I was a pre-schooler. I've been taking a theology class through an Episcopal seminary for the past two years, and now this stuff seems like child's play, but at the time, it was all we knew. I think the Bergs are still laboring under that.

I also believe that he was addicted to the life-style the church afforded him. He liked the good life. I remember when I wrote my last tithe check. My husband is a school teacher and I am a secretary, and at that time 1992, was only working part time. We couldn't afford a decent second car, but I watched the classifieds for about six months and checked out anything under $1,000, and eventually found myself a 1972 Plymouth Satellite with 38,000 original miles. The paint job was still shiny. I was so thankful and happy to get it and have a reliable way to get to work. I drove my then 22 year old "new" car over to the Berg's home to drop something off to them, and they were in their driveway. I noticed a beautiful, new, shiny red Jeep Cherokee in their garage, and said, "oh! your new fleet car arrived." Both Mr. and Mrs. started to moan and groan and said "Oh, it's this austerity program in the church! They've downgraded the fleet vehicles. We're used to having a nice heavy truck!" I went home so hopping mad! I told my husband I had written my last tithe check to that damn church and if he wanted to send them any money he would have to write the check, because I wouldn't do it. I was thirty seven years old and had never missed a tithe payment since I was thirteen years old, so you know this sort of set me off!

Well, things are pretty good these days. We still don't make a ton of money, but the money we make is putting our daughter through college and paying off our mortgage. I figured we've got some credit with God for the time being!

Kathy

Reply:

Hi Kathy:

Berg was considered a "no-brainer" by most at Pasadena. I often heard the jokes that went around about him. But, he went with the flow, and didn't rock the boat. This guy's IQ, I felt, was at level of meat. The problem, with many of these people, is that when they're cornered, they can become viscous. Like the Nazis, these androids are looking for absolutes, because people must actually use their brains to discern good and evil. If you have legalized absolutes, then you don't have to think. "Just follow orders Achtung!" Herbert taught them well.

But, no-brainers or not, if they were LOYAL, that was the entire key. They could do anything else. And they did . . . adultery, wife beating, bi-sexuality, alcoholism, etc., but they were all LOYAL, and so, they were protected, and stayed employed.

Berg was a loyalist from the beginning of time. To my knowledge, this guy never made it above local elder. And let's face it, where else could this hireling go? No one would want someone with his lack of talent. So, you stay with the cult, especially when you're getting fleet cars like a Cherokee. Wow! And he's bitching about that? I don't even drive anything that good. It's obvious that this hireling is used to the cushy life style (on tithepayer's money, of course), as his 2 week stint in Hawaii proved that. Where is their conscience?

Again, Kathy, many blessings and thanks for the update. I'll pass it along.

Best. John.


3/2/00

 Hello John,

Just read your article on Loyalty. It is great! It says so much. Now with all the examples you cited, how can there be any excuse? I know psychologically some will always be PREY to those who offer the "Paradise" and immortality theme, and follow the smooth, silver-tongued leaders. Many who have not been TAUGHT how to THINK will follow to their own dismay, or demise! How well WE all understand it(?) sometimes I don't think very well at all. It is like tripping on the proverbial rock in the road and never looking back to see what happened.

 I found that many stay frozen in time after they leave wwc and have learned the truth. Some look into the teachings, most do not and stay detached from organized religion, yet hold on to hwa's teachings. What they haven't done is LEARN what drew them there and how NOT to repeat the same mistake. Many go on and are led into another cult. They just do not understand what it is all about. History does indeed repeat itself if we haven't learned from it.

 To use one obvious example, among many, is Ernest Martin. He changes a few things, appears to be setting us free, only to CON-join us to HIS Cultic teachings. I thank him for the links he offered me to get out, however when I saw and heard a REPEAT of the CULT-TALK and CONvincing words, JUST LIKE HWA!!! boy did I leave him in the dust. He was a stepping stone for me for more explorations. Then there is the one who exposed all hwa's sins in his PROPHECY FLASH, then went on to continue the legalistic teachings as though they were the God ordained Truth!.. When I wrote him I thanked him for the courage to openly expose hwa and all the dirt, then I asked him how he could believe such a person's teachings could have been true? He never answered me, but he put my thanks in the next newsletter, and omitted my question! That told me a lot! Some wise sayings in the bible are true and worthy, such as "YOU SHALL KNOW THEM BY THEIR FRUITS!!! When will we begin to look and search out as much as we can before getting hooked again. Blind faith and loyalty...to what??

 Another question I would like to pose to you and any readers, What would YOU say to someone who told YOU it was your fault you were brainwashed!?? I'd love to hear from our PT readers and see some responses. Thanks again for the insight and sharing your articles with us. At least we are helping each other.

Salutations! Joanne

 Reply:

Hi Joanne:

 Thanks, blessings, and all the good stuff from Earthquakeville. Yes, we do get the sometime daily tremors. Doors rumble, and the cat's hair goes straight up.

 I haven't head about Ernie Martin, or his group, for years, but since he got most of his stuff from the Corncordia Bible Institute in Saugus, CA, I never bothered. Anyhow, Saugus is closer to us. More than anything else (besides family), I hurt for our former friends. Sure, I'm not involved in the madness now, but your own friends still won't trust you. Once bitten, forever shy. I really don't know how to help. True . . . judge all these new-found characters by their fruits, and in time, we'll see those fruits pop-up in their writings. That's why you discerned EM's formula. It was the same as HWA's based on the fruits of his writing. I think the Jesus' principle must be applied: Give out the seed, help any who may ask, and encourage all to THINK for themselves. You asked the question about Worldwide Church of God (or equiv.) and the brainwashing being my fault. This is a super question, and it's about time someone took odds with it. Thanks, Joanne for asking. I'm on my SOAPBOX now. Look out. Yes. It was my fault. And I must accept total responsibility. Lies and crooks are everywhere all over the world. But we were fooled about "God." The reason? Ignorance and stupidity. But that's not where we NEED to stay. We can always investigate, learn, grow, and get the hell outa there. That's evolution.

 While I'll admit it was totally my fault, I must also concede that (as an ex-Catholic) I was a total Biblical illiterate. Mickey Mouse could have popped up and provided me with an explanation to the Bible, and that would have made more sense than what I had. JFB's/Clarke's/Henry's/White's/Cramner's/HWA's, teachings were tons more than I ever knew. How could so much "new" knowledge be wrong? I didn't check, and yes, I was stupid, and yes again, it was my fault. But people are NOT programmed to stay stupid. It is by coming through stupidity that we learn. It is by seeing our error, admitting it, and rising above it that we grow spiritually.

 Like the LOYALTY aritcle indicates, IF its members can get rid of the fear of these jackals, and then they will see clearly. "Perfect love casts out all fear."

 Those (sometimes self-righteous) ones who like to challenge us about it all being "our fault" must realize that they themselves have been scammed too, at one time or another. Maybe it's not because of religion, true. But maybe they've been fooled by the sale of a product, an investment, or maybe their marriage partner fooled them into believing that partner was someone completely different? We all get scammed. And it can happen in our personal lives too.

 Before the accusers point a finger at us and say: "It's all your fault," then let them consider that they MIGHT have made marriage vows that are "their fault" too. Have they been scammed? Was their future union totally different than what they expected? If so, those of us who have blessed marriages could self-righteously say: "It's all your fault." But, since we're NOT going to, let the message be clear to those accusers. Shut up. And: "He who is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone." Anyhow, Joanne, good talking to you again, and havva great week.

I'll copy the Editor on this.

Many blessings & all the good stuff. John.


 Letter:

 Thanks for sharing your WWCG experience on alcoholism I also know of several persons who became alcoholics laymembers and ministers. As you stated they had poor examples from the very top down. You story about the Dom Perignon wine flowing like water (about $90.00 a bottle) is backed up by a minister I know, after all the Apostle had to have the very best no matter how many little old ladies mites it took, all he had to do was fire another crisis letter out and the cash came rolling in. No wonder God destroyed this corrupt system.

 Warm regards Name Withheld

 Reply:

 Thank you friend:

It's only sad that this corrupt system could not have been destroyed earlier. Thanks for your comments, and best to you.

John


 1st Letter:

 I have just read your statement on the Internet. WOW! I am still a member of Worldwide Church of God because I feel it has made some positive changes. As I told my pastor, I cannot agree fully with the church even at this time. I experienced the years of bullying, intimidation, fear tactics until I had enough and made up my mind to stand up against it. In the older days I would have been thrown out. I experienced the disapproval of an MS type neurological deficit disorder carry me down into total physical disability. It was made clear to me that this had to be MY FAULT some spiritual deficiency. I was told I should STOP seeing my doctor (who, in fact has been a great help to me). I was angrily assailed because of family problems I had absolutely no control over.

 I know the church isn't what it should be but it is much better than it was. Yes, I'm very hurt and angry and I don't want to allow that to drag me down spiritually. I resisted an anxious attorney's assurance that that we could get the abuses brought to an end because at about that time Mr. Tkach was struggling to bring these under control. I've been undergoing (?) a painful, slow, and lonely healing process (hopefully) from the results of the harsh abuses I suffered. Please don't use my name even if you use any information given. I can't find a perfect (beginning with myself) church and I want to remain within a body of believers. However, It seems uncertain to me that even the leadership knows where we are heading.

 Thank you for allowing me to bend your ear. I don't discuss any of this locally because I don't want to take a chance at hurting someone's faith. This is a most lonely and painful process. And we are supposed to just forget that the nightmare nearly destroyed (and DID destroy some of) us.

Thank you so much. Name Withheld

2nd Letter:

Sometimes there seems to be so much that either could or should be said that I wonder where to start or stop. As I said in my e-mail of only minutes ago I am still a member of Worldwide Church of God. But for years I haven't really felt that I actually 'fit in'. My friends probably would never suspect my doubts in this regards. I even sit in on meetings, as a deacon (which is a servant, not a ruler) and a member of the local church advisory board while consciously aware, during the business session that I don't 'fit in'. I've never discussed this with anyone, but I feel that so much is still wrong.

 I see no evidence that the top leadership has any idea of what directions we should be working toward. I believe we are subject to becoming mish-mash of differing faiths, with multiple contrasting worship styles that are not compatible. Why have I not left? Where would I go? I don't know.

 Well, enough of this. It just seems too good that I might can communicate with someone. However, I won't become a bother. Please accept my thanks.

Sincerely, Name withheld.


John,

    Is Herbie Land something like Graceland, but without the unmerited pardon? [Sorry, just couldn't resist.]

    In looking over your new booklet, "The Incredible Expenditures" AKA Worldwide Church of God's Extravagant waste of money, I am utterly devastated to be reminded of the absolute profligate spending of Herbert Armstrong and be confirmed in the concept that he was a Monopolar Hypomanic. Spend, spend, spend. On the most frivolous of things he [and others, especially Go To (I'm a programmer by temperament)] just had to have, confusing needs with lustful wants. It is so amazing.

    Keep up the good works.

    I note with interest that Henry Cornwall is next. As I understand it, he is a homosexual and the rumor was that he got the "boys" he wanted by making them interns (what a concept!) as assistants to his supervisory role at AC.

    I wonder, privately, what you might contribute to the perspective derived from the AR that Joe, Senior started up the corporate ladder by swapping his wife to Dean Blackwell, who seemed to have a penchant for such things?

    "The Journal" has returned to posting letters to the editor, which you may find at:

        http://www.thejournal.org/articles/issue36/letters.html

    If you read through them, you may get the sad perspective I did, that here are sincere deceived confused people (not the very elect?) who are sad and dispossessed. I find that the further I move away from the issues of the Churches of God, the better off, and the happier I am. The Worldwide Church of God is insane, the Churches of God are crazy, waging war on one another and internally with each other, and it drives me nuts to see the chaos, confusion, upset, and instability of these people. I just shake my head when I see how the money was spent, and then see people defend Herbert Armstrong to declare what a great man he was. The fruit of his doing was internal warfare, not to mention, generations lost to perdition. We may not believe in Satan, the Devil, but every time I look at the history of Herbert Armstrong, I think it is a losing battle, because his life proves the existence of Satan [I hope you can enjoy the insane irony of that!].

    Another sad thought is that people actually believe that they are going to be teachers of peace in the world tomorrow. Isn't that just an incredible thought? I guess if you yell loud enough and long enough at people you are abusing, there will be peace--if only from their going deaf! Man, those ministers had lungs!

    And since I do remove myself from the Worldwide Church of God(+/-), I am for the most part, happy; exploring new worlds and enjoying a much more stable life. Thank for the contributions you have made for that.

Douglas

  Reply:

Hi Douglas:

As always it's good to hear from you.  Again, thanks for your letter, and I'm passing it onto the Editor (with no names mentioned), because it only re-enforces what we know (sadly) to be true.

Like you, I can feel sorrow at those folks that are still blindly trapped.  We all know the feeling.  We just cannot admit to ourselves that we have been "HAD."

I'm a little surprised that more people hadn't seen this old news about the expenses, but my only question is:  Since this is only part of the expenses for two years, what's been going on before and after that time?  Obviously more of the same + + + + +.

It's surprising that more pastors (many who I personally knew) did not show their congregations all this stuff.  It might have saved families security, peoples' lives, and even children's sanity.  But again, obviously no one cared enough.  Anyhow, as old as this info is, it's all out now.

Some folks have touched base with me privately telling me this info makes them sick.  It did with me too, the first time I saw it.  I don't think I could get my mind off it for months.  There were many who knew about it, and who left the cult when they learned.  AR had the full story.

The next expose about Henry Cornwall gives a brief summary of his Japanese trip and party time with "friends."  Yes, as I understand it from people close to the situation, Henry was gay.  How come Herbie, Rader, and the A.C. accounting gang didn't mind?

Anyhow, thanks again for the contact, and our best to you, as always. 

John.


 You wrote: What about the reported (even, I believe earlier by AR) payroll costs given to HWA's illegitimates?

 Reply: HWA's illegitimates? Did he have illegitimate children?

Ed

  Reply:

Yes.  HWA is supposed to have 2 illegitimates in South America somewhere.  The info originally came from the accounting department who made out the money dispositions.  I don't know the exact location down South, but a steady monthly "salary" was reported to have gone there - sent regularly (blackmail, naturally) from the accounting dept. 

The inference that I derived is that these were the only two families - of many - that could make a "deal."  After HWA died, the deal naturally stopped.  I don't know the person in accounting that gave the info to (name witheld), but he talked to me about it in late 1979.  Unfortunately, it probably cannot be proven as HWA never had his name on any certificates anywhere, except his "marriage" one.  Obviously someone has enough info to make AC pay up. 

Only the accounting personnel would know, and that tied back to the Rader faction.  AR supposed to have had something on this, and the only one I know that could give any further info is Bob Gerringer, but I don't know where he is now. 

Best.  John.


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