the painful truth about the worldwide church of god

Email To The Editor
(Page 38)

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


6/27/00

 Thank you for this web site!

My problem-My husband joined Worldwide Church of God 25 yrs. ago just days before our marriage. Being a young bride I stupidly went along.

After 15 yrs of guilt, shame and pain, I threatened to leave with our five children. He took a hard look and with Earnest Martins help he was free. One year ago he was sent Robert Roenspies Literature and tapes. Well, needless to say he's gone hook line and sinker. He's attending their group, my husband of 25 yrs now has his bible mistress back. I tried to listen to his tapes but I couldn't stand it past the first 30 min.

If anyone has info about this group please let me know. I'm very concerned about this group! Worldwide Church of God was a family destroying group and here I am dumped into it again.

Please help!

Melody


I just wanted you to know how much I have enjoyed your site.  I particularly
enjoyed the recent article about the old sex pistol GTA.  Around our house
he is referred to as "Garner Ted (I taught Bill Clinton everything I know)
Armstrong."  They are both antisocial or criminal personalities to the core.

Thank you again and I'll keep reading.

Thomas


Dear Editor,(& Dear Afraid) or any Others,

 This is in response to the man, "Dear Afraid", who has written to you lately. I have read his posts before and have felt sadness and pain for him and would like to say,

 "I know and understand what you thinking and feeling completely!" I became disillusioned with Worldwide Church of God in 1997 and left before my husband did. I became an ex-bible believer in 1998. I was alone for a long time and isolated my self from others. Thankfully my husband was not happy with Worldwide Church of God and later left, but he still believes the bible. He isn't very interested , nor has he been in the past, really interested in bible study. I don't think he was a real believer, so he never truly thought things out. I was serious about the bible and put a lot of thought and work into knowing the bible. This is the main reason, I believe, that brought me to my freedom from religion and the bible.

I just kept asking and searching and knocking, and the awaking happened! I suffered a lot a sadness and pain in my loss of belief in god. I grieved all over again for friends and family who have died, ( I feel strongly), that I'll never see again! I suffered depression from all the stress and changes in my life. Things are much better, now! I want to make this clear! It has taken time to heal from all that I've been through. There are many others who are going through just what you are going through and would love to communicate with you!!! The message forum is good for this. I hope that you will try it!

 I hope that the Editor will post this email, even though it's through the Editor.

 Your friend, Nina

 P.S. We need the Painful Truth Message Forum!!! I hope more will come and feel safe there!


7/16/00

 I love the Painful Truth website and would like to have access to the new message forum.

I'm a former member (1982-1990) and co-worker (1974-1981) who has left the never-never land of Armstrongism and returned to the real world (1991-present). Please continue the site; I think all of us need it to one degree or another.

 Thank you,

Don


 Hi,

 I have been forwarded your web site from a friend, and it has proven very interesting. It dredges up a lot of memories better off forgotten in some cases. I just finished reading the 'dating' experience of Michelle and see a lot didn't change at AC despite her attending at a later era.

I graduated in 1970 after four years of the 'dating game'. After four years, my own self esteem had been totally shattered. (Which is not a bad thing looking back, as God used the experience to help me get rid of 'self' to better focus on Him.) On one occasion I was called into the office of a non-minister and berated on just about every aspect of my character. I was told to emulate several of what he considered leading ladies on campus. Lo and behold, they were the very ones I would have labeled the most 'worldly". And I should dress, talk, walk, and act like them?? I left so totally disheartened and confused I never sought counsel with anyone again. I must admit the only reason I did so in the first place was the young man in whom I was interested at the time made me do it as he considered Dave Albert as his mentor.

Although I graduated believing still (for awhile) that WWCG was the true church of God, I realized the 'ministers' were by no means perfect. Near the beginning of my sophomore year, I was ready to call it quits along with a couple of my friends. The only reason I stayed was Mr. Meredith asked me to stay as I was baptized and he felt to have three girls leave at the same time and one of them baptized, would be a bad example and demoralizing for some of the freshmen. Above all, I knew the spiritual example for the 'newbies' was more important than my own petty wants. I received my first shock as to the character of 'God's men' when the assistant dean blatantly lied to Mr. Meredith about a directive I had been given by the dean some months before.

 Actually, I have no axe to grind against anyone alive or dead in that organization, so I don't know why I am boring you with this. I just wanted to respond to Michelle and let her and others know, they were not imagining the rude and ungodly treatment we as women received at AC. Of course, if you were one of the 'in' crowd, then the dating and marriage rules somehow did not apply. You could date the same man more than twice in a semester (they did...LOTS!!), or marry a man destined for 'ministerhood' before your junior year (I saw that happen, too).

 I am also disappointed you now consider the Bible a 'fairy tale book'. If you allow your bitterness to 'throw the baby out with the bathwater', THEN THEY HAVE WON! God be true though every man a liar, so don't judge Him by these sincere or insincere 'nonministers'. We must let our experiences draw us closer to God Himself, and remember we must follow Him as He gives us understanding, then we will never fall into the 'trap' so many of us were in. I learned deeply through my experiences that Christ is the only being between me and God, not HWA or any other of the would-be intercessors.

 God bless you, Sandi

 REPLY:

 Sandi,

Thanks for your message about your experiences at AC.

Just one point regarding my bitterness and your "baby and bathwater" clich,, and I mean this with all sincerity and am not trying to offend you or hurt your feelings: You can be the FIRST to prove to me that the Bible is God's word. Of course, you cannot use the Bible to do it. That wouldn't be logical, would it?

I will be anxiously awaiting your proof of the Bible, but I won't be holding my breath because you will be the first person to be able to prove it in all human history. There is absolutely no proof at all. It is all faith and that means that you can't prove it. And so, in order to believe what you WANT to believe, out of fear of eternal death, you must disregard the only thing that you can be absolutely sure that God, if there is a God, gave you and that is your BRAIN. That is what faith is: disregarding your brain. I prefer to believe those things that are provable or reasonable.

If I may quote Thomas Jefferson: "Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear."

I have not thrown out the Bible and Jesus and religion in general, because of what any minister did to me. I throw them out because I can now think for myself. I no longer rely on others to tell me what is truth and what I must believe. I can question and research and decide on my own with no fear. Try it. It is scary at first but then it is liberating and you can free your mind from the slavery of religion.

Best Regards, Editor


7/26/00

 First, I'd like to commend you for continuing the Painful Truth. I know I speak for many others like myself who are still recovering and squeezing out the "Spir-r--rit-chual" pus with which we were infected by the dead pervert.

I am most grateful to Ed for creating this much needed site, it has played an important role in helping us to un-boggle our biblically saturated and captive minds. It is a good area to vent our spleens and to realize there are many, many others who have undergone the same experiences. For me, it has proven an escape hatch back to the real world. Back to virtual reality and sound reasoning. Back to unbinding our brains and learning about the bible instead of having repeatedly crammed into us what was in it.

The Painful Truth is proving to be a formidable foe of Worldwide Church of God and the sucker wannabe branches. I read a recent statement on this site to the effect that Worldwide Church of God was too big to take on. Well, hold onto your hats. I stated in an earlier article to the Painful Truth that when the younger members realize how they were duped and force fed Armstrong crap, robbed of a normal childhood upbringing, deprived of the enchantment of their teenage years, that, in so many words, the crap will really hit the fan. With more and more material from the disillusioned youth beginning to appear on the Painful Truth, that prediction is starting to materialize.

Little Joey Jr. is no happy camper. He and his ilk screwed us out of a lot of money and a lot of years. He is no dummy either. He knows that quite a few in that age group, particularly of the "X" generation, are much more radical than their parents were. Joe Jr. is sitting nervously on pins and needles atop the millions he stole from us, surrounded by bodyguards, hoping fervently for the time to "Flee to the Place of Safety."

Well, as Joe Louis once remarked about his upcoming bout with Billy Conn, he can run but he can't hide.

Keep up the good work, you're doing great.

Alex


Dear Editor,

I know you do not want sympathy, but I am sorry to hear of your suffering because of the WWCG.

I started attending when I was 1, I am now 42.  I stopped attending a few years ago. 

The thing that really bothered me was how the members worshiped Mr. Armstrong over God, and he let them.  During one sermon, Mr. Armstrong told us we just didn't get it.  He said that we would have been in the place of safety now if we would just get it!  So it was our fault because Christ was delaying his return. 

He also allowed his son to get away with sinning.  If any other person had committed one of the sins his son did, the person would have been disfellowshipped.

I do believe in God, but I cannot bring myself to attend another church.  I am glad that you have this site so people can see that others were hurt by the teachings of the WWCG.  I have learned one thing from my years of attending the church.  This is that I can be wrong.  We were taught that we were the chosen ones, and that we were the only ones who knew the truth.  I believed this.  I now realize that I was very wrong. 

I have learned that I can have an opinion, but I might be wrong.  I can enjoy listening to others without having a "you just don't know" attitude.  Also, I am sorry to hear you get hate mail.  This is the type of attitude that the WWCG promoted! Even though they changed the doctrine, many of the people have the same attitudes. That is why I can no longer attend.

Thanks for listening. 

Cindy


From: Frank Tillman <ftillman@hotmail.com>
Sent: Monday, July 17, 2000 12:53 PM

Subject: You are a DUMBASS Idare you to post this on your stupid www site !!

 I will burn you a new asshole You are incompetent

 Don't let your Bulldog mouth overload your chiwawa ASS one ot these days you stand before God OR this is all there is.

 I came across your DUMBASS statements on the www your must have BALLS of Steel or satan has you stretched over the barrell WIll he use vaseline YOU DUMBASS you shold be quiet. ftillman@psinet.com

if you coment back via hotmail i will trash it ftillman@psinet.com

 

73) 1960s Predicted Russia and China would mend their split. They never did.

RUSSIAN PRESIDENT'S EASTERN TRIP TO MAKE ALLIES OF CHINA AND NORTH KOREA

July 17, 2000 The London Times reported: "President Putin flies to Beijing today on a bold mission to boost his status and build opposition to US missile defense plans before both come under scrutiny at the Okinawa G8 summit next weekend. With the West cooler towards Mr. Putin's leadership than just three months ago, he has lined up potentially historic meetings in Beijing and North Korea with the aim of arriving in Japan as a major world figure. His intention will be to undermine America's proposed anti-missile shield with a joint Russian-Chinese statement condemning it as unwarranted and likely to trigger a hugely expensive space-based arms race. Preparations for the anti-missile shield suffered a big setback a week ago when a US test intercept of one of its own missiles failed over the Pacific. With his trip to North Korea, the first by a Russian President, Mr. Putin hopes to deepen US embarrassment over the botched test by establishing a rapport with precisely the 'rogue state' that Washington cites as its main reason for needing an anti-missile shield. More broadly, Mr. Putin intends to demand a voice on the world stage even as other leaders there begin to doubt whether he deserves one..."

 

76) HWA, 1956 PT: "Who will bury who?" Predicts that communism in Russia will outlive the United States. It didn't. It collapsed in 1991

RUSSIAN PRESIDENT MEETS TO STRENGTHEN RUSSIAN ARMY July 17, 2000 Agence France Presse reported: "Russian President Vladimir Putin met Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev and chief of staff General Anatoly Kvashnin late Sunday amid a mounting row over control of Russia's military. After the three-hour meeting in Sochi, Sergeyev said the radical reforms of the nation's rocket forces, as proposed by Kvashnin on Wednesday, had been 'reduced to the bare minimum,' the Interfax news agency reported. 'Whether to reform or to reconstruct the armed forces are two issues that are tightly bound and depend upon each other,' Sergeyev was quoted by ITAR-TASS as saying. 'We reduced the available options to those which minimized our differences, but there are still several possible variants,' he said early Monday. He added that the officials came to an 'agreed assessment' of the state of the armed forces. Sergeyev's comments were the first official confirmation of the talks, held in the Russian sea-side resort where Putin is resting. It was the president's second consultation with defense chiefs over the past two days. 'Never before has a president examined the problems with the armed forces so attentively,' Sergeyev said, adding that Putin had expressed his objective opinion and set a deadline for submission of all proposals. Security Council head Sergei Ivanov, also present at the late-night meeting, told ITAR-TASS that the officials agreed that the armed forces were an 'important instrument in government policy'. 'The armed forces need to be developed by strengthening not jeopardizing state security,' Ivanov said. Presidential spokesman Alexei Gromov told Interfax that the officials also discussed the upcoming Security Council session on upgrading the Russian army by 2010. The session is slated for the end of the month..."

 REPLY:

 Let me be frank with you. Come to think of it, you be Frank and I'll be intelligent. You will not get your idiocy published on the PT site by trying to bully your way on by a dare. What a very little mind you have. You must be ministerial material or a wannabe. So sorry but we are no longer afraid of the likes of yourself and your fellow shallow minded, non-thinkers.

If I can dig through your blithering, spittle covered message, it seems as though you have found two, out of the 207 Failed Prophesies of the incestuous false prophet, little Herbie Weakbrain Armstrong, that you can stretch far enough to think that they might have come true. I guess, if you just give him enough time, some of his prophesies may come true just by reason of the rise and fall of all nations. Seems to me, all this was supposed to come to pass and climax in 1973. And when it didn't, it was our fault, because we weren't ready; not that this asshole that you worship could possible be a false prophet. No, that couldn't be it.

I don't mind your being an idiot, but keep your email to yourself. Consider any further messages from you, BLOCKED. I won't even see them.

I don't even have contempt for you; I pity you.

Editor

REPLY:

My Dear Editor:

Always a bracing pleasure to hear from you and you handled the (puny) prick just perfectly. I feel very strongly that such people can only be honorably dealt with the way you do it, with scathing contempt and the full weight of the law and, where necessary, firearms used in legitimate self defense. (It worked for Andrew Jackson).

I of course cannot resist adding, he was wrong even in his pettiness. First, China is NOT following Russia. China today is a LOT more powerful than Russia. And I covered this point elsewhere in the 207.

And second, Russia may very well be a serious threat to the U.S. and Britain. I base this confidently on the fact that Herbert prophesied it WOULDN'T be, and he was consistently wrong on everything. (forgive the caps old habits die hard and I like to use the same cheap rhetorical devices against all the satanic parasites.).

Third, the asshole obviously missed the fact that will Russia may well be a threat, communism won't be because it did die, as the rest of the world noticed quite well in 1991. And today's Russia under Putin is not communist.

 My wife and I drew particular satisfaction from finding Ambassador Report 43 which documented Herman Hoeh's obsession with erotically photographed little boys. I guess it's time to dust off the David Defense once again though as I recall, David only did his thing with consenting adults and then stopped doing it. Interesting how highly Herbert thought of Herman. Set a pedophile to catch a pedophile. Pedophiles of the world unite. Another definition of Worldwide The Church for the Support and Enrichment of Pedophile Perverts.

The Watcher


 Hi

how do i get on the ekklessia mailing list again?

WEs

 REPLY:

The Ekklesia Email List is no longer in operation.

If you would like to get on the Painful Truth Forum, let me know.

Editor 
(My reply to Wes bounced so I post it here.)


 Dear Sir,

Thanks for your website. I left Worldwide Church of God in 1995. Since then your Website has given me comfort that I made the right decision. If only I had made it sooner.

While your website rightly dispatches HW Armstrong as a false prophet, a master of lies and deception, I believe it unfairly generalizes this to all christianty.

The Armstrong-supporting churches are non-christian cults, that follow the spurious, blasphemous doctrines of a self-glorying, reprobate. His church was slavery. But real Christianity and the bible are not. God's word his truth and His burden is light. Armstrong's word was falsehood and his burden was excessive. Because we served Armstrong, a minister of Satan, please don't assume that Christianity or the Bible are oppressive as Armstrong made his religion.

Thank God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, for opening our eyes to see.

Michael

 REPLY:

 Michael,

I will give you the opportunity to be the very first person in history to be able to prove that the Bible is God's word and that Jesus ever existed. You cannot use the Bible to do either of these things though. Check out the Bibliolatry Page before you waste too much more of your time in futility.

You certainly have a right to "believe" whatever you want but you do not have the right to think that others will accept your "faith" as proof that something is so. Faith is the exact opposite of proof and you don't need faith if there is any proof. I and many others prefer to use the one thing that I feel sure that God gave me, if there is a god, and that is my brain. Faith requires no brains and it is all based on fear of death.

If I may quote Thomas Jefferson: "Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear."

Editor


 Dear Editor,

 At long last the Worldwide Church of God and Armstrong are exposed as the naked Empire and Emperor they truly were. I was lucky enough to have run away to the Navy at the age of 18, but I clearly share the same mental dents in my armor as everyone else here. I was brought up under the Memphis/Little Rock regimes, and I have to make at least this one observation:

 -Thank GOODNESS I was forced to go through that!! Had I not been force-fed a diet of Matzos during Days of Unleavened Bread, had I not traveled to St. Pete and Big Sandy for the Feast,....had I not missed every chance to learn how to participate in school spelling bees because they were on a Friday night......Hmmm...I might have grown up and joined some other cult...like the Baptists or Catholics or whoever. At the least, and even with all the damage done, I can truly say that my parents and that 'church' are the reasons I can freely breathe and think for myself to this day. Had it not been so....

 Thank you for a valuable website. I still know people afflicted with this germ, and only wish they could breathe freely also....

Sincerely,

Mike


8/11/00

 Dear Frank:

Please, please stay off of the Internet when you are drunk... You will be just as stupid in the morning, but if you keep your mouth shut -you will be the only one who knows...

Jim


 I have been looking for a site like this for a long time. Just by chance I have stumbled across you. I have a story to tell.

One of loss, anger, sadness and confusion. I'm still trying to find the happy ending. Ii doubt that I ever will. Suicide has always been a thought as it was for my brother (who did follow through almost 8 yrs ago)In his letter his suicide note he said "I tried to do it Gods way but I can't" I deal with that bitterness everyday as I know thousands of others to too. I want people to hear my story because it needs to be told.

I need to ask you first though, is there a size limit to be put on the content? I could probably write a book. Thanks


 One of the more interesting XCG soap operas is the one starring Rod Meredith and supporting casts. He formed Global COG and soon had his former brother-in-law, Raymond McNair, in partnership with him. After a few years, McNair and others were upset that Roddy was assuming too much power for himself (well, DUH-H-H, guys, we ARE talking about Power-Mad Rod here!)--probably meaning too much power over the income--and kicked him and Raymond's own brother, Carl, out of Global. So...Rod and Carl form Living COG, take 80% of the former Global members, and McNair and Co. are soon up the proverbial Creek of Feces. So.....

Raymond is now attending the services of Living COG! How long before Rod lets him back behing the pulpit and onto the governing board? Raymond's action is easy to understand: when you've lived an absolutely useless life as a parasite, bleeding poor dupes dry by playing on guilt and fear, you really have no ability to do anything actually productive in society. Once a parasite, always a parasite. Raymond is just wanting to go back and do the only thing he knows how to do--leach.

Francis

REPLY:

 I think that is why Rod let Raymond back in: he can sympathize with someone who has no other talent than sucking the blood out of ignorant people.

Editor


 Having a life and a business and a family I don't have nearly enough time to enjoy your website.

My mother began with the Radio Church of God when I was five (1957); I was sent to AC and had the honor of being labeled "reprobate" by R. Kelly and salaciously ogled upon presentation to an inebriated HWA: two of many "blessings" that assisted in my early disengagement from potential traumas actually suffered by too many. I hasten to add, however, that nothing I know helps to dissolve the "tar-baby" so much as exposure to history of the Bible, Paganism, Judaism, Christianity, Western Civilization, the politics of exploitation, etc., etc. -an obvious practice of your own.

This is just enough of my history to assure you I can appreciate "The Painful Truth." I most vicariously participate in your frank "replies," such as the recent one to "Frank."

Would like to see more "non-"ministers sign-up on the "Apology" page to which I'll direct some former Worldwide Church of God members. Yours respectfully,

Myra


8/21/00

2 the Editor/s:

As usual, Jim V. has given us an excellent article in "Babel Stories."  Our problem lies in the inordinate amount of time we gave to studying this jumble of allegories, fables, and fairy tales.  More problems rise because of the neglected time we should have been devoting to more important issues - like family, etc.

To my personal sadness, I have several dear friends who I've known for over 20 years, but they slip in and out of "Religiosity."  When they're out, they're coherent, but when they're addicted, then nothing can get through.  I'd love to sit each down and have them read Jim's article (with others), but the problem is that they would refuse to read anything so "anti-Biblical."  Logic is all gone, and the emotion of hysterical, religious righteousness is rampant.  Only time will probably heal all these mental aberrations derived from "Christianity."  Hopefully.

Good article, Jim. 

Best.  JohnO.


My name is Caroline, and years ago I had an abortion.

My friends all say that I was wrong! They all tell me that god does not approve. I don't really believe in god. Can you please show me from the bible where it proves that there is a god, and what I did was wrong.

 Please publish this in your online discussion so anyone else having this same thought may read the answer.

 REPLY:

 Caroline,

I'm afraid that I would not be able to post your question on the forum because Bible discussions are the one thing that I will not allow on the PT Forum. Those that do believe in the Bible cannot prove anything about it and those that do not believe in it cannot stand any attempt at illogical, ill-informed people attempting, vainly, to defend it.

If anyone could prove that there is a God, with or without that evil book, they would have let everyone know by now, I can assure you. It hasn't been done and can't be done.

Editor


 Thank you so much for this web site!!! I am an only child born into Worldwide Church of God in 1976, baptized in 1995, and left with my parents in 1996. They were deacon and deaconess. When the "changes" started, we began to see what a cult this church really was. I remember how mad I was when our minister told my dad (after he didn't attend one of the Holy Days) that he was in the leadership and should set the example by being there. What a DOUBLE STANDARD! So we left. We decided to try other mainstream churches for a while, but eventually I lost interest in church completely. Now I do not go to any church unless I have to. Nor will I ever give my hard earned money to one.

It wasn't until I found this web site and read David Robinson's book (published in 1980 by the way) that I realized how much we've all been hurt by Herbie and the rest of the gang. I had heard several rumors about Herbie's sex life and how he spent OUR money several years ago, and I did believe they were true. I was angry, but at the time I didn't think it made the whole church bad. I never had any idea how bad it really was. Nor did I have any idea that Joe SR was also just as corrupt until reading your web site. I did not realize how many people in key leadership positions were dishonest money-grabbers! All those people out there are a bunch of lying SOB's!!!

And we gave ALL our money to these people in the name of God!

My mother ate crackers and water so that I could have the privilege of eating a peanut butter sandwich at school every day. My Dad was a teacher and had to take carpentry jobs in the summer just to make up for the loss of funds. When I was 16, I took a job after school so I could save for college. I never did have money for college because I would turn around and pay 1st and 2nd tithe on my earnings. We wore clothes that were 15 years old. Our furniture was old. Our cars were old. All of these sacrifices were in vain. IT MAKES ME SICK!

Another thing that makes me sick is the childhood I didn't have. I got teased a lot because I was weird. I always seemed to get that "cool" toy after it was "uncool" to have it. I rarely went to other kids' houses. My best friends had to be in the church. I wasn't involved in many activities in school. There are so many things I wanted to be involved in. I was really into music--like band, choir, and playing piano. I couldn't be in band because they play on Friday nights at football games. I never went to my prom. Instead, I got to go to those stupid YOU proms.

Speaking of music, I played piano for about ten years. I took part in YOU talent showcases, played special music, and was asked to play hymns. I chose not to, and I believe I was looked down upon because I didn't want to. Piano was the only means of escape for me. That was the one thing I could do to totally express myself.

I have a couple of things to say about YES and YOU. I did not like the YES lessons. They were scary and boring. I hated being forced to be a cheerleader. I would have had a lot more fun just watching the games. When I got into YOU, I hated being forced to play basketball. I did enjoy being with people my own age, and some of the non-athletic activities. The only one sport I loved was volleyball. I hated the Code of Conduct that was waved into our faces. It was a list of rules, some good, some kind of stupid, that we had to follow. If we didn't sign that piece of paper, we couldn't be in YOU (I'm not sure if that was just in our local area). I thought back then that these programs were a good thing, and I will admit I had some good times. But now I see that the same things would have been accomplished if we had been able to be active in our schools and communities.

I could say the same thing about the FOT. I had a lot of fun times, and I have been to a lot of cool places. But we didn't have much time to really tour the areas due to church services. I remember going to St. Pete, FL. for the FOT when I was a kid and only spending one afternoon at Disney World! How can you see all of Disney World in one lousy afternoon? My parents couldn't afford to stay extra days, either. The same experiences, maybe even better, could have happened if we didn't ever go to Worldwide Church of God because we would have had the money to TAKE vacations!

In the 8th grade, I developed a problem with anxiety. Sometimes I would physically get sick. This lasted all throughout high school. I still carry this condition which I now know as Social Anxiety Disorder. Four years ago I was prescribed an antidepressant.

When I was a teenager I did not use drugs or alcohol, like some do. I never got that teen rebellion out of me. These are the things I did to "rebel" against my parents: turn on the radio to the local rock station as soon as they left the house, borrow someone else's clothes to change at school, have a boyfriend (oh that's really sinning), actually eat the pepperoni on the pizza, sing Christmas songs in the school choir. Doing these things made me afraid that God was going to strike me down or that I would be possessed by demons. It's like this: If there is a cookie jar in front of me, and you don't let me have any cookies, then when I get a chance I will eat all the cookies, instead of just one or two. I wasn't allowed to do much of anything that was fun, so when I was free from this church, It was so easy to get caught up in the wrong things.

Three years ago, at the age of 20, I got in a bad crowd of friends. I started drinking. Then I started using marijuana. That did lead to a few more drugs. I was also in an abusive relationship. Nothing mattered to me anymore. I was the lowest I have ever been in my life. I almost lost my job. I could've lost my life. With the help of my parents and a true friend that I work with (who was never in Worldwide Church of God), I was able to start over again. I admit I still have a drink now and then, but I no longer have the desire to get "trashed."

Why am I telling you this? Because I truly believe my actions had something to do with being in a cult my whole life. I realize that a lot of people my age do these things, so I'm not saying I would not have still done them. Part of the blame falls on me. But after visiting your site on alcohol and Worldwide Church of God, I see a connection. By getting into an abusive relationship, I was once again being controlled. Abusing drugs and alcohol is no different. They controlled me. Just like Worldwide Church of God, the cult, did. Also, I often wonder if I was subconsciously trying to commit suicide to escape the pain.

Now I am trying every day to put this cult experience in perspective. There are days when I am just fuming with anger, and there are others when I don't dwell on it a whole lot. I wonder if anything I was taught is right, or if it is just a bunch of BS. The only thing I still believe is that there is a God. Also, I feel sorry for those that are still members. They are still following just like sheep. I do have a lot of discussions with my parents, as they are just as angry as I am, if not more. I do not blame them for bringing me into Worldwide Church of God. How can I? They were duped just like everyone else. I blame Herbie. I blame those in the leadership that knew what was going on and chose to follow him for the money. I hope he gets what he rightfully deserves--burning in the LAKE OF FIRE!!!

Today, I am an item processor for a bank. I have worked there for three years. I have ditched the friends I was with for new ones. I still have very little college education, because I have to put food on my table. Right now, my spare time is spent mending my social and financial problems. The good thing is that I am still young. I have a whole life ahead of me. Others, like my parents, don't have quite as long.

If you would like to post this, feel free to do so. Maybe my letter could help someone else. If you have any comments, please email me at:

 Keep up the good work!!!

Name Withheld


8/28/00

 (Regarding the Feazell the Weazell article) Change the words "By giving up" to "Let go of", drop the less-than simple discussion about "practicing simplicity," and these words become useful suggestions. But letting go is not "giving up." I can't exactly explain what it means in words, but we do all know that feeling of clinging to need.

I can let go of the need to have the last word, and yet still have the last word, sometimes. When it's appropriate. It's called "detachment." It works. It even feels good, and it sometimes accomplishes what "needing" could not. Another word also comes to mind-love. But not from reading that article.

I would suggest "giving up" the advice of would-be spiritual leaders who don't know the difference between "giving up" and "letting go."

Ralph


From: <NOWHERECARAVAN@aol.com>
To: <Email ">Email >
Sent: Saturday, August 26, 2000 3:03 PM
Subject: (no subject)

you are an idiot

 


 Hi again Editor,

Further to my first e-mail which I sent earlier, concerning why I want to join the Forum, I would like your opinion on some thoughts of mine.

 If Worldwide Church of God used the Bible as a tool to collect vast amounts of money from members of Worldwide Church of God, then it follows that any so called Church organization can do the same. If the Bible can be interpreted to twist its message, then it seems to me that it can not be used as instruction. The whole philosophy then falls down like a pack of cards. If we can't trust the Bible then we have no Biblical God. So all religions based on the Bible now fall into this category. As there is no substitute yet defined, then God as we know it does not exist. So where do we go from here? This is my problem then, there is only a void left. For some reason I want to fill this void with a God, but the above logic prevents this. I suppose many ex-members have reached this conclusion. So again where do we go from here?

Regards,
Eric

 REPLY:

 I don't think that I can add much to your reasoning here. It is as though we are back to the beginning of human history. There is a void and the human need for self-survival and some kind of peace of mind needs a "god" to explain our existence and to give hope to our continual, every minute realization that we may be dead, very dead, the next minute. We want some kind of hope for a longer life than we now have and we fall prey to any "religious" folk who tell us they have the answers. The simple fact is that nobody has any answers and none of the magical, religious fairy tale books can be at all proven to have been inspired or written by any god.

Where do we go from here? Make the most of this life and don't hurt anybody in the process. If there is any god worth following, I don't think it would hold this against us since it has given us no direction at all as to its desires in any provable way. What kind of god would want us to follow anyone or any thing without any proof? We have to use our brains here, the one and only thing that we can be sure that "god" has given us, and decide whether we really need superstition, fables and blind faith in religious hucksters. Some people need that and some people don't. What a different and better world it would be if people would opt for using their brains.

Editor


 I bring GOOD NEWS about a fantastic end-time work that our GREAT GOD has determined to raise up as a last shouting witness to this sick and dying world.

The word of the Eternal came to me in the night. A great new work -far beyond all others -must be raised up as a last witness to the entire world. The word of the Eternal revealed great mysteries to me, and ordained me as the one true end-time prophet. I know this to be truth because I was there...

We are no longer in the "gun lap," we are now within the last few precious feet of the finish line -there is no time to waste.

I will reveal what the word of the Eternal commanded me. I will reveal how Teddy's repentance is acceptable to God, I will reveal a deep, dark mystery that will prove I am the chosen prophet, and that Teddy must shout this revelation to the world. But Teddy must do "his" part in this great awesome work.

Teddy has been chosen personally as God's instrument to shout the mysteries of God never before revealed. But the word of the Eternal commands Teddy to speak only according the word of the Eternal -as explained by God's true prophet (me).

Teddy's repentance is understood only by God, but will now be revealed to all. God Himself knows that if you tried to hold your breath for 10 minutes, you would die. Therefore, 10 minutes is symbolic of a lifetime. Now we can all understand that Teddy's sins are therefore -a lifetime apart. And now we can finally understand that Teddy spends a "lifetime" of repentance between his sins. How could even the great God ask for more?

However, Teddy is commanded to do "his" part in this great, final, last work. The word of the Eternal has commanded that I, the one true prophet, be tested with a great test. We all know that wealth and power are the ultimate tests of any human being. Therefore, Teddy is commanded by the word of the Eternal to transfer all of his money, possessions, wealth, power and obedience to the one true prophet -to do with as the prophet sees fit. This is but a small "token" of faith, but the word of the Eternal has spoken -we are all mere instruments in God's hands -and we all must obey God's will.

I will now reveal God-given proof that I am indeed the one true prophet. I will now reveal a great mystery unknown to mankind. A dark truth that could only be revealed by God Himself. The mark of the Beast is really -Tennis.

The evil subtitles of Satan have blinded us to this great truth. The winner in tennis almost always scores 6-6-6. Is this not the very number of the Beast? But there is a greater evil. The Bible tells us that God "is" love -but in tennis, love is nothing, love is zero and love does not count. Since God is love, tennis tries to tell us that God is nothing, that God is a "loser" and that God is to be rejected. Now I will tell you an even greater truth that all of you will instantly understand...

It is the methodical, hypnotic thumping of the balls whereby Satan casts his evil influence and chains mankind's minds in darkness. And teddy Armstrong fully knows the evil, the lust, and the insanity of thumping balls.

If teddy Armstrong does not heed the word of the lord, and God's one true end time prophet -he will become impotent before sundown, and his manly parts will whither into dust so that all women will laugh him to scorn.

The word of the Eternal has spoken. Teddy must heed -and obey.

 Jim V

 


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