Email To The Editor
(Mail from Kooks, Nuts and Loonies is on another page)
To Jeff Diehl:
Before I begin, I wish to join the others in wishing Ed Mentel well in his
life's endeavors. He did outstanding work with The Painful Truth, and has
accomplished more good than he'll ever know.
I'm glad to see that Jeff Diehl has moderated his tone. He was way out of
line in much of what he said in his first note, and I appreciate the fact
that he apologized to Ed Mentel for his outrageous comments about his first
wife's terminal illness. His note infuriated me, especially since he enjoyed
a privileged lifestyle by virtue of being born into the Worldwide Church of
God's elite ministerial caste. And the reason he enjoyed the privileged
lifestyle is that it was provided by the people he slammed throughout his
note, including Ed. I was furious, and it showed in my reply.
As for his follow-up notes, there are comments I could object to. For
example, he states:
"I also never called anyone, members, Ed Sr. or even you a 'loser son,
little punk, or SOB'. I played by Ed Sr's rules on this website, not
resorting to name calling and would expect his supporters to do the same."
Actually, Jeff did resort to name-calling. Did he not refer to some of the
church membership as weirdos, loser kids, and backroad hillbilly weirdos?
Sounds like name-calling to me.
But I don't want to be too petty. I'm not going to respond point by point as
I did in my original note. There is one area that I will address. Jeff
mentioned several times that I missed the point of his note. I did not. His
point is that the only reason we were in the church and sacrificed as much
as we did was to save our skins, and our desire to save our skins showed
that our only motivation was greed.
While the desire for salvation was part of the motivation, most of us also
wanted to hasten the return of Jesus Christ, which was supposed to usher in
a utopia in which all of humanity would live in a state of eternal bliss. We
wanted to save not only ourselves, but also the whole world. Most of us were
not upset when a new member was baptized. We did not feel that the newcomer
was moving in on our share of utopia, leaving less for us. We were delighted
that another person had escaped "the world" and would now be sharing in our
"joy." It was especially gratifying when the newcomer's first exposure to
"the truth" was through a Plain Truth magazine he or she picked up from a
newsstand we kept supplied. It was as though we had a direct role in the
Jeff missed my point. He is pissed off at Painful Truth writers for being
pissed off at ministers. Jeff tries to show that he was also a victim. He
also had to make sacrifices. He also suffered. And, to top it all off, he
suffered because of the members. My point was that Jeff may have been
inconvenienced because his father was a minister, but as a minister's son he
enjoyed a privileged lifestyle, not only compared to church members, but
also to society at large once you take into account the tax breaks ministers
are entitled to. His complaints are hollow. His indignation is not
justified. Maybe he did suffer. But regular members suffered far more. What
is especially infuriating about Jeff's complaints is that the suffering and
sacrifice of the ordinary member made his privileged lifestyle possible.
Proof of that is the fact that that there are far fewer members willing to
suffer and sacrifice for the ministry, and his father now must find
Jeff can't see why his father's fleet car is a sore point with many of us.
Let me explain. We had to pay for our cars, even though we triple tithed.
Jeff's father got a brand new car every two years for free. He also got
$3,000 or so per year to pay the vehicle operating expenses and was exempt
from 2nd or 3rd tithes. He also received a festival allowance in which most
of his first tithe was returned to him. He received a rent subsidy tax free,
a terrific advantage. For example, if Jeff's father was in the 40% tax
bracket, a $500 rent subsidy was worth $833 pre-tax dollars (in other words,
a regular member in the 40% bracket would have to gross $833 in income in
order to take home $500). Last, but not least, he was exempt from social
security taxes, which meant that he got to keep 7.65% more or his pre-tax
income than the members could. That's an extra $2,295 per year if Jeff's
father's annual salary was just $30,000. Jeff has no right to complain about
riding in a fleet car. He was privileged to do so.
I guess it's just a matter of perspective. A few years ago, my hometown of
New York City was hit by a blizzard, shutting down all three of the local
airports. A group of students from an ivy league school in New England was
passing through New York on their way to Cancun for winter recess. They were
stranded at the airport when the snow hit, and were so infuriated by the
delay that they stormed the ticket counter demanding that they be allowed to
continue on their journey (this was pre-9/11; now they would all be arrested
and sent to jail for a long, long time). One of the students was interviewed
by a local all-news radio station and said, "I had to sleep on the floor all
night. I don't even want to go anymore. This is the worst thing that ever
happened to me." For a rich white kid from an ivy league school, being
delayed on the way to Cancun was the worst thing that ever happened to him.
For Jeff Diehl, riding in a fleet car was an experience so awful that he is
scarred for life, and he can't understand why nobody sympathizes with him.
Ministers and their families had little in common with the ordinary member.
As a matter of policy, ministers separated themselves from the membership
physically (remember the "Ministers Only" signs all over the place?) and
socially. The ministers were financially better off than most of the members
because they were exempt from tithing, and did not experience the extreme
belt tightening we lay members had to endure, especially in third tithe
years. Ministers and their offspring simply cannot relate to the experiences
of the lowly member because they avoided contact whenever possible. At
counseling sessions, they gave canned answers to life's most important
questions. Financial problems? Tithe, and God will provide. Depressed?
Listen to John Philip Sousa marches. Single guy with a strong sex drive?
Take cold showers. Abusive husband? Be more submissive, like the Proverbs 31
wife. Cancer? This anointing oil will do the trick. If the problems weren't
resolved, you weren't trying hard enough, and maybe a three week suspension
will get you to take our advice more seriously. If you died, or had that
operation, you didn't have enough faith.
Jeff is understandably upset that a lot of minister bashing goes on in these
pages. The trouble with Jeff is that he did not share in the experiences of
the regular membership, although he tried mightily to equate his experiences
with ours. But the Worldwide Church of God was truly a multi-tiered caste
system. The members of the ministerial caste, especially in the upper
echelons, but also in the lower levels of the caste system, had little in
common with ordinary lay members. He has no idea how good he had it compared
to the members, and the little inconveniences he experienced do not compare
to the real sacrifices the members made.
I am a former "Born-Again" Christian, who was sent your web site via a friend.
Terrific! I've only skimmed it so far, because it's pretty detailed and extensive, but I look forward to delving into it in depth.
That's it! Keep up the good work.
PS-- I'm not Armstrong..... He be dead..... Keep skimming though....
Two from Jeff Diehl:
I hope you understand, before you continue reading
this, that I'm about to light you up.
Here we go again. Jeff Diehl apologizes...or does he?
First of all, I apologized to Ed Sr. for my rude
comment about his late wife, and disrespecting the
memory of her. I also apologized for the name calling
I did by calling people hillbillies and losers.
I didn't apologize to you, or anyone as stupid as you.
My comment was in bad taste, rude and shameful. My
point remains the same.
Do you own a dictionary? Have you looked up the word
Okay. Here is the official definition of greed, from
the Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Greed: An excessive desire to acquire or possess more
than what one needs or deserves, especially with
respect to material wealth: Extremely eager or
Please break it down for me (and for all the readers
on this website who have real minds and can think):
Giving your last dime is greed?
No Jorge, that's stupidity.
Seeing your family go hungry is greed?
Nobody, and I mean nobody watched their family go
hungry for sake of the church. If they were going
hungry, they were long before they entered the church.
And if anyone gave their last ten dollars to the
church, over buying their family food, they did so
ONLY because they thought that ten dollars would get
them more in the long run. God would not want you to
give him money while watching your family starve.
Anyone with an ounce of brains could figure that out.
Losing your job is greed?
Only if you didn't show up to work because you had to
go to church. Most people went to church because they
wanted salvation, protection, and a chance to get into
the world tomorrow, not because they just loved it so
much. Most people go to work to earn a living, not
because you just love it so much. What if you didn't
show up to your job one day because you went to Disney
World with your kids? You would get fired. So you
don't go to Disney World, and keep your job. What if
you had to go to court, and if you missed court, you
would go to jail. You would make arrangements to go
to court, with your boss. And don't try to tell me
that your minister told you that if you went to work
on Saturday, you would get disfellowshiped of face
some other punishment. ANYONE who could "think for
themselves" would have said, "you know what, my
family, my health, and my livelihood are much more
important to me, and to the God who loves me would
want the same. I'm outta here". If you lost your job
because of going to church, you did so because there
was something more valuable to you than your paycheck,
or your family being hungry.
Living in poverty is greed?
Usually people who have a job, don't live in
Obeying the church's ORDERS to avoid medicine is
Do I need to ".break this down to you and all of the
readers who have real minds and can think?" Or was
someone thinking for you? Following orders is not
Paying out 1st, 2nd, and 3rd tithe, plus "generous
offerings", special donations, and turning in "excess"
2nd tithe is greed?
No, that is very generous. It's greed (mixed with
stupidity) when you do so while your family goes
hungry, you give away your last dime, you lose your
job and you follow orders not to take medicine.
Your final comment: God was who they had to go through
to get what they wanted. That's the point you keep
What? Huh? Excuse me? What did they want, and when did
they get it? You call this GREED? Do you own a
dictionary? Have you looked up the word "greed"?
Yes, I looked it up. Extremely eager or desirous
From my second post "get into heaven, make your life
better, make the blind see, the crippled walk, the
poor rich, the rich understanding and the dead rise
from the grave? Get you to the "world tomorrow" where
you could walk and talk with the animals, where every
day would be like the Feast, money was no object,
there'd be no more war and no more bullies, where the
"hillbilly" would live in a mansion and we'd all be
Those are examples of what "they" wanted. What did
you want? Surly someone who can think for himself
would have a reason to endure such suffering, or
subject his family to the same. Furthermore, probably
NOBODY who watched their family go hungry, couldn't
get a new car, or gave their last dime started off as
millionaires or very well to do families. I'm sure
that most if not all of the "poverty" as you call it
in the church entered into the church at the same net
worth they left with.
When the only reason you do any of these things that
you mentioned is because you have "An excessive desire
to acquire or possess more than what one needs.."
i.e. The World Tomorrow.
"Here we go again. Jeff Diehl apologizes...or does
Who do you think I was apologizing to, you? Are you
one of the people that is so blinded by their
ignorance that you think you deserve an apology for
all of the suffering that you put yourself and your
family through? Do you think you deserve an apology
for starving your family and losing your job and
giving all of your money away? Should someone
apologize to you for your stupidity? I apologized for
being disrespectful, not for making the point that you
STILL can't figure out.
There is not an apology due to you, from me that you
need concern yourself with.
Jeff, I think you're brain damaged. Children who
suffer from malnutrition often don't develop normally.
Your neurons aren't firing. You probably didn't get
enough white sugar as a kid.
As a child, I got plenty of nourishment from the food
my dad's paycheck put on the table. I also got plenty
of sugar. I used to drive the fleet car to the store
and spend my allowance on candy when I was hungry.
Don't get smart with me Jorge, you'll end up looking
even dumber than you do now.
P.S. I also looked up the word stupid in the
dictionary. There was a picture of you.
Thank you for the response, the candor and
information. I definately see how perspectives of a
situation can make all of the difference.
Your post was excellent, thank you for the knowledge
On JohnB's "flog log" articleI always wondered how Tkach Sr. came to be the Chosen OneNow we know . . .Kathy
Enjoying the website, as always.
We are no longer considered members by the PCG (we have a letter that says so), but we're still on their mailing list. We got the latest "Trumpet" yesterday, and it's just insane how Gerald Flurry thinks the whole world revolves around HWA!!!
The articles I'll quote from can be read entirely online at http://www.pcog.org. Click on "The Trumpet" icon to go the the current issue. All emphasis are his.
The following quotes come from "Is California Under a Curse?" by Gerald Flurry. He quotes from a '93 Trumpet article, where he writes about the CA fires of '91 and also the '92 race riots in LA. Then he quotes the Bible in Matt., where it talks about the Elijah to come.
Flurry "The DISCIPLES knew that Christ referred to John the Baptist. AND CHRIST'S DISCIPLES TODAY KNOW WHO THIS MODERN DAY JOHN, OR ELIJAH, WAS! They must know who he was or they could not do God's work! His name was Herbert W. Armstrong. His headquarters was Pasadena, California.
"ONLY Mr. Armstrong preached the true gospel around the world, for the first time in almost 2,000 years!"
Then GF talks about the hearts of the fathers and children, "lest I come smite the earth with a curse". He claims Herbie taught the truth about God's family and being born into that family. What he doesn't say is how he separated hundreds of families because of his stupid D&R rules (doing his own thing later), and caused families IN the church to keep contact to a minimum with those OUTside the church (including extended family members). Also, his entire immediate family either ended up dead, due to his stupid rules about doctors and medicine (that did not apply to him), or else estranged from him! Sorry Gerry, but Herbie did NOT fulfill that prophecy! Rupert and Lill probably have done more to help kids, than HWA ever did!
Flurry "Here is the earth-shaking point. Mr. Armstrong was the modern-day Elijah. And, as pastor general of the Worldwide Church of God, he preached God's precious truth to this world from Pasadena, California.
"In an overt attack against Mr. Armstrong, the state of California, through the attorney general's office, launched a massive lawsuit against the WCG in 1979. On Jan. 3, that office initiated a sudden, armed (me - armed, really!?!) assault on the Pasadena headquarters in an attempt to claim ownership of the Church's property and assets as well as it's continuing income. . . . . Completely false, outragious and baseless allegations of financial mismanagement were made despite financial and all other required records having been regularly and voluntarily filed. . .
"California is the only state that ever attacked Mr. Armstrong and his work. Actually, it attacked a lot more than that. California really ATTACKED THE LIVING GOD!
"When meeting out punishment, God begins at his sactuary. The Church Mr. Armstrong founded no longer follows most of the doctrines he taught! In principal, God begins where His own sinning Church is, especially their headquarters in Pasadena. And in general, that principle applies to the state where God's sinning headquarters is. So it is fitting that God begins the worst part of his punishing America in California. The headquarters of God's own sinning, Laodicean Church is there.
"Is there a connection to what is happening in California and God's work through Herbert W. Armstrong? The whole world must come to see that there is!
"Is God cursing California?"
Then he quotes Deut. 28:15-20 Curses, curses! He then says God is either allowing or sending the California fires.
Flurry "Is God now intensely cursing California for its attack against the living God's work under Herbert W. Armstrong? . . . Is God now taking vengeance against that state for what it did to his work? Yes, He is! And California is only the beginning."
(It seems to me that God is pretty slow to repay vengeance on old California. The fires of 93 were 13 years after the lawsuit. The latest fires were 23 years later. Quite unlike God of the OT who wiped out entire nations or families, right, left and center, at the drop of a hat!)
Craig Winters writes on page 3 "And as we wait, we muse on the constellation of curses that have devestated great swaths of the once Golden State of the West all since the death of a venerable old man of God, Herbert W. Armstrong.
"There has to be a reason for all this"
(There is. How about some insane assholes that intentionally, or carelessly started some of the fires in the first place!?!)
Pages 24 - 27 have articles written by Herbie that appeared in the WSJ in 1980 telling of his and the church's "innocence".
Page 25 is a classic! You gotta read the whole thing! A few quotes from the Apostle himself, follow, emphasis his.
HWA " . . . TV and radio newscasts blared across the nation the false allegation that I, with Mr. Stanley R. Rader, had been siphoning off millions of dollars every year from Church funds for our private accounts."
(Didn't Pasadena have about 3 or 4 auctions in recent years, selling off the fine bric-a-brac (numbering in the thousands of items) that Herbie blew our tithe money on!?!)
"It's time people know the TRUTH!"
(Read the AR's if you want it.)
Then he talks a lot about the Give and Get Way, meaning he is not a "getter" but a "giver" but we all know differenly now! He talks about how his family went hungry so they could give to the work (never mind that half the time they were going hungry, he was working 4 or 5 days a month, see his Auto., Vol 1). I think he did manual labor twice once when he "threw" firewood, and once when he cut down a tree. Then he talks about Stanley Rader being hired by the church.
HWA "We agreed to pay him (Rader) at a rate equal to his income at the time. It was the highest "salary" well above my own. . . . God says "the laborer is worthy of his hire".
"Now, TODAY, after all these years, WHAT DO I HAVE WHAT DOES MR. RADER HAVE?
"All I have in the world today is my home in Tuscon, Arizona, bought 3 1/2 years ago with a small down payment and a 20-year loan secured by a mortgage, the use of a 3 year old car and a checking account in the bank. My wife owns a car, some clothes and some jewelry that I bought with personal funds (our tithes and offerings), after taxes and tithes and Church offerings. I own the clothes on my back THAT IS ALL!"
(What!?! No food to eat? No Dom Perigom? No furniture? No GIII? All this, and more, bought and paid for by US, as in you and me! And just what was the make and model of that 3 year old car? A Pinto, or a Rolls?)
HWA "Mr. Rader has a bank account about double mine, his home in Pasadena, and is buying interest in a small horse ranch in Tucson. His wife has some money in her own name, inherited from her family not from the Church.
"For 53 years now, I have lived a life devoted to the principle of "GIVE" but those who "GET" do still accuse falesely and persecute those who GIVE! . . . "
On page 26, Herbie is justifying his worldwide trips, which we all know were photo ops with foreign dictators who usually died shortly after he visited them. Also he spoke about "unseen hands from someplace". How the heck does that qualify for "preaching the gospel"!?! Seems to me that God or Christ wouldn't want to be an "unseen hand". Don't we all like to be called by name? And despite Herbie having always taught the "worldly"churches were of Satan, he was pretty damn happy to have them backing him up on the lawsuit and attempted take-over.
Page 27 has an interesting title. "Mr. Attorney General . . . Has your unconstitutional attack against the WCG hurt the strength of that church? The plain truth may surpise you!"
Herbie claims the church was not hurt, however, as we all know it was. The real facts were coming out, the AR's reporting everything (I didn't know about the AR myself until 2 years ago), Herbie was writing the next important book since the Bible (according to him) and he died less than 4 years after the referred to article was written. Tkatch Sr. started making changes (many for the better), but by then too many people were finding out too many bad things. So, No, the church wasn't hurt by the lawsuit itself, but by all the Plain Truth that came out (eventually) due to starting it.
As in Gerry's and Herbie's words, this should reach the "widest audience possible", so here it is.
18 Dec "Flog Log" Review
I just wanted to say the recent post by John B. is absolutely funny! I couldn't stop laughing for the rest of the afternoon. But I remember well the other "inspirational" works by John B. such as "Sex Acts of the Apostle", "Movie Titles", "WCG Booklets Updated", and so on. I just wanted to say (personally) to John B. that you really outdid yourself in producing such brilliant "MAD-style" satirically humor. You'd be perfect for adding and supplementing the (inactive) "Graveyard Church of God" website, by the way, whoever produced that site is a genius, too. Keep up the "good work"!
21 Dec: To Jeff Diehl
An excessive desire to acquire or possess more than what one needs or deserves, especially with respect to material wealth: Extremely eager or desirous
To Jefe Diehl:
Dude! You have got to be the dumbest white boy I ever did see! I ain't gonna waste too much time on yer ass, so let's get started, shall we?
First of all, when you respond to a quote, how about putting brackets or something around what you are responding to? It's damn hard to figure out what I wrote and what you wrote. Use blue ink or something, man! Watch how I do it, punk, and learn something.
Joo wrote: <<< Nobody, and I mean nobody watched their family go
hungry for sake of the church. If they were going
hungry, they were long before they entered the church.
And if anyone gave their last ten dollars to the
church, over buying their family food, they did so
ONLY because they thought that ten dollars would get
them more in the long run. God would not want you to
give him money while watching your family starve.
Anyone with an ounce of brains could figure that out.>>>
Joo know that for sure, do you? Nobody, not once, not ever, in fifty fucking years? How the hell would you know?
<<< Losing your job is greed? >>>
<<< Only if you didn't show up to work because you had to go to church. >>>
Well, no shit, dumb-ass!
<<< And don't try to tell me that your minister told you that if you went to work
on Saturday, you would get disfellowshiped of face some other punishment. >>>
That's EXACTLY what he told me, vato! Did you grow up in the same church I did?
<<< ANYONE who could "think for themselves" would have said, "you know what, my family, my health, and my livelihood are much more important to me, and to the God who loves me would want the same. I'm outta here". >>>
That's right. But people in Worldwide were never ALLOWED to think for themselves! If you did that, it was called "leaning to your own understanding". It was condemned, forbidden, rebellion, witchcraft, punishable by death!
<<< If you lost your job because of going to church, you did so because there
was something more valuable to you than your paycheck, or your family being hungry. >>>
Yeah, it was called trying to survive. People didn't want to go through the tribulation, dude! You seem to have a problem understanding that the desire not to die is not the same thing as greed. If I put a gun to your head and said, "Gimme your money, punk, or I'll liberate your fuckin brains, eh!", would you gimme your money out of fear, or because you're greedy?
<<< Obeying the church's ORDERS to avoid medicine is greed? >>>
<<< Do I need to ".break this down to you and all of the readers who have real minds and can think?" Or was someone thinking for you? Following orders is not thinking Jorge. >>>
Excuse me - when did you change the subject? At no time since your original post have we ever been talking about people THINKING. Shit, man, you said people were GREEDY. Stick to the fucking topic, huh? Of COURSE we weren't "thinking", we were OBEYING! Wake up!
<<< Do you own a dictionary? Have you looked up the word "greed"? >>>
<<< Yes, I looked it up. Extremely eager or desirous >>>
That's right. It doesn't say anything about "scared", does it? Have joo ever been scared, Jefe? I have. It's the only reason I was in that cult, I was just plain scared. But joo didn't have nothing to be afraid of, no? Joo had it nice and comfy and cushy and easy and everything was paid for. It takes a lot of balls for YOU to accuse US of being greedy. (Popcorn balls!)
<<< Who do you think I was apologizing to, you? Are you one of the people that is so blinded by their ignorance that you think you deserve an apology for all of the suffering that you put yourself and your family through? Do you think you deserve an apology
for starving your family and losing your job and giving all of your money away? Should someone apologize to you for your stupidity? >>>
Yeah, asshole, I do. But not from you. From your old man. He's the reason you're doing this, isn't he. It ain't YOU who think we were greedy, it's HIM, ain't it? Big macho Worldwide honcho Dennis Diehl has come up with a theory to excuse his own sorry ass for his crimes, hasn't he. It wasn't HIS fault that he lied to people and kept them barefoot and hungry in an evil cult - it was THEIR fault, wasn't it? Because THEY WERE GREEDY!
That's what this is really all about, ain't it, Homes? You be carrying the torch for your old man. It's the only reason you would expose yourself with such a ignorant point of view, ain't it? Because you aint that dumb, Jefe. NOBODY can be that dumb!
<<< I apologized for being disrespectful, not for making the point that you STILL can't figure out. >>>
That's right. Goddamn, you ARE a smart boy! You NEVER APOLOGIZED for INSULTING EVERY READER ON THIS WEB SITE! And that's what JOO should apologize for, Homes. Because ever since you came here you been slandering everybody who comes here to read the mail. And by your own admission, you are totally unrepentant.
<<< Jeff, I think you're brain damaged. Children who suffer from malnutrition often don't develop normally. Your neurons aren't firing. You probably didn't get enough white sugar as a kid. >>>
<<< As a child, I got plenty of nourishment from the food my dad's paycheck put on the table. I also got plenty of sugar. I used to drive the fleet car to the store and spend my allowance on candy when I was hungry. >>>
Went right over your head, did it? Ask your daddy about white sugar. You obviously don't have a clue.
<<< Don't get smart with me Jorge, you'll end up looking even dumber than you do now. >>>
Shit, Homes, I'll let the Painful Truth readers figure out which one of us looks like a chump. If it's me, fine, I've been there before.
<<< P.S. I also looked up the word stupid in the dictionary. There was a picture of you. >>>
Attaboy, Homes! Your old man musta read Garner Ted's childrearing book, huh?
I tell you what, homeboy - you need to just withdraw your complaint and sneak on off outta here. Everybody around here thinks you are a spoiled brat with not only no appreciation of how good you had it, but also a shitload of disrespect for all the people who paid for it. Old Man Armstrong always said the worst sin of all was the sin of ingratitude. In spite of everything that was wrong about that old man, he was right about that. YOU, Jefe, are fucking UNGRATEFUL.
And that is the worst thing I could ever say about you. Every time you open your mouth, your old man loses more respect. Because he didn't raise you right.
Jorge -- I have a problem with that socialistic comment: "... more than what one needs or deserves..." But that's beside the point, here in this site. I wouldn't be continuing to post these from you guys except I see a a good value here: An ex-minister's kid is posting on the PT site, who's Dad is regularly posting on the Missing Dimension , gawd bless 'em both. There are good folks who are learning from both sites, I think.
Freedom means something. And it's good to have the conversation, rather than pick up a sword.
You guys have free entry here. Consider coming into the PT forum?
Best to ya both,
24 Dec: Don V: Answer to Bill Fairchild's article on "Religion and other mental illnesses".
I just read this article and thought it was one of the best I have read on this subject. I have read a few other ones, but some were "OK", others did not make much sense and I could not even make it all the way through the article, but this one was different. Very well written.
My name is Don V____ Jr., ____'s Husband, she is a very active member of this site and/or the part were you talk to each other, and I'm sure most of you know her.
She shows me articles once in a while That I might be interested in.
Keep up the good work, Sincerily, Don V____
Pleased to have ya here, Don. Bill F. is a natural resource.
Have a safe holiday, Don and Mrs. V.....!!!
27 Dec (This is just tooooo good..........)
----- Original Message -----From: Mutalieb
Sent: Wednesday, December 24, 2003 12:04 PM
Subject: The Truth
I have read some of your articles posted on the net and most of them are in line with what I believe as a muslim.
You have, huh? They are, huh? You're kidding me, right?
You have mentioned that christianity practiced today is not the Christianity of Christ and I agree. The church fathers have edited the truth and incorporated paganism into the bible.
Paganism huh? Into the bible? No way!! The Fathers edited the 'truth', huh? NO WAY!!! The "christianity of christ".... I'm sorry. I'm just trying not to laugh out loud here.... Laughing with ya, not at ya... Well...
I am sure you have studied various religions, however, I need to know if you have studied the Quraan as this will surely shed a great deal of knowledge on your pursuit of The Truth.
I actually HAVE read the Quran. I've even read the Book of Mormon, The Tao of Physics by Fritz Capra, Chilton's Guide to 1970's small block Chevys, and know what a Strong's concordance is. I've read most of Mark Twain also, and found him to be a lot smarter than most biblical authors and know that Biff is a buddy of the Hardy Boys. I stopped a long time ago, however, in trying to "study" bibles and other man-made fictions which purport to be "divinely inspired". The TRUTH? My pursuit of TRUTH has led me to firmly believe that some men will stop at nothing to subjugate and control others, often in the name of a god or a religion. They will mount wars, kill entire populations of innocent people, rather than their favorite brand of fairy tale fall into obscurity. This same quite unholy behavior extends itself to muslims as well as christians, so I don't see much difference frankly.
The difference lies in how you handle your "faith", not what that "faith" is. Whether you pick up a sword against your neighbor because of your faith, your fairy tale, is YOUR choice.
This is definitely something that you should not deny yourself of doing. If you have already scrutinized/analyzed the contents of this Holy Book then I can honestly conclude that you have been exposed to the true Word of God. If or how you present that knowledge to the rest of the world is your choice.
Thank you for allowing me that choice. What I present to the world is the fact that there are conmen out there who will use your fear and a lifetime of conditioning in "hell" and "damnation" theory to rob you of a productive life. They will line their own pockets with your cash and laugh all the way to bank. THAT is the quest, here. The WCG+ is our base of reference, but really it doesn't matter: substitute any "faith" here, and the result is usually the same. Religion kills. Small minds kill. Think free...
May God bless you
Thanks! I can always use that!
PS -- My name isn't Herbert. I hope you put more time into analyzing the Quran than you have the PT site. Best to ya!
----- Original Message -----
From: Brianna M____
Sent: Saturday, December 27, 2003 9:25 AM
I did not realize the relevance to me personally until September 2003 when a recently-reunited childhood friend cut and pasted the humorous "You Might Have Grown Up in the WCG if ..." excerpt to me. But I do remember that in April 1997, my mother showed me a couple items which had printed from "the internet." One was about Eddie Fischer (sp?) and one was In Bed with Garner Ted. My mother believed the print-outs, even though she and my father were still attending WCG at that time. Someone else who was still attending printed it for them. (My mother said to me, "You were the smartest one of all of us to quit when you did." That was big-time validation.) I'm pretty sure the beginning of the website sent some shock waves thru my parents' circles. I just didn't realize at that time that some of the materials could be helpful to me. But now I realize that they explain and validate a lot of things.
I also recently finished reading a helpful book recommended by the website. Snapping: America's Sudden Personality Change Disorder (or something like that) by Flo Conway and another author. Apart from books specifically and exclusively about WCG, this has been the #1 useful book so far. Its accounts of Jonestown and Waco eased the fears I had from previous accounts of those events (conspiracy theories which demonized the gov't). The appendix also lists various methods of post-cult recovery and success rates for various ex-members (of lots of different cults).
I appreciate and need the PT website. It has helped to reduce the irrational perceptions I had of fear, guilt, shame, doubt, and embarrassment and helped me to be more confident at work.
I can't imagine that WCG leaders thought that they were doing good by disseminating WCG doctrines.
Thanks again. I plan to dive into some happy reading on the website and the forum.
Thank YOU for the kind words. I can relate totally to your story. After years of thinking I was just "damaged goods" and alone in that feeling, as a result of the cult, I ran across this website myself. Holy Crow! I wasn't alone! I'll be damned....
The site and the forum exists for people just like you and me, looking for some answers, looking for some validation and education. I consider the forum to be a very large part of the website too. And as with any extended family (we are just that... a large family) there are spats and such... This is normal, and just the reality of having a lot of people together from different backgrounds. Pay little attention to any "hostilities" you encounter there, until you get to know folks. They are, all of them, just like me and you. Good Folks. Some of the best I've ever met.
Again, the PT website exists for folks like you and me.... Dig in and Welcome!
----- Original Message -----
From: Brianna M______
Sent: Saturday, December 20, 2003 10:16 AM
Subject: Thx explain pt 2
Thank you for explaining the difference between a forum and a live chat room. I successfully logged on to Delphi and read a few messages. This is a whole new world for me - format and content. I appreciate the efforts of those who maintain the PT website and the forum and everything. Sometimes I worry that the people who invest their time will get tired of it and the next time I try to access it, it won't be there. It has been a super help for me.
I inadvertently sent the previous message to you before composing it.
The PT site has been there since 1997, and I plan to keep it up for a few more years at least:)
----- Original Message -----
From: Robert G_____
To: <firstname.lastname@example.org >
Sent: Thursday, December 25, 2003 5:15 PM
Subject: book recommendation
I was wondering if you are familiar with "Ghosts of the Fireground" by
Peter Leschak? I didn't see it listed in your recommended books. He's
a former Ambassador College student, and his story of why he left the
Worldwide Church of God is woven through the book. Thought you might be
interested if you aren't familiar with it yet.
No. I'm unfamiliar with him and the book. I'll look it up. Thanks much!
Response to Jeff Diehl:
Hello, Editor. Please consider posting the following response to Jeff Diehl. Feel free to email me back if you have any questions:
It has been with great distress that I have been reading the posts back and forth between Jeff Diehl and respondents who, most understandably, are indignant and offended. Indeed, as a former member of one of Jeff's father's congregations, I am offended at what he had to say. It is my hope that I can 1) educate Jeff concerning his father vs. the rest of the ministry as a whole as it relates directly to my experience and in doing so 2) enlighten others here concerning Dennis Diehl.
I'll not address the posts point by point, but will touch on that which directly relates to me.
Jeff, in the cult, people were threatened with being disfellowshipped if they worked on the Sabbath; if they sought medical attention; if they did not tithe; if they (women) wore makeup or were not submissive to their husbands; if they (women) left husbands that were abusive. They were not encouraged, as you were, to think for themselves. They were told not to think, because, as the abusers liked to often quote "The human heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9). As Jorge so aptly said, ".people in Worldwide were never ALLOWED to think for themselves! If you did that, it was called 'leaning to your own understanding'". This is just the tip of the iceberg, and doesn't even begin to address the myriad abuses that were suffered at the hands of the ministry.
The reason you cannot relate to this and do not understand it is because you were never under a minister other than your father. Look at the clues from your own posting, where you say that a lot of your dad's time had to be spent "cleaning up the messes" of ministers past. Perhaps you should reflect on why he would need to do that.
When your father came to Binghamton, I felt I could breathe again! He would not even think of humiliating someone from the pulpit. His kindness, his love, and the burden he carried due to his empathic nature set him apart from every other minister, indeed, every other person I knew. I felt he was a kindred to me, and he was.
I was a teen when you moved into the area, and you were a child. I remember how you, Chris, and Dennis used to go to Binghamton Whaler games all the time, and I used to wish that I could go too, just to spend time with your father. He was a compassionate and intuitive man, and he always sensed that I did not belong - that I was truly a free spirit and not a believer. He was right. What you see now, all you see now, is the way that your father suffers because he feels guilt that he was a part of the cult - he has told me that he feels that he is guilty by association - being a cog in the machine that damaged so many. Even though he was a true believer, and did the best that he could, (healed broken spirits, loved unconditionally, didn't "lord it over" the way other ministers did), your dad now feels tremendous pain at the thought that he may have hurt others, including your mother.
Your father didn't have the control issues that other ministers had. He didn't go into people's houses and inspect them for white sugar or leavening, or require them to give him the first fruits of their garden, or overwork the deacons/deaconesses (some of the deacon level individuals didn't like that your father treated everyone the same - they wanted to be treated special because of their ordination; others of the deacon level individuals were greatly relieved that your father treated them as everyone else, and didn't make them come over and shovel his driveway, or chop wood for him, as others before him had). Your father accepted and loved people as they were. He was never comfortable preaching about the evils of rock music, and instead preferred to talk about showing unconditional love for all - truths that were pearls of great price in a cult full of hate and fear. Your dad truly wanted to help people. It was, and is, his virtue and his vice. His vice, because he carries the guilt with him to this day. His virtue, because he helped many people. I will give you one example of how he helped me.
At one point I felt such despair that I ran away from home. In the rain. In the cold. With nothing but the clothes on my back. I just started walking. After about 10 miles, I broke down and called your dad. Your father left his kids at the dinner table, and came to pick me up. In the rain. In the cold. No questions asked. No judgment rendered. He took me home, dropped me off, and it was never mentioned to anyone. He unconditionally loved me at a time when no one else did, at a time when I needed it the most, and for that, I will always love him.
The reason you don't understand the visceral reaction to your original post, which at best is uneducated and at worst, extremely rude, is because your father was different from the other ministers. You do an honorable man a great disservice by posting diatribes against people who still suffer due to pain inflicted upon them by the cult. My parents, my sister and her family are still a part of the offshoots of this damaging cult.
If you look at the responses to your posts, all you are doing is causing people to turn on your father. This greatly upsets me. He is not responsible for your thoughtless actions or your callous words any more than my father is responsible for the work I do for peace and tolerance in the world. Indeed, Jeff, I am very disappointed that you would look at www.hwarmstrong.com and not recognize that people have suffered greatly. Your father feels tremendous compassion for the people posting on this website, and accepts more culpability than he should because of being a 'cog in the machinery' of abuse.
Learn from this. Take a page from your father's book. He deserves better than this.
Either shut the fuck up, or say something loving and compassionate for those who have suffered, and those who continue to suffer. Your dad is among them.
Heather, you have left me speechless.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, December 27, 2003 9:46 PM
Subject: Request from Non-Member of The Painful Truth Message Forum
My name is Mark B_____. I just registered with delphi forums. But I don't have a group registration code. could you send me one.
You're welcome Mark.
You don't have a Registration Code???? I'll be damned...... Wonder how that could ever happen.....
Sure.I could. And I can. But I won't. Not quite yet.
Who the hell are you? Did you see that that forum is a private one? With some restrictions in place?
Why would you presume that I would just send you a registration code, out of the blue, willy-nilly, just because you are Mark B____? I don't know you from Adam, chump.
Next time you ask someone for something, how 'bout a little neighborly "Hi Editor, how ya doing, I'm so and so, and I'd like to..... blah blah...." Didn't your Mom ever teach you some manners? Don't talk with your mouth full, try to fart in private, ...stuff like that?
And capitalize the first letter in a sentence, and punctuate with a question mark when called for, how 'bout it?
Read http://www.hwarmstrong.com/ email-guide.htm and pay special attention to #5. These little subtle hints are written by folks like us, to make YOUR job easier, so you do not get rude email back from folks like me, ok? Do your homework, Homer.
Now. If you'd like to back up and punt, please do. Always looking for Good Ones... .Send me another request, and I'll send you something to read, and then we can take it from there, how 'bout it? That's the way the forum-entry-thing works.
Your email just got posted on the Email Pages as an example to all. Address and all. How 'bout that? You're famous.
As I wrote this, I had to have a change of heart... Mark? Your privacy is protected here this time.
Why am I such a nice guy......
Dec 30: Jeff Diehl
This will be the last time you hear from me. Just a
few loose ends to sew up, some last remarks and of
course, apologies. Jorge, you're going to have to
figure this format out because I use yahoo mail, and i
can't make it italics or blue, so use your head.
I recently got an e-mail from an old acquaintance of
our family, Heather H. advising me to.
"Either shut the fuck up, or say something loving and
compassionate for those who have suffered, and those
who continue to suffer. Your dad is among them."
My original post was out of line, as I already admit
and let me touch on this for a few minutes. Almost
all of the people that were in the churches that I
grew up in were wonderful, wonderful people. They are
dear friends of my mother, and my father. The
Selents, Hendersons, Benjamans, Holcombs, Harveys,
Knicks, Siekers, Lemmons, Holders, Carls, Lamberts,
Trouts, Trapps, Pollaks, Bennedums, Hudsons, Shofkums,
Cummins, Goins, Merrills, Barretts, Brendas, Downs,
Daniels, and hundreds of others. All of these
families I owe a lot of my life to. They are all
decent, loving and truly amazing individuals, and
families. There are many that I cannot remember the
names but just faces. They all watched my brother and
I when we were growing up, they were all like
replacement parents to me, and I would give anything
and everything that I had today if it would make their
lives better. They gave us the unconditional love
that Heather says my dad showed her, and for that I am
Most of these families had to put up with me being a
spoiled little bratty ministers kid while we lived in
the area, and probably were thrilled when we left,
just so they didn't have to tolerate me any more. I
would NEVER do ANYTHING to purposely offend these
families and friends who helped my dad and mom during
their times of need, and certainly hope that they
would understand this. I would publicly beg for their
forgiveness, should they be upset. I love each of
them for my own reasons, and would step in to defend
them, just as I am here to defend my dad.
I really have learned a lot over the past weeks from
the postings on this site. From MAM especially, (I
also enjoyed some of his other writings on other web
sites) that what I saw of the church was a key-hole
perspective. In turn, so are the perspectives of the
members of the ministry, and especially my dad.
You see, I've come to learn that the best approach to
anything is the direct approach. From reading my
postings, and if you dealt with me face to face, you
would see quickly that I don't spend a lot of time
sugar coating my opinion or remarks. My dad does. My
dad doesn't want to hurt peoples feelings, say what's
on his mind, tell you what he really thinks of you, or
do anything that would make you not like him. One
time my dad got rear ended by another car (while
driving my car, that I paid for, with my own job, not
the tithe money, or the fleet car for those of you who
are worried about it). My car got smashed, and my dad
talked the officer out of giving the other guy a
ticket, even though it was his fault. The asshole
that my dad helped promised to send the money to pay
for the damage to my car. Yet he never, ever did. My
dad will take a stabbing, lying down. I won't, and I
won't listen or agree with anyone who doesn't take
responsibility for their own lives, decisions or
actions and outcomes of such. Ask my dad. He used to
blame the church for where he is today. Now, he has
accepted that the responsibility was his, and is
FINALLY moving on with his life, as I suggest so many
of you should as well.
One topic that keeps coming up is "not being able to
think for themselves, or you were learning to your own
understanding". Okay. It is much easier to have
someone else do your thinking and fighting for you.
Sure you were discouraged to think for yourself in the
church, but if you couldn't think for yourself it
isn't limited to the church, it's a personality flaw.
People who need others to make decisions for them are
not mentally tough enough, have had people make their
decisions for them their whole lives, or allow others
to act on their behalves. Did the leaders of the WWCG
take advantage of these people? Absolutely. Were
their others who believed whole heartedly that this
was the true church, and were just fine with sending
in tithe money? Absolutely.
I've read most of this websites content, and I've
enjoyed a lot of it. Especially the cartoon with the
newspaper article that said, "No one important was
killed". But a lot of what I see is nothing but
bitching about whose fault it was that they gave away
money, refused medical treatment, etc. I DO
understand why people did this, I really, really do.
They were afraid of the lake of fire and being
disfellowshipped from the church. I get it..
Hopefully, those people can look back on the mental
picture of the lake of fire and laugh. (I always
imagined it had a diving board). But what most of the
postings on this site are about the history of the
church, how the ministry etc. took advantage of the
members, and the corruption of the church. That's
great to expose it and discourage others from falling
into the same fate, if that is truly the purpose of
the site and the postings. I just don't see how
placing blame for the past is changing any of the
people's present and future. If you are "still
suffering" from anything that happened in the past
(with some exceptions) you are not making the most of
When we were transferred to South Carolina, I was
devastated. We had just lost one of the finest young
men you could have ever met in our Y.O.U. in a car
accident. His girlfriend clung onto life by a thread,
and I mean by a thread. We moved away to a church
filled with people with all kinds of problems. My
whole family had to meet new friends, both at church,
and in the community, as well as school. One member
in particular used to call our house five, six, ten
times a night from 2am - 6 am, talking to my mom and
dad about her husband and her sex problems, the devil
and god knows what else. She even got me on the phone
one time (and if you can call people Nuts, Kooks and
Loonies, then so can I). My dad went into the
hospital for clinical depression, my mom fended for
herself for twelve weeks, alone. At the same time, my
friend in New York was getting out of the hospital, to
have lost her boyfriend, and best friend in the car
accident, deal with months and months of physical
therapy, pain and trauma. Now, fifteen years later,
she's happily married with children to a great friend
of mine growing up, and I'm married to a wonderful
woman and living a pretty happy life. My friends
wouldn't have met if it weren't for the church, been
in the car together if it weren't for the church, or
been in that accident because of the church. I love
his and her family like they were my own mother and
father, and their kids like brothers and sisters. I
don't blame the church or still suffer, but rather
hold a special place in my heart for my friend, and
his family. I'm sure Ed. Sr would agree. He loved
his first wife dearly, but probably wouldn't change
the life he has with his current wife, or trade his
kids now for anything.
My mom and dad are divorced. It took some mentors to
teach me how important it is to accept responsibility
for your decisions, and actions. Like I said, my dad
used to blame the church, now he blames himself. He
used to call me and want to talk about "why all of
this happened" (divorce, the church falling apart,
etc). But I realized that he didn't need someone
saying, "oh poor baby, it's not your fault, it's Mr.
Armstrong, Tkach, or whoever's fault". He needed a
good hard slap to ACCEPT it was his fault. Everybody
knows when something is their own fault, accepting it
is another thing.
So if Jorge, Heather, MAM, Russel, Linda or anyone
else doesn't like what I had to say because it was
ignorant, I understand that. I don't have much
tolerance for people who I think are idiots either.
If it was because I was telling you something you
didn't want to hear, well, welcome to America. I do
not, and will not ever again be able to understand why
people continue to blame the church, other people,
their parents, friends, employers or anyone for their
lot in life. They may have made a choice to join,
they always had the choice to leave.
Being afraid is not an acceptable excuse for not
making a decision to better your situation then or
now. I'm sick of hearing it.
So for me to "Either shut the fuck up, or say
something loving and compassionate for those who have
suffered, and those who continue to suffer" I will
oblige you and do both.
I hate the fact that people suffered at the hand of an
organization my dad and family were a part of, I
I feel sorry for the children who by no choice of
their own, such as children born into or brought into
the WWCG by their parents, who endured not eating,
ridicule at school, missed birthdays, long nights of
being sick, or being alone in the rain and cold due to
their parents, and the suffering that they endured,
when they didn't have a choice. For the children who
grew to be adults in the church, who were taught by
their parents that "this is the right church". I am a
firm believer that parents are the biggest influence
on their children, and I blame the parents of children
who use drugs, live on the streets, are disrespectful
of their elders, who beat their wives or take abuse
from their husbands. If your parents did it, chances
are you will do it too. I honestly believe that.
I am proud of those who have come to realize that they
control their future through the decisions that they
make each day, and dealing with the consequences of
such, both good and bad. I am proud of myself, my
parents, and my brother for accepting the same. I use
all experiences I've had in my life to learn how to
make my future better, to be a better person, and to
avoid being a bigger asshole than I already am. I
will reiterate that while reading all of the return
postings addressed to me, that I freely admitted when
I was out of line, when I learned something from one
of the postings, like MAM (who even though trashed me
a couple times, I STILL humbly admit learning from),
recognized that person for contributing to opening my
mind to better understanding of the history of the
WWCG. I feel it's a shame that the same courtesy was
not extended to me by some of the members of this
site, but appreciate those who did.
As far as Heather is concerned, I appreciate you going
to bat for my dad. I remember you playing the piano
at our house when we were growing up. You couldn't
read a lick of music, but you could play. I remember
your car called "the baby".
I remember that night by the way. It's a great story,
and not the only one like it. My dad had two other
church congregations before New York and one
afterwards, filled with a lot of similar situations.
Not unlike yourself, a lot of people called my dad
when they had no where else to go. What pisses me off
about this web site the most is that those same people
who my dad would move heaven and earth to help will
sit here and blame the ministers (which includes him)
for not fixing it, or better yet, who now believe it
was their (the ministers) fault that they had no where
else to go in the first place. I will concede, that
the ministry of the WWCG was full of arrogant, pompus,
selfish, manipulative ministers, drunk on their own
greed, wealth and fame. It's a shame that you don't
see more people like yourself to speak up on the
"good" ministers behalves.
I have a bigger heart that you or anyone else on this
site probably knows. I also know a lot about your
relationship, personal situations and closeness to my
dad, more than you or anyone else on this site
probably knows. I don't need you, to lecture me on
what my dad deserves. In the end, he is my dad, not
yours, however I do appreciate your remarks.
So to conclude, I sincerely, sincerely, sincerely,
hope that the suffering which still takes place will
soon end for those who continue to suffer. I
understand, truly, that the church and its teachings
left some deep scars that have not all finished
healing, and those that have healed, are still a
painful reminder of the past. No person should have
to suffer for someone else's pleasure, even though it
happens every day.
I leave here with my own opinions of people on this
site. Both positive and negative. I hope that you
all find what it is your looking for on this web site.
My thanks to Ed Sr. and the editor for even bothering
to post anything I had to say. I learned a lot here.
Best wishes, warmest regards, and no hurt feelings
it's been a number of years since I have written to you, however I'm still a regular weekly reader even though I have been out of (officially) the church some 15 odd years now. The fact that I still visit your site shows that you can unfortunately never be completely out!A point that my wife used to bring up when we were "in" the church was "If this is what its going to be like in the future kingdom (referring to the people of the Church) then I don't want to be a part of it"At the time I couldn't disagree with her but being brain washed by Armstrong would over look this!
It often puzzled me why if this was the era of brotherly love that my own non church family would give genuine assistance when needed even though they were "evil" according to Armstrong and not one single "brother" in the church would do likewise!
Sure they would give plenty of brotherly advise unsolicited as to what we were doing wrong in the form of put downs but never ever any real help of value!Church of brotherly love? BS!, BS!
Just another nail in the coffin!
Yeah. It DOES stay with you, even after you leave....
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