That is an archived website, as far as I know. The Painful Truth
used to be hosted at tripod, but later moved to other locations. I
have no idea why those ads are there, unless someone has resurrected
that page. The current staff of Painful Truth have no connection
with that website.
But thanks for pointing it out. I can see why you would be
Can We Be Right?
Man does not know his time: like fish
caught in a treacherous net and birds trapped in a snare, so the
sons of men will be ensnared at an evil time when it suddenly
falls on them. (Ecclesiastas 9:12) No one knows the day or the
hour when Christ will return, be said he would return like a "theif
in the night." How can we be ready, America, for the return or
our Lord. Eighty percent of Americans claim their religion is
"Christian." From the people I've seen and met and know, this
is unbelivable . We are not "right" in the sight of God as a
nation, I do not believe. How could we be? In the US its
mostly about ME.
Our nations founders they proclaimed the name of
God. Most believed Jesus Christ had granted them eternal life.
Back then, it was usual to say, "He is the Way, the Truth and
the Life. Trust and believe in Christ tonight. Jesus did not
just live without sin and die. He's our Savior! He is the
promised Massiah! He rose from the dead and is now at God's
side. Thats what Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and Paul all
said. Pray for forgiveness in the Name of God's only Son. Fight
the war against evil inside you. In the end you can tell who
won. Not just anywhere in America can I say this tonight:( God
the Father/Son/Holy Spirit gives me the right. On my knees right
now I bow before the Lord and cry. How can we be right?
Do nothing but complain about the empire that is
growing. Less people will hear the Truth. Less people will be
knowing, about Jesus. At CHRISTmas call it Xmas. Did we really
leave CHRIST out? We entroned Santa with the children gathered
around him downtown. They made sure there was no baby in a
craddle in a manger around the square anywhere to be found.
Christians can worship for christ's sake, but watch out for
sounds they make. Teach all of man's theories from science, and
make up some good rules. Teach nothing from the Bible to our
children in our schools. Don't even mention the Name of Christ.
The empire grows tonight. How can we be right?
On the evening news they did not say but acted
as though all will be OK. Although, we haven't taken care of the
USA. Now hear what God's other nations say about US: "You go to
war, for peace sake, and act as though you really care. Look at
the messes you have made here and there. It is sad, but it is
true. Even the economy get depressed about it. Sometimes it
makes the world blue. Lots of Americans do little. Maybe sit
around and fuss. There's not much talk about faith in Christ,
and they use God's name to cuss--"Jesus." Money is their god in
these days, and wealth is what they worship." That's what other
nations say about the late-great USA. But, if there's oil over
there, we'll cross the sea and fight with you to show you that
we care. There's other forgien attrositie, but we just don't
have any more pennies to spend. Its just not in the best
interest of our nation. We're capitalists, you see. The profit
motive justifies our exta liberties. A little faith is all it
takes. See what a difference America makes. Just look where we
fight and why. How can we be right?
Entertainment keeps us occupied. Hours just
staring at the TV inside. There's a radio in the shower which
stays on for hours. All the components still stay dry. Its more
peaceful inside, when the hot water runs. The treasures keep
down the complaining as our world is in a swirle and down the
drain our wealth is draining. These things costs us a lot of
money, and they are very entertaining. They are a means to the
end of our never-ending pursue of happiness. Leave the lights
on. Its less dangerous. Here we are now. Entertain us. With
computers. Full of software. Through wide-screens windows. Into
the world we stare. You can even sin. When you login. Many sex
sites. Make you burn inside. Now these images. Stuck here in the
mind. Sex in the
White House. At least they've tried to hide. How can we
America, the beautiful; God set his grace on
thee. One nation under God. With indivisability? Now what does
that mean? And are were realy free with individual justice and
liberty? Our nation is falling apart at the seams. Government
controll grows, and down the drain it all goes it seems. Have we
lost God-given rights? A mother can kill her unborn child. We
live in the "Church Age," and the "End
of Days" are foreseen. You know what I mean. This county
and my faith and my right to proclaim the Name of Christ Jesus
as Savior and Lord are worth fighting and dieing and living for.
Its harder to know who to trust these days. Even the government.
Man, he's never always right. You can still trust Jesus in The
"LET GOD BE FOUND TRUE, THOUGH EVERY MAN BE
FOUND A LIAR" (Romans 3:4)
"THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE" (Romans
"IT SHALL BE THAT EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME
OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED." (Acts 2:21)
"GO INTO ALL THE WORLD AND PREACH THE GOSPEL TO
ALL CREATION." (Mark 16:15)
Boy, have YOU got the
wrong website! If you wanted a soapbox, you got it -- this
time. But don't bother sending any more tortured sermons
because they won't be posted. Herbert Armstrong is dead and
you would do well to let him rot. Your message makes no sense
to me, though I suspect a good psychiatry student would love to get
his hands on you. Do yourself a favor and stay away from sharp
I just discovered your site, and there's another
suicide that should be mentioned. Dan Thomas was an outfielder with
the Milwaukee Brewers in 1976 & '77 who was known as the "Sundown
Kid" because, as a WCG member, he refused to play on the Sabbath.
Because baseball games are regularly played on Friday night and
Saturday afternoon, this hastened the premature end of a promising
A few years earlier, while in the minors, Thomas had
been given a lengthy suspension for slugging an umpire (I'm not sure
if he was in the WCG when this happened, but I don't think he was).
His last appearance in organized baseball was in the Inter-American
League, an independent minor league that operated in 1979, and
folded in mid-season.
On June 12, 1980, Dan Thomas hanged himself in a
jail cell in Birmingham, AL, where he was being held on a rape
charge. He had turned 29 on May 9. The Sporting News carried an
Dan Thomas died in Mobile, AL, not Birmingham, according to
Thanks for that
information. I was never aware that any Worldwiders ever made
it into pro baseball, though I knew one who had elicited some
interest from the (then) California Angels. It would have been
impossible to be a church member and play pro ball; even Sandy
Koufax played on the Sabbath, and when he missed the first game of a
World Series because of Yom Kippur, it was headline news (Walter
Cronkite led off with it on his CBS Evening News program).
Tragic. Any idea if he was guilty of the rape?
internet search found that it was apparently a statutory rape
The Sporting News did a feature story on him in the
May 18, 1974 issue, while he was playing for Shreveport in the Texas
League. He was the Brewers' 1st choice (and 6th overall) in the 1972
free agent draft.
This being the age of Facebook and blogging, it had to happen--I was
just contacted out of the blue by someone I haven't seen for nearly
two decades who grew up with me in the Bethlehem, PA, Worldwide
Church of God congregation. I stopped attending after my senior
year of college, right around the time that the major doctrinal
changes were about to be announced. I heard about the upheaval from
my parents and various family friends, but I didn't give things much
Your site is a real eye-opener and makes me feel very, very lucky
that I had the parents I did. They were more strict than those of
my friends in school, and my father taught Level 6 of Youth Bible
Lessons, so I was possibly pushed extra-hard to take good notes
during services and stuff. I was kind of dorky and unathletic, so
maybe having been available on Saturdays for Little League would
have helped me have more friends from pre-school age onward, but I
never felt like a total outcast at school, especially after tenth
grade when people started thinking about college and smarts became a
respected commodity. My parents really wanted me to go to AC
("God's college"), so I declined acceptances to other colleges and
went. Within six weeks, I thought I was going to go crazy from the
stifling anti-intellectualism and gruesome pressure to be smiley and
bouncy all the time. I called my parents and explained that it
wasn't for me--they were very disappointed, but they paid for me to
come back from Texas to Pennsylvania, let me live at home for the
next year while I worked to save money, and helped to pay when I
started at a [Satanic secular] college the next fall. (I do
remember, when I left the gates of AC in a friend's car for the
final time, that the guy who signed my luggage and me out muttered
under his breath, "You've got more balls than the rest of us,
I really had no idea that there was so much ridiculous advice being
emitted by the ministry and swallowed by people who had ceded their
free moral agency to the church. Or that tithing had pushed so many
people over the edge financially. How very sad, especially for the
children who were drafted into attendance and want by martinet
parents. Glad to see that most of your posters have a measure of
sardonic humor about the situation. Your site seems to be doing a
Yours very truly,
Thanks for the vote of
confidence, Sean. That's what we hope for.
Wow! After a conversation
with my sister this afternoon, I decided to Google Herbert
W/Garner Ted Armstrong and the WCG.
I had forgotten a lot of
things from my youth experience with the WCG, now some of the
"You might have..." list seems kind of amusing to me. However,
I recognize the impact it made on my family from regular
"services" until the late seventies, and to this day their
behavior. I, even at a young age, felt like something was up,
but remember the scolding after many too many questions "Why?"
I wonder what happened to all
those followers from the Louisville KY area, and then the
thousands at the Ozarks, Poconos, Pasadena, and I don't remember
Hmmm, thanks for the
I have been researching the
church all day today, in hope that I can understand my childhood a
little better, and finally let go.
I am in Australia, I have just
found your Hall of Shame, photos - where, I must say, that I have
sat in church and listened to most of those Australian Ministers
preach - and even more scary, is that several (I mean - most) of
them, still operate today!!!! Your Hall or Shame dates back to the
80s, so for 20 years or more, these men have known the truth and
continue to preach.
Will I name names? - why not, okay, Mr Mark Ellis,
Mr Gavin Cullen, Mr Terry Villiers, Mr Rod King, Mr Carl Karlov, Mr
Ross Beath, Mr Chris Hunting, Mr Whitting, Mr Rod Matthews, Mr
Soleyma, Mr Jayasekera, Mr Bob Regazzolli (I notice that his brother
Gary is not in it), both Rod and Alan Dean, Mr Ron Kelly, Mr Bill
Bradford was the most scary person, I mean, he was powerful. I have
known all of these ministers personally, I mean, first name basis at
the SEP camps I attended, and to find out this information, today, I
am nearly physically sick to be honest.
I was born in 1975, and taken to the Worldwide
Church of God since I was two. I left over 10 years ago, when I was
21, and even then did not think of myself as a free-thinking mature
adult. I still find it hard to wear make up, just because I grew up
without it, even though they changed the policy when I was about 15
- that makes it what, 1990-ish.
I was not allowed to wear it to school concerts, and
when @ school for christmas and easter, I was put @ the back of the
classroom, with my back to the other children's activities, on
request by my mother. I was therefore ostracised, by my peers, all
through my schooling years.
I really have no amazing horror stories, only that
my mother forced me to sit and take notes during the sermon - I did
not play in church like the other children (during sermons), and was
not allowed to play outside after church either.
So the church had a negative impact on my mother,
who in turn forced it onto me. My father was not interested, and has
regrets that his only holidays, were spent @ the Feast of
Tabernacles, where he did not chose the destination, and his other
regret, was that he and I are both scarred, from not having
celebrated my birthday as a child, and sharing the joy of gift
It is hard for me now, to understand Christmas, this
is a very big scar, as yet, I do not have children of my own, and
when I do, I do not know, what to teach them about christmas. I
don,t want to lie to them, I want them to know that Santa is B..S..,
but, my partner believes in the magic of christmas, for children. I
must say, that even now, this church has mentally scarred me.
I also find it hard to celebrate my birthday, even
now, after 30, at a time when most people have celebrated it all
their lives - I have only celebrated my major birthdays (as is
common after adult years - you do not need to celebrate every year,
as you are no longer a child, and by rights, should have celebrated
every year while you were a child) I have had a big celebration for
18, 21, 25, 30 - so i have celebrated my birthday in a big
celebration - 4 times - when by now, I should have done it 30 times
and it should be old hat, it is still new to me.
I am honestly shattered to find out that I grew up
in what was considered a cult. This alone hurts so much, for I was a
child, and forced to believe, by my mother, who was forced to
believe, by the church. I was brainwashed, and I had no choice, in
fact - until now, did not honestly understand the full meaning of
what I lived through.
It is honestly bewildering that there is so much
information out there about the WWCG and HWA, and @ the time, they
made it like it was the only true church etc, and that they were
huge - yet nobody had heard of them then, and nobody has heard of
them now, well not in Australia, (perhaps this is a different story
in America), but it is not well known in Australia, and when I refer
to WWGC in conversation of my childhood- I say that it was like the
JWs or Seventh-Day Adventists - as these are much more well known in
Australia, and recognised as cults - in fact - more so, the
Exclusive Brethren. I live down the street from some of them, and
down the street from their little gathering spot - I have to use all
my will power not to shout out obscenities @ them.
I found plenty of information on the Wikipedia - I
had no idea the power HWA honestly had @ the time.
I want to say, thank you for your informative
website - if I had of found it 10 years ago, I may not be so messed
up now. Not that I would say I am messed up bad, but 20 years of
WWCG can be a lot to get over.
I am using my partners email address.
I had better remain anonymous, sorry
I'm glad you found us,
and I hope you find some answers in our experiences. The
Christmas issue can be difficult for ex members, and many are
forever unable to observe it after the WCG experience. Like
you, I was indoctrinated from a very early age (age 4), but unlike
you I stuck with it for 40 years. When I got free I had to
rethink every opinion I had ever held, and I learned what it really
means to have an open mind; without one, the task was impossible.
My answer to Christmas
is that, yes, it's a pagan holiday, but so what? Even the
names of months and the days of the week are pagan. We are a
product of where we came from, and the entire world has filtered
down from pagan roots. You simply can't escape it. I
live in the U.S. and here Christmas is a national holiday in
addition to a religious one. I observe it in a purely secular
manner. Christ was never a part of Christmas and I don't
observe it with him in mind. It's simply a nice winter holiday
for my family to get together and exchange gifts. I feel zero
guilt about that and look forward to it throughout the year.
I don't know if that helps. What
you have to do, I think, is remember that everything they taught you
must be regarded with suspicion and weighed for validity. If
they taught you something good, then hang onto it. If they
taught you something negative, reject it. Keep in mind that
the "best" lies are those that contain a grain of truth, so even
though it's true that Christmas is pagan, ask yourself if God
really cares. Millions of Christians observe it to honor
Christ, and their intent is pure. They always told us that God
looks on the heart. (And by the way, Jeremiah 10 is NOT
talking about a Christmas tree. History records that the
Christmas tree began in Middle Ages Europe, not in ancient Sumeria.)
The bottom line is to follow your
conscience. No matter what I do or what anyone else does,
square it with your conscience. And use logic, not emotion.
If you are doing something out of fear, then stop doing it.
Research it, get emotion out of the way, and proceed on facts.
Don't trust fear, because it will keep you in a cage. You've
already escaped once, so don't let yourself get caged again.
Best of luck to you, and Merry
I was a member
of the WWCG. I left in 1992. 10 years was quite an experience. I
am not bitter any more. When I look back I really did enjoyed
the fellowships, the singing, giving glory to God, and all kind
of church activities for all diversity of age. Tithing was a
toughty. All through these years I felt that there was something
not right, yet I couldnít put my finger on it.
I left just as
Abraham did ďby faithĒ. Went in the wilderness, which mean not
getting involved in any congregations or denominations. Use the
Internet to search the truth and understanding. Find out where I
error. This error was base on Replacement Theology. Look it up
on the Internet. Living as a Jew under the law while the Bible
clearly stated that I am no more a gentile or a Jew.
This is what I
am and believe today: I am a born again Christian, fundamental
and evangelical, non-denominational, believing that Christ is
the head of the church (His Body) with my citizenship in heaven
awaiting His return for His bribe (the rapture) while He judge
the nations of this world and purify His people Israel, then to
reign here on earth for a thousand years with them while the
church is in heaven to reign with Him for everlasting life. My
belief is not base on the Replacement Theology, which was of the
WWCG and many other denominations.
understand what Martin Luther desperately war for. By Grace, By
Faith, By the Word of God.
God Bless you all
John Pestana taught
Portuguese at Ambassador College and translated WCG material
into Portuguese from 1961 to 1965. When the Portuguese
department proved unfruitful, he was transferred to Ambassador
press. In 1967 we "escaped" to Florida. He worked as a printer
at the University of South Florida, retired, and lapsed into
Alzheimer's Disease. He died, confused but praising God, in
1996. I, his widow, have ended up (believe it or not) as a
very healthy, happy, Roman Catholic!
Catholic is as good as any. Thanks
I am wondering if you have any
information on a man in or near
Wisconsin who is currently in prison for molesting, I
believe, two girls, and this man is a former member of WWCG.
I don't know if he was a member at the time of the crime.
I recently met a woman who
told me about this, and she believes the girls lied. This
made me think of something I read about it some time ago,
but don't remember if what I read was on your website, since
I cannot find anything about it on the "ExitSupportNtwk." or
by doing any "Google" searches. I am just curious, due to
how to proceed concerning what this woman believes. Thanks!
(the reason I cannot ask her further is because she is a
relative of his).
The only person I know of who fits that description would be
Richard Markland. He was convicted about a year ago and
given a life sentence. You can read more about him here:
We first heard of Mr. Markland when he wrote to us. You can
read that exchange here:
If Mr. Markland is truly innocent, I suggest contacting the
Innocence Project, which can be found on the web. They
specialize in freeing the wrongly convicted and have been
quite successful at it.
I have never been a member of *CoG
but I was thinking about joining. I had been
raised Catholic but that just wasn't seeming
right to me anymore. After reading for days the
views of Armstrong and the followers of the
church I felt they had all the answers and I
would surely upset God by not joining their true
church. If it weren't for your web-site, I
might have been sucked in completely. After
reading it I realized, at least in my opinion,
that there is no true church. They are all the
same. So I just wanted to thank you for
organizing this. It helped prevent me from
making a huge mistake.
Thatís great news! No, itís fantastic news. The whole
purpose of our website is to warn people of the danger,
and it is very gratifying to hear that we have succeeded
to any degree whatsoever. Thank you for writing; your
letter makes the entire effort worthwhile.
on your website:
Someone or you states:
"Think about that one, Ed! Can you imagine the impact on the
Bible story, and all the numerological implications that
has? It blows away 40 years in the wilderness (Moses
probably made the trip in a couple of weeks), 40 years in
captivity, the temptation of Christ for 40 days, that Moses
was 40 when he fled Egypt and 80 when he returned, that
Sarai was 90 when she gave birth (more likely 50), etc. All
the carefully constructed "meaning" of all the biblical
tales collapses into a heap of broken words because of a
simple translation error."
This appears to be wrong, becuase of the information found
which basically says that very very little of the Old
Testament was written in Aramaic, which is the majority of
what was cited as possibly incorrect use of "many things."
Now wikipedia's articles do not show precisely which parts
of the New Testament was written in Aramaic rather than
Koine Greek, so I won't go there.
my question to you is if you read this: are you going to
change your website or just ignore it?
Someone who read part of your website.
Thanks for reading part of our
website. It would certainly take you a very long time
to read all of it.
More importantly, thanks for
citing the Wikipedia article on Aramaic. I think
Wikipedia effectively refutes the premise of the article,
and I am very happy that you pointed it out. Since the
article is part of the historical record of this website, it
will remain where it is, as evidence that we do, indeed,
correct our errors
As one who has left wcg 6 years ago, after about
40 years "fellowshiping" we spent the majority of our working
life heavily "supporting" the work.
My wife a D.C. Nurse and Home Birth Midwife have
had some "interesting" experiences.
We were told if she delivered a baby on the
sabbath, we would be marked and disfellowshiped.
In retrospect I do not know why, but despite
going ahead and delivering quite a number of healthy babies they
backed down and did nothing.
I always wondered why hwa shifted to Pasadena,
but apparently the corporate laws were much more generous in Ca.
He cold be corporate sole.
In the Feb 1939 GN Article he presents a good
exposition of how there was no pyramid of power.
Apparently he wanted to keep the tithes and
offerings and not send them to Stanberry HQ. of cog7.
But in Pasadena he seems to had a change of
Maybe a bit more background for those who are
Thanks for the
citation, Vic. We already have that letter on the website, so
I'll link to it instead of reproducing it here. It's a very
Hey I just wanted to say thank you too. It seems to be all too rare
that people take the time to read and consider an email. So thanks.
My name is Shawn, and I am also a survivor
of the cult practices of Armstrongism.
My mother joined the World Wide Church of
God when I was seven years old. My life was not great before
she joined the cult, but man was it terrible after she did.
I was so happy to have stumbled across this site, I have
always felt alone in this world until I read Anna's story.
My childhood and hers were indeed in a
paralell universe. I am now turning close to 40, I have
overcame all of those scared and desperate feelings - thanks
to having found my soul mate.
Soon I will send you my horror story to
share with the other unfortunate victims of this nightmare
we're here, Shawn. Thanks for writing. I look forward to
reading your story.
My husband and I met at a Feast of Tabernacles
in 1992. We married in 1993, despite a few objections from a
few ministers. I think we have the last laugh on them because
we've been married 14 years now, we have a beautiful
six-year-old son--and we "officially" left that cult several
years ago, after not attending for a few years. We have had to
file bankruptcy because of those jokers!
At least our son hasn't had to sit through a
BTW just because a group misuses the Bible,
doesn't mean the Bible itself is false. In fact, I can easily
use the King James Bible to disprove Herbie's Heresies. I'm now
a Christian--a Bible-believing Christian. Would you guys
believe--forcing people to tithe is unscriptural? (I'd like to
see what Tkach and his yes-men think of that!)
Happy to hear from
you, Alexandra. Glad you got a husband out of the deal --
at least it wasn't a complete waste of your time.
To address a couple
of your points:
can easily use the King James Bible to disprove Herbie's
Heresies. I'm sure you can.
I can also use the King James Bible to disprove the King James
Bible -- but that's a subject for another day.
Would you guys believe--forcing people to tithe is unscriptural?
Absolutely! That was the
motive for the crime. Once I understood that, I was gone.
Have you read
Dilemma? Aside from
Report, it was the most important factor in helping me
escape the WCG.
Thanks for writing.
I know how it feels to go fishing and
instead of catching fish, you catch another fisherman.
Nevertheless, I made some remarks about
Apollonios in my Family Voter Bloc newsletter which you
might find interesting.
A conspiracy headed by Dio Chrysostom
wrote The New Testament. I quote some of the massively
many parallels between Dio and TNT in support of that
conclusion. I say there that Dio used Apollonios as a
model for the Jesus of Mark's Gospel. This ascription
of authorship explains why Jesus so closely resembles
Apollonios, but also explains why Mark's Gospel can
display the Homeric content which Dennis R. MacDonald
puts on display in his book The Homeric Epics and
the Gospel of Mark, Yale University Press, 2000.
The Family Voter Bloc has a website,
Google search recommended. In the newsletter for July
7, 2007, I give a condensation of the newsletter for
August 10, 2006, titled The Origin of The New
Testament. In The Origin I describe an
Odyssey, reminiscent of your own, which led me to Dio
and my conclusion about him and The New Testament
conspiracy. I also point out thematic and explicitly
verbal parallels between TNT and other Pagan
philosophers, ranging from Pythagoras and Herakleitos,
thru Euripides, to Epictetos.
Google brings this website up with the
search parameter Family Voter Bloc.
I greatly enjoyed reading your web
posting, not only about Apollonios but about the
Worldwide Church of God, and your answers to FAQs.
I differ from the implication in your
remarks about Christian morality and values. When
separated from theology, Christian philosophy offers a
rewarding value system and personal Way of Life.
Thanks much for your attention, and for
the info in your website.
Everyonce in a
while I stop by The Painful Truth.
I was surprised
the mentioning of J.W. Tkach sr's habit of touching other
males made me remember the time when I was a student at
AC/AU and I had my camera at Lake Loma and he offered for
someone else to take a picture of himself by my side.
Needless to say, if anyone sees that picture I don't seem
too happy in it (the sun fas hitting me on the face) and my
arms are crossed... I guess that a reaction right after Mr
Tkach touched the back of my jeans just because he wanted to
and did so in a fast move type of thing...
Everytime I told
this to some of my friends at AU they looked at me as if I
was inventing it hahahaha...
[name withheld by
I'm not surprised
people act that way. Denial is a powerful thing, and
people just don't want to believe that the man chosen by God to
run the "church" would do such a thing. As for me, I knew
the man, and when he became the top guy I was stunned. I
Happy New Year, and
thanks for stopping by.