Email To The Editor
Good evening, my name is Adam Gal, how are you?
I am emailing you from Australia and I am Left-Handed. I was never a member of the Worldwide Church of God but did subscribe to the Plain Truth magazine from 1982 to 1994.I also did collect some of Herbert W. Armstrong's literature about various things such as the Christian life, heaven and hell,prophecy, Israel, creation etc. I have had this nagging question on my mind in regard to the manner in which WWG and it's founder, Herbert W. Armstrong treated people who had a preference for being left-handed. Were left-hander's treated differently because of the fact they were left handed? I am asking this as an outsider. I have found out many things about this church this year (through the Painful Truth website) that horrified me, that "religious" men could be so hypocritical. Even as a young man of 17 going on 18 in 1982, I had my doubts about this church...
It all seemed too good to be true. I knew that before finding more evidence of inconsistencies..
If you wish,please publish this email at my request. The more I learn about false religion,the better. It will mean I will be even better equipped to judge formal and sanctimonious religious people for what they are.
Thank you for the Painful Truth website!
No, the Armstrong's never said anything about left handedness. Perhaps they should have. It was an opportunity missed.
From Wiki: "The English word sinister comes from the Latin word sinestra, which originally meant "left" but took on meanings of "evil" or "unlucky" by the Classical Latin era." With left-handedness as being relatively uncommon, Herbert could have demonized these folks as well.
Hello, Just a note, for Mr. Francis Penkava, 4/10/08, to say that Joe Nasarini"s second wife was indeed named Denise as was his first!
I myself was shocked and horrified to hear what happened to him and his life.
When I was a child he baby sat for me, my brother and sister and I will never forget his kindness.
One year we went to Israel together, he was in an Ambassador Collage group, my dad was the leader.
I remember him holding me on his back as I was too tired to swim in the Sea of Galilee. He swam for what seemed to me to be a very long way, I was 8, I never felt scared as he reassured me all the way and never let me go.
I cared for him very much, and still do, now that I am almost 50.
He was a good friend to our whole family and I am sad his life has taken the turn that it has taken.
I recall reading that page recently. The Painful Truth does not have listed in its files, a current e-mail address for Francis Penkava.
post this on the 411 page and the e-mail page later this week.
If you can tell me more about Francis Penkava, perhaps I can contact
him through other means.
Sorry, but you're evidence that the Bible isn't true is completely false. The Bible was completed over 1000 years before 1766! Your theory doesn't make any sense at all. I'm a very strong Christian and I'm growing in my faith. I've seen many miracles in my life and I know my God exsists. Sure, you may think He doesn't, but there is a lot of evidence out there. Try researching the man who tried his whole life to disprove the Bible, but couldn't, so two years before he died accepted Jesus as his Savior, and the City of Jericho when the walls of the city all fell at once. There is proof! Bottom line is: no matter how many people read your little theory, none of them that are already believers are gonna fall for it. God is alive and well :) I wish you could see that because life would be a lot easier for you. Thanks for reading.
(Editor: Unsigned, but who's E-mail starts with danceforever)
read the FAQ page directions, and send me the link to the
page where the error is and I will remove it.
Needless to say, the writer above never wrote back, but does give his or hers credentials as evidence of the truth of the bible.
"a very strong Christian and I'm growing in my faith. I've seen many miracles in my life and I know my God exsists"
It was quite by accident that I stumbled on your
website. I normally do not respond to websites, but this an
I was a member of this WCG in South Africa. Yes, we
(by we, I mean we were four children in the sixties) too grew up
in the Armstrongian era ranging from the sixties (when I was born)
to the late 80's. I have intense sympathy for members who remained
in that Devilish organization for longer than that.
As you mentioned, the people who joined this organization were mostly people deprived of the "richness" of this life and many of them looked for help. Whether this help came as advice, financial help (there were quite a few people who tithed who actually needed to be tithed to) or obtaining a secure job, the fact remain the people joined this church
in the hope of finding some form of life security. As I have red the heart breaking tales of the people around the world, I couldn't help to think that my story is basically the same. I can go to town describing the "sick" endeavors, saddening episodes and disheartening experiences that I and my brother and sisters went through in this church. The main culprits in transgressing the "doctrines" of the church was the "ministerial elite" and their immediate family members and children.
I still remember attending two SEPs (Summer Educational Program). Was that an eye opener as to what scumbags these minister's children were. I can mention names - and maybe I should. A lot of the whores and male rabbits were minister's children at the time. The pretty girls were always selected for the Lord's servant's children. You should have seen how emotionally broken the "not so pretty girls" were. They also came just to enjoy themselves. You were literally paired according to financial status. Rich boy - pretty girl. Poor guy - take what is left. Of course the ministries children had the first pick. Can you believe it? Take what is left - we are talking about human beings here. That is how it was.
Our minister told me that my brother's marriage was bound to fail because the Lord was not in it. He married a "worldly woman". Because my brother's wife is pretty, she was likened unto Jezebel of the Old Testament. This happened shortly after my brother left the church. Today, a lot of those same minister's children are divorced and remarried. I don't know what woman would have liked to marry them. My brother has two lovely children with exceptionally good academical records at school and a healthy social life-regularly visiting friends on Wine farms, undertaking entrepreneurial endeavors etc. Everything we as children never had with this church. What a wasted youth.
It was always a delight to see how these scumbag ministers and their wives walked into the front row seats and looked out on the "sinning" congregation that they were to save.
The best part came when they started fighting amongst themselves. The idiots didn't realize the were canceling their own paychecks by splitting up. When the realities of life faced them (After the great divide) they literally scrambled for real jobs. Unnecessary to say, the members of the Church were blamed for disobedience and virtually everything their block heads could think out.
Obviously everyone that studied for some diploma or University degree was reminded that they were educating themselves in Greek Pagan Education. On the other hand members was reminded to study in order to fill higher paying jobs (obviously to increase the tithes for doing the work).
The most scrupulous character, however, was old Waterhouse (His name was Gerald). He was apparently a toilet cleaner on some US Warship when he was "called" into Armstrong's vast realm. This was funny. Adolph Hitler personified - you should have heard his sermons. He shouted at the "brethren", hardly opened his bible, preached overtime.
Some sermons went on for
three hours (excluding the singing and the sermonette
). Even Jesus would have obeyed his instructions. At some Feasts
of Tabernacles we had to face three sermons a day with
this character. Sometimes he got scientific-like the day when he
spoke about water purification and we drinking our own urine. Poor
idiot never understood how a Water Purification Works functioned.
He probably never even heard of it. One time, at the Durban City
Hall, the caretaker had to remind him that his preaching time was
up. The caretaker literally walked up the stage while he was
preaching and told him, in the presence of the Congregation, that
he had to shut up
I still remember how they treated woman-stockings had to be worn,
no make up, obedience. I remember how I and some of the other
young men tried to talk young ladies into studying decent Diploma
or Degree courses at University or technicon. The church were just
making a bed for them. Some righteous men, plagued by their
hormones, just dated until they slept with the girls. They were so
righteous. Young men, like myself and a few others (whom also
subsequently left the Church) was always aggrieved by this. I am
also a man. I would like a woman to look up to me, not because she
has to, but because of my virtues. A
man has to work on improving himself. Not with these lot. They worked on subduing the woman. One minister once told my mother to wear stockings to church. My mother was, and still is for her age, a beautiful woman. One night, at some Church outing, one churchly ministerial coward's son accidentally pushed his date into the swimming pool - with clothes on. He ran away. yes, he ran off. My brother had to dive in and take the young lady out of the water.
Today I am a successful Electrical Engineer working on huge projects. I am currently residing in Australia. By all standards, I think the Church would like a guy like me back - especially if I have to start tithing. I look after my mother financially (In South Africa). My brother is also an accomplished businessman. Hallelujah - we broke free before it was too late. I was cheated by this church.
Thanks for writing the Painful Truth.
One of the articles that best explains the mind set of tyrannical Armstrong-ism and the minions who served as Herbert's henchmen, is the Manpower Papers. In it we read “Before any discussion of a student began, his picture was projected onto a screen. Then, as the members of this "spiritual jury" stared at the student's image, each one of them divulged information - often given to them confidentially in private counseling sessions - gathered on the student.”
I no longer get very excited about any revelation about Armstrong-ism's hypocrisy or crookedness. It's what I've come to expect. Looking back, it is hard to believe that we took these assholes seriously. How many of us would have stayed in the cult if we knew these snakes in suits were involved in filthy, subversive, and destructive activities?
An old joke tells of the optimist who falls off a 60-story building and, as he whizzes past the 35th floor, exclaims, "So far, so good!" But it is not such blind optimism that causes Armstrong's apologists to think that they can oppose the views of 98 percent of its former associates. It is deceit.
As to Gerald Waterhouse, he had the brains of a house plant and possessed no significant intellectual skills whatsoever. You really have to tie your brain in knots to be gullible enough to believe that crap he spewed. My Amateurish-O-Minister-Meter confirmed that once members obtained the critical skills that enabled them to think and reflect and speculate independently, they realized that those who are forever making "statistical studies" about nonsense, are doing nothing more than confusing entertainment with learning.
In conclusion, the ministers of that corrupt cult must of thought that character development is not a matter of "strength through adversity" but rather, "entitlement through victimization" and that tithe payers were a magic purse that never ran out of gold. The hireling's, had no internal value and their achievements were morally repugnant slop. They marginalized every man women and child that made the grievous mistake of ever setting foot in one of their rented halls.
Where did you get your facts for the " More human beings have been enslaved, persecuted and massacred in the name of God than all other reasons combined. (Even Hitler read the bible and believed in God.)?" I would just like to know so I could read it for myself.
Thank you (From: Meagan)
This view of religion and war is widely supported in most circles of thought. The article you quoted from was written by a Jim V. in whom I do not know. I was not the editor of the Painful Truth at that time, therefor I cannot put you in contact with the author of that article for books to reference. However I did find you a link that you could look into.
Most wars fought DO have a religious theme to them. Using these religious themes is an effective way to get the masses to back you (mass terror) and consolidate your power. In "The Black Book of Communism," under Vladimir Lenin 2,691 priests, 1,962 monks and 3,447 nuns were executed for refusing to hand over church valuables. Could you call these deaths religious war casualties? Perhaps.
It is note worthy to mention that after Lenin's death the process of "deification" would begin. Interesting behavior for the Marxist's of the old Soviet Union, but served the purpose of the state in glorifying the communist system and its founders. The same thing has happened in the United States where George Washington was also deified. It glorified the capitalist republic and its founders.
Built on the ignorances and superstitions of the masses, religion is the most effective vehicle for the purpose of conquest and to provide the adhesion in which to build a society on. In Marxism, it is the supreme state in which your life evolves around as the substitute for religion.
Hence, never discuss politics or religion around friends. Why is that?
Grow up you immature fool and stop lying and winging [sic] about series
[sic] matter that you cant [sic] prove! and thats [sic] the truth the people know. And
you even complain about AOL Services. You winging [sic] character shows
throw [sic] .
Blow me asshole.
My name is Jerusha Spitz. I grew up in the Grand Island Nebraska
congregation of WCG, then after the split, my parents took me to
UCG. My story isn't anything unique, and definitely doesn't
hold a candle to many of the survivors of Herbert W Armstrong.
I was 1 year old when the man died, but I lived in the shadow of his
doctrine my entire life. I left UCG earlier this year, but this
is the first time I can actually bring myself to admit I was in a
I grew up poor, desperately poor (My parents were extremely loyal tithers), the youngest of nine kids. I battled
depression my entire life without knowing why. I remember once
in first grade, telling my friend I hated my life, and she looked at
me like I was crazy. I had no idea that other kids didn't want
to die. After that I kept my desperation pretty quiet. I
always felt scrutinized at church, and lonely in the world, but I
kept my head down and kept going. I self mutilated during my
teen-hood, to which my enlighten UCG parents told me I had a demon.
I was baptized by that point, so the idea that I was possessed scared
the crap out of me, I'd be in the third resurrection for sure.
I won't go into lengthy details of my childhood, but I wanted you to
understand the broad strokes.
This is why I wanted to write and thank you. For the first time in my life, I finally
understand the cause. The cult. I felt incapable of
feeling happiness, like the only emotions I was allowed was pain,
guilt, and fear. For my entire life, I felt I was just born
that way. I wanted to thank you for your work with the site, it
is a lifesaver. Somehow, just knowing I'm not alone, not a
freak of nature incapable of "human" emotions, it gives
hope. I just wanted to thank you for keeping the site up, even
though there are a lot of nay-sayers. I was raised in the UCG
since I was eleven, there are more like me I'm sure. If you
took the site down I might never have come to the realizations that I
did, so I'm glad you had the balls to do what you have done.
Thanks for writing the Painful Truth Jerusha,
I am pleased that you found this site and that the healing process for you has started!.
The Armstrong's were locked into a course of malice and malignity that consumed many fine people. The truth of the matter is that they acted as financial predators who preyed on the elderly, the gullible, and the vulnerable. They sought out assets in order to live a lavish lifestyle. That in an nutshell is the reason Loma and Herbert Armstrong started the family business.
Because of that, the Painful Truth will continue to stand as testimony to the misdeeds of the Armstrong's along with those who exploit, deceive and mis-inform folks for the sake of money, position and power over others. For all of us who are still sane, those of us who still have a firm grip on reality, those of us who still expose the charlatans, have an obligation to do more than just observe what the Armstrongist are doing from a safe distance. We have an obligation to set the stage and expose the evil.
As to the nay-sayers, they are the ones who hide behind the cloak of religion in order to conceal their black hearts.
I say fuck 'em.
I am an infrequent visitor to The Painful Truth website. My family was involved with the Oakland church from about 1964 to 1969, I quit attending when I turned 18 (and later my parents moved to another state).
I read with interest a letter from Bob on Letters To The Editor, page 40, about a suicide in the Oakland Church in the time frame of 1968/1969. The suicide may have been a man I knew slightly in late 1966 or early 1967. This man was 28, lived in Oakland, and attended the Oakland church. His name was Grant Fowler (Sept. 28, 1938 - May 21, 1967), self-inflicted gunshot.
Perhaps his death might be posted in the Suicide section.
Do you have any details as to the reason for suicide?
I really don't know what troubled Grant. He and I were the objects of
"match-making" and I was only in his company twice that I remember.
Both occasions were in social settings with a small group of church
members...once for an ice skating get-together and the other at a
small dinner gathering at one couples' apartment. Grant was polite
but quiet and reserved. He didn't call for a third "date." Probably
within a few weeks my mom told me he had shot himself at his
apartment. No idea who was behind the match-making, I didn't know the
couples involved, probably something cooked up with my mom (my dad
never attended church).
Grant has remained somewhat of a mystery to me because he was so quiet. I was only seventeen so my perspective was really limited. The only conversation I remember was him being somewhat put off by my wearing pants to the ice rink, he reminded me that it wasn't proper attire for women.
The California Death Index lists his birthplace as Oklahoma, his death place as Contra Costa Co., his mother's maiden name as Daniels.
That's all I remember.
I will add Grant to the list. Thank you for the information.
I read many of the stories and as I read them I could relate to all of them.
I didn't know this website existed until tonite. I wish I knew years ago that it did.
I also grew up in the WWCG since I was age 3 and now I am 44. I have struggled with so many of the examples I've read such as: addictions, abuse, relationships, a belief in a Higher Power, isolation, family break ups. Basically, the WWCG and the brainwashing it did to my parents had destroyed alot of my life.
Today, I am healing. I just completed a seven week treatment/trauma program for women two weeks ago and I choose to turn my will and life over to the care of God (of my own and different understanding that of WWCG).
I would like to have email contact with all those that have had experience with the abuse/trauma of the WWCG and who maybe willing to share their own personal healing. You are the expert, since you started this website. What do you think? Is this possible?
I understand that there is a Facebook group, WCG survivors that people can share stories with each others. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Tell him James from the PT sent ya.
At one time the PT forum served well for the healing process but almost all the folks have moved on, some healed, others have not. I am glad that others have picked up the cause of assisting others in the healing process.
I will post this on the next upload along with other letters that rolled in this week.
I think I must have been living on another planet all those 26 years of membership. I worked at the Library in Big Sandy for a couple of years before it closed. I was slowly becoming aware then of behind-the-scenes stories when the job ended. It is only now that I am discovering this information and this site.
Please tell me you still have a copy left of the book "HerbertArmstrong's Tangled Web" by David Robinson. I would like to order a copy but I don't want to send a money order if this site is dead. I await your reply.
The only copy left is the one I have. If you google it you may find another. The author of
"Tangled Web" died twelve years ago or so. His son is
in the UCG last I heard and is keeping the book out of circulation.
You can read one chapter
http://www.exitsupportnetwork.com/artcls/incest.htm Also, try here: http://www.skepticfiles.org/atheist2/jtcbook.htm
Let me know if you find a copy online.
Thanks so very much for the links. There is a tremendous amount of information available that it boggles my mind. Now I'm finally getting to read the literature that was forbidden in the eighties. Being in a rural area in Missouri, far from headquarters kept us fairly insulated from the stir in Pasadena. I can see now why the ministery warned us to not seek out "dissident lies". Like a dutiful sheep, I turned a deaf ear to the few rumors that did get whispered around.
I was in the church 1971-1997 when Big Sandy closed. When I left AU, I never looked back, not because of any bitterness or issues but because the Tkach changes seemed to dilute the very thing I originally chose WCG in the first place. The splinter groups didn't interest me because I no longer held illusions about HWA.
I did do a web search and found several copies of "Tangled Web". They cost from $30 to $125!!! I'm seeking to buy the cheaper copy, naturally, if it is still available. If you want, I can send you the names of some of the book houses that have copies.
Is this book worthy to be put online? Since Robinson's son has no plans to republish, do you think he would agree to someone putting it online? Do you know him well enough to ask him? If he should agree, I'd be happy to do the typing! :) But perhaps it's not practical. On the other hand, it might help some of the "sick sheep" that are lying in the pasture.
I have read only a small portion of the information and I have to shake my head in puzzlement. You know something.....it's one thing for my father and my husband to be hypocrites and child abusers.....and politicians can be hypocrites and child abusers .......one rather expects that from them because money and power has a tendency to deeply corrupt. Mix this with uncontrolled sexual energies and one has a witch's cauldron of nasty-tasting soup.
But the top ministers of the organization were being hypocrites in the name of God!! Did they not hear with their ears what their lips spoke? Did they even care? The condition of our soul is serious business! How could they march onward in complete defiance of the Paradise Father? Their souls have a heavy, heavy burden to carry!
I don't expect you to answer these questions. But I am still in a kind of "shock" now that the curtain is down and the house lights are turned up. The drama is over but the pain out there is still vibrating its poison in peoples minds and hearts! It's incredible.
I never gave any thought about the "plain truth" of WCG, HWA, GTA, etc. until I "happened" to come across the web site for "WCG Survivors" in Facebook. It was there only a few days but I saw it and took a look. I was stunned at the dozens and dozens of letters from first-second-and even third- generation WCGers. I was totally unaware that people are still hurting after all these years. I have my painful stories to tell too but I made peace with it about ten years ago.
2012 is just around the cornor. I think perhaps further "secrets" will be surfacing as time moves on.
It's a very interesting world we live in, James.
Thank you for your letter! I will post in on the next upload. By the way, if you would send the link for the sites that offers the book for sale, I would appreciate that, along with the Facebook link for all those who would find that useful.
http://www.amazon.com/ 3 copies @ $44.00 each
http://www.abebooks.com/ 3 copies : 1 is $42.31; other 2 are $125.00
http://www.alibris.com/ 1 @ $125.00
http://www.antiqbook.com/ 1 @ $125.00
http://www.biblio.com/ 1 @ $125.00
I am a survivor of the RCG and the WCG. I 'grew up' . . . was reared in the RCG/WCG from 1954 to 1994. I am so thankful to see that I wasn't crazy afterall. This website is such a blessing.
Thank you for writing. We do not often have stories coming out of the RCG. If you have a story you would like to tell, I would be more than happy to publish it. Please give it some thought.
Mr. Renehan, (I do hope this reaches you)
I wanted to read your book first, before responding. As advised, "please give it some thought", and I did. While reading your book, the memories just flooded in; More than there is time to put into this response. Thank you for your persistance in producing this book.
The first memory, in the Radio Church of God, would be in 1958 as a three year old. I watched as my parents and older siblings would scribble notes. I didn't know what they wrote, but they looked very intent in what they were writing and it looked like something I could do as well. So, I took my little notepad and pencil, that was given to me, and did my scribbles on the lines, also.
The second was when I was old enough to read. I would follow along with the scriptures. It took me awhile but was eventually able to go right to the scriptures which is quite a feat for a seven or eight year old. As I followed along I noticed that the preacher would pronounce the word 'Jesus' as Eternal. . . they would also say Eternal instead of 'Lord'. After years of this I drew the conclusion that we were not to say 'Jesus' or 'Lord'. This always puzzled me but I grew to be uncomfortable ever saying 'Jesus' or hearing anyone say that 'word'. Now I understand that to be part of the whole mind control objective.
In 1967, about the time that Loma Armstrong died, (now the Worldwide church of God) I would be in the seventh grade and having to deal with the normal pre-teen issues. With no one to trust with the heart issues, I had to deal with them by myself. All I had was my relationship with the God who I grew to love and respect in spite of anything that the preachers were espousing and yelling to us over the pull pit - 'bull pit'- 'bull shit' - call it what you will. . .excuse me , I got carried away.
It wouldn't be until 1996 that I would actually be able to say Jesus without feeling a knot in my stomach or be rid of the guilt for saying His name. Jesus
If there are any former or present preachers reading this, I would like to say to you, 'with all due respect' - there were many children sitting out there listening and taking notes. God was protecting us from the verbal gymnastics that we watched and listened to, for decades. . . we endured the abuse and now many of us are living with a new generation that saw even more clearly the hypocracy and are now athiests, agnostics, and some even satanists. He, after all, seemed to be more powerful, from the sermons we heard. In fact the fear of Satan was more pronounced than the 'Love of Jesus'.
Praises to God for His Eternal Love through His Son, who is JESUS.
In God We Trust,
I will post your letter on the next upload. Another testimony and experience with Armstrong-ism that others can relate to. This is important to those who may still be hanging on to the disease ridden religion, and unable to make the decision to leave.
Thank you Ruth!
I found your website a few days ago when I was trying to research The
Restored Church of God, which is one of the many splinter groups of
Worldwide and "the only true church of God." I was wondering if you
could direct me to other sites that have more information on this
specific group, or also on David C. Pack or his harsh assistant James
Turck. As I'd really like to know if anyone else has been treated as
harshly by this "church" because I've never felt so crushed in my
entire life. What does one do next? Can the government do anything about these mind controlling "churches"?
Thank you for your time and for your site, maybe you can save people from joining if you expose them enough as I wish I found your site sooner.
From the tone of your letter, I take it you got burnt by the RCG. Below are some links that may help
Type in "Dave Pack"
On James Turck, I can find nothing except his sermons. On the subject as to what can be done with these cults, you may want to consider the term "Undue Influence." Each case that is bought against a corporate church is considered on the merits of deception. Check with your lawyer. Here is a link:
Now you want to know what to do after exiting the RCG? The first thing
is not to panic or allow guilt to have its way with you. Remember
how your mind was conditioned. "There is simply no proper or
honorable way to leave the cult. Period. To leave is to fail, to
die, to be defeated by evil. To leave is to invite divine
Members are often taught that all kinds of bad things will happen to them if they leave: They will lose all
of the spiritual progress that they made while they were in the
cult, or they won't be able to get into Heaven, or the Devil or
demons will get them, or they will relapse and die of drugs and
alcohol... That is another standard cult characteristic: "The Cult
Also may I suggest the book "Churches That Abuse" by Ronald M.
Now, Alice, do you have a story to tell? We would love to post it. Remember that to fight evil one must stand up to
it! Let me know.
If you have anything you would like to
submit to this site,
or any comments, email me at:
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