The Painful Truth About The Worldwide Church of God

Do We On This Website Hate
Herbert W. Armstrong
And His Followers?

By Whistler

In a response to what is perceived as vicious attacks on Herbert Armstrong, some have accused us on this Website and on various message boards of being full of hatred toward this man and of having a corresponding blindness to the good that Herbert Armstrong did in his lifetime. There are even some that feel that we will be used as Satan's tool in the persecution of true Christians in the future. Many view us as being obsessed with destroying the memory of a man who was human and fallible, just like we all are, but used mightily of God.

To understand where we are coming from, those who feel that Herbert Armstrong is their spiritual leader need to step back, relax, and do an exercise that requires using the imagination. Do not think of HWA or anything that he taught, leave him completely out of the picture just accept for the moment that EVERYTHING I am saying is absolutely true, just for this exercise.

Imagine a man coming onto the scene in America who misleads many people through false religious teachings and false prophecies. This man builds up a following in the early 1930's and into the 40's. (Come on now, keep a neutral attitude and an open mind it's a strain but you can do it!) He becomes so convinced of his own importance that he actually uses his own daughter for his sexual needs, even as he proclaims to the world that he is starting to proclaim a gospel that has not been preached for 1900 years.

He believes that God is using him to restore truths that have been lost to a so-called Christian world, even though he knows that the Bible says that one must keep God's commandments to have "a good understanding" and be used by God. But his adultery/incest is just a weakness, he believes, and God will still continue to reveal new truths through him, and him alone! After all, he is God's apostle, and character doesn't matter, just intent (remind you of any current leaders in the new?).

Things go along smoothly until the mid 1940's, when his prophecies about Hitler being the Beast of Revelation, and that the U.S. could not possibly win the war, and dozens of other false prophecies cause his followers to desert him. He has to move to another part of the country where he is basically unknown to re-establish himself. This "man of God" continues on for the next 40 years to build a church based on fear and guilt and doctrine that can be proven to be false. Numerous incidents of drunkenness, fraudulent use of money, etc. are swept under the carpet until they become general knowledge just a few years after the man's death.

Imagine having been a member of such a church, and the relief you must have felt when God was gracious enough to reveal your error to you. Also imagine having those of your own family still believing that such a man was of God, in spite of all the evidence and seeing it basically destroy your family life.

Imagine that many of your relatives still hung on to the teachings of this man and that their lives were bordering on the neurotic due to those teachings. These multiple relatives continued to live mildly to severely dysfunctional lives ascribing every new event in the news to possibly the event that would trigger the end of the world and the rush to the place of safety.

Imagine trying your best to help these relatives realize that they have been duped, that they don't have to continue to live a life with nothing to look forward to but the dream outlined for them of the "wonderful world tomorrow," (which is usually depicted as always "just around the corner").

Picture in your mind how it feels to try to explain to them that they are not enjoying "the peace that passes all understanding" but have become mentally frozen in their false religion, rendered unable to function, and yet unable to escape. Imagine them now looking down upon you as "the one who has lost the truth," when in fact just the opposite is the case.

If all of the above had happened to you, would you sit idly by and keep your mouth shut so as to preserve the memory of this "honorable man of God"? Imagine how deeply deceived his followers would have to be to discount all the evil that the man did!

The ONLY reason these followers refuse to face what kind of man their founder was is because to admit it would lead to the next logical question how could such a discredited man EVER be used by God to restore true religion when credibility is of the HIGHEST necessity?

This would force them to re-examine all their doctrines something they would rather not do. For to do so and find that they were in error would mean in many cases to write off the last 25 or 30 years as totally lost and wasted. They would be forced to acknowledge the tens of thousands of dollars in "tithes" they sacrificed to give actually promoted evil instead of good. This would just be too great an emotional pain for most to bear.

You have doubts about Herbert Armstrong being guilty of incest? His son Garner Ted knew about it(as did a number of others), as his sister told him face to face. Read below how Garner Ted Armstrong responded to questions about that incest if you still have doubts. It kind of reminds one of how a guilty child would respond when questioned by a parent!

Garner Ted Armstrong's Letter About His Father's Incest

(Below is Garner Ted Armstrong's response to a person's recent inquiry about the Kessler letter and the natural questions regarding HWA's incest with his daughter Dorothy. Notice that he doesn't say that it never happened, that his father was a fine, upstanding man who would never do anything like that. Hey Garner Ted Armstrong, I'm not disappointed at all. What you DON'T say speaks volumes.)

The Church of God International Post Office Box 2530 Tyler, Texas 75710 Garner Ted Armstrong, Founder

July 28, 1997

Dear Mr. (Name Withheld by Request)

I'm sorry, but I really have no comment about the very lengthy letter from Jack Kessler. The entire situation is completely moot at this time, of course. My father died at age 931/2 back in 1986, eleven years ago, and I certainly have no desire to resurrect a lot of ancient ghouls from their graves and engage in a lot of criticism involving the actions of individuals in that organization decades ago.

Nothing my father did, negative or positive, matters to my personal salvation, or to yours.

For the last twenty years, I have continued to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God as a witness and a warning to the world, and I have never engaged in the kind of spiritual "grave robbing" that exhumes ancient sins of fifty or sixty years ago, and attempts to defile and defame the memory of individuals who themselves are long since dead.

Sorry if this proves disappointing to you, but I simply have no further comment.


Garner Ted Armstrong.

(I'm sure Garner Ted Armstrong would not want to defame his father since his whole claim to fame, his whole ministry, is based on his ordination by his father.)

Comment: Some members of the Worldwide Church of God split-off churches are going to have a hard time reconciling the fact that Herbert Armstrong was involved in incest even as he was establishing "God's true church." God was revealing to him alone truths that had been hidden from the world for 18 1/2 centuries - and we all know that God only reveals greater understanding to those who keep his commandments!

As the United Church of God / An International Association (adheres to Armstrong's teachings) so well states it in the Sep/Oct 97 edition of their magazine "The Good News" in the article entitled How To Understand The Bible, on page E5, under the subheading "Second Key: Obedience brings understanding," we are instructed that "We must begin to live what we learn for God to grant us continued understanding. If we refuse to accept the understanding God reveals to us, He ceases to give us more of it . . . We read a summary of this principle in Psalms 111:10, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do his commandments . . " Therefore, to understand revealed spiritual truths requires the 2nd key, which is faithful obedience to God's perfect laws and instruction as shown in scripture."

Apparently this principle applies to everyone except Mr. Armstrong! Or maybe, just maybe, this principle is always valid and does apply to Mr. Armstrong, and his "new understanding" was just plain old uninspired error!

We who contribute to this website don't hate Herbert Armstrong or his followers. We love all people. To sit idly by and say nothing would be a form of hatred. Doesn't the Bible say that a father that doesn't correct his son hates him? We on this site have chosen to keep these issues alive in the hope that the reader will be inspired, if only out of anger, to investigate what we say and to attempt to prove us wrong. If the reader even takes this first step, we will have accomplished what we have set out to do. We will leave the accomplishing of the next step in God's hands.



If you have anything you would like to
submit to this site, or any comments,
email me at:
Send Me Email

Back to "Painful Truth" menu.



The content of this site, including but not limited to the text and images herein and their arrangement, are copyright 1997-2002 by The Painful Truth All rights reserved.

Do not duplicate, copy or redistribute in any form without the prior written consent.