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Part 2 of my response to Monty Lahr. Monty replied to my letter, Part 1. It was handwritten. Sorry, I'm not typing out 5 handwritten pages for him. You can tell what he said by my responses.
"Click here to see his original comments." 8/23/97
My apologies for taking a crack at you for your "form letter." Here you were, probably the only one of my friends who even tried to act decent and all you get for your trouble is a kick in the teeth. Sorry about that. That comment is deleted from my remarks on my web page. Didn't realize that you wrote all those letters in one sitting. Naturally they would be similar. I can tell you that at the time it did mean a lot to me.
In regards to your not calling me "Bitter" or any of those other terms "Christians" love to hang on people, but only referring to what I have on my pages, I don't buy that. The pages are my creation. If you call them bitter, you are calling me bitter. I would say that I am just as bitter as Christ was when he threw the moneychangers out of the temple.
So many other people have found out the truth about all the corruption in the church long before me. Most of them have gone away quietly; its soooo much easier. Because some of us care about the people that are being misled and fleeced, we get to be reviled and called names. After all, you can't trust David Robinson/Al Currozo/Marion McNair/Jack Kessler/Bruce Renehan/Charles Hunting/John Trechak/John Tuit/ etc. etc. because they left the church.
They are BITTER! They say bad things about people we love therefore you can't believe them. Integrity is in people giving up their jobs for what they believe. Integrity is not saying: "well, I never heard him admit it himself, to my face, so I can't judge whether it happened or not." When you can't get someone to admit something to your face, then you go for circumstantial evidence.
You go to people that heard the person admit it. The preponderance of evidence and the number of witnesses can convict. Many of the men who have tried to expose the corruption were top leaders in the church at one time. Yet you can't believe them because they are filled with hatred. Just what would it take for you to believe any of the accusations? People give up positions and money and comfort but that is not enough for you.
These men put their lives on the line to stand up for the truth. David Robinson put all he owned into printing his book and defending it in court. He gave up an influential, prestigious ministerial job in the church to stand up for the truth. His reward was to be labeled as BITTER by people such as you, the same people he was trying to free from slavery. He died recently. He had become a school janitor, an honorable job. Much more honorable than ministers who would cover up the truth to protect their paychecks.
Yes, you are right. We probably do agree on most of the statements of belief of the church. I would probably be in the church today if they hadn't continued to praise Herbert Armstrong and JWT sr. And if they hadn't continued to push their Tithing doctrine. Even today, Jr. refuses to preach the truth about tithing. Tithing was for the Old Covenant and the Temple. It has no application for New Covenant Christians. It is insupportable in the Bible. It is fear religion at its best or worst. Yes, other Christian churches do also preach tithing. They love money also.
Just because Herbert Armstrong was never charged does not mean he is innocent. As far as being able to prove in a court of law whether Herbert W. Armstrong was guilty of incest, I think it could be done but you would have to get the daughter to testify. She is still alive. Her name is Dorothy Mattson. Ambassador Reports says that Herbert W. Armstrong kept her on the payroll to keep her mouth shut. She got whatever she wanted. She would put her makeup on and go and sit in the front at services. Herbie would pay her off and she would leave. You, we, paid for her silence.
I'm sure that the ministry will be overjoyed when she finally dies because then that will eliminate all questions regarding her and the adoration of Herbert Armstrong can go on unabated. (name withheld) talked to GTA and asked him whether it was true and GTA told him it was.
I remember (another name withheld) telling me that Jack Kessler was having a nervous breakdown or mental problems or something like that one of those times when ol' Satan was "attacking the church.". They told the same thing about Leona McNair. When they want to discredit people, that is what they say. I guess they had to disfellowship Jack for his "mental problems". Doesn't seem like a very nice thing to do for a sick person. Turns out, his "mental problems" were that he found out the truth about the incest and corruption at headquarters. Did you read Jack Kessler's letter? He said that it was commonly reported among the board members. They all knew it. Herbert W. Armstrong admitted it to David Robinson and others. It was reported in newspapers during the divorce trial. These were not allegations made in some dark room. This was out in the open in the papers. Herbert Armstrong never denied it. How could he with his daughter around to call him on it? When confronted with the subject he would say that he had "made mistakes" in his life. If Herbert Armstrong had been convicted of his incest, he could have been sentenced to the death penalty for these "mistakes", at that time. But they were just "mistakes". No doubt he ruined his daughter's life. I know how he has screwed up my life and my children's lives, I can just imagine if he were literally screwing me, as with his daughter. That has to be something that a person never fully recovers from. Try to convince her that "all things work for good."
So do you think that I really care about discrediting these men so that I get some kind of revenge or feel good about it? If you do, then you are wrong. All I want is for people to have all the information and then decide whether or not they can trust the leadership of men. I would be glad to just forget about the whole cult experience. I guess I feel obligated to try to make available whatever facts or information that I have. I have a hard time walking away from my brothers and sisters. Sorry about that. That doesn't make me BITTER. Maybe stupid. Maybe a glutton for punishment. But I don't wear that BITTER badge very well.
Consider that this all could be true. Wouldn't you feel just a little bit betrayed? Wouldn't you feel that they had lied to you to use you like your were some piece of toilet paper? Or would you just think that God is in charge and if he wanted me to go through this then it must be for my good? I submit to you, from my experience with the cult that the church was, God may be in charge, but He lets bad people get away with a lot of bad things. You can't just trust God to protect you from bad things. You have to teach your kids not to play in the streets and you have to teach yourself not to follow men. You have to learn from stuff like this. Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
If you can look at the deeds of Herbert W. Armstrong and JWT Sr. and still say that they were men of God and that your Tithes and offerings were well spent, I really can't say anything to you. We can no longer communicate. Bad is not good. God says you will know them by their fruits. Their fruits were evil.
It is not just the incest and adultery. It is sooooo much more. It was abuse of power. It was unbridled corruption and money that was wasted on bribery. It was the outright plagiarizing. It was false teachings and using doctrine for their own selfish purposes. It was the ruining of marriages and families in the name of God and then changing the doctrines when it suited his own purposes. It was the probability that people were actually turned away from God because of the blasphemous teaching that something more than the sacrifice of Christ was required. It was the suicides of people who felt they never could measure up to the standards set by the cult. It was the children who lost their childhood to the teachings of a cult. It was the people who died or suffered needlessly because they believed what they were taught about doctors being evil, even though the leaders didn't think such injunctions applied to them. We, the good, faithful people of the church were betrayed by corrupt men.
How can you speak up for the integrity of Herbert Armstrong, Tkach Sr. and Tkach Jr.? You don't even know them. Even Jr. calls himself "the Bearded Armstrong Basher". I have that in a letter from him if you need proof. Why do you think, if he does not believe in the integrity of Herbert Armstrong, that you should? Does this mean that now you can't defend the integrity of Jr. because he thinks just the opposite of you on Herbert Armstrong? You can't have it both ways. You have to choose, now, between Herbert Armstrong and Tkach Jr.
Monty, you don't annoy me. You frustrate me. You disappoint me when you blindly follow men. Don't do that. Don't do it for your family's sake.
You said that you found that there are a lot of people on the Internet that you would call angry . It isn't the Internet that makes people angry. It is the information that the church can no longer keep secret that makes people angry. That is why you hear the leaders, such as Bernie Schnippert recently up in the Appleton area, ripping the Internet. Saying that there is absolutely nothing that you can believe on the internet. That he was shown a page that was printed out and there was not one single bit of truth on it. I would ask him to spell out what it is that isn't true. How can you trust a man that can make a blanket statement like that? He must not realize that your church has an Internet site. Many of your local churches have Internet sites. I guess you can't believe anything on them either.
We, as ex-members of the church, have a right to be critical if we want to be. They stole 25 years of my life and over $100,000. We have relatives that still attend. Because we are former members, our criticism is even more valid not less. The question, "Why did you leave." is a good question that we should have been asking everyone who left down through the years. But how could you when you had to shun these people? The reaction of people when someone leaves is pure cult mind-control. Your reaction to my leaving the church, I paraphrase: "Oh, well if you want to leave that is your right. I won't question your reasons because I don't love you enough to want to hear anything critical." You couldn't respect my decision when you didn't know on what it was based. You were simply not willing to let me go without saying goodbye. Even in that, you were more Christian than all but one other person in your church.
Sorry that we had this run-in. Sorry that you refuse to open your eyes to see what really happened. It doesn't take a rocket scientist. The books are there for anyone to read. I can loan them to you. Don't let the cult mentality keep you from finding out what the truth is. Do it for your kids. Good people like yourself and so many others. have been and are being used by people who use religion and fear and God to control people. It is a sad thing to see. Joe jr. does not deserve the likes of you. No man does. The respect, honor and trust you give to these men is misplaced. It should only go to God.
Even now, Jr. has his "Plain Truth Ministries" lifeboat ready to go when the Worldwide Church of God sinks. He is looking out for himself. He will have a golden parachute. As more and more people find out how they were misled and used, the Worldwide Church of God will continue to shrink. You will be left with nothing but your memories and your tithe receipts.
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