Thanks for the time and effort of posting the information on your site. It has been very helpful toward finding my way, as I had no idea what I had grown up in. I use title description for my story for a number of reasons. I know you have heard some of them before, because I have read excerpts of my own story from others. On the one hand, it’s nice to know there are others like myself out there who went through some of the same things that I witnessed and experienced. On the other hand, it’s exceedingly disturbing that here are others like myself out there who went through some of the same things that I witnessed and experienced, and worse. I can relate to some of the mind control and mental abuse as recounted in some of these stories, but, after reading more, I don’t think I can complain, given the abuse and destroyed lives, ala drug abuse and sexual abuse.
Reading your materials online brought to the surface a lot of anger that I hold onto. Some sheer unadulterated hatred has spewed forth as well, much to my surprise. I have not seriously attended any Worldwide Church of God (WCG) service in many years, nor do I want to. Much of it sticks in my craw. I suppose I can impose upon you to lend me an ear, to get it off my chest, so to speak.
That “church” never really taught me “all that Jesus stuff,” just that He was here on earth, but still I would pretty much be damned to suffer the Great Tribulation and then perish in a lake of fire if I didn’t obey the rules, kiss the ministers’ shiny red asses, and send in my tithes in a timely fashion.
I was, and still am, to some extent, what my wife has told me, “socially retarded.” When I moved away from home after graduating in 1990, to go to a technical school, I really had no idea what awaited me (like most 18 year olds really do). All my scholastic life, beginning in Kindergarten, and all the way up, I was the voluntary outcast. My mindset was, and has been, that I want to do the right thing. Understandable. I didn’t rebel against my parents. I was fully convinced that “the church” was right. There is a significant part of my psyche that wants to be the child in the cocoon of the ever-loving arms of my parents, frozen in time at a time when the family was together and whole, and perhaps explains my obsession of researching and reading about all the splinter groups, different ministers that I had grown up listening to. (Just an aside, one of our former local ministers has gone through at least four splits, ending up with his own outfit.)
I never went to the Friday night ball games. I could not participate in many extra curricular activities, because it would be in violation of the Sabbath. What is amazing to me is the fact that the world was going to end before I graduated from High School, and we would all (meaning the chosen few who paid their tithes) be living in the World Tomorrow. What were we all smoking?
Anyway, to continue with my ramblings. Of the four brothers that I grew up with, one is dead from suicide. I am sure that the fact that he was not baptized at the time, and probably didn’t “measure up” to the perceived standards didn’t help him lift his spirit out of whatever depression he was in that started him down the path that found him dead at the outskirts of our home town not two miles from our father’s place of employment. My youngest brother is at best an agnostic, more likely an atheist. I will say this for him, he does have a pretty good BS detector. I came close to declaring myself agnostic. Agnostic because for one thing, the universe is much to orderly for it to have been an accident. And agnosticism appealed to me at the time because while I could allow intellectually for the possibility that a higher conscience was involved, I would not have to have anything to do with God. How I came to that state is another story, albeit, not a very exciting one.
I am not agnostic, but I don’t regularly study or go to church. I guess because I don’t want the burden that was yoked upon us. I probably will attend church regularly. I am only now coming to the point where I am not uncomfortable visiting a church. I feel the judgmental eyes upon me less and less. The judgmental eyes. WCG was filled with them. I remember bringing a friend with me to a local [WCG] congregation. He didn’t wear coat and tie, but some nice casual wear and, yup, I could see the eyes upon him, already having been weighed, measured, and passed sentence upon.
I will close for now, before this letter gets too long and boring to read, as you have plenty of better things to do. I will point out that the “other WCG” website states that it was last updated in April of 2001 and noted that none of the links really lead anywhere. How woefully appropriate.
Keep up the good work.
Sincerely, Eric – Child survivor of WCG