Exit and Support Network

Occultic Family History
Led to Recruitment into WCG

My grandpa was a Freemason and my grandma was in Eastern Star. They were recruited first by Herbert W. Armstrong and then they got my mom involved in the WCG cult. My mom was into all of the big name "prognosticators" (that's what she always called fortune-tellers). She was deeply involved with going to office parties where they would bring in a fortune-teller and do palm readings while she was pregnant with me. Someone once told her that a higher power was protecting her and then he literally ran out of the building saying that he was not allowed to give her a reading. I still remember vividly all of the stories she told me about experiences she had had with these fortune tellers. She worked for a doctor who was really into all of that stuff. She quit working for him when I was born, but went back to work for him when I was 10.

My best childhood friend was into Ouija boards and stories of people contacting dark spirits. She told me that if we did this spinning thing in a dark bathroom, while saying some magic words, something would reach out from the mirror and scratch us on the shoulder, but, of course nothing happened--at least nothing that we saw or felt. My mom had a Ouija board experience at the doctor office party where she used the board a few times and once she said she could feel this hand directing her hand over the board. She said it was really creepy. I guess she just wanted to know the future so bad she was willing to look at any source. I am not sure if she understood until years later what she was really getting herself into. I know now that information that comes from the dark side comes from the father of all liars. If God wanted us to know everything about our future He would have told us and He warns us to stay away even from the appearance of evil let alone evil itself! We can't give place to the devil.

I remember my mom always talking about demons and stories of encounters, as well as experiences her mom had. I remember my mom saying her house growing up was haunted. My mom had been into horoscopes and astrology previous to the cult and I got into horoscopes, too, reading mine daily from the newspaper.

I remember having out of body experiences at least twice and, as a small child, staring at mirrors in a trance-like state of mind.

When I was a teenager, my best friend in the cult was always telling stories about demonic encounters she had heard of. Sometimes we would sit up late at night and drink alcohol and tell these stories and end up feeling really creeped out. We, along with our whole Y.O.U. group, got into going to see horror films. Several of us kids from the cult got into listening to this one talk show host and all of the call in talk shows about sexual immorality. I tried wearing all black clothes but my dad said "no way."

My sisters and I were into heavy metal music and some may have been black rock. One of my sisters became heavily involved in Dungeons and Dragons. It changed her whole personality. She became very abusive until I insisted that my parents get rid of the computer and the books she was reading and using for the Dungeons and Dragons game.

There was a girl at school who was into devil worship who followed me around until my mom told me to pray out loud for her to be rebuked and leave me alone (I did not know this girl but she followed me everywhere at school).

I remember thinking Voodoo was a joke and that it would be funny to make a Voodoo doll, but my mom found out about it and stopped me.

In college my English professor told me I had to write a paper on Satan. Instead of going to the Bible, I went to a college library and started looking at books on the occult and Satanism. Those images are burned into my mind. My dad found out what I was doing and he put a stop to it immediately. He had gone with me to this library, but was looking at other things, and then he discovered what I was looking at. He made me ask for a new assignment for a topic for my research paper. This professor knew I was in WCG and she wanted to see what I would write about.

As a married adult, a close friend from the cult was into doing magnetic pendulum readings to see if the baby I was pregnant with would be a boy or a girl. She would do this even on any woman who had ever been pregnant and could tell them the gender of the babies they had.

I remember people in Worldwide Church of God, Philadelphia Church of God and Restored Church of God, being very preoccupied with stories of demons--especially PCG, they were the worst. The minister would sit around and tell stories of demon encounters. This minister and others in PCG would constantly ask me if I had been persecuted by demons, yet when we first went there they told us everyone who comes into PCG is "persecuted by demons."

I use to shop with a couple of cult friends at a store that had lots of New Age, creepy stuff. I went there to buy magazines about rock collecting but found out their rock collecting was not innocent. My cult friend's mother (who was in the cult) got into power crystals and Reiki.1 This lady asked my husband to solder a copper pipe with crystals on each end to make a magic wand--which he refused to help her with.

We stayed at a haunted house that we rented for the Feast of Tabernacles one year. I have heard a lot of other stories from other cult members we went to services with about haunted houses that they grew up in; haunted buildings that they worked in. There were members and a minister at PCG who were preoccupied with stories of evil spirits. You don't ever hear Christians talk about those things. Just cult people.

I know I was under demonic oppression for a period of close to 6 years. I prayed night and day for God to deliver me and save me from the oppression. I am not sure why this lasted so long, but I did not, at that point, cut my ties with the cult, so maybe that is why Jesus waited to deliver me until after I walked away from those beliefs and from our controlling parents who were in the cult. Going through that oppression I was under felt like somehow I must have committed the unpardonable sin--or else spiritual suicide--but all along Jesus was there to lead me out of the darkness into the light. I never thought I could be saved. I thought I would die forever. I was so fearful. But I was delivered and received Jesus as my Saviour! The cult always overemphasized the dark spirit realm's power over us. They never told us that Jesus defeated all evil and sin at the Cross. Maybe that is why they did not want us to like crosses, because those leaders were on the wrong side and we didn't know it.

I was reading out loud this morning those prayers that you have posted about confession and release from spiritual strongholds. I cried when I realized how much evil I had been exposed to--some through family and some as a result of the cult. Going through those prayers helped me to put the pieces of the puzzle together for me about my family and how they came to be recruited into the cult. It was very cleansing to pray those prayers and to feel forgiven for any involvement in that stuff. I already feel better and more at peace.

I believe the cult wanted to deny that Jesus was our Sacrifice for all our sins and that He Redeemed us with His Blood! Jesus has the power to deliver us from all spiritual strongholds. No wonder I stayed in the cult for 30 plus years and was so depressed and oppressed! Jesus is very real to me now. He delivered me and gave me hope and a future. He can do the same for anyone.

By Natalie - Child survivor of WCG and PCG
June 20, 2005


"...the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy
the works of the devil." ~I John 3:8


Note by ESN: Many have testified that they believe Satan was the true founder of the Worldwide Church of God and that it (along with certain totalistic offshoots) is filled with lying spirits (demons), and the only way to set anyone completely free is with the gospel of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Recommended Material:

Prayers for Freedom From Spiritual Strongholds (very effective in gaining liberation from strongholds and oppressions due to involvement in any harmful, abusive group or occult practices; includes moral issues)

If you need help from demonic oppression:

Bill Bean: Exorcist / Spiritual Warfare Minister / Life Coach

Footnote by ESN:

1 One of the "healing sessions" that WCG brought in (during the changes) to try and deal with members' recovery concerns was called "Pathways for Peace and Healing." This was in the form of seminars for local congregations. A search on this group shows that it is based on Shamanism, which is tied in with Reiki healing, a New Age practice. (Read: Reiki a universal energy technique to heal.) The founder of Reiki was Dr. Mikao Usui a Japanese theologian who claims that Reiki came to him in a vision.

Back to Stories and Testimonies From Child Survivors