Exit and Support Network

What Armstrong Said Didn't Add Up!

This child survivor had the courage to rebel
against the WCG madness

I literally stumbled across your website, and immediately emailed the link to two other "survivors." I had my last birthday party when I was 6. That's the year one of my mentally disturbed uncles encountered Herbert Armstrong's teachings, and converted most of his brothers and my mother into Worldwide Church of God.

My life grew steadily more miserable under that Regime of Control. As I grew up, the doctrines were so hammered into me that today, 31 years after I escaped, I could go to a pulpit and preach a flawless sermon based on what I'd been taught.

Somewhere in my early teens, after yet another battle with my parents, I started comparing what I saw in the Bible with what Herbert was seeing, and they didn't add up. That, of course, was the greatest heresy I could commit. This was the "one True Church," and if I didn't believe it, just ask the minister next Sabbath.

My father lost a well-paying job over his refusal to work Friday nights or Saturdays, and when he asked the church elders to speak with his employer and confirm that it was, indeed, his religious belief that prevented him doing it, they refused. I had the normal urge to conform to the latest styles as a teenager, and the compromise worked out marked me as a "rebel" and "troublemaker" inside the church.

My rebellion climaxed at 16. Dave Oder, the Pastor, called me into a private room, told me I was a "natural leader" and that I was "leading the children of this church right out of it." This was a lie, from my viewpoint. I wasn't leading anyone anywhere. It was more a matter of the other children wishing they had the courage to face the hell of rebelling against this madness, and finding they didn't.

My parents were furious, but accepted my banishment, and continued to attend and pay tithes. My younger brother was also furious; he wanted to be kicked out, too, and it took him another year of obnoxious behavior to make it happen.

I don't have to tell anyone at this site about the pain, the efforts to undo the damage done, the way you still do things based on those teachings. You already know.

I praise you for making this site, and will pray for its continued success and existence. It took me a long time to get back to God, to know that He's there and loves me, that Jesus is my Savior. I cannot to this day bring myself to walk into a church except to attend a wedding or funeral, but I read my Bible and I again love my Lord. My money? My tithes? They go to help children. Jesus loved them especially, you know. I think maybe God led me to you to share. You'll be hearing from me.

God bless you in this worthy cause.

By Barry - Child survivor of WCG
February 26, 2003


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