Best of the Letters from 2013
January 3, 2013
Hi, I was thinking the other day about something that happened in 1993 which I thought I would relate.
In 1993 my husband and I were on Ministerial Refresher in Pasadena. My husband got sick and was confined to bed and so I had to attend some lectures without him. I took careful notes so that he would not miss out on anything. We had one lecture given by David Hulme who was the P.R guru and publicity chief for the WCG at that time. The purpose of the exercise was to educate the field ministry in the "dark arts" of dealing with the press and media while presenting the WCG in the best possible light.
I remember that the technique Hulme chose to use to emphasise his point was that of role-playing, so he would ask the question and an unfortunate "lamb to the slaughter" volunteer would get to answer. I remember the question which was not one that I believed would be in any way controversial and thought that the volunteer was getting off very lightly! He asked "What does the WCG teach about abortion?" Now I doubt there was any in that audience who was surprised when the minister replied "The church considers that abortion is a sin and murder since life begins at conception."
You could have "knocked me down with a feather" when I heard David Hulme say "No, that's not what we would say. We would not want to condemn someone or make them feel bad. We would say the Church would not recommend abortion as a form of birth control." The audience could not believe what it was hearing. The minister felt like a fool for answering the question in the way that we all would have done.
I remember the incident very clearly because of the shock and because I had to relate it to my husband who was too ill to attend. I also remembered it because I was in the early stages of pregnancy having miscarried two babies previously. You will imagine that I found it unbelievably difficult to comprehend what I had just heard and why I was hearing it.
I am sure that the chameleon-like tendency for ministers and politicians to see which "way the wind blows" and blend in with the political climate of the time would have an impact on their inner-self or soul or whatever you choose to call it. Moral compromise will always have consequences. Resigning for conscience-sake or choosing to forgo the limelight because you are struggling to comprehend is surely the more honourable way. David Hulme once said "that was then, this is now" to describe a change of position on governance thus discrediting the means by which he had come to power and prominence.
My religious beliefs have certainly changed, especially over the last year, as I have tasted freedom and the joy of the grace of the Lord. I know it is not what I do but what He has done already that gives me assurance of salvation. However, if we are not true to ourselves and to God, our minds are warped. When we look back on those who have given their lives for their faith it is dispiriting to witness those who would not give up a pay check or position on account of conscience. For some it is position and politics all the way. No doubt they convince themselves that they can make a difference by working themselves up the ladder in politics or church. There is irony in the fact that the WCG forbade political involvement of any kind when there is no greater demonstration of politics than in the "jockeying for position" of some of its "leaders." The expression "to tow the party line" means to uphold the stance of those in power even when there is a conflict with your own personal beliefs. This may work in politics where to get things done it may be necessary but not when our spiritual beliefs are concerned. There has to be a time to stand up and be counted; a time to refuse to compromise. When my husband quit the paid employ of the WCG over matters largely of conscience he was asked why he did it as no one else at that time voluntarily left. He answered "I realised there must be a more honest way of earning a living!"
Sending grateful thanks for all your efforts to help and support those who take their tentative baby steps away from all those organizations who would enslave the hearts and minds of those who desire to please God. --Impacted by WCG [name withheld]
Comment: More expose` on David Hulme is linked here on our Offshoots & Splinter Groups section.
January 8, 2013
Thank you for your articles. I downloaded one of them on manipulation techniques: "Identifying Marks of an Exploitive, Abusive Group." It is very accurate. I resigned membership in the Seventh-day Adventist Church (SDA) which has a similar origin as WCG. The SDA church puts all the writings of Ellen G. White above the Bible. Whatever she wrote counts, not the Bible. Even though she has been dead since 1915, the SDA church continues to present her as the prophet of God.
Fred Coulter uses the five basic books of SDA: The Great Controversy, Prophets and Kings (the one about Christ), and I forget the rest because I threw them all in the garbage. I have written to him to try to warn him, but he won't listen. He changes the titles slightly. These are all copied from EGW books. I asked why, and he said the books are free domain now. I believe Ellen White had a "spirit guide" who told her things. This spirit guide would obviously be a fallen angel disguising itself as an angel of light. Her books contain numerous errors, contradicting the Bible. The worst one is that the New Covenant is the old covenant transplanted into our hearts. That contradicts all of Galatians which says that the old covenant is brought to an end. The emphasis on the old Mosaic Law deprives people of living in the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:2)
I always wondered why SDAs would get very angry if you questioned the reliability of Ellen G. White, but now I think it is because a spirit guide controls their minds, just as it did EGW. Talking to some of them is like talking to a brick wall. It is really sad that many people are totally under the control of their dead prophet. From the time that I was in the SDA church, I felt that I was "never good enough" for God. Since leaving the SDA 2 l/2 years ago, I have had to read and re-read the New Testament. My Bible is heavily marked to remind me of what is truth. Thank you for your article, it is all true. --Former member of SDA [name withheld]
Comment: See NOTE about Ellen G. White (who also plagiarized from others) where she claims the "Truth" was revealed to her directly by God.
Love Your Site:
January 23, 2013
Just wanted to let you know. I love your site and I go there often. It is a real help. Keep up the good work. --R.C.
I Stopped Watching David Pack's Videos After Finding Your Site:
January 28, 2013
Hello, your site is very informative. I'd started watching David Pack's YouTube videos and just happened to run across your site due to wanting to know more about his teachings, the man himself, etc. I stopped watching David's videos right away after discovering all the information on your site. Thanks for the work you're doing. --Spared from RCG
Thank You So Much For Your Info on LCG:
February 16, 2013
Hi, I had gotten some booklets by Living Church of God and I searched online to see what their background was. I was surprised to see on your site that they are associated with "Tomorrow's World" from which I have been receiving many pamphlet's and DVDs. I had been wanting to give to them financially but felt to wait and find out who they truly are.
Thank you so much for this info on your site and I will pass this on to others who are also reading their stuff. --Spared from LCG
March 18, 2013
I was in the Radio Church of God [WCG's first name] for 29 years, then I left and joined the Church of God the Eternal which I left in 1985. Both of them destroyed me financially and almost destroyed my marriage so I understand what many people went through and I feel sorry for them. --Former member of WCG and COGE
Found Out How Armstrong and Cohorts Funded Their Lifestyle:
March 21, 2013
Although not (thank goodness) a "survivor" of the WCG or its progeny like those your excellent website supports, I did once subscribe to The Plain Truth and sent off for as many of their other publications as I could find. Not because I put any credence in the WCG's eccentric ragbag of beliefs, but rather in the mistaken hope I was somehow going to bankrupt the WCG as an evil cult. I must admit that when Armstrong finally kicked the bucket, I was quietly triumphant--as I was again later on, when The Plain Truth finally shut down under the Tkach regime, having noticeably shrunk in size and paper-quality. It was only later I discovered (from the online version of Ambassador Report) how Armstrong and his cohorts funded their obscenely wealthy lifestyle: from the tithes and offerings of devoted and often impoverished WCG members. I still have a bit of a bad conscience about this, even if I did endure the entire dreaded Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course! What amazes me is that people still seem willing to believe Armstrong was anything other than a corrupt and depraved religious huckster; but there are his successors, still pushing much the same stuff. Thank you for sending me [the PDF books on WCG/HWA]. All the best. --UK
Had Nagging Questions About Restored Church of God:
April 8, 2013
I was very close to joining RCG but had several nagging questions in my heart about RCG. Then God lead me directly to your website. Thank you very much for making available important information about the so-called "true church" on your website. --Spared from RCG
April 23, 2013
As a former member of the WWCG, I wanted to take the time to warn others about the RCG organization. It appears that the RCG is simply continuing the teachings of Herbert Armstrong, even rewriting much of his original literature. They are obsessed about the Tribulation and their attempt to fulfill what they believe is the "Work" of God.
If you want to test a spirit to see if it's of God, then test their spiritual fruit--love, etc. I saw little of that in the WWCG nor do I see any of it in the RCG website. That is why I left the WWGC, not because of doctrine (which is certainly flawed), but because I saw no love in the leadership of the WWCG.
Herbert Armstrong made many "predictions" of dates and events that never happened. They came and passed. No one ever apologized or even acknowledged these mistakes, but they continued, over and over. Some people quit jobs and sold homes--lost everything, even marriages and broken
relationships with children. I never heard anything from any minister or Armstrong about serious mistakes in doctrine or their approach to church members.
And now I see the same thing in the RCG. Predictions about dates that will come and pass, and nothing will happen. And you will see that just as Armstrong never apologized or acknowledged these mistakes, that David Pack will likely do the same thing. God will return when He is ready. It does not matter when, and it doesn't matter how much we think we know about the Bible.
If you are looking for a church or organization, don't be fooled in to searching for "hidden truth" or "the escape from the Tribulation," but look instead for the fruits of Spirit (Galatians 5:22) and where you find these you will find God. The WWCG was not, and the RCG is not, where you'll find it. This is not to say that many members of the former WWCG are not "nice" people. Some of those that I knew were. But the leadership delivered many false doctrines to the membership, wrapped in lies and deception, with no accountability for their actions, or any apology or reconciliation or any kind. They blindly followed a man who when challenged with Scripture looked the other way to follow his own agenda. And now the RCG is doing the same thing.
I pray that people stay away as far from this cult as possible. Thank you for this web site and may God bless you all. --Former WCG member
May 21, 2013
I don't know how many of your readers have read the following. It was taken from a WCG member's sermon notes on tithing in 1971 and might enlighten those who weren't in during that period of time.
The following are my notes taken on a sermon given by Mr. John Pruner, pastor of the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, church on November 13, 1971. Although we were subsequently asked to destroy our sermon notes, this was one set I felt I had to keep. Mr. Pruner made it very clear that we, as church members, did not have to contribute offerings strictly according to the percentages given in the sermon, but it was strongly suggested by headquarters that we do:
"Am I Handling My Finances God's Way?"
A. What does God Require From My Income?
1. First tithe - 10% of gross income --Lev. 27:30.
2. Second tithe - 10% of gross income - Deut. 12:5. Never borrow.
3. Third tithe - 10% of gross income - Deut. 26:12-15.
4. Regular offerings - should be 3% of gross income - Mal. 3:8.
5. Holy Day Offerings - should be 4% of gross income -- Deut. 16:16
6. Emergency Fund - send this directly to headquarters (no percentage given) - Deut. 15.
7. Fourth Year Fruit From Trees - Lev. 19:23, 25.
8. Firstfruits - Deut. 18:3-5. Don't give firstfruits to ministers, but estimate the value and send the money to headquarters.
9. Firstborn Male of Cattle - send money to headquarters.
10. Firstborn child - buy back with an offering sent to headquarters.
B. What Should We Voluntarily Contribute to God's Work?
1. Building Fund - 4% of gross income
2. Tithe of Tithe - 10% of second tithe
3. Loans to the Work
4. Gifts to the church
5. Special Emergency Gifts when the Work is in trouble
6. Library Fund
7. Recreational Fund
8. Spokesman Club Dues
9. Social Fund
(Taken from Ambassador Report #2, 1977, under "Letters")
I am so thankful that you are exposing the past system for what it actually was and is. --Former WCG member [name withheld]
Comment: Many of the letters in AR #2 describe the financial exploitation members suffered while in WCG. (Please note that the AR is now posted on an atheist site.)
Never-Ending Set of Rules and Checklists:
May 22, 2013
I just read the sermon notes above. What a terrible yoke members had to bear. After reading each point, I could feel the burden get heavier and heavier with each obligation. Sadly, what was never pointed out to the members is the fact that these requirements were made as "tax laws" to help run the newly founded nation of ancient Israel. God never intended for these laws to extend beyond the ancient nation of Israel and into to our modern times. God knew that He was going to save the Gentiles in due time, and that ancient Israel would no longer exist. God never intended to burden people with these "additional financial requirements."
Every point in List A is from the Old Testament and was abolished in the New Testament. List B does not contain a single scriptural reference! These "requirements" are nothing more than man-made requirements with no scriptural backing. Should we be forced to obey "financial laws" that simply don't exist in the Bible? Exploitive groups [i. e., PCG, RCG, LCG] will chant "obey your Bible" but when their requirements don't exist in Scripture, they say, "Obey our rules (even if we make them up!)" They have to give themselves their own "authority" under their own phony government since they know they don't have any such authority from the Scriptures.
God through the Apostle Paul told his followers that we are worse than infidels if we don't take care of our families. (I Timothy 5:8) He is basically giving us permission to use our finances for the well-being of our families as our highest priority! I cannot imagine how horrible it would be to not provide my children's basic needs, and throw my last $5 to a bunch of egomaniacs that live in extravagant homes, drive expensive cars, etc., while they suffer from a true need! It disgusts me and makes me want to cry at the same time!
Seeing this list, I hope readers can detect the outright greed of these so-called "ministers" who hide behind God's authority and use His name in the vainest way possible.
God loves us, and never intended to burden us with man-made requirements that simply do not exist in His Word, or have been twisted out of context. He wants us to love others as He loves us. He wants us to provide for our family's well-being, so that they can understand how God truly loves them. He gives us the means to earn a living, so we can bless our families and those around us as He has blessed us! You don't need a "checklist" for this! Groups like PCG, RCG, LCG, etc. make members trade the "simplicity" of God and turn it into a never-ending set of rules and checklists--even ones that teach them to turn against their own family members!
I hope everyone who reads that list will become more aware of the rampant greed and see the sick system that has perpetuated it through the decades. The leaders' lust for money is insatiable as they devour the widow's mite, and trample the poor into the dust without conscience.
--Kelly Marshall (former WCG member; author of Mystery of the Ages (a critical review), and other articles on the site)
Amazing the Corruption When the Blinders Are Off:
May 23, 2013
I am reading The Broadway to Armageddon by William B. Hinson and Armstrongism: Religion or Rip-Off by Marion J. McNair. It is amazing the corruption when one has the blinders off. I was in the WCG during the `80s and was as hard core as one could get on HWA doctrine. I could run circles around non believers. I just shake my head in sadness now. Man, I was fanatical. It burns me up.
The key that did it for me [to leave] was when HWA was begging for donations and the next day he had some expensive crystal or something to that affect and was bragging about it to students. That made me step back and ponder and start researching more. It took awhile to finally see all the proof and accept it for what it was.
I wish that man was able to be in front of me right now. I closed myself off to my family and friends and almost left my wife over what he taught.
Thank you for all your help! --Former WCG member
Came Across Your Site by Accident:
May 28, 2013
I've been reading about what happened years ago in the WCG. I came across your site purely by accident yesterday and have been reading the information for literally hours! --D. C.
The Insanity That We All Went Through:
July 6, 2013
I grew up in the Worldwide Church of God; my dad was a preacher. It does help me to read some of the letters and I can totally relate to the insanity that we all went through. I still have trouble dealing with a lot of issues because of the mind control I went through as a child. I have struggled with drug addiction and other addictions just to try to find some kind of peace but now today I know that Jesus Christ is real and alive, and I thank him everyday for setting me free from the bondage and legalism I learned in the WCG. Thanks again. --Child survivor of WCG [name withheld]
Thank You So Much:
July 17, 2013
Thank you so much for all the time and trouble you've taken to document and refute the false teachings of Herbert Armstrong. I left the WWCG around 2006 after not being able to stomach anymore contradictions and half-truths.
I visit several sites against HWA and the WWCG but find myself coming back to ESN because your site seemed more interested in helping people better found their relationship with Jesus rather than destroying faith altogether.
In coming here, I find encouragement, support through the articles to combat the mind control when it is triggered, and news about others still harmed by HWA's teachings so that I can pray for them.
Since my family joined in the `70s when I was a pre-teen, I'm particularly interested in the scandals that erupted around that time. I remember hearing announcements that we were to destroy any dissident materials that may have been received without reading them. Now having read some of the documents online, I understand why. Their content totally contradicts what we were being told.
Sincerely, --Former member of WCG
July 30, 2013
For the past several weeks Dave Pack of the Restored Church of God has been teaching that the scattered members, splinters, and slivers of the Church of God would be reunited with him in the RCG by August 31th. He has given sermons and announcements backing his claim. Anyone not with him and the RCG at that time will be considered disfellowshipped by Christ. He has been taking Old Testament prophesies out of context and applying them to the Church. Dave Pack believes he is the end-time Joshua and acts like he is a savior to the church. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I knew that Pack had the potential to become another Flurry. He has mixed the element of Ronald Weinland in with this and added a double-dose of HWA and the result is--another false prophet. Pack rules with fear and intimidation. That is all he has ever known. He has gone out on a limb buying land and building, now he needs $$$$ and members to keep going. --Former member of RCG
Comment: Part of Pack's "predictions" involve the simultaneous deaths of three top leaders in the other offshoots. But Pack has also given himself an out, saying if it doesn't happen this year, it will happen "next year."
Update: Read: Why I Left Restored Church of God (9-1-13 testimony from former HQs member that mentions Pack's failed "remnant prophecy").
Blatant False Prophecies:
August 5, 2013
I was wondering if you still have Herbert Armstrong's Tangled Web book by David Robinson available in PDF form? I think it would be helpful.
We have stopped attending with United Church of God-AIA after reading some articles on the history of the WCG and HWA's failed prophecies. I had to really stop and think, "How could God endorse such doctrine proposed by a man who made blatant false prophecies?" UCG never talks of it's relationship with Armstrong. --No longer attending UCG
It's Decision Time for All RCG Members:
September 2, 2013
Now that David C. Pack has a well-documented record of being a false prophet and religious charlatan it's time for all RCG members/ministers/co-workers to make a decision.
The "church of God" world [i. e., offshoots/splinter groups] has had to suffer through this man's seemingly endless announcements, letters, and been plagued by ads from RCG every time we search for anything related to the offshoots on the Internet. Frankly, many in the offshoots are sick of Pack and RCG. You have been in our face with your self-righteous rhetoric for far too long.
Dave Pack has proved before many witnesses that he is a lying prophet and incompetent to be any kind of "church of God" leader. To continue to follow him and his teachings is a mistake that you don't want to make. If you make excuses for him, you are as guilty as he is. It's easy to prove him wrong--especially, when you can use his own words against him. God never gets it wrong! It's time for all of us in the various splinter organizations to look to Him and stop following fallible men. --Former member of RCG
Defending Men and Not Christ:
September 12, 2013
The denial of any wrong prophetic understanding by David Pack is the same thing that went on in PCG (with Gerald Flurry). Flurry would always go back and "tweak" something. Much of the membership of RCG and PCG will defend false leaders at all costs. It makes me wonder, if Christ was on Earth today, would these same people come to His aide? I'd say that is highly doubtful.
Most of the attendees from the various splinters of the old WCG don't even know what true Christianity is. How can they when they hear "sermons" about buildings, big works of men, and how only their leader and group is right. Are these the kind of subjects Christ spoke on? It's time to focus on the Words of our Savior and throw out the books, sermon tapes/CDs/DVDs, co-worker letters, and magazines of these organizations into the trash. --Exiter of WCG and RCG
HWA Was the False Teacher that the Bible Warns Against:
September 20, 2013
I have had your website bookmarked for quite a while and take a look now and then. I am grateful for the information you post as I am a recovering ex-member of HWA's false WCG church. Thanks to God, I am now learning the truth about Jesus and what God truly expects of believers. I have learned that the false gospel HWA used to warn us against in Galatians 1:6-7 was really him!!! He was the false teacher that the Bible warns against and he quoted that passage so many times I still get shudders when I read it.
I am still learning and hopefully growing away from the error but it is not easy. I only recently learned how much HWA plagiarized other groups such as Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons, groups we were always warned against. When I went on the a JW's list of beliefs online, I was shocked to the core to see how many doctrines were directly incorporated into WCG teachings. I would say about 80% of its teachings originated in JW's.
I would like to continue "unlearning" false teachings and would like to request the PDF book, Herbert Armstrong's Tangled Web by David Robinson. Thank you for keeping the website going as there are many of us still out there and I hope many more will finally find the real truth. --D. T.
Sexually Abused in Global Church of God:
September 20, 2013
I have come to realize over the past that I was repeatedly sexually abused as a child whilst in Global Church of God [Rod Meredith's former group], possibly as far back as Worldwide. I now know for certain there are others and I can't possibly be alone. ... I have contacted [name withheld] and I hope I can get something from it. It gives me great comfort to know I am not alone and now I will pursue these matters with the police unafraid. Your website is invaluable and I will be reading over it intensely when I feel more stable. Thank you again. Yours faithfully, --[name withheld]
October 21, 2013
Wow! I just finished reading that article Hanky-Panky and Revolt in the Worldwide Church of God. It brought back so many memories. We had come into the WCG in California in the early `80s. After a bit, we started learning about "the rebellion" from the members. They had to whisper about it because the Cole families had been split by it. Most of them went with Al Carrozzo, while Leroy Cole stayed with HWA. They had been longtime, influential ministers in the WCG. Carrozzo was accused of trying to "liberalize" the church. The "liberals" were spoken about with contempt, and ridiculed for their foolishness. They were accused of trying to gain power while HWA was away "preaching the gospel." We were told they were trying to start a rebellion like Korah did in the Bible. And they smugly told us that "none of their attempts at starting a new church has lasted" because they didn't have God's Apostle or his authority. Now I see how simplistic their explanations were, and how they swallowed the propaganda from the pulpit. The members were patting themselves on the back for being faithful to HWA, while never understanding that Carrozzo cared for them and their well-being. HWA couldn't give a flying-flip as long as the money rolled in. It's good to know what really went on behind the scenes. Thanks for putting that article up!
P. S. I find it interesting that if this actually was the "true church," why would there be so many "rebellions" occurring in it? Like a house built on the sand, HWA's empire has crumbled. We were told countless times "by their fruits you shall know them" but we refused to put the WCG and all it's offshoots under that test Scripture. [Matthew 7:20] --Former WCG member
Comment: Carrozzo is also mentioned in Worldwide Church of God History, Pt. 2 under "Pressure Building Toward End of 1973." During that period, there were several ministers with convictions who spoke up and exposed the system and its abuses. (The above exiter also wrote the 2010 letter to ESN: WCG "Liberals" of the 1970s Were Misrepresented.)
November 2, 2013
I moved back to Wadsworth, Ohio after being gone for several years. A friend drove me around to show me all the changes to the town. As she drove me to the new Giant Eagle off of 261 and 76, I noticed a huge new building. At the time she was a reporter for a small paper in [city withheld]. She said it was to be a new HQ for a church. We both looked at each other with the same idea. Pretty odd to have that kind of fancy odd looking "church" in a small town. As time went on rumors began to go around calling this some type of compound--even cult like. Many of us joked it off until facts started coming out. The Akron Beacon did a story; then recently the Trading Post did one.
Many in Wadsworth are not happy and many are skeptical. A reporter I know did the newest story on this group, but only just a general story; nothing of the alarming facts. She said she's heard all of what I just told you, yet couldn't write on it. Why is no one able or willing to call these people out for who they really are? How in the world can the people who live in this town not fight these people and run them out? The city is in bed with them. It's all about money. Why else would they turn their nose to all this?
Many people I know went to school with his daughter Jennifer. Pack was weird then but more crazy now. This town thrives on money. Money speaks. The city, especially the mayor, has turned down countless businesses to be built here. Now all of a sudden a super "cult" (as the town's people say) is being built here. Some say David Pack was lining the pockets of the politicians way before he built this new million dollar headquarters. They say he had something to do with helping [a former mayor] out of his debt. In return he helped Pack bust through to get all that property [88 acres] to build on. Then the next mayor comes along and happens to be best buddies with the former mayor and seemed pleased of the new RCG construction.
No one can pull full financial records on RCG, but people are curious to find them. There is a trail somewhere. Also, a man who did construction there ended up pulling his permits. David Pack wanted him to sign off on construction that his own members did, but wouldn't allow him to see. So he had no choice but to pull the permits and Pack apparently never got in trouble or caught for the unapproved construction. Something isn't right about this whole thing. --[name withheld]
Herbert Armstrong Was A Willing Tool of the Devil:
November 4, 2013
In 1955, my mother started listening to Herbert Armstrong on the radio. She totally fell for HWA's pack of lies, including "all children are rebellious" and that rebellion necessarily must be beaten out of a child. This from a man who serially raped his own daughter for a decade. If there ever was a willing tool of the devil, it was HWA. I wasted 36 years of the most productive part of my life in the virtual clutches of that bas**rd. That doesn't count the tens of thousands of dollars I sent to him, which he used to hurt others or purchase baubles for himself. What an execrable excuse for a human being!
Thanks for what you do. I find myself constantly re-examining everything I believe. I know my thinking was twisted beyond belief by the influence that WCG had on both my family and myself. Having left WCG in 1995, I still discover myself falling into false ways of thinking. I am clueless as to why this was allowed to happen to me and my family. --M.
AC and HQ Were Filled With Wickedness:
November 5, 2013
There was a lot of jockeying between the ones close to HWA to become the new "apostle." The biggest thing that I remember was how everyone from students to the top ministers and ministers' wives coveted power. Students were trained to covet power and ministers would do anything or betray anyone for more power or a higher position. I was in the Administration Building a few days after HWA died and Ellis LaRavia's wife came in screaming at the top of her lungs in a tantrum, because Joseph W. Tkach became the new apostle instead of Ellis. [Note: Ellis LaRavia, who later went with United Church of God, is covered here in OIU #3, Pt. 2] Ambassador College and HQ were filled with wickedness when I was there, while they were "getting the church back on track." --Former WCG member and AC graduate [name withheld]
Keep Up the Great Work:
November 5, 2013
I am a former member of WCG and have been to your website numerous times. The stories have brought back many memories. Keep up the great work on your site. Thank you so much. --V.
Marion J. McNair and the Hammers:
November 19, 2013
Marion J. McNair had his position taken away from him in Big Sandy because of the Hammers wanting him out and they used their influence with HWA to get rid of him. McNair tells the story in his book, Armstrongism - Religion or Rip-Off? of how HWA failed to support him during this time.
Buck and Roy Hammer (father and son) actually had more clout with HWA than any minister who came to that area, and they were jerks. [Roy Hammer was one of HWA's largest financial contributors in the 1950s. See this part in OIU #6, Pt. 5] The abuse by Tony Hammer (WCG pastor and brother-in-law of Garner Ted Armstrong at that time) is mentioned in William B. Hinson's book, The Broadway to Armageddon. --Former long time WCG member
The True Extent of HWA's Devilishness:
November 20, 2013
I doubt if anyone will ever know the true extent of Herbert Armstrong's devilishness. And, of course, he surrounded himself with likeminded people. --Impacted by HWA
Members Still Believing They Will Rule Over Their Own Solar System:
November 22, 2013
Thank you for doing what you do. It's books and sites like yours that told what WCG/UCG really taught that helped me leave them 9 years ago. I read those things and knew they were contrary to the Bible and thought that there was no way those things were taught. After all, I grew up in the WCG! I listened to sermons for a long time! But then I started asking [certain relatives] questions and sure enough, one of them believes that after the millennium she's going to rule over her own little solar system with creative powers! That was the last straw for me. --Impacted by WCG/UCG
Comment: HWA taught that we would "become God" and rule over our own planet someday. He copied this teaching from the Mormons (LDS).
December 2, 2013
Rod Meredith's wife Sheryl died November 29, 2013. She had been suffering from stage four cancer since 2012. He is asking not to send flowers, but to send money to Living Church of God's "Disaster Relief Fund." But there is no way of knowing how much of that will be used for its intended purpose. --Anonymous
RCG Experiencing Money Shortage and Loss of Membership:
December 8, 2013
There is evidently a money shortage in the Restored Church of God. The Sabbath after Thanksgiving was an ordered fast. The ministers have taken a pay cut. This is supposedly to fund new TV stations, but the land and buildings are said to be secure. Since the Feast, there has been a loss of membership. The new TV push is supposed to bring in new members, maybe because they haven't heard the false prophecy made by Dave Pack this year. --[name withheld]
Never Knew That Someone Could So Thoroughly Understand:
December 13, 2013
I just now stumbled across your website. I didn't realize how badly I needed it.
I'm currently 22 years of age, and have been out of these groups for some years now of my own volition. I was raised in it since birth. I attended WCG at a very young age, and then my family moved on to Global COG, United COG, Living COG, and Restored COG. Restored Church of God was by far the worst of them all and is what inevitably led to me losing my faith in my latter teen years.
Until the moment I found your site, I never realized that it was a cult that I was raised in. I understood that it had some cult-like tendencies, but I never understood the true weight of the situation. Reading your letters for child survivors was shocking. I never knew that someone could so thoroughly understand how I feel and how I felt growing up within it. It hit at wounds that I never realized were group-related before. I can't thank you enough for this site and those letters to those raised within the WCG, etc. Finally, I have found the beginning of the path towards healing. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. --Child survivor of WCG, Global, UCG, LCG and RCG
Thank You For Speaking Out:
December 27, 2013
I read your article What You Should Know About United Church of God-AIA. ...Thank you for speaking out and exposing these false teachers and prophets.
May God truly bless you in the love of the true Jesus of Nazareth. --S. B.
December 30, 2013
I was 15 years old when I started attending Worldwide Church of God in Toronto. I sought out the WCG (to my parents' dismay) after listening to its radio and T.V. broadcasts. Initially the WCG taught me about diligence, perseverance, and to think for myself. The latter characteristic backfired on the WCG when I started questioning their doctrine after six months of attending.
The stickler in my decision to leave was when WCG told me that God had plans for the different races: Caucasians were the ones who came up with inventions, and Asians were talented on improving on the inventions. (This was the time when Japan started "taking over" America with their exports.) The sermons spoke about the Age of Enlightenment, the period when Europeans began to come up with many revolutionary ideas and inventions. The ministers used this example to support their theory that Caucasians were "meant" to invent. (They never mentioned that China had been a world leader for over a thousand years as far as inventions go.) I can't recall the WCG saying much about blacks, not to mention any other race.
What astounded me most was when they said that the races are "equal," but that they should remain separate as far as dating and marriage was concerned. I couldn't believe my ears when I heard this! I asked some ministers about this and they said that the Bible says that a donkey should not mate with a mule, otherwise, it will result in an inferior breed. (I can't remember if it was a donkey and a mule, but it was something along that line.) And they showed me where it said such a thing in the Bible. I responded by telling him that the Bible was referring to farm animals, not people. "Besides," I continued, "the Bible never said not to mate one colored animal with a different colored animal." I then asked them, "Why did Herbert Armstrong marry someone who had Indian blood in her? [Ramona Martin] That's contrary to your teaching." They replied that his marriage to a woman of different race from his was alright because she not only had Indian blood in her, but also Caucasian blood.
I was so dumbfounded that I went to the lead pastor. Before I could say anything, he said to me, "You have a big head," implying that I was too cocky to be in the WCG. Needless to say, before they could excommunicate me, I had already left the organization.
After reading your section on British-Israelism / Herbert Armstrong's Racial Views, it's all coming back to me. I remember sitting in those three-hour sermons and Bible study classes, looking at the ethnic members and thinking, "How can you sit there and let these guys talk down to you!" For a 15-year-old, I was pretty "cocky," as Neil Earle referred to me. Now that I'm much older, I look back on my youth with fondness.
By the way, I remember Neil Earle always talking about how members and ex-members were out to get him. In one sermon, Earle said that someone had told him that an ex-member had the cross line of his hunting rifle on Earle, wanting to shoot him. I remember thinking to myself, "What kind of a 'church' is this? If this contemplation of assassination had truly happened, I surely wouldn't be telling the whole congregation about it."
I've been doing some research on WCG nowadays. I never knew that this was such a horrible "church" until now. I thank God that he has spared me from the sufferings that the WCG has brought on many of their members. My heart goes out to all of you.
Anyways, great work ESN. Even though I was in that group for only six months or so--30 years ago, I'm still resentful of what they tried to do to me. Thank God they failed. --WCG child survivor