Exit and Support Network

Letters From Those Impacted by
WCG, HWA & Offshoots

Best of the Letters from 2015

 

Was WCG Conducting Psychological Research Without Informed Consent?

January 2, 2015

Why haven't the members of WCG and splinter groups gotten legal representation and filed a class-action lawsuit against the state of California? I ask because I was born into the WCG and my father graduated from Ambassador College in Pasadena. He left in 1970 and when I tell him about all of the unearthed filth and criminal activity of the organization, he is confused. He tells me that he knew so many good people and very few members of the congregation ever got to mix with the upper echelon. I ask him how he thought a simpleton like Armstrong could have orchestrated such a building of empire? He still thinks WCG was about religion.

I am inclined to push for full disclosure that could only occur in a court of law (as long as no cover up exists in the California DA's office which I already have doubts about since I sent a letter to the DA's office in the late 1990s asking that claims of child abuse within WCG be given attention). However, I did think that if members such as [WCG minister] Robert Kuhn were actively conducting psychological research at UCLA on the taxpayer's dime through NIH and NSF grants, and if Kuhn had in any way utilized human subjects within WCG for collection of psychological data, then an avenue might exist for prosecution. My father actually remembered Robert Kuhn because he drove a red sports car. My dad said none of the student ministers could fathom such riches. I don't want to suggest that Kuhn was doing illegal research on human subjects, but he had the connections and means if not background to engage in psychological research.

I think few people would be as truly enraged as my dad would be once he realizes the extent of the deception. WCG was real and the deeds were done. WCG was never about religion. WCG was about money, power and sadism, in my opinion, and it was a way for other groups to launder money.

What I know about Hopkins University [JHU] is the snobbery, power and ambition that permeates every brick of its institutions. The people associate only with other powerful people. If Kuhn was a Hopkins graduate, he would not have been enticed by Worldwide Church of God on merit. If he hooked up with WCG, he had a reason and it would be a reason to promote his own prestige within circles that he deemed worthy to be his peers. If a member used federal funds to conduct research such as psychology research which is prohibited unless the participants are informed and consent, then the state in which the experiments took place might be held accountable or at least the institutions that received the grant money. I am a scientist so I have some understanding of IRB protocols.

Here is my theory, and it is my suspicions only. In the late 1950s, the CIA was conducting psychological research on inmates in hospitals in Montreal, Canada. The research had to be conducted outside of the United States because the research was illegal. The focus was on mind control because POW's in Korean prisons were breaking. The U.S. government/military needed to know how this was being accomplished. Complete ego destruction and rebuilding. This research was later disclosed and certain persons successfully sued the CIA/U.S. government in the late 1970s.

Given the hubris of the CIA, I wouldn't put it past them to conduct such research on U.S. soil on U.S. citizens, other than military personnel. What better venue than a religious organization where separation of church and state would prevent the normal legal oversight?

HWA was no genius. He was poorly educated, he was sexually immoral, and he was prone to mental illness. As a person of interest to an agency like the CIA, he could be manipulated as long as his vanity was fostered. He was a salesman who could take other people's ideas but he wasn't one to generate ideas. He could copy but he couldn't create. Not a chance in hell HWA was at the helm of WCG and it's mind control protocols. If the CIA and military using ruthless measures and endless resources hadn't figured out the North Korean techniques by the early 1960s, it is most probable that a con-man like HWA hadn't figured it out.

Enter a man like Robert Kuhn. While attending WCG, he was working in neuropsychology at UCLA. If one reads the first article Kuhn provides to The Plain Truth magazine, he is describing research as it relates to neurophysiological responses to stimuli and the stimulus-response data generated from various animal models. While cloaked in language to suggest man's higher nature and abilities, what is apparent to someone such as myself is: you can only get data like that using sophisticated technology in a clinical/research setting, and the technology could be used to create the exact opposite conditioning--namely, conditioning the human mind to respond as animals do to stimuli-- materialism at its best. Part of man's "higher" functioning is his/her ability to use imagination, self-reflect and plan ahead (imagine a time continuum). Without the ability to use these faculties, man is doomed to believe what is real is what he/she experiences in the now as experienced by the human body. Thus, this is how torture works on the human being. The mind no longer functions in a capacity to liberate the pain experienced by the body.

Robert Kuhn was educated in this field. He went on to use this body of knowledge to predict human consumption as it relates to markets and investments.

What I am suggesting is that even if Kuhn was funded by grants from the Department of Defense or the National Institutes of Health or the National Science Foundation, if on any occasion he may have collected data using WCG members and their children as test subjects, that would be illegal and a violation of the practices governing medical research. Since HIPAA was not in place, the actual data probably was not de-identified. That means names would be associated with the data.

I don't pretend not to be scarred by my tenure with WCG and parents who simply couldn't face the horrors of the organization even when information started becoming available. My mother forced my father to leave after a family with which my parents were friends allowed their daughter to die by forgoing medical treatment. I never forgot that girl because had she not died, my parents might still be with WCG.

Will the truth about the sadism of WCG ever become public in a manner that demands a public apology by those who designed the overarching structure and protocols of the institution? I do not know. But, I do believe there is no such thing as coincidence, and since my own life has been a hellish journey through the darkest and most heinous activities of men, I feel that this could not be the devious and sublime works of a jealous, vengeful and sadistic god. I have to believe in the grace of Jesus Christ in order to stay sane. I have to believe if bad things happened to me in my life, the only way to make good on those crimes is to make sure that some other child, animal or creature does not have to suffer the hell that I did.

I feel that good must come from our collaboration even if the collaboration amounts to nothing more than sharing observations and hunches and supporting other WCG members in their journey back to grace and sanity.

Maybe our united prayers will lead to the exposure of WCG "layers." No doubt, the intelligence agencies have no qualms about framing innocent people when someone gets too close to their secrets. Psychopaths/sociopaths don't believe in God. They are their own gods. But we know what happened to Icarus. I anticipate such a fate for the WCG composer(s). --In faith, [name withheld]

Comment: Read: FBI Files on Herbert Armstrong (March 29, 2006 letter to ESN) and following letter: Clues to Application of Mind Control (April 24, 2006 letter to ESN). Also, read this part in OIU Newsletter #6, Pt. 3 about the CIA and its use of religious cults.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming:

January 2, 2015

I was reading your articles exposing WCOG and want to refer more information to you.

Look Up NLP. God Bless, --G. M.

Reply: It stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming and that is covered on our site.

Amazing How Well the Occult Mind-Control Program has Worked:

January 4, 2015

I, too, am a surviving ex WCG member who was born and raised in the cult. I lived in Pasadena during the `70s and attended Imperial Schools. I left the organization in 2002 when I finally woke up. Needless to say I've been battling my own war with family members who are still drinking the cool-aid. It's amazing how well the occult mind-control program has worked on good meaning people. I'm totally dumbfounded that HWA, his son, and all his cronies, living in mansions owned by the cult, along Orange Grove Blvd, got away with it for so long, and in spite of the truth people still will not wake up.

I'd like to receive a copy of David Robinson's book, Herbert Armstrong's Tangled Web. Thank you. --Ex-WCG

God Showed Me RCG is Not Where I Belong:

January 7, 2015

I just wanted to say a thank you to Jesus in letting me find your page.

I had found, and was watching, David C. Pack for a couple weeks now and thought he was very interesting. I was raised Catholic and my in-laws are of different religions. I just wanted to find a religion I could enjoy going to, and after watching David Pack's videos, I truly believed that maybe that's the way to go.

I am so glad I found your website!! I have received my answer from God that RCG is not where I belong. And if it wasn't for finding your website, who knows where I would of gone as far as joining?

So thank you very much again! --Spared from RCG

Restored Church of God a Diabolical Cult:

January 25, 2015

Hi, I would like to have a PDF copy of the book, Herbert Armstrong's Tangled Web. My family was hit by this diabolical cult called the "Restored Church of God." This book would help me to understand this matter, and not what they said was "God's Word." Also, thanks to Exit & Support Network™ for all the help in letting us see the reality of what's going on in these cults. --M.

David C. Pack Declares That He is the Elijah:

February 2, 2015

David C. Pack of RCG now declares himself the Elijah and Herbert W. Armstrong as Moses "because HWA laid the foundation." Sermons becoming available sometime today. --A. M.

Gerald Flurry Cannot Get Away From Bad Press on the Internet:

February 4, 2015

There's one thing I know for sure. ESN helped me get out of that sick group (PCG) for good. Not only were the testimonies helpful but the free PDF books and articles exposing Armstrongism were just as valuable.

There are people right now probably still in the PCG reading the things on your site trying to make a decision on staying or leaving. ESN has helped many people that you probably are not even aware of. There are people right now still in the PCG sitting and reading your material online like I was and just waiting for the nudge from God to finally break free.

If the PCG people are resorting to unchristian ridicule and mockery of others' suffering, then it is just another badge of courage for ESN. That's all they have is ridicule because they do not have the truth on their side and they know it.

Gerald Flurry cannot get away from the bad press on the internet. If you do a search on his name, negative PR comes up much more than the stuff his propaganda ministers crank out. Flurry hates ESN because it exposes him for what his is--a drunken fraud.

We can never let up the pressure on them. I think bad PR on the Internet hurts them much more than they are willing to admit. --Former PCG member

Have Spent Hours Perusing Your Website:

February 18, 2015

I began attending the WCG in 1971 and graduated from their college in 1978 in Pasadena. I then worked for Garner Ted Armstrong for several years in Texas. I had first heard of McNair's book in the 1970s. I would sure like to read it. I wish I had read it then but never saw a copy. Please send me a copy through email.

I enjoy your website. I have spent hours perusing it. --Ex WCG and CGI [name withheld]

You Helped Me Avoid Something That Could Have Become Very Bad:

March 6, 2015

Please send me a copy of HERBERT ARMSTRONG'S TANGLED WEB by David Robinson. I was a co-worker for the WCG for four years (1986-1990), until I noticed HWA adopted what he had once called the "Image of the Beast" [RCC] as "God's Government" [i. e., HWA adopted similar doctrines of the RCC]. I then spent over ten years reading literature from almost all the splinter groups trying to find the one true split. All I got was confused. I eventually set it aside until recently I started to read anti-Armstrong material on ESN and other sites. Thank God for the Internet! I wish I had read this stuff years ago. The splinter groups (RCG, PCG) are getting crazier and crazier by the day. I think you guys helped me avoid something that could have become very bad. Thanks! --Indiana

Members of RCG Now to Send Pack Everything They Don't Need:

March 17, 2015

As soon as David Pack declared himself the "End Time Elijah," he came out with a new understanding of "having all things in common." Basically, it now means that the members are to send him everything they don't absolutely need. He has asked people to sell property they don't live on, and to send him savings over a certain amount. If they don't, they are not really "backing" the work of the "Elijah"! Even retired people in the RCG, who are able, have been ordered to go back to work in order to send more money to Pack. It is no surprise that quite a number of members have decided to jump from this particular sinking ship. --[name withheld]

Impacted by Wade Cox of Christian Churches of God:

March 24, 2015

I love your site. The information is amazing and I appreciate it so very much. I'm sharing much of it with others who were considering joining one of these HWA splinter groups, have been in one of them, or have lost a loved one to one of them.

My daughter started out in the Hebrew Roots Movement and has transitioned over to Wade Cox's Christian Churches of God. She has disassociated herself from her entire family.

I truly like the way your site makes everything available and is so organized. I also have websites that have attempted to expose Wade Cox.

Thank you and God bless you and all your efforts, --Impacted by Christian Churches of God

Long Services Part of Mind Control:

March 30, 2015

Hello, stumbled onto your web. I think you bring much to the discussion particularly the mind control. I used to wonder about our long services as we staggered away. No one remembered them the next week. --Maryland

Feel Completely Normal Again After Leaving Living Church of God:

April 8, 2015

I just read Darryl's testimony: My Gut Feeling Said Something Wasn't Right. I know a lot about that feeling too. Something seems "not right" in that special spot where words can't quite describe it.

You are told to "pray more," "fast more," "draw closer to God," and made to feel incredibly guilty and like you're not measuring up.

They can't answer your questions for you (or they think they have). They are not reflecting a Christ-like attitude themselves and they still don't know "how" to get there themselves let alone anyone else, because they are more concerned about appearing to be right and in authority of "the Way." Your cognitive dissonance is not taken as feedback but rather as if you are raining on their parade. The power-mad leaders of this cult see the flock as their narcissistic supply. Sounds funny but appears to be true.

Since I have left Living Church of God, I feel completely normal again. My heart rate started slowing once I told the minister I would leave, and it has returned to normal now. I feel more clarity, more focused, and more at ease and at peace with myself and the world. This is astounding biological evidence that something was not right with that group, and my body responded and suffered accordingly. This has never happened before. I have always been uncannily healthy, especially mentally. --Former member of LCG

Herbert Armstrong Received a Bag of Medicine and Had a Parade of Doctors:

April 13, 2015

You folks run a truly wonderful site dealing with one of the most mysterious religions I have ever heard of. I don't think I'll be joining any of the threads [ex-WCG sites] popping up all over but I enjoy my study of the subject. I lived about a 1/2 mile from Herbert Armstrong's Skyline Country home in the foothills of Tucson, AZ, and had a number of California buddies who were either in or had been in the WWCOG. I was tuned into anything involving the man and his "church."

Your site is informative and avoids the hateful type of personal vindictiveness. You make your point with personal experience and a gentle explanation of what you observed, which is welcoming to those looking for help or wondering about what happened. If all ex WCG sites had the same attitude, they wouldn't be scaring off so many they could help.

I found the Ambassador Report some time ago and what a great history and inside look at the real ministry. Since nobody but nobody did not know Herbert W. or Garner Ted from TV, this was very interesting.

I hate to think about the people who suffered or lost their lives due to avoiding medical care, until maybe the last minute. I do know that Herbert W. received a bag of medications [medicine/drugs] at least once a month and had a parade of doctors to his beautiful home/mansion on the golf course, especially over the last year [of his life]. I was an area sales manager for Pfizer, a pharmaceutical company. Most of my time was spend with the teaching hospitals and internal medicine doctors. Some specialty items were mixed up at the Tucson Medical Center pharmacy when I would be there taking inventories, writing up returns, or teaching the pharmacists on new treatments. To know HWA told his members not to see doctors, not to take their medicine, is disturbing.

With David Pack (Restored COG), the breakup of the Universal COG, and Gerald Flurry's PCG, there is more mud slinging than the fighting between the Brits and IRA in Ireland some time ago, and these men are not nice people. I won't get into Ronald Weinland, but how does he even keep one member? I would not wish to be ripped off by Flurry or Pack. The leaders are so self-important despite having tiny flocks.

Thanks so much for all you do to help others. --AZ [name withheld]

You Have Helped Me Answer My Own Questions:

April 16, 2015

I have found your site very insightful. I have stumbled across many Biblical truths and you have helped me answer my own questions about these groups on your site. --L. D.

Restored Church of God Losing Members:

April 17, 2015

I have heard of problems in most of the larger HWA offshoots, but Restored Church of God is the one who is losing members now. David Pack's failed prophesies, obsession with money, and announcement of being the latest "End-time Elijah" has finally begun to take it's toll. One his "ex-ministers" has recently formed his own group and has had several people go with him. The division and confusion continues. --Former member of WCG, PCG and RCG

Traumatized by United Church of God-AIA:

April 27, 2015

For exactly one year after searching intentionally for the "one and only true church of God," I was traumatized by my own UCG pastor and his wife. The wife (who is such a gossip) went way out of bounds by sharing with others very deep and confidential talks I had with her. This destroyed my relationship with them as I felt such a betrayal from the pulpit. 

This all started after I sent two letters to pastor Lee Cole with some suggestions I had about some badly needed changes in the UCG. I now know you don't question the hierarchy of these confused splinter groups. It got so bad that he made fun of me in front of the congregation. Six members of the York, PA congregation turned on me and decided not to drive me to services. I wrote to the president of UCG, Victor Kubrick, and to Roy Holladay with letters and a fax. No one came to my aid to try and mediate this stressful and hurting situation. Cole ended up calling me to notify me that I'm disfellowshipped from United. --Ex member of UCG

Damaged Emotionally by WCG, LCG, RCG, PCG and UCG:

May 11, 2015

I grew up in WCG. My parents studied all of the booklets, received the Plain Truth and had a couple of visits from ministers. My mom divorced my dad when I was 8 in 1973 because of his severe alcoholism. She continued to study Armstrong's booklets and correspondence course and said we were called. Even though she earned only $25.00 a week for babysitting, she started tithing. My 20 year old brother had a full time job, so he paid our rent and utilities. We were very poor and lived in a very old, cold house with terrible plumbing problems. Our rent was only $50.00 a month.

Eventually, my mom landed a job at a local diner for 4 evenings a week including Friday evenings. She was paid $120.00 per week. We finally got a visit with a minister, but we were not at that time invited to services. She continued to study and tithe. She was wishy-washy at best and confused. For example, she still got us little toys for Christmas, but we couldn't have a tree.

We were eventually invited to local services by Roy Holladay (of UCG), but he told my mom she had to stop working on the Sabbath. She was afraid we would not have enough food money so she continued to work and we were never invited back. She got totally out of the WCG obsession after HWA died.

My younger brother, now deceased, and myself were always obsessed with HWA and the splinters. Before he died, he was studying with LCG, but was never baptized. I studied with LCG also and the local minister tried to convince me to move three hours south of where I lived so I would be close to their congregation. He didn't tell me how to get the money to do this.

I was eventually baptized with Church of God the Eternal; however they had no services in my state, so I was baptized at their "Feast of Tabernacles." The minister told me that I could not work during the Sabbath. I followed that and it put me living hand to mouth for 2 years. He said God would open the doors for a job if I was living in His truth. COG the Eternal also said that if I were in God's good graces, I would not be so poor, and that God would provide if I was doing His will.

I have also been involved with RCG, PCG and UCG. I have been hooked on these "Armstrong groups" for years and now am trying to free myself. I have also been to Feasts of Tabernacles with them. The big shots and wealthier members stay in large, expensive mountain homes and go boating; go to dinners, socializing, etc., while us "poor" members who struggle to tithe are staying in small no name motel rooms and being left out of all the activities, left to entertain ourselves. This has all damaged me emotionally. I have never known how to have a true relationship, I've always felt distant from other people, and like I'm not good enough. It has been a life long struggle so far, and I am now 50. Running across your website may be setting me free. Thank you. --Impacted survivor

Your Site Was an Eye Opener For Me:

June 15, 2015

I have been ardently devotional and following the teachings of HWA, COG, RCG, UCG and such publications for the last 20 years. I was despaired by the anomalies seen or issuing from such professionals. Your Exit Support Network™ site was an eye opener for me. I would like to receive a copy of the PDF booklet, Armstrongism: Religion or Rip off? (An Exposé of the Armstrong Modus Operandi) by Marion J. McNair), if you will. Thank you. --India [name removed]

Those That Are Promoting and Endorsing False Teachers and Their Publications:

June 16, 2015

What is troubling to me is that Joseph Farah of WND promotes and endorses false teachers and their publications. Something's not quite right here!!!

One example is the anti-Trinitarian, unorthodox writings, of Joe Kovacs. Many of his unorthodox articles and teachings are on WND'S site. If you know the teachings of Herbert W. Armstrong, then you will know many of the teachings of Mr. Kovacs.

WND sells Mr. Kovacs' books, Shocked By The Bible and [now] The Divine Secret. This book really shows Kovacs' unorthodoxy. Many of the reviewers of this book are members and pastors of offshoots of Armstrong's cult.

Now I know why so many of these Armstrong cults love Kovacs and have him speak at their churches and conferences. Kovacs has managed to confuse a great number of Christians, because he uses the vocabulary of Evangelical Christianity.

Even a Mormon site has picked up on Kovacs' teaching of "God is having offspring."

Joe Farah [of WND] will not promote and endorse and sell The Shack, nor Rob Bell's books, then why Kovacs'? Money?

Farah even has an article "Wake Up You So Called Christians!" Maybe he needs to wake up himself!

Blessings, --James

Comment: Read James' 2011 letter to ESN: Never Seen Such a Lack of Discernment in My Life.

Thank You For Helping Those Oppressed by Spiritual Abuse:

July 5, 2015

Hi! I wanted to thank you for your pages and let you know that they helped me a great deal!

I have never been part of the organization that you were part of but was part of a very similar group in the late 1980s to early 1990s. Ironically, it's acronym was also GCI ( Great Commission International). Because I was raised to see my relationship with Jesus as independent of my church involvement and to be rather strong minded, I was never fully accepted by the group, was shamed constantly, but did not take it all in as much as I might have if I had not had some protective factors. I was able to leave that group eventually although I did get shunned when I left and had to get the police to help me get my possessions after I was ex-communicated. And I did get some exit counseling which did cover thought reform and was very helpful. But I still struggled with many of the issues described in your pages. Especially depression and the part about getting involved in another church. For years I just had my time with God alone.

I have been very blessed because God has been very faithful to support me and nurture me through many trials and I have been able to strengthen my faith rather than doubt it.

A few years ago I decided to try another church and it was a struggle but I finally came to trust them. During the past two years the leadership in that church has shifted and I started seeing mind control tactics. I cannot begin to describe to you the emotions that brought out in me ! I have had to make a decision to leave and to stay away from that group during the past six months, which has been heart wrenching for me. In searching some stuff online I found your website during a period when I had been questioning whether I had over reacted and whether I should return. I really needed the "refresher course" on mind control and recovery from spiritual abuse! I believe that finding your site was instrumental in keeping me from returning to a destructive situation.

I would and will be recommending your site to anyone who has been spiritually abused with the caveat that some of the info is specific to one group but that the recovery and healing is more generally applicable.

Thanks you again for being there for me and for your work to help those oppressed by spiritual abuse! --Blessings, B. F.

Something Just Didn't Seem Right About Restored Church of God:

July 14, 2015

I came across RCG through the Internet. I started reading through some of their books and articles and really bought everything hook line and sinker. I spent a week in intense confusion almost in tears because I felt I had to leave my church. I didn't want to be doing something that "God hates so much" (Sunday worship). I started wondering if God hates Sunday worship so much what had been manifesting all these years in the church??? I felt so lost. Like God wasn't there anymore.

After emailing the RCG with some questions I had, I was contacted by one of their ministers. When I told him of my fears about who/what I had been worshipping every Sunday, he basically implied that it was the devil.

He offered to send some literature (a Bible study course for beginners). Something just didn't seem right to me so I decided to do some research. Long story short I came across your website among others. ...

I appreciate the quick response and I will definitely read the links you suggested. Being conned into something is not a new thing for me. Maybe one day I'll learn to be more discerning. Thanks again. --South Africa [name withheld]

Comment: Read ESN article: What About Sunday Worship?

Victor Kubik Using Lifenets as Front:

August 23, 2015

There are Armstrongite oriented pages on Facebook such as "Lifenets" with Victor Kubik, which is a front for Armstrongism that just makes it look legitimate. Kubik, the president of United Church of God-AIA, sponsors this organization, and has for years. I've been told that he is using contributions from that organization to bolster UCG income, which is, of course, dishonest. --Former WCG member

Encouraged by What I Found on Your Site:

August 24, 2015

I was born in the WCG. I am trying to shed the damage that was done in my life. I just discovered your site. I will start printing articles and taking them with me to read and study. I'm encouraged by what I have read and I have hope that one day I will no longer live under the shadow that has followed me through life. --Child survivor of WCG

John Robinson Practiced Duplicity:

September 1, 2015

I admire David Robinson (author of Herbert Armstrong's Tangled Web) for taking a stand against the corrupt system of WCG. However, David trusted his son John Robinson to continue distributing his book and some papers he gave John just before he died. I think John destroyed his copies of the book. I saw him later attending one of Dave Havir's services and I asked him about the papers. He him-hawed around about them, but refused to show them to me. John Robinson was a man who practiced duplicity, and his responses depended on his audience. --Former member of WCG

Comment: More about John Robinson, editor of In Transition, is found in OIU Newsletter 4, Pt. 4.

You Saved Me From Being Deceived:

September 7, 2015

For the past one year, I have been ordering booklets from the United Church of God. I have never bothered to find much about them until recently when I came across the website of the Restored Church of God as well as the Church of God. This got me confused and I started delving deeper into knowing the difference and this has led me back to WCG and Philadelphia church of God which has added more to my confusion.

Today while I was still trying to find out more, I came across your website which I was not looking for. I have been reading it since and though this is not what I expected, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart for you have saved me from once again being deceived. You see I recently left a church because I couldn't/t comprehend anything from the prophecies to the gospel of prosperity which is the in-thing of most of today's churches. My spirit thirsts for the One true God of Israel but it seems I am no nearer finding what I have been looking for. I have been ordering most of those booklets but they have left me with more questions than answers as most of them and the scriptures are mostly from the Old Testament and Matthew 24. I was left wondering why all the emphases is based on these and what they are trying to teach me. I will however go through your website slowly but surely and know God will reveal the truth to me. I just ordered another three booklets but thank God I won't order others.

Thank you once again and God bless. --[name and country withheld]

P.S. What is your advice on finding a Bible believing church?

Comment: This person has received a personal reply. (Note: A good Bible church will teach that salvation comes by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. The emphasis will be on Him and what He has done for us in forgiving all our sins.)

Fred Coulter Gives His Own Private Version of the Bible:

September 28, 2015

I agree 100% with what you have posted about Fred Coulter. I criticized him for his very specific translations of the Bible texts he uses, which do nothing in the way of repeating what was said, but gives his own private version of what it needs to say for his purposes. --Anonymous

"God's Church Holding Fast" is Another Splinter Group:

October 3, 2015

I have a sister who has been in the "God's Church" for a while now. She has been to different churches who follow Armstrong's doctrines. Now she's with God's Church Holding Fast, North Carolina. Mark Little is their pastor. --[name withheld]

God Was Teaching Me His Ways Through "Davey and Goliath":

October 13, 3015

I want to say one thing that I am very grateful for. During the years in the WCG, as a child, on Sunday mornings, I would get up early and watch a full hour of "Davey and Goliath." [animated; originally made in the 1960s] While my parents were sleeping off their Sabbath "booze," I was learning about God and trusting in Him and about loving your neighbor as yourself. Did I ever learn anything like that in the WCG? Never! There were no children's ministries in the WCG in the 1970s except for the off and on children's choir. Sabbath services meant trying to pass the time with coloring books, drawing pads, and comic books. While any spiritual teaching was totally missing for me as a kid, I was in turn being fed the gospel to some degree by Protestants! Thank you Lord! You were trying to teach me your ways even when I was in "prison"!  --Child survivor of WCG

Left WCG as a Teen:

October 19, 2015

Hi, I grew up in the WWCOG, then left as a young teen when they split and then joined the military. It wasn't until recently I even bothered with church because of my negative experience with the WWCOG. I was excited to know there was someone who who felt the same about other churches I used to consider "worldly." They are warm, forgiving and want to foremost praise and serve God and Jesus. One thing still bugs me and I'm hoping you can help. Would you happen to be able to tell me what makes them [HWA's WCG & offshoots] believe the way they do supported by Scripture? Why they do not accept the New Covenant? Why do they keep Sabbath on Saturday instead of Sunday? I am not well versed in the Bible. I am just beginning to properly apply myself. I will get there but for now I'm asking your help. Thank you! --Child survivor of WCG, Japan

Comment: This person has received a personal reply. See our section: Articles on Grace and Law (and other teachings).

Slowly Recovering After Being Raised in WCG:

October 26, 2015

Thank you for your helpful website. I was raised in the WCG (age 3) 1961-1974, when my mother, stepfather, and I, were disfellowshipped for listening to "prohibited" information from Ernest Martin. My father died in 1963 due to lack of medical treatment; my mother never recovered from the blame assigned her by the pastor who said he would have lived, had she called the pastor before calling the ambulance! I grew up without medical care, surviving many illnesses and injuries. When we were thrown out, the deacon told us we would burn in the Lake of Fire for our transgression. Harsh words for a teen to hear. I suffered severe anorexia for two years after that, but slowly began to recover, realizing that there was a loving God after all, but avoiding churches. I've been blessed to encounter people who have unknowingly provided the pieces I needed to heal spiritually and emotionally. Please keep your website intact. After the loss of my mother, I revisited my path, and found the website provides reinforcement for my choices. One might think after all these years (I'm 57), that I would not think of such things, but I find I must always be mindful of my choices, and place my faith in Jesus, rather than "man." Thanks for your work! --Child survivor of WCG

A Mental Holocaust:

November 11, 2015

I appreciate you [posting my article] to help everyone! ... We lost too many people to these leaders from suicide and depression to not try and help others in this mental holocaust of a "church." If there was a way to actually go out and empower these people then that would be great. I think your website has really started the ball rolling in that direction.

I commend you for the work that you are doing and encourage you to keep it up and keep the passion for helping everyone stuck in that soul draining "church" and splinter groups.

Very Respectfully, Kenneth Carey

Comment: Read Kenneth's article: Toxic Narcissistic Leaders.

Your Site Brought Me Comfort After Being Traumatized by Gladstone Community Church:

November 20, 20115

Thank you for your website. It has been very informative. I myself left what I believe to be a Bible-based cult over a year ago and I am still recovering.

The name of the group is Gladstone Community Church. I was deceived into thinking that it was God's will for me to live in their community where you live in common purse. They are supposed to be based off the early church in the book of Acts where everything is "held in common."

I ended up walking away from this group with post traumatic stress disorder. When I left I had trouble stringing thoughts and sentences together and my critical thinking skills were shot. The first 4-5 months of leaving I had to have daily counseling sessions with a Christian counselor lasting anywhere from 1 to 2 l/2 hours.

I am still trying to put the pieces together from my experience at this group. I have talked to past members who were traumatized as well.

In my time at Gladstone I gave away most of my possessions to the group as was expected from the leadership. The community received my weekly income check and I was given a $100.00 monthly social stipend check and a monthly check for bills. I was forced to forego my 401k from my company. My profit sharing checks went directly to the common purse. As far as life decisions go, both major and minor life decisions were made for me by a group of "brothers." Permission was required to go on vacation. Requests for clothes, shoes, and miscellaneous expenses were to be submitted, reporting the exact cost. All money requests had to be approved by a community treasurer. There was usually something going on everyday of the week with very little time to connect with people from outside of the community. I was constantly exhausted. Everyone including myself in the community lived in houses. There were only a handful of people who did not live in the community. Individuals not living in the community were expected to tithe. Foodwise, someone in the house went shopping for me and I was forced to eat whatever was bought for me. I did not have a choice in what I could eat. Constant confession was a must. All sins committed were supposed to be shared with a brother. I was constantly confessing every single little thing. Submission to the leadership was highly enforced. I had a hard time submitting to the leadership because I felt controlled. I kept questioning the leadership and had a lingering fear that I was in a cult. I would share this with the elders and they kept telling me to pray away my fears and to ignore them. That's when I developed an anxiety disorder. which I still have to this day.

I was a floater in this group. I was asked to leave after 9 months because I wasn't submissive enough to the leadership. So when they asked me to leave, I felt like the issue was me. After 3 months of intense prayer and repentance, the elders let me back in. I only lasted another 6 months or so and was asked to leave again because of my fear that I was in a cult. That's when I got professional help and support from my family.

Before I fully left the community for good, one of the elders said if I left the church my sins that I struggled with then would just manifest into greater sins. A man who was a part of the group even told me the reason for my suffering was because I didn't submit to the leadership with a willing heart and that I was going against God's will.

Mentally, I felt trapped in the community. Blind obedience to the leadership was expected. I felt that if I left I would be going against God's will. When I decided to leave the group, I concluded that I would probably go to hell for leaving. I went through a similar withdrawal process that you stated on your website.

I am happy to say that since leaving the community I no longer feel like I am going against God's will. I am part of a healthy, thriving church, I have new friends, I'm helping to start up and lead a men's group, I have healthy accountability partners, and am reconnected to family and friends.

The reason I am sharing this with you is because I believe people need to know about Gladstone Community Church. Most parts about abusive cult-like groups that you state on your website resonate with me and Gladstone.

The sad thing about Gladstone Community Church is that it is supported by a few other churches and a ministry called Teen Challenge. If only people really knew what goes on inside the community, they would think differently.

Thankfully, I have heard from other individuals from other churches that they have heard about Gladstone and know to stay away from the community. Hopefully, word is starting to spread to other churches in the Cincinnati area.

Thank you for your website and the comfort it has brought to me.

Regards, --Impacted by Gladstone Community Church [name withheld]

Deeply Moved by Finding Your Site:

December 8, 2015

I want to say thank you. I found your Exit and Support Network™ website today.

It is a long process to recover from having been raised from birth to adulthood in WCG. I believe it will be a life-long one but in middle age it is a much easier struggle than it once was. I am deeply moved by finding your site and will continue to read everything there. I have found that most people with similar experiences who have left them do not want to talk about the old days. My parents are still in an offshoot of WCG that split off in the `80s. They will not see the world differently in their lifetimes and it deeply saddens me, but I love them for the people that they are and not for what they believe.

Thank you so very much for your efforts. --Child Survivor of WCG

Felt Very Distant From God After Attending Fred Coulter's Services:

December 29, 2015

After moving to the U.S., we found shallow fellowship and superficial Christians in the churches we attended, which led us to search for something else. We tried house church in different ways but it did not really work for us. Then we found Fred Coulter's website through the homeschooling organization we are with. Some months later we learned about the holy days and a feast and a meeting location in our city. We started going there.

At first we liked it, despise the fact that it seemed a bit boring. But the past couple of months (a year after committed attendance), we miss several biblical teachings and don't agree with the dark doomsday view of life as well as several other doctrines.

We have been taught so many different things we don't see the true meaning of some scriptures any longer. We feel very distant from God and Jesus in the meetings. There is a deep yearning for being in His presence, feeling the peace and comfort and presence of the Holy Spirit, who is urging us to find a solution soon. ... Thank you so much for your help! --Texas

Almost Caught by Restored Church of God:

December 27, 2015

I read with pleasure about your strategy to contents of Restored church. If they still insist on the Mosaic Laws like tithing, they are wrong and should be avoided. I thank you for warning me. I was almost caught!

But what about Christmas, Easter, Halloween day and New Year eve? What is your position on these issues as well? Kindly reply to me.

Christian regards, --Tanzania

Comment: See our Q&A: Should we observe "pagan" holidays?


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