Exit and Support Network

Letters From Those Impacted by
WCG, HWA & Offshoots

January 1, 2018 to present

 

NOTICE: The McNair PDF book "Armstrongism Religion or Rip-Off?" was re-sized down to 1.6 MB. (See our Booklist for a description and where to download it.)

NOTICE: The Hinson PDF book "The Broadway to Armageddon" was re-sized down to a much smaller file and is clearer to read. (See our Booklist for a description and where to download it.)

 

Feel Like I Lived Through Something Very Ugly:

January 1, 2018

I was involved in the Worldwide Church of God as a child in the 1980's and 1990's. I am now 40 years old. My father initiated us into the WCG and I suffered extreme abuse and isolation because of it. I was amazed to find your website because I rarely speak of my experiences to anyone. Two days ago I spontaneously started speaking of my experiences to my boyfriend of 6 years. I had never spoken to him of my time with this cult. I decided to research this "church" and discovered your website. I was completely shocked to learn of its history and the impact it has had upon the members involved. I had thought I was a once in a lifetime type and I really repressed so many memories, that I am now reliving all this horror once again and am overwhelmed by emotion and don't know who to talk to. My boyfriend says he thinks it is crazy and understands, but there is only so much I can say before he tires of listening. I feel like I lived through something very ugly and I am only now realizing how bad it really was. I have many more stories; it is sad.

I hope you can get back to me, please. --K. F., Child Survivor of WCG

Would I Have to Be Baptized Again?

January 18, 2018

I was baptized into the Worldwide Church of God back in 1983. I left in 1998 due to all the changes and just had enough. Would I have to be baptized again since I found out about all the deception and lies. I have not been to any church since I left. --D.

Reply: No, you do not need to be baptized again. If you have received Christ as your personal Savior, you have already received the Holy Spirit. See our article on this: Do We Only Receive the Holy Spirit As a Result of Baptism?

David Pack Has Found His Money-Grabbing Scheme:

February 9, 2018

I just read the new testimony, Restored Church of God Destroyed My Marriage. David Pack has found his money-grabbing scheme. People need to know the truth about him and this deceitful "common" doctrine of his. David Pack and Gerald Flurry are running neck-in-neck on the list of most dangerous leaders. They're both on power trips and ego trips, and they're both just evil people. --[name withheld]

Comment: Read 9-27-17 letter: Dave Pack Says Members Either Pay Common or They Have No Salvation. Also see 2-8-18 PCG letter: These Groups Will Destroy Your Marriage.

More Info on David Pack and RCG:

February 12, 2018

I know that most of the RCG ministry works without pay, just being compensated for expenses. So, it is not a mystery who gets the money [Pack]. They teach that the End is near, so why bother saving? I also know they believe that they are not looking for Jesus to return, rather they believe that Elijah is coming to "rule the world" for a time.

Also, a top minister in RCG works full time to "correct" Pack's false prophecies on their computers. That way, no one without a hard copy will know how wrong he is! --[name withheld]

Comment: Also read: David Pack Rewrites His Special Announcements After Prophecy Fails

Need More Info on Enduring Church of God

February 14, 2018

I can find little info on the Enduring COG in Texas with Charles Bryce. Can you tell me anything about this group and their doctrines, etc.? My friends are seriously considering this group and I have my concerns. Thank you. --[name withheld]

Comment: Info on Enduring Church of God can be found in the February 2, 2011 letter entitled: "Enduring Church of God a Dangerous Group" and our update at end.

Tkach Jr. Retiring as President of GCI

February 15, 2018

Joe Tkach Jr. is planning on retiring as President of GCI on January 1, 2019. Their home office will move from Glendora, CA, to Charlotte, NC. Vice President Greg Williams will be the new President but Tkach said he will "continue serving as Chairman of GCI's Board of Directors." --Anonymous

Comment: Greg Williams has been around since the 70's so he's part of the old guard.

Thank You For What You're Doing:

February 22, 2018

Hello, I've just discovered your site. Strangely, I'm crying as I write this. I'm thankful for what you're doing.

I was a few months old when my divorced mother joined WCG in NYC. I remember recognizing Herbert Armstrong more than President Regan. I remember getting to visit Headquarters in Pasadena and feeling lucky and excited by the privilege. I even considered going to Ambassador College at one time. Granted, I was only 8.

My mother was one of the people who was against and spoke about David Pack in the 80s. All I remember is playing with his sons when I was small. They were much older than I was. A point came where they didn't play with us anymore. Then they weren't part of the WCG anymore and there was buzz that I didn't understand. I remember his face perfectly, as I do his son and his wife Shirley.

When I was 10, we moved to Atlanta where my mother was glad to be a part of Earl Williams' congregation whom we knew from Brooklyn. We were there when everything fell apart. One day my mother told me that we weren't going to the Feast that year. I was shocked and scared. For my sake, we went that year, with the understanding that it would be our last. It was miserable. Gossip and rumors were everywhere. I remember hearing that the ministers could eat lobster and I felt betrayed.

We left the WCG and followed Earl Williams for awhile. My mother continues her relationship with God while I feel confused. I've avoided most of the facts because I didn't want to know. I loved these people. They were my family during my formative years. I am starting to realize (at 35) what this place was. I'm trying to balance the truth (racism at the talent show I performed in as a child) with what these people like Earl Williams meant to me.

All of this to say: Thank you. --A. B.

Narcissism in Herbert Armstrong Leaders:

February 25, 2018

Recently I've been watching Ross Rosenberg on YouTube about Narcissism.

I think this describes a lot of COG ("Church of God") leaders. It explains why they used harsh disfellowshipping. Never gave an account of how money was spent. They claimed to be like famous Biblical people. They never allowed you to really get to know them. Never admitted wrong always put the blame someone else.

I'm sure you could add much more. -- J. D.

Comment: Also see Profile of a Sociopath.

Question About N. T. Doctrine:

March 1, 2018

I have learned lots of stuff I didn't know before (I'm a WWCG and RCG casualty). One issue I've not seen in all this is that of the Passover/"Lord's Supper" explained as it's observed/kept today? Is it or not and how? Thank you. --"1OldBlackSheep" (ex- WCG/RCG)

Reply: I'm glad you found our site. The Passover/Lord's Supper is covered in several places on our site. One place is in the article, "What Were the Lies and What is the Truth?" It says:

"The Passover was never given to commemorate the death of Jesus Christ. It looked forward to His coming. It is the Lord's Supper (or Communion) that looks back to what He did for us on the cross and forward to His coming again and may be observed more than once a year. (I Corinthians 11:26)"

We also link to the message: The Lord's Supper which explains the Last Supper in the context of the Passover; also covers I Corinthians 11 in the 2nd message and how many people have twisted it today).

I hope this helps.

Thanks for Exposing Fred Coulter:

April 2, 2018

To my absolute delight, I have just found your article about The Biblical Church of GOD. Thank you so very much for that. I am not quite sure why I decided to check on Fred R. Coulter but I am very glad I did. I would like to think I was being guided to find out a little more first before blindly accepting what I was reading. ...

Many of my family members do not speak English and several of them have been sucked into Charismatic movements and also the Mormon Church both of which, in my humble opinion, reek of the occult.

I suffered spiritual abuse at the hands of Seventh Day Adventism for nearly four years and by the Grace of God on high, I was led out of there.

I am in the process of writing my own book trying to warn people about deception, lies, false doctrine, false worship and the dangers of being sucked into the occult so they can at least try to avoid those snares.

Many thanks again for the articles and for exposing yet another charlatan. --South Africa

Trying to Break Free of WCG Splinters:

April 2, 2018

I need some references for help breaking free of the WCG splinters. I was raised being taught their doctrines by my mother. She was not a baptized member but she sent tithes to Pasadena for half of her life.

I got away from it for years but got involved again in 2002 or so with Living Church of God. I studied LCG, Restored Church of God and Church of God, the Eternal booklets, magazines, sermons and articles for years and was eventually baptized by Church Of God, the Eternal.

After a short time, I started studying with LCG again because I wasn't really learning much with Church of God, the Eternal. The ministers and the other members seemed to not want to stay in contact much and there are no church services in my area. Most of the members seemed "clickish." I ended up not being with LCG either because the minister for my area refused to have further contact with me because I was supposedly indecisive so I was not allowed to come to their services.

So I was back to studying with RCG again. David Pack is a very talented writer and speaker. I get drawn to his videos on The World to Come. I am also involved again with Church of God, the Eternal. Jon W. Brisby (the lead minister of COGE) says his group is the "only one with God's Holy Spirit." David Pack says RCG is "God's true church." I seem to be stuck going back and forth between these two. I have sent tithes or donations to both. My brother died believing Herbert Armstrong was "God's true prophet." At the time of his passing he was involved somewhat with LCG.

I feel stuck in a cycle. I get out of these splinters for awhile, weeks, sometimes even years, but then I'm back involved again. I feel like I'm stuck in mind control cults at times but then I'll think like my brother did, that Armstrong was "God's true prophet" (even though I learned that he plagiarized work from a man named G. G. Rupert) and I jump right back in again, full throttle. I am in my fifties now and feel I might be a victim of mind control. What questions can I ask or how do I know if I'm a cult victim ?

Thanks for your work. --[name withheld]

Comment: This person has received a personal reply. See Q&A: How do I recover after exiting an abusive group? and Questioning Herbert W. Armstrong (was he who he said he was?). Also read 5-11-15 letter: Damaged Emotionally by WCG, LCG, RCG, PCG, UCG and Church of God the Eternal and 10-19-16 letter: All WCG Splinters the Same.

The Path of Destruction Left Behind by Herbert Armstrong:

(2nd email from person above)

April 5, 2018

Thank you for responding. Since I heard from you, I've read many of the letters on your network. I also downloaded "Herbert Armstrong's Tangled Web." I have just been shaking my head. The path of destruction that Armstrong left behind him and now the ministers who continue his teachings are doing the same thing. Finally, after well over half a life time, I feel I am finally free from these false ministers. It is almost unbelievable how wretched and hypocritical and pure evil HWA was. To think my brother died believing in that man's apostleship. Terrible. Quite likely, my Dad and Mom also died believing in him to some extent and my sister died listening to Garner Ted after he started his own following. The more people learn, the more chance they have of escaping from these tyrants. I'm not saying the scriptures are wrong. No. I am saying I will study and pray without the influence of these or any other false prophets. I have no problem now saying what I think of this false religious cult. Wow! Herbert W Armstrong--along came a spider, and he really did weave a huge, tangled web in the path he left behind him.

Thanks so much for your work. [name withheld]

Finally Out of the Dark:

April 17, 2018

[Update 4-18-18: The author has furnished more info for this letter.]

I wanted to write and thank you for helping people who have left or will leave the "Armstrong cult groups." I was born into the WWCG. It helped to destroy my whole family--my parents, my siblings, and up until this year, even me. We all made some mistakes and bad choices on our own but Herbert Armstrong and his ministers, splinters, and even some members, helped destroy my family emotionally, just with the judgmental attitudes, being made to feel we were in "hot water" with God, telling us that outsiders were of the world, etc. My most recent minister Jon W. Brisby (Church of God, the Eternal) has even told me that my lack of financial comfort is the result of my "not living in a pleasing enough way for God." I was also told that my family is the "church" now and no longer my kids, since they are not members. Luckily, my kids grew up against the Armstrong teachings and have their own beliefs. As for me, I am finally what I consider to be "out of the dark" of these Armstrong worshippers. I emailed my minister two weeks ago and explained my decision to leave. He has yet to respond.

Church of God, The Eternal (COGE) is a small group. The lead minister is Jon W. Brisby (age 55). He has some wild ideas. A married couple came to the group from LCG a few years ago. They had been married for about 18 years. Brisby soon found out that the man had been married briefly to someone else when he was a really young man. They divorced and his ex married someone else. Anyway, this married couple of 18 plus years were instructed to split up and live separately but not get divorced. Jon Brisby told him that if his ex wife happens to die then and only then can he and his current wife live as a couple again. The couple have remodeled their home and made it into a duplex. They each live in one of the side by side units. They are allowed to go back and forth to each other's apartment for meal times but not allowed to sleep, shower or linger at each other's place. At the Feast of Tabernacles and Pentecost they were not permitted to sit together for services. This couple is in their 50's also.

There is another man, a single man around age 60. This man was also married but years ago his wife left him and married a Seventh Day Adventist. Brisby told him he must never remarry. This man said God would not allow him to marry unless his ex died. Brisby stays in total control of the dating and marriage relationships in the group. He comes off as very intensely and genuinely kind, but if he feels you cross him, then he gets an attitude and can be very arrogant.

--Kandice Cunning (Child survivor of WCG; Former member of COGE)


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