Letters From Those Impacted by
Philadelphia Church of God
Best of the Letters from 2008
January 26, 2008
This is in regard to Jacob Toews in Canada being marked last December. Toews was appointed to be on a board of directors that the PCG formed to run its taxation and financial dealings. (This was to comply with the Canadian tax and charity laws.) He attended one meeting and resigned because he saw it was corrupt and just an intent to comply with the laws. He also said that the PCG is being audited by the tax department in Canada, South Africa and England. As a result, he did a lot of thinking and left the PCG. A few days later he received a letter from Headquarters telling him he was "suspended and marked." Gerald Flurry makes the rules now. Toews has now gone with Restored Church of God. --Informer in Canada
PCG is Very Corrupt:
February 1, 2008
I was in the PCG and the position I was in gave me more insight to the PCG than I care to mention, mainly because there are a lot of unsuspecting and trusting brethren who would be broken by it. I know that the PCG is very corrupt and three very high ranking ministers are being left to continue in their dishonest dealings. Gerald Flurry is well aware of it, believe me. --Ex WCG and PCG
Your Site Changed My Life For the Better:
February 3, 2008
Thanks for your help and support over the years. I was real glad when I found this site as it has changed my life for the better. I have lots more money now and am out of debt, too. It is nice to be free from man. I hope you are well. --Australia
I Applaud You For Taking a Stand and Offering a Helping Hand:
April 5, 2008
I was born into the WCG, then moved into the PCG after my parents decided they no longer believed in what WCG was teaching. I was forced to attend PYC (youth camp) for two years in my teens. I've been out of the PCG for over ten years now and I still have nightmares about it (being back at services, or at the summer camp). I never realized how many issues in my life were connected to the fear that I had made the wrong choice; that I had somehow doomed myself. I applaud you for taking a stand and offering a helping hand to those of us who have been severely wounded by these "churches." I look forward to making contact with others with the same feelings I've dealt with alone for so many years. --Child survivor of WCG and PCG
April 6, 2008
An announcement was made one week ago that Mrs. Marvin Campbell had died of an "intestinal blockage." The announcement was confirmed by the Philadelphia News.
Members were shocked by the unexpected news. They had not received a request for prayer prior to her death. I do not know if the condition may have appeared quickly and then deteriorated rapidly.
The members have been comparing her death to that of Loma Armstrong. It is dangerous to be a minister's wife in the PCG, or any of the other controlling splinters, such as David Pack's Restored Church of God. Though many people may know of the death of Mrs. Gerald Flurry on September 5, 2004 and the recent death of Mrs. David Pack (RCG) on July 22, 2007, there are other deaths less well known. In fact, I have known personally of several wives of ministers and deacons who have died of several forms of cancer, or various illnesses and maladies. --Former Member WCG/ PCG
May 1, 2008
Thank you for writing. I accessed your site and really received helpful information. I had noticed that even though I didn't join PCOG, their literature left a "filter" in my mind through which everything seems to flow. Even reading daily devotional books like The Daily Bread made mental comments pop up like "there is no Trinity" or "grace isn't totally free, you have to obey or God won't bless you," or "celebrating Christmas is sinful." I'm thankful that God is helping me recognize these thoughts when they pop up, and to replace the "filter" with the truth of His Word. As I read your information, more things come to light about just how damaging even a little bit of this propaganda can be, and I really appreciate the help your ministry is giving.
Another area in which I suffered spiritually was that it interfered with my ability to pray for others. PCOG teaches that only certain people are "called" and will receive salvation when Christ returns to earth. The rest of the people will hear Him preach the gospel and decide whether or not to accept it, and Jesus will rule over them with an iron hand and make them all obey these "laws." Therefore, it's really useless to pray for anyone on this side except for the PCOG leaders.
They also squelch any personal talents saying that only the leaders are gifted to write or teach or encourage. I had been seeking an outlet for some of the things that I believe the Lord had inspired me to write a number of years before my involvement with PCOG, a copy of which I had forwarded to you. Maybe I was looking for approval, but not in a prideful way. I wanted to serve my God and be used by Him. I was looking for spiritual confirmation that the work was truly inspired by the Holy Spirit and that it could possibly be used to help others. Before PCOG, others with whom it was shared always found a blessing, and by this time in my involvement with PCOG, many doubts were surfacing and I wasn't convinced that this group had the same "Spirit." I think I was "testing the spirits" as the Bible says we should do. Anyway, his response was "well, that's very descriptive," and changed the subject. There is no validation of any possibility of gifts in their members--the emphasis is only on the "leader" and his calling. Everyone else must abdicate any talents to him.
I will continue reading your most helpful information, and I thank God that He has shown me there is work to do before I am completely free from this bondage. Again, God bless you for your wonderful work.
Your sister in Christ, "Camille" (author of Rescued From Philadelphia Church of God)
Exiters Who See Through Gerald Flurry's Craziness but not HWA's:
May 17, 2008
I've noticed that a number of ministers who leave PCG somehow can see through the craziness of Gerald Flurry, but they still think well of HWA. Many WCGers who ran to the PCG thought that GF was the only one out there still holding up HWA. Now many of them are starting to see that GF is adding to the "original HWA dogma" and they're tired of his tight-fisted control and Scripture twisting. But even though they come out, they still hold on to the PR image of HWA and speak politely of him, even justifying him. I've heard of them speak of HWA's "health laws" or "family closeness," as if somehow, there was some kind of goodness or rightness to HWA at some level. These are some of the ideologies that got members hooked into the group in the first place. The health laws were a system of control used against members to keep them busy and in check. If somebody became sick with a common, contagious illness, then it was blamed on the person for "breaking a Health Law." Obviously, some exiters do not see it exactly this way, but still hold on to some form of this practice.
As far as HWA teaching "family closeness," even HWA's own family wasn't part of his "church." GTA ousted out; Dorothy mysteriously gone from the scene; Beverly never a member; Loma dead from some kind of curable ailment had she gone to the doctor; HWA divorced from his second wife Ramona. How could HWA teach others the way to have close family relations when he didn't set the example himself? In reality, HWA's teachings broke up families--D&R, causing people to divorce mates outside :the church"; causing families to shun one another if a member was put out, deciding who can marry who and who can't, etc. To not be able to see and acknowledge all this evil and the hurt it causes is to be pretty blind to HWA's nonsense and destruction.
And to simply say, "Too bad HWA didn't practice autonomy in his church like he taught in the early years" should be a big tip off that HWA's church was not about autonomy. These ex-ministers do not seem to understand that they were under a dictatorship, and were part of that dictatorship. They don't seem mortified by this at all.
I'm glad some ministers and their families are out, but they still have a long ways to go if they cannot perceive these things. --C. G.
Found $5,000 Money Order Receipt:
May 30, 2008
My brother died awhile back and while I was going through things in his house, I found an old receipt showing that he had sent in $5000 to the WCG in Pasadena from back in the `70s. He didn't have two nickels to rub together his whole life, but somehow he managed to send thousands of dollars to HWA to build his empire. Incredible! My mouth just about hit the floor! I looked hard to see if there was a decimal there (like $50.00), but there wasn't. Five thousand dollars in the `70s would have been a lot of money (not that it isn't now). I wouldn't have believed he had that kind of money to send if I hadn't seen the receipt for the money order with my own eyes. My brother didn't have the proverbial "pot to pee in," and to now know how HWA jetted around the world and lived in the lap of luxury with this poor man's money was nothing less than shocking (and sickening). I'm seeing more and more every day the exploitation of those who believed HWA--and persist to believe him through GF--and it still makes me sick to see how people have been used (and continue to be). --Escaped Flurry
PCG is a Dying Organization:
June 19, 2008
I want to confirm that PCG is dwindling in members. In a recent telephone conversation with a friend, who is in contact with someone in PCG, the whole state of Arizona has only about 100 members now. That is not very many for the state of Arizona. I know that PCG's members are getting old, and they certainly must not be attracting new people at the rate their members are leaving and dying off. It's a dying organization. I pray that more of them will be delivered from their blindness and come to the realization of the joy of a sound minded spiritual relationship with the Lord Jesus. --J.
July 4, 2008
We are ex-members of PCG, and saddened by the news that another woman has taken her life in this stupid, mind-controlling, so-called "church." There was a woman in California that took her life about 3 years ago, but it was all hushed up. No one was allowed to discuss it. Life must have been "hell" for that woman for her to take her own life, leaving behind a teenage boy. It's a very sad thing that these women see no way out of their terrible situation because the men rule over them.
We finally got the courage to leave, after many years of mind control and harassment, and it wasn't easy for the first few weeks because of the guilt trip, but we finally got over that, and then it was a like a breath of fresh air come over us. We felt the burden lift and felt so free. It has been wonderful every since and we feel sorry for those left in it and for the newer members that are deceived. If any of them are reading this, please gather all your strength to get out of that false church. It will take time to heal, but get out now as it is causing too much damage to your state of mind. Any disagreement or hesitation on matters that occur in your mind is a warning sign. Read the signs before it gets worse--but really, it can't get much worse. They've done it all!! --Your Friends and Ex-Members of WWCG/PCG
August 11, 2008
When we were in the PCG three years ago, Flurry had been telling us for a couple of years that he felt the end would be in 2008. He has to predict the "new" end is five years from now because "hello"--2008 is here now!!
What a joke. It is sad but it is a joke.
Every time he makes an end time prediction it never comes true. It is to keep the money coming in and the poor, deceived sheep in confusion and fear. --Former PCG member
October 31, 2008
From what I've heard from people is that Marvin Campbell's "apology" sermon at the Feast this year was more of a play to get the members' sympathy and loyalty, than being sorry for casting out brethren and stripping them of hope and dignity.
I have a PCG friend who went to the seniors luncheon at that Feast and heard Campbell's sermon. This person said that after Gerald Flurry left the site, Marvin Campbell spoke the next day telling people that he was #2 in charge after Gerald Flurry. They said Campbell made a lot of emotional pleas to the audience. My friend is very astute and said they did not trust him after that.
Marvin Campbell knows too much, just like Dennis Leap. PCG likes to keep their "enemies" close rather than anger them by casting them out where they can talk. We talked to a family who was suspended and disfellowshipped from PCG a long time ago. This family worked closely with Campbell. No, GF won't disfellowship Marvin Campbell. --[name withheld]
Update 2013: Marvin Campbell died September 20, 2013.
November 19, 2008
I wanted to comment that Gerry has been saying the Tribulation would begin in 2010 for quite a while. I remember this because I bought a copy of the Bible Code a few years back and as I was showing it around services in PCG, I was pointing out how the book and Gerry were both referencing 2010 for the end. He, Gerry, of course always hedged his bets with weasel words such as "wouldn't it be interesting if," or "it could be a possibility," and so did the book for that matter. One of the people I discussed that with at the time was [a minister in PCG who is related to GF]. And I am sure that he shared that with him, and that only made him bolder. Their biggest hurdle will be that Gerry was quite certain and vocal that the PCG would have to have 10,000 members before fleeing, a reference to the scripture that "Jesus comes with his ten thousands of saints." [Jude 1:14] He will find a way out, of course, by saying that he did not say "thus saith the Lord" or some such thing. Regards, --V. W.NOTICE: PCG News Story (FOX 25 Special Report on Philadelphia Church of God) The following letters pertain to this.
Nick Winkler, a news reporter from Fox 25 in Oklahoma City, contacted ESN on September 30, 2008 regarding a PCG story he was assigned to do. He was also referred to our other contacts. The following emails pertain to this special investigative report done on November 24 and 25. Part two aired November 26.
Special News Report on Philadelphia Church of God (ESN's transcript with comments)
Flurry's Fury Unleashed! (Flurry comes against FOX25 news)
"Mug Shots" Shown of Flurry:
November 25, 2008
We saw the news program. The reporter told how PCG said that the end of the world [i. e., end of the age] would be violent and then Christ would return. Stephen Flurry showed pictures of the building project and some of the grounds. Near the end they showed the "mug shots" of Flurry from the incident where he got drunk on the Oklahoma college grounds. They also spoke to several former members. Dr. Barbara Boyd at Oklahoma University mentioned the fact that no one knows exactly "where all the money goes." --Former PCG members
Claiming That Tithing is Voluntary:
November 25, 2008
They interviewed a Dr. Barbara Boyd, Professor of Religious Studies at Oklahoma University. She makes the inane comment that she looks up to anyone who can or will give 35% of their income to a church (as though PCG were legitimate). They also are claiming that tithing is voluntary. It is simply one version for those on the outside; another version for those on the inside. You know well how that works! --Former WCG member
Exposed as Apocalyptic Group:
November 25, 2008
Part 1 is pretty tough on them. The commentator interviews Stephen Flurry, whose explanation of PCG beliefs will come off as "kooky" to those not informed of HWA doctrine. It also shows the practice of 2nd and 3rd tithes, and says that the church has "generated 15 million dollars in revenue" last year from its members. They interview Dr. Barbara Boyd of the University of Oklahoma, who says that 2nd and 3rd tithes are unreasonable, even in evangelical churches. What I found most interesting was when SF says "We believe we're at the time of the end." The commentator says that the PCG believes that "only the faithful will survive."
The PCG is definitely exposed as an apocalyptic group.
Part 2 is going to talk about GF's police record. --Impacted by loved one in PCG
A Discerning Person Will See Through the Disguise:
November 25, 2008
It's exactly as I would expect. We watched Pt. 1 today. They, just like the HWA organization, make it look on the surface "so neat." But then, that's exactly how the enemy works. He works hard to hide the secret undercover stuff. Like draining and bleeding those poor captives of his organization financially dry so he can build his multi million dollar building, while at the same time telling his captives that "time is short."
It was good that the station aired some of the other side from those who have been there and suffered, and are still suffering. I feel a discerning person will see through the disguise, for when a thinking person sees it, it will be clear that something does not add up here. It's the "non thinkers" I am concerned about.
Those in captivity will "eat it all up." I did when I was there. All the propaganda HWA's organization put about Ambassador College and "the Work," I felt was just wonderful.
The Lord graciously opened my mind. Our assignment from Him is to continually do prayer warfare, and in His time and in His way, He will release those whom He will release. I know several past friends who are still there. My sister is still there. My step son and his wife, and two grandchildren are still there. We pray for them all and long for the day they also will be released from that captivity. --Former WCG member; impacted by loved ones in PCG
Flurry Tells Members They Will Now Come Under Fire as Never Before:
November 25, 2008
In listening to part one I could see some similarities to other religious cults. It looks like the station is trying to expose them, while walking a thin line of saying all they can without putting themselves at risk for a lawsuit.
I thought about whether I should drop a comment to [someone in PCG] about the story, but I decided I'd better not. This person has said that GF is starting another speaking campaign, and that he's already told the members that he and the PCG will come under fire like never before for taking the message to the world, so I'm sure that any members that see this story will only see it as proof that he's right about the world attacking "god's church" and would only reinforce their faith in GF. --Impacted by loved one in PCG
PCG Compound May Provide a Temporary Place of Safety:
November 25, 2008
I watched Pt. 1 and found [what PCG said] contradictory. This is common in that organization. Why are they building for God on earth when it is all going to be burned up? Is this compound somehow going to survive God's wrath during the Day of the Lord? Where can they substantiate what they are teaching about this building project in the Scriptures? It's all about a physical work and yet God is concerned about us building spiritual character--not buildings. This compound may provide a temporary place of safety for them.
Many other churches have building projects and schools. Why should PCG be any more recognized than them? I'm so glad to be away from there, but feel very sorry for those who still think that PCG is right. --Former member of WCG, PCG and RCG
Cash Spent on a Building Instead of Social Responsibility:
November 25, 2008
The comment from Stephen Flurry about their 15 million dollar Performing Arts Center "showcases the greatest achievements of the human spirit" sounded quite phony to me. I hope those who are not familiar with the organization are turned off by the fact that kind of cash was spent on a building instead of social responsibility.
The fact that the college is "not accredited" was a welcomed fact.
Dr. Barbara Boyd from Oklahoma University did not take the opportunity to explain how destructive the fear of not tithing can be to families in PCG. --Impacted by PCG
A Very Good Report:
November 25, 2008
I just finishing watching part 2. They brought up the allegations of the PCG trying to withdraw money from an elderly member's bank account without her knowledge. Stephen Flurry claimed to know nothing about that. At the beginning of the piece Nick Winkler mentioned that the PCG has been investigated by various police agencies and the FBI. They also mentioned the practice of the 3 tithe system again, as in part one, and again the PCG claims that tithing is "voluntary."
On Gerald Flurry's arrest, Nick Winkler showed the police report and mentioned that he tried to bribe the officer $25 dollars. They showed Flurry's mug shot. Very powerful and very bad for Flurry.
Right after Nick reported Flurry's arrest, he reported that the PCG believes that Gerald Flurry is a prophet and speaks for God. Nick asked Stephen point blank if Flurry speaks for God and Stephen acknowledged it by saying yes and that he fulfills the role of a prophet as laid out in Scripture.
Nick asked Stephen how much Gerald made last year in salary from the PCG. Stephen said he wasn't sure but he believes that it's in the neighborhood of $65,000. Yeah, but that doesn't take into account the free, brand new house and all the other perks which probably add up to half a million a year, if I were to make an educated guess.
It was also reported that they don't believe in interracial marriage, and that they cut off family members who don't agree with them. That was a great point made at the end of the segment.
In both parts, a theology professor from Oklahoma University was interviewed. In part 2 she stressed the importance of members being able to disagree with the leadership, rather than just an "accept everything that is said" policy. The PCG claims that people are allowed to disagree, which of course is a damn lie.
Overall with both parts, a viewer would definitely get the impression that the Edmond HQ grounds is like a compound. In fact, in part 2 a passing comparison was made to the Branch Davidians. Nick asked Stephen if they are the Branch Davidians. Stephen laughed and said no. The effect on video was great.
It was a very good report. Nick Winkler did an excellent job. --Former PCG member
Mike's Enlightenment Page Was Shown on Part Two:
November 25, 2008
Guess what? Mike's Enlightenment Page was on Part Two twice! Yes! Maybe somebody will check it out online! They showed a complete shot of Mike's Enlightenment Page, then they did a close-up of the words "Beware of the Philadelphia Church of God" and then they quickly flash down to the contents of the page. Really cool!! They reported finding Gerald Flurry drunk and passed out in his car and how he tried to bribe the police with $25. That was great! Of course, Stephen Flurry acted like he didn't know anything about it. One brave ex-member said that GF is using fear to dupe members out of their money. I'm glad he could see through it. --Former WCG member
Gerald and Stephen Flurry Are Hypocrites:
November 26, 2008
Those two programs were not long enough to expose the PCG for what they are, hypocrites. For one thing tithing is not voluntary; they demand it or you're out. It's time the members woke up to the Flurry tribe. Who was Stephen Flurry trying to kid? What does Flurry need paying for? It would be pocket money to him. What is there for him to spend it on? He has a big new house built on the land, new car to drive, his kids living on either side of him so no travelling to get to see them and let's not forget the "pay" his kids have on top of their new houses! Members have paid for their new houses, too, and continue to pay for their ongoing empire building. How can they say they are building a "house for God"? God doesn't need one. It's all been done before. Flurry is only after the members' money. Those mug shots are about right--he is a control freak and a crook. --Ex member of WCG, PCG, & LCG
My Commentary on the PCG Story:
November 26, 2008
I recently watched Fox25's story on the Philadelphia Church of God. Anyone who has family members or loved ones involved with the PCG wouldn't be surprised by the requirement of second and third tithes, nor the apocalyptic slant of Stephen Flurry when he says, "We believe we're in the time of the end." The commentator in the news story says that the PCG believes "only the faithful will survive." A former member, Dennis Fisher, states that Gerald Flurry sets himself up as a representative of God, and has declared himself "That Prophet." While this should be disturbing to someone unfamiliar with the group, to many of us, we're all too familiar already. While I was watching and listening to this, I already knew that these statements were true, as I had been hearing them and reading about them for years, since my mate's involvement in the PCG had brought them into my life, as well.
On the second half, I quickly caught the lie that members can question the authority in the PCG. This is an out-and-out falsehood. Every member knows that to question the ministry is to question the "government of God" and is "not of God." Questioning is a quick way to find oneself disfellowshipped and separated from friends and family, which is a fearful means of keeping the members in control, not to mention the fear of eternal punishment for not belonging to the "one true church," the PCG.
I also noticed that while GF did not appear in person, either because of his own paranoia, or because he thought that SF was more appealing to the public, there was a large painting of HWA behind SF, with HWA in a regal pose, either coincidentally or symbolically, looking over his son's shoulder. Personally, I think that from the PCG perspective, letting SF speak is for the best. I have to admit that just seeing GF on TV gives me the "heebie-jeebies." He's always come across to me as being about as trustworthy as some used car salesmen that I've known.
Let me add that I have to say that I do agree with SF on one thing he said, and that is, the PCG is not a "Branch-Davidian" operation. They're not stockpiling food or weapons, although the report did mention and show the gardening, livestock, and nearby water supply. The purpose of the PCG is to produce cash, a source of income for the upper ministers, and to give evil men a power of control over helpless and frightened members. Obviously, they're not really worried about the coming "end times," or they wouldn't be investing millions of dollars in members' tithes and offerings in buildings dedicated to men. These buildings' names quickly reveal who the flurrys' "god" is; his name and likeness are in and on most everything they produce: Herbert W. Armstrong.
I would encourage anyone who has family members in this group and those similar to it to watch these programs. I can also just pray that people take the information presented in the programs, and use it to educate themselves and their friends and family, and warn them of the Armstrong groups. --Have loved one in PCG
News Story Shows Complaints Have Been Received:
November 26, 2008
The news special on FOX 25 indicates a couple of things. First, news organizations do not put out negative stories about religious organizations unless they have received a number of complaints. They err on the side of caution. This means there are a number of people complaining about the church [PCG] and their activities. The fact that the PCG is responding to the story by putting Stephen Flurry out there means they are worried about something (normally they do not respond). There may be more defections than we think if they are concerned about this negative news to the point of answering questions. This was a pretty negative story for a religious group. --Anonymous
A Few of My Family's Thoughts on the Fox News Presentation:
November 26, 2008
Here are a few of my family's thoughts of the Fox News presentation on the PCG:
- It doesn't make sense to me that they're building a 15 million dollar arts center if in fact they believe that Jesus will be coming back to Jerusalem.
- It's very weird that they have created their own water system.
- I was glad they stated in both parts that their college is not accredited. Makes people wonder what they're really teaching there if they can't get accreditation.
- Tithing being excessive was stressed. That's a red flag to me and should be to everyone.
- Fifteen million dollars revenue in one year is extremely excessive for such a small group. What are they doing to bring in such massive amounts of money? It is very worrisome to hear SF say his father only earns $65,000 per year. If folks did research on his lifestyle, they would find that this is completely inaccurate. If they can't be upfront and honest about that fact, then they are obvious lying about many other facts.
- I believe they are definitely scamming and scaring people out of their money. That was more than obvious to me.
- It's very frightening that in this day and age anyone would say that they solely speak for God. Only God speaks for God.
- The 170 acre campus in Oklahoma looked like a creepy and un-American project.
- It was very disturbing to hear that any "church" anywhere on the planet would actually tell members to cut off ties with family members that are outside the PCG or to ban interracial marriage. This sends a deeply disturbing message. God loves each and every one of us, regardless of our nationality and color.
- Anyone that thinks they can use fear to keep members in line is definitely wrong.
- It was obvious to me that the followers of the PCG have been mind-controlled and are in a very destructive cult environment.
--Have family members in PCG
My Observations From the News Reports:
November 26, 2008
Stephen Flurry could not keep a straight face when saying the world was coming to a violent end, could he?
He also could not bring himself to state dogmatically that GF is actually a prophet, much less "That" Prophet. What was that all about? He skirted around the answer like a practiced politician!
Three tithes voluntary?? The member who doesn't give them is supposed to be guilty of "robbing God"!
Too bad nothing was said about the books that the members were required to buy at exorbitant prices.
I wish I could afford a house like the one they showed. I don't think that was bought with a salary of $65,000 a year.
I loved the mug shots!! [of Gerald Flurry] I am betting most of the members didn't know anything about that arrest.
I believe the picture behind SF was actually one of a very old HWA. I am familiar with that picture. One of the members took the picture and made a painting of it.
I noticed at the end of the second segment that SF had told the reporter that the PCG had helped in a handicapped school in Jordan. That was many years ago, and the PCG was kicked out very quickly. The Jordanians are very wary of "churches" that are interested in Petra. There are quite a few, actually.
I hope most of the people that watched the reports realized just how stupid it would be to pour all that money into a "campus" when the world is about to explode. What is the point? --Former WCG/PCG member
Wish They Had Been Tougher on Them:
November 27, 2008
I watched both parts. I wish they'd been tougher on them. The PCG is currently trying to take someone's money here in Iowa. An elderly member died, they are giving his (non member) daughter grief. A member has the key to the deceased's house and has not returned it to the daughter. I guess (very nice) furniture is gone. Not too Christian, are they? Perhaps I should let that FOX affiliate know about that! Thank you for the heads up. --Former PCG member
What Struck Me With the News Story:
November 27, 2008
I watched both parts of the news story and a couple of things struck me.
I noticed that Stephen Flurry seemed uncomfortably embarrassed when he was asked if Gerald was a prophet, and had to quickly add a qualifier to it. No one in the organization has the slightest hesitation to give him that title in the privacy of services. It reminded me of how Herbert Armstrong used to be embarrassed by Jesus and only spoke, in public forums, of "a strong hand from someplace."
Also the whole idea that tithing is voluntary. While they may not send a bill for them, the tithes are not voluntary. You are faced with eternal death in the Lake of Fire if you do not tithe. It is psychological extortion at best.
I thought that the whole story was a softball piece. If it had been a hardball story it would have been perceived by the membership as persecution and a sign that they were the "true church." It could be helpful in warning those on the outside, or those contemplating joining, and in that regard, needed.
Thanks for alerting me to it. --Former WCG/PCG member
There is Another Side to the Story:
November 27, 2008
I watched both parts of the interview, and was amazed at the whole story. Why didn't Gerald do the interview is my first question? I also noticed that when Stephen Flurry was saying that they believe that Gerald is fulfilling the role of a prophet, there was a little smirk on his face, like maybe he didn't believe it himself. They claim the time to flee is 2010 and they need 10,000 people. That makes me wonder why they are doing this interview. Could it be, trying to con people into believing this is a normal "church." I think their numbers are very low; they are trying to get more people. They are trying to make the group look normal, when in fact, they are far from normal. I believe there is another side of this story that needs to be told, our side. I hope that all who have been affected by this man who calls himself a prophet needs to write to the station. And let them know we want to give our side of the story. It's only fair that our voice is heard. I hope they will allow us to speak, and allow us to tell how we all have been affected by this organization. It's far from being Christian. One who has lost a daughter and three grandchildren because of the No-Contact Rule, and this so call Prophet. --CJS
Gerald Flurry and Ministers Giving False Message:
November 30, 2008
PCG will just spin this and tell the members it's proof that they're "God's people" and that's why they are being projected this way. Unfortunately, many of their members will believe this. Hopefully more people will open their eyes and see that Gerald Flurry and his ministers are giving a false message that separates people from their families and friends. --Former member of PCG
These Men Have a Need to Control:
November 30, 2008
When I watched part 2 of the Fox25 interview, my initial thought was that until these men get off Moses' seat, laws and regimented rulings to control will continue to remain over those who are as yet seemingly naïve and blind to perceive the true message that Jesus Christ came to teach for all of mankind. Those two greater commandments are love. Old wine cannot be forced into new wineskins just as Scripture says.
Jesus Christ's example and teachings were in such contrast to how these men are ruling and it is a sad reflection on them that they sit so hard with their need to control that it forces members to obey their rulings as they are doing.
These men may hope to increase their numbers but people will only bend so far to strive to become the perfected people these men pressure members to become. --Impacted by loved ones in PCG
December 3, 2008
Here's a link in the Edmond Sun ("Church responds to TV news report") to a PCG press conference, about the Fox news story, that I wanted to comment on. [Update: This link is no longer up.]
In the story they quote Shane Granger and say: "The third tithe is contributed every third year, Granger said, and goes not into church operations, but for the support of its widows, orphans and poor, taking that burden off public tax rolls."
This is a blatant lie, typical of the whole organization. This can be proven by reviewing the April 8, 2006 PGR. [This Pastor General's Report is a PDF file.]
Third tithe is 2 years of 7 years and could be written as 2/9th's or about 22%. Yet it is clear from page three of their PGR they only paid out less than 1% labeled "Assistance." Even if you discount that not every member pays third tithe, their payout should still be a lot more than that 1%, clearly something stinks. They are engaging in some sort of fraud at the very least. --V. W. (Former WCG/PCG member)
December 3, 2008
I read The Edmond Sun news article and Shane Granger (PCG "marketing director") claims they use the 3rd tithe for the widows. The PCG does not take care of the orphans and the widows. All they do is separate families. We never saw a widow or orphan being cared for in all the years we were in that business organization. They don't help the community or serve anyone but the leadership in that group who are treated to trips and wonderful sites around the world and to lavish hotels, and meals.
One leading family in PCG with 3 children took a six weeks vacation in the West on the pretense that they were visiting the elderly. They only visited about 5 people and the rest was pure vacation. Some "business" trip I'd say. --Have loved ones in PCG
Where Most of PCG's Third Tithe Fund Goes to:
December 7, 2008
I was talking with a good friend of mine from my PCG days last night on the phone. He reminded me of a situation that I had forgotten about regarding the PCG's lack of concern for elderly widows. My friend took a local PCG widow under his wings and used to go to her house almost every Sunday and help by doing repairs, lawn mowing, painting, etc.
One summer her window unit AC [air conditioner] went out. He approached our local minister and submitted a request for an AC to be purchased for her through the PCG's third tithe fund. The request was denied. My friend ended up just putting an AC in her house himself with no help from the church of "brotherly love," save one other member.
And yet, about that same time Gerald Flurry, Stephen Flurry, and Ron Fraser made a trip down to Austin to interview George Friedman of Stratfor Systems, the "great forecasting guru" that the PCG quotes a lot in the The Philadelphia Trumpet magazine. They all stayed in the downtown Radisson Hotel, one of the most expensive hotels in that city. That trip surely cost a lot more than a window AC unit. I had heard toward the end of my time in the PCG that most of the 3rd Tithe funds went to ministerial salaries and perks like trips, auto funds, etc. I believe that is probably true.
Someone forwarded a copy of the PGR for April 2006 [Pastor General's Report] that contained the expenses of the PCG for 2005. It showed that they had allocated about $79,000 for assisting widows and the needy. I've just done some math that shows that this is ridiculously low. The PCG has somewhere between 3,500 and 5,000 members. Everyone pays third tithes every third year in a seven year cycle. So lets divide 3,500 by 3 just to be conservative. That comes to 1,167.
But since the members' third tithe is twice in a seven year cycle due to the "7th year of release," I'll knock some more off since not exactly one third of the PCG is third tithing each year. I'll go with 700.
Now lets continue to be very conservative and say that the average tithing PCG member makes just $15,000 a year. If you continue with the math that would mean that the PCG brings in approximately $1,050,000 a year in third tithes. So over 900,000 dollars goes to someone, or somewhere, other than the needy, or at least it did in 2005. And again, I was very conservative in the numbers I used. It could be even more. --Former PCG member