Letters From Those Impacted by
Philadelphia Church of God
Best of the Letters from 2010
No Contact Rule Makes Allowance For Not Getting in Trouble With the Law:
January 8, 2010
When it comes to the "no contact rule," PCG communication with outsiders is allowed on a "business level" if small children, the disabled, or the elderly are involved. Our family falls in that necessary business level category. PCG does not want to get into trouble with the law where such responsibilities are concerned. We were observed and sized up in person by one of their ministers concerning our needful "family relations" and the minister laid down the boundaries for the situation. --Impacted by loved ones in PCG
PCG Members Are Being Led to the Slaughter:
January 26, 2010
I am in a state of sheer disgust. Not only in the religious cults that I have been involved in for the past 40 years of my life but also myself. I have had a good scriptural knowledge for most of my life and can only wonder how in this world I let these people lead me in such a blind direction! I have been a member of the PCG for a few short years and followed HWA teachings in the 70's. I am certain now that I must act on what I have found out in the past few months. PCG members are being led to the slaughter so to speak. We are so afraid of the ministry because we are taught that they are God's Government on earth at this time. Don't blame us; blame Gerald Flurry and his family! They are taking advantage of all of the members that truly believe they are doing what God wants them to do and are told that this is the only way to get their family members to repent and come into the PCG before it is too late (by no contact with former members of PCG, or for that matter former members of WCG). I pray that I can find my way out of this mess and hopefully take some with me. Thanks for all the information you have supplied. I pray others will find it but I fear they won't, given the fear tactics used so skillfully by the PCG and other false churches. --Hopeful still
Our Life is So Good After Leaving PCG:
February 4, 2010
It's been about 2004-2005 since I talked to you and sent you material. I read your letters every week still. The story by "Dotty" caught my eye (Philadelphia Church of God is a Sick System!). That is so true. I have had Wilson Magruder and his wife Martha (now deceased) stay in my house. Martha was a great lady and she would drop a hint now and then about Wilson so I know what Dotty is talking about. My wife and I have been out of PCG since 2004. I left first and my wife left in about a year. We know where we are, where God is and where Jesus is. Our life is so good and relaxed and we do laugh now. When I read all the letters that people send in, it's so sad that they cannot reach out to God and get the help they need. Life is no life of any kind in PCG. I am 71 now and so sorry that I wasted part of my days in Satan's house. God bless. We love all you folks. Keep the good work going. --"David King" (former PCG member)
Comment: David formerly wrote: What Has Happened to Gerald Flurry?? (concerns from a former member regarding Flurry's spending).
Blind Obedience Prevalent in These Groups:
March 13, 2010
Eric Hoffer's book The True Believer has a lot of this information about mass movements. From what he says, there must be a "reinstitution of blind obedience" if the group hopes to survive. (We certainly see this openly in the splinters, and covertly in the WCG). He also says that eventually members won't listen to historical facts (i. e., critical info about the founder or the past) since it contradicts their faith. They will be lead to believe that God is more pleased with blind faith, not in facts that will contradict their beliefs (we see a lot of this in the WCG and those who leave PCG). They will soon believe that "facts" are dangerous and unnecessary. --Observer
Comment: Much more about this can be found in the Robert Gerringer letter posted on our site. Just search for the words, "True Believer."
Did HWA (and now GF) Have a Royal Line to King David?
April 24, 2010
I attended WCG and PCG for a total of about 10 years. I was told during this time that both Herbert Armstrong and Gerald R. flurry could trace their family lines to King David. How would one be able to prove this? I have never seen any evidence of it, and would like to know how, if possible, they proved it.
Thank you. --A thankful ex-PCGer
Reply: HWA is quoted as saying this in Mystery of the Ages, chap. 5, and GF in That Prophet, pg. 52. It appears that the only "evidence" for HWA being able to trace his lineage back to King David was through Herman Hoeh's fabricated research. (See ESN article: Where are the Tribes of Israel Located? (A Critique of Herman Hoeh's Article), and especially footnote #8 where Hoeh ended up saying to "throw it [his research] out!"). However, there has never been one shred of evidence to prove HWA's kingly ancestry. Members merely assumed it was legitimate because HWA declared it was true. Many of the HWA offshoots perpetuate the same myth.
Our 1st Review of MOA shows that one reason HWA made this claim was so that he could build his British-Israelism theme in later chapters in the book and then further claim his "sacred connection" through bloodline to the very throne of England (and to Jesus) which elevated his position as "God's Apostle." One of the characteristics of false religious leaders is to use sacred lineage or to claim their specialness.
April 30, 2010
I just had to share this with you.
I have a wife in PCG (for several years now). Sunday morning I was making coffee in the kitchen while she was sitting in the living room watching "The Key of David" program. I had been worried a lot about her involvement with the PCG and had been praying about it.
This particular morning, while I was in the kitchen, it was as if a voice just came into my head and spoke to me. It said, "In His time, and in His way."
That same day I opened a little daily devotional book and that morning's verse was Galatians 4:4. The last paragraph of the reading said: "Perhaps you've been asking the Lord to help you. You've waited for weeks, months, or perhaps years. You're still praying, but you're wondering, too. Rest assured that His timing's always right."
This was too marvelous to be a coincidence. I'm sure it was the Holy Spirit that spoke to me. The Scriptures call Him "The Comforter" and those words were very comforting and reassuring.
I felt like a burden had been lifted off my mind, and I've not worried about her involvement since. I was very thankful to the Lord for sending that message to me and I felt better. --Impacted by loved one PCG
May 14, 2010
We just heard about two siblings in the PCG dying. Their names were Jason and Crystal Bacon. When we were members, no one was allowed to talk about anyone who died. So I wonder what really happened when those poor children died? It is all so very, very sad. --Former members of PCG
Deaths of Siblings in PCG:
May 15, 2010
I, too, heard about the recent deaths in PCG. [Jason Bacon; Crystal Bacon] The boy (only 21) had just been allowed back in PCG after being suspended and cut off for "sinning" for who-knows-and-who-cares-what. He went back because he didn't like being cut off from his family.
He was out of town with a friend, celebrating his birthday and a new job, and fell from a balcony. He was in a coma and died a couple weeks later. The ministry corrected his friend and wouldn't let him go to the hospital. He wasn't even allowed to go to the funeral!
Edmond people came to the funeral on Friday and there was a memorial Sunday. His older sister, who's been suspended and cut off before too, died Monday morning. The father, in another offshoot, was allowed to come, but they went back to cutting him off after the weekend. --Anonymous
Comment: Jason Read Bacon was born April 7, 1989 and died April 25, 2010. The obituary on him can be read here. A cached copy from stilwellonline.info had more info and said he died in Las Vegas, NV, had a graveside service April 30 in Westville, OK, with PCG minister Robert Brown presiding, and that he had 3 sisters and 3 brothers.
Members Corrected for Asking Prayer for Jason Without Permission:
May 16, 2010
Members were "corrected" for asking for prayer for Jason without the ministry's permission. I sometimes wonder if PCG reads the same things I read in Revelation about the Nicolaitanes (Revelation 2:6,15), or even if they understand it. --Impacted by PCG
More on PCG Deaths:
May 16, 2010
Jason had been suspended and was back. He fell from the 8th floor onto the 4th floor swimming pool deck around 3:00 a.m. His older sister Crystal is dead, too. Cause of death not known yet, but she was an alcoholic prone to depression. She had been suspended before; not sure if she currently was. That may be the case and more reason for her "possibly" taking her own life. --Friend of Jason
Control Over the Top in PCG:
May 17, 2010
It is incredible how GF is now telling members to stay off any website that is not PCG related! From what I have heard, these extreme control measures being put in place by the PCG are why many members are leaving. This is way over the top, and will affect probably nearly all the members. I know members that enjoy listening to music on websites such as YouTube and such, and for some this is the only real pastime they have.
I'm sure that more and more members are looking at "dissident" websites (hopefully, ESN) as they become more critical because of not only GF's control measures, but his uncontrolled spending on buildings and furnishings. But I really don't think he'll be able to control their use of the Internet. That's unrealistic. I'm pretty sure that most won't comply with this, either, and there's really no way that the PCG can enforce it. I think, instead, his increasing control will begin to backfire. There is only so much stress that anybody can take before they reach their breaking point. Members are getting fed up and starting to look at him and the PCG more critically. Unfortunately, GF's control is what is making some of the offshoots look attractive. --P. G.
PCG Members Lacking in God's Love:
June 21, 2010
The PCOG members are taught and believe that one day they shall rule over all nations with and under Jesus Christ and bring peace and a right way of living to all people who are as yet spiritually blinded. Yet the contrast conflict is that they are told to remain isolative in their ways towards family and friends (who love and desire to have contact with them) if not in full agreement with all that they are taught by PCG. The parent or grandparent once loved by PCG members, over time, ages and becomes frail and desires the comfort from family and loved ones. Yet all that happens from among the PCG members is only an occasional phone call to say hello with little else attached along with that horrid attitude that comes along with them of "let the dead bury the dead" approach. Little or no comfort is given. No support or help given to other family members left to help the aged or sick.
I am living through this experience just now. My dad has declined quickly in his health and I am left alone to manage, support and help him come through this stage of his life while one phone call only came from one family member recently who is involved in the PCG to ask if I was in contact with Dad and asked how he was and nothing else. Surely, Matthew 25:31-45 speaks well for such situations.
I would like to know how these PCG members ever expect to grow in grace and God's love without being allowed to express God's fruits of Love out towards all in need.
Love wears no boundaries and sees all as being equal. Love is not crippled, manipulated and ruled by what man deems as being allowable. Love is not laws or rules; it is all encompassing and flows out to others freely who are suffering.
How can such people rule over all nations when Jesus Christ returns if obedience rules stronger than God's grace and love? I see no fruits. -- Anonymous
Members Will be Expected to Travel Hundreds of Miles:
July 3, 2010
Many changes have taken place lately. PCG is combining groups in an effort to save "the work" money. All of these changes have been done in their usual secretive and deceptive ways. Only the men making the arrangements and the ministry knew of these changes. When they were done, the members were told they would be expected to travel hundreds of miles in order to attend every Sabbath. The ministry answers to no one and considers no one in their decisions (except maybe their pocket books. Is that called mammon?) I really think this will backfire and cause some to rethink their commitment to such a unsympathetic, hardhearted and greedy group of men claiming to be the example of Christ's Love.
My heart goes out to those families that have loved ones in the PCG and other offshoots. It is not going to change any time soon. Just pray for those in PCG and hope God will have mercy on them so they see what is happening.
To those who are even remotely considering involving themselves in PCG, don't. I speak from experience and it has not been a good one. --Impacted by PCG
YouTube Video Hit the Nail on the Head:
July 12, 2010
I watched the video on YouTube on PCG and the Place of Safety. It pretty much hit the nail on the head. I thought it could have done a better job of tying the current splinters (PCG, RCG, etc.) in to the "church" that Herbert (the W. stands for nothing) Armstrong founded at the start, rather than as a footnote towards the end of the video. They did a good job of showing a few of HWA's false prophecies and pointing out that he was wrong.
It is interesting that in my exit correspondence with my local PCG minister that they continue to point out that "HWA was right, just off in his timing." However, when one points out where he was wrong where timing was a part of the prediction, they shift from "he was right" to "sure, he was wrong, but he never claimed to be a prophet." This double belief is a good example of typical Armstrong double-talk. Well, which is it: was he right and just off in his timing? Or was he wrong and just never claimed to be a prophet? They need both of these mutual exclusive positions to be true. It can't work. --Vaughn Woodfield (WCG and PCG exiter)
Comment: Read our Q&A: Haven't HWA's prophecies just not come to pass yet?
PCG Members Burying Their Heads in the Sand:
July 15, 2010
I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your site! Though I've been out of the PCG for a while now, I still frequent the PCG letters section to see what new antics Gerry Flurry and crew are up to. It is just sickening that he can burn through $20 million for a building out in the middle of nowhere that will only drain the members of more money and will accomplish nothing.
I watched that YouTube video [on PCG, HWA and the place of safety]. It was right about so much! Even my own father who is still a believer will respond: "Yes, he was wrong about certain dates" Ok, drop the "about certain dates part" and just say the first part: "He was wrong." If I had a dollar for every time my parents or other members would say "Well, David sinned, too..." Ugh!
But anyway, that's the mindset of those in the PCG and other groups. Bury your head in the sand, ignore things that you don't want to hear because you might have to think for yourself, start doing research, and then the whole thing might unravel. The saddest part about the Armstrong Building, is that the PCG membership will just sit back, point to that building and say "Look at the fruits of our church! Look at all we have! Surely, we're the one true church!" Sadly, what they don't have, is a clue.
Well, thanks again for everything! --Child survivor of WCG and PCG exiter
Comment: Our article, "None of God's Servants Were Perfect" (for those who like to use this reasoning) answers those who say, "David sinned, too."
Wik Heerma Has Cruelly Abused Others:
July 15, 2010
I know of many people who were treated cruelly and abusively by this man who claims to be a "true minister of God"! He had nearly all of the congregation in the U.K. in the grip of fear. He would suspend you for the most trivial/ridiculous reasons such as being sick (if you were sick, it would nearly always be implied as being because of some sin that you had committed). While he was in the U.K., I don't think he ever anointed anyone, as he would just refuse point blank if you asked him. And as for counselling with him, anyone who made this mistake would be shouted at for two hours, accused of all types of crazy things (especially if you had the "misfortune" of being a woman) and then suspended inordinately. All of this would be kept secret from the members so that they would think that "Satan had attacked you" and that you had "fallen away from the faith." Then if they condescended to let you back, the members would ostracise you and avoid you like the plague. But I have heard that Ron Fraser is no better. --Impacted by PCG
Similarities to Nazism in PCG:
July 16, 2010
In response to the new Armstrong Auditorium opening on September 5th with a professional orchestra performance as an encore presentation of Mendelssohn's "Elijah," it brings into my mind here the parallels of when the Jewish people arrived by train at the concentration camps to the sounds of orchestral music being played on the platforms.
Trickery, deceit and cruelty were awaiting these innocent victims just as is happening to those who see the exterior show only that is being presented to another group of naïve innocent potential victims as well.
The PCG is similar in its make up where there are ministers (modern day Nazis) who thrive on cruelty and control ruling over members in a dominant manner, plus within the members as a group, there is a structure that has its own Jewish police who fear to be cast out so they become useful to the ministers for feedback to help keep members in line and under control.
The members become starved for the true "Word" based on love and the New Covenant message Jesus Christ delivered. So just as the Jews suffered, these members over time languish and there are some who die spiritually, or become sick physically and spiritually from the pressures and cruel expectations placed on them. Trust is broken and life becomes a nightmare to live in.
We all need to pray God helps these innocent victims to see. --Impacted by PCG
Flurry Will Feel Special Among the High and Mighty of Oklahoma City:
July 27, 2010
Does anyone ever think at a price tag of $20 million, and with most people sending in 10% and occasionally building funds and offerings, and the usual demographic of a PCG member (low to middle income), how many work hours (mine included) of well-meaning, but mind-controlled followers it took to make Flurry's "fruit" [Armstrong Auditorium] come true? Just sad. Flurry will point to this as "proof" that God is with him, but how many churches have big, expensive buildings?? And at least most of them have a community service outreach to care about the hungry and the poor. Give a hungry man a meal, and then preach him the Gospel--Christ and the disciples followed this model so many times while He walked the earth. But, then again, if it was Flurry's gospel they were spreading, I would rather him touch fewer lives anyway. Just sad and angering all around. But Flurry and the top ranks will feel special amongst the high and mighty of Oklahoma City, and they'll pass their anecdotal stories on to the members in hopes that the members will, by proxy, feel special, too, and stay on a while longer and send in the money to upkeep the place. And they will, oddly, have put all this money into the building, all the time thinking that it will be blown to dust in the "next couple years."
When I was still in PCG, Flurry read a quote from a local arts periodical stating they were excited about the Auditorium because it was going to be one of the best art venues in the Oklahoma City area. Has anyone been to Oklahoma City? Is that really a point to brag about? It's going to be one of the only art venues in the area. At least in California that claim actually held some weight to it! But apparently his Bible reads differently than mine. Just pray that the members start reading theirs soon. I am angry about many things, and at a few people, but I love the lay members dearly, including my own family.
Thanks again for all you do. --Former WCG and PCG member
By Their Fruits You Shall Know Them:
July 28, 2010
Hi there at ESN. Hope you are well. Thanks again for your work on the site I wanted to respond to the letter: "Flurry Will Feel Special Among the High and Mighty of Oklahoma City." (July 27, 1010)
I agree wholeheartedly with the thoughts in this letter. The reference to Armstrong Auditorium as being "Flurry's 'fruit'" brings some thoughts to mind. The first, obviously, "by their fruits you shall know them." This particular fruit of GF's is said by "God's man" himself to be "a house for God" or "God's house" that is named "Armstrong Auditorium."
This "temple" seems to be dedicated to both Herbert W. Armstrong and God!?
Or, is it actually dedicated to their "god" Herbert Armstrong?
By this fruit, at least, those visiting Flurry's architectural tribute to religious entrepreneur/businessman Herbert W. (and hopefully some members too) "shall know them" for what they are--clear and PROUD followers of Herbert Armstrong, and hardly recognizable as being followers of Jesus Christ. (The PCG ministers, in their sleek black suits, and fine black shoes look more like followers of the Jesuits or the SS.)
Another fruit of F's, which has and will cause him trouble in the future is his "literature."
"Mr. Flurry is very busy updating and re-editing his many books and booklets..."
I had to laugh at that--not because of the obvious question which many have asked ("why would 'God's man' or 'That Prophet' who is the only one receiving revelation from God even need to "update" and "re-edit"?), but because of the way this loyal PCG member just stated this normal fact, like business as usual, obviously not seeing anything strange or fishy about that, or not caring. Turning a "blind" eye.
Then I thought about how I was the same, previously being a reasonably "fervent" follower of Gerald Flurry and HWA, the "Elijah" (God forgive me). That thought sobered me up pretty quickly. I cringe when I think about my brief phase in PCG (even just as a lay member) "preaching" to close friends and family about Herbert W. Armstrong, Mystery of the Ages, and the Ten Tribes of Israel (got some strange looks and negative reactions to the "race" side of Herbert's "mysterious" gospel, like "Jesus was white"). I have begged God, that with His mercy and FORGIVENESS these people that I spoke to will forget anything that I said about all the erroneous, speculative and racist teachings. Just imagine if Gerald Flurry did the same? It is possible. With God anything is possible--according to His will. He is the Potter and we are the clay.
The writer of the letter referred to earlier says: "I am angry about many things, and at a few people, but I love the lay members dearly..." Having experienced the same feelings, as I'm sure have others, I just wanted to say that I did find a lot of wisdom from Jesus Christ and His holy words to help deal with these matters and to know what to do. The words about "wolves in sheep's clothing" and "brother against brother" have really hit home.
Another recent example of PCG showing "by their fruits" that they actually worship and revere their god Herbert W. Armstrong is a sad sight at the "youth orientated" website TrueEducation.org. I say sad because I really feel sorry for any young person associated with the PCG or any Armstrongite" COG (a worthy cause for prayer).
The sad spectacle (no doubt initiated by "That Prophet" and strongly endorsed by the leading ministers) as reported on the website under the heading "PYC 2010 Entertainment Night" was "based on the Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong, Volume 1." (Man. Do these people think about anything else that's not Herbert W. Armstrong?!)
"Keeping with the theme for PYC-- a Call to Remembrance--campers enacted short stories from the early life of Mr. Armstrong such as his hunt for 'pigeon milk', the incident which aroused a spark of ambition in him, hiring himself a job, and his first advertisement design."
What the ?!?
Isn't that a weird way to teach the youth about the Lord God Jesus Christ?
By their fruits you shall know them.
The PCG ministers (mini-stars?) would never allow the youth to enact the early life of Jesus Christ--but Herbert W. Armstrong? "Sure!" "The people would love that!" "It helps to bring us closer to God--like Armstrong Auditorium does."
Also worth checking out at TrueEducation.org is the lavish praise for "God's house/Armstrong Auditorium" in the comments section under "Sabbath Auditorium tour" (not recommended for those with a weak stomach). I'm sure there's a verse somewhere in the Scriptures about being "mad over their idols," or something to that effect.
On a lighter note, regarding the future of the physical edifice that is Armstrong Auditorium, others have predicted a similarly unglamorous fate to that of the famed "Ambassador Auditorium" at Pasadena. But, while browsing the online pictures of this "most beautiful building I have ever seen" (gag, gag), and having had my senses gratified by the physical opulence, majesty and wealth that God (?) has bestowed upon the PCG (Gerald Flurry), the crystal chandeliers, and onyx walls, etc., I had a vision. Yes. I, too, have a prediction.
I see Gerald Flurry relaxing at his home on "God's land" in Edmond. He looks out across the campus to admire his handy-work, Armstrong Auditorium, reveling in the sheer power of "having God the Father and Christ the Son right there in your own backyard." No-one else is around, so he has the whole place to himself.
Everything is as it should be-- for Gerald. However, you can't always have it all.
Gerald's "luck" runs out with the tornadoes that appear around Oklahoma.
From his prime viewing location in his own backyard he sees his beloved Armstrong Auditorium, the "crown jewel of the campus" become well dressed food for a hungry tornado.
As he sees this, he remembers preaching to others that "the Eternal has his way in the whirlwind."
The entire building and it's "valuable" and expensive relics (including "Mr. Armstrong's Steinway piano") are never seen again.
The only thing that remains is the bronze "swans in flight" sculpture, which Gerald takes home, placing it in his living room to console himself for his material losses.
It is a sad story. --Paul, Mortlake, Australia; former PCG member
PCG Brother Asks Wife to Withdraw $50,000 Because "End is Near":
August 28, 2010
My brother returned to PCG--hook, line, and sinker--about ten years ago. (As children we had been raised in WCG.) He is now preaching sermonettes and being the usual Nazi. He stores the CDs from the weekly sermons and sermonettes in the freezer and then breaks them so no one will hear what really is being said.
His wife is not, nor will ever be, involved in this mess. She is the major bread winner (as he barely works) and knows that a divorce could very well mean alimony to him.
A few weeks ago he asked her to consider withdrawing $50,000 from her retirement and just spending it like she wished because the end is so near she might as well get what she wants. He didn't directly say it, but implied she might want to give him some of the money?!! Of course we know who/what would really reap the benefit of her labors.
I have reached the conclusion, at least with him, that the tip toeing, almost awe like treatment, as a means to somehow keep them speaking to us non-PCG folks is not helpful. After all, members go back and forth with Flurry telling them not to talk, then OK to talk to us, and then back again, ad nauseum.
It certainly has made no positive impact; in fact, it has made it worse. It seems to reinforce their feelings of superiority and serves no purpose. They are brain dead as well as spiritually dead and only God can effect change. --Candace
October 3, 2010
I do not remember Herbert (the "W" stands for nothing) Armstrong specifically saying, verbally, that the Tribulation would start in 1972. I do remember specifically HWA saying at the end of his sermon, in person in Penticton in the very early 1970's, about the time we were all anticipating fleeing to Petra: "Follow me, I WILL lead you into the kingdom," in his inimitable style of yelling and pounding the lectern. And I know that I did not imagine this because I have heard others since say that they remember it also.
However, how can he claim, after his prediction failed, that he was not a prophet when he wrote as one in his books, even saying that he was writing at the direction and authority of God. God holds those who claim to be his servants, his teachers, to a higher standard than the rest of us. If one writes as a prophet, and holds himself up as a prophet, and uses the terms similar to "these prophecies will," then one cannot, later, after failure, back off from that, even though he has not specifically said "I am a prophet." To do such is wrong and he will have to account to God for that one day. Specifically in the 1967 edition of United States and Britain in Prophecy, on p. 184, paragraph 3, he states: "That condition is coming! And I do not mean in 400 years, nor in 40 years, but in the very next four or five!" Then on page 212, paragraph 3 he states: "By God's direction and authority, I have laid the truth before you!" The irony of reading that first paragraph exactly 40 years later was not lost on me. Five plus 1967 equals 1972.
Also, in the 1956 edition of 1975 in Prophecy, on p. 20, paragraph 6, HWA writes: "Yes, millions of lukewarm inactive professing Christians will suffer martyrdom, and that before the anticipated push-button year of 1975 dawns upon us!" Then on p. 31, paragraph 10, he writes: "your fate, and I say to you on authority of God Almighty that it is absolutely sure!"
So while we may not remember HWA saying it (the Tribulation would begin in 1972), he certainly wrote it. He left no wiggle room to then back out in 1972 after his dates did not pan out. He then did the same thing again in Mystery of the Ages, only moving the date to the last portion of the twentieth century. These are not "lies of those in the outer court" (as Gerald Flurry would characterize them), these are HWA's own writings, I have them in front of me. Also, as I wrote to you in an earlier letter, the PCG ministers will say that HWA's prophecies were right and that they are, just now, coming to pass with remarkable accuracy; the timing was just off a bit. Then they will turn around and say that he never claimed to be a prophet and that he should not be held accountable when his prophecies did not come to pass, such as: "America has won her last war." So which was it? Was he right, just off in his timing; or was he wrong and never claimed to be a prophet? These two positions cannot both be true.
Also, Gerald Flurry does claim to be a prophet, yet if God revealed Malachi's Message to anyone, it was to Jules Dervaes, in 1987, under the name "Letters to Laodicea," about the time, or a little before, that Gerald Flurry claims to have received it from an angel. [See: Did Gerald Flurry Plagiarize His Information in Malachi's Message?] --Vaughn Woodfield (former WCG and PCG member)
When Will Members See They Are Being Duped and Lied to?
October 7, 2010
HWA and Flurry would both just put out new editions of their booklets when things that they have said or predicted do not happen or turn out to be wrong. The last two COG groups [HWA groups] we were in took to explaining having to do this by saying it was "receiving deeper understanding," We called it what it was: correction of error, or if you want to be blunt, cover up of a lie. When we questioned both the leaders and the members, they claimed that "people are human and make mistakes." Yes, that is very true. However, these church leaders are claiming to be "God's man," "God's human representative on earth," or even a "Prophet" and to be being directly inspired/taught by God. Since when does God reveal untrue things to people? Just like the aforementioned letter said, when did this ever happen in the Bible? When did God ever have to correct a mistake that He revealed to someone? And then there is this question: when will these people in these "churches" open their eyes and see that they are being duped and lied to? When will they stop accepting these ridiculous excuses given by these leaders for the failure/falsehood of things they say and write? We said it once and we'll say it again, the solution is to pick up your Bible and read what is actually says for yourself. That's when you realize that you have been believing things based on twisted, out of context, Scripture and straight out lies.
There is an article on ESN entitled What Happens if I Join Roderick Meredith's Living Church of God? that we would like to comment on as well. After reading that article we were really struck by the fact that you could put any COG church leaders' name and any COG group name in there and it would fit because they are all the same! They all think they are the one true group, the one man God is using and they all pretty much stick to the same methods of control and coercion for the most part, just to different degrees. Every group we have been in would fit into most of that article yet people just keep church shopping among the Church of God groups [HWA offshoots] hoping to find "the right one." We have a friend that isn't happy about the COG group she is in but has said that she has searched for hours on the Internet and this is the best, the closest to the "truth,", she could find. Well, the problem is that she has only searched the COG [HWA] groups. She won't even consider anything that doesn't follow Herbert Armstrong. This just proves that until a person is willing to read what the Bible actually says for themselves and stop following a man, there is no hope of finding the truth because it certainly isn't in any of the COG [HWA] groups.
Thanks again for all your hard work. --Exiter of several WCG offshoots
Comment: Read: Where Do I Find the "One True Church"?
Did Flurry Lift Info from Earnest Martin's Book on the Temples?
October 7, 2010
I read how one of the booklets passed out at the PCG feast was The Jerusalem Temples. Someone should check to see if GF plagiarized Dr. Ernest Martin's work, The Temples that Jerusalem Forgot. During the 2008 Feast, GF quoted a lot from that book. He strained at admitting that Dr. Martin was right about the temple location. I bought Martin's book when I got home. I wonder if GF lifted information out of it the way he did Jules Dervaes' book? --Former PCG member
Comment: A former member relayed to us that there was an article in the April 1995 issue of The Philadelphia Trumpet which plagiarized many of the discoveries made by Ernest Martin in regards to the Bible.
Where Gerald Flurry Gets Most of His Info From:
October 9, 2010
Much of Gerald Flurry's information is gleaned from Stratfor Intelligence and Reuters News, neither of which have the authority of God behind them. In fact, he quotes every source he can find only to the extent that it agrees with his agenda. He filters out any positive news or anything about the good being doing in the world by individuals or countries. The Trumpet articles are presented with fear and a sense of urgency. --Ex PCG member
October 24, 2010
PCG no longer gives out the number in attendance from all of their feast sites. I found that rather odd because in years past they always gave the numbers. I am sure this was intentional and not an oversight. They are very sly and know exactly what they're doing. By combining congregations, one can see that members are dwindling greatly. It seems the PCG is being taken down from the inside out. I can think of quite a few of the ministry that have left or been put out (or for that matter been "retired") in the past few years. Only the ones totally devoted to Gerald Flurry remain. --Anonymous
Gerald Flurry is Now Claiming to Be an Apostle:
November 8, 2010
There is a new co-worker letter circulating. In it, Flurry now claims to be an apostle! I have the co-worker letter in front of me. It is dated November 8, 2010. Page 1, paragraph 7: ''In the Old Testament, the leading ministers were prophets. But in the New Testament they were apostles. After Christ came, the government structure changed.'' He takes 9 pages blathering on about the titles and offices he has given himself. On to page 9, where he hints heavily at his new office. A few weeks ago he gave a sermon where he rubbished one of the other "splinter apostles." Apparently Helen Amos (widow of John Amos) brought it to his attention. He didn't out right say that she brought it to his attention but that she brought an old Bible study from WCG to his attention that got him thinking. So there, now we know the name of next years new book: ''Who is That Apostle?'' --Anonymous
November 8, 2010
I have been reading this webpage for years. I think it was the main reason for me to get out of PCG.
I was born in a split family where my father was a member of the WCG congregation in Chile until 1996 when he moved on over to PCG. So I grew up in there and I spent all my life in that organization. ... I lived the dictatorship of Mario Segle in WCG, and then Juan Veloz, Carlos Advis, and Luis Farias in PCG, I think, because I have been reading a couple of years ago since I learned the English language (at least I try to understand most of it). The ministers in Latin America were totally awful. They feel like gods, because they could talk with Gerald Flurry any moment and/or they could talk about how the Latin-American members are rebels, or don't obey their masters properly; even two don't get together on the Shabbat and sent us sermons each one in order to listen in our homes.
I worked closely with Juan Veloz and he told me about a little congregation in Brazil. I helped him with translating some books and booklets and put subtitles in Spanish and Portuguese in some "Key of David" videos, but they cut all of that because they, the Brazilians, followed their leader (that was an old lady) more than the PCG leader who was Juan Veloz. It is especially quite common for the language to create a big wall. In fact, there is always a big censorship about what translates. I am quite sure that almost none of the Spanish speaking members know that Flurry was arrested for drunk driving. Also that he took almost all Malachi's Message from another book--and so on.
I know about the Spanish congregation because a couple of years ago I came to Chile as a member from Spain, so I was told almost the same thing that I lived. The ministers in Latin America and Spain were very successful in the brainwashing. The ministers forced the members to look for a job to pay the first 10% percent of their salary and to save the second 10% for the FOT, as you know, to go to very unpleasant places because the members weren't able to save enough money to go a nice place. But the ministers go to different places at the FOT, especially Veloz went to Costa Rica and Peru and then went to Machu Pichu after the Feast with some Americans.
I was so stupid. I wasted 10 years working for free in PCG until Alex Harrison replaced Ron Fraser who had been making me dream about how I would go to headquarters to help the work. What bullshit!!! Ten years with that illusion and then Alex says to me, "You have to have a job, but you can't stop translating and/or subtitling." Yeah sure. Even though when he knew that I spent almost 60 hours per week to translate and subtitle and even make video editing for KOD in order to have that program in Spanish and Portuguese. What a crazy man! I know I was so stupid, but now I am so happy. I am free of all of that. Thanks, Juan Veloz, for suspending me.
I don't believe, even now, how in the world I wasted 10 years of my precious life in working for free. Come on!!!! Sometimes a couple of tears appear in my eyes. Sometimes I meet with a friend who also was a PCG member and we both agree that PCG is a dangerous cult. Beware of PCG.
I am happy to be as far as possible from PCG.
Cheers from Chile and thanks for your letters!!!! --Chile, South America [name withheld]
December 1, 2010
There's no doubt about it. Gerald Flurry is doing more than just insinuating that he is an apostle, he's declaring it. (November 8, 2010 co-worker letter from him.) I thought of two problems right away with what GF said: (1) HWA said that there wouldn't be any more apostles, so how is it that GF has declared himself one? (Of course, GF's already changed so much that HWA wrote and said that this is nothing surprising, but there'll be plenty of ex-WCGers that will remember HWA saying how he was the last) (2) Before HWA, Paul said that he was the last apostle (1 Corinthians 15:8) Frankly, I put a lot more stock in what Paul says than Herbert Armstrong or Gerald Flurry.
As you've said on your site, the criteria for being an Apostle is that the man "has to have seen the resurrected Christ and been personally commissioned by Him to be an Apostle." Neither HWA or GF qualify. --S. L.
Reply: You are correct. Also, notice the following (bolding mine):
"The Apostles taught that they alone were chosen of God to lay the foundation for the churches (Eph. 2:20) and to complete the New Testament Scriptures (2 Peter 3:2). They were chosen by the Lord Jesus Christ for this purpose. They had sign gifts to authenticate their work (Mk. 3:14-15; Acts 2:43; 3:1-8; 4:33; 5:12-16; 19:11-12; 2 Cor. 12:12). There is no record in the N.T. that this office was perpetuated after the deaths of these men. There are no instructions or guidelines whereby the churches would know how to select such men. The churches of succeeding centuries are to be founded directly upon the work of the Lord's Apostles which is recorded for us in the New Testament Scriptures. Rev. 21:14 tells us there are only 12 Apostles throughout eternity." (Excerpted from p. 10 of Rome and the Bible)
There is also a scholarly paper online entitled, "1 Corinthians 15:8: Paul the Last Apostle" (from The Tyndale New Testament Lecture, 1984). Since it is quite lengthy, I will only furnish a few quotes from it:
"Is Paul the last and final apostle? Of course all that Paul says about his apostolate serves to answer this question. However, I Corinthian 15:8 sharply focuses the issue ... The conclusion of my research on this text is that here Paul is making a definitely, unambiguous and theological claim to be the final apostle. ...
"Our study has led us to believe that in presenting himself as the last apostle Paul is in no way engaging in off-handed or circumstantial opinion. Rather the apostle is making a solemn claim concerning his apostolic ministry that is grounded in the revelation of salvation history and the part he would play in it."
Read: Gerald Flurry Claims to Be an Apostle (from the article, "Biblical Titles Gerald Flurry Has Appropriated for Himself") which quotes several of Flurry's comments from his co-worker letter.
December 5, 2010
I was able to view the UK accounts online for Philadelphia Church of God and was very surprised to see what their one paid member of staff was earning (between 80,000-90,000 British pounds), which seems like a fortune when you consider that most of the members over here are elderly and living on state pensions. I guess that [member of staff] was the outgoing Regional Director Wik Heerma. The average UK annual salary is £24,400 which puts it into perspective. That is really is a lot of money!
All registered charities in the UK have their accounts posted on the Charities Commission website. If you read the notes to the accounts it provides details of any employee earning in excess of £60,000, and states there is one employee earning between £80,000 and £90,000, which had to be Wik Heerma.
Thanks so much for your site, I think it provides valuable information without being vengeful or bitter. It must help so many people. --UK
Ron Fraser Brought Strict Changes After Moving to Edmond:
December 10, 2007
Back in the early and mid 90s Ron Fraser was regional director in England and Europe. He was moved there from Australia where he is originally from. Then he was transferred to Edmond in late 96 or early 97. I was living in Edmond at the time. It was right about that time that there was a shift in the PCG, certainly at HQ. Shortly after that I noticed that all this stuff about Flurry being "That Prophet" started coming out. Also, the PCG went from being a pretty friendly group with down-to-earth ministers to a very strict top-down dictatorial organization. Fraser is real big on class structure. I remember him telling me how class oriented England still is with a gleam in his eyes. His wife thinks she's a member of the Royal family. After they showed up in Edmond, the PCG became real focused on the whole "Philadelphia Standard" nonsense. Everyone had to do every single thing the "right way." The ministry began to change, with some of them being put out. Before then ministers seemed to be very approachable and friendly. That all changed after Fraser's arrival. The ministers were then in a class above the regular membership. The ministers who resisted that were eventually run out. I've long had a suspicion that Ron Fraser filled Gerry's head with all this class oriented system nonsense, and also filled him with delusions of grandeur. It was Ron Fraser who directed the other ministers to watch us all like hawks, and encourage us to report on one another. Fraser is a real tyrant. He usually has his subordinates do the dirty work. --[name withheld]
Comment: For info on Ron Fraser in connection with Malachi's Message read: Gerald Flurry: A Religious Fraud.
December 10, 2010
I witnessed an assault on the Last Great Day at this year's Feast site at Tweed Heads, Australia.
It was after services and I saw a group of about seven ministers and deacons, including Max Rumler, the regional director of Australia, follow in quick pursuit of a man going up to his family. The man must've been telling them to get their things because the family started picking up their bags when the group of men came and moved around this man and his family.
What followed was a heated exchange between Max Rumler and the man. I didn't get to hear all of what was said but I did hear the man telling Rumler that he had no right in attacking his family and how the members of PCG were treated, including the youth, was completely wrong, and that he [Rumler] was not a true minister.
I saw Max Rumler getting extremely agitated and red. He then stepped forward, grabbing the man's face and spoke angrily into it. The man pushed the hands off him and a minister stepped in and yelled, "Hey!" The man appeared calm but very direct, but Rumler was very aggressive. By this time I saw heaps of people watching what was going on. Rumler then proceeded to tell the man to get out--him and his family. Every time the man turned to leave Max Rumler would start at him again. This happened four times before the man and his family could leave. They were then escorted out of the hall.
A lot more was said but I was not close enough to hear. I was wondering if anyone knew who this family was? I heard that they were suspended and a couple of weeks later a few more people from the Brisbane congregation were kicked out. Does anyone know why this is happening?? --Ex PCG member
Update: Read testimony by former member: Max Rumler and Aaron Hudson Are Abusive Tyrants! (tells about members being thrown out in Australia)
Max Rumler Gives Bible Study on GF's Article About Avoiding Certain Ones.
December 18, 2010
Max Rumler, the Regional Director in Australia, just gave a Bible study (sent to many congregations around the world) which was based on an article by Gerald Flurry in the July/August 2004 Royal Vision, p. 3. The title was: "God Commands That We Avoid Certain Ones IN LOVE..." (The words "in love" are written about three times the size of the rest of the title but all of the words are in caps.)
The Bible Study was more about letting the ministry know if a member was disgruntled with the ministry and the government of God, as they call it. Rumler made it a point to tell us to not criticize the ministry or talk among ourselves about a problem with the ministry but to go to the ministry. Also, we are to go to the ministry if we hear a member speak about problems they are having and not try to help because "that is the ministry's job." So much for bearing each others burdens. Rumler also made statements about how the ministry disfellowships members "in love." We can't have sin among us! It wasn't much study or Scripture really.
The leaders are afraid of losing control of those that feed them. Nonetheless, about 16 people in Australia have left PCG since the Feast. How members can keep their minds so closed to the fact that they are being used and taught to be hard-hearted [through the no contact ruling] just blows my mind. --Anonymous
Comment: To read this Royal Vision article by GF, go to this site and download it as a PDF file.