Exit and Support Network

My Mother Was a Victim of
Philadelphia Church of God

My mother, Lou Salyer, was a long-time member of PCG which I consider to be a very deceptive, personally destructive cult. My mother paid her tithes faithfully for many years (scripturally, tithing is strictly forbidden in the absence of a temple) and then later in her life paid large amounts to the organization in the form of offerings as she truly felt she was helping do God's work during her lifetime. I felt it prudent to not write anything while she was still living as to do so would have been a sure directive from Gerald Flurry to my mother to sever ties with me, which she likely would have done.

My mother was a member of that organization from the early 90s until she died this past Tuesday, with tens of thousands of dollars being sent to Flurry's headquarters over the years. My mother was poor and ate meagerly so this group of heathens could sit at banquet and build huge homes and edifices for themselves. Practically every newsletter I read from them finished by asking for more money to help them build, build, build, buy pianos, ornamental statues, chandeliers, etc. And they had the audacity to gloat over their acquisitions and how rich they were becoming on widows' money.

My mother was ill and on hospice for the last two months of her life. She died with my brother, me and two of her close PCG friends at her side. Not one minister from the Philadelphia Church of God ever dropped by to be with her in her last days. Two days after she died I received a call from their minister in Phoenix asking if we would like for him to officiate a funeral or memorial service for her. Of course, we declined their generous offer.

Flurry has kept his members closed from the outside world.1 They aren't allowed to read any literature produced by other organizations. My mother was instructed to cut ties2 with her closest brother and his wife as well as their son and daughter-in-law, which she did, for no other reason than they [her brother and his wife] decided that Flurry was way off base on his doctrines and from the beginning had huge plans to build himself a monument, a replica of what Herbert Armstrong built in California in the 1970s, and they had chosen not to attend Flurry's services. Local congregations are pretty much on their own to find meeting places while Flurry continues to build, build, build for himself and his family in Edmond, Oklahoma.

Flurry is a contradiction to everything scriptural. Their book Raising the Ruins was in honor to Herbert Armstrong, a man who had over 200 failed prophecies in his lifetime work3, sexual indiscretions in his ministry and immediate family4, hypocrisy in doctrine5 and many, many broken families because of an interpretational error of scripture that was later corrected when (at 80 years of age) he decided he wanted to marry his 40-year-old secretary, Ramona, who had also been married and divorced.6

The sins of the Armstrong cult are continued today in its many splinter groups, the most visible being the Philadelphia Church of God. Flurry proclaims to have received revelation from angels of God, but those angels just can't seem to get it right because his literature has been written and rewritten and out of the hundreds of pieces of literature he has rolling off the presses every year, there are more contradictions than we find in American politics.

Gerald Flurry is a shameful man with very clear, self-serving motives. I know. I went to his "church" when it first started. I attended for about a year. I was tossed out on my ear when I questioned some of his teachings and asked why they honored Herbert Armstrong with every breath when it was the Father we were to honor and his Son. Flurry could not possibly be the man he says he is, God's end-time working apostle and single ministry, nor could Herbert Armstrong be the man they claimed he was.

By Shea Rodriguez
May 13, 2009

Footnotes by ESN:

1 Read: Identifying Marks of an Exploitive, Abusive Group

2 See: Exposing Satan (mentions the "no-contact" or "cut-off" ruling)

3 Read: Did Herbert Armstrong Set Dates?

4 Read: Herbert W. Armstrong and the Incest and Why Herbert Armstrong Couldn't Have Been God's True Apostle

5 See our section: Articles on Grace and Law (and other teachings)

6 Read footnote #2 in: Did Herbert W. Armstrong Abuse His Flock?


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