Transformed by Truth or Transformed by Lies??
Following is a close scrutiny of what Joseph Tkach, Jr.
classified as his personal story.
This will be a critique of the gross distortions in Chapter two of Transformed by Truth, published by Worldwide Church of God, 1997. Let the reader be aware that the word "transformed" is a New Age term and that after the changes WCG went on to endorse New Age teachers and philosophes.
UPDATE: In April 2009 Worldwide Church of God changed their name in the United States to Grace Communion International. (Some local church areas and countries may still carry the former name or a different one.)
Video Sermon by Joseph W. Tkach to WCG members, January 1995 (excerpts; delivered with confusion, double messages, shouting and blaming--known mind control tactics)
"Lies are most dangerous when they're believed to be the truth." ~Unknown
Prior to September 1995, Joe Tkach, Jr., Michael Feazell, Greg Albrecht, Bernard Schnippert, Tom Lapaka, and David Hulme, along with a several other co-controllers of the Worldwide Church of God (WCG), acted as a public relations team, meeting with ecumenical evangelicals such as Ruth Tucker. All PR maneuvers were kept in secret from the membership. The WCG leaders were carrying out a duplicitous agenda surrounding marketing, downsizing, and redistribution of the corporation's multimillions in financial assets. Commencing with the death of Joseph Tkach, Sr., Tkach, Jr., Greg Albrecht, Michael Feazell and Tom Lapaka embarked on an accelerated Public Relations campaign. Of the approximate 35,000 members in the WCG in January 1995, over 20,000 followed various splinter groups with the bulk of members attaching their allegiance to United Church of God, the WCG extension group. The 12,000 to 15,000 members remaining in WCG were scattered, traumatized and uninformed of the massive hypocrisy that was occurring on various levels of the corporation. The WCG was highly reputed and documented as a totalitarian, dictatorial, aberrant, cult of secrecy. Its destructive behavior and corruption within the ranks of ministers was well publicized throughout the world media. The main absolute of the WCG teaching was its GOVERNMENT FROM THE TOP DOWN. A member would not challenge or confront any minister, let alone a "Pastor General" for dreadful fear of being disfellowshipped. To be ex-communicated meant the member would never receive salvation. Spiritual death was his destiny if he dare disagree with "God's true ministers."
You might be thinking, "Well anyone could have left such a group." If that be the case, this writer suggests you study the mind set of the Third Reich. For members, confronting a minister or questioning authority was analogous to defying Hitler. The emotional result was the same.
The small and submissive membership that remained with the WCG after the death of Joseph Tkach, Sr. could not hold the WCG leaders accountable for their actions. Tkach, Jr. Albrecht, Feazell and Schnippert took advantage of their carefully contrived position as they began campaigning disinformation to the Christian evangelical arena. Carefully contrived news releases, radio talk shows and propaganda articles in ecumenical publications, such as, Christian Research Journal and Christianity Today, trumpeted distortion after distortion surrounding the "transformation" of the Worldwide Church of God. The domino of propaganda PR events served as diversion away from the real history of a horrific, destructive, secret organization that wrapped itself in the guise of the church. While Tkach, Jr. and Albrecht entertained listeners on the Hank Hanegraaff Hour (Bible Answer Man: January 4, 1996; January 12, 1996; November 19, 1997; November 28, 1997; February 7, 1997 and May 1, 1998), with the focus on Herbert W. Armstrong and "doctrinal reform," the real WCG continued its affairs in secrecy, behind closed doors. The most overt propaganda tool was launched in August of 1997. Joseph Tkach, Jr. launched "his" story of the WCG transformation, that is billed more like "the official" story of the cult that turned to Christ by a miracle.
The ESN has received letters and calls refuting the gross distortions permeating every page of this propaganda publication. Many ask, "What can we do?" Tell your story to anyone who will listen, we say. Sadly, few care to listen to the real story behind one of the most deceptive con-jobs in this century's history.
Provided for your research is an analysis of the foundational chapter in Transformed by Truth. If you question whether the WCG was really "Transformed by Truth," take the time to read this report and request the actual documentation. The cover of Transformed by Truth boasts "THE TOP RELIGIOUS STORY OF THIS DECADE," "The Inside Story!" By whose standards? This propaganda publication is forwarded by Hank Hanegraaff and endorsed by ecumenicals: Dr. John R. Holland, International Foursquare Gospel; Dr., D. James Kennedy1, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church; Ruth Tucker, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; Dr. Gordon E. Kirk, Lake Avenue Congregation, Pasadena; Jack Hayford, The Church on the Way, Van Nuys, CA and Steve Brown, Reformed Theological Seminary. The WCG has had ecumenical allies for many years. All the above are significant architects of the New Age Ecumenical agenda and the National Association of Evangelicals. Each ecumenical listed benefited greatly by propagandizing for the multimillion-dollar empire. If you are unaware what New Age Ecumenical means, it would behoove the researcher to embrace a study on this topic along with increased education on Freemasonry. Refer to the end of Outsiders' Inside Update Newsletters (OIUs) FIVE and SIX for many references.
On the back cover of "Transformed by Truth" the following is stated:
"For nearly seventy years the Worldwide Church of God, founded by Herbert W. Armstrong, preached a 'different gospel.' Then, in December 1994, eight years after Armstrong's death, the church publicly renounced its unorthodox teachings, embracing historic Christianity. What happened? Toward the end of his life, Armstrong himself expressed the first doubts. Soon falsehood after falsehood fell away and the plain truth prevailed. In this fast-paced narrative, Joseph Tkach, son of Armstrong's handpicked successor and head of the church, tells this remarkable account of the transforming power of the gospel."
The author appears to protect himself by stating the "narrative" is "his" story, but the reader soon learns that the author is telling the story as if it is a factual account of the transition of the WCG cult. Joseph Tkach, Jr. boldly refashions real "historic" events around what he creates as: "The Christmas Eve Sermon." It is most obvious that Tkach uses this "landmark" sermon as the foundation for his book in Chapter Two. While every chapter is comprised of blatant distortions of truth, we present an analysis of Chapter Two. The example of documentation provided here represents the plethora of available proof that substantiates the Tkach/Albrecht/Feazell/ Schnippert propaganda and cover-up. The real story behind the multimillion-dollar non-taxed enterprise exceeds far beyond a fast paced publication of double-speak. Every chapter in the book intentionally "transforms" the actual account into a glossed-over, simplified, distortion of truth. Before you accept this propaganda at face value, research the patterns of deception. The devil is in the details. Before you are tempted to make merry over the propagandized "miracle," think hard about the thousands of lives that have been destroyed under the abuse and intentional deception of the very same men who are selling the "transformation" to the ecumenical evangelicals. The New Age architects of the WCG have implemented a business marketing strategy out of desperation and preparation for the coming decades. What the current WCG controllers have done to WCG supporters and ex-members through deception will result in destructive repercussions for generations to come.
We urge each and every person who considers themselves Christian to take the time to research and investigate "the reasons behind the event."
Chapter Two of "Transformed by Truth," by supposed author Joe Tkach, Jr., is entitled: Christmas Eve Sermon - 1994
COMMENT: The sermon that was entitled the "New Covenant/Old Covenant" sermon was not given to the membership until, January 7, 1995. It was announced that this three-hour sermon was to be played to all the churches on the same day. Why would the author construe the exact date this sermon was given? Why is Christmas Eve significant? Does the author want ecumenical evangelicals (to whom this book is targeted) to think the WCG was honoring Christmas Eve? Interestingly, it was suddenly announced on Christmas Eve 1996 that the Big Sandy Ambassador University would close in the coming year. Why is the author compelled to call this sermon, Christmas Eve Sermon? The sermon may have been video taped on Christmas Eve in Big Sandy, 1994, but it was not played to the main church locations until January 7th, 1995 and was never called Christmas Eve Sermon to the membership.
What do these days mean to the occult?
The Satanic Ritual Calendar:
December 24th Celebration - Demon Revel
Usage: High Grand Climas
Age/gender: Any age, male or female
January 7th Celebration - St. Winebald Day
Usage: Animal/human sacrifice
The actual title of the sermon was called "The Old and New Covenant." It was never, never designated as the Christmas Eve Sermon to the members. Why is the author compelled to distort what actually happened? The members received it on January 7th, 1995.
The author leads his readers into Chapter Two with the following paragraph:
"No one would deny that the gospel, the message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, is the center of Christianity. But it seems that Christians often get sidetracked. Unique doctrines, legalistic regulations, prophetic speculations, and personality cults seem to blur the central truths of the faith until some Christians act as if they are in a theological fog. God's light doesn't seem to be getting through the barriers they have erected."
The author cleverly portrays the notion that the "transformed" WCG thoroughly embraces "the message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ." However, if one were to research inside church literature, one would find out the inside gospel spells: "ADVANCING THE KINGDOM OF GOD." To the remaining WCG members, that message triggers Armstrongism within the minds of those programmed for decades with the gospel of the "SOON COMING KINGDOM OF GOD." Dialectics is repeatedly used to confuse the already spiritually abused members. Notice how the author refers to "they" as being in a theological fog, and "they" have erected the barriers preventing God's light from getting through to them. The author, who credits himself as one of the main leaders who "refocused the church on Christ," conveniently distances himself from having been one of the main perpetrators of grave theological deception while simultaneously implementing punishing emotional abuse on the members. Chronological documentation in writing, sermon tapes and other activities, displays the well-defined tactics used by the very same "leaders" who claim notoriety for the miraculous transformation.
He goes on to say:
"God graciously brings renewal among His people that refocuses them on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. Faith in Christ should always be our focus. As the leaders of the WCG began to refocus the church on Christ, many members of our church doubted the changes. They thought all would soon return to the familiar ways of the past. The changes weren't for real. Talk of change must be exaggerated. Things would get back to normal."
Let's take the first sentence. What does it mean? Are we to assume that God brings "renewal" to His people that causes "them" to be refocused on Jesus? Or, are we to assume that the leaders of the WCG began to refocus "them" (meaning the church) on Christ? This is very confusing. Who is doing the refocusing? Is it Christ, or, is it the leaders? Who gets the credit here? If it's God, does the author mean God couldn't have done it without the help of the leaders? If the author does credit God, why would the recipients of free renewal write a book about it and charge $15 to $20 to tell everyone? We would think the leaders would be inspired by "Christ," who brings the renewal, to offer the book freely as good news for "advancing the kingdom of God." Think of all the Public Relations and free Publicity these leaders received while charging for appearances and selling of Christian wares.
The author then says: "they" thought all would soon return to the familiar way of the past. Who are "they?" If he means the members in the WCG on January 7th, the author is gravely misleading readers into thinking "all" thought they would soon return to the familiar ways of past! Members were in such a state of shock, trauma and confusion that "they" didn't know what to think. The Tkach sermon was shoved into members' faces without preparation or sensitivity toward the previous years of intentional conflict and contradiction. The members were forced into cognitive dissonance by the leaders planned implementation of confusion. Mind control was implemented with strategy.
The members were subjected to extreme emotional and spiritual abuse due to the multitude of contradictions and reversals put forth by headquarter leaders week after week starting around 1992. Members were constantly kept off balance through deceptive measures. Members were consistently told, "nothing is changing," while the hypocritical leaders were pursuing a parallel agenda with ecumenical evangelicals unbeknownst to any members. Some of the most severe spiritual and emotional abuse was targeted to the members during this period.
The author alludes to the "ways of the past" as being "familiar." What an odd word to describe the radical black and white system of LAWS repeatedly pounded into the manipulated members mind. What was the teaching that the author relates to as "familiar?" The LAWS were considered to be absolutes in achieving salvation. If broken, the punishment resulted in obliteration of "called out ones" in the LAKE OF FIRE. Yes, that was the coercive teaching carefully conditioned into the brain of "God-fearing" spiritually seeking Christians. Every week, fear induction-mind control was delivered to all members who "were commanded to honor the holy convocation" Those who missed Sabbath without excuse were "breaking the laws of God," and if you dared to break the LAWS, the LAWS would break you!! That just and fair God would spew you out of his mouth and cut you from the vine!!! Then, salvation would have been lost forever, and the "chosen one" would be as if he never existed! All those who did make it would be watching the obliteration of those who were to come up through the THIRD resurrection, only to view the Wonderful World Tomorrow, and then--obliterate.
The author makes light of and glosses over, what in reality was a unique mind-bending destructive obedient system, which, in the mind of any member, was a matter of life or death. Many members held to the obedient LAW abiding, coercive system for twenty to thirty years. Who, with any conscience would attempt to minimize the punishing system that they, themselves implemented. A system that will continue to damage generations to come. A system that fostered family destruction, poverty, illness, alcoholism, death, suicides, mental illness and deviant behavior of many kinds. Let's go on before this writer is inspired to write a book based on this one word, "familiar"!!!
The next paragraph says:
"That all changed with a landmark sermon my dad gave on Christmas Eve 1994. This is often called "The New Covenant/Old Covenant" sermon, and it once and for all convinced the skeptics within our own church that the changes were for real and that they were permanent. In that sermon, my dad demonstrated such an obvious personal conviction about salvation by grace through faith that there could no longer be any question that he was behind the changes being made. He told the membership that we were no longer going to say that those who had to work on Saturday and couldn't go to church that week were condemned to the lake of fire. He said that we were no longer going to teach triple tithing. He said so many astonishing things in his sermon that many of our older members--people who didn't believe what was happening, who dismissed what was being written in The Plain Truth and in the member letters and in the ministerial letters, who turned a deaf ear to what my dad was saying on video tapes--could no longer maintain that the changes were part of a big conspiracy taking place behind my dad's back. Now it was clear there was no conspiracy and that he was intimately involved."
"….it once and for all convinced the skeptics within our own church that the changes were for real and that they were permanent." Excuse me! What skeptics? Ecumenical evangelicals? Ruth Tucker? Hank Hanegraaff? If the author means the members were skeptics, then he makes another outright distortion and false statement, again misleading the reader to think the leaders were being open and honest and consistent. Any members who were advanced in their discernment of the massive duplicity that prevailed within the WCG year after year, were far more focused on clearing the confusion from contradictions and seeking answers to questions (for which many were disfellowshipped for asking) pertaining to the direction the "leaders" were taking the lives of church members.
Let's look at this sentence, again.
"…people who didn't believe what was happening, who dismissed what was being written in The Plain Truth and in the member letters and in the ministerial letters, who turned a deaf ear to what my dad was saying on video tapes-could no longer maintain that the changes were part of a big conspiracy taking place behind my dad's back."
Another gross distortion and untruth. The Plain Truth, The Worldwide News, the ministerial letters and all the letters to the members are archived and on file for any reputable researcher to view for himself. [Update: Archives of The Worldwide News before September 1995 are now unavailable on WCG's website. Read selected quotes and ESN comments from these "unavailable" WN's] Any individual who takes this statement as fact is a fool (Eccl.10) and a dupe! Sorry to be so blunt. The author repeatedly places blame on the members by indicating those who didn't believe, dismissed the written proof and proceeded to turn a deaf ear. This is intentional deception! Any indications that changes were being made came through by double-speak leaving members baffled and yearning for explanation. Hundreds of members were disfellowshipped, shunned, ridiculed on the podium, slandered and thrown to the streets (separated from their families) because they merely questioned the confusion. Videotapes from all these leaders remained preciously protected and archived. All verify the intensity of the mind control tactics inflicted on the victims of deception.
The author is wise to counter the conspiracy charge just like any half-skilled, slick salesman would meet all his objections up front, leaving the buyer without doubt or question. The "transformation" is a Worldwide Church of God Cover-up that masks the actual agenda of the multimillion dollar, non-taxed, investment empire. The Cover-Up involves the main extension groups, such as Global Church of God and United Church of God-AIA. [Update: Roderick Meredith later went from Global to being founder of Living Church of God]
In Chapter Two the author relays several excerpts from the "landmark" New Covenant / Old Covenant sermon. What the author does, is twist statements made in the actual sermon, leading the reader to think the sermon was totally grace-based and liberating.
He says on page 25:
"In many ways an observer cannot grasp the importance of the sermon without reading it in its entirety. Yet how many readers would be willing to sift through sixty-two single-spaced pages of sermon transcripts? Allow me to reproduce just a few highlights from the message. I hope the reader appreciates that the excerpts that follow were spoken and are reproduced from the audio/video transcripts we have on file. These should be sufficient to gain an appreciation for the incalculable impact the sermon had on our church."
The author proceeds to relay several choice excerpts (three pages) that are anything but sufficient. Instead, he pulls statements from the sermon and pieces them together to refashion a new message that would dazzle any D. James Kennedy type. In this case, the author pushes the "grace" theme, manipulating readers under a false pretense through diversion. That is the exact technique the WCG used for decades. The WCG controllers established their own "obedience to the Law" formula and proceeded to manipulate the Scriptures from the Bible to verify their commands. Scripture twisting was the chief method used on the unsuspecting members and as a tool for WCG mind control. We see here, that the author is obviously confident that his readers will not be able to critically verify what the author is saying. And why shouldn't he be confident, has it not been a free ride for the publicity campaign thus far? Anyone who dares to accept the words of this author without requesting proof of things spoken has placed himself on the side of the deceivers. Being that this "landmark" sermon is credited for turning the horrific destructive decade old cult into the "Christian fold," the least the reader should do is request the sixty-two-page transcript and read every word of it. The miracle worker leaders should be thrilled to share the entire sermon to the world--free of charge.
As you shall see below, the author's statement of "sixty-two single-spaced transcript" is certainly stretching the truth. The ACTUAL TRANSCRIPT single-spaced typed, with font #10 amounts to less than 30 pages. Does the author use font size:
Here is another example of how the author twists the truth. (page 24)
"As a result of that sermon, the largest of three main splinter groups broke off from us and began its own organization, the United Church of God. Even though some of their leaders had been planning a breakaway in secret meetings, the sermon gave them the catalyst they needed to make their break."
"Until that Christmas Eve, a lot of our own people didn't believe that the changes were real. After the sermon, however, there could be no doubt. We would pay the price.
"On Christmas Eve 1994, my dad began the three-hour sermon by saying 'This is going to be a long afternoon.' His message would fundamentally change forever the Worldwide Church of God. As one writer later put it, my dad "had to show that it is not a sin to work on the Sabbath. This was the single most important decision in the history of the denomination."
Now let's read what "my dad" (Tkach, Sr.), really said. Read each word carefully as the following paragraphs serve as an excellent example of what how the "transformation" was managed and an eye view of what continues inside the WCG and extension groups this very day. See if you can find the double-speak and contradictions.
Pt. 1 | Pt. 2