Recovery from mind control and spiritual and emotional abuse is a difficult and painful endeavor. The following books offer help to aid exiters of Worldwide Church of God, Philadelphia Church of God, and all affiliated authoritarian splinter groups in their research, critical thinking, healing and understanding. While authors are respected in their field, opinions may differ regarding specific information. The ESN does not assume responsibility for content, or the author.

Note: The word “cult” in the title of any of the following books is used in the context of a deceitful, abusive, mind-manipulating organization which has caused spiritual, emotional and psychological harm to those involved.


The following may books may be purchased online at Amazon.com or at major bookstores,
unless otherwise stated (also check your library or e-bay).

 

UNDERSTANDING THOUGHT REFORM / RECOVERING FROM ABUSE AND TRAUMA

HERBERT ARMSTRONG / WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD

SPIRITUAL COMFORT / INSPIRATION

BIBLICAL STUDIES

THE OCCULT / NEW AGE MOVEMENT

SPECIAL INTEREST

 

Understanding Thought Reform / Recovering From Abuse and Trauma

  • CAPTIVE HEARTS, CAPTIVE MINDS (Freedom and Recovery From Cults and Abusive Relationships) by Madeline Tobias and Janja Lalich 
  • TAKE BACK YOUR LIFE (Recovering From Cults and Abusive Relationships) by Janja Lalich and Madeline Tobias
  • RECOVERY FROM CULTS (Help For Victims of Psychological and Spiritual Abuse) edited by Michael D. Langone
  • CULTS IN OUR MIDST (The Continuing Fight Against Their Hidden Menace) by Margaret Thaler Singer
  • THE SUBTLE POWER OF SPIRITUAL ABUSE (Recognizing and Escaping Spiritual Manipulation and False Spiritual Authority Within the Church) by David Johnson & Jeff VanVonderen
  • TWISTED SCRIPTURES by Mary Alice Chrnalogar
  • SCRIPTURE TWISTING (20 Ways the Cults Misread the Bible) by James W. Sire
  • WHEN PROPHECY FAILS (A Social & Psychological Study of a Modern Group That Predicted the Destruction of the World) by Leon Festinger
  • SNAPPING (America’s Epidemic of Sudden Personality Change) by Flo Conway & Jim Siegelman
  • TRAUMA AND RECOVERY by Judith Lewis Herman, M.D.
  • RECOVERING FROM CHURCHES THAT ABUSE by Ronald Enroth
    This book may also be read online
  • BATTLE FOR THE MIND (A Physiology of Conversion and Brainwashing) by William Sargant
  • THOUGHT REFORM AND THE PSYCHOLOGY OF TOTALISM by Robert Jay Lifton, M.D.
  • INFLUENCE: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PERSUASION by Robert B. Cialdini, Ph.D.
  • ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell
  • WITHOUT CONSCIENCE (The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us) by Dr. Robert D. Hare
  • THE EMOTIONALLY ABUSED WOMAN (Overcoming Destructive Patterns and Reclaiming Yourself) by Beverly Engel
  • ON THE THRESHOLD OF HOPE (Opening the Door to Healing For Survivors of Sexual Abuse) by Diane Mandt Langberg, Ph.D.

The following is important reading for anyone researching HWA and WCG:

Herbert Armstrong / Worldwide Church of God

NOTE: William Hohmann of Exit & Support Network™ scanned, formatted, and re-sized the first three books on this list in 2013 and 2014 in order to make them available in PDF format. A Spanish brother did the translations into Spanish.

  • ARMSTRONGISM: RELIGION OR RIP-OFF? (An Exposé of the Armstrong Modus Operandi) by Marion J. McNair, 1977
    As a former member and employee for over thirty years, McNair observed the degree of bondage to which many had fallen. His personal eye-witness testimony and documentation is unparalleled for presenting the true inside story of the Armstrong modus operandi. Chapters 2 and 3 give an analyses of Herbert Armstrong’s co-worker letters, revealing the propaganda methods he used in order to solicit donors and then con them out of thousands of dollars. Also covers his many false prophecies and the decay and decline of his empire.
    NOTE: We have this book available in PDF and you can download it on this page or on Facebook here. This is also available for download in Spanish on same pages. Esto también está disponible en español.   
  • HERBERT ARMSTRONG’S TANGLED WEB (An Insider’s View of the Worldwide Church of God) by David Robinson, 1980 David Robinson, a former WCG minister and employee in varied capacities, writes from firsthand knowledge with deep disappointment and has come to agree with Solomon who advised against putting trust in men. What is Herbert Armstrong’s real power base? Is he really backed by God as he claims? HWA’s absolute power beginning in the `70s can be read in Chapter IX. Chapter XVIII covers Petra and the Place of Safety. Chapter XX covers HWA and the incest story.
    NOTE: This book also available from our PDF download page, or the Facebook link above. Also available for download in Spanish on same pages as above. Esto también está disponible en español.   
  • THE BROADWAY TO ARMAGEDDON by William B. Hinson, 1977 Hinson, a former WCG minister, exposes a system of bondage that enslaved the minds and bodies of its members. Lots of revealing information, including list of ministers who exited in the `70s, and threats and scare tactics used. Chapters include: “How I Got Involved,” “Don’t Be Ensnared,” “Ministers Leave the Armstrongs–Why?” “The Bondage of Tithing,” “Armstrong’s Belief & Practices on Medicines and Doctors,” “Marriage & Divorce–Armstrong Style, “We Must Get Back to the Faith Once Delivered.” “Herbert W. Armstrong The False Prophet” and more. Includes letters from former members and memos.
    NOTE: This book also available from our PDF download page, or the Facebook link above. Also available for download in Spanish on same pages as above (español). Esto también está disponible en español.
  • THE TRUTH SHALL MAKE YOU FREE (Herbert Armstrong’s Empire Exposed) by John Tuit, 1981
    John Tuit initiated the lawsuit brought by the Attorney General of California against Herbert Armstrong, Stanley Rader, and other leaders of the Worldwide Church of God.
    Excerpts from this book may be read online.
    NOTE: John Tuit held to many of HWA’s doctrines (covered mainly in Chapter 20 of his book) and believed God “used HWA” in the beginning, but not later on. These doctrines are covered and refuted in ESN’s two critiques of Mystery of the Ages on PDF download page.
  • DAUGHTER OF BABYLON (The True History of the Worldwide Church of God) by Bruce Renehan
    This book may be read online.
  • THE ARMSTRONG EMPIRE (A Look at the Worldwide Church of God) by Joseph Hopkins, 1974
    (Check your library or used book stores)
  • BEWARE “AMBASSADORS” BEARING GIFTS! by Des Griffin.
    Covers the tragic story of Garnet Hill and what happened to him after he responded to HWA’s plea for more money. This story may be read on this site.

The following additional books are helpful in refuting Armstrong’s doctrinal errors (more titles under “Biblical Studies”):

  • ARMSTRONGISM’S 300 ERRORS EXPOSED (by 1300 Bible verses) by S. E. Anderson, 1973 This exposé of Armstrongism is the result of long and concentrated study of the cult’s magazines, books, tracts, correspondence lessons, and personal letters. The author has spent 50 years in Bible studies, preaching and teaching. (290 pp)
    Order used from Amazon.com (or check other used book dealers)
  • THE KINGDOM OF THE CULTS by Walter Martin
    NOTICE: Find the older editions (i.e. 1985 or earlier) of this book. It is now very hard to find, so check libraries, ebay, book sales, and used bookstores. Note: The chapter on Herbert Armstrong which was taken from the book may be purchased in softcover through Alibris Used Books. The new versions of KOTC approve and participate in the deceptive Worldwide Church of God (CGI) New Age agenda.
  • AMBASSADORS OF ARMSTRONGISM by Paul N. Benware, 1984
    An Analysis of the history and teachings of the Worldwide Church of God.
    Order from abebooks
  • THE PLAIN TRUTH ABOUT ARMSTRONGISM by Roger R. Chambers, 1972, 1988
    Valuable background information about the teachings of Armstrongism; examines and repudiates the arguments set forth in United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy. Chapter 2 shows HWA’s error on “The Sabbath and the Law.” (165 pp)
    Order from All Discount Books or Amazon.com 
  • HERBERT ARMSTRONG: MR. CONFUSION by Roger F. Campbell
    Small 7 page booklet, but very good.
    Order from The People’s Gospel Hour (search for the title) Or read it on our site.
  • SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISM RENOUNCED by D. M. Canright
    Canright spent 28 years in Adventism. He was taught that to give up the Advent faith was to give up the Bible. A classic book which not only shows the errors of Adventism (a group that HWA received and plagiarized much of his teaching from), but goes in depth concerning why the Sabbath is not binding on N. T. Christians. (Important chapters are: “Did the Pope Change the Sabbath?” and “Forty-Seven Prominent Texts Used by Sabbatarians Examined.”)
    This book may also be read online.
  • ANGELS OF DECEIT (The Masterminds Behind Religious Deceptions) by Richard Lee and Ed Hindson
    Covers a number of false teachers and prophets, including Herbert W. Armstrong. Part one: The Process of Spiritual Deception; Part Two: The Masters of Deception.
  • SCRIPTURE TWISTING (20 Ways the Cults Misread the Bible) by James W. Sire

Spiritual Comfort / Inspiration

  • SHADE OF HIS HAND (For the Comfort of the Sorrowing) by Victoria Booth Demarest (The Westminster Press,1944)
    Very inspirational. Out of print; available through Barnes & Noble.com or used book stores.
  • ON COMFORT (Words of Hope for the Hurting) by J. Vernon McGee
    Of special interest is Chapter 1, “The God of All Comfort” and Chapter 3, “Death of a Little Child.” Each chapter can also be ordered as a separate booklet.
    Order from: Thru the Bible Radio Network
  • THE POWER OF THE BLOOD OF JESUS by Andrew Murray
    Classic book revealing the glorious power of the blood of Jesus and the wonderful blessings procured for us by it.
    This book may also be read online.
  • GOD SO LOVED (John 3:16) by J. Vernon McGee
    Shows God’s infinite, marvelous love and the length to which He has gone to demonstrate it.
    Download this booklet free.
  • THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF GEORGE MULLER
    Muller recounts his struggles and triumphs as he establishes orphan homes to care for thousands of English children, depending only upon God’s response to prayer to supply the daily needs of the orphans. By the time Muller was old, God had shown Himself faithful to ten thousand children.
    Order from Amazon.com
  • GEORGE MULLER OF BRISTOL (His Life of Prayer and Faith) by A. T. Pierson
    A very inspiring classic biography on the life of George Muller. Shows that God is faithful to all who put their trust in Him and that He will not forsake those who rely upon Him. For those who were affected by Armstrongism, this book will also reveal the way a true servant of God conducted himself in his personal life and in the “work of God.”
    This book may also be read online.

Biblical Studies

  • THE TRIUMPH OF THE CRUCIFIED (A survey of the history of salvation in the N. T.) by Erich Sauer
    Out of print; may be bought used.
  • THE DAWN OF WORLD REDEMPTION (A survey of the history of salvation in the O.T.) by Erich Sauer
    Out of print; may be bought used.
  • MAJOR BIBLE THEMES by Lewis Sperry Chafer
    52 Vital Doctrines of the Scripture Simplified and Explained.
    This book may also be read online. (PDF)
  • AN EVERLASTING LOVE (A Devotional Study of the Gospel of John) by John G. Mitchell.
    Order from Alibris Used Book
  • JESUS CHRIST IS GOD! by Robert L. Sumner
    One of most comprehensive works defending the Deity of Christ. Chapter two confronts the arguments which say the Holy Spirit is an impersonal “it.”
    Order from The Biblical Evangelist or from Amazon.com
  • THE ETERNAL SONSHIP OF CHRIST by George W. Zeller and Renald E. Showers
    This may be read online as a PDF
  • A CLOSER LOOK AT THE FINALITY OF THE CROSS by Bob George
    Order from Bob George Ministries
  • CLASSIC CHRISTIANITY by Bob George
    “I believe God is calling people back to the simplicity of the gospel…back to His grace, mercy, and truth…back to the person of Jesus Christ.”
    Order from Bob George Ministries
  • THE WORK OF CHRIST (HIS PAST WORK, PRESENT WORK, FUTURE WORK) by Arno C.Gaebelein
    This may be read online.
  • HOLINESS: THE FALSE AND THE TRUE by H. A. Ironside
    The fruitless struggle to attain holiness; covers true sanctification.
    This book may also be read online. (PDF)
  • SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISM RENOUNCED by D. M. Canright
    Canright spent 28 years in Adventism. He was taught that to give up the Advent faith was to give up the Bible. A classic book which not only shows the errors of Adventism (a group that HWA received and plagiarized much of his teaching from), but goes in depth concerning why the Sabbath is not binding on N. T. Christians. (Important chapters are: “Did the Pope Change the Sabbath?” and “Forty-Seven Prominent Texts Used by Sabbatarians Examined.”) This book may also be read online.
  • THE SABBATH AND THE LORD’S DAY by H. M. Riggle
    A classic book. Also covers “The Pope and the Sabbath.”
    This book may also be read online(or download as PDF from this site)
  • REASONING WITH JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES (online book by Kevin Quick)
    Since Jehovah’s Witness are one group Herbert Armstrong plagiarized from, this study can be helpful in comparing a number of his teachings with Scripture. A collection of 800 Bible verses that objectively and soundly refutes the teachings of JWs on every major point of doctrine.
    This book may be read online.

THE OCCULT / NEW AGE MOVEMENT

  • BETWEEN CHRIST AND SATAN by Kurt E. Koch
    The dangers of fortune-telling, magic, spiritism, occult literature. Includes case histories of healing and freedom and how Christ is the Victor.
    Order from Alibris Used Books 
  • OCCULT ABC (Exposing Occult Practices and Ideologies) by Kurt E. Koch
    Discusses 71 occult practices and ideologies of today in light of Scriptural principles. Includes the effects of occult practices and how liberation comes through Christ.
    Order from Amazon.com
    Read a number of excerpts from the book.
  • MASONIC AND OCCULT SYMBOLS ILLUSTRATED by Dr. Cathy Burns
  • A “WONDERFUL” DECEPTION: THE FURTHER NEW AGE IMPLICATIONS OF THE EMERGING PURPOSE DRIVEN MOVEMENT by Warren B. Smith
  • RUNNING AGAINST THE WIND (The Transformation of a New Age Medium and His Warning to the Church) by Brian Flynn
  • THE HIDDEN DANGERS OF THE RAINBOW by Constance Cumbey
    Much on the New Age movement; includes front organizations.
  • INSIDE THE NEW AGE NIGHTMARE by Randall N. Baer
    The first few chapters of this book may be read online.

SPECIAL INTEREST

  • 7 MEN WHO RULE THE WORLD FROM THE GRAVE by Dave Breese
    These men have altered the thinking of society. They generated philosophies that have been ardently grasped by masses of people but are erroneous and antiscriptural. Today these ideas pervade our schools, businesses, homes, and even the church. The author warns of the dangers of believing unreservedly the ideas of these seven men and reminds us of the only man whose life and words we can trust completely–Jesus Christ.
  • THE GREAT EVANGELICAL DISASTER by Frances Schaeffer
    Have Christians compromised their stand on truth and morality until there is almost nothing they will speak out against? Has the evangelical church itself sold out to the world?
  • NEW NEUTRALISM II: EXPOSING THE GRAY OF COMPROMISE by John E. Ashbrook
    Order from: Christian Truth & Victory Publications, Phone 320-846-0835
    This book may also be read online.

Back to Resources

Home