Back in the early 1960s I gave up a child for adoption and thus thought I was the most terrible person on earth. (I had been married at 18 and divorced two years earlier before becoming pregnant and unwed.) I went on to get married again a few years later but it was three years and a lot of medical procedures later before I got pregnant again. When my son was about a year old, I was introduced to The Plain Truth magazine and Herbert Armstrong’s radio program (The World Tomorrow) by my mother. I bought into it hook, line and sinker not knowing what it was really about because the real essence of this cult was hidden until you requested to be baptized.
When their ministers first came to counsel me, they told me that due to the D & R doctrine I would have to leave my husband to be able to be baptized. After much agonizing and trauma, I decided against it mainly because I did not have the capabilities to raise my child on my own and I did not want to deprive my son of a father. I was so torn because on the one hand was my salvation (and the world was ending any day, according to HWA) and on the other was my husband and baby that I had longed for. I spent many hours crying and thinking I was such a failure.
I did not hear from the ministers for a couple of years and then, lo and behold, when Herbert Armstrong got romantically involved with a divorced woman (Ramona Martin) 46 years his junior, he changed the doctrine. This should have given me a big clue but by this time I was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder from the adoption and had panic attacks and agoraphobia. This was triggered by the death of my father. At 30, I was an emotional wreck and decided that being right with God would make it all better. Wrong. I did join the WWCG (Worldwide Church of God) and was baptized, but since my husband would not join, it made it very difficult to practice all of their doctrines.
Now I was more of an emotional wreck because I was filled with guilt for not being able to tithe as much as they wanted and to go to their feasts, etc. I could not travel because of the panic attacks and sitting in services for two hours was agony. To make a long story short, I started to question whether they could be the true church when they were so anti-female and anti-black (neither held high positions in their organization) and some of the other young couples did not have enough food to eat because of tithing. Then when I heard about the dalliances of Garner Ted Armstrong, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I quit. It took me about a year to recover from thinking I was going to the Lake of Fire in a breadbasket, so to speak.
I was overjoyed when the WWCG failed and their assets auctioned off. I felt that it was good riddance to bad rubbish. But now another fraud, resurrecting HWA and all his lies is trying to capitalize on vulnerable souls. His name is Gerald Flurry and obviously the only reason he is doing so is greed. I sincerely hope that it will be harder for him to dupe as many as HWA and GTA did with the Internet now available to debunk the Armstrong propaganda.
Thanks so much for your website. I found it interesting to read letters from others who felt violated. It validated all the feelings I had regarding this cult. These vultures feed off of people’s feelings of inadequacy and guilt and need to be exposed for what they are. Since they are such “experts” on the Bible, they should know that God will judge them far worse than others for using His name for their own private gain.