I can’t begin to thank you for being there and for the truly wonderful info you have on your site! What a blessing it was to stumble on to your site! It must have taken a lot of work and dedication to put it all together and I am truly grateful! To all concerned, a million thanks and God bless you!
I was indoctrinated in Herbert Armstrong teachings since I was 5 years old and grew up with all the fear preaching, Basil Wolverton’s grotesque drawings, and exposed to holocaust pictures, ministers yelling, etc., from an early age. The Lord led me out of WCG before the changes after almost 35 years involvement. (After I left, a young Baptist girl prayed for me, along with her ladies’ group.) It’s quite amazing how He led me out and what a difference it made to know the true Lord Jesus, to be transported from dead religion into a relationship with a living, loving Lord!
Even so, it’s been a long, painful journey with many, many tears. Even after all these years of being free I suffer many scars from WCG in conjunction with growing up in an extremely dysfunctional alcoholic home. I can totally relate to everything you say about its affect on children. I have carried so much pain, but what a comfort it has been to see that what I have struggled with so long is not because I am a failure, or because I’m a freak, or because I am deeply, deeply flawed, but I’ve discovered through your very kind and loving articles that it’s quite common for child survivors to experience all of these emotional problems that I’ve experienced. No longer do I feel quite so alone. And yes, I’ve struggled because most other Christians don’t seem to have these deep problems and I always felt there must be something terribly wrong with me! I can’t begin to tell you how grateful I am to you, and what an incredible relief! I basically suffered from most of the symptoms you listed on Common Emotional Difficulties and Common Spiritual Difficulties (After Leaving a High Demand Group) and had been diagnosed as having complex post traumatic stress syndrome. Symptoms have lessened considerably since contact with your website and as I try to concentrate and envelope myself in God’s love. (I had personally discovered how very comforting the words of the old hymns were but I retreat to them far more often now for comfort because even the Bible can seem uncomforting when you’re having a bad day, because of the old teachings, but it’s getting better!)
It was quite shocking to read some of the behind the scenes information on HWA and the inner workings of the WCG, but it would explain a lot of things! I understood that HWA was a false prophet, but had no idea of the depths! I have no way of validating what you’ve posted on your website, but I figure “if it looks like a rat and smells like a rat, it probably is a rat!” Your info on mind control and so forth has been most enlightening also. But best and most precious of all are such things as My Position in Christ, O, the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus, The Love of God, etc. Well, it’s all great! One thing about our negative experiences is that the Lord will turn it all around for good in the end! (Romans 8:28) Praise be to God who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! Our experience has certainly taught us discernment, although I wonder if I’m a bit too suspicious, well, cautious. Although I must say, I did venture into the Pentecostal scene for a few years because I believed they were Christians and so believed everything they said, because they’re Christians, so why would I doubt them?! Well, I’ve since found that things aren’t always what they seem!
I thought the changes in WCG were genuine, and I thought that Joseph W. Tkach was genuine. Boy, how wrong can you be! My sister went with all the changes, but I saw the cult mentality and heard all the lingo still. She sent heaps of money to them because they flattered the members immensely, telling them how special they were because they were the only group that had ever been “transformed by Christ,” etc., etc. She only changed in areas where they told her to change, even though she attended a local mainstream church, which she chose to do only occasionally. She said she “hates it when the pastor talks about heaven!” and she then goes on to talk about the resurrection as HWA taught it. When I try to explain things to her, she gets really defensive and shuts me down in no uncertain terms, so I try to avoid talking about spiritual matters with her because of her spiritual superiority. Herbert Armstrong is a protected species to her because that’s how they’ve conditioned her. I find she is very oppositional to me, and I don’t have a connection with her at all like I do with other Christians. I know it’s not her, but the cult behind her (Ephesians 6:12). I can only hope and pray for her freedom, that she will know the true Lord Jesus.
Thankfully, your website is there and I can point them to it
Thanks for being there! Thanks for listening.
By Janine – Child survivor of WCG