Best of the Letters From 2007
Your Site is the Best:
January 15, 2007
I have been on literally dozens of sites that come up if you do an Internet search on Philadelphia Church of God or Gerald Flurry. I even got to see the official PCG site that way (oh, wow, that was such excitement). Your site was one I added to my favourites because it was so good. I have been on it almost daily for a long while. I think it’s the best of them all. –Australia
John Cocomise Moved:
January 15, 2007
John Cocomise has been moved (from Iowa/Minnesota) to the St. Louis area. His brother Jim Cocomise will be taking over in IA/MN. I doubt Jim will move from his lovely suburban Chicago home, so I guess that means there will be fewer ministerial visits and lots of warmed over tapes from two years ago (leftovers again!). That leaves the Iowa church down to 16. And of those 16, at most 13 who attend regularly. That’s a far cry from the 42 in Iowa when the two Iowa churches combined when John Cocomise first moved here! What an effect he’s had! –C.
Update: As of 2007 John Cocomise, Preaching Elder, was over Florida, Georgia, Bahamas, and sections of Alabama. Update: John Cocomise died in November 2020. Read: December 3, 2020 PCG letter. Update: Jim Cocomise was later over the Dayton/Cincinnati area, then suspended from PCG in January 2021. In April 2021 he was attending PCG again but not as a minister. Update 2022: Cheryl Cocomise (wife of Jim Cocomise (who no longer attends) was made by PCG to divorce Jim in 2022, but she still attends.
January 22, 2007
Some exiters are joining a PCG splinter named Church of God’s Faithful, led by Robert G. Ardis, in Eutawville, South Carolina. I think Robert Ardis has said that Jesus Christ has returned or made an appearance, just like Flurry has claimed. –Exiter
Reply: The Church of God’s Faithful incorporated in September 1997 and is led by Robert G. Ardis who was disfellowshipped from PCG that same year. “Letters” on their site, written by Ardis and former PCG members to Gerald Flurry and PCG members, give reasons why they split.
CGF holds to several of PCG’s (and HWA’s) teachings; however, they veer from others. For instance, Ardis teaches that the Place of Safety will be somewhere in Saudi Arabia, not Petra, and that PCG has become the Laodicean church. [Read: Is the Philadelphia Church of God Now the Laodicean Church?] CGF believes that HWA was the “end-time Elijah” and “took the gospel of the Kingdom to the entire world,” but he had a “few inaccuracies” in his teachings, and they (CGF) have received “tremendously important new truths.” Ardis teaches that Christ secretly returned like a thief on the Feast of Trumpets in 1997, but that He will return visibly at the First Resurrection (which will occur on Pentecost). CGF says this secret return was the “great mystery” that was accomplished, and that we are now in the Day of the Lord.
Such teachings will appeal to certain exiters seeking “truth” instead of focusing on the Lord Jesus Christ (who is the Truth) and learning more of His grace and redemption.) Read: Where is the True Church?
Update: Robert Ardis died March 17, 2016.
One of the Hardest Things is to Admit You Have been Wrong:
February 2, 2007
Reading the article on how Herbert Armstrong recruited people felt like I was reading about my own experience.
I wonder how many of us would have continued in our “studies” if we had been aware of all the false prophecies that HWA had made in the forties and fifties? [Also refer to chapters 11 and 12 of Marion J. McNair’s book: Armstrongism Religion or Rip-Off (An Exposé of the Armstrong Modus Operandi), which covers HWA’s many false prophecies] Of course, not one word was uttered about any of them to me.
By the time I walked into services for the very first time, I was already so convinced that this had to be the “one true church,” that I overlooked many evidences to the contrary. In fact, I think it would have been very embarrassing to admit that I had spent so much time and effort just to be made a fool of.
It is one of the hardest things to do, to admit that you have been totally wrong. I think that deep down, I knew that something was really off kilter from the very beginning, but I had invested too much of my identity in the WCG to turn away.
Looking back, I wish with all my heart that I had followed my instincts and left in the beginning. The passage of time only makes it harder when you finally admit to yourself that you have been totally buffaloed.
Keep up the good work! I hope that many who read your site are spared the pain that only gets worse over time.
–Former WCG/PCG member
February 5, 2007
I’ve been reading through the letters on your website and noticed several letters mentioning an article entitled “What did John Amos Really Die of?” When I saw that, I immediately remembered that I have in my possession a copy of John Amos’ death certificate in a file box in the back of my closet. You see, John Amos was my father-in-law at the time of his death. In case there is still confusion as to what he died of, I will quote the death certificate: Immediate Cause = CVA/ Respiratory Failure due to (or as a consequence of) Meningitis Bacterial and also due to Sinusitis. I hope that clears it up for anyone who wishes to know. Thanks for your web-page, it is truly helpful for all those affected by the abuses taking place in the PCG.
You may post this if you wish and also can use my name with my permission
Sincerely, Kathryn “Amos” Keel
PCG Has Become Gerald Flurry
February 9, 2007
We recently spoke with our local minister and informed him that our family would no longer attend services because it seems that the PCG is more concerned with promoting Stephen Flurry’s book (Raising the Ruins) and keeping up with the traditions of Herbert Armstrong as opposed to speaking of the spiritual power we can have through a real faith in Jesus Christ. It seems that the PCG has become Gerald Flurry. No one can question his decisions; if they do, they have a “government problem.” I guess they forget this is exactly what he did when he questioned the ruling of the WCG (but “that’s different”). The Bible says that no one should come between us and Christ. Why then do we have to support Gerald Flurry as he supposedly follows Christ?!
We just want to have that personal relationship the way Paul did. That’s the only thing that will save us, and by worshipping Christ we automatically worship God. That’s the way the Father wants it. The Father has given all authority to Him because He is worthy. PCG doesn’t speak of this. Just blindly follow orders, don’t speak about their racist policies, report on those who are beginning to think for themselves and you’ll be alright in the PCG. –Ex member of PCG
Gerald Flurry Does a Lot of Screaming:
February 21, 2007
Gerald Flurry believes he is the messenger to the Laodicean era (it was in his recent sermon). He screams out out in sermons: “The Laodiceans are spiritual perverts!”
The only thing is, all those poor people in the PCG are totally deceived and truly believe they are following Christ.
He also said the people who left the PCG were now Laodiceans and deserters in this spiritual war. In fact, I once heard him scream out something like, “They are deserters and need to be shot!!” It horrified everyone but no one would utter a word for fear of being “put out.”
He does a lot of screaming in his sermons in order to frighten people.
This is one of the many reasons people are leaving the PCG. –A. W. (U.K.)
Flurry’s Exact Words About Deserters Being Shot:
February 22, 2007
Following is by “that” false prophet himself:
“And those people who leave the PCG and have been here, well, if you just want to look at it the way it really is, we’re in a war and they are deserters, and in the civil wars, war, deserters were shot! So its not a small little sin.”
These are Flurry’s exact words and it was said about a local elder who left PCG.
The sermon was entitled, “The Mantle of Elijah” and was dated March 8, 2003. The above quote appeared on tape 2, side 1. It was a longer sermon (two tapes), as Flurry would often go overtime when he gave sermons with subjects that he deemed “very important.” (In the multitude of words, sin is not lacking!) He would send out the tapes (and later the CDs when they started using CDs) marked as must play immediately, or words to that effect.
I hope that this has been helpful. –Jim Kazimir (Former member/deacon in PCG)
Comment: The March 8, 2003 sermon by Flurry has been mailed to ESN.
February 23, 2007
According to the court documents, Worldwide Church of God first sued PCG in 1997 to get a temporary restraining order on PCG distributing HWA’s works while WCG owned the copyright. WCG dismissed the suit without prejudice (meaning they could file again) shortly thereafter. Then, WCG filed again later in 1997. (That is the case that lasted until 2003, including WCG losing, appealing to the Ninth circuit and winning there, and the case going back to district court for determination of damages.)
The reason the WCG sued was to stop PCG from distributing HWA works in violation of WCG’s copyright. In 1998, both PCG and WCG won the right to designate documents as “confidential” and there was an order clarifying that (which both WCG and PCG agreed to).
In 1999, the district court granted summary judgment to PCG and charged WCG almost $300,000 in attorney’s fees and costs, but stayed WCG having to pay until after the appeal to the next higher court–the Ninth Circuit. In Sept. 2000, the Ninth said the district court was wrong and told the district court to reverse itself, enter a preliminary injunction in favor of WCG, stopping PCG from distributing HWA’s works and said PCG had to pay WCG’s costs (about $2,000-$3,000). The Ninth also directed the district court to hold a hearing to determine how much money the PCG would have to pay the WCG for damages. Then the case got transferred to a new district judge, and in March 2001 she granted a preliminary injunction prohibiting PCG from distributing HWA’s works.
From March 2001 on, the WCG stopped PCG from distributing HWA’s works and now the issue was how much money in damages the PCG would have to pay WCG for violating its copyright. The case kept getting set and reset for a damages hearing and there was a lot of wrangling back and forth as to who could testify and what evidence will be admitted. The case got taken off the docket a few times because both parties asked that it be because they were in settlement talks. Those talks broke down in Dec. 2002, and the case went back on the document for a damages hearing.
Then, in April 2003, it all went away because WCG and PCG reached an agreement in which PCG bought the copyrights to HWA’s works from WCG.
So the facts are, Worldwide Church of God sued Philadelphia Church of God and lost at the district court level, then won on appeal, then was awaiting an amount from the court as to how much PCG would have to pay WCG and instead took money from PCG to dismiss the case and let PCG restart publishing of HWA’s works and for damages that the court would have ordered PCG to pay.
PCG didn’t win, it lost in court and was going to be ordered to pay WCG damages, but WCG and PCG agreed on an amount, so the judge never decided the damages issue. There is no way that can honestly be characterized as a victory for the PCG. –Helen Liggett, Attorney at Law, Lubbock, TX
Comment: For more on what was going on at this time, go to: Grace Communion International History and read the parts under “Allowing Herbert Armstrong’s Literature to Be Republished” and “Sold Copyrights to Philadelphia Church of God.” Also read: Is Habakkuk About the WCG/PCG Court Case? (How Many Falsehoods Is Gerald Flurry Telling You?)
February 27, 2007
While I was in PCG, as a “so called leading” man and deacon, I would receive a backup copy of the CDs with the messages/sermonettes/sermons/special music on them. The minister would receive a CD, also, and the backup was sent to me in case the original, sent to the minister, got lost in the mail or was late.
Having been truly totally indoctrinated back when I attended PCG, I never once thought to keep copies of the CDs. We were instructed to destroy the CDs after they were played. I never put two and two together and thought about why they wanted the CDs destroyed. Of course, we at one time had tape/CD libraries so that members could check them out and re-listen to the messages. It is painfully obvious to me now why they instituted their policy of no more libraries and destroy the CDs. Despite what they said about not wanting the messages to fall into the hands of the “Laodiceans,” they did not want anyone to be able to really prove all things and they also feared lawsuits. Too bad that they do not comprehend the Scripture that says that their is no fear in love and love casts out all fear (paraphrase of I John 4:8).
I seem to vaguely remember Flurry saying what he said about shooting the so-called “spiritual perverts and Laodiceans,” but it did not register with me at the time. Shame on me for being so spiritually asleep, but thank God for opening my eyes.
–Jim Kazimir (Former member/deacon in PCG)
Comment: The “CD and Tape Policy” is in the December 10, 2005 Pastor General’s Report for Philadelphia Church of God.
March 6, 2007
I just wanted to say thanks for your website and for all the letters you put up there for people to read. It helps knowing there are others out there who have been through the exact same thing as I have.
I’ve recently left PCG and it’s shocking how my so called “friends” won’t have anything to do with me as it will cause problems for them. Out of all things, that’s what cuts the deepest. Maybe others have heard the same statement: “I love you (or I care for you), but I can’t have anything to do with you anymore,” and, “You’re in my prayers,” or “I’ll pray for your repentance.” How would they feel or respond if God said that same statement to them?? It would be a different story then. I’m sure they’d be pleading.
PCG rambles on about having love for each other, but they choose to forget about the very scriptures that talk about brotherly love and “laying down our lives” for our friends and brothers. [See I John 3:16-18] This is what Christ did. Isn’t that the same example we are told to follow? How is what any of these members act in PCG godly? God doesn’t get rid of people out of His family and refuse to have anything to do with them again!! That’s not love! [Note by ESN: Read about GF’s No-Contact” Ruling.] So what gives PCG people the right to do that to people?
I also read the Feb. 27 letter about the CDs being destroyed and I can completely support that email as I’m aware of the same thing happening. Gerald Flurry told local ministers years ago to keep records of who was getting what CDs, and to keep track of it all, until members were no longer allowed to even borrow them out anymore. I thought it was interesting that the Scripture was quoted “Perfect love casts out fear” [I John 4:8], as I’ve had an unknown type of fear and I’ve often thought about that Scripture. If you really love a person, fear should not exist in that relationship, but it often does. I know how this sort of fear can really became a part of who you are and it takes a long time to feel free again.
Just thought I’d share my thoughts with others out there! –G. A. (Exiter of PCG)
March 8, 2007
My personal decision to leave the PCG was the discerning of the absence of Jesus Christ. I sat in church many times and counted the number of times Christ’s name was spoken of vs. Herbert Armstrong, and Herbert Armstrong always won.
Interesting enough, I reviewed transcripts of the December 17th Key of David program entitled, “Christ Declared the Father,” and in it Gerald Flurry makes this statement:\
“It’s the Father’s name that we honor. We honor His name above Christ’s, above everything because He’s the Head of the Family. Christ has a marvelous responsibility, as well, but He’s not the Head of the Family.”
Well, what about John 5:23 that says: “That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father.” (Some translations use the word, “equally.”) In the KOD program, Gerald Flurry kept referring to “the name of the Father” and “the Father’s name.” In Phil. 2:9 [speaking of Christ] it states “…God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.” My study Bible lexicon says this about the word “name”: “the substitute or representative of a person; is used for the person himself, whether divine or human.”
If it appears there’s no love in PCG, then perhaps there’s no Christ. Sure, they will speak of Him, especially during the upcoming spring holy days, but I truly believe, and obviously, just from Flurry’s statement alone, that the PCG government denies the power thereof. (2 Tim. 3:5) –X PCG member!
Comment: What Flurry will not emphasize is that Jesus Christ was God manifested in the flesh (See Col. 2:9; Jn. 1:1, 14, Heb. 1:3, I Tim. 3:16, etc.), and Rev. 5:12-13 states it is He who is worthy to receive glory and honour and power forever. (Also see Rev. 19:7.) The entire Bible centers on Him, not on Herbert Armstrong.
April 24, 2007
Here is what Alex Harrison faxed to all ministers in the Australasian region of the PCG on Oct 31, 2001. I’m not sure if it was Harrison’s words in the fax, but it may have come from PCG Headquarters.
“To all Ministers “PRIVATE & CONFIDENTIAL “Mr. Gerald Flurry would like to go ahead with the plan to play the 2001 Ministerial Conference lecture tapes entitled “Developing The Faith To Face Death” in all the church areas beginning after the Feast. Please read the following announcement immediately before the tape is played.
“In the Ministerial Conference lecture you are about to hear on the subject of “Developing the Faith to Face Death,” Mr. Tim Thompson is talking mainly about his own health situation and did not go through all the ways doctors can be used.
“The Church is not against people going to doctors, as there are some good uses for doctors. Please read Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong’s 1979 booklet, The Plain Truth About Healing, and get the overview. On pages 64 and 65, it says ‘we are so well aware of the progress made by the medical profession in our day…Further, it is true that today most doctors prescribe medicines that are NOT poisons but rather are designed to help nature do its own healing. However, NO MEDICINE — NO DOCTOR — can HEAL! I have never heard a medical doctor deny that statement. They do not claim to heal.’ “ [Note: This is the end of what was to read out from HQ to members.]
“As was mentioned before, in order to help prevent this set of two lecture tapes from falling into the hands of those who lack faith and should not receive them, this lecture will NOT be sent out from HQ to the normal list of weekly tape recipients, even though it was played at HQ on September 1st (therefore, there will be no HQ Sabbath tape coming out this week) . Each minister who has these tapes should play the lecture in his church areas while he is present and then retrieve the tapes immediately after they have been played, not allowing them to be copied, even for the local church library. This means you and the ministers under you must plan ahead for travel to your church areas.”
Harrison handwrote “Please Action this ASAP” and signed it Alex Harrison. The “PRIVATE & CONFIDENTIAL” stamp appears at the top and the bottom of the fax. Talk about being TOP-SECRET stuff!! Like, don’t let the little people know what’s really going on at the top of the Government!! Honestly, the poor ignorant members of the PCG are kept in the dark well and truly!!
If the local congregations worldwide were allowed to hear the taped sermon from Tim Thompson [deceased] with the read-out memo from HQ, why not still send scattered PCG members the taped sermon with a printed copy of the HQ “addendum” (so they all have “unity”). It doesn’t make sense!! Of course, now in 2007, the scattered members wouldn’t even get to hear the sermon at all (good for them, I suppose!). –[name withheld]
Update: Alex Harrison died in November 29, 2020. Read: December 2, 2020 letter about it.
Comment: HWA’s booklet, Does God Heal Today? was discontinued in 1968. In 1979 he wrote The Plain Truth About Healing, changing a few of his words. Some have felt HWA corrected his previous extreme views in the 1979 booklet. What he did was scramble some of his words, but the mind control programming was still “trust Christ and avoid doctors.” Thousands of people suffered and died in the WCG under HWA due to this healing doctrine. Also read: How Did WCG Instruct Ministers to Deal With “Health and Medical Problems”? No credit can be given to HWA that he ever repented of anything. HWA was skilled in double speak and contradictions. His 1979 booklet was filled with lies, as was his autobiography. Read: Philadelphia Church of God Healing Doctrine.
Wrote PCG HQ in Past With Concerns About The Healing Doctrine:
April 25, 2007
I happened to be in Edmond during that Ministerial Conference where Tim Thompson gave that sermon. [Refer to previous letter] I had been working closely with him during construction of the Field house, providing architectural services. We talked often, and I became aware of his upcoming sermon. The subject had been on my mind for quite a while and I asked him to clarify a few issues that I felt needed some balance in the individual congregations. I had seen a very extreme version of the healing doctrine, equating all doctors with Satan. Basically they based the doctrine on the original healing booklet, not the one HWA revised in 1979.
I actually wrote out my concerns including a lot of quotes from the latest writings by HWA to Tim Thompson. He read the letter before giving the sermon, but basically scolded me and ignored it. On the day of the sermon, I found an adjacent room where some of the sound equipment was being used to record it. I sat and listened and took a lot of notes–not sure whether this would be sent out.
After the sermon, I wrote him another letter–even though I was there in person, asking that it be withheld. Again it was ignored. I believe that was the beginning of the end for me.
After returning to N. J., when the tape was sent out, it was played in services. However, in our area the announcements Alex Harrison included in his letter were not read. My blood was boiling during that sermon.
The tape was in the library for a few months. I withdrew it and asked our local pastor to keep it out of the Library, but again I was ignored. –Geoff Gogan
Comment: Geoff Gogan faxed a letter to Herman Barkei and Marvin Campbell on December 13, 2001 with his concerns about PCG’s healing doctrine. This letter resulted in his suspension. He sent a follow-up letter on December 31, 200l. Following are some words taken from that second letter:
“I don’t recall the date but around Last Passover, of 1999, Ernie Rowe died after hearing Mr. [Craig] Winters tape on healing and he decided to stop taking medication for his heart. I learned this during discussions following his funeral, in which I heard of similar decisions by several others in the congregation. A 12 year old girl recently died in Ohio from Meningitis, as her parents were afraid to take her to a doctor. Ernie and others who listened to the Winters tape, understood that to take medication, meant that one could not keep the Passover because they were not ‘Rightly discerning the body of Christ.’ “
Critical Thinking is the Road to True Freedom:
June 6, 2007
Once upon a time I was involved in these cults. I have been free now for nearly 6 years. Critical thinking is the road to true freedom. The truth can and does set us free.
There was a time that I accepted their doctrine without question. But the longer I was in, the more I began to examine what I was involved with. I saw hypocrisy time and time again.
It is not too difficult to sift through all of it with an open mind free of fear and willing to see. The lies become exposed one after another. Then it’s just a matter of admitting we were foolish and have been duped.
I knew many of the ministers in the PCG. Looking back, I feel ill and just sickened by what went on while I was in. They are elitist cultists.
I am very fortunate that no one in my extended family ever believed the cults about anything and that I was the only believer. It made it much easier to exit. My kids do still remember some of that experience but happily I got them away from it all at an early enough age. I believe they were a big part of the reason I finally flew to safety away, far, far away, from the elitist cultists. –C. S.
Exiter of PCG Finds Comfort in ESN Site:
August 6, 2007
I left the PCG a little over a year ago. I found your website Exit & Support Network™ yesterday. I was amazed to find that I not only am not alone, but the parallels in most of the letters from others who left is astounding. I have been depressed for most of the last two years about my agonizing decision to leave. I have been a part of the WCG and then the PCG for 45 of my 48 years. The PCG has been systematically isolating me from my family and friends for the last 6 years and it was only when my second oldest son went into the Marine Corps last summer, right out of High School, that I finally woke up. His Marine Corps Boot Camp graduation was only about 2 miles from the PCG feast site in San Diego, during the Feast of Tabernacles in 2006 (my family and I are very proud of him). It was the conflict of his Aunts and Uncles coming down for the graduation and my having to avoid either them, or other PCG members, so we would not be seen together. My brother and his wife were very prominent in the WCG and well known by most who are now ministers in the PCG and they (my brother and his wife) are not in the PCG. We would have been recognized almost anywhere in the vicinity where we would have gathered to celebrate my son’s graduation.
This made me really start taking stock of what was going on and I left the PCG because I realized that this should not be a problem in any way (families gathering to celebrate a graduation). I also became very aware that my son, who now proudly wears the uniform of the United States Marine Corps, was not welcome to attend services with me at the PCG, especially if he wore his uniform. This seems quite a contradiction from a “church,” when the leaders, in their sermons, are frequently talking about how America should be proud to wield her power and use her military might around the world.
I have spent most of this weekend pouring over your letters and have received much comfort. Thank you, and I will be reading more. I really do feel that a great weight is being lifted from my shoulders.
Warm regards, –Exiter of WCG and former PCG member
Your Website Has Been a Major Step in Getting My Life Back:
(2nd email from person above)
August 9, 2007
Thank you for responding to my letter. Having not attended in a little over a year has, I think, given me the ability to step back and view what has happened to me for so long–the control, the fear and loathing that was pressed into my mind, being programmed to fear being cut off. As I read, on your website, the quotes of Gerald Flurry giving himself more power and status and “special relationship with God,” I think to myself, “I remember that sermon,” or “I remember reading that.” Seeing the quotes all together from the viewpoint of not currently attending really cements the feeling I was getting about his going over the top. What really scares me is that just a couple of years ago I may have been willing to move to the compound and do whatever he wanted.
I thank God for opening my eyes and leading me to your website. I thank God that my wife was able to get out twelve years ago and she never gave up on me or pressured me. I thank God that my children were able to see through the deception, even though I was not. Thanking God is difficult for me and is almost a foreign concept at this point because my programming was to only see God as Gerald Flurry or Herbert Armstrong. I think that finding your website has been a major first step in getting my life back.
I had a long talk with my employer yesterday and explained how my missed work, when I called in “sick” was really depression and that it was difficult for me to just get out of bed some days. All because of the fear and desperation of “going into the lake of fire” and “facing annihilation in the Tribulation.” He was very supportive and encouraged me to take whatever time or steps I need and that my job is safe.
I know from my own experience how lonely and difficult one can feel, especially while still in the organization and beginning to wake up.
Yesterday I sought some counseling with an old friend that had left years ago. We talked; well he mostly listened, for over an hour, it was very therapeutic.
Thank you again. It means a lot to me to know that you, and others out there, who do not know me personally care about me so much. Please pray that I may be able to establish a relationship with God, independent of my previous programming. –Exiter of WCG and former PCG member
August 22, 2007
After having been in the PCG for a number of years, it finally became increasingly clear that this “church” did not worship and praise God through Jesus Christ and perhaps this is the reason that the majority of their teaching and preaching stems from the Old Testament books.
Of course the ministry doesn’t out right deny Jesus. They will speak about Him, especially during the spring holy days, but to worship Christ, to sing praises to His name or to speak power to truth according to His name is unheard of. It’s almost like they are ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. [Romans 1:16] This denial of Christ is very subtle; Gerald Flurry [in speaking about other Christians and churches] makes statements like:
“They focus on His person.”
“If they keep looking at the personality, they don’t see what He actually said.”
“You hear about Jesus Christ all the time, but do you hear about His message?”
Very recently, I spoke with a member friend, that feared going against “government” but this person made the statement the Jesus and God are not the same. Prior to leaving the PCG, I heard a sermon by Wayne Turgeon [Flurry’s son-in-law] entitled, “What Would the Father Do?” In the sermon he mentioned, “I would not be caught wearing a bracelet, more or less one with the initials “WWJD” on it” (What Would Jesus Do?).
Now, what is so amazing about this is that if he would have read John 5:19 he would have known that Jesus would do the very same thing as the Father:
“…The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.”
Their belief seem to be this, “Jesus is okay but God the Father is better, and we at the PCG are better than the other Christian groups, because we don’t worship Jesus.”
In John 10:30 Christ said “I and my Father are one.” But the PCG seeks to divide this one relationship, perhaps to make it fit better into their organizational chart [originally formulated by HWA]: God the Father first, Jesus second, Herbert Armstrong third, then under him, Gerald Flurry.
On their TV program in a lesson entitled “Christ Declares the Father,” Gerald Flurry made the following statement:
“Christ has a marvelous responsibility as well, but He’s not the Head of the Family.”
This may sound enlightening to some, but to me, it sounded very carnal minded. Again, their thinking seems to be, “Jesus is lower than God the Father and therefore is not worthy of praise and honor.”
In the same program Gerald Flurry makes another carnal minded statement:
“It’s the Father’s name that we honor. We honor His name above Christ’s, above everything because He’s the Head of the Family.”
Well, so much for John 5:22-23:
“For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.”
The reason Gerald Flurry may not be able to say “Jesus is Lord” is because, based on what he teaches, he doesn’t believe that He is Lord — Ex-PCG member
September 21, 2007
With the Day of Atonement coming up, I’m reminded of the time when my spouse, a member of the PCG, mentioned that she would be fasting on that day. I told her that God’s Word said that Jesus had already fully atoned for our sins [being the propitiation for the sins of the whole world]; there was nothing else we could do to add to it. (I John 2:2; 4:10) I told her the observation of the Day of Atonement was a shadow of Christ’s redemptive work. In fact, all the feasts days are mere shadows (pictures or types) that were fulfilled and completed in Him. Flurry has mixed up members’ minds so much in regard to the true meaning of this day. He has them dwelling on how they should “humble” themselves and that this day pictures when the world will be “at one” with God and how Satan will be restrained for a thousand years. But the two goats constituted one sin offering. Christ has fully taken away our sins, once and for all. We no longer need to fast on the Day of Atonement.–Impacted by loved one in PCG
Comment: Read this part in the Gerringer letter where he tells how: “much of the Bible became crystal clear when he realized and accepted that the covenant was made with Ancient Israel, and no one else.” Read the paragraphs following that, as the Day of Atonement is discussed. He shows the problems that arrive when “Christians today try to put themselves in a system God never intended for them.”
Note: Ministers in these groups (as far back as WCG) have split the syllables in this word and pronounced it as “At-one-ment.” However, a number of Mind Science or New Thought religions also do the same thing in referring to the supposed metaphysical unity or “oneness” of human beings and God as demonstrated by Christ.
Relief Now That I am Out:
November 24, 2007
I’d just like to tell you that I’ve been reading the postings on your site for a little under two years now and I have to send my thanks to you as it really helped me after leaving this “business organization” (I say this as I believe that they are only in it for the money).
Another point that I really need to say, and to get off my chest, is that after growing up in both the WCG and PCG and spending most of my adult life in the PCG, I have found the vast majority of people to be hypocrites. I can’t tell you the relief I feel now that I am out, yet at the same time 23 years of fear mongering still grips me from time to time. I hope that all who have left and are finally getting on with their lives find peace and happiness. I have been fortunate in this as I had a strong group of friends that I could rely on when I left who help carry me through my low times.
Once again thank you for taking the time to build your website. –[name withheld]
PCG Trying to Appear Less Cultish:
November 29, 2007
Non-members are allowed to attend different social functions in PCG, such as church picnics and winter socials, as long as they don’t consider the outsider to be a threat or dangerous; i. e., trying to talk someone out of the PCG or openly opposing it. However, the catch is that non-members cannot attend their Sabbath services which last 6-8 hours (this includes the Bible studies the minister often has on the same day).
PCG is currently inviting local citizens of Edmond, the general public, and some immediate family members (not former members of WCG or PCG, etc.), to certain of their cultural events. This does not mean there has been a relaxing of the no-contact ruling. It is merely part of their attempt to appear less “cultish” to the outside world and with the hope of recruiting more people. They still hide what is actually going on inside their organization–the rules, the fear, the threats, the coercion, the doomsday preaching, etc.–and this should be a “red flag” to most anyone not in these groups. –S. L.
Wife Happier Than Ever After Leaving PCG:
November 30, 2007
My wife has been in the PCOG since she was 12 years old. Her father and mother, and three sisters are also devout to it. She has decided it was the cause of her depression of the past year and a half, and told her minister she was done. Now he calls her parents and they call her. She’s going through a lot of torment from them, but feels happier than ever after leaving! I try to support her and tell her, “They must be afraid you will discover yourself and will have no more need for a group to think independently.” Though I try to stay unbiased–and I think the best way is to help her discover who she is on her own–her teenage years were controlled, and so she never had a goal in life but to “serve God and the church.” Now she has a career in sight. It excites her to no end, and she smiles a lot more. But they are fighting tooth and nail to get her back. –Ryan
December 10, 2007
Back in the early and mid 90s Ron Fraser was regional director in England and Europe. He was moved there from Australia where he is originally from. Then he was transferred to Edmond in late ’96 or early ’97. I was living in Edmond at the time. It was right about that time that there was a shift in the PCG, certainly at HQ. Shortly after that I noticed that all this stuff about Flurry being “That Prophet” started coming out. Also, the PCG went from being a pretty friendly group with down-to-earth ministers to a very strict top-down dictatorial organization. Fraser is real big on class structure. I remember him telling me how class oriented England still is with a gleam in his eyes. His wife thinks she’s a member of the royal family. After they showed up in Edmond, the PCG became real focused on the whole “Philadelphia Standard” nonsense. Everyone had to do every single thing the “right way.” The ministry began to change, with some of them being put out. Before then ministers seemed to be very approachable and friendly. That all changed after Fraser’s arrival. The ministers were then in a class above the regular membership. The ministers who resisted that were eventually run out. I’ve long had a suspicion that Ron Fraser filled Gerry’s head with all this class oriented system nonsense, and also filled him with delusions of grandeur. It was Ron Fraser who directed the other ministers to watch us all like hawks, and encourage us to report on one another. Fraser is a real tyrant, but he usually has his subordinates do the dirty work. –[name withheld]
Comment: For info on Ron Fraser in connection with Malachi’s Message read: Gerald Flurry: A Religious Fraud. Update: Ron Fraser died October 4, 2013, allegedly of a heart attack.
A Cruel Disfellowship by Ron Fraser:
December 12, 2007
Ron Fraser was instrumental in kicking out another Australian minister who pastored the San Antonio, TX church for almost a year. This guy, Joe Avila, was actually a very kind and decent man. Those are rare, but he truly was. Fraser called him one night and told him that he was out, and that the PCG was notifying “the government” [HQs] that he was no longer employed by the PCG. That essentially gave him just 30 days to sell his house and cars in order to legally get out of the U.S. since it meant his work visa was cancelled.
Avila was kicked out because he refused to go along with either a particular doctrine, or a policy. I can’t remember exactly what it was. But he stuck to his guns and was true to his convictions rather than go along. Well, he ended up suffering for doing good.
I hope that the end of the PCG is truly near. –Former PCG minister
December 23, 2007
It has been almost two years since leaving the PCG, and four months since I found your website and wrote to you about leaving the PCG. At the time, I still believed that HWA’s teachings were probably right. However, since doing research, and looking up the references to his failed prophecies in his own books that I inherited from my mother, and comparing them to reality, I now see that he is just another charlatan. I think this knowledge has helped me to heal more than anything else. I am now beginning to put the whole WCG experience behind me as being a hard lesson that God did not put me through, any more than God brings ordinary street crime to regular people on the street. I guess it will just take time to get past it all.
My son is still faithfully serving his country in the United States Marine Corps and now another of my sons has joined the United States Army. I am very proud of them, but their service just reminds me of how my opportunity to serve my country was stolen from me by HWA and the WCG, but there is no going back now. I remember how, growing up, I wanted more than anything else, to serve in my country’s military. This, I think, is the hardest thing to deal with, knowing now that I gave that up for nothing when I thought I gave it up for God.
My wife and I are now closer than ever, and I relate to my sons much easier. We even went to my company’s Christmas party and all had a great time (it was not a drunken bacchanalia, as HWA would want one to think). We will even be going over to my Aunt’s on Christmas Eve. We are not celebrating it this year, but at least we do not have to run, screaming into the night and stopping our ears, from it!
I really do thank you for the service you provide to those of us who leave the “churches of God.” Reading and sharing the similar stories from others has been very helpful. Please keep up the good work. –Exiter of WCG / former member of PCG
Comment: This exiter’s first two letters to ESN were 8-6-07 and 8-9-07.
PCG’s Financial Dealings:
December 31, 2007
A PCG minister by the name of Jake Toews was suspended, then disfellowshipped and marked. Toews was appointed director of a committee that the PCG formed to run its taxation and financial dealings. He attended one meeting and said he saw it was corrupt and was just an intent to comply with the laws so he resigned from the board. After a lot of thinking, he also resigned from the PCG. Toews also said the PCG is being audited by the tax department in Canada, South Africa and England. –Canada