Best of the Letters From 2008

 

Jacob Toews Resigned From Board Due to Corruption:

January 26, 2008

This is in regard to Jacob Toews in Canada being marked last December. Toews was appointed to be on a board of directors that the PCG formed to run its taxation and financial dealings. (This was to comply with the Canadian tax and charity laws.) He attended one meeting and resigned because he saw it was corrupt and just an intent to comply with the laws. He also said that the PCG is being audited by the tax department in Canada, South Africa and England. As a result, he did a lot of thinking and left the PCG. A few days later he received a letter from Headquarters telling him he was “suspended and marked.” Gerald Flurry makes the rules now. Toews has now gone with Restored Church of God. –Informer in Canada

PCG is Very Corrupt:

February 1, 2008

I was in the PCG and the position I was in gave me more insight to the PCG than I care to mention, mainly because there are a lot of unsuspecting and trusting brethren who would be broken by it. I know that the PCG is very corrupt and three very high ranking ministers are being left to continue in their dishonest dealings. Gerald Flurry is well aware of it, believe me. –Ex WCG and PCG

Your Site Changed My Life For the Better:

February 3, 2008

Thanks for your help and support over the years. I was real glad when I found this site as it has changed my life for the better. I have lots more money now and am out of debt, too. It is nice to be free from man. I hope you are well. –Australia

I Applaud You For Taking a Stand and Offering a Helping Hand:

April 5, 2008

I was born into the WCG, then moved into the PCG after my parents decided they no longer believed in what WCG was teaching. I was forced to attend PYC (youth camp) for two years in my teens. I’ve been out of the PCG for over ten years now and I still have nightmares about it (being back at services, or at the summer camp). I never realized how many issues in my life were connected to the fear that I had made the wrong choice; that I had somehow doomed myself. I applaud you for taking a stand and offering a helping hand to those of us who have been severely wounded by these “churches.” I look forward to making contact with others with the same feelings I’ve dealt with alone for so many years. –Child survivor of WCG and PCG

Micki Campbell Dies:

April 6, 2008

An announcement was made one week ago that Mrs. Marvin Campbell had died of an “intestinal blockage.” The announcement was confirmed by the Philadelphia News.

Members were shocked by the unexpected news. They had not received a request for prayer prior to her death. I do not know if the condition may have appeared quickly and then deteriorated rapidly.

The members have been comparing her death to that of Loma Armstrong. It is dangerous to be a minister’s wife in the PCG, or any of the other controlling splinters, such as David Pack’s Restored Church of God. Though many people may know of the death of Mrs. Gerald Flurry on September 5, 2004 and the recent death of Mrs. David Pack (RCG) on July 22, 2007, there are other deaths less well known. In fact, I have known personally of several wives of ministers and deacons who have died of several forms of cancer, or various illnesses and maladies. –Former Member WCG/ PCG

Update: The testimony Philadelphia Church of God is a Sick System! mentions more wives that have died in PCG. Also, the wife of Roderick Meredith (LCG) died of cancer November 29, 2013.

Ways I Suffered Spiritually Because of PCG:

May 1, 2008

Thank you for writing. I accessed your site and really received helpful information. I had noticed that even though I didn’t join PCOG, their literature left a “filter” in my mind through which everything seems to flow. Even reading daily devotional books like The Daily Bread made mental comments pop up like “there is no Trinity” [i. e., the Father is fully God, the Son is fully God and the Holy Spirit is fully God –but they are united in the fullness of one God] or “grace isn’t totally free, you have to obey or God won’t bless you,” or “celebrating Christmas is sinful.” I’m thankful that God is helping me recognize these thoughts when they pop up, and to replace the “filter” with the truth of His Word. As I read your information, more things come to light about just how damaging even a little bit of this propaganda can be, and I really appreciate the help your ministry is giving.

Another area in which I suffered spiritually was that it interfered with my ability to pray for others. PCOG teaches that only certain people are “called” and will receive salvation when Christ returns to earth. The rest of the people will hear Him preach the gospel and decide whether or not to accept it, and Jesus will rule over them with an iron hand and make them all obey these “laws.” Therefore, it’s really useless to pray for anyone on this side except for the PCOG leaders.

They also squelch any personal talents saying that only the leaders are gifted to write or teach or encourage. I had been seeking an outlet for some of the things that I believe the Lord had inspired me to write a number of years before my involvement with PCOG, a copy of which I had forwarded to you. Maybe I was looking for approval, but not in a prideful way. I wanted to serve my God and be used by Him. I was looking for spiritual confirmation that the work was truly inspired by the Holy Spirit and that it could possibly be used to help others. Before PCOG, others with whom it was shared always found a blessing, and by this time in my involvement with PCOG, many doubts were surfacing and I wasn’t convinced that this group had the same “Spirit.” I think I was “testing the spirits” as the Bible says we should do. Anyway, his response was “well, that’s very descriptive,” and changed the subject. There is no validation of any possibility of gifts in their members–the emphasis is only on the “leader” and his calling. Everyone else must abdicate any talents to him.

I will continue reading your most helpful information, and I thank God that He has shown me there is work to do before I am completely free from this bondage. Again, God bless you for your wonderful work.

Your sister in Christ, Camille [not real name]

Comment: Read Camille’s testimony: Rescued from Philadelphia Church of God.

Found $5,000 Money Order Receipt:

May 30, 2008

My brother died awhile back and while I was going through things in his house, I found an old receipt showing that he had sent in $5000 to the WCG in Pasadena from back in the `70s. He didn’t have two nickels to rub together his whole life, but somehow he managed to send thousands of dollars to HWA to build his empire. Incredible! My mouth just about hit the floor! I looked hard to see if there was a decimal there (like $50.00), but there wasn’t. Five thousand dollars in the `70s would have been a lot of money (not that it isn’t now). I wouldn’t have believed he had that kind of money to send if I hadn’t seen the receipt for the money order with my own eyes. My brother didn’t have the proverbial “pot to pee in,” and to now know how HWA jetted around the world and lived in the lap of luxury with this poor man’s money was nothing less than shocking (and sickening). I’m seeing more and more every day the exploitation of those who believed HWA–and persist to believe him through GF–and it still makes me sick to see how people have been used (and continue to be). –Escaped Flurry

PCG is a Dying Organization:

June 19, 2008

I want to confirm that PCG is dwindling in members. In a recent telephone conversation with a friend, who is in contact with someone in PCG, the whole state of Arizona has only about 100 members now. That is not very many for the state of Arizona. I know that PCG’s members are getting old, and they certainly must not be attracting new people at the rate their members are leaving and dying off. It’s a dying organization. I pray that more of them will be delivered from their blindness and come to the realization of the joy of a sound minded spiritual relationship with the Lord Jesus. –J.

Another Woman in PCG Commits Suicide:

July 4, 2008

We are ex-members of PCG, and saddened by the news that another woman has taken her life in this stupid, mind-controlling, so-called “church.” There was a woman in California that took her life about 3 years ago, but it was all hushed up. No one was allowed to discuss it. Life must have been “hell” for that woman for her to take her own life, leaving behind a teenage boy. It’s a very sad thing that these women see no way out of their terrible situation because the men rule over them.

We finally got the courage to leave, after many years of mind control and harassment, and it wasn’t easy for the first few weeks because of the guilt trip, but we finally got over that, and then it was a like a breath of fresh air come over us. We felt the burden lift and felt so free. It has been wonderful every since and we feel sorry for those left in it and for the newer members that are deceived. If any of them are reading this, please gather all your strength to get out of that false church. It will take time to heal, but get out now as it is causing too much damage to your state of mind. Any disagreement or hesitation on matters that occur in your mind is a warning sign. Read the signs before it gets worse–but really, it can’t get much worse. They’ve done it all!! –Your Friends and Ex-Members of WWCG/PCG

Flurry Formerly Said End Would Be in 2008:

August 11, 2008

When we were in the PCG three years ago, Flurry had been telling us for a couple of years that he felt the end would be in 2008. He has to predict the “new” end is five years from now because “hello”–2008 is here now!!

What a joke. It is sad but it is a joke.

Every time he makes an end time prediction it never comes true. It is to keep the money coming in and the poor, deceived sheep in confusion and fear. –Former PCG member

Marvin Campbell Knows Too Much:

October 31, 2008

From what I’ve heard from people is that Marvin Campbell’s “apology” sermon at the Feast this year was more of a play to get the members’ sympathy and loyalty, than being sorry for casting out brethren and stripping them of hope and dignity.

I have a PCG friend who went to the seniors luncheon at that Feast and heard Campbell’s sermon. This person said that after Gerald Flurry left the site, Marvin Campbell spoke the next day telling people that he was #2 in charge after Gerald Flurry. They said Campbell made a lot of emotional pleas to the audience. My friend is very astute and said they did not trust him after that.

Marvin Campbell knows too much, just like Dennis Leap. PCG likes to keep their “enemies” close rather than anger them by casting them out where they can talk. We talked to a family who was suspended and disfellowshipped from PCG a long time ago. This family worked closely with Campbell. No, GF won’t disfellowship Marvin Campbell. –[name withheld]

Update 2013: Marvin Campbell died September 20, 2013.

Flurry Says PCG Will Need 10,000 Members Before Fleeing:

November 19, 2008

I wanted to comment that Gerry has been saying the Tribulation would begin in 2010 for quite a while. I remember this because I bought a copy of the Bible Code a few years back and as I was showing it around services in PCG, I was pointing out how the book and Gerry were both referencing 2010 for the end. He, Gerry, of course always hedged his bets with weasel words such as “wouldn’t it be interesting if,” or “it could be a possibility,” and so did the book for that matter. One of the people I discussed that with at the time was [a minister in PCG who is related to GF]. And I am sure that he shared that with him, and that only made him bolder. Their biggest hurdle will be that Gerry was quite certain and vocal that the PCG would have to have 10,000 members before fleeing, a reference to the scripture that “Jesus comes with his ten thousands of saints.” [Jude 1:14] He will find a way out, of course, by saying that he did not say “thus saith the Lord” or some such thing. Regards, –V. W.

NOTICE: FOX 25 Special News Report on Philadelphia Church of God. The following letters pertain to this.

Nick Winkler, a news reporter from Fox 25 in Oklahoma City, contacted ESN on September 30, 2008 regarding a PCG story he was assigned to do. He was also referred to our other contacts. The following emails pertain to this special investigative report done on November 24 and 25. Part two aired November 26.

Special News Report on Philadelphia Church of God (Includes pertinent comments by ESN) (posted 12-1-08)

Flurry’s Fury Unleashed! (Flurry comes against FOX25 news) (posted 12-5-08)

“Mug Shots” Shown of Flurry:

November 25, 2008

We saw the news program. The reporter told how PCG said that the end of the world [i. e., end of the age] would be violent and then Christ would return. Stephen Flurry showed pictures of the building project and some of the grounds. Near the end they showed the “mug shots” of Flurry from the incident where he got drunk on the Oklahoma college grounds. They also spoke to several former members. Dr. Barbara Boyd at Oklahoma University mentioned the fact that no one knows exactly “where all the money goes.” –Former PCG members

Claiming That Tithing is Voluntary:

November 25, 2008

They interviewed a Dr. Barbara Boyd, Professor of Religious Studies at Oklahoma University. She makes the inane comment that she looks up to anyone who can or will give 35% of their income to a church (as though PCG were legitimate). They also are claiming that tithing is voluntary. It is simply one version for those on the outside; another version for those on the inside. You know well how that works! –William Hohmann, author of Mystery of the Ages (a 2nd critical review) and other articles on ESN site.

Exposed as Apocalyptic Group:

November 25, 2008

Part 1 is pretty tough on them. The commentator interviews Stephen Flurry, whose explanation of PCG beliefs will come off as “kooky” to those not informed of HWA doctrine. It also shows the practice of 2nd and 3rd tithes, and says that the church has “generated 15 million dollars in revenue” last year from its members. They interview Dr. Barbara Boyd of the University of Oklahoma, who says that 2nd and 3rd tithes are unreasonable, even in evangelical churches. What I found most interesting was when SF says “We believe we’re at the time of the end.” The commentator says that the PCG believes that “only the faithful will survive.”

The PCG is definitely exposed as an apocalyptic group.

They also interview former member, Dennis Fisher, who says that GF has set himself up as god, and calls himself “that prophet.” Part two is going to talk about GF’s police record. (Read: Flurry’s police record)

They also interview David Ben-Ariel, but I don’t pay much attention to what he says, as he’s still holds to HWA doctrine, and from what I’ve read of his writings (blog) he’s what I would term a “radical Armstrongite.” The only difference between him and GF is that GF has a large following. –Impacted by loved one in PCG

A Discerning Person Will See Through the Disguise:

November 25, 2008

It’s exactly as I would expect. We watched Pt. 1 today. They, just like the HWA organization, make it look on the surface “so neat.” But then, that’s exactly how the enemy works. He works hard to hide the secret undercover stuff. Like draining and bleeding those poor captives of his organization financially dry so he can build his multi million dollar building, while at the same time telling his captives that “time is short.”

It was good that the station aired some of the other side from those who have been there and suffered, and are still suffering. I feel a discerning person will see through the disguise, for when a thinking person sees it, it will be clear that something does not add up here. It’s the “non thinkers” I am concerned about.

Those in captivity will “eat it all up.” I did when I was there. All the propaganda HWA’s organization put about Ambassador College and “the Work,” I felt was just wonderful.

The Lord graciously opened my mind. Our assignment from Him is to continually do prayer warfare, and in His time and in His way, He will release those whom He will release. I know several past friends who are still there. My sister is still there. My step son and his wife, and two grandchildren are still there. We pray for them all and long for the day they also will be released from that captivity. –Former WCG member; impacted by loved ones in PCG

Flurry Tells Members They Will Now Come Under Fire as Never Before:

November 25, 2008

In listening to part one I could see some similarities to other religious cults. It looks like the station is trying to expose them, while walking a thin line of saying all they can without putting themselves at risk for a lawsuit.

I thought about whether I should drop a comment to [someone in PCG] about the story, but I decided I’d better not. This person has said that GF is starting another speaking campaign, and that he’s already told the members that he and the PCG will come under fire like never before for taking the message to the world, so I’m sure that any members that see this story will only see it as proof that he’s right about the world attacking “god’s church” and would only reinforce their faith in GF. –Impacted by loved one in PCG

PCG Compound May Provide a Temporary Place of Safety:

November 25, 2008

I watched Pt. 1 and found [what PCG said] contradictory. This is common in that organization. Why are they building for God on earth when it is all going to be burned up? Is this compound somehow going to survive God’s wrath during the Day of the Lord? Where can they substantiate what they are teaching about this building project in the Scriptures? It’s all about a physical work and yet God is concerned about us building spiritual character–not buildings. This compound may provide a temporary place of safety for them.

Many other churches have building projects and schools. Why should PCG be any more recognized than them? I’m so glad to be away from there, but feel very sorry for those who still think that PCG is right. –Former member of WCG, PCG and RCG

More Info From Part One:

November 25, 2008

The comment from Stephen Flurry about their $15 million dollar Performing Arts Center “showcases the greatest achievements of the human spirit” sounded quite phony to me. I hope those who are not familiar with the organization are turned off by the fact that kind of cash was spent on a building instead of social responsibility.

The fact that the college is “not accredited” was a welcomed fact.

It sounds like David Ben-Ariel is still on board with the Armstrong beliefs even after being disfellowshipped. (He along with all those who have surrendered to the control of Armstrongism will continue to be in my prayers.)

Dr. Barbara Boyd from Oklahoma University did not take the opportunity to explain how destructive the fear of not tithing can be to families [in PCG].

I am disappointed with Fox for inviting the viewer to contact PCG for information regarding their concert series and archaeological dig. It seemed like a favor to Flurry.

I’m looking forward to Pt. 2. –Impacted by the “no contact” ruling

Part Two Exposes PCG Further:

November 25, 2008

I just watched part 2. They brought up the allegations of the PCG trying to withdraw money from an elderly member’s bank account without her knowledge. Stephen Flurry claimed to know nothing about that. At the beginning of the piece Nick Winkler mentioned that the PCG has been investigated by various police agencies and the FBI. They also mentioned the practice of the 3 tithe system again, as in part one, and again the PCG claims that tithing is “voluntary.”

On Gerald Flurry’s arrest, Nick Winkler showed the police report and mentioned that he tried to bribe the officer $25 dollars. They showed Flurry’s mug shot. Very powerful and very bad for Flurry.

Right after Nick reported Flurry’s arrest, he reported that the PCG believes that Gerald Flurry is a prophet and speaks for God. Nick asked Stephen point blank if Flurry speaks for God and Stephen acknowledged it by saying yes and that he fulfills the role of a prophet as laid out in Scripture.

Nick asked Stephen how much Gerald made last year in salary from the PCG. Stephen said he wasn’t sure but he believes that it’s in the neighborhood of $65,000. Yeah, but that doesn’t take into account the free, brand new house and all the other perks which probably add up to half a million a year, if I were to make an educated guess.

It was also reported that they don’t believe in interracial marriage, and that they cut off family members who don’t agree with them. That was a great point made at the end of the segment.

In both parts, a theology professor from Oklahoma University was interviewed. In part 2 she stressed the importance of members being able to disagree with the leadership, rather than just an “accept everything that is said” policy. The PCG claims that people are allowed to disagree, which of course is a damn lie.

Overall with both parts, a viewer would definitely get the impression that the Edmond HQ grounds is like a compound. In fact, in part 2 a passing comparison was made to the Branch Davidians. Nick asked Stephen if they are the Branch Davidians. Stephen laughed and said no. The effect on video was great.

It was a very good report. Nick Winkler did an excellent job. –Former PCG member

Comment: Also read: Warning to All Elderly People Who Are Considering Joining Philadelphia Church of God! and how David Koresh’s belief system was very similar to that of Gerald Flurry’s Philadelphia Church of God. [see footnote #10 in Philadelphia Church of God and the Place of Safety]

Cash Spent on a Building Instead of Social Responsibility:

November 25, 2008

The comment from Stephen Flurry about their 15 million dollar Performing Arts Center “showcases the greatest achievements of the human spirit” sounded quite phony to me. I hope those who are not familiar with the organization are turned off by the fact that kind of cash was spent on a building instead of social responsibility.

The fact that the college is “not accredited” was a welcomed fact.

Dr. Barbara Boyd from Oklahoma University did not take the opportunity to explain how destructive the fear of not tithing can be to families in PCG. –Impacted by PCG

A Very Good Report:

November 25, 2008

I just finishing watching part 2. They brought up the allegations of the PCG trying to withdraw money from an elderly member’s bank account without her knowledge. Stephen Flurry claimed to know nothing about that. At the beginning of the piece Nick Winkler mentioned that the PCG has been investigated by various police agencies and the FBI. They also mentioned the practice of the 3 tithe system again, as in part one, and again the PCG claims that tithing is “voluntary.”

On Gerald Flurry’s arrest, Nick Winkler showed the police report and mentioned that he tried to bribe the officer $25 dollars. They showed Flurry’s mug shot. Very powerful and very bad for Flurry.

Right after Nick reported Flurry’s arrest, he reported that the PCG believes that Gerald Flurry is a prophet and speaks for God. Nick asked Stephen point blank if Flurry speaks for God and Stephen acknowledged it by saying yes and that he fulfills the role of a prophet as laid out in Scripture.

Nick asked Stephen how much Gerald made last year in salary from the PCG. Stephen said he wasn’t sure but he believes that it’s in the neighborhood of $65,000. Yeah, but that doesn’t take into account the free, brand new house and all the other perks which probably add up to half a million a year, if I were to make an educated guess.

It was also reported that they don’t believe in interracial marriage, and that they cut off family members who don’t agree with them. That was a great point made at the end of the segment.

In both parts, a theology professor from Oklahoma University was interviewed. In part 2 she stressed the importance of members being able to disagree with the leadership, rather than just an “accept everything that is said” policy. The PCG claims that people are allowed to disagree, which of course is a damn lie.

Overall with both parts, a viewer would definitely get the impression that the Edmond HQ grounds is like a compound. In fact, in part 2 a passing comparison was made to the Branch Davidians. Nick asked Stephen if they are the Branch Davidians. Stephen laughed and said no. The effect on video was great.

It was a very good report. Nick Winkler did an excellent job. –Former PCG member

Mike’s Enlightenment Page Was Shown on Part Two:

November 25, 2008

Guess what? Mike’s Enlightenment Page was on Part Two twice!!! Yes!!! Maybe somebody will check it out online! They showed a complete shot of Mike’s Enlightenment Page, then they did a close-up of the words “Beware of the Philadelphia Church of God” and then they quickly flash down to the contents of the page. Really cool!!! They reported finding Gerald Flurry drunk and passed out in his car and how he tried to bribe the police with $25. That was great! Of course, Stephen Flurry acted like he didn’t know anything about it. One brave ex-member said that GF is using fear to dupe members out of their money. I’m glad he could see through it. –Former WCG member

Gerald and Stephen Flurry Are Hypocrites:

November 26, 2008

Those two programs were not long enough to expose the PCG for what they are, hypocrites. For one thing tithing is not voluntary; they demand it or you’re out. It’s time the members woke up to the Flurry tribe. Who was Stephen Flurry trying to kid? What does Flurry need paying for? It would be pocket money to him. What is there for him to spend it on? He has a big new house built on the land, new car to drive, his kids living on either side of him so no traveling to get to see them and let’s not forget the “pay” his kids have on top of their new houses! Members have paid for their new houses, too, and continue to pay for their ongoing empire building. How can they say they are building a “house for God”? God doesn’t need one. It’s all been done before. Flurry is only after the members’ money. Those mug shots are about right–he is a control freak and a crook. –Ex member of WCG, PCG, & LCG

My Commentary on the PCG Story:

November 26, 2008

I recently watched Fox25’s story on the Philadelphia Church of God. Anyone who has family members or loved ones involved with the PCG wouldn’t be surprised by the requirement of second and third tithes, nor the apocalyptic slant of Stephen Flurry when he says, “We believe we’re in the time of the end.” The commentator in the news story says that the PCG believes “only the faithful will survive.” A former member, Dennis Fisher, states that Gerald Flurry sets himself up as a representative of God, and has declared himself “That Prophet.” While this should be disturbing to someone unfamiliar with the group, to many of us, we’re all too familiar already. While I was watching and listening to this, I already knew that these statements were true, as I had been hearing them and reading about them for years, since my mate’s involvement in the PCG had brought them into my life, as well.

On the second half, I quickly caught the lie that members can question the authority in the PCG. This is an out-and-out falsehood. Every member knows that to question the ministry is to question the “government of God” and is “not of God.” Questioning is a quick way to find oneself disfellowshipped and separated from friends and family, which is a fearful means of keeping the members in control, not to mention the fear of eternal punishment for not belonging to the “one true church,” the PCG.

I also noticed that while GF did not appear in person, either because of his own paranoia, or because he thought that SF was more appealing to the public, there was a large painting of HWA behind SF, with HWA in a regal pose, either coincidentally or symbolically, looking over his son’s shoulder. Personally, I think that from the PCG perspective, letting SF speak is for the best. I have to admit that just seeing GF on TV gives me the “heebie-jeebies.” He’s always come across to me as being about as trustworthy as some used car salesmen that I’ve known.

Let me add that I have to say that I do agree with SF on one thing he said, and that is, the PCG is not a “Branch-Davidian” operation. They’re not stockpiling food or weapons, although the report did mention and show the gardening, livestock, and nearby water supply. The purpose of the PCG is to produce cash, a source of income for the upper ministers, and to give evil men a power of control over helpless and frightened members. Obviously, they’re not really worried about the coming “end times,” or they wouldn’t be investing millions of dollars in members’ tithes and offerings in buildings dedicated to men. These buildings’ names quickly reveal who the Flurrys’ “god” is; his name and likeness are in and on most everything they produce: Herbert W. Armstrong.

I would encourage anyone who has family members in this group and those similar to it to watch these programs. I can also just pray that people take the information presented in the programs, and use it to educate themselves and their friends and family, and warn them of the Armstrong groups. –Have loved one in PCG

News Story Shows Complaints Have Been Received:

November 26, 2008

The news special on FOX 25 indicates a couple of things. First, news organizations do not put out negative stories about religious organizations unless they have received a number of complaints. They err on the side of caution. This means there are a number of people complaining about the church [PCG] and their activities. The fact that the PCG is responding to the story by putting Stephen Flurry out there means they are worried about something (normally they do not respond). There may be more defections than we think if they are concerned about this negative news to the point of answering questions. This was a pretty negative story for a religious group. –Anonymous

A Few of My Family’s Thoughts on the Fox News Presentation:

November 26, 2008

Here are a few of my family’s thoughts of the Fox News presentation on the PCG:

  1. It doesn’t make sense to me that they’re building a 15 million dollar arts center if in fact they believe that Jesus will be coming back to Jerusalem.
  2. It’s very weird that they have created their own water system.
  3. I was glad they stated in both parts that their college is not accredited. Makes people wonder what they’re really teaching there if they can’t get accreditation.
  4. Tithing being excessive was stressed. That’s a red flag to me and should be to everyone.
  5. Fifteen million dollars revenue in one year is extremely excessive for such a small group. What are they doing to bring in such massive amounts of money? It is very worrisome to hear SF say his father only earns $65,000 per year. If folks did research on his lifestyle, they would find that this is completely inaccurate. If they can’t be upfront and honest about that fact, then they are obvious lying about many other facts.
  6. I believe they are definitely scamming and scaring people out of their money. That was more than obvious to me.
  7. It’s very frightening that in this day and age anyone would say that they solely speak for God. Only God speaks for God.
  8. The 170 acre campus in Oklahoma looked like a creepy and un-American project.
  9. It was very disturbing to hear that any “church” anywhere on the planet would actually tell members to cut off ties with family members that are outside the PCG or to ban interracial marriage. This sends a deeply disturbing message. God loves each and every one of us, regardless of our nationality and color.
  10. Anyone that thinks they can use fear to keep members in line is definitely wrong.
  11. It was obvious to me that the followers of the PCG have been mind-controlled and are in a very destructive cult environment.

–Have family members in PCG

My Observations From the News Reports:

November 26, 2008

Stephen Flurry could not keep a straight face when saying the world was coming to a violent end, could he?

He also could not bring himself to state dogmatically that GF is actually a prophet, much less “That” Prophet. What was that all about? He skirted around the answer like a practiced politician!

Three tithes voluntary?? The member who doesn’t give them is supposed to be guilty of “robbing God”!

Too bad nothing was said about the books that the members were required to buy at exorbitant prices.

I wish I could afford a house like the one they showed. I don’t think that was bought with a salary of $65,000 a year.

I loved the mug shots!! [of Gerald Flurry] I am betting most of the members didn’t know anything about that arrest.

I believe the picture behind SF was actually one of a very old HWA. I am familiar with that picture. One of the members took the picture and made a painting of it.

I noticed at the end of the second segment that SF had told the reporter that the PCG had helped in a handicapped school in Jordan. That was many years ago, and the PCG was kicked out very quickly. The Jordanians are very wary of “churches” that are interested in Petra. There are quite a few, actually.

I hope most of the people that watched the reports realized just how stupid it would be to pour all that money into a “campus” when the world is about to explode. What is the point? –Former WCG/PCG member

Wish They Had Been Tougher on Them:

November 27, 2008

I watched both parts. I wish they’d been tougher on them. The PCG is currently trying to take someone’s money here in Iowa. An elderly member died, they are giving his (non member) daughter grief. A member has the key to the deceased’s house and has not returned it to the daughter. I guess (very nice) furniture is gone. Not too Christian, are they? Perhaps I should let that FOX affiliate know about that! Thank you for the heads up. –Former PCG member

What Struck Me With the News Story:

November 27, 2008

I watched both parts of the news story and a couple of things struck me.

I noticed that Stephen Flurry seemed uncomfortably embarrassed when he was asked if Gerald was a prophet, and had to quickly add a qualifier to it. No one in the organization has the slightest hesitation to give him that title in the privacy of services. It reminded me of how Herbert Armstrong used to be embarrassed by Jesus and only spoke, in public forums, of “a strong hand from someplace.”

Also the whole idea that tithing is voluntary. While they may not send a bill for them, the tithes are not voluntary. You are faced with eternal death in the Lake of Fire if you do not tithe. It is psychological extortion at best.

I thought that the whole story was a softball piece. If it had been a hardball story it would have been perceived by the membership as persecution and a sign that they were the “true church.” It could be helpful in warning those on the outside, or those contemplating joining, and in that regard, needed.

Thanks for alerting me to it. –Former WCG/PCG member

There is Another Side to the Story:

November 27, 2008

I watched both parts of the interview, and was amazed at the whole story. Why didn’t Gerald do the interview is my first question? I also noticed that when Stephen Flurry was saying that they believe that Gerald is fulfilling the role of a prophet, there was a little smirk on his face, like maybe he didn’t believe it himself. They claim the time to flee is 2010 and they need 10,000 people. That makes me wonder why they are doing this interview. Could it be, trying to con people into believing this is a normal “church.” I think their numbers are very low; they are trying to get more people. They are trying to make the group look normal, when in fact, they are far from normal. I believe there is another side of this story that needs to be told, our side. I hope that all who have been affected by this man who calls himself a prophet needs to write to the station. And let them know we want to give our side of the story. It’s only fair that our voice is heard. I hope they will allow us to speak, and allow us to tell how we all have been affected by this organization. It’s far from being Christian. One who has lost a daughter and three grandchildren because of the No-Contact Rule, and this so call Prophet. –CJS

Gerald Flurry and Ministers Giving False Message:

November 30, 2008

PCG will just spin this and tell the members it’s proof that they’re “God’s people” and that’s why they are being projected this way. Unfortunately, many of their members will believe this. Hopefully more people will open their eyes and see that Gerald Flurry and his ministers are giving a false message that separates people from their families and friends. –Former member of PCG

Flurrys Need to Get Off Moses’ Seat:

November 30, 2008

When I watched part 2 of the Fox25 interview, my initial thought was that until these men get off Moses’ seat, laws and regimented rulings to control will continue to remain over those who are as yet seemingly naïve and blind to perceive the true message that Jesus Christ came to teach for all of mankind. Those two greater commandments are love. Old wine cannot be forced into new wineskins just as Scripture says.

Jesus Christ’s example and teachings were in such contrast to how these men are ruling and it is a sad reflection on them that they sit so hard with their need to control that it forces members to obey their rulings as they are doing.

These men may hope to increase their numbers but people will only bend so far to strive to become the perfected people these men pressure members to become. –Impacted by loved ones in PCG

These Men Have a Need to Control:

November 30, 2008

When I watched part 2 of the Fox25 interview, my initial thought was that until these men get off Moses’ seat, laws and regimented rulings to control will continue to remain over those who are as yet seemingly naïve and blind to perceive the true message that Jesus Christ came to teach for all of mankind. Those two greater commandments are love. Old wine cannot be forced into new wineskins just as Scripture says.

Jesus Christ’s example and teachings were in such contrast to how these men are ruling and it is a sad reflection on them that they sit so hard with their need to control that it forces members to obey their rulings as they are doing.

These men may hope to increase their numbers but people will only bend so far to strive to become the perfected people these men pressure members to become. –Impacted by loved ones in PCG

Almost Joined PCG:

December 1, 2008

I, too, was going through the process of joining the Philadelphia church of God. But God has lead me away to another direction. Gerald Flurry was in Toronto on 11/9/08. I had tickets to go but did not. Tonight I emailed the Canadian office and thanked them for their teachings and support but told them that God has called me in another direction. However they will probably try to lure me back, but I have call display and will not return any calls. Tell me something, please, does this church do any community service such as food drives, raising money to help the poor or sick? It seems to me that they do not. God Bless. –Canada

Reply: No, they do not. PCG is not considered a church, but an exploitive, abusive group. I hope our site will be helpful to you.

Majority of Money From Yard and Bake Sales Goes to Building Projects:

December 1, 2008

This is in response to the question in the last letter. The PCG conducts yard sales, bake sales, etc., but most of the proceeds have been going to building projects. Local churches have only been able to keep some of the money for their local activities. The biggest part of the money they might receive from these sales they have had during the year will then go to whatever the then-current building project is; i.e., the Hall of Administration, the Performing Arts Center, etc. As far as food drives, or reaching out to those less fortunate outside the PCG and trying to help them, the PCG doesn’t. According to the ministers’ thinking, that money would be best reserved for “the work.” –S. S.

Never Been So Happy:

December 2, 2008

Greetings:

I was in WWCG and PCG for many, many years. We members typically thought that the church was our life, so, if a member would be put out, it was as if the ministry would kill that person forever because the one put out would think they are being cut off from eternal life. Similarly, if one voluntarily leaves, it is like spiritual suicide–it is still death.

I decided it was worth dying to get out of there and so, I left in November of 2005. I immediately began to feel better.

Jesus made a very revealing statement: “Those who seek to save their lives (maybe in a place of safety?) will lose it, and those who lose their lives for my sake will save it.” I could relate!

Since leaving I have never been so happy in all my life; the church and its evil leaders no longer have any influence in my life. I meet most every Sabbath with friends of like mind and we have spectacular Bible studies and stimulating conversations on any subject we choose and I can assure you that none of us have any fear of PCG.

Nick Winkler asked me if I knew anything about suicides in PCG. I explained all the above to him but it never made the story.

I wish all of you who have come out the very best; that is what Jesus wants, “Come out of her my people least you share in her sins.”

Kind Regards, –Dennis Fisher

Comment: Dennis Fisher was interviewed by Nick Winkler for the special FOX news report. Read: Special News Report on Philadelphia Church of God (Includes pertinent comments by ESN)

The Flurrys Do Not Pay Tithes:

December 2, 2008

All this talk in the news report about “tithing is voluntary.” Incredible yet is the fact that the Flurrys themselves do not pay tithes because they believe they are the “holy priesthood” and should only receive the tithes. Flurry brags that the literature is “free” but he does not pay one penny into the system they’ve created. I know of many ministers in mainstream churches who tithe because they, as leaders, believe they should “set the example.” –Former member

Blatant Lie About Third Tithe:

December 3, 2008

Here’s a link in the Edmond Sun (“Church responds to TV news report”) to a PCG press conference, about the Fox news story, that I wanted to comment on. [Note: If this article is ever removed, we have copied it at the end of Special News Report on Philadelphia Church of God.]

In the story they quote Shane Granger and say: “The third tithe is contributed every third year, Granger said, and goes not into church operations, but for the support of its widows, orphans and poor, taking that burden off public tax rolls.”

This is a blatant lie, typical of the whole organization. This can be proven by reviewing the April 8, 2006 PGR. [This Pastor General’s Report is a PDF file from the Wayback Machine: http://www.pcog.info/PGR/PGR 2006-04-08.pdf.]

Third tithe is 2 years of 7 years and could be written as 2/9th’s or about 22%. Yet it is clear from page three of their PGR they only paid out less than 1% labeled “Assistance.” Even if you discount that not every member pays third tithe, their payout should still be a lot more than that 1%, clearly something stinks. They are engaging in some sort of fraud at the very least. –V. W. (Former WCG/PCG member)

PCG Does Not Take Care of the Orphans & Widows:

December 3, 2008

I read the Edmond Sun news article and Shane Granger (PCG “marketing director”) claims they use the 3rd tithe for the widows. The PCG does not take care of the orphans and the widows. All they do is separate families. We never saw a widow or orphan being cared for in all the years we were in that business organization. They don’t help the community or serve anyone but the leadership in that group who are treated to trips and wonderful sites around the world and to lavish hotels, and meals.

One leading family in PCG with 3 children took a six weeks vacation in the West on the pretense that they were visiting the elderly. They only visited about 5 people and the rest was pure vacation. Some “business” trip I’d say. –Have loved ones in PCG

Mike of Mike’s Enlightenment Page Speaks Out:

December 5, 2008

This is Mike from Mike’s PCG Enlightening Page.

I want to say that I am ecstatic that there was more exposure of the PCG and there should be more everyday until any crooked, robbery ways are dead in the water! The film footage on that local TV station did an excellent job showing just a minimal part of the PCG leader’s deceit and robbery of their followers (Sheep).

As a previous potential member and follower, I was truly brainwashed by the PCG ministers and Gerald and Stephen Flurry themselves. When I asked questions after seeing that their doctrine and sermons did not match what was in the scriptures. I was told to “stop asking questions” by Stephen Flurry (2nd in charge) and my pastor from California, Craig Winters. [Read: Mike’s Exit Letters to Craig Winters]

Once they knew they had me brainwashed, they started to ask me questions about my children and, as I look back, I truly think that this is what they were after. My children mean everything to me and how dare they try to get me to bring them to California from Hawaii? This is where I had to draw the line.

I’ve done extensive research on PCG and I believe they are dangerous. All I can say to members and non members is be careful. They hide behind the name of a “church” so they can be tax free.

PCG robbed me of thousands of dollars, but most importantly, they robbed me of years of my life because they fooled me into believing their false ways! I lived their ways and their life thinking this was the only way to eternal life but, listen! The Bible says that JESUS is the only way to the Father and not PCG!!

I was so happy to see the news film footage and Lord, please help expose them further! PCG, I hope you get investigated and you go down. Stop ruining people’s lives!! You are evil and not a church. Satan backs you up, and I rebuke you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for you and your evil agents to stay away from me, my friends and family, and those who are exposing you, like ESN workers.

Exposure is great! Let us all keep pressing on exposing until we close their doors like the WCG. Look what happened to WCG. They have been exposed and since HWA died, they are now a confused flock who are a semi-church and semi-crazy. I’ve been to a few of their services [in the past]. Wow, they are hurting. All the PCG wanted to do is pick up HWA’s followers and their pocketbooks along with them.

Last note. Gerald Flurry was drunk on the Sabbath. Admit it PCG followers. This is real and it did happen. Why do you follow him and his son, Stephen. They are liars.

Ephesians 5:11.

From my heart where Jesus lives, Mike

P.S. (2nd email) In answer to “Do Flurrys pay tithes?” I doubt they do! If they do, they would just re collect it.

I was influenced by the cult for years and surely paid mine, but days after I stopped, I was sent a warning letter of disfellowship.

After learning they were false, I stopped tithing and believe me they have computer programs that track who tithes and how much. If you stop or reduce you tithes, you will be warned.

What does this tell you? They want your money, not you. –Mike

Comment: ESN posted Mike’s Testimony in the past.

Challenges Presented to the PCG:

December 5, 2008

I read the damage control editorial on the PCG’s web site and thought, this is typical Gerald Flurry. The whole piece is loaded with pejorative adjectives used to generate a smoke screen of the issues, such as: “outrageous attack,” “slanderous report” and “fraudulent, completely illogical connection.” I can almost hear him in my mind–yelling, almost screaming, as he says them, just as he does regularly in his sermons.

The reporter was fair in making the comparison of the Branch Davidians and the PCG in that the Davidians’ beliefs are so similar to the PCG’s beliefs. The reporter asked Stephen Flurry straight out and then aired his “no” response. Stephen even smiled when answering.

He, Gerald Flurry, then goes on to list all of the “churches” accomplishments, accomplishments designed to put a pretty face on a “church” that uses fear and spiritual intimidation to keep their members in line and extract their money. He lists, among other things, the 15 million dollar auditorium but neglects to mention the beautiful and spacious homes for the top ministry, built, most likely, with the lion’s share of the third tithe that their Marketing Director says goes to the “poor, the widow and the orphaned.” He calls the Davidians “perverse and violent,” yet the only real significant difference between them is that the PCG does not stockpile food and weapons.

Gerald Flurry makes reference to a letter written by an anonymous former member. There is a difference between an anonymous source and an un-named source. Due to Flurry’s no contact ruling it is not at all surprising that a former member would want to stay un-named, especially if he has friends or relatives still in the PCG. Dennis Fisher, however, was not “hiding at the end of a phone line,” as Gerald accused. He was, rather, pictured and his name was credited on the screen.

If the PCG has nothing to hide, then I challenge them to stop destroying copies of sermons after they are played in the field congregations. I also challenge them to post their sermons on their web site. I then challenge them to open their financial dealings to the public. Until these challenges are met, I, for one, will hold them with the same suspicion that, apparently, does Fox 25.

Gerald Flurry also goes on to discredit David Ben-Ariel. What he says about him is rumored to be true, however, in the news piece, Ben-Ariel supported the PCG, and his only real criticism was with how to do the “work,” and how to spend the money. If he had not been disfellowshipped, he would probably still be with them.

He tries to paint Fox 25 as having more in common with the Davidians than the PCG. What a ridiculous and spurious claim. Anyone with a thinking mind could see that slight of hand for what it is.

He then tries to say that the members of the church are aware of his police record. Nothing could be further from the truth. A few may be aware but most are not. I was a member of the PCG for over ten years and never once heard about it.

He then says that his congregants hold him accountable. Whom does he think he is fooling? If anything, he holds his membership accountable to him. Anyone who seriously questions his rulings or doctrines is either silenced or disfellowshipped. There is no accountability there. If one were to even try to hold him accountable, he would draw from the same pool of pejorative adjectives to paint that person, humiliating or disfellowshipping them publicly, that he uses to try to discredit Fox 25.

Thanks for all your efforts to expose these charlatans. –W. (Former PCG member)

Comment: Read ESN’s article, Flurry’s Fury Unleashed! regarding the ads Flurry has been placing in newspapers after the FOX25 special report was aired about PCG.

Flurry’s Ads Show His True Character:

December 5, 2008

With Flurry taking out these large ads it sure shows a side of him that says, “See what happens when you challenge me? I will huff and puff and blow your house down!!” I told my husband about GF planning on running these large ads for the next couple of days. He just shook his head and said, “Why not? It isn’t costing him anything.” He agreed that Flurry’s actions are showing the public his true character. So maybe it is a good thing that he is reacting like this. I think it also shows what happens when members question him. He goes into an all-out rampage when he’s challenged. He sure didn’t call up Fox 25 and say, “Wow, Nick, I really didn’t like what you said on that news program. Is there any way we can meet together and maybe straighten out any misconceptions you have with our church?” Nope. He just went and got the nuclear bombs and dropped them out of the sky. I realize that GF does have the right to refute anything on that program, but he’s gone ballistic in his response. He’s really over the top on this one. –M. M. (Former member)

Where Most of PCG’s Third Tithe Fund Goes to:

December 7, 2008

I was talking with a good friend of mine from my PCG days last night on the phone. He reminded me of a situation that I had forgotten about regarding the PCG’s lack of concern for elderly widows. My friend took a local PCG widow under his wings and used to go to her house almost every Sunday and help by doing repairs, lawn mowing, painting, etc.

One summer her window unit AC [air conditioner] went out. He approached our local minister and submitted a request for an AC to be purchased for her through the PCG’s third tithe fund. The request was denied. My friend ended up just putting an AC in her house himself with no help from the church of “brotherly love,” save one other member.

And yet, about that same time Gerald Flurry, Stephen Flurry, and Ron Fraser made a trip down to Austin to interview George Friedman of Stratfor Systems, the “great forecasting guru” that the PCG quotes a lot in the Philadelphia Trumpet magazine. They all stayed in the downtown Radisson Hotel, one of the most expensive hotels in that city. That trip surely cost a lot more than a window AC unit. I had heard toward the end of my time in the PCG that most of the 3rd Tithe funds went to ministerial salaries and perks like trips, auto funds, etc. I believe that is probably true.

Someone forwarded a copy of the PGR for April 8 2006 [Pastor General’s Report: http://www.pcog.info/PGR/PGR 2006-04-08.pdf] that contained the expenses of the PCG for 2005. It showed that they had allocated about $79,000 for assisting widows and the needy. I’ve just done some math that shows that this is ridiculously low. The PCG has somewhere between 3,500 and 5,000 members. Everyone pays third tithes every third year in a seven year cycle. So lets divide 3,500 by 3 just to be conservative. That comes to 1,167.

But since the members’ third tithe is twice in a seven year cycle due to the “7th year of release,” I’ll knock some more off since not exactly one third of the PCG is third tithing each year. I’ll go with 700.

Now lets continue to be very conservative and say that the average tithing PCG member makes just $15,000 a year. If you continue with the math, that would mean that the PCG brings in approximately $1,050,000 a year in third tithes. So over 900,000 dollars goes to someone, or somewhere, other than the needy, or at least it did in 2005. And again, I was very conservative in the numbers I used. It could be even more. –Former PCG member

Read: Third Tithe Money Controlled by Headquarters (August 21, 2003)

Update: Third-Tithe and PCG’s Treatment of Poor Widows (July 26, 2012 letter)

Why Members Don’t Challenge Flurry:

December 7, 2008

Surely Nick Winkler and the rest of the Edmond community are starting to realize how unstable this Flurry fellow is. I bet he has never run into a madman like this one before. I hope Nick now understands why Flurry’s members’ don’t challenge him. They fear this same type of behavior from the pulpit. –Former WCG member

Comment: Leaders of totalistic groups cannot handle any kind of challenge or criticism. But Flurry’s ads have probably been more of a show for the benefit of members.

 

Next to 2009

Back to Letter Archives