Best of the Letters from 2013
Grant Turgeon Has an Attitude:
January 3, 2013
I read the email correspondence from Grant Turgeon to ESN. Wow. Has he got an attitude, much like his dad Wayne Turgeon and grandpa Gerald Flurry! He uses all the pat answers and bravado that I came to loathe while in the PCG. That “we’re better than everyone” stance that starts from the top down in this organization and has fueled his opinions from day one. He was a smart mouth and a brat ten years ago; not much has changed. Like most abusive cult groups, especially the splinter groups of Armstrongism, I see that Pharisaical spirit, lunging out at anyone who questions their many delusions. I hope that all concerned within this spider web of lies called the PCG will question not only that Grant was even able to communicate with the ESN while they, the membership, can’t, but that he shows his true Flurry colors in the way he writes; not Christ-like at all. –One glad to be free of the PCG Aristocracy
Update: See the comment from September 28, 2012 letter about Grant emailing ESN and read the next to last paragraph in “Abuses I Was Aware of in Philadelphia Church of God” which shows more concerning Grant Turgeon’s “attitude.”
Update: Grant Turgeon was ordained a local elder in Edmond on October 11, 2022.
Members Mistreated by PCG Ministry:
January 8, 2013
Hello ESN. I want to thank you for continuing to support the people who have been mistreated by the PCG ministry. In response to what is happening in Trinidad, it seems this is endemic in all PCG churches–the fear of losing control!
My loved one in Australia who is elderly continues to be suspended for a couple of years now and as commanded by the minister, the full “no contact” policy still applies. To be abandoned after sacrificing thousands of dollars and not having any one around when an elderly person is in need of help is truly appalling in this group–not much of a shining light there. Instead, ministers continue to interfere in people’s private lives, lying, gossiping to control members, which also goes against the qualifications of a good pastor. (I Timothy 3 and Titus 1) –Australia
AICF Portrayed as Something it is Not:
January 14, 2013
I have been at your ESN site and have read many encouraging letters to those trying to exit this religious cult.
We went to visit the Armstrong International Cultural Foundation thinking it to be a community built organization. My first thoughts on pulling up was how in the world did anyone ever get this paid for? It was so over the top extravagant that immediately I had red flags raising at every corner of my mind.
After our tour of the showing “Solomon’s Temple,” I came home to research this “college” and “community auditorium” and realized the deceit and lies that we’re used to project it as something it is not.
I’m so hurt that people use God’s name to do the work of evil. I do believe the leaders of this organization to be mislead by the Devil. Everything they do, build, support and preach is the exact opposite of what Christ taught us to do while he was a man living on this earth. –J. S.
PCG Using Facebook to Promote Themselves:
January 14, 2013
After all of the demonizing of Facebook by the PCG, the PCG has 5 or 6 Facebook pages now. There is a Philadelphia Church of God page, an Armstrong Auditorium page, a Herbert W. Armstrong College page, a Gerald Flurry and a Stephen Flurry page. Many PCG brethren have appeared and re-appeared on Facebook, even PCG teens in the USA. I have personally seen them on there. The PCG thought FB to be evil but are now using it to promote themselves. Many find that very hypocritical! If any of us post truth on their walls, they ban us from posting. Why the teens and singles in Trinidad received flack for being on FB when PCG brethren, teens, singles and minsters have FB accounts is baffling. –[name withheld]
Stand Up and Expose This Very Sick Cult:
January 15, 2013
It is most pleasing to see members of the PCG in Trinidad stand up and expose the abuse, hypocrisy, and self-righteous attitude of the PCG. If only other members around the world would admit to the abuse and self-righteous attitudes they have had to bear as members of the PCG and how many of them only remain in the “church” for family reasons and the “no-contact rule.”
If I remember correctly, there were young adults and teenagers in South Africa who were disfellowshipped/suspended and the parents were instructed to remove them from the home. To destroy family like this is very, very sick. Members are also instructed to divorce “Laodicean” husbands or wives. Many ministers are also well known for abusing their wives for being disobedient.
Alex Harrison, Max Rumler, and many of the ministry are spiritual bully boys who take great delight in suspending or disfellowshipping members with no thought whatsoever to grace, mercy, forgiveness, and Christ’s instruction to love one another.
There are three sets of rules in this cult: One for ministers, one for family and friends of the ministers, and one for rest of the dumb sheep. Why are the children of ministers and deacons never suspended or disfellowshipped? How is it that Andrew Hessong is on FB and young Grant Turgeon was corresponding with ESN? The names of many ministers also appear on many other websites.
To all those PCG members around the world I say, stand up, expose this very sick cult and save your family and children from the abuse of these people.
Yours Sincerely, M. S.
Comment: Grant Turgeon is the son of Wayne Turgeon. As of 2017, Andrew Hessong was a Preaching Elder in the United States: Arizona, Hawaii, Utah, California, and Nevada. Update: Read: Andrew Hessong Moved to Ohio Where His Idol Brian Davis Is (1-14-22 letter) [Note: Alex Harrison died 11-29-20 and Max Rumler died suddenly on July 16, 2013.]
January 15, 2013
If any in PCG even think about having a speck of doubt in their minds, they are met with a warning that causes such a terrifying fear that God will cut them off and leave them behind because they even thought to have a thought of their own. We know the truth of all of it and sometimes we think those in PCG could see it too if it would just be pointed out to them and proved. But Flurry has their mind so bent, nothing can penetrate. All he has to do is remind them that those who left are deceived and they have this “special calling to the truth” and have to protect it always from people like us who have left. Those of us that are out now have to really think back at how they rule you with fear. Any small glance of the real world is met with swift punishment from a minister and “God” (so they think). I have tried to help a few and I can see how hopeless it seems. If they do have thoughts of getting out, they soon are back in some offshoot, under someone else controlling their minds and actions.
It’s best to help and feed the ones who have the courage to break away. It takes a great deal of courage to leave that place and God has to open their mind and give them that courage. I think ESN is a great place to start to get that courage.–Former member of WCG & PCG
Three Sets of Rules in the PCG:
January 15, 2013
Exit Support, it is most pleasing to see the members of the PCG in Trinidad stand up and expose the abuse, hypocrisy, and self-righteous attitude of the PCG ministry and members. If only other members around the world would admit to the abuse and self-righteous attitudes they have had to bear as members of the PCG and that many of them only remain in the “church” for family reasons and the “no contact rule.”
If I remember correctly, there were young adults and teenagers in South Africa who were disfellowshipped/suspended and the parents were instructed to remove them from the home and for one child from his employment. To destroy family like this is very, very sick. Members are also instructed to divorce “Laodicean” husbands or wives. Many ministers are also well known for abusing their wives for being disobedient.
Alex Harrison, Max Rumler, and many of the ministry are spiritual bully boys who take great delight in suspending or disfellowshipping members with no thought whatsoever to grace, mercy, forgiveness, and Christ’s instruction to love one another.
There are three sets of rules in this cult: One for ministers, one for family and friends of the ministers, and one for rest of the dumb sheep. Why are the children of ministers and deacons never suspended or disfellowshipped? How is it that Andrew Hessong is on Facebook and young Grant is corresponding with Exit Support? The names of many ministers also appear on many other websites.
To all those PCG members around the world I say, stand up, expose this very sick cult and save your family and children from the abuse of these people. –Yours Sincerely, M. S.
The Entire Framework Was Flawed:
January 17, 2013
I am in my forties and was in WCG and PCG from the age of 7 until my late 30s. Much damage can be done in that time. … It is so sad that the Bible tells people in plain language to test the leaders and prophets and yet so many have been deceived into thinking it is sin to doubt or even question.
It took years after leaving to realize the entire framework from which Armstrong built his foundation was flawed. I must say that one of the most helpful tools to accomplish this is Mystery of the Ages (a critical review) by Kelly Marshall. All of the foundational beliefs are in that book and it is well covered and dismantled piece by piece and backed by truth and Scripture. As you have proven on this website, there are sometimes ten Scriptures to refute one scripture Armstrong taught.
As always, thank you so much for your dedication to this website. This is a place where God’s true followers can come to find rest. –[name withheld]
Thank You for Exposing the Abuses and Errors:
January 18, 2013
My congratulations to those that that are coming forward to expose the horror and abuse in the PCG, and thanks to you and your staff for exposing the errors that exist in most or all of Herbert Armstrong’s and Gerald Flurry’s literature.
There are also grandparents who have left the PCG who have never seen their grandchildren. This no-contact rule is destroying families in America and around the world, and is straight from the mouth of Satan. This constant greed for tithes and offerings for “God’s House” does not come from the teachings of Christ.
The members in the PCG must read their Bibles, and compare what is in the Bible to what HWA and GF teach.
Please keep up the good work, love and encouragement you give to the abused. –R. H.
Comment: HWA (as other false teachers/prophets) convinced readers that they were “proving” everything themselves, when in reality he was taking scriptures out of context and twisting them. Unfortunately, there are still those who are exiting PCG and believe it to be the “Laodicean” church (see our article: Is the Philadelphia Church Now the Laodicean Church?) They cannot conceive that they have been deceived first by Herbert Armstrong and then Gerald Flurry. Unless we understand how we came to be unduly influenced for the wrong purposes and really grasp the true gospel and grace, we will never be set completely free. However, God will open our minds if we allow Him to.
PCG Liars Who Twist the Word of God:
February 5, 2013
I have a thirteen year old son who was thrown out by Brian Davis, a Regional Director in the PCG, almost a year now. There is just one word that sums up the Philadelphia Church of God hierarchy and a lot of it’s members–liars!
I am constantly recalling in my mind instances I caught ministers and members lying and twisting Scripture. Poor Grant Turgeon will never see or experience what we ex members, (or for that matter, current members), experienced/experience.
It appears Gerald Flurry and his top ministers are so obsessed with trying to make lots of money and appear “normal” to the world, that they seem to not understand Revelation 21–especially verses 8 and 27:
“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (vs. 8)
“And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” (vs. 27)
They love to use the word “twisted” when describing people they have thrown out. They do not even realize they are describing themselves! Thank you, Exit Support Network™, for being here and allowing me to post my “twisted” comments! –Former member of PCG
Harsh Authoritarian Style:
February 6, 2013
Here we have yet another example of the craziest things still going on in the PCG [see previous letter]. A child of 13 years of age having to experience this sort of behavior and see the hurt and pain inflicted by those who are lording it over the brethren. They are now focusing on the young unbaptized children. Unbelievable! The ministry from the top down were never in my time there, ever trained in “people care” or showing any love.
Their example has always been in the harsh authoritarian style. Ruling with the “rod of iron ” in the strictest sense is still alive and well. Always using fear and threats, because their actions can’t be backed up with scriptures.
You, at the Exit Support Network™, have documented proof of 13 years of abuse! Without your documented history, it would have been lost and forgotten about, and eventually not believed.
Your site has helped more than you’ll ever know! And continue to show up the abuse for all the world to see. –Ex “untwisted” PCG member
Comment: Leaders of authoritarian religious cults are very similar in the psychologically abusive methods they employ. (See: Understanding Mind Control & Exploitation.
How Twisted Your Thinking Gets:
February 13, 2013
I was in the WWCOG and in the PCG. I am no longer, as I was disfellowshipped on trumped up charges by a high ranking Regional Director in February 2012. Yes, I know how those people in those offshoots can be. Here’s one instance. When I first began attending the Philadelphia Church of God in 2004, I had heard rumors about Gerald Flurry’s drunken stupor incident. At that time I was really “brainwashed” and naïve. In conversation once, I had asked a woman, who is the mother of the man in charge of public relations now for the PCG, if the incident was true. She scoffed and replied with a definite “No!” Well, I later learned it was true. This woman knows it’s true also, but she lied to me and said it was not. Shows how “twisted” your thinking gets after becoming “one of them!” –Ex WCG & PCG
I was Mentally, Verbally, and Spiritually Abused:
February 22, 2013
If we are to go strictly by the PCG teachings, Brian Davis thinks he has “taken my crown.” (Revelation 3:11) This is how callous they are to let you think you will be thrown in the “lake of fire” if you do not submit and come crawling back to them. I no longer believe this! After a final disfellowship by Brian Davis, I got back my critical thinking skills and came to the conclusion that PCG is a cult that I was part of. I was mentally, verbally, and spiritually abused. They all live a life of luxury at PCG Headquarters in Edmond, Oklahoma. In the meantime, back at the farm in the real world, all those poor cast out members who believed all that bull are trying to pick up the pieces and get what’s left of their lives back together. I want to warn others that any group that leaves Christ and His teachings out of the picture as the PCG does is a big fat lie! –Ex PCG
Place of Safety No longer in Petra:
March 18, 2013
There was an announcement that the “place of safety” is no longer in Petra as held previously by the WCG / PCG. A PCG office has been established in Jerusalem and only the “Headquarters Ministry” will be going first to check out a possible new place of safety. Only when a suitable place has been sanctioned by Gerald Flurry, then and only then, will the lay members be considered and granted permission to go.
It was in the mid 1970s that the WCG was set to go to the place of safety in Petra. [Read: Memories About Petra] Many members sold all their hard earned belongings (businesses, houses, land, cars) and withdrew all their money from the banks and gave it all to the WCG, only to be disappointed that it never materialized and their money was never returned to them.
Will history repeat itself again with the PCG? Those who wouldn’t learn from their past mistakes are destined to repeat them. This will be a very hard, bitter and painful experience to endure. “That prophet” Gerald Flurry also stated in past sermons/Bible studies that Pope Benedict the 16th would be the last pope and that he would usher in the Tribulation. Was his “divine revelations” from God correct? Or will he deceive and manipulate the members, fleecing them from their money in order to expand his Financial Empire? –Resigned PCG member (Trinidad, Caribbean)
My Mind Really Started to Open Up and I Questioned Things:
March 20, 2013
It is difficult for many who leave PCG to get their lives back after being indoctrinated for so long. Back in the 1980s I started reading Herbert Armstrong’s literature and did the Correspondence Course. I joined the PCG believing that it was true to Armstrong teachings only to find out that the WCG/PCG is a Bible-based cult, etc. I never proved all things for myself until last year with the help of ESN. My mind really started to open up and I questioned all things. Now I have to unlearn what I believed to be true for 24 years. I have an open mind and read and study, proving everything with my Bible. I investigate and do research. It’s challenging and exciting at the same time. Re-learning and re-education is one key to getting your life normal and stabilized. Putting your faith and trust in Christ as only Lord and Savior–not in man or an institution is also a very important key. I believe that I have a new life now and I’m so happy I found you (ESN). Please keep up the good work that you are doing. You are reaching people from all over the world. –Former member of PCG
A Lot of Changes Are Going on in PCG/Aaron Eagle:
April 12, 2013
Aaron Eagle no longer a minister, having to move, yet still a member–the way it was announced in the PCG was “still a member in good standing.” But, it just doesn’t make sense. Many of the members will never hear what is really happening and they are becoming more and more disillusioned. Right now a lot of changes are going on. Ministers are being moved around, decisions about who can go where, and it is taking longer than they thought. Many can’t help but think that what started all these changes was after the whole Cal Culpepper/Aaron Eagle issue. Eagle having to move out and Culpepper having to move in. That made some think of something Gerald Flurry said to all members a few years ago. When the hot issue of the ministry and the members “disfellowshipping” one’s own family was coming on strong again, it was all in the context of the “Laodicean” problem. GF felt too many people were in the Church, but not totally 100% involved. They were to be more active. He really raised his voice and said, “Inactive member, what’s an inactive member?” He said, “An inactive member is a dead member!”
This happened to a minister a few years back, either resigned or he was dismissed from being a minister, and members were told all was fine. He’s now just a “member in good standing.” Many knew because they asked. It wasn’t health problems or the usual things you would think of. It was also known before this that there was a strong issue or two, that this minister did question and go to GF about, but it was never resolved. Then, came the “no longer a minister” deal. It’s like still a “member” in good standing but can no longer be a “teacher” in good standing.
In the past week, members have now heard about another minister [Bryan Weeks], right there at HQ that lives on the grounds, once again dismissed, but “still a member.” He has been told he and his family have to move off HQs property. Members have said it is really not any of their business. But “yes,” it is. They are the loyal supporters, the tithe payers, the builders of the “House of God!”
The word is out with the members; people in the PCG are definitely reading your website (ESN). But they won’t come forth about it because no one wants to be told to leave because of being on a “dissident” website. Everyone (who chooses to remain with PCG) knows what that means, no longer being able to see family members anymore. Yet, they all know young Grant Turgeon [son of Wayne Turgeon] certainly didn’t have to pay any major consequence for his actions [of contacting ESN]. [See January 3 letter above about this.]Not only reading “dissident” literature but making repeated contact. Members thought HQ, of course, no one being perfect, but they do “pride” themselves as setting the proper example.
Thank you again for all you do. –Simply concerned
Update: Aaron Eagle was later disfellowshipped from PCG. Update: In 2015 it was rumored that Aaron Eagle started his own splinter group. Update 2014: The replacement for Aaron Eagle [who was suspended August 13, 2013] is a new “minister in training” named Joshua Wainwright. Update 2020: To read more about Aaron Eagle, read Gerald Flurry Remarries–Hypocrisy From the Top and search for Aaron’s name.
GF Is a Plagiarizer as Well as a Liar:
April 15, 2013
Bryan Weeks No Longer Minister:
April 18, 2013
Bryan Weeks, PCG HQs Local Elder (Mail Processing Dept. Manager), is no longer a minister. He was fired and has also been removed as supervisor of the WATTS line. –Ex-PCG
Craig Winters No Longer a Minister:
April 22, 2013
Craig Winters, Regional Director, residing in Florida, is no longer a PCG minister. [Note by ESN: We heard later that the reason may have been due to disagreements with Gerald Flurry.] Yet, never once in any announcement has the PCG been asked to pray for him. For a regional director to “resign,” especially this one, is unusual. This really is a big deal! PCG had only had three regional directors. Now they are down to two. –[name withheld]
Update: Craig Winters and his wife Coleen were disfellowshipped and marked in October 2021. Also read: “Craig Winters a Cruel and Cold Minister” (2006 letter).
Recent PCG Layoffs:
April 23, 2013
These recent “layoffs” sound like cost-saving measures; i.e., as the membership drops, you don’t need all those paid ministers. Just so long as the Flurry, Turgeon, and Hilliker families (related to GRF by blood or marriage) are financially secure and taken care of with luxury homes at HQs, most of the rest of the ministry are just “expendable.” Then they sugar-coat this reality by saying that these ex-ministers are “still a member in good standing.” Any minister or paid staff not directly in the Flurry “bloodline” should be nervous! –Former PCG member
My Girlfriend Decided to Leave PCG:
April 25, 2013
I wanted to say how well-written your site is, and how organized it is to follow along.
My girlfriend is an ex-member of the Philadelphia Church of God. She stopped going because family members were told not to talk to other family members/friends who either left the PCG or refused to pay the tithes when they lost their jobs.
I told her, “If Christ were here, would He tell members not to speak to so-and-so, or to refuse to help their families with money to buy their children clothes? Would Christ say or do those things because those people left the church? That alone, aside from everything else, should prove by itself that these people are lunatics.” Thankfully, she agreed with me.
I was trying to get her to see how dangerous this guru really is and how it is in no way teaching or practicing what Christ would do.
Anyway, your website really helped me understand who and what this PCG is, and how dangerous it is to simple minded people who are truly duped into thinking what they’re doing is a key to salvation.
Thank you for his website exposé and I can’t tell you how for hours I enjoyed reading and learning about its [PCG’s] founders, their beliefs, and the destructive nature of this self-serving, destructive, and egregious institution.
May the peace of the Lord be with you always. –Anonymous
Frightening Incident With Cal Culpepper:
April 29, 2013
Thank you for this informative site. The following account is true. I have family members that can confirm what I related to them years ago and the man who told me of his experience this past week.
A few years ago Marvin Campbell and Cal Culpepper came to my house. They both sat on the couch across from the chair I was setting in. Culpepper gave me looks that really frightened me and which has bothered me ever since. I told my family members about it at the time. Then the other day I was talking to someone else and they said that Culpepper would roll his eyes up and look at him with just the whites of his eyes. When he said that, I was shocked. That is exactly what Culpepper did sitting on my couch. Several times he would roll his eyes and look at me with the whites. It was very upsetting. I had never seen anything like that before outside of a Hollywood movie. The other man whom it happened to asked Marvin Campbell about it and Campbell said it was a demon. –Anonymous
Comment: Read: Abuses I Was Aware of in Philadelphia Church of God (testimony to ESN) and Control and Abuse by Cal Culpepper.
Theft Amongst South African Ministers Uncovered & Exposed:
May 11, 2013
Thanks so much for your page. I did discover it a few weeks ago and have been spending hours on it going through the abominable practices of the PCG I believed in. In 2012 I uncovered and exposed major theft going on amongst the South African ministers. Reminds me of Samuel’s sons. Shortly after I sent the letter to Gerald Flurry, with absolute proof, of what has been going on I was suspended. I sent GF a second letter by e-mail and attached the proof, and you guessed it, no acknowledgement again. I am in the process of writing a third e-mail to him, quite a lengthy one, to which I will again attach the proof of theft. This third letter I will be sending to all that I have e-mail addresses of, and those e-mail addresses will include ESN’s, after which you have my permission to post the whole sordid affair. My name may be used as well.
Would you please send me the PDF books: Herbert Armstrong’s Tangled Web by David Robinson and Armstrongism: Religion or Rip-Off? By Marion J. McNair. My dad was a WCG Co-Worker in the 1970s and a member of the WCG in the 1980s. I had left home in 1980 and did not even know that HWA had died in 1986. In 1995 I responded to an advertisement in a magazine which read “Do you remember HWA?” with his picture. This was when I found out that HWA had died. I subsequently joined the Philadelphia church of God in 1997.
Thanks a zillion for all work you put in for those of us escaping from the jaws of death.
Kind regards, Alex Foster, South Africa
Comment: Links to Alex’s letters can be accessed from Articles on Gerald Flurry. (After Alex sent the final letter, he received an email from Max Rumler saying he was disfellowshipped. Read: Alex’s reply to Rumler.) [Note: Max Rumler died July 16, 2013.]
Similar Theft Going on in Trinidad, Caribbean:
May 15, 2013
Having read Alex Foster’s letters to Gerald Flurry exposing these lying, thieving ministers exploiting their flock, a similar thing has been happening in Trinidad. [See article: Concerns From Trinidad.]
All International brethren are instructed (commanded) to stay at Rovennels Resort Hotel in Tobago for The Feast of Tabernacles in order to offset the cost of the rental cost of the auditorium which is approximately 10,000 US for the 8 days. There are also hidden unexplained costs added to the hotel rates. If one dares questions that, they are deemed as having “a bad attitude” and “having a government problem.”
There are cheaper more affordable hotels available on the island which will save the international and local members lots of money but the ministry under the leadership of Samuel Seebran and the office secretary (Jennifer Seebran, wife of Samuel Seebran) makes and enforces the rules. One cannot choose and make their own accommodations/arrangements as the ministry chooses the hotels “sanctioned” for the Feast. The International brethren don’t have a choice and end up paying a huge sum to attend the F O T. (Rates range from 120-150 US per night). The other hotels range from 50-60 US per night. It makes one wonder what special, secret arrangement Samuel and Jennifer Seebran made with Rovennels Resort Hotel. On top of that, Samuel Seebran makes a heart rendering announcement to all members to submit their “tithe of the tithe” which is 10% of their 2nd tithe to give to the ministry to help with Feast costs.
Some members always wondered where all that money used to go. Now thanks to Alex Foster’s exposé we see it goes to Gerald Flurry’s personal bank account. Could the sheep be so blind and naïve? Is this trend happening in other areas as well? It’s worthy to note that members work (slave) without a salary in order to make the Feast a huge success, while the ministers get big salaries and Gerald Flurry’s bank account gets fatter. –Resigned PCG member, Trinidad
Update: As of 2021, Samuel Seebran was Latin America preaching elder.
May 18, 2013
I am curious as to why Gerald Flurry gets away with this financial skullduggery? What the heck is going on? In this country there are consequences for money laundering. Is it because it is international? –United States
Number of PCG Members Has Dwindled:
May 20, 2013
My friend let me know me that PCG is going to be opening a new congregation in Alabama, but what is really going on is that their membership in that area has dwindled and they can no longer afford to pay a lot of money each month for a conference room. They are looking at about half what they have been paying because according to my friend’s calculation they only have about 25-30 people!!
I believe what has happened is that for years they have had at least 100 or more people so paying a pretty hefty amount per month was not a stretch. I would guess they have lost members and that those who are left live in the north to mid section of the state. Hence the effort to find a meeting place in the Birmingham or surrounding area. –Anonymous
May 24, 2013
Here in the North West Region there is much fear and suspicion in the congregations. I have had more than one member come up to me privately and tell me they now dread to come to services. They are so afraid of saying the wrong thing or ticking off the wrong busybody or snitch who will run straight to the minister and turn them in. One man came up to me last week and said “If you see Mr. Culpepper come in that door, expect heads to roll.” What kind of Religion is that? What kind of life is that? Living in fear of a minister of God?
There have been many in Ohio suspended and disfellowshipped. I know first hand from some of them that they were told that they are out permanently with no hope of re-admittance. They have tried to talk to Cal Culpepper but he has simply refused to counsel them or even return their calls. –Ohio
P. S. Cal Culpepper is now securely headquartered in the Cincinnati area in a new home. Greg Nice is now living in Cal Culpepper’s former condo.
Update: As of 2020, Greg Nice was Northeast U. S. preaching elder. Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia congregations.
Why PCG Justifies Tyrannical “Church Government”:
May 27, 2013
Many members (especially in Trinidad, Caribbean) are reasoning that Gerald Flurry does not know what is going on in the congregations around the world. This, however, is a deception carefully calculated and circulated among the members in order to identify the “trouble makers” or “dissenters.” When genuinely concerned members write emails or call/contact GF or even Stephen Flurry about bad behavior/attitude or misconduct, or even questionable decisions and practices by presiding regional directors and ministers, it always goes back to them (RD’s and ministers) and the persons lodging the complaint gets into serious trouble with the ministry, is labeled a trouble maker and having a “government problem,” ending in suspension and disfellowshipment. GF has stated in sermons that if we have any concerns/problems with RD and ministers to bring it to his attention and he will deal with it.
The fact that Gerald Flurry did not personally investigate and resolve these genuine allegations in the face of continued mounting evidence is truly alarming and appalling. These situations bought one good thing to the forefront. It became evident that his one and main concern is not the brethren–it’s the money he receives from tithes and offerings. Shifting around ministers or regional directors from one area to another is not solving the problem; it is only diverting it to another area or congregation resulting in many more people being abused. Also, disfellowshipping those whose concerns are genuine is not solving anything. Members reason and believe that the “Church is off track” and that “God is testing his ministers” or even “testing His sheep” to see how they will deal with or respond to situations in the face of trials; that this is all a testing ground to separate the sheep from the goats and the faithful from the unfaithful. Some use the term “faith of gold” or “refining faith” when God tests his people or even His ministers.
In reality, this is emotional and mental (psychological ) abuse at the hands of ministers claiming to serve God. It’s unscriptural and it cannot be found anywhere in the Bible. Did Jesus instruct His disciples to abuse his sheep because it is a “test of faith”? Victims of domestic abuse/violence use all sorts of reasoning to justify their abuser’s/attacker’s attitude and behavior because of dependency, sense of loyalty, and comfort zone. Abusers break down their victim’s mind and will until they can’t make any decisions for themselves and become helpless victims and slaves. This form of bullying is the format used in the PCG administration to justify their tyrannical “Church Government.” –Resigned PCG member (Trinidad)
The Biggest Hoax Ever:
June 3, 2013
I have [loved ones] still with one of the splinter groups from HWA and [other relatives] with Gerald Flurry’s PCG. I, however, was never impressed with GTA’s TV messages. Too slick and polished. In time I came across some of the churches that HWA condemned and heard their side. I was told exactly what went on inside, HWA beforehand, and found it all true. My family said I was imagining things. I’m going to share the biggest hoax ever. A con doctrine exposed.
They [PCG, etc.] turn the feasts into a money making event. While members believe they are giving the Lord an offering, they listen to their leaders rather than reading Scripture exactly. The term “an offering made by fire” is a sacrifice, despite their claim that Leviticus 23 isn’t about sacrifices. There is 65 references on an “offering made by fire.”
Take a look at this section at Online Blue Letter Bible or here at Biblos.com.
I can’t get those inside the splinter groups to even look into this information. Read the 65 references in context before and after to get the setting. I’ve seen it happen over and over. They think they are proving the Bible by reading HWA’s tracts, looking up his quoted Scriptures, and tell me with a straight face, “I’ve proved it by my Bible,” never realizing the tract context differed from the Bible.
Once you see, an offering is a sacrifice made by fire. Numbers 28 and 29 are a counterpart of Leviticus 23. The sacrifice during the days of unleavened bread was made on all 7 days, not just the 1st and last. Only a Levite Priest could make these sacrifices by fire. This offering represented the whole nation (called a public offering), not a personal or private sacrifice that applied to individuals.
I gained a big help on understanding the difference between public and private by reading Alfred Edersheim’s book: The Temple: Its Ministry and Services.
It’s amusing to hear their cherry picking Scriptures while passing over others in context.
Leviticus 23 doesn’t apply to individuals but to Israel as a whole. Leviticus 23:37-38 brings out this difference. The national offering is in addition to their private offering. –[name withheld]
Propaganda and Deception:
June 4, 2013
I seriously doubt that the PCG Auditorium is really paid off. It’s propaganda and deception.
Here’s a quote by Andrew Locher, Treasurer, in the May 2013 The Philadelphian:
“Spring holy day offerings were nearly identical to last year. The building fund continues to lag considerably behind last year’s donations. In fact, contributions to the building fund have declined 56 percent compared to the same time last year. This has prevented us from making our final payment on the auditorium construction loan—though we are still very far ahead of schedule on repayment.”
PCG Feast Sites for 2013:
June 11, 2013
Edmond, OK (headquarters)
Indian Wells, CA
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
Osoyoos, BC, Canada
St. George’s, Grenada
Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia
George, South Africa
The new sites in the U.S.A. are the Ponte Vedra Beach, Columbus, Indian Wells, and Nashua locations. The new international sites are the Enfield, St. George’s, and Hunter Valley sites. –Anonymous
PCG Minister Told Me to Get Rid of My Mentally Handicapped Son With Cerebral Palsy:
June 17, 2013
I was once told by a minister in PCG to “get rid of” my mentally handicapped son with cerebral palsy or don’t return. He told me to put him in some facility, or if I couldn’t afford that, then take him somewhere that he would not know and abandon him in the mall or somewhere that people were. He said someone would find him and put him away, and that I was to turn and not look back, and just leave him there! I guess you can imagine just about what I told them!!
What helped me the most were people having the same objections and questions that I was having, wondering if these ministers in PCG really have the authority they say they did over us. The ministers try to make you feel you’re isolated in your thinking, that you’re the only one questioning anything. So you better get back under their submission, their rule–or suffer the consequences. (I decided to take the consequences). I am free and I am staying that way.
The ESN has been a Godsend. You have saved many people, including me and my family. We saw how others were questioning things, as we were, and realized things were just not right in there! Our feelings were right; we weren’t as crazy as others trying to pull us back in would have us think. They practice mind control in there. All it takes is a few mentioning of buzzwords from them (i. e., “the Work,” “the Church,” “Mr. Flurry,” etc.) and you start to question your own common sense and your sanity. Well, not anymore.
None are so blind as those who will not see. Well, now I see! Thanks for everything. God bless you. –Former PCG member [name withheld]
UPDATE: Read “George Witt, Minister in PCG, Dies” (July 5, 2016 letter to ESN)
June 26, 2013
I don’t believe there will ever be a “fleeing” of PCG. [Refer to March 18 letter above: “Place of Safety No longer in Petra”] As long as the money is coming in, GF and those like him are going to continue “milking their cash cows” (members) for all they are worth. This idea of “fleeing” (whether or not it’s about PCG HQs going “first” or not) and all the fear surrounding it is being used to (1) bond the splinter group members together and make them feel part of a special group; (2) keep the members afraid of leaving the group because otherwise, they’ll be left behind to go through the Great Tribulation with the rest of the world, and (3) give the members reason to try to recruit their family and spouses into the group (more cash sources for the “church”) so they will be rescued and flee with the members when the time comes.
If GF does leave the country, it would be because he thinks that one day the government may audit him and find evidence of criminal activity.
I believe that it is almost too late for those in the splinters to wake up. Some will have their eyes opened by the Holy Spirit and been led out, but they are not the majority. The only “silver lining” is that sources indicate that the next generation is not staying inside these groups. They never knew HWA and don’t share their parent’s/grandparent’s fascination and worship of him and his WWCG. –S. L.
Comment: Also read: Members Will Not Be Fleeing (7-16-12 Letter)
Sermon Says Members Are Close to Matthew 24:19:
July 2, 2013
Gerald Flurry gave a sermon recently entitled “The Spirit of Antiochus” where he referenced Matthew 24:19 and said we could be coming to the place where we would be asking people not to have any more children, possibly in a year or two. –Anonymous
Read: Philadelphia Church of God and the Place of Safety
GF Plans to Buy Bricket Wood for a College:
July 15, 2013
Did you hear about how GF is planning on buying Bricket Wood in the UK? It was home of the WCG Bricket Wood college campus [sold in 1976]. An announcement was made in the UK congregation. They indicated that they want to build a college there. They may have already purchased some portions and are in negotiations for more parcels. They are interested in purchasing the old WCG head house also. Looks like they have plenty money to invest in this. –UK
Update: Read: Gerald Flurry Planning on Building Another College (5-19-14 letter)
Gerald Flurry Announces That PCG Plans on Purchasing Bricket Wood:
July 16, 2013
“Yes” it is true. Last Sabbath, Gerald Flurry announced that the Bricket Wood property [in Hertfordshire, England] was up for sale again, and PCG plans on purchasing it. This was announced to staff and campers at the PCG Youth Camp at Headquarters. GF said the land would be used for a college. We have not heard yet what property has actually been purchased. –Anonymous
Death of Max Rumler:
July 18, 2013
It has been confirmed that Max Rumler [PCG Regional Director of Oceania and Southeast Asia] died suddenly on July 16 of a heart attack initiated by a massive asthma attack. –Australia
Death of Gerry Meaker:
August 5, 2013
Just to let you know: Gerry Meaker, PCG minister in South Africa who was under Max Rumler, died on August 2. Apparently, it was also from a heart attack which was initiated by a series of light strokes during the preceding three weeks.
I broke out in a sweat when I heard the news because I know that God does not sleep, neither does He allow things to happen without His consent. Just about the whole PCG leadership in South Africa has been wiped out. Wow! –South Africa
Edmond Elite Youth Being Taught How to Riverdance (Irish Dancing):
October 1, 2013
For the last few years, Wayne Turgeon has apparently brought in a “Riverdance” instructor to teach the children of the Edmond elites [including Jude Flurry] to learn how to “Riverdance”–i.e. Irish Dancing. It seems that this “worldly” instructor was flown into HQ, given room and board with the Turgeons, and paid a nice salary to boot. Whether this was paid for by the Turgeons themselves or taken out of the tithes and offerings is anyone’s guess. (In sermons members are being told to sacrifice and give more and more money to Headquarters–and if they do not, they are in danger of losing their salvation, being victims of death and suffering in the Tribulation, and ultimately being rejected by God for eternity.)
Some of Edmond elite’s children were featured doing Riverdance on a local Edmond TV news program. They also travel around from state to state and compete in numerous Riverdance competitions. It seems that the PCG wants to appear as something to the “world.” However many of the people out in the “Field” (what the Edmond elites call the tithe payers) are struggling to find work, pay the bills, drive to services 2 to 3 hours one way, and give more and more money to Edmond–all under threat of eternal death and destruction. –B.
Death of Marvin Campbell:
October 5, 2013
I just heard the news that Marvin Campbell died September 20, 2013. Also, Ron Fraser isn’t well and probably won’t last much longer. –Former PCG member
Death of Ron Fraser:
October 6, 2013
I just heard the news that Ron Fraser passed away October 4, 2013. He died of congestive heart failure. –Anonymous
True Joy Does Not Come by Having Our Minds Manipulated:
October 7, 2013
I have always noticed how most members act so “up” before attending the Feast of Tabernacles or other special gatherings. But I have pondered how much of this is really true joy or simply emotions being manipulated by the leader and his literature. This would cause them to only act “joyful” because that is their only spiritual option. I think real believers are only truly joyful if they can find assurance in Jesus’ grace–in being satisfied in His work, and not trying to achieve or keep their faith in what they do themselves. I would not be “joyful” trying to keep the holy days, tithe, and go through all the requirements of these groups, and still not being assured of being “sealed.” I wish members could see that it is Christ who has made it possible for their eternal destination to already be secured and for them to already be sealed according to His Word (II Corinthians 1:21-22; Ephesians 1:13) and that no one, including Gerald Flurry, Pack, Meredith, etc., can take that away. That is true joy. –F.
Feast Site Problems at Columbus, Ohio:
October 15, 2013
Hello ESN, I felt led to write this to you. At the 2013 Feast of Tabernacles in Columbus, Ohio, it was announced that a lot of hotel rooms reserved by the PCG were unclaimed or unused this year. The PCG has a legal contract with the hotels promising to occupy and rent so many rooms. If that obligation was not met, then PCG HQ would have to pay the difference. They told us that paying this penalty would take away from “doing the Work” and God would be displeased. It was announced before services that HQ ordered Feast attendees to rent out unclaimed rooms with second tithe money so that the PCG would not have to pay that. I suppose people felt shamed into it because people did rent out rooms they did not even need. You know, a lot of PCG members are out of work. No wonder so many could not come this year. Guess they do not put that into thought. –[name withheld]
ESN is Having Eternal Impact on Lives:
October 23, 2013
I offer my deepest gratitude to those who maintain the Exit and Support Network™. I appreciate your willingness to expose the pervasive deception in HWA-centric groups. I thank God for your passion and pray you’re energized daily by the beautiful fruit born by God through your work!
I’ve visited ESN for years as I’ve prayed and lamented over family entangled by the PCG. My understanding has grown immensely from the testimonies, letters, and essays on HWA doctrine. Thankfully, my empathy for those trapped now exceeds my bewilderment with their choices. Likewise, my resolve is strengthened to assist my family in finding freedom.
My prayers are focused on aligning my will with God’s will. I ask Him for opportunity to share His truth about faith in Christ wrapped in wisdom and, most importantly, love. I will continue to use ESN as I always have–with appreciation and prayerful consideration.
Thanks again for everything you do. It has eternal impact on real lives in desperate need of truth.
Best Regards, –Impacted by loved ones in PCG [name withheld]
Your Website Has Been Invaluable:
November 27, 2013
Exit and Support Network™, I first wanted to say thank you for the website. I find the history of Armstrongism fascinating. I was in the WCG and then the PCG after the changes (when my parents moved from the WCG to the PCG). I essentially was forced to attend by my parents and quit as soon as I reasonably could. I never really bought into it but it is very difficult for a minor to quit attending without severe repercussions.
Your website has been invaluable in conducting research and reconciling my past involvement in Armstrongism. I would like to request [your PDF books]. Thanks again for all you do. Regards, –G.
John Macdonald is New Replacement for Max Rumler:
December 9, 2013
The new replacement for Max Rumler is John Macdonald. He took over shortly after Rumler died. Macdonald lives in the Philippines and hasn’t as yet moved to Sydney, Australia. He has two sons and one is the director in the England PCG. –Anonymous
Comment: John Macdonald is the father of Garth Macdonald who died in 2006. Read: Garth Macdonald Dies Due to Lack of Medical Care (September 1, 2006 letter)
Update: As of 2017 John Macdonald was Regional director for the United Kingdom and Europe, and Department head: Foreign Language Translations.
Update: John Macdonald replaced Fred Dattolo in 2018 as Regional Director.