Best of the Letters From 2000
Received Zero After Leaving Full Time Ministry:
Hi, I am so happy to see this site up. My husband left the full time ministry after 21 years. We left in 1998. I say “left” but truth be known we were raped and robbed by the WCG, as were our two children. It made no difference that we were friends with Greg Albrecht, Joe Tkach, Mike Feazell, or anyone for that matter. I thought we were the only ones that were asked to give up our social security and promised a retirement plan and then told we get neither–zero. We are starting over really worse off than when we joined the WCG in `75. We lost our family business due to joining the WCG back in 1975. I was shocked to hear several in their 70s were told to go get a job at Wal-Mart, or whatever, and start your life over and save for your own retirement. One man recently had to have bypass surgery. –Former WCG member
Enthusiastic About ESN Pages:
I am very enthusiastic about what I found on the ESN pages. I hope it may help many people to recover and prevent people from getting into the WCG/PCG in the first place. What I especially liked about the pages is that they are leading people to Christ and not away from Him as I saw on other sites which are informing people about the WCG. –Former WCG member
New Evangelicals Accepting WCG:
After I found out what the ecumenical movement was all about it helped me to see why new evangelicals (led by Billy Graham) so quickly and easily accepted the WCG. I thought they were being duped. I think now that it has more to do with their hell-bent desire to bring all churches into one body. To do that they have to ignore some churches’ heretical and apostate teachings. In other words, the end justifies the means. –WCG exiter
Systematic Cultism in WCG:
I grew up under the WCG–the good, the bad and the ugly! With my painful conclusion, despite the WCG accepted orthodoxy, I felt there was “systematic cultism” in the group which led me to take a long “leave of absence” from the group at age 28 nearly two years ago. No one should be able to make such a painful choice. It angers and saddens me that there are people in the WCG who stubbornly cling on, believing there is no place to go or there is going to be a “great deliverer” to straighten things out (ironically a UCG elder-friend told me in effect to “stop dreaming” about that).
I hope there will be more from the splinters (PCG, LCG and the like) that will come out of the kingdom of the cults into Christ’s glorious kingdom (Colossians 1:13). Mike’s Testimony was inspiring, uplifting; it was like a long drink of fresh clear water and something to rejoice about. It’s good to read stories about how God will triumph over evil. It is my prayer that the PCG will collapse outright and many will truly find Jesus Christ (or rededicate their lives to Him). Blessings to you and your work.
Your brother in Jesus Christ, –FT
Disfellowshipped for Respecting Other Christians’ Orthodox Beliefs:
I skimmed your web site with interest. You may find it amazing, but a pastor of the WCG disfellowshipped me from the WCG for respecting other Christians’ orthodox beliefs. He demanded that our orthodoxy be discussed exclusively. I objected. He disfellowshipped me. I am trying to reconcile. So far I have had no success. In Jesus’ Love, –Anonymous
Breath of Fresh Air Since Leaving:
I carried around a lot of guilt for leaving the WCG and I really didn’t get much support from family and friends. I felt like I had been to hell and back. My parents (still in the WCG) are always trying to push what they have learned on us. Developing good friends now is like the difference between night and day when compared with the WCG. It’s like a breath of fresh air. I feel that Christ has opened the door to freedom. I can’t believe how hard we used to make things when Christ’s message was so simple. –North Carolina
I Wouldn’t Recommend WCG:
If anyone came to me and asked me about the WCG as it stands today, I would give them a history lesson and let them know of the internal environment of this organization. I would not recommend that they become affiliated with a clearly dysfunctional organization. –S. T.
If Only I Had Known Ahead of Time:
If only I had known what kind of an organization the Worldwide Church of God was, I would never have joined them. I didn’t grow up in the WCG, but was lured into the cult by means of the German version of The Plain Truth: Klar und Wahr. I was studying German back then and initially I ordered the magazine as a way to read German. That was over 15 years ago. You know the story. I ordered more and more booklets until I was convinced that I had to keep the Sabbath. Two years later in the spring, I went to my first WCG service. I was 21 years old and my parents thought I had gone mad. They did everything to convince me that I was wrong, but to no avail.
In the WCG I met my wife and we married three years after that first attendance. Her parents and her brother were also in the WCG. They left and joined the Philadelphia Church of God in 1993 as they received (uninvited) material from the PCG, which showed that the WCG was changing more and more doctrines originally “revealed” to Herbert Armstrong.
My wife left the WCG in 1995, as the whole Armstrong cart-house tumbled down and, due to the influence by my in-laws, she also went to the PCG. It was a very difficult time for us (and actually it still is difficult to accept the situation). I was glad with the changes in the WCG, but in the years following I got more and more information about the dirty WCG past, which I found on the Internet and in books I ordered. I also saw the WCG still had an abusive hierarchic structure, so I left in 1998 after being 12 years in that organization.
If I only had the right information in the beginning.
Update: In 2009, PCG finally told this man’s wife to divorce him.
Kicked Out, but Glad:
My husband and I got kicked out of the WCG a few years ago. We are glad!! We went through hell as a family and just now God is giving us a good relationship in our marriage and with our grown children. In WWCG we didn’t understand grace, but now we couldn’t live without practicing it. The greatest part of being free for us has been having a close friendship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We had a very good exit counselor and have read some good books already, too. I know there is more to learn. The more we all speak out against the cults, the more aware others become. –Colorado
WCG Not Honest With Us:
I think that if the WCG leaders had been honest with us all and forthright, we would not feel it necessary to investigate the past, and make sense of what we can. I am still angry (at times) about the way they “closed that chapter” of WCG’s history before analysis, understanding, and healing had occurred. It’s very, very odd behavior for a group that loved to control all our actions and thinking before the plain truth was known. –West Virginia
Spared from the WCG:
I was never in the old WCG but my father subscribed to The Plain Truth for many years while I was growing up in the 60s and I used to read it as a young man looking for spiritual answers. We also used to listen to GTA and HWA’s radio broadcasts. We were not Christians at the time–just mainline Protestant Church attenders.
I often wonder what would have happened if we had ever gone to a WCG meeting. We may have ended up joining. That brings up a question. What criteria did the WCG use to approach people? We were subscribers to the magazine and my father even occasionally sent in a small contribution. Once we ordered the Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course, but never completed it. No one ever called us or invited us to attend services. I cannot understand how the WCG grew if our family was an example of the recruitment technique (or lack thereof!). We would have been “prime meat” for the WCG in view of the fact that we were disillusioned with a certain liberal church and looking for some answers which were not being given to us in that institution.
In God’s providence, my parents withdrew from [a liberal church] and started attending an independent Bible church where the gospel of the grace of God (I Corinthians 15:1-5) was preached. What a blessed change we saw. But anyway, how did the old WCG approach people and why do you think we were never solicited?
I find your website very interesting. Thanks again for your fine information service. I am thankful for a ministry such as yours which takes a strong stand. –Virginia
Leaving WCG After 29 Years:
After 29 years of being a member of Worldwide Church of God I have just prepared a letter of intent for my pastor that I will no longer attend WCG. I have not been able to make this move lightly or without much prayerful consideration. However, I strongly feel I must move on. This comes about after a long and difficult struggle.
I very much appreciate your being there for us. My wife is traveling this road with me. You seem to very well understand that this isn’t easy to do. I’ve attended a number of other churches; I’ve walked out of several. I haven’t found where I will really fit in.
Thank you so much. I’m considering writing you part of my story of my times within WCG. It has been very hard at times and I am now completely free. –Florida
I Like Your Site!
I am a former WCG member. I was baptized into WCG by Pastors Larry Salyer and Doug Horchak as then they were pastoring the Washington DC churches. I exited in 1980 and finally found Jesus as my Lord and Savior shortly afterward! A couple of years afterward, I was led to work for seven years in an apologetic ministry exposing in the cults as well as in the local churches.
I love your site and feel it has many valuable materials and helps for those who have been “spiritually raped” by the WCG and PCG.
The ESN website confirmed what I had long suspected, that the “new, improved WCG” is a total phony. I wasn’t surprised at all upon reading about this. People are always asking me about the WCG and I always have been telling that I didn’t recommend it. Now I have some proof to pass on to those who ask. God bless you for your burden to help those who are coming out. Yours in Christ –Washington D.C.
Albrecht Replicating Hanegraaff Material on Plain Truth Ministries:
I visited the PTM [Plain Truth Ministries] website. It seemed that Greg Albrecht had just replicated a lot of the Hanegraaff material and put it out there earlier. I also wanted to tell you that I enjoyed your critique of Tkach, Jr.’s book (Transformed by Truth). You really hit the nail on the head when you said that they had been schooled in the verbiage of the neo-evangelicals. It really was obvious on the EMNR taped discussion with Tkach, Jr. and Albrecht. They knew all of the right words and phrases to disarm the neo-evangelicals. I would have missed that if I had not noted the comment you made in your critique. Sincerely in Christ –Eastern United States
So Glad to Have Found Your Site:
I am so glad to have found your web site. I’ve been searching the web for sites on Herbert W. Armstrong and or the Worldwide Church of God and or cults. You see I was an member of the WCG, Philadelphia Church of God and Restored Church of God for a total of 18 years and only now am I beginning to have my eyes open to how truly evil these so called churches really are. I have much to say and many questions but the time is not right yet. Thanks for your help so very much. Yours truly, –Exiter
The ESN material arrived safely. Thanks. I was raised in Worldwide Church of God. It was incredibly destructive to our family. Our father would take some of their authoritarian ideas considerably further. There is no reasoning or dialogue, as all is seen as Satan speaking through us. The stories I could tell of extreme violence, treachery, duplicity, etc. to enforce total control of his will would be hard to believe by most normal people. –WCG exiter
I Detected Lies as Early as 1988:
As a witness to all the events in the Pasadena congregation from 1965 to today (I still attend there), I am intensely interested in what is behind the scenes. I detected lies as early as 1988, although it was not at all clear how, or why, this was happening. JWT’s premature death was a great surprise. We expected him to last for 25 years or more. I am sure that God struck him down.
Apart from spiritual warfare, the bottom line has yet to be defined. I will read what you have provided with great interest. –J. H.
WCG Only in it For the Money:
I was surfing yesterday and came across your webpage. I must have spent 3 hours reading. I have attended WCG since August 1966, and my family “dates” back to around 1963, receiving Plain Truths, Correspondence Courses, etc. I still attend sporadically (8 or 10 times a year), but think I’ve made an exceptional “recovery.” Your newsletters [OIU newsletters] on the real purpose behind the WCG, i. e., that they are only in it for the money, and have been from the very beginning, is nearly identical to the theory I concluded on my own. The similarities were incredible!
After so many decades in WCG, most of my conscious life, I guess I’m loathe to leave. Part of me doesn’t want to “be a rat leaving a sinking ship” but part of me gets a sadistic pleasure in seeing them squirm for money. (They no longer get mine, and haven’t for years. Nor will they ever again.) Also, if they ever do unload the California property, I’d like to still be around to collect if there is a class action lawsuit.
I’ve thought for a long time that after they sell the property they’d shut down the organization (after they had set up their retirement accounts). I actually had a positive opinion of JWT [Joseph W. Tkach, Sr.], but never have trusted his son. This dates back to the late 1980s when I saw Jr. at the Feast of Tabernacles in Pasadena. He said a few things that made my radar go up. I’ve never trusted him since.
The minister who used to be here in Tennessee, I never cared for, and this congregation’s indifference toward me and my family have made my wife determined never to set foot there again. The congregation seems to be friendlier to me now, but I usually blow them off. If I wasn’t good enough for them 3 years ago, they’re not good enough for me today. Even if they are sincere. I read it as fake and phony. It’s too late for them to redeem themselves in my eyes.
A word of 20/20 hindsight: After January 8, 1972, HWA was proven to be a false prophet. All bets were off then! Can you believe I actually heard someone say from the pulpit (in response to the Scripture that says no man shall know the exact date and time of His return) that the reason that 1972 came and went with nothing was because HWA had “figured it out,” and that God had to change His time frame, since the Bible says that no man would know. The same deification of the man continues in Philly [Philadelphia Church of God] church. Boy did I send Flurry a scathing letter after I received a copy of his literature unsolicited!
Sorry for rambling on and on. Thanks for giving me a place to get stuff off of my chest. Sincerely, –Tennessee