Best of the Letters From 2002
January 8, 2002
I have read Transformed by Truth and now The Liberation of the WCG, and I’m still waiting for someone in the leadership of WCG to label HWA for what he was–a Fraud!
Garner Ted Armstrong was my wake up call. I thought he was a faithful, grandfatherly type who wanted to give me all kinds of free books to help educate me and to prepare me for the Kingdom and blah, blah, blah. What a joke. I’ve even met him a couple of times. The guy deserves an Academy Award for best actor–(or maybe best hair! He must spend hours getting his hair like that).
Our Lord did warn us about twits like the Armstrongs. Wolves. –Canada
Joseph Tkach, Sr.’s Video Message Made No Sense!
January 11, 2002
Regarding Tkach, Sr.’s video sermon, I can’t believe how judgmental he sounded and how conflicting his statements were. I actually had to reread several paragraphs because they literally made no sense! Doesn’t it seem like they spend so much time saying “we” this or “we” that and constantly stating their doctrinal positions, which seem to change with every speaker or speech? You just don’t hear about reveling in the love and fellowship with Jesus and developing a comforting and trusting relationship with Him. It’s all about what you’re doing or what you’re not doing. Boy, Tkach’s explanation of keeping the Sabbath was so conflicting and confusing, it’s a wonder people didn’t leave the sermon thinking they were to keep it on Wednesday or something. –Formerly in WCG
What WCG Members are Believing:
February 9, 2002
Do you know what I found out that my mother (who is still in WCG) believes? She believes that everybody has to go through what we did in the WCG–living under the O.T. to prepare them for accepting the New Covenant. She thinks that living under the O.T. laws is a sort of proving ground for those who will be accepted by Christ. I don’t think I understand that, other than that’s probably something the leaders told them so they won’t feel like they wasted those years in the WCG under the O.T.. Also, I guess it makes them still feel elect and separate from other Christians. –WCG child survivor
March 23, 2002
I am ex WCG member. For years I wanted to leave the WCG. They preached love, but there was no love. My life was severely damaged by their hypocrisy. I felt I was the reason for all my problems and that God was punishing me because I could not live up to those high expectations. I know the WCG said they repented and they were changing but there was too much hurt and hostility. I said, “You may now have the truth but you are a sick church, and the blind leading the blind.” So we left.
Although we left, we still received their literature; however, I found that they were heading into the ecumenical movement, and when they sent us a letter asking us to sign some evangelical agreement we knew they had aligned with the one world religion. I just recently read some history of HWA and to tell you the truth I had no idea that the WCG had ties to the Bilderbergers, etc., or that HWA was the man that he was. –Nebraska
Update: Read: GCG – New Age and Ecumenical Connections (WCG changed their name to Grace Communion International in April 2009) and download the OIU Newsletters which talk about WCG and the new world order.
No One Will Be Given Control of My Life Again:
March 28, 2002
I am doing fine today and enjoying my freedom in Christ. I didn’t get angry with God, but rather at myself and those “in charge” at WCG. I have learned that no one will ever be given control of my life again in no way shape or form–that is except Jesus Christ. My wife and I, and our children as well are so glad to be free of the WCG and its system–which is still active today and just as manipulative as ever.
I hope your website is helpful to others. –West Virginia
Lot of Hard Work and Time to Recover:
April 1, 2002
This is amazing. I was so happy to find a group out there like yours. I was raised in the Worldwide Church of God and have recently been coming to terms with the negative effect it has had on my life. I have been going to counseling which has helped a lot, but I think it’s going to take a lot of time and hard emotional work on my part to become a whole and well person after the abuse I suffered as a child at the hands of my parents and the Worldwide Church of God. –Child survivor of WCG
Another Focus Casualty:
May 1, 2002
Hello. My name is Brian Karjala and I am a former employee at Focus on the Family. I’m writing to obtain the e-mail address of Randy Shafer.
From May, 1996 to August, 1996 I worked for Mailing Services and even attended one of the meetings that Mr. Shafer mentioned in his tape series Let’s Focus in on ‘Focus on the Family’ (the transcription). Also, I have a copy of a religious pact that was made public in the Colorado Springs Gazette newspaper which Randy referenced as evidence of Focus’ move toward ecumenicalism. It was addressed as “A Message to the People of Colorado Springs” and was called “Covenant of Mutual Respect.” Randy was not certain of the date. According to my copy, it ran in the newspaper on April 22, 1993.
I was also employed by Focus on the Family from February, 1997 until September, 1997 in the Constituent Response department. My supervisor, Randy Selvage, was one of the leading factors which led me to quit my job. Mr. Selvage is now serving a twelve-year prison sentence for felony theft. The story of his conviction appeared in the Gazette in November, 2000.
Also, are you aware of a former Focus employee by the name of Brian Cooper? I recently became aware of his problems with Focus on the Family.
New WCG Embracing Everything:
May 16, 2002
I ran across your website and as a former member of the Worldwide Church of God it really caught my attention. I was raised in the WWCG and left in 1974. At a very young age (18), I married outside the “church” (to escape the WWCG and my strict parents). I divorced 5 years later and of course was estranged from the “the church.” Years later I attended sporadically, never feeling comfortable there, but not feeling comfortable in other churches either. When the changes occurred in the early nineties, I thought this was going to be the answer, but soon found out that I was wrong. I felt the old WWCG had “some truth” but was too legalistic and controlling. The new WWCG however seemed to throw “caution to the winds” and embrace anything and everything. I have not been able to find a “happy medium.” I guess what I am trying to say is that in general I am not comfortable at all with any kind of a man made organization. I do not feel it is necessary. I believe the Spirit of God dwells in us and teaches us what we need to know, and that the “body” of Christ is a spiritual body, and not made up of a man made religious organization with rules and regulations. –Former WCG member
P.S. Good website, obviously lots of work involved.
Feel Like a Weight Has Been Lifted From Me:
July 9, 2002
I just found you and after 30 minutes of reading I feel like a weight has been lifted from me. I followed GTA for years, then he fell and I have been searching for ten years for help to figure out the truth. I have not read your entire site but just wanted you to know that you have already helped me. Thank you and may God continue to bless you. –Texas
HWA Urged Us to Get Second Mortgages:
July 27, 2002
When I recall all the money we sent to WCG, it’s easy to become angry with myself. We gave them amounts well beyond sound financial wisdom. When we were urged to get additional mortgages on our homes and “send it in,” I just would not go that far. I well remember those days. We were asked to send it in as loans, but we were well aware there was no intent that we would ever recover such funds. –Former WCG member
Your Site is the Only One of its Kind:
August 25, 2002
Hello. I grew up in WCG and feel a constant sense of ruination about my life. Thank you for your website… I have searched the web for other spiritual refugees of WCG and to my knowledge your site is the only one of it’s kind. I have prayed for you and your site and in turn would appreciate your prayers. Thank you.
Peace & love, –Child survivor of WCG
Who is Robert Brinsmead?
September 8, 2002
Didn’t Robert Brinsmead (a theologian who left the 7th day Adventist church) write some good material on Sabbatarianism and law and grace a few years ago? –Ex WCG
Reply: Brinsmead published Verdict in the `70s and `80s and some former members started reading his journals. He seemed to have some helpful material to explain Law, grace and why Christians didn’t need to observe the Sabbath day. However, he soon began to “advance” in his thinking and soon held to the belief that we no longer even needed the Bible. Brinsmead, age 65, later went on to denounce the virgin birth of Jesus Christ and the propitiation for our sins through His blood.
Why Ministers in WCG Can’t Leave:
October 10, 2002
Long time ministers in WCG, or any others, “can’t” leave. They have a pretty cushy job making really good money–take time off whenever they want, fly all over the country, get wined and dined and take a weekly vacation. Who would give up a job like that? Even if they didn’t believe a word HQs said!
It becomes pure economics. What will I do if I leave? Well, go to another church, or start an MLM or something like that. They are scared of losing their lifestyle. I know this, because I still have a “friend” that would have a hard time giving up his swimming pool and car collection.
I could write a book, but I think everything has been covered. –Former AC graduate and assistant minister from 1969-1971.
P.S. I left everything and just read the Bible for the first time, without spiritual prejudice! What an enlightening experience!! Yes, I am free, just me and my Saviour.
Cults Confiscate Their Own Material from Bookstore & Libraries:
October 13, 2002
This is all one of those truth is stranger than fiction situations. I’ve heard that that cults tend to go into bookstores and libraries, buying or stealing such material in order to help keep it out of the hands of people! I found that several books were missing from the library system here, and one of the librarians confirmed this! How bizarre. –Former WCG member
ESN Like a Breath of Fresh Air:
October 14, 2002
In the past I read a good bit of that other agnostic website before I found ESN. I was backing away from it because it was coming across as being very negative. I do not feel that becoming agnostic or atheistic as being the answer. ESN came on like a breath of fresh air when I found it. –Former WCG member
Disfellowshipped For Saying Christ Was Working With Others:
November 1, 2002
I’ve been reading some of the letters by ex-WCG members. I was disfellowshipped back in 1979, after five years in the WCG, for telling my pastor (Dean Wilson) that Christ was also working in people, churches, and organizations outside the WCG. I felt a great sense of relief when Wilson asked me to not come back to church.
I think you really hit the nail on the head with your short article, “What Was Missing.” I’ve certainly experienced more of Christ in my life after getting out of that cult. And it still feels great to be free.
Keep up the good work. –Former WCG member
The Sabbath Question Answered at Last:
November 21, 2002
Just wanted to let you know that you have been an answer to a prayer. I grew up in WWCG from the time I was 2 until I turned 15. After my family left, we immediately became part of a “splinter” group.
My questions began soon after I left WWCG. First, I questioned the “truth” about the holy days. I can’t say I “proved” that we didn’t need to keep them, but I decided that I couldn’t explain why I “kept” the days when the teacher or boss asked, so I stopped going just to avoid the embarrassment.
Then, a few short years later, the next nagging question: was the Sabbath really “the” day? I have, like others who have written, swallowed the lie that, although the cult was not perfect, we were still taught “the truth.” I was especially programmed to believe the “truth” was contained in the Day–the Sabbath (something I still hear preached today), so this question was really a bit scary for me!
I sincerely wondered about this ‘”truth” and have since prayed repeatedly for an answer. So in my search for “the truth,” I have periodically scoured the Internet, looking for some guidance from people who have walked my path. I have come across lots of sites devoted to the abuses we have suffered in that cult and the lies we were told, but these sites were mostly very negative and anti-God.
After reading the book, Seventh-Day Adventism Renounced, and going through all the very thorough, scripturally based arguments against a 7th day Sabbath, I still had that nagging little voice about “the truth.”
And this is where your site has answered my prayer!! I read many letters on your site asking the same questions about the “truth” and I repeatedly read your patient response: the “truth” is found in one answer, Jesus Christ.
Now it took several times reading your answer, but it finally hit me: the truth IS Jesus! And He is not interested in my performance (a huge relief for a recovering perfectionist/legalist). He is interested in a relationship with me! Wow! Now the journey begins. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction!! Sincerely, –Child survivor of WCG
Members Still Following WCG Leadership:
November 21, 2002
While it is true that Armstrong said, “Don’t believe me, believe your Bible,” he himself had his own idea of what the Bible said.
I still have family members that are in the WWCG. When I talk to them about the doctrines of the WWCG, most of them really don’t even know much of it. It seems they are following the leadership, no questions asked. This is not what we are to do. The Bible tells us to check out all things that we are being taught by our ministers. –J. M.
November 26, 2002
As for releasing old booklets from the archives of the past Armstrong era, does the new leadership point out in these books what parts of the book are in error and what parts are true to the Word of God? As Christians, why would we want to send out written material that has wrong doctrine in it mixed with true doctrine? If you had a glass of milk and there was a small piece of dung floating around in it, would you just remove the dung and than drink the milk, or would you consider the glass of milk contaminated? Have you ever heard the expression, “one bad apple spoils the whole basket?” One of Israel’s major problems was just that, they began to mix their worship with false “religion.” Read the book of Hosea, it is full of Israel mixing truth with untruth. –Former WCG member
WholeWorld Church of God and New Worldwide Church of God Are Splinters:
November 26, 2002
There is another splinter group of WCG called “The WholeWorld Church of God.” Their “statement of beliefs” is very deceptive because it doesn’t even tell all of what they believe! There is also another splinter group called “The New Worldwide Church of God.” They both hold to the old views. No wonder everyone has stopped trying to keep count of WCG’s never-ending splinters! Most of these groups are only trying to cash in on some easily made money, and members continue to have “itching ears.” Also, can you believe that when you ask them when their particular church was founded, they all say that it “started in 31 A.D.” –Former member
WCG Giving Out More Mixed Messages Than Ever:
November 26, 2002
What the WCG says and prints for people outside the membership and what they say to the members are quite different.
The WCG has in fact changed little in their tactics; they still use a certain amount of mind control, they still go on the attack towards anyone that questions them, or who sheds a bad light on their business, and that in my opinion is exactly what it is, a business.
Thank you so much for being there. –Former WCG member
December 3, 2002
Were you aware of the auditing firm, Arthur Andersen, being exposed in the news for their dishonest practices? I wish someone would expose them about being the WCG’s “auditors.” I always wondered how they could honestly audit the WCG’s finances and not catch the money being drained. Now I know how much $$$$$ talks.
Well, now I see why the WCG hired these guys. Can anyone contact these investigators and find out what they did for the WCG (like hiding how the buckaroos were drained into personal accounts, including that of Stan Rader, I’m sure) and how much the WCG paid them? I used to think that the WCG wasn’t dishonest since they were given a “clean bill of health” from the Arthur Anderson auditors. I thought that if anything dishonest was going on, then the auditors would catch it. Boy, was I ever wrong! I wonder how many WCGers also have this impression? –Former WCG member
Comment: Arthur Anderson may be researched online; i.e., the state board imposed reprimands and fines totaling $25,000 on Arthur Anderson LLP for violations of audit standards. They now face five years probation and a $500,000 fine.
Told I Had a Demon:
December 5, 2002
At one time in WCG, I had one man in all the self-righteousness he could muster up tell me that the reason I wasn’t healed was that I had a demon. Can you imagine?
Actually, I have been doing far better since I have been away from there. I don’t ever even think about looking back. I’m enjoying my freedom. I sort of miss being in a church, but I am so fed up with organized religion that I don’t think there is one where God is dwelling. He is within our hearts. –Former member
Crippled Thirty Years by WCG:
December 11, 2002
I’ve had a rough few days. For the past two years I have been attempting to have a closer walk with God and something just kept getting in my way. I thought I had allowed my heart to become so hardened that I would never be able to find God.
Then Saturday night I finally felt the presence of the Holy Spirit and the message that came through loud and clear for me was that I was still a victim of the teachings of the Worldwide Church of God.
I was incredulous–and shocked! I left WWCG 30 years ago. I haven’t been anywhere near it or its teaching in all this time. Imagine my surprise to learn that the blockage was mind control and programming that I have been living with all this time.
After crying copious tears for two days, I’m now reading everything you have on this site. I’m ready to get to work at deprogramming just as if I had just walked away from WWCG yesterday. The pastor of my current Christian church is there and willing to help in whatever way I need him.
Thirty years is a long time to be crippled and not even know it! –Ex WCG member
December 12, 2002
One year, I attended the Feast of Tabernacles in a certain part of the United States. The entrance to the parking lot, of the arena where the meetings were being held, was situated in a “T” intersection on a major throughway, with traffic lights and 3 way traffic flow, with the entrance to, and exit from the parking lot being the 4th.
On the first morning, I was waiting to turn left from the road onto the parking lot. In front of my car was another car, full with church people also waiting to turn left onto the parking lot. The light turned green, the car in front proceeded into the intersection and stopped while opposing traffic flowed. While waiting there in the middle of the intersection, the light turned yellow, then red. Instead of completing his left turn and clearing the intersection (it was safe to do so), to my amazement, he sat there in the middle of the intersection, blocking traffic, causing some chaos and bewilderment, waiting for the light to turn green, before completing his left turn. Waiting behind him, before, the intersection, I watched in utter and complete amazement wondering how much of a robotic nature were we developing.
A couple of mornings later, a minister made an announcement that amazed me. He announced that apparently people were stopping in the middle of the intersection when the traffic light turned red, including even pedestrians, putting their lives in danger, believe it or not!! He announced to people that they were to continue through the intersection if the light turned red once they had entered it. He went on and explained to the people that it was the right thing to do. He had begun his announcement by stating, “We in the Church, get so zealous for obeying, we strive so hard to obey and do the right thing, that sometimes we get carried away (Translated: we were so mind-controlled that we could not think for ourselves any more.) –Former WCG member
Note: The above is briefly listed as #36 on Crazy Statements Made by WCG Ministers.
Former Minister’s Wife Needs to Leave it All Behind:
December 16, 2002
When I think of everything I could say, the story I could tell, the harm done to me, to my children, and members of the WCG, I just want to cry. I spent a lot of time on another website, but it was too anti-God and I need God in my life. So I was thankful to find this website. I was the gullible one, ripe pickings for a cult when young and now need to leave it all behind.
Having been a minister’s wife, I feel special guilt for multitudes of past members I have offended (known and unknown offenses).
I have been reading your articles, especially An End to Guilt. I think I have read most everything, but just needed someone to tell me to get going. I have a journal. I have been making amends to my girls. I have asked God to heal the people I have hurt.
I am making a “real fresh start.” My husband and I have accepted new jobs in another state. I have chosen a weekend only position for now to avoid the WCG scene entirely. It’s scary, but I believe it was created by God for my healing. There’s nothing holding me here; my family is scattered throughout the country.
I just wanted you to know I appreciate you and thank God for people like you. –Recovering ex-wife of ex-WCG minister
Bible is Not a Puzzle or Mystery:
December 28, 2002
It is a known fact that if a Jehovah’s Witness reads their Bible without any of their Watchtower helps they become able to leave the group within two years. Why? Because, for the first time, they discover that the Bible does not agree with WT literature. Even though the JW can quote Scripture freely, they actually only read 6% of their Bible. I imagine this is true of the average WCG/PCGer. Look at how we could quote Leviticus, Matthew 24, and Revelation. We could quote portions of books without actually reading the whole book (Galatians, Romans, Hebrews, etc.). When one understands that the whole Bible is about Jesus (O.T.–promises and prophecies of the coming Messiah to redeem man; N.T.–the coming and fulfillment of the prophecies and the gift of salvation), the Bible is no longer “a puzzle or mystery” that needs some self-appointed man to solve. –Former WCG member