NOTE: New letters start at bottom. Be sure and scroll down or up a little when you get to the bottom to make sure you haven’t missed a letter.

NOTE: Some wrote in the past and said they were afraid. Most of this fear has been blown out of proportion. Visit The HighWire for excellent shows (and interviews with experts) on the pandemic and the economy. God does not want our life to be ruled by fear. Ask Him to give you peace and He will. As we trust in God, He will always help us and see us through.

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” (I Peter 5:7)

“Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.” (Psalms 63:7)


David Pack Predicting Christ Will Return This Year:

January 6, 2020

Pack is predicting that Christ will return this year. I am sure he will get new members because of the current situation with Iran. He is also sure that when Christ returns it will be on a Sabbath. He has given many predictions over the years, none of which have come true. –OH

Pack Has Lost Members:

January 30, 2020

As I understand it, Dave Pack lost several members over his failed predictions. –N. M.

Joe Horchak Caught Faking Number in UCG-AIA:

February 18, 2020

Joe Horchak, a minister in United Church of God [brother of Doug Horchak minister in COGWA], was caught faking numbers for more money in his congregation. He was also big into gossip and putting people down (especially member’s wives). He recently was let go, however.

There are about 7,000 members in UCG but those numbers are being reduced drastically due to the fact that the majority of the members are older. A lot of people who have been hurt by UCG leave to go to COGWA. All these splinters are a dying group, though. –[name withheld]

Article Was Comforting:

February 18, 2020

I re-read the article The Law of Moses and the Grace of God. It explains more than we ever learned in any HWA offshoot. It is a real comfort to me. –Anonymous

Under God’s Wings:

February 24, 2020

In your new section Comfort for Those Who are Sorrowing, I was reading the one, “Under God’s Wings.” It’s very comforting. Miller draws a lot of analogies from Scripture that are relevant; I like that also. –One who has sorrow

Tkach Was Weaving in and out of the Truth:

February 24, 2020

The name Tkach apparently means “weaver” as this is what we were told in the WCG. One person in the WCG referred to Tkach as “weaving in and out of the Truth” when Tkach started making subtle changes to customs such as clapping for special music, etc., beginning in the late 1980s before most members (who seemed to be in it for the social aspect of membership) had a clue of what was to come. –Former WCG member

Almost Got Roped Into Restored Church of God:

March 2, 2020

It must have been God intervening. I was very close to getting roped into the Restored Church of God, when I opened a link to your website!  –A.

Only Questioning the Ministry and Not the Doctrine:

March 2, 2020

These people who are in the offshoots of WCG get their faith shaken up when they get in trouble with the ministry. Unfortunately they only question the ministry or the group they’re in, but never the doctrine–or only parts of the doctrine but not all of it. It’s hard to give that up. I’ve given it up completely because I took the time to research every aspect of it and realized how much WCG lied, covered up and distorted the truth! It’s sad to see people still in slavery but they choose to stay there. –Former member

Found Your Site on RCG and Now Questioning What to Do:

March 4, 2020

I have been in contact with a minister from the RCG and working my way closer to attending Sabbath services. I just found your site today and it has me questioning what I should do. According to what I have read, it appears that David Pack has said a few things that don’t quite line up with scripture.

My concern is that I don’t want to get involved with any group who is not following the truth of the Bible (God’s Word). I would appreciate any comments or advice that you would be willing to offer. –[name withheld]

Reply: Pack has been known to use fear, guilt and intimidation in order to exploit members financially. Since he elevates Herbert Armstrong as the one whom God “restored His truths” to, it would be wise to see our section on “Herbert W. Armstrong.” We should always research the background of any church or group we are planning on joining and giving our money and life to. This includes the founder and where he actually got his doctrines from. If they are legitimate they should be able to stand up to any historical and background check on them.

Question About Therapy:

March 6, 2020

First off: Thank you for making this website; you probably have some idea how much I appreciate it.

Secondly: would WWCG indoctrination practices line up with ritualistic abuse as well as spiritual abuse? (I am in the process of starting therapy, and just looking for information to narrow my searches for a good fit!) thank you for your insight. –J. S.

Reply: If by ritualistic abuse you mean satanic abuse, not as far as I know. But horrendous physical, emotional, sexual and spiritual abuse, yes. We mention on the site that it is helpful to find a therapist who is knowledgeable with trauma, mind control and cultic abuse and/or abusive religious groups. Make sure you have visited our section on Mind Control & Exploitation. I hope all goes well with your therapy.

I am Praying Against False Doctrines:

March 10, 2020

Thank you for publishing your warnings. I recently met a guy involved with Fred Coulter. I am deeply saddened by several I know who have been deceived and am taking it as a sign to study more myself and pray against false doctrines. –D. G.

So Little of What They Teach is About God:

March 11, 2020

I can’t believe anyone in their right mind would even consider going with David Pack, or Gerald Flurry. These two tyrants are the worst that the offshoots of the WCG have to offer! So little of what they teach is about God. It’s mostly about Herbert Armstrong, themselves, and the “work” that they are doing. –Ex member RCG/PCG

Stay at Home and Read the Bible Instead of Listening Online to Services:

March 18, 2020

It would be nice to see people stay home and just read their Bibles, instead of listening online to services.

So far, I haven’t heard of any members having the coronavirus or dying from it. –Former member of WCG, RCG, PCG

Flawed Leadership:

March 19, 2020

I once was as much a victim as many are. But once Garner Ted and the masseuse thing came up, that was the first time I actually realized that the Armstrongs were very flawed. That freed me.

HWA kept his membership from reading anything forbidden by him, like the Ambassador Report. As long as the flawed leadership remains in power, we will continue to see people that will justify the system. We cannot correct a flawed system with the same flawed leaders. –Former WCG member

You Helped Me Immensely:

April 19, 2020

I just want to tell you thank you so much for doing all the hard work of building and maintaining ESN. You helped me immensely and I’m sure many other people. It truly was a miracle that I found the site when I did.

Ever Grateful. –Missouri

I Discovered That Aaron Budjen Is a Modalist in His Doctrine of God:

April 20, 2020

Good day. I have listened to Aaron Budjen’s recordings about the Trinity. I discovered that he is a modalist in his doctrine of God, similar to Oneness Theology of UPCI [United Pentecostal Church International]. What do you think of this man? I love to listen to his audio recordings, since they deal with the issues regarding law and grace, faith and works, and that he does not teach money-based tithing. But as I listened to his four archives of one topic about the Trinity, I discovered he is not a Trinitarian. He is like that of the followers of Watchman Nee who seem to be Trinitarians but are actually Oneness in theology.

Aaron Budjen said in his recordings that about the Father, he thinks of God as the Creator. About the Son, he thinks of God as the One who died for him. About the Holy Spirit, he thinks of God as the One who dwells in him — but the three are one and the “same person.” The words in quotation marks are from his own words. I caught him of his modalism because he made analogy of the Trinity using water, steam, and ice. Only Oneness Pentecostals and Modalists use this analogy of the Godhead.

I hope you have a good reply. God bless. –J. S.

Reply: Aaron of Living God Ministries has said he “does not consider himself a modalist.” He has stated that those who believe in the Trinity believe there are “three Gods sitting on a throne” in Heaven (which is false).

Since Aaron has produced some good messages on law and grace, tithing and baptism, we still link to those. Listeners should just beware of his apparent modalism. Read: The Eternal Sonship of Christ by George W. Zeller and Renald E. Showers.

James Gives Opinion on Aaron Budjen:

April 20, 2020

Regarding the above email, I don’t claim to be a scholar, but it “surely” looks to me that Aaron does not believe nor teach the Christian orthodox view of the Trinity.  I listened to a few of his short teachings, about 28 minutes long.

On his Trinity tape, # 3, he states concerning John 14,9-17, “The Lord Jesus was actually identifying himself as the Father.” Aaron will make statements as the following, “When you get to Heaven, will you ask Jesus, Will you show me the Father?” “How many thrones will you see in Heaven?” This does not sound like a Trinitarian to me.

His Trinity tape, # 4, is just as confusing. “God reveals himself in different manifestations, and in distinct ways.” Colossians 1 he gets around as the Son is the Creator. He states “The Holy Spirit is not a distinct person.” When Jesus is praying to the Father, he states, “He’s praying to himself. God talks to himself, just like you talk to yourself…”

Aaron’s tape on Hebrews 1:2-13, (I only listened to the first 19 minutes), he states “The Son is the Father, and the Father is the Son.” Again he states “The Son is the Father.” Again he states, “Jesus is the Father, and the Father is Jesus.”  Aaron also makes the statement that “At the end of John’s Gospel, letter, John expresses that the disciples spoke to the Lord Jesus not really understanding that he was ‘truly‘ the Father”

Aaron will make other statements such as “From a different perspective you can look at Trinitarianism as though it truly is Tritheism.” He thinks the illustration of water is a good illustration of who God is, and states “God manifests in different forms, different manifestations, reveals himself in different ways,” and so on. Tape, #2.

Also his “Statement of Faith” has nothing to say about the Trinity, although it states that “Jesus is God.”

James

Comment: Read: The Eternal Sonship of Christ by George W. Zeller and Renald E. Showers.

Update: Read James first letter to ESN: “Never Seen Such a Lack of Discernment in My Life

GCI Still Mixing the Old With the New:

April 23, 2020

You may be aware of GCI’s views on giving. I was reading through their article, “Money: Three Reasons to Give.” It’s the same old game, especially where it’s mentioned as a command to give. They’ve mixed the old with the new and added their new Evangelical language–page after page of this nonsense.

Read through the giving spiel and let me know your thoughts. –Canada

Comment: Due to its length, our reply has been moved to What in the World is Worldwide Church of God Doing Now? under Three Reasons to Give.”

Revised History of WCG:

(2nd email from person above)

April 23, 2020

Exactly my thoughts–and, yes, it’s like the Tkach sermon. They borrowed from it.

We know from Tkach Jr’s Transformed by Truth that GCI revised the true history of WCG. I know you are aware that these blatant lies are for all to see on GCI website, especially their About Us / History page.

When I peruse through their website, I am amazed how huge they appear to be. In the 90s all the lies they spoke about losing money since they let tithing go. Seriously?? –Canada

Seeking Information on Victor Kubic:

April 29, 2020

I’ve read some of the horror stories of people abused by the Worldwide Church of God and its offshoots. Very, very sad. I feel for them.

I’m seeking information on Victor Kubic, currently the President of the United Church of God-An International Association.

I wonder if you have any material or references on him, specifically during his time in the Worldwide Church of God when he fired and/or disfellowshipped people who did not accept or agree with Tkach Sr.’s doctrinal changes.

Appreciate any help you can give.

Regards, John

Reply: Victor Kubic is mentioned in our OIU Newsletter #4, Pt. 3, and OIU Newsletter #6, Pt. 6 (his name is misspelled in OIU 6 as Kubic). The OIUs can be downloaded by going to the PDF downloads page. Just search for that spelling of his name when those open up.

He is briefly mentioned in Letter Exposing Outright Lies, Abuses and Sociopathic Behavior.

He is also covered in UCG Crisis Continues To Boil: Income Down, Less Ministers, Less Members [offsite link]

So Thankful for Your Article:

May 3, 2020

I just red the article: “Why Do So Many Exiters Turn to Atheism?” That was the article I always felt in my heart and yet could never put it in words myself. This is what I always wanted to say. I’m so thankful for it. I’m not a writing type person or even a speaker at any level, I have not been gifted in this area. My heart can tell a story, but never express it in words. Thank you, God, for sharing the words of this person with my heart. –MKL

Is Dousing for Water Occult Divination?

May 15, 2020

I have been dousing for water a long time and somebody has just told me that dousing was actually divination and that it was wrong. I use my dousing rods in the same category as using a metal detector. Just like another gadget. I just don’t think I have been doing anything wrong all these years, although my friend thinks I
have been.

What are your views on using these gadgets? I look forward to your reply.  — R. H.

Reply: Dousing is an occult practice and is mentioned in the book Occult ABC by Kurt E. Koch as the rod and pendulum. (His book is listed on our Booklist under The Occult/New Age Movement.) Koch says that this “gift” in being able to find water with the rod or pendulum is passed on in families.

I would get rid of these rods immediately, denounce your participation in this, and ask Christ to set you free. Please see this section on our site: Prayers for Freedom From Spiritual Strongholds. The rod and pendulum is mentioned in the 3rd prayer: “Confession and Freedom From Specific Cult/Occult Strongholds.”

As far as metal detectors, I don’t think they are the same as these dousing rods.

Thank you for writing. I hope this is helpful.

Can’t Reason With Those Deceived by RCG:

May 17 2020

People who have a loved one that has been deceived by RCG often don’t fully understand what the RCG is. They think they can reason with them like they were a member of a regular Christian church. They can’t. That person is completely controlled by the RCG and will believe whatever they are told regardless of anything anyone else says. They become cold and distant to those who do not applaud their decision to sacrifice everything for this group. It is horrible that men (and women) can be so deceived by a group that looks so good on the outside but which can cause irreparable pain and damage to so many families. –Impacted by RCG

These Words Encouraged Me:

May 22, 2020

I really liked the message of comfort that the free verse “It Was Christ” gives. It encouraged me as I’m going through a difficult time. –Impacted

What Happens to Those Who Leave?

June 3, 2020

Hello, I am Spanish and I have read something of your page found by chance.

I’ve been through several churches and I only have one question. All these people, who say that in the churches where they have been are all false and that they have studied the Scriptures, and have found many falsehoods, have they formed their own churches? They are independent? Or what they have done?

Thank you. Mario V.

Reply: Hello, these groups like PCG, RCG, LCG, etc. they are not considered “churches.” They have the marks of Bible-based cults that exploit people financially and control their lives. A few may leave and start their own splinter group, but many of them go nowhere. Some study their Bible at home and have trusted only Christ. If you attend or listen to a church, it should be one that teaches salvation by grace through faith alone in Christ. Thanks for writing.

Your Website Has Been Immensely Helpful and Healing:

June 15, 2020

Hello, I’m a child survivor of many splinter groups as my family jumped between them over my life. I cannot tell you how immensely helpful and healing your website has been for me and truly eye opening to the damage that was done that I had been unaware of. … Thank you for all you do, –T. S. (child survivor)

Sacred Name Movement:

June 16, 2020

Thank you for exposing the Sacred Name Movement. [See Q&A: What is the Sacred Name Movement that some exiters have gotten caught up in?] I have had a run in with these people before and it hasn’t been pleasant. Here are three reasons why it wouldn’t work for me to be in that movement. (This doesn’t cover their errors.)

First of all, they have their own Bible (The Holy Name Bible). I grew up memorizing Bible verses. But can you imagine switching over and trying to memorize Scripture from their HNB? They actually have several Bible revisions which sacredname.com says “have no spiritual redeeming value.”

Secondly, what are their songbooks like? Do they take classic hymns and substitute “Yahweh” and “Yeshua” in place of God and Jesus? Can you even imagine how strange that would sound? I can think of so many hymns and songs over the decades that were a part of the Christian church. Take some of those hymns and substitute their “sacred” names. It wouldn’t even rhyme right.

Lastly, if using the word Jesus is wrong (as they say), then why is the name Jesus so powerful when confronting evil spirits? Missionaries for one, have told many stories about their experiences. Makes no sense what they are spouting.

Thanks for all you do. –Former WCG member

Comment: Using the Hebrew names for God has nothing whatsoever to do with how we receive eternal salvation. Let Us Reason Ministries has a good 4 part series on this movement that we are adding to the Q&A: The Sacred Name Movement.

Deceptions Come in Many Ways:

July 5, 2020

I find these videos [that ESN links to] to be very interesting. Deceptions come in many ways. –Former WCG member

HWA and Spin Offs Follow Similar Approach as Charles Atlas:

July 31, 2020

I grew up a scrawny, skinny teenager. I was not good at sports and, as a result, was teased a lot because of it. Back in the day of comic books I happened to run across the Charles Atlas body building course. The ad featured a skinny guy named Joe [or Mac] on the beach with his girlfriend. Suddenly a big bruiser lumbers by kicking sand in Joe’s face. Then Joe protests only to be jerked up by the arm and further belittled by the bully, who then walks away with the girl.

This scenario fit my life to a tee. Charles Atlas had the answers I was seeking. A way to build muscles and get even. I sent in my money and in a few days received the “Dynamic Tension” body build course. Imagine my disappointment to discover that it was nothing more than a series of calisthenics and some isometric exercises that I felt I had been doing for years in P.E. While doing these exercises by Charles Atlas would indeed be beneficial to one’s health, there was the implication that it was a “secret method” that would work quickly.

My point is this. I believe Herbert Armstrong, and all the spin offs, have followed a similar approach. Charles Atlas didn’t promote Dynamic Tension as a way to lose weight, better your cholesterol levels, and improve your cardiovascular system. Instead it was a secret way to become a man. That was the bold headline of his ad, “I transform weaklings into men.”

WCG and the spin offs feature the same temptation. Truth no one else knows, the only true church, a place of safety during the tribulation, becoming god as he reproduces Himself in you, and so on.

Much like the skinny guy who returns to the beach to find the bully and knock him on his rear, WCG members were also promised a revenge of sorts. They would be made rulers in the World Tomorrow and proven right all along.

To Armstrong the gospel seemed weak and scrawny. Filled with too much lovey-dovey emotion. Even saying the name Jesus by itself was avoided. Armstrong offered a message of power, of knowing God’s truth hidden for 2000 years, and what the near future held in prophecy.

The fallacy in this is the poison pill of self-glory and accomplishment. The gospel credits all glory to God, every bit of it. However in Armstrong’s message there are many “exercises” one had to perform in order to be included in the Kingdom of God. Failure to do would result in being put out of the church and by extension Gods kingdom.

I suppose this is what keeps these spin offs going. People holding on to a story they have bought into. A story that revolves more around them than around Jesus. The chance for the pay back of being right all along. –B. B., former member of WCG

Comment: This letter is very true about WCG and the splinters. Their story revolves more around them than around Jesus. The program by Charles Atlas, which was based on isometric exercises, only worked if one practiced the exercises diligently over an extended period of time. Unlike HWA, Atlas never had any scandals in his life, and the FTC could never find any false advertising. As Atlas grew older, he refused to let himself go, because he knew young people looked up to him, and he didn’t want to be a hypocrite and a bad example (as HWA became). Atlas spent the last two years of his life running on the beach and reading his Bible. A good article on Atlas with photos is here.

Division in UCG Over Masks at Services:

August 3, 2020

Victor Kubik and Len Martin recently posted an article on the mask mandatory orders for United Church of God. There were many comments with those who vehemently held to either side. Furthermore, on Facebook, there was a long thread of arguments leading to some threatening to leave the UCG over the requirement of masks. Please comment on this. –Impacted by UCG

Reply: In this article, Kubik and Martin are clearly seen to be placing a heavy guilt trip on members especially by quoting II Timothy 3:1-5 and talking about “the influences of the world.” They use the words “most church members…” to make members think they are in the minority if they don’t wear a mask. Then they blame the division on Satan! If the leaders in UCG are going to try and use these methods of guilt and scare tactics to get members to wear a mask at services, then the people in UCG may decide to stay home, meet in small groups, or split off. I do think that UCG members are going to rebel and maybe that is a good thing since they’ve been so controlled. The leaders are no doubt concerned that they will lose money if members leave. Those who are immunocompromised or have serious health problems shouldn’t be attending in the first place, but need to be protected. Many experts have said that the healthy person does not need to fear the virus, and that we are on the verge of herd immunity. Using tactics of guilt and fear in order to force people into compliance is always wrong. To search out more of the truth on this subject visit The HighWire or bitchute on masks on children.

Didn’t WCG Say They Would Be Included in the Book of Acts?

August 12, 2020

Didn’t the WCG say at one time that they would be included in the book of Acts since it was an “open book”? –Anonymous

Reply: This is true and it was actually Gerald Waterhouse in WCG who spoke about it.

Question on Tongues:

(2nd email from person above)

August 12, 2020

I have a second question. Since WCG said this, then why aren’t the church of God people [offshoots] who believe this (that they will be included in the book of Acts), and who also say the gift of prophecy is still in their church, why aren’t they speaking with the gift of tongues also? What about praying in tongues? –Anonymous

Reply: Starting in the 1990s, tongues was “welcomed” in WCG services. This is mentioned in Footnote #1 in GCI – New Age and Ecumenical Connections.

The gift of prophecy and tongues ceased after the Apostles. An excellent article explaining about the tongues issue is: “When Did the Gift of Tongues Cease?” (from Berean Bible Society) If you start down at the words, “When the gift of tongue ceased,” it says tongues are not mentioned in the Prison Epistles or the Pastoral Epistles and that the sign gifts of tongues, prophecy and healing mentioned in the book of Acts later ceased.

Those who pray in tongues say it is a “prayer language” that they use when they are “unable to pray” however, Romans 8:26. says the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us. It doesn’t say anything about a “prayer language.”

It seems like those who have been involved in the occult or New Age can get caught up in this.

More on praying in tongues can be found in the article: “What is praying in Tongues?” (from Got Questions) and covers several reasons people give for saying it is a “prayer language” between a believer and God.

Tongues Widespread in the Charismatic Churches:

August 13, 2020

Praying and speaking in tongues is widespread in the Charismatic churches. Is that where it got started? –T.

Reply: A good but short article that covers the beginnings of the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements and talks about the three waves is: History of the Charismatic Movement. The first wave was in 1906 when there was an outbreak of speaking in tongues at the Apostolic Faith Mission located on Azusa Street in Los Angeles. 

Subject of Tongues Still Upsets Me:

August 14, 2020

I used to run into these tongues-speaking people online and found them to be very self-righteous and downright mean. They have a condescending attitude toward those who don’t speak or pray in tongues like they do, and some feel you aren’t even saved! They teach that when you receive the “baptism of the Holy Spirit,” you will speak in tongues. I had such bad experiences that I now avoid them every chance I get.

UCG has some articles online from the late 90’s on this subject and so does LCG, so there must have been a problem in their congregation at one time. Going by comments from members, I think some may still endorse it.

This whole subject of tongues still upsets me. After I left WCG, I bought a booklet by someone that I thought was a reliable minister (deceased). He said if you “pray to receive the gift of tongues” you will receive it. So I tried it and it did not work for me! I am now glad it didn’t. I recently read that you should always pray, “God, don’t let me fall into it, if it is not of You.” –Former member of WCG

Reply: Today the Charismatic-Pentecostal movement is one of the fastest growing movements in the world. There are a lot of abuses in some of their churches, those which can be considered cults or cultic.

Some of the “benefits” they say will come from praying in tongues are:

a “direct communication with God”; shows us we are “praying correctly”; “builds up our faith”; “gives us refreshing from the Lord”; “is a door to the supernatural”; “will keep our prayers in line with God’s will”; and those who neglect this gift “remain weak spiritually” because it taps us into “divine mysteries,” etc.

They say they are speaking in an “angel tongue that no one understands.” However, there is no place in the Bible where an angel spoke and no one understood it. John (in Revelation) heard angels talk and he understood every word they said. To pray and not know what is coming out of one’s mouth is unbiblical; it is a spirit of confusion. This movement is all based on emotions, experiences, dreams and prophecies.

For those who want to read a very thorough study of this subject, go to our Booklist under Special Interest and click on the last book, The Tongues Deception & The Line Drawn. The second part by Miles Stanford is the most concise refutation of the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement ever written. Chapters IV, VII, & VIII focus upon the true and false tongues.

 


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