Best of the Letters From 2021

 

Straitway Truth Ministry Is a Dangerous Cult:

March 22, 2021

I want to thank you for this website! I was involved with a cult, and they are just like the WCG offshoots! The leader name is Pastor Charles Dowell, or Straitway Truth Ministry. I got sucked in very early on in my walk with Christ, and it nearly destroyed me. It nearly destroyed my marriage, I segregated myself from family, I was under such intense fear, and mind control! It is truly by the grace of God, that I am out of there, I was so deluded that I would not have left out of fear if it wasn’t for Christ’s hand intervening mightily to get me out! Can I ask you if you have anyone who has ever made a complaint about this group? This group is one to mark down as a dangerous cult! Thank you again for all you do. Your website has given me much needed clarity, and has been a very helpful tool that I have used. I can’t even begin to say how much this has helped me. May God continue to bless your work! –H. P.

Comment: See March 10, 2019 letter “Straitway Truth Ministries” from a lady whose boyfriend in LCG was getting caught up with Straitway. Straitway Truth Ministries follows many of the false teachings of Herbert Armstrong, i.e., believing they are “spiritual Israel,” keeping the holy days, commandments, sabbaths, unclean meats, etc. They have had complaints against them. See: Complaint about Straitway Truth Ministry, Lafayette, Tennessee and Straitway Unpacked (on Facebook).

Abused by Kevin Dean:

March 30, 2021

My name is Shari Campa (formerly Shari Kelly). I grew up in the Worldwide Church of God. My dad is Ronald Kelly. I was abused by Kevin Dean beginning at the age of 14 while at summer camp (S.E.P.) in Orr, MN and it continued for years. I investigated litigation years ago when I finally began to heal from the years of sexual, spiritual and emotional abuse and began telling the truth that I was a victim of sexual abuse, not a 14 year old that had “chosen” a relationship with the 32 year old superintendent of my high school.

However, I found the statute of limitations for sexual abuse had passed. I recently learned that California law opened a three year window for clergy sexual abuse due to the overwhelming number of cases that were never able to be tried from decades ago. I was trying to look at your site to see if I could find others who had been abused by Kevin, but the search option was not returning any information. Would you be able to advise if you have had others share of specific abuse by Kevin Dean and the churches covering of his abuse? Not sure how to go about finding others, but would like to try and do so to add weight to the case. He is in prison now in Georgia, however, I want to be sure that should he be released before his sentence ends, he has the charges against him in California to face.

I appreciate you providing a safe space for people who lived through the horror of it all to find support and healing.

Thanks for any assistance you can offer.

Shari Campa

Comment: This lady has received a personal reply.

Thankful for David Robinson’s Book:

March 30, 2021

I am so thankful for the book by David Robinson [Herbert Armstrong’s Tangled Web] and love his writing style. He was a good investigative reporter. It took courage to write that book. –Former WCG member

Almost Gave Up Everything For RCG:

March 30, 2021

I contacted the Restored Church of God in this year and received a return contact from a minister a day later. After a subsequent phone call, he determined that my baptism and membership with the WCG was still valid and I was invited to attend services the following Sabbath. I was welcomed wholeheartedly, and surprisingly became aware of their belief that we would be taken to a Place of Safety within the Passover time, 2021.

I came to accept that I would leave everything, but I was willing. I gave up my job as a host home provider with a $54,000 a year contract. I also knew I was going to give up my husband of 43 years and a small parcel of land and all that lay upon it.

I shared this grief with this minister, whom by the way was all too familiar with me, telling me that he felt he had known me for a “long time.” I was told that I could not share any prophecy or doctrine or any literature with my spouse or anyone else. No one else was to attend services with me. This raised a red flag. I was told that as a member, I must attend the Passover. I shared my mourning too much with this minister. He, along with David C. Pack, decided I was “too unstable” at this time and removed my membership and Passover invitation. Even after more extensive study in hopes they would relent, they hardened their heart further towards me.

I have since been reading much from your site. Recently, I went through A Critique of Which Day is the Christian Sabbath? which opened up my eyes a lot. I also have learned much about HWA and how two-faced and corrupt he was. This has been a very intensive trial for me within a three week period. –[name withheld]

Good  Ending to This Trial and Emotional Abuse:

(2nd email from person above)

April 1, 2021

Our merciful Father is producing a good ending to this trial and emotional abuse. Never again will I be involved with any church that gets in the way of my marriage, or the talents I have been given. I am an artist and have also reached the time to give up being a host home provider. Now I can dedicate myself to my husband, grandchildren, gardening and first and foremost to God and the saving grace of Jesus Christ. God has brought forth good from what was intended for evil and my self destruction. –[name withheld]

Seeking to Exit Intercontinental Church of God:

April 2, 2021

I am 27 years old and was born into Armstrongism. All my life I’ve been taught all the doctrines but recently I began questioning everything. The group I am seeking to exit is the Intercontinental Church of God founded by Garner Ted Armstrong [previously known as Church of God International]. In 1995, my parents went to UCG and in 2009 we went to ICG.

As I read material on your site, it almost seems too good to be true that grace alone saves us, and that God’s love is unconditional. The programming is so strong that sometimes I have felt that God is turning away from me and will curse me for rebelling against His Law. I just want to be free and enjoy true intimacy with Jesus Christ but the guilt and the fear of losing my salvation is so overwhelming.

Thank you for reminding me that God is still here and that He still loves me even if I can’t feel it right now. I so desperately need the peace that passes all understanding spoken of in Philippians 4:7. Thank you so much for this website. God bless you. –B.

Comment: It is recommended to get rid of all literature from ICG and get off their mailing list.

Thanks for a Superb Website:

April 4, 2021

Many thanks indeed for this superb website. It must have taken a lot of work, and that is much appreciated.
Regards, –Dr. David N.

My Sins Were Already Forgiven:

April 5, 2021

When our pastor gave us an opportunity to examine ourselves and talk to God about anything that we needed to, I bowed my head, and just as clear as day, something (I believe it was the Holy Spirit) told me “Your sins are already forgiven.” Wow! –Impacted by loved in PCG

Comment: This is something those in or out of PCG need to fully grasp since PCG is continually pounding members over the head with their sins. Read: The Law of Moses and the Grace of God and The Sin Issue.

Celebrating One Year of Freedom From Restored Church of God:

April 5, 2021

Today marks 1 year since I left Restored Church of God after being a member for 6 years. I was under the control of a wacko false prophet, false Apostle, false teacher David Pack.

I have saved emails from his failed prophecies from January, 2020, and his lame attempt to explain why it didn’t happen. I thank God that I didn’t lose my wife and all my friends and family. They never quit praying for me every day; due to that I truly believe it is a miracle that I left.

I thank you for your site and read it every day. I can relate to all the letters people write in. I also enjoy listening to your offsite messages, such as Aaron Budjen at Living God Ministries, and Bob George Ministries. I pray for the close friends that I made while I was there for 6 years. Only one person has called me since I left. I know why they are shunning me. I pray that the Holy Spirit will convict their hearts, but in God’s timing, like He did me.

I could say a lot more but I better quit. Keep up the good work. God bless you. –L. G.

Comment: Listeners should be aware of Aaron Budjen’s apparent modalism. Read this May 4, 2016 letter, our comments, and letters that follow.

David Pack Says You Can End All Your Financial Worries:

April 12, 2021

David Pack had a “featured booklet” on his home page that said “End All Your Financial Worries.” The title should more accurately read “Begin All Your Financial Worries.” Giving tithes and offerings to RCG is the best way to end up with significant financial problems. The only one who ends his financial worries is Pack himself. –[name withheld]

Greg Williams Continuing to Revise GCI History:

April 22, 2021

Greg Williams (the new president of GCI) continues to revise WCG history to keep “fond” memories alive in the minds of former WCG members. (He also is being deceptive and devious toward any new people that come to GCI’s site, all the while reminding them they [WCG] have always been a “denomination.”)

Someone forwarded me a recent “GCI Update” where Greg told how he took a trip back to the property of where the old Ambassador College used to stand and proceeded to tell a crock of B. S. stories such as:

“My mind was filled with recollections of many happy events and relational activities that took place on just about every corner of that property”

I wonder if Greg’s your happy “recollections” include GTA and his sexual conduct with women on and off the campus? Does he remember the lawsuit for massive financial corruption? Does he remember the receivership? Does he remember the infighting? How about memories of the double standards? I’m sure he knows all about it because he was there! Or was he too young and naïve to remember it?

He even ruminated about the footprint impressions in concrete of “HWA and the original four AC students dating back to 1948” and how they are now “vanished.” Did he expect them to still be there so he could run his fingers over them and fondly recall happy recollections of these men that caused so much suffering and despair in the lives of thousands?

Greg has got to be one of the biggest deceivers in GCI at present. Does he actually think former members have that short of a memory? He is nothing but a snake in the grass in my opinion. I read in your article how in 2018 he was “attempting to shift members from Saturday to Sunday.” God only knows what else he’s done or has plans to do.  –Former WCG member

Reply: Greg is slowly but surely leading GCI into becoming part of the New Age ecumenical movement. Also read “What Are the Credentials of Greg Williams?” (2-24-19 letter) and see this part in GCI History. Note: Greg Williams is listed on the NAE Board of Directors.

HWA’s Vanishing Footprints:

April 24, 2021

Regarding the previous letter about Greg Williams revising GCI History. Greg apparently does not know too much about what’s in the archives of GCI. When WCG sold the property and before they moved to Glendora, CA, they cut those footprints out of the walkway in front of the steps to the lower gardens. Those footprints are in the WCG/GCI archives unless they dumped them like they have so much of WCG’s history. –Former long time member of WCG [name withheld]

Comment: Greg is playing dumb. He has been a part of WCG/GCI since the mid 70’s when his father finished the Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course and then brought his family into the WCG. Greg was a junior in high school at the time. Greg attended AC from 1979 to 1983. The info about the footprints  is no longer in the GCI archives.

Greg Williams’ Fond Memories of AC:

April 24, 2021

The letter about Williams visiting the campus was interesting as I have many of the same feelings. It hearkens back to the way the “changes” were rolled all those years ago. Here were a people in shell shock. Most had given up so much including marriages, jobs, and butt loads of money. Now they find out it was all for naught! Rather than take a humble and repentant attitude, WCG went the opposite way. There was a passing nod to the harm they did, but the major focus was on how special it was to be this unique group God was going to use in some special way. Why, never before had God done such a thing with a group of people. Churches were told to prepare for explosive growth. You wouldn’t want to leave and miss out on that would you? Many congregations began studying materials from mega churches on church planting and growth. All they planted were seeds of false hope. The same old “God’s chosen people” crap dressed up in a different package. Years ago when a member transgressed they were forced to crawl across the broken glass of soul searching, Bible study, and long hours of counseling. Then, just maybe, you could return. But not for the leadership! I recall a minister saying that he was finished correcting the old teachings. If you get it, get it; if you don’t, you don’t. He was moving on!!! –B. B.

Comment: GCI’s “About Us” page deceptively says, “Grace Communion International is a trusted theological voice. We have shown ourselves willing to lose it all so that we may gain Christ.” [emp ours] See our section on “Worldwide Church of God Expose (GCI)” especially the article What in the World is Grace Communion International Doing Now? which includes their selling the copyrights to HWA’s literature to Philadelphia Church of God for $3 million.

Evil Men That Head These Groups:

May 21, 2021

Many of these evil men that head these groups are narcissists and sociopaths/psychopaths. They are not the kind, old, sincere, godly “Christians” that they appear to be when people first are introduced to their literature and programs. Even GTA said that he knew that the WCG was bull, but he was making too much money to be able to get out. (Read letter: Garner Ted Armstrong Knew About the Money Racket ) I think he was rotten to start with. When you grow up around deceit like he did, it has to affect you. Probably demonic influence on the both of them. Dave Pack is another one. His membership is dwindling. That’s why he’s increased his fearful sermons. His cash source is slipping through his fingers, and he knows it. –S. B.

Beginning to Understand More About the Love of God:

June 5, 2021

I am beginning to understand much more about the love of God. In the past I felt I would be zapped for any infringement of His laws. Now I grasp (albeit darkly at the moment) something of His love.

Everything that has been done to innocent people is a crime.

Thank you so much for your site. –Former member of WCG [name withheld]

You’re Doing a Good Work:

June 22, 2021

I will most certainly refer to your site again. It is a godsend to have the other perspective instead of the crystalline, snow-white image of Armstrong and his splinter churches. … You’re doing a good work with this website. God Bless. –[name withheld]

Confused After Being in COGWA:

June 25, 2021

I was a member of Church of God, a Worldwide Association (COGWA) for several months after reading their material for several months prior so it’s been close to a year.

I’m not sure where to go from here. I am really confused about Biblical doctrine now. They made very good arguments and had an answer for everything. –[name withheld]

Comment: This person received a personal reply. He followed up with emails with several questions that he had and which we helped him with. Read our updated article on COGWA.

Helping Me Sort Through Things:

June 28, 2021

(2nd email from person above)

Thank you [for answering all my questions]. And thank you for your website. It’s helping me sort through things. –[name withheld]

Does David Pack Consider Himself the Elijah?

July 3, 2021

I have been invited to RCG services. I’ve spoken to the local minister and I was asked about my hair, jewelry, hosiery and other questions. I don’t feel this is of a godly nature. I’m having second thoughts. I asked if I could bring my husband and he asked about his hair.

Does David C. Pack considers himself (Elijah) as I read? Thank you. –[name withheld

Comment This person has received a personal reply. Yes, it is true that David Pack is claiming to be the “Elijah” and has done so since 2015. See February 2, 2015 letter.

Why I’m Leaving Living Church of God:

July 10, 2021

I’ve been a member of LCG from 2012 but I always had doubts and tried to convince myself that it was the “true church.” Many things preached by LCG never added up. For example, the promise that Jesus would return within the next 5 years.

LCG is a dangerous cult leading to many divorces for members who did marital counseling with the ministers. I ended up with serious anxiety issues and suffered financially when my husband forced me to pay the third tithe. I have never seen a verse in the Bible that says the Levites should be in charge of the third tithe and that the excess 2nd tithe should be given to the church on the Last Great Day. My question was always around why LCG never does any charitable deeds like helping the poor?

I discovered the incest allegations about HWA and I found that very disturbing that someone who was supposed to be a servant of God could even be accused of such a thing.

LCG preaches closet racism about interracial marriages in youth camps as being unequally yoked. I realised they were preaching nonsense and are not Christians who read the Bible.

My husband is still part of the cult even after I showed him allegations about HWA and racist articles written in the Plain Truth. He called me “Satan,” told me to stay away from him and even threatened to divorce me. We were constantly fighting and my husband was trying to force me to remain with LCG which became emotionally abusive. He is determined to teach our kids about the nonsense of LCG child members being princesses when Christ returns.

So many wrong things about LCG are so blatant but my husband refuses to see reason. How do I live in peace with someone like that and I’m worried about the influence on my children. Not sure what to do. I only pray that one day he sees the real truth not LCG fables. I just want to say thank you for your website as it helped me to see the true state of affairs at LCG. –[name withheld]

Reply: I am very sorry to hear what you are going through. If your husband is firmly convinced that LCG is teaching “the truth,” he is not going to listen to you no matter how much evidence you show him. He will just harden his heart even more against it. It is extremely hard to break away from the controlling WCG offshoots that follow HWA;s teachings because the leaders use fear and guilt (part of mind control) to keep members from leaving and/or from looking at anything critical of them. ….

Where Can I Find a Sound, Biblical, Genuine Christian Church?

July 19, 2021

My confusion comes not from joining a cult but I have been sucked into many rabbit holes on the Internet in search of a genuine biblical and Holy Spirit filled church where Christ is the centre and leaders have a true calling on their lives to lead the congregation to true salvation.

This, I have come to see, can be an excruciating process with so many different belief systems and denominations. This is why it can be so confusing. We do not want to be part of a church that is false or deceptive, yet do not want to not be part of the body of Christ because we need to be according to God’s Word.

I know you don’t associate with an particular denomination, but it would be very much insightful to hear from previous members who have come out of cults and your team who understands religious cults, to mention churches where they have found a true family in Christ. Do you have a list of suggested churches? Places where real living relationships with God in the leadership and members is evidenced?

Thank you for time and effort to warn against falsehood. –D.

Reply: We are not in contact with any former members who have found a good church. I can understand your confusion with all the different churches out there and how hard it is to find a good church. The sad fact is that the churches have been changing for some time now. Read our article: Are We “Out of Fellowship With God” If We Don’t Attend a Church? Also read our Q&A: What about not forsaking the assembling together?

Life Has Been Full of Turmoil After Being a Child Survivor of RCG:

August 3, 2021

I only found this site Friday evening. I left RCG at 16 and since then life has been full of turmoil, counselling at 18, sleeping issues, moments of deep self condemnation and so on. And now I’m 20 and still have moments where I feel overwhelmed with thoughts of what I witnessed and went through along with my younger sibling. Even to this day I find it almost a mental tug of war to accept a shift on a Saturday (even when funds are running low). Not to mention the flashbacks of abuse and domestic violence that I experienced and witnessed first hand. I really wish to find others who left RCG (or other splinters) because funnily enough I still consider so many as extended family. It saddens me when I think about all those who “died in faith”; all those who turned their back on their blood family for the “spiritual family.”

I remember my [parent’s] word “If you leave this, I want nothing to do with you, you are excommunicated from Christ and His government,” etc., etc (bear in mind this all began when I was approximately 7-9 years old when I was just starting out as a child in RCG). I completed all the children’s Bible studies, fasted from my first Day of Atonement (as other children and some adults ate), gave up all my worldly dreams all for the sake of acceptance by my [parent]. How is that in anyway shape or form the love of Christ or God?

As well as the multiple years of being told to “abase and humble yourself,” “we are dust, nothing,” “we must be spiritually de-leavened,” and then in the next breath be told we are “God’s chosen” and “true spiritual Israel”; “God is a family and He will make us gods too.”

I feel I’ve jumped around from topic to topic quite frantically, but the more poems, child survivor testimonies and even seeing some ex-ministers for example speak out about things over 8 years ago, it’s just back to back making me feel stupid for the childhood lost and desperate for my [parent] to finally see sense.

I just wish I could rekindle some type of faith again in something because in all honesty RCG not only destroyed my idea of religion but God himself. I’m no atheist but the thought of the Christian God or the Islamic God (any form of so called Abrahamic faith) just makes me lose hope.

I managed to have good dialogue with [a relative] and they explained that they came across this site but didn’t tell me because they felt I would react negatively. But, in fact, it’s just made me feel better, that I’m not the only one, and just from the poems I read in the evening have eased my mind and heart.

Thank you ESN for making this site.Thank you very, very much. I feel that finally I have answers that make sense and I accept my role as a child who was in a cult. –Child survivor of RCG in UK [name withheld]

Comment: As far as any kind of God making you lose hope, that is understandable, but the “god” that was taught in RCG was a false god, not at all like the real God of love that we try to show on the site. It will take time to rekindle faith, and have a personal relationship with a loving God who accepts you and loves you unconditionally, but it is possible.

David Pack Trying to Purchase More Land Again:

August 7, 2021

I was told by an anonymous and reputable source that David Pack is trying to purchase the homes surrounding his property. When others spoke to people around town, including contractors that visited the campus, alleged strange stories and shady dealings arose. Overall, Pack has purchased many homes along SR261 and Hartman Rd. His goal is to own them all. Facebook is a great place to help spread the word. –[name withheld]

Comment: Wadsworth has several Facebook groups where they allow people to share information. One of the biggest is called “Wadsworth Neighbors.”

Many Leaders of the Armstrong Cults Are Narcissists:

September 5, 2021

Many of the leaders of these Armstrong cults are narcissists. A couple of examples:

When you go to RCG’s site, there is an insert in the right corner with a picture of Dave Pack looking superior, and if you put your mouse or finger over it, it actually zooms bigger and comes right at you. Talk about wanting to get in your face!

Gerald Flurry has a picture of Herbert Armstrong on his site right next to his own picture (almost like HWA is sitting at his right hand). The picture of HWA is a younger picture–certainly not how he looked at age 93 l/2–and the picture of GF is also a younger picture, not how he now looks at age 86.

These examples show their exaggerated need for attention, another sign of a narcissist. This site shows 15 Signs You’re Dealing With a Narcissist.

As has been mentioned, in this picture on PCG’s church page, GF is holding his lips with the same type of smile as HWA has, he wears the same type of glasses, and his hair is combed the same way. He actually hopes this copy-cat behavior causes members (or new visitors to the site) to associate him with Herbert Armstrong. –Former member of WCG

Traumatized by WCG:

September 10, 2021

I received probable psychological experimentation without informed consent resulting in suicidal depression and other crazy-making and sanity destroying mind control. I experienced this first hand before finally walking out of the WCG completely traumatized. I have never told my story. I began listening to the Radio Church of God [WCG’s first name until 1968] and reading the literature when I was twelve, was accepted to Ambassador College when seventeen, was baptized at seventeen, got married by Herbert Armstrong to another Ambassador graduate the day after I graduated from Ambassador in 1970, and we were at headquarters in Pasadena during the [date removed.] I just don’t talk about the mental agonies. –[name withheld]

Found a Lot of Atheistic Sites When I Was Researching:

September 18, 2021

I found a lot of atheistic sites when I was researching years ago before I found ESN. I noticed that they wanted to lead former members to be without faith, anti-Christian, and embittered like them. Some of the books they steered members to were philosophy. I think some philosophy is dangerous, as it can lead the reader to question the existence of everything. People can really get messed up studying these books. I think some former members may have started entertaining some of these ideas innocently, but then they got out of hand. Most of these atheists are angry and they love to debate. They have a distorted view of Christianity. –Impacted by loved one in WCG splinter group

Reply: Atheism is a lie, and it is a strong lie.  It can even lead to a satanic stronghold. They have no hope beyond the grave. We don’t recommend wasting time getting into a debate with them. An interesting site for those who are interested is: Refuting Atheism and Bob Dutko’s material listed on our Links under “Bible”: Top Ten Proofs for God’s Existence and Top Ten Proofs the Bible is True. Also, read our article: Why Do So Many Exiters Turn to Atheism? which has links to material to refute these lies.

Ronald Dart Said Don’t Spend Time Answering Letters That Didn’t Have Money in Them:

October 5, 2021

While our daughter worked for Church of God International [name changed to Intercontinental Church of God] in Tyler, Texas, God opened her eyes to see GTA and his cult for what they are. When Ron Dart told her not to spend time answering letters that didn’t have money in them, she woke up. That helped open our eyes too, thank God! –Former member of WCG

Comment: Ronald L.Dart, later with Independent Church of God, had a radio program called “Born to Win.” He died in 2016. Read Letter “Ronald L. Dart Dies.” The comment also has a link to much more info about Dart in OIU 4, Pt. 4.

COGWA Last Great Day Sermon Answered Questions About the 2nd Resurrection:

October 7, 2021

The context of the sermon in Tucson, AZ was answering questions of those resurrected after the millennium [100-year period aka the 2nd resurrection] and some of the difficult questions that would be asked.

So, when a Christian martyr or devout Christian asks you as a spirit being how it is that they were not in the first resurrection, part of the complete answer given included “You didn’t know the true God.” And further “He did not know you.” These are direct quotes.

The answer included you were worshipping a false god.

There were additional statements suggesting the devout Christian or martyr will probably be a little angry about this. They thought they knew God and were pleasing in His sight, but no, God did not know them. The speaker identified this as a question that has a difficult answer.

I knew this was their belief, but COGWA chooses to never say anything like this. I don’t think this settled very well with some teens and young adults who have never really heard the undiluted belief.

COGWA never says much in their sermons beyond “discerning” and “staying the course” and “unity.” They know that their beliefs simply rely on believing Herbert Armstrong and maybe, just maybe, the smart upper middle-class COGWA members would see the lack of real support if they tried to prove their beliefs through the Bible. So, instead, they hope the members will just remember the basic Armstrong teachings and spend all their time focused on staying true to “the Truth” and to “the Church” and “to law keeping.”

It is saddening and maybe worse. –C. B.

Comment: Yes, it is saddening. Read: Is there a 100-year period? (Q&A)

Demons and David Pack:

October 24, 2021

I was reading about how others have said they believe there are demons in these Armstrong cults. I completely agree. There is so much evil and wickedness inside that if it were all uncovered at once it would shock us. It was rare for me to ever see the true fruit of the Spirit in there. I’ve even been acquainted with those who have had terrific struggles after they leave (I experienced it myself).

Someone who was in Dave Pack’s cult told  me this true story. When they were in his presence there were times there would be a darkness that would come into his eyes and his voice would change to a sinister tone. It was like a different being was present and they said the presence of evil was very overwhelming. –K. R. (former member of WCG)

Reply: This incident with Dave Pack reminds me of the letter: “Frightening Incident With Cal Culpepper.” Some (but not all) of the struggles after exiting can be demonic oppression, especially if you feel a strong resistance when you decide to go through the Prayers For Freedom From Spiritual Strongholds or My Position in Christ. There is evil of all kinds inside these groups. Most people inside are devoid of spiritual discernment unless God opens their eyes.

Went Through a Lot of Emotional Turmoil Because of LCG:

October 27, 2021

Firstly, I would like to say thank you for the work you are doing of exposing the dangers of Armstrongism. I left LCG but went through a lot of emotional turmoil because of them. I’m still struggling with my mental health and I’m not sure if I’ll ever be the same, but grateful for the support system.

When I first came across your website, I had my doubts about the authenticity of what was posted. I wish I had listened. I allowed people to reason around what was written on your website about LCG, “It is just the Devil attacking the true servants of God.” I hope no one else ever finds themselves in such a situation of the truth staring them in the face and ignoring it.

The way the Bible is twisted is scary and, frankly speaking, the mind control is very thorough. A person who is part of a cult cannot be reasoned with. My desire would be for no one else to fall prey to such organizations.

It’s quite sad to read posts from atheists who were created by these WCG offshoots. I still believe in God but I don’t see myself ever attending church with another organization in the future as I developed trust issues. Its painful to admit that attending with LCG drew me away from God and the irony is that I thought I was doing the right thing.

I have read all the PDF books on WCG and Herbert Armstrong and I can confirm the books are very true as those are some of the things I experienced or saw. Strangely enough the modus operandi still hasn’t changed in over 70years. If only something more recent could be released so people can never reason it out that it was from the 70s and it’s no longer relevant. The cult [through its offshoots] is still alive, thriving and destroying people’s lives.

Once again thank you for the great work you are doing and please continue to help more people. –Former member of LCG

Grandparents Gave $100,000s to WCG:

November 1, 2021

My grandparents gave $100,000s to The Worldwide Church of God. Their daughters and their five grandchildren all suffered in this “church” and at the hands of our grandparents whose behaviors were completely guided and courted by this “church” leadership. Is there any way to access the financial records to find out how much they donated? –S.

Reply: I really don’t know of any way to do this. The WCG just got away with everything. I’m sorry there has been so much suffering in your family because of this crooked organization (aka a cult).

Hypocrisy in Churches of God:

November 3, 2021

I have had some bad experiences with LCG, UCG, and COGWA ministers. They are not full of love, but are “mean spirited.”

I am just disappointed in three ministers that seem to have forgotten the attributes of Grace, Love and Mercy in the way they deal with some members who make assumptions, innuendos, conjecture, rumors, gossip, false allegations, making disparaging remarks (without facts to support them), etc.

When I was baptized in 1996, I was baptized into Jesus Christ, “not” a “church organization,” so I agree with you that maybe I should just stay away and concentrate on doing God’s will “no matter what the consequences.” Jesus was disfellowshipped, too, because He did the “will” of the Father and the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the Herodians didn’t accept Him or His Words. So, having said that, I would much rather travel this journey “alone,” than have to put up with hypocrisy in the so called “churches of God” organizations who preach Love, but their fruits are not indicative of “Agape Love.”

The correspondence, another letter (most recent), that I got from United Church of God Ministerial Services Operations Manager, was soooo “mean spirited.” All I wanted to do was visit a congregation I hadn’t visited in 15 years or so. So sad that I don’t see any “Agape Love.

Thanks for your time. –Ray W. Smith (real name used with permission)

Comment: This man received personal replies from ESN and we have also encouraged him to make a clean break from all these groups.

Have Left UCG and COGWA:

November 27, 2021

Your material is so very helpful. My husband and I have left United Church of God and COGWA. Most of our family members are still in … I’d love if you could steer us toward some resources for exit counseling as well as how to navigate keeping Christmas for the first time with our families being very judgmental and unsupportive in our changed views. I’m also unsure how to navigate social media. … As it is now, I am keeping most of my views private.

Thanks so much! –Amy [first name used with permission]

(2nd email from person above)

The child survivors section has been very helpful as both my husband and I grew up in COG offshoots. I actually found your site researching the church’s history when I was a teen. I dismissed the ideas I found although it did plant a seed of doubt in me about HWA. I feel a little ashamed that it has taken me this long to leave, but when “the church” is all you know…it’s a very daunting process. Again, I appreciate the site. –Amy [first name used with permission]

Living Church of God Claiming to Be A Charity:

November 29, 2021

I know someone who is studying LCG literature. This person attended the WCG then the PCG. After leaving the PCG myself around 5 years ago, after years of being deceived, I decided to look into the LCG.

I came across a web site: The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.

I can’t imaging the LCG giving anything to charity. They only seemed to take, not give.

Because the LCG claims to be a “charity,” I believe that gives them tax benefits. Donations from people would be “tax deductible.” I really can’t see the LCG or any of the other WCG splinter group giving anything to anyone outside their own group. I never saw that, at least when I was in the PCG.

Thank you for your valuable website. –[name withheld]

Reply: In going to that website, it appears that it is saying that “they” (LCG) are a charity and this is where money sent to them goes. We asked someone else in ESN and here was his insight after checking out the site:

The LCG being a “charity” is definitely a stretch! The LCG is like all the HWA offshoots—they benefit no one but themselves. I can’t believe they claim to help “People at risk of homelessness / people experiencing homelessness” (the HWA offshoots create financial hardships, which could lead to homelessness), “Financially disadvantaged people” (the HWA offshoots create disadvantaged people through their “tithing laws”), and “Families” (the HWA offshoots tear families apart spiritually and physically). The “summary of activities” says “The Church assists, were [sic] possible, in emergency relief and humanitarian efforts throughout Australasia, the South Pacific and South East Asia, including during the current COVID-19 Pandemic.” I doubt that “The Church” ever finds an occasion to help anyone “were [sic] possible.”

 

Next to 2022

Back to Letter Archives