Best of the Letters From 2022
January 1, 2022
I have most recently observed and heard in the language of my two closest loved ones–who grew up in the Worldwide Church of God–an absolute indication that they were, beginning at the age of around 5 years old, being groomed for sexual abuse by their father and for the benefit of other members of this church. I am horrified! These two lovely women, now adults, and born in 1972 were obviously subjected to something I simply cannot even begin to imagine. Is this a common practice of the church and its membership during the 1970’s through the 1990’s? They have also shared terrible stories of “Elders” and “Ministers” of this organization routinely being in incest in every imaginable combination within family groups–fathers with sons, with daughters, brothers and sisters–and on and on. Again, was this commonplace? Does it continue to this day? How can I offer support and guidance to these dear ones as they finally, finally, work to break free of early childhood programming and abuse? Thank you. –[name withheld]
Reply: Yes, according to testimonies, these horrific things did happen in WCG (and offshoots). Go to our search page and type in “sexual abuse,” and “sexually abused.” It is common for cults to engage in such behavior secretly. (Read letter: “Predator in WCG Approached Me” and see our Links under “Trauma & PTSD.” I’m glad you wrote and I hope your loved ones receive the help they desperately need.
Life Destroyed Due to Worldwide Church of God:
January 4, 2022
I was member of the Armstrong organization for more than 30 years starting in my twenties. I was made to feel unchristian and displeasing to God for not wanting to marry a guy from the Caribbean with a very different culture and family structure. I then forced myself to marry [this man,] someone I did not want to, so that I would then be very pleasing to God, and He would bless me so much for listening to the ministers who gave “godly counselling.”
My life has been ruined, destroyed, along with our two daughters who are grown now. I am still somehow hoping the Lord God will really bless me. We lived in the dark for 6 years due to this bad husband’s lack of constant work, we lost our home due to lack of a $200 mortgage monthly. We had no medical insurance, no furniture other than some picked up from street. I only talk about my heartbreak of Worldwide Church of God to my daughters now because their lives were destroyed by [only having a] lamp light, a ripped up exterior of our ranch house. He was mean.
I feel like I will never be good enough for God in Heaven. I prayed and trusted In Him to give up my desire for a husband and chose from what those ministers counseled me to do and said was Jesus’ desire for me. It’s been Hell on earth since and no one has been able to put this shattered Humpty Dumpty back together. That is my testimony regarding my three decades in H. W. Armstrong organization. –[name withheld]
Was HWA or Tkach, Jr. a Freemason or Bildeberger?
January 4, 2022
Do you know if HWA was a Bildeberger or a Freemason? What about Joseph Tkach, Jr.? –[name withheld]
Reply: We have no way of knowing or proving whether this is true because these things are usually kept very secret. There is, however, a connection between Freemasonry and cults and some of HWA’s doctrines; i.e., the “God family” came from Mormonism, whose roots come from the occult and Freemasonry.
Also see this letter which mentions the Bildebergers: “WCG Has Aligned With the One World Religion.”
OIU Newsletter 5, Pt. 4 says the following: (download OIU Newsletters as PDF)
“The Church received many condolences by telex, letter and telephone, including some from dignitaries around the world.”
(Then after listing the condolences it says:)
“Many of the names you have just read are individuals who belong to one or more of the following organizations:”
- United Nations
- Masonic orders
- Council of Foreign Relations
- Trilateral Commission – David Rockefeller
“Millions of dollars exchanged hands under the auspices of the International Ambassador Cultural Foundation, with Thailand, China, Japan, Asia and Buddhist markets.”
Finding Out the Truth Wrecked Me and Opened Up Old Wounds:
January 6, 2022
I am contacting you because I grew up as a child in WCG. I stayed even through the doctrinal changes. I left in 2003. Got married in 1991 and I came to know Jesus somewhere around that time as well.
I believed all this time that they had now believed doctrinally but until recently, through your website, that it was all a marketing ploy. I began digging Sunday and Monday of this week and it has wrecked me. So much so that I didn’t know what to do with myself. It opened old wounds that I thought had been dealt with long ago. I feel robbed of so much and my childhood especially. I’ll go to my grave believing being a child and growing up in WCG was a lot harder than any adult in WCG. School was horrid. My home life was fantastic, though, in spite of WCG. I experienced no abuse in “church,” except it is all psychological.
I do believe after reading from your site that I have some form of PTSD. [Note from ESN: See Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder] What you listed under Common Emotional Difficulties After Leaving a High Demand Group pretty much describes me. All of it.
I would like to be contacted from your organization. I have no idea where to start.
Thank you, –Child survivor of WCG [name withheld].
Why I Wouldn’t Go to the “New” WCG / Still Deceptive:
January 26, 2022
I remember when I tried (incognito) to get straight answers from someone in the “new” WCG. They were still evasive about their answers and quickly stopped responding. They’re still deceptive.
I wouldn’t go back even if the people are “nice and friendly” because they teach Amillennialism [Read: On Apostasy] and other false doctrines, and they collect an offering which goes back to their HQs.
That money continues to support a deceptive, controlling business (which is what a group is that emotionally manipulates its members.) –[name withheld]
Left Restored Church of God:
January 27, 2022
Hi there. I was a member of the Restored Church of God but recently left. I spoke to my minister last year about needing some time to reflect on my own. I asked if I could stop attending while I read some foundational books. I was contacted by my minister after a month or two asking about my decision. I decided to leave.
I was wondering if I could speak to someone who was also there. I just want to know if I was the only one feeling the way I did when I was there. I’d like to connect with people who also made the giant step to leave. I need words, healing. People who actually understand. People who aren’t blinded by deception.
Thank you. –Former member of RCG [name withheld]
Comment: This person has been put in touch with former members of RCG.
Recently Aware of How Damaging the WCG Was:
January 30, 2022
I was in the WWCG from birth until 18 years old and just found this website. Are there support groups or may I possibly contact someone to know I’m not alone in this? I have only very recently been aware of just how damaging this “church” was and how deeply it affected me. I know it is hard to know how to approach healing. It now makes sense to get through it. I’d love to be able to know and identify with another as I am looking for hope and healing.
Thank you. –Child survivor of WCG [name withheld]
Comment: This person has received a personal reply and has also been put in touch with others.
Parents Listening to Fred Coulter’s Messages:
February 8, 2022
Most of my parents free time is spent listening to Fred Coulter‘s messages. When I say “most,” I mean so much to where I don’t like going inside the house because that’s all I hear!
They went to WWCG since before I was born. (xxx is my birth year) and since the split my mom is now going to United Church of God and my Dad goes to a separate splinter group.
Anyways, what can I say to maybe make them see the light? I grew up in WWCG, having to spend time in the library when having Christmas plays, etc., by myself and had to skip the pepperoni pizza, etc Not trying to play the victim cry game but I feel the WWCG has left me with an inferiority complex that I struggle with on a daily basis.
Thanks for sharing! And thanks in advance. –Child survivor of WCG [name withheld]
Comment: This person has received a detailed personal reply.
Grew Up in WCG and Always Knew It Wasn’t Right:
March 30, 2022
Thank you for all the time and effort you spent creating this content and website. I know it didn’t happen overnight. I was a child born and raised in the WWCG during the 80’s. I always knew instinctively the “church” (WCG) wasn’t right. There was a huge wave of relief wash over me in ’95 when my parents made the monumental decision that we were finally done with the “church” and wouldn’t be returning. Crazy, my life has been so much better since then. I never enjoyed my childhood and would never want to revisit it.
My parents, unfortunately and sadly, haven’t learned much from their mistakes. They did not go and join any of the splinter groups thankfully, but here we are in today in these crazy times and they loyally and faithfully watch the news every night and believe everything that is being told to them. They make their decisions from fear-based ideologies that the media tells them, just like the tactics used in the WWCG. They were so brainwashed in the “church” and are so brainwashed now by the media and Fauci.
Anyway, thank you again for the time and effort you’ve put into researching and compiling the years of data into into a comprehensive explanation about what really went on in the WCG. I am a stronger and better person these days because of what I’ve been thru. –Child survivor of WCG [name withheld]
The Craziest Thing Herbert Armstrong Ever Said?
April 13, 2022
Do you or anyone you know remember a sermon quote from HWA around 1983-1985 when he stated, “The worst thing I ever did was get in a closet naked and smoke.” The audience laughed and I now suspect it was for damage control regarding the Robinson book, Herbert Armstrong’s Tangled Web. There were a lot of sermons regarding David’s sin at that time.
I was a young teen and thought it weird. Do any of you recall this?
Thanks, –C. P.
Reply: I have never heard of this. (Herbert Armstrong’s Tangled Web came out in 1980.) I did find this in his Autobiography in Chapter 8:
“I myself smoked in those days. You’ll remember how I ‘swore off chewing’ tobacco at age 5. But I had taken up pipe smoking during those long and frantic night hours at Wiggins, Mississippi, as an aid to staying awake while I worked over the books. I had smoked, moderately, ever since. However, I will say that I was never a heavy smoker. Never more than one cigar a day, or three or four cigarettes in a day. That’s the reason I did not have the battle many men have had in breaking the habit, when I saw that it had to be broken.”
However, there are so many lies combined with half truths in his Autobiography, that it is hard to know how true any of this is.
This Website Saved My Life:
April 21, 2022
I am a survivor of the Worldwide Church of God. I was in from 3-15 years old, but was able to leave when the changes happened, when I was 15.
I am now 39 years old. I have spent the last 20 years deprogramming myself, primarily with the help of this website. … It took me a long time to get where I am emotionally right now.
Thanks for your time and thank you for the good work you are doing here. This website saved my life. I appreciate you. –Child survivor in Canada [name withheld]
A Splinter Group That Thinks It Is the Worldwide Church of God:
April 28, 2022
I ran into a site that calls itself “Worldwide Church of God.” Believe it or not, they claim they are the Worldwide Church of God. They aren’t an offshoot as far as I could tell and there are no ministers there, but they are compiling every last booklet, magazine, sermon, etc., that HWA ever wrote or recorded. It may be good for those who want to check archives, but what a waste of time to spend your life doing something like that.
Another site says it has over 1500 Herbert Armstrong photos. Is that idol worship or what? It seems there is no end to Armstrongism. –A. R.
Praising Your Kindness:
May 30, 2022
I am writing to praise your kindness in helping all those affected, harmed, mishandled, ripped off and everything in between. –Kindest regards, –P. M.
Disappointed That Some Lose Their Faith After WCG:
June 18, 2022
I was reading the letter “Found a Lot of Atheistic Sites When I Was Researching” [September 18, 2021]. I am disappointed to hear that some lose their faith after leaving WCG and all because of getting caught up in reading atheist’s books. “A little learning is a dangerous thing” (Alexander Pope). I think these exiters may have left their mind open to the influences of the Devil. Myself, when I examine something critically, I do so in an effort to increase my faith, not lose it. –E. S.
Living Church of God Is Corrupt:
July 4, 2022
I used to think that the LCG was a church that could be the genuine article and wanted to know more about them. I contacted them in [city removed] and told them I’d seen their Sunday programs on the local TV and wanted to know more about them.
To cut a long story short, I was sent various literature about the Sabbath, God’s Holy Days etc, and was sent DVD’s in job lots of about 5 or 6 every now and then which were sermons by the then Rod Meredith.
When I contacted them one day by phone in [city removed] and told them I could not see why tithes were still enforceable, my DVDs never came anymore. When I phoned later to inquire about why the DVDs were not coming anymore, I received a very chilly response and learnt it was because of my attitude to tithing.
This immediately told me that money is their god so the elders and other high ups can live the easy good life at the expense of their members.
I’m so thankful that my questioning them about why tithes are still in force saved me from an horrendous mistake in joining the LCG.
My advice is keep well away from this corrupt “church.” They are not the genuine article at all. –[name withheld]
Mean-Spirited Letters from Ministers Without Good Cause:
July 11, 2022
Hello and good day. I was a member of United Church of God for a number of years 1995-2015. I stopped attending after attending Pentecost in 2014 and started attending another COG [offshoot] group (LCG), for three years. I stopped attending because I had a opinion different from the minster on the “Cause of the civil war,” so I got a mean-spirited letter from him in February 2017, and I received a mean-spirited letter from COGWA about attending with that group, all without good cause.
I have never attended COGWA, and so I was sort of taken off guard by the mean-spiritedness of the letter I received from the minister. I have saved all three letters and I have them in a file saved on my computer and I don’t see any “AGAPE” love shown at all in reading those letters and I have done nothing to be blackballed.
They all teach loving the brethren, but when you read the letters I received, I see no love shown, unless I am missing it somewhere. If you want a copy of the letters to see for yourself, let me know. The letters say I need to repent of something, but doesn’t say “what.” They are very “Vague” to say the least. Congregants should be able to voice his/her opinions to the ministers without being suspended from services, or they should be given a good reason for not being allowed to attend. I have redacted my address from the letters but I don’t mind sending to you and you might want to post them so others can see how mean-spirited those organizations truly are. I was a member of UCG for about 21 years or so, LCG for 3 years, COGWA none. –Ray Smith (real name used with permission)
Read: Letters from Mean Spirited Ministers (Includes 3 letters)
Your Site is the Best:
July 29, 2022
I think your site is the best. I was sad when I couldn’t find it anymore. Then I clicked on my Bookmarks and here it came up again. If you only knew how happy I was. –Former WCG member
Gaslighting a Form of Emotional Abuse:
August 11, 2022
That letter about the person who was gaslighted (How I Was Gaslighted by a Former WCG Member) was definitely emotional abuse. I had a similar experience once. Every time I tried to bring up something that was true and even gave evidence, the GCI member would act like I didn’t have my facts straight. Many members who stayed with GCI, going with the flow, are living in la-la land and still believing everything their minister tells them. –Former WCG member
Sincere Apology for Not Believing Abuse in WCG Was Real:
September 9, 2022
Following recent life experiences, I feel compelled to reach out to the curator of this site (and any others I may have communicated with here way back when) and offer a sincere apology.
Let me explain. Over the span of a few years–and this was about 15-18 years ago, to the best of my recollection–I stumbled across this website and “mixed it up” a bit with the site host(s) with regard to debating them over material and content that was regularly presented and challenging their assertions regarding spiritual (and other forms of) abuse in the old Worldwide Church of God. I grew up in that “old” WCG. My family stuck with the “new” WCG that eventually became Grace Communion International (GCI), and I was in my early teens when the last big split/schism took place in the early-to-mid ’90s and the church fractured along the lines of people “staying the course” (“new WCG”), those headed for splinter groups rooted in Armstrongism, those who fled WCG entirely for “mainstream” denominations, and also the many that gave up on church entirely. Anyway, I maintained affiliation with the “new WCG/GCI” denomination until around 2007, which was around the same time I had been on here challenging the site host(s) on their claims.
Anyway, I still maintain that I was not personally on the receiving end of any abuse and actually had a relatively “pleasant” (probably not the best word, so maybe just “normal” and/or “non-abusive”) experience, notwithstanding the poor doctrinal foundation and other theological swings-and-misses, in the old WCG, but I now must fully and with a sorrowful and regretful heart acknowledge that my “hot takes” then (2005-07) were simplistic, naïve, and immature and concede that this was primarily a function of me just being “fortunate”/”lucky” to have attended a local WCG congregation that was populated mostly with halfway-decent/sane people. I was blinded to the pain that others–perhaps some locally but especially in other congregations with overwhelming evidence of “bad actors” running amok–were experiencing, and I regretfully responded (even “lashed out”) then with denials that it was even occurring. Please accept my humble apology for that attitude and line of thinking.
Fortunately, by the grace of God and being a somewhat more mature version of myself in my early 40s, I am able to look back and reflect on things and just how wrong my position was back then. The impetus for all this came from a recent experience my wife and I (kids included, although we managed to shield them from some of the worst of it) had in a relatively mainstream Christian denomination. I mentioned departing the “new WCG” back in 2007. From there through 2018, my wife and I’s primary affiliation was with a non-denominational Christian church. Our experience was generally positive, but there were definitely times it left something to be desired. Regular pastoral turnover was an issue, and that seemed to inhibit the church’s ability to focus on Christ the way it should, and too often it felt like we were leaning more toward having a “marketing plan” instead of a “ministry plan.” So we departed that church and spent a year bouncing between an independent Baptist Church and Presbyterian Church (EPC). Those experiences were fine, albeit brief, and a job change took us to another city a little over an hour away where we settled into membership with another Presbyterian Church (PCA) in late 2019 and early 2020. Initially, it seemed like we had stumbled into a healthy, Christ-centered community that took praise, worship, and study of God’s Word with the kind of seriousness we felt we’d been missing out on for several years and had been sorely lacking at recent church stops.
Anyway, COVID hit, and of course, “doing church” became a little awkward, but our little group plowed ahead. That said, there were things going on behind the scenes that we were not initially privy to that were incredibly problematic. It turns out there was rampant financial and spiritual abuse happening “behind the scenes,” and we (my wife especially) wound up getting a pretty heavy dose of it ourselves. We ultimately left fellowship in that congregation, and the church nearly closed due to mounting scandals and a discipline case (not involving us) between local church leadership and numerous members. This has been recent enough that we have yet to find and establish a relationship with a new church family.
Anyway, after being more directly on the receiving end of abuse in a church, it caused me to reflect deeply on the conversations I had with you guys and the denials/challenges I offered trying to defend things simply because I hadn’t observed them happening. I can see now, again, how wrong and immature I was to approach the subject in that manner and want to offer an apology for the message that was conveyed. I can see now very clearly how poisonous and toxic abuse church leadership can be, and my family’s recent experience has hardened me to be way more vigilant in standing up to abuses in the church, wherever they may exist, going forward.
Thanks kindly for your time, and I hope this message finds you well.
God’s grace and peace to you, –[name withheld]
Why Do Members Stay in RCG Year After Year in Spite of Pack Deteriorating Mentally?
September 21, 2022
I cannot understand why anyone who is a member of RCG would remain there year after year, false prophecy after false prophecy. Dave Pack has been proven conclusively by many testimonies and by his own words that he is a false prophet who is only after people’s money. I truly believe this man is deteriorating mentally and it shows with each passing month. He may even believe everything he says but is too sick to change. Yet members are afraid to leave. Maybe you can help me understand. –Former WCG member [name withheld]
Reply: There are those who have and are exiting RCG after seeing through his prophetic failures. But it seems to be a fact of life that it will always be a draw for some to be addicted to prophecy teachers and needing to follow their latest words or else seeking for “God’s one true church.” It’s sad really and a waste of valuable time to keep following Dave Pack and his latest predictions. I think of II Timothy 3:7: “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” [the truth as it is in Jesus]
What a Relief to Find Your Website:
September 29, 2022
Many thanks for your helpful website. I found it such a relief to come to after I left the Restored Church of God and then the Church of God the Eternal, it’s been 10 weeks now since I have been out. Was in 13 years. Bob George’s work [Bob George Ministries] has been very helpful. –Western Australia
Good to Know We’re Not Alone:
October 5, 2022
First of all, I’d like to commend you and thank you for providing a platform for people like myself, that grew up in WWCG. I was 4 or 5 years old in the mid 60’s when my father became a member in the Baltimore, MD congregation.
I grew up totally indoctrinated, until I left shortly after my father passed in 1992. Although leaving many years ago, memories have a way of creeping back in and cause a knee jerk reaction for no reason. Enter WWCG. So suffice it to say that it’s good to know we’re not alone. I say we’re not alone because my wife was a member as well having attended A.C. –Child survivor of WCG [name withheld]
October 11, 2022
Found this interesting about LCG charity website. If you search “Living Church of God ACNC,” it takes you to the Australian charity register.
Looking under Profile it lists who it helps.
If you look at Financial & Documents it shows income and expenditure. It shows no grants for Australia. Most of the money goes for employee expenses. –[name withheld]
Comment: Go to this page for the ACNC profile on LCG and this page for the ACNC financials and documents on LCG. Latest total revenue is $1,575,887.00 and total expenses are $1,219,281.00. There is a pie showing where the revenue is coming from the a pie showing where the expenses are going. There are several documents that can be downloaded.
I Struggled Mentally and Had to Unlearn and Relearn After LCG:
October 18, 2022
Dear Exit and Support Network™ Thank you very much for all your online resources.
Your resources helped me greatly in 2014 to come to the realisation and acceptance that the Living Church of God is a cult and I left after being in it for about 9 years. I am forever grateful for the quality of your service that helped me to come to this decision with the support of my doctor at the time. I struggled mentally for about 6 years after and I had to unlearn and relearn and learn new. Thankfully, God gave me a restoration in my faith relationship with Him.
I always fondly remember how instrumental all I learned from your quality website helped me at a very distressing, vulnerable time in my life. I felt like I could trust your website and your information because it was intellectually sound, biblically sound and it resonated with me from my experiences.
Many thanks, –R. S. (Australia)
Was Able to Refute Dave Pack’s Teachings:
December 8, 2022
I have family mixed up with some of Dave Pack’s teachings that hopefully I was able to refute from your website. Thank you for unveiling the false prophet! May God bless you. –[name withheld]
Only Belief and Faith in Jesus Brings Comfort:
December 24, 2022
I was born into the WCG but I never joined any of the splinter groups and I don’t consider myself to be a member of any organization. These days it’s just me and Jesus. He’s never let me down. When I think about all the pain and suffering I’ve endured over the years, only belief and faith in Jesus brings comfort. Keep up the good work. –Child survivor of WCG [name withheld]