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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.”
Your loved ones need to waste no time in finding a qualified therapist that has been trained to help in cases of sexual abuse, trauma, and also abusive religious cults. The book On the Threshold of Hope (Opening the Door to Healing For Survivors of Sexual Abuse) (listed on our Booklist) is recommended reading.
Also, please go to our Links page under “Trauma & PTSD” and there are two links you should look into and get in contact with: “The Hope of Survivors” and “Do you have a Church Childhood Sex Assault Claim?”
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]
Comment: This person has received a personal reply. Note: It is never too late for God to help anyone whenever we turn to Him in faith and trust.
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.”
January 5, 2022
I just read LCG’s latest Dear Brethren and Co-workers letter for December 2021.
After reading it I find it is exactly the same format that HWA used to coerce money from his co-workers and members.
Read: LCG co-worker letter
Unfortunately people are still being sucked in by it. –[name withheld]
Comment: This LCG co-worker letter says similar things as HWA did; i.e., telling them we’ve have disaster upon disaster this past year because of rebelling against our Creator. There are many lies in this letter and it is filled with buzzwords. Much of the letter dwelt on financial support and those “who have included us in your wills.”
Finding Out the Truth Wrecked Me and Opened Up Old Wounds:
January 6, 2021
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].
Comment: This child survivor has received a personal reply.
Do You Offer a Bible Course?
January 9, 2022
Do you offer a Bible course? I would like to learn more about the Bible but not according to HWA. –E. G.
Reply: We do not offer any Bible Correspondence Course. However, we have exposed the deceitfulness of Herbert Armstrong’s Bible Correspondence Course in our Article, “How Did Herbert W. Armstrong Recruit People?” (see the part “Bible Correspondence Course”)
What we do recommend is the teaching of the late J. Vernon McGee (go to https://ttb.org ), who goes through the entire Word of God in 5 years, alternating from the O. T. to the N. T. It is completely grace-orientated. Bob George Ministries (with the late Bob George) is also good for understanding the New Covenant and grace and law. Just pray for discernment and then choose which ministry you like best.
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.
And 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.
Crazy Things WCG Members Have Said:
January 28, 2022
While the Crazy Things WCG Members Have Said was good, I think it’s also sad that these members were so critical of the other members. That’s not love. –Former member of WCG
Reply: You are correct and after getting input from someone else, they have now been shortened to only 12 of the funniest or craziest.
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. Also, if anyone is a Christian, please see the article, “My Position in Christ.”
United Church of God-AIA Believes in Three Resurrections:
February 22, 2022
I met this person who is a member of United Church of God-AIA and found out UCG believes in 3 resurrections. They believe those who didn’t understand the truth properly or get a chance to hear the gospel will be resurrected and get a second chance to accept Christ. This is not what I believe. I didn’t know much about UCG until recently when I started researching a little in order to understand the differences between what this person and I believe. I really want to understand what Bible verses they are twisting to justify their doctrine of that second of the three resurrections. What I’ve found so far, doesn’t indicate to me how they are justifying that claim biblically. Are you able to point me in a direction? Thanks for your time. –[name withheld]
Reply: United Church of God-AIA twists and adds to Scripture. I hope you saw our review of UCG on our site. To understand what they believe about this “second resurrection” teaching, the best thing is to download “Mystery of the Ages (a critical review)” by Kelly Marshall. When the review opens, just search for the words “second resurrection” and you will see it explained in there. All three of the resurrections as taught by HWA are explained, along with the verses they use to justify it.
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.
The closest to this kind of story that came to my mind, and which I know is true, was when a WCG minister [name withheld] told his congregation that he would get out of the shower naked, get down on the floor, and pray, and “God says it’s OK to do that.” I thought that was in the “Crazy Statements Made by WCG Ministers” but it must have been removed.
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]
Living Church of God April Co-Worker Letter:
April 28, 2022
I am sending you the April co-worker letter from LCG. Note in the first paragraph how Gerald Weston says we receive the free gift—-based on our works. They are sticking to Armstrongism. –[name withheld]
Comment: No mention in this co-worker letter that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone.
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” [9-18-21]. 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.
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