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“The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.” ~Psalms 9:9

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Fear Is the Greatest Factor that Keeps Members From Leaving:

January 1, 2023

Having only limited knowledge of the Bible as a teenager, I was intrigued when I first heard about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, and that He would be ruling with His saints on Earth for a thousand years! So I wrote to Pasadena and read just about every booklet they published. It wasn’t long before I took the bait and was hooked.

I can attest to the fact that fear is definitely a factor—perhaps the greatest—that keeps members within these Armstrong cults from venturing out. This was especially true of those in WCG. Herbert Armstrong who was the master controller at the helm instilled that fear with the threat of the lake of fire if one “tastes the truth” and later walks away from it.

For all the years I remained in that cult, it was fear that kept me from stepping out or even raising any question to anyone inside the “church” or outside of it. We were warned that raising questions or having doubts was the first sign that Satan had a grip on us. We were constantly reminded that this was “God’s government,” and who are we to question those that were directly appointed by God? I remember the repetitious warnings of Gerald Waterhouse that we were to say, “Yes, sir!” to the boss no matter he said.

Sadly, this is how the WCG operated so successfully for decades. I dare to say that most of us suffered financially over the years, as we followed the dictates from above “seeking first the Kingdom of God” (i.e., the pocketbooks of those in charge). –Former WCG member

Those Who May Be Dealing With Doubts About Their Own Feelings:

January 6, 2023

If my thoughts can be used to help others who are dealing with doubts about their own feelings after leaving the WCG, then I feel blessed to share some things that I have written that perhaps would be beneficial for them. –Former WCG Member

Comment: Read this man’s testimony: Unbearable and Unattainable Sabbath Keeping Rules (which can resonate with those who have been in any of the controlling splinter groups).

ESN is a Wonderful Resource:

January 31, 2023

I just read the article, “Why Did God Allow Me to Go In an Abusive Group?” It is definitely an encouragement for those of us who have become victims in the Worldwide Church of God over the years. I share completely with the words, since I traveled much the same path.

Like the author, I found the traditional Christian hymns, helped me immensely. I never doubted God’s existence, but the melody, the harmony, and the lyrics of classic Christian music, which I had never heard before, gave me a sense of peace of mind and were all so reassuring. It was as though God was saying, “Trust Me, and I will walk with you. It may not be easy for a while, but I will see you through it all.”

Having gone through what we did, we can now offer love and comfort to others who have lived through similar circumstances. I really appreciate your time and effort to reach out to every one of us! I’m beginning to recognize that the Exit and Support Network™ is a wonderful resource and a beneficial tool for hundreds, if not thousands, of users. –Former member of WCG [name withheld]

It Was All About Fear:

January 31, 2023

Looking back now—50 some years ago—I ponder over the question, “What was the main reason or incentive that attracted me to the WCG?” The simple answer can be stated in one word: FEAR. … Read my submitted testimony: “Fear Was What Drew Me to Herbert Armstrong.” –Former WCG member

HWA Sold Us an Empty Promise:

February 1, 2023

HWA was definitely a hard core salesman from the get go. The problem, though, was that he didn’t sell us a bag of used clothes, or used car, or a dilapidated house. Instead, he sold us an enormous empty promise that cost us many years of wasted time, energy, lives, and (most of all) hard earned money. –Ex WCG

 

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Letters from those Impacted by Philadelphia Church of God (2023)

What’s New (Testimonies; links to offsite articles on end times prophecy, current events, etc.)

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