Jump to Bottom to read latest letters. Be sure and scroll down or up a little after you reach the bottom to make sure you haven’t missed a letter. You may need to refresh this page to see latest postings. We reserve the right to update or change our comments, and to remove or shorten letters.
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
Words of Classic Hymns Were Anathema to WCG/HWA Dogma:
February 6, 2023
I have picked up several key words and phrases from old hymns that are straight from the Bible, but are considered anathema to WCG/HWA dogma. Here are a few:
The fact that we can have a relationship with Jesus, that we can seek Him, and that He will respond.
The fact that Jesus loves us, cares for us, suffered and died for us.
The fact that we are lovingly under His grace.
HWA tried desperately to avoid the word “grace” in his writings and his preaching. Like other Biblical concepts, HWA criticized others outside of his organization for using terms like “saving grace” and “giving our hearts to Jesus.”
We all know the reason he asked his brother, Dwight, to compose a hymnal of his own. HWA admitted openly that he was afraid those of us whose backgrounds were from various Protestant denominations might be tempted to go back to “our old ways.”
Any mention of Jesus was only heard at the end of a prayer or in a sermon by the minister. I recall reading the booklet “The Real Jesus” that was promoted as much as “The Plain Truth About . . . [fill in the blank].”
Since my exit from the WCG after 25 years of membership, traditional Christian hymns have played a big part in my life. The real beauty of these classic hymns is the simplicity of the messages that are right out the pages of the Bible.
In all the years I was a part of that organization, we never once heard a single song from Handel’s Messiah, because HWA declared its connection with the celebration of Christmas and Easter.
Ironically, every word and phrase that Handel included in his composition are straight from the Bible. That in itself is a red flag that Armstrong had redefined, twisted, and distorted the writings of the prophets in the Old Testament and the apostles in the New Testament. –Former member of WCG
Comment: HWA scorned sacred church hymns and members were only to sing from the hymnal with songs predominantly written by Dwight Armstrong. Read the letters ESN posted in November 2005 regarding this matter.
Another Letter for “I Want to Sue the ESN”?
February 13, 2023
I read your page “I Want to Sue the ESN!” which was really good. But I remember years ago you telling me about a guy who emailed, threatening to sue because of one of your GTA articles. He had claimed that his name was Garner Ted–I think he said his last name was Armstrong–and we had no right using his name. It was really crazy. Do you still have that? It would be great to have that one be posted along with those other ones. –[name withheld]
Reply: Unfortunately, we don’t seem to have that correspondence anymore, but yes, it would have been a really good one to post as it was absolutely insane. He didn’t have a leg to stand on, though.
What About the Cepher Bible?
February 14, 2023
My son met a girl in … Canada who primary reads the Cepher bible from Stephen Pidgeon (Called out Believers) and listens to a lot of stuff on the truthunedited site. Trying to figure out what they actually believe and follow. Has RCG and WCG offshoot written all over it but not sure. If you can provide any insight that would be helpful and how to approach her on this. Thanks –[name withheld]
Reply: From what we’ve found, Pidgeon is not connected with any Armstrong group; i.e., RCG or WCG offshoot. He is part of the Hebrew Roots Movement and Sacred Names groups. I believe this guy is someone to definitely avoid, including his Cepher Bible. Here is an article from Berean Research about the Cepher Bible: Hebrew Roots: About That Cepher “Bible.” The Hebrew Roots Movement believes there are “mysteries” in the Torah. Here is an in-depth report: The Hebraic Roots Movement and this is a shorter article from Let Us Reason: The Sacred Name Movement.
The girl may be hard to reach if she has been involved with all this for awhile but you might try to first see if your son can be alerted to it.
The Chosen is New Age:
[Note: The following comments have been updated as of 2-25-23]
February 15, 2023
[This is in regard to the links on Discernment & Research] I’ve seen snippets of The Chosen. It immediately seemed too “modern” on the scriptures–taking away from the original context, and making Jesus a feel-good character. If it’s leading people to Christ, it’s a false Christ–a buddy, and not a Savior. I picked up on that it was some of that “New Age” stuff right away. I’ve not bothered watching any of it. There will be lots of watering down of the Scriptures in these days, and there’s more to come. –W. G.
Comment: Dallas Jenkins, the creator, director, and co-writer of The Chosen, is a professing evangelical who has said that Christians and Mormons (LDS) “love the same Jesus,” which cannot be true as the Mormons have a false Christ. [Read: “Why I Left The Mormon Church And Why It’s A Cult“] Dan Haseltine from Jars of Clay and Matthew Nelson do the music for “The Chosen.” Jars of Clay is a popular CCM Christian music band that has completely fallen away from God. This is only one of many objections.
Even though it is purported that “millions” are coming to Christ as a result of this TV series, others, after prayer and asking for discernment, have been convicted by the Holy Spirit not to watch it, or to stop watching it. Some people who watched “The Chosen” have said they now are having difficulty not seeing Jonathan Roumie (a practicing Roman Catholic and becoming a Knights Templar) in their mind when they pray or when they try to study the Bible.
Since there is so much deception in the world today, especially in the churches, we need to always pray for discernment and test the spirits instead of going by our emotions. The Scriptures are what will reveal the true Jesus to us, the One who was very man and very God in the flesh.
Update: We now list more Articles and Videos on “The Chosen” TV series here on our Links.
Thankful God Gave Me Discernment About The Chosen:
February 25, 2023
I’m thankful God gave me discernment about “The Chosen.” I knew something wasn’t right the first time I watched some of it. It had a false spirit. I was convicted to not watch further. “The Chosen” is going to be used to usher in the Antichrist and the one world religion. So much deception and darkness in this world today. We must stay in the Word. –Former WCG member
Your Article About The Chosen Addresses Some Valid Points:
March 4, 2023
I just got through reading your article “What About the Chosen?” The article is not only very well written, but it clearly addresses some valid points about the series.
My interest has reached a peak to watch the entire YouTube video [The Chosen Exposen”] about the movie , now that I listened to the introductory comments by the man who raises the questions, “Did you know?…”
Since the video is very long, it will take me some time to watch it. And I agree fully that we just don’t skip through it, but take time to absorb it.
Ever since I heard Jan Markell [Olive Tree Ministries] and her guest on her radio program last year about “The Chosen,” I became rather skeptical of the series. I’m sure that I will learn a lot about it as I take time to watch the YouTube video that you sent me to.
Again, thanks for sharing, and may the Holy Spirit continue to lead us and guide us through these last days of deception!
You have my prayers and support. –Former WCG member
Incredible Insight by Watching the Chosen Exposen:
March 7, 2023
I just watched a full hour this afternoon [of The Chosen Exposen -The Full Documentary EXPOSING DARKNESS and Bringing the LIGHT OF CHRIST]. Incredible insight as to the connections of Dallas Jenkins with Mormonism and Jonathan Roumie with Catholicism. I’ve got a long ways to go, so it’ll take me some time to get through it all, but now curiosity has really peaked! –Former WCG member
People Who Are Convinced They Are Right:
March 7, 2023
There are some people who take the position that they are so right, and therefore, one who disagrees with them is wrong.
I’m convinced that many of the so-called “ministers” in the WCG took that position with anyone who had a different perspective than they did. They argued something like this: “Both of us cannot be right, and I know without any doubt that I am right! Therefore, you must be wrong!”
Essentially, the Pharisees tried to argue that way many times with Jesus. For example, when He healed a man who was blind from birth on the Sabbath, they tried every way possible to prove the He had broken the law.
The hypocrisy on the part of the Pharisees became so obvious, and yet they refused to admit error. In their own minds, they thought themselves to be so knowledgeable of the Mosaic law, they reprimanded the blind man and accused Jesus that He was the sinner.
In much the same way, the Marxist Democrats in our day have a way of accusing conservatives of the very same things they themselves are doing. It happens all the time with people that are so convinced they are right. –Former WCG member
Focus on the Family is Now Marketing Novels, etc. About “The Chosen”:
March 7, 2023
Focus on the Family is now advertising (i.e., marketing) fiction novels about “The Chosen” by Jerry Jenkins [Left Behind co-author], a poster collection book, an eBook, and who knows what else they will come up with to market. –Former WCG member
Comment: See the transcript “Let’s Focus in on ‘Focus on the Family‘” which shows FOTF has been moving the Christian church in a New Age direction for years.
The Jesus Revolution Movie:
March 10, 2023
Jonathan Roumie plays Lonnie Frisbee, a hippie, in the movie “The Jesus Revolution.” Do you have anything that exposes this movie? –[name withheld]
Updated reply 3-15: See this video: “A Warning about the ‘Jesus Revolution’ Movie…” Read the article: Jesus Revolution?
So Relieved to Have Found Your Site:
April 5, 2023
I have saved your website to my computer. I am so relieved to have found your site in order to make changes in the way I used to view my personal life. I became a member of Worldwide through my mother and sister who had joined the WCG back in the 60’s, I, too, feel that during that time I suffered from so called legal abuse from the WCG and ministers. I look forward to reading others’ experiences in Worldwide and or one of its sister churches [offshoots]. Again, thank you for your dedication to helping others find peace of mind. –L. (One Happy Survivor)
Why Do They Meet in Secret?
April 7, 2023
Why do members of these offshoots meet in secret; i.e., meet at hotels? –[name withheld]
Note: This has been moved to Q&A under Questions About Members with our reply. There is also a new question right after that one.
Keep Up Your Wonderful Work:
May 10, 2023
I would like to express my gratitude to you and your organization for exposing the cult. I didn’t know about them until they came [this part hard to understand so we clipped it]. Nor did I realize, until my son told me that they are the Armstrong church from many years ago which my son attended. So when he reminded me that he had attended that cult many years ago I was shocked!!! After coming out of that cult, my son now serves the Lord Jesus Christ, as I do, with all his heart. Because of the bad experiences we have had with the churches we haven’t been to one for at least 15 years. In closing, keep up your wonderful work!!! –Regards, M. Z.
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.)
Extra Interest link to The HighWire.Live shows covering many cultural issues such as vax shots; vax injuries; vax deaths, etc. Exposing the lies and cover-up by the mainstream media.Exposing the lies and cover-up by the mainstream media. Shows are evidence-based, peer-reviewed, science with actual scientific data and critical investigative research. Excellent editorials by Jefferey Jaxen, Investigative Journalist. Note: If you ever have buffering problems, watch The Highwire on Rumble
Recommended video on The Highwire: Tackling the Chemtrail Controversy.