After reading Malachi’s Message, we thought PCG was truly the church to attend. I’ll have to say as rotten as Worldwide Church of God was it was nothing compared to the oppression and evil we felt in the Philadelphia Church of God.
Slowly and systematically Gerald Flurry started pulling in the reigns, cutting all family off, even people who gave us no trouble about the PCG at all. Pretty soon we were told we couldn’t eat out, we had to eat there at services (every week). We were expected to bring dishes of food while they had people in there watching your actions and words. If they thought someone was a bit more relaxed and would open up and say things, they wanted to know how devoted you were to him (not God, but Gerald Flurry).
We were assigned seats and could only sit where they wanted us to–next to people who tended to draw you out and question you about your loyalty. Flurry insisted people there were to be “family” to each other. It never worked for me as I really felt uncomfortable with everyone there. They all seemed like zombies to me–“yes men” that were devoted to Flurry. Their eyes were glassy, they stared ahead a lot, their conversations were nothing but buzzwords. No one was interested in anything you did or said outside of PCG. So you were encouraged to talk only about “the church.”
There was no one there that I felt close to. I trusted no one, even the few I did talk to, and I did not cut my real family off. With every outing and every dinner, Flurry wanted all of us to just want to be with people there, and them only. If you were going to have a real family outing with your real family, the word was that you were to be with “the church” instead. We were expected to come to services no matter who died in our real family, no matter how far we had to travel, or how late it kept us up. They just wanted all of you–every spare moment. And you were expected to obey like some child. Flurry just kept pulling in the reigns.
I always disliked reading the books Flurry put out–over and over talking about who the “Prophet” was; “the Laodiceans”; The Key of David “getting the message out”; “avoiding people that didn’t believe like us,” etc., etc. It just seemed like hate messages. And the minute you would get one book read, Flurry revised it and you were to re-read it. Never talking about helping or loving your family or helping one’s parents, or anything to do with the way Christ taught.
I guess I was one who thought for myself more than some as I wasn’t satisfied with having the only people I was close to be in the PCG. I trusted no one there. The smallest conversation brought on a visit, and you were to fear, cow-down at their thoughts at the visits; asked over and over if you understood what was expected. I said “yes” but I didn’t say I would do it! I was outspoken and I knew I was on their list to be watched, and would be accosted in the bathroom and asked questions about my loyalty. I always talked all around them, or changed the subject to just survive there. I had a really sick feeling about that place.
My son told me how he rode in the elevator with Flurry at the Feast (all the workers had to stay in the same hotel on the same floor). He said Flurry stood crouched in the corner, didn’t even look up or speak or say hi. My son said he felt really strange around him. He said he felt the hair stand up on the back of his neck. He wouldn’t get in the same elevator with Flurry after that.
One time we were all told we better be at services. A woman I knew who was in the last stages of cancer was told her she “better get to church or else!” Another woman I knew was in the hospital with cancer and the ministers insisted (against the doctor’s advice) that she come to services that day. (She later died but the ministers didn’t even care, attributing it to some “hidden sin” in her life.) When we all arrived that day, they had blocked the windows with black plastic and it was so dark in there you could hardly see. There were guards (bully-like men) by the doors. Some were at the entrance, some were where you go into the room for the services, and some standing at the bathroom door, intimidating people who entered, saying who could go in and how long they could stay. They said they were handing the information to Flurry.
After the woman who had cancer got home, she got up enough strength to phone the ministers and ask them to come to her home. She really told them off about a lot of things on her mind, including about others in there. When they started in on her she yelled at them to get out of her house and not to dare threaten her again!! Apparently, they then phoned Flurry and the next day they called her and said, “By the authority of Mr. Flurry you are disfellowshipped!” She later told me that she never felt so much peace in her life or felt so free of that evil place.
How any one could think that place was a “church” that honored God, or that Gerald Flurry was a prophet, I’ll never know. I am sure that as bad as it was then when I was in, it’s worse now.
I stayed for awhile longer because I knew my husband would have to leave me if I did. The ministers had a woman all ready for him if he did leave me! They made sure she always set on his other side and engaged him in “church talk” (probably, to show him how devoted she was) and they thought it would have been a welcome change from me. At that point I didn’t even much care and I finally left (later I heard I was disfellowshipped). My freedom from that place meant more than anything.
I am so glad my husband and I are finally out of there. My health is better, my attitude is better. As a matter of fact, I can’t think of anything that isn’t better since I left three years ago. I would give anyone a helping hand to pull them through to get out but unfortunately most let go of my hand and are pulled back in by the mind control that has been imbedded in their mind. And the fact that they cut their real family members off many years ago just proves they were not trusting God in the first place but a infallible, sick minded, insecure man.
All I can say is freedom is as close as the door. Walk out and never go back! Let the loving, real God help you escape. There is no real help in man anyway.