What we’ll never hear the leaders tell their members
What would have happened if WCG had told its members the whole rotten truth in the Tkach video in 1995, instead of using confusion, spin-control and deceit to get across their “new” changes? Maybe the scenario across the country would have gone something like this:
“Good morning brethren. We hope you are having a pleasant Sabbath. Some of you may have noticed that the doors have been locked. That is because we have a very important announcement to make and we don’t want anyone bolting out before we finish. If anyone feels like they might faint, please lean your head forward on your knees. The elders will furnish water if needed.
“We just wanted all of you to know we are gonna level with you about everything and tell the TRUTH, because that’s what you all deserve. Sometimes things in life aren’t what we think they are, or even what we want them to be. This is one of those moments. Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong, the founder of our church, and who is the reason we are all here, did not tell the truth. (Please, everyone, take a deep breath and don’t glare at each other.) We can prove what we’re saying. Mr. Armstrong was a charlatan who used religion for a racket. He couldn’t succeed with anything he put his hand to until Loma helped him see how gullible people could be when it came to religion. Mr. Armstrong was a fraud. You’ve all been duped. (Elder, furnish a glass a water to that woman who is about to faint.)
“The New Covenant that we at HQ have been hem-hawing around with was actually understood by certain evangelists in our church back in the `70s, but you may remember that Mr. Armstrong slandered them and kicked them out, calling them “servants of the Devil,” and told you that “Satan was attacking God’s Church!” It couldn’t have been, though, because those ministers were really telling the truth about all the corruption and hypocrisy going on at the top levels. If you had listened to those who left, you wouldn’t be sitting here today.
“And if you want to know the real rotten truth, Mr. Armstrong lived an opulent, immoral and hypocritical lifestyle; he plagiarized most of his material and he even distorted historical church doctrines. (We have several books, newspaper clippings, and references on the back table that will substantiate what we’re saying.) Therefore, we know that God couldn’t have ever worked with him, let alone used him. Furthermore, we’ve used mind-control on all of you in order to keep you believing that Mr. Armstrong “restored the true Gospel” and that this was “God’s one true Church,” so that you wouldn’t leave and we could continue to control you. (We’ll be passing out papers explaining what mind control is, also known as thought reform, and how cults work.) Yes, unfortunately, Worldwide was a destructive “cult.”
“When WACO got in the news, it started to place us in the spotlight more (but not in a good way). Now, none of us like being targeted as a “cult,” and more importantly, the label has hindered us from getting into other countries. In fact, since Mr. Armstrong died, we had to face up to the fact that Armstrongism just wasn’t working as well for us anymore–that is, to bring in the money. (Oh yes, the 30% increase per year was a lie also.) Even if Mr. Armstrong had lived longer, he would have seen the futility of trying to go on with this whole scam. How many more scores of false prophecies could he give?
“So in order to keep from going belly up, we’ve had to make some major changes–sell our real estate holdings (slowly so no one would notice), have extension groups in place for those who want to keep believing a lie (by the way, there’s information on Global and United on the back table, if interested), and join the ecumenical, global church. After all, that’s where the profit is today, and we can’t just give this up. (Elder, help those people who appear to be in shock.) There’s no need to worry, though. We plan on compensating you for your financial losses. After we sell off all of Mr. Armstrong’s assets, we will reimburse everyone. We may not be able to give you the full amount, but we will try to give back all that we are able.
“So in conclusion, this has all been one big mind control experiment and…well, we lied. If any of you want to stay, you can; if not, you’re all free to go wherever, blah, blah, blah. May the rest of your day be enjoyable.”
Anybody in their right mind knows that the “give them all the truth at once” step would never have been taken because there was too much risk. Not only would WCG have been buried in lawsuits, but the entire “church” would have crumbled with the ensuing stampede of exiters. It was so much easier to present new changes a little at a time with confusion and propaganda, discount anyone who would disagree, and tell the remaining members to “forget the past and move forward with the new programs!”
Exit & Support Network™
UPDATE: Joseph W. Tkach Sr. died September 22, 1995 of cancer. Worldwide Church of God changed their name in April 2009 to Grace Communion International.
Worldwide Church of God History by Kenneth Westby (Exposes the double standards of the Armstrongs and the suffering of the members that finally led to the exit of many WCG evangelists, ministers and members in the 70’s.)
OIU Newsletters (refer to OIU Volume 3, Pt. 2 of 5 which talks about how the leaders said they had to “go slow with the changes”)
GCI – New Age and Ecumenical Connections
Shows their ecumenical, New Age, liberal and charismatic connections.
What in the World is Grace Communion International Doing Now?
Includes selling the copyrights to HWA’s literature to Philadelphia Church of God for $3 million; sections at end: “What Are They Still Doing Today?” and “Need For Discernment.”
Back to Worldwide Church of God Expose`(GCI) (many articles)