I have had to face that I was in a cult, one that had, if not complete control over me, then certainly a significant control on my life, finances, thoughts and actions. Yes, it happened to me. It can happen whenever you allow just one man and only one man to tell you what the truth in life is.
It was approximately late 1990 early 1991 when I left the Worldwide Church of God. However, I found that I never had come to terms with my experience, the pain it caused me, and the lingering effects it still has upon me, even to this day. I am now completing the healing process, even more than a decade later.
One minister I had in WCG who was spiritually abusive was David C. Pack. He was a very controlling individual who wanted to be in charge and was unmerciful in his discipline. He even tried to control the number of children we had. I had missed one service and he called me to tell me it was required to be at every service. He is now the leader of the Restored Church of God, which is an exact clone of WWCG, down to the chairs, materials, and song book. When I saw pictures of it I thought I had stepped into a time warp back to HWA in 1986. My word of warning is to avoid David Pack and the Restored Church of God like the plague.
I found many items still within my mind that have never healed, causing me problems unknown to my conscience self. Even people like me who have left the WCG many years ago can still have lingering confusion around certain doctrinal issues. For some reason, I began to look up information on HWA and WWCG on the Internet, something that I had never done before. I spent hours reading letters, exposes, and articles. At this point I began to realize what I had experienced and never really dealt with. While I had moved on, I found that I was still keeping portions of HWA’s teachings deep inside of me. I had even kept HWA himself as a warm memory.
As I begun to realize what kind of man Herbert Armstrong really was, I started to take action to clear my past. While the doctrinal books from HWA had long since been discarded, I still had his two volume autobiography. I needed to destroy that book, destroy the memory of that manipulative man. I sat last evening and tore the pages from that book and threw them in the garbage. I now know that HWA’s teachings were corrupt and evil. No longer would I have that soft and fuzzy image of him in my mind.
It was only our move from New York to Portland, Oregon in 2000 that completed the severing of ties with the WWCG for both my wife and me. A long ordeal that had ended, but the battle scars still exist. I am sure some areas of understanding will still be difficult for me, possibly for a very long time. I will continue on my path and complete the healing process, a process I wish I had started many years ago.