I want to express to you how grateful I am that you have your site online. I was brought up in the WWCG since I was in grade school and stayed in it until the end of 1995. I realize now that a lot of people seemed to exit during that time, which is understandable considering the huge changes and the fact that we were basically told that all the sacrifices and pain we went through all those prior years was not necessary and was our own fault for “misunderstanding” what was taught. I guess 100,000 people must have heard the same thing from HWA/WCG and “misinterpreted” it. Unfortunately it was a little too late for a lot of people whose lives were destroyed because of marriage breakups, abuse, poor education, lack of money, poor health, etc. because of all the teachings of the WWCG.
When I left the WWCG in 1995, I was only thinking of staying away for a short time but eventually that “short time” lasted for years. I was interested in attending again last year and so I decided to look online to see if things had changed for the better since I left. I was shocked when I found this site and others explaining the consequences of being in a cult and all the emotions that happen when you realize your own will has been suppressed and that you were actually mind-controlled.
It has been a very hard year for me dealing with all those emotions and dealing with feeling like 20 years of my life have been wasted. I feel like at times I will never get over the anger of how I was treated by my parents as well as the ministers and leaders of the WWCG. I can identify with so many of the stories and letters I have read on here. I know that I feel like I will never trust another religion1 again and don’t feel like I could ever step foot into a church.
My childhood was pretty much non-existent and I remember wishing at times that I had never been born but I could never understand why I felt that way. Now I know the reason. My father moved on from the WWCG into the Philadelphia Church of God (PCG) and I fear for his well being because of some of the statements he makes to me that comes out of the mouth of Gerald Flurry. My father and mother allowed me to suffer from numerous life-threatening problems as a child since it was a “sin” to go to the doctor or take medicine, and now that my father is older he has suffered from very debilitating problems but refuses to go to the doctor for them.
I detest the WWCG and it’s splinter groups’ teachings with all my being because they are so evil and are nothing but destroyers of the mind, body and soul. I wish I could get my dad out of the evil clutches of the PCG but he is so into them much more than I ever was in the WWCG. I realize that he joined the cult himself freely2 but I didn’t have a choice and maybe that is the difference between us.
He tells me that I will be in the Tribulation and will suffer all sorts of unimaginable suffering and torture but regardless he will go to the place of safety because he will not lose his crown. Those trigger words scared me to no end as a child and later in my early adulthood but, thankfully, I think that I mostly don’t fear them anymore although it is always there in the back of my mind. I wish I could just get rid of all the garbage I was taught 100% but it seems it never leaves fully.3
I detest how the WWCG and it’s splinter groups say that God loves family but yet they are the ones who have broken up happy marriages or created bad ones because of the abusive way they taught men to treat their wives and children. They are also took the fathers away from their children/wives because of always keeping them busy with “church” activities and so I feel like I have never really had a father. It’s funny how they teach one thing but do the exact opposite.
I am trying to heal, but feel like I will never fully heal unless my father is out of the cult he is in, but I know deep inside he will most probably die in it.
I want to say again how appreciative I am that your site exists. I never would have believed that there would be a place where people like me who grew up in the WWCG could go and discuss all that happened to us and people would actually understand what we went through.
It has been very sobering and emotional for me to read all the tactics that were used on us and I think the most upsetting thing to me is the fact that it was done on purpose by the leaders for the love of money. All the broken lives that were destroyed or hurt or even killed in the process is too much to bear at times.
By April – Child survivor of WCG
Footnotes by ESN:
1 WCG, as all Bible-based cults, used “church” and “religion”–religion being an emphasis on works and rituals–as a front in order to control and exploit others for the leader’s purpose. Such organizations are abusive and deceptive and teach a false god. See Identifying Marks of an Exploitive, Abusive Group.
3 For helpful articles, see our section: Healing From Spiritual Abuse.