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I am not familiar with the Worldwide Church of God, however I have just read and am very impressed with the book the U.S. and Britain in prophesy. Can you verify that England is the lost tribe of Ephraim and the U.S. the lost tribe of Manasseh?
Thanks for your letter. The Worldwide Church of God's book on US and Britain in prophecy is a copy of the old English book "Judah's Sceptre and Joseph's Birthright," by J.J. Allen. It was published about 100 years ago, and it's as inaccurate then as it is now.
The book actually inspires a false sense of national pride. Even if it were true (which it is NOT), then the those tribes would be reversed, and the US would be Ephraim, etc. But since John Allen was a Brit, he assumed the greatest brother would be (naturally) England. Also, I understand he got his ideas from speculations of legends and tales that were handed down from centuries before. Many believed it in those days, but now with modern investigation, the myths on which it were formed simply fizzled.
John Allen was not any sort of Biblical scholar like Herbert W. Armstrong he plagiarized writings and he took scriptures from the Bible and stretched them beyond any credible logic. And then he put the whole mess together to form a theory which was most profitable in book sales at the time.
There may be some people on Ed's website who have written about this in exegetical form and I'll fill you in on the details if you wish, but the whole idea is simply a dream of what some people think MIGHT be. We are NOT Israel, and no one knows where the 12 tribes are. And the bottom line is that no one can prove any of these theories.
It may sound great and make us feel important, but not only is the theory complete drivel, but the book from whence it supposedly came also rests on quicksand. Please check out the articles on BIBLIOLOTARY and Thomas Paine's book AGE OF REASON.
If you have any other questions, Tom, please let me know. In the meantime, our best to you.
Dear Mr. Ouvrier,
I read some of your articles on the "Painful Truth" site as well as those of some of the others. I agree with much of what you said, but I don't remember sharing some of your church experiences. This is probably why I don't share the rancor that some of the writers on this site express. Even you seem to contend that nothing good came out of the Worldwide Church of God. I don't wish to argue the merits (or lack of) of the Worldwide Church of God, but I had good as well as bad experiences there. I also learned a lot about the Bible. A common thread from some readers has been, "Why beat a dead horse? or, "Let it go; get on with your life". The gist of your replies; sometimes explosive; have usually been, "We will not let another Armstrong type organization dupe people if we can help it." (Some of them have been in the finest "shock jock" tradition.)
I understand that the primary mission of the site is to provide a place for people to vent their rage over their Herbert W. Armstrong experience, but I think if you expose the mechanics of a Cult; any Cult to your patrons, you might be more productive in your objective of showing their dangers to others.
If I just started looking into a church such as the Worldwide Church of God, there are two things I would be very interested in. First, I would want to know if their doctrines were sound. This is an area in which your expertise would be very useful. I would like to have known that Herbert W. Armstrong made specific end time prophecies before I joined the church. These were kept very secret in the church. After some research, I found that some of his core teachings were based on shaky assumptions. All of his dogmas were built on this sandy foundation, but he bilked people into believing he knew things that other religions didn't, making them reluctant to question him. Second, I would want know if the church were "doing the work" that Jesus preached, and that the church were above reproach in the eyes of the world. Foreknowledge of any wrongdoing at the beginning would have turned me away from the Worldwide Church of God.
The following is a summary of my Worldwide Church of God experience.
I think you and I were in the church during the same period. I started attending as a coworker around 1975; was baptized around 1979, and was invited to leave around 1983. I think I was disfellowshipped, but couldn't have cared less at the time.
We had two ministers and one preaching elder who exercised most of the authority in our congregation. The pastor (Mr.R.) was my first contact with the church, and I can't say I liked him much. Prior to contacting him, I was studying with the Jehovah's Witness for about a year. I asked him many questions; some of which he would not answer, but this was the only pretentious attitude I noticed by anybody at this time. A red flag did go up, but I ignored it. I was baptized by the other (Mr. H.) whom I liked and trusted. I am pretty sure he baptized me against the wishes of Mr. R. In defense of Mr. R., I have to admit that I am not a "joiner.", and I tend to question what I don't understand. I also am opinionated, and do not accept "authority" readily. So why did I join? Because of the people. I became close to a dozen or so people and still keep in touch with two. I was also trying to understand why so many religions were failing in propagating the principles of Christ. (I lean more toward ethics than religion). The Armstrong's seemed to have some answers.
When I first started going to services, GTA was in charge, and some kind of revival was taking place in the church. I came in toward the end of this period, and ministers and elders from various churches were making public apology for their past excessive use of power. There was a great attitude of Christian love and fellowship during this time. Most of the members were closed-mouthed about church teachings, but I attributed this to the area (Maine-New Hampshire) where people are generally like that. Tithing was mandated, but it was emphasized that this was between the individual and God, and the church would never insinuate itself into a member's personal life. Also, Jesus was preached as being more than a "messenger."
There was no evidence of any kind of cultism at this time. Even so, a few years passed before I decided to get baptized. At the time of my baptism, GTA was about to be disfellowshipped, and Herbert W. Armstrong; just recovering from a heart attack, was still somewhat benevolent. I was not fully convinced that the church was the true one, and told Mr. H. so. Then Herbert W. Armstrong announced that he had baptized Mr. R. even though he had the same misgivings as I, (No snickering please.) and encouraged other co-workers to step out in faith. I was baptized (which I believe is a covenant) on condition that Mr. H. understood my misgivings. I also stressed that attitudes toward me not change when I became a member. (I had been forewarned that this would happen.)
When Herbert W. Armstrong began to put the church "back on track", things did indeed change. The grapevine was full of stories about the collapse of authority in California. There was a sense of uncertainty throughout the congregation, but no one was alarmed. We felt we (the Concord church) were "outside the loop" and this storm would pass. Slowly attitudes began to change. One of my last speeches at spokesman's club was entitled, "How to identify a Cult." Of course, I flunked that one. It was not that I felt that church was a cult, but that it was rapidly becoming one.
Believe it or not, I do not lay the blame completely on Armstrong or his minions for his promotion to "Apostle", and later as the "Vicar of Christ". Everyone on this site seems to recognize that, toward the end, Herbert W. Armstrong was becoming a rambling old fool. I see heaps of scorn fired in his direction from people who supported him for 15 or more years, mainly because he died. I think they thought he was their Messiah, and was supposed to lead them into Paradise. During his last ten or so years, his reversals of dogma were mind-boggling (to use a GTA idiom) and quite obvious. I saw this, and many of my peers saw this. Maybe many saw him as a "victim". Maybe they saw this as a test from God. I don't know. I do know that far too many looked away in silence. In doing so, these people passed the authority that God gave them on to the leadership, giving tacit approval to their outrageous behavior. Today, many of this same group complain that it was God; not the leadership that led them astray! I find this akin to someone saying a little prayer before buying a car from a guy in a clown suit; (albeit a very expensive clown suit) then cursing God if it falls apart.
During my last year in the church, I began to see this thirst for power in some of the "middle management". Where they used to be satisfied with, "Mr.", they now wanted the terms, "yes sir" and, "no sir" used in conversation with them. When they spoke, either of secular or religious matters, they spoke as authorities, usually with the appropriate amount of name-dropping. The ministry was becoming intolerable in their attitudes toward just about everything.
To summarize; it has been at least 15 years since I left the church, but it has obviously left an impression on me. I still "visit" various Worldwide Church of God sites occasionally. This is how I happened on yours. I noticed that certain attitudes that prevailed in the Worldwide Church of God also are present on this site. (It is said that, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery").
My feeling is this; there is a desperate need for someone to bring some sanity to the chaos that is growing more apparent every day, making this country fertile for Cultism. Arrogance, super ego and thirst for power are essential ingredients for cult leadership at every level (there has to be more than one level), and are not confined to religion. If you eliminate all Judeo-Christian, Islamic and any other religious teaching; with all their writings; someone would come up with another way to beguile those who trust him into believing his nightmare. But first, the dupe must be convinced that he (the shill) is an absolute authority (god) in his teaching. From what I've read, it's a piece of cake after that. Your writing is very informative. I wish you well.
Keep the Faith,
Thanks for your letter. Your name is somewhat familiar, and we may have met at sometime. There's a couple of things that I like to comment on, if I may.
You said that you don't remember such experiences as many of us have had, while you were in Worldwide Church of God. If that's true, then you were never IN that cult. If a person is actually IN a cult, they give their lives to it, and it becomes an extension of themselves. In essence, it can become a God apart from God, and in our ignorance, many of us made that mistake.
You fellowshipped and actually joined for a few years, but your experiences shows that you were never an integral part of the group. You simply mingled and that's all. While that is fortunate for you and you never got hooked, others who were more dedicated actually fell for the line, and their lives have been ruined. That explains why some are more hostile to Worldwide Church of God than others. The ones, like yourself, were never really IN the cult itself, and so you can unknowingly wonder why all the fuss from those of us whose lives have been irreparably damaged.
The site had been more than informative in exposing the antics of these cults, and in many of the articles, this has been documented. The actual mechanics of any cult (even traditional religion) have been documented over and over again. It's all there for people who have been hooked or those who are seriously looking. "For those who have ears to hear . . . "
I think the reason that you saw no evidence of a cult is because you were never in the spirit of the cult, but if you had been a "loyal" disciple, then the fruits would have be evident to you if you could look back now in hindsight. In our ignorance, and absolute belief in the infallibility of a fallible Bible, we were deluded. What you found was a bunch of "nice people" but since you weren't actually INTO the spirit of it, you couldn't see the diabolical intent of its masters.
You mentioned that you noticed certain attitudes of Worldwide Church of God also prevail on the site. Huh? If you can find ONE attitude of the Worldwide Church of God cult that prevails on the site, then please show me. The Worldwide Church of God etc. cults teach loyalty to an ideal or man, complete obedience to that ideal, NO thinking allowed, the ministers "out-rank" everyone else, some of the Laws of Moses are in effect, and the Bible is divinely inspired, etc., etc. One the Website, I find everything to be the opposite of that. Think for yourself, the site says, stand on your own feet and all men/women are equal. And the Laws of Moses and divine Biblical authority are all for the birds.
It's true when you inferred that there's always a market for "religion," and the subsequent obedience's to follow. That's what most of us are all about. The site is helping people, I know that, and it's a haven of sanity that any Worldwide Church of God+er can come to and get washed from the gunk of those cults. But, like any teachers, we can only point the way. The rest is up to the real seekers.
Keep reading, and thanks again.
Sent: Sunday, November 14, 1999 6:20 PM
I don't hate you as a person. I hate what you and your kind did. You killed my childhood. You turned a kind man(my father) into a nut. I can not tell you all the storys I have of the church and the hell it made me go though. You did more than kill a body you killed souls. I want to know when you were a minster in that "church". Did you know what you were doing? Did you know it was all a lie? Did you know the pain and that you caused? I read the list of aplogies and I was crying. I know the real Christ and you know what? I forgive you.
Your letter reflects the problems that a lot of ex-WCGers go through. I'm sorry to see what it did to your father and what it did both to you and many others in their lives.
However, to answer your questions . . . .
Question: Did I know what I was doing?
Answer: No. I was stupid and too ignorant at the time.
Question: Did I know it was all a lie?
Answer: No. If I did, I would have left . . . as I did when I found out it was indeed a lie.
Question: Did I know the pain I caused?
Answer: Now I do, but then I didn't, otherwise I would have quit before I caused the pain.
And for these blunders, Mark, I've apologized. That's all I know to do at this time. If I can do more then, as the situation arises, I will. Now, Mark, let me ask you a couple of questions.
First: Did you ever tithe to the Worldwide Church of God cult? If you did, then you too supported a corrupt organization and helped its continuance.
Second: Did you ever fellowship with the Worldwide Church of God cult? If you did, then you ignorantly added your spirit to theirs and spiritually helped re-enforce their madness.
Third: Did you ever treat the "ministers" hirelings like they were in any way superior. If you did, then you also ignorantly helped boost their humungous egos and their subsequent domination over people.
Fourth: Have you ever criticized another when you have (maybe) even bigger faults yourself? If so, please read Matt 7: 3-5.
For my ignorance and wrongdoing I've made my apologies. Now Mark, we're waiting for yours.
Think about it.
I read your article called, "Cheap Prostitute Salesmen For The Cult" expecting something to laugh at and read strictly for amusement. But after I finished, I found that I agreed with much of what you said.
I am still a member of the Worldwide Church of God (since 1983) and, although Herbert W. Armstrong was only alive during the first 3 years of my involvement with the Worldwide Church of God, it seems like he left an indelible mark on me.
Of course, like many Worldwide Church of God members, I highly respected (perhaps ALMOST worshipped) Mr. Armstrong when he was alive, believing that he could do no wrong.
I've read a lot on The Painful Truth site in the past that puts Herbert W. Armstrong in a much different light and has made me reassess my thoughts regarding his sincerity. I'm not totally convinced YET that he was a total fraud, as some have stated. And I don't know if, as you say, he was just in it for the money. I have also read about his supposed immorality and am not sure if this is true or not. It seems hard to believe that something like that could have been totally hidden from the Worldwide Church of God membership at the time, but MAYBE that's the case - I just don't know.
I do know that many of the ministers that I've met SEEM quite nice, BUT when it comes right down to it, they don't seem to have the compassion and empathy that Jesus Christ showed in His ministry. They seem to be hung up on rules and regulations - and the appearance that things are done the 'right' way. Shouldn't we all be following Jesus' example?
Maybe I'm naive, but I try to look for the good in everyone. Perhaps that's why I find it hard to believe that Herbert W. Armstrong was the scoundrel that he is purported to be by some ex-members and ex-ministers, like yourself. But, I could be wrong. I'm not saying that you are lying, but I know that there was SOME good in the Worldwide Church of God during the time that Herbert W. Armstrong was still alive. There were many in my congregation that were decent folks who had humility, sincerity, looked for the best in others, tried to do what they felt was ethical and treated others as they would want to be treated in other words, they following Christ's example.
So, no matter if the minister was really a minister or not - if the member had accepted Christ as their Savior and was lead by the Holy Spirit, wouldn't that make them a Christian?
I believe that many ministers in the Worldwide Church of God were just following along and Herbert W. Armstrong was basically THE HEAD of the Worldwide Church of God - not Christ. But, we didn't want to admit that at the time - and even now, many in the Worldwide Church of God don't want to accept that Herbert W. Armstrong was not quite the person that they had esteemed him as.
I guess that it's up to God how he judges Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong. But, I realize that shouldn't be used as a cop-out for whitewashing any unethical or immoral conduct that may have taken place on Herbert W. Armstrong's part. I'm just not 100% sure about the proof of what's being said.
It's hard to believe that one man could pull the wool over so many people's eyes! Didn't the Worldwide Church of God have any sort of board at the time that could have ousted Herbert W. Armstrong from his position as Pastor General? Did he have absolute power and control over the Worldwide Church of God? Maybe he did. I know that he seemed to make some (maybe many) decisions that, when I look back on them now, were very dictatorial and were based on his own perceptions of what was right and wrong - not based on the Bible. Some things that come to mind were his regulations regarding makeup and interracial dating/marriage.
I truly believe that many current Worldwide Church of God ministers have, at least, tried to re-think what they taught in the past. Many have publicly apologized for their mistakes - sincerely, I believe - and really seem to want to change the Worldwide Church of God for the better. Only God knows their heart.
However, there seems to be an element in this church that wants to straddle the fence and please everyone - rather than move forward and away from wrong teachings from the past.
Why does the leadership in the Worldwide Church of God not want to offend those that are still in the OLD
covenant? From what the church now teaches (supposedly), we are in the NEW covenant.
Why try to hang on to both, just so that membership won't leave the church? I try to be open-minded and look at all sides of the story. I wish that the Worldwide Church of God would talk about Herbert W. Armstrong and what really happened, however painful telling the truth is, rather than just ignore it like they're doing.
If Herbert W. Armstrong did all these things that I keep reading about on The Painful Truth website, then let's look into it (the Worldwide Church of God) and really find out what happened! Why gloss over what might have happened just because, "That's in the past" or "It's not up to us to judge - God will do that." as seems to be the attitude of many in the Worldwide Church of God today.
It's not judging Herbert W. Armstrong to expose things that he did wrong - whether intentionally or not. God is the final arbitrator.
Thank you for your article. It has made me think - and that's something that has been suppressed for years.
God bless you and all the best
And thanks for you letter. It's good that you found some value in the article on NON MINISTERS, and the other articles on the site. In actual fact, and judging by the fruits, these churches have nothing to do with God. They're secular organizations only, and they use God as bait. They're not religious or moral at all. They preach morality, but their fruits show different. They exist to make money and nothing else.
All the ugly exposes that you've found on the site are sadly true, and there are witnesses to back up these things about the misconduct of the Worldwide Church of God + cults, and the behavior of their ministry. An interesting site to check our for more verification is the "Ambassador Report" site at: http://www.cybergate.com/~birone/arindex.html and look at the frightening list of commissions that have taken place. And this is only the index.
I've no doubt that you found "sincerity" in some of the ministry, but since they have the information that would free people (and they do), then why not teach it and get out of the cult? The reason is, of course, their paycheck. They're good actors when it comes to their own security. Most of these hirelings are lovers of mammon more than lovers of God.
It's true that there are many in the congregations who are sincere and decent folks. They're simply deceived, and in time, they'll come out. When they do, we're here to help.
The acceptance of Jesus as Savior is NOT Biblical. It's the idea of modern Christianity, and has nothing to do with Jesus' teachings. And the leading of the Holy Spirit will only be obvious when the fruits follow. Folks cannot YET have that Spirit (in the church sense) if they're in a cult, and the hirelings certainly don't have it.
You asked, could Herbert W. Armstrong pull the wool over so many peoples' eyes? Yes. He can and did. The top ministry knew about Herbert W. Armstrong's indiscretions, but their paychecks stopped them from objecting. In those days, HWA had his printed signature at the bottom of each minister's paycheck. In the ministerial meeting at Tucson in February 1979, HWA thundered out at the ministry for even thinking of being disloyal. I know. I was there. He pounded the table in temper, and as usual, his jowls shook.
"If any of you," he yelled at us, "ever have doubts as to where your loyalty lies, then don't you EVER forget the name that's on the bottom of your paycheck."
Yes, there was a "board" at A.C. in those days, but it was a token board only. HWA controlled all the money (with Stan Rader as business manager), and no one dared to object because they'd have been fired. Enough said.
Anyhow, I think you might actually be less into the Spirit of this group than you may think. You don't have the wild mentality of many, and you show a good spirit of love and tolerance. Please think about what we're saying, and with all things: "Prove all things."
I'm forwarding this letter to Ed, with the stipulation that your name, etc. will not be used. I think he'll be interested.
Thanks for you letter, and many blessings to you as well.
WOW! Really good. I sent it to a friend still in in the cult, wwc who was a former Atheist, and believes much of what we do. Why he stays - I guess it is that his family of grown children are in and want to keep the family together. People have their own reasons for justifying themselves for doing what they WANT to. - Most of the time people just can't face the emotional pain of it all . So they live a lie, and in illusions that it is ok.
Well, to each his own. We are so uniquely different....I love that! It keeps life interesting. Anyway, great job. I'd love to send it to the newspaper. So much I want to do but I won't due to the stress level of life for me now is too much. I'm still in a recovery from life's sh--. and there's more to come. Waiting for my 95 year old dad, who is struggling with emphysema and heart disease, still has his mind. But it is not easy on us. At least he is getting good care in a Home. Bye for now, Joanne --
Thanks a lot for your comments. It might be interesting as to what a newspaper would think of ex-cult members comments. But I don't think this type of stuff would be welcome in newspapers, especially with the acidic comments on "churches." They're usually "community" oriented. But go ahead if you want.
True, I don't know why your friend stays with the cult, because the longer anyone stays (ignorant or not) the more damage they incur in all ways. Anyhow, let's see what he thinks and if the article touches a nerve or two or three or four.
Do you mind if I shoot Ed off a copy of this (or an edited version)? It might help some present cult members to see the well of disaster that they're into. After all, how could anyone do the things that those cultmasters OBVIOUSLY and knowingly do, and still have any semblance of morality? Most of these guys here have presented themselves as worse than Darth Vader. At least, he repented.
Best and all the good stuff 4 now.
Sent: Sunday, December 19, 1999 3:32 PM
Subject: Jesus as Savior
Dear John In a recent letter to a "name withheld," you mentioned that accepting Jesus as Savior as something that is unbiblical. What Bible do you read?:-)
Thanks for your note, and I have read those facts in the EIGHT bibles that I have. Since I was a student of this allegorical book for many years, I give credit where it's due, and try not throw out the baby with the bathwater. While anyone can indeed find instruction in the Bible (also in the Gita, the Upanishards, the Koran, Marcus Aurelius' philosophy, the Code of Manu, German philosophy, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Nietzsche, Walt Whitman's poems, Jacob Boehme's writings, the New York times, Robert Frost's wisdom, and even the Peanuts cartoons), I cannot hang onto every legend written by every purported and so-called follower of Jesus, and the whitewashed, refined legends that have been re-written (redacted) by Catholicism for their own sakes of human domination, exaltation of their power base, and the accumulation of wealth.
Nevertheless, if we really wish to read Jesus' sayings in the Bible and take them for EXACTLY what they say, then there is still not one shred of evidence that Jesus ever said that He was the Savior. He simply never said it or claimed it. Others did that much later, thirty to forty years after He lived. Why do people insist on believing something that was NEVER said? Who would you rather believe . . . Jesus or someone else? Since the Catholic Church edited what we have of the Bible, then I suppose you can believe anything if you choose to believe the grossest, most bloodthirsty, money hungry, soul less, most diabolical, and most savage organization of the last six thousand years. By their fruits?
But let's look at logic. Is God a respecter of persons? Since the "Biblical" answer is NO, then how come over 99% of the people who have lived in 6k years have never even seen a Bible? Over 95% of those people have never even heard of Jesus. No hope for them, huh? God really screwed up there, didn't He?
Since the Bible is provably NOT anyone's inspired word, why do people (given the information about the facts) still believe it?
Yes, I have eight Bibles, and Jesus never claims to be Savior in ANY of them. I personally don't care what Paul & Jan Crouch, Pat Robertson, Jack Hayford, Billy Graham, screaming preachers, or any of the other myriad prancing and hallucinogenic dingbats preach. They're WRONG, and that statement is based on the Bible.
If these guys can milk billions of $$$$$ from people from ignorance and by fear, and if they can gain that money by producing NO product whatsoever, then they are simply very smart businessmen who rely on gullible people's ignorance and fear. No other business in history has been as profitable. And it's all based on the selling of a myth that was NOT said or claimed and something that's NOT Biblical.
But you've gotta hand it to them. They may be corrupt tares, but they're still fooling a lot of people teaching NOTHING, providing NO product, giving NO service, selling vacuums to the innocent, and making a fortune from it.
Lemme ask you . . . why do informed folks still buy all this madness?
"Prove all things."
Subject: hanks story
Boy o boy did you hit that nail on the head . However Monty Python already had this story it the life of Brian. If you have not seen it , get it, They worship the only thing brain leaves them his shoe. To bad that's not all Herbert W. Armstrong left us. He left us UCG and that dammed in his likeness Gerald flurry..
Thank You from rOYBOY in Ohio
Thanks for the letter and comments. I'll check out the Monty Python story, as it sounds hilarious. You're right about Herbert W. Armstrong. He left us his legacy . . . multiple vomitorious offspring.
Best and thanks. John
I have been reviewing some of your materials along with other Sabbath-keeping groups and have some comments and questions Just thought of some parameters not yet covered in the scattered groups that I visit-and seek some input. It seems that the majority of the ministries that I deal with operate on an "Armstrongite" baseline or Jewish,(ie,sacred namers),that is you can "search the Scriptures"as Christ admonishes in John 5:39 and as Paul encouraged Timothy to do in II Tim.3:14-17. But like with Herbert W. Armstrong who said,"Don't believe me. Believe your Bible!"-you may then be at risk of disfellowshippment if any Scripture you hold onto disagrees with the leadership. I know I have been thrown out of so many that I am beginning to get bruises,(spiritual ones). Of course this is what the parents of the healed blind man faced in John 9:22.
We are under pressure in the big organizations,(and under any leadership that considers themselves religious authorities),to conformor leave. I try to encourage the people to question their leadership-not just swallow everything that they are "spoonfed"-and to think with the Scriptures -which are the Mind of Christ. If you have the Holy Spirit-you have the amplified version of the Bible-and you are the "temple",(I Cor.3:16). If Christ is in that temple and the Father-will you go elsewhere to find truth?(I John 2:27) Christ did not call the man in Mark 5:18-19. He sent him home to his friends. The man was willing to go. But no one can come to Christ except the Father draw him,(John 6:44 & v.65).
Could Herbert W. Armstrong have revealed truth to someone that God was not willing to work with? Maybe Ambassador was just a work of HWA. Maybe Hebrew is not a "pure" language,(ie,Psa.12:6). After all the disciple were speaking words that were interpreted in several languages in Acts 2-and you know that they did not all refer to God's Name in Hebrew only-right?
And thanks for your letter.
The big mistake we all made is actually believing that the Bible is "God inspired" instead of a book of historical Jewish reference. So Herbert W. Armstrong's reference to it is pointless. He's, simply for his own convenience, referring us back to a book of men, written by men in a given historical perspective, interpreted by men, and packaged-for-profit by the Catholic Church.
Since childhood, most of us have been brainwashed that the Bible is God's inspired word. That has been the big lie. Two of the best pages on the website about this subject (I think) are AGE OF REASON and BIBLIOLATRY. The approach here is not on superstition and fear, but on pure logic. This is God's gift to us . . . Logic, and the ability to think for ourselves. HWA never revealed truth to anyone. No one can. Truth has always been here. We must discover it for ourselves if we want, and sometimes that's done through observation and sometimes through a teacher, but we must never look to that teacher. He's only the conduit.
On the basis of its fruits, the Bible is simply a book from which you can derive instruction if you wish, and Worldwide Church of God+its offspring (in my opinion) typify true organized crime in it's most diabolical sense.
Personally, I would give yourself more discernment for truth than you'll ever find in any cult meeting. You've a good mind. Use it wisely and you'll see that these hirelings are simply in a business . . . at gullible peoples' expense.
It's good that you're still seeking, but, if I were you, I'd try seeking outside the realms of anywhere that calls itself "Church." Truth will grow within you, as it takes time, and it will stick to you eventually. But you won't find it within the cloistered walls of any church cult. It's out there . . . in the world and among creation. "Seek and you WILL find."
Blessings, Myra. John.
I read your article on alcoholism in the wcg.
Get this, I have been an alcoholism and drug abuse counselor and attended church through most of the 70s, all the 80s and until about 1995 or 96.
Anyone with an education beyond high school at anyplace other than AC feel under immediate suspicion and then for me to be a mental health counselor with a masters and then a doctorate really put me in the middle. I was demon influenced if not possessed. I was in a demon inspired profession. People were afraid to talk to me I think because there were afraid I was analyzing them. I wasn't, but they were sure judging me and freezing me out of that cult.
My misfortune was to take seriously the church's pronouncements that it was the church of brotherly love. After I figured out that, as I began to say publicly, "If this is the church of brotherly love, I shutter to think of what the church of brotherly hate is like." This did not make me popular. Anyway, I stuck around for my wife but once it dawned on her that the wcg was a hell hole we were able to leave.
I enjoy reading your articles. I look forward to reading more.
Oh, by the way, you may want to visit my Website at http://www.ccmsinc.net
Thomas H. Schear
Hello Thomas: Thanks for your letter, and how sad it is when the uneducated call the educated "demon possessed." That's a good way to ensure NO ONE gets any help. Anyhow, we're glad you and your wife are out of that mess and functioning as a professional should be, without Worldwide Church of God spies watching and reporting you. "Brotherly Love?" Ha!
You have a good web site. With your permission, I'd like to pass on your letter + the site address and this reply to Ed. If he wants to publish the info, then this could help some of the people reading the site.
Best 4 now. John
I read your articles on alcohol and Hawaii. I do not believe in god so I skipped some of the other ones. But thanks for all them.
Ed says demons don't exist. I think they do. What do you think? You always talk about bad people and vibrations in your articles. I think you know demons.
Thanks for your note.
Demons, I think, take on a form that's different from most descriptions that we've been bombarded with. Since, in earlier times, people didn't know why others acted crazy, they therefore concluded that a person was possessed. We all have a vibratory frequency plus or minus. Science has conclusively proved it in this age. When our frequency goes up, then like a tuner receiver, we receive the upper (or good) frequencies. Our conduct then becomes a blessing to all.
When we allow (through environment, attitude, drugs, alcohol, etc.) our frequencies to drop, the lower side of our nature comes out. We tune into our lower frequencies and all the ugly modulation that is on those carriers. We act almost like a different person, and that lower personality takes over. Sometimes it's only temporary, but if we persist in the lower frequency activity (like knowingly being a hireling in a cult and destroying peoples' lives), then our psyches stay tuned at that lower level. And thus you see the "demonic" activity that's manifested. We are simply picking up that low frequency intelligence that comes from God, instead of the higher modes of vibration that also emanate from God. All frequencies come from God, since God is Infinite. Our chosen conduct determines the frequency to which we tune our psyches/souls. Therefore our mind is of the utmost importance. It must NEVER be given to another to do the "tuning" as in the case of a cult.
True, personified demons don't exist, but the personalities that we manifest (when tuned into the lower frequencies) is expressed as that which is called "demonic possession" because another and more base personality from within ourselves is expressed.
But it's still us . . . only seen as a lower form of behavior.
Like you, I don't believe in a "God" either. God is all and in all. Look at God like an Infinite Energy field. It's much like George Lucas said in "Star Wars." "The Force is with you, it's in you, it's all around you, and it runs the galaxies."
God is always there, for good and bad. What is important is how we use it.
I got your reply to my question but I think I'm more scared than I was before about God if he's good and bad. Ministers told us that God was good and demons and Satan were bad. I don't think there's a God, but I know bad when I seen it. Did you get rid of demons when you were a minister in Hawaii?
Hi Clara: Most churches are confused when it comes to good and bad. And there are those groups that say there is neither good OR bad in creation, and it's all good. Both are incorrect. Let's look at the logic here. God is NOT some man or person or Being. And God is neither good nor bad. God is all life, seen and unseen. God is the Infinite Eternal Energy that permeates everything, and as such, constitutes all aspects of (what we see as) good and evil. Thus came the ancient Biblical saying of God that : "I create evil."
However, since there is ONLY God and not two forces, in order for us to analyze this, it's necessary for us to understand that all matter (like us) is actually vibrating energy. Those vibrations can take place over a band of frequencies, and to the best of our current knowledge, the higher the frequency, the better your spirit is, and the more loving you are. Have you ever seen those "mood" rings? They maybe a novelty for most people, but for some reason, they're surprisingly accurate at times. A purple or blue color on the ring shows you have a good vibration, because that color is of a higher frequency. A red, or lower vibration, shows that you're in a darker mood.
Some people have actually seen "auras" around people, they can see the colors, and can detect the type of energy that's being given out from that person.
All energy is God. That energy is available for our life, our use, and our joy or sorrow. It's a matter of where we individually tune into that energy. It's a matter of what we want from life. And energy comes from inside people or from external forces. Energy is everywhere. We see energy coming from all sources. It's what runs the Universe. Some have made the analogy that God is Love. So, it's all a matter of where we tune into that love chart. If we choose a higher point, we're a better person. If we go lower, we're using less love and consequently, we show that. Our attitude and mind determine where we want to tune into "God." That's why our minds are so vitally important, and how we think is crucial. That's why it's paramount that we never give our minds to any church or cult leader to manipulate. Cult leaders, for example, teach hate most of the time. Since the world doesn't conform to their ideas, everyone else (except the cult) is wrong. This gives rise to a lower frequency mental reception with cult members, thus accounting for many hate filled brethren, and much mental instability with several of those groups.
As we mature and evolve, we learn it's better to tune into the higher areas, because that makes for peace and love, and serves our fellow man more. If we focus only on the self, then our frequency will drop and we'll manifest the darker side of our nature. When that happens to any continued extent, the person usually manifests all sorts of aberrant behavior, and that's usually known as demon possession. This can also happen from external circumstances which can cause a psychic "dip" in frequency. Things like illness can affect us too, as well as drugs, alcohol, anti-love behavior, self righteousness, etc. A person can then sometimes "appear" like someone else is living in them, and that's been commonly called demon possession. Nothing is actually IN those people but themselves, but their actions are now controlled by a low frequency position on the God Chart, with the resultant "evil" display of behavior.
That's why decent people who are serving of others without much thought for the self are usually the most loving and pleasant. Their vibratory frequencies are higher. If your life reflects one of a higher mode of vibration (i.e. love, peace, kindness, etc.) you will have dominion over any radiating lower frequency (commonly called demonic activity), much the same as any higher radio wave will have more power, impact and greater range than a simple low frequency audio signal.
In Hawaii, as with everywhere else, we had our people and situations that radiated the lower side of nature. Most with lower frequency minds stayed in the cult. Although such things as these lower frequencies may be an annoyance and can buffet us, but IF, however, we hold to moral, kind, and loving principles, then those lower forces cannot shake us. Our minds will rise over them. Just tell them to "get lost." Sure, they can make life difficult at times, but if we hold to the right thing, they'll not win.
There's nothing to be afraid of, Clara. You're in control. If you're a loving, decent, caring, and considerate person, then your energy is dominant over any adversary.
Just read your article in PT on alcoholism in the church, and it reminded me of a story told to me by my good buddy during AC-Pasadena days long ago, (name withheld). He was a lifelong church kid and Imperial brat, and so knew GTA's sons. Around 1976 he told me that David Armstrong told him that he (David) had engaged in smoking pot--still living with his parents. Ted got wind of this (unplanned pun there!) and told David that either he stopped smoking pot or he'd have to find someplace else to live. David stopped, but not long thereafter he arrived home one evening to find his dad three sheets to the wind, drunk, stumbling, and raving. He could not accept the hypocritical double-standard, and packed his bags and split.
Another story from (name withheld): one night he was walking through campus fairly late, and was back behind Herbert W. Armstrong's house (the "Social Center" so-called). He saw the back door open and Herb came stumbling out and wandering around the back garden. Within seconds his personal aide/chauffeur-can't remember his name now--trotted out to usher the old man back into the house.
I enjoy drinking myself, but realize that alcohol is a commodity to treat with respect and care. It should have been pointed out by the ministry that it is really a hard drug, as opposed to some other substances that the church condemned as demonic, such as cannabis and other soft, non-addictive alterers.
Thanks always for your contributions.
I have enjoyed your articles on the "PT" website. I just read your response to Mary on the 79 lawsuit. Mary mentioned she is trying to get the Lochner tapes. I believe if they do exist Lochner has them.
I have met Lochner in 97 at Feast of Tabernacles with Global Church of God (Meredith's group at the time). I was at a site in Jackson Hole Wyoming, and he was introduced as a sermonette speaker (he took his 15 minutes and spoke for 45)
I had been studying what had gone in the church, and was aware of Lochner's role. Long story short, made it a point to meet him, got his home phone number and called him a few months later. Asked him about herbs incest, he told me about Davids sin and how God forgave David. I pressed him a little harder his comment to me was interesting He said "I never asked HWA about that." Which follows Robinson's account in his book The Tangled Web , according to Robinson, Herb volunteered this info.
I did not press Lochner any further. He is an older man, and I was still in Global at that time, and as much as I hate to write it, was afraid to push the issue.
Please pass my e-mail along to Mary if she is interested I am more than willing to share any info I have.
PS: I have spoken a few time to John Tuit, who originated the lawsuit against the church; very different take from the party line
Please forgive me as I used your email to confront a Worldwide Church of God chat group about their part in the '79 fiasco. I did disguise your email so I do not know how Mark knew it was you. But I did not intend to get you involved.
I am trying to get the elitists to admit that Tkach Sr. was probably aware of the bogus financial records and helped to shred the documents-as according to Richard Nickels paper on HWA Tkach Sr. was "running a tight ship"-meaning he was probably in charge under Rader. Also-he was a braggart about his military record-so I am beginning to think you were probably right about the "arms" being distributed. That is why they are so defensive.
Mark said he has offered to help you and Ed expose the corruption. But I am beginning to wonder how much of a bonus Tkach is paying him. I rec'd an email from a girl named Sue in the Worldwide Church of God business office and her statement of Tkach's salary was at $600,000-anually! She says she does not think that even Tammy knows this.
Thanks for your help. You have helped me to stir up a two-way "hornet's nest"!:-) which may erupt in real "truth".
I have another email the 2nd today from Tkach,(which seems very defensive-esp on the issue of Tkach Sr's previous "hatchet man" rep). I am wondering why they are not denying the expenditures or the salary given on my apology to you!
The info came from their own accounting dept. They are also-not denying the extra bonuses that have been so liberally passed out. But when they challenged me with doing a study on Galations 2 & 3-I did and proved with those Scriptures that their doctrines were not Scriptural-to the point that they have not answered the study-even when challenged to do so!
I just finished reading your article about drinking in the Worldwide Church of God and I wanted to add my own personal observation of this behavior...
I was chosen from the kitchen staff during my freshman year at AC-Big Sandy to work in the faculty dining room. (I guess that was an honor) Among my duties were setting the table in the dining room for lunch every week day and then washing and drying each individual gold-edged plate (REAL gold, mind you) with special cloths, as well as polishing the vast collection of silver cutlery and other accoutrements.
Occasionally I had reason to retrieve something from the refrigerator in the special kitchen set apart for the faculty dining room and one day, while looking for something, I opened the vegetable drawer. Inside were several bottles of Dom Perignon. I also discovered the remainder of the case of this expensive champagne in the pantry closet. It was later explained to me that it was customary to have the champagne chilled and available in case of a sudden, unexpected celebration.
I always thought that odd...now it makes perfect sense!!
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