Answers To Frequently Asked Questions
(All my opinion mostly, but just so I don't have to keep repeating myself)
By Ed Sr.
The following post is by the creator and first editor of the Painful Truth. Read carefully!
Ed Sr. is no longer the managing editor, so don't send any bleeding heart e-mail's telling us that we are bitter. If you do, I will consider the message to be hate mail and will post it on the appropriate page.
Question #0 Who are you?
Answer: ........................Click HERE...
Question #0a What if I send you email that you publish or an article that you publish but then, later on, I change my mind?
Answer: 11/20/99 From this day forward, no pages will be taken down at the author's request. They will be taken down only if I want them down. If you are not giving me full power to publish forever, if I want, the material that you send me, DON'T SEND IT. I will not be controlled by anyone.
Question #0b Why the "hwarmstrong.com " name for the site?
Answer: What a perfect way to keep herbie spinning in his grave. Too bad we can't harness that energy.
Question #0c How can I help keep The Painful Truth "ad free?"
Answer: If you are going to order something from Amazon.com, do it by clicking on any link to Amazon FROM THIS SITE. The link will take you to Amazon and, if you place an order, The PT will get a miniscule kickback. You won't pay anything extra for your purchase and Amazon will help pay for the costs of keeping these pages on the Internet. I tried to keep this site on free providers, such as Tripod.com, as long as possible but the insufferable ads got to me. Nobody has to do this and I doubt if any money from Amazon will pay my yearly costs, which seem like they are going to be twice what I thought. I'm not doing this for money. It would be nice if I only had to donate my time.
Question #0d What is the purpose of this site and what are the religious beliefs of the Editor?
Answer: The main purpose of The Painful Truth website is to tell the members and former members the truth that they will not get from the Worldwide Church of God and to point out the hypocrisy of the church in not even attempting to right all the wrongs that it is responsible for. In effect, they put all the blame for the abuses in the past on Jesus, keep the money that was blackmailed out of the members, move on with their "new religion" and leave all the damaged people behind. I find this behavior very un-Christian and unlike the Jesus that I always read about in the Bible. The secondary purpose is to provide information that people can use to free themselves from the insidious trap of religion.
My religious beliefs are now and will be until there is some proof of the existence of a god that cares about mankind: Agnostic. That means " the belief that the existence of any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable."
I also find that I seem to fit into the category of being a "Deist." Not that I looked up the definition of Deism and decided to follow that belief. No, it just fits what I believe. Deism, basically says that there is a God that wound this whole thing up but then he walked away and is letting things play out. (Probably sitting in a tavern somewhere, drinking beer and pulling wings off of flies.) In other words, this god believes in true Free Will, that is, no involvement, no miracles, no answered prayers, etc. We are on our own. You know, just like in your own life. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, to name a few, were Deists.
I consider myself a Freethinker:
"one who forms opinions on the basis of reason independently of authority; esp : one who doubts or denies religious dogma."
See Also: Why I Reject "Christianity
Now, if that invalidates, in the reader's eyes, what you find on this website, so be it. You decide whether you will believe the truth on this website or the lies of the "Christian" Worldwide Church of God.
Question #1. Is the Worldwide Church of God still a cult?
Question #2. But isn't the Worldwide Church of God different today?
See my What Would Jesus Do?? page.
If the church covers up evil so that people will continue sending them money, I would say that could be as bad as the they ever were. See my Still Evil page.
They are still an abusive cult, its just that the level of abuse is less than it was before. That still doesn't make it "good" or worthy of praise.
Show me where they tell their members the truth about how they were misled.
Show me where they tell their members the truth about "God's Apostle" and his appointed successor, Joseph Tkach Sr. This is the foundation of the wcg: founded in iniquity, incest and lies. Can a bad tree bear good fruit? Not according to your bible.
Show me where they apologize for all the evil this church has committed over the years. Show me how they break it down fine, in little parts and be specific as a proper repentance would be. The readers of the PT didn't have any problem coming up with plenty of things the Worldwide Church of God could apologize for. Why is it so hard for "headquarters" to do a proper apology? Are they just too afraid of losing money?
Show me how they are trying to find and heal physically and mentally and monetarily all the former members that they harmed, as a Good Samaritan would. Explain to me how they can justify just moving on with their newfound Christianity without cleaning up the horrible mess they made in the past. Explain to me how your Christ would back up such behavior. (We're still waiting for your "Christian" answers. You leaders, followers and apologists are pathetic. 1/6/01)
Show me that they are NOT going to use the proceeds of the sale of the campus' for their own retirement and the perpetuation of their nice little money machine. (This is "old money" not new money. It belongs to all those that contributed their life blood to the church in the past. And, by this definition, this does not include the "ministry")
Explain to me why they are not so guilt ridden and fearful for all the evil that was done in God's name, that they don't get out of the religion business altogether.
Explain to me who gives the Worldwide Church of God the right to preach about God after all the evil they have done in the past. I don't think they really believe there is a God. How could any Christian organization approve of the Worldwide Church of God while knowing all the evil that it is responsible for and has never tried to "fix?" How can such "Un-Christian" behavior be allowed to bear the name of "Christ?" It is a shame and a disgrace to the man they pretend to follow.
Question #3. Shouldn't we just forgive and forget?
Stephen Richards says, on his page on this site, and I agree with him, on Forgiveness And Trust:
"Forgiveness means letting go of the pain and anger. But it doesn't mean restoring your relationship with the person."
"So many ministers have been abusive that I don't know if you are guilty or not. It is reasonable for me to expect you to prove yourself. If you can't explain to me what happened in the past, I have no reason to believe that you won't repeat it."
"Even when forgiveness has already occurred, people need to know that it won't happen again before they can extend trust. Laying guilt trips on people for not trusting you is not a godly way to win their trust. Instead, you need to repent openly, early and often. Even if you are personally innocent of abuse (as some ministers were), you need to acknowledge that it is reasonable for people to mistrust you and work to earn their trust. Moaning that life is unfair because you are being held in suspicion for someone else's sins is a sign of immaturity. Grow up! In the real world people are held suspect because of what others have done. Act like an adult and deal with it. If you don't like it, find another job."
Question #4. David had many sins too so shouldn't that excuse Herbert W. Armstrong and Garner Ted Armstrong and any other religious leaders for being absolute pigs?
See my David Defense Page.
Question #5. Isn't it our own fault that we let corrupt men mislead us?
Being stupid and vulnerable should not make you partly guilty of a crime. Same as saying that a woman was asking to be raped by being in the wrong place. Yeah, she may have been stupid for being there but that does not give the rapist a pass for raping her. Or, I bear responsibility for someone stealing my television because I left my door unlocked. Stupid people do get robbed and raped but the criminals also get punished when they get caught, they don't get a free pass to continue their evil ways.
Does knowing that you were partly at fault for being victim of a rape or a religious huckster make it easier to tolerate the fact that there are still criminals out their raping and misleading people in the name of God?
Should we let the crooks off the hook because we were stupid?
Who do you think God will hold more responsible, the criminal or the victim? Or does He see them as equally guilty?
If I can help someone stay away from people that will abuse them, I will do what I can. I will not just call them dummies for letting it happen or tell them how smart I was for not letting it happen to me.
Question #6. Is there any class action suit that we can be a part of?
There has been talk of a class action suit but I don't have a lot of hope for it ever happening. If I hear anything, I will post it, after I sign up. If anyone wants to try it, tell your lawyer that someone suggested "Undue Influence".
If you want to contact someone about starting a Class Action suit, try INTERCLAIM.COM. If they take your case, let me know and we will get 40,000 people to sign-up with you.
Question #7. Why are you so filled with hatred and bitterness?
I have to say that I really never had any feelings of hatred. Not any more than I would have for someone who broke into my house and stole something from me. I would want to see them in jail and unable to hurt people anymore. That is not hatred.
Anger and feelings of betrayal and being violated, yes. I guess having my webpage and being able to expose these con-men for what they really are has been therapeutic for me. Knowing that they are still making money off of people's fear of death and desire to serve God, makes me sick. I do hope that there is a God who will hold them responsible for all the evil and deception that they do in His name.
I would put all "religious leaders" in two categories:
1. Those who are just as ignorant as the people that they attempt to lead, (the blind leading the blind).
2. Those who know that religion is just one big con-job and are willing to use it for their own purposes.
As far as being bitter, see my page on Bitterness where I admit to being bitter, kind of.
I also have another page about Bitterness and Forgiveness and Ministerial Retirement.
If someone harms another human being, it is perfectly normal to have bad feelings towards them. In fact, it is a good way of self-defense and self-preservation because then you will not let that person or any other person hurt or damage you in that way again.
Naturally, the "Jesus pimps" will try to make you think otherwise so that they can continue to abuse you. They turn it all around so that you are the bad person if you don't forgive someone who has harmed you. Thankfully, we as a nation have not done as you would advise or we would all be German or Japanese today, or, most likely, not even here.
Your God can kill multiple millions of people in a "flood," cause "His People" to kill men, women and children in wars, allow millions of babies to be killed before they are even born, etc., etc., yet I am in trouble if I am pissed off at some religious hucksters who stole my money and my life for 25 years. Go figure. )
Question #8. Wasn't Herbie right about some things?
As far as ol' herbie being right about some things, I can't think of any that are important. Maybe when he said that we should always buy the very best quality we could afford, but that was nowhere near the best he could afford by using OUR money. But, there is also a saying: "Even a blind squirrel will find some nuts." Herbie found a lot of nuts, myself included, enough to enable him to live like a rich man, buy a lot of quality things and feel very important and ruin uncountable lives.
Question #9. Aren't you throwing the baby out with the bathwater? Should you reject all Christianity just because of what one church did to you?
I didn't throw the baby out with the bathwater. The baby was only a figment of my imagination. The baby never was there. The baby is much bigger than man-made religions. What one church did to me is make me finally think for myself after 25 years of mindless slavery.
You have to try to free your mind from all things that you have been indoctrinated with and try to start from scratch. Not with the Bible. Start with "is there a God?" and go from there. God should be provable without a Bible. Then do your research "ON" the Bible, not "IN" the Bible. When you do it honestly, you will see that there is no way that it is God's word. It is fallible, God has to be infallible. If God wanted to write a book that was necessary for our salvation, don't you think He would have written it so that all people could read it and that it wouldn't be subject to so many interpretations? Religion is so irrational.
If you can't believe the Bible, Jesus does not fit in. You cannot find him anywhere significant in history, other than the Bible. If the Bible falls, so does he. Yes, that is shocking and there are a lot of people that try to rationalize the two but you can't. Its either both or neither. The Bible stands on Christianity supporting it. Christianity stands on the Bible supporting it. They hold each other up, if you can imagine that. Its like the cartoons where a character runs off the edge of a cliff and just stands there in mid-air until it looks down and then falls. As long as no one looks down, religion stay up in the air. But the only thing holding it up are the delusional beliefs of its members. Only a religion that promises eternal life or eternal punishment could put over such a scam on gullible followers. They play on people's fear of death and the knowledge that people are too lazy to research their own beliefs. It is just so much easier to let someone else do the thinking for you.
Reason! Think! Free yourself from the religion trap.
Question #10 How did you come to a peace with God and your belief system?
I came through this in a step by step process that many people seem to go through in similar stages. Let me see if I can remember some of the stages:
1. When I had to read and study about the "new teachings" put forth by Tkach Sr., I could see that God's only true church, could be wrong, very wrong.
2. That led me to wonder about all those who had left the church before me and about the literature that some of them had tried to share with me but which I wouldn't even look at.
3. When I finally did read the literature, I could see that God's chosen apostle, Herbert W. Armstrong, was just a rotten, greedy s.o.b. And that is being very nice about him. Finding out the truth about him was a real eye opener for me.
4. Then I found out that his appointed successor, Joe Tkach Sr., was probably just as bad a person as he was.
5. That destroyed any faith that I had that God was working through any man. Especially so when I had some correspondence with his son, Joe Jr., and just got double talk back from him.
6. Then I could see the letters that were sent out and the articles in the Worldwide News were just a lot of propaganda and guilt laying to try to get people to stay and continue to send money to them.
7. Then I could also see that Joe Sr. was not very smart. He couldn't even give a decent sermon and he couldn't explain what the new beliefs even were without someone correcting what he had said the next week. He couldn't keep the doubletalk straight because he didn't even understand it.
8. Then I wrote Pasadena about all that I had read in the Ambassador Reports. Carroll Miller called me back and did his little tap dance around the truth and basically admitted that most of the stuff I asked about was true.
9. It was about this time that I got on the internet and was in contact with other members through wcgnet, an email list. There was a lot of discussion about many things and that helped me sort things out for myself.
10. Shortly after that, my wife and I decided to not attend any longer. We figured that we could read the Bible just as well as these idiots that had misled us for all these years and that, if we were going to make any mistakes from now on, they would be our own mistakes and not someone else's.
11. When a person goes through something like this, they feel really burned and the thing that was used to burn us was the Bible. I would say that most people that leave the Worldwide Church of God and never go anywhere else, probably hardly ever look at the Bible again. The way I look at it is that, if it is not infallible, then it isn't from God. But, I've covered that many other places on my site.
12. There is just so much information out there refuting the Bible that it is really incredible that the religion pimps get away with their scam so easily. But people are just too lazy to look into what they believe or even what their church believes. Religion is irrational and proud of it.
13. Once you prove the Bible is not God's word, you have no basis at all for believing there is or ever was a Jesus. That is just the way it is. You cannot find this person mentioned outside of the Bible in any reliable way. I know it is hard to accept.
14. So why do I believe there is a God then? I've read a lot of what atheists have written but do not accept it. I don't believe in Evolution either. Life and all creation is just too complex and beautiful to have happened by accident. I also don't believe it happened the way it is described in the Bible either. I think there is something more than what we know or can even comprehend going on here but I don't have a clue what it might be. Try watching the movie "Contact" some time. I would think that it is probably closer to that than the fairy tales in the Bible.
15. So, I come down to believing there probably at one time was a God, but one that is not communicating with me or anyone else.
16. So, I have to conclude that it must not be all that important to God to tell me anything special. If something was important for me to be doing, especially if my salvation depended on it, I would think He would reveal it to me through some means that I couldn't deny and nobody could refute. Anything other than that would be just plain criminal and certainly not be a God that would be worthy of worship.
17. So where does that leave me with belief in an afterlife? Don't know. Doesn't really matter because either there is an afterlife or there isn't. If there is, nobody can prove it. If there isn't, nobody will even know. We'll all find out some day but I don't need some religious types trying to explain it to me when I know they don't even have a clue and all that they say is just BS.
Question #11 I have lost my faith, what should I do?
First of all relax. Most likely you have simply lost faith in men because you now see that men mislead you. Just live your life the best you can. Be good to people. Help those you can help. Don't hurt people. Don't let anyone put any guilt trips on you. Be very wary of anyone trying to tell you they have the answers to the mysteries of life and death. Reason and think things out without other people telling you what you should think. Demand proof for anything someone wants you to believe.
They always told us to "prove all things," but how could we question our "faith?" Our faith was what was supposed to be unshakable. We had to have faith until the end or we would lose our salvation. Yet our faith was in a book. Our faith was in what other people told us the book said. True believers know that they had better stay away from any information that may reflect negatively on the Bible because that is the foundation of their faith and their hope, or so they are told. You would think that "god" would want us to question our "faith" just to make sure we have it right. What kind of "god" would want us to keep believing something when it may be completely wrong? Many people find a lot of comfort in that type of god, though. They are perfectly willing to let others do the thinking for them and tell them what to believe. The less intelligent and uneducated are more inclined to this type of religion. Maybe that explains some of the "ministers" we had.
Question #12 Why doesn't God tell us what He wants from us?
Yes indeed, why doesn't God tell us what He wants? Some people say that he does, through the Bible. But if the Bible is fallible, as is so easily provable, then you don't know what to believe out of it. But even people that believe it is infallibly God's word just pick and choose what they want to believe out of it anyhow.
So, if God does not tell us exactly what He wants, then maybe it is not all that important to Him. If He wanted to communicate with us, He could just write his message in the sky or beam it into our minds so that we would all know. He certainly would not choose to do it through a book that has many errors in it and has been subject to corruption's and political and religious manipulations all down through history. If salvation depends on reading a book how do you decide which translation? We no longer have the original. We no longer speak the same languages as it was written in. Maybe men have made God a lot more complicated than He ever intended Himself to be. And they do it through their religions.
If you want to think of god as a Father, as the Bible promotes, who is responsible, the lost child to find the Father, or the Father to find the lost child? Especially when the father knows exactly where the child is.
"I'm here god. I've been looking for you for 58 years. Now, are you going to punish me with eternal death because I haven't figured out where the hell you are?" I guess so, if you are a Christian.
Question #13 I am a little confused about the purpose of your site. Is it a site dedicated to the destruction of Christianity or the destruction of the Worldwide Church of God?
The purpose is Truth. If the Worldwide Church of God or Christianity or Religion in general falls in the face of Truth, then so be it. I don't believe God has anything to do with any of them. As your Bible says: You will know them by their fruits.
The purpose of this website is to help people to see that they should not be following men. The men they have followed and are following are exposed for what they really are, and religion is just a big business for these men. It is to release these followers from slavery to anti-God religion.
If you are a member or especially if you are a minister of the wcg, I would like your opinion on my "wcg Samaritan" article. I haven't heard a rational defense of this indefensible "Christian??" attitude of injuring people and then not making them whole again because now you have found Jesus. I do realize that religion does not have to be rational, indeed cannot be.
Religion is just like any other big business. They are in it for the money. In the case of religious businesses, they will sell you God, forgiveness, a life after death, peace of mind, superiority, a feeling that you know a secret, that you are special to God (more special than any other child of God,) that you are "God's People", it goes on and on. (And yes, you as a Christian, do feel you have all these things over non-believers. If they don't have Jesus, they are lost.) Find out what the people need or want and then sell it to them. Religious hucksters and pimps for God.
Question #14 What is Truth?
I define truth as what I believe today. Tomorrow it will be different. Truth is not future, truth is today. Truth is not something I claim but something I seek.
Truth is based on gathering all the facts and rationally trying to understand them. The facts I am able to gather tomorrow may be different than the ones I have today.
This is done with the understanding that people, governments, religions and other businesses shade and manipulate and hide the truth about the past and the present to suit their own purposes.
I think that the only people that are sure of what Truth is are the ones that are living in a fantasy world. Did that for twenty-five years. Some people are so dogmatic about their beliefs that they will not believe anything else even if they are hit over the head with it. They can't change because they have too much of their lives invested in their beliefs. To admit that they have been wrong for so long is something they can't accept. They would rather not even think about it. And, of course, the cult feeds them the crap about losing their salvation if they "turn back." Its all mind control.
Question #15 What is your definition of a Christian?
I would say that it is anyone that claims to follow Christ whether they actually do or not. People can say "that church or that man is not a Christian because he doesn't act like a Christian, therefore you can't blame the evils that are done in Christ's name on Christianity." But, does that mean that, since no Christian is a perfect Christian, there are therefore NO Christians? I would have to say that all who claim to be Christian are Christian whether they are good or bad people and whether other Christians like it or not.
a. An organized system of beliefs and rituals centering on a supernatural being or beings.
b. Adherence to such a system.
2. A belief upheld or pursued with zeal and devotion.
Christianity is a religion, a belief, a faith. It has rituals and supernatural beings and some of its adherents are zealous. And the more they read the Bible, the more zealous they are. Most Christians don't even read the Bible but they still "believe." The ones that do read the Bible, don't want to read anything critical about the Bible. They are afraid to because they don't WANT to find out that they may be wrong; all wrong. "Don't confuse me with the facts, I've made up my mind."
And Christianity is so divided as to its beliefs that there are multiple variations of different churches all within the Christian religion that think that all the other Christian churches are at least a little bit wrong and they are right. Is Christ divided? You bet he is.
Most Christians just believe because they were raised in the religion. They have never investigated their beliefs or the Bible. They just believe. They are held captive by the church's power over the afterlife. They may be otherwise very intelligent people but, in regards to religion, they just believe whatever they have been taught.
When I was being sucked into the Worldwide Church of God Cult, I asked my Catholic priest some difficult Bible questions. He told me that he depended on his superiors to sort through questions about the Bible. Unfortunately, that is what most people do. They think that God must be too complicated for us to understand so they turn to the people that say they have the answers; paradoxically, these are the people that have made God so complicated. And these people that claim to have the answers make a nice, easy living off of these sheep that need someone to lead them because they are too lazy to think for themselves.
Its a great business.
Question #16 Why don't you just get on with your life and leave the Worldwide Church of God and Herbert W. Armstrong alone?
It is because there are a few, like myself, that will not just go away and get on with our lives that the rest of you can go away without feeling guilty about leaving your brethren still trapped in a prison of lies. After all, we don't all have to be policemen and keep an eye on the bad people if there are some that are willing to do that.
So, if I were to just pack up my webpage and go away, would that be showing love to those still trapped in lies, deceit and guilt? You can bet that those ministers in the xCG's would love that.
Sorry, it is because I care about these misled people that I still stick around. I'm not trying to get revenge. I'm just trying to help people understand what was done to them in the name of God.
Question #17 Aren't you making false accusations?
I make no false accusations. In fact, if you or your church can prove anything on The Painful Truth to be false, I will remove it. I have offered that from the beginning.
Question #18 Our minister has so wonderfully tried to help those bodies lying in the road.
Oh, I guess he has access to the millions of dollars that will be made with the sale of Big Sandy and Pasadena Campus'? I suppose he is going looking for all the persons whom this church has just ruined their lives and is trying to make things physically right? How about all the people that never got a college education, is he now putting them through college? How about all the people that had their families broken up by his teachings? Is he going to them and asking what it would take to make them physically whole again or what type of compensation they should receive for their anguish and suffering? How about all the people that will have no retirement because they were blackmailed into sending everything they had to the church? Is he funding their retirement with the Sale money or his OWN retirement? What would the Christian thing to do be for a Christian minister that has done so much harm? What about all the people that are sick to this day because of the teachings of this church? Is your minister now paying the medical bills for these people?
Wouldn't a minister of God see that some people may have a hard time mindlessly forgiving such egregious errors, all done in God's name, without true repentance?
As Christian leaders, if they really think that people are "bitter" and therefore condemned to eternal death because of THEIR actions, wouldn't a true representative of God do whatever was necessary for the healing of people, even just one person? Even if it meant for that minister giving up his "job" as a minister and getting out of the religion "business?" Or is the money just too good and too easy and do they enjoy feeling important too much to do whatever is necessary, like sign my apology page, and save some miserable, bitter soul? Well, we see how many signed up. They are, plain and simple: Hirelings.
I could go on but it is obvious that these men are not interested in anything but themselves and money. Are they at all like Mother Theresa who lived to help and heal people, or do they just talk the talk and not walk the walk? The answer is obvious.
Question #19 Aren't you afraid of how people may react to the truth?
I am concerned that people have the truth hid from them by the very church leaders that they trust to tell them the truth. But I don't think it is my responsibility to try to speak smooth words to try to convert them to my way of thinking. I don't feel anyone is lost because they are in the wrong church so I don't feel any responsibility to try to rescue them from any church. I will speak the truth and let things get sorted out based on truth rather than lies.
I make the truth available to those that want it, that their loving church leaders won't tell them because they want to keep them in slavery. I don't even care what they do once they learn the truth. Go ahead and stay in the xCG's. If they do that after they find out how they were used and misused by corrupt men, that is their business. I would hope that people would learn to never trust another man (or a book) again with their spiritual life but I doubt that many will do that. Some people need to have others do their thinking for them. Been there, done that.
Question #20 How can I convince someone that their religion is wrong?
What would it take for me to convince you that YOUR religion is wrong? Religion is built on faith not on proof. No religion has any proof regarding their beliefs about God. And that is because there is NO proof. You would have to have serious doubts about your religion before you would ever seriously listen to me. Same goes for anyone that YOU are trying to convince about THEIR religion.
People believe what they do, not because they have proof. They believe it because they WANT to believe it. Most will close their minds to any proof to the contrary that you can present unless they already have some doubts.
"Truth has to fall on fertile soil." Paula D'Arcy, in "Gift of the Red Bird"
Question #21 Do you consider yourself as a "Good Samaritan" when you openly trash and condemn other human beings on your website?
Yes, I do consider myself a Good Samaritan. If people are trashed by whatever is on my website, they are trashed by the truth about themselves. They trash themselves. These are not the little people, the sheep. These are those that would be leaders of little people. These are those that would stand in-between the people and God. They should be judged more harshly than the sheep. Seems to me that your Bible says something about that too.
Question #22 Doesn't the Bible say that it is the Word of God?
I guess so, but so what? You can't prove the book is from God by quoting "from" the book. That is not evidence. Herbie tried to prove the book was true by plagiarizing another churches' booklet on the same subject: fulfilled prophesy. The proofs failed miserably resulting in the book's recall. You have to find some other reason to believe it is God's word.
Question #23 What, in your opinion, is life all about?
I don't know. Life is like a giant jigsaw puzzle and we don't have all the pieces. We get a few pieces together and we think we know what the picture is going to look like. But then some more pieces get put in, and we see it differently. Well, what about the person that didn't get to see those extra pieces? Or refuses to see them? Is he wrong? Yes. We are now on two different levels of "seeing" or understanding the big picture. Was I wrong in my understanding before? Yes. Am I wrong now? Yes, because I will see more of the pieces later on and my understanding or view of the big picture will change again.
What is a shame is when a person gets their One True Piece From God and refuses to examine it just like any other piece of the puzzle. Then they refuse to put any more pieces into the puzzle. So they stop growing and learning and are locked into that one level. That is the way we were in the Worldwide Church of God. That is the way all churches are today and always were.
Does it matter that I am wrong and will continue to be wrong? I guess not because nobody will see the whole picture in this life, if at all. I don't think that God will condemn us for being wrong when everyone is wrong. Just do the best you can with what you know today.
Question #24 Why was JWT chosen to head the "work"? One would think that Hulme, Hoeh, etc. would have gotten the job.
Why did Herbert W. Armstrong pick JWT Sr.? God only knows.
Perhaps it was because Herbie saw so much of himself in Sr:
1. Neither having a high school education.
2. Both ruling with a heavy hand.
3. Tkach Sr. being just as corrupt as herbie if you can believe many of the published stories out there.
4. At least being a liar like herbie.
Maybe Herbie thought that, if Tkach had a lot to cover up, that he wouldn't reveal herbie's multitude of sins, which Tkach did know about.
We have to remember that herbie did not have the best interests of the members in mind; never did. It was all "self interest", his self.
The only thing that has ever driven the leaders of this church is power and money.
Question #25 Would God leave us without an instruction manual?
If it didn't matter, He would.
He certainly would not leave a manual that most of the people who have ever lived have never even had a chance to look at.
He would not leave it so confusing and ambiguous that everyone who reads it can get something completely different out of it.
He would make absolutely clear exactly what He wants from people and not leave it up to each person to find the right church that is correctly obeying Him in every way and the rest can all go to hell.
Does God look at us as just a bunch of rats in a maze that He hopes we find the right way out? Otherwise tough? It seems that most Christians look at it this way. That is why they are afraid to investigate what they believe. 'Don't confuse me with any facts, I've made up my mind. I've found the way out of the maze and don't tell me otherwise or I will have to start searching all over again and that is too hard.'
Seems like most people are so afraid of losing their salvation that they think they have found in a particular religion, that they can't even entertain a possibility that they may be wrong. That is how so many people have been burned, tortured, maimed, killed in the name of religion. It is done by people afraid to think that they may be wrong and don't want to think about any other way. If they can just kill off the opposition, that proves they are right. Christians have been very good at this, and they get it all out of the "Holy" Bible.
Question #26 I was a member too but they never controlled me. I made my own decisions regarding tithing, healing, etc.
As Herbert W. Armstrong told us many times, half of the members would not make it into the kingdom. Did you consider yourself in the half that would make it? How could you possibly think that, if you did not do all that God's Apostle told you to do? Cults do not encourage freethinking. I've got good news for you, YOU were never IN the cult. You may have sat there, and even given money, but if your mind was not controlled, you were not a member. You were not a true believer. There is no way that you can understand what the rest of us went through. That doesn't mean that you haven't suffered from exposure to the cult, though.
Question #27 How do you feel about God?
I believe there is a God of some kind.
I do not think the bible is inspired by God; it is flawed. God would not inspire something that is flawed and make our salvation conditional on belief in it.
Religion, all religion, is a fraud. It is used to control people and/or make money.
If it were important to God that we worship Him in a particular way, He would make it obvious; no doubts. Anything less would mean that God is not even as fair and nice as He expects us to be. If that is the way He is, He isn't worthy of my worship.
I believe, just by using common sense, that we should be good to one another and help one another. I don't need the Ten commandments to tell me right from wrong. Everybody just play nice.
Common sense says that, if there is a God and if this life is all there is, then it is a most futile existence for the majority of people who have ever lived. Hopefully there is something better waiting for us all on the other side. The only ones that know for sure are dead, the rest of us are just hoping we are right. Religionists, deep down inside, hope they are right and everyone else is wrong. I hope everyone is wrong and God is bigger than anything we could possibly imagine.
Question #28 I'm puzzled why you would have borrowed money to pay 3rd tithe.....was that the result of ministerial advice, or your choice? If it was the result of ministerial advice, I would hate to be in your pastor's shoes at judgment day.
I guess you have never sat through the sermons about stealing from God. I would never do that. I would rather have sold all I had than to steal from God. They guilted it out of us. Pure and simple. Don't forget that there were a lot of us ready to march out into the desert and die for what we believed, like a bunch of lemmings. I would hate to be in any of these ministerial type's shoes; ANY of those who presume to speak for God. But, that is assuming that there is a god that will repay them for the evil that they do.
Also see: "Insights Into How Herbert W. Armstrong Did It"
Question #29 Herbert W. Armstrong must have said a thousand times......don't believe me...prove it for yourself by reading the Bible. For some, I guess, the path of least resistance was to accept what was said, and not check it out.
Now how could you prove something other that what Herbert W. Armstrong taught and stay in the "only true church?" That is ridiculous. You accepted it because you must be wrong because the "Truth" came from God's apostle. Who were we to Question this enlightened one? Our whole salvation rested on staying in the True church. To leave or be kicked out was like the dog eating his own vomit. You have to be kidding me. There could be no resistance at all.
Question #30 Can I ask a small favor? How about a text-only version? This would allow much faster loading, as well as a quicker, clearer overview of the material you're presenting.
After many years of playing with graphics, most of them have now been retired for faster loading pages.
Question #31 Why do so many people not use their names with their email?
It is my policy to not use a full name unless a person gives me specific permission to do it. All email sent to me regarding the website is subject to publication for the benefit of those who find value in seeing how other people react to the site and their different opinions. If you want to make accusations against the ministry by name or tell about the terrible things that your minister did to you and give his name, then you must give me your name and address. I will not publish your name but I have to have it. You must be ready to stand up for the accusations you make. We don't have to be afraid of these manipulators anymore.
Let's just be clear about one thing: When you send email to someone, it belongs to them. Your email address also belongs to them. It is the same as snail mail. If someone has your home address, they can give it to whoever they want. They can make an address CD and sell it to other people. There are lots of those programs out there. If you are famous, they can sell your letter to someone else. Email is the same. All I can say is that I will do my best to maintain anyone's anonymity, if that is what they want and I assume that is what they want unless they tell me otherwise. Hate mail is a different subject.
Question #32 What if I am offended by what I find on The Painful Truth website?
Doesn't your Bible say something about "nothing will offend them, referring to true Christians?" Sorry about that, but just go away and don't come back. If you are offended by truth, you should not enter my site. I am offended by the Worldwide Church of God's lack of true, deep repentance for all the harm that has been done in the name of God and their concentration on one thing: MONEY.
Question #33 Do you hate Herbert W. Armstrong?
I do not hate Herbert W. Armstrong, I hate the worship of Herbert W. Armstrong. The man has to be exposed by the Truth about him so the worship of him and the using of him to control people and make money will end. the Worldwide Church of God still uses him even though they know all the information on The Painful Truth, yet they will not disown him because he means money to them.
Question #34 Why don't you have more articles on the Worldwide Church of God offshoot churches such as United, Global or Philadelphia?
I was a member of Worldwide Church of God. I know very little about these other churches. If anyone from these churches would like to expose their hypocrisies, feel free to write it up and send it to me.
Question #35 I need to have documented evidence that ol' herbie actually did commit incest with his daughter, can you tell me where I can find it?
Why don't you apply this same type of critical examination to the Bible? But I digress.
From my "Why They Didn't Want You To Read Newspapers" page. I have copies of copies of these newspapers but some of them are almost unreadable because of people highlighting the vital parts with a color that doesn't copy well and underlining and making notes. If you do get a clean paper, I would like a copy.
1.The Tulsa World newspaper: July 22, 1980, regarding the attempted book ban on David Robinson's book, Herbert W. Armstrong's Tangled Web. (They took Robinson to court but they didn't do it in regards to the incest, they didn't dispute it at all. They took him to court saying that it revealed confidences between ministers and members. THEY LOST. Get the book. This is not a bitter man but a shocked and disillusioned man. He continued to keep the teachings of Herbert W. Armstrong until he died just a few years ago. He gave up a very good paying job as a high ranking minister and his retirement to tell you the truth about Herbert W. Armstrong. He ended up as a janitor in a school.)
2.The Tulsa World newspaper: May 11 and 12, 1984 regarding the divorce.
Click Here for scanned image of this newspaper article.
Click here for the Los Angeles Times version of this article.
Note that the scans are BIG files and will take a few minutes for the pages to load.
3. News of the World (an English newspaper) August 1, 1982, regarding Herbert W. Armstrong buying an audience with Prince Charles and Mrs. Thatcher.
Click here for scan of original newspaper article.
Note that the scans are BIG files and will take a few minutes for the pages to load.
4. News of the World, August 1, 1982, where Herbert W. Armstrong lied about co-hosting a film premier with Queen Elizabeth II.
5. The New Times LA (a weekly paper in Los Angeles) article Dec 4, 1997 entitled "Honey, I Shrunk The Church."
This is a blockbuster article which features a lot of good research by the reporter. One item even mentions Richard David Armstrong II (grandson of herbie) telling about Dorothy, his Aunt, and the incest.
6. See quotations from Garner Ted Armstrong's "Origin and History of the Church of God International" where he tells of his confrontation with HWA.
7. See Garner Ted Armstrong's response to a letter asking him about the incest.
8. See Rod Meredith's letter in response to the same question. What RM and Garner Ted Armstrong tell you in these letters by what they DON'T say, is very revealing. Watch out for the tap dancing though. They are good at that.
9. See the Incest and Inspiration article.
10. See the Kessler Letter.
11. See Herbert Armstrong (HA) Admits Incest.
12. See "Pastor" Wilbur Berg's comment that Herbert W. Armstrong had repented of "that" long ago.
If you require that only people that were NOT labeled as bitter or angry can tell you the truth, who will you ever find? Whenever anyone said anything against the church or the Armstrongs, they were automatically labeled bitter or angry or dissident and promptly kicked out of the church. I remember when Jack Kessler wrote his famous letter (I have a copy of the original) and they kicked him out; all we were told was that he was having "mental problems." We had his father, Doc Kessler, for an Associate Pastor around that time but we never heard anything about the letter. You have to realize that these "leaders" in the church were unscrupulous and very willing to lie to perpetuate the money machine.
Read Ambassador Report #27. It contains out-takes of the proceedings of the divorce trial.
You can check the Maricopoa County Court House in Arizona for the transcripts. It won't be cheap. John Trechak, of Ambassador Reports, offered to do a research on it for about $400 a few years ago. If you do go to all the trouble and expense of doing it, let me know.
I would direct you to Bruce Renehan's "Daughter of Babylon" an exposé of the Worldwide Church of God and Armstrong
Also see Wm. Dankenbrings page: dankenbring.htm
See my "Book Page" for a lot of reading material on the cult.
One book from that page that I would recommend is "Armstrongism: Religion or Rip-Off?" by Marion McNair. Marion is one of the brothers of Raymond and Carl McNair (Carl was my local minister for about 8 years). Marion was brother-in-law to Roderick Meredith until his sister, Rod's wife, died. He was a minister in the church before he left in the '70's.
For some people, they would not believe the truth about herbie if he told them himself. It is too painful to admit that they were duped by a corrupt, child-abusing, incestuous, sexual pervert. They would rather just continue believing the lies from men that must not believe there truly is a God who is watching them. I do believe there is a God that I am accountable to, and I act accordingly.
Question #36 I was wondering if your web page concerning Worldwide Church of God was meant for before or after the split. Were you once a member?
I was wondering if you have read my FAQ? Please do, all of it, before replying to this.
Then, if you would like to defend the present administration on FAQ #2, I would be glad to hear it. Nobody has been able to give me a rational answer yet. How does a Christian church act so UN-Christian and get away with it? How do the present members rationalize it?
I would say that present members have to take on all responsibility for the horrendous past, and responsibility for all the damage done to members and children in the past, when they decide to stay with or join the NEW! and IMPROVED! Worldwide Church of God. Just as the present government and citizens of the USA of this day are not responsible for putting thousands of US citizens of Japanese heritage in prison camps during WW 2, yet the courts and the government recognized the responsibility to pay reparations to the people that had been wronged. Guilt by association and by choice.
Those that choose to support the present "New Christian Worldwide Church of God" owe it to all those this church has damaged to find all these people and do the best they can to make these people whole again. It is your Christian duty and it would be even if there were no "old money" sitting around in the properties purchased before this administration. Your Christian duty would be to prove your Christianity by acting as Christ would and helping those your chosen church has damaged, not in trying to "grow" your present church membership.
Until you do that, you are Christian in name only. You are pretend Christians. You deceive yourselves.
>>You bring shame to the name of Christ.>>
I accuse all of you of being unchristian, ministers and members, in the name of God, if you do indeed believe in a God.
I accuse you in the name of Jesus, that you are un-Christian, all of you, ministers and members.
What is that bible verse? "Come out of her my people that you be not partakers of her sins or her punishments." Something like that. When you associate yourself with evil, you will be part of that evil. The new Worldwide Church of God is a whited sepulcher, full of dead men's bones. It may look Christian on the outside but it is rotten inside.
Question #37 I have read on the internet that you are crazy. Are you crazy?
Am I the crazy one because I do not accept the Bible as God's Word, since it is riddled with inconsistencies and contradictions and downright errors, and I think that any perfect being would be appalled to be associated, in any way, with such an imperfect book? Does that make me crazy?
Or, are those who are "crazy" who do believe this book is divinely inspired and its Fairy Tales are true, such as God killing off all living things but saving some humans and a whole bunch of animals on an Ark, all less than 5000 years ago; or God giving directions to a man to kill his son as a test of his loyalty to Him? Those people are put in jail or executed these days. Why aren't they believed, but some old guy in an ancient book of other fairy tales is believed and revered as a patriarch? Just because everybody else believes it? And how many teenage mothers have given "virgin" births? More than one named Mary, 2003 years ago. Or how about people that worship and make a god out of a man that they cannot prove ever existed? Or they believe that a serpent talked. Or the whole creation was made in 6 days. Or they believe the sun stood still, when it is the earth that revolves, not very scientific there, but it is just as preposterous to believe that the earth stood still. I guess I am the crazy one.
According to Isaiah, the moon produces its own light and the earth does not move. Isa. 13:10 I guess that I am the crazy one.
Is it crazy for me to expect the god that inspires the bible to be just a little bit smarter than the people he is inspiring? Isn't it just a little strange that this so called "god" can't inspire these writers to NOT have the same superstitious and ignorant lack of scientific knowledge as the rest of the people of the age in which they live? But, I guess that I am the crazy one.
The bible teaches the denigration and subjection of women but I do not believe that. That makes me crazy.
The God of the Bible sanctioned and even instituted slavery, but I feel it is evil. I am the crazy one.
Jonah was swallowed by a fish, a donkey spoke, a stick turned into a snake. I guess if I do not believe these things, that you do, I am the crazy one.
Anybody who looks into the Bible and comes out believing that God inspired it keeps his "faith" only by subverting his own reasoning and denying reality. But I am the one who is crazy!
If a person rejects logic, evidence, science, and reason, as most Christians do, who is crazy?
I think people that ruin other people's lives, for money, ought to be responsible for the harm they have done regardless of the claim that they are God's representatives and therefore immune to that responsibility, contrary to their supposed Savior's teaching, and that makes me crazy.
I could go on and on but why bother? I'll take my brand of "crazy" over religious "sanity" any day.
Question #38 The editor of the Plain Truth Website has made some awful allegations about this website. How do you respond?
Answer: Who was it that said: "say what you want about me, just spell my name right"? Well, as long as he gets my URL right..................
I don't know where he gets some of the comments
"People who reject God and the Bible will not automatically be nice people. Rather, they will probably end up being immoral and rude, just like the hypocrites who go to church but don't obey the laws of God. "
I guess we know what would happen to his morals or ethics if he did not have the god of the bible standing over him with the threat of eternal torture and damnation. I prefer to have ethics and morals in spite of religion.
"Some writers brag about smoking, getting drunk, fornicating, undressing the little neighbor girl, being homosexual, etc. Sometimes, they seem to be worse than the people they criticize."
Where the hell did he get that? What is wrong with smoking? Is that a sin? Oh. I almost forgot. People did get kicked out of the cult for that, didn't they.
"Getting drunk?" I guess Herbie set the example for that. I don't do it myself. I would say that membership in the cult would give a person reason enough to be a drunk, though.
"Undressing the little neighbor girl"? Where is that? I did a search of the site and the word undress is only used on two pages. One is GTA and Geraldo and the other is the Acts of God page.
>>Is he referring to Herbert W. Armstrong and his daughter?>>
Without the bible ruining my life and screwing up my mind, I no longer stand in judgment of people's sexual preferences. I have no desire to participate with them but they can do in private what they want, as adults.
>>I use the "reversed circumstances" test: I am heterosexual. If the majority of humans were homosexual and I had to change, could I? No. So, I don't expect them to change just because I am in the majority.>>
As in the past, I have noticed that Christians have no problem lying for Jesus. I accuse the author of the Plain Truth Website of being a liar just like his father, the devil.
I could get into a debate with the guy but I don't have the time or the desire.
He has a couple of links to my site, I don't to his. Who wins that battle? He won't even put a counter on his pages. I'll bet he doesn't get too many hits.
Question #39 Does God answer Prayer?
For anyone to think that their god manipulates what would normally happen in the future just to answer their prayer is incredibly self-centered and delusional. To think that the whole future of mankind can be manipulated by one or millions of "Christians" praying for various things, jobs, mates, family, life, death, children, sickness, healing, football games, parking places, what have you, boggles the mind of any thinking person.
I can just see this "god" pondering whether or not to answer a prayer of a good Christian woman who needs a parking place close to the grocery store. God has to know that, if he answers her prayer, she will get back to her car 30 seconds sooner than if he doesn't answer the prayer. In that case she will get home 30 seconds sooner and find that her husband is home but about to leave to play golf. Plans change and they have a romantic interlude and a child is conceived with a sperm and ovum in a combination that never would have been reproduced at any other time. If god had not answered her prayer, the child never would have been conceived, etc., etc. And, since this god can see the future he has to know that this child will grow up to be a great doctor that will save millions of lives because of his discovery of a cure for cancer but one of his grandchildren will assassinate the President and result in a nuclear war that will push humanity back to the dark ages. So, should God answer the lady's prayer and get her a parking place or not? The same mind boggling consequences hold true for any other answered prayers. Everything changes when a prayer is answered. Is it fair to everyone else that this lady prays for a parking place?
>>(See the Consequences of Answered Prayer article)>>
Does god keep dancing around on the head of a pin trying to juggle all prayer requests and interventions to try to keep the future consequences to a minimum or does he answer prayers and just let things change, willy nilly?
Go rent the movie: "Frequency." Just got done watching it. An excellent demonstration of the results of how everything changes when you alter what would have happened without external interference. It would be unconscionable for any god to interfere in our lives. The consequences are too great.
It is no wonder that there is much more evidence for the complete non-involvement of any God in the lives of human beings than there is for any god that cares about us. That would be the only "fair" way for a god to operate. Let things play out on their own. No interventions. Period. All evidence says that we are on our own. Expect no help from any god. Take whatever help you can get from others and work things out for yourself. That is the best you are going to get.
>> (See the Acts of God article)
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