The Painful Truth About The Worldwide Church of God

Email: Sweet and Sour
(Page One)

(Mail from Kooks, Nuts and Loonies is on another page)

Email, Indexed by DATE

Received on 9/9/97:

Hello All:

For anyone who may not know Ed or his Painful Truth page; I can tell you that when he says he'll use your name only if you specify; And that he want's to protect your anonymity, he means it.

I don't really know Ed. But I know he has integrity. He once asked permission to use a quote of mine. He assured me full anonymity. I thanked him and told him he was welcome to the quote only if he USED my name. (Sorry about the Herbie emphasis there, folks.) He did.

If you have an horror story to tell, you can rest assured that Ed will keep it as far from your name as you want it.

Go get 'em, Ed!
Roger Blakesley


Hi Ed.

We share your pain. But in my case it's also a deep, gut wrenching bitterness. My wife and I were in the Armstrong cult for over 25 years. We recently celebrated our 51st wedding anniversary. It bothers me no end that half that time period was spent in a religious woozyland. In all that time we thought we were obeying and pleasing God, but in reality we were obeying and pleasing Herbert

During our tenure, we were unaware of all the books on the open market about Worldwide Church of God exposes. We were warned from the pulpit to ignore such literature and gossip, telling us it was Satan trying to destroy "God's Church." We were to see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil. So we went along, paying, praying and having our minds bent all out of shape by an old pervert who had delusions of granduer.

I sincerely believe the stench from headquarters became so great that God brought the hammer down. He shook at least 40,000 of us out of a mesmerized state. We are now stay-at-home christians and looking out for our own salvation. God gave us a mind to use freely, not to be controlled. (Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.) We will never again trust another minister. We are studying the bible with an OPEN mind which is Gods' intent. And it's all beginning to make sense.,A lot more than the warped religious crap Herbert dished out. "My load is easy," said Christ. Old Herbert had us loaded down like a pack mule.

During world war II an OSS agent was rescued from the nazis who were intensely interrogating him. He thanked his rescuers profusely.
"I can't tell you how grateful I am." he gasped,
"Did you talk?" one rescuers asked.
"No," answered the agent, "but just before I was rescued, they debated whether to put my testicules in a vice.
I think I would have talked then."

This would have been a fitting tribute to HWA, but in his case he probably didn't have any.

take care,
Name Witheld


Received on 9/25/97:


I just read the update from the two sisters and I can identify with their thoughts having grown up Worldwide Church of God from the age of 10 in 1964. My husband and I left with wings on our feet a little over a year ago and wish we had done so much earlier.

I was struck by this comment--"You attended your high school prom with someone who was a total stranger to your classmates". Mine and my husband's would be--"You never attended your high school prom (or any other school activity for that matter, except Open House and often not even Open House if it fell during the Feast)." Another one would be "You were a total stranger to your classmates."

Our two sons are now 16 and 14 and it's time for Homecoming at their school. My heart is full watching them contemplate who they will ask and whether they should wear a suit or a sport coat, etc. To see them living a normal teenage life is such a wonderful experience for us. They are actually participating in important events in their young lives that my husband and I had to watch from the sidelines and pretend it didn't matter because, after all, as our parents and the ministers always reminded us, we did have a "church prom" and "church sports", and the Feast instead of Christmas (although we were told not to think of the Feast as a substitute for Christmas because excess tithe was to be sent in to HQ not used for selfish desires like presents).

I can also identify with the comment about the thought of setting foot in any church sends you running screaming into the night! To me, "religion" is man-made and I just do not feel trust for any "religion". I believe that I can have a good relationship with God without any "religion" telling me how to go about it.

Well, I just wanted to send you my comments and let you know that your site is appreciated.

Paula Thurston


Received on 10/8/97:

Dear Mr. ,

Would you mind if I called you Ed? After reading so much on your "Painful Truth" site I feel that I know you pretty well.

We are ex Bricket Wood AC students, ex Worldwide Church of God members and ex ministers. Great record eh? What prompts me to write is the hilarious exchange between you and Donald Raymond Wheatley. I couldn't believe what he was writing. What do I mean I can't believe it? Of course I can. But to see it in writing was really incredible.

I hope these people can and will defend Jesus Christ with the same vim, vigor and ferocity that they put up for HWA. I came across a UK site where the minister said that he had heard someone speaking against HWA after their last sabbath service. This member wasn't aware that he had been overheard. Well did this minister write a tirade against speaking in negative terms re the founder of their faith, etc. You know the stuff.

I thought the church was Christ centered not HWA centered. Live and learn. I had been in Worldwide Church of God since I was 8 in 1958 and I am now 47 and I still can't shake all of the Worldwide Church of God out of my system. It seems that it will be a life long project.

I have found some laughs and tears on the various sites of Mark T. and David Covington. I think that you all are very brave to write some of the things that you do when there must still be some fanatics out there who would like to stop you. Thank God someone is doing it. Enjoy the pepperoni. And keep the faith of Jesus Christ. He is the only one we can trust.

I wouldn't worry about Loma and Herbert in the Kingdom, I think God can take of you.

Rodney and Lorraine Gowland


Received on 12/10/97:

Ed ,

Thank you so much for providing this page . I have referred to it several times over the past few months and its been very helpful. i stopped attending Worldwide Church of God in Sept 97 . I was a member since Dec 1986 . the contents of your website are important. To keep silent about the injustices would only help perpetuate them.

I've read statements by you, Rodney Lain and others and I applaud your actions. if any of the ministers who have been abusive to me during my time in Worldwide Church of God ,had done this to me in a personal way before I was a member, I would have knocked them on their collective asses. I have always hated a bully and some of these men were spiritual bullies, intimidating those placed under them.

I have seen grown men stammer and fumble when answering some of these bullies. it was extremely difficult to submit to abuse. the lion share of us who submitted thought we were submitting to god by taking their abuse . I know now not to submit to any man as a spiritual authority.

I hope someday we all see the crumbling of Worldwide Church of God. I just hope that JWT doesn't get to walk away with all the marbles.

John Mcguire



Received on 1/23/98:

I've recently read a copy of the book. However on your web page the book has on the front of it Censored in Tulsa. Is this a new release? What is meant by that statement?

I like your web site and I see that your adding to it regularly. I was raised in the Worldwide Church of God, but my family left it when I was 16 or 17. I think it was 74 but I'm not sure. Anyway I sure remember all those FOT services in Big Sandy with the long sermons and then listening to the adults talk about going to Petra.

Well, thanks for all of your work to maintain this web site.

Doug Lovett


Thanks for your site.

I now have your motto "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" written in my filofax for easy reference.

I have had emails from 3 different Worldwide Church of God ministers since I have left. None of them addressed the issues I had raised; each of them denied anything negative about the church and accused me of looking for a 'perfect' church. I was starting to doubt my own decision (still those mind games!), but fortunately, your site and others helped to reassure me.

Thanks again,
Helen Lee


Received on 1/26/98:


That HWA letter you posted just blew my mind!

How low could he get? (but we know that HWA sank even lower!)

Fabulous! Thanks for posting it.

It's interesting that even though he was expecting the great tribulation to start 5 years later, he still pressured the membership to give more money for construction projects, even though they would be needed only a year or two after they had been finished. It's obvious that he knew all along that there would be no flight to Petra in 1972. He just used that false prophecy as a club to squeeze money out of the membership, the same way you or I would squeeze toothpaste out of a tube.

I love your site. Great stuff!

Best regards,
Name witheld.



Received on 2/8/98:

Hi Ed,

Just a short note to say thank you for your web page. It has helped settle some questions I have had for more that 30 years. I started attending Worldwide Church of God in 1952, along with my mom and sister. I was only eight years old and ripe for brain washing. I finally quit Worldwide Church of God in 1992 when our local minister lied to me and nearly caused the death of one of the youths.

Thanks again Ed for all your hard work in publishing "The Painful Truth".

Your brother in Christ
Bob W.



Received on 2/11/98:

Dear Mr :

With Mr. Armstrong gone, you are God?s new apostle. Your very name, , means something - just like Mr. Armstrong?s! with the syllables reversed is TELL MEN! This is a FACT that cannot be denied! You are known by your fruits so, if you deny it, that PROVES you must be an apostle because only an apostle would question he is one! Begin now to TELL MEN, MR. !!!!!!!!!!!

Please answer the following questions so we can begin to live life ABUNDANT with JOY, the way GOD INTENDED!

What color car should I drive? I know you may prefer white ones like God?s first apostle, but NEW TRUTH may have been revealed to you to pass on to HIS CHURCH.

Should I put honey or whole wheat on open wounds? If I am decapitated, can I see a doctor just to sew the unused lump back on? If I had half the faith you do, I should not even ask these questions! I am weak, a stinking, putrid lump of human waste before the great GOD and YOU as his representative on this earth. I am truly SORRY that I even THOUGHT of these questions.

Can you please tell me what the Bible says so I can look at it and see for myself? Every time I begin to ask a question in my mind, SATAN enters and tries to get me off the track by having independent thought. Please carry out this GREAT COMMISSION in a way that I will never have to think again! Please write some booklets Mr. , to feed the FLOCK!

How should I love my Daughter? I know from God?s former apostle?s example that they were given as special gifts, or is that only for really, really important leaders in the church at this time? I do not want to partake of anything reserved for the apostle class. I am a sheep.

Where can I send 30% and more of my income so you can continue the work? My blue polyester western leisure suit still fits (sort of), and you will need the money to carry the Painful Truth around the world in this end time! As long as I have a vinyl briefcase and can walk around after church with a Styrofoam cup of coffee after church, I am supporting your upturned arms with cash! Please only give FINEST QUALITY gifts to the people you pay to meet with. SATAN will try to have you save money and spend it on the so called sick and impoverished! DO NOT GIVE IN! Buy something really, really, really big just to show THE GREAT GOD is in control of this WORK! The less we need it the better! We will support you!

This is just a start. As GOD started with just Herbert and Loma, he too, has started to raise up his work again through you and not those other deceived leaders of CONFUSION! You have reached the WORLD with you web page, which means the END TIMES are here! When we flee, I want to have a cave next to you, if I qualify.

Your steaming lump of excrement servant in Jesus,



Received on 2/12/98:


The previous letter was most certainly a joke. I imagine you get a lot of nutty e-mail. I should have included a note to that effect like my wife suggested. Sorry. I am 38 years old and the first 35 were spent in the insanity of the Worldwide Church of God. My wife (who also grew up in the cult) and I share your distaste for religion and especially of all things Herbert.

We share the primary points of your webpage manifesto, mainly:

Herbert was a creep who made us all suffer for his personal dysfunctions.

The Worldwide Church of God today and all the splits are just more of the same old crap.

If God designed the Bible as his primary communication with mankind, he is incompetent.

Religion has been historically used to control people.

God does not care about religion.

Your webpage is humorous, sarcastic, enlightening but I do not find it bitter. The truth hurts and your page is painful. My personal favorite is the list of things for the ministry to apologize for doing to us. Those bastards.

The intent of the letter was based on the character of Brian from Monty Python?s Life Of Brian. Brian, who was born in the stall next to Jesus, spent his life trying to tell people the painful truth that he was not the messiah and to go away and think for themselves. Despite what he said, the people took everything and tried to codify it into a religion and follow him. I imagined some idiot reading your webpage, somehow making you the messiah, the new Herbert, and taking everything about you and trying to place it into the same idiotic context we were taught was reality. Some people simply cannot let go. Herbert was right only about one thing: we were all dumb sheep.

As a cancer survivor, I have let go in a way I was always afraid to do under the Worldwide Church of God. I always thought that to ?fall away? from the Worldwide Church of God and from religion meant moral and ethical bankruptcy. People without the ?holy spirit? or ?the truth? were ready to rape, pillage and plunder. Nothing was farther from the truth. Ironically, religion has actually promoted this lower side of our nature rather than curb it.

Honesty, loyalty, trust and love for my fellow man actually mean more to me outside of religion because I am not threatened by God not liking me. I try to live an ethical life because it is the way I want to be treated. Period. There is no other baggage. We are free.

In fact, I am not too worried if there is a God. I think there is, but only due to the fact that it is more comforting to think that there is an existence other than this. I actually like life now that the Worldwide Church of God is in the rearview mirror and I want to exist for a long time. However, I could be wrong.

If there is a hell, I am sure Herbert is there. The jackass. The scariest thought of all is that given the right circumstances, I am capable of doing anything, even being another Herbert W. Armstrong myself. That does more to keep me on the straight and narrow more than religion ever could.

Ed, please keep up the ?bitterness? and reminding us all of the looniness of our Worldwide Church of God past. It has done more to help my wife and I heal from our Worldwide Church of God experience than anything else.

Love from some former dumb sheep,


Received on 2/15/98:

Thank you for this page. Here I thought it was me.

I stopped going to church when I was 14 (1986). My dad was a deacon so you can imagine the hell they went through because I was going to die because God couldn't possibly protect me if I didn't go to church.

I went back for a short time as an adult (for guilt's sake), but that didn't last long. It's so nice to see that others went through what I did.

Thanks again.
Name witheld.


Received on 2/16/98:

Hi Ed,

I worked for Ambassador College for seven years 1967-72. During that time I had many interesting and sometimes unusual experiences. Which I would like to share with others if there is an interest.

Your web page is immensely valuable, in spite of the opposition, keep up the good work!. While its content tends to be heavy, and that's OK, it is factual and gets right to the heart of the matter. It has helped me understand what has happened to many of what I considered to be loving and caring individuals. There have been MANY good people that have just disappeared, and now I know why. They were not evil or demon possessed as were told, they simply asked the right questions at the wrong time and were marked and disfellowshipped because they dared to challenge the so called authority of the church.

Thanks again for providing the media for this vital and helpful information.

Perhaps you would consider adding a section of interesting stories, such as mine, that are a little lighter in content yet have a message about some of the harshness that took place right at headquarters. You could even call it "Life on Campus". Between myself and my brother-in-law, Lewis Boring, we can come up with dozens of funny and unusual stories about what happened behind the scenes on campus. And I am sure that there are many others that worked at Pasadena, or Big Sandy could share some of the lighter side of campus life.

Feel free to use my name and e-mail address if you like.
Bob W.


Hi Ed,

Good to hear that you are alive and well and keeping us informed and entertained on the Internet. If you feel that those comments of mine are of benefit to others who will visit your site go ahead and use them. Use our name Rod and Lorraine Gowland, sometimes items are more real if they have a name and are not always anonymous. I know that I was and am grateful to be able to read the comments of others re their experiences and feelings in and out of the Worldwide Church of God. It's good to know that we are not alone.

Good luck. God bless. And we look forward to reading lots more interesting things and hearing from people sharing their views and their lives on your site.

Rod and Lorraine Gowland
Tasmania Australia.



Just a note to say that I really like the way you've got your "Painful Truth" site developed. It gets better all the time.

I just finished checking out those wonderful love letters from Christians you've been getting. Man, you've got some admirers out there!:)

It's all quite funny actually. To receive such senseless dribble so full of contradiction (not to mention horrible grammar and spelling), and so void of reason and logic has to make you smile. They make your point rather nicely that they are blatthering idiots without you having to state the obvious. These are the kind of fools who vehemently assault some of our most precious freedoms...namely freedom of thought, and freedom of speech.

Great work, Ed! You're performing a valuable service that I know is appreciated by many.

Jim Stanley


Hi Ed,

I haven't written before, but your last response to name witheld, (that's what I think of those who fail to smell the dirty diaper when its shoved in their nose) prompted me to write and express my appreciation for your courage to help us (dumb sheep) see who the real shepard is. Not to mention the freedom to make up your own mind as to what to believe; not just blindly accepting some crackpot's system to rake in millions for himself.

The real troubling "bitter" feeling I have about this "church" is the time (which cannot be restored) people have lost due to the doctrines imposed upon them. Money can be restored, however remote that chance would be; but time and lost loved ones cannot and for that one deserves a sense of bitterness toward the ones who knowingly perpetrated those losses for us.

Again thanks for a great website, keep up the real good work.

Name Witheld


Received on 2/23/98:

What an absolutely hilarious page!

I know exactly what all of that is about. I was in Worldwide Church of God from 18 years old to about 23, when I was kicked out.

I just happened to wonder what was going on, and found this whole set of sites and all this absolutely amazing scandal, etc.! I have sneaking suspicions that some creep ministers are still out there fleecing their flocks.


Well, thanks for the cheerful attitude

Kevin P. Edgecomb,
Berkeley California.


Received on 2/24/98:


We appreciate all the work you are doing. The other day I read for the first time "The Tomorrow that never came", and while it is extremely funny, it is very real, for it describes our own experience, you would be perhaps not surprised how closely.

We were all led up the garden path. What really amazes me is that there are a lot of people out there who refuse to see the truth. I suppose we were the same, once. My parents and parents in law still attend Worldwide Church of God. Our fathers, (Anne & I), when confronted, would solve any disagreements, valid or not, by raising voices, authority, authority. The loudest voice is right, after all. Sucked in 100% forever, it seems to me.

The other day I received a phone call from a lady whose husband now attends UCG, (she: Worldwide Church of God), she asked me what did HWA really do, now she is ready to listen. This was brought on by the way her husband refused her a courtesy because it would break the sabbath. She says UCG is in some ways worse than Worldwide Church of God in the deep dark days. Anyway I have collected a lot of information from your pages to give to her.

The more I think about it, the more upset I become, especially at myself, for being stupid enough to believe all the garbage.

Qld, Australia


Received on 3/2/98:

Hi Ed,

I have been reading you web page with great interest. I think your "apology" page is fantastic!!!!!

When I first followed the thread into it, I kinda thought that maybe.. just maybe...there might be some names/signatures there. But, alas...oh well...

As far as your being accused of being "bitter"?? To paraphrase Forest Gump; "Bitter is as Bitter does..."

Question: My post on Mark T's page about Worldwide Church of God in limbo [2 part]...did it have any influence on your apology page? If so, thanks. If not...oh well...we were on the same spiritual wavelength.

In any event...I think that ekklesia is not the answer to this whole dilemma even though it might be a stepping stone in that direction. I don't think your reference to that forum clarifies this?? Just some feedback, dear Brother...

One of the interesting things about my presence in this whole thing is that I simply got suckered in and happened to bumble through the whole thing and finally ran across ekklesia and Mark T et. al. and one thing led to another and now I'm outta the damned cult!!

Here's my personal viewpoint: Once a person realizes that the very Living God Lives in them, then, they can come to self-acceptance...thereby coming to an acceptance of all others regardless...all by the Grace of God our Savior and Comforter.

I love you, Ed
Bill Osia


I love your site!

I grew up in the Worldwide Church of God, spent 32 years in it, and left August 1997. I was glad when the changes came, but disappointed that the church, local and otherwise, didn't really seem to be changing. Old mindsets were still in places of leadership, especially in our local congregation. I left about the same time as I was going through diagnosis and treatment of thyroid cancer.

The "Tomorrow that Never Came" writing by Scott was something I could really relate to. I ran across it at about that same time on another website. Jesus became very real to me during this time and He was with me.

I am now attending a healthy fellowship and loving it. I feel like God performed a miracle in the Worldwide Church of God when He opened the eyes of so many. I personally don't think the Worldwide Church of God will ever be a healthy place for a Christian to be. I think it needs to totally die and let whatever good can rise from it be reborn. It is hard for me to actually say that because of the years of Worldwide Church of God indoctrination we have been through. But I am no longer afraid of the Worldwide Church of God and this is how I feel. I am trying to no longer think of "the church" as the Worldwide Church of God, but as the body of Christ.

Your website, along with David Covington's and Mark Tabladillo's, has been a great source of comfort, laughter and healing for me. I have been visiting since August and just wanted to say thanks. I have shared many things from your site with my other Worldwide Church of God and ex-Worldwide Church of God friends who do not have Internet access. You are a voice for many.

You are certainly welcome to post this, but I would appreciate your leaving my name off.

Thank you again for your website. You probably have no idea how many people you are helping.

God bless you,
Name witheld


Dear Mr.

Thank you for your great web site. You may be amazed how much good it does and more people are finding it all the time.

To me, the experiences people have had with all the Churches of God, not just Worldwide, is the lack of respect that the ministry and the leadership has for both what they perceive to be God and the membership. Everyone, from Herbert Armstrong to Garner Ted Armstrong to Roderick Meredith to Gerald Flurry to the Council of Elders in the UCG, show utter contempt for the principles and people they are supposed to serve. It is the arrogance, MORE than the hypocrisy, that causes so much anger and bitterness among the refugees.

Thank you for the links from your site. The two I recommend most are Bruce Renehan's seminal work "Daughter of Babylon"--which has a ring of authenticity for those of us who have endured the eccentricities of cult leaders--and the link to the index to the "Ambassador Report" page: Everyone who is still enamored of the Church of God should "Buy the truth, and sell it not" for the $225 requested--it is a bargain to learn all of the shenanigans of these supposed leaders.

I wanted to give you another failed prophecy, this time from the Feast of Tabernacles in Squaw Valley, 1964, from David Jon Hill: "I tell you brethren, that in ten years, there will not be a tree standing in the Pacific Northwest." I thought at the time that if this prophesy did not come to pass, I would SURELY know that the Worldwide Church of God was FALSE! Then I forgot about it until a couple weeks ago. It's a good thing it did not come to pass, since I work for a forest products company.

Finally, you may want to visit my web site:


You will find a religious satire page there with some things that may look very familiar to you.

Regards and congratulations



Received on 3/8/98:

Dear Mr. ,

I have been visiting your web page randomly now for the last couple of weeks. I was not aware of it until I stumbled across it by accident.

I must thank you for putting so much information up to be read for free via the Web. Much of this information is new to me and is piecing together parts of my own personal history that I could never understand fully. I was born into the WWCG and left at age 25 (only a couple of years ago.). I remember all the events of the recent past as a patriotic member of the church and only now can I see what happened.

I am amazed at those who think that you are just sitting around badmouthing the church when your information is not only factual but unchallenged by the church structure itself. If you are just a ill tempered dissident then what are these people so afraid of? Just like television, I can turn off my computer if I don't want to read or see something offensive.

Because I was raised in a wealthy family I never had to suffer many of the injustices that were perpetrated by the ministry etc. on those who could not afford to be good church members. I have as many horror stories though as anyone else and still have many painful memories which I am trying to heal and understand. And I can't help feel remorse for those who lost loved ones in divorce and preventable death because of the Church. Those people deserve more than a forgive-and-forget mention by the Church. They have suffered through great personal tragedy and to be treated like whining revisionists insults the memory of their lost children to preventable disease and loved ones to divorce and ostracism.

Personally I don't need your web site to define who I am or how I feel based solely on your information but I must tell you that you are being watched and read silently by those who need to see this. You are providing help for the disenfranchised by presenting the information and letting it speak for itself. I don't feel that by reading various parts of the site I am necessarily agreeing with you, I retain my individual right to decide what I feel.

You are a huge help to those who want to avoid being entangled in emotionalism and name calling. Without your site many like myself would not get to decide in a fair and rational manner what to believe. Regardless of how I choose to continue as an ex-member I must thank you very much for your honesty and your willingness to share what you know with others. You are doing more good than you can possibly understand.......

Thank you very much,
Daniel Schnee



Thanks for your site. I now have your motto "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" written in my filofax for easy reference.

I have had emails from 3 different Worldwide Church of God ministers since I have left. None of them addressed the issues I had raised; each of them denied anything negative about the church and accused me of looking for a 'perfect' church. I was starting to doubt my own decision (still those mind games!), but fortunately, your site and others helped to reassure me.

Thanks again,
Helen Lee



I just got through reading Dance Hall Daze, and I have to tell you that was so funny. I couldn't stop laughing. The way he described a typical Sabbath brought it all back to me as if I was there all over again.

The same way every week for 15 years of my young life. Except seeing his characters I saw all the faces of the people in my church. After stepping back, and looking at the way things really were objectively you have to ask yourself "WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING?" or in my case "WHAT THE HELL WERE MY PARENTS THINKING?" and continue to think in Global.

Keep up the good work. I enjoy this site immensely.



Received on 3/16/98:

Dear Ed,

As you know from my past E-mails I do not like to get involved in religious name calling and infighting. But I felt compelled to write to you again about what I feel is the flashpoint for my negative views against the current Worldwide Church of God.

I really want to be as understanding as possible but I find it difficult to do after reading the current P.T. (Mar.-Apr.1998). I feel it is not fair to any member or ex-member to include an advertisement for Resurrection Eggs. As you know, even thinking about this sort of instructional tool before would be like urinating on the Bible onstage during a sermon!!

No matter how much progress the church has made our history rings in our ears permanently. To include such an advertisement is to condone its message. But this ad may line up somehow with the new teachings which I don't know since I don't attend. So I will not criticize members or the church if this is ok with those remaining.

I do take complete exception to the ad on page 14. Find the ad and consider what it doesn't say. First of all there is no proof that shark cartilage is beneficial for the treatment or cure of any sort of cancer. But the ad cleverly implies it is a great cure or topical aid leading you to conclude it does without the ad saying it! Thus they are legally safe. For example one sentence reads "..Over 80% of psoriasis and arthritis patients report positive results...". Of relief or cure? It also does not say for how long. "Benefin clinical trials with skin cancer show success rates of 70% worldwide..".

Success at what? Slowing, curing, easing pain? I won't go on. I found at least another 5 examples of non commital "information" within the ad, with testimonies by older religious people that compell you to trust their opinion because they love God and are old so they must not be lying (or getting paid generously to say what the company wants.). Everyone knows that the media uses this sort of method to sell.

Here's what kills me:. Benefin is made from sharks, killed for their dorsal fin mostly. As we know fishermen "harvest" sharks for their fins and maybe their livers. The rest is "waste". The WorldWide Church of God is essentially giving their endorsement to the extinction of one of God's beautiful creatures of the sea for a product that is not proven conclusively to aid man substantially!!

If shark cartilage were this great cure all the ad would quote the exact trials and give actual evidence. And I'm sure the government would hide the fact and use this information for some military purpose! But I am not a conspiracy theorist so don't pin the paranoia label on me.

Anyone who has ever gone scuba diving and seen the wonders that God gave to us in the ocean know that the rape of the sea and it's inhabitants is a huge insult to God and his beloved creatures. There are sights and creatures so elegant in the ocean you can't even dream up anything more profound in the natural world. Sharks pose no threat to the cautious and are not mindless killers.

What is a worse sin? Trying to find God without a church or condoning the needless, arrogant slaughter of God's innocents?!! Ed, I feel awful watching mankind wipe it's ass with nature when it gives so much to us. I hope that one day everyone will band together to protect God's defenseless creatures in the water.

Daniel Schnee


I used to be in the Worldwide Church of God and I left the church when it split up. I used to be in the Canton Ohio congregation. I went to the church all my life and it is funny how anal we used to be about the most retarded things.

I would have to say that the web site that was sent to me by my dad had to of been one of the funniest things that I have read in a while.

I am only twenty years old but I would have to say that I can relate to almost everything said about the church.

Thanks again for the laughs.

Rich Gay,

Received on 3/23/98:


Hi Ed,
I have been reading the material on your web site for about the past 2 weeks now. I' m sure you get a lot of Thank you's - I just want to add mine.
This material needs to be out there for those of us who want the simple facts. It amazes me that there are people out there who,after the church itself admits armstrong's teachings were wrong-still think(like this jeff person you wrote to on ekkesia)that somebody needs to be"protected" from the truth. I left in 1983- but the BS teachings of this lunitic have continued to influence my life-till now.

It was because of tkach's book that I made a search under hwa's name and found yours and Rodney's sites.(The hand of God guiding?). I wanted to know what the Guy who emailed him while he was writing the book was refering to. I know now- because of those of you who made it possible.

I am looking forward to reading the book "tangled web -which I sent away for. I still hold out hope that Christianity is real. Perhaps I'll reach the same conclusion as you someday- I don't know-I need to feel that God is real. Knowing the truth about the armstongs is very "freeing." I don't know how to describe it .

I alienated my family over religeon for nearly 20 years now over what some fat-ass idiot and his skirt chasing son taught as "truth". Freedom is indeed a geat thing. And TRUTH should never be something we need protection from.


Thanks- God bless.

Mike Grundhoefer

Received on 4/3/98:


Hi, Ed,

Is it just me or am I the only one having a hard time feeling sympathetic to the plea by Mr. Witte's son? While I do feel bad that his dad and mom are having such difficulty, I can't understand why he thinks their plight is much different from people such as my mom and dad or anyone else's mom and dad who were members of Worldwide Church of God for much of their lives.

My dad has prostate cancer, is in a lot of pain every day, but still has to drag himself to his part time job as a delivery man for a book store. Imagine lifting heavy boxes of books at age 70+. He can't quit and concentrate on getting well or at least feeling halfway decent. Why? Well, he has no retirement and no insurance. Why? Because he was a loyal member of Worldwide Church of God for 32 years.

My mother cared for her invalid mother-in-law (who, by the way, hated the sight of her) for years while both mom & dad were church members. Mom is also in poor health. She often missed services because she was ill or was caring for her mother-in-law. Were they ever offered help, financial or otherwise, during that time? No, of course not. Mostly, she was just asked why she missed so many services--it wasn't good to miss even one week, you know.

Mom and Dad left church about six months ago. They have few friends; they gave them up for Worldwide Church of God. You know, Worldwide Church of God--whose members were supposed to be their substitute family but were mostly just their judges. So, they're struggling to find their niche, too. They're confused, too. They're broke and they're sick, too.

Do you think anyone will make an announcement in services throughout the United States or set up a fund for them or any of the countless others (who were never ministers) who are in the same sad situation? Ed, if everyone follows Mr. Witte's example, your page is going to be loaded with pleas for help. Do you think any of their pleas will be answered?

Thanks for letting me vent, Ed. Hey, if you decide to use any portion of this on the page, leave it ANONYMOUS, will you? Thanks. Take care. Looking forward to reading more on your page.

Best regards, Anonymous


I just want to thank you for the work you are doing on the "Painful Truth". I found this site a little over a week ago and I'm reading everything I can find.

I quit the Worldwide Church of God about six months ago after 25 years. My wife six years ago. Eventually I will send you our stories, but now I just want to say,
"Thank you!"
Charles A. Green

Received on 4/5/98:

Please rest assured that my wife and I continue to monitor your site with heartfelt thanks and great glee on an almost daily basis.

My wife, being from a Russian Orthodox Christian background, has a cultural taste for liturgical statements, so whenever we access your site, she repeatedly chants "How COULD we have been so STUPID??"

Can we call you "Tell-Men"? I love it.

But then, since God calls people WHAT THEY ARE!!!! - doesn't it fit that Gerald Waterhouses's name means LAVATORY. (Water House, House of water. Therefore Water CLOSET) .

"The Watcher"


Received on 4/12/98:

Dear Ed

It's time to thank you again for all you do with your site. I exited 2 years ago, my husband 1 year ago. Your site has been a continual source of refreshment to us. It's helped us heal and let us know we are not alone, which is so important.

This is specifically a comment on your recent addition of 4/6/98 ("In This Case, The Worldwide Church of God Did the Right Thing") To show you how cynical I am of their motives, I couldn't help but think this is pretty cheap advertising, not to mention damage control, and I wonder how long before they will be boasting about it to their people.

Nevertheless, all people of this world are a mixture of good and evil.

Sincere regards,

Dorothy Malm


Hi Ed,

You have a great site. I think you are performing a terrific public service for anyone ever afflicted by association with the Worldwide Church of God or its derivatives.

Keep putting the truth out there.

Glenn Parker
Austin, Texas


Hi there!

Just some feedback:

Thx for continuing to provide a fine web site! At times I feel that most of what I read is just negative. But since that is in keeping with the title of the web site, one can argue that placing anything positive on the site would not be appropriate. I really do appreciate the humor and comedy, though! Yet, on the other hand, is it not painful as well to acknowledge that, yes, we did learn good things while in the Worldwide Church of God?

We were always told to prove all things. It's sad if some neglected to do this in the cases I read and hear about. I well remember one of the first things we were told, "Don't believe what I say, look it up in your own Bible?" Wasn't this our first, clear warning?

I would have liked to share my different thoughts to brethren a number of times in the past -> in the 70's, 80's and early 90's before things started flying apart in the mid 90's. I have thought that a difference in opinion, as I held on a few topics, was meant to be shared with those who were fine, close or good friends, not with a church member who was negative, critical and/or narrow focused. These friends would share a positive, giving, sharing and inquiring outlook on teachings, yet would understand me for my personality quirks and other weaknesses....and hopefully not consider one, as me, to be disloyal and divisive and to be abandoned at the first voice of disagreement or asking a question. No one agrees with anyone 100% of the time. But it takes time to build solid, meaningful friendships and a lot of WORK. In a nutshell, though, my youth and inexperience worked against me in this regard.

If someone did voice a different, but respectful, opinion a number of times during conversation at church events, would he/she be considered by other members to be divisive and then be ostracized...or just trying/attempting to prove all things, exhort, encourage, learn and sharpen iron? Apparently people were all doing "fine" from what they told me! People looked to HQ to be a lot of things from what I have read. Did anyone wish to even consider this was wrong until THEIR lives were upset?

The message of my minister's Pentecost sermon some time ago was that gossip was rampant in the church. His strong, impassioned sermon on it surprised me, (particularly as it occurred on a Holy Day), but that gossip was taking place did not. All one had to do was observe the casual topics people discussed at Sabbath. It was that simple. Where were the positive members who wished to share their journey of Christian growth? Or was this too "Christian" to talk about? To grow, one needs to question, explore and share positive experiences, not just negative ones!

I am not demeaning any of the experiences of those who write in to your web site. I have learned quite a bit from the telling of some of these bad experiences as well as some of the recent church "history" via letters written from former ministers. I, TOO, have my share of BAD experiences as well, and you may well be hearing from me.

I can only say that I also learned a lot of good things while in the Worldwide Church of God pre-1989 (only fewer things after that period). Many of the principles it taught were true, are true, and hold fast to this day. I just hope that we remember we were taught "balance".

I wonder, at times, if a number of ex-members are pointing fingers at those in the church hierarchy to absolve ourselves of their own weaknesses and failings to question and prove all things.

Pain, anger, hurts, our own failings, misplaced trust, broken relationships all have to be worked through, verbalized and even written down, not held back or buried. I think your site offers a convenient, comfortable and good forum for those who wish to grow, commiserate and learn from each other's experiences.

Thanks again for your web site!

Mike Bacon

Received on 4/19/98:


Recently came upon your web site and was intrigued by your biography....I was a member of the Worldwide Church of God from 1961 until 1978. My parents joined the church when I was 12 years old. I attended Imperial High School from 1961 until graduation in 1967, and Ambassador College from 1967 until graduation in 1971. While I am familiar with the booklet on healing that you quote extensively from, in all of the thousands of hours of attending Imperial, Church and College classes I never came away with the impression that my salvation depended on not seeing doctors.

Wouldn't it have been nice if we had all been taught the same thing? But we weren't. It all depended on how much guilt you could take and who was dishing it out. Surely you can read the Healing booklet as well as I did. If you can't see what herbie was laying on us all, I can't help you.

After all, only half us were going to make it into the kingdom anyhow, according to herbie.

True we rarely visited the doctor when I was young, my parents did, however, take us when we were seriously ill. However, on at least four specific occasions my parents and I placed our faith in God and I was healed after being annointed and prayed for. My conclusion was that God honored both of my choices (prayer sometimes, and doctors others).

My conclusion too, now.

My father was a deacon, and mother was a frequent "special music" soloist at headquarters. The teaching must have been dramatically different in the field. I left the Worldwide Church of God in 1978 after an accumulation of evidence convinced me that the Worldwide Church of God was NOT the one true church with all the truth (sudden changes in D&R doctrine, Pentecost, financial irregularities, etc.).

You see, you had access to information that we didn't have and that was 20 years ago! Now you come around and wonder why we are interested in "old" news? It is not old for a lot of people. I get letters all the time thanking me for educating them. Do you realize how we wasted our lives and our families' lives and our money during that 20 years that you were free?

I took (and still take) full responsibility for my choices while in the church, and do not really care about the sins of those in charge....they will answer to God face to face. Since most of HWA's doctrines have been repudiated by the present leadership, I am not quite sure why this website is necessary anymore. Don't get me certainly have the right to do and say whatever you want to.......but at this point....why? The church since HWA's death has made dramatic changes in doctrine (some would say too much), which I mostly agree with, and are more biblically correct than they used to be. To continue to wade thru the past seems as full of error as following the local minister all those years in error.

The point is that people ought to learn not to trust their understanding of God to other men after being raped so badly by such a bunch of no good S.O.B.'s. Never make that mistake again. That is the point! Just because you agree with them does not make them right. It only means that you may be wrong along with them, once again.

Now Hulme is starting his own "work of God" basing a lot of his teaching on HWA. Some people never will learn. That's not my fault. But, as I have said at other times and places, I don't think it matters to God. Otherwise, we are all lost because nobody can have it completely right.

I'm puzzled why you would have borrowed money to pay 3rd tithe.....was that the result of ministerial advice, or your choice?

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 believe, like a bunch of lemmings.

If it was the result of ministerial advice, I would hate to be in your pastor's shoes at judgment day.

I would hate to be in any of their shoes. ANY of them who presume to speak for God.

I'm sure there were a lot of ministers that placed themselves between members and God, but that is and clearly not Biblical, and should have been obvious....I guess hind site really is 20/20.

It was very Biblical in Armstrong's church. You see, all you have to do is go back to the original Greek/Hebrew word for ...... blah, blah, blah ........

I knew a lot of men like gung-ho for the the detriment of their families....not all Worldwide Church of God fathers were like father certainly was not.

That is part of the problem, it was the people who had their hearts completely in this "work of god" that now are hurting the most because those who were called "seat warmers" by the ministers in their sermons are now saying "well, I never did believe that......" These were the people that were the "lukewarm" ones whom we "true-believers" never did want to be like. Now the "lukewarm" ones feel so superior to us dummies who believed and did everything.

I think you really must take full responsibility for that certainly is, and was not Biblical in any respect.

I do. But I'm not a sucker any longer and I will warn anyone that will listen about all the Cheshire wolves who would prey upon sincere people wanting to serve God but who end up serving men.

HWA 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 HWA 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.

This certainly does not excuse HWA's multitudinous errors, and grievous sins, but if you did not prove all things by reading the Bible, what can I say? Don't get me wrong....I was there for 17 years fulling supporting the doctrine and work....I guess I'm just not as pissed off as you and the MANY others seem to be....

Well, I guess if I had gotten out when you did (you basically only spent less than 7 years in the cult as an adult out of college)and not wasted 25 years my adult life by following a pervert, lying , money hungry SOB maybe I wouldn't be so pissed off either. I would count myself as really lucky and not belittle the feelings of those I couldn't possibly understand.

I pray God will fill your life with peace, and forgiveness.......
In His Service, Class of '71


Re: Mother's Room:

I have a comment - question. Maybe somebody could answer it for me. I grew up in the World Wide, but I still knew enough about other churches and religions to know that they always either had a Sunday school program or a nursery for the children. How come they were smart enough to know and realize that babies and children just cannot sit still and be completely quiet for the length of a church service?

Do you realize how many children were roughly and rudely grabbed and dragged out of church off to the bathroom to get the dreaded wooden spoon whacked across their butt. (That's another thing, did every woman once they got baptized into world wide get awarded from the minister a wooden spoon for whacking kids? Every mother in my church area had one in their diaper bag).

I remember back in the early 1970's my mother was taught by the minister in their local area to train the babies. Everyday they were to put the babies on a blanket at the same time church services would normally be, and then if they baby started getting off the blanket you were to whack their hand or rear end. Pretty soon that baby won't dare move off that blanket because he'll get you know what. That is how deranged and moronic World Wides thinking was.

Instead of making church fun for kids by having some type of Sunday school (and indoctrinating future World Widers) they made church so miserable and traumatic for children,( who had no clue as to what that minister was blathering on about for hours on end) that encouraged an abusive atmosphere. As a result how many kids left the church once they became adults because of the bad experiences associated with it. Aside from the fact that their doctrines are a pile of @#%*!


Love your site!

But 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.


Thanks for your note.

Sorry, but the graphics are the only fun I get out of this.
I sympathize with your problem though. How about turning off your "Show Pictures" option on your browser?

Hello again!

Yes, thanks for the reminder--I knew that, but don't normally surf that way.
I'll have to remember to choose that option when I come visit, though I do agree you have some cool images!


Email, Indexed by DATE

Click here for Page One, Email letters.

Click here for Page Two, Email letters.

Click here for Page Three, Email letters.

Click here for Page Four, Email letters.

Click here for Page Five, Email letters.

Click here for Page Six, Email letters.

Click here for Page Seven, Email letters.

Click here for Page Eight, Email letters.

Click here for Page Nine, Email letters.

Click here for Page Ten, Email letters.

Click here for Page Eleven, Email letters.

Your contributions to this page are more than welcome. If you don't give me specific permission, I will not publish your name.
(But if you attack me and make threats, then you go on the "Hate Mail" page and I will publish your name and email address.)

If you have anything you would like to
submit to this site, or any comments,
email me at:
Send Me Email

Back to "Painful Truth" menu.


The content of this site, including but not limited to the text and images herein and their arrangement, are copyright 1997-2002 by The Painful Truth All rights reserved.

Do not duplicate, copy or redistribute in any form without the prior written consent.