The Painful Truth About The Worldwide Church of God

Email: Sweet and Sour
(Page Three)

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

Email, Indexed by DATE

New on 6/7/98:


Dear Ed,

Thanks for answering this David Parsons person and sticking to your guns. The grit that people like you show makes people like me happy, a fruit of the spirit. It is amazing to see how twisted the thinking of these brainwashed cult members can be. He labels you with hate and he with love and then pulls words out of the bible to make doomsday death threats to yourself.

From a third party point of view it appears as more wcg religious abuse. The Bible or the word or Christ used as a weapon to try to intimidate someone into submission to the cult. Thanks for the loving warning Parson but I think I'll turn to the God who knew the Samaritans heart was right even though he didn't know Jewish law and even if he had had no opportunity to help a downed fellow human, his outlook to others was not screwed up by a sect of do and don't law and was a true example of a spiritually healthy mind.

I just hope the Parson doesn't abuse his family with a similar manner. I spent the last twenty three years living under the same fearful threats doled out to the membership from the pulpit in the wcg. e.g.." If you leave the church, you're on your own and the roaring lion Satan is gonna get you.

"I am only in the last couple of months breaking away although for quite some time I saw the whole thing as a religious fraud. Services have become almost a farce in this area, the minister having temper tantrums and shouting at the members for not following along with his every whim.

I feel great especially now that I have the Internet and I see others have exposed this painful thornbush of a cult for what it really is. Yours Truly,
Name Withheld


I thought the story by Dale Brown was amazing.I hope he will continue the narrative beyond his teen years so we can see the direction his life has taken.Does he have an e-mail address?
Name withheld

New on 6/19/98:

You say you don't like unnanswered letters. So answer this email.

If you are right, then an big influence in my life since I was 14 needs to reconsidered.

I read:

"Let me be blunt. It took me several years to accept the reality that there is no organization that is the one and only group to join. To insist that there is, is to have a concept of God as a monster. Did God, from the beginning of time, develop a plan to restrict salvation to just a very few priveleged souls?"

Have you forgotten about the plan to call and elect a few who will reign 1000 years to call most of the others? Does it require the 7000 years? Isn't restoration (Acts 3: ) necessary these days?

You suggest HWA was driven by greed.

I saw:


Can you provide me with first hand proof?

What about John 17:17 "Your word is the truth"?

Can a greedy man analyse things like in the book The missing dimension in sex?

How about proofs like elegance, simplicity and harmony? If you are right, then the damage among Europeans may be even worse because we are quickly overwhelmed by American advertising technology.

Name withheld
the Netherlands


Thank you for your message. The quotes that you give are not my writings, although I agree with them.

All the proof that I have is on the various pages on The Painful Truth and the many links to volumes of information. If there is not enough there to convince you that herbie was a controlling, greedy, incestuous son-of-a-bitch, I can't say anything more.

He used a sincere people's desire to serve God for his own selfish desires. He used us just like he used his daughter.

"Can a greedy man analyze things like in the book The missing dimension in sex?"

Well, sex seems to have been on his mind quite a bit. I suggest you get "Herbert Armstrong's Tangled Web" or get the back issues of Ambassador Reports.
He was quite the expert on it: Everybody else should do just the opposite of him was how he looked at it.

God is much bigger than these petty, unscrupulous religious pimps. He does not need them to teach you about Him. He does not need an ancient book, that has many errors, that has been used down through the ages to control and manipulate people. If God had something important to tell us, He could write it on the sky for all to see, not in one book that most people who have ever lived have never read. This 7,000 year plan is just a bunch of religious crap. And, for that matter, 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.

Religion is all about you and "God's people" being more special to God than other people. Religion is "doing things" to keep God happy. That wouldn't be so bad if it didn't hurt so many people and ruin so many lives. I think it was Lenin that said "Religion is the opiate of the masses." He was right about that. It is a drug. The religious pimps give us our drugs and we give them our money to "do the work." They prosper and we become poor.

So what is life all about?

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 wcg. 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. I don't think that God will condemn us for being wrong when everyone is wrong.

If you are happy in the wcg after you realize what a corrupt foundation it has, stay there. It doesn't matter to me and apparently it doesn't matter to God either.




Have you seen the book written by L Ron Hubbard's son about the cult LRH created and how he had a cadre of girls to do his bidding, sent divers to steal artifacts from sunken areas off the Greek coast, etc? There's also a science fiction book I remember reading that dealth with sombebody's visit to Hell and there was a special area for people who invent religions. That was a direct attack on LRH.

I had a few bad experience with the Armstrong cult and watched people throw their lives away.

Like all zealots, HWA hurt a tremendous number of people. The more I learn about Christian history, the more I realize that there IS a tremendous amount of emotional blackmail used to control people. I don't know that I could agree with the people who attack Christianity and claim it is the bloodiest of the various major "religions." The Muslims aren't exactly fond of human life, are they? But, I've found it liberating to throw off the layers of crap invented by people. That's one of the things I really hate about organized religion. The temptation to control others is so great.

You've got quite a collection of information about the Armstrong cults here. Congratulations.

I havent' read all of it. I've noticed Hank Hannegraf is backing Tkach, Jr. and from what I've seen (a tape called Millenial Madness) they seem to be actively promoting and allmost anti-Armstrong belief. The radio interview with Tkach, Jr. looked like he's sincere about straightening things out. Makes me wonder though, how much cancer can you remove from a diseased body?

Name withheld


Hi there.

I saw the two posts by Dale Brown, one being the historical overview of religion, and the other his early autobiography. I was extremely moved by the autobiographical story .... it really meant so much to me, and I would like to convey my thanks to him.

I didn't see an e-mail address for him, and I don't know whether he wants to receive e-mail re this, but I just wanted to thank him, because his story was so helpful to me, and I am eager to know whether he has written anything more.

Name withheld


Dear Ed,

There is a very fine man I know who is a felon who spent time in prison as an accessory to a crime his friend committed. It basically was not his fault, but he had to do the time for his friend's crime and his friend got off free. I relate to this man as a friend, because we have something in common.

I spent over three decades in the Worldwise Church of Fraud as a prisoner. If you think about it, being a member of the Worldwide Church of God was very much like being in prison. Our lives were very much controlled. We were abused. A lot of us were raped, quite literally. We were told what we could eat. We had to do our work details. We were told what to do and when to do it. Most of us had a rather rigid daily schedule based on our sentence....

We had to submit to group sessions to reform us periodically. Most of the money we earned went to our jailers. We were restricted from having friends on the outside. Our families had limited access to us. Conjugal visits were rigidly controlled....

The analogy goes on, and on, and on, and on.... You can think of some other analogies, no doubt. This was a life sentence, handed down by a mean and harsh judge with NO jury of our peers. Our specially trained guards observed our every movement. And like all felons, we did not have any civil rights: For example, we could not vote. Our sentence of confinement included hard labor. There were few rewards. And those who finally broke out of prison, or completed their sentence, could not associate with us because, as you know, you cannot associate with other felons on probation. We also had limited access to media and could not review anything derogatory to the ministration of the prison.

We were being prepared for the day that we could go back into the world after we had paid the debt to society for all the evils that we had done while we were still back in the society from which we came. We knew we were guilty. We may not have known what we were guilty of, but we all knew that some how, some where, we committed felonies and, even though we were never charged officially, and did not know why were there, we knew intuitively that we deserved the punishment meted out....

Never mind that our jailer had committed atrocities far greater than most of us could have comprehended. Never mind that the warden had indulged in atrocities beyond our imaginations. We were guilty and that is all that counted. We lost our money, our homes, our family, our friends, our freedoms. Willingly....

My friend is one of the nicest guys you could ever know. He is kind. He is gentle. He is loving. He is loyal. He is one of the best persons you could ever know. And, even though he has never known the Worldwide Church of God, he is just like us.

It is now high time to realize that we were political prisoners. We need to escape the abuse and get on with our lives, although we do not want to forget about what got us there in the first place and we DO want to keep others out of the prison we were in. There will be no next time, because we know that the prosecutor is bogus and the judge was a fraud. We insist on having a jury of our peers. We want facts, not circumstantial evidence.

Now is a good time to escape. Your web site is one of the keys to getting us out. ----

To the Watcher:

There is another prediction that HA made (as I understand it, the W was bogus, so it isn't HWA, it's HA): I think it was the Last Grate Dame in 1978 in the Intercontinental Video Telelink, or what ever, that HA declared that [along with the fact that if it weren't for the fact that he was the apostle, he "wouldn't give a plug nickel for the chances for his salvation"--something that didn't make much sense until you read "Tangled Web" and the "Ambassador Report"] "Every man who contracts AIDS will die of it." It was a judgement of God thing.

While I agree that everyone who contracts AIDS will die, just as everyone who ever ate a pickle will die [we should ban pickles, I guess], he was referring to the fact that AIDS is a judgment from God and that God will never let us have a cure. The thing is, that people with AIDS are living longer and longer. I'll just bet, if I were a betting man, that HA wasn't thinking about the ladies in the Worldwide Church of God who got AIDS from their husbands who shared needles in the weight room to take steroids--of the which there were a number.

God's judgement carried out by a virus? Give me a break, even if I'm not Gay. Just thought the Watcher would like to do something with this prediction.

One other thing, if I may.

We should not forget that there was ONE [and only ONE] good thing about the DOCTRINE of the Worldwide Church of God: That everyone who has ever lived would have a chance in the so called "White Throne Judgement." This is actually a good thing, showing that, if the doctrine is true, God is fair. I would not want us to throw out the telephone pole with the creosote. [There was no baby, and there is no bath water.]

Hopefully, people reading this letter will think it very strange and it will make them think....

With great respect for your efforts


New on 6/22/98:

I was a member of WWCG for many years. Although I cannot corroborate all of your accusations, I think that anyone should be able, by the visible fruit, to see that HWA was not a servant of God. His ego was clearly the spirit motivating him. Alas, I see this as well in his offspring churches.

We have needs. God remains invisible. Does He exist? We hope so. So we look to others who may have had the contact we ourselves lack. Perhaps vicariously, then, we may gain contact with the invisible God. But, instead, we fall prey to unscrupulous salesmen selling lies. Sadly, this is the history of religion!

Where's God? Hell, more and more, I think we did evolve.

I now attend a Presbyterian church. But I'm still agnostic.

New on 6/30/98:

I have a question about the recent United Church of God, An International Organization letter from Mr. Leslie McCullough dated June 18, 1998, which perhaps one of your readers can answer [also noted in "The United Unraveling Ungodly Churches of Money"]:

Mr. McCullough writes:

"None of us are blameless in the problems and difficulties we face. We can probably all do better in growing in patience, understanding and respect for one another...."

Later he writes: He [Satan] is after all, the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:9) We must not fall into his trap and let him deter us from out calling."

The question is this: Is it REALLY true that "NONE OF US ARE BLAMELESS in the problems and difficulties we face."?

Is it possible that at least one lonely widow lady who has given her all to the UCG and sincerely believes in the Council of Elders and has never even heard one bad word about anybody else and may not even know that David Hulme has left yet, may actually be blameless? And if that is possible, may not two or three, or a dozen or a hundred, actually be blameless? The criteria was "in the problems and difficulties we face". That means that if, say, a thousand people, in the UCG were blameless, and by this criteria, there could indeed be a lot of innocent sheep out there, would this not be a false accusation?

If this is a false accusation--and the possibility here is it may very well be, considering the over 12,000 people remaining in the UCG--where do false accusations come from? Sorry, that was two questions.

So if there is blame to be given, and taken, would not the responsibility reside with the leadership? Remember now, that Herbert Armstrong stressed that the LEADERS of the nations were RESPONSIBLE for the people, and implied that if the leaders were good, the people would be blessed, and if they were evil, the people would be cursed. [And how the people in the Worldwide Church of God were blessed! With trials!] So if there are not the blessings one would expect from God, where does the problem reside? How did king Saul treat the problem? "The people, they..." made me do it.

I wonder too, who is most affected by the "problems and difficulties we face"? Is it the membership? They don't seem to have lost that much, although the focused education program with it's homosexual support groups may have to be sacrificed. Is it not the ministry of the UCG?

Is it not offensive to accuse people falsely? Where does the problem lie?

So, there are six little questions I humbly submit. I am not over wise. I don't understand much. The questions are not much. Certainly I'm not important at all and do not expect an answer from the UCG, but if any of you out there, more wise and understanding than myself, can answer these things, I would be so very pleased.



What's the difference between Worldwide Church of God and the other splinter groups?

My mother is in the group associated with Flurry. Have you heard of him?

What do you know of that group? I think I saw a magazine called the Philadelphia church of God.

What is the best method or way to talk to her about this and possibly to leave this group?

Have you renounced the major teachings of HWA/WCG?

thank you for your www site.

Name Withheld

PS Do you know a former members that have written books and articles that I could read to get a better grasp why some people get out of it?



I'm sorry to say that your mother is in probably the worst of the most popular Worldwide Church of God offshoots.

They believe all the old crap that Armstrong taught and hold him in high reverence. They are prepared to flee into the wilderness at a moments notice. Same as herbie's teachings. They will do it too, just as I would have years ago. It is irrational, it is crazy, it is religion.

The best method to help her see that what she is doing is wrong? The best for me was to find out the truth about ol' herbie. Get her the book "Herbert Armstrong's Tangled Web" advertised on my site. "Daughter of Babylon" is good too. Your main problem, and it is a big problem, is getting her to read it. These people, and I was one of them, will not read anything contrary to what they believe. Even if they read it, they will refuse to believe it. It woud destroy them. It would mean admitting they had been wrong for many years of their lives and wasted untold amounts of money. Some people can't do that and stay sane.

Yes, I have rejected Armstrongism. All of it.

I have rejected any man who tries to get in-between myself and God.
Any man that wants to "teach" me about God. Any man who needs my money to do "God's Work."
I reject the selfrighteous "pimps for God" who try to sell religion.

The Jesus of the Bible calls them "hirelings." I agree with him.

I have not rejected God.



New on 7/6/98:

The following piece is possibly "humor", but every single one actually happened.

Top five signs that twenty years ago in the Worldwide Church of God, a minister had become disillusioned.

[5] They could give a whole sermon without once mentioning either "Armstrong" or "Headquarters"

[4] They could adjudicate at Spokesmens Club without feeling that they HAD to say something majorly negative about every speaker. (They were willing to acknowledge that, just maybe, a non-AC grad could speak as well as they could, despite the handicap of not having studied at the feet of McN--r).

[3] On Sabbath, in the parking lot at church, they did not feel obliged to cover the tennis gear (in back of the station-wagon) with a coat

[2] They started asking about courses at local colleges.


[1] They put all the non-"Dwight Armstrong" hymns in the book onto high rotation!
(A Radio station term for somethging that is played much more than the other tunes on the play-list).

Jonathan Higbed (BW Class of '72)


i don't know all there is to know about this fellow called armstrong but i do know that his organization and followers should not be confused with the term "christian". his beliefs are absolutely not of the Bible. i think your information is needed and i hope many people listen. i also hope that you have not given up on God. i think, above all else, the greatest harm that armstrongism and other cults or religions do is turning people away from God altogether. many people, after experiencing these groups, are so turned away from church and God that they still believe there is a God but they want no part of what God is all about. i would suggest that people that are still searching for the one thing that they need to be completely fulfilled, would keep searching for a church home because it is very important, but measure all people and churches with the true Bible. not some group of writings that some man or woman has put together. the Bible holds the truth and it is total truth that nothing can be added or taken away from it. it is very time consuming and extremely intense work to know and understand the Bible but it's the only way that you can know who is really on God's side and who is a "false prophet". the reason church is important is because if you are to be in God's will, which is to have a very intimate personal relationship with him that exist throughout every minute of you life, you need to have a support group that surrounds you and holds you accountable not only on Sunday but every day. unless you surround yourself by Godly things then it's just too hard to fight back our sinful nature. this is not the only purpose of the church but i feel it is one of the most important ones. i am a baptist by affiliation but i not of the mindset that the baptist church is the only good church and bible believing church, but i do feel that my church follows the Bible more closely than any other one i've been to. there are many good bible believing churches that follow God's word and not the word of men or women. i hope that you and others that have been through these experiences will keep searching. to be in God's will does take some sacrifice but it is nothing that mr armstrong talked about.

May the Lord bless you,

Name Withheld


Name Withheld,

Thanks for your message.

I don't believe the Bible is God's word. I won't bother explaining it. It doesn't dawn on you right away. You have to study. Do yourself a favor. Don't study the Bible, study ABOUT the bible. Critical study, just like you would do for any other book to find out if it is true or not.

Free yourself from religion.

I still speak the truth,

New on 7/11/98:

Dear Ed,

Again and again I read incorrect references to Mal. 3:9-10, "will a man rob God?" Once and for all I would like to say it is not speaking to the people. It is speaking to the priests. They were stealing the tithes received from the people. I'm not going to write and expound on this. All one has to do is read the chapter with that in mind. In fact the first half refers to priests, the second to the people. And just another thought, when spiritual condemnation is given in the Bible, it is always directed at the religious leaders. Just think of Christ's example.

Until next time,

Dorothy Malm



I just read your article about Herbert Armstrong going to hell, and the story about the lunatic claiming to be Armstrong after his death.

I agree with much of the content of your webpage - about Armstrong's movement being a cult, etc.

I've never heard however, of a human soul being transferred to another body. I'm quite sure Jesus taught that souls go to one of two places after death: either to His presence (for believers) or to hell (for non-believers).

However, about the lunatic's experience: let me suggest a theory consistent with scripture:

A demonic spirit (which is obvious that was true of Armstrong) that is released from a body by casting out or by death roams aimlessly among "dry places", and longs to be in a human host. While the demon spirit is released, the human spirit, if unredeemed (which is probably true of a false prophet like Armstrong) would find himself in hell, awaiting the final judgement day.

The demonic spirit, if it could not return to it's original victim would search for someone else to inhabit. Recall the demon spirits "Legion", whom Jesus allowed to enter a herd of swine when He cast them out of their victim!

For this reason, I believe the lunatic's claims could be true! And if Armstrong's demonic "friend" is now trapped in a lunatic asylem, I say "good", wouldn't you? At least it is disarmed for a while. My prayer is that the poor victim would be released, and find salvation. God is wise, and will deal with this matter in His own way. But I would be grieved to see such an influential demonic spirit find someone else in whom he could exact more damage. My prayer is that if that demon spirit is cast out, that God would provide succesive places for it to dwell and keep it disarmed until it is finally cast into the abyss for the 1000 year reign of Christ. (See book of Revelation for fate of Satan and demons)

What do ya think?

If you would like to comment on my theory, please also pay my web page a visit:

"Night Watchmen Prophecy Resource Page" at address:

I would welcome your comments.

I pray God will reveal His true love and nature to you: it sounds like you have suffered much! Many are being lead off by false prophets in these end days. My prayer and mininstry is to help people explore God's Word and find their way to His protection, love and refuge: the only safe place in these perilous days we find ourselves in! I'm concerned for my own protection, so "thank you" for your courage in exposing the dangers of Armstrong's cult following.


Russ Edwards


happened onto the site by accident

what an interesting page !!!!

oh well take care !!!

New on 7/15/98:

The Watcher replies to Russ Edwards :

"Your input and suggestions are appreciated and respected, sir, and you are certainly entitled to your interpretation and belief. But The Watcher does not believe a word of your suggestion. Any demons that came on board with Herbert were just hitching a ride because the foul, unspeakable old pervert just made it easy for them. Your suggestion, I frankly found simplistic and wishful thinking, even in terms of the New Testament.

Whenever demons are described as acting through people there, they are described as identifying themselves as what they are. The lunatic in the Augusta Hawkins hospital ward did not say he was a supernatural being or demon. He said very straightforwardly, "I am Herbert W. Armstrong and I am going to hell." Very clearly, sir, your own fundamentalist theology does not permit you to believe in the transmigration or transmission of consciousness. The Watcher believed exactly as you still do for long decades and he rejoices in the experience of having a more open mind.

The Watcher fears it is evident that you must interpret the world within the limits of your own extremely narrow fundamentalist theology and will twist or ignore inconvenient realities to fit into that tight little space. Been there, done that. Glad to be free of it.

Your theology also removes old Herbert of his moral responsibility for all the crimes he committed and the miseries he caused. After all, if it was all "the demon's" fault, then "poor" old Herbert was just a helpless puppet and deserving of our forgiveness and compassion, wasn't he??? The Watcher recalls witless comments at innumerable "Spokesman's Clubs (the nonsense we put up with!) of pompous asses solemnly using that argument to say Hitler couldn't help doing what he did.

No way, Jose. At the end, Herbert carried the responsibility and paid the price for all his crimes, and the evidence appears clear that he did not do so according to your personal, narrow theology. Sorry about that. But some of us want to move on beyond the Middle Ages, thank you very much. We have already spent entirely too long in them.

New on 7/21/98:

i really think that you need to focus more on the offskirts of the wwcg...what i mean bye that is the other "so called" churches, like the united church of god, or the philidelpha church and so on. i have been a member at wwcg since i was a little girl, and i have seen many changes. i also was a student at ambassador univesity. i personally think that the changes have been mostly good. the members who could not handle it are close-mined but that is what they belivie in. but they are also stuck in the "old ways"...ways , of more or less, a cult. the wwcg i think , has gotten out of that cult. so it is my opionion is that you pick on the ones who went back to the old ways, for i know they still practice some of the unpractical, such as not going any where after sundown and not wearing make up. i persally like these changes, ad i think you need to give us wwcg fans a chance.....

Name withheld.


well?? i would have never thought wcg was corrupt and gta was a pervert!

i guess in hindsight it was a good thing i never got involved with this outfit.
back in 1984 i use to watch herbie on tv and got interested in his theory.
i even took the wcg 32 lesson correspondence course and then had a visit from one of their ministers. when i didnt tell him i understood all the concepts of the 10 commandments he told me i needed a little more study and couldnt come to his church yet?? so i kinda wondered about an outfit like that. if they would be worthwhile getting involved with. so i forgot about it.

then a few months ago i got hooked up to the internet and found your web page.

i was blown away! that organazation is about as corrupt as it gets. and garner ted armstrong is a full blown pervert. how in the world does his wife stay married to him as many times as he"s been caught screwing around?
i even seen him on geraldo chasing a nurse around the room naked while he was jerking off! and who knows how much donated money has been spent on whores. what gets me is they kicked him out of the cgi and he goes and starts another outfit called intercontinental and i guess sucker people are joining and sending him money?? he's probably driving a mercedes benz by now!

anyway just thought i"d share a few thoughts with ya and let ya know that theres a few of us out here that came close to signing up with the herbie cult but sliped thru the cracks and stayed out of it!

later man!!


I am truly touched by your (David Covington's) public apology and for challenging other ministers to do the same. Thank you so much.

I was in the Worldwide Church of God for almost twenty years before walking out. ( I was NEVER contacted by Mark Cardona as to why I wasn't attending services or if I had any much for being a shepherd) Maybe he was afraid I would let go and give him an earful.....everyone knew Jana wore the pants in that family........she called....need I say more?

I would be lying if I said I felt no bitterness toward Herbert and his hinchmen. I still feel rage for the loss of a normal/fruitfull life for so many years, but what I am most bitter about is the wasted years of (name withheld) life....all of the things he missed in relationships and participating in school growing up....of always being different. He has tons of terrible propaganda to get out of his mind that I helped put there by my trust in 'God's government.' I have openly and lovingly apologized to him....knowing I can never give him his childhood back but I can be there to help him dump all the crap that he was fed for so many years.

His leaving the Worldwide Church of God cult has given him wings to soar toward the REAL truths of life.

I feel rage also for all the years I was out of touch with my family because of the church. My parents, who I was very close to before 'being called', died while I was in the church.....I can never make up for all the time I missed being with them.

As someone said in an e-mail on the Painful Truth site....HWA and the Worldwide Church of God has left me with disillusionments, bewilderments, and despair. As part of my healing process, rather than continue to harbor my feelings, I intend to write letters to ministers who so tortured my life with rules of how often I was to have sex, of their notions of 'godly women' vs vanity filled women and so many other 'truths' they spouted. It will be a healing for me, of this I am certain.

Again, thank you (David Covington)for having the courage to come forward and apologize. I accept it with gratitude and love. Best wishes to you and you wife.

Name withheld.


Passing the Baton

Hello Ed:

May be you can answer a question for me. Why was JWT chosen to head the "work"?

One would think that Hume, Hoeh, etc. would have gotten the job.

Also, it is my personal belief that JWT felt he could build a better "church", than the one that HWA built. HWA created a multi-million dollar organization that slapped the face of traditional christianity.

If JWT embraced protestantism and perhaps change the name of Worldwide Church of God(a bad name goes far), to PTM, this could translate into more members and thus more cold hard cash.

Name withheld.


Regarding "Passing the Baton"

Why did hwa 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 rumors 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 sins.

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.


We apologies because we are greedy sons of a bitchs that wont shut down this circus called wwg, because as Barlem Balley said a " sucker is born every minute" and a lot of money is to be made.

Besides a real job like you have sounds like WORK!!!!

Name withheld.

Greetings Ed,

After reading a bit of your history and some of "The Painful Truth" excerpts I get the impression you know where you have been in the sense of having been deceived, but are totally unaware of the true significance of that experience in context with your immediate future.

Since a true Scriptural perspective is largely based precept upon precept over years and decades of time it is a bit difficult to simply convey a single passage of Scripture to you and state that said prophecy applies to our present stage of history.

In the first place, lacking any foundation for an understanding of said truth you would likely reject it out of hand, and second - you have probably have already heard a number of distorted interpretive versions.

In a sense, the entire Armstrong ministry has been one of negative preconditioning (of many) to the ultimate truth of prophecy, for it is truly said the most dangerous lie is the one which most closely approximates the truth itself.

Yet, there was a time some years before you joined the Worldwide Church of God when a degree of spiritual integrity and sincerity did exist within the Armstrong work.

Then, something happened 33 years ago this month (in early July of 1965) that proved a major cross roads and turning point.

If you are interested in learning how the third chapter of Zechariah really does apply to our present historical era and circumstance then I would be willing to explain the background precepts necessary for an in depth understanding of this prophecy.

Indeed, it has taken 33 years simply to set the historical stage for a soon coming end time fulfillment of this prophecy. After all, who would have believed the absolute corruption of "Joshua" had they not beheld it first hand?

Joseph L. Coman

Joseph, Obviously you haven't read enough of my website to see what I think of you prophet types and your magic book, so I will be nice to you. Go away and try to mislead someone else, there are plenty of gullible fools out there.

I don't need you or any of your kind. Neither does anyone else.

You had better hope that there is no God because you are falsely representing Him if there is one.


New on 8/2/98:

I know a very nice lady that I am in love with, but she and her family is deeply in to the "chirch" or should I say THE CULT. I have tried to convince her that I do not approve of her church chouce. She tells me that the only church for her is Worldwide Church of God and any other church is wrong. I am so upset seeing her throw her life away but I can not accept the Worldwide Church of God. She told me if I can prove her church wrong that she would accept my thinking.

I am so up-set over her, am I beating my head on a brick wall for nothing. Is there any hope for me, sometimes I want to never see her again due to the pain.


Name Withheld

I am not a professional advice giver, so take anything I say with a big grain of salt.

There is nothing more dividing than religious beliefs. If you can't tolerate this woman's beliefs, do yourself and her a big favor and move on.

She may say that she is open to proof that her church is wrong, but I would be surprized. People believe what they do not because they have proof. They believe it because they WANT to believe it. They will close their minds to any proof to the contrary that you can present.

For instance, if you belong to a church and I told you that I believe that all organized religion is not of God, you would say that I am crazy or rationalize it away somehow. You will defend your beliefs. You are not open to my proofs.

If I tell you that I believe that the Bible is not God's word, you won't believe me. But you have no proof at all that it is His word. You just believe it is because it gives you hope for an afterlife. It makes you feel good and you don't like somebody else taking away this feeling. It is not a matter of intelligent, rational thinking. It is a matter of faith and faith prides itself at being irrational. You can't be rational with irrational people.

Make up your mind to let her believe what she wants. If she rejects any of your proofs, even to the point of tithing on your earnings or at least her earnings, accept it or leave her alone. Find out all her beliefs so you know exactly what you are getting in to.

Life is too short to be in a contentious marriage. There is a whole world of women out there. Try to find a woman that believes the same things you do.

Good luck,

"Truth has to fall on fertile soil." Paula D'Arcy, in "Gift of the Red Bird"

Dear Ed:

Unfortunately, it looks as if Herbie got you.

He deceived you, lied to you, and lived like a king for decades.

And then when you found out, you became worse than him. Kidding. But I think I made my point. Why don't you realize that your attitude towards the Bible and God Himself got screwed up by the very man you seek to expose?

Did Herbie win?


No, I won.

I am free and you are still trapped. You just don't know it. Ignorance is bliss.

Seeing how wrong people can be about the Bible led me to study about the Bible. It is not God's word.

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.

This book has been used by unscrupulous men, religious men, "good men," down through the ages to manipulate and control people.

Sorry, but I can get along quite well without this magic book of yours.

If you want to educate yourself about the bible, read the books I recommend on my main page. I'm not interested in debating; been there, done that.

Believe whatever you want. I don't care and don't consider you lost, contrary to what you think of me.


"Organized religion is for those who are afraid of hell and spirituality is for those who have been there." Gary Busey on the Howard Stern show.

New on 8/5/98:


I just read that new page about wcg top ministers and what they were making in 1994. While some low income members were going without the very essentials of life,these guys saw no harm in paying themselves salaries far in excess of their worth. It just makes me sick.

I was so fortunate that they didn't consider me "worthy" to be in their stinking group. But now, how the mighty have fallen.

Name Withheld


Thank you for replying. You wrote:

(I guess you were not a member or maybe a lot was lost in the translation but everyone that was in the church in the USA would verify that those"prophesies" were indeed made by our beloved herbvert and gang.)

Ah well - I have been around only twenty-five years so most of that stuff referred to was before my time for sure. herbvert - ermph.... if you try to convet others, do not make them angry at you. But that leads to a question, and please bear with me:

Where do you stand yourself in all this? Do you call yourself a Christian still? If so, what kind? Keeping the Sabbath, holy days, other things? Yea - I AM a curious and nosy person.

(If you use any of the material, I would appreciate a link back to my main page. Are you translating it into Swedish?)

Hey - let me be honest: I would NOT link to your page. It is not my style to throw dirt - hey, it seems to be yours. But you can see some examples from my site - start with the latest for example where I am avoiding clear words:

I would perhaps like to use some of that "watcher" material, in edited form, on my website. No link back - I hope it is not a demand.

My reasons? Well, maybe, just for the record, and also, there is a swing back to the other extreme going on it seems, the pendulum has gone over again, to hard-line Armstrongism perhaps. They are distributing his writings as never before on the web and also on a CD which even includes a hundred hours of his speeches.

Those people will not listen to such whom they consider to be dirt throwers - and perhaps some of them will not listen to anyone but on the other hand, some might.

So while I am hard on my website I try to be factual and calmish. Can't please all, though.

Do reply if you have more comments or are totally against me using the fact part of those three false prophecy documents. Hey - I can't think you would be against me quoting the facts, in edited form.

The "purpose" of your own website - does it have one? (I told you I am curious and nosy.)

Thank you for replying.

Pekka Vuorio
Haninge, Sweden.


I am not trying to convert anyone, just give them the truth.

If my "dirty" page is so offensive to you, do not use any of "The Watcher's" material.

No link, no use. Simple.

Now, you wouldn't "steal" any of this material would you? Maybe if you were doing it for God?

Do your own research into the whited sepulchre.

Armstrongism is the whole ball of wax (or shit), not just failed prophesies. Everyone is entitled to the whole truth, not just what you think they should know.


Ed, I found your web site a refreshing and frank repudiation of Armstrongism! I'm sorry that you were in that cell for so long. My 5 years, from '74 to '79 seemed like a long and miserable slavery (my own mistake at being taken in). I was kicked out for telling Dean Wilson that Jesus was way bigger than the wcg, that he was working with Wycliffe Bible Translators, Underground Evangelism, and many others.

There were real Christians being killed for their faith in Soviet Russia and elsewhere. Accidentally reading about those gutsy Christians made our church-sponsored narrowmindedness seem so trivial and ingrown; and it got me kicked out! THANKFULLY! I only told Potentate Wilson that Christ was bigger than the wcg; certainly there were and are Christians in the wcg -- but badly blinded by the police shepherds.

I married a once-in-a-while Unitarian, one of those most liberal churches around. We've been happily married for 10 years now. Life has been very good since escaping the brainwashed church of Herbert. I rarely attend church, but I keep in touch with Jesus. The true worshippers worship in spirit and in truth -- not by formula on a certain day.

I ran across gta's website and my stomach turned, reading some of the crap he's still teaching. Daddy Herbert is sitting on his back, it seems. I've drafted a letter, trying to inform and convince him. I'm afraid Elmer Gantry is alive and running amock. Ego seems to be the temptress, having a "special calling", ad nauseum.

It's so ironic that those who harangued us about false prophets and false Christs turned out to be just that, kissing Jesus' behind, while deceiving us!

I'm glad you came out of your long experience with a sense of humor and concentrated outrage. Keep up the good work.

Name Withheld

New on 8/15/98:

Hi Ed,

I am a regular visitor to "The Painful Truth". I was in the Worldwide Church of God from birth in 1964, to when my family left in 1979 after all the mess with Garner Ted, and Stan Rader, and 60 Minutes. I was 14 years old. I drifted spiritually for years (with all the usual stories and feelings you must have heard about from 100's of other people), but now am very happy in my local Baptist church.

Your website is a great source of information to me. I find it very interesting to read as an adult, with an adult's perspective.

I was touched by the latest edition to "Cult Horror Stories" on August 7, by a guy named Russell Miller. Is there any way you could pass on his email address to me? The first few lines of his essay seem to invite some feedback, and I'd like to write him. I can identify with many of his feelings, and I think I could tell him a thing or two about letting it go.

Anyway, it's up to you. Please let me know either way, and PLEASE keep up the good work.

Name Withheld

Dearest Ed,

My brother and I came across your page when first doing searches on the wcg. Our elder sister has been a member of the cult for almost 20 years. We must rather shame-facedly admit, that years ago we both, along with our mother attended a few "services" with her.

We must stress, however, that we were there basically to appease her and to check out what she'd gotten herself into. Although I was the tender age of 12 and my brother was 16, something just didn't sit right with us. Everyone seemed so fake, so pious, so like programmed automatons.

As we saw our sister closing herself off from any former friends she'd had and adopting these strange and unusual practices (no pork, no scallops, no doctors, no reading other than the Bible or Herbie's personally rewritten views of world history) and hearing such proclamations as "there's no going back now," (when getting dipped in Herbie's tub of brainwashing fluid) OR "I'm learning so much now". (usually pertaining to Herbie's printed propaganda leaflets--which we found to be suspect even at our relatively young ages) we began to realize it was a cult. When we discovered her Bible was all yellow high lighter pen from those endless studies...we truly realized that she needed to get a life but sadly thought she had one, when in fact, she didn't!

Our sister was a prime candidate for cult brainwashing; low self-esteem, a small circle of friends, somewhat naive, and rather sheltered and aimless. She was looking for a place to fit in, a direction to travel and wcg and wise 'ol Herbie fit the bill. What better way to live your life than to have it dictated to you; what to eat, what to believe, who your friends are....etc.

We realize that she will probably never leave the church. After all, if the recent 180 degree reversal of all church dogma (which we only discovered after checking out some of the cult sites and your own) didn't make her question her beliefs, then we truly doubt she ever will. She will, most likely continue to live her life in blissful-ignorance rather than admit she's wasted 20 years and has to re-establish herself in an actual life whilst setting her own boundaries.

Neither my brother nor myself are involved in any organized religion. I do believe in God, although I must admit, haven't read the Bible in years. My brother is a self-admitted agnostic; he "believes in a higher power, but not all that much." We both try to be good people which some may find hard to believe due to the previous admission. We believe that the "10 Commandments" are, really, just common sense...well most of them anyway. Honoring your parents (unless they're like Herbie), Loving thy neighbors (unless they're like Herbie), Not wantonly killing, robbing, raping etc. are all pretty obvious and we don't need our somewhat dusty tomes to spell it out for us.

As Randy often says about the culties and any other fanatics, "You believe God gave you your Bible, but he also gave you a brain...why don't you use it too?"

Sincerely yours,

Julie and Randy in Ontario

P.S. Randy says that he was going to do the tithing thing once, but when he had $200 plus saved up, he opted instead, to buy a set of bitchin' speakers, and hasn't been struck by lightening. (yet)

P.P.S. Ed, feel free to publish our letter and our first names....just not the e-mail, please...I don't want to hear from any wackaloons! Thanks a million and keep up the fabulous work on your site!!!

Greetings and felicitations; Ed.

I have recently read a book that makes people think, "Why Christianity Must Change or Die' by Spong I think for many who were raised in Worldwide Church of God and are questioning everything this is good book to read.

I can relate to many of the things that people mention on your website, and I think that we can say that much good has come out of all that we went through. After all we as a group are thinking questioning and giving each other support, much like any group of people that have been through hardships. Those that had no choice, since their parents brought them with them are much like POW's, there through no choice of own.

However, there were many whose life was turned so upside down that they were willing to find someplace where they didn't have to think. Everything was black or white; at least it appeared so to many members.

Keep up the good work,

Name Withheld

New on 8/24/98:

Dear Ed,

I have been wanting to tell you again how grateful that I am for your web site. It is my favorite place to go for unscrambling my twisted thinking! My transition keeps going. Every day I learn something new to enlighten me.

I was very concerned at first by those books and the links that you have to sites that are not in support of belief in God or Christianity! But now I am very glad you have the courage to do this. I have come to more of your way of thinking. the Internet also has much help in enlightening my mind. I have shocked myself!

I have the time to read and study and for this I am truly thankful! Some people are so busy in their life that they just don't have the time to think much. I am far from being an intellectual! I only graduated from high-school. The books that are on your web site are well worth reading, even if it is a big struggle to get through some of the history, wars, and other things that those really smart people understand and write about. It is worth the reading!

You have been a friend to me in my need, but now your a friend indeed!

I love your response to " I'm Afraid "!

Also I am glad to say that my husband has left Worldwide Church of God! Things in our marriage are getting better too.

Say hello to your wife and children too.

Name Withheld

Thx for your continuing efforts in keeping your page up and running. I appreciate reading it!

Name Withheld

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