the painful truth about the worldwide church of god

Email To The Editor
(Page 35)

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


 Regarding the bondage article

TRUST NO MAN, they thundered from the pulpits, pitting you and me and the rest of the congregation against one another. Don't trust your mom, dad, sister, brother, friend, or congregation member. Distrust lived in our hearts.....not LOVE! We were trained to spy and distrust each other. Not a "Godly" thing, but a "godly" thing!

As usual, the scriptures were twisted here as well as most ALL other places. In studying with a Baptist minister upon exiting the WWCg, (note I never capitalize the g in the name giving homage to not a God that I respect for that organization, but a god of damnation and be it on them) anyway, the Baptist minister who had gone through 2 seminaries, and studied for more than 40 years (a HAIR MORE THAN THE INFAMOUS 6 *#$^%&* MONTHS THAT HERBY had the INSANITY to brag about and almost more insanely we did not question) anyway to my point.

This man, whom I respect for his knowledge and humility with his respect for the INTENDED meaning of scripture, told me that in all his studies of the cults, (and he KNEW ALL ABOUT CULTS I HAD NEVER HEARD OF INCLUDING WWCg) none had taken the scriptures and twisted and put new and perverse meaning on them, as had old Herbert Armstrong!

Trust no one, the phrase that pitted us against each other, only means in leading us in doctrinal things. Scripture tells us that no man is needed to teach us. The Holy Spirit does that job.

The warnings were in the scriptures, they just twisted them so we were inoculated to fear the wrong persons, those we should have learned to love.

I am NOT a Baptist. I am a nothing. I studied the scripture for 10 years after WWCg. I now know what the scripture says and what it MEANS. I am free!


Dear Editor,

Responding to Doug's post, or the Alcoholism thread.

Regarding Alcohol, try not only teaching the "children" how to drink, but an alcoholic how to drink. That was my REAL experience in the WWCg. The minister told my alcoholic husband how to drink. I was furious.

Also, after being disfellowshipped, I ran into the former landlady of my former minister. She said, "I don't think that he should have been a minister, with the drinking problem he had". I was astounded! HE had been counseling me ABOUT my alcoholic husband, (and his allegiance was WITH my alcoholic husband, which at the time, I was unaware) Now if anyone knows about hunting buddies, fishing buddies, well, alcohol buddies are the most bonded of all.

Anyway, the landlady went on to tell me about the "real" family life of our trusted minister and how she saw him drinking a water glass of whiskey mid day many times as she lived near by him and the family. She reported the frightened behaviors of not only his children but of his wife as well. THAT was the man, making life and death decisions in MY life, "COUNSELING" me in family life, marriage, child rearing etc. I shudder to look back.

The whole Armstrong Empire, WWCg and extensions, (like a mother wart, they go underground but are only extensions of the mother) is like a drinking buddy, AND ARE LIKE A HUGE DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILY. They are loyal only to themselves, loving their excesses, their families are expendable and only secondary to their first love.......that of ALCOHOL!

In a REAL family EVERY MEMBER'S NEEDS ARE MET. In WWCg and extensions, only the leaders, the muckie mucks needs are met. THE WHOLE FAMILY IS SICK. All the WWCg/EXTENSIONS are sick. Alcoholism is a disease, of the spirit, mind, body.

As we get well, running from our DYSFUNCTIONAL "FAMILY" .......they hate us, as scripture says, "for not running to the same excesses", and for getting between their first love, Alcohol, and them!

But the whole cult story is more than Alcohol. Much more. Alcohol is only a tiny bitty part. A bitty part that ruined thousands of lives no less, thanks to a sickness FROM THE TOP DOWN. TRULY FROM THE TOP DOWN. If only we had known and understood.

(Name Withheld upon request)

Hi Editor:

You know - it's amazing!

There must have been thousands of contributions to the site by now from countless areas and different people.  With virtually all those scattered "worldwide" inputs, regarding the foul practices of the Worldwide Church of God+ cults, the aberrant excesses, the dissolute behaviour, the lives ruined, the money spent (accurately depicted with detailed figures from several sources), and the humiliating effects had on people - they all seem to be saying the SAME thing.  Together, they're all depicting the SAME stories from people all over the world who have never met each other, and who all have different viewpoints, testimonies, and observations of the same Worldwide Church of God+ criminal misconduct.

Maybe it's not so amazing, after all.  Although the PT site may be "Painful," the above evidence shows that all of it certainly IS the "Truth."

Best regards.  JohnO


Just wanted to drop a line to say I only recently ran across your site a week ago......

....I was helping my mother get connected to the internet for the first time, and as an example of easy it is to search, I typed in "Garner Ted Armstrong" and hit the swirly button....AHHHH!!!

 To see her eyes light up!!!

 .........Of course there's more to this story.....

 I (very luckily) escaped the House of Herbert, after a 10 year internment, in 1980 as I ran away to the Navy at the age of 18. I've spent the last week running through this and all the other sites from here I could find and all I can say is: "Thank you, Thank you.....Thanks again.....Good job and keep it running!!!"

 I'm writing a much longer piece to send to you....specifically addressing what REALLY happened to those of us kids who were part of the Great Tyler Texas BrainWash Era but were never really members......

 ...Imagine being a 12 year old Jewish kid in 1940's Germany........

 Thanks again......No matter what what Mom thinks:)

Hot Springs, Arkansas
(Formerly of the Memphis Worldwide Church of God Prison System)

Greetings new editor,

I hadn't been to the site for a while and only just read of the threats made against Ed and the change in webmasters. I have referred a couple of folks to the pt site in the last few days that are on an anti-cult discussion group to which I post. I am hearing a lot of comment from people who assume that the Worldwide Church of God is "okay" now and no longer a cult because of Joe jr's cosmetic changes. Do keep up the good work of exposing the continuing abuses; my thoughts are certainly with you even though I don't have time to check out the site constantly. Hugs and blessings,



 Oh yes, the current excuse: "its different". Okay, I agree it is different; it is now a run of the mill, generally acceptable cult. Now what are you going to do about all the lives that were screwed up by your cultish teachings when you were a generally unacceptable cult? Just being sorry is not enough.

The Pope, last Sunday, apologized for all the evil that the catholic church did through the years. He did not have guts to apologize specifically, so it didn't really matter much. He also waited long enough for most of the survivors of the evils of Catholicism to be dead so there is no need of reparation.

These people want to just forget about all the evil that their church has done to people. If they were really different, if they really followed and emulated Jesus, they would use all they have to find the people that were damaged by their church and make them as whole as possible. Otherwise their new church and new religion is just a sham and a shame. Those who continue to support and make excuses for this "new church" take on all responsibility for it's past.



I quite agree.

I belong to a web discussion group that is affiliated with Steve Hassan's freedom of mind website. The group includes ex-cult members from all sorts of different groups, everything from Scientology to House of Yahweh. I had not realized until they started asking about it that so many people are laboring under the delusion that the wcg is now "okay" because they have made a few cosmetic changes. If you want to check any of this out, go to  I have done my best to enlighten these folks about the ongoing abuse still happening with the wcg. A friend who is an ex-member sent me a copy of one of the new co-worker letters. It is still the same crap, don't kid yourself.

Hugs and blessings,



 I thank you so much for your page and all your insights to new things! It has helped us a lot to re-cover from a false religion! Although we have not been with any since around 1992. It took us a few months to realize this but we understand this now for sure! It was so wrong! Thanks so much again. Your site is great.

With Love Judy

 I've just scanned the KOOKS, NUTS and LOONIES page... very interesting.

Why waste your energy on these lost souls ??? This is what their intentions are , They would rather die or try to destroy someone emotionally... than to admit they are wrong. This is pride and ego in it's most subtle form.

These same types of people defend Mr. Bill Clinton. His false "mama love" makes them fell good about themselves. But, in reality, they are empty, lost and in need of that true inner light that only God can give .

I believe self-righteous people...who are really trying to play God ,are the most wicked of people that ever walked this earth. Common sense , which we were born with , is a guide to me and hopefully keep me from becoming a pawn and a slave, as I was to Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong and very cruel (most) people in HIS church.


I'm still going thru all the painful truth stuff and yesterday I came across the letter that I sent you in January of this year. I was sooo happy to see it there. I wish I would have added a line though. When I said that I had to give up my fianc,e' because the church forbid me to marry outside the church, I went on much, much later to marry someone the church found acceptable.

While my former fianc,e also went on to marry and had the white picket fence with the good job, the children, the whole nine yards of all I'd ever wanted my whole life, while the man I married, with the church's approval, went on to have to be supported by me and left me with a baby to have to raise by myself by scrubbing other people's floors and dirty toilets.

I never got to have more children because I was married to this man who had long gone, and the church forbad divorce and remarriage. So I only got to have one child when I had wanted more.

But thank you for the chance to vent and to see that I am not the only ass on the planet who ruined their lives by joining that cult. I feel so much better knowing I am not alone.




 Dear Editor, I would like to reply to Dennis who said:

I've just scanned the KOOKS, NUTS and LOONIES page... very interesting.

 Why waste your energy on these lost souls ??? This is what their intentions are , They would rather die or try to destroy someone emotionally... than to admit they are wrong. This is pride and ego in it's most subtle form.

Dennis, we are FREE. Not like in the WWCg, where we must all think alike, we are FREE. WE can handle the "dissidents". WE can disagree. WE don't have to think alike. WE can have opinions. WE can be red, blue, yellow pencils, and don't have to have a rote belief system. WE can allow others to have different opinions.

WE also can LOVE ENOUGH to allow those still deceived to have a voice. WE are SO FREE that it does not matter, what these kooks and loonies think. Someday, one of them might by being allowed to fuss and fume and disagree, see the light and become on of US, FREE WITH OPEN MINDS. Open minds need to see all the facets, and those facets of beliefs don't bother us.

Another aspect of allowing the "dissidents" voices, is to SHOW ALL FACETS to someone visiting the PAINFUL TRUTH site. By taking all of the content into account, one can easily ferret out the truth. The truth stands tall and simple. Converging from all over the globe, people all saying similiar things, abuse, abuse and more abuse. Conversly the kooks and loonies, won't look at the abuses, and want all thing perfect (just like the cult taught) and they often OOZE HATRED, thus exposing again....the real truth.

Although many don't believe the bible anymore, (thanks to being bible whipped by the cult) there are standards and truths within it. One thing we were told by scripture to do, is to test the spirits. A simple test is to look where there is love and truth. Truth is not always pretty. Truth is sometimes very ugly. On the PAINFUL WEB SITE, you will see love oozing out. No, NOT towards the abusers, but towards each other and towards the sad peoples still caught in the cult web. Ministering to the wounds of the cult injured victims is not going to be appreciated by a still fully functioning cult victim still under CULT MIND CONTROL.


Yes, let us continue to speak out against the oppression of the cult, speak the truth, let those that don't agree, disagree, but we can only hope that one or two or more have the bondage of mind control cracked, or broken by our words. Let them rage. As long as they keep reading what we write, there is still hope for them.

This is what the PAINFUL TRUTH IS ALL ABOUT. Yes, it is about US, those of us that somehow were rescued from the fate that those poor people are still caught in, and our needs to communicate and compare injuries. However, it is also about THEM! They need us. We can't cut out their rages. Let them, and maybe someday we can lead them to the same FREEDOM WE HAVE FOUND! Yes, Dennis, for now they are "lost souls", but perhaps with our help the SHEPARD will find them.---


 My name is Liz and I have keep a demon in my closet, the wcg!

I would like to find other people I went to church with, in the Belleville Illinois church, in the late 60's early 70's.

My parents were told they were not married in the eyes of God. I was around 8 years old (my mothers defense against me was; I would of divorced your dad anyway)

The horror for my brothers and I was, the wcg decision made us bastards, and that is how many of the church leaders treated myself and my 3 brothers.

I have often wished through the years I could make the wcg pay for making this decision for my family. When I have mentioned this to other ex-members they say, No one put a gun to her head.

One of my fondest memories is of my dad (before he was forced to leave the home he built us) chasing the ministers out of our house with a shot gun (loaded). Secretly, that was a great memory to hold onto, through the horror of my experiences in wcg.

When I found your web-site I had mixed emotions between relief and disbelief that anyone actually had enough nerve to do what you are doing. I am so pleased that you are there! My dad was a farmer from the Ozarks and (as he put it) church should make you feel good, if it don't shoot the minister and get another one.

I agree with you Editor, the bible is not all that interesting. I have heard people say, oh, what good literature it is. It never held my interest, besides which it is stories about a culture so far removed from my own.

Why are there not people writing a holy book about the people in my culture, North America?

I have seen a lot of child abuse in the church. I am also beginning to realize there was just as much abuse on the adults, but I just could not see it from an adults point of view until recently, although I have been an adult for 25 years.

Sorry for such a long e-mail, will write more later.

thank you, Liz

you can publish anything I send you maybe someone will respond that I used to know.

 WOW! I'm so happy to finally find a site dedicated to the WWCultG! I was, unfortunately, born into this cult in 1969 and baptized sometime in the 80's. I am married to a current attender of the cult. We don't see eye to eye, but seem to work things out.

I was a lucky survivor, because at a Feast in Big Sandy, TX in the '70's I too had the "flu". . . actually, I had appendicitis and was in severe pain. . . One of the church's doctor's told me that I had 6 hours to live and that if it was God's will, that I live, then so be it. . . . . As I recall, they had the entire Feast site praying and fasting for me, and by God's mercy, for my parents stupidity, and a luck of the draw, my appendix never burst and I've never had an operation. I would gladly participate in posting a website dedicated to this kind of stupidity so that it may be avoided in the future!

Is there a message board that could be made part of your website? I've heard so many ridiculous stories from friends who used to go to AC. . . . that it would be great if we could all just post on a message board.




I have considered having a message board, as did Ed, the former editor of the PT. My past experience with message boards is that they quickly get taken over by spammers and rude people. It gives those who want to rip and denigrate others a means to do whatever they want

Ekklesia was a very fair forum and even allowed non-Christians to be on the list but Ferguson got tired and finally fed up that he kept getting ripped by the people he was trying to help. He was providing his forum long before the PT came along.

I would do it if there were some way to filter out all the rudeness, religious arguing, bible quoting, etc. Wouldn't cost anything extra. Just don't see any benefits outweighing the negatives.


You seem so terribly bitter, my son. Were you burnt by

Samuel Wright


I guess I'm more burnt by people that think it is okay for other religious people to misuse those who trusted them and then get away with it.

I guess I'm more burnt by people that think it is worse to be "bitter" than to screw up other people's lives, irretrievably, and then have no repentance at all but, indeed, even stay in the God pimping business.



 It's good to hear from you "son"

I apologize for sounding spiritually superior. I do not think I am in fact I had hoped you would find the tone amusing. I assume that what you have on your WebPage is accurate, otherwise the Worldwide Church of God would sue your pants off. It's revealing to hear from some one who was in the wcg for so long telling it as it seems to have been.

It is useful to publish what the wcg has been and probably to some extent still is so that others might beware. However you do sound seriously disturbed. I am no psychologist but I suspect that you just can't forgive yourself for being so stupid and for so long, and in order to have a measure of self esteem you must blame somebody else. That is not to say that the one(s) being blamed are innocent, but by being so bitter you have given Worldwide Church of God authority over your emotions. Your emotions are supposed to be your own personal property to be controlled by you and you alone. The minute the actions of others begin to control how you feel, you have become their slave in this regard, the wcg is still pulling your string. Alas! It is still your master.

I noticed that you have also lost confidence in the bible you say it is not infallible. That is escapism. Somebody used misinterpretations of the bible to hurt you , or you have used your own misinterpretation of it to hurt yourself, so you say the bible is no good. That is childish. Somebody cut you with a knife, or you in your own stupidity cut yourself with it, so you decide that knives are evil things. Since this is the level at which you reason, no wonder the wcg had you fooled and imprisoned for 25 years! It is stupid people like you why there are cults in this world.

You also seem to be denouncing all Christians and God himself. So you have known a few fake Christians and you decide that all are bad; you were presented with a distorted impression of God so you decide that He is distorted. Aren't you still a bit gullible?

You and all the others who willingly gave you money to HWA were STUPID! Armstrong did not hold a gun to your heads, he simply persuaded you. You had a choice you chose to allowed yourself to be persuaded. You are responsible for your own decision. Why can't you be man enough to accept that. Here is the best remedy: Give yourself a good kick in the ass and move on. That's what I do when I make a mistake. It is very therapeutic. Try it my son.

Yet, I would be very interested to hear which part of the bible you find fallible. I have been through it a few times myself and have not found any.

A suggestion:

Find a quiet, private place. Say this or something like this frankly and forcefully to God: "Listen, God, based on all I have heard, read, seen and experienced I have come to the conclusion that you are a damn fraud a figment of the imagination of twisted men. You either don't exist, or if you do exist you don't give one shit about anybody.

Yet, despite this I cannot deny a little speck of hope that you really do exist, that you do really care for humanity, that you love us, and even me, who despise you so much. If you do exist, if you really care, then prove it to me in a way that I cannot refute. Listen to me God, if you are there, I don't want to see it in the bible or hear if from somebody. I don't want Peter's or Paul's or Moses' experience of you. I want my own. You hear me God? deal with me personally no third party business. I want to settle this thing once and for all. The book that they say was inspired by you says that you are interested in every person personally. Well, here is your chance prove it.

OK? I'm waiting."

And then you must wait.  

Samuel Wright

 I think you need allot of years of Bible research before you can effectively refute the Bible. I can point out allot of misinterpretations


 Well, I had 25 years of research in the bible and it is solidly refuted, in my opinion.

It is undeniable without completely turning off your brain. And most people will do that rather than accept the facts of the matter.

But, believe what you want. I really don't care and I'm not interested in debating the issue with bible believers who won't even admit that they have no proof of the validity of the book other than the book itself. And, if one believes the book is from God, then they have to also believe that that God is a monster.

Any further messages from you will be blocked, so don't bother responding. Go fast and study, and don't forget to tithe or you will lose your salvation.


  I think that when a child goes through enough pain that he or she decides that the only way out is through death, they need attention. they don't need to be put down by saying things like how their crazy or mental... that's probably what put them in the situation in the first place... I'm speaking from experience...

 Thanks Meaghan



I hope that you are past the problems that made you consider suicide as an alternative. If not, I would urge you to seek professional help.


I had to chuckle when I read the experience Mike from Hot Springs had when he showed his mother how to search for Garner Ted Armstrong on the Internet.

When we first got Internet service at home, I too ran a search for the very same name. This was when Garner Ted Armstrong had gotten caught with his pants down (again) and was about to be dismissed from his own church. Morbid curiosity led me to want to know what was going on, as my UCG mom thinks Garner Ted Armstrong is the greatest and refuses to believe anything bad about him. Well, the first site I brought up was sure 'nuf about Ted's latest exploits. However, almost as quickly as the page came up, it kicked me off.

Why? We had subscribed to one of those "watchdog" services for our children's protection. Apparently, the story about Ted had too many references to sex!

My husband, kids and I have been AWOL from the Worldwide Church of God prison system for 2 1/2 years and couldn't be happier!

Lea Anne


 Lee Anne,

Thanks for your message and glad to hear that you are enjoying your freedom.

Yes, I'm afraid that the Worldwide Church of God is X-rated.

Regards, Editor

 Dear Editor,

I'm so glad that you have taken over the huge job that Ed was doing for so long! It means so much to many of us ex Worldwide Church of Goders and others, who still are in Worldwide Church of God and some of the splinter groups. When I first discovered this site I didn't know what to think of it, because of how Ed believes. But I had and do have an open mind, thankfully! I wish you and your family all the best. I wish I knew your real name, so in my mind I have named you Ed the 2nd. The word Editor starts out ED any way. It's more personal to have a name, don't you think? It just feels kind of funny calling you Editor.

To all the new people , who have discovered this PT site, WELCOME! It warms my heart to read all the email from people who are so happy and thankful to find this web site! To the others who are not happy with this site, I say, give it a fair chance! You just may find out that your wrong. I know it's hard to discover that your basic foundation has been all wrong, I've been through it. It's humbling and it takes a lot of courage to discover the Painful Truth! I believe what Ed believes about the bible. I'm very confidant in this understanding. Don't think just because we don't believe in the bible god, that we don't believe in god. To many people automatically assume this about people when they don't believe in the bible any more. I do not care to debate this with any one. There are some good web sites were you can go if you ever care to debate this.

I wish you all the best and that you may live a long and healthy and happy life.




I agree that the name "Editor" is impersonal and that it would be better to have a name used but we are planning on possibly having many different, likeminded editors so as not to burden one for a long period of time. It also takes the focus off of one particular person and puts the focus on the contents of the site and the contributors.

 Looks like we will also be changing our address before too long since Tripod will be putting popup ads on again and there will no longer be an option to pay for no ads. The present site will stay where it is but a new site will be created with all the present content plus new additions. I will post a notice when it is going to happen.


 Hi Editor:

I do not know if this is of on interest to you or not, but......

I have been sitting here reading the various suicides listed on the Suicide page. One thing I have noticed, is how so many of them are single males. Since I know one of these guys to have been struggling with being gay, I have to wonder how many more of these people were struggling also. Armstrongism was so filled with homophobia it was pathetic. The pure hatred and venom that dripped off ministers and evangelists lips was appalling.

There are several links I have included here that deal with gay suicide, some of which is brought directly about by sanctimonious religious people.

Gay Youth Suicide Problems

Better Dead Than Gay?




 No problem. Will put it on my list of to do. Since rejecting the Bible and Christianity, I'm a much less judgmental and more tolerant person. I do have some homosexual site links on the Links page.

You may be right about the suicides of the young men. But then the ministry and members would just figure they got what they deserved.


 Dear Editor,

The forum was a stroke of pure genius! I can see that this will be a great way for people to voice their opinions and also get more involved.

Keep up the great work,


 Dear Editor,

I was just reading a letter on your site from a lady who signed her letter anonymous. However, in the letter she referred to herself as "Anne".

I just want her and others to know that no one understands what they have been through more than I do. I don't mean for that to sound like some sort of contest.

But, you see, my parents came in contact with the church when I was two. I did not leave the church until I was 5l. I lived in Pasadena and went to Imperial Schools. I am now 53. It is very painful to read a lot of the things on your site because it brings up things I have tried so very hard to bury.

I have learned to look forward though, and I have learned to ask myself some thought provoking questions. For a long time I thought that I literally lived under a black cloud where God was concerned. I often asked "what did I do to make you hate me so much. You love everyone else, what did I do?" But I began to think about what would have happened if I wasn't plopped into the middle of this mess.

I never would have met my husband of 28 years. Someone who loved, supported and respected me. We were married 26 years when we left church. I would not have the beautiful child that I have. I do not have the kind of personality that would have sought after God, therefore I could not have motivated my child to have a relationship with God. I guess I wonder if the life I would have created for myself would have been worse than the life I was given. Would I have turned to drugs? Would I have gotten pregnant out of wedlock? Would I have developed the kind of character that has seen me through many many trials? Would I have just glibly gone through life like so many have and never figured out what it was all about? Not everyone is as feisty as I and their personalities may be such that they know what course the would have taken, but, did God forsake us or did he do us a painful favor? Does this sound silly.

I'm still just trying to figure the whole thing out.



 You bunch of self righteous fools. When you have such hateful putdowns of Herbert W. Armstrong , Garner Ted Armstrong and other members of the CHG then are you really followers of Christ. No because you are acting like a bunch of hateful self righteous hypocrites. By the way I never was a member og Worldwide Church of God or the other CHG.

Michael Carriere,

 Dear Sirs; I have enjoyed your website over the last several months. I was a former member of Worldwide Church of God back in the early seventies. I left in 1975. I was just surfing the Internet one day and decided to type in Herbert and that's how I found your site.

Thanks, Mike


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