the painful truth about the worldwide church of god

You might have grown up in the Worldwide Church of God if . . .


You really believed "our AC graduates are in high demand in Corporate America"  

You could wear make-up, then you couldn't, then you could, then you couldn't. 

The men wore suits and carried briefcases like business men on the Sabbath, then wore overalls the rest of the week. 

Those same puffed up fathers walked into the the "meeting hall" 30 paces ahead of the worn out mother lugging diaper bag, pallets, toys and 5 children. 

You were taking notes in church by the age of 7. 

The ministers had their own special "Pot Luck" table with the tastiest dishes. 

You didn't really love God, you were just afraid of him. 

You were more blessed than anyone else in the world but had no food, wore old clothes, were sick and depressed. 

You could somehow pay tithes, but took pride in not paying your taxes. 

At 6 yrs old, on the Day of Atonement you pass a half eaten, ant covered PBJ and think.  ” MMmmmm….that looks good”.  

Your parents can’t make the smallest decisions without counseling with the minister.  

“God will provide” becomes a daily mantra, while you spend all day studying the Bible instead of looking for work.  

You have ever heard “In the world tomorrow, we will all be princes and the streets will be paved with gold”.

You believed anyone NOT in the WCG was “deceived”.   

You got an academic scholarship to a reputable University, but were “encouraged” by your minister to attend Ambassador.



If you know what D&R means.

If your mom followed the teaching of the principal of D&R even though she was happily married to your dad.

If you heard an entire sermon on what kind of toilet paper you should buy.

If you were told it is okay to lie to the school about where you were or why you couldn't be at school on Saturday but the "long version" of the ten commandments were part of your YES lessons.

You were told that wearing a cross was like wearing a shotgun around your neck because that is what killed Jesus.

You couldn't say "Jesus" unless you called him Jesus Christ as if Christ was his last name.

You had a library of "Just what do you mean..." booklets.

You wanted to write a booklet titled, "Just what do you mean, Dr. Hoeh?"

Adults got excited when Mr. Waterhouse came to your church but you were excited if he finished his sermon in less than 3 1/2 hours.

You knew that when Mr. Waterhouse came to speak, there would be one opening hymn, a short opening prayer, only the most important announcements, no "special music", and then Mr. Waterhouse...finishing (you hope) and having one closing hymn and the closing prayer. This would be followed by the mad dash to the restroom because everyone has been holding their bladder in check forever.

You felt guilty for not going to church even if you were throwing up.

Your mom brought you an annointed cloth after you stayed home from church.

You actually know what an annointed cloth is and how it is to be used.

You know what ESPTSPL represents. (It is the way to remember the seven eras of "God's Church")

You were told and told others that you were a part of the Philadelphian Era.

You can pronounce Tkach.



*Every time you saw a Masonic lodge, in traveling about the country, you wondered if the church met there, or thought "that would be a good location for services". Or still do.

*You secretly enjoyed the Christmas decorations at your relatives homes, and had to not tell anyone that they gave you a Christmas present, and that you accepted it.

*You procrastinated and took extra long showers on Saturday morning, until you knew that your mother had left for church without you so she would not be late.

*You did not serve in the military even though you wanted to, but heard, almost every week, about how America should be proud to wield her super power status and intervene militarily around the world.

*You had 600 people at your wedding and did not even know most of them.

*You were told, by a fellow member at dinner in a restaurant, that "you should take your 18 month old son out to the car and spank him," when you thought that he was actually behaving quite well.

*You were glad that your wife left "the church" so that your children would not have to suffer needlessly every week, by going to "church", even though you could not make the connection...

*You wonder how your children grew up to be successful in spite of your teaching them Armstrongism, and how did they see through it, when you could not?

* You still live with your parents, even into your fifties, because of having to live on what was left of your income after tithing 30% of your before tax income, and wife working outside the home was a sign of unconversion.

*You still watch for Feast stickers while traveling.

Vaughn Woodfield


You ever knew you were about to be struck down for swallowing water while brushing your teeth on day of atonement.
The only friends you had in school were Jewish
You dreaded walking out of your house Christmas morning because all of your neighbors were playing with there new toys
When ever you felt strange you repeated "I rebuke you in the name of Christ" over and over in your head


The only telecasts you really paid attention to were the ones with the gratuitous gore of the apocolypse...

You can still hear Herbert's voice and inflections inside your mind...

You ever got hand-me-down clothes and groceries no one else would eat from the 'good fruits cellar' of the church because your family was so poor from tithing...

You were ever forced to sing in the Feast YOU choir...

You lost your virginity at the feast...

You got drunk for the first time at the Feast (off of your grandma's booze that she sinfully left out in the open in the hotel room, and your parents thought it was funny while you puked)...

You got kicked out of YOU cheerleading because you refused to not have 'big' 80's hair and would not remove the cute nail polish that matched your uniform...

You still have a talent for completely tuning out uninteresting speakers for hours at a time with the uncanny ability to correctly answer questions at the end, which came in handy when you got around to going to college in your late 20's...

You ever got evil looks from your friend's mom during church for passing a funny note and making her laugh during the prayer...

Your father began asking you if you were still a virgin at the age of 11...

Your father said you were a lesbian because you did not want to date any of the church boys...

You were never looked at twice by anyone in the church because you were of the poorest family there, only to have EVERYONE love you as soon as Armstrong dies, Tkatch took over, and the guilt and shame of the past began to haunt them...

You attended the bible study on the evil of music videos because you heard they would be playing Michael Jackson's Thriller video as an example of evil!

You never brought anyone home because of the squalor you lived in, and the tyrannical nature of your parents who made you study the bible for an hour every night after dinner before doing your homework...

You ever dared to bring a friend home and your father told her she looked like a whore because she wore tight clothing and make-up....

Your parents told you everyone but the folks that went to church were of satan, and you thought that was sad, because those worldly people treated you a lot nicer than the folks in the church...

Since you were 8 years old, out of dehydration and hunger, you threw up bile once a year, after the SECOND two hour church service, to prove you were at one with god...

You were considered rebellious for wanting to participate in extra-curiccuar activities in public school, which were always Friday night or Saturday...

You got picked on at school for being weird, and picked on at church for being poor...

You never made friends at school because while eveyone else was forming cliques at the beginning of the school year, you were at the Feast...

Your friends parents spanked you, or your parents expressly told your friends parents and teachers that they should spank you if you needed it...

You remember the 'spanking' room at church and visited it frequently for 'refusing to submit', meaning you asked the wrong questions...

You have hearing problems because your parents took you to the minister to be anointed for ear infections, instead of taking you to the doctor...

You still can not look at Crustaceans, such as shrimp, lobster, crab etc., as food...

You were spanked, or later ridiculed and called rebellious, when you asked 'why' you should do something...

You ever said something your parents didn't like and they tried to cast out your demons...

Your dad bought you your first cocktail at a church social...

You ever wondered why the things your parents said didn't really add up to reality...

The only reason you went to church was to see the only friends you had that understood you, so you did not have to try to figure out what 'normal' was around them...

You, as a girl, were encouraged to carry babies around at church...

You, as a girl, were encouraged by your parents to get married and have babies with a nice young man in the church, that is your only lot in life, according to God...

You, especially as a girl, were encouraged not to think too much...

Your legally blind, proud yet niave, father with was 'evenly yoked' with your hearing and learning disabled mother with a speach impediment, and then encouraged to have children regardless of the fact that they were never in love or even attracted to one another...

Your father had awful sex issues because he never loved or was attracted to the wife WCG picked for him...

Your mother looked the other way whenever your father abused you or your siblings, and allowed him to abuse her just the same...

Your minister felt sorry for your 'disabled' parents when you told them about the abuse you suffered at their hands, and told you to be more compassionate toward your parents...

You thought 'now that explains a lot' when you found out HWA was molesting his daughter and those around him KNEW ABOUT IT and said nothing...

Your father asked you if you had a problem with masturbation in front of one of your best friends...

You ever attended church at a skating rink, elementary school, exposition center, movie theater, or huge tin warehouse in 'The Dells'...

You ever brought a 'worldly' friend to church and they fell asleep during the sermon...

You ever fell asleep during the sermon...

Your father ever fell asleep during the sermon (and got mad at you for elbowing him so he'd stop snoring, like it was your fault he fell asleep)...

You were blanket trained as a child...

You heard 'special music' to the tune of Sinatra's 'My Way' only replaced with the words 'Gods Way'...

You sung hymns with all offensive or otherwise 'misleading' words changed, compliments of WCG...

You remember being taught a children's song at church called 'Patience', from the Music Machine, that talked about an impatient snail named Herbert, but you had to cross out the Herbert and sing Chester instead... thou shalt not take the name of the lord in vain!!!  Oh wait, Herb wasn't God?

Your father had a good friend that was black, and we were allowed to visit with them, but you couldn't spend the night at your black friend's home, because she was 'just different'...

Your father told you that races shouldn't mix in marriage because the children would be dim-witted, but god allowed it once for Noah's sons because of the flood, to preserve the races, and we're all decended from these people.... hmmm does that mean we're all inferior, bi-racial, dim-witted decendents of the line of Noah's sons then?

Your mother never said much of anything, except 'ask your father', even when you wanted to know how, and if, you could use tampons when you started your period...

You, and all your siblings, were considered rebellious and ended up as a run-away or otherwise in trouble with the law...

Your brother was not allowed to fight off the vicious attacks by the minister's, elder's and deacon's sons, rather he had to 'turn the other cheek'...

Your brother saw one of those 'elite' son's on the street one night and beat the living crap out of him with his new thug friends that he found after being rejected by said 'elite'...


*-Your 5 ½ year old brother was rebuked by your mom because he, as a kid tapped the minister on the shoulder when he took us out for dinner during the Feast. That was ULTIMATE disrespect for God’s ministers!

*-During Herbert Armstrong’s hyperactive mood swings believing that we were close to the end during the mid-1980’s, your mother in a cruel joke pretended that a phone call from a friend was an indication that, “we will flee tonight!”

*-You remember the pedantic nonsense at church picnic activities where we childishly substituted the evil word “damned” for “down” in the song, “Bad, bad, Leroy Brown” (I hope that the spirit of Jim Croce in heaven was shaking his head every time that happened saying, “These nuts are butchering my song as soon as I left the earth!”)

*-When your brother was 12 was complaining about you and cried, “Mom!!!!! He’s sounding like Mr. Hulme again!!!”

*-When Mr.Tkach Sr. came and visisted your area and spoke, he mentioned it was a nice day to take up an offering. You laughed, your brother didn’t find it funny at all and sort of indicated to mom for you to settle down.

*-Your friend was given a real stern sermon at the Feast of Tabernacles in the lovely and warm Carribean in the early 1990’s---not by a minister---but a LOWLY member! The infraction? Fraternizing with the non-members (girls!) Oh my! The evil! Your friend in the 2000’s doesn’t miss the Feast of Tabernacles anymore. Wonder why that is?!

*-You showed the book “The Armstrong Empire” that you found in the library to your pastor and said to him, “I hope you don’t leave the church.” Over 20 years later, you realized that wasn’t a bad idea after all! He should have joined you after all!

*-An idiot for member was pretending he was an ancient Israelite and you (an African Canadian) were the Amelikite and this idiot was chasing you with his imaginary sword through the park at a church activity!

*-This same idiot for member drove your family (a two way trip) to the Feast of Tabernacles. On the way back, this idiot for member wanted to order you, a 15 year old kid, like a little robot (or kid puppy or both) by commanding you to stay in his car for the sheer joy it (can’t go out for a little air) . This “so-called” man’s attitude driven you crazy that you banged your head against the wall (when you got home) against this man’s childish stupidity. Of course your mom and this idiot for member believed the problem was yours to begin with.

*-You remember at one feast that one “friend” (actually freeloader) in his wise trickery made you pay for his and his then-girlfriend’s meal. Is there anyway to get back at him 18 years later? Heh, heh, heh!!!

*-Your pastor was sooo crazy to have you baptized and in response said, “Felix, Joe (my friend) didn’t grow two heads after he was baptized!”

*-When you did get baptized in 1997 at age 27, you actually left Worldwide in 1998---a year later!

-When you were 11 and your parent chided you for being so mean for not giving that dollar during that feast offering

When your parent:

-spanked you when you said the word "dang" for damn threatened to tell the minister that you were watching Dick Clark’s New Year countdown -Made a stupid, rash, thoughtless and mindless ban on watching all rock videos. That stupid rule just withered away when you got older.

-Called you "selfish" for not dancing with a girl she wanted you to (but it was damn okay if any girl refused to dance with you!).

-Made you feel guilty when you wanted Christ to return later than sooner, "So you can have your fun!"

-When somebody in his stupid man-made opinion declared that you were overly emotional (Well you were a teenager, aren’t you supposed to be moody? Duh!) -Not only you endured the race policy and its enforcement but the bizarre racial theories that some in the WCG spouted out (i.e., that God would make me into a dark skinned black from a light skinned one when Christ returns, African Americans will go back to Africa)

-You are still friends with a former pastor but you still you want to scream from the top of your lungs for him making idiot statements about if its God’s will to have bi-racial children (I know for sure that God has a plan for Halle Berry’s existence!) -When you are 25, you reminisce about the WCG, you say to your friends, "Well, we were a cult." And one of your friends reply, "BLASPHEMY!"

-You were age 28, keeping your last feast with the WCG. After a service dedicated to the teens, somebody comes along and congratulates you for sticking with the Church, only to know that many youths around my age have left and you feel like kicking yourself for not joining them.

-At age 29, it is over a year you stopped attending WCG regularly for so many months. A friend brings you over to visit WCG again. In a conversation, an unfeeling, calculating manipulative bastard of a local elder says he finds that you have a concrete thinking mentality like Rod Meredith. That was it! You haven’t cared to visit WCG any further anymore since because of flippant and insensitive remarks like that!

-- by Felix


You have ever driven more than 3 hours to church.

You ever tithed your allowance.

Your parents never gave you a birthday party.

You know more than one story involving demons, and all are true.

You wanted to attend God's college.

Honey, no sugar (except maybe brown sugar).

You know the pagan origins of every major holiday.

You had to get anywhere by sundown.

You know what the missing dimension in sex is.

You coveted others' inspired margins.

You memorized the Bible seven items at a time (seals, stars, etc.).

You know where Big Sandy, TX is.

You know where Petra is.

You know what a WATS line is.

You recognize the name "Otto Von Hapsburg."

You can name all three heavens.

You can name all three Greek words for hell.

You can name all three Greek words for love.

You've heard special music that was neither special nor music.

You've ever set up and taken down over 4,000 folding chairs.

You've ever been "converted," "spiritually nourished," or "admonished."

You've ever heard a prayer where the word "inculcate" was repeated ad nauseum.

You've ever said "Cults aren't ALL bad," or "If the Christ and the disciples were around today, they'd be labeled as a cult."

You know what carob is.

You ever took a Matzoh sandwich to school.

You understand what these phrases mean: Did you watch the Telecast? Pray that everyone receives the transmission clearly. Where are you going for the Feast? Pray for the work. In the World Tomorrow...

You knew exactly what time the sun set.

You felt guilty about eating marshmallows, crackers from the salad bar, and free chips in Mexican restaurants, but you did it anyway, preferring not to "ask questions for conscience sake."

You had more ties/dresses than your school friends.

You ask yourself "Could this be considered a 'Restful Activity'?" and refuse to recognize the oxymoron.

You have been to places like Rapid City, Wisconsin Dells, the Poconos, the Ozarks.

Two words: Whole Wheat.

You have been to more than one "potluck."

Even now, you have a logically sound case for several Beast suspects.

Your family owned a cookbook of unleavened recipes.

You never got shots.

You were allowed to visit a doctor to find out what was wrong with you, but not to receive treatment.

You get flashbacks from the spiritual war.

You were the only person in your school who could name at least three products containing lard (Oreos, marshmallows, soda crackers, etc.)

You felt, for a moment, you really could be one of the two witnesses. No, really!

You call no man good.

You sing a song that abruptly changes key, then wonder what Ross Jutsum is up to these days.

You remain convinced that unclean meats are the cause of many health problems.

You still believe that Jimmy Page's mom (or someone connected with the writing of "Stairway to Heaven") is/was "in the church."

You can clearly state your position on the consumption of alcohol.

You knew it was wrong to watch TV on the Sabbath, unless it was the news, and even then you had to mute or turn down the volume when commercials came on.

You know what the following stands/stood for: YOU, SEP, PT, GN, WN, PGR, FOT, YES, PK, FDUB, LDUB, NTBMO, LGD, Worldwide Church of God, OT, NT, AC, AU, GTA, HWA and probably lots more.

You heard the following on a weekly basis:

"All rise..."

"Take up your hymnals"

"And now for special music..."

You ever sang a hymn about a "melancholy sparrow," a "pelican alone," or "an owl in some poor wasteland."

The Holy Spirit is not a Person.

You didn't know Jesus, but you knew Jesus Christ.

Your parents haven't voted since LBJ was president.

You can name every resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire.

You kept every Youth Magazine, PT, booklet, etc., for fear of Divine Wrath should you toss any in the garbage.

You've ever looked something up in the book of Hezekiah.

The word is "Lord" and you read "Eternal."

You've ever had a "Feast fling."

You were discouraged from becoming "unequally yoked."

You missed your high school prom and possibly your graduation, depending on how "liberal" or "converted" your parents were.

You can give valuable vacation advice for nearly every city on the continent.

In jr. high, you knew the zip code for Pasadena, CA.

You ever wondered which lost tribe you take after most.

You think everything in life comes down to two trees in some garden.

You ever worried about the anapestic beat in rock music giving you a heart attack.

Bewitched," "I Dream of Jeanie," and even "Casper" cartoons were off limits in your house.

You think it's significant that the year 2000 is the approximate end of 6000 years of recorded human history.

You know that 6 is the number of man, 7 is the number of completion, 12 is the number of organizational beginnings, 40 is the number of trials and testing, and every 19 years, we start another time cycle.

Your parents ever told you "Do you think the minister's kids are allowed to do that? Do you? Of course not!" and then, on another occasion, said "I don't care WHAT the minister's kids do!"

You didn't eat white bread.

You voluntarily starved yourself for 1 day a year from the time you were approximately 10 years old.



New from two recovering sisters:

You ever secretly bought mascara, eye shadow and blush, only to keep it hidden in the bottom of your school backpack along with a package of handiwipes and found yourself furiously scrubbing your face clean in the driveway or bus on your way home from school.

You spent at least one afternoon each holiday season in elementary school reading in the library during the class Christmas, Halloween and/or birthday parties.

You drew pictures of fall trees, harvested pumpkins, evergreen trees and snow while the rest of the class did jack o'lanterns and Santa Claus.

You ever ruined Christmas for your elementary school buddies by insisting that THERE IS NO SANTA CLAUS! and went on to prove it (from the encyclopedia, it's in there, you know)

You guiltily accepted Christmas presents from schoolmates, and gave them "winter" presents or "just because" presents NOT Christmas presents, in return.

You "accidentally" ripped the seams out of that skirt slit that your mother sewed up within an inch of the hem 5 minutes after getting the dress home from the store.

You STILL won't let shellfish pass your lips.

You experience post-traumatic stress syndrome and flashbacks while channel surfing late at night and you come across the 700 Club or the Hour of Power....

You went to your high school prom with a person who was a total stranger to the rest of your classmates.

You ever got drunk at a church sponsored activity with booze brought by another upstanding, church-going teen.

the mere thought of even stepping into a "church" today makes you want to run screaming into the night.

You ever voluntarily allowed someone to hold your head under water in a tank meant for livestock.

You considered a "date" an evening in some converted hall basement listening to mostly middle-aged men struggling through speeches that bored the spit out of you and eating bad reheated food.

You've ever attended a "pot-luck" wedding reception in said converted basement hall.

You spent more time in church than you did with your relatives.

You spent more time in church than you did with your friends.

You went on more bad dates than you had fingers and toes to count.

Every fall you were weeks ahead of your classmates in lessons.

You're now trying to figure out what happened to you and are spending your time and energy making up for lost time and doing things you should have done years ago...and you're not attending church at all!

You've ever asked "Are there bacon bits in that?" in a restaurant.

You've ever heard a record played backwards to reveal the hidden "backwards masking" message.

You travelled across the country to attend college when there were perfectly good universities in your home town.

You've ever disagreed with someone only to be told you have a "bad attitude."

When going through tough times in your life you referred to it as a "trial".

When experiencing a "trial" you've had people ask you what sin you committed to deserve it.

If anyone has ever asked you to pray for them.


New on 9/25/97:

You were a total stranger to your classmates.

  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.


New on 10/27/97:

You always had to get your school picture on "Make Up Day", because you were always at the feast when everybody else got their picture taken.

You imagined the really cool Valentine Box you'd make for your desk at school, if only you were allowed to make one.

Jingle Bells and Winter Wonderland were your favorite Christmas Carols, because they were the only ones you were allowed to sing.

You always liked Thanksgiving, because it occurred smack dab in the middle of two big holidays for children that you weren't allowed to celebrate.

You always went "out of town" on Halloween, and returned home to your egged and TP'd house around 10 pm.

You never left for church without bringing homework to do, or a book to read during the service.

You've ever attended a church service where the entire congregation sat and listened to a sermon coming out of a cassette deck.

You were amazed when you realized your friends' church services didn't run 2 whole hours.

You thought it was normal for people to "take notes" during church.

You can clearly remember the first Christmas you celebrated, because you were grown by then.


New on 11/14/97:

You ever had to listen to countless sermons about "authority".

You ever felt guilty about not tithing to the penny your allowance or meager wage.

You tried everything to rebel - drugs, sex, alcohol, but wouldn't touch that pork!


New on 11/29/97:

When you close your eyes you can still see those horrible drawings that Basil Wolverton drew in the "Bible Story" series. He detailed every hair and wrinkle on a persons body. I can still remember the one he did of a 900 year old Noah! Ugh. Disgusting!!!!!!

You remember placing gray paperback song books on old wooden folding chairs. I was supposed to put one on every other chair. If you opened the song book, Dwight Armstrong's name was on every other page.

You remember kids laughing at you because your father made sure your hair was cut real short and you had to wear baggy pants.


New on 12/3/97:

If you ever lied to everyone at school and said your feast presents were what you got for Christmas.

If you couldn't play on an organized sports team on the sabbath, but you could have your friends over and play sports in the back yard.

If you went out to a restaurant after church and someone more righteous than you got offended when you were checking out the score of the game on tv.

You could go to someone's birthday party, but couldn't sing happy birthday.

You were the only one in your class not giving out valentine's day cards.

Your teacher came to your house and picked you up after the class Christmas or Halloween party so that you could enjoy the movie they were showing in the afternoon assembly.

Someone asked you to tape a Friday night program for them because their parents said that would be just as bad as watching it.


New on 12/6/97:

From Ron & Pam Stahr:

You know who REALLY writes the songs that make the whole world sing...and it isn't Barry Manilow.

If you believe that Stan Rader had the original concept for Raiders of the Lost Ark.

If you know what a Tabernacle is.

If the word Feast conjures up memories of attending three two hour services a day in a leaking tent.

If you have ever heard a sermon on the evils of beer in a motel room bathtub.

If you know what "disfellowshipped" means.

If you know what the APPEARANCE of evil is - (bonus points if you also know how to avoid it)

If you married a person you neither knew nor liked but hey, the were in "the Church".

If you know the third law of success.

If you've ever had to tell a friend that you weren't allowed to tell them where church was.

If you know where Orr Minnesota is

If your parents never saved a retirement fund because......why was that exactly???

If you were ever told that watching Poltergeist was like opening the door and inviting demons into your life.

If you've ever sat through a 6 hour sermon and still didn't "get the point".

If you still believe there is no heaven or hell.

If upon reading this list you can't believe you really fell for all that crap.


New on 12/11/97:

You were told to sell your house and other possesions in order to save the 10% for "second tithe".

You were told that guys like Dale Schurter were bible scholars.

You heard many a minister who had little command over the english language.

You heard more than one minister refer to the prostate gland as the "prostrate gland".

You were told you were not a real man unless you joined spokesmans club.

You had someone at services inspect your hairline.

You were told your spirituality is measured by how much fruit you can sell.

Had a minister forget your name while being annointed.

Got strange looks for not carrying a briefcase to services.

You have numerous large volumes of notes taken at services which you never read.

You know what a "marked" person is.

The number 666 has meaning to you.

The beast is a person (probably the Pope).

Skirts had to be measured (1" below or at knee).


New on 12/12/97:

.. after arriving for services early, you were ever told "You will have to move, these seats are reserved for the ministry."

.. you know what a "Feast Parking Sticker" is.

.. you know the difference between a green, red and orange feast parking sticker.

.. you know the Russian word for "weaver".

.. you've heard about "The Thinker & The Thought." (Before falling fast asleep. or into a trance)

. . . you've ever listened to a two (plus) hour sermon and the next day couldn't remember what it was about.

.. you've ever been invited for a meal to the minister's house and asked to bring your tools to fix his car.

.. you've ever conjured up negative thoughts when you've heard Sinatra sing "My Way".

.. you've ever arrived at church services on time to find more than a hundred people standing outside in the cold because the janitor was still at home, in bed.

.. you've ever arrived at services early to see some poor guy freezing his butt off in the parking lot to save the best parking space for the minister.

.. you've ever seen a $1500, five foot wide, stained walnut lectern complete with halogen lighting.

.. you've ever helped move a $1500, five foot wide, stained walnut lectern complete with halogen lighting from one school to another.

.. you've ever watched the local minister clipping his nails while the local elder gave a sermon.


New on 12/14/97:

. . . you now know the 8th law of success is to convince more that 100,000 people to send you more than 10% of their gross income.

. . . you feel pain in your posterior when you hear the name Waterhouse.

. . . you've seen a long line of people waiting to talk to the minister after services. Later to find out they wanted to know things like, 'what kind of toothpaste to buy.'

. . . you've developed new techniques to keep awake during two hour sermons. Like chewing gum.

. . . you personally know a person who has been a regular for bathroom duty.

. . . you've ever been to a picnic where special troughs were constructed and filled with blocks of ice to hold the watermelons, because the local minister liked his watermelon "ice cold."

. . . you have personally witnessed fifteen grown men reciting, in unison, "Thomas Tatterfoot took taut twine to tie ten twigs to two tall twees."

. . . you often think of the two trees in the garden of Eden. You know, the tree of "give" and the tree of "get".

. . . you've ever doubled your tithe to God by donating through your employer's matching fund.

. . . you've ever waited until a designated day and time to call a hotel to make reservations, to find the line busy for two hours. Then, when finally making contact, finding out all the good rooms were taken by the ministers .. . three months earlier.


New on 12/15/97:

. . .  you now realized the "Plain Truth" were the "Rumors".

. . .  you've had a new minister walk to the front with a six-shooter, lay it on the lectern and say, "I just want ya'll to know who's the new boss around here."

. . .  you know what an anointing rug is.

. . .  you've ever wondered why "Nebuchadnezzar" doesn't end with a vowel.

. . .  you've ever considered moving the sign, "reserved for the ministry," to the men's room.

. . .  you now carry Tums everywhere, just in case you hear the word "tithe".

. . .  you have ever felt a kinship to Barney Rubble, because you too would someday be a cave dweller.

. . .  you ever suspected an assistant pastor of once being in the Nazi Youth Group.

. . .  you've ever had a minister and his associate come to your house and use the good cop/bad cop routine on you before excommunicating you.

. . .  your regular reading material's text font size varied proportionately with key words suggesting you send MORE MONEY FAST.

. . .  hearing from a GENERAL from HEADQUARTERS was part of a religious experience.

. . .  after giving more than 20% of your gross income they asked you to sell oranges and grapefruit.

. . .  your minister's wife would drive him to church so he could write his entire sermon.

. . .  you know many ministers who looked at truth as proportional to job security.

. . .  you can't stop thinking of "You might have grown up in the Worldwide Church of God if . . . . . ."  things!


New on 12/17/97:

... you have and still may pronouce the word ISRAEL...........IS-RI-EL and use it as a replacement word when singing patriotic songs.

... you've given the minister the "first fruits" of your vegetable garden.

... if you ever been "enequally yoked" to anything.

... you still believe the word "brethren" is actually pronounced "brethring".

... you have the ability to identify the food items at a "pot luck".


New on 1/8/98:

....if you have stacks of tithe envelopes sitting on your desk. carried a calendar of "Gods Holydays" in your wallet so that at any given time you can know when they occur. faithfully paid 1, 2 and 3 T without realizing/accepting that your credit card debt is nearly the same amount. know what 3T means!! willingly paid for students to attend AC while going into debt to pay for your own college costs...AND YOU'RE STILL PAYING FOR YOURS!@#$ actually believed that AC people are "Cream of the Crop"...AND THEY'RE NOT PAYING FOR THERE COLLEGE DEBT!!?@#$@?! would speculate how you would change things once you became God.


New on 1/16/98:

...You look for green stickers on bumpers of cars.

...You ever took a "TRAM" from Lake Loma to the Tabernacle.

* You studied the writings of Herbert W. Armstrong on your knees, while fasting, to qualify for baptism.

* You've heard a sermon which explained the layout of cities in the world tomorrow, and included color charts.

* You've heard the term "we are family" spoken in more than 5 languages.

* You've been told by a deacon to address the minister as MISTER Smith in front of other members even though he was your uncle.

* Your mother told the kid next door you "have your Christmas in September".

* You were suspicious of your parents because they never threw out their old Protestant hymnal.

* You've heard closing prayers ask for God's dismissal so many times it never occurred to you to wonder what would happen if God refused it.

... During closing prayers, you heard the word "Father" repeated mindlessly 50 times in two minutes!


New on 1/31/98:

* if you have ever been asked by a classmate why your bread is brown?

* if your mom sprinkled bran & brewers yeast on your cereal in the morning.

* if you thought white sugar & white flour were a sin.

* if you could never talk to your mom on Saturday morning because she had to pray for an hour before church.

* if you were the only girl who was wearing no make-up in her yearbook picture!

* if you were ever "marked" as a kid because your dad left church in 1974.

* if you ever took a $5,000 vacation in Eugene, Oregon every year but couldn't afford to buy a house.


New on 2/6/98:

* if you took pants to school in your book satchel and wore them until time to come home.

* if you have been told that if you leave the church you'll no longer have God's protection. And actually knew someone who died in a car accident or some other form of accident because they stopped attending church. Then having your parents remind you of this fact (fiction) everytime you didn't do what was expected of a good church teen.

* if your parents paid their tithes before paying their bills or buying groceries. The minister always encouraged them by saying "Put it in God's hands. He will provide." As he gets into his new car (furnished by the church) and going home to his nice house (also paid for by the church). It never occurred to your parents that their money was paying for all of this.

* if your mom spent 2 hours grocery shopping because she had to read every label.

* if your mom had a list of grocery items that were "clean" to eat.

* if you didn't eat lunch at school some days because they served pork or there was a piece of bacon in the green beans.

* if you just realized you spent the last 20 years on the Worldwide Church of God life support system because you were "brain dead".

New on 2/17/98:

...if you constantly think that if only Adam had picked the right fruit, from the right tree, everything on Earth would be fine!!

...if you now realize that the Cuban missile crisis really COULD have started World War Three!!

...if you dreaded Christmas because you would have to reject all the gifts over and over again your family kept giving to you.)

...if you watched your wife struggle trying to carry the Christmas tree into the house,while you debated whether to help her with it

...if you smuggly looked at the "sunworshippers"of Baal at the cemeteries on Easter morning,in the rain/snow,and went to a feast and stood out in the rain.

...if you were in a bad mood for days after finding a pack of cheese and crackers in a jacket pocket on the days of unleavened bread

...if at a restaurant on the days of unleavened bread,you made a fool out of yourself hassling the waitress, along with many others,asking,'Are you sure the salad has no croutons on it,' and .."make sure you don't bring bread to the table,whatever you do!'

...if you were the local neighborhood prophecy-master and if someone dropped a shoe in Israel,this might have serious biblical-prophecy meanings!

... if you paid your tithes instead of paying your debts; and then being forced to file bankruptcy. Because if you didn't pay your tithes before paying your debts it would be considered robbing from God.


New on 2/22/98:

...if you have heard a sermonette on how to clean leavening out of your toaster.

...if you heard a sermonette on how to get your car ready for the feast.

...if you ever were told at the Feast not to put your beer or wine bottles in the motel trash cans because of what the maid might think.

...if you were a woman and had to breast feed one baby and take care of two others while fasting on the day of atonement.

...if you have ever felt guilty if you didn't arrive home from work on Friday night before sunset.

...if you checked when sunset occured every week.

...if you had your baby on saturday and your friend said jokingly to you, you have been laboring on the sabbath.

...if you didn't know who your neighbors were.

...if you are now in your 30's and have never registered to vote.

...if there were a lot of cliques, those who have and those have not.

...if you rushed to get married because the world was coming to an end, and you didn't want to miss out on that experience.

...if at the end of the day on the day of atonement everyone waited around watching their watches so they could eat the second the Sun set. Or, if you had the money, you stayed late after the last service so you could arrive at the restaurant after sunset.

... if your minister found out that you were playing Basketball on your Jr. High School team and made you quit or you couldn't be on the YOU team.


New on 9/20/98:

If you wouldn't buy your kids Transformers toys because they were "More than meets the eye" i.e., demons.

If every Tabletopics discussion that was remotely interesting was always quashed by some righteous ass who stood up, sighed wisely, and pointed out that "It doesn't make much difference one way or the other, because when Christ comes back He will put everything in the proper order".

If you wondered if God really called the Weak of the World or just the Weak and the Weird.

If you noticed that children, who did not have the Holy Spirit, were expected to behave perfectly, while elderly people, who supposedly did have the Holy Spirit, were protected and praised by the ministry no matter how much hell they raised or how many rumors they spread.

If you wondered just what the Bible meant by "hoary head". . .

If you saw people disfellowshiped for "disobeying government", but the child molesters in the congregation were merely warned--if that.

If you were forbidden to watch the movie "To Kill A Mockingbird" at the 1963 Feast (Squaw Valley) because it would "put your eternal life in jeopardy". (Instead we were encouraged to watch "Barabbas".)

If the phrase "Festival Deacon" still sends you into shivering fits.

If you remember ministerial warnings at the feast to dispose of liquor bottles somewhere besides the motel garbage cans because the quantity of booze containers was causing raised eyebrows among the host community.

If you paid tithes on your unemployment check.

If the waitress never put croutons on your salad except during the DULB--and you could never get the bitch to understand that you didn't want them.

If that visiting minister who woke up the babies wasn't really screaming and foaming at the mouth--he was "speaking with power".

If you remember a church member telling his son as they crossed the street: "Danny! Get back inside that crosswalk, son! You know God won't protect you outside that crosswalk! Danny!"

If the more you learn about the Third Reich, the more parallels you see to the Worldwide Church of God.

If after leaving the church for the last time (voluntarily this time), you were not surprised to learn that Herman Hoeh's parents were, during the Second World War, members of the Nazi party.

If you felt your stomach twist into a knot whenever someone on the job mentioned they were going to work on Saturday and might need some help.

If a fairly affluent family moved into your church area and the local elder immediately invited them over to dinner; yet you had been there for years and had never seen the inside of his house.

If you have heard some HQ minister explain just what one dollar will pay for (400 PTs, 500 baptisms, food for Russia for 30 days, 200 hours of television time worldwide, etc). Yeah, right! So how come you needed $40,000 from me over all those years?

If you saw the "8 million circulation" claim inside the PT magazine, yet you knew that at least 6 million of those magazines were being taken out of the news stands and trashed by enemies of the church--because it was happening to the stands you serviced yourself.

If you still remember the tail number of Herbert W. Armstrong's airplane (N111AC).

If you are 22 years old and your minister is riding you to get a job. You suggest that you are thinking of becoming an ambulance driver, that you would like to help sick and injured people and save lives. The minister becomes irate. "They're just gonna have to go through the tribulation--WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SAAAAAAVE THEM FOR !!!" (I did it anyway.)

If at the height of the Vietnam war, you have to register as a conscientious objector and face a hostile draft board when your classification is refused.

If you know what "demon-strate" and "demon-ocracy" mean, and who coined those words.

If you notice that Gerald Waterhouse and Charlie Manson sound exactly alike. Hear them on tape and you can't tell one from the other.

If you have wondered if there is a connection between Waterhouse and Water Closet.

If you see your kids playing church on Saturday morning, all dressed up cute as bugs, and hear one of them say, "Now Luke Skywalker will say the closing prayer".

If the minister snaps your wife's bra during the "halftime" of a spokesman club breakfast meeting, and she doesn't tell you for over a year because she's afraid you'll deck the bastard.

If you finally realized that when Joe Tkach used to say "Hag sameach!" he was really saying, "F___ all you people!"

If you quit eating Rye-Krisp for DULB because it always gave you the squirts.

Submitted by John B.




If the Pastor's wife asks you if you are gay because you will not date her daughter or any other female in your church because you go to public school and know the difference.

If on the Day of Atonement you time your order so the food is delivered to your table within seconds of sunset.

If in an attempt to sleep you rest both arms on your knees with your head down and tell your parents that you were "thinking" or "listening to the sermon".

If you had to sit in the front row of a 20,000 seat arena because your father was speaking and think "...I don't care if they can all see me....I'm sleeping"

If you have someone know your name before you tell them and have them tell you how lucky you are to live in Pasadena and go to Imperial.

If you never wanted to be alone in a room with many Imperial teachers.

If you know that Pentecost means Count Fifty and know why that's significant

If you think that anyone anywhere attending any church is brainwashed

If you are able to drink a six pack between morning and afternoon "services" and get back in time to sing special music with the rest of the Choraliers.

If you have to leave a school basketball game at halftime because the sun was setting....and you were on the team.

If you never questioned why 25 people had to fly with the "Pastor General" to visit a church. And have that church spend it's money for new basketball uniforms on a wood carving of a lion and a lamb, just hoping to make it into the Behind the Work film at the feast.

If you actually look forward to the Behind the Work film because you knew you could at least sleep during that.

If you have looked around a basketball arena during the sermonette (and sermon for that matter) trying to find the people you partied with last night.

* If you attended many square dance, bowling, or wedding socials in which you had to (as a child) sit and watch movies rented from the local library in a separate room with fifty other wild and restless children.

* If you ever escaped such a room and wandered out onto the dance floor or bowling alley only to be promptly retrieved by an angry deacon by the scruff of the neck.

* If you never understood the words of the songs found in the purple Hymnal, but had all of them memorized just the same.

* If you always wondered what Dwight Armstrong's musical training was, and if he ever tried singing all of the songs that he wrote.

* If you ever tried to behave well in church so that you could get recommended to go to SEP or AC by the local ministry.

* If you ever wondered why the Feast of Tabernacles had to occur in the fall, only a few weeks after all the church kids started their new school year.

* If you ever were not allowed to attend the first day of junior high school because of the Feast of Trumpets.

* If you were ever thrilled that there was no other kid in your school who attended the Worldwide Church of God so that you could behave in a normal way.

* If you ever had to take a matzo-sandwich to lunch and get ridiculed by your lunch pals.

* If you were ever forced to fill out an "educational trip" form for your school and list all kinds of ridiculous sites that you would be seeing during the "trip" that were educational.

* If you had to list the same "educational" sites year after year after year.

* If you ever failed a test because of your absence during the Feast of Tabernacles.

* If, when you were reviewing the financial aid applications for colleges with a parent, your parent recommended that you attach a special statement referring to your family's tradition of tithing to a church in that it may enhance the likelihood that your financial award package would be increased.

* If you ever wondered why the pastor of your church always chose to arrive with his family just minutes before the song service while almost everyone else was encouraged to show up hours before.

* If you ever wondered why the Minster's kids were some of the worst behaved, carnal monsters of the congregation when they were unsupervised by adults.

* If you ever attended SEP and had a hopeless crush on someone you met who lived thousands of miles away in his/her church area.



You Might Have Grown Up in the Worldwide Church of God If.....

You ever soaked any one of your body parts in wine to promote healing

You owned a special pair of pantyhose with the toes cut out called "Passover Pantyhose"

The only items in your cosmetic bag was a tub of Vaseline for glossy lips and to darken your eyelashes in place of mascara (a tip you got from an LCE's wife) and a bottle of clear nail polish used to stop the runners in your "Passover Pantyhose"

You snuck leavened products into your neighbor's garbage in an effort to remove sin from your house

You feel you personally know Tommy Bartlett and all the acts featured in his watershow (Wisconsin Dells)

When asked to recite your home phone number in kindergarten, the only number that came to mind was 1-800-423-4444

As an AC student in the dry town of Big Sandy, you anxiously looked forward to Passover services because of the passing of the wine tray

As a 29 year old college student you weren't considered mature enough to drink alcoholic beverages and had to abide by an 11:00 pm curfew

You never did find out who shot J.R. Ewing because "Dallas" was aired on Friday nights after sundown

Your friends at school thought you were mental and gave you strange looks when you asked them who shot J.R. Ewing

You know the meaning of the ten toes of clay

A social evening with the brethren involved a potluck meal consisting of dishes with names including the words "surprise" and "delight" and playing 666 games to figure out who the beast power was

The night to be much remembered was memorable because you got to help your dad butcher the goat

The night to be much remembered was memorable because your parents invited the nicest family (and the only black family) in the whole church over for dinner and when giving directions your parents instructed them to drive down the alley, park at the back of the house and knock on the back door to gain entrance so the white neighbors wouldn't see them

You've ever scheduled your vacation housing around features A, B, D, E, I, J, K, and handicap accessible

A Women's Club thought-provoking table topics question included "What is your favorite kind of flower and why?" -the "why" part was supposed to provoke thought

If in Women's Club you ever tried to center an intelligent table topics question around Reaganomics, trade embargoes, the famine in Ethiopia or the Gulf War and was reprimanded by your club director for darkening the mood of the evening

If after you researched and prepared your Women's Club speech for two weeks anticipating an in-depth evaluation and lengthy discussion on the facts you have presented and the only comment you receive from your club director is "Missy, you look very pretty standing behind that lectern!"

You were encouraged in Women's Club not to appear too intelligent because it wouldn't attract a husband, but if you curled your hair a certain way the men would be flocking to your booth door

Your idea of an "elegant" evening of entertainment involved a tray of powdered-sugar dusted lemon squares and construction paper invitations and decorations

Your father ever made you go "gleaning" in a farmer's field like Ruth did in hopes that you might hook some old farmer as a husband (this is true!)

Your parents reminded you that long hair was a woman's "crown and glory" and therefore you couldn't cut your hair short, but using styling products like blow dryers and curling irons to keep it nice was considered vanity

You weren't allowed to wear jeans with a front zipper because they made you "bulge" in front like a man and the Bible says "a woman shall not wear that which pertains to a man..."

You felt the need to "get back on track"

Joining Spokesmen Club as a Y.O.U. member was a surefire way in to Ambassador College

You have ever been told that you need to visit a "Prayer Booth"

You can successfully navigate your way through the camps of 10s, 100s and 1000s in the Piney Woods campgrounds

You felt stronger ties to Big Beak rather than Big Bird

You tried explaining to your friends who Big Beak was, and got frustrated when they still didn't know who the hell you were talking about

You remember what kind of car Gerald Waterhouse drove (a Volvo mentioned in every sermon)

You have ever "Talked with the Animals"

If you ever dated a window washer still living with his mother holding a 4 year degree in theology from Ambassador College and the church ladies considered him to be "the most successful, eligible bachelor that this church area has ever seen!"

In Principles of Living class you endured one and a half semesters discussing the "spirit of man" and only 15 minutes on the all-important "leverage" chapter from the Missing Dimension in Sex book and found that more time on the "leverage" chapter would have prepared you better for life after AC

You have ever had a minister anoint you for an embarrassing female problem and you had to explain in detail what that problem was so he could present it properly to God for more effective healing

On high holy days between services at lunchtime, your father made it a point to drive by your high school so your friends could see that you were observing God's holy days

You can give accurate directions to the Air Force museum in Dayton, OH

You paid 1st, 2nd and 3rd tithe (if you were baptized) on your AC paychecks only to be left with $11 to spend on your personal hygiene for the next two weeks

You were told you didn't belong at God's college if you weren't baptized by the end of your Freshmen year

You realize your only career in modeling might be to grace the cover of "Youth" magazine

You have ever had your name posted on the A.C.I.C.

You were ever told that your personal problems were because you didn't pay your tithes consistently, and someone had actually checked on this

You ever applied to get into a non-accredited college for more than three years in a row and weren't considered a success until you did

Your classmates from school got to travel to Florida for Spring Break and you got to spend yours deleavening the basement

During an apology to a friend you slip in the phrase "wherefore I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes..."

When hearing the statement "NO WAY" in a conversation you resist the urge to respond with "YAH-WEH"

As the child of plain, old regular brethren, you had to fight, scratch and claw your way into the doors of Ambassador College, while the juvenile delinquent half-wit minister's child was welcomed with open arms

Happiness was getting your first Y.O.U. card

You were thrilled to receive your first green offering envelopes in the mail (along with your Y.O.U. card) and even more thrilled when you were old enough to receive yellow ones like your parents

When asked at the FOT how many feasts you had attended you felt a sense of pride to raise your hand when the total reached numbers in the double-digits

When, after leaving the Worldwide Church of God, you sadly realize that the number of FOTs you attended had reached the double digits

A minister has ever counseled you to "put on the armor of God"

You were told you had a "Laodicean" attitude

Because you were broke from tithing, your wedding took place in the rented Jr. High School gymnasium where local church services were held and was followed by a potluck reception prepared by the church ladies with fascinating foodstuffs containing the words "surprise" and "delight" in the names

You have ever walked into Taco Bell and inquired if tortillas were leavened

You have volumes of Envoy yearbooks on your bookshelves bought at the FOT and realize that you have no clue who any of the people are in them

You have ever "Blanket Trained" your child to sit through a 2+ hour long church service

If you ever felt like a direct extension of the right hand of God when asked to man a WATS line at 4:00 am

If your parents ever referenced Garner Ted Armstrong's child rearing booklet in an effort to "adjust" your attitude

The last words you heard at the FOT were "go and let your light shine to the world" and to this day your picture of letting your light shine involves 8,000 pushing, shoving, elbowing brethren madly scrambling out the doors of the tabernacle to be the first one's to reach their cars and pull onto the interstate

If after reading a list of "You might have grown up in the Worldwide Church of God if..." testimonials you don't know whether to laugh hysterically or break down into tears.




If your father has taken the family out to dinner and, only after ordering cheeseburgers for everyone, realizes that this day is a day of Unleavened Bread and asks the waitress to please bring the cheeseburgers without the bread!



1) On your very first Day of Atonement (at age 5) you finally succumbed to the 107 degree Phoenix heat and snuck a big drink of water in the men's bathroom. The resulting guilt hung with you for years.

2) At age 6 it was discovered by your parents that rather than taking notes during services you were actually drawling cartoons. You were severely punished and told that you had "stolen time from God."

3) Fifteen years after your family left the Worldwide Church of God you are now a United States Army Special Forces Sergeant. Decorated veteran of two shooting conflicts. The only real nightmares that occasionally disturb your sleep have to do with being back in "Herbies Hoolie."

 You stayed for eight days in a metal tool shed in a pasture in Texas and said this represented God's future millennium! Why did Herbert W. Armstrong never spend eight days in one of those sheds?

You where told to take your empty liquor bottles home with you because the FEAST of BOOTHS was getting the reputation of THE FEAST OF BOOZE! How else could we cope with such substandard conditions?

If you drove 160 miles, one way on a FRIDAY night to listen to pastor D B preach from 7:30 p.m. until 11:30 p.m. Then drive home and call the sabbath a delight.

During the days of mini skirts you had to wear your skirts two inches below your knees because you might cause the men in the church to get aroused sexually.

You were told by pastor D B to write SEX in two inch high letters in your bible and then be embarrassed, as a teenager, to open your bible to those scriptures.

You got beat by a paddle at summer camp in Texas because your sheets did not get clean enough. You wrongly looked at the leader, then told you were IN A BAD ATTITUDE. You then got humiliated by being sent home early because of too many bad attitudes.

You allowed someone else to choose your accommodations for you when you went to the feast.

You could not get baptized because you were a farmer who felt obligated to feed and milk his cows on the sabbath day.

If you were told that you could not wear red or purple dresses because they were the color of the WHORE!

You were told that you could not wear a wig even though you had a hair problem with only a handful of hairs on your head.

You could not wear a girdle or high heeled shoes because that was vanity.

You were told to get your teeth pulled instead of filling them because we would be going to the place of safety in 1972 anyway.

You didn't need to get a higher education or buy a house or nice furniture because you wouldn't need it after 1972. You were told to sell your farm for the same reasons.

You were told to GET MARRIED and have SEX early because 1972 was just around the corner. Have children right away! No wonder 99% of the marriages in our area have all ended in divorce.

You were told by your minister G A, not to go to the doctor for a very treatable cancer because your FAITH would heal you. Now my brother-in-law is six feet under because he took the advice. We tried to reason with him in vain by pointing out that there was no difference between pulling a bad tooth or removing a cancerous tumor.

If you were strongly encouraged to have your babies at home, even though you potentially put your life and the baby's life in great danger.

You couldn't go to doctors but to get eyeglasses was okay.

The deaconess advised you to marry the high school dropout because she felt we could stay married until 1972 and then it wouldn't matter any more. You can always live with someone for a short period of time.

When you had children you were told by the minister's wife to spank your child until you had BROKEN HIS WILL! I tremble when I recall that one.

You were told at the feast to beat your children in private because the media were watching.

You made your small children sit quietly for two whole hours which was the yardstick of good parenting.



 *At 9 years old you were scolded by several members for performing a card trick, because card tricks are magic, and magic is Satanism!

*Your parents were considered "liberals" because they took you to the doctor when you were sick.

*While at the Feast in Niagara Falls your parents car was searched at the Canadian boarder because "You're with that peculiar church group, aren't you?"

 *As a teenager you say you might seek a career in law enforcement after high school and are forced into counseling because that isn't a job God would approve of.

 *When you buy your first car (a '72 mustang) or a motorcycle, the minister warned you that you are "tempting" God by having such dangerous toys!

 *While dining at another members home, you notice that all the conversations, including the children's, are about the life and times of Mr. Armstrong. Bringing up another subject such as sports, or politics, resulted in embarrassing silence.

*As a teen you are told you cannot date girls who aren't in the church, yet many of the girls in the church eagerly had pre-marital sex!

 *You wish your father were still alive so you could get even with him for raising you in the World Wide Church of God Damn Lies!!

 ...You knew whether the man giving the closing prayer had kids or not--even if he was from another area. (And had begged for a Timex with a stopwatch function for this very purpose.)

*You ever heard your mother rail against church men who strode cheerfully into church carrying a tiny attach, case while their pregnant wives staggered behind them with a child hanging onto each hand, a baby on one hip, and a diaper bag approximately the size of a Volvo hanging from her shoulder.

*And then were appalled when the guest minister interrupted his sermon to tell that woman from the pulpit that if she couldn't keep her children quiet she should take them outside.

*Your parents were certain that you were an ardent student of the Bible because of your eagerness to get to Bible Study--when the truth was you just wanted your weekly cookie fix.

*You know what mud flaps must taste like because during the DULB, your parents sent you to school with a turkey hotdog wrapped in a raw corn tortilla.

*You were upset when the only African-American girl in YOU stopped coming to the dances because all the local boys were white, and she had no one to dance with.

*No one else saw anything wrong with that.

*You learn in high-school Latin class that Nero used to give concerts that lasted days at a time, and the unfortunate nobles who had to attend would sometimes pretend to be dead so they could be carried out...and you wonder if that would work the next time Gerald Waterhouse comes to town.

*Your parents tithe so much of their income that you can count the items of bought-from-the-store new clothing you have on one hand...and you're in junior high.

*You hear the call for men -and women to help set up chairs for Gerald Waterhouse's special visit next month and you get excited that they want women to help, too--until you find out that if you, a woman, volunteer, you will be dusting the chairs, because cleaning is women's work.

*All the girls over 18 you know who are still in the church were hastily married to church boys and had babies six months later.


...You ever spend hours and hours cleaning every scrap of leaven from the house and car in preparation for the Days of Unleavened Bread.

...You ever wondered if there was leaven in toothpaste.

...You actually liked homemade unleavened bread & matzos.

...You ever had nightmares about the gruesome illustrations in the Bible Story books.

...You still, after all these years, have a total inability to make plans more than a few months in advance, since you grew up believing we were all going to "A Place of Safety" at any moment.

...You've ever attended church services that were held in a YMCA, an Hellenic Center, a school cafeteria, an Aquarama, or a really large tent.

....You have fond memories of attending services in a huge tent in the rain where you got to play in the rivers that ran past everyone's feet.

...You've ever played board games with yourself to while away time on Saturdays.

...You knew when the sun set each Friday and Saturday, down to the minute, and on Saturdays you and your brother were poised by the TV to click it on the moment the Sabbath was officially over.

...You had to miss parts of TV shows that came on Friday or Saturday nights.

...As an adult you are obsessed with taping TV shows you really like, which your husband insists is a direct result of missing favorite shows for the Sabbath as a child ( in the pre-VCR 70's).

...You only got to see Saturday morning cartoons once a year, when you went to your cousin's in Virginia for Thanksgiving, and then couldn't really enjoy them for feeling sinful.

...You weren't sure whether you couldn't watch Batman because it was evil or because it came on Saturday morning.

...You've ever thought drinking Coke was a sin.

...You still have the ability to sit very still and very quietly for hours at a time.

...You didn't read the Narnia books until college because the first book's title is "The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe".

...You've ever gotten in really big trouble at a YOU swim party because a chaperone caught a male friend touching your leg to feel an enormous mosquito bite.

....Going to church took the entire day and most of the evening.

...You referred to Saturday as the Sabbath as a matter of course.

...A minister has ever informed you that the Carpenters had evil lyrics in their songs so you shouldn't listen to them.

...A minister has ever informed you that Yellow Submarine is about LSD so it, and the Beatles, are also evil.

...You've ever ridden a bus from North Carolina to Orr Minnesota.

...At summer camp you were forced to clean an already-clean dorm for several hours each morning to pass inspection, and were thrilled to get an ear infection from the lake because it meant going to the infirmary and missing some of the cleaning.

...You actually knew exactly what clean and unclean foods meant, and which ones were clean and unclean.

...You still know the difference between the gray hymnal and the purple hymnal.

...You've ever had to figure out how you were going to miss college classes for the feast and still pass.

...You had to get 10,000 shots to get into grad school because you had no records of having childhood immunizations, since you never got any.

...You planned all your life to go to Pasadena or Big Sandy or Bricketwood to college, then realized in high school that they were 1)insanely expensive and 2) not accredited, so went to the state university instead.

...Going to the state university instead of Ambassador was one of the best decisions you ever made.

...You spent a lot of time worrying what would happen to your cats and your father if you had to go to Petra and they didn't get to go, and weren't too sure that going there sounded like such a good idea, but were afraid to say so.


 You are now seeking a real relationship with God, yet every time you go to a different church you automatically think the minister must be an egomaniac who is only seeking to make himself look good and probably is really a jerk who neglects his family and chases women.

You would never tell a minister or church leader anything for fear they would get up the next church meeting and not so discreetly refer to you and your problem.

You never really feel like a part of the real world even though you haven't set foot in a Worldwide Church of God church in 10 years. You kind of feel sad because now you think you will never feel the joy of truly believing in any religion ever again after how you were (almost) brainwashed before.

You can't believe your parents can still defend those beliefs after all this time.

You get angry every time you think about sitting through a forum at AU when the speaker continually referred to people who had premarital sex in the past as pieces of used furniture nobody would want, meanwhile proclaiming he and his wife had never kissed before they were married. All the while wondering what would happen if you got up and started screaming.



You might have grown up in the Worldwide Church of God if....

1) you were ever depressed for weeks because your best friend, Danny B., was a minister's kid, got relocated and then his family got disfellowshipped.

2) you ever got busted at SEP Scotland for sneaking in blue hair dye, and were threatened to be sent home because you dyed everyone's hair before the Bible Bowl.

3) the closet thing to a Valentine you ever got was a Sabbath note at SEP

4) The name Jess Ernest, as a minister, still pisses you off.

5) You ever wondered why Jess Ernest, the minister, hardly ever talked about his physically challenged daughter, until years later you realized he probably wasn't allowed to.

6) you still have trouble with cross ethnicity marriages, and curse your reasons for it

7) your parents ever had several copies of the "Child Rearing" hate booklet, and you are still in doubt about ever being loved.

8) you just found out the sex scandals surrounding Herbert W. Armstrong and Garner Ted Armstrong and now a whole lot of things make sense

9) you can still the remember the jingle that went with "YOU, SEP, summertime fun for you and me..."

10) you have such deep issues with being different that you over involve yourself in every holiday, company event, or sporting event, and still don't feel like you fit in.

11) you never went to a high school football game

12) you were jealous of the Imperial kids, because you were sure they were never called a Nazi or a Communist because they didn't believe in Christmas etc.

13) you feel weird thinking about Worldwide Church of God now celebrating Christmas and meeting on Sunday, like they are doing something wrong, but you, yourself, wouldn't step inside a church on a bet.

14) you think this website is great because you realize you are not alone in your insanity, and truly are not insane, just horribly mistreated as a child and would welcome any connection with others that remember and understand.

 If, when gathering with family members, one has only to launch into a rendition of "Blessed and Happy is the Man" or "Glorious Things of These Are Spoken" in order to elicit paroxysms of laughter that continue for several minutes.

If the howls continue when someone says, "Hachsa Magog"

If anyone you know has ever been subject to the semi-secret doctrine of "look-see", whereby brethren highly trained in the fine art of racial profiling were given a photo (usually of a racially mixed child) and would proceed to "look" and "see" whether or not the child in question was descendent of Shem, Ham, or Japeth. (You had better hope Shem, because then all the "white" privileges would be yours.)

If you were ever chastised during Bible Bowl for supplying two answers, the one that appeared in Mystery of the Ages, and then what you believed to be the correct response.

If you have keep secret until this very moment the time you and your brother urinated on Ambassador Auditorium in silent protest to Worldwide Church of God's racial policies.

If you have ever contemplated starting a cult of your own, because after the tutelage of the Armstrong gang, nothing could stand in your way.

If you have ever solemnly explained to your siblings your right of superiority, espoused in the bible, as a firstborn son.

If you have ever sat in a room full of people with armed with Bibles and scratch paper, who after much study and arithmetic, determine the start date of the Tribulation to be August 8th, 1988.

If you were punished for not being able to wipe the smile off your face with faced with the date, August 8th, 1988.

If you were anointed with olive oil in order to purge Satan after performing a disappearing coin trick for some brethren.

If you were anointed again after a repeat performance of the coin trick despite arguing that there was no reason for the first one not to "take".

Two Words: Water House

If, an actual black woman between the ages of 10 and 50 walked by, someone was sure to say, "there's one fer ya!"

If you have ever had a local elder pull you aside and to explain that just as sometimes you should spank children, it's okay to hit women, "when they get out of line."

If you have ever had to explain to a counsel of local ministers and elders, exactly why you were seen riding a roller coaster with a white girl during a Y.O.U. activity, and did you understand the ramifications of your actions.

If when arguing religion with a friend at school, who had actually read" The United States and Britain in Prophecy" and declared it a stinking pile of bat dung, you had to agree, and said you would "get back to him on that."

If you had to "act sad" when you heard the news of Herbert W. Armstrong's passing.

If you have every wondered that if you got sick, could "DOCTOR Hagh" do anything about it.

If you ever wondered if most of the ministers got picked on and beaten up in high school.

If upon winning a fellowship to study in Asia, you were advised against accepting by the local elders because it was better "to concentrate on Europe".

If you continually had trouble "wiping that smile of your face" when faced with this type of advice.


 You ever heard the term "road runner" and wondered if it was perhaps a name for the newest model sports vehicle of the year.

 You ever had panic attacks and phoned home that you'll be three hours late whenever there is a meeting scheduled at work, and you've just spotted a Volvo in the parking lot.

 You ever realized halfway through the movie at the theatre that you are sitting in the back because you thought the first rows were reserved for the ministry.

 You ever parked at the mall and given up the better, closer spots because you were afraid they may be reserved for the ministry.

 You've ever attended a church service out of town and found yourself hurrying through lunch and beginning to drive back to the church for the afternoon service.

 You've ever been watching TV on Friday evenings and found yourself nervously watching the clock.

 You've ever in the springtime found yourself reaching frantically for falling crumbs from your sandwich.

 You've ever sat in a church you've been invited to and when everyone gets up and leaves after only an hour-long service, you called the local radio station and inquired about bomb threats.

 You've ever been invited to a friend's church and wasted a half an hour searching through your desk at home for offering envelopes.

 You've ever realized that during the month of December you did not know who the new President was because your radio was turned off. (To avoid Christmas tunes.)

 You've gone hiking and after three miles, realized you've wasted time by gawking around expecting an enormous tent to come into view.

 You were asked by your boss is you are a disgruntled co-worker the day after you decorate the office Christmas tree.

 You panic when you realize you don't know how to wrap a gift and you've got your office gift exchange the next day.

You are a grown woman and you dread every wedding you attend because you later have vivid nightmares of becoming a slave in the movie "Roots."

 You arrive at the beach for a week on vacation and after you check into your motel you realize you've wasted an hour and a half driving around looking for the Festival Office and wondering who your Feast Monitor is.


You still have fears God might "smite" you for looking at this web site

You are certain that if you try to submit something to this web site and you get disconnected - it is a sign from God

You knew the "one true church" was way wrong from such an early age that you can't even pinpoint the exact date anymore

You were ever publicly accused by a minister of having sex. (at age 11 its true!)

If you were sheltered to the point that you didn't realize (until you left) that there was any scandals in the church regarding God's true apostle

If you always wondered why clapping in church was not allowed, except when Mr. Armstrong came to town

If you ever wondered why Gods humble servant lived in a marble filled mansion and owned 3 Leer jets (and why no one questioned it)

If you ever wondered why on earth would world leaders want to talk to Mr Armstrong at all and what exactly he said to them to "spread God's word"

If you ever wrote a dollar amount on your pre-addressed tithing envelopes and then didn't put anything in it

If you ever snuck out during services to go to the mall

If you ever rationalized that gum was not a food on the day of atonement

If you ever got beaten for not paying attention when Mr Waterhouse spoke

If your parents ever thought that you actually listened to the taped sermons they gave you on Friday night

If you never saw any significance what so ever in Mr Tkach's name

If you ever wondered why God was not calling you yet

If you always wondered what that person did to get disfellowshiped, but were never told

If you ever had to sit thru lengthy discussions on what mana was and wondered why God made them eat it for 40 years straight

You always wondered why ministers were obsessed with discussing the evils of masturbation in YOU bible studies

You still find yourself staring blankly into space and nodding enthusiastically and later you cannot recall a single word of what was said

You had to lie to your parents and tell them you were going to church for several years after moving out of their house, lest they not love you anymore

You feel that Volvos are the "one true car" although you would never own one, even if you got it for free

If you were ever certain that someday Mr. Waterhouse would be disfellowshiped.

If you ever had to live your real life when church people weren't looking, then wondered if it was the beginning of a split personality disorder.  (and if people with split personalties were really possessed by Satan)

If you ever wondered why there wasn't a church law preventing sharks from circling you the minute you became a "single"

If you ever had to turn down approximately 45 dates in a 3 month stretch because you felt the men were just way too old for you (and they acted in a highly unconverted manor)

You still think that Pasadena, CA is a nice city and you cannot forget the zip code to it.

You ever were forced to play sports that you had no interest in, that were coached by people who had no idea how to play them.

You silently revolt against everything people in authority tell you, but go along with it any ways because you know it is no use.

You feel there is no difference between SEP camp and Nazi concentration camps.

You have fear that someday again you will have to sing for your food.

You know that Tyler, TX is the den of Satan, but were never told why.

If you ever studied music from a young age and were certain that the purple hymnal songs were not "inspired by God"

If you have ever been told you have a bad attitude

If you go insane hearing the words "nip it in the bud", best feast ever, all rise and take up your hymnals, "father", spoken in a syrupy voice, or "the Lord God commanded ..."

If you ever listened to Mr. Armstrong say don't believe me and you wanted to get up, say ok and leave 

You were ever amazed as a kid that other kids (in the "world") were not beaten into submission by their parents or that their church services lasted 1/2 hr.

If the kids in school never picked on you because you already had it rough enough.

If you ever refused to leave the room during a Christmas party because you saw nothing wrong with it.

If you ever thought that carob, honey, vitamins and herbs were the way to good health

If you ever were told that your relatives were demon possessed and were "trying to tempt you" for giving you Christmas presents

If you know the true origins of holidays that you don't really care either way about

You are just relieved that we never had to give goat sacrifices

If the story of Abraham sacrificing his son to God on an alter made you sick and you hoped your parents weren't that righteous

If you don't pass out candy on Halloween and you still can't bring yourself to participate in "all hollows eve" activities

If you ever wondered why God allowed Satan and his demons to be lose on Halloween

If you ever wondered why the hebrew calender was sooo special

If you ever wondered why God had an opinion on makeup

If you ever wondered what God intended for us to do with pigs if we couldn't eat them

If you ever wondered why the church even allowed people of other races to join at all (and why these people would want to join).

If you ever wondered if Mr. Armstrong really believed God was revealing thing to him.

If you have an incredible tolerance for long boring car trips, with no music.

If the Young Ambassadors made you want to puke.

If you can amuse yourself for hours at a time while staring blankly into space.

You have intense fear that the wages of sin really is death and you are certain everybody has sinned.

You ever wondered how 144,000 people were going to live together in caves in the damn desert when they couldn't get along for 8 days at the feast together.

You ever wondered why, before we left for Petra, on the wings of a great eagle, we were required to give the church all of our possessions? (and why the church leaders were going to stay behind to preach the gospel and not go with us)

You ever wondered why the Jim Jones incident never seemed to faze church people.

You still refer to the "way of give" and the "way of get" and it seems to you that your church going parents were only interested in "giving" so they could "get" into the KOG.

You ever wondered why God choose the weak of the World and how he later expected them to be rulers over everyone who has ever lived in the KOG

When you sang Onward Christian soldiers marching as if to war you wondered if we weren't being brainwashed

You ever wondered why it was so important to take attendance at church

You ever wondered why church rules never applied to ministers

If the words Mr. Pack make you physically ill for days.

If you ever wondered why other church people could not clearly see that Stanely Radar was a con artist.

If you were ever embarrassed at having feast o' booze stickers on your car

If the first time you ever got drunk was at a ministers house

If you ever were forced to participate in a discussion titled "how you can prove the flood occurred through the earths rock layers" even though you have 4 years of specialized training in  geology and can prove without a shadow of a doubt that the earth is indeed more than six thousand years old

If you ever wondered how Satan could possess you through rock music

If you ever wondered whether the ministers really believed they could cast out demons and if there was so many of them around us, how come we never got to see one.

If you can recall, but would prefer to suppress, the story about the girls

playing with the weegee board and Satan asked them if he could come in and

they said yes and he brutally murdered them?

If you ever wondered how the dinosaurs fit into "God's master plan"

If you ever wondered why God created evil in the first place and why it took the form of an apple tree - and you are surprised that we were allowed to eat apples at all!

 If your minister ever ruled over your church with "a rod of iron"

If your minister ever appeared to have a "worldly attitude" while competing in sporting events

If you know the word Santa clearly spells Satan

If you feel that with all your prior training and experience you may be ready to start your own cult

You wonder if I am the Anti-christ


If you're standing out in the cold for an hour outside your work one morning and wondering why no one has unlocked the door and you suddenly remembered it was December 25th.

If you're invited to a friend's child's play and you're the only one who doesn't know the words to "Silent Night."

If you are on vacation for a week at the beach and in the mornings, instead of slipping on your bathing suit, you begin get ready and dressed for "services."

When you are informed by your boss that you have been transferred, you suddenly ask, oh, is St. Pete filled up yet?

You've noticed that whenever you meet any young man in his early twenties dressed in suit and tie that you feel that you must dutifully address him as "Mr." (Even if you're collecting social security.)

You attend a Fourth of July celebration and you begin to notice people turning around and staring at you because you're the only one who actually knows all the words to "America the Beautiful."

You are adept at spotting and purchasing the best used clothing out of any local Salvation Army store.

You have ever traveled 800 miles one way in a beat-up old '72 Dodge with the windows rattling.

You've ever passed notes with other teenagers in the back row balcony of a large coliseum in Norfolk, Virginia.

During Armstrong's sermons, you've ever wondered "Who died and made him king, anyway?"

5/27/01 ever asked your mom if your dog could go to the place of safety have ever been told your acne was caused by sexual contact

...your favorite songs featured the Young Ambassadors

...your father refused to read you any other stories besides those in "The Bible Story" series drew pictures of the Tree of Life instead of a Christmas tree in elementary school told your friends that they wouldn't go to heaven when they died, which resulted in long talks with the principal had your toys stuffed in garbage bags in preparation to leave for the place of safety've heard rock songs played backwards

...your parents have taken you out of school for over a week so you could party in an obscure town in the midwest with people you hardly knew've actually inserted several drinking/sex stories into your account of your religious experiences at the feast

...your father made your family take one less suitcase to the feast so he could fit his cooler of beer into the trunk've sold oranges and grapefruit door to door've ever watched your grandmother get drunk with the minister over a heated card game wrote an essay about Mr Armstrong for your assignment on American heroes had one friend in high school still only have one friend


 You don't know much about Trivial Pursuit, but you kick major butt at The Talent Game.

Complete this phrase: Blessed and happy is the man, who does......

You have ever been admonished to blow the dust off any book.

You were glad to be seated near the deaf section at the FOT, and by the end of the 8 days you were pretty proficient in ASL.

You deliberately screwed up at the talent contest so you wouldn't have to go to AC.

Riflery, then bible study seemed like a normal morning at summer camp.

You've ever had sabbath juice duty.

You have all this brain space filled with lists that just won't go away: the 10 commandments, the days of creation, the books of the bible in order.

You pronounce the word LOGOS with a final S sound, not a Z sound.

You've ever been told not to wear or do something because it was WORLDLY.

You ever deliberately swallowed toothpaste in a vain attempt to get some sort of calories.

You ever babysat 10 kids for 5 bucks during passover.

You ever found yourself staring at a basketball net during services.

You dreaded summer and weekends. All your normal friends were at school!

You have ever attended a work party.

You know the humiliation of the dread bottle drive to raise money for Y.O.U.

You were a vodka drinker years before you even tasted clamato.

You learned to lie so well, you're sure you could beat a polygraph, no problem.

You ever wondered if meringue was breaking the Spirit Of The Law during DOUB.

Tongues of Fire have absolutely nothing to do with Tabasco sauce.

Your youth group took its own music to the roller rink.

Your mother cut the illustrations out of your illustrated bible because they were Graven Images.

Your mother broke the statue off her old bowling trophy lamp to discourage Idol Worship. Like I'm going to bow down to a fake gold bowling woman.

You fantasized about joining the army or a convent. Less disciplined, you figured.

You were the only one in your high school grad class to miss the party. Of course the camp-out was out of the question.

David Koresh didn't really seem that radical to you.

You've ever been backhanded for not having the proper humility and repentant attitude.


1.  You ever rode in a van with 8 other teens on the way to Washington D.C. from Kentucky while the local church deacon drove and guzzled spiked kool-aid which he kept in gallon jugs in a large cooler beside his seat.

2.  You were told by your parents not to repeat the story about the local church deacon who made sexual innuendos to you and the other teenaged girls.

3.  You were given an orange and black cheerleading uniform for your Y.O.U. Cheerleading Squad and told how lucky we were to get them as they were a mess up for an actual school somewhere that had refused to pay for them.

4.  You were so embarrassed by your parents' choice of acceptable prom dates (as they had to be church boys) that you insisted you were ill immediately after taking prom photos and asked to be taken home.


 1) You know the three colors of festival decals and looked for them  on the

way to the Feast.

2) You can't find your old YES lessons.

3) You know what YES stands for

4) You are a guy that has fond memories of " accidentally" walking into the "

mother's room" and the room was actually a kitchen at the back of a square

dance hall.

5) You used to stare at the water fountain, all taped up on Atonement, and

wonder why they did'nt just cut off the water.

6) You dreaded the Last Great Day because it wasn't so great.

7) You remember throwing out all the leaven, and your mother telling the

neighbors she was just "Spring Cleaning".

8) You wanted a yeast roll sooo bad during the Days of Unleavened Bread.

9) You were told to ask your father when asking "what happened in 74 mom?"

10) You wondered would we eat manna in Petra.

11) Your family appreciated the signs at restaurants when at the Feast that

said "welcome wcg".

12) You had a feeling of euphoria when at St. Pete everyone sang Behold The Day will come.

13) You went to a church campout and had to throw away the marshmallows.

14) You sat through a Waterhouse 5 hour sermon.

15) You wonder if Tkach Sr. is really dead, or taken up in a whirlwind, same with Herbert W. Armstrong.

16) Your parents named you Loma or Garner!!!!

17) If you ever watched the member count in the PT to see how close you were to the 144,000 and the flight to Petra.

18) If you knew the "meaning" of the 144,000

19) If you ever knew who Alpha 1 was

20) You wondered why Garner Ted Armstrong left WCG to join "Hee Haw"

21) If you ever got up at 4 am to attend a satellite transmission at 6 am.

22) If your friend ever had bad breath but you couldn't give them a breath mint because it was the DOA.

23) If you were ever locked in a building in Pasadena, so the State of California couldn't take the building.

24) You knew the Rose Parade route from beginning to end and every band, float, and police officer on the route.

25) You worked the Rose Parade route for three days for a cup of coffee and a week old bran muffin at 2 am one morning.

26) If you had to choose between tithing and eating


 …you remember telling people that a prayer didn’t count unless it started with “Father in Heaven, Almighty God” and ended with “In Jesus name, Amen”

… the only time you ever ate at a restaurant was on the High Holy Days.

 … as a child you were monitored on the number of cookies you took by an old lady at the end of the line.

…you ever felt good about vandalizing your neighbor’s Christmas lights.

… you ever had someone come into your home and inspect the groceries in your shelves.

…you have ever had to bring an extra suitcase full of school books when you went on vacation.

… you ever had to show one of your teachers Leviticus 23.

… you actually knew, and still remember, what Leviticus 23 says.

… you actually thought a good time was a progressive dinner and a sing-a-long from the purple hymnal.

… you ever felt competitive about the quality of your church’s potlucks.

… you ever felt competitive about the amount of money you gave in an offering.

… you have ever had to sing mournful songs to music coming from a tape recorder.

… you have ever in a spite of righteousness thrown out all of your favorite “rock-n’-roll” tapes, only to later re-purchase them.

… you have ever felt guilty about reading a novel on Saturday, and actually tried to hide it from other people.

… you never saw E.T.


-you rarely had birthday cake because your birthday usually fell on the DOUB

-your neighboring congregations elders regularly spaked their wives for being bad (really)

-you were fatally allergic to pork and all pork products, 'that's why'

-your def leppard tapes were confiscated and broken, for being work of the devil

-you find yourself humming "father abraham, had many sons, and many sons...." or "onward christian soldiers" to work one day (and nearly have a stroke resulting)

-you felt guilty for keeping one dollar of your money to take to school for a lunch instead of tithing it

-you wondered why no one else knew 'the truth'

-you can sing the first 150 books of the bible

-Vail, CO has significant moral and religous ties for you gold c coupon books......

-if you had sex before marriage (never mind RAPE or something) you were going to burn in the everlasting lake of fire


You might have grown up in the WCG if:

Never thought you would grow old because Jesus was coming back before you could grow old

You are relieved you don’t believe in WCG crap any more – but remember, they predicted people like you wouldn’t

Knew that God only heard OUR church members prayers

Was told God wouldn’t heal your new baby if you didn’t get baptized SOON!

After reading the bible from cover to cover and say “ I am ready to be baptized” was told “ first you have to read some booklets  - WTF ?

Was told one day you may have to let your children die in front of you – if some one told you “kneel before me or I will kill your child” .. we were told you better not kneel

Waited for “the end” to come  when Armstrong died

For years after you left the church – when you talked “bad’ about it – you still would go into a trance like on the manchurian candid and say .. But Armstrong was a great man

Were taught meditation and psychology were evil and influenced by the devil

10/15/2011 ever spent hours wiping sand out of your sleeping bag in Big Sandy, TX.

..your childhood nightmares were profoundly worse than most children. realized SEP was a bad idea by the first afternoon. were angrily spanked at SEP if your dorm didn't get a good
"cleanliness" grade.

..your dorm leader at SEP cornered you in the dorm, alone, and
physically threatened you if you spoke to anyone about the (near
daily) spankings.

..getting a painful ear infection from Lake Pelican was actually a
blessing in disguise rewarded by two peaceful days in the infirmary.

..your parents would not hear of the complaints about SEP and
suggested you were only homesick. had a 106 degree fever and instead of being rushed to the
hospital, your mother anxiously awaits a tardy minister and his
magic-cloth. found yourself in a crowd of family members at the fridge door
10 minutes before sundown on Atonement Day. and your siblings were still dressing in the backseat of a car
because father inisisting on being extra-early to church. had to listen to minister Frank McCrady every Saturday remind
the "brethren" that he once beat a man to near death against a tree,
but has since repented. were in the crowd and watched half the membership cowar when
McCrady told his story and how he began shouting and sweating while
pounding on the pulpit.

..when you finally tried pulled pork bar-b-que it was a hestitant and
awkward moment. Followed by delicious gobbling, a second helping and
quiet head shaking. saw young girls being yanked by the arm to receive in-service
beatings in the "back room" and nobody dared to stop it. and your teenaged friends were ordered by a minister, in mid
sermon, to stand up and move to your parent's location because he saw
you pass a note. finally ate a crab cake and could barely swallow it because of
haunting "clean food" memories and not the taste. were ordered to only date church girls, and thought, I'll be a
freaking bachelor forever. hate the words Herbert Armstrong, clocks that move backward
during sermons, and pot luck lunches where the line is based on a
heirarchy of whom the "pastor" likes the most. watched your parents struggle to keep a decent meal on table
only to later learn Herb had a $30,000.00 desk.

..if on the last Saturday you went to the cult you arrived late and
were met by a deacon's bullying son literally pushing you into the
chair he wanted you in. Only to shortly thereafter stand up, walk out
the backdoor, hesitate, and never look back again. And you never felt
better about a decision in your life!

- Andy


Memorable moments from growing up WCG (with results!):

you've seen your mother beaten for being "rebellious"

you've seen your brother beaten for being "rebellious"

you've been beaten for being "rebellious" and dreamed of the day when you could return the favor while being confused about your own "self will"

you've had the "self will" stomped out of you and replaced with, in receding and sometimes mixed rotation: bible story books, HWA, Jesus, God, drugs and alcohol.  Eventually, through education and psychotherapy, with a little help from Dawkins, Deutsch, Tegmark, Harris and Hitchens, among others, a more sane self, with a will, began to emerge

you now think a certain amount of "self will" is probably quite healthy

as a kid, you stuffed your pockets with 150 kinds of sweet tarts and life savers so you'd have something to do at "services" and now you regularly visit the dentist to have old fillings replaced

you had wheat thins for school lunch 5 days a year

as an 8 year old kid after your first day of atonement you devour the hamburger your mother makes after sunset and immediately barf it all over the table

you ate whole wheat hamburger pizza and drank water from a well

as a teen you suffered extreme depression from psychological abuse and a therapist told you your father was nuts

you were glad you got kicked out of a YOU event for drinking booze the night before a track meet when you realized that that blemish on your permanent record meant you might not have to go to AC

you quit High School track and football, because, eh, if you can't play in the games or run in the meets, what's the point (other than being looked at like a weirdo by everyone else on the teams, but hey, that builds character, right)?

as a teen, you found innovative ways to get stoned at church events with other enterprising church teens

as a teen, you learned the preacher's teen kid had sex with the nice teen church girl you had a crush on but I guess he was only acting in the fine tradition of scions of the priestly class throughout history, so it was probably ok

you left the church in college but were smitten with irresolvable guilt

you concluded they must be right after all and that you were a sinner and needed baptized and forgiven

you got married because the local preacher said you were living in sin and couldn't return to church unless you did

you told your sinner wife to repent and pray so that she could understand the magic of "God's Plan" and now you understand how stupid that was and the eventual divorce makes perfect sense

you enjoy extreme bouts of disproportionate guilt about behaviors that psychologists tell you are perfectly normal

you wrestled with telling your college profs that you had to miss an exam because of some magical "holy day" because you knew it was really just bullshit but you couldn't escape the guilt so you sheepishly did it anyway, for a while

when you were in law school, you pretended you were Jewish so you could miss holy day exams on their dime but the real Jews didn't buy it

you still have Jewish friends but you realize their identity is fraught with dangerous fables imagined to be true such as “God gave us this land to be ours forever and it’s our duty to kick out or murder the local citizens, otherwise known as our brothers the Palestinians and defend our actions with nuclear weapons, if necessary,” oh, and that a magical unblemished red heifer is needed for sacrifice in order to usher in the something, I forget what but it’s a fascinating story you should google.

you now realize the absurdity of believing in imaginary characters such as Abraham and Noah and Moses and God and Jesus and Holy Ghosts controlling everything and wish people would evolve

you realize evolution is an excellent explanation for how immense intricacy and complexity could arise over billions of years

you try to piece together the psychological structure of your father's life in order to explain why it went down the HWA way

you run psychological experiments at a major state university where people are subjected to unlikely imaginary realities constructed by authority figures that you represent and you realize life is complicated, our holds on reality are tenuous, our belief systems are continuously malleable and authority is handy when it comes to manipulating people

you realize the bible is comprised of a mixture of regularly revised fables and political agendas from 600 bc to the present and that the current crop of religiously motivated politicians are bat shit crazy fascists in the same way HWA was and you think about moving to Canada or maybe Norway or possibly Antarctica.

You now know morality is a universal human condition among sane people and not derived from HWA, imaginary characters or ancient fables but rather based on testable psychological rules.

you passed notes with other teens in the back row of a large convention center in Norfolk Va :) (I have no idea who you are "4/23/01" but that's interesting.  How did you know I did this? or maybe it's just something all teens did at Norfolk FOT?)


Try being the atheist sister of Joe Tkach, Jr.s wife. I really have no family. The only topics my mom and I can discuss are the price of gas and the weather. My sister and I don't speak. My dad once asked me if I believed the bible was the inspired word of god. I told him no and he said "Well, there is no talking to you then". At least my parents never turned their backs on me after I left the church but my sister is still so judgmentally self-righteous that I cannot stand to be around her and Joe, Jr is a hypocrite. Joe, III is now an atheist and my sister told me I wasn't teaching my children properly about god. Christian love does not exist in the church, only judgment.

You might have grown up in the WCG if:

You waited quietly in the next room at SEP while the ministers exorcised a demon from your roommate.
You watched a man call to his wife in the next room to get him a beer from the cooler sitting at his feet.

You were forced to date every single male in the local congregation as a teen even though quite a few of them were over 10 years older than you.

Your only friend in high school was the Jehovah's Witness because you could actually relate to each other.

You ever spoke of someone as if they were dead simply because they left the church.

You knew all the clerks at the Big Sandy liquor store by name.

Teresa Hall


Hi Teresa. I knew you when you were a snotty nosed kid in Denver. :-)

 You know you were in the "church" if...
You still dream about "church" members" chasing you(after almost twenty years? oh, my god!).
You're sitting in a metal folding chair somewhere and those old memories come back.
You get panic attacks when you're in a "church" building for a wedding and you have to go outside to breathe.
You taste the pork in the refried beans at a Mexican restaurant.
You feel like you're missing something when you don't go to the feast with your inlaws(of course you know that if you went, you wouldn't have missed a thing for twenty years. still the same old f*#&ing sermons by the same old f*#&ing assholes!), then after a second, you come to your senses.
Your inlaws tell you that you should know better(I DO know better. that's why I'm not sitting in the cult anymore.).
Every time you hear stories about a grasshopper plague, killers bees attacking, not enough rain, too much rain, fires, earthquakes, murder, too hot, too cold, global warming, tsunamis, bombs exploding, higher gas prices, bears attacking, cars crashing, trains derailing, bridge collapsing, joblessness, stock market woes, reelection of Barak Obama, or Europe know you're going to hear the same old shit from your inlaws that the "end is near".


1.  You knew and heard the phrase “Sabbat Shalom” regularly and still hear it used within splinter groups.
2.  As a teen you felt incredibly guilty for secretly watching the season finale of your favourite show while your parents were at Passover service, so that you could discuss what happened with your school friends.
3.  You would stand glaring at everyone staring your way for not singing carols at your school’s Christmas assembly, only to feel more and more embarrassed and then starting to mouth the words, because technically, that wasn’t singing them.
4.  You remember the day when the purple hymnals were replaced with blue and red ones, and wondered what the differing factor was, only to realise that the red hymnals were for the baptised members – and even though you preferred the colour of your blue hymnal, you wondered why you didn’t receive a red one when you became baptised.
5.  You were asked to attend a high school prom with one of the boys from your church, because they could only ask a church girl – then found yourself sitting at the table alone while the boy danced with girls at his school.

6.  You injured your foot at an SEP dance and had to ask a male friend to assist you to the nurse (at the other side of the campsite) only to find the nurse was not in her cabin, and so made your way to a picnic table to rest your foot before being assisted back to your dorm and found yourself being pulled up by a ‘wannabe’ minister for sitting and talking alone with a church boy at a picnic table after an SEP dance and would not listen to your explanation.  The boy was forced to go back to his dorm and you had to limp back to your dorm, in the dark, alone – where you found a pothole in the ground and injured yourself all over again.


You were anointed with the special and high honor of setting up chairs only to have a deacon come after you and adjust them by moving then an inch this way or that. Then an elder would sometimes come along and fine tune the chair placement even further.

12/10/2017've ever wanted to resurrect Gerald Waterhouse and force him to answer one question honestly: "Did you ever really believe all the BS you pushed on the sheeple all those years, or did you know then or at least realize now that you were just a corporate whore?". You have my permission to use my name of you wish.
Best regards, Monnie Matthews


... you were forced to go to summer camps against your will at 5 years old
... camp was led by an Arnold Schwarzenegger wannabe "counselor" 
... you fall and hurt your back during a nighttime gathering, but get rescued by Schwarzenegger who threw you on his 4wheeler and made sure to hit every bump in the trail while going as fast as he could, you know, because he's rescuing you. In order to make sure you understand completely how great of a rescuer he is, he shows you that he is able to lift you up using only one arm and swings you over to a folded down lawn chair in the outdoor dining area and leaves you there alone to suffer. 
... you lay in a lawn chair for hours, in intense pain, finally found by another counselor a few hours later. No pain medicine allowed, and I guess they forgot about the power of anointing while you lay there in agony before carrying and throwing you back into your bunk. 



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