the painful truth about the worldwide church of god.

the painful truth about the worldwide church of god

How Bad Was It, Really?

Page One of Seven

I know there are a lot of wcg horror stories out there. If you would like to share them anonymously or under your name, please send them to me at:


You are told that, after being anointed by a Minister for your severely wounded finger that hasn't had treatment by a medical professional and is now starting going black and which you're likely to lose unless urgent medical attention is applied to it, that God has healed the finger even though you can't see the evidence of it yet.  3 weeks later you lose the finger.

3rd Tithe Year.
Deciding to start a new business during your first 3rd Tithe Year, after hearing everyone talk about all "the blessings" others have received during their 3rd Tithe Years including Interest Free Loans (from the Church), - you wonder why you're struggling to keep the business afloat and having trouble paying the rent.

Social Life
Told that we should fellowship only in the Church, you find yourself cold-shouldered by your fellow Church peers.   In desperation you mix with people in World and have a better time socializing with them (and find they like you for who you are).   As a result you have trouble reconciling your positive social experiences outside the Church with the negative social experience inside. the Church.



New on 1/9/98:

In the late 1980 s I was engaged to a woman who was a wcg member for a relatively short time . She was a widow with two children 11 and 13 years old.

We were scheduled to be married in March . She informed me in December she was having trouble with the Christmas doctrine because she didn't want to deprive her children of something they had always celebrated.

I believed at that time that it was important to abstain from Christmas . I was advised by the ministry to give my fiancee an ultimatum: Christmas or me . She wisely chose to keep Christmas and not to marry me.

I thought I had honored God by remaining faithful to this doctrine . I was responsible for this action. I have had to repent of the pain I caused this women and her children .

I wish I could take back the pain I caused them . We know I can't.


New on 1/10/98:

My wife grew up in wcg from 2 years old in Melbourne Australia (around 1962) under a series of (from what I can gather) idiotic authoritarian ministers. Her parents took them literally. The church has a lot to answer for. I was 13 years old at around 1969 when I first attended wcg in Qld, Australia. I understand everything you say.

We both stopped attending around 18 months ago. Our "minister" did not call to see why. He was happy with the old ways and only told us what he thought we needed to know, which is initially what turned us off. Only afterwards could we see more clearly.

One thing that really annoys me is: I thought I had friends there, but no-one called, after we stopped attending, to see what the matter was. My wife had decided to call it quits, I was just plain sick with the flu and had not decided anything.

We have seen it all, too. Been ruled over by ministers who did not have a clue, been yelled at for 2hrs straight (that minister has resigned with "health problems"), told to do ridiculous things, been told ridiculous things in very loud voices (must have been inspired!). I think you know what I mean.

I am not bitter, except when I think about it. My wife: don't get her started!

Wcg has done a great deal of damage to a lot of people, we are picking up the pieces and continuing, trying not to be preoccupied with our past 25-30 years doing you know what, but it's hard to ignore.

We appreciate your pages and look in often,


New on 1/14/98:


Date: Monday, January 05, 1998 3:06 PM

Subject: Freedom.

Dear Mr. Tkach,

You may know that we are no longer members of Worldwide Church of God. Before leaving, we expressed our concerns in a letter to you, dated Aug11/97, over the direction Worldwide Church of God was taking. Your reply failed to address the issues we mentioned. In fact, you completely ignored some off them, e.g. the Christmas question.

In the Barrie congregation, Christmas, the day honouring the birth of our Saviour and celebrated world wide was completely ignored. And yet, we heard from friends in Pasadena that congregation there celebrated it in a very moving way. There truly is no unity in Worldwide Church of God.

As time went on, we saw headquarters back tracking on the tithing issue, putting more and more guilt on members. Legalism is still rampant. the emphasis is still on rules, regulation & behaviour. You, Mr. Tkach, have been visiting other Christian organizations, literally bragging about how wonderful Worldwide Church of God is because they made all these changes. You talk about grace but fail to extend it to the members.

One of the major flaws we see, Mr. Tkach, is the lack of remorse and apology to members who have suffered abuse over the years. You and hierarchy of the church have never experienced the hardships of the members.

When we really began to analyze Worldwide Church of God we realized that the whole concept is wrong. A congregation shouldn't be made up of members who are isolated in areas where they must travel many miles to meet together, when there are grace filled groups meeting locally near their homes. Add to this the corrupt actions of the leadership in the past {many of which still continue}, the whole organization is sick.. Isn't it time to disband and let those poor souls who are still hanging on find a truly Spirit led group to meet with ?

For over 20 years our friends have been Worldwide Church of God members. After we left we thought we could continue these friendships; therefore we attended a small group meeting of these friends{ incidentally, we personally started this group}. Following the meeting we were asked not to attend anymore, even though we never spoke against the church or said anything derogatory at any time. The comment was, "Well, if they don't attend services, why would they want to go to a small group ?" This sentiment was also expressed by the pastor, Dennis Lawrence.

We are presently meeting with a group of ex Worldwide Church of Goders who have also been shunned.

Mr Tkach, we could go on and on, detailing abuses, but you must know they are there. We just hope and pray that positive changes are forthcoming.

With deep concern,

Richard and Dorothy Browne

Enjoying freedom in Barrie !


New on 1/16/98:

(Reprinted with permission)
I am writing to express my appreciation for Ekklesia and Generic. It's been quite an experience listening to former members freely discuss what it has been and still is like, being associated with Worldwide Church of God. There was nothing like this when my family left Worldwide Church of God. O-o-oh, what the internet has "wrought" (smile).

It was September of '96 when armed with my newly acquired Internet skills, I discovered your site, Mark Tabladillo's site, Rodney's Site, Ed 's site, B'rone's site, etc. Well, after picking my bottom lip up off the floor, I read and I read and I read. And I cried, and I cried, and I cried. My family left for two reasons: 1) wrong doctrine, and 2) the fact that Worldwide Church of God was an abusive church - a cult. All of the other we didn't know. I realize now that we should have. The warning signs were there. But we didn't see and things were kept well hidden.

We left in early 1993 after over 20 years. For about a year leading up to our leaving, God had been helping us see within the Bible just how w-r-o-n-g Worldwide Church of God teachings had been and still were. We also had to go through the proving and disproving process. My husband was a local church elder (the unpaid version) at that time, and had been for approximately 8 years. I was very active in many different capacities in our local congregation. We had children born and raised in Worldwide Church of God.

You cannot imagine (but I'm sure that you can) how horrible it was to realize that not only had we been led into error but we had also been a part of leading others in the misuse of God's Word. You cannot imagine how horrendous it was to realize that we had been a part of an abusive system. The fruit of the Worldwide Church of God way of life in our lives and the lives of our children was becoming painfully obvious. We could also see the results in the lives of the brethren around us. It was almost more than we could bear. Our lives had centered around how we could best serve God. He was and is still everything to us. His Word, the Holy Bible is the most precious book I own. All we could do was hang our heads in shame before God and strive to change and share.

We also knew that we were going to have to totally relearn our Bible. How could we call ourselves "ministers"? Who were we qualified to teach or to help understand God's Word? We had to go learn and then build experience with God based on better understanding.

It's funny. When we first began to realize what God's word actually said concerning law and grace, we wanted to share it with others. Naive on our part (smile). There weren't many who wanted to hear. We were in a congregation pastored by an evangelist who became one of the founders of UCG. There was no common ground for discussion.

By the time we left, we were being gossiped about, shunned, and all of the wonderful experiences that come with having fallen out of favor in Worldwide Church of God. We went through the experience of having those that we felt were our friends and associates, and those we had served at a sacrifice, turn on and away from us. There were those who attempted to drive a wedge between my husband and I and between our older children and ourselves (our oldest was 21 at that time). There were even harassing phone calls. We did have a small number of friends close to us who did eventually see and understand. Some left and some are still in Worldwide Church of God trying to help with the changes.

For us, at that time, there was no choice but to leave. We knew Worldwide Church of God doctrine was wrong. With that knowledge came responsibility. We also, realized that HQ knew that Worldwide Church of God doctrine was wrong. We had no idea if and when HQ would assume responsibility, admit the error and make the proper changes. It's one thing to teach error because of unintended ignorance. It's another to teach error knowing full well that it is just that. After all, we're talking about the word of God here. This is no small thing. This is nothing to fool around with. Lives are involved. Call it my healthy fear of God? I could go on and on but my comments would merely mirror those of so many others.

I hope my tone of voice can be sensed. I've always been told that I'm soft spoken. I'm writing this with a little sadness tinged with a bit of humor. v In all honesty, after having had to recover from the vicious tongues and attitudes within Worldwide Church of God, I am hesitant to expose myself and my family to even the possibility of any more either within it or within the many offshoots. Because of what my family went through exiting Worldwide Church of God (and I know that we are not the only ones), I feel very protective of not only my personal privacy, but theirs also. The thought of publicly posting and then having my comments or thoughts gossiped about or critiqued within Worldwide Church of God circles makes me simply feel ill. I've been through that. My husband has been through it.

And worst of all, my children went through it.

My children . . . . . . . . . .


New on 1/19/98:

My Worldwide Church of God Horror story:

My parents became interested in the Worldwide Church of God in the mid-1960s. At one of his first visits, the minister asked my dad what he did for a living. "Pharmacist", he replied. Turning to his wife in mock horror, the minister exclaimed "Sorcery!". "Witchcraft!" she replied, on cue. Having to give up his profession in his mid-forties was (by his own admission) one of the main reasons he turned to alcohol. He managed a few years at a couple of other jobs, then basically became unemployable.

After several years of denying he had an alcohol problem, and despite being seen walking to the liquor store and back after services (using his briefcase to carry his purchases), my dad was told not to attend church any more. By this time we had a really volatile minister who thought that all forms of disfellowshipment allowed him to publicly "mark" the offender. The next sabbath he humiliated the family by angrily announcing he had thrown my dad out for his problem and for not providing for his own family, thus being worse than an infidel.

This minister had in an earlier week humiliated one man's family because this guy suddenly decided the previous Saturday to go to a horse-race meeting instead of to church. (I can still vividly recall his wife sobbing during this minister's tirade.) But perhaps the highlight of his pastorship was the day a member family had a stillborn child and he blamed it on the spiritual state of the congregation.


New on 2/8/98:

It was the spring of 1952 that my mom became a member of Worldwide Church of God. And for those of you that are familiar with the former Ambassador College campus in Pasadena, my mom was baptized in the baptismal located in the Lower Gardens, it is where graduations were held, and it is where my wife, Barbara, and I were married in 1968.

It was approximately 1960 that my mom noticed an unusual lump under right her arm. Being concerned, she went to the ministry and was annointed. She was forbidden to see a doctor or to receive any medical care whatever. She was told not to worry, God would completely heal her. She was also told that if she went to a doctor she would lose her salvation .

The non-WCG family members were outraged by the ministers instructions and ultimatum. They urged her to at least have her condition diagnosed by a doctor. After a considerable amount of positive harassment by family members, seven years later she finally went to a Seventh Day Adventist doctor only to discover the seriousness of her condition. It would be fatal if not treated.

We were living in Hawthorne California at the time, which is about 40 miles south of Pasadena, which was the closest church area at that time. Since we did not have a telephone (my dad hated them) our contact with Worldwide Church of God was limited to occasional visits by the ministers and our occasional trips to Pasadena for church services.

My mom did not drive, and my dad was not a member of Worldwide Church of God and did not feel it was necessary to go to church every week.

I only mention our limited contact at this time so you would be aware that we were somewhat isolated and therefore did make some decisions on our own without consulting the ministry. That is until they started a church in LA and we were able to attend every week. It was then that the hammer fell, the ministry told my mom NO MORE doctors. They dogmatically told her that God would heal her.

After that she did not and would not go to a doctor. She feared that by doing so she would lose her salvation. The ministry reinforced this fear by making it quite clear that if she did not trust in God she would lose her salvation and her place in God's Kingdom.

In the summer of 1967 her situation became critical. I agreed with some of the other family members and in spite of the ministers commands we had the doctor come to our home to give her some aid and relief from the pain.

I was a member at this time. It was not that I lacked faith, it was just that what the ministers said made no sense at all to me. I guess I just was not converted enough to trust in their divine inspiration and decisions completely.

The doctor arrived and after a brief examination told us that her condition was terminal. I was there holding her hand when the doctor gave her a shot of morphine to help ease the pain in what turned out to be her last few hours of life. I will never forget the look in her eyes, she was helpless and too weak to stop the doctor from giving her an injection. And she looked at me as though I had betrayed her and robbed her of her salvation. Her eyes expressed the emotional pain she felt, for in her mind she was rejecting God and would face the Lake of Fire. She felt this because this is what she was told by a "loving and compassionate ministry". I might mention also that the ministry never came to visit her during the last TWO years of her fatal illness.

Me? I still continued to attend Worldwide Church of God until 1992, well some of us are just slow that point I finally said enough lies and abuse and quit attending. But that is another story for another time. I do have many interesting stories about life in Worldwide Church of God, some of them are funny some are very sad. One in particular is about my personal contact with the wrath of Herbert W. Armstrong., and I survived!

Today my wife and I totally embrace the grace of Jesus Christ. Our lives have been forever changed and impacted by Christ living in us. Our salvation is secure, it is no longer based on what we do, it is solely based on what He did for us at the cross.

We are not attending any church at this time but we do have an in-home Bible Study that is now in its third year. We are a happy and joyous group. We have learned that God can not love us more than He does, and He will not love us less!

May the Lord bless you all.

Bob W.


New on 2/18/98:

I was born in Worldwide Church of God.

One could say that the comedy of errors literally occured from my birth - they drove 70 miles with my mother in labor to Bluffton, Ohio from Toledo, Ohio, just so I could be delivered by a doctor "in the church". It turned out he wasn't there, I was taken care of by someone else. At the time of my birth a horrible thunderstorm (tornadic) was raging outside. Kind of an omen, I sometimes think.

Anyway, I was kept away from my parents for three days - hence the bonding did not occur. This first problem is obviously directly attributable to the stupidity of my parents, and the church.

Anyway, they went back to Toledo, and that's where I was raised until I moved out a little more than a year ago. My parents, under the encouragement of the church, were firm believers in corporal punishment. They paddled me often and hard. This only steeled my resolve against them.

As I grew up, I was taught that the ministers were Gods. I still think it's funny the way whenever a minister would pop in for a surprise visit my family would go running cleaning up the house in order for it to be presentable.

I was kept from "worldly" kids and any kind of healthy interaction. I was not allowed to have school friends. School deteriorated, what with me being the "odd man out", until I finally had to leave and be home-schooled. Believe me, they wouldn've killed me.

When I was about nine a minister, Dave Fiedler, came to the Toledo church area. He decided that he was going to clean house. He stated from the pulpit that he would purge the church area if he "had to kick out every single person in the congregation".

My father had lost his job a couple of years before, and couldn't at all find a new one. The minister found out about this (my father's personality problems notwithstanding). He saw this as a sign of spiritual weakness and disfellowshipped my father.

At the same time this minister was (not without complete cause, in all fairness) encouraging my mother to seek a divorce from my father. My father was by this time disfellowshipped, angry, and extremely bitter. This happening drove a wedge right in the middle of my family, and the minister was right in the middle of the situation putting fuel on the fire.

I left the church with my father for about six years, though I continued to keep "the law". I came back at age 15, and tried to infiltrate myself into the church.

The problem here was that the society there was very closed. I was not liked, wanted, or accepted. I finally learned how to play the piano (amazingly enough, this only took me about a year) and tried to earn acceptance that way, and it only worked to a very limited degree. I was an outsider in the "only true church". I remember being at a church dance - I would dance with a girl and she would go running back to her friends afterwards for comfort. And then there was this "jock" who told me to "stay away from his girlfriend". Yes sirree, good, clean fun to be had by all.

Finally, at 17, I went to college for a couple of years as a piano major, by then I was dropping away from the church. As I said, I won the war, but the costs of the battle had proven to be very high. I felt isolated, alone, and very miserable, for I didn't belong in the "true church", but I had no developed social skills and couldn't handle myself anywhere else. Eventually I just stopped going to school, my grades fell and I dropped out. I stayed depressed for over a year, eathing nothing but pop and donuts, and growing addicted to the internet.

Over the Internet I met a woman, who was into "alternative religions". In the middle of our dating, she began studying wicca, and black magic. I went to visit her in Denver for a couple of weeks. The very interesting and sad fact is that I felt much freer and happier around her than I did around my own family - one never realizes how bad the oppression is till one gets away from it.

Then I met another woman - she almost got pregnant cause of me (I was desperately seeking belonging and acceptance at this point).

Then I moved here to Portland and joined the local congregation of Worldwide Church of God. I didn't know where else to go. They are so self-absorbed at this point that very few of them even acknowledged I exist except for the fact that I can play the piano "beautiful" and we're so glad you can play for us yaddayaddayadda... And then there's this new covenenant legalism where we have at least a couple people who have a personal relationship with Jesus and I'd better have one too or there's something wrong with me...

Some minor (major?) details aside, this is my life's story. I still feel extremely isolated, alone, and depressed - my depression is very all-encompassing - to the point where I sometimes cannot function. There is no closure. Worldwide Church of God and Herbert W. Armstrong abuse me, cause their damage, then they traipse on into their "new understanding" of the new covenant and leave me behind broken and bleeding. And they don't even stop to minister to me on their journey.

If they'd even say "yes, we did this, what can we do to help" instead of "yes, we did this, but it's all in the past, let's move on, oh, look, isn't Jesus wonderful?" things would be a little better, at least in the short run. But they won't even do that. I can't see Jesus because of them, the fog of legalism has lifted and in its place is... nothing. Absolutely nothing. Because Worldwide Church of God took away my sight.

I am angry at my parents as well, but I can't really blame them. Do I believe my parents to be ignorant? Yes. Were they sheep blindly following the smooth voice to the slaughter? Yes again. Were they hurting me intentionally? No. They were just doing as they were told.

Guilt was one of the cornerstones of Worldwide Church of God. Da*n near impossible not to be.

Fortunately I managed to develop myself professionally in spite of everything. Money is the one thing I am not hurting for at this point. I guess I should be thankful for small blessings...

I don't know how it feels. But judging from my parents, there are a lot of them who don't even care. "We were wrong, forgive us, let's get on with life", they say...

I can forgive, not easily, but I can. I can't forget. I don't know too many people who could.

This sounds bad, I know, and it's by no means meant personally, but it's done, the damage is done, and many, many children suffer needlessly. Perhaps that is what saddens me the most. The time is gone, and I, nor any of the other children I grew up with, can ever get it back. The mistakes can't be undone, our lives can't be put back together. A whole part of my life, just taken from me...



New on 3/8/98:

Tkach Responds to Dick and Dot Browne


New on 3/23/98:

Here is one of my MANY terrible experiences during my 18 years in WWCG.

I knew my church member husband was having an affair, but not with whom. I tried to counsel with my minister. He told me I was imagining things.

After two years of this, I was crying to my friend, a deaconess in the church, and she said she had something to tell me, but if the minister found out who told me, she would be put out of the church.

She told me that two summers before at church summer camp my husband and a married church "lady" had been caught "red handed" in the middle of the night. The minister sent the "lady" home to tell her husband, and of course she immediately "repented", so nothing else was done to her. (a shapely blonde with HOT pants)

The minister then told everyone at camp that if anyone told me anything about the situation, they would be put out of the church. NOTHING was done to my husband.

Well, with this kind of protection, my husband grew bolder in our little town of Ada, Oklahoma, and started seeing women openly. He was seen by several church people, but they were afraid to tell me, I found out later. One "interesting" thing--right before this church camp, the minister gave his usual lecture about modesty to the little church girls--only modest one piece swim suits allowed at church camp.

Imagine my surprise when I visited church camp one day and saw this "lady" in a boat with the minister in an extremely brief BIKINI! Of course, all the little church girls were there around them in their regulation swim suits. When I commented on this to some church people standing around, they looked scared and changed the subject!

Well, anyway two years later, after I found out, I applied to work at summer camp to be with my child and friend who were working there. The minister said I was not allowed to go. When I asked him why, he told me that this "lady" was going to be there and it might make her uncomfortable!

I asked him why she could go and I couldn't and he replied, "because she has a boat and you don't."

And like a dumb ass I stayed on for 10 more years of that junk!

Unbelievable! Wish I could kick myself!

Name Withheld.


New on 4/12/98:

One of my best friends married an abusive man when she was very young. She had a child but he left his family for another woman and they were divorced. Later she married someone else and had 2 daughters. However, she came into the "Truth" and found the "True Church".

She was convinced by the cult that she was living in sin because of her previous marriage, so she gave up a happy marriage to "do what God wanted her to do." She lived as a single mother in the church for many years (bound in the cult's eyes to the first jerk she married). When Herbie decided he wanted to marry Ramona and changed the law, I mean when God revealed the "new truth" to him, she married a deacon in the cult.

This man's whole life revolved around her and her children being "in submission" to him. They could not even turn a light on when it got dark, unless they got his permission! He was a cruel, sadist jerk. Of course, living with this man of God was unbearable so she separated from him and lived like this for years and years because they were both in the church and couldn't get divorced.

This woman is now in her sixties and I would say her life was pretty much ruined thanks to the cult.

Name Withheld.


New on 5/3/98:


As a longtime member of my congregation, I was having a problem with another member, a prominent AC grad, sermonette speaker. We had dated for quite a while, then broken up over some fairly serious problems. I felt, after having observed his behavior for several years, that he was preying on the women in the church. Once he entered into a relationship with one (or more) of us, the head games started, and hearts were broken! I was miserable, and I had to watch him become seemingly more and more blessed as his behavior grew more and more destructive! It was really affecting my attitude, and I prayed to God often to lift this burden from me.

Finally, I prayed fervently several nights in a row, asking for several very specific things. I wanted him to move out of state, (not even to a contiguous state). I set out the climate conditions I wanted for his new home, distance from work, distance from church, the types of women he would encounter, and a couple of other specific items. I gave God reasons for every specific request. Not just selfish reasons, but ones that would protect the women of the church from him, and enable him to reflect on his behavior. To my utter and complete shock, my prayer was granted in EVERY detail.

Understandably, I was a little dazed (but happy). I also felt a little guilty, so, hoping for some reassurance I went to our minister and explained what I had done to his latest sermonette man. His response: "You should repent of having prayed for this, and for having had your prayer granted." That's when I stopped feeling guilty. I told the minister that I had prayed to God, NOT lit black candles and prayed to Satan. Why should I repent of a prayer that God obviously agreed with? No answer was forthcoming. You see, our minister is a busy man and had to be somewhere else just then.

It only took about 6 weeks for this to happen. I became aware of it when a mutual friend asked if I knew "he" was moving. As she told me the details, I noticed it was all eerily familiar. I spent a few days totally freaked out, walking on eggshells, until my little talk with the minister!

And I've never felt guilty about that incident again, but I sometimes wonder why no one in the ministry saw the things that half the congregation did.

Thanks for letting me vent,

Name Withheld


New on 5/24/98:

Hi, Ed.

After reading the other horror stories I feel that I need to let out over 30 years of abuse that are deep within me.

My second grade report card talks about how worried the teacher is about me and I seem so anxious and nervous. Years later I asked my mother what happened to me in second grade. She said that's when we started church. The teacher would ask me all the time, "Can you do this, can you do that" in front of all the kids and I began to feel weird and different. I began with lots of friends but pulled away from my classmates because I couldn't do anything with them. I felt like I never fit in.

SEP was bad because a bunch of girls sneaked off to smoke and I had to write down their names. I also remember we had to wash Garner Ted Armstrong's car and there was make-up in the back window which I couldn't understand.

I was never allowed to think about what I would do after school except go to Ambassador. I looked down on those who went anywhere else. Somewhere along the line my college money was donated to headquarters because time wasn't supposed to go on. Because of my grandparents, AC was a reality. Fortunately I dropped out when the church broke apart with Garner Ted Armstrong's leaving. Those were years I have trouble thinking about for personal reasons.

Everyone had to have home births in the area we went to church or they were considered of weak faith. Can't begin to tell you the problems I had with all of my children with their births. Would take too long. My first daughter was born with lots of health problems. Being in the church we ignored her heart defect and prayed for her. She also had bad asthma. I still remember looking down into her crib one evening and saying goodbye to her. Then I said, "No!" My husband was afraid God would allow her to die if we went to a doctor and I was afraid she would die if we didn't. Fortunately, the minister sided with me even though this was before the doctor changes. That was a miracle because he usually wouldn't look or talk to me because he didn't like my mother because she would stand up to him to protect my brother.

Being unvaccinated, my daughter developed whooping cough as I did. She was so severely sick due to her heart and lungs. Other kids at church maybe threw up once a day. She threw up every 40 minutes like clockwork during the day and 14 times a night for three straight weeks. Her arms were like Kermit the Frog's. I would feed her as soon as she threw up so that maybe something would have time to digest.

I was afraid to take her to the hospital because they might take her away from me for not having her vaccinated and for waiting so long. I was so happy when she went an extra l0 minutes to throw up. She was getting better by the grace of God. One night I was so tired I accidentally carried her upside down to the toilet to throw up.

I think what makes me mad is the fear I had when young of what to do with my life because I can't do what I really want to do (nursing profession) and also because of the Sabbath, what can I do anyway. I am left feeling extremely uncomfortable around people, uncomfortable in any church.

I was angry that the church split in '95 right after my mother died. It was too much stress. I was angry that I was expected to play piano all the time even though it gave me panic attacks. I am angry that the years we couldn't pay tithes we did anyway and now we are in credit card hell and came an inch away from bankruptcy last year. (Things are bad when you go to the Feast on credit cards so people don't know how bad of shape you are in.) I am angry that whatever happened to my brother left him with lots of emotional problems which he eventually took his own life and that of someone else.

I felt like I got no support from the minister when I became severely depressed because of the suicide. I am angry that I couldn't be a part of the life that I had known for the first 7 years of my life. Healing is the first year you don't go to Passover. It's the first time you put up a Christmas tree. It's choking down your first piece of crab leg. It's being able to look at someone, not in the church, in the eye and being friendly to them and meaning it. It's finally wondering if my parents are in heaven watching me. And it's saying, "Poor old Mr. Armstrong. Too bad his life was so messed up. At least God has now straightened him out by now and forgiven him. It's time for me to do the same."



New on 5/29/98:

I remember having to participate in "FAMILY PRAYER"? In our family it was always on a Friday night, after dinner when we were all tired. My dad and mum would ramble on for what seemed hours. There were 4 kids and because I was the youngest, I got to pray last. By then everyone had said all there was to say, so I would try and figure out a way to say the same thing in a different way. (I remember being 5 at the time.) My sister and I would fall asleep while leaning over chairs. We got our rear end belted for that. Then in an effort to keep us awake, we were not allowed anything to lean on. Just kneel, no sitting. Man, did my back and legs ache.

When I was 5 or 6, my mum would put my slippers by the bed at night so I could step straight into them. When I asked her why she put my slippers there she said it was in case we had to flee in the night. Talk about scaring your kids.

I remember her saying that while we were at school, somebody might come to take us away and we would have to have faith that our parents had gone to the 'place of safety' and we would meet up with them later. Or maybe we would be protected and they (my parents) would be tortured, but we would have to be strong. Or maybe we would be tortured. And if one day they (the beast or whoever) might come and asked questions about our religion and how we shouldn't betray anyone. Or that if someone in the family was trying to conceal a bible on their person and I gave them away by looking at them, I would be responsible for what might happen to them.

I can't believe how many terrible burdens were placed on children in wcg. And they (wcg) wonder why we are angry, why we have been depressed, why we hurt, and why we say we had our childhood stolen from us. Just writing this is making me incredibly emotional.

I always hated the feast of trumpets, because of all the preaching about trumpets and seals and the terrible things that were supposed to happen. I hated atonement. My first atonement was when I was 5. I was a skinny kid with no fat to keep me going. I really suffered that day, I ached all over and literally thought I was going to die.

Name Withheld



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Worldwide Church of God Horror Stories.

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Worldwide Church of God Horror Stories.

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Worldwide Church of God Horror Stories.

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Worldwide Church of God Horror Stories.

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Worldwide Church of God Horror Stories.

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Worldwide Church of God Horror Stories.

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Worldwide Church of God Horror Stories.




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