the painful truth about the worldwide church of god

How Bad Was It, Really?

Page Four

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


 I wrote this to Bill Fairchild and he said he didn't mind if I passed it along:

Thank you again for your kind words regarding the short articles and comments I have submitted to the Painful Truth website. I has been interesting to share thoughts with someone who was so obviously at the other end of the spectrum in our bizarre little cult madness. I once told Leroy Cole that it was not possible for him to see in the membership the things that I could see from my vantage. I told him that when he was in the room men's backs were straighter, their language smoother and they were far gentler to their fellow man than when his back was turned. We looked at each other. He did not respond to it directly with words, but I could see by the look in his eye that we were both in agreement on that point.

I am well acquainted with Arthur and Marie Docken. He was too much of a true believer and decent man to ever be brought into service at, as you call it, our spiritual "deadquarters." He really tried to be a good Samaritan in many, many ways and deeds. But alas, I witnessed him too, in his righteous zeal, destroy the lives of many families with profoundly flawed financial advice. One of our local families, which I will call the "Crushers" come immediately to mind. Mrs. Crusher had graduated from Ambassador College, Pasadena with honors. Her picture was even featured in a Plain Truth magazine article praising her as a "cultured young lady" typical of all female students of Ambassador. She was a lovely human being filled with warmth and compassion, but was not chosen to be a ministerial wife. Perhaps her wrists were were too thick? (A link to the "Manpower" edition of Ambassador Report; if you want to check it out click on the reference and use the CONTROL -F function and type in thick to find the reference quickly.) Who knows? Anyway she married a terrific guy in the church and they proceeded to have five amazing children. Because of her natural intelligence and leadership ability she finally worked her way up to a nice middle management position at a local manufacturing plant that produced eyewear and specialty optical equipment.

They hired the daughter of one of our local elders to be governess for their children and provided her with a monthly salary, room and board in their nice northern California middle class home in the suburbs. Anyway, along comes yet another "third tithe" year, (contains link to Ambassador Report on the extensive study on the topic of mandated tithes for New Testament Christians which was systematically ignored by church leadership for the sake of greater financial revenues which WAS available to Art Docken and every other minister in our church.) and even with her extra managerial income the Crushers are really feeling the pressure and turn to Art Docken for advice. The problem is simple! She is not trusting in his ability as provider. He counseled her to quit her job, fire the nanny, and go back to her true godly calling of being a submissive wife and mother. They obeyed our minister as we have all been drilled during the course of hundreds of sermons to do. Without her extra income they could no longer afford to stay in their home, but they knew this was just a test of faith from God. Much like tests we read about in the Bible.

By the time I visited them, the Crushers were sleeping in a cabover camper and the five children were sleeping in a tent behind them. Someone had compassion for them and let them camp their gear and children next to a condemned house that they used as a source of water from the bathroom. The house was dangerously damp and dark with piles of sheetrock everywhere on the floor that had crumbled from off the walls. It is unlikely that any minister of the Worldwide Church of God that I ever met would be comfortable even kenneling their dog near this place. Yet, here they were, taking in all the misery of it, quietly. Absolutely amazing. Apparently the electricity in this dump still worked and they were able to run an extension cord out to the camper where she submissively prepared meals on a tiny little stovetop (about 18" by 18") for her family of seven at a table that uncomfortably seated two. She was making some thin vegetable soup, sprinkled some salt on it and offered me some. I didn't want to take any of her children's food, but thanked her anyway. She said that it was okay, because when Art Docken wanted to go over her expenses again to see how things were coming along he found more ways to cut for her to cut back. She told me that he had gone over her budget again line by line and pointed to the apple juice in the food budget. He said, "they don't need APPLE JUICE, they can drink water." I felt sick, but I didn't know why. I do now. I had been taught to never disagree with a minister or his advice; but this was terribly wrong. I didn't even know about any of Herbert's excessiveness yet that all these sacrifices were paying for, but I knew it was all wrong. But I was struggling against too much indoctrinated loyalty to even speak. I just got dizzy instead. I wish I knew where the Crushers are today, as I would love to share some soup with them now and just chat.

You are probably wondering why I brought this up. It was because of your reference to laying up an inheritance for our grandchildren. In our area we were being taught that the only way to lay up an inheritance for our grandchildren was strict obedience to "god's" government, including faithful tithing and generous offerings. People that put their trust in money and savings accounts would not survive the coming great tribulation, and therefore have no grandchildren to worry about. By the way, in our area at least, we were still taught to expect the end to come when no one expected. So in our own pitiful way, by obeying and depriving our children of many of their wants and needs we honestly (but wrongly)thought we were at least insuring them a happy and sure future. We weren't trying to be stupid. We were deceived, just as you were; only proportionate to our earnings, the cost of our deception was far greater. When I think about it now, I think perhaps Docken was just as deceived in obeying his mandates from headquarters as we were in obeying Docken's mandates at the local level. Most of us honestly loved God and wanted to serve him, no matter what the immediate cost. We were told that God had provided us with servants to teach us just how to do it. What a simple con.

The reason Art Docken was so vociferous in his objections to Hoeh's callousness (to the family with the health crisis with their child by suggesting they just allow their baby to die to save money) was because he and Marie had lost one of their twin daughters to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Someone in their "compassion" for Marie told her that she was lucky to have had twins, because she still had a baby left. Her response was natural, "but I wanted BOTH of them."

Too bad he didn't have someone in his past council him into relocating his family into a rundown shanty to be able to give more money to the church for Herbert's expensive wine, women and penile treatments. Perhaps his financial advice would have been different, too.

Warmly Yours,




 I just had to tell you about the time that we spent sleeping in a car too. I wound up homeless and sleeping in a broken down old car with my 2 year old son after tithing religiously for years. I asked our minister why wouldn't God answer my prayers and he told me I was "asking amiss." What? Asking God for a roof over our heads was asking amiss? Apparently so, according to him. Every time I asked him he said the same thing, I was "asking amiss, to spend it on my lust." (Can you imagine?) Like when I asked God to help me get a job, or for food for my son and I, or for a home, for the bare necessities of life, for anything at all, no matter what, I was "asking amiss." I was asking for my own selfish purposes. Standard answer. Yet how many hundreds of times had I heard that if I tithed and gave God "His money first" He would take care of us? Repeatedly. They even quoted scripture that said so. Well it didn't work for me.

Oh yeah and when I finally had to go on Welfare I was told that I had to tithe off of the Welfare check. He said, "Its income isn't it?" After all it IS Gods money. Also an offering would show God my faith in His ability to take care of us. Yeah right. I saw real good how He took care of us. So my $225 a month Welfare check was dipped into for "God." He got His and I was "allowed" to keep the rest. So I know all about Gods providing for us, I've spent some time homeless in a car too, and with my small child. (Editor, I'd appreciate it if you would print this. I've tried to send this to you several times and was unsuccessful. Maybe this isn't interesting enough to print, then don't. But it happened to me in that cult.)


 I would like to thank you for this site. I would like to thank God for it too.

I don't know where to begin. My entire life since 1964 has been severely damaged by this cult. My mother began to listen to HWA just before I began school. My grandfather would sit and listen on the radio and argue with him. My Mom began to believe what Armstrong preached. She fell for it, hook line and sinker. When my father refused to pay tithes, they unceremoniously threw him out and called him a thief. He left my Mom and me on Thanksgiving Day in 1965. He took one of my 2 brothers with him. My other brother was in college in another state. My life at nine years old became a living nightmare. My Mom later told me that she had to divorce my Dad because the ministers ordered her to. Then they began to pay her a subsidy to help take care of me. I got into trouble because I just wanted to leave the planet...I could not deal with my solitude. They told her that she had to quit working and serve others in the church because of the subsidy (from 3rd tithes). By the way, it was $250 a month, which eventually was raised to about $400 a month after several years. I was left alone for days at a time so that she could serve the ministers and their families, the sick, the elderly, everyone except her young, troubled daughter. She brought a woman to live with us who was a young widow in the church with three young daughters. This woman had breast cancer...early stage, could've been treated, but, no doctors allowed! I watched this woman die of the most horrible disease I've ever known. I cannot tell you how often I think of her and her daughters. I'll never forget it.

Then, the worst of the worst (to me). The church policy changed (1978 or so) and the church began to allow remarriages. The local ministers in our congregation, during marriage counseling, told my mother that she had no choice but to remarry. She was a diabetic with other severe complications and would need someone to care for her both financially and emotionally. The church stopped their subsidy, she remarried and moved away to another state. The man she married was a member in this other state. He insisted that he did not want any kids in his house, so she packed up our home, got in the truck with him and left. She left me in an empty house, with a packed suitcase and a telephone (for 24 hours only). I began to try actively to commit suicide. I felt abandoned by everyone I loved. I called the ministers about 2 years later and asked for counseling, twice, but was put off. They always had something else to do, something more important. My brothers both have very hardened hearts. They will not accept any bad comments or truths about the church or my mother, but yet they do not attend any church, I don't think they even believe in any religion.

They learned that because Mom didn't celebrate any family holidays, or associate with family, they don't either. I haven't seen or spoken with them in over a year. They seem to not even know I exist. I was always Mom's little carbon copy (in their minds). They resent and detest what the church did to our family, but will not admit it. I hope someday God will heal our family of this scourge and the damage....God Bless You....The Truth will set us all free!


 A very dear elderly friend of mine who has been in the church for forty some years, {she is now in the United} told me of a horrible night in which a child died.

Herbert has announced that everyone stop going to doctors or hospitals, and depend on the faith of God, {which is a good thing, to some extent} the child came very ill so the mother and other women in the church set up a schedule where they all would take turns sitting with the child. The child had a horrible fever of 104 or so, and obviously needed medical attention. My friend would put drops of water on the child's lips and face trying to reduce the fever, but nothing helped. She begged the mother to take the child to the hospital, but she feared Armstrong and the new rule he had made. My friend said she watched the child die in her arms. The whole time he preached this rule, he, himself had a private nurse taking care of him.

The same friend was forced to divorce her husband, because he had been married before coming into the church. She had small children , and she had to stay with people in the church , because she never learned to read and write, so she couldn't get a job. The husband had to move away , and very rarely got to see his kids. She said when they visited him, the kids would scream and cry to be with their father. She loved this man and he loved her. They stayed apart for a few years. Herbert said they were committing adultery by staying married. Then ,a few years later he had admitted he was wrong and allowed them to remarry. He wasn't the same person after that, he started drinking and beating her. She stayed with him anyway. She said it totally destroyed her and the kids lives. Her children are now in their late forties, and hate everything the church stands for. {Believe it or not, the kids both graduated fro Big Sandy.}



I came across your site whilst researching for a book detailing my life as a child within the WCG. My parents were involved with the cult in the UK from when I was 18 months old.

I was sexually abused by an elder over probably a longer period of time than I choose to remember. He wrote to them and confessed, but I had no knowledge of this confession until I was twenty-one and the abuser had long since died in a sanatorium. I have four brothers and a sister. Out of the six children, five were sexually abused by people within the church. There have been several suicide attempts.

I am finding unraveling memories from childhood an extremely painful and emotional experience, as I recall instances and experiences which I now know were wrong and evil.

The damage done by this cult to the innocent victims, i.e. the children who did not choose to join and embrace this strange way of life, is irrevocable. My personality was shaped during the sixties and seventies to a degree that I don't feel a part of "normal" society at all.

Your site disturbs me as the implication seems to be that pedophiles were quite common within the church. Is this the case? If so, what are the reasons?

I never felt loved or wanted as a child and this also seems to be a common thread. The child rearing booklet was probably responsible for that. Were children supposed to be merely a part of a great master plan?

Sorry for the rant. Great site. You can publish what you want from me.


 I'm writing to say Thank-you for this web page.

I came across it by chance. Reading the letters from people who have grown up in the church was amazing! It was like reading my mind.

I was born into the church and left when I was 29 years of age.

Reading The Painful Truth has helped me to get over a lot of hang ups I have held on to. Being a child of the church has to be one of the hardest things a kid has to go through. No birthdays, no Easter. no X-mas. I hated being Different from the other kids.

Sitting through services, I remember one day, I was bored so I turned around to see what the kids were doing behind me, well when I got home that night I got belted with dads belt for being disrespectful! My parents deny it, but I remember it clearly. My dad was a truck driver so we didn't see much of him. When he was home he was either sleeping or studying. Wow lets spend time with the kids, Not!

Being a teenager was also hard, not being able to have close friends outside the church, not being able to have a "outside" boyfriend. Lying to my friends when they asked me to go out on a Friday night. I really wanted to go out with them one night, so I asked, the answer was you can go but you know what god would say. So I stayed home, made my parents happy and we had a "family bible study".

These few things may sound minor, but they have stuck in my mind.

My brother left the church, which devastated my parents to the point of shame. My mother told me that if I left the church also, it would destroy her and dad. So what did I do. Stayed. Emotional blackmail. Which went on quite a bit in our house.

I married a guy in the church and left him after 11yrs. I left the church not long after the 'changes'. God was not meant to change he was meant to be the same today tomorrow always.

Looking back I do not know why I hadn't left earlier. The church was Full of sheep, no one questioned anything, all of them gossiped, and interfered in each others life. I made better friends outside the church, people you could actually trust. No way could you confide in anyone in the church.

When I left, my parents said they understood, but when I left my husband they threatened suicide. they came to see me one day to disown me. Mind you, they did not ask why I was leaving him, instead they listened to the lies that came out of my ex-husband mouth. Well, I had a break down in front of them, so they changed their minds. My brother heard I had said some things about my loving parents and belted me up and threatened to kill me if I left the marriage. My parents were told. They saw my face swollen and bruised, but all they were concerned with was the shame of it all and that they failed as parents in gods eyes. Sick. I will never forgive them or my brother for what they did to me.

I'm now remarried to a man who is far from being religious, my parents are still in the church (the old way) they do not accept my new marriage, even though I am happy. They do not accept my two step children. They are finding it hard to accept my new son. These people say they are gods chosen ones! I don't think so. I am ashamed of them.

My new in-laws love me. Love my previous children as their own. They do not judge me. They are not religious at all. They are wonderful. What does that say about the church? Not much.

Anyway, I just want to say Thank-you again.

Just knowing they're are people out there who feel the same way as I do has helped a lot! More than words can say.

     From Kathy
              Melbourne. Australia


 I just want to thank the Editor for this site. You are really doing the abused Worldwide Church of God members a service by letting us write and share our experiences uncensored on this page. Doing this is the first step to psychological healing from the destruction of the Worldwide Church of God.

I was a second generation born and raised member. Growing up my life was so weird. I always felt as if something wasn't right in my household. I was always looking for some normalcy that I knew didn't exist in my house. I was so frustrated because it seemed as if everything was perfect on the surface. My parents were deacon and deaconess. We had company over for fellowship all of the time. A candle lit special sabbath dinner, every Friday night. Now I know, it was that cold un-loving spirit from the Worldwide Church of God my parents had towards me. I'm the oldest child and when I graduated from college-first in my nuclear family mom went to AC, (a major accomplishment especially in the black community) My mother just said, "Oh you've got your diploma in the mail" that was it. If wasn't AC, it wasn't validated. I was so hurt.

When I went away to college, I started to realize that the Worldwide Church of God was a cult. In my search I found this web site. When I read that Herbert W. Armstrong was abusing his own flesh and blood daughter, a weight was lifted off of my shoulder. Any lingering thoughts I had about ever going back have been dissolved. Worldwide Church of God was founded on the spirit of the anti-Christ and reprobate perversion. I told my younger sister and she was appalled. She also felt relieved to find this out. She was read the site until the sun came up.

I didn't feel so set apart from the normal world because as a child, I lived a double life. I was a normal kid except for on holidays and at feast time at school, and a good YES/YOU member at home and on the weekends. That saved my sanity I believe. Also, in my first year of YOU I was kicked off the cheer leading squad. Bob League was the minister and his wife Faye was the coach. She kicked me off because I could get a dance step. I was so hurt. Not to mention the YOU dances I got dressed up to attend only to stand against the wall because no white guy could ask me to dance and no black guy was there. After that I never really took too much the church had to offer seriously again. I joined the cross country team at school(no meets on Sat). I was no runner but the coach treated me so warmly unlike Faye League. Then I realized the church was backwards and YOU then became #2 on my priority list.

I've since left the church for good. I was baptized into a church that does not compromise on Jesus. My parents still attend. I pray they leave. My parents lives are so empty especially with the break up.

I immediately called my mother to inform her about what Herbert W. Armstrong was doing. She knew and jumped to his defense. The church was her world her status. I wondered what would have happened if a minister or someone molested me. This makes me sad because I want my mother.

My father told me not to dwell on these things yet he still attends. I cant believe how brainwashed they still are. I begged my father to leave and just accept Jesus as his Lord and savior.

I knew then that if was just me and Jesus. I'm back in school now. There was a time during this year when I needed some money and my parents were very reluctant to help me out. You know how the church doesn't value education outside of AC. I've been hungry and poor. I was drastically losing weight. Yet my parents wouldn't help me out. I could go back home because our house is still so cold and unnerving. My mother went on to tell me how the current minister of the Worldwide Church of God is paying his own way through college, so therefore I should too. A fellow classmate prayed over me and said "Don't you ever be hungry again, I make over 50.000$ a year and I'm single. I buying you groceries on Saturday." God sent an angel in my life.

I know that so many the Worldwide Church of God victims are turned off to religion. I was for a very long time myself. But Jesus is waiting for you to call on Him. He will bind up that curse from Herbert W. Armstrong and see you through this.

Former member, Denise


 This is a fantastic site! Thank you so much. After reading everyone else's stories mine seems so trivial but I want to share it anyway.

My WWCG horror story begins innocently enough. I was a new bride and madly in love when by husband said "by the way we don't celebrate Christmas." I followed up with "why" to which he couldn't tell me. Thus I began my investigation, Bible study course, booklet reading (The Plain Truth about...) and adventure in clean and unclean foods. You all know the routine. This all lead to baptism and before I knew it I was the most devout WWCG member in the family - which leads me to my story...

I became pregnant with our first child in January of 19--, my due date was - you guessed it "THE FEAST." My parents were already feeling alienated by our "crazy church beliefs" and were thoroughly disgusted upon hearing that my husband would attend the feast even though there was a chance he would miss the delivery of our baby. ALL MALES MUST ATTEND THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES SAYETH THE LORD.

I went into labor on the first day of the feast. The feast site was about 600 miles from our home. I went through 36 hours of labor, which ended in an emergency cesarean section. Not only did my husband miss the whole thing but he was also told he couldn't come home if we wanted to stay in the church as this was a test of our "faith." The pastor sent me flowers (big deal). All this builds strong Christians twelve ways.

We traveled 130 miles one way each week to attend services, if we missed a week, even due to weather we felt "shunned" by the church members. This weekly commute every Sabbath lasted years. Along with Spokesman's Club, YES, Bible Study etc. etc.

Two years later I became pregnant again, and I guess God was again testing us because my due date was... you guessed it "FEAST" time. Again, my husband missed the whole thing. But boy was he a good Christian for attending the Feast even under difficult circumstances. After the second cesarean delivery I became extremely ill and nearly died. The pastor disapproved of my being in a hospital and not being faithful enough to leave my recovery to God. But of course those pastors came through for me anyway - they MAILED me an anointing cloth. We could drive 3 hours each week to church but they couldn't come anoint me, once!

We continued to attend church as often as possible but frankly the journey was becoming a bit exhaustive. With my job (I worked evenings) I had to work every Saturday graveyard shift to make up for my employer letting me off on the Sabbath. They didn't suggest I quit my job because I was sending lots of money to "headquarters" (God's money). By Friday night my husband and I were both dead on our feet (no excuse I know). The thought of driving 3 hours with two babies so I could sit in the back of the church wasn't too appealing.

To save space just insert the usual horror story details here.

After coming back from the Feast one year my husband and I found a letter waiting for us informing us we were disfellowshipped because we didn't attend services often enough. The pastor couldn't even tell us in person at the feast! Of course they wished us well and told us in the letter that we would be stronger Christians for this and it was for our own good. We could also continue tithing!

I spent a lot of years for nothing, at least that's how I feel now. I should have spent more time with my family, my parents etc. and less time trying to please the WWCG "powers." I regret so much, but mostly I hate having been deceived all those years by being lead to believe that the "end" was coming and I'd better be ready. Making your children go through all the no Pagan Holiday stuff was hard too, not that it was important to me but difficult at school (emotionally).

Not unlike everyone else, I could write a book!

Luckily we saw the light when the Church broke up but some of the wounds can't be healed. At least nobody died. Thanks for listening.


 I have found that your website was truly insightful. I am 43 years old and had been raised in this church from the age of 4. I quit going to the services or practicing the beliefs of what I had been taught at the age of 17. For years I had disagreed with the fact that an entity or religion had the right to tell a family or individual how to run their life or all the items that I have read in the articles written by others who had been raised in it.

For years I grew up with it basically being crammed down my throat so to speak. Told when I left it in my late teens that I was forsaking God and would go to everlasting hell. To this day my father still goes to it and he starts on me about the church, I will tell him I am not interested in it and walk out of the house. My father is 78 years old now and my mother passed away in 1992. On her death bed she was going on and on about the fact that I had better make things right with God and go back to Church.

To this day I have not found that I can be comfortable with any religion. Don't get me wrong I believe there is a God. But I don't think that he would want the abuse that was doled out. Or the fact that you were picked on constantly at school because your dress was longer than the current fashion or that you could not participate in the school activities. or even have phone calls from classmates that were not religiously correct. I know that personally for me life had been really hard and a lot of the life choices that I had chosen would have been different if I had not be so set apart from the going on of society around us. I believe that I would have chosen differently.

I was unprepared for the great rush of freedom that I got, or the way that I got it. We had an incident where I was put out of the household by my father at gunpoint and the pastor was called in to handle the situation and when it came down to the bare wire nothing was done but a slap on the hand for my father. That was really when I started to question the sanity of this religion. He could have killed me and in their eyes he was in the right of it.

If I remember correctly it was because I had developed a mind and was trying to learn to make decisions for myself that started all this. I would like to keep my name out of this article by choice because my father still to this day believes and I don't want to hurt him. Not that I see him much. I spoke with my sister this evening about your website---which by the way I found by accident looking for something entirely different--and she is in her mid 50's and she was as amazed at the facts that you have on the website that we have talked about in years past.

I also could not accept the fact that by church law my children were considered bastards even though I was legally married to their father. My mother constantly told me that by leaving the church and marrying outside of my so called religion that this was what they were considered. Awful that people get involved in groups such as this.

I do agree with term "cult" because that is what it felt like to me growing up. But old habits die hard and it makes it difficult for me to accept another religion even though I raised my 3 kids as southern Baptist. I was bound and determined that they would not go through the ridicule that I had spent my formative growing up years dealing with or made to feel like a freak.

Thank you letting me share with you.


 Thanks again for your site. I had no idea so many people had this experience mine was always a feeling of being different, made worse when my parents both died and we were different again! (It also was no joy to have to get all my immunizations upon arriving in Ohio, in order to enter the 7th grade!) Most of all I just missed my dad, a very loving, expressive man who believed in his children and wanted a bright future for us.

I don't really invest a lot of energy on dwelling in the past, especially around Worldwide Church of God issues. I think it would be different if I knew people who are still involved. What strikes me is that this "church" really preys on people who are having a difficult time and looking for solace, and then takes advantage of them. This describes my parents perfectly. For a long time I blamed my mother for choosing her religious beliefs over her love for her children, but I realize now that she didn't know that she had any choice. She had been raised as a Christian Scientist, so the idea of not seeking medical attention was not new to her.

My mother died, when I was 7 (she was 43), in 1969 the new doctrines had obviously not been adopted yet, so she would not consider seeking medical attention and instead suffered in pain from an intestinal blockage for several days until she died, at home, with two children and her husband.

My older brother died at age 11 cystic fibrosis I don't know if we belonged to "The Church" at that time or not, I was 5.

My dad had a brain tumor, which in 1974 might not have been treatable even if he had sought medical attention. When they took him to the Veteran's hospital in Tucson (we never saw him again), other members of the church took us to live with them which was very generous. I have contacted the two families in the past year or so, and was surprised at how similar they were to my parents e.g. not well-educated, experiencing a life under siege at some point. I don't remember which faction of the church they are with, if any. I am very grateful that they made space for us in their lives in a way that limited the disruption of our lives I could not have asked for more generous, loving people.

About two years ago I received a stack of Dad's letters that one of my dad's sisters had saved including the letter written to her on the day my mother died, describing how proud my mother was to have lived long enough to overcome the fear of the pain. Theirs was a different spiritual path than mine, and I try to accept that. Neither one of them had been to college, my dad was a self-employed salesman, with no health insurance. They had been bankrupt by medical bills and lived their lives under siege perfect targets for the Worldwide Church of God. You can imagine how bitter I felt upon learning that the church doctrine had changed to accommodate seeking medical attention, after it was too late to save my mother from her pain & suffering if not from death. I'm a firm believer in "what goes around, comes around", so I release this to the Universe and know that it is beyond my control it's a more peaceful choice than holding onto the bitterness.

Again, thank you for your website. I hope my brother takes a look at it too. It seems that, ironically, my brother and I were spared some of what others experienced because our parents died and we did not continue in the church.



Hello Painful Truth,

 My Mother started going to the world wide church of God 3 years ago. Since then My Mother and Father have divorced they were married for almost 30 years. My Mother will not come to my wedding since it is on a Saturday and she can't miss church. My Mother worships these ministers in her church, she gives them everything. I will be talking on the phone to my Mom, and she will get another call she will click over to the other line and never come back. Then later on she will call me back and say it was the ministers wife, and did not want to disrupt her. My Mom never goes to any family events anymore. My father actually went to these ministers and asked for help to save his marriage to my Mom, but the ministers told my Dad they don't get involved in family issues. What kind of crap is that! My family and I feel we are no longer of importance to her. I just want my Mom back, and have no idea how to get her back. Please if you have any ideas or suggestions, please write me.

Thank you,

signed (Hurting Daughter)


Hello!!! How are you???

I too, grew up in the cult World Wide Church of
God... I would like to let you know how much I appreciate the Painful Truth Website...  I would also like to share with you why being brought up with the "Painful Truth" in my life has left me scarred to this very day...

First of all, both my paternal grandmother and my father were members of the cult... As far back as I remember, I spent my Saturdays getting brainwashed...

Now that I have given you some background about how I got into the "cult" let me tell you just how wonderful my experience therein was.

When I was about the age of 15, I was raped by a fellow Y. O. U. member... At this time, I was a member of the Wilmington, DE congregation of the cult.  I was attending an evening church social, with a friend and her parents.. I was friends with a guy I will herein refer to as "Fred."  

It was a warm summer evening, I believe it was in July ( I will explain why I can't remember everything, later).  We were at the social hall, and we had decided to step outside for a short walk, and to chat.  We ended up walking in a small stretch of woods, near the social hall...  I felt that I was safe, after all, I was in the company of one of "God's people," not in the company of the "monsters of the world."  "Fred" and I were talking, and he started to hug and kiss me... Now, it was not unusual for teenage friends to hug and kiss one another on the cheek, but this was a kiss full on the lips...  I suggested going back inside, and he said "No" and grabbed my arms...  "Fred"
was African-American, about 6'3" tall, and was about a year older than myself... I am Caucasian, and was about 5'7" tall... When he grabbed my arms and pulled me to him, I was afraid, and was trying to convince him to let me go... He refused, and tried to pull me down by my arms... When he did this, I
started to scream, he then pulled me down and put his hand over my mouth, which I in turn bit... This sequence of events continued for some time...
Finally, being very scared and very exhausted, I gave in to him... HE RAPED ME!!!  He pulled off my hose, ( I was wearing a skirt and blouse), and proceeded to have intercourse with me...  I cannot tell you how long it
lasted, but it was horrible... He finally let me up when he was finished with me, and I snuck back inside... My clothes were filthy... I told everyone that I had fallen..
That night I went home with my friend and her family, and spent the night there... Upon taking a shower, I noticed I had blood in my underpants...
I didn't dare tell a soul what had really happened.

Well, here is where the real emotional trauma begins.  "Fred" was a member of the Laurel, DE congregation, while I was a member of the Wilmington, DE congregation... Our minister pastored both churches, one in the AM and the other in the PM respectively...

I will never forget that following Saturday, after the rape... I was drug to services by my father, per the usual... I sat with my usual friends, who acted funny to me...  I thought this was odd, but never said anything...
Immediately after services, I was pulled aside by the minister (Mr.  David Register) I am mentioning his name in the event that others out there have had traumatic experiences with him...  I was questioned about the events of the night of the rape...  He told me that "Fred" said the sex was consensual.
 I told him that it was not the case... He then asked me was I sure that I was telling the truth, and I told him that I was there, I was sure... He told me that he would be talking to me again, and that he needed to "corroborate my story!!!!  I was tearful and upset...

On the way home, my father interrogated me more as to why the minister wanted to speak with me... He was enraged when I told him what had happened... He too, blamed me...  I was not permitted to tell my mother about what had happened ( my mother was smart enough not to get involved in the cult, and seldom attended any events, including services).

The conclusion of everything was this.... I was suspended from the Y. O. U. for 3 months, and "FRED" was suspended for 8 months... I was never asked by the minister if I wanted to press charges, have testing for STD's or pregnancy, or if I needed counseling!!!

After that day, I closed the book on the whole situation...  People at church, especially my friends, treated me like I had a scarlet letter on my chest... My friends told me in private that their parents no longer wanted them to associate with me...  Thankfully, when I turned 17, I stopped attending church altogether...

Now, lets talk about the long term affects that occurred from the experience I have discussed above... I finally told my mother the truth about what happened when I turned 20... I cried, as did she... She hated my father for it for a long time, because he would not let me tell her about it when it happened..  

As a adult, I have never had a decent, respectful, and happy relationship to this day... I am currently separated from my husband... I have seen several therapists through the years to try to undo the damage done by "Fred", the cult and my father...  I have been diagnosed with depression and panic
syndrome, and told that I have "self esteem and male trust issues"..  

My feelings are this... If this "church" and God, were so loving and caring, why was I punished for something that was not my fault???  Why is my father such an unloving man, who, to this day, will still try to break down my emotions, by verbally abusing me, and watching me cry... I have a great hatred towards my father and the so-called "church".   

If this is what "church" does to people, I want no part of it!!!!

Thank you for listening to my story...


I was born in Pasadena California at the college so those ass wipes that say get over it can "eat me." I never asked to be a member, to be screwed out of sports, holidays, dating, food, life! My god we did not even get a birthday just a pat on the back and told congratulations you're a year older! My life growing up was hell because of the church

Ever sense I can remember I was told that if I was bad I would die and end up in the lake of fire and that anyone outside the church was evil and would only drag me down and all my worldly friends would die if they did not repent of there sins! What a pile of shit to drop on a child. When I was five my dad left my mom and for the next twelve years all I heard was how evil of a man he was and how he had left his family and turned to evil even though my mother was beating us on a regular basis, you know

Spare the rod, hate the child, breaking two by fours on my sisters head and generally trying to brainwash us because we were such evil children and the great thing is that the church new about the abuse and did nothing about it. Just allowed it. We would go to church every Saturday with bumps and bruises but, you know, it was just disciplining your children in the eyes of god. When I was sixteen I started to rebel and I was instantly deemed a bad seed and was marked by Mr. Seagull as a problem child. Until I was eighteen I had to put up with a lot of crap from the minister and the high and mighty deacons.

After I moved out and stopped going to church my mother told me that I was going to burn in the lake of fire for breaking away from the church and I was lost.

I don't talk to my mother anymore and I have not seen her in over three years. The last thing I said to her was "if heaven is where you're going then I would rather be in hell!"

The only thing the church has ever done for me is bring me pain

We should all get together and sue these pricks for all they are worth!




Click here for Page One,
Worldwide Church of God Horror Stories.

Click here for Page Two,
Worldwide Church of God Horror Stories.

Click here for Page Three,
Worldwide Church of God Horror Stories.

Click here for Page Four,
Worldwide Church of God Horror Stories.

Click here for Page Five,
Worldwide Church of God Horror Stories.



Back to "Painful Truth" menu.



The content of this site, including but not limited to the text and images herein and their arrangement, are copyright 1997-2003 by The Painful Truth. All rights reserved.

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