the painful truth about the worldwide church of god

Worldwide Church of God Horror Stories,
How Bad Was It, Really?

Page Five

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:


As an Ambassador College graduate and former WWCG member, I also have my share of painful dealings with the ministry and their autocratic wielding of power. Most of this happened around my very painful separation and divorce. Both my wife and I had graduated from AC, under extremely trying conditions, first as single students, and then as married students with a new baby. We returned home broke and exhausted and set out to start a new life.

With the double whammy of being unavailable to work Saturdays and a depressed economy, times were very tough. We bought a small parcel of land in the country with a mobile home on it. During the next few years, we were building our dream home while living in the back. I didn't know it, but my wife had been having a long term affair with my sister's ex-boyfriend. She would invite him over when I was sent out of town for work. This lasted until she became pregnant by him. When she had a miscarriage, she was convinced it was God's judgment on her. She didn't see him again for several years, and then a chance meeting started it all over again. This time, I found out and was extremely hurt. I gave her as much time to decide which way she wanted to go-with me or him. Finally, she decided to stay with me, although our life was cold and distant. On one occasion , she moved out of the bedroom to the far end of the house and put a lock on the door. This lasted for almost nine months.

In the meantime , we borrowed money from my father to buy a plumbing service business. We thought that this would allow my wife to stay at home, and work out of one of the spare bedrooms as an office and do the bookkeeping and the dispatching. I would run the outside service work with the other guys.

I became suspicious about my wife's chummy relationship with one of the employees. He would show up at the house and stay, for hours at a time when I was not there. When I would come home, he would immediately leave. The final straw fell when my wife and Sean announced that they were going to paint and fix up the mobile home in the back. I wasn't invited to help. On the final night, I found them in the back at 2:00 in the morning either dancing or something. They had both been drinking heavily and were rowdy and abusive. When I told Sean that he would have to leave, he became verbally abusive. I put my head down and waited for him to leave. When I looked up, my wife had left with him and had taken our son. That was the last time that we were living together in the same house.

The separation was devastating and the days apart became weeks and finally months. When my church attendance began wavering, the minister called and demanded for me to give account of why I was missing services. He wasn't at all sympathetic or helpful but made it clear regardless of my problems I was expected to have my butt in a chair. End of story.

In the mean time, trying to get him to help to reconcile our marriage was a frustrating episode of self recrimination and blame. When I asked for help for the church to "encourage" my wife to honor her marriage vows, I was told that they didn't force couples to get back together.

The most telling blows happened on two separate occasions. I had been living alone for most of a year, and the wife of my tenant in the back had a female friend of hers that had also been left by her spouse. We met and along with several of her other friends, began to meet at my house for a kind of mutual support group. We called ourselves the "Dumpees club".

When "Dana" found out that I was a member of the WWCG she asked if she could attend services some time. I said sure, but had been told that I should call the minister first. When I called, the minister became quite irate and wanted to know what I was doing worrying about "some woman". He wasn't interested that she wanted to attend services. He then informed me that I had no business associating with anyone who wasn't in the church. He said that if my wife were not present, I could associate with married couples in the church or single men. Under no circumstances could I have any friends that I was close to who were not church members. When I became angry and said that I found that idea "obscene" he became very angry and shouted ,"Obscene? Obscene! Is that the word that you want to use? Because if it is then you are on very thin ice." He then barred me from attending church services and said that I would not be allowed to attend Passover services in a few weeks. It was as though everything had turned to shades of gray.

I went into a depressive spiral and became almost totally withdrawn. I cleaned the garage out and drove my MG Midget inside-a project car I had been rebuilding for three years. With the keys in my hand, I sat in that closed garage trying to decide what to do. I thank God that I still had sense enough to call Dana who realized that something was terribly wrong. Out of all of the "friends" in the church, only the one person outside of the church cared enough to race over and take my keys away. After that, I began a slow and painful path to a life outside of the Worldwide Church of God.
On one of the final contacts that I had with the ministry, a minister and deacon from another congregation came over to my house to "visit" with my brother-in-law and me. My brother-in-law was also separated from his wife about the same time as I was, and had moved in with me when she had the court bar him from his house. The meeting was tense and "very proper" meaning that it was following all of the rules to hang us by, if that should arise. We were told that if our wives had left, then it was our faults and that "we weren't right" with Jesus Christ. We were informed, in most pious terms, that women, by their very design, couldn't help to follow a man who was following in the footsteps of Christ. When I pointed out that the Bible clearly stated that if an unbelieving mate would depart, the Christian was not bound to be married to them. When I stated, quite categorically, that my wife's actions showed that she was not acting as a Christian, I was told that that made no difference. If she chose not to live as my wife, then I was bound to her. The only alternative was to appeal to a board of elders in writing, along with the minister, and my wife and they would decided "if the marriage was bound in the eyes of God." since my wife and I were still members of the church. I could hardly believe my ears. After being separated for an entire year and a half, with absolutely no possible reconciliation in mind, I was still "married". in the eyes of the church. And that my life after a church sanctioned separation would be solitary and celibate to the end of my days.

Shortly thereafter, while sitting in back at a holyday service, the minister who I had dared question his pronouncement saw me out of the corner of his eye. At the end of the service, he and another minister ushered me into a back room and demanded to know what I was doing at services. When I said that I wanted to attend the service, I was told that I was to be barred from either attending the Feast of Tabernacles or any further Sabbath services. That until I had my "road to Damascus" revelation and repented of my attitude I was not welcome. I took that to heart. That was the last time I attended any Sabbath service or any other kind of church service by the worldwide church. The memory is still painful to this day.

I filed for divorce shortly thereafter, and after a long and nasty period in which my ex tried to financially ruin both me and the business we ran, I was granted a divorce. It cost me my house, my job, my business, and the church I attended faithfully for almost all of my adult life. I have since remarried a truly wonderful, beautiful woman and our marriage is one of the happiest times I have ever known. She stood by me while shoveling out all of the mess left by my ex and the tyrants in the church. With her, I truly understand the idea of total love I sought in the worldwide Church of God. When I look back on all of the hollow, empty souls that so desperately tried to find answers in the church, I shudder. Looking back down an long and rocky path, I am amazed that I so completely and deliberately deluded myself. The whole memory of the church was about ritual and appearance and adherence to mindless doctrine. And while I believe that many of the ministers were sincere, I believe they are sincerely wrong and that they followed a myth and not Jesus Christ. I find no comfort in the fact that the minister who threw me out, was himself disfellowshipped not a few years later. The other minister also left the ministry for "personal" reasons. It seems that Christ himself leveled his harshest criticisms at the self righteous Pharisees who were like whitewashed tombs but inside were full of dead men's bones and all manner of filth.


Many thanks to the owners of this website for exposing those farces otherwise known as The World Wide Church of God and its clone The United Church of God.

First off, let me confirm that those bastards the Armstrongs, their cronies, Worldwide Church of God and UCG ministries are indeed abominations and mutants whose equal is found in the Taleban and Al-Quida terrorists. Other countries target nuclear weapons at us partially because we harbor scum like Worldwide Church of God and UCG. Their world wide reputation is that of a cult, of brainwashing, of mind raping, of a pestilence, of decay, of deceit - a cesspool of immorality, the scourge of humanity. Imagine WWG or their splinter groups ever gaining control of weapons of mass destruction. That's partially why the US is in the nuclear crosshairs of other country's nuclear weapon focus. They wish to keep the following scenario from happening to their own people, to their countries, to their fabric of society and yes, to their children - their future.

My brother, (name withheld), turned demented when he started listening to the Worldwide Church of God radio broadcasts in the late 60s. It sterilized his personality, emptied his brain of thought, dimmed his morality. Of course he only had friends who were "in the church." One of these friend's expansive vocabulary comprised of three words, "sure appreciate it." That's all. They were eerily, quiet and spooky, as though their souls had been sucked out of them.

In addition to the weird behavior was an underlying current of hostility directed toward my hard working, educated middle class parents, my mother a chemistry and library science major, my father a purple heart recipient World War II veteran, physicist, patented inventor, (solar cells), and teacher. My other brother and I, who were also not part of this cult as were my parents, were tolerated. My sister, (name withheld), however, joined this cult.

Included in the aberrant behavior was the fanatical rejecting of Christmas gifts, the holing up in their rooms for hours on end reading the garbage these bastards excreted, the refusing to do any activity on Saturday, even if it meant not taking jobs. Their personalities continued to degenerate, especially while attending the Armstrong's mind control concentration camp otherwise known as Ambassador College, in Texas.

It wasn't until 1986 or so that my brother finally left this cult, but not before exposing his son to the damning effects this was eventually to play out on his young mind. His son tried to commit suicide at least once, has been in jail and on drugs. My brother's mind is still dull, demented, as though he had been a herione addict to this day, thanks to this cult even though he is not in it. He talks slowly if and when he does speak. He rarely calls my parents or me.

 My sister, two years younger than this brother, ran away from home at 18, influenced by a subsequently convicted felon, a deliberate liar, a wife beater, (she married him after running away only to endure 12 years of beatings and other brutalities). "God has raised his sword to cut the family ties," this Worldwide Church of God member told my father during the phone call after kidnapping my sister and hustled her to another part of the state so many years ago

Taught by the Worldwide Church of God elders, this individual, named Clayton, succeeded in swindling $50,000 from Michael Douglas, the actor, when he and my sister worked as hired help for him in Santa Barbara, CA. This thieve, like the Armstrongs, was adroit at targeting elderly people from whom he stole 10s of thousands of dollars. He and my sister traveled to Europe and Africa on stolen money. Eventually, the law caught up with him. Before going to jail, this convicted felon jumped off a cliff and killed himself.

It would be interesting to get Michael Douglas's comments on all of this. I am sending a copy of this letter to him.

My sister went on to marry another cult member in UCG. They now live in Bend, OR, where she collects disability and welfare under the guise of having Multiple Sclerosis. The doctor here in Pennsylvania would not commit this diagnosis to paper, but apparently, someone in Oregon did. They are swindling money from the taxes of hard working people and using to sit at home. They have three girls whose fate and very lives are in dire straits unless these parents and UCG are brought to justice. They desperately need to see a psychiatrist.




I worked for AC from '66-''74 in both the mail dept. & then the security dept. I was the campus mailman for 3 years or so & thus knew just about everybody on campus ( this would probably identify me to a lot of people--but that's OK). I worked under John Wilson, Steve Grey & Eric Shaw: all good people. But around the beginning of '70 Mr. Wilson thought I should transfer to the security dept. I didn't like the idea but I thought I better do as I was asked.

 As I was employed at the college in Sept. '66 I asked my wife to be to marry me. We had planned a June '67 wedding. Then came the sleeping giant. I had what was never a legal marriage when I was 17 years old and you guessed it (I think). I was BOUND! That meant I had to become a D&R case. So for 6 years I was in limbo after writing up the paperwork necessary to be judged "single" & not bound.

I had to go into graphic detail as to my ex wife's sex life with previous partners including her step-dad. Most of these things I embellished out of desperation. I couldn't imagine living as a eunuch for the rest of my life. We had been separated for over 5 years at this time and sense we were under age & married in Mexico it had never been legal in the U.S. But the church came to the conclusion it was a binding union.

During these 6 years at AC I had begun working in security and worked many different shifts around campus and then was put in charge of security at SEP, Orr, Minnesota. In my second summer at SEP I started writing my wife-to-be that I had stopped seeing during these years. We had both studied enough scripture over this time to figure out there was no reason for me to be bound. We started to make tentative plans in a clandestine fashion. When I came back to Pasadena I was put on the graveyard shift patrolling the campus.

Finally after 6 years of waiting for Rod Meredith's crew of Clint Zimmerman & Wilbur Berg to come to a final decision it seemed to be close. I succumbed to the power I had with my "Z" key ( a master key). I found their office, unlocked the door and almost died from the fear of what I was doing. So I started in looking for my case on the desks & in the file cabinets. Night after night I filtered through some of the most disgusting details of other D&R cases that I found. It was very difficult not to break down & cry. I'm sorry but I really can't tell you the particulars of the individual cases I read. It's too sickening & heart rending. No one should ever be made to share these things with people that don't really want to help. But when you are desperate for a chance at a normal life you'll do most anything. I was a lucky one. I just wanted to get married. Many of these folks wanted to get back to being a family again like they were before they came to the one true church. The bound people were always last on the list of priorities.

After several nights of looking I found my file. I couldn't find the conclusion. I looked & looked but no conclusion. I finally tried the dictating tape machine..................**BOUND**.........I had to run out & vomit. They had taken two obscure old testament scriptures in Leviticus (context of instructions on war & disciplining your child) to keep me bound.

That was it. I started doing what I had learned to do best during this time. When I got off work I got good & drunk. That's a whole new item I can write about at a later date since I'm now a member of AA & will be forever, a day at a time, GOD willing. When I told my wife-to-be we agreed we were going to get married anyway. We were scared to death but we stepped out in shaky faith. We just celebrated our 28th year of marriage & love each other more every day. A success story in spite of the efforts of the evil ones.

If this gets posted maybe it will make others feel freer to share their own hell. It could be cathartic for them. It has been that for me. Thanks for taking the time to read this. In the future, as I have the time, I will discuss alcoholism. Today my spiritual life revolves around my recovery & my helping others in sobriety.

 I fear no man any more... Thank GOD!! (maybe the IRS.....ha)

Jack Bruce


Though I wanted to write earlier, busy schedule at work kept me away from it. At this time I shall write about another suicide of a Worldwide Church of God member, Michael ******.

Michael was the brother of Joe ******. Joe enrolled in AC in '86 and came back to India as a Minister in '90-'91.(In fact Joe was pushed into enrollment by William Sidney, a Minister.) He was stationed in Hyderabad and then later in Madras, (Madras is now renamed as Chennai).

Michael lived alone in Bombay, (now renamed as Mumbai), after Joe and his family left for AC. Michael visited with his sister weekends. Because Michael was Worldwide Church of God member and his sister was not, there was strain in their relationship. Michael earnestly desired to marry but couldn't because of the prohibition imposed by the Worldwide Church of God. Michael did have a nice job with a good income.

Michael lived alone. He developed a medical problem of the eye. It was after '87, when Tkach had sanctioned medical help. Michael went to another city, Ahmedabad, to seek medical aid for the one eye. The reason why he did not avail himself of the superior medical treatment in Bombay was that he had not wanted any of the Worldwide Church of God members in Bombay to visit with him. He would later write in his suicide note that there was no real genuine sympathy or concern for one another in the Worldwide Church of God, Bombay. This was one of the reasons why he went to another city. A less important reason was that being single he did not want to jeopardize his chances of finding a mate. Revealing the health problem would distance the single ladies away from him, so he had felt.

The surgery was a failure, partly due to inferior medical help. He became blind in one eye. He hid this fact from everyone, including me. Michael and I used to meet each other nearly every weekend.

 Three or four years passed by. Then he committed suicide by consuming poison. The doctor had informed him that his one good eye would gradually lose sight. So he committed suicide. I think the year was 1992.Michael was a little over forty years of age.

On the surface it seems that he bears full responsibility for his decision. Who would think that Worldwide Church of God also has a greater share of the blame? Worldwide Church of God is also to be blamed.

Normally in India a young man would marry after 25. When Michael was that age it was quite easy for him to find a bride. But the Worldwide Church of God strictly taught that marriage outside the church was not permissible. She taught that it would amount to disobeying God. She further taught that God would select a spouse for members of Worldwide Church of God. We now know that this is not true. Worldwide Church of God claimed it derived its teachings from the Bible. As far as I know such teaching and promise is not found in the NT or the Bible. By teaching error and by subtle intimidation Worldwide Church of God psychologically ruined Michael. Worldwide Church of God is thus responsible for the death of Michael.

Michael had been wrongly taught by the unscrupulous, self-seeking, impostors (ministers) of Worldwide Church of God that God stood willing to heal his people readily. If that teaching were true, why did Michael take his own life? Michael was devastated, found no real help from any source. How can a single man in his forties, living alone, blind in both eyes, get by in life, in a hugely-populated cut-throat city of Bombay? Such a pathetic situation was brought upon Michael by the teachings of Worldwide Church of God. Had Michael married in his twenties, his wife and children would look after him well with care and sympathy during his remaining years as a blind man.

It was primarily due to lack of care and concern--or to use the oft-used word of Worldwide Church of God, lack of love--that Michael decided to end his life. Worldwide Church of God taught error for money and prestige. Worldwide Church of God ruined many lives, including mine.

Worldwide Church of God was never the instrument of God that it passionately claimed to be. Worldwide Church of God taught about the devil and his works. The works of Worldwide Church of God are the works of the devil that Worldwide Church of God taught about. The work of Worldwide Church of God and the work of the devil that WCG taught about coincide. It comes down to this: WCG unwittingly proclaimed her (WCG's) own work. The work of Worldwide Church of God was not good, but the work of WCG was evil--evil as we know it. Evil is that which causes hurt, pain, ruin, death as we know it. The work of WCG has been exposed in the consequences that have come upon many of her members. These members hurt today. This is one proof that the works of Worldwide Church of God are evil.

I have written much, so I will close now.

Best Regards Jaget

 There was a kindly old couple in my church...a black couple. They were what some would label "the salt of the earth." She worked all the bake sales, set ups, the usual. He worked and worked...doing anything that needed to be done. They were both in the choir.

After I got to know them, the lady confided to me that she and the man were not married anymore, though they had been for years and years. Awhile back, when the church got zealous about D&R, the minister called this couple in and proceeded to let them have it because he had been married briefly in his younger days.

To make a long, painful story short, they split. They divorced by decree of the church. She kept the kids and the house, he moved out and continued to support them best he could.

A few years later, he found he was having too much pain at being with his Ex-wife at services, dinners, holydays...and he missed his kids. So, he decided to move to another state. If he couldn't BE with her as her husband, he needed to have some distance.

This went on for many years. The kids grew up, started college...and then he moved back.

He still felt a deep love for her...but she had changed. As many would, she grew independent and self-reliant...she HAD to, in order to be both mom and dad to her kids!

She told me that, when the furnace needed fixing, SHE got down on her old knees and worked on why on earth would she have some man who was practically a stranger do it for her?!

Well, the new minister...McCrady...studied up on everyone and found out he was back in town and going to dinner (gasp!) at her house.

He called them into his office...and told them that D&R had changed, AGAIN, and they were, in the eyes of GAWWDD, legally married...and they should make it official.

She didn't want to have any part of this...her kids were all gone, with the exception of the youngest, who was half-way out the door...and she had her life settled and organized. He, on the other hand, was tickled pink!

So...after wearing on her for a couple of months, she gave in and they had a little ceremony at services...guess so the congregation could be a witness to an error being corrected (!)

Not long after that, they found the love they had back in the early years...and it was a thing to behold! She positively glowed! And he had a sparkle in his eye.

Then, one day at services, she was crying.

When I asked her what was wrong, she said that her husband had cancer. He only had a short time...and now, she felt she was losing him for the second time.

It didn't take long. He wasted away in front of our eyes. Then, he was gone.

And she was alone again...and the "welfare" of the church helped her to live a meager, poverty-level existence...yeah for them.

Now, isn't that about the most low-down thing you've ever heard!?

I'd love to get my hands on those {men} who tore up these two precious lives. I am a peace-loving person, but I think I could do some serious damage to them and love every minute of it. I am still deeply angry over this injustice.

Sure, they could have just said NO. But we all know how that word wasn't in our vocabulary then.

Well...I've run on...and I'll get to the other horror story another time. Someone might think, "Why is she telling us this? To make us feel worse?" No. Only to have others know what happened and shed more light on the dealings and horrors that have been done. And, so these two lovely people will be on the minds of others...for what that's it doesn't go unnoticed.

Thank you for allowing me the freedom to say these things.  


Dear Editor.

I gather that you remember me. I sent two accounts of suicides of Worldwide Church of God members in

I shall send another account.

The year was 1991 or 1992. I met this church member at the FOT site, Bangalore,
India for the first and the last time. His name has slipped from my mind. In
this account I shall refer to him as F (f for friend).

F worked in USA for some time. He desired to come back to India and work in his
native place. He returned to India, but could not find work. It was during this
time that he attended the FOT in Bangalore.

We became friends within that brief period of FOT. He told me that he had wanted

Some months after the FOT I heard that he had died from an accident. I learned
that it was not an accident, but that he was driven to take his own life.

Apparently  the ministry harshly slammed him for not having a job. Instead of
encouragement, the ministry  severely criticized him, driving him into
depression. He flung himself before an onrushing train.

The ministry did not even so much as mention a word about him. Silence was the
response. There was no regret, sorrow, or anything of like emotion expressed by
the ministry.

Worldwide Church of God taught rank errors that have grievously harmed most of the members in
India--ruined their lives. Yet they don't show a modicum of regret. The
ministers in India have said that God will amply reward the members for having
suffered from the erroneous doctrines of Worldwide Church of God. They are merely supplanting a pile
of errors with another evil error. There is no good basis for this new error
except the basis of self-justification of their detrimental errors propagated
unabashedly for over half a century by an evil man who learned to deceive others
from Hitler of Nazi Germany.

I shall write again. I hope you will use this account so that others may learn
from it.



I would like to mention that today is my stillborn baby's 8th "birthday".

I have "the church" to say THANKS FOR NOTHING (but memories) because of going along with what was highly pressured in our church area about the "right way" to have a baby. Natural childbirth, no painkillers unless absolutely necessary, don't have the doctors interfere with labor, etc. etc.

We were almost 2 weeks overdue when I FINALLY went into labor. Everyone at church kept telling me "the baby knows when it's time to come out" - yeah right!

We get to the hospital around midnight, I was halfway dilated and also found out there was no heartbeat. I think I went into shock then - it was like an out of body experience, or bad dream.

Little Gina Marie was born at 2:16 am and was perfect in every way and very cute. We couldn't find anything wrong with her and it was devastating that this happened to us. Joe Dobson was our minister at the time. He came to see us at the hospital. He told me that "God loves me". WHAT?!?!

Many people from church (and also my job) attended the funeral. The service was upsetting to me because that was in 1994 and the church was changing its teachings on a lot of things. Mr. Dobson always spoke on "safe" topics for his sermons. Anyways, no mention was really made of the resurrection or Last Great Day and it really upset me at the time. And of course he didn't mention heaven either. I felt it was like she had no future.

We got lots of cards and letters - most were really touching. One or two people wrote how it was "God's will" or that "God never gives us more than we can bear". BULL_ _ _ _!!!

Seventeen months later we had our "2nd" daughter - alive and healthy. We've since had another daughter and a son. No more kids tho - we're getting too old! We're glad they won't have to grow up in a church with a lot of potentially harmful teachings.

If anyone knows anyone who has had a miscarriage, or any kind of loss of a baby or child, I can recommend several good books. I searched the bookstores and even Christian bookstores looking for answers, as the church certainly was worthless in this event!

I made a memory scrapbook of the cards we got, sonogram pictures and such. I have it in a memory "box" that has some of the maternity clothes I wore, and some things that were bought for her.

I still get angry/sad/hurt when I go to the cemetery because I felt she wasn't put to rest properly. I've told the kids about her and they talk about her a lot, which is nice that she isn't forgotten.

Sorry to be so morbid. Hope some people who knew me read this and just realize how the church really DID affect peoples lives in many ways!

********(mother of baby Gina 6/16/94)

Recommended Books:

"How to Go On Living When Someone You Love Dies" by Therese A. Rando, Ph.D. This book is about all kinds of deaths, not just babies and children.

"When A Baby Dies" by Rana K. Limbo & Sara Rich Wheeler

"Surviving Pregnancy Loss" by Rochelle Friedman, M.D. and Bonnie Gradstein, M.P.H.

"How To Survive the Loss Of A Child" by Catherine M. Sanders, Ph.D.

"Silent Sorrow - Pregnancy Loss" by Ingrid Kohn, M.S.W. and Perry-Lynn Moffitt

"Sun Rise Tomorrow" by Elizabeth B. Brown

"Free to Grieve" (miscarriage and stillbirth) by Maureen Rank

"When Pregnancy Fails" by Susan Borg and Judith Lasker

"Empty Arms" by Sherokee Ilse

"When A Baby Dies" by Nancy Kohner and Alix Henley

There were a couple other books I bought, but I got rid of them because I didn't like them as well as these. These books all have several personal stories of people who suffered losses. Some of the books are more "religious" than others, some stories are about people who are involved in a church, other stories are about people who are not religiously inclined.

The books were helpful to me as I was searching for "why did this happen".

One other book:

"The Pregnancy Book for Today's Woman" by Howard I. Shapiro, M.D. had some information that my other pregnancy books didn't get into much.

Hope you find something helpful here. It is a very hard thing to go thru, and there's not a day I don't think of Gina.


I'll never...til my dying day...forget some of the horrid things said and done to me by "ministers" of that cult.

One thing I'll a fot one year, in was sooo bitterly cold...and I was an EMT (worked on an ambulance) and I volunteered for First Aid. There was a woman...just skin and bones, really...eaten up with cancer of every organ...I don't know HOW she managed to still be alive...anyway, her daughters brought her to the feast...and the "ministers" told her to GO HOME!>>>>> but she refused! She was dying and yet her only desire was to be with the "brethren!" She wanted to die at the feast!!! Talk about dedication! Anyway...they wouldn't let her attend services but did allow her, after making her and her family feel like dog shit, to "take up a much needed first aid bed" and listen to services via the intercom. (Everything was piped in so those of us "working" wouldn't "Miss" anything!!)

As I said, she was just sooo thin...and cold!! She was generating absolutely no body very near death. And the PAIN she was in...

So...I asked if I could sit with know, hold open my bible and show her what they were reading...stuff like that. I sat on the floor, for they wouldn't let me have a chair...the "elders" were using them...and I held her hands in under my arms to try and get some heat in them.. she said they hurt so badly from the cold. I did first one, then the other. I cried at the time, but she had such a beautiful spirit...and attitude! She smiled a lot...and her daughters cried with me.

Long story short...she didn't die at the feast...but shortly after arriving home, she did. Now...what would have been so very bad to have treated this woman with some common decency? Where was all the "compassion" of "christ?" Couldn't they have given her something warm to wrap up in? Couldn't they have sat with her and prayed with her? What about talking to her about death...and helping to ease her fears?

This happened early on in my cult career...and I should have seen right then that there was something terribly wrong. But, I told myself that they were ministers...they knew more than I did so of course they were right. I just did what my heart told me to do. Where was their "Heart?"

I'll tell you where it was....busy wondering just how much the offering was going to be!! They would get into trouble if it didn't exceed last years and they knew it! You know...all those fancy sermons were designed to do one thing...stir up the people to open up their wallets! Ugly, but true.

So, if only for that ONE LITTLE INCIDENT.....I hate 'em. I will NEVER forget that woman's cold hands and warm smile. And I will never...NEVER...forget the cold cruelty she received at the hands of "GAWDS" ministers!!!

Now...if this one little incident was ALL that EVER happened to anyone in the cult...that would be enough to give a person nightmares. So the attitude of "oh, let's just forgive and forget and go on loooving JEESUUSSS" makes my stomach turn.


 Dear Ed,

I enjoy reading the PT, and get on it whenever I get the chance. "Anonymous" had an interesting post on 9/18/02 and he/she wondered if anyone could relate.

Yes, I do! My parents were not divorced, but the rest of your story I can relate to.

We came into the church in late 1971. I was 11 going on 12. That year I had to miss my birthday for the first time, and Christmas too. Whenever my grandparents would send my sister or me BD or Xmas gifts, my parents would return them. They wrote several letters explaining "why". There was much anger by grandparents. My mom has admitted over the past few years, she wishes that they hadn't done that, it hurt everyone involved, but they were just "following church teachings".

We had to go to the library and miss the fun school parties. We had to draw "scenery" in art class, instead of what everyone else was drawing for the holidays. We had to be embarrassed over saying we got nothing for Xmas. I was told to "mouth" the Xmas songs while I was in school choir one year and they had a few Xmas songs in the winter program. I did sing tho. I had to quit girl scouts, as many activities were on Saturday. Lost all my friends there.

Each year, just as school was getting started, making new friends, etc., we got pulled out for the fall holy days and 1 or 2 weeks for the feast (depending on where we went). Most teachers were pretty good about getting extra homework for us to keep up, but it was still weird.

We had to spend long (and I mean long) days for the holy days, wearing dresses (I hated dresses). 2 hour (or more) morning service, about 3 hours for lunch, then 2 hours (or more) for afternoon. Being totally bored out of your mind, being GLAD you had to go to the bathroom, so you could leave a few minutes and stretch your legs. Finally, being GLAD the whole day was over with! Especially DOA!

Since the church taught "no doctors", when I started having severe, and I mean severe cramps with my first monthlies, my parents gave me wine. The church's answer for all that ails you oh yeah, honey and olive oil too. THAT was the start of a drinking problem I was to have for over 20 years! Thanks Herbie, Worldwide Church of God and mom and dad. My parents did finally take me to the "family doctor" but I should have been taken to a OB/GYN. The family doctor said "cramps were normal". But, I had more than "just cramps". I missed one, sometimes 2 days of school cramps, diarrhea, severe leg and back pain. Many years later (after a miscarriage) it was discovered I had severe endometriosis and it was amazing I got pregnant at all. I had laser surgery and medication (which caused me to gain 30 pounds this was "normal") which cleared it up. I had been anointed over the years in "God's church" but was NEVER healed!

Since I was slim as a teenager, wore glasses and didn't have big boobs, the guys in the church didn't want to date me. Yet, there were guys at school who would've gone out with me, but since Friday nights were out, I missed out on school activities with friends, and the church didn't want you dating outside the church, so Saturday nights were out too. So basically, my teenage years SUCKED!!!

I ran away from home once, with 2 girlfriends. We got caught about 200 miles away. My parents were furious! I tried to explain that I hated my life, but they didn't listen to ME just what the church believed. After that, I started smoking pot at school. When group dating another church "teaching" there were plenty of opportunities for drinking. Most of the teenagers I grew up with partied to one degree or another.

I got a job out of high school, and my "partying" took a back seat. I didn't have a close friend to move out with, so I stayed at home. I got baptized when I turned 20 because at the feast that year they made a big thing about the age of accountability, and even tho 1975 had come and gone, the end of the world was still "just around the corner", so I felt I better get baptized to escape the tribulation. AND, by then I was dating a guy who was "baptized", and he was wanting to get serious, and even counseled with his minister about us, but the minister said I had to be baptized too, if we were to get married. I think we were to be married the summer of 81, but he was a college student working part time, and I had a full time job (and paid for most of everything), plus it was a long distance thing, so we ended up breaking up.

The night we broke up, I went to a bar with some girlfriends (from Worldwide Church of God), but they were under 21, so they could just have beer. I got totally wasted and met up with two (thankfully nice) guys. My friends left (I wouldn't), so the guys took me home. We smoked pot on the way home. Man, I was out of it! Got home after 2 am my parents totally freaked! Such yelling, screaming and crying! Next day I was totally hung over (my first), and harped at all damn day. No sympathy at all.

About a year later my dad got a different job, and they moved out of state. I stayed in their house and rented it with a gal from church. Did we ever party! We had fun! But eventually she got serious with one guy and she moved back home to save money. By then, I felt all alone. My family (sister, too) gone, no boyfriend, my job was starting to suck. If I would've had any self esteem, I would've tried to change jobs, but the holy day/Sabbath thing was against me. So instead, I started drinking heavily after work. I would be rather hung over the next day, but I did get to work and church.

Even though I was still in Worldwide Church of God (early 80's), I felt I had a little "freedom" without my parents around. And since I was still having such severe female problems, and since God/the church didn't help me, I went to a OB/GYN myself. Got on the pill which helped GREATLY!

There were several single guys at work. One in particular that I liked. We flirted a lot, and one Friday he asked me out that night. I said yes. We went out with some other couples (friends of his), and went dancing and drinking and ate out afterwards. Sometimes we went out Friday nights, sometimes on Saturday nights. I usually went to church, because I didn't want anyone tattle-taling to my parents in a letter or phone call that I was "missing church". My former roommate, and her fiancé met my work "fling" once. And fling it was! In a fit of rebellion to God/my parents/the church/my ex I decided I was thru "waiting for Mr. Right in Worldwide Church of God", so we HAD SEX!!! We dated several months, and had sex on occasion and I didn't feel one bit guilty!

Several months later came the FOT, and by then my parents knew I was dating a guy at work (who had been divorced, but no kids) and they mostly DAD DID NOT approve! So, I tried to meet guys at the feast. I met one guy and we went out. On our first or second date, we went to a fancy restaurant. We had wine with dinner. Then we went to a bar. I don't remember what night of the week it was, but we stayed til the bar closed, then went back to my hotel. All the good church people were back at their hotels the streets were deserted. Even though I dislike coffee, I thought we better both have some, before he went home (he was a brother in law to one of the ministers there). I don't know HOW this happened exactly, but I was totally out of it. We started messing around, but I finally told him to get away from me and he wouldn't and things got out of hand, and we had sex or was it sex? This was before the term "date rape" was common, but a few years later I bought a magazine which had that on the cover, and a couple of the stories sounded very similar to mine. Luckily, I was still on the pill, so no pregnancy, but HE didn't know that. We saw each other a couple times after that, but the more I saw him, the more I hated him (and myself too). How did this happen!?!

About a month later, I met my now husband. (As we got more serious, the guy from work and I broke up HE was not ready for a serious relationship, and I WANTED one, with someone). I told him (now husband) about my past, only not how much I drank or about the date rape. A couple years into the marriage, he found out about both. The church and teachings have always come between us. We got married on a Friday evening, but our first night was spent at his/our place in the country. Then, instead of being TOGETHER alone our first few days, we go to church the next day! Not long after we got married, a bad storm was coming in, so I quick jumped in the shower, but forgot to take off my mascara. This was while makeup was NOT OK. But I wore it the whole time anyways, as I thought that was a stupid rule. I wore it pretty subtle around him, so my husband never really noticed it. Plus, he left for work before I did, and got home after I did, so I was able to wear as much as I wanted to work. Anyways, I got out of the shower, so he could get his quick, and he noticed my eyes looked smudged. Talk about a fight!

We've had marriage problems ever since about those issues. He/we counseled with the minister about some of our problems. He told me several years later that the minister had told him to tell me to "leave". What the hell kind of counsel is THAT!?! So anyways, any drinking I did just continued. Of course, he was no innocent, he could put away plenty beer himself. What a pair!

Anyhow, after 10 years of marriage, we had our first baby in 1994 (who was stillborn). We had been going by church teachings about "natural childbirth" and "waiting for labor to begin". After that happened, I bought many books about the loss of a baby. and a few new medical books too. We planned to try again. After a few months of going back to drinking, I finally realized, I've got to quit this, as we wanted to try again. This time around it was church teachings, be damned! I changed doctors, got monitored more frequently, and we planned along with the doctor, the birthdate. This time there would be no unpleasant surprises! So we had a hospital, induced, planned labor. Everything turned out fine except breastfeeding which the church pressured one to do. Got anointed for THAT too! Nothing! By then we were in Global/Living Church of God and talk about judgmental women in the mothers room! Everyone there was breastfeeding (and having no modesty about it either), and snide remarks would be made while I was in there about bottle fed babies. It was very upsetting and stressful!

Our "third" child (2nd living) was born while at that church. Planned, induced, monitored labor again. This one LIKED to nurse, but I still had to bottle feed her, as I couldn't keep up. Got anointed AGAIN no results! Same hateful comments by these same hateful women. I got to where instead of going to the mothers room, I'd go out to the car with the baby. When it got too hot or cold, I started staying home. We eventually left that church, MY reason for leaving was the hatefulness of my "peers" and I was not going to let my kids be friends with their kids, with that kind of BS going on. Plus, we had "religious" reasons for leaving.

We discovered "Key of David" PCG's tv program one weekend while "between cults". Called after a couple weeks, and after my husband having to go thru 3 or 4 "ministers/deacons" we got to go, but THAT can be another story. However, we had our 4th (3rd living) baby while there. Same planned, induced labor again. Had many problems with nursing got anointed more than once for that and a badly sprained ankle. I encouraged my husband to get his injured arm re-anointed too. We thought since THIS time we were in the "true church", miracles would happen. NOT!

We left PCG over "makeup" believe it or not! After the lack of healings, I was feeling very angry and bitter about things. Even though I had tried to quit makeup totally and prayed about it too, it was still a big issue with me. So I started wearing it again, in defiance of not being healed of the things that mattered most to me, over the years. I wore it VERY subtle for church, but NOT subtle around the hubby. He threatened to go to the ministry. I said "go ahead". Since we were homeschooling and finally got a computer, on the weeks I stayed home from church (sick kid, baby, or whatever), I started looking up "makeup" and "Worldwide Church of God" and "Herbert W. Armstrong" on the internet. The information we found simply amazing!!!

We're out of the cult (9 months now), and feeling FREEDOM finally, and loving it!!! :~) Our kids like school (last year we homeschooled that church thing). They have Halloween costumes bought for the school party. I don't have to pull them out for the FOT or holydays. They can wear normal clothes. I even let the girls wear makeup (in defiance to PCG I think) even though they're too young really. Mostly nail polish and lip-gloss.

That's most of it, I guess. Sorry this was so long. I tried to condense it some.

Linda (you may sign my name)


 I stumbled across your website when I was doing an internet search for something else.  I guess my need for the material you provide was greater than I realized, because I have spent most of the last two days at work furtively sneaking back to your website, devouring as much as I could before the office manager wandered by again.

I left the Worldwide Church of God about six years ago.  Funny, I can't even remember now exactly when I left.  There was so little fanfare.  Between one thing and another, over the years, my faith that Worldwide Church of God was The One True Church finally cracked.  Suddenly, instead of being the "One True Church, descended in direct apostolic succession from the original Church at Jerusalem," it was just one more flavor on the smorgasbord of Protestantism.  So, I simply quit going.

I foundered about for about a year and a half, alone, without any sort of community around me.  That was the hardest thing to deal with, I think, for me.  Worldwide Church of God had a way of encompassing your whole life.  Family, work, social activities, friends, my whole world was inside the walls of the WCG.  If it wasn't a physical commune, it was still just as isolated a community as any Shaker commune, only the walls were made of rules and fear of excommunication -- exile from the community.

When I walked away from WCG I walked away from my whole life.  I didn't take a single thing with me.  I simply, and physically, moved over to a new location and started over, digging down and laying a completely new foundation for my life, starting with the most basic questions, like, "Did I even believe in God?"  My yardstick for measuring everything, like Descartes, was solely my ability to think and reason.  Socrates, Ayn Rand, Kant, Jung, Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, these became my new guides.  Whatever could not withstand the scrutiny of logic and reason went out the door.  Slowly, my life began to re-emerge -- new residence, new friends, new hobbies, new love relationships, new experiences, new ideas, new goals, new purpose for living, new church.  I like my new life.

The richest joke of all, I became Catholic.  I love irony of it.  After all the years of listening to all that anti-Catholic propaganda, reading the "Mystery Babylon" books, the rhetoric about the Beast and the Pope, Simon Magus, etc., I now recite the Rosary, wear a medal of St. Joan around my neck, attend Mass, go to communal confession and penance, stay up late for Easther and Christmas Vigil, mourn my dead grandparents on the Day of All Souls, and "fast" on Ash Wednesday (my children, who are still trapped in that horrible vortex of the Intergalactic Dis-united Disintegrating Church of God, find the Catholic manner of "fasting" to be an enormous source of amusement, and I have to agree -- we always have a good laugh over it, together), argue early church history with my roommate (who prefers to worship the Triple Moon Goddess and make wine offerings to Dionysis), venerate the Cross on Good Friday, sing ancient Christmas carols, and say, "Dominus vobiscum," to my priest each week.  The most delicious thing about being Catholic?  It's an absolute haven of tolerance, openness, and veneration of women, compared to the fear, repression, and bigotry of Worldwide Church of God.  Oddly enough, one of the things I appreciate most about being Catholic is the privacy.  I go to Mass and nobody bothers me.  There's no hour and a half spent fellowshipping before Mass, nor another hour and a half afterwords.  People are friendly and kind if I want to talk, but will leave me alone if I do not.  There's none of that co-dependent feeding on one another.  It's just a feeling of privacy, a feeling that I no longer live my life in someone else's pockets, nor they in mine.  The priests are ever so kind, and very willing to listen, but they never seem to pry, never seem nosy.  The delicious humor is that a church legendary for its autocratic, patriarchal, dogmatic, parochial, woman-hating culture should seem like such a liberal breath of fresh air after Worldwide Church of God.  I never fail to get a kick out of that.

Yes, I carry scars.  There's no going back and undoing some of the damage I did in the name of God when I was too blind, and too brainwashed, to really see what I was doing.  No undoing the hurt I did to my very loving grandparents, now dead, in refusing their Christmas and birthday gifts, to the relatives who could not understand why I would not eat the special roast pork they spent a lot of money to serve me, a special guest in their home, to my children trying to beat them into submission before I finally figured out there was a better way to deal with tempers and sibling aggression than by losing my temper and hitting them myself, to my mother, suffering through a foundering marriage while I preached the benefits of wifely submission.  The best I can do is try to do things differently now, to listen when my friends' marriages are in tatters, to not judge and be mindful of my own sins when they confide their adulteries and other vices, try to show my children a different way of getting along with each other than brute force, to appreciate and sample other cultures and beliefs.

As you can probably tell, religion, and in particular, Christianity, is still a big part of my life.  But even though I may be Catholic, my own personal theology and doctrine are pretty simple.  Christianity 101, love your neighbor as yourself.  Graduate level Christianity, love one another as Jesus loved us.  Ph.D., love your enemies.  Anything aside from that is pretty much irrelevant.  Arianism, monophysitism, the filioque, gnosticim, all good for a rousing Saturday night's intellectual debate, but not much else.

I know I will probably never have the emotional satisfaction of hearing any of the ministry that I idolized and revered offer an apology for their misguided zeal or whatever.  Frankly, I just don't care anymore.  Those people no longer control my thinking, and I refuse to waste a whole lot of time on them anymore.  I can certainly appreciate the pain and anger I see on your website.  I know I went my fair share of anger and bitterness over my wasted years at Ambassador College, in an unhappy marriage, trying to squeeze myself into someone's mold of what I should be.  What remains is a vow I made to myself to never allow another person to do my thinking for me, to never allow anyone to talk to me in a way that makes me feel like a worthless piece of dog poop on the lawn, to stop hating myself and fearing other people, and most of all, to teach my children how to think for themselves.  I've kept that vow and I am a much happier person for it.

At present, my children still live in that ever shrinking, ever fragmenting world with their father.  My hope is that by giving them the tools for independent rational thinking, when they are ready to take the steps, to face the challenge, they will have the strength to pull themselves out of the pit.  It took me long enough to get to that point, and I had to get there by myself.  No one could have pulled me out.  It was something I had to come to myself.  Someday, I hope they will come to that point, too, but they'll have to get their on their own.  All I can do is present an alternative viewpoint and teach them how to think and reason for themselves.  They know I believe differently from them, and they are pretty open about asking questions and challenging me on my beliefs, and I am quite willing to have a free and open debate with them.  Who knows?  Maybe we're all wrong and Aleister Crowley really did have the Real Truth from his Holy Guardian Angel, Aiwass, and we should all be living by the Law of Thelema and studying the Thoth Tarot card deck for spiritual guidance.

The saddest tragedy I ever saw was the dozens and dozens of women in the mother's room every Sabbath, clearly suffering from symptoms of clinical depression, desperately trying to treat their psychological problems with garlic, vitamins, and apple cider vinegar.   It was a sad and telling thing that when Christine Hutchison, whom I knew slightly from school, took her father's shotgun and killed herself on a deserted Texas back road, leaving two baby girls orphaned, I knew exactly why she had done it, even though I had never spoken to her and didn't really know her that well.  I knew exactly how she felt, the hopelessness, the feeling of being trapped in an unhappy life with absolutely no way of escape.  I'd spent far too many hours myself considering suicide as an option.  It's chilling when a stranger's suicide can seem so familiar.  I knew too many women like that, and our only lifeline to sanity was each other, encouraging each other over diapers and breastmilk while the minister droned on through the loudspeaker in the corner, until one of the deaconesses caught us and told us to be quiet and listen to the sermon -- we weren't there to gossip!!  Good grief.  The things we had to say to each other were a thousand times more important than some new teaching on church government or the amount of our festival offerings!  (None of us young mothers had any money or income of our own, anyway.)  Some of us got help, and clawed our way out of the depression.  Others did not.  A little Golden Rule would have gone a lot farther than the Seven Rules for Successful Living, or whatever it was.

There's no getting around it, Worldwide Church of God had a part in shaping who I am today, for good or for ill.  I still find myself bumping up against old ideas and having to confront them.  At the same time, reading your website was like walking into a museum, a relic of a former life that no longer exists.  Even for those still lost in it, the innocence has been broken and there's no going back, no recovering that spiritual virginity.  There's an underlying disquiet, even in the most passionate true believers, that will not be ignored.  Given time, I hope that most of them will allow reason and logic to guide them out of the mess.  Sadly, I know some will not.

Anyway, thanks for listening to my thoughts.

Pax vobiscum.


 My father Horst died June 11, 2002, he would have been 61.  The funeral was a horror story that was indescribable.  The basic gist of it was that my mom called some guy from Virginia from the splintered "true church" that delivered a fire and brimstone sermon graveside in the rain, with members of family present from which we were estranged (you know how the church separated us from reality causing huge family rifts...).  I was incensed and feared for my mom's mental health.  My sister, Inge was standing by and her nostrils were flaring.  I wanted to grab that bible and thump him on the head, HARD.

When I flew in from Colorado, I expected the service to be attended by us three, me my Mom, and my sister.  Because of all the trauma and abuse heaped on us not only by my dad in his terrible illness- but also the hate perpetuating pseudo-dogma by the Armstrongites, my father did not have a pension and was living on a disability pension.  My Mom cared for him for 33 years, not without some fanfare...  Now, my Mom is basically left destitute and fearful to leave the house.  My sister had to talk her into dismantling the security cameras from inside the house, this took all night.  And they stopped working a couple days after he died.

Now I hear that the "Church" is selling the AC sites in Texas.  I think we must get our tithes back, my dad contributed a lot probably 50 - 60 thousand all told.  The men, women and children of this cult have been hurt in ways that are unimaginable.  Tithes to the widows and children indeed... My sister and I broke off with my parents had left the church ASAP.  We saw clearly and could do nothing to save our family, except save our sanity and leave.

In fact my sister was being counseled by a minister because she refused to go to church anymore at 16.  (I was away in college, and on a painful downward spiral...)  It so happens that I came for a visit on that day, and I met the minister a Mr. Kilo (not sure of the spelling).  This guy sat down at my dad's table and was very nasty, and I became very upset that this kind of treatment was continuing in my dad's house.  I told my father either he goes or I go and never to return, and I was quite serious ... the guy made my skin crawl and I can't even begin to imagine what his sermons were like, later I found out, afterwards, many suicides happened in the Wilke Barre area church, of which we were members at that time...

Anyway my dad asked him to leave, and was really upset, questioning what he said to me.  I was unaware that my parents knew this was a cult and felt threatened to leave, because the sermons included references to violence upon the members who were noncompliant.  There was one sermon in which I had to get up and leave the building (I was about 17 at the time?), because references were made to a family murdered, that occurred three weeks before (I could be wrong about the dates, this was a life ago, and have done much to block it out.)  This minister basically admitted that they had something to do with their deaths...

I am so angry, rageful actually, our lives were destroyed, I recently found out that my sister prayed every night to die in her sleep so she wouldn't have to live another day, she was 8 years old!  This breaks my heart, and my dad died of a heart attack, and he wept asking us to forgive him... I don't think he ever forgave himself though.

Does anyone out there relate to what I'm saying, it wasn't until I returned home to Colorado that I found your website and other sources from survivors, then I began to understand that I am not crazy.

Yes, all of this and more has indeed happened now I gotta figure out how to deal with it and heal from it.  The grief of losing my father is on my mind everyday all the time, I dream about him, and hope that he will learn and understand the hard work now that we must do.  I fear for my mother because she is still stuck in it, if only she would eat a damned pork chop and go to a movie on Saturday.  I will know that she understand the scope of what has happened when she refers to them as a cult, and Herbert W. Armstrong as a false prophet.

And by the way, I am probably living my life in reaction to all this trauma and abuse...  I confess to the world that I am a tree hugger and an artist and healer, and I'd rather be a  happy idol-worshipping pagan and spirit-loving shaman than a guilt-ridden person full of pain causing more pain in the world.  

Some believe the world to be an illusion. The only illusion that I see and know to be true by experience- is that of separation from others and god/dess/Great Spirit/Spirit of Life/Creator....  That is to say that we are all connected- however you want to say it....

If you have any suggestions of reading material of further healing, please email me.

With grateful thanks, Monica


 Here is my story, publish it if you want.  Just writing this letter has helped to heal my scars.  It may not be eloquently written but it is all true and I feel relieved just to get it out of my head and on to the paper.

My parents got sucked into the Worldwide Church of God back in the early 70s shortly after I was born.  I too remember the physical and mental abuse for minor infractions.  I still wonder how I made it through.  I may have blocked out much of it.  I spent at least 7 years after I finally got excommunicated at the age of 17, thinking that someday I would go back.  I even feel sad to admit that I find myself using these terrible physical and mental abuses on my kids.  I am able to look back on my actions and say "Oh my god, how could I do that to such wonderful children!", but at the time my emotions are like a time bomb.  Something just sets me off and I am helpless against my rage.  Now that I have been able to see where it came from I am controlling it more.  By the age of 5 I was so used to getting beat that it didn't even faze me.  I would cry to try and get out of it, but it only made it worse.  I would turn around and do the same thing just being more careful not to get caught.  By the time I was 16, my parents were so fooled by my outward personality that I got away with almost everything.  I learned that if you gained someone's trust it was easier to use them.  Thank you WCG.

I now find, at the age of 32 wondering if I really love my husband of 10 years, because I have finally come to terms with this cult that I grew up in.  With all of these new feelings I guess I wonder if I really know what love is.  I went back home to visit some my best friends (the only thing good to come out of that period in my life), we had a wonderful experience just talking about secrets that we had kept all these years.  I thought for the longest time that I was the only one to experience the abuse of power enacted by the authority figures (men) in the church, I still have a problem taking complete control in any situation.  But no, I discovered that there was much more to it.  As a child I never really put my finger on it, there was just a sense of something wrong.  Now I see it for what it really is, a cult in the worse form, using an omnipotent, omniscient, vengeful god to justify their own evils.

I have come to realize that all religions must brainwash the weak minded into believing in a "god" that is watching them all the time.  If this god really cared that I ate unclean meat or became friends with someone not in the one true church, he would be down here in no time striking us dead.  If there is a god he gave us free will to decide for ourselves how to live.  I feel the Bible is a book written by men to make us feel guilty for deciding to live our lives and   actually feeling pleasure.  I am not condemning anyone for believing anything written in the Bible, but it is full of unattainable goals, just so you will never be happy with your achievements.

The worst part of it is now I have no feelings at all.  When I am happy I am waiting for the other shoe to drop.  I can never let myself not have anything to complain about.  I hate people like that (me).  My family was so blind sighted to my plight that they never knew about my failed attempt at suicide, my rape, or my many years of drug use just to escape the insanity.  My mom has tried to apologize to me about all the terrible things she did to me, but my father has never acknowledged any of it.  They left the WCG shortly after moving to Tennessee, but my dad has taken to listening to GTA on the Internet and trying to get my grandfather to listen.  I just avoid the subject all together and change it when he insists.  My brother and sister have since moved on also and I was exhilarated to admit, the announcement made me extremely happy.

Thank you for this wonderful site.  The Painful Truth is a haven in the after years for all of us confused souls, trying to recover from the teachings of HWA and his hirelings.  HWA a prophet! My ASS!  He was a man who thought he was above everyone and was able to smooth talk the masses by saying he was telling the truth.  His truth was harmful to the many children forced to attend every event meant to keep members busy so they wouldn't be exposed to "worldly" pleasures such as honest friends.  Hide your true self and make sure no one knows who you really are.  Thank you Worldwide Church of God for making me an unfeeling, uncaring, confused mess, I am finally taking some actions on my screwed up life and starting to stop blaming everyone for my inadequacies.  Now that I know the source it helps to heal the open wounds on my soul; it also helps to talk about it with others that understand how I feel.  I think that I will take this opportunity to call my mother and talk about it with her.  We never really had that chance and I need to tell her so many things.




I'm glad to have found this website.    It's been a while since I've tried to reacquaint myself with these painful memories, but the time has come to revisit them again.

I was 18 when I first came into contact with the Worldwide Church of God, through the young man who later became my husband.  (Now my ex-husband.)    He grew up in the WCG sort of.  His parents were fascinated and peripheral members for years.  They later became more entrenched.

Looking for the ultimate answers, and being an idealist and naive in the ways of religion and that God's name is used for millions of things and causes that have nothing to do with him, I saw what I was looking for in this man--someone committed to church and a churched life.  That would be a sure ticket to a life of stability, faithfulness, intimacy and everything that made for a strong family life.  In fact, the "family" focus of the WCG was what really hooked me.

And as I began to be drawn in by the "bait and switch" tactics, the gaslighting, the prooftexting, I became such a wonderful soldier in the Worldwide Church of God army.  I retreated from all immediate family and friend ties to avoid contamination with the "unconverted."  It was pathetic.

Since my then fiancé turned down a full scholarship to USC to attend "God's" college in Pasadena, I cavalierly abandoned my full scholarship to an ivy league college in the East to make the same mistake.

Never did fit in at AC, though nobody tried harder.  The hypocrisy was so blatant to me.  Imagine the mental gymnastics of trying to accept it as part of the "one true church" that I believed the Worldwide Church of God was.  I worshiped HWA back then.   I joined those who threw stones at those who left the true church, etc.

When my relationship with my fiancé turned more and more abusive, I went for counseling with some idiot in the headquarters complex.  I'm sure there's a reason for not remembering his name.  This idiot told me that I clearly did not understand "submission" and that since God had brought us together into the one true church, and that God does not make mistakes, that I would be out of God's will for my life to break off the engagement.

Twenty years of abuse later, I got a clue.  Only five years before, I had discovered enough to know that the WCG's overtures to the mainstream after the death of Joe Tkach, Sr. were a sham.  And my then local pastor and his wife were the most spiritually abusive people I had encountered during my entire time in that spiritual concentration camp.

I was very much in touch with [name removed by request] at that time--if that means anything to anyone reading.  David was used by the hierarchy up to a point to pacify pastors, members and outsiders that the Worldwide Church of God was really owning up to its abuses and changing.  From what I was personally experiencing and sharing with him, and the futile attempts at resolution that he tried to mediate himself, and I'm sure many more things he experienced at the hands of these vile people in Pasadena, he resigned publicly, and many "members" walked away.

When I left, my deacon, elder-wanna-be husband was embarrassed. But, he did just sit through Sabbath services when my name was spoken from the pulpit, I was marked and labeled emotionally unbalanced.   After all, I might change my mind, come back and he could be the hero for controlling me in this matter.

He finally left when I would not allow him to take my sons with him to church any more.  First time I stood up to him.  Yes, I paid the price.  He did later leave and we attended a mainstream church together, where he immediately ingratiated himself with the pastor and became the pastor's dream member.  Everything for the church, nothing left for the family.  Wouldn't even hold a job for the entirety of the marriage.  Played at having his own business to avoid Sabbath issues, and later to avoid working period.

When I finally thought it was safe to approach another pastor about the abuse, I found the same answers about my lack of submission, etc.  Was told that, the pastor didn't know what to do about my allegations because my husband "was such a fine servant of the church."  He then went on to tell my husband what I'd told him, and somehow I managed to live to tell about it.

Five years later, I am still single.  After years of heartfelt seeking, have abandoned church altogether.  It's not even a good place to meet decent singles.  I was briefly engaged to someone who didn't take long to beat me over the head with the bible and a plate just before I told him to take a hike.  The pastor of that mainstream church who was counseling us for marriage continues to use him as an assistant, and is "so understanding" as to why I cannot attend his church and singles group.  All I can say is...never again.

All is not so bad though.  I have two wonderful sons, neither of whom will ever step a foot into another church again either.  I have a wonderful grandchild who will have the fun of Christmas and birthdays and none of the garbage.  I have a terrific job, great friends and am reconciled with my family.  I do need to "talk" to someone who understands the specific dynamics of what I've been through, and hope that through this site or another, I can make contact for even an email correspondence.

To all my fellow survivors, healing is a work we must do, it's a journey, we may never fully arrive.  But, it's okay to call evil evil.  It's okay to question, doubt, explore.  And it's okay to set healthy boundaries and high standards for relationships on every level.  And to my fellow female survivors of the abject abuse toward women in the WCG, take heart as I do, that there are healthy men out there.   Some of them are even Worldwide Church of God survivors themselves.  :-)



I would like for you to publish my story on your horror stories page. I would like for others to continue to know they are not alone.

My dad was, after his little brother died, an only child. In order to keep him safe and off the streets of NYC, my grandmother bought him a transistor radio. (Why abuela? Why?) She raised him alone with her mother, and he did not have a lot of friends outside his cousins. It was on this radio in 1960 that he first heard THE WORLD TOMORROW! HWA had him hook, line, and sinker. My abuela was very protective of my father, and he was only allowed to do so much. He grew up without a father in the 50's, and he was Puerto Rican. I think it all added up to a large self-esteem/doubt issue. Which the church fed into by telling people they were in "THE ONLY TRUE CHURCH!" That they were GOD'S ANOINTED! It makes you feel special and elite, and my dad ate it up.

My mom was German Dutch from a hard-working family. My grandfather was a heavy drinker and my grandmother and cold person trying to keep things together.

My parents met in 1962. My mom threaten to kill herself if my dad did not marry her, and take her with him to Texas where he was stationed in the Army. She in turn, had to join the church. Thus began our horrible lives.

My parents kinda liked each other at first, but the strain of the cult ruined them. My dad studied the Bible constantly with other young men, and he decided he could no longer work on "The Sabbath". This belief kept us in poverty for years. My mom became ill with a terrible yeast infection, and the minister told her to drink wine. It made her feel better for the next 16 yrs. My mom lived with a half glass of burgundy on the sink for most of my childhood. My parents followed the doctrine to the letter. They had 7 kids in 16 yrs, and beat us all when they thought we needed it. They weren't as bad as a lot of the parents I have hear about. My dad did love us, and he hated spanking us especially the girls.

Due to my dad's "mediation" into the bible, naptime and my mom's drinking problem. My oldest brother preyed on the other kids in our house. He started first with my second oldest brother who fought him off, then he went down the line, like a hunter seeking the weakest link in the pack. My older brother and sister were quiet and obedient. The got it the worst. He molested them for years and years without my parents doing a think. I tried to tell, my sister told. The punished both of them by denying them food. My sister was 7 my brother 12. Who was going to win that one? My sister had to go to the doctor because of ulcers--My mom insisted, but the only doctor we could see was a holistic "crazy" kind of doctor who fed us cayenne pepper, honey, and lemon. What 7 yr old kid has ulcers? We never had lunch on the weekends or summertime. We always had assistance for school lunches. My dad never wasted a single penny on school supplies. Why buy when you can borrow? More money to tithe right? My parents were not out and out cruel, at least not to me. My oldest 3 brother bore the brunt of that. I think they were just to tired to beat the rest of us except for on the occasion that we really sinned like laughing while they were anointing our head with oil. It trickled down into my ears. My protest met deaf ears as my dad whacked the shit out of my ass, then my little brothers, then my little sisters.

My dad was disillusioned by the church during the whole 78-79 split. We got to celebrate birthdays and things were relaxed a little. Then my dad met her. The love of his life. He met her in a bar. Real dreamy isn't it. My mom was trying hard to quit drinking. She really did love us, even though she was half crazy drunk and miserable. Now that I am older, I hurt for her. She was so young, and so overwhelmed with 7 kids and a husband that was so lazy, he loved that he did not have to work on Saturdays. My mom mowed the lawn while he drank beer. My dad wasn't a really mean man. Just one who reveled in being Lord over us all, and not really being cut out to follow through with it. He has a pretty soft heart under all that narcissism.

My dad left my mom for her, and he began living with her. He even brought her over to meet us. Oh, how I hated her. My dad left us with nothing. My mom had to call Catholic Social Services to help us. We were supposed to move back to NJ where she was from, but she backed out. We were out of school so long, the truant officer came by our house. My mom wasn't home. She may have been at work. We were pretty much left to fend for ourselves. I don't even remember where my little sister and brother went, but they were usually with my mom, and we stayed with my older brothers. My dad had our electricity cut off. I remember being 8, and throwing my stuff into black garbage bags because I had no luggage or boxes in the dark and cold…It was November. My little sister had just turned two. Even thinking back on this hurts still.

My parents split up, but the manipulation remained. My dad told my mom he would take every kid from her, and he did. He wined and dined us. He told us of eternal life and what would happen if we knew the church and then rejected it. I remember crying because my mom left the church, so she was going to burn in the lake of fire. I was so scared of the end times. I used to flinch in bed every time an airplane flew because it could be the bomb being dropped, and the end times beginning.

The manipulation lasted for 4 yrs before I broke and moved in with my dad. My mom did not speak to me for 3 yrs. There I am alone, manipulated, and my mom hates me. (or so I thought). My step-mom helped my dad manipulate me, but then turned out to not be able to stand me. She critizied and arranged me until I wanted to run away. I went so far as packing several times. Where was I suppose to go? My mom wouldn't talk to me, and I had no one else. I was 13, and so sad. High school was tough. I like most WWCOG kids (actually my dad when with GTA), couldn't do a damn thing after the sun went down on Fridays. Life was not happy. We tried, my little brother, my older sister and me to be happy. We were very close. My family is a mess over this cult. My older sister abuses prescription drugs, and has a hard time keeping a job. My oldest brother has been in and out of jail, and is totally alienated from the family for the abuse we endured at his hands. My older brother is an alcoholic and drug user. My other older brother has recently turned his life around with the help of a loving wife and friends. He also never finished high school. My little brother never finished high school. He is trying to make a life for himself. My dad still lives in la la land. My brothers are still seeking his approval. My little sister escaped most of it. My mom can't apologize enough, but is involved in a splinter group in Alabama.

Life is good for me..I am the only one to graduate from college. I have been married for 15 yrs to a loving man. I have three fantastic boys, and a high paying job in the IT field.

Screw you Armstrongs. I hope if there is an afterlife, you are being tortured in it.




My dear editor,

I apologize for the lack of proper English text, spelling etc.....I have just stumbled across your website. I am very glad to find that it exists. I don't know if you want to hear another horror story...but here mine is....I am not pointing fingers at anyone...I don't want to do that....this is still too painful for me...and I might go to hell if I point a finger and judge someone now won't I?

My parents joined the church when I was 5. I remember the Christmas was beautiful...the tree glowed in the living room...I remember opening one of many presents...a doll-which actually walked if you held her hand and walked besides it. That was my last happy memory spent with my parents while growing up. After my parents joined the church they both turned into strict authoritative parents--us kids went from calling our parents Mom and Dad to sir and ma'am. we were struck 20 times with a belt one at a time in a closed bathroom for minor the church taught and believed in "spare the rod spoil the child". Someone stole 15 was worth us all getting a turn with the belt. Thou shalt not steal after all......anyway the riches stopped for us kids after we joined the parents went from being generous and loving parents to cold cheapskates, for lack of a better word.  I remember not having any clothes....except for a pair of pants and a few shirts.  I didn't realize at the time that any extra money my parents had were being tithed.--and since my parents had quite a few children, money didn't go far.  I didn't even own a pair of underwear. wasn't until I grew up and left the house that it made sense why we never had money for clothes-boots-underwear-pillows for our beds-and mittens (our mittens were socks with sandwich bags over them, and our boots were sneakers with bread bags over them....all tied on with rubber bands.)

 In a way I am glad I grew up so poor....I learned taught me survival skill....but this is America after all.............and yet I also remember days of atonement where we all fasted for our sins.  I remember being 10 years old and starving so much I was sick...I remember finding an old crusty hotdog roll that must have been left out for at least a week wadded up with some dirty clothes--and I remember eating that...just to make the pain in my stomach go away.

But yet I digress,,,,I have many stories, but I should get to the point here....and here it is: from my formative years me and my brothers and sisters sat in that church for the 2 to 2.5 hrs every Saturday....we didn't talk to many people in the church...we always felt like outcasts...maybe because we wore the same clothes week after week.....I don't know, but we did feel like us kids kept to ourselves.  During sermons we played tic-tac toe, connect the dots and hangman. None of us really listened much to what was being preached...but somehow some of there message got thru to me in particular...I truly believed that the church drove me a young child i started having nightmares...I dreamt that my brothers and sisters and parents were all dying around me...I could do nothing to save them...for the days of tribulation and the end times were at hand...night after night.  I dreamt of their miserable deaths...and me? well I loved my brothers and sisters more than anything....but truly I believed I would see this....I remember praying every night to god in heaven and in Jesus Christ's name to please please let me die first in exchange for my families life...i lived each day straining to hear the trumpets blow...and not knowing what to do if i ever did hear them but to run....and not even stop to put on my shoes, just run!!!!!----so I grew up in fear....and later my parents quit the church when I was in my mid teens but the damage had already been my parents were certainly doomed.  I believed that we kids all had a chance if my parents were still in the church but with their quitting and all we would certainly all starve to death and die of thirst at the shores of lake Erie with sores all over us while a big ass scary horseman chased us down to torture us some-more.

Within months of my parents leaving the church I had my first nervous breakdown....where instead of dreaming of the great tribulation I also lived it while awake! Constantly I lived in persecution while the devil sat outside my bedroom window trying to break in.....after a year I came out of it and returned to school...and lived a somewhat normal life, hiding my insecurities from the world...and being as nonreligious as possible therefore blocking that part of my mind out that I couldn't deal with.  15 years later I suffered another devastating nervous breakdown that took everything including my children from me....again,,,this nervous breakdown occurred when I tried to go back to the church....which only served to throw me back into the living hell that I believed in and still believe in....that nervous breakdown lasted 2 years...I have since moved on...I have won my children back from their father.  I own my own home.  I work...I am a professional...I haven't set foot in another church since....I am still afraid to pray, thinking it will drive me crazy if I do.  I am still afraid of the monster that could be lurking outside my bedroom window (whether Satan the devil or one of those horseman from god)  I still feel that I am going to watch everyone around me die...I am still miserable.....I am clinically depressed though i receive no treatment for it...a huge part of me is still trying to die....I do not go on dates...I try not to be close to anyone....I am waiting for doomsday...I am waiting for the day of reckoning...I am waiting to watch everyone around me die while I live on in a modern day Hiroshima...I am waiting for god to come down and say and yours just aren't good good bye...I never loved you....another big part of me thinks maybe it will be okay ...maybe I am forgiven...maybe it's okay not to attend church not to ever be baptized...maybe I'm forgiven because the church destroyed much that I am not allowed in my own mind to think of god but briefly without feeling unsteady in my own head....for fear of another nervous breakdown...I have no church...but I miss my god...I am sad for myself that not only did the worldwide church of god give me so much to dread and be terrified of in this world but they have also taken my ability to worship Jesus and god as I feel that they should be worshipped.  They have in a sense taken my god from me...and replaced him with a nightmare...not to be picked up, not to scrutinized but to be shut away in a dark corner of my mind...33 years later I am still traumatized still afraid of the things that go bump in the night.   






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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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