The Painful Truth About The Worldwide Church of God

Transcript Of My Telephone Conversation with The Worldwide Church of God

By Ed Sr.

After reading this, you may have a lot of questions for your "minister."

To protect yourself from outright "lies" or twisting of what was said, my advice to you would be to get yourself a device that will record your telephone calls.

Contrary to what a lot of people think, it is not against the law to record your own conversations. As long as one of the parties knows that it is being recorded, it is perfectly legal. (At least it is in Wisconsin, where I live. Check your own State's statutes to make sure.)

For the most part, you will not be responded to by mail from the ministry. They know that this can be used against them.

The recording device is merely to protect yourself when the lies come out later on. "God's ministers"are not against "lying for Jesus." Especially if it is for the "good of the flock." Or so they can keep fleecing the flock.


Quick reference:

Comments on Healing

Comments on members Sueing

The infamous David Defense

Tkach Sr.'s LIES



Transcript of the Telephone call between Ed Sr. and Carroll Miller, Worldwide Church of God, Pasadena, 9/19/95. This call was regarding a letter that I had written to Pasadena about the things that I had read in the book: Herbert W. Armstrong's Tangled Web by David Robinson

Carroll Miller had called me and left a message that I should call him back. I had no idea what he wanted to talk to me about.

Miller: Hello

Ed Sr.: Carroll Miller please,

Miller: Speaking. This is Carroll Miller

Ed Sr.: Yes, this is Ed . I'm returning your call.

Miller: Oh. Okay. Um...

Ed Sr.: Are you on a speaker phone?

Miller: Yes. I only have one good hand so if I need to write, I use a speaker phone, but if you want me to take it off, I will.

Ed Sr.: It would make it more clearer.

Miller: What was that?

Ed Sr.: It would make

Miller: Just a second, how's this?

Ed Sr.: Okay

Miller: We wanted to answer your letter. We thought it would be best to call so if you have any comment about my answers, you can ask them.

Um. "The Tangled Web" was written by someone who had became very, very disgruntled with Mr. Armstrong so certainly we would not say that he was objective in every sense. Of course, he may have thought he was. But we're not going to try to impute motives to him. He thought he had his facts correct and so we will have to go with that.

What Mr. Armstrong did and didn't do is what I'm here to tell you. Ah. He never commented on any of this man's accusations. And since he did not make a public statement on it, I don't know how we as individuals can make a public statement on it.

The only thing that I can suggest, if people are interested in this kind of thing, would be to talk to the family. Garner Ted can be reached in Big uhh, Tyler, Texas. Dorothy Mattson, who is the daughter that was accused that Mr. Armstrong had committed incest with, she's still living, although I don't have her address.

So the only thing that we would say is that you, if a person really wanted to follow up on these things, he should ask the family.

"The Lockner tapes, "ah....

Ed Sr.: So the....

Miller: Go ahead

Ed Sr.: No, go ahead.

Miller: Mr. Lockner is still living, but I don't have his address. Ah. The only way to know from him is whether or not he has tapes. None of these tapes was ever made available here at headquarters. So if he has the tapes, he has them personally.

Um... Mr. Armstrong calling "dumb sheep"..... I've never heard him call anyone dumb sheep in my experience, being here for 35 years.

Ed Sr.: Have you ever heard of anyone saying that?

Miller: Oh sure. We've all read the book.

Ah.... "Herbert W. Armstrong appointing non-members to positions of high authority in the church."

About the only person he would be referring to would be Henry Cornwall. But I think he was a member, not a non-member. Although he wasn't a member for a many, many of years, but, I think he ultimately was baptized. Stan Rader was baptized so he was not a non-member. And he had a high position in the work. Henry Cornwall was Stan Rader's assistant.

If there was a highly secret executive payroll, only those men knew about it. So we cannot give answers to things we do not know about. And, but I can give answers to the next one here.

"Herbert W. Armstrong, GTA and Stan Rader having lifetime guaranteed contracts to maintain their lifestyles should the leadership change".

Stan Rader had a contract that went to about the year 2000 some thing 2002 or 2005. There was a clause in the contract that allowed us to break it. So we broke it. And GTA did not have a lifetime contract. In fact he left here, he complained that he left, that he had a very small bank account when he was disfellowshipped by his dad and complained about how little he received from the work. That I do know. So, there is no lifetime contracts out there at this time among those people.

"Herbert W. Armstrong gave Rod Meredith permission to have an eye operation".......

Yes that is true.......

"as my wife was dying and would not so much as take an aspirin for fear of displeasing god."

Uh..... There were many people that had their own points of view on Healing. Even if, even if the administration around here was doing and teaching other things, you could teach until you were blue in the face to send somebody to the hospital and they simply would not go. So someone should ask Mr. Robinson wife who made the decision in whether or not to not go to the doctor. How she made it.

Ed Sr.: No. It was MY wife. Not Mr. Robinson's wife.

Miller: Oh, I thought it Robinson's wife. Okay um. All I can say to that is that there were many people that knew what Mr. Armstrong said and was doing himself and that they did exactly the opposite. They would not go to doctors. My wife was one of those. She died of cancer too. She just did not want anything to do with the medical profession and yet she knew....

Ed Sr.: Well, I'll tell you, we knew what Mr. Armstrong taught. We knew what we were taught.

Miller: Yes.

Ed Sr.: And it was not to go to doctors.

Miller: Yes. Well that changed over the years.

Ed Sr.: Well, I know it changed.

Miller: A lot of people died over the years, there is no doubt about that. Holding to their beliefs.

Ed Sr.: Beliefs that we were taught by the church.

Miller: Well, certainly we were taught by the church, yes. But as these things changed, Mr. Armstrong taught them differently. But they took a long time in changing. We at one time said that.....

Ed Sr.: Well, it seems like he changed before he changed things for the church.

Miller: Well, I guess some people could say that that was the way he did things. Uh.... Sometimes he did things that way, sometimes he did other ways.

Ed Sr.: Does the church still worship Herbert Armstrong?

Miller: Oh, of course not, we never did.

Ed Sr.: Why doesn't the church denounce him?

Miller: Huh?

Ed Sr.: Why doesn't the church denounce him?

Miller: Why should we denounce him?

Ed Sr.: Why don't we?

Miller: Why should we?

Ed Sr.: Because he led a cult. We were a cult.

Miller: Well, there would be some debate of whether we would all look at ourselves as being in a cult.

Ed Sr.: Well, you ought to read some books about what cults are.

Miller: Well, I have some.

Ed Sr.: And you don't find any characteristics of a cult here?

Miller: Well, sure I do, sure I do. But the thing can be said of most religions if you really analyze.

Ed Sr.: Yeah, I'm coming to that conclusion. I would say all religions.

Miller: Well, what we say is this, if it will help any, probably won't, ahhhh, Mr. Armstrong had a foundation which was Jesus Christ. He was, when you really knew that man, you knew deep down inside of him, with all of his weaknesses , and with all of his lacks, he still wanted to serve Jesus Christ.

Ed Sr.: Did he meet the qualifications of a "bishop"?

Miller: I don't know about that.

Ed Sr.: If you would say that he committed these crimes against his daughter for ten years, I would say that he was not a good family man.

Miller: We would say that David was not a good king or family man either.

Ed Sr.: David was not a priest. He did not set himself up as a minister.

Miller: Mr. Armstrong was not a priest either.

Ed Sr.: Mr. Armstrong set himself up as a minister of God.

Miller: Well......

Ed Sr.: Mr. Armstrong did not fulfill the qualifications of a New Testament Minster.

Miller: Well, you can have that opinion and I'm not going to argue with it. Its past, its water under the bridge.

Ed Sr.: Okay, how about some questions about Joe Sr.?

Miller: Well, you can ask me whatever you like.

Ed Sr.: Does he still stand by his statement that 2,000 people went out on strike for him.

Miller: Uh... He never did stand by that statement. That was made up by Mr. Waterhouse.

Ed Sr.: It was made up?????

Miller: Uh ummmm...

Ed Sr.: Well, then why didn't he....

Miller: Let me put it to you this way, it was either made up or Mr. Waterhouse had the wrong figures.

Ed Sr.: Was he ever an executive at that company?

Miller: He was in charge of some men but he wasn't an executive. I don't think he ever said that he was an executive.

Ed Sr.: How about his war record?

Miller: Mr. Waterhouse made most of ......, either got his facts warped or he made it up. And Mr. Tkach denied some of that.

Ed Sr.: Well, I wish I would have wrote down some more questions. I had no idea you would call.

Miller: Call me back....

Ed Sr.: I appreciate that.

Miller: But let me finish what I was going to say about Mr. Armstrong.

Ed Sr.: Do you have this written out or something?

Miller: No. I've got it in my head.

Ed Sr.: Ha! I'm sorry for you.

Miller: Well...... First Corinthians chapter three says that "anybody who claims to be a builder on the foundations had better be careful how he builds. Mr. Armstrong, I personally believe, had a faith and belief in Jesus Christ. He was weak just like anybody else, he made mistakes. But what he built was not always of gold and precious stones. Some was wood, hay and stubble.

That verse says that every man's work will be tried to find out what it is and if it is wood, hay and stubble, it will be burned but he himself will be saved. So as by fire.

Now since we are changing a lot of the things Mr. Armstrong had taught, that would indicate that to us who are making the changes that they are not gold and silver and precious stones. There were things that didn't have a lot to do with the gospel of Jesus Christ. But, if his heart was right, and nobody has the right to judge his heart but God, if his heart was right, that chapter says that he will be saved.

Ed Sr.: Well, fortunate for him, I think we have a merciful God.

Miller: Well, I hope so for me too.

Ed Sr.: But I just wish he were alive so I could give him my two cents today.

Miller: Well, the Bible says, "love your enemies" you know.

Ed Sr.: Ha, ha! Very appropriate, I'm sure.

Miller: Well, it is appropriate. Its the standard by which Christians are asked to live by.

Ed Sr.: Do you love your enemies enough to give them a refund of the last twenty-five years?

Miller: I don't know that I do.

Ed Sr.: Well.... Love your enemy.

Miller: But I don't have that authority in the first place.

Ed Sr.: Why doesn't the church apologize for all of the ruined lives?

Miller: Well, we are apologizing, step by step. Ahhhh.

Ed Sr.: Where is the church going?

Miller: Where is the church going?

Ed Sr.: I mean there was an article it the Worldwide News about waiting for your younger brothers, you know, not going ahead but waiting for them. But we don't even know where the church is going

Miller: Well.....

Ed Sr.: You are still keeping these old testament things. The Old Covenant.

Miller: Are you asking rhetorical questions or do you want answers to them?

Ed Sr.: Okay, go ahead and answer.

Miller: Okay. The church is going to be more like Jesus Christ. That we want Him in our lives more than anything else than ever before. That we see that we are to be a holy temple. A holy temple is not to be going to bed with every Tom, Dick and Harry.

A holy temple is not to have their desires for money. And things that money can buy. We see by the fruits of many people in this church that they had those things in their heads instead of being a holy temple. We are trying with all our might, with God's help, to teach the brethren that unless you are a holy vessel, you are not a Christian. That is where it is at. And some people in this church have not been holy vessels. But I am not here to judge who they are and I don't know that anyone else should. Because you don't know what happens before a man dies.

So, we are headed down the road of letting Jesus Christ live his life and God in us so that when other people see us, they won't be in the attitude like we've had in the past, and you yourself have know, how could anybody in that church be a Christian?

We now know what Paul said and why he said it and we now want to live the way Paul wrote, and explain how to live and what the Gospel is. We didn't see it clearly. We're seeing it clearly now. Half the church or a third of the church refuses to see it and they are separating. So they can go on with the way they've always taught.

But we're going down a road that we see now God opening for us so we can bring other people along with our understanding that they can be Christians and be Christ-like. If we don't achieve that, we are all a bunch of hypocrites.

Ed Sr.: Yeah... Ha, ha, ha. I'll grant you that.

Miller: And that is what we are intending to achieve because we see our past mistakes. We've been willing to admit our past mistakes. We're not willing to disown Mr. Armstrong because we don't know what was in his heart before he died.

Ed Sr.: I think that is a cop out. That is just a cop out

Miller: Well, you can say its a cop out, but I'm not his judge and neither are you.

Ed Sr.: Well, I'm not Hitler's judge either.

Miller: Well, I don't know whether Hitler claimed to be a Christian or not. So anyway, that is our view. And we are going to proceed down that road. And if God will bless it then we know we have His blessing. And if He doesn't then we will ask Him to show us where we are wrong.

Ed Sr.: Okay, here is another question for you: On tithing....

Miller: Tithing....

Ed Sr.: In one breath the church will say that Tithing is not required...

Miller: Yup..

Ed Sr.: And in another breath it will say that a minimum of 10% is required for a Christian.

Miller: No, we didn't say that.

Ed Sr.: You did to, it is in the Worldwide News

Miller: No, you misread it.

Ed Sr.: I didn't misread it.

Miller: Yes you did.

Ed Sr.: Hold on a second, I'll get it out

Miller: It says "this is what we ought to shoot for". It didn't say you had to.

Ed Sr.: It said "the minimum for a Christian".

Miller: It said that this is what a Christian would strive for. But it didn't say that a Christian had to do that. It said that, if it was an Old Testament requirement, then being a Christian it should be looked upon as the minimum. But then it went on to say that if you couldn't then you don't have to

Ed Sr.: Either it is the minimum or its not.

Miller: Well, this is what people want. They want things written out...

Ed Sr.: NO. I don't want it written out. I don't want you making rules like that anymore.

Miller: We're not. We're not.

Ed Sr.: Boy, I wish I could find.....

Miller: Read that section very carefully.

Ed Sr.: Okay, I have it right here.

Miller: Okay, read the whole thing, don't take it out of context.

Ed Sr.: Let's see.....

Miller: First of all it says......

Ed Sr.: "Most members are able to donate a tenth of their income...

Miller: Donate, that is an interesting word....

Ed Sr.: "Many can give more and some cannot...

Miller: That's ......

Ed Sr.: "God leads us to give all we responsibly can. For Christians, 10% is a minimal guideline...."

Miller: Guideline...

Ed Sr.: Ha, ha...

Miller: All words have meaning.

Ed Sr.: What does minimal mean?

Miller: Minimal means it is a minimal guideline. Keep reading.

Ed Sr.: That is the end of the paragraph.

Miller: He goes on...

Ed Sr.: Oh, " if we can give more we should"

Miller: Ya.

Ed Sr.: "if we cannot give 10%, we should give all we are able."

Miller: That's right.

Ed Sr.: But 10% is the minimal guideline.

Miller: Its only a minimal guideline.

Ed Sr.: That is playing with words there. That is still trying to control people.

Miller: Well, I would say that that gave them a lot of freedom there.

Ed Sr.: I would say that it gave the church a lot of denial room.

Miller: Well, words have meaning.... And when you are going to write words, every word has meaning.

Ed Sr.: I know. And I think that it was purposely framed like that so the weaker members would see that and say "Oh boy. I have to give a minimum of 10% or I'm not a Christian."

Miller: Well, I suppose some could read it that way. I'll concur to that.

Ed Sr.: Well, maybe the church ought to retract that then.

Miller: Well,

Ed Sr.: And how about declaring these Old Covenant Feast days as Holy Days because of "where two or three meet together, there I am"? I mean, that is just a cop-out. The only reason this church is keeping those Holy Days and calling them Holy is for the money.

Miller: We're not calling them Holy.

Ed Sr.: Do I have to find that article too?

Miller: Yes.

Ed Sr.: Sheeeeesssssss. Ha, ha. Well, I can only assume that I would get the same response from you.

Miller: Anyway, we are changing as we grow. Now the first articles, we may have adjusted as we go along. So let me tell you how it stands at, uh, 20 minutes after one. It stands, we are not calling those days holy. We're calling them Festivals. We're using it as an opportunity to fellowship together and to build our relationship with god and one another.

Mike Feazel would prefer to use the term convention. That all churches have conventions and we have the right to have a convention too. But at these conventions, especially the one in the Fall, where all people would come together who could afford to come and who have the help to get there.....

We have sermons, and seminars, we're going to do other things in teaching the way of life we think ought to be taught. We're not calling them Holy Days nor are we calling it "you've got to give an offering". We're not even going to say that.

Ed Sr.: You're not taking up an offering?

Miller: We're going to take one up but we're not demanding one like we used to.

Ed Sr.: Well, how is anybody going to know the difference?

Miller: Well, by what we....

Ed Sr.: Is there going to be an offertory?

Miller: Yes. But it is not going to go back to Deut. 16, I can assure you.

Ed Sr.: Well, I'll believe that these are not Holy Days when you start keeping them on different days and when you don't take up an offering.

Miller: Well....

Ed Sr.: I mean, I truly believe that you are only doing it for the money.

Miller: Well, you have your right to your opinion.

Ed Sr.: Well, what do you think?

Miller: I think we're using these days to build our relationship with God. And its not wrong to take up an offering. Paul, they had... even in Paul's day they set aside things for an offering poor people in Jerusalem. These were in addition to their support of the local church. So its not wrong to take up an offering. Its wrong to say its commanded. It is not commanded. And we are not going to say its commanded anymore.

Ed Sr.: Well, I admire your dedication and I think you really believe what you are telling me.

Miller: Well, well, I know where I stand. I don't know where everybody else stands in this church. But I know where I stand with God. And what Mr. Tkach has been led to teach and show us has opened my understanding to what it really means to be a Christian. And I have sat here for 35 years and I have heard all the wretched rumors that you have read about in this book and a whole lot more and I think a lot of this crap stinks, just between you and me. If the rumors have any truth to them, it stinks. We're not going to do that anymore. We didn't have control over it anyway.

Ed Sr.: But you see when I see the church still trying to control people, I think they are still doing it. I think they are still acting like a cult.

Miller: Well, you are going to have to give us time. Okay? My first wife died after 34 years of marriage. I still say her name once in a while when I'm referring to my second wife. Okay?

Ed Sr.: Fine.....

Miller: It takes time to get rid of some of these things. And its very embarrassing to me when I bring up my first wife's name. And this stuff embarrasses us. And we are trying to put it behind us. You know Paul had things in his life too that he was embarrassed about

Ed Sr.: Well, I just want to make sure that there is nothing about the church today that I am embarrassed about. Is there anything that you are embarrassed about the church today?

Miller: Embarrassed about the Church today? Well, I never have considered that question. I think that there is to much uhhhh.. perhaps uhhh white superiority in the church.

Ed Sr.: By the ministry?

Miller: By anybody. By the whites. That is one reason we killed US&BC. That book was preaching racism.

Ed Sr.: Well, that may very well be true. I can't say it of myself. But ...

Miller: Well, I'm saying that that is one of the things that I see in the deep south among some of our people, its still there.

Ed Sr.: I'm sure it is. I've heard some of my friends tell me about some of the things that they have been through in different areas and it is horrendous. And the things that Herbert Armstrong inflicted on them.

Miller: Yes, I'd say that there were bad things and good things. You know even the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, there was good in some of it. In my experience, when I look back on it, I personally was not hurt. Even though my wife died, but she died in the latter 8 years ago. I don't know when your wife died. It must have been when Mr. Armstrong was still alive.

Ed Sr.: 1974

Miller: So, but I was never really hurt by Mr. Armstrong or by anybody. So I don't have a lot of wounds that I lick. So my experience with the teachings were more childlike. I just see that I was childish in what I believed. But those that got hurt, they hurt. And some of them are still hurting. And I'm sorry for that. And Mr. Tkach is too and he's apologizing more and more as he goes along. But we have to be careful what we say and how we say it.

You say, "Why do you do that?" Well, because everybody out there is sue happy. So being in the administration, we have to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

But we are trying to heal the hurts as much as we can with the spirit of God guiding us. Mr. Tkach, one of the first things he said was to all the ministers: "we're not going to have anymore sheriffs in this church. We're going to have shepherds. And we continued to have sheriffs. Little by little we got these men out of the ministry. Yet I think there are still some out there that are sheriffs. Its going to take a little longer.

Ed Sr.: I think Joe Sr. ought to deny all these things that have been said about him and wipe the slate clean while he still has a chance.

Miller: Well, I think he has denied what are wrong but I would say this, none of us are pure in God's sight. He has said many times publicly that many people want him to write his autobiography. He says "there is nothing good in my life to write about."

Ed Sr.: Well, it hurts, destroys his credibility.

Miller: Hey. What we were is one thing. What we are today is another.

Ed Sr.: I understand that. But he allows people to believe lies. He is allowing it by not denying it.

Miller: Well, he is denying it. Maybe not to your satisfaction.

Ed Sr.: Well, I just recently heard these allegations about his war record and these 2000 people going on strike.....

Miller: Well, we've been denying that for a long time.

Ed Sr.: Well, I never heard, I never heard a denial on that.

Miller: Well....

Ed Sr.: And I can't abide a liar.

Miller: He did not say those things. Other people said them

Ed Sr.: Well, then he should refute them.

Miller: Well....

Ed Sr.: How many people in church still believe it?

Miller: Well, I don't know. Whenever they bring it up to me, I say they are not true.

Ed Sr.: Well, I think he should say it. I think he should explain it.

Miller: I think he has but how many times does he have to do it?

Ed Sr.: Ha, ha. All he has to do it is once so I could hear it. I've listened to every sermon he has ever given.

Miller: Well, give the man time.

Ed Sr.: I'm afraid he probably doesn't have much time left.

Miller: Well then that is between him and God. You know you can't always have men the way we want them. We have them the way God deals with them.

Ed Sr.: Okay. Well, I thank you for letting me talk to you.

Miller: I thank you for letting me talk to you too.

Ed Sr.: I can't say that you have satisfied me much

Miller: I don't think I can satisfy you. The only one who can satisfy you is God. And if you have your relationship with Him, wherever you are, and you become a light to people and you turn sinners to Christ, then you are fulfilling your calling. And you can kiss us goodbye if you want. And you probably already have. We're sorry you had this experience. We hope and pray that God will heal whatever is hurting you there.

Ed Sr.: I appreciate that.

Miller: I mean, I say that from the bottom of my heart.

Ed Sr.: Okay, I thank you.


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