The Painful Truth About The Worldwide Church of God

Email To The Editor
(Page 79)

(Mail from Kooks, Nuts and Loonies is on another page)



From: T. K.
Sent: Tuesday, November 04, 2003 7:53 PM
Subject: Information about the WCG, thanks

Hello, I am writing to thank you for your interesting site on the Worldwide church of god. Until a few days ago I never knew anything about it. While I personally I am an athiest, I am dating a girl who told me recently that she's in that church. So I've been doing a ton of research into it. Actually she is involved with the "United Church of God", which appears to have broken away from the WCofG because they said Armstrong was wrong about some things. I am at a loss for what to say to her because I can't just come out and tell her she's in a destructive cult. I've only read a few articles about what to do if your friend is in a cult. Do you have any thoughts? What interesting research I've found though. The more I read about it the made up and silly this church seems. I was Catholic for a number of years, so you know what they say about glass houses.


Travis K

Travis, I witheld your name and address. I wanted to post here to encourage you to read this website, front to back. This is a good place to start to learn about them. Look at the Links page for more.

I also wanted to share your perceptive comment about 'Glass Houses' with the other Readers. Be well and think -- don't just "believe".




11 Nov 03

Sorry to see you go, but I know you need the break. I found your site almost at the beginning and it was a great help in getting me through some tough times. I'm
10 years free now after almost 37 years of bondage from the age of 5. My life is much, much different now and for the better.

No, Ed you didn't get me there me and my family did (a real college education didn't
hurt none either.) But I do have to say that your website and forum were the listening year that I needed when I needed it. Just to know that there were others going on the same tough journey was heartening.

Ed, again thanks for all your time, effort, and energy, it will not soon be forgotten.

Welcome to the new editor. You have some rather large shoes to fill so get with it. I'm sure you'll do fine.

Maybe, just maybe one day this site will no longer be necessary. That will be a glorious day indeed.

Michael Irvin

Good to hear from you Mike. Don't be a stranger.... Editor


19 Nov 03

Dear New Editor,

Thanks much for stepping forward and taking on responsibility for the
Painful Truth web site. I'm sure it will be a lot or work, especially at
first. And a lot of aggravation, dealing with those who don't understand.
But please realize you are doing a lot of good. I left Worldwide in 1995
but attended its imitators, off and on, thru 1998 or 1999. The Painful
Truth was probably my most important resource after that time in getting my
mind straightened out. I. I'm sure this is true for countless othersas

I appreciate deeply what Ed has done and I appreciate that you are now
keeping up the effort. I'm OK now, I have gotten my bearings after the
ordeal of belonging to WCG. I'm now cult-free and I'm well-grounded
regarding my world view. I read the Painful Truth mostly out or prurient
interest these days, but I know there are countless others who are just now
coming out of the WCG imitators and need what this site has to offer.

It's too bad you need to remain anonymous, but I understand why this is
necessary. Good luck on your new undertaking. Don't let the idiots
discourage you, remember those you are helping.


Thanks so much for the good words, Nick. I'll remember your advice.... Editor


19 Nov 03

Hello Ed Mentell Sr.,

I just want to Thank YOU for all the hard work you've done in setting up the PT site.  I just wish I had looked into it when my BIL first mentioned it a few years ago to my husband and I.  But we were of the mindset still that "it must be satan trying to work on us".  LOL!!!  Anyways we were in PCG and I was getting thoroughly disgusted with their holier-than-thou bullshit and head bashing in the millenium attitude.  Lucky for me I had a problem with the makeup issue, which is what made me look up "HWA" and "makeup" on the internet.  This was the first website I looked at.

To the new editor, welcome .  I hope the overall atmosphere will be allowed to stay.  There are other websites for "armstrongites", please let them go there!  :-)


Agreed... Let them go there... Not much is changing in 'atmosphere' here, Linda. I might tend to emphasize "religion" in general a bit more than just focusing on the WCG at times though. But the WCG+ is our base of reference, so that won't change....

Thanks, Editor


19 Nov 03

Dear Editor,

I was a little surpised at the lack of compassion and hateful attitude that Jeff Deihl had towards the cult victims of "armstrongism". I though Bill's reply to him was great.

All the church members were "greedy"!?! What a bunch of shit! Most members I knew sincerely wanted to serve God as they were being taught. Sure, many had problems ­ marriage, sex, financial, health ­ you name it. I guess some kid who's parent's had everything provided for him by the church would not be able to relate to THE REAL WORLD!

The Real World (even being in the cult) was that church members were losing jobs due to the sabbath or holy days, let alone missing about 2 weeks due to the feast! The real world is that many families were broken up and left on their own to pick up the pieces. Due to excessive tithing preached by the church ministry (including Jeff's dad, if he was a TRUE believer) caused many families to suffer greatly ­ leaving them living on substandard diets, driving used clunkers, and having to wait for the feast to buy things like underwear and new shoes.

My family had it good compared to a lot of families in our area growing up. That's because my dad had seniority before joining the cult, and having a good paying job. Yet, my dad drove each new car he did get, for many years, and did his own repairs, to save money. He gave to the building fund gladly, because he thought he was honoring God, NOT because he was being "GREEDY"!!!

Most of our friends drove older cars too. Yet, amazingly, each of our ministers got a new car every year or two. One minister in particular, had family in OK and TX. Every other week it seemed his family would go to either OK or TX for family get togethers or YOU events. We could go weeks at a time without hearing our minister speak in church. He got new cars quite often.

There is only one minister I had any respect for, and that was Ted Johnston. He was really caring and easy to talk to. The minister who baptized me (Bruce Gore) told my husband the following in counseling, not long after we were married. We had been having some problems and thought maybe we should counsel with the minister (as the church taught). He told my husband privately that "if she doesn't like things, tell her to get out". My husband's attitude has been negative towards me ever since. I didn't find out about this fine ministerial advice until just a couple years ago.

As far as "greedy, greedy members", Jeff you are WAY out of line. Since you didn't suffer, but were merely inconvenienced or bored as Bill said, you CAN'T understand what it was like for people. Not do you care, by your attitude.

All the church members I've known through the years, have been sincere. They BELIEVED we were all in "God's true church". Some had this or that problem, but we were all trying to obey as best we could. Everyone was being tithed, and emergency offered to death, as was evident by the clothing, cars and homes of the members. If the members were all "so greedy", your dad and ALL the ministers would have been fired on their asses YEARS ago, because all the "greedy" members would have quit giving money about the time Herbie wanted money to build an opera house for God. If anyone was "greedy" it was Herbie. Go back and reread EVERYONE of his letters. REALLY read them! It's amazing my parents sent in money (and later myself) after reading such abusive, accusing, demanding letters. Also, go back and read the Ambassador Reports and "The Tangled Web". Oh, and be sure to check out the auctions WCG had in recent years, selling off Herbie's expensive trinkets. Now tell all of us surviving cultists "who" was greedy!!!

If anything kept the members in the church, it was the FEAR the church instilled in all of us, NOT greed!!! We feared the tribulation and seeing our kids suffer. We feared losing out on eternal life. We feared the possiblility of the lack of fire. Yes, FEAR and not greed was what kept 99.9% of the members there.

Ed's (the former editor) wanting his $100,000 back is not greedy. It's a way of being "made whole" as best as one can be. We can never replace the time, or lives lost due to cult teachings, but getting back every last dime we gave would give some small satisfaction and give each of us a chance to better ourselves for all we gave (to no avail) and suffered due to the church.

If there were any "greedy" members, it would be the ministry (probably 95% +). Even as Joe Sr. took over and started making big changes, most ministers stayed. Why? Because the only education any of them had was AC spokesman club nonsense. They had no training for the working world, and were afraid to walk away from it and start over. Yet, church people have been "starting over" ever since the church began. The ministers hung in there to keep those paychecks, church cars and homes coming. They KNEW what they had to face if they left the church. The mininsters who stayed in the church, even while NOT believing or even teaching the new church teachings, while not believing themselves, were GREEDY SOBS!

So get off your high horse, Jeff. Maybe your parents were exceptions ­ good for them. You seem overly touchy about it. Wonder why? But the experiences of nearly everyone on this website, and other forums I've been on tell a completely different story.

Poorer (and recovering!) but Wiser


Ed Sr.

Thanks so much. I don't know how you put up with so many ignorantly motivated unfortunates, for so long. You've been amazingly patient and understanding. You've also boiled over a hell of a lot less than I would have. In fact, my first post at the PT resulted in your mild rebuke of my comments. Ya' done good and educated me in the error of my thinking about the site.

Please continue to drop in and comment when you get time.

Your Good Friend Ron

19 Nov 03

Hi, I am a freshmen in college and I'm doing a thesis on judaism, in
particular I am focusing on the jewish view of the messiah. My thesis is as
follows: "The messiah is the essence of the Jewish faith; it's historical
impact and future return is significant to why Jesus is not the the messiah
and what will happen upon the messiah's return." If you can give me any
information on what could help my write my paper, or any books/sites that
would be beneficial, it will be greatly appreciated.


Hi Nicole. Thanks for asking.

Give you any information that would be beneficial in writing a thesis suggesting that there are 'real' entities such as a messiah, or a Jesus, and their impact and significance?

Probably can't help there. But I might take a step back, were I you, and write a thesis demanding PROOF of a messiah or a Jesus to begin with. Just a thought...

Maybe some other Good Reader will come to your aid here....




20 Nov 03


Just wanted to say that since you & your website have been an indispensable resource (and the best eye-opener) for me since I’ve quit from “The Church”. You’re truly the “key” that have unlocked the cult’s “chains” of slavery and burdensome legalistic lifestyle of Armstrongism that we’ve endured for so long. Sorry to see you go, too. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors.
Thank You,

David C.

To the new Editor; Welcome and wish you the best of luck as well!

Thank you David....


24 Nov 03

Dear New Editor:

I would like to reply to Jeff Deihl's letter to Ed Mentell Sr.. Although he never
got his chance to "serve" as a Worldwide Church of God minister, he shows
that he would have been a perfect fit for the position. His letter overflows
with arrogance and self-righteousness. Even though he was never a minister,
his father was, and he is obviously offended by the fact that many of the
contributors to this site have written things that make ministers, his
father among them, look bad. He resents the fact that Painful Truth
contributors lump his father in with all the bad guys they have dealt with
during their years of WCG membership. In classic ministerial fashion, he
places the blame fully on the member and denies his father had anything to
do with the problems we have experienced. Like every minister I have
encountered since leaving the Worldwide Church of God, he acknowledges that
other members of the ministry may have committed abuses, but his father
never did anything wrong. His father was the exception.

What follows is my response to Jeff:

Jeff: My dad, while being a minister in the WWCG was a very loved, respected and
admirable man. The congregations of the Ohio, Kentucky, New York and South
Carolina churches loved my dad. (Well at least most people did). And even
though you weren't supposed to show favoritism by clapping for a sermon at
the Feast, his last one in Myrtle Beach got him a standing ovation from the
audience. He was inspirational, believed what he was teaching and was

To begin, Painful Truth contributors are not trying to make ministers look
bad. We are merely recounting our experiences with our ministers. We aren't
making this stuff up. We simply say what the ministers did, and if they look
bad, it's because the things they did were bad. Sorry if it bothers you,
kid, but that's tough. Most ministers were bad guys. All we have to do is
say what they did. Their actions speak for themselves.

Maybe your father was the exception. I have come across a couple of
ministers who really did care about the members of their congregations, and
didn't lord it over them. But most ministers let the power and adulation go
to their heads. They really did believe they were God's anointed. They
really believed that they were better than their congregations. They would
never soil their fingers with menial work. They left the dirty work for the
deacons and non-ordained membership. If any manual labor had to be done,
such as unloading fruit from trucks, they would be miles away because
ministers should not "leave the word of God, and serve tables (Acts 6:2)."
For a minister, working with his hands was demeaning, and a fate worse than
death. Ministers ordered people around. They supervised. They did not work.

Ministers viewed their congregations as the unwashed masses. My first pastor
told the congregation that he never accepted dinner invitations from lowly
members. "Familiarity breeds a certain amount of disrespect," he said, and
practiced what he preached. Whenever I talked to him, which wasn't very
often, he always seemed slightly irritated and ended the conversation as
quickly as he could. Most ministers weren't crass enough to actually state
this in front of the congregation, but my first pastor was a total boor. But
even though they wouldn't state it explicitly, most of them lived by this
credo, and I soon learned that you could not become too friendly with your
ministers. They wouldn't let you. Everything was kept at arms length.

I wouldn't expect you to say, "My dad was just as bad as all the other
ministers." But I hope you don't expect me to take your word that your
father was the exception. Maybe he was. But for every minister who was a
decent human being, there were 15 or 20 who were creeps, and until I get to
speak about your father with somebody who is not a member of your family, I
will assume that your father was a creep. Judging by the way you turned out,
I'm sure my assumption is correct.

Your apparent six year web-quest of the painful truth and , and the massive effort to "expose the church" are all
in vain. As a matter of fact, you said".but I estimate I gave well over
$100,000 to the cult." My guess is that once you found out your wife was
sick, and couldn't be cured, that the next best thing was to find a way to
be able to guarantee you'd see her again someday.

You're all heart.

That required joining the church, and that required money for the offering
and tithe. You passed your paycheck, college funds & other money over
quicker than a gambling addict at the blackjack table.

Yes, and your dad and his colleagues couldn't cash the paychecks fast
enough. In your ignorance you fail to make the connection that some of that
$100,000 made it's way into your father's pocket, and I'm sure some of it
made it into your's as well (you did receive an allowance, didn't you?).
Your father put a roof over your head, clothes on your back and food in your
stomach with that money. I would expect some gratitude from you, but you
were a minister's brat after all, and as a member of the Levitical
priesthood, you act as though you were entitled to it. You accuse us of
trying to buy eternal life by tithing. Not true. Most people tithed because
they thought they were contributing to a work that would save the world. We
now know that was not true. You were the beneficiary of a con game, and
lived very well at our expense, you moocher.

Your website is filled with sad stories about the church, cult, or whatever.
Suicides, divorces, people who gave away all of their money, borrowed to pay
third tithe, didn't take medicine, beat their kids, and who knows what else.
It also seems to be driven by the fact that you (and an enormous amount of
others) are just plain pissed off.

Furthermore you think that the ministers were to blame for everyone's
problems in the WWCG. And, let's just touch on this a second: I'm sure that
there were some, maybe a few who "knew" what the church was up to, but
clearly not all or even a majority, it's an absurd notion. By no means did
my dad and mom come home on Saturdays and give each other a high five while
saying, "suckers, we took 'em for everything they had". We didn't spend the
night counting money in the living room, nor did any of my uncles. They were
teaching the church members what they were taught. They were doing their
jobs Ed, and there was no secrecy, no man behind the curtain at church on
Saturdays, and certainly no conspiracy on Friday nights playing the bible

Perhaps your relatives did not count money in the living room. That's the
kind of stuff that happened at Pasadena. Your dad and your uncles got the
leftovers from Herbert Armstrong's table (there was a lot of nepotism in the
Worldwide Church of God; I was always amazed at how many sons and brothers
of ministers were ministers, and how many wives of ministers had brothers
who were ministers, or sisters who were married to ministers. It reminds me
of the royal families of Europe passing around their birth defects. Family
connections, rather than merit, seemed to be the key to advancement in the
church of god ministry). They couldn't fly private jets. But they did get
brand new fleet cars every other year. Armstrong's leftovers were pretty
substantial. All your father and uncles had to do to get their share was
disfellowship anyone who disagreed or cause trouble. They knew where the
leftovers ultimately came from, and they made damn sure that no
troublemakers would lead an exodus of tithe payers.

The college is gone, the name is gone, there's no more Feast of Tabernacles,
all the leaders are dead & so is the faith.

Not quite. Ever hear of the United Church of God? The Philadelphia Church of
God? The Living Church of God? The Church of God International? The Restored
Church of God? Your father may have left the faith and become an atheist,
but there are plenty of your father's former partners in tithe-collecting
who are still sponging off the membership. The Feast of Tabernacles is still
the event of they year for the ministry, where they feast on the generosity
of the tithe-payers, hogging the best hotel accommodations for themselves
and consigning the members to second rate facilities, sparing themselves the
drudgery of mingling with the unwashed.

The Painful Truth is dedicated to helping those still being exploited by a
selfish ministry. If you don't like the fact that your father is guilty by
association, you have to understand that your father benefited as a minister
just like all of the other creeps. I don't see him rushing to make

However, I see your website as operating on the same principles that your
favorite pal HWA did. You have a lot of followers who are saying, "man, this
guy knows what he's talking about! We go duped hard! Well I'll tell you what
man, when the proof comes around this time, I'll know where to find it. If
anyone's going to find it, Ed will. And I'm sticking' with Ed man, cause
he'll know when he sees it!"

How ironic that this letter would be posted the same day that Ed has decided
to turn over the management of this site to another. Unlike Herbert
Armstrong, who refused to step aside even after he went blind and senile,
dribbling all over himself on his television program, Ed has decided that
others can handle the website, and he is not so desperate for control that
he won't pass the reins to someone else.

There was also another remarkable difference between Ed's request for money
and Herbert's. When Ed let it be known he would accept donations to help
defray cost of maintaining the site, he set a target of $375 or something in
that range, and once the target was reached, he stopped accepting donations.
And he didn't use guilt trip tactics to extract donations. He made it known
that he was on a fixed income, and if those who in the past had expressed an
interest in helping still wanted to contribute, he would accept their
donations. He didn't want anything from anybody who didn't want to
contribute, and he especially did not want "widow's mites." He made it clear
that you were not more righteous if you contributed, and you were not a bad
person, destined for the lake of fire, if you didn't.

You mentioned that if a class action lawsuit were to be filed, you'd bring
40,000 people along with you to sign it. If your were using your head, you'd
put a "donate here" click button on your website. You'd have your $100K back
in the bank in three days, and that's really what everyone wants back in the
first place. Money and time that you lost. We'll you can't get back the
time, no more than you can un-ring a bell. (One of my dad's favorite
sayings). What you can do with the time though is make up for it. You'll
never get the 25 years back, and neither will my dad.

Ed, along with the rest of us, has no illusions about recovering lost
tithes. What we want is for the con game to stop. Church of God ministers
have lived very well at our expense. We want the poor, deluded souls who
still sacrifice their tithes to put their money to better use. There is no
reason for them to sacrifice in order to support men who exploit them. The
class of moochers and leeches known as ministers should now fend for
themselves instead of urging members to contribute more so they can continue
to live the good life.

So, if you'll allow me I'll summarize with some bullets: (not those kind of

99 percent of the "ministers" were honest & credible people, with faults,
but nonetheless, decent human beings. It's your fault, and every other
individuals fault that they listened to their minister, their mechanic,
plumber, electrician or anyone else who gave them an estimate on something,
be it life, or a new garbage disposal and didn't get a second opinion, or
paid for it up front. Don't blame my mother and father, individually or as
part of a whole, for your weak mindedness or greed. Click on the link below
for more information on exactly who you are blaming for your problems, both
then and now. As you will see, he is a lot better man than you can possibly

Once again, don't expect me to take your word that 99% of the ministers were
good people. My experience showed otherwise. Most of the ministers I had to
deal with thought they were God's gift to the congregation. They were so
full of themselves that they would have blown their stacks had you addressed
them by their first name. It was "Mister" Minister, and don't you forget it.
Their jobs were to make sure everyone obeyed Mr. Armstrong or Mr. Tkach
without question. If you behaved yourself, you would be accepted. If not,
they would get rid of you as fast as they could. After defaming you from the
pulpit, they would instruct the membership to avoid you so they too wouldn't
become corrupted and stop paying tithes. They were there to protect the
church's income stream, not serve the membership.

Most of the ministers thoroughly enjoyed the status conferred on them by
virtue of their belonging to the exalted ministerial caste, and were
corrupted by the power they were given. They did not take criticism well,
and took it as a personal affront and a threat to their authority if you
questioned any of their opinions and decisions. If your dad was an
exception, good for him. But I don't know him, and I don't know anybody who
can confirm what you say about him. I can only go by what I have
experienced, and until I can personally confirm that your dad is a good man,
I would be foolish to assume he was any different from the run-of-the-mill
ministers I had the misfortune to meet.

Here, you can add this to the upset children list, or whatever it is.

You might have been a Ministers Kid in the WWCG if:

Crazy people called your house in the middle of the night talking about
their marriage problems, drinking problems, drug problems, sex problems and
anything else you can imagine.

You go moved all over the east coast and attended 14 different schools in 12

You had to get to church three hours early and stay three hours late,
waiting for the last ninety year old lady, single weirdo, upset couple, or
deacon & elder and EVERYONE to finish talking to your dad and then your mom,
and possibly you.

My, you had a hard life.

You had to explain to any of your neighborhood friends what a baptismal was
and why there was one in your driveway

Poor kid. Embarrassed in front of the neighbors, eh? Well, it beats losing
your job because your kept the Sabbath or the Feast of Tabernacles, a risk
ordinary members faced every time they took time off, but something your
father never had to worry about. At least you had a house and a driveway.

Once your mom was allowed to work, the only thing she could do with her
fabulous AC degree was hang wallpaper.

Well, nobody held a gun to your mother's head and forced her to go to
Ambassador College. She made that decision on her own. She has to accept the
consequences of her bad decisions. Now we have to listen to her loser son
whine about it as though she had no control over her fate when she actually
has nobody to blame but herself.

The shoe is on the other foot now, isn't it?

Your rode in a "fleet car" and know what GELCO is.

As someone else has already pointed out, ministers didn't keep their fleet
cars very long. They were replaced every couple of years, and your father
got to deduct his mileage, gas, parking and other vehicle operating expenses
on his income tax returns. By the way, your dad's new car was paid for by
the losers and hillbilly weirdos.

By the way, is GELCO that gooey stuff mothers put on their babies' behinds
to prevent diaper rash? Do you still use it?

You had to dance with EVERY, and I mean EVERY girl at the church dances.

They had to dance with you, too. I'm sure that was no picnic.

You had to sit up and pay attention on the front row at church, while every
other loser kid got to sleep

If your father was such a great speaker, staying awake shouldn't have been a
problem. Apparently, your father was as big a bore as the average minister.
Maybe the reason he got that standing ovation at Myrtle Beach was that
everybody was relieved that he finally finished his sermon.

You had to go to every log cabin, outhouse using, just picked up dinner off
of the road for dinner, back road hillbilly-weirdo house of death for
dinner, and stay ALL NIGHT LONG listening to god knows what kind of problems
the people had.

Perhaps the hillbilly serving you roadkill had to live in a log cabin
outhouse because he was tithing so your dad could live in a house with a
driveway, where he parked his brand new fleet car, which was also paid for
by the hillbilly. If your father had a real job, instead of being a
professional moocher, you could have avoided all that. Blame your father,
not the hillbilly who was kind enough feed your father after he had already
emptied his pockets to pay your father's salary. Sorry you had to listen to
the hillbilly's problems, but considering he was supporting both of you, it
was the least you could do.

Your mom and dad made you give everybody the PO box number instead of your
real address for fear that the "church member" in prison would someday find
your house.

When you make a profession of giving bad advice, you are bound to make
somebody mad at you.

All of your clothes ever smelled like olive oil, because your dad's didn't
take out his "anointing oil" after church.

Your garage ever smelled like rotten oranges from all the fruit that never
got sent out.

Thy suffering knew no bounds. You poor child!

And no, I very seriously doubt they're going to use the proceeds of the sale
of the campus for "their" own retirement. Maybe the Tkach guys are. I know
my dad hasn't seen a dime, nor my mother. They were promised it, but aren't
getting it.

Your folks had it good for a long time. Now it's time to pay the price. I
didn't hear your parents complaining when they received their tax free
parsonage that enabled your family to afford better housing than most
members. You thought it was great when your father was exempt from paying
Social Security taxes because he was a minister. I hate to keep bringing up
those new cars you father got every couple of years (actually, I do like
bringing it up), but most members couldn't afford to buy a new car every
other year, and your father didn't have to pay for his. Your parents were
exempt from second and third tithe, and they received most of their first
tithe back as a festival allowance which enabled you to live it up at the
Feast of Tabernacles. Let me remind you once again that it was the
membership who paid for all of that stuff.

So your parents aren't receiving anything for their retirement? They were
suckered by the church leadership, eh? Well it's their own fault. They made
a bad decision. It's their fault that they listened to their minister, their
mechanic, plumber, electrician or anyone else who gave them an estimate on
something, be it retirement income, or a new garbage disposal and didn't get
a second opinion, or paid for it up front. Don't blame the church
membership, either individually or as part of a whole, for their
weak-mindedness or greed.

My mom and dad asked nothing in return from the church, other than the
paycheck they got for doing their jobs. Everyone else was in it for
themselves, including you.

If your mom and dad asked for the paychecks they got for doing their jobs,
then they did ask for something in return from the church. Their motives
were not totally altruistic, your assertions to the contrary
notwithstanding. They were in it for the money, the perks and the power. The
only thing we members got in return for our three tithes was a lot of bad
advice, a lot of boring sermons, and a bunch of crappy magazines. Mom and
Dad are only now beginning to experience what we members lived with for
years. Before they were the beneficiaries of the lies, broken promises and
double standards. Now they are the victims. Welcome to the club. Not
surprisingly, the ministers and their offspring whine the loudest and the
longest at the injustices perpetrated against them. Where were they 20 years
ago? They were in their nice homes, driving their brand new cars, collecting
their fat paychecks, and disfellowshipping anyone who complained about what
you are complaining about now.

And yes, it is people ARE responsible for letting other men corrupt them,
and you pay the consequences when you do.

As you and your parents are now finding out. They now find themselves with
worthless degrees from a defunct college, without a retirement income. They
enjoyed the ministerial fantasy land while it lasted. It must have been fun
to pretend you were God's chosen minister, and that your were really,
really, really important. But now they are middle aged, without any job
qualifications, and they have to start all over again. And they have nobody
to blame but themselves. Nobody forced them to attend and unaccredited
college and become minister and minister's wife in a corrupt organization.
Nobody put a gun to their heads. They believed the lie that they would
receive a retirement income because they were weirdos, losers, and backroad
hillbillies. They were suckered because they didn't get a real education.
Instead they got a make believe education with a make believe diploma. It's
sort of like the joke they used to tell in the Soviet Union, "We pretend we
work, they pretend they pay us."

Your parents pretended they had a real job. Now they can pretend they are

The part about the less intelligent and uneducated being the inclined to
religion, as well as a good explanation of the "ministers" we had is
interesting too. You said that the ministry was uneducated, yet on your
personal timeline the only four year anything I see after high school is in
the military.

There is nothing wrong with four years in the military. It would probably do
you a lot of good. It would make a man out of you, instead of the pampered,
spoiled little brat that you are now.

By the way, I am a graduate of a real college, and have a real degree, a
bachelor of science in accounting. I am a CPA, licensed to practice in the
state of New York. This qualifies me to respond to your letter.

So you've appointed yourself vigilante of the WCG and then go around placing
blame on every single person other than the people your trying to "help".

I see that your education is deficient, grammar-wise. it's "...placing blame
on every single person other than the people you're trying to 'help.'"

But with all that I've read over the past few days, the hundreds of web
pages full of stories and grief, very few admit what is unmistakably true,
and you should make your 40,000 person following admit.  Every member was
greedy. Really, really greedy.

Broad, sweeping generalizations. You object to us generalizing about
ministers being rotten people because you father gets lumped in with the
rest of them. Not surprisingly, you are guilty of the same thing.

You talk about being bitter. You're the one who is bitter. You had to make
sacrifices because of the church. So did everybody else. In fact, the
average member made sacrifices far greater than you and your parents were
required to make. Now you're pissed off at us because your father forced you
into situations you could have avoided if it wasn't for the members. Paying
your dad's salary, buying his car, subsidizing his housing, paying his
expenses at the Feast where you and your family enjoyed the finest
accommodations at our expense, all of that was OK. But when it came time for
your father to earn all of those benefits, that's not OK. That was an
imposition on you. We're a bunch of losers because even though we gave our
time, talent and treasure, and paid his salary and gave you and your family
a higher standard of living than most of us enjoyed, we had the nerve to ask
him to do his job.

Warmest regards, you little punk,

You know? I took a few extra days posting this response from MAM to Jeff. I had to read it a couple more times, savor it a little in private, just a tad. Even take the time to do a little formatting on the 'back and forth' post MAM sent us. (Generally I won't do much formatting of input... Hint hint)

This is worth it.

I can't quite bring myself to say what I REALLY think of Jeff Diehl or his post here. He managed to bash quite a lot of people here: WCG+ members who were poor, or military, country (hillbilly), anyone looking to further their knowlege currently on their church/cult experience, anyone who ever had a loved one die while in the cult because of cult-sanctioned lack of medical service.

His post reeks of elitist ivory-tower ignorance of reality.

In my view? I thoroughly agree with MAM's response, as well as Linda's and others as well here.

Good post MAM!

Dear Jeff.... No. It isn't in vain.




Nov 24

I read MAM's response to Jeff Deihl.  I have had a couple of conversations
with his father, Dennis Diehl, and he seems to be a decent kind of guy.  But
I find Jeff, based on his "letter", to be an insufferable moron.

However, I think MAM spent way too much time responding to Jeff.  I will now
respond in a much more succinct manner.  Jeff, this is the only response you

Dear Jeff:

Go to hell.

Sincerely, Russell




Nov 26 2003

From Jeff Diehl

Dear Editor:

I did expect some response from my posting last week,
but I never intended to rattle the cage as hard as I

First, and foremost, I would like to expressly
apologize publicly, and if I could do so in person to
Ed Sr. for the remark I made about his late wife. My
intentions were to make a point, and I did so in a
most disrespectful fashion. It was a very poor
statement, and I did not mean to make light of the
death of your first wife. I can only try to
appreciate her suffering through friends I've known
under similar circumstances. Please accept this as a
very sincere and humble apology to both you, your late
wife's family and friends, as I am truly embarrassed
about that statement.

As far as MAM (whoever that is, as you can see this
person can't use their name but only "stand behind
Jesus and throw darts" (Ed. SR) HATE MAIL. However, I
spoke to my dad a few days ago, and he was able to
shed some light on a few things. One of his comments
was that each church he got transferred in to was
generally a mess, reeking of the same stench that you
mentioned about "not accepting dinner invitations, for
familiarity breeds a certain amount of disrespect",
and attitude of that nature. Normally the first year
of his ministry was cleaning up the messes of the past
minister. Furthermore other ministers in our
districts that he had to work with were also extremely
hard on their members, controlling and unwilling to
"get their hands dirty". I understand more now that
you and many others had experiences with these
ministers, and based on them, I would never expect you
or anyone else to believe ".your father was a creep".

Considering MAM's other comments, well done. No, I
did not have a hard life, it was actually great. Yes,
we had a nice house, I got an allowance, all due to
the contributions from church members. Hardly the
point of my original letter, but since you brought it

Yes, we had a new car every two years. I even got to
drive them in my teens. I don't know why this is such
a sore subject for so many people, but again, from the
contributions of the church members.

Your right about the dances at church, most of the
kids thought I was just as arrogant as I am today, and
it was probably no picnic (good one by the way).

You're right, nobody held a gun to my mom's head to go
to AC, and leave the country "hillbilly" in the middle
of nowhere, Texas to find something better for
herself. I don't think for one minute did I suggest
that someone did. She HAS accepted the consequences,
makes a great salary as a product manager for a global
company. Again, you missed the point of the posting.
(I also never called anyone, members, Ed Sr. or even
you a "loser son, little punk, or SOB". I played by
Ed Sr's rules on this website, not resorting to name
calling and would expect his supporters to do the

You're right about the military. I have utmost
respect for anyone who has or currently serves in any
branch. The education it provides is second to none,
and I didn't mean to suggest as such. Again you
missed the point. I was simply stating that the
ministers were not uneducated, as so said by Ed. Sr.

My comments on the "hillbilly" were also a tad
inappropriate. My apologies to those who were
offended. But again, you are so blinded by placing
blame on whose fault it was that you gave all your
money away, lost your job, and whatever else. It's
nobody's fault but your own. My dad didn't mooch off
of anyone, including you. He got paid a salary, and
compared to someone who didn't have a job, of course
he looked rich. Believe me, there were plenty of
members who had a "house with a driveway". You keep
missing the point that if someone (like a hillbilly,
which again I apologize for) would give their last
dime while "serving road kill" to their family was all
in the name of God, you're deluding yourself. That
guy would give everything he had in order to change
his own personal situation for the better. Starve his
family, loose his job, live in poverty, not give
medicine, etc. etc. That's greed (mixed with
stupidity), not trying to do the work of God. God
was who they had to go through to get what they
wanted. That's the point you keep missing.

Yes, I thought it was great when my "father was exempt
from paying Social Security Taxes" I don't remember
if it was the editor, or you who is the certified CPA,
but this hardly has anything to do with god. That's
Uncle Sam.

Once again, I will reiterate that my parents have
never made excuses for their current situation, (which
actually isn't that bad). Not once have they
complained about trusting the church for their
retirement. They are kicking themselves for not
saving money on their own, not opening websites about
whose fault it is.

You're final paragraph is very interesting. As a
matter of fact, you more than made my point.

You talk about being bitter. You're the one who is
bitter. You had to make sacrifices because of the church. So did everybody
else. In fact, the average member made sacrifices far greater than you
and your parents were required to make. Now you're pissed off at us because
your father forced you into situations you could have avoided if it wasn't
for the members. Paying your dad's salary, buying his car, subsidizing his
housing, paying his expenses at the Feast where you and your family
enjoyed the finest accommodations at our expense, all of that was OK. But
when it came time for your father to earn all of those benefits, that's not
OK. That was an imposition on you. We're a bunch of losers because
even though we gave our time, talent and treasure, and paid his salary and
gave you and your family a higher standard of living than most of us enjoyed,
we had the nerve to ask him to do his job.

Warmest regards, you little punk

".we had the nerve to ask him to do his job."

What was his job again? Get you into heaven, make
your life better, make the blind see, the crippled
walk, the poor rich, the rich understanding and the
dead rise from the grave? Get you to the "world
tomorrow" where you could walk and talk with the
animals, where every day would be like the Feast,
money was no object, there'd be no more war and no
more bullies, where the "hillbilly" would live in a
mansion and we'd all be friends? Or was his job to
teach god's way? Think about it. Why were you really
in church?

Warmest regards,
Jeff Diehl

PS. Whoever Russell is, what an educated response.
PS. To the editor. Don't hold back, go ahead and
tell me what you really think of me. I'm not afraid.

I have to give Jeff some props here for replying, and for his apology .


What I think of you has changed a bit since your first post here; I'm not exactly sure how much and where, but I do admire a guy who will stand up to his own words. I really do.

MAM will certainly reply on his own behalf.

There's something simple you've seemingly not realized: your father may have been a great guy. Might still be. He might have done good things for people. This doesn't change the fact that he was a cog in the wheel of an organization that knowingly, purposely, ripped people off. There might have been "good guys" in the SS in Germany also. Maybe they just "followed orders". They and your Dad, and others just... did nothing...

" All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing ."
(Edmund Burke).

Yes, there probably was some of the 'ordained' who were also 'the duped'. Maybe.

More probably, your father knew exactly what the score was, just like all the rest of the ministry; only he didn't count on the odd curve-ball that Tkach and Son threw to the cult in the '90s....

As I said -- I admire you for speaking up here again. This door is open to you, and... your father, should he care to opine.

Here's wishing you and your family, and all the Dear Readers of this site, a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday, Jeff.




From Jeff:

"Think about it. Why were you really in church?"

Not a bad question, actually. He has a point, here... Think about that answer....




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