A collection of Facts, Opinions and Comments from survivors of Herbert W. Armstrong, Garner Ted Armstrong,  The Worldwide Church of God and it's Daughters.
Updated 03/02/08 10:04 AM PDT

The painful truth about Herbert W. Armstrong, Garner Ted Arrmstrong and the Worldwide Church of God

Articles Pertaining To Herbert W. Armstrong, Garner Ted Armstrong and The Worldwide Church of God

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Email To The Editor
(Page 100)



I don't know you. I understand you totally. Too much happened to me that I could write a book and become a millionair from all the experiences I faced in the WWCG. I let it go long ago. It left me at first dark, cold, isolated, depressed, alcoholic and angry. I always smiled because I am so very special like you.  Reason, I made the best of it and turned my anger around to positive love. I still give more, I love harder, I pray harder and hope harder than ever before. Evil will not prevail over me or have me twisted just like evil wants. Not here. So, what I'm saying to you is because you think for yourself, you may become a warrior for the Most High. It does't matter how you feel because I respect your feelings. No matter if you are with the living or with the dead, you still belong to Him. Whoever He is to you, you are still a good person. So wounded and hurt. He loves you even more now. A miracle will happen soon and restore you the way you should have been before the "storm". May peace and happiness dwell in your heart from this day on. I don't know you but I love you. You are me and I am you in spirit. The diffence is that I let it go. I see clearly now. I am as simple as the words, "Love One Another". Simple as that. That is all I thrive on. I still pray to no face. I still cry to no particular name. I just say, I pray to "I am who I am". I have seen things change like finding a big piece of raw gold in my purse when I just looked in my purse and saw nothing. I still see how love changes things. I still know that this flesh and blood that one day will be like dust in the wind, have rushes of intuition or visions that come true just like my dreams or thoughts. I always was told I negative things about myself. Actually it's nothing but words from "evil" being jealous of what my spirit is here for. My spirit is to serve a purpose to make that one big puzzle peice fit for the others to fit into.  Together making one tight and secure beautiful picture eventually to adore. One the purpose has been served usually the puzzle pieces are either destroyed or pulled apart and put back into a lonely and dark box.  Sometimes the pieces are glued and displayed. The main joy of a puzzle is it's a challenge or it brings togetherness with more than one entity. The heart beats harder.  Sometimes you even get tired and want to give up. Sometimes you can't stop until it's done. Sometimes you just never finish. Regardless, the purpose of purchasing that puzzle was to "Fix" something that is broken. You are the most beautiful puzzle I have ever seen. And one day, YOU will be displayed. You will be complete. You will never be put back into the "dark" place again. Whatever that picture is of YOU to be put together is up to you. I love you and don't know you, but I feel you. You have no idea. May you be blessed. May you be healed. May glory, and goodness everlasting life come your way. Be careful of the darkness. It can blind just like too long into the light. May your knowledge be knowledge of goodness. There is a GOD. To me GOD means goodness over Darkness. Just something I think. I was always told I was rebellious. Never would harm a fly unless that fly tried to harm me. Overall, I know you will find your way. "I Am Who I Am" has not left us. The
wonderful sprit we call God is everything good. So therefore He has not left us because good is all around you. Your good. Take care and your website just opened my heart up a little more in believing that this is not it. You are free. Don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise. Just be careful.


Lavetta McCune-Grant

Holy COW!!!  Seven hundred words and not a shred of daylight.  Have you ever heard of paragraphs?

Well, never mind.  I don't want to insult you, as I'm sure you mean well.  It's nice of you to try to "cheer me up", but I got over it long ago.  I think you're the one who's still looking for answers.  You have a serious addiction, for which "god" is your drug, and "Jesus" is your daily pill.  I say that not to be cruel, but out of sympathy. 

Based on your email address (grantyourwishlav@xxxxx), I'm betting you are engaged in some sort of "ministry".  Do you make any money at it?  If not, then at least you are sincere, otherwise I can only suspect your motives. 

Giving you the benefit of the doubt, you need to spend a LOT of time reading this site.  May I suggest, as a primer, the Acts of God page.  Then visit the Recommended Books page and check out the Age of Reason, The God Delusion, god Is Not Great, and The End of Faith.  When you finish all that, come back and take the quiz.




So funny you feel so all alone and no one understands how we were raised even when you try to explain it to them. 

My parents met in the church in 1970. I have four brothers and two sisters, we were all raised in the church. I still keep in touch with many of the life long friends I made at WWCG.  We will never be normal. 

I can't help but add to your list. 

You ever knew you were about to be struck down for swallowing water while brushing your teeth on day of atonement. 

The only friends you had in school were Jewish  

You dreaded walking out of your house Christmas morning because all of your neighbors were playing with there new toys 

When ever you felt strange you repeated "I rebuke you in the name of Christ" over and over in your head   

Thanks, I feel better 





I wanted to share my horror story with you because it always stays with me, even through six years of counselling, anti-depressants, failed relationships, it stays with me almost 20 years later.  I must say I am glad for your site, and had a bit of a laugh over the "You  Might have Grown Up in the WCG  If..."  as crazy as the things on that  list is, I do remember much of them!

My parents came into the church in 1979 under the influence of friends (who are still with WCG).  Their marriage never was very good, but it got much worse after they got into the church.  But things didn't really start getting bad until we moved back to Wisconsin, and started going to church in Duluth, Minnesota.  The pastor was William D. Gordon, and I really and truly believe a more evil, selfish man never lived.   My father and he got along really well--one member commented they seemed to be cut out of the same cloth.  Mr. Gordon would tell us how he skinned horses during the Depression, and his wife taught me to iron linen napkins.  I revered that man.  I was made a council member in YOU, and I had to answer to Mr. Gordon regarding every activity I planned.  

I do not remember exactly when the abuse of my mother and I started, but it was bad.  My father would go on rages, beat my mother, and he was extremely mentally abusive of me.  Attempts by my mother to go to Mr. Gordon to have the abuse stop failed--Mr. Gordon blamed my mother for her abuse, and told my father to "do what you have to do to get her under submission."   Mr. Gordon even pulled my mother out of church one day after services, and he screamed at my mother for an hour in a locked room while I waited outside the door. He told my mother she was under the control of Satan, that he was sick of hearing about her lack of submission, and he was sick of years of marriage counselling in which "SHE" refused to change.  He threatened to kick her out of church if she did not start seriously submitting to my father.   He had the local elder, Jim Williams, in there, as a witness while he mentally abused my mother.  All my mother could do was sit and cry.  Afterwards, she seriously considered leaving church, but decided that leaving would be giving into "them" and decided to stay; she believed God wasn't like Mr. Gordon.   Mr Gordon wasn't through being evil yet, though.  I went to SEP Orr for camp, in 1985, (and was there when Kevin Dean fell from grace and was replaced by Dr. Kermit Nelson) and because Duluth was so close to Orr, many times we (the youth) got to go to the camp to help out if we wanted to.  While I was a camper in 1985, my dad, on Parent Visiting Day, saw me holding hands with a boy from Colorado.  Immediately he went and told Mr. Gordon that I was having wild sex with this boy (which I was not).  Mr. Gordon pulled me out after church and warned me that the only reason he was NOT kicking me out of church was because of the "great respect" he had for my DAD.   He never asked me if I did what my dad said I did.  He assumed that my dad was telling the truth.  I told him he was a hypocrite.  I told him to his face that he stood up there and preached against judging people, and yet, here he was, judging me.  From that day forward he never spoke to me again. He wouldn't even look at me.  That man broke my heart.  I never, NEVER did what my dad said I did.  I was a virgin until I was 21 years old.  I couldn't believe that a "man of God" would believe something so horrible about me; I'd gone to every Bible study, I tithed, I did everything I was supposed to do. I competed at Bible Bowls and usually won, and I went to Orr every year and worked my butt off at that camp.   He should have known better what kind of a person I was, but in the end, it was what my dad said that mattered, not what kind of a person I was.  That hurt more than anything else.  In that church, the minister was like God.  To be liked by a minister was a great thing; it truly was.   And to have that same minister stick a knife in your back (after your dad gave him the knife), was a really terrible experience for me as an adolescent.  I was not allowed to participate in any high school extracurricular activities, was not allowed to participate in the "world" and was shunned horribly for not getting accepted into Ambassador College for three years straight despite my honor status at high school. I was made to feel like a real loser by people in the congregation, and I will never know what Mr. Gordon put on that ministerial "report" that was sent to AC, which AC applicants were not allowed to read.  In retrospect, I am glad that I did not get accepted to AC, but at the time, when I didn't even know if I would be allowed to attend any other college, it was devastating to see a girlfriend go out with a local elder's son and get into AC without even trying. I never dated a local elder's son, or anybody of any kind of importance, so I was not allowed into Ambassador College.

Mr. Gordon had spies in the congregation.  He disfellowshipped people for anything and everything, but mostly for perceived lack of loyalty to Mr. Gordon.   For eight years he let my dad beat my mother to a pulp.  Once my dad nearly killed her when he threw her across the kitchen and she cracked her head on the cupboard. He SPANKED her for not handing over her paycheck.  While we went around in secondhand clothes, Mr. Gordon had a beautiful house, Church subsidized, a Church subsidized car, beautiful three piece suits.  When us young people were forbidden from dating outside the Church, his son, Jason, was allowed to date a girl who was outside the church (but who he "converted" when they decided to marry).     He preached sermons of intolerance, he thought nothing of embarrassing people in the congregation who displeased him, and what he did to my family, especially my mother and myself, is unforgivable.   It would have been different if he had been unaware of the abuse in my family, but he was FULLY and COMPLETELY aware every day for EIGHT years.  He had NO excuse. He eventually was put on a "leave of absence" by Headquarters--when he left Duluth, so many members wrote into HQ complaining about him and his abuses that they were forced to "retire" him from the ministry. 

You can print my name. I want everybody to know how despicable this man was.  I hate him with everything I am, and I have carried this hate with me for nearly twenty years.  If I do not know how to relate to men, I blame Mr. William D. Gordon and my dad because I was not allowed to date anyone except for the dysfunctional, misogynistic men in the church, some of whom had very weird sexual proclivities that I would discover ON THE FIRST DATE; no one could understand why I couldn't seem to find someone in church, but what they didn't know was most of the guys in church I dated wanted sex on the first date, would mentally abuse me when I refused to give it to them, and some of whom got to go to AC and have their disregard for women rewarded at AC.  While I will allow that there were sincere people in church, most of those sincere people were the ones who colluded with wrong by saying and doing nothing. I think a lot of people in church could see the bruises on my mother's face, but didn't know what to do.  Mr. William D. Gordon had NO excuse. He knew.  His wife knew. 

If Mr. William D. Gordon is still alive, I hope his life has been hell on earth.  I hope every single day this man lives with the guilt of what he did to me and my mother.  I hope there is a hell that he will go to, but moreover,  I hope his hell lives with him every day he is alive.  I despise him, and I despise his wife, Helen, for doing NOTHING to stop the abuse of myself and my mother.  I loved Helen, and she did NOTHING but teach me to iron linen napkins while her husband, a servant of Satan to my mind, got  to counsel my dad on how to hit his wife more to make her submit.  I hate them both.    I have no pity for any suffering of theirs.   None.  Good people of God would have done something, ANYTHING.  They would have admitted that God does not condone spousal abuse. Good people of God would have called the police and had my dad arrested.  Good people, good ministers of GOD would have taught my dad that God does NOT condone abuse and that my mother does NOT have to submit to what is unGodly. They would have examined their hearts and repented. Instead, they COVERED up the abuse of my mother and God knows how many other women in the Duluth congregation.   They conspired to COVER up abuse, knowingly, willingly and with full consent.  That is unforgivable.   Ministers have a duty to the people in their congregation, to help them, not hurt them.  I don't even know why Gordon became a minister. I think he was unduly influenced by the "tent revival" preachers of his day, the power they seemed to have. I do not think for a minute that William Gordon ever wanted to sincerely serve anybody.  That man does not know the meaning of the word "service."

I wanted to call him once, to see if he'd apologize to me and my mother, but I was still so afraid of him.  I heard he visited Duluth once, after the Church stripped him of his right to be a minister, and I heard he and his wife didn't dare attend because they knew how much everybody hated them.  My dad went to see him when he heard he was in town.  They were right. Everybody (except for a few deluded sheep) hated them. They did more damage in the name of God than anyone I can think of.

You can publish my email address as well.  I am not ashamed to tell the truth about these people.  I have kept quiet for over twenty years.  No more. 

Diane (Amys) Yoder

Diane, I have nothing to add.  I've heard other horror stories about Bill Gordon, but nothing as powerful as yours.  Thanks for sharing it.

Dear John,

It was painful for me to write.  I know hate isn't from God, but that man (Mr. Gordon) affected my family iin so many, many ways, and I don't know any other way to finish the healing, actually.  I am sorry for my anger, and I thank you for your kind reply.   I hope my story helps others to come out and tell the truth about what happened to them in the WCG. 

Anyway, sites like yours are really helpful, and make me feel less alone.  Thanks.

I think this church will always haunt me.



how about adding a few more names to either the 'little list' or 'big list' 

Peter Whitting (former minister in Front Royal, VA and Wash DC area) 

Stephen Elliot 

Keith Richards 

David Pack 

Richard Frankel 

these are all men who abused their power or turned a blind eye to many atrocities which were occurring all around them.  


Peter Whitting, David Pack, Grant Spong, and Richard Frankel are already on the list (you can search for their photos starting here).  As for the others, I didn't find them but I didn't spend a lot of time searching.  If they were local men they wouldn't be in our archives, but your letter stands as a witness against them.  (I've had personal contact with Grant Spong, and I am not surprised that he is on your list.  Click on his name above to find out why.)



I am using your site on my blogroll, at:


I value your site greatly (also Robert McNally's), and I definitely would like to spread word about The Painful Truth! :)

My site is devoted to deprogramming myself (and others) who spent so many years (20 in my case), being brainwashed by the songs in the purple hymnal, and exploring how the songs reflected and reinforced WCG beliefs, for those who sang them, week after week, Feast after Feast, year after year.

If you want to provide a reciprocal link, you can, if not, that's okay too. (I am not now, nor will I ever be, religious, if you were

wondering.) I'm finding it to be a great exercise (maybe that should be exorcise heh) for me, and if it can help someone else, that would definitely be an additional bonus.


(Please don't use my name when you post the link, if that's all right with you.)

That's fine with me.  Thanks for the link.  I checked out your site and McNally's.  Both look very compelling.  I'll have to spend some time in both places.

Hi, John,

Thanks, I'm glad you're enjoying the site, it's definitely been educational for me, too. :)

It is good to connect with X-CoGers who aren't still religious (seems like we're a small number, unfortunately). Although I have to say, from what I've been reading in the last year or so, it seems like religion, any religion (other than a CoG splinter) is a stopping-point along the way for a lot of people who are getting out. Not me, I can guarantee you that! :) Robert McNally's blog is good for that, except it's slow on updates.

Speaking of non-religious sites, do you have email addresses for the admins of Ambassador Watch/Ambassador Reports? I've got links up for them, as well, and I'd like to let them know, but I can't find email addresses for either of them.

For a great site to visit, have you seen The Skeptic's Annotated Bible? It's perfect to put off those preachy Xtians harping at you to "Read your bible! Read your bible!" I now tell them proudly, "I have!"

And point to the SAB.

Funny, they never want to talk to me again, after that...... ;)

Anyway, I'm glad you like the purplehymnal, I'm hoping to keep it updated often. It's been very helpful in letting me finally purge the rest of the programming, I've found. I've been out ten years, and never even gave it a thought, until a couple of years ago. I think it finally started catching up with me, when I realized the WCG was not only still around, they had turned into Fundies. Talk about the frying pan into the fire! :)

I (un)fortunately don't have any real horror stories for the PT, since my family was always one-foot-in-one-foot-on-a-banana-peel when it came to the church, anyway (my unconverted mother smoked and wore makeup and wouldn't give it up, so I had a little bit of grounding in reality, at least). I was (when I was in) a true believer, though, right up til Senior's sermon from the mount. That's the part that's just starting to catch up to me now. (Especially the racist stuff, which I didn't even realize was such, at the time.)

One thing I am interested in, is finding out if anyone has pursued anything legally, with regards to Junior & Cohorts, in getting some of that tithe money back. There are enough people on the xCoG sites, surely there are enough of us around, to mount some kind of action.

Isn't there? I wouldn't even want the full share my family sent in, only half; my father tithed on the full family income (my parents always worked from home), so I would only want my mother's share back.


Thanks again for the link, and sorry if I rambled on endlessly. I'm rather talkative on the email, if you hadn't noticed! :D


Ambassador Report is located right here.  It is a static site that reproduces the work of John Trechak, who diligently and faithfully reported on WCG shenanigans from about 1976 until his death more than 20 years later.  Ambassador Watch doesn't list an email address, so I can't give it to you without permission.  I'm pretty sure, however, that the webmaster won't mind you linking to him, since he has already linked to your site.



Dear Editor, 

I hope you don't mind I send you an email meant for Bill Fairchild. In a conversation between you (in 2004), Bill wrote that he has an article about the ties between religion and politics. I would like to ask him if he could send it to me. Could you please forward this email to him? 

Btw, I'm an ex-wcger as well and am reading all your material with pleasure. Thank you for that. 

Kind regards, 


Your message has been forwarded to Bill Fairchild.  Thanks for reading The Painful Truth. 

John B


Thanks, John.  I don't remember writing that I had such an article.  I may have been thinking about writing one like that in the near future.  But I will write a few words on that subject now.  By the way, what is the url now for the Painful Truth?  I haven't looked at it in a very long time, and would like to check it out again.  My thoughts on the ties between religion and politics are below.  Feel free to post this as a new article if you wish. 


Thanks for the article.  Always looking for more good stuff from you.


Dear Editor:


I would like to say something about your article "The Consequences of Answered Prayer".

I think prayers work as desires and can be very powerful. They work according to the "law of attraction". It has nothing to do with a god.


There are theories that all situations and possible outcomes are available in the "universe".

Your  thinking/desiring (plus that of the people around you) plays an important role which situation will come up for you. Those situations could be seen as frequencies (everything is noise).  


Desires, i.e. thoughts, are frequencies that attract other frequencies. So, if your desires are very strong and singleminded (meaning desiring no opposite things at the same time, which often happens), you can manipulate the energy and get the things you want.


It is however pure manipulation, which means there will be consequences and victims. There has to be a balance in the "universe".


For example, if you desire something, like for example a parking place and you get it because of the desire, it means that someone else would not get that parking place.


If a person dies energy is given back to the "universe" as it were. If you through prayer/desire would not die, the balance has to be restored in a different way. Often meaning that some other people or animals have to die instead of you. Of course it works in a much more complicated way, but this is the principle.


If you desire a lot of pleasures, there has to be a restoration of the balance, i.e. sacrifices. You cannot have pleasure without pain, not only on a personal level, but also as a whole.

What it really means, is that human beings are parasites. They have to exploit and use the earth, other life forms, other people and energy for their pleasures (using their body as a pleasure machine and energy generator). God is the ultimate pleasure.


Even if you desire something for someone else, for example the healing of another person, means you want to change something what you think is not good. It is still manipulation of energy which will have consequenses you don't know of.


The ultimate consequense (sooner or later) of all this manipulation is however destruction of everything, including humanity.


It all happens because human beings are not in harmony with nature and the life around us. If we would live in harmony the life energy would take care of the balance in a natural way. There would be no manipulation of the energy, but there would also be no happiness-unhappiness, only survival and a person would live in a natural way.


It is thought that created and constantly creates the separation.  


Okay, Tom.  Your comments have been added to the "Consequences" page.


Dear Editor-

A recent anonymous writer wondered if anyone has ever pursued anything
legally concerning getting a refund of tithe monies.

This is a question that will arise as long as questions are asked and there
are folks who feel they've been wronged by the WCG. They are legion.

I know John Trechak wrote about the subject in his Ambassador Reports
from time to time. A search would yield his thinking. I do recall his reporting
on the Leona McNair case where the WCG spent millions in their attempt
to defend themselves agains her charge of personal defamation. She won
as I recall and the money paid her went to her lawyers. The settlement was
a whole lot less than the cult had spent in the battle.

The point I'm making, anyone taking on the WCG should consider the
cult has a bigger and deeper pocket than anyone seeking redress.

It's easier to ask just on what basis would one consider a suit? That the
monies were misued? Prove it. That tithing is a false doctrine? Just what
court in the land would come to that conclusion? How could any court
rule that any particular passage in the Bible means thus and such? The
Bible can mean anything given the particular interpretation.

Has the questioner ever heard of a successful suit aginst the WCG? Has
any particular cult ever been sued for mentally mistreating its members?
The Moonies, the Mormons, the JWs, the Catholics have been robbing
their flocks for decades and centuries and it continues.

The United States Constitution guarantees freedom of religion. Over the
time of its existence religious hucksters like Armstrong have found the
religion business is quite lucrative. People are foolish, weak and ignorant.
The pursuit of religion proves it. Hell, I proved it for 30 years!

Yes, the Constitution guarantess freedom of religion but neither taste
nor truth.

Some years ago after my own exit I called in to a radio show hosted by
a lawyer named Neil Cheyette (sp?). I asked him about seeking redress
in the courts. I told him I was broke so I would need a lawyer who would
work on a contingency basis. He told me that such suits are a waste of
time and no lawyer would take on one. End of story.


"Religion is the few wise ruling over the many foolish."



I just took your questionnaire about the "Place of Safety". I needed a chuckle. Thanks. I was looking for some info about the Church & saw the "Painful Truth" address & just had to look. I find some of the info useful. I'm a Bible Scholar & learning & hopefully growing in His Grace all the time. My walk with Him has been dramatic. If you'd like to know how dramatic go to www.kathleenanazarene.org & you'll see. I'm not a yellow pencil & have never been an Armstrongian & am often looked upon with suspition 'cause I'm vocal about my beliefs & question a lot of what's considered "Doctrine" or almost word which I know isn't. He is my Head & no other. "Independence" & dependence on my Mighty One is the key to my existence & some have difficulty with that! BFN.

In His Name,

Hey, thanks!  Glad you got a laugh out of it.



thank you John B
and now Mr. Peter Whitting is an artist (out of his Baltimore, MD church)
he did dabble in it a bit a few years ago -- certainly was more interested in that than caring about the 'flock' -- it still bothers me that he is now using his forum at his new church to promote his artwork (abstract art)




Need to add two more names (some of the memories are becoming more clear): 

William "Bill" Pack (Front Royal, VA/Hagerstown, MD church)

1980's and  Larry Sayler (WashDC 1980's) 




There are many things I have blocked out from my 15 years in the WWCG -- among them would be the years of not wearing make-up, being made to feel as a second-class citizen, being ignored, leaving church after services and feeling empty and asking myself why am I coming here -- but by that time I had been married for a few with two small children -- the damage wasn't noticeable on the surface but as in any abused situation, you have to step back and look at it objectively to realize how deep you really were.  





Hi from Pennsylvania, I was just checking to see if my book, "Your Seven Senses" is online. Well it is, at: http://www.archive.org/details/YourSevenSenses_580 or the zip file at:

Any way, I noticed your article was at the top of the search results and had "your seven senses" in it. This is important because I began the Seven Senses book after receiving a letter from Worldwide Church of God HQ responding to but not answering a question. The book is based on Bible numerical patterns (obviously! = seven). Since it's on the Internet Archive, you can use it/pass it on.

Thanks (I was in church here Johnstown, Uniontown, Cumberland, Maryland)

-- Bill




Bill Fairchild's "Religion and Politics" is both insightful and thought-provoking. Glad you put it on the site.

And the e-mails. Diane's horror story makes me grateful that my mother always filtered COG child-rearing recommendations through her own conscience. She did a good job with me and my sisters in spite of the church.

Retired Prof


        I sit here feeling very selfish! My name is shawn, I grew up in the WCG in the 60s & 70s in seattle wa.I feal selfish, because I feel better knowing that Im not alone! But this living nightmare that I've been living for 46 yrs I wouldnt wish upon an enemy.So why do I feel so good knowing that theirs others like myself.I guess us humans don't like to be alone at anything we do.I remember Fred Brogart, our local paster telling a story of a family who had a auto breakdown which caused them to leave a day late for the feast of tab, they went over a cliff & all died.What could have possibly been the messege here! other than scaring the heck out of us kidds. My sister & myself now live together, as older adults we've came to the realization that we are forever disfunctional , not able to maintain a normal relationship with a spouse.We make a living on ebay because we're not able keep jobs in the normal world.My sister (older by the way)was taken out of our home at the age of 13,By the state of washington.you see, she like many others I've read obout on your site, ran away on friday nights so she could run track.After she was taken the ministry highly recomended pulling the rest of us out of school & they did. I, after just completeing the 7th grade I found peace at the local public library.I could secrectly get some kind of education.There was only 800 people in the town they chose to hide us from the world in.So the only friends we had was each other , That was until my best friend (my sister) was taken away.I also remember sitting at the kitchen table for 4 days infront of the same cold fried egg,"for its a sin to waste food".This came at the request of the ministry. I also was a bed wetter & was tormented by electric plates mounted in my bed.bed wetting would not be tolerated in petra,(that great place of safety) So I thought I'd be left behind.at-any-rate my sister ran and hid from the evil parents this church created The early yrs.of the seperation between my sister & myself came recommended by the ministry they told mom & dad not to look back.so we lost all contact.It took me 22 yrs to find my sister.w'eve been back together almost a year.Does anybody out there really know a way to escape the inner torment.We would take total delight in meeting others face to face that share the same background.THANK YOU FOR THIS SITE!!!!!!!


Music to my ears, Shawn!  You and others like you are the only reason we are here.  But don't feel selfish; the key to recovery for everything, from alcoholism to christianity, is knowing that you are not alone.   Others have traveled the same path, and each one of us finds comfort in knowing that.  Thanks for writing.




I did not note until yesterday that you actually linked to the Church Corporate website. I have sort of gone into hiatus recently and haven't done much, attempting, as it were, to cope with the overload of daily living and beyond in the usual dysfunctional environments with which we all must contend.

I noted that though a lot of my old stuff from cultpsycho had been put up at various websites, the one thing that never made it was the definitions page, which I started by mercilessly purloining the coined expression "pastard" from your site and sort of went from there. I can understand why no one would want to attempt to maintain it: The changing landscape is ugly and tough to keep up with. The best open forum for such things is Ambassador Watch, but, as I mentioned before, I've just tired of the whole thing and left it behind.

As the topic of Ron Weinland's weenie weirdness has sludged to the surface though, I had an epiphany and updated the whole mess and posted it.

If you find any glaring errors or gaffs, let me know and I might be able to fix it.

Thanks for the link from The Painful Truth.

Hope you can enjoy this:


Looks like a fun site, Douglas.  Thanks for the link.


Dear John:

I wonder if it would be all right to ask you if you could remove my email address from your site (at least on the front page).  I have gotten a lot of really nice emails from people, but lately I have been starting to get some very strange ones, and if you could, I don't mind if you leave it up, but please would you remove my email address?

Thank you so much
diane yoder

No problem, Diane.  There are some strange creatures out there.  I don't even post my full name any more, for the same reasons you cite.  Your email address has been removed.


Hello -  

Several years ago, I happened upon your website and read with interest and compassion stories very similar to my own.  My parents joined "the church" when I was quite small and I don't remember a time when we were not involved with them.  We were part of the Tucson church and my childhood was abysmal because of this fucking cult.   

Now, after a few years of really digesting what happened to me and the spiritual abuse that took place, I find myself today looking at your site and seeing how it's developed.  It's great.  People need to know that others suffered too and that they were not alone and are not alone.

 I could share my story with you and you could publish it, but at 50 years old now, I'm past that.  What I am writing you for, urging you to do is to somehow supply contact information for those sick bastards who remain ministers in this cult.  Ronald Reedy was the bane of my existence and man, would I love to give that psychopath a piece of my mind.  And here is his picture as bold as fucking brass on your website, proud as a peacock that he's still part of this claptrap. 

After 3 years in therapy, I was finally able to overcome the terrible dissociative disorder I developed in order to survive the hell I called my childhood.  Most of it was because of that disgusting gutless little worm of a man and his reign of terror.  Week after week, I was forced to sit and listen to him go on about how all children had Satan in their hearts and how they were rebellious and sinful and it was the parents' job to break a child's spirit.  Fortunately for me, my spirit was much more stubborn than anyone realized and I would just love to be able to tell that Armstrong eunich what I think of him.   

I have three great children who are all grown now and believe me, I've raised them 180 degrees from what I grew up with.  They actually know I love them and that I happen to think they're wonderful.  They got praise and I did not beat them, nor spank them.  I taught them.  Like you're supposed to do.  What a concept.  They are three of the most well adjusted young people I know.  My son owns his own business, is married and he and his wife are expecting his first baby in August, my oldest daughter graduated from art school (something I wanted, but I was just supposed to have babies and obey my husband) and is working as a graphic artist and my youngest is in college pursuing an English degree.   

Organized religion still sickens me.  Probably always will.  I remember a few years ago being utterly astounded to find out that other "Christians" viewed God as merciful and good.  Weird.... And seeing this bully's smiling picture infuriates me beyond belief! 

Any chance at all of publishing contact info for these punks?  I'm not suggesting illegal stuff, just general public info.  How therapeutic this would be for people.  I don't want to threaten him-I just want to tell him my truth about what he did.  He probably won't care.  But I do.


 Rebecca Gallo

Well, Rebecca, I totally understand where you're coming from.  But I'm like you...fifty-something and tired of the whole mess.  I don't keep track of those weasels and have no idea where most of  them are today.  I've wasted too much of my life on them and won't give them that much control any more.  You might find some information on them from the folks at the Painful Truth forum if you care to check it out.  Details on the home page.

Thanks for writing.  It looks like you've got a pretty good handle on things, and think of the positive side -- because of your experience, your grandchildren are getting the best love possible.  You survived the WCG holocaust and you'll protect those kids from it with every ounce of your being.  That's a good thing!



Dear Reader,

Audiji says “Now you have an opportunity to ask questions of GOD, the Father and Creator of the Universe, and get answers immediately. This is God’s gift to you.” Audiji has been doing this for 10 years and it has made him wealthy and wise. GOD says HE wants you to have the same opportunity. Find out how by clicking on this website, www.(xxxxx).com  No cost or obligation.

Go fuck yourself, Audiji.  We don't promote cults here.  (Website address distorted to protect the innocent.)

Dear “Are you one of those?”

No spam intended but the reverse; MAPS to your Salvation. 

Go to www.(xxxxx).com click on To Receive Christ-To Believe On Him 

“Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came down to this earth to be born as a baby.   He came in His God or Divine nature and took unto Himself the nature of man.  He was without sin.  The purpose was to be Redeemer from sin and Saviour of those who are drawn to Him.  He died on the cross.  Before doing so, He said about that, "I, if I be lifted up, will draw all unto Me".  He had said previously that the Father would draw some to Him.  Are you one of those?”   

In Christ

Peter & Irene Faulkes

River Heads, Queensland


Good god!  It's an epidemic!



Thank you for your web site.  I read Daughter of Babylon, thank God.  I only associated with the Church of God for two months reading their books -- extremely depressing and terrifying.  I can't begin to imagine what destructive impact long-term association has on people.  And Ronald Weinland said on Feb. 2 in his sermon that church membership has more than doubled recently -- so your site and publications offered are the only hope people have to know the Truth.

Thank you for your courage, strength and wisdom.  I appreciate your help -- God bless you.   

Vickie Bennett

Boise, ID 

There are other websites that tell the truth about these groups, but I'm glad you found ours.  At least one that I can think of is little more than a cult of its own.  We celebrate religious freedom without strings...take it or leave it, we won't judge you (even if we disagree with your choice).  Thanks for writing.



Hey John, 

Speaking of fiction... 

Thought I'd share - I actually got a response from the Worldwide Church of God.  My response... I laughed.  What a load of self-righteous crap. 

Here it is...


Dear Rebecca
I am writing to confirm that I received the email you sent us in which you strongly attacked Mr. Ron Reedy, and in the last paragraph, "all of the WWCG ministers" (or, as you said at the beginning, "anyone else") from the church during the 60s, 70s, and 80s.
I cannot directly answer for Mr. Reedy, of course.  He will have to respond or not respond for himself.
But, speaking now for the Worldwide Church of God, let me say the following about the accusations:  While we believe that your childhood suffering was real, and are deeply saddened to learn of it, nonetheless the church has never taught or condoned the type of parenting or third-party actions about which you complain, and we must respectfully deny that the church was, in fact, the cause of your suffering. 
 I will add, however, for your information, that thousands upon thousands of other persons lived as children of our church members throughout that time and tell positive stories about their parents and their childhood experiences.  The difference in such stories stems, obviously, from the difference in the family dynamics of each case, since the church and those in authority basically ministered to everyone in a similar manner. 
No matter what happened in your life, and no matter what the cause, we nonetheless are deeply saddened to learn of your suffering.  We also believe that your future happiness and your future peace of mind depend upon you working through your anger and finding peace within yourself.  Being tormented by a continuing and vehement hatred of Mr. Reedy, and unnamed other people, will cause you continued suffering unless it is properly resolved in a healthy and constructive manner.  I suspect that you are in no frame of mind to be lectured by us about how a healthy processing should be accomplished.  Therefore, instead of offering any such unwanted advice, allow me respectfully to just suggest, and encourage, you to receive some counseling from a qualified professional whom you trust.
Perhaps your email is actually the first step in coming to grips with your hatred (sometimes psychologists suggest that a patient address anger by confronting the subject of that anger).  If it is, then please be assured that we hear you and that we accept that your suffering was and is real and intense, and that we are deeply saddened to learn of the painful experiences of your youth, whatever their cause. 
It is our hope and prayer that, having sent us your email and received our heartfelt response, you can now move forward to resolve your suffering in a healthy way, which allows you to lead a productive and satisfying life.  Please be assured that our prayers and thoughts are with you for true and lasting peace to enrich your life.
Paul Kroll
Personal Correspondence
Worldwide Church of God 

Didn't you know, Rebecca?   It isn't their responsibility, it's YOUR fault!   Sorta reminds me of the biblical passage where someone finds a wounded and helpless individual and wishes him comfort, but does nothing to help.  Typical totalitarian attitude.



I appreciate your zeal towards denigrating and deconstructing all things Armstrongian.  I have also done much the same in the past.  I would like to disagree politely with a few of your statements, however, not in the spirit of defending any of that garbage that infested all our minds long ago, but rather in defense of honest German history. 

The song "Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken" was not the Nazi Party's marching song.  Here is a decent history of the tune and lyrics:

The tune was written by the colossal German composer Josef Haydn in 1797.  He also incorporated the same tune in a string quartet that he wrote that same year.  The original lyrics were in praise of the Austrian Emperor at that time, and its title was "Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser", meaning "God save Francis the Emperor".  That sounds very much like the British anthem "God Save the King (or Queen)".  Different lyrics were composed in 1841 by August Heinrich Hoffman in order to help convince all the German-speaking people in Europe to unite and form a new country to be called Germany (Deutschland, or German land, German nation).  At that time there were 39 sovereign states in Europe that had German speakers in them, such as Holstein, Luxembourg, Hanover, Bavaria, Saxony, Württemberg, Hesse, Baden, Lübeck, Frankfurt, Bremen, Hamburg, etc.  The dream of a united Germany came to pass a few years later at the end of the Franco-Prussian War when finally the modern nation of Germany was created through the coalescing of all these small areas.  There was no intent in 1841 for this united Germany to rule the entire world, but rather for the hoped-for new nation of Germany to be over all these small, independent areas.  The lyrics were an appeal to stop thinking locally and independently and instead to start thinking nationally.  Read Hoffman's lyrics on the Wikipedia link above and it becomes obvious what Hoffman had in miond.  The Haydn tune with Hoffman's lyrics became the German national anthem.  Some of the Nazis may have dreamed of Germany's ruling the entire world, but much of their propaganda was for the then German nation to grow larger by incorporating even more German-speaking areas in Europe into Germany, such as all of Austria, the Sudeten section of Czechoslovakia in which several million German speakers lived, and the Polish city-state of Danzig in which a large German-speaking population also lived. 

A poem written by the Nazi Party member Horst Wessel was put to music and became the marching song of the paramilitary group Sturmabteilung (SA for short), which means Assault Division.  They were also called Storm Troopers and brown shirts.  It later became the official song of the Nazi Party and the unofficial German national anthem, but the Haydn-Hoffman song was the official national anthem.  See http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/wessel.html for documentation. 

There was also a Russian national song in the purple hymnal that was incorporated by Tchaikovsky in his 1812 Overture. 

Everything we did in those days reinforced the brainwashing from on high that emanated from Deadquarters in Pasadena.  As we sang songs, listened to the man giving the opening or closing prayer, held social functions with each other (pot luck meals, private dinners), in fact in literally everything we did, we were voluntarily and subconsciously reinforcing our own brainwashing.  It is easy to go through any of the song lyrics in that old purple hymnal and deconstruct the brainwashing once one has become unbrainwashed, just as we can now go through ancient booklets, magazine articles, and everything else that ghastly organization published and see the errors, distortions, lies, bogus scholarship, and brainwashing. 

Bill Fairchild
Franklin, TN

Never mind "honest German history", I'm more interested in keeping this website accurate.  Thanks for clearing that up.


Hello friend, 

I grew up in worldwide church of God until the age of 25.  Thank you for your website.  Reading the stories of others made my heart ache as I can relate so completely with them.  I am now an adult of 44 years and I am still "a recovering member".   I think it will be a life time effort to come to terms with the damage this "cult" instilled into my spirit.   I am the oldest of six children, all of whom were raised in WW beginning in 1963.  My parents had just lost their first born son, age 1 year, and the loss put them in a perfect frame of mind to be controlled by the church.  They were afraid of death and afraid of failing God. 

The church didn't support birth control and encouraged large families.  Our family grew, while dad worked longer hours and mom pinched every penny to make ends meet.  Child abuse was prevalent in the church and we were not the exception.  I would often miss school due to the severe bruising on my back, arms and legs.  A child was never allowed to think or have any ideas.  They were to be seen and not heard and anything short of that would result in beatings.  This included beatings from other church members if they saw what was considered wrongful behavior or if (heaven forbid) you were left in their care. 

As the oldest my job was to help with the younger children.  I ended up being one of the only sources of love my younger siblings really knew.  It may sound crazy but in this fear based end time church love was never mentioned.  It was certainly never taught. 

The world was an evil place and we were called out; we were special.  Due to this, interaction with those outside of our parents or other church members was never allowed.  I never spent the night at my grandparents or had the fun of friends.  My friends were my siblings and occasional church acquaintances. 

The church taught that man made customs were evil and days such as Christmas were never celebrated.  A birthday was just another day of the week.  I remember when I was very young a friend in perhaps first grade promised me that if I only believed in Santa he would definitely come that Christmas.  I lay in bed that Christmas Eve and over and over told myself "I believe, I believe"!  Of course, Santa didn't come and I was taking the first steps to becoming the great skeptic I am today.  The only great event I remember was the yearly feast of tabernacles; which I loved.  We were called out, we were special and the feast represented a time when we would be in the great kingdom of God; finally rewarded for our good works.  What a great feeling, huh?

I remember the long church services and the opening sermonettes encouraging record holy day offerings.  My poor parents tithed faithfully over 30% of their income and I know they faithfully paid even more on these high holy days.  I can still remember the standing ovations as the announcement was made that record contributions had been collected. A true sign from God that the end time work must be done; would be done!  At home we never had gifts, never had anything new, never had toys and survived on beans!!  Clothes came from the monthly used clothing table put out at church. 

I never had any real friends at church.  My parents were poor and my dad was shy so we didn't mingle much.  I knew there was a division of the wealthy and the poorer members in the congregation and I knew the ministry was royalty. 

At 17 years old I moved out of my family home and in with some relatives.  I had my first boyfriend and soon became sexually active.  My parents and the church constantly sought every opportunity to break up the relationship.  We married because I thought it was the right thing to do and 4 years and 2 children later we divorced.  I had returned to the church out of deep instilled beliefs and fear for the sins I had made; namely having sex, and marrying outside of the church.  Although the divorce was made legal in 1985 the church did not allow me to date for 3 more years.  The church then sent me a written message stating that the divorce would be allowed and I could date within the church. 

In 1988 I met a man new to the church and we began dating.  We were both adults and it was found out from gossiping church members that we were spending nights together.  We were given the ultimatum of stop dating or get married.  Because of our sexual relationship we were not allowed to return to services until after we were married and after we completed extensive counseling with the minister.  The marriage lasted 13 unhappy years and ended when I found the courage to look at myself, find myself and make decisions for myself.

I am not a member of any religious organization.  I don't have any real drive to need that in my life.  I find great peace in nature and in the love of family and friends.  I have embraced some new age ideas such as meditation and I think it is important to implement peace into your life.  However, this has nothing to do with religion of any sort.  In my view religion is an inherent representation of evil should evil take any form. 

My family is close and we celebrate all the great pagan holy days! ha/ha I have a couple of siblings who carry deep wounds and they refuse to join us for family events such as Christmas gatherings.  I hold no resentments towards my parents because I know them and I know that they joined the church and followed the church doctrines and ministers teachings out of fear.  Fear of the end time, fear of failing God, fear of one of us being hurt and fear of being ostracized by other members.  I love Christmas with my parents now and as they have aged they have made it very clear that they have deep regrets to raising us in the WWC.  Sadly though they are again  members of the church, under Tkach Jr., although they left for many years.  I think this is due to a kinship with other long time members and friends that they have known for decades. 

It has been difficult for me to mix with the world socially due to the isolation I faced as a child.  I always feel as though I am on the outside looking in....I'm different.  This is my greatest struggle. I could go on for hours but I'll leave off here.  Many good wishes to you on your informative website. Thank you for sharing and allowing me to share.


Linda Buchanan


Linda, your letter is a classic and your story a treasure.  I envy you for getting as early as you did.  I can totally relate to your isolation even today.  I'm very much the same way in social situations.  I hate parties and outside of work and family, my wife and I don't associate with anyone.  We don't want to.  We had social activities shoved down our throats for years, usually with people we would rather not associate with.  Now the isolation is welcome, but we also realize that we have lost something that can never be recovered.  Our entire family holds the same attitude toward religion that you do, except that none of us has found (or even want) a substitute.  May I suggest that you try some books by Christopher Hitchens?  His latest is titled god Is Not Great; you can find it at Amazon.  It's a riveting read.

John B



Rebeccas letter is a slightly customized form letter the wcg sends out that expresses the point that they really don't give a damned about anyone. They got the old goats money, why the hell should they care?


Mr. P.

hi Brother,

Proverbs 16:19 (Whole Chapter)
Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.

Proverbs 19:1 (Whole Chapter)
Better a poor man whose walk is blameless than a fool whose lips are perverse.

1 Peter 3:17 (Whole Chapter)
It is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

 If you have a point to make, why don't you make it?  Stop hiding behind obscure quotations from some 2000 year-old novel.




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