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 06/01/08 06:32 PM 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

PT Home Page
Complete Articles Index
Featured Articles
2006 Articles
2005 Articles
2004 Articles
Read the Ambassador Report
Download the Ambassador Report  (Right-click and choose "Save Target") 12.2 megabytes

Email Index
Email The PT

Primary PT Sub-Pages
Herbert W. Armstrong and the Worldwide Church of God Exposed
What About the Bible?
The Age of Reason
Acts of God  
Alcoholism and the Worldwide Church of God   
Suicide and the Worldwide Church of God
Recommended Books
411, Information Please  
Death Notices For The Worldwide Church of God  
Prophecy Index
You might have grown up in the Worldwide Church of God if . . .
Garner Ted Armstrong and Geraldo Rivera Video Download
Stanley Rader on "Sixty Minutes" with Mike Wallace Audio download
The Graveyard Church of God
Google Adwords for Herbert W. Armstrong



Email To The Editor
(Page 101)



I was told about your site by my sister. I grew up in WWCG and the stuff on the "Grown up in Worldwide..." page was amazing. I have three brothers and three sisters who also grew up in "the church". I know I could add a few things to the list:

If you know what D&R means.

If your mom followed the teaching of the principal of D&R even though she was happily married to your dad.

If you heard an entire sermon on what kind of toilet paper you should buy.

If you were told it is okay to lie to the school about where you were or why you couldn't be at school on Saturday but the "long version" of the ten commandments were part of your YES lessons.

You were told that wearing a cross was like wearing a shotgun around your neck because that is what killed Jesus.

You couldn't say "Jesus" unless you called him Jesus Christ as if Christ was his last name.

You had a library of "Just what do you mean..." booklets.

You wanted to write a booklet titled, "Just what do you mean, Dr. Hoeh?"

Adults got excited when Mr. Waterhouse came to your church but you were excited if he finished his sermon in less than 3 1/2 hours.

You knew that when Mr. Waterhouse came to speak, there would be one opening hymn, a short opening prayer, only the most important announcements, no "special music", and then Mr. Waterhouse...finishing (you hope) and having one closing hymn and the closing prayer. This would be followed by the mad dash to the restroom because everyone has been holding their bladder in check forever.

You felt guilty for not going to church even if you were throwing up.

Your mom brought you an annointed cloth after you stayed home from church.

You actually know what an annointed cloth is and how it is to be used.

You know what ESPTSPL represents. (It is the way to remember the seven eras of "God's Church")

You were told and told others that you were a part of the Philadelphian Era.

You can pronounce Tkach.

I am sure I can go on but this is a start. Thanks for setting up this page...it is really interesting to all of us who grew up in the Armstrong era.

" I have seen what a laugh can do. It can transform almost unbearable tears into something bearable, even hopeful." Bob Hope


Good ones, Charles.  Thanks for contributing.




I also had some interaction with the WCG some years ago. You can find it at http://www.hwarmstrong.com/brainwashing-your-fault.htm

It seems this young boy Matt had more compassion on the people then Tkack did. His answers to my anger as you will see show his as naive.

My anger has subsided, however the memories are etched as with an acid. Never again shall I ever put trust in anyone.  Mr. Armstrong and the rest of the ministry destroyed my faith in God and the resurrection.

Why I keep visiting this website? Because sir, there will never be closure. My life is about over and the financial condition I have found myself in will never allow a retirement. Tens of thousand of dollars wasted so that Mr. Armstrong could live a life of opulence. 

Formerly screwedbywcg@hotmail.com.




MY E-MAIL IS     patriciakellar@xxx.com   AND GOD BLESS

Well, Patricia, I forwarded your letter to Ms. Buchanan in case she wants to hear from you.  I personally don't think you have any right to "steer her in [any] direction", but that's between the two of you if she is interested.  As for cults, what makes you think the churches you mentioned are not cults?  Take a look at the next letter to see what I mean.

(Oh, by the way...the caps lock button on your computer has two settings.  You also might want to look into spell-check.)


     I've been a long time reader of your site and have actually found a few things that were "WOW!", even after 2 decades of participating in the pope of Pasadena's pious pith-pushing. Mostly, it's been "Oh, yeah, that."  But it has all been good -- to the point of crisis: What do I believe and where do I go from here? There is a huge drive to get back into "the flock", a flock, some group not associated with HWA, "THE truth", fringe faith, guilt, fear, uncertainty, worth, [a sense of] knowing,  etc.

     It's just not possible for me any more. To me, all churches are some form of cult. They may not be as gung-hu Old Testament as the Dominionist movement, (arguably the closest thing to an HWA/WCoG clone out there) or sacrifice-oriented as Opus Dei, but they all seem to be about power, blind obedience to the leader, abject ignorance of 'the Word' and personal safety via baptism, which induces Gods' obligation to assure their place in the rapture. I just can't handle a good and proper (traditional) christian elitist preaching "Break the least command and you break them all", then giving LGBTs a special place in Hells' sub-basement -- before going home with his fourth+ wife to watch "Sin City" or a Harry Potter demonic no-no, (for those not elevated to the divinely (aka self)-approved level of 'shepherd'. 

    It's been a long and challenging ride; much more so than before I found the site. In other words, your site has acted as a magnifying lens on a pile of smoldering rubbish well soaked in gas and gunpowder. And after enhancing an already explosive hot seat, (which I was still sitting on, btw), I wanted to say, "Thank you!!!" for the help out of the gehenna of god-ism.

     What prompts me to write now is coming accross a Dankenbring article  in which he goes on about GTA and his indescretions, HWA and his incest, etc. Dankenbring closes it with "God will bless us if we do [focus on God alone]!". This is a refrain I often see in articles from christians here and elsewhere. It rang my bell hard this time. Put our focus on Christ and be blessed? Was Gail the stewardess or Dorothy or the WCG suicides or those who developed social or mental problems blessed? Was anyone in the Inquisition, Holocaust or numerous persecutions blessed? This, together with the abyss between tithing and the wonderous benefits thereof as per Mal 3, took me from knowing to realizing. In going from theoretical to fact, I have also crossed the bridge from hearing to doing, albeit with much uncertainty due to years of if/then conditioning and fear programming. I am now completely off the hot seat - and the fence!

     Thank you and all the writers who have contributed. This site is definately one of my favorites!. 

A. Deist (also interested in avoiding christian flamers)

It looks, Mr. Deist, as if you have independently arrived at the secret of the universe.  Although I am no longer a deist, I concur pretty much with everything you said.  Sometimes I think the silver lining from the Armstrong years was coming to the realization that it's all a load of crap.  There is no freedom greater than freedom FROM religion.  Thanks for writing.


If you want to send us an email that you do not want posted on the email pages, specifically mark it PRIVATE and I will consider that request based on the message and the reason that privacy is requested.

recently stumbled onto a blog/forum on ronald weinland.

after many many clicks/links i am disturbed enough to send this email


I don't have a clue what you are trying to say

Firstly, thank you for replying. I sent the prior email after spending a night online discussing world wide church with a former member. Main topic of conversation is Ronald Weinland and his prophecy. Which you may or may not know iinvolve the seals and him being the one true phrophet.I'm concerned on the effect that members and former members seem to be having, its almost ocd in watching april 17 move closer.

I suppose after reading through the painful truth site gave me more concern.

clicking on google brings up a range of Weinland horror happening today in our time.Anyway, thanks for email and reply..iI'm sure your site has been a thought provoker to some.

we live in hope


I have heard of Weinland, On the Ambassador Watch site I think, but  haven't been following it closely. What's your take on the situation?   Does Weinland have any credibility? What do you find disturbing?

 John B

Weinland has crediblity, thats the disturbing part.

disturbing also simply mentioning the name as with Weinland types, any publicity is feeding the cause.

my own personal take is curiosity and I feel I should apologise for even sending email, thats the effect Weinlands following has to a lay person.

once again thank you for email


(this is what i've been following)


I can give you my opinion. Weinland is a kook. He may or may not  believe what he's preaching, but even if he does, he's using it to  make money. He's not just a false prophet, he's a criminal in a land  that offers a free pass to religious criminals. DO NOT BE AFRAID of  2012. I lived in fear of 1975 until 1975, and it never came to pass. This won't either.

John B

Hi again,

My story is a little different, I'm not afraid at all and agree Weinland is a kook and sociopath. Much the sameness.

I lived with a socio for 25 years and the year 2000 for a small sect of catholics was the end of the world.

Rituals performed, the end of the world type stuff.

I live in Australia where apathy is the general rule. Only thing I learned from my experience is altruism isn't a sin.

And irony.

Thank you again,


You're welcome. Don't be disturbed by Weinland.  After he's been proven wrong there will be another one, and others after that.  And some people will always believe them.


Hello John, 

I read this kind persons comments and found them ...interesting.  Somehow I doubt she has ever been in a true cult.  That measure of a mindset is something that you can only comprehend if you have experienced it.  Clearly my story really frightened this reader as it is the truth of a cult.  My story was really a brief synopsis of life in a cult.  You have been there so you know the true pain is unexplainably deeper.  The full story would take a book. 

There are "cult" symptoms in most churches...including new age churches.  But symptoms don't add up to the full blown sickness of a true cult such as worldwide.  

I appreciate this readers concern and compassion.  The true help needs to be for the many many people that are still caught in these cults.  It's not a story...they really exist.  The Worldwide "cult" continues to hurt families, to grow financially on funding from the poor, to preach unholy messages that play on the fears of mankind!!!   

It just has new names. 

Linda Buchanan



I really don't mind giving you comments that you post; if you so choose.  But I appreciate your not giving out my email.  I never want to confront folks.  I prefer to just stick to the facts.

Thanks for all you do.  You have a great website and I am sure it has helped others.  For me it has been very healing.

Have a great day!

Linda Buchanan


Sir...back in the 70's I was baptized by Ron Reedy while attending the Worldwide Church of God and I have always wondered what happened to him. Do you have ANY information on him? 

PS: The email (below) that you received just last month from Rebecca Gallo mentions Ron Reedy as "the bane of" (her) "existence." I would love to communicate with her. Can you put her in touch with me or vice versa? 

--Kenneth Brix

20008 Hereford Drive
Cordes Lakes, AZ  86333

To answer your first question, I really don't know.  There are so many splitoff groups that he may be with one of them, or perhaps wtill with the Tkach group. 

As for Ms. Gallo, I will forward your email to her.  It will be her choice then to contact you in return.  Thanks for writing.

John B


Thanks very much, John.

By the way, I want to compliment you on a really great website for people who have come in contact with the WCG. And I especially appreciate your reproduction of the Ambassador Report articles. I shall never forget the day that my wife wordlessly handed me my first copy of this expose back in 1976. That same day I left Worldwide! 


The AR articles had the same effect on me.  I left within a couple of weeks of reading them.  Unfortunately, I never saw them until 1992.

Thanks for reading the Painful Truth. 

John B



Dear Painful Truth, 

To be quite honest with you, I had not really heard of the Worldwide Church of God until the other night. I came across your website after stumbling upon a book, written by a man who apparently has some history with WCG and Armstrong. He claims that March of 2008 begins the end of days. This man claims to be appointed by God to be "His end-time prophet to the world." 

Of course, searching on the WCG then brought me to your website, which has cost me most of a nights sleep. Fascinating stuff, especially your chronology of the litany of false prophesies of Armstrong. This then provides a stark, expanded view of the man I alluded to at the beginning (Weinland), who seems to have learned nothing from history, as he is still at it... setting himself up to be exposed yet this year. 

I understand how you have come to an agnostic view following your experiences. I also see that many have shared their faith and attempted to persuade you to reconsider your views of Christianity, so I don't write with any expectation that "my words" will have any more effect on your psyche than did the others.  

But... just as I can read and empathize with the numerous writers who are sharing horrific stories about life in the WCG, you must surely empathize with the desire of "non-WCG believers" to reach out to those who have been misdirected and disenchanted by what we would identify as false prophets/teachers. In fact, by your desire to invalidate the Bible, you forgo your best hope to view any meaningful justice. The fate of false prophets/teachers is made very clear. 

Here is my concern for you and those you hope to influence. In your hyper-sensitized state of mind, you now demand proof for that which is beyond the ability of man to prove. When Moses asked God, who should I say your are, God answered in the only way that He could...  I am that I am.  You say that you cannot tolerate the idea that God has always been. Yet, there is no possible good answer to the universe, even if one discounts God completely. Before the universe what was there?   

If there was a big bang and all the matter in the universe began to expand, then what was it that surrounded the clump of matter before the bang?  There is no way to reconcile such questions from the perspective of mankind as finite beings, and thus... there is no particular expectation that we should be able to explain God either.  

We are three dimensional creatures, barely capable of acknowledging other dimensions. For us, there must always be a beginning and an ending.  The universe must have come to be, but out of what? If it was just a big void, then where did the void come from? It simply does not work out, no matter what angle you came at it, but undeniably there is an answer, because the universe does exist, and if there was a void, the void existed. What about life itself? Why in all the billions of years that we assume the universe has existed, not to mention just our miniscule corner of it, did life just suddenly appear now, relatively speaking?  

Thus, we have no choice but to accept much of our reality on faith, whether it includes the supreme being we know as God or not. 

There is no "safety" or "solution" for such questions in agnostic thinking. Rather, you simply run the risk of doing unto others that which has been done unto you. Leading folks down a path that can yield no answers, and perhaps down the road to tragic consequences. And if you are wrong, then you will be no better than the wicked men who you have grown to despise. 

I don't care if you publish this or not. If you do, you may do so with my name and email address.  

I hold no allegiance to any religious organization, especially not to any group that would seek to "explain" what the Bible "really" means. There is, in the scriptures that have been assembled, a recognizable God, a problem described as man's separation from God, and God's simple offer to reconcile that problem. It doesn't cost money, nor does it require an adherence to legalistic requirements as determined by the vote of some assemblage of men. The message is and was simple, unsophisticated, and difficult to accept only because of our innate desire to have things work according to our own ability to manipulate them. 

I am Phil Harris of Lincoln, Nebraska, and I can be written to here: read.my.bits@gmail.com if anyone so desires. 

I have few answers to the perplexing questions that we all have. But, there is a basic "gut" feeling in me that provides reason enough to cling onto my faith. As far as the other non-Christian views go... well, they just don't evoke the same "gut" feeling for me.  I will know the answers in thirty or forty years. Everyone else will too. Some sooner, and some later.


 Phil, it isn't often that someone with an opposing point of view writes such an intelligent, even-handed letter.  Yours is excellent, and deserves consideration.  You make a number of good points that I won't attempt to refute, but I would like to reproduce some of your points and address them below.

First of all, congratulations on never having heard of the WCG.  I wish I never had.

As for Weinland, I only recently heard of him myself.  The WCG produced a number of unbalanced individuals, many of them "ministers", who have gone on to prove that narcissism and religion can be a lethal cocktail that rots the mind and produces mental illness.  This may be the case with Weinland, or he may have just tapped into the fundamental realization that fear sells better than Jesus does.  Weinland can terrify people and milk their bank accounts, then "discover" that he "miscalculated", set a new date, and continue the milking.  This is more likely what he is doing.

I don't write with any expectation that "my words" will have any more effect on your psyche than did the others.  

That's absolutely correct, but when dealing with intelligent people, the debate can be stimulating.

you must surely empathize with the desire of "non-WCG believers" to reach out to those who have been misdirected and disenchanted by what we would identify as false prophets/teachers.

I do.  Unfortunately, many of them are hostile, snotty, and condescending.  That's no way to persuade anyone.  The others simply haven't traveled the same path we have, and can't possibly understand how silly their arguments sometimes sound.  (And for the record, not everyone who escaped the WCG cult has rejected the faith.  I would estimate that perhaps half are still believers.)

Here is my concern for you and those you hope to influence. In your hyper-sensitized state of mind, you now demand proof for that which is beyond the ability of man to prove.

"Prove all things and hold fast that which is good."  It's in the Bible.

You say that you cannot tolerate the idea that God has always been. Yet, there is no possible good answer to the universe, even if one discounts God completely. Before the universe what was there?   

The only context in which that question would be important is a religious one, in which the believer seeks to counter the evolutionary view of beginnings.  Knowing the answer is of no practical importance in any other context that I can think of.  The answer doesn't pay my bills, feed my kids, or heat my house.  I simply do not need to know the answer.  Speculation is fun, but so is baseball.

If there was a big bang and all the matter in the universe began to expand, then what was it that surrounded the clump of matter before the bang?  There is no way to reconcile such questions from the perspective of mankind as finite beings, and thus... there is no particular expectation that we should be able to explain God either.  

I have a HUGE problem with the big bang theory.  I have an even bigger problem with the Genesis theory.  But again, it's of no practical importance to anyone. 

Thus, we have no choice but to accept much of our reality on faith, whether it includes the supreme being we know as God or not. 

Some people have faith in evolution, others have faith in God.  At least with evolution, there is some scientific observation from which the theories are derived.  Personally, I'm not fully persuaded by either.

There is no "safety" or "solution" for such questions in agnostic thinking. Rather, you simply run the risk of doing unto others that which has been done unto you. Leading folks down a path that can yield no answers, and perhaps down the road to tragic consequences.

I'm not trying to "lead" anyone anywhere.  This site contains many articles written by many different people; much is fact and the rest is opinion.  The primary purpose of The Painful Truth is to warn people about the cults, and secondarily to urge them to think clearly about religion in general.  People are free to make their own decisions and choices.  While I might disagree with the conclusions of anyone who reads these pages, I fully respect their right to draw those conclusions.

And if you are wrong, then you will be no better than the wicked men who you have grown to despise. 

What if I'm right and you're wrong?  If I'm right, no one will have been hurt.  If you're wrong, millions of people will have wasted their lives and fortunes chasing after a non-existent reward, wasting their sole opportunity to live life to the fullest.  This is serious stuff.

There is, in the scriptures that have been assembled (...)

Ah, there's a good point!  The scriptures that have been assembled.  Do you ever watch the History Channel?  They frequently air documentaries about biblical times and the history of religion.  Some of those programs deal with what was and was not "assembled", all according to the whim of the Catholic fathers in the early First Millennium.  Many books were discarded because they didn't fit the story as the assemblers wanted it told.  Others contradicted what is now dogma.  Who is to say that what was left out was not true or supremely important to a correct understanding of what happened and what is expected of us?  Do you think God divinely guided those assemblers of the scripture to make sure only the right stuff got included?  I don't, not in light of the fact that what did get included is filled with conflicts and contradictions.

There is, in the scriptures that have been assembled, a recognizable God, a problem described as man's separation from God, and God's simple offer to reconcile that problem.

The world is full of gods.  Why do we seem to think the Hebrew god is the only viable choice?  Why not the Greek gods, the Roman gods, the Hindu gods, or the Norse gods?  Or the Egyptian or Babylonian gods?  We have tens of thousands of deities, major and minor, to choose from.  Why do we choose Christianity?  Could it be because the old stories are too fanciful and ridiculous to believe?  Zeus throwing lightning bolts from Olympus, various gods having sex with humans, gods fighting each other...it's all superstition, isn't it?  Nothing there that any modern person could take seriously.

Then there's the God of the Old Testament, waging a war with Lucifer, killing people with lightning bolts because they disobeyed some simple command, ordering his followers to kill others because of their unbelief, having sex with a teenaged virgin to produce a Halfling who would save mankind, getting the Halfling murdered and then raising him from the dead.  Pretty fantastic, isn't it?   And other stories as well -- a talking jackass, people raised from the dead, entire cities wiped out by fire from heaven, a flood that encompassed the whole world (and a boat big enough to save all the animals); an entire nation brought to its knees by a plague, the firstborn slaughtered by an angel of death, rivers turning to blood...it goes on and on, none of it historically verifiable. If we hung a Greek or Roman name on any of these characters we'd be laughing all the way to forum.

It doesn't cost money, nor does it require an adherence to legalistic requirements as determined by the vote of some assemblage of men.

Oh!  Try again.  Keep reading Painful Truth articles, and check out your local televangelist.  It costs LOTS of money!

The message is and was simple, unsophisticated, and difficult to accept only because of our innate desire to have things work according to our own ability to manipulate them. 

It's difficult to accept because the whole thing is ridiculous.  (Ridiculous = worthy of ridicule)  It also isn't unique.  Many religions, perhaps all of them to some extent, offer salvation in some form if one is true to the faith.  Again, why do we choose the Christian god over all the others?

I have few answers to the perplexing questions that we all have.

I have no perplexing questions.  I did at one time, but I never would have if someone in my childhood hadn't told me I should have them.  I am quite certain that we live and we die and that's it, with nothing to follow.  If I'm right, then offering someone a false hope of an afterlife is particularly cruel and unusual, especially when people are taught to deny themselves in this life so they can harvest their reward in the next.  If there is no "next", they have squandered this life and will never get it back.

But, there is a basic "gut" feeling in me that provides reason enough to cling onto my faith. As far as the other non-Christian views go... well, they just don't evoke the same "gut" feeling for me.  I will know the answers in thirty or forty years. Everyone else will too. Some sooner, and some later.

I guess you have to go with your gut, even if it's wrong.  As for faith, the true definition is "believing in something without any evidence whatsoever", usually because we want to or have been conned into believing it's the right thing to do.  Religious faith is the most insidious "virtue" of all, because it is an anti-virtue.  We may encounter evidence that something is not true, but because of our faith we will not even weigh that evidence.  That is truly tragic, even self-destructive.   

Phil, it's been fun.  Thanks for writing, and I hope you will continue to read The Painful Truth.

John B



(Ed. note: in the interest of saving time and space, my replies to Phil are interspersed below in green.)


Thanks for your response. Not trying to prolong the "debate", but if we were chatting over a beer or three, I would have responded to a couple of your points for sure.  

Regarding the consequences of who is right or wrong.... 

"What if I'm right and you're wrong?  If I'm right, no one will have been hurt.  If you're wrong, millions of people will have wasted their lives and fortunes chasing after a non-existent reward, wasting their sole opportunity to live life to the fullest.  This is serious stuff.

John... if I am wrong, and you are right, there will be no consequence at all. There will be no tragic wasted opportunity to live life to the fullest, because tragic implies there will be a point when one may regret one's actions. If you are right, John, then at the end there will be nothing. No looking back, no regret for any action taken or not taken, just nothing. You will simply fizzle, the lights will dim, and the universe will continue as if you never existed. Certainly there will be nothing lost, and there will be nothing mourned, because there is no more you to do the regretting and mourning. 

I suppose there is some comfort in that, because it eliminates completely the idea of being held accountable for what we have done in our lives, or the things we have left undone. But, if you are wrong, and I am right, the consequences are quite enormous and on an eternal scale. If you are wrong, and I am right, there will have been the lost opportunity to reconcile with the great "I Am", and there will be eternity in which to regret the decision. 

True enough, and that's where religion fails the individual.  Religion and "faith' offer one the opportunity to be a complete loser and still win in the end, or alternatively, to wreak havoc in the lives of others and find forgiveness at the last minute.  Under my theory, we only pass this way once, and we had damn well better take care of each other along the way.  If people were taught this from childhood, I believe the world would be a better place.

I think you missed my point a bit regarding the simplicity of "the faith", stripped of the adornments and corruptions of mankind... 

Perhaps I did, but I think you also missed my point (or failed to comment on it) that faith is illogical and unreasonable when it points to an invisible man in the sky that no one has ever seen.  One could have faith in Santa Claus or the Easter bunny, but we smile at that kind of faith as a childish fantasy.  Why is the invisible man in the sky any less childish a fantasy?

"It doesn't cost money, nor does it require an adherence to legalistic requirements as determined by the vote of some assemblage of men.  Oh!  Try again.  Keep reading Painful Truth articles, and check out your local televangelist.  It costs LOTS of money!"

My point was that when one rips the ugly scabs of corruption, and those opportunistic attempts by con-men to manipulate people under the guise of Christianity, there is NO demand for money and in fact NO demand for adherence to a set of rules or regulations. Jesus pointed out that no one's value has anything to do with reconciling with God. He said to the rich man, give away your fortune and follow me. He DID NOT say... give your fortune to me and get in line with the rest.  Jesus also ridiculed the hypocrites about their pompous demand that the Law be followed as the be-all, end-all. He basically told the "religious" to "stuff it" <my words> when they had a tizzy-fit about his followers who gathered grain to eat on the Sabbath. Jesus also was keen to reach out to the "worst" of us. The tax-collector, the woman at the well, the woman who was to be stoned for adultery, the criminal who hung by his side on the cross. These are all examples of the simple gift offered to man by God, expecting nothing in return. No payment, no religious test... only the willingness to accept the gift by faith.

If Jesus actually lived, and if he actually said all those things, then he was remarkable indeed (except for giving away all your money and following him...sounds pretty socialistic to me, and socialism, like Christianity, has been repeatedly proven not to work).  The problem is that no one, aside from the isolated individual exception, follows his teaching.  Christianity has NEVER, to my knowledge, been true to those admonitions.  Instead, Christianity (and most other religions) offers evil men the excuse they need to commit the most god-awful (there's an ironic term for you!) atrocities the world has ever seen.  As I said on the Mini-Thoughts page, most people seem to argue that Christianity is a good idea, but just hasn't been tried yet by the right people.  In other words, for 2000 years it has been a dismal failure.

There is an extraordinary effort given to examine and offer alternative explanations. I have watched the numerous programs on the History channel, and I also recall the program by the late Peter Jennings as well.  Mohamed was keen to explain Jesus too, and it is fascinating how much the Koran devotes to debunking Jesus as "the answer", even while acknowledging Jesus as something more than a man. The Koran goes so far as to claim that Jesus was not actually killed on the cross. Why?  Because, if Jesus was killed at the crucifixion and then defeated death and rose again (having been seen by many, and thus requiring an explanation), then that would be the "End-of-Story".  

Jesus would have proven to be the way, the truth, and the life as Jesus said he was.  The great mission of Satan is to rid the world of Jesus, God the Son.  Satan can get rid of Jesus by "explaining who Jesus really was".  This has long been the case and is evident for Muslims, Messiah-rejecting Jews, and those who behold the "Scientific Method" as their enlightened answer.  Jesus may also be eliminated if one first eliminates the great "I Am", for if there is no God, then there is no God's Son Jesus, and no need for redemption. 

Here's something for you to think about: If you had been born in the Middle East or Asia, you and I would be debating the tenets of Islam or Buddhism rather than Christianity.  What strikes me is that you automatically assume that Judaism and Islam are wrong and Christianity is right.  I know you have your logical reasons for that, but if you had been raised by parents from another culture you would have a different faith and all the reasons you need to defend it as well.  How do you know, unequivocally, that your faith is the right one and all the others are not?  How do you know there is a Satan, much less a God?  You have no physical evidence, no scientific proof, but you have all the arguments you need to enable you to sleep at night confident that you haven't made a gross error.  There is a reason it's called "faith", and the reason is that there is no evidence for it -- any of it -- whatsoever.

And no need for redemption either.

The key to my lack of cynicism, and therefore the retention of my faith, is to eliminate the corrupt, manipulating adornments of those who proclaim themselves (or their particular flavor of "Christianity") to be the correct way to God and salvation. Perhaps the most eye opening moment in my journey was when I became aware that our modern languages fail to translate fully. Jesus spoke of the forgiveness of sin in the (Aorist Tense), which when used in this way, the forgiveness of sin is, "an effective, successful, single, one-time action." It loosely means that sins past, present, and future are forgiven, due to the work of Jesus, and it is not something that Jesus must do repetitively, for his work is complete once the believer accepts the gift.   

When someone says, you have to have a priest do "whatever" in order to be saved, or you must observe this or that holy day unless the most-high bishop gives you a pass, or you have to do this, that, thus, and such, in order to be saved, or you have to give n% of your income in order to prove you are worthy.... well, that just flies in the face of Jesus, and the fact that His work is finished. So, as you can see, it is possible to reject the corrupt bathwater, and keep the Baby.  

Just for the record, I don't believe that cynicism and skepticism are the same thing.  I generally detest cynics when I run across them, because to a cynic absolutely nothing is sacred.  As for Jesus, if you can show me absolute proof that he ever existed, and that the words passed down to us actually came from him, then I might reconsider my position.  So far, aside from the Bible, which is demonstrably erroneous, I am not aware of any contemporary witnesses to his actual existence.  That makes it very difficult for me to take him seriously.  But, with all respect to you, if Jesus works for you, then hang on to him.  But he doesn't work for me.

As always, if you choose to share our conversation, that is fine by me.  

Take care, 

Phil Harris

Again, Phil, it's been a pleasure.  I hope you will continue to read our website.  May I recommend, if you haven't already seen it, the "Acts of God" page.

John B



An Open Letter to Phil Harris 

Hi Phil, 

I wanted to add some thoughts to the response by the Editor. He needs no help from me but It is rare to have a theist write in who has obviously taken some time to write an open letter free from theistic vitriol, ill-will, condemnation and superior airs. 

First off, it is interesting to hear from one who comes forward free from the baggage of WCG involvement. We ex-WCG folks have many hangups as we have been very badly damaged--some by the cult and some by the concept of judgmental Christianity itself. It's a big subject. 

You wrote that your god "is beyond the ability of man to prove" and that we should not expect to "be able to explain God." That is refreshing honesty. But it does beg for the reason one should believe in any god among the hundreds men have invented.  

I am pleased that you are able to admit that you do not know what you worship. This has been my charge in the past and it is refreshing when a theist admits it.

The Christian is in an indefensible position when he admits his ignorance about his god. I spent over 25 years in that position. It was somehow a badge of honor to have a god I could describe with only a string of attributes to prop it up. 

You made reference to the editor's agnosticism stemming from his experience. You said you could understand. I won't speak to that as that is his experience. But I note that many theists think that it is foolish to turn one's back on god just because of the actions of evil men.  

I am an atheist. That is I lack belief in any gods including the Christian one. I arrived at this position three years after my exit from the cult. I decided to read what atheists said about their position rather than accept what unprincipled men and the Bible said about atheists. I simply found that well thought out atheism had the better argument in the god/nogod debate. There is a wealth of good information on the internet these days concerning the debate. (An excellent recent book is The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins.) 

You refer to "those who have been misdirected and disenchanted by what we would identify as false prophets/teachers." Well there are certainly those evil men in the cults as well as folks who have walked away from those same cults because of those evil representatives. My claim is to not think you are free simply because of walking away from any particular system of abuse. One can only claim freedom when religion itself is trashed as it should be along with theism. But it takes courage and intense interest to be fully free as I feel I am today after about 12 years of atheism. 

The point I am making is that you have to consider that some become atheists simply because they took time to understand the argument. I am one. 

You made reference to the editor's "desire to invalidate the Bible." Simply put, the Bible invalidates itself. It's interesting that many people have become atheists simply by reading it fully one time.

Your letter had the usual list of difficult questions to be answered in hoping to trip up the non-believer in seeking a defensive position. The theist refers all of them to the "god of the gaps." The lazy mind chooses this course. Got a big question? Throw in the "god of the gaps." It's much easier than to spend the time to seek and attempt to understand scientific answers thus eliminating some of the gaps in knowledge. Just think how far man's knowledge has extended when scientific knowledge was sought rather than further superstition. (Read the Demon-Haunted World  by Carl Sagan.) The happy thought is that as man's knowledge increases religion is falling behind. Not many today in the Western world think thunder is the result of the gods bowling or that he sun goes around the earth. 

"Thus we have no choice but to accept much of our reality on faith..." 

If "faith" means the religious belief without evidence then you are misusing the word within the context. We accept reality for what it is...real. A is A.  Your use of "faith" is to either obscure the discussion or somehow equate religious faith to scientific knowledge. Your conclusion above is demonstrably false. 

Anyways, each of your six questions can be handled scientifically without resorting to the "god of the gap" and people will be led to acceptable answers.

You sound like a reasonable man that would accept that premise. You just haven't been reading the helpful books that exist to answer many of your questions. My argument against theism is that it stifles healthy inquiry. No one in the Bible is ever praised for being intelligent.

"There is, in the scriptures that have been assembled, a recognizable God..." 

Recognizable? That is simply in plain contradiction to your earlier statement. That is a common outcome when trying to defend the indefensible. 

It seems at the conclusion of your letter you realized that what you have written is not going to be very effective. So you then refer to "a basic 'gut' feeling...that provides reason enough to cling onto my faith." I'm sorry, Phil, your feelings are no more persuasive than those of the Muslim, the Mormon, or the Catholic. Why should anyone lean on what your "gut" tells you? Why even should you? It's sad to see that is really all you have in conclusion--a feeling in your gut.  A good question for you is--Where did that come from? I had that gut feeling one time when I was a Christian. After I traced its source I was able to admit the feeling was the result of being manipulated by men. I wasn't born with it. I was simply reacting to plain old subjectiveness--a dangerous course and often fraught with error. Boy! Do I know that! 

Please write again. 

Jim Baldwin



Editorial note: Bill Fairchild has submitted a lengthy commentary on recent emails.  To read it, click  here.



Hello, I am an ex-member of WCG. I left the church in the summer of 1995. To some degree I was thankful to Joe Tkach Sr. for opening the Pandora's box that revealed to me the destructive nature of the WCG and the hypocrisy of the leadership.

Through friends I had access to the Ambassador Report and other info that exposed the WCG as the scam that it was. The person that I should really be thankful to is Earl Williams. My friends listened to many of his tapes and had advanced knowledge of the changes that where announced in early 1995.

I understand that Mr. Williams forced the hand of Joe Sr. and the doctrinal changes that where announced in 1995 where not to be made until maybe years later.

My admiration of Joe Sr. and Joe Jr. quickly diminished when I realized that their main goal was not to free people from a repressive religious system but to perpetuate it.

I consider myself a free thinker and an agnostic. My friends have basically embraced main stream Christianity. I have been told by one of them that I am in danger of going to hell for having some doubts that God exists. They also have told me that this web site and some that contribute to it are bitter and angry I shouldn't be spending time on it. I wish that they could see what I see but at least they are better off for not being slaves to Armstrongism. Or are they now slaves to mainstream religion and all the harmful beliefs of that system?

[name withheld by request]

In my opinion, anyone who practices religion in any form is probably doing it for the wrong reason; i.e., they think they are supposed to do it, or they labor under the misapprehension that not doing so will cause them  to be damned.  In that sense they are all slaves.  But I suppose it's better to be a slave to the mainstream to a fringe cult.



Just spent some time looking at the BS that Gerald Flurry's son has written about the Tkach regime undermining the Armstrong regime. Stephen Flurry points out the Joe Tkach Sr. appointed himself apostle but goes into overdrive on praising HWA not mentioning any of the self-proclaimed BS he handed out in his time as the Pastor General and apostle of WCG. I haven't gone through as much of your website as I probably need to but I hope that you have something on Gerald Blurry's...er...Flurry's endless tripe. Thanks for all you do for those of us who have escaped the cult.

Oh yeah, if you weren't even able to say "Lord" but had to say "Eternal" even when it is plainly written in the scripture you are reading...you might have grown up in the WCG. (That was on Flurry's show today).


If you put "Flurry" in the search box at the bottom of the main page, you'll find quite a few articles on the man.  He's a piece of work.



Please don't be mad if I goofed and missed that you answered this question. I honestly tried to find the answer on your FAQ and didn't see it.

I've been reading your site and it's a real breath of fresh air to me. I just married into a family that has 3 members of the United Church of God, the offshoot from the failed WCG. One is my mother in law and she simply will not stop assaulting me with pamphlets written by the late Armstrong and the other day she actually called him an Apostle.

I think she's nuts....but I can't hope to help her see how awful her loyalty to this dead pervert is by attacking him full on.

I am wondering just what exactly it took for your eyes to be opened....what exactly ANY of the people on your site experienced that I might find useful in helping to expose how badly she's been violated and continues to be with this new group. She is REALLY poor and 68 years old, yet she continues to keep this 3 tithe system. It's a burden and it's ridiculous. Any direction you can point me in with this might help immensely.

Thanks for whatever assistance you can provide.


Nobody here is going to get mad at you. I'm glad you took the time to write.

You are in a very tough position. Your mother-in-law isn't going to take your word for it, or anyone else's word for it. She sounds like a "true believer", which means she already knows the truth and everyone else is deceived. Anything you say to her will be considered proof that you are deceived.

I do have one suggestion. When I first became willing to read something that wasn't written by WCG, almost the first thing I read was a book by a man who had once been a very high-ranking minister in WCG. His name was Ernest Martin, and he was well respected even after he left the cult. The book was called
The Tithing Fallacy. You can find a link to it on our main web page in the left-hand column. I recommend you get that book, read it yourself, and then see if she will read it. That book proved to me, beyond a doubt, that WCG was only in it for the money. They had us paying 3 tithes, but this book shows that the Bible only requires 1. If she will read it (and that's a BIG if), it may not convince her, but it might plant seeds of doubt.

Good luck, and let me know how it goes.

John B


Dear John,

Thanks so much for directing me to this book and the prompt response.

Truth be told, she almost has to read this considering how I have been willing read all she's handed me (and boy did HWA write his tail off during his run! I think I've read it all and a few twice.)

I only became a Christian myself (follower of Christ is more how I'd term my beliefs) a year ago and I was almost immediately sucked into the propaganda of The Good News magazine. I met a guy who was raised WCG and who had family in UCG now, and we wound up married, by and large, because we thought our faith was so similar it must be fate.

Imagine how bizarre it was when I moved 2,400 miles to marry him and THEN learned his family was in a cult. But if God has a purpose here I would say I was sent to help save my husband from being sucked back into the newer version of the old WCG. I began to study my bible, spending hours a day looking at the actual doctrines of UCG and comparing this to scripture. It took me about 3 weeks to amass all the evidence I needed to begin to frame my rebuttal. That was 3 months ago and I've not stopped yet.

This was big bad news for my new mother in law. She initially thought I was a blessing for the family but I think she is starting to think I'm a wolf in sheep's clothing. And we live right next door to her.

Since I started pulling on this thread I've found endless sites dealing with the financial fleecing and doctrinal rip offs of HWA. It's absolutely heartbreaking and I feel sadness and anger over what so many went without during their time with him. Not even a warm fuzzy came out of any of it. It's nothing short of Spiritual terrorism.

I WILL grab this book and check it out first before I hand it over but she is probably going to go all legalese on me.....I have no illusions that if I were to shatter this reality of hers, I in effect will have illuminated that the last 40 years of her life were based on bull dung. That kind of revelation can send some people over the edge.

I most certainly will let you know how this plays out.

Thanks again for the site and for the advice here.



I hope it works out, Karla. Thanks for the additional information.

If you have no objection, I'd like to post your emails at the website. I can remove your name if you wish. Odds are you'll get additional advice from others who have walked in your shoes, in the form of letters to the editor. Situations like yours are one of the reasons we exist, although we don't try to force anything on anyone. We just want to stand as a witness to what has been done and is still happening.

Any chance your mother-in-law would be willing to look at the website? She can learn more than she wants to know, like Armstrong's incest and other crimes.


I will take whatever help I can get and if by some chance somebody else gets something out of this that's great. By all means, post away.

Get her to look at the site??? Hmmm, I suppose I might but I don't know how in-depth she'd get and I think the surest way to have her turn and run real fast would be to mention the incest thing too early. I'm hoping the tithing and plagiarism are good places to start.

I am open to using my first name, she'd know it was me based on information I'd given anyhow, if she looks. And I am most certainly not ashamed of what I am doing.

Again, I thank you and look forward to whatever response my pleas draw.



Dear Painful Truth,

Hearty Greetings from Holland!

Many times I return to the PT site to read articles which are very interesting. I also found a download in PDF file, the Ambassador Report.

Besides the fact that this  is an eye-opening and mind boggling story, this download is very interesting to me for it's 'lay out'.  By  this I do mean, I want to understand (and learn about) how this PDF file is made up, with all its chapters.

First you have the lead in: Welcome to Ambassador Report, and than the following chapters.

This is so interesting to me, because I do wish to learn how this is to be done.

It appears the same manner as the Windows files, first file and than sub file. I don't get the knowledge how this has been done.

I do want to learn to use this skill for making such 'books' from my own articles.

I would be very thankful If You could explain in short how this can be done, and what is needed to do this.

Thank You very much in forward for explaining this to me, and for the wonderful articles as well.



Frans J. M. hendriks



Greetings, Frans.  My son visited your country just last year.  He loved it there.

I wasn't involved in the Ambassador Report project, so I can't answer you exactly.  What I can tell you is that you can create pdf files from documents or web pages using Adobe Acrobat Professional 6.0 and later.  (I don't think you can do it with the free, downloadable version, however.)  Once you have the Adobe software, you can create pdf files from within Acrobat or you can do it from Windows by using the Print option.  When you use the Print option, you can select which printer you want to use, and Adobe Acrobat will appear on the printer list.  Select it and your document will be converted into a pdf file.  Visit the Adobe website for more information.



Hi there,
I wondered if you might be able to put out an info request on the PT site.  I was just Googling a few names of people I knew way back when.  One of the names I searched for is Joe/Joseph Nazarini.  Joe and I were dorm mates in our first year at AC-Pasadena (1971-72), and became very good friends.  Eventually he married Denise Branham, but later it was my understanding that they had divorced.  Several years ago I found out his at-the-time mailing address; he was back in his home town of Youngstown, OH.  I sent him a letter to ask how he was doing, and he sent a brief reply on a postcard, promising to write again, but I heard nothing further from him.
Today when I Googled his name, I got one or two sites I'd seen before (a mention of him in an early '80s edition of Ambassador Report, which is where I learned that he and Denise were divorced), but then other very disturbing things came up, on the websites of a couple of local media for the Youngstown area.  It seems that in February 2004, 55-year-old Joseph P. Nazarini, resident of the Youngstown suburb of Boardman, stabbed his wife (interestingly named Denise), age 52, to death.  He stayed with the body overnight, then called the police the next day.  He pleaded not guilty due to insanity.  As of sometime last year, his case was still floundering, partly due to a long process of acquiring mental health information about him from different places, including California.  I don't know whether the trial finally took place or not. 
Obviously I'm wondering if this is the Joe Nazarini that I knew; and if so, had he at some point remarried his ex-wife, or was his second wife coincidentally named Denise.  The age at the time of the killing seems right on for both the Joe and Denise that I knew long ago.  So I'm wondering if there's a way that you can put up an info request to your readers.  Someone out there might know of this and could respond; others might have known Joe and/or Denise, and would be interested, as I am, to know if these are the people we knew.  Perhaps someone out there has deeper research sources than I have (or a better way of searching), and would dig for information.
Thanks for any help you might be able to lend.  I understand if it's not something you'd be inclined to put on the site.  But since it's (possibly) dealing with folks formerly in the WCG...
Best regards,
Francis Penkava
P.S.  Here are a couple of sites, one breaking the news of the stabbing, the second one being about the very slow pace of getting the case to trial:

Here's hoping some of our readers might have some information.  This will also be posted on the 411 page.



thanx 4 your expose on herbies incest  u seem 2b a perspicacious bloke so i covet your opinion  i was a dyed in the wool fundamentalist decades  the whole bit including endless conscious punishment 4 the 'unsaved'  then i decided that god was eventually going to save all men and angels  this cost me friendship  then a miracle or 2 happened   i interpreted this 2 mean i was right  what think you ?  


I would need more information to make a judgment, like what were the miracles? Generally speaking, I do not believe in miracles from above, and people have a tendency to interpret events the way they want to (at least I do). I would agree that, if one accepts the concept of a “loving God”, it makes no sense that he would make salvation so difficult that only a few could achieve it. Religious leaders use damnation as a weapon against their flocks to increase their own personal wealth and power, so you are probably closer to the truth than they are.


thanx 4 the prompt reply p t (1) i was going to town & found $100 in me wallet that wasnt there b4  drove straight in not the usual way & was picked up speeding & fined $100!? more remarkable nobody in my remote farmhouse put it there (2) i lost my pension card that night i turned on the idiot box with the remote went 4 coffee & returned 2 find it sitting on the remote  i am not saying someone like say mugabe gets off scot free just that finally no matter how long it takes we will all make it  church history indicates this was the original viewpoint of the church  cheers  i am ken  shem is my son  cheers

What looks like a miracle to you might simply be someone playing a joke on you (in the case of the pension card) or you might be over 50 and can't find your glasses on top of your head (like me).  Otherwise, one might interpret the $100 exchange as a simple matter of natural balance, such as water finding its own level or the market stabilizing after a fluctuation.  Hard to say.  Anyway, great to hear from you. 



I am a former WCGer and I like to moniter sites of some of the splinter groups from time to time.

It seems that Triumph Prophetic Ministries which is run by William Dankenbring has just vanished from the internet a few weeks ago.  Does anyone know what happened to this group ?



I'll post your question and see if anyone responds.  In the meantime, you might check out Ambassador Watch and some of the websites linked from there.  Those guys keep a fairly close watch on the activities of the spin-offs, which I don't.


Hi John,

"Purplehymnal" here, I don't know if you were aware or not, but I started a Weinland site in late Jan. of this year. You can find it here:


It has been a startling four months, to say the least. I linked your "Death Sentence" article because I feel it is very close to what teenagers in Weinland's church are feeling and thinking right now, some forty-odd years after the first go-round of this. According to Weinland, the Great Trib. began on April 17th, but all the death and destruction he was predicting has now been moved ahead to the day after Pentecost. Previously in a sermon he had said that he would step down in the destruction did not happen BY Pentecost, now it is AFTER Pentecost. We've all been there before right? It looks as though Weinland might actually believe his own theology however, which is even more disheartening. His April 19th sermon was a real eye-opener, to say the least. I am sure you have read the highlights over on Ambassador Watch.

My point though (I am getting to one LOL) is that a few weeks back, Weinland had made a big deal about how the church's policy on children had changed, and he basically read from the church's web site saying that underage teens were no longer be granted admittance to the church, and elders were supposed to turn them back to their parents.

All well and good right? Well a recent commenter on the blog tells me now that underage members who were baptized prior to this ruling are still members.

Yeah. Big surprise right? And now they are going through all the same motions as the teenagers back in the '60s and '70s did, getting married young and having kids because they won't have the chance to.

(And in the meantime, this Great Tribulation is shaping up to be the quietest on record!) I thought a link to your article would provide some much-needed insight from someone who has BTDT. Thanks.

By the way, for the person who wanted to know what happened to Dankenbring and his "The Holy Days According to Bill" website, looks like he's decided to jump on the false prophet bandwagon along with Weinland and Flurry: He has revamped the site so the first pictures that greet you is the WTC on one side of the page, and Katrina on the other.

Wonder what dates Billy-boy has set for the beginning of the end?


"Purple Hymnal"


So YOU're the Weinland watcher. I saw the link on AW but didn't realize it was you.

Thanks for linking to the PT. Maybe a few people will get their eyes opened. Don't know why I wrote the article when I did, but maybe the timing was good. (Could it be "inspiration"? Hmmm?)


I found it interesting that a 5.1 earthquake hit the Midwest on April 18, the day after the trumpet sounded. I'm sure Weinland will capitalize on that!

Hi John,

LOL I don't know about inspired, but the timing is certainly fortunate! :-)

Weinland did indeed captalize on the earthquake (or he tried to) in his sermon 19th April, but Shadows of WCG has a very good article (with US Geological Survey data) rebuffing Weinland's claim that it was a thunder, here:


I have been passing the link along to anyone who tries to tell me it fulfills Weinland's prophecies.

Keep on keeping on......Looks like there are a lot of us ex-members debunking Weinland now, from both ends of the belief spectrum. The more the merrier, right??

Thanks again!




[Commentary Re: Garner Ted On Trial:]

This is such a no brainer.   Ted should not be there, obviously, having her massage in such a sexual manner. It is OBVIOUS she knows exactly what she is doing.  Nothing indicates what would be considered a normal deep tissue or full body therapeutic massage.  This is purely sensual and designed for sexual arousal. No one on earth could resist this kind of attention and the woman is not objecting. She seems to know exactly what she is doing. She is either setting him up, has forgotten there is a camera running until later in the game, or she is just ignorant.  I vote all three.    

Smoking a cigarette?  Give me a break.  This is a redneck therapist who has no training or therapeutic skills!   Without seeing the video, and I don't want to if I can help it, the later boundary issues are bogus but maybe in line with "oh yeah, the camera...."    

Just the fact that she filmed it AND gave such a sensuous massage shows how stupid SHE is and how much of a set up it was.   

A married, evangelical, priest, Billy Graham look alike can get a good massage without any problem when you select qualified people and places.  Ted is obviously going for the sexual stimulation and must feel it's readily available with this woman. Many humans who go for massage are starved for touch. That is just the facts.  For the duplicity he is, human, but wrong and obviously needy at this point in his life.  But NO therapist I know would conduct such an obvious set up.  The last visit before this, she would have said, "I'm not comfortable and I don't wish you to make any more appts with me."  Doesn't look like much resistance to him in the past was a problem.   

Not guilty either.  Set up and allowed to push boundaries that were never set.

Dennis Diehl 

Editor's Note: Dennis Diehl is a practicing massage therapist in South Carolina.  Check the link below for more about massage therapy.

Safe Touch - A Key to Good Mental Health and Relationships




It's been a long time since I visited any of the former member sites, but this past weekend I attended a workshop for cult survivors. It stirred up a lot of stuff, and today I found myself surfing the web again, to see what, if anything is new.

As I was reading the suicide statistics, I came across the listing for a 16-year-old who killed himself in Spokane, WA in 2001. I was puzzled by it, as I was living in Spokane at the time, and didn't remember hearing about it -- perhaps because I had stopped attending Worldwide (or any church) several months before. Then it sank in. It's talking about my son, Jacob!

He did, indeed, take his own life on March 7, 2001. We weren't attending the WCG at that time (or maybe my husband still was, I don't remember).

My husband and I were in the middle of getting divorced. I am a little hurt by the characterization of my son as "emotionally disturbed." He suffered from Tourette Syndrome, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Asberger Syndrome, which are neurological disorders. He was also extremely intelligent and gifted -- which may or may not have lead to his decision. And yes, we were devastated.

He was born in the church, in Pasadena. He attended Imperial Schools until the middle of the 5th grade, when we moved away after the changes in 1995, when most of the employees were laid off, including my husband.

We home schooled him for 6th grade, then sent him to public school. He had a lot of trouble fitting in through Junior High. Then we discovered something called "Contract School". He was able to do most of his work at home, going in to meet with a teacher a couple of times a week. He was also part of a program that let him enroll in the local community college while still completing high school. At the time of his death at age 16, he was a couple of months away from graduating from both high school and his first two years of college. He got straight A's in all his classes.

Shortly after his death we received a letter from the State of Washington, offering him a full scholarship to continue his education. It still saddens me that he never saw it. He saw himself as a failure, with no hope for a future.

I just thought I'd write to you, and let you know more of the story. I know the person who sent you the information you have now probably meant well, and I'm actually rather touched that someone thought to include him. But I also felt moved to want to set the record straight.

I hope this helps you with your research. If you have any other questions, I'd be happy to answer them. (Or if you'd like futher proof that I am who I say I am, just ask.) The truth should be known, and not forgotten.

Julie Gallagher (mother of Jacob Roberto)

PS - The entry about Don Weininger is also innaccurate. You have the murder/suicide listed as occurring in 1995. It happened during my freshman year at AC, which was 1996/97. Which means it probably did happen in 1997, rather than being covered up for nearly 2 years. For what it's worth. (He was the minister who counselled me for baptism, btw.)

Thank you for setting the record straight. I don't know who submitted the original information...I was not editor at that time.

I'm terribly sorry for your tragic loss. I can't imagine losing a child, so I won't pretend to know what you have suffered.  Please feel free to write any time.

John B


05/03/08  seeking old friends

attended AC from 1972-1975


They say the shortest verse in the Bible is "Jesus wept."  You have now set the record for the shortest letter to the Painful Truth.  Congratulations, and good luck on finding old friends.



Dear Sir,

In your article entitled Exec' Exodus (1973) you list David Jon Hill and Charles Hunting as having resigned from AC. In the 1974 Good News magazine their names appear as a part of the Personal Appearance Team, which was supposed to be a part of the new exciting world evangelising effort. 

So when did they actually leave? It says in the GN article that GTA was to visit Australia in 1974 but to my ageing memory he didn't come out until 1976 (I think that's correct) I recall that his visit to Australia was a bit of a disaster.He seemed to have other things on his mind. 


Alan Kendall

Quite honestly, I don’t know.  The Executive Exodus article is part of Ambassador Report, which was written by John Trechak.  Mr. Trechak is now deceased, so we can’t ask him, but I know that he was fairly meticulous when it came to accuracy.  He generally required three or more verifications of a story before he would publish it, so I would tend to trust his account.  The article itself does not state the exact dates of departure of any of the individuals named; rather, the page begins with “Since 1973…”, which suggests to me that the exodus began in 1973 but could easily have continued well into 1974 and beyond, which I believe it did.  Hope this helps.



Dear Sir,

Is it still possible to purchase a copy of the book "The Tangled Web"? 


It’s my understanding that the book has been out of print for a number of years.  You might try E-bay, or check various anti-COG websites to see if someone has made it available in pdf.



You might find this interesting:


"I used to work in Herbvert's home. In his basement walk-in safe he had two copies of Mein Kampf. For many years in Pasadena there were some employees who had copies of The Protocols of Zion. It was widely passed around and believed. They used the crap from Protocols to support their wacky understanding that Rader and Kuhn were Jewish agents sent in to destroy the WCG. Those same morons are now part of Lord MerryDeath's cult. WCG regularly courted the Jewish community to support the concert series, but privately thought them all to be spiritually lost. They went into overdrive for Jewish support when Itzhak Perelman refused to play on the auditorium stage because he considered Armstrongism to be cult that was out to convert Jews to Armstrongism."

He also left an email address.  If you want me to put him in touch with you, I will attempt to do that.




I read your page here. It's kind of funny. I didn't know Gerald Waterhouse sounded like Charles Manson. Actually, I can't remember what Waterhouse sounded like, even though I probably heard him 15 hours total.  There are some Youtubes of Manson. I listened to one short one, and it didn't remind me of Waterhouse, so I don't know.

I didn't grow up in the WW Church of God. I joined when I was 18 or so. I liked the church, but it didn't like me. I remember a few interesting people from there, but seldom hear from them or meet them.

There's no way to get my money back. Just like I can't get it back from the IRS; the other major scam in my life.


You mean the IR-SS?  Yeah, that's a fun one too.  As for Waterhouse and Manson, that's how it sounds to my ear.  Others might not hear the similarity,  It's a matter of personal perception, so don't take it as gospel.  Thanks for writing.


Email By Pages



If you have anything you would like to submit to this site,
or any comments, email me at:

Back to Painful Truth menu


The content of this site, including but not limited to the text and images herein and their arrangement, are copyright © 1997-2006 by The Painful Truth. All rights reserved.

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