A collection of Facts, Opinions and Comments from survivors of Herbert W. Armstrong, Garner Ted Armstrong,  The Worldwide Church of God and its Daughters.
Updated 05/09/08 03:44 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

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Sometimes ideas pop up that deserve attention but aren't big enough for a full-blown article.  This new page will provide space to explore short subjects.  Short-subject contributions are welcome.



I love the wind.  I love the sound of it howling past the eaves, swaying tall trees, and driving ripples through deep grass.  I love the atmosphere of a frigid winterscape, naked trees bending under the whine of an arctic blast.  I love wind. 

I wouldn't want to be in the path of a tornado or hurricane, but wind is raw and dramatic, especially if you have a cozy place to curl up and listen to it. 

It wasn't always so.  For many years, the sound of the wind set my nerves on edge.  I dreaded March and April, when the likelihood of windy days was highest, and on those days I labored under a sense of doom, as if something terrible was about to happen.  For twenty years, at least, I dreaded and hated the wind. 

And never knew why... 

...until I left the Worldwide Church of God. 

I'm not sure exactly when the answer came to me, but it was sometime after 1992.  I happened to remember one day in 1962, when I was in the 8th grade.  It was February, and I had just changed schools.  I stood in the classroom of a small country schoolhouse and looked out at the lawn (if you could call it that), which hadn't been cut in weeks.  The grass was easily ten inches deep, and as the wind whipped through it, it looked exactly like ocean waves.  It was beautiful, and I loved it. 

So what had changed between 1962 and 1972, when I first realized that I dreaded and hated windy days? 

The answer wasn't hard to find.  It wasn't the wind that caused my discomfort, it was the time of the year.  Windy days were most prominent in the spring.  And as I entered high school, my mother began attending spring holy days, taking me out of school to go with her.  Many of those holy days occurred on windy days, and so did the days that I had to face teachers and request the time off for some weird religious event.  Making such a request of a teacher was terrifying, especially if they questioned me about what it all meant.  Add to that the horrible holy day sermons that invariably predicted death and destruction "within the next seven years...or less!", and there it was. 

It wasn't the wind, per se, that bothered me, but the association that it triggered, an association so subliminal that for twenty-odd years I didn't even know what it was. Once I understood that association, and didn't have to go through it any more, the dread and hatred evaporated.   

I love the wind. 




Someone at the Painful Truth Forum recently made a point that I think is worth passing on.  As we celebrate Easter 2008, many will reflect on the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, and the sacrifice that God made in "giving his only begotten son..."

What is a sacrifice?  A sacrifice is giving up something that you need, want, or love for a noble purpose.  Some people sacrifice their lives to save others, parents sacrifice their needs and wants to better their children, and others make various sacrifices that are less dramatic, for whatever purpose.  No matter what type of sacrifice we are talking about, when you sacrifice something it is gone.  When you sacrifice something you lose it, usually forever.

According to the biblical account, God sacrificed his only son to save mankind from sin.  But according to the story, the son rose again after three days and three nights (or on the "third day" if you aren't an Armstrongite).  In other words, God only gave up his son for a weekend.

What kind of sacrifice is that?




From time to time you see news stories about some criminal or psychotic person who claims God is speaking to them.  Son of Sam heard God through his neighbor's dog; the McDonald's killer in San Ysidro, CA said God, who was two feet tall and had a long white beard, spoke to him; Wanda Eileen Barzee, accused co-kidnapper of Elizabeth Smart, claims to be the "Mother of Zion" and God speaks to her through a television set.

Lunatics -- that's how we think of such people.  Who in their right mind could take such people seriously?  When such people find themselves in a courtroom, the system generally directs them to undergo psychiatric evaluation, and rightly so.  Because they are kooks.  Nobody believes them.

So why is it that a man in an expensive suit, whose haircut cost hundreds of dollars, can stand on a stage in front of a microphone, or in front of a TV camera, and make millions of dollars in voluntary donations by claiming that he is receiving messages from God?  Why does the suit, the haircut, and the TV camera make one kook believable when the other, who may be dirty, disheveled, and homeless, is not?




Every so often we hear from someone who, having left the Armstrong cults, has found true religion in some other organization, or perhaps no organization at all.  While the Painful Truth does not embrace or promote religious belief in any form, we respect those who still believe and are happy for them if they find fulfillment in that belief. 

Any prolonged discussion of religion and its history is bound to bring up the abuses and crimes committed by religious believers around the world.   Such a topic can hardly be avoided in light of the current jihad being waged by Muslim extremists on every inhabited continent; no one has much sympathy with those who target civilians to gain their political/religious goals. 

But let the discussion drift, then, to the Crusades, the Inquisition, witch burnings...and the tenor changes.  Christians find themselves defensive -- after all, most of those things happened centuries ago, didn't they?  No Christian would stand for such atrocities today! 

In such a discussion, someone will inevitably point out that "you can't blame Christianity for the abuses of men.  There are bad men in every religion."

Yes, there are bad men in every religion.  And, it seems, in most cases, the bad men are the ones in charge.  If they aren't physically killing and persecuting people in one century, they are killing them through extortion in the next.  For the victims, the end result is much the same.

But...but...it's not Christianity that's to blame, it's the bad people who practice Christianity.

Ah!  So let me get this straight -- Christianity is like Communism...it isn't a bad idea, it just hasn't been tried by the right people yet?




I don't remember hearing about Deborah in church. There may have been an obscure sermon or sermonette here and there that mentioned Deborah, but I don't remember hearing them. Mention of Deborah in the WCG was as rare as quality food at a potluck.

I don't remember when I first learned about Deborah. I probably read her story at one time or another, but don't remember it. Maybe I first heard of her on the History Channel in 2006, I'm not sure. What I do know for sure is that she was rarely, if ever, mentioned in the Worldwide Church of God.

Deborah was a rarity in the Bible -- a woman in charge of Israel. According to Judges 4 and 5 she was a prophetess and a judge. The lord used her to, once again, throw the chains of bondage off of Israel She was apparently quite a heroine to her people, and is well thought of today. Her story is a brief one and not unlike many similar stories of the lord using an individual to free Israel from bondage (they must have been the most conquered people in history -- every 40 years, more or less, they went in and out of captivity!).

But Herbert Armstrong's Worldwide Church of God never mentioned her. Why do you suppose that was?

Could it be, just possibly, because…

…she was a WOMAN?



I'm sure that many readers who visit this site don't like us very much. Some are still attending Armstrongite "churches"; others don't like the anti-religious bias of The Painful Truth. It doesn't matter. We don't ask that you agree with us. What we hope for is that you will take the time to read the articles here and make up your own mind.

Truth is where you find it. I will be the first to tell you that Herbert Armstrong said many things that were true. So did Garner Ted and all of the ministers. So did Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin. Nobody is one hundred percent right or wrong all the time. You don't have to agree with someone, or even like them, to learn from them.

Some people make their living telling lies. Others spend a great deal of time "spinning" the truth to fit their agenda. The Painful Truth attempts to tell the truth all the time (admittedly with a healthy dose of opinion thrown in). We hope that, as you read through this site, you will recognize the truth when you see it. All you really need is an open mind.

When someone you don't like speaks the truth, it is still the truth. No one has a franchise on the truth: Truth is where you find it.


What happens to the herd when a dairyman dies?

Those who own dairies are businessmen, in it for the money. They keep cattle in large numbers, and their cows are very valuable to them. The cows themselves are well cared for; they receive shelter, feed, and medical care. Most will live long lives, enjoying the best care available. Even though their lives are strictly regulated (their diet and sex lives are closely monitored), they are generally contented.

But what happens when the dairyman dies?

The cattle themselves may not be aware of it, but their lives are suddenly disrupted, their futures uncertain. Will the bank liquidate the herd? Will an heir sell the ranch? What will happen to these cows?

In many such scenarios, the dairyman has an heir, a son or daughter, who inherits the dairy and the herd. Ideally this transition will be smooth and the operation will continue as before; the cattle will never know that anything happened. But not all scenarios are ideal. The heir may have no interest in the dairy business, and may dispose of the herd. There might be several heirs and the estate divided among them, in which case the herd will be splintered and dispersed.

Or there may not be an heir -- perhaps the dairy falls into the hands of creditors, and the creditors only want their money. They are going to dispose of the herd in the most profitable manner, either by selling the herd or liquidating it. Either way, the lives of the cows will be disrupted in some way, and they have no control over it.

Contented or not, the cows themselves are nothing but slaves. Their only reason for being alive is to make money for someone. So they are completely expendable. If the herd is sent to slaughter, their lives will end, through no fault of their own. If the herd is sold, they may be dispersed among other dairies, and living conditions might be worse than they are used to.

No matter what their final fate, one thing is certain -- the cows will not be consulted, nor their desires considered. They will simply be sent to whatever fate awaits them.

Sort of like being in a cult…when the apostle dies.







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