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Not God's One True Spokesman.


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He said things were going to happen that didn't.

Scandals and serious accusations of corruption dogged his "ministry",

especially sexual accusations.

He lived with many luxuries, complete with planes.

He plagiarized "his" work, and claimed it was revealed to him

by God. He claimed it was revealed to him ALONE in this century.

He claimed his "ministry" was the sole "one true church" today.

He promised that financial success and an "abundant" life were

there for people who followed his instructions.

He died never having offered reparations or apologies to even SOME

of the Christians whose lives he ruined.

He died on January 16, 1986 at the age of 93.

Another so-called "THE" man of God.

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Quote from website:

Thousands of innocent lives down through the decades have been deceived into following "God's Way" (HWA's way) and have reaped nothing but misery, pain, agony and heartache. Precious lives shattered. Their painful testimony written in many books, publications, letters, journals and on this website stands as a witness that HWA's way was not "God's Way." It didn't bring peace, harmony, love--nor was there any grace in it. ("For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." --John 1:17) The record stands: the fruit of Herbert W. Armstrong and his Worldwide Church of God was evil.

Hmmmmmmm.........looks familiar?? icon_wink.gif;)-->

Another admonition.....to look at the fruit.

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Eerily familiar, WW.

These are some of my favorite quotes from that site (some names were adjusted icon_wink.gif;)--> ):

I Tim. 3:7 - The words, "them which are without" refers to those who are outside the church. In other words, if a man has a bad reputation on the outside, he is not a candidate to be an overseer in the church. Such a man would end up causing shame to the name of Christ

Even though any of God's servants will undoubtedly be blamed for things if they hold an office in the church, the important thing is that the accusation must not be found to be true. In vee pee and lcm’s case, many accusations were leveled against them and found to be true.

Some also use David in the Bible as an "example of sinning." The answer is that David had a firm and unshakable trust in God. He was grieved when confronted with his sins and displayed strong efforts to return to God all the more loyally after his errors and transgressions. David's errors stand out because of their rarity. He sinned, but he didn't live in sin, and that is the difference.

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The patterns of MOGdom....of plagerism....of exploitation....of mind control....FROM ANOTHER MAN who was born 23 years ahead of vpw's time.

SAME patterns......loaded language....doctrine over person....dispensing of existence (for furthering the work of the group)....and on and on the pattern goes.

Herbert W. Armstrong had a vision of WORLDWIDE outreach....and he had THE truth. icon_rolleyes.gif:rolleyes:-->

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I live down the street from the Worldwide Church of God, and it's a spread to rival any HQ the way ever had.

It's also basically deserted. They rent out the auditorium for functions and have been trying to sell the land for years. The only thing stopping them are civic groups opposed to the thousands of condos that the buyers want to build on the property.

Apparently when they moved to more traditional Christian beliefs, it set forth a chain reaction not unlike the upheavel in the way. Most of the faithful supporters left, and I'm not sure the college functions at all anymore.

It sure is a nice walk on the way to Sunday morning breakfast though. Brooks, and waterfalls, and fish in coit ponds, and beautiful buildings, and fountains.

No people though. At least they welcome people crossing the grounds, unlike the security that keeps everyone from visiting the way.

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My wife and I (after having left TWI) spent some time hanging out with a couple who had left the WWCoG. The break up of Armstrong's organization began before WWCoG turned back to orthodoxy. Turning back to orthodoxy was one of the things the leaders did in attempting to control damage. There are probably as many ex-WWCoG people out there, with as many different interpretations of their experiences, as there are ex-TWI people.



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They did teach us that God would tell us first, but, funny how they didn't believe us when God told us to get out or not to do some absurd thing they would ask us to do.

Peahead, Welcome to the Cafe! If you want to try a danish, I'll be happy to buy.

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  • 3 months later...

I think the trend is and has been for some time for people to seek enlightenment on an individudal basis and they will seek it from a variety of sources. Some of this begain with the the explosive (in terms of marketing ) "new-age" movement of the 80s employed videos and CDs to promote everything from tai-chi, yoga, meditation, crystals, feng-shui, to vegetarian cooking and better sex.

Questions of quality aside it became clear that the public wanted stuff like this and more importantly they wanted to deal with this privately.

Many wish to deal with issues on their own terms and not through the filters of some larger organziation. For many personal change became personal and lots of people ,even those who weren't in cults, wanted to puruse a spiritual life without being part of a larger organization. Lots of "cults" and boutique religions sufferred losses during this time not just TWI.

One of the things that bugs me about many former Way is their undying devotion to the home fellowship concept as if its somehow they *only*

form of worhsip which is acceptable to God. for those diehards if a person isn't going to a home fellowship then you can't get anything from God.

For me the whole Twig thing was just a cost saving measure for the way - they could hold "services" without paying rent on a building.

Additionally it was a method for people to size you up and see where you were going. Basically a tracking system.

Well all that aside its clear that the "cult" system of the 60s and 70s doesn't work today (to

the extent that it once did). At least back then you had lots of idealist youth looking to find some community or locale so picking up and dropping out was cool - at least until you got older and realized that sleeping 4 stacked in a two bedroom apt really sucks.

today people want to deal with things in privacy

and technology makes that possible. I know plenty of people who listen to sermons or positive thinking tapes on their MP3 players as they are working out at the gym. They don't have the inclination to go to some obscure religious meeting at someone's home. Who would ? I don't know if these people supplement their spirtual life with regular attendance at an established church but its really none of my business. Just like it none of their business if I worhsip as they do or not.

Lots of people are tired of the concept that you have to go to one church or listen to one pastor

in order to have a real, vital spiritual life. Sure we might like to hear a particular person speak or might like to listen to some tapes from the past but that should not lock us in to some rigid path that requires exclusivity. For me thats a sign that something is VERY wrong. Any church or pastor that demands your undivided attention is not what I'm into.

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Originally posted by Raf:

Interesting to note that the Worldwide Church of God now holds to more traditional, "orthodox" beliefs and is no longer considered a cult.

But hey, nobody's perfect...

Interesting that that site still uses orthodox doctrine as a determining factor as to what constitutes a 'cult', and as to what is a 'totalistic group'. I wonder if the authors of the site think that the more orthodox members of Armstrong's church are 'cultic' now?

Most likely not. icon_frown.gif:(--> ... Thus my problem with the 'cult' and related terms.

Just another word for 'heresy'.

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Thus my problem with the 'cult' and related terms.

You make a good point. The word "cult" carries a distinct danger when applied to somebody's personal beliefs, especially by comparing orthodox beliefs, but I have a problem.

what in the world do you call an abusive group like the one we are discussing?

Maybe somebody should coin a new word for them:




I don't think its going to catch on any time real soon..

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How about:

"Peice of ....!" icon_cool.gif

I think its not just about "let's find another term to use" so much as "let's get honest about the terminology, and quite trying to hide religious intolerance behind psychological terms and overhyped fear mongering while we're dealing with the abusive groups.

Hey! There ya go. How about 'spiritually abusive groups'. For one thing, that deals with the abuse more clearly (and usually with less fear mongering) than the 'cult' term.

Whatever. Call it what you will. I'm just being equally skeptical from the other side as well.

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P.O.S. works for me!

I think "cult" is going the way of "gay" if it hasn't already. Sure, there's the textbook definition of cult, but ask the average joe on the street and he's not going to give you that definition of "cult".

Diazbro, I've wondered about the home fellowship being "the" way to go on quite a few occasions. It seems to limit one's exposure to different people, thoughts and teachings. It also empowers the group to better micromanage your life (and in some ways lures otherwise non-invasive people into becoming overly interested and involved in the lives of others).

One of my pet peeves was being hounded and nagged all the time to find places where we could meet for free. Why the full time wc couldn't spend the time doing that, I don't know, but it was always our fault that we didn't have a place to meet. When someone DID find a place, it was filthy (according to TWI standards) and people spent ungodly amounts of time cleaning the place.

Most of our branch and limb meetings the last few years I was in were held outside in the scorching heat of Florida. I actually got sick from the heat a few times and told my ex that I was never going to an outside event again if it was scorching hot outside. icon_biggrin.gif:D--> I don't know how the old folks in our branch who did attend managed it. Many skipped.

I also think, like you mentioned, people are getting to the point where one's spiritual journey is very personal. It's nice to have a spiritual "home" to "touch base" with every once in a while, but the day in and day out mulling, reading, prayer, study, etc. has become more personal. I think, too, that's why televangelists and roaming speakers have become so popular. You can get what and need without being tied down to one religion, church or group of people.

Many churches these days have diversified their services and ways to accommodate this kind of individual growth. The church I frequent has contemporary services, traditional services, round-table discussions in lieu of Sunday School, traditional Sunday School, all kinds of classes, all kinds of "hobby" activities, several different outreach groups that operate in very diverse ways.

There's something for everyone and enough "room" to let the individual grow at their own pace. Auxano growth.....what a concept!!

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  • 3 months later...

Agreed Belle, there are three churches up in columbia that offer free karate lessons several nights a week in a recognised traditional style....The program is called Karate for Christ.

It is a great activity that appeals to young folks , bible is taught principles are learned and understood and applied.

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  • 1 year later...

I thought of this old thread on Herbert Armstrong earlier today when I clicked on an advertising link from Drudge Report -


Though apparently written by an Armstrong worshiper, I found the parallels between the successors of the WCG and those presently running TWI most striking.

Namely, in terms of these successors milking a once 'profitable' cash cow.

Yes, the present WCG has attempted a more orthodox veneer, but then, what does it matter to those pillaging and living off the assets of a once, fairly successful enterprise,

and what better way to continue their activities than under cover of a more acceptable, doctrinal attire?

Had TWI had grown as large as the WCG, the present administration probably would have changed their position on the "Trinity" and the state of the dead.

In any event, the excerpts at the above link are quite interesting, as the reviews for this book at amazon.

ANd here's another interesting link on Armstrong's sexcapades

Edited by TheInvisibleDan
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I can't recover the information from the first post's link, but the Wayback Machine had this one.


Nobody Held A Gun To Your Head

By Janey


I'd like to make a few comments in response those who would mock former members of the Worldwide Church of God. Get over it, they say. Nobody held a gun to your head.

I left the Worldwide eight years ago after enduring one of the most grueling events of my life; a thorough six-month analysis of Herbert Armstrong's theology. Using the references which Armstrong cited to support his doctrines, one will easily determine that his way of life was a crock. It is based on false premises, faulty scholarship, laughable suppositions, material taken out of context.

It was a turning point in my life; knowing that, after twenty-five years as a true believer, I was free to leave the warm embrace of the one true church with a clear and educated conscience. This new beginning was made possible NOT because I had the church's permission to question and review its theology critically; rather it was done in spite of continuous pressure, cautions and veiled threats from the Worldwide ministry.

It takes tremendous courage to stare into the face of the powerful forces that have threatened you for decades to not stray, or even listen to views that were other than what we "heard from the beginning" from Herbert Armstrong.

Nobody held a gun to my head?

You know what, Ed...that's not true.

It seems to me that the work of the cult is accomplished in stages. I believe that the shaming of others in the group (and God knows there are stories we could tell on that account) is the classroom wherein all other members learn one thing. What is that one thing? It is what perpetuates the cult itself -self-control via other-control. In other words, the believer learns quickly that to differ from the group is to elicit undesirable results: public shaming, public expulsion from the group, isolation from the group, cut off from God, fear for your eternal life. The believer learns early on in this period of exposure that he needs to be very, very careful how he expresses himself because the consequences could be (or so he is told by his loving ministry) in terms of eternity, quite literally FATAL. Self-exposure is to be avoided at all cost. Hyper-vigilance prevails.

It is this shaming work of the cult that I believe is most powerful and cruel. This evil work of the church and ministry eventually is taken on by the believer himself (stage two)...beating himself up inwardly for even thinking something the ministry would frown on, working himself up into so perfectly submitting to every mandate and whim of the ministry (realigning his thoughts and actions to keep in concert with the ever moving and shifting theological direction), so perfectly portraying and exemplifying (inwardly and outwardly) what the leaders want. The believer has witnessed that it is far better and less painful to do this work on HIMSELF (self-discipline), than suffer exposure as a weak fool at the hands of an unhappy ministry. In conjunction with stage two is stage two PLUS...where this believer (who is no longer individual, but realizes his relevancy only by virtue of his group status), takes on the shaming of others in the group, quite happily...thereby participating actively in the perpetuation of the cult mindset (and deflecting shaming attention from himself...self-preservation).

This, Ed, was a gun to my head.

It occurs to me that some might characterize this cult indoctrination -this discipline of the flock, and self-discipline of each member -much as a mother teaching her child right from wrong. Well, let me just start by saying that the church don't hug, it don't kiss, and it don't cuddle, it don't even bleed. It ain't your ma. It, in fact, interfered with your relationship with your ma...

Key to understanding how the believer was setup in the cult system of shame is the perverted mother-child analogy (and by extension, the family of God analogy) which was used in so many clever ways to depict the relationship between the ministry and the believer, the believer and God. It has done SO MUCH DAMAGE. The church, its ministry, and God...none of them is your parent. Your parents are the ones that bore you, and reared you, and it is in the confines of that relationship that children should be disciplined in love, in the embrace of loving parents who stand firm in defense of their young's best interests (most particularly, especially when parties OUTSIDE that loving home would act against their child's best interests).

Well, some would say that essentially this is what the church did...discipline the membership in the best interest of the believer.

Before I puke, let me just remind you that the membership isn't made up of children. The membership is grown up and adult. The miss-use of this mother-child analogy which has been incorporated as a method of discipline within the cult serves NOT the best interests of the believer, rather the best interest of the cult itself...perpetuation of the cult. This isn't a discipline in love. It is a discipline entirely without love.

I gather that most of the mocking (get over it, nobody put a gun to your head) comes from those who have chosen to remain inside the Worldwide and embrace the new covenant teachings. As such, it is probably helpful for the rest of us to consider where they're coming from. They've been isolated all their lives in the warm confines of the one true church. There wasn't much thinking necessary, and apparently the same is true today. The truth used to be defined by the whim of Herbert Armstrong. Now it is defined by the another guy who holds to an entirely opposing view. But that's ok for these folks, just as long as somebody else does their thinking for them, then the world is a swell place. As long as they can perch all huddled together in their little itty bitty nest and be fed little itty bitty spiritual worms by their mama, then all is right with the world.

They don't want to hear about Herbert Armstrong's sexual escapades. For crying out loud...WE DON'T WANT TO KEEP HEARING ABOUT THEM EITHER. But we want those stories to go away for entirely different reasons.

I am repulsed by these stories, but am equally relieved that now I understand the profound sexual shaming my generation endured under Armstrong's reign. He passed on to us his own sexual shame.

They, on the other hand, don't want to hear it because it shakes the tree where their little nest abides. You see, to expose these things is to threaten them on a comfort level. I mean, so then you have to ask yourself how this ever happened if the man was filled with the holy spirit. And then you start asking who knew about it and find out that virtually the entire ministry was privy to these details for literally decades. And then you start wondering what spirit it was that took up residence in Armstrong's life, and what impact that might have had on your own growth and development spiritually speaking, and then you're embarrassed as hell, and disappointed beyond your wildest imagination. And then that warm cozy nest would start to feel kind of soiled and cold.

So, it's easier for them to just say get over it, and instead just imply that we're just bitter, and that it's all lies, and that we're just making it all up to hurt their poor little mama. But we need to have compassion on these little itty bitty birds...you see, they are thinking and reacting just like they learned in the cult...to be mindlessly afraid.

These poor people are still living the effects of the cult experience. They still can't think on their own, they still don't have the mental stamina to conduct thorough critical review of Armstrong's theology...hell, they can't even do it with the easy new covenant material. They need church literature to guide them to the latest version of the truth of God. And the new ministry of the Worldwide is just real happy to continue playing middle-man between the flock and their God. They just need to be needed, cause they don't know how to do anything else but feed off the flock (er, uh, isn't that feed the flock?)...

Well, for all the cybervoyers from the outside looking in on the miserable wretched lives of those who contribute to Ed's site, I say this: the first stage to undoing what was done TO us is simply admitting that it happened. I can hear all the Global and Flurry supporters getting their panties in a bunch, going "oh my God, people are saying bad words, and blaspheming, and turning into god-haters and they're so vile the way they talk about the true believers and MRRR. grrrrrrrrrrrrreetings bbbbbbbbbbbrethren Armstrong....what an UNappealing and distasteful display of insanity."

Yes...and your point is???????????

The work of the cult IS insanity...and ya gotta start where ya is!!!! The cult's work is by definition a work designed to center people outside of their own selves, rather than from within. And the cult's destruction of the individual is accomplished by masterful intimidation.

I would suggest that the venting, the expression of pain, the naming the losses is part (simply one of the stages) of the process of undoing the work of the cult. Clearly the voyeurs expose their own illiteracy regarding the issue of mental and emotional health by ignorance of this process. But we're like really surprised by how little they know of the workings of mental health, aren't we??? It is so fitting that the defenders of "the way of life" would be shaking their fingers in our faces, either saying it never happened that way, or get over it, nobody put a gun to your head.

Frankly, Ed, we NEED them to shame us this way -and I'm not yanking your chain. This is therapeutic. We NEED to hear their shaming words...because their words provide an important contrast -a point of reference. It reminds us how WE used to think, where WE used to be, how We used to shame others (doing our part). It's a powerful point of reference for those on their journey to freedom and reclaiming our minds. And most of us, no matter how little progress we may have made in our recovery, can clearly see we've come a loooooooooooooooooooooong way from where these mind-numbed voyeurs are.

What I find so telling, as they shame us for what we're saying, for expressing our opinions, telling our truths...they even have the audacity to shame us for HOW we're doing all this hard work (now where did they learn to do that?)...well, that wagging of self-righteous fingers in our faces gives us lots of good FOOD (finger food) for thought and reflection...and it is a well of comic relief.




Also from the defunct site, a list that sounds different in the specifics,

but vaguely familiar in the generalities....


You know you were raised in the World Wide Church of God if .....

Your father called your mother a Babylonian whore because she niether attended services nor allowed him to force the children to go.

Your father once punched your mother in the stomach for buying a pie shell made with lard.

Your mother was a drunk, a drug addict, and the sane parent. You and your siblings quaked if she had to work late.

You hid all the books you had to read for Advanced Placement literature in a hole in the attic so your father wouldn't find them.

Your father believed the bible intended men to be dominant.

Per church teachings your father assumed total control of the family finances resulting in the loss of the house and the car, but believing "God will provide." your father refused to leave the family home till you were evicted by local authorities.

Your father tithed 30% of his income to the church and your mother sent you to stay with relatives for months at a time, sometimes relatives that were on welfare, so you and your siblings wouldn't go hungry.

You worried for years that the church was right and Saint Nicholas really was a child molester.

You can't look at a Valentines' card without picturing it as womans' butt turned upside down.

Year after year, you, your siblings and your mother put up the christmas tree by yourselves only to have your father shove it over (it never looked the same once you got it back up off the floor) and refuse to allow the family to listen to christmas music of any kind.

Your father stood behind the christmas gift giving scene muttering about how his family was all going to hell, except you both knew the word hell only means hole and you can't suffer throught eternity without everlasting life and that's reserved for the saved.

You hid make-up inside a public statue halfway between your house and your school and you knew where every public restroom with good facilities for washing up were in the entire town.

Your father refused to go your younger sisters' flute recital despite the fact that she had a solo because it was scheduled for after sundown friday.

Your father missed your older sisters' wedding because the time conflicted with services.

You thought divorced women were widows.

Your mother decided sewing would be a nice hobby after your father forbid her to buy you and your siblings any clothes all ever again upon your 16th birthday because he wanted to increase his tithe.

Your father, the same man who refused to clothe his own children, went to the houses of local "widows" at least once a week to take money, food, clothing for their children, do household repairs, and yardwork.

Your father frequently intoned at the dinner table "Things are bad and they' re gonna get worse."

You once got revenge on your father by ordering crab at a restuarant when his minister was treating in an effort to recruit your mother.

The only vacation your mother ever got was going along for the cock-a mamie holy days and struggling to get out of listening to the sermons.

Your mother and at least one of your siblings will not enter a house of worship for a wedding or even a funeral. They have requested that their bodies never enter any sort of sanctuary when they die.

You still worry that the Pope is the anti-christ and nobody is doing anything about it.

You still can't bring yourself to serve pork in your home.

Your fathers' favorite admonition was "Someday your day will come and then you'll be sorry." and unlike your friends you knew he was referring to judgement day.

You were told women should only be able to get and use birth control with their husbands' permisssion.

The minister told your father that most colleges were full of communists and sexual perverts. So, you had to move out of your parents home at age 18 because your father kept hiding your books, stomping your alarm clock, etc. Complete lack of financial support of any kind resulted in a 6 year period to complete a bachelors' degree despite the fact you generally maintained a minimum GPA of no less than 3.5.

Your father once prayed so long over thanksgiving dinner, his sister -- your most peaceful, soft-hearted aunt, flew into a rage and cussed him, his minister and the turkey.

Only one person at school understood you, the boy whose family also attended the Worldwide Church of God services. The two of you relieved tension by spreading a rumor around school that your Dads' were having a homosexual affair. You'd stand by your open locker and sigh "I just hope Mama doesn't find out. It would just rip her apart." Each of you struggling not to burst out laughing.

After overhearing your mother attempt to force your father to acknowledge your birthday, he once stormed into your bedroom, threw a generic birthday card at you and called you a greedy, worthless brat.

You weren't allowed to dance.

Your father attempted to forbid you to pursue higher education stating that the church taught that a womans' place in life was to be married to one of the faithful. The best part about moving out of your parents house was not having to meet anymore of the church bachelors your father sprung on you including one that freely admitted he thought it was within a husbands' holy rights to hit his wife.

When you moved out on your own your father questioned why a single woman would want to live alone and asked you point blank if you were involved in prostitution.

Your father made it such a habit to break into your apartment and search for "evidence" You had to pick up the phone in his presence, call the pollice and ask how to file a warrant.

Your father once fired warning shots in the air behind two classmates who were attempting to get you to sneak out to an end of term school party. He then forced them to call the police and report themselves for attempting to break into his house.

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Thanks, WW.

It's ironic to discover that what we once thought was the most unique spiritual organization on the planet is really just one of thousands of organizations that were all cast from the same mold.

Of course, as such organizations go, ours was the "best" of them all.

OUCH! I think I bit my tongue! ;)

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