Email: Sweet and Sour
(Mail from Kooks, Nuts and Loonies is on another page)
Email, Indexed by DATE
Sent: Monday, December 20, 1999 4:47 PM
I think it is important to distinguish between The Worldwide Church of God, the way it is today, and the Worldwide Church of God as it was when Mr. Armstrong was the head of it. Your website is confusing, since it groups both of these sects together. Such is not the case.
The Worldwide Church of God, in its new understanding, is no longer considered by the religious community as a cult. They have admitted to Mr. Armstrong's wrongful practices and beliefs. The Worldwide Church of God now holds membership in the National Association of Evangelicals.
There are, however, other churches who still strongly support Mr. Armstrong's beliefs and practices. You have addressed these churches (usually known as "splinter groups") in your website as well. They are splinter churches in the sense that their foundation is based on Mr. Armstrong, and therefore, the way The Worldwide Church of God used to be.
I point out this difference more as a clarification than as a ridicule. There are many churches who still believe in Anglo-Isaelism and are usually termed as "Armstrongism" churches. The Worldwide Church of God is not one of these churches. Your website seems to confuse these two very different groups by linking them together. They should be separated in order to be understood. For further clarification and reference, you might want to read Walter Martin's book entitled: The Kingdom of Cults. In his book there is a section which describes the difference between the old Worldwide Church of God, the splinter groups that have resulted from that church, and the newly reformed and repentant Worldwide Church of God. It is worthy of note.
Thank you for your time in reading this e-mail. I hope that it will clear up some of the confusion.
Thank you for trying to point out an inconsistency on The Painful Truth.
Actually, if you would have read my FAQ, you would see that all your points have been addressed many times before.
Maybe you would like to defend the Worldwide Church of God by answering, for the PT readers, the points from Question #2 of the FAQ? I really would like someone to defend the indefensible. I would especially like a minister to defend the Worldwide Church of God in regards to these points, but you can go first since these guys do not have the guts to say anything as long as Tkach is pulling their strings. Please do not quote the Bible.
Ed (Still waiting for Lori's defense of the Worldwide Church of God on 12/24/99)
You mentioned that Larry Walker said that is was important for the ministry to have freedom to focus. How the hell was the wcg members suppose to focus when the burden and the problems that was caused by their doctrines weighed so heavily upon us? How can a focused minister do any good in relaying the religious concepts when the members minds are so scrambled?
This Walker fellow needs to give the cult of his choice, a swift KiCk in the NUTS!!! Then take his new found wealth and begin to enjoy life without spending your time on this rock called earth, worrying about what is going to happen to you after death! Who cares really, not a damn thing you can do about it, (except to pay god off with a 10% and hope for the best?)
You should enjoy life, and respect your fellow man Larry, and you will generally have a life of peace, now, on earth! What helped me to give the wcg the boot is when Jr. said in a sermon "your $$$$$$ is where your heart is" My $$$$$$ was in my pocket and no longer in his. This put me on a guilt trip that made me see $$$$$ was more important than supporting these jack-asses that squandered over a BILLION Dollars in the last 10-12 years preaching the gospel (of money,) back-ass backwards!!
And only NOW they got it RIGHT? BULLSHIT!
Thanks for the article Dana, it really shows the lack of free-thought in the cultists mind. It really grieves me that they still cannot see the light!
My sister Peggy sent me this beautiful gift for my birthday today. I thought others may find a little joy in it, too. Warmly Yours, Dana
An article in National Geographic several years ago provided a penetrating picture of God's wings.
After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, forest rangers began their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno's damage.
One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree.
Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick. When he gently struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother's wings.
The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise. She could have flown to safety but refused to abandon her babies.
When the blaze had arrived and the heat had scorched her small body, the mother had remained steadfast. Because she had been willing to die, those under the cover of her wings would live.
"He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge." (Psalm 91:4)
Being loved this much should make a difference in your life.
Remember the One who loves you and then be different because of it.
Dana's article on FREEDOM TO FOCUS exposes the real madness behind the Worldwide Church of God+ group. When Tkach actually admits that all this is a "business" (or the need to run like one), then they've actually flipped. This must be the final admission to their motives. They've now lost their cover charade. We all know it's true, but to actually admit it?????? The campus sale is proof of the Tkach philosophy.
All of them - and I include the splinter cults - are now swimming in an area of massive confused thinking, convoluted and irrational reasoning, absolute belief in their own personal and egotistical ideals, and - for the most part - I think they're all heading at full Warp speed into the dimension of Anti-matter.
Concerning Dana 's article, "Freedom to Focus": We all learn from the things we suffer; apparently, ministers want to remain ignorant.
It's amazing to me that you knew Larry Walker in Bend. He was the Festival Guy this year for UCG there.
Although there are no restrictions I know of these days to go to the doctor, get treatment, take care of your family on the Sabbath [unless it's one of the more obscure spit-offs (sic) "I shall spew you out of my mouth"], it is amazing that a minister would want to keep the millennium now to inspire his congregation with the vision of what's ahead. Forget your pain and misery for I, even I, your minister, live without pain and sorrow just so I can teach you. I know that's not what you said, per se, but isn't that the way it works out?
We all learn by the things we suffer. Apparently, the ministers want to remain ignorant.
Mike and I had a roaring laugh with your funny response to the last submission. He says he'll remember the "spit-off" thing for a long time to come. HA!
I know that few of the churches of god have any restrictions regarding seeking medical treatment, but every time I take an aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, or whatever for my frequent migraines I still feel my conscience twinging. "Relying on God" for relief of pain and suffering was what I was taught when I first starting attending "services" and my early teachings (learning's?) linger on and on and on. But now I can combat my subliminally programmed urges with logic and reason. Yeah!!! Praise God, brother!!!
No, you understood my intentions with precise insight. It's just that those comments of Larry Walker were made before it became politically dangerous for a minister to be candid. When those insensitive words were spoken, those seeking lifetime financial benefits from the resource they esteemed as their spiritual inferiors did not need to carefully measure every word spoken against it's weight measured on the internet.
I am not suggesting that Larry Walker has no knowledge of pain and suffering, though. As you probably already know, Larry's first wife committed suicide while he was still a minister in the world wide church of god. That cannot have been easy. I did not get to know him well I got to know him because he called us out of the phone book to install his satellite system for his newly built home In La Pine right next to the new house his in-laws, the Coles were also building, right in front of the brand new cottage that was being built for the Cole's adult daughter. The houses would have been nicer, they said, but you know how hard it is to get by on one half of what you were making two years ago. (Try getting by on just over one-half of what was on every paycheck you have received since you joined the laity of wcg and you'll quickly learn that for most of us, a new ANYTHING was largely out of the question.) Our children had come along to help us install the systems, as they so often do, and when Maureen accidentally bonked her lead in the tight crawl space under the Walker's new foundation without getting upset, they complemented us on how nice our kids were. After chatting for a bit, they were very surprised to learn that we were members of wcg. We were very surprised to learn that they were. We were even more surprised to learn that Wade Cole was a close family member of Leroy Cole, our last minister in the Santa Rosa, California church before we moved to Central Oregon. (Leroy and Jean Cole are two of the most wonderful ministers wcg ever produced. And there weren't many of those! I can think of....six....and that includes the wives!)
I liked Larry, as a person. He really wanted us to leave wcg and join his newly forming organization. He brought newly written articles by my office for me to look at. I didn't want to hurt his feelings so I didn't tell him that while I still found ancient history interesting, I no longer cared about such things. And I certainly did not care about what happened in new or old testament times enough to use those old documents as a guide for my actions and decisions as a citizen of the 20th century, or for that matter, the 21st century either. And, of course, we were still very hooked on the notion of "loyalty" to the organization that God had called us into. Unfortunately, it would take us a few more years to sort through that load of ox-plop. Larry correctly prophesied that wcg would eventually abandon the holy days and sabbath. I didn't believe it. But I also would not have guessed the changes that I was soon to undergo as a "true believer," either.
It was my impression that Larry Walker was desperately trying to reestablish the old order of things in a new, controllable organization. An order that cared about articles written in magazines enough to pay someone a salary to write them. Articles about Greek translations of words, ancient history and other such things completely irrelevant to our daily lives in this century, and the next. I'm sure that many out there who still care enough about those things to sacrifice their hard earned income to support these guys, but I and my husband are no longer among them. We wish those peddlers of gloom and doom "good-by" but not good luck.
I must go for now as I am being pestered by one of my impatient offspring to get off the computer so I may serve in other areas of domesticity.
Love for now,
I was a little surprised that Ed did not pick this up for "The Painful Truth" web site, since I've seen similar (but maybe that's the point)--here is "I'm God's Apostle Now": http://www.mind-set.com/apostle.htm Of course I could change the title, and Ed can have it... And it doesn't have to have my name, but I don't care one way or another.
John Ouvrier seemed to like "Exorcising Our Cat" at http://www.mind-set.com/html/pages/ourcat.htm You might want a look see because it has one of the most hilarious pictures I've ever seen, even if I do say so myself.
And finally, something really tasteless: "A Christian's Guide to Euphemisms" at http://www.mind-set.com/html/pages/cguide.htm If you like South Park, you'll love this. It's incomplete, perhaps you would like to add to it....
You've been quite busy lately with all your postings. Your efforts to educate are appreciated.
I've found something recently that would perhaps be interesting to all of the readers who were told by ministers in the Worldwide Church of God that R. W. Emerson, Thoreau, and other Transcendentalists were no-no's to read. I remember several sermons in which reference was made to Emerson's "Self-Reliance," for example as a work of Satan. We were told that we would lose our "first love" of God's truth should we dabble in such works.
Anyway, the website is www.transcendentalists.com
There are two short and interesting articles on how Emerson and the Transcendentalists "ruined" American education by removing Christianity from the center of focus. They can be found on the home page, under the fifth from last bullet.
Best to you and your family.
A few months ago I printed the three articles of Robert Ingersoll from the PT. site. I now just finished reading them. It blows my mind that this was written so long ago with such insight.
If I had any respect for the bible left at all, it just disappeared. How blinded we, and the religious community is to what that book really represents.
Our Culture has programmed us to believe these fables, stories, and lies as some spiritual, supernatural miracle of a blessing. It can't be further from the truth.
If those reading this now have not read these writings, I challenge your conscience to do so. The articles are:
"The Holy Bible,"
and "Heretics And Heresies".
By Robert Igersoll,1897. It is amazing. Hope they are still on the site.
Thanks Ed for this info.
As ever, Joanne
I am currently studying the history of Worldwide Church of God and her break offs and though I used to believe that HWA was "God's man", I realize that was very erroneous. I thought perhaps you might help. I like your website which takes an across the board viewpoint of religious abuse in general.
I read your letter on your website the other day and realize that you probably knew a lot about HWA. I have reviewed much of the history of Worldwide Church of God and would like some questions answered by someone who was there. I am seeking to study much more history on this as I realize Christ stated that one of His main objectives was to "seek and to save that which was lost", (Luke 19:10). None of the scattered groups that I know of have this as an objective and HWA seemed more interested in getting rid of "sheep", (esp. if they disagreed with his doctrinal changes), than in promoting a real relationship between God and the individual. Should not the ministries who claim to follow Christ do this? Isn't this one of the things God condemns the ministry for not doing,(Ezek.34:4)-(i.e., How many stars fell d/t disfellowshipment?-Wasn't this a Spiritual "beheading" of many who were chosen to live in the Body of Christ?(Rev.20:4)-because they refused to follow the man?
-Why for instance-did HWA ignore Lev.25:28 &Ezek.46:18 when the people donated properties? (some give the excuse that he did not know when the Jubilee year was. But that won't fly in light of the fact that he set deadlines for his prophecies, therefore he must of had some idea that around
the time of mid-century was time to give back what he had taken away). -Why did Worldwide Church of God not acknowledge Matt.6:19-20?(commandment-not to seek to accumulate wealth)-saying instead that "gain of wealth is a sign of God's blessings".
-Why did the apostolic church observe Christ's commandment in Luke 12:32-34,(ie, Acts 2:44-46 &4:32-37),yet the Worldwide Church of God and most others never have?? -since none of his prophecies were ever fulfilled, (even those with set deadlines-'72 &'75,etc),how can he avoid fulfilling Ezek.14:9??(Elijah's prophecies were fulfilled according to his word).
-Why did HWA continue building his high-dollar, splendiferous empire-if he truly thought, (as he claimed), that the "tribulation" would soon destroy everything?
I am presently attempting to locate the Lochner tapes which, (according to the books that I read on Worldwide Church of God history), contain some very privy info on HWA's own concepts of where he actually stood in regards to "serving God". I am beginning to think that he actually knew that he was being deceitful, (as you can tell by the questions that I ask). I think he just was keenly aware that he had found a way to merchandize the people, without any kickbacks, (ie,via litigation).
I would also, like to find the videos that were made in France, (though I am not expecting to do that easily), as I feel that these were used to blackmail him into sharing his leadership position. I understand that they were made while HWA was quite inebriated.
I notice that you mention his incestual relationship with Dorothy. I have heard only basic info about that but would like to know more as I feel the ministry here in Texas is holding onto their congregations with many of HWA's prophetic threats. I am aware that he gave Dorothy a "mansion" out of church tithe-monies and seemed apprehensive as to where it would leave him in relation to his position d/t the fact that ,(as I understand), Dorothy was not a member of the Worldwide Church of God).
Thanks so much for your help.
All I know is what I read. You apparently have read more than I since I have never heard of the videos made in France. All I have is on The PT so I don't think I can give you anything more. If you find out any info that I can use, please send it along.
I have been reviewing some of your materials along with other religious groups and visit many of the scattered "daughters" of Worldwide Church of God. Just thought of some parameters not yet covered in the scattered groups that I visit-and seek some input. It seems that the majority of the ministries that I deal with operate on an "Armstrongite" baseline or Jewish, (ie, sacred namers), that is you can "search the Scriptures" as Christ admonishes in John 5:39 and as Paul encouraged Timothy to do in II Tim.3:14-17. But like with HWA who said, "Don't believe me. Believe your Bible!"-you may then be at risk of disfellowshippment if any Scripture you hold onto disagrees with the leadership. I know I have been thrown out of so many that I am beginning to get bruises, (spiritual ones). Of course this is what the parents of the healed blind man faced in John 9:22.
We are under pressure in the big organizations, (and under any leadership that considers themselves religious authorities), to conform or leave. I try to encourage the people to question their leadership-not just swallow everything that they are "spoonfed"-and to think with the Scriptures -which are the Mind of Christ, (not with church or organizational doctrines). If you have the Holy Spirit-you have the amplified version of the Bible-and you are the "temple", (I Cor.3:16). If Christ is in that temple and the Father, (and you are filled with His Spirit)-will you go elsewhere to find truth? (I John 2:27)
Christ did not call the man in Mark 5:18-19. He sent him home to his friends. The man was willing to go. But no one can come to Christ except the Father draw him, (John 6:44 & v.65).
Could HWA have revealed truth to someone that God was not willing to work with? Maybe Ambassador was just a work of HWA. Maybe Hebrew is not a "pure" language,(ie,Psa.12:6). After all the disciple were speaking words that were interpreted in several languages in Acts 2-and you know that they did not all refer to God's Name in Hebrew only-right?
With all due respect, perhaps you have not viewed my Bibliolatry page?
The new site index, what a great idea,& it works great!!! I found stuff I'd missed before. This was well thought out, and very helpful.
I hope all concerned will appreciate the superb job you are doing on the PT site.
I wish you a happy healthy NEW YEAR, and to Deb and all the family.
Sent: Friday, December 24, 1999 1:09 PM
as ex members of wwcg we have all been hurt but that does not mean we should continue on in bitterness we must grow in grace and knowledge. if one starts from a false premise motivated by bitterness one ends in false conclusions.
If one starts with a false premise, that the Bible is God's word (with no proof at all), motivated by fear of death and the unknown, one ends in a false religion and slavery and calling people who believe otherwise names.
But thank you for your message anyway. I'm glad that I can make some people feel superior to me by being able to label me as bitter, because they would not be able to see that bitterness in me if they were bitter also and therefore they are "right with God." And so now you know that you are not only a better person than me now, but you will be with God while I will certainly be cast into outer darkness for eternity.
I was wondering if you print on the your website everything that people send or if it is edited. I think all of it would be neat to see.
Merry Christmas Clara
No, every email does not get published. If people mark their messages as "private" I do not publish them, although some I really would like to. People who want to quote the Bible a lot will generally have all or most of their quotations deleted. I will generally spell check and punctuate for those who are friendly to me but let the others come through with all their own errors. I don't add any errors to them though.
If you want to read a lot of messages, join "ekklesia." This is an email list of mainly former members of Worldwide Church of God. You can find the address on my Links page. I was a member for about 3 years. You can then read about 20-100 messages a day depending on how spirited the discussion is. Lots of people just "lurk" and read the mail and never take part in the discussions. (Probably a lot of xCG "ministers" trying to get inside info) When you send a message to the list, everyone gets it. Some people will agree with you and respond, some will agree with you and not respond, some will disagree with you and respond or not respond. It is an idea forum and a battleground. Join in at your own risk.
Just got back in town, and had to check email and Ed,s site.
Just read your article on Coming Out of the wwc cult. EXCELLENT! Covered just what most people need to hear to get started. It was very well thought out. I'm sure it will help many. Isn't this (Ed's site) better than other means to help people? (AT least for us). We have LIVED IT and understand what others may be going through.
I'm so thankful for this opportunity to be able to perhaps make a difference for some, or even one. I have received as much or more than I have yet given. I appreciate your continued sharing and feedback, honesty, and renewed friendship. Have a good week.
Bye for now, Joanne
I think I'll stay away from Ekklesia. I don't like anonymous people who won't stand behind what they write. No interest in having people lurk in the backdrop while I say what is on my mind.
Anyway, I hate talking to people still in Worldwide Church of God. I still recover from it. My dreams have not come back over the past few weeks. I think the demon dream thing was just something I suffered with because I was lonely. With the website I feel like there are others around even if they don't all give their names.
Why don't people give their names to be printed? Are they afraid that people will recognize them and not believe what they write or are they just making up things and lies. I think liars are bad people whether they attend church or not.
Merry Christmas again Ed. I like the website a lot.
Merry Christmas to you too Clara.
People don't give their names when they write to me, at least for publication, because of a lot of reasons. Some are afraid that relatives will find out about what their present beliefs are and they just don't need any new grief in their lives right now. And, learning the truth about the wcg and herbie could still get you kicked out of many of the splitter groups. They wouldn't want you around because you might infect the rest of the members with truth.
----- Original Message -----
From: ray reid <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Sunday, December 26, 1999 5:43 AM
> Hi Ed you are right in your e mail false religion does end up in bondage =
> and fear of men. But if you are really to seeking the truth with an open =
> mind then the truth will set you free not bondage or fear of the =
> unknown, as for feeling superior your words God is no respector of =
> persons we have all fallen short of the glory of God. There is more =
> prove today than ever of the existence of God and his son Jesus written =
> by none christian authors. It looks to me Ed that your the one in fear =
> and bondage. I hope that you will start to look at things with a more open
Can you figure out how to use your email program so that I can understand what you are trying to say?
Don't use the >'s and ='s, and try a spell checker and some punctuation and correct grammar. You come across as illiterate and I don't know if that is the case or not but, since you are a bible believer, I would say that there is a very good chance that you are illiterate.
Thanks for the new site!
I must have missed it. There is a wealth of info here. But why are you hiding identities? If these people who say they are of God and lead His people away from Him-we are to expose and reprove the"unfruitful works of darkness",(Eph.5:11). If God is for us -who can be against us?? If we hide identities to protect the guilty-who will protect the innocent?(Luke 8:17-there is nothing kept secret that shall not be revealed).
I don't "hide" identities. If anyone wants to make an accusation against a minister, they must give their name. They must be responsible for what they say. I can't allow people to make irresponsible accusations. I need people that would be willing and even happy to go to court if these jerks want to dispute anything.
By the way, I sent you to my Bibliolatry page so you could see that I don't believe in the Bible as being from God. So please don't use the bible quotations.
Let me ask you some questions here. Are you saying that because HWA was a "jerk"that God is too! You cannot throw out the baby with the bathwater. If you do not see the Scriptures as God's Word-then you must be following the"jerks"-because they did not believe Him either. They despised His Word,fought against His Son,counted the Blood of the Covenant that sanctified them as unholy,did despite to the Spirit of Grace,and trampled underfoot the One Who gave His Life for them.
Do you not feel that God has suffered enough abuse to His Word from HWA & company?-from Tkach & company?-so now you want your pound of flesh too?? They changed the Scriptures to suit themselves and their own politics and greed. They drove away those whom Christ sought to work with,(as He said they would). They Spiritually "beheaded"the Body of Christ by making for themselves a "false christ",(just as Christ said that they would),and drove away the "sheep". Are you saying that their way is more profitable? For sure it is less painful! Those who follow Christ may suffer-just as He did, just as the Apostles did,and just as all who have truly followed Christ have suffered.
Let's not have a "Pity Party"here! Whose side are you on?? You have the potential that God has given you to fight against those who fight against Him! But the "Sword of His Mouth"that He comes back with is His Word! It was His greatest defense against Satan,(ie,"It is written"). Are you stronger than He was? Satan is for sure-ready for you to give up the Scriptures-because they can defeat him. And the Holy Spirit,(which is the amplified version of the Bible),are you willing to give that up too!
I am willing to give up anything that cannot pass the test of truth. If you can prove to me that the Bible is God's word without using the Bible to do it, then I will believe it. Other than the Bible telling you it is from God, and you don't even know who wrote it, and other people telling you that it is from God, you have no proof at all. You just believe. I would think that God would want you to base your belief in Him and basing your whole life of following Him on more than "well, so-and-so told me you wrote the bible, so I believed it. Duh." That leaves you open to every con-man that comes along and this has been a con-game for almost two thousand years.
See my FAQ page.
If you continue to berate me and throw your religious darts at me, I will be blocking any further mail from you. I guess you don't "in-love" me anymore.
Although not described in these particular terms, "Freedom To Focus," Larry Walker was not alone in using this excuse as to why ministers received a generous salary. Multiple ministers in Bethlehem, PA considered themselves obligated to spend all of their time "serving" the flock and not be bogged down with being gainfully employed elsewhere.
They thought (perhaps genuinely?!) that they were serving us better by having no real world experience while counseling us about our worldly problems. The rationale may have been that if they had no extensive exposure to "evil" in the "world" like we had, then they were pure in spirit or something like that and could offer superior advice to others than any members could. ??!!!!!????
I just finished reading "Dead on the Inside." Your preface included: "I don't think that this relates at all to our experience in the Worldwide Church of God but is presented for whatever worth you can get out of it."
True, the overall perspective of the piece was meant to depict that of potentially violent individuals. BUT, taken by themselves, there are several statements that can be pulled out and addressed separately, which could easily be written by many of us who had gone through mental torment during our days inside or outside of the Worldwide Church of God or any other similar cult. By posting "Dead on the Inside," you are addressing the hurt and morbidity of some of us, indirectly.
1) "You denied me any sense of respect and worth repeatedly."
The Worldwide Church of God repeatedly tried to rape us of our individualities and strengths. We were told that we were nothing without God. We were told to place highest priority on following church teachings and obeying the ministers, who were commissioned by God to lead us. As a result, we had little or no time for developing or educating ourselves and our families. Today, we feel the effects of having wasted many years in a worthless pursuit. We feel underdeveloped intellectually and as if we have generally underachieved. Many of us still have no sense of respect or worth.
2) "I suffered long, feeling not only externally devalued but internally dead and alienated."
Yes, Worldwide Church of God adherents suffered through many hours, days, and years of service "to God." We suffered to prove that our hearts and minds were on the Kingdom of God rather than on ourselves or our families.
Folks who knew us outside the Worldwide Church of God believed we were crazy and ridiculed us for wasting our time. We were resilient to devaluation then, having believed that we knew better than they and that they would be given a chance later to understand.
Having now rejected the Worldwide Church of God and the goals we once had, we are left to face normal society. But going back into society is difficult because we were both rejected by it and we had chosen to reject it.
Our motive to suffer long or work hard for any reason has vanished, as we try desperately to find sparks of life and creativity that may still reside within our dark selves.
3) "No one cared enough to take the time or had the time to understand my internal demise."
Be it family members, fellow brethren or ministers, if we became dejected during the Worldwide Church of God years, very few were willing to care for those in need of reassurance and support. Often, we were looked upon as "weak in faith," unconverted, or Satan-possessed, even by those closest to us.
Some Worldwide Church of God members experienced internal demise while still in the cult, as they became alienated by the contorted belief system that evolved over the years of doctrinal change or just through spiritual exhaustion. Others are now "dead on the inside" because of lack of contact with others who can or are willing to talk about what happened in the church or because they are speechless about what happened to them and feel powerless and manipulated. Trust is gone. Relying on the availability of others for help is often futile.
4) "I joined the outcast others who felt like me."
This can be taken in two ways.
Many people joined the Worldwide Church of God because of their belief in being "God's chosen people." We were to be "of God" rather than "of the world" and bonded with others who felt the same way. God had lumped us into the pile of thousands of other "weak and base things."
But now that we are "out," we are vulnerable to join other groups who feel like outcasts or "special." We've been carefully conditioned to feel different than others, and we are likely to continue acting upon this need if we don't carefully scrutinize what we are joining or buying into.
5) "I was already dead inside, I just had to die on the outside."
How many of us, Ed, have truly put our lives back together and found something meaningful to do with ourselves long-term? I fear that there are still many ex-WCG people who cannot find a renewed sense of purpose and are just waiting for the end of their current physical lives. How many years, after all, can we as habituated website readers and contributors devote so much attention to reading about cults, HWA, spin-off groups, antics of ministers, etc. without feeling a tad bit less than valuable to society and purposeless in the overall scheme of things?
Sorry to be so morbid, Ed. But posting articles like this on the website, I feel, is not coincidental. Had you already felt there were some parallels?
(You may certainly post this for others to read, if you feel that it may "help" people.)
Thanks. I was looking for a way to tie this in to The PT but couldn't come up with a good one. You have given me that now.
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