How Bad Was It, Really?
I know there are a lot of wcg horror stories out there. If you would like to share them anonymously or under your name, please send them to me at:
CLICK HERE FOR EMAIL ADDRESS.
Just yesterday, I found The Painful Truth site. This morning, while once again perusing this site, I found Louise 's letter, which is entitled: A Letter to Those Raised in WWCg.
In this letter, Ms. 's says that WWCg was a "nice" cult that did not "beat or starve" the children who were in WWCg. Having grown up in this heinous cult (in the Big Sandy, TX group), I must respectfully differ with Ms. 's reflections. My father gave all of his time and money to the WWCg (my mother did not work) and because of this, there was seldom any food in the house. We didn't have hot water. Quite often the electricity was cut off. There were many occasions during which we had no heat. We had no phone. We lived in absolute poverty.
This alone would have been bad enough, but the true horror of having grown up in WWCg is the fact that parents were told repeatedly that they could do whatever it took, including beatings, to keep their children on the right path, which was the WWCg path. My parents, both of whom believed absolutely in everything that the WWCg taught, had no problems with beating me and my siblings bloody every day of our lives, literally. (Although, I must admit, that my having been the oldest of three children certainly meant that I received the worst doses of said beatings. My brother was also beaten, but as he got older, he hit back. My sister, too, was physically abused, but because my parents had her 17 years after they had me, their age sometimes limited how much physical abuse they could impart on my sister.)
But, during my brother's and my childhood, we were not only beaten with slaps and closed fists, we were beaten with paddles that my father brought home from Imperial School (the WWCg private school), where he was a teacher. We were beaten with belts that had large belt buckles. We were beaten with the thorny stems of rose bushes! We were beaten and beaten and beaten! And, in addition to the beatings, we were told, repeatedly, sometimes on an hourly (if not more often) basis, that we were sinners and worthless.
And, if that wasn't enough, all of the WWCg children were paddled constantly at the Imperial School. In fact, during my first grade year, I received more paddlings than there were days in school. And, why was I paddled? Well, there was that time that I threw up because I was sick and of course, because my father didn't believe in our ever missing of day of "God's school", I was forced to go to school sick. My vomit induced a paddling from my teacher! Then, there was the time that I dropped my pencil case and of course, this minor infraction was akin to my having committed murder; therefore, what could my teacher do but paddle me (sarcasm intended). And, let's not forget the time that, after PE, I did not fold up my shorts neatly enough to please the teacher. My punishment? You guessed it. Good ol' paddle time!
As you can imagine, my siblings and I suffered tremendous emotional and physical abuse, and the scars remain to this day. While, I've been lucky enough to have found the courage to look deep within and face the horror of my first seventeen/eighteen years, and thereby grow and become a functional human being, my siblings have not been so lucky. My brother is an infantile and broken man; my sister is living a Jerry Springer nightmare.
And, this childhood foundation, while having made me stronger in the long run, has completely eclipsed my being able to trust in others. When I first left home, at age 17/18, I was very trusting because I was very naive and had no training in how to recognize inappropriate behavior in others (hell, I'd grown up witnessing nothing BUT inappropriate behavior). Therefore, when people acted inappropriately towards me and harmed me, I thought that the reason I was being hurt was because I was "sinning" and God was punishing me.
Luckily, I found my way into a therapist's office while in my early 20s, and I began to find out that I was not the problem, I was not at fault. However, even with this help, it took another ten years before I could fully recognize dysfunctional and inappropriate behavior in others and stay away from these people. Unfortunately, by that time, I had lived through some horrible, horrible experiences because of my inability to recognize peoples' harmful intentions.
And now, while I can recognize dysfunction 1,000 miles away, I have a very hard time trusting others.
So, I begin my 40th year wondering what kind of future I'm going to have. I observe people with whom I work or have contact with through classes and charity work; and, while everyone can point to a time in their lives where pain intruded, I have yet to talk to anyone who has even come close to experiencing the horror that I have experienced.
I envy others their lives. I envy their being able to rely on their families (my father and mother are not the kind of people to whom I can turn). I envy others having intact families of their own (I am raising a child by myself, and while I have been a very successful parent -my daughter is very stable, very mature, and a straight-A student, I've given up my life to be the opposite kind of parent than that by which I was raised). I envy others being able to afford decent homes. I envy their being able to take vacations. I envy their being able to sleep at night without nightmares. I envy their having had a childhood.
So, please know that while I certainly believe that Ms. is entitled to her opinion about the cult (WWCg) having been nice to children, I must emphatically state that this was not mine nor my siblings' experience.
And, know that in my adult years, I have had an occasion or two to talk to other adults who also grew up in WWCg. I found that their experience was similar to mine. None of these people had experienced the beatings to quite the degree that my siblings and I had, as my parents were much more zealous in their need to please Herbert W. and the WWCg, but all of these other people who had grown up in WWCg could certainly relate to my experiences because theirs were very, very similar.
I thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I must admit that I was shocked beyond words to find anything on the Internet about Herbert W. and/or the WWCg. Just incredible.
Anyway, good luck with this web site. It's much needed.
Never ever, Ellen would I want to make your existence or your reality in the WWCg cult any less than the evil it was. I am so sorry that your parents were not able to realize and not abuse as they did.
This letter on Ed's page was taken from a letter I wrote my Nephew. He did not believe WWCg as "bad" as I was trying to tell him. His parents were not as abusive as yours were. Therein lays the 'misunderstanding' if you will, as to my words.
I truly believe that the WWCg was a heinous, evil, incestuous, baby beating cult. I wrote somewhere in the letter, I think, or something else that I wrote on the site, about even being taught to beat our babies. So no way am or would I try and minimize your experience or anyone else's experience in the WWCg cult.
The good thing about this reaction from you is that I hope your e-mail to me is on the site, as another testimony as to the horrors suffered at the hands and by the instructions of the WWCg cult.
I am very willing to communicate with you, but please do not share my e-mail, or I will be forced to change my address. I will only be able to communicate with a few. I now am able finally after 9-10 years in recovery, to work. The WWCg almost destroyed me, my mind, my marriage, and my husband and my family. I never ever want to minimize the effect of the cult on anyone. So please take this as my humble apology. I never want to minimize the evil of the cult or the damage it has reaped all over the globe. I am sorry you suffered so, glad you found a therapist, and glad you have been able to have a life, (some don't) and glad you found the site and glad that you sounded off.
With a special understanding ....yours here......an ex abused member of the WWCg cult.
I read with interest your clarification of the differences between the "old" and "new" world wide church of god. Your defense of the "new" church of god reminds me of a conversation I once had with my biological father, now deceased. At the risk of mixing analogies, may I share some of my personal experiences with you?
Two or three weeks after bringing his fifth child into the world, my father's legendary infidelities rendered my mother outside of herself emotionally. My father promptly committed her to a facility that specializes in conditions such as hers and in her absence filed for divorce. He placed the five of us in various homes throughout our community, and proceeded to marry the newest object of his desire; a sweet, young religious girl with Christian values that demanded marriage before pleasure. He felt honored by her innocent ardor and was more than happy to forget the past and get on with his life. His new bride bore him two very beautiful and charming daughters. I saw very little of my father after he left me at age five crying on the steps of my new foster "home." But instead of selfishly crying and giving my dad a rear view mirror guilt trip, I should have been happy for him, as he was finally discovering happiness again, after all those bitter years of fighting with my pleading mother.
Anyway, later when I had an opportunity to talk alone with my father, I opened up my heart and told him that as much as I loved my two younger half-sisters, I felt a personal loss that I did not have the kind of relationship with him that they did. He loved them tenderly, and it showed. His response was interesting, "Dana, I know that I let you kids down. That's why I treat the girls so well. I am trying to make it up to them, by giving them what I didn't give you."
Boy, that made me feel better. I sure was glad to have that little misunderstanding cleared up. So as I was trying to explain my feelings to my husband the only way I could was this:
Okay. Most of your life you have been doing all of your shopping for goods and services at Sears. As the years go by you accrue an enormous debt, to which you make regular token payments. But you get tired of shopping just at Sears and start looking for a newer, fresher store to shop at, and lo, and behold, you find one. You say to yourself, I was wrong to have been shopping at Sears. I wasn't happy shopping at Sears. I now see how right it is to be shopping at Montgomery Wards. From henceforth, I shall shop at Montgomery Wards (but not exclusively).
So the day comes when Sears says, "Shopper, now that you no longer shop with Sears we would like you to pay your debt in full."
But, you say, "I now shop at Wards and have up to now made all the required token payments on your account, and since I now shop at Wards all further payments on the outstanding balance to Sears will now be made to Wards. Sears was old and boring, but Wards fulfills my needs."
Basically, what I wanted to say to my father was, "What you are giving my two younger sisters is only what you owed them from the day they were born. Your debt to me is still outstanding, but even small amounts of love, fondness and devotion would be highly valued."
So, what has this to do with the world wide church of god? Mr. Armstrong repeatedly called us his children. We were family, he told us again and again. We weren't contributing financially just to a church, but to the growth and well-being of our spirit begotten family. And who was the head of the family? Herbert Armstrong? No, we were told. God the Father was supposedly the head of the family represented on earth by the world wide church of god. Mr. Armstrong was the "good" steward God was using until the glorious return of His son, Jesus Christ, we were taught.
But as we will all agree, Herbert Armstrong died before the return of Christ, and others took over stewardship of the "body of Christ." But, you say, the beliefs and practices changed. We no longer venerate Mr. Armstrong's teachings.
And I say to you, you say that you no longer keep the teachings and practices of Herbert Armstrong, BUT you sure as HELL don't mind keeping the money that his teachings and practices put into your bank accounts!!!!! You won't keep the practices, but you will keep the money. You slimy hypocrites!
The wcg believes that it is not important to care for the needs of its first "children." If you need food, go to the Salvation Army. If you need emotional restoration, seek assistance from your local county's mental health program. If you need financial assistance in your waning years, well, tough @#$%!, there will be no inheritance for you! All the money that you sent in to contribute to the well being of your family will be lavished upon your brothers and sisters that were and are lucky enough to be beloved by the "good steward" of god's church, whomever that may be at the time. The only thing that has changed, my dear, is the rhetoric. The spirit is the same. The older children continue to be treated like unwanted bastards, while tender fondness's are lavished upon the new. But mine is the bitterness that perhaps only an old Mormon wife or older world wide church of god member could understand. The world wide church of god has changed? I THINK NOT!
P.S. One last thought. Don't be a fool. The woman in whose company my father finally died was not his devoted second wife.
I was a member of the Worldwide Church of God from 1984 to 1991. What put the final frosting on it for me was just before Passover of 1991 the minister was discussing the offering that will be given. He stated that "your position in Heaven would be determined by how much you gave in offerings".
Whoa! Wait a minute. What did you say? My mind was just going in circles. This was the last straw. I had watched my wife of 5 years, die of cancer 2 years earlier in Aug. 1989. I was a little bitter from that experience, not that the death was the problem, but all the circumstances that surrounded this event.
She had been diagnosed with the cancer in early 1987. We started what treatment we could afford, which was nothing. We were broke, being newly married and having a 18 month old to care for. Fortunately the hospital treated her with chemotherapy but she required over-the-counter medication that we could not afford. Made too much money for welfare. American Cancer Society would not help: THE MONEY GOES FOR RESEARCH NOT TREATMENT.
I asked the minister, Glen Doig, for help from third tithe. I don't remember his response but we got no money. We got no help from the local church membership either and no phone calls to see how we were doing, all this time tithing. Although, my local small town community of Lucas, Kansas (may God bless them, where I was born and raised) had a fund raiser for us and gave us $3,500.00. Now at church each week people would ask how things were going but as soon as church was over they were nowhere to be found.
As my wife lay in the hospital for 23 days dying (the hospital was 30 miles form the weekly church service), I think only about 5 people stopped by ( of course it was on there way home from church services. They would not dare go out of their way, you know). The Worldwide Church of God minister, Glen Doig, lived in the same town as services ( 30 miles away) and, over her 23 day stay in the hospital, stopped by one time to check on her. My wife's mother's minister from a local church stopped by more times than our WWCG minister Glen Doig ( a man of God).
After her death, in my preparation for her funeral, I remember hearing from Glen, how he disliked the reference to him as "Reverend" in the newspaper. I guess he felt guilty since he in no way filled the bill.
In my healing process he stopped by my house to see how I was doing one time, six WEEKS after her death.
I was a fool to be deceived by these idiots. The Members and the Church boasting their Christianity at the same time showing no love for anyone but themselves.
After my wife's death. I was expecting something from headquarters in acknowledgement of her death since her name was going to be in the "book of life," one of the 144,000.
No sympathy card no nothing.
Thanks for the web site it helps me heal from these losers
I don't know how long this is going to be, but at the age of 43, tears are all ready running down my face, I thought I was the only one. It never crossed my mind, I just thought I was messed up. I grew up in Pasadena. I went to their school. I was to grow up, graduate from Ambassador College and be a ministers wife.
My Mother was either the first or second woman to be given the position of deaconess. My Mother's name was Beulah Dykes, many knew her, I was Mrs.'s Dykes daughter, didn't have a real name, but of course we were to be seen and not heard. That's how we grew up mindless. We lived on campus and knew most all of the college students, those that turned into ministers. Mention my Mothers name, and they will remember.
My Mother has since left the church. She has found another one and is just as devout if not more. But she blames herself for raising us in the wrong religion. So she is now trying to convert me. And I tell her it is my business now, she rebukes me as though I am the devil. She carries so much guilt, and it is not necessary. But I can't tell her. It goes back to what she learned from Armstrong.
When I left home at 18, I had no functional brain about life, about nothing. I am about 20 to 25 years behind where I should be in life. It took a long time for me to figure out that there was something wrong, and I finally found out what has caused all of my years of 'the painful truth,' a child shall be seen and not heard. That is the same as locking a child up in a closet and then when they turn 18, turn them out into the world. You tell me how that person could get along. It is the only way to describe it.
Then today, people don't understand that your inept abilities come from your religious childhood. And the stories we were told to make us mind. About when it was time to go to the place of safety (1975) God would call our name, and if we didn't hear him we would be left behind. Then the Germans would come, and you know what Germans do to little girls. And when they are done with you they will tie one of your legs to a jeep and your other leg to another jeep and go off in different directions.
I am stuck in an abusive relationship because I am afraid to be alone. People tell me to get over it. I can't. Since I was a little kid I was afraid to be left alone. If my Mom was late, I was afraid that God called her name and not mine and I would get left behind. I lived with that constant fear, it was a part of me, it is apart of me.
I ended up, at the age of 21, marrying a man that was 45 years old. I finally out grew him, but he raised me. How do you get away from a man with 25 years more experience than you who raised you, and the underlying fear of being out in the world alone because what some church had engraved in your mind? Now my daughter is paying the price.
So now Herbert, wherever you are, you are going into the second, and the third generations. It's the painful truth I live every day.
And I have one more person, Dean Blackwell, I want to tell you something, I visited your house cause your daughter was one of my best friends. I spent more time at your house than I did at my own. You taught me how to drive right along with your other girls. And I got in trouble just like your girls. That's right, and you don't even know. I said "just like," and you turned your back on me. Well, your girls got into trouble too. I have waited my whole life for this. The little girl in me that you turned your back on wants to kick you in the shins, because that is what a little kid would do. You were a Grandfather a couple times before you even knew about it. And you looked down on me because "I" got pregnant and had to go to a ho! me! for unwed Mothers. Well, at least all of my Mother's grand kids are alive and breathing air. But you wouldn't even visit me or talk to me when I was in that home.
The Painful Truth, nobody knows it all. The crap that went on at the Big Sandy Campus. They should blow that place up. The biggest den of iniquity there ever was. A resort for the Armstrong clan.
I could go on and on with what I live with on a daily basis. I don't want to dig it all up. I bury it a piece at a time as I sift through it all and try to fix all the broken parts. Sometimes, the broken parts have started healing on their own, but crooked. So without any painkiller, and all by my self, I have to re-break it, so I can set it right.
Hate Armstrong? No. That would take up to much energy. But for a little boy in Big Sandy Texas who died many years ago from an ear infection from swimming in the lake, I kick you in the shins for letting him die. All that had to be done was to drain the fluids from his infected ear. No, you just let him lay there and suffer and get sicker and then die. But maybe he was lucky, now he will have a chance.
And Garner Ted Armstrong, all those steaks and airplane rides and stewardesses that you had while we went without. And for all the times when I was little that I would bring my change to church to put in the offering for "God's temple." That you all turned around and brought the public into and charged for the use of the place. I kick you all in the shins because you hurt this little girl that never got to grow up and is scared to be alone.
I authorize the printing of each and every word and name and will stand up in any court and face those I have accused.
My e-mail Symantac@aol.com Feel free to print my e-mail address.
I am not alone any more.
First of all, my name is Michael. I stumbled upon the painful truth website early this morning, and have been somewhat riding my own personal emotional roller coaster all day. Actually, I think I've been aboard that thing for a long time, too long. I realize that I still have much healing to go through as a direct result of the WCG. I read the suicide pages, alcoholism pages, and many more. I still have much exploring to do, but felt it necessary to go ahead and at least introduce myself.
I am currently twenty-seven years old. I haven't attended "the church," since an incidence that occurred when I had just turned sixteen. I'll get into that later on though. First, let me give you a little more background on myself. From birth up until I was nine years old, there was very little Christian influence in my life. My Grandmother being a Southern Baptist persuaded me to go to church with her a few times when I was very young. Maybe four, five times top's that I went with her. The last time being about seven years old running out the door and hiding behind the church house after being frightened to tears 1/2 way through the service. At age seven I thought that I was finished with religion. I'd had enough.
My Mother and Father split up before my birth because my Mother refused to go through another abortion. She had two in-between the birth of my older sister of nine years and myself. Many times in my adult life, and teenage life as well, I honestly wished she would have aborted me. Fact is I'm here and I'm scarred, and I'm reaching out for something. What that is yet, I'm not sure. It's not sympathy by any means though, this is just my reality, my life, and my experience.
Since being ex-communicated from the WCG at sixteen for speaking my mind, and telling the truth(still more on that later) I've yet to speak to another member who has left this church. Not that I wish pain and resentment on anyone; However, I am glad that I am not alone. See, up until I was nine years old, life wasn't peachy by any means, but then it got worse. Mom was married five different times before I was nine. I moved often in-between Los Angeles CA, and various parts of TN and KY.
I stayed in a constant state of culture shock. I often lived with baby sitters for weeks even months at a time. Drugs and alcohol were no strangers to my household back then either. Strangely enough nor were they strangers to my new world experience at the fragile age of nine years old. I witnessed my mother go through pure hell giving up cigarettes, make-up,etc.,etc.,etc. for this church, but the over indulgence in alcohol and the little bit of marijuana that I occasionally stole from her nightstand seemed to by just fine and dandy. Hmmm...
I believe that by providing some pre-church background here is relevant maybe because it might just be what has saved my ass from being one of those suicide statistics on your website. I realize that my early years may not seem too promising, but they bred a certain spirit of rebellion and survival in me that possibly saved my life. I truly believe this looking back now. Understand, I've dealt with most all of that in some form or another throughout my journey thus far into this lifetime.
What I have failed to ever really deal with are those years between the ages of nine and sixteen. Anyway, during one of my Mothers marriages to a professional football player for the LA Ram's, professional abusive alcoholic and drug addict too I might add, my biological father passed away. I was six years old then. After that, well same old same old, baby sitters, parties, and the plain truth magazine. It had always been around as far as I can remember, but we were not the religious type. Of course, Christmas was a good time to be Christian, and other holiday's as well. That was about as far as any of that went though.
So here I am, nine years old. Mom just re-married (again), and decided to settle down. At this time in my life, believe it or not, I was already smoking cigarettes, marijuana, and drinking alcohol. The transformation began in Murfreesboro TN. I remember my Mother locking herself in her room for days on end, drinking, reading books by Herbert Armstrong. I stayed away from home as often as possible during the next several months that this went on. I was a pretty tough and self-sufficient kid. I had to be. I remember my Mom really scaring me when I did see her or spend time with her. She was different. No doubt. She had "found religion," but not just religion, the one and only true religion.
So let the programming begin. And believe me it began with a vengeance. I had known very little discipline in life up until this point in time. I had been physically, and mentally abused by men that my Mother was involved withand that wasn't right, but it still wasn't "discipline." Of course, I also felt that it was always my fault for getting abused too, I was very rebellious against all of these men. It was like my Mother was trying to replace something (a father) that I never had or wanted as far as that goes.
So, up until this time even through the abuse, I had quite a bit of freedom. All of my personal freedom was destroyed when we joined this church. I was allowed acquaintances at school, but that was it. I couldn't bring school friends home, (not that I ever really wanted to bring anyone to my house anyway, it got pretty weird)they were "of the world."
So Michael had to pick church friends. Honestly, I didn't like many of those kids. I had picked up the lovely art of becoming a chameleon (sp?) throughout all of the changes in my first nine years of life though. I fit in. On the surface anyway. From the very beginning though, I remember that all of these changes were somehow wrong. It wasn't anything tangible, or that I could prove, it was just a feeling that I had. Something wasn't right.
I began middle school. We had moved yet again. So now, not only am I the new kid in school once again, but the weird kid too. Not that I wasn't weird before, haha, but I didn't have to sit out of school activities. Like Christmas parties, Halloween parties, Friday night dances. You know the deal.
My Mom and new step-dad, I watched them suffer a great deal too, but they went on pretending everything was okay. It wasn't, things weren't even close to being okay back then. The rest of my family disowned us, my Mother had felt a great need to express the "truth" to the rest of my family. How grandiose is that? Ya. I was taught that since I was exposed to the truth, and we were God's chosen people that we had no choice but to follow God's church. Everyone else in the world was okay not knowing, they would have another chance in the millennium...we on the other hand being called by God himself in this world had no choice. We risked our "eternal life" by not conforming to the church and Armstrong...oops I mean God's law.
I remember feeling as though I was expected to be perfect. And in a sense that was expected. I was a wonderful pretender. I always took long notes in church, and turned to every scripture mentioned in the sermons. The principal's of respect and morality that I gained, I'm grateful for those things, it's the way that I had to learn them that hurt so bad. My grade's in school were way above average, still I was chastised at home. I could always do better. I was in the "gifted" classes at school already. How much better could I do?
The discipline was intense. They took that spare the rod spoil the child thing to heart. I got beatings, not spankings. This was all in the name of God though, so it was okay too. I read my bible all night every Friday night. No TV on the Sabbath, no play time, nothing but study and church. I went to SEP three times, and was well on my my way to AC. I was going to be a minister. Not because that was what I wanted to do, but rather because it would please my Mother and step-father; And after all that was God's plan for me, so I was advised anyway. I had been given the TRUTH.
We moved again right before I began High School. Myself still being the great pretender, portrayed a wonderful image at church and home. I was allowed to drink alcohol, it was okay in the churches eye's. All things in moderation, so I was told. So why the hell did my Mother have to quit smoking, and wearing make-up, eating unclean food? Why couldn't that be done in moderation as well? Myself I never quit smoking once I started at eight years old. I still smoke and need to quit, not because my body is a holy temple of Christ, but because it's killing me.
So anyway, I became very withdrawn and depressed too around this time. My drug use expanded greatly as well. It was getting harder and harder to function as well as I had the past four or five years. I was finally allowed quite a bit of freedom again after this last move.
I began questioning a whole lot of things to myself. That feeling that I had when I was nine never totally went away. The feeling that something just wasn't right. A whole lot of changes were going on in the church at this time too, both from headquarters and local ministry changes. Not to mention that I was evolving into a full blown drug addict at fifteen years old. I rebelledturned on, tuned in, and tried my best to drop out. I didn't care about school or life or anything anymore. I remember feeling very cheated, but by what? It couldn't be this church could it? Not God's true church. Hmmm...I think that it might have been.
I witnessed quite a bit of hypocrisy going on at church. By my family and many others. We were all turning out to be great pretenders, hypocrites even. Ouch! So, I turn sixteen. I've been in trouble at school and home. I graduated from things like LSD and marijuana, pain pills, to cocaine and morphine. I began shooting up at sixteen. I ran away from home a couple of times when I was fifteen. I was an angry teenager, lost and confused and just didn't know what to doso I got hi. I got drunk.
I was forced to go to this church picnic one Sunday. I didn't want to go, and had witnessed as I said before a whole lot of hypocrisy at church prior to this day. I showed up, and left with these two older girls who just happened to have a huge bottle of tequila...I got trashed and went back, and I suppose I spoke my mind about my true feelings, as well as exposed some high up members hypocrisy...needless to say, I was never asked to return to church...I say I was ex-communicated, and guess I was...There's your ticket out...haha...
I ended up in rehab. Got out and overdosed on morphine and cocaine about two weeks after my release. I was a DOA at the hospital, but they brought me back. I've been DOA twice more since then too. Somehow though I sit here alive sipping coffee and writing this to you. I don't believe today that I'm here because I am a special person of God almighty, or that I am anything special at all. I do believe that for some reason I'm here to learn a few more lessons, and put a few more pieces of the puzzle of my life together.
I was labeled manic depressive after my second hospitalization and put on medication. This condition had to be from my father though, it was pre disposition my Mother said, and still say's this. After all it couldn't be conditionalnot after living life so long in God's church...hmmm....okay...After another run away and overdose shortly after my seventeenth birthday I was sent away to a long term wilderness recovery program. I graduated high school there. I've yet to go back home...No I'm not still there, they had to release me when I turned eighteen. I've battled addiction and drastic mood swings with terrible episodes of paralyzing depression though since this time.
I'm twenty-seven years old today. I'm an artist and musician. I'm college educated. I don't have a whole lot, but what I do have is my own. I have freedom today to believe the way that I feel. I'm in recovery for drug addiction and alcoholism, I've been clean and sober for right at a year now. Through all of the rehabilitation though no one would ever listen to me about "the church." I decided not to push things either when I was younger, I sure didn't need a schizophrenic tag attached to my medical records.
I've been blessed with a certain amount of intelligence and artistic ability. Maybe that's there to balance out the addiction and manic depression. I don't know. I'm content with not knowing much about God or life or purpose of life toady. I'm grateful for the spark that was set in me by the church though to seek the truth. So far, I know little, but know that the WCG is not it. I'm not Christian at allnor am I anti-Christian. I've studied all types of religion, and philosophy, psychology in my adult life. In the last year I've been drawn more to the beliefs of Buddhism. I am by no means a Buddhist, but if one listens to the words of the current Dali Lama, I think that we could all learn a few things about real love and compassion.
I have a long way to go, but I'm evolving into "personhood" more and more each day. After all that's what I am. I am a person...not a god...just a man doing the best that he can to live a good life. I probably try to live more like Christ today than ever before. I'm not convinced Christ is my savior, but know that he was a good man and role model.
That's another thing that I've found with researching Buddhism...they don't claim to be right, they don't claim that anyone else is wrong...they just live to do know harm, and try to see things the way that they are rather than what we think that maybe things should be. I don't know? And that's okay too. Like I said though, I still have a whole lot of healing to do. A whole lot to learn. See I've seen the best and worst of mankind and it's nature.
I told you I've been to college, I work for myself now, I tattoo, and do various other forms of art and music. I get by. There was a time though that I was homeless and hooked on heroin living downtown New Orleans. I met some of the best people in my life there. Some of the worst too, but in everything I've learned a little more...put another piece of the puzzle together. I've quit trying to predict the outcome or picture, and just take things a piece at a time now.
My mother is still a member of WCG. She doesn't attend church anymore, but still believes. That's okay too for me to tell her how wrong I think she may be is no better than her preaching the "truth" to her own Mother. She is still married too. He is a wonderful man, we don't see eye to eye on much, but I respect them, and I believe that they are finally begin to respect me. I forgive them too. That's taken a long time.
All apologies for my ramblingsI have a terrible habit of that. Anyway...I don't know. And that's okay. Have a beautiful day.
As I write this letter, my heart is very heavy and I am very sad because of the way we were used and abused in the Worldwide Church of God.
After learning about the Worldwide Church of God in the seventy's [from my husband] and becoming a baptized member in seventy-four, my life have been one of HELL. Please forgive me if I take you through parts of my life and background....this is the only way you can understand the destruction and severe emotional pain Worldwide Church of God caused, in my life and in the life of my family and relatives.
My goal in life was to become a doctor...but during that time I met a man who I thought was someone of class. We went on a couple of dates in Trinidad W I....then I left for the USA to fulfill my dreams of becoming a doctor. Plans did not formulate as I wanted, so I was back in Trinidad., with the intentions to return in the USA to achieve my dreams.
After returning to Trinidad, I married the same guy I left behind. Before that, he proved to be charming, loving and concern about our relationship as a couple. It wasn't that long within the marriage that he got hook on the World Tomorrow program and Plain Truth magazines. This is where our life together as a couple, or as husband and wife got screwed. The man I married was not the same. He became HWA clone...[and as you know, once this happens, all plans or dreams were out the window and becoming a doctor was just an idea].
I personally did not like the idea of a church or anyone else dictating to me what I should do with my life....but because of my marriage, I went along with my husband.
This is where the true meaning of hell on earth started.
*Imagine I was timed in the shower by my husband. *Our anniversary or any other days, were not important. *My family and parents were nothing....and as you know the list goes on and on. All the church rules and dos and don'ts, I did question often and always 'ended-up' in a minister's office. There, he had the opportunity to show-off his authority as the chosen one from God.
My life with my husband began to drift apart. He was in charge and in control of everything. Seeing my parents or sisters was a major issue in our marriage. Everything I had, [property or money] became my husbands'. All my friends I had to give-up. My life at this time was only Worldwide Church of God and my husband.
After being four years in the church, I began to rebel in my own little way. I will visit my parents and stay at their home as long as I feel. This made my husband very mad because I was not the submissive wife he and Cliffton Charles the minister wanted me to be.
Everything was boring, church, the people, the crazy sermons and [even the marriage bed, which is another story in itself]. My husband used to work very long hours every day of the week, except on Friday evenings. My husband became one of the most [self] righteous man in church. He knew the Bible from cover to cover and was respected by many. With his [self] righteousness, his love towards me became a brother and sister relationship, which he spoke this with his own mouth. His entire being was HWA. The same way HWA treated his wife, I received the same treatment...And there were complains after complains to the ministers from almost everyone in the congregation about me. I was a trouble maker who cannot keep my mouth shut...so they said. There wasn't a thing that I did, that the minister did not know.
By this time, I was becoming weary. Church to me became nothing more, but a group of people spying on each other just to make themselves look righteous before the ministers.
Clifton Charles and my husband even came up with an idea saying that I was not a Christian....all because I will not follow my husband and the church one hundred percent. I was put out from the church because my husband believed I committed adultery. After this, I was re-baptized by Clifton Charles.
Soon after this my mom died. She was a faithful tithe payer but was never able to attend church because the ministers said she was not ready....[whatever that means]. What I did not understand is, they took her money but she was not up to the church's standard, of their [so] call Christianity. I remembered some years back in the early eighties', there was a new FOT site on the island of Tobago. All the church members were very happy because of where the site itself was. Many of the members took their parents along, even Clifton Charles had his mom there. But the strange thing is, before I saw them at the FOT site, I did asked ''those in charge'' if my mom can go, because she never been to that island before...and guess what? I was told that she was not a member....And as much as I can remember then, and now, so is Clifton Charles' mom and all the deacons parents...they weren't members also. Do you know that my mom died believing that I turn my back on her....and put the church first before her? Do you know that she was right?
Soon after my mom's death....my life was in a tail spin. After my mom died, she told me exactly how she felt concerning our relationship and the church. It was very sad. I feel guilty for all the years being in the church and not showing the type of love a daughter should have....All because of religion and HWA teachings, I was able to.
Another example of Clifton Charles and the church teachings that did not make any sense to me is., my family had lots of land in Trinidad. The land was divided to the younger folks, so that all can have. I had. It was mine....Because of the church and teachings, my husband was advised by Clifton Charles not to build a home in the area where my mom lived at the time. My land was about a block away from my mom's home. What was strange, Clifton Charles built a home for himself opposite his mom's home and I was unable to live a block away from my mom. [I was also told to put my husband's name on the land. I did....with a fight.. and right now, I have lost the land, my husband took it].
Right now as I write this letter to you, my I am divorced. I divorced my husband after nineteen years of abuses and control in my life. I had all the abuses known to a wife, and the ministers in Trinidad knew all along.
Soon after my mom's death I got myself involve with a member who was there for me during my sorrows. We did not plan it...It just happened. As you know, I was put out the church. Because of all the so-call shame, because of the church, I had to leave. Leaving my dad and all my sisters behind, I was in the USA alone. No where to live or sleep. I had no one to go to and that was a fact. I was able to get in contact with a cousin, and from there on was hope. I was in Miami and she lived in New Jersey.
In the mean time back in Trinidad, my dad was grieving because of the lost of my mom. My sisters were ashamed because of my sin...and my entire life was just one big mess, knowing that this time, that God is really mad at me. I was able to make it in the USA for fourteen months....but I had to go back home to my husband.
The FOT of eighty-nine he kept it in Florida. I met him and we went back to Trinidad. There were plans for us to make-up, to make the marriage work.....but that was different story. I guess I saw the true person for the first time in my life. I was counseling with Clifton Charles concerning the marriage. The truth is, my husband got him involved. I recall, one day back home in T'dad, I had a fight with my husband, and on that same day I had to go at Clifton's home, to listen to his stupid advice that doesn't make any sense. My ordeal that day was like this....I had to walk out to the main road to get a taxi. I had to wait for an hour in the HOT sun. Then I had to walk almost a mile to Clifton's house. The funny part is, when I got there, he asked me, 'when last you told your husband you love him'.....At this question I was a bit taken back....I really did not know what to say. So I answered...'He knows I love him'. He asked,' did you tell him that today?' My reply was....'No'. Do you know that the man looked at me and said that he finished talking with me....and to go home and tell my husband that I love him, then come and see him after that. Wow...that one almost knocked me over...
But that isn't all.... After the adultery and being separated from my family because Clifton said so.....That is where the divorce came in. [My husband did it].
Now I was shamed ever more. I left T'dad because I had no where and no one. I was back in the USA. Two months being here only to find out that my dad committed suicide. While I was there....we had a big fight concerning the church and my sin. I was unable to return at that time because I found out a month after his death.
My life was never the same. I was very close to my dad.... and because of the church and all the judging, I also lost my dad.
Eleven years have past.....my older sister who was afraid to be my friend as before died Feb 1st 01. She was afraid that I too will judge her the same way the church judged me. As I left the church mid last year, I was able to spend some time with her here in the USA. She was here for Thanksgiving....she spent a month with me. If I was still in the church, I know I was not going to have the freedom to really enjoy my sister. She is dead....and I miss her. I miss all the years that we were unable to be sisters because of the church. She was a very loving person with all the emotions and dreams I have. I curse the Worldwide Church of God for taking away my family and for destroying my life and my friends lives. Clifton Charles....to you ....I wish you well but I know all the lives you and the Worldwide Church of God have destroyed for gain, is not for me to judge.... Sorry that this letter is this long.....but there wasn't any other way. Keep up the good work.......
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Worldwide Church of God Horror Stories.
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Worldwide Church of God Horror Stories.
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Worldwide Church of God Horror Stories.
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Worldwide Church of God Horror Stories.
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Worldwide Church of God Horror Stories.
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