Special treat to celebrate my exodus from the WCG

Later this month, it will be 9 years that I left the Worldwide Church of God but it started as a “leave of absence” back in late October 1998. I had enough of the confusion after the upheaval created back in 1995. I finally came a hold of then-Ed Mentell’s Painful Truth back in 1997 and was revealed some scandalous activities of the founding leadership (which churned my stomach). I learned later on  that the Worldwide Church of God leadership regardless of who was (or is) in power thrives on confusion. Stability and order be damned was their attitude. This is very typical of cults, they need their members on a constant state of alertness and will cruelly mock any person who asks for any kind of stability saying, “If you want stability, you might as well be dead,” as one local elder who was always sarcastically sharp tongued(and proud of it) replied to me. Leaving the Worldwide Church of God was then one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made in my life but my mom who left a year before I did was happy and a chorus of other who left along were darn glad that I left. In the process I discovered who were my real friends and those who were just using (and/or manipulating) me.  There is one thing good that came out of this. I am a lot more suspicious of religious leaders and dogmas of any church, denomination or fellowship more than ever before.  I don’t swallow much  what is said anymore, I analyze it through the teeth! Any religious figure who has an aggressive agenda who demands my submission to him or his dogma, instead of showing mutual respect is in deep serious trouble to say the least.  I picked the song from The Who, “We Don’t Get Fooled Again” is a personal anthem for me for the rest of my life and I thanks to Youtube.com, I get to play it here on this blogsite. May this be anthem for many more people who were victims of religious deception. This is your day to be a victor!

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4 thoughts on “Special treat to celebrate my exodus from the WCG

  1. I learned later on that the Worldwide Church of God leadership regardless of who was (or is) in power thrives on confusion. Stability and order be damned was their attitude.

    In their book, Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work Dr. Babiak and Dr. Hare explain that psychopaths thrive in chaotic environments of change. They hate stability because following process would expose them. Statements such as If you want stability, you might as well be dead is typical.

    Yes, it is too bad we all didn’t know ‘back then’ what we know now. I would have loved to throw statements like that back into the faces of those making them, followed by walking away and leaving them in confusion.

    While it is true that the idolatrous worship of iconic authority is at the heart of cults and the nutty doctrines are nearly an after thought, there are certain clues strewn about. For example, 1975 in Prophecy should have been a dead giveaway on January 1, 1976, but many of us hoped that the false prophecies were just a little late. Well, folks, here it is 32 years later and some are still waiting.

    And we wonder about our ‘brethren’, the ones lost in the mists of confusion? Just when will these stupid urchins stop putting their faith in a failed system from a rotten badly built self-made man full of himself and his ambitions?

    Eventually, the Karma will run over the Dogma, but we’re impatient waiting for so long for it to happen.

  2. Unfortunately, they really aren’t “stupid urchins.” We are all just regular people caught up in a system that did not give us a chance to think for ourselves once we were trapped within it. (You probably did not mean to put them down as much as I am reading into it.)

    I found Margaret Singer’s Cults In Our Midst very helpful in understanding how we often “blame the victim” by thinking that they must somehow have been aberrant in order to join a cult. She notes that the aberrant behaviour follows the thought reform. Anyone can be taken in under the right circumstances. She certainly agrees that instability keeps them in control.

    A variation on that thinking is the one that lets a cult get away with claiming that people who have left (such as, say, David Covington) should not be believed when they disagree with the official story.

    Most of us who are either in or coming out from WCG already have enough problems with self-esteem without being blamed for staying in a closed system of thought.

    I sure take your point about the doctrines being almost an afterthought. In reading for a seminary class about Evangelical history I am discovering that very few of HWA’s doctrines and attitudes (including British Israelism) are without precedent in Evangelical circles. While he put them together into a unique package, the basic approaches were definitely out there already by the late 1800’s. David Jeffrey (British), George Rawlyk (Canadian) and Sydney Ahlstrom (American) all mention British Israelite influences in some Evangelical (and even political) streams. HWA’s only original thinking was in the way he put it all together.

    I am enjoying and appreciating this blog and all the comments.

    1. I am a 59 year old gay christian, involved in lay ministry and happy in my own quirky understanding of Christ’s Grace and love.I left the Worldwide Church of God in 1982 or 83.I left because I was miserable and I couldn’t even tell my keener friends why.I lost almost all of my friends in the world when I left.I believed I would surely burn in hell because I’d left “God’s one, only, true and holy church.” Yet the agony of staying was ten times worse than leaving my cozy WWCG world behind.(We had a particulairly warm and friendly congregation.)I realise now those friendships was the only glue that kept me bound so long to that cult.Conditional love ;however, rich is still a “carrot on a stick” manipulation of emotions used to enforce obeidiance.
      In ’65 I heard Garner Ted Armstrong on the radio “The World Tomorrow” program.His confident speaking style held a powerful appeal to me tortured by my gay teen insecurities.He offered me a rock to stand on which turned into an alcatraz.
      Over the years, being indoctrinated by the slanted, bizarre, delusional theological teaching of the church boxed me in.I became my own zealous jailer.
      I’d been convinced my prison was my security.Those who leave have to uproot this flawed,legalistic, authortarian centred view.Many refuse to because it’s very painful to let go of what you think is your moral compass.Pain forced me out, thank God.
      I got involved in GBLT activism, lived in Japan for ten years.I grew through my victories and sufferings.Once I nearly died from a fever. As I reached my weakest I made peace with God. I feared I would curse him for all the pain he’d let into my life. Instead I wept with joy for the wonderful experiences I’d had.I asked to be healed but only to come back as a gay christian or don’t bother; because I was “sick to death of religious bullshit!”
      I sank into a deep sleep.The fever broke.I awoke the next day, weak but able to walk a few steps.(This does not mark me as special as healing is offered to everyone.) Health returned with a vengeance.
      I tried reconnecting with the WWCG in the early 90s. I found it stiffling to be with them. Yes, the people and ministers were nice but I felt I was retrograding.I cancelled the magazine and wrote a letter explaining why I didn’t want to be tied to them anymore.
      I got involved in street ministry in Japan.My pastor Sam was brave enough to believe a christian might be gay. I learned a lot about Christ’s Grace. Christianity was not a denomination but my personal
      mystical relationship with God through Christ.
      From ’98 to ’02, in Vancouver BC I got involved with gay evangelical churches.I returned to my hometown and found the Anglican church for all its stodginess was Grace based and championed inclusivity.
      I realise now that Herbert W Armstrong, conciously or unconciously, created a pastiche of Seventh Day Adventism, Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science, British Israelism and ignorant protestant fundamentalism.He made a grab bag religion from what was available in the religious marketplace of his youth.I believe the person he deluded most was himself.
      The Armstrongs fooled me when I was young and ignorant.But the churches gave no bible based refution of their lies.Most in their own arrogance did not even try.Those who did only showed their own ignorance of the scriptures and their trust in their orthodoxy.
      Now I am free to think, to question, to listen to opposite opinions as I trust in God.Best of all I recognise the destructive power of judgementalism and authoritarianism within and without.
      Religion is about mystical knowledge, guilt, duties, secret keys, elites ,reproductionism, male supremacy and cultural prejudice.
      The Christian Faith is about Christ’s Grace, relationship with God, inclusivity, growing in maturity and knowledge, avoiding judgementalism and treating others as kindly as you would like to be treated.My life is not always easy or the way clear; but, God has made me happy and I want to share that with others.

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