I want to thank PasedenaGuy 10 of Worldwide Church of God Alumni for finding another new book describing the Armstrongist experience. The new book is called Grace In Dark Places by Jim Turner which can be purchased from xulon press.
Why are people drawn to alternative religions that deviate from the norm of Christian beliefs? Why do they stay? What compels them to cling to a false dogma, even in the face of evidence that their beliefs are in error? Why do they engage in scriptural gymnastics in defense of beliefs that have no grounding in Christian theology? Why do they tolerate abusiveness from charismatic leaders and cede personal freedom? Why are they willing to defend these leaders and their institutions to the bitter end?
After a lifetime of spiritual incarceration, Jim Turner began studying the cult mentality in order to better understand his actions. He researched religious cults and their practices and traced their teachings throughout history as they found their way into the “New Religions.” His studies have convinced him that there is indeed “nothing new under the sun.” New Religions offer amended ideas that identified past cults. Modern cults have extracted beliefs from past groups and added a spin that presents them as original and, of course, inspired.
Psychological manipulation plays a significant role in the development and continuation of modern cults, but Jim Turner has presented a convincing argument that the psychological condition and willingness of cultists to surrender their freedom to cult leaders and their irrational tendencies to elevate a revered leader to a semi-divine level are equally responsible for the advancement of cults.
Follow the author through the early stages of cult indoctrination, the personal abuses he experienced at the hands of the cult, his personal choices as he rose through the ranks of the cult and his eventual enlightenment to the deceptiveness of the cult led by Herbert W. Armstrong. Walk with him out of the darkness of cultic deception into the glorious light of the Grace of God through Jesus Christ.
For those who want to read another book about growing up in the historic Worldwide Church of God, The Painful Truth website has an e-book from Dale Brown and you can read it as a PDF here or in book format here. If you think that’s it, I am not finished. The blog Living Armstrongism had mentioned this in April but I am going to re-introduce the news that Keith Hunt’s site has a transcript of John Tuit’s book The Truth Shall Set You Free: Herbert Armstrong’s Empire Exposed. Keith Hunt is a former WCG member who has his own ministry since he left the organization back in the early part of the decade of the 1970s! I don’t agree with everything he says but I felt more at home with a person whom he sponsored on his site, the late great Jesse Ancona and her magnus opus Lying With The Truth. As Keith Hunt publishes John Tuit’s book online, he has own interesting annotations to say the least. Neverthless, it should make good reading. For those who want to know a little more about John Tuit, a respondent on The Living Armstrongism blog comments:
As a matter of curiosity and historical interest (although it was obviously a lot more than that for him), John Tuit actually started attending WCG again (briefly) in about 1989. Here are a couple of extracts from Ambassdor Report:
John Tuit Rejoins Worldwide
John Tuit, the key initiator of the famous 1979 lawsuit against the WCG (see ARs 7-14) and the author of the 1981 book The Truth Shall Make You Free, recently phoned the Report to announce that he has returned to the WCG. Said Tuit, “I feel that the church problems that caused me to leave the church in 1978 have been corrected. I think Mr. Tkach is doing an excellent job straightening the church out.” Tuit says he no longer plans to distribute his book. A few copies may still be available, however, from Emissary Publications, 9205 S.E. Clackamas Rd., no. 1776, Clackamas, OR 97015. (AR 41, March 1989)
Tuit Leaves Worldwide – Again
In our last issue, we reported how John Tuit, the author of The Truth Shall Make You Free, had returned to the WCG. Shortly after that issue appeared, Tuit called us to say he had again left the WCG. He explained how he had hoped that under Tkach the WCG would be different. It didn’t turn out that way. Said Tuit, “The package is different, but underneath there are the same spiritual problems.” It’s been months since Tuit stopped attending, but, he recently told us, “The local minister still hasn’t called me to find out why.” (AR 42, September 1989)
I haven’t read his book yet, but it sounds as if he was not opposed to the basic doctrines that WCG was teaching at that time. Just imagine if he had decided to stay with WCG in 1989. I wonder how he would have reacted to the massive doctrinal changes that JWT Sr. announced in 1994/1995? Truly, everybody’s experience and perspective is different.
It is my sincere hope that wherever John Tuit is today, that he has embraced the essential doctrines of historic Christian faith and has found truly found life after the Worldwide Church of God (now Grace Communion International) and more abundantly. It is my hope with these books whether written recently or decades ago will put a severe dent in the dangerous denialism of today’s protectors of Armstrongism. These books only prove that this totalistic cult (even it’s many splintered forms today) has only rotten fruit to bear and those trapped in such a system need to be free and experience freedom. Let the revolution begin!