A bit of an oldie: Joe Jr.and Mike on the radio about the WCG/GCI

GCIlogopale400 This is old (a couple years back) but still relevant. I meant to post this for some time but never got around to it. I want to thank  again Anne Hanna, a long time internet friend who regularly posted on Mark Tabladillo’s Jesus Loves Fellowship message board back in the past decade of the 2000`s when Mark`s site was a very active one –she gave me something interesting as always to post here. I have mainly put some of her well written and thoroughly researched posts from Mark’s message board to my blog (especially my “old” blog on blogspot, they are still there for your reading). She discovered  a New York radio station that had a recent interview with Grace Communion International President and Pastor General Joseph Tkach and Vice-President Michael Feazell in a two part interview. I have personally heard the first interview, Anne heard part of the second interview and as usual had an opinion to share as always,

Right off the bat it’s bound to have some “New” WCG/GCI member’s blood boiling.

The Topic: Healing under Armstrong.

The Question: The usual, that Herbert Armstrong prohibited doctors and medicine.

The Answer (from President Tkach): A bit of a surprise.

Apparently it wasn’t all HWA’s fault. No no, Tkach says that the doctrine was not monolithic and depended on the pastor in the congregation you attended. Even HWA did not adhere to that very closely in the last years of his life and was taking 17 different medications.

“According to Tkach, HWA would say that when he wrote his booklet … he was stating an “ideal” and that he did not mean to make it an either or situation. Tkach said to be fair some in Administration interpreted it and they were handpicked by HWA. He (HWA) did not superintend that issue very well.”

A fellow poster on Mark’s post by the name Desertwench disagrees with Tkach Jr.’s conclusions:


On the Armstrong healing doctrine, I was there back in the day, and know for a fact that doctors & prescription drugs were a no-no (church-wide) except in the case of needing to have a broken bone set or certain types of emergencies.  The act of seeking medical treatment (in general) was viewed as weakness of faith and failure to trust and rely on God.  I still can’t believe how many sick people died needlessly back then, simply because they believed it was not God’s will for them to see a doctor.

Just as HWA changed his mind back & forth (depending on what mood or circumstances he was in….) numerous times on the “makeup doctrine,” he also changed his mind on “healing” – especially when he himself needed medical attention.  When he was in Thailand and other countries, he did not even practice his own “clean and unclean meat” doctrines, and ate whatever was placed in front of him so as not to offend whomever he was there to impress.  HWA was emotionally immature, mentally ill & wishy-washy to the hilt (I’m pretty sure his full name was Herbert Wishy-Washy Armstrong!).

I don’t know why Tkach seems to be defending ex-cult leader HWA’s “honor” after all these years.  Well, except for the fact that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…he is, after all, STILL Armstrong’s successor…

I was personally POed when the radio talk show host inquired about Herbert W. Armstrong`s racism and the poor response given to it. Mike Feazell only responded with isn`t everybody racist shtick. Read an old Plain Truth and find out about HWA`s feelings about the Civil Rights movement, or his divinely ordered decree of segregation in the millenial kingdom  in booklets like The Wonderful World Tomorrow or Mystery of The Ages or simply HWA`s perverse hang-ups with black men with white chicks in a sermon back in 1980. Sorry Mike, Herbert W. Armstrong at times made Archie Bunker look like a respectable liberal. Click here to the blog to hear the interviews online.


2 thoughts on “A bit of an oldie: Joe Jr.and Mike on the radio about the WCG/GCI

  1. Here’s another perspective: I was born in 1976, and spent the bulk of the next 11 years in and out of hospital; my last operation was 1987, the year before the alleged “change of the healing doctrine” made by Senior.

    I quite clearly remember medications being used for and by the members of the Victoria congregation, and several of the members even worked in healthcare! Long before 1988…sure, there were some members that were gung-ho for the “Alternative Health” bunk (Unfortunately, there are a few holdouts for that nonsense, even in GCI today, so YMMV.) but those tended to be few and far between and not really regarded seriously.

    Off the top of my head, other than myself, I can remember children being prescribed antibiotics for childhood infections, one member who took chemotherapy for cancer (this would have been about 1985 or so), a friend of mine who had her appendix out (in 1987), one young member of the congregation with Prader-Willi Syndrome, and there were always prayer requests being made from the pulpit, for those in hospital or under a doctor’s care.

    And Victoria was considered a “hardliner” congregation. So make of that what you will.

  2. Googling WCG randomly and came upon your site. Born in the 80’s I still recall feeling “less than” as a black member of the congregation. As a child I internalized this and just assumed we were less than. Our services were severely segregated and it wasn’t until I was older I realized the effects of such. Thank you for sharing and speaking up.

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