I was sent this today about a former church member from Pasadena about her story of life in Armstrongism and how she has recovered. I hope Dr. Bob Thiel, the official spokesman for the Living Church of God, reads her story and remembers it the next time he wants to praise Herbert Armstrong as God's greatest gift to the world.
When I was six, my mom remarried and my parents joined an extreme Fundamentalist Christian cult. We believed, among other things, that the End Times were coming any second, that women were made solely to serve men and had no intrinsic value themselves and that we were the Only Chosen people of God – everyone else was worthless unless they converted.A few weeks after life began at “God’s College”, I got expelled for being in love with David. The minister in charge of interviewing me for my expulsion asked me deeply personal questions about my body, my sexuality and David’s body, all while he played with himself under his desk drawer! Because I was a virgin, I was shocked and traumatized by his invasive questions, but I had no idea how to defend myself. I didn’t know for years why his face would turn red after he fidgeted with something I couldn’t see while asking me questions about my nipples!
They announced my expulsion to 6,000 church members and other students – I was accused of sexual misconduct publicly. My parents were incredibly ashamed and punished me severely. I was forbidden from ever speaking to my beloved David again, or ever returning to my friends and my church in Arizona. A few weeks later, a guy from church whose girlfriend had just dumped him to marry another started talking to me. I married him less than a year later, because they’d finally broken my spirit and he promised to restore my reputation in the church if I did.
The marriage was difficult. He had been raised in our church by an extremely harsh, controlling father, and he had a drinking problem. He believed completely that he was the head of our household and my job was solely to serve. When I disobeyed, I was punished.
We had two children, Jeremy Winston and Amelia Louise. In 1991, on a little country road in England, about 2 days after we’d arrived for our vacation, my husband didn’t look both ways at an intersection. He had jet lag; he’d stayed up with Amelia all the night before so I could rest; and he had had a few beers. The other car hit ours at 65 kph.
Amelia died instantly. Jeremy was taken off life support 3 days later. I was in a coma and in severe condition. At one point, they talked about amputating my left leg because it had no feeling in it. I wanted to die, but my attempts at suicide were limited since I couldn’t get out of my hospital bed, nor even sit up!
They eventually airlifted me back to the USA. We finally buried our children. I found out a week or so later that my husband was having an affair with my live-in nurse while I lay in the hospital bed someone had set up in our living room.
You can read the rest of her story here:
Wendy is now a successful writer, author and mother who has been featured on national television.