Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tragic Life In Armstrongism Made Good

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!

Note:  This is not the first story of Church of God ministers and evangelists jerking off under the desk as they asked inappropriate questions of students - male or female.

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.


Assistant Deacon said...

Good for Wendy. Knew them both, hope he's healed and moved forward, too.

A cautionary tale, theirs. Too typical of the bizarre Armstrong legacy.

Byker Bob said...

Yep, this story had a happy ending.

I once found myself in someone's office being asked the most incredibly intrusive questions about some things I was suspected of doing with a young lady. I thought it extremely odd, but never suspected that my inquisitor might be playing with himself under the table. Why would someone need to know arousing details of alleged sin? That can actually be more powerful than pornography! Done under the guise of ministry or counsellor, who would suspect?


Douglas Becker said...

So many Armstrongists are in denial.

This story illustrates that Armstrongist ministers are not benign: Attending church isn't like going to an afternoon tea party -- these people do real damage to real people.

It's great that Wendy's life has turned around.

Now if the rest of those living in horrible conditions (some of whom don't know any better and think they are fine) could just become angry and leave to have a better life, the world would be such a better place.

Question: Can we assume that Wendy was on Dr. Phil, and, if so, did she mention the Worldwide Church of God?

Anonymous said...

There's a lack of disclosure, in what people in positions of power in cults tell the people they are allegedly "helping"

They are not "up front" about things. (No pun intended.)

For example- On mainstream Christian TV, the preachers' shows look nicer than they do in person. If you were to go to one of the revival meetings in person, you'd likely find the preacher engaging in crazy tongues and holy laughter behavior, while prompting people in the audience to do the same, audience members in front of the stage rolling around and flailing their limbs and babbling incoherently while they poop their pants.

Why the lack of disclosure?
Because if that were shown on TV it would less than effective "selling" of their crazy Jesus-branded message.
Once they get you into the highly emotionally charged milieu of a large arena and work their psychodramatic spell, a person is more likely to fall(even literally) for their crap.

So, they are "sleazy salesmen for Jesus" whose effectiveness stems from not being upfront about things.

Of course, they will tell you they have the "Holy Spirit" and are simply using "Christian discernment" by not being more forthcoming in their cheezy underhanded Jesus-sales-pitches.

(Sort of like the smiling Christian minister who comes to your door who then wants to take your money or jerk off under the table or recruit you or maybe even eat you. They are not up front about such things. They have "Christian discernment", LOL!)


Anonymous said...

I remember reading and hearing about that deadly car crash in England. Later I heard about the divorce -- and I was baffled about what might have led to it. This post explains it. The reason is stunning and sad.

This may be stepping into dangerous territory, but here is an online biography of Wendy's former husband. Look at what he's doing now!