Exit and Support has a new letter up from former Philadelphia Church of God members. This family had the sense to wake up and leave the cult.
Of all the various splinter groups of Armstrongism this one has the potential to be deadly to its members.
After reading Malachi's Message, we thought PCG was truly the church to attend. I'll have to say as rotten as Worldwide Church of God was it was nothing compared to the oppression and evil we felt in the Philadelphia Church of God.
Slowly and systematically Gerald Flurry started pulling in the reigns, cutting all family off, even people who gave us no trouble about the PCG at all. Pretty soon we were told we couldn't eat out, we had to eat there at services (every week). We were expected to bring dishes of food while they had people in there watching your actions and words. If they thought someone was a bit more relaxed and would open up and say things, they wanted to know how devoted you were to him (not God but Gerald Flurry).
We were assigned seats and could only sit where they wanted us to--next to people who tended to draw you out and question you about your loyalty. Flurry insisted people there were to be "family" to each other. It never worked for me as I really felt uncomfortable with everyone there. They all seemed like zombies to me--"yes men" that were devoted to Flurry. Their eyes were glassy, they stared ahead a lot, their conversations were nothing but buzzwords. No one was interested in anything you did or said outside of PCG. So you were encouraged to talk only about "the church."
One time we were all told we better be at services. A woman I knew who was in the last stages of cancer was told her she "better get to church or else!" Another woman I knew was in the hospital with cancer and the ministers insisted (against the doctor's advice) that she come to services that day. (She later died but the ministers didn't even care, attributing it to some "hidden sin" in her life.) When we all arrived that day, they had blocked the windows with black plastic and it was so dark in there you could hardly see. There were guards (bully-like men) by the doors. Some were at the entrance, some were where you go into the room for the services, and some standing at the bathroom door, intimidating people who entered, saying who could go in and how long they could stay. They said they were handing the information to Flurry.
After the woman who had cancer got home, she got up enough strength to phone the ministers and ask them to come to her home. She really told them off about a lot of things on her mind, including about others in there. When they started in on her she yelled at them to get out of her house and not to dare threaten her again!! Apparently, they then phoned Flurry and the next day they called her and said, "By the authority of Mr. Flurry you are disfellowshipped!" She later told me that she never felt so much peace in her life or felt so free of that evil place.