Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Life As A Preachers Kid

From The Painful Truth site:

hello , i was a PK in the WCG . My father Lyle Simons was "called " in 1966 in Squaw Valley . we were in Prince George BC ,where my dad had the entire northern half of the province as his territory. 

Your website blows my mind, not a day goes by when i dont have a creepy memory of childhood . reading these quotes with my mouth hanging open brought a flood of memories that ive blocked out.  I never researched any of this till days ago and im 55. Why wont this stuff leave me?  i just sent a huge hateful hurtful tirade of accusations against my father a few days ago , before seeing this. As a ministers kid I believe i was subjected to a turbo- charged version of all of this insanity till I discovered alcohol at 16 and lighting didnt strike me. drugs came at 17. I went to 11 schools to complete 12 yrs of school , because of being moved around. I was the only short haired kid in several high schools and subjected to extreme bullying because of my fear of what God  would do to me if i did t turn the other cheek. I was the weird preachers kid with short hair , hemmed up pants , weird lunches and constant absences for holy days. i constantly thought about suicide as a retaliation against my parents so they'd feel guilty if i died.

They beat the shit out of me with a wooden paddle till i was about 15. Virtually daily because everything i did was wrong.  I hated and feared my parents but was forced to call them sir and ma'am. I got kicked out of AC in 78 for a drunken night where i pissed in the pool ( from the edge in broad daylight) next to an AC dorm and was reported doing donuts on the dichondria on Orange Grove Blvd in my 67 Malibu. I had Jack Meoff paged in the cafeteria with 1200 faculty members and members in attendance, hehe. My dad nearly choked on his mashed potatoes! the church kids hated and resented me because of the pedestal they put me on and my school mates jeered me and ostracized for all the above. I had no friends till i was 18 , rebelled , moved out and pursued drugs and partying as a passion. When i grew my hair long and pierced an ear and started dealing i was finally a "cool " dude , it was my savior , drugs were my best friend. Made me forget how i felt. Im still the black sheep of the family , guilt and shame ruled my life for years. I still feel awful at christmas easter halloween and birthdays. My dad wished me a happy birthday this june 9th and it just set me off for some reason , i told him to stick it up his ass and i went on a tirade of name calling and accusations . 

I did some research and just found out things I never knew about HWA and his kid. I went thru measles whooping cough mumps as a kid in grade two , no shots. I was forced to play the accordion till about 16 , the nerdiest instrument known to man , was i the cool kid or what?!  I remember our new ministers assistant Chuck Ranchie was forced to sell his Harley and his Beatles collection. If i dont stop now , this will end up being a novel , im tired of these memories. Ive been sober for 14 yrs but i started smoking weed again because it really helps me sleep and laugh. ive been in Mexico for 17 yrs , havent seen my sisters in yrs .  im currently in the Philipines checking it out for retirement , distance helps me distance, if you know what i mean. i feel extemely fortunate i havent lost my marbles or ended up in jail or dead or homicidal or suicidal. Although i tried to kill myself by drugs for,years , i was using intravenously for a time in my twenties. I just didnt give a shit. My dad has answered my tirade with some sidestepping rhetorical bullshit justifying how they were just trying to do the best for us.He has yet to tell the real reasons he left the church in 97. He doesnt attend any church at all now. He still thinks the demons built the pyramids.  feel free to print any of this and publish my email.
Sincerely Trent Simons


Marge Dieter said...

I think Trent would have been that way no matter what parents he had.
Plenty of kids like him outside of churches.
Any excuse to act out for some.

Black Ops Mikey said...

For those of us that have read "Without Conscience" and "Snakes in Suits" this portrays a very disturbing picture.

No doubt the pain and suffering Trent went through, but there are others who went through similar and worse without becoming antisocial.

It is an example of the very core of the Cult of Herbert Armstrong Mafia. It is up to each of us how we choose to be and who we choose to be when we become adults. I choose not to be a slave to the temptations of antisocial behavior (and my cat keeps me in the realm of humanity). It is an extreme environment -- all of it -- which more than borders on the ludicrous.

Our thanks goes to Herbert Armstrong who created this dysfunctional environment for his own selfish hubris.

I hope that everyone can heal sufficiently to make wise and appropriate choices.

And there's nothing like a little purr and fur. It keeps life simple (unless your feline is an undercover Russian [Blue] super spy with his own cult under the pseudonym Joseph Tcat, Senior).

Assistant Deacon said...

"I think Trent would have been that way no matter what parents he had."

Spoken like someone who believes there really was such a thing as "The Love Fund."

Anonymous said...

The father was dysfunctional, but being a minister gave him credibility. He would have been a lousy parent with or without the church influence.

Anonymous said...

wow, Trent we share a common history. I was brought up in the church too though not a ministers child just a lowly member. I went to AC as well but was always a 'goody 2 shoes', though underneath the obedient exterior my true self was welling up.

After graduating AC I wandered up to Canada and left the church a year later. I found salvation and a group of friends in the drug culture too. I was cool, it was fun etc., in a way nothing was in the church. Vancouver was a great place in the early 70's after just being released from a nunnery. The drug thing helped take care of my nihilistic tedencies too. I feel it was a good thing in my life, it enabled my mind to open from WCG, and I found out I was not an addictive person either. I could taste and enjoy. And what did anything matter anyway when I was enroute to the Lake of Fire.

Well I am leading a pretty quiet life these days but it's been one hell of a ride.

Best of luck to you Trent.

Anonymous said...

Wow, and I thought that *I* had it bad!

Trent was clearly affected by the WCG, and by being a PK. Most of the kids outside the COGs are NOT like Trent. I think his testimony should be taken at face value: he knows himself best.

Trent is a survivor. Kudos, dude.

Byker Bob said...

Everyone is always going to say Hooray for our side. Obviously, Marge is what we call an apologist.

However, behavioral scientists have been debating the relative significances of environment vs heredity for decades now. Most who work with the sciences of the mind tend to come down on the side of environment as being the most influential factor in what an individual ultimately becomes.

WCG/HWA/AC did not have a patent on their methodology. There are other groups and individuals who practice some of the same techniques without them being part of a basic doctrinal approach. So, of course there are going to be examples of people from "the world" who exhibit many of the same traits as the classic WCG "rebel" types, who do not allow themselves to be "cowed" by an extreme or unjust system.

One size does not fit all. It is never that simple. Methodology or mentoring need to be tailored to each individual. Inappropriate methods will retard or worsen peoples' world view and approach towards life. Injustice and unfairness cause rebellion and sabotage. WCG was very good at this, and then compounded the error by blaming the victims whom they put into these positions.


Black Ops Mikey said...

Byker Bob, please note that psychopaths do have altered brain function: Dr. Robert Hare noted in his seminal work, "Without Conscience" that psychopaths actually have brain waves that are different from normal humans. In fact, his faculty adviser told him that his encephalograms of psychopaths he was studying in prison were fakes because the adviser was absolutely positive that those were not the brain waves of human beings.

Other studies have shown that there are three factors which are necessary for forming psychopaths. The top one is genetics, the second is environment and the third is some traumatic event, usually suffered early in teen years, which leads to the final result.

As nearly as I can tell (particularly after encountering many of these types of people through my lifetime), these are people without conscience, without empathy and they play games manipulating people.

I remember well the Painful Truth article about teen who claimed abuse in the WCG and left his family to escape. I was buying it all until he ended it by saying had burned down the farm of the family in Montana who had befriended him.

These are very very bad people who get a lot of sympathy from those who are unwary and do a great deal of damage in three acts: Evaluation, execution and abandonment. This plays out over and over again. They can be so very charismatic but they have absolutely no compunction about ruining people.

In the end, they rip you off and you never see them coming. The best Dr. Robert Hare and Dr. Paul Babiak can advise is to avoid them and stay out of their way. Nearly everyone is vulnerable to them -- if they don't take you on directly, they can ruin your life by manipulating others to torpedo you. The other advice they give in "Snakes in Suits" is that if you are a target, get all the concrete documentation you can. It still might not help you because usually early on, they engage those in power over so you don't have a fighting chance against you.

And every once in awhile, these types post angst ridden stories of mistreatment as part of their game playing, making them the hero and center stage of the story quite different from the reality.

The question some people have is, "Was Herbert Armstrong a psychopath?" and my answer is, "It is difficult to tell because he had a higher vocabulary than most of the run of the mill psychopath". In any event, we can definitely say that Herbert Armstrong exhibited antisocial behavior and if nothing else, he was likely a sociopath (or worse) and certainly a narcissist.

The war continues over at Ronald Weinland False Prophet whether Weinland is a psychopath or just sincere and delusional. He is definitely antisocial and don't you know, the fact that he's a convicted felon is more than suggestive that he is a full out psychopath.

My advice: Whether narcissist, sociopath, nutjob, con, weird and creepy, mentally ill or borderline, it's best just to avoid all of them if at all possible.

You'll be sorry if you don't.

old EXPCG hag said...

You know this reminds me of what I once heard by a minister in the Worldwide. He said, "Just because you may be called does not mean your kids are".
What he was saying was "just because you were called at this time, and understand what HWA taught )according to divine inspiration from God), does not mean your kids are called at this time to understand this same way of believing" being spiritually discerned, l Corinthians 2:14, and..."Because the carnal mind is enmity against God" Romans 8:7.
They may not be called to be "first fruits" >first resurrection<... So in other words you cannot FORCE your beliefs, on your kids, or anyone else, for that matter, according to the teachings of the bible of "predestination" which is what HWA taught. ...go figure!

Byker Bob said...

Douglas, several thoughts. First, as a result of what you shared, I have revised my opinion. I now believe that tenure in an ACOG does not necessarily automatically fit into the category of "environment". In some cases, it does qualify as a very damaging traumatic event, particularly if first exposure occurs during the teenage years. There is often a great deal of PTSD associated with prolonged exposure.

I believe that the psychopaths or sociopaths who can do the most damage in our lives are often those from whom we cannot easily distance ourselves, people such as a relative, authoritarian minister, or employer. Those are the ones who are in position to make us their codependents. I've also been exposed to numerous of these types of people, some for whom I finally realized that I cared apparently more than they cared for themselves.

In business, I've been around the full spectrum of humanity, as well as the people who diagnose, profile, and categorize them. One would normally be required to find some basis by which to relate to individuals so there can be a foundation for working together. I've found that most people have aspects to their personalities for which we must make allowances. And, of course, I include myself in that, as some would need to make allowances for my quirks, even the quirks to which I may be oblivious. If I spot someone as a "user" (of people), it generally does not require much time for me to simply write them off. If someone has a reputation or history as a con or a rip-off artist, I generally never even give them a first chance.

It's a difficult call, though, when someone approaches us having suffered some of the same experiences as we have at the hand of Armstrongism. There is a tendency to want to believe them, or to take them at face value, and if we end up being wrong in this, and get roped in, we could indeed suffer as a result of our wrong assessment. The example you cited of having your home burned down by one of these self-described heroes is a pretty severe penalty for making such a mistake.

People often think of Christians either as naive milquetoasts who practically welcome an opportunity to become victims, or as hypocrites if they recognize threats for what they are and turn a cold shoulder. In our times, the druggies, ripoff artists, and sociopaths are the modern equivalent of the demon possessed people of Jesus' times. Unfortunately, we do not have His ability to heal people so that they are actually able to be helped. It is also very difficult for a lay person to determine who is capable of responding positively to some help or mentoring. It's always a challenge to live up to the lofty paradigm of being wise as serpents and harmless as doves.


old EXPCG hag said...

...but you can round them all up at >headquarters< and funnel into their brains(brainwash)them into thinking your way, therefore not having access to any other way of thinking or for that matter not letting them think or decide for themselves Romans 14:1-23, and then offer them positions at >headquarters< after graduation, that way they wouldn't even have to leave the compound, ever, and experience life for themselves... This would be the easiest way to "train up a child".
This is why you need lots of welfare money from lowly members and unsuspecting co workers whom are not as important as you and yours. THE END.

Anonymous said...

Trent Simons really needs to get over himself and quit blaming his past for the way he is now. His father and others were caught up in Armstrongism and believed they were doing right at the time, most of them have come to regret it. I knew Lyle Simons his father and he was a dedicated minister in the WWCG. Those of us who went through all of that didn't know any better than to believe what we were taught, thankfully we came through it. Quit blaming and forgive, Trent chose drugs and alcohol and would have done it regardless, but he has found a way to put the blame on others. It probably tears his father apart inside, why not make his day and be a man.