A woman who was a member of Gerald Flurry's personalty cult, the Philadelphia Church of God, relates what she had her family experience in her 22 year membership in the PCG.
She writes what everyone who has been part of Armstrongism has experienced.
When you first come in, it looks so good--lots of friends, laws to live by that seem to promise happiness. All is well--until they think you didn't do something they said to do. Then you're constantly watched as they can't take the chance of you thinking for yourself and breaking rank. Just the smallest thing is suspicious. Then comes the threats. You can't be part of this if you don't follow suit. They begin to instill fear. After that you're hooked. But you keep going on and on because all your friends are there, all your money goes there, and your children are in there.
They have cut you off from the world ever so gradually and replaced everything and everybody with them only. The constant fear of being put out and not "making it into God's Kingdom" keeps you from leaving. You will do anything. Your hope of a lifeline to someone on the outside, to get out, is gone. You have alienated everyone in your family that could help you to get out. You're constantly talking about prophecies and that "we alone" are called and going to the "place of safety" and that no one understands but us in the "true church." It really turns others off. Giving the Reigns of Our Life Over to Someone Else
Fear is the only way the leaders of all the Armstrongite splinter groups stay in power. By threatening a member with the lake of fire and eternal damnation for going against them, it scares people enough to keep them submissive and weak.
Cultwatch says this about fear:
Psychology Today writes:Cult leadership is feared. To disagree with leadership is the same as disagreeing with God. The cult leaders will claim to have direct authority from God to control almost all aspects of your life. If the cult is not a religious group then questioning the leaders or program will still be seen as a sign of rebellion and stupidity.
Guilt will be used to control you. Maybe the reason you’re not making money is because you’re not “with the programme”. Maybe the reason you’re not able to convert new recruits is because “your heart is prideful and full of sin”. It could never be that the programme isn’t working, or those new recruits have valid reasons for not joining. It’s always your fault, you are always wrong, and so you must try harder! You will also be made to feel very guilty for disobeying any of the cult’s written or unwritten rules.
.....pathologically narcissistic. They all have or had an over-abundant belief that they were special, that they and they alone had the answers to problems, and that they had to be revered. They demanded perfect loyalty from followers, they overvalued themselves and devalued those around them, they were intolerant of criticism, and above all they did not like being questioned or challenged. And yet, in spite of these less than charming traits, they had no trouble attracting those who were willing to overlook these features.
"Pathologically narcissistic" is a great description of the leadership of almost all the Church of God's. One needs to look no further than David C Pack and Gerald Flurry to see these traits blatantly obvious.
On a Facebook page recently, a person wrote that they witnessed a scene with David C Pack that left them appalled. It seems a group of young men and women were standing around waiting for Dave to arrive. When he did, the guys rushed to see who got to open Dave's car door first as they shoved the women aside.
Demanding extreme loyalty is the only way these men stay in power.