Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Living University Student Tells How He Was Mistreated By LCG Ministers

From the Exit and Support site.

I always had this gut feeling, this unnerving inkling somewhere way in the back of my mind all throughout the entire time I had been a part of Living Church of God that something wasn't right. Of course I learned quickly to dismiss it as a thought from Satan, encouraged to pray harder and fast more and "draw closer to God" to resist the devil. That in itself doesn't prove anything, but I had studied gut feelings as a part of my University certificate (prior to LCG) and it is absolutely true that gut feelings are more than just vague paranoia or imagined fear.
"Your sub-conscious which operates ten times faster than your conscious mind has picked up on signals of danger that your conscious mind has not yet processed."1

"Controlling my information was something I experienced first hand being at Living University, and beforehand. One particularly memorable moment was when I found a book in the LU library titled The Armstrong Empire.(A Look at the Worldwide Church of God) by Joseph Hopkins.4 It was later removed upon realising what it was about when I brought it to two of the ministers to check out and read. I could have just taken it, but it was a simple experiment. Along with my being instructed not to read Exit Support Network™, Cult Awareness and Information Centre, or similar ones, because it was either "dissident material" or just plain "doctrines of demons" or "it will drag you away from the truth." This is not exclusive to the LCG, it is a common practise among Bible-based cult groups who insist they are the "one true church." However, when you are being subjected to it you don't realise that is what's happening. You are told to pray more, fast more, draw closer to God and made to feel incredibly guilty and like you're not measuring up.

It began to concern me when I was told to do just that. Don't read anything that contradicts or challenges the group theology. If you want to prove anything you have to refer to the group literature/authority because everyone else is "blinded." It is a ridiculous mentality to have but when you are indoctrinated in it you genuinely believe what you are told, and I did. But it didn't stop those gut feelings of "something is not right."
I began to become more and more concerned with the way I was being treated and the way in which my girlfriend [in LCG] was expected to act and react and interact. I was told to ignore her completely, told not to talk to her, to avoid sitting next to her. We both thought we were doing the right thing but it doesn't change how miserable I made her feel. It doesn't change that people in the future will still be subjected to such abuse quite frankly under the guise of a minister telling you "God" wills it and that He is testing you. I am sorry for the way I let people manipulate me into treating her that way. I was always told "wrong time," it's "not God's will." In reality the idea was that I needed to be indoctrinated properly, to dedicate my life to the group (through baptism) then be "a useful tool in God's hands" so that they would have assurance I would pledge total allegiance, lifelong loyalty and service to their group and place it before anything else. Although, of course, that's not what is said. You're told it's "the one true God" you're worshipping. My girlfriend became a threat to my potential "to be used", because if I came to Living University, fell in love with her, left and got married (even if we remained in the group) what an awful waste that would be of a perfectly good potential minister. We're always told there's a shortage of young men."


Anonymous said...

This story does not surprise me at all. LCG absolutely demands that you place the church above EVERYTHING ELSE. They use Luke 14:26 (If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters--yes, even their own life--such a person cannot be my disciple) to justify this expectation. Again, mistaking themselves for the same authority of Jesus Christ. LCG members are expected to put the church above their friendships, family members and marriages. I know of 2 married couples wherein ministry advised women to chose the church over their husbands when their husbands appeared to be skeptical of the shenanigans currently going on in LCG. No matter if you think it's fair or just, you are expected to sit down, shut up and obey. To do otherwise is to disobey Christ according to LCG ministry. AGAIN they get themselves confused with our Lord. LCG members typically adhere to these requirements because they are literally brainwashed to believe that church leadership is directly lead by Christ which couldn't be further from the truth as evidenced by their historically documented hideous, repeated and ungodly behavior. LCG members are supposed to be "obedient to masters"/ leadership. Wake up people! There is only one Master that you need to worry about obeying and it isn't Roderick C. Meredith.

Byker Bob said...

Standard Armstrongite fruits! Herbie's crackpot theories and heretical doctrines automatically cause these, just as communism always causes its own brand of misery. Embrace spiritual rape as if that is actually God's way, and then just realize that your mind is the problem, and pray for a better attitude towards the rape and rapists.


Anonymous said...

I know alot about 'that' feeling too. Something seems 'not-right' in that down, right, special spot in your neurology where words can't quite describe it, yet. Reminds me of that ziggy marley song "true":
got to be true,
be true,
true to yourself,
before you can be true to anybody else,

"You are told to pray more, fast more, draw closer to God and made to feel incredibly guilty and like you're not measuring up."

They can't answer your questions for you or maybe they already have;) They are not reflecting a Christ-like attitude themselves and they still don't know 'how' to get there themselves let alone anyone else. Because they are more concerned about apearring to be right and in authority of 'the way'.
Your cognitive dissonance is not taken as feedback but rather as if you are raining on their parade. The powermad leaders of this cult see the flock as their narccistic supply. Sounds funny but appears to be true.

"I wanted to make this point because since I have left LCG I feel completely normal again. My heart rate started slowing once I told the minister I would leave, and it has returned to normal now. I feel more clarity, more focused and more at ease and at peace with myself and the world. This is astounding biological evidence that something was not right with that group, and my body responded and suffered accordingly. This has never happened before. I have always been uncannily healthy, especially mentally."

Good for you! Keep that light with you always and on every path you happen to find yourself on.

the drive-by philosopher

Scroller said...

Darryl I read your full original letter, and I think you are exactly correct in your assessment and how you are responding now. As for "2 to 3 years left", I heard Roderick Meredith himself speak with no less dogmatism and certainty of "maybe 4 to 8 years left" in the early 1970s(!). As for the suppression of critical thinking that you describe at "Living University", you are absolutely right that any real university teaches weighing of evidence and reading multiple sides of informed discussions of issues. Where is Dr. Germano in all this? I knew Dr. Germano long ago as a sound and intelligent critical thinker, and now he is mixed up with this? Finally, let me tell you, Roderick Meredith is one not-very-admirable person to look up to as a religious leader. Never mind that he seems not to have developed a single original thought or idea in his entire life's history of preaching. If his message was a good one that would be forgivable. I personally heard him, along with several thousand others, on the opening night of the Feast of Tabernacles 1969 in Mount Pocono, say how if he were president he could end the war in Vietnam in one-half hour. He repeated it a couple of times, sort of smiling and relishing the point. Although he did not directly say so, it sounded like he was talking about simply nuking North Vietnam off the map, thus ending the war in one-half hour. Meredith never apologized, clarified, or retracted that statement, which is utterly horrifying--making serious statements of intent about genocide, about mass annihilation. To the contrary Meredith seemed proud of it, as if showing what a man he was that he could give the word to exterminate hundreds of thousands of people just like that. And all this on the opening night of a religious festival. Of course Meredith then was also not thinking an original thought--he was channeling, albeit in extreme form, the climate and the culture of the one doing his thinking for him, HWA (Meredith was at that time #3 in the WCG, superintendent of the US ministry under HWA and GTA). These are violent, violent, people in their hearts--as the heart thinks, the mouth speaks--even if they are externally law-abiding and restrict their malevolence to ideas and speech and manipulation of human minds. They preach British-Israelism which is other language for thinking white people have divine entitlement to the world's best natural resources and to take and keep such by military conquest and force--simple imperial ideology with dehumanizing of any native peoples who happen to be in the way. If Meredith showed signs of self-reflection, growth, remorse--genuine repentance--over these past blatant advocacies and relishing of thoughts of mass murder, that would be one thing. But that is not the case from anything that I have seen reported. You did well to think analytically and run, not walk, out of there to the productive and meaningful life you have possible ahead now. I sincerely hope you can talk with your girlfriend and work through this with her, and that she can recognize again the good soul that you are as you have shown by your growth in this experience. God bless you. (p.s. you might find reading books by Frank Schaeffer of interest and helpful.) gld

Redfox712 said...

I took "lessons" from LCG's so-called Bible Study Course. And "Lesson Two" insinuated that Christ would return in 2017.

No doubt they altered that by now.

As for Meredith saying World War III will soon occur here is what Mereidth wrote in a September-October 2005 article:

The world will experience shocking events over the next five to ten years [That's 2005-2015], yet most people are not even remotely prepared. The vast majority of Americans and Canadians—even most professing Christian ministers—will be profoundly affected and deeply hurt by what is to come.


Because the God of the Bible is unreal to them, and the inspired prophecies of the Bible are either unheeded or totally misunderstood.

As for Meredith saying he would end the Vietnam War in a half hour: That is absolutely frightening. What a disgusting and heartless thing to say. It was also incredibly stupid. It would not have worked as he thought it would.

And to think that HWA at the same time ordered his followers to not take up arms. But this hatred and attitude of violence still lived in their hearts.

"They preach British-Israelism which is other language for thinking white people have divine entitlement to the world's best natural resources and to take and keep such by military conquest and force--simple imperial ideology with dehumanizing of any native peoples who happen to be in the way."

Very elegantly stated. Reading those words I was instantly reminded of when I read PCG's propaganda booklet on South Africa, which was very sympathetic to the Apartheid regime.

In the 1995 edition of The Little Book booklet (since removed) Gerald Flurry wailed "Already South Africa has lost control of its country." In fact, with the collapse of Apartheid, for the first time all South Africans regardless of race were able to participate in the politics of the land they lived in as equals.

Minimalist said...

Does Living University teach the UTTERLY REFUTED White-Elitist Anglo-Israel theory?

Even though LCG deemphasizes the book placing it at #21 of 27 in their listing!

Black Ops Mikey said...

Buy our new book, "I Feel Guilty when I say No to a Psychopath".