Sunday, May 24, 2015

While the Ministry in LCG, UCG, PCG and RCG Stay in First Class Hotels, the Little People are Left to Fend for Themselves

Exit and Support has an interesting letter up from a former COG member detailing what it was like being part of the Church of God.  This is NOT an isolated case.  Another life potentially ruined...but now free.

I was eventually baptized with Church of God the Eternal; however they had no services in my state, so I was baptized at their "Feast of Tabernacles." The minister told me that I could not work during the Sabbath. I followed that and it put me living hand to mouth for 2 years. He said God would open the doors for a job if I was living in His truth. COG the Eternal also said that if I were in God's good graces, I would not be so poor, and that God would provide if I was doing His will.

I have also been involved with RCG, PCG and UCG. I have been hooked on these "Armstrong groups" for years and now am trying to free myself. I have also been to Feasts of Tabernacles with them. The big shots and wealthier members stay in large, expensive mountain homes and go boating; go to dinners, socializing, etc., while us "poor" members who struggle to tithe are staying in small no name motel rooms and being left out of all the activities, left to entertain ourselves. This has all damaged me emotionally. I have never known how to have a true relationship, I've always felt distant from other people, and like I'm not good enough. It has been a life long struggle so far, and I am now 50. Running across your website may be setting me free. Thank you. --Impacted survivor.
The entire letter is here:  May 11


Anonymous said...

until these churches believe and accept the principles found in Scriptures like Acts 4:32-37 there will not only be discontent, but also impotency of the Work;

nevertheless we should understand that we who are underprivileged must endure until the end because the least will be made the greatest...

Ed said...

Since I have left Armstrongism I have the best job I have ever had making twice as much as the job I had when I was a member of the WCG.

By the way I also stopped tithing, and it almost seems like I was blessed for discontinuing to tithe. Go figure!

Black Ops Mikey said...

The real problem is that it is an artificial society where people who had nothing in common and did not have anything like the same interests were suddenly plunged into a group where they adopted artificial beliefs. This can only be held together by strong personalities of the leader / dictators.

We have proof of this with the dissolution of the Worldwide Church of God: People who sat next to each other in services for decades suddenly realized they did not believe the same things and there was a split.

Those who hang on to the Armstrongist social groups are doing something that is unnatural for them and it takes a lot of resources to do so. That is why when people leave the extreme dysfunctional sects they suddenly feel free.

It is also the case that in most cases, people who leave are shunned by those who are left, proving once again they had absolutely nothing in common.

At the top of this dung heap are those who are in control of the resources of the group. They really take advantage of the sacrifices the average member makes so they can live as the elite. The elite have nothing to do with those they consider the Proles and there is a severe social divide (glass ceiling) where those of the lower castes will always be the untouchables who are only there so the elite can live the good life on the backs of those who do the dirty work and provide the resources.

This, of course, is the same arrangement that the Lords, Dukes, Earls and peerage had with the commoners in Britain during it's heyday. And British Israelism provides the perfect reference for the oppression of the lower classes by those in the upper classes.

It's the Armstrongist version of the one percenters.

What a formula for rebellion, splits and divisions.

Oh, well -- those in command will hold on to their wealth as long as they can until the whole thing collapses.

James said...

Reply to Black Ops Mikey...

Spot on. Really, you nailed it. These 'elite' of the cults live the life of a one percenter.

I can recall the same exact housing arrangements at the feast. The did live in the best houses, the nicest hotels, where my family got shit for housing when we went on that wasteful yearly vacation.

Ralph said...

May 24, 2015 at 4:34 PM
Anonymous Ed said...

"By the way I also stopped tithing, and it almost seems like I was blessed for discontinuing to tithe."

I have found pretty much the same and work continues to roll in.

Minimalist said...

I looked at LCG HQ based on address on MARKing letter: Very palatial! All those big air conditioner units on the roof, Big Six-Figure-Salaries for those who "work" inside.

Keep up the Expose articles on the LCG Meredith cult!

Ralph said...

ps. Sooner or later people will wake up to the meaning of the Book of Hebrews, especially this chapter and verse: "Heb 7:18 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof."


Anonymous said...

You would not believe how much they take from the 3rd Tithe assistance. Very few members get much help. Because they use it for the ministers.
I know of one minister who wasted 5000 dollars on a plane ticket (he had to fly 1st class) when he had to go to another feast site.
They stay in the best hotels and Condos because they are the levitical Priesthood and it is owed to them. They have to keep up appearances and set the right Ambassador College example for the brethren.
I gave 3rd tithe until I saw what they were doing with it. Now I save it and give it to who I want to... the people who really need it. Widows and the poor.

Mark Wolfe said...

In hindsight it is difficult to believe that HWA got away with convincing people that their "job" was to simply pay him a portion of their salary to do as he pleased.

Just like in the communist countries, when you see the leader live a relative life of luxury, while the supporters of this lifestyle are mired in an impoverished existence, it is not long before that system dies.

My advice to the fellow 50ish former COG member is to research the movement. Go back in time to see where the doctrines came from and the motivation behind the leadership.

There are many books that take you inside the movement that are very credible. Many are listed on this website. Marion McNair's "Armstrongism: Religion or Rip-off" and John Tuit's "The Truth Shall Make you Free" are two that were particularly helpful to me.

Scroller said...

I remember at Big Sandy early 1970s a fellow student told me her family was in a third tithe year but her local pastor had told her family they had the option--choice--to either sent it in to hq or use it directly to care for her aged grandmother without sending it in to hq. They chose to use it to care for her grandmother without sending it in to hq (with the pastor's support).

From this I conclude that there were pastors of that era who sought within the narrow confines of their job to get members' money out of the abuses of the third-tithe funds operated by hq.

Secret siphoning of money from third-tithe funds by top ministers for their own benefit seems pervasive in the COG groups and directly correlates with a lack of transparency surrounding the accounting and the doctrine that members are not to exercise oversight or stewardship over--or have any right to know--what happens with the third tithe. The reason church leaders do not publicize and attempt to keep secret the degree to which they help themselves to the third tithe fund as if it is their own private slush fund is because they know what they are doing is wrong.

If they were not aware that it was wrong, they would not attempt to keep it secret from their members.

For more background on tithing see the chapter from "showdown at big sandy" I have up at

Anonymous said...

I was in COGTE for over 20 years, and just want to note that I did not see evidence of Cole or Clark living like wealthy people off the tithe payers money. I commend them for that. Unfortunately, COGTE has been in a downward spiral since Cole's death. At the time I left, Brisby was also maintaining a modest lifestyle, but the abuse, mind-control tactics, and manipulation factors were growing exponentially.

Anonymous said...

As we used to say in the military, RHIP, rank has its privileges. The problem with the WCG is that the NT does not speak of a hierocracy, Eph 4:11. This list of titles should be horizontal, not vertical. Apostles go out first, then the evangelist follows, then the pastor teachers are needed to care for new members. Apostles are not above evangelists or pastors. They are just different duties, not rankings. At least that's my understanding.

Sweetblood777 said...

Anonymous 4:35 A read of Eph.4:7-8 explains that these are gifts and not ranks, as many ministers state. I totally agree with your post.