Thursday, August 18, 2016

Film Being Made On Decision of COG Family To Use Medicine To Save Child

"The Future of Man" Short Film Project from Feazible Productions on Vimeo.

An anti-medicine cult controls every aspect of Josie's life. When she's forced to break one of its core tenets in order to save her young son, she risks public humiliation and permanent isolation from her family.

From the web site: The Future of Man
I was raised in the Worldwide Church of God, a Pasadena, California-based religious cult, founded by the evangelist Herbert W. Armstrong, that prohibited its members from using modern medicine. 
When I contracted a near-fatal pneumonia infection at the age of six, my father, a high-ranking minister, and my mother made a bold choice to defy the church's strict rules and take me to a hospital, where I was given antibiotics and saved.
It can be hard for someone who has never been in a brainwashing cult to understand why someone in the situation like the one my parents were in can't just pack up and leave.
Organizations like the WCG, while venerating the family unit publicly, actually weaponize familial relationships by teaching (and forcing) members to ostracize relatives who leave or are disfellowshipped. My parents' familial, social, spiritual, and professional lives were all inexorably tied to the church.
When I was sallow, colorless, and becoming weaker by hour, they must have certainly struggled with a brutal internal conflict. On one hand, there was clearly something seriously wrong with me and their parental insticts would compel them to use any means necessary to fix it. On the other, taking me to the hospital could very likely cause not only terrible devastation to all of our personal lives, but a permanent "F" on a test from God.
My goal for this short is to capture and dramatize that conflict.


Connie Schmidt said...

Dear Jeff Feazell:

Your position and film about Doctors and the WCG is spot on, and certainly worth exposing.

NOW... how about making an expose' film about how your father, Joe Jr, Bernie , etc, all made off with over $200 million dollars in WCG assets without any accounting, and how they just simply let the congregations go along with letting go virtually all staff and paid ministers as well with no retirement or future?

WHERE DID THE MONEY GO? Who has it, how much is left, what is their excuse? Why not refund it back to the donors "pro rata", as there are excellent records in place to be able to do so.

Can you also make a video about JWT Jr. and how he still (in cult like fashion) has no accountability to an elected board, has no mechanism in place for his removal and who has promised many times over the last 21 years to step down, and yet still maintains his Pope like position?

The Tkach/Feazell gang like to play like they are some type of great "liberators", when in fact, they are despots too, just in their own self righteous and different way. Same old crap!

Byker Bob said...

They're a mixture, Connie. To a certain extent they were liberators. But one thing remained constant. They sure helped themselves, just as the old school Armstrongite ministers had done before them. That's why I could never join up with them. The original corrupt managerial style and sense of entitlement was retained, and ruined the revolution.

What I've found to be true is that there are large groups of people who believe that the accumulated resources should have landed in the same places as the original doctrines. To speak of bitterness, there is a lot of it over that! A lot of people put their all into the old WCG. Some people were able to walk away and recover, but others wouldn't have even considered having a plan B, and have never been able to recover. As usual, the vast majority of the ministry followed the money trail and somehow ended up being taken care of.


Anonymous said...

you can't give God an "F" ...He made the medical care available, and at least your parents had the wherewithal to make use of it...

and I do find it interesting that HWA is vilified yet the Tkatches are given a pass on their

Anonymous said...

No retirement for the minister brother but Joe gave my sister, sole survivor of my deceased minister brother in law, a $60,000 pension buy out. There are no more retirement benefits in GCI/Tkach since last March. I imagine the living still ministers got more. Wonder what he gave himself?

Anonymous said...

Healing is not right. This teaching is an attempt to enslave God. Ministers have Gods children under their thumbs, now they are trying to put God under their thumbs as well. Note the following.

Mark 5:30 And knowing instantly within Himself that power had gone out of Him, Jesus turned Himself around in the press and said, Who touched My clothes?

Why say "who touched my clothes' if healing is a right? God is a trader rather than a slave. Otherwise why thank God?

Feazell and friends come under the heading of 'let no man steal your crown.'

Cheers TradingGuy

Anonymous said...

Somehow being rich and religion are a bad mix. One of the themes of the NT is that rich men will not enter the kingdom of god because their riches will be too tempting and prevent them from closeness to God. So I have to think all these COG leaders will be on the side of the goats if any of the fantasies they push turn out to be true.

I also remember there were a lot of scriptures used to show Jesus wasn't poor. That he wore a very expensive robe which the Romans wanted when he was crucified. That he in fact stayed as an honored guest in rich peoples houses, that his human father wasn't a carpenter but some kind of a construction boss from a prominent family. Was this an attempt at justification?

Anonymous said...

Gotta totally agree with Connie....Feazell and his cronies have little credibility because of their own underhanded actions...pointing out the many indiscretions of WCG is certainly VERY applicable because of their many misdeeds, but accepting Tkach and company as examples of sterling character or with some validity, simply because it belittles WCG, even with a video like this, is like trying to decide who was a better man, Hitler or Mussolini.

I often agree with much that is written on this blog about the attitudes and practices of WCG and it's splinters, but the same broad brush should apply to anyone who uses deception, greed and self centered intentions and that certainly applies to both groups.

If you are going to find this video credible simply because it's anti-ACOG, then some credit should also be given to ACOG people and even some ministers, who have striven to do what is/was right and we often see very little credit given here on some of those things.

We faced something similar with a child of ours who came within an hour of dying and we made the gut wrenching decision (at the time), to go against church policy and take this child to the doctor.

Interestingly, our minister at the time, was one of the main players involved with the Tkach regime, starting from college days. He actually supported us at the time, to his credit, to go to a doctor and hospital.

But I also saw in his character at the time (and later), someone who was devious, self serving and who always had an agenda, much like his many cohorts who took over from the HWA time frame.

So while WCG is an easy target, I certainly hope that we all can give as much credit to what did go right, as one might be to promote someone of equal or worse character, simply because it supports our current position.

I could easily go after some of the positions and points made here as just as self-serving, unbelievably unbalanced and even comes across often like a continual broken record, but since it would serve no real purpose except to raise the ire of those who supports these points of view, it would be counter productive.

So if fairness and equability is the goal here, make sure the playing field is level, no matter who the players are. If it's just a place to bitch and gripe, I guess the goal has been met, but if you want to reach a larger audience and have a real impact, maybe it's time to reassess OR give reason to those who might want or need to see objective thinking and reasoning, to keep on looking for it.

Anonymous said...

I think you'd be hard-pressed to find commenters on this site who give the Tkatches a "pass on their"

The Tkatches were/are obviously opportunistic lying asses.

However, with over 600 cults that have splintered off from Herbie Armstrong's cult, you're bound to see many other Kooky Kultmeisters mentioned here.

It's partially the law of averages, and has nothing to do with people here giving the lying opportunist Tkaches any kind of a pass.

Plus, even though Tkach Junior's a certified liar and major jerk imo, what he preaches these days probably won't kill people like the WCG did - and how some of the major splinters can still today, by carrying on in Herbert's footsteps.

Anonymous said...

The post says "an F on a test FROM God", not FOR God.

Anonymous said...

Agree. They are all the same when it comes to money.

Anonymous said...

Since when are the sins of the father applicable to their children? That's one of the hallmarks of the new covenant that we are not held responsible for bad parents and other things. Jeff is a smart hardworking kid that totaly bucks the trend for being a pk. Hats off to him for letting the world know about vile church teachings on doctors

Anonymous said...

8.43 AM From my experience, this site has much more 'objective thinking and reasoning' than more popular mainstream sites. I don't agree with your 'bitch and gripe' comment. Here, the truth of these churches is being affirmed. Giving people warning, mental armour, exposing the lies and distortions, is more than just 'bitching and griping.'

Anonymous said...

11:50 - Hate to disagree, but if Jeff is such a hardworking kid that totally bucks the trend of being a PK, why is he also looking for handouts to support HIS cause (echos from the past)? It would seem he learned well at the knee, first of the church and then of his father of how to point fingers at others, with a video like this proving the acorn didn't fall far from the tree.

I would hope he wouldn't want to be anything like his father, but since he chose to include him in this video, I would say Jeffy has been just as brainwashed as any ACOGer, just in a way that "seems" less cultish...but certainly just as underhanded as those they rant on about.

If he were to truly be the well rounded individual, looking to let the world know about the vile teachings on doctors, perhaps he should also look into making movies about things like working hard and honestly for your money and not using subterfuge tactics to steal it from others or growing in character and not use the same tactics that Tkach and company railed against, to build another self-serving "church"?

He could probably try to get that, chapter and verse, from good ol' dad, but sadly we know his character ain't all that great of an example either.

Anonymous said...

12:26 If you look at any young filmmaker out there in the world today almost all of them ask for crowd funding. There is nothing wrong with what he is doing and should also set the example that daddy is not paying him.

Why would he not include him in the video since the story is about Jeff and his parents decision to reject the puke of Armstrongism. Some of you bitter people on here need to learn to channel your anger in the right direction instead of being such jerks to anyone you disagree with. I am going to send Jeff money now, just because!

Anonymous said...

How many of the ministers in the UCG really believe what they preach and only preach what they do to collect a pay check? I agree that many of the decisions made by Joe Jr. are made with his financial best interests in mind and the financial best interests of his friends in mind, but is it really any different in the UCG with the leadership there?

Anonymous said...

@12:06 - I think you missed the point 8:43 was making. If you can honestly state that the publishing and often rehashing of much of the same plowed ground this site looks into (or goes after) is ALL verifiably productive and honestly informative (without any bias or lack of objectivity), than it is doing what it is designed for. That I can support, as well.

But, if it is just a place to always look outward at the misdeeds of a bad organization(s)/ministry and is then not willing to examine it's own potential narrow mindedness, personal agendas or even misplaced allegiances, When Applicable, is it any better? That's when it crosses the line to just bitching and griping and loses the objective and reasoned moniker.

I, like 8:43 find much of what is written here on this blog of some worth or I wouldn't give it the time of day. But, I also treasure intellectual honesty and not just an exercise to preach some new agenda, which could be argued is the case when you see the wranglings being made for being anti-God, atheists, or some other replacement that can be just as vulnerable as the COG when looking for the cracks in their veneer. Nothing is perfect!

Anonymous said...

1.41 PM I have read and re read your post, but still struggle to understand your point. Your post seems glib, definition: 'fluent but insincere and shallow.'
Every point of view is expressed on this site. Every major belief is eventually challenged. So much for your 'new agendas,' 'replacements,' or 'intellectual(dis) honesty.'
The TV series 'operation repo'(these 'poor' working class people portrayed earn a million dollars a episode) and programs like 'Cops' are very popular. The reason is that they portray evil, acknowledge its existence, and pass moral judgment on it. Reality is affirmed. People in the world and church are starved of this. This site fulfils this and other mental needs.

Anonymous said...

August 19, 2016 at 8:43 AM
August 19, 2016 at 1:41 PM

Stop fooling yourself! Intellectual honesty is not a treasure. Developing the skill of "not fooling oneself" and doing so with other like-minded people who do the same, can and does have a greater "shared value". I think it's called learning.


Anonymous said...

You just do what you can do, Which is better to save life or to kill? I am sure the right answer is to save life. The only problem with the medicines now are they are all IMPERFECT. You take heavy antibiotics as an example but you can have Renal failure, kidney failure other organ failure. Doctors can diagnose in error, and that can also kill you. I think the point is, none of our greatest acts of medical intervention can save life. Has anyone lived forever? Twilight? But save life when you can. Most health issues anyway revolves with the wrong eating, excess eating and greed of pharmaceutical companies, food companies, plus a very nice brew of industrial pollution. God gave our lives, He also has the right to take it.

Anonymous said...

Good grief. I grew up in the WWCG (was born into it, and attend a COG now) and I knew many, many people who went to doctors for their sicknesses and injuries, and the church said NOTHING about it. I know some did not go to doctors because they felt they might be ostracized (and yes, there seemed to be a mini-culture to some small degree of "anti-doctor" sentiment), but overall, many did go to the doctor, and the church did not force them out. And I attended a congregation with about 1,000 people, with many ministers pastoring there over the years. So it wasn't just "one good minister" out of many fostering this culture, but "many" ministers fostering an acceptance of going to the doctor if you need to do so.

Anonymous said...

11:13 you can just as easily end up with renal failure from taking vitamins and alternative medicines which is something very much encouraged in ACOGS- something I never really understood and thought as another hypocritical standard pushed.

Anonymous said...

indeed, man is his own god and savior, as long as he can eat daily and not live in fear of being torn apart by predators...

but let our circumstances revert back to a situation where food is scarce, the rains dont fall, and evil beasts rob us of our children, and then we will either curse God, or seek Him diligently, but we will ultimately acknowledge him...

Anonymous said...

Good grief. I grew up in the WWCG (was born into it, and attend no COG now) and I knew many, many people who did not go to doctors for their sicknesses and some who died because they followed the church's healing doctrine.
I heard many ministers pastoring over the years, in large congregations in 'liberal' areas of the USA, and never did I hear one preach that it was ok to see a doctor in cases other than an injury like a broken bone.
Strong words were often preached about how one's eternal salvation would be put at stake if going to a doctor.

In the years since I left Herb's Barrel of Hogwash, I've found it's not unusual to find people still in it to some degree, who whitewash the depravity of, and destruction caused by, HWA's teachings. Usually, you can count on healthy doses of denial-ism and/or victim-blaming by such folks.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if these 'don't go to the doctor' members, went to dentists. They are after all, a type of doctor.

Anonymous said...

Im in agreement with Anoy 5:49. Same background. Was taken to the doctors if ill. Although I would say the healing doctrine was more in people's minds in that many stayed away not because they were necessarily afraid of being ostracised by others more because of the strength and hold the teaching had on people. The are brethren to this day who suffer in pain and other such complaints when they could be cured or made to suffer less if they took medicine or operations their doctors advise. I also find Pastors, ministers and ex ambassador collehe grads pop every pill, go for every operation their doctors advise. I've even heard some of them admit 'shake me and I rattle' (with pills not their bones) It is funny how this doctrine is much stronger on the ordinary file and rank brethren.

Anonymous said...

anon said: "The only problem with the medicines now are they are all IMPERFECT."

Medecine is man's endevour to understand and get things right. It's an ongoing learning experience where we can reap the blessings of discovering some of the truth, but also must include the sufferings of our errors. Thankfully, the Universe is forgiving enough to allow us to correct our errors. I mean, why wouldn't the Universe damn us all because some people got it so wrong?

Universe says: "God dammit! Humans will NEVER get it right. I'll REMOVE all of them from the Cosmos in order to preserve my ordered perfection."


Anonymous said...

In our area you only went through a doctor for broken bones. Nothing else. You lacked faith if you did and would be ostersized by members and minister. This was standard teaching in the 60's.

Floyd 1944 said...

The drama surrounding Mike Feazell's son, Jeff is bogus. I am not saying his son was not deathly sick. I am not saying his son's illness was not a grave burden on the family. However we need to look at the time frame. Jeff was 5 years old in the early to mid 80's. Joe Tkach was head of ministerial services in the early 80's. Mike was his right hand man with an office just off Tkach's office. Mike was like a son to Tkach. In the late 50's 60's and maybe early 70's the church taught going to a doctor was wrong. But my the early 80's it was common for members to use doctors for all sorts of illnesses. Jeff said my father and mother went against strict church doctrine taking me to a doctor. This simply not true. They may have had to examine their faith but to make out like they had to go against the church is BS. I think they should have gone to a doctor. Putting a child's life at risk is horrible. But let's ease up on the drama Mike's job was never in danger

Byker Bob said...

Floyd, what you say has a ring of common sense. By the '80s, how medical issues were interpreted often depended on the beliefs of the individual families, or those of the presiding minister in one's local church area. And, we know that HWA's life by that time was being preserved by medical science.

Because of history, and the changes which frequently came along, it is easy, particularly for people who came in later in the game to cross-pollenate some of this stuff. A church member who died in the late '50s o early '60s, as an example, would be shocked to see members eating white flour and sugar, wearing clothing made from mixed materials, going to the doctors, wearing makeup, marrying outside of one's race, and especially getting divorced and remarrying!

Black brethren from that era would arrive a the F/T inquiing of the deacons as to where "colored" seating was located. Someone might ask what "tithe of tithe" meant, while another might say, "what is this spirit of man thing?" Or another biggie, "You mean y'all didn't go to Petra in 1972???"

Others might wonder why church kids were being given "time out" or reasoned with as opposed to being spanked multiple times each day. And, why women were being allowed to have pants in their wardrobes that actually had the fly in front rather than in the back or on the side.

This can become so confusing that church people who came in after the "Disappointment of 1975" do not trust those who speak of '50s-early '70's doctrines and paractices. What we experienced on a daily basis back then does not square with their own lives and experiences. The non-biblical theories about British Israelism and German Assyrianism were still taught, but some of the absolutely surreal stuff had been changed, and history rewritten. Young Jeff may have been caught up in these types of cross-signals.


Floyd 1944 said...

Byker Bob your comment on my comment is right. If a member who died on the 60's could come back and see the church in the 80's yes that member would be shocked. Mike Feszell was one of the first "high" ranking ministers to go to Azusa Pacific University and get a theology degree. Once Joe Tkach St became pastor general he brought his son over from Phoenix assist Larry Salyer in ministerial services. Many people think Joe Tkack Sr came up with the doctrinal changes. He did not. It was Mike, Joe and Greg who would meet and discuss theology questions from Azusa Pacific. Bernie I think joined in later. Mike and Joe would write out the sermon notes for Tkach Sr. Sometimes Tkach would read his sermons almost verbatim. Now back to the film. What I am saying is Mike was interviewed in the clip. He could have set the record straight. But he led people to believe he had to go against strict church doctrine. Joe and Mike spoke against those who felt it was wrong to go to a doctor. The time frame was mid to late 80's. At the time late 80's and early 90's I was shocked at statements Mike made. Then 5-8 years later I began to study the church doctrines and it began to dawn on me. Hmmmm a lot of what Mike was saying was true. I knew a lot of what had gone on but like a lot of church people I buried my head in the sand. I don't support how Mike, Joe, Greg, Bernie and others covertly did things. But they were right on a lot of issues. Mike told me once "every booklet needed to either be revamped or scraped." At the time I was angry and shocked at such a statement. Unfortunately he was right. I agree with Connie. Where did the money go. How come Joe has managed to hang on to the pastor general title. And yes I surely think they are well taken care of. It was and is a convoluted series of events. One thing I take from all of this is we were all taken by Herbert W Armstrong. P.S. I don't have a problem with Jeff making his film

Anonymous said...

Here are the actual (printed) teachings of the Worldwide Church of God and Mr. Herbert W Armstrong on the subject:

The Plain Truth About Healing
Herbert W Armstrong

Link to Booklet – DATED: 1979 – (Around the time mentioned in this video)

Notice the last segment “Look to the Glories Ahead” at the bottom of the webpage or on pages 72 of the booklet PDF!

I have made it plain that God’s Church does not condemn medical or other doctors — nor sit in judgment of those who are weak in faith and rely on MAN. There is much doctors can do for us today.

What I remember was stated about doctors during Church was:

“Doctors can take care of many issues, but what about the terminal one’s they cannot take care of? Where do you turn then, where is your faith then? When you are diagnosed with a terminal illness, do you pray to a doctor or God? If your faith is per what God states in the Bible, God can take care of any small or large issues. Doctors can not!”

Anonymous said...

Mmm hmm. So the booklet said, for legal reasons (this was covered in multiple internal texts, as I recall) Now, in actual practice...

Anonymous said...

Where are the internal texts? 98% of everything said anymore is gossip with NO proof.

Byker Bob said...

I almost sprayed my iphone with a mouthful of Budweiser when I read "nor sit in judgment of those who are weak in faith and rely on man."

Whatttt????? He just did! Calling them "weak in faith" is judging them. A non judgmental way of expressing the thought would have been "nor sit in judgment of those who rely on man." Frankly, even that may be judgmental. You can have the doctors apply their education and skills to your benefit, asking God to guide them in the process. If it's God's will that your time is up, you'll die either way. Spiritual leasons can be learned in the hospital, as they can anywhere else.


nck said...


Was it mid eighties?

Than this kid is a liar as his father is!


Anonymous said...

wrong port of harbor again?