Saturday, May 13, 2017

Why Do COG Members Still Defend Abusive Church Leaders?

Why is it that Church of God members will continue to defend church leaders whom they know are abusive and have witnessed or been on the receiving end of abuse?

People who saw the abuse of Rod Meredith over the decades, who were disgusted by it and were many times on the receiving end of his wrath, today are supporters of his church.  They know he was wrong and they have seen the bodies littered along the way due to his actions.

People know Dave Pack is abusive and is lying through his teeth at times, yet they sit in church every week getting all gooey eyed at the mere presence of the Superfantabulous One.  He has bled they dry financially and separated them from family members, but it is all OK.

To the right you will see the featured posting of how Fred Dattallo, Cal Culpepper and Gerald Flurry all help contribute to the suicide of Janet De Gennaro.  Their spiritually abusive messages, their abusive actions and callous words have damaged many over the years since the Philadelphia Church of God cult started.

Notice the following thread of comments (from the tab above with the same title) seeking to justify or whitewash the sick actions of PCG ministers:

SKYGUY said...
I am not a member of the Philadelphia Church of God and in fact just heard about it. Let me then respond as a 1978 Ambassador College Pasadena graduate. In recently researching the Philadelphia Church of God and the Herbert W. Armstrong College in Edmonton I found the article on this blog site regarding the suicide of Janet De Gennaro and the obvious and understandable anger of the De Gennaro family regarding Gerald Flurry, Mr. David Privratsky and Elder Fred Dattalo.


The loss of a daughter is nearly unbearable, a crippling life changing event, it is hard for most to even imagine this horror, having four daughters, I do and can, but cry even now as I write this. There is no room here to pick on or rebuff the comments of the father of Janet De Gennaro, whether their reactionary comments are accurate or not. There is only room for compassion and prayer for the De Gennaros to have the ability to recover from this tragic devastation and loss sufficiently to even go on in life.

The scriptures say that one side of the argument often seems right … until you hear the other person’s side. So apply this scripture.

I have never met nor even known of HWA Chancellor and PCG Pastor General Gerald Flurry until recently and although the comments made about him may cause pause, it is up to him to take such accusations to God, and steer his course according to what God shows him. It is a matter between Pastor General Flurry and God alone. Why condemn? When we judge, we will be judged. Does one want to retaliate, even if just verbally and in writing? Many of us, myself included, have suffered much and would wish to get even, but we learn to repent of that and grow to hold back such responses and trust more deeply in God who tells us not to return evil for evil, and not to retaliate. God says ‘vengeance is mine saith the lord … I will repay.” And He does.

I also refuse to judge Mr. David Privratsky, I do not know him either, and his sins in this if any, are also between him and God alone. Do not think for a moment that a man like that was not deeply touched with tremendous grief after his wife died. The man and woman in marriage become one, the separation by death is also horribly painful to the surviving party..

Any Pastor can throw an un-repented sinner from the church and ostracize him per the Apostle Paul’s example, as also a Chancellor could also do to a disruptive student. But even the Apostle Paul wrote later that the church should have compassion on such a one less they lose the strength to go on.

I knew HWA while a student, and as a prophetic person I wrote him a long long letter about what might be done better in administration. I delivered it personally which he accepted willingly and seemingly gratefully and acted on as able. Yet some things were never cleared up, politics and administration are challenging foes. Later the the church exploded into fragments, Ambassador College disintegrated and eventually Mr. Armstrong was called home, all as was written to him.

I knew GTA, and as Student Body Business Manager got to even ride in the cockpit of the Falcon Jet with him while taking off and piloting. I was able to deliver a letter to him that he had written to David John Hill in their early school years. I had come across that letter while cleaning out the basement storage room dubbed the ‘vault’ and the ‘safe’ in a house down the street, and although slightly embarrassing in content it brought a smile and maybe a tear. I had been assigned by Fred Stevens, my boss and HWA’s personal assistant to clean out that basement vault and to personally decide what to keep and what to destroy. Accordingly I felt deeply humbled and diligently read every document. Other than my giving a letter found to GTA, I used the other material read as a good reason to pray for positive changes.
Robert Meiser AC ’78.

SKYGUY said...
Part 2 of 3 re: FRED DATTALO:

If Mr. Flurry is in fact like Mr. HWA ,and he sure looks like him lol, even emulating him in that regard, then I imagine that his heart is full of compassion and that he took no joy in what occurred in Janet De Gennaro ’s death, or the resulting devastating effect on her family.

I do stand in judgment of Fred Dattalo, but not as you might think. Nor is my attitude and assessment toward him favorably biased because we went to Ambassador College together. In fact we worked very closely together as a team developing a time intensive large written project for one class. Since a team member, maybe actually two, were unable to help with finishing the project Fred and I pulled an all-nighter to complete it. As I reworked the wording and exhibits, Fred typed. This was before the advent of word processing, this was a manual typewriter and a very large project, it was painful. Fred worked diligently from early in the evening until early the next morning to get the job done. He would not stop for a cup of hot chocolate or coffee, and he would not stop even to use the bathroom. Fred had determined and had made a vow to himself not to stop until entirely finished. I was greatly impressed with this act, demonstrating his integrity and intent to do what was necessary to obtain a righteous goal, even while suffering to do so. Subsequently we became friends. My assessment of Fred is based solely on prayerful insight, scriptural application and a more in depth knowledge of Fred Dattalo’s inner man than most if any other readers here have had the chance to do. It might be easy to confuse such intensity and diligence with coldness or rudeness on a person’s part, but I assure you that is not the case here with Fred. It was more likely an intensity in performing an otherwise uncomfortable assignment, as we all have or will face at times in life, resulting in a communication disconnect, again as we all also likely already have or surely will encounter.

Although this may infuriate some, I hope they will pray through it and see this man differently. Fred was not a hired gun for Mr. Flurry nor a con man intent to win no matter who get’s hurt. Fred has a deep sense of integrity, an integrity that is being hurt by such public demeaning of his part in what occurred. As others surely cried over this death, you can be sure that Fred cried as much and took what happened before God in tears. That’s the way he is built. As for blindly following orders directly from Mr. Flurry that would not have been the case either. Fred having previously demonstrating his ministerial ability to Mr. Flurry in using sound reasoning and a compassionate approach in similar situations, following any necessary protocols already set by the church, would have responded with diligence, not ill intent, and would have seen it through according to those set protocols in as humane a way as possible.
Robert Meiser AC ’78.
Part 2 of 3
See Conclusion Part 3
SKYGUY said...
Part 3 of 3 Conclusion - Fred Dattalo

Fred was not known to be a man trying to bring fame and honor upon himself, but a man that works diligently hard, harder than any man I have since met, and righteously, allowing any rising through the ranks to come as a consequence from that alone. God even says it is good to seek the office of a Bishop. And Fred, full of the Spirit and well versed in the scriptures would qualify for further service in the church. He was not an evil self willed narcissist with an agenda that intended to raise his own stature at other’s expense, especially in a case such as this. Fred, like all of us who are Christians, seeks the kingdom of God and Christ’s glory, and in that regard should be shown the respect that Christ and many other of us who know him well have for him, and his role in following Christ. He should be honored, as Paul says ‘with double honor’ and not be evil spoken against. In fact Christ warned some that they were close to committing the ‘Unpardonable Sin’ we should also seriously take note of and avoid doing that. We will as the scriptures say ‘be judged for every word that proceeds out of our mouths’. The unpardonable sin is public commentary degrading the work of the Spirit of God, and of demeaning those possessing God’s Spirit in their service. Jesus said that every sin, every trespass against Him would be forgiven, but that any sin against the Holy Spirit would not. Hopefully we all can learn from and respect this.

And perhaps then all of us, no matter how deeply hurt, can stand up and be counted as forgiving Christians, and make those changes necessary in our lives and in our churches and colleges to fully demonstrate the light of Christ that dwells in us to those around us and to the whole world who may be watching.

Robert Meiser AC ’78.
Anonymous said...
Your experience with Fred Dattalo is no longer the Fred that wrecks havoc in the PCG at this day and time. There are numerous horror stories about the despicable things has done and still does. Whatever acts of kindness and mercy he may have exhibited in the previous administrations is not like he is now. Flurry demands total obedience and has ripped families and marriages apart due to his vile doctrinal beliefs. If Fred is as you say he is then Fred need sot leave Flurry's cult immediately. A man of integrity would do that.
Audi said...
Mr. Meisner--I cannot understand how you can defend the actions of PCG officials in this matter. Who Fred Dattalo (and I never heard of him before reading this thread) was when you went to school with him has no bearing on who he has become. HWA (and Flurry after him) promote the ministry in the EXACT OPPOSITE WAY the Bible says ministers should behave. The Bible says ministers should be servants. WCG and PCG promoted them as dictators, above the membership in every way. They are programmed to believe they are superior.

This boils down to the same thing it always does in cults--The cult comes before EVERYTHING, and sadly, in this case that included an innocent young woman's life.
Annie said...
Mr. Robert Meiser: I attended PCG for a short period of time (3 years) I quit the church as I would not agree with the No-contact Policy.

Your comments full of mercy towards the ministers mentioned here are a sign of a truly converted man. A true christian will never ever use and run a site like this in order to speak bad about a dead person like Mr. Armstrong.

This site reflects no other thing, but anger and a contentious spirit, I find it everywhere. It is God's job to judge them and condemn them for their actions if needed.

A true christian will never act as Satan, the great accuser of the brethren, does. As Christ said about the Pharisees:"Do what they teach, not what they do". We ought to recognize that Yahweh the Eternal, used HWA to spread the true gospel, despite his personal flaws, just like he did with Moses, Jonah, kings David and Solomon, among others.

I know Satan is angry and inspires sites like these, he hates the truth about the Sabbath Day and God's plan of salvation, which is still being taught around the world, as a testimony to the nations and to preserve and nurture the small flock of those who are humble to hear the words of other faithful and loving servants I've personally known, even in the PCG and other churches of God.

Jesuschrist is coming for those who keep the commandments and keep the faith of Jesuschrist. This site is certainly not a christian site. They claim to be one that is trying to open the eyes of others caught into this "cult", yet they are breaking the biggest commandment Christ taught us: To love one another, which implies to forgive one another.

People forgive those in the body of the Messiah who did wrong to you. Move on, time is short. Christ is coming....
Audi said...
Annie, God did not use HWA for ANYTHING. He was a degenerate of the WORST possible kind, and the "truths" he disseminated were nothing more than other tired and non-Biblical garbage he borrowed from the Mormons and Seventh Day Adventists, and then claimed God "revealed" to him. He was a failed prophet, and the Bible itself says if someone makes prophecies and they don't come true, that person is a FALSE PROPHET. That is what HWA was, and so are all the splinter groups who are still shilling his crap. I hope your the veil is soon lifted from your eyes.



Byker Bob said...

Brainwashing. They believe that God has set up zero - tolerance leaders as His gatekeepers. If they see this as righteousness, God's character in action, why would it all suddenly change in the Kingdom? It wouldn't. Based on their own doctrinal approach, salvation is going to be a miserable experience, except that those who qualify now will get to be the ones causing all of the misery and grief instead of suffering it. It's pretty hollow to believe that salvation is a transition from victim to predator.

Fortunately, I believe something much better awaits us.

Stephen Korsman said...

Thanks for sharing this. It's truly disgusting the way these groups operate. I get their magazines etc but have only heard second hand about this sort of thing, especially with the PCG, which seems to be the worst.

Unknown said...

Even Hitler was known to be quite gracious and polite at dinner parties and social events. He would say things like "please pass the salt" , and praise people and the like, and even at times act quite contrite and humble.

But in the end, and in final overall evaluation...HE WAS STILL HITLER!

Anonymous said...

My observation was that many members whitewashed abusive ministers and members because they themselves were abusive. They regarded the ministers as the storm troopers or the tip of the spear in acclimatizing members to be mistreated. These abusive members wanted to free load on the coat tails of these ministers.

nck said...


What a poor posting from someone so knowledgeable on the mores of internet. Having an off day?

You seem to enjoy the company of such polite german man gently asking to pass the salt. Guess what he also beat your arch enemy for many wars in just ten days.

The point is. When would you stop adoring him. I am not doubting your evaluation skills IN THE END though.

Purely rhetorical question. No need to answer. Where does the buck stop for you and your current POTUS?


Unknown said...


My point was that even the most ATROCIOUS of people can appear and act as "good people" on occasion. Hitler was used as an example. Yes, even despots can be on good behavior at times. .

Many people have dismissed despicable. eternally damnable, behavior of church leaders , because they have done "so much good".

I was illustrating the folly of such reasoning.

RSK said...

Nck was probably referencing Godwins Law.

nck said...

Yes Connie.

I enjoy your research every now and then. I just didnt expect the nogo Hitler argument from an experienced blogger.

I have just watched two documentaries about that psychological experiment turning random nice people into 2 competing groups of animals destroying each others property within 24 hours.

Much to the chagrin of the documentary makers who have to break off filming earlier than expected.

Ah humans....

Could you please hand me the salt and pepper dear.........SCHNELL.


nck said...

Thank you RSK.

Indeed. I am protecting her integrity and took the opportunity to chat pleasantly.


Byker Bob said...

People who profess to be, or are considered to be authorities or leaders in a given field are culpable for the bad results of any misinterpretations that they teach or spread, or any downright stupid things which they spread to further their agendas. You pressure people, or tell them to do something, you are responsible for the consequences. It is as simple as that.

By equating the ancient shamans who did "healings" as part of pagan religions with modern, knowledgable, highly trained medical professionals, Herbert W. Armstrong amassed a body count, admittedly smaller than that of Adolf Hitler, but nonetheless an unneccessary body count driven by a fabricated distortion every bit as was Hitler.

The world knows Hitler as a war criminal and mass murderer. Why should HWA get a pass because his philosophy was religious rather than Hitler's secular one?


Unknown said...


"Godwin's law (or Godwin's rule of Hitler analogies)[is an Internet adage which asserts that "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Hitler approaches—‌that is, if an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Hitler or his deeds."

OK , NCK , you win! I change my analogy to Stalin from Hitler!

To address your other question, I stop associating with anyone that engages in egregious immoral or irrational behavior. This of course implies that I have option to do so. In the case of Mr. Trump, he is the President of the United States, and I have no say or ability to change that, even if I did want that. Same held true with Obama. In the case of a cult leader, I indeed have the option of staying or leaving, it is something within my empirical universe that I have direct control and accountablity over.

Its that simple NCK !

True Bread said...

Stockholm Syndrome.....

Anonymous said...

You guys should check out Hungry Hearts Ministries. We preach TRUTH!

Unknown said...

Being raised in the cult from birth?

nck said...

I can fully apreciate people having lost kin to nudged faith into shamanic practices likening said shamans to atrocious political world leaders.

I could also see people defending those same shaman(ic) practices rigorously having made the ultimate sacrifice by losing kin.

The one time I consulted a sangoma in Swaziland I believe, he advise me to organize a party in order to have a better life. And I didn't even have to save 2nd tithe. It was all in the bones. Unfortunately later that day soldiers restricted my access to the Kings (yearly) wedding party. Hindering my progress in that regard.

Unlike most people I am not so much fascinated by the Manson types. After having studied them I find them boring and predictable. Said German leader was also a boring person stuck in his routines. I am however fascinated by the Manson girls or the groupies. It seems these leaders tell them what to do and what not or give them licence in their vices.


Anonymous said...

Hungry Hearts Ministries would NEVER be abusive to it's members.

Mickey said...

Reading the comments of those defending the cog splinter leaders shows continual repitition of thought stopping phases and ideas such as "accusers if the bretheren" The conditioning runs so deep that they are unable to separate legitimate criticism from the emotion that often comes along with that criticism. Any distancing from the emotional point of view to a more objective evaluation is more difficult for those deeply indoctrinated. Neuroscience has been a mild interest of mine lately and something that I found interesting is that when the brain runs along a particular groove it is actually painful to forge new pathways. When blogs such as this challenge the mental pathways, the reaction is pain and a desire to "make it stop". However those who confront the pain, taking a step away from the emotional response are able to make possible a life separate from the group. And interestingly possitive emotion begins to have a greater capacity.