Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Physical and Sexual Abuse In The Church

This appalling first hand account of physical and sexual abuse in the church is just the tip of the iceberg.  COG leaders have covered up sexual and physical abuse for decades.  Every single one of them to this day still do.  Oh how they scramble and pat themselves on the back that they are far beyond this now in 2018 because they publicly claim this was only an issue from the past.

This was a comment on the LCG Member Has A Question For Gerald Weston entry.

My father was a fulltime paid minister in WCG, and an elder in UCG. The stories from others passed on about sexual abuses in the church are staggering. There are many written about online as well.

It seems that if you had to "personally witness" every act to be considered the truth, then I guess you can't believe many of the books of the bible either, as many stories are written by people that weren't there.

To my experience. The most recent was a friend of mine was kicked out our local congregation. The minister told the congregation one story (I recorded it), when I asked him on the phone what happened and why was my friend kicked out, he told a different story. (I recorded this as well) and when I asked my friend what the minister told him, it was again, a third different story.

To many people they wouldn't care about being kicked out, but this has been hard on many people, and it was done with lies and deceit.

My personal experience has been my child was attacked by a sexual predator, and the minister and elders supported the pervert over us, so we didn't attend there anymore. I regret this, and if I could have done things again, I would have stood up and accused that man in front of everyone and shamed the ministers and elders in front of everyone.

I personally suffered physical and sexual abuse at home, having a minister for a father didn't protect me from this, I think it even made it worse, as the physical abuse was based on "tough love" and the common teachings from HWA on parenting. I was told by my father "you have to break a child like you break a horse". (I think this is a quote he got from GTA)

I have personally talked with people that had sexual advances made on them by the minister. Another (a child in the church at the time) experienced witnessing incest at the ministers house between their children, with multiple witnesses. There were even worse beatings in his house than in mine, and his family members are more disturbed than mine.

I was a suicidal young teen with no hope for the future. "the world can't go on for even another 10 years" was the refrain I heard my entire childhood.

Read the stories online about a UCG elder sexually abusing the members in a congregation in the east coast some where in the last 10 years, and nothing was resolved because head quarters sided with the elder. ("I know this man, he'd never do anything like that" from Richard Pinelli). Finally almost the entire congregation just left.

I have relatives that were at Ambassador college that knew about the sexual escapades of GTA, their friends had slept with him. GTA bragged about his conquests.

I knew about HWA's incest issues when I was a young child, when I was a teen I asked my father (again, a full time minister running a congregation) about this, and he didn't deny it. He simply said "If Mr. Armstrong repented of it, God will forgive him".

To top it all off. I had multiple family members that were full time paid ministers. One was a paedophile that died in prison. Guess who he preyed on, church kids.

I met more perverted and vile kids at the feast than I ever did at public schools. And my own experience pales by comparison to many others.

The corporate based churches of God are on a foundation of sand. Those that follow God in truth and seek him and his kingdom, and his righteousness will eventually wake up and find others of like mind when everything falls apart around them. And if not, I hope God has mercy on them in some way.

R. Roberts

February 27, 2018 at 8:59 PM


Byker Bob said...

I’m quite sure that the Pollyannas will find a way to deny and refute this. Over the past twenty years, I’ve read many people’s posted experiences which fit this same horrifying pattern, and have been shocked as stalwarts have brazenly denied that such things could have happened in “God’s” church, and they have all but told the victims that they were lying. Some point to the Catholic Church as if bad elsewhere somehow excuses bad in the church scam of which we were all part. Bad is bad wherever it happens.

I could say that it gives me no pleasure to know that ministers and church members are going crazy because the end they’ve based their entire lives upon somehow never comes to vindicate them, but I’d be lying. Sooner or later, even the phrase “delayed prophecy” will ignominiously disappear. The psychological catty nine tails that HWA used as part of his hook have caused permanent damage. Once again, I truly wish I had a time machine and an unlimited supply of condoms lubed with spermacidal jelly.


Anonymous said...

This does not surprise me at all. There are sexual predatators within UCG targeting children and the UCG ministry and their wives turn a blind eye to it. This is not about UCG twenty years ago but happening now and in recent years since the COGWA split.
UCG allowed new speakers in gaining power after the split and their behaviour has been horrific. They have come into UCG from here there and everywhere. They are not proven men of character. They are not checked upon at all.
I know this because my own child has been a target.

Redfox712 said...

What a house of horrors this is. I believe this account. It makes one wonders how anyone could defend these organizations or defend one's own organization. Of course they do so, but it can be so hard to understand how it is possible.


I recall once stumbling upon a webpage that claimed that two ministers from, if I recall correctly, UCG had moved to LCG and it was alleged by this web page that those two had committed some sort of sexual abuse. This would been around 2009 or so. It even mentioned them by name but I cannot remember those names. This was a long time ago.

I cannot find that web page anymore. I hope other readers will remember it. I cannot have been the only one to have seen that web page.

Connie Schmidt said...

Amazingly, the television show family "THE MUNSTERS", had more love, respect, normalcy , morality and decency , than many COG families and ministers.

Anonymous said...

Somebody should ask Gerald Weston why he keeps a child molester on his HQ staff.

Anonymous said...

The 'vile kids at the feast' comment reminds me of a young woman I dated at a Hawaii feast site in the 1980s. She confided to me that she had lost her virginity, and inside the church. She said that there was more pressure to sexually compromise inside than outside the church. Based on my church experiences, I believed her.

Allen Dexter said...

Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts totally. The COGs are all fascist organizations which allow super salesman types to rise to power and they can then do anything and get away with it. They protect each other. Once I realized what I was a part of, I got out and stayed out. Best move of my entire life.

Anonymous said...

I wrote that comment, and I want to add a few things.

We don't need a corporately controlled church to meet. It was very hard for me to meet with people for the first time outside of a corporate group. But what I found was that we could just invite people over to our home and eat food and talk.

When we tried to emulate the services structure, it was just awkward. If we had a good speaker with us, that could be nice, but we found it wasn't needed at all.

Our discussions are deep and meaningful, we don't need a song service or an opening/closing prayer. We just visit and talk about religion, our beliefs, changes in our lives and the bible. And if anyone has something important to say, we all listen naturally, as happens in any group setting.

This was a freeing experience, as I was worried we wouldn't have anywhere to meet.

I have to say though that I have not given up on the people in our local corporate congregation. We still attend with one group as well as our home meetings. I won't say who, but I have found that splintering has humbled them. And I don't send in tithes anymore, but since I do enjoy meeting with people, we give a little offering money to cover what I consider reasonable expenses for renting the meeting place.

I no longer am chained to the group, and on the way home, it gives a great opportunity to discuss with my kids what was wrong in the sermon or sermonette, but also what was right, if anything. So my family gets lessons in life, with the experience to discern.

Just last week my son (a teen) argued effectively against the local elder stating clearly that the elder's point of view "was not wise", and the elder actually agreed with him.

If the smell of anything bad even remotely comes around to this congregation, I will stand up and put a stop to it. Going through what I have has given me courage, and I hope others find it as well.

I won't invite anyone to the local corporate congregation, I am ashamed of the link to HWA and often poor sermons, but my hope is for the people there. But there will be a time to leave if things don't change when the time comes.

I would encourage others to invite people over to your home, and discuss religion. None of the people we meet with (we meet in a few different homes, just to eat and talk and enjoy eachothers company, nothing more) agree on everything. In fact our best discussions are over disagreements. We are learning to appreciate each other and get along and respectfully sharing differing views, and we often affect each other towards change.

Anonymous said...

And even the 19964-66 Adams family were loving to one another. Gomez (horny) Adams really loved his wife.

Anonymous said...

btw, one more note from me (the poster of the original comment here). I had a really bad day some years ago, and I posted a ranting raving diatribe here and Byker Bob actually posted a decent response to me. And I can't say how much that meant me, and how destructive being abused as a child is.

Thanks Bob, trying not to tear up writing this. Please stay understanding and compassionate to us that don't always speak nice when we aren't doing well.

R. Roberts

Byker Bob said...

@ R. Roberts, 8:08, I’m glad to have been able to assist. You know, we all need a boost now and then. Most of us regulars here experienced the full brunt of Armstrongism, and understand these things and can share in ways that normal support groups may not. I often get a boost from comments here myself. I hope you are making progress in your recovery and towards happiness. The abuse that happened to those of us raised in an Armstrong cult should never have happened, but the important thing is how we handle it, and what we have done about it since. I used to think of myself as being a victim, but was not content to wear that label long-term, because that would have opened the door to a lifetime of victimhood and abuse. I know people who have successfully recovered from much worse, and are fully functional human beings today.

The people from the ACOGs who chide and chastise us here, and would deny the realities of our experiences are lacking in understanding. It’s so easy to get pissed off at them, but in many ways that is still allowing the whole rotten mess to control us. I believe that they fully realize what they are doing. Shame on them, not on us!


Near_Earth_Object said...

Further back in the mountains, about 35 miles from where I live, is a small town in a canyon with a large Roman Catholic facility. It originated as a retreat for the numerous priests with sexual problems and served that function until a few years ago.

All churches have this problem. Its prevalence, of course, is not mitigating. The pathological clergymen are energetically defended because the affected churches are defending, not only the men, but the authority within the church. If in the process of providing a defense the church leadership tramples on lay members, all the better to put them in their place.

Our Sabbatarian brother, Vernon Howell, was an expert at, not only prophecy, but sexual abuse. All the men in his Waco congregation were sexually inactive while Vernon had full access to their wives and daughters. His conjoining with the women was considered a holy act. Judging from what I have heard and seen written, there are some Armstrongist "ministers" who might like this model of church government.

Sexual abuse is one of the evils attached to denominationalism and other forms of organized worship. It is why "the priesthood of all believers" is so important.

Anonymous said...

The strange problem is that the perverts are welcomed into the churches and supported while their victims get kicked out of these same churches. Strangely, it does not matter whether it is a weird church like the PCG or a supposedly better one like the UCG. Very strange. Everything is done exactly backwards. The same evil spirit is behind both the PCG and the UCG.

Byker Bob said...

Yes, 4:04, it’s a perversion of forgiveness. You either forgive pedophiles and stalkers (acting or not) or YOU are out of the church. Oddly enough, the pervs get more understanding and compassion than the person who innocently has a toga party, or is having a get together at their home and suddenly a Bible study breaks out on the Book of Enoch! The ACOG ministers should really study the Talmud to get a better sense of priorities, logic, and ethics.


Anonymous said...

I attended PCG (after WCG) many years ago. I didn't see or hear of "perverts" while there. I would be interested to know if there is any truth to that. I always believed those in the ministry I dealt with were upright and would not tolerate sin of that nature. I saw ministers who abused their powers and trampled over members. I personally saw Cal Culpeper in action and how easy it was for him to chew people up and spit them out, dooming them to the lake of fire with no regard for the people and harm he was doing. Was there really perversion or deviant behavior of the likes of GTA in PCG?

Anonymous said...

Many people never hear or see anything bad ever happen at church. I have talked with no less than a dozen older members that have been attending with a cog for 30 years or more that all that it was just rumors. These are the same people that are kind and dedicated but have just never been mistreated so don't know what its like or what the warning signs are.

But at the same time I've had arguments with people that knew stuff had happened about denied anything was still going on. So its a mixed bag.

Byker Bob said...

3:39 ~ It would be interesting to examine what you just mentioned from a demographic standpoint, carefully studying the data to determine if there were a prevailing profile of those who were never subjected to abuse, and a prevailing profile of those who were. It is very possible that the old "respector of persons" factor might come into play, based on a member's personal appearance, educational background, ability to be articulate, socio-economic status, etc.


Anonymous said...

Byker Bob,

That may be interesting to see real data, but I have a rough idea from my experience. Because I saw, experienced and was told so much crap (my parents and almost all my aunts and uncles went to ambassador, some were acquaintances of GTA even) that when I started attending as an adult, it was a frequent topic I would ask about. Or if the topic came up I listened.

I went through a couple of splits, and during that time I noticed that people that buried their head in the sand over current abuses didn't always line up with people that acknowledged past abuses, it was odd.

But I also met with around 15 or so members that have either left, or attend only part time now, with their eyes wide open, but most of these people were treated poorly or kicked out.

I am repeating myself now of course. But this past couple years, some people learned about HWA's sexual issues, had grown up in the church, and had never heard it before at all. (a couple in their 40s)

I think because we know so much, that we assume others must know "something", but it's possible they know almost nothing at all. Mainly because they wouldn't listen to "rumors" and such.

Consider the Stephen Allwine case, I know there are people that still believe he is innocent and was setup or something.

R. Roberts