Thursday, June 6, 2013


Who would have thought when I started this little blog that it would be having the impact it does today!

Soon after I started this the UCG/COGWA debacle hit and viewership started climbing rapidly.  This site soon became the "go to" site for the latest in the absolute craziness in the Church of God.  We have taken their own words and posted them for all the world to see.

We had a direct influence in LCG's smack down of Bob Thiel when they had to publicly acknowledge that Bob was NOT the official LCG spokesperson as he assumed he was.  Through witnessing Bob's mental meltdown, the COG  has got to see a regular member appoint himself as a leader without any credentials or ordination.  The icing on that cake let us see some of the most absurd and poorly produced videos a COG leader has ever produced.

We have have experienced the venom from Wade Cox and legal threats.  We know we are read by Dave Pack and and his lap poodles.  We know LCG, UCG, PCG, GCI, COGWA and others regularly check us out.

25-30 years ago no one would have ever thought that the Internet would be as powerful as it is.  The Internet was a thing used by schools and universities for scientific research.  It was only a couple of years after HWA's death that the Internet took off and the COG has never been the same since.

It rapidly contributed to the downfall of the WCG as various splinter groups networked through email and private groups plotting their departure from the Mother church.  The power and control of the Church leaders suddenly went impotent.  People did what their conscience told them to do.  They left in the tens of thousands.

All of the splinter groups thought the Internet was God's new gift to them and would be their friend as it helped gather their faithful together in ways never imagined.  But then, all hell broke loose.  The Internet started being a tool to expose abuse of Church of God leaders. The people could no longer be silenced. 

The ground breaking work that the Ambassador Report accomplished decades ago took on a new light and route.  While the AR was originally mostly Pasadena based, the Internet went world wide. Around this time The Painful Truth appeared and  Gavin Rumney's blog Ambassador Watch suddenly took off.  The AW caused such a stir that various COG HQ's started calling in people to find out who was spilling the beans.  In essence, the Ambassador Report and Ambassador Watch with the help of the Internet, started the decline of the Churches of God that it has never recovered from to this day.

From an organization of close to 140,000 members, with millions of co-workers, three college campuses, enormous print runs, and a rich heritage, the Church has declined to 700 some splinter groups all fighting to see who is top dog.

We are getting to watch first hand the implosion of  the Dave Pack and Gerald Flurry groups.  We have witnessed the minuscule rise of two self appointed false prophets, Bob Thiel and James Malm.  We have witnesses the mental breakdown of a COG member who went on a shooting spree killing Living Church of God members all because of a sermon by Rod Meredith.  We have seen Church Elders lie under oath in stalking trials.  We have read about the suicides and deaths caused by church teachings.  We have seen Gerald Flurry get arrested for public drunkenness and then try to bribe a Peace Officer. We have witnessed families destroyed by Gerald Flurry's hate-filled disfellowshipment polices.  We watched as Rod Meredith broke away from WCG to form  the Global Church of God, then to watch him trash it by taking their money and leaving them in debt as he started Living Church of God.  The list is endless.

You can rest assured, that we will be here for a long time to come chronicling the fall of the Church of God into hundreds and hundreds more splinter groups.  If they try to shut us down there are others ready to step in and start another site.

Please patronize our fellow compatriots on this journey to freedom!

In no particular order:

The Painful Truth
Ambassador Watch
False Prophet Ron Weinland
Living Armstrongism
All About Armstrongism
Armstrong Delusion
Exit and Support
The Plain truth About Malachi's Message and That Prophet
Non-Believer Former Members of the Worldwide Church of God
The Age of Reason - 21st Century
Armstrongism Plagiarism Research
The Supreme Cult
Armstrongism - The Ultimate Guide
The Gun Lap
Life After The WCG: A Spiritual Pilgrimage of an Independent Believer
Currently Starring....Pam Dewey's Most Excellent Blog
Towards The Faith Once Delivered
Matches In The Gas Tank     Link fixed
Field Guide To Wild World of Religion
Old Covenant Compared To The New Covenant
The Practicing Heretic
Investigation of Armstrongism


Anonymous said...

"...and a rich heritage..."
You mean "rich heritage" in the sense of "That's rich!", or in the "I fly my own private jet" rich, right?

"The list is endless."
That's a wonderful list btw. Ah, proud, embarrassing too, but mostly proud, moments in Armstrongism. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Like everything is in it's rightful place in the world. The leaders are conspicuously consuming my money, all while bending me over the arm of their steuben crystal sofa and slipping it up the ass nice and gentle. Those were the days. I can definitely see why so many are so eager to hold onto the glory that was Armstrongism.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the internet is like the Underground Railroad out of Armstrongism. It has given so many the courage to leave the cotton fields and run off toward freedom. Many thanks to all the abolitionists who are helping to abolish the slavery instituted by Herbert Armstrong. I owe a debt of gratitude.

Anonymous said...


In just about 20 years Armstrongism went from a multi-tens-of-millions of dollars a year religious empire to piddle pie. The downfall has been amazing to watch.

It seems all of them want to become the next Herbert W. Armstrong. None of them have. None of them will.

The internet keeps them in check. :)

Anonymous said...

Gary. Thank you and congratulations for your "work of God" with your website. Having been raised in the WCG and leaving in 1976 to the disdain and estrangement of my family, your website has been a blessing to me personally as I witness the meltdown of Herbert W. Armstrong's multi million dollar fear religion business enterprise.

Lake of Fire Church of God

Douglas Becker said...

All of the Cult of Herbert Armstrong is a disappointing failure: No facts, no truth, no socially redeeming attributes, filled with narcissists, sociopaths, psychopaths, nutjobs and crazies.

Yet they carry on as if they have some sort of "truth". We've proved they are liars and thieves, over and over again.

It's difficult not to think of them as atheists who have not one shred of viability, who care nothing about morals and ethics -- totally ethically challenged -- and who have absolutely NO FEAR of what will happen to them even as they paint a picture of an all consuming wrathful God who's going to get you if you don't keep the Sabbath, keep the Holydays and pay your tithes.

It's just random mental noise by stupid worthless inane cultmeisters who are takers of the sort described so aptly by Dr. Phil in "Life Code" with a lot of mental disorders found within the DSM-5.

And they want respect for their rubbish.

They are worthy of nothing but contempt -- they should be mocked -- it's so bad that even my cat got into the fray (thanks for the link!).


Bah, humbug!

Joe Moeller said...

There is something profoundly sad about BANNED getting one million hits.

It is obvious, and is the "Elephant In The Room" that for this many "hits" to have happened, that many people in the COGS are visiting here, including its leaders and ministers, and they do so on a regular basis.

YET... needed areas of discussion, problems and resolution will not be addressed in more legitimate forums within our own COG community in an official manner. No offense intended to BANNED, but BANNED is like some kind of illicit mistress where people are going because "their needs are not being met at home". Sugar coat things all you want in an organization, but the inherent reality and problems will not simply go away by "White Washing".

My wish is that the illusions can be dealt with in a mature and intelligent manner and internally, but I wish for too much Im afraid. I contrast these below in talking about "Scarcity Mentality"...

During my years in the Church of God community, I have often thought "why are the disputes in the Church so fierce?" The answer -"because the stakes are so low." Because there is so little nominal spiritual growth and little spectacular or miraculous spiritual things going on amongst us all, we then examine what little has been accomplished in our spiritual realm with a microscope, and dissect every particle with rigor.

It's not unusual for people to magnify trivial spiritual differences when the spiritual fruits themselves are and have been so trivial. It is known as "scarcity mentality" in economics and in psychology. My impression is that this sort of mentality is present in the Churches of God and in most of mainstream Christianity as well. Here are a couple of contrasts between an "Abundant Spiritual Mentality" and a "Scarcity Spiritual Mentality"...

(Continued Below In Part Two)

Joe Moeller said...

(Part Two)
Abundant Spiritual Mentality...
Abundance Mentality is characterized by generosity, and a sense that no matter how much or little you have, there will always be enough of God and his love, truth, spirit, forgiveness, and generosity to go around.

The mind is not burdened with concerns about Church survival, and all Christians needs are carried within themselves with the hope and comfort of God's spirit and the church group and the greater community of which they are an integral part.

Material possessions, Church services, as well as knowledge and resources are not hoarded, but accepted and shared. There is a sense of connectedness and belonging that brings a relaxed personal security and spiritual health.

Scarcity Mentality...
The insufficiency or shortness of supply mentality is characterized by disconnectedness and a greedy focus on the individual or his particular religious group.

Material possessions, "Spiritual Turf", Church membership and perceived unique spiritual knowledge are gathered and jealously guarded to build personal power with efforts also made to prevent others from doing the same. The mind is consumed with thoughts of day-to-day survival.

Because this paradigm cannot support a person in a sustainable way over the long haul , this will definitely will cause a sense of helplessness and lack of a sense of grounding and security.

This leads to a belief that ultimately there is no hope for long term satisfaction of basic spiritual needs and so the individual's focus shifts away from survival needs and into the realm of self gratification through the use of "Pride in the Present".

This can manifest itself in terms of spiritual ambition and title seeking, personal self indulgence in all of its forms, jealousy of other churches, putting down of other individuals and churches demanding that "we are the only ones that God is working with.

Obviously this leads to mental and spiritual madness because this belief system cause a sense of being more special than others.

This is the reality we are dealing with in the COG. Will we have the gravitas to actually deal with real issues in our churches, or will we continue to consort with our mistress here at BANNED ?

My hope and prayer that a place like "BANNED" did not have the need to exist. Im sure NO2HWA agrees with me in many ways on that opinion.

Joe Moeller
Cody, WY

Anonymous said...

Rom. 12:3

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think;...

in other words, you are giving yourself far too much are not damaging The Church at all, but are simply witnessing a culling of the herd.

the genuine members are completely unaffected by anything you do here.

Anonymous said...

Congrats! It's great that you are providing a place to show the nuttiness of the Armstrongist splinter groups.

"It seems all of them want to become the next Herbert W. Armstrong."

Ain't that the truth. Heck, there's even groups like the kooky 'United Church of God' and the 'Church of God a Worldwide Association' that have a WHOLE BUNCH of HerbieWannaBees at their crazy helms!

(But for the people the people who prefer the HerbieWannaBee one-man-shows, there are plenty of those, too!)

Douglas Becker said...

Too many of you in the Cult of Herbert Armstrong still seem to think that it is of God. It's not. It's a cult. It does cult things. It does not have the truth. Not even close.

There can never be any resolution in, among or between the various ACoGs because they are not a part of any viable religion. They are merely parodies. They aren't even civil.

Now I tried, particularly within United to help resolve the problems. I gave their basic "church governance". I tried to teach them Project Management. I showed them where they were wrong and what they could do to solve their problems -- with both Robert Dick and Dennis Luker.

That was before I found out that British Israelism was rubbish and their church history is a lie stolen from Ellen G. White through Dugger and Dodd. It also didn't help that Garner Ted Armstrong was totally immoral and the WCG just tolerated it until it became too public.

You people still addicted to the CoHA are not interested in the truth. You are only interested in confirming your own silly opinions.

People who have the worst judgment in the world are those who don't listen and don't seek correction. If you want a good look, take a look at the PKG over at the Ronald Weinland False Prophet blog. If you are in any of the ACoGs, you are them. You might as well be in a sect of Sabbath keeping Scientology.

You don't listen; you don't want the truth; your opinions are crap.

Bring forth some real facts and we will consider them.

We may have to wait for a long time, but not to worry: The whole venue is slowly fizzling away to entropy where What Was Will Never Be Again.

RSK said...

Anon 7:52 was apparently affected enough to bother coming here and posting that...

Head Usher said...

"in other words, you are giving yourself far too much are not damaging The Church at all, but are simply witnessing a culling of the herd. the genuine members are completely unaffected by anything you do here."

The leaders of "The Church" preach a good-sounding message, but set a terribly ungodly and unchristian example. If these leaders are among the "genuine members" who are so "completely unaffected," then I can only conclude that you aren't worshiping the god you think you're worshiping, because your "Church" is morally bankrupt. The result of so many good-sounding messages is no fruit or bad fruit.

And your reference to "genuine members" only echoes my story about fundamentalism from a week or two ago, and how completely misguided such judgmental attitudes are. Such a great example you're setting here of ignoring the guy you pay lipservice to. It's this kind of hypocrisy that makes me not want to call myself a christian anymore. You're not the only one who can quote scriptures, btw:

Matthew 7:
1 Do not judge, or you too will be judged.
2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?
5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Anonymous said...

no not's good to keep up with what the other side is saying and doing...

no animosity toward anyone's obvious that the negativity toward the Church is rooted in lack of understanding and the inability to recognize the True Church.....and that's ok, you will all have the opportunity.

Corky said...

Anonymous said...
the genuine members are completely unaffected by anything you do here.

If by that you mean the genuine, totally brainwashed, then - you're right! However, if a member is coming here to read this stuff, they are already looking for a way to escape their cult masters and hoping they will find it.

Fear, though, is a wonderful tool - plus the threat of ostracism. But, every once in a while, someone will get tired of living in fear and face up to the fact that there is nothing to fear from these cult masters. In fact, the real danger and what they should be fearing is staying involved with them. And, every once in a while someone will figure that out and wash their hands of it.

Allen C. Dexter said...

"We may have to wait for a long time, but not to worry: The whole venue is slowly fizzling away to entropy where What Was Will Never Be Again."

I'm very thankful that is true. It's a painfully slow process, but each upheaval divides and weakens the kooks that still remain. Thiel is almost unbelieveable. So is Malm, and really, the whole entourage, including some of the more original of the bunch like Meredith and Luker.

I'll continue doing my small part. So will all the rest. There can be no replacement for HWA under these conditions. Comforting fact.

Assistant Deacon said...

"...witnessing the culling of the herd."

Indeed: "Baaaa. Baaaa. Baaaa."

Vickie said...

This blog actually helped me rescue by sister from the clutches of the pervert Flurry. Now I need to work on a friend in the clutches of Pack. Of any of the COG ministers this guy is the sickest and most abusive.

Byker Bob said...

I believe that the word "damage" would be a very poor word to describe what is being accomplished here. "Constructive" might be a better word choice, or even "correction". Damage implies an uncaring or very negative attitude towards one's fellow human beings, one's former brethren.

Damage is one of the fruits of false teaching, or cultic groups, no doubt about that. When we have the opportunity to restudy and correct our formerly cultic belief system, by disproving British Israelism, exposing the continued error of the Armstrong prophecy mold, coming to a better understanding of the Holy Spirit, and the realization that all of the Old Covenent legalism was intended for a past dispensation presaging Jesus Christ, those are all very positive things. If we can free people from slavery to some self-proclaimed prophet or apostle, aiding them in restoring their own families, that is incredibly positive.

Kudos to Gary for his tireless research, balance, and courage. It's indeed a pleasure to be onboard as part of such a positive effort!


Painful Truth said...

Given that we cannot absolutely nullify the prodigality of nature, try as hard as we may, I'm afraid I have to conclude that the Armstrongist mind has limited horizons.

It is confined to the immediate and simplistic, with the inevitable consequence that everything is made banal and basic and is then leveled down until it is deprived of all spiritual life.

Example. Whenever Herbert wannabee Dave Pack attempts to infiltrate the media with his propaganda for the express purpose of disseminating scornful and illogical information, he looks around waiting for applause as if he's done something decent and moral rather than satanic and ultra-logorrheic. Such is the insanity of Armstrongism and the kooks who participate in these illogical and evil venture(s) known as the "churches of god."

DennisCDiehl said...

I also want to thank Gary for his good work and also for allowing me to process my own experience freely and without restraints. This blog has given me some friends I would not have had in any other venue as well and I appreciate them.

From a young teen, all I ever wanted to do is to know what is true and what is not. WCG got my attention instead of the Presbyterian Church I grew up in and I suppose I could not be here if I had not been there.

It's just a story and with a flick of the wrist here or there, it would have been a different story that's why I call it Earth School.

Thanks also to those of you who have been enouraging and even those who get really mad at me. It all helps processing this crazy story.

Painful Truth said...


No reason to get mad at you. You are telling your story in an honest and upright fashion in a way we could NEVER expect from a cog cult.

As we await the final meltdown moment of the cults of god, we can only hope that another Ratzmann moment does not rear its ugly head. What we can hope for is a public that will decry the atrocities that are currently taking place in the armstrong cults. The idea of sending it all in will be the demise of at least one cult we known of.

The clarion call to poverty must be investigated and prosecuted for the benefit of society. Will the mayor of Wadsworth instigate it? No, he is part of the problem. A cheap hack who backs someone he knows nothing about and promotes. But why? For what cause does a politician resort to promoting some hack, named David Pack. Does he expect some payback?

That's not really a question. Just an observation of politicians who receive something in return for their bogus promotions. In my views, this is called prostitution.