Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tom Munson's Letter to Restored Church of God

Dear Brethren of The Restored Church of God,
Mr. Pack has often stated in the past that he wants us to be the most informed Church among all the splinter groups. I know you haven’t been hearing that lately, so here is some information that is vital for you to know, about which Mr. Pack has somehow failed to inform you. It is with great sadness and heaviness of heart that I, Thomas L. Munson must write this to you. It is my duty as a Trustee of The Restored Church of God, Ministerial assistant and Ministerial trainee of Mr. Pack, Treasurer for the Church and a converted Christian who is committed to the entirety of the truth of God as taught to us by Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong, to inform you of particular events that have occurred over a period of time.
These events happened in my presence while I was employed at RCG. If you are as committed to the truth of God as I am, then you will want to know. If you are not, then you will not care to know what this letter contains.
I now have the distinction of being the longest lived employee of Restored, although I was the newest employee as recently as mid-January of this year. Mr. Pack has repeatedly stated in the past that he wanted to run the Church in a squeaky clean manner. As the Treasurer of the Church for the past three months now, I can see a clear and consistent pattern of overspending, wastefulness and worst of all, a misuse of all three categories of directed tithe funds. Anybody who is a contributor to the Restored Church of God should be concerned with that statement.
What do I mean?
Let me explain.
Directed funds are funds where you, the contributor, specify exactly how they should be spent as a condition of RCG accepting the funds.
Third tithe. Everyone in the Church knows it is to go to the widows and the orphans and other needy people as their legitimate needs arise. This is a longstanding doctrine of the Church. However, very little third tithe contributed to RCG is actually spent in the manner which God says it should be. Mr. Pack has even instructed me to deny people who need third tithe, and instead use the third tithe to help meet payroll, rent, attorney salary, and other expenses unrelated to third tithe. I cannot in good conscience comply with his demands any longer. Mr. Pack has repeatedly instructed me to turn down those requesting second tithe assistance while also repeatedly instructing me to deposit all excess second tithe, and tithe of second tithe into our main checking account, (which is the first tithe account) to cover our shortfalls due to overspending. I have refused to do as he demands, explaining to him that my conscience tells me not to do as he demands. Of course his demands are verbal and not in writing.
When I told him of my crisis of conscience, he became extremely angry and verbally abusive of me. He even made many untrue and unkind remarks to me about my wife, and even attacked Mr. Armstrong’s integrity. He claimed Mr. Armstrong misused third tithe and festival tithes in such a way that I "wouldn’t even believe it." That saddened me. I had hoped he would have said: "Tom, you passed the test, I really didn’t expect you to do what I was telling you to do, I was just testing you." But he didn’t. He told me a condition of my continued employment was to pay the bills with excess second tithe, and tithe of a tithe and third tithe. I won’t steal God’s tithe in my personal life and I won’t steal God’s tithes from the needy. Mr. Pack should have known I was honest when he hired me. Even though the Church pays me $54,000.00 per year as a salary, and I am by no means the highest paid employee of the Church, I am no pauper either. After speaking to Mr. Pack about my crisis of conscience, he privately offered to give me money from the third tithe fund "to keep me happy and to help me out." I declined his offer, assuring him that I did not need to be "helped out." I could come to no other conclusion except that he was offering me a bribe. And, had I accepted the money, I felt I would be just as guilty as he.
Brethren, this is a new twist of a doctrinal change. He teaches excess second tithe, tithe of a tithe, and third tithe, but he seldom uses it for the purpose which God intends. And when he does, only a small portion is spent as it is intended. The rest goes to pay Mr. Pack’s salary, and the salary of his attorney and the excessive rent payment for our office complex. We only use about half of the space for which we are paying. Mr. Pack is only too willing to use these directed tithe funds as a part of the normal operating budget. Meanwhile the needy do without. God will not bless a Church or its leader who blatantly rob him. This is immoral and illegal. I cannot ignore the seriousness of what I have witnessed. As a trustee of the Church, I have an obligation to the members of the Church and to God that supercedes any obligation to Mr. Pack as my employer. I also have to consider the fact that my attorney has advised me that I may be exposed to prison time if I comply with Mr. Pack’s directions.

Reread Mr. Pack’s own book "There Came a Falling Away" on page 403, change 257. This outlines exactly how all the different tithes are to be used. On the bottom of page 25 of the revised "Why The Restored Church of God?" booklet, Mr. Pack states: "I have gone on record for so long, and in writing, through these books and tapes about exactly where I stand on doctrine and the pursuit of holding fast to all of it, no matter the cost, that I could never get away with making changes now. God’s people (and my detractors) would be quick to "call me on it."
I "called him on it." He treated me harshly when I brought up to him how I believed he was compromising God’s doctrines, teachings and law in a clear way. He compounded his wrong practices with un Christ-like behavior. His un Christ-like behavior has been witnessed by me since the day I began working at RCG headquarters. I can excuse this behavior no longer in my mind.
As Treasurer, I can attest to the fact that God has been removing his blessings from Restored. Mr. Armstrong often said "If our ways please God, he will bless the work." Mr. Pack used to say that frequently, the last few months he has forgotten this. He even scoffed at me when I suggested that God is not pleased with some aspect of Restored a month ago. Income is dropping steadily, and so is membership in RCG. I believe it is in  part due to Mr. Pack misusing God’s tithes. Membership in RCG is dropping faster than new members can replace the ones who are leaving, despite what Mr. Pack so often says or would have you believe. Over 100 of the less than 200 members at the feast last year have dropped out. Mr. Pack did the math himself. Most who left are not from the local congregation at headquarters, although some are. At least half of the new members gained after the feast have also dropped out. Some people beg for counseling and are ignored, others are dealt with so harshly only a masochist would take the abuse. I am not exaggerating, brethren. I could go on and on.
I have worked side by side with Mr. Pack for the past eight months, I have witnessed too much. I refuse to be a witness to any further abuse or neglect of God’s sheep. Currently membership in RCG is less than 200 in total around the world and dropping, not rising as Mr. Pack claims. The bylaws of The Restored Church of God seem not to be worth even the paper upon which they are written. I have ample supporting evidence to back this up. This legal document defining who and what RCG is and what it must do "By Law" has not been adhered to ever since the day Mr. Pack and his full time attorney wrote them. When I bring these matters to the attention of Mr. Pack, his solution is not to abide by them, but to rewrite them.
There is so much more I could say about the matter of the bylaws of the Church, but space prevents me. Mr. Pack changes his mind more than any person I have ever met in my entire life. This is very damaging to the morale of the office staff, both past and present. Now I can clearly see why so many have walked away from working with Mr. Pack. This instability doesn’t come out in sermon tapes but it sure does at the headquarters office. I have taken more than any reasonable person can withstand and I can excuse his behavior no longer. With my departure, his longest lived employee is employed 6 months. Is it a coincidence that ALL his employees but the two most recent have left him? After they leave he pronounces that they were unconverted. What are the odds that all his former employees were unconverted? What a very poor judge of character he must be after twenty some years in the ministry if all his employees whom he handpicks personally are unconverted. Mr. Pack and his attorney have repeatedly, in the presence of the office staff of RCG, commented how thankful they are that Mr. Pack can fire any employee at anytime, for any reason, and the Restored Church of God will not have to pay out one cent in unemployment compensation benefits.
Churches in Ohio can only rarely obtain unemployment benefits for its staff. Hearing this bantered about demoralizes the employees, especially those who quit more secure jobs, and had no knowledge of this prior to coming to work for Mr. Pack. The work environment at RCG headquarters, which Mr. Pack has created, is best described as dysfunctional. I have personally witnessed Mr. Pack lose his temper so many times I have lost count. Previous employees of RCG can affirm that he has a lack of self-control in the temper department. Many are the victims of his wrath. I believe the only reason Mr. Pack has not been sued is because of the unwavering Christian values of his former victims. Mr. Pack has repeatedly told outright lies in my presence in order to manipulate people and obtain what ever results he desires as a result of those lies. He does not seem to care about the consequences those lies may bring to his victims. The scripture he has quoted most in my presence is 2 Cor. 12:16. He constantly goes around proudly saying "I caught you/him/her/them with guile." Any study of the word guile in a concordance will show you if God approves of his private interpretation of this scripture. Rev. 14:4-5 is what Mr. Pack should try to attain and teach. As a ministerial trainee, I need to report that he has tried to teach me that catching people with guile (deceit) is a Godly attribute worthy of apostles. He knows that I cannot and will not agree with him on this matter.
RCG’s policy: If you don’t tithe you’re out.
Over half of the mailing list was removed for one reason and one reason only, they didn’t give as much as Mr. Pack wanted them to. Forget about "freely you received, freely give." One of the biggest events of the day for Mr. Pack is when the mail comes in. He opens the mail personally in order to count every last cent that comes in, and to see who has suddenly stopped tithing. If someone hasn’t given money in a while, he usually won’t counsel with them. What he does is to remove them from the mailing list. This is true of prospective members, too. Everything seems to revolve around money for Mr. Pack. If you knew how much he spent per month on rent and for his personal attorney, or how huge his salary is, then you would know why he is so concerned with the tithes, and why he is so willing to misuse the other tithes as well as first tithe.
He stereotypes people based on what group they came out of. Mr. Pack acts one way to people to their faces or over the phone but behind their backs he acts entirely different. Here is what Mr. Pack has told me he feels about those who are in Restored: If an RCG member came with us from PCG, they are as spiritually insane as Gerald Flurry and are likely to detonate. He says he shudders every time someone new comes with us from PCG. If you came from Living then you are lukewarm and compromised like Rod Meredith. If you came from Global straight to Restored, then you are balanced. (That’s the route Mr. Pack took!) All others don’t even register. How insulting of his membership. At best, this leaves no room for change or growth, assuming his stereotypes are correct. I do not believe his stereotypes are Godly or correct.
Mr. Pack gossips constantly. When you counsel with Mr. Pack it is not confidential. If you counsel with him about someone else and ask for confidentiality, sooner or later he betrays that trust and tells the other person what was said, and oftentimes he puts a spin on what was said. I have witnessed this repeatedly, and previous employees have witnessed this, too. Make-up: Despite Mr. Pack’s claims to the contrary, RCG does permit the use of cosmetics when it is convenient to do so. I am personally aware of people who have left RCG because Mr. Pack refused to enforce his ruling on make-up. Many people he allows to come to services with make-up on as long as they, guess what, TITHE. Those who want to wear make-up and don’t tithe are put out.
 Open door policy:
RCG does indeed practice an open door policy. Perhaps the worst violator of the open door policy is Mr. Pack himself. He has invited his own relatives who have no intention of joining Restored to services and allowed the women to wear make-up. Protestants, other COG, ex WCG now unbelieving, etc., etc. Even a woman who works downstairs in another office but has no clue about God’s truth asked to come and the Packs invited her. The reason she wanted to come to Church was because she could hear the song service and liked the music and singing. Also in violation of his stated policies, Mr. Pack sent out Feast registration forms to dozens of people who are not members of RCG. He is flinging the doors of our Feast wide open.
Mr. Pack spends an inordinate amount of time trying to pin something, anything, on previous employees.
It was Mr. Pack and his attorney who called the police on Don Tiger after Don refused to sign over the rights to his CD’s to RCG. Mr. Pack knew there was an outstanding federal warrant for Don Tiger when he hired him. Mr. Pack wanted the CD project so badly that he was willing to overlook the warrant.
Don’s mistake was to counsel with Mr. Pack. Sadly, Mr. Pack used that information against Don later, violating yet another confidence. Mr. Pack turned Don Tiger over to the police.
Read the following quote from Mr. Pack’s persecution statement: "The history of the True Church is replete with a basic replicating pattern of persecution that comes, almost entirely, from two basic sources.
First, those who hold fast to the full Truth of God are eventually expelled, attacked and accused because they will not go along with either the wholesale, or even PARTIAL, sell-out of God’s Truth!
Second, is that the civil governments of this world become involved in directly persecuting the people of God, as well. As true and painful as this is, in itself, this often happens (perhaps even most often happens) because the persecuting Church 'members' are the ones who actually betray the true brethren to the authorities who, it is hoped, will seek to bring or precipitate greater persecution upon those same true brethren."
What a sickening policy for Restored to have!! Mr. Pack falsely accuses this man.
Here’s an example of many:
"In this light, it is interesting to note that the old Trust Fund was overdrawn by approximately $3,500, an amount that might now be difficult to recoup." False! Untrue! Any investigation of the account can clearly show that Mr. Tiger never overdrew the funds by one cent! There was a balance of over $270.00 on the very day when Mr. Pack gave in to Worldwide attorney Ralph Helge and closed it down.
I could literally cite dozens of outright defamatory lies Mr. Pack has made while attacking Don Tiger. I believe the Tigers have acted in an honorable fashion by not suing Mr. Pack for slander and libel. My hope is that Mr. Pack will repent of telling lies and will bring forth fruits of repentance by admitting the lies and setting the record straight with the truth. Mr. Pack also knew about an outstanding traffic ticket Don received because the most recently hired employee told Mr. Pack about it.
Mr. Pack wanted Don Tiger’s email list too. Don didn’t feel comfortable with giving it up so he declined to give it away. This angered Mr. Pack. Mr. Pack used confidential knowledge to turn Don in. I was there when it happened.
June 7 Update: "Do not be afraid to believe that God may dramatically intervene to protect His Church from enemies who threaten to attack it!"
June 10 Update: Just hours before Donald Tiger was arrested the second time on Wednesday night, Mr. Pack announced on this web site (please see June 7th Update) that "do not be afraid to believe that God will dramatically intervene to protect His church from His enemies. We believe that God has dramatically intervened in a way we could have never imagined."
Mr. Pack sicced the police on Don Tiger days before and was told in advance that he would be picked up for the traffic ticket and warrant. There was no surprise involved. Both updates were written by Mr. Pack. Need I say more.
The following is a quote from Mr. Pack’s persecution statement, I think it applies to what Mr. Pack did to Mr. Tiger:
"Certainly, if I wanted to accuse somebody, and also make them look as bad as I possibly could in the process (probably because I wanted to also divert attention away from the real doctrinal issues), one of the most brilliant 'strokes' that I could contrive would be to say that the person I am seeking to attack and accuse is really attacking and accusing me. What more effective and clever strategy to deflect attention from the real issues could you think of while you, at the same time, portray yourself as a victim?"
Think about this and try to recall even one single incident where Mr. Tiger "attacked" or "accused" Mr. Pack.
Mr. Pack has certainly made multiple attacks and accusations against Mr. Tiger, and even went so far as to send the police after Mr. Tiger. The reason Mr. Pack refuses to answer his accusers is that he would be faced with three clear and distinct choices.
1) Deny the statements and be called a liar.
2) Repent and confess his sins and change his ways and be forgiven.
3) Say nothing at all and hope it will all go away.
Mr. Pack chooses to slyly deny anything brought against him by refusing to comment. Or he says something to this effect: "I refuse to answer those who accuse me falsely." That is of course an answer to the accusation and a counteraccusation. He tries to hide behind his book "Should Accusers Be Answered" saying he will not answer his accusers and all the while answering and counter-accusing.
The following is a quote from Mr. Pack’s persecution statement:
"As I mentioned above, most people understand that I will never answer my accusers no matter what those accusations may be. This particular accusation would never require an answer anyway because everything I do (books, booklets, tapes, and letters to members, Newsletters and Updates) is public and open for all to review themselves."
The question many people have for Mr. Pack is: How do you explain this in light of your removing updates from the website? How do you explain this in light of your open door policy? How do you explain this in light of the fact that many write in with requests, and you refuse to honor those requests? Where are all the things which you mentioned above public and open for all to review themselves? Mr. Pack, again you are not being honest with your audience. Why?
I fully expect that I too will be accused of the most heinous of crimes when I am gone.
My real crime was selling my successful business and making the largest contribution to Restored in its history. The majority of the directed funds I contributed were not spent as directed, by the way. Now I will face certain economic hardship in order to stand on principle. I put my family in harms way by coming to work for him, but I do not fear. God is my rock. He has always been there for me.
As my final act as Trustee I send you this letter. For the above stated reasons and many, many more I here by tender my resignation as a Trustee of The Restored Church of God, as its treasurer, my position as Ministerial trainee and assistant, and my membership in Restored Church of God.
I join an ever growing list of former employees who wished Restored would have lived up to its promises but now believe that the man in charge is incapable of keeping his promises. You may contact me at REDACTED or email me at REDACTED if you so desire. You may write to me at REDACTED, Wadsworth, Ohio 44282. It has been a pleasure to be of service to you for the last eight months. I wish you well.
Your servant,
Thomas Munson


Byker Bob said...

This is interesting because it is first person testimony, and illustrative of the true character of Dave Pack. It very nicely compliments the testimony which Dennis has shared. We have, it seems, multiple witnesses, positively confirming the type of individual David C. Pack in reality is.

That said, it, and Dixon Cartwright's article are dated. This is stuff which happened almost 15 years ago, though I am certain that the pain caused by Dave's actions has had a persistent, long term effect on those involved. We know that Tom has survived, and occasionally comments here. But, what has happened in the life of Don Tiger? Normally, my sentiments would be against anyone attempting to preserve anything whatsoever from HWA, but Dave Pack is the worst offender here, having gone after Don Tiger the dirty way. Does anyone know if Don survived what had to be an ACOG induced maelstrom in his life???

Also, Pack's membership was only in the three figures at the time these events transpired, and shrinking at that! We've heard current numbers of 1,700 bantered about. Does anyone really know the current size of RCG?


James said...

The Munson letter is indeed a classic. It is also tragic. Dave Pack's history is sordid at best.

Allen C. Dexter said...

I comment Mr. Munson for being a principled man who is willing to start over after being cruelly used and deceived. I can't share his faith that any god is going to help him through this, since no such god exists as far as I'm now concerned. Our foolish belief in that non-existent entity is what got us all in the mess to begin with. All that being said, I sympathize with his predicament and hope for the best in his future.

DennisCDiehl said...

Tom Munson and I have become friends over the past couple years and he is exactly who he says he is. A man of principle who gave Dave more than most if not all. Tom has now become rather agnostic through it all and we share some very good topics of conversation. He is also has a kick ass sense of humor

Black Ops Mikey said...

What is the date of the letter?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, what's the date? A lot of things on here should be dated.

Michael said...

Holy guacamole! What a letter.
Sounds like the implosion of RCG may yet precede that of COGaic...

Anonymous said...

I cant understand why anyone would follow David Pack or even believe he is a Christian. He is a proven liar, a thief, a con man, no remorse, no compassion or mercy in the person, a deceiver, a total control freak, self absorbed to the highest degree etc etc. I truly feel sorry fo his employees who will soon find themselves out of a job, hopefully they are looking now for another one while they are still working. One thing though, he has made things interesting lately, but at the same time showed what kind of person he really is. I don't wish him ill but he will soon be finished, I hope he is still able to repent, but will he?

DennisCDiehl said...

The specific drama occurred back in 2000 ish but does well represent decades of mindset and I am sure thas has been more of the same over the recent years.

Here is an old page with many similar conflicts and drama ridden experiences with RCG


DennisCDiehl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lake of Fire Church of God said...

Standing Ovation to Tom Munson!!!

When will the dumb sheep in all WCG splinters wake up?

If you can't acknowledge logic and reason because of a lifetime investment, then listen to Herbert Armstrong's own words recorded various times on tape in his final years. "The Work" ended with HWA.

No need to waste money, time and effort on Dave Pack, Gerald Flurry, felon Ron Weinland, Ramrod Meredith, etc.

Heck, I saw a video clip on You Tube of The World Tomorrow with HWA filmed in the 1980s where HWA stated something to the effect that "if these things don't come to pass in the next 15 years and Christ doesn't return, then you know I was preaching a false message".


NO2HWA said...

This letter and the Don Tiger letter were posted on an √ľber conservative COG Yahoo group. They did not have dates attached. They are not "new."

Anonymous said...

Dennis writes,
"Tom Munson and I have become friends over the past couple years and he is exactly who he says he is. A man of principle who gave Dave more than most if not all. Tom has now become rather agnostic through it all and we share some very good topics of conversation. He is also has a kick ass sense of humor."

That's good news, Dennis, and it's great to hear he has a "kick ass sense of humor" - I'm sure it has and will serve Mr. Munson well!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous says, "He is a proven liar, a thief, a con man, no remorse, no compassion or mercy in the person, a deceiver, a total control freak, self absorbed to the highest degree." Well, what can you expect? Certainly not fruit of the spirit. Has anyone heard many sermons on the Fruit of the Spirit? Unheard of in WCG. Or maybe I wasn't paying attention in the Pasadena AC gymnasium on Friday night. All I remember is HWA going back to Gen 1 and bohu and tohu. My word . . . . What a bore.

Silence said...

Powerful letter. But how old is it? There's no mention of Pack's recent prophetic mishap, so the time period would provide some valuable context.

DennisCDiehl said...

Tom Munson sold his coin shop to move to Ohio to work for Dave. I imagine Dave hired him because he liked the coin shop concept.

Anonymous said...

I wrote that letter in September of 2000. I must give Dave Pack some of the credit for the fact that I no longer hold on to what was then sincerely held beliefs. One benefit from my experiences with Pack is that my children have been spared having to be raised in a fear inducing religion. They are happy, intelligent, law abiding, caring individuals who have empathy for others. I am proud of them!

I have never in my life encountered someone as despicable as Pack. Hopefully never will again. He takes sincere people and uses them up, and spits them out, without a shred of concern about how he destroys peoples lives. I feel sorry for those he has convinced to liquidate their savings and pull big triggers and send it all in to him. He is all about money, always has been, always will be. Money appears to be his God.

It is very telling that he demands that his contributors have absolutely no say in how he spends their money. I would bet that it is safe to say that he still uses only a fraction of third tithe he collects from trusting contributors in a manner that they would approve of!

I have since recovered from my interactions with him, and rarely give him much thought. I am sure he thinks of me a hundred times more than I ever think of him. Looking at his web site I see he mentions me without naming me, and tries to defame me through innuendo. He apparently can't help himself. He is too egotistical.

I see how he has declared himself an Apostle, and see the failed prophesy that he made last fall. He can add false Apostle and false prophet to his resume now! I wonder what entertaining wackiness his mind will come up with next?

Thomas Munson

Britain W. Stevenson said...

Dave Pack is an idiot..THE END!

Heather Fierro said...

I'm speechless! I've been following rcg for 6 years now. When I started I thought I found the church. I tithe soon after. Then requested booklets. I didn't make much, but knew it was Gods. Once I stopped, I noticed booklets I requested stopped. So I stopped. I have told myself soon I will convert til this day. I'm not very educated, didn't come from a loving family, so I have been very intimated. I watched the video today which shows about the church and noticed some women wearing makeup! Now I know to convert I have to give it all up no matter what the world thinks. So how can Pack share about a women that walked in with makeup and made leave, then allow it in a video showing about the church? I then started typing in just that question. And this is what I see. I just can't stop thinking of Revolutions! And, how sad and alone I feel. I dream about following God, and wanting to be faithful forever, and hope the same for my family. To have so much power like he does. ...it sounds like he is lost in that. To show his weakness is what I hope for. I fail as a mom alot,and hope my kids don't hate me and more so God! Forgive me, so much is going through my head right now. I have not had it easy my whole life, but always felt watched over. I hope I can find someone to look up to, that can give me and my family help and friendship. We have pushed away both sides of our family and friends because we Want better, even though we fail, we try. Please pray for us! I want to say I'll pray for you but always have a feeling I'm not worthy enough to pray, or feel like I'm being religious. Heather