Saturday, March 8, 2014

Living Church of God Preparing For Massive Growth

After David C Pack's humiliating defeat this past October with his failed prophecy that all the COG's were to be reunited under his leadership, his followers are looking outside the Restored Church of God for greener pastures.

Living Church of God is prepared to take in these lost members and others with anticipated  explosive growth.

Everyone knows that since God's favor no longer rests on David C Pack that it is now hovering over Rod Meredith.

Doug Winnail writes:  

 It has been a little noisy this week as we do some remodeling in the Executive Office area to make room for growth. It certainly has been exciting and inspiring to see the doors that God is opening with television and the Internet. . . We are scheduled to have a phone meeting for the Council of Elders next Wednesday, so we would appreciate your prayers for that meeting and for all of God’s people as they face challenges in their lives.—DSW

David C Pack Closes Road To Keep Wadsworth Residents Out of His Compound

Make sure you check in at Dave's Visitor Center!

David C Pack went before the City of Wadsworth and fought to have the road on his property closed to the public.  Pack is following in the footsteps of secretive Armstrognite cult leader Gerald Flurry.  Neither one can have any lookey-loos driving through their property.  More importantly this is being done to keep out disgruntled former members and ex-COGites.  After breaking up hundreds of marriages and families, Dave has to maintain control so that these angry people do not set foot on his sacred City on the Hill.

In the following news brief it it also points out that Pack is planning on building executive housing on his property, just like Gerald Flurry.  I guess his large home in Wadsworth is no longer adequate for the worlds greatest Church of God leader EVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEER!

WADSWORTH: The city’s Planning Commission this week approved a request by the Restored Church of God to have most of Ambassador Drive declared a gated private roadway.

Ambassador Drive was planned to be a link between Hartman Road and Akron Road, but the Restored Church of God is expected to purchase most of the land accessed by that roadway.

The church has built its world headquarters at that location and is constructing another building to serve as a printing facility.

Also during the planners’ meeting Monday, the church withdrew a request to build residential dwellings on the property to be leased to church executives. The proposal will be brought back at a later date. Read the rest here:  Church in Wadsworth wins approval for privatization of road

Friday, March 7, 2014

Dennis Muses: Where is the Akron Beacon Journal?

"Acts 2:38"

Apostle David C Pack Version
38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you if employed and have money to give to the Church, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins as long as you are working and understand you have no rights but to die. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit with my permission

Dear Dennis,

I want to let you know that you have a great blog and your writings are very much appreciated, you have a great sense of humor...
(Note:  I am a guest writer on Banned HWA and not the Blog Owner)

I am ___years old, was in RCG for ____ years, __________, although I had been reading their site and already "warming up" to their teachings since _________. Interestingly enough, my disillusionment came not because of my experience with the Church, but from my own experience with the so-called "God" of the Bible. 
I spent 5 years of my life adhering to the strict teachings of Armstrongism in a most sincere and disciplined manner, and my life only met misfortune. Not a good thing came out of it. "God" definitely did not fulfill his end of the "deal", so to speak. It was a painful and soul-destroying experience.

I do not think the history of the Bible is real....

But not to say I am not disgusted by the stuff with RCG, for example, to this day I am not baptized because I could not get a job to help support the "Work".

 Dave Pack has a policy to not let anyone that does not have an income of his own be baptized. It was not intentional on my part, I had extreme difficulty in this area for a variety of reasons and I intended on starting tithing when I fixed my situation, yet I was treated as if I was a slacker. I do not think they read the story of Simon Magus and how he was shunned for trying to buy his way into the Church. Or they just ignore it. Oh well.

Their obsession with controlling people is also notable. I even remember Dave Pack saying in a sermon that we did not have any personal rights, the only right that we had was the right to die. Whatever.

I am so disgusted with my experience I can say am not even a Christian by any definition of the word, not even a traditional one. If Armstrongism does not work, why believe the same doctrines 1-2 billion people believe if the world is in such a shitty state? It obviously is not the true way, if such a way exists.

I came about your blog a couple of days ago because I was curious to find out what other people think of RCG and Dave Pack, since I had not done it even once while I was in RCG, because everybody outside RCG is possessed by Satan so listening to their point of view was bad.

Coming from someone who read his humongous autobiography (part 1 and 2!), I have to say I was a bit shocked about the stories I read about him and his conduct while surfing around in the web. I really had him in a high standard in my mind. I do not assume them all to be absolutely true, but gosh darn it, some of it has to be.

Anyway, I do miss a friend I made in RCG, I love him as if he was my own brother, "in Christ" or not.  It is very disturbing for me to realize he is probably going to throw his life away in this cult, I almost cry sometimes. I had other acquaintaces, most of them very fine people, but he was my only real friend in there.

It breaks my heart to know that sincere and well-meaning lives are going to be swallowed up and destroyed by RCG, and Armstrongism in general. My heart goes out to you also, you sound like me in your writings, except I was fortunately able to get out much sooner. You are doing a tremendous service to not only Armstrongists or ex-Armstrongists, but to humanity in general, with your blog.

Flipping Unbelievable!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

E. W. King Follower Says: "God is truly talking through his last day 'ass'"

Sorry for all of the King posts lately but these people are absolutely bonkers!  One of his acolytes actually calls him a talking ass!

This is exactly why I have this byline at the top of my blog:

Nothing you read here is made up! Every crazy, weird and wacky quote is straight from the pens of Armstrongite leaders or members who think they possess some insight into God and the Bible. What you read here is the up to date face of Herbert W Armstrong's legacy. It's the gritty and dirty behind the scenes look at Armstrongism as you have never seen it before
The acolyte writes:

I think that it is soooo amazing that the heretics and people attacking Mr. King’s tachings have nothing better to do. It seems that they do not have a real job and probably get governement aid. They sit around and spend all their time writing bad things about Christians in the Worldwide Church of God. They must be misirable people. One person called Eric [God's 7th messnger] an “ass”. This is funny, in the Old Testament God spoke through the mouth of an ass. Also, this same person said of Eric in one of his recent attack articles: “God’s mightiest man on earth.” So what this means is, God is truly talking through his last day “ass” through “God’s mightiest man on earth” to the poor lost COGSR hater. Wow! What a revelation!

Jim Turner Author of "Grace in the Dark Places" Dies

In August of 2011 I had excerpts posted of the new book out by Jim Turner, a former WCG minister that detailed his journey out of Armstrongism.  Grace in the Dark Places: Conquering the Cultic Mindset

Today I learned on Facebook that Turner had committed suicide in July of 2013. I then found out that The Painful Truth has listed this as a suicide on it's "Suicide Statistics for the Worldwide Church of God" page.

I don't know the reasons behind the suicide, but many are saying that the demons of Armstrongism were still in force.  For so many, the struggle to break free from the mental abuse the church laid upon everyone is a hard thing to break free from.  The church had made people feel they were never good enough to receive God's love or grace.  Just listen to and look at the sermons of HWA and the church leaders of the splinter groups today!

I posted  the following quote on the original page about the book:

As I began to investigate the chain of circumstances that led to the twists and turns in my life, I came to realize that others would benefit from my experience through recognition of similar traits and influences that brought them to a similar place in life. I was deceived. (pg. xix) I was conscripted into a clever collusion, to which I eventually consigned my body and soul. The torturous and serpentine journey into spiritual confusion that describes my life is complex and indistinct, even perplexing at times.

There came a time when my subjugation expired and I willingly reenlisted, accepting the consequences of my actions. I elected to ascend through the ranks, disregarding the abuse and compromise that attended such advancement. There were vague crossroads, times when circumstances dictated my decisions as well as times when, clearly, I acted according to the fortuitous winds of personal advantage. There were moments of uncertainty when I opted to follow the crowd rather than taking the moral high road that my conscience futilely prescribed. Guilt played a huge role in my actions, a contentious double-edged guilt that often implied that I must follow the dictates of the man whom I had come to believe was the true servant of God while at the same time suggesting that I must buck the crowd and openly acknowledge the abuses.

No one will find, in my exact footsteps, the exact path of his own life. I believe we will find that notwithstanding the deviations in our course, we crossed the Rubicon together and arrived at the same destination. We became members of a cult. We sacrificed our vision through acceptance of that of a charismatic figure to whom we pledged undying loyalty. Inherent to that sacrifice came a willingness to separate ourselves from others, including family and friends, who failed to see the privileged status to which we had subscribed. We became spiritual elitists. Parasitically, we attached ourselves to the one and only true servant of God in hopes of obtaining exclusive positions in the divine appointment.

You can read Jim Turners memorial page and see photo's of his life in the college and church here:

James Malm's Faithful To Soon Head To Place of Safety

Where church services will be held in Petra 
(according to Armstrongism)

Petra, here they come! What will they find when they get there?  Thousands of other COGers bickering, fighting and whining that others are there besides them. Talk about a living hell!

I agree with the idea of keeping the new moon and we’ve been observing it for a while now, watching for the first light and counting the first day of the months and adjusting our Holy Days (last year was the first year) based on these days. However I cannot figure out why it is based on Jerusalem’s new moon observation- rather than a local one.

You are doing well to get into the practice of looking for the new moon. Very soon now the faithful will be moving to the area of the Middle East; Jesus Christ has chosen Jerusalem as Holy to Him and has told us to look to Jerusalem as his seat of authority; there are many scriptures on that point. We are getting into the practice of looking to Jerusalem, looking to Christ’s seat, as he is now almost ready to establish his millennial kingdom with his seat at Jerusalem. James

At least they will all have some comfort there since they still can feed their alcohol consumption at the Cave Bar.


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Eric King: Is Bob Thiel an Alien Implant?

Did one of Eric Kings aliens that he talks with daily "implant" Bob Thiel here on earth to disrupt the True Church?

In a recent talk I heard Mr. E.W.King refer to Bob Thiel as an “implant”. He was put into the “church” to try and disrupt all the so called “splinter groups”. He works for higher officials and tries to stop the true organization of Christ’s church. He does this through arrogance of education.
I hope Mr.King begins to expose Mr. Thiel soon in his theological writings.

A Child of Armstrongism Reacts to Greg Albrecht's Plain Truth Article

On February 24, 2014,  Greg Albrecht published a piece in his Plain Truth magazine where he says:

He says:

I was once a card-carrying cult member. I bought into the teachings of Herbert W. Armstrong (the collective body of these teachings today is often called Armstrongism) hook, line and sinker. I was a true believer.

It's fascinating to see the reactions of people when I tell them I was once in a cult. If I'm talking with a group of people and the subject comes up, it's as if all the air has suddenly been sucked out of the room. Everyone gets really quiet, while they wait for me to start telling lurid stories about how I once sacrificed goats and defaced cemeteries. Polite society, especially "good, church-going folks" tend to regard someone who is an ex-cult member as being roughly equivalent to an ex-convict. The typical, usually unstated reaction is something like, "How could you have been so stupid?"

There is no doubt about it—I was a sucker. I bought into a spiritual snow-job. Armstrongism seemed so plausible, because it was based on my ability to make God happy. Of course, I believed what I wanted to believe. I believed I had the spiritual power to please God. According to Armstrong in-speak, I could "qualify" for the kingdom of God. I could "make it" if I built enough "holy, righteous character."

Armstrongism appealed to my vanity, because I was told that the vast majority of people didn't "have the truth" like I did (in retrospect, I can only say "thank God" they didn't!). It was a religion, in that it filled me with fear of God's punishment if I failed to measure up. Like any and all religions, my experience with cultic religion manipulated my guilt and shame. I didn't know it at the time, but Armstrongism "shut the kingdom of heaven" in my face (Matthew 23:13).

Reading his article has brought to light a lot of different reactions by ex-COG members.  On a COG recovery group a person shared their response to Greg's letter.  I have the person's permission to post it here though I have removed the authors name for privacy concerns.

Dear Mr. Albrecht,

I just read your piece in the Plain Truth dated 2/24/14. And I read the comments on your page as well. On the one hand I am happy for you that you have found peace in your faith and on the other I am furious at you and the others. As I was reading through the emails and letters sent to you and the corresponding responses, I could only think, “This is the abuser acting as the counselor!!” I find it interesting that there are no survivor accounts from former WWCGer’s listed in this section.

As a survivor, a child survivor of this cult, I felt compelled to write to you and demand for you to tell the Plain Truth. Not the Sugar Coated Truth…the Plain Truth. You talk about how you were sucked in due to vanity or wanting to please God. I HAD NO CHOICE. I was brainwashed and spiritually abused by you and the other ministers of the WWCG. And I have no frame of reference to normalcy or to a semi-normal relationship with God. I have no ability to say “I chose this.” I did not choose it. It was a matter of being born to parents in the WWCG. They who believed: one who made the choice to join, the other who was brought in by her parents.

I watched “Called to be Free” and that was sugar coated, too. I’m sick and tired of people calling WWCG a cult, but then when asked to list the reasons why it was a cult, it gets sugar coated. Even when I read the various lists out there, or read the list you have provided in your article, I have to pull myself back from saying “well, maybe it wasn’t that bad. It was just a birthday, it was just Christmas, it was just no bacon.” All of those things sound benign and on the surface, they are. It’s when you delve in to the meat of the doctrines and the consequences of not following the doctrines that one finally begins to see the blackness that pervaded every pore of the WWCG. You alluded to the “punishments” in your article, but go the extra mile. Tell it like it was. Own it. Own what you did. Own what the church did. Don’t gloss over it like it was a bad dream, because for so many of us, that dream still wakes us up in the middle of the night. For many of us that dream haunts us while we are wide ass awake.

Let’s talk the Plain Truth.

Plain Truth #1: As a child who was born into the church, my consequences were learned early through blanket training down in the bowels of the Ambassador Auditorium. How more evil can a religious organization be? It was directed by HWA and his son Richard, with the article reprinted in the Good News Magazine from I believe May of 1981, that children WERE to be in services, and they were to be QUIET. Children as young as a few months of age were “trained” to sit on a blanket and not move and not speak for two f****ng hours. Do you remember the consequences for the child if they didn’t obey the command to stay and shhh, as if they were a dog? If you’ve forgotten, maybe you should peruse another fine publication written by another of HWA’s sons, Garner Ted, and perpetuated upon the membership. It’s called the Plain Truth About Child Rearing. Now fast forward 39 years and consider what it’s like to realize you are still very much blanket trained. Imagine how weak you would feel, to recognize that the training goes so deep that it is second nature and you don’t even realize it’s happening until someone points it out to you; or something in your psyche finally wakes up and says “what are you doing??” This type of training was started very early in a child’s developmental stages. How could you and the others not see how this was harmful? The brainwashing tactics were top notch. I have to give HWA and his ministers that one. Since I was trained so early in my life, as were others, we didn’t know any different. All we knew was to stay and shhh.

Plain Truth #2: It wasn’t just a birthday party. If there is one thing that just irks me it is when someone says, “so have a birthday party!” I wish I could. It wasn’t just a no-birthday doctrine. Oh, no, it wasn’t that simple. It was “you cannot have a birthday party because it shows vanity and selfishness. God does not like vanity or selfishness, and if you break this law of God then you may go to the Lake of Fire. Oh, and remember, bad things happen on birthdays. Don’t forget John the Baptist was beheaded at Herod’s birthday party.” What kind of evil tells children that they are not worthy – that to celebrate the day they came into your life is selfish? What kind of evil tells children beheadings are a potential consequence of a birthday? What kind of EVIL tells children that they will go to the Lake of Fire, where they will cease to exist in even the memory of their parents? And I wonder why I have a panic attack when my birthday rolls around.

Plain Truth #3: Christmas is Pagan. I haven’t fully dug down to find the root of my fear in this one. But I can tell you this: I celebrate Christmas and I get no joy from it. I watch people putting up their trees, having great family time, going to church, celebrating Jesus Christ and I still think they are all heathens and will end up in the Lake of Fire or at the very least, demon possessed. When my daughter was born 20 years ago, and I had essentially been out of the church (at least as far as going to weekly Sabbaths, I was still attending the FOT with my dad) for 4 years or so, I heavily argued with my now ex-husband about whether we would celebrate Christmas. He was not a WWCGer and had no idea where I was coming from with this argument that Santa is really Satan; that Christmas is really a pagan holiday and Christ was not born in December; how I didn’t want to lie to my daughter, yada yada yada. It didn’t even phase me that I was about to take a childhood joy from her that celebrates the birth of Christ (oooh look at that, celebrating a birthday!!) and I argued with my husband for hours. I never once talked to him about growing up WWCG. I don’t think I’ve done so yet. I was still stuck in the mire of the doctrines but was still too afraid to talk about it. I married him, but considered him an outsider. I had a daughter with him, and considered him an outsider. And is it any wonder that I was able to cut him out of my life like he was an outsider? But that goes to Plain Truth #4.

Plain Truth #4: The Outsiders. When I started going to therapy, just last year, one of the first questions my therapist asked me was what I am like in a grocery store. This was when the light bulbs started going off in my brain that I was still “trained” like a good little WWCGer. I go in to the grocery store, I run through the store like I’m on mission impossible and I NEVER make eye contact. If I see someone I know, I try to pretend like I didn’t. Why? They are outsiders. I’m still afraid of being seen talking to an outsider. I still don’t trust “outsiders.” I’m so damn scared of people one of my diagnoses is Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia. When I go to the gym, it’s the norm that my heart rate is 120 before I ever step foot on the treadmill. And why? Because the jerks, including you, at WWCG and at Imperial, drilled into our heads that we were to be wary of the worldly. That we were not to form relationships with those outside of the church. When I left at 15, I went into this world I was terrified of, and I have had panic attacks every day of my life since. The panic attacks were so normal to me that I didn’t even realize what they were. I have been ruled by fear every day of my life, and that was NORMAL. It wasn’t until they got so intense that I went to the doctor for an EKG and she said “it’s just anxiety.” But it’s not “just anxiety.” This was my NORM. This is the legacy of the WWCG: FEAR.

My daughter had no idea why I was so emotionally numb, and neither did I for a very long time. It took her cutting me out of her life for me to figure it out. I have since opened up to my daughter and our relationship has gotten back on track. But how many years, how many experiences did I deny her because I was so emotionally stunted from my years in WWCG? You talk about being rescued. I’m still waiting. And before you tell me to invite God, thanks to you and the other ministers, I am still AFRAID of God. Deathly afraid.

When my therapist asked me to imagine that fear I feel in the pit of my stomach, I did. It came in the form of the paddle from Imperial. When she asked me to walk towards it in my mind I did. When she asked me to pick it up, I could not. She then told me to “open your eyes. You are still scared to death.” I have been out of the WWCG for 18 years, and I am still scared to death. The damage that church and its doctrines caused is like a cancer. It goes so deep, I have no idea how many years of therapy it’s going to take for me to feel safe or whole. And don’t ask me to go to a church, or any church. I don’t trust anyone claiming to love Christ. I don’t trust anyone at all.

Plain Truth #5: I am not worthy. Not just because I am human, but because I am female. I’m sure you don’t like cussing, but I can’t think of any other way to describe what was done to me. The mind fuck that was done to us kids is just indescribable and in my opinion, it was criminal. My career has suffered, my self-esteem is radically retarded in its growth. Here’s a good example. We had a 360 peer review at work. My boss and I discussed the results. And his first words to me were “What the hell is wrong with your self-esteem?!” I had scored myself lower on 99% of the categories than my peers had scored me. He had never seen such a thing. And to me, in my deepest recesses, it was always better to score myself lower, to view myself as lower, because that was what I was taught to do. I was taught to devalue myself as a human being and as a woman. It was a central doctrine. If you need reminding, see Rod Meredith’s wonderful booklet titled “True Womanhood.” It is so frustrating to recognize that the contents of that literature are wrong and evil, but I’m unable to root it out. I still feel guilt for doing simple everyday things because it would be viewed as a betrayal to the femininity I am supposed to be displaying to please God.

Plain Truth #6: Fleeing to the Place of Safety. Jim Jones killed or coerced his members into committing suicide. How far removed were we from that? If HWA had said “It’s time” there is not one of us that wouldn’t have dropped everything to follow. Once we got to Petra (and to be honest, my therapist tries to make me laugh at the ridiculousness of the chosen POS) what was going to happen? Would we have taken extreme measures if HWA told us to? I believe we would have. I’m thankful that didn’t happen, but let’s not gloss over the fact that it was a very real possibility.

These are only some of the Plain Truths as it relates to WWCG. And here’s one more: the leadership has only pontificated about their role and bragged about how they’ve changed. When they sold the Pasadena Campus for millions of dollars, did they contribute any of that back to help those who had been so severely damaged? Did you offer counseling? What steps did you or the leadership take to right the wrongs other than completely changing the doctrines and changing the name? You can sit there at night and feel good about how you were rescued. You can look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that you brought about change. But what did you do to help those you hurt?

And quite frankly, don’t expect me or anyone else who grew up under the madness that was WWCG to trust you or your words. I don’t believe you will print this or respond. I have many more Plain Truths to share with you if are truly a changed man and minister. But I don’t believe you are.

UPDATED: Eric King Haters Will Rue the Day They Picked On Him When They Have To Acknowledge His Greatness On Their Death Beds!

A Church of God Speaking to the Remnant acolyte, or Worldwide Church of God, or UFO Talker Church of God, Mountain Man Church of God, or whatever they call themselves, wants all who "hate" Eric King to know that they will think about all of King's truths as they lay dying on their death beds....apparently begging God's mercy for making fun of his prophet and TRUE church leader.

I would like to bring to the attention of all who visit here the following: There are many who hate God and hate Christians out there who attack Mr.E.W.King’s teachings. They show their ignorance through their sarcastic and hateful talk. When left on their death bed they will again think about what Eric said. Death seems to draw a person closer to God…funny how that works. We will all die. Some of us will have developed a humble relationship with the True God…others, who have continuously made fun of their Creator will “Nash their teeth”…they will truly feel and understand the pain of their wrongful decision.
Peace out :)

Here's one more hilarious tidbit from another acolyte that hates The Painful Truth site:

The guy that attacks on his “hate christian blog” called TPT said:
“Herbert Armstrong certainly had hubris, but we don’t have to recede into the past to find it:”
These types sit in the dark room and try and find every fault of anybody who claims to be christian. What about this guys issues? Is he and all the other God-haters perfect? this idiot needs to have his brain washed with the SWORD TRUTH’s powering out on Mr. KING’s mouth!
Another one writes:

The guy who runs the “Painful Truth” blog is the COG’s nagging BITCH. He has such a ‘luv hate’ for God’s last day apostle, Mr. Armstrong. He spends his whole life like a nagging wife.
Quuuue straaange man

Such loving grace filled Christians............NOT!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Which Church of God Leader Regularly Converses With ET's?

Alien reading Eric Kings literature

It looks like King's acolytes are just as crazy as he is.

An acolyte writes about the ET's talking to Eric and the special messages he has been given.  These messages are so mind boggling that they will drive many of King's acolytes away from his group because they cannot handle the message:

Yes, Eric is getting ready to write many articles regarding UFO’s and ET contact. He promised that he would do this in the year “2014″. He has stated it several times in the past. I really enjoyed the recent article “Extraterrestrial are Real”. It seems that many so called Christian groups stay away from this topic. Why? Ignoring the truth doesn’t make it go away.

Also, from COGSR student Lisa I have learned that Eric will be posted special prayer times based on information that he was given? And I think he was even contacted by Et’s but I am not sure. Anyways it will be interesting. He supposed to post a complete audio message on the ET/UFO subject next week. This will push many who study here away from the COGSR ministry. Many are not ready to handel these “heavy” truths.

Another writes about UFO's monitoring Eric Kings activities, apparently because King is the greatest man alive being used by something he calls god. 

NEWS FLASH…………COGSR students near one of the homes of Mr. E.W.King spotted ET Craft [UFO]. Only 100 yards from Mr. King’s Mt. House. Witnesses saw the object. Man named “Carl” took photos. I think they will b posted soon! UFO contact? UFO monitoring COGSR activity?

Eric King and His "Goo" Work About COG Haters

One of Eric King's acolytes had this to say the other day about anti Armstrongism blogs:

Mr. King gave talk this Sabbath regarding the issue of the “COG hate bloggers”. He gave some funny examples of sitting in a chair all day looking to find dirt on cog groups while smoking a joint and reading a playboy. His message was funny and very serious. He informed all COGSR members that we must pray for the angry people who post these hate blogs.

I hope he writes and article about this because people really need to understand the mental condition of such God haters. There is one COG hate blog that was talked about. A woman who knows the guy who runs it gave a testimony. Talk about mind boggling. 

These haters do some strange things to say the least.

Keep up the goo work TEAM!

34 Women Accuse Bill Gothard Owner of Big Sandy Campus of Sexual Harassment

Bill Gothard, the owner of the Big Sandy ALERT Academy campus (former Ambassador College/Worldwide Church of God property) has been relieved of his duties over the ministry he has run since the 1960's.  Thirty-four women have accused him of sexual harassment over the years.

A group of ex-members have been running a web site called Recovering Grace where they've documented the horrendous tales of abuse in his organizations.  Like Armstrongism, his religious system is rotten to the core.  Like Armstrongism, it has taken legalism to the extreme.

The public face of his cultish organization is the ALERT Academy in Big Sandy, the Institute of Basic Life Principles, the Advance Training Institute, and the Duggar family of 19 Kids and Counting.

Christianity Today writes:
Bill Gothard, Basic Seminar speaker and home-schooling advocate, has been placed on administrative leave as president and board member of the Institute in Basic Life Principles following multiple allegations of sexual harassment.
The Board of Directors of the Institute in Basic Life Principles is doing a very prayerful, thorough, and Biblical review in regards to the assertions brought by various individuals and groups. After completion of the review the Board will respond at an appropriate time, and in a Biblical manner.
Mr. Gothard is on administrative leave while the Board completes its review. He will not be involved in the operations of the ministry. The Board of Directors will be prayerfully appointing interim leadership.
Gothard, who has been single all his life, is an outspoken proponent of biblical literalism, patriarchy, large families,  training children to be submissive with corporal punishment, homeschooling, and preparing for the end times. Here is man, who has never married nor had any children, who has trained over 2.5 million people on proper marriage and family life.  That's like Herbert and Garner Ted Armstrong training church members on how to have proper marriages and family lives.  Oh wait!  They did that!.  Just like Gothard, our fearless leaders were just as immoral and perverted.  Like the Gothard ministries, Armstrognism's moral cesspool carries on down the food chain to other ministers and splinter group leaders.  What is it about being a religious leader that makes them such degenerate people?

Thanks to the internet, the Gothard ministries are being held accountable for their decades of abuse through various web sites put up by ex-members, many of who were high up in the organization or are children of long time members.  Sound familiar?

The biggest critic that documents these abuses is the Recovering Grace organization.  They say:

Recovering Grace is an online organization devoted to helping people whose lives have been impacted by the teachings of Bill Gothard, the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP), and the Advanced Training Institute (ATI). Recovering Grace provides a unique perspective in that it was founded and is operated entirely by adults who were raised as children in Bill Gothard’s Advanced Training Institute. We all have attended Bill Gothard’s seminars, and most of us served within the IBLP organization in some form or fashion. Among the members of our team are pastors, lawyers, teachers, accountants, businessmen, and stay-at-home moms. We have all taken different journeys, but we all have one thing in common: We survived ATI.
Some of us had pretty great parents who, by the mercy of God, were able to bring balance to Bill Gothard’s legalism. To this group, survival means that they graduated high school and moved on. However, many of those involved with our site survived physical and/or sexual abuse that causes nightmares and trauma even today. Some survived spiritual abuse at home or training centers that has left them with years of untangling who God is, whether faith is worth having, and whether church and religion are anything more than a cosmic joke. Others have survived emotional abuse, being told that they weren’t good enough, weren’t pretty enough, didn’t look right, or whatever. To these people, survival means a lot more. It means there is a lot of hurt, guilt, and pain that is dealt with every day.

Together, we have decided it is time to speak out. Others have done so before in books, magazine articles, and websites. Still, they couldn’t speak from the perspective we can. They wrote about Bill Gothard’s ministry from the outside. We write about it from the inside. They observed our legalism and tried to warn our families. We lived in legalism and wish we’d listened sooner.
It's like deja-vu with all of us that have survived Armstrongism.  The internet and Facebook is filled with web sites, blogs and groups  with people sharing their stories of abuse.  The biggest is on Facebook were people tell appalling tales at times of things that have happened to them.  The internet has made accountability a big issue for these organizations.

The stories of these abused women and members can be found here Gothard Files

Gothard and his ministers were adept at misusing scripture.  Again, just like in Armstrongism, the similarities are frightening!

The week that I spent at Basic Youth Conflicts in 1973 (Portland) was one of the most difficult of my life. In this seminar I was regularly assaulted by a misuse of the Bible, particularly of the Old Testament, on a level that I have never experienced in a public ministry before that time (or since). All speakers, including myself, fail to interpret and apply the Bible rightly from time to time. But in the Gothard lectures, Old Testament passages were used time after time to argue points that they did not prove. I was as troubled by the errors made from the lectern as by the seeming acceptance of these errors as true and factual by the many thousands of people in attendance.
...Gothard’s use of Scripture is so suspect as to render him a poorly informed and untrustworthy teacher.
Is there any Church of God minister capable of preaching a sermon without 5, 7, 15, 21 steps or points to it?  Like Armstrongism, the Gothard camp has the same legalistic issue:
There are ten steps for this and five steps for that, yet eight steps for another. Such an approach to human personality accords neither with the variations in people or with the dynamics of Scripture. The listing of these “steps” is pure human invention, but Gothard presents each of the lists as though they were the direct teaching of the Bible. This is my principle objection to his ministry.
Gothard’s approach is not that of the careful exegete who wishes to determine the meaning of the text, but of the engineer who wishes to use the material in his own programmatic approach which is mechanical and not personal, mechanistic and not dynamic. Gothard does not really teach the Scripture; he really uses the Scripture to fit into his own categories.
Like Armstrongism, Gothard has an unhealthy view of sex:

Given Gothard’s low view of the body and his repressed views of human sexuality, it is not surprising that he neglects entirely the Song of Solomon with its beautiful eroticism and its delight in human sexuality. For Gothard, the things done between a man and a woman are the secret things of Ephesians 5:12, a disgrace even to speak of such. Only on the basis of his own negative, programmatic approach to human sexuality would Ephesians 5:12 refer to the marriage bed. Serious exegesis matters little in such an approach.
The husband is the leader and wives must submit.  How many sermons have we heard over the decades saying the exact same thing?  David C Pack still does it.  Gerald Flurry still does it.  On and on the list will go.

Paramount among these is the terrible picture of the chain of command in the family with the husband as the hammer, the wife as the chisel and the children as the gems in the rough. (In my Red Notebook, this is page 3 of the “Chain-of-Command” Notes). The ghastly picture is that he beats on her and she chips on them. If ever there were a reason for a women’s movement in the evangelical church—this is it. This illustration is simply not reflective of biblical theology; it is a parody of patriarchalism.

Lost is all concept of mutual submission and inter-relatedness of wife and husband which the Bible truly presents; instead there is the basest form of male chauvinism I have ever heard in a Christian context.

Women are stripped of dignity other than that which they have in their husband; children are to be broken; the husband is to be permitted tyranny over the grin-and-bear-it little woman. Gothard has lost the biblical balance of the relationship between women and men as equals in relationship. His view is basically anti-woman.

Guilt is a mighty weapon, just as it is in Armstrongism:

Women with rebellious sons are made to believe that these heartaches are the direct result of their own lack of submission to their husbands. Guilt is piled on guilt.

Surpassing even my credibility level is the audacious new teaching reported to me that Gothard now warns parents of adopted children that they may be under the injunction of God’s displeasure because the children they have adopted may be visited by God for the iniquity of their fathers. The only result of such a teaching is guilt—something Gothard seems to desire to produce in his people.

Gothard lives a hypocritical life style, just as the Armstrong's did and every single COG leader still does today.

Gothard makes an issue of a low personal profile. He shuns magazine and news reporters, refuses to allow interviews or photos. But somehow he does make it well known that he lives on a sub-standard wage (about $600 per month, as I remember), without mentioning that every creature comfort is provided by company funds. A person who does not think through these issues would imagine Gothard to be living at a poverty level—as a modern monastic.
All of these things are not distinct to Gothards ministry or Armstrongism.  These kinds of abuses are being documented by ex-Jehovah's Witnesses, ex-Seventh day Adventists,. ex-Mormons, etc.

Is it any wonder that people get so disgusted with religion!

Here are some great sites for those who have been abused:

On child punishment: Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment

On abuse of women: Quivering Daughters  

 No Longer Quivering: A Gathering Place for Women Escaping and Healing From Spiritual Abuse

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement

Anti Spanking Resources:

Samuel Martin (COG)  Why Not Train A Child?

Samuel Martin blog

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Paranoid Philadelphia Church of God Covers Camera During Spokesman Club

Notice the camera up in the corner covered up with a rag.  God knows that things discussed in a Spokesman Club meeting are HIGHLY confidential!  Of course this is the PCG after all....probably a night of attack speeches on not associating with filthy disgusting family members who no longer attend PCG.  Or, were they scared of the demon possessed Masons watching them.  For a cult that hates Masons with such a passion they sure love to fork over thousands of dollars a month to meet in their faculties!