Wednesday, June 13, 2018

How Family Love Is Being Destroyed In The Church

One of the biggest challenges today in the Church of God is the various splinter group leaders who are ripping families apart because of their beliefs and insecurities.

Gerald Flurry and the Philadelphia Church of God are well known for ripping families apart due to their "no contact" ruling.  We have seen numerous times on here how Dave Pack and the Restored Church of God has also ripped families apart. Numerous people have shared how their children got wrapped up in Pack's lies and who will not speak to family members.  Even Dave's own children are no longer part of the organization.

That sad track record goes directly back to Herbert Armstrong who alienated both of his daughters, their husbands, grand children and great-grandchildren.

This is a sad track record for a church that claims to be 100% inspired by God while practicing 1st Century Christianity. If we were the one true church, led by a man who was directly inspired by Christ to say the things he said, then why were we such a mess?  Armstrongism has ripped families apart for 90 some years now.

On a private Facebook page, there was a post about an article that discussed this disconnect that happens with children of adult followers:

Six Ways Undue Influence Erodes Family Love
Many people are shocked at how “easily” the natural bonds of family love can dissolve under the high-pressure undue influence of an abusive group or partner. They often ask: “How can a child shun their parents?” or, more poignantly: “Why would loving parents agree to cover up the abuse of their own child?”
One of the hallmarks of a high-control group is the way they tear families apart: married survivors of cultic groups talk about the group being “the third person in the marriage bed,” and those born and raised in such groups know that they came second to the leadership in their parents’ lives, abandoned emotionally, if not physically.
Worse, children in high-control groups who experience physical or sexual abuse at the hands of the leaders cannot expect the same love and support they would receive in a “worldly” family – their trauma is compounded as their parents cover up, deny, or, in extreme cases, encourage and even perpetrate the abuse, all in the name of the group, its reputation, and its goals. Open Minds Advisory Board member Alex Stein gives an excellent account of the disorganized attachment found in such relationships in her book Terror, Love and Brainwashing.
Anyone who has been watching Leah Remi's exposes on Scientology see shocking similarities with the actions of that so-called church does to break up families with the Church of God.

And yet, the members of high-control groups aren’t monsters; the “average” cult member is intelligent, well-adjusted, and capable of rational thought – about anything other than their group and its beliefs. Those who manage to escape are usually able to re-grow healthy family relationships with those outside the group.
So how can a daughter be swayed to ignore her mother? How can a father be convinced to keep silent about someone in his church sexually abusing his son? Here are six of the most prominent ways an abusive group erodes the natural bonds of family love and loyalty:
The article goes on to list 6 different points as to what happens.  Pay particular notice to #3:
3. They use fear and spiritual blackmail. 
Those who consider speaking out against the group or partner face many indoctrinated phobias: they will lose their relationship with Divinity or their chance for Eternal Life, they will betray the world-saving goals of the group, and turn their backs on the Truth, with a capital “T.” They will be betraying the Revolution, or the People, or their partner. Although these are “false” consequences, there are often real consequences to rebelling: those who speak out are often expelled, losing their families, their friends, and most, if not all, of their social support network. They are faced with the unhappy truth that those they have left behind now see them as apostate, evil, backsliders, or traitors.
Children and regular members are afraid to leave these dangerous splinter personality cults of Armstrongism because it has been ingrained in them for decades that to dare to question the church and its leaders is tantamount to grieving the Holy Spirit and direct sin against God that will result in denial of salvation. Thus these men reign supreme and untouched by anyone who criticizes them.  It is always the person criticizing that is at fault, or the parents searching for a lost child, or grandparents looking for contact with a grandchild. Just look at the comments that were made about the mother looking for her son trapped in Dave Pack's cult. It is the family's fault, the mother's fault, etc.  Not one of these people who sent in some of the disgusting comments ever held Dave and the Restored Church of God accountable.

For a church that claims to be God's only true church we sure have made a business out of wrecking peoples lives.


Byker Bob said...

People in the Armstrong cults don't blend culturally, and they will not usually compromise. So, basically, in social situations, all others must accommodate them in their nuances if they wish to avoid dirty looks or conflicts.

Cult members generally do not express personal opinions in discussions. They're parrots. This means that instead of a visit, and having a real discussion and gaining their perspectives, you can just read their group's cookie cutter copycat version of the Plain Truth, and you can know exactly how they "feel" about any given topic.

Armstrongists do not practice unconditional love towards their children and other relatives. Love is based on strict compliance with all of the doctrines. Love to them is something you earn, or for which you qualify.

Children are not nurtured in ways that assist them in their development or make them feel wanted or valued. Punishment is generally dispensed for behavior which hinders the parents or other members in their practice of Armstrongism, starting at a very early age with blanket training for sabbath services. Therefore, you don't find the normal bonding between parents and children.

In short, the only people who can be close to one another in these ACOGs are fellow cultic zombies, walking lockstep, and in sympathy with one another. Individualism, and individual expression are considered to be bad or worldly, and make other cult zombies question the conversion and sincerity of thise who express them.

Armstrongism is some very bad dinner music!


Anonymous said...

I was born into the Pentecostal faith, I live the Pentecostal faith, and I shall die believing in the Pentecostal faith. The Armstrong cult & his spin-off groups hold no power over me. God bless this website for exposing the lies of the ACOG cults.

Anonymous said...

It's no fun taking FLAK from a QUACK who is
"putting the 'god's-true-church' back on the TRACK"

Anonymous said...

It's mind boggling to me how quickly it happens, in our case it happened within a couple of months. People he didn't know 6 months prior have a higher priority than I do after 25 years. I firmly believe that these "leaders" should be taken to task for what they do, I personally would like to see them as hurt and emotionally torn apart as those they have hurt, along with the financial damage inflicted. It's the family members who get hurt the most. Yes, the members are brainwashed, but they still made the choice to become a part of it all, the family doesn't get a choice in what the member does.

Anonymous said...

Ironic, since Elijah is supposed to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and children to the fathers.

The leader of RCG seems particularly adept at exactly the opposite.

Connie Schmidt said...

Sing a long time... Sing to the Tune "For What It Is Worth"- Buffalo Springfield

There's something wrong, going on here
What it is, is very very clear
There's a man with a Bible over there
Telling me I got to beware...

I think it's time we stop, brethren, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down

Church battle lines, being drawn
Nobody's right if everybody's wrong
Few people are speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance ,from the blind...

It's time we stop, hey, what's that sound
Brethren, , look what's going down

What a field-day for the Freaks
With thousands of people, under their feet

Doing Wrongs and laying out Lies
You better say, hooray for our side

It's s time we stop, hey, what's that sound
Brethren, look what's going down

Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you're always afraid
You step out of line, the church come and throw you away
We better stop, hey, what's that sound
Brethren, look what's going down

Near_Earth_Object said...

This treatment of family is nothing new for radical Millerites like the Armstrongist derivatives and the Branch Davidians. From a New York Times article about pathetic and damaged Branch Davidian Children:

"David Koresh told them to call their parents "dogs"; only he was to be referred to as their father."

If you peel away all the sanctimonious layers, you will see this same principle active in any of the Armstgrongist derivatives.

A further appalling twist:

"Yet to the children, Dr. Perry (psychiatrist) said, the world inside the compound was normal. Even after their release, and as they described their treatment by Mr. Koresh, nearly all the children have talked about their love for him. During therapy sessions, several drew pictures with hearts, under which they wrote, "I Love David."

"But Dr. Perry sees their feelings about Mr. Koresh as something else. "Fear is what it was," he said in an interview here last week. "They learned to substitute the word 'love' for fear."

And how far does this mind control reach:

"Even outside the cult and the compound, many of the children's lives are still dominated by Mr. Koresh, Dr. Perry said."

"A permeating and pervasive fear of displeasing David or betraying his 'secrets' is present in all of the children -- even those as young as 4 years old," Dr. Perry wrote. "The children have a sense that he will be able to punish them if they violate his prohibitions. They even allude to the fact that he will be able to return from death and punish them or others who betray them."

"Outwardly, at least, the children seemed fine to some adults, Dr. Perry said, but their heart rates were elevated to 140, compared with a normal rate of 70 to 90. "It took three weeks to get their heart rates under 100," Dr. Perry said. "These children were in a persistent state of fear."

The details are a little different but this all sounds very familiar.

Anonymous said...

This story has absolutely NOTHING to do with the medi or political correctness on college campuses. Why does ever conversation here have to be hijked in order to divert attention away from COG abuse?

Anonymous said...

i think that the cogs shouldnt have a policy of no contact with non cog family members, but that they should certainly and often preach the pitfalls of of having such conflict as it relates to the temptations and, frankly, the contrary pressures such family members impose...

it seems to me that if the cog hierarchy subsequently determines that a member has come under undue influence from said family, and it is affecting the church, even nominally, that said member should be admonished, and eventually disfellowshipped if that outside influence becomes potentially disruptive...

like Christ Said: "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:26

any person joining the cog must count the costs, and bear responsibility...

c f ben yochanan

Anonymous said...

Blame-shifting is a favorite tool of the ACOGs. They are experts at seeing the splinter in your eye while ignoring the plank in their own. Consider LCG's latest telecast, pontificating about the problem of suicide:

Suicide Nation, Suicide World

Watch this program while you remember that LCG minister Karl Beyersdorfer committed suicide. Listen to these men talk, and then put it together: what does Beyersdorfer's suicide tell you about LCG?

Think too of Terry Ratzmann's tragic murder/suicide, also abetted by LCG.

Think of Philip Apartian, son of LCG evangelist Dibar Apartian, who turned to suicide.

Think of the other suicides about which we do not know.

It would be unfair to say that LCG drives people to suicide, any more than any other organization does so. However, it would also be unfair to say that LCG is any sort of answer to the problem of suicide. If you take seriously the comments made by the LCG ministers during this program, LCG by their own omission is badly, badly broken and needs to change.

James said...

Undue influence has been the factory in many successful lawsuits against cults. Just so that your audience knows, that is the most successful method to take.

As to Packs or Geraltols cult, I believe that would be the route to take.

Big Red Button said...

Did you know that Pack & Flurry are both diabetics? Let that sink into your head.

RSK said...

Didnt the Worldwide News have a graphic they ran at the bottom of the front page about how blessed were those who left their families behind? I forget the passage now, but I recall the image.

Byker Bob said...

Why, no, 5:26. But if you hum a couple bars, I’ll see if I can pick it up.


Anonymous said...

Deliberately trying to wreck families unnecessarily is done by satanic imposter cults like PCG and RCG, which are led by demoniacs like Flurry and Pack.

COGWA and UCG and even LCG do not teach such evil things.

Anonymous said...

Deliberately trying to wreck families unnecessarily is done by satanic imposter cults like PCG and RCG, which are led by demoniacs like Flurry and Pack.

COGWA and UCG and even LCG do not teach such evil things.

I'll take your word that COGWA and UCG don't do such evil things. Rod McNair, however, at LCG headquarters, has split families and has broken marriages that could have been saved. Rod would fit in very well in his Uncle Dave's RCG.

nck said...

No RSK. That is "breaking news" on cnn. Different medium.