Friday, June 7, 2019

Children of the Great Tribulations

Children born into or who started attending church at a young age had no hope. From infancy to adulthood, we were threatened with death and torture. We were born in the end times. Children of the Great Tribulation. A whole generations hope was stolen from them. We had no future.
Our only possibility we had given to us was strict obedience to our parents and the church. Then we might be worthy to board a plane for the middle-east. If we were disobedient or had the wrong attitude we would get left behind and die some horrible death during the Tribulations or in the death camps.

From my childhood, I was told the world would soon end. We were told we'd never finish high school or in some cases grade school. We would never marry, have children, go to college or work normal jobs. Marriage would happen on the other side of Petra.
I remember my mom bursting out in tears over something I had done. She said; "Michael, you must learn to obey. It breaks my heart to think of you getting left behind." Time was always short. We don't have much time left and etc.

I was so far behind in life than the "worldly" kids. Had no destiny except to go to Petra. Most of them were planning to go to college and had parents who planned it. At our house, we planned for a once in a lifetime trip to visit God's HQ in Pasadena. I'm so happy to be free.

Used by permission from Facebook, MB


nck said...

I have learned to accept that this was a common experience amongst the youngsters in the sixties. I also learned of adverse child rearing techniques in that period.

A generation later turned out quite succesful on the whole by worldly standards, good work ethic willing to exchange info for a beer meetup, albeit outside of the imploded church. I could within minutes show for at least 1074 examples of highly educated and succesful peers of my SEP generation, some even flashing photos from exotic (non FOT) locations on their facebook pages with their children who probably no nothing about their past.

It's quite eerie to have 30 years after the fact still a worldwide network from Darwin Australia, London, the French Alps or below the Dixie where after just one posting I could find a cold beer, a garage to sleep for the night or roaring laughter about some of the wierdness. Thank you Mark Zuckerberg!!!!!

I do understand that my Portland Oregon Liaison would be offline for a while and pop up in the Carolinas. Unfortunately he is in the process of handing over full sovereignty on decisions regarding meetups to a new commander in chief, might the unlikely occassion occur. (perhaps only on a honeymoon) :-) :-) :-)


GrittyMan said...

And this is partly why the late Christopher Hitchens said "God is not great," this was religious child abuse. I too lived under the permanent black cloud of condemnation and fatalism. The lasting effects for many of the Tribulation generation is a form of PTSD - failed marriages, less than optimum career paths, psychological conflict between what you know to be true and what your sub-conscience still gnaws away at.

Sadly, many evangelical churches today still use the ever-so-tightly-sprung, waiting to catch the unwary or worldly, trap of the tribulation threat - the Left Behind syndrome that is very effective at controlling the masses and ensuring a steady stream of fear-prompted tithes and offerings. Why does it always seem to be about control and money???

Anonymous said...

Michael as I was reading your last sentence I burst out laughing! Wow a once in a lifetime trip to visit God’s HQ. Looking back it is so sad to realize how much potential was wasted. I too thought I might not get married and if I did I surely would never have kids. I sat through 4 years of AC being fed the same crap over and over. Beat down, told we were the bottom of the barrel. Scum, Rod Meredith said the top jobs would go to the early evangelists. I left in 1995, should have left when some of my friends left in 73. I got a call one night from a college buddy, telling me his was leaving the church and the ministry. I told him I didn’t want to hear what he had to say. I was sure he was deceived and was being under the influence of satan. My district superintendent had already warned that lies were being spread about GTA and people were saying he had committed adultry all LIES. Course I learned later, GTA had been screwing around all his life. I had lunch with Rod and Debar sometime in 96 or 97. Rod told me that before Ted came to AC I believe it was 1955, that HWA and Loma were worried about Ted and the young girls at AC. Rod was supposed to “keep” an eye on Ted. The reason I mention this is because HWA and Loma knew Ted would be a problem, yet Ted was the heir apparent for years. I regret that I never got to apologize to my friend for being rude and not listening to him. He died before I woke up.

Anonymous said...

Some of those who were once the children of ministers have suffered permanent mental disfigurement which makes them blind to their bigotry to the extent that they now need to rely on twisted establishsment propaganda as a mental crutch. They are incapable of going outside the comfort zone of some widely accepted group-think. It makes them feel safe. In the comfort of some establishment they feel protected from falling into another cult. But they are still in several other cults. They cannot handle the reality that Armstrongism wasn't the only pile of total crap in the world; it was just a cult within cults. The other cults are "Christianity", Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, so-called Capitalism (actually corporatism and legalized theft), Communism (always fake and actually controlled by a cult within a cult withing a cult), Americanism, and pretty much any -ism you can name.

Anonymous said...

Some children's books have pictures that are colorful, beautiful, and cute.

Basil Wolverton's children's books were more into extreme ugliness.

Perhaps the WCG should have found someone with more talent and class to do its drawings.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

I have to admit I still feel anger about it all. For years I didn't think about it. I left in 1973 and had a relatively normal life. I was desperate to 'have sex' because growing up in WCG we were told we were not going to live/be human long enough to be married or have children. And immortal beings didn't have I took care of that by having pre-marital sex. Great decision, then I left the church.

Thats interesting that GTA had to have an eye kept on him way back. I guess he never changed, he was at it when I was in college in the early 70's. It was quite obvious to me. There are none so blind as those who will not see.

nck said...



You read "a world held captive" too?


Anonymous said...

This whole scare tactics scheme was one of the worst things that the WCG ever devised.
We should have been taught to fear God, not what Satan and man (primarily Germany) had planned for us.

The setting of dates of when it will happen still occurs in several COG splinters. Instead, of living our lives the best we could, we put things on hold waiting for the imminent GT.
What was the use of getting a better job, finding a mate, going to school, etc.? It would all just be a waste. The GT was coming and nothing could stop it!

Anonymous said...

The lasting effects for many of the Tribulation generation is a form of PTSD - failed marriages, less than optimum career paths, psychological conflict between what you know to be true and what your sub-conscience still gnaws away at.


I'm not sure I've ever seen the after-effects from growing up in the WCG described so succinctly. Your statement certainly describes me. I'm 44 years old, alone, never really been able to form a relationship with anyone from the opposite sex. I have an IQ measured somewhere around 140 yet I've struggled to advance in my career -- largely because I cannot stomach the abuse so prevalent in Corporate America, even though it is only a fraction of the abuse I was subject to as a child growing up in WCG. I think I used up my entire lifetime allotment of abuse by the time I was 6 years old, ha ha.

Many of the kids who grew up in the WCG in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s turned out ok in large part because their parents, in spite of being in a cult, gave them love, support, and encouragement even if it was filtered through the restrictions of the cult. Mine did not. They could always see the glass as half empty no matter if it was or not. Worse yet, they abdicated most of their child-rearing responsibilities to the church. Important conversations were never had, and I was left to survive on my own. I became a recluse. My sister became a psychopath.

Sometimes I wonder what my life would look like now if I had a different set of parents but had still grown up in the WCG in the 1980s like I did. I'm pretty sure adolescence and young adulthood would still have been challenging but that I would have eventually overcome the PTSD and been able to lead a fairly fulfilling existence unlike whatever you could call the life I have today. The effects of growing up in a doomsday cult, where no achievement or accomplishment ever mattered because the world was going to end soon, I have come to believe were likely either blunted or magnified by parenting.

Now that I've presumably crossed the halfway point of my life the gravity of my situation has really struck home. But that's been building for a while I suppose. I used to think things would get better. I believe that's called "hope." When I exited about 15 years ago I knew I wasn't right in the head (or would it be, right in the heart?) and sought various forms of treatment. Some of them helped, some did not. But the scars are still present and I am rapidly drawing to the conclusion I will leave this world the same way I came into it: alone.