Thursday, 9 November 2006

Turning the lights up on Six-Pack

This item was forwarded from the WCG Alumni board.

We've been asked by a very longtime COG member to post his sad but heartfelt request for help by we ezboard members. Perhaps some of you may know him. Here's his message:

My father has been a member of PCG (Flurry's church) for over 10 years. During that time he has maintained contact with me. Since my mother died almost six years ago I have called my father regularly on a weekly basis even after he remarried four years ago. He is now 80 years old and just before the feast he told me that PCG has threatened to put him out of the church if he does not break off all contact with me. Since he believes that PCG is the true church and he doesn't want to be put out of that church he has stopped taking my phone calls since shortly before the feast. My dad knows this is wrong but he has no way to do anything about it.

I am not a member of Flurry's church and I can do something about this. I have started an effort to protest to PCG and Gerald Flurry about this policy by writing them letters and by writing letters to the news media in the Edmond, OK area. One response I've gotten from the religion editor of one of the newspapers is that mine is not the first such letter but that he needs to contact some members or ex-members so he can get first hand information on this situation. If there are any current or any ex-PCG members who are willing to talk about the abusive policies and dictates of Mr. Flurry and his ministers please contact me by e-mail or by phone. My e-mail is and my phone number is (919) 242-6273.

Thank you,
Horst Obermeit


Neotherm said...

I attended WCG services with the Obermeits in Kansas decades ago. From all that I have experienced and read, there is no way you are going to change the Flurry Cult. Those people will go to their deaths just like their first cousins down in Waco. It is possible to deprogam someone, but this process is painful. God may break the bondage. But any letters directly to Flurry or the news media will avail nothing. Mr. Obermeit's personal decison operates at a deep level in his life has resulted in his captivity.
This is sad but almost everybody who has been liberated from Armstrongism has friends and/or relatives still in captivity.

-- Neo

SafeTman said...

Good luck with that! I doubt that you will get any PCG members to talk to you, but if you haven't thought of it already, you could get a copy of Flurry's member letter (it's been floating around)and send that to the newspaper. Still...won't do any good! Sad to say, I know of others in the same situation.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what brings an individual to the point where he/she realizes he/she can leave an oppressive church without dire consequences. It was a long painful process for me. All we can do is serve as examples of those who have done so and are glad of it. My dad told my mother decades ago that Armstrongism is a religion of fear.

Many people have written to the various blogsites asking us why we stayed if our experiences were as negative as we purport them to have been. A common comment is, "No one forced you to stay." But the fact is, no one had to, once the indoctrination was in place. I've described this phenomenon before using a term anthropologists call "internal hegemony." Not only is the individual infringed upon to the point that he or she no longer trusts his own thinking, he or she will police his/her thoughts and behavior. Colonizing nations used this tool on the colonial populations; they had to. They couldn't afford to pay a police force large enough to do it for them. But once the "natives" were convinced by their oppressors that native ways were inferior, it was unnecessary to do more than maintain a skeleton crew from the mother country as a reminder. Every dictator, whether of a nation or a religious organization, has used such tactics.

I know people who have left Armstrongism, but were convinced that in doing so they had lost their salvation. Until people are psychologically free, it doesn't matter if they are "in the church" or not, they're still enslaved.

I can only extend my sympathy and my hope that some will escape unscathed and that families can be reunited.

jimmiejazz said...


Where could I read more about the concept of "internal hegemony"?



Anonymous said...

Re: internal hegemony

I heard about it in an anthropology course lecture on colonialism. I don't know where you'd find printed material on it. If you have access to a subscription service like Ebsco Host (ask your public library's reference librarian), you might be able to find peer reviewed articles on the topic.

Douglas Becker said...

I don't have specific help to get people out of the Philadelpha Church of God, but as the project coordinator of the coxcult project, I have had extensive experience with dealing with some of the worst bad behavior of church of God cult leaders. has helped people in the so-called Christian Churches of God to re-examine their assumptions about their leader and enabled them to leave. From September 2005 to September 2006, the membership went from 85 to under 30 worldwide as a result of the banding together of the former Directors, Ministers, Translators, Regional Directors, members and "attendees" with help with such folks as Pam Dewey and Mark Lax.

The best description of the process of hijacking the lives of people is given in a 12 minute video from U-Tube, available at: Don't you want to become a cult leader? While the video is extremely funny, it is also incisive and well worth the time for those of us who have been members of the church of God cults.

The basic flaw is that people put a man between them and God in their religions. The first moment a person accepts the cult leader as the guru they are doomed to a life as a second class citizen.

The methodologies of manipulation are clearly seen in Snakes in Suits by Dr. Paul Babiak and Dr. Robert Hare. Read the book and see if it doesn't strike a responsive chord.

Of course, many people read my book Assertive Incompetence and claim I am writing about insert name here. People have said that about Wade Ewart Cox, Norman S. Edwards, Herbert Armstrong, Gerald Flurry, Roderick Meredith, David C. Pack... and on and on. Human nature hasn't changed for millennia and what maps to one psychopath or narcissist maps to them all.

After all that is said and done, people have to realize that their cult leader is badfor them. Really bad for them. Then they need to get off their duff and do something about it: Leave. Sometimes the threat of being trapped in the aftermath of legal difficulties can be an inducement if it gets bad enough, just as the people in the CCg realized that they might be contaminated by the fallout from an audit by the IRS and be left holding the bag -- sort of the reverse of Judas.

Let's be clear here: The cult leaders of the church of gods will abandon you to save themselves. They provide no real benefit. It is your own distorted perception that got you into this mess and only logic, determination and hard work will get you out.

What worked for the coxcult project was two things: To convince the people how bad it was to be engaged with a psychopath leader who is so very bad for you and how much you have lost living as it were under a "one man show" with whom you had no rights, and to challenge the leader itself to disfellowship people asking the questions. It took a lot of hard work and we had to tolerate a lot of threats. It's worth it though, if you can get people out of a destructive cult.

Jesus said, "These come out by prayer and fasting". Perhaps it does take Divine Intervention after the fools finally realize the lessons they should have learned by suffering under the thumb of a cult leader. Idolatry has a huge price to pay in pain and suffering. Freedom comes at a high price which partly involves vigilence.

Anonymous said...

Go get 'em Horst. I emailed the editor of the Edmond Sun--believe that was the name of it and never heard back from him. Hopefully something can be done about this mind control cult. They are so secretive and think that all except themselves are under evil influences. The book of Revelation speaks about the wine of false doctrines and seems to me that they have imbibed......
Tis quite a heady combination to believe that you are God's pets, that Flurry is God's prophet and God talks to him, and that everyone that doesn't get in PCG before the end is going to have their heads cut off or burn in the lake of fire.
Would all of you who are Christians pray that this man will repent of what he has done so families can be reunited as God intend? Those who are now being shunned at Flurry's command do not deserve this shabby treatment God can do what we humans cannot do. Thank you.

Douglas Becker said...

Would all of you who are Christians pray that this man will repent of what he has done so families can be reunited as God intend?

Well, yes -- always, but...

The people in these little cults like the one Blurry Flurry the six-pack prophet owns are committing idolatry. They need to learn their lesson first, and then they can get out a lot quicker -- otherwise, just like a drunk after the hangover, they will seek it yet again.

Anonymous said...

Things are getting stranger. We were told about a couple of months ago by Mr. Campbell that cell phones couldn't be brought to services for fear that someone might record the sermons. If they feel that the truth is being taught, why care if someone records it and puts it on the internet? That way it can get to the widest audience possible. Or maybe there's another reason they don't want the messages to get out?

Anonymous said... could put together a lawsuit.


robert sullivan said...

I was a member of the wwcofg for exactly four years to the day. I left after hearing a speech by Gerald Waterhouse. During this talk he was argunentative and confrontational. One thing he said to shock people was that in the future all of us better be ready to sell our homes and give the money to Herbert Armstrong when we would be going to Petra.
When I was driving home I made the decision that he was a stark raving lunatic and wrong about what he was saying and how he said it.
I started to read the Bible without the help of their booklets and discovered scriptures I had never read or heard discussed by them. The books of Romans and Galatians were contrary to what their doctrines taught. Certain passages were avoided like the plague. They completely were in contradiction with the law and stressed grace. In Romans Paul claimed he was dead and that Christ was the life in him. He also claimed that sin was not imputed top him and that his sinning was a result of the law of sin which dwelled in him. He stressed that his salvation was Past tense and that he was already saved, not in the process of being saved.
Upon deliberating on this, I continued to read and look for other scriptures looking for other contradictions to wwcofg doctrines. I found many and during this time I found the love missing from the merciful sacrifice of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Over time I started to find numerous errors and contradictions in the Bible itself. Often I remembered the words of Armstrong saying "if you find one error in this book you should not believe it at all" since he didn't think there were any errors in it.
An example one can find is this. Exodus claims that the Egyptian soujourn lasted 430 years to the selfsame day, but the chronology of Moses shows only a total of 350 years. This is a numerical contradiction and is easy to see.
My departure led me to an exhaustive search which continues to this day and I still believe in Jesus Christ, but have seen that the entire Bible is not completely the inspired word of God, instaed it contains the word of God which must be "rightly divided" from what is not the Word of God (errors and contradictions).
The dedication of the members of these cults will count as righteousness for them, but unfortunately the members are missing out on the love, joy and peace of the Holy Spirit.
These groups' teachings actually portray God as a severe taskmaster who will destroy them if the disagree with any of their teachings. Their control over their members is inhumane, with no concern whatsoever for the emotional well being of the followers.
I lost millions of dollars as a result of the teaching I received from Armstrong and I lost friends, family and health as well. Yet, I am a firm believer in God, His manifestation as Jesus and in His plan for universal salvation.
My prayer is that these groups fade away and that the members become free from their falsehoods enabling them to live peacfully and confident in their salvation.