Here's a new autobiographical account about growing up in the WCG/GCI: Matches in the Gas Tank: Trial by Fire in the Armstrong Cult - due for release in a week's time.
Carla Powers was Daddy's princess back in Arkansas in the late 1950s. Then Daddy got religion. That religion, based in the teachings and deprivation of narrow-minded, punitive ministers, tormented her dangerous alcoholic father and her entire family. Growing up, Carla never knew a woman could do anything more than she was asked—or demanded—to do. She definitely never imagined that other worlds would open up to her and she would rise to become a powerful attorney.
Matches in the Gas Tank tells the story of life inside the Radio Church of God and the influence of Herbert W. Armstrong, the Church's founder and prophet. Under his influence, Carla's family moved away from relatives and friends to Big Sandy, Texas, an enclave in which everyone lived by strict and unforgiving rules arbitrarily determined by Armstrong. His vision of how to get to the "Kingdom of God" and avoid a sea of flames consisted of unending lists of rules covering everything from food consumption, to financial responsibilities, to sexual behavior. The only way to rise above the poverty level was to become a minister, and the only way to become a minister was to continually police your neighbors for sin. Ministers were allowed to barge in a home any time of the day or night to inspect everything from the cleanliness of a family's kitchen to the contents of their tax returns.
This is the story of how Carla escaped the control of the church and found a way to deal with the legacy of abuse and shame left to her by her father. As she embraces her difficult childhood, she comes to understand that while those we love have the power to hurt us, they can't destroy us. We can find strength in unexpected places.
Anyone who has had a less-than-perfect family, has struggled with the faith of her fathers or has gone through recovery from abuse, perfectionism, or any cult of personality will connect with the power of redemption in this moving memoir.
The author heads the litigation department of a major multinational energy company (Shell). Before entering the corporate world, she was a trial lawyer in Houston for more than 20 years and an adjunct professor at the University of Houston Law Center.
It promises to be quite a story. Perfect for post-FOT reading!