Saturday 20 December 2008

Survey update

British researcher David V Barrett reports a lot of interest in his online questionnaire into the Worldwide Church of God offshoot churches. He advises: "If you haven't filled out the questionnaire there are only a couple of weeks left to do so -- up to the end of the year and perhaps three or four days into the new year. Don't worry if not all the questions are applicable to you; just answer those that are. Even if you only answer half the questions this will still be helpful. And a huge thank you to all those of you who have already completed the questionnaire."

The questionnaire is at (the password is six letters immediately followed by four numbers: the town where HWA first began his radio ministry, and the year this occurred). More information about David Barrett's study can be found here, and some further background in the sidebar.


Anonymous said...

I'd be very interested in hearing some comments from those who have already participated in the survey.

I had considered this myself, and may yet follow through.

Really, I hate to waste any more time on Armstrongism. For the past year and a half, already having let religion lie fallow for about thirty years, I've been on a new path, one that has done a better job of helping me reach my goal of healing from all of the WCG toxicity.

I suppose the survey would be useful in several important areas. One, it would provide yet another method for people to speak up about something bad, and damaging. Two, it might be an opportunity to interact with a doctoral student, and subtly gain some additional insights. Thirdly, our comments could have a balancing effect, adding some much needed color to the blinding coat of whitewash that HWA's current victims will undoubtedly attempt to apply.

Does this survey appear to be capable of helping others? I believe that's the primary benefit for which I'd be looking.


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure his questions cover a broad enough spectrum of the total experience, partially because a multiple choice format is by nature self-limiting. But there is a fairly sizable text box under the questionnaire in which one can fill in any gaps with an essay.

Anonymous said...

I took the survey, and found a number of the questions not applicable to my situation.

There were probably some useful data from my experience; deends what he's looking for. It's also interesting to see another thesis coming from the Armstrong experience.

I think filling in surveys is beneficial. Did you every see a report based on survey data and think, Who did they ask to get this idea? They never asked me!

This term I included a survey question in my class exams, and indicated it was voluntary and would not be considered in the grade. That's one way to get data...

Anonymous said...

Hey Byker Bob, I carefully went through the survey when it first came out, and found it to be very thorough, and in some ways even insightful. So I would recommend doing it.

It seems to me that many folks on this blogsite still carry around a lot of unresolved inner rage about their experiences with HWA and the WCG. Which obviously is NOT a healthy thing. This tells me that somehow they've not been either ABLE or perhaps even WILLING to work through and process all the accumulated hurt.

But our WCG experience is really not all that uncommon in the human life experience. We human beings earnestly long for answers to life's big questions, we ache to understand our experiences, and sometimes this notable desire, when mixed with ignorance (and often youth), causes us to "get in bed" with some very destructive ideologies in the attempt to satisfy it.

Armstrongism was one of those idealogies in the lives of those who contribute comments to this blogsite.

But no experience is ultimately a bad one unless one fails to learn from it.

I feel that such an experience that we have all shared has tremendous potential for teaching us huge lessons in life and increasing our maturity and understanding - if we allow it to.

Perhaps Barrett's survey could be one stepping stone more to this end.

Anonymous said...

Byker Bob, if you want to leave Armstrongism, the survey isn't for you. He wants people who have left WCG for one of its offshoots. However, that didn't stop me from replying. I joined one of the mainstream Protestant churches (which, like the COGs, is declining in numbers and money and whose membership is getting older and older, but which I believe is still fulfilling a useful role in society). But in the comments I explained all this. He may or may not use my reply.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the survey is only supposed to be for former members of WCG that are either in some offshoot or have stayed at home since leaving WCG. Somebody like Charlie Kieran, who's now part of a Sunday-keeping congregation, would not meet that criterion.

While I understand David Barrett's need to limit his survey pool (and the range of his thesis), I feel this overly restricts his resources.

Perhaps a trinity of surveys would be in order -- one for those who are still in offshoots or at home, one for those who are now affiliated with some other religious movement, and one for those who are still in WCG. They would really be one survey, but with three different hypostases. ;-)

By doing that, Barrett would have been able to get a better cross-section of the Armstrong movement and the people it's affected -- which I assume is the point of the survey.


(But perhaps he's already thought of this, and plans to introduce a second survey next year. Then, after that, the Third Survey of the Trinity. People have to be conditioned to these things before you come out and tell them, you know...)

Anonymous said...

I, too, found that most of the questions did not apply to me, as I left "the church" period, full stop, no splinter-hopping thank you, for agnosticism very soon after the changes.

I tried to answer as many questions as I could though (I fear I may have succumbed to snark on a couple of the answers), and I also added comments at the end about my current path, its relation to my early childhood theology, and where I am headed now.

All in all it was quite cathartic, even if my answers do end up being unusable by Barrett.

Anonymous said...

I had a funny thought - Can you imagine Herbert W. Armstrong giving the membership of his church a "customer satisfaction" survey? Isn't that thought funny? HWA give a survey of what people thought?


Anonymous said...

Clearly, the goals of the Barrett survey are incompatible with my own particular path or experience. While I may be interested in the results as they are tabulated in the future, the only honest action I can take at this time would be to remain on the sideline.


Anonymous said...

BB wrote that he decided his goals, which include helping other people, will not advance by taking David B.'s survey. However, BB would be helping at least one person who may be more than a little frustrated while trying to make noticeable progress on a difficult project: David Barrett.