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God Speaks to the WCG

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The Makings of a Cult


Isaiah wrote: O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy [swallow up] the way of thy paths (Is 3:12, KJV).

Spiritually, members of the WCG are trapped. They are bound together by a mode of thinking which separates them from any truth which lies outside their organisation. They have been spoiled by demonic forces. They are unable to fight against them because of the limitations imposed by their rulers.


Outside the organisation, between 1991 and 1995, with no other means of recourse, I wrote all I could to alert WCG members to the corrupt government under which they were being held. God had opened our minds to the corruption and apostasy that surrounded them. Articles and booklets were not received, so I wrote comprehensive letters to friends in the WCG who had known us personally. These were all likewise dismissed equally casually. We rarely received any reply.


After each letter, we would receive an anonymous intimidating phone call. Either the caller would simply say nothing or would put the phone down immediately we picked it up. On one occasion my wife was assailed by a torrent of venomous abuse from a coarsely-spoken woman. The caller spewed out the vilest language and accused my wife, Helena, of having 'filthy stinking children'. It would be laughable, if such behaviour was not so evil.


We received intimidating nuisance phone calls regularly, several times a week, at various times of the day and even at unearthly hours of the night. Invariably the caller would hang up and say nothing. On some occasions little children were 'put up' to make the call. They were the few times we heard anyone's voice. These nuisance anonymous phone calls continued for three years.


Jesus said, "You will know them by their fruit" (Matt 7:16.20). The WCG hides its most evil fruit. It is careful not to let it be displayed!


Features of a Cult


One anti-cult group listed salient characteristics of a cult as these:


  1. A cult is usually characterised by a leader who claims divinity or a special mission delegated personally to him/her by a supreme power. [HWA was regarded as God's only apostle on earth. Today, the WCG regard Joseph W Tkach as his sole successor.]  Editor: I would add this. While it is true that God does call certain individuals to serve in various offices under His direction, that does not make them infallible or 'greater' than anyone else. We are all equal in that we are all human with the same destiny. The only difference with an individual called to an office in the body of Christ is that God puts His anointing upon that person so they can fulfil His call on their life. While we should not regard any such person as more 'special' than anyone else, we should respect that anointing or function given by God.

  2. The leader or founders (usually living) demand absolute and unquestioning obedience and are the sole judges of the member's faith and commitment. [If you have a dispute with a WCG minister, you were deemed to be in the wrong, irrespective of the merits of the case. Ministerial authority is upheld at all costs. The local WCG minister pontificated about our spiritual condition as if he were God, when he disfellowshipped us from membership.]

  3. Members of some cults are mainly pre-occupied with fund-raising, recruiting and attending seminars. [Financial considerations were always highly important in the WCG. HWA used to send out begging letters to members and co-workers, while he lived in luxury with a flamboyant lifestyle. Now, although WCG leaders have made their emphasis on giving less conspicuous, they emphasise the need to bring in new recruits by personal evangelism. Maintaining a large church membership usually means large church funds!]

  4. Meaningful communication with family and former friends may be sharply curtailed, and the cult becomes the convert's new family. [The WCG becomes 'family' to most converts. Many Worldwiders have neglected their families after becoming members.]

  5. Indoctrinated members put goals of the cult ahead of individual concerns, interests, education plans, career and health. [That was more true in the past than it is today.]

  6. Many cults systematically employ sophisticated techniques designed to effect ego-destruction, thought reform, and dependence on the cult. [These techniques are not perceived in the WCG, but they cause members to become dependent upon the church, so the church effectively does their spiritual thinking and spiritual decision-making for them. They mainly have the effect of causing members to devote unquestioning loyalty to the organisation, believing it to be infallibly guided by God. If church leaders make a mistake in guiding the church, either in policy or doctrine, then God will re-direct it in due course - so runs WCG belief].

  7. Established members are often guarded, vague, deceptive, or secretive about beliefs, goals, demands, and activities until the recruit is 'hooked'. [That has been very true in the past. Members did not feel free to openly discuss beliefs with outsiders unless they had ministerial approval. The WCG has consistently portrayed a nice glossy image to the outside world, while within it is a different picture.]

  8. The cult may maintain members in a state of heightened suggestibility through lack of sleep, engineered diet, intense spiritual exercising, repetitive indoctrination, and controlled group experiences. [This is more true of other cults with more extreme physical techniques. The techniques of control within the WCG are more subtle. They employ forms of psychological manipulation and suggestion.]

  9. Converts may display symptoms of extreme tension and stress, fear, guilt, lack of humour, regression in communication skills and critical judgement. [True to varying degrees depending upon the individual. Several suicides have occurred because of the extreme tensions and stresses imposed upon members. Fear has replaced love in many WCG churches. The church manipulates and rules by fear, not by love.]

  10. Cults often encourage exclusivity and isolation, some of them using the excuse that all outside the cult is evil or satanic. [The WCG is exclusive, even though it says it is not. It says one thing to the outside world, but behaves differently within. "All outside the church are under the domain of Satan, but you are safe within God's Church." This is what many believed and some still do.]

  11. The cult may be found to be exploiting its members' finances. [This is very true, but members are unaware. They do not know that money has been misappropriated by church leaders for personal gain. There are numerous instances of misappropriation of church funds documented in Ambassador Report.]

  12. Some groups exploit members through unpaid employment and poor working conditions. [This has occurred, but not to a great extent.]

 While not all of the above points apply to the WCG to an extreme degree, several of them DO. Tragically, the majority of members are unaware of abuses and corrupt practices, because of the strict information controls within the organisation. Members cannot see how they are held back by the church system, how they are psychologically, socially, emotionally, and SPIRITUALLY limited by their unquestioning loyalty to the organisation, regardless of who rules it and how.


Delivering People from a Cult


If you had a relative or family member whom you knew had been falsely accused and illicitly imprisoned, would you not do all in your power to seek his exoneration and release? I expect you would campaign vociferously on his behalf. How much more should we be prepared to do so for those who are spiritually abused or held captive!


The chapters which follow explain how we tried to help release our former friends held captive by WCG prejudices or dogma. But very few listened. I still hope that many will yet find the full freedom that Jesus offers us all.


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