Exit and Support Network

Final Exit Letter to Craig Winters
of Philadelphia Church of God

Confronts the deception and evil fruit in PCG. It was faxed to Craig Winters, Regional Director of PCG, with copies sent to Gerald Flurry and Stephen Flurry.

 

June 1998

Dear Craig, 

I just wanted to take a few minutes of your time to inform you of a few things instead of asking for your interpretation. During our last telephone conversation you mentioned that it takes a lot of your time to look up referenced Scriptures in one's letters and additional time to provide answers. With the attempts to not bother you, I will try to refrain in referring to Scripture to further frustrate you. Is it also not true that Gerald Flurry refuses to read letters that have different ideas, or that ask certain questions? I know so, because he said it himself in sermons. 

The tables have turned for me after much constant prayer and guidance from the true JESUS CHRIST. I told you from the beginning, when I get into something, I go into it all the way, or I won't even try. When it concerns GOD, it just intensified my determination. You see, I am a true seeker of truth and not a lost sheep without a shepherd on the outer court as you say.

First things first. I will no longer accept your calls at home or at work. Your attempt to call my place of work is manipulative in an effort to control the conversation. Mr. Armstrong often used this tactic with his ministers. When you call an individual at work unexpectedly, you know they are vulnerable to your use of "trigger words." This is a deceptive tactic to trigger your victims back in the cult's mind frame again. It worked for you once with me, but never again!

You must have aced the class on "DIFFICULT SCRIPTURES" at Ambassador College. As you know, we must prove all things! That's about the only good thing I got out of the PCG. Don't bother considering me one of the cult's "sheeple" anymore. Christ has delivered me from you and your deceptive affiliation. Thankfully, He showed me the disgusting truth. You should be ashamed, but then again, I am not sure you have a conscience to feel that way.

Discussing Scripture with you was a waste of precious time. No man can come between Christ and man, not even with your sinister mind control tactics. Do you understand that? Scripture is between Christ and me, and through NO MAN! Now I realize why you never did help me with Scripture as a pastor. Strange...You always told me to get the basics first...read HWA material. How sad so many precious God-seeking people are snatched away from their spiritual journey and led into deceptive cults using sinister mind control. It almost seemed that I irritated you when I referred to Scripture interpretation. Through your deception, I almost became another statistic who would have given up my career, money, and most importantly, my precious family that God blessed me with. Jesus Christ stepped in and saved me and led me to many areas of much knowledge exposing the evil within the Worldwide Church of God Empire and replaced the lies and deception with his truth. I could go on and on and on with Scripture discrepancies used by your cult, but I'm sure that you will have a version of HWA interpretation and use your deceptive mind control techniques to explain around them.

You did a good job with your mind control training and I am fortunate there was not a local congregation here where I live. I would've probably been sucked into PCG's vacuum, bank account empty, and family destroyed by now. Do you have a conscience? Do you acknowledge Satan in what you do? Are you communist or atheist? If not, why do you try to take good people away from their families and encourage them to give their money away? Are you just deceived and honestly believe in what you are doing? I think not, as those in your position are usually part of the inside group that knows what's going on and not just another dumb naïve minister. If a church is rotten, it starts at the core.

I know it is customary to tape telephone conversations when talking to prospective members and others. It was apparent to me that you were taping my call to you when you put me on hold for several minutes repeatedly. Each time you returned to the phone, your voice sounded different. You might want to get a new tape machine if you continue to use such deception. All calls that are made to military installations are recorded. You might want to remember this for future reference. From now on, if you want to communicate, do it in writing. I have a feeling you will refrain from any lengthy correspondence, as you must be careful for legal purposes. That's the way the cults operate. They always work secretively and hide their actual agenda.

You accused me of being vain because my name is MICHAEL. Sorry, but that's the name God gave me. In case you forgot, it means WHO IS LIKE GOD. Interesting how easy it is for you to accuse me of being vain when you are so thickly attached to the extremely vanity of Herbert W. Armstrong and GERALD FLURRY Do you call them vain? The whole system is wrapped in vanity and self-centered interpretation. Do you honestly consider these two cult leaders humble? I didn't interpret my name to boast, but to prove a point. Standing up in front of God-fearing duped people and saying YOU ARE THE ONLY PERSON IN THE WORLD WHO SPEAKS FOR GOD-- IS VAIN!!!! Your accusations should fall there.

Gerry tells us in sermons that "IF THERE IS ONE REASON GOD CHOSE ME AS HIS END TIME APOSTLE, IT IS BECAUSE I WILL NOT COMPROMISE." Isn't offering the police cash to let him go, after all, compromising? The Oklahoma Police Department offered a very enlightening report #93-090-5282 concerning God's Great Apostle, Gerald Ray Flurry. How does our apostle explain this? 

When one pushes aside the writings of HWA and Flurry, the Scriptures come to light. Jesus said, "THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE" and I haven't felt free until the booklets were pushed aside. Fear, guilt, and law abiding no longer work with me. Christ put His law of LOVE in my heart and that is where He is. He is my temperament and decision-maker. I don't need old covenant laws to guide my life. It doesn't work. IT IS THE OLD WINE. I DRINK THE NEW WINE OF CHRIST. WE CAN'T MIX THEM! Don't you understand the GRACE? Are you blind or being sent a "STRONG DELUSION from the Great Architect of the Universe?" The one and only Masonic god!!!!

Maybe you just don't care about anything except the mind control or your financial income. I don't know, but I do wish you would get down on your knees and repent of the evil things you do! I believe you use GOD'S name as a front to make money and for your OWN POWER, along with the rest of the CULT. The Philadelphia Cult of Gerry (PCG) is destructive with wolves that come in sheep's clothing. I know the wolves almost devoured me, but Jesus Christ delivered me out.

Craig, be careful...There is a real Christ who is alive and aware of you and the Flurry gang. What you do is a disgrace in the name of GOD! All Armstrong perpetrators must be men without consciences. How can any of them believe there is a true loving Savior? Fear is the beginning of wisdom and it is obvious there is no fear in the men who inflict such deceit on so many precious people.

Flurry knew that when the WCG changes were in the making it was his chance to jump on the idea of forming a church for those who rejected the new doctrine. Looks as if Doc Meredith did a little better job and had the same idea. I believe this might have been arranged all along between WCG/PCG/GCG etc. Very good idea, There became a church for all of the scattering "sheeple" (Dumb Sheep+people). How convenient! By the way, tell your bud, Fred Coulter, I'm not interested in his efforts either. Wonder how he got my name? Isn't his church the last ditch effort XCG? His GRACE motives do not convince me. Nice try! Tell your buds to save time and money and not to send me their garbage. They cannot control me and I know the tactics. 

You told me that HWA's prophecies were all correct except the timing. Let's get real...Mussolini and Hitler as the end time anti-Christ never took place. They're dead! HELLO? I can name many, many, many other failed prophecies by the Armstrong empire, but to list them is a waste of my time. HWA? An APOSTLE OF GOD--what a joke! ELIJAH would not be boastful, flying around the world in his private jets drinking $100 bottles of wine, having deviant sexual misconduct running rampant with himself and family, but maybe dressed in sackcloth and humble. HWA was anything but HUMBLE! The Scriptures tell us to avoid men whose prophecies don't come true. Flurry is making the same mistakes, but being more cautious about dates. HWA was an egomaniac who always wanted to live a lavish life and did everything he could to do so...even using GOD'S name and a church and disguise for his ugly business of stealing sheeple's money. Why not follow his fortune when the WCG bails out of his doctrines? There has to be some dedicated HWA die-hards (not Christ) followers. It appears Gerry and his idea was correct, he found the die-hards with tithe in-hand.

Apostles worked miracles and were humble, that's why my (heavenly) FATHER selected them. What miracles has Armstrong or Flurry performed? Would Paul have been arrested for being totally drunk behind the wheel of a car in Oklahoma--only a couple hours after the Sabbath was over? Would John try to bribe the police officers with church members tithe money to let him go? Would Peter have open beer cans scattered all over his front seat of his NEW 1992 Pontiac when passed out drunk in a university parking lot? Would he not know where he was when the police woke him up, put his car in reverse and then forward several times for unknown reasons? Basically, would any of the apostles be incoherent and so intoxicated just a few hours after Sabbath ended (Sept. 18, 1993, 10:22 pm to be precise.) Gerry had to begin intoxicating himself during the Sabbath hours to be this drunk and passed out at 10:22 pm. Loyal members would never do this. I didn't. Isn't dusk around 8-9pm in Oklahoma in September? 

At least he didn't have a Philippine mistress or young secretary half his age with him, like his mentor (HWA) did so often. I am glad he finally provided the police his driver's license after being asked three times. Maybe, Stephen (his son) convinced him to do it from facing further charges and making headlines. Man, this would be hard to explain to the CHURCH/CULT members. Did any other of "God's Apostles" do this? The police report appears to reflect that he violated God's Sabbath. Could you imagine the headlines:

HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG DIES IN 1986. CHRIST MOVES HIS LAMP STAND TO THE PHILADELPHIA CHURCH OF GOD. VERY SOON AFTER, NEW PROPHET IS ARRESTED. EXTREME INTOXICATION BEHIND WHEEL OF CAR; OPEN CONTAINER CHARGES; ATTEMPTED POLICE BRIBERY! ALL JUST MINUTES AFTER THE SABBATH ENDED. CALLS SON, STEPHEN, TO RESCUE HIM. ALL OKAY AND HUSH, HUSH. BAILED OUT WITH PCG SHEEPLE'S TITHE MONEY. ADMITS REPENTANCE DURING MORNING HANGOVER. HICCUP ...

Okay Craig, let's be upfront. Why doesn't the Phil Cult of Gerry enforce NEW MOONS along with the Sabbath and other HOLY Days? If you are going to enforce some, why not all?1 They are written in Scripture in the Old Testament right along with obeying the Sabbath (even though this was for Moses and his people leaving Egypt and not for you sheeple). Don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about like you did on the phone last time we spoke, you learned how to explain this away in "DIFFICULT SCRIPTURES" seminars. Remember?

We have many fruits on tropical islands and one is actually called an UGLY FRUIT. It is worthless; they drop off trees and are so sour that they are un-eatable, besides being ugly. This is the kind of fruit your cult produces with the lies, deceit, marriage breakups, mind control, and psychological breakdowns you use. There is no evidence of any other kind of fruit except from the top honcho's who are raking in the big bucks from the impoverished flock. This is also Ugly Fruit. You should be ashamed, but then again, if you are doing this intentionally, you cannot feel this way. Sociopathic people have no conscience. But they still think when lying down at bedtime and trying to fall asleep. 

If you are being deceived yourself, please look into what I've said and leave this group now before your life is ruined. I look for kindness, meekness, joy, forgiveness, longsuffering as fruits, as they are from the TRUE CHRIST, but not evident in the PCG . No Fruit, No Christ. Bad fruit, Bad men! Locking members in with mind control and fear of leaving God's ONLY church is, again, disgusting and produces BAD FRUIT. I know from experience. You can't explain this away by telling me I am on trial and have to QUALIFY (trigger word) to be GOD. God is immutable and CANNOT change!!!!!2 If I were to become GOD that means HE would have to change!!! How contradictory.

Jesus Christ does have a work on earth today. The fruit of your organization does not show you are in it. Where is His work? Are you humble enough to face your faults and repent? If so, He will come to you as He has me. From there, life will be eye opening and you won't have to face the feeling you feel now with your deceiving people. DO you feel? Give up the money and come to Christ!!!

I think many are rescued from the cults. Christ is here and knows our works! I learned a great lesson from HIM as HE dragged me through your mud. Now, I am being washed cleaned, preparing myself for His next step with this lesson behind me. How great a feeling, knowing that Christ offers Himself freely and all are welcomed to come to His throne. You should try it; it's much better than being a fake.

I am relieved that Christ saved me from your organization, showed me your deceit, allowed me to keep my treasure (family), and my career (you were talking me into leaving the military after many years, with no retirement benefits--this is on tape). I thank you for being a part of the trial and lesson Christ gave me. You lost--Christ won!!

Drinking the old wine of the old covenant brought me to the Scriptures. Something wasn't just right. Old wine is the old covenant that you enforce like police. You told me to prove all things and I thank you for that also. I still don't consider myself "of this world," but yet, I live in it and have a family that I love and they live in it too. With Christ we walk in Satan's world for now. It's true we do not know the LORD'S ways. I never thought HE would give me this lesson or take this route, but I know He is at least lovingly working in my life and that love is the love I use to forgive you. Try taking an honest look at what you are doing to others. I hope you do not have an empty soul. I can't comprehend that, but this is a big world and I believe there are some out there that are adhering to the god of this world,3 and possess his talents. My wife was right all along: YOU ARE A MONEYMAKING CULT USING A CHURCH AS A FRONT4 FOR YOUR REAL PURPOSE. Works well in court, hiding behind freedom of religion, meanwhile serving the evils of power, wealth, and God knows what else.

The PCG has a bunch of disciplined and dedicated members, but unfortunately they are dedicated to lies of men. I know, I've been there. After this dedication develops by observing laws that are very, very difficult to obey, they become very strong and determined people. This is the case with me also. I am stronger than ever since my experience with the lesson I learned from PCG. If only the other members learned what I have and redirected their loyalty, dedication, and discipline in reverse to expose evil work. Where would the PCG end up? Petra? In court again? With Christ working in this world and if He wants the job done, it can and will happen. Who can stop HIM? I fear nothing with Christ.

Return the tithing money you collected through deception! Thought I would ask since the PCG falsely represented themselves and I contributed to false representation. Do you think all your members are loyal and there are no hidden pigeons? What happens from here, I don't know. Not Big Brother, but FATHER is watching you. Yes, the one you preach about, He's real.

Since I know you will immediately send this to Gerry and Stephen, I'll save you the problem and send a copy myself. You people are killing people spiritually, physically, mentally and financially! STOP and have mercy! I advised appropriate people (including my government affiliated investigations personnel) of you and your cult's hypocrisy and sinister history. I will not tolerate any harassment or suspicious occurrences. Be assured that it is well documented that you and your son's address will be targeted and suspect. The military is concerned about me and my safety. I am a government resource.

One last thing, why would GOD send a man, such as Stan Rader5, an unconverted, un-baptized Hollywood mogul enmeshed in devious behavior, as Armstrong's advisor and right hand man to restore all things? Get real!!!

PS: What's the deal with recruiting at DENNY'S? Why do you meet at MASONIC HALLS for PRIVATE meetings?6 Strange for a church to have private meetings away from the sheeple, ey? HEY... ADMIT IT, YOU TOLD ME TO PROVE IT. SO I ASKED GOD TO HELP AND THIS IS THE PROOF HE PROVIDED, SO FAR.

Craig, I could go on and on, but to save time and space, you "read" my dedication to GOD and you used that dedication and abused my trust. I hope you and PCG realize that I rely on GOD and CHRIST daily and HE is the result of this letter, not me. Normally one would be depressed after almost losing their family, money, career and self, but I don't feel this way. How can this be? How? Because I have been promised that as long as I seek with all my heart, I will find the truth. That promise came true for me and I pray it will for others. My heart is in it, Craig, not your lies, but truth. Pieces of this letter might make for a good sermon. You can tell the sheeple how the roaring lion picked me off, but I really know who PICKED ME UP! Adios. The beginning..................

Love, (This word probably makes you cringe)

MICHAEL

Note: No reply from Craig Winters, or Gerald Flurry, was ever received. This has been the typical response with ministers in PCG, especially when a member starts thinking critically and confronts their leaders with the truth.

Update: Craig Winters No Longer a Minister (April 22, 2013 letter to ESN)

Also read: Is Philadelphia Church of God Living Under the Old Covenant? (by Mike)

UPDATES:

Jacob Winters: Craig Winters' son, Jacob, age 25, died of Addison's Disease on January 13, 2002. He tragically refused life-saving medicine, which his father told him he shouldn't take. Read: Run From Death That Resides in PCG! and Jake Winters a Victim of Abuse.

Levi Winters: The remaining son, Levi, left the Philadelphia Church of God and the family home within 6 months of his brother's death. He went to live with his paternal grandparents (ex Worldwide). It is not known where he is now. [Note: This info was furnished from two sources that both had personal ties with the Winters.]  

Footnotes by ESN:

1 The Scriptures state that one cannot pick and choose from the old covenant laws, all of which consisted of 613 points of law. If you are going to observe them, you are obligated to do the whole law, including the New Moons with their sacrifices. See Galatians 3:10 and Seventh-Day Adventism Renounced by D. M. Canright (a group HWA is known to have plagiarized many of his teachings from).  

2 Notice the following Scriptures for proof of this: Isaiah 42:8: "I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images." Isaiah 43:10: "Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me." Isaiah 44:6: "Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts: I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God..." Isaiah 44:8: "Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any." Isaiah 45:21: "and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me."

3 Strong's Greek Dictionary of the N.T. says the word for "world" is "age" in this verse.

4 It is alleged that many groups known as "cults" are fronts for a hidden agenda and work together to create a passive people. They have similar methods of deception and abuse are often fronts for intelligence activity. Read more about this and WCG / HWA activities from OIU Newsletter #6, pt. 3.  

5 Stan Rader died of acute pancreatic cancer on July 2, 2002 at the age of 71.

6 Masons do not allow Christian services in their buildings and yet WCG, as well as PCG, has had many of their services held in Masonic halls. So how could they be called a "Christian organization"?


Back to My Exit Letters to Craig Winters

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