Letters From Those Impacted by
Philadelphia Church of God
Best of the letters from 2005
Flurry Tells Members to Cut Off From Certain Family Members:
January 5, 2005
Thanks so much for keeping up your site and allowing us to share our stories. This week I will celebrate my three year anniversary out of the PCG. I have had so many blessings since leaving, including financial and spiritual. I am so sorry for those years I wasted following a false prophet and neglecting a relationship with the true God.
I am writing to ask for prayers for family members still entrapped in the PCG. A few months ago these PCG members had planned to visit us (the PCG family members live out of state), but the ministry found out and forbade them to come home. Our family was never marked when we quit, so the PCG family continued to have contact with us, thinking it was okay. Last week Flurry dictated to them via a personal phone call that they are to cut off all contact (phone, letters, visits) with any ex PCG and WCG family member. This includes parents, brothers and sisters. This is causing the people involved to be severely depressed with a feeling of hopelessness. Flurry also told them that the problem about associating with ex PCG family members will be addressed in the next ministerial conference. I know that there are many PCG members who have regular contact with ex PCG and WCG family members so this could eventually affect a large percentage of the PCG. Your website is certainly helping many people find their way out of Armstrongism. Thank you so much for all your work. --Former PCG member
Comment: This is known as the "no contact" ruling. HWA's WCG similarly shunned those who left, or were disfellowshipped, and cut off family and friends leaving the WCG. See: "Once Upon a Time" from OIU 4. Flurry has taken it one step further, saying all that are "Laodiceans" must be cut off.
May 2, 2005
We just learned from a friend on the inside that all PCG tape libraries have been locked down. Not even shut-ins to receive tapes until further notice. No reason given. --Former member of PCG
Update February 2007: One of our contacts told us: "Not only are the tape libraries shut down, all tapes, CDs, etc. are to be destroyed immediately after being played by trusted contact persons. I don't think anything is available except on master copies at PCG HQ in Edmond."
May 5, 2005
While attending a service at a Church of God group a couple of years ago, I remember the minister chuckling and smirking, belittling those on the outside of the Armstrong group who observed Christmas and Easter, telling everyone how ignorant they were for observing holidays with roots in "pagan" customs. How surprised I was to recently learn that British-Israelism has documented pagan druidic roots. I'll bet all these Armstrong ministers that like to look down their noses at those mainstream Christians would hate to admit this. Go to this article: A Little "Identity Crisis - British Israelism, scroll about 2/3 of the way down the page to where the sentence starts with "Brothers supposedly authored the "British Israel" movement..." By the way, all the articles on this site dealing with British-Israelism are well researched and the sources are documented for the reader's quick reference. --Impacted by PCG
August 31, 2005
Would it be possible to know the name of the former (and very RARE) WCG elders and deacons who went to the PCG during the very first months of 1990? --Former member of PCG
Reply: An informant gave us the following info and these were the only ones known:
John Amos (local elder and associate pastor of Oklahoma City congregation)
Tim Thompson (deacon in Oklahoma City congregation)
Vyron Wilkins (local church elder in Oklahoma City congregation)
Dennis Leap (deacon from Buffalo, NY congregation)
Frank Garcia (deacon from Amarillo, TX congregation)
Wilbur Malone (local church elder from St. Louis, MO congregation)
Don Marshall (unsure as to whether he was a deacon in Oklahoma City congregation)
We are not sure if the following men came into the PCG in 1990 or 1991:
Jim Mortensen (local church elder from San Antonio and Uvalde, TX)
Don Roth (local church elder from Wisconsin)
Winston Davis (local church elder from North Carolina)
Our source did not remember if Don Marshall was ordained in an office, or not. But it was known that Marshall was wealthy and contributed a lot of money to Flurry in those very early weeks and months of the PCG, perhaps even funding the first mailings of Malachi's Message out of his own pocket. Marshall ended up leaving the PCG very early, and it might have been within one year.
August 31, 2005
I think the above list my help explain the animosity that was between Leap and Malone. [Malone died 1-27-04]. Dennis Leap helped to write [re-write] Malachi's Message to make it sound like Flurry did it on his own. (I read about Leap being hired because of his talent at editing.) When Leap stood up and said (in a tape that went out) that "we could have done a better job of writing MM" (or words to that effect), Gerald Flurry blew his top. He raked Leap over the coals in a following sermon for not giving MM the proper respect as being inspired by God, only through Flurry. I believe that Flurry can't get rid of Leap, but he doesn't want to give him too much power either.
Another person of interest is Mark Nash. He is a former Navy Seal or Green Beret, with all the "talents" taught to them. He went to prison for defrauding the IRS, and yet was not even suspended while in prison. In fact, he was allowed to give sermons while on leave for "good behavior." If any member on the bottom level was similarly put away, he would be put out for putting the "church" in a bad light. After all, even deacons are supposed to be "blameless" in the world and of "good reputation." What gives? What do these men know that keeps them in the "good old boy network"? These two men, at least, have knowledge that keeps them on the "inside." Otherwise, Flurry would have disposed of them long ago. Mark Nash now teaches Physical Ed and who knows what else.
It doesn't take much to realize that Gerald Flurry is over a barrel with at least these two men. --Former member WCG/PCG
Update: We were told the following by a PCG exiter: "Mark Nash received full pay as a minister and office manager while he served his time in prison." Update: In 2012 Mark Nash was a PCG HQs preaching elder and Festival Dept. Manager.
August 31, 2005
Dennis Leap got in hot water for saying "we could have put some things clearer in MM." GF wanted to make it perfectly clear that only he was the writer. Later, I believe that Leap backpedaled by saying something about helping to edit it. I did see online about the booklet that GF had plagiarized and even read it. It was handed out before GF went off on his own [to start PCG]. It even had a title about the message of Malachi. Like the leaders of the other splinters, GF followed Herbert Armstrong by stealing doctrines. --Former member of PCG
Also read: Gerald Flurry: A Religious Fraud (Very interesting testimony about MM and ministers who saw it was flawed)
October 1, 2005
My uncle died earlier this year. He appointed his nephew as the trustee of his estate. I was to serve in the event he wouldn't or couldn't. My aunt predeceased him. During her lifetime, the PCG made her life very uncomfortable. After a trip to [state removed], he returned to tell her they must divorce because she was a divorced woman. They wound up staying together and were married for over 50 years. My aunt seriously considered leaving him several times but did not. Eventually, I think she gave up and just went along with anything he said.
After his death, we learned that although he promised his wife a 50/50 split between their respective relatives, he had instead established a trust leaving a four way split for to his relatives and one to her relatives (me). She a went along with the trust setup although none of the family was aware of it. After his death, we found a document revising the trust leaving 75% to the Philadelphia Church of God and the remaining 25% to be split among the relatives. A copy was mysteriously "found" on his table shortly before his death.
We recently had a meeting with his minister and offered a compromise of 50/50. He acted like he was unaware of the trust. I am now sure that he was instrumental in its creation. He was very smooth but lying about several items of which I had personal knowledge. Of course proving it is another matter. One of the women who was a church member spent a lot of time with my uncle and was given a key to his house by him. When she exited the scene shortly before his death, she had received a car from him as a gift and apparently anything she wanted from the house. Also, there were a number of church tapes missing. We believe she was a church operative.
The PCG came back with a 60/40 offer. We countered with a 55/45. They then "consulted" with an attorney, not just any attorney of course, but one of the Pasadena crowd who appear to be acting as their death squad collection agency. Interestingly enough, the trustee gave them (Philadelphia) a check for $10,000 from money we signed over from my aunt's life insurance not knowing what was happening. There is also another check to the [state removed] arm of the PCG via a life insurance policy. The Philadelphia people told the trustee to hold that check and they would talk to [state removed]. Seems like they don't trust each other too much. I was astounded to see that they are working side by side when it comes to screwing over their deceased members heirs.
I just read some of the articles on your web site---unbelievable! We are probably going to have to face them in court. To me, they are an organized crime group hiding behind religion and acting so virtuous as they proceed to steal everything they can in the name of salvation. I thought until reading your articles that this was a one on one scam involving only my uncle. But it looks like it is organized as a total modus operandi from information I derived. We are in [state removed] and are going to answer their lawyer with a 55/45 reply. This will probably lead to litigation as I think their mind is set on getting every penny. Actually, I believe that they had no intentions of doing anything else unless they thought we had some unknown information about their plot.
We would appreciate any helpful information to fight them. There are many more details but suffice it to say, in my opinion, if this was not undue influence then what would be? They have institutionalized undue influence. This would mean a prison sentence for an ordinary con man. But, they can hide behind their supposed religion. Expensive guilt trips they are selling! I am hoping to get the court to look at the equity via judicial notice of their practices and by shedding some light on how they operate. --Name removed
PCG is a Registered Charity in the United Kingdom:
October 8, 2005
I have been out of the PCG for 7 years now. It has taken me a long time to get my head round things. I am however out of the woods.
I was brought up in the WCG from the age of 2. My mum was a member. I got baptised into the WCG when I was 22. I married in the church and we went into the PCG 6 months after it started. We were some of the first members in the UK. So I have been about a bit and know what it is all about.
In the UK the PCG is a Registered Charity and in being they have to submit annual records to the charity commissioners. Now by law they have to provide anyone that asks with a copy of their annual report of their activity. Also they have to have a public annual general meeting. If they do not, they are liable to prosecution.
Anyone should write to them to ask for their report and what time of year their Annual meeting is. Should be interesting. One interesting point is that while we were members we were never informed of these meetings. Maybe it was not on our list of "Need to Know" things. --Former member of PCG in UK
I Told PCG That I Wouldn't Tolerate Any Harassment:
October 9, 2005
My wife and I exited PCG last year, and I realized something. Apparently, no announcement was made.
When we left, my exit letter included a very real threat:
"I will not tolerate any harassment or suspicious occurrences. Be assured that I've made certain any pertinent information has been passed on to the proper authorities. Any further contact will be viewed as harassment and I will quickly file suit against the PCG for harassment. Consider that your one and only warning. You can tell the poor people in the PCG how we've fallen away, and you can even stand at the pulpit and declare us 'disfellowshipped and marked,' (rest assured, however, that if I hear of it, I'll sue for slander and defamation of character)."
The result is that even after two years and two months, no "public" announcement has been made. To my knowledge, even those that have been told we're no longer in the church, were not told we were "disfellowshipped and marked."
I greatly appreciate the ESN, and my wife is finding it a vast help in the healing process. --Rob Blaize, Former PCG member
December 7, 2011
As a one time member of the PCG and now as the daughter of a member of the PCG, I can say that the frustration I went thorough on being asked to leave the PCG in its early years for questioning the extra biblical "Little Book" is nothing like the frustration I'm going through now trying to speak to my mother about why she is blindly following Gerald Flurry. I known two elderly ladies who are devout followers of Flurry and neither one can show me scriptures to back what they believe, stating, "We aren't scholars and we don't quote Scripture." When they make statements that, "Flurry is the only one receiving prophecy," and are pressed to back it up with biblical Scripture, they cannot and they refuse to believe that they are following a false prophet by stating, "We are not scholars."
I personally feel that their little church group is the core of their lives and since Flurry is the reason for the group's cohesion, they blindly accept his word as truth.
For the past 10 years or so, my mother has been in a process of isolation from family and old friends (superficially retaining those relationships) and is increasingly dependent on the support and friendships of her little church social circle. My mother is congenial to all family members who call, but for the past 10 years has refused to attend family reunions as they fall on the Sabbath (but the last one was on a Sunday, just for her, and she refused to go, stating she was too old to make the trip). She has never wanted to fly to see her grandchild, his wife, or her great grandchildren, stating that she's too old to fly (she can fly to the Feast of Tabernacles, though). I'm "Laodicean" and she prays often for my salvation, especially if a heated argument arises about actual Scripture versus Flurry's prophecies. The mental hold on his elderly followers is much greater than I ever expected.
Flurry's holdings will increase substantially with the passing of our mother. I keep telling her that I'm not interested in the estate and she can give it to whomever, but please, please don't leave it to Flurry. At this point in our relationship, I'm "rebellious and in Satan's hands." We knew Tim Thompson and Melanie personally and he mentioned way back when, early 1990's, that the PCG would benefit from estates of members. It's coming back to haunt me now. --Enlightened former member