Exit and Support Network


Recovery from mind control and spiritual and emotional abuse is a difficult and painful endeavor. The following books offer help to aid exiters of Worldwide Church of God and all affiliated authoritarian splinter groups in their research, critical thinking, healing and understanding. While authors are respected in their field, opinions may differ regarding specific information. The ESN does not assume responsibility for content, or the author.

NOTE: The word "cult" in the title of any of the following books is used in the context of a deceitful, abusive, mind-manipulating organization which has caused spiritual, emotional and psychological harm to those involved.

NOTICE: WCG changed their name in 2009 in the United States to Grace Communion International. (Some local church areas and countries may still carry the former name or a different one.)


The following may books may be purchased online at Amazon.com or at major bookstores, unless otherwise stated (also check your library or e-bay).


Understanding Mind Control / Recovering From Abuse and Trauma

Herbert Armstrong / Worldwide Church of God

Spiritual Comfort/Inspiration

Biblical Studies

Special Interest

The New Age Movement/Occult


Understanding Mind Control / Recovering from Abuse and Trauma:

  • CAPTIVE HEARTS, CAPTIVE MINDS (Freedom and Recovery From Cults and Abusive Relationships) by Madeline Tobias and Janja Lalich

  • TAKE BACK YOUR LIFE (Recovering From Cults and Abusive Relationships) by Janja Lalich and Madeline Tobias

  • RECOVERY FROM CULTS (Help For Victims of Psychological and Spiritual Abuse) edited by Michael D. Langone

  • CULTS IN OUR MIDST (The Continuing Fight Against Their Hidden Menace) by Margaret Thaler Singer

  • THE SUBTLE POWER OF SPIRITUAL ABUSE (Recognizing and Escaping Spiritual Manipulation and False Spiritual Authority Within the Church) by David Johnson & Jeff VanVonderen

  • TWISTED SCRIPTURES by Mary Alice Chrnalogar

  • SCRIPTURE TWISTING (20 Ways the Cults Misread the Bible) by James W. Sire

  • TRAUMA AND RECOVERY by Judith Lewis Herman, M.D.

    This book may also be read online

  • BATTLE FOR THE MIND (A Physiology of Conversion and Brainwashing) by William Sargant

  • WHEN PROPHECY FAILS (A Social & Psychological Study of a Modern Group That Predicted the Destruction of the World) by Leon Festinger

  • SNAPPING (America's Epidemic of Sudden Personality Change) by Flo Conway & Jim Siegelman



  • ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell

  • WITHOUT CONSCIENCE (The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us) by Dr. Robert D. Hare

  • THE EMOTIONALLY ABUSED WOMAN (Overcoming Destructive Patterns and Reclaiming Yourself) by Beverly Engel

  • ON THE THRESHOLD OF HOPE (Opening the Door to Healing For Survivors of Sexual Abuse) by Diane Mandt Langberg, Ph.D.

  • FREEDOM FROM ADDICTION by Neil T. Anderson and Mike & Julia Quarles

Return to top

Herbert Armstrong / Worldwide Church of God

Important reading for anyone researching HWA and WCG
(Check for these through interlibrary loans, e-bay, or used bookstores)


  • ARMSTRONGISM: RELIGION OR RIP-OFF? (An Exposé of the Armstrong Modus Operandi) by Marion J. McNair, 1977
    As a former member and employee for over thirty years, McNair observed the degree of bondage to which many had fallen. His personal eye-witness testimony and documentation is unparalleled for presenting the true inside story of the Armstrong modus operandi. Chapters 2 and 3 give an analyses of Herbert Armstrong's co-worker letters, revealing the propaganda methods he used in order to solicit donors and then con them out of thousands of dollars. Also covers his many false prophecies and the decay and decline of his empire.
    NOTE: We have this book available in PDF and can send it through email. If interested, please email us and request it. 

  • HERBERT ARMSTRONG'S TANGLED WEB (An Insider's View of the Worldwide Church of God) by David Robinson, 1980
    David Robinson, a former WCG minister and employee in varied capacities, writes from firsthand knowledge with deep disappointment and has come to agree with Solomon who advised against putting trust in men. What is Herbert Armstrong's real power base? Is he really backed by God as he claims? HWA's absolute power beginning in the 70's can be read in Chapter IX. Chapter XVIII covers Petra and the Place of Safety. Chapter XX covers HWA and the incest story.
    NOTE: We have this book available in PDF and can send it through email. If interested, please email us and request it. This is also available in Spanish (Español) but without the Appendix. Esto también está disponible en español, pero no incluye el apéndice.

  • THE BROADWAY TO ARMAGEDDON by William B. Hinson, 1977
    Hinson, a former WCG minister, exposes a system of bondage that enslaved the minds and bodies of its members. Lots of revealing information, including list of ministers who exited in the '70's, and threats and scare tactics used. Chapters include: "How I Got Involved," "Don't Be Ensnared," "Ministers Leave the Armstrongs--Why?" "The Bondage of Tithing," "Armstrong's Belief & Practices on Medicines and Doctors," "Marriage & Divorce--Armstrong Style, "Herbert W. Armstrong The False Prophet" and more. Includes letters from former members and memos.
    NOTE: We have this book available in PDF and can send it through email. If interested, please email us and request it.

  • THE TRUTH SHALL MAKE YOU FREE (Herbert Armstrong's Empire Exposed) by John Tuit, 1981
    John Tuit initiated the lawsuit brought by the Attorney General of California against Herbert Armstrong, Stanley Rader, and other leaders of the Worldwide Church of God.
    Excerpts from this book may be read online.
    Note: John Tuit held to many of HWA's doctrines (covered mainly in chapter 20 of his book). These doctrines are covered and refuted in ESN's Mystery of the Ages (a critical review).

  • DAUGHTER OF BABYLON (The True History of the Worldwide Church of God) by Bruce Renehan
    This book may be read online. (Please be aware that this is now posted on an atheist website since it is out of print.)

  • THE ARMSTRONG EMPIRE (A Look at the Worldwide Church of God) by Joseph Hopkins, 1974
    (Check your library or used book stores)

    Covers the tragic story of Garnet Hill and what happened to him after he responded to HWA's plea for more money. This article may be read on our site.

  • IS ARMSTRONG'S CULT NOW ORTHODOX? (A New Look at the Worldwide Church of God!) by Dr. Robert L. Sumner. Copyright 2000. Summer gives a frank, candid appraisal and gives us strong reasons to be skeptical in accepting their new changes and forked mannerisms. (The ESN and OIU Newsletters are briefly mentioned.) Read quotes from this booklet on our site.
    Order from The Biblical Evangelist

Return to top

The following additional books are helpful in refuting Armstrong's doctrinal errors
(also see more titles listed under "Biblical Studies" below:

  • ARMSTRONGISM (The "Worldwide Church of God" Examined in the Searching Light of Scripture) by Dr. Robert L. Sumner, 1974.
    The author was the first to raise a public voice against the heretical teachings of Armstrong and his movement. Very helpful in understanding how Armstrong perverted and twisted the Scriptures.
    Order from The Biblical Evangelist, 5717 Pine Drive, Raleigh, NC 27606; Phone or fax: (919) 852-0850.
    Order used from Alibris Used Books or Amazon.com

  • ARMSTRONGISM'S 300 ERRORS EXPOSED (by 1300 Bible verses) by S. E. Anderson, 1973 This exposé of Armstrongism is the result of long and concentrated study of the cult's magazines, books, tracts, correspondence lessons, and personal letters. The author has spent 50 years in Bible studies, preaching and teaching. (290 pp)
    Order used from Amazon (or check other used book dealers)

  • AMBASSADORS OF ARMSTRONGISM by Paul N. Benware, 1984
    An Analysis of the history and teachings of the Worldwide Church of God.
    Order from abebooks

  • THE PLAIN TRUTH ABOUT ARMSTRONGISM by Roger R. Chambers, 1972, 1988
    Valuable background information about the teachings of Armstrongism; examines and repudiates the arguments set forth in United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy. Chapter 2 shows HWA's error on "The Sabbath and the Law." (165 pp)
    Order from All Discount Books or Amazon.com

    Small 7 page booklet, but very good.
    Order from The People's Gospel Hour (search for the title)

    Canright spent 28 years in Adventism. He was taught that to give up the Advent faith was to give up the Bible. A classic book which not only shows the errors of Adventism (a group that HWA received and plagiarized much of his teaching from), but goes in depth concerning why the Sabbath was abolished. (Important chapters are: "Did the Pope Change the Sabbath?" and "Forty-Seven Prominent Texts Used by Sabbatarians Examined.")
    This book may also be read online.

  • ANGELS OF DECEIT (The Masterminds Behind Religious Deceptions) by Richard Lee and Ed Hindson
    Covers a number of false teachers and prophets, including Herbert W. Armstrong. Part one: The Process of Spiritual Deception; Part Two: The Masters of Deception.

  • THE KINGDOM OF THE CULTS by Walter Martin
    NOTICE: Try to find the older editions (i.e. 1985 or earlier) of this book. It is now very hard to find, so check libraries, ebay, book sales, and used bookstores. Note: The chapter on Herbert Armstrong which was taken from the book may be purchased in softcover through Alibris Used Books. The new versions of KOTC with "Forward by Hank Hanegraaff" approves and participates in the deceptive WCG agenda, and Chapter Four on "Mind Control and Thought Reform" was written by Gretchen Passantino who debunks mind control and who is closely aligned with Christian Research Institute. For more information on Passantinos, read offsite article by Greg Reid entitled: "The New Inquisition." [Update: Bob Passantino died of a massive heart attack on 11-17-03.]

Return to top

Biblical Studies

  • THE DAWN OF WORLD REDEMPTION (A survey of the history of salvation in the O.T.) by Erich Sauer
    Out of print; may be bought used.

  • THE TRIUMPH OF THE CRUCIFIED (A survey of the history of salvation in the N. T.) by Erich Sauer
    Out of print; may be bought used.

  • AN EVERLASTING LOVE (A Devotional Study of the Gospel of John) by John G. Mitchell.
    Order from Alibris Used Books or other used book dealers.

  • GOD SO LOVED (John 3:16) by J. Vernon McGee
    Shows God's infinite, marvelous love and the length to which He has gone to demonstrate it.
    Download this booklet free.

    Order from Amazon.com

  • JESUS CHRIST IS GOD! by Robert L. Sumner
    One of most comprehensive works defending the Deity of Christ. Chapter two confronts the arguments which say the Holy Spirit is an impersonal "it."
    Order from The Biblical Evangelist or from Amazon.com

    Canright spent 28 years in Adventism. He was taught that to give up the Advent faith was to give up the Bible. A classic book which not only shows the errors of Adventism (a group that HWA received and plagiarized much of his teaching from), but goes in depth concerning why the Sabbath was abolished. (Important chapters are: "Did the Pope Change the Sabbath?" and "Forty-Seven Prominent Texts Used by Sabbatarians Examined.")
    This book may also be read online.

    A classic book. Also covers "The Pope and the Sabbath."
    This book may also be read online (with chapter titles in a frame on left) or it can be downloaded as a PDF book.

  • REASONING WITH JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES (online book by Kevin Quick)
    Since Jehovah's Witness are one group Herbert Armstrong plagiarized from, this study can be helpful in comparing a number of his teachings with Scripture. A collection of 800 Bible verses that objectively and soundly refutes the teachings of JWs on every major point of doctrine.
    This book may be read online.

  • MAJOR BIBLE THEMES by Lewis Sperry Chafer
    52 Vital Doctrines of the Scripture Simplified and Explained.
    This book may be downloaded in PDF or by each chapter by going to this site.

Return to top

Spiritual Comfort/Inspiration

  • SHADE OF HIS HAND (For the Comfort of the Sorrowing) by Victoria Booth Demarest (The Westminster Press,1944)
    Very inspirational. (Read poem from the author on our site)
    Out of print; available through Barnes & Noble.com or used book stores.

  • ON COMFORT (Words of Hope for the Hurting) by J. Vernon McGee
    Of special interest is chapter 1, "The God of All Comfort" and chapter 3, "Death of a Little Child." Each chapter can be ordered as a separate booklet.
    Order from: Thru the Bible Radio Network
    Download the chapter on "The God of All Comfort"

  • ABIDE IN CHRIST by Andrew Murray
    A classic book written many years ago, but very inspiring and profound.
    This book may also be read online.

    Classic book revealing the glorious power of the blood of Jesus and the wonderful blessings procured for us by it.
    This book may also be read online.

  • FULL ASSURANCE by H. A. Ironside
    Wonderful assurance for those who are doubting their salvation.
    Out of print; available used.
    Download this booklet in ten separate chapters.

    Muller recounts his struggles and triumphs as he establishes orphan homes to care for thousands of English children, depending only upon God's response to prayer to supply the daily needs of the orphans. By the time Muller was old, God had shown Himself faithful to ten thousand children.
    Order from Amazon.com

  • GEORGE MULLER OF BRISTOL (His Life of Prayer and Faith) by A. T. Pierson
    A very inspiring classic biography on the life of George Muller. Shows that God is faithful to all who put their trust in Him and that He will not forsake those who rely upon Him. For those who were affected by Armstrongism, this book will also reveal the way a true servant of God conducted himself in his personal life and in the "work of God."
    This book may also be read online.

Return to top

Special Interest

    Thousands of solid scientific facts, disproving every basic area of evolutionary theory. Most complete refutation of evolution available in a single book.
    Order from: Evolution Facts
    This book may also be read online. [Note: If the book link does not open for you, go to "Evolution Facts" above, scroll to the bottom links and click on: Ev. Handbook TOC.]

    These men have altered the thinking of society. They generated philosophies that have been ardently grasped by masses of people but are erroneous and antiscriptural. Today these ideas pervade our schools, businesses, homes, and even the church. The author warns of the dangers of believing unreservedly the ideas of these seven men and reminds us of the only man whose life and words we can trust completely--Jesus Christ.

  • THE NEW EVANGELICALISM (the deadliest ism of all) by Rolland Starr
    Available from Cornerstone Baptist Church.

  • NEW NEUTRALISM II: EXPOSING THE GRAY OF COMPROMISE by John E. Ashbrook Order from: Christian Truth & Victory Publications, Phone 320-846-0835
    This book may also be read online.

  • THE SECRET HISTORY OF ALCOHOLISM (The Story of Famous Alcoholics and Their Destructive Behavior) by James Graham
    A relevant book given the fact that Herbert Armstrong was known to be an alcoholic. The author asserts that alcoholism causes egomania, displayed in such behaviors as denial, lying, overachievement, ethical deterioration, false accusations, rejection of friends, grandiosity, aggressive sexual behavior, multiple marriages, unreasonable resentments, and superficial emotions.

  • TALKING IN TONGUES! by J. Vernon McGee
    Order from: Thru the Bible Radio Network

  • ATTACK ON THE BIBLE by John R. Rice
    Order from Sword of the Lord.

Return to top

The New Age Movement/Occult

  • UNDERSTANDING DECEPTION (New Age Teaching in the Church) by Roy Livesey Covers many subjects. (New Wine Press, England)

  • DECEIVED ON PURPOSE (The New Age Implications of the Purpose Driven Church) by Warren Smith

  • RUNNING AGAINST THE WIND (The Transformation of a New Age Medium and His Warning to the Church) by Brian Flynn

    Much on the New Age movement; includes front organizations.

  • BETWEEN CHRIST AND SATAN by Kurt E. Koch The dangers of fortune-telling, magic, spiritism, occult literature. Includes case histories of healing and freedom and how Christ is the Victor.
    Order from Alibris Used Books

  • OCCULT ABC (Exposing Occult Practices and Ideologies) by Kurt E. Koch Discusses 71 occult practices and ideologies of today in light of Scriptural principles. Includes the effects of occult practices and how liberation comes through Christ.
    Order from Barnes & Noble
    Read a number of excerpts from the book.


  • NEW AGE CULTS and RELIGIONS by Texe Marrs Examines all the major New Age cults, religions and related groups infecting and threatening our society. Reveals substantial, detailed information. Covers Worldwide Church of God (Herbert Armstrong).

Return to top

Back to Resources