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'Victims gradually lose their ability to make independent decisions and exercise informed consent.'
- Dr Margaret Singer


Online Book - 'From Fear to Freedom' by Peter Black
The only life he knew was in a controlling cult. After 30 years, a broken marriage and ravaged self esteem, Peter steps out into suburban Brisbane, a world of unknown technology, few friends and years of rebuilding.  

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Chapter 11: Reaching out to the splinter groups.

The leadership change from Armstrong to Joseph W Tkach Snr was smooth and orderly. It seemed that for a while at least, all would continue as before in WCG after Armstrongís passing. It didnít take Tkach long though to start to question a few and later many of WCGís views.

As the years passed, more and more of the doctrines which were central to the former cult were brought into question and changed. Some ministers under Tkach were supportive and even carried out further research on the teachings of the group in order to strive for greater Biblical accuracy. Such men presented their findings to Tkach Snr without fear of being fired as they would have been under Armstrong if they disagreed with him.

Tkach felt that he couldnít just standby while members of WCG labored under old and heavy cultic views that could be proven wrong. Tkach had spent time many years earlier in the U.S. military and had the guts to take- on a challenge. He felt strongly that the Church should continue to exist but that it should be reformed from a fringe-dwelling cult to a main-stream Christian religion.

Unfortunately though, many ministers under Tkachís authority didnít agree with him at all. These men had the view that Armstrongís teachings were the only ones that should be held to and that Tkach was deserting the faith once delivered. As a result, a large number of such men left the parent group over a period of about 10 years and set- up their own organizations.

They poached large numbers of WCG members off with them and these groups disagreed strongly with WCG as it was and also couldnít agree with each other either. Oh where was the Christianity here? At one time, well over 100 different groups existed and some break-aways broke from the break-aways, are you confused now? I donít blame you if you are!

I would like to address the leaders of such splinter groups here if I may. Why oh why are you stuck in the past? Why is it that you canít seem to see the results of Armstrongís teachings when such are so obvious for all to examine? The accounts here in this book are absolutely true and these are from the grass-roots so to speak showing the life damaging consequences of that former cult leaderís views in action. Why are so many of you desperate to repeat the mistakes made and now acknowledged by Worldwide?

Are you so totally blinded by your own attempts to cling to your power over others and to the cash dragged out of your hard-working members that you have lost any normal human empathy and compassion? Do you somehow think that it will be different this time? If so, you are deluded and more importantly, the people who are members of your cults will be hurt as I was in WCG.

Children growing up in your groups are going to suffer the same sort of abuses detailed here and do you really think thatís what God wants? Further generations of people with wrecked lives will come out of your organizations and I can guarantee it, how? Because Armstrong was just another cult leader and if you follow him then thatís what you all are as well.

I only hope that one day all of you will stop hiding from the obvious truth and eventually that you can apologize for your cultic abuses as WCG has tried to do Ė the sooner the better.

If I may address those people who are caught-up as members of your splinter groups by your very successful fear-dependant deception? Let me say this, please, please take some time to research what actually happened in Worldwide. Not just here in this book but also have a look at Wikipedia as itís all there for your information.

Oh yes thatís right, the cult wonít allow you to do that will it? Well thatís because itís just that, yet another nasty fear-filled so-called Bible-based Christian cult scared of what you will really find out about it and about Armstrong as well.

Have a real good look at the results of prolonged exposure to the belief system created by Herbert Armstrong. See the years of fear and the millions of dollars dragged out of the pockets of WCGís members. If you are in a group which is trying to hang- on to Armstrongís teachings then itís happening to you as well.

If WCG was the only true Church as we were taught many hundreds of times then why did it have to change so much? Could you really still believe that all other Churches are set- up by Satan as Armstrong taught? Canít you see how totally cultic that is?

Will your children thank you for bashing them regularly as parents were taught to do under Armstrong when they grow up? Do you think that they might run away from you as fast as they can when they reach adulthood as they did after leaving WCG in many cases? Thatís highly likely because thereís nothing new about Armstrongís views. They are old news and have been tried before only to be found severely at fault.

Please see Armstrong as he was, that is yet another cult leader with a message of fear, racism and domination. As a person with 31 years of experience of Armstrongís cultic belief system, I plead with you to get out of any organization using such views while you still can.

Church is something you are supposed to enjoy and benefit from, not something you should fear. Look at the past and learn from it, donít repeat it.

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Disclaimer: This page is about groups, organisations or movements, which may have been called "cults" and/or "cult-like" in some way, shape or form.  But not all groups called either "cults" or "cult-like" are harmful.  Instead, they may be benign and generally defined as simply people intensely devoted to a person, place or thing.  An account from one person must be read as that; ideas could have been taken out of context or have been misunderstood.  Also, practices may change over time, or between one centre and another.  CIFS encourages readers to research widely before forming an opinion.  Information from one single source would need to be judged against other sources and one's own personal experience.  Therefore, the discussion or mention of a group, organisation or person on this page is not necessarily meant pejoratively. 
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