Information Wanted!

The Painful Truth asks if any of you can identify who the minister was in the Bangor, ME congregation in New Hampshire, in late 1960’s – early 70’s.
Please contact the Painful Truth if you have information that I can pass on.

Hi there,
I came across your website, the painful truth, after emailing to a similar site earlier today.  I am a former member of the WWCG.  When I was born (1975) my parents had been in the church for several years and I stopped attending in 1994 a year after I left home for college.  We were members of the Bangor, ME congregation and prior to my birth my parents attended a congregation in New Hampshire.  In any event, I write because I am looking for information – any information you or any of your readers can help with.  It has recently come to my attention that in or around the late-60s, early-70s, my father and uncle as well as others were sexually abused by a minister I only know as Mr. Cheatham.  I am not even sure that is the correct spelling of his name.  Apparently he sexually abused many children and did other bad things (being vague because it’s hard to get people to talk about it).  Anyway, my father and uncle both have significant mental health issues consistent with child abuse and now I understand why they are so messed up.  I am trying to come to terms with this, and to help my family members who were abused.  I am sure at this point that the statute of limitations has run out, and I have no idea if this guy is even still alive.  But I’d like to find out who he is/was – his identity, and possibly connect with any of his other victims.

I am happy to have my post published (anonymously please!) on your site if appropriate.  Also happy to simply receive a reply with any info or leads you may have.  Thank you for hosting your website.  It has been really eye-opening for me all these years later to come across it and see the faces of these guys who robbed me of my childhood, and my dad of his sanity.


  • James

    The Worldwide church of God attempted to annihilate peoples personality, individuality, will, and character. The stranded souls that hitched their wagon to this organization unknowingly supported a power-hungry pharisaic and fastuous authoritative cult leader and his son, Garner Ted Armstrong. For all the alarums and excursions, the fact remains that without knowing it, we nurtured these two ungrateful incubi's. For that I can only ask for forgiveness.After my WCG experience, I went to college to educate myself so I would have a greater understanding of the world about me and to understand why I ever fell for HWA's scam religion. This lead me to the conclusion that the appropriate action to take, in my judgment, is to provide people with opportunities to learn, develop, and exercise their potential as human beings, by freeing them from men who exploit and abuse them. This website and others are my vehicle to do just that.

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14 Replies to “Information Wanted!”

  1. The name you are looking for is “John Cheetham”. After his reign of terror in the northern New England area, he was brought back to Pasadena, then went out of the organization and on his own up to the Michigan area, starting the “Great Lakes Society for Biblical Research”. Google these two items including the quotes like this:
    “Great Lakes Society for Biblical Research” “John Cheetham”
    and you may be able to begin to find what/who you are looking for.

    1. thank you for this info. I have been able to track down his address in Michigan and info for his current congregation. I can’t believe he is still a spiritual leader that people look up to. I looked him up in the sex registry and as far as I can tell, no one has ever successfully pursued charges against him. i can’t imagine the number of children whose lives he’s destroyed in the past 40+ years.

  2. I lived through the horror this man wrecked on the people in New Hampshire. If enough people (former members I would assume) spoke up, at least we might deter further damage. I wrote a book on my experiences (Faith) as a novel based on the WCG during the 60’s and 70’s. I am happy to provide a pdf file free for anyone who wants it…my goal is to offer insight, understanding and healing. Where is the justice? A crime is a crime, and using religion or church to overlook or accept it, in my opinion, is adding further injury and allowing abuse to continue.

  3. Good grief!!! This is beyond bad, and I don’t believe any of us who were present or grew up during this era would ever have suspected that such things were going on. Physical abuse of youngsters growing up in WCG was widespread and actually accepted as being part and parcel of being good parents in the church. But, sexual abuse or molestation was never even thought possible by the membership at large. There seemed to be an extreme honor code in place, and an extensive network of spies who contributed to the enforcement of this code. What we’ve learned since that time is that some members of the ministry apparently were able to circumvent this, using their positions and authority. Some of the extreme evil got caught, while information about others is just now coming out, 40 and 50 years after the fact.

    The longer I’m around, and the more I learn, the more I thank God for the major prophecy failure of 1975, and my good common sense to leave WCG at that time. There is just layer after layer of victims about whom we had no idea.


  4. We certainly didn’t have any idea what was going on. It dribbled into my consciousness little by little over time. GTA was shocking enough. Then, the revelations aboout Herb and others just kept building up until now nothing surprises me anymore.

    Deviates gravitate toward authoritarian (fascist) organizations and wheedle their way into positions of power and trust for the express purpose of pursuing their salacious desires.

  5. Hello…..I went to the Bangor WCG church & Concord NH church in the 60’s & 70’s & unfortunately I personally knew John Cheetham. Mary Ellen Humphrey is my sister.

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