Just How Can We Trust Them?


How do you place your trust in men who seem to never do what is right?




Trust: noun

1. reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.

2. confident expectation of something; hope.

3. confidence in the certainty of future payment for property or goods received; credit: to sell merchandise on trust.

4. a person on whom or thing on which one relies: God is my trust.

5. the condition of one to whom something has been entrusted.

Good question. How do you place your trust in men who seem to never do what is right? Men who serve the interest of themselves first and the interests of the member last?

Adrian from Australia wrote with these questions in mind.

    • In a my 3rdchurch service members were instructed to burn booklets published by the wcoa. 1975(72?) in prophesy was one of these. What type organization burns records of their teachings to cover their traces?
    • The organization claimed to be inspired and led by an infallible God, but had policies on makeup and birthdays that constantly changed from one policy that was the opposite of the other. A contradiction indeed.
    • The religion claimed the just shall live by faith, but then contradictorily claimed to be able to prove there is a god.
    • The religion published books like the proof of the bible that was later withdrawn because of errors.
    • The church claimed that everything was inspired by the ministers who promoted members to leadership roles only to find out later that the member claimed a false baptism.
    • GTA was disfellowshiped, but was given around $200000/yr in 1970’s money and tithe payers money paid for this.
    • The church claimed to be the church of brotherly love. My wife often said to me that if that’s what the church people are like then she didn’t want to be a part of the 1000 year reign with them. I agreed. I wondered how come my own family who I was told to reject as worldly, were always kind to us despite us not giving birthday presents to them and having Christmas etc. Despite the bible saying that if you see your brother in need and you do nothing about it how can God’s love dwell in a person. My physical family always helped us materially, church members didn’t ever. Of course I forgot about all that free advice about how bad you were from members, but I don’t think that qualifies as helpful. The bible says by their fruit you shall know them. It bothered me that they claimed to have brotherly love.
    • Wearing second hand clothes from opportunity shops because the church took our money, and then being told by the ministry you are not blessed because you don’t have the material possession that they have.
    • Being told to pay third tithe despite making yourself the key candidate for financialassistance.
    • Reading scriptures in Galatians, Colossians for example, rereading Armstrong’s teachings of these verses and trying to convince myself what he said made sense. Never saying anything because you would be told you weren’t converted if you questioned anything.
    • If you didn’t understand (blindly) everything then you weren’t converted.
    • How members would rush to open the minister’s car door the rudely treat other members with disdain.
    • That this is only the beginning of my list and there is so much more…that really bothers me.

We Were Deceived—Who Should We Blame?

Copyright © 2011, Gun Lap

After an experience in an abusive group, the victim needs to understand how he got himself into that predicament in the first place. He needs to ask questions like: How did this happen to me? Whose fault was it? Answering those questions can help prevent being deceived again.

Well, there is a lot of blame to go around. According to the “buyer beware” principle, the victim is partly at fault for being too trusting and deceivable. But the main culprits are the liars who trapped him. We don’t put victims of other frauds (e.g. financial fraud) in jail even if they were naive. We only put the perpetrators in jail.

I put together a list of people, institutions, and organizations who share some of the blame. A few of the items on the list require a bit of explanation, which can be found in the footnotes.

In no particular order, here are some of those who deserve a share of the blame.

  • All those ministers who lie (no shortage of those).
  • All those ministers who are opinionated (there are a lot of those too!).
  • Downright bullheaded ministers who have seen proofs they are wrong but refuse to accept them (there are a lot of those too!).
  • Governments, IF they legally protect the “religious rights” of dishonest church leaders to lie and deceive, but not those of the abused church members to not be lied to and not be robbed of their time and money (see footnote 1).
  • Schools and parents for not teaching children to recognize scams, deceivers and sociopaths.
  • Schools and parents for not teaching children how to think more logically (what we get is mostly memory training).
  • Parents for leaving education to inept and politically correct schools.
  • Parents, if we grew up in a Church of God.
  • A ruthless, crazy, global political system that offers no security and threatens the safety of everyone on earth (see footnote 2).
  • Corrupt, predatory, sick societies that make people long for a better world (the blame here must be shared by everyone to one degree or another, but mostly by those who are the most corrupt and predatory).
  • Corrupt mainstream churches that make people seek better alternatives.
  • Mainstream churches with no inspiring vision, that make people seek better alternatives.
  • Mainstream churches that cannot properly refute many claims made by leaders of unorthodox sects.
  • The people who wrote the books of the bible, the scholars who defend it, and the preachers who promulgate it.
  • The news media for scaring people with the idea that “runaway global warming” is producing abnormal weather that is only going to get worse (see footnote 3).
  • The victim himself for being too trusting (gullible) and maybe too hasty, not doing enough research beforehand.
  • Church members who knew there were serious problems and should have got out a lot sooner, but set a bad example by continuing to attend, and helped the churches to deceive others by continuing to support the churches financially.

Well, that’s my list. I hope I didn’t miss anything major.

In my view, most of the blame goes to those who knew, or should have known, that they are promulgating error but did little or nothing about it.


1. Actually, certain religious frauds are already illegal. It might be possible to sue some of these churches in some jurisdictions. I don’t know if that is possible, but I wouldn’t rule it out. It’s been done before, e.g. the Church of Scientology has successfully been sued.

I’m not talking about making doctrinal errors illegal, just outright frauds, e.g. publishing altered versions of someone’s writings without informing the reader of the alterations or why they were made. If that’s not illegal, it should be.

By the way, if some church publishes material with the author’s name on it (e.g. Herbert Armstrong’s name) and they misquote the author by altering his words, is that not bearing false witness to what he said and stood for? How can a church can justify such actions? Yet it is our understanding that some of Herbert Armstrong’s works have been altered and republished without the readers being told about critical doctrinal changes that were made.

2. The insecure global system makes people seek safety in religion. It also makes people uncertain of the future, which makes prophecy seem attractive because prophecy claims to explain where world events are leading and the basic causes behind them.

3. After spending over 100 hours (estimated) researching “global warming” I’m now convinced most of what we hear is hype. Many religious people think weather is getting worse and that this is proof that the end is near, as prophesied by Jesus. Therefore I blame the media for unwittingly creating end-time hysteria. Their intent often seems to be to exaggerate what they think is a real phenomenon in order to “save the planet”, but the effect is to play into the hands of apocalyptic groups. Many of the increased costs from bad weather are just due to monetary inflation and increased populations in urban areas.

Why I Hate Religion.

“Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus” by spoken-word artist Jefferson Bethke has received more than 10.2 million YouTube views as of Saturday night since it was posted just four days ago, eliciting more than 100,000 YouTube comments and plenty of debate elsewhere on the Internet.

From his YouTube page we read: “In the scriptures Jesus received the most opposition from the most religious people of his day. At it‘s core Jesus’ gospel and the good news of the Cross is in pure opposition to self-righteousness/self-justification. Religion is man centered, Jesus is God-centered. This poem highlights my journey to discover this truth. Religion either ends in pride or despair. Pride because you make a list and can do it and act better than everyone, or despair because you can’t do your own list of rules and feel “not good enough” for God. With Jesus though you have humble confident joy because He represents you, you don’t represent yourself and His sacrifice is perfect putting us in perfect standing with God!”

Your thoughts?

"New York State of Mind"

This article is a re-print from Bill Fairchild, a Painful Truth Contributor.

Billy Joel published a song with that title in 1975. The song is melancholy, and is about a New Yorker who is sorry he moved away and is longing to get back to the Manhattan he so sorely misses.

I used to dislike New York City. It always seemed dirty, over-crowded, crime-ridden, and filled with endless traffic jams and so many mentally unstable people.

I have been to Manhattan several times on business trips and personal vacations, and have had my mental stereotypes reaffirmed by some people there but have also have my prejudices upset by other New Yorkers who seemed genuinely friendly, caring, and like real human beings.

I have a much different opinion now. All of a sudden, I am proud of New York City and its people. On television I see men wearing hard hats who are working 12-hour shifts to remove the 1,200,000 tons of rubble that used to be the World Trade Center that now lie in an ugly heap on top of what used to be 6,000 human beings. Those emotionally devastated emergency workers, many of whom have suddenly lost dozens of close friends in one stroke, are forcing themselves to keep working. They will stay at it until they break down. Hooray for their indomitable spirit! I am proud that New York City is a part of my homeland, and that I am privileged to live in a nation that has a place as fine as New York City.

New Yorkers have proven worthy of their giant guardian, the Statue of Liberty. I still get goose-bumps when I read Emma Lazarus’s poem “The New Colossus” that is carved on its base: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

I am also terribly proud of the men who attacked the hijackers on the plane that crashed into rural Pennsylvania. I doubt that any plane can be hijacked in the United States now. There would be dozens of passengers swarming all over the hijackers within seconds.

An often told joke was that New York City was a great place to visit but you wouldn’t want to live there. I want to go visit New York City even more now, to share in the pain of those who are suffering, to experience the enthusiasm and resolve evinced by those who are cleaning up so they can start to rebuild, to do my part in stimulating that area economically by spending tourist dollars there, to tell strangers there how proud of them I am, and to be inspired by their heroic examples.

But I have to admit that I want to live there even less than before. I would be proud to live there if I had to, but only if I had to, because I think that that great warren of high-rise office buildings, subways, tunnels, and millions of people have become a very dangerous place to live and work. And those who could move away but choose to continue living and working there are also heroes simply for staying put.

The devastation caused on September 11 by a small gang of psychopaths should be a mind-jarring wake-up call to the whole world of the dangers of crazed religious cults. Those of us who have come out of the fanatical religious cult called Armstrongism should be painfully aware that what Al-Qaeda did on 911 is the same that we could have done if Armstrong’s cult had been allowed to continue growing unchecked.


Every person on earth needs to read “The True Believer” by Eric Hoffer. If we all read it, then perhaps a few may be plucked from the fire of endemic cultism. Hoffer wrote this book in 1951, long before the Worldwide Church of God became prominent or a hundred-million dollar a year engine of fraud. He certainly wasn’t writing his book just about Herbert W. Armstrong’s cult. Yet when I read this book in 1974 and when I reread it this year, almost every page seems to contain a warning about HWA and his cult.

The full title of Hoffer’s book is “The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements.” Hoffer discusses common traits found in those who start mass movements, those who lead mass movements, those who become the top lieutenants in mass movements, and those who join mass movements at the bottom level. He also discusses the life cycle of mass movements – how they are born, how they grow, and how they stagnate and die.

I urge everyone reading this web page to read Hoffer’s excellent little book. As you read it, think of the following, for they are all examples of the mass movements he had in mind when writing it: the Roman Empire, Christianity, Islam, the Crusades, the Salem witch hunt, the American Revolution of 1776, the French Revolution of 1789, the anti-Tsarist revolution in Russia in 1917, the Bolshevik revolution in Russia in 1917, Stalin’s purges in the 1930s, Stalin’s gulags, Hitler’s Nazi Germany, Mussolini’s fascist Italy, Japan’s warrior society, Armstrongism, Gandhi in India, Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, McCarthyism, all American religious revivalists (e.g., A. A. Allen, Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell, Rex Humbard, Pat Robertson), National Organization for Women, hippies, Mao’s cultural revolution in China, Pol Pot in Cambodia, Jim Jones and the People’s Temple, the Taliban, Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda, Aum Shin Rikyo in Japan, Promise Keepers, Heaven’s Gate, the Solar Temple, and the New Age movement.

Not all the movements I mentioned above turned out bad. Hoffer discusses how mass movements can end up being a positive change in humanity as well as becoming destructive.

Here are some quotes from Hoffer’s book that relate obviously to HWA’s gigantic fraud disguised as a cult disguised as a church that I hope will whet your appetite to read the whole book:

  • All mass movements generate in their adherents a readiness to die …, breed … fervent hope … and intolerance, … demand blind faith…
  • Faith in the future renders us receptive to change. … All mass movements are interchangeable [explains how fervent cultists can easily jump from one cult to another]. …
  • We join a mass movement to escape individual responsibility, or … “to be free from freedom.” … a proselytizing mass movement must break down all existing group ties if it is to win a considerable following … the inordinately selfish …are likely to be the most persuasive champions of selflessness [think about HWA, GTA, and their hideous excesses]…
  • All mass movements deprecate the present by depicting it as a mean preliminary to a glorious future, a mere doormat on the threshold of the millennium. …
  • A deprecating attitude toward the present fosters a capacity for prognostication … the ultimate and absolute truth is already embodied in their doctrine …
  • To rely on the evidence of the senses and of reason is heresy … those who find no difficulty in deceiving themselves are easily deceived by others … stripping each human entity of its distinctiveness and … turning it into an anonymous particle with no will and no judgment of its own … a homogeneous plastic mass that can be kneaded at will. … the leader of a mass movement … relies on miracles … mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a God, but never without belief in a devil …
  • Every difficulty and failure within the movement is the work of the devil…
  • In the phenomenal spread of Islam, conquest was a primary factor and conversion was a by-product. …
  • The main requirements [for a mass movement’s leader] seem to be: audacity and a joy in defiance; an iron will; a fanatical conviction that he is in possession of the one and only truth; … and, above all, the ability to evoke fervent devotion in a group of able lieutenants [like all the evangelists, Raymond “Mr. Loyalty” McNair, Gerald Waterhouse, Rod Meredith, etc.]
  • There can be no mass movement without some deliberate misrepresentation of facts. … the atmosphere of an active movement stifles the creative spirit.
  • The fanatic is also mentally cocky … the conviction that life and the universe conform to a simple formula …
  • In the eyes of the true believer, people who have no holy cause are without backbone and character … fanaticism … was a Judaic-Christian invention.”

If anyone wants to let someone else do his thinking for him, he should remember Auschwitz, Jim Jones, Heaven’s Gate, the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the plane that nose-dived into the soil of southwestern Pennsylvania. This is where religious fanaticism ends up – death, destruction, and thousands of survivors grieving for those who are lost and wondering how could so many people believe such insanity. Anyone who thinks he has found an infallible leader, knows the absolute truth, or is on a mission from God should reflect on where such ideas can lead. Religious fanaticism and cultism can easily lead to lying to oneself, lying to others, murder, mass murder, and mass destruction. All cultists, extremists, and zealots need to think about the missing 6,000 people and the missing World Trade Center, put themselves into a New York state of mind, and think about what their zeal may lead them to do.


Bill Fairchild Douglas, Mass. 09 OCT 01