Tuesday, April 21, 2009

JOSEPH TKACH, JR. & J. MICHAEL FEAZELL: THE LIBERATION OF THE WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD (Part One)

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MP3 Available Here

JOSEPH TKACH, JR. & J. MICHAEL FEAZELL, the President & Vice President of the Worldwide Church of God , will address the theme: "THE LIBERATION OF THE WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD: The Remarkable Story of a Cult's Journey from Deception to Truth".

Earlier this month, the Worldwide Church of God changed its name in the United States to Grace Communion International. The group's leadership believes this name better reflects who they now are and what they now teach. For the press release, click here.

During this live, call-in interview, Joseph Tkach, Jr. and J. Michael Feazell will also address the themes of the books chronicling the amazing story of their former cult's journey into the grace of Calvary's cross, "TRANSFORMED BY TRUTH" by Dr. Tkach and "THE LIBERATION OF THE WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD" by Dr. Feazel.

You don't want to miss hearing this remarkable story of one of the most monumental events in modern-day Christendom!

42 comments:

Purple Hymnal said...

The Worldwide Church of God, now Grace Communion International, still practices a lifetime top-down hierarchy, with Joe Tkach Jr. authoritative Pastor General in perpetuity.

Also, the church continues to refuse to provide any financial accountability for the money still being donated directly to Joseph Tkach Jr., either in the present, or monies that were accumulated/tithed in the past. The millions of dollars made on the sale of both college campuses in the mid-1990s has never been accounted for.

More information on the name change, with links to posts on the various ex-WCG blogs on the Internet, can be found here.

Thank you.

ACC said...

The journey of the Grace Communion International is unprecedented in contemporary church history.It is indeed a work of grace.

Purple Hymnal's allegations are not true. Joseph Tkach Jr is NOT an authoritative Pastor General. In fact he is now using the title President more than a Pastor General.

The Grace Communion International has an external auditor that takes care of financial accountability

For more accurate and authentic information about WCG / CGI you may log in to www.wcg.org

Purple Hymnal is just one of the critics out there who refuse to open his mind to God's grace and love.

Purple Hymnal said...

Regardless of the title Junior is using now, the "boards" he has appointed (note, APPOINTED, these are NOT elected positions) are rubber stamp committees, as per the church's corporate bylaws (which have never been updated, or if they have been, the updated bylaws have never been released to either the membership or the public).

Additionally, the page I linked to, is an aggregator link of most of the ex-members' reactions to the name change; of the links provided here, only two of us are atheists; the rest span the gamut from evangelical through agnostic, to non-theist or atheist.

What we all have in common is that we are children of the church.

Additionally, "ACC"'s parting comment (AC? Really? And where did the millions of dollars go, when AC was sold, in the mid-90s, "ACC"?), "you got no grace" is the new "evangelical" idiom for "you're just bitter", which was a common epithet for disfellowshipped and/or marked members, back in the day.

Change the name, the papal infallibility and financial non-transparency stays the same.

Purple Hymnal said...

Oh, and pray enlighten us, "ACC": What is the name of the "external auditor" the church uses, and where can fully-disclosed financial reports on the church's income and outflow be found??

I assure you I have searched the church's web site thoroughly, and I have found absolutely zero mention of an external audit firm, nor have I (nor has anyone else) been able to track down financial reports. If you can provide these, or a source for these, IN FULL, I will retract the allegation that the church is financially unaccountable.

Additionally, the church makes a big deal about being a member of the National Association of Evangelicals; why is the church not, I repeat NOT a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability?

ACC said...

My dear Purple Hymnal, I cannot blame you, if the only church polity that you know is democratic or congregational. Even if the Boards are appointed, there is no problem because the church is operating under episcopalian church government.

Even in democratic countries , when the President appoints his Secretaries as part of the Executive Department, does it make his government less democratic? or do you also want to change the constitution and require that even the secretaries must be elected?

You are asking about the name of the external auditor for WCG ? Did u really search the web for it? The name of the external Auditing Firm is CAPIN CROUSE. How to find the place where it is mentioned? (1) go to www.wcg.org home page (2) below the home page click Information about Denomination (3) Click Statement of Financial Stewardship.

If WCG is not a member of Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability. May I know if your group is already a member?

Thank you.

xHWA said...

I think the main point our good Purple Hymnal is getting at is fair. That being a rose by any other name...

Under Herbert W. Armstrong the Worldwide Church of God was a closed, high-demand, mind-control cult. Their structure was hierarchical with an unquestionable and unquestioned Herbert Armstrong at the pinnacle as "spiritual and temporal leader" of God's church on earth.
Now, of course we can see that things have changed somewhat. Even so, not everything about the leadership style has changed. It is still hierarchical. Mr. Tkatch is still mostly unaccountable.
Purple Hymnal is of the opinion that if they were truly serious about change, they would distance themselves as much as possible from the old ways. I don't disagree.

Purple Hymnal said...

"My dear Purple Hymnal, I cannot blame you, if the only church polity that you know is democratic or congregational."The only church polity that I ever knew, ACC, was "god's government on Earth", with Herbert W. Armstrong the "head of the church under Christ".

But thanks for the name of the auditing firm. I'm sure the information will be put to excellent use, on the ex-member blogs.

(By the way, I already know that Monte Wolverton gets paid close to a million dollars of church members' money a year, under the dubious cover of "publishing" the Plain Truth. $877,160, to be exact. A YEAR.)

"or do you also want to change the constitution"You ponied up the name of the church's auditing firm, ACC, now come through with a current copy of the church's corporate by-laws.

"If WCG is not a member of Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability. May I know if your group is already a member?"The changes in the church taught me the very valuable lesson that ALL religion is false, ACC. I am a very committed freethinker, so no more groupthink or brainwashing for me. Does that answer your question?

ACC said...

Your allegation that Monte Wolverton gets paid close to a million dollars of church members' money a year, under the dubious cover of "publishing" the Plain Truth. $877,160, to be exact. A YEAR is IMPOSSIBLE.

WHY?

The "Plain Truth" is not being published anymore by the Worldwide Church of God. It is now an independent ministry since few years ago.

So unless you can prove your allegations, I consider it as a hearsay. The burden of proof is on your part.

So, you now believe that all religions are false. YOU ARE CORRECT. Christianity is NOT a religion. It is RELATIONSHIP with JESUS CHRIST.

You can not undo what happened at the cross Purple Hymnal. He died for you.

I don't think you are a free thinker because you keep on being a critic of WCG. So what do you exactly get for doing it?

This might be my last post Purple Hymnal.Unless it is really necessary for me to respond. Thank you for your time giving comments. I believe this is not a proper forum for us to argue about WCG. Let us respect ISI because the comments to be posted here is supposed to be on the interview.

I respect you as a person and a brother. God is not giving up on you!

Purple Hymnal said...

Stan Gardner posted instructions on how to download information on PT Ministries from the State of California website (Can't find the exact post now, I think he posted it in a comment on AW --- Stan you around to verify this??) Anyway, I saved the document it generated, which reads as follows:

PLAIN TRUTH MINISTRIES WORLDWIDE
Contact Information
Also Known As
Address
Duarte, CA 91010
Category
Programs
PTM WORLDWIDE PUBLISHES THE PLAIN TRUTH MAGAZINE AND A
DEVOTIONAL SERIES, EXPERIENCING THE WORD. PTM OFFERS FREE MINIVIDEOS
AND OTHER FREE INFORMATION ON ITS WEBSITE, WWW.PTM.ORG.
Budget
$877,160Category
Population Served
Program Long-Term Success
Program Short-Term Success
Program Success Monitored By
Examples of Program success
Program Comments
Funding Needs
Volunteer Needs
Request For In Kind Contributions
People
Organizational Statistics
Chief Executive
Since
Leadership Statement
Board of Directors
Name Company
GREG ALBRECHT
DR. ROSS JUTSUM
DR. J. PETERSON
MONTE WOLVERTONNews

That's all the information to be gained, without paying for the service. If I can find the bookmark for the information portal page, I will post it here. Also, for more information on Monte Wolverton, see here.

As for the altar call, I'm sure Junior and Weazell are proud of you. You say all the right things, I'm sure the evangelicals are fully convinced you're a true Christian --- and not a thought-reformed tithe slave.

ACC said...

Yes exHWA, you may call a rose by any other name and it is still a rose. The WCG may have a name change and it is still WCG. Well the Church is not denying that. In fact, when you browse at the WCG homepage it is written there "formerly known as the Worldwide Church of God"

Yes the Church structure is still hierarchical but it is not like the time of HWA. This is called episcopalian form of Church government. This mode of Church government already existed long before HWA. Yes it is not a perfect kind of Church government but it does not mean it is totally wrong. No Church government is perfect, that is why we need Jesus the real Head if the Church.

The problem with WCG Critics is that they are ALL OUTSIDE and they presumed to know everything that is happening INSIDE. Almost all there arguments comes from their prejudicial opinion about the Church, based from their experience on Armstrongism or from other WCG critic websites.

Yes Armstrongism is still alive. but not inside WCG. The Church is already transformed by the grace of God.

I hope that critics can present solid evidences of their claims against WCG and not only broad statements that are sometimes copied from the websites of other critics in some other groups.

As a rule of law, the burden of proof lies on the one who alleged.

ACC said...

Where have you been for all this long years Purple Hymnal? It has been a long time that Tithing is not required in WCG. The Church teaches that tithing is given to Israel. We are now in the NEW COVENANT. WCG members are not Tithe slaves.

Thats the problem I am saying when you are OUTSIDE and presuming to know everything INSIDE.

You have copied a very long page about PTM and Monte Wolverton.. Whats the point? I mean I could not find or read any CLEAR EVIDENCE that Wolverton is BEING PAID by WCG as you claimed. AS I said WCG is NOT publishing the PLAIN TRUTH.

You have NOT YET proven your allegation. I NEED you to prove it beyond reasonable doubt.

IM still doubting your allegations! Take your time...

Purple Hymnal said...

ACC, I may not have proven my allegations, but neither have you proven beyond all doubt that my allegations are wrong.

ACC said...

Under the rule of law. The burden of proof lies on the one who alleged. It is your duty to prove not mine. Failure on your part to prove it means it is all hearsay.

Thats the rule of law. You and your website seems to be challenging people in an argumentative way. NOW please abide by the RULES. otherwise we will not resolve any issue.

I presumed dear purple hymnal that you are posting to resolve issues here and NOT only for personal motives or for you to be famous so PLEASE ABIDE BY the RULES. KINDLY PRESENT YOUR EVIDENCE. I will be waiting.

AS of now i can say you are on the FALLACY just going around the bush getting nowhere, just striking anywhere.

I am waiting for your evidence.

Purple Hymnal said...

And where are the church's corporate bylaws ACC?

Purple Hymnal said...

Who elected Joe Tkach Jr. to the office of "President"?

Purple Hymnal said...

I am waiting on the records from Capin Cruise.

Purple Hymnal said...

Where did the money from the sale of the Ambassador College campuses go in the 1990s?

Purple Hymnal said...

What did Joe Tkach Jr. have his administration do with thirty-plus years of tithing records of the membership, after the changes?

Purple Hymnal said...

What is the church's annual income from "free-will" donations now, and where are those donations spent?

Purple Hymnal said...

Why are there members in WCG/GCI congregations who still keep the Sabbath, observe the dietary laws, deny the trinity, and believe in British-Israelism, if the church has been "transformed by truth"?

Purple Hymnal said...

I can keep asking these questions endlessly, ACC, but I suspect you will soon refuse to answer.

Purple Hymnal said...

Is the minister's pension fund with the Bank of Wachovia still solvent?

Have these bylaws changed at all? If not, why not? I thought the church was "transformed by truth"?

Purple Hymnal said...

Why was self-governance of the Canadian Board dismissed?

Purple Hymnal said...

Why are the church's membership statistics inconsistent?

Purple Hymnal said...

Hmmmm, apparently the church is part of something called the Christian Stewardship Association. Does this have any relation to the external auditor the church claims to use?

Purple Hymnal said...

Why does The Surprising God blog require "anonymous" commenters to reveal their church location, and who their pastor is, before they are allowed to comment?

Purple Hymnal said...

Are pastors in the WCG required to tithe on their paychecks?

(If so, that would be an improvement, over the old days.)

Purple Hymnal said...

Another example of the church's financial non-transparency.

Purple Hymnal said...

This is the post with the site where I downloaded the PTM tax report that I posted here, that you said "You have copied a very long page about PTM and Monte Wolverton.. Whats the point?"

The point is, SOMEONE at the PTM is responsible for a budget of $877,160 a year. That's almost a million dollars. And yet, the church only has (according to them) 42000 or 43000 members across the world.

Can you explain this discrepancy?

Purple Hymnal said...

I await your reply, ACC. Better yet, ask your minister, and see what he has to say.

Purple Hymnal said...

Is this an appropriate way for the leader of a Christian denomination to behave?

Purple Hymnal said...

Are these requirements still in place, for Joe Tkach Jr., when he visits congregations? If the church was "transformed by truth" and the ministers were converted to "servant leadership", why were these requirements enforced by Headquarters at all?

(Read the full AR50 for this and other info on the Armstrongist movement.)

ACC said...

More words more mistake Purple Hymnal. You make me laugh really.. He he he . You have posted so many questions just to avoid an issue that you yourself have raised but you yourself CANNOT PROVE!

but it is too late for you to avoid the issue because i will keep looking for your evidence when you alleged that WCG is paying Monte Wolverton $877,160, A YEAR.)

up to this time you still did not present your evidence. You can not intimidate me by posting so many questions. Because as of now i am doubting your credibility for lack of evidence.

I know that for every question you post, you presumed to know the answer. but you must be careful because I DO NOT BELIEVE HEARSAY purple hymnal.

You shall prove EVERY allegation.

One more thing purple hymnal.. before you get confused i like to remind you again that WCG is not PTM.

I am giving you 5 days to present your evidence. Just 5 days.

FAILURE to prove it means it is only a product of your imagination.

Do not be talking on so many things LEARN to FOCUS on one issue at a time.

Purple Hymnal said...

I take your response to mean you didn't click a single one of those links, ACC, because each one of those links contains the evidence you seek, that prompted my questions.

I really only have one overriding question, though: If the church really was "transformed by truth" -- why won't they answer any of these questions?

Questions which were asked by other people, long before I started asking them.

But soon enough, there will be enough of us asking, that the church's policy of non-response, will start to look suspicious, to the very victims they wish to recruit.

Purple Hymnal said...

Read Top Secret Plain Truth Ministry Tax Reports.

Follow the white rabbit, ACC. If you dare.

Purple Hymnal said...

Ambassador Watch: Time to Break Free.

ACC said...

IN the midst of your confusion i would like to remind you again. We are talking about the WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD . We are NOT talking about PLAIN TRUTH Ministry.

So DO NOT give me the TAX reports of PTM because PTM is not WCG.

YOU now have 4 days to give me your evidence.

UNLESS you forget in the midst of your confusion, here is the issue that you alleged:

"THAT WCG is paying Monte Wolverton
$877,160, to be exact. A YEAR"

Do not be a talkative parrot, PRESENT your evidence. all the links you posted are talking about other things NOT related to the issue as to whether or not Wolverton is really being paid by WCG.Do not be so coward to always escape the issue you yourself raised.

I am waiting for your evidence Purple hymnal. Take your time...
He he he

Purple Hymnal said...

Hmmm. I appear to have engaged a minister. Who appears to be engaging in the same (attempted) intimidation, misdirection, and hand-waving, that I remember oh so well from back in the day.

Anyone who thinks Plain Truth Ministries is NOT in any way affiliated with the Worldwide Church of God/Grace Communion International is clearly not doing their research.

Also, the previous article I linked to (which you still refuse to click through and read, because clearly the thought-reform of your closed high-demand religious group has been thoroughly successful), has this to say:

"It's been next to impossible to get any consistent, solid financial information on the WCG since the Tkachs took over in 1986. You see, under the Armstrong era, the cult invented the absurd "Catch-22" glitch that one has to be a member of the WCG "in good standing" (meaning passing a computer "tithe check", maybe?) to qualify to ask for any HQ financial information. But then, a loyal, lowly WCG tithe payer who dared presume themselves to be "in good standing" would then likely be marked, branded and disfellowshipped with the excommunication boot for even asking HQ for such information. The Tkachs have a Statement of Financial Stewardship on the wcg.org website, but don't let it lead you to believe the Tkachs are open with the lowly WCG donors about disclosing their salaries, lifetime employment compensation contracts or even the Worldwide headquarters financial statements.

What Christian grace is that kind of disclosure, taking income from the offering plate, but not disclosing salary and financial statements to the Church you supposedly serve?

There is a way to penetrate some of the secrecy surrounding the WCG financial empire. PTM tax returns or 990s, can now be obtained through the Office of the California Attorney General website."
I will also quote from Part 2 of Gavin's post about the name change:

"One of the interesting revelations that came out in the recent Monte Wolverton interview was that (and I'm heavily paraphrasing here) Pope Joe and Cardinal Mike put the hard word on Monte to hand over his father's Bible Story artwork to the WCG/GCI, even though he had possession. Why? Well, it's obviously worth at least thirty pieces of high grade silver. Because Basil was in church employment at the time the drawings were made, they had the legal right to demand them. Morally speaking though, it was the pits. So if you're wondering why the Wolverton Bible has all those obsequious references to Joe, Mike and WCG... look no further. This is how they treat their friends.

The point is, Joe and Mike are anything but mushy marshmallows. Behind the goofy appearance and sanctimonious exteriors lie hard, calculating men. Their Achilles heel is that they rarely get those calculations right, for which we can all be grateful.
Of course, you're going to get the last word in now, as any good heir to the Levitical priesthood of the church should (can't have a church member getting out of hand and telling tales outside of the cult to the real world, after all), but I'm not posting for your benefit, ACC, which you should have realized by now.

I am posting to keep other people, people who are still able to think for themselves, out of the cult that you belong to. No matter what they try to call themselves.

(And ask yourself, ACC, why this Christian blog has tagged this entry "Cults".)

Finally, I would also note that you have made no effort to comment on the fact that the budget for Plain Truth Ministries is close to a million dollars; and that money comes directly from the pockets of the people who are unfortunately still members of the church.

Continue your countdown, if you must, and hand-wave as you like. I am done with this discussion, except to say that your attitude, as a member of the church towards a former member (me) speaks more than enough for anyone with the appropriate level of discernment remaining, to understand exactly what the church (no matter what it tries to call itself to hide its past) is still like, down to the present day.

So keep right on laughing, badgering, and trying to divert attention, ACC: You're making my case for me.

ACC said...

PUPLE HYNMAL seems to be quitting , so Let's now summarize the comments at hand.

1. Here is a fellow calling himself Purple Hymnal.

2. He alledged that WCG is paying Monte Wolverton $877,160, to be exact. A YEAR.

3. I asked him for evidence for him to prove beyond reasonable doubt if his allegations were true.

4.Instead of presenting evidence ( which obviously he can't) he keeps on asking so many questions that are NOT related to what he alledged.

5. He attempted to present the fact that PTM is paying Wolverton. He seems NOT to know that WCG is not anymore publishing Plain Truth because Plain Truth Ministries is now an independent ministry. (For evidence of this, readers may click www.wcg.org and www.ptm.org and you will be the judge.)

6. Purple Hymnal tried to make his last stand, to proved that PTM is linked to WCG. And you know his proof? He gives a link to Ambassador Watch in which they themselves linked PTM to other Church of God groups. OF COURSE any blogger can post a link. That is not a sufficient proof that WCG and PTM is the same..Ambassador Watch is not the government registry of corporations and entities.They themselves made and posted those links.

7. Purple qouted a very long page again from his favorite websites. I read it word for word. IT MENTIONS nothing about WCG paying Wolverton.

8.Dear readers out there you will be the judged.

a) If purple hymnal's allegation is really true? WHY can't he produced EVIDENCE even until this time?

b) If He knows what he is saying why he did not know that WCG and PTM are now different.

IT IS so obvious that this people are ONLY posting allegations based from what they hear other critics are saying. PURPLE HYMNAL has NO PERSONAL knowledge of what he is saying. He FAILS to prove it with clear evidence.

LEGAL REminders

ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE:

Evidence is admissible when it is RELEVANT to the issue and is not excluded by law...

RELEVANCY of EVIDENCE:

Evidence must have such a relation to the FACT IN ISSUE as to induce belief in its existence or non existence.

ITS SORRY TO NOTE THAT

ALL the links and quotes of PURPLE HYMNAL do NOT pass the ADMISSIBILITY and RELEVANCY Principle.

HE FAILED to prove beyond reasonable doubt that WCG is paying Monte Wolverton $877,160, to be exact. A YEAR.

CASED CLOSED...

Purple Hymnal said...

Plain Truth Ministries' Form 990 for 2007.

Stan said...

ACC,

Despite the lawyerly definitions you cite, this blog comment area is not an actual courtroom. A real judge needs years of education and experience to properly rule on these questions of relevancy or admissibility. But this blog is, if you will, in the first amendment courtroom of public opinion.

When Stan Rader interviewed with Mike Wallace, did he pull a Philadelphia lawyer act and invoke the hearsay rule on Wallace, claiming irrelevancy, or inadmissibility, as you are now doing? No.

He did say words to the effect he would successfully sue the hell out of Wallace and CBS at the end of the interview, but backed off later after he cooled down and the cameras weren't rolling.

Monte Wolverton really doesn't have a lot to do with the Tkach-Feazell radio interview which brings us here. His actual salary is kind of a minor point compared to the gang of five, and somewhat of a red herring when focused on exclusively to the detriment of more important WCG/PTM issues.

Nevertheless, the 2007 Form 1990 Part V gives Albrecht's salary as $119,193 and CFO Monte Wolverton's as $96,289. Wolverton signed the tax form as the chief financial officer of PTM. Chief financial officer of a now shrunken million dollar a year company. His signature does help keep Albrecht off the tax hook. What qualifications he has to sign on the bottom line as CFO, besides cartoonist, is debatable. Same question applies to Ross Jutsum and Peterson, if they are voting members of the PTM board.

Before PTM was spun off as a separate ministry, the WCG supported it financially with cash and assets to get started. If you look at the earlier PTM 990 tax statements, they patently show the WCG also supported PTM with substantial non-cash support. Some rather large single-source donations also came to PTM which are unexplained.

Of course PTM is separately incorporated from the WCG. Tkach tried to divorce the incestuous relationship between PTM and WCG, when new changes in IRS regulations would possibly have made Tkach reveal his own WCG salary, as a closely related board level executive to PTM. The IRS has been concerned about self-dealing and arm's length transactions involving incestuous interlocking boards within church ministry nonprofits.
If PTM were to completely fail, any remaining assets and cash could easily be transferred back to the WCG/CGI/AC. Albrecht then might take a job from Tkach again, if he can use him. Which he just might, if Albrecht has a heck of a lot of corporate money leftover from the demise of PTM, and Albrecht tosses it his way.

Stan Gardner
Ambassador Reports
AmbassadorReports.blogspot.com

Stan said...

PH,

"Hmmm. I appear to have engaged a minister. Who appears to be engaging in the same (attempted) intimidation, misdirection, and hand-waving, that I remember oh so well from back in the day."

Despite his misdirection and hand-waving, I don't think ACC is a minister. He strikes me more as someone raised in the WCG in the 80's, perhaps now in his twenties or early thirties.

ACC appears to have had little direct life experience with historical Armstrongism; perhaps mainly by reading Liberation and Transformed.

Stan

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