Here is a guest post written by Jeffery, a former PKG elder over the Florida area. Jeffery has participated in the comment section on this blog since late last year. His resignation email was republished here.
Here is Jeffery’s story:
First, I would like to take this moment to thank Mike for this opportunity to present my experience with the notorious Ronald Weinland and “his” church known as CoG-PKG. I also want to thank Mike for his website and all the information he has incorporated into his blog which was a great benefit to me in making my decision to leave CoG-PKG.
I have a history with the Worldwide Church of God that began in 1973. I was a devoted member up to the moment when WCG changed the doctrine of keeping the Sabbath and Holy Days. The year was 1994. It was not until 2001 that I had a growing desire to find the church that I once knew. Of course, this was all done through the Internet. However, I did not make a choice until 2007. My first encounter was with the Restored Church of God led by David Pack. This lasted only a few months. I rejected this church because I found it to be too demanding on one’s life. This frustrated me so I continue my search on the Internet.
I came across Ronald Weinland’s website just after my experience with David Pack. At first, I was not impressed with Ron’s website. I just wrote it off as being one of those nutty doomsday preachers, not realizing I was correct in my assumption. But eventually I decided to read both of his books.
You have to understand that I was desperate and looking for anything that resembled Mr. Armstrong’s teachings. Because of this desire to be a part of the church again, there was enough of what I recognized of Mr. Armstrong’s teachings that led me to CoG-PKG. I was then hooked and proceeded to become more involved.
Eventually I was able to attend with the Florida group. There were many problems with this group. Such as excessive drinking on the Sabbath and an elder who was a hard core controlling individual and encouraged the excessive drinking as a means to control the younger members who knew no better. I took issue with this and confronted Ron and Johnny about this matter. The next thing I knew I was ordained an elder and took over the affairs of the Florida group. Did this affect me? Yes it did! I become enthralled with the idea of being an elder in God’s Church! To clarify, I always had the desire to be a minister and now, in my pride, I was one!! So, for a period of five years I ran the affairs of the Florida group. Also, I met and had several social engagements with Ron, Laura, Johnny and Myrtle in Florida and Ohio. They knew me and I knew them.
So what led to my departure from CoG-PKG?
Let me interject this first. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Management and Organizational Structure and Behavior. The majority of my career has been in senior management in municipal government. What is the purpose of this information?
To begin, I started to take notice of the lack of qualified individuals in leadership positions. I am referring to individuals who were handpicked (favoritism) by Ron Weinland for leadership positions without having the qualifications or proper training for the position. It became obvious that Ron was the sole authority figure as he did not allow any ordained individuals to have any decisive authority regarding local matters without his prior approval.
That was the first red flag, in that, I had to question why was I an elder and for what purpose? Actually there was a purpose and that was to report to Ron of any bad behavior of a member — in other words, a tattletale! This went against the grain of all my education and experience in government along with my experience in church structure that I was accustomed to in Worldwide Church of God. I came to the conclusion that I was dealing with a micromanaging dictator! This did not set well with me to say the least. This was the beginning of my taking a different view of what CoG-PKG was all about.
However, let me say this: some may think that I was out of line because this was Ron Weinland’s church and I was overstepping my bounds. Not so. I understand government and I know how it functions. CoG-PKG, in my opinion, had all the trappings of a cult! This was the moment when the rose colored glasses hit the ground and shattered!!
But the real failure of Ron Weinland was his second failure of Christ’s return in 2012. I can remember clearly sitting on my patio wondering “why” this event did not happen! Well, to make a long story short, I gave it another year. However, the thrill was gone and I started looking deeper into all the doctrinal changes from what I learned in WCG that Ron claimed to have authority to change.
Let’s start with the proclaiming of being a prophet. I need to interject here that the questioning of the claim of being a prophet started when I was looking up something in the OT that I came across the eighteenth chapter of Deuteronomy verses 20-22. Let me tell you this! Those verses were burned into my mind and ended the influence of Ron Weinland immediately! Do I think this was an intervention of God? Absolutely!! For me, it was the absolute end of CoG-PKG!! Also, I scrutinized this matter of claiming to be the two witnesses and I was appalled at myself for believing such heresy! At this point, I was done!
Another element in the decision to leave CoG-PKG was the court transcripts of Ron Weinland’s trial. The only two transcripts that I read were the government’s opening statement and the memorandum of sentencing and that was all it took!! Case closed!! It is over and done with!! However, I had a bigger problem to deal with and that was on how to make my exit.
My exit was very trying for me, in that, I knew the effect it would have on the Florida group and my wife Diane. This was very difficult for me to deal with and I knew I had to go. But, as fate would have it, my wife noticed that I no longer read the postings and was very inattentive during sermons and basically ignored everything about CoG-PKG. So, the day came when my wife sat down with me and asked me if I still believed Ron and Laura were who they claimed to be. My answer to her was NO! We had a very long discussion and I told her I would be resigning after Pentecost. Well, my wife did not agree with that and simply stated, “you need to go now”. I jumped at the opportunity and composed my resignation letter and emailed it out to Johnny without any hesitation!! Do I think that this was God’s intervention again? Absolutely! I was freed to leave CoG-PKG with my wife’s blessings!! BAM, I was out and gone!!!!
In closing, I am sure some of you who knew me or of me are asking yourselves, why is Jeffery posting at this site? This is a fair question to ask. I will tell you this, I strongly believe I am to do this for the reason that a voice must be heard from a source that is credible to some members of CoG-PKG. Is there an element of anger from me? Yes there is, to a point. I speak for myself and from my experience, the Weinlands are charlatans and are heartless to the highest degree! As I see myself, it is my duty to speak out against them and I will do so! Why? Because if the voices are silent then they (Weinlands) will continue in their deceitful activities destroying spiritual lives and marriages for their own selfish gains unchecked!
Jeffery, thank you for sharing your story here on my blog.
I would like to add my own emphasis to what I feel is the main reason for Jeffery’s departure from PKG — a simple read of Deuteronomy 18:20-22 and a reality check. Ron prophesied, it didn’t happen, he’s a false prophet and you shouldn’t listen to him. That alone should be enough to choose your exit. One should not need a website like this with court transcripts from his criminal trial or evidence that he falsified government documents even more than his tax returns (Audra’s marriage certificate). That stuff is icing on the cake.
It’s not easy to digesting that what you believed is not true. Grappling with the decision to leave may be slow. It took Jeffery well over a year to transition out of PKG. This website is here to whatever extent it can smooth that transition. But the decision to leave needs to be yours.