Eventually, any expression of doubt at all is deemed offense against the cult. To spread one’s misgivings to a higher member is, in effect, a challenge to that member’s own resolve. Such expressions can be allowed up to a point, but ultimately the members must learn that they are the source of their won doubts and must overcome crisis without spreading confusion to others. Confessing one’s misgivings to a higher member merely affirms the latter’s superior status in the pyramid. If one is to move up, he/she must show less doubt and more commitment that those above him/her.
Members who ask critical questions or show any signs of doubt are separated from the non-questioning blind followers. The World Mission Society Church Of God does this to avoid “spiritual contamination” by the doubting member. Questioning, although sincere, will not earn you any points unless you are willing to agree with whatever answer is given to you by the leadership.
One by one, each member’s connection with the real world must be reinterpreted as base “attachments” that need to be limited or purged. The member’s original religion, job, friends, spouse and children are less important that his relationship with the cult and its leaders. The members must not gain positive reinforcement from anything or anyone outside of the cult. Family and social bonds are reinterpreted as distractions from the higher values the member is adopting. All real-world associating, inevitably and by design, come into conflict with one’s commitment to the higher goal.
One of the biggest hypocrisies is that the WMSCOG preaches the importance of one’s heavenly family but condemns one’s “earthly” or “physical” family if they do not convert and follow the WMSCOG doctrine. What does the WMSCOG do when one family member is not following the WMSCOG doctrine? Does the WMSCOG help the family or add stress?
- Do families have more or less time together after they join the church?
- Do families have more or less money for family needs after they join the church?
- Do families truly accept one another more or less after they join the church?
- Do families show more or less tolerance for non-member family members after they join the church?
- Do children accept a non-member parent more or less after joining the church?
I think an honest look at the WMSCOG in practice reveals that families are better off without the WMSCOG. If you are a member that has bought into the idea of not “losing your crown” or position in heaven, then perhaps you are willing to sacrifice family time, money, and love in order to reach the unattainable goal of the group.
A member may never refuse a request made by a cult leader, or in the name of the cult. To do so is to place some other value ahead of the sanctity of the group.
Members do not seem to refuse any requests because they often believe that any deed done or mission completed for the organization counts as a blessing stored up for them in heaven. Members are taught to look for blessings or opportunities to do things like clean, take out garbage, sing in the choir, etc. These blessings or acts of devotion continue to win the member greater acceptance by the group and its leaders. In mainstream churches people recognize that the church is a voluntary organization and that there are no serious consequences if a member turns down a request.
A cult member who has made an inappropriately personal or self-interested request in the name of the cult will be challenged. On the other hand, members who are in the leader’s favor can get away with almost anything of those beneath them.
Non-destructive churches have moral and ethical obligations to their members. The WMSCOG does not offer the members any financial disclosures nor do they disclose the method by which the feast dates are calculated. When I was a member there was a serious lack of transparency in the WMSCOG.