How The WMSCOG Turned My Life Upside Down Part 4 – The NDA – A Former Member’s Story

Previously we learned of our correspondent from New Jersey’s dramatic exit from the World Mission Society Church of God (WMSCOG).  In this fourth part, of her five part series, we learn how this organization tried to make her sign some kind of non-disclosure agreement (NDA) when they believed she had been questioning them on the Internet.

During my research on the World Mission Society Church of God, I came across various internet blog entries written by people who had family members involved in the group. Soon an obvious pattern emerged.  I read story after story about how the WMSCOG had either ruined their marriage or family.  Since my husband had decided to remain a member of the WMSCOG, naturally I became very concerned.  I discussed my concerns with my husband and he promised me that he would not let the church come between us. Little did I know, the WMSCOG was well on its way in doing just that.

My husband would soon explain that he needed to spend more time in the church because he needed to “learn and study more”.  This of course made me furious because it appeared to be a blatant attempt to cannibalize all of my husband’s time in order to keep him away from me. If the WMSCOG didn’t allow me to sit next to the other “sisters” during the last service I attended in order to prevent me from “contaminating them with my doubts”, how much more would they attempt to keep my husband away from me for the same reason?

The arguments between us increased and the time we spent together decreased.  One night my husband told me that I was going to hell because I was no longer keeping the Sabbath.  I thought that God was the only one that could decide that?  I was furious.  It seemed that my husband was looking down upon me like I was a lesser being because I no longer wanted to attend the WMSCOG.  Soon he began going to the church every day after work and coming home after midnight.  We were newlyweds and we rarely saw each other or spent any time together.  I became increasingly frustrated and angry as time went on. Six months after I left the WMSCOG my husband was convinced that I was being “used by Satan” in order to try and stop him from going to the church so he moved out one Friday while I was at work.  When I got home from work all of his things were gone.  I couldn’t believe he would do such a thing!  I was completely devastated!  It seemed like the WMSCOG was driving him crazy.

We sat down to talk during the evening on the day that he moved out.  I explained to him that what he was doing was not Biblical.  In the Bible, it states that marriage is a covenant, God hates divorce, and that a man should not leave his wife except for adultery.  [Note to our readers, there is much controversy among Catholics and Protestants concerning the definition of the Greek word πορνείᾳ used in Matthew 19:9.  Some view it as “adultery” while others view it as “illicit union”.  That argument is beyond the scope of this site]. In the year that I was a member, the topic of marriage and its importance was never discussed in the WMSCOG.  He went on to explain that he could no longer live with me because my “message would spread like cancer” (quoting 2 Timothy 2:17).  This just didn’t make any sense.  The verse that he quoted refers to Hymenaeous and Philetus preaching the message that the resurrection of Jesus never occurred (see 2 Timothy 2:18 & 1 Corinthians 15:12).  He believed that because I had begun attending a Christian church on Sunday that this practice would somehow force him to do the same.  How this would happen, I do not know.  Members of the WMSCOG consider Sunday worship a pagan practice.  I still don’t understand the connection between my attending church on Sunday, and those mentioned in the Bible that preached that Jesus had not resurrected.  Just another verse that was taken out of context by him at the WMSCOG.  Needless to say, the conversation was not productive because he left and refused to tell me where he would be going.

Two days later, my husband agreed to come over and talk to me again.  I asked him to please come back home.  He said that the only way he would move back in, would be if I agreed to attend one Sabbath service per week.  Sound like coercion?  I reluctantly agreed, and he moved back home.  Even though I knew the teachings were wrong, and refused to take part in the prayers, I agreed to sit through the services in order to try and save my marriage.  Things would be ok for a few days but it was the calm before the storm.

My husband insisted that I do all of the studies over again.  I scheduled time to study with the deaconess that I had befriended during the first year of my membership.  She never seemed to be available once I arrived at the church though.  Unbeknownst to me, I would be studying with the pastor.  My husband was present during the first study with the pastor but the study didn’t go well.  It seemed that the pastor would become very frustrated when I asked questions.  At the end of the study I asked the pastor to tell me what the Bible says about divorce.  He wouldn’t answer.  Instead he explained that he could not get involved in my relationship with my husband and that it was our “personal decision” if we wanted to stay together or not.  Funny because I didn’t ask him for his opinion on the topic, I asked him to explain what the Bible tells us about divorce.  I said that I needed to understand why my husband was under the impression that it was ok to leave me.  He became very frustrated and said “what difference does it make if you’re both gonna die”.  He alluded to the belief that my husband and I should be more concerned about our salvation (which by the way can only be obtained by keeping the Sabbath, Passover, tithing, and many other requirements according to the WMSCOG) than our marriage.  After that statement, the study was over.  I would only study once more about two weeks later, without my husband.

The first service I attended after being gone for 6 months was quite uncomfortable.  I told my husband ahead of time that I wanted to sit with him during the service.  After all, I had been made to sit next to him before so I didn’t think it would be a problem.  I was wrong.  When I got there, I told the “sister” in charge of the seating arrangement that I wished to sit with my husband.  Suddenly no one knew where he was.  I was suddenly allowed to sit with the “sisters” again, sandwiched in between a deaconess and a missionary.  Maybe they would be the buffers between my doubts and the other “sisters”.  After the service I confronted my husband about the seating arrangement.  He explained that a deacon told him that it would be best if we didn’t sit together because he wouldn’t be able to focus on the message being given during the service.  The deacon thought that my husband would be distracted by me.  Why wasn’t this a concern of theirs before?  This was just another inconsistency to add to the list.

About a month after I started attending the church again, my husband informs me that I am not allowed to return.  He told me that the pastor “found out” that I had posted some negative information about the church online.  He also mentioned a facebook page but did not offer anymore details.  My husband assured me that they had shown him irrefutable evidence that I was the one that posted the negative information about the church online. I asked my husband to show me the facebook page on the computer but he said that he didn’t remember how to get to the page.  About two days later I called the pastor and asked him what facebook page he was referring to?  The pastor stated “you come here and I’ll show you”.  I agreed to meet with him later that afternoon.

When I arrived at the church, I would soon be joined by my husband who had lied to me about where he was before the meeting.  He had arranged to attend this meeting without my knowledge.  I would sit down with the pastor, a deacon and my husband to discuss the matter at hand.  To my surprise I was greeted with a two page non-disclosure agreement.  The deacon explained “we prepared this to protect you and to protect us…mentioning that we won’t say anything  about you in the same way that you won’t say anything bad about us”.  I thought to myself, why do I need protection?  I hadn’t done anything wrong.

He went on to explain that in the past people have visited their church and then “lied very bad” about them on the internet.  I requested that they show me the “evidence” that my husband claimed they had.  My request was denied.  The deacon stated, “we don’t make anything on you having problems with Mark…is it ok if I read things in front of Mark?”  I declined which of course made my husband upset, but he was advised by the pastor to leave the room.  Here are the comments that the deacon read to me from some papers he had in front of him:

“My husband is so brainwashed by these people.  It’s ridiculous.  I am now having these arguments with him.  All he ever answers to any of my points is if not this church then where?  Basically because no other church celebrates the Sabbath on Saturday and Passover.  He openly admits that he can not interpret anything in the Bible without the Church of God teachings.  I can’t stand it.  So when I read verses in the Bible that are clearly understood by anyone who reads them, he says you are applying your own mind”.

“As far as the calendar goes and how they calculate the dates of the feasts, as per one of the deacons after one of the services a few weeks ago, only the general pastor in Korea knows the formula.  Apparently it is secret information that no one but the general pastor is allowed to know.  If you ask, they will tell you that the Jews miscalculate all the dates citing the example of when they start to celebrate the Sabbath.  The Jews, from what I understand, start the Sabbath on Friday evening.  According to the Church of God this is wrong, therefore all of their dates are wrong.  Go figure”.

I asked the deacon to explain what parts of the comments that he read in his opinion, were lies?  He said “the part about him being brainwashed”.  He explained that everyone is entitled to their opinion, but their opinion may be a lie.  They refused to tell me what website these comments came from.  The deacon would explain that these comments had been posted on “some forums” with my personal email address.  Then he proceeded to accuse me of posting links to other websites about the church on RickRoss.com.  Again I asked for the pastor and the deacon to please show me where they obtained the information.  The deacon then asked, “Would you like to sign this before I show you?”.  I declined to sign the non-disclosure agreement and again requested that I be shown proof of the accusations being made against me.  The deacon then insisted that I read the agreement in front of me.  The pastor explained “it’s nothing it’s like we protect each other”.  I still didn’t understand why I needed protection.  Why would I need protection from the World Mission Society Church of God?  I read the agreement and it basically said that I could not discuss anything that I read, studied, or heard in the church with anyone except my husband.  I do not recall the agreement containing any statements to guarantee that the church would not “say anything bad” about me as stated earlier by the deacon.  The pastor said, “What if someone bad mouth your personal life do you like it?” Was this a threat to defame me?

The pastor explained that if I leave the church, I do not need to take any intellectual property with me.  Interestingly, the WMSCOG has most of the “studies” on their official website.  I have also seen their members copy and paste them into responses on various blogs.  What the WMSCOG teaches isn’t exactly secret is it?  The pastor then said that if I left the church and “bad mouth” the church then he would “have to do something…hire a lawyer”.  He then mentioned how other people have accused them of “sue everybody”.  He also admitted to suing “several people” for “exposing everything” about the church and went on to say that if I am “not one of them then I just want to protect you but if you are one of them then you got a trouble”.  The pastor then stated “through this message clearly it should be you”.  At this point it was obvious that the pastor was threatening to sue me.  The pastor and the deacon would not allow me to take a copy of the agreement that they requested I sign so that I could have it reviewed by an attorney.  The deacon then said that he would send a “more revised version” to my attorney if I had my attorney contact them directly.  Again the pastor issued what I considered to be another threat when he said, “if it’s not about you it’s ok but if it is you it’s a problem”.  They again refused to show me any evidence of their accusations.  They also claimed that they requested my IP address and email address from the forums and that the forums sent them all of the information that they requested.  Again I was assured that after I signed the agreement they would be able to show me “all of the evidence no problem”.  Most forums, including facebook, do not just give out their contributors’ email addresses and IP addresses because of a mere request.  Disclosure of this type of personal information is only given out if the requestor provides a subpeona issued by a court.  If the WMSCOG did in fact have my email address and IP address attached to any comments that they alleged I posted, I would have to question how they obtained this information.  I have seen comments on forums and even videos on YouTube that accuse people in the WMSCOG of hacking websites.  I started to wonder, was this one of those cases?

I wondered if the WMSCOG did this often.  Do they monitor the information about them on the internet?  If so, why?  I remember the pastor saying, “we found out something that is not good for us that’s why we called you and told you to come and check it out…we tried to find out who is a believer”.  Is monitoring internet activity how the WMSCOG tests the faith of their members?  Are other churches concerned with what is written about them online?  Do other churches ask their members to sign non-disclosure agreements before they get kicked out?  This type of behavior sounds more like a business than a church.

During this meeting, the pastor and deacon mentioned more than once that they were not trying to cause problems between my husband and I.  If that was true, why would they confront my husband with this so called “evidence” days prior to having my husband notify me?  But later the pastor said that in this situation if my husband read these comments and found out that I was the one that posted these comments “how can you be together like that?”  It seemed pretty obvious to me that their intention was to cause division between my husband and I.  My husband had already made up his mind when they confronted him days before this meeting.  He viewed my refusal to sign the non-disclosure agreement as an admission of guilt.  But I explained to my husband that I was under no circumstances going to sign away my right to free speech.  Why would a church want to silence one of their former members?

It would not be long before my husband would be turned completely against me…

Well, we can say that when the WMSCOG reads this article, they’ll know for sure that you were the one that wrote it.  It’s funny, anyone can see those comments they read to you weren’t lies, but opinion.  Good thing you didn’t sign that NDA, otherwise, you wouldn’t have been able to speak out and tell the community about your experience.  This story makes us sad because this type of behavior does not represent Christ, and it certainly doesn’t represent any type of healthy “church” either.  We totally agree with your question of “Do other churches ask their members to sign non-disclosure agreements before they get kicked out?”  In our opinion, that is a red flag dear reader, that you should re-consider your involvement in the WMSCOG.

In the fifth part of our five part series, we learn of the ruin wrought to our friend’s marriage by her husband’s heavy involvement in the WMSCOG.

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3 Comments

  • This is exactly the type of thing they have done to divide my son and his wife. She is a non-believer, so they kept him at church all they could, week after week till midnight or even later. It makes me feel like they think there were doubts in his mind, and they use this tactic all the time to stymie those doubts and the voice of reason. I think this would qualilfy as “alienation of affection” which is against the law in Illinois. I wonder if they know that.

  • Hi I’ve been reading this site and another about this Church for a while now. To start off, I was never a member of this church. By the time I met members of this church,I had already been attending another church for two years and I’m very happy with it. But I want to give a testimony for this site, to help anybody that has been a victim of this church.

    To start off, I’ve been going to school at a campus for the last few years and it was a few years ago that I decided to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior and I’ve been going to a church that I really love. With that said, I had been living a lukewarm Christian life since I asked Jesus to save me. I had made many attempts to strengthen my Christian life and was met with many failures, I would never read my bible or pray and and was more interested in the things of the world. The situation for me is now different and I’m making a serious effort in my relationship with Jesus. This was the year that I had a big wake up call that would make me want to know the word of God. It wasn’t a wake up call that I would consider to be a good experience but one that opened my eyes. Like I said before I had been going to school for a while now and one day after taking care of business and was on my way to my car to drive home I saw this guy and girl standing near the library and they stopped me. This is where my experience with the WMSCOG started. The encounter started with introductions and then the guy asked me if I knew about God the Mother. Naturally I said no and then after a few minutes of chatting we decided to do Bible study right at the library of the school. We sat there talking for 15-20 minutes and he spent that time explaining to me God the Mother and showing verses in the Bible that at a glance, seemed to support their beliefs. It’s worth noting that I was skeptical from the getgo and when I was being taught about God the Mother I wasn’t sure if I should buy into it or not because this guy seemed very smart and seemed to know the Bible very well. But as I said before, I was living a lukewarm Christian life and I thought maybe if I went did some Bible study with some new faces on the side it would help motivate me so I would start taking my faith seriously.

    After a bit of time at the library their group had decided to go back to the church and they invited me up there to do some more Bible study so I drove over there with someone riding with me and leading the way. When I got there I was introduced to some of their members and they all seemed like nice and friendly people. I was then led into a room that pretty small and then another guy came in and was going to teach me about what his church believes. The Bible study lasted for about 2-3 hours. We talked about many different topics such as God the Mother, the Passover, parallels between Adam and Eve and the fall of Lucifer, our souls existing before we were born, everyone coming from the dust, the meaning of Elohim, and many other issues. Now when I walked out that particular day I thought to myself that even though I didn’t agree with what a lot of what they said I thought maybe there was some room to understand and I agreed to go back the next week. That night I had went over to my friend’s house, I go to church with these people and they have supported me throughout my spiritual journey. I had told them about my experience earlier in the day and initially they were happy that I had this opportunity but then they saw something wrong when I brought up God the Mother. I referred to those verses in Genesis( “let us make man in our image”) and Revelation (“the Spirit and the Bride”) but they weren’t too enthusiastic about these beliefs. My friend admitted to me later that he was nervous about me in relationship to this church and on all counts, he was right. I didn’t quite see it at that moment but the second time I did Bible study is where things took a turn. After the weekend, I went to school on Monday and afterwards I drove back over to the church.

    This time when I did Bible study, I did it with the guy that I met at the beginning when I was at school. When I got there, before we did the Bible study they showed me an introductory video about their church which seemed very positive like but my experience during that bible study told a different story. This time we talked about issues like the Sabbath, how we’re saved, what happens to babies, God the Mother the passover, communion, repentance and other topics. I had asked about the end times and Anti-Christ but he wasn’t far enough into his studies to teach me about it and then if I came back another day someone else could teach me. This time I did Bible study, they really sent me on a guilt trip and I felt like I was being severely condemned for not doing the things they do. Throughout the Bible study, I became extremely frustrated and even wanted to curse him out. But God kept my strong throughout it all and I kept my composure. To make a note, I go to church on Sunday and with my limited knowledge I did know that in the old testament they worshipped on Saturday. But that 3-4 hours I was there this time was a lot of him trying to get me to submit to the way of his church and trying to scare me. His attitude was inappropriate, after a while of talking to the Sabbath he would make remarks like “And YOU go to church on SUNDAY?!” and that people who didn’t keep the Sabbath would be the ones that Jesus would say “Depart from me!” There was such a strong emphasis on the Passover as well. He kept saying this was the only way my sins would be forgiven. The Bible studies this church does seem very systematic and it doesn’t seem the members can speak for themselves but only what their leaders want them to teach. I thought maybe this was just me dealing with this but after reading many testimonies and watching videos of people who had experiences with this church, it wasn’t just me. One thing that I was very curious about was what happened to babies when they died? The answer I got was an answer that shocked me and ultimately made me walk away after that day. To hear him say that if babies don’t keep the Passover they’ll go to hell really pushed my buttons. I tried to argue with him on this matter but it was hopeless, I simply did not read enough of the bible up to this point to support what I said. He trapped me many times during the study, saying stuff like “Show me in the Bible where it says to take communion!!” “or show me where it says to repent!” My efforts were hopeless. Initially I agreed to do another bible study but I just didn’t feel right about it anymore. I left their church that day feeling lower than dirt and feeling like I failed as a Christian. I feel God used this event I saw a curse and turned it ultimately into a blessing. After talking to my friend and his father about this whole ordeal, they offered up their support and love and the father offered a parting word by advising me to read Galatians. I ended that day certain of a few things, that I didn’t need to be involved with the WMSCOG and that I can find the truth on my own through the faith and love of Jesus Christ and so the time came that I would really started reading the Bible and getting to know God’s word. I sent the guy I did Bible study a text and ended the relationship. Since that day, I have talked to a few more people from that church on campus and each time I rejected any further offers to do bible study. I’ve even tried to argue with them regarding what they teach and was met with hostility from its members and accusations that I just don’t want to know the truth. But God has better plans for me, I don’t want to argue with these people but I want to instead love them and forgive them.

    I want to offer a word to the people who have encountered this church. No matter what happens, always trust in Jesus Christ. He is the truth, the way, and the life. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Since this whole experience I’ve learned of real peace that I could only receive through the love of Jesus. Following the conclusion of my experience, I started to take everything about my faith seriously and decided to start reading my bible all the time and praying to God every day. I put my trust in Jesus Christ and he has not let me down. I’m not perfect, but I know God is doing a work in me and I know he can do a work in you too. For anyone who has had an encounter with this church, I understand completely they have taken over peoples lives and hurt others but we shouldn’t hold that against them. God forgave us through his son Jesus Christ and we should extend that same love and forgiveness to others regardless of what church they’re part of or what they believe in. Remember that we cannot change the way they see things but God can. Nothing is impossible for him. I just encourage you to pray for these people so that they can know the real love of the man I call Lord and Savior: Jesus Christ.

    I hope this testimony encourages anyone reading it, remember you always have a friend in Jesus. God Bless You.

  • @ Nicholas: Thank you for sharing your experiences with this growing organization. Your testimony is very familiar and I am glad you got out soon enough. Any organization claiming to be of Jesus Christ or last Adam and last Eve as they claim, yet mentally confusing, is not of the Christ Jesus we know. I learned the hard way with them and grateful to God for getting me out when he did. God bless you and all who are bold in the name of the true Christ – Jesus.

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