The WMSCOG – What Should You Be Concerned About?
The World Mission Society Church of God has raised many concerns within their local communities over recent years. The WMSCOG has thrust itself into the public eye in efforts to improve its already tarnished reputation, and with this has come a lot of criticism. While the WMSCOG would prefer to boast about its many awards and volunteer efforts, critics would consider this as a smoke screen for what really goes on within the group.
What should you be concerned about if you are a current member of the World Mission Society Church of God, who perhaps has recently joined?
The World Mission Society Church of God is known to tell new members to “keep studying” when they have questions that the WMSCOG is not willing to answer. If the WMSCOG was transparent up front about the membership requirements, many people would simply not join in the first place. It is of course this way by design. Here is a list of some of the things that the WMSCOG does not tell you until you are fully indoctrinated:
- Extreme, non-negotiable time commitment.
- Required participation in all WMSCOG activities (i.e. holidays, seminars, events).
- Perfect attendance for all worship services (4 services a week minimum).
- Pressure to replace the “self” identity with the WMSCOG “group” identity.
- Possible pressure into an arranged marriage, potentially with someone who is not fluent in English.
- Must prioritize WMSCOG holidays and events over work, family and friend events (i.e. weddings, birthday parties, family reunions).
- Donate minimum 10% of gross monthly earnings to the WMSCOG.
- Make other offerings (Zion offering, general church offering, construction offering, food offering, seminar offering).
- Participation in fasting (without food or water) is required when the leadership tells you to.
- Must accept all WMSCOG teachings without question.
- Searching about the WMSCOG on the internet is strictly prohibited.
- Must wear a suit to every service. If you do not have one, you will need rent or borrow one.
- Confiding in general WMSCOG members who are not designated leaders is prohibited.
- Showing emotions such as sadness, grief and anger is prohibited.
- Discussing non-WMSOG matters is prohibited.
- Criticism of leadership is prohibited.
- Watching television/movies, reading books/magazines that are not approved by the WMSCOG is prohibited.
- Once you join the WMSCOG, they will inform you that if you leave you are destined to hell.
- Spending time with other WMSCOG members outside of the church is prohibited.
- Male and female interactions, unless with spouse or family in the group, are prohibited.
- Dating someone within the group who the Pastor has not approved is prohibited.
- Dating outside of WMSCOG will subject you to intense scrutiny.
- If you fail to obey the doctrine of the WMSCOG, you will likely face expulsion.
What should you be concerned about if your friend or loved one is a member or has recently joined the World Mission Society Church of God?
Has your friend or loved one experienced a sudden and drastic personality change? Have they lost interest in hobbies, friendships and other activities? Has your friend or family member invited you for a Bible study at the World Mission Society Church of God? Here is a list of things that you should be concerned about if your friend or family member has joined the WMSCOG. Your loved one:
- Will pressure you into joining the WMSCOG.
- May distance themselves from you or provide you with an ultimatum in order to emotionally blackmail you into joining.
- May threaten to cut off complete contact if with you if you do not join the church, criticize the church, or at a minimum do not support their decision to remain a member.
- Will miss family events that take place during WMSCOG holidays/events or that take place in other non-WMSCOG churches (i.e. weddings, funerals, birthday celebrations, family reunions).
- Will not celebrate holidays with you (New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.)
- Will devote a lot of time and money in the WMSCOG so they may request your financial assistance.
- May suddenly give up their career in order to dedicate more time to the WMSCOG.
- May suddenly drop out of school in order to dedicate more time to the WMSCOG.
- May donate their entire 401K, savings, property, to the church.
- May announce a sudden (arranged) engagement/wedding or inform you they are already married.
- May divorce a non-WMSCOG spouse if they were married before joining the group or if their spouse was a member of the WMSCOG and decides to leave.
- Will keep children in the church for long hours while he or she participates in church activities such as recruiting new members.
- May baptize children without the non-WMSCOG member parent’s permission.
What concerns should the community at large have about the World Mission Society Church of God?
If you have been approached by a World Mission Society Church of God member in a public place such as a shopping mall, bookstore, college campus, etc., these are the things you should be concerned about.
- The WMSCOG has been labeled a cult.
- Recruitment efforts in the community target 18-30 yrs old with no children.
- The WMSCOG heavily recruits on college campuses.
- The WMSCOG does not attempt to recruit the homeless, disabled or elderly.
- The WMSCOG has been accused of being racist.
- The WMSCOG performs volunteer activities with the purpose of recruiting new members and in attempts to legitimize the organization.
- The WMSCOG will occasionally ask for outside donations through various front groups (i.e. We Love U Foundation USA, New Song Radio).
- WMSCOG volunteer groups often do not openly associate themselves with the church, but are almost exclusively made up of WMSCOG members.
- Businesses that are owned and operated by WMSCOG members pay employees below minimum wage and do not pay overtime as required by local labor laws (i.e. Lincoln Avenue Grill in New Jersey).
- There is a lack of financial transparency within the group.
- The group has sued critics for exercising their right to free speech.
List of WMSCOG front groups:
- WeLoveU USA
- International We Love U Foundation
- New Life Foundation
- ASEZ WAO
- Elohim Academy (WMSCOG Bible Study club on college campuses; also name of “sermon class” program within the WMSCOG).
- Elohist Club, WMSCOG Bible Study club on college campuses.