Is this true?
Let us observe what is written in Chapter 12, Part 2 of Raising the Ruins by Stephen Flurry, under the heading "For Many People". There he relates how Herbert W. Armstrong gave his inheritance to the church and not to any of his three surviving children. This is portrayed as an egalitarian act worthy of high praise, putting "God's Work" ahead of his own family.
Even on his deathbed, his final wish was for everything he owned to go toward the work so that “many people” might benefit. Mr. Armstrong put God’s Family and God’s work first. And as difficult as that might be to grasp, looking at it humanly, isn’t that what we should expect from a man of God?...PUTTING GOD AND HIS WORK FIRST IS THE BASIC THEME OF THE BIBLE. [How convenient for the organization.] Herbert W. Armstrong put this principle—this law—into action. He gave and gave and gave and gave.And he took and took and took and took the members' three tithes and more.
HWA's decision to leave his children with nothing is explained away in the following manner:
In his will, he explained that he chose not to leave his descendants anything—not because of any ill will toward them—but because he believed they had “adequate means of their own” and because leaving what he had to the church would ensure that it “be put to more permanent and beneficial use for many people.”This explanation completely glosses over the fact that HWA was estranged from all three of his surviving children.
1) HWA kicked Beverly Gott out of the church because she wore too much makeup (in his opinion) one day and because of that instituted the infamous makeup ban. This is how Garner Ted Armstrong describes it:
Back in 1956, my father had excommunicated my sister Beverly from the church for refusing to take off her makeup, a newly established taboo. From the early '30's until 1955 or 1956, there was no proscription against makeup. However, because most in the church tended to be hyper-conservative, only comparatively few women used it.(On this same topic I personally heard Meredith say in a sermon that the makeup ban was introduced because HWA was enraged at how much makeup Beverly Gott wore one day.)
2) It is all too well known what HWA did to his other daughter, Dorothy.
3) HWA disfollowshipped Garner Ted because he felt threatened by him and because Garner Ted threatened to expose what HWA did to his daughter during an angry moment. Being disfellowshipped HWA was estranged from him and was not in any friendly communication with him.
All of this pertinent information is simply glossed over.
This story also serves to give PCG members an impossible ideal to follow.
HWA giving all his money to the organization is held up to be a noble ideal.
Naturally this will inspire imitators who are hoping God will give them a good reward for their sacrifice. Alas there have been imitators such as one George Meston who handed over his entire estate to PCG.
Another man in Canada also handed over practically all his assets to PCG which began a lawsuit which PCG lost.
Another example of a man who intends to follow this example and hand over his inheritance to PCG may be seen here.
PCG has even published a Royal Vision article written by Mark Nash, "Payable upon Death", in the January/February 2004 issue which gives instructions on how PCG members are able to imitate the high ideal set by HWA. And give the Organization even more money than the obligatory three tithes that they have to pay while alive.
Rather then encouraging members to look to their families, or letting them use some money after they die they are encouraged to give it all up to the Organization. This weakens family ties in favor of a demanding loyalty to the collective. This shows a terrible disregard to other family members.
PCG members are encouraged to hand over all their possessions as though the obligatory three tithes and other expected offerings and the Building Fund are somehow not enough for Flurry's PCG.
Such behavior clearly marks the Philadelphia Church of God as a high demand group. Such behavior is dysfunctional and most certainly unbecoming of an Organization that claims to represent God.
The Philadelphia Church of God is a high demand group.