Stan Gardner, author of the Ambassador Reports blog, made some comments in defense of the truth of the controlling behavior we were subjected to.
Here Stan is responding to some sort of (ex-)COG Armstrongite who insists that the church was not as controlling as has been portrayed by former followers. Specifically this person insisted he never had to be interviewed by a minister before entering their congregation. He did not state what COG organization he was in. Even if he did not undergo an ministerial interviewing before joining the congregation, he has absolutely no right to pretend that these thing did not happen.
Such denials by Armstrongites show us why it is so important to tell our stories and to remember what happened to us.
Here are those comments from Stan:
I don't know what COG church you attend, but a ministerial visit and specific approval by the minister is almost always a general requirement required for COG attendance. Questions of a personal nature are asked during this initial visit(s) and must be answered to the satisfaction of the COG minister for attendance at any time thereafter.This is the second one:
You wrote, "I never visited with a minister before attending service and it is not required.", but did not identify the splinter.
Roderick Meredith, as director of the field ministry, was responsible for much of the Gestapo-like visit policy of the COG and with reports in triplicate to Pasadena.
Also in the link Redfox provided:The past is important to us. We must preserve the memory. It must not be forgotten.
Before that we didn't even know where the church was because it was kept very secret. (The church was only a "front" for what actually was a multi-million dollar organization.) I learned later that they wanted to make sure no one walked in unannounced that hadn't read enough of their literature to make a decision to want to become a member. Furthermore, no unscreened stranger could locate the address in the phone book, because it wasn't there. All visitors came through a minister first.
The first service we attended was in the basement of a Masonic lodge with no windows and hard floors with metal folding chairs. (I found out years later that their services were usually held in unusual places: Masonic lodges, theaters, rotary clubs, roller skating rinks, school cafeterias, auditoriums, etc..."
It's a solid fact in the sixties and seventies you could not locate the local RCG/WCG churches in the phone book, and walk-in without prior ministerial approval. Anywhere in the world. This was not by accident, but by design. Does that fit an organization that is open to the general public to attend?
And it will not be forgotten.