The Worldwide Church of God — a cult operated by the late Herbert W. Armstrong –boasted over 140,000 members in its prime. The church changed its doctrines after the 1986 death of Armstrong and numerous "splinter churches" formed. It recently changed its name to Grace Communion International, probably a move to cut its ties to its cult reputation and the dozens of Armstrong splinter groups.
Although Armstrong has been dead for over 20 years, those familiar with his church are still passionate about his influence. Some staunchly cling to his teachings; others feel abused, disillusioned and/or angry. Thousands of Facebook members belong to the "I Survived the Worldwide Church of God" group. Various websites and blogs continue to provide news and support for people who either grew up in the church or were members who quit.
Contributing bloggers to this site, Dakota O'Leary and Urbain Beck, were forced to attend Armstrong's church during their childhoods and/or teenage years. Dakota wrote a heartfelt article about the spiritual abuse she and her mother endured in the Worldwide Church of God.
A young lady using the handle "SientSpirit" presented a two-part YouTube series on the teachings of the Worldwide Church of God — and notes that the church's stance on not seeing doctors or seeking medical help contributed to the deaths of two members of her family. She explains that she is now an atheist.
The literal interpretation of the biblical old testament, together with the elitist attitude of the church's patriarchy and members, combined to create a strong example of the repressive and controlling nature of religion.