Here is Kirrily's story:
When I first heard of Ronald Weinland, my first thought was ‘who is this Pentecostal nutcase calling himself one of the witnesses of Revelation?’ However, I soon discovered that he was from one of the Churches of God. I knew I at least had to listen to what he had to say.
Previous to this, I had been part of Garner Ted Armstrong’s Intercontinental COG – and believed that when the Witnesses did come on the scene, that they would be from ONE of the COG’s (whichever the true one ended up being) – I believed this wholeheartedly.
After reading both of Ron's books, I was entirely convinced that indeed the end was near, and that it would happen as he stated. (Mind you, this is the third time in my 36 years of life I believed ‘the end was nigh’- which displays a certain pattern in my life, don’t you think!)
So, I contacted the Church of God - PKG and eventually was baptized (for the second time in a COG). The picture below was taken on the Gold Coast here in Australia the day I was baptized, on 12 January '08. From left to right are Wayne Matthews, another member, my mother, my husband, myself, Laura, Chris, and Ron.
Being part of PKG was great – enjoying the holy days, preparing for the tribulation (bulk food and supply purchases, storage, water provisions, warm clothes for nuclear winter etc, etc, etc) and being with a few like-minded people.
During the lead up to the first timeline's blowing of the first trumpet on 17 April 2008, I remember feeling physically sick as I believed it would be announced that the USA had been nuked when I turned on the TV. I had even convinced my husband to cut our holiday short so we could be at home when all of this started.
I remember feeling confused and angry on the day of 17/4/08 when nothing happened – what on earth was going on? Why had nothing happened as Ron had said? Was he false?
“No – he CAN’T be” I said to myself.
The remainder of this is from my recollection of events. My memory has never been fantastic (I’m only 36, I know), but I believe this is relatively accurate.
After the 17th of April, Ron then said that the damage of the first trumpet would be a process of destruction over a period of 45-90 days and then the second trumpet would be blown. Every day I was glued to the news, feeling sick to the stomach.
It was sometime after this (I do not remember the timeframe) that Ron admitted (somewhat) that he has ‘misunderstood’ and was ‘shown’ another truth which he would reveal on the Last Great Day of the Feast of '08. [Note: This happened June 21, 2008. Mike (DDTFA)]
Turns out we did not have to wait that long, as long before the Feast of '08 he delivered his 50th Truth being that Christ's return would be on Pentecost 2012. The 50th truth made perfect sense to me, given Ron's explanation of the timing. [Note: Ronnie announced the 50th "truth" and new timeline the following Saturday, June 28, 2008]
At this time my mother left PKG. However, I stayed – believing my mother had not been permitted to ‘see’ this new truth by God.
Ron told us to question ourselves, question our own faith – and how terrible it was that we probably were feeling very stupid in front of our loved ones, our family, when the things we had been warning them about did not eventuate. In other words, he turned his own failure back on us. Instead of admitting his error, he had us focus on our own shortcomings.
I must say, I did feel stupid – but not only for the obvious reasons. You see, those of us who believed in God’s ‘Truths’ wanted God to call our families so badly. Our husbands/wives/brothers/mothers/fathers and friends would begin to keep the Sabbath, the Holy Days, etc – then we would know that they too will see the millennium and be with us! How joyous that would have been.
If we warned them, and told them what was going to take place, who Ron was, etc – and those things DID HAPPEN, then God could use that to reveal His truths and they would begin to ‘SEE’ as God desired them to in His time.
When the failure of Ron’s first timeline occurred, I knew that my friends and family would never believe anything I had to say in this regard again. They already hated that I did not keep Christmas and would go away to a stupid Feast every year – to them the failure of Ron was just another confirmation of ALL I believed was false – including other doctrines such as the Sabbath.
As I kept believing Ron, it was very hard on my marriage (second marriage), and my friends could just not understand why I kept believing in someone who said ‘If it does not happen EXACTLY as is stated in my books, I will declare myself a false prophet’ – yet didn’t.
I did as I was told by Ron, and repented from my VERY bad attitude on how I felt with the failure of the first timeline, and continued with PKG.
I no longer watched the news. I no longer searched for items such as earthquake results – as I did not want to ‘ruin’ my faith with evidence that no escalation whatsoever was occurring except for financial ‘thunder’. But being in the financial services industry, what Ron had stated is no news to me as many of my peers believe we are headed for an unprecedented depression globally in the next year or two.
Interestingly, Wayne would often send news items to us via email – an earthquake here, fires there, etc etc. I did not even read them, since to me they were just normal newsworthy events – nothing spectacular. Again, I did not want to ‘ruin’ my faith and admit that no escalation was occurring. It was easier to bury my head in the sand and concentrate on ‘spiritual’ matters.
Coming up now to December '08 – and ‘here we go again’. What would the first trumpet be? What destructive events would take place?
I recall that during the Feast of '08 Laura herself directly said to me that she believed by Jan '09 that things would be ‘really bad’. She told me that she had purchased things on interest free, no payments for 3 years, and that we should do the same – it would never have to be paid back after all. She did say that we should do it only if we could afford to pay for it anyway – but this attitude seemed wrong to me somehow. I ignored my feelings. [Note: This past Saturday, Weinland expressed regret for making purchases that he unexpectedly has to pay for. Mike(DDTFA)]
Well, December came and went, Jan '09 saw a new US president take office, and Ron tossed the second 45-90 day timeline for nuclear explosions out the window.
This was too much. Too much had changed, and Ron seemed to be losing it. Too much was going against what his two books had stated. Just one example: the second witness would not be revealed until the beginning of the 3 ½ year period. Well, she was revealed to the world LONG before the beginning of Ron’s second tribulation. That is just ONE falsity in Ron’s books. I will let the people who can be bothered outline the rest.
Leaving PKG was one of the hardest things in my life I have had to do. I truly loved the people I was with – Wayne and Chris were truly like my spiritual mum and dad, Nathan and Sharna were truly like brothers and sisters. To this day, I love and miss them – and know that in 2012 when Jesus does not return – that they will speak to me again (unless a third timeline comes in).
I have gone through many different emotions since leaving, and I am still. I was not angry – at first, that came later. There are so many things now that I question.
The main thing I find alarming, is my own nature – my own disposition to believing that ‘the end is nigh’. This could be for a number of reasons, and I will not bore you by listing them here.
The battle is with myself – what do I do now? I do still believe the truths that I first learned with Garner Ted – the Sabbath, Holy Days, the false traditional Christianity belief system etc. These truths I learned with GTA and through PKG I will always believe. But do I have the strength to APPLY and OBEY these ‘truths’ with no organisation to follow, to lead me? I do not know, to be honest.
After all, I believed God led me to GTA's group – but they were false. I am not even going to mention the additional times I thought God had 'led' me into a myriad of different pentecostal churches – 'Rapture next 2 years', 'Armageddon very close' etc etc – you get the picture. I then believed that God led me to PKG – but they were false. How would I trust for myself that God was leading me ANYWHERE now? How could I?
I believe that God calls people – and it is only those he calls that can see the ‘truth’ – I thought I was one of them. The only conclusion I can come to, is that God does NOT want me to see, and that I am NOT called. What other explanation is there?
I believed Barry Smith (Pentecostal – when I was one in those days!) that the Rapture would be in 2000. I believed GTA – the end was near. I believed Ron – Jesus would be back in 2011. And I believed Ron again when he said Jesus would be back in 2012.
How could I believe anyone again? Really….. HOW?
I believe Ron is sincere – and if he had admitted he was false the first time, or even the second time – that would have been OK by me – after all, we are all human. But he won’t admit that he is false – therefore to me, he is both dangerous and a joke. He deserves to be mocked, as promises he himself made with words through his own lips were not kept.
As for his followers, I no longer have any sympathy for them. Their pride and desire to be RIGHT alone is what is keeping them there. I myself stayed as long as I did for those reasons – it wasn’t until I left that I admitted it to myself.
The truly sick thing about all this, is Ron’s dealings with his ‘mockers’. You see, Ron teaches that God calls – God is the one who lets people ‘see’. Take Mike from DDTFA for example.
Ron would teach that Mike does not ‘see’ as God has not ‘called’ him. Mike is blind, he does not understand. Ron would teach that someone like Mike would die during the tribulation, and be resurrected after the 1,000 year reign of Christ, and be permitted to live another lifetime to be given a chance to see God’s ways, repent, and live. Mike would then be GIVEN the ‘truths’ so he could choose to obey.
The disciples once asked Jesus ‘why do you talk to them in parables’ and Jesus’ replied in essence ‘so they don’t understand’.
During his murder, Jesus said ‘Forgive them Father, for they do not understand’.
Instead of Ron saying to God of Mike ‘Forgive him Father, he does not know what he does’ – Ron instead curses him to die slowly (then quickly) from the inside. That is plain wrong. I could understand, given what Revelation says about the witnesses ‘powers’ - for example, cursing the people who KNEW THEY WERE THE WITNESSES, AND BELIEVED THEY WERE THE WITNESSES and wanted to cause them harm BECAUSE they were the Witnesses. But not someone who was ‘blind to the truth’ and did not believe they were the witnesses.
After all, Ron said that was the purpose of the 2 books – they were not addressed to believers but rather were to reveal to the WORLD (people like Mike for example) that Ron indeed is a Witness, a Prophet. I won’t speak for Mike, but I believe that if everything had indeed occurred as Ron said they would, that Mike would have believed that Ron was who he said he was!
When you write something, and it does NOT occur, and you say that you will admit it if you are wrong – AND YOU DO NONE OF THIS – you deserve to be mocked – simple. Ron said a great number of things, time and time again, that have NOT eventuated. Yet he still carries on with his ‘thing’.
To people out there who continue to believe – because you ‘see the truth’ – well, good on you – go for it. You deserve no respect, no sympathy – you are fools following a greater fool. Don’t come crying to me in 2012. You yourselves are causing great pain, great anguish – just ask yourselves the damage these ‘witnesses’ are doing. A number of people will now not believe the REAL witnesses when they turn up, because of the damage Ron has done.
God will deal with Ron in His time.
In the meantime, I have learned a great deal about myself during this painful process. I still have a lot more to learn.
Yes – I am angry. Yes, I am lost.
I know Ron is false – by his own lips, I know he is false. Why won’t he quit? I no longer care.
If I can help anyone in the same boat as me, or prevent others from going to where I did – I will. Other than that, I really don’t care anymore about Ron and his delusions, and his deluded followers.
I never listened to another one of Ron's sermon after Jan '09, and I will never listen to another.
As for the ‘truths’ (ie. Sabbath, Holy Days etc) – I will always believe them. As for believing someone else again – well, God would REALLY have to help me. It would take A LOT to go down this path again.
I continue to watch and wait – but more importantly, I am now living my life again.
Mike, thank you for your blog, and thank you for the time you have spent privately letting me vent and work through things. I have never met you, but you have truly acted as a friend who has simply listened, and been a shoulder to cry on. It has meant so much to me.
Kirrily, you're welcome. I'm glad you've made your escape and that that I was able to help in some small way. And thank you for sharing your story.
Relating to what you said about Laura's financial advice, here's what Ron had to say about his financial dealings in his last sermon. (I wonder this statement survived Jeremy's editing session.)
Our finances generally are at the edge. Our credit card. We may
have one there. But we may be maxed out. Especially for many of us right now because of where we thought we were in a moment in time. And we made some choices there. And all of us have ... There are things I purchased I wish I hadn't purchased now. I thought we had a few months here and we're going to be in this and it's really not going to matter too much. And I would have made some different decisions. But I'm in it now. And some people had situations now where that's put them in a horrible situation. And that's the way it is. But we all learn from it. We can all grow from it Every one of us. And grow in some wisdom there.
I wish more would learn from this. Learn to stop listening to false prophets like Ronald Weinland. Grow in wisdom and test a teacher before blindly accepting what he has to say.
I wonder if Weinland really acted on his prophecies and made purchases expecting that he wouldn't have to pay for them. Or if he's just saying that he did so as to deflect the wrath of his followers who did. Either way, it says something about the man.