Saturday, December 1, 2018

PCG on the Hunter Gatherers of North Sentinel Island

Following the murder of John Allen Chau on North Sentinel Island there has been much discussion about this tragic affair. PCG has released an article discussing this topic (Callum Wood, Be Thankful You're Not Sentinelese, November 23, 2018).

First of all the title is very problematic. It sounds so horrible if you replace the word Sentinelese with any other ethnicity or social group. What if the title was "Be thankful you're not Jewish"? Or "Be thankful you're not African-American"? We need to be respectful of peoples' identities. Clearly Wood and whoever proofreads him have failed to note the unfortunate implication of the article's title.

Let's see what else Wood has to say.
The Indian government restricts tourist access to the region. And for good reason. North Sentinel is home to the Sentinelese--one the of the most dangerous tribes on Earth.
Considering that the Sentinelese have no access to modern weaponry it seems odd to refer to them that way.

The Indian government does not restrict only tourist access to North Sentinel Island. It banned anyone from going to the island to avoid problems, just like the tragic death of John Allen Chau. No one is allowed to go to the island. And it is not just because this isolationist hunter-gatherer society happens to choose to maintain their isolation.
[The Sentinelese] have their own way of life, and they defend it violently. This didn't stop Chau, who was determined to make contact with the tribe.
While preventing violence by the Sentinelese is a major reason for the Indian government to ban people from going to North Sentinel Island there is another reason stopping contact with them.
Due to its statehood, no charges can be laid against the islanders. The tragic event has led to some people calling on the protection of the Sentinelese "culture." Chau's efforts were a "misplaced adventure" that should never have happened. 
Survival International, an advocacy group for remote communities, urged people not to intervene. They warned that if the Sentinelese weren't left alone, "the entire tribe could be wiped out..." 
Yet the islanders are managing to do so by themselves: A recent Indian census estimates the population has plunged from 117 a century ago to 39 today.
Amazingly Wood never explains to his readers the main problem problem about making contact with the Sentinelese people. The Sentinelese people have weakened immune systems. This is a common problem when interacting with such isolated communities. Many diseases that we are able to endure and survive would simply kill them. Any attempt to arrest any Sentinelese for Chau's murder could very well start a disease epidemic which would decimate the community. This fact is never explained in the article.

Incidentally that is a major reason why the United States now exist. The various Native American communities had already been ravaged by diseases introduced by Europeans and this made it impossible for these communities to protect their sovereignty from colonial advances. HWA and imitators have insisted for decades that the great power possessed by the United States was a miraculous wonder from the Armstrongite version of the Christian God. It is rarely acknowledged that this power was partly made possible because so many Native Americans were killed off by diseases introduced from the European settlers.
It is incredible to think that such a backward lifestyle still exists in tandem with a world of astounding achievement.
It is not incredible. It has always been this way. But since there are not that many such hunter gatherer societies still existent the topic of interacting with hunter gatherers is rarely needed for most people. 

Wood then goes into this absurd discussion of how different our lives are compared to those of the Sentinelese people. Reading this one cannot help but wonder if the author is complaining of the difficulty of imagining a drastically different perspective?
Take Thanksgiving, for instance. A single family meal on this annual holiday likely contains more variety than someone on North Sentinel Island has tasted in a lifetime! 
As we hunt for the right-size turkey or that pumpkin pie recipe, a Sentinelese forager literally hunts for food. He has never been to, let alone even imagined, a supermarket. 
We dine in comfort with family and friends, the temperature regulated by air conditioning. The Sentinelese, meanwhile, live in thatched huts. 
At the end of the day, our guests drive home in their cars—reaching speeds never thought possible by those living remotely in the Bay of Bengal. As we drive, we listen to music or perhaps tune in to the latest Trumpet Daily Radio Show. What a different life we lead! 
Imagine taking a Sentinelese islander and putting him in downtown Manhattan, which is roughly the same size as North Sentinel Island. Imagine the reaction. What would he think of the skyscrapers? The cars and trains? The planes overhead? The day-to-day things we take for granted would be almost beyond belief for him!
Even if a Sentinelese person wanted to move to the outside world he or she would probably get really sick and quite possibly die from various common diseases. That issue is never explicitly mentioned in this article.

Actually they know what a boat or a helicopter is since some of them have seen such things in previous encounters with outsiders. Also in 1981 a freighter ship ran around off the island and the wreck remains there to this day.

He then complains that we are not thankful enough what modern civilization offers to us.
But as it stands, the Sentinelese know no differently. They certainly seem content in their lifestyle. But how thankful are we as recipients of the incredible blessings of modern civilization? Whether we’re American or not, this time of year is as good as any for considering our blessings. Put yourself in the shoes—or lack thereof—of the Sentinelese. Consider the incredible world we live in. Could we, perhaps, be more thankful for the comforts we enjoy?
Among other things PCG's 1% insists that PCG members are the only "true Christians" on the face of the Earth. This denunciation of all churches not belonging to PCG as false churches is alluded to in Wood's article.
Think of your Bible—the foundation of all knowledge and understanding. The very mind of God in print. How often do we thank God for that? John Chau carried a Bible with him on that tragic day on the beach. He wanted to take it to the isolated people on North Sentinel Island. The sad irony is that most of the people where he came from do not understand this book either.
Based on what he wrote in this article Wood seems so abrasive. There is little attempt to try and comprehend a differing perspective and little sympathy given to anyone. If Wood simply kept writing articles demonizing Iran at least it would not seem too strange since, alas, the COGs are so used to demonizing Muslims it seems normal for them.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Herman Hoeh's Muddled Quoting of Irenaeus (1955)



In his article, "The Astounding Truth About Easter," (Plain Truth, April 1955, pp. 3-6, 16) Herman Hoeh twice quoted the second Century church leader, Irenaeus, but misleadingly implied that his two quotations were taken from the same piece of writing when, in fact, he was quoting from two different sources, the first of which is not given any citation.

This fact may be seen below (pp. 6, 16).
Irenaeus wrote even more regarding the observance of Easter at Rome and elsewhere as follows: “But Polycarp also was not only instructed by the apostles, and conversed with many who had seen Christ, but was also, by apostles in Asia, appointed bishop of the Church of Smyrna . . . He it was who, coming to Rome in the time of Anicetus”- bishop of Rome around 154 A.D.- “caused many to turn away from the . . . heretics to the Church of God, proclaiming that he had received this one and sole truth from the apostles . . . ” While at Rome, Polycarp discussed the matter of Easter with the Roman bishop.  
Irenaeus continued: “For neither could Anicetus persuade Polycarp not to observe it”--the passover--“because he had always observed it with John the disciple of our Lord, and the rest of the apostles, with whom he associated; and neither did Polycarp persuade Anicetus to observe it, who said that he was bound to follow the customs of the presbyters before him” (Quoted from Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History, book V, chap. 24, in the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1 ).  
The highlighted quote is from Irenaeus' polemic, Against Heresies, Book III, Chapter 3, Section 4. Irenaeus wrote this book around AD 184 in order to combat Gnosticism.

In the second paragraph, right after he wrote "Irenaeus continues", Hoeh then switches to quoting Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History, Book V, Chapter 24. That quote is from a book written over a hundred years after Irenaeus' life. That passage quotes a now lost letter written by Irenaeus.

Hoeh does not disclose the source of the first quote. He misleadingly implies both quotations were from the same piece of writing when says "Irenaeus continues" after the first quote.

Hoeh's statement that "Irenaeus continued" is quite galling. What possible explanation is there for Hoeh to mislead his readers in this way? Hoeh speaks so confidently in this article of various sensationalist assertions he makes about Easter and yet he strangely presents quotations from two different books as though he himself saw them placed together.

Was this was a malicious lie? Of course since Hoeh died in 2004 he is not able to explain or defend himself. It is not possible to make definitive conclusions about why he muddled his quotations here.

If it was a malicious lie it is hard to determine why he misleadingly implied that a quote from Irenaeus' Against Heresies, Book III, Chapter 3, Section 4 was from Eusebius' work or why he failed to note the source of the first quotation.

But we should take that these quotes are from two different books, written by different authors, one of which was written over a century after Irenaeus' life. When Hoeh encountered these passages he likely would have seen them in different books or maybe even different parts of the same volume. It is hard to imagine him seeing these passages together.

And yet right after he finishes quoting from Against Heresies he writes, "Irenaeus continued", but then quotes from a book written a century after Irenaeus' death. Hoeh even cites Eusebius' book but never mentions Irenaeus' Against Heresies.

Later in 1973 HWA's organization began to publish a booklet entitled "The Plain Truth About Easter." The author was listed as Herbert W. Armstrong. However a long section of the booklet was plagiarized from Herman Hoeh's 1955 article, "The Astounding Truth About Easter." This section contained the muddled quotes discussed above. There the error remained uncorrected.

So many thousands of people had put their trust in Herman Hoeh's writings, many of whom did not know he could muddle quotations like this. People need to know about problems like this in the writings of HWA's organization.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Overview of the November 2018 Issue of PCG's Philadelphia Trumpet

PCG has released a new issue of their recruitment magazine, The Philadelphia Trumpet (November-December 2018). Let us see what PCG's 1% have to say now.


This issue was published just a few days before the midterm elections in which Democratic Party legislators gained control of the House of Representatives. Since this is a monthly publication there is no mention in this issue of the so-called MAGABomber or the massacre against Jews in Pittsburgh, the most deadly attack against Jews in US history, in this issue. These topics have been discussed by PCG's 1% elsewhere.

The editors of this issue are Gerald Flurry, Stephen Flurry, Joel Hilliker, Brad Macdonald, Richard Palmer, Jeremiah Jacques, Dennis Leap and Phillip Nice.

This issue has a circulation of 266,160 issues. This is a decrease from the October issue which had a circulation of 276,182 issues. The September issue had a circulation of 262,346 issues. The August 2018 issue had a circulation of 262,448 issues. The July 2018 issue had a circulation of 264,040 issues. The May-June 2018 issue had a circulation of 262,750 issues. The April 2018 issue had a circulation of 247,749 issues. The March 2018 issue had a circulation of 247,749 issues (which happens to be exactly the same as the April 2018 issue).

Gerald Flurry has a personal article in which he proverbially bites the heads of nails over the widespread opposition to the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court even though it was always quite likely that the Republican led Senate would approve whoever was nominated by President Trump (with the aid of the Federalist Society).

Flurry insists that political activity by liberals seeking to affect who should happen to be elected to the Supreme Court constitute some sort of attack on America by Satan himself.
Why would controlling the Supreme Court be so important to the devil? ... Now, 31 years have passed since the Bork debacle. Over that time, Satan’s evil influence has gotten progressively stronger. America has lurched much further down the path of lawlessness, poisoned politics, crippled government and bitter division. 
The Kavanaugh confirmation process exposed just how much worse this trend has grown. ... More importantly, that process gave us an astonishing look into the depths of Satan’s mind! In fact, many recent developments in America expose Satan. ( (Gerald Flurry, The Kavanaugh Hearings Reveal America's Lawless Spirit, November-December 2018, p. 2.)
Also Gerald Flurry insists that Brett Kavanaugh is innocent of the accusations of sexual assault that have been made public even though he is no position to prove that.
The nation’s attention became fixed on trivialities like high school yearbook entries and crass teenage slang. ... Three weeks after President Donald Trump nominated him, a California Democrat named Christine Blasey Ford wrote a letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein accusing Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct at a high school party 36 years ago. ... Ford did not claim that Kavanaugh raped her, or even came close. ... After a public prosecutor determined that Ford’s account was inconsistent, vague and uncorroborated by the people she said were at the party, Democrats looked for other accusers. They found three more women who accused him of sexual misconduct during high school and college, including absurd allegations of his being involved in gang rapes! ... 
With zero proof that Kavanaugh was involved in any sexual assault, because of unsubstantiated accusations, Democrats demanded that his name be withdrawn. ... Democrats piled on Kavanaugh, universally treating Ford’s uncorroborated account as proof of a career-ending crime, and ripping this man apart! ... America’s sexual standards are horrific—and sexual predators should be arrested and brought to justice. (And I don’t believe for a moment that Brett Kavanaugh is one of them.) (Gerald Flurry, The Kavanaugh Hearings Reveal America's Lawless Spirit, November-December 2018, pp. 1-2.)
For PCG's 1% the Republican Party is the party of (the Armstrongite) God.

Joel Hilliker has an article discussing the severe troubles in Venezuela to demonize the political left in general. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Jeremy Corbyn are disparagingly presented as preachers of "socialism" (whatever Hilliker means with that word,) in an article that is supposed to be about Venezuela. Hilliker's message seems to be that adopting left wing policies is a bad idea but that message is diluted by saying that Venezuela's current crisis is caused by a drop in the price of oil back in 2014.
Less than a year after the inauguration of Chávez’s hand-picked successor, Nicolás Maduro, the inevitable happened: The price of oil dropped. Suddenly the real costs of socialism became obvious. ... With the easy oil money dried up, Venezuela had to now stand on the strength of its other industries, its economic resilience and the free enterprise of its people. But Venezuela had none of that. So it fell. (Joel Hilliker, What the World Needs to Learn from Venezuela, November-December 2018, p. 6.)
Was it the leftist policies or the drop in the price of oil that produced Venezuela's woes? America and Britain are simply not as dependent on oil as Venezuela has been therefore it is unlikely that those more prosperous nations would face that particular problem. Hilliker seems unaware that admitting the drop in the price of oil weakens his message that left wing politicians will lead society into catastrophes just like Venezuela.

Jorg Mardian has an article saying that eating good foods will improve your mood.

Wik Heerma has an article giving advice on how to maintain a harmonious family.

Brent Nagtegaal has an article insisting that somehow Iran and Syria will one day soon turn into adversaries. Back in 2011 Gerald Flurry changed PCG's teaching regarding the Middle East and began to teach that there would be two rival alliances dominating the Middle East in the end times, namely the "king of the south," meaning Iran, and another alliance of nations which he calls "the Psalm 83 nations" which will be allied with the future German led European Empire and oppose Iran. Gerald Flurry insists that Syria is fated to join these "Psalm 83 nations" and thus oppose Iran in the near future. Considering how indebted the Assad regime is to Iran for maintaining itself through the ongoing civil war this prediction sounds extremely unlikely to occur.

Warren Reinsch has a little article insisting that the Hagarenes mentioned in the Old Testament is a reference to modern day Syria. And so the Armstrongite habit of casually assigning ancestries to multitudes of people to make their (false) prophecies seem persuasive continues.

Jeremiah Jacques has an article scare mongering about famines. It is illustrated with photos of malnourished children from Syria and Somalia. Both nations have long endured and continue to face severe political and social turmoil which are major reasons that such tragic things have occurred. Waiting for PCG's predictions to occur helps no one in such tragic situations.

The Infographic seeks to support Jacques' scare mongering about famines.

Richard Palmer has an article scare mongering about Germany and Russia by recounting the long history of relations between these nations which has shifted from peaceful to hostile states over the centuries.

Joel Hilliker also has a little article encouraging his readers to practice self discipline.

Brad Macdonald has a little condemning the dehumanization of other human beings, which is quite ironic considering how PCG's 1% unceasingly criticize and condemn Democratic Party legislators and officials. Gerald Flurry, in his personal article, insists that Democratic Party opposition to Brett Kavanaugh's nomination is inspired by Satan. We need to look beyond such hollow words.

WorldWatch discusses German MPs complaining about Chancellor Merkel; Sweden having trouble forming a new government; a call for increased funding of the European Border and Coast Guard from Brussels; President Erdogan's state visit to Germany; Germany sending military instructors to train the Iraqi Army; Iran sending ballistic missiles to allies in Iraq; Russia and China holding joint war games exercises; and India and Pakistan sending personnel to participate in a military drill named Peace Mission 2018 in Chebarkul, Russia on August 22-29 under the sponsorship of the Shanghai Cooperation Council.

SocietyWatch discusses the escalating trade war with China; that there are now simply eighty-one ships belonging to the merchant marine fleet; and condemns the State Department for recognizing same sex unions.

There are letters. This time the editors of this recruitment magazine focus on letters about looking back through old issues of PCG's recruitment magazine.

Considering the many false prophecies that PCG's 1% have made over the years it is clear that there is no need for anyone to fear or otherwise give heed to PCG's dire predictions of catastrophe.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Overview of the October 2018 Issue of PCG's Philadelphia Trumpet

PCG's 1% has released yet another issue of their recruitment magazine, The Philadelphia Trumpet (October 2018). Gerald Flurry once boasted of PCG having an income of "around $19.5 million annually as of 2012" and this recruitment magazine is made to try and convince more people to send money to the organization. This recruitment magazine is part of PCG's process for attracting more tithes payers to improve PCG's income.

Let us see what they have to say this time.


The editors for this issue are Gerald Flurry, Stephen Flurry, Joel Hilliker, Brad Macdonald, Richard Palmer, Jeremiah Jacques, Dennis Leap and Phillip Nice.

This issue has a circulation of 276,182 issues. This is an increase from the September issue which had a circulation of 262,346 issues. The August 2018 issue had a circulation of 262,448 issues. The July 2018 issue had a circulation of 264,040 issues. The May-June 2018 issue had a circulation of 262,750 issues. The April 2018 issue had a circulation of 247,749 issues. The March 2018 issue had a circulation of 247,749 issues (which happens to be exactly the same as the April 2018 issue).

Gerald Flurry has an article scare mongering once again that the European Union will one day soon (it is always "soon" for them) be transformed into a mighty military power fated to conquer the United States and Britain and take those peoples as slaves just before Christ's return. This time Flurry scare mongers about Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz gaining the presidency of the European Union for six months and exhibits hosted by the Imperial Treasury in Vienna of historical articles including crown jewels associated with the medieval Holy Roman Empire from July 1 till December 31. That's right. Gerald Flurry is trying to make his readers scared over a museum exhibit in Vienna.

Richard Palmer has an article scare mongering that the world has entered "a new nuclear arms race."

Tyrel Schlote has an article bemoaning Canada's legalization of recreational marijuana.

Andrew Müller the McCarthyite has an article scare mongering that China is somehow waging some sort of drug war upon the United States by sending mind altering substances to the nation.

Richard Palmer also has an article scare mongering that China may soon rule the waves the way the British Empire once did.

The Infographic scare mongering that China is seeking to "control world trade" as though world trade could be controlled by any single nation.

Andrew Müller has an article stirring up fear and bitterness toward the alleged future German boogeyman by mentioning some of the economic links that existed between Weimar Germany and the Soviet Union.

Jeremiah Jacques has an article discussing Operation Entebbe, the 1976 Israeli military operation in which 103 hostages held in Uganda were freed. Jacques' article contains interviews with an Israeli soldier who was there and the brother of the sole Israeli soldier who died in the battle, namely Yonatan Netanyahu. (Jacques' article also refers to him as Jonathan.) Regardless of who PCG's 1% are able to interview for their recruitment magazine PCG's reputation among those the truth about this organization will remain as abysmal as ever.

Also it is quite jarring seeing Jeremiah Jacques mention the fallen Yonatan Netanyahu in the same passage as Herbert Armstrong, a man who committed incest with his own daughter for about ten years.
As the historic Entebbe rescue was taking place, world famous educator Herbert W. Armstrong was in the air, en route from California to Italy. After landing in Rome, he learned of Operation Jonathan and said the Israelis had “showed the rest of the world an example of how to deal with this international menace” of terrorism. ... Mr. Armstrong said two months later that Operation Jonathan should teach all people a “supremely important truth” about compromise. (p. 36.)
The fallen Yonatan Netanyahu deserves better than to be mentioned in proximity to that infamous sexual predator.

Jorg Mardian has an article discussing the problem of the over consumption of sugar among children, a topic which is often discussed outside of PCG.

Callum Wood has an article discussing the severe drought in Australia.

Joel Hilliker has an article encouraging parents to teach children to enjoy getting their hands dirty in activities like weeding.

Joel Hilliker also scare mongers about free speech is under attack this time citing the recent exclusion of the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from various social media platforms. It seems to escape Hilliker's notice that the first amendment is about restricting the government from censoring opinions, not privately owned companies such as the major social media companies. That is a different issue.

WorldWatch discusses Europol signing an agreement with Israeli police; an alleged bombing attempt in Belgium against the Mujahedin-e Khalq, an organization opposed to the Iranian government which was formerly listed by the US State Department as a terrorist organization from 1997 till 2012; Houthi forces in Yemen attacking to Saudi oil tankers on July 25; hyperinflation in Venezuela; the European Union and Japan signing a free trade agreement; the establishment of a political wing within the Russian army; American airlines changing the way they describe Taiwan due to pressure from China; the deficit under the Republican created budget will have a deficit of over a trillion dollars; and wildfires in the supposedly cursed California. PCG's 1% have for decades shrilly insisted that the State of California is somehow cursed simply because WCG's headquarters happened to be in that state. However if  California was listed as its own nation it would be regarded as one of the most prosperous nations on Earth. It is a terribly bitter and twisted thing for PCG's 1% to claim that California is cursed.

SocietyWatch discusses the rise in membership for Democratic Socialists of America once making their predominantly right wing readers fearful and afraid of the left; scare mongers that about 40% of British citizens think a universal income is a good idea; scare mongering about Confucius Institutes in the United States; and scare mongering about more Americans adopting Buddhism. Seemingly religious freedom is unwelcome to PCG when it does not work to their advantage.

Here's a letter from Missouri which reveals that PCG are mainly looking for a right wing leaning audience with their recruitment magazine.
My husband and I were very impressed with your magazine; it is wonderful to see something non-liberal in this world.
Here's a letter from Ontario praising PCG's involvement in archaeology in the Holy Land.
I am blessed by the Trumpet magazine, especially in the area of prophecy. I enjoyed reading the article on the Hezekiah seals. Actions speak louder than words, and it was good reading that AC students soiled their hands in making this discovery possible.
It does not matter what PCG may happen to help dig up in the Holy Land. Among those who are knowledgeable about PCG among the other COG groups and those no longer associated with Armstrongism PCG's reputation will remain as abysmal as ever. Just a few days ago yet another tragedy associated with PCG has been reported within the COG blogosphere. Digging up some historical artifacts in the ground does nothing to address the severe problems that have been stated regarding PCG.

And so we see that PCG has released yet another issue of their recruitment magazine seeking yet more tithe paying converts. If only their readers could be aware of the problems that have been stated regarding PCG and Armstrongism in general.

Monday, October 15, 2018

PCG Denies Climate Change Made Hurricane Michael So Awful

Mark Armstrong has insisted that climate change did not cause Hurricane Michael to be as powerful as it was. PCG has also chosen to agree with Mark Armstrong as may be seen in the following article (Michael Davis, Hurricane Michael Not a ‘Natural’ Disaster, October 12, 2018).
According to this theory, industrial carbon dioxide emissions have warmed the air and ocean water, ultimately creating stronger storms. Is this theory accurate, though? Is the widespread, popular belief of climate change and global warming factually sound?
But PCG insists that humanity is not causing climate change. Instead they insist that weather related disasters are signs of (the Armstrongite) God's wrath against humanity. In this article Davis cites a British columnist named Melanie Phillips who is greatly adored by the PCG leadership and who has been quoted numerous times in PCG's recruitment writings since 2000. 
According to accomplished author and journalist Melanie Phillips, the community promoting climate change has a history of manipulating the data to make it fit its hypothesis. Why would it do such a thing? Because the evidence does not back up its claims!
Unfortunately some Armstrongite organizations such as Gerald Flurry's PCG and Mark Armstrong's ICG have a motive in denying climate change. If they admitted that the increasing severity of hurricanes is an unfortunate side effect of dumping so much carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than those Armstrongites can no longer insist that storms and other weather related problems are signs of (the Armstrongite) God's anger against sin.

These COGs say that if one obeys (the Armstrongite) God then they shall be protected from later disasters and even get taken to a place of safety to escape the alleged persecution which is said to occur during the Great Tribulation. But if they admit climate change is real than how can they offer protection to members from an unfortunate side effect of dumping carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere?


















PCG Says Iran "Seeks the Destruction of the Western World"

(Warren Reinsch, Are Iranian Missile Strikes Becoming a Trend?, October 14, 2018.)
Since its 1979 Islamic takeover, Iran’s regime has sought to overturn the status quo as it seeks the destruction of the Western world. It has primarily conducted its actions through the use of proxies, attempting to shield itself from a direct response from the West. Gradually, Iran’s strategy has led to its dominance as a regional power in the Middle East.
So, according to PCG's 1%, the Iranian government is plotting to bring about "the destruction of the Western world."

This is a grave accusation. But what evidence do they have for this accusation? How, exactly, would Iran's government be able to destroy the Western world? The United States have many nuclear weapons. Iran has none.

What does Reinsch actually mean when he writes of "the destruction of the Western world"? Does he think Iran will throw lots of nuclear weapons at America and elsewhere? Iran does not even have one nuclear weapon.

And even if Iran were to throw lots of nuclear weapons around this would give the perfect justification for the United States to launch lots nuclear weapons at Iran. If this scenario occurred Iran would also be destroyed. (But it will not happen because Iran does not have even one nuclear weapon.)

Or does Reinsch imagine that Iran plots to somehow conquer America through military force? Again Iran cannot do that. American has a military presence in the Middle East. Any such attempted conquest of America would have to first attack and somehow neutralize US armed forces stationed in the Middle East. So Iran cannot conquer America.

Furthermore how could Iran project military power against the United States itself? The United States has a military presence in Afghanistan, Iraq, Bahrain, Qatar and elsewhere in the Middle East. The United States has its alliance with the State of Israel. Other allies such as Saudi Arabia are also oppose Iran. The United States has numerous way to restrain unwanted Iranian influence in the Middle East region.

Taking these facts into account it is clear that Iran simply cannot destroy the Western world. Reinsch is wrong and has made his readers unnecessarily afraid of such an absurd thing occurring

***

But why is PCG so hostile towards Iran?

PCG's hostility to Iran goes back to Gerald Flurry's proclamation in 1994 that Iran would be the King of the South. By promoting fear and hostility towards Iran PCG's leaders seek to "prove" to their followers that Gerald Flurry is able to see the future and is thus worthy of accepting tithes and offerings of money from his followers, as opposed to the other Armstrongite organizations in existence. PCG demonizes Iran in order to "prove" that their leader, Gerald Flurry, is somehow uniquely in touch with God.

This false prophecy is doomed to failure.

HWA Plagiarized Herman Hoeh's 1955 Article on Easter



In Herbert W. Armstrong's 1973 booklet, The Plain Truth About Easter, the following passage may be found. There are a few differences. Some differences are stylistic. Some sections are removed. But for the most part this lengthy section of the 1973 booklet was largely plagiarized from Herman Hoeh's article, "The Astounding Truth About Easter" (Plain Truth, April 1955, pp. 3-6, 16).

Many sensational claims are made in this passage in order to make readers disillusioned with mainstream Christian churches which celebrate Easter in order to make such readers more susceptible into joining HWA's organization, the Worldwide Church of God. (Until January 1968 HWA's organization called itself the Radio Church of God.)

However neither HWA nor Herman Hoeh received professional teaching regarding the history of the Christian religion. It is well known that HWA plagiarized many of "his" ideas from other sources such as the Seventh Day Adventists and their various offshoots, the Jehovah's Witnesses and Alexander Hyslop's 1850s screed against Catholicism, The Two Babylons. And Hoeh was taught what he knew about religion by HWA in an unaccredited "college" led by HWA.

Furthermore HWA and Hoeh made made many false predictions that failed. From 1953 onward they taught that Christ would return in 1975 after the Great Tribulation would supposedly begin in 1972. There are many other failed predictions. These failed prophesies prove that God does not speak through them.

Therefore there is no need to listen to HWA and Hoeh self serving denunciation of mainstream Christian churches. It was an attempt to expand their own organization at the expense of mainstream Christian churches.

Below is the relevant section from the 1973 booklet, The Plain Truth About Easter, which listed HWA as the booklet's author without giving any credit to Herman Hoeh or making any mention of Hoeh's 1955 article.
The First Historical Records 
The early Church of God in New Testament times was taught that Jesus was in the grave three days and three nights -- that He arose at the close of the third day after the crucifixion. The crucifixion occurred upon a Wednesday, April 25, A.D. 31. 
The Passover was observed annually, on the eve of Christ's death, on Nisan 14 of God's Sacred Calendar. This New Testament practice was followed in the West universally until shortly after the death of the Apostle John. In the Eastern Roman Empire the true practice continued even longer. 
Here is what happened in the East! 
A calendar change occured during the middle of the second century A.D., after which new ideas began to be introduced into the professing Christian world. The true Christians who fled Jerusalem, "continued to use the Jewish cycle [God's method of reckoning the Passover in the Sacred Calendar] till the bishops of Jerusalem who were of the circumcision were succeeded by others who were not of the circumcision [unconverted Gentiles -- and]...they began to invent other cycles" (Bingham's Antiquities of the Christian Church, p. 1152). 
This same author continues: "We see, at this time [middle of second century] the Jewish calculation [determined by God's Calendar which the Jews had accurately preserved] was generally rejected by the...church, and yet no certain one agreed upon in its room [stead]...." 
This is how the Passover -- sometimes called Lord's Supper or Eucharist -- was gradually rejected. 
The Lord's Supper on Saturday! 
Remember that up to this point the Churches of God universally understood that Jesus rose after three days -- on Saturday evening shortly before sunset. 
With the rejection of God's Sacred Calendar by many in the professing Christian world, the many now began to do what seemed right to them. Not only did they begin to miscalculate the annual occurrence of the Passover, but in the East they began to observe the Passover weekly on Saturday, the Sabbath, believe it or not! Here is the proof: 
For over 200 years this custom was a universal practice of the Eastern churches. The church historian Socrates wrote in his Ecclesiastical History, book V, chapter 22: "While therefore some in Asia Minor observed the day above-mentioned [he means that some continued to observe the Passover on the 14th of Nisan as the apostles did] others in the East kept this feast on the Sabbath indeed...." By "Sabbath" all early writers meant Saturday! 
So universal was the custom of observing the "Lord's Supper" on Saturday that he continued to write: "For although almost all churches throughout the world celebrate the sacred mysteries on the Sabbath of every week, yet the Christians of Alexandria and at Rome, on account of some ancient tradition, have ceased to do this." 
Did you catch the real significance of this quotation? 
The Passover was transformed from an annual memorial in memory of the death of Christ into a weekly memorial in honor of His resurrection, which occurred on Saturday. These weekly "Passovers" were called the "sacred mysteries." A part of those ancient mysteries was later the festival of Easter. 
But Easter did not enter suddenly. It entered slowly, under the pretext of being a Christian custom. 
Many faithful were still observing the practices of the original true Church. Others began to hold the "sacred mysteries" every Saturday to honor, as they thought, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But how were the false teachers going to alter the knowledge that Jesus was three days and three nights in the tomb? 
"Good Friday-Easter Sunday" Tradition 
Let's notice! From the Syriac Didascalia, composed shortly before the time of Constantine, we have a record of what happened in those early days. False teachers began to interpret the three days and three nights in the following clever fashion: 
They claimed Jesus suffered on the cross, supposedly on Friday, for about six hours. The daylight hours from nine in the morning to noon they counted as one day. The hours from noon to three o'clock -- when the land was darkened -- they reckoned as the first night. Then the time from three o'clock to sunset was reckoned as the second day. Friday night to Saturday morning became the second night; the daylight of Saturday, the third day; and Saturday night to Sunday morning, the third night. 
A very clever argument -- and it deceived a great many people! Those false ministers twisted the truth that Jesus was in the grave three days and three nights. 
For the first time the idea of a Sunday resurrection was injected into the churches. Now observe what happened. 
Easter Sunday Begins Earlier at Rome 
In commenting on those who did not observe the Passover in accordance with the practice of the apostles, Irenaeus, who lived toward the close of the second century, wrote to Bishop Victor of Rome, "We mean Anicetus, and Pius, and Hyginus, and Telesphorus, and Xystus. They neither observed it [the true Passover on the 14th of Nisan] nor did they permit those after them to do so"(Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers, Vol. I, p. 243). 
Who were these men? -- bishops of the church at Rome! Here is the first record, by a Catholic, of the fact that the Roman bishops no longer observed the Passover at the correct God given time, but on a Sunday! 
It was Bishop Xystus (his name is also spelled Sixtus) who was the first recorded individual to prevent the proper observance of the Passover, and to celebrate the sacred mysteries annually on a Sunday. Irenaeus speaks further of him, declaring that his doctrine was in direct "opposition" to the practice of the remainder of the churches. Bishop Sixtus was living at the beginning of the second century, just after the Apostle John died. 
Notice, too, that Easter Sunday did not begin with Peter or Paul in the 60's A.D., but with Sixtus in the second century! 
Here you have the astounding origin of Easter Sunday in the Western churches. Together with this practice, the "sacred mysteries" were also observed every Sunday! 
The Romans Divided 
The introduction of this custom naturally divided the Christians at Rome. The Catholic historian Abbe Duchesne wrote: "There were many Christians of Asia in Rome at that time [remember that the Church of God at Rome was founded by those who came from Asia Minor where Paul preached] and the very early Popes, Xystus and Telesphorus, saw them every year keep their Pasch [the true Passover] the same day as did the Jews. They maintained that was correct. It was allowed to pass...though the rest of Rome observed a different use" (The Early History of the Church, Vol. I, p. 210). 
These are startling facts, but they are true! It is time we knew about them! 
Irenaeus wrote even more regarding the observance of Easter at Rome and elsewhere as follows: "But Polycarp also was not only instructed by the apostles, and acquainted with many that had seen Christ, but was also appointed by apostles in Asia, bishop of the Church of Smyrna.... He also was in Rome in the time of Anicetus [bishop of Rome, A.D. 155-166] and caused many to turn away from the...heretics to the Church of God, proclaiming that he had received from the apostles this one and sole truth..." While at Rome, Polycarp discussed the matter of Easter with the Roman bishop. 
Irenaeus continued: "For neither could Anicetus persuade Polycarp not to observe it [the Passover] because he had always observed it with John the disciple of our Lord, and the rest of the apostles, with whom he associated; and neither did Polycarp persuade Anicetus to observe it, who said that he was bound to follow the customs of the presbyters before him" (Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History, book V, chapter 24, quoted in Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1, p. 244). 
Counterfeit Vision 
Shortly after Polycarp left, there appeared an amazing letter -- said by many scholars to have been a deliberate forgery. This letter states: "Pope Pius, who lived about 147, had made a decree, That the annual solemnity of the Pasch [Pasch is the Greek word for Passover] should be kept on the Lord's day [Sunday] and in confirmation of this he pretended, that Hermes [Hermas], his brother, who was then an eminent teacher among them, had received instruction from an angel, who commanded that all men should keep the Pasch on the Lord's day" (Joseph Bingham, Antiquities of the Christian Church, pp. 1148-1149). 
Of this same hoax, we read in Apostolical Fathers, by James Donaldson, page 324: "One of the letters forged in the name of Pius, where one Hermas [Hermes] is mentioned as the author; and it is stated that in his book a commandment was given through an angel to observe the Passover on a Sunday." 
If this letter was a deliberate forgery, it was invented after Polycarp's time in an effort to lend weight to the custom of Anicetus, bishop of Rome, who maintained the Sunday observance of the Eucharist or Passover. If it was not a forgery, then Pius himself was the author of this deceptive letter. (Pius died just prior to the visit of Polycarp to Rome.) 
Constantine -- the Man of Power 
Constantine then convoked the first general council of the Christian professing world. The Council of Nicaea decided, under his authority, that Easter must be celebrated on Sunday and that the Passover must be forbidden! 
Without regard to these decisions, many continued faithful. For this reason Constantine issued an edict declaring: "We have directed, accordingly, that you be deprived of all houses in which you are accustomed to hold your assemblies...public or private" (Life of Constantine, book III). 
Easter Still Observed on Different Sundays 
Though everyone was now forced to observe Easter or flee the urban areas of the Roman Empire, the churches were still divided over the exact Sunday for Easter. Here is how confusing matters became: 
"But notwithstanding any endeavors that could be used then, or afterwards, there remained great differences in the church about it for many ages. For the churches of Great Britain and Ireland did not accord with the Roman church in keeping Easter on the same Sunday, till about the year 800. Nor was the Roman way fully received in France, till it was settled there by the authority of Charles the Great..." (Bingham's Antiquities of the Christian Church, p. 1151). 
These are startling facts -- but they ought to make you wake up to the truth! It is high time we learned exactly what has happened to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to the practices of the New Testament Church of God these past 1900 years!
For comparison here is the relevant section from Herman Hoeh's 1955 article (pp. 3-6, 16). The highlighted passages indicate that which HWA plagiarized into "his" 1973 booklet, The Plain Truth About Easter. He gave no acknowledgement that these words were authored by Herman Hoeh but HWA deceptively presented these passages as though he had written them. Herbert Armstrong stole the credit for these words that belonged to Herman Hoeh.
The First Historical Records
The early Church of God in New Testament times was taught that Jesus was in the grave three days and three nights--that He arose at the close of the third day after the crucifixion. The crucifixion occurred upon a Wednesday, April 25, 31 A.D. This historical date of the passover is demonstrated by seven irrefutable proofs which we published in The PLAIN TRUTH two years ago. Thursday, in 31 A.D., was an annual sabbath. This is demonstrated from the Bible in Mr. Armstrong’s FREE booklet on the “Resurrection,” already mentioned.  
The practice of the New Testament Church of God was to observe an annual memorial of the death of Jesus Christ. This memorial was called the passover--commonly misnamed the “Lord’s Supper.” There is not sufficient space in this article to mention the many scriptures which clarify this little-understood practice of the apostles (I Cor. 5: 7-8). 
If you want the proof, write for the FREE booklet “How often should we partake of the LORD’S SUPPER?” which explains the New Testament practice in entirety.  
The Passover was observed annually, on the eve of Christ’s death, on Nisan 14 of God’s Sacred Calendar. You can find this information in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, or even in the “World Almanac” in your town Library. This New Testament practice was followed universally until shortly after the death of the apostle John.  
Here is what happened!
A calendar change occurred in 104 A.D., after which new ideas began to be introduced into the Church. The Christians who fled Jerusalem in 69 A.D. “continued to use the Jewish cycle”-- God's method of reckoning the passover in the sacred calendar--”till the bishops of Jerusalem who were of the circumcision were succeeded by others who were not of the circumcision”-unconverted Gentiles-and ‘‘ . . . they began to invent other cycles” (p. 1152 of Bingham’s Antiquities of the Christ& Church).
Yes, Easter began as the invention of men--who exchanged the God-given paschal festival for the pagan Easter Sunday.  
This same author continues: “We see, at this time the Jewish calculation”--God’s inspired method of determining the passover which the Jews had accurately preserved--“was generally rejected by the . . . church, and yet no certain one agreed upon in its room. . .”  
This is how the passover--incorrectly called Lord’s Supper or Eucharist--was gradually rejected.
The Lord’s Supper on Saturday!
Remember that up to this point the churches of God universally understood that Jesus rose after three days--on Saturday evening shortly before sunset. Many now began to do what seemed right to them. Not only did many begin to miscalculate the annual occurrence of the Passover, but they began to observe the passover weekly on Saturday, the Sabbath, believe it or not! Here is the proof:
For over 200 years this custom was a universal practice of the apostatizing churches! The Catholic church historian, Socrates, wrote: “While therefore some in Asia Minor observed the day abovementioned”--he means that some faithfully observed the passover on the 14th of Nisan as the apostles did--“others in the East kept THIS FEAST ON THE SABBATH INDEED . . . ” By “sabbath” all early writers meant Saturday!
So universal was the custorn of observing the “Lord’s Supper” on Saturday that he continued to write: “For although almost all churches throughout the world celebrate the sacred mysteries on the sabbath of every week, yet the Christians of Alexandria and at Rome, on account of some ancient tradition, have ceased to do this.” You may find this amazing testimony in Vol. 2 of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, pp. 131-132, from the Ecclesiastical History of Socrates, book V, chapter 22.
Did you catch the real significance of this quotation?
The passover was transformed by false teachers from an annual memorial in memory of the death of Christ into a weekly memorial in honor of His resurrection, which occurred on Saturday. These weekly “passovers” were called the “sacred mysteries”! What did Paul say about the sacred mysteries?  
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come”-- the day of Christ’s return--“except there come a falling away first”--an apostasy, a falling into error. “For the MYSTERY OF INIQUITY doth already work” (I1 Thess. 2:3, 7). The practices of the pagan sacred mysteries were already creeping into the local congregations of the Church of God in Paul’s day. A part of those ancient mysteries was the festival of Easter!
But Easter did not enter suddenly. It entered slowly, under the pretext of being a Christian custom. 
Though many faithful were still observing the practices of the original, true church, many congregations began to hold the “sacred mysteries” every Saturday to honor, as they thought, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But how were the false teachers going to alter the knowledge that Jesus was three days and three nights in the tomb?
“Good Friday-Easter Sunday” Tradition
Let’s notice! From the Syriac Didascalia, composed shortly before the time of. Constantine, we have a record of what happened in those early days. False teachers began to interpret the three days and three nights in the following clever fashion:
They claimed Jesus suffered on the cross, supposedly on Friday, for about six hours. The daylight hours from nine in the morning to noon they counted as one day. The hours from noon to three o’clock--when the land was darkened--they reckoned as the first night. Then the time from three o’clock to sunset was reckoned as the second day. Friday night to Saturday morning became the second night; the daylight of Saturday, the third day; and Saturday night to Sunday morning, the third night!  
A very clever argument--and it deceived a great many people! Those false ministers twisted the truth that Jesus was IN THE GRAVE three days and three nights.
For the first time the idea of a Sunday resurrection was injected into the churches. Now observe what happened.
Easter Sunday Begins at Rome
In commenting on those who did not observe the passover in accordance with the practice of the apostles, Irenaeus, a Catholic living toward the close of the second century wrote to bishop Victor of Rome, ”We mean Anicetus, and Pius,and Hyginus, and Telesphorus, and Xystus. They neither observed it”--the true passover on the 14th of Nisan”-- “nor did they permit those after them to do so.”
Who were these men?--bishops of the church at Rome! Here is the first record, by a Catholic, of the fact that the Roman bishops no longer observed the passover on the correct God-given time, but on a Sunday!
It was bishop Xystus (his name is also spelled Sixtus) who was the first recorded individual to prevent the proper observance of the passover, and to celebrate the sacred mysteries annually on a Sunday. Irenaeus speaks further of him, declaring that his doctrine was in direct “opposition” to the practice of the remainder of the churches. Bishop Sixtus was living at the beginning of the second century, just after the apostle John died.
Here you have the astounding origin of Easter Sunday in the churches. Together with this practice, the “sacred mysteries” were also observed every Sunday!
The Romans Divided
The introduction of this custom naturally divided the Christians at Rome. The Catholic historian, Abbé Duchesne, wrote: “There were many Christians of Asia in Rome at that time”--remember that the Church of God at Rome was founded by those who came from Asia Minor where Paul preached-“and the very early Popes, Xystus and Telesphorus, saw them every year keep their Pasch”-the true passover--“the same day as did the Jews. They maintained that was correct. It was allowed to pass . . . though the rest of Rome observed a different use” (Vol. I, p. 210, of The Early History of the Church).  
I know these are startling facts, but they are true! It is time we knew about them!
Irenaeus wrote even more regarding the observance of Easter at Rome and elsewhere as follows: “But Polycarp also was not only instructed by the apostles, and conversed with many who had seen Christ, but was also, by apostles in Asia, appointed bishop of the Church of Smyrna . . . He it was who, coming to Rome in the time of Anicetus”- bishop of Rome around 154 A.D.- “caused many to turn away from the . . . heretics to the Church of God, proclaiming that he had received this one and sole truth from the apostles . . . ” While at Rome, Polycarp discussed the matter of Easter with the Roman bishop.
Irenaeus continued: “For neither could Anicetus persuade Polycarp not to observe it”--the passover--“because he had always observed it with John the disciple of our Lord, and the rest of the apostles, with whom he associated; and neither did Polycarp persuade Anicetus to observe it, who said that he was bound to follow the customs of the presbyters before him” (Quoted from Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History, book V, chap. 24, in the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1 ).  
Notice that bishop Anicetus had no scriptural grounds--he determined to follow the “customs” of men!--Easter Sunday!  
A Fake Vision from God  
Shortly after Polycarp left, there appeared an amazing letter--said by many scholars to have been a deliberate forgery. This letter states: “Pope Pius, who lived about 147, had made a decree, That the annual solemnity of the Pasch [Pasch is the Greek word for Parsouer] should be kept only on the Lord’s day”--Sunday--“and in confirmation of this he pretended, that Hermes, his brother, who was then an eminent teacher among them, had received instruction from an angel, who commanded that all men should keep the Pasch on the Lord’s day.” (From pp. 1148-1149 of Bingham’s Antiquities of the Christian Church.)  
Of this same hoax we read in Apostolical Fathers, by Donaldson, p. 324, “One of the letters forged in the name of Pius, where one Hermas is mentioned as the author; and it is stated that in his book a commandment was given through an angel to observe the Passover on a Sunday.”
If this letter was a deliberate forgery, it was invented after Polycarp’s time in an effort to lend weight to the custom of Anicetus, bishop of Rome, who maintained the Sunday observance of the eucharist or passover. If it were nor a forgery, then Pius himself was the author of this deceptive letter. (Pius died just prior to the visit of Polycarp to Rome. )
But the Easter controversy did not end here!  
Within 35 years it broke out vehemently between Polycrates of Asia Minor and Victor of Rome, who attempted to “cut off whole churches of God, who observed the tradition of an ancient custom”--the true passover. 
Here is a part of the forthright answer given by Polycrates to Victor, vindicating the uuth of God.  
“As for us, then, we scrupulously observe the exact day, neither adding nor taking away. For in Asia great luminaries have gone to their rest, who shall rise again in the day of the coming of the Lord . . . I speak of Philip, one of the twelve apostles . . . John, moreover, who reclined on the Lord’s bosom . . . Then there is Polycarp . . . THESE ALL KEPT THE PASSOVER ON THE FOURTEENTH DAY OF THE MONTH, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE GOSPEL, WITHOUT EVER DEVIATING FROM IT, BUT KEEPING TO THE RULE OF FAITH.”  
This remarkable letter is preserved in Vol. 8 of the Ante-Nicene Fathers, pp. 773-774. 
Polycrates came from that area in which Paul spent most of his time--in Asia Minor, near Ephesus. This is also where John spent his last days. Here we have many Christians still remaining true to the faith!  
Here is proof that both the apostles to the circumcision and Paul, the special apostle to the Gentiles, taught the observance of the passover on the 14th of the first month of God’s sacred calendar. Chrysostom, who wrote several centuries after the apostles admitted that “formerly it [the passover] prevailed also at Antioch” from where Paul began many of his apostolic journeys.  
Now, what happened to stamp out the true observance of the passover from the popular churches? 
Constantine--the Man of Power
Constantine then convoked the first general council of the Christian-professing world. The Council of Nicaea decided, under his authority, that Easter must be celebrated on Sunday and that the passover must be forbidden!
Without regard to these decisions, many continued faithful. For this reason Constantine issued an edict declaring: “We have directed, accordingly, that you be deprived of all houses in which you are accustomed to hold your assemblies . . . public or private.” (From the Life of Constantine, book 111.)
Easter Still Observed on Different Sundays
Though everyone was now forced to observe Easter or flee the confines of the Roman Empire, the churches were still divided over the exact Sunday for Easter. Here is how confusing matters became:
“But notwithstanding any endeavours that could be used then, or afterwards, there remained great differences in the church about it for many ages. For the churches of Great Britain and Ireland did not accord with the Roman church in keeping Easter on the same Sunday, till about the year 800. Nor was the Roman way fully received in France, till it was settled there by the authority of Charles the Great . . . ” (p. 1151).
I know these are startling facts--but they ought to make you wake up to the TRUTH! It is high rime we learned exactly what has happened to the gospel of Jesus Christ and to the practices of the New Testament Church of God these past 1900 years!
And that ends Herman Hoeh's 1955 article.

What a fraud Herbert Armstrong was. He presented these words authored by Herman Hoeh as though they were written by himself. This makes Herbert Armstrong a thief.

There is no need to listen to a thief like Herbert Armstrong.