Saturday, August 8, 2020

Mark Armstrong Displays Shocking Ignorance About the Coronavirus

It is becoming increasingly clear that despite widespread public discussion of this topic Mark Armstrong, leader of the Intercontinental Church of God, has a dreadfully abysmal understanding of the coronavirus. He is listening to bad advice.

It is well known that many people who get the coronavirus only have mild symptoms and some have no symptoms at all but they are still spreading it to other people who are vulnerable. Consequently they are isolating themselves and informing people they had been in contact with in order to stop the spread of the coronavirus. 

But Mark Armstrong ignores these vital facts and promotes his ignorance among his followers.

But who knows what's going on with these 99.9% accurate tests? We don't give medical advice, but possibly the worst thing one could do, from the standpoint of retaining any modicum of personal freedom, is to go get tested. 

We know from numerous anecdotal stories and reports that a lot of people test “positive” who aren't sick, haven't been sick and don't plan on being sick. Once somebody tests positive, they're liable to lose whatever freedoms they thought they still had. You'll likely be told (not asked) that you must take yourself out of circulation for ten days to two weeks. Official state agencies may try to contact you, demanding to know every place you've been and everyone with whom you've had contact. They're called “contact tracers,” by media. We have other terms. Surely the information being gathered isn't going into some politically-oriented database? (Mark Armstrong, Weekly Update, August 7, 2020.)

Who is he listening to? Mark Armstrong's sources of (mis)information have left him badly informed about this topic. His followers would be well advised to ignore his scare mongering.

Mark Armstrong is playing with fire choosing to ignore the seriousness of the current crisis and to indulging in partisan mud slinging instead of helping people to get through these trying times. 

Saturday, August 1, 2020

One-man Rule PCG on Government: Overview of the February 2020 Issue of PCG's Philadelphia Trumpet

Around the start of the year 2020, just as the world was beginning to notice this virus which was called a coronavirus had broken out in Wuhan, China, PCG's 1% released the February 2020 issue of their recruitment magazine seeking more tithes paying converts.


PCG's leader, Gerald Flurry has often promoted "one-man rule" within his organization and they expect that after Christ's return the entire world will be placed under the "one-man rule" of (PCG's version of) Christ. Armstrongites have been promoting this idea since the 1930s and they are still waiting.

The magazine celebrates the publication's anniversary after having been published for thirty years. In PCG and other related COG groups birthdays are forbidden. But a birthday is merely the anniversary of one's birth. And yet appears to be permitted within PCG to celebrate the anniversary (birthday) of their recruitment magazine.

This issue had a circulation of 247,024 issues.

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

Gerald Flurry has an article boasting of the recruitment magazine's birthday.

Joel Hilliker has an article on how it is so difficult to have properly functioning government.

A series of short articles follows.

Stephen Flurry has an article about Britain.

Richard Palmer has an article about continental Europe.

Andrew Müller has an article about Latin America.

Brent Nagttegaal has an article about the Middle East.

Jeremiah Jacques has an article about China.

Longer articles now resume.

Stephen Flurry has an article about the United States.

The Infographic discusses

Gerald Flurry has an article insisting that (PCG's interpretation of) Jesus Christ will soon return to impose a utopian government upon the entire world for eternity.

Joel Hilliker has an article insisting that all will be well in the Millennium.

WorldWatch mentions that President Trump appointed a judge onto the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal; Pope Francis condemning the possession of nuclear weapons; Germany exporting $8.2 billion worth of arms in January-October 2019; a multi-nation air force exercise in Israel in November 2019; Secretary Pompeo announcing that the US government no longer viewed Israeli settlements in the Palestinian West Bank as illegal; an allegation of Iran trying to gain an ally in 2014; Russia and China opening up an oil pipeline; Russia and Belarus getting closer to each other; and elections in Hong Kong on November 24, 2019.

SocietyWatch discusses the widespread concern regarding Prince Andrew's previous associations with Jeffrey Epstein; complains that more unmarried couples are living together;  bewailing a poll that said 47% of evangelicals condemn abortion; and scare mongering about attempts to include more LGBT characters in TV shows.

Philip Nice has an article telling readers how to respond to governments today.

Joel Hilliker has an article insisting that all will be well after Christ returns.

The letters section contains this letter which showhow different the world was before the epidemic.
I disapprove of the e-mail you wrote about Donald Trump, trying to tear him down when he needs more support these days than ever. ... Therefore, I am cancelling my Trumpet subscription, having lost faith in its words by your spewing words against my president. I don't have enumerate all the pluses that have happened under his leadership, like the booming economy, less unemployment, the IRS giving individual deductions of $10,300 off singles' income tax, more blacks employed than ever, etc. Had Hillary been elected, the U.S.A. would have gone down the drain!
PCG responded in the following manner.
What you say is true. Our intent is certainly not to tear down the president. But we have a responsibility to show how his actions fulfill biblical prophecy. Where this requires exposing sin, we do so ... .
And so we see that the PCG leadership has once again produced yet another issue of their recruitment magazine to gain more converts. PCG's writers often insist that they have an outline of what will happen in the future but readers will see no sign of the approaching crisis here.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Awaiting the Beast: Overview of the January 2020 Issue of PCG's Philadelphia Trumpet

The current situation in regards to the ongoing coronavirus epidemic is terrible. Practice social distancing. Limit dangerous interactions with people. Listen to the science. Wear face masks. Protect yourself and others so that all may be better able to strive to see a better tomorrow.

Now onto the post.

***

Around early December 2019, before the epidemic, PCG released the January 2020 issue of their recruitment magazine, The Philadelphia Trumpet, once again seeking more tithes paying recruits for their organization. Let's see what they had to say this time. This was written .


Since 2009 the PCG leadership has often scare mongered that Karl-Theodor zu Guttenburg "may" be the political leader fated to destroy the United States shortly before Christ's return. Armstrongites have fixated their speculations on many men over the years suspecting they would be fated conquer of the United States, such as Mussolini, Hitler, Tito, Franz Josef Strauss, Edmund Stoiber, etc.

This edition had a circulation of 249,115 issues.

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

Gerald Flurry has an article scare mongering about Karl-Theodor zu Guttenburg after discussing some developments in Germany that were adverse for Chancellor Merkel.

At the end of the article there is the following statement in a blurb advertising a recruitment booklet.
For 10 years, the Trumpet has spotlighted Karl Theodor zu Guttenburg ... Why? We know an ominous Bible prophecy is about to be fulfilled, and we think he may be the man who will do it. (p. 5.)
Josué Michels has a side article emphasizing him as being closely connected with both Germany and the United States. The scare mongering continues.
Guttenberg says the two continents should continue their partnership. Many in America believe this message. However, evidence shows that Germany is mostly interested in exploiting the relationship to facilitate its own rise to greatness, which means this message is dangerous and deceitful. (p. 5.)
Andrew Müller has an article scare mongering about a new Civil War erupting in the United States. He denounced the Democratic Party's attempt to remove President Trump. He insisted the allegation regarding Ukraine was a hoax.

Richard Palmer has an article condemning widespread criticism and opposition towards the United Kingdom's (at the time yet to be completed) withdrawal from the European Union. Such opposition is vituperatively denounced as a "conspiracy." The possibility that these opponents are acting in good faith for the interests of the kingdom is ignored.

Joel Hilliker has an article minimizing the ongoing climate change crisis as has long been PCG's stance on this important issue.

Brent Nagtegaal has an article speculating if mass protests in Lebanon and Iraq were a sign that Iran's influence in the Middle East was declining.

The Infographic scare mongers about Iran's military assets.

Christopher Eames has an article repeating PCG's rejection of evolution for contradicting their interpretation of the Old Testament.

Gerald Flurry has an article insisting that ancient history happened the way PCG says.

Jorg Mardian has an article condemning the prevalence of junk food.

Joel Hilliker has an article about posting rumors online.

Brad Macdonald has an article condemning attempts to make society more accommodating for the transgender community. The fact that transgender people have ben a part of humanity in many different societies for thousands of years is casually ignored. He blames the left once again showing that PCG view themselves as aligned with the political right. I do not condemn them for choosing to do so but at times PCG minimizes and obscures that fact.

The letters section contains a letter from Papua New Guinea.

There is also a letter from a person who claims to have read HWA's book, Mystery of the Ages, six times. That book is greatly revered by many within the COGs. PCG got the copyright of it after paying $3 million in damages to Tkach's WCG after losing a court case. But it is a very flawed book.

And so we see PCG continuing to try to get more tithe paying converts with their recruitment magazine.

Monday, July 20, 2020

PCG's Flurry Says UK Will Lose Military Bases in Cyprus: Overview of November-December 2019 Philadelphia Trumpet

Back in late September 2019 PCG released the November-December 2019 issue of their recruitment magazine, The Philadelphia Trumpet. Let's see what they have to say.


This issue had a circulation of 246,123 issues.

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

Gerald Flurry had an article discussing Cyprus. He proclaims that Britain will lose its military bases in Cyprus because of its departure from the European Union.
Justified as it might be, Brexit puts the future of those bases on Cyprus in doubt. I FORECAST THAT BRITAIN IS GOING TO LOSE CONTROL OF THOSE BASES. (p. 2.)
He also absurdly lambasted German Chancellor Angela Merkel as "a very weak leader." Would he talk like that about a man?
Today Germany has a very weak leader in Chancellor Angela Merkel—yet the Holy Roman Empire is rising even under her rulership! How rapidly will these terrifying events occur when a strong German leader comes to power? (p. 3.)
James Brady had an article about the German army.

Andrew Müller had an article predicting economic disaster for the United States for spending too much money. But then he complains that the US just cannot cut back spending on military bases and they just cannot increase taxes on the rich. Of course it is difficult to decide what should be done when one believes the United States will be destroyed by a German led European Empire in the near future.

Jeremiah Jacques had an article about some East Germans who fled to West Germany by using a hot air balloon at great peril in 1979.

Jorg Mardian had an article about aching bones.

Brian Davis and Andrew Müller had an article denouncing Charles Darwin as irrational. Armstrongites often denounce evolution because it contradicts their interpretation of the Old Testament.

Gerald Flurry had a side article denouncing scientists for not believing in God.

Gerald Flurry had an article insisting that HWA's God Family doctrine is true.

Jeremiah Jacques had an article sbout North Korea's tests of ballistic missiles.

Josué Michels had an article saying that some Europeans are cultured but they will still emerge as a military power fated to conquer the United States.

Stephen Flurry had an article encouraging people to turn to God to deal with addiction. However it is taught in PCG that they alone are the one true church consequently this is essentially an attempt to gain converts.

Stephen Flurry also had an article scare mongering that The New York Times is plotting to talk about racism to make Republicans lose power. He ignores the fact that back in the civil rights era the Republican Party chose to side with those who opposed the civil rights movement in a move that is often called the Southern Strategy. That is how the south began to support the Republican Party. The Republican Party continues to benefit from this gambit to this day.

So this was what PCG's leaders were talking about in their recruitment magazine to potential members before the coronavirus epidemic occurred.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Mark Armstrong Complains About Lockdown Restrictions

Mark Armstrong, leader of the Intercontinental Church of God, grandson of HWA, has released his July 17, 2020 weekly update. Let us see what he has to say this time.

At present America is enduring an increased wave of coronavirus infections. The evidence of this latest tragic development are many and varied. In response Mark Armstrong desperately insinuates the figures cannot be trusted.
Having suspected it all along, we're now hearing that the “numbers” (which of course never lie) are being juiced in Florida and Virginia at least. The “testing stations” that have popped up all over the state of Florida are reporting that 100% are infected, and there are zero who are not.
But what about the rest of America? Why is the rate increasing just about everywhere else? This crisis is happening. He continues.
It's doubtful that their numbers are anywhere near accurate, but news anchors are nevertheless using the reported infections to panic everybody into emergency submission.
The problem with anecdotal evidence is that it is difficult to determine if a single incident can be used to explain wider trends. Even if these specific allegations happen to be true what about the rest of America. What about California?

Mark Armstrong continues to insist the figures are wrong. He cites certain anecdotes but the problem with anecdotal evidence is that these incidents do not why infections are increasing in so many parts of America.
You know from the reporting that anyone who tests positive is subjected to daily testing, even if they're not sick or showing any symptoms. Every time there is a “positive” test result, it is recorded as an additional case in Virginia. There is a single individual who has accounted for FIFTEEN cases, and that's been verified according to Laura Ingraham's reporting on her FOX news program.
Even if this story was true what about the other states? Why are their infection rates increasing as well? Analysts do not rely on one or one testing station but rather many different sources. Even if a few sources had problems the rate of infection would still be detectable. He continues.
There's also news that Texas has had to alter their “numbers,” after realizing that many sicknesses and deaths had been incorrectly blamed on the virus. Surprise, surprise!
This epidemic is an ongoing cataclysm. Doctors and nurses are witnessing first hand what this terrible disease is doing. They worry they might get it. Some have. So no wonder there happen to be some errors in some places. But there are many sources of information and, used properly, they will still reveal what is happening.

He then talks about tensions over the South China Sea then complains of the possibility of schools in his hometown, Tyler, Texas getting their names changed.

He ends his update by  seemingly implying it is fine to defy officials for religious reasons. He is talking about governmental attempts to save lives by stopping and reducing the spread of the coronavirus.
But we're about to take a respite from all of it for the Sabbath day. We plan to obey the “mandates” of God's Law, whether or not they run afoul of some power-drunk official, wielding un-Constitutional “emergency powers” to keep everyone safe. I think you know who wins in the end. The meantime may try all our souls.
He then introduces an article complaining about lockdown restrictuions. Bizarrely he writes as though the media is doing this, not the government.
News networks have deputized corporations, private businesses, and the public at large to enforce mask mandates.
He appears to equate his hostility to emergency measures with "inviolable rights handed down from the Creator God ...  our Declaration and codified in Constitutional language."
For some time they were patient with those who believe in inviolable rights handed down from the Creator God. It's in our Declaration and codified in Constitutional language. But they've had enough already. Now, you will submit on the basis of keeping everybody safe, or they'd have you believe that you're risking “killing people” by transmitting a disease you don't know you have.
What is wrong with trying to keep everyone safe? That seems like a strong argument to follow the recommendations.
So you're not sick? That's what you think. Why, this virus can hide out for at least a couple of weeks while you spread it to people who'll die.
It is well known that the coronavirus can infect some people without causing symptoms. That is a major reason why this disease has been so difficult to control.

He writes as though the current attempts to slow this present wave of coronavirus infections are some petulant temper tantrum against people choosing not to follow regulations. The posibility that these measures are being done in good faith is ignored.
Because many have refused to play by the new rules, governors are threatening to shut down everything completely. In California, business concerns were “allowed” to begin working again as long as all COVID protocols were followed. But then a funny thing happened. Hardly anyone showed up anywhere with masks and gloves. It's not nice to flaunt official MANDATES. So now everything has to be shut down again! That ought to teach the public that when the governor or mayor gives an order, you better obey their mandates, or suffer their wrath.
There is a deadly disease running out of control at the moment. Saying the authorities have malevolent motives does nothing about the ongoing epidemic.

The article ends with a complaint that the lockdown applies to churches.
Maybe you've noticed, the lock-downs include churches! You will NOT assemble to worship God, or the police might show up! So who do you fear? The rioters obviously don't fear the authorities or God. We fear and worship God, and the local “authorities” will learn to sooner or later, assuming they ever get over their power trip.
There have been incidents in America in which people have caught this coronavirus in church meetings. Such restrictions are in force to prevent people from getting this deadly disease. Attempting to save lives by mitigating an epidemic is not an attack on anyone's religion.

We must face reality. While it would be comforting to believe that the figures are wrong it is clear: the coronavirus is spreading to a large extent. Infections are increasing.  It is shameful Mark Armstrong is minimizing this dire development.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Oklahoma Governor Gets the Coronavirus

Kevin Stitt, governor of Oklahoma, the state within which PCG's headquarters is located, has been diagnosed as having the coronavirus.

Back in 2011 PCG's Ron Fraser, who passed away in 2013, boasted that the State of Oklahoma was blessed by PCG's God simply for having PCG's headquarters located in it. That was an empty claim that is easily refuted. Having PCG's headquarters within Oklahoma did not prevent this terrible virus from getting into the state and even infecting the governor.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Over 100,000 Americans Killed by the Coronavirus

The coronavirus continues to ravage the United States. The death toll in the United States caused by the coronavirus has now exceeded 100,000. One survey says about one in eight Americans knows someone who died. The people of the United States are living within an ongoing catastrophe.

However there is one thing we do not need to be afraid of. Some may be afraid that this coronavirus is some sort of sign that the COGs' dire predictions will soon occur. This current crisis is no such thing.

Herbert Armstrong and his imitators are false prophets who do not know what will happen in the future. Every now and then Armstrongite demogogues would make their followers scared of disease epidemics but no one among the Armstrongites predicted this coronavirus catastrophe. Some of them even chose to downplay this epidemic.

While many are suffering and need help because of the coronavirus there is no need to be afraid of the Armstrongites' dire predictions. They are but false prophets.