Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Prophetic Revisionism: Mario Hernandez' 'Review of Prophecy' and 1982 Abridged

The following is a quick summary of my previous post:
  • Hoeh wrote that the Times of the Gentiles will end in 1982 (539 BC-AD 1982)
  • It will end with Jesus Christ solidifying total world domination, several years after his return.
  • This prophecy has failed and is now useless, so a new meaning must be given to it to make it relevant for today.
  • This is done in order to scare believers to think that despite numerous failed prophecies the end is coming.
  • Mario Hernandez then alters this prophecy so that now the end of the Times of the Gentiles, which in the original interpretation was the end of human rebellion against God, it has now become the beginning of the final revival of the Roman Empire from 1982 onwards.
  • The end of the Times of the Gentiles is now identified with a speech of the Pope calling for European unity.
  • Thus members are taught that this is the beginning of fearful things when originally it was to be the end of fear.
  • This is evidence that among Armstrongite ministers prophecy is altered in order to keep members in fear of the future and cause them to look to the church for protection.
  • A true minister of God would not resort to convenient alterations of old, failed prophecies to keep the loyalty of his flock.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Prophetic Revisionism: Mario Hernandez' 'Review of Prophecy' and 1982

One of the reasons I fell for Armstrongism was that I said to myself, 'Now here are people who actually take the Bible seriously.' The truth is they do not. I evidance of this is their periodic revisions they give towards their supposedly 'revealed' prophecies. They keep changing their interpretation of Bible prophecy whenever a particular prediction fails to serve its purpose anymore. And their purpose is to keep members in fear of what will happen in the future. Once a prophecy fails and is past, it is useless in that regard. Therefore it is necessary to 'update' it, revise it, push its application further into the future so that the poor, long oppressed flock will be manipulated into fearing this revised prophecy and handing over their three tithes over to the bearer of this fearsome, revised prophecy.

In the world of Armstrongism prophecy is mainly used to keep members fearful of the future in this manner. If Armstrongite prophecy is not a tool used to produce fear, then why are their interpretations of prophecy not unchangeable? Why is it that whenever one of their prophecies fail it is simply recycled and placed further into the future? Why are there prophetic flip-flops? Thus members can't ever breathe a sigh of relief, but must relive the fear and uncertainty all over again.

One example of this shameful prophetic revisionism was put on display with Mario Hernandez' sermon, Review of Prophecy. Mario Hernandez is in charge of LCG's recruitment drives in the Spanish speaking world. It was made around 2002. I watched this sermon around that time. Alas, it is no longer online. I know it was around that time because he mentioned September 11 in it. This sermon is mentioned near the end of Bob Thiel's article 'Why not the Philadelphia Church of God?'. Near the end of the article there is a letter written by one ex-member of PCG who had now joined LCG, and as the typical loyal member sings nothing but praises of it. She also praises this sermon in particular. She mentions this,
'Like, we know God is all powerful and is omnipresent in a certain sense, but is God all omniscient? The Bible says no. "Now I know you will not withhold anything from me," God said to Abraham, is just one verse showing this.'
That was in this very sermon which I watched.

It also this sermon that allowed me to find the article What are the Times of the Gentiles? by Herman Hoeh. He mentioned it. He stated that the article by Hoeh stated that the Times of the Gentiles begin with the fall of Babylon in 539 BC, and is to end in 1982. Now what Hoeh taught was that 1982 would be when the Gentiles would stop acting like animals and be given the heart of a man, that is become converted and godly and stop waging war. Hoeh identified this as the moment when Jesus Christ establishes total world domination over the Gentiles, and this occurs several years after the Second Coming. He based this on assuming that there was a second, dual prophecy in Daniel 4 which would be fulfilled over the period 539 BC-AD 1982. This 'prophetic' addition to Daniel 4 was actually invented by one John Aquila Brown in the 1820s. More on this can be read in my previous blog 'Why 1975?'

However Mario Hernandez does not dwell on the fact that he is dealing with one of the causes for the 1972 fiasco, instead he uses this supposition of Hoeh's (which the late Hoeh himself had long ago renounced, along with the rest of Armstrongism) and asks, what happened in 1982?

He decided to change the answer. Instead of the Times of the Gentiles ending with the Gentiles submitting themselves to the returned and glorified Christ several years after his return, Mario Hernandez made it end with a speech made by Pope John Paul II. In 1982 he made a speech calling upon Europeans to 'discover your origins. Give life to your roots.' He interpreted this as the sign the Times of the Gentiles had ended. Instead of its end being the Gentiles submitting themselves to the returned Christ, instead he has changed it to mean that it is only after 1982 that it is possible for the European Holy Roman Empire to revive.

And so after the long suffering member discovers that Hoeh's predictions were dead wrong by 1982, he or she now discovers that 'actually' this is only the beginning of bad times approaching. What should have been the end of fear, now becomes the beginning of fear.

This is nonsense. How are we supposed to believe that 'Babylon' was suppressed for 2520 years and it is only after 1982 that it can begin to be revived? Are we supposed to think that during the time of Persia, Greece, the Roman Empire (which killed the Lord Jesus), the Holy Roman Empire, Mussolini and Hitler, somehow during all that time 'Babylon' was like a stump (Daniel 4:15) and it will grow again only after 1982, despite all these other successors of Babylon (Persia, Rome) rising up to such great glories within that time? That prophetic 'Babylon' could not get its act together during all that time and it can do so only now? Shouldn't we see much more dramatic changes immediately after 1982 than we do now? Not gradually at a snail's pace? If 'Babylon' can only be unleashed after 1982 then it must be a very pathetic beast! When the Roman Empire killed Jesus Christ it was hindered and powerless, and only after 1982 will things really start moving prophetically. What a joke!

His interpretation presented in that sermon later appeared in Douglas Winnail's column, 'A Beauty and the Beast':
In 1982 the Roman Catholic pontiff delivered a carefully crafted statement to promote European unity at the climax of his tour of Spain.
In an impassioned appeal to all Europeans, the Pope stated: "I John Paul, bishop of Rome and pastor of the universal church, from Santiago [de Compostella] issue to you, old Europe, a cry full of love; Find yourself. Be yourself. Discover your origins. Give life to your roots" (International Herald Tribune, November 10, 1982). [We are supposed to believe that he 'really' meant, discover Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon.]

While the Pope’s words were primarily a call to Europeans to rediscover their Catholic Christian heritage, his statement rings with prophetic significance. [Here follows Mario Hernandez's revisionist interpretation:] Daniel records a prophecy about a tree (picturing the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar) that was to be chopped down, but its stump and roots were to remain—bound by a band of brass and iron until seven times had passed (Daniel 4:14–25). The king’s seven years of insanity partially fulfilled the prophecy. However, the Bible also reveals that a prophetic year of 360 days is the equivalent of 360 years (see Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:4–6). Seven prophetic years (of 360 days) amount to 2,520 years. Babylon fell in 539bc (see Eerdman’s Handbook to the Bible, p. 432). Seven prophetic times from 539bc brings us to 1982—the date John Paul urged Europeans to "give life to their roots."
Since 1982 the modern Babylon emerging in central Europe from its ancient roots has seen dramatic growth. (Douglas Winnail, 'A Beauty and the Beast', Tomorrow's World, January-February 2003, p. 23. Emphasis in original.)

Again, as can be seen here and here, this is simply a revisionist adaptation of an idea ultimately derived from one John Aquila Brown, (just search for his name in those pages) who invented this terribly faulty interpretation of Daniel 4 back in the 1820s, who made it a 'dual' prophecy and used it to say that Christ would return in 1917. This interpretation also played a role in producing the 'Apostle' Herbert W. Armstrong's 1972 fiasco. It is nothing more than a rerun of bad prophecy. How can an idea that has failed so badly, so many times, possibly be right this time. It is all nothing but false prophecies!

And so we see how one failed prophecy, which has long past its use by date has been revived to yet again cause Mario Hernandez's long fearful flock to fear again. 'Look brethren', he says, Babylon will be reviving after 1982. We are nearly there! The only way you can escape is to cling close to us, and then God will sneak you away off to Petra and there you will be safe.' The same way HWA said Christ would return in 1936, then 1975, then before the turn of the millenium, now 2017.

Poppycock! It is written, 'When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.' The Lord has commanded us not to fear such false prophets. We are not to be afraid of their fearful predictions. Their predictions have already failed over two hundred times. They are lies. Why would a true prophet of the Lord (which Mario Hernandez would like us to believe) need to resort to using old, failed prophecies if God is with him? It does not matter how many times they try to recycle these old, failed prophecies, their word will fail. We must not fear them. We are commanded not to fear them. The God of the Bible is not with them. Let us be free of them!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Thank You

I would just like to take a moment to thank the readers of this humble blog. I am quite surprised to have gained such attention so quickly. Thank you, Mr. Gavin Rumney, for giving me such a prominent introduction (Dead link.) to the wider XCOG blogging community out there; thank you, xHWA, for your kind greetings; and thank you to all who read and make comments on this blog. Without you this blog would mean nothing.

Friday, January 23, 2009

A Skeleton in the Closet: Physical Sin

This article deals with failed healing. This will be a very sensitive topic to some readers. Discretion is advised.

In 2001 I read this article, Are You Walking in the Footsteps of Christ?'. Here Douglas Winnail encourages one to engage in physical exercise, holding Jesus up as the perfect example of physical health. This was my first introduction to the Armstrongite doctrine of 'physical sin', although he never used that particular phrase. Now when I first heard of this concept it sounded very benign. A religious motivation to live an physically active life. Sounds great! What could possibly be wrong with this?

Little did I realize at the time that this doctrine of 'physical sin', as understood by Herbert W. Armstrong, was one of the very worst of his doctrines. Under HWA the main effect of this doctrine was not to encourage one to an active life but to forbid one to go to doctors or to take medicine, since HWA asserted that only God may heal sickness, and to go to a doctor to heal such a sickness is idolatry. HWA hung the specter of eternal damnation upon any who dared to disagree with this most wicked doctrine of his. It is a doctrine of death. Only the Lord above know how many precious souls have been robbed by us, such as this modern example.

Because HWA was a false prophet, (which is proof that God never worked with him) often this advice led to death. When his son, Richard David Armstrong, was injured in a car crash he died. When his wife of nearly fifty years was sick she died. When Roderick Meredith's wife got sick she died. So we see that such requests for divine healing are not always fulfilled in the manner that HWA supposed. HWA was aware of this since at least 1933, that was when his father got sick and died. HWA knew that all this time divine healing was not absolutely guaranteed as early as 1933, and yet he, stubborn ox that he was, continued to teach this most hateful doctrine till the day he died, even when he himself visited doctors and used their expertise for himself while denying them to loyal and ever sacrificing members.

Thankfully LCG no longer teaches this doctrine of death. RCM and Co. now allow their members to go to doctors and use whatever medical aid they need to use. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that RCM, contrary to his church's teachings, went to a doctor and had a retina correction in 1970. However Meredith continues to claim that his church is capable of divine healing, in this article he cites several incidents where (supposedly) divine healing has occurred thanks to him, deceitfully hiding all the many examples when such appeals hopelessly failed. What a horrific skeleton in the closet hiding within Winnail's seemingly benign article encouraging physical health!
Alas! The madness still continue unabated in Gerald Flurry's so-called Philadelphia Church of God. Here one woman tells of her the tragic experiences this doctrine has caused, and she says that they know it is a lie. They certainly do know how to be discreet with this damaging superstition. One of the works of HWA they bought for $3 million from WCG was a booklet that taught this savage superstition. Curiously all the other of HWA's works are smugly displayed in their catalog except that one, although it is discreetly displayed in some pictures, where it could be easily missed by those unaware of it. They must be painfully aware of how much damage this doctrine cause, and yet they still teach it.

May the Lord above open their eyes one day.

A Problem in the God Family Doctrine

How well I remember the moment I discovered the God Family doctrine, which HWA actually stole from the Mormons. Never mind that the Mormons taught this a hundred years before the false prophet HWA found it and called it new truth without acknowledging that the Mormons, following their polygamous founder 'figured it out' first. Let it be stated that this idea was first conceived in the mind of a polygamist.

But I had no idea about any of this when I first understood this doctrine. I had been eagerly devouring Armstrongism for most of the year 2000 but somehow I had never understood the God Family doctrine. They offered this booklet entitled 'Your Ultimate Destiny' and I wished they had stuck it on their web site but for whatever reason that was not done till near the end of the year. One of the booklets released onto the Internet was Roderick C. Meredith's 'Your Ultimate Destiny'. I read it on the night of New Year's Eve 2000 into the early morning of January 1, 2001, which is often said to be the real beginning of the Millennium. Be warned this is very heady stuff! I was absolutely blown away. I mean 'oh my goodness!' God wants me to be elevated to the same plane of existence as Himself! Oh how stirring this booklet was! The idea made perfect sense. This had to be the truth!

But as time went by I encountered some problems with the idea. Nothing that made me suspect the validity of this doctrine, but still it made me think, just not in a way that could have caused me to do the right thing and abandon Armstrongism. Later around 2001 I discovered I could most of read the works of Herbert W. Armstrong and I eagerly proceeded to do so. As I did so I discovered a detail of Armstrongite doctrine that was not discussed in the booklet. Now Meredith, responding to criticism of the doctrine, had wrote, 'One false argument against the truth of our ultimate destiny goes like this: "We can never become fully like God because God has eternally existed and has been the Creator of all that is—and we have not." His response to this objection is this: The ultimate reality is God’s will....God must have planned from the beginning to reproduce Himself' (p. 22, heading: God Is Eternal. Note: that particular heading is not formatted properly and so is a bit dificult to find. It is after 'A Stupendous Truth Explained!').

The major reason why this objection occurs is not discussed in the booklet at all, thus allowing him to hide the reason for this objection from the unknowing novice. The reason is the Armstrongite doctrine of the Pre-Adamic earth and the original purpose of Angels before the fall of Lucifer-Satan.

Reading HWA's works, including his masterpiece of deception Mystery of the Ages, I discovered that he taught that the earth was actually created millions or billions of years ago, and God had placed a third of the Angels on the Earth led by Lucifer to beautify and rule the earth till they should inherit the entire universe, but due to their fall it is now us who will inherit the Universe in place of the Angels. 'Evidently if the now fallen angels had maintained the earth in its original beautiful condition, improved it, carried out God's instructions, and obeyed his government, they would have been offered the awesome potential of populating and carrying out a tremendous creative program throughout the entire universe.' (Mystery of the Ages, Chapter 2, Heading, 'Why the Creation of MAN?') In other words inherit the entire Universe. However since they failed, we are to take their place. If this is true then we are simply God's second thought. Plan B.

Now there's a contradiction: You will be an eternal God being, but you are only Plan B.

Meredith, obviously having heard annoyed complaints from members and prospective members that has made him see that this is a problem, then says that God must have always intended us to be created as God beings from the very beginning. Even when I was brainwashed this was still a bit difficult for me to accept. So he would have us believe that during the whole time that God individually created each and every Angel, when he created the Earth, when he let a third of the Angels settle on the Earth under Lucifer as a test before gaining the entire Universe, when he allowed Lucifer to gradually seduce the Angels under him to rebellion against God because he was prideful (which could have taken millions of years to do), when he let Lucifer and his hosts rise up and attack Heaven, when he let Lucifer and his Angels destroy the Earth and the entire physical Universe, all that time His real plan was to create humans to be literally like Him!

This is absurd. But the unfortunate reader, who is unaware of these things, who sees Meredith's explanation without the slightest clue over why he has been forced to come up with this explanation, will has this ridiculous answer thrown onto him without seeing it in its true light. Meredith is trying to have it both ways: have this Armstrongite Gap theory (which they do teach, safely tucked away in Lesson 7 of their self-indoctrination course, their so-called 'Bible Study Course') and the eternal presence of Humankind in the will of God as taught in 'Your Ultimate Destiny'. This 'explanation' is a answer that tries to reconcile two hopelessly irreconcilable ideas together. It does not work.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Why 1975? Abridged

That last post was a bit long, so I have added this shortened version for those who wish to get some idea of the (false) reasoning used by HWA and Co. to conclude that Jesus Christ 'had to' return in 1975.

The explanation goes something like this:

And so after using various ideas and concepts which are explained in the last blog HWA and Co. arrived at the following conclusions:
  • The Times of the Gentiles (2520 years from fall of Babylon 539 BC-1982) ends when Jesus Christ solidifies total world domination.
  • Jesus Christ must therefore return before 1982.
  • There is a prophetic significance to the Hebrew Calendar and 19 year time cycles.
  • The Apostolic Church was only able to preach the truth for two 19 year time cycles (AD 31-69) before fleeing to a place of safety.
  • The Radio Church of God will only have two 19 year time cycles (January 7, 1934-January 7, 1972) before fleeing to a place of safety, probably Petra.
  • The Great Tribulation lasts for three and a half years till the return of Jesus Christ (1972-1975).
  • Jesus Christ gradually establishes total world domination (1975-1982).
  • Times of the Gentiles end (1982).
All that gives us the following timeline:

31-50: Church preaches to Jews.
50-69: Church preaches to Gentiles.
69: Church flees to 'place of safety' (Pella).
1934-1953: Church preach to USA.
1953-1972: Church preach to world.
1972-1975: Church flees to Petra and world endures Great Tribulation ending with the Second Coming.
1975 -1982: Christ solidifies total world domination. Gog and Magog defeated.
1982: Times of the Gentiles ends with Christ having total world domination.

And this is why thousands of people in the 1950s and 1960s became convinced that Jesus Christ would return in 1975. Those who claim that HWA and Co. did not preach this are wrong.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Why 1975?

It is well known that Herbert W. Armstrong declared that Jesus Christ would return to the earth in 1975, with the Great Tribulation starting in early 1972. Now some people dispute whether he actually did set a date for Christ's return. They typically point out that in the booklet 1975 in Prophecy HWA never specifically said 'He will return in 1975', though he gave the reader 'hints' as large as a bulldozer, and furthermore he did not explain in that booklet why he thought that Christ would return in 1975. Instead he made declarations like the following, 'the indications of prophecy are that this drought will be even more devastating than [the US Assistant Weather Chief] foresees, and that it will strike sooner than 1975-probably between 1965 and 1972!' (Heading 'Drastic WEATHER Changes'.) Or this: 'millions of lukewarm inactive professing Christians will suffer MARTYRDOM-and that before the anticipated push-button leisure-year of 1975 dawns upon us!' (Heading 'Americans-Britons-Made SLAVES'.) Now these declarations alone show that he did expect the Second Coming to occur before 1975, and I believe most readers of that booklet will see that HWA did anticipate 1975 to be the year of the Second Coming.

But for some this is still not enough. They, somehow, do not believe that such statements prove anything. They note that HWA never explains why he thinks it will be 1975 in that booklet. They cannot believe that HWA would actually be foolish enough to set a date for Christ's return, even though Christ clearly said 'But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.' (Matthew 24:36)

But he was foolish enough.

He, and all the Radio Church of God, did believe that Jesus Christ would return in 1975. To attempt to help them see that he did indeed set His return for 1975 perhaps it would help if one should clearly set forth the reasoning that made HWA and Co. produce and accept this manifestly failed interpretation of prophecy. The explanation, for whatever reason, is never explained in '1975 in Prophecy', one must look at other writings to understand how HWA came to this conclusion.

This interpretation of prophecy was first unveiled to the Church in HWA's Co-worker letter of May 22, 1953. (I am indebted to Pam Dewey for bringing this letter to my attention. You may view this Co-Worker Latter at this PDF file of all of HWA's Co-Worker Letters, pp. 422-8.) It was further expounded by Herman Hoeh in the article 'What are the Times of the Gentiles' (Plain Truth, June 1953, pp. 5-6 & 13). Here he says 'it seems that God is allowing us another 19 year cycle to COMPLETE THE CARRYING OF HIS GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM TO THIS...WORLD.' (p. 13). How did he reach this conclusion? This is how.

There are four concepts that need to be understood.

1) Times of the Gentiles (539 BC-AD 1982):

As can be seen in the article Hoeh took the fall of Babylon in 539 BC to be the start of the Times of the Gentiles, a divine punishment upon the Gentiles in which they would act like animals and devour each other in wars, and this was to end after 'seven prophetic years' (2520 years), which means 1982. In this article Hoeh claims that Babylon, during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, stopped making war and was given the heart of a man, that is they stopped fighting 'but because Babylon continued to sin and live contrary to God's ways it was punished for seven prophetic years or 2520 literal years' (p.6) by being given the heart of an animal for 2520 years until 1982. Meaning that throughout the Times of the Gentiles the 'Babylonish system' will act like wild animals, blindly fighting and killing each other. This will not stop until 1982 when 'a man's heart [will be] given to it' (Daniel 7:4) and once again the Gentiles will stop killing each other.

(Actually this 2520 idea was plagiarized, ultimately, from the work of John Aquila Brown, who developed this idea in the 1820s. See heading 'History of the prophecy'. I am indebted to Kelly Marshall for bringing this detail to my attention. See heading '2520 years punishment'.)

Now one would think that this means that Christ will return in 1982. Not so. HWA and Co. interpreted the end of the Times of the Gentiles to be when Jesus Christ establishes total world domination, when the Gentiles will be given the heart of a man and they assumed that this had to happen some years after the Second Coming. For instance the prophecy of Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 37 and 38, in Armstrongite eschatology, takes place after the Second Coming. It is only in 1982 that Christ will have solidified total world domination and all the peoples of the earth will turn to him and accept his rule. So now we have established that Christ must return some years before 1982. So how does Hoeh come to determine just how much time needs to be cut to get Christ's return? This is where the other concepts come into play.

2) Hebrew Calendar:

Now unlike our Gregorian calendar which simply has twelve months the Hebrew calendar contains an irregular month. The 30 day months are lunar, starting and ending with the new moon. The year is solar, corresponding with the rotation of the earth around the sun. However, because the moon rotates around the earth in less than 30 days and the earth rotates around the sun in 365 days, it is necessary to correct the calendar by having some months only last 29 days and by adding an intercalary month, Adar II. HWA and Co. noted that this extra intercalary month was added in each seven out of nineteen years. This nineteen year period was named a 'time cycle'. They assumed that there was a special prophetic significance to the Hebrew Calendar. But how can this be linked with the end times heading up to the end of the Times of the Gentiles in 1982? ('God's Sacred Calendar' that had been suppressed by the Pope.)

3) Prophetic Duality:

Many prophecies are to be fulfilled twice according to Armstrongite thinking, once in ancient times and again today. Often the first is labeled physical and the second spiritual. Here is a ready made idea in which events in ancient times may be projected into the future. Now what ancient, biblical, event occurred that can be projected into the future, into a dual interpretation, to determine the time of the Second Coming?

4) Church Eras:

The answer to that lies in the doctrine of the seven church eras which HWA plagiarized from G. G. Rupert. HWA taught that Revelation 2 and 3 were actually prophecies foreseeing the state of the church within its various eras. The Apostolic era was Ephesus and HWA and his Radio Church of God was the Philadelphia era, the sixth era. (G. G. Rupert taught that the Millerites were the Philadelphia era.) HWA claimed to have discovered truths that had been suppressed since the Apostolic era. HWA even went so far as to proclaim himself an Apostle.

So now we have established that Christ must establish total world domination by 1982, there is a prophetic significance to the Hebrew Calendar used in the Bible, and that the Radio Church of God is more apostolic than any other church era. But how does Hoeh use time cycles to determine Christ's return?

How do these relate to 1975?

5) Two 19-year time cycles for both Ephesus and Philadelphia:

As can be seen in the letter HWA attaches importance to the first regular broadcast of the show which would later be named the World Tomorrow on January 7, 1934, and than exactly 'one 19 year time cycle' later he should start broadcasting on Radio Luxembourg on January 7, 1953. This seems to HWA to indicate a pattern. Can they find a precedent, from the Bible, that would confirm their suspicion about the importance of 19 year time cycles?

Hoeh would find the pattern in his very idiosyncratic interpretation of the history of the Apostolic church. It is shown in his 1959 booklet 'A True History of the True Church'. Here he finds supposed biblical precedent that establishes the importance of 19-year time cycles:

The Apostolic Age...
JESUS FOUNDED HIS CHURCH BY SENDING THE PROMISED HOLY SPIRIT ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST, MONDAY, JUNE 18, 31 A.D. -- a date ABSOLUTELY established by the exact and INSPIRED mathematical and astronomical computations of God's Sacred Calendar. [Of course in 1974 'God's End Time Apostle' was forced to admit that he was wrong and that Pentecost was on Sunday. But that is another story.]...

THERE WERE TWO 19-YEAR CYCLES IN THE HISTORY OF THE APOSTOLIC CHURCH DURING WHICH THE GOSPEL WAS CARRIED TO THE OLD WORLD. It was exactly 19 years from A.D. 31, when the Church was founded, to the time Paul received the vision to go into Europe! In Acts 16:9 Paul had a vision of a man in Macedonia (in Greece) who shouted, "Help us!" Paul described this even in II Cor. 2:12-13 where he wrote that "a DOOR was opened unto me of the Lord" by which he meant that a way was opened to preach the gospel in Europe. [It is here that he has found a supposedly Apostolic correspondence with HWA preaching on the World Tomorrow to USA (Israel-Manasseh) from January 7, 1934 to January 7, 1953, when a 'door' to preach into gentile Europe was 'opened.']

[In this paragraph Hoeh, in his typical style, cites some obscure evidence to support his conclusion.] Paul went into Europe about the time of Pentecost in the late spring of 50 A.D. After a few months of preaching, he arrived in Corinth in the fall of that year (Acts 18:1) where he remained for A YEAR AND SIX MONTHS (verse 11). It was now the beginning of 52 A.D. An insurrection broke out against Paul when Gallio was deputy or pro-consul of Achaia (verse 12). A recently discovered inscription in Greece states that Gallio held this position during 52 A.D., which proves that the gospel went to Europe in 50 A.D., just 19 years after the Church was founded!

[Now he gets into the second 19 year time cycle, A. D. 50-69. This will corresponde with the Radio Church of God 1953-1972.] From 50 A.D. it was another 19 years until the fleeing of the Headquarters Church at Jerusalem in 69 A.D. Here is what happened in 69 A.D. on the Feast of Pentecost -- exactly two 19-year cycles after the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost: "Moreover," records Josephus, the Jewish historian, "at that feast which we call PENTECOST, as the priests were going by night into the inner court of the temple ... they said that in the first place they felt a quaking, and heard a great noise, and after that they heard a sound as of a multitude, saying, LET US REMOVE HENCE (From "Wars of the Jews", bk. VI, ch. v, sec. 3).

God's people did REMOVE HENCE! The Christians in Jerusalem fled to Pella, beyond the River Jordan. From that time forward the UNITED power of the Church of God to spread the gospel of the Kingdom ceased. Christians throughout Judaea were scattered because of the Jewish wars. The headquarters church at Jerusalem, to whom all churches could look as the standard of TRUTH, was now moved to Pella. [Here he is making a clear link with the doctrine of the place of safety, believed to be Petra, which the Radio Church of God is prophesied to flee to in 1972 before the three and a half years of Great Tribulation.]
After setting the pattern in the Apostolic church he then applies this supposed pattern to the Radio Church of God now (in the 195os).

A DOOR Opens

The time had come for the gospel TO GO AROUND THE WORLD!

Having tested and proven that Mr. Armstrong would remain faithful and subject to His government, God opened before him and a few faithful brethren the marvelous DOOR of radio and the printing press to carry forth the gospel. From a minute beginning in Oregon, in 1934, the work of God spread to cover much of North America in 19 years. In 1953 it leaped to Europe and the world!

This is very significant.

God gave the Apostolic Church JUST TWO nineteen-year cycles to carry the gospel to the Old World. He opened a DOOR to the apostle Paul AT THE BEGINNING OF THE SECOND NINETEEN-YEAR CYCLE by which the gospel went to Europe (Acts 16:9; 11 Cor. 2:12-13).

So now, just before the second coming of Jesus Christ, God has given His Church -- THIS CHURCH -- JUST TWO nineteen-year cycles in which to carry the gospel to the world!

The first cycle PASSED. Then God suddenly opened the door for the second cycle in January 1953, and the gospel is now going to all the world!
For the Philadelphia era the first 19 year time cycle began specifically on January 7, 1934 with the first regular broadcast of the Radio Church of God, later renamed the World Tomorrow. (HWA and Hoeh start their time cycle here yet ignore that HWA's first broadcast was on Monday, October 9, 1933. Why should the regularization of a radio program be the start of a time cycle and not the first broadcast? Because otherwise it would not fit the pattern.) One 19 year time cycle later, on January 7, 1953 HWA and the World Tomorrow began broadcasting to Europe. The next cycle will end January 7, 1972. Since the Apostolic Church had to flee to 'a place of safety' at the end of their two 19 year time cycles it naturally follows that the Radio Church of God will flee after their two 19 year time cycles end on January 7, 1972.

And so after using all those ideas we have arrived at the following timeline:

31-50: Church preaches to Jews.
50-69: Church preaches to Gentiles.
69: Church flees to 'place of safety' (Pella).
1934-1953: Church preach to USA.
1953-1972: Church preach to world.
1972-1975: Church flees to Petra and world endures Great Tribulation ending with the Second Coming.
1975 -1982: Christ solidifies total world domination. Gog and Magog defeated.
1982: Times of the Gentiles ends with Christ having total world domination.

And this is why thousands of people in the 1950s and 1960s became convinced that Jesus Christ would return in 1975.

Now that may have been a bit complicated so let us review again how this reasoning works:

  • The Times of the Gentiles end in 1982 when Jesus Christ solidifies total world domination.
  • Jesus Christ must therefore return before 1982.
  • There is a prophetic significance to the Hebrew Calendar 19 year time cycles.
  • The Apostolic Church was only able to preach the truth for two 19 year time cycles (AD 31-69) before fleeing to a place of safety.
  • The Radio Church of God will only have two 19 year time cycles (January 7, 1934-January 7, 1972) before fleeing to a place of safety, probably Petra.
  • The Great Tribulation lasts for tree and a half years till the return of Jesus Christ (1972-1975).
  • Jesus Christ gradually establishes total world domination (1975-1982).
  • Times of the Gentiles end (1982).
And so there you have it. Absolute proof that Christ shall return in 1975. Proof so convincing it was good enough for HWA and Hoeh! So we see that they clearly did believe in that they had done the impossible and discovered when Christ would return, that it would be 1975. Furthermore if one reads the liturature that the church produced back in the 1950s and 1960s you will see those writing soak through with this prediction. For example the first paragraph of HWA's 'The Proof of the Bible', in the 1958 edition reads 'Here is a book -- The Holy Bible -- that dares to write out the future history of this world in advance -- that dares to prophesy what is actually going to happen within 15 or 20 years [1973-1978.] to specific nations, including Russia, the British Commonwealth, China, the United States, Italy, Turkey, Ethiopia, and many others -- most of the major nations of this world.' Clearly he has this 1975 prophecy in mind making this statement. Also notice this statement from the article 'Geology Reveals Two Creations and Two World-wide Floods': 'Noah's Flood...occurred in 2370-2369 B.C.' (See heading 'Age of Pre-Adamic World NOT Revealed'.) Now HWA taught that God allowed humanity to go its own way without God for 6000 years than Christ will return. Now do some simple math and you will see that this statement is based on the 1975 prophecy, for Noah's flood is here dated so that 6000 years after creation will be 1975. (2370+1656 years before flood=4024. 4024+1975+1 to account for no year zero = 6000.)

Of course it goes without saying that all of this was completely false. Here we are in 2009. In fact HWA had earlier used this 2520 year Times of the Gentiles to predict, in a chart on page 3 of the June-July 1934 issue of The Plain Truth that Christ would return in 1936. That time he said the start of the Times of the Gentiles was the fall of Judah in 586 BC and therefore Christ must return 2520 years later in 1936. He also used the pyramidological prediction of David Davidson to reach this conclusion.

After the ignominious failure of the 1972 prophecy HWA tried to get out of this mess he had walked into and claimed that he never claimed to be a prophet and therefore the failure of this prophecy did not invalidate him. After this he was much more careful in setting dates for the Second Coming. However a prophet is one who claims to have acquired revealed knowledge from God that no one else is privileged to. Jeremiah had revealed to him that Judah would fall to Babylon. HWA claimed that God was not working through any other church. Any who kept Sunday were simply keeping the Mark of the Beast. He claimed that secret truths were being revealed to him and his church alone. He made prediction on what happen in the near future, like Jeremiah. Jeremiah said Judah shall fall to Babylon. It happened. HWA said the US will fall into slavery but Jesus Christ will return to save them in 1975. It did not happen.

What does the God of the Bible of prophets, preachers who make up such false prophecies? 'When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.' (Deuteronomy 18:22). Did you read that. You are not to fear such a prophet. His prophecies cannot hurt you. God is not working through him. He has no proper authority to demand three tithes from you. And neither do any of his petty wannabe successors, like Roderick C. Meredith who simply uses the false prophecies of '1975 in Prophecy'--with a few modern additions such as the end time King of the South, and pushing it forward, just 10 to 25 years ahead-- to make people scared and willing to hand over money to him and his organization. Alas, these people, of which I was one till very recently, do not know that God commands them not to fear such people, not to give them respect due to a man of God.

HWA is a false prophet. He must be denounced as such. He did predict 1975 as the date of Christ's Second Coming. Those who say it was just speculation, it was not an actual set prophecy, are wrong. This proves that God is not working through him and we must not follow him.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Meredith's Selective Memory of HWA

Here is how Meredith presents HWA to his followers.
This is a special week to me, personally. For exactly 60 years ago this week, the Eternal God led me to Ambassador College in Pasadena, CA. There, as a “pioneer” student, I was personally instructed in the Bible and the whole purpose of life by Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong—a man many of you have heard about. This man was used by God to “restore” more biblical Truth to the Church of God than any other human being for hundreds of years! He was used by Almighty God to reach tens of millions of people all around the world with the knowledge that the very real kingdom—or government—of Almighty God would soon be set up on this earth based on the laws of God.

Decades before the events happened, Herbert W. Armstrong predicted that the nations of eastern Europe would break free from the Soviet Union and that the Berlin Wall would come down!
HWA did believe that some eastern European nations would break away from the USSR's dominance and enter a united Europe, however he also believed that the USSR would survive this and would continue to exist till several years after Christ's return in 1975 to have its military destroyed in the destruction of Gog and Magog. This is not an honest portrayal of what HWA actually believed. It carefully hides the countless false prophecies HWA produced.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tithing: A Lie of Omission

I am about to tackle the ever so important and touchy topic of tithing within Armstrongism. This topic will no doubt cause a lot of sad and painful memories to many who were involved in Armstrongism. I wish to warn any readers that this may be found to be disturbing to you. However I feel that the truth must be made known no matter how painful the truth may be.

When I started reading LCG's writings I had never heard of tithing. I first came onto it when I read the article 'Should You TITHE?' by Roderick C. Meredith in the March-April, 2001 edition of Tomorrow's World. There he preaches a highly seductive prosperity gospel insisting that if you just give one-tenth of your money to God's 'true representatives', the 'true ministers of God', (my! what humble folk!) you will be given prosperity and God will see you financially blessed.

To make it sound easy to just habitually toss away a tenth of all your hard-earned money to Roderick C. Meredith and Co. he emphasizes that you still have nine-tenth of your money so why complain? God, he says, ' only asks that you pay Him ONE-TENTH of what you produce in return!' (p.7). The unassuming reader, such as myself, will read it and assume you only have to pay only one tithe.

This unassuming reader would be tragically and terribly wrong! Unknown to this reader, Roderick C. Meredith and Co. do not just want one tithe from you. They actually expect you to pay them three tithes! You are bound to pay them thirty percent of all your money. This article gives one absolutely no indication of the Armstrongite doctrine of 2ed and 3rd tithe!

Those particular doctrines seem to have been first promulgated by HWA in the 1940s. On October 3, 1945 HWA sent a Good News Member Letter [Update: Dead link.] where he begged his sheep to pay the second tithe. 'And start NOW to set aside, where you won't and can't touch it for any other purpose, that SECOND TITHE God has ordained to cover you expenses at Passover, Pentecost, and next year's Feast of Tabernacles!...The time to start that second tithe is NOW.'

These extra tithes were to prove highly useful to HWA and his organization. It was these doctrines that allowed the Worldwide Church of God to raise up an annual income of $80 million a year by 1979 and even $200 million by the mid-eighties. Despite the low amount of people watching their program. (See 'Gallup Ranks the TV Evangelists' at Ambassador Report, January 1986 at the atheist/agnostic/deist Painful Truth website.)

Such money allowed HWA to enjoy a fabulously opulent existence, eating off of the Tsar's tableware, visiting world leaders. All this being funded by the unfortunate tithe payers who were driven into poverty paying to the church 30% of all their money (the minimum requirement is taught by Armstrongism to be by definition 'not enough', thus members must pay even more!). HWA promised that blessings would pour down upon those who would pay up, but as has already been shown HWA was not a part of a true church so no blessings would arrive. They were, instead, robbed and driven into poverty as the quoted letter in the last link make all too plain. As if all this was not enough they were although intimidated by the church's policy of checking up on member's tithes payments, a draconian measure which was instituted in 1968 by Roderick C. Meredith himself (!!) as revealed by a former director of Ambassador College Data Processing Center. However their 'Apostle' failed to live up to such harsh standards, as he himself failed to 'tithe on each paycheck', which the members were compelled to do (see last paragraph above the last illustration in the previous link). Alas all the heartache and pain inflicted upon the membership of WCG has not caused Roderick C. Meredith to change in the slightest. Instead he uses the tithes money from long suffering and long awaiting tithes payers to live like this.

None of this vital information about LCG's demand for the two extra tithes is given in Roderick C. Meredith's ever so deceitful article. Tomorrow's World never mentioned those doctrines in all the eight years that I have read them. Obviously they do not mention this until they feel confident that you will accept whatever they tell you to do. This is rank deception, as low as a no good scam artist. That is what Roderick C. Meredith and Co. are. Although I have no doubt that many fine, highly idealistic believers must honor LCG with their presence, sadly such idealism is not to be found among the leadership, which hide doctrines they are embarrassed about until they know that the prospective member will just glibly accept them. This is not honest! This is not how a servant of the Lord is supposed to act! How dare this Roderick C. Meredith claim that the great God who created Heaven and Earth and all that is in them! May all those caught up in Meredithism and all the other various forms of Armstrongism awaken from this tragic error.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

HWA and Jeremiah

After I read 'A Treasury of Famous Prophecies' an image formed in my head. I recalled this specific picture from The Picture Bible, which I used to read before I discovered Armstrongism. It contained an account of the Prophet Jeremiah, and it had one picture of him, walking away from some figures in the background, on p. 504 in my copy. He is saying to them that Babylon will conquer Judah despite an apparent victory for Judah. Of course he turned out to have his prophecy fulfilled and Babylon did prevail.

Then I thought, image if it was HWA instead of Jeremiah, image it is the USA in the middle of World War II. What did HWA say? ""Thus saith the Lord,"--to us, NOW--"Thy bruise is incurable....I have wounded thee with the chastisement of a cruel one"....Is not Hitler that "CRUEL ONE?" The last sentence of this chapter of prophecy says: "In the latter days ye shall consider it." That is NOW! The prophecies show America, as well as Britain, is in mortal danger, now, of invasion, of utter defeat-of captivity!" ( Herbert W. Armstrong, 'America Stands in Mortal DANGER, Now!' The Plain Truth, p. 2) He clearly believed that Hitler would triumph then. He believed his prophecies would be fulfilled then, not 60 years later.

What if Jeremiah had such a successful track record as the 'Apostle' and 'End Time Elijah' HWA? We get some indication of the answer with the fate of Hananiah in Jeremiah 28. There Hananiah said the following: "Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon. Within two full years will I bring again into this place all the vessels of the LORD's house, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place, and carried them to Babylon: And I will bring again to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, with all the captives of Judah, that went into Babylon, saith the LORD: for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon." (v. 2-4). Then Jeremiah rebuked him and said "The LORD hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie. Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou hast taught rebellion against the LORD" (v. 15-16). And what was the result? "So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month" (v. 17).

As far I can tell this Hananiah only ever made one false prophecy, and the Bible condemns him as a false prophet. HWA and Co. have made countless false prophecies, you have already read one. By that standard this Hananiah had a far, far better track record than the 'End Time Elijah' had. For anyone to continue to listen to HWA or any of his successors, especially in regards to prophecy, is irrational. They failed the test. "When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him" (Deuteronomy 18:22). If I was made aware of these false prophecies before I became hooked on Armstrongism I never would have accepted it.

Friday, January 2, 2009

A Lie That Tricked Me

I first encountered Armstrongism back in early 2000. I had watched some TV and my program had just finished so I changed the channel looking for something else and I saw the man I would later know as Richard Ames presenting some program concerning the prophecy of Daniel 2. Now I had always believed in the Bible and naturally I was quite interested in what this man was saying. So next week I saw the next show and this time I saw the man I would know as Roderick C. Meredith. He was presenting a show on how to show love to one another. They had a magazine that was free so I got a subscription. Alas, many unwary souls have been ensnared in this manner. I also went to their website and was very happy to see that all the magazines were readable over the internet. As I read more and more I became totally convinced that they had the truth, and, as far as I could, or could be bothered to, I tried to live the way they recommended for me.

Unknown to me I was simply being tricked. Like low down scam artists they were tricking me to accept their beliefs and to make me submit to their dictates. They would tell many impressive things to me through their telecast and writings, but now I see that a lot of their heady claims of divine sanction are flat-out wrong or presented in a highly distorted manner. One assertion they made that really had me impressed and willing to accept them was the claim that their predecessor, Herbert W. Armstrong (I had no idea who that man was at the time) had successfully predicted the fall of the Iron Curtain nearly 50 years ago.
It was an understanding of [biblical] prophecies that led Herbert W. Armstrong, our predecessor in this Work of God, to write in the April 1952 Plain Truth, at a time when the Russian boot seemed permanently planted on eastern Europe, that East Germany would be reunited with West Germany and that Russia would "be forced to relinquish her control over Hungary, Czechoslovakia and parts of Austria" (p. 16). (John Ogwyn, 'NATO at 50--Historic Past, Hopeful Future?', Tomorrow's World, May-June 1999, p. 11.)
Similar claims were also made in his booklet 'The Beast of Revelation'.
As far back as the April 1952 Plain Truth, Herbert W. Armstrong had written that East Germany would be returned to West Germany and that Russia “will be forced to relinquish her control over Hungary, Czechoslovakia and parts of Austria” (p. 16). In 1956, following Russia’s invasion of Hungary, when it seemed that the “Iron Curtain” had inexorably fallen on the nations of eastern Europe, Mr. Armstrong wrote: “The way is being prepared for a colossal third force in world politics—a European Federation of Nations more powerful than either Russia or the United States!… We have shown years in advance what would happen to Russia’s ill-fated Empire in Eastern Europe” (Plain Truth, December 1956, p. 3). (John Ogwyn, 'The Beast of Revelation', p. 2.)
(Note: I am quoting from the first edition which incorrectly identified the first article as coming from The Plain Truth instead of The Good News. LCG have now corrected this.)

This seemed like astonishing prophetic accomplishments. Surely the hand of God must be working through these people, and this Herbert W. Armstrong. No one else foresaw the fall of the Iron Curtain so accurately, I thought. So I wholeheartedly accepted their religion. I believed that they were the possessors of the truth.

This presentation of HWA is astonishingly deceptive. This gives absolutely no indication of the many failed prophecies he and his associates made, including Roderick C. Meredith. This gives no indication that HWA, from at least 1953, made many of his prophecies on the assumption that Christ would return by 1975, and that furthermore HWA made many other false prophecies before adopting his 1975 doctrine.

Eventually I all this when I used the Internet to read up on this Herbert W. Armstrong. I read an awful lot about him. I discovered that HWA wrote in 1956 a booklet, 1975 in Prophecy, that confidently predicted that the Great Tribulation would occur by 1975. I also read Herman Hoeh's history of the church which mentioned something about the Apostolic Church having only two 19-year time cycles (whatever those were) from A.D. 31-69 and therefore the church of today (1950s) only had two 19-year time cycles (1934-1972) until the work would be cut off and restrained.

Later I found a website that contained many old copies of The Plain Truth. Being the believer that I was I began to read them from the very beginning. I ended up stopping around 1952. Reading those I learned many things that they had deceptively hid from me. I learned that HWA announced that Mussolini was the 'Beast', then around 1940 he changed his mind and made Hitler the 'Beast'. Consequently his 'understanding of [biblical] prophecies' led him to declare that the USA was doomed (wrong) and would not only lose the war but be totally conquered by the Nazis (wrong) and sent into exile to work as slaves until Jesus Christ returns at the last minute and liberates 'Israel' from Gentile oppression (wrong). Then when Hitler lost HWA continued to insist that Hitler was alive (wrong), and not only was he alive but he was hiding in a secret base nestled within frozen Antarctica (wrong), and he would return to power (wrong), claim to have been divinely resurrected (wrong), the Pope would proclaim his return to be a miraculous resurrection (wrong), and the people of Europe would rally around him and destroy Britain and the USA (wrong again). (Shows how well he understood the situation in Europe! Everyone, including the Germans had had more than enough of Hitler. If he emerged out of hiding he would have taken out by a lynch mob unless he had strong police protection. As HWA would say, 'What poppycock!') He was still saying Hitler was alive in 1952. (Later I would learn such ridiculous statements would again in The Plain Truth appear as late as 1965!)

They never mentioned any of this to me in their telecasts or magazines! If someone, anyone had told me of the many false prophecies of HWA and his followers before I became hooked on them I never would have accepted them. Reading all this information should have made me suspicious of this religion, but alas! I had long ago suspended critical thought towards Armstrongism. I had firmly shut out any critical thoughts towards Armstrongism out of my head. I was utterly under its spell. So totally was I a believer. I had all the 'proofs' in my head which made me disregard anything that should have made me have doubts towards my religion.

Then last October I finally got out of it. I decided to read the other side of the story and began to read Ambassador Report on the Painful Truth website. I was looking at the contents for #1 and I saw one article entitled 'A Treasury of Famous Prophecies.' Knowing what HWA said in the 1930s and 1940s I knew with a sinking feeling what to expect. I saw those words of scripture 'When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath NOT SPOKEN, but the prophet hath spoken it PRESUMPTUOUSLY: thou shalt not be afraid of him.' (Deuteronomy 18:22, emphasis mine). I then read all the many preposterous things that the Armstrongite prophets had said. I knew then that I had been deceived by Roderick C. Meredith! I had entrusted my soul to a lie! The Living Church of God had deceived me! Oh how often they denounce other churches for deceiving all the 'professing Christians' and yet they had lied to me in such a low down way. They praised the prophetic accuracy of their Apostle HWA when he most emphatically he and those with him including Roderick C. Meredith had made 200 false prophecies! That organization had lied to me. I knew then that God who cannot lie could not possibly be working through them. I renounced Armstrongism. It is a lie. I am very glad to have finally gotten over that religion.

Why This Blog Had To Made

From early 2000 until just last October I was a believer in Armstrongism. My specific allegiance was to the Living Church of God led by Roderick C. Meredith. Beginning last October I have come to the sad realization that I was tricked into believing Armstrongism and that it is little more than a mind control cult. After discovering it was false I have felt a terrible disappointment as this cult's teachings have caused me to place many unnecessary burdens upon those closest to me (particularly in regard to food) and I had been trying to conform myself to impossible ideals in vain. Because I finally was willing to start thinking for myself I discovered that God could not have possibly have worked with Herbert W. Armstrong or his successors, including Roderick C. Meredith, all my sacrifices to raise myself up to their ideals were in vain. I been following a false prophet. A dead end. May anyone thinking of embracing this religion think again and avoid the terrible waste of effort that I went through.

Although my experience has been bad I only embraced this religion from a distance, by reading of it. I never attended a church. I have not lost much materially because of them, unlike many others out there. I never met anyone else who embraced Armstrongism so I personally faced no social pressures within the church. Alas, many others, many of you, have lost much more because of this deceptive cult.

Discovering the falsity of my deeply cherished belief in Armstrongism I feel it is my duty to try and warn anyone out there about this religion. My plan is to relate certain experiences about this religion in the hope that I may be of help to any reader out there, particularly my own experience with LCG to add in my own five cents worth to the many excellent critiques of Armstrongism around.