Friday, April 24, 2009

The Packatollah and Disfollowshipping

Dave Pack is one of the more infamous ministers associated with Armstrongism. Norm Edwards provides a devastating portrait of him, saying that he is a ravenous wolf, trigger happy with his authority, unreasonably demanding, leaving behind "hundreds of pages of call logs, letters, e-mails" detailing his many failings. Even as early as 1985 AR32 exposed him as a particularly abusive controller. It was reported that "For a number of years now [even before 1985], no WCG minister's name has appeared more often in letters written to the [Ambassador] Report complaining of ministerial abuse." LCG apologist Bob Thiel also discusses him. He calls himself an Apostle, and has had demanded his flock to give their assets to him. Alas people are still falling for this this notorious man. (See April 21 Letter.)

In the recently released Vita Packatollah Dave Pack talks about the savage act of disfollowshipping in Chapter 26. Let us see what we can learn by observing what he says about this subject (Emphases mine throughout the blog):

The heading for this section is "God’s Math—“Subtract Problems, Add Growth”". We now continue:

Normal math is subtract from the whole and you have less. God’s math is different.

[This is Dave Pack himself speaking:]“I learned early God’s ‘addition by subtraction’ principle: subtract problems from the congregation, and attendance goes up, not down. This vital principle largely defined my ministry over the years. I implemented it in every pastorate, all of which were troubled when we arrived. Eliminate noisy, disruptive tares (not quiet ones, Matt. 13:29) and attendance goes up.

Let me see: You disfollowship someone and then you are blessed for it. You are rewarded for it. Maybe that's why he appears to be so trigger happy with his authority. (I am simply using "trigger happy" as a figure of expression. I am not implying in any way that Dave Pack is somehow misusing any actual firearms.) This is just a COG superstition which makes as much sense as sacrificing a beautiful maiden to an erupting volcano. Well now we know how he can justify unleashing a mass purge if he ever wants to.

....“Most [WCG ministers] would not follow Mr. Armstrong’s simple principle: ‘One rotten apple spoils the whole bushel.’ He practiced what he preached many times in regard to senior leadership in the Church. Which man who led Church Administration did not go on to prove himself to be a ‘rotten apple’?

This gives Dave Pack justification and the authority to get rid of anyone, even those directly under him.

After that he goes into a little spiel saying that no division is allowed.
“I learned early on that division in my congregations could not be tolerated—under any circumstance. Discord is the most destructive thing to God’s Church and simply cannot be permitted to exist. I saw that people can be divided over many things: doctrinal ideas, not following Church traditions, matters of wrong behavior openly permitted in the congregation, criticizing ‘how the money was spent,’ decisions made by Headquarters—and false accusations between brethren.”
This is a call for dictatorship. Also observe that statement concerning finances. This is evidence that RCG members are denied any say in the financial concerns of the organization they pay their tithes to. Dave Pack has complete control over finances and therefore the entire organization.

And then after this spiel on how no division must be allowed he then very confusingly insist that actually he has been quite lenient and rarely disfollowships anyone. The reader needs to be aware that he narrowly defines disfellowshipping here, saying most left of their own accord. He does this so he can make himself look better in this regard. He wants the best of both, portraying himself as tolerating no division and praising himself as being a merciful minister. That latter assertion also serves to keep RCG members fearful that other ministers will be even worse than him.

This section of the Vita Packatollah paints a disturbing portrait of a dictator. These are evidences that Dave Pack is an abusive leader who needs to be avoided like the plague.

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