Friday, April 10, 2009

Reflections on Raising the Ruins II

(Before I start this blog I would just link to mention that I have made an addition to my January 16 post concerning how January 16, 1986 fell on Shebat 6.)

I heard of Stephen Flurry's book length recruitment pamphlet Raising the Ruins, and although I knew the true nature of PCG I wanted to read it. Later I found a website about the book but it only posted a few chapters. I read then proceeded to read up to the end of Chapter 3. I was distinctly unimpressed at what I read, indeed I was quite amazed at just how utterly lacking the book was. I summed up my feelings in a previous post. Even I was surprised at just how lacking it was. SF condemns the Tkaches' WCG as dictatorial and authoritarian, yet PCG is just as dictatorial and authoritarian as Stephen Flurry says WCG is; in Chapter 2 SF called Ambassador Auditorium a 'legacy that was neither heavy nor burdensome', a dangerously naive view that probably contributed to PCG's decision to build Armstrong Auditorium.

Later I discovered that practically the whole book can be read online. Only the last chapter is yet to be posted. Once I found this I read all that I had not read before in one 24 hour period. I took notes as I went along. That reading is what has instigated the last few postings about that book. Again, not too surprisingly, I found other assertions made that I had severe problems with.

However after reading that book I can no longer laugh at it as I did before. Because this book is so misleading. Many vital pieces of information of what life is like in there are cleverly, cruelly omitted. It is not a reliable guide to understand the true nature of PCG. Any unsuspecting reader looking for truthful information will not find it here. The fundamental premise that God is working through PCG is false and untrue. There are many issues of concern about this book, some I have already highlighted.

Stephen Flurry say PCG must expose WCG. The book almost completely ignores other critics of Tkach and the other Armstrongite churches, which also widely criticized and exhorted against the Tkachite Changes and how they were implemented. Heaps of people have done that, from other Armstrongites, to non-Armstrongites such as Exit and Support Network. But none of their hard work or insights are acknowledged in this book. He just pretends they do not matter. He just carefully ignores them and acts as though PCG alone is exposing the Tkachites to public scrutiny. This book pretends that only PCG and WCG matter. All others are hardly worth mentioning.

Stephen Flurry tries to give the impression that only PCG is trying to distribute HWA's writings. This is suggested with hyperbole such as this example in Chapter 18:
'But not for the Philadelphia Church of God, today Mr. Armstrong’s last will and testament [Mystery of the Ages] would be all but obsolete.' That statement of Stephen Flurry's is very difficult to believe seriously. It completely ignores the fact that many non-PCG websites out there which believe in HWA's doctrines have Mystery of the Ages posted online for anyone with internet access to read. I, myself, first came across HWA's writings in either late 2000 or 2001 on a website that is unofficially affiliated with David Hulme's COG-AIC sect. That website has always remained online regardless of the varied fortunes of the Court Case.

Other websites, some affiliated with other COG groups, have much of HWA's writings available online. One of which happens to be run by one Don Tiger, who used to be associated with PCG. While in there he worked on creating CDs that would contain much of old WCG's writings. However as Gerald Flurry saw the project progress he became infuriated and tried to suppress HWA's writings that Don Tiger was trying to preserve for posterity. How ironic that Gerald Flurry should try to repress Don Tiger for doing what he himself claimed to be doing: preserving HWA's writings. See Philadelphians Fight over HWA Writings here. Later he tried to do the same thing with Dave 'Send me your assets now!' Pack of Restored COG which also ended in the same acrimonious way. Unsurprisingly his story is not mentioned at all in the book. He, and the others who have posted HWA's writings online have been been cast into the memory hole.

Another thing I noted is that much of Chapter 16 is a nauseating 'tribute' to Mystery of the Ages that is way too far in praising a book, even saying that the book is required reading for prospective members. (The November 5, 2004 Pastor's General Report, on pp. 8-9, says the following in regard to 'Laodicean' prospective members: 'As a minimum, each Laodicean must also read and study Mystery of the Ages, Malachi’s Message and That Prophet BEFORE being invited to services. Remember, this policy has been set by Mr. Flurry.') Also throughout the narrative the words Mystery of the Ages are highlighted and linked every single time the title appears. It reminds me of how some Bible versions use red ink for Jesus' words. This also occurs when other writings are mentioned but MOA appears far more often than the others.

This book also contains many omissions. There is no mention of Gerald Flurry being 'That Prophet', no mention of Second or Third Tithes, no mention that Malachi's Message is taught to be the Little Book, no mention of Gerald Flurry's cruel 'No Contact with Laodiceans' rule, that if you leave PCG you will be shunned, that Flurry had maintained he gained MM from an Angel (you can see that ridiculous declaration in p. 7 of this PDF file of part of the September/October 1992 Philadelphia Trumpet. In reality he plagiarized Jules Dervaes to produce MM. No angel of God visited Gerald Flurry.), it very cleverly obscures the medicine ban, and doubtless there are other issues as well.

Another thing that was disturbing to me was Chapter 24: Victory Prophesied. The victory refers to the Court Case. Now that title is misleading. PCG did not win the Court Case, they lost it and then made a deal with the man they say is the Son of Perdition. That chapter details PCG's belief that the Biblical book of Habakkuk actually refers to PCG's Court Case. There are huge problems with this interpretation which the unsuspecting reader will not be informed of at all reading by this book.

When I read that chapter my mind went back to when Meredith's Tomorrow's World told me that HWA was an accurate prophet deceitfully hiding the many failed prophecies he made. PCG is guilty of the same thing claiming that 'He [HWA] was Right!' Although this Habakkuk interpretation is quite absurd, still, even knowing all the terrible things I know about PCG, I could all too easily see how a soul can get caught up in the tale and come to believe 'that God must be with PCG.' How that person sees the various scriptures cited out of context used to clumsily apply Habakkuk to the Court Case and is overwhelmed by them and decides that he or she can trust Stephen Flurry and the PCG.

Oh! if only that person knew the deceptive distortions this book contains, the hidden meanings which the unsuspecting reader is left unaware of. Those involved with PCG desperately need to repent of their vain fear-inducing preaching, of spreading false prophecies that needlessly cause fear. Those tricked into joining PCG will not be able to reach a Place of Safety. There is no refuge to be found in PCG. The unsuspecting reader will be unaware of what he or she is getting into if such a one is misled into PCG. There is no place of safety PCG can lead such a one to. May the Lord protect such precious souls. May he make them wake up and see what is wrong and get out of the PCG.

(Update: Exit and Support Network has just released another expose of one of 'That Prophet' Gerald Flurry's sermons, Revealing Satan (January 3, 2009). That sermon contains interesting comments concerning Raising the Ruins. 'But you see this man [the 'Man of Sin', Joseph Tkach Jr.] speaks of his own...that's his nature. He just lies, and lies, and lies and we've proven that throughout my son's book just over and over and over and over again and that is his nature. He's like the devil because, well, I think we have the devil possession.' Actually there are many problems with that book. In it PCG has proven itself to be rather 'economical' with the facts. That book has several misrepresentations that have been highlighted in previous posts.)

More on Raising the Ruins may be read here.

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