Thursday, June 11, 2009

My Encounter with The Two Babylons

The day I saw the Dateline report about the WCG-derived Robidoux cult I went on the Internet to read up on HWA. While searching I came across a web page of HWA's anti-Christmas diatribe, The Plain Truth about Christmas. It was there that I was first introduced to Armstrongism's Nimrod theory. I read it and my mind was absolutely blown away when he confidently described to me the origins of Christmas, that Nimrod was a great ruler shortly after the Great Flood, that he was so evil he married his own mother, Semiramis, (that was quite a shocker) that she invented Christmas to spread the idea that Nimrod became a spirit being after his death.

Of course this is just a typical demonization tactic HWA continuously used to produce a sense of isolation in potential recruits to make them reliant on him. He once even condemned church hierarchy as coming from Babylon, a doctrine he would come to wholeheartedly accept. He also appears to have plagiarized this condemnation of Christmas from the Jehovah's Witnesses.

He gave no indication in that booklet that he was merely imitating Alexander Hislop and his anti-Catholic polemic The Two Babylons. I first heard of this book while reading an LCG article condemning Easter and calling for the observance of Passover. Gradually I came to realize that this book had an influence upon this religion. Later I read The Two Babylons on the Internet hoping to understand this matter further. While reading it I was a bit disappointed that he did not describe Semiramis as Nimrod's mother as prominently as did HWA.

After I read that from The Plain Truth about Christmas I was left wondering if LCG continued to accept these beliefs about the role of Nimrod in history. Gradually I came to see that they did indeed hold onto such beliefs with various mentions of Nimrod in some articles. Furthermore in Lesson 7 of their Bible Study Course they mentioned Nimrod and Semiramis in their role as creators of the post-Flood world more explicitly. I cannot recall if it mentioned Semiramis as Nimrod's mother. LCG preaches this doctrine to this day.

I also learned that this book was printed in the 1850s. Therefore I was a bit confused and disappointed with their fact checking skills when I saw LCG publish a misprint portraying this book as having been made in the 1940s. "Back in the 1940s, noted author Alexander Hislop wrote his landmark book, The Two Babylons." (Roderick C. Meredith, The Two Babylons, Tomorrow's World, May-June, 2004.) Now there have been honest errors before, such as when John Ogwyn's booklet, The Beast of Revelation described the Roman Emperor Aurelian as ruling from 270-282 when in fact he ruled 270-275. But still I always thought that this was quite a misprint. 1940s instead of 1850s. However I think it was republished by some firm at that time. You can look it up the on web at the link above and see that the misprint is still posted on LCG's website.

Hislop seems to have described Semiramis at various times in his book as Nimrod's wife, mother and daughter according to xHWA's blog, The Babylon Connection, as may be seen here.

"Hislop in various pages of his book referred to Semiramis as being Nimrod’s wife, and again his daughter, and again his mother, and again that Nimrod had two mothers, and again nine mothers. And this is history?"

So it would seem that the portrayal of Semiramis as being both Nimrod's mother and wife was simply a crude attempt by the Armstrongites in the 1950s to reconcile Hislop's confused portrayal of Nimrod and Semiramis into an agreed narrative.

It must be said that after reading xHWA's blog it is very difficult to take Hislop seriously. And even if Hislop's theory was true why should we go to LCG to learn "the truth?" Hislop was a "pagan" and "apostate" Protestant who was used by the Armstrongites to give them the appearance of having great knowledge from those remote days. Why rely on such people who have to use a discredited anti-Catholic polemic just to appear to have all the answers?


  1. The other book that Herb and crew used to justify their stance on Christmas, Easter and Sunday worship was 'Babylon Mystery Religion" by Ralph Woodrow. He later came out with a book refuted his info in the book and also refuting his own books against Christmas and Easter. This sent many Armstrongites into a royal hissy fit. His web site is:

  2. Redfox,

    You say Marcus Aurelius ruled 270 - 275 AD.

    Please check your facts in an accurate source.

    Then cut yourself a big slice...

  3. Paris,

    I said Aurelian, not Aurelius.

  4. Redfox,

    Yes, you got that wrong too and used an adjective as a proper name. So you got both the name and dates wrong.

    Please tell us, one who pinpricks others' errors, what was the emperor's correct name and what were his correct dates?

  5. Redfox,

    It's hard to say, "I was wrong", isn't it. Sadly, that's something we all have to overcome. Of course, the main person we have to say, "I was wrong" to, is Jesus Christ. On a daily basis. With God's help we find more and more points of life where we are wrong and because of God's grace He gives us plenty of time to repent and amend our ways.

  6. Paris,

    I was talking about Aurelian (270-275) not the more famous Marcus Aurelius (161-180).

    You are right. It is hard to admit that I'm wrong especially when I'm right.

    However this is only a side issue. The real important question here is this: Was HWA used by God? Was HWA a true minister of God? I argue here that such could not possibly have been the case. HWA was a false prophet who said Christ would return in 1936 and in 1975. HWA is a false prophet and God, in the Bible, has commanded us not to regard such a man (Deuteronomy 18:20-22).

  7. Redfox,

    Please cut ME a big slice of pie.