Monday, March 30, 2009

HWA's Fear of JWs and SDAs

In relation to my earlier discussion on HWA's plagiarism from Jehovah's Witnesses I found these words from the PCG Pastor General's Report archive, specifically the November 5, 2005 Pastor General's Report, p.8:
Mr. Armstrong stressed that the ministry use extreme caution when inviting new prospectives with strong Pentecostal, Jehovah's Witness or Seventh Day Adventist background. Mr. Armstrong felt that these people very seldom come out of their former religion. (Emphasis mine.)
Can't let the ex-Jehovah's Witness or ex-Seventh Day Adventist see that so much of Armstrongism is pilfered from them! Or let them tell the members!

Both movements, it must be noted, are descended from the Millerites of the 1830s/1840s, just like Armstrongism. This is one reason why these religions bear some similarities to Armstrongism. The other reason is that HWA plagiarized (stole) some of his doctrines from them.

If the (Armstrongite) 'truth' is so powerful why did 'God's End Time Apostle' fear these people so much? Because they possess evidence that HWA just stole other ideas and they could see that and possibly tell others about it. They are an ever present reminder that HWA was not special at all in his alleged 'revelations', and this no doubt was the cause of this fear.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

LCG's Latest Fast

On the Sabbath of March 28, 2009, the members of the Living Church of God (LCG) observed a day long fast summoned by their leader Roderick C. Meredith, as this post, Fast or Flick by Ambassador Watch commented on.

This fast seems to have been primarily summoned by Meredith to try and beseech God to bestow divine healing to LCG. Meredith's order for this fast may be seen from the February 19, 2009 update:
After reading quite a number of requests to have a Church fast for the last several months, I have talked with our leading ministers here and elsewhere and concluded that we should call for a Church fast on the Sabbath of March 28....Why a Church fast at this time? We feel that a Church fast would be especially appropriate at this time because so many of our brethren are getting weak and sickly, and deeply need God’s healing! I hesitated to call a fast because I did not want to focus on my personal problem. However, quite a number of other serious illnesses are coming to the fore and as I have studied and prayed intensively—more than ever the last few months—it is obvious that we should be drawing closer to God and crying out to Him for the “gifts” of healings, discernment of spirits and casting out demons (Mark 16:15-20).
This seems to be the primary motivator for this fast. Also observe this reminder March 26, 2009 update: 'Church-Wide Fast Reminder: This Sabbath, March 28, the Living Church of God will be fasting to draw closer to God in every way and to beseech Him to pour out especially the gifts of healing on His Church.'

No amount of fasting or works can hide the fact that Armstrongism is a proven heresy which God is not working through, or that the leaders are merely false prophets.

Meredith's Words of Wisdom III

Roderick C. Meredith writes a 'semi-annual letter' to subscribers of Tomorrow's World who have not given any money to them. As far as I am aware those letters are not posted online. Once one does start to give money to them they start to send monthly 'Co-Worker letters' to that one.

This comes the Semi-Annual Letter of November 2, 2005 (emphasis in original):
many of you write asking about this Work, who is behind it, and what we believe. So in this letter I want to answer some of your questions....We are a continuation of the Work which the living Jesus Christ did through Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong. (p. 1).
He is here responding to questions about what this 'work' is. Notice what Meredith says in his response to such questions:
Looking back, it is now obvious that God gave Mr. Armstrong the "gift" of really understanding biblical prophecy more than any other person in modern times. (p. 1).
How on earth does he expect a false prophet who made numerous false prophecies to have any genuine understanding of biblical prophecy is beyond me. This statement hides these false prophecies from the unsuspecting reader. HWA said Christ would return in 1936, then at the end of WWII, then 1975, then within two decades of the publication of Mystery of the Ages (2005, the very year Meredith is writing this). He made over 200 false prophecies as can be clearly seen online. How much understanding do these errors show?

The Bible is very clear about what such errors mean: '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)

But Meredith, to his peril, ignores these important facts, and furthermore, seeks to hide it from those he is trying to recruit into his organization. He continues to assure the unsuspecting reader that they have understanding of what is happening:
we at Tomorrow's World can be specific in our explanation of end-time events because...God has given us genuine understanding of these things. (p. 2).
The record says otherwise. Meredith is merely another false prophet. We are commanded by God not to fear such people. Let us be free of them!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Meredith's Words of Wisdom II

This is from Roderick C. Meredith's editorial, 'Signs of the Times' in the September-October 2000 Tomorrow's World.

Jesus Christ told the religious leaders of His day, "Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times" (Matthew 16:3).

So it is today. [Wait a minute! Your idol, Herbert W. Armstrong, said Christ will return in 1936, then at the end of WWII, then in 1975, then within twenty years of publishing his masterpiece of deception Mystery of the Ages, now your 'Bible Study Course' 'suggest' 2017. Is that discerning the signs of the times?]

Many professing ministers of Jesus Christ are highly educated in the technicalities of theological jargon, Semitic languages and biblical literature. They are often very intelligent men, but in the theological seminaries they are seldom taught about the REAL God of the Bible [meaning heretical and inaccurate Armstrongism] who intervenes in human affairs...

In the rest of this editorial he goes on his familiar spiel of doom and gloom which he has been preaching with unerring inaccuracy. At the end comes his sales pitch (Words in brackets are mine):

May God [who allegedly works with such hopeless date setters and false prophets] help all of you who sincerely want to understand to begin reading carefully each issue of Tomorrow's World. [So those who do not want to study Tomorrow's World are not sincere? Meredith is leading the reader.] And may He guide you to enroll in and to study the vital lessons of the Tomorrow's World Bible Study Course. [Look how he hides behind God's name, telling the reader that God is telling him to get their self indoctrination course. As though a false prophet like him could possibly know God's will.] There is no other course on earth with the same degree of accuracy and depth—yet you may receive the lessons absolutely FREE. [There is no charge now, but if all goes well you will OBEY and hand over three tithes to the Living Church of God. Then he offers advice on how to do it.] Just write to the address of the regional office nearest to you (listed on page 2 of this magazine) and request enrollment. Genuinely study your Bible along with this course, and ask the Great God of creation [who can only be discovered through the madness of Armstrongism] for real understanding [Armstrongism]. The entire panorama of prophesied END-time events is now beginning to unfold. You need to understand—and to ACT. [This false prophet has been saying the very same thing for decades and has always got the dates completely wrong. There is no need to fear his fear inducing rants.]
What does the Word of God truly say about such false prophets as this?

"But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? 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 18:20-22)

We are free of such madmen. There is no need to worry about what they say. God is not working through them. He never has. They are empty words. The Living Church of God desperately needs to repent of spreading hopeless fear. God is not with them.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Notes on LCG's Beast of Revelation

I would like to share some observations I have about the late John Ogwyn's The Beast of Revelation.

In that booklet there is a prophetic chart chronicling the life of the alleged Beast (Roman Empire and various 'revivals').

Notice how both Hitler's Germany and Mussolini's Italy are included in the same box of 'Historical Fulfillment' as being the 'sixth head'. This may seem very contradictory and confused to the unsuspecting reader. Actually this reflects the fact that HWA, at various times, regarded first Mussolini and then Hitler as the Beast. Although the Armstrongite desperately tries to forget the many false prophecies, traces of them still show up, but seen only by those who know of them.

It is also stated in 'Symbolic Meaning', referring to unified Italy and Germany that 'one is' means that 'God's Church' has understanding of what happened. This statement about God's Church understanding this prophecy in the end time deceptively hides the truth that HWA labeled Mussolini, and then Hitler, as the Beast who will fight Christ at his coming. Hiding the fact that HWA is a false prophet.

Also notice the quote placed in 1814. It cites 'Willis West's Modern History' and gives a page reference. This book is not properly referenced. The unsuspecting reader is not told what this book is.

So I went looking around and the book is Modern History: Europe from Charlemagne to the Present Time by Willis Mason West. It was made way back in 1903 and published by Allyn & Bacon. It may now be read at Google Books and It was digitized on June 27, 2007. It is my understanding that the Beast of Revelation was first published by the Global Church of God, and the Living Church of God only started publishing it in 2000. So when it first first published it would have been very difficult to find this book.

Interestingly this is the very same book cited by HWA back in the 1930s. Just look at the November 1939 Plain Truth, p. 7. The very same quote is used in HWA's prophetic chart. Just like Meredith's recycled words John Ogwyn has just monotonously copied their idol (HWA) in this particular quote.

However not everything is the same. One will also note in the Plain Truth that it is unified Italy alone that is identified as the 'sixth head'. But in Ogwyn's account it is both Italy and Germany that are included as the 'sixth head'. This reflects the fact that HWA would later identify Hitler as the Beast.

I have also written more about that booklet in a previous post.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

HWA, Plagiarism and Jehovah's Witnesses

Recently I began reading about Jehovah's Witnesses. In writings about Armstrongism it is often remarked upon that Herbert W. Armstrong appears to have stolen many of his doctrines from that preeminent Bible-based mind control cult, the Jehovah's Witnesses.

HWA addressed this issue in his article No! I was Never was a "Jehovah's Witness," or a Seventh Day Adventist! which was first published in p.6 of the June 1953 Plain Truth. (In spite of the title he does not really address in depth the issue of alleged previous Seventh Day Adventist membership.) Here he admits to reading some of the JW's writings, but insists that he never learned any doctrines from them and that he read their writings only after 'discovering' his doctrines independently of them.

Why would some people believe that HWA was influenced by the Jehovah's Witnesses? It might just have something to do with the fact that the Jehovah's Witnesses, like HWA, 1) forbid celebrating Christmas, 2) Easter, 3) and birthdays, 4) do not believe in an immortal soul, 5) believe in an unconscious death (soul sleep), 6) believe that most believers will remain on the Earth when they are resurrected, 7) that Jesus in His incarnation was only a man with no divinity in Him, 8) deny the Trinity, 9) that the Holy Spirit is only an impersonal force, 10) that only they have access to the truths of God, 11) in 1921-1952 vaccines were forbidden, 12) ex-members are to be shunned (they even use the same word 'disfellowshiping') etc., etc. The link is quite clear. HWA, in true evasive Armstrongite fashion, never discusses these many similarities in his article. Some of the links are detailed in this excellent critical review of Mystery of the Ages and also here and also by Dr. J. Vernon McGee.

His assertion is thus very difficult to believe. It is interesting that he neglects to mention just what the similarities are, thus the unsuspecting reader (unless he or she has some familiarity with the JWs) would be completely unaware of just how similar they are.

If you carefully read his article you will see how at first he tries to make it appear that the issue is was he a member of the JWs? Look at the title, he is trying to make the reader think the issue is, 'Was HWA a member of those religions?' This is just a distraction. A smokescreen. Notice how long he continues in this distracting vein:
Letters continue to ask, "Were you ever a 'Jehovah Witness'?...I never belonged to the sect known as "Jehovah's Witnesses,"...[members of the] "Jehovah's Witnesses" sect, continue spreading the claim that I once belonged to them....I have never in any manner, shape, nor form, had any remote connection with them [Really? What about all the remarkable similarities? Just how 'remote' do you mean?], or associated with either sect or denomination. I have never had any fellowship with them....I have never, however, attended any meeting of the "Jehovah's Witnesses" sect of any kind....I have never belonged to, attended any meeting of, or had any remote semblance of fellowship with the "Jehovah Witnesses" predecessor, the "Pastor Russell" people.
Notice how he introduces this topic. He cites bizarre and obviously untrue rumors. He ridicules these claims. By making those people seem stupid he is discrediting them and hoping that the unsuspecting member will miss the real issue. He is trying to obscure the real important question which is this: did he acquire some of his doctrines from Jehovah's Witnesses? This most important question is only addressed at the very end of his avowal of disassociation. HWA has cleverly set the tone. It is only after he has utterly ridiculed them, made the reader think they are utterly untrustworthy he mentions the real issue. It is one thing to say HWA was a member of the JWs. It is a completely different thing to say he stole their ideas. He hopes the reader will not notice the sudden change of topic he has made.

We continue right where the previous quote left off. Notice how cunningly he has introduced a new topic. It is so quick the inattentive reader will not notice the switch:
I did not learn any of God's TRUTH from the "Jehovah's Witnesses" sect. I have, of course, read some of their writings and their books, and I have been glad to find that they have certain truths, as all sects and denominations have (though mixed with dangerous errors), but God had already revealed these truths to me long before I read of them in their literature. I LEARNED NOTHING THAT I BELIEVE AND TEACH FROM THIS SECT. If they boast of having taught me anything, they misrepresent.
That is all he has to say about that most important question. One measly paragraph that is just bluster. From here he then starts an egotistical rant of how he started up his little religion and how God is working only through him. He no longer directly discusses the issue of his plagiarism. Instead he just gives us yet another assertion of his authority.

We are supposed to believe that all those twelve similarities are just a coincidence. Notice how he never makes it clear to readers just what the similarities are. He never mentions them. He ignores the similarities, only acknowledging that 'they have certain truths' but he never discusses here what those truths are. He is hoping the reader will be kept unaware of the similarities so he or she will not have any troubling doubts. He knows if he states the similarities honestly some potential tithes payers will be scared off. He is tricking the reader.

He has given us absolutely no good reason to believe that he did not steal his doctrines from the Jehovah's Witnesses. We are just supposed to shut up and take his word for it. We are just supposed to trust him. How could all those similarities be the same? It is clear that he was influenced by the Jehovah's Witnesses.

And all he can say in response to these facts is trust me, God revealed them to me. How can we trust him, especially since it can be proven that he did steal doctrines from other people. This can be clearly shown be the case in regards to British-Israelism.

I read somewhere an account that said once John Kiesz, a COG7th minister who spoke at some of HWA's meetings until 1945, saw HWA typing away in his office. HWA said God had revealed new truth to him. Mr. Kiesz saw that HWA was writing on a topic that had already appeared in COG7th's magazine, the Bible Advocate. He mentioned this very pertinent fact to him and HWA replied that that was how God revealed it to him. This account may be seen in chapter 7 of Tkach, Jr.'s Transformed by Truth but I first saw it from another source.

When I first saw that I thought that explains so much. When HWA boasts as loud as he can in his article that only God revealed the truth to him, he may very well mean that God revealed it to him via another man. Remember how he said God gave Stanley Rader to him? (16:11). He always hid himself behind God's name.

It has been clearly proven that HWA discovered British-Israelism not from God's word but from other men as this article proves clearly. I challenge any Armstrongite to read this article and still believe that HWA discovered his Israelite ancestry simply by studying the Bible as he always pretended to have done. It even contains excepts of letters written by HWA himself that clearly show the less than divine origin of his understanding of his ethnic identity. He simply pilfered it from J. H. Allen. HWA is a plagiarizer. And yet he still insisted he discovered that doctrine from God alone. Therefore we cannot trust him.

No wonder so many are convinced of this link. No wonder so many disregard HWA's baseless assertions.

Because of this link to Armstrongism I recently began reading about them and discovered a vast treasure trove of information out there about the Jehovah's Witnesses. Just about any topic one can imagine can be found out there. For anyone who wishes to know more about this mind control cult here is a list of resources out there. My word! They sure have a lot of skeletons in their closet.

This list is in no particular order. I do not necessarily agree with everything these websites say. The reader is expected to reach conclusions using his or her own reasoning. Wide reading is encouraged. Most of these websites are Christian in viewpoint. Now that that is out of the way here they are:
  • Propmin (Update: Now offline BUT some of the postings may still be seen if you type "" into Google you will be able to read some of his postings in the "cached" link at the bottom of the Google entry.)

  • -->

    -->Some articles and miscellany
    • What's the Problem, Anyway? (Tower to Truth Ministries) This article argues that with a Jehovah's Witness the really important question is this, is the Watchtower Society the only 'channel of communication' between Jehovah God and humanity today? When debating with one this is the crux issue upon which everything else stands or falls.
    • Writings of Nelson Barbour (Jehovah's Witnesses Truth), who first developed the doctrine that Christ will return in 1874, than said he returned invisibly. JWs now say that happened in 1914.

    Sunday, March 22, 2009

    My Encounter with the Key of David

    My very first encounter with Armstrongism was not with Meredith's LCG but with Flurry's PCG. I remember many years ago seeing a program called The Key of David. I took a look at it, but because it was not what I expected I just switched the channel and never thought of it again. I am somewhat uncertain whether this actually was The Key of David because if my memory serves correctly there were two men sitting in front of the camera. But I feel certain that the name was the same so I think it was that program. Maybe my memory of what I saw is a bit confused.

    Later I saw a letter written to a secular publication about TV programs. I saw this letter praising The Key of David program for making more sense than any other religious program. I think that was around 1997-8. Oh, if only that writer knew just how bad PCG actually is! If only the publishers knew what PCG is really like! Fortunately I did not rise to the bait, and just ignored it.

    Later in 2000 I became ensnared in Meredith's LCG. Eventually, around 2001, I discovered LCG apologist Bob Thiel's website which in many ways introduced me to the world of Armstrongism. While reading his article on PCG (which has since been updated and tries to convince the reader to support LCG) I was quite amazed to discover that The Key of David was produced by a church related to LCG. I was unaware of the connection till this moment. I then remembered my previous encounters.

    The Key of David was broadcasted in my area. So naturally, out of curiosity, I started watching it around August 2001. Shortly afterward came September 11. Because of that I decided it would be the best time to subscribe to their magazine to see what they had to say. So I read some of their materials. I also ordered some of their booklets, and for some reason whenever I ordered one booklet they often sent me other booklets that I did not order. I wonder if this has happened to anyone else? I know it happened to Jules Dervaes, the unintending inspirer of Malachi's Message, as may be seen in this September 26, 1990 letter. Was Flurry desperately trying to get Dervaes on his side so he would not expose the true source of Malachi's Message? I do not know the with certainty what happened. Also it seems that PCG often sent unsolicited writings in their early days.

    There were a few distinctive characteristics that I noted: they said that Satan had been cast down to earth now. HWA and LCG taught that this was in the future. Flurry also put great emphasis that we are to 'prophesy again'. This teaching is absent from other Armstrongites.

    Now when I read Bob Theil's article on PCG I was quite amazed by one statement he made. He said that PCG teach that a book they make, Malachi's Message, is the Little Book of Revelation 10. When I read that I honestly could not believe it. I actually suspected that Bob Theil might have been lying to me. I decided to see if this was true. I saw that they offered a booklet entitled The Little Book. That booklet may now be read online but such was not the case at this time. So I ordered for a copy of it.

    When I read it I was amazed to discover that, yes, indeed, PCG does teach that Malachi's Message is the Little Book. It was this more than anything else that made me decide not to pay attention to them any more. So I canceled my subscription.

    But then they sent me another issue of their recruitment magazine. I did not think anything of it at first. It was only after I renounced Armstrongism that I now wonder if they were trying to lure me back in. But I do not know the truth of the matter.

    Because I had read PCG Information I knew Malachi's message was just a rip off of Jules Dervaes' Letter to Laodicea and that HWA applied the 'Prophecy Again' label to himself in 1976 to his meetings of world leaders after 1972, as PCG Information and Bob Theil also stated. This is a clear divergance with what HWA taught. I knew this was a bad outfit (they even blasphemously call Gerald Flurry 'That Prophet'!) so I decided to keep the magazine, that way it could not be used to lure someone else into their false church. They did not send me anything else.

    And so ended my brief encounter with PCG. Shortly afterward I watched a sermon by Meredith entitled 'The Elijah Question'. The last third of that sermon was a rebuttal to Flurry's doctrine that Malachi's Message is the Little Book. He said, if memory serves correctly, that 'Prophesy Again' applies only to John writing the rest of the book of Revelation. This sounded much more sensible than the other interpretations. This further convinced me that I had made the right decision in disassociating myself with PCG. Oh, if only I decided to do the same thing with Meredith's LCG.

    PCG is an extremely destructive mind control cult, as is plainly shown at Exit and Support Network. PCG teaches utter nonsense (some of which is plagiarized) as PCG Information shows clearly.

    The destructive nature of PCG has been clear to observers since at least early 1994. In AR54 February 1994 John Trechak exposed Flurry, showing how Flurry's 'own published writings reveal him very clearly to be a cult leader of the first magnitude.'

    He also stated the following, 'While Meredith's B&D church may chastise with spiritual whips, Flurry's group likes to chastise with spiritual scorpions. Flurry's outfit is for those into spiritual S&M - real pain. If you want to be spiritually brutalized, the PCG may be the church for you.'

    What really infuriates me about PCG is their enforcement on the ban on medicine (a doctrine which seems to have come from the Jehovah's Witnesses which banned vaccines from 1921 to 1952) and Flurry's savage order to PCG members to cut off all contact with 'Laodiceans' even if they are close family members. This ghastly fact may be seen here and here and within the letters of those impacted by PCG.

    No wonder so many PCG members have recently gotten out of it despite the many obstacles in their way. At least we can take some heart in that it appears membership is falling, as may be seen here and in two January 23, 2009 letters to ESN. May the Lord free them one day.

    (Update: More on PCG membership figures may be read here.)

    Friday, March 20, 2009

    A Salute to xHWA

    What a good work you did on your blog, xHWA! With your blog ending and your blogging commitments moving to As Bereans Did I wish you all the best with this move. When this blog started up xHWA sent me kind greetings on his blog which are greatly appreciated. May God bless you and your family and your loved ones.

    Saturday, March 14, 2009

    How LCG Portrays Itself to the 'World'

    Look what one columnist for Tomorrow's World wrote in the 'Watch and Warn' column, entitled 'A New World Order Is Coming' in the Jan-Feb, 2009 issue:
    Even amid the Cold War hysteria of the 1950s, this Work was able to understand from Scripture that the Soviet Union would fall, that East and West Germany would reunify, and that a resurgent German-led Europe would set the stage for the final prophetic events before the return of Jesus Christ!
    This is nonsense! Poppycock! That is not the full story. If you read 1975 in Prophecy you will see that actually HWA expected Communism, not to fall, but to rise to greater power before the return of Christ. In that booklet he writes, 'During this hellish 3½ years [the Great Tribulation], there will be no religious freedom....The entire eastern world will be under atheistic Communism. (Heading '3 1/2 Year Hell-and THEN')' It cannot be emphasized enough that the Armstrongites did not predict the fall of Soviet Communism. They did anticipate some countries within the Iron Curtain would join the European Beast Power by 1975, but they certainly did not anticipate the fall of the Soviet Union before the Second Coming. They believed Communism would be destroyed by the returning Christ but they had no idea that the whole ideological empire of Marxist-Leninist Communism would fall apart long before then. They did not know. This writer also gives no indication that from 1953 onwards HWA preached that Christ would return in 1975 so those prophecies were made with the understanding that all would be fulfilled by 1975. Those were false prophecies, because the fall of the Iron Curtain occurred too late to be counted as genuinely fulfilled. O Armstrongite false prophets, why do you insist on pretending to have a good track record in regards to prophecy? YOU DO NOT! I have already covered parts of this topic in a previous post.

    Also in that Tomorrow's World issue was an article condemning racism. They even published a letter in the next issue praising the 'truthfulness, fairness and thoughtfulness' of the article. Is this letter writer aware that LCG discourage inter-racial marriage among their church members? How truthful and fair is that? That article never discusses LCG's pet doctrines condemning inter-racial marriage. In this 1996 interview Meredith says near the end, 'we discourage interracial dating and marriage'. I have seen no evidence to suggest that things have changed. This can be traced back to HWA's ban on inter-racial marriage, which is discussed and disproved in Exit and Support Network's excellent critical review of Mystery of the Ages, Chapter 4 and Chapter 5, (heading 'Racially-Nationally-Religiously Separated)'.

    Why does LCG so often have to say things that do not stand up to scrutiny? Do they not fear God? Why do have to pretend to be so righteous when they consistently fail to fulfill their stated ideals? The people within this organization desperately need to repent of their misleading ways immediately. LCG, stop fooling these people!

    Friday, March 13, 2009

    Meredith's Words of Wisdom

    Sorry about any problems accessing this post. That has now been resolved.

    Now while I was recently rereading The Ten Commandments by my former cultmeister Roderick C. Meredith I found this quote from his booklet on pp. 58-9:
    Thievery Through False Advertising

    One of the great commercial sins of our age is the common practice of false advertising. The consumer is led to expect that a certain "pill," for instance, will cause him to lose weight, gain weight, increase his potency, restore his thinning hair, or whatever the case may be. And, in most cases, this statement is a direct, willful lie without any doubt. Such a practice is, in effect, stealing from the people who pay money to achieve the promised result. In many cases, the victims of these gigantic frauds are not only robbed of money, they are robbed of health, happiness and peace of mind. Many a "respectable" businessman and community leader has attained his position largely through this type of mass deception and theft!
    I find this paragraph rather amusing. Because in many ways Roderick C. Meredith and those with him have utterly failed to live up to these ideals. I am not talking about personal scandals, but what he taught as a religious authority and how he 'preaches the word' (recruiting) and well known acts that occurred in churches he was associated with. Let me show you what I mean (My words are in italics):
    Thievery Through False Advertising

    One of the great commercial sins of our age is the common practice of false advertising. [What about the time when the Armstrongites said Christ will return in 1975 and he did not, or the time when Tomorrow's World said in 2000 that HWA predicted the fall of the Iron Curtain in the 1950s but did not tell the unsuspecting reader about 1975? Would those count as false advertising?] The consumer is led to expect that a certain "pill," [or how about a religion like Armstrongism?] for instance, will cause him to lose weight, gain weight, increase his potency, restore his thinning hair, [become an eternal God being, become magically rich by giving 'the church' a high percentage of his or her money] or whatever the case may be. And, in most cases, this statement is a direct, willful lie without any doubt. [My word, you don't you make this easy for yourself, do you?] Such a practice is, in effect, stealing from the people who pay money to achieve the promised result. [Aha! So you admit it. Misleading advertising is stealing! Would that count the time when you wrote articles calling for tithing and did not tell any unsuspecting readers (those new to Armstrongism) that they are expected to pay three tithes?] In many cases, the victims of these gigantic frauds [like Armstrongism] are not only robbed of money [like Garnet Hill], they are robbed of health [Would the stress resulting from following LCG's exclusivist teachings count? Or telling people in the past that God forbids medicine count? Note: LCG does not explicitly forbid medicine today. To bad thay did not change much else.], happiness [No more birthdays! or Christmas! or Easter! or Valentine's Day!] and peace of mind [like all the posters at Exit and Support Network and the atheist/agnostic/deist Painful Truth]. Many a "respectable" businessman and community leader has attained his position largely through this type of mass deception and theft! [Is he sure this does not count himself?]
    See how he and those who are with him hopelessly failed to fulfill what he preaches?

    Wednesday, March 11, 2009

    Roderick C. Meredith: A Biographical Sketch--Part 6: The Living Years

    And so all seemed well with the Global Church of God as of 1998. Meredith had been able to build up a following of 8000 or so and seemed well on his way to rebuilding the Armstrong empire.

    Interlude: Before we continue this narrative I wish to mention some details I failed to mention. A picture of Meredith and his wife may be seen in the 1960 Envoy, p. 147, PDF p. 150. The photo of Meredith's brother-in-law Raymond McNair and his wife may be seen on p. 157, PDF p. 160. It is during this time that, according court testimony by Leona McNair, Roderick Meredith gave a four and a half hour 'counseling' session to her which she depicts in a very negative light. Meredith stated otherwise, that it was only an hour long conversation that was a friendly chat (AR29 October 1984).

    Also I recall reading in one of HWA's articles that the number six is Man's number (day Adam created, 666, etc.) so although I think that idea is nonsense I find it appropriate to end this after six parts.

    We now continue with this narrative:

    As of 1998, as previously shown AR70 October 1998 reported Roderick Meredith's Global Church of God as appearing to be well in place to emerge as the dominant Armstrongite church. On Pentecost June 15 he spoke about the growth GCG was experiencing.

    Late 1998: Power struggle between RCM and the Church Board erupts. Meredith sends a 'special emergency letter' on November 21. The Journal covered the split in this article which also contained the Boards' response to Meredith's accusations. AR71 February 1999 covers this event in detail, containing excerpts from the writings of both Meredith and the Board concerning this power struggle. Meredith responded with a December 21 letter. Meredith leaves GCG with 80% of members and form Living Church of God. Norman Edwards provides a thoughtful critique of the split in Servants’ News, Jan/Feb 2000: Continuing the Work of the Worldwide Church of God Part 2. Ambassador Watch provides a brief summary of the event. CESNUR Center for Studies on New Religions also provides a brief article on the split, with links to many materials.

    It is interesting that one of the justifications Meredith uses for his rebellion against the Board in his first letter is that a non-autocratic government is unable to get 'the gospel' preached and only causes distractions from the church's primary mission and ' breeds CHAOS and confusion'. Has he forgotten all the pervasive political in-fighting that occurred in HWA's WCG? At one point he was even sent to exile in Hawaii for six months. Is that not politics? That organization was always dictatorial, so according to Meredith's apparent reasoning there would be no political in-fighting because everyone know where they belong and will only commit themselves to completing their assigned missions. The Ambassador Report tells a different account, it reveals an organization of chaos and confusion, of political in-fighting, of autocratic binges that caused a mountain of abuse and trauma for the eternally abused flock. Is that not chaos and confusion? His justification for dictatorship does not reflect reality.

    1999: Living Church of God established. Richard Ames, David Crockett, Dave Hall, Jonathan McNair, John Ogwyn and Dr. Lynn Torrance join (AR71 February 1999). Also involved are Douglas Winnail and Mark Mendiola.

    I recall hearing once in a sermon Meredith gave that originally he and those with him wanted to name his church the Church of the Living God, to imitate I Timothy 3:15, one of the twelve Church of God passages HWA used to 'prove' that the church bore the name Church of God which happens to use that very phrase. However another church held the copyright. The Meredithites tried to get that name but failed to do so, thus the name became the Living Church of God.

    LCG begins Living Church News magazine for church members, beginnig with the January-February issue. The Tomorrow's World telecast and magazine also are established. Tomorrow's World magazine begins with May-June issue. This PDF file features a deleted article by the now departed Mark Mendiola, a nostalgic article commenting on the passing of the older generation and fearing the short comings of the new generation, because as all Armstrongites know the USA will turn hopelessly corrupt and be punished by total military defeat and Americans will be sent overseas as slaves. Meredith was able to retain his TV spot on WGN. (Tomorrow's World was also the name of a short-lived magazine WCG produced from 1969 to 1972 as a more spiritual counterpart to the more secular focused Plain Truth). Weekly Internet updates are made by Headquarters.

    May 3: LCG disfollowships and marks David Pack, who goes out and create his own church, the Restored Church of God, and later calls himself an Apostle and orders members to liquidate their assets for him.

    September 17: GCG, crippled by debt, most of which was incurred under Meredith, declares bankruptcy (Norman Edwards, Servants’ News, Jan/Feb 2000: Continuing the Work of the Worldwide Church of God Part 2). Many members gradually drift into UCG.

    2000: LCG's Bible Study Course, written by John Ogwyn, begins to be published.

    2001: Douglas Winnail begins his 'Prophecy come Alive' column in the March-April issue, the first column is 'Jerusalem's Sobering Future'.

    2002: By this time Raymond McNair becomes reconciled with Meredith and joins LCG, he even writes an article for the March-April 2002 issue of Tomorrow's World, 'America's Protective Shield' which tells of British-Israelism and warns of coming punishment.

    50th anniversary of Meredith's ordination.

    2003: LCG moves Headquarters to Charlotte, North Carolina. Presumably around this time Meredith buys this house.

    Raymond McNair takes advantage of move to stay behind and establish the Church of God 21st Century.

    2004?: Meredith's sister Pattricia, who never entered Armstrongism, dies.

    April 14: Carl McNair dies.

    2005: March 12: the Brookfield shooting. A church member murders seven church members in a congregation at Brookfield, Wisconsin. The news was told by Dibar Apartian in LCG's March 17 update. Meredith gave an interview to Dixon Cartwright. He discusses the shooting in his March 17 Co-worker letter and in the March 31 update (this update also contains a commentary by Richard Ames on the shootings and peoples' response to them which I find quite illuminating, though not in the way intended) and April 7 update. Also relevant is the March 24 update. The shooting is also discussed in Living Church News May-June 2005 in the obituary section (p. 23).

    One motivating factor often cited to explain why Terry Ratzmann did what he did was his severe frustration in finding a wife. In observing how Meredith wrote about this unprecedented crisis I was concerned by his lack of focus on the plight of singles in LCG, who are forbidden to marry anyone outside of the church or even those of a different race within LCG. I am not aware of anything new he and the LCG leadership have done on this issue. These factors do not justify Ratzmann in any way but his life story does expose a severe problem facing LCG members. This article discusses the unique problems that singles faced in the old WCG. LCG is far smaller, it is not an expanding church, and there are only 7000 members worldwide, and most of them are getting older. Meredith desperately needs to address this issue and loosen this tradition. Instead of confronting this issue he chooses to focus on the old Armstrongite teachings that 'Satan is getting ready to pour his wrath upon us, that's why this happened. We must look at the big picture (My paraphrase)'. Presumably he means the 'soon coming' Great Tribulation. In their Bible Study Course, Lesson 2, Part 2, p. 7 (December 2000) they 'suggest' that 'the end' will occur in 2017, just 12 years in the future from here. If it is Satan's fault then LCG cannot be blamed. I hope he is trying to confront this issue, ideally by letting members marry more widely, but I am unaware of any such moves, beyond staging singles events. He admits that he will make some changes in the interview with The Journal if memory serves correctly but he does not directly address any specific issue.

    The resources on this tragedy are too numerous and varied to be discussed here.

    After discussing the tragedy Cartwright and Meredith discuss how a New Zealand LCG member was last year threatened with disfellowshipment for distributing The Journal, which caused him to stop attending. Meredith replies that LCG has no policy on this matter.

    June 14: John Ogwyn, author of LCG's Bible Study Course and some of their booklets, dies. A tribute to him may be seen in p. 3 of July-August 2005 Lving Church News and his obituary is also shown on p. 27. The Journal also mentioned his death.

    June 30: Spanky’s “Canons of Evangelistic Discipline of the Living Church of God”.

    Douglas Winnail ordained as Evangelist (September 29 update).

    News and Prophecy section added to weekly updates (December 1 update). In Meredith's interview with The Journal he say 'we only preach on prophecy in church about once every two or three months, so we're not harping on prophecy to the brethren' and yet here in every weekly update, every seven days, they provide news stories made to tell members that the end is nigh.

    Ernest Owino, a minister in Kenya, defects to Dave Pack's RCG.

    2006: LCG rocked by schisms as Mark Mendiola, a Tomorrow's World writer, and Syd Hull, head of LCG in South Africa, leave for Dave Pack's RCG. (For Mark Mendiola see September 12, 2006 here, for Syd Hull see October 29, 2006 here and this Ambassador Watch post). Syd Hull also marked Bob Theil. XCG provides an intriguing analysis of Syd Hull's resignation letter.

    December: Meredith expels Charles Bryce from LCG. Ambassador Watch covers this story, with Meredith's initial letter (December 4) which states that Charles Bryce and his son-in-law Larry Solomon have defected. Charles Bryce's responded that he was simply discussing some issues amicably and suddenly Meredith has turned on him and fired them thus they did not defect. Meredith responds that Bryce did not want to go to Headquarters when he was directed to do so. This split clearly caused LCG some consternation. Douglas Winnail insisted it was all Bryce's fault, saying that he had refused to discuss these issues with Headquarters. Bryce later sets up his own church, Enduring Church of God. Bob Thiel, a LCG member, covers this event here from 12/05/06 onwards.

    Perhaps here is a good place to relate how Meredith and Co. treat those ministers who decide to leave. As far as I understand it when a minister is disfollowshiped any sermons that LCG has are to be taken out of circulation so the members cannot listen to them, they are deleted from the website, church members are forbidden to listen to the sermons the disfollowshiped made while in LCG and their names are erased from the Tomorrow's World Magazine Archives. Not only is this information control I feel it is very petulant on the LCG leadership's part. If one should look at the Tomorrow's World Magazine Archive for 2001 the reader will notice that the March-April issue's cover is missing. That featured a cover story by Fred Dattolo who soon left for PCG. If you look at the archive for 2004 you will that the January-February issue's cover is missing. It showed a cover story written by the disfellowshiped Charles Bryce. The powers that be seem to be particularly angry at him as the PDF file is gone, so there is absolutely no way for an unsuspecting reader to see his name mentioned there. Unsuspecting readers will also be unaware that Mark Mendiola wrote many articles for Tomorrow's World in the first years, but his HTML articles are now deleted. They can still be read in the PDF but obviously Meredith doesn't mind if they are not seen. This is also the same with Raymond McNair's article in 2002.

    2007: Living University (LU) established. In his February 13, 2007 Co-worker Letter he announces its formation and promises that it will provide accredited degrees. As far as I am aware of LU is not yet accredited. Bob Thiel discusses its formation here. Ambassador Watch discussed the problems LU will face in gaining creditability and questions if LCG will have the resources to be able to run it. Its original logo was scraped. Technical problems occurred when LU was supposed to start. Winnail blamed the Devil.

    Meredith's Co-worker letter also discusses the introduction of Wallace Smith and Rod King onto the Tomorrow's World telecast.

    Former Evangelist Syd Hull and former Tomorrow's World writer Mark Mendiola both defect from Dave Pack's RCG. For Mark Mendiola's defection see the July 7, 2007 update. He went to Don Billingsley's COG-Faithful Flock. Syd Hull defects to Charles Bryce's Enduring Church of God.

    November4: Ernest Owino dies (See November 7, 2007 update and further).

    2008: June 12: Meredith petulantly marks Fred Coulter again. I am not trying to promote Fred Coulter.

    July: Elder Dana Glatz in Montana leaves.

    September: John Meakin join LCG from David Hulme's COG-AIC and Syd Hull rejoins as a lowly member.

    Meredith suffers stroke in the evening of September 19. (Gavin Rumney, 'Meredith Stroke', Ambassador Watch). On September 23 he appoints Richard Ames as acting CEO (Gavin Rumney, 'Ames at the Reins', Ambassador Watch, September 24, 2008).

    October 11: Raymond McNair dies.

    2009: A new set is created for the Tomorrow's World telecast. This is commented on by Tomorrow's World presenter Wallace Smith and by Gavin Rumney.

    Meredith continues to try and lure new members, he gets them scared about an apocalyptic future even though HWA and Co. have produced more than 200 false prophecies as the non-Christian Painful Truth website shows clearly. He then tells them they should pay back for all the free literature the unsuspecting reader is given by tithing, neglecting to tell them that three tithes are expected from the convert until he or she is securely in their grasp and brainwashed. He has lived like this since his ordination back in 1952, 55 long years ago. He keeps telling us that we need to repent, he makes us feel guilty, hoping that we will accept him as the man closest to God and give our loyalty to him as such. Meredith keeps telling us we need to repent. The truth is Meredith must repent. He must repent of spreading fear-inducing and financially-exploiting doctrines that are causing untold misery and anxiety for his long abused and deceived flock, and for those who love them. He does not have much time left. Meredith needs to renounce Armstrongism now.

    Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.

    Sunday, March 8, 2009

    Roderick C. Meredith: A Biographical Sketch--Part 5: The Global Years

    Roderick Meredith has been disfollowshiped from the very church he did so much to build. Now he must start again. He wanted to be HWA's successor, now the opportunity to play that role had now arrived and he now begins to try and fill HWA's shoes. And so the Global Church of God is born. He soon starts up a radio program, The World Ahead, accompanied by a magazine of the same name for recruitment among the general public. A magazine for members, Global Church News, start up, fulfilling the role the now defunct Good News magazine previously played in WCG. This narrative now continues.

    1993: Meredith begins broadcasting The World Ahead radio program. One listener's reaction to the program may be seen in the first letter of AR52 June 1993. A clip that I assume to be from one of those broadcasts ("Rod-like a fishing rod") can be heard briefly in this parody.

    Leona McNair case ends with WCG paying a $750,000 out of court settlement (AR52 June 1993).

    March: Gerald Flurry denounces Meredith in Philadelphia Trumpet editorial in order to ensure his members do not turn to him (AR54 February 1994, 'Flurry's Philadelphians').

    Gerald Waterhouse of WCG denounced Meredith during the Feast of Tabernacles in the Philippines in these words, "he loves to wield the rod, he loves authority when he is the one who has it" (AR55 May 1994).

    1994: According to AR54 February 1994 GCG has '85 fellowship groups in nine countries', some of which are video groups. Carl McNair joins Meredith with some of his Helena, Montana congregation. Some members are rejected due to agreeing with Dankenbring's understanding of the Holy Days and 'judaizing' (that is using Hebrew words such as Torah or Tanach).

    Larry Salyer, Bruce Tyler, minister in Canberra, minister Bill Swanson, and Carol Little, daughter of Stanley Rader joins GCG. Meredith purchases a house that makes some members disappointed with its opulence. British Armstrongites alleged to flock to Flurry's PCG more then with Meredith's GCG (AR55 May 1994). GCG is said to have gained 6000 WCG members this year alone (AR57 January 1995).

    1995: The World Ahead becomes a TV program. Also 'Mark Kellner reported in the April 24 issue of Christianity Today that Global now has 7,000 attending weekly services and took in $3.5 million in 1994.' (AR59 June 1995). In an interview with In Transition it is stated that 'GCG now serves about 11,000 people, counting coworkers who receive tapes from GCG headquarters, in San Diego, Calif.' (Emphasis in original).

    Some WCG ministers are persuaded to join GCG by being offered a salary equal to their pay in WCG (AR58 April 1995).

    In the wake of Tkach Sr.'s infamous Christmas Eve sermon 20,000 members flock, not to Meredith, but to the new United Church of God, an International Association. Some GCG members go to UCGia (AR59 June 1995). GCG's reaction to this development is recorded by former GCG member Norman Edwards:
    UCG-IA [was] formed in the spring of 1995. It was a devastating blow to the GCG; they had hoped that most of those WCG ministers and congregations would come to their organization, but only a few did. Many ministers had worked for Mr. Meredith before and did not want to work for him again' (Norman Edwards, Servants’ News, Jan/Feb 2000: Continuing the Work of the Worldwide Church of God Part 2).
    Interview with In Transition, in issue 7 and issue 9.

    May 8: Articles of Incorporation amended upon approval by Board of Directors.

    Dibar Apartian, Daniel Barnes, Maurice Benson, Raymond E. Clore, Lambert Greer, Dr. Floyd Lochner, Rand Millich, James Taylor and Don Turk joins GCG (AR59 June 1995).

    1996: Norman Edwards, author of the 'Friends from Pasadena' letter, leaves GCG. He writes a paper, 'How the Eternal Govern through Humans?' which is said to have caused 'many' GCG members to leave (AR62 July 1996).

    GCG goes into financial trouble needing to cut back on TV time purchases. In the fall GCG takes a $1.2 million loan in order to maintain operations. Seven administrative staff were laid off (AR64 February 1997).

    Meredith condemns conspiracy theories in May-June Global Church News (AR62 July 1996).

    Richard Ames, the husband of Meredith's sister, Kathryn, join GCG. Raymond McNair falls out of favor with Meredith and has his duties cut back (AR63 September 1996).

    According to Wikipedia Meredith's mother Mildred Kohane Meredith dies.

    1997: Many members remain fearful of a Jesuit conspiracy. Myron Martin condemns Meredith in open letter (AR66 September 1997). In June-July 1997 Global Church News John Ogwyn emphasizes traditional Armstrongite abstinace from military service (AR69 July 1998).

    August 20: Meredith writes a letter to the atheist/agnostic/deist Painful Truth.

    1998: GCG has about 8,000 members meeting each week in about 275 congregations and video groups with The World Ahead on nearly a hundred TV and radio stations. John Trechak, influenced by David Hulme's contentious split from UCGia, opines that Meredith's GCG will emerge as the dominant Armstrongite church (AR70 October 1998).

    And so out of all the very many contenders for HWA's vacant throne Meredith has emerged as one of the most prominent contenders in the world of Armstrongism. Things seem to be going quite well for GCG right now.

    To be continued...

    Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 6,

    Monday, March 2, 2009

    Roderick C. Meredith: A Biographical Sketch--Part 4: Conformity and Changes

    After the turmoil of the 1970s things finally seem to settle down in WCG. Although Meredith had some private disagreements with HWA, such as makeup, for instance, he was willing to follow HWA's lead. All seemed well. Any internal threat had been removed. Only loyal minions remain. In this setting this narrative now continues.

    By 1981 after years of turmoil stability returned to WCG. Anyone bold enough to publicly disagree with HWA's autocracy have been kicked out or learned to be quiet. Although even Meredith had to spend several months in exile in Hawaii he came through still pretty much in the good graces of the (alleged) Apostle Herbert W. Armstrong. This narrative now continues.

    1981: Before we continue I would like to revisit the makeup ban revival. In AR18 December 1981 it was revealed that Meredith opposed the makeup ban revival. He tried to get Tkach on his side but failed. So it would appear that Meredith knew that this was wrong, but still he did not leave WCG. He knew his church would now once again inflict untold harm upon women in vain, but he did not leave. He went along with it, knowing it was wrong. He chose to go along with this abuse against women rather than defending the truth. This reminds me of this fascinating account of when Gerald Flurry allowed a popular minister to teach for three years even though the minister disagreed with their so-called 'little book' Malachi's Message, and later Ron Fraser came to see that Malachi's Message did indeed have flaws in it but chose to be loyal to 'that prophet' Flurry instead of the truth. These men have acted in the same way. And now we continue.

    1982: 'According to Joseph Hopkins, writing in the August 6 issue of Christianity Today, the men on HWA's council of elders each receive yearly salaries of between $60,000 and $100,000 per year. That figure is exclusive of numerous special financial benefits they also receive.' (AR21 September 1982).

    However despite his return from exile it appears that HWA did not trust him as much as before. 'Evangelist Roderick Meredith, often named as a likely successor to Herbert Armstrong, appears to have again fallen out of favor with the head of his church. Friends say Armstrong has become aware of Meredith's recent disenchantment with his worldly life-style and personal morals. Not surprisingly, HWA has not granted Meredith the position of authority some church members feel he deserves.' In response he gave more positions over to Ellis LaRavia (AR21 September 1982).

    1984: Roderick Meredith testifies in Leona McNair trial. His side lost and WCG was ordered by the jury to pay her $1.26 million. Even at the end of the trial he did not show any remose for his actions but insead tried to blame the situation on others (AR29 October 1984).

    The article about this trial, in my opinion, is essential reading to understand what sort of man Roderick Meredith is. Knowledge cannot harm the truth. If you think he is a man worthy of your respect then you must read this article. Alas many true believers will just ignore what that article has to say carelessly assuming that Satan is behind it. Such Armstrongites are afraid of the truth. If such persons really did possess the love of the Truth why are they afraid of the truth when it shows Roderick Meredith in a bad light? (AR29 October 1984).

    It was also reported that a daughter of Leona and Raymond McNair, 'when asked about [Meredith's testimony that the McNairs and Meredith had a 'close friendship' together], said she didn't believe true friendship ever really existed between Meredith and her father. She described their relationship as one that would quickly evaporate were it perceived as getting in the way of "the Work."' (AR29 October 1984). Considering what would happen later when the two parted ways during the GCG-LCG split in 1998, their reconciliation and resplit, this assertion would seem to be justified.

    WCG appealed and the case would drag on until 1993 when WCG paid Leona McNair $750,000 in an out of court settlement in 1993.

    Walter Martin in the 1984 edition of The Kingdom of the Cults cites Meredith who in his booklet The Inside Story of the World Tomorrow (pp. 47-8) insists HWA did not burrow ideas from Jehovah Witnesses, Seventh-day Adventists, Mormons etc . However Martin soon proves that actually HWA is guilty of plagiarism. I, for one, after reading the relevant sections on Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormonism was amazed over how similar their doctrines are.

    1985: January 19: In a sermon Meredith 'attacked mental health professionals, saying that such counselors liked to "play God."' This caused AR editor John Trechak to write a letter to him as these comments seem to have been made in response to widespread mental problems within WCG (AR32 June 1985).

    While assessing Meredith's chances for becoming successor AR wrote the following: 'Roderick Meredith, although ambitious, has little support on the WCG board. His years of harsh rule over the WCG ministry have left him with few important supporters for any major power role. Thus his name can be eliminated.' (AR31 March 1985).

    1986: HWA rejects Meredith and chooses Joseph W. Tkach as successor. 'Privately, [HWA] also told several leaders that Rod Meredith should never be in that position [leadership]. (Tkach. Jr., Tansformed by Truth, Chapter 6)'
    This assertion is also supported by Aaron Dean (UCG), a close aid to HWA at the time, as recorded by Stephen Flurry (PCG). He states that HWA said to him that Meredith must never become leader of the church, and he also says this is why HWA appointed Tkach lest Meredith should take over (Stephen Flurry, Raising the Ruins, Chapter 3). Some of my thoughts on that book may be seen elsewhere. (By the way, the book says that Dean was saying all this in a 'telephone interview', if I understand correctly. Was this before or after the No Contact rule?) Even if we assume that Tkach, Dean and Flurry are just tryimng to discredit him, it cannot be denied that HWA did not choose Meredith. AR42 September 1989 also discusses the succession but Mr. Trechak here seems unaware of HWA's fear of Meredith. AR52 June 1993 also states the following: 'In fact, before HWA had even died, Meredith privately made statements to the effect that he, and not Tkach, should be Armstrong's successor.'

    Meredith is then moved to teach at Big Sandy by Headquarters (AR36 August 1986).

    1987: During the course of the ongoing Leona McNair suit 'the WCG lawyers wanted Sedliacik [who was the editor of the Pastor's Report that contained Meredith's controversial statements] to testify that evangelist- author Roderick Meredith was "meticulous." Sedliacik disagreed.'AR37 January 1987, 'The McNair Versus WCG War Continues'.

    1988: California Court of Appeal overturns the McNair conviction. AR40 March 1988.

    1990: Meredith is moved from his teaching position at Big Sandy to Pasadena in internal exile. According to his own account he becomes suspicious of Headquarters' motives and hears rumors of an immanent sacking. Near the end of the year Bernie Schnippert and Michael Feazell try to persuade him to go along with the changes. He refuses (In Transition, Issue 7 October 1995).

    1991: WCG orders that Meredith 'is no longer allowed to preach or write articles for church publications.'(AR46 January 1991).

    1992: WCG tried to retire some hard Armstrongite preachers such as Gerald Waterhouse and than Meredith. For awhile he was forbidden to preach from the pulpit, but in October he was allowed to give the closing prayer before a Feast of Tabernacles gathering at Palm Springs. He took a remarkable long time in his prayer. After that he was asked to retire. Meredith than had a two hour meeting with Tkach, Sr. After that he was fired and disfollowshiped. Than an anonymous letter emerged signed 'Friends from Pasadena' emerged comdemning the Changes. Some hoped this would be the start of an internal revolt. It did not happen. Even Herman Hoeh continued to remain loyal to Tkach, Sr. Meredith than announced the formation of his own church, the Global Church of God (GCG).

    In asserting his legitimacy Meredith emphasized 'how he was one of the first evangelists ordained by HWA and how he knew the Armstrong family personally and intimately. He even assisted HWA in attempting to resurrect Richard Armstrong after his fatal car crash in 1958, and he was one of the few at Loma Armstrong's death bed. Using Waterhouse-like "reasoning," he points out that GCG was born 40 years after he was ordained and that at GCG's very first service there were 19 people in attendance - exactly the same number as at HWA's first service decades ago.' Some in WCG responded by saying that 'there were seven years between the WCG financial crisis of 1965 and the church crisis of 1972 when Garner Ted Armstrong was put out of the WCG [and major WCG prophecies failed]. There were then seven years until the start of the famous State of California versus WCG lawsuit in 1979, another seven years until the death of HWA in 1986, and, finally, another seven years until Meredith's great rebellion of 1993. The theory WCG numerologists are apparently promoting is that God allows Satan to attack the WCG in some major way every seven years. Meredith therefore is supposed to represent but one more Satanic attack the WCG will weather on its way to "the end."' And so the Global Church of God is born (AR52 June 1993). Articles of Incorporation are made.

    And so despite all the great struggle to eliminate all dissent in WCG over the years, in which Meredith took a leading part, it all turned out to be in vain. So we see how impossible it is to fully control other people. So now Meredith must start from scratch all over again.

    To be continued...

    Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 5, Part 6,