Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Meredith Speaks (And Wants More Money)

Before we start the main topic I wish to say here that my thoughts are with the people of Samoa during the dark time they are suffering. I also wish to highlight the suffering of the people of Guinea in which a protest has been violently suppressed with much lost of life. My thoughts are with you.

And now onto the main topic:

Meredith is at it again calling upon his followers for more money.

In the September 17, 2009 Weekly Update LCG's Roderick C. Meredith wrote some words within this Weekly Update.
Unusual prophetic fulfillments are certainly taking place on almost a daily basis as the “pieces of the puzzle” begin to come together before Christ’s return to this earth. It is certainly exciting and motivating to see this.
He has been saying these alarmist statements for fifty years. In all that time Jesus was said to return within 20-25 years, first 1975, then 2005, it just never ends.
As I said in the co-worker letter, I came to Ambassador College sixty years ago this month. So I have been in God’s Work now—counting my student days and student employment at the college—for just over sixty years.
There's some more of the inane COG numerology that is so prevalent in this movement.
God has continued to bless this Work in spite of the terrible recession our nations have undergone. We have had more calls from prospective members, more TV responses, a higher growth rate for Church membership than in many years, and many other blessings. We thank God for this!
Alas, that is perfectly predictable. In times of crisis, in which we are in, people naturally try to find answers because of the trials they are undergoing. I remember reading somewhere of how membership growth rates for the Jehovah's Witnesses' mind control cult have declined since around 1998, with the exception of a brief growth spurt in 2001-2, most likely caused by the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This page is relevant to that topic. It is no surprise to me that the financial crisis should have such an effect upon those who have taken an interest in LCG's teachings.

After that comes the begging for money. (Green emphasis is mine.)
Yet, mainly because of the recession—which is now ending—the Work of Christ is experiencing a very “tight” financial condition. Though we have budgeted 5.3 percent increase in income for this year—and deeply need this in order to sustain our current programs—our current income is only running about two percent increase year-to-date. So unless we receive truly generous Feast offerings this year we will have to make more cuts in our television stations and other parts of the Work. But, in all honesty, we have tried to run a “lean” operation and do not have any extravagance that I am aware of. So we do deeply need the prayers of all of God’s people and their sacrificial offerings in the weeks to come!
Therefore, please announce this to the brethren and tell them of the unusual need at this time. Let them know that as they come to worship God and picture Tomorrow’s World at the Feast of Tabernacles, they should think of these coming Feast offerings at Trumpets, Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles in that context. This is worshiping our Creator and being truly thankful that most of us in the western world still have far more material wealth and “things” than the vast majority of mankind. Even though some of us, at times, think that we are “giving until it hurts” we do not even begin to commence to have the “hurt” others have in less fortunate circumstances. So encourage everyone to be generous—though we do not want any of our widows or less fortunate people to put themselves into financial hardship because of this.

Also, brethren, as Mr. Armstrong stated a number of times, we do want the brethren to know that it is all right to give any of their “excess” second tithe as Feast offerings—especially as part of the final Feast offering on the Last Great Day. A number of people have actually “enjoyed” this opportunity to give of their substance to the Work—knowing that they did not need to use it all up during the Feast of Tabernacles.
"Unusual need"? What about December last year when Meredith also made a similar appeal for money during the Christmas season in the December 18, 2008 Weekly Update. And who could forget all the times Elijah begged for money in countless 'financial crises' over fifty years. There is nothing unusual about this begging.

He tells them that this is "worshiping our Creator". His followers are told to "be generous" even though they already pay three tithes.

Furthermore he tries to make his followers feel as though they should be happy giving away money. That is simply a mind control method done to make people feel happy when they give money to LCG, who don't realize they are simply following Meredith's orders. The happiness they feel at giving away money is an implanted perception.

He calls upon members to send the excess Second Tithe to "the Work." I recall at least one blogger relating how WCG also called upon him to send the excess Second Tithe to "the Work" and he would, not but instead spent it on his family.

He makes the obligatory calls for those struggling not having to pay, as HWA did. This is done to hide the exploitative nature of this call for more money and sweeten this crass call for money.

So we see that Meredith and Co. continue to follow HWA's exploitation of their devotees. They have not changed or repented of this exploitative behaviour.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Last Year's Day of Atonement

As it is that time of the year again I wish to share with you all my last Day of Atonement as a COG believer.

It was habit during holy time to read spiritually uplifting material. Therefore on the Day of Atonement 2008 I went to the library and read a book there that had caught my attention. The Bamboo Cross by Homer E. Dowdy (1968).

It is an account of Evangelical Degar (Montagnard) missionaries among their people in Vietnam back in the 1950s and 1960s. It is a fascinating account of life among these peoples.

I was not evangelical at all but I was already familiar with most of COG doctrine and their stories so I read other religious works.

In this book a shaman incites a drunken horde to destroy anything white, including white people. The harassment from Communist Viet Cong guerrillas who tried to lure them to join them in their war.

It also relates how among one tribe it was the custom to demolish a house once a person died in that house.

Also it related how there was this tribe that lived in an inaccessible place that could only be accessed by climbing a treacherous stone.

Since this book was written before the Communist North Vietnam conquered South Vietnam I wonder what happened to them. This book is definitely worth a read if you can get your hands on it.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Dave Pack on TV: September 30 and Other Links

According to a September 24 letter to ESN Dave Pack will appear on the Nostradamus Effect on September 30.

Also ESN has released another testimony of life under WCG. I wish her and her family all the best.

Also J has just published a post, 'Think,' that I feel perfectly encapsulates the situation of many COGers and how HWA took them into that situation.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The COGs' Selective Amnesia -- Part 2: GTA, LCG and PCG

In the last post we saw how HWA carefully hid the facts about his false prophecies from potential recruits. He started the COGs' selective amnesia concerning the false prophecies.

This habit has been well learned throughout the COG movement. We now turn our attention to COG offshoots that continue this habit.

In 50 Years of Warning from the Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Organization we are treated to quotes dating as far back as 1952 from GTA about how he has been warning the world about the coming of a European superpower. Yet it never mentions that this was supposed to happen by 1975. That from 1953 onwards GTA expected this to occur by 1975.

LCG's "church history" booklet contains a positive portrait of HWA's work and again makes absolutely no mention about 1936, that HWA taught that Mussolini (then Hitler) was the Beast, or 1975. These hard facts are simply erased from their history and hidden from potential recruits.

PCG produced a "special report" of their Philadelphia Trumpet magazine in which we are assured that they have scoured the writings of HWA to show us his "Decades of accurate forecasting" in predicting events years before they happened.

"To begin this project, a team of Trumpet staffers divided up all the Plain Truths on hand and began scouring every article, looking for bold predictions....Our News Bureau then helped us match the prophetic statements we found in the Plain Truth with what actually happened, or is now happening." (Remember)

They probably have Don Tiger to thank for that. A man who sought to preserve HWA's writings with PCG, only to be sued by Flurry and kicked out of PCG.

Clearly they have been reading old Plain Truth issues. One of the articles in this publication is entitled 'Is a World Dictator about to Appear?' which plays on the fact that the first article in the first Plain Truth (February, 1934) has the very same title, 'Is a World Dictator about to Appear?'

Observe this extract from the article cited above:
But the forecast in Revelation 17:10 referred to one revival of the Roman Empire being extant at the very time that the mysterious vision of the book of Revelation would first come to be understood: “and one is ….” Thus it was that Herbert Armstrong came to see that the dictator Benito Mussolini was that one that is, at that time, in the 1930s, prior to and during the onset of World War II.
Notice how the article carefully skirts around the fact that Mussolini was taught by HWA to be the beast who would fight Christ at His return. So while PCG took note of what the title of the first article was they do not tell us there about what HWA actually preached at that time, that Christ would return in 1936, that Mussolini is the beast who will fight Christ at His return, etc.

One will look in vain for any acknowledgment that 1975 happened. That the various 'prescient' quotes cited from the 1950s and 1960s were actually in expectation that these events would be fulfilled by 1975, that the Soviet Union would actually outlast the USA is never discussed here.

This behavior has also been internalized within many COG members as this Weinland Watch post, The 1975 That Never Was, show. Many who entered WCG after the 1975 disappointment had no idea that these things occurred at all.

So we see that the systematic forgetting of the false prophecies and the suppression of these facts are endemic behaviors within the COGs.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The COGs' Selective Amnesia -- Part 1

I have taken a look at which Ambassador Watch has recently highlighted. I read an article of this website that AW pointed to. In that article I read this statement:

"They [HWA and GTA] predicted long before anyone else of the coming European Union (in 1934!)"

This completely ignores the fact that HWA
  • then Hitler became the Beast. "It is CHRIST and the Angels that Hitler will fight!... THAT is to be HITLER'S END!" (Plain Truth, March-April 1943, p. 6, left hand column, paragraph 7.) I am indebted to Wikipedia for the last two quotes.

Now I do not want to pick on The COGs have used this selective historical amnesia to hide the flaws of their history for a very long time. The number of times this has happened are too numerous to recount.

The man who first started this art of selective amnesia was HWA himself.

You will not find any information on the previous failed prophecies in his last book Mystery of the Ages. In that book HWA even set a date that Christ would return by 2005. Those ordering MOA from PCG will not know of this because those statements have been cut out by PCG.

In HWA's Autobiography he wrote hundreds of pages about his life. He tells us about how he met his wife, about how he was an advertizer, his obscure disputes and power struggles with other COG7 ministers, the proud milestones of his radio broadcast show as it gradually gets bigger and bigger. We even learn how he first heard of the Pearl Harbor attack while on the first plane ride of his life and telling his audience about it just hours after it occurred (see Chapter 42). We are treated to all of these specific details about his life. He clearly recalls these little things.

Yet reading that large two volume work you would never know that he told his listeners and hearers for years and years that the Great Tribulation would occur any moment, that Christ must return by 1936, that Mussolini will battle the returning Christ, that Hitler is the Beast, that the Nazis will overthrow and conquer America and enslave them.

A book that relates HWA's personal experiences on one day (December 7, 1941) does not even mention what he taught on the radio and in his publications for years and years. For HWA to not mention such things must be judged to be a deception.

These are not 'accusations' inspired by the Devil as HWA & Co. told us but are perfectly provable facts. Some of these facts may be seen here and here.

Is There a Holydays Fear in the COGs?

In the same way that Mr. Gavin Rumney asked questions recently imitating a UCG blog, I have a question for you readers.

I have this suspicion that some within the COGs have this fear that Satan will tend to strike at them during the Fall (or any other) Holy Days. Can anyone confirm or deny this?

The reason I believe this is because of these various things.

I recall watching a sermon by Meredith once and he said that Satan likes to strike at 'God's people' during the Holydays.

I also recall once reading a little COG website which focused on spreading HWA's infamous and harmful views on medicine. (I wonder whatever happened to him? I hope he is all right.) He stated that once two ministers' wives died at one of the Fall Holy Days Feasts around 1970. He then used this event to push his hard (and erroneous) views against medicine.

Now I never went beyond calling the minister when I was an Armstrongite believer so I only have these anecdotes to base this belief on. I would love to know whether or not this is a strong belief among the COGs.

Monday, September 21, 2009

COG Reading List

Here are some book from Amazon about WCG/Armstrongism. This list is by no means exhaustive.

Survivors' Testimonies:

Showdown at Big Sandy by Greg Doudna

On Angels Wings by Patricia Ann Laessig

The God that Prevailed by Dennis Gerard Embo

Flying Free by John Morgan

Herbert Armstrong's Tangled Web by David Robinson

Critiques of Armstrongism

Herbert W. Armstrong & the Worldwide Church of God by Walter Martin

Herbert W. Armstrong and the Worldwide Church of God: A Critical Examination by Roger T. Campbell

The Plain Truth-The Worldwide Church of God: What do they believe? by Val Waldeck

Other resources may be acquired through Exit and Support Network's Booklist.


Another Gospel by Ruth Tucker
I have included this book because I think that it was during the writing of this book that WCG first made contact with the author and so began her relationship as essentially a lobbyist for WCG.

Transformed by Truth by Joseph Tkach, Jr.
Tkach Jr.'s account of the transformation. Viewable at WCG's website here.

Discovering the Plain Truth by Larry A. Nichols and George Mather
Another Evangelical hagiography about the transformation.

The Liberation of the Worldwide Church of God by J. Mike Feazell
Mike Feazell's account of the transformation.


God's End Time Man by Joseph P. Waitz
As though HWA's unreliable Autobiography was not enough, here comes another hagiography of HWA.

The Essential Teachings of Herbert W. Armstrong by Stephen Boston


Raising the Ruins by Stephen Flurry
Please be aware there are many problems with this book, which are detailed elsewhere on this blog. This cannot be regarded as a reliable book. Please see the relevant blogs to see why.


Sects, 'Cults' and Alternative Religions by David V. Barrett (1996). This book has a section on WCG.

Random Encounter with an ex-Armstrongite

One day I was reading conversion stories of how some people converted to Christianity from Islam.

This web page use to have some accounts of people converting to Islam. They are not there any more. Last time I checked those stories all lead to broken links. But when I first went there they were working.

In one of those stories a lady mentioned encountering Armstrongites. She said she thought that belief system was very logical. She referred to them as "Church of God" if memory serves correctly. In my brainwashed state I saw that statement as further confirming my decision to embrace Armstrongism, even though she had since rejected it and now embraced Islam.

My brainwashed state completely ignored and overlooked the many irrationalities of Arstrongism, like how it illegitimately changed the observance of the Feast of Tabernacles and its many false prophecies.

Armstrongism is not true.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Front Organizations

In the 1970s Herbert Armstrong, under the influence of Stanley Rader, set up various corporate bodies which could be called front organizations, such as the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation, Ambassador Auditorium and Quest magazine.

Quest did not live up to the standards of the Worldwide Church of God. Infamously it took the Lord's name in vain in the first issue, and sold book catalogs which included works promoting the occult and other practices which WCG condemned.

Quest was a severe financial drain on WCG and turned out to be a publishing failure. The leading editor resigned because HWA wanted to crudely inject a fluff piece about his visit with President Sadat of Egypt. Eventually HWA had to ignominiously abandon it and sell it off. It went into forgotten oblivion.

PCG is trying its best to imitate HWA's lackluster efforts at forming front organizations with its Armstrong Auditorium, Armstrong International Cultural Foundation and sending students to excavate in the Holy Land.

Now other religious organizations have been able to create viable organizations which they own. Examples include hospitals owned by the Roman Catholic Church, cereal companies owned by the Seventh Day Adventist Church or founded by its members.

Other religious organizations that have also been able to produce long running secular publications such as the Christian Science Monitor owned by Christian Science, a pantheistic/gnostic religion, or The Epoch Times published by Falun Gong.

All of these have been far more successful than WCG's pitiful attempt with Quest.

However out there is another organization that has been able to far out do what HWA amateurishly tried to achieve.

The Unification Church, led by Sun Myung Moon, who are often called Moonies, established The Washington Times newspaper in 1981. Like Quest they appear to have had some editorial problems with their owners. Like HWA Moon has claimed that this newspaper is God's will. Unlike Quest The Washington Times has endured to this day, although like Quest it seems to have trouble being profitable. Moon has subsidized that newspaper, it appears, to the tune of $3 billion over nearly thirty years. Moon has not yet given up on it, unlike HWA.

More on the Unification Church may be seen at Steven Hassan's Freedom of Mind Center and Scoobie Davis' The Real Sun Myung Moon blog. It really is an amazing organization that Moon has made, a story I feel more should be aware of.

This is far more impressive than what HWA was able to accomplish in this area and serves as an example of what HWA could have tried to do.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sound Familiar?

The Armstrongite movement is descended from the Millerite movement of the 1830s and 1840s.

Following their disappointment that Christ did not appear in 1844 as expected various movements emerged from this movement. Shortly afterward many accepted the Seventh Day Sabbath due to the influence from the Seventh Day Baptist Church. Most of those Sabbatarians would later rally behind Ellen White who claimed to have visions from God, and found the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Some of them came to disbelieve that God would communicate through a woman and went to found what would become the Church of God (Seventh Day), the denomination HWA would later join (despite his later denials) and from which produce Armstrongism.

Not every Adventist however accepted the Sabbath. Some non-Sabbatarian Adventists became persuaded that Christ would return in 1874. When this prediction also failed one man who believed this, Nelson Barbour, refused to believe they were wrong and insisted that Christ invisibly returned at that date. This attracted the attention of one Charles Taze Russell, who went and worked with him. After falling out with each other Russell went and started his own organization, The Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, the members of which would become known as the Jehovah's Witnesses from 1931 onwards.

Because of such common ancestry it should be of no surprise that they should share certain similarities. (Common ancestry does not in any way alter the fact that HWA clearly stole many ideas from the Jehovah's Witnesses independently of any ancestral connection his movement had with them.)

Don't these words from the Watchtower Society sound familiar to those of us familiar with Armstrongism?

Consider that "the time is short:" that where we used to give one dollar, or a hundred, or a thousand, we now have the privilege of showing the Lord our appreciation of the truth by using five times as much, both of time and money; the results of which are beyond comparison. ('Old Theology Tracts' in Watchtower, March, 1889. Please note this is from what appears to be a website from a Russellite offshoot of the Watchtower Society.)

The Watchtower Society saying the time is short in 1889, just like HWA did throughout his (so-called) ministry. (At the time the Watchtower taught that the time of the end began in 1799, Jesus Christ invisibly returned in 1874, and Armageddon would come in 1914. Today they say Christ invisibly returned and the time of the end began in 1914 with Armageddon to come soon.)

notwithstanding the opposition of the clergy, who, from their office and profession, should be the very ones to sound the Jubilee trump to our dear brethren and sisters. (Dawn in its Seventieth Thousand, Watchtower, March, 1888.)
This is very similar to how Meredith assert that other religionists are often at the forefront of opposition to "the truth."

down through time, biblical and secular history show very clearly that the servants of God were persecuted most of all by people who had religious jealousy. Other religionists would persecute God's servants. The other ministers and the other religionists would always go after the true servants of God. That is the way it has always has been. That is terrible, but that is the way it is. (Meredith, The Gospel of Matthew -- Program 13 Bible Study, on Matthew 12:14.)

Comparing religious leaders with the religious authorities who opposed Jesus is a very effective polemical tool used by religious cults such as the Armstrongites to demonize any opposition by contemporary religious authorities.

Many do not know that the "Baptists," "Disciples," "Congregationalists," and some others, are not organized into one body throughout the world, in the same manner as are Roman Catholics, Episcopalians, and E. Methodists, but each congregation maintains the right to control its own affairs and its own faith independently of other congregations. [This is well, but the same principle should extend to each individual in each congregation. Each should be asked if he accepts the Lord by the only name, Saviour, and the Bible as God's divinely inspired communication to man; and beyond this, each should be left to believe all that he can find in God's revelation, each ready to assist and be assisted by the other, to grow in grace and knowledge and in the love of God.] But those independent congregations, imitating the various sects, have formed "Unions" by which the majority of such churches attempt to fix the faith and affairs of the others, much the same as Conferences do for the Methodists, and the Presbyteries and Synods and General Assemblies of the Presbyterians, and the Convocations Councils and generally the hierarchies of the Protestant Episcopal and Roman Catholic churches. (Chas. H. Spurgeon's Position, Watchtower, February, 1888.)

This is similar to Hoeh's condemnation of Christians organizing themselves together in the 1959 "church history" booklet.

This concerns the founding of the Seventh Day Baptists:

so nearly dead were these congregations that in 1802 MANY began to ORGANIZE THEMSELVES together into a General Conference instead of submitting to the government of God for the carrying out of the gospel. At this serious juncture, MOST of the local churches JOINED THEMSELVES TOGETHER to form the Seventh-day Baptist General Conference and thereby ceased to be the true Church of God.

This concerns the founding of the Seventh Day Adventists.

In the spring, of 1861 another conference was held in an unscriptural effort to reorganize local congregations....Once again men forgot that they can not organize themselves INTO the Church of God. They can only organize themselves OUT OF the Church of God!

These statements against the organizing of Christians together seems very peculiar considering that WCG was also "organized," specifically as a one man dictatorship euphemistically labeled the "government of God."

So once again we must ask ourselves why is Armstrongism supposedly unique?

Sects, 'Cults' and Alternative Religions

Recently I found this book: Sects, 'Cults' and Alternative Religions by David V. Barrett (1996). This book has a section on WCG.

Its section is about thirteen pages long as this was written during the 'transformation'. It discusses the falling out between Herbert and Garner Ted and points out that Plain Truth readers would had have no idea of the scandals that plagued WCG in the 1970s.

Curiously it states that the circulation of the Plain Truth at its height in the 1980s was only 5 million, rather than the figure of 8 million, which is more regularly reported.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Tomorrow's World Only Source of Understanding?

The following is from Roderick C. Meredith's semi-annual letter of May 26, 2003, p. 1. The semi-annual letter is given to Tomorrow's World magazine subscribers who had not yet paid them. (Bolding is mine. Italics is in original.)

The entire panorama of prophetic events that I have preached and written about for the last fifty years is now coming to its climax! Only in Tomorrow's World magazine will you be given the full understanding of what is happening on the world scene and what you should do about it.

This is not true. There are many other Armstrongite groups out there that share the same understanding of Armstrongite prophecy as Meredith's Living Church of God. Small details do occasionally differ among the groups. (Will the King of the South be a unified Arab combine or Iran? Or Ethiopia?) But they are generally just small details.

This statement is designed to make unsuspecting readers think that the sort of information they are getting from LCG is unique. Yet many other groups share the same understanding of prophecy, largely inherited from the false prophet Herbert W. Armstrong.

This statement is untrue and dreadfully misleading.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

"Yes, I KNOW These Pictures are Terrifying!"-- HWA

HWA infamously slapped onto some of his publications horrific images created by Basil Wolverton. These images were vital in scaring many people into giving their allegiance to the false prophet Herbert W. Armstrong.

This was blatant scare mongering. HWA knew it as well.

This fact is shown with the following article in the February-March, 1955, Plain Truth. In it HWA wrote an article entitled 'Yes, I KNOW these pictures are terrifying!' (pp. 3-4, 13-14).

(Warning: some of Wolverton's images may be seen on pp. 2, 5 and 12.)

He discusses the various images of Basil Wolverton that were published at the time, some of which would later be used in the 1975 in Prophecy booklet.

The first paragraph reads as follows:

"These pictures are revolting--horrifying!--yes, I know! I know that some don't like to look at them."

He then justifies using these images insisting that they portray events which are really going to happen by 1975.

HWA writes of their "almost living REALISM--in all their literal horror."

"They picture the realism of what's coming as mere words could never do. They have made many tens of thousands really SEE what's coming on the world. It isn't pretty. It isn't pleasant. But it's REAL--it's COMING upon an unsuspecting, heedless world

CRY ALOUD! I do not spare you--I tell you the TRUTH with all the power God gives me.

These pictures are not pleasing, soothing. They do not whisper weakly--they CRY ALOUD--they boldly THUNDER at you the TRUTH as God requires that His servants shout it to the whole world. They are POWERFUL pictures! They proclaim the Gospel and God's warning in tremendous POWER! "

This shows that HWA knew very well what he was doing when he unleashed Wolverton's grotesque drawings used in 1975 in Prophecy. He knew exactly what he was doing. Spreading fear inducing images producing horror in readers that would entrap them into the exploitative grip of HWA's mind control cult.

HWA knew exactly what he was doing. This article is one brazen manifestation of his ruthless exploitation of people. This was a coldly calculated, premeditated act to extort three tithes from deceived people on the false premise that a man (who said Christ would return in 1936 and that Mussolini then Hitler was the Beast) was working with God when God could never had worked with such a man.

All this is further evidence that HWA was truly an evil man. A sorry excuse for a human being. Such must be the verdict of the evidence left by history.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembering 9/11

9/11 has come again. I'm sure everyone remembers that terrible day.

One thing I wish to share here is that just before this event occurred I was reading one of Meredith's LCG recruitment booklets. I was re-reading it again while watching TV when quite by chance I saw those terrible events on TV. I could not believe at first but once I started to believe what I were seeing I just watched the news for a long time. I had seen the images of those events before the second plane hit. Our hearts sank as those events unfolded.

Naturally this only further convinced that Meredith and Co. were right about their prophetic framework. As related ealier I got myself a subscription to PCG's recruitment magazine because of this. No doubt others had similar feelings. But I was then unaware that they are false prophets as is clearly shown by their many failed prophecies. 1975 was only the most prominent failed prophecy. There are many others.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Dave Pack on History Channel

Exit and Support Network has just released an email, dated September 9, stating that Dave Pack will be on the History Channel on a show called The Nostradamus Effect.

According to the email he will appear in an episode in "mid-October".

Monday, September 7, 2009

Why HWA was "Uncertain" in The Wonderful World Tomorrow Book

Ambassador Watch has reported that ABC Radio (Australia) has released a radio program and more chronicling Denis Michael Rohan's infamous attempt to burn down Al Aqsa Mosque. All that looks very good and intriguing.

Mr. Rumney mentioned Scott Lupo's paper concerning HWA's book, The Wonderful World Tomorrow. In that paper Mr. Lupo mentioned that "Armstrong admitted that he was not sure" about the roles which prominent saints would have in the World Tomorrow (Page 6, paragraph 2).

I made a comment in that post on this matter which I wish to share on this blog.

Wow. Good on ABC for choosing to tell this story.

In Scott Lupo's paper it is stated that HWA admitted that he did not know for certain what the roles of the various prominent saints would be in the World Tomorrow.

For what it's worth, I heard Meredith say in a sermon that HWA initially wanted to say with certainty that Noah, Daniel, etc. "will" (not "might") fulfill the roles HWA assigned to them. But Meredith persuaded him not to that.

Meredith said something like this. I do not have an exact quote of what he said, he said it in a sermon long ago (2000/1 maybe even 2002), which will be long gone as LCG's website's sermons only go back to 2005. This is the story Meredith told HWA as best as I recall.

"Imagine if God talked to you and said "Wow, You're right. You figured it all out. Now I hate to say it but you've filled up all the required positions so well, the only position I have left for you is that of a doorkeeper.""

After HWA heard this little story HWA decided to say "might" not "will." That is why HWA did that.

Now some may question whether we can trust Meredith in this matter. I do not know. But I do know that he did tell his followers this story.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Ezekiel Watchman: Part 2 -- The Doctrine's Origins

As seen previously HWA taught that Ezekiel did not deliver his prophecy to Israel (the mythical Lost Ten Tribes) but that his prophecies were written for the end times today and applied to the church warning (physical) "Israel" now, referring to the mythical Lost Ten Tribes, specifically America, Britain and related countries.

HWA never had an original doctrinal thought. So where did HWA acquire this idea?

HWA got this from the Jehovah's Witnesses.

The Jehovah's Witnesses taught a very similar idea concerning Ezekiel. That Ezekiel's writings were not made for his time, but have their ultimate fulfillment today.

In J. F. Rutherford's booklet, His Vengeance, it is taught that Ezekiel was a representation of all Jehovah's Witnesses, who are commanded to warn the people of the coming of Armageddon. This is very similar to how HWA said the church is to warn Israel of the coming Great Tribulation.

You can read this book here. Please note that this is an unofficial pro-Jehovah's Witnesses website.

His Vengeance was published in 1934, around the time HWA began to preach on the airwaves.

Rutherford used this idea to order all his followers to go preaching door to door, however HWA decided not to do that, instead telling his followers that their task was simply to fund him in his commission as God's end time Apostle and end time Elijah by paying the three tithes. They were not required to go door to door.

(It was after reading the first essay that it struck me that HWA stole his watchman idea from the Jehovah's Witnesses, only applying a British-Israelite spin to it.)

The first essay 'Jehovah's Vengeance' is utterly depressing. No wonder the Watchtower does not presently publish anything this man wrote. That and the many teachings which
In these last days God has caused his Word to be made plain, not by man's interpretation, but by bringing to pass the facts, that explain God's prophecies. (pp. 8-9)
This is very similar to how HWA and imitators claim their interpretation of Bible prophecy is not their own interpretation but the true meaning.
"That means to depart from and forsake hypocritical "Christendom", take your stand wholly on the side of God and his kingdom, and obey his Word. Do not follow any man, nor even lean to your own imperfect reasoning. (p. 9.)
Observe how Rutherford refers to Christians with demeaning terms. This is very similar to how Armstrongites have referred to other Christians as "professing Christians" and other such terms.
The Scriptures make it clear that the part of such devoted Christians is merely as servers of notice. They are merely to be witnesses for God and to declare to the people God's purposes. (pp. 10-11.)
"merely to be witnesses...declare to the people". This is very similar in tone to how HWA would claim he was not looking for converts (because they would come after the Millennium). This emphasis on warning rather than converting in from both Rutherford and HWA is strickingly similar.

They will take no part in using physical force against the powers that be. God does not need physical help, and any such exercise by Christians would be entirely contrary to his will. The Christian's work is to proclaim the praises of Jehovah. (p. 11.)
In the second essay 'Jehovah's Sword' this Ezekiel imagery is made even more explicitly.
Jehovah used Ezekiel to picture or represent his faithful witnesses now on the earth. He first enlightens his witnesses concerning the approaching battle of Armageddon and then lays upon them the duty to tell these truths to all the nations of earth as a testimony, that the people who desire to hear may hear and learn and that the others may have no excuse for not hearing. (p. 14.)
"Jehovah used Ezekiel to picture or represent his faithful witnesses now on the earth." HWA did the very same thing, insisting that Ezekiel's prophecy did not apply to his time twenty five hundred years ago, but to our time today.

"lays upon them the duty to tell these truths to all". This is very similar to how HWA presented as message as being "just a warning." Also note how Rutherford uses the imagery of Ezekiel and presents the duty of Jehovah's Witnesses as warning the world of the coming Armageddon. This is very similar to HWA teaching that the church is to warn Israel today.

One difference in the Watchtower's teaching and that of HWA is that the Watchtower doctrine lacks any British-Israelite flavor to it. Clearly when HWA adopted this "Church is the Ezekiel Watchman" doctrine from the Jehovah's Witnesses he then added the British-Israelite component to this imagery.

So now we see that even this "Ezekiel Watchman" doctrine was simply pilfered by HWA from the Jehovah's Witnesses. All those who now use this imagery to support their own organizations are simply mimiking the Jehovah's Witnesses.

We must conclude that HWA is simply a fraud.

The Ezekiel Watchman: Part 1

In Armstrongism it is taught that the British and American peoples are descendants of the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel, specifically of Manasseh and Ephraim, the two sons of Joseph. Herbert W. Armstrong plagiarized this idea from the British-Israelism movement, which originated from Victorian England and is contrary to modern genetic findings. (If there was such genetic evidence they would never let us forget it.)

In conjunction with British-Israelism HWA and his followers teach that modern day Israel is hopelessly corrupted by its sins and part of the church's mission is to warn Israel of the coming catastrophe of the Great Tribulation, in which a German dominated revival of the Holy Roman Empire composed of ten nations or groups of nations will destroy American, Britain and related peoples and take them away as slaves.

The Armstrongite organization's role of warning Israel is often compared to the ministry of the prophet Ezekiel. In fact HWA and his followers teach Ezekiel's mission was not fulfilled in his lifetime and will only be accomplished by HWA and his followers. Hence the church today fulfil the role of the Ezekiel commission.

This teaching that the church is the Ezekiel Watchman may be seen in LCG's booklet on British-Israelism by the late John Ogwyn, The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy.
The God of Israel proceeded to give him a commission. He was being set as a watchman for the House of Israel...Notice that Ezekiel’s commission set him as a watchman not to his own people (the House of Judah), but to the northern ten tribes of the House of Israel!...

God commissioned Ezekiel to be a watchman. What exactly is a watchman? In ancient times it was customary to place someone in a high tower atop the city wall to serve as lookout when danger threatened. It was the watchman’s job to be alert and vigilant, ever scanning the horizon for signs of an approaching enemy. When he saw evidence of an enemy’s approach, the watchman was to sound a trumpet of alarm. (Under the headings 'Ezekiel's Dramatic Vision' and 'Ezekiel's Commission', pp. 5-6.)
The booklet concludes near the end that:
God’s Church is taking Ezekiel’s message of warning and of hope to the modern-day House of Israel. (In the section 'What's Ahead for our Nations' under the heading 'The Watchman's Message', p. 41.)
So the church fulfills the function of Ezekiel, according to HWA and Co.

Ezekiel's message was not meant his people in his time, the followers of HWA say, but was like a time capsule whose true purpose would not fulfilled until the end times just prior to Armageddon and the return of Christ.

It is well known that HWA was a shameless plagiarizer who stole many of his ideas and then presented them as though he was the only one to possess such knowledge when that simply was not true.

Where did he get this idea of a commission held by Ezekiel, which would not be fulfilled until the end times, when it would be fulfilled by the church? Has anyone else taught this idea?

More on this later.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

LCG moves onto Social Networking Sites

Remember how persons within UCG suggested ways for members to use the Internet to spread their messages and gain more converts? Now LCG is promoting the same practice.

In its August 27, 2009 weekly update it is suggested that LCG members use their blogs or Facebook or Twitter accounts to link to LCG materials to spread LCG's messages.

I wonder if anyone will mention the Three Tithes which are so carefully hidden by the LCG hierarchy from prospective members?