Sunday, January 3, 2010

Gerald Flurry: A Biographical Sketch--Part 3: From Little Book to MOA

Previously we saw how Gerald Flurry wrote Malachi's Message and using that book established his legitimacy as 'God's man' and created his own organization, the Philadelphia Church of God in 1989 after getting fired in 1989.

Over time his organization emerges as one of the most severe challenges to WCG.

We now continue.

Gerald Flurry's legitimacy rested on his authorship of Malachi's Message. Further cementing the importance of Malachi's Message, and thus further enshrining his own authority, he makes the declaration that it is the Little Book of Revelation 10.

In page 4 (PDF p.3) of the September-October issue of The Philadelphia Trumpet Gerald Flurry declares Malachi's Message to be the Little Book, even saying that it came from a mighty Angel on page 8 (PDF p.7). It was only in the summer of 1992 that Gerald Flurry decided that Malachi's Message is the Little Book. He admits as much in page 39 (PDF p. 41) of the January-February, 2006 issue of Royal Vision: "in the summer of 1992, I received the understanding that Malachi's Message was actually the Little Book spoken of in the 10th chapter of Revelation." He first publicly revealed this new belief to the students of the Philadelphia Youth Camp that summer. "I first delivered this revelation at our Philadelphia Youth Camp that summer. (p. 39, PDF p. 41.)"

With Malachi's Massage now occupying such a high position for PCG this solidifies its (and the author's) place in what can be called The Key of David's Tale.

However this doctrine contradicted HWA's understanding of the Little Book. Herbert W. Armstrong asserted in his November 19, 1976 co-worker letter that the Little Book referred to his ministry to world leaders after the passing of the 19 year time cycle in 1972. This was a desperate attempt by HWA to obscure the failure of the coming of the Great Tribulation which was due in 1972.

December: Roderick C. Meredith leaves WCG and establishes the Global Church of God, which soon establishes itself as one of the main splinter groups from WCG.

1993: March: In The Philadelphia Trumpet PCG responds to the challenge of Meredith's Global Church of God by insisting that they (and all other ex-WCG members who do not belong to PCG) are 'Laodiceans.'

Or course, there are different groups of lukewarm and dead churches. But Mr. Armstrong ALWAYS PREACHED THAT GOD WORKS THROUGH ONLY ONE MAN AND ONE CHURCH! The rest are deceived....

This leader I quoted earlier [Meredith] is teaching a satanic doctrine! IT IS VERY UNBIBLICAL TO SAY THERE ARE BRANCHES OF GOD'S TRUE CHURCH!....

Where did I get this new revelation [MM]? As Paul said, it was "NOT AFTER MAN." It came from God! Members of God's Church who can't see that revelation are BLIND!....(Quoted in Ambassador Report 54, February, 1994, 'Flurry's Philadelphians.')

[In reality Malachi's Message was plagiarized from Jules Dervaes' Letter to Laodicea which contains many ideas found in Flurry's 'Little Book.' The proof may be seen here. Furthermore Dervaes sent his work to every WCG minister including Gerald Flurry and John Amos. Furthermore in 1990 PCG sent unsolicited mail to Jules Dervaes and he immediately wrote a September 26, 1990 letter where he states

"Whether it was done unknowingly or deliberately, many of your ideas [in Malachi's Message] are a direct and clear plagiarism of my work The Letter to Laodicea which was in stages published from December, 1986 through January, 1988." (The Letter to Laodicea is underlined in the original.)

So the last sentence is in fact untrue. We now return to our main topic.]

Gerald Flurry compared the siege on the Branch Davidian compound with the persecution he said PCG would later face in the end time as may be seen here.

PCG publishes Lamentations and the End-Time Laodiceans. Interprets Lamentations as being primarily a prophecy of the fate of the Laodiceans. It comes with a fear inducing cover of a pitiable woman in rags mourning with a nuclear mushroom cloud in the background. This is a prime example of the fearful preaching that is often used to frighten people into joining PCG.

September 18: The drinking incident. That Saturday night, around 10:22 pm, Gerald Flurry was found by a cop in a drunken state. While in this intoxicated state he started up the car and put it in drive, then reverse, and proceeded to do this several times. Eventually he was persuaded to leave the car, and was asked for his driver's license. After saying he did not have it he tried to give him a twenty dollar bill, later adding a five dollar bill as well. The officer refused to take the money. He then took and failed three sobriety tests. He then underwent a breathalyzer test and was found to be over the legal limit.

1994: John Trechak exposes PCG as a particularly destructive group. (Ambassador Report 54, February 1994.) Some highlights from this important article.

[Gerald Flurry's] own published writings reveal him very clearly to be a cult leader of the first magnitude. And (2) we expect him and his followers to [be] in the news in the future....

In the last few years we have received a good number of letters from individuals who have made the mistake of leaving the WCG for PCG ("out of the frying pan and into the fire" was how one put it). Each told us that the experience cost them many thousands of dollars and much mental confusion. We have heard from a number who have said the experience cost them their marriage. We have even been contacted by mental health therapists who were attempting to treat some who had come out of the PCG, but who found their patients' mental problems overly complex. 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.

It also contains Don Marshall's warning against PCG.

I knew that something was not right within the WCG because of the way our two ministers, Gerald R. Flurry and John Amos, were fired and disfellowshipped. Another man, J. Timothy Thompson, and I helped raise up the "Philadelphia Church of God" in Edmond. If I knew then what I know now, I would not have been a party to that effort. Being very naive, my wife and I helped him produce and distribute Malachi's Message. Little did I know that Flurry would turn out to be a duplicate copy of Armstrong. I regret I had anything to do with promoting the same fraud upon the hundreds of people who became members of the PCG just as HWA had done upon the thousands who became members of the WCG.

Keith Hunt, a former WCG member who used to be associated with Fred Coulter, writes a critique of Malachi's Message, Gerald Flurry and Herbert Armstrong: The Falsehood and Idolatry!, condemning it as idolatrous towards HWA.

John Trechak provides the following report:

In Britain it appears that PCG is more successful at gaining recruits from WCG than even GCG.

"Gerald Flurry's Philadelphia Church of God continues to grow. One of our Scottish readers tells us that Flurry is picking off more WCG members in Britain than even Rod Meredith. One of Flurry's new fans in the U.S. is Gwen La Ravia, wife of WCG evangelist Ellis La Ravia.
" (Ambassador Report 56, October 1994.)
Isaiah's End Time Vision.

1995: Gerald Flurry writes Habbakkuk booklet. Today he teaches that Habbakkuk is a prophesy predicting victory in PCG's court case with WCG. (It actually ended in a forced settlement.) Originally this booklet presented a completely different interpretation of Habbakkuk. In the 2005 reprinting it was updated with PCG's new understanding. Essentially the new understanding was tacked onto the older booklet. The 1995 version may be seen here.

A letter appear in Ambassador Report 59, June 1995:
A Michigan friend told me about the Philadelphia Church of God's internal problems. He said he learned about ministers disfellowshipping ministers and Mr. Flurry getting rid of rebels. Can you fill me in on this?

-New York

Editor: We've heard the same thing. But Flurry's Oklahoma organization is secretive to the point of paranoia and getting the details from them is virtually impossible. However, a couple of interesting bits of data about the former WCG minister: Flurry apparently likes some of the ideas of Dr. Ernest Martin. In the April [1995] issue of his Trumpet, he ran an article which plagiarizes many of the discoveries made by Martin regarding the Bible. And, for reasons we cannot fathom, Flurry seems to be trying to recruit U.S. military people. He has been running ads in Stars and Stripes, the armed services newspaper.

The Little Book
is published. I actually have a copy of this booklet. For some strange reason they ended up sending me two copies. This booklet asserts that Malachi's Message is the Little Book of Revelation 10 (rather than a plagiarized work).

The Prophet Joel: Christ's Bride and the Day of the Lord (revised 2003, 2004 and 2006) is published. I actually have a copy of the 1995 version of this booklet. I found it quite unmemorable. Also that booklet had a plain red cover with no illustrations. Now it has a fear inducing picture of a nuclear mushroom cloud looming over a silhouetted cityscape.

1996: Around this time Dennis Leap made a sermon in which he made the mistake of treating Malachi's Message as something worthy of criticism and criticizing some parts of Malachi's Message. Gerald Flurry alledgedly becomes enraged at this and this is said to become a permanent stain on their relationship. (Hard Feelings From Flurry Towards Dennis Leap)

From the Beginning is published. My thoughts on that booklet may be read here.

Ambassador Report estimates that PCG has about 7000 members. (Ambassador Report 62, July 1996.)

August: Gerald Flurry condemns the decision by the British government to move the Stone of Scone from London to Edinburgh. (Ambassador Report 63, September 1996.)

The King of the South (revised 2001, 2003, 2007 and 2008). Gerald Flurry dogmatically teach that Iran will fulfill that role.

He discovers that a minister no longer believes in Malachi's Message. Yet Flurry lets him continue preaching. (Gerald Flurry: A Religious Fraud?)

1997: Beginning in January PCG offers Mystery of the Ages. With this event Flurry claims PCG's primary mission has shifted from being a warning ministry to 'Laodiceans' (ex- and current WCG members) to a warning message to the world.

WCG sues claiming this to be a breach of copyright. A hearing held February 18 denies WCG's request for a temporary restrainig order. The case was then dismissed by WCG and taken before another court. PCG then produced several newspaper ads hailing this moment as a great victory. (Ambassador Report 65, May 1997.)

And so began the court battle over Mystery of the Ages.

To be continued...


  1. I have just written a hubpage on Armstrongism, and applaud your blog. Good work.

  2. Thank you, Henrik Blunck, very much for the compliment. It is greatly appreciated.

    And thanks for setting up another webpage exposing this religious movement.

    For any reader interested here's the link: