Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My First Days of Unleavened Bread

It's about time for Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread. Therefore this is the perfect time to share with you my first observance of the Days of Unleavened Bread.

In 2000 it was not made clear to me that the Living Church of God taught observance of the Holy Days (Passover, Days of Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles, Last Great Day.) So I was unable to observe them.

I was first made aware of their observance of the Holy Days while I was reading a booklet arguing for Seventh Day Sabbath observance. In that booklet Meredith was discussing fasting and he casually stated, as though mentioning a 'by the way' thing he stated that one is under no obligation to observe fasting on any day of the year except the Day of Atonement. Now I knew what the Day of Atonement was so this throw away comment made me panic and (because I trusted them) convinced me to observe those days.

There was, at the time, so soon after the 1998 GCG Split, no information on their website informing people when the Holy Days occurred. So when the fall Holy Days occurred in 2000 I did not know when they occurred. Although I did fast in 2000, but on the wrong day.

Later I got LCG's Holy Days booklet which finally told me the dates for the Holy Days. When the dates for the dates for the Days of Unleavened Bread came up I prepared to observe it as best I could. It was impossible for me to remove the leaven from the house so I could not do that. But I was determined to abstain from leaven and eat some unleavened bread.

As I had no training from the LCG hierarchy on what was leaven or not I had to act as I could. I was so zealous in trying to abstain from leaven that I actually starved myself since I was uncertain how to discern what was leaven or not.

By the last day I was actually ravenously starving, desperately waiting for the sun to set so I could eat normally. When one gets hungry enough he or she will only even think of food. I had reached that stage. I remember practically not eating anything that last day. So it was quite good that I was able eat normally.

I must say my other observances of the Days of Unleavened Bread were not as bad. I always felt very guilty for not observing it properly. I could not because I had not made contact with LCG, then when I did I was rebuffed by their minister, so then I couldn't do anything about joining LCG.

Thankfully in 2008 I discovered that HWA was a false prophet who made countless false prophecies. So I know that God could not have used Herbert W. Armstrong to do anything. LCG and other related groups observe the Feast of Tabernacles in the scriptually wrong way. Therefore I must say he was a fraud. I am still a Christian. I believe to this day that Jesus Christ is worthy of our worship. But I will not listen to HWA because of his many prophetic errors.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Hutaree Militia Read Dave Pack's Cult

[Update: More on this from Anderson Cooper of CNN.]

Eight members of Hutaree (pronouned Hut-a-ree), a 'Christian' militia group, have been arrested and indicted for conspiring to commit crimes.

The arrests have been widely reported. See here, here and here.

If true (everyone's innocent until proven guilty) this is a horrifying example of domestic terrorism thankfully avoided.

According to the indictment nine members of Hutaree (including one still out of custody) plotted to murder a law enforcement officer (become cop killers) and then detonate an Improvised Explosive Device at his funeral in order to incite a mass uprising against the US government.

Adherents of these far right militia movements often hold extreme anti-US government views, viewing federal authorities, and in some cases even State authorities, as illegitimate authorities conspiring to create a 'new world order'. Some within this wider movement even believe that the US state is planning to round up dissidents into FEMA camps. A wildly absurd conspiracy theory.

Now the reason I'm mentioning this here is because I went to Hutaree's web site and looked at their Information Sources page. That page features links to several webpages, Financial Times, Asia Times, website of the European Union, WorldNetDaily,, Jack Von Impe Ministries, a counter-cult apologetics web sites.

And then, lo and behold, guess what I saw? A link to Dave Pack's Real Truth magazine website.

So it seems someone at Hutaree liked Pack's stuff enough to provide a link on their website.

This Dave Pack once exploitatively ordered his followers to hand over their assets to his organization. Here is part of what he said during that infamous and wicked, money grubbing blackmail sermon.
(1:11:35) If you hold those riches, I'm telling you, you trust in them! [chastising voice]...I am charged by God, reading this verse to charge all of you out there in the Work, in the church, who have assets. You have a home that's paid off? [yelling] Go get a big chunk out of your home and put your money where your mouth is and send it here! And I'm not talking one, two, three thousand either! How about ten, twenty, thirty, fifty, a hundred thousand dollars— Go do it!! Woo hoo, Mr. Pack, you got serious! [mimicking voice] You haven't heard anything yetkeep listening. [said with haughty attitude]
And he regards himself as an Apostle, just like the false prophet Herbert W. Armstrong.

Now considering that Hutaree also linked to more mainstream Christian web sites it seems a bit strange that they would link to an Armstrongite organization. This suggests to me that they may have been unaware, or perhaps not entirely aware, of the heretical nature of Armstrongism, which denies the Trinity.

Also, if what the indictment say is true, it seems some Hutaree members held very strong anti-US government views. That is quite unlike Armstrongism which if anything actually supports the US. The US is not generally viewed as a threat within Armstrongism, but rather as the heir of Israel based on the historically inaccurate and disproven theory of British Israelism. They are scared of the European Union due to HWA's false, fear inducing prophecies that Europe would conquer and enslave America and Britain during the Great Tribulation just before Christ's return. The specifics of which are often updated in order to further scare members.

Also Armstrongites are often pacifists, a practice HWA may have plagiarized from the Jehovah's Witnesses cult. Hutaree certainly did not know/pay attention to that part of Pack's teachings as the whole purpose of that militia was to survive the turmoil of World War III by being expert in the handing of arms. Armstrongism teaches that God will protect the Philadelphia era Christians from the Great Tribulation. A widespread idea was that they would be taken to Petra.

Now it would be absurd to try to blame Pack for Hutaree's alleged actions but the Armstrongite dogmas that Europe will arise to destroy America and Britain is perfect fuel for these extremist militias' fears that America is being threatened by (non-existent) world conspiracies.

If Only It Was About Armstrongism

I wish there was a blog like this which targeted Armstrongism.

An Open Letter to Conservatives.

This blog extensively details one former Republican's disillusionment with the present day conduct of the right in America.

[Update 06.28.13: Dead link.]

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Actual American Socialists Condemn Health Care Reform as Too Conservative

I had a bit a laugh today. Opponents of Health Care Reform have been insisting that it is 'socialism.'

But the actual Socialists in America disagree.
"As I understand it, we have taken over the country," says Kastner, who is a proud member of the Milwaukee local of the Socialist Party. "The Republicans in Congress, the talk radio, all through the health-care debate, they've been saying its proof that the Socialists are in charge. Can you believe it?" ...

a bemused Myrtle Kastner notes that her party appears to have taken complete charge of the U.S. government – or so House Minority Leader John Boehner, various and sundry sulking Republican politicians, and their amen corner in the media (led by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity) would have us believe.

What surprises Kastner is not merely the fact that the party, which sometimes has a hard time filling all the chairs at its meetings, organized the takeover without informing her – or, to her knowledge, any other Socialists.

What seriously surprises her is that the health-care reform legislation that's been passed by Congress would be characterized by anyone who knows anything about economics or politics or history as "socialist."

"I'm afraid it's not socialized medicine," she says of the plan, which maintains private health-insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and nursing homes – most of which saw their stock values rise after the legislation was enacted.

Indeed, the Socialist Party stands in opposition to President Obama's approach.

"This is not a healthcare reform bill," says Socialist Party USA co-chair Billy Wharton, "It is instead a corporate restructuring of the American healthcare system designed to enhance the profits of private health insurance companies disguised with the language of reform"
I can't say for myself if his criticism of Health Care Reform is accurate at this moment. But I find this fact interesting to know.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Why We Do Not Need to Fear the Growing US Debt

(Just before I get into this I'd like to say that I have updated my previous blog about Meredith's anti-Protestantism article.)

For anyone needlessly scared by the increasing indebtedness of the US government you need to read this article by James Galbraith, In Defense of Deficits, recently published in The Nation magazine, and viewable at
The misinformation [and fear that the US state will become bankrupt] is rooted in what many consider to be plain common sense. It may seem like homely wisdom, especially, to say that "just like the family, the government can't live beyond its means." But it's not. In these matters the public and private sectors differ on a very basic point. Your family needs income in order to pay its debts. Your government does not.

Private borrowers can and do default. They go bankrupt (a protection civilized societies afford them instead of debtors' prisons). ...

With government, the risk of nonpayment does not exist. Government spends money (and pays interest) simply by typing numbers into a computer. Unlike private debtors, government does not need to have cash on hand. ... If you choose to pay taxes in cash, the government will give you a receipt--and shred the bills. Since it [the US government] is the source of money, government can't run out.

It's true that government can spend imprudently. Too much spending, net of taxes, may lead to inflation, often via currency depreciation--though with the world in recession, that's not an immediate risk. Wasteful spending--on unnecessary military adventures, say--burns real resources. But no government can ever be forced to default on debts in a currency it controls. Public defaults happen only when governments don't control the currency in which they owe debts--as Argentina owed dollars or as Greece now (it hasn't defaulted yet) owes euros. But for true sovereigns, bankruptcy is an irrelevant concept. When Obama says, even offhand, that the United States is "out of money," he's talking nonsense--dangerous nonsense. One wonders if he believes it.

Nor is public debt a burden on future generations. It does not have to be repaid, and in practice it will never be repaid. Personal debts are generally settled during the lifetime of the debtor or at death, because one person cannot easily encumber another. But public debt does not ever have to be repaid. Governments do not die--except in war or revolution, and when that happens, their debts are generally moot anyway.

Meredith's 'Has Protestantism Failed?' Examined (Updated)

LCG's latest Tomorrow's World magazine contains the article, Has Protestantism Failed?, by Roderick C. Meredith. This article reminds me very much of the sort of writings that LCG used to trick me into becoming a follower of them.

This article teaches the Armstrongite doctrine that Protestantism is an illegitimate form of Christianity that mixes elements of paganism.

This assumption is used to condemn the Trinity, Christmas, Easter, birthdays. (These ideas were actually stolen by HWA from the Jehovah's Witnesses who teach and practice many things similar to HWA.) But an unsuspecting reader of this article would not know this and only gradually accept these doctrines which will cause him or her to become isolated from society and embrace the teachings of a man who is very much a false prophet who repeatedly set dates for Christ's return (1936, after World War II, 1975, by 2005) that failed.

Let's take a look at this article and see what Meredith says.
Millions of churchgoers are in confusion, and often practice a "cafeteria" approach to religion—choosing a little of this and a little of that.
This hides the fact that in reality Herbert W. Armstrong also had a cafeteria approach to religion, taking whatever doctrines appealed to him from the Church of God (Seventh Day), Jehovah's Witnesses, British-Israelism, Mormonism, etc, and the end result of his thinking was what he taught in the World Tomorrow program and Plain Truth magazine.
Significant numbers are finding themselves attracted to Roman Catholic teachings
The unsuspecting reader will be unaware that LCG dogma (created for the most part by the false prophet HWA) teaches that in the future Protestants will flock to the Roman Catholic Church and cause it to become radically strong and unite Protestants and Catholics so that this union will be allied with a European Empire which will conquer and enslave America and Britain (which are taught to be descendants of Israel).

He refers to Benedict XVI's call for disaffected Anglicans to come into the Catholic Church as though this is part of a trend.

He then proceeds to delegitimize Protestantism in order to cause the unsuspecting reader to isolate him or herself from Protestantism in order for that person to become a three tithes paying member of LCG. He portrays them as ignorant of the Bible.

The unsuspecting reader will not know that HWA taught that the Roman Catholic Church is the Harlot of Revelation 17 and Protestants are her daughters.

He then expands on this by delegitimizing the founders of Protestantism. He accuses them of refusing to banish all traces of Catholicism from their thinking.
Although Luther, Calvin, Wesley and other great Protestant leaders understood this, they still had a certain sympathy for their former faith
The fact he calls them "great Protestant leaders" will cause unsuspecting readers to be unaware that this man is teaching something very different from standard Protestant Christianity.

(It also needs to be said that Wesley was never a Catholic. Such looseness with the facts is a characteristic that often occurs within the COGs I am afraid to say.)

He then uses a quote from Luther to ridiculously assert that Protestantism and Catholicism are essentially the same.
Luther said, "No one can deny that we hold, believe, sing, and confess all things in correspondence with the old Church, that we make nothing new therein nor add anything thereto, and in this way we belong to the old Church and are one with it" (Lindsay, A History of the Reformation, Vol. I, p. 468).

By their own statements, then, it is proved that the Protestants regarded themselves simply as a continuation of the historic Roman Catholic Church, but under a different and supposedly "purified" form. Luther himself vehemently affirmed their essential oneness with the Roman Catholic Church!
This is a ridiculous statement. This is simply an inflammatory statement made to demonize Protestantism and Catholicism.

They are not the same. Back in the Protestant Reformation they well knew the differences between their religions. Wars were fought, to a large extent, over religious differences during the Reformation. They certainly were not very united. A sad fact of life we are still struggling with even today.

The hostility between Catholics and Protestants would linger on for hundreds of years afterward. That is why Martin Luther King called for "Protestants and Catholics" to be united within a harmonious society in his renowned I Have a Dream speech. It was only until very recent times that such hostility has come to be more unfashionable. However this hostility, which Meredith is trying to tap into, is still alive and well in certain corners of Protestantism.

He then ends the article identifying the Roman Catholic Church as the Harlot of Revelation 17 and that Protestants are her harlot daughters. Thus both are irredeemably corrupt.

So after reading all that the unsuspecting reader is now confronted with the bold assertion that both Catholicism and Protestantism are irredeemably false and are not true expressions of Christianity. What will that person do? Most likely this article will just be ignored. But some will be greatly fearful that they are in the wrong church and will seek further guidance from this organization which seems to be so informed about sacred matters. They will learn more and more seemingly fascinating doctrines.

But unknown to them it is all a cleverly devised trap to grab hold of your heart and allegiance and the money you will be required to pay your three tithes towards LCG. The convert will be trapped in an inherently exploited position within LCG. That is the true purpose of this article. All of LCG's recruitment efforts is just a devilish trap.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

John Hagee and the Holy Days?

John Hagee Ministries sell a DVD/CD entitled Prophecy of the Seven Feasts, which seem to be about the annual Holy Days and teaches that they have a prophetic meaning.

You see the blurb for the DVD and CD versions of this presentation.

HWA: Pioneer in Public Opinion Polls?

HWA boasted in his Autobiography about his business surveys he made around 1914 and implys that they were the first ever public opinion polls.

In Chapter 5 of his Autobiography, entitled 'Pioneering in Public Opinion Polls' HWA relates a story of how he supposedly discovered the art of carrying out a public opinion poll.
In any event, the next distinct recollection is in Richmond, Kentucky. ... I had heard from travelling men along the way that Richmond was the "deadest" town in all America, and I thought there might be a worthwhile story in finding the reasons for this.
He then relates how he found Richmond to be full of incompetent merchants and he got into an argument with one of them and decided to conduct a survey of the town to prove to a merchant that most people were acquiring their goods from outside of town while the incompetent merchants remained blissfully ignorant of all this.

Then he writes, (Emphasis mine throughout article.)

I had no pattern to go by. To my knowledge no survey -- no sampling of public opinion -- or investigation from a representative portion of the people, according to the law of averages, had ever been made.
Actually it appears that the first political opinion poll in the USA occurred in 1824.

Here's the account from a synopsis of a Highbeam Business podcast dating from 2008.
Profile America -- Thursday, July 24th [2008]. With this being a presidential election year, Americans are inundated with the results of opinion polls on their latest preferences. The first such poll in our history appeared on this day in 1824 in the Harrisburg Pennsylvanian. According to those surveyed by the newspaper, Andrew Jackson was greatly favored over John Quincy Adams in the four-man presidential race. Though Jackson won the most popular and electoral college votes, he had a majority in neither, and the House of Representatives then elected Adams president.
Therefore HWA's statement is untrue. And so another lie of HWA is exposed. He just tries to take credit for an innovation just to make himself seem more important to his overawed followers.

He relates how he conducted this survey then presented it to the merchants. He ends this story by suggesting that Richmond has expanded partly because of his suggestions.
Possibly some of these suggestions of mine, based on the survey, had something to do with the fact that Richmond today is a growing town more than twice as large as it was then.
We must remember that stories such as this were used to persuade people that HWA was a special man and overawe converts into giving their loyalty to the false prophet of 1936, 1975 and 2005.

Repost: HWA's Plagiarism from the Jehovah's Witnesses

One year ago I wrote this blog, HWA, Plagiarism and Jehovah's Witnesses.

It details how many ideas within Armstrongism are actually taken straight from the Jehovah's Witnesses.

If you have not read it yet I greatly encourage you.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Health Care Reform Passes Congress

Congratulations to everyone in Congress for passing health care reform.


Now it just has to go through the Senate.

Update: Some articles concerning this momentous achievement.

Health Vote Caps a Journey Back From the Brink

Nancy Pelosi steeled White House for health push



Yes. We. Did.

Debunking Health Care Lies (by Reading the Bill)

Why Boehner is angry -- and Republicans should worry

How the Real Deal went Down

This Rachel Maddow report contains a list of the benefits that will go into force once this bill is signed into law.

The Misrepresentation of the 1970s 'Liberals'

Recently ESN released a letter commenting upon the so-called 'Liberals' who alledgedly opposed HWA in the 1970s, dated March 13.
I remember being told many things about the "liberals" in the 70's--how they dared to challenge HWA and God's authority. I heard lots about this, and I'm not too sure if it was because we lived in CA and we were in HWA's backyard, or because Leroy Cole (our minister) was Wayne Cole's brother (which was kept really hush-hush). But one thing for sure, it was drilled into us that these "liberals" were awful, rebellious people, headed for the Lake of Fire. They were openly ridiculed from the pulpit. It wasn't until I left, and ESN sent me a copy of all the letters those "awful liberals" wrote, that I saw they were actually very intelligent and sincere, and wanted to correct abuses. --Ex WCG member
To this day those who were loyal to HWA back in the 1970s continue to insist that the 'Liberals' were following ungodly motives, in the same way HWA taught.

Here's Dave Pack, cult leader of RCG.
The liberals of the 1970s introduced certain doctrines because they wanted acceptance by mainstream Christian organizations, (The Authorized Biography of David C. Pack, Volume 2, Chapter 36, 'The 1990s—Not the Liberal 1970s'. [That's the last section of the chapter.])
Is that true?

It is not. Some of them continue to run COG organizations. Some of them continue to teach doctrines which could never be accepted by mainstream Christians.

That accusation is untrue.

I do not believe that at all.

Another thing they were not seeking to grab the money HWA was able to gain from his eternally abused flock.

I know this because some them, such as Ernest Martin, became convinced that tithing did not apply to the church at all. Indeed I have read elsewhere that his groups were never financially secure, in large part because his groups never asked for tithes.

As far as I can tell the 'liberals' (those who believed differently from HWA's rigid dogmas) were people who simply wanted to reform WCG in order to remove abuses and make WCG a better, more loving, place.

I do not encourage anyone to uncritically accept whatever they say but I believe they acted against HWA only because they had a sincere loving attitude toward the members of WCG.

HWA and his cronies were incorrect to demonize the 1970s 'Liberals' and scapegoat them for all the problems of WCG in the way they did.

In reality HWA and GTA's authoritarian and dictatorial rule over WCG members bore a huge responsibility for the many problems that existed in the 1970s. But they ever so conveniently blamed it all on these 'Liberals'.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Students of Living University in Charlotte HQ

Meredith's Living Church of God has been placing students of their unaccredited, mainly on-line Living University within their headquarters in Charlotte.

Here are some relevant words from Roderick C. Meredith's February 10, 2010 co-worker letter:
An important part of this Work is its higher educational arm, Living University. Our LU students are taught to apply biblical values to every facet of life—including art, literature, science, music and human relations. All courses are based on the foundational principles of a godly education. Our mission is to bring instruction in God’s Way beyond geographical boundaries to all peoples, for “All the World is Our Campus.” We have already served hundreds of students from many different nations who have taken our Living University courses “online!”

Our primary focus is on adult learning through distance education provided over the Internet....I would especially encourage all of our young people to get involved with Living University. Our courses will not only help you lay a solid foundation for your future life, your family and your career.
How is an unaccredited degree supposed to do that? I cannot help but recall hearing of students of Ambassador College graduating after years of hard work only to discover that because their institution is unaccredited their degree was worthless. I have read people say their degrees were not worth the paper they were written on.

More young people are being encouraged to work for degrees which will be worthless because Living University is not accredited. They should just ignore LU and go to a University that actually has accreditation to better prepare their lives.

Is it possible that Herbert W. Armstrong deliberately made it that way to force students to work for WCG?
They may also help quite a number of you prepare for full-time service in the Work of God! ... So, we are hoping to have an increasing number of young students here at our Charlotte Headquarters as “on-campus” students. A few may be employed here in our offices as the need arises. Others will be assisted in acquiring off-campus employment....

As God makes possible, we want to have more of you here and build a real “college atmosphere” for you in addition to the hundreds of others taking our online courses. So come to Charlotte and be a “pioneer” in these early years of Living University.
Now of course all of this requires money so it ends with Meredith's customery begging for money. (Emphasis his.)
Dear brethren and co-workers, please remember that the financial needs of the Work of the gospel are great, as there are millions yet to learn of God and His ways—and we need to increase our television coverage, print publications, and Internet initiatives. This world is literally “crying out” for the true message of Jesus Christ and His magnificent world government to be set up on this earth.
And so Meredith's work of deception continues for the next generation.

Let Health Care Reform Come

I really hope the Democratic Party will be able to pass the Health Care Reform this weekend.

I see a Congression Budget Office report has just come out with a report saying that

"CBO and JCT [Joint Committe on Taxation] estimate that enacting both pieces of legislation—H.R. 3590 and the reconciliation proposal— would produce a net reduction in federal deficits of $138 billion over the 2010–2019 period as result of changes in direct spending and revenue" (p. 2).

Friday, March 19, 2010

WCG in the Developing World

Purple Hymnal/AggieAtheist has just released a post discussing WCG in the developing world. It contains links to fascinating pictures of WCG in Kenya and the Philippines.

For whatever reason there seems to be little discussion among COGs and ex-COGs about those who have become involved in the COGs elsewhere in the world.

I remember the kerfuffle that occurred when the late LCG minister Ernst Owino defected to Pack's RCG cult. I also recall ESN discussing a split that occurred in PCG in India.

I also remember once hearing in a sermon Roderick C. Meredith discussing talks with a congregation of some sort in India to unite with LCG.

Pack on the History Channel

So I've finally watched Dave Pack on the History Channel's TV show, The Nostradamus Effect. The episode is entitled 'Satan Army'.

All I have to say is I agree with the reviews, he certainly does not stand out from the other commentators on the show. Unless you knew better you would have every reason to assume that he was just another premillenialist Christian minister and would have no idea that he adheres to this Christian based cult of Armstrongism.

On the bright side he does not stand out.

On the down side this could cause people to assume that he is just another Christian minister when actually he is the leader of a cult that seems to be among the more controlling COGs. His group bans makeup for women for instance.

Ultimately I think it was all rather pointless.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Video That Brought Me To Tears

Nearly a year ago I wrote a post entitled How Dare You, HWA!

There I related how I was brought to tears after a church service in which I realized that actually many Christians are well aware that Jesus Christ is coming back as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. But HWA lied and claimed Christians were unaware of this in Mystery of the Ages.

After the service I was brought to tears watching a YouTube video. I did not say what it was so I'll say it now.

It was I Still Believe by Jeremy Camp.

I cried at the image which appears around 3:08.

If you are unfamiliar with this video I recommend watching from the start naturally.

If you can't get the DailyMotion video linked above hopefully you can see this YouTube video, which is essentially the same but the subtitles are different and some of the slides at the start are somewhat different.

Here's Jeremy Camp's website.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Why China Cannot Hurt the USA Financially Despite the Debt

Here’s an interesting article, by Paul Krugman, about China artificially keeping their currency, the renminbi, quite low.

Here’s his take on whether or not China has a stranglehold upon the USA over the foreign debt the USA owes China. (Emphasis mine.)
Here, we have to get past a common misunderstanding: the view that the Chinese have us over a barrel, because we don’t dare provoke China into dumping its dollar assets.

What you have to ask is, What would happen if China tried to sell a large share of its U.S. assets?…

It’s true that if China dumped its U.S. assets the value of the dollar would fall against other major currencies, such as the euro. But that would be a good thing for the United States, since it would make our goods more competitive and reduce our trade deficit. On the other hand, it would be a bad thing for China, which would suffer large losses on its dollar holdings. In short, right now America has China over a barrel, not the other way around.
So even though the USA has a large debt with China (although last I heard the USA owes more to Japan) the USA does not appear at present to be in significant financial danger from China.

Is 'Social Justice' a Code Word for (Marxist-Leninist) 'Communism'?

Glenn Beck recently said that 'social justice' is a code word for Marxist-Leninist communism.

"I beg you, look for the words 'social justice' or 'economic justice' on your church website. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words." (Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program, 3 February, 2010, as quoted in Beck attacks social justice, .)

Speaking as one who has read about 20 books about Marxist-Leninst Communism I feel compelled to say the following:

Social justice is not a euphemism for Marxist-Leninist Communism.

Marxist-Leninist Communism was an ideology that called for a change of classes' power in order to create a society in which the industrial proletariat gains power from capitalists.

But Lenin argued that the working class could not change society by themselves, therefore it was necessary to create a 'vanguard' which would tell the workers what to do, and that 'vanguard' became the Communist Party. It cynically used legitimate issues in order to gain power and proceeded to exercise its power in a truly monstrous, bloodthirsty and unfathomably evil manner.

The problem with Marxist-Leninist Communism was that it valued individuals only if that individual could help the creation of a post-capitalist society.

If the Party judged that an individual did not help the creation of a post-capitalist society then the Party had no use for them and proceeded to treat them inhumanely.

As far as I can tell that was the problem with Marxist-Leninist Communism and why it became so bloodthirsty.

Social justice is simply a term to describe a more just society which takes better care of the disempowered. It is a term used by people to try and alleviate and improve how society treat the disempowered.

Marxist-Leninist Communism assumes that the creation of a non-capitalist society is a more just society. Hence Marxist-Leninist Communists sometimes use terminology similar to many on the left. This also reflects the fact that Marxist-Leninist Communism is an aberrant and non-democratic part of the left. The same way that 'Christian Identity' is aberrant from the generally non-anti-Semitic (though factually wrong) British-Israelism.

These similarities can cause confusion that makes people assume that 'social justice' and (Marxist-Leninst) Communism are the same. They are not.

But social justice, when applied in a democratic manner, has nothing to do with Marxist-Leninist Communism. It is simply a noble goal to improve society so that we may all gain. Ultimately we all win in a society that knows how to treat the disempowered well.

Marxist-Leninist Communists exploited that desire for a better world. There was nothing wrong with the idealism itself.

I hope no one leaves their church because they believe that social justice is a euphemism for Marxist-Leninist Communism.

There are some good reasons to leave a church. An incorrect assumption that 'social justice' is just a code word for (Marxist-Leninist) Communism is not a good reason to leave a church. And I hope no one will make such a drastic step for that reason.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Did the Time of the End Begin in 1948? or 1957?

In one early LCG article I read was Roderick C. Meredith's When Will Jesus Christ Return? stated that the end times could only have begun in 1948 or 1957.

Here after quoting Scriptures discussing Daniel 8 and the Abomination of Desolation he argues that the 'time of the end' could have only begun in 1948 after the establishment of the State of Israel.
Clearly, then, there must be some sort of temple or altar in Jerusalem at the END of this age where the "daily sacrifice" (v. 11) is being offered. And that is when the final "abomination" is set up. This passage also indicates that the Jews at the time of the END would have a significant presence in Jerusalem. None of this makes sense without a revived state of Israel, a Jewish Jerusalem and a rebuilt temple. So the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, and the 1967 Jewish takeover of the old city and the Temple Mount are very significant events. These already fulfilled indications tell us that we are indeed in the prophesied "time of the END."
Later he presents the possibility of human annihilation to be a sign of the 'time of the end' and suggests 1957 as a possible date for the beginning of the 'time of the end'.
Cosmocide—the annihilation of all flesh—was not possible even during World War II. For although two atomic bombs were dropped to end the war with Japan, there were no more bombs available until months or years later. According to many authorities, it was not until about 1957 that—between the U.S. and the Soviet Union—enough atomic weapons existed to annihilate all humanity.

So with the return of many of the Jews to Israel in 1948, and the degree of atomic weapons proliferation in 1957, we certainly entered the "time of the end" by then—if not even before then.
The reason I find this so interesting is that this serves to effectively erase the facts that Herbert Armstrong had previously taught that 1936 and then the end of World War II would see the coming of Christ.

Those false prophecies prove that HWA was not a man used by God but was just a false prophet who taught his own counsel, not the counsel of God.

This article is yet another example of the COGs rewriting history in order to forget unpleasant facts and keep followers in bondage away from true Christianity.

Will the King of the South Be Secular or Religious?

Interestingly in GTA's 1963 article mentioned in the last entry he speculates that the United Arab Republic (Egypt from 1958-71) would expand, and it was a generally secular state. This is quite different from modern COG portrayals of the future King of the South, which often assume that it will be some sort of theocratic Caliphate. That is how LCG's Meredith portrays it in his booklet, Fourteen Signs of Christ's Return.
5. The Rise of an Aggressive, Fundamentalist Islamic Power

Islamic fundamentalist insurgencies, funded by rogue states and terrorist organizations, are trying to destabilize the moderate, Western-leaning, secular regimes currently in power, and are seeking to replace them with a unified, resuscitated Islamic caliphate (empire)—the prophesied "king of the South." The final leader over these reinvigorated Muslim nations will be a tremendously powerful religio-political false Messiah or "Mahdi" who will draw his power from a confederation of those nations.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Thoughts on the History of the King of the South Teaching

It is taught that the Arabs will unite themselves together under the King of the South.

This article, Seeing the World through Islamic Eyes, is an early introduction of the end time King of the South doctrine, written in 1979. It was around this time that the entire world's attention focused on the Iranian Revolution.

Now at first HWA said the King of the South was Ethiopia. This can be traced way back in 1939. When he developed this doctrine it was made with the understanding that Mussolini is 'the Beast' who will fight Christ at his coming.

Even after his prophetic framework completely disintegrated with the Allies' victory, he still retained various ideas from the discredited prophetic narrative. He still believed that Ethiopia was the King of the South, but only until it was conquered by Mussolini.

Even though Haile Selassie was restored as Emperor of Ethiopia, HWA no longer regarded him as the King of the South, insisting that his prophetic role had already been fulfilled. So there is no King of the South now. HWA's post-WWII understanding of this doctrine may be seen in his booklet, The Middle East in Prophecy

LCG apologist Bob Theil has an article all about this topic, Is there a Future King of the South?

Here, in order to support LCG's teaching that the Arabs will later become the King of the South, he argues that HWA's WCG taught a future fulfillment of the King of the South. He cites a 1974 article by Raymond McNair which says Danial 11:40-45 will have a future fulfillment.

Thiel also cites a 1963 Garner Ted Armstrong article, which taught that an expanded Egypt would later become the King of the South. At the time Egypt was called the United Arab Republic, because from 1958-61 it was united with Syria, and Egypt retained that name till 1971. Even though Syria got out of it in 1961 GTA was still insisting that it would later expand into the King of the South two years later. This assertion, like many others he made, would fail.

So it is clear even as early as 1963 some were trying to update this prophecy and provide it another interpretation that could be used to frighten the eternally abused flock.

But what on earth links the Arabs with Hellenistic Egypt?

This is the explanation HWA gave to link Ethiopia to ancient Hellenistic Egypt. Egypt was destroyed by the King of the North so they were a part of Rome. Then the mantle of King of the South passed to Ethiopia because they had escaped Roman rule. Much later Ethiopia is conquered a revival of the Roman Empire, reunified Italy, even though Ethiopia soon regains independence it is now no longer King of the South.
[Daniel 11] Verse 42 says Egypt shall not escape, proving Egypt is not now the "king of the south." Verse 43 says the Libyans and Ethiopians (observe that after its conquest by Mussolini, Ethiopia is not again referred to as the king of the south) shall be at his steps — and he will then control them. Italy lost control of Libya and Ethiopia after the war. (HWA, The Middle East in Prophecy.)
So by this standard the King of the South is gone. There is no one to pass the baton to. HWA said there was no King of the South. However this written before 1972. HWA expected WWIII to start in 1972. Once 1972 came and went this doctrine was left alone for awhile.

So again, how are the Arabs linked to the King of the South?

I do not know.

When I first read HWA's booklet I thought that Ethiopian interpretation made more sense than the modern Arab interpretation because HWA created a link with Hellennistic Egypt, which is taught to be the original King of the South.

Interpretations which assume that the Arabs will produce the King of the South do not have a similar link with Hellenistic Egypt. But I believed LCG's was where God was working so I believed them. And besides Meredith had assured us that the time of the end could only have begun in 1948 with the establishment of Israel or even 1957.

Now because there was no Ethiopian King of the South this doctrine was now useless. But how can you use this to scare followers about the future?

You cannot, so the prophecy needs to be changed. So this idea needed to be somehow updated to be used in modern times.

HWA had originally made no allowance for the possible revival of the King of the South, assuming WWII wold lead to Armageddon, but such a hindrance had never stopped them before.

So it was updated to say the Arab Muslims will unite together.

Now the King of the South which followers had thought was passed away was now revived again, pushed back into tomorrow, where it could be useful in scaring the ever abused flock. Even as early as 1963 this idea began to be fostered upon members, but it was only after 1979 that this idea gained potent life and became a prominent part of COG eschatology.

Members thought the King of the South was passed away, now they were told to be scared again. When the fear was thought to have passed, it came back again with a vengeance. The King of the South had been resurrected. It is a maneuver done with depressing regularity.

World Vision Suspended in Pakistan

World Vision has suspended its work in Pakistan after their offices in Mansehra, North-West Frontier Province were attacked by militants, killing six people.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What Was WCG Before 1970 Like?

One famous writer, Ernst Renan, said that a nation in order to maintain its identity as such, requires it to remember things about their past and also to forget unhelpful things about their past. This idea also applies to the COGs.

COG followers, when presenting WCG history, often say that before the 1970s all was well within the Radio/Worldwide Church of God.

John Ogwyn in his 'church history' booklet presents RCG/WCG as having everything working out well for them. The pre-1970s in the RCG/WCG is portrayed as a dynamic period where the truth was exploding into its full brilliance and of dramatic expansion, when the church bore much fruit.

According to this version of history it was only in the 1970s that things began to go wrong in WCG. "The 1970s saw in the Church, as in America as a whole, the emergence of an increasingly liberal, permissive spirit", Ogwyn writes.

That is the nostalgic, romantic view of RCG/WCG before 1970 which is very common among COG followers.

Many things are often left out from this narrative.

HWA made many false prophecies. HWA taught that the Great Tribulation would occur in 1972 and that Jesus Christ would return in 1975. During this time most members lived in fear that their time was up and that they could never lead a normal life because of this false prophecy. Indeed the failure of this prophecy was one of the contributing factors for the turmoil of the 1970s.

But that's not all.

During all of this 'wonderful' time before 1970 RCG/WCG engaged in what can only be described as an unspeakably awful and shameful policy towards Divorce and Remarriage. HWA required potential members who had been divorced and remarried or who were in such a marriage to divorce before they could even enter the church. It was only in 1974 that this insane policy came to an end within WCG.

During all of this 'wonderful' time HWA taught an anti-medicine superstition that viewed using medicines as idolatry that must be shunned by church members. HWA claimed that this was from the Bible, but he had actually plagiarized this superstition from Rutherford era Jehovah's Witnesses. HWA did not follow his own teaching but freely used drugs whenever he pleased, but he refused to relax this restriction. This superstition has caused unthinkable damage and heartache among many who were associated with WCG or its offshoots and some COG sects still adhere to this murderous doctrine.

Also RCG/WCG was observing the wrong Pentecost. Until 1974 Pentecost was observed on a Monday. Some people in RCG became convinced that Pentecost was on Sunday. Around 1948-9 a controversy erupted in RCG. It has been described as traumatic. Anyone who disagreed with HWA's Monday Pentecost was cast out of the church, only to learn 25 years later that they were right.

This does not sound like a happy place. This does not sound like an idyllic place where the truth of God was proclaimed. This does not sound like a place where God's righteousness and goodness is made manifest to be admired by the people.

This sounds like an insane cult. This sounds like a group enslaved by heartless legalism. This sounds like a group deceived by a false prophet who had no shame in spreading fear inducing prophecies no matter how many times they failed. This sounds like a group that regards the words of their cult leader as more important than the well being of its members and their loved ones. This sounds like a group enslaved by false fear of false prophecies.

"New Light": Now Where Have I Heard That Before?

So I reading writings from the Bethel Church of God, an offshoot of Raymond Cole's Church of God, the Eternal, which split off from WCG after the 1974 changes. Bethel Church of God continues to adhere to the two doctrines which WCG changed in 1974. Monday Pentecost and that ghastly Divorce and Remarriage doctrine which required divorced and remarried spouses to divorce in order to even enter the cult.

So I was reading their article, The Doctrine Of Pentecost – How And Why It Was Changed!, and while discussing the change in regards to Divorce and Remarriage it mentioned something that caught my eye.

Take a look.

Mr. Armstrong wrote to the entire Church about the “new light on marriage and divorce.”

Where did he get that expression from?

From the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Whenever they change a doctrine, which happens on a regular basis, they simply say thought restricting cliches that it is 'new light,' 'the light gets brighter,' etc.

Here is further evidence of how much HWA was influenced by the Watchtower Cult.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Protest for Health Care Reform

I see that right now Health Care Reform for America Now are holding a protest directed against the health insurance lobby in Washington, DC.

I hope they do well.

They Believe HWA, Like I Did

One of True Christian Ministries' articles, Does God Speak to us Through Our Dreams?, (which seems to have been written in 1999) the author, Joseph Santora, relates an encounter with some friends of his. According to him one of them has had a dream which Santora interprets to be God warning him about the coming Great Tribulation, which was supposed to come in 1975.

According to Santora:
In the past 11 years [since 1988?] that we have been friends, they have witnessed many of the things I had told them come to pass, no matter how far-fetched or unlikely they may have seemed at the time it was said.

Jim and Freddie say that they believe the Biblical truths I have taught them through the years and know that they should be following the True Christian ways that God is calling them to-
But they still do not.

According to Jim and Freddie, there is just no way they can fit God's calling into their present lives:

"My wife won't stop celebrating Christmas"

"I can't keep the Sabbath, I work on Saturdays"

"Friday night is when I party with my friends"

"I can't ask for Passover off at my job, they'll laugh"

"Is believing in the Easter Bunny that bad a thing"

"My parents would disown me if I changed my religion"

These are just a few of the reasons I have heard them and others offer through the years, as to why they can't do the things that Christ requires of those who believe in him.

You see - It's not always easy or convenient to be a True Christian, especially in a world where God's ways are so misunderstood and frowned down upon.
He then expresses hope that the dream will cause Jim, one of the friends, to dedicate his life and follow the ways of 'true Christianity' (Armstrongism).

That story spoke to me.

Because while I was a follower of LCG from 2000-8 I was just like those friends. I passionately believed in what LCG told me was true Apostolic Christianity. I actually tried to follow the dictates of Armstrongism. No pork. Strict Sabbath observance. No TV shows on the Sabbath. No Christmas.

Throughout that time I had this gnawing sense of failure because I had not joined the church. Then when I made contact with an LCG minister, he refused to meet with me. I still believed in them nevertheless.

I was like those two friends who "believe[d] the Biblical truths [Santora] have taught them through the years and know that they should be following the True Christian ways that God is calling them to- But they still do not."

Let me just say that I am very glad that I have proven to my satisfaction that Herbert W. Armstrong did not restore Apostolic Christianity but was in fact dreadfully wrong on many issues. He in fact shamelessly stole many ideas from various sources, such as the Jehovah's Witnesses and British Israelism. He was a false prophet who predicted that Christ would return in 1936, 1975 and by 2005.

God could not have worked with Herbert W. Armstrong.

Herbert W. Armstrong is a false prophet.

"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 [like HWA] hath spoken it PRESUMPTUOUSLY: thou shalt not be afraid of him." (Deuteronomy 18:22)

If only I could tell those friends that they don't need to worry about failing God because they are not in a COG. HWA was a false prophet whose words fail. HWA just made up his religion.

I hope that one day, maybe it has already come, that these two precious souls will realize that what HWA said is not true and that they get out of it, just as I did in 2008, and be free of any false sense of guilt they have.

Monday, March 8, 2010

True Christian Ministries: Another Armstrongite Offshoot

Another website I encountered in my early days with Armstrongism, True Christian Ministries.

It seems to be a one man show, led by one Joseph Santora.

It appears he had a negative reaction towards HWA at first but later came around to his line of thinking.
The first time I saw H.W. Armstrong on the "World Tomorrow" broadcast I laughed so hard at the things he said I almost fell off the sofa. I remember how ludicrous I thought everything he said was. If he's right, I thought, everything I was ever taught about Christianity is wrong.

Now, 16 years later, with the equivalent self-study to have probably earned doctorate degrees in Theology, History, Linguistics and the Migrations of Ancient Peoples - I realize - everything I was taught is wrong...

The Gospel Jesus preached during his Ministry has been syncretized to the core with pagan doctrines, and man-made traditions.
He claims that he predicted that there would be great changes upon HWA's death and that the Tkach changes fulfilled his inkling of dread.
It was a little more then a year later that the first signs of the changes that have since wreaked havoc on the W.W. Church became manifest.

A close friend and member of the WWCOG brought me a copy of the March 23, 1987 edition of the "World Wide News" - the Church's internal news journal which is distributed to members of the congregation for the purpose of keeping them informed of church activities.

Something she read in the lead article had surprised her - [This is the article which announced WCG's change concerning healing. Before this WCG had this horrific teaching which said one can only go to God to be healed of sickness. It seems to have been plagiarized by HWA from the Jehovah's Witnesses.]

She brought it to me, because she remembered something I had told her just days after Mr. Armstrong's death.

At that time I told her - "Within ten years this Church as it exists today will crumble to the ground, it will not hold to the ideals and truths that Mr. Armstrong had restored."

"How can you say that, this is God's True Church", she said at the time.

"After all", she argued, "Mr. Armstrong had hand picked Mr. Tkach as his successor -
And certainly after his 53 years of Church leadership, had established a precedent in which the Church would undoubtedly continue."
He then states how many teachings were rapidly changed within WCG.
In 1992 the Church published a booklet entitled - "God Is..." It was after reading this booklet that it became clear, the Church had indeed strayed far from the doctrine that had been.
The publication of this booklet has also been cited by Meredith as an important event that helped convince him that WCG had gone too far.
The brethren were baffled. Yet, few spoke out. According to several Church members, those who did were admonished or even expelled from their congregations.

Many became disheartened, and left of their own accord.

Others, though disillusioned remained, many hoping that some how the Church would turn back to the simple Truths once held by the entire Church membership, in the peace, joy and unity that is Christ.

But it was not to be -
He captures the sense of bewilderment that many WCG members experienced during these times.

He also states that during these changes WCG acted in a confusing manner. Sometimes it seemed like they had changed, other times they seemed to try to portray themselves as a continuation of WCG under HWA.

For years they had tip-toed around this - Criticizing the message while being careful not to be critical of the Messenger - who was still held in high regard by most of the Church.
I suppose, by now it no longer mattered - Tens of thousands had left the Church - The World Tomorrow was being broadcast on fewer and fewer stations. The Church's annual income had dropped to less than half of what it had been. Prime Church properties were being sold off one by one - Subscriptions to the Plain Truth had fallen off radically, there was even talk about charging people a subscription price for the magazine that Herbert Armstrong had so many times said proudly - "Was free for the asking".
In fact the Plain Truth was not free. It was paid for by the tithes WCG members were required to pay, tithes which many found to be a great financial burden. The Plain Truth was not free at all.

He then asserts that there is now a famine of the word, referring to Armstrongite 'truths'.
The World Wide Church's abandonment of their former beliefs and resulting Famine of the Word constitute the fulfillment of these End Time Prophecies - If not for the gallant effort of a few small off-shoot groups that are still struggling to re-establish themselves, God's Truth has all, but been silenced...

One need only to walk out of their house or try to shop in the stores around Christmas time to realize, there is no famine of the word that they're preaching. The World Wide Church of God proclaimed a different message than all others.
Actually there is no famine of COG preaching. I would argue that in some ways the transformation of WCG has actually encouraged greater distribution of Armstrongism. When WCG turned its back on its previous teachings many splinter groups emerged, all of them teaching some form of HWA's doctrines.

Indeed if WCG did not change its teachings, it might not have been possible for practically all of old WCG's writings to appear on the Internet. Today just about all of WCG's official writings, the Plain Truth, Good News, books, booklets, co-worker letters, and more are easily accessible on the Internet. I would argue there is no famine of the [Armstrongite] word.

He then ends by asserting that the Tkach changes fulfills the Great Falling Away and that this is a sign that Armageddon and Christ's return will soon occur.

In another page he speculates on what means the coming Beast dictator might be able to use when he (supposedly) will soon gain power.

It should be noted that in his portrayal of WCG under HWA contains many flaws and omissions which are all too common in standard, idealistic portrayals of old WCG.

There is no mention of WCG's dreadful practices like disfellowshipping, three tithes, divorce and remarriage, tragic failed healings, the observance of Monday Pentecost till 1974, turmoil within WCG under HWA's dictatorial rule, such as the departure of his son, Garner Ted Armstrong, and other mass defections, such as that of 1974. There is also no mention of his failed prophecies such as 1936, 1975, by 2005, etc. Also HWA's second wife, Ramona Martin, is also rendered invisible, there is no mention of her or the messy divorce which later occurred. I am always so amazed at how COG followers have seemed to just completely forgot about that.

So this is just another Armstrongite offshoot which I ran into early in my encounter with Armstrongism. Because it continues to spread the false doctrines of Armstrongism I cannot endorse it.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Armstrongism on Christian Airwaves

Here's a letter from Mr. James Kieferdorf, written in 2006, which document how many Christian radio stations broadcast Armstrongite programs.

It also contains a helpful background on Ron Dart's life as it mainly focuses on him and his sect.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

LCG Fast on March 6

LCG has just had another fast on the Sabbath, March 6.
Below, we reproduce Mr. Meredith’s letter sent last Monday to all recipients of The World Ahead [the weekly update], reminding us of the purpose of our Church-wide fast this Sabbath, March 6. Please read Mr. Meredith’s letter at services this Sabbath. (LCG Weekly Update, March 4, 2010.)

One Story of Survival from the Jehovah's Witnesses

Here's a courageous story of survival and escape from the Jehovah's Witnesses. (Note: contains Basil Wolverton like imagery from the Watchtower.)

This testimony graphically shows the cruel heartless legalism and mind control which Jehovah's Witnesses have found themselves gripped in and exposes how cruel this destructive, authoritarian brainwashing cult can be. It is like a dictatorial empire within our free society.

It is a story with which far too many of us who have been involved with WCG and its offshoots would be all too familiar with.

Thoughts on the US National Debt

I don't claim to be an expert on finances but I would like to share some thoughts concerning the US national debt. I do not mean to be dogmatic on this issue, but simply wish to share some thoughts on this topic as many COG followers seem to view this with alarm and fear.

I recall once hearing Meredith insisting that back in the day the USA was owed money by other nations but today the USA is the state most heavily indebted.

This information was presented in order to make followers fearful. In the world of the COGs they are fearful that the US debt will cause the USA to financially fall apart thus paving the way for the European Empire (the Beast) to emerge as the new world hegemon and then conquer the USA and Britain.

First of all the US Government has always owed money. From Wikipedia, United States Public Debt.
The United States has had public debt since its inception. Debts incurred during the American Revolutionary War and under the Articles of Confederation led to the first yearly reported value of $75,463,476.52 on January 1, 1791 [and a dollar back then was worth a lot more than it is now]. Over the following 45 years, the debt grew, briefly contracted to zero on January 8, 1835 under President Andrew Jackson but then quickly grew into the millions again.

The first dramatic growth spurt of the debt occurred because of the Civil War. The debt was just $65 million in 1860, but passed $1 billion in 1863 and had reached $2.7 billion following the war. The debt slowly fluctuated for the rest of the century, finally growing steadily in the 1910s and early 1920s to roughly $22 billion as the country paid for involvement in World War I.
First of all half of it is owed to itself, to the US Federal government.

Then there is the external debt, debt owed to other states. As of December 2009 the US Government owes $3614.0 billion to external states.

According to this list from the US Department of the Treasury the largest external debt is with Japan. As of December, 2009 the US owe $768.8 billion to Japan.

Second is China with the US owing $755.4 billion. Because US-Japanese relations are very good and Japan has no pretensions to challenge US power or to be a rival, while China's power is growing and it will clearly place its interests first just like any other powerful state. Because of this rivalry there is a lot more attention given to the US debt with China than there is with Japan.

Third is Great Britain, with the US owing $302.5 billion. And on and on it goes.

Another thought is that every other state in the world today is also in debt.

The creditors to whom the US owe its debt know that if the US falls apart they will not get any money whatsoever and will invite chaos for everyone. So these factors suggest that the US debt will not yet cause the US to go belly up.

Although a fearful COG follower will probably still be convinced that the US will fall down because of (historically and genetically inaccurate) British Israelism, prophetic dualism (as taught by the False Prophet of 1975), the reluctance to entertain the thought that all those great sacrifices made were in vain, will still cause COG followers to cringe in fear at any mention of the US National Debt.

Friday, March 5, 2010

ADL's Profile on 'Christian Identity'

Here's a report on 'Christian Identity', brought to you by the Anti-Defamation League.

My thanks to soren for showing this to me.

Spanish JW Headquarters Removed

Here's a story which will resonate with many disappointed WCG members.

In Spain the Watchtower has decided to dismantle their headquarters and printing facilities in Spain. The Spanish Witnesses are very unhappy with this.
At the time, expansion at the head­quar­ters in New York left the Watch Tower cor­po­ra­tion with­out the finances to build offices and a print­ing facil­ity in Spain and so the Span­ish Wit­nesses were solicited to fol­low the exam­ple of the Israelites in bring­ing their gold, sil­ver, and valu­able items to Moses in order to build the Taber­na­cle. (Exo­dus 35:5–9) The 1983 Year­book of Jehovah’s Wit­nesses, reports the gen­er­ous way that the Span­ish Wit­nesses responded to this appeal.:

At the close of the con­ven­tions, peo­ple were lin­ing up to con­tribute their jew­els, gold and sil­ver rings and bracelets, so that these could be turned into cash to finance the new project. At the con­ven­tion in San Sebastián in the Basque coun­try, an elderly sis­ter handed over a heavy gold bracelet. When asked if she was sure that she wanted to donate such a valu­able item, she answered: “Brother, it is going to do far more good pay­ing for a new Bethel than it will on my wrist!”

With the unspar­ing finan­cial sup­port of the Span­ish Wit­nesses a new branch office and print­ing facil­ity was later con­structed in Madrid. Being financed within the coun­try, this new Bethel was a source of pride for the Span­ish Wit­nesses. Many would make spe­cial trips just to tour the facil­ity. Now some are hurt to watch as the print­ing presses that they gave their pre­cious heir­looms to buy are shipped to Ger­many and the Bethel that they sac­ri­ficed their sav­ings to build is antic­i­pated to be sold, with the pro­ceeds of the sale return­ing back to the US Watch Tower cor­po­ra­tion that was orig­i­nally unable to finance its con­struc­tion.
At the end of this blog he writes,
Cur­rently the dis­con­tent among the reli­gion are orga­niz­ing and mak­ing their case that any funds com­ing from the sale of the Bethel facil­ity should be go back to the ones that financed it the first place. They sug­gest that such money could be used in a char­i­ta­ble way, such as pro­vid­ing a retire­ment facil­ity for those in their ranks that are now aging, with­out pro­vi­sion, hav­ing giv­ing their life in ser­vice of the reli­gion.
This situation reminds me of many WCG members' justified disappointment at WCG's selling of the Ambassador College properties without giving anything back to those who had paid for their construction.

On other news the Watchtower will soon be moving their world headquarters to Warwick, New York.

Thanks to Watchtower News for providing me with these news.

Weinland's Sick Sermon

To my horror and disgust Ronald Weinland told his eternally abused flock to pray for catastrophes to occur. This is from Mike's blog, Pressed Upon, and he is discussing a sermon Weinland gave on January 31, 2009. In it "Ron talked about how the members were to pray for an increase in the thunders".

Here are some of the damning quotes taken from Weinland.
Can we grasp what it’s going to take to bring them to repentance? … So hat does it take? Suffering. To think that you would pray for the suffering of some, for the death of some. So that others could live. … So again, what is the purpose of our prayers, petitions and fasting before God?
Later he says,
The majority is about our desire for the thunders … and pray about them that they be released with far greater power.
Later Weinland says,
Are you comfortable about praying for massive earthquakes? You need to think about this because your asking for the death of others. Because that’s what happens with a massive earthquake. That’s what happens with a massive tsunami. Or when a volcano goes off. People die.
This is disgusting. I am truly appalled and sickened by these words.

When I was an Armstrongite I never recall being told that we should pray for these disasters to occur. We were told that these things are going to happen. We were told to pray 'let your kingdom' come but not to pray for those catastrophes to occur. They were in God's hands, not ours. The coming disasters were the result of sin and the resultant penalty for it. We had nothing to do with them.

Even when I was an Armstrongite, in all those long eight years (2000-8) the thought of actually praying for these horrifying catastrophes to occur never occurred to me. They were going to happen anyway. We were told to pray that people will 'wake up' and become like us and thus escape from them.

I find that development within Weinlandism to be sick and very disturbing.

It further exposes, as though we needed any more proofs, the utter moral bankruptcy of this Insane Lying False Prophet Ronald Weinland.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Murder of Christians in Mosul, Iraq

Here's a sad article from McClatchy 'Iraq's Christians under attack again as elections approach,' which details a campaign of murder being directed against Christians in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. This has been happening in the last two weeks.

Apparently the murderers' aim is to intimidate Christians to not participate in the upcoming elections. Many Christians, perhaps two-thirds of those in Iraq, have already been compelled to flee their homes in Iraq and become refugees due to the turmoil of the Iraq War.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Weinland, Tkach and 40 Weeks

I recall that the Insane Lying False Prophet Ronald Weinland claimed there were forty weeks from the December 17, 1994 sermon till his death on September 23, 1995.

He teach that Tkach, Sr. died forty Sabbaths after he delivered his sermon that renounced Armstrongism on December 17, 1994.

"So from exactly forty Sabbaths from the day he gave that sermon back in December 1994. He gave that srmon on a Sabbath and forty Sabbaths later to the very hour he died." This is what he is recorded to have said in a Weinlandite video.

When I first saw that idea being taught by Weinland I instantly remembered reading this.
And, just as a little leaven leavens the whole lump over time, so to has the apostasy in the Worldwide Church spread and grown from that one scholar, until now they have faculty members from a worldly university “instructing” the new church leadership under Joe Tkach, Jr. What an abomination! They have exchanged wholesale God’s truth for the lies of this world that the people in God’s church had learned were not true! And the leadership won’t pay attention to God, either, even when He makes it plain He does not approve. Exactly 40 weeks before his sudden death, Joe Sr. said that he believed God had inspired and was inspiring the changes. He said that if God didn’t agree, He could strike him down. exactly 40 weeks later he was dead! But did the church leadership and the brethren pay attention? No! They still go down the same path! In fact, I was kicked off of all discussion groups even among former members for suggesting that such a connection existed and that God had struck Joe down! Well, GOD DID STRIKE HIM DOWN, AND THE PRESENT MEMBERSHIP AND LEADERSHIP HAD BETTER TAKE INSTRUCTION AND WARNING FROM THE EXPERIENCE, LEST IT IS REPEATED!
No, it's not Weinland. This is by M. John Allen, leader of the COG sect, Restoration Ministries, in his work, The Plain Truth About Church Government (1994, 1997).

More information on this COG splinter sect based in Costa Rica may be seen here on this blog.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Watchtower's Shameful Concealment of Sexual Abusers

One Bethelite (an employee at the Watchtower world headquarters in New York City) named Barbara Anderson discovered that the Watchtower Society follow horrendous policies concerning sexual abusers among their leaders which made it practically impossible for them to be brought to justice and ensured many of them are able to remain undetected within the Watchtower Cult leadership.

These disturbing revelations may be read here.

The Roman Catholic Church has at least admitted that such things have occurred under them and have taken measures, however inadequate they may be, to address this deeply painful issue. The Watchtower Society have not yet even done that much.

Louis Farrakhan's Continuing Anti-Semitism

Recently the Nation of Islam has had their annual Saviour's Day celebration. It's like their big yearly celebration.

During it their leader, Louis Farrakhan made anti-Semitic allegations that the Jews control Washington, blah, blah, blah.

Claimed the 'white right' are trying to murder President Obama in order to further demonize white people.

The Nation of Islam teaches that white peoples are devils created by a breeding program engineered by a mad scientist 6000 years ago on Patmos.

Louis Farrakhan has had a long history of making anti-Semitic and racist comments. He has never changed.