Thursday, May 27, 2010

105 Foreign Christians Expelled From Morocco Since March

It appears that Morocco's recent crack down on foreign Christians is still continuing. In the last ten days 26 foreign Christians have been expelled from Morocco.

Citing a report from Compass Direct News the ASSIST News report states, "the latest deportations bring the number of Christians who have had to leave Morocco to about 105 since early March."

Here's more.
Compass reported that legal sources said according to Moroccan law, foreigners who have lived in the country for more than 10 years cannot be deported unless they are accused of a crime. They have the right to appeal the deportation order within 48 hours.

With only hours notice and forced escort to the country’s exit ports, almost none of the deportees were able to appeal their deportations.

“Most of these (deportations) are happening over the weekends, when the courts are closed,” Compass reported Sefiane said. “Most of them are done in a way where they’re bringing them in [to the police station], intimidating them, and manhandling them out of the country. Many of them are not even going back to say goodbye to their wives, or even to pack a bag.”

Compass reported with the exception of three foreigners, in none of the forced deportations did authorities produce an official deportation order, sources said. In many cases, Moroccan officials used embassies to notify foreigners that they were being deported. In most cases, foreigners were presented with a document in Arabic for them to sign that stated that they “understood” that they were being deported....

Deported foreigners have had to leave their families behind in Morocco, as well as their friends and communities. Many of the deportees were the male breadwinners of the family and have left their families behind as they try to decide their future.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

That Draw Muhammad Contest Is A Terrible Idea

I think this drawing Muhammad contest on Facebook is a terribly bad idea.

First of all that Facebook group is using the wrong target.

So a bunch of extremist alleged Muslims called Revolution Islam threatened violence towards the creators of South Park for daring to make an episode that involved Muhammad. Here's more information about this group. Comedy Central censored the episode for their own reasons.

So somebody decided to react against this private censorship by setting up a Facebook group to draw caricatures of Muhammad.

That is the wrong way to go about this. They should have found a picture of whoever was responsible for the threat, or make up their own, and make an unflattering caricature of him or them.

Second of all I don't think the people responsible for that Facebook group understand just how passionately many Muslims hate to see this happen to Muhammad.

Now those of us who live in 'the West' (whatever that is) have grown used to living in a world where people say outrageous things and we, for the most part, let them do this. They may say things we believe are profoundly wrong or offensive. But we accept that this is the necessary price we pay to live in a free society.

But those are Western concepts which, while they seem perfectly natural to us, like water to a fish, are somewhat meaningless in the dar al-Islam.

(I'm scared I might be saying something that might be interpreted as being patronizing here. I don't intend to do so, but I must speak about this.)

I remember one story mentioned in Princess Sultana's Circle (2002) by Jean Sasson. Sultana, the Saudi Princess at the center of this book, related a story of how she met a female relative (if I remember correctly) who was highly agitated. Sultana asked another lady what was wrong with her.

She then told Sultana how something absolutely horrible happened to her. I can't recapture the story in its dramatic sense, but essentially she was walking around, had to hide temporarily (I think) and then when she returned to the street she saw to her utter horror a poster that depicted Muhammad in an offensive manner.

After seeing this poster she was still even now being plagued by thoughts of that poster. She couldn't get that image out of her head. She was very disturbed by it.

And at the end of the chapter Sultana said that despite all the horrible things that had happened earlier in the book, a niece's unwanted marriage, discovering a millionaire's dark secret, Sultana said to herself, (I can't quote, this is from memory) I am so glad I do not have to deal with that.

So when I saw the protests over the Danish cartoons I was not that surprised because I thought about that woman who so horrified by what she saw in that poster. Whenever something like that happens I think of that woman.

This is the type of passion that this Facebook group is thoughtlessly and needlessly provoking all over the dar al-Islam.

Here's an ASSIST News news release on one such protest in Pakistan in which the Muslim protest leaders portray this event as trying to disrupt harmony between Muslims and Christians. I am scared that this incident might cause that to happen somewhere.

I do not think the people behind this Facebook group understand how dangerous this insensitivity is.

That is why I wish to state here that I think this draw Muhammad contest is a bad idea. It should not have been done.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Did HWA's Binitarianism Come From the Watchtower?

HWA stole many of his doctrines from the Jehovah's Witnesses. There are many similarities.

As I wrote in an earlier entry:
Why would some people believe that HWA was influenced by the Jehovah's Witnesses? It might just have something to do with the fact that the Jehovah's Witnesses, like HWA, 1) forbid celebrating Christmas, 2) Easter, 3) and birthdays, 4) do not believe in an immortal soul, 5) believe in an unconscious death (soul sleep), 6) believe that most believers will remain on the Earth when they are resurrected, 7) that Jesus in His incarnation was only a man with no divinity in Him, 8) deny the Trinity, 9) that the Holy Spirit is only an impersonal force, 10) that only they have access to the truths of God, 11) in 1921-1952 vaccines were forbidden, 12) ex-members are to be shunned (they even use the same word 'disfellowshiping') etc., etc. The link is quite clear.
I have also commented on how the very early Watchtower Society (here and here) seemed to hold doctrines quite similar to HWA's God Family doctrine.

Another possible similarity is HWA's binitarianism. HWA taught that the Father and the Son (and not the Holy Spirit) are God.

The Jehovah's Witnesses today are like classical Arians and teach that only God the Father is God and that Jesus and the Holy Spirit and not to be worshiped. That position is quite different from HWA's.

But this article from JW tells us it was not always like this in the Watchtower Cult. This article argues that until 1954 the Watchtower Society actually worshiped Jesus and prayed to Him.

They seem to have done this even though they seem to have taught the heresy that Jesus was created by the Father, which they still teach to this day.

Now the Watchtower has been staunchly anti-trinitarian ever since its founder, Charles Taze Russell decided to reject the doctrine of the Trinity.

So if JW is correct this would mean that the Watchtower Society in the 1920s and 1930s, when HWA was starting up his religion, taught an understanding of the nature of God very similar to what HWA taught. This coincides with the early years of HWA when he developed his beliefs.

HWA taught that the Father and Jesus alone are God.

The Watchtower Society taught (till 1954) that the Father and Jesus alone are worthy of worship.

So perhaps this is where HWA got his binitarianism.

Although they seem to have differed over whether Jesus always existed (HWA) or was created by the Father yet still worthy of worship (pre-1954 Watchtower).

So much of HWA teaches can be found in the Watchtower Society. But it wasn't until just now that I realized even his binitarian concept of God may also have come from the Watchtower Cult.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Meredith Wants More Money for Pentecost

The LCG Weekly Update (May 19, 2010) has been published. I know it's been out for awhile but let's take a look.

Meredith speaks in it. He seems happy with how the last ministerial conference went. (Emphases in original have been removed.)
As you have no doubt heard, we recently conducted the most unified and most love-filled General Ministerial Conference we have ever experienced!...Literally scores of similar messages have been received since the conference by Mr. Ames, Dr. Winnail and me. So we do, indeed, give God thanks!
He's going to spend Pentecost doing a special presentation in London.
Recently, Mr. Ames has held very successful “Special Presentations” in the New York area and in Los Angeles. My wife and I will be leaving tomorrow for London for a similar “Special Presentation.” The first one in Britain—of it is kind—in many years. Please pray for God’s blessing on all the Special Presentations around the world!
He's hoping the semi-annual letter will work well, especially since they've shipped the Behind the Work presentation on DVD with it. He seems to hope that DVD will convince a lot of people to jump on board with LCG because of it.
Also, please pray fervently for God’s blessing on the semi-annual letter which is now being mailed to about 330,000 people around the world. This letter tells a great deal about the Work—especially considering the DVD abbreviation of our “Behind the Work” film giving an “inside” view of our leadership and what is going on. It has the potential—with our prayers—to add many thousands of new co-workers and members around the world.
And this inevitably leads to a call for more money. To "give very generously". To "dig down deep". He tells us that they need to "generate significantly more income during the rest of this year". (Emphases in original.)
Finally, I will not apologize [At least he's honest in this one manner.--Redfox712] or telling you brethren and leaders in the Work that we truly do need all of God’s people who can to give very generously in this soon coming Pentecost offering! If we are to move forward and act on the new media opportunities that are coming to us, we must—with God’s help and mercy—generate significantly more income during the rest of this year.

So, for those of you who are employed and who are able—please dig down deep in the service of Jesus Christ! The upcoming Pentecost offering is a “special time” to give as an act of worship to our God. As Mr. Armstrong used to say, “The Church of God moves forward on its knees.” All of us—even those currently unemployed or underemployed—can join together in “crying out” to the Eternal God to bless this Work which He is doing through us His faithful people!
And the weekly update also commented upon (the unaccredited) Living University's commencement.
Monday morning, witnessed the second Living University Commencement in Charlotte, North Carolina. This year we honored eight graduates from five nations: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States. Four students were physically present for the Commencement. Graduates completed the Certificate in New Testament Studies, the Diploma in Biblical Studies, and the Associate of Theology programs. We also conferred our first Bachelor of Theology degree on Mrs. Kathleen Wollin from Wisconsin, a 71-year old member who was miraculously healed by God from memory loss after suffering a stroke several years ago! Mrs. Wollin was further presented with the Herbert W. Armstrong Excellence Award. The commencement address was powerfully delivered by Dr. Roderick Meredith. Following Commencement, a fine reception was held for graduates, guests, faculty and Headquarters staff.
So things seem pretty normal over in LCG.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rest in Peace Dorothy Mattson

Just heard from xHWA at As Bereans Did the sad news that Dorothy Mattson, Herbert W. Armstrong's daughter, has passed away.

As xHWA said "May she rest in peace."

My thoughts are with her and with her family and friends in this time of bereavement.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Times of London Obituary of GTA

The Times of London is erecting a paywall on June 1. As far as I can see the only COG related article there is this 2003 obituary of Garner Ted Armstrong.

Monday, May 17, 2010

PCG Accuse the EU (Germany) of Engineering Greek Crisis

Right now Greece is undergoing a terrible economic crisis. It is painful and sad to watch such a proud and renowned nation undergoing this great trial.

There are several reasons why this has happened. Let us review these reasons and then see what PCG has about this.

1: Greece does not control its own currency.

A major reason for the severity of this crisis is that Greece uses the Euro as its currency. Greece does not have its own currency. Because of this it can't do things that other countries with their own currencies, like the USA, can do. Greece can't just print more money, because the ECB does that.

2: Artificially low interest rates.

When Greece adopted the Euro they lost control of its interest rate, instead that's controlled by the European Central Bank, and the ECB had to set interest rates for the entire Eurozone, all the EU countries which use the Euro as their currency. Thus the interest rates of the Euro was set more towards the needs of more economically dominant countries, like Germany, and therefore quite low. So one consequence of Greece joining the Euro was that their interest rates went down dramatically, not because their country changed but simply because the ECB now set interest rates for the entire Eurozone. Greece essentially inherited Germany's low interest rates by joining the Eurozone. This inspired a spending spree by those who could afford to do so.

3: Rampart tax evasion.

Among Eurozone members Greece has the worst tax evasion. Many rich people simply refuse to pay their taxes so the state does not have the financial resources they need. Some speculate that this is a peculiar habit inherited from centuries of Turkish occupation.

4: Generous pensions given while the above are happening.

Generous pensions in and of itself are not a problem. But they became a problem in conjunction with the above factors.

5: Greece has alledgedly been hiding debt.

Furthermore Greece has, apparently, been hiding debts to make their financial position appear better to the EU than it actually is. This deal involved Goldman Sachs.

6: The Global Financial Crisis

When that dreadful crash happened all of this fell apart. And all this takes us to...

7: Greek debts are due and they can't be paid.

The Greek state had some bonds which would mature later this month. There was simply no way for them to pay their bonds on time. They could not just print more Euros because that is controlled by the ECB. Unless there was a bailout Greece would have no choice but to not pay their debt.

(This particular situation could never happen in the USA because the US state is the source of their own currency, unlike Greece.)

To pay their debts Greece accepts a bailout from the EU and the IMF. As part of this agreement Greece agrees to cut spending in order to reduce greatly their deficit.

8: The outraged people protest in force due to budget cuts.

These spending cuts are going to be hard upon the Greek people. Many lower class people cannot help but feel that the state is trying to get the middle and lower classes to pay without compelling the all too often tax evading rich to do their bit. Hence they have taken to the streets in force.

Alas, three persons have died during these protests.

9: The problem may not be over.

But despite all of this the problem may not go away. There are fears that other Eurozone countries may also go under like Greece. Fears over this has already seemed to have caused the Dow Jones to take a remarkable 1000 point plunge last Thursday, about two-thirds has been recovered though.

What does PCG do with all these events?

Accuse Germany of trying to further entrench their power.

The main thing they can think of saying is to spread a ridiculous conspiracy theory that Germany is deliberately plunging Greece into this crisis in order to entrench German dominance. They seem to think that Germany has been setting this up for years, even before the Euro was published, just to bring the other nations of Europe to their knees.

(I hate to break this to you, PCG, but Germany's been the leading economic power in Europe for decades. They don't need to cripple Greece to do this. They're already there. It is not something unexpected that needs to be breathlessly announced every single day to your eterally wearied flock.)

To borrow a line from Mike over at Ronald Weinland False Prophet blog, just because you PCG ministers are forever trying to dominate other people does not mean everyone else is.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Why Increased US Government Spending Is Good

PCG minister Joel Hilliker's gone on a rhetorical splurge with his article The Upside-Down World.

I won't discuss everything here but I do wish to comment on one matter he brought up here.

In one place he writes, "In this [upside down] world, the solution to debt problems is increased spending".

Let me state again, the US Government is not like a private family that must acquire money to pay off their debts. The US Government is the source of money. Therefore they can do things we can't. They actually can make money.

As one MAuer1959 put in a comment in this article (Emphasis mine.):
The US government like all sovereign governments can always spend more than it earns – continuously and indefinitely – because the concept of “earning” is redundant. Unlike a household or a corporation, the sovereign government doesn’t need to earn to spend. That is a fundamental part of having a fiat currency system. This is NOT the case in Greece, or any other Euro zone country, because they are users of their currency, not issuers (which is done the by European Central Bank).

The US Federal Government might hide behind institutions (like debt-issuance mechanisms) and rhetoric (like we are running out of money, as our President often writes) but the operational reality is that behind all these smokescreens – the US government is not revenue-constrained.

That's why. It's not because they've "gone crazy". There are reasons why they behave that way.

It's called Keynesianism and has been around since the 1930s.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

PCG Members' Tragic Deaths

ESN has just broken the word that two siblings, Jason and Crystal Bacon, belonging to a PCG family have died recently.

The information may be read in the May 14 and 15 letters of their PCG letters page.

I wish to personally state my condolences and sadness to those involved.

Korean Cult Owned UPI Comment On Japanese Base

I've just been reading the latest Trumpet Weekly (May 9-15). (Note: Link will download it onto your computer.) Page 6 contains an article from United Press International (UPI) about Japan setting up a Self Defense Force base in Djibouti to guard ships from Somali pirates.

What I find interesting in this article is the fact that UPI is now owned by the Unification Church, just one of many organizations controlled by this group. Their members are often referred to as Moonies, named after their leader Sun Myung Moon. It is widely regarded as a cult. Some of their heretical beliefs are explained here.

It originates from Korea. Korea endured fifty years of Japanese occupation. No wonder UPI would comment on something like that.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Flashback: Meredith On Syd Hull's Defection

Here's Meredith response to Syd Hull's defection from LCG to Dave Pack's RCG in late 2006. It must be stated here that since then Syd Hull has now returned to LCG's fold.

From the September 27, 2006 Weekly Update:

Dear Ministers and Brethren,

Greetings from Charlotte, NC! We here are grateful for God’s blessing on the Work of the Living Church of God. During this past year, we have received 30% more calls and letters in response to the Tomorrow’s World telecast than last year. The number of co-workers and donors has greatly increased and the number of new prospective members has skyrocketed! So we will soon be adding many more new members to the approximately 7,000 people currently attending the Living Church of God.

We were all happily looking forward to a wonderful and peaceful Feast of Tabernacles until we learned about the tragic confusion caused by David Pack and his recent attacks on our members and ministers in this country and in yours. Mr. Pack is well-known by literally hundreds of people here in the United States as one who has sown discord and division for many years. You may remember that I had to mark Dave Pack on August 3, 2000. Not one single Ambassador trained minister or leader has ever gone with him –for very good reason.

Now, it is apparent that he has succeeded in confusing our dear brother, Sydney Hull. In his letter of resignation just received—obviously written in part by David Pack—Mr. Hull praises Ernest Owino and other dissidents who have come under David Pack’s pernicious influence. Mr. Hull’s letter repeatedly attacks Dr. Winnail and me with totally false accusations—a number of which obviously came directly from Dave Pack. Mr. Pack is really skilled at attacking! But his track record has clearly shown for years a man who is more of an “accuser” and a “divider” than one who truly builds and strengthens people to walk in Christian love and harmony. Mr. Hull will realize this in time—I just wish it were much sooner.

Dear brethren, as we eagerly anticipate the Feast of Tabernacles, Satan is doing all he can to thwart our efforts and to distract the brethren from the important Work which we have been given to do. Satan has chosen this “prime time” to attack the Work as he obviously “knows” the growth in this Work that is beginning to take place. As he tried to kill Christ even before He was born, Satan is trying to negate our efforts to reach the world more powerfully with the true Gospel. But we will not let these events discourage us from continuing to preach powerfully the wonderful message of God’s coming Kingdom. With the cascade of prophetic events continuing, we are more excited than ever about the opportunity to really warn this world of what is just ahead and to strengthen God’s people to prepare for the coming Kingdom!

While we are very disappointed in the fact that some are turning aside, we will try to learn from these developments and draw closer to God than ever. But it is our sad duty to let all of you know that Mr. Mark Mendiola from Idaho and Mr. Dean Greer from WA state have left our fellowship and service. Also, as I indicated above, Mr. Syd Hull of South Africa has been confused and turned aside by David Pack. Incidentally, if any of you want to really know the details of David Pack and his confused approach, please check up on him on the Internet site of Dr. Robert Thiel, Here you will find many facts about what is really happening.

Again, “Feast fever” is building here in Charlotte and around the country. My wife and I just returned from a wonderful visit to the churches in New England for the Feast of Trumpets. Mr. and Mrs. Ames just returned from visiting our brethren in Louisiana, and Dr. Winnail just returned from visiting Mr. Charles Bryce and the brethren in the Dallas, Gladewater and Lufkin areas. All of us found that the brethren are very “up beat” and things are moving forward.

So let us not fall into Satan’s trap as he tries to discourage us just before the Feast. We know—and know that we know—that Christ is with us and will use us ever more powerfully in preparing for His Kingdom as we show ourselves loyal to Him and to His Work. Have a wonderful Feast! My wife and I look forward to seeing many hundreds of you in Colorado and in Florida, and pray that God will bless and guide all of you in the Feast sites around the nation and around the world. May God continue to bless you, encourage you and strengthen you.

With Christian love,

Roderick C. Meredith

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

On Hoeh Accusing African Americans of Being Selfish for Staying in the USA

Saw LCG minister Wallace G. Smith's blog about an article which details the role many Africans had in exporting slaves to the New World.
In 1999, for instance, President Mathieu Kerekou of Benin astonished an all-black congregation in Baltimore by falling to his knees and begging African-Americans’ forgiveness for the “shameful” and “abominable” role Africans played in the trade. Other African leaders, including Jerry Rawlings of Ghana, followed Mr. Kerekou’s bold example.
This only shows how stupid Herman Hoeh was to accuse African Americans of being selfish for staying in the only country they have ever known.

Flashback: Meredith Appointing Wally Smith as TV Presenter

From the August 10, 2006 Weekly Update:

Greetings Fellow Ministers,

All is well here at Headquarters and we are happy to have Dr. Winnail back with us from his trip to the Caribbean. Although the income is kind of dragging this time of year, we are very grateful for the wonderful growth that God has given us overall in responses to the television program and especially in the wonderful growth in prospective member visit requests.

The last few months have shown a lot more such requests than ever before in the history of the Global/Living Work! As I reported in the new co-worker letter which you will be receiving in the next week or two, “We had 106 such requests in June of 2005. With various ups and downs—but mainly up—the chart I have been given describing these responses now indicates that we reached 216 such responses in July of this year—with an even higher number, 269, in May of this year! So God, through this Work, is now bringing in twice the number of people wanting to actually act on God’s Truth and become involved in living God’s way of life and sharing this precious way by worshiping together with others who also understand. Thank God!”

Another bit of good news I would like to share with you is the selection of Mr. Wally Smith as our new television presenter. As many of you know, Wally is now pastoring our churches in St. Louis, Columbia and Rolla, MO, and is doing a fine job. He worked with Mr. Rand Millich full-time, and Rand gives him the highest recommendation. Wally has been in God’s Church for many years and was highly recommended by Mr. John Ogwyn for the full-time ministry. Interestingly, he will be filling the very presenter slot Mr. Ogwyn had when he was still with us. So John Ogwyn is still serving and helping through his personal recommendation of my wonderful secretary, Monica, and now Mr. Wally Smith as a television presenter—plus a number of other key individuals that Mr. Ogwyn brought along through his fine teaching and example.

Wally Smith is a husband, and the father of four little boys. He has been an extremely dedicated and helpful member of the Church, and is an unusually intelligent young man. As we viewed the tapes of six different ministers who auditioned for the job of the next television presenter, it became extremely obvious that Wally Smith is a “natural” as far as being on television! Some of the women in our group said, “Wow!” when they first viewed him. He just seems to have an unusual knack of presenting himself on television and explaining world news and human situations in a very interesting and provocative way which will reach the carnal mind out there in “TV land.” Our other young ministers all did a good job and are an extremely dedicated group. But we must pick the one most qualified for this particular responsibility, and it was obvious to all of us that, as I said, Wally Smith is a “natural.”

So please pray for him and for his fine wife and family. He is a humble and dedicated fellow minister, and will need our prayers in the weeks and months ahead more than ever. We thank God for such a talented and personable young man to fill this slot, and pray that God’s richest blessing will be upon him in this additional responsibility as he flies here to Charlotte three or four times a year to make television programs as the “third presenter.” This gives us a fresh face and a younger presenter—hopefully reaching another section of our audience and especially the youth out there as our television program grows in its reach and impact.

Again, the Work is moving ahead, but the income is certainly somewhat lower than it should be—partly because we were late getting out the semi-annual letter and therefore didn’t have a co-worker letter for two different months—first time in LCG history this has happened. So please encourage the brethren to pray fervently for the Work and to give generously as they are able. Thanks again for all of your love and support in the Work, fellow ministers. Please pray for us here and we will remember you regularly in our prayers that God will use you, guide you and protect and bless you and your families.—Roderick C. Meredith

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

LCG Taking Donations Online (2006)

From the April 27, 2006 Weekly Update:
In this Internet Age, we often receive requests from members, co-workers and donors about making contributions to the Work online. To accomplish this, there have been a number of obstacles to overcome, but by working with Bank of America over a period of several months, we have been able to make this new service possible. Online donations can now be made on the, and websites. This service became operational on our websites starting on Sunday, April 9, 2006.

For those wishing to use this method of making contributions to the Church, please carefully read the following information which is found on the website: “Many members and co-workers have asked to be able to make contributions on line. In response to these requests, we have set up procedures to make it possible to allow on line donations. Please click on the link and follow the instructions.

“Please note that we have made it possible for contributors to make donations to the church by using a credit card and Electronic Funds Transfer. We ask our members and co-workers to refrain from using credit cards for donations, since the credit card companies make a charge of 2.5 to 3% to the church for the service. We ask that members and coworkers use the EFT or Electronic Funds Transfer function by providing their bank routing number (found on the bottom edge of their paper checks) when setting up the account on line. Using this routing number allows for an electronic transfer of funds from the contributor’s account into the church’s account with only a very nominal fee being paid by the church. We hope you enjoy this service and that it serves you well.” Also note that donations by regular mail are still welcomed. Using either method, your donations will be gratefully acknowledged and may be tax deductible.—Davy Crockett

Monday, May 10, 2010

LCG's Headquarters' Team

Found this fascinating forward by Roderick C. Meredith from the November-December, 2009, Living Church News, pp. 1-2, 20. It provides a brief hagiographic description of those in charge of LCG.
As many of you know, Mr. Ames married my “little sister” back in 1964! So he and I have been not only friends but brothers-in-law for all these years! Nevertheless—as everyone involved in the telecast realizes firsthand—I did not put Mr. Ames on the television program because he was a relative. I have had many relatives. But none of them have had the background, the outstanding radio voice and personality, the training and the ability Mr. Ames has to do the program. So Christ has truly prepared him to help finish the Work at this time. Most of you know that I, with the Council of Elders’ and others’ input, have designated him as my “successor” in case God should choose to take my life before Christ returns. So I ask all of you to pray fervently for Mr. Ames in a special way!

Next, I would like to note the fine background and contributions of Dr. Douglas Winnail. Before Dr. Winnail came to Ambassador College, where he earned his B.A. in Theology, he had already earned a Ph.D. in Anatomy and Preventive Medicine. Later, he earned a master’s degree in Public Health, teaching at a number of colleges (including Ambassador) and serving as a field minister for the Worldwide Church of God and Global Church of God. He served for several years as a Regional Pastor and Regional Director in the Living Church of God before coming to Charlotte. He has always been a steady and dedicated individual and a truly humble “team player.” Having now worked with Dr.Winnail for hundreds of hours personally—here in Charlotte and on various trips overseas—I have found him to be a wonderful and balanced friend, and brother, in carrying on Christ’s Work today.

I used to wonder why Mr. Carl McNair regularly used Dr. Winnail as an “idea man.” Now I know! For he does come up with many thoughtful concepts, plans and organizational ideas which have proved extremely beneficial in “growing” the Work of God. He has helped us produce two fine leadership programs, and has made a regular practice of conducting regional conferences for the ministry and leaders all over the United States and the world. He has reintroduced and updated our “public appearance” campaigns, in which our ministers invite Tomorrow’s World readers to special meetings to learn more about the Truth and the Work. Dr. Winnail has introduced and is introducing more programs to help grow the Work all the time—while energetically helping Dr. Germano and me bring to fruition the establishment of Living University.

So, Dr. Winnail also needs your prayers! And I hope that he will be able to continue on for many years, assisting me and Mr. Ames in the various responsibilities he carries, such as Director of Church Administration, Vice Chair of the Living University Board of Regents, key writer for our publications, and more.

Another key individual here, who has a very long record of faithful service in Christ’s Work, is Mr. Dibar Apartian. Mr. Apartian is my “oldest” friend, since we first met each other 54 years ago when he came to Ambassador College as a professor of French. For about six years, we lived right next door to each other on South Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena, California. I have spent hundreds of hours with Mr. Apartian personally, and his wife was my first wife’s best friend. So I have seen Mr. Apartian grow in understanding and dedication for many years, especially in directing the French Work—and also now the entire International Work under Dr. Winnail’s overall supervision.

Having had so much experience over somany years,Mr. Apartian often adds a “special touch” in our ministerial deliberations. He is the consummate gentleman, as well, and—since he grew up in Switzerland and France so many years ago—still carries with him a background of European culture. The Eternal God has granted him more than 91 years of life so far, and we are grateful that he is still serving so actively and productively! So, please also remember Mr. Apartian in your prayers.

Last, but not least, let me say that Mr. Davy Crockett—our Director of Business Operations—is somewhat newer in the full-time ministry, but has been with us in this Work from the very beginning. He and his wife served faithfully in the Little Rock, Arkansas congregation for many years. Mr. Crockett owned his own insurance claims adjusting business there, which was bought out by a larger company that wanted him to stay on and lead the combined companies for a few more years. At the end of his contract, rather than staying on as they wished, he asked to become full-time in this Work. He knew he was going to take a sizable salary cut in order to do this, but he wanted to do it anyway. So, as many of you know,Mr. Crockett continued to serve the brethren faithfully, not only as a minister in Little Rock but all over Arkansas and as far east as Memphis, Tennessee. Then, after a few years, we asked him to come to Charlotte to serve as our Director of Business Operations. He has done a fine job in this, and has also givenmany fine sermons and sermonettes, and has helped in the ministry very much here in Charlotte as well.We all appreciate his unique contribution.

Here in Charlotte, these four men and I (sometimes affectionately called “RCM and the four Ds”—Dick, Doug, Dibar and Davy)meet together two or three times a week and make all major decisions as a “team.” We normally have an Executive Lunch on either Tuesdays orWednesdays—and include in this group some of the other key individuals here as well, such as Messrs. Rod McNair, Gary Ehman, Charles Ogwyn and, more recently, Dr. Scott Winnail. Other leading visiting ministers—such as Messrs. Bruce Tyler from Australia, Rod King from Britain, Gerald Weston from Canada, and Mario Hernandez representing the Spanish Work—are also sometimes included, plus Dr. Michael Germano when he is in town on Living University matters. Others are invited from time to time as need arises.

Schools More Segregated Than 1968

Stephen Flurry thinks white males are taking a beating?

He should read this.

Schoolchildren More Segregated Today than at Time of Martin Luther King’s Death.

A national tragedy: African-American and Latino schoolchildren are more segregated today than they were at the time of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s death in 1968 says the UCLA’s Civil Rights Project in their January 2010 report.

As a shifting demographics continue to transform many sectors of U.S. society, the country is falling far behind in building faculties that reflect the diversity of its students–44% of whom are now nonwhite–and failing to prepare teachers who can communicate effectively with the 20% of homes where another language is spoken. Millions of nonwhite students are locked into “dropout factory” high schools, where huge percentages do not graduate and have little prospect of contributing to the economy. Often failing US schools are shared by two or more highly disadvantaged minority groups; most schools are not working on creating positive relationships between them and their teachers, who are often white and untrained in techniques that might lower tension and increase school success, the report says.

And Stephen Flurry thinks white males are taking a beating.

The Challenges of Muslim Apostates in Britain (Read Before the Pay Wall Comes)

Before that dreaded pay wall comes up in June 1 upon The Times of London here's an article about Muslim apostates, converts to Christianity and Atheism, and the challenges they face.

You might want to cut and paste this before the paywall comes up on June 1.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Dave Pack On Conspiracy Theories in Global COG

In Chapter 43 of The Authorized Biography of David C. Pack Pack discusses some of the conspiracy theorists that gained some popularity within Global COG in the early 1990s.

The early 1990s witnessed a flowering of conspiracy theories not just in the COGs but all over America. Many in the right were scared about a seemingly liberal dominated government, with both Houses and the Presidency held by the Democratic Party until 1994.

Events such as Ruby Ridge and especially the catastrophic end of the siege of David Koresh's Branch Davidians' compound were interpreted by an increasingly paranoid right as at best an abuse of power, at worse a sign of impending dictatorial rule.

Pack exploits the fact that conspiracy theories such as this were present within GCG to say that Meredith was an incompetent leader and downplays the fact that Meredith did in fact condemn conspiracy theories and made it unfashionable in Global COG. Pack does this hoping that you will start sending him tithes (both first and third).

Without further ado let us see what he says.
Conspiracy Theorists Infiltrate Global

At the beginning of 1996, as Mr. Pack was settling into his new long-distance responsibilities as House of Health owner, a serious problem slowly appeared in several congregations in Mr. Pack’s region. A growing number of brethren began to reflect a deep involvement in “conspiracy theories.”

At first, this appeared to be limited to a small, confused contingent divided between two congregations (Rochester, New York, and Cincinnati, Ohio). Gradually, it became apparent that brethren were being sucked in across other areas, including northeastern Ohio and Michigan. It would be learned later that there were some in these areas, but also around the country, who came into Global with similar thinking. These were mostly veteran conspiracy thinkers, not new converts who could be easily worked with toward recovery.

The basic premise behind many of these theorists’ ideas was a paranoia that there was a “New World Order” underway (a phrase first heard in a 1991 speech by President George H.W. Bush). It was supposedly being constructed secretly by governments around the world, and would soon be imposed on the citizenry of the United States.

Those of this mindset spoke of “black helicopters” following them home from work and secretly monitoring their homes, and they believed that certain manufacturing facilities and warehouses near their homes were actually secret “concentration camps,” among other outlandish ideas.
Alas this outlandish conspiracy theory has been coming back into currency recently.
Many of them held a warped obsession with the April 1993 Branch Davidian incident in Waco, Texas, claiming a government cover-up.
It was a horrific and dreadful incident. But these people tend to blame the federal authorities as actively guilty of what happened. I feel that is too harsh and I don't

This attitude exists among other COGs, such as M. John Allen, leader of Restoration Ministries, as may be seen in his book The Restoration of Truth, Chapter 7. After speculating that Christians should live in a commune he somewhat abruptly changes the topic to say that Waco was an act of tyranny and compares US law officers with Nazi storm troopers. He even suggests, without any evidence (he has "a feeling") that Jim Jones' mass suicide in 1978 was the same thing.
I feel it is no coincidence that government storm troopers were sent into Christian communities like Waco and Jonestown, with cover stories that these people committed suicide. The facts have come out about Waco, showing it was really a government hatchet job against innocent, law abiding people. We will probably never know about Jonestown, but I have a feeling it was the same type of thing.
How can he say that about Jonestown? He has no evidence, just "a feeling".

We leave M. John Allen alone in his strange ideas and now continue with Pack.

They [the conspiracy theorists] were also caught up in strange forms of numerology, randomly associating world events with numbers in Scripture. Some “knew who shot JFK” or that “the Rockefellers had been killed and cloned for government purposes” or “the Soviet government actually destroyed the Challenger spacecraft in 1986 by space-based laser weapons—but only after the astronauts had first been secretly taken out of the capsule and hidden in Arizona, where they now reside.” Another member in Mr. Pack’s congregation “did not believe the Holocaust had occurred.” He could not be convinced otherwise.
I know of at least one ex-WCG member who is now a holocaust denier and teaches the big lie that Jews are trying to conquer the world to create a 'new world order'. That is a totally false, extremely cruel and evil thing to say about the Jewish people.

Also of note is Fred Coulter, leader of the Christian Biblical Church of God, who seems to believe that a secret cabal of 'Zionist' Jews is trying to take over the world and create a "New World Order".

LCG apologist Bob Theil also comments on the conspiracism that CBCG has embraced.

Perhaps where CBCG differs from most COGs is that it is into conspiracy theories....

Specific conspiracies that CBCG teaches about concern the Freemasons, Rothchilds, International Monetary Fund, the US Federal Reserve, the Kennedy assassinations, banking in general and international banking in particular, secret societies, Thule Society, Alien/UFO contacts, and eastern religions ....

Most non-COG groups that believe in the same basic banking/Rothchild conspiracies appear to me to be anti-Semitic, but I have not detected that in any of CBCG's literature [I would respectfully disagree.-Redfox712.] (it should be noted that no actual COG is anti-semitic).

One criticism that a CBCG leader mentioned to me about LCG, is that "Living is not really into conspiracy theories".

We now continue with Pack.
Sadly, this mentality was not limited to the members’ view of the outside world. They began to believe that some ministers in Global were actually covert agents of the Jesuits (a religious order within the Catholic Church)!
This peculiar idea was often remarked upon by Ambassador Report 62 (July 1996).
Meredith recently shocked his followers by vehemently attacking some notions that are gaining widespread acceptance in ex-WCG circles - namely the so-called international conspiracy theories revolving around Jesuits, Jews, and Freemasons...

In recent months one of the oddest ideas that has been circulating in Armstrongite circles is that "Jesuit secret agents" have somehow infiltrated the WCG and now even Meredith's Global Church....

In the [Global Church News] article he briefly touched on the Jesuits (p. 11):
Because of the prominence of the Great Whore in prophecy, some of our brethren have gotten excited about some videos put out by John Osborne's Prophecy Countdown on "The Jesuit Agenda" - supposedly explaining what has happened to the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. By extension, they think this is also what happened in our former association. And now they think it is even happening here.... Some people think that we want to join up with the United Church of God and other groups - as part of the Jesuit agenda. In fact, Messrs. Carl McNair and Larry Salyer [two of Meredith's subordinates] have been accused of this. That's ridiculous.

Conspiracy theories involving Jesuits have a long history dating at least four hundred years.

After this Pack then blames conspiracism on boredom. Pack then uses this as an opportunity to condemn those who say that they are not teaching anything new. They're right. COGs do tend to be repetitive.
“The conspiracy theorists who entered Global were a cancer of the worst order. I had dealt with them many times in my ministry, and they are minds that can rarely be brought back to balance. Once they have been involved for any length of time in the drug of what are endless conspiracy theories, they become addicts. Over time, and not much time at that, this becomes their religion. I liken it to the ‘Holy Names’ people, or to some who make aspects of natural food a religion. They ‘know’ something that everybody else does not know, and nothing will change them.
I am no fan of conspiracy theories because generally they are not true, they give people a false sense of power for being one of the few to know the 'truth,' and they often encourage people to scapegoat certain targets instead of confronting the world as it is.
“I studied conspiracy thinking in the early 1970s at great length. I read a host of books and magazines to see what there was to the idea of ‘the Illuminati,’ as they are often called. This is when I learned it was a drug of the mind with vast reach—and that involvement in it was very dangerous to maintaining spiritual growth. It tends to block out the sun in its victim’s thinking.
I am highly suspicious and skeptical of conspiracy theories. To the untrained eye they may seem to cause people to believe they are in a hopeless situation. But they also give believers a false sense of power and elitism for being one of the few to 'know the truth'.
“Consider. There are only three views of conspiracy theories, and I have taught this for decades. First, they are all true—who could believe this?—but if so, there is nothing you can do about them. Second, they are all false, and obviously should not be given the time of day. Third, they are a mixture of both, and we cannot know which is which. So what would be the point of studying them?
Strangely I find myself unsatisfied with that conclusion.

Now Pack discusses public relations aspect of distancing oneself from conspiracy theories.
“Finally, there is the all-important point that conspiracy thinkers are dangerous to the image of the Church. Not only are their ideas wrong, but they make the Church look to be composed of kooks, something people are eager to believe anyway. We did not need ‘members’ fostering the image that Global was a Church that did not believe in the Holocaust. So there was the protection factor for the Church.
“But headquarters could not see this!”
Pack is determined to discredit Meredith. Therefore in this issue he chooses to portray Meredith as not committed to defending the truth. In this specific topic Meredith is portrayed as being hopelessly indulgent of conspiracy theorists. This serves to obscure the fact that it was Meredith who made Global COG repudiate them.

There shall be more on this topic later.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Stephen Flurry Says 'White Males' Are Being Persecuted

Stephen Flurry of PCG has produced an article, Watch Out for White Men, bemoaning how 'white males' have 'taken a beating' in America. (Races do not actually exist by the way.)

How? Are whites denied jobs that they are entitled to? Are beating physically assaulting white males because of who they are. Let's take a look.
White males have taken a beating in recent weeks. First it was legislators in Arizona, branded as Nazis in some quarters, because they had the gall to clamp down on illegal immigration. Then it was Arizonans in general, labeled as racist for supporting tougher legislation, even though this majority support included many Hispanics—those who are legal citizens of Arizona.
How can criticism of Arizona's harsh immigration law be seen as 'beating' 'white males'? Clearly it refers to whoever was behind that law. Many 'white males' do not support it. How can this be called 'beating' 'white males'?
Then there was President Obama’s snub of white males all across America. Trying to rally his base to carry Democrats to victory in 2010, Obama called on women, youths, blacks and Hispanics to get involved—as if white males had nothing to do with his 2008 victory.
So President Obama made one, solitary comment that omitted white males. How is this 'beating' 'white males'? He works with 'white males' all the time. I'm sure a lot of his political contributions came from 'white males'.
When prodded to speculate on who this loner might have been, Bloomberg said he was probably “home-grown, maybe a mentally deranged person or somebody with a political agenda that doesn’t like the health care bill.”
Flurry belittles Mr. Bloomberg's speculation that the Times Square bomber could have been a right wing extremist, ignoring the fact that there does exist a small but violent far right culture in America which resorts to violence. We've just had the Hutaree militia arrested for plotting terrorism recently. These are real concerns.

How is that 'beating' 'white males'? What about all the other 'white males' he deals with?
But before we jump to any conclusions about Muslim men, or their faith, let us remember the fundamental doctrines of political correctness: America’s greatest strength is its diversity. Any perceived threat against our diversity is of greater concern than terrorism itself.
Now terrorism is a very serious matter but, let's be honest, you are in greater danger of being killed crossing the road or driving a car then being killed in a terrorist attack in the USA.

Terrorisn is a concern but we must not let such concerns rob us of a free society, or detract from other concerns which actually have a greater chance of killing you. Stephen Flurry is wrong to be dismissive of such concerns.
On Tuesday, rather than apologize for targeting Republican tea partiers who oppose Obamacare, Mayor Bloomberg responded to Shahzad’s arrest by offering praise for the Pakistani community and its positive impact on New York. He then issued this stern warning to every non-Muslim in the region: “We will not tolerate any bias or backlash against Pakistani or Muslim New Yorkers.”

Every ethnic group has “a few bad apples,” Bloomberg lectured, after dabbling in a bit of his own racial profiling the day before.
Speculating that the Times Square bomber may have been a far right man of the same ilk that recently threw bricks at political offices, or even Hutaree, is 'beating' 'white males'?

It is sad that Flurry chooses to minimize very real concerns about potential backlash against minorities and instead complains that white males are being picked on.

This list of grievances at how 'white males' have been 'taken a beating' is very unimpressive to say the least.

Consider these words from the Anti-Racist Action Network. I don't necessarily agree with everything this group says but these words offer some insight into why the racism of white people is to be feared more than that of others in our societies, because only 'whites' have the power to forge a racist society that disadvantages minorities.
  • We think that racism is two things: the belief that people can be divided into separate and distinct categories of "races" that can then be ranked according to which ones are superior or inferior to the others; and the power to act on this belief in a way that harms people. There is only one "race" -- the human race.
  • While "non-white" people may believe that races really exist, it is "white" people that hold the power to put such beliefs into practice to hurt people.
  • Science has proven that even though races are not real on any biological basis, racism is very real, and groups defined as distinct by racism face very real social, political and economic differences as a result.
  • This is why "white" people perpetrate the majority of hate crimes in our society, or why the victims of racism are almost always people of color.
  • Sometimes, "white" people are the victims of racism or racism occurs between different people of color. But compared to the amount of people of color victimized by institutionalized white racism, it's not hard to see where the real problem lies.
Considering that things are like this it sad that PCG chooses to use their voice to claim that white males are being persecuted by criticism of Arizona, one alledged omission by the President who happens to be descended from 'white males' on his mother's side, and speculation that the Times Square bomber was white. That's nothing.

Considering HWA used to ban interracial marriages it is not surprising that PCG should be blind towards the concerns of minorities and instead worry about their own selves.

PCG's 20th Birthday

Last December 7th PCG celebrated the 20th anniversary of their work. They had a celebration complete with a large cake.

How is this any different from a birthday party which HWA banned us from?

Why is it we are forbidden to celebrate our birthdays yet we can celebrate the church's birthday?

What is a birthday but an anniversary for a living human being?

Friday, May 7, 2010

On Dave Pack's Profile

Recently I saw LCG Bob Theil report this briefing from RCG HQ claiming that 'the work' of RCG is greatly expanding. As is typical in these briefings everything is portrayed in the best possible light.

I always find it disturbing to hear of RCG gaining new converts because from what I hear Pack is a particularly authoritarian and controlling leader. Even as early as 1985, when he was just another WCG minister, Pack gained attention as a particularly controlling minister.

So to see what this Pack is really made out of let us take a look at his Who Is David C. Pack? page
As Pastor General of The Restored Church of God, David C. Pack oversees the world’s most extensive biblically based websites.
This is true only if you do Pack's trick and exclude every non-Sabbatarian church and every other COG organization. UCG's website have archives of its Good News magazine going all the way back to 1995. By that standard they're probably even bigger than RCG's website.
He attended Ambassador College, entered the Worldwide Church of God ministry in 1971 and was personally trained by Herbert W. Armstrong. He has established over 50 congregations, authored more than 20 books, written hundreds of booklets and articles, and appeared on The History Channel.
So what. Heaps of crazy people pp up on the History Channel. Even some of those conspiracy theorists that Pack helped to cast out of Global COG. Furthermore that History Channel appearance was utterly unimpressive.
As Editor-in-Chief of The Real Truth magazine and voice of The World to Come program, he has reached millions around the globe with the most powerful truths of the Bible, unknown to almost all.
'unknown to almost all.' This statement is designed to cause unsuspecting readers to believe that their adoption of Armstrongite doctrine is somehow unique and special. This statement is designed to feed new converts' vanity and give them a heady sense of elitism in embracing Armstrongite dogma.

It also serves to render all the other splinter groups invisible and remove them from consideration by the unsuspecting reader.
Born in 1948, Mr. Pack
Unsuspecting readers will be unaware that in COG culture you are required to refer to the pastor of your congregation as Mr. So and So. This causes pastors to be viewed as an elite.
Upon graduation in 1971, he married Shirley Ochs (who died in 2007), a fellow Ambassador College graduate and former personal secretary to Mr. Armstrong,
To establish his authority as Commander of the Faithful any links with the previous leader, HWA, is naturally played up in order for Pack to bathe in the glory of HWA, the prophet of 1975.
Determined not to compromise his beliefs, Mr. Pack started RCG in May 1999.
'Determined not to compromise his beliefs' Pack's branding gimmick is to say that he has perfectly reproduced the faith of HWA (which is assumed to be the true apostolic faith) and insist that everyone else has irredeemably compromised with the 'truth'. This convieniently forgets that Pack has made his own alterations to Armstrongism which deviate from HWA's WCG.

For example Pack teaches that Ethiopia is the King of the South and that there will be no future fulfillment of the King of the South. Many other COG groups teach that some sort of Islamic Empire will in the future arise and eventually will be destroyed by the European Beast Power. This doctrine was also taught within HWA's WCG. Yet Pack has presumpuously chosen to go against the conclusion of 'God's Apostle' in this matter.

Furthermore he has defied the government of God by presumptuously defying the established authority above him, the Evangelist Meredith in Global COG. By what authority did Pack have in defying Meredith's authority? He was rude to Pack? He hurt his feelings? Can Pack disregard God's ordination of Meredith as Evangelist and defy the words of an Evangelist while he belongs to a lesser rank? Pack has defied one above him. This destroys the Government of God. Therefore Pack is working against the Government of God.
The Restored Church of God is a truly unique organization, unlike anything else on Earth.
Except for the literally hundreds of related COG organizations, all of which derive from HWA's WCG. When I was a follower/co-worker for LCG I carelessly assumed that the other COGs were irredeemably different from LCG. No doubt many in RCG will assume the same thing. This may be particularly true of those who join without any COG background, as was my situation.

This is not true. The other groups are extremely similar to RCG. Look at their interpretations of prophecy. They also believe in the seventh day sabbath, that Europe will conquer the world and enslave the USA and Britain into captivity, the inaccurate belief that Anglo-Saxons and Celts are descended from Israel, and many other things. They are in fact very similar.
Published on the most extensive biblically based websites in the world, Mr. Pack’s and the Church’s materials address the everyday concerns of the average man and woman—and do so without soliciting funds, proselytizing or involvement in politics. All literature and programs are offered free of charge and in the public interest.
'without soliciting funds' What is not mentioned here is that members are required to pay three tithes, two of which are directly paid to the organization. Not paying is not really an option because HWA taught that not paying tithes is a damnable sin. A sin of omission. To not tithe is stealing from God, according to HWA. So these three have to paid. That is how the publication of those materials are funded. As one person put it "FREE cost me $60,000." This sort of misleading self promotion is very typical among the COGs. Meredith, a man Pack professes a lot of disdain for, does exactly the same thing as Pack: Imply that he is the sole source of 'truth' when in reality there are literally hundreds of competing sects, most of them very similar.

'without ... proselytizing' Poppycock! The whole purpose of broadcasting sermons, publishing booklets and books is to gain converts. I am aware of HWA's dogma that God is not calling most people therefore the church's role is not to proselytize but to proclaim the messege of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God as a warning. Many people join COG groups after becoming covinced of their truthfullness (wrongly) after watching or reading their materials. Even with this doctrine in mind they are proselytizing those who have been 'called by God'. So this statement is disingenous.

This statement is designed to lull unsuspecting readers into accepting the teachings of RCG uncritically in order to make them join.
To learn much more, read The Authorized Biography of David C. Pack.
Notice there is no mention Jesus Christ after all that.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

How Clever These Armstrongite Ministers Are

I saw this phrase from one of Gerald Flurry's booklets which quoted this Tomorrow's World (May-June 1970) article. I can understand if no one else will feel the same way but this statement made me see just what an astounding scam this business of Armstrongism is.
“It has been the devil’s plan to pervert even the meaning of the word ‘father.’ Today people use that term about God—yet become very offended when told the plain truth of God’s divine purpose. They cannot believe that humans are destined to literally become born sons of God—just like God—as our children are like us. So in Jesus’s day the Jews refused to hear Jesus’s words about the Father.
This statement, to me, shows how clever this game was. So many of us didn't stand a chance with them.

Here refusal to accept the God Family doctrine is explained to followers as denying clear evidence. Completely ignoring the Scriptures which challenge this idea and the fact that the God Family doctrine was simply pilfered by HWA from either Mormonism or the early Watchtower Cult.

Erik Prince of Blackwater and Iran

While I was listening to this interview and it occurred to me that Erik Prince, founder of the mercenary company, Blackwater happens to share a view similar to PCG.

Erik Prince seems to have this strange idea in his head that Iran is trying to inspire Shiite rebellion all over the Islamic world according a speech of his that was leaked recently.
In the speech, Prince proposed that the US government deploy armed private contractors to fight “terrorists” in Nigeria, Yemen, Somalia and Saudi Arabia, specifically to target Iranian influence.
In the interview linked to above journalist Jeremy Scahill remarks that Erik Prince says that "Iran is at the dead center of badness". (0:22.)

This seems quite similar to PCG's doctrine. PCG teaches that the future King of the South will be Iran. How Iran, a Shiite country, will be able to lead the predominantly Sunni Muslim world as a united political unit is beyond me. And Gerald Flurry I believe. Especially considering the bad blood that will have to be overcomed due to the catastrophe of the Iraq War.

I am not suggesting that Erik Prince has been listening to PCG but it is strange he should think that.

Most other COGs are more vague about the King of the South. LCG, for instance say it will be Arab. RCG insists that there will be no future King of the South but that that prophecy was fuffilled already with Ethiopia. But this ignores the fact that HWA's WCG did in fact teach that there will be a future King of the South.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Little Book Booklet Returns

PCG has released their booklet, The Little Book, which teaches that Malachi's Message is the Little Book of Revelation 10. They've given it an updated cover. The copyright date has been renewed.

You can read it here.

More thoughts on how important the myth of Malachi's Message is to PCG members may be seen here.

It is widely known that Malachi's Message was plagiarized from the Letter to Laodicea by Jules Dervaes as may be seen here.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

More On What Is Happening in Morocco

World magazine has published an article concerning the recent expulsion of Christian aid workers in Morocco.

Thoughts On Laissez-faire Economy

Before I start this I just want to say I love the free market. Having read how Soviet style Socialism operated the free market is good in that it allows people to operate in the way that is best for them. But it can't do everything.

Now I saw yesterday's Fox and Friends. They were trying to tell us that President Obama is, somehow, against the American dream.

That is a ridiculous accusation against President Obama.

Thankfully others have noted the outrageous nature of that accusation.

I would also like to comment about Gretchen Carlton's interview with Anne C. Heller, a biographer of the free market thinker, Ayn Rand.

CARLSON: So is this the world that Rand was trying to warn us about, Anne?

HELLER: Absolutely, it is. For her, enough money was a contradiction in terms, because money was productivity and creativity and honorable enterprise.

It is possible not to be productive with money.

It is possible not to be creative with money.

It is possible for money to be gained outside of an honorable enterprise. Illegal drugs for instance.

Recklessly giving mortgages to people who cannot pay them off is not an honorable enterprise.

The most creative solution Wall Street could devise out of the Lehman Brothers crisis was to be bailed out by the government. That is not capitalism, that is Socialism for the rich.

The attempted reforms being undertaken in Congress is an attempt to make it impossible for a Lehman Brothers-like situation to emerge.

CARLSON: Would [Ayn Rand] have been in favor of what's being proposed now on Capitol Hill as far as financial overhaul?

HELLER: Absolutely not. She was against government regulation from beginning to end. She was for a purely laissez-faire government.

No regulation? That is what has caused the world economy to nearly die the way it did in 2008. Banks were allowed to just give loans to anyone without checking that they could actually repay it all. Then when people began to foreclose on mortgages, so many that those who owned these mortgages were unable to recoup their losses and so this horrible money hole began to grew until the crisis of 2008.

A purely laissez-faire government? As far as I can see that is a mere abstraction that cannot conform to reality. Government is a part of society. The economy is a part of society. It is natural that they will interact with each. They cannot be neatly separated.

In a healthy economy money flows around freely. The transfer of money is the blood flow of the economy. When money stop flowing that is when we have a recession.

If the government stops spending as well during a recession there is even less money circulating in the economy than before. This makes the situation even worse than before. The blood pressure of the economy has dropped even more.

There is even less spending now. Blood circulation has just stopped.

That is why governments have to spend in a recession. It spends money and the blood pressure of the economy goes up. More money is flowing around now. That is good.

When there is enough money being spent, being actively used, then the healthy economy is restored.

So we see that there is a beneficial place for the government in the economy.

It should also be noted that before the Great Depression orthodox wisdom said that in a recession the government must cut spending and not get involved in the economy. As explained above that is the worse thing a government can do in a recession.

That is like having a patient who has dangerously low blood pressure, and then decreasing it even more, making the patient even more sick.

That is what Hoover did. The Depression only got worse.

Rooselvelt did the opposite and did what he could bring the economy back to health.

The government is not like a private household that can run out of money. The government prints the money. The government is the source of money. Therefore the government can spend more during hard times.

Therefore this dogmatic view of laissez-faire market does not impress me. I do think that help the toiling people who are within this crisis of the Great Recession.