Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The COGs' Hostility to Movies and Fiction

Traditionally the COGs tend to be quite critical of mainstream fiction, whether they are books, movies or TV shows.

This tendency may be seen in one of HWA's very first religious articles, 'What's Wrong with the Current Gerneration?' written around 1927, long before he started publishing the Plain Truth.
The average church is now about two-thirds empty, the other third being populated with gray heads. The average sermon today is lifeless, boring, lacking in fire and power. The church no longer serves a social need. The automobile, good roads, modern movies, dances and entertainments, have usurped the churches' social ministration. The teenagers are no longer interested.

Some churches have attempted to compete with the lure of modern amusements by bringing movies, amateur plays, dances and other entertainments into the church. But, in the amusement game, our churches have proved themselves pitiful novices. The crowd still prefers its entertainment where it is presented with professional and worldly skill. ...

The churches have failed them [young people]. They don't understand - how can we expect that they should? - and they are merely seeking the spiritual food they really need, in movies, in dances, in wild entertainment, in "necking," sex and debauchery, and all too often finding the "inspiration" in bootleg liquor! They're getting - and buying at a dear price - cheap Woolworth jewelry, when what they really crave is the pearls of a heart-warming, Spirit-firing Christian experience! ...

Religion has come to be considered, by these youngsters the oldsters condemn, as a dark, gloomy, profitless, penance-paying life. The average adolescent's conception of Christianity is a whole flock of "Don'ts," beginning with capital Ds. The churches shout "Don't dance," "Don't play cards," "Don't go to movies," "Don't bob your hair," "Don't smoke." The church offers no alternative. Christianity is viewed as a sort of living painful penance. ...

Let's not make the fatal mistake of thinking we can steer them safely from the shoals of worldly temptations merely by saying: "Don't dance! Don't go to movies! Don't smoke! Don't drink!"

Their starved emotions, their pent-up energies, are going to find an outlet, one way or the other. If we don't want them to fall victim to this world's tawdry imitations, then we must show them the REAL THING. If you don't give your children something constructively BETTER, they will dance, they will drink, they will dissipate, in spite of you. Never have we needed the help and the power of God as we need it now!
(HWA later became exactly what he was criticizing in this article.)

HWA also stated his contempt for fiction in his Autobiography as noted in a previous post of this blog.
HWA in his autobiography, in which he completely 'forgets' to tell us about his many false prophecies, (1936, Mussolini as Beast, Hitler as Beast) he does remember to tell us that he has not read much fiction.

That winter, beside the warm fire of burning oak logs, I read through three or four books of fiction -- about the only fiction reading of my entire life. I did what I could to help on the farm, but that wasn't much, and my wife, of course, did the cooking, and housework. (Chapter 13.)
He also remembered to tell us his personal views on fiction.

I confined my reading in magazines to informative and thought-provoking articles, resisting fiction almost altogether. Fiction is the lazy man's reading. Like the movies, and today's TV programs, it is merely a ready-made daydream, inducing habits of mind-drifting. (Chapter 8.)
And then (strangely) just a few words later he lecture us about 'vision.'
This is the quality, rare among people (but why should it be? [It might have something to do with your authoritarian ways, HWA.-Redfox712]), called VISION....the big majority never think beyond their present jobs -- never think out ways to do the job better, or to develop or expand their own job into something bigger, or to be preparing themselves for the better jobs ahead and promotions to them
How is vision, which here means dreaming about future possibilities, different from dreaming about possibilities experienced through reading fiction?
When I read that in his Autobiography I seriously contemplated giving up fiction. Thankfully I read Rikki-Tikki-Tavi by Rudyard Kipling and the joy of reading that story firmly put that delusional idea behind me.

This hostility towards movies and other forms of mainstream entertainment is also seen in Roderick C. Meredith's booklet, Restoring Original Christianity. (The booklet was originally called Restoring Apostolic Christianity.)
Satan “broadcasts” a selfish, rebellious attitude throughout this earth. He is the one who is influencing deceived men into injecting enormous amounts of licentious sex, violence and a general spirit of disrespect and lawlessness into the so-called “entertainment” you and your children see or hear on television, at the movies, on the radio or when playing various kinds of perverted computer games which simulate almost indescribable acts of perversion or violence. Do you know who is really laughing at all this “fun stuff”? Satan is!

For by perverting mankind’s normal interest in sex and excitement, and by cleverly injecting sick humor into so many of television’s “situation comedies,” Satan is able to cleverly mislead mankind into abusing, degrading and ultimately destroying itself if God does not intervene at the last minute to stop it (Matthew 24:21–22).
I have also seen similar comments from PCG.

Why are HWA, Meredith, Mendiola, PCG and so many others within the COGs like this?

It is very simple, they are simply trying to control their followers. COG leaders fear that the works of art may cause COG members to deviate from what they are told. The leaders do not want to their followers spending money on movies but would prefer for them to not go in order that more money ma be given to the leaders as tithes and offerings. The COG leaders claim many works of art are immoral but they are simply trying to control their followers.

Also many works of art contain messages contrary to what is taught by the COGs. The COG leaders are simply trying to make sure their followers do not wonder around and start to embrace contrary ideas, or, even worse, start thinking for themselves and disrupting the leaders' rule over the tithes paying flock.

The COG leaders are simply trying to control their followers by keeping them focused only on what the group teaches and ignoring and avoiding anything that might contradict what is taught.

1 comment:

  1. Byker Bob: check out his apology statements for the Nazis. James + his website Painful Truth. Thewn ask him to explain!