Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Implosion of the Hulmites

Banned by HWA has a post up detailing the apparent implosion of David Hulme's cult. There has been comments detailing David Hulme.

There followed a most fascinating discussion. Here are some of the highlights from the comments.

Byker Bob:
This is certainly an interesting approach that Hulme has taken. The majority of the ministers have conformed to various ACOG structures, given their only job skill, to continue influx of income. A few commendable ones took the hard route, walked away from financial security, and started over acquiring new vocational skills. But, what Hulme has done is to exploit his ACOG base to catapult himself to a higher level than what he might have achieved had he started over from scratch. It's as if he used his ACOG as a sort of "halfway" house in his transition to secular employment. 
I am conflicted over this type of approach. Part of me wants to applaud him for finding a way out of teaching abusive and toxic theology, but I also recognize his disingenuousness in stringing his congregations along for that much longer to facilitate this. Has he taken proper care to guide and mentor them so that at the end of this process they won't be left high and dry?

I think it is very likely that Hulme has not prepared his followers for life outside of the cult at all.

Joe Moeller:
This is one of the most secretive of COG groups, and closely guards everything.  
An interesting associate of Hulme's for many years is one Michael McKinney, who writes for Hulme's publications and has been in close relationship with Hulme for many years.  
His website http://www.m2com.com  
has a wide assortment of high end goods, books, wines , and even archaeology information books about the first century. 
It all appears to be a marketing device to a high end snooty crowd, which is also the approach taken by Hulme in his publications. Hulme always viewed himself as a "wanna be" member of the elite classes, and markets himself to such, even in his evangelism. He was an elite prince in regards to AICF events and marketing during its hey day.  
One has to wonder how much "cross marketing" Hulme and McKinney do, in regards to sharing mailing lists, leads etc.
I remember him from college at BW. He really didn't stand out, but then it was usually the American basketball player types who did stand out, and Hume was not like that. I thought he was quiet and nice looking and perhaps shy (that was in 1970). I also didn't know he was an intellectual, what a waste of intelligence going to AC and becoming a minister. Who would have guessed he would have risen to a high rank, it was probably because so many of the competition left. 
Don't know who he married, but I imagine his original wife is gone and when getting a new wife, any man of importance goes for a younger version. 
An organization usually resembles the thinking of those that administer it. 
In the case of Hulme's group, the "church" seeks above all to appear educated and to be accepted by the scholarly community, rather than to espouse and advocate for any particular religious idea(s). 
"Kingdom of god" talk doesn't get you respect in academia. 
Their mission statement makes this clear, they want to "educate", not proselytise. 
Most of their articles read like run-of-the-mill university-level synopses of various researched topics. 
Fine as far as that goes, although it probably poorly qualifies as religious activity justifying the use of believer's tithe money. 
(In many cases it's difficult to determine exactly what the conclusion of the article is...?)
I wonder what the average member's perception is of the ongoing "work" of COGAIC?
Byker Bob:
Folks, that's why they call it "Embarrassing College"! 
If you lived in Pasadena, the community in many cases could tell by looking at you exactly where you were from. After having been asked about this numerous times while in stores, hitch-hiking around Pasadena, or on the bus, one did eventually tire of the suspicion. Before you had even opened your mouth to speak a single word, they had pegged you and pretty much written you off. This certainly taught me, in a kind of parallel way, what victims of racism encounter in their everyday quest for survival.  
After two years at AC, when I started going to classes at Pasadena City College, I grew the type of sideburns that were banned by HWA, and began wearing surplus army and navy jackets, which were popular at the time, to class. I already knew some of my new classmates, a couple of the box boys from El Rancho, who told me they'd been expecting to see me there for some time. They and the president of the college, to whom I had needed to do some tall talking, were the only ones on campus who ever knew of my AC background. Frankly, that type of anonymity was the only way to be taken seriously. At that time, I was a journalism major, was on the staff of the Courier, the campus newspaper, and was interviewing, and therefore known to, many of the movers and shakers on the faculty and in student government. No way did I want them thinking that my articles were filtered through WCG theology! 
When you think about it, those of us who have indulged in this type of masking or subterfuge were (to our shame) really only unknowingly imitating one of the elements of HWA's character. Honestly, I was just attempting to survive in a new environment, one in which the surrounding world had changed somewhat radically during two years of being cloistered at the Ambassador monastery. This says something very profound about Armstrongism. I believe, in retrospect, that many of us realized subliminally at our core level that it was indefensible, but somehow felt so paralyzed by it all that we could not break away. A bigger catalyst, a larger reality check had yet to be experienced. For me, that was 1975.
Yes, we've heard whispers similar to this coming out of Hulme's cult and personally know people who have been jettisoned from the organization. There is a lot of discontent right now, apparently.
How anyone can say that David Hulme was a good presented, is truly amazing, as David Hulme is one of the earth's most boring speakers of any I have heard. 
His speaking style is totally flat lined. Anyone listening to him more than 3 minutes will find themselves in zombie land.
It is impossible for me to verify this opinion one way or the other.

You wrote: "...But, what Hulme has done is to exploit his ACOG base to catapult himself to a higher level than what he might have achieved had he started over from scratch. It's as if he used his ACOG as a sort of "halfway" house in his transition to secular employment..." 
It's interesting that you wrote that David Hulme used his ACOG as a sort of "halfway house." Is that anything like a home: a halfway home? 
On May 1, 1995 mentioned a couple of reasons for why he was there in Indianapolis at a conference that ended up with the establishment of the United Church of God, an International Association.
David told all of those attending that conference about the conversation he had with his son Mark about a "home," and I'll quote from the videotape transcript of that day's meeting: 
"...You know, Mark, all I really want to do right now is be with a small group of people who believe as I do. I just want to be with a group of people and keep the Sabbath. I guess I was saying, I need to go home. I need the familiarity of my foundations. So that's one of the reasons I am here. I am looking for my home..." 
Well, as David Hulme's history shows David over time didn't care for that UCGaia home. He apparently may not be liking his current "church" home either with the dwindling numbers, but he did end up with a small group of people who believe as he does. How small will it get? Time will tell. 
When will David finally find the home he thinks he is looking for? Who knows?
David made another interesting comment before he spoke about that "home." He said: "...I know that in the few days between resignation and starting to come here, I went up and down, kind of like a yo-yo, up and down on a roller coaster." 
Well, if nothing else, it appears he is still moving up and down, like a yo-yo or on a roller coaster.............and I hope he is still enjoying the ride. 
It's not over for him........... 
"Is this really correct?" [That students of Ambassador College can legitimately claim to have an accredited degree retrospectively after accreditation in 1994.]
I was on the faculty in Big Sandy when the college achieved accreditation and one of the deans told me that accreditation is not retroactive. However, as a practical matter it usually doesn't matter because very few colleges and even fewer employers ever compare the date of accreditation with the date of graduation. 
Also, an institution is accredited and not a degree or a degree holder. It is correct to say "I graduated from an accredited college" (if in fact you did) but it is incorrect to say "I have an accredited degree" or "I am an accredited degree holder". 
However, I don't recall that the administration made much effort to point out this distinction. They mostly let people draw their own conclusions and I don't think Joe Sr. ever understood this at all.

Lake of Fire Church of God:

By strange co-incidence, I was cleaning out a closet over Thanksgiving weekend, and found in a box my complimentary inaugural copy of Ambassador International Cultural Foundation’s (AICF) large slick magazine titled “Human Potential”. Later, AICF changed the name to “Quest”. The Executive Editor was Stanley Rader, and while the publication personnel credit box had names familiar to those of us from the WCG – people like Dexter Faulkner, Brian Knowles, Garner Ted Armstrong, etc.; there is NO credit mention of David Hulme in the forerunner publication. 
There were plenty of slick ads throughout the publication including a back full cover advertising Dodge Chrysler.  
Of course, I took one look at it, and said to myself, “What a waste and a piece of crapola”.

wow, James Tabor exposed (Dennis mentions him). I just began reading a book by him "The Jesus Dynasty". Not a book I would normally read, but I found it in the "discarded" pile at the library.
It had started to sound a bit familiar. Now I find out he used to be in WCG........my first impulse is to throw the book away immediately, but then he is a good writer and no capitals.
It makes me feel like I have come full circle, reading a book from an ex-WCGer. Yes it definitely dilutes his credentials to me, so I understand why it would not be mentioned. But N.Carolina, isn't that the new headquarters of a lot of the left over WCG, Meredith for instance.
So this is why so many people pretend to have no association with WCG.

1 comment:

  1. These days, virtually nobody in the general population has ever heard of Ambassador College, anyway. Usually, if people ask me about my background, I tell them that I grew up in a cult that believed that Jesus would return in 1975, and that I attended that cult's unaccredited college for two years, studying for the ministry. When Jesus didn't return when they had forecast, I realized the cult was bogus.

    The college provided a safe buffer against the type of behavior in which one indulges as most young people are finding themselves, but listing it on one's resume never enhances one's position except in the presence of the management teams of the splinter ACOG groups.