Saturday, August 31, 2013

HWA's Governmental Structure Pictured

Look at this:

And this:

From Congress of Leading Ministers Hears Defined and Reemphasized Spiritual Organization of Church by HWA, (March 1981).

Note how only HWA is worthy of being mentioned by name.

What an authoritarian system!

This governmental system was very effectively used by HWA and his collaborators to impose a savage system of exploitative oppression upon lowly WCG members.

This abusive pattern of behavior is faithfully maintained in most COGs today, such as LCG, PCG, RCG, COG-PKG and others.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

HWA Demonizes "Modern Education" as Invention of Pagans, Catholics, Rationalists and Big Business

Here is what HWA thought about any educational system he did not control, which he labeled "modern education" as may be seen in his article, The Surprising Origin of Modern Education.
The most ancient of records reveal that educational institutions, from dimmest antiquity, were organized and maintained by religions. As early as the 10th century B.C. we find the record of schools for the training of pagan priesthoods. On the other hand, the prophet Elijah, at the turn of the ninth century, established three colleges for the prophets of God.
HWA is comparing himself to Elijah here. He often liked to say that Elijah ran a college as he himself did.

HWA continues:
Pagan Schools for Christians

At the beginning of the Christian era, pagan schools, on the Plato model, dotted the Roman Empire. No Christian schools existed.

Printing had not yet been invented. Textbooks had to be prepared, laboriously, entirely by hand, one at a time. All textbooks were pagan.

All leaders in the first five centuries of the Christian world were, of necessity, the pupils of this pagan education.

Then the barbaric invasion swept away these schools. Through these years the only education in the Western world was pagan. Pagan philosophers and religious beliefs and customs were instilled automatically into growing children. Observance of pagan holidays was a regular part of school life - as, surprising though it may seem, it continues to be today!

Education was instilled as a system of memory training. It was "spoon-fed," literally funneled into immature and growing minds. Children were taught to accept without question, assume without proof, believe and memorize whatever was taught. This method, too, persists today. Children are seldom taught to THINK - but to be followers, not leaders. Few know why they believe the things they do. Through all those years, all literature in the Western world was pagan.

Beginning the sixth century, the only schools were the monastic schools, for the training of monks, and the cathedral schools, for the training of priests. These evolved into the universities of Salerno, Bologna, Reggio, Padua, Modena, Vercelli and others.

The first university of our modern pattern was the University of Paris, beginning in the 12th century.
English students, sent to the University of Paris, later (1167-68) founded Oxford University. Oxford alumni founded Cambridge. Graduates of these universities founded Harvard in 1636, William and Mary in 1693, Yale in 1701 and Princeton came later in 1746.

It was Thomas Jefferson who founded the first state university - the University of Virginia - in 1819. His motive was to divorce education from religion. This started the present materialistic trend in American education. There was great public protest at the time. His new state university was termed "shocking" and "irreligious." 
He could have just said, I don't want you going to my competitors at other Universities that actually have accreditation, I want you to come to my Ambassador College.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

HWA Visits World Court: "Last Chance for Peace?" HWA Gets it Wrong Again

This article, I Visit the World Court: Last Chance for Peace?, written in the mid-1970s, HWA speculates that the world faces a "last chance for peace". He cunningly adds a question mark so that he has plausible deniability to claim he is not claiming Christ's return is around the corner, when that is exactly what he is doing.

HWA had a long and shameful history of peddling false prophecies in order to scare people into following him and to become a member of WCG and submit to all kinds of exploitative behavior for his benefit. Even in the 1980s after he wrote this article he was still teaching that Christ's return was just around the corner, as may be seen here and here.

"Last chance for peace?" Over thirty years later we are still here. The Cold War is over. And the prospects for a World War III are much more distant than was the case during the Cold War.

HWA got it wrong again.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

COG Alexa Rankings (August 2013): Dave Pack is Down, so is Weinland

Here is the latest Alexa rankings for various COG websites.

UCG: 53,212
Philadelphia Trumpet (PCG): 108,171
RCG: 115,494
CGI/WCG (Tkach): 180,125
Tomorrow's World (LCG): 221,574 (Bob Thiel): 254,811
LCG: 289,043
CGG: 297,561
Real Truth (RCG): 456,355
Cogwa: 459,539
PCG: 474,649
Life, Hope and Truth (Cogwa): 568,546
COG-AIC (Hulme): 961,873
CCOG (Bob Thiel): 988,725 (Don Tiger): 1,184,914
Shining Light (James Malm): 1,217,186
CGI: 1,262,806
Plain Truth Ministries: 1,387,565
Triumph Prophetic Ministries: 1,596,464
CBCG (Fred Coulter): 1,721,171
Banned by HWA: 1,909,673 (LCG): 2,369,667 (Weinland): 2,571,463
COG Faithful Flock: 2,589,573
Hold Fast to All Things: 2,886,795
COG Seventh Day: 3,331,291
The Journal: 3,438,877
Intercontinental COG: 3,083,017
CEM (Ron Dart): 3,112,823 (UCG): 3,614,706 (Weinland): 3,706,064
Foundation Institute (Cogwa): 4,866,520
COG the Eternal: 6,148,762
COG-PKG (Weinland): 6,529,070
Faithful COG in Laodicea: 11,640,910
CGOM: 12,156,111
Biblical Truth (Weinland): 19,721,535 (Hulme): 22,313,502

Dave Pack's websites have dropped their Alexa ranking since last month. Both and the have stayed in their previous positions and have actually dropped in Alexa ranking. was 105,715 last month, now it is 115,494. was 435,144 last month, now it is 456,355.

One would think that if the COGs were about to be reunified under the rule of Dave Pack there would be a surge of activity. However, as everyone outside of Pack's information bubble expected, this has not happened. 

Also notable is how Ronald Weinland's websites have plummeted since last month. was 830,376 last month, now it is 3,706,064. was 1,047,506 last month, now it is 2,571,463. was 2,137,763 last month, now it is 6,529,070.

It would appear many have been drifting away from him now that he is less able to control them. I wish these brave and courageous defectors well. 

Kenneth Copeland Preaches Against Vaccines, His Church Gets Measles

One church, Eagle Mountain International Church, led by Kenneth Copeland, has gotten into a spot of bother recently because of an outbreak of measles.
Vaccine-fearing Texas megachurch urges flock to immunize after measles outbreak.
Instead of her normal sermon on Sunday, Eagle Mountain International Church Pastor Terri Copeland Pearsons was forced to spend the majority of her time explaining how the congregation should react to the news that all of the 11 measles cases in Tarrant County had been linked to members or visitors of the church. ...

Tarrant County Public Health Department spokesperson Al Roy told WFAA that people in at least 10 of the cases were not able to produce documentation that they had been vaccinated. 
I am disappointed to hear that Kenneth Copeland has been causing people to fear getting vaccinated.

Before I encountered Armstrongism he was the first televangelist I ever watched. For a brief time I used to watch his show. Even got one or two magazines from him. But I was simply a spectator. Looking back on it, there were probably teachings he gave that I did not understand at the time. I never believed that he and only him had sole access to God, as I later did with Roderick C. Meredith's Living Church of God. Even before I encountered LCG I had lost interest in him and simply moved on to other things.

After I renounced Armstrongism I had no interest in him. It was not an active hostility, simply a passive acceptance that I was no longer in contact with this religious movement and I felt no need to change that.

In all this time I had no idea that Kenneth Copeland appears to have been inaccurately telling his flock that vaccines are dangerous. I am saddened that he fell into such a dangerous error.

Thankfully it appears that this measles outbreak has caused the leadership to encourage their members to get vaccinated. Which is a lot better than what HWA did.

Hat tip Cult News Network.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Ex-Jehovah's Witness Tells Her Story

Found this story about an ex-Jehovah's Witness, Tracy Jeffery, who endured all kinds of trials and tribulations as a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Woman talks about life in the religion she now calls a cult
According to the religion, after Armageddon, or the destruction of the human race, Jesus, along with a selected 144,000 people, will rule the Earth for 1000 years.

"As a kid, that's all you're taught," Tracey recalls.

Tracey remembers being frightened of the idea of Armageddon and seeing lurid publications which showed babies being killed and people running in the streets as Armageddon began. 
 She also says,
It's flaming child abuse when I think of it now, because now I know better how terrible it is. 
At one point she drifted away from them but their implanted fear of Armageddon drew her back into the cult.
When [her daughter] Jess was 14 months old, Tracey found that all her former religious beliefs came flooding back and she was struck with the fear that her child would die in Armageddon if she didn't rejoin the Jehovah's Witness.

She started Bible study again and was baptised into the religion in Toowoomba when Jess was 2.

She also says,
They keep saying they're not a cult - they are a flaming cult.
She was later kicked out partly because she began smoking tobacco.

HWA plagiarized many of his ideas from the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Hat tip Cult News Network.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Bob Thiel the Deceiver Deceived by a Kenyan

Because I was previously deceived by him, I was very amused to see this post from Banned by HWA. (He cites this post by the notorious legalist James Malm.)

It appears that George Otieno, Bob Thiel's deacon in Kenya, is conning him by feigning to be a follower of his.

At the same time Otieno is also affiliated with another COG group, the Church of God in Truth, which is led by James Russell, founded February 1993, and is based in Kimberling, Montana. They seem to be a calendar group, convinced that HWA observed the annual Sabbaths at incorrect times.

Bob Thiel was not aware of Otieno's affiliation until August 20.

Even better, it appears James Malm personally warned Thiel about Otieno but the unordained, self appointed false prophet Bob Thiel ignored him
I personally warned Bob about the situation in Kenya when he first announced his Kenya followers, it appears that he is now understanding the situation in Kenya.
Clearly the possibility of having a cult following in Kenya made him ignore the possible risks and made a decision that he probably now regrets.

Will this experience make Bob Thiel begin to better understand the pain HWA and his imitators have inflicted upon disillusioned former followers?

Alas, I strongly doubt that. The lure of tithe money will most likely make him ignore this lesson.

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Condemns Feigned Persecution

Saw this story about Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, and I cannot help but think of the Armstrongite despots (so-called "ministers") who pretend they and their flock will soon face persecution or are facing such persecution when they do not have a clue what real persecution looks like and are very unlikely to endure such things. 
Christians in Britain and the US who claim that they are persecuted should “grow up” and not exaggerate what amounts to feeling “mildly uncomfortable”, according to Rowan Williams, who last year stepped down as archbishop of Canterbury after an often turbulent decade.

“When you’ve had any contact with real persecuted minorities you learn to use the word very chastely,” he said. “Persecution is not being made to feel mildly uncomfortable. ‘For goodness sake, grow up,’ I want to say.”

True persecution was “systematic brutality and often murderous hostility that means that every morning you wonder if you and your children are going to live through the day”. He cited the experience of a woman he met in India “who had seen her husband butchered by a mob”.
Hat tip Cult News Network.

CIA Reveals Area 51 was Site for Testing Secret Spy Planes

Saw this story about the CIA revealing Area 51 was a site for testing U-2 and OXCART spy planes.

Contrary to what so many UFO conspiracy theorists want to be believe it would appear Area 51 was simply your regular secret military base that had nothing to do with aliens from outer space.

Hat tip: Cult News Network.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Jehovah's Witness Elder Michael Brunner Sued for Sexual Abuse

Saw this news from
Monica Jaramillo said Michael Brunner, an elder at the Jehovah's Witness church in Los Lunas, sexually abused her when she was just 8 years old.

Jaramillo, now 35, filed a lawsuit claiming other elders of the church knew about the incident but chose to do nothing.
I hope she does well with this lawsuit and wish her well.

The COGs stemming from HWA's teachings have also suffered this terrible problem.

HWA plagiarized many of "his" ideas from the Jehovah's Witnesses, including his anti-medicine superstition. 

Like the COGs, Jehovah's Witnesses are also an outgrowth of the Millerite movement of the 1830s-40s which culminated in the Great Disappointment of October 1844.

Hat tip Cult News Network.

"Ambassador College Would be a Laughing Stock"

Banned by HWA has posted a very good article about the state of Armstrongism written in 1997. I wish to quote the following:
From the lamentations we've been hearing since the closing of Ambassador College/University, you would think that we were losing one of the world's great institutions of learning. Actually, Ambassador College would be a laughing stock if not for the harm inflicted on the WCG membership by AC graduates. Ambassador was a catastrophe, and the trail of the church of God movement is littered with the human wreckage left behind by Ambassador College graduates. The world is better off for its passing. Most WCG and ex-WCG ministers are nothing more than little autocratic know-it-alls whose knowledge of the Bible is limited to what they learned from Armstrong himself or one of his stooges. In other words, they don't know very much, and most of what they do know is wrong. WCG ministers were taught to fudge answers to the difficult questions they would be asked about the inconsistencies in WCG theology. A really effective minister had to think on his feet and come up with convincing answers in a hurry. Having known many such ministers, I can assure you that they were very, very good at it.

Regarding Bob Thiel's Article On Dave Pack

Banned by HWA has a post about the unordained, self appointed false prophet Bob Thiel's article regarding Dave Pack and the Restored Church of God. That article or a related version of it, has been on his web site for as long as I have been aware of Bob Thiel's web site. In fact that article was how I first heard about Dave Pack and the Restored Church of God.

Cults Teach People Not to "Trust Their Instincts"

Found these intriguing words from a foreword by William Goldberg in the book The Cult Next Door by Elizabeth R. Burchard and Judith L. Carlone, an account of an ex-member of an authoritarian New Age group in Manhattan. 
Another myth that the general public believes about cult members is that most of them join a cult because the cult's bizarre belief system somehow makes sense to the cultist. ...

In fact, most cult members do not adopt the belief system of the cult because it makes sense to them. Instead, they adopt it because the group seems to have something they want a sense of belonging, a certainty, a feeling of sameness of purpose. The cult leader's manipulation is aimed only partially at convincing the cult member to adopt a new belief system. Even more significantly, the manipulation is aimed at convincing them not to trust their instincts and their own knowledge.
In my case I embraced Armstrongism because I thought their teachings did make sense and once I finally woke up that HWA was not sent by God I immediately renounced it. Fortunately I had not joined LCG or any other COG group so it was relatively easy for me to get out of that system of confusion.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly to anyone who has a loved one in a cult, it is enlightening to examine the way that Judy Carlone coaxed Elizabeth out of the cult. The myth involved here is that simply by identifying the absurdity of the cult's beliefs and doctrines, the cult member will be persuaded to leave. The mistake made by many parents of cult members is simply to confront the cultist with facts: "This is a cult You've been manipulated You're being harmed by your membership." Pointing out the validity of these facts, by itself, is rarely enough to bring about the self-examination necessary for a cult member to leave. Usually, a more efficacious approach is the patient watchful waiting adopted by Judy. If she had pointed out every inconsistency and absurdity each time she recognized them, Elizabeth may have been scared off early in the relationship. Instead, Judy focused upon building her relationship with Elizabeth. Then, by asking well-timed questions and pointing out discrepancies in the doctrine, Judy helped Elizabeth to bring to consciousness the doubts and contradictions that Elizabeth had recognized, but had taught herself to ignore. There is a lesson in Judy's patience for individuals who have lost a loved one to a cult.
I would say that every person's situation is different so I would be careful in how to help someone out of a cult. It seems to me that ultimately one must decide to leave him or herself. It is often hard to accomplish something like getting someone out of a cult. It is perfectly possible, but one should not underestimae the difficulties.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Massacre in Syria

Recently in Syria reports have emerged from anti-Assad activists that about 1300 people have been killed in what is alleged to have been a Sarin gas attack by Assadite forces.

Juan Cole covers this horrific development on his blog: Syria: Will Killing of Hundreds with Sarin Gas force Obama’s Hand?

It is hard to know what happened there. Instead of dwelling on the tragic details I would like to take this opportunity to encourage readers to donate to Hand in Hand for Syria.

Let us help the proud and noble Syrian people in their time of trouble.

British Israelism Bookstore: Part 2

This post is a list of some of the books you can find teaching British Israelism available from Covenant Publishing, Ltd., the publishing arm of the British Israel World Federation.

This is a continuation from Part 1.

Let the list begin:
  • Missing Links Discovered in Assyrian Tablets by E. R. Capt.
The fate of Israel after Assyrian captivity discovered in archeology; with photographs and illustrations.
  • Moses in the Hieroglyphs by G. Berkley.
A groundbreaking new book which will complete the basis for the revolution in conventional Old World chronology and lead to an understanding of our identity as a nation
  • Moses The Economist by C. F. Parker.
The Mosaic economy was designed for an imperfect people, to prepare the way for the Christian life. Moses foreshadowed Christ; and Christ was his greatest exponent, setting the ideal example of living the Divine Economy. The banking system is clearly out of line with biblical principles.
  • The Mummies of Urumchi by E. Wayland-Barber.
An unveiling of an ancient world which illuminates a little-known chapter of Central Asian history. Beautifully illustrated.
  • "O Biblios" The Book by Alan O'Reilly.
O'Reilly believes that the Authorised King James Version (AV1611) is the perfect word of God and the final authority in all matters of faith and practice. He also shows that in scholarship it is superior not only to the modern "Bibles" but also to all Greek and Hebrew texts and manuscripts. He believes that modern translations are of apostate scholarship and this book will attempt to prove it.
My word! This Britsh Israelism publisher even publishes one book which insists on KJV Only-ism, the idea that the King James Version is not just superior to any modern translation but that it is actually more superior than the original Hebrew and Greek. Words fail me.
  • Ollamh Fodhla by E. A. Conwell.
This interesting book formed part of a paper for the Royal Irish Academy in 1872. It identifies, with reference to ancient manuscripts, the ancient cemetery at Loughcrew, Co. Meath, at one time the most famous locality in Irish history, and the Tomb of Ollamh Fodhla, Ireland's famous Monarch and Law-maker of 3,000 years ago. Illustrated.
  • One of Jacob's Sons by R. N. Stuart.
Finland’s courageous and lonely resistance of the aggressive Soviet Invasion in 1939-40. Shows the inherent spirit of freedom and independence found in individuals and nations belonging to the whole House of Israel
  • Order of Melchizedek by C. A. Jennings.
Discover the majestic beauty of the King/Priest order and its yet future revelation in the “Manifestation of the Sons of God.”
Find out who the Melchizedek of Genesis 14 was who met Abram after the battle of the kings. Compare the Melchizedek order with the Aaronic order and see which one came first and which was the greater.
I wonder if this book teaches what HWA said, that Melchizedek was the pre-incarnate Christ in human form.
  • The Origin and Early History of Christianity in Britain by A. Gray.
Herein is a wealth of evidence to show that Britain was a Christian country long before Augustine
Ivor Fletcher and some within the COGs also teach this British Israelism dogma.
  • Orion The Glorious One by H. B. Rand.
The constellation Orion depicts Jesus Christ as the returning Prince.
HWA definately would not have said that. Armstrongites would be more inclined to say Orion is Nimrod.
  •  Our Scythian Ancestors by Gawler.
The task before us is to identify our Scythian Ancestors with the Lost Tribes of Israel.
  • Parthia by S. M. Collins.
 The ancient kingdom of Parthia played a key role in historical and biblical events
In HWA's WCG it was taught that the Parthians were Israelites.
  • The Rapture Plot by Dave MacPherson.
MacPherson does the work of a journalistic detective to uncover the truth of Bible prophecy and shows how plagiarism and subtle document changes created the 'mother of all revisionisms' regarding the pre-tribulation Rapture. Thoroughly researched and referenced.

Like HWA British Israelism condemns the doctrine of the Rapture.
  • The Reformation of Israel by Wm. Norman Saxon.
This is a very comprehensive booklet, in large format with a double page spread map showing Israel's tribal migrations to "The Appointed Place". The fact that it was written in 1987, before the collapse of the Soviet Union, does not detract from its essential prophetic message concerning the Stone Kingdom. Russia's growing volatile political state and the world debt crisis being nearer to the fall of Mammon, confirm the approach of the New Order of the Ages.
  • Revelation Unlocked by M. S. Jarvis.
This book gives us a glimpse into the mystery of things to come, of Heaven, the great tribulation, Satan and his angels’ doom and most importantly, the promise of the saints who live forever with Jesus in the New Testament
  • Revival Insights by R. Phillips.
An overview of the Welsh revival of 1904 / 1905 with the early leaders having a knowledge of the Israel Truth
  •  Russian Chapters of Ezekiel by WHM Miller.
If you think that Russia offers no threat now, think again. Written before the birth of the Soviet Union, Milner shows how prophecies concerning Russia are being, and will continue to be, fulfilled.
  • Sargon the Magnificent by S. Bristowe.
This book sets out the claim that Cain was the great Sargon, about which Babylonian inscriptions have much to say.
Some have taught that it was not Nimrod who started paganism but Cain.
  • Scottish Declaration of Independence by E. R. Capt.
Scotland's most precious possession: drawn up in 1320 by Bernard de Linton, Abbot of Aberbrothock and Chancellor of Scotland under Robert the Bruce, and sent to Pope John XXII after the defeat of Edward II showing the origins and migrations of the Scots and declaring Scotland's independence from outside rule.
This document is also cited within the COGs to insist that the British and Americans are descended from Israel, disregarding the irrefutable DNA evidence proving that it is not so.
  • Seven Times A Mark of Israel by M. Bennett.
God's judgements on Israel involve progressive steps of seven times, so that the ultimate seven times judgement lasts 2520 years.
HWA went on and on about 2520 years in his booklet about British Israelism.
  • Slavery, Terrorism and Islam - 2ed Edition by P. Hammond.
The greatest conflict of the past century has been between Islam and civilization, which has a great relevance in the modern world. This book has been revised and expanded.
Never mind the two World Wars and the Cold War. I would think those would easily be greater than any supposed conflict "between Islam and civilization".
  • St Joseph of Arimathea at Glastonbury by L. S. Lewis.
According to traditions and legends, St. Joseph of Arimathea, a merchant, came seeking tin, and accompanying him was the boy, Jesus.
  • Saint Paul in Britain by R. Morgan.
Not only was the faith planted here over five centuries before Augustine's arrival, but it is much more likely that Christianity took root in Britain before it was established in Rome
Ivor Fletcher, in his book The Incredible History of God's True Church, makes exactly the same claim.
  • The Stone Kingdom: America by E. R. Capt.
Capt traces the history of Daniels four empires: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome, and their relationship with the fifth and final kingdom of Stone and casts new light on the mysteries surrounding the Kingdom Parables of Matthew and the Old Testament, speculating on the identity of this Kingdom. 
Capt appears to be saying the stone that topples the image of Daniel 2 is the United States of America. That is very different from HWA's teaching that it represented the returning Christ establishing the Kingdom of God upon the Earth with the newly resurrected and glorified members of "God's Church".

  • Stone of Destiny by W. Cannon.
An extensive account of the traditions, historical records and circumstantial evidence concerning the stone from earliest times until the theft in 1950. Includes a new chapter on the return of the stone to Scotland.
  • Stonehenge and the Great Pyramid - Window on the Universe by B. Gaunt.
Mathematician and theologist Bonnie Gaunt's fascinating study on the sacred geometry of Stonehenge and the Great Pyramid
  • Stories of Lost Israel in Folklore by Rev. J. B. Haggart.
So immersed were the Saxon people with The Bible content, that every fairy tale is flavoured with the message of The Bible
Or maybe they share common tropes of fiction and human experience that it only appears to be related but, in fact, are not? Also their DNAs are too different.
  • Story of Celto-Saxon Britain by W. H. Bennett.
The story of the lost Israelites, exploring language, heraldry, culture and prophecy fulfillment. An important key to understanding the fulfillment of the Biblical promises and covenants in our modern world
  • The Struggle for the Birthright by Dr. Stephen Jones.
Dr. Jones focuses on the portion of the Birthright given to Judah explaining Gods will and plan, and showing how Judah has violated the conditions for a lawful return to the land, citing numerous references to support his assertion that Gods Kingdom will be won without arms and violence. 
When the State of Israel was created in 1948, HWA condemned it saying that Britain, as the heirs of Ephraim, the son of Joseph, had more claim to rule Palestine than either the Jews or the Arabs. In fact many devotes of British Israelism condemned the creation of Israel on those grounds at the time. Tragically some British Israelites used this event to become rabidly anti-Semitic and created the virulently racist "Christian Identity" movement. This is what
  • Study in Jeremiah by H. B. Rand.
Knowledge and understanding of the entire scope of Jeremiah's mission in Palestine, Egypt and in the Isles of the West
Refers to the doctrine of British Israelism that Jeremiah took Zedekiah's daughter to Ireland to marry a chieftain there and the British monarchy springs from this union. 
  • Symbols of Our Celto-Saxon Heritage by W. H. Bennett.
This book is a study of the heraldic emblems of the tribes of early Israel to the present day as they developed into the Celtic-Saxon nation (Flags in full colour)
  • Tender Twig by F. Henking.
A true story of the touching and dramatic romance between Princess Tamar Tea Tephi and Prince Eochaidh.
  • Testimony in Stone by Kicklin.
The information in this book includes up-to-date evidence regarding the chronological significance of the King's Chamber in the Great Pyramid. The author confirms the claims that this ancient monument is indeed the 'Bible in Stone'.
More pyramidology.
  • To the Isles Afar Off by Robert C. Harvey.
Bob Harvey looks clearly and seriously at a group of stories that many Anglicans have heard of. He has researched them to flesh them out, and he ties them together to present an intriguing and persuasive case that Christianity is as old in Britain as anywhere else outside the Holy Land. His book should appeal to a wide audience.
  • Traditions of Glastonbury by E. R. Capt.
The Bible is strangely silent concerning Jesus' movements between the ages of 12 and 30. There are indications that Jesus was away from Palestine for possibly up to eighteen years. Where did he go?
This book will doubtless presents various traditions that Jesus, as a young man, migrated to Britain and lived there for a time with Joseph of Arimathea.
  •  The Two Babylons by Hislop.
Where did the practices and beliefs of Roman Catholicism come from? Hislop exhaustively investigates archeological artifacts of ancient Babylon and finds startling links between the worship of Nimrod and his Wife and Papal Rome.
This book is very familiar to anyone who has dabbled with Armstrongism. This is the book from which HWA concocted his teaching that Nimrod and his mother-wife Semiramis, inspired by Satan created a mystery religion centered in Babylon that was the source of all pagan beliefs.

Today we now know it is nonsense.
  • Whatever Happened to the Twelve Apostles? by E. Schroeder.
What did the twelve apostles do once the excitement of the Day of Pentecost died down? How did they fulfil the expectations Jesus had for them, despite persecutions and matrydom? Schroeder examines the available evidence from the writings of the early church fathers, linking this with biblical and historical evidence. Clearly referenced with maps.
Hoeh also indulged in speculating where the Twelve Apostles went.
  • Who were the Scots? by W. E. Filmer.
Outlines the way by which the Scots arrived in Scotland and points to where they originally came from and who they really are.
  • Witness of the Stars by Bulliger.
A richly comprehensive study of the significance of the stars, knowledge of which has been handed down from the great arabian astronomers of the past, giving a foundation to the hopes of coming glory."Bullinger takes Psalm 19 and expands the understanding of astronomy to include confirmation of God's word." Includes charts B/W.
  • World Government by W. Connon.
Deals with the history of government, administration and Laws. Considers that the twelve tribes of Israel will be the last world government, with Christ as Ultimate Ruler.
And that is the end of that particular list.

This is the sort of stuff HWA was reading when he was developing his particular set of doctrines and teachings now called Armstrongism. He took what he liked, disregarded what he did not like, and then foisted his take on British Israelism onto an unsuspecting public which he milked for all he could get.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

"It is Extremely Evil to Cut People off from Their Families at the Usual Holiday Times"

I saw the following comment from Secularist-Humanist Buddhist at Banned by HWA
I believe it is extremely evil to cut people off from their families at the usual holiday times, as that is often the ONLY time some families get together. It is just as EVIL to cut children off from their culture, make them feel odd or undeserving because they can't participate in normal holidays or get gifts or Easter eggs or valentines.
This serves to demonstrate that banning traditional holidays is simply a method of isolating WCG members from society in order to more effectively exploit them.

I well remember J at the now defunct Shadows of WCG blog making the same point. Thankfully his family later got out and were able to resume their contact with families in that way.

Banning Christmas, Easter and other festivities was a most wicked thing that HWA did. Many of his imitators like Meredith, Pack, Flurry, Thiel, and others continue spread such destructive nonsense. HWA banned these things in order to make his followers give more money to him and his organization. He even complained in The Plain Truth about Christmas about not getting as much money flowing in because of the Christmas season after it ended. He just wanted more money.

What's Worse? Christmas or Fearful False Prophecies?

All About Armstrongism has a very good post detailing how WCG condemned Christians for observing Christmas yet engaged in all sorts of behaviors that were worse than that. Check it out.

Hat tip Banned by HWA.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

British Israelism Bookstore

It is well known that Herbert W. Armstrong plagiarized British Israelism, the idea that the British and the Americans are descended from two of the lost ten tribes of Israel, that of Manasseh and Ephraim, the sons of Joseph.

Also DNA evidence proves British Israelism is incorrect. Europeans are not descended from Israelites.

Awhile ago I went to the British Israel World Federation's online bookstore, Covenant Publishing Ltd., which is based in Britain.

Let us look at some of the stuff these British-Israelites believe.

The titles I have altered slightly and is not a quote. The titles in this list show the name of the book or booklet followed by the name of the author. Below is the blurb that Covenant Publishing Ltd. provides.
  • As Birds Flying by A. Adams
An in-depth study of the history and events that led to prophecy being fulfilled in the relief of Jerusalem in 1917. Black and white illustrations.
I recall in his early days HWA taught there was biblical significance to Britain seizing control of Jerusalem from the Ottomon Turks in 1917. Over time, as this historical detail became less relevant he simply moved on to other topics.
  • Biblical Bulwarks by A. O'Reilly
An outline of the development of Britain's scriptural foundations as a nation. It shows how these foundations are incompatible with Britain's membership of the European Union.
How similar this is to Armstrongism's insistence that Britain would not join the European Common Market, and once it did said it would not join the final European Beast power.
  • Britain Awake! by D. Hilliard
A prophetic warning to the Nation of impending judgement.
  •  Buddha The Israelite by I. Hill-Elder
Fascinating study detailing how the original Buddha was Buzi, the father of Ezekiel the prophet, who was a missionary to the lost tribes; that the current version of the buddhist faith is a corruption of the monotheistic belief of the outcast tribes of Israel.
It is just 11 pages long. A personal favorite of mine as it shows how British Israelism is so full of nonsense, I must regretfully report.
  • The Challenge of the Great Pyramid by H. B. Rand
This book is a fundamental presentation of evidence concerning the prophetic revelation-measures of the Great Pyramid of Gizeh.
It is often commented upon that British Israelism is often linked with pyramidology.

  • Christian Anglo-Israel Message: Its Acceptance In The Late 19th & Early 20th Centuries by R. A. Balaicius.
Compilation of media reviews and personal letters sent in the USA and Canada in response to the Rev.W.H.Poole's book, "Anglo-Israel or the Saxon Race"
Just because it may have been a bit more fashionable then does not mean it is true or that it is an idea worth following.
  • Dan, Pioneer of Israel by J. C. Gawler.
Remarkably clear book giving the history of the Tribe of Dan, showing their movements and colonisations eventually leading to Scandinavia, Ireland and Scotland; with an explanation of the root-word 'Dan'. A vital book for the Anglo-Israel theory. Illustrated.
It is just 40 pages long.
  • Daughters of Destiny by Glyn S. Lewis.
An idea arose in Victorian Britain that the royal dynasty and throne of David, King of Israel and Judah c. 1000 BC, far from dying out as the result of successive Assyrian and Babylonian invasions, has continued in an unbroken line that leads directly to the British Throne. Following this royal line through Irish, Argyllshire, Scottish and English history, Lewis finds that our Queen Elizabeth II is descended from the Judean princess who came to the shores of Ireland. The end of the book suggests that the genealogical descent includes a sign of Christ's forthcoming return, and for this reason the British monarchy and throne could be approaching a new era.
  • David's Greater Son by H. B. Rand
This booklet presents evidence that Jesus Christ was not a Jew, as Jews are now defined, but he was of the line of Abraham, an Israelite of the seed of David, born of the virgin Mary. Clear understanding of this fact is vital for every Christian.
Even HWA never said that. Even HWA knew that Christ was a Jew, ethnicly speaking.
  • Did Jesus Come to Britain? by Glyn S. Lewis.
An investigation into the traditions that Christ visited Cornwall and Somerset.
Ivor Fletcher also mentioned those traditions in his book, The Incredible History of God's True Church, his account of church history which HWA and Hoeh manufactured to awe WCG members into their power. That "church history" is largely untrue as Bruce Renehan revealed in his book Daughter of Babylon
  • Did the Catholic Church Give Us the Bible? by D. W. Daniels.
'This book will be a wild ride and an eye opener'. It shows, in a simple form, that the Bibles that Rome gave us are really clever counterfeits, designed to eliminate the King James Version of the Bible, and subtly change history. Illustrated with cartoons.
This reminds me of an article John Ogwyn wrote claiming the Apostles set the New Testament canon and not the Council of Carthage of 397.
  • Doubleness in the Bible by M. D. Bennett.
A key to the pattern of history is the striking element of doubleness in the Bible:frequent repetition of statements; the dual occurence of events; and the 'doubleness' of time-measures, are all considered in this booklet.
That blasted dualism idea of HWA's that is used so often within the COGs. 
  • The Early British Church by L. G. Roberts.
This booklet has for its object the proof that the British Church is the result of Hebrew inception and not from Rome. It also establishes deductive evidence that the original British settlers were Hebrews in their original.
  •  Elijah The Tishbite by H. B. Rand. 
A summary of the ministry and message of the prophet Elijah. Rand identifies the prophetic links between Elijah's life and future events.
We in or once a part of the COGs are all too aware of how HWA and his pathetic imitators try to do the same thing.
  • Ephraim and Manesseh - Role Reversal Refuted by R. Phillips.
The emerging controversial America-Ephraim Theory is challenged as Phillips explores God’s promise to Jacob to be a Nation and Company of Nations
  •  Far Beyond the Stars by W. de M. Seaman.
The author brings evidence of a divine foreknowledge of all human history. He illustrates this by the Zodiac, the Great Pyramid and the Holy Bible.
How disgusting it is to use occultism in what is supposed to be a Christian faith, as this man appears to be doing.
  • Four Thirty (430) in Scripture by M. D. Bennett.
A booklet which addressess the question of whether the period of 430 years might have a major and recurrent significance in the history and affairs of Israel.
More wild speculation trying to see patterns that are not there because the grace and salvation offered by Jesus is not enough for them.
  • Future of Israel and Judah by J. Wild.
'Discourses on the Lost Tribes of Israel': excerpts from Dr.Wild's book "The Lost Ten Tribes"(1878), giving a clear presentation of the truth of scripture regarding the true genetic descendants of Israel.
Here comes three pieces of writing promoting pyramidology, the idea that there is some prophecy hidden in the structural dimensions of the Great Pyramid, alleged created by Job they often allege. HWA and Hoeh also occasionally promoted this idea. This idea was also promoted by the followers of Charles Taze Russell, the forerunners of today's Jehovah's Witnesses.
  • Great Pyramid Decoded by E. R. Capt.
Who has not wondered about the Great Pyramid of Giza? Now with the aids of modern archeology and scientific research, pyramidology has unlocked the secret of the Pyramid of Giza.
  •  Great Pyramid Power by T. Foster.
What is Spiritual power? Is it [I assume he means the Great Pyramid] the Bible in stone?
  • Great Pyramid Proof of God by G. R. Riffert.
Showing the increasing significance of the Great Pyramid of Gizeh and links with the crisis in world affairs and religion, shown by astronomical, historical and Messianic facets of the design and symbolism of the pyramid.
  •  Hope of the Resurrection by H. B. Rand.
If you think you have been 'born again', think again! This booklet gives a very different view of what it means to be born again from the generally accepted opinion. 
How similar this seems to be to HWA's doctrine that a Christian is not born again until the return of Christ, but instead one is spiritually conceived and grows like a fetus in the womb until the birth.
  • I Want to be Left Behind by R. Poch.
An in-depth look into the rapture
Similar to Armstrongism (and the virulently racist Christian Identity) it seems that British Israelism also denounces the rapture.
  • Iceland's Great Inheritance by A. Rutherford.
Rutherford shows Iceland to be the most highly cultured nation in the world. The great destiny of Iceland will prove to be a blessing not only to the Icelanders but also the kindred Scandinavian, Anglo-Saxon and Celtic peoples.
  • Israel's Tribes Today by S. M. Collins.
This book gives substantial evidence of the Israelite origin of large modern nations today, as opposed to isolated little bands of people.
  • Jacob's Pillar by E. R. Capt.
The Scriptures are full of references to 'stones', both literal and symbolic. One such is the one where the patriarch, Jacob, rested his head when he dreamed of the heavenly ladder.
It is well known that Richard David Armstrong once wrote a Plain Truth article claiming the Stone of Scone was the stone Jacob slept on when he had his dream at Bethel, and that it was carried by the Israelites during their forty years of wandering in the wilderness, and transported by Jeremiah to Ireland (which is a teaching of British Israelism). Even Walter Martin mentioned this piece of absurdity in the 1984 edition of Kingdom of the Cults.

  • Judah's Scepter and Joseph's Birthright by J. H. Allen.
An analysis of the prophecies of the Scriptures regarding the Lost Ten Tribes.
 As it is well known this is the book that HWA based his teaching on British Israelism on.

  • King Arthur Conspiracy by G. Berkley.
A new synthesis of the knowledge about King Arthur that will challenge and change our understanding of British history.
  •  Last Days of the Red Throne by D. Thomas.
One of the most remarkable prophecies written in the Bible, regarding the Edomite control over nations, is today being fulfilled before our very eyes.
 I have no idea if they are talking about Turkey. It does not appear so based on how this blurb is written.
  • The Legendary XII Hides of Glastonbury by R. Gibbs.
Ray Gibbs investigates the legends of Joseph of Arimathea in Glastonbury, the XII hides, and King Arthur: he deals with them in a competent and sympathetic manner, employing his local knowledge of geography and history to deliver some surprising conclusions about Britain's oldest Christian site.
  • Lost Chapter of the Acts of the Apostles by E. R. Capt.
The Sonnini Manuscript, better known as the 'Long Lost Chapter of the Acts of the Apostles' contains the account of Paul's journey in Spain and Britain
Ivor Fletcher also made use of this piece of writing in his book.
  • Lost Israel Found - In Their Own Words by C. A. Jennings.
Jewish testimonies concerning the ten "lost" tribes of Israel
Now they are pretending that even the Jews believe them. Some Jews may very well be persuaded of British Israelism but that does not change the fact that British Israelism is untrue.
  • The Lost Tribes of Israel: Still Lost in Church Theology by R. N. Stewart.
National blindness was the inevitable consequence of Israel's unfaithfulness
  • The Lost Tribes of Israel by Robert Harris, K. C.
Reader Harris shares the message that changed his atheism to belief in the truth of the Bible, giving the scriptural and historical data for the prophecies concerning Israel.
  • Maelgwn of Llandaff and Joseph of Arimathea by M. A. Kelly, edited by Michael A. Clark.
The immense Christian heritage of South Wales has been obscured for centuries. This book reveals the evidence for the grave of Joseph of Arimathea in Cardiff and the history of the kings who ruled Britain in defiance of the Roman occupation.
Wow! So much nonsense all based on the irrefutably false doctrine of British Israelism.

Why on earth did HWA think there was anything worth keeping from this web of fables and fact free delusions?

I have not gone through everything so I might make another list later.

How Influential was HWA?

HWA liked to boast that the World Tomorrow was the second most widely distributed religious TV/radio show in the world, with more TV and radio appearences than all but one other religious program. It even appears that for a brief time after his death it was even number 1.

But although the World Tomorrow had a lot of time slots that does not many many people were watching it.

The following is from an article written shortly after his death in 1986.
For years Herbert W. Armstrong claimed that his was the "number one religious telecast in the US". While his program may be number one in terms of the number of channels on his network, he's by no means the most popular or influential TV evangelist.

In 1984 the Gallup organisation asked viewers "which religious television program do you watch most often?" And only one per cent of viewers named H.W.A. Surprisingly, Billy Graham still heads the list with 16 per cent of viewers indicating approval, followed by the appalling Jimmy Swaggert with 13 per cent, the awful Oral Roberts with 12 per cent, Pat Robertson with 11 per cent, Jim Backer with 10 per cent and the smooth Robert Schuller with eight.

Surprisingly, Jerry Falwell and Rex Humbard can only manage 11 per cent between them. And way down at the bottom of the list, with only one per cent, is Herbert Armstrong. Even his dissident son, Garner Ted, is out-pointing him. (Source.)
This reminds me of what John Tuit wrote in his book, The Truth Shall Set You Free, Chapter 5
I referred to reports that I had read of an income of approximately sixty-five million dollars a year, and why, I asked, couldn't the Church be much more effective in blanketing the world with its message. I said, "Look at Billy Graham, his message is much more well known than ours, and he has a lot less money to work with. And then what about some of these newer evangelists, such as Jerry Fallwell and Jimmy Swagert. They don't have any where near the money that we do and yet they are making quite an impact. What's wrong?" That was all Gordon [Muir] needed to feel that he could be candid with me regarding his own feelings. He said, "There's something very wrong, John. I'm very discouraged. We have a message of hope for the world and we just can't seem to do much. Everytime we seem to get going, a new scandal erupts. I really begin to wonder if the Church will ever be effective, if the name Armstrong is associated with it much longer. We are the Church of God, but the Armstrongs made it a cult." 
Of course, the real reason HWA's WCG was so ineffective in preaching its message was that it was an exploitative cult that HWA used primarily for his personal benefit at the expense of his followers. He was out to live off the fat of his flock.

Clearly these other preachers were more concerned about getting the message out than HWA was.

The other preachers actually told people where to meet up for church.

HWA just worked for the money and power and kept his flock hidden hoping skeptical minds would not notice he was milking the WCG members for all he could get and outsiders would not see that he was exploiting them. He was just hiding his exploitation from those who did not believe in him.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Bruce Renehan on Roderick C. Meredith

As a former devotee of Roderick C. Meredith's Living Church of God (2000-8) I am always fascinated to see what others have to say about him. Recently I read Bruce Renehan's book, Daughter of Babylon, hosted on the Painful Truth website.

Here is what he has to say about Roderick C. Meredith.


This is Bruce Renehan's personal experience of when he first attended a WCG congregation in 1969.
I received permission to attend church services in 1969 while I was in the Navy and stationed near Oakland, California. No one could attend church services without first gaining permission from church ministers. The Armstrongs had appeared so sophisticated in their writings about the church that I felt unworthy to enter such an elite environment. I did not know what to expect but reality was a bit of a let down. When I actually witnessed church services, I had an instinctual feeling that something was odd about most of the church members. They looked abused. I even made comments about it to someone. "Oh well, God just calls the weak of the world, the cream of the crud," was the automatic response of one member. The sermon that day was delivered by church evangelist Rod Meredith. Nearly 20 years later I was invited to have lunch with Rod and his wife in Glendora, California. I told him that he was the first Worldwide minister that I had ever heard preach and about the way the appearance of church members struck me on my first attendance of church services. His response was verbatim, "Oh well, God just calls the weak of the world, the cream of the crud." Deja vu!

Chapter 16:

Here is a little profile of him included in the book.
Probably the second most influential disciple of Armstrong [after Herman Hoeh] was Roderick Meredith, who came to study at Ambassador College in 1949 from Joplin, Missouri. Meredith was a feisty young ex-golden gloves boxer and ROTC student who rose quickly in the organization, being made an evangelist upon graduation in 1952.

An evangelist-ranked minister was only outranked by Armstrong himself. Later ministers would be ranked in lower positions of authority: pastor, local elder and local church elder respectively. Local church elder was an elevation in rank from church deacon. Men were not raised in position because of spiritual knowledge or ability. Loyalty and willingness to obey and to dote upon those of higher status came first.

Meredith trained hundreds of future church leaders and ministers in the confines of Ambassador College where he taught the Epistles of Paul and leadership classes. These classes were all spiced with as much blind loyalty to founder Armstrong as soldiers are taught to show for their commanding officers in the military.

Meredith and other upwardly motivated disciples, unwittingly adapted to their apostle's desire to be adored as an end-time prophet and tried to mimmick his personality. As one ex-minister commented to me, "No man in the organization had ever patterned his own character and personality after Herbert Armstrong more than Rod Meredith." The crude sycophantic behavior of Armstrong's immature evangelists magnified what would soon become a phobic bastion of mind control.
Renehan also mentions this:
another article by Rod Meredith was unabashedly entitled "The Plain Truth About Queer Men"; 
That article is often mentioned. It was printed in the December 1961 Plain Truth, pp. 3-4, 12-14, 36-39.

Apparently being lazy and physically inactive causes homosexuality in Meredith's bizarre mental world. You can cure homosexuality by physical exercise, he says. What nonsense! Shut up until you say something sensible.

Chapter 17:

Apparently this is what he did at HWA's funeral.
Rod Meredith grabbed Ted off to the side and made an appeal for his repentance.
Pathetic. What an egotistical creep! As previous posts have shown it seems to me that in regard to the Schism of the Armstrongs, Garner Ted Armstrong was the victim. HWA was in the wrong.

This is how Joseph Tkach Sr. humbled him.
After Armstrong's death, Roderick Meredith had been teaching classes at the sister campus of Ambassador College in Big Sandy, Texas. Tkach had been closely observing his activities too. One of the things Tkach had ordered his instructors to downplay was their speculations about the end of the world. Maybe Tkach knew that this was an impossible task for older ministers. When the word got out that Meredith had violated this order, he was pulled out of an ongoing class and suspended from active participation in all college and ministerial duties.

Meredith and his family were then relocated about 20 miles east of Pasadena in Glendora, California, where the founding evangelist was reduced to the status of a laymember. Tkach chose to keep Meredith on the payroll but took away his responsibilities in the church.

Tkach had commented on occasion that he had many past clashes with his superiors before Armstrong's death and his subsequent elevation to power. Rod Meredith would have been a very likely antagonist of his. Many ministers had experienced a lack of compassion from both Armstrong and Meredith.

Meredith had once been supervisor of the church's ministry and had been known to comment that Tkach held the lowest I. Q. in all of the ministry. There is no doubt that Tkach was getting a little pleasure out of benching an old rival.
This is Renehan's account of how Meredith left WCG in 1992.
Herman Hoeh, Rod Meredith and Raymond McNair knew Armstrong well enough to see through Tkach's ruse. ...
In December of 1992, Rod Meredith asked to have a face to face conference with Tkach. In the two hour confrontation, Meredith pointed out to Tkach that he knew Armstrong well enough to say that he would never have made the alleged changes to his lifelong doctrinal tenets. Meredith was immediately fired and disfellowshipped from the Worldwide Church of God after serving 40 years as a leading and well-respected evangelist.

Meredith had obviously been preparing to start his own spinoff church. It sprang to life upon his disfellowshipping and was named the Global Church of God. Meredith immediately claimed that he was raising up a legitimate successor to the one true church and that it was of the lineage that descended from the New Testament church of the apostles. Meredith proceeded to proclaim Tkach's Worldwide Church of God apostate, abandoning Armstrongism and refusing to preach the Gospel message of soon-coming worldwide tribulation. This he would do himself on the radio as the voice of the radio program, The World Ahead. On page 18 of his first published booklet-- Church Government and Church Unity, Meredith likened Tkach to Diotrephes (III John 9-10), who Meredith claims was one of the wolves in sheep's clothing, misleading the New Testament church, casting out old-time genuine Christians. On page 25 of the same publication he accused Tkach's administration of destroying the legacy of Armstrong. Meredith, one of Armstrong's very first evangelists, was clearly not amused with Tkach's alleged commission from Armstrong.

Rod Meredith struck at the very heart of the Worldwide Church of God. Income began to be diverted to Global from members in the Worldwide, contributing to the Worldwide Church of God suffering an 11% year-to-date decrease during Meredith's third month of operations. Meredith claimed that his first booklet netted a request for 3,000 copies as it rolled off the presses. He has chosen to model his church as an exact clone of the church that he came into in the late 40's and early 50's.
That is the main part of what Renehan has to say about him.

Afterwards he is mentioned a few times in a minor way.
With minor revolutions brewing inside the Worldwide Church of God, by tight-lipped disgruntled old-time members who were hearing rumors of Tkach's agenda for change, and outside the organization with pricking challenges from John Trechak, Bill Dankenbring, Rod Meredith and Gerald Flurry, Tkach was being forced to lay his cards on the table.
Tkach did this the infamous Christmas Eve sermon. 
While the Tkach team continued to move their Pasadena based church toward mainstream beliefs, Meredith continued to build his own team determined to salvage the Armstrong legacy. After his defection to Global, ex-Worldwide minister David Pack produced a list of 150 doctrines that had been abandoned by Tkach.
To anyone who think Pack is a modern day Elisha or Joshua, that he invented the Plain Truth news stand distribution program, consider this: That is the only time Dave Pack is mentioned in this book.
Along with Rod Meredith, David Hulme and John Trechak, I had been asked to comment on Tkach's move toward orthodoxy and acceptance of the Trinity.
And that is what Bruce Renehan has to say about Roderick C. Meredith.

Massacre in Egypt

Heard about the horrendous events now occurring in Egypt, how hundreds of people have been killed by the Egyptian military as they crack down on pro-Morsi protesters. This is terrible and the horrific violence needs to stop immediately.

May peace soon come to Egypt.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Just Read Bruce Renehan's Daughter of Babylon

Just finished reading Bruce Renehan's book, Daughter of Babylon, hosted by the Painful Truth website. It is brilliant. His analysis of the histories of the various religious movements HWA and Hoeh claimed as forebearers of the faith is absolutely brilliant, and in many instances quite elegant in writing.

First four chapters elegantly describe how one is indoctrinated within Armstrongism. I think it would be quite useful to use them to explain to people unaware of Armstrongism how people get caught up in it. Chapter five then builds up on it explain the importance of the doctrine of the seven church eras, that since the time of Christ there has continuously existed a Sabbatarian, anti-Catholic church that always called itself the Church of God. This was taught in Herman Hoeh's 1959 booklet, A True History of the True Church, and in Ronald Kelly's 1990-1 series of articles, The History of the Church of God. I will also add this teaching is also taught by LCG with John Ogwyn's booklet, God's Church Through the Ages.

Bruce Renehan then analyses for himself whether Hoeh and Kelly's writings stand up to scrutiny.

Turns out it is nonsense to believe, as Hoeh, Kelly and Ogwyn taught, that throughout 2000 years there has been a Sabbatarian, non-Catholic group of believers who always called themselves the Church of God. It is all empty rhetoric based on heavily edited quotations that often hide what really happened. Their fable simply does not stand up to scrutiny.
  • Claim that Waldensians are of great antiquity has practically no evidence.
  • Waldensians themselves say that they merely date from Peter Waldo. 
  •  Waldensians and English Lollards denounced tithing and observed Sunday.
  • Catholics often called their church the Church of God.
  • Armstrongism has no historical link with the Seventh Day Baptists. (That really shocked me.)
  • Seventh Day Baptists only used Church of God as a generic name and more often used other names.
  • The Church of God (Seventh Day) really started as a group of ex-Seventh Day Adventists who would not accept Ellen White as a prophetess, founded by one Gilbert Cranmer.
  • Church of God (Seventh Day) did not use the "government of God" (one man rule) but decided matters democratically in a conference.
  • It was first called the Church of Christ. It was renamed Church of God in 1884 after a vote in a conference, contrary to the "government of God."
  • HWA got a lot of his doctrines from G. G. Rupert, who taught that the holydays were to be observed, and a form of the seven church eras doctrine.
  • HWA was influenced by the Jehovah's Witnesses via C. O. Dodd, a Church of God (Seventh Day) minister who was quite influenced by their teachings.
  • HWA acquired the seven church era doctrine from G. G. Rupert
  • HWA and Hoeh imitated their "history" of a Sabbatarian, non-Catholic group of believers dating from Apostolic times from Andrew Dugger and C. O. Dodd's 1936 book, A History of the True Church. (It also fabricated their false historical link with the Seventh Day Baptists.)
  • C. O. Dodd admitted much of what he and Dugger wrote were simply not true.
  • Presents evidence that by the 1990s WCG leaders knew this "history" was largely fake. (Chapter 10.) Did John Ogwyn feel the same way?
This book is a shocking indictment of the deception so inherent within the COGs' leadership.

It also reveals how the matter of HWA's incest was exposed during court proceedings over his divorce from Ramona Armstrong. (Chapter 16.)

Of course I cannot agree with everything he says, for instance his assertion that the Bible was a product of the fourth century or of Constantine. First of all that list was settled at the Council of Carthage in 397, and as far as I can tell the New Testament date a lot earlier than the fourth century.

But, regardless of that quibble, this is a most useful, excellent, and in many places quite elegantly written book, perfect for any one trying to truly understand the history of the Worldwide Church of God. It is most certainly worth the effort of reading and is quite rewarding. I gladly recommend it.

My thanks to Douglas Becker and Exit and Support Network for inspiring me to finally read this book.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Is This Why HWA Chose Tkach?

Some speculate why did HWA choose a man like Tkach to be his successor. He is so unimportant they say.

Maybe that IS why he chose him.

It reminds me of what Tacitus, I think, said of Augustus' decision to appoint Tiberias as his successor. He chose someone less skilled than himself in hope that people would remember his rule fondly compared with the disaster that is Tiberias.

Maybe HWA thought the same way. He liked how unimportant Tkach was, compared with Garner Ted Armstrong, Stanley Rader, C. Wayne Cole or Roderick C. Meredith, etc., and chose Tkach because of that. He chose someone less charismatic so that WCG members would always remember HIM and not so much Tkach.

However Tkach had the last laugh. He decided to convert WCG to evangelical Protestantism in a decision that was very painful for many WCG members. HWA's decision destroyed all he had built up by years of deceitful self promotion and emotional blackmail.

HWA left behind a legacy of shattered dreams.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

LCG's John Ogwyn's Failed Prophecy on Iraq

Before he died in 2005 LCG's John Ogwyn wrote an article, What Lies Ahead for Iraq?

He said that Iraq would splinter apart into separate nation states with the border running along the Euphrates River.
The United States, as we went into Iraq at the beginning of the war, stated that the objective was that Iraq would become a bastion of peace and democracy in the Middle East. Well, my friends, it hasn't worked out that way at all, has it? We've got all sorts of problems that are going on, and here we are on the verge of turning Iraq over to the Iraqis—that's what we say we are going to do. What are we going to have as a result of that? Is it going to be a unified country? Is there going to be peace? Is there going to be democracy? Absolutely not! ...

 The nation of Iraq really consists of three primary regions, three primary groups. ...

You see, Iraq has three roughly defined regions developing on their own paths. The south is under the sway of Shiite Muslim clerics, many of whom want to form an Islamic state. The Sunni Muslims in the center are increasingly influenced by members of the former regime—many of them Arab nationalists. And in the north there is the desire for Kurdish autonomy at the very least—and, most likely, Kurdish independence. In fact, the longer an effective central government is delayed, the longer the country's three regions will continue on their diverging trajectories.
He then cites Revelation 9 and 16 to argue that the Euphrates River will become a political boundary in the future.
My friends, if you look at a map and you look these three ethnic groups, you realize that as Iraq moves toward disintegration into three major components, you will find that the Euphrates River is going to emerge as a boundary. That is the natural boundary there, and very likely we are going to see, in the time ahead, the disintegration of Iraq—and ultimately the emergence of the Euphrates River as a prominent boundary just as indicated in the book of Revelation.
As it turned out Iraq did not fracture and separate into separate states.

With the unmatched valor of Iraqi, US and Coalition soldiers the Sunni insurgents, such as al-Qaeda in Iraq, were crushed and rendered unable to overthrow the government, partly because of courageous mass defections away from al Qaeda in what is called the Anbar Awakening. Anti-government Shiite militias such as Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army and the "Special Groups" (other anti-government Shiite militias), partly supported by the Iranians, were also crushed and rendered unable to overthrow the government. By 2008 violence had greatly decreased.

John Ogwyn did not see the surge coming.

John Ogwyn did not see the Anbar Awakening coming.

What happened in Iraq is somewhat similar to other successful counter-insurgency campaigns (Malaysia 1948-60, Peru 1979-92, etc.). There is a period of intense strife and violence. At times it seems as though the government will surely fall to the insurgents. But eventually the insurgency is defanged and rendered unable to realistically overthrow the government, although it may linger long after any prospect of national conquest has gone for them.

In Malaysia the Communist insurgency was rendered unable to overthrow the government by 1960, however the Communist guerrillas continued to operate and fought against the government until surrendering in 1990 after the fall of the Iron Curtain. 

In Peru the Shining Path Maoist guerrillas were able to make huge strides against government forces in the 1980s, but after their leader was captured in 1992 the guerrillas fell apart and splintered. They degraded to a great extent and were no longer a serious threat to the government. However to this day a few roving bands of armed men continue to evade capture by the authorities, a pathetic shadow of what they used to be.

In the same way it seems to me that the various anti-Iraqi government insurgencies were rendered unable to overthrow the government by 2008, but remnants of them may very well continue using violence for a long time to come.

There is still far too much violence within Iraq. There is still much to do in rebuilding Iraq, but John Ogwyn's prediction that it would splinter apart into separate nation states with a border along the Euphrates River has failed miserably. It is unfortunate that he died before seeing this happen with his own eyes.

May peace and prosperity soon come to Iraq.

Jim Meredith's Rise to Power

This is why Jim Meredith is now working in LCG HQ. A circumstance that has caused many to suspect he will soon emerge as the new leader.
Then there is the nepotism! Many of Meredith's family members and friends are employees at church headquarters or are evangelists and pastors. ... I knew that Jim had a successful business in construction in California before the housing crisis but that went south with the housing downfall. So now Jim Meredith is a pastor and his wife are both working at headquarters. ... [Members are told:] He choose to leave a very profitable business in California to work at church headquarters! What hypocrisy! Dad bailed his son out.
 And now you know why Jim Meredith is there.

Bob Thiel Condemns Europa for Wearing an Immodest Dress

The unordained, self appointed false prophet Bob Thiel once wrote an article about the Greek myth of Europa, after whom Europe is named after, and linking this with the future European Empire HWA taught would later rise up and destroy the US and the UK.

He called the clothing Europa is often portrayed in as "immodest".
It may be of interest to note that in the European Union, there are many depictions of the woman Europa riding a beast. There is, for example, a 20th Century sculpture in front of the Council of Ministers Office in Brussels, Belgium of an immodest female Europa on a beast. Actually, all the modern pictures of Europa on a beast that I have seen seem to be that of a non-modest woman. ...

Is it only a coincidence that the symbol of Europe is an immodest woman riding a beast?
How pathetic!

Who would bother to classify the sort of clothing she is portrayed as wearing as "immodest"?

Why does he feel he needs to slut shame her in such a way?

It is only just occurred to me that it is odd to talk about that. It is. This is odd and demonstrates the rigid mindset he has inculcated into himself as a result of the Armstrongist religion he has long lived in.

More Testimonies from LCG

Since I last checked Exit and Support Network now has two testimonies from ex-LCG members.

1.My Mind Was Finally Opened About Living Church of God.

This testimony contain one example of shocking repudiation of goodwill among LCG members.
In the congregation was a couple whose income is $700 a month. Members would give them money and food to help. I mean, that's what Christian love is about. The pastor stopped that. He had the deaconesses go to each member and tell us not to give them anymore money. A few of the members did not follow the order. This was hard for me to believe. I could not live on $700 a month, and I know that the pastor could not. 
2. My Gut Feeling Said Something Wasn't Right.
Testimony from a former student of the unaccredited Living University (LU).

Details how leaders within LCG tried to restrict access to critical information, how they demonized critical sources of information to him in order to preemptively persuade him to ignore any negative information about LCG he may encounter.

The way he describes it, it appears LU is mainly focused upon producing new ministers.
My girlfriend became a threat to my potential "to be used", because if I came to LU, fell in love with her, left and got married (even if we remained in the group) what an awful waste that would be of a perfectly good potential minister. We're always told there's a shortage of young men.
He also describes how LCG members are horribly fixated on divining when the world will end with World War III and the return of Christ. This is true.

I can well recall when reading their so-called Bible Study Course by John Ogwyn, around 2000-1 there was one "lesson" that implied that Christ had to return by 2017.

It was a series of ten questions that cited ten verses that mentioned a long length of time. It was trying to combine these verses together to imply that Adam and Eve must have been created in 3983 BC and that, if you count 6000 years from then, you would arrive at 2017. No doubt they have quietly removed that "lesson" for something else in whatever they now use to indoctrinate people.

Both testimonies are well worth reading.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Richard David Armstrong's Sermon on Child Rearing

Recently we have seen what was Richard Armstrong's attitude towards raising young kids at All About Armstrongism, here and on Banned by HWA.

I found this sermon of his, Child Rearing, delivered October 13, 1957.

In this sermon he is not mainly talking about juvenile delinquents, he was talking about little kids who had not reached puberty.

One minute into the recording he says in response to any parent who dares complain having to take the kids into church:
And I know this as well as you do, that that [sitting in church] implants something in your mind. That these children that are here. Sure they're fidgety. They move about. And they're nervous and they have nervous energy. And no they can't understand the way you can.   
But don't ask not take the kids with you. If the kids hear what is taught it will make them more a part of the church even though they are unbaptized. They will remember what they are taught. They will not forget. (I have no doubt that last part is all too true.)

Ten minutes into the sermon he states that those resurrected at Christ's coming will be superior in position to those resurrected afterwards in what COG members call the great white throne judgment. Those people will have the same opportunity to be saved...
But they won't have the same opportunity for position that you have because now you now have a chance to prepare in helping and teaching them later on. You see. They are still going to have a lot to overcome but they won't ever attain to the same position that any of us could in the government of God. And that's a fact.
Recently I mentioned how LCG's Syd Hull said essentially the same thing in 2000. My opinion on this may be seen at the link.

Some of what Richard Armstrong says is eerily similar to what he wrote in his letter as seen in a previous post.

20 minutes into the sermon he uses a verse in Proverbs to state that it is a command of God that children that should stand up when old men walk into the room.
You know that the Bible says that the youth should rise up before the hoary head. That's a command. Did you know that? How many of you did know it? I just wonder. It's in your Bible. I've read it. That means the child is to stand up and rise and show that honor to those who are of white hair and of age and show that respect unto them.

Now how many of our children actually do that? Very few. We think we're being horribly strict with our children if we taught them to do things like that, wouldn't we? [He's being sarcastic.] Children are actually to be seen and not heard. That's a fact. They should be quiet and learn to respect their elders.

But we say in this day and age that we can't do it. And I tell you we can.
He then misuses a verse in Proverbs and then says, "We're to paddle our children. And that's a fact."
Our children are to be obedient. They're to learn to sit there and don't think they can't sit in church and get something out of the message.
He then complains about some people who would not take their children to church. (23 minutes.)
Some people I've known in the past wouldn't come to church because they were afraid to bring their children. Their children were too unruly. And they actually, week after week would go by and wouldn't come, right where they lived, and in a town where we had a local congregation because their children were so unruly. Well, I just had to let them know that if that situation wasn't rectified they weren't in the church of God anyhow and they'd better not come.

But you know your children should come, and they should sit there and they should learn to be quiet.
"They should learn to be quiet". He writes how children are to "KEEP QUIET" in his letter of March 1958.

He then complains that whenever the ministers make a sermon like this (there are more!?) some members punish children too much and he tries to tell members to do so. He then tells the members they should discipline and do so diligently. How is anyone supposed to make sense of that? His attitude that children should "KEEP QUIET" encourages unreasonable behavior with little children.

He seems convinced that most indiscipline among children is caused because men are not the leaders of the house in those households. (28-9 minutes in the sermon.)
If the husband isn't the head of the house and if what he says doesn't go you can expect the children to know that they can get away with it too. Because what they see happening between husband and wife they can get away with. And that's the biggest cause of a lack of discipline in your home. Believe it or not brethren, it is not, in most cases, a lack of spanking the children. Sometimes, I think, you even spank the children too much. Now I think that that's a fact. In some cases hey spank the children too much. What they lack is the husband being the head of the house and having authority there.

And sometimes it is, frankly, just the wife that needs a spanking and not the child.
Now, before I mention this part, I must emphasize that in this next section he is clearly joking. He is being humorous, or at least trying to be. I say this largely because the audience laugh and that tells me that in this part of the sermon he is joking. But it is still disturbing to me that he thinks this is funny.
I'll tell you this, its happened. Amongst the ministers. I've never spanked my wife. (Audience laughs.) I would if the occasion arose. Told her that right after I asked her to marry me. Of course you realize now what this means. She knew it right from the first.
He later says how a wife can blaspheme God. Such judgmental behavior does not impress me.
I wonder how many wives have stopped to think that they could be blaspheming the word of God in even speaking in the wrong tone of voice to their husbands. Ah. Now that's a fact.
32 minutes into the sermon Richard Armstrong insinuates that households that do not have the husband as head of the house might not make it into the Kingdom of God (the God Family).
I know a lot of people. They just say, well, we can't help it. The husband won't be the head of our house so the wife's just got to be and that's just the way it is. Well, too bad. I wonder if you'll get into the Kingdom of God. I frankly do.
Clearly he is insinuating that people like that might go to the Lake of Fire.

Here is this sick little anecdote he relates. Strangely enough, he and the audience, seems to think this is quite amusing. He is describing what one little boy did with his father. Just take a look.
One of the cutest things I've ever seen....And I've seen, and it's fantastic. I've never seen anything like this before. I've seen that boy ... take off his belt, hold it up to him, and say, Daddy, I was supposed to get a spanking this evening. (Audience laughs.) I'm not lying either. That's a fact. I've seen it happen. I've seen him remind his father that he had a spanking coming. I never did that. (Laughter.)

Near the end (41 minutes) he claims that humanity will breed monsters. Seems to have something to do with x-rays. Who knows?

After listening to this sermon it is clear that the attitude he showed in his March 1958 letter was firmly in place in his mind as early as October 1957. His letter was not some sudden change of heart caused by fear of getting kicked out by the landlords, but the attitude that children must sit through the service, that they are not allowed to be unruly within the church, that children require diligent disciplining, all these were already firmly implanted in his mind long before he wrote his March 1958 letter.

Sermons of Richard David Armstrong

Considering how people have been talking about Richard David Armstrong how are some sermons of his.

Byker Bob Regarding Richard Armstrong's 1958 Letter

Here is Byker Bob's comment at Banned by HWA regarding Richard Armstrong's letter.

I am posting it here because he seems to say that in his experience children were presumed guilty of what they were accused of, which appears to have been the case with Richard Armstrong.

He also starkly confronts the fact that he was "painted as nearly having been a saint" but that this letter has now caused all of us to reassess this view of him we inherited mainly from HWA's Autobiography.
In my home, as I and my siblings were growing up, if ANY outsider accused any of us, we were never given the benefit of a doubt. The accuser was automatically assumed to have been right. I can't recall a single instance of an investigation, or fact finding session. We were assumed to have done something wrong, and were punished. Attempts to deny or justify were seen as lying, bringing on a more intense level of punishment.

It is difficult to determine exactly what may have clogged a toilet back in 1958, whether a small toy fell into a commode, or someone took a massive toilet clogging crap. In the latter case, an adult would most likely have been responsible, and may not have even realized it. It would have become evident when the next person used the facilities. But, it seems that the janitor's word was favored in this case. Blanketly, and without investigation or due process, the kids were presumed guilty, and the lake of fire was actually invoked. Imagine what this does in terms of building or formulating members' and their children's concepts of God!

It is good that someone has brought this bit of history to our attention. In times past, RDA was painted as nearly having been a saint, one of his last acts having been involved with the annointing, prayers, and healing of Howard Clark of paraplegia which had resulted from his war injuries. There was rampant speculation as to the directions WCG might have taken if Richard ( the good one?) had been second in command rather than GTA. I believe we have our answer now, as it appears that RDA was indeed the submissive son that HWA craved. He responded amazingly as his father might have, confronted with this same incident, and as the Flurry group imitates today!


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Dave Pack's Account of the 1979 Receivership Crisis

The following is how Dave Pack and Bruce Ritter describe the crisis of the receivership to RCG members and co-workers in Herbert W. Armstrong - His Life in Proper Perspective.

Chapter 7:
In the fall of 1978, a group of conspirators hatched a sinister plot to attack and destroy the Church. They armed themselves with a class-action lawsuit. Mr. Armstrong explained, “This resulted in an ex parte order by a judge. Secretly without prior notice, deputies on order of the [California] Attorney General’s office swooped down on the Church on the morning of Jan. 3, 1979” (“Recent History of the Philadelphia Era of the Worldwide Church of God,” Worldwide News, June 24, 1985).
That accusation is complete nonsense that simply regurgitates HWA's self serving propaganda at the time. The six who initiated the lawsuit were not trying "to attack and destroy the Church." They were trying to stamp out corruption within WCG HQ.

The ecclesiastical affairs of WCG were not to be affected by the State of California's receivership. WCG was never in danger of being dissolved because of the receivership. The receivers never threatened to forcibly change church doctrine.

The receivers were concerned over financial matters, fearing that the leaders of WCG were misusing church funds for their own personal benefit instead of using that money for the welfare of church members.

In fact the conspirators were so reluctant to initiate the lawsuit they seriously contemplated presenting the facts they had gathered to Stanley Rader and use it as an ultimatum to force him to leave WCG's leadership and get him away from influencing WCG's leadership. What sort of "conspiracy" is that?
The state dropped the case months later, and an appellate judge ruled that the lawsuit was groundless.
Just like HWA they bring up this detail but neglect to mention that the court case ended because the State of California passed a law forbidding law suits of that nature to be used against a church. WCG was not vindicated in court, as is implied here, but simply persuaded the law makers of California to change the law to WCG's benefit. 

Chapter 8:
The crises of 1974, 1978 (when Garner Ted Armstrong left), and 1979 (the attempted coup bringing the State of California against the Church)
Here it is implied that C. Wayne Cole was trying to lead a coup against HWA. Nothing could be further from the truth regarding C. Wayne Cole. As has been seen previously, at first HWA decided to co-operate with the investigation. In pursuit of this he appointed C. Wayne Cole his number two man. Cole was so reluctant to accept this position he was physically sick. But in the end he chose and tried to execute his new duties in fulfillment of HWA's wishes. Unfortunately for him HWA soon changed his mind, apparently under Rader's influence, and decided to resist the receivership and hinder the investigation of misappropriation of funds. Behind Cole's back he appointed others in his place and kicked Cole out of the church and he and his minions demonized C. Wayne Cole as an enemy of God who had attacked the work of the living Christ, falsely implying that he was trying to lead a coup and seize power for himself. In fact C. Wayne Cole was callously betrayed by HWA.

It is sad that RCG's leadership continues to perpetuate misleading information regarding these events to its members in order to idealize HWA as a man of noble character and ignore the many terrible flaws about the man which caused so much trouble to WCG members and to WCG as an institution.

The authors of this book, Pack and Ritter, may be sincere, but if so, they are badly misinformed about what really happened in those turbulent days and, alas, are continuing to misinform people within RCG about these events.