Sunday, July 6, 2014

Stephen Flurry Plagiarized HWA

After having read Stephen Flurry's booklet, History and Prophecy of the Middle East (which may be read at their website), I must say there is a good case to be made that Stephen Flurry has plagiarized HWA's booklet, The Middle East in Prophecy (which may be read in html and PDF formats elsewhere).

Nowhere in Stephen Flurry's booklet or in his original August 1998 article is it acknowledged that it is largely derived from HWA's booklet. Stephen Flurry does not offer any acknowledgement to HWA in this booklet. If he had acknowledged this fact in the booklet it would not be plagiarism. But he did not do so. Instead he presents his booklet as though it were his work never admitting in that booklet how much is owed to HWA.

Imagine you were reading Stephen Flurry's booklet without any knowledge of HWA or of this booklet of his, The Middle East in Prophecy. You would think that Stephen Flurry went to a lot of trouble verifying the historical events regarding the Seleucid Empire and Hellenistic Egypt for this booklet. You would think that Stephen Flurry wrote it.

Unless you looked at HWA's booklet for yourself you would never know that Stephen Flurry largely plagiarized HWA's booklet. HWA is never given any credit in his booklet. It says Stephen Flurry wrote it. This is a misrepresentation of the facts.

Here is a collection of quotes from HWA's booklet and Stephen Flurry's booklet comparing them together. They are very similar. It is amazing how some words and phrases appear in both. It is breath taking that Stephen Flurry never acknowledges his debt to HWA in writing this booklet.

Plagiarism is not just copying words, but taking another person's ideas and presenting them as though you came up with it. Stephen Flurry's booklet gives the impression that Stephen Flurry wrote this booklet. It is never acknowledged in the booklet that it is presenting HWA's ideas.

Take a look at the similar words for yourself.


The first verse of the 11th chapter is a continuation from the last verse of the 10th chapter. (HWA, p. 2.)

Verse 1 of chapter 11 is actually a continuation of the thought in chapter 10. (Stephen Flurry, p. 2.)


Actually there were 12 more kings in the Persian Empire, but only the first four following Cyrus were of importance for the purpose of this prophecy. (HWA, p. 2.)

Actually, there were at least 12 more Persian kings after Cyrus, but there is a reason God only drew attention to the four who followed him. (Stephen Flurry, p. 2.)


It was the last, or Xerxes, who was the richest of all and stirred up war with Greece. (HWA, p. 2.)

Darius’s son, Xerxes, inherited the powerful empire his father had built. He was the strongest and richest of all Persian kings, (Stephen Flurry, p. 2.)


From here the prophecy foretells the activities only of two of these four divisions: Egypt, called "king of the south," because it is south of Jerusalem; and the Syrian kingdom, the king of the north, just north of Judea. It is because the Holy Land passed back and forth between those two divisions, and because their different wars were principally over possession of Judea, that the prophecy is concerned with them. (HWA, p. 3.)

The other two, however, are significant, especially in how they set the stage for two centuries of conflict and struggle in the Middle East. It is these two kingdoms, one north of Jerusalem, the other south, that Daniel 11 primarily focuses on in the next several verses.  (Stephen Flurry, p. 4.)


In history, we learn that the original Ptolemy I, called Soter, became strong and powerful, developing Egypt beyond the greatest dreams of Alexander. One of his princes, or generals, Seleucus Nicator, also became strong and powerful. And, in 312 B.C., taking advantage of Ptolemy's being tied up in a war, he established himself in Syria, and assumed the diadem as king. (HWA, p. 3.)

Seleucus Nicator was originally one of Ptolemy’s generals (or “princes”) in Syria. But while Ptolemy was tied up in war after Alexander’s death, Seleucus gained control in the north, founding the dynasty of Seleucidæ in 312 B.C. (Stephen Flurry, p. 6.)


Fulfilled to the Letter! (HWA, p. 4.)

After 50 years, this prophecy was fulfilled to the letter. (Stephen Flurry, p. 6.)


The eighth verse of Daniel 11 says this king of the south would carry captives and vessels of silver and gold into Egypt, and continue to reign more years than the king of the north, who at that time was Seleucus II, and verse 9 says he shall return into Egypt. ... Then he carried back to Egypt immense booty and 2,500 molten images and idolatrous vessels which, in 526 B.C. Cambyses had carried away from Egypt. He continued to rule until 222 B.C., while the king of the north, Seleucus II, died in 226 B.C. (HWA, p. 5.)

Verse 8 says Ptolemy III would carry many captives and spoils back to Egypt, which he did—history confirms more than 2,500 molten images and vessels. God also prophesied that Ptolemy’s reign would continue longer than that of his counterpart in the north, Seleucus II. God was right again. Ptolemy outlasted him by four years. (Stephen Flurry, p. 8.)


When he died, his two sons took over the kingdom of the north; first Seleucus III, 226-223 B.C., who ruled only three years, and then his brother Antiochus III, called "the Great," 223-187 B.C. Both of these two sons of Seleucus II assembled immense forces to war against Egypt, avenge their father, and recover their port and fortress, Seleucia. ... In fulfillment of the latter part of verse 10, Antiochus the Great, after 27 years, recovered his fortress, Seleucia, and he also conquered the territory of Syria, as far as Gaza, including Judea. (HWA, p. 5.)

After Seleucus II died, what was left of his kingdom was divided between his two sons, Seleucus III (226–223) and Antiochus III, called “the Great” (223–187). The prophecy in verse 10 quickly narrows its focus to one of these sons, Antiochus III, no doubt because the other died three years into his reign. Verse 10 describes the two expeditions Antiochus led against Egypt. The second one, after 27 years, enabled him to re-capture his fortress, Seleucia. (Stephen Flurry, p. 8.)


It was "after certain years," or 12 years later, 205 B.C., that Ptolemy Philopator died, leaving his throne to an infant son, Ptolemy Epiphanes. Then Antiochus assembled a greater army, and won great victories. (HWA, p. 6.)

It says after “certain years” (actually it was 12 years, bringing us to 205 B.C.), Antiochus III returned with greater riches and a bigger army. (Stephen Flurry, p. 9.)


He then made a treaty allying Philip of Macedonia with him, and others, against Egypt, and they wrested Phoenicia and southern Syria from the king of the south. In this they were assisted by some of the Jews. Josephus' Jewish history says many Jews helped Antiochus. But notice how accurately Almighty God had foretold this, hundreds of years before it happened! —"And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south: also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision; but they shall fall" (v. 14). (HWA, p. 6.)

Antiochus garnered military support from Philip of Macedonia and others. Jewish historian Josephus says many Jews helped in this fight against Egypt. Now consider how accurately God foretold of this anti-Egyptian alliance hundreds of years in advance: “And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south …” (verse 14). (Stephen Flurry, p. 9.)


Verses 15-16 — "the glorious land," of course, refers to Judea, the Holy Land. Antiochus the Great besieged and took Sidon from Egypt, ruined the interests of Egypt in Judea at the Battle of Mount Panium, 198 B.C., and then Antiochus took possession of Judea. (HWA, p. 6.)

Verse 16 says “he shall stand in the glorious land, which by his hand shall be consumed.” The “glorious land” refers to the land of Judea. After Antiochus captured Sidon, he defeated Egypt at Mount Panium in 198 B.C. and assumed control of Judea. (Stephen Flurry, p. 9.)


In 198 B.C., Antiochus arranged a marriage between his daughter, Cleopatra (not the Cleopatra of 31 B.C. in Egypt) and young Ptolemy Epiphanes, king of the south, by which he hoped subtly to gain complete possession of Egypt; but the plan failed. (HWA, p. 7.)

After his military venture into Egypt in 198 B.C., Antiochus the Great offered his daughter Cleopatra (not the Egyptian queen of 31 B.C.) to the young Ptolemy, hoping to gain complete possession of Egypt. It didn’t work, as verse 17 verifies. (Stephen Flurry, p. 9.)


Verse 20 — Seleucus IV Philopator (187-176), his son, in an effort to raise money, sent a tax collector, Heliodorus, through Judea. But he reigned only 11 years, when Heliodorus poisoned him. (HWA, p. 7.)

As the scripture notes, he was famous for collecting taxes. He sent a tax collector by the name of Heliodorus throughout Judea, hoping to raise money for the waning empire. The scripture says his reign would be short-lived and that he would die neither in anger nor battle. History confirms that his brief, 11-year reign was cut short by his tax-collector Heliodorus, who poisoned him. (Stephen Flurry, p. 10.)


But his brother, a younger son of Antiochus the Great, named Epiphanes (Antiochus IV), a contemptible reprobate, came by surprise and through flattery took the kingdom. To his aid came his assistant, Eumenes. Rawlinson says, page 255, "Antiochus [Epiphanes], assisted by Eumenes, drives out Heliodorus, and obtains the throne, B.C. 176. He astonishes his subjects by an affectation of Roman manners" and "good-natured profuseness [flattery]." (HWA, p. 7.)

Antiochus Epiphanes was a ruthless dictator who obtained rule through deceitful lies and flatteries. Verse 21 of Daniel 11 said he would “come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.” George Rawlinson gives the historical account of this event in his authoritative Manual of Ancient History: “Antiochus, assisted by Eumenes, drives out Heliodorus, and obtains the throne, B.C. 176. He astonishes his subjects by an affectation of Roman manners.” (Stephen Flurry, p. 10.)


His fathers, the former kings of Syria, had favored the Jews, but says Rawlinson, page 255, they "were driven to desperation by the mad project of this self-willed monarch." (HWA, p. 8.)

Rulers before him had typically treated the Jews well. But Epiphanes’s ruthlessness toward the Jews far surpassed that of his fathers (verse 24). ... According to Rawlinson, Jews “were driven to desperation by the mad project of this self-willed monarch.” (Stephen Flurry, p. 10.)


Verses 23-24 — although only a few were with him at first, yet by this "Roman manner," by deceit and flattery, he crept into power and prospered. (HWA, pp. 7-8.)

Verse 23 shows that even though this vile human being only had a few supporters at the outset, he eventually gained a large following through deceit and flatteries. (Stephen Flurry, p. 11.)


Verse 28 — in 168 B.C., returning from Egypt with great plunder, Antiochus set himself against the Jews, massacred many, and then returned to Antioch with golden vessels from the Temple at Jerusalem. (HWA, p. 8.)

Verse 28 says his heart was against the “holy covenant.” “He shall do exploits” means Antiochus just did as he pleased against the Jews. He massacred them. (Stephen Flurry, p. 11.)


Verse 32 — Antiochus tried to end the religion of the Jews. He took away the daily sacrifice, forbade the ministration at the Temple. He perverted by flatteries the Jews who were willing to forsake their religion. (HWA, p. 9.)

He tried to stamp out the Jewish religion altogether. “And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits [or take action]” (Daniel 11:32). Most of the Jews were deceived by flatteries. (Stephen Flurry, p. 12.)


This verse says he [the Roman Emperor] should do according to his will, and he did — exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and he did; for the Roman emperors required all to worship them and sacrifice to them, as a god. He was as a god. He was to speak against the true God, and he did and persecuted all Christians. (HWA, p. 10.)

Verse 36 is an apt description of Roman emperors who have historically done according to their own will, even exalting themselves above God. (Stephen Flurry, p. 13.)


Verse 44 — but news out of the east and out of the north — Russia and the Orient — shall trouble the revived Roman Empire. Russia will enter the war! (HWA, p. 13.)

Verse 44: “But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.” Tidings to the east (the Orient) and the north (Russia) will worry the king of the north. (Stephen Flurry, p. 16.)

(I was taken aback when I saw that Stephen Flurry had written "the Orient" here. I even referred to that in my last post saying, "And what does Stephen Flurry means when he talks of "the Orient" and not China?" Now we know, Stephen Flurry was plagiarizing HWA's words. Again it must be stated that no acknowledgement to HWA's booklet is ever given in this booklet. -- Editor.)


Verse 45 ... This language signifies the end of the "beast" and the "false prophet" at the hand of God! (HWA, p. 13.)

The end of the “beast” and the “false prophet” will be near. (Stephen Flurry, p. 16.)


And there we have it. It is clear that Stephen Flurry's booklet is heavily influenced by HWA's booklet. It is astounding that Stephen Flurry never admits this in his booklet.

Why does Stephen Flurry leave readers in ignorance of where his supposedly revealed knowledge actually comes from?

Perhaps part of the answer lies in the fact that "Elijah" (HWA) in The Middle East in Prophecy said that Daniel 11:40 was fulfilled with Ethiopia's defeat of an Italian invasion in 1895 and fascist Italy's conquest of Ethiopia in 1935-6. HWA dwells on that idea at length in his booklet (HWA, pp. 11-13). Although as early as the 1960s some of WCG's leaders were speculating there would be a future King of the South HWA never wrote an article saying such as a things as far as I know. PCG does not teach that Ethiopia is the King of the South, as far as I can tell. I have not even seen this idea mentioned even in passing in any of PCG's writings so far.

The COGs have long had a plagiarism problem. Stephen Flurry's father, Gerald Flurry plagiarized from The Letter to Laodicea by Jules Dervaes (written December 1986-January 1988) to write Malachi's Message. Dervaes' writing was sent to 237 WCG ministers including Gerald Flurry and John Amos. In fact on September 26, 1990 Jules Dervaes sent a letter to Gerald Flurry in which he denounces Malachi's Message as "a direct and clear plagiarism" of his work.

And then there is HWA himself. He took the idea of British Israelism from J. H. Allen's book, Judah's Scepter and Joseph's Birthright, and pretended that he himself had deduced that Americans and British are descended from Biblical Israelites just by reading the Bible.

So no wonder Stephen Flurry thinks it is fine and proper to just take a lot of words and ideas from one of HWA's booklet and then pass them off in a booklet that claims to be by Stephen Flurry without giving HWA proper credit in that booklet.

1 comment:

  1. It's time for the PCG the Orange Papers cult test!

    How did you do? Any problems? Do you feel stupid yet?