Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Overview of the February 2015 Issue of The Philadelphia Trumpet

The latest issue of PCG's Philadelphia Trumpet (February 2015) is now out. This issue is focused on Britain, no doubt occasioned by PCG's recent purchase of property for a British college campus. Could it be that PCG is wishing to gain more members within Britain?

Also this is the 25th anniversary issue of The Philadelphia Trumpet. How is that any different from celebrating birthdays? PCG's leaders forbid their followers from observing birthdays (the anniversary of one's birth) and yet they celebrate the anniversary of their magazine.

They have also changed the font of the magazine's title. This ends the format of the title that has been used since the February 2004 issue. (At first it was white but they made it red in the February 2012 issue.)

Let us take a look at what PCG's leaders have to say this time.

The circulation for this issue is 312,399, which is the lowest circulation for any issue since March 2011. The Philadelphia Trumpet's circulation continues to fall.

Gerald Flurry has a personal article stating that this issue is focused on Britain.

Brad MacDonald has an article claiming that the rise of the British Empire was divinely preordained as a part of God's covenant with Abraham. This is based on the inaccurate doctrine that the British and American peoples are descended from the Israelites of the Old Testament. This doctrine is inherited from British Israelism. has shown how British Israelism is built on a foundation of sand. In fact DNA evidence refutes British Israelism.

Dennis Leap has an article insisting that British people are becoming alienated from their identity and because of this Britain is falling apart.

Richard Palmer has an article recalling Rudyard Kipling and presenting him as wisely foretelling that if Britain turned away from God the British Empire would collapse. Citing Kipling in this manner seems to be fairly popular among the COGs. LCG also cites Rudyard Kipling in their booklet promoting the false dogma of British Israelism.

Phillip Nice and Grant Turgeon have an article celebrating PCG's acquisition of a property in Edstone as a second college campus for PCG. Grant Turgeon is the son of Wayne Turgeon and the grandson of Gerald Flurry.

Richard Palmer also has a little article recalling how Herbert Armstrong's group used to have a college campus in Britain. This is done to boast that PCG is the only legitimate continuation of HWA. Left unmentioned is the fact that there are literally hundreds of other COGs groups that continue to teach HWA's doctrines.

There is an Infographic detailing the possessions of the British Empire by 1800.

Richard Palmer also has an article saying that Britain's membership in the European Union is disadvantageous for Britain and that Britain would have been better off staying out of it. It also states that Britain is getting ready to leave the EU and this act will help the EU to integrate itself more efficiently. PCG teaches that the EU will become a blood thirsty military superpower which will conquer America and Britain and turn them into slaves.

And after that the issue returns to regular fare.

Joel Hilliker has an article bemoaning how many Americans are supposedly no longer having dinner together the way he thinks they should. He also relates the following anecdote from his family life.
Soon after reviewing these rules [from a 1963 book] with my children, one of them corrected my wife on the placement of an errant elbow during a meal. I told my daughter it is far more rude for a child to correct an adult than for an elbow to be misplaced. (p. 23.)
He ends the article with an exhortation for families to eat together at the dinner table saying this is how children can learn from their parents.

Wik Heerma has an article condemning Valentine's Day as a "pagan" custom that is forbidden by (PCG's) God. PCG bans many mainstream holidays among their members in order to socially isolate them from mainstream society so that they will become socially dependent upon the group. This article is heavily based on Herman Hoeh's article condemning Valentine's Day.

Gerald Flurry has an article insisting that people who do not agree with what PCG's leaders say have deceived themselves. This is done in order to discredit every other religion besides PCG, especially the mainstream Christian churches, in order to gain more tithes paying members.

Worldwatch has a few little articles saying America and Britain are being bested by international rivals and that Germany is growing stronger in order to convince people of PCG's prophetic scenarios. They often do that.

Societywatch has a few little articles insisting that America is falling apart. One of them quotes The Washington Times (How appropriate,) to say US business have been given an incentive to hire illegal immigrants. Wake up, PCG. That has already been happening for decades.

Joel Hilliker also has a little article calling upon people to exercise regularly.

Joel Hilliker also has a little article insisting that Britain will return to greatness after Christ's return. Again this is based on the inaccurate dogma that the British are the descendants of the Biblical Israelites. It is not true, so this prophecy based on that false idea is also false and doomed to failure.

There are letters as well. This time there is no graph showing what type of responses they have received.

Also the letters page promotes a Key of David telecast which seems to be about Gerald Flurry's teaching that he is 'That Prophet'. More on this topic may be seen in a post about this teaching (Part 1 and Part 2).

Strangely one of the letters is signed Timothy Oostendarp. Is this the same Timothy Oostendarp who has written articles for The Philadelphia Trumpet since at least 2005? If this is the case this is quite baffling. Are they that desperate for positive feedback that they need to quote a letter one of their own authors?

One letter claims we are now in the times of the Gentiles.
The implications of the Russia and Chinese axis are huge.... China has now surpassed America as the number one economy in the world. We are now officially in the “times of the Gentiles.”
Armstrongism has long had many differing views about the "times of the Gentiles". There was a time HWA said it lasted for thousands of years until Britain seized control of Jerusalem from the Ottoman Turks in 1917 during World War I. The idea even helped contribute to the development of Herbert W. Armstrong's false prophecy that Christ would return in 1975.

Another letter insists America is going broke.
There are those who believe that we have not done enough damage yet .... I certainly disagree, but I watched a bunch of liberals on TV discussing our president’s economic error in not borrowing an additional $3 trillion in order to better stimulate the economy. We have successfully assured our dollar’s weakening, the downgrading of our debt, and a position in which trillions of dollars will be due just as our financial crisis is at its peak. The economic reality is that America, once the richest nation that ever existed, is now broke!
This is nonsense. In fact America per capita had more debt during the 1940s because of World War II. Here are some relevant words from a previous post.
The US national debt was actually higher per capita during World War II and immediately afterwards. Did the US go bankrupt then? The picture below shows US federal debt compared with GDP from 1940 to 2014. (Click to enlarge.)
US federal debt compared with GDP 1940-2014

It may be seen that US federal debt was actually higher in the World War II era and immediately afterwards. However it is fairly easy to not notice this fact because of inflation. This fact is not often stated but it is true. ...
US federal debt was actually higher during the World War II era and immediately afterwards.
It is unfortunate that so many people are needlessly worried that America will go bankrupt. Alas, PCG's writers are not helping to correct this widespread misconception.

Noticeably absent from this issue are Stephen Flurry, Robert Morley, Anthony Chibarirwe and Jeremiah Jacques. Also there is no article promoting their "Correspondence Course" in this issue. (It actually just teaches people to view the world through PCG's dogmas.)

And so we have seen how once again PCG's leaders have produced a magazine issue designed to persuade people into joining PCG and paying three tithes to PCG's leaders.

Also it needs to be stated that has shown how British Israelism is built on a foundation of sand. In fact DNA evidence refutes British Israelism. British Israelism is false. Any prophecy based on it is sure to fail.


  1. "Soon after reviewing these rules [from a 1963 book] with my children, one of them corrected my wife on the placement of an errant elbow during a meal. I told my daughter it is far more rude for a child to correct an adult than for an elbow to be misplaced."

    What a revealing little tidbit. The child learns something and then puts her new-found knowledge into practice, hoping to please her parents. Instead she gets slapped down. Her father is a jerk. I pity the child.

  2. k-baradanikto,

    When I saw that quote I was not sure what to make of it. Because of this I did not directly comment about it but merely quoted it. But seeing your interpretation of it makes me glad I quoted it. I did not view it did that way until you said it.

    Black Ops Mikey,

    Good article there. It will be fascinating to see how events develop next year.

  3. Redfox, I hope and am fairly certain that you do understand that as in all things Armstrongist, there are no guarantees: 2015 could and absolutely banner year where the Cult of Herbert Armstrong Mafia takes off and grows beyond belief, even though it's not likely.

    Because we look at trends. Following a trend is absolutely no guarantee. Conditions could change. There's no prophecy, just trending.

    As you say, it will be fascinating to see how events develop this year. Perhaps there is some hope. Perhaps not.

    I personally expect that the CoHAM will continue their unsuccessful pursuits, and that will certainly contribute to their stagnation... all things being equal.

    Of course, I could be very wrong and all of Armstrongism could go to hell in a handbasket and be gone by the end of the year.

    We could always hope.