Friday, October 30, 2015

PCG's Condemnation of Halloween (1994)

Back in the November 1994 issue of Philadelphia News, a PCG publication discussing developments within PCG, Wayne Turgeon wrote an article reciting Armstrongism's long standing ban on Halloween inherited from HWA.

Wayne Turgeon is married to Gerald Flurry's daughter, Laura Turgeon. Their son, Grant Turgeon, has been advancing within PCG's leadership recently.

Let us see what Turgeon has to say.
Halloween, a strange holiday, is increasingly stranger in terms of things which are occurring on or around this festival every year. You only need to look at the news to learn of the tragedies related to its observance. Is it merely coincidental? Though many will admit that it stems from pagan origins, they refuse to stop keeping it because it’s “fun.” Actually, it’s big business. (p. 1.)
It's always about money to Armstrongite sect leaders. HWA infamously complained that Christmas caused his income to slow down afterwards. The same motivation seems to be laying behind this article as well.

Why let PCG members spend money and time with family members celebrating Halloween when PCG's leaders could simply use their religion to ban PCG members from celebrating Halloween and hopefully using the money saved from not celebrating Halloween to tithe more to PCG?

Turgeon then claims that Halloween causes children to behave badly and is responsible for juvenile delinquency.
By keeping a holiday such as this, it should come as no surprise that there are so few ethics in the home when we teach our kids to get something for nothing by begging. And, when they don’t get what they want, they vandalize. Space does not permit a complete explanation of “trick or treat” and other degenerate and weird customs, but many secular sources can provide the details for us. (p. 1.)
Regardless of one's opinion regarding trick or treating it must be said that it is not begging. Rather it is a long established custom that most people have long since learned to expect on Halloween. It is not begging.

Also Turgeon's accusation that young people who do not get a treat are inclined to commit vandalism sounds so narrow minded. It is denigrating to the vast majority of people who do no such thing.

Turgeon then uses this article condemning Halloween to denigrate the entire world outside of PCG as false Christians. He even accuses those who celebrate Halloween as somehow "honoring Satan".
It is common knowledge to many that Halloween is pagan, but most do not fear God, though they profess to worship Him. It does matter to Him how we worship Him and any honest person can see that Halloween’s symbolism is based on darkness, not light, honoring Satan and his demons. (p.1.)
This is an absurd accusation designed to compel the readers to not celebrate Halloween. Those who celebrate Halloween do no such thing.

Turgeon says that Halloween promotes the immortality of the soul in order to denigrate mainstream Christians as false and to insinuate that PCG members are the only true Christians on Earth.

Turgeon insists that it comes from paganism and insists it is therefore forbidden for PCG members to celebrate Halloween. This same accusation is used to forbid followers from celebrating Christmas, Easter, New Year's Day and St. Valentine's Day. PCG's ban against other mainstream holidays are alluded to in this article.
(Past articles on other holidays such as Christmas, New Year’s, etc. are also available upon request.) (p. 1.)
These holidays and other are banned by PCG and other COG groups. HWA imposed these bans upon his followers imitating the Jehovah's Witnesses. These bans have the effect of isolating his followers from mainstream society and making the followers socially dependent upon the group, in this instance PCG. These tactics are strategy to isolate and control the member.

Turgeon ends his article with a call to PCG members to celebrate the holidays HWA imposed his followers in the Radio/Worldwide Church of God.
God has His own set of holy, sanctified days that we are commanded to keep. What could be better—for both adults and children—than restoring the observance of God’s holy days? Kept according to His instructions, God’s holy days, such as the Feast of Tabernacles, are much better than all of these other humanly devised (Satan-inspired) false substitutes put together! (p. 1.)
There is no need for a Christian to celebrate those holy days. HWA perverted those beautiful feasts to denigrate every Christian church that does not celebrate those days. While it was an attractive marketing tactic to attract new converts it exploited those holy days to condemn all Christians outside of the COGs. The Jews never asked HWA to do this to the feasts they celebrate. Armstrongism has perverted those beautiful feasts.

And so we see that PCG once again condemns a popular celebration in order to socially isolate their followers from mainstream society to make them socially dependent upon the group.

1 comment:

  1. No doubt the PCG has much to say about the Christmas celebration of the CoGaIA and the LCG with their winter get togethers for fun and fellowship. Or do they have a winter festival too? I can't keep up with it all.

    And does the PCG allow members to eat out at restaurants on the Sabbath? Isn't that a pagan celebration too?

    Not to worry because the very next day, November 1st, is All Souls' Day -- a religious day celebrated for centuries by that giant Christian Church that gets so much bad press from the ACoGs.

    And there are some who even say that the Feast of Tabernacles is of pagan origin. All I know it's not mentioned in Acts 15 nor did Abraham seem to keep it. I would suppose that if it were up to the PCG, all males would have to be circumcised before being allowed into the church. I'm not sure how a new contract can carry forward all the stuff from the old contract without any explicit mention of the requirements in the new.

    Nevertheless, I just can't see how the PCG could be a viable Christian organization: There's just no information on Redemption and Christ crucified with that lot. It's just paganism, power and money and I'm not sure that's very Christian.