Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Ambassador Watch Calls It a Day

Gavin Rumney has announced he will no longer be updating his Ambassador Watch blog.

Here I would like to express my deepest thanks and appreciation for his fine work critiquing Armstrongism which has been of inestimable help to so many struggling to make sense of what happened while believing in Armstrongism.

I wish Rumney well in dealing with his health issue and deeply hope for his quick recovery.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Mark Armstrong's Thanksgiving Message

Intercontinental Church of God's leader, Mark Armstrong, has released yet another one of his strange weekly updates. This one talks about Thanksgiving. Here he uses Thanksgiving to lambaste the current state of affairs and to condemn anti-Trump protesters.
We've come a long way, baby!  Have we not?  How does that beautiful expression of God's Hand in our personal existence and national behavior match up with all that we've seen and endured from current national leadership, from Congress, to the Supreme Court or the President, or for that matter, the behavior of their constituents?  It is doubtful that the protest crowds making “their voices heard” while abusing the freedom and safety of others have ever taken a single one of those sentiments to heart. 
Here he somehow manages to condemn the European Union, Muslim immigrants and labels the EU as socialist (whatever he means by that).
An unnerving report shows that the EU is attempting to rush ahead with the formulation of a European Army before Britain can legally pull the plug on EU membership (which is not due to begin until the end of March 2017) and thereby force the UK to fund the project to the tune of nearly a billion dollars.  But it's not the last of the punishments intended to be heaped upon the British for being so “bigoted and hateful” as to reject Europe's socialist Utopia in a sea of Muslim immigrants.  No, Europe's leaders intend to make sure that Britain pays dearly in a myriad of ways for rejecting the great wisdom of Angela Merkel and the entire EU bureaucracy.
He then talks about problems in the Middle East. Even though under President Obama the US government supplied 20% of the State of Israel's military expenditure as foreign aid and recently made a memorandum of understanding that increases this to 25% Mark Armstrong hysterically insists that the US government had virtually abandoned the State of Israel.
The Middle East has been treated as crucial to western interests for primarily two reasons, Israel and oil.  In recent years Israel, has suffered a virtual abandonment from its most historically generous benefactor, the United States.  That may be about to change under the incoming U. S. administration, but the situation, particularly regarding Iran may be substantially more dangerous than before.
He then praises fracking as keeping America economically afloat. There is no discussion of the various negative effects of fracking such as the social disruption accompanying it. Also it has often been speculated that fracking causes earthquakes as has recently been happening in Oklahoma. It is saddening to think that problems such as that may be expanded into east Texas now.

Surprisingly he includes a link to an article from Source Watch. Considering how far to the right he leans to politically it seems a bit unusual to see him referring to such a source.
On the subject of oil, the Middle East may be a much less critical a factor where the United States is concerned.  If not for the advent of fracking technology, and huge output from North and South Dakota, we might well be in much worse economic condition.  But maybe you've heard, vast oil reserves have just been discovered in west Texas that are more plentiful by far than anything ever seen before in the United States.  There is weeping and gnashing of teeth among crestfallen “save the planet” activists.  It looks like there might not be so much bowing and scraping at the feet of the Saudi royal family going forward.

That's one more fabulous blessing for which we can be very thankful.
May Texas stay safe from earthquakes whatever they are caused by.

PCG Used Fidel Castro to Scare Their Followers

Fidel Castro has passed away. Let's take a look at how PCG talked about him over the years.

This post is not about Fidel Castro or the one party society he created in Cuba. This post is about how PCG's leaders have used him to spread fear among their followers so that we can better understand how PCG's 1% are able to maintain the loyalty of their lay members.

They made their followers fear him by fixating on his relations with rivals of the United States.

Friendly gestures he made to the Vatican were presented as a sign that the Catholic Church would soon rise to great power there and in Latin America generally.

They insisted that he would have soon fallen due to economic pressure ignoring evidence to the contrary such as how the Castro regime's survived through the "special period" of the 1990s which PCG's leaders never bothered to discuss in their writings on their website dating back to 1998.

They stirred up painful memories of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Gerald Flurry even scare mongered that Castro may have been involved in the Kennedy assassination in his 2016 booklet, Great Again. (If so then why did the US government not publicize such information back then?)

PCG's leaders also used him to attack leftists they did not like revealing their alignment to the political right.

Criticism certainly deserves to be made especially when authorities make it difficult to share such feelings but one can scarcely imagine what could possibly justify the grotesque and uninformative ad hominen attack which talked of him in the following way while hypothetically wondering what would happen after his death: "the ailing dictator Castro finally yields his diseased body up to death." (Gareth Fraser and Ron Fraser, U.S. Enemies Align With Cuba to Claim Gulf Oil, January 3, 2007.)

There is no appeal to any kind of higher idealism with that statement. Referring to him as a "diseased body" does not say anything about his wrongs. That was a grotesque, crude and superfluous thing to say that does not treat political affairs with the seriousness they deserve.

Also worth noting is the instance of plagiarism in a March 2015 article by Gerald Flurry which plagiarized passages from an article by Jeremiah Jacques dated January 5, 2015. It is highlighted below,

Below is a compilation of writings by PCG's 1% using Fidel Castro as a prop to insist that their view of the world is correct and convince PCG's lay members that they are worthy of being followed. They include articles by Gerald Flurry, the late Ron Fraser, Gareth Fraser, Mark Jenkins, Jeremiah Jacques, Andrew Müller, Robert Morley, Richard Palmer. Stephen Flurry and Tyrel Schlote.


Watch for increasing initiatives from the EU to woo Cuba into the EU camp as Castro gradually loses his grip on that nation in his waning years. These will present, to that rising phoenix of the old Roman Empire, the prospect of plucking its ripest plum in Latin America from right on the doorstep of a United States increasingly revealing the signs of its decline. (Cuban Pawn, May 2001.)


Squeezed between the seemingly all-powerful United States to the north and the giant Catholic countries within the huge continent to its south, Fidel Castro’s Cuba has seemingly taken a most uncharacteristic, yet, given the economic and political circumstances, a most obvious, position. With U.S.-sanctioned embargoes limiting trade with North America, Castro must see the writing on the wall. ...

Preparing for the inevitable, Castro began easing formal restrictions on religious worship. In 1992, the Cuban government, officially atheist since 1962, declared it was now adopting a secular approach. The people immediately commenced a religious revival.

Castro visited the pope at the Vatican in November 1996. An invitation was issued to John Paul II to visit Cuba. The pope accepted, but on his terms, which included free movement, equal participation of the church in organizing the visit, and free expression of faith in services. Castro submitted to the pope’s demands.

As a gesture of goodwill to the Vatican, Castro re-introduced the Christmas holiday on December 25, 1997. Roman Catholic parishes in Havana were packed with worshipers that day. Church bells rang out in celebration all over Cuba. Two days later, Cardinal Jaime Ortega, archbishop of Havana and leader of the Catholic Church in Cuba, cried out to a gathering of 1,200 young, newly religious hopefuls, “In your search for sense in your life, look for a centering place: the Catholic Church.” Religious fervor increased the closer the Cubans got to January 21, 1998—the date of the pope’s arrival in Havana. (Ron Fraser, From Communism to Catholicism? May 2003,)


A year ago, the EU, which has continuously opposed the U.S. trade embargo against Fidel Castro’s Cuba, reached out to that island nation and opened an office in Havana. Already, the EU, Cuba’s most significant trading partner, accounts for 80 percent of Cuba’s imports. (Ron Fraser, The Other America, February 2004.)

Even in the tiny, deprived nation of Cuba, Fidel Castro fetes both Catholic and Orthodox leaders as he seeks a patron to finance Cuban development following the loss of aid from the old Soviet Union. Will it be the Catholic EU, or Orthodox Russia, that moves in once the aging dictator fades from the scene? Castro has enough of a mind for history to understand that unfashionable communism must be replaced by another ideology as an “opiate to the masses,” to steal a phrase from Karl Marx. (Ron Fraser, Return of the Religious War, May 2004.)

Since January 2003, Cuba’s trade with Brazil and Mercosur has doubled. The president of Brazil said that he favors trade with Latin American countries over the U.S. or the European Union. He and the president of Argentina have opposed the U.S. trade embargo of Cuba and want to increase their own trade with President Fidel Castro. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has made a point of putting his friendship with Castro in the public eye and painting the U.S. in the most wretched colors possible. The state-run oil firms of Brazil and Venezuela plan to begin construction on a $20 million lubricants factory in Cuba. (Trade Bloc Courts Communist Cuba, May 2005.)

Perhaps no other visit to that region demonstrated this more vividly than the pope’s call on Fidel Castro’s socialist state of Cuba. Unable to resist the power of John Paul’s charisma, Castro acceded to the pope’s request to reinstitute Christmas as a public holiday for the first time since the socialist revolution. Unprecedentedly, he permitted the live telecasting of John Paul’s papal mass delivered before an enthralled public, starved of religion, in Havana. (Ron Fraser, Karol Wojtyla: How He Set the Stage, June 2005.)

Consider also that Fidel Castro’s regime in Cuba might have collapsed by this point if not for the aid he has received from President Chavez. Without the Soviet Union to subsidize Cuban oil after the Cold War, Castro might not have been able to maintain his position without relief from Caracas. (Is Hugo Chavez a Threat?, March 3, 2006.)


A simple reading of international headlines would tell anyone that the U.S. has two main opponents in Latin America right now: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and the seemingly immortal Fidel Castro of Cuba. What might not be so evident is the support both countries have from China. ...

Latin American and African countries may be poor, but they are rich in resources, and China wants those assets. Right now, Beijing is systematically planting its feet in those regions. At the same time, the U.S. is being pushed out of Latin America by leftist leaders like Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro and the newly elected Bolivian president, Evo Morales. U.S. power is fading, and the Chinese are grabbing as much of that power as they can. (Mark Jenkins, China’s Quiet War, April 2006.)


Commentators missed the real news in their observations on this EU/Latin America summit. They failed to see that despite the posturing of petty despots such as Chavez, Morales and their aging mentor, President Fidel Castro of Cuba, the trend is fixed. Inevitably there will exist a trade nexus between the European Union and Latin America. (Ron Fraser, The Religion Factor, August 2006.)


During the Cold War, this man brought the world to the brink of hot war by allowing America’s enemy to install nuclear missiles in his island nation. The country: Cuba; the leader: Fidel Castro.

Do we really want Latin American leaders to emulate Castro?

That is exactly the direction things seem to be heading. Consider Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Without this man’s support, Castro’s regime in Cuba might have collapsed by now. Having lost the Soviet Union’s subsidization of oil after the Cold War, Castro found relief from Caracas. Perhaps the best example of what is happening to Latin America as a region is embodied in this man who would remake Latin America in Cuba’s image. (Mark Jenkins, Latin America Swings Left, August 2006.)


So personal to Kirchner is the issue that he has gone so far as to enlist the support of other left-leaning leaders in South America such as Cuba’s Fidel Castro and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez. Kirchner’s quest for sovereignty over the Falklands, according to Buenos Aires-based political analyst Rosendo Fraga, has evolved from being an issue of mere sovereignty for Argentina to one that is “provid[ing] a rallying point to gather left-leaning Latin American governments into an anti-colonial bloc” (Guardian, June 30). (The Anti-colonialists, September 2006.)

Then there is Fidel Castro—that perennial gadfly of the U.S.—whose poor health has left Cuba’s future uncertain. (Joel Hilliker, Crisis Overload, October 2006.)

Whether by design or circumstance, this huge indebtedness of Cuba to Venezuela has placed Chavez in a strong position to heavily influence the political outcome in Havana when the ailing dictator Castro finally yields his diseased body up to death. (Gareth Fraser and Ron Fraser, U.S. Enemies Align With Cuba to Claim Gulf Oil, January 3, 2007.)

Critics say Chavez’s actions are a continuing threat to democracy, and that the president is trying to model Venezuela after Cuba. Chavez and Cuban dictator Fidel Castro are good friends. (Chavez Calls for Changes to Consitution, August 16, 2007.)

Cuba’s oldest despot, Fidel Castro, raised eyebrows this week with an announcement that he is ready to take a reduced role in running Cuba. The most interesting reaction came from Spiegel Online: “German opinion on the Communist leader’s announcement was united on one front: the chance for Germany and Europe to take action on Cuba is now.” Watch for relations between Latin America and Europe, with Germany as its economic hub, to improve. (The Week in Review, December 22, 2007.)

Fidel Castro on Saturday scoffed at the idea of major political change after Cuba’s parliament chooses a new president. Writing on the front page of the Communist Party Granma, the 81-year-old Castro, who announced his retirement after 49 years as head of Cuba on Tuesday, laughed at suggestions in news reports that his retirement would pave the way for political changes. It’s almost as though “Comrade Fidel” has an inside track on how his brother might run Cuba. (Stephen Flurry, The Weekend Web, February 24, 2008.)

The moment the U.S. awaited for 50 years finally arrived: On February 19, Cuban despot Fidel Castro announced his resignation. Ever since Castro brought the world to the brink of war by allowing the USSR to install nuclear missiles in his island nation, he has been the poster boy for anti-Americanism. He has also inspired a host of imitators in Latin America, including Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Bolivian President Evo Morales. The Cuban National Assembly gave the reins of power to Fidel’s 76-year-old brother Raul, guaranteeing no substantial change in the direction of the country for the present. (WorldWatch, April 2008.)

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter concluded a nine-day tour of the Middle East on Monday, during which he met with Hamas leaders Khalid Mashaal and Nasser Shaer, and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, among other terrorists and terrorist sponsors. This is simply the latest in a long line of foreign-policy initiatives by Carter that have helped legitimize and strengthen America’s enemies, dating back to his own presidency when he aided the likes of Fidel Castro, Robert Mugabe and North Korea. (The Week in Review, April 26, 2008.)

It is worth remembering that, before he was elected, Mr. Obama received notable if unwanted endorsements from North Korea’s Kim Jong Il, Cuba’s Fidel Castro, and number-two Hezbollah leader Sheik Naim al-Kassim (who said a vote for Obama was a step toward “peace with Islam”). (Joel Hilliker, Can He Deliver?, January 2009.)


In June last year, the European Union agreed to lift limited sanctions against Cuba. As the Wall Street Journal reported at the time, this was “a hotly contested move designed to encourage the country’s new government under Raul Castro to liberalize. [T]he move was a victory for Cuba and put the EU at odds with U.S. policy” (June 20, 2008).

This move by the EU came only three months after the Vatican suddenly appeared on the scene as the very first of the murderous Raul Castro’s guests. Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone touched down in Havana just one day after Cuban leader Fidel Castro announced the end to his 49-year reign of terror. Time magazine observed that this was “perfect timing for the Vatican, which is aiming to play a central role in the island nation’s transition into what many hope will be a post-Communist future” (February 20).

Was there a connection between the Vatican’s early endorsement of Raul Castro’s regime and the lifting of EU sanctions?

Join the dots! (Ron Fraser, Reaching Out to Our Enemies,  April 20, 2009.)


The very fact that Russia’s President Medvedev and Cuba’s Fidel Castro lauded the awarding of this much-sullied prize to the American president does little to install confidence in those (such as Poland and the world’s whipping boy, the tiny nation of Israel) who once looked upon America as their protector and the defender of peace in an increasingly shaky, disorderly world. (Ron Fraser, Nobel Appeasement Prize, October 12, 2009.)

President Obama has found an unexpected—and perhaps unwelcome—supporter for his agenda: Fidel Castro. “The extreme right hates him [President Obama] for being African-American and fights what the president does to improve the deteriorated image of that country,” the former Cuban president wrote in his state newspaper column on August 25. “I don’t have the slightest doubt that the racist right will do everything possible to wear him down, blocking his program to get him out of the game one way or another, at the least political cost.” Clearly, Castro knows a socialist agenda when he sees one. (WorldWatch, November-December 2009.)

Fidel Castro said Washington’s plan to establish military bases in Colombia amounts to the annexation of Colombia and that the people would oppose it. (WorldWatch, November 14, 2009.)

While successive U.S. presidential administrations have been ignoring Cuba for decades, Pope Benedict XVI and his Vatican hierarchy have been working behind the scenes to collaborate with Havana to combat the U.S.-led embargo and to support the Cuban government’s incremental economic reforms. This strategy is now paying off for the Vatican, as the Castro regime has recently come to recognize the Catholic Church as a legitimate interlocutor between the government and the Cuban people. Given this new recognition and the advanced age of both Castro brothers, Archbishop of Havana Jaime Ortega may soon emerge as a major power broker shaping the post-Castro destiny of the island. (Andrew Müller, America Is Losing the Battle of the Caribbean, December 26, 2012.)

On Friday, Putin visited communist revolutionary and former Cuban leader Fidel Castro in Havana to reignite relations with the communist island. Russia’s history with Cuba is no secret. Some of the most tense moments in the 20th century centered on relations between the Soviet Union and Cuba. At the height of the Cold War, the Cuban missile crisis brought the world as close as it’s ever been to nuclear war. Cuba was the Soviet launchpad into the United States. (Tyrel Schlote, Putin Works to Rekindle USSR, July 16, 2014.)


[Note the plagiarism that occurs in the following two quotes. The passages in question are highlighted.]

Critics of American foreign policy in general and of the United States’ embargo of Cuba in particular have a tendency to romanticize Cuba’s ruling regime. That is a grave error. Under the Castros, the people of Cuba have suffered political terror and rampant human rights abuse. Fidel and Raúl have run the nation like a totalitarian police state, and they continue to model it after its former patron: the Soviet Union. Cubans are the only people in the Western hemisphere who haven’t been able to elect a leader in more than 55 years.

When Russia and Venezuela, the main sponsors of the Castro regime, started reeling in 2014 due to plummeting oil prices, it looked as if the corrupt Castro government might finally collapse. Such a collapse could have paved the way for democracy to prevail on the island. What the Castro brothers needed to survive was an economic lifeline from the United States.

That is exactly what the pope delivered. As a bonus, it bestowed international legitimacy upon their government. (Jeremiah Jacques, Why Did Pope Francis Push for a U.S.-Cuba Thaw?, January 5, 2015.)


Critics of American foreign policy in general and of the U.S. embargo of Cuba tend to romanticize Cuba’s ruling regime. That is a serious error! Under the Castros, the people of Cuba have suffered political terror and human rights abuses. Fidel and Raúl Castro have run the nation as a totalitarian police state, and they continue to model it after the Soviet Union. Cubans are the only people in the Western Hemisphere who haven’t been able to elect a leader in more than 55 years.

When Russia and Venezuela, the main sponsors of the Castro regime, started suffering in the last few months due to falling oil prices, it looked as if the Castro government could finally collapse. That could have paved the way for democracy to finally prevail for Cubans. What the Castro brothers needed in order to survive was an economic lifeline from their enemy, the United States. And that is exactly what the pope and President Obama delivered. The deal also gave their criminal government international legitimacy. (Gerald Flurry, The Deadly Dangerous U.S.-Cuba Deal, March 2015.)


“I had before me a man who made history,” said French President François Hollande after meeting former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. That’s a curiously positive response to a meeting with the man who could well have ended history had the Cuban Missile Crisis gone down a little differently. But it is typical of the positive response Cuba is getting from Europe right now.

The world is going through a kind of “Cuban spring.” Except not much is actually changing in the nation’s dictatorial government. Instead, other nation’s attitudes toward Cuba are thawing. (Richard Palmer, Courting Cuba—The EU Is Eager to Move In, May 15, 2015.)


But in 1964, he [Pierre Trudeau] made it to the Communist island, gaining an audience with Fidel Castro. The two later became close friends. At Trudeau’s funeral in 2000, a frail and ailing Fidel made an unprecedented trip to Canada to be an honorary pallbearer. Justin Trudeau’s mother recounted how Castro would get drool marks on his shirts while pacifying the younger Trudeau boys on his shoulder during the family’s visits to Cuba. A Canadian ambassador to Cuba said that Pierre Trudeau and Fidel Castro were fast friends and “intellectual soul mates.” (Robert Morley, Like Father, Like Son?, January 2016.)

The Castro regime in Cuba has a half century of history of collaborating with Russia, Iran, Syria, North Korea and a myriad of authoritarian regimes that seek the downfall of America. Along with President Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran, the thawing of relations with Cuba will likely be remembered as one of the premiere diplomatic feats of his presidency! (Andrew Müller, Can Americans Finally Trust Communist Cuba?, March 24, 2016.)


Did the Castro brothers have a big hand in assassinating the U.S. president? I’m not saying that happened, but with this report it certainly seems like you could make a strong case for it. ...

Do you suppose the Soviets and the Castros were wrathful against John F. Kennedy? His administration ruined a plan that would have either held America at nuclear gunpoint—or would have destroyed it in gigantic nuclear balls of fire! I would think that would make them very angry and revengeful! Just over a year later, Kennedy was dead. (Gerald Flurry, Great Again, Chapter 3, 2016.)


And so it may be seen that PCG's 1% used Fidel Castro to prop up their tapestry of beliefs among their followers to maintain the loyalty of the lay members.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Overview of the January 2017 Issue of PCG's Philadelphia Trumpet

Like the little boy who cried wolf PCG's 1% is crying race war.

PCG has released another issue of their recruitment magazine to try and get more people to become tithes paying members of PCG. Let's see what they have to say after Donald Trump's victory in the presidential election.

The editors are listed as Gerald Flurry, Stephen Flurry, Joel Hilliker, Brad MacDonald, Richard Palmer, Robert Morley, Jeremiah Jacques, Dennis Leap and Phillip Nice.

The cover is illustrated by Gary Dorning.

Circulation is listed as 267,992 issues.

Gerald Flurry has an editorial insinuating that some sort of "race war" may be launched by African Americans. He denounces Van Jones, President Obama, Al Sharpton, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders complaining that the left do not like president elect Trump.

Here is Gerald Flurry denouncing Van Jones.
That is wild fear-mongering! What is this man talking about? The only people who might be somewhat uncertain after Mr. Trump’s victory are those who have broken the law and are in America illegally. Mr. Trump said he would actually enforce existing immigration laws passed by Congress—which is the president’s duty! But for Van Jones, supposedly this is a “nightmare”! (p. 1.)
He cries that "race war" is coming as he has often done since 1992 if not earlier. He even calls Van Jones' words "diabolical" comparing these words to Satan.
Van Jones is expressing the deepest kind of diabolical black racism. And CNN is helping him spread it! ... This is the kind of vile language we have heard over and over and over that has stirred up terrible bitterness and anger among minorities against this country! This kind of incitement is dividing the races all the more—and is leading to RACE WAR! (p. 1.)
Gerald Flurry denounces President Obama yet again.
However, just three days earlier, the day before the election, President Obama had been on a campaign stage shouting that Mr. Trump was “temperamentally unfit to be commander in chief”! He even implied that HE SYMPATHIZES WITH THE KU KLUX KLAN, a horrible, racist organization. President Obama was calling Trump a racist! This same president hired Van Jones and chose Al Sharpton as his main “civil rights” liaison man. (pp. 1-2.)
Gerald Flurry also denounces Al Sharpton.
Al Sharpton said, “[W]e are not going down without a fight, and Donald need [sic] to know that.” Liberal celebrities said similar things.
What kind of “fight” is Mr. Sharpton talking about? (p. 2.)
This seems to allude to PCG's false prophecy of "race war."

He insists that "many people" want a "race war."
Clearly there are many people who want a fight—a revolution—a race war! And they are going to get it—and a whole lot more! (p. 2.)
He even insists that the Bible talks about this future "race war."
The Bible is full of passages describing what is about to happen to America. I have written a number of articles showing how a race war is prophesied. ... You cannot understand the seriousness of this threat unless you know the Bible! (p. 2.)
He shrilly insists that "civil war and anarchy" will soon come to the United States.
Donald Trump’s win is a prophetic sign of impending civil war and anarchy, followed by America’s worst military defeat ever! (p. 17.)
Joel Hilliker has an article in which he scare mongers about the media and non-whites for not liking the election of Trump to the presidency.

Even though many white Americans proudly support the Democratic Party here Hilliker implies that "non-whites" are "launching a "violent backlash ... against ... whites in general" somehow ignoring the many white Americans in the Democratic Party and who have participated in the anti-Trump protests.
This is also the logic by which the media blamed Mr. Trump personally for a handful of post-election incidents where apparent Trump supporters expressed white-supremacist sentiment or committed crimes against minorities—yet the same media remained completely silent about the violent backlash among non-whites against Mr. Trump, his followers and whites in general. (p. 4.)
He also condemns the widespread condemnation and disgust concerning Trump's 2005 recording as hypocritical. He does not defend Trump's comments calling them "wrong and unacceptable" (pp. 5-6). However he chooses to condemn others condemnation of Trump's comments by condemning the widespread practice of sexual behavior contrary to PCG dogma but astoundingly he fails to address the issue of consent concerning those comments. It is intriguing how PCG never wrote an article discussing Trump's 2005 recording until after he won the election. (It was discussed on PCG's radio station but not in an easily available article on the internet.)

While condemning liberals he condemns Big Sean, Chance the Rapper, J. Cole, Jay Z and Beyoncé for having lyrics he disapproves of. Intriguing how Flurry and Hilliker keep fixating on African Americans while denouncing the Democratic Party.
The weekend before the election, Hillary Clinton held a hip-hop-themed “get out the vote” fund-raiser. Performers included rappers like Big Sean, Chance the Rapper, J. Cole and Jay Z. Search any of their lyrics in any of their songs. At the concert, Big Sean rapped about women being whores and objects to gratify himself, describing chauvinistic sex acts in a torrent of vulgar misogyny. Jay Z (a darling of the left; President Obama has invited him to the White House several times) spilled out profanities, rapping about men and women and sex, for men using the n-word, and for women the b-word. His wife, Beyoncé, performed “Formation,” a song full of vulgar sex language. This song’s music video hints at a racist government conspiracy during Hurricane Katrina; she and her backup dancers performed it at the Super Bowl dressed to evoke the Black Panthers, an armed black nationalist Communist organization. (p. 5.)
He makes the following condemnation of people who speak out against wrongs in society.
Biblical values like hard work, personal accountability, parental responsibility, self-sacrifice, respect for the elderly, honesty and integrity have been shoved aside. In fact, some of these virtues are actually labeled as “microaggressive” “code words” for, you guessed it, racism. In their stead we have embraced new standards and expectations: government welfare, blaming society for personal failure, following your heart, self-actualization and personal fulfillment, exalting youth, manipulating the system and knowing how to play the game.

Biblical instruction in letting offenses go and living peaceably with all men is now passé. Today’s virtues include being hypersensitive to offenses, nurturing a sense of victimhood, speaking out at even the slightest grievances, and demanding personal rights. The scriptural injunction to forgive and forget, to turn the other cheek, to let the man who took your cloak take your coat also, is seen as weakness. Today’s social justice warriors insist that the more righteous path is the warpath. Peace can only be achieved through revolution—bloody if necessary. (p. 6.)
He somehow ignores how PCG gets a sort of "government welfare" by not being taxed. He insists that one is to "to forgive and forget, to turn the other cheek, to let the man who took your cloak take your coat also" and yet PCG practices the shunning of its ex-members and the members of the other COG groups who are demonized as "Laodiceans."

Stephen Flurry and Richard Palmer have an article scare mongering that Trump's victory will make Europe go on its way to eventually conquer the United States.

While discussing this topic they condemn Chancellor Merkel as not giving complete support to president elect Trump.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Europe’s de facto leader, offered only conditional cooperation with the new U.S. president. ... Yet now Germany’s leader offers only tepid conditional support for an incoming U.S. president! (p. 7.)
Tyrel Schlote has an article discussing what Trump's victory may mean for Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Russia and China.

Joel Hilliker also has an article telling people not to give in to their emotions.

Andrew Müller has an article scare mongering about Christians in the United States being persecuted. Elsewhere PCG insists that everyone outside of PCG are not real Christians but that message is left out in this article.

The infographic praises grit as a way to success.

Brent Nagtegaal has an article denouncing the recent UNESCO resolution about East Jerusalem. It is not mentioned that the 161 nation states which recognize the State of Israel view East Jerusalem as occupied territory because it was acquired during the Six Day War of 1967. They recognize the State of Israel as having the right to rule its 1949-67 borders. This is why the United States, Britain, Australia and many other governments have their embassies in Tel Aviv instead of Jerusalem.

Jeremiah Jacques has an article discussing the problem of criminal gangs. He could complain about poverty, illegal drugs and guns however he complains about hip-hop music and includes a condemnation of Black Lives Matter protesters.
The appeal of gangs is further multiplied by society’s glamorization of them. The U.S.’s second most popular music genre is hip-hop. Its subgenres include narco-rap, mafioso rap, horrorcore, and gangsta rap. In many inner city communities, it would be unusual for a young person to listen to any music other than hip-hop. ...
Why is gang culture and the music that promotes it off limits for criticism? Why do prominent politicians—most notably President Barack Obama—endorse the music of Jay Z and others who glorify thug life? Gang culture brings suffering and death to hundreds of times more people than police misconduct does. Why don’t people rally against that with the same kind of persistence and force? (p. 23.)
He also scare mongers about "race riots".
The “whole head is sick” refers to the corrupt and intellectually diseased leadership of the U.S. The “whole heart faint” means the general population is in the same condition. “Neither the leaders nor their followers have the will or the strength to get to the roots of race riots or terrorist attacks and solve them once and for all,” Mr. Flurry writes. “Their ‘heart’ is so weak and unhealthy that the governmental system is about to ‘faint,’ or collapse!” (p. 24.)
Jorg Madian has an article discussing thyroid disorder.

Josué Michels has an article talking about electronic currencies. He ends with scare mongering about the Mark of the Beast.

WorldWatch has several little articles. One talks about the Catholic Church participating in a joint service with Lutherans to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation next year. This is used to ludicrously scare monger that ecumenism will be used by the Catholic Church to engineer a forced takeover of the Protestant Churches.

Another article talks about the Vatican's attempt to mediate in Venezuela.

Another article talks about Wallonia's attempt to prevent the passage of a free trade treaty between the European Union and Canada.

Another article talks about NATO's military build up in the Baltic states and Romania.

Another article talks about the rise of the Pirate Party in Iceland.

Another article scare mongers about Iran's influence with the Houthis in Yemen with little mention of the severe humanitarian crisis underway in Yemen as a result of its tragic civil war.

Another article scare mongers about increasing investments from China in the European Union.

Another article discusses strained relations between the United States and the Philippines.

And one last article discusses the unveiling of a new intercontinental ballistic missile by Russia.

SocietyWatch has three little articles. One article accuses African American students in the University of Southern California of reintroducing segregation.

Another article talks about several states legalizing recreational marijuana and medical marijuana.

And one last article scare mongers that many American men are no longer seeking employment.

Joel Hilliker also has a little article calling upon those who wish to be leaders in their lives to first lead themselves.

Andrew Müller also has an article scare mongering that the United States is more divided than it has been since the Civil War.

There are also letters. One letter praises PCG's recruitment magazine as being worthy of being taught in University.
Thank you for this great article.... I think the reason Europe will “rediscover its Christian identity” is the push by Islam and Islamic terrorism. The reaction is already occurring, especially after the latest terrorist attacks in Belgium, France and Germany. Europeans do not want to live with the threat of terrorism, and they will eventually rally around the Catholic Church and demand it react to this threat! I wish universities provided history courses as informative as Trumpet articles. (p. 34.)
Disturbingly there are also letters complaining about pharmaceutical companies and one letter from North Carolina complains that his doctor misdiagnosed him. Unfortunately Armstrongism has a long and shameful history of promoting anti-medicine superstitions that have led to followers refusing to see doctors or take necessary medicines. This doctrine of death was first taught by HWA and PCG has shamefully continued to promote this dangerous doctrine. It is all too easy to imagine talk like that may sway people exposed to such ideas to neglect their health.

And so we see that PCG's 1% continues to try and get more people to join their group and to begin paying the three tithes to the organization.

Considering that the Republican Party has just gained the presidency and renewed majorities in Congress and the Senate it must be wondered by PCG's 1% would choose to now scare monger about "race war" and "race riots" in which it is implied that African Americans will soon launch riots against the white majority?

Perhaps PCG's 1% are scared that having the Republican Party gained such a strong hand in the legislature will make their predominantly right wing leaning members relax and think to themselves, Our situation is not so bad now after all. No longer having a Democratic Party president to blame such members might no longer worry about Washington and start looking at the situation among themselves instead. Getting them scared of African Americans launching a "race war" or "race riot" against the white majority would make the members less inclined to look among themselves.

Mark Armstrong Complains Again

Mark Armstrong has yet another weekly update released. It is yet another concoction of complaints, fear of immigrants, Muslims, gays, transgender people, left wing students, He complains about those who did not vote for Trump and scare mongers that the anti-Trump protests are but a prelude to something far worse.
Half of the population of the United States is up in arms over the results of the recent presidential election, at least that is what mainstream news coverage is trying to convey.  Nearly two weeks after the results were announced, the anger and resentment is still palpable.  CNN anchors and some of their panelists express a steady stream of outrage that people have been “offended” and “insulted” by statements or actions of the president-elect or his top appointees and advisors.  (If they're insulted and offended now, wait until pro-American policies begin to be introduced in early 2017.)  There's a good chance that current outbursts on live television and big demonstrations in major cities and universities are a mere rehearsal for what lies ahead.
He describes possible moves by the Trump Administration as "pro-American policies" implying that American leftists are somehow not supportive of America.

He gleefully notes how some Americans are distressed at Trump's victory. He could choose to offer advice to such people and be kind and comforting to them. He does not do so.

This section also originally contained a link to an article from Breitbart Media, a far right media outlet that has gained more attention due to the involvement of its former boss, Steven Bannon, with the Trump campaign.
Dozens of universities are choked with protesters.  We've heard reports of universities holding “cry-ins,” distributing coloring books and Play Doh, even supplying therapy dogs to change the subject and lighten the atmosphere for students traumatized by the shock of their election loss.  Some of these stories seemed too unbelievable to take seriously, but a little research showed that they've been reported by a slew of believable sources.  It also showed something else, and that is that puppies and therapy dogs have been walked up and down the halls of Congress, visiting the offices of crestfallen representatives who were either defeated in their bids to retain office or were suffering the shock of Madam Clinton's catastrophe.
Then he scare mongers about Chancellor Merkel to say that she is continuing to plot some sort of "globalist" conspiracy. (Whatever he means by that.) He approvingly talks of parties "that resent the loss of their heritage, culture and their streets to Muslim immigrants." One wonders how are Europeans losing their heritage and culture exactly? And why does he only talk about Muslim immigrants as though they are the only problematic people worth addressing?
Meanwhile the current president is in Germany visiting with his political soul-mate, Angela Merkel of Germany and a slew of EU heads of state.  They're trying to figure out a strategy to rescue their “globalist” agenda amid the populist uprising that brought about Britain's vote to leave the European Union, the election of a pro-American president, and the rise of numerous parties and movements across Europe that resent the loss of their heritage, culture and their streets to Muslim immigrants.  What is the “globalist” agenda?  If you look it up you'll find it described as a conspiracy theory, and some have obviously driven themselves over the edge on the subject.
Some have driven themselves over the edge over this supposed globalist agenda? What does those words mean?

He then insists that climate change is not happening and complains about accepting refugees and asylum seekers.
But some aspects are undeniable.  Is there any doubt that recent and current leaders all over the world have pushed the panic button over the highly suspect theory of global warming?  Have they not arm-twisted or bribed nearly every developed nation and third world backwater into signing pledges that would bind them to “carbon emission” limits for ever and ever?  Have they not spoken as if with a single voice (following pope Francis' lead) that refugees and “asylum seekers” even from the most terror wracked hotbeds, are now the primary “Christian” responsibility?  Have they not doubled down on so-called “discrimination” against the “rights” of every conceivable nut-case and mutant? 
He then insists that Christians like himself are being persecuted.
We all have to wonder what lies ahead.  Numerous entities and institutions have enacted all manner of “politically correct” rules and policies that have led to firings and public shaming of anyone ignorant enough to say, post a verse of scripture, deny global warming or utter a sentiment or word deemed defamatory to someone's “gender orientation” or whatever.  You don't suppose it might become safe again for councilors or military chaplains to refer to God's Word as guidance sometime in the near future?  No doubt there will be howls of “Christian bigotry” and discrimination against people who are insulted by the very concept that anyone would actually believe in God or the sanctity of His Word.
He scare mongers that Muslims among the refugees are calling for the overthrow of Western civilization. He accuses Muslim immigrants of being "unruly". There seems to be little regard that these people are desperate and many of them had fled the cataclysmic war that has been raging there since 2011.
Europe is festooned with would-be, wannabe terrorists and we've got more than our share now in every state of the union.  They're preaching the overthrow of western civilization in the refugee camps across Europe.  That warning just came from a lady who's been volunteering to provide services to that population.  Great Britain is grappling with an unruly Muslim immigrant population, and facing a torrent of anger from leaders of the EU who set quotas for hundreds of thousands more to be brought in.
He ends his weekly update scare mongering that Europe will soon arise to conquer the United States just before Christ's return.
Loony, destructive and self-righteous as their dictates have been, another kind of authoritarian European coalition will be formed out of the ashes of the EU according to Bible prophecy.  It may come about due to economic necessity from the collapse of the euro, which many European observers see as a virtual certainty.  We may be glad to see some of these haughty buffoons brought down next year, as elections play out around the European continent.  But as history has shown, and the Bible predicts, the pendulum can swing way too far.
And so even though his preferred candidate had just won the presidential he gives his followers more doom and gloom.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

HWA Ruined the Abstention from Unclean Meats

Recently Arutz Sheva's CEO related a story of what happened to him while he was serving in the Israel Defense Force.
At some point during my mandatory military service, I and several other soldiers were sent from our base to another, small base. Three of us were religious and the rest – secular. Once we arrived, we realized that the kitchen was not kosher. There was no doubt about it. 
We did what naïve religious soldiers do in such situations. We called our company commander, vowed that we would not set foot in the dining room until it had been made kosher by a certified representative of the Military Rabbinate, whose job itis to see that the IDF kitchens are kosher, and asked him to supply us with an alternative food source.
The officer then ordered them to eat there anyway. Following his religion the soldier refused.
Now it was his turn to be shocked. "Are you refusing an order? If you do not enter the dining room, I will court martial you," he threatened. 
"I am not refusing anything," I replied. "But I will not go into the dining room, even if you decide to court martial me and my comrades."
Fortunately that threat faded away.
It was not easy, but it was very clear to us. An order that contravenes halakha [commandment] must not be followed, and if the price to pay is a military trial and punishment, so be it. Halakha comes first. The end of the story, by the way, was that we received combat rations that very evening, the kitchen was made kosher the next day, thanks to us, and the threat of a court martial was not mentioned again.
Reading this story I could not help but think of how cruel and oppressive it was that HWA ordered his followers to adhere to his understanding of what meats were not to be eaten. His followers have often requested that staff at restaurants make their food in a particular way. They think that doing so will adhere to what HWA and Co. have taught.

But among observant Jews they simply do not eat any meat that is not kosher. If such persons see that a dining room does not meet kosher standards they simply not eat there at all. Jews wishing to observe these religious traditions have an entire community to help them observe these religious traditions. There are institutions to help them observe these religious traditions that are precious to them.

But when HWA ordered his followers he probably did not know about these things. HWA's followers had no supporting community like that to help observe such things. HWA blithely took his selective ideas to his followers. Any differences between what Jews observed and what HWA taught were dismissed as added traditions that HWA's followers did not need to observe. In doing so they were imitating Jewish practice but only to a small degree as decided by HWA. This practice is mutually demeaning to HWA's followers and to Jews whose precious religious traditions had been crudely imitated in a demeaning fashion by HWA without their permission.

It is terrible that HWA imposed this burden upon his followers by culturally appropriating the abstention of unclean meats as decided by himself. There is no need for HWA's followers to observe these things. It is clear that HWA was never used by God. Also it seems to me that it would be more respectful to Jews to simply leave this practice alone and leave it for them to observe alone.

Arutz Sheva Writer Talks of "Barbarians" in the Middle East

One media outlet that the COGs tend to use is Arutz Sheva.  It is a right wing media outlet that caters for national religious Israeli Jews. It is based in Beit El, an Israeli settlement in the West Bank. It caters to a particular audience that most Jews are not a part of.

It is often quoted by PCG and to a somewhat lesser extent by UCGLCG and RCG. It is never criticized by the COGs. The COGs trust Arutz Sheva. They have never bothered explaining to their readers the political stances Arutz Sheva tend to take. Unfortunately the COGs tend to only quote what they find useful for their purposes. Anything else is ignored. Let's take a look at what else is written in this media outlet that the COGs' 1% are not inclined to discuss.

One Arutz Sheva columnist recently wrote an article that mentioned a 2014 novel which discusses the genocide against Armenians, Assyrians and other minorities in the Ottoman Empire during World War I. Using this novel the author comments about current affairs in the Middle East. Alas, many collaborated in the frightful acts associated with the genocide. This post focuses the Arutz Sheva columnist's discussion of present events.
The powers-that-be's apathy allowed what has happened over the past few years in the Middle East to Yazidis, Christians and other hapless minorities. It is the only way to understand the world's standing by, Obama welcoming Muslim migrants but not rescuing or opening the doors to Yazidis, the Pope's deafening silence, the West's late intervention. 
Actually there are reasons why the Christians of those areas are less inclined to be refugees fleeing to Europe.

The author takes a swipe at the idealistic regard for the common humanity of all humankind.
Any naïve and liberal humanistic thoughts of the brotherhood of man should disappear after reading this book – a true story, except for details of conversations and some names - of a well-to-do Assyrian Christian family living in a close knit, religious community in the beautiful plain of Urmia at the outbreak of WWI. 
The author declares that the Middle East has been a home to "barbarians ... since the beginning of time."
The eye opener, for my Western eyes at least, is the part played by the Kurds. They are the mass murderers in this book, the wild savages who join the Turks and mercilessly torture and slaughter anything in their path. During WWI they were on the other side, murdering peaceful Assyrians, but today they are fighting ISIS, so we talk sympathetically about giving them a country. While independence for the Kurds may be a feasible plan, it is important to realize how the Kurds themselves are seen here to be no different than all the other barbarians the region has spawned since the beginning of time.
Then the author manages to praise earlier immigrants to America while lambasting present day immigrants to America at the same time.
The family story taking place within the historical saga is heartbreaking, because Joe David is actually setting down the life story of his own mother, the young girl who is the main character in the book and whose sheltered life is cruelly destroyed. She ... manages to reach the United States – and for the right reasons - quite a different kind of migrant from those we witness today – becomes a patriotic American in heart and soul and raises her courageous, moral voice to fight for freedom and affect US history.
The author expresses hope that president elect Trump will stand up against such "barbarians".
President elect Trump will soon have to deal with the barbarians who have risen once again in the Middle East –  ISIS, Hamas and all the rest. Hopefully, he has learned the lessons of history and will be a leader who remembers those innocents of every origin whose lives are on the line.
And who are "all the rest"? Is it proper to be so vague about accusing people in the Middle East of being "barbarians"? Would that include Kurds today? Many of the Kurds today fight against the criminal network known as ISIL. However the vast majority of Kurds today were born after the genocide against the Assyrians and had nothing to do with it.

Should the COGs' leaders trust a media source like this?

Monday, November 21, 2016

PCG Bans Smartphones for Students

In 2015 PCG's leader, Gerald Flurry, banned smartphones for students at Imperial Academy and the unaccredited Herbert W. Armstrong College. This was mentioned in a recent article by Stephen Flurry.
A teacher at our K-12 school, Imperial Academy, told me recently that many of his students fail to consistently turn in their daily homework assignments. That is alarming. Early last year, my father, who founded Imperial Academy and Armstrong College, found it necessary to ban smartphones for students at both schools. If you are a parent of an Imperial or Armstrong student, do you diligently enforce this ruling? Do you supervise your child’s Internet usage? (Stephen Flurry, God’s Interest in Our Young People, November 16, 2016.)
PCG has long had a reputation for authoritarian behavior. This ban against smartphones for PCG's students is yet further evidence for this.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

PCG Readers Respond to Trump's Election

On November 9, 2016 PCG's Joel Hilliker posted an article discussing Trump's election as president. It prompted some comments. Let's take a look at some of these comments.

Here's one comment insisting that HWA's book promoting the false dogma of British Israelism is somehow "more up to date now" than what this commenter first read it back in the late 1970s.
I read US & BP in the late 70’s and it is more up to date now than ever. What an honor to be able to offer this book for free to those who want understanding and direction of world events now! Great article!
British Israelism was false then. It is false today.

Here's one comment mockingly referring to Obama as the messiah of the left.
The left had their Messiah in Mr Obama and now those on the right are about to receive the same lesson. The message that God is giving us?
‘Cursed be the man that trusts in man’
Here's one comment worrying that Trump will have his hands tied.
the answer to what will change? the answer to that lies in what type of power he has at the top for starters we know hes talked about being more pro Russia pro Putin so we can assume he lifts sanctions on Russia or moves to a more friendly Russia tone 
second what type of budget will he have to work with? no matter WHAT he wants to do he wont have the budget to expand miltary spending because of entitlements if he does expand the miltary expect not trillion dollar deficits but multi trillion dollar deficits 
no matter what he wants to do his hands are truly tied
Here's one comment from one who had been reading PCG's articles "for well over a decade" complaining why PCG's leaders are negative about Trump.
I have been a reading articles here at the Trumpet for well over a decade, and greatly appreciate the vast Biblical knowledge I have learned here. Its incredible that even many Christians are out of touch with True Christianity. The things like Easter is a pagan god, Saturday is the last day of the week, and Christmas trees are a pagan symbol as well.
I know we should NOT trust in man, but trust in God.
When Paul was seized he declared his Roman Citizenship.
Why is the Trumpet so negative on President Elect Trump? Why don’t we declare prayers for him to guide our Nation? Are we just supposed to lay down and die and hand the keys over to a life long corrupt Clinton. At least Mr Trump says he will not fund planned parenthood. Law and order. Look at the black community, especially here in Chicago, it is total chaos and about 50 shootings every weekend. Am I not supposed to try to help My Country ( descendant of Abraham ) to be more Godly?
Do you even know how much heroin is pouring into this country from the open border we have with Mexico? Giving Billions of dollars to Iran. Intrusion on my religious liberty And I certainly believe Mr. Trump will NOT light the White House up in gay lighting! . I could go on and on, but I won’t.
Look at the other Republican candidates we had to choose from. Look at Romney. These candidates were so weak and we know it takes a strong leader. 
Until Almighty God establishes his rule here we have to try.
Now step up to the plate” trumpet” and pray for president elect trump.
Here's one comment lambasting President Obama's support for gay and transgender Americans.
The gay lighting of the WH and the bathroom issue made me shake my head in wonder at what America had come to .
Here's one comment complaining at PCG's negative portrayal of Trump.
No offense but you stated a lot of the same ‘thoughts’ of the MSM without substantiation. Quoting all of those extremely negative polling opinion results as if they were facts. He won in spite of ‘most’ Americans liking him, what a disservice to journalism. If he fails it will be because of the headwinds he faces from prior administrations and their failure. It’s articles like this that perpetuate a negative hysteria about Mr. Trump.
Here's one comment criticizing Trump. Considering how right wing PCG's members and target audience are it is somewhat surprising to see such a comment here.
I’m not so sure Mr. Trump has a high IQ so much as he has strong tendencies to psychopathy and a king-sized ego. He doesn’t care who he steps on in order to further his ends.
Here's one comment from Canada.
Thank you for providing such a quick response to yesterday’s outcome. I live in Canada, and wasn’t too surprised when I came in to work today to find almost everyone discussing the results. And the opinions were similar to what you stated: it’s not so much that people are pleased Mr. Trump is the President Elect (even amongst us Canadians), but that Mrs. Clinton is not. Sadly, there is definitely a general ignorance of exactly what Mr. Trump stands for though, and in what direct he is going to take America from here. Thank you again for your summation Mr. Hilliker.
Here's one comment who complains that Obama and Clinton are silent about the anti-Trump protests.
Obviously you have President Obama and Secretary Clinton who both in their speeches called to work for unity and yet these disciples of Saul Alinsky, who praised the devil in his book as the first rebellion against government, seem silent on these rising protests and not making for a smooth transition of power. As was pointed out on the trumpet daily, these 70 days will be interesting to watch.
Here's one comment from Malaysia praising PCG's writings and expressing hope for the upcoming Trump Administration.
I have been a ardent reader of Trumpet magazine for the past eight (8) years and I feel that your magazine though preaches more on religion but gives a broad outlook on the events that take place not only in America but around the word. Really I admire every topic that is printed in your magazine and I congratulate the magazine for a work well done in an excellent manner. Keep it up Sir. As regards to the recent stunning election victory of President elect Donald Trump I have this to say. The American people have made their choice and I definitely believe that they want Trump to make America great again. I sympathize with them with millions being jobless as life will be difficult if we are deprived of this basic need to look for a living to cater for our family. Mr. Trump touched the hearts of every American who need change which the system could not provide so they voted for a businessman to reverse the trend. Can Trump as a President fulfill all that he promised during the election campaign? It is easy to talk but when you sit in the President seat you are bound by the system unless you have the guts to revolt and do what you like on your own. I read the comments but give Trump a chance to make good what he promised. I agree that it is ultimately in the hands of God to put things right in its perspective and only God can do it. Although we live in different parts of the world as I come from Malaysia but we all share the same values for a just world. God bless America and the world.
Here's one comment that criticizes PCG's writings as stirring up racial tensions. This a rare comment that directly criticizes PCG.
Thanks to publications like the theTrumpet, Trump is now president as you nationalists want. You guys ran around for years telling Whites that Blacks have it better, when all reasonable data indicated otherwise; now they have lashed out and want “their” country back. You guys should give yourselves a mighty pat on the back, maybe a shove; you finally brought Anglo racism back in “God’s” name… Hurray!
Here's one comment scare mongering that Trump's election will make Germany break away from the United States and forge the future European Empire that Armstrongites have waited to see emerge for so long.
The Germans seem to be getting ready for their part in prophecy. With Trump about to take office, they see the road clear now for world dominance. Frank-Walter Steinmeier wants US-German roles reversed, and Ursula von der Leyen is calling for the military power to achieve that worlddominance. 
That false prophecy failed during World War II. It failed in 1972-5. It will fail today.

Here's one comment from one offended at Hilliker's pessimism regarding Trump's victory.
Mr. Joel Hilliker, You are a very negative person and are judging Mr. Trump way before he even takes office. You obviously preferred the corrupt and evil Clinton Establishment over Mr. Trump, who sir, is trying to make America a Better country.
I will NOT be reading any more articles from you Sir! Good Day!
It is good that this person will no longer listen to PCG.

Here's one comment blaming the criminal network known as ISIL on President Obama.
Hopefully President Elect Trump will stop the Massacre of Thousands of Christians in the Middle East by isis, caused by obama.
May the day of ISIL's fall soon dawn.

Garner Ted Armstrong Falsely Equating Palestinian Protests and Strikes with Terrorism (1977)

In a recent PCG article by Gareth Fraser the following information was mentioned.
The Plain Truth magazine interviewed the mayor for its April 1977 edition. They highlighted how despite explosions in Zion Square, protests on the West Bank and in the old city, Jerusalem was safer at night than the American cities of New York, Detroit or Houston. 
Below is the paragraph Fraser was referring to.
I interviewed Mayor Teddy Kollek of Jerusalem. Despite the widely known terrorist activities in the area-the bombs exploding in Zion Square, the West Bank protests, the Arab strikes and demonstrations-Jerusalem (including the Old City inhabited mostly by Arabs) is a safe city at night. One may stroll freely through all parts of the city with a feeling of security, unlike citizens living in Houston, Detroit, or New York. (Garner Ted Armstrong, Plain Truth, April 1977, p. 43.)
Note how Garner Ted Armstrong falsely equates protests, strikes and demonstrations with terrorism. This is wrong. It also shows what little regard he and Armstrongites in general have for the Palestinian people.

It is perfectly proper to refer to the bombing attack which killed 15 civilians on July 4, 1975 as terrorism but that does not explain Garner Ted Armstrong falsely equating protests, strikes and demonstrations with terrorism.

It also shows what little curiosity he had about these things. Why were Palestinians in the West Bank protesting? Why were Palestinians demonstrating? Why were Palestinians on strike risking their employment and their income for themselves and their loved ones?

But if one listened to Garner Ted Armstrong odds are such questions will never be asked much less answered.

PCG Bewails US' Tel Aviv Embassy

PCG's leaders think that watching events concerning the State of Israel allows one to foresee when their prophecies will begin to be fulfilled. Following this line of thinking PCG's Callum Wood has written an article speculating whether or not President elect Trump will move the US Embassy to the State of Israel to Jerusalem and bewailing how Obama, Bush and Clinton did not do so during their administrations. (Callum Wood, Trump's Promise to Jerusalem, November 17, 2016.)

He fails to mention that the 161 nation states which recognize the State of Israel only recognize its right to rule over its 1949-67 borders. All territory acquired after the Six Day War of 1967 is viewed by those 130 nation states as occupied territory and they do not recognize the State of Israel as having any right to rule those territories. This includes East Jerusalem. Consequently those nation states do not place their embassies in Jerusalem because they view East Jerusalem as being occupied by the State of Israel and do not recognize the State of Israel as having any right to rule East Jerusalem because it was acquired using military force during the Six Day War.

With this vital piece of information in mind let us look at Wood's article.

First Wood complains about the US Embassy being located in Tel Aviv and not Jerusalem. He never explains why it is like this. He also never mentions that many other nation states do the same thing. Australia's embassy is in Tel Aviv. So is Canada's and Britain's embassies. This is because they do not recognize East Jerusalem as belonging to the State of Israel because it was acquired by military force in 1967.
In prominent nations around the world, if you need a United States embassy, you start your search in the country’s capital. In Canada, the embassy can be found in Ottawa. In Australia, it is in Canberra. In the United Kingdom, it is in London. In Israel, the country’s capital is Jerusalem. But you won’t find the U.S. Embassy there. Though U.S. law demands otherwise, the embassy is located an hour’s drive northwest in Tel Aviv.
He fails to note that the 161 nation states that recognize the State of Israel view East Jerusalem as occupied territory because they only recognize the State of Israel as having the right to rule its 1949-67 borders and East Jerusalem was acquired using military force during the Six Day War of 1967.
In 1995, Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act to relocate the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem by May 31, 1999. An inbuilt waiver, however, allows the president to suspend the implementation by six-month periods in the interest of national security. Ever since, presidents have promised to move the embassy. And ever since, presidents have repeatedly signed the six-month waiver.
The Senate has the right to finalize international treaties.
However, some doubt Mr. Trump’s commitment. Just consider the other Trump promises already being watered down in his campaign. ... Trump foreign-policy adviser Walid Phares told the BBC, “Ripping up is maybe too strong of a word. He’s going to take that agreement, it’s been done before in international context, and then review it.”
Phares used to be an ideologue for the Lebanese Forces, a Christian based militia that fought in the Lebanese Civil War of 1975-91.

Furthermore the agreement with Iran was not signed with the United States alone. It was signed between Iran with the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany. If the US governments decide to no longer abide with that agreement the other nation states can simply choose to continue honoring that agreement. If PCG's leaders are hoping that Trump will end that agreement odds are they are going to be disappointed.

Wood then complains that Obama, Bush and Clinton alike had promised move the Embassy to Jerusalem but did not do so. First Wood discusses the Obama Administration.
While he did not promise to move the embassy, President Barack Obama did call Jerusalem the capital of Israel. The day after he secured the necessary delegates to win the democratic nomination in 2008, Mr. Obama spoke before an AIPAC audience, stating that any peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians “must preserve Israel’s identity as a Jewish state with secure, recognized, defensible borders. And Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.” 
Recognizing Israel as a state and its capital as Jerusalem would, logically speaking, include plans to relocate the embassy to said capital. But as the last eight years of failed peace talks prove, the Obama administration’s promise to solidify Israel’s existence was a lie.
Wood condemns the Obama Administration as promoting a lie and yet the Obama Administration forged a memorandum of understanding that makes the United States spend 25% of the State of Israel's military spending for the next ten years. The Obama Administration has in fact supported the State of Israel but PCG's leaders are eager to note any sign that US-Israeli relations are collapsing because that is viewed as a sign that their tapestry of false prophecies will soon begin.

Then Wood complains about Bush.
But President Obama is not alone. 
Before him, George W. Bush said in a preelection speech, “[A]s soon as I take office, I will begin the process of moving the U.S. [Embassy] to the city Israel has chosen as its capital.” 
But by February 2001, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said there were no immediate plans to move the embassy.
Then Wood complains about Clinton.
Former President Bill Clinton was the first to enact the six-month waiver. He too promised to move the embassy. Yet despite pressure from Congress telling him the move was “long overdue,” the president delayed the move.
However Wood fails to discuss why Presidents Bush, Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon and Johnson all left the Embassy in Tel Aviv. It is because the State of Israel is only internationally recognized as having the right to rule its 1949-67 borders.

And leaving aside Wood's bewailing of Obama, Bush and Clinton this ignores why so many other nation states which recognize the State of Israel, including Canada and Australia, also have their embassies in Tel Aviv. Just like the United States they only recognize the State of Israel as having the right to rule its 1949-67 borders. If a reader did not understand the reason he or she would be left quite confused reading Wood's article.

But instead of explaining why the embassies are in Tel Aviv he mentions that Palestinians like this arrangement which does not explain why the embassies are in Tel Aviv.
The president’s decision was applauded by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). It has been applauding ever since. Each time the move is delayed, Israel’s rightful place in Jerusalem is undermined. While ever-so-slight, the constant delays have enabled the Palestinians time to fortify their legitimacy and popularity in the international community.
The 161 nation states that recognize the State of Israel only recognize its right to rule its 1949-67 borders. They view East Jerusalem as occupied territory because it was acquired by military force in 1967. They never viewed it as belonging to the State of Israel but merely occupied by it.

Wood then bewails how the neighboring Arab states would oppose the US moving its embassy to Jerusalem again ignoring that the 161 nation states that recognize the State of Israel as only having the right to rule its 1949-67 borders.
If Trump were to recognize Jerusalem as the capital, the PLO would be outraged. President Mahmoud Abbas’s staff has confidently asserted that Trump will not change U.S. policy in the region. “We know that Trump was one thing during the election campaign and that he will become something else once he becomes president,” Abbas’s adviser Ahmad Majdalani stated. 
If Trump does move the embassy, it would erase the Palestinians hard-fought gains under the Obama presidency—something Abbas and his cohorts won’t stand for. 
But the Palestinians won’t be the only unhappy ones in the region. The embassy move would also upset Jordan and Saudi Arabia—key Arab allies in the Middle East. 
Iran would also be livid. With threats from Trump to tear up the nuclear deal already issued, seeing Israel’s claims to Jerusalem recognized by the U.S. administration would further provoke the Iranians. 
For a taste of the Arab response, we need only look back to 2000. During an interview on Israeli television, then-President Bill Clinton said he was considering the U.S. Embassy move to Jerusalem. The comment sparked a response from Hezbollah. The terror group’s leader Hassan Nasrallah said Arabs would “turn your embassy to rubble and send your diplomats home in coffins.”
Then Wood ends his article quoting his boss' booklet and insisting that PCG's leaders understand what will happen in the future.
If you haven’t already, be sure to request a copy of our free booklet Jerusalem in Prophecy. In it, you will read about the promises God made to Israel. You won’t find such amazing, hope-filled promises coming from the Oval Office or anywhere else. God alone can follow through on promises of world peace—and He is about to do just that.
There are comments. One commenter disturbingly expresses the hope that if president elect Trump moves the embassy to Jerusalem it would spark off the apocalypse. The commenter insists that "Gods people" [sic] have been hoping for such a thing for years.
If Trump would only back up the promise of moving the embassy to Jerusalem, I think that would start things up that would lead to half of the city being taken by the Muslims. Gods people have been longing for that day to come for years and we know it will be here soon. Godspeed the day.
Imagine that. A person longing to see the day when World War III erupts and plunge the world into catastrophe just before Christ's return.

Although the commenter talk of "half of the city being taken by the Muslims" it should be noted that many Palestinians are Christians.

And so we see that PCG's leaders are still insisting that they can see the future despite the many false prophecies they have made over the years.

Palestinian Prisoner Facing Paralysis on Day 49 of Hunger Strike

From Ma'an News Agency.
BETHLEHEM -- A 20-year-old Palestinian hunger-striking prisoner suffered from memory loss and a high risk of “sudden paralysis,” as he entered his 49th day of strike on Saturday, according to the Palestinian Committee of Prisoner’s Affairs. 
The committee released a statement detailing the severe medical condition of prisoner Anas Ibrahim Shadid, who was detained on Aug. 2 and sentenced to administrative detention -- Israel's widely condemned policy of internment without trial or charge based on undisclosed evidence --  at Israel’s Ofer prison. 
Shadid recently lost the ability to walk, move, and talk “unless with great difficulty,” according to the statement. 
“He is suffering from constant headaches and dizziness, weakness in his heart, asthma, vision difficulties, and severe pains in the eyes, chest, and stomach.” (November 12, 2016.)

Israeli Demotion of Palestinian Homes Increase in 2016

With 986 Palestinian structures demolished by Israeli authorities so far this year the demolition of Palestinian homes has accelerated far above what was the case in previous years.

From the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian territories (Source).

But demolishing Palestinian homes play no role in the COGs' speculations about how the Great Tribulation will start so the COGs' leaders pay little attention.

Friday, November 18, 2016

PCG's Trumpet Hour After Trump's Election

Just listened to some of what PCG's leaders said about current affairs following Trump's election to the presidency.

(Trumpet Hour, November 9, 2016.)

Here they talked about Trump's victory. It is mentioned that many Americans are angry. Complained about widespread division. Even though PCG's leaders lean far to the right Trump's election is portrayed as helping to lead America to PCG's foretold catastrophe. There is discussion of Trump losing the popular vote but willing the electoral college vote. They complain that Trump may cut back on America's presence in the rest of the world. And Jeremiah Jacques indulged in some scare mongering about Japan.

(Trumpet Hour, November 16, 2016.)

Here they talked about the severe partisan divisions within America. It is asserted that America has not been as politically divided since the Civil War. The next issue of the recruitment magazine is alluded to,

Brent Nagtegaal is interviewed in Jerusalem. They discuss Trump's proposal to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem. It is mentioned that Israeli Jews tend to be more right wing and religious compared to American Jews. They ludicrously claimed that others have said that Obama had ruined US-Israeli relations and it may never be repaired to its former state. Meanwhile the US and Israeli governments recently passed a memorandum of understanding that makes the United States pay 25% of the State of Israel's military expenditure for ten years. They confidently state that it is destined for the United States and the State of Israel to fall out with each other. Elsewhere they teach that the Israeli government will realign itself with Europe only to be betrayed and conquered by the future European Empire. They also advertise that Nagtegaal will soon get his own radio show on Sunday about archaeology and PCG's interpretations of the future (which have so often failed).

Christopher Eames is interviewed discussing the earthquake in New Zealand. It ends with advertising for a booklet which scare mongers that natural disasters are sent by PCG's God to punish people.

Joel Hilliker ended the broadcast discussing the necessity of character in order to be entrusted with responsibility over people.

He quoted Thomas Edison saying that democracy is mob rule in which 51% of the people lord it over the rest. PCG's leader, Gerald Flurry, has exalted in having his PCG be manged under one-man rule. It is little wonder that democracy would be viewed negatively within such a group.

Steve Bannon Critiqued

A lot of people are quite unhappy at Steve Bannon's appointment to the White House.

50 Faith and Human Rights Groups Write Open Letter Demanding Bannon's Removal from Trump Transition Team, Alternet.

Steve Bannon, the Trump adviser who spent years mainstreaming white nationalism, explained, Vox.

This Is How Steve Bannon Sees The Entire World, Buzzfeed News.

The link above contains a transcript of a discussion Bannon had to a conference in the Vatican. Strange but true.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Overview of the September 2016 Issue of Living Church News

LCG's leaders have released another issue of Living Church News (September-December 2016). Let's take a look at what have they say.

Roderick C. Meredith has an article which mentions the horrific murder of five police officers in Dallas but then scare mongers that Satan is trying to inspire race riots by African Americans against the white majority. (Incidentally PCG teaches a very similar idea.)
We can all surely recall the recent news about five policemen in Dallas who were murdered, with seven others wounded. It took place during a “peaceful protest” by thousands of people marching in that city to protest the recent police killings of a black man in Louisiana and another black man in St. Paul, Minnesota. News reports on the radio reported that the police spoke to the killer, Micah Xavier Johnson, who admitted that he “hated” white people and especially white policemen. So it certainly looks like Satan the Devil may be trying to stir up “race riots” across the United States more than ever! (p. 1.)
It is most good to condemn acts of violence such as that frightful massacre. Scare mongering that African Americans may soon launch "race riots" against the white majority under the inspiration of Satan is wrong and unfairly stigmatizes African Americans in general. That is wrong.

It is noteworthy that this sort of talk is designed to make whites frightened of African Americans instead of viewing them as equal Americans.

He also scare mongers about Britain's withdrawal from the European Union.
A divided United Kingdom will certainly be much weaker in the future, militarily and politically, and will become a “ripe plum” for the coming Beast power to more easily conquer or perhaps just “absorb” by political means. (p. 1.)
And he once again condemns homosexuals and transgender people as he has done so often. Vilifying this numerically small minority has the effect of distracting his followers from the problems among themselves.
For Satan is literally “brainwashing” millions of people, especially our young people, to assume that the perverted way of life they see promoted by many of our political and religious leaders—and especially through the pervasive influence of modern media—is somehow “normal.” (p. 2.)
He insists that transgender people are not who they say they are ignoring that scientists accept that gender dysphoria is a real condition.
When people talk about “transgendered” people, they assume—because of what the media says—that all such individuals are “born” that way. [Meredith then cites one scientist with an opinion about this subject he approves of.] ... But such comments are usually “hushed up” by our modern “leaders” in the media and even in the educational system—in Satan’s society. (p. 27.)
Meredith also has an editorial article telling those who had endured the Tkach changes that the proper course of action in that crisis was to join Meredith's splinter group. This article was recently discussed by Banned by HWA.
As I have previously explained, Christ did raise up the Global Church of God in early 1993, through me— just a very few months after the blasphemous, “God Is...” booklet came out, along with other heretical changes in doctrine. But many were not aware of Christ raising up this Church—or had been poisoned against us by vicious rumors and accusations. So, instead of zealously searching out and proving to themselves where Christ was continuing His Work, many just stayed put or even dropped away from the Truth altogether.  
But—mark this!—the living Christ did give people in early 1993 a “way out”—He did raise up a Church with a trained, dedicated ministry of long standing who preached the full Truth and who quickly—within weeks— went on the radio, published literature and began to revive the Work. So Jesus Christ did not “desert” you or anyone else. He is still the living Head of the Church. He is alert, active and powerfully in charge of His Church and His Work! And in His great wisdom, He is now “testing” His people to see what is really in their hearts. (p. 3.)
Dexter Wakefield has an article telling LCG members to adhere to faith (as defined by LCG's leadership). The secular world is condemned as contrary to (LCG's) God's will.
The light of faith is very dim in public life of Western societies, if it can be seen at all. Many people see religion as merely a comforting tradition that can be turned to in times of difficulty. They seek no personal relationship with God and see Him mainly as an abstraction, or a projection of their own spirituality—sometimes useful, sometimes not. Instead, Western societies are increasingly moving their foundation from the bedrock of revelatory knowledge to the shifting sands of secular human reason. 
Is Western society now more secular than religious? Have we reached a moral “tipping point”? Do more people reject faith in God’s revealed word for a secular, materialist worldview? Have Western governments willingly blinded their “eyes of faith”? ... 
Often the secularists who used to advocate tolerance for diverse views now demonstrate intolerance for religious views. (p. 6.)
Peter Nathan (former member of the Church of God - An International Community which is led by David Hulme) has an article discussing the Armstrongite view of the Feast of Tabernacles which is very different from how it is observed in the Jewish community. HWA had a very poor understanding of the Jewish festivals he observed and his lack of knowledge is often reflected in how Armstrongites interpret this festival as symbolic of the Millennium.
For instance, in Nehemiah 8 we read of the returning Jews building their temporary dwellings from “olive branches, branches of oil trees, myrtle branches, palm branches, and branches of leafy trees” (v. 15) in a manner that had not been done since the days of Joshua, when Israel was similarly less settled. The temporary nature of our dwellings during the Feast of Tabernacles reminds us of important truths—first among them, that lives are temporary. We are not yet immortal. Our surroundings and everything we possess are temporary, as well. The people of Israel were supposed to learn this when they sojourned in the wilderness. Also, when they dwelled in booths or tents in the wilderness, their ultimate protection was the cloud of glory that accompanied them. Today, our temporary accommodations during the Feast remind us of the reality of our lives. (p. 8.)
To this day Jews celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles by building booths on their property and celebrate this festival with family and friends. But HWA twisted this beautiful festival into an eight day indoctrination session often held far away from members' homes funded with his peculiar practice of the second tithe.

Nathan also boasts that increasing numbers of Christians (whom he labels as not truly Christian) have been visiting the State of Israel during this time to celebrate this festival.
With this in mind, now consider modern knowledge of the Feast among nominal “Christians” in the world. The Festival was largely unknown outside Jewish circles a century ago, but now the Feast of Tabernacles is the largest draw for “Christian” tourists to Israel. Last year, the Times of Israel reported that evangelical Christians from over 80 countries gathered in Jerusalem during the Feast. In recent years, over 6,000 “Christians” have visited Jerusalem to observe the Feast. But what does it do for them if the Feast is nothing more than something they “know about”? (p. 10.)
Wallace Smith has an article presenting Armstrongism's interpretation of the seven festivals which is very different from Jewish views concerning these festivals.

Sheldon Monson has an article describing this year's Living Youth Camp. Other related articles announce that LYC will move to Texas next year and describes Adventure Camp in Banff.

Gerald Weston, LCG's new leader, has an article denouncing supposed slanders against LCG. This article was discussed in Banned by HWA.

Linda Ehman has an article assuring the women in LCG that LCG's God has an important role for them as well.

There are announcements. Among other things it also announces ordinations including that of Joseph Gonzales, Joseph Bobby Jacques and Michael Heykoop.

Michael Heykoop has an article comparing (LCG's interpretation of) the Bible to a fictional tale by modern popular authors. He mentions the Armstrongite interpretation of the Day of Atonement as symbolic of the future restraint of Satan after Christ's return which is very different from Jewish traditions concerning that holy day.

And so we see that LCG's leaders have made yet another issue of this publication to persuade their followers that remaining in LCG is a worthwhile endeavor despite the numerous false prophecies Armstrongism have made since the 1930s.