Wednesday, October 27, 2021

PCG Blaming Obama for the Taliban Takeover: Overview of the October 2021 Issue of PCG's Philadelphia Trumpet

(Warning: This recruitment magazine discussed in this post is produced by an organization that has chosen to take an anti-vaxxer stance against Covid-19 vaccines. Such a stance encourages people to leave themselves vulnerable to getting that dreadful disease. The easiest way to reduce the risk of getting that dreadful disease is to get vaccinated. Many are encouraging people to get vaccinated subject to medical advice.)

Disclaimer: Page 10 features a disturbing photo of a child injured during a protest in Afghanistan.

In early September 2021 the PCG leadership released the October 2021 issue of their recruitment magazine, The Philadelphia Trumpet. In this issue the PCG leadership exploit the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan to vilify President Biden ignoring the fact that it was President Trump who made a peace agreement with the Taliban behind the back of the Afghan government. That agreement was what made the tragic Taliban takeover possible.


The editors of this issue are Gerald Flurry, Stephen Flurry, Joel Hilliker, Philip Nice, Brad Macdonald, Richard Palmer, Jeremiah Jacques and Dennis Leap.

This issue had a circulation of 240,656 issues. The September issue had a circulation of 240,596 issues, a difference of only 60 issues. The August issue had a circulation of 239,545 issues. For the July issue it was 241,917 issues. For the May-June issue it was 243,028. For the April issue it was 247,023. For the March issue it was 248,523. The circulation for PCG's recruitment magazine appears to be slightly declining.

Gerald Flurry has an article insisting that the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan is part of a plot to destroy America. He blames Barack Obama and Satan. Back in 2013 Gerald Flurry labeled President Obama as "another Antiochus" comparing him to Antiochus Epiphanes and Joseph Tkach, Jr. Consequently Flurry often brings up Obama in order to "prove" his earlier condemnation of President Obama.

In the article Flurry refers to the Taliban as "barbarians" and "thugs." 

In the article Flurry accuses the Taliban of letting the suicide bomber into Kabul airport even though so many Afghan citizens were killed as well.

He also claims that Obama somehow planned for President Biden to get blamed. Flurry is so determined to stir up anger and hostility against Obama even though he has not held public office since January 20, 2017.

I believe Barack Obama intended Biden to take the flak for what has happened here. (p. 31.) 

Joel Hilliker has an article seeking to explain why America was unable to prevent the Taliban's return to power. It is insisted that the fall of Afghanistan is a sign of (PCG's) God's punishing the United States for being unrighteous, that is behaving contrary to PCG's dogmas. This is magical thinking that serves to devalue attempts to understand and explain how the fall of Afghanistan happened. Because of this the fall of Afghanistan is presented as something that just happened. The Taliban takeover is many things but it is not an accident. There are many reasons why this happened, not the least of which being corruption within the Afghan government.

Brent Nagtegaal has an article scare mongering that the Taliban takeover will somehow work to the benefit of Iran. It is insisted that Iran has been working with the Taliban since at least 2015. Since the early 1990s Gerald Flurry has taught that Iran will be the future King of the South consequently PCG's vilification of Iran serves to "prove" to their followers that Gerald Flurry can see the future.

This article features the following paragraph which focuses on the headlines used to describe the rise of the Taliban instead of discussing what is written in these articles. Links have been added in for convenience.

Yet when Kabul fell to the Taliban, prevailing media opinion was that Iran feared what would come next. “Taliban Surge Will Force Iran to Forge a New Defense Strategy,” reported Haaretz on August 13. “Iran Braces for Life Next Door to the Taliban Once Again,” Bloomberg headlined on August 19. Germany’s Deutsche Welle wrote, “Afghanistan: Taliban Offensive Puts Iran in a Bind.” These three headlines represent the broad consensus that while Iran might be happy America is gone from Afghanistan, it is terrified of the Taliban. (p. 8.) 

Since the Taliban's rise to power there have been reports that the Taliban have been persecuting people belonging to the Hazara ethnic group. Most Hazaras are Shia Muslims like the majority of Iran's population. Such reports will do nothing to foster friendly relations between the Taliban and Iran.

Richard Palmer has an article saying that Europe is adversely affected by the Taliban takeover. At one point on page 11 Palmer quotes the right wing British columnist Melanie Phillips who is often reverently quoted by PCG's writers. For decades the Armstrongites have insisted that predominantly Catholic Europe will soon militarily conquer the United States. This dire prediction has never occurred.

The article features this passage scare mongering about immigration. One moment he says the fall of Afghanistan is a terrible thing. Next moment he says be afraid if the resultant refugees move to your nation. 

Even before the Taliban took over, 30,000 people fled Afghanistan each week. ... an aid worker in Afghanistan, warned, “We can assume that up to 3 million Afghans will make their way to Europe in the foreseeable future.”

Less than half that number of refugees from around the world—1.3 million—arrived in Europe in 2015. The resulting political crisis shook the foundations of governments across the Continent and sparked an outbreak of political extremism not seen since the 1930s. Can European politics as we know it survive the arrival of 3 million Afghans? What if, as has occurred repeatedly in Europe, that mass of refugees harbors even a few terrorists? (p. 12.)

Governmental authorities are empowered to manage these issues but PCG's recruitment magazine irresponsibly foster fear and panic over people fleeing the Taliban, even slurring them as potential terrorists. 

Richard Palmer also has an article speculating that the Taliban takeover will strain relations between the United States and the United Kingdom. It is insisted that Britain is so alienated with America's withdrawal that they are aligning themselves more closely with Germany and France.

In this article Palmer includes a quote which accurately notes that the agreement to withdraw American military forces from Afghanistan was made by President Trump as part of an agreement with the Taliban.

“The American decision to withdraw was not just a mistake—it was an avoidable mistake, from President [Donald] Trump’s flawed deal with the Taliban to President [Joe] Biden’s decision to proceed, and to proceed in such a disastrous way,” said Sir Ed Davey, leader of the Liberal Democrats. (p. 14.)

Under the Trump Administration's plan this withdrawal was supposed to be completed by May 2021. However this information is presented as merely a quote. Palmer does not state that it happens to be true that it was Trump who made an agreement with the Taliban to withdraw American forces from Afghanistan. 

Jeremiah Jacques has an article insisting that Russia and China are happy that the Taliban have conquered Afghanistan.

The Infographic discusses the cost to the United States of waging war in Afghanistan. It is stated that the Taliban gained the equivalent of 116% of the military spending of India, the third largest military spender. This obscures the fact that the United States is by far the largest military spender in the world.

Josué Michels has an article scare mongering that Europeans' attempts to manage the spread of Covid-19 are paving the way for some sort of authoritarian rule instead of viewing them as being sincere attempts to contain and minimize the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic. At one point he even refers to the current Covid-19 crisis as "the so-called coronavirus pandemic."

The global trend toward authoritarian governments has greatly accelerated during the so-called coronavirus pandemic. (p. 20.)

While condemning lockdowns Michels cites figures from California and Florida dating back to March 2021 before the more contagious Covid Delta variant began to predominate among American cases of Covid-19.

Comparing restrictive California with open Florida is telling. As of this past March, in Florida, 8,979 people per 100,000 were infected; in California, that number was 9,079. The death rate in Florida was 146 per 100,000; in California, 135. Clearly, lockdowns are not the cure-all they were purported to be. (p. 20.)

Michels cites a difference in death rates of 11 per 100,000 but all those people in California just got saved from dying of that dreadful disease. 

Josué Michels also has a side article scare mongering that the US dollar is on the way out. PCG so often uses this thought to scare their readers.

Gerald Flurry has an article saying that empires are great and wonderful. The inaccurate dogma of British Israelism blinds the Armstrongites from understanding why European Empires has now largely collapsed. It is hard to run an empire once the colonized realizes they are as worthy of respect and self rule as the colonizers. Why bother studying such things as decolonization when one believes such events are merely caused by the will of the God of Armstrongism?

WorldWatch discusses wildfires in Europe; France passing a law regulating religious groups; Italy introducing a green pass as a proof of vaccination; Iran getting a new Foreign Minister, namely Hossein Amir-Abdollahian; the announcement of the construction of a new terminal for an oil pipeline in Iran; Cuba shutting down the Internet in response to protests, which this recruitment magazine also blames on China; President Putin claiming that Ukraine is not independent; China making more nuclear missile silos; the cyberattack against Kaseya; and the passage of a $1.2 billion bill by the US Senate. 

SocietyWatch discusses how some companies have benefitted from the lockdowns; the Biden Administration's condemnation of anti-vaxxer misinformation on social media which is portrayed in PCG's recruitment magazine as an attempt to control social media websites; and an alarmist claim that the Biden Administration has somehow spent the American people's savings. The PCG leadership gives themselves so much time vilifying the political party they oppose.

Joel Hilliker has an article saying that being humble is the way to achieve greatness. 

The Discussion Board has letters. Four letters are persons stating that they used to enjoy listening to Herbert Armstrong and reading his recruitment magazine. This ignores the many problems concerning Herbert Armstrong and his organization. Much of what Herbert Armstrong was cobbled together from various sources like the Jehovah's Witnesses and British Israelism to create his own syncretistic system of belief. 

Joel Hilliker also has an article insisting that (PCG's) God will provide a way of protection from the future catastrophe PCG and the other COGs insist will soon occur. The Armstrongites have been insisting that some sort of catastrophe will soon occur since the 1930s. Such a catastrophe has never occurred. And even when this current pandemic is causing so much pain and suffering some within the Armstrongite organizations have chosen to minimize this crisis under the pretext that this is not the crisis they have been scare mongering about since the 1930s. PCG's leaders have made numerous false prophecies since the organization's founding in 1989. PCG's leader are but false prophets. There is no need to fear their predictions of the future.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Christians Do Not Need to Observe the Armstrongite Feast of Tabernacles

On September 21, 2021 PCG released episode 1603 of their radio show, The Trumpet Daily. This episode was hosted by Andrew Locher. It featured a segment justifying the observance of the Armstrongite Feast of Tabernacles.

Why We Keep the Feast of Tabernacles

Why is the Trumpet Daily staff away from their regular schedule and keeping the Feast of Tabernacles? This holy day is essential to see world news in its proper perspective.

In the segment Locher the description of the feasts in the Old Testament. He says they were to be observed forever. These people they are the true Christians and yet they choose to follow something else. If Christians were supposed to observe festivals such as the Feast of Tabernacles why is it the vast majority of them have never done done so?

He then mentions that Paul stated in Acts that he needed to observe the fast and so he went to Jerusalem. Of course Paul observed such a thing. He was a Jew. But he did not expect the Gentile converts to Christianity to observe this.

If observing the Feast of Tabernacles was so important to the Christians of the New Testament era why is it that in the letter sent by the Council of Jerusalem, described in Acts 15, there is no admonition to the Gentile converts to observe Jewish festivals such as the Feast of Tabernacles? Also Paul's Letter to the Galatians was evidently an admonition against Judaizers, that is early Christians who were telling early Gentile Christians that they needed to be circumcised and observe the Law of Moses to be a Christian. 

Some within the COGs may think that this controversy over circumcision in the New Testament era was only about that ritual and has no wider implication for their practice of their religion. To say that one did not need to be circumcised meant that one did not need to convert to Judaism to be a Christian. In those days Christianity originally arose among Jews and only later Gentiles began to join. So the question had to be asked: Did Gentiles converting to Christianity need to become Jews as well to be a Christian? By the time the New Testament was written the question had been settled: Gentiles wishing to convert to Christianity did not need to become Jews as well to become a Christian. 

Seeing that there is no need to convert to Judaism to be a Christian therefore there is no need to observe Jewish festivals such as the Feast of Tabernacles to be a Christian. 

(In time a consensus arose among both Jews and Christians that they were separate religions and they went on their separate ways. However that separation was not as well defined back in the New Testament era unlike the situation today. We need to respect other religions.)

Armstrongites insist that they are following the Bible and yet they ignore the implications of what is written in Galatians and Acts 15. Christians are under no obligation to observe Jewish festivals, such as the Feast of Tabernacles, to be a Christian. Herbert Armstrong was wrong on this matter.

Furthermore the Armstrongites insist on observing the Feast of Tabernacles in a manner utterly contrary to how it is described in the Old Testament and how it is observed among Jewish communities today. In the Old Testament it is festival observed at one's home. One way of observing it is by building a sukkah outside one's home. A sukkah is referred to as a tabernacle in the King James Version. It is a festival that brought much joy and happiness to the Jewish community throughout the ages.

The Armstrongites insist that the Feast of Tabernacles must be observed then they observe it in a wrong manner. Instead they gather themselves together in an eight day yearly convention. This practice is burdensome for many who work. It is also a burden for school children who have their school attendance disrupted for eight days. If they had observed it in their homes as the Bible says they would not need to endure such burdens. This is a terrible wrong that Herbert Armstrong has inflicted on his followers.

In our current Covid-19 era Herbert Armstrong's practice of holding an eight day yearly convention has the added burden of placing everyone in a potential super spreader event. In the ongoing crisis caused by Covid-19 it is necessary that we try to minimize risk wherever possible.

Horrifically Herbert Armstrong often denounced medical science. This bad example he set makes the Armstrongites vulnerable to being swayed by misinformation that could make them more likely to get infected with Covid-19. The easiest way to protect oneself from Covid-19 is to get vaccinated. If one is concerned they should consult with their personal doctor. 

I wish the Armstrongite organizations would have set a good example for society and not gather together while this pandemic remains a severe threat to people's lives, health and safety. They could have held it online. Alternative arrangements could have been made but some have chosen not to do so.

Again there is no need to observe Jewish festivals such as the Feast of Tabernacles to be a Christian. Herbert Armstrong was wrong on this matter. Everyone relying on his example is also wrong on this matter.

Please keep safe during this Covid-19 pandemic.

Friday, September 17, 2021

The Horror of Vaccine Hesitancy with Covid-19 Vaccines

At present much of the world including the United States is in the midst of an epidemic of Covid-19. With the rise of Covid Delta the disease has become more contagious and more likely to cause hospitalization and death than earlier strains of Covid. Nevertheless many people are refusing to get vaccinated or are hesitant to get vaccinated. There has been a wave of misinformation causing many people to be unnecessarily reluctant to get vaccinated. Members of the COGs are particularly vulnerable to such misinformation since for decades Herbert Armstrong denounced medical science and made his followers fearful of seeking medical care

This year the Feast of Tabernacles and Last Great Day will be held from the evening of September 20 until sunset on September 28. In contrast to the Jewish practice of celebrating these festivals at home Herbert Armstrong taught his followers to gather together in an eight day yearly convention. I cannot help but fear that during this year's Feast of Tabernacles Covid Delta will spread throughout the COGs.

Sadly some COG members fear getting vaccinated or listen to people who dangerously minimize the danger of Covid-19. Meanwhile that dreadful disease continues to inflict pain and suffering wherever it spreads. Recently Markos Moulitsas has been posting a series of blog posts detailing people who refuse or are reluctant to get vaccinated against Covid-19. Covid-19 is a dreadful and dangerous disease. Pretending it is not a major problem cannot protect anyone from Covid-19. It is tragic that some people have been mislead on this important issue.  

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Vilifying "Science" as a "False Messiah": Overview of the September 2021 Issue of PCG's Trumpet

(Please note: PCG has recently chosen to promote an anti-vaxxer stance in regards to vaccines against that dreadful disease, Covid-19. The truth must be stated. This anti-vaxxer stance leaves people dreadfully vulnerable to getting infected with Covid Delta. This terrible strain, Covid Delta, is more contagious and more likely to cause hospitalization than earlier versions of Covid-19. The easiest way for people to protect themselves against Covid-19, including Covid Delta, is to get vaccinated. If any is worried about getting vaccinated then they should consult such concerns with their personal doctors, instead of reading some rant on the Internet from anti-vaxxers. Many people and organizations such as Voices for Vaccines are trying to counteract vaccine hesitancy. We need to listen to medical science to minimize the harm caused by this dreadful disease.)

In early August 2021 PCG released the September 2021 issue of their recruitment magazine, The Philadelphia Trumpet. This issue was published before the fall of Afghanistan.

Shamefully the cover incites contempt and fear towards attempts to contain the ongoing epidemic of Covid-19. Science is simply analyzing what happens in reality. The only way to bring Covid-19 under control is to vaccinate against it but nevertheless the PCG leadership produces a cover which negatively portrays a medical needle. Also "science falsely so-called" is a reference to I Timothy 6:20 and in proper context actually refers to a rival religion, namely Gnosticism, not what we now refer to as science. That is why most modern English translations here say knowledge, not science. 


The editors for this issue are Gerald Flurry, Stephen Flurry, Joel Hilliker, Philip Nice, Brad Macdonald, Richard Palmer, Jeremiah Jacques and Dennis Leap.

This issue has a circulation of 240,596 issues. The August issue had a circulation of 239,545 issues. For the July issue it was 241,917 issues. For the May-June issue it was 243,028. For the April issue it was 247,023. For the March issue it was 248,523. For the February issue it was 246,497. The circulation for PCG's recruitment magazine appears stable at present.

Gerald Flurry has an article exploiting the discovery of a bulla from the time of King Jeroboam II to promote his bizarre lionization of the former Republican President, Donald Trump. 

Stephen Flurry has an article condemning lockdowns and related restrictions designed to slow down the spread of that dreadful disease, Covid-19.

Richard Palmer has an side article bemoaning the National Health Service as inefficient and as a cause for the dissolving of the British Empire. 

Josué Michels has an article saying that Germany is on the verge of going through a major transformation into a militaristic power soon fated to conquer the United States.

Richard Palmer has an article scare mongering that the Roman Catholic Church will soon change and lead a future European Empire to conquer America.

Abraham Blondeau and Mihailo S. Zelić have an article discussing protests over the recent discovery of the buried remains of hundreds of First Tribes children in schools as part of a frightful policy of assimilating them to be like people of European descent.

Harley Breth has an article discussing the planned launch of the James Webb Space Telescope.

The Infographic discusses the satellite.

Gerald Flurry has an article insisting that PCG members will become God beings as fully God as God is God though of a lower rank after the second coming.

Brent Nagtegaal and Brad Macdonald have an article praising Donald Trump and comparing him to King Jeroboam II of Israel. According to the authors all was good and right while Donald Trump was President and all is bad and dreadful now that President Biden is in office. All problems and contentious matters concerning the Trump Administration is ignored. This article is a retreat from reality into fantasy. It is a shameless whitewashing of recent history.

WorldWatch discusses the Nord Stream 2 pipeline made to supply oil from Russia to Germany being almost ready; the Papacy preparing to canonize former French Prime Minister Robert Schuman, a politician instrumental with the founding of the European Economic Community; a mass murder in Wurzburg on June 25, 2021 in which three women were murdered; the establishment of a new government in the State of Israel which is denounced because it pushed Netanyahu out of power; US military strikes against Shia militias which are portrayed in this magazine as being too weak; Russia and China extending a cooperation treaty on June 28, 2021; Russia testing hypersonic missiles; and also claims that China is making weapons designed to destroy satellites in the event of war breaking out. 

Furthermore WorldWatch discusses heat waves in North America. The PCG leadership astoundingly denies that these heat waves are caused by climate change produced by human activity. They casually insist that climate change has been disproven even though the vast majority of scientists are warning the world that this major crisis is real and will negatively affect just about everyone.

What is the cause of these worsening weather conditions? Scientists point to man-made climate change. But many scientists have been exposed for manipulating data on historical temperature records that disprove this theory. (p. 30.)

Climate change is the major crisis facing human society. It is shameful that the PCG leadership are telling their followers that it is not real. 

SocietyWatch discusses deaths by drug overdose in the United States; fifteen Republican led states blocking the enforcement of federal gun laws; and a Scientific American article that denounces a literal belief in Adam and Eve as being motivated by racism against African-Americans.

Mark Jenkins has an article condemning popular culture as bad compared with classical Western culture. His bitter diatribe will do little except incite parents and older people into despising and being bitter against youth culture. His readers would have been better served if they were encouraged to understand that each generation defines itself with particular music and stories unique to themselves. If a youth are told to reject popular culture then it will be harder for them to socially connect with their peers. Shame on this recruitment magazine for sowing discord between the generations.

The Discussion Board has letters. Here's a letter from Mississippi from a person who recites PCG's stance that President Biden merely represents Barack Obama.

I have been reading your fine for 10-plus years, and I appreciate how you have explained how big business drive trends and the economy, but I never realized how much influence they had on the political front until I read [a PCG article by Richard Palmer]. ... With Biden in power (Obama, actually) things will only get worse. 

Here's a letter from a person who calls PCG's recruitment magazine as the only source of information this person trusts.

My father has been following you since the early 1980s. When the Worldwide Church of God fell apart, he was so confused and wondered what was going on. In the early-to-mid-90s, he randomly stumbled across Gerald Flurry on a Key of David program. He just so happened to mention Herbert W. Armstrong. He was instantly intrigued--mind-blown, I can imagine--and I'm pretty sure he knew he had found the truth again. That is one thing that has helped me build my faith, as well as many other world events almost rolling daily in our lives. Keep reporting real news. It is my only source; I do not trust any other reporter.

Joel Hilliker has an article telling his readers to take their "warning" seriously. Their "warning" message is that America is about to be militarily conquered by a future European Empire very soon. But this "warning" has not happened in decades. In fact PCG have made numerous predictions that failed miserably. These failed predictions prove that there is no need to fear their predictions. They are merely false prophets. We do not need to fear their predictions.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Reading PCG's Booklet, Daniel Unlocks Revelation: Part 2

Continuing from Part 1 let us conclude this reading of Gerald Flurry's booklet, Daniel Unlocks Revelation. The original 2005 version of this booklet is discussed in this post. The current 2019 version of this booklet may be read on their website.


Chapter 4

Gerald Flurry denounces an article by Herman Hoeh from the November-December 1987 issue of Good News (pp. 9-12) and accuses him of minimizing HWA's importance in producing (PCG's approved interpretation of) prophecy.
In an article he wrote less than one year after Herbert W. Armstrong's death, A Sealed Prophecy Now Open to Understanding," Herman Hoeh didn't mention anything about the many revelations that God gave to Mr. Armstrong. ... Dr. Hoeh wrote, "Some tried to explain this enigmatic prophecy before God's time came to reveal it." Those are strong words. He was implying that God had revealed this prophecy to him, for the Church. The truth is, God did no such thing. (pp. 77-78.) 
Flurry fails to mention that Hoeh's article was a denunciation of the Seventh Day Adventist interpretation of Daniel 8. Several times Hoeh mentions interpretations that link Daniel 8 to the date 1844. Hoeh's article is clearly criticizing the Seventh Day Adventist interpretation of this passage. However Flurry presented Hoeh's article as though it were an attempt to minimize HWA's contribution the Armstrongite interpretation of prophecy. Anyone who soberly looked up what Hoeh said in that 1987 article will see that is not true.

Even though Flurry states that Hoeh's article was written less than a year after HWA's death it was actually published over a year after HWA's death when it was published in the November-December 1987 issue of Good News.

Flurry then links Hoeh with the court case with Tkach's WCG which is melodramatically portrayed as an attempt to hang on to (what the PCG leadership calls) the truth.

In fact, we had to fight him [Herman Hoeh] personally in court depositions to hang on to that truth! (p. 79.)

How can these words be true? It is not legally possible for Tkach's WCG to prevent PCG from practicing their religion. It would have been easy for PCG to continue practicing their religion without using HWA's writings just like every other Armstrongite group like LCG, UCG, COGWA and the others. If PCG had done that they would have avoided a lengthy and expensive court case.

Flurry accuses Hoeh of making false predictions without authorization from HWA. However he does not state what prediction he is referring to.

Even when Mr. Armstrong was ill, Dr. Hoeh came out with some prophecies that were wrong and quite different than what Mr. Armstrong was used by God to restore. We must be certain not to make that mistake! Why would men of such high rank, to whom God had given such honor, make such catastrophic mistakes? (p. 79.) 

Moving on from Flurry's bitter denunciation he then insists that there is some mystical meaning in regards to Daniel's name.

As I emphasized in Daniel: Unsealed at Last!, the meaning of the book’s name is critical: “God is my judge.” (p. 80.)

That is the name of Daniel. To take his name and assume it reveals something about the content of the book is taking his name out of context.

Pages 81-84 is largely a rehash of Armstrongite dogma citing Daniel and Revelation.

Then came 10 resurrections of that beast. This power kept coming back. Here God says it received a deadly wound. We mustn’t have the misconception that it just degenerated and collapsed—it received a deadly wound and almost died. That is why the Roman Catholic Church had such a vengeance in resurrecting a strong empire—the last seven of those 10 horns (after the first three horns were uprooted). (p. 84.)

This is not true. The Papacy did not revive the Roman Empire. The Papacy did not trick the Byzantine Empire to conquer Italy. The Byzantine Empire, under the leadership of Emperor Justinian, chose to advance into what we now call Italy for their own motives. The claim that the Papacy caused the Byzantine Empire's expansion at this time is an Armstrongite myth made to promote Armstrongite false prophecies.

In A.D. 554, Justinian, Emperor of the East, from Constantinople, set up his government through an Imperial Legate at Ravenna, Italy, and brought about what is known in history as the “Imperial Restoration” of the Empire. (p. 84.)

The Imperial Restoration is practically only mentioned by Armstrongites to prop up their prophetic dogmas. Look up any account of the Byzantine Empire during the reign of Emperor Justinian (527-65) in the history books. The Imperial Restoration as taught by the Armstrongites is a myth.

Flurry then praises "Philadelphians," in this context PCG members in good standing, as loving prophecy as opposed to "Laodiceans" in this context followers of WCG/GCI after the Tkach changes. And because Flurry thinks love and obeying rules are the same this leads him to make a call for his followers to follow rituals and rules derived from Armstrongism's selective adoption of certain Jewish rituals and rules. 

Flurry then goes back to "loving prophecy" by saying the future Germany and the future Papacy would be very scary and horrifying. Flurry insists that a scary German leader fated to conquer America is about to arise. At this time in 2005 the PCG leadership was fixated on Edmund Stoiber, chairman of the Christian Social Union.

This man doesn’t think he would do murderous deeds (Isaiah 10:6-7). But Satan is going to get to him—he will experience a mind change (Habakkuk 1:11).  

That man could be coming on the scene as early as this year--2005--or 2006. There has been a dramatic shift in German politics and new elections are scheduled to be held in September of this year. Watch those elections when they come! Or see how a man could manipulate the system. Regardless of when this "king of fierce countenance" appears, it is going to be for an extremely short span of time. (p. 96.)

Stoiber has been chairman of the Christian Social Union in Bavaria from 1999. He challenged Schröder in the 2002 election. He lost but the PCG leadership continued to scare monger about him to their followers. Contrary to PCG's prediction Stoiber left the chairmanship in 2007. From about 2009 onward PCG redirected their scare mongering on Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg. PCG has quietly erased their previous speculation. Here is how this passage now appears in the current 2019 version of this booklet.

This man doesn’t think he would do murderous deeds (Isaiah 10:6-7). But Satan is going to get to him—he will experience a mind change (Habakkuk 1:11).  
 
That man could be coming on the scene very soon. Regardless of when this “king of fierce countenance” appears, it is going to be for an extremely short span of time. (2019 edition, p. 124.)

Clearly the PCG leadership cannot predict the future.

Flurry ends with this call to his readers for supporting PCG.
It is left to us now--you and me. This little remnant has been given that watch. We're all that is left, and God says, I want you to WATCH and PRAY, PROCLAIM my message and finish the work! Then, we will all STAND BEFORE THE SON OF MAN! (p. 102.)
However the PCG leadership have made many false prophecies since its founding in 1989 thus proving that the PCG leadership cannot see what will happen in the future. There is no need to be afraid of PCG's dire predictions of the future.

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Overview of the August 2021 Issue of PCG's Trumpet

(Please note: PCG at present is taking an anti-vaxxer stance regarding vaccines against Covid-19. With the increasing spread of Covid Delta it is quite evident that this anti-vaxxer stance can easily lead to tragedy and loss of life. The easiest way for people to protect themselves against Covid-19, including Covid Delta, is to get vaccinated. Many people and organizations such as Voices for Vaccines are trying to counteract vaccine hesitancy. We need to listen to medical science to minimize the harm caused by this dreadful disease. We now begin with this post.)

In mid-June 2020 PCG released the August 2021 issue of their recruitment magazine, The Philadelphia Trumpet. Let's see what the PCG leadership have to say this time.

The editors of this issue are Gerald Flurry, Stephen Flurry, Joel Hilliker, Philip Nice, Brad Macdonald, Richard Palmer, Jeremiah Jacques and Dennis Leap. 

This issue has a circulation of 239,545 issues. For the July issue it was 241,917 issues. For the May-June issue it was 243,028. For the April issue it was 247,023. For the March issue it was 248,523. For the February issue it was 246,497. For the January issue it was 247,820. The circulation for PCG's recruitment magazine appears stable at present.

Gerald Flurry has an editorial article remembering the late Dr. Eilat Mazar who passed away on May 25, 2021, aged 64. PCG had sponsored her archaeological excavations since 2007.

Brent Nagtegaal has an article about the late Dr. Mazar. He gives an overview of her career in archaeology.

Brad MacDonald and Brent Nagtegaal have an article about the round of violence that broke out in May 2021 between the State of Israel and the blockaded Palestinian Gaza Strip. While discussing this topic they also condemn the Biden Administration for not being Republican. On page 6 they write of what they hysterically call "the Biden Administration's war on Israel." The Armstrongites are constantly fixated on acts of violence that occur in what used to be Mandatory Palestine because they think such things might be a sign that the Great Tribulation is just about to occur. PCG insists that the Great Tribulation will soon occur culminating in the second coming and the imposition of a world government led by (PCG's interpretation of) Jesus Christ which will, presumably, dissolve the State of Israel as part of unifying the entire world. 

Joel Hilliker has an article complaining about women gaining too much power in society. Armstrongism tends to be very negative towards attempts to empower women in society. In this article Hilliker also complains about lockdowns in which he presents these attempts to minimize the spread of that dreadful disease as "a hysterical overreaction" which is negatively portrayed as "a spectacular demonstration of the feminization of our world." (p. 10.)

Jeremiah Jacques has an article about nuclear weapons. It is mentioned that China is making some new type of nuclear reactor (possibly to cut down on coal production). Thus we see PCG still scaring people with the thought of being killed by nuclear war. Meanwhile in the real world millions of people have died from that dreadful disease which has and will kill many people. However the possibility of nuclear war is at present quite unlikely.

Richard Palmer has an article about the problem of cyberattacks. Gerald Flurry has long scare mongered about cyberattacks somehow helping bring about the fall of America to the future European Empire.

Josué Michels has an article saying that farming is about to fall apart. He also scare mongers about various German companies historically connected to the Nazi-era company, IG Farben. PCG's recruitment magazine always says everything about society is about to fall apart any moment now. Even though the criminal Nazi regime was destroyed seventy-six years ago the PCG leadership continuously brings them up in their recruitment writings and their fear inducing false prophecies.

A side article scare mongers about Germany saying no one fears the Germans as they should. Once again, to their eternal shame, the PCG leadership exploits the painful memories of World War II to scare monger against Germans today.

The Infographic talks about agricultural issues.

Stephen Flurry has an article bemoaning immigrants at the southern border. President Trump's decision to cancel development aid to Central American nations is defended by Stephen Flurry. He does this by citing a statement he made in an interview with a host from Fox News. In this article it is hysterically insisted that the Democratic Party is conspiring to bring in these immigrants in order to get more voters for the Democratic Party. The PCG leadership have been saying such things for years. Here is some of Stephen Flurry's politically charged scare mongering.

To the radical left, the border crisis is a giant voter drive. They know that if they can encourage hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants to pour into America, they can create a humanitarian crisis that can only be solved by mass deportations or mass amnesty. And they are betting that the American people will opt for the latter option. The government will be pressured into granting immigrants asylum, and the cycle will repeat, importing the Third World into the United States! (p. 24.)

However many people in Latin America are actually rather right wing in their political stances. For instance three Central American nations, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua, have some of the most restrictive laws against abortion in the world partly due to the influence of the Catholic Church.

The Armstrongites have a particular reason to fear Hispanic people immigrating to the United States. People of Hispanic heritage would be less likely to believe in the Armstrongite dogma of British Israelism.

Andrew Müller has a side article about the illegal drug trade. While it is perfectly proper to warn people about the problems caused by the illegal drug trade usually such warning are not wrapped in an attempt to gain more recruits for an authoritarian, Armstrongite organization.

Andrew Müller has an article defending the Representative of the 14th District of Georgia (Republican) for praising "uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions" even though Anglo-Saxons, who settled in Britain at the expense of the Celtic Britons who were already there, has not existed as a distinct ethnic group for centuries. The norms and values that create and sustain liberal democracies such as the United States and the United Kingdom do not belong to any ethnic group but belongs to all who do and believe in that which is necessary to produce such societies. Müller also promotes the discredited dogma of British Israelism which is an idea that fuels much of Armstrongism's false prophecies of doom and gloom for the British and the Americans.

WorldWatch discusses President Macron saying nice things about Napoleon; former French military officers signing an open letter calling Muslims a threat to the unity of the French nation; a stabbing murder in Paris; Iran enriching uranium to 60% purity following the path of retaliating against President Trump's decision to break the agreement; Russia establishing thirty military bases to monitor the ceasefire between Azerbaijan and Armenia; France encouraging the establishment of a new government in Lebanon; the release of an app in China to encourage reporting people to the authorities; speculation that managing potential future conflicts against Russia and China could be challenging for America; scare mongering that if a true rate of inflation was allowed to occur the economy would collapse; and complaining about another dossier produced by Christopher Steele about the former President Trump. In regards to the Trump-Russia scandal the PCG leadership insists nothing scandalous happened despite what others have stated.

SocietyWatch discusses children being taught in too much of a left wing manner for the PCG leadership's liking; a law to regulate the Internet in Canada being proposed which is condemned; and over 120 retired military officers signing a open letter accusing President Biden of Marxism, whatever they mean by that emotive claim.

Joel Hilliker has an article telling readers to obey (PCG's interpretation of) God with happiness and enthusiasm. Obeying (PCG's interpretation of) God with reluctance or even resentment is not correct according to this article.  

The Discussion Board has letters. Here's a tragic letter from a person who has chosen to let his suspicion and fear of "big pharma" make him decline chemotherapy, a method often used to combat cancer, even though he was diagnosed with prostrate cancer. He also astoundingly insists he had not had any flu in over sixty years. However Covid-19 is a coronavirus not a flu. The letter is too vague to discern whether or not this person is a member of PCG.

Long before they even had a vaccine, I could see vaccine passports happening. I've been asked if I would get vaccinated, and replied NO! I'm almost 80 years old and haven't even had any flu in more than 60 years. I have prostate cancer and told the doctors there is no way I would do chemotherapy; I don't trust big pharma. (p. 34.)

Stephen Flurry has an article saying most people do not actually like the truth. However PCG insists that only they know the truth in regards to getting on the right side of their peculiar interpretation of the Christian God. Consequently the PCG leadership defines the truth for PCG members.

And so the PCG leadership's attempts to gain more recruits and to keep their followers continue even in the midst of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis and the ongoing rise of Covid Delta. But there is no need to be afraid of the fearful predictions of the PCG leadership. However since its founding in 1989 PCG has produced numerous false prophecies that have failed miserably. There is no need to be afraid of PCG's dire predictions.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

PCG On Doomed Path of Anti-Vaxxerism

Just a few months after the PCG leadership chose to shamefully jump on the anti-vaxxer bandwagon it has now come to pass that Covid Delta is now ravaging America. This was perfectly predictable. The vast majority of new cases of Covid-19 in America are among the unvaccinated. This is not just happening in America. In France about 96% of new Covid cases are among the unvaccinated.

And does the PCG leadership have to say after this awful development? Continue to condemn those encouraging people to get vaccinated as "scaremongering with lies." 

“The only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated,” Joe Biden said on Monday. He then said that the unvaccinated are killing people. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky is echoing the same plea for the unvaccinated to get the jab. On the other hand, Sky News’ Alan Jones is being criticized for bringing sanity and truth to the discussion on COVID-19. He states bluntly what the mainstream media have been doing from the beginning of the pandemic—scaremongering with lies. “Fear,” he says, “has won over truth.” ("Truth Is the Real Threat to Power," The Trumpet Daily, July 21, 2021.)

Incidentally this Sky News pundit is based in Australia, a nation which so far has escaped the full horror of what Covid-19 is capable of. While the United States has endured a Covid-19 death toll of about 610,000 deaths Australia has so far endured a Covid-19 death toll of about 960 people. This would be the per capita equivalent of the United States having a Covid-19 death toll of 12,393 people.

Alas, Armstrongism has a long history of condemning medical science and discouraging their followers from helping themselves by using doctors and medicines consequently it is unsurprising that some Armstrongites choose to follow the path of anti-vaxxerism even in the midst of the supreme crisis of the current pandemic. 

It is shameful that the PCG leadership are discouraging their followers from doing the scientifically correct act and getting vaccinated against that dreadful disease. The easiest way for people to protect themselves from that dreadful disease is to get vaccinated against it.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Notes from Plain Truth Issues (1963)

Continuing from Post 1, Post 2 and Post 3 let us continue looking at what The Plain Truth was saying during the Kennedy Administration. Many Armstrongites tend to view the time between the founding of the unaccredited Ambassador College in 1947 and the first suspension of Garner Ted Armstrong over adultery in 1972 as a sort of golden age for Armstrongism. But when one actually looks at what was happening in that time it is clear that it was no golden age. In this time HWA's organization, which was then named the Radio Church of God, bore the seeds for Armstrongism's current splintered state. Dogmatism. False prophecies. Fear of a frightful future. Scorn for the outside world. Superstitious fear of doctors and medicines. Such terrible flaws were present within HWA's organization in 1963. In this post we look at issues of HWA's recruitment magazine, The Plain Truth, from its January 1963 issue until the January 1964 issue which was published after the assassination of President Kennedy.

(Please note: In regards to page the cover page is not included so when reading PDF files of these issues of HWA's recruitment magazine add two more pages to get the reference.)

And so we begin.

January 1963

A letter from an exchange student from Japan says his foster family describes HWA's organization as being "very fanatical." 

When I was in Denver, Colorado, as an exchange student from Japan, I listened several times to The World Tomorrow and wrote for a subscription to The Plain Truth; however my foster family in Denver said it was very fanatical and wouldn't let me read it or listen to the program anymore. But I still remember the three or four messages I got to listen to were such an inspiration and blessing to me and now that I am back home in Tokyo, I am writing you for a monthly subscription to the magazine. If you have any subject you need prayer for, do let me know, too.

Now I cannot endorse forcing people to not read or listen to what they want as this person say happen. In this instance it did not work as this person wrote for a subscription after no longer living with this foster family. This person needed to be persuaded that HWA's organization was not worth listening to. I have no direct experience with this situation. 

But this anecdote does illustrate how important it is to share what happened in the world of Armstrongism to encourage others not to walk on the path of Armstrongism. Back in 1963 there was little critical information about Armstrongism available to the public. This foster family would have little, if any, access to printed critical information. Nevertheless they knew enough about HWA's organization to warn this person that they were "very fanatical."

This letter shows that even in 1963 HWA's organization was gaining a bad reputation as being "very fanatical." Those words actually describe Armstrongism very well.

There is also a letter from Florida claiming a miraculous healing had occurred.

You will recall that my niece was in a terrible automobile accident. [Injuries are then described.]... On October 5th I took the anointed handkerchief and placed it on her forehead and all her injuries, asking for her full and complete recovery. She is almost completely well now!  

The editors of HWA's recruitment magazine then mention this.

This was written on October 29, 1962, only 24 days after an anointed cloth was received.

This is what is known as "faith healing." For decades HWA taught that it was wrong and sinful to rely on doctors and medicine for healing. Instead he told his followers to pray to the God of Armstrongism. Many people suffered because of this fanatical rejection of medical science that HWA taught for so long. Some even died. This is a particularly awful and dreadful aspect of Armstrongism that the public deserves to be warned about. 

HWA's personal article boasts that this issue celebrates the 29th anniversary of the start of his recruitment radio broadcast, The World Tomorrow. And yet at the time HWA taught his followers that were forbidden from celebrating the anniversaries of their births and that of their children, namely birthdays. Birthdays are the anniversaries of one's birth.

HWA has an article overseeing the political situation of the world and insisting that it points to the second coming of Christ happening in a very short time. From 1953 onward HWA taught that the Great Tribulation would begin in 1972 with Christ returning three and a half years later in 1975. He mentions Franz-Josef Strauss.

Gene Hogberg has an article discussing political developments in Europe.

David Jon Hill has an article about the Armstrongite hell. It is hell expect there is no consciousness of it for those sent to it. Functionally speaking these are the same.

Herman Hoeh has an article about Germany being present in his Armstrongite interpretation of the Bible. He cites some Iraqi official to claim that the Nazis did go underground and are hiding to seize power any moment now. No such conspiratorial rise to power ever happened.

L. Leroy Neff has an article condemning the ritualistic recitation of the Lord's Prayer.

Garner Ted Armstrong has an article advising people how to have happy, enduring families. Garner Ted Armstrong had a prosperous life because he lived off of tithe payers for most of his adult life. 

Roderick Meredith has an article telling people how to understand the Bible. How is this to be done? By accepting the interpretation of the Bible provided by HWA's organization.

HWA's autobiography discusses the early days of the unaccredited Ambassador College. Features photo of the cover of the January 1947 issue of HWA's recruitment magazine, The Plain Truth, which promoted it before it opened.

February 1963

Garner Ted Armstrong has an article discussing Japan's rapid economic development since the end of World War II in 1945. And so began Armstrongism's long history of scare mongering against Japan in the post-World War II era. It continues in some of the more authoritarian Armstrongite splinter groups to this day.

HWA has an article reciting his peculiar version of the born again doctrine. HWA taught that a Christian is only born again after Christ's return when, according to him, all true Christians, the Armstrongites, will be supernaturally transformed into God beings. The transformation into God beings was taught by HWA to be the moment one is born again.

Garner Ted Armstrong has an article hysterically insisting that Indonesia, then under the rule of President Sukarno, was plotting to conquer Australia. Little did he know President Sukarno would be overthrown in a military coup just two years later and the military rulers launched a purge killed about half a million people destroying the Indonesian Communist Party as a viable political force. Indonesia thereupon allied with the United States.

HWA's autobiography discusses his tithes funded trip to Europe in 1947 under the pretext of trying to establish a second campus for his unaccredited Ambassador College in Lugano, Switzerland. This installment discusses their journey through Britain and France. Page 27 features passport photos of HWA and Loma Armstrong.

Roderick Meredith has an article saying it is important to know what a true Christian is. HWA's organization taught that only the members of HWA's organization were the only true Christians. In this way a Christian is redefined to mean a member of HWA's organization, which was then called the Radio Church of God.

Albert Portune has an article discussing the topic of the secret rapture. HWA's organization taught that there is no secret rapture, instead they taught that members of HWA's organization would flee to a "place of safety" on Earth. Among the Armstrongites this "place of safety" is often identified with Petra in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

The Question and Answer insists that the word Deutsch is derived from a name the Armstrongites insisted was given to Assur, the father of the Assyrians. The author stridently said, "By their own admission they are Assyrians!" (p. 45.) This is all nonsense. Germans are not Assyrians.

March 1963

Letters. One letter scare mongers that there are "pressure groups" out there conspiring to hamper the recruitment efforts of HWA's organization.

HWA discusses President De Gaulle blocking Britain's attempt to join the European Economic Community. President De Gaulle would continue to do so as long as he was in power.

Gene Hogberg has an article about winter weather.

Garner Ted Armstrong has an article insisting that true Christians, by which he means Armstrongites, are still bound by certain Jewish religious rules such as observing the seventh day Sabbath. Neither HWA nor Garner Ted Armstrong were ever professionally trained in how to understand ancient Christian history so they failed to understand that early Christianity reached a consensus that those who were not Jews did not need to become Jews to be Christian. Their identity as Christians existed independently of the Jewish religion. The Armstrongs' promotion of their misunderstanding have caused thousands of people to badly misunderstand this issue.

The Question and Answer assures readers that the early Christians were not Communists, that is it is insisted that, according to HWA's organization, they did not live as a commune. Another question says that Rahab is rightfully counted as one of the righteous even though she lied to protect spies from the ancient Israelites.

Gerhard Marx has an article discussing political developments in West Germany with the goal of reinforcing HWA's dogma that Germany would in the near future transform Europe into a mighty European Empire fated to militarily conquer the United States shortly before Christ's return.

HWA's autobiography discusses HWA and Loma Armstrong's journey into Switzerland in 1947 under the pretext of trying to establish a second campus for HWA's unaccredited Ambassador College in Lugano, Switzerland. Here their journey through Switzerland is discussed.

HWA has an article about living the abundant life. It is easy to do so when one convinces thousands of people to tithe to an organization under his complete control.

Roderick Meredith has an article telling the readers it is important for them to know who is the "true church." Of course HWA's organization, which then called itself the Radio Church of God, taught that it was the "true church" and every other church was false. In this a Christian was redefined as a member of HWA's organization.

April 1963

In the letters section there is a letter mentioning earthquakes. Within Armstrongism it is taught that earthquakes and other natural disasters are a sign of divine anger against sinners. This is a superstition. Earthquakes happen because there are a lot of tectonic activity underground usually along fault lines. But some refuse to accept what is happening and scare people by exploiting natural disasters to insist that some supernatural force did it and that this supernatural force can somehow be manipulated into not letting an earthquake occur where you are. 

HWA has an article about colleges. He says most colleges will be obsolete in fifteen years. This is a reference to his prophecy of 1972-5, dates he taught to his followers since 1953.

Garner Ted Armstrong has an article scare mongering about the "new Germany," continuing to promote the false prophecy that very soon Germany would lead a future European Empire into militarily conquering the United States. Franz-Josef Strauss is mentioned.

HWA has an article saying that Jesus Christ died on the cross on a Wednesday and was in a state of unconsciousness, which is known in related Adventist sects as "soul sleep," until being resurrected late Saturday afternoon. HWA taught that after death humans are in a state of unconsciousness until God resurrects later. In other related religious movements this is named as "soul sleep" but HWA always refused to use this name. This is similar to what is taught among the Seventh Day Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses, both of which are ultimately derived from the Millerite Adventists of the 1830s-1840s. 

Roderick Meredith has an article telling readers they need to be baptized by immersion as part of the process of joining HWA's organization.

HWA's autobiography discusses HWA and Loma Armstrong returning home via Britain and a particularly stormy Atlantic Ocean in 1947.

Raymond McNair has an article bemoaning the supposed decline and fall of the British Empire. Because of their embrace of British Israelism the Armstrongites have never properly understood the disintegration and subsequent reorganization of what used to be the British Empire. It fell because no one needed it anymore. The colonized peoples realized there was nothing special about British people compared with other people. Neither the colonized or the colonizers could justify why one nation should rule over so many others. Britain no longer needed a mighty military or to rule over the seas when they were allied with the United States and western Europe. Even the British 1% did not need it anymore. But the Armstrongites, blinded by British Israelism, think the fall of the British Empire was a terrible wrong and a sign of the Armstrongite God's wrath when it was no such thing.

McNair's article features a bigoted photo caption mocking a Hindu religious ceremony on page 27.

The teeming multitudes of India are part of the British Commonwealth--in name only. In this scene are thousands of religious Hindus in the Jumna River bathing on "body cleansing day." Waters are consider holy even if sewage-ridden.

J. W. Robinson has an article saying that farming is about to go down the drain due to genetic diseases afflicting livestock and other such things. Fifty-eight years later farmers continue to farm.

May 1963

Herman Hoeh has an article scare mongering about the rise of the United Arab Republic with Iraq agreeing to join Egypt and Syria in this union. These events are also used to scare monger about Germans working in the Middle East. Little did HWA's organization know this union of Arab states would collapse just a few months later. The union between Egypt and Syria only lasted five years (1958-63).

Garner Ted Armstrong has an article vilifying colleges as producing mental illness and making people mentally unbalanced. This is done to promote his own (unaccredited) college, Ambassador College. This is an exercise in discredited the accredited competition.

Raymond McNair has an article continuing to bemoan the supposed decline and fall of the British Empire.

Page 29 features a photo of Allied soldiers moving bodies of some of the victims of Nazi crimes from Bergen-Belsen in 1945.

Roderick Meredith has an article insisting that those who tithe to HWA's organization will be blessed with financial blessings.

Herman Hoeh has an article insisting that HWA's organization have all the answers you need regardless of what any historian should happen to say based on their analysis of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Again this is an exercise of preemptively discrediting information that could contradict the teachings of HWA's organization 

J. W. Robinson has an article continue to say that farming is in big trouble.

June 1963

Garner Ted Armstrong had an article bewailing the supposed lose of power, influence and prestige for the United States in the Caribbean. Throughout the rest of the Cold War era the United States would exert much trouble to combat any perceived attempt among not only the Caribbean nations but in all of Latin America. To this day the United States maintains a dominant position within the Caribbean. In 1983 the US even invaded Grenada and deposed a leftist government there. The US blockade against Cuba remains in force to this day. The Armstrongites in 1963 completely failed to foresee such things because they cannot see the future.

David Jon Hill has an article scare mongering about volcanos. One is reminded of ancient wisdom: Do not be bewildered by the signs of the heavens. The same attitude should be taken in regards to natural seismic activity.

Roderick Meredith has an article saying the future European Empire fated to militarily conquer America is rising up and about to fulfill its Armstrongite devised destiny any moment now. Fifty-eight years the Armstrongites are still waiting for this supposed catastrophe.

Herman Hoeh has an article assuring his readers that there is a way of escape from the dire future the Armstrongites kept scaring everyone with. HWA's organization taught that their members would be supernaturally protected by the Armstrongite God and would be moved to a "place of safety," which was often identified with Petra in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

In Hoeh's article it is implied that Adolf Hitler was demon possessed. But Armstrongites seem to ignore a problem with this idea. If Adolf Hitler was demon possessed as Hoeh alleged here wouldn't that mean that Hitler was innocent of his countless crimes? If Hitler was demon possessed then that implies that he was not responsible for his crimes. Shame on the Armstrongites for minimizing the guilt of Adolf Hitler and the genocidal regime he led by claiming that Hitler was demon possessed.

Gene Hogberg has an article condemning brutality in sports.

Garner Ted Armstrong has an article stating that Paul's writings are to be viewed as divinely inspired and condemning the idea that Paul was presenting his own ideas in his writings preserved in the New Testament.

July 1963

Gene Hughes has an article discussing France's plans to conduct nuclear weapons tests in the Pacific.

Garner Ted Armstrong has an article discussing the Abomination of Desolation.  

Roderick Meredith has an article claiming to reveal the true identity of the False Prophet mentioned in Revelation. He taught it would be the final Pope.

Raymond McNair has an article saying society outside of HWA's organization is uncivilized and uncouth.

David Jon Hill has an article stating that the Armstrongite interpretation of the gospel is embedded within the Old Testament. Many within the Jewish community would vociferously disagree with that assertion.

L. E. Torrance has an article seeking to refute evolution by saying the idea of evolution has itself evolved.

L. E. Torrance has an article advising readers how to get prosperous employment.

August 1963

Roderick Meredith has an article about race relations. It is hard to convey the madness and fanaticism of this article. Only by reading of the article can one grasp the horror of this article. Everything about the article is written under the assumption that in just a few years (1972-5) everything will drastically change after Christ's return. It is asserted that keeping races separate is the natural way to manage race relations from the perspective of humanity and the Armstrongite God. (By the way, that is wrong.) The Armstrongite God will solve race relations after 1975 by separating the races into their respective homelands. Meredith condemns the civil rights movement as a plot to permit interracial marriage. The article is presented as forging an enlightened third way beyond segregation and equality. It is no such thing. It is clearly in favor of segregation. Shame on HWA's organization for stirring up and encouraging opposition to the civil rights movement back in this time as was done in Roderick Meredith's article above.

Herman Hoeh has an article saying President Kennedy's visit to the Federal Republic of Germany did not go very well. It is insisted that the Germans applauded President Kennedy simply because they were ordered to do so. They only showed actual enthusiasm in response to a visit by President De Gaulle. President Kennedy's visit is portrayed as a desperate and futile attempt by President Kennedy to stop West Germany from getting closer to France.  

Garner Ted Armstrong has an article providing a brief background of HWA's organization. In this article he denies that HWA's organization was influenced by the Jehovah's Witnesses.

[Garner Ted Armstrong quotes a letter:] "My wife is a Jehovah's Witness and I am a Catholic. My wife thinks you are now or were at one time a Jehovah's Witness. I honestly don't have any idea what your religion is...," writes a man from Missouri. His wife is wrong--neither my father nor I have ever been remotely connected to the Jehovah's Witnesses--or any of their writings. (p. 9.)

Anyone familiar with the teachings of the Jehovah's Witnesses know that many things taught by Herbert Armstrong and his imitators are very similar to that of the former. Fixation on the second coming. Soul sleep. Not going to Heaven after death. Pyramidology. Jesus lacking divinity while living as a human. Denial of the Trinity. Relegating the Holy Spirit to merely an impersonal force. Condemning Christmas, Easter and birthdays. The superstitious condemnation of vaccines and medical science which the Jehovah's Witnesses also adhered to from 1921 until 1952. The God Family doctrine. Etc. 

Back in the June 1953 issue of his recruitment magazine, The Plain Truth, HWA also denied a link with the Jehovah's Witnesses. But in that article he admitted he had read some of their writings but he implausibly insisted that he arrived at similar conclusions independently of what the Jehovah's Witnesses said. What nonsense. It is quite clear that Herbert Armstrong was influenced by the Jehovah's Witnesses no matter how many times this quite evident link is denied.

Also Garner Ted Armstrong assures his readers that his father's autobiography can be trusted.

Herbert W. Armstrong ... strives to give readers of [The Plain Truth] the real inside story about himself! It's TRUE--It's ACCURATE! I know because I well remember many of these personal incidents he related. (p. 23.)

Garner Ted Armstrong was born in 1930. Many things HWA described in his autobiography occurred before Garner Ted Armstrong was even born or was too young to understand what was happening. There is of course no way Garner Ted Armstrong could possibly verify much of what his father stated in his autobiography. It is shameful that Garner Ted Armstrong would pretend otherwise.

Page 22 features a photo of recruitment writings being moved onto a vehicle after being produced by Ambassador Press. Page 26 features a photo of Garner Ted Armstrong in his office. Page 27 features a photo of Herbert Armstrong in his office. It also shows what is described as being the newly designed seal of HWA's unaccredited Ambassador College.

Dibar Apartian has an article insisting that the interpretation of Bible prophecy accepted within HWA's organization explains what will happen to France. He discusses widespread tax evasion. France's nuclear weapons program. He alludes to the date 1972 which was then taught by HWA's organization to be the year the Great Tribulation would begin. He also scare mongers about a future European Empire.

Knowing that Apartian spoke French fluently it is strange to see him write of a French speaking man's talk to him as though it were written by one unfamiliar with French.

[The French customs inspector] smiled with half admiration and half sarcasm. "Americans rich," he went on, "they do big things. But then, they have much, much money." (p. 12.)

David Jon Hill has an article asking, what is the Devil's religion? In the world of Armstrongism this is largely a question that cannot be answered in a straight forward manner.

Ronald Kelly has an article scare mongering about world hunger. Little did he know scientific advances in the Green Revolution already underway would prevent such a feared famine from occurring.

September 1963

Gene Hogberg has an article insisting that the United States will very soon suffer an economic catastrophe. Fifty-eight years later the Armstrongites are still waiting for this feared catastrophe. The economic downturn in 2020 caused by the Covid-19 pandemic is most emphatically not what the Armstrongites like Gene Hogberg warned about.

Garner Ted Armstrong has an article complaining that society is falling apart by glorifying the "goof-off." He moans and complains about people on social welfare. He even indulges in fat shaming. This is yet another tirade that the economically deprived will have heard over and over again.

Herman Hoeh, doctor of an unaccredited college, has an article saying that archaeological discoveries agree with HWA's organization's interpretation of the Bible. He even says that the archaeologists are lying about their discoveries to prevent the people from following rules described in the Bible.

I am finding anew in this Ashdod digging that archaeological reports do not disclose all that is found in archaeological diggings. Archaeologists dig up much more evidence than you hear about. ... Neither archaeologists nor ministers want to accept anything that supports the Bible--because they are unwilling to accept the Bible at face value. (p. 7.)

What men dig up are facts. Facts are fine. But it is the THEORY of how facts are to be understood that is in error. They go to the Philistines to understand the Bible, not to the Bible to understand the remains left by the Philistines. I am finding that out here first-hand! (p. 46.)

Hoeh's article also features this photo caption that refuses to mention that it was the State of Israel which expelled "the Arabs [meaning the Palestinians] and Egyptians" from Ashdod. Many of the descendants of those Palestinians are now refugees living in the blockaded Palestinian Gaza Strip.

The village of Ashdod as it looked before the Arabs and Egyptians were expelled in 1948. Dr. Hoeh is assisting in the excavating of this Biblical city. (p. 7.)

Gene Hogberg has an article discussing the Sino-Soviet Split. It would be nine long years before President Nixon took advantage of this split and embarked on establishing diplomatic ties with China (and thus gained the possibility of playing off China against the Soviet Union).

Leslie McCollough has an article discussing the tragic and ever present problem of people dying by suicide.

HWA's autobiography discusses about "Christian Fundamentalism" while discussing an early faculty member of the unaccredited Ambassador College. HWA condemns Christian Fundamentalists for not obeying the law, namely certain rituals and rules as HWA selectively taught them. HWA failed to understand that Christians are under no obligation to observe Jewish rituals and rules to be a Christian.

Lynn Torrance has an article saying that evolution could not possibly be true because it contradicts the stance of HWA's organization regarding early history.

October 1963

HWA has an little article insisting that they, meaning his organization, do not take any stance regarding the civil rights struggle which is idiosyncratically referred to as "the race issue."

HWA has an article about the civil rights struggle that was then so prominent in the public affair of the nation. HWA condemns "forced integration." This is one of the most important and consequential challenges facing the United States and Herbert Armstrong, pretender prophet, failed his nation and society by choosing to side with racial segregation. His hollow denials of taking sides rings empty.

Roderick Meredith has an article written from the Middle East. He denounces President Nasser and says he has a lot of influence in Lebanon. He scare mongers about German scientists aiding the development of Egypt's military. He cites the division of Jerusalem between Israel and Jordan as being in accord with Armstrongite predictions of the future. He states that he will soon cross the armed border from Jordan into Israel in Jerusalem soon. He also presents an interpretation of the Second Coming contrary to what is often taught among the Armstrongites: Meredith said that Christ would return to stop the European Empire and the Communists (Russia, China and various allies) fighting each other at Jerusalem. 

Garner Ted Armstrong has an article encouraging people to have more self-confidence.

HWA has an article insisting that polygamy was not practiced in the Old Testament era even though it clearly was. HWA also advances a bizarre interpretation of II Samuel 11-12 while failing to note that those chapters are a foreshadowing of Absalom's revolt. In Talmudic Judaism polygamy was allowed but it was not viewed as a mitzvot (righteous deed).

The Question and Answer discuss how to talk about intimate relationships with teenaged children.

Robert Boraker has an article scare mongering that the Europeans are plotting to change things in Ireland.

November 1963

There is a brief article discussing the retirement of Chancellor Adenauer.

Herman Hoeh has an article discussing Pope Paul VI's call for church unity. The Armstrongites teach that the Roman Catholic Church are fated to seize control of the Protestant churches and impose a forced unity submitting to the final Pope who is identified by the Armstrongites with the false prophet mentioned in Revelation. In reality no such thing is being except in the minds of marginal fanatics.

C. Wayne Cole has an article discussing the establishment of Malaysia as an independent nation state. It is implied that Malaysia would soon fall to "Communists." More specifically it is implied that Malaysia would soon be conquered by Indonesia. At the time Indonesia was ruled by a left wing government that HWA's organization viewed as being essentially Communist. Very soon war would indeed erupt between Indonesia and Malaysia but, little did the Armstrongites know, peace was soon restored, Indonesia's President Sukarno would soon be overthrown with much bloodshed and Malaysia continues to this day as an independent nation.

Roderick Meredith has an article seeking to make the reader become doubtful about his or her own religion in order to convince them to join HWA's organization.

HWA has an article complains that many people do not view Jesus Christ in ways contrary to how HWA's interpretation of Jesus Christ. 

HWA's autobiography continues in this issue. Page 14 features a photo of the first four students of the unaccredited Ambassador College. One would split away from HWA's organization in 1974 after changes over Pentecost and Divorce and Remarriage, namely Cole. One would remain in WCG after the Tkach changes, namely Hoeh.

Robert Gentet has an article assuring his readers that dinosaurs existed before Adam because this aligns with what HWA's organization teaches. HWA taught that the Earth was created twice. There was a first creation in which the Earth was populated with Angels. That was when the dinosaurs lived. But then Lucifer rebelled against the Armstrongite God becoming Satan the Devil and caused the Earth to be destroyed. After that first catastrophe the Armstrongite God recreated the Earth but this time added human beings on it. This recreation, HWA and his imitators say, is what is described in Genesis 1-2.

Roderick Meredith has an article saying that women must not be placed in positions of authority over men in a church. He also states that prophets have no administrative authority over lay members. To this day many of the Armstrongites, which are mainly male dominated, do not allow women to be placed in positions of authority, such as being a minister, within their organizations.

Allen Manteufel has an article reporting from a conference of teachers in Chicago.

December 1963

Letters regarding the "race issue" published in this issue of HWA's recruitment magazine was discussed in a previous post.

Garner Ted Armstrong has an article fearfully warning Americans that West Germany is developing rapidly. The rise of Ludwig Erhard to the Chancellorship is also discussed. This is portrayed as a dire development. HWA's organization taught that Germany would lead a future European Empire fated to militarily conquer the United States in the Great Tribulation which was said to begin in 1972.

Roderick Meredith has an article presenting ten reasons why the Armstrongite Christ simply must return soon. It is insisted that many Western cities would soon be destroyed by nuclear weapons. Among other things Roderick Meredith insists that "race war" is about to occur.

Albert Portune has an article condemning Christmas just like the Jehovah's Witnesses.

The Questions and Answer responds to a person who speculates that going beyond Earth is somehow contrary to religion. That is the sort of people HWA's recruitment magazine appealed to.

L. E. Torrance has an article saying the Great Flood described in Genesis 6-9 did happen because it aligns with what HWA's organization taught about this subject.

January 1964

This was the first issue published after the assassination of President Kennedy.

HWA has a personal article describing how he heard about the shooting and death of the President while teaching a class in his unaccredited college.

HWA has an article predicting what was likely to happen in 1964 in such a way as to promote his prophesies that the end of the world as we know would occur in 1972-5. He implies that the newly installed President Johnson might be the last President of the United States. (He was not.)

Garner Ted Armstrong has an article bemoaning the problem of killing in the United States.

The Questions and Answers discusses the allegedly impending fall of the United States and Britain which is falsely compared with the fall of the Western Roman Empire. That is a false equivalence. Also another question asks if there was any prophetic significance to the murder of the President.

HWA's autobiography discusses how his unaccredited Ambassador College allowed him to get his recruitment magazine reliably published every month by adding personnel from students of his unaccredited college.

Herman Hoeh has an article calling for people to respect governmental authority. The murder of the President is blamed on a widespread contempt for political authorities.

Roderick Meredith has an article discussing how the unaccredited Ambassador College heard about the assassination. He mentions how he and Garner Ted Armstrong heard about the assassination.

There is an article detailing how members of HWA's organization reporting reactions to the assassination in West Germany, Australia, the Philippines, Britain, Canada, apartheid South Africa and Switzerland.   

An article written back in the January 1956 issue of HWA's recruitment magazine by a "Wartime Naval Intelligence Officer" is reprinted to scare monger that the Soviet Union is plotting to make a more destructive nuclear weapons.

L. E. Torrance has an article continuing to promote the interpretation of the Great Flood taught by HWA's organization.

***

And so this post ends.

There was no golden age of the supposed Philadelphia era. All the ingredients for the current degraded state of Armstrongism were all well present back in the height of the "golden age" of Armstrongism in 1962-4.

There is no need to listen to false prophets.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Covid Delta is About to Overrun America

The Delta variant of Covid-19 is well on its way to becoming the predominant strain of Covid-19 in America. Covid Delta is the variant that has recently devastated India. It is more contagious and more deadly than regular Covid-19.  

Currently about everyone who gets hospitalized or dies of Covid-19 in America are unvaccinated.

These dire news shows once again the vital importance of getting vaccinated against this dreadful disease. Some genuinely are unable to access them. Listening to some voice on the radio or some random article on the Internet passing on anti-vaccine misinformation will not save anyone from this upcoming latest wave of Covid-19. 

Getting vaccinated is the easiest way to save yourself and those around you from this dreadful disease.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

PCG Complaining About the Rise of a New Government in Israel

(Disclaimer: PCG has recently been posting anti-vaccine articles. Please use caution if you decide to read their writings. Thankfully there are many people and NGOs, such as Voices for Vaccines, that speak out against such attitudes. More information may be gained from the CDC. The main article now begins.)

The PCG leadership are still smarting over the fact that, unless something unexpected happens before the proposed new government is sworn in, the Israeli Prime Minister they adore, Benjamin Netanyahu, will be out of power. They continue to moan over this development in another article. (Brent Nagtegaal, The 'Big Lie' in Israel's Election, June 9, 2021.)

Let's see what they have to say this time.

PCG says they support the State of Israel but once it appears that PCG's preferred Prime Minister is about to be removed from power they say the following words. Observe how PCG's leadership talk of Israelis they disapprove of.

Sunday’s confidence vote in the Knesset will be the culmination of the multilayered campaign over the past two years to pull out all stops to remove Netanyahu from leading the Jewish state. A leftist-dominated media and educated class, anti-Netanyahu leaders from the left and right, as well as a politicized judiciary came together to wage war on Israel’s longest-serving and arguably most successful leader. They joined forces through four inconclusive elections in order to oust Netanyahu. And finally, they’ve done it—by all means possible.

PCG's article denounces Naftali Bennett as a liar for joining forces with Yesh Atid, a centrist party.

But after the election, Naftali Bennett betrayed his voters and sided with the left to rip the crown off Bibi’s head and put it on his own. ... Furthermore, had Bennett not lied to Israel, the Yamina party would likely not have received enough votes to clear the electoral threshold (3.5 percent). Meaning, that Naftali Bennett would not even be a member of the Knesset. Instead, because of a lie, a man who probably wouldn’t have made the Knesset is now going to lead the Jewish state. This takes the adage “cheating your way to the top” to a whole new level. If Bennett doesn’t lie before the election, Netanyahu most likely is still Prime Minister today.

Nagtegaal does not mention that it was Yesh Atid that got the second most votes in the 2021 election behind Netanyahu's Likud. After the election President Rivlin gave Netanyahu the first chance at forming a new government. Netanyahu was unable to do so. After that President Rivlin appointed Yair Lapid, the leader of Yesh Atid, with the responsibility to forge a new government. Lapid did so, however as part of the coalition deal Naftali Bennett gets to be Prime Minister first. 

Many in Israel are worried that politically motivated violence might occur. One reason for this concern is the painful memory of the assassination of Prime Minister Rabin by a right wing extremist on November 4, 1995. PCG's article expresses no sympathy for those who are afraid something like that might happen again. Instead such concerns are dismissed as unfounded.

[T]he media in Israel is giving the “big lie” a pass. Instead, they say those who would try to expose and overcome the attack on Israel’s democracy are insurrectionists. Indeed the media has help endorsing such a position from Israel’s security agency. On Saturday, [the] Shin Bet Director ... condemned language that might be perceived as “one who endorses violent and illegal activities that could even lead to harming individuals.” ...

[Nagtegaal quotes Netanyahu saying,] Stick it to them. Every effort. Figurative phrases like that are being trumpeted by Israel’s left-wing media and politicians as evidence that Netanyahu is trying to raise an actual violent insurrection against the results of the stolen election. In fact, if you even discuss the steal, you are labeled as a dangerous conspiracy theorist.

Nagtegaal compares the fall of Netanyahu from power with the fall of Donald Trump. He blames some "deep state" conspiracy which he describes as being "left-wing." 

While the deceitful means enacted to defraud democracy might be different in Israel and in the United States, the outcome and the narrative are almost identical. For years a left-wing, anti-traditional “deep state” has merged with mass media to degrade the Bible-based values and rich history of both America and Israel.

In other words PCG was not happy that Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu have lost power. PCG happens to be right wing.

Nagtegaal then insists that somehow he knows better than the State of Israel's prosecutors and he insists that the criminal cases against Prime Minister Netanyahu are "bogus" even though these court cases are in fact happening.

Both Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump have recognized this attack and have fought back. It was the reason Mr. Trump was elected, and it was the reason Mr. Netanyahu remains the most popular leader in Israel. Unable to remove the leaders from power by simple popular vote, the radical left tried other means, from impeachment attempts to Russian collusion to an ongoing bogus legal case against Mr. Netanyahu.

And so we see PCG complaining when political events they disapprove of happen to occur. However considering that PCG says that America and Israel are about to be militarily conquered by a future European Empire any moment now one wonders why the PCG leadership chooses to be so annoyed over the apparent removal from power of Benjamin Netanyahu.