Sunday, December 27, 2009

Gerald Flurry: A Biographical Sketch--Part 1: Prelude to PCG

Here's a little biographical sketch of Gerald Flurry I have made. I would like to thank all my sources, especially Exit and Support Network, PCG Information, and all the wonderful blogs out there.

And a special thanks go to all my readers. Without you these words would mean nothing. I hope you may find what is written here helpful and/or informative.

Every factual detail recorded here come from other sources, not me. I have no special inside source, all factual details contained here comes from sources easily accessible on the Internet.

Gerald Flurry: A Biographical Sketch--Part 1: Prelude to PCG

1935: Gerald Ray Flurry is born in Oklahoma. "I [Gerald Flurry] was born in the state of Oklahoma in 1935." (Gerald Flurry, Church Answers Fox25 News, December 3, 2008.)

He is born into and grows up in a dysfunctional family where the father is an alcoholic. It is very clear that he had a dysfunctional childhood caused by his father's alcoholism.

In one incident his father returned home and found himself accidentally locked out. Once young Gerald opened the door the father in a rage took out a gun. Gerald was able to persuade him to hand over the gun. He thought it was empty but later accidentally discovered that it was loaded when he fired it into the closet wall.

1957: His mother listens to Herbert W. Armstrong on The World Tomorrow and becomes an Armstrongite. She then tries to convert her son who refuses to listen.

"My mother had been called into the truth in 1957, and from that time...she tried endlessly to convert me. I rebelled against that and persecuted her for what she was doing. Whenever Herbert Armstrong came on the radio, she would turn up the volume so I could hear him, and that upset me. I was antagonistic against him and his message". (Gerald Flurry, Royal Vision, July-August, 2000, p. 9, PDF p.11.)

1961: Gerald Flurry becomes so desperate to find meaning in life he is even willing to try out "mom's religion". He then joins HWA's Radio Church of God. (Ibid.)

In the 1990 edition of Malachi's Message (p. 81) he states that he joined RCG on September 7.

1964: At this time Gerald Flurry was attending the congregation at St. Louis, Missouri.

In the spring Barbara Jeanne Brewer, 20, is baptized into the Radio Church of God.

She was born in Houston, Texas, on January 17, 1944, into a dysfunctional family with an alcoholic father. The parents divorced before she was ten. Her mother was forced to work such long hours that the children were often left alone.

Gerald Flurry and Barbara Brewer meet each other and marry November 15. (Sarah Leap and Laura Turgeon, November-December, 2004, Philadelphia News, p. 1, PDF pp.1-2.)

They would have a daughter, Laura (Turgeon), and a son, Stephen.

1965: Gerald Flurry begins to pastor churches within RCG. (Malachi's Message, 1990 edition, p. 81.)

1970: Graduates from Ambassador College. His picture may be seen in the 1971 Envoy, p. 37, PDF p. 41.

1973: Gerald Flurry is ordained a minister of PCG. "Gerald Flurry (a minister in WCG since 1973)". (Exit and Support Network, What is the Philadelphia Church of God?) (My thanks go to ESN for helping me on this issue.)

1975: Is transferred to Pasco, Washington. There he befriends Dennis Leap. (Sarah Leap and Laura Turgeon, November-December, 2004, Philadelphia News, p. 8, PDF p.15.)

This ex-WCG member's testimony relates one unfortunate kid's experiences with Gerald Flurry before he gained his current notoriety. It is not a pretty portrait. (The Emotional Impact is Still with Me, August 22, 2006.)

1981: This photo of Gerald Flurry is taken which is later used for the Painful Truth's Hall of Shame.

1985: Gerald Flurry is transferred to Oklahoma, replacing Arnold L. Clauson. (Raising the Ruins, Chapter 13, 'Getting Turned In'.) Here's Clauson's photo in the Painful Truth's Hall of Shame.

WCG publishes Mystery of the Ages, Herbert W. Armstrong's last book. Although it has a lot of problems in it, including this false prophecy, it quickly gains renown among WCG members.

1986: HWA dies and is succeeded by Joseph Tkach. Gerald Flurry and his congregation sends him a letter proclaiming their loyalty.

1987: Jules Dervaes proclaim WCG to have entered the Laodicean era with HWA's death in his Letter to Laodicea. He sends this to 237 WCG ministers including Gerald Flurry and his assistant pastor John Amos. This is very similar to what Flurry would later write in Malachi's Message.

1988: According to Raising the Ruins it is around this time that Gerald Flurry begin to be suspicious of WCG's moves since HWA's death. "It wasn’t until 1988 that my father began to see this as a distinct possibility." (Chapter 13.) Could this be when Flurry read Dervaes' work?

Around 1987-8 Jules Dervaes, after sending his Letter to Laodicea to Joseph Tkach Sr., then proceeds to send it to 237 WCG ministers. The list may be seen here. Among these 237 are Gerald Flurry and John Amos.

1989: February 14: Pastor's General's Report announce that publication of Mystery of the Ages is to be discontinued.

February 17: Disturbed by this announcement Gerald Flurry confides some of his doubts to his son in a telephone conversation.

"He said, “Some of the things ministers are saying today would have gotten them fired if Mr. Armstrong were around.” I listened in disbelief. Could it really be that bad? He went on to explain that they had discontinued Mystery of the Ages because of “minor errors” and “money.” This was the first time I had ever heard that."(Stephen Flurry, Raising the Ruins, Chapter 13.)

Thus Stephen Flurry witness one of the first signs of the Gerald Flurry's gradual disillusionment with WCG under Tkach.

I would like to take a moment to deconstruct that particular part of Raising the Ruins, a book with which I have quite a few issues with. Leaving aside the question of whether we believe this or not, we should note here that this story very effectively links Mystery of the Ages, a book which PCG members greatly admire, with the desire to begin a new organization. Thus MOA becomes the maiden in disstress, so to speak, who will later be saved. This also serves as a foreshadow of the lawsuit over that book, a subject that will dominate the second half of this book.

And within one unremarkable WCG minister thoughts are stirring which shall have a high impact upon the world of the COGs.

To be continued...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Letter About Christmas

Exit and Support Network has just released this informative and touching letter concerning what HWA & Co. told us about Christmas.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Thought About Cults' Devaluing of Jesus

I was wondering around and I this audio lecture entitled Marks of the Cults, by an ex-Mormon, at this conservative, rightist web site, Summit Ministries.

Part of the blurb says this describing the nature of cults:

They add to the Word of God, subtract from the deity of Christ, multiply the terms of salvation and divide loyalties.

(He seems to be using the word 'cult' in the sense of the Christian anti-cult movement.)

I highlight this as this is an objection often directed against the false prophet of 1975, HWA. He is often criticized by Christian ex-COGers for downplaying Jesus by emphasizing legalistic observance of the Law at the expense of grace, or for how he portrayed Jesus as mainly a messenger, as Kelly Marshall points out in this Critical Review of Mystery of the Ages.

Another useful resource is Bill Hohmann's critique of Which Day is the Christian Sabbath by HWA.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

On the Necessity of American Health Care Reform

Here is president Obama on the necessity of Health Care reform in America. These words may be found from 4:45 of this news video:

A lot of the critics of this entire process fail to note what happens when nothing gets done, and the American people have to be very clear about this. If we don‘t get this done your premiums are guaranteed to go up. If this does not get done more employers are going to drop coverage because they can’t afford it. If this does not get done it is guaranteed that Medicare and Medicaid will blow a hole through our budget. Those things are guaranteed. That is the status quo. That is the trajectory we are now on. I don’t intend to have that happen.

I have seen this tendency in how some opponents of health care reform used the word 'death panels' as though Obama wanted to institute the regularization of euthanasia, but it is clear to me that that is not what the president, or those pushing for this reform, are seeking.

They warn that this is going to 'ration' health care yet ignoring that health care is already severely rationed in the USA. These reforms are an attempt to alleviate the terrible private rationing of health care that is now the case in the USA.

Here's a video which demonstrates starkly the present day private rationing of health care that is with us today.

This video is so terrible that when I first saw this on TV I honestly thought it was just a prank. It was only when I saw a TV news report about this very segment that I realized that this is what far too many people in the USA are forced to deal with. I am very sorry that I doubted at first.

That is why I hope reform will be able to find a way to alleviate this terrible problem in America.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Persecution in Eritrea

In Eritrea only four religions are allowed to operate. "In 2002 the Eritrean regime outlawed religious activity except that of the Orthodox, Catholic, Lutheran or Muslim religions." (Source) Consequently any other religious activity faces severe persecution.

Here's one recent example of this persecution.

"On 5 December Eritrean authorities arrested 30 mostly elderly Christian women who were praying together in a house in the capital, Asmara. According to International Christian Concern, most of the detainees are members of Faith Mission Church, an evangelical church with a Methodist background. It had been active in evangelism and development activities in Eritrea for over five decades until 2002 when it was forced to go underground." (Source.)

This article states elsewhere that about 3000 Christians are imprisoned in Eritrea.

At least nine of them are known to have died in prison, including one Yemane Kahasay Andom on June 23. More of these tragic deaths are recorded here.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Washington Times and HWA

I am indebted to Scoobie Davis for this information.

The Washington Times, a newspaper founded and owned by Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church, is now undergoing drastic cut backs with 40% of staff being laid off. This development is discussed by Eric Boehlert of Media Matters for America in this column.

Here he describes how Sum Myung Moon used this paper in ways similar to how HWA used his magazine. Bolding mine.

The messianic Moon, who has referred to himself as "humanity's Savior," never cared about journalism in the traditional, American, free-marketplace sense of the word. Yes, he launched a product that looked like a newspaper, but [The Washington Times'] central goal was never really to inform its readers. Its goal seemed more often to misinform and to enhance Moon's reputation outside the United States. Moon and Unification Church leaders used the newspaper as a symbol, most often in Asia, to suggest that Moon moved freely among world leaders.

This is very similar to how HWA used his visits to world leaders, which were highlighted in The Plain Truth and in the intro of his World Tomorrow program in order to enhance his reputation among his followers and to overawe potential recruits.

However the paper itself was not very impressive. It never made any profit and was always run essentially on the Unification Church's charity.
That the newspaper in 2009 had a modest circulation roughly matching that of the Chattanooga Times Free Press was irrelevant to the paper's publishers, although the newspaper's evaporating readership probably was not lost on the Times' shrinking band of local advertisers.
It's circulation is also rather low. According to Wikipedia it's average circulation in the period October 2008-March 2009 was 83,511. Even LCG's Tomorrow's World has a higher circulation. In February 2008 LCG apologist Bob Theil reported that LCG produced 361,000 of the March 2008 issue.

The Unification Church teaches many doctrines contrary to Christianity and is widely regarded as a cult, both theologically and behaviorally. A fascinating outline of some of their beliefs may be found here from Steven Hassan's Freedom of Mind Center.

The way Sun Myung Moon used this newspaper to enhance his prestige is very similar to HWA's visits with world leaders. I find it intriguing to find such parallels with HWA.

Visual Racial Stereotypes in HWA's Early Days

Recently I found this fascinating documentary, The Distorted Image, about cartoons that employed racial stereotypes in the period 1850-1922. It is from the website of the Anti-Defamation League. Here are the links for it: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

While watching this the thought occurred to me that this was the world in which HWA was born in and grew up in. Alas, he never got over the racialist thinking that was so pervasive in his younger days.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Some Miracles I Have Read

Mr. Russell Miller has renounced atheism and has embraced a different worldview.

This has made think of some stories of miraculous incidents that I have read. I'm not trying to convince any skeptics out there. I am simply relating how common it is for naturalistically unexplainable events to be reported or stated in print.

In My Forbidden Face by Latifa, a memoir of one woman's life under the Taliban in Kabul, she relates how one day she was at an Islamic shrine, the tomb of Ali if I recall correctly, and saw a man become miraculously healed there.

In The Autobiography of Malcolm X he relates how once one night while he was in prison he was lying in his bunk. Then he saw a man who should not have been there. They looked at each other and then he disappeared. Later Malcolm X became persuaded that he was W. D. Fard (pronounced far-RAD), a man who is held by the Nation of Islam to be God himself. Fard started up the Nation of Islam in the early 1930s. Later after some legal troubles he left town and mysteriously disappeared in 1934. I have written about this peculiar religion previously on this blog.

Among Muslim converts to Christianity some of them report having dreams of a man in white who is later identify as the Christian Jesus Christ. Examples may be found in the Why They Converted section of and the Dreams and Visions section of

No doubt many of you have run into many others.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

British Israelism and 'Christian' Identity

Here's an article discussing British Israelism from the Southern Poverty Law Center.

This is the movement from which HWA plagiarized the doctrine that Anglo-Saxons are descended from Israel. He did not just get it by reading the Bible.

This article also shows how British Israelism was used by racists in America to produce the 'Christian' Identity movement. SPLC also profiles some of the leaders of this virulently racist movement and disturbing activities that some of them commit.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Post on PCG

(Update 12.11.13: Both links appear to be dead.)

Just found this thread discussing PCG from Worthy Christian

This thread also mentions this 'Christian' Identity group called Shepard's Chapel, led by one Arnold Murray. Here's a scary blog discussing Murray's cultic beliefs.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

PCG Still Watching Stoiber

PCG still devotes articles to Edmund Stoiber. In their new Philadelphia Trumpet magazine they have made an article about him entitled 'German Youth Celebrate Edmund Stoiber.'

They still seem to be hoping that he might be 'the Beast' in the hope that 'That (failed) Prophet's' failed speculation that Edmund Stoiber could win the 2002 German elections and become the Beast will be proven right.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

PCG and the 19 Year Time Cycles

I just found this blurb for a Key of David TV program.

January 2010 will mark the beginning of the final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire. What will this mean for your life?

Here Gerald Flurry is using the failed 19 year time cycles to once again spread fear inducing false prophecies again.

This is based on the 19 year cycle beginning from the first regular broadcast of the World Tomorrow radio program on January 7, 1934.

The progression goes the following manner: 1934-1953-1972-1991-2010.

1934: First regular broadcast of World Tomorrow. The dating starts at January 7, 1934, even though the first broadcast was on October 11, 1933.

1953: The World Tomorrow begins broadcasting on Radio Luxemburg on January 7. This event later inspires HWA and Hoeh to unveil a 19 year cycle prophecy that predicted that the commission of the Philadelphia church era would end upon the completion of this 19 year time cycle, followed by the Great Tribulation of three and a half years duration ending with the return of Jesus Christ in 1975.

1972: The 1972-1975 prophecy fails. This proves that all this talk of 19 year cycles was completly in error and exposed Herbert W. Armstrong as a false prophet which Scripture warns us to stay away from. Despte this most dramatic failure the false prophets of the COGs continue to exploit this failed idea to spread false prophecies.

More information on this may be seen here.

1991: When Gerald Flurry was writing Malachi's Message, which he would later claim to be the Little Book of Revelation 10 from 1992 onwards while under the employ of WCG he wished to unveil Malachi's Message to condemn Tkach Sr. in January 1991 to coincide with this time cycle. He was fired in December 1989 and was unable to follow his original schedule. Instead he devised the January 16 doctrine. Later he pointed to January 16, the anniversary of HWA's death in 1986, as a date of prophetic importance. When the Gulf War began this was taken as a sign of the fulfillment of the January 16 prophecy, convienently ignoring the fact that armed combat began on January 17, one day too late.

More information on this may be seen here.

2010: Now, seeing this 19 year cycle ending/beginning now, Gerald Flurry again uses this false and failed idea to spread fear inducing prophecies based on this failed prophetic pattern that is highly artificial and completely useless in foreseeing the future. Let us see what he says.

Gerald Flurry begins this telecast with this dramatic statement.

In the next two months the Holy Roman Empire is going to be official in Europe.

Later on he adds these words.

In January 1st, 2010, they will implement their diplomatic service. They will appoint a foreign minister and a president. And will officially become the Holy Roman Empire.

Please note these events are said to occur on January 1, not January 7 or January 16, the two dates given significance by PCG's belief system. January 1st fulfills neither the 19 year time cycles which begins and ends on January 7, or the January 16 anniversary of HWA's death.

But the unsuspecting and uninformed viewer will have no idea that Gerald Flurry is referring to all this when he makes these dramatic false prophecies.

PCG ignores this discrepancy and simply glides over these difficulties, leaving the unsuspecting viewer totally unaware of the problems of these statements.

The COGs' Differences from HWA's WCG

Sometimes it is stated that some of the more conservative COGs are just like WCG under HWA. Personally I prefer to emphasize that all of them are different from WCG in order to emphasize that they are not the same. Each one of them can be found to have some difference from the old WCG.

PCG has accumulated a ton of new doctrines which expand upon or even contradict old WCG. Perhaps the most obvious point is their new understanding concerning the identity of the Man of Sin. In old WCG, and in LCG while I was a follower of them, the teaching was that the Man of Sin would be the 'final Pope'. Today Gerald Flurry teach that Tkach is the Man of Sin. Originally he said it was Tkach Sr. but after he died he was replaced by Tkach, Jr. In Raising the Ruins they try to get around these problems by suggesting that Tkach Sr, was just a puppet of mysterious forces, thus retroactively disqualifying Tkach Sr from being the Man of Sin.

LCG has made various changes. They have no Apostle or Prophet, instead they have Presiding Evangelist. LCG has decided that women wearing make up is permissible.

UCG has made changes. The most obvious being their acceptance of some form of deliberative government, and a rejection of the stern one man rule approach used so ineffectively by HWA.

RCG has made changes. Dave Pack is quite skillful in presenting himself as being more faithful to old WCG than any of the other COGs. But ultimately this is untrue. Pack teaches that the King of the South is Ethiopia. This ignores the fact that the old WCG at various times did suggest that there would be a future King of the South as LCG apologist Bob Theil shows.

(Other COGs such as LCG and PCG teach that there is a yet future King of the South. LCG says a future Arab caliphate. PCG's 'That Prophet' has been much more specific, insisting that this will be Iran.)

CGG has embraced mainstream Christianity's understanding of the meaning of being born again.

So you see each of these COGs contain some deviancy from the original WCG. Therefore I feel it is better to emphasize that these churches are different from old WCG rather than emphasize their continuity.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Meredith Begs Again

Meredith's asking for more money again from his eternally abused flock. He is about to send his semi-annual letter which is sent to Tomorrow's World subscribers who have not yet sent in any money to them.

This is from the November 12, 2009 Weekly Update. (Emphasis his.)
Because of the situation in the Work and in the world—especially the terrible recession we are just coming out of, most of you realize that our income has been dragging somewhat. So although we are up more than three percent in our income year-to-date, we still need much more resources in order to move ahead and do the things I am sure God would want us to do. With this in mind, please encourage the brethren to pray for the Work—and especially ask them—all of our people—to pray fervently for the semi-annual letter which is just now being mailed out! This letter is being sent out to a total of 287,752 worldwide and, through our prayers, could have a very significant impact on the number of new donors, co-workers and members coming with us over the next several months. These letters only go out twice a year, as you know, so we need to understand the vital importance of our prayers. Ask God to bless the letter and move people to act so they can be part of the Work of God at the end of the age.
And so this terrible exploitative charade by this false prophet continues.

FOT Attendance for LCG

On other matters LCG has provided information concerning Feat of Tabernacles attendance.
Attendance was up substantially in the USA and at our international sites, which is very encouraging. In the U.S.A., attendance was close to 4,000 (approximately 14% more than last year). In international areas, attendance was more than 3,600, (approximately 4% more than last year). (November 5, 2009 Weekly Update.)

An Article on Christian-Atheist Interaction

Here's an article on atheism from Samir Selmanovic, who is a part of the Emergent Church movement.

This article is published in a Seventh Day Adventist magazine.

I found this article to have quite a refreshingly balanced view on the interaction between atheism and Christianity.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Persecution of Christians in the Dar al-Islam

I don't necessarily agree with everything this man says but Robert Spencer is right to highlight the outrages which Christian minorities are forced to endure within the Dar al-Islam, some of which are highlighted in this little pamphlet of his, Muslim Persecution of Christians.

This booklet is published by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a conservative organization.

(Incidentally this booklet is hosted by the Assyrian International News Agency, which is run by real Assyrians, not Germans as HWA taught in imitation of the British-Israelism movement.)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

'Laodicea's Angel' Speaks and a New 'Apostle' Arises

Dave Pack seems to have made his appearance on the History Channel. Judging by the reactions from ESN correspondents (from November 11 onwards) his performance was forgettable.

According to Jack635 Weinland has now called himself an Apostle now.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

How to Talk to a Jehovah's Witness

Here's an interesting discussion on how to talk with a Jehovah's Witness, courtesy of

They even mention WCG and Plain Truth in Part 2 beginning at 7:20. Again in Part 3 beginning at 2:15 and again at 6:40.

Perhaps this may be useful to some readers.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Purpose of HWA's Nimrod-Semiramis Story

HWA, Hoeh and Co. used Hyslop's account of Nimrod and Semiramis to demonize certain widely held practices and beliefs in order to compel potential recruits to draw onto HWA into their cult.

They used Alexander Hyslop's The Two Babylons. It is an 1850s anti-Catholic polemic insisting that many practices of Catholicism actually came from ancient Babylon and originated with a cult originally honoring Nimrod and Semiramis. Hyslop used this idea to condemn the Catholic Church as part of a long tradition of mutual hostility dating back to the Reformation, if not earlier.

This idea turned out to be very useful for HWA and Co. Using Hyslop's idea they could say that not only is Christmas, Easter, St. Valentine's Day "pagan" (like the Roman alphabet this article is written in) but they were started by this enemy of God.

And by adding the charge of incest to Nimrod and Semiramis they throw in the thought of that which is most vile.

What a way to demonize such perfectly normal and widespread practices. What a way to repel people from events many hold special memories of. HWA did not just condemn them as pagan the same way Jehovah's Witnesses do, he was able to inject the thought of that which is most vile and claim they were produced by people who engaged in such things. What a way to horrify truth seeking people.

When I read that book I found it curious that the subtitle of it is "The Papal Worship Proved to be the Worship of Nimrod and His Wife", not his wife-mother, as HWA and Hoeh portrayed. As far as I know it was HWA and Hoeh who created that specific incest charge.

However I have read the following from xHWA: "Hislop in various pages of his book referred to Semiramis as being Nimrod’s wife, and again his daughter, and again his mother, and again that Nimrod had two mothers, and again nine mothers."

HWA and Co., while looking at this contradictory material, must have decided to adopt this mother-wife story in order to harmonize as much of this contradictory information as possible.

The real point of making potential recruits shun such common practices is to isolate them from the (evil) 'world' and therefore fall under the influence (and control) of HWA. This doctrine was part of HWA's cunning plan to alienate potential recruits from the rest of society and thus fall under the spell of HWA and do whatever they are told to do by WCG. This story was carefully adapted and deployed to enslave people into the abusively exploitative environment of WCG.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Historical Resources on Jehovah's Witnesses

Here a web page providing extensive historical resources on Jehovah's Witnesses, courtesy of, a Roman Catholic website.

Personal favorite: Armageddon Inc., a 1940 Saturday Evening Post article about them under Rutherford, when they expected that Armageddon would be the conclusion of World War II.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Demonization of Valentine's Day

Once Hoeh wrote an article condemning St. Valentine's Day in the March, 1966 Plain Truth. In this article he claimed that St. Valentine's Day (they said the same thing about Christmas) was derived from a cult centered upon Nimrod. He is pretty much imitating Hyslop.

Here he further elaborated on the Armstrongite Nimrod-Semiramis myth. Here he claims that Semiramis lusted after her newborn son when he was born on January 6 (Epiphany) and he was presented to the community on February 15, which includes the evening of February 14, hence we get St. Valentine's Day.
It is said that when Nimrod's mother saw him, she LUSTED after him -- she DESIRED him. [Who said this?] Nimrod became her Cupid -- her desired one -- and later her Valentine! So evil was Nimrod's mother that IT IS SAID SHE MARRIED HER OWN SON! Inscribed on the monuments of ancient Egypt are inscriptions that Nimrod (the Egyptians called him Osiris) was "the husband of his mother."
What memorials is Hoeh talking about? Is there any evidence to support an alternative viewpoint? Does that prove that Semiramis lusted after her son? No. I am starting to think he just made that part of the sickening story up. Just pulled it out of thin air to horrify and sicken trusting readers.

Observe what artful demonization this article employs to vilify Valentine's Day. The reader is told that this day actually refers to an incident of (desired) incest! Imagine some trusting reader who celebrated this day, who may even have some treasured memory associated with this day, and then to be told that this day honors a terrible tyrant, even a moment of incest.

The whole point of this article is to isolate the potential recruit. To make such a person reject a widespread practice of society thus isolating him from the rest of world and making that person more willing to cling to the 'geniuses' of Ambassador College, when really they are unknowing submitting themselves to HWA.

Just one point, earlier in the article Hoeh also stated this:
The ancient name of Rome, before it was rebuilt in 753 B.C., was Saturnia -- the site of Saturn's (Nimrod's) hiding. There he was found and slain for his crimes.
However as xHWA showed us earlier Saturnia was actually a town that got swallowed up into the expanding of Rome. Saturnia is not Rome! It was a town that got absorded into Rome.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Nimrod-Semiramis, Akhenaten and Deviancy

Speaking of the Nimrod-Semiramis incest story that was told by HWA and Hoeh in the 1950s, this story was also extended to the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten in his Compendium of World History. In that book Hoeh reinterpreted Egyptian chronology, largely burrowing from Immanuel Velikovsky as may be seen here. There Hoeh asserted that Akhenaten had done the same thing. This is from Chapter 7.
[Akhenaten was] a sexual deviate who used the cloak of religion to beget children by his own mother and daughters -- not to speak of his attraction toward his son Smenkhkare....

Dissension and jealousy sundered Egypt's government during the El-Amarna period. It was, in part, the result of infiltration of foreign influence during the reign of Amenhotpe III. The book of Sothis records of his day: "The Ethiopians, removing from the River Indus, settled near Egypt."

They brought with them not only the concept of marriages between uterine brothers and sisters, a practice already established in Egypt by the royalty of Sheba, but of the marriage of parents with children. Children of the union of a mother and son were deemed especially well born. Akhenaten inherited this concept through his father's marriage relationships. But the practice was revolting to many Egyptians of high rank. No known ruler among them since the time of the Ethiopian Nimrod had dared marry his own mother and beget children of her.

Akhenaten did it because he regarded himself as a new incarnation of Nimrod, the sun-god. Hence the name Orus applied to the king [Akhenaten]. Orus is another spelling of Horus, third king of Egypt, who was anciently assumed to be the first incarnation of Nimrod.
So not only did Nimrod marry his mother but Akhenaten also did the same thing in direct imitation of Nimrod.

Nimrod and Semiramis

I well remember when I first read The Plain Truth about Christmas booklet by HWA. That was when I first read about HWA's Nimrod story. I was amazed with the knowledge of Nimrod HWA produced. He boldly proclaimed to me that Nimrod had married his own mother, a woman named Semiramis.

It was only later I discovered that this story actually came from Hyslop's book, The Two Babylons. I read that book online. I did not see any mention that Semiramis was Nimrod's mother. Maybe he did say that once somewhere but I thought there would be more emphasis on that matter.

So where did this idea come from? As far as I can tell this seems to have come from Hoeh and Co. I am not certain about this. If anyone can better explain this I would be most intrigued to know.

Bob Thiel's Interview

I've just downloaded Bob Thiel's interview on KKZZ which was highlighted by Ambassador Watch. It won't be available for long so you might want to get it while you can.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Why Health Reform is Needed Now

Here's a video of Senator Alan Grayson revealing the terrible toll upon American society due the lack of affordable healthcare and the present rationing of healthcare insurance by private insurance interests. Here he names Congressional representatives and then tells how many have died due to the lack of affordable healthcare insurance.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fiction is not Stupid, HWA

This might be difficult. This is about HWA, art, fiction specifically, and his effect.

HWA in his autobiography, in which he completely 'forgets' to tell us about his many false prophecies, (1936, Mussolini as Beast, Hitler as Beast) he does remember to tell us that he has not read much fiction.

That winter, beside the warm fire of burning oak logs, I read through three or four books of fiction -- about the only fiction reading of my entire life. I did what I could to help on the farm, but that wasn't much, and my wife, of course, did the cooking, and housework. (Chapter 13.)
He also remembered to tell us his personal views on fiction.

I confined my reading in magazines to informative and thought-provoking articles, resisting fiction almost altogether. Fiction is the lazy man's reading. Like the movies, and today's TV programs, it is merely a ready-made daydream, inducing habits of mind-drifting. (Chapter 8.)
And then (strangely) just a few words later he lecture us about 'vision.'
This is the quality, rare among people (but why should it be? [It might have something to do with your authoritarian ways, HWA.-Redfox712]), called VISION....the big majority never think beyond their present jobs -- never think out ways to do the job better, or to develop or expand their own job into something bigger, or to be preparing themselves for the better jobs ahead and promotions to them
How is vision, which here means dreaming about future possibilities, different from dreaming about possibilities experienced through reading fiction?

His view on fiction is wrong and is completely ignorant of the tremendous power fiction can achieve in its readers. Fiction is not "lazy man's reading" it is an exploration of human creativity, a way of expanding the mind. Fiction is story telling. So is history. So is any other written narrative. Many of those historical books seen on libraries or the hallowed halls of academic institutions tell stories. HWA does not see the power of fiction.

Fiction can be used to inspire people and even have dramatic impact upon people's lives. It is extremely simplistic and ignorant for HWA to just dismiss it all as vanity. He did not qualify it by saying it was just his opinion, he stated it as though it was the uncontestable truth.

I am sorry to say this but I was so taken in by HWA that after I read these words I very seriously considered giving up reading fiction all together. I shudder at the thought of how much power his words had over me.

Thankfully after reading a particularly exciting story I decided that reading fiction and dreaming up your own fictional scenarios was perfectly fine and did not contradict God's will.

Herman Hoeh did not let HWA's prejudices stop him from reading fiction. As related to us by Mike Snyder:

I took the time to examine the many shelves of books he had. I was struck by the fact that he had the entire collection of the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew series. I asked him about it, thinking that they were intended to be donated. He replied that they were his, to my great surprise. His explanation? “The ability to read is a gift. What we place into our minds by using this gift must be selected with care, as everything we read influences us. Those books [Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew] are simple but satisfying for a tired mind desiring entertainment. They always end with justice being served. In my view, they represent a suitable alternative to the rubbish that many unfortunately prefer.”
HWA's view of fiction is absolutely wrong. Yet another matter in which he is totally wrong and in error.

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Man's Story of Revived Faith

Just read this story of a man, Mr. A. N. Wilson, converting back to Christianity. (Taken from the Atheism Sucks! blog.)

On other matters here a beautiful picture of a grasshopper.

Friday, October 30, 2009

HWA and Christ's Return by 2005

Sometimes I comment that HWA predicted that Jesus Christ would return by 2005. This refers to what HWA wrote in Mystery of the Ages, Chapter 7, which first came to my attention from Kelly Marshal's excellent critical review of Mystery of the Ages, Chapter 7.

In the section entitled 'A False Prophet at Work-When Will This Kingdom Be Established?' it is shown that HWA taught in Mystery of the Ages, Chapter 7, that Christ would return very soon. Kelly Marshal cites these words from that chapter: "during the next few years...IN OUR TIME...We are now very near the END of this world!"

HWA predicted Christ to return within the next two decades from 1985, therefore I often say that HWA predicted Christ to return by 2005. On my blog I have placed a permanent link to a quote at another ESN article that clearly show how HWA proclaimed that Christ would return by 2005.
And, secondly, to reveal--preserved in writing for us TODAY--what is to happen "in the latter days"--actually within the next two decades-- THIS LAST HALF OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY! (Under the heading 'Daniel Knew!')
It is to this statement I refer to whenever I say HWA predicted Christ to return by 2005. The way it is phrased here Christ must return no later than 2005. Twenty years ("within the next two decades"--2005) is the upper limit. He gives the strong impression here that, if anything, Christ will return sooner than 2005.

You can find that quote in Chapter 7, under the heading 'Daniel Knew!'

Here is the relevant paragraph from MOA as preserved on Pabco's Home Page, an unofficial Armstrongite website affiliated with David Hulme's sect which may be seen here. (Update 12.11.13: The link is now updated to another COG archive website.)
The whole purpose of the DREAM was to reveal GOD'S GOVERNMENT- the fact that God RULES--the truth of THE KINGDOM OF GOD--the very thing that is the one and only true GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST! And, secondly, to reveal--preserved in writing for us TODAY--what is to happen "in the latter days"--actually within the next two decades-- THIS LAST HALF OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY!
However the current copyright holders of MOA, PCG have altered this paragraph to read as fellows, as may be seen here
The whole purpose of this DREAM was to reveal GOD'S GOVERNMENT—the fact that God RULES—the truth of THE KINGDOM OF GOD—the very thing that is the one and only true GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST! And, secondly, to reveal—preserved in writing for us TODAY—what is to happen “in the latter days.”
They have removed the embarrassing date setting ("--actually within the next two decades-- THIS LAST HALF OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY!") found in the original version of that paragraph.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

PCG with Non-Armstrongite Persons

In PCG's latest issue of The Philadelphia Trumpet they have included an interview with Intelligent Design proponent Guillermo Gonzalez. I am very disappointed that he has given them this interview and thus help to legitimize them.

Perhaps he is unaware of their true nature as a heretical sect that condemns all other Christians as false Christians and furthermore insist that even their fellow Armstrongite brethren are so contemptible that PCG members are forbidden to associate with them.

I recall reading somewhere in one of HWA's co-worker letters he stated that he was able to get on so many radio stations partly by not emphasizing the religious nature of his program. He was getting on their good side, partly by hiding his real nature.

This reminds me of the time the old WCG interviewed the famous historian Paul Johnson. [Update: Dead link.] This is a part of PCG's attempt to became more respected by people who will be sympathetic to them.

Now I don't want to pick on Gonzalez. Other non-Armstrongites have also had articles published in The Philadelphia Trumpet. For example the eurosceptic author, Rodney Atkinson. He has written at least four articles for PCG, spanning from 2000 to 2008. PCG had an interview with him which appears in the February 2001 issue.

And then there is The Trumpet Weekly, which is mainly composed of excepts from other newspapers.

Can you imagine Tomorrow's World gaining interviews of such persons, or so extensively using the writings of journalists for so extensively for their publications? As one who was a loyal subscriber to LCG's magazine from 2000 onwards I cannot. Clearly PCG is striving to revive the aura of respectability and prominence that The Plain Truth had.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Whitewashed PCG Article

UCG minister John D. Carmack has highlighted this article discussing PCG. I am afraid to say this article presents a rather whitewashed view of PCG. Carmack suggests that PCG has employed a writer to produce a favorable article about them.

Here are some highlights from this article.
The Philadelphia Church of God is a non-denominational Christian church...
This phrasing hides the fact that PCG is a part of Armstrongism, and that this religion teaches many things contrary to traditional Christian teachings. It is very different to what most people would recognize as Christian.
More than 70 percent of his [HWA's] followers were driven out or excommunicated from the Worldwide Church of God due to sweeping doctrinal changes.
Some of them actually left after seeing what happened.
The result of his studies was a book titled Malachi’s Message, which proves that the Worldwide Church of God’s falling away from the truth was actually prophesied millennia ago.
I am somewhat surprised that there is no "they believe" qualifier in that sentence.
The church does not ask for money for any of its materials.
As we know this is actually a deceptive method PCG (and many other COGs) use to gain trust from unknowing persons. Once one accepts PCG as truly sent from God they eventually discover they are required to send PCG three tithes.

One genuinely interesting piece of information provided here is that the Key of David program first started broadcasting on TV (as opposed to radio) on January 17, 1993. It is quite close to other dates important to PCG such as January 7, the start of HWA's infamous 19 year time cycles beginning in 1934 with the first broadcast of HWA's radio show, and January 16, the date of HWA's death in 1986. Gerald Flurry taught in his book, Malachi's Message, that prophetic events heralding the approaching Great Tribulation and all that would occur on that date. So far nothing has happened on that day. This makes me wonder if PCG was trying to get the Key of David start on a date like that, maybe January 16, so PCG could claim it as a sign that the end is coming?

The article also provides links to the PCG and Key of David websites.

The unsuspecting reader would have no idea that Armstrongism is quite different from traditional Christianity, that HWA, WCG and PCG deny the Trinity, teach that God is a Family into we can be born into, similar to Mormonism, insist all other non-Armstrongite Christians are false, that PCG has often been noted for its highly controlling behavior, such as demanding three tithes from members, their horrible anti-medicine superstition (deriaved ultimately from 1920s Jehovah's Witnesses) that has caused death, that HWA was guilty of gross personal sins, or the many other scandalous things that might cause some disquiet to potential recruits.

This article is a whitewashed account of PCG. PCG is a cult, in their beliefs and their disturbing behavior. This article gives the reader hardly a clue to those facts.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Bob Thiel's Mystery Degree

Mr. Gavin Rumney has produced another post asking for the truth concerning Bob Thiel's mystery degree. Here are some of my thoughts on this question.

Bob Theil needs to answer this question.

His honor has been questioned. Does he not care about his honor?

Why is he not willing to defend himself from such a simple question?

This is not about some obscure event that occurred 50 or 2000 years ago. This is a simple yes or no question that he can easily answer.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

JWs and HWA Sure Sound Alike

I just read this from this article about Michael Jackson's death.

As for birthday celebrations, the Jehovah Witnesses are equally clear. Lesson 11 from their official web site states:

The only two birthday celebrations spoken of in the Bible were held by persons who did not worship Jehovah. (Genesis 40:20-22; Mark 6:21, 22, 24-27) The early Christians did not celebrate birthdays. The custom of celebrating birthdays comes from ancient false religions. True Christians give gifts and have good times together at other times duing the year.

Isn't this extremely similar to how HWA convinced us that birthdays were immoral?

The truth is HWA stole this doctrine from the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Originally the Watchtower Society allowed birthdays, but it was only under Rutherford, around the 1920s or so, that the Watchtower Society added this condition for its members.

Clearly HWA became persuaded by their arguments and imposed this doctrine upon his followers.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Creepy Watchtower Tales

Just heard about a guy who studied with Jehovah's Witnesses thirty years ago and then after a terrible tragedy struck he began studying with them again. ('Schoolroom Massacre—Comfort in the Aftermath,' Watchtower, December 1, 2009.)

In another example I read of this Vietnam War vet who became acquainted with a lady Jehovah's Witness who introduced him to the cult. He had never heard of them before. ('How I Lost My Love for War,' Awake!, December, 2009.)

These stories just chill my heart.

These stories show how important it is to study cults and understand how they operate and understand that organizations such as the Watchtower Society or the Armstrongite Churches of God simply do not have any access to God.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Real Persecution of Christians in Iraq

A film's just come out, Facing Extinction, about the severe persecution that the Christian community in Iraq are currently undergoing. Many have been forced to flee Iraq because of the terrible violence over there.

Profile of a Sociopath

Here an article on the Profile of a Sociopath from ESN that shows the terrible depravity some persons can allow themselves to fall into.

On another matter I've added a link of xHWA's recent blog to my links section.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Some Random Thoughts

Here are some fairly random COG related thoughts.

1) I recall that in Michael Barkun's book, Religion and the Racist Right, it is related that "Christian Identity", a virulently racist offshoot of British-Israelism, has another similarity to Armstrongism. Identity denies that there will be a rapture, just like Armstrongism. I do not know what to make of this.

2) ESN has just released some correspondence from a UCG member and their responses. A typical COG defender who insensitively glosses the extremely abusive behavior that occurs within the COGs.

3) Reading xHWA's article reminded me of something I read. In that booklet Hoeh said that the 1260 years of persecution upon the 'True Church' began in 325. In his (highly suspect) account it is after this Council that 'God's True Church' is driven underground by the 'Beast,' the Roman Empire.

When I first watched Tomorrow's World Meredith mentioned the woman ('God's True Church') being in the wilderness for 1260 days (years). But he said those years corresponded with the revival of the Roman Empire (554-1814) not from 325. So apparently the 'revived Roman Empire' was persecuting 'God's True Church' the entire 1260 years, even though according to their own 'history,' the 'True Church' had since moved to America, far away from the alleged Beast Power, according to Meredith.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

xHWA on Hoeh's "Church History"

xHWA has just released excellent research concerning Hoeh's 1959 booklet, A True History of the True Church. You need to read this.

I remember when I first managed to get onto a HWA archival website I the first booklet I went to was that very booklet. I found it mind blowing. xHWA now shows us valuable necessary information about that booklet. I strongly encourage everyone to read, if you have not already.

Monday, October 12, 2009

An Argument for US Health Care Reform

This is not COG related but I just saw this amazing and quite intense video of Keith Olbermann arguing for health care reform. It is a very powerful message.

I may not agree with everything this Democratic-led government does or with Mr. Olbermann's politics, but I really hope health reform is passed to solve the problems highlighted here.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

HWA, World Leaders and Who Else?

In HWA's later life he often went to visit with many world leaders.

Beginning with the King of Belgium he began to visit many world leaders. Among those he visited included Haile Selassie, Salvador Allende, Indira Gandhi, Deng Xiaoping, Anwar Sadat, Hosni Mubarak, Margaret Thatcher, Golda Meir, Franz Joseph Strauss, Otto von Hapsburg, Emperor Hirohito. This is featured prominently in the introduction for The World Tomorrow TV show.

I remember once he suggested that Elijah also went and visited world as he (HWA) did. I wish I knew where I saw it.

What was his proof? He used 1 Kings 18:10.

"As the LORD thy God liveth, there is no nation or kingdom, whither my lord [king Ahab] hath not sent to seek thee: and when they said, He is not there; he took an oath of the kingdom and nation, that they found thee not."

However even he realized just how weak this argument was so he only 'suggested' it. Hedging his statement as is done all too often in the world of Armstrongism.

Here Ahab is looking for Elijah in other countries. But HWA used this Scripture to 'suggest' that Elijah visited these world leaders in the same manner he did. Look at this scripture and you will see it says no such thing.

It is much more reasonable to assume that he was communicating with the authorities of other countries to find where he was, in the same way states today send out information to relevant agencies internationally. This is not evidence that Elijah was visiting world leaders as HWA did.

This "evidence" also conveniently ignored the fact that another religious leader has also done very similar things to HWA in consorting with the great and powerful of the world.

In a manner very similar to HWA, Sun Myung Moon makes it a habit to get into the good graces of the high and mighty.

Sun Myung Moon makes teaches many things that are contrary to traditional Christianity. Some of their distinctive teachings may be seen here, including their belief that Jesus was supposed to marry and have children but failed to do so and Moon did what He could not.

He met with Nixon in 1974.

He even managed to get himself crowned by an American Cogressman in the Dirksen Senate Building on March 23, 2004.

George H. W. Bush has long been linked to this man. He appears in this recent video.

Moon also founded The Washington Times, a publication the prominence of which puts WCG's Quest magazine to shame.

There are many other fascinating connections which this man has established within the American conservative movement.

So we see that HWA's "commission" to the leaders of the world was not unique at all. Sun Myung Moon has also been able to hobnob with the great and powerful just like HWA.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Rick Ross Interview on Cults

Here's an interview of the noted anti-cult activist Rick Ross with The Wittenburg Door made back in 2004. (Update: Dead link.)

It is a fascinating expose of how cults operate. He even mentions WCG when discussing Yisrael Hawkins.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

John Allen's Sect and Against the Gates of Hell

Thanks to AW's blog on the Purple Hymnal I ended up writing about John Allen's COG sect.

I ran across his website years ago. It was one of the few other COG websites I visited when I started exploring the COGweb in late 2000.

It was one of the first sites that had a lot of HWA writings that I found. However I soon migrated to another COG website for HWA materials.

I remember John Allen used to have a page that condemned Flurry for 'idolatry' (absolutely correct), and condemned Meredith for using juvenile slang. I'm still not entirely sure what he meant by that.

As far as I know this is the only place you can read Rader's book Against the Gates of Hell online.

There's a reason no one else has bothered to post it online. It is not a good read. I tried reading that dreary book and the first time, I stopped after the third chapter or so. Chapter 2 was just a recap of HWA's early life. Since I already read his autobiography I just skipped it. I don't think I went much further than that.

Later, after I renounced the Armstrongism, I reread it, but I only read the first half, which was about the forced receivership. That account was totally one sided. It's somewhat exciting and dramatic.

But the beginning is strange. He makes sound like everything's fine and happy under his watch, the day is beautiful, flowery language is used to describe the scene. It's like the happy beginning of some camp movie. Even when I was an Armstrongite I somehow couldn't quite accept this description of his.

Now that I am out I can see it is just a self serving depiction of those events. The events are simply black and white. No gray at all. Those supporting him are loyal, courageous, are in the right, etc. Those who are against him are sinister, evil, enemy agents. He even compared some of the receivers and investigators to Nazis.

"persons who were barging in like SS troopers making a midnight raid in Nazi Germany." (Chapter 1, p. 23.)

"When Herbert Armstrong wrote a letter to the Church, the state's Gestapo, in conjunction with collaborating enemy agents within the organization, stopped the mails." (Chapter 7, p. 123).

It is also rather strange that he tries to portray the receivership as effecting church-state relations. This is obviously in order to gain support from other organized churches and make them scared that something like this might happen to them. After years of condemning mainstream Christianity as being the whore of Revelation 17 and her children they then run to them and try to get their help.

To this day I still can't be bothered to read the second half, which was about the AICF and HWA visiting world leaders. I did read the chapter on China but only because China fascinates me.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

PCG Still Watches Stoiber

Look at the latest September 20-26, 2009, Trumpet Weekly. On page 4-5 you will find an article about the German politician Edmund Stoiber. It is entitled, 'Stoiber's Work Making Waves in EU.' It is credited to The, so this is something PCG itself wrote.

The article ends with these words: "The Trumpet is watching for a charismatic, organizational genius to emerge as a strongman to lead a united Europe."

Earlier back in 2002 Gerald Flurry & Co. hinted that Edmund Stoiber, then the right wing candidate for Chancellor of Germany, might become the Beast, the European dictator they expect to arise and bring the world to the verge of destruction.

As LCG apologist Bob Thiel observed: "in the May 2002 edition of the Philadelphia Trumpet, PCG's Gerald Flurry wrote that he felt that the then 60 year-old Edmund Stoiber who was then running to be Germany's chancellor was a likely candidate to be "the king of fierce countenance of Daniel 8" (vss.23-24). Although he presents some interesting reasons for his position, [Flurry tries to argue that Stoiber is Strauss' successor] I personally wrote years ago that I felt that Stoiber may be a little to old to fulfill that position."

HWA used to think this European dictator would be Mussolini, then Hitler. After World War II their suspicion focused on Franz Josef Strauss and Otto von Hapsburg. Stoiber is simply the latest figure highlighted in this so far hopelessly inaccurate prophecy game.

Personally I am amazed that PCG is still focusing on him and still hold lingering suspicions that he will still be the Beast.

Scattered Witnesses

We all know how hopelessly scattered the COGs are. Well Jehovah's Witnesses also have many splinter groups as well. Two links that may be useful to seeing what sort of Watchtower splinter groups are out and and about may be seen with these links.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pack is the Angel to the Church of Laodicea?

In the last post we saw how Pack is now claiming to be Joshua the Priest. But there's more. LCG apologist Bob Theil's source now reveals the following:
He alluded to a connection between his “office” of High Priest and his last name meaning “Passover.” It seems that he believes he makes intersession for the Church in some way (I really wish I was joking or exaggerating, but he actually does make this insinuation).

He has also taught for some time that he is the “angel to the church of Laodicea” of Revelation 3 and that he is the last end time Apostle. With this latest discovery of himself in the pages of the Bible, he seems to be going more and more the way of Gerald Flurry.
So Pack now says he is the "angel to the church of Laodicea." What is he talking about? This makes reference to one doctrine HWA taught in Mystery of the Ages that is rarely brought up.
In that book he adds an unusual twist to the seven church era doctrine:
"Of the Philadelphia era of God's true Church we read: "To the angel of the church...." This word angel translated from the Greek aggelos means messenger or agent. This is not necessarily always referring to a spirit angel but can refer as well to a human may also apply to the human messenger or agent God has raised up to lead this era of his Church [HWA]." (Mystery of the Ages, Chapter 6, under the heading 'Restoration of God's Truth to Church.')
Clearly Pack has used this doctrine, assumed that HWA was right, assumed that HWA is the "angel (messenger) of the church (era) of Philadelphia," and then applied the label "angel to the church of Laodicea" to himself.

Where did HWA get this idea from?

The Watchtower.

I discussed this topic in a previous post. Here is some of what is written there.
On the grave of Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, the members of which would later be named Jehovah's Witnesses, it is declared that Russell was "The Laodicean Messenger."

While HWA was only willing to identify the Philadelphian messenger (himself), the Watchtower Society went even further than HWA and claimed to identify each of the seven messengers. They were Paul, John, Arius, Waldo, Wycliffe, Luther and Russell. Notice what is related here.

"While [Russell] implies that there were precursors to his work (who of course had a very different theology than Russell accepted [very similar to HWA's "church history" doctrine]), it was only in The Finished Mystery (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 7) published after his death that a direct line is sketched from Paul and John through Arius, Waldo, Wycliff, and Luther to Russell." (Gene Edson Ahlstrom, The Church in the Thought of Charles Taze Russell, under the heading 'Sectarianism and Church History.')
So we see that, just like HWA, Pack is imitating the Watchtower Society. Pack is unconsciously taking up the mantle of Charles Taze Russell.

Pack, not Tkach, is Joshua the Priest

You know how Gerald Flurry teaches that Joshua the priest, mentioned in Zechariah 3, is Joseph Tkach? First he said it was Sr, now he says it was Junior.

It is well known that Flurry's Malachi's Message plagiarized the ideas found in Jules Dervaes' Letter to Laodicea in 1987 before MM was first published. You can find Dervaes identifying Tkach as Joshua long before Flurry here.

Well apparently Flurry got it wrong. Dave Pack now tells us actually that prophecy is referring not to Tkach, but to himself.

LCG apologist Bob Thiel broke the news on September 15. He revealed the following from a source of his on his News of Those Once Associated with GCG page. This is what Bob Theil's source says.
This weekend he has posted a two part sermon ( titled “Zechariah 3—Joshua Identified.” I listened to portions of the second message.

He is now teaching that he is the end time (or the third) Joshua. He reads Zechariah 3 and identifies himself as this Joshua and claims that he is the “High Priest” over this era of the Church. I didn’t listen to every word, but he seems to identify the “filthiness” of verse 3-4 as the sins of the Laodiceans that he had to bear by spending time in GCG (though he claims they are not his sins…but the sins of the era). He said he wears the spiritual miter of authority over the Church. He takes verse 7 and identifies himself having “charge of My courts,” meaning the end time Church....
And so Pack now says he is Joshua. Don't tell Flurry that.

This letter from ESN also shares this information.

And so now we see that Pack is going the way of Flurry. That's not all I am afraid. More on this later.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Zechariah 14, FOT and Second Tithe

(Update: ESN has published another email which states that Dave Pack will be on the History Channel, 14 or 15 October.)

Since it's that time of the year to bring paradise to God's people for eight days I think it would be good to highlight this previous post that was published last April. (And yes, I am imitating Ambassador Watch.)

By the way when it is called the Feast of Tabernacles and this is what one of those tabernacles look like. They are not some sort of big meeting place, which is the practice of the COGs. (Image courtesy of 'Sukkot,' Wikipedia.)

And now onto the post:

Awhile ago I ran into this Ambassador Watch post. There it was written that 'Yes it's Sukkoth (sue-coat), a.k.a. the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths. Not that anyone in the post-WCG tradition constructs booths from branches, or even sets up a bunk bed in the garden shed, but that's another issue.' These words got my mind on a track of thought which I will now detail.

Here is what I thought:

Zechariah 14: 16-19 is often used to say that the Feast of Tabernacles is to be observed by Christians today.

According to Armstrongite interpretation this shows that those living in the Millennial rule of Christ must observe the Feast of Tabernacles.

But there are actually severe problems with this interpretation for Armstrongites.

Let's be really generous and assume the Armstrongites have got most of it right in this matter of the interpretation of Zechariah 14: 16-19. Let us, for the sake of argument, assume that this scripture actually does refer to events after Christ's return and that those verses are an accurate depiction of what shall happen in the Millenium as it is interptreted by Armstrongism.

Even if we assume all those points to be true, Zechariah 14: 16-19 still cannot be legitimately used to prove that we should embrace Armstrongism or that Armstrongism is the one true religion.


Because the Armstrongite Feast of Tabernacles is all wrong.

Observe how it was observed in Nehemiah 8: 14-17:
14 And they found written in the law which the LORD had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month: 15 And that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, Go forth unto the mount, and fetch olive branches, and pine branches, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as it is written. 16 So the people went forth, and brought them, and made themselves booths, every one upon the roof of his house, and in their courts, and in the courts of the house of God, and in the street of the water gate, and in the street of the gate of Ephraim. 17 And all the congregation of them that were come again out of the captivity made booths, and sat under the booths: for since the days of Joshua the son of Nun unto that day had not the children of Israel done so. And there was very great gladness.
This scripture shows that the booths which the children of Israel were required to dwell in were tents which were small enough to be placed on a flat roof. These booths were placed on each individual person's roof.

When I read the recruitment writings LCG made and I learned about the Feast of Tabernacles I read about it in the Bible. I perceived then that it should be observed by being in a tent in the appointed time.

But the COGs do not observe it in that manner. Instead they observe by coming together into large gatherings all over the world. They do not set up tents on their property. (Of course because we do no use flat roofs we would have to place the booth in our property.) This is not what is described 'in your own Bible' in Nehemiah 8: 14-17.

Also note how the Jews celebrate Sukkoth. Look at the Wikipedia articles on Sukkot and Sukkah. Look at the pictures. The Jews certainly do not observe this festival by gathering themselves together in some massive gathering far away to meet with like-minded people but, rather, observe it in their own homes.

Since Armstrongism observes this feast in an inaccurate manner therefore they cannot legitimately claim this as a proof that they are right. Therefore their Feasts of Tabernacles are inaccurate.

Since the Armstrongite FOT is illegitimate than Second Tithe, which is mainly used (if I understand it correctly) to allow the believer to observe this incorrectly observed festival, is thus being used for improper purposes.

As far as I understand it HWA first ordered his followers to pay Second Tithe in a October 3, 1945 co-worker letter, specifically to pay for the members' participation in the FOT.

Since Second Tithe is being used to celebrate the FOT in an inaccurate manner therefore the COGs have no right to use Second Tithe to pay for the incorrect observance of FOT. The Armstrongite practice contradict the Biblical practice as recorded in Nehemiah 8: 14-17.

So if the Armstrongite FOT is inaccurately observed then there is no legitimate reason to use Zechariah 14: 16-19 as a proof text for their observance of FOT because their practice of it is inaccurate.

However if the 'Apostle' HWA chose to observe the FOT in a more scripturally based manner, with his followers building a sukkah at home, he would have found it impossible to solidify his followers and bind them even more under his control. How do you build up an identity, a shared consciousness among fellow believers, by having everyone celebrating in tents in their own homes for eight days?

So he chose an observance style more effective for his purposes of further solidifying his control over his followers. He did this by commanding them to come together, meet many other fellow believers, make them feel part of something greater than themselves. Also HWA and his minions could make the members to listen only to what HWA and the leadership desired. Create milieu control,which is one of Lifton's Eight Criteria of Thought Reform.

And so the inaccurately observed FOT is used as convenient mind control method and used to justify the acquisition of Second Tithe.

And so one can see that there are many problems with using Zechariah 14: 16-19 as a proof that Armstrongism is the true religion because the Bible shows that they do not observe it properly. And furthermore once the Armstrongite understanding of the observance of the FOT is rejected this also removes the purpose for Second Tithe. So it is seen that error builds upon error.

Also relevant to this discussion is this testimony that argues that the FOT is a mind control trick and this article under the heading 'All Will Keep the Feast (Zechariah 14)' which argues that during the future Millenium it will be required to observe the FOT but that under the New Covenant observance of the FOT is not required.

And so that was the train of thought my Biblically-derived, non-Armstronite expectations of the FOT and that comment on Ambassador Watch led me to think concerning Zechariah 14 and the Feast of Tabernacles.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Meredith's Selective Memory of HWA

Here is how Meredith presents HWA to his followers in his September 9, 2009 Co-Worker Letter.
This is a special week to me, personally. For exactly 60 years ago this week, the Eternal God led me to Ambassador College in Pasadena, CA. There, as a “pioneer” student, I was personally instructed in the Bible and the whole purpose of life by Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong—a man many of you have heard about. This man was used by God to “restore” more biblical Truth to the Church of God than any other human being for hundreds of years! He was used by Almighty God to reach tens of millions of people all around the world with the knowledge that the very real kingdom—or government—of Almighty God would soon be set up on this earth based on the laws of God.

Decades before the events happened, Herbert W. Armstrong predicted that the nations of eastern Europe would break free from the Soviet Union and that the Berlin Wall would come down!
HWA did believe that some eastern European nations would break away from the USSR's dominance and enter a united Europe, however he also believed that the USSR would survive this and would continue to exist till several years after Christ's return in 1975 to have its military destroyed in the destruction of Gog and Magog. This is not an honest portrayal of what HWA actually believed. It carefully hides the countless false prophecies HWA produced.

Furthermore it is not true that HWA was a man "used by God." He was a false prophet and a plagiarizer from the very beginning.

He said Christ would return in 1936.

He hid the influence of other religious movements upon him, pretending God revealed these truths to him when practically every idea he taught can be traced to other sources (Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, British-Israelism, Mormonism).

HWA was guilty of committing gross sexual immorality in the very time in which he (supposedly) began the Philadelphia era of the church.

God could never work with a man like that.

Meredith is wrong to idealistically portray HWA in the manner that he does. This is done in order to hide the truth about HWA, that he was never used by God.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Meredith Speaks (And Wants More Money)

Before we start the main topic I wish to say here that my thoughts are with the people of Samoa during the dark time they are suffering. I also wish to highlight the suffering of the people of Guinea in which a protest has been violently suppressed with much lost of life. My thoughts are with you.

And now onto the main topic:

Meredith is at it again calling upon his followers for more money.

In the September 17, 2009 Weekly Update LCG's Roderick C. Meredith wrote some words within this Weekly Update.
Unusual prophetic fulfillments are certainly taking place on almost a daily basis as the “pieces of the puzzle” begin to come together before Christ’s return to this earth. It is certainly exciting and motivating to see this.
He has been saying these alarmist statements for fifty years. In all that time Jesus was said to return within 20-25 years, first 1975, then 2005, it just never ends.
As I said in the co-worker letter, I came to Ambassador College sixty years ago this month. So I have been in God’s Work now—counting my student days and student employment at the college—for just over sixty years.
There's some more of the inane COG numerology that is so prevalent in this movement.
God has continued to bless this Work in spite of the terrible recession our nations have undergone. We have had more calls from prospective members, more TV responses, a higher growth rate for Church membership than in many years, and many other blessings. We thank God for this!
Alas, that is perfectly predictable. In times of crisis, in which we are in, people naturally try to find answers because of the trials they are undergoing. I remember reading somewhere of how membership growth rates for the Jehovah's Witnesses' mind control cult have declined since around 1998, with the exception of a brief growth spurt in 2001-2, most likely caused by the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This page is relevant to that topic. It is no surprise to me that the financial crisis should have such an effect upon those who have taken an interest in LCG's teachings.

After that comes the begging for money. (Green emphasis is mine.)
Yet, mainly because of the recession—which is now ending—the Work of Christ is experiencing a very “tight” financial condition. Though we have budgeted 5.3 percent increase in income for this year—and deeply need this in order to sustain our current programs—our current income is only running about two percent increase year-to-date. So unless we receive truly generous Feast offerings this year we will have to make more cuts in our television stations and other parts of the Work. But, in all honesty, we have tried to run a “lean” operation and do not have any extravagance that I am aware of. So we do deeply need the prayers of all of God’s people and their sacrificial offerings in the weeks to come!
Therefore, please announce this to the brethren and tell them of the unusual need at this time. Let them know that as they come to worship God and picture Tomorrow’s World at the Feast of Tabernacles, they should think of these coming Feast offerings at Trumpets, Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles in that context. This is worshiping our Creator and being truly thankful that most of us in the western world still have far more material wealth and “things” than the vast majority of mankind. Even though some of us, at times, think that we are “giving until it hurts” we do not even begin to commence to have the “hurt” others have in less fortunate circumstances. So encourage everyone to be generous—though we do not want any of our widows or less fortunate people to put themselves into financial hardship because of this.

Also, brethren, as Mr. Armstrong stated a number of times, we do want the brethren to know that it is all right to give any of their “excess” second tithe as Feast offerings—especially as part of the final Feast offering on the Last Great Day. A number of people have actually “enjoyed” this opportunity to give of their substance to the Work—knowing that they did not need to use it all up during the Feast of Tabernacles.
"Unusual need"? What about December last year when Meredith also made a similar appeal for money during the Christmas season in the December 18, 2008 Weekly Update. And who could forget all the times Elijah begged for money in countless 'financial crises' over fifty years. There is nothing unusual about this begging.

He tells them that this is "worshiping our Creator". His followers are told to "be generous" even though they already pay three tithes.

Furthermore he tries to make his followers feel as though they should be happy giving away money. That is simply a mind control method done to make people feel happy when they give money to LCG, who don't realize they are simply following Meredith's orders. The happiness they feel at giving away money is an implanted perception.

He calls upon members to send the excess Second Tithe to "the Work." I recall at least one blogger relating how WCG also called upon him to send the excess Second Tithe to "the Work" and he would, not but instead spent it on his family.

He makes the obligatory calls for those struggling not having to pay, as HWA did. This is done to hide the exploitative nature of this call for more money and sweeten this crass call for money.

So we see that Meredith and Co. continue to follow HWA's exploitation of their devotees. They have not changed or repented of this exploitative behaviour.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Last Year's Day of Atonement

As it is that time of the year again I wish to share with you all my last Day of Atonement as a COG believer.

It was habit during holy time to read spiritually uplifting material. Therefore on the Day of Atonement 2008 I went to the library and read a book there that had caught my attention. The Bamboo Cross by Homer E. Dowdy (1968).

It is an account of Evangelical Degar (Montagnard) missionaries among their people in Vietnam back in the 1950s and 1960s. It is a fascinating account of life among these peoples.

I was not evangelical at all but I was already familiar with most of COG doctrine and their stories so I read other religious works.

In this book a shaman incites a drunken horde to destroy anything white, including white people. The harassment from Communist Viet Cong guerrillas who tried to lure them to join them in their war.

It also relates how among one tribe it was the custom to demolish a house once a person died in that house.

Also it related how there was this tribe that lived in an inaccessible place that could only be accessed by climbing a treacherous stone.

Since this book was written before the Communist North Vietnam conquered South Vietnam I wonder what happened to them. This book is definitely worth a read if you can get your hands on it.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Dave Pack on TV: September 30 and Other Links

According to a September 24 letter to ESN Dave Pack will appear on the Nostradamus Effect on September 30.

Also ESN has released another testimony of life under WCG. I wish her and her family all the best.

Also J has just published a post, 'Think,' that I feel perfectly encapsulates the situation of many COGers and how HWA took them into that situation.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The COGs' Selective Amnesia -- Part 2: GTA, LCG and PCG

In the last post we saw how HWA carefully hid the facts about his false prophecies from potential recruits. He started the COGs' selective amnesia concerning the false prophecies.

This habit has been well learned throughout the COG movement. We now turn our attention to COG offshoots that continue this habit.

In 50 Years of Warning from the Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Organization we are treated to quotes dating as far back as 1952 from GTA about how he has been warning the world about the coming of a European superpower. Yet it never mentions that this was supposed to happen by 1975. That from 1953 onwards GTA expected this to occur by 1975.

LCG's "church history" booklet contains a positive portrait of HWA's work and again makes absolutely no mention about 1936, that HWA taught that Mussolini (then Hitler) was the Beast, or 1975. These hard facts are simply erased from their history and hidden from potential recruits.

PCG produced a "special report" of their Philadelphia Trumpet magazine in which we are assured that they have scoured the writings of HWA to show us his "Decades of accurate forecasting" in predicting events years before they happened.

"To begin this project, a team of Trumpet staffers divided up all the Plain Truths on hand and began scouring every article, looking for bold predictions....Our News Bureau then helped us match the prophetic statements we found in the Plain Truth with what actually happened, or is now happening." (Remember)

They probably have Don Tiger to thank for that. A man who sought to preserve HWA's writings with PCG, only to be sued by Flurry and kicked out of PCG.

Clearly they have been reading old Plain Truth issues. One of the articles in this publication is entitled 'Is a World Dictator about to Appear?' which plays on the fact that the first article in the first Plain Truth (February, 1934) has the very same title, 'Is a World Dictator about to Appear?'

Observe this extract from the article cited above:
But the forecast in Revelation 17:10 referred to one revival of the Roman Empire being extant at the very time that the mysterious vision of the book of Revelation would first come to be understood: “and one is ….” Thus it was that Herbert Armstrong came to see that the dictator Benito Mussolini was that one that is, at that time, in the 1930s, prior to and during the onset of World War II.
Notice how the article carefully skirts around the fact that Mussolini was taught by HWA to be the beast who would fight Christ at His return. So while PCG took note of what the title of the first article was they do not tell us there about what HWA actually preached at that time, that Christ would return in 1936, that Mussolini is the beast who will fight Christ at His return, etc.

One will look in vain for any acknowledgment that 1975 happened. That the various 'prescient' quotes cited from the 1950s and 1960s were actually in expectation that these events would be fulfilled by 1975, that the Soviet Union would actually outlast the USA is never discussed here.

This behavior has also been internalized within many COG members as this Weinland Watch post, The 1975 That Never Was, show. Many who entered WCG after the 1975 disappointment had no idea that these things occurred at all.

So we see that the systematic forgetting of the false prophecies and the suppression of these facts are endemic behaviors within the COGs.