Friday, May 29, 2009

Personal Reminisces and the Robidoux Cult

Here is a little more of my personal story of my encounter with Armstrongism.

When I first encountered Tomorrow's World in early 2000 I only ever read their stuff. This would remain true until I found Bob Thiel's website around 2001. They said on the telecast that they offered a magazine for free. I went to their website and was excited to see that these magazines were online. Nevertheless I got a subscription for their magazine.

I very quickly came to trust them. The moment I began to trust occurred when I read the first magazine they sent me. I had read some of their material before online but this was the first physical copy I was given. In it was an article that convinced me that the church is to observe the seventh day sabbath and not Sunday. Once they convinced me of that point I decided to trust them. I thought I had finally found someone that took the Bible seriously.

It never occurred to me that maybe there were others who understood what they did, it never occurred to me that maybe I should read up on what other people had to say about them. But even if I had thought it I was probably too far gone to respond to such things. Other churches also observe the sabbath but I was mainly unaware of them.

Alas I did not read anything else about LCG's religion until I happened to watch a Dateline report concerning the Ribidoux Cult at Attleboro in late 2000. It was a harrowing tale of how one man came to be caught up into this disturbing cult. It hated medicine so much members were forbidden to wear glasses. (At the time I was completely unaware of the long and shameful history of Armstrongism banning and discouraging medical treatment for its followers.) At one time they declared that the time had come to flee. They went into their cars and told to not bother refueling as God would keep the gas tank full. But the gas ran out. Nothing happened. And they were then told it was just a test. Eventually two infants died, one died at birth and was buried secretly, another died in a most shocking and criminal manner. Some of them went to jail for that.

I watched the story and I was absolutely stunned and flabbergasted to learn that this twisted cult was an offshoot of the Worldwide Church of God. The report did not get into details about WCG but I knew that LCG was an offshoot of WCG. I knew these facts only because of scattered references to HWA and WCG in their recruitment writings. I was very agitated knowing that this cult was linked to LCG. Both LCG and the Attleboro Cult were descended from WCG.

So I took a look on the Internet for information about HWA and WCG. There I was exposed to my first anti-Armstrongism web page. I think that page is no longer online. There I was told that HWA had gone through a scandalous divorce that was drawn out over several years, (the nature of the scandal was left unsaid), that HWA demanded members pay three tithes. I was unaware of the divorce or of the extra two tithes. However this page also said something that I passionately disagreed with so, alas, I chose to ignore it.

Shortly after that I stumbled onto an article by Carl Franklin on the website of Fred Coulter's Christian Biblical Church of God critiquing HWA's doctrine on Church Government (which I did not know). This article blamed some guy named Stanley Rader, (who I did not know at all. LCG never mentions him) for introducing hierarchical government. It also mentioned Meredith and his Church Government booklet made for the Global Church of God. I do not endore Fred Coulter's sect, some reasons why may be seen here.

I was very disturbed by the polemical venom which this article took towards HWA over government. It introduced all these esoteric arguments against government. I was so disturbed by all this that I was unable to go to sleep until sunrise. I was very agitated.

Looking back this was the moment went I could have freed myself from them. But I was too brainwashed already to make the right choice. I decided that the first web page could not have been written by a true Christian so I decided it was best to just ignore it. I decided that Carl Franklin did not make sense and his case was weak, but in reality I did not know what he was talking about. I banished any thought that HWA had a divorce. It was never mentioned in any of the Armstrongite materials I read. I also banished any thought of the Three Tithes away from my mind. LCG never mentioned those in any of the writings I came across, namely their booklets and magazine.

About a year later I came across Bob Thiel's website and there I discovered that, yes indeed, LCG did have three tithes. Later I discovered Pabco's Home Page and read the Autobiography of HWA and in Chapter 81, lo and behold, I discovered HWA had married another woman. But none of the other Armstrongite literature I read ever mentioned her aside from this and absolutely none of them ever mentioned that there was a divorce. I think the only reason they mentioned her was to explain her prescence when she saved HWA's life after he had his heart attack in 1978. Nevertheless I was even more brainwashed by now and so I just ignored these things and continued to place my confidence and trust in LCG.

Because I made the wrong decision I would continue to be a brainwashed slave of Armstrongism until 2008 when I finally decided to seriously look at what the other side was saying. I ran into Ambassador Report. I read this article on the many false prophecies HWA made.

I was aware of these false prophecies but I had convinced myself that they were not real prophesies, the LCG leadership implied that it was not a matter not worth thinking about, and therefore, I thought 1975 did not prove that HWA or LCG were wrong.

But that article began with a piece of Scripture that I could not deny. ""When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him." (Deuteronomy 18:22)".

The moment I saw that scripture it hit me in the gut that this religion was all just a fraud. I had been tricked. It came into my mind that John Ogwyn had written in the prophetic chart in The Beast of Revelation that God's Church understood what was going on concerning World War II. ""One IS" (Revelation 17:10)-understood by God's Church in end time". I understood that statement as saying that "God's Church" understood that Mussolini was the Sixth Head at the time. However HWA's World War II prophesies completely failed.

Since I had read those early issues of the Plain Truth myself I said to myself, "No. HWA did not know what was going on during World War II at all. LCG does not know what is going on. They have no understanding." I remembered a picture in page 504 of the Picture Bible of Jeremiah confidently predicting that Jerusalem would fall when it seemed that such would not be the case. I recalled that HWA said that the USA would fall to Hitler. One man was right. The other was wrong. HWA was a false prophet.

Reading Ambassador Report I was finally able to see the truth that HWA did indeed remarry and had a most bitter divorce. The divorce is never mentioned in Armstrongite recruitment literature. It is not mentioned in LCG's Church History book, or in Raising the Ruins. The COGs have banished Ramona Martin into the memory hole. They act as though she did not exist. This exposes how much love of the truth those Armstrongite organizations truly have. It is amazing how they never mention that. The marriage was reported in the April 25, 1977, Worldwide News.

For anyone who would like to read more about the Robidoux Cult here are some links:
I only discovered what this group was thanks to a letter from ESN dated May 27 who has moved from Armstrongism. Until then no one I read mentioned them.


  1. Awesome stuff RF. Thanks for sharing this!

    I also recommend to all your readers a book entitled Churches That Abuse by Ronald Enroth. He goes over several cults I had never heard of until I read this book a month ago. The parallels in what those cults claimed and what Herbert Armstrong claimed are jaw-dropping.

    (spoiler alert) For example, Herbert Armstrong isn't the only end-time Elijah!

  2. You have to remember that HWA started well with good intentions but sadly, like, Solomon, fell away. The Bible continues to record Solomon's early wisdom for us, we do not discount it even though the man later married hundreds of pagan wives. Likewise, we are not to discount everything HWA said or taught even though he hardly ever lived up to being a righteous man.