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.

1 comment:

  1. Rader was a lawyer, and full of himself, as are most narcissists. HWA was gullible enough to fall for his line, and to think of himself as infallible, until he realized that Rader had all those black and white photos(according to David Robinson's "Herbert Armstrong's Tangled Web") of him drunk, and in the buff with some little French boys.
    The he realized he was no longer in charge of the church or the church's money.