Sunday, August 29, 2010

ESN Letters on PCG's Armstrong Auditorium

I havn't been to Exit and Support Network's letters archives in awhile but there has recently been a lot of new emails concerning PCG. Check it out.

Here's some relevant quotes:
Just looking at the latest Royal Vision. Looks as though those at the top of the PCG pyramid are becoming increasingly paranoid and controlling. The article in the July-August edition entitled "Must We Avoid Them?" by Greg Nice is another attempt at getting the deluded and deceived members to cut off loved ones and friends who have left the PCG. They use emotional blackmail statements such as: "If we fail to avoid them (ex-members) or cut them off today, we are doing it because we love ourselves and not because we truly love them." Members are also instructed not to: "...Eat with them; don't share a social event with them...avoid them until they repent..." --Anonymous
More sensible critique on the necessity (!) of Armstrong Auditorium.
I can think of so many things that a "real" church could have done with those millions of dollars, including feeding and clothing the needy in the community. Such a waste of members money. I'm reminded once again of the Scriptures and Jesus' reply to the rich young ruler: "Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me." (Matthew 19:21) It's just so obvious where GF's treasure is. --Impacted by PCG
One letter reveals that PCG are trying to massage the search results about them.
According to the June, 2010, Philadelphia News article by Timothy Oostendarp titled "Church improves online reputation," the PCG has "partnered with a Canadian-based contractor specializing in search engine optimization" to, in effect, silence critics. The article says: "In the case of God's Church, there is the added dimension of Satan using people to constantly upload virulent, smear-based materials." It says that these materials "were lodged as the top links Internet users found when they searched for information related to the Church. That is no longer the case. Through the optimization efforts and improved website content, the relevancy of PCG websites has steadily risen, while the relevancy of negative websites has declined."
Alas, this seems to be true. Observe these pro-PCG websites, and this biographical article. And most hilariously, this Gerald Flurry blog, which is composed of just three virtually identical blog posts posted on the same day. Clearly it exists solely to gobble up search engine rankings in order to bury the ugly truth about PCG.
This Auditorium is the PCG's "tower of Babel." It doesn’t bring glory to God, but to the man, HWA, and the same fate will befall it that has befallen the campus and buildings in Pasadena. God will not be mocked.
Could not agree more.

Thoughts On That Idiotic Koran Burning

There's some crazy church in Florida planning to burn Korans on September 11. I wish to state here that I absolutely condemn this inflammatory act.

In every way one looks at this event it must be concluded that this will only cause unwanted strife and heartache.

I have heard stories of Muslims becoming highly offended at such attacks upon their faith.

I remember reading in Princess Sultana's Circle how one women was tormented by unwanted mental images after seeing an irreverent portrait of Muhammad. She was traumatized. And the narrator, Sultana, commented that she was at least glad she did not have to endure that stress, even though she had been forced to endure various stressful situations discussed elsewhere in the book.

I remember reading how the first mass hunger strike in Guantanamo Prison was caused because a US soldier accidentally caused a Koran to fall on the floor.
I believe it was early February when, on Charlie Block, a Koran was thrown to the floor during a cell search. [It is later revealed that this was accidental.] This caused the whole camp to go in a massive uproar, screaming and yelling to the point all [military police officers] came out of the blocks....When the incident with the Koran happened, the whole camp pretty much went on a hunger strike that lasted a week or so.
Why are these people willing to do something like that and risk something similar occurring?

They are like little kids playing with fire.

This really is a heartless and foolish act. Do they think they will convert any Muslim by doing this? All this is doing is unnecessarily building another block of separation to hamper relations between Christians and Muslims.

I shudder to imagine that this may incite some professing Muslim terrorists somewhere in the dar al-Islam to persecute the Christians within their midst.

How can anyone still burn books considering the practice's negative association with Nazism? I am not calling these people Nazis, but it must be pointed out that whatever intellectual respectability book burning may have had before 1933 was completely lost because of its use by the Nazis. Again I am not calling them Nazis, that would be inappropriate and inaccurate, but it must be asked why they would use such a disreputable act with such a negative association.

There are countless, more sensible things they could do instead.

Why don't they burn Osama bin Laden's books? They could burn Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden. That would be far more sensible, it would make it clear they are directing this act against this specific movement, and it would not offend a billion people, the vast majority of whom had nothing to do with al Qaeda, at least not as much.

Or why not stage a protest at some embassy respectfully asking them to address an issue in that country?

Or why not hold a service discussing persecution of Christians in various parts of the world? Get in a speaker from Voice of the Martyrs or some such organization and educate people about these things, show them a movie about it and tell them how they can help persecuted Christians. This book burning will certainly not help the persecuted Christians. It may worsen their plight.

Furthermore there are Muslims living among us. How does this event help them feel safe and respected living with us? They are here and they are going to stay here and we all have to live together in peace and harmony as much as possible. This event does not help us to live together well but will only unnecessarily cause strife.

For all these reasons this deed must be judged as most reprehensible and mischievous.

It is a heartless and foolish act.

I condemn it completely.

Monday, August 23, 2010

More On Why Social Security Will NOT Go Bust

The Daily Howler has been doing some posts lately analyzing the various incorrect but extremely widespread rumors alleging that Social Security will fall apart.

Here are the relevant posts, Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3

Here's one statement to be noted (from Part 2):
Second con—after the trust fund is gone: On the other hand, people have heard that Social Security will “go broke” or “go bankrupt” once the trust fund expires in 2037 (according to current projections). For most people, these terms suggest some sort of cataclysmic collapse, after which the Social Security system would have to be shuttered. Presumably, this explains why so many people, for so many years, have seemed to assume that they will never draw any benefits.

There's more in the links.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sounds Like Garner Ted Armstrong To Me

Recently Esquire released this profile of Newt Gingrich by John H. Richardson, Newt Gingrich: The Indispensable Republican. The Left have been all over this article because for the first time his ex-wife, Marianne Gingrich, has spoken out. Many of them point out this passage in particular. It describes what happened after Newt Gingrich admitted having an adulterous affair.
He asked her to just tolerate the affair, an offer she refused.

He’d just returned from Erie, Pennsylvania, where he’d given a speech full of high sentiments about compassion and family values.

The next night, they sat talking out on their back patio in Georgia. She said, “How do you give that speech and do what you’re doing?”

“It doesn’t matter what I do,” he answered. “People need to hear what I have to say. There’s no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn’t matter what I live."
Didn't Garner Ted Armstrong say something similar regarding why he continued preaching even though he indulged in adulteries?
[Garner Ted Armstrong] then elaborated to me in his defense that he felt he was specially "called" to preach his father's gospel. He declared that he must preach against adultery in others, even though he, himself, was personally guilty. "Put me behind bars, slip my food to me, keep me in solitary confinement," he said dramatically, "but put a microphone in front of me because I must preach this message to the whole world!" Once again I wrongly concluded that Ted had slipped under "emotional pressure." Sadly I walked away and tried to forget it. (Al Carozzo, The Profligate Son, Ambassador Report, 1977.)
Newt Gingrich acting just like Garner Ted Armstrong.

I am somewhat concerned that the focus of the article is on this part of it, because the rest of the article is a truly fascinating portrait of Newt Gingrich. The rest of the article is well worth checking out.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Long Live Net Neutrality!

Let me say I am disturbed by news that Google and Verizon are planning to scrap net neutrality and allow companies to grant better access to the Internet if you pay for it. I am aware they have denied this but I am still very concerned by this. I regard this as a dangerous innovation that all of us would be better without.

For information on this topic see

Here are its frequently asked questions.

Big business, it seems, is trying to feudalize the Internet. I urge everyone to pass this along.