Monday, June 13, 2011

Children Made to Sweat in Philadelphia Youth Camp

Recently I read this terrible story about how one father in PCG was horrified at the neglectful treatment his children endured at Philadelphia Youth Camp. There have long been stories insisting that Philadelphia Youth Camp does not come up to scratch in looking after the children in its care.

Those concerned about such matters will not find any comfort in Brad MacDonald's article:

Parents, Make Your Child Sweat!

(In the context of PCG I find this title quite cringe inducing.)

In five weeks, 144 teenagers from around the world will arrive on the campus of Herbert W. Armstrong College for our annual youth camp. Our camp is designed to ensure these young people go home mentally charged and focused, their attitudes and spirits refreshed and renewed.

We also plan to send them home utterly exhausted.

For three weeks, these teens will spend their days mountain biking, canoeing and practicing archery, as well as playing basketball, water polo, soccer, softball, volleyball and flag football. They will walk, and sometimes jog, between activities, as well as to breakfast, lunch and dinner. In the evenings they will engage in other taxing activities, including a track and field event and camp dances. And if all that activity isn’t strenuous enough, much of it will occur in daytime temperatures hovering in the mid 90s.

If you’re like me, simply reading that paragraph is enough to make you sweat.

Those unaware of what PCG is like will simply assume that this is a simple exhortation for people to look after their health by embracing a physical pursuits. But knowing that PCG is an authoritarian group, in which their leaders are given far too much leeway and the fruits of authoritarianism are allowed a very free hand within it, I find these exhortations concerning.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Gerald Flurry's New Doctrine: The Psalm 83 Nations are not with the King of the South

Gerald Flurry has changed Mystery of the Ages, The Proof of the Bible and Who or What is the Prophetic Beast?

Now he has changed how prophecies concerning the future King of the South is understood among PCG members.

The future King of the South is taught among many COGs to be a great Arab-Muslim combine who will arise, help to enslave Israel (the USA, Britain, and Israel) and later somehow provoke the European Empire to conquer the Arab world in a blitzkrieg attack.

PCG teaches that Iran is the King of the South. Most other COGs are more inclined to say it will be mainly composed of Arabs. Not least because Iran is east, not south, of Israel.

Daniel 11:40 is used to support this theory.

Another Scripture often used in regard to this is Psalm 83. As I understood it this Scripture was used by the COGs to say that later the Arabs will ally with Germany (Assyria) to defeat Israel (the USA, Britain and Israel).

However Gerald Flurry has put a new twist to this interpretation. He now says that the King of the South and the Psalm 83 nations are separate and distinct, and the Psalm 83 nations hate Israel even more than the King of the South.

He has revealed this 'new light' in the article A Mysterious Prophecy (The Philadelphia Trumpet, May-June, 2011).

These peoples’ enemies want to cut them off from being a nation (they are the descendants of the ancient nation of Israel). Their enemies don’t even want the world to remember the name of Israel!

The leader of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has vowed to wipe the Jewish nation off the map. The enemies of Psalm 83 have what appears to be an even deeper hatred. They even want to obliterate the biblical name of Israel forever! ...

“For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre [Lebanon]; Assur [Assyria or Germany] also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah” (Psalm 83:5-8). Here are the modern names of these nations, as taught at Ambassador College under Herbert W. Armstrong: Edom—Turkey; Ishmaelites—Saudi Arabia; Moab—Jordan; Hagarenes—anciently dwelt in the land known as Syria today; Gebal—Lebanon; Ammon—also Jordan. (We cannot be extremely precise in this understanding, but it gives a good general idea of where these nations are today.)...

Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Libya and Ethiopia are missing from this list. They will be allied with Iran when they are conquered by a German-led Europe (Daniel 11:42-43).

It appears Iraq, with its massive oil reserves, will be solidly in the Iranian camp. I have predicted this would happen since the early 1990s!

This Psalm 83 nations doctrine is a completely new prophetic doctrine that I have never encountered among the COGs.

As far as I can tell it is true that Gerald Flurry preached that Iraq would be allied with the King of the South BUT Gerald Flurry has never taught that the Psalm 83 nations are distinct from and unaffiliated with the King of the South (Iran) before now.

Therefore his "I have predicted this [Iraq will ally with Iran] would happen since the early 1990s!" statement must be regarded as simply a distraction obscuring the fact that Gerald Flurry has changed this doctrine.

Those of us who understand these things must make it clear that Gerald Flurry has opportunistically changed this doctrine.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Thoughts on the Incident at Jisr al-Shughour, Syria

So today I hear that Syrian state media are now claiming 12o of the Assad regime's security personnel have been killed by armed gangs.

As far as I am concerned this is a lie or extremely distorted message produced by the Assad regime. Until this is independently confirmed one way or the other I will assume it is a lie or extremely distorted. I feel it is more likely the Assad regime itself murdered them and is now blaming the protesters. That is what one local resident of Jisr al-Shughour told the BBC:

But opposition websites insisted that their protests had been peaceful, and they scorned the government's talk of armed gangs. A Jisr al-Shughour resident told BBC Arabic that the protesters did not have any weapons and blamed the authorities for Monday's deaths. "The soldiers were coming our way, then they were shot in the back by some Syrian security elements," Abu Nadir said....

Others said that members of the armed forces had changed sides and joined the protests. Some also said the town had been relatively calm until a mutiny at the security headquarters, where so many deaths were reported. "I think they executed policemen who refused to open fire on demonstrators. There was a mutiny in the security service," one told the AFP news agency.

This is an excuse for the murderous and devious Assad regime to continue their reckless murders and tortures and their frightfulness that have already claimed more than 1100 precious lives of peaceful protesters, more than the uprising in Egypt.

I have read about how dictatorships operate. I remember reading in Berlin Diary how British Prime Minister Chamberlain was impressed by the crowds welcoming him on his visit to Germany. Safire wryly commented that he did not know that those crowds are organized by the ruling party.

Already I have heard of rumors that people are paid by the Syrian dictatorship to lie and claim to see atrocities committed by alleged armed gangs that did not happen.

I will admit for a little while I thought Bashar al-Assad would murder his oppressed victims into submission and win, but recently I now feel he will fall. And it cannot come too soon.

PCG Calls Srebrenica Massacre "a Crime of Passion"

PCG has always been supportive towards Serbs in regards towards the Yugoslav Wars. This was made clear in a previous post and PCG's hack writer Richard Palmer's article, What Really Happened at Bosnia continues in this tradition.

In this article Palmer, who has written for PCG since August 2007, breathlessly cites various atrocities committed by non-Serbs against Serbs, as though all of this information is being kept hidden from you. He cites one claim from the then Yugoslav government that

Yugoslav envoy Vladimir Pavicevic claimed that 15,000 Serbs were dead in Krajina, and that this total included slain refugees and soldiers who had already surrendered (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Aug. 14, 1995).

He completely ignores the fact that Serbian state television has just apologized for its role as a propagandist during those dark and terrible days.
In the week of his [Ratko Mladic] arrest, Serbian state television finally apologised for its role in inciting the barbaric war through misinformation, deception and propaganda thinly disguised as news.

AP reported:

Radio Television of Serbia, or RTS, said in a statement posted on its website yesterday that the station's programme was "almost constantly and heavily abused'' by Milosevic's regime with the aim of discrediting his political and ethnic opponents and spreading official propaganda.

Liberal politician Marko Karadzic described the apology as a "positive step'' but said the television's managing board did not distance itself clearly enough from the past.

"RTS's programme was an organised campaign of support to the policies of extinction and violence which we cannot view as insult or slander,'' aid Karadzic.
(Remembering War Crimes and Media Obligations, Danny Schlechter.)
Contrary to what Palmer's assumption that the world, due to perfidious German influence has been blinded to the excesses and atrocities of non-Serbs the article above cites RTS's apology as an opportunity to call for Croatian TV to apologize as well.

It's time for Croatian TV to make a similar statement: this statement clearly defines the often complicit relationship between war and media showing how TV networks promote wars in the guise of covering them.

Too many media organisations took their cues from state propagandists.
Also in my previous post I cited an article, The Devolution of Ratko Mladic by Sumantra Bose, and it freely acknowledged that many Serbs did indeed suffer during those wars.
It is not that Bosnia's Serbs did not suffer during the 1992-1995 war. Far from it. There are numerous well-documented cases of Bosnian Serb civilians being murdered, forcibly expelled from their homes and tortured in detention camps by Bosnian Muslim as well as Bosnian Croat forces, and of Bosnian Serb combatants taken prisoner being brutally mistreated and even executed.

The Bosnian Serb army led by Ratko Mladic lost 20,649 soldiers, killed in action during the war. But the overall picture is unmistakable. Bosnia's Muslims, about 45 per cent of the population, account for two-thirds of the total deaths and - most telling - a staggering 83 per cent of the civilian dead.

That is the real reason why there is so much attention upon what Serb forces did during the Yugoslav Wars. It is not because of some German conspiracy to trick you into supporting moves designed to cripple Serbia's power. No one pretends that Serbs did not suffer during these wars.

Palmer also insinuates that the stresses of waging war contributed to the massacre at Srebrenica.

It was this hatred and circle of revenge that lead to the Srebrenica massacre....The Serbs finally reacted to [Bosnian Muslim] Oric’s provocations. When they took Screbrenica far more easily than they thought they would they took their revenge on the men they found there. But, unlike Oric, they let the women and children go....The full context presents a very different picture of Srebrenica. It was not a cold-hearted Nazi-style final solution for Bosnian Muslims. Instead it was a crime of passion—still a crime, but one that was provoked by crimes on the other side.

Palmer wishes to make us sympathetic towards the murderers of Srebrenica by calling it "a crime of passion". First of all everyone loses people in a war, that is why we all hate war.

I do not feel that rounding up unarmed men to be killed in a vast logistical operation involving 8000 people deserves to be whitewashed as "a crime of passion". As far as I understand it it is illegal to arrest people and then simply kill them. To call that "a crime of passion" is obscene.

If PCG wishes to support Serbia thinking it will weaken Germany and prevent the creation of the false prophet of 1975 Herbert Armstrong's European Empire then it is their affair but to whitewash the horrendous crime at Srebrenica as "a crime of passion" is obscene and, as far as I am concerned, is not a statement people of conscience would allow themselves to say, and therefore deserves to be condemned.

Friday, June 3, 2011

PCG Puts Royal Wedding on Trumpet Cover

In the new Philadelphia Trumpet (July 2011) the editors at PCG have chosen to put a picture of Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding.

How dreadful that something so beautiful and joyous should be exploited by a cult which tears apart families with its No Contact rule towards ex-members and members of other Armstrongite groups, that inflict incalculable suffering because of its anti-medicine superstition which Herbert Armstrong plagiarized from the Jehovah Witnesses who from about 1921 till 1953 were forbidden from using vaccines, that create a dictatorial society that has inflicted terrible suffering upon thousands.