Thursday, April 25, 2013

Herbert W. Armstrong 'The Sign': A Useless Video for a Useless Cause

Recently I watched The Sign, a 15 minute video glorifying the false prophet Herbert Armstrong, uploaded by Youtube user, Matthew24signs. There had been mention of it before at Banned by HWA's post, The Sign: Deifying a Man.

The video shows footage of HWA at the height of WCG's power and prestige before the reforms under the Tkachs, with subtitles commenting on the current fall from power the COGs are in now. 

There is no mention of the many false prophesies HWA taught that scared people into joining WCG. One would have no idea that from 1953 onwards HWA taught that Jesus Christ would return in 1975 from watching this video. That is deceptive.

It argues that HWA was sent by God to fulfill certain tasks (namely preaching the 'gospel of the kingdom', the 'truth' (Armstrongism) to the world before Christ returns) and after he dies his work, the work of the Philadelphia church era, is complete and the COGs should no longer strive to proclaim 'the truth' to the world.

After watching it my main response was, if the COGs are no longer supposed to proclaim the 'gospel of the kingdom' to the world because HWA did it, and simply wait for Christ's return, why bother making this video?

To me this argument is absurd and ludicrous. It gives Armstrongites nothing better to do but to simply continue to maintain their identity as Armstrongites and wait for Christ's return.

Often I have heard some Atheists argue that religion teaches people to be apathetic and simply ignore the problems of this present life hoping that one will receive a better life in the afterlife. Personally I find this idea to be mainly a stereotype used to contrast Atheists with (some) religious people. An attempt to polarize people, make them view things in a black and white manner when (usually) things are not so clear cut. As far as I can tell most religious people are not like that at all. The Protestant reformers, Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement, the mostly Muslim protesters of the Arab Spring should prove otherwise.

But there are some religious people guilty of acting that way. Armstrongites tend to be very bad in this regard. Because they focus so much on Christ's return and assume that event will solve all their problems, mainly refuse to vote and tend to avoid secular politics, Armstrongites often ignore social issues and strengthen that negative stereotype. The Sign perfectly fits this stereotype.

Not only does The Sign promote idolatrous adulation for HWA, it is useless for Armstrongites because it gives them nothing to do but wait for Christ's return.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Income Falls for Gerald Flurry's PCG

Banned by HWA has reported that the Armstrongite James Malm has reported that Gerald Flurry's PCG appears to have "seen a drop in income in virtually every category, including some areas of severe drops, all since 2013 began."

This is great news and I hope this development may lead to more people associated with PCG to free themselves and no longer observe Gerald Flurry's oppressive rules, such as the cruel shunning of ex-PCG members and ex-WCG members, the so-called 'Laodiceans'; to feel free to visit their doctors without feeling any guilt for it; to no longer throw away so much of their income on the three tithes and offerings and instead spend it on themselves and their families; to learn the truth about Herbert Armstrong, Gerald Flurry and the other COG leaders and see that God had never worked with them from day one; to discover their own feelings and make decisions without fear of what the COG collective thinks of them; that their spiritual lives will no longer be corrupted by lying cult leaders.   

I find it curious (and wonderfully serendipitous) that Roderick Meredith's LCG has also been having problems, financial and otherwise, since the start of this year, losing several TV station spots, particularly in Canada; gaining a new rival in their former apologist, the unordained false prophet Bob Thiel; and even cruelly disfellowshipping Thomas Baca II, who worked with their TV stations.

Dave Pack no doubt will experience similar problems because of his useless Headquarters project he is building. (Strange that Dave Pack forbids women from wearing make up because he thinks it is vain, yet he then builds a big headquarters complex out of vanity impoverishing his followers. What a hypocrite!)

Also the false prophet Ronald Weinland's in prison.

Is 2013 shaping up to be a year of even more painful decline for the COGs? Will this cause a mass liberation of COG members from these oppressive, authoritarian cult groups? One can only hope so. I certainly do.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

North Korean Defector Confronts Legacy of Lies

Saw this on CNN. A story very relevant for those of us who had to deprogram ourselves from HWA's deceptive propaganda.
 To the outside world the images from North Korean state television are nearly comical -- weeping soldiers chasing Kim Jong Un into the freezing sea, elderly women screaming as the young leader approaches, and North Koreans unleashing dogs at a poorly made effigy of a South Korean leader.

But as Chae Young Hee watches, her eyes begin to brim with tears and her lips tremble uncontrollably with national pride. Chae is not a North Korean anymore, having defected to South Korea 11 years ago, abandoning the totalitarian regime. In the North, she experienced starvation, the brutality of the regime and fled with her daughter in hope of a better life in the free world. But as Chae watches KCTV, the North's only television channel its citizens can view, the power of the propaganda she grew up with takes hold.

"They're God," she says, referring to North Korea's trinity, Kim Jong Un, his father Kim Jong Il, and grandfather Kim Il Sung. The tears are now running down Chae's perfectly made up face and she chokes back a sob. "This is how you are brought up since birth. Even I can feel the pull in my heart. I thought I forgot about this feeling since it has been so long.

Read the rest here: North Korea's propaganda machine grips defector 11 years on.

Also relevant to this topic:

Why I Fled North Korea.

North Korea already won.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Dave Hunt Dies (April 5)

Just heard that evangelist Dave Hunt has died on April 5. Hat tip to the Christian Post. He leaves behind his wife, Ruth (nee Klassen) and four children.

My condolences to those who are affected by his passing away.

I mention him because Roderick Meredith cited Dave Hunt's book, A Woman Rides the Beast, in his article, Who is the Harlot of Revelation 17? (Both Meredith and Hunt teach that it is the Roman Catholic Church.)

It was when reading that article that LCG first told me about their 'prophetic' view of the Roman Catholic Church, that it is the Harlot of Revelation 17. This idea has been quite common within Protestantism and other related sects, born out of the intense persecution early Protestants endured at the hands of the Roman Catholic Church during the Reformation.

I give Hunt's book credit for exposing the sexual abuse of Catholic priests and the fact that pedophile priests were being protected by those higher up within the institution. This information was only beginning to enter mainstream consciousness when this book was made.

It is amazing for me to think of this, but because Meredith mentioned this book I went and got this book. I read it most eagerly to see what this man cited by Meredith had to say about the history of the Roman Catholic Church.

Alas, by this time I had been so utterly indoctrinated by LCG and I was so utterly persuaded that LCG truly was the one place where God was working on Earth today that whenever I saw Dave Hunt say something that contradicted LCG's Armstrongist teachings I just simply ignored it and assumed Meredith, Ames, Ogwyn and Co. at LCG were right. Oh what a strong delusion!

Much later I also read another book of his, Judgement Day! Islam, Israel and the Nations. It interprets the Arab-Israeli conflict through the viewpoint of dispensationalist prophetic viewpoint. Personally I think assuming you will know what will happen in a certain part of the world not much help in trying to solve the problems of that conflict. Contrary to what many dispensationalists today seem to believe I believe that peace between the Jews and Palestinian Arabs is possible. We do not need to wait for Christ's return for peace to be made in the Holy Land.

There is one other thing I will say about his book, A Woman Rides the Beast. In one chapter he discusses the Arab-Israeli conflict and criticizes Pope John Paul II for his relations with Yasser Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organization saying those relations are antagonistic towards Israel. And while discussing this I can recall that he claimed that the legend of Muhammad ascending to Heaven upon the site of Solomon's temple is a myth recently created by Arabs to claim the Holy Land for themselves instead of the Jews. I do not know why he said such an obviously untrue statement. (Maybe something went unintentionally wrong. I am not suggesting any malicious motive for this.) Whatever one may think about the story it was certainly not created to combat Jewish nationalistic claims to the Holy Land. I read Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and he mentions that story. It is an old story and it certainly was not created as part of the present day conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs.

But having said all that I am sad that he has passed on and hope that his wife, family and loved ones are comforted during this sad time.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

No Link Between Autism and Violence

CNN has published this op-ed by John Elder Robinson noting that "There is no connection between any autism spectrum disorder and violent aggression."

Prejudice affects us in many ways, most all of which are bad. My son found that out four years ago, when a state prosecutor decided that his scientific fascination with explosives was a terrorist threat and only she could "save" our community. She charged him with four felonies, carrying a maximum sentence of more than 60 years in prison.
Cubby was 17 years old when he was indicted. He'd never been in trouble with either the law or in school, and was on track to make Eagle Scout, where he taught the chemistry merit badge course.
His only "crime" was turning household chemicals into experimental explosives, which he set off and filmed in the woods behind our house. Even the ATF agents who first investigated were impressed by Cubby's scientific acumen and curiosity and certain that he intended no harm.
It took a year of our lives, $100,000 and a weeklong jury trial to set the record straight. At the end the prosecutor just walked away, as do most bullies and predators. Our society can be awful long on prejudgment and woefully short on consequences.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

David Renz Charged with Alledged Murder and Child Rape

Just heard the terrible news from Banned by HWA about David Ranz.'s archive of articles about David Ranz's attack.

The life of David Ranz leading up to this horrific attack. Includes details of is life as a child member of WCG in his young life.

He might have abused a nine year old girl when he was fifteen.

A childhood friend recalls what she knew of David Ranz.

How David Ranz evaded his GPS tracker the night he attacked.

Dave Ranz was facing child pornography charges, hence why he had to wear a GPS ankle bracelet.

Monday, April 1, 2013

False Prophet Meredith Begs for Money

It seems Meredith still has not gotten himself out of the post-holiday financial crisis he has led LCG into. Banned by HWA has revealed that Meredith has recently released a co-worker letter where he desperately tries to make LCG members feel guilty in order to get even more money from them beyond the numerous tithes and offerings LCG members are required to pay.

I remember when I was deceptively recruited into Armstrongism after a few years (around 2004-5) it began to seem slightly stale to me. I was tiring of it. But I had been so totally persuaded that HWA and LCG taught the 'truth' I felt that I had to follow the ideals of Armstrongism as best I could. I continued to be a loyal follower of HWA and LCG until late 2008. I cannot help but think a lot of LCG members are simply getting tired of the same dreary message Meredith has been bombarding them with for sixty years in WCG, GCG and LCG in the same way I felt in the latter years of my Armstrongite time. I hope they chose to continue to act upon this. Meredith is not worth their time and money.