Sunday, June 30, 2013

HWA Says GTA moved by Satan and That He Never Gave the Press ONE WORD Even Though He Did

From the April 23, 1979, Pastor General's Report, page 6, in HWA's article, 'And Now - Christ Sets Church on God's Organizational Track'. 
But some ten years ago -- especially since 1973 -- when my son, who DISAGREED WITH WHAT I HAD TAUGHT THE CHURCH TO BELIEVE, took over second in command and adroitly as SATAN moved him, turned it into TOP COMMAND -- not only cutting me off above him, but also Christ and God. From that time CHRIST WITHDREW HIS BLESSING, and no longer did we grow at all!
Look how many top-flight men -- those GETTING the highest salaries -- on the fourth floor -- have been put out or gone out! THEY are the ones who went to this world's press, which caused all the evil reports to go to the world. I have never given the press ONE WORD! 

HWA's last statement is a complete lie. Take a look at thisAmbassador Watch post which lists several articles Time Magazine made about WCG. The first article contains an interview HWA had with Time Magazine, discussing why Garner Ted Armstrong was removed in 1972 from speaking in the The World Tomorrow program.

HWA talked to the press. HWA is lying in this statement.

Articles from HWA's Anti-"Liberal" Purge

Chapter 19 of John Tuit's book, The Truth Shall Set You Free, contains a fascinating list of articles made by HWA in 1979 as he, essentially, purged WCG of anyone who dared to challenge his authority and teachings, people he labeled "liberals", which was a loaded term implying that any one who did not follow HWA's dictates regarding doctrines was maliciously watering down God's HWA's doctrines. 

April 23, 1979 Worldwide News, 'And Now--Christ Sets Church on God's Organizational Track', pp. 3-4.

Note the disgusting chart on page 3, which lists God, then Jesus then HWA. It really shows you how HWA was all about power and authority over those he had brainwashed.

May 21, 1979 Worldwide News, 'How You Dress for Church - Could it Keep You Out of the Kingdom?', p. 1.

I will let Mr. Tuit share his thoughts.
While no one would argue that one must dress appropriately for various occasions, there is nowhere in the Bible where one can find his eternal life threatened due to his manner of dress.
Herbert W. Armstrong had a long history of threatening WCG members' salvation unless they gave him even more money. At one time he even threatened WCG members' with the lake of fire unless they gave him even more money to build a Dining Hall for the Pasadena campus. 

June 25, Worldwide News, 'What God Never Did - Never Will - Allow to Happen,' p. 1, and 'How Satan Injects False Doctrines', pp. 1, 3.

July 9, 1979 Worldwide News, 'Non-Tithing is Stealing', pp. 1, 5.

Mr. Tuit says the following about this article:
Again, Armstrong was hitting them with the loss of eternal life if the members did not tithe. And how skillfully he diverted attention from the allegations of stealing that had been brought against him and other high officials in the Church. If he truly felt a commission to blot out the spots and iron out the wrinkles, there was somewhere else that he could start other than laying another yoke upon the necks of the Church members.
This article can also be found in the June 25, 1979, Pastor General's Report, pp. 1-5.

Mr. Tuit has this to say about that article:
Armstrong was laying it on the ministers quite heavily also. They, too, are expected to tithe from their salary. He said to the ministers, "If you are on the payroll, unless tithing begins with the very next paycheck, YOUR PAYCHECKS WILL BE CUT OFF WITHOUT FURTHER NOTICE."
It is so terrible how HWA inflicted so much trouble upon WCG members in this time.

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Plain Truth About the 1979 Receivership

When the State of California imposed a forcible receivership upon the Worldwide Church of God in January 1979 Herbert W. Armstrong told WCG members that it was a wicked, Satan inspired attempt to destroy "God's Church" and overthrow HWA.

Notice what he wrote in Mystery of the Ages, Chapter 6:
The office of the attorney general of America's most populous state--California--had made a sudden, unexpected massive armed assault on the headquarters of the Worldwide Church of God at Pasadena, California. They claimed, in violation of the U.S. Constitution, that all church property and assets belong to the State, and a court had secretly appointed a receiver to TAKE OVER, RUN AND OPERATE the Church of the living GOD!...

The receiver, an ex-judge of a non-Christian faith, resigned. The civil lawsuit went on "the back burner." And the OPERATION OF THE CHURCH CONTINUED! The higher appellate court later ruled that this lawsuit was without foundation and never should have been started.

Also note how HWA presented this event in his booklet, Recent History of the Philadelphian Era of the Worldwide Church of God:
At the time of the Feast of Tabernacles that fall, 1978, at a Festival held by one of these split-off liberals and a few who followed, in their own Feast of Tabernacles, a conspiracy was hatched to attack and destroy the Church by the legal process of a class action lawsuit. Some six or seven liberals, former members, signed the suit against the Church. This resulted in a ex parte order by a judge. Secretly without prior notice, deputies on order of the Attorney General’s office swooped down on the Church on the morning of Jan. 3, 1979. The ex parte order had been signed by a judge late the day before.

A very severe struggle for the existence and life of the Church ensued. Some months later the State dropped the case, and still later an appellate court judge issued a declaration from the bench that the lawsuit was groundless and should never have been filed. Even to this day some newspaper comments mention the false charges accusing me of misuse of millions of dollars of Church funds, but they never mention our vindication of these false charges.

However, this class action State of California lawsuit brought on by dissident members and former members did, virtually, result in housecleaning of the liberals, malcontents and troublemakers, who were causing division in the Church of the living God. And the Church has enjoyed a most healthy development and growth in these past five years since.

What HWA said is in fact highly distorted.

HWA insinuates that WCG would be unable to operate because of the receivership or even dissolved (a court had secretly appointed a receiver to TAKE OVER, RUN AND OPERATE [WCG], a conspiracy was hatched to attack and destroy the Church, A very severe struggle for the existence and life of the Church ensued.).

This is a shameless lie.

The receivers made it absolutely clear that the ecclesiastical functions of the church would continue. WCG's constitutionally protected right to gather together in worship would not be disrupted.

This is John Tuit, one of the initiators of the receivership outlining why he felt this move was necessary as he recounted it in Chapter 14 of his book, The Truth Shall Set You Free.
I outlined the entire reason for the suit and emphasized the fact that this was an attempt to save the Church and that the receiver was being placed in charge in order to protect the assets of the Church. I told them that the Attorney General's office has no right to interfere with the ecclesiastical affairs of the Church and in fact has no interest in those areas.

This is from Chapter 15 of The Truth Shall Set You Free
At a meeting on January 4th for all the Church employees, Judge Weisman explained Herbert Armstrong's appointment of Wayne Cole. He then said, "This is not an adversary proceeding, I'm for you, I'm here to protect the assets of the Church. I'm here to assure that the money you send in for the Church, goes to the purpose for which you sent it." Weisman then explained how he had been appointed by the State as the one in authority over all secular matters of the Church, with the authority to hire and fire. He went on to explain further that he had no authority over the ecclesiastical matters of the Church and could not and would not interfere in any way in those areas.

This is from Chapter 16 of The Truth Shall Set You Free
Judge Title made it quite clear that the receivership was only to concern itself with the business and financial affairs of the Church and not ecclesiastical matters. He stated, "Now it is not the purpose of this court nor the intention of this court to allow the receiver to interfere in any way with ecclesiastical functions of the Church as distinguished from the college or the foundation, and the receiver is ordered not to do so."

The receivership was an attempt to stop WCG leaders from enriching themselves by frivolously using tithe money for personal expenses instead of feeding the flock.

So when HWA says, "the OPERATION OF THE CHURCH CONTINUED!" as though the operation of WCG was in danger of being stopped because of the receivership, he is lying.

Tuit shows clearly that the ecclesiastical affairs of WCG were not to be disturbed by the receivership. The receivership was about financial matters. WCG was never in danger of being unable to operate.

HWA also said "They claimed ... that all church property and assets belong to the State". HWA is lying again.

After reading Tuit's book it is clear to me that the State of California did not argue that. Rather it argued that WCG had a responsibility to insure that the money was used as they promised to members and co-workers. WCG HQ appeared to have been violating this trust by using tithe money for personal expenses and the State of California tried to correct that.

It appears to me that John Tuit was particularly grieved that money was being spent frivolously because he felt it should be used to spread Armstrongism to other people.

HWA said "a conspiracy was hatched to attack and destroy the Church". HWA is lying again.

As shown above WCG was never in danger of being destroyed during the receivership crisis.

HWA said, "A very severe struggle for the existence and life of the Church ensued." HWA is lying again.

As shown above WCG was never in danger of being destroyed during the receivership crisis.

Also HWA never mentions how the receivership was stopped because the State of California changed the law making it impossible for the receivership to continue.
While the legal battles continued, Rader succeeded in enlisting the support of many California politicians to his cause. Seeing the level of corruption in politics, it is easy to see how Rader could gain the support of many politicians. Their game is the same. They just play in different arenas.

With the added support of many church leaders of various denominations, some deceived by him, and others fearful of themselves being exposed, a bill was introduced to the California legislature by Senator Nicholas Petris. The bill states. "Except as the Attorney General is empowered to act in the enforcement of the criminal laws of this state . . . (he) . . . shall have no power with respect to religious corporations."

In effect, the bill, if it becomes law, will prohibit the Attorney General from acting on behalf of a church in an action against leaders who are suspected of misappropriating funds. The Attorney General would no longer be able to seek recovery of monies for a church. The only avenue would be criminal prosecution, a much more difficult task.

In May, the Senate passed the bill and in August it was passed by the Assembly. If Governor Brown does not veto the bill, it will become law in June 1981. While it would not be retroactive to a time prior to the current action, it would in effect, many feel, neutralize any further attempts by the Attorney General to continue in his actions against WCG leaders. (Epilogue.)
ON OCTOBER 14, 1980, CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL GEORGE Deukmejian announced that he was dropping any further action against the leaders of the WCG. His announcement was a result of the signing of the Petris bill by Governor Edmund G. Brown on September 30. ...

Rader had done a masterful job of creating a church-state confrontation and the final outcome would make him appear victorious. But, did we really lose? Did Armstrong and Rader really win?

I don't think that we lost. The entire operation of the Church was brought into the open. During the year and a half of legal battling, Rader had time to bring the Church into compliance with the letter of the law, if not the spirit of the law. The Church issued its first detailed financial statement in the Autumn of 1980. Salaries, fringes, and other unchristian excesses were all footnoted. As a result, the burden of sound Christian stewardship is now even heavier on the members, as they now have the information available to determine if those they support are truly servants of Jesus Christ. (Postscript.)

Well, Rader certainly did not really win. In late 1981 HWA ousted Rader and had him retired, though he made sure to pay him a big retirement fund which WCG faithfully paid until his death in 2002.

After reading John Tuit's book I came away with great admiration for the man and those who initiated the receivership.

I feel sorry for ever believing the demonizing lies HWA said about them.

They were not trying destroy the church but to save it from corruption and financial mismanagement.

As far as I could tell all the initiators of the lawsuit were devout believers in much of what HWA taught.

They did it in a desperate attempt to insure that WCG members were treated better and that their tithes money were spent in ways profitable for the membership and for spreading Armstrongism.

I think the initiators of the lawsuit are heroes. I greatly admire them for trying to put a stop to the terrible abuses that appears to have been happening at that time within WCG HQ.

No doubt the troubles over the receivership caused HWA to later get rid of Stanley Rader. It appears to me that the initiators of the receivership were highly motivated in their course of action due to their fear that Rader was trying to seize control of WCG.

It is a terrible shame that to this many in the COGs continue to demonize and hate them without understanding the true circumstances of why the receivership began.

The Real Reason Meredith's LCG Eased Disfellowshipping?

Just found this fascinating comment from Banned by HWA:

LCG has eased off on the disfellowshipping harshness of the COG past. I doubt, however, that it is due to RCM mellowing, but rather his recognition of the political reality that people will bolt if he's too harsh. I am convinced that RCM's primary motivation is the increase of his own power. Thus, he regularly disses all the other groups, sowing hatred in his own church for brethren. Thus, he sets a goal in which he cannot fail, but can blame God if the church does not grow (preach the gospel as a witness). Thus, he twists scripture to give himself dictatorial power. -anon43

Sliding Scale of COG Authoritarianism

There are over 700 Armstrongite splinter groups out there devoted to spreading and maintaining the teachings of Herbert W. Armstrong in one way or another. Most are very small, many containing only one congregation.

Some are terribly authoritarian and oppressive towards their lowly members. Others less so.

As far I can tell the major COGs are arranged like this on the scale of authoritarianism.

Those at the top are less inclined to force members to obey every edict the ministers devise. Those lower in the scale are worse and appear to be increasingly damaging to anyone unfortunate enough to be involved in them.

UCG (Kubik)

Cogawa (Franks)

LCG (Meredith)
RCG (Pack)

PCG (Flurry)

House of Yahweh (Hawkins)

COG-PKG (Weinland) would be somewhere below LCG.

I am under the impression that Cogawa is somewhat more legalistic than UCG. However I must say I know little about Cogawa. It is hard for me to be sure in this matter.

Repost: Great Quote about Dave Pack

The following quote comes from Norman Edwards, who used to work in Meredith's Global Church of God, and continues to preach Armstrongism. While in GCG he also worked with Dave Pack. He wrote the following words after he left GCG.

I mentioned this quote before on my blog but considering all the attention Pack has been getting because of his incredibly pompous "special announcements" this needs to be brought to attention. 

Dave Pack has been a wolf in shepherd’s clothing and should not be any kind of minister or servant among the people of God. The only apology I will make for that statement is for not having clearly stated it sooner in the pages of Servants’ News. I base this conclusion on direct personal experience and the testimony of dozens of witnesses. Dave Pack is a brilliant man, a powerful speaker and a commanding personality. He has the ability to stir people into thinking they are special to God and that they are being used in a powerful way when they work for Mr. Pack. For those who work “on his side”, he is able to see everything they do in the best possible light, and to have unending mercy to overlook their sins and errors. But to those he opposes, he seems to have an unending ability to recall minute details of years-old conversations and twist them into the greatest of sins. Many witnesses claim that he simply made up lies about them and spread them to others in a most believable fashion. Several people have specifically said that they did exactly what Dave Pack asked—unjust as they thought it was—only to be disfellowshipped for it later (Edwards, Norman. Continuing the Work of WCG. Servant's News. Jan/Feb 2000).

The quote comes from an article by the unordained self appointed false prophet Bob Thiel.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Churchill's Gold, A Novel by Garner Ted Armstrong

Banned by HWA revealed that in 1988 Garner Ted Armstrong, among many other things he did he also published a novel, Churchill's Gold.

I find myself strangely curious to see how this man wrote fiction.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

John Tuit on Roderick C. Meredith

As a former follower and co-worker of Roderick C. Meredith's Living Church of God (2000-8) I am always very interested to hear about my former cultmeister. When I read about other COG cult leaders it is somewhat more remote to me because I was never as deeply under the deception of any other COG.

Recently I read John Tuit's book The Truth Shall Make You Free. Mr. Tuit was instrumental in bringing about the receivership of WCG in 1979.

He has some fascinating comments regarding Roderick C. Meredith.

In the course of this post Mr. Tuit makes several assertions about Roderick C. Meredith which it is impossible for me to verify. Nevertheless I report these things in order for people to more easily know what John Tuit has to say about Meredith. These words have long been in circulation. Personally I think other verifiable information (such as his deceptive insinuation on his TV show that "You will gain precious insights and information available nowhere else") more easily proves that Meredith could not be a man sent by God and that he is not worthy of being followed as a man of God.

(The following quotations all come from John Tuit's The Truth Shall Set You Free, as hosted on the website of Keith Hunt, a former WCG member who continues to teach many of HWA's doctrines.)

John Tuit's The Truth Shall Set You Free: Chapter 4:

This chapter spends a lot of time discussing the contents of the first issue of Ambassador Report. (All 72 Ambassador Report issues are available at the Painful Truth.)

The following is a quotation from the Ambassador Report article, Tithe Spy.
Keith M. Hunter, who was Director of the Ambassador College Data Processing Center from 1965 through 1973, told the Ambassador Review, "In early 1968, Rodrick C. Meredith, then head of the U.S. Church Ministry of the Radio Church of God, now the Worldwide Church of God, was taking a tour of the new computer facilities at 55 North Vernon. I briefed him on the system we were developing and showed him some printouts of donation information. His eyes seemed to widen as he realized the potentialities of such a system. He asked me to look up the donation records of two men who were about to be ordained as deacons. It turned out that one was tithing and one was not (according to RCM). Mr. Meredith immediately set up a policy to be administered through Dan Porter, then head of the Church Administration Department, that all ordinations and elevations in rank would be done subsequent to a tithe check. It was my feeling that this policy has been carried on to the present day."

Here John Tuit discusses his Area Coordinator, Elbert Atlas, and then suggests how Meredith really feels about African Americans:

Elbert Atlas is one of the few black ministers in the Church and the only black Area Coordinator. Unfortunately, he appears to be very sensitive to this fact and ever-mindful of the feelings of some of the top officials in the Church. He will probably never forget the statement, by Rodrick C. Meredith, a top-ranking evangelist who was later to become Director of the ministry "that one of the signs of God's displeasure with America was the fact that many blacks were ruling over us." And he called particular attention to the black mayor of Los Angeles. He further stated that no black should have authority over whites.
HWA's WCG has had a long history of not treating African Americans well, not least with HWA's ban on interracial marriage. I do not know how Meredith treats that issue today. 

John Tuit's The Truth Shall Set You Free Chapter 15:

As one of the initiators of the receivership of WCG there is a lot of discussion of how events unfolded in this turmultuous time for "God's Church" HWA's WCG.

HWA and Co. claimed the receivership was a wicked, Satanic attempt to destroy HWA's WCG and overthrow HWA. In reality the receivership was initiated by "true Christians" in a desperate attempt to combat rampant corruption and misappropriation of funds within WCG HQ. It would appear a lot of money received by HWA's WCG was used, not in proclaiming Armstrongism as they claimed, but instead was being used for the personal uses of the leaders at WCG HQ. It was to stop this corrupt and exploitative behavior that several people, devout believers in much of HWA's teachings, initiated the receivership. They did it in the hope that, if the receivership succeeded, WCG HQ would become more supportive of congregations, instead of squandering tithe money for the personal uses of WCG leaders. There is a lot of misunderstanding within the COGs about this event. 

At first HWA was willing to be more cooperative with the receivership and in pursuit of this path, after a meeting at Tucson, Arizona, HWA appointed C. Wayne Cole as his second in command to execute this policy. Cole was very nervous about this grave responsibility that had been suddenly placed upon him, not least because this would make him a rival against HWA's favorite and virtual second in command, Stanley Rader.

But once he returned to Pasadena HWA changed his mind and supported Rader and decided to resist the receivership as much as possible. HWA betrayed C. Wayne Cole and appointed Roderick C. Meredith in his place, apparently at Rader's urging.

Here Tuit discusses how this internal coup unfolded in a dramatic anti-receivership, pro-HWA, pro-Rader demonstration at Ambassador Auditorium.
Finally, [C. Wayne] Cole and his group were successful in entering the auditorium and attended the meeting. Rodrick Meredith, another evangelist sharing [Raymond] McNair's opportunistic ways, spoke to the group. He announced that Cole had been relieved of his duties, and that he was replacing Cole. A statement from Herbert Armstrong was then read confirming Meredith's announcement. This was the first official announcement anyone, including Cole, had heard regarding Cole's removal. Meredith explained that the Attorney General's action violated the First Amendment of the Constitution guaranteeing freedom of religion....

Near the close of the meeting, Cole mounted the stage and approached the podium to tell his side of the story and also to announce that if this was the latest decision from Herbert Armstrong he would abide by it. Before fifteen hundred people on the stage of Armstrong's monument to his own great ego, several men prevented Cole from speaking. Loud music immediately began playing and the microphone was quickly dismantled. Meredith and others then escorted Cole off the stage with Meredith threatening to call the police if Cole didn't leave. Cole and his group left the auditorium as several of them hurled charges of "outrage" and "travesty." These charges were surely an understatement in describing the conduct of the men now firmly in charge of the Worldwide Church of God. Now in charge of the Church as puppets of Rader were Rodrick Meredith and Raymond McNair. Meredith, the new head of the ministry, has always been noted for his self-righteous attitude and harsh demands that loyalty to God required loyalty to Herbert Armstrong.

After this Tuit alleges the following about Meredith:
The true nature of the man can better be understood, however, by other characteristics which are not as widely known. In a sermon he once went to great lengths to explain how people should spank their children. He was proud of the fact that he spanked his teenage daughter on her bare backside at least once a week whether she needed it or not, just to keep her in line. His penchant for X-rated movies and adult book stores has been explained by him as a necessary part of his research in order that he may speak out properly against such sins in his sermons. This line of logic, then, would require one to commit murder in order to speak out against such a crime.
And this is partly why Roderick Meredith is very often referred to as Spanky among those who know the truth about HWA, WCG and its splinter groups.

John Tuit's The Truth Shall Set You Free Chapter 16:

Here Tuit discusses how Meredith called upon WCG members to rally against the receivership in order to protect HWA and Rader, and then notes how earlier Meredith had condemned protests and civil disobedience as sinful and forbidden for "true Christians" WCG members.

The following day, on January 6th, a most unusual Sabbath service took place at the Ambassador Auditorium. For three and a half hours, the Church members were subjected to the rantings and ravings of Ellis LaRavia, Rodrick Meredith, Rader and Rader's law partner Ralph Helge.

Meredith said, "We are in a war. Let's see if we are faithful warriors." He must have forgotten what he had written in the September 1964 issue of The Plain Truth regarding civil disobedience. [The article may be read on PDF pp. 47-50.] He said that a Christian's obligation to civil power was in accordance with the statements in the 13th Chapter of Romans as quoted only a couple of days earlier by Wayne Cole in his statement to Church employees. Meredith went on to state in his article, "Those who resist the civil power shall receive to themselves DAMNATION! They are resisting GOD HIMSELF who allows that authority! Your Bible proves government authority and power are ORDAINED OF GOD! - Yes, your Bible reveals that it is God who has ordained human officers of government and those officers must be RESPECTED."

Meredith is condemned by his very own words. The fact that he made that statement in 1964 makes it quite plain that he knew he was wrong now. In 1979, he was calling the Church members to be warriors against civil authority. At the end of his sermon Meredith then announced that Wayne Cole, David Antion, Robert Kuhn and Ben Chapman were all being disfellowshipped. He claimed that all of these men were part of a satanic conspiracy to destroy the Church and overthrow Herbert Armstrong.
It is also worth noting that the cover of the issue has a picture of "RACE RIOTS in New York". The caption below the cover photo says "RACE RIOTS in New York--Negro men yell and wave during civil disturbances in Rochester, New York. Read, in this issue, the truth about the race crisis".

Sadly during the great struggle by African Americans against racial discrimination in the 1950s and 1960s HWA's WCG chose to remain neutral, saying Christ would soon return in 1975 and solve all these problems anyway.

John Tuit's The Truth Shall Set You Free Chapter 17:

Although Meredith was eagerly collaborating with HWA and Rader's attempt to retain control of WCG he, apparently, was still determined to try to undermine Rader. He did not do very well. 
Rodrick Meredith, however, decided to use the conference as an opportunity to undermine Rader. His purpose was not that altruistic, as he felt that he was the one who should be in charge of the Church next to Armstrong, and he was anxious to make a move. There had been a rumor regarding Rader that had not yet been too widely spread. In order to make sure everyone knew the rumor, Meredith decided to publicly deny the rumor. He then announced to the entire assembled group of ministers that all of the allegations regarding Rader's homosexual conduct with Cornwall were false. Now everyone knew the story. And while Rader remained totally silent on the subject, he would have the final word on Meredith.

A few months later, Rader was to have Meredith removed by convincing Armstrong to eliminate the position of head of the ministry and take it to himself. 
So this would appear to be the reason why HWA cast Meredith into (paid) exile in Hawai'i for six months. That was when HWA sent his infamous letter to Roderick C. Meredith. Meredith tried to cut Rader down to size and seize power. He failed miserably.

Later, around 1981, HWA overthrew Rader but had to pay him a generous retirement package which was faithfully paid until his death in 2002. Nevertheless HWA chose to keep Meredith at arms length for the rest of his life and chose Tkach to run WCG after his death. Meredith has no right to claim that HWA would have supported him taking over control of WCG after his death. 

So there you have it. That is what John Tuit, one of the initiators of the receivership has to say about Roderick C. Meredith.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

HWA's Heart was in Impressing World Leaders, Not Feeding the Flock

When Herbert W. Armstrong was meeting with many world leaders he was embarrassed by the fact that he represented a church, the Worldwide Church of God.
Armstrong said further, "One thing has been a serious handicap, and caused me and my touring team no little embarrassment. We have had to say that we represent either Ambassador College or Worldwide Church of God. I am regarded as an Ambassador for WORLD PEACE. But if I represent a CHURCH, immediately that shouts to them RELIGION."

Somehow in Herbert Armstrong's convoluted way of thinking, he was convincing Church leaders that he could deliver the Gospel, a religious message, by not sounding religious and hiding behind a secular organization [the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation]. Most ministers kept this to themselves. When it was mentioned to their congregations, it was put forth in such a way that the people swallowed the whole story without even realizing what was going on.

Armstrong's trips continued, with his world travels becoming The Great Commission such an important part of his activity that a pamphlet was produced by the Church, entitled "Herbert W. Armstrong, Ambassador for World Peace." [Published 1975.] On the front cover is a photo of Armstrong and Rader descending the steps from the Gulfstream 11 jet owned by the Church. The inside cover shows a picture of Herbert Armstrong and the legend "HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG, A BUILDER OF BRIDGES BETWEEN ALL PEOPLES EVERYWHERE". (Source.)
No doubt Stanley Rader and Osamu Gotoh did a lot to make HWA's meetings with world leaders possible, but it is simply inexcusable that HWA was embarrassed of the triple tithe paying members of the Worldwide Church of God whose many sacrifices had made his meetings with world leaders possible. They gave him the money. It is astounding that he tried to hide them away like they were an embarrassment.

Did he really think so little of WCG members?

Read what HWA said again:
One thing has been a SERIOUS HANDICAP, and caused ME and MY touring team NO LITTLE EMBARRASSMENT. We have had to say that we represent either Ambassador College or Worldwide Church of God. 
For HWA the WCG members were not just a "little handicap", they were "a serious handicap".

For HWA the WCG members caused him not just a "little embarrassment" but "no little embarrassment". 

They are the reason you could meet world leaders in the first place, HWA. You should have been proud to represent people who adored you so much, HWA.

But despite this many WCG members did not quite grasp what a terrible slight they had been given by HWA.
The continual outpouring of propaganda from Pasadena served to keep the members ever mindful of their great calling, which, as interpreted by Herbert Armstrong, was to support him in what he called "the great commission." I did believe, as did so many others, that God was miraculously opening doors to these nations so that Armstrong could go in with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 
 Now notice this:
In a September 1976 issue of The Plain Truth, one of the more notable projects of the AICF was featured. The AICF was a sponsor of Liberty Bell Park in Jerusalem, where a replica of the Liberty Bell, a gift from the city of Philadelphia, was to be placed. Armstrong and Rader were to have taken part in the dedication of this Park... [See PDF pp. 3, 41-44.]

The October 1976 issue of The Plain Truth had a feature article about the city of Jerusalem with several photographs of Armstrong with various dignitaries, including Mayor Teddy Kollek. [See PDF pp. 5, 42-46.] One significant photograph showed Armstrong, Rader, Mrs.Rader and Kollek standing by a sign on which it said, "Under Construction Here Childrens' Playground, A gift of the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation, H.W.Armstrong, President." [The photo is on PDF p. 44.]

This playground was part of the Liberty Bell Garden. I wonder now how I could have been so impressed by that when as I think back, I should have seen that the name of the Worldwide Church of God was missing. It should have been apparent that Church money, while being used supposedly to preach the Gospel, was being used for other purposes. However noble these purposes might have been, hiding the Church behind the Foundation hardly seemed to be the way to preach the Gospel.
(As an intriguing side note PCG later stuck another sign on the Liberty Bell Garden claiming that the Philadelphia Foundation made the playground and that HWA was the founder of the Philadelphia Foundation, not Gerald Flurry, simply further confusing the issue.
Upon discovering in 1997 that the original plaque commemorating the park's donation was missing, Gerald Flurry offered the city a replacement plaque. The new plaque states that the playground was a gift from the Philadelphia Foundation, Herbert W. Armstrong founder and Gerald R. Flurry president, which is a two-fold lie: The playground was not donated by the Philadelphia Foundation which was not founded by Herbert W. Armstrong. This is just a lying "sign," written up in the July/Aug. 2001 Royal Vision, pg. 1.
What an unholy mess! Let us continue.)

In contrast to all of HWA's gallivanting around the world lay members of WCG such as John Tuit yearned to spread "the truth" but there was little money and support from Headquarters to support such grassroots endeavors as John Tuit shows in Chapter 5.
Finally, in the summer of 1977, it appeared that I would be able to serve in the Church as I had so desired to do. By this time a Sabbath school program had been established in our congregation and Paula had the responsibility of a substitute Sabbath school teacher....

The Sabbath school program was headed up by Harriet Barkei, wife of Elder Herman Barkei. It seems strange that Church headquarters had no Sabbath school materials at all for use in the program. All lesson materials had to be developed locally, and Harriet, with a group of assistants, did a fine job preparing a complete set of lessons. What seems so strange was that in discussing the financial needs of the program with the minister, Harriet was told that there was no money in the budget at headquarters to fund a Sabbath school program. All such funding had to be done on a local basis. 

We had no idea, at the time that we were told this, that Garner Ted Armstrong, at about the very same time, was being instructed by his father to sign checks for tens of thousands of dollars worth of jewels and furs for his wife Ramona.

There was plenty of Church money for pearls of adornment, but no money to bring the pearls of great price to our little children. Money for international trips and gifts for world leaders, but no money for Sabbath school lessons. In spite of this handicap, we managed. The Ladies' Club provided the money as best they could for the needs of the school and I reproduced all the lesson materials on my old Remington photocopier. 
As Jesus said "where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Matthew 6:21.) This shows where HWA's heart really was.

In All the World Only Pack and Dale Schurter in RCG Understand Agriculture

After reading Dave Pack boasting about Dale Schurter and his expertise in agriculture, supposedly better than anyone else in the world I feel compelled to state the following.

Recently I took a look at Dale Schurter's book for RCG, Mounting Worldwide Crisis for Agriculture. I didn't read it, but looked at the pictures.

It is disgusting propaganda. It keeps showing "the world" (everyone outside of RCG) trying to do agriculture and they are always portrayed as dirty and degrading.

But in contrast they show photos of beautiful and well maintained land, and most of them are lands developed by Ambassador College, Big Sandy and his modern day work with Pack's RCG.

The implication that only RCG truly understands agriculture just shows the complete arrogance of Pack and Schurter. It is disgusting that the rest of the world are demonized and degraded in that way.

It also came to my attention that Ambassador College made two booklets very similar to Schurter's present book. World Crisis in Agriculture by Dale Schurter and Eugene Walter (1969, 1970, 1971), and (confusingly having the same name) World Crisis in Agriculture by Gary Alexander and the Ambassador College Agricultural Research Department (1974).

Now we know Dale Schurter is imitating what he wrote forty years ago and Dave Pack is once again desperately trying to convince his followers that he, Dave Pack, is just like HWA, even employing the same writer for the same job. Pack could not get Eugene Walter or Gary Alexander by the way.

The Decline and Fall of Meredith's LCG

Saw these fascinating comments regarding LCG and how Meredith has gradually whittled away any credibility he still had after the Split within Global COG in 1998 from Banned by HWA.

From an Anonymous comment:

Hey, at least Dave knows his product and his market. His product may be reviled by thoughtful people, but he knows how to hook his marks.

Compare this to Rod Meredith, who for years has seemed to assume that people were with LCG because they thought Rod was HWA's most legitimate successor. What Rod seems not to have understood is that most LCG members were there not because they thought Rod was so special, but because they respect(ed) Carl McNair or John Ogwyn or their local pastor, and they understood that LCG would "hold fast" to old-school HWA teachings more than the liberal groups like UCG and CGI.

So, once Carl McNair and John Ogwyn were dead, and Rod started to introduce his own weird new doctrines (redefining the Gospel, teaching that Christians go to heaven before Christ returns to the Mount of Olives, reinterpreting the "falling away"), he genuinely seemed to be shocked that many LCG members started banking their tithes, and quite a few simply left.

When LCG started, it had some credibility among ACOG groups as one that would remain doctrinally conservative without being insane. That credibility is now almost completely gone, and LCG members are rapidly departing for their choice of more conservative and/or less insane groups.

Dave knows how to work this to his advantage, to siphon off those LCG members who have proved Rod is a lying senile nepotist but who haven't yet figured out that Pack is little more than smarter and younger version of the same.

Rod still brags about meeting Elliott Richardson and other bigwigs, and doesn't think people will notice that all of his meetings with dignitaries happened 30 to 50 years ago. I doubt Rod has even met his Congressman or Charlotte's mayor, and he certainly hasn't had them over for a visit to LCG's administration building. Rod is living in his own romanticized past, while Dave, despite his delusions, is at least living in the present.

This comment comes from NO2RCM. (I have taken the liberty of dividing his comment into paragraphs.):

In response to anon's 4:50 comments about RCM. That stretch where Ogwyn & McNair died was accompanied by Meredith's ugly rejections of Don Davis and Charles Bryce. Davis had been Rod's right-hand man at the beginning of both Global and Living, and RCM threw him off the council for political reasons. Rod also sent Bryce (as CAD) on a mission and then humiliated Bryce by undercutting him on the very mission he sent him to do. That, too, was for political reasons. Rod later violently thrust Bryce out. That left Rod without 4 excellent advisers, men who would give him the straight poop. From then on, the council has been filled with yes-men. Men who have been taken in by RCM's power and charisma.

It amazes me how some of them totally transition from rational men to gushing sycophants once they get appointed to the council. Although not at all apparent, Rod has a real charismatic power that is hard to resist, especially when you aren't even aware of it. This, of course, is why Rod has to give weekly updates about Charlotte, gives a must-play sermon once a month, writes all the lead articles, etc. He has to keep his face in front of people or their heads will clear, and Rod can't have that.

This is where I disagree with anon -- not that many people have left LCG. RCM has very successfully propagandized hatred for all the other groups, so people stay in LCG regardless of RCM. It is my opinion that RCM is actually worse than Pack as far as spreading hatred for the brethren, probably because he does it more subtly and people don't know they're being manipulated. Anyway, it was that 2004-2006 period where things really went south for Rod and LCG -- symbolized by the Milwaukee shooting.

Fascinating discussion.

No Cheerful Givers with Third Tithe

 The following is from Chapter 1 of John Tuit's The Truth Shall Make You Free. This is a revealing description of what triple tithing really did to WCG members.
On top of that [first and second tithe] there was a third tithe every three years, which again was another tenth of that third year's income. There was an attempt made on the part of the Church to support all these tithing doctrines with Scripture. While we were in accord with the doctrine of the basic first tithe, we never did understand or agree with the additional tithing doctrines. While we had come to believe that this was God's only true church, we were perhaps more resistant than most members in doing everything that the Church taught. We did give holy day offerings, as we felt able, but we did not save a full tenth for our feast expenses. For purposes of going to the Feast we saved what we felt would be an appropriate amount for an eightday family vacation. Since we did not agree with the doctrine of the third tithe, we totally disregarded that....Whenever I talked to someone who was in what they called their third tithe year, I did not find a cheerful giver.
 What a damning indictment of the moral bankruptcy of the doctrine of the third tithe.

Friday, June 21, 2013

PCG Brainwashing in Action

Apparently That Prophet who loves shunning "Laodiceans" Gerald Flurry published a new book in April, entitled America Under Attack!

I ran into an article by PCG's Brad MacDonald promoting his boss's book, It's Time to Read 'America Under Attack'. This article demonstrates how PCG tricks people into an induced state of fear with the goal of convincing them to join PCG and pay three tithes and offerings to them.
for me one of the most striking is the way events since its release have so powerfully vindicated its message. 
MacDonald exploits the various events  that occurred since the book's publication, such as the Boston bombing, the US Justice Department seizure of AP's records, the IRS tax scandal, and the latest flame up of Republican attempts to somehow blame the Obama Administration for the attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi (which did not stand up to scrutiny by the way. Get your facts right, MacDonald!), to trick people into thinking America is falling apart.

In reality at any point in time there are numerous scandals and crises occurring at any time.

This is just an old trick that Armstrongite COGs have long relied on to bring in new tithe paying members.

The Armstrongite COGs like PCG have long been scaring people by claiming that Christ's return is just around the corner. HWA said Christ would return in 1936, that Mussolini (and then Hitler) was the Beast of Revelation who would conquer and enslave America and Britain before before destroyed by the returning Jesus Christ, that Christ would return in 1975. In his last book, Mystery of the Ages, HWA claimed Jesus Christ would return before the year 2000. You won't find that in PCG's copies of Mystery of the Ages because they cut that part out.

It is also telling that in this article there is no indication that PCG will tell you the only way to escape the coming World War III is to join PCG and pay them three tithes and extra offerings and obey all kinds of oppressive do's and don'ts.

It is also quite obvious that Brad MacDonald is flattering Gerald Flurry. Somehow the sight of that repulses me.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Just Read John Tuit's The Truth Shall Make You Free

What a book! Everyone involved in any COG, now or previously, must read this book! It is astounding.

I so wish I had read this book when I first learned where I could read it back in April 2010.

You can read the whole book at Keith Hunt's website. It is also interspersed with comments by Keith Hunt.

For those who do not know Keith Hunt was a member of WCG who left during the turmoil of the 1970s. He continues to teach many of HWA's doctrines, but he is well aware of HWA's severe moral failings.

You can also read most of it at Banned by HWA.

There will be more about this.

But for now here's the best film trailer I have seen in a very long time. I found it unexpectedly relevant for what I was reading. It is for the latest Superman movie, Man of Steel. I cannot wait to see it.

Fred Coulter: The Seventh Day Adventist?

Just found this intriguing email from Exit and Support Network saying Fred Coulter, leader of the Christian Biblical Church of God, has been using the writings of Ellen G. White, the founder of the Seventh Day Adventists, in his own writings.
Fred Coulter uses the five basic books of SDA: The Great Controversy, Prophets and Kings (the one about Christ), and I forget the rest because I threw them all in the garbage. I have written to him to try to warn him, but he won't listen. He changes the titles slightly. These are all copied from EGW books. I asked why, and he said the books are free domain now. I believe Ellen White had a "spirit guide" who told her things. This spirit guide would obviously be a fallen angel disguising itself as an angel of light. Her books contain numerous errors, contradicting the Bible. The worst one is that the New Covenant is the old covenant transplanted into our hearts. That contradicts all of Galatians which says that the old covenant is brought to an end. The emphasis on the old Mosaic Law deprives people of living in the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:2)
I have no idea if this is true. But this is a most fascinating statement. Can anyone clarify this information?

Watchtower Society Writers Blaming the Victim in Rape

So Serena Williams made comments concerning the rape case in Steubenvile, Ohio, that appeared to show her blaming the rape victim. A lot of people have commented on this so I will simply say that one should never blame the victim in a terrible crime like rape.

Why would Serena Williams make a comment like that? She is a Jehovah's Witness.

Maybe she read the Watchtower Society's book for children, My Book of Bible Stories?

Maybe she read its retelling of the rape of Dinah (Genesis 34)?
DO YOU see who Di´nah is going to visit? She is going to see some of the girls who live in the land of Ca´naan. Would her father Jacob be happy about this? ... we can be sure that Jacob would not be pleased that his daughter was making friends with these Ca´naan·ite girls [because they were pagans who worshipped other gods].

Sure enough, Di´nah got into trouble. [She was raped by Shechem, a Canaanite. In retaliation her brothers Simeon and Levi massacred him and the people of his town.]...

How did all this trouble get started? It was because Di´nah made friends with people who did not obey God’s laws. We will not want to make such friends, will we? 

Maybe she read that when she was a child? Maybe she took it a bit too seriously?

What she said was indefensible. A lot of people rose up and criticized her. She apologized.

But then I wonder, how many people among the Jehovah's Witnesses has read this terrible retelling of the rape of Dinah which blamed her for starting this tragic cycle of violence? I see no evidence that the Bible blamed her for getting rape. That interpretation was added by the Watchtower Society.

The Watchtower Society is viciously using this book to brainwash their children to be fearful of making friends with non-Jehovah's Witnesses. This organization which claims to be God's sole conduit with the world publishes this book which blamed the victim of a rape.

It is fitting and proper that Serena Williams was criticized for her comment. But who will criticize the anonymous writers of the Watchtower Society who made My Book of Bible Stories and chose to blame Dinah for getting raped?

This dreadful retelling is still proudly displayed on their website. Who will force them to apologize and change this?

Millions of people have read this dreadful retelling of Dinah. This book is printed in about 169 different languages and all those people are being taught through this book that it is right to blame the victim in a rape.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

COG Alexa Rankings

I forgot how much I enjoyed seeing Alexa rankings of the various COGs on Gavin Rumney's Ambassador Watch. Here is my humble imitation.

UCG: 48,297
Philadelphia Trumpet (PCG): 81,047
RCG: 87,220
CGI/WCG (Tkach): 143,381
Tomorrow's World (LCG): 182,907 (Bob Thiel): 242,951
CGG: 269,948
Real Truth (RCG): 448,357
LCG: 483,467
PCG: 508,242 (Weinland): 522,682
Cogawa: 657,605
Shining Light (James Malm): 816,064 (Don Tiger): 819,778
Life, Hope and Truth (Cogawa): 869,386
CBCG (Fred Coulter): 904,759 (Weinland): 977,586
COG-AIC (Hulme): 1,117,035
Triumph Prophetic Ministries: 1,133,039
Hold Fast to All Things: 1,181,124
CGI: 1,211,264
Enduring COG: 1,438,006
Plain Truth Ministries: 1,590,744
COG Seventh Day: 1,679,517
COG-PKG (Weinland): 1,696,743 (LCG): 1,936,087
CEG: 1,942,370
CCOG (Bob Thiel): 2,133,513
The Journal: 2,351,343
Intercontinental COG: 2,527,866
COG Faithful Flock: 2,544,150
COG the Eternal: 2,530,916
CEM (Ron Dart): 3,712,410
CGOM: 3,954,300 (UCG): 4,259,548
Foundation Institute (Cogawa): 8,636,372
FOI (Cogawa): 11,471,386
Faithful COG: 17,856,936
Biblical Truth (Weinland): 30,352,942

Monday, June 17, 2013

Dave Pack's Eighteenth "Special Announcement"

Because Banned by HWA has devoted a lot of attention to these "special announcements" Dave Pack has been sending every Friday I decided to read this latest one, the eighteenth one, and see what he had to say.

Here is Dave Pack desperately trying to convince ex-WCG members to convert and join RCG.
Be honest with yourself and acknowledge what God’s Church became for so many—and probably you—as it grew to the globe-girdling size that it reached. There was literally something for everyone, and something was almost always going on. As a result, enormous numbers stopped thinking about the need to pray, study, fast, meditate, exercise God’s Spirit—and copy Jesus Christ in building the perfect, holy, righteous character of God, en route to awesome rulership in God’s kingdom.

Instead, they focused on the next picnic, dance, potluck, basketball and other sporting tournaments, Y.O.U., Y.E.S. (youth programs), singles activity, fundraising project, senior citizen dinner, track meet, Spokesman Club Ladies’ Night, talent show, youth camp session, snow party, deacon/elder meeting, get-together, etc. (Yet Church Bible Studies were cancelled long before anyone felt the need to reduce any of the activities mentioned here.)

The reason why WCG had so much going on for members to do was to keep WCG members so busy they would remain docile and simply continue attending the WCG. Keeping WCG members busy was a form of social control.

This reminds me of William B. Hinson's book, Broadway to Armageddon. He makes that very point. He stated that performing all these many duties made WCG members unable to see the flaws in WCG's teachings because they are too busy to notice. They are too busy to let any lingering feelings of doubt and unease lead to action in WCG.

(As a side note, if anyone wishes to read that book, be warned it is a most sad book, partly because it focuses a lot upon HWA's anti-medicine superstition and the deadly consequences of WCG members following this superstition. So many COG people yearn to follow HWA, but why would anyone want to follow a man who caused so many unnecessary deaths and medical complications? Think about that the next time Pack or any other COG leader try to claim the right to rule over you.)

Notice how Dave Pack just blames all those no good WCG members for causing all these problems.

He despises you and thinks you are an idiot, and he is verbally abusing you, but pretending that he is giving loving advice, just so he can get you to pay him three tithes and extra offerings. Why listen to him?

The longer you have been where you are, the more the law of spiritual inertia—that “objects in motion tend to stay in motion and objects at rest tend to stay at rest”—came into play

"Spiritual inertia". What madness! This is complete nonsense. Dave Pack is taking two completely different ideas and using them in a nonsensical manner. It reminds me of how Malcolm X was tricked into joining the Nation of Islam while in jail. Many years later he realized he was deceived by them and embraced mainstream Islam, but alas, some members of the Nation of Islam assassinated him in revenge.

Coupled with the natural group instinct or “lemming effect”—to stay with the crowd—over time, inaction takes on a life of its own. This should sober—and frighten—you!

Don't listen to your family and friends who love you and cared for you in good times and bad. Listen to me! You need to listen to me so you can send three tithes and extra offerings to me.

Mr. Armstrong, if he were still alive, would immediately disfellowship their [UCG's] entire ministry.

Actually HWA probably wouldn't join any COG unless he was allowed to assume complete leadership immediately. Would Pack do that? The ministers of UCG or Cogawa? Meredith? Flurry? Any other COG sect leader?

I am also disturbed by how trigger happy Pack seems to be in using the terrible weapon of disfellowshiping. It has recently come to the attention of those who follow COG affairs that a few years ago Pack disfollowshipped Michael Venish, causing him to become destitute over night. It seems clear from this passage that Pack is willing to use that weapon on many people.

The prophet Haggai is primarily speaking to individuals—ministers and members—not organizations. 

Dave Pack is trying to isolate you.

Dave Pack knows no organization will convert to his rule so he has to appeal to individual members.

This is typical divide and conquer strategy. He knows no other COG organization will join en mass, so he makes individual members ignore what others have to say about Dave Pack and RCG.

Per God’s command, do you still keep a full second tithe in preparation for the Feast, always turning in the excess before and after it so others, less privileged, may also attend?

How do we know that it is used in that manner? Can Dave Pack assure you that the second tithe money is actually used in that manner?

Do you still faithfully tithe on every dime you earn? What about offerings, also commanded by God (Mal. 3:8-10)? I cannot let it pass without saying that tithing to any organization but God’s Church is stealing, and also throwing your money down the drain. Tithes belong to God. They cannot be used to support a mixture of good and evil knowledge—true and false doctrines. 

More blasted black and white thinking that causes so much problems within Armstrongism.

A ha! Now we see the real reason for these special announcements. No one is fooled. This is the real reason for these special announcements. Dave Pack wants more money. He wishes to gain more converts among ex-WCG members in order to increase his prestige at the expense of UCG, Cogawa, LCG, PCG and all the other Armstrongite splinter groups.

Do you still pay third tithe, or are you in one of the groups that has dismissed God’s eternal law on this subject, ignoring the command to take care of the widows, orphans, needy, strangers and Levites? Have you let the “arguments” of your leaders (UCG, COGwa and some smaller groups) convince you that God did away with this law simply because they rejected it—because they convinced you Mr. Armstrong would have made this universal decision for the Church if he were still alive?

HWA did not take third tithe seriously. It is well known that third tithe fund was often used for frivolous expenses such as refueling his private air fleet. (Red text is my emphasis.)

This list could go on and on, but what I have included is intended to be a starting point—a place to begin. It is far from complete—and the sincerity of your interest in considering your ways will be partly defined by the length of your own list beyond the one I have provided. It will also be measured by how honestly you grade yourself. If you whitewash yourself, turning a blind eye to unChristian behavior, you will only hurt—and eternally jeopardize—yourself!

Dave Pack might as well be saying:

I cannot be bothered thinking of everything. You go ahead and rebuke yourself, because no one understands you better than yourself. And you better make it really long and make yourself look really bad and terrible and downright evil if you want to impress me. I might as well outsource my harangue and make you criticize yourself.

Now that you have seen how bad you are obviously you must come and follow me, pay me three tithes and offerings, attend my feasts wherever we in RCG decide. If I get angry at anyone I will order you to shun them. If you do not like it Satan is attacking your mind and you are defying the God I represent, so you must certainly obey. If you are a woman you must wear no makeup.

What madness.

Also note how Dave Pack confuses spirituality with making a long list by yourself of how dreadful and awful you are. This is manipulative.

Also note the spiritually abusive insinuation (highlighted in red) that if you ignore what Dave Pack is saying you will be headed into the lake of fire to be eternally destroyed. This threat is vicious, cruel and manipulative. Some people can do anything to get three tithes and extra offerings.

Also noted is Pack's silly assertion that his silly special announcements are the last chance for COG ministers in the other COG groups to make themselves right with God by submitting themselves to Dave Pack. Pack seems to think that other COG ministers are in a game of baseball with God.

Most of you grew liberal in the 1970s—this was “strike one” in God’s sight. But you were forgiven by a loving and merciful God and given another chance. However, mostly the same men grew far more liberal and heretical in the second “go-around” through the 90s, and all the way to the present—this was a very great “strike two” in God’s sight. But His plan is to forgive you AGAIN, upon repentance. If you fight His Purpose NOW ... the result will be “strike THREE,” and you will be OUT of the ministry by your own choosing. God’s duly appointed government [Dave Pack's RCG] will REMOVE you from office.

The "liberal 1970s" was strike one for them. The Tkach changes and subsequent splintering was strike two for them. Ignoring Dave Pack now will be strike three.

As though God plays baseball with people's lives to determine their spiritual character and growth. What a stupid thing to say. 

So after reading that it has to be said it just typical Armstrongite propaganda.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Herbert Armstrong's Record as a Father

How did Herbert W. Armstrong perform as a father?

HWA got mad at his eldest daughter, Beverly, sometime in the 1950s, when he saw her with too much makeup on, and that is why he banned female members wearing makeup. (Admittedly my source, LCG cult leader Roderick Meredith, is well known to be a shameless liar but I believe him in this instance.)

HWA committed incest with Dorothy.

HWA forbade doctors to provide proper medical attention to his elder son, Richard, after he was severely injured in a car accident. He also cynically used this event to coerce his followers to give him even more money. He died soon afterwards.

HWA forbade doctors to provide proper medical attention to his wife, Loma, when she was sick and she died. He also cynically used this event to coerce his followers to give him even more money.

HWA scapegoated Garner Ted with all the problems WCG was experiencing and shunned him in 1978, causing a severe schism, and viciously demonized him the rest of his life and refused to reconcile with him.

HWA was a disaster as a father and family patriarch. He destroyed his family because he was so full of vanity.

PCG's Cal Culpepper is a Destroyer of Families

Banned by HWA has a very good post up detailing how PCG's Cal Culpepper is destroying families under his control. Such things are truly horrific and evil. Exit and Support Network exposes Cal Culpepper's destruction of families. (See June 10 letter.) What astounding evil. PCG's and Key of David's Gerald Flurry has always seemed strangely obsessed with destroying families. The following is from a previous blog of mine discussing the 1990 edition of Malachi's Message, a book Gerald Flurry appears to have plagiarized its ideas from the writings of Jules Dervaes, and which is taught by PCG to be a divinely inspired piece of writing.
"If the work to the world is basically finished - most of what remains to be done is separating the Laodiceans and the Philadelphians.... That should not taken very long - but it will be painful! Very painful - in some cases it will break up families." (p. 78.) My word! This has to be one of the most disgusting, horrid and shocking statements Flurry ever says in this book. Here is the terrible no contact policy in embryo. Although (as far as I know) the no contact policy was not yet in force then, it seems clear that the seeds of self-righteous hatred against so-called Laodiceans (WCG members and members of other COGs) is already there in Flurry's heart. He knows the hatred he is teaching towards those he defines as Laodiceans will tear up families. But it seems clear from these words he is determined to do it regardless, as early as February 1990. It is a terrible tragedy that Flurry found himself in just the right time to gain enough converts from WCG to became one of the major Armstrongite COGs.
The quoted words are from Malachi's Message, a book Gerald Flurry appears to have plagiarized its ideas from the writings of Jules Dervaes, and which is taught by PCG to be a divinely inspired piece of writing. PCG is a most terrible and tragic legacy that Armstrongism has produced.

Friday, June 14, 2013

WCG Members Willfully Forgot the Great Disappointment of 1975

This is from Weinland Watch, a now defunct blog by AggieAtheist that focused on Ronald Weinland's cult, the Church of God - Preparing for the Kingdom of God.

This article, published February 26, 2008, discusses how WCG members willfully forgot that Herbert Armstrong and Herman Hoeh set 1975 as the date when Jesus Christ would return.

I often think about this article and have copied it here. Why will be self explanatory.

It is astounding how people and groups of people can so utterly "forget" such important things, but alas, this sort of behavior is fairly common among doomsday cults that set inaccurate dates for the end of the world and then strive to continue after the inevitable disappointment.

The rest of this blog posting is from Weinland Watch.


Selected quotes from a discussion thread on the Shadows of WCG [dead link] discussion board, regarding the Armstrong tract “1975 in Prophecy”.

Here [Deal link] is the original article as it was published in The Plain Truth. All illustrations, photos and text are intact. Ekklesia [Dead link.] also has the booklet [Dead link. 1975 in Prophecy can be read here (html) and here (PDF) at pro-HWA websites, with Basil Wolverton's infamous fear inducing illustrations.], as well as other HWA [Dead link] literature that you will definitely not find on the CoG-PKG’s HWA Compendium site. A cursory examination of the materials is self-explanatory as to why.

“My father joined in ’76. Neither one of us ever heard of “1975 in Prophecy” while we were in. I never heard of “1975 in Prophecy” until a year and a half ago. The thought-reform of the membership, as little as a year after the alleged “year in prophecy” came and went without incident, was absolutely complete.”

“I was born in 72 and never heard of 1975 in Prophecy till AFTER college. On the Painful Truth web site! And I had been raised hearing “the church never set dates” and wondered why that was such a fun thing for the ministers to say. I was always thinking “Big deal, so what? OK, we know we never set dates. Why is anyone even talking about it? My husband (same age as I am, within months) also never heard of it. “

“I never heard about it until I joined this forum in August ’07.  I was born in 1970 and left in 1989!”

“I was born in 76 and never heard of the 1975 thing either.  My mother’s whole family had been in WCG since the 50′s, my dad joined in like 71 – but never, never did I ever hear anything about dates.”

Remember, no one in the church after 1976 knew this booklet had ever existed. As little as one year after this absolutely pivotal ”year in prophecy” never came to pass, the thought-reform of the membership of the Worldwide Church of God was absolutely complete, and the  church continued on under the leadership of Armstrong full speed ahead until his death in 1986.Will members of the Church of God Preparing for the Kingdom of God follow suit after April 17? External CoG observers certainly hope so, with the caveat that Weinland disbands his church, or “resigns” his position as one of the two witnesses, without bringing harm to either himself or his followers.Reprinted here in full, is the 1956 text of Herbert W. Armstrong’s “1975 in Prophecy”.Astute observers will note the Russian/Chinese army of 200 million soldiers mentioned in the below tract. This is almost verbatim what Weinland “predicted” at the end of his March 15 sermon.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

LCG's Douglas Winnail: Betty Friedan was Demon Possessed! There is a "Demonic Influence behind Radical Feminism"!

Did you know that Betty Friedan was very likely demon possessed when she wrote her seminal book, The Feminine Mystique? Did you know that the modern day feminist movement is spawned of Satan? Let LCG's Douglas Winnail explain.
But how could modern, educated, men and women be misled so easily to discard traditional values that have stabilized human societies for thousands of years? The answer—our secular society has lost sight of the fact that we are not alone in the universe. The Bible reveals that "we wrestle… against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 6:12), and that Satan and his demons have deceived the whole world (Revelation 12:9)....Because perverted ideas about women were promoted by men calling themselves Christian, many have assumed these ideas came from the Bible. That is part of Satan's attempt to discredit Scripture.

The Bible also reveals that human beings can be possessed by evil forces (Mark 5:1–15; Acts 16:16) and become unwitting pawns who promote Satan's agenda. Friedan revealed that when she was writing her book attacking marriage and the traditional family, "the book took me over, obsessed me, wanted to write itself… I have never experienced anything as powerful, truly mystical as the forces that seemed to take me over when I was writing The Feminine Mystique" (Friedan, pp. 7–8). Only belatedly did Friedan ask: "Am I wrong to try to redefine our concept of family?" (Friedan, p. xxi). The tragic results indicate that she was! Today, women are declaring feminism "bankrupt as a movement" (Passno, p. 8) and "one of the bad jokes that history occasionally plays on us" (Crittenden, p. 65). Ironically, feminists urged women into the workplace just as Russian women began clamoring to return to the home (Graglia, p. 11). Feminists have ignored this lesson of modern history.
 ...understand the demonic influence behind radical feminism...

This comes from LCG's Douglas Winnail's article, The Feminist Mistake, from the September-October 2001 edition of Tomorrow's World.

What madness! I can remember at the time when I originally read this that I thought what Winnail said was profound. It gives you quite a rush to learn something like that when you actually believe it. Like you are being told some valuable secret very few know.

Today, of course, I find this disgusting. This is so typical of patriarchal Armstrongism.

When I read this now I think of someone thinking like this:

"What! Women deciding for themselves what they want!? How to run their lives by themselves!? They do not want to be dominated by a husband!? What infamy! They must be demon possessed!"

Whatever one may think of modern day feminism and Betty Friedan, screaming that they are working with Satan is not a statement worth hearing.

While writing this blog I was taken aback by the fact that one of the women Winnail cites as announcing the failure of feminism, Diane Passno, is actually heavily involved in Focus on the Family. That is never mentioned in the article. I find it so strange how on the one hand, this Armstrongite parasitically uses the writings and ideas of "professing Christians" to support one idea, and then on the other demonizing them as false Christians, Sunday keepers, the heirs of Nimrod and Simon Magus (who is alleged to be the first Pope and true founder of the Roman Catholic Church within Armstrongism), and other such nonsense. If the Protestant "professing Christians" like Diane Passno are the heirs of Nimrod and Simon Magus why are you listening to them in regards to feminism?

What useless prattle!

Monday, June 10, 2013

HWA's Teaching of Non-Reproducing Dinosaurs

One curious thing HWA taught was that dinosaurs did not reproduce. I am not making this up. Dennis Diehl has mentioned this curious teaching a few times.

First some background. HWA taught the following:

(HWA's) God created the Universe and the Earth a very long time ago, possibly billions of years ago. On the Earth he created life and he sent a third of the Angels to Earth, under the authority of Lucifer, to beautify it and make it whole. This was the Earth in which the dinosaurs inhabited and lived in. Eventually Lucifer turned against God and lead his angels in a grand rebellion against God. They were defeated and cast out of Heaven upon the Earth. But as a result of this supernatural struggle all physical life in the Universe, including Earth, had been destroyed. It is then that God recreates the Earth to allow human life to live upon it as described in Genesis 1 and 2. (This is quite similar to what Jehovah's Witnesses teach.)

But one thing that is not readily apparent in most accounts of this is that HWA believed the dinosaurs did not reproduce themselves.

Notice what he wrote in The Incredible Human Potential. HWA is not writing about the initial creation of the Earth, he is writing about the situation after the failed rebellion of Lucifer and the Earth is in a chaotic and empty waste. Look at the link below if you do not believe me.
Consider, now, the truly AWESOME project God set out to accomplish - to REPRODUCE HIMSELF!
It is probable that, prior to this time, no form of life had ever been created with the reproductive process. Probably the very first example of reproductive life was that of plant life - at the time God was renewing the face of the earth (Gen. 1:11-12). God had created the physical universe before placing the angels on the earth. God had created MATTER containing properties so that marvelous things may be done with it. (Chapter 6.)

Notice also what HWA wrote in the 1978 booklet What Science Can't Discover about the Human Mind:
in six days God renewed the face of the earth. During this "creation week" of Genesis 1, God formed the first life forms that reproduced themselves -- the flora and then the fauna...Finally came the creation of MAN -- created in God's own image and likeness -- form and shape -- but like animals composed of physical MATTER from the earth.
Note the highlighted words. HWA is not being careless with his words. He really taught this idea that physical life in the pre-Adamic Earth did not reproduce.

Why did HWA think this?

As far as I can tell it seems to have something to do with his God Family doctrine and he is trying to make reproduction (natural and spiritual) appear more unique and remarkable by only happening after Lucifer's rebellion.

It was not just physical pre-Adamic life that did not reproduce. HWA taught that the Angels cannot reproduce or have a family relationship with each other. Notice the following from The Missing Dimension in Sex:
In the angel family God did not intend sex to be used -- so He did not design angels to be male and female. Angels have no sex apparatus, perform no sex function, do not reproduce. (Chapter 4.)

Satan is an individual being, with NO POWER TO REPRODUCE HIMSELF. Satan is deprived of FAMILY RELATIONSHIP. God, on the other hand, IS the divine FAMILY -- Father, Son and those begotten by the Holy Spirit to be born into it. God has bestowed on mankind the privileges of FAMILY, and of reproducing our kind, bringing our human offspring into our human FAMILIES. Satan resents this! (Chapter 6.)

Also notice what HWA wrote in The Increditable Human Potential:
All that had happened caused God to now UNDERTAKE THE MOST STUPENDOUS CREATION OF ALL - that of REPRODUCING HIMSELF! The ultimate creation of God Beings in His God Family superior to angels!

Reproducing HIMSELF?

Now came the CROWNING PINNACLE of even God's unmatched creative POWER! Now came the very zenith of all Divine accomplishment! Now came a project so incredulously transcendently AWESOME it is hard for the human mind to grasp. How could the great GOD - self-existent, before all else, CREATOR of all else, reproduce HIMSELF into multiplied millions of others JUST LIKE HIMSELF - Divine, supreme in power, perfect in character - each by his own choice perfectly like-minded with the Father, each having so set himself that he CANNOT SIN? (Chapter 5.)

It would appear to me that HWA was irritated by the thought that physical life in the pre-Adamic Earth reproduced themselves for billions of years. It made human reproduction appear less important. According to HWA humans have been reproducing for 6000 years. But if life in the pre-Adamic Earth have been reproducing themselves for billions of years why would (HWA's) God reproducing himself be anything special to see? How could reproduction be "the CROWNING PINNACLE of even God's unmatched creative POWER" if pre-Adamic life had already been doing so for billions of years?

HWA's answer to this problem was to simply deny that any pre-Adamic life could reproduce.

In summary:
It seems to me that HWA was denigrating pre-Adamic life as non-reproducing in order to elevate reproduction (natural and spiritual) among animals, humans and within the God Family as something that only happened after Lucifer's rebellion.
Of course, this is speculation. Ultimately only HWA fully understands why reproducing dinosaurs were a problem to him in the religion he cobbled together.

HWA's idea seems to be even more strange than is sometimes presented. HWA seems to think that all life, not just dinosaurs, all life, did not reproduce in the pre-Adamic era. Does this include grass? Does this include bacteria and single celled organisms?

Did HWA believe every dinosaur and every plant we found in the Earth are immortal beings, or that each were individually created by (HWA's) God himself, never to reproduce for the billions of years the pre-Adamic Earth existed?

My word! HWA was even crazier than we thought.

Why Did HWA Threaten WCG Members and Co-Workers with the Lake of Fire?

All About Armstrongism has a most fascinating blog discussing why HWA chose to threaten WCG members and co-workers with being thrown into the Lake of Fire to be destroyed forever.

Even if you think you know everything there is to know about HWA you should still read it. It is that good.

Twenty-one instances are cited in which HWA threatened WCG members and co-workers with the lake of fire. 

It is chilling to see how often HWA blackmailed WCG members simply to get more money to complete his vanity projects, such as building his office, a dining hall, his building fund to build Ambassador Auditorium, etc. (An Auditorium PCG's Stephen Flurry thought was not a burden.)

After quoting the words of the man who called himself an Apostle, All About Armstrongism states:
It is seen that Herbert Armstrong stated that if you do not give enough money on top of tithes and offerings – you would be sentenced to the Lake of Fire, burned up forever and ever in the third resurrection.

It is seen that Herbert Armstrong stated that if you do not do your part, and what is expected of you, you would be sentenced to the Lake of Fire, burned up forever and ever in the third resurrection.

It is seen that Herbert Armstrong stated that if orders are not obeyed, if a member is guilty of murmuring, complaining, criticizing, rebellion, independence, and criticism, and if you do not have an attitude of submission, cooperation, you will be sentenced to the Lake of Fire, burned up forever and ever in the third resurrection.

Is it not disgusting to see how HWA so blatantly blackmailed and coerced his followers to bend to his selfish will? As the blog states HWA was just as bad as an armed robber stealing money from a bank.

It amazes me how, even after all these five years since I renounced Armstrongism, I can still be so shocked at just how much of a heartless exploiter he was. What a sick, disgusting, materialistic man he was.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

HWA Denounces Bob Thiel's Claim to be Magically Ordained by God

Bob Thiel got disgruntled at LCG and decided to leave and set up his own COG cult, this time centered around himself.

HWA would have denounced this claim by Bob Thiel. Notice what he wrote in the article 'Must God's Ministers be Ordained by the Hand of Man?', published in the January 1960 Good News.

That ONE BODY of Christ, carrying on HIS WORK, must function as a UNIT. It must work in harmony and unity, with teamwork, for God is not the author of confusion. There must be no pulling off in different directions by different men IN that one Body. There must be no competition, or division....

In order that this ONENESS -- this UNITY of purpose and action -- this HARMONY and co-operative teamwork, be maintained and preserved in GOD'S WORK, God has ordained GOVERNMENT IN HIS CHURCH. And He has empowered His Church with DIVINE AUTHORITY.
That government in God's Church is government from God, thru Christ, thru apostles, thru evangelists, thru pastors, thru other elders, IN THAT ORDER!

Pay attention, Bob Thiel, to these following words of HWA's:
Now suppose God did NOT have these various officers ordained by the hand of man. What would happen? One man in New York [or maybe California?] would APPOINT HIMSELF, and come up and say, "I claim equal office and authority with those ordained from Pasadena. I wasn't ordained by the hand of man, but direct by the hand of God." 

What a familiar situation.
And then this man carries on his own independent work. [Like the Continuing Church of God.] Such a work CANNOT be a PART of the work of GOD'S TRUE CHURCH, for the simple reason that sooner or later it will start pulling off in an opposite direction -- unless there is DIRECTION from Christ on down, in ONE CHURCH ORDER OF GOVERNMENT...
So you see, Brethren, WHY God always ordains men to office THRU HIS OWN CHURCH, THRU HIS OWN ESTABLISHED ORDER...! ... Any such claims to ordination or office are WITHOUT A SHRED OF SCRIPTURAL AUTHORITY!

So according to HWA, Bob Thiel has absolutely no authority to lead anyone.

Bob Thiel was never ordained as a minister by an Armstrongite church. He got around this problem by claiming that when LCG minister Gaylen Bonjour gave him an anointing to ask for God's blessing he said a few words that Bob Thiel interpreted as a sign that God had ordained him a prophet.

He ignores the fact that HWA taught that New Testament Prophets had no administrative authority but only directly related the words of God through visions and that there is now no need for such things because we now have the Bible.

All those working with Bob Thiel, in the USA, New Zealand, Kenya and anywhere else are openly defying what HWA taught that

  • ministers must be ordained by ministers belonging to "God's Church". 
  • and New Testament Prophets have no administrative authority over church members.

According to HWA, Bob Thiel has no right to claim the three tithes and offerings that he expects of his followers within the Continuing Church of God.

Dave Pack is Heading for a Great Fall -- Like Glenn Beck

Dave Pack has once again thrown a weekly announcement insisting that soon all the other COGs will soon unite under his rule and authority.

Dave Pack reminds me of Glenn Beck. Beck got a show on Fox News staring January 19, 2009, and said all kinds of big words and insights that seemed to be profound. He expertly rode the wave of right wing anger and resentment caused by the financial collapse and losing the Presidency to Barack Obama in 2008. 

Beck became the darling of the right as millions of viewers tuned in to hear his passionate denunciations of President Obama and the left. Thousands answered his call to resist the left and attended rallies to redirect America in the way away from the left.

But even at the height of his influence his ideological opponents warned that he was heading for a fall.

Then Glenn Beck called President Obama a racist. Left wing activists, offended by this, began a boycott campaign calling for advertisers to refuse to advertise on his show. It succeeded brilliantly and many advertisers, about three hundred, refused to air commercials in his time slot.

But that was not all. After two years of extraordinary success in gaining viewers, many of them drifted away. Glenn Beck made people think the world was about to collapse any minute now. It did not and many viewers got tired of what he had to stay and tuned out. His ratings fell by about a third. They were still high but losing so many viewers and advertisers weakened his bargaining position when it was time to renew his contract with Fox News.

They could not come to an agreement and so his show was cancelled and aired for the last time on June 30, 2011.

He is still continuing operations, but what he has now is little compared to what he had when he was on Fox News. He has greatly fallen in statue, prestige and importance. He matters little now.

I suspect the same fate awaits Dave Pack.

He tells his followers all sorts of amazing astounding things that seem to be profound. That is what Glenn Beck did. The amazement will not last too long.

Eventually RCG members are going to get tired of Dave Pack's big words. They will tune out. They may even love Dave Pack but they will ignore him anyway because he cannot deliver on what he promises.

Some RCG members will get sick of the lies and leave.

Many of HWA's followers in Oregon left after World War II because HWA's confident prediction that World War II would end in Christ's return failed miserably. This is not often remembered but that is what happened. That might even be the real reason he moved to California.

Much turmoil and strife occurred in WCG in the 1970s partly because many WCG members were disappointed that HWA's prediction that Christ would return in 1975 failed miserably. HWA's disgraceful failure weakened his standing among his followers. This disgrace helped make it possible for many of them to courageously resist his tyrannical rule and liberate themselves and others.

Dave Pack will be furious that his words will not be fulfilled.

Dave Pack will most likely vent his wrath on anyone who dares to remind him, intentionally or unintentionally, that he failed. Instead of admitting that he is the problem he will look for scapegoats and blame them. I feel sorry for anyone who becomes his target.

To anyone working with Dave Pack now be warned, he may blame you when things fall apart. He won't blame himself. You should prepare yourself now. It may imprudent to leave now. There is no one correct answer how to respond, Dave Pack will make it as difficult and traumatic to leave as possible, but one should prepare for this now.

Even if RCG simply retains its present membership size it will still be a humiliating failure for Dave Pack. Because he has promised that great expansion is coming for his followers.

When RCG declines in members and he is unable to keep up with payments, people will, of necessity, mention these bad tidings to him. Instead of recognizing that he is the problem he will vent his wrath on others who tried to help fulfill his vision.

Right now RCG is among the top five COG organizations. I think it may very well collapse in numbers after RCG members see he has failed to bring his words to pass and that he speaks nonsense. It may become just another minor COG group we barely hear about and which hardly matters.

I cannot see how this will end well for Dave Pack. He is about to fall into a snare of his own making. But many lowly RCG members will suffer because of him when things go wrong.

We await what happens in RCG with interest.