Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The COGs' Hostility to Movies and Fiction

Traditionally the COGs tend to be quite critical of mainstream fiction, whether they are books, movies or TV shows.

This tendency may be seen in one of HWA's very first religious articles, 'What's Wrong with the Current Gerneration?' written around 1927, long before he started publishing the Plain Truth.
The average church is now about two-thirds empty, the other third being populated with gray heads. The average sermon today is lifeless, boring, lacking in fire and power. The church no longer serves a social need. The automobile, good roads, modern movies, dances and entertainments, have usurped the churches' social ministration. The teenagers are no longer interested.

Some churches have attempted to compete with the lure of modern amusements by bringing movies, amateur plays, dances and other entertainments into the church. But, in the amusement game, our churches have proved themselves pitiful novices. The crowd still prefers its entertainment where it is presented with professional and worldly skill. ...

The churches have failed them [young people]. They don't understand - how can we expect that they should? - and they are merely seeking the spiritual food they really need, in movies, in dances, in wild entertainment, in "necking," sex and debauchery, and all too often finding the "inspiration" in bootleg liquor! They're getting - and buying at a dear price - cheap Woolworth jewelry, when what they really crave is the pearls of a heart-warming, Spirit-firing Christian experience! ...

Religion has come to be considered, by these youngsters the oldsters condemn, as a dark, gloomy, profitless, penance-paying life. The average adolescent's conception of Christianity is a whole flock of "Don'ts," beginning with capital Ds. The churches shout "Don't dance," "Don't play cards," "Don't go to movies," "Don't bob your hair," "Don't smoke." The church offers no alternative. Christianity is viewed as a sort of living painful penance. ...

Let's not make the fatal mistake of thinking we can steer them safely from the shoals of worldly temptations merely by saying: "Don't dance! Don't go to movies! Don't smoke! Don't drink!"

Their starved emotions, their pent-up energies, are going to find an outlet, one way or the other. If we don't want them to fall victim to this world's tawdry imitations, then we must show them the REAL THING. If you don't give your children something constructively BETTER, they will dance, they will drink, they will dissipate, in spite of you. Never have we needed the help and the power of God as we need it now!
(HWA later became exactly what he was criticizing in this article.)

HWA also stated his contempt for fiction in his Autobiography as noted in a previous post of this blog.
HWA in his autobiography, in which he completely 'forgets' to tell us about his many false prophecies, (1936, Mussolini as Beast, Hitler as Beast) he does remember to tell us that he has not read much fiction.

That winter, beside the warm fire of burning oak logs, I read through three or four books of fiction -- about the only fiction reading of my entire life. I did what I could to help on the farm, but that wasn't much, and my wife, of course, did the cooking, and housework. (Chapter 13.)
He also remembered to tell us his personal views on fiction.

I confined my reading in magazines to informative and thought-provoking articles, resisting fiction almost altogether. Fiction is the lazy man's reading. Like the movies, and today's TV programs, it is merely a ready-made daydream, inducing habits of mind-drifting. (Chapter 8.)
And then (strangely) just a few words later he lecture us about 'vision.'
This is the quality, rare among people (but why should it be? [It might have something to do with your authoritarian ways, HWA.-Redfox712]), called VISION....the big majority never think beyond their present jobs -- never think out ways to do the job better, or to develop or expand their own job into something bigger, or to be preparing themselves for the better jobs ahead and promotions to them
How is vision, which here means dreaming about future possibilities, different from dreaming about possibilities experienced through reading fiction?
When I read that in his Autobiography I seriously contemplated giving up fiction. Thankfully I read Rikki-Tikki-Tavi by Rudyard Kipling and the joy of reading that story firmly put that delusional idea behind me.

This hostility towards movies and other forms of mainstream entertainment is also seen in Roderick C. Meredith's booklet, Restoring Original Christianity. (The booklet was originally called Restoring Apostolic Christianity.)
Satan “broadcasts” a selfish, rebellious attitude throughout this earth. He is the one who is influencing deceived men into injecting enormous amounts of licentious sex, violence and a general spirit of disrespect and lawlessness into the so-called “entertainment” you and your children see or hear on television, at the movies, on the radio or when playing various kinds of perverted computer games which simulate almost indescribable acts of perversion or violence. Do you know who is really laughing at all this “fun stuff”? Satan is!

For by perverting mankind’s normal interest in sex and excitement, and by cleverly injecting sick humor into so many of television’s “situation comedies,” Satan is able to cleverly mislead mankind into abusing, degrading and ultimately destroying itself if God does not intervene at the last minute to stop it (Matthew 24:21–22).
I have also seen similar comments from PCG.

Why are HWA, Meredith, Mendiola, PCG and so many others within the COGs like this?

It is very simple, they are simply trying to control their followers. COG leaders fear that the works of art may cause COG members to deviate from what they are told. The leaders do not want to their followers spending money on movies but would prefer for them to not go in order that more money ma be given to the leaders as tithes and offerings. The COG leaders claim many works of art are immoral but they are simply trying to control their followers.

Also many works of art contain messages contrary to what is taught by the COGs. The COG leaders are simply trying to make sure their followers do not wonder around and start to embrace contrary ideas, or, even worse, start thinking for themselves and disrupting the leaders' rule over the tithes paying flock.

The COG leaders are simply trying to control their followers by keeping them focused only on what the group teaches and ignoring and avoiding anything that might contradict what is taught.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

HWA Says People Are Like Sheep Ignorantly Led to Slaughter

I saw these words written by HWA in The Missing Dimension in Sex, Chapter 12. 
People are like sheep. They all follow the leader to the slaughter. But they don't know they are being led to the slaughter. They are just a little stupid. Yes, quite a little! But they still want to belong! It's natural to just go with the group.
In context HWA is talking about supposedly Satan influenced humanity, specifically teenagers, rushing to throw away traditional restrictions regarding sexual relations.

But I cannot help but wonder, is this how HWA really viewed the people around him?

Is this how he really viewed the people he led and commanded?

COG Alexa Rankings (October 2013)

I loved Gavin Rumney's old Alexa lists. Here is another list to see how popular the websites of the various COGs compare to each other.

For comparison here are other Alexa lists from June and July and August.

I have chosen not to check the rankings of quite so many COGs as before. It is too burdensome to look at so many splinter groups.

UCG: 56,226
RCG (Pack): 110,874
The Trumpet (PCG): 149,238
Grace Communion International (Tkach's WCG): 150,941
COGWriter (Thiel): 170,727
Tomorrow's World (LCG): 383,704
LCG: 374,184 (See below. LCG still seems to have more web activity than Bob Thiel.)
COGWA: 381,818
Life, Hope and Truth (COGWA): 444,240
Real Truth (RCG): 584,486
PCG: 612,013
Continuing COG (Thiel): 634,117
Vision (Hulme): 1,052,990
Plain Truth Ministries (Albrecht): 1,435,137
Triumph Prophetic Ministries (Dankenbring): 1,690,715
Shining Light (Malm): 2,049,385
COG International: 2,209,458
CCG (Wade Cox): 2,460,918
Intercontinental COG: 2,677,031 (Weinland): 4,485,229 (LCG): 5,419,663 10,925,350
COG-PKG (Weinland): 24,224,507

UCG remains unassailably ascendant. A COG that decided to change their method of government to a somewhat more democratic way, as Bob Thiel often liked to say, continues to be the main COG. Despite the constant scheming, criticism and plotting against them by Flurry, Pack, Thiel, Malm and others, UCG remains ascendant. King of the COG world.

Dave Pack was wrong. The COGs are still very much active. He predicted they would be destroyed by August 30, 2013. RCG is still well behind UCG, LCG, COGWA and PCG in terms of members. We know there has been no great migration to RCG. Dave Pack would certainly tell us at great length if such was the case. Also RCG's web site has remained static.

Here is the recent timeline of Alexa rankings for Dave Pack's websites:

June         87,220
July          105,715
August     115,494
(August 30, 2013, Pack's prophesied reunification does not happen.)
October  110,874

There was certainly no great expansion within RCG as Pack insisted would happen by August 30, 2013. 

The decline for Real Truth's web site is particularly noticeable.

Real Truth:
June        448,357
July         435,144
August    456,355
(August 30, 2013, Pack's prophesied reunification does not happen.)
October  584,486

These figures indicate that in the build up to Pack's falsely prophesied reunification due August 30, 2013, there was an increase in web activity but after the prophetic failure activity has gone down on Real Truth's website, while RCG has remained stable but certainly shows no indication of any great reunification happening.

Ronald Weinland's imprisonment for tax evasion has been a disaster for his cult group. Hardly anyone is reading his stuff. Most dramatically fell from 2,571,463 in August to 10,925,350 at present.

LCG's websites have gone down. Tomorrow's World is down from 221,574 in August to 383,704 now. LCG is down from 289,043 in August to 374,184 at present.

LCG in all probability still has more web activity then Bob Thiel, despite what the list seems to show. If you add Tomorrow's World and LCG's websites together there is probably still more web activity for Meredith's cult then Thiel's. I do not know how one could combine the statistics for those two websites together and then compare them to Thiel's websites, but it seems most likely that more people are still reading LCG's writings then those of Thiel. There is no evidence of any great massive membership growth within Bob Thiel's little personality cult.

James Malm's blog has gone down from 1,217,186 in August to 2,049,385 today. Perhaps some followers of his are starting to realize that Malm is not worth their attention and moving on elsewhere.

PCG's Trumpet has come down from 108,171 in August to 149,238, falling behind RCG. A far cry from the supposed destruction PCG was supposed to face by August 30, 2013.

Web statistics do not tell everything. For instance the most viewed website for any political party in Britain is a certain far right, racist party that is not even present in Parliament. Just because people are reading your stuff it does not necessarily mean they are going to join or pay tithes.

Bob Thiel Preying on Third World COG Members

I saw this post from the self-appointed, false prophet Bob Thiel, from this thread of his.
09/17/13 p.m. The Continuing Church of God (CCOG) now has its Statement of Beliefs in the language of Swahili/Kiswahili on the internet (here is the link: KATIKA LUGHA YA KISWAHILI). This was translated by people in Kenya.
Well, after he viewed it, I received the following email from a CCOG supporter in Tanzania:
Greetings. The Statements of Belief in Kiswahili is a wonderful milestone to the people of East Africa. I do not recall any literary work of the COG that was done in this language by any group that came from WCG! This is one of the reason that made me to leave LCG when they kept ignoring my plea to do everything possible to help those brethren who couldn't understand English, who had been accepted into the church!
We in the Continuing Church of God are committed to reaching people of all nations and as many languages as we can.
Bob Thiel has also produced writings in Spanish, Chinese and Tagalog.

It is very sad that Bob Thiel is seeking to spread his blend of the nonsensical heresies of HWA upon third world people in order to get three tithes and offerings from them. Many of these people do not know English and so will be less likely to access critical information regarding HWA and his teachings and so fall into Bob Thiel's web of deception. 

The Pompous Narcissism of Bob Thiel

Recently I saw this posting from Banned by HWA which shows the sad narcissistic delusion Bob Thiel has thrown himself into. The highlighted portion shows quite clearly the dangerous delusion Bob Thiel is now in.
In my case, in November/December 2011, I prayed that if I truly had a prophetic role from God that He would have something happen during a planned mid-December 2011 trip to Charlotte, North Carolina to confirm it or deny it if that were His will. As it turned out, on 12/15/2011 hands were laid upon me in Charlotte by ordained minister Gaylyn Bonjour. He prayed that I would be granted a “double-portion” of God’s Holy Spirit. He told me that he had not ever done this before but he felt that it was reminiscent of the time that the prophetic and ecclesiastical leadership mantle passed from the Prophet Elijah to Elisha (2 Kings 2:9-13). This minister had been unaware that I had prayed that God would have me anointed or somehow identified for a prophetic role on that mid-December 2011 trip if that were His plan for me and I had never discussed my possible prophetic role with him prior to this anointing. This 12/15/11 anointing appears to be the first biblically-appropriate prophetic anointing in the Church of God in many decades, if not many multiple centuries. And the legitimacy of this anointing has been proven by subsequent events–though many do not seem to understand how God works at times. And yes, I will add that I believe that I do have the appropriate prophetic fruits that Jesus discussed (Matthew 7:15-20) and that those truly interested in the truth can see this if they truly wish to prayfully look into this.
What astounding pomposity.

HWA condemned anyone claiming prophetic authority without being ordained by a minister from HWA's group.
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."...
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! (Source.)
Bob Thiel conveniently ignored this teaching of HWA's. Bob Thiel contradicts HWA on this matter.

Bob Thiel loves to criticize Dave Pack for the pompous statements he makes. Here is Dave Pack claiming his prophesied reunification of the COGs on August 30, 2013, was prophesied 3000 years previously in some of the Psalms.
3) Also related, if God waited 2,500 years to reveal the prophecy’s meaning (3,000 years when various related much older Psalms are considered), is not His waiting done? Does His revealing it not signal that He has reached the time to fulfill it rather than having reached a point one, two or three years out? (Dave Pack, as quoted on Banned by HWA.)
How is Bob Thiel's own claim to authority any different from Dave Pack's boasting?

There is no difference. Bob Thiel is just as pompous and deluded as Dave Pack. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Why Did HWA Forbid Voting?

HWA taught his followers that it was forbidden to vote. This doctrine is first seen (as far as I know) in HWA's article 'How Would Jesus Vote for President?' in the October 1948 Plain Truth, pp. 1-2, 6-8.

I first encountered this doctrine in Roderick C. Meredith's article, 'How Would Jesus Vote for President?' in the November-December 2000 Tomorrow's World.

(Meredith did not even bother to change the name. Roderick C. Meredith often recycles words.)

PCG and other COGs also follow this teaching.

Why did HWA do this?

The vote ban contributed to HWA's apparent certainty of views. HWA presented himself as a man who was certain of what he believed and taught. He taught his followers to view the world in a simplistic black and white manner. To further cement this apparent certainty HWA told his followers to not vote. This provides a simple, consistent answer to HWA's followers on what to do in regards to elections. HWA seems to have decided it was easier for him to not endorse a candidate in every election but instead simply tell everyone not to vote.

The vote ban also served to isolate his followers from society. Instead of participating in political society in order to resolve or manage political problems HWA's followers are told to simply not participate. So HWA's followers do not work together with people of like mind in attempting to shape society in a manner more just or more consistent with personal views. Instead all this attention to affairs is redirected inwards towards the group following HWA.

HWA isolated his followers in society in order to more effectively exploit them.

HWA did not want his followers going out in the world and observing for themselves how other people behaved and operated.

HWA did not want his followers comparing how WCG operated and behaved with the conduct of others, leading WCG members to judge between the two and possibly seeing the flaws within WCG and then trying to change them.

HWA did not want his followers seeing how people band together and affect change within society together, even forcing the powerful to change behavior.

HWA did not want his followers learning how to protest and organize themselves to resist his rule and authority.

Instead HWA wanted them to make themselves dependent upon his group and refocus all this effort towards building up HWA's group and sending him tithes and extra offerings.

So we see more clearly why HWA forbade voting. He was manipulating followers in order for them to redirect them efforts towards simply working and sending him tithes and extra offerings.

Incidentally in ancient Athens, when they were a democracy, the word 'idiot' referred to citizens who did not vote. (Only free adult males were allowed to vote.)

Other groups that have forbidden their followers from voting include Jehovah's Witnesses (HWA probably plagiarized the idea from them.), the Exclusive Brethren and, historically, the Nation of Islam under Elijah Muhammad.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Repost: Gerald Flurry Changed the Government in PCG

This post was originally posted during the UCG-COGWA schism and analyses an article by PCG's Stephen Flurry in which he took advantage of this schism to demonize Roderick C. Meredith in the hope of luring the members of other COGs into PCG.

We now begin:

Stephen Flurry has used the controversy in UCG as an opportunity to bad mouth LCG, as may be seen in his most recent column, Rod Meredith and Church Branches.

In these recent columns Stephen Flurry has focused his polemical retorts upon the two largest COG sects, UCG and LCG. He accuse UCG of changing the style of government. As for LCG he focuses on Meredith's attempts to implement collegial leadership during Global (1993-8).

Flurry's polemic ignores the fact that many COGs in fact practice one man leadership as practiced by old WCG.

In Meredith's case he focus on Meredith's attempt while in Global (1993-8) to have collegial government. He knows that after LCG was created Meredith reverted to one man rule but for the purposes of his argument this is de-emphasized and Flurry questions why this man chose to change things during that time to delegitimize him.

Let's see what he has to say:
When Rod Meredith left the Worldwide Church of God to start a new church in 1993, he clearly called into question the way Herbert W. Armstrong had governed the Worldwide Church of God.
Just like Gerald Flurry!
PCG changed that and allowed a Prophet to rule over them.

This clearly contradicts HWA's teaching on this matter.

PCG has deceptively deleted these words which HWA wrote in Mystery of the Ages (Chapter 6):
No prophets are mentioned as having either administrative, executive or preaching functions in the New Testament Church.
If you view MOA from a non-PCG source you will find this statement. You will not find this statement in PCG's copies of Mystery of the Ages because they deleted it.

Therefore PCG has changed the form of government under HWA.

(I am aware that recently Gerald Flurry has declared himself an Apostle. This does not change the fact that until then PCG was ruled by a Prophet in clear contradiction to HWA's teaching.)
  • 2: Gerald Flurry has called for "abnormal government" to be implemented within PCG in 2003.
On November 1, 2003 Gerald Flurry made a sermon in which he commented that PCG was entering a time of crisis because Satan is now on the earth. (PCG teaches that Satan was cast down to the Earth upon HWA's death in 1986.) He speculated that because of this time of crisis before the Great Tribulation it will be necessary to change create an "abnormal government" within PCG.

(Sniffs, voice changes) “Not that you’re abnormal! but this is abnormal administration of God’s Government.”

“Instead of setting up abnormal machinery to meet the highly abnormal need, the normal standards were not good enough at such a critical time. So they had to change the way they administered the Government. And so we enter into this time, brethren, and let me tell you, it’s getting to be pretty, pretty, fiercely bad. We enter into this time and Jesus Christ is showing me that there really is a change in the administration of our Government. There really is a change in that.

Satan has been cast down. Now that’s a different situation. I mean that’s like Hitler attacking, only it’s worse.And so we have that to contend with. And it’s, as I said, in the last hour, and no more delay, so Mr Armstrong’s structure of Government really will not work ... to get this job done.
Gerald Flurry knows how dangerous this rhetoric can be among people who has been (falsely) taught that PCG is the true church because they (alledgedly) have the same form of government as old WCG. So he tries to deceptively hide the fact that he is changing the government by pretending he isn't.
“It’s different brethren, but again, you see, it’s the same government, the same law that Mr Armstrong had!” And so I submit to it, you submit to it, but we do have to administer it in a different way.
This is merely deceptive doublespeak. Wikipedia offers these helpful words in discussing this concept.
Doublespeak (sometimes called doubletalk) is language that deliberately disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words. ... It may also be deployed as...reversal of meaning (for example, naming a state of war "peace"). In such cases, doublespeak disguises the nature of the truth, producing a communication bypass.
That is what Gerald Flurry is doing.

All of this, (having a Prophet wield administrative power over the church contrary to HWA's teaching, Gerald Flurry's call for "abnormal government" in 2003,) is deliberately ignored by Stephen Flurry to pretend that PCG preserves the same form of government, when they do not.

Let us continue with Stephen Flurry's column.
[Meredith] wrote in Church Government and Church Unity that the subject of church government had been seriously misunderstood during the days of Mr. Armstrong’s leadership.
How is this any different from your father, and employer, saying in the sermon cited above that
we’re in a fierce, fierce battle, just before the Great Tribulation and we’re going to have to do things differently; we already are doing them differently ... you are, I am, we ALL are and WE LIKE IT THAT WAY ...
I know Gerald Flurry claimed that this different way is "the way Christ leads us.” but that's just deceptive doubletalk.

Most of Stephen Flurry's column is devoted to discussing Meredith's booklet, Church Government and Church Unity, and Flurry insists that HWA always believed that there was one man in charge in the church.

Alas that booklet is, as far as I know, not available on the Internet, so it is hard for me to talk about what Meredith said.

This must be said: HWA was a false prophet so, as far as I am concerned, there is no need to wonder what his views on government were, because God was not with him.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Did Jehovah's Witnesses Plagiarize HWA's False Prophecy of 1975

Banned by HWA has a fascinating post linking to a PDF article by Brenda Lee which quotes The Four Presidents of the Watchtower Society by Edmond Gross (p. 239) relating that Fred Franz, long time leader of the Watchtower Society, was a subscriber to the Plain Truth.
It was common knowledge that Fred Franz ... subscribed to a large number of religious magazines ... Supporting the suspicion that Fred sometimes plagiarized others, one former member of the headquarters staff told the author that he picked up a copy of The Plain Truth magazine, a publication of the World Wide Church of God, in Franz's living quarters. It was an older issue, and the young Witness was startled to find a somewhat subject-by-subject outline of a current Watchtower article in it. 
That quote strongly indicates to me that the Watchtower Society leadership plagiarized the idea that Armageddon would come in 1975 from HWA.

Back in 2009 I looked into the topic of the Jehovah's Witnesses predicting Armageddon in 1975. It turned out they only started preaching that in 1966. Look at this article, Did Jehovah's Witnesses Predict the End of the World in 1975?, which, among other things, confirm that the Watchtower Society began teaching this false prophecy in 1966.

On the other hand HWA and Herman Hoeh started preaching of the 1975 Armageddon in 1953, thirteen years earlier. See my previous post, Why 1975?, for a detailed explanation of this fact. Also useful is Pam Dewey's introduction to her memoir which contains a lengthy quote from HWA's May 22, 1953 Co-Worker Letter which introduced the false prophecy of 1975 to Radio Church of God members.

So it is impossible for HWA to have plagiarized that idea from the Jehovah's Witnesses. But the opposite might have occurred.

That quote strongly indicates to me that the Watchtower Society was actually plagiarizing HWA with that teaching.

Also see this comment fromxHWA at As Bereans Did when we discussed that possibility. This was made August 4, 2009.
[Quoting me.] "As far as I can see the Watchtower only became fixated on that date in 1966, after HWA & Co. had earlier set up their prophetic narrative."

[xHWA] For years I thought it was the other way around, that the JWs got it first. This study proved to me that was not the case.

[Quoting me.] "So if there was plagiarism then the Watchtower stole this date from HWA."
[xHWA] Now wouldn't THAT be a fine kettle of fish! HWA, the great plagiarist, having his test answers copied.
I am now convinced, after seeing that quote, that the Watchtower Society, and Fred Franz in particular, did plagiarize HWA in setting 1975 as the date for Armageddon.

Monday, October 7, 2013

PCG's Ron Fraser Dies (Updated)

Armstrong Delusion broke the news: PCG's Ron Fraser has passed away.

Banned by HWA has also covered this.

It is sad that he died and that those close to him have to suffer his passing.

Needless to say I did not know him, but I did read some of what he wrote. Because of that I have mentioned him several times on this blog:

[Update: I also wrote this article, Ron Fraser: Ignoring Church Abuses Since 1968, regarding an article in which he relates how he joined Armstrongism in 1968.]

Sunday, October 6, 2013

LCG is 0.00008571% of World Population (Silenced)

Silenced has this intriguing article which calculates just how small the various COGs actually are.

LCG, my former cult, comprises 0.00008571% of the world's population.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

This Novel, Kremlin Devils (1988), Predicted August 1991 Failed Soviet Coup

This is my 700th post. Thank you, readers, for inspiring me to share what I know in order to help any reader better understand the history and circumstances of Armstrongism. I hope what I have written have been of benefit to you.

My thoughts are with the people of the USA, especially the poor, as they are forced to endure the House Republicans' petulant shutdown of the Federal Government because they still cannot accept they lost the argument over health care reform in the Congress, the Senate, the Supreme Court and the 2012 election. This shutdown is not a legitimate way to discuss legislative matters. I hope this shutdown ends soon.

For this post I wish to show an largely unknown example of predicting future events and see how it compares to the predictions of COG leaders.

The various leaders of Armstrongism claim to be able to foresee with great accuracy events which will occur in the near future. Let us see how they compare to this other person I discovered.

Awhile ago I went into a second hand bookstore. I went and looked around for about an hour. I felt it would be rude to stay so long and not buy anything so I bought a book entitled Kremlin Devils by Jack Hild. It was printed January 1988. It is the twenty third book in a series entitled Soldiers of Barabbas.

Early in the book one of our heroes, Nate Back, has a mysterious meeting with some Russians in a house out in the wintry countryside outside of Moscow. These Russians show him a doctored video which appears to show the wife of the "first secretary" (Mikhail Gorbachev, who is left unnamed in the book) conducting an adulterous affair. 

One of these Russians, Nikolay Popolov, is here speaking to Nate Beck.
"...This videotape circulates underground in Moscow and Leningrad, and the capitals of some of the other republics. An earlier video showed the first secretary's wife using a credit card to buy jewelry and fashionable clothing on state visits to Western cities. But this is much worse. It is intended to embarrass the new leader. To undermine his authority. To remind him that there are others in the Soviet state who are also powerful."
"KGB?" He [Nate Beck] ventured. "A campaign against glastnost." He used the Russian word that had become a clarion call for a new Russia. Roughly it meant openness. In fact, it meant much more--the accelerating release of dissidents and political prisoners, films and books freed from the censors' files, economic revival in a country where people lined up to buy meat and bread, and even a Communist version of democracy in elections.
"Is it your own production, Nikolay?" [Nate Beck asked.]

"There are many who stand to lose their privileges. They will do anything to stop it, " Popolov said...

Nikolay turned to Nate. When he spoke, his voice was urgent. "There is going to be a coup d'état."

Nate looked at him.

"A military takeover of the Soviet Union." (pp. 31-2.)  
Shortly afterwards Popolov further discusses his knowledge of this reactionary conspiracy to overthrow the government to halt the glastnost reforms. 
"The reforms in our country have threatened many party members and bureaucrats who have become accustomed to the pleasures their privileges have brought them. And some of the generals still remember with fondness the steel fist of Marshal Stalin. They fear the first secretary is growing weak with concessions for disarmament. A small group has banded together, calling itself the Committee of Nine. They have formed a counterrevolutionary leadership tribunal. They have an apparatus of disaffected and threatened bureaucrats everywhere. Their aim is to overthrow the present regime. We know this--"...

"I know these people. They will stop at nothing. I myself was one of them. But no longer."(pp. 32-3.)
Needless to say this conspiracy is a major plot point for this novel.

How amazing!

In 1988 an American writer presented a scenario in a fictional book of bureaucrats staging a coup to overthrow the reformist government of Gorbachev. Just three years later, in August 1991, that is exactly what happened. A faction within the Communist Party arrested Gorbachev and tried to overthrow him, but thanks to the heroic resistance by the people of Moscow this plot was thwarted. 

This book has presented theories and speculations that are much more accurate and prescient then what the leaders of Armstrongism have devised and propagated.

I remember hearing how after the fall of the Iron Curtain in Eastern Europe Garner Ted Armstrong complained that he predicted that and was being vindictively ignored.

That is total nonsense.

HWA also predicted the Communists would conquer Asia, including India, and that the Communist system, including the Soviet Union, would outlast the United States to be destroyed by the returned Christ a few years after Christ's return. HWA did not at all foresee the fall of the Soviet Union before the return of Christ.

HWA also predicted and promoted all kinds of other absurd and ludicrous predictions. To cite one example in 1965 the Plain Truth preached that Hitler was still alive and insinuated he would play a role in creating the European Beast Power.

Despite this some COGs, such as Roderick C. Meredith's LCG, continue to deceptively insinuate that HWA had remarkable insight in predicting events before they were apparent. Nothing could be further from the facts.

Jack Hild's novel is certainly far more accurate than Dave Pack's recent prediction that the other COGs would miraculously disintegrate and by August 30, 2013, the COGs would be unified under Dave Pack.

Also it turns out Jack Hild is just a pen name. The author is one Robin Hardy. And he also wrote this book in 1999, The Crisis of Desire: AIDS and the Fate of Gay Brotherhood. So this remarkable prediction was provided by a man who struggles for greater acceptance by society of LBGT people. Meredith will not be impressed.