Saturday, December 31, 2016

Mark Armstrong Denouncing Arrival of Refugees and the "Angry Left"

Happy new year, everyone.


Mark Armstrong, leader of the Intercontinental Church of God, has released another weekly update (December 30, 2016).

Once again he fixates on Muslims simplistically stereotyped as violent extremists and appeals to xenophobia. Churches which condemn deportations are slurred as profiting from them.

Accepting "illegal aliens and refugees" is condemned as being "against the will of the people". Note how he does not even bother to question if these refugees are true refugees. It seems he does not want his nation to even allow actual refugees to find a safe haven in America.

As is common in Islamophobia the acts of violent extremists are used to discredit liberals.
Doubtful many will mourn the passing of calendar year 2016.  It's been a time of accelerating the influx of illegal aliens and refugees at citizens' expense against the will of the people, with the possible exception of the churches profiting from their involvement.  It was a year liberally punctuated with some of the most heinous terror attacks throughout western civilization, including here in the United States.  We've learned, as Israel already knew, that the enemy within doesn't have to hijack airplanes or build bombs to carry out a massacre.  Would-be terrorists only need to jump behind the wheel of a vehicle, or start wielding a knife in a crowd.  As these realities have dawned on more and more casual observers, our outgoing civilian leaders remain aloof, in complete and utter denial.
He condemns the United States' abstaining from voting about a resolution condemning the construction of Israeli settlements on land acquired after the Six Day War of 1967.

He responds to concerns about the influence of suspected Russian hackers on the presidential election by accusing the Obama Administration of trying to make Netanyahu lose in the Israeli elections of 2015.
Suddenly, after years of empty threats (the Syrian “red line,” and “we can do stuff too,” as told to Putin), the president has deported a stable of Russian diplomats back to where they came from for having purportedly released damaging internal communications derived from the Democratic National Committee.  None were made up or fraudulent, but they did show illegal and underhanded collusion to usher Hillary Clinton into position to win the presidency.  Roars of outrage can still be heard as “experts and analysts” claim that “foreign influence and interference” was a factor in her loss.  
Nobody on those discussion panels, particularly the animated and angry, seem to have any recollection of well-documented White House influence and U. S. moneys requisitioned to defeat Benjamin Netanyahu in the Israeli election of last year.  But, much to the president's chagrin, Netanyahu won anyway.
Iran is denounced as usual. Russia's increased military presence in Syria is mentioned as evidence of America's decline.

While alluding to the widespread celebrations ushering the new year he cites "the ravings of the angry left [and] the malevolent intentions of demented jihadists" as common threats to his audience. His Islamophobia is a tool to vilify the left.
The first of January will be celebrated by vast throngs of revelers all across the globe as one time zone after another clicks over to calendar year 2017.  With any luck, it will herald not only the end of a calendar year, but the beginning of the end of an era of politically correct lunacy.  But neither the ravings of the angry left nor the malevolent intentions of demented jihadists will recede quietly. 
Tensions regarding the South China Sea is mentioned.

He then condemns leaders in Europe for accepting immigrants. Recently acts of mass murder are used to scare monger against accepting immigrants and refugees in general. The arrival of immigrants, many of whom are fleeing from a cataclysmic war in Syria, is hysterically denounced as causing "the loss of security and the steady demolition of their inherited culture" and as the product of a "destructive ideology". He wildly accuses these immigrants, many of whom fled the war in Syria, of trampling over "every pretext of law, order and civility".  Unlike the unfortunate people of Syria this individual in Tyler has never had to see his nation get torn apart as has happened in Syria.
The leaders of Europe are appalled by what they've seen take place in Britain (leaving the EU) and in the election of Donald Trump.  The terrorist attacks in Brussels, Paris, Nice and Berlin?  They've taken those in self-righteous stride, knowing they're “doing the right thing” where immigration is concerned.  As the people of Europe experience first-hand the loss of security and the steady demolition of their inherited culture, the hated “populist” movement may well sweep away the power of haughty Euro-crats as early as next year.  We'll see.  But Europe is in economic and cultural decline the likes of which its inhabitants have not known since the fall of Hitler.  They're watching as Britain and the United States opt out of the destructive ideology preached by pope Francis and Angela Merkel, while every pretext of law, order and civility is trampled by a variety of immigrants and refugees who don't even much like each other.
It seems strange that he should say, "Europe is in economic and cultural decline the likes of which its inhabitants have not known since the fall of Hitler." Hitler's fall was a good thing. His turn of phrase sounds odd. That should have been worded differently.

He ends this weekly update by insisting that the time is short before the tapestry of dire prophecies taught by HWA, Garner Ted Armstrong and their various imitators will soon occur. He also promotes the discredited idea of British Israelism. White Americans are inaccurately referred to as "the descendants of Biblical Israel".
Have you ever seen so many things in such a state of flux, all at the same time?  The weeks and months ahead promise to be one of the most interesting, potentially dangerous times in human history.  We intend to continue putting out the information that will help people understand who the descendants of Biblical Israel actually are, and what kind of responsibility that entails.  The sermon preached here in Tyler last week by Mr. Stan Roberts goes extensively through that very subject, and we highly recommend it.  It is entitled, Wake up ISRAEL!  There are indications that the Word is getting out.
Although it is taught that Europe is fated to conquer the United States one cannot help but notice how he chooses to scare monger about Muslims while he teaches that Europe is fated to conquer the United States. What a glaring inconsistency.

So even while so many are celebrating in this happy time of holidays and celebration he still insists on trying to keep his audience feel miserable and scared.

Friday, December 30, 2016

PCG Disagreeing with Radio COG's Herman Hoeh

Brent Nagtegaal made a broadcast of his radio show, Watch Jerusalem (December 25, 2016), denouncing the recent United Nations Security Council resolution condemning the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, land acquired after the Six Day War of 1967 and discussing Gezer.

The United States' decision to abstain concerning a resolution condemning Israeli settlements on land acquired after the Six Day War of 1967 is denounced. That it should take place just before Hanukkah is mentioned. PCG does not celebrate Hanukkah.

He also alludes to Gerald Flurry's ridiculous and hysterical denunciation of President Obama as being "another Antiochus," essentially an Antichrist like figure devised by Flurry.

Obama will soon be replaced by Trump but Nagtegaal insists on making his listeners be fearful and afraid about this matter. But PCG are but false prophets whose words will never come to pass.

It is not explained that the 161 nation states that recognize the State of Israel only recognize its right to rule over its 1949-67 borders. This is why many nations have their embassies located in Tel Aviv instead of Jerusalem. Consequently the land acquired as a result of the 1967 Six Day War is viewed by these 161 nation states as occupied territory and consequently various international laws concerning occupied land are viewed by these nation states as applicable to the land acquired as a result of the 1967 Six Day War. And one law is that it is forbidden for a nation state to transfer its population onto occupied land. The Israeli government would disagree that such laws apply to the Israeli settlements but other nation states view view things differently as was seen with the recent vote.

And after that Nagtegaal talks with PCG's Christopher Eames about the city of Gezer.

They talk about the El Amarna letters which are cited as corroborating the events of the Book of Joshua. The letters talk of the "Habiru" who are identified by Nagtegaal and Eames to be Hebrew. This contradicts Herman Hoeh's Compendium of World History which insisted that the El Amarna letters date to the early ninth century BC and insisted that the Habiru were not Hebrews.
The El-Amarna letters were written mainly in the days of Athaliah and Joash of Judah, and of Jehu and Jehoahaz of Israel. A few are from the earlier period of the Jehorams or before. .... The "khabiru" or "habiru" were the Aramean, Philistine, Moabite, Arabian bands of plunderers who were overrunning Phoenicia, Syria and Palestine in the days of Jehoram and Jehoahaz. (Herman Hoeh, Compendium of World History, Volume I, Chapter 7.)
PCG insists that the Radio Church of God of this time was God's "one true church." They promote HWA's anti-medicine superstitions and HWA's ban on makeup partly because that was taught at some point by HWA's group. And despite stubbornly promoting such harsh and even dangerous ideas they disagree with that particular claim dating from the 1960s.

PCG changed their view of the El Amarna letters but insist on promoting such harsh and even dangerous ideas from HWA's organization.

PCG's Trumpet Hour's Year in Review

PCG's Trumpet Hour has made a show discussing the year in review (December 28, 2016). As usual it is hosted by Joel Hilliker.

Brent Nagtegaal talked about the nuclear deal with Iran.

Richard Palmer talked about Britain's decision to withdraw from the European Union.

Andrew Müller talked the election resulting in Trump's victory.

Jeremiah Jacques picked the (alleged) retreat of the United States from Asia.

At one point Nagtegaal stated that the United States is so weak today. What nonsense. The United States is by far the most powerful nation state on the face of the earth. The United States has 800 military bases all over the world, far more than any other nation states in the world.

At one point it is stated that at this time last year more people were concerned about the terrorists and murderers of ISIL but that now people are less concerned. This attitude is easy to have while living in a land at peace. PCG's leaders have set their hearts on scare mongering about Iran and the widespread and justified concern about the terrorists and murderers of ISIL makes PCG's message harder to promote consequently PCG has tended to minimize ISIL compared with Iran.

As is always the case with this radio show it is insisted that PCG's prophetic scenario is on the cusp of being fulfilled. This has been PCG's message for a quarter of a century now and they are still waiting. But they are but false prophets. Their words will not be fulfilled.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Mark Armstrong's Weekly Update (December 23, 2016)

Mark Armstrong continues preaching of Islamophobia in his December 23, 2016 weekly update. Even though violence is a problem that afflicts people of all ethnicities and religions Mark Armstrong chose to focus on scare mongering against people of one particular religion.
As if the world needed reminding of the terrorist threat that invaded Europe amid Angela Merkel's invitation to Muslim migrants, everyone knows about the Berlin truck massacre.  Who'd have thought something like this could happen?  True, the same tactic was used to crush through the holiday crowd in Nice, France.  That was supposed to have been the umpteenth wake up call for Europe to get serious about security for civilian crowds.  The leaders of Germany and the European Union surely heard about the Somali Honor Student at Ohio State University who suddenly snapped from his demeanor of hard-working politeness to ram and stab other students on campus. 
He makes the inflammatory accusation that "Muslim refugees" dream of committing murder against Europeans.
We knew, so European leadership must have known that ISIS was generating headlines on a regular basis, calling for the use of vehicles and knives to descend upon innocent men, women and children who seem to have no idea that they're targets.  Mrs. Merkel has, with the acquiescence of EU officials, created an atmosphere where Muslim refugees are free to roam about polite society while they conspire to murder as many hated westerners who've taken them in, fed and sheltered them, as possible.
Islamophobia is often used to vilify liberals as well. Mark Armstrong continues that theme here.
Another deadly massacre courtesy of mindless political correctness toward these murderous animals who supposedly deserve every western courtesy and consideration. 
Muslims are incorrectly viewed as a single political mass and stereotyped as violent.
This week also saw the murder of a Russian ambassador at a meeting in Ankara, Turkey.  It was carried out by an Islamic security guard who was supposed to be protecting the man he shot and killed.  If it's any consolation, both this guy and the Tunisian who killed 12 and wounded 50 in Berlin, are dead.  Too bad there are thousands, maybe tens of thousands more in Europe who will carry out similar attacks against non-Muslims.
Certain parts of the world are demonized as being a "terrorist region" to vilify refugees who had fled to Europe many of whom fled the ongoing cataclysmic war in Syria.
Holland, Sweden, Norway, France, and so many others now have swarms of “refugees” from every terrorist region you can name, courtesy of Germany and the EU.  They remain largely in denial as the rapes, murders and assaults pile up, off the record for the most part.  “We can do this,” is the polite justification for having imported a political ideology masquerading as religion into the midst of a very generous and polite population. 
He vilifies Merkel as "insane" and falsely accuses the political left of not wanting to offend "even the most bloodthirsty terrorist". That is complete nonsense and a frightful accusation.
How many more of these vile, murderous attacks will the west absorb before every honest individual realizes that political correctness (the idea that no one has the “right” to offend the sensibilities of even the most bloodthirsty terrorist) has betrayed everything they held dear?  What will replace the insanity of Angela Merkel and the pedantic leaders of the European Union?
It is a common trope within Islamophobia that Muslims among us are trying to impose some sort of Sharia law upon society.
You've seen enough photographs and video clips from the Muslim cities of the Middle East to know what rubble these people have wrought in their own homelands.  Parts of Germany and France are already taking on a similar appearance, as Muslims declare “sovereignty” and Sharia Law wherever they congregate.  They reportedly taunt the German Police saying that they vastly outnumber law enforcement, and will fight any attempt at interference in their affairs.  Now that they've invaded Europe, Britain and the United States in such mind-numbing numbers, law enforcement will have little chance of containing the threat.  The socialists and protesters are already screaming that their “rights” are being violated. 
It is also common within Islamophobic polemics to blame leftists for supposedly collaborating or sympathizing with (narrowly stereotyped) Muslims.
The realm of theory has been breached.  We're now living in the midst of a reality wholly concocted by the infantile slogans of pro-green, pro-gay, pro-diversity “leaders.”  Those who've purported to represent western civilization have turned their backs on God, desecrated the very concept of Truth, and the ultimate consequences have yet to be realized.
And so it seen that Mark Armstrong has produced yet another xenophobic weekly update.

Monday, December 26, 2016

HWA's WCG Scare Mongering About "Race War"

Nowadays PCG has a nasty habit of promoting the idea that African Americans will soon launch a wave of riots to attack the white majority. Where did they get this idea? From the old Radio Church of God led by Herbert W. Armstrong.

World War II

HWA first talked of a "race war" in print during World War II in late 1943. At first he mentions the idea of racial supremacy being used by the Nazis and Imperial Japan then later he somewhat unexpected insinuates that Stalin was plotting to somehow replace Japan as America's antagonist in some future  "race war" presumably against America.
But this also has been partly a RACE war. Hitler has employed the "race" argument continually. The Japs justify their plan and religion by saying: "It's the destiny of our RACE." And so the "Race War" idea has been introduced, and will become the main idea in the still bigger war of the future. ... 
Is he [Stalin] preparing to run a RACE with Japan to see which shall sit in the driver's seat in the vast RACE WAR of the future? (Herbert Armstrong, Russia and the War at the Moment!, Plain Truth, November-December 1943, p. 3-4.)
How strange it is to note that HWA first started scare mongering in print about a "race war" while discussing Hitler and Imperial Japan.

Civil Rights Movement

Later the civil rights movement arose against racial segregation and discrimination against African Americans. At the same time European colonial rule over Africa was coming to an end. During this time Radio COG scare mongered that these events would lead to "race war."

What a "race war" is exactly tended to be left to the imagination. In one passage HWA equated it with "mob violence," presumably violence of African Americans against the white majority. The phrase is emotively used as a sort of culmination of bad things. It seems to fit what anti-cult author Steven Hassan would call an "indirect suggestion" in which dire things are mentioned vaguely so that the listener or reader will insert his or her worst fears into these dire words. Often it is insisted that Communists were behind attempts to end racial segregation in a McCarthyite attempt to demonize those who yearned to end racist discrimination as Communists.

In 1957 Herman Hoeh wrote one article scare mongering that some sort of "race war" was coming. He condemns idealists and "social "do-gooders"" as influenced by Communists. He also condemned racial intermarriage and makes the ridiculous insinuation that racial intermarriage would "stir up racial tensions into race war".
Trouble is already brewing in Kenya and South Africa. Within another twenty years Negroes in the whole of Africa will be in ferment! The problem will fast become an international contest, not only for international supremacy, but for racial supremacy! MAN’S solution is plummeting us straight down the road to RACE WAR! Idealists and social “do-gooders,” without realizing it, have become helpless tools in the hands of communist propagandists inciting RACE WAR in the name of the BROTHERHOOD OF MAN! It is time we fully realize the tremendous implications lying behind the communist cloak of “HUMAN BROTHERHOOD.” Western civilization is at stake! .... 
Here is how they reason: To quell racial tension and make “the brotherhood of man” a reality, the entire nation must first desegregate schools and encourage social intercourse between the races. This would provide sufficient social contact to allow both races to become mutually acquainted so that intermarriage may naturally follow. And with intermarriage freely permitted all our racial problems would be solved. There would be no one left to discriminate against. All that‘s necessary, reason our leaders, is to “cooperate with nature.” But will this plan work? Is this the way to genuine happiness? Will it bring tolerance and harmony? Or will it stir up racial tensions into race war? (Herman Hoeh, The Race Question, Plain Truth, April 1957, p. 4-5.)
Soon after Hoeh returned to this theme by insinuating that a "race war" was coming.
One half of Africa is in ferment against European colonial rule. A “dirty war” rages in Northwest Africa between French and Algerians. A three-way struggle between whites, blacks and brown men divides South Africa. Where is it all leading? What is going to happen next? Is A RACE WAR COMING? (Herman Hoeh, The Truth About the Race Question, Plain Truth, July 1957, p. 3.)
Later in 1963 HWA made a dire proclamation that integration was bad and would lead to violence, "race riots," "race war" and "mob violence" against the white majority.
Make no mistake! This is no light matter to pass over casually! RACE WAR is coming! Racial tensions, passions and hatreds are being deliberately stirred by ORGANIZED PLANNING. It will explode into mass VIOLENCE that will stagger the imagination! It will be whipped into an accelerating crescendo until human blood runs like rivers!

It is no local matter. It is WORLDWIDE. It is not confined, in the United States, to the South. The smoldering flames of passion are being whipped up also in the North. It is at CRISIS-peak in the Republic of South Africa. It has brought war in the Congo and other pans of Africa. Race hatreds are stirring above the surface in Europe, Asia, Australia, and in Britain.

THE ANTEDILUVIANS WERE TRYING TO INTEGRATE! They, like we today, had a racial problem. They tried to solve it by INTEGRATION. They were going to DO AWAY with God's VARIETIES -His different, distinct races. They were going to mongrelize humanity into ONE RACE--one world of MAN'S making!


The SAME RESULT we are experiencing today-RACE RIOTS-VIOLENCE!

Notice! Read right on, in this 6th chapter of Genesis:

"And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil concinually. , , . The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with VIOLENCE!" (Verses 5, 11.)

Yes, RACE WAR-MOB VIOLENCE! (Herbert Armstrong, The Real Cause of the Race Crisis!, Plain Truth, October 1963, p. 3, 26, PDF  p. 5, 28.)
While so many struggled to end racial segregation and even being killed for protesting against racial discrimination HWA and Co. were scaring their predominantly white readers into thinking that African Americans were somehow out to get them in some of sort of mass wave of riots. What a shameful way to behave in those times.

The October 1966 Plain Truth contains an article by Roderick C. Meredith calling upon Radio COG to prepare to be deified God beings ruling the world after Christ's return. But at the start of the article he scare mongers that "race war" is increasing in intensity.
THIS is a HELL-BENT WORLD! With the stark spectre of worldwide famine, with the increasing amount of brutal crime and violence of all descriptions - with the stepped up tempo of RACE WAR, the skyrocketing incidence of pornography and FILTH, and the breakdown of respect for all law and constituted authority - it should be obvious that this world needs straightening out! (Roderick C. Meredith, Prepare NOW to be a King!, Plain Truth, October 1966, p. 7, PDF p. 9.)
In 1968 the Radio Church of God was renamed the Worldwide Church of God.

The December 1970 Plain Truth contains an article talking about cities. One section talks about people of different races living together as a problem.
Possible health disasters are merely one aspect of the city crisis. Another is racial tension. With people of varying races packed together, some experts fear that out-and-out race war could be a reality. Cleveland, Ohio's black mayor, Carl Stokes, told ten big-city mayors - and the president of the United States - that "we are losing control of our cities. We can't stop the black violence - and the white violence will surely come next." Still, the frightening potential of smoldering racial flareups is only one of the many puzzling conundrums facing our cities. (Garner Ted Armstrong and Paul Kroll, Can Our Cities Be Saved?, Plain Truth, December 1970, pp. 4-5, PDF pp. 6-7.)
The May 1971 Plain Truth contains an article scare mongering about decolonization. Instead of explaining decolonization as a response against decades of being lorded over by a few powerful nation states this article presents the problems of decolonization as "race wars."
America and Britain also have their "race" problems. However, neither Briton nor American has yet experienced RACE WAR to the degree that other nations in our times have. But we would be naive to think Britain and America are immune from guerrilla race war. It would do us ALL good in America and Britain - white, black, brown, red, yellow - to pause and ask: Must we TOO have our cities and towns filled with the blood of millions of human beings in a horrendous race war?

Agitation for independence was the cry. In the late 1950's and 1960's, nation after nation in Africa was granted independence. Curiously with the departure of the white man's power, group and race war - against black, white and brown - increased. ...

It was race war. But the distinguishing characteristics [of "Hutu-Watusi" conflict in Rwanda-Burundi] were not specifically color. They were length of leg, eating custom, tribal affiliation. The ultimate cause, of course, was the historical relationship between Hutu and Watusi. ...

In the Sudan, race war with religious overtones has taken the lives of 500,000, according to one estimate. (Paul Kroll, Nations in Chaos, Plain Truth, May 1971, pp. 18, 20, PDF p. 20, 22.)
The insinuation that there would be mass violence in America and Britain between different races has not come to pass.

Apartheid South Africa

After the victory of the civil rights movements and the just end of racial segregation the 1% of Radio COG stopped harping on about some future "race war" by African Americans against the white majority. (At least in their published writings.) However the term "race war" was occasionally used in connection with the widespread struggle to abolish racist Apartheid in South Africa.

The March 1974 Plain Truth contains a little article discussing the turbulent situation in southern Africa. It is entitled "Southern Africa--Race War Ahead?" (p. 7.)

The May 1975 Good News mentions that one G. G. Rupert prophesied of a "race war" with Japan. It is now widely known that numerous doctrines HWA taught including observance of the Holy Days came from Rupert.
Because his [G. G. Rupert's] understanding fell short, his prophetic interpretation (concerning a great race war which he supposed to be imminent and which would bring on the end of the world) eventually flopped. (Lawson C. Briggs, Can Prophecy Fail?, May 1975, Good News, p. 26, PDF p. 28.)
The April-May 1976 Plain Truth contains a small insert article entitled "Race War in Southern Africa" discussing the armed uprisings for majority rule in Rhodesia, Namibia and South Africa (p. 3, PDF p. 5).

The December 1976 Plain Truth contained an article by Dexter H. Faulkner and Robert A. Ginskey that talked about the yearning for world peace
On the African continent, cries of "liberation," "equality," and "black consciousness" are the watchwords of the day, Especially in Rhodesia and South Africa, bitter animosities are being engendered between the minority white ruling class and the black majority. Escalating and increasingly bold guerrilla attacks launched from neighboring countries continue to probe the defenses of Rhodesia, while in South Africa, riots and strikes continue to wreak havoc on the economy and seriously disrupt the society. Many authorities speak of the "inevitability" of white capitulation. The alternative seems to be an ugly and bloody race war. (Dexter H. Faulkner and Robert A. Ginskey, Reflections on Peace, Plain Truth, December 1976 p. 24, PDF p. 26.)
The June 5, 1981 Pastor General's Report features an article by Gene Hogberg that quotes a study by the Rockerfeller Foundation that speculates on the ramifications for America of an open conflict between blacks and whites in South Africa (p. 9).

The April 19, 1985 Pastor's General's Report contains a commentary by Gene Hogberg that quotes a Sunday Telegraph article that mentioned the possibility of a "race war" in South Africa (p. 12).

The August 23, 1985 Pastor General's Report contains a commentary by Gene Hogberg concerning South Africa that quotes a Daily Telegraph article that mentions the possibility of a "race war" in South Africa (p. 12).

In time, following numerous struggles, the Apartheid regime was abolished. Democratic elections were held which elected the African National Congress to power.

After HWA

In 1986 HWA died and his successor, Joseph Tkach, turned WCG into essentially another Protestant church. Among those who wished to follow HWA's teachings as they understood it one group, Philadelphia Church of God led by Gerald Flurry, has continued to scare monger about African Americans launching a wave of riots against the white majority. This dire false prophecy was propagated in the wake of the LA riots of 1992. PCG continues to propagate this racist false prophecy to this day.

Ambassador College Called a "Prominent Institution of Learning" (1974)

It must be hard for archaeologists to find funding for their excavations. One Israeli archaeologist, Dr. Benjamin Mazar, managed to secure funding from an unaccredited "college" run by an apocalyptic sect that was often described as being a cult, namely Ambassador College.

On November 6, 1974 Dr. Benjamin Mazar attended a banquet in HWA's honor in Tel Aviv. His speech included in WCG's 1975 bookletHerbert W. Armstrong: Ambassador for World Peace, which promoted HWA's visits to world leaders.
It is for us a privilege that this important project is continuously supported -- technically, manually, morally, spiritually and, may I say in addition, enthusiastically -- by a prominent institution of learning, Ambassador College, headed by its distinguished chancellor, Mr. Herbert Armstrong. (p. 24.)
It is possible that Dr. Mazar was not aware of the issues concerning Ambassador College. But regardless of what he was told Ambassador College was neither accredited nor prominent. Its main purpose was to produce a ministry for HWA's sectarian organization.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Time

It was a terrible thing that HWA did to ban Christmas for his followers. It was a policy made to make us socially isolated from mainstream society in order to exploit us more effectively. It was a policy made to alienate his followers from mainstream Christian churches. It was plagiarized from the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Currently As Bereans Did has made several fascinating posts discussing Christmas. Among other things it is argued that the Christmas tree actually originated from the Protestant reformation. Clearly HWA was wrong to allege that Christmas trees were mentioned in Jeremiah 10.

There is no need to live in fear of HWA's self serving ban on Christmas. There is nothing wrong for Christians or people less religiously inclined to choose to celebrate Christmas. Let us no longer live in fear.

Friday, December 23, 2016

PCG's Dennis Leap Talks About the Benghazi Attack of 2012

Since March PCG's Dennis Leap has hosted a radio program entitled Just the Best Literature. It could be described as PCG's book club. Since then they have discussed The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin and the works of William Shakespeare.

And what did Leap discuss after those? 13 Hours by Mitchell Zukoff, a book about the terrorist attacks in Benghazi in which four Americans were murdered. This book is discussed in the following episodes.

Episode 36, November 14.

Episode 37, November 21,

Episode 38, November 28.

Episode 39, December 5.

Episode 40, December 12.

Episode 41, December 19.

Why would Leap talk about this particular act of terrorism?

Unfortunately the terrorist attack in Benghazi was turned into a political talking point used to vilify Obama and Clinton. Even though unfortunately there had been numerous terrorist attacks against American embassies and consulates over the years there had been a bipartisan consensus to not use these terrorist attacks in a partisan manner against the political opponents. Below is a list of terrorist attacks during the Bush Administration which were not politicized as the terrorist attack in Benghazi.
June 14, 2002, U.S. consulate in Karachi, Pakistan
Suicide bomber kills 12 and injures 51.
February 20, 2003, international diplomatic compound in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Truck bomb kills 17.
February 28, 2003, U.S. consulate in Karachi, Pakistan
Gunmen on motorcycles killed two consulate guards.
July 30, 2004, U.S. embassy in Taskkent [sic], Uzbekistan
Suicide bomber kills two.
December 6, 2004, U.S. consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Militants stormed and occupied perimeter wall. Five killed, 10 wounded.
March 2, 2006, U.S. consulate in Karachi, Pakistan
Suicide car bomber killed four, including a U.S. diplomate [sic] directly targeted by the assailants.
September 12, 2006, U.S. embassy in Damascus, Syria
Gunmen attacked embassy with grenades, automatic weapons, and a car bomb (though second truck bomb failed to detonate). One killed and 13 wounded.
January 12, 2007, U.S. embassy in Athens, Greece
A rocket-propelled grenade was fired at the embassy building. No one was injured.
July 9, 2008, U.S. consulate in Istanbul, Turkey
Armed men attacked consulate with pistols and shotguns. Three policemen killed.
March 18, 2008, U.S. embassy in Sana'a, Yemen
Mortar attack misses embassy, hits nearby girls' school instead.
September 17, 2008, U.S. embassy in Sana'a, Yemen
Militants dressed as policemen attacked the embassy with RPGs, rifles, grenades and car bombs. Six Yemeni soldiers and seven civilians were killed. Sixteen more were injured. (Daily Kos.)
Here is another list of terrorist attacks against US embassies and consulates during the Reagan Administration. Again these attacks were not politicized as was done with the terrorist attack in Benghazi. (Please note the following quote is presented as it was written.)
April 18 1983 Beirut Islamic Jihad car bomb destroys Embassy 63 killed
December 12 1983 Kuwait City al-Dawa truck bomb outside embassy 6 killed.
September 20 1984 Beirut Hezbollah truck bomb outside embassy 24 killed
November 1984 Bogotá Car bomb outside Embassy planted by drug cartel 1 killed
February 1986 Lisbon Popular Forces of 25 April car bomb outside Embassy
May 14 1986 Jakarta Japanese Red Army mortar barrage none
June 9 1987 Rome Japanese Red Army mortar barrage
That's 94 dead. (Source.)
That bipartisan convention of not politicizing terrorist attacks against US embassies and consulates was ignored by Mitt Romney during the presidential campaign who used the terrorist attack against President Obama. Others followed his lead. Various minor officials were reprimanded for failures leading up the terrorist attack but nothing of a criminal nature was found against Obama or Clinton.

Leap's decision to use his radio program to discuss the terrorist attack in Benghazi, a terrorist attack which unfortunately became politicized in an attempt to weaken Obama and Clinton, is yet further indication of how politically partisan PCG's leaders tend to be.

Mark Armstrong Talks of a Police State Against Muslim Migrants

In his December 16 weekly update Mark Armstrong, leader of the Intercontinental Church of God, muses the possibility of the creation of a police state directed against Muslims.

He also hyperbolically states that there are "hundreds of terrorist investigations being carried out in every state in the Union". This sounds like nonsense. It also ignores the threat of white supremacists.
Apparently, the only solution to the Muslim crime wave across Europe, is to increase police and security forces tenfold.  And if that's not enough, then what?  We've seen similar situations arise in the United States.  How many investigators are required for the hundreds of terrorist investigations being carried out in every state in the Union?  How many TSA agents will you have to navigate the next time you fly?  Hopefully something can be done, but not without cries of “discrimination” and “racism!”  The way things are going, nothing short of a police state will be required to tamp down the threat to public safety, and that won't be airtight either.
Talk like this will only encourage such an eventuality as a police state coming to pass.

Just imagine living in a "World Tomorrow" in which one of the deified God beings ruling over humanity thinks like this. Those people in the World Tomorrow are not going to be very happy in such a setting with rulers like this.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

PCG Exploits Massacre in Berlin to (Incorrectly) Insist Their Words Will Come True

Armstrongism has long insisted that Germany will unite Europe under its rule and conquer the United States. HWA made this defeatist prediction during World War II. But after Nazi Germany fell and as West Germany and later the unified Germany developed into a prosperous liberal democracy it became necessary to insist that their democracy would soon come to an end. Some sort of crisis would erupt to turn them back into Nazis. 

This Armstrongite tradition continues again following the frightful incident in Berlin in which twelve people were killed by a truck in what is suspected to have been a deliberate act of mass murder. And so soon after it PCG's Brad MacDonald wrote an article about it. (Brad MacDonald, Berlin Attack: Was This Germany’s 9/11?, December 20, 2016.)
Wow, there it is. The gruesome, heart-wrenching terrorist attack on Germany’s capital that many expected, and that the West’s radical Islamist enemies warned was coming. The question now is, what effect will this attack have on Germany and Europe?
Only time will tell. But there is reason to think that this could be a game changer. One analyst said Tuesday morning that this could be Germany’s 9/11. It’s easy to exaggerate in moments like this, but he may be right. The death count isn’t nearly as high, but the symbolism and more importantly the consequences—on Germany and Europe, and even the international community—could be similar.
PCG has a long history of scare mongering about Muslims. so this makes them inclined to view certain criminal acts as confirmation of their negative views about an entire community instead of assessing people individually.

And why does PCG's leaders think this massacre could transform a liberal democracy like Germany into a land of Nazis? Because they have been saying similar things for decades.

To insist that Germans are somehow especially attached to Christmas compared with the many other people who also celebrate Christmas he cites an anecdote from when he visited Germany lately.
Visiting Germany last week, I experienced this unique and deep affection. Last Wednesday evening I wanted to have dinner with a German friend, but it was almost impossible to find a restaurant with a spare table. In the end we found one and sat down, surrounded by happy Germans in red hats and opening gifts. “We Germans love Christmas,” explained my elderly German friend. 
Today this love of Christmas is perhaps more cultural and social than spiritual or religious.
MacDonald then strangely states that Christmas is somehow especially important to Germans. Never mind that it is joyously celebrated all over the world.

He also insists that Christmas originated from ancient Babylon. That accusation is nonsense derived from The Two Babylons by Alexander Hyslop, a highly flawed anti-Catholic polemic dating from the 1850s.
The timing of Monday’s attack, less than a week before Christmas, resonates powerfully with the German people. Germans have a special, fervent love of this holiday. The Christmas tradition is rooted in ancient Babylon, but was perpetuated particularly well by the Germans. This wasn’t just just an attack on a crowd of people, a community or even a city. It was an attack on a deep-seated cultural and social tradition. It was an attack on what it means to be German, at least at this time of the year.
It is insisted that this attack will weaken Merkel. Since 2009 PCG's leaders have often speculated that zu Guttenburg may arise as the leader fated to conquer the United States. Consequently PCG's leaders constantly insist to their followers that Merkel will soon lose power.
It will be hard for us foreigners to detect, but Monday’s attack will drive home the message to Germans that Germany’s Christian culture, its Christian traditions, and its Christian values and morality are under attack. The response, quite naturally, will be for growing numbers of Germans to gravitate toward the politician or political party they believe will best defend them. Hint: That politician is NOT Angela Merkel.
He states that this attack proves that liberalism, multiculturalism, secularism, tolerance and open mindedness has failed.
This attack in Berlin—a city that supposedly testifies to the countless benefits of being multicultural, progressive and sophisticated—dealt a significant blow to German liberalism. Many Germans will spend Christmas 2016 pondering this attack and seeing more clearly than ever how it exposes the deep and dangerous flaws of multiculturalism, secularism, tolerance and open-mindedness. 
Time will tell, but this could be a milestone event in the evolution of the post-unification German psyche. This attack could mark the moment Germany stopped moving toward being progressive, secular and multicultural and began moving much more quickly toward its more traditional, conservative, nationalist roots.
MacDonald scare mongers about migrants. Instead of condemning criminal behavior regardless of  one type of people such as migrants are vilified. Also being "open-minded and multicultural" is implied to be somehow deficient.
Berlin today is a city in which altruistic dreams are meeting grim reality. Being open-minded and multicultural is wonderful and empowering—until an Islamist terrorist hijacks a lorry and plows into innocent bystanders enjoying a Christmas market. Being altruistic and welcoming of migrants feels great—until migrants begin waving Islamic State flags and stalking your teenage daughters.
Claiming that outsiders are threatening "our" women is a common trope in vilifying vulnerable groups. This is an appeal to fear and anxiety instead of trying to understand things and find ways to manage problems.

He ends the article with these words.
This is the new reality: Berliners, the German people—and even Europeans in general—are grappling with a choice between who they want to be and who they need to be. The message from Berlin is that while many Germans might want to be progressive, open-minded and tolerant, they need to be more cynical, more unforgiving and more confrontational
And this, you can be sure, is a trend that will affect us all!
This terrible attack will not cause HWA's dire story of Germans conquering America to come true. I do not know what will happen as a result of this murder of twelve innocent people but one thing will not happen, namely Germany turning into a Nazi state to conquer the United States. That will never be fulfilled.

The 2010th Post

This is the 2010th post so to commemorate that it seems appropriate to mention 2010.

2010: The Year We Make Contact. Movie trailer.

2010: Odyssey Two by Arthur C. Clarke. The novel.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Listening to PCG's Watching Jerusalem

PCG's leaders think that watching political events in the Holy Land will enable them to foresee when end time events will begin. Among the signs they watch for are the State of Israel moving away from the United States to go to a German led European entity and for the State of Israel, and in particular Jerusalem, to fall. Once they see such things happening supposedly the end time events such as the Great Tribulation and the flight to Petra will be near. Unfortunately watching political events in this turns Israeli Jews and Palestinians into fodder for speculation. Instead of trying to understand them and their political issues on its own terms these political issues and events are exploited to present PCG's leaders as being able to see the future. This is an unfortunate exploitation of these peoples.

As part of continuing to speculate if current events will reveal that PCG's tapestry of end time events will soon occur they have released a radio show entitled Watch Jerusalem on their radio station, KPCG, hosted by Brent Nagtegaal.

It is accompanied with Middle Eastern sounding music. Considering how often Arabs are negatively portrayed in PCG's writings this seems a bit discordant with how Arabs are often portrayed in PCG's writings. There are a few exceptions but those are just exceptions that prove the rule.

Episode 1: November 20.

Here Nagtegaal talks about the State of Israel trying to find more Dead Sea Scrolls. Also includes a description of an ancient, 2,000 year old scroll that contained Leviticus which was discovered using x-rays.

Episode 2: November 27.

Here Nagtegaal complains about Professor Israel Finkelstein and disagrees with his views. He complains that most Israeli archaeologists do not view archaeological matters the way he does. Nagtegaal insists that one particular layer of strata is to be identified with the time of David and Solomon. But Finkelstein dated this particular layer to a later time thus any artifacts found in that layer will be dated following Finkelstein's dating. Nagtegaal insists this is wrong. In contrast Dr. Eilat Mazar is presented favorably.

Episode 3: December 4.

Here Nagtegaal cites a news article from Lebanon to say that Iran is now an empire and is now more powerful than ever. It is claimed that the Bible reveals how Iran will expand its power and influence. (It does not.) Back in 1994 PCG's leader, Gerald Flurry, proclaimed that Iran would be the "King of the South." Consequently PCG's leaders have an incentive to vilify Iran as much as possible in order to present their leader as a man who can foresee the future. This broadcast continues that practice of theirs.

He also talks about a demonstration commemorating King Cyrus in Iran that was condemned by the authorities there.


One striking theme in PCG's description of Israeli Jews is that they seem surprised to learn that many Israeli Jews are secular and irreligious. That many Israeli Jews simply do not care about archaeological matters.

If PCG's leaders studied history they might learn that the nationalist movement to create a Jewish state was mainly started by secular Jews and that the religious authorities within the Jewish community were often quite hostile to the idea of creating a Jewish state saying that such a state contradicted their religion. Of course this later changed not least because of the catastrophe of Nazism.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Rest in Peace, Gavin Rumney

Banned by HWA has revealed that Gavin Rumney, author of the Ambassador Watch and Otagosh blogs, has passed away.

My thoughts and condolences go to his family and friends.

His voice has for a long time been greatly treasured among those of us struggling to understand what had happened to us regarding to a certain organization and its offshoots.

He will be sorely missed.

The Painful Truth said, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

He truly has been a wonderful influence.

May he rest in peace.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Plain Truth Readers Discussing "the Race Question" (1963)

During the rise of the civil rights movement that would succeed in putting an end to racial segregation shamefully HWA and those with him in the leadership of the Radio Church of God chose to oppose them and, despite their professions of neutrality, made clear to their many readers their disdain for civil rights activists and what they stood for. They even scare mongered that sort of "race war" was about to occur in which African Americans would attack the white majority en masse.

Some reactions towards HWA's views concerning the goals and aspirations of civil rights activists may be seen in several letters to the editor from the December 1963 issue of The Plain Truth (PDF p. 2).

They present a letter from one African American in Alabama who seems inclined to believe the recruitment magazine editors' views. Intriguing how the editors chose a letter from an African American whose views they approved of to make the civil rights movement look bad.

Notably one writer for the Radio Church of God absurdly, bluntly and hysterically condemns a comment from a man who stated that racial intermarriage was nothing to worry about. This view that treats African Americans as equals, and which would soon gain legal status after the Loving v. Virginia decision in 1967, is ridiculed by this Radio Church of God writer as "a purely emotional and distorted human opinion". In Armstrongism "human opinion" is jargon for that which is not approved by the leadership with the implication that it is contrary to the will of (HWA's) God.

They also present a letter from a bigot in California who interpreted the Plain Truth editors' profession of neutrality as indicating that they sided with civil rights activists.

Below are the letters. The highlighted section is to show the objectionable attitude that some of the Radio Church of God's leaders held. Note that antiquated language is used in the quotation below.


On The Race Question

"I really enjoyed reading about 'The Real Cause of the Race Crisis.' I never did like what the people are doing to bring on integration. Somehow I never did believe that God meant for all races to be integrated bur after reading your article, I know I was right. I think my people are wrong in what they are doing. If they would pray and put their trust in God He would help them. We need more God-sent men like you to preach the truth. I am a Negro."
Man from Alabama 

"About the race problem, I must inform you how very wrong you are. You stared that integration will result in intermarriages. If it does, so what? You white men have been getting babies by black women for over 400 years! So what is good. for the goose is good for the gander."
Man from Chicago, Illinois 

You're wrong. White men have been, "getting babies' by black women since well before the flood-and vice-versa. But sin plus sin does not equal righteousness. Neither does poison plus poison equal no poison. Two wrongs do not make a right-and in such a gigantic and frightfully serious and far reaching issue as the race problem of today a purely emotional and distorted human opinion is hardly the solution! 

"I read the article where you say you are not taking sides in the race issue. How generous of you. At lease you have come out in the open. I know you have been on the Negroes' side ever since I first heard your broadcast several years ago. In fact, I consider you a Negro idolator of the worst kind."
Man from San Leandro, California 

We are NOT-as plainly stated in huge capital letters last issue, taking sides! We are on God's side in this and all other issues. And just what, exactly is a "Negro Idolator?"


What shameful conduct HWA and his 1% did in this matter at the time. No "race war" is coming. Rather we need to treat each other with equality and respect.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Jehovah's Witnesses in Israel

Haaretz has recently published an article discussing Jehovah's Witnesses in Israel. It presents them in a neutral manner.

Both Armstrongism and the Jehovah's Witnesses are offshoots of the Millerite Adventists of the 1830s and 1840s.

It alludes to their practice of shunning ex-members.
A gathering of three or more elders has the authority to expel an errant believer from the community, a custom that recalls the Hasidic movement. This is rarely done, however, according to [a Jehovah's Witness elder]. “My rough estimate is that we’re talking about 0.5 percent to 0.8 percent of the believers a year,” he says.
In other words ex-members are shunned. It is sad to see that terrible practice occurring there as well.

In the course of the article it is mentioned that Jehovah's Witnesses are forbidden from celebrating birthdays.
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that birthday celebrations have pagan roots – and the Bible condemns sorcery, fortune-telling, spiritism and the like. They believe it is not by chance that neither the Hebrew Bible nor the New Testament have a single mention of one servant of God who celebrated a birthday. After all, the birthdays of two people who did not serve God are mentioned negatively in the Bible.
HWA and his imitators used precisely the same argument to ban birthdays. HWA plagiarized this idea from the Jehovah's Witnesses. HWA would make this argument and yet Jews celebrate birthdays.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

HWA "Perceived" that Cheops is Job

Here is one intriguing comment from a 2007 Ambassador Watch post mentions the following intriguing line written by Herman Hoeh back in 1964.
And how can we forget Hoeh's "Who Built the Great Pyramid's- He says at the end of his article "As Mr. Armstrong perceived , Job is Cheops".
Just take a look at the references Hoeh uses and check em out. Talk about rewriting and ludicrous fabrication!,
The quote is essentially correct and may be seen below. Although the precise wording is different.
A clue to the answer is found in Egyptian records. Cheops has another name -- Saaru of Shaaru (Petrie's "History of Egypt", vol. I, p. 37). Saaru is another name "for the inhabitants of Mt. Seir" (Rawlinson's "History of Egypt", ch. 22). Khufu, then, was a foreign King whose domain extended from Mt. Seir to Lower Egypt during and after the time of Joseph. Petra is in Mount Seir. Dr. Meredith and I visited, in 1957, the domain of Cheops, both in Egypt and in Mt. Seir. 
Mt. Seir was famous in history as the "Land of Uz" (Vol. III of "Clarke's Commentary", preface to Book of Job). Uz was a descendant of Seir the Horite (Gen. 36:28). The Arabs preserve a corrupt record of Cheops of Mt. Seir or of the Land of Uz. They call him the "wizard of Oz."  
Now what individual who dwelled in Uz was arrogant, repented of his sin and wrote a Sacred Book? 
None other than JOB!  
And the Sacred Book is the Book of Job!  
Job -- AS MR. ARMSTRONG LONG AGO PERCEIVED -- could be none other than the Cheops who built the Great Pyramid! The ancient Greeks called Job "Cheops" -- pronouncing the letters "ch" almost as if they were an "h." We call Job "Hiob" in German -- and we pronounce the final "b" as if it were a "p" much as the Greeks did. Plainly, Cheops is but an altered pronunciation of Job! (Herman Hoeh, Who Built the Great Pyramid?, Plain Truth, May 1964.)
The highlighted sentence is the important part of the article. HWA (incorrectly) perceived that the Great Pyramid was built by the biblical Job and since he was the leader those immediately under him went along with that ridiculous idea. That idea was quite common within Pyramidology. HWA probably started dabbling with that strand of nonsense as early as the 1930s.

It is complete nonsense to say that Job and Cheops were the same man. That claim is wildly wrong.

Mark Armstrong Condemns Media as Fake News and Promote Xenophobia

Mark Armstrong, leader of Intercontinental Church of God, son of Garner Ted Armstrong, has another weekly update (December 9).

Let's take a look.

This time he complains about widespread concern about fake news.
The great FAKE NEWS debate rages on with additional big names chiming in.  There's no doubt that the American public has been subjected to years of false statements and reports.  Most of them have been gleefully repeated, along with plenty of expert commentary.  When you think back to the promises made and explanations offered over recent years, you'll realize that most major media outlets have passed them along, often with extrapolation.  Most news organizations rarely show much, if any contrition when falsehoods are eventually exposed for what they always were.  There have been so many examples of this you wouldn't know where to start or when to stop.
To insist that major news organization are just like fake news websites he cites the terrorist attack in Benghazi.
Statements from top leadership officials are often passed along to the masses with major consequences.  How much fake news was generated to cover the truth of what transpired when four were murdered and many others barely escaped the horrors of Benghazi?  Coverage was wall to wall about a demonstration over an obscure video on YouTube that “got out of hand.”  Every weekly news program carried what most of us knew to be a bogus explanation, and it took two years for the truth to be widely known.  Many still don't know.  That was a September 11, 2012 event, only weeks prior to a presidential election and therefore it is a major deal.  The truth, had it been told or widely known at the time might have made the difference.
Actually this interpretation of events was told and widely known at the time. Mitt Romney himself fueled this view during the election campaign. It was widely discussed during the election. Afterward there were nine separate investigations about the terrorist attack. Failings were noted. Officials directly responsible were disciplined. But nothing was found that would make Obama or Clinton liable. For a contrary view of these things one can refer to The Benghazi Hoax.

Then Mark Armstrong cites climate change to insist that major media outlets cannot be trusted.
Then there's “global warming.”  When the top UN researchers were caught falsifying “scientific data” red-handed it was a big scandal in alternative media, but most of the biggest outlets barely noticed.  The suggestion that the UN can engage in some massive redistribution of the world's wealth and thereby alter the cyclical patterns of what God Himself designed and put in place is beyond arrogant.  The idea that a system of “carbon credits” traded on a commodity exchange would alter the earth's temperature by one degree over the next half century is beyond science fiction.  But the current administration and its cheerleaders in Congress very narrowly lost their bid to mandate participation in that farce only a handful of years ago.  You do remember “Cap and Trade?”
Climate change caused by excess, man made carbon dioxide emissions. This is the scientific consensus. It is happening. The Pentagon classified climate change as a national security threat. And yet a leader of a small group insists that they are all wrong and he is right.

Then he cites Obamacare before exulting in the discomfort of major media outlets concerning fake news.
By now the cogs are turning in every reader's memory, thinking of the endless examples of fraudulent assertions by anchors and experts.  What's so entertaining now is watching the foremost purveyors of cooked books and false conclusions express outrage at the very concept!  If there was some hint of honesty among the ranks, they'd be thrilled that at least a major portion of the population wasn't believing their spin.  But they're not thrilled.  They are exasperated, and reaching desperately for examples of somebody else, anybody else who's putting out nonsense on the Internet that could be deceptive to the uninformed.  Imagine!
He then stirs up feelings of anti-Catholicism and xenophobia while discussing Pope Francis' recent comment about fake news.
The pope himself weighed in on the subject, and he's mighty upset.  So much so that he compared the practice of spreading disinformation in the media to… let’s just say a fetish you never heard of and don't want to know about.  We're not about to ruin everybody's weekend by repeating what he said here.  But USA Today wasn't ashamed.  They've carried a full description and explanation.  Look it up at your own risk.  But it comes to mind that the pope made the plight of “poor immigrants” a foremost Christian cause, shortly before Germany opened the way for one million to flood into Europe with disastrous consequences.  Maybe he forgot to mention that the onslaught would contain terrorists and those who support them.  In fact, there's been no sign of any apology from him amid the attacks, the murders, the rapes, or the dangerous environment that now exists in every European city.
He then talks about an incident of a girl being made to fall down some stairs by persons with a "darkish complexion". Why would he possibly choose to mention the color of their skin?
It didn't make huge news, but a surveillance video of about thirty seconds duration was released this week from the security cam at a Berlin subway entrance.  A youngish girl enters the frame before turning to descend a long flight of concrete stairs to the landing below.  Five young men of darkish complexion appear not far behind her and one hurries up behind the girl on the second or third step from the top and kicks her in the back causing her to go air born to the bottom steps and the landing below.  The boys hurried up an exit stairwell, and probably will never be identified. 
He then stirs up xenophobia and distrust of the media by insinuating that major German media outlets such as Der Spiegel and Bild suppressed news of a rape of a 19 year old woman. Other wicked persons from different ethnic groups also commit such terrible things. Blaming outsiders of committing sexual violence has long been used to ostracize ethnic communities.
Then there's the case of a European Union official whose 19-year-old daughter was raped and murdered this week.  She was trying to assist the refugees.  This story is in lots of British papers, and carried by plenty of recognizable and generally reliable outlets.  But Der Spiegel in Germany?  Nope.
Bild? Couldn't find it.  And that fits the formula that's been playing out for the duration of the “migrant crisis” in Europe.  Apparently, media over there believes the danger of reporting the truth of the migrant crime situation would be, shall we say, imprudent.  On the other hand, word might be getting around whether it appears in the mass media or not.  If truth, that would rate as news under any circumstances, goes unreported by mass media, what is that?  Maybe that doesn't rise to the level of papal comment.
But his organization is predominantly American so these things are largely used as a prop to make his predominantly American followers fearful, afraid and untrusting toward unwanted immigrants and major media organizations and Black Lives Matter activists.
We have watched a Biblical warning play out in Technicolor for years, a time where evil would be lauded as good and right.  In our country, disagreement with biblically described evil has been branded racism and bigotry.  The ancient prophets warned of a time when Truth would be trampled in the street.  Hands up, don't shoot, anybody?  With all the promised change in the air, some things probably won't change.  You can bet there will still be plenty of “fake news” to unravel.  
He then talks about some statistics regarding their Australian account on Facebook trying to promote themselves.

More of the same fear filled drivel from him in this weekly update.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Herman Hoeh Accused Homer of Being Demon Posessed

Back in the 1960s Herman Hoeh wrote a two volume narrative named Compendium of World History. It was similar to the 1952 book Ages in Chaos by Immanuel Velikovsky. Hoeh made many claims and assertions in that two volume work. Among other things he claimed that there were three Trojan Wars ending in 1181 BC, 1149 BC and 677 BC. But, he complains, Homer contradicted this claim so Hoeh responded to Homer's contradiction with the following accusation:

Homer was possessed by Satan's demons and, under demonic influence, wrote the Iliad and the Odyssey in such a way that events of the three Trojan Wars were combined together to confuse people and contradict Hoeh's pseudo-history.

This bizarre, ignorant and superstitious accusation may be seen in Chapter 17 of Volume 1.
How Greek History Was Corrupted 
It is not generally admitted. But Homer, the famous epic poet of Greece, was mad. His "Iliad" and "Odyssey" -- recording the events surrounding the Greek struggles with Troy -- were written while Homer was demented
Homer was not merely an insane poet. He was also a mad historian. Through Homer Greek history was altered, with diabolical cleverness. Homer telescoped three Greek wars with Troy into one. Men and events five centuries apart are artificially joined together as if contemporary. Recent archaeological investigation at Troy reveals Homer's lie. There are three wars layers -- the first and last separated by about five centuries' (See C. W. Blegen's "Troy," in the revised edition of the "Cambridge Ancient History".) 
Little wonder Paul the apostle wrote of Homer -- and of Hesiod and the other demented poets: "Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying ..." (I Timothy 1:4). 
Greeks Admit Homer Was Demented 
No poet in ancient Greece was ever considered worthy of special honor unless he was demented. Democritus "denies that any one can be a great poet, unless he is mad," wrote Cicero (Cicero, "Divin"., i, 80). Homer was therefore mad. 
Plato described the unusual kind of insanity that clutched the minds of Greece's great poet-historians and philosophers. In the "Phaedrus" Plato characterizes "poetic inspiration" as the "state of being possessed by the Muses" -- a kind of "madness, which, on entering a delicate and virgin soul, arouses and excites it to frenzy in odes and other kinds of poetry .... But he that is without the Muses' madness when he knocks at the doors of Poesy, fancying that art alone will make him a competent poet, -- he and his poetry, the poetry of sober sense, will never attain perfection, but will be eclipsed by the poetry of inspired madmen" (245 A). Again, in the "Laws" Plato wrote that "whenever a poet is enthroned on the tripod of the Muse, he is not in his right mind" (719 C). In "Ion" the Greek theory of "inspiration" is most thoroughly expressed: "It is not by art, but by being inspired and possessed, that all good epic poets produce their beautiful poems they are dancing, even so the melic poets are not in their right mind when they are composing their beautiful strains. On the contrary, when they have fallen under the spell of melody and metre, they are like inspired revellers, and on becoming possessed, -- even as the Maenads are possessed and not in their right senses ... the soul of the melic poets acts in like manner, as they themselves admit .... And what they say is true; for the poet ... cannot compose until he becomes inspired and out of his senses, with his mind no longer in him; but, so long as he is in possession of his senses, not one of them is capable of composing, or of uttering his oracular sayings" (533 E-534 D). 
In Biblical terms, Homer and all the famous Greek poet-historians were possessed of demons. It was not really the poets or philosophers who uttered the sayings, but the demon, masquerading as God, "who is the speaker, and it is THROUGH them that he is speaking to us," concluded the author of "Ion". 
The conclusion is absolutely clear. History has purposely been perverted by the diabolical influence of fallen spirits who seized the minds of poet-historians, such as Homer and Hesiod, and through them twisted the events of antiquity. Jesus Himself declared that Satan, the prince of demons, "deceiveth the whole world" (Revelation 12:9). One of Satan's clever artifices is manifest in the form of corrupted history! This diabolical plot to make God and His Word appear untrue has deceived the whole world.
And it was not just Greek history that got corrupted by demonic influence according to Hoeh. Egyptian and Mesopotanian history was altered due to demonic influence as well in such a way that they agreed with each other he confidently insists to the reader.
The same diabolical conspiracy that worked through Homer in Greece also worked through the priesthood of Egypt. Its dynasties were deliberately placed successively so that sections of Egyptian history appeared five centuries earlier. Similar diabolic manipulations occurred in Mesopotamia. When later Greek, Roman, and now modern critics and historians found Homer in apparent agreement with the altered Egyptian and Mesopotamian data, they never thought to question Homer or the Egyptian records. The conspiracy -- the deception -- was so thorough, so far superior to human ingenuity that the whole world has been deceived by it.
What garbage. How terrible it is to fill up peoples' minds with this bizarre, superstition fear concerning such ancient and profoundly important works such as the Iliad and the Odyssey. It is just disgusting.

If archaeology concluded that Troy was burnt to the ground three times that does not mean that Homer combined the three wars into one war.

Poetic language describing the joy of the creative process while making a work of art, such as writing poetry, is crudely twisted to insist that they were describing demonic possession.

Hoeh cites Democritus to insist that poets were mad and ludicrously uses that one sentence of his to claim Homer was demented and demon possessed.

Hoeh clearly wanted to believe his conclusions but he crudely dismisses any contrary information as part of some demonic conspiracy. How convenient for him. What a way to deal with contrary information. Just say the devil did it so listen to me.

When one reads filthy junk like this it is far easier to see how he could have decided in 1953 that Christ would return in 1975.

Hoeh later moved away from Armstrongism but so many people still refuse to move on and continue to revere Hoeh's writings from the time he wrote nonsense like that.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Critiquing John Chrysostom's Anti-Semitic Rant (First Homily, AD 387)

In AD 387 in Antioch, within the Eastern Roman Empire, back when Christianization of the Empire was well on its way to consolidating its triumph, and the second to last of the ancient Olympic games would be held the following year, it so happened that the vile horror that is anti-Semitism gained a terrible boost. The bishop of Antioch, John Chrysostom, a bishop well known for his oratorical skills gave a series of eight sermons in which he used his oratory to vehemently denounce Jews and Christians he viewed as Judaizers.

Let's take a look at his anti-Semitic rant in order to better understand how this terrible hatred developed over time and to note what he says about the Judaizers among Christians of the time that he condemns. There is nothing "natural" about anti-Semitism or any other kind of hatred. Such things are perpetuated by individuals by choice.

In his first homily he complains of what is emotively and manipulatively called a "very serious illness" among Christians of the Eastern Roman Empire at the time.
Another very serious illness calls for any cure my words can bring, an illness which has become implanted in the body of the Church. We must first root this ailment out.... 
What is this disease? The festivals of the pitiful and miserable Jews are soon to march upon us one after the other and in quick succession: the feast of Trumpets, the feast of Tabernacles, the fasts. There are many in our ranks who say they think as we do. Yet some of these are going to watch the festivals and others will join the Jews in keeping their feasts and observing their fasts. I wish to drive this perverse custom from the Church right now. ...  
But now that the Jewish festivals are close by and at the very door, if I should fail to cure those who are sick with the Judaizing disease. I am afraid that, because of their ill-suited association and deep ignorance, some Christians may partake in the Jews' transgressions... (I, 4-5.)
HWA indoctrinated his followers to believe that there was a continuous line of Sabbath keeping Chrisitans. But in this first homily John Chrysostom rarely talks of Sabbath keepers. He objects that some Christians were celebrating Jewish festivals by attending Jewish celebrations, viewing Jewish places of worship as worthy of reverence, listening to the horns sounded on the Feast of Trumpets and keeping the fast of the Day of Atonement. Sabbath keeping in and of itself is rarely discussed in the first homily.

John Chrysostom venomously denounced Jewish synagogues as being like brothels. This declaration is so vicious that even he feels compelled to justify his wild accusation knowing that many among his flock knew better and would take note of his motive in demonizing what John Chrysostum saw as a rival religion.
In Isaiah's day they quarreled and squabbled when they fasted; now when fast, they go in for excesses and the ultimate licentiousness, dancing with bare feet in the marketplace. The pretext is that they are fasting, but they act like men who are drunk. Hear how the prophet bit them to fast. "Sanctify a fast", he said. He did not say: "Make a parade of your fasting", but "call an assembly; gather together the ancients". But these Jews are gathering choruses of effeminates and a great rubbish heap of harlots; they drag into the synagogue the whole theater, actors and all. For there is no difference between the theater and the synagogue. I know that some suspect me of rashness because I said there is no difference between the theater and the synagogue; but I suspect them of rashness if they do not think that this is so. If my declaration that the two are the same rests on my own authority, then charge me with rashness. But if the words I speak are the words of the prophet, then accept his decision. (II, 7.)
John Chrysostom knew that many Christians did not share his hostility against Jews. They had no need of maintaining any kind of ecclesiastical institution and so were not worried about potential competition.
Many, I know, respect the Jews and think that their present way of life is a venerable one. This is why I hasten to uproot and tear out this deadly opinion. (III, 1.)
John Chrysostom knew that the knowledgeable among his flock would know that Jews worship God as well. So he denied that they did and demonized their religion by accusing their synagogues as being "a dwelling of demons".
But at any rate the Jews say that they, too, adore God. God forbid that I say that. No Jew adores God! ... who should not make bold to declare plainly that the synagogue is a dwelling of demons? God is not worshipped there. Heaven forbid! From now on it remains a place of idolatry. But still some people pay it honor as a holy place. (III, 2-3.)
One issue that John Chrysostom objects to regarding these Judaizing Christians is that they seem to view Jewish synagogues as holy places. John Chrysostom now begins an anecdote to try and make such persons no longer view them in such a way.
Let me tell you this, not from guesswork but from my own experience. Three days ago-believe me, I am not lying-
When I read someone putting so much emphasis on saying it is true it makes me wonder why he says that? Why does he feel that some in his audience would dismiss his following anecdote as a lie? Whatever gave them the idea?

Now let us continue with his anecdote.
I saw a free woman of good bearing, modest, and a believer. A brutal, unfeeling man, reputed to be a Christian (for I would not call a person who would dare to do such a thing a sincere Christian) was forcing her to enter the shrine of the Hebrews and to swear there an oath about some matters under dispute with him. She came up to me and asked for help; she begged me to prevent this lawless violence-for it was forbidden to her, who had shared in the divine mysteries, to enter that place. I was fired with indignation, I became angry, I rose up, I refused to let her be dragged into that transgression, I snatched her from the hands of her abductor. I asked him if were a Christian, and he said he was. Then I set upon him vigorously, charging him with lack of feeling and the worst stupidity; I told him he was no better off than a mule if he, who professed to worship Christ, would drag someone off to the dens of the Jews who had crucified him. I talked to him a long time, drawing my lesson from the Holy Gospels; I told him first that it was altogether forbidden to swear and that it was wrong to impose the necessity of swearing on anyone. I then told him that he most not subject a baptize believer to this necessity. In fact, he must not force even an unbaptized person to swear an oath. 
After I talked with him at great length and had driven the folly of his error from his soul, I asked him why he rejected the Church and dragged the woman to the place where the Hebrews assembled. He answered that many people had told him that oaths sworn there were more to be feared. His words made me groan, then I grew angry, and finally I began to smile. When I saw the devil's wickedness, I groaned because he had the power to seduce men; I grew angry when I considered how careless were those who were deceived; when I saw the extent and depth of the folly of those who were deceived, I smiled. (III, 4-5.)
John Chrysostom then continues to condemn this reverence for Jewish places of worship among Judaizing Christians.
Tell me, then, are their shrines awful and frightening? Who would say so? what reasons do we have for thinking that they are frightening unless someone should tell us that dishonored slaves, who have no right to speak and who have been driven from their Master's home, should frighten us, who have been given honor and the freedom to speak? Certainly this is not the case. Inns are not more august then royal palaces. Indeed the synagogue is less deserving of honor than any inn. It is not merely a lodging place for robbers and cheats but also for demons. This is true not only of the synagogues but also of the souls of the Jews, as I shall try to prove at the end of my homily. (IV, 2.)
But it is not enough for John Chrysostom to merely condemn the Judaizing Christians. He seeks to mobilize the rest of his flock to get these Judaizers to stop and to blame them for the prescence of Judaizing Christians.
The greater portion of the city is Christian, yet some are still sick with the Judaizing disease. And what could we, who are healthy, say in our own defense? Surely those who are sick deserve to be accused. But we are not free from blame, because we have neglected them in their hour of illness; if we had shown great concern for them and they had the benefit of this care, they could not possibly still be sick.
Let me get the start on you by saying this now, so that each of you may win over his brother. Even if you must impose restraint, even if you must use force, even if you must treat him ill and obstinately, do everything to save him from the devil's snare and to free him from fellowship with those who slew Christ.
It is so good that bigoted religious leaders do not have the power that he had anymore. Although they certainly try and have been able to create groups in which they hold great sway.

John Chrysostom knew that many among his flock would not view the Judaizing Christians as a threat to themselves or their religion. So he tried to make those Christians afraid of not following his lead in stopping Judaizing customs.
Since you are the army of Christ, be overly careful in searching to see if anyone favoring an alien faith has mingled among you, and make his presence know-not so that we may put him to death as those generals did, nor that we may punish him or take our vengeance upon him, but that we may free him from his error and ungodliness and make him entirely our own. 
If you are unwilling to do this, if you know of such a person but conceal him, be sure that both you and he will be subject to the same penalty. (IV, 9-10.)
Once again John Chrysostom complains about the Judaizing Christians' reverence for Jewish places of worship.
Since there are some who think of the synagogue as a holy place, I must say a few words to them. Why do you reverence that place? Must you not despise it, hold it in abomination, run away from it? (V, 2.)
It is well known that, historically speaking, Christianity came from Judaism. There is this tension that the Bible was mainly written by Jews and the Christian religion began among Jews but it became mutually agreed that Judaism and Christianity are different religions. Both religions revere the books called by Christians the Old Testament but they nevertheless differ.

But instead of learning to accept these differences and appreciating the common links between them John Chrysostom exploited these differences to incite loathing against Jews. The similarities are used to vilify Jews as worse than those with no historical connection with Christianity. I find this passage particularly repulsive.
For they brought the books of Moses and the prophets along with them into the synagogue, not to honor them but to outrage them with dishonor. When they say that Moses and the prophets knew not Christ and said nothing about his coming, what greater outrage could they do to those holy men than to accuse them of failing to recognize their Master, than to say that those saintly prophets are partners of their impiety? And so it is that we must hate both them and their synagogue all the more because of their offensive treatment of those holy men. ... 
If they did not have the prophets, they would not deserve such punishment; if they had not read the sacred books, they would not be so unclean and so unholy. But, as it is, they have been stripped of all excuse. They do have the heralds of the truth but, with hostile heart, they set themselves against the prophets and the truth they speak. So it is for this reason that they would be all the more profane and blood-guilty: they have the prophets, but they treat them with hostile hearts. ...
Therefore, flee the gatherings and holy places of the Jews. Let no man venerate the synagogue because of the holy books; let him hate and avoid it because the Jews outrage and maltreat the holy ones, because they refuse to believe their words, because they accuse them of the ultimate impiety. (V, 4, 6, 8.)
In other words John Chrysostom was furious that Jews did not share his religious beliefs despite a common reverence for the books of the Old Testament. Their differing views are misrepresented by him as blaspheming the Jewish predecessors of the Christian faith. Reading between the lines one cannot help but wonder that he may have secretly feared that some among his flock might choose to become Jews.
Finally, if the ceremonies of the Jews move you to admiration, what do you have in common with us? If the Jewish ceremonies are venerable and great, our are lies. But if ours are true, as they are true, theirs are filled with deceit. I am not speaking of the Scriptures. Heaven forbid! It was the Scriptures which took me by the hand and led me to Christ. But I am talking about the ungodliness and present madness of the Jews. (VI, 5.)
The Jewish community maintaining their own traditions and their own identity independent of the Christian religion is vilified by John Chrysostom as "ungodliness" and "madness".
What else do you wish me to tell you? Shall I tell you of their plundering, their covetousness, their abandonment of the poor, their thefts, their cheating in trade? the whole day long will not be enough to give you an account of these things. But do their festivals have something solemn and great about them? They have shown that these, too, are impure. (VII, 1.)
One disgusting features of this anti-Semitic drivel is that John Chrysostom quotes various Scriptures from the Old Testament to insist that Jews are bad people. But what he fails to understand is that the prophets of the Old Testament were Jews talking to other Jews. The prophets criticized the society of their time in order to inspire themselves and society in general to build a better society. The prophets criticized their surrounding society out of love and hope. But this John Chrysostom twisted their words to incite loathing, hatred and fear against Jews among his flock thus taking the words of the Old Testament prophets out of context.

With his homily coming to an end John Chrysostom declares that he had tried to stop the Judaizing Christians.
I shall bring my homily to an end here with the words of Moses: "I call heaven and earth to witness against you". If any of you, whether you are here present or not, shall go to the spectacle of the Trumpets, or rush off to the synagogue, ... or take part in fasting, or share in the Sabbath, or observe any other Jewish ritual great or small, I call heaven and earth as my witnesses that I am guiltless of the blood of all of you. (VII, 1.)
He then ends his homily with a call to his flock to denounce the Judaizing Christians among themselves. He could not suppress these Judaizing Christians alone. He needed information to know who to punish. He needed to motivate his flock to denounce such persons.
Do you find it an oppressive burden to denounce those who commit these sins? It is an oppressive burden to remain silent. For this silence makes you an enemy to God and brings destruction both to you who conceal such sinners and to those whose sins go unrevealed. ... (VII, 3.)
In the following passage John Chrysostom tries to make his listeners feel sorry for him and then quickly afterward implies that he would regard those who stay silent as among the "worst enemies" of the church, meaning himself.
Our common Mother (the Church) has lost not a cloak but a brother. The devil stole him and now holds him in Judaism. You know who stole him; you know him who was stolen. Do you see me lighting, as it were, the lamp of my instruction and searching everywhere in my grief? And do you stand silent, refusing to denounce him? What excuse will you have? Will the Church not reckon you among her worst enemies? Will she not consider you a foe and destroyer? ... (VIII, 4.)
He continues discussing his attempt to shame the Judaizing Christians into no longer attenting Jewish festivals and to regard Jewish places of worship as worthy of reverance.
Are you too reluctant to utter a word on this account? I urge you not to be so reluctant. Right after you leave here, stir yourselves to the chase and let each of you bring me one of those suffering from this disease. 
But heaven forbid that so many be sick with it. Let two or three, or ten or twenty of you bring me one man. One the day you do and when I see in your nets the game you have caught, I will set before you a more plentiful table. If I see that the advice I gave today has been put to work, I shall be more zealous in undertaking the cure of those men, and this will be a greater boon both for you and them. 
Do not regard my words lightly. Be scrupulous in hunting out those who suffer from this sickness. Let the women search for the women, the men for the men, the slaves for the slaves, the freemen for the freemen, and the children for the children. Come all of you to our next meeting with such success that you win praise from me-and, before any praise of mine, that you obtain, from God a great and indescribable reward which in abundant measure surpasses the labors of those who succeed. (VIII, 5-7.)
And his venomous homily comes to an end. But he was still unfinished with his anti-Semitic rant. Over the coming weeks he would later produce seven more bile filled homilies denouncing the Jews and Judaizing Christians. In regards to Armstrongite dogma concerning church history it is intriguing that in this first homily John Chrysostom says little about these Judaizers keeping the Sabbath but seemed more concerned about such persons attending celebrations of the annual Sabbaths and revering Jewish places of worship.