Monday, July 31, 2017

LCG's John Ogwyn on Nimrod (2001)

Back in 2001 the late John Ogwyn wrote an article that promoted LCG's view of Nimrod. (John Ogwyn, Fragmentation in an Age of Globalism, January-February 2001.)
The original Babylon, or Babel, was founded by Nimrod in the land of Shinar, in what is now Iraq.... Here the people—all of one language—came together to build the famous Tower of Babel to keep from being fragmented and scattered. The tower was to reach into heaven—a prideful venture that directly challenged God.... The Almighty intervened and divided the various nationalities by giving them different languages.... This halted construction of the tower. 
This parallels our modern time remarkably. In fact, the economic and political integration of European nations with their different languages has frequently been compared with the ancient Babel project. As an example, the European Commission sponsored a widely distributed poster of the Tower of Babel and the words, "Europe—Many Tongues, One Voice." 
In addition to trying to build a political empire, Nimrod also promulgated an idolatrous system of worship known as the Babylonian Mysteries, through which he sought to unify his subjects. It may surprise you to learn that this essentially pagan religion, though changed in form, has persisted to our day. Called by God "Mystery, Babylon the Great"..., it is described as a great "mother" church which will play a major role in end-time events.
The concord between European nations under the aegis of the European Union is negatively portrayed as being something opposed to (LCG's) God's will.

The last paragraph is largely based on a discredited anti-Catholic polemic from the 1850s, namely The Two Babylons by Alexander Hyslop, a Presbyterian minister. One book that critiques the spurious claims made by Hyslop is The Babylon Connection? by Ralph Woodrow (1997).

It is taught in LCG that the final Pope will be given power by Satan to perform sinister miracles such as summoning fire from the sky in order to prop up a future European superstate fated to conquer the United States just before Christ's return.

Ever since Armstrongism began in the 1930s the COGs have constantly insistied that catastrophe is coming and it has never happened. There is no need to fear their dire proclamations. They are but false prophets.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

PCG on the Al Aqsa Protests

Since 2005 PCG's leaders have continuously scare mongered that a third intifada would soon occur in the Holy Land. Following the tragic and terrible events that have occurred regarding the proposed metal detectors that were placed around the Al Aqsa Mosque recently PCG's Brent Nagtegaal has released an article discussing those terrible days. (Brent Nagtegaal, Palestinians Are Preparing for Another Intifada, July 25, 2017.)

The article serves to insist that PCG's teachings regarding supposed future events in the Holy Land are true and will soon be fulfilled. It also promotes a misconception common within the COGs, namely that tensions between the State of Israel and the Palestinians are all about the Al Aqsa Mosque.
Palestinian society is always one minor event away from reigniting a holy war over al-Aqsa.
It is casually assumed that the grievances of Palestinians in this matter are minor. How could peace ever be made if one side's concerns are belittled in such a way?
On Friday, July 14, two Israeli-Arab police officers were killed at the hands of Arab terrorists bearing machine guns and knives who came from the sacred Temple Mount complex. In response, Israel set up metal detectors at the entrance to the 35-acre compound to ensure such an attack will not take place again.
No mention is made that the perpetrators of that terrible and deadly attack were killed in the armed attack. The murderers were Palestinian citizens of Israel. Describing them as simply Arab obscures that detail.

The two police officers who were tragically were robbed of their lives by this terrible act of murder were Druze. Since its founding the State of Israel has favored the Druze community.

While the Israeli government justified the metal detectors as a security measure they seem to have failed to note that this move would inflame tensions with the Palestinians who did not ask for this measure. Tragically this measure would cause more loss of life.
Even though the metal detectors have been taken down, the fact remains that any Israeli movement around the Temple Mount, however minor, will be interpreted as justification for holy war.
It is assumed that the problem is mainly about the Temple Mount. While it is certainly true that from time to time tensions have been particularly acute and deadly over that particular site that is only a symptom of larger problems.

The territory seized by the State of Israel in 1967, including East Jerusalem, is viewed by the international community as occupied land under the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949. The international community recognizes the State of Israel as only having the right to rule the land it had in its 1949-67 borders. This is why the US Embassy and the embassies of many other nations, such as the embassies of Britain, France, Canada, Mexico, Australia, China, India, and others, are located in Tel Aviv and not Jerusalem. As far as the 161 nation states that recognize the State of Israel are concerned East Jerusalem does not belong to the State of Israel but, rather, is occupied by it.

The author then describes at length the murder of three Israeli Jews by a 19 year old Palestinian. There is no such detailed description given for the three Palestinians who were killed by Israeli personnel in protests against the metal detectors. On the Friday after the publication of this article two more Palestinians have died violently. One of them was a 16 year old Palestinian named Abdelrahman Abu Hmeisa, who was shot to death in the Gaza Strip during a protest.

Palestinian parents, brothers, sisters, husbands and wives love their families and friends as much as any other people. No doubt the lives of those who knew those three Palestinians killed in the protests have been shattered by the loss of their loved ones. But somehow that pain and suffering is overlooked in this article.

While describing the mass murder the author makes the following statement.
One such person is 19-year-old [name of murderer] from the Arab village of Kobar. On Friday night, he took a knife and entered a nearby Jewish village in the West Bank.
Kobar is a Palestinian village in the West Bank. The scene of the terrible mass murder was Halamish, an Israeli settlement in the West Bank. It was built on land captured in 1967 which is viewed by the 161 nation states that recognize the State of Israel as not belonging to the State of Israel but instead is occupied by it. Palestinians are not allowed to live in these Israeli settlements even though many of these settlements are built by Palestinian laborers hired by Israeli authorities. Furthermore Palestinians are even hired to work in these settlements despite not being allowed to live there.

The author then criticizes the Palestinian protesters' objections to the metal detectors by saying that many other places in Israel and lands controlled by it have metal detectors. He also brings up Mecca and Medina.
Living in Israel, it seems that the only place that metal detectors haven’t historically been used is where Muslims gain access to the Temple Mount. Of course, if you are a tourist or a Jew wanting to visit the Temple Mount, you have had to go through a metal detector for years to gain access. Even then, you can only reach the Mount at very limited times during the week. Installing simple metal detectors at the Arab gates would simply raise the Temple Mount to the standard of public safety afforded other locations where public gatherings take place. Furthermore, Mecca and Medina, the first two sites most sacred to Islam, have far more stringent security measures in place (including metal detectors and security cameras) compared with the Temple Mount.
The difference between Mecca and Medina on the one hand and East Jerusalem on the other is that no one questions the Saudi government's sovereignty over Mecca and Medina however no nation state recognize the State of Israel as having the right to rule East Jerusalem because the State of Israel acquired it by armed force during the Six Day War of 1967. Consequently the 161 nation states recognizing the State of Israel view East Jerusalem as occupied land.
But this isn’t about metal detectors. It is about the long-standing Palestinian goal to wrest complete control of the Temple Mount from Israel. These security measures are just the latest excuse.
He is right to say that it is not only about the metal detectors. Many Palestinians, including some in Jerusalem, have had their homes demolished or have lived in fear that their homes would be demolished. Events like these are certain to make Palestinians weary of living under Israeli rule. The author makes no attempt to try and view these events from the perspective of one who had seen his or her home demolished by an Israeli bulldozer by order of Israeli authorities.
In 2000, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount. The Palestinians’ reaction to that should have been little more than a verbal debate. Instead, their reaction was the second intifada.
No mention is made that Sharon visited it with about 1,500 security personnel. It is insisted that Palestinians should have only had "a verbal debate" about it without trying to understand the Palestinians' perspective. Furthermore Palestinians were frustrated that their hopes for the Oslo Peace Process had not been fulfilled seven years after the PLO signed the Camp David Accord. In those seven years many more Israeli settlers moved into the settlements in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians had hoped that the peace process would stop the settlements from expending. It was not just about Sharon's visit.
That “al-Aqsa intifada” also used the narrative that Israel was trying to take over the Temple Mount in order to motivate its Palestinians to blow themselves up on buses and in cafés throughout Israel. 
It was not just about al-Aqsa. Alas, as stability gradually collapsed the use of armed force gradually escalated. It was six months before the Palestinian militants began to use suicide bombers against the civilians of the State of Israel. Of course none of that justifies the horror that is suicide bombing. Today even the Palestinian armed groups that used suicide bombers back in the Second Intifada have for the most part quietly stopped employing that ghastly act. A pertinent detail which is also left unstated in this article.
In the end, over 1,000 Israelis were killed, not to mention thousands of Palestinians who died believing a narrative that was as untrue then as it is today.
The author obscures how high the death toll was for Palestinians in the Second Intifada. The author also criticizes the Palestinians who died, people unable to defend themselves, as believing in untrue rumors. This negative statement is made only about Palestinians. Many of the Palestinians who died violently in the Second Intifada were civilians.

The fact is that the Palestinians were far more vulnerable to violence than Israelis. While Palestinians had clandestine militia groups with guns and bombs the State of Israel had a powerful and well equipped army, navy, collaborators among the Palestinian peoples and other resources. The Palestinian insurgents could not compete militarily against this armed force. It was inevitable that the armed forces of the State of Israel would gradually wear down the insurgency.
Of course, if Israel wanted to take over the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site (believed to be the location of the first and second temples), it has had the means and, some would say, the justification for doing so for over 50 years. And yet, to this day, there has been no attempt to take over the sanctuary, nor exercise greater control over it.
It seems an unhelpful way of denying that rumor by stating that such a terrible thing could be done.
Again, it’s not about the metal detectors. And even the Muslim Waqf that oversees the daily running of the Temple Mount said on Sunday that it won’t accept any new security measures at the Temple Mount, “even if metal detectors are taken away.” They are not interested in a security compromise to ensure Israel’s legitimate security concerns are mitigated. 
Instead, the Waqf and the Palestinian leadership are looking to use this situation to further erode Israel’s ever shrinking sovereignty over the Temple Mount. This is part of their long-term strategy.
It is not mentioned that the Waqf is Jordanian. This is a hold over from when the West Bank was ruled by Jordan in 1949-67.
It has always been the Palestinian goal to take the Temple Mount completely out of the hands of Israel. Because of the constant lies about Israel’s attempts to block access to Muslims, Palestinian society constantly lives one benign event away from instigating a holy war to “protect al-Aqsa from the Jews.”
The author complains that it is a lie to say that the State of Israel is attempting to block access to Muslims entering the Al Aqsa Mosque. But actually since 2014 Israeli authorities have restricted certain age groups from entering the mosque at certain times. Since 2014 some Muslims have been restricted from entering the mosque by Israeli personnel. The author is wrong regarding this particular claim.

Also if a Palestinian state is be created out of the land acquired by the State of Israel in 1967 those who would build such a state need East Jerusalem. The 161 nation states that recognize the State of Israel do not view East Jerusalem as belonging to the State of Israel but as occupied land that is supposed to be governed by the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949. In addition to the legal status of East Jerusalem as occupied land the religious significance and tourist attraction of East Jerusalem is an invaluable resource. Consequently it is unthinkable for Palestinians to give up East Jerusalem after recognizing the State of Israel as having the right to rule the land in its 1949-67 borders (which constitute 78% of Mandatory Palestine) back in 1993.
We at the Trumpet take no pleasure in the loss of life, whether it’s the Palestinian that is driven by a religious fervor predicated on a pernicious lie or the Jews who are killed as a result.
Even here the author feels compelled to present one side, namely the Palestinians, as being deluded by a lie. He presents one side as good and innocent and the other side as deluded and irrationally fanatical.
But we do watch these events closely because Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has said for over a decade that the Bible prophesies that East Jerusalem will fall to the Arabs in the near future. ... He also writes more specifically that the Temple Mount itself will fall into Arab hands. As Mr. Flurry relates ... that will only occur after there is a fight with Israel over that territory.
PCG has made at least 52 false prophecies since its founding in 1989. This prophecy is also sure to fail. PCG's 1% are but false prophets.

To say that nothing can be done to solve these problems until Christ returns is of no use. Even if that were true surely we should feel that it would be right to try and solve this problem instead of just giving up and waiting for Christ to return. That advice is not good.

May peace soon come to the Holy Land. May violence soon cease.

Friday, July 28, 2017

All Americans Deserve to Have Health Insurance

So it now appears that Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act in the Senate have failed. The Congressional Budget Office had stated that millions of Americans would have lost their health care insurance if the legislation had passed. It would have been a terrible thing if so many Americans would have lost their health insurance. So many would have their health compromised and even die early.

All Americans deserve to have health care insurance. All Americans deserve to live healthy and prosperous lives.

Children's Nightmares in Radio/Worldwide COG

Banned by HWA has released a post entitled Richard Armstrong and the Church of God Tradition of Beating Children into Submission discussing Richard David Armstrong's infamous letter of March 12, 1958 berating the congregation for not disciplining their children as he expected and making threats of publicly humiliating church members if their children behave in a manner he disapproved of. This letter has gained attention before back in 2013.

The comments are also quite revealing about the frighteningly abusive and authoritarian atmosphere within the Radio/Worldwide COG. Some of what is mentioned in the comments is shocking. How dare anyone claim that the Radio/Worldwide COG is somehow worthy of emulation.

Also relevant to this discussion if a sermon Richard David Armstrong made on October 13, 1957 which was mentioned in a previous post. In it he complains that children are supposed to sit still and keep quiet during the entire sermon. Here is one sick anecdote he mentions in the sermon.
One of the cutest things I've ever seen....And I've seen, and it's fantastic. I've never seen anything like this before. I've seen that boy ... take off his belt, hold it up to him, and say, Daddy, I was supposed to get a spanking this evening. (Audience laughs.) I'm not lying either. That's a fact. I've seen it happen. I've seen him remind his father that he had a spanking coming. I never did that. (Laughter.)
And many within the COGs happen to view these days as Radio/Worldwide COG's golden age. What dangerous nonsense.

Transgender Ban in Military Would Endanger American Soldiers

Recently President Trump proposed banning transgender people from serving in the armed forces. Regardless of how we may view this issue we must face the facts even if we may not like them. And the fact is that if such a policy will be enforced it will endanger American soldiers since those who want to serve and who may earn a promotion by proving their competence and skill will be overlooked simply for being a transgender person.

Furthermore transgender people in the United States tend to enlist for military service at a disproportionately higher rate than the general population. Do those in the COGs who vilify and condemn transgender people realize that they are slurring a community that include many who serve the nation in the armed forces?

Friday, July 21, 2017

Reading Mark Mendiola's Article, The Scourge of Pornography (2001)

The tenth issue of LCG's recruitment magazine, Tomorrow's World (January-February 2001), featured an article by Mark Mendiola of Pocatello, Idaho entitled "The Scourge of Pornography." (pp. 24-28.) This was the ninth of several articles Mendiola would write for this recruitment magazine. Here Mendiola condemns pornography and insists that it is a sign that LCG's God will soon unleash the Great Tribulation upon the United States.

Let's see what he has to say.
Pornography is one of the fastest growing sectors of the global economy as people from throughout the world buy staggering volumes of sexually explicit materials. Americans alone spend an estimated $8 billion a year on it, making pornography one of the most profitable industries in the United States. How can nations with Judeo-Christian underpinnings justify their massive production and consumption of such objectionable material? Historically, cultures that have repudiated morality have rotted from the inside only to collapse. (p. 24.)
Mendiola implies that pornography will cause the United States to collapse.

Mendiola exploits the Northridge earthquake of 1994 to insist that LCG's God is filled with wrath at the United States for its pornography industry.
At 4:31 a.m. on January 17, 1994, Southern California’s densely populated San Fernando Valley was jolted by the most devastating earthquake in the United States since the 1906 San Francisco temblor [sic]. Nearly 60 people were killed, 1,500 others seriously injured and 12,500 structures damaged, including major Los Angeles freeways.  
The earthquake measured 6.7 on the Richter scale. Its total damage estimate of $15 billion made it financially one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history.... Was it merely coincidence that the quake’s epicenter was at Northridge, Calif., considered the nation’s pornography capital? More than 80 percent of all video pornography made in the U.S. is filmed at Northridge studios within five miles of the epicenter.  
The destruction that occurred in the Los Angeles area is a forerunner of the national punishment coming on the U.S. and other nations in the western world for their blatant disregard of moral standards prescribed by God’s living spiritual laws, including guidelines on marriage and sexual relations. The proliferation of pornography in western society today is a disturbing cultural phenomenon, symptomatic of a hedonistic age that rejects traditional values. (p. 24.)
Earthquakes are a natural fact of life. They are caused by friction between plates in the Earth's crust. It is terrible that a natural disaster which killed so many people had been exploited in a superstitious manner.
Whether displayed behind convenience store counters or posted on the Internet, pornography is a corrosive element eating away at the vitals of civilized society. Raunchy pornographic material in various forms—including magazines, videotapes, cable television and Web sites—is easily accessible to people of all ages. (pp. 24-25.)
How knowledgeable.

He then cites a statement from Beverley LaHaye.
Calling Internet pornography the “red light district of cyberspace,” Concerned Women for America, a public policy organization founded by Beverly LaHaye in 1979, stated, “There has never been a time in history when such massive distribution of pornographic material has been paralleled. And, sadly, because of the nebulous quality of the Internet, currently very few safeguards or age-check procedures are in place to monitor its distribution.” (p. 25.)
Concerned Women for America is a prominent organization of the religious right. So often LCG and the other Armstrongite COGs vilify the mainstream churches as false Christians and even as bearing the mark of the beast by worshiping on Sunday. But here Mendiola finds it useful to cite an organization of these supposed false Christians who bear the mark of the beast to prop up his condemnation of pornography. How selective he is.

Mendiola moans that his views are not popular.
It is not popular or politically correct today to call deviant sexual behavior “perverse,” yet God shows that indulging in widespread sexual promiscuity defiles nations. History strongly attests that such nations bring punishment on themselves. The licentious ancient Greek and Roman empires and many other nations have written that lesson for all of us to consider. (p. 25.)
But what happened to the Greeks? They were conquered by the Romans and became a part of the Roman Empire. Later the Roman Empire was split into two and the Eastern Roman Empire did not fall to any foreign power until 1204 when Constantinople was sacked during the Fourth Crusade.
In 1998, 8,948 new hard-core videos hit the U.S. retail market, up from 1,275 in 1990. Many of those were produced in the Northridge, Calif. area. (p. 26.)
Once again the earthquake is exploited to make his point even though earthquakes are a natural phenomenon.

Mendiola then insists that those who enforce the law insist that "repeated exposure to pornography" lead to dangerous and illegal sexual behavior. But instead of citing any of these law enforcement officers he claims have this view he immediately cites an infamous serial killer.
Law enforcement officials who have investigated sexual abuse, rape and murder cases confirm that repeated exposure to pornography has turned many men into sexual addicts, predators and abusers. Hours before his execution in 1989, notorious serial killer Ted Bundy stated: “I have lived in prison a long time now, and I’ve met a lot of men who were motivated to violence just like me. And without exception, every one of them was deeply involved in pornography, without a question, deeply influenced and consumed by an addiction to pornography.” (p. 26.)
It is strange to see Mendiola citing a serial killer to support his argument against pornography. It is dangerous to trust people like that. They tend to be dreadfully manipulative. They cannot be trusted.

It also needs to be asked why it is that none of the editors of this recruitment magazine removed this passage? Didn't anyone above Mendiola think this passage was a bad idea? The editors of this issue were Roderick C. Meredith, Richard Ames, William Bowmer and Gary Ehman.
Yet throughout the western world, pornography is promoted and defended by those who argue it is a form of freedom and enlightenment. (p. 27.)
Who has ever called pornography "a form of ... enlightenment"?

The COGs tend to be right wing in regards to politics and Mendiola shows this by complaining about the Supreme Court legalizing pornography. I do not condemn the COGs for being right wing but it is important to note that they are right wing because it explains so much of the political stances they choose to make.
The turning point in the United States for the commercialization of pornography came in 1973 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Miller v. California that “pornography,” but not “obscenity,” was protected by the First Amendment, muddying the issue. (p. 27.)
He then mentions that President Reagan was strict about enforcing the law against obscenity. But he complains that Clinton then was elected and that it is implied that his administration has let pornography flourish.
However, the Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography was established shortly after President Ronald Reagan gave his second inaugural speech in 1985. It included an enforcement unit that aggressively prosecuted pornographers. 
“During the Reagan and Bush administrations, the Justice Department successfully prosecuted child pornographers and large-scale purveyors of obscenity; and, in the process of effectively enforcing the obscenity laws, collected millions of dollars in fines and forfeitures to offset the costs of enforcement,” Morality in Media president Robert Peters wrote in a July 28, 2000 article. 
President Bill Clinton assured voters in 1992 that “aggressive enforcement of federal obscenity laws by the Justice Department... will be a priority in the Clinton-Gore administration.” 
However, the pornography industry has exploded with unfettered success in recent years. “During the first six years of the Clinton administration, federal obscenity law enforcement declined by over 80 percent. ...” (p. 27.)
Mendiola cites this article to cast suspicion upon various organizations blaming them for the pornography industry instead of our sex hormones.
He [Russell Peters] speculated that Clinton was pressured by elitist supporters in Hollywood, the Playboy empire, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force and People for the American Way to ease off enforcing obscenity laws. Scandals in his administration also made it difficult for him to urge U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno to prosecute porn cases. ... Pornographers have flourished from the benevolent neglect the porn industry has enjoyed under Attorney General Reno. (p. 27.)
Strangely in all this article there is no discussion of sex hormones. The reason there is pornography is because we have natural urges that encourage reproduction partly caused by hormones such as testosterone and estrogen. Mendiola fulminates about pornography and yet he seems to think that our sex hormones are a matter unworthy of mention. Think about it. That is a very strange omission. It is no use to fume against supposedly liberal elites instead of addressing our own hormones.

Another concerning thing about this article is how he seems to make little distinction between what is legal and what is illegal. He emotively mentions illegal sexual behavior and assumes that illegal behavior is caused by watching pornography but it is hard to prove something like that. That line of thought also fails to address the fact that there is legal pornography. How can one expect the government to stop that which is legal?

In the last part of this article Mendiola links his condemnation of pornography with LCG's proclamation that at some point in the near future a German led European entity of some sort will launch a war of conquest and seize control of the United States with much violence and take Americans as slaves back to Europe. This is taught to be divine punishment for behavior contrary to LCG's teachings.
Rather than being a shining beacon on a hill as President Reagan fondly envisioned, the United States exports prodigious volumes of some of the vilest material imaginable in the form of pornography. A nation that prides itself in its Judeo-Christian roots is accountable to the Living God for promulgating such filth throughout the world. (p. 28.)
Mendiola proclaims that the German led Europeans are coming.
What happened in the past to ancient Israel and Judah will recur in the future. The Bible shows a modern Babylonian Empire, spearheaded by modern Assyrians or Germans, will arise on the European continent.... Inspired by a charismatic religious leader who will denounce American and British cultures for their steep slide into immorality, including the export of pornography, the Europeans will justify unleashing horrific punishment on the U.S. and British Commonwealth peoples. (p. 28.)
This "charismatic religious leader" refers to the final Pope. It is taught within LCG that the final Pope will be granted power by Satan to perform miracles such as summoning fire from the sky to prop up a future political union between some of the nations of Europe in a union led by Germany. However such things are not made clear in this article. The COGs have been making similar dire proclamations since the 1930s and yet this dire news has always failed. It will never happen.

Mendiola insists that this supposedly coming conquest by Europe will lead to a catastrophe even worse than the Holocaust thus crudely invoking the memory of the approximately six million Jews who were so dreadfully murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators for being Jews. What dreadful behavior Mendiola shows here.
As unbelievable as it is to contemplate, American, British, Jewish and other modern Israelitish people will be plunged into national punishment even worse than the Holocaust unless they repent of their widespread immorality and sexual sins. Although they now are considered allies, the remilitarized Europeans primarily will be used by the Living Creator God to chastise modern Israel and Judah. ... [Ezekiel describes] a scenario frighteningly reminiscent of the Nazi death camps of World War II.... (p. 28.)
Mendiola's insistence that the United States will soon endure such terrible things is because he assumes that Americans are descended from the Biblical Israelites. This idea, which is known as British Israelism, is complete nonsense. British and Americans are not related to Jews in that way. Once British Israelism is exposed as incorrect much of LCG's other dire proclamations of doom awaiting the United States fall apart as well.

This claim seems unbelievable because it is unbelievable. It will never happen. LCG's 1% cannot see the future.

Mendiola then calls for repentance by embracing behavior taught by LCG's leaders. He implies that it is possible for the United States to repent and stop the conquest by the Europeans from occurring but within the COGs it is generally assumed that such a military conquest is inevitable.
It is not too late for nations in the western world to repent of their plunge into the cesspool of pornography and immorality, defiling themselves, but time is running out. 
The Bible shows when Jesus Christ returns to establish the Kingdom of God on earth, He will cleanse these nations and restore their former greatness after they bitterly repent of their widespread lewdness. (p. 28.)
He then ends the article with a quote from Jeremiah.

It does not matter how many times LCG's 1% insist that the Great Tribulation is near since they cannot perceive the future. From 1953 onward their predecessors in the Radio Church of God taught that this Great Tribulation would begin in 1972 and culminate with the return of Christ in 1975 to begin the Millennium. Clearly the COGs do not know the future.

In September 2006 Mendiola left LCG and joined Dave Pack's Restored Church of God. Around 2008 he left RCG and joined Don Billingsley's Church of God-Faithful Flock.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Listening to PCG's Trumpet Hour (July 7, 2017)

The July 7, 2017 broadcast of PCG's Trumpet Hour discussed the G20 summit in Hamburg and other topics.

EU-Japan Trade Deal

It also mentioned a free trade deal between the European Union and Japan. This is presented as an attempt to counter the United States for its rejection of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Sam Livingston cites a 2011 booklet by Gerald Flurry, namely Isaiah's End-Time Vision, to imply that he had predicted this development. (27 minutes onward.)

What is overlooked is that PCG has constantly vilified Japan. It is often portrayed as drifting toward militarism. This habit was inherited from the Armstrongite WCG. PCG's 1% are constantly scare mongering about many nations and shrilly declaring that they are somehow working against the United States. This includes Japan. It is no surprise that some in this social milieu would link different perceived threats together. Thus these words against Japan can be cited at any time whenever relevant news occur.

UNESCO on Hebron

Joel Hilliker and Brent Nagtegaal also denounced the recent UNESCO resolution to recognize the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron as an endangered Palestinian heritage site. Hilliker stated that Hebron is in Israel even though no nation state on Earth recognizes the State of Israel as having any right to rule the land acquired during the Six Day War of 1967. This includes the United States government.

No mention is made of how the United States withdrew from UNESCO as retaliation for it admitting Palestine as a member back in 2011. 136 nation states have granted diplomatic recognition to the State of Palestine since November 15, 1988. With the United States now out of UNESCO it has no way to directly influence it.

And on another matter Andrew Müller complained that the recent federal budget did not cut enough expenditure.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Fruit of Islamophobia in Oklahoma

So often the COGs moan and scare monger about Muslims. There seems to be little awareness of the problem of discrimination and hatred directed against American Muslims. The Huffington Post has published a timeline of acts against Muslims in the United States in 2016. In the timeline 385 acts are listed ranging from harsh rhetoric to the criminal act of murder.

What follows are the entries from the timeline for what happened in the home state of PCG's Headquarters, Oklahoma.


WHERE: Oklahoma
WHEN: Feb. 25, 2016
WHO: Unidentified bigots.

Organizers of the annual Muslim Day at the Oklahoma state capitol -- in which followers of Islam host panels and discussions with state lawmakers -- said they received multiple threats to disrupt the event. "We've heard all kinds of crazy things, like people wanting to throw bacon at attendees, or blocking entrance to the capitol," said Adam Soltani of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. One online threat in particular read: "Everyone should put as a big a pocketful of bacon bits in their pockets and throw it like wedding confetti all over these neanderthal bastards." The Quran forbids pork product consumption. Dozens of anti-Muslim protesters showed up at last year's Muslim Day. Organizers said they had stepped up security for this year.

Source: KOKH


WHERE: Savana, Oklahoma
WHEN: May 2, 2016
WHO: Police arrested a man named Larry Johnson

Johnson allegedly attacked a man working at the Savana Superette gas station, stabbing him in the chest and head. A witness told police that Johnson called the victim a “terrorist.” The victim, police added, was born in Bangladesh. Police are investigating the incident as a hate crime.

Source: The McAlester News-Capital


WHERE: Oklahoma
WHEN: June 18, 2016
WHO: Republican Oklahoma state representative Pat Ownbey

Ownbey shared an article on Facebook titled “Radical Islam -- The Final Solution” in which the author, Paul Hollrah, argues that “Islam is not a religion, subject to First Amendment protections.” The article goes on to say: “The first step in coming to grips with the Islamic threat is to officially declassify Islam as a protected religion in the hearts and minds of western populations.” When asked by a reporter at NonDoc if he thought Islam should be protected by the First Amendment, Ownbey said it was an “interesting question,” adding that he’d have to study Islam before making a determination. Later, after deleting the Facebook post, Ownbey said that Islam “should be Constitutionally protected.”

Source: NonDocKFOR


WHERE: OK Halal Meat & Grocery store in Oklahoma City
WHEN: Aug. 11, 2016
WHO: Unknown

Someone spray-painted a series of anti-Muslim messages on the wall of the store. “Saad is not welcome here," read one message, likely directed at Saad Mohammed, director of Islamic news and information for the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, a mosque near to the store. Another statement said, "CAIR not welcome here,” referring to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a prominent Muslim civil rights group. Other messages mentioned the terror group ISIS and made derogatory references to the Prophet Muhammad. On another wall of the store, someone spray-painted a hangman with spaces underneath for a five-letter word. Police are investigating.

Source: News9The Oklahoman


WHERE: Tulsa, Oklahoma
WHEN: Aug. 12, 2016
WHO: Stanley Vernon Majors

Majors, a 61-year-old ex-convict, allegedly shot and killed 37-year-old Khalid Jabara outside his home. Majors reportedly has harassed the Jabara family, who lived next door, for years. He called the Jabaras -- Christian immigrants from Lebanon -- “dirty Arabs,” “Aye-rabs” and “Mooslems.” Last year, he nearly killed Haifa Jabara, the family’s mother, when he hit her with his car. Afterwards, according to police, he called the Jabaras “filthy Lebanese” who “throw gay people off rooftops” -- a reference, no doubt, to ISIS propaganda videos showing the terror group doing just that. Majors was arrested and now faces murder and hate crime charges.

Source: The Huffington Post


And so the quotations end.

The COGs need to be better aware that talking about Muslims or any group in an irresponsible manner can have tragic consequences that need to be avoided.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Reading Mark Mendiola's Article, Watch and Warn (2000)

The ninth issue of LCG's recruitment magazine, Tomorrow's World (November-December 2000), featured an article by Mark Mendiola of Pocatello, Idaho entitled "Watch and Warn." (pp. 20-24, 30.) This was the eighth of several articles Mendiola would write for this recruitment magazine. (The September-October 2000 issue had featured an article by Rod McNair about US relations with the Philippines.) Here Mendiola scare mongers that a time of severe military conflict called the Great Tribulation will soon occur which is to be shortly afterwards followed by Christ's return. He also insists that the news media have failed to notice the signs that the Great Tribulation is about to occur implying that readers cannot trust other sources of information.

Jesus Christ told His followers to watch world events, and to warn the world of what is to come. With the Bible as our guide, we can understand how seemingly unrelated events in different regions tie together as the Savior’s prophesied return draws near. (p. 2.)
In other words these separate events are unrelated without LCG's dogmas.
Momentous changes that will dramatically impact everyone on earth are occurring throughout the world.  How do seemingly unrelated events in different regions tie together?  Jesus Christ urges us to "watch" and shows us how, giving us major signs to discern.  With that watching also comes a responsibility to warn of impending troubles. (p. 20.)
In other words keeping up with current affairs and using LCG's speculations to interpret them. In this way political and economic events are exploited to make the audience more indoctrinated into believing that LCG's 1% have God's favor.
Jesus Christ, the greatest newscaster of all time, urges His disciples to remain constantly vigilant of world events. They also must stay close to God in prayer to survive the calamitous conditions that will precede His return to earth at the end of this age. (p. 20.)
And this article seeks to convince the reader that one draws close to God through LCG.
The ultimate impact of developments in Europe, the Middle East and the Far East will be profound on the United States, British Commonwealth and other nations in the western world. Yet these major developments often are barely mentioned, if even reported, in newscasts or news publications. (p. 20.)
In other words Mendiola is casting suspicion towards mainstream media outlets to make the audience distrustful of them so that they will rely on LCG to tell them about world events.
Virtually everyone on earth will be astonished at the unforeseen direction events will take in the coming years that will change the global balance of power and plunge the world into its most severe crisis ever. The destruction, loss of life and suffering will exceed even the two previous world wars. It is a scenario that seems unbelievable, but will come as surely as the sun rises and sets. Yet beyond this time of unprecedented trouble dawns tomorrow's world ruled by Jesus Christ, who proclaimed the Good News of the Kingdom of God. (p. 20.)
And it is implied that "destruction, loss of life and suffering ... exceed[ing] even the two previous world wars" will soon occur. And yet seventeen years later no such thing has occurred.

Mendiola writes, "It is a scenario that seems unbelievable, but will come as surely as the sun rises and sets." It seems unbelievable because it is unbelievable. While catastrophes may well occur the possibility that LCG's leaders then based in San Diego and (after relocating there in 2003) in Charlotte could possibly know the future is utterly unbelievable.
In Luke's account of the famous Olivet Prophecy, Jesus Christ warns of conditions that will prevail prior to His Second Coming to this earth. He notes that religious deception, wars and commotions will be widespread, but the end will not come immediately as a result.... 
Wars between nations and kingdoms, however, will steadily intensify; great earthquakes will strike throughout the world; famines and disease epidemics will spread. These conditions are worsening throughout the world. One only has to witness the wars, starvation and pestilence reaching crisis proportions on the African continent for confirmation. What Christ foretells is unfolding right before our eyes! (pp. 20-21.)
But seventeen years later still in such catastrophe of the type Mendiola prophesied of has yet occurred.

Mendiola then belittles those who may disagree with him by insisting that most people are too self centered to notice his dire proclamation of catastrophe.
In other words, He strongly admonishes His disciples to wake up and be aware of world events around them. However, He also notes that most people will be so consumed with seeking their own pleasure and concerned about their own personal cares that they will be oblivious to the ominous trends happening around them.... Most people will not expect the rapid chain reaction of events leading to a great tribulation that will engulf the entire world prior to Christ's return. (p. 21.)
He shrilly insists all life on Earth is in danger.
As prophecies in the Bible show, we are to watch developments throughout the earth that will lead to a grand smash collision threatening the existence of all life on earth.... (p. 21.)
Future European Superpower

First he focuses his attention on Europe. LCG teaches that America is destined to soon be conquered by a European military power said to be destined to arise in the future and conquer the United States. He claims that Europe is arising as a mighty military power and insists that this is happening without the media's notice and scrutiny. Once again he seeks to slur the media as unreliable and unworthy of trust.
With the collapse of the Soviet Union about 10 years ago, a significant power vacuum was created, leaving the United States the world's only major superpower. What was a bipolar world suddenly turned into a unipolar world, with the U.S. the undisputed dominant nation. However, a shift in the balance of power, eroding U.S. supremacy, is under way, which has not been widely reported in the news media. Yet this development on the European continent is extremely significant. (p. 21.)
He implies that most people are obsessed with trivial matters and so have failed to notice Europe's supposed rise as a military power. By belittling the many he flatters the attentive readers that he or she is better than most of society.
A United States of Europe that threatens to rival the U.S. on the diplomatic, economic, political, and even military fronts, is emerging. It is a development that looks innocent on its surface, but has sinister ramifications for the entire world. Most people in the western world are so obsessed with celebrities, scandals, sensations and other inconsequential news, they are not aware of what Europe's unification means for their future. (p. 21.)
He cites a speech by German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer on May 15, 2000 to imply that the European Union would somehow remove some members in some sort of closer union. After that he once again casts suspicion towards the media to imply that they have failed to notice the supposed rise of Europe.
Yet when this United States of Europe rears its head for a final time as a monstrous beast, the Bible also shows the world will be astonished. Because the news media devote little attention to international affairs, when that powerful empire arises, it will seem to come out of nowhere, astonishing the vast majority of mankind! .... 
Watch news trends leading to a more powerful united Europe militarily, politically and economically. (p. 22.)
The Middle East

When it comes to the situation in the Middle East much of the COGs have this misconception that the problems are all about Jerusalem. This is largely ignorant nonsense. It is true that the political status of Jerusalem is an issue but it most emphatically not the only issue.
In His Olivet prophecy, Jesus Christ emphasizes the need to watch not only developments in the Middle East in general, but also Jerusalem in particular. (p. 22.)
He calls for readers to be informed about events concerning the Middle East region and Jerusalem.
Diplomatic negotiations in the Middle East between the Israelis and Palestinians, as the European Union and Vatican become more heavily involved, will not mean peace in this volatile, strategic region. Christ warns that Jerusalem ultimately will be surrounded by gentile armies and trampled by foreign troops! .... Yet are we keeping ourselves informed about what is happening in that explosive region? (p. 22.)
And how is his audience supposed to be informed about these things if (he implies) the news media are so incompetent as to not notice the important developments? Through LCG.

He scares mongers that "Islamic power" will somehow be magnified in the future.
In March 1999, Stratfor, Inc., an intelligence consulting firm in Austin, Texas, launched an experimental Web site In December 1999, it predicted three events that will, in this decade, magnify Islamic power in the Middle East.... (p. 22.)
Page 22 features pictures of various Middle Eastern leaders to further emphasize the theme of scare mongering about uncertain succession.
The Middle East remains the world’s most explosive region, with leadership a volatile issue. From left to right: Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd; Jordan’s King Abdullah II bin Hussein; Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak; Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi; Bashar al-Assad of Syria; Palestinian leader Yassir Arafat and Iraq’s Saddam Hussein. Jordan’s King Abdullah II bin Hussein and Bashar al-Assad of Syria are the most recent changes in Arab leadership; both assumed power after the deaths of their fathers. (p. 22.)
King Fahd passed away on August 1, 2005 but Saudi Arabia remains a stable nation. King Abdullah is still in power and Jordan remains a stable nation. President Mubarak was overthrown in a popular uprising in 2011. Gaddafi was overthrown and killed in a popular uprising and armed insurgency but tragically to this day Libya has been divided and politically unstable. Since 2011 Syria has been the scene of severe political instability partly caused in no small part by police brutality against what was initially a peaceful protest movement. Since then the crisis has escalated into a full scale armed conflict that among other things allowed the terrorists of Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIL to exploit the troubled situation to seize power for themselves. However with its armed forces and aid from Iran and Russia the Assad regime is still intact in its territory. Yasser Arafat passed away on November 11, 2004 and was succeeded by Mahmoud Abbas. In 2007 Abbas' faction, Fatah, lost control of the Gaza Strip to Hamas. Saddam Hussein was overthrown by US led military intervention in 2003 and hanged on December 30, 2006 after being convicted for leading a campaign of state terror in Dujail in 1982 after a failed assassination attempt. Alas, Iraq has and continues to be travailed by many troubles.

Many things have happened since 2000 when this article was published. But the Great Tribulation and other predictions of LCG's 1% remains as distant as it was in 2000.

Mendiola insists that the Arab nations will join themselves together in some kind of alliance to be led by a future political leader named in Armstrongite dogma as the "King of the South."
The Bible strongly indicates Arab nations in the Middle East will band together to form a confederation led by a "King of the South" that will provoke a remilitarized European power to take swift action in the Middle East. (p. 22.)
The King of the South has changed over the years among the COGs. Before 1945 HWA taught that it was Ethiopia. Later in the 1960s the dogma was changed to label the Arab nations with this role. LCG teaches that idea to this day but other COGs have different opinions. In 1994 PCG's leader, Gerald Flurry, proclaimed that Iran, not the Arab nations, would fulfill this role even though Iran is east, not south, of the Holy Land. RCG's leader, Dave Pack, chose to only accept Ethiopia as fulfilling that role.

It is taught among the COGs that the King of the South is fated to somehow provoke the future European superpower into launching a decisive attack and crush the King of the South and seize control of the Middle East.
This provocation could be prompted by Arab nations in the Middle East cutting off supplies of petroleum to the western world, prompting a swift response from European nations, or a controversy regarding the status of Jerusalem, which requires foreign troops. This crisis in the Middle East, in turn, will pull in nations from other regions like a vortex. (p. 23.)
He ends this section of the article with these vague words.
Watch for future changes in leadership among key Arab nations. And watch the geopolitics associated with the production and marketing of Middle East oil. (p. 23.)
Russia, China and Other Nations

Mendiola then scare mongers about Russia, China and other nations in the east. He teaches that Russia and China will lead some sort of alliance of eastern nations fated to fight against the future European superpower just before Christ's return.
Once this King of the North invades the Middle East, other major military powers in Russia, India, China and Southeast Asia will mobilize to counterattack the brazen move by the Europeans.... 
He [the future European leader supposedly fated to conquer America] will eventually meet his end at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.... This King of the North will face the massive armies of Eurasia. Even now the populations of China and India each exceed one billion people! (p. 23.)
He scare mongers against Russia and China presenting them as working towards weakening the United States.
Russia and China, both nuclear superpowers, will probably be in alliance with the kings of the east and supply most of the 200-million-man army that will launch a major offensive against the European beast power in the Middle East. Russian and Chinese leaders recently stressed the need to offset American power by encouraging a multi-polar world. (pp. 23-24.)
Why have the readers scared of only Russia and China? Why not get them scared of other nation states as well?
Watch continued cooperation between Russia and China as well as among India, Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and other heavily populated Asian nations. These geopolitical developments in various regions of the world do not bode well for the U.S. and its western allies. (p. 24.)
Fall of the United States

Mendiola claims that since there is no King of the West mentioned in the Bible that it is a sign that the United States will be rendered powerless in the days just before Christ's return.
The Bible speaks of a King of the North, a King of the South and kings of the East, but remains almost deafeningly silent about a king from the other compass point—the West. There is no "King of the West" per se named in the Bible. Yet the United States undoubtedly is the leading nation in the West. 
When the King of the North retaliates against the King of the South, which will compel the kings of the East to respond, Bible prophecy shows the United States and other nations of British descent will be either conquered, enslaved or on the verge of captivity. (p. 24.)
Mendiola then makes the inaccurate and nonsensical claim that white Americans are descended from the Biblical Israelites of the Old Testament. Elsewhere LCG teaches that white Americans are descended from Manasseh, the son of Joseph mentioned in Genesis.
America and other British-descended and northwestern European nations are identified in Bible prophecy as modern descendants of Israel, the Old Testament patriarch whose name was changed from Jacob. (p. 24.)
It will not be immediately apparent to readers unfamiliar with Armstrongism but much of Armstrongism's fearful proclamations are based on the misconception that white Americans are descended from the Biblical Israelites. But white Americans are not descended from the Biblical Israelites. Genetic evidence shows conclusively that there is no such ancestral connection as is imagined by Armstrongite dogma. It is nonsense and any news of doom and gloom arising from that misconception is also wrong.

Heedless of the painful history of US slavery Mendiola insists that slavery awaits the United States at the hands of Germans, Europeans and Arabs in the future just before Christ's return.
The Bible shows these nations will bear the initial brunt of the unprecedented Great Tribulation.... He [Jeremiah as interpreted by Mendiola] also shows foreigners will enslave these nations of modern Jacob and even those considered allies will severely wound them.... Psalm 83 is prophetic in that it illustrates major powers in Europe and the Middle East conspiring to annihilate Jacob or Israel as a common enemy.... Arab nations and Assyria, the ancestral nation of modern Germany, are then described as the conspirators. They have shared anti-Semitic sentiments historically. (p. 24.)
It is also complete nonsense to claim that Germans are the descendants of the ancient Assyrians. This idea arose within the British Israelism movement due to World War I. Before 1914 the British Israelism movement taught that Germans were fellow Israelites but during the course of that cataclysmic war the teachers of the British Israelism movement changed the Germans' purported ancestry.
Watch trends in the moral decay of western nations, particularly the modern descendants of the ancient patriarch, Jacob. (p. 24.)
When Mendiola talks of "moral decay" he speaks of behavior contrary to what is taught by LCG's 1%.

Appeal for More LCG Members

The main purpose of this article and the entire magazine is to gain more recruits to join the organization behind the recruitment, namely LCG. After spending so much time insisting that catastrophe will soon occur he implies that reader has a responsibility to act on this message of doom and gloom.
As we watch the decline of such nations as the United States, Canada, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the Jewish state of Israel, there comes a responsibility to warn people in those nations as well as the rest of the world about the punishment that will ensue. (p. 24.)
Mendiola slurs "secular and religious leaders" for not sharing telling the same message of doom and gloom that is taught by LCG.
Yet the prophet Isaiah also foresaw a time when the secular and religious leaders, who should be trumpeting a warning to their people, would not because they are too wrapped up in the cares of this prosperous age and hope its comforts and luxuries will continue indefinitely. (p. 24.)
He slurs other sources of information to make his own organization and his paymaster look good.
By contrast, God's true servants are to be faithful watchmen. For more than 50 years, evangelist Roderick C. Meredith has been involved in this work of teaching, preaching and warning the world. Thousands of co-workers are supporting the Tomorrow's World magazine and telecast and are committed to crying aloud, lifting up their voices and showing mankind its sins and warning of the consequences. That is coupled with proclaiming the wonderful news of the Kingdom of God that Jesus Christ will establish beyond the horrible times that lie ahead. (pp. 24, 30.)
He ends this article with an appeal to the reader to respond to the article.
Those involved in this Work are soberly striving to heed Jesus Christ's command to watch world events and, like sentries, sound an alarm out of love, about the terrible times ahead for all people on the earth. They fully realize that the message will not be popular, but an urgent warning is needed. Beyond the gloom and doom of the immediate years ahead lies a glorious world governed by Jesus Christ. But meanwhile, we all need to sincerely hope and pray people will repent and turn around as a result of this message of warning and hope. You have just read that message! How will you respond? (p. 30.)
What is intended is for the reader to be moved into sending money to the organization behind this recruitment magazine and perhaps even the organization. And yet sixteen years later his message of doom and gloom is still unfulfilled. While many things have happened since this article was written what he and LCG teaches has not occurred. The United States is still the most powerful nation state on Earth. Europe still relies on the military protection of the United States under the NATO alliance. No "King of the South" has arisen in the Middle East. Russia and China are strong but LCG teaches that it will be a German led Europe that will conquer the United States.

There is no need to listen to LCG's dire proclamations. They are but false prophets.

In September 2006 Mendiola left LCG and joined Dave Pack's Restored Church of God. Around 2008 he left RCG and joined Don Billingsley's Church of God-Faithful Flock.

PCG Scare Mongering About Far Leftists in Germany

Violent protests at summits of world leaders have occurred since the World Trade Organization summit in Seattle in 1999 if not earlier. So it should not have been too surprising that unfortunately similar things have now occurred during the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. But PCG's writers are intent on making their followers convinced that the end of our society is about to occur any moment now so naturally they scare mongers about those protests. Also PCG's writers lean far to the right and are quite hostile to any political movement that happens to be left wing.

Let us see PCG's response to the protests in Hamburg. (Richard Palmer, The Far Left Vs. Germany, July 12, 2017.)

Palmer points out that most of the protesters were peaceful. That is often the case for these protests that occur during prominent meetings. Most protesters are peaceful but a few choose to engage in dangerous and violent behavior.
Of course, not all the protesters were violent. Police estimate that around 20,000 demonstrated and around 1,500 rioted. But even the “peaceful” ones called their first official march “Welcome to Hell”—hardly an invitation to a restrained exercise of the right to peaceful protest.
He stirs up PCG's partisanism against any left wing political movement or organization in the following passage.
The Hamburg protests shine a light on Germany’s dangerous far-left movements. The nation certainly has its own history of far-left violence—going back to militant groups such as the Red Army Faction during the Cold War. Hamburg has long been a hub for this home-grown extremism. At the same time, it is also part of a growing, global, far-left movement.
Even though he just said there were about 20,000 protesters and that most of them were peaceful he then says there were "more than 100,000 by many counts" and they are all condemned as participating in "extreme protests." Can he get his story before posting it online?
The fact that tens of thousands—more than 100,000 by many counts—were willing to take part in such extreme protests in modern Germany shows a serious unhappiness with the current economic and political system.
He then scare mongers about a marginal political party, namely the Left Party.
You can see this same unhappiness and extremism in the rise of the far-left Left Party—the successor to the old East German Communist Party. The Socialist Unity Party ran the infamous Stasi secret police.... In like manner, the Left Party wants to end NATO and big businesses. It takes busts of Karl Marx on the campaign trail. ... some of its members—in Bavaria, the entire party—are under government surveillance over fears that it wants to overthrow the state.
While it is certainly true that the Left Party is the heir of the infamous Socialist Unity Party that ruled East Germany with an iron fist under one party rule and shut its people behind the infamous Berlin Wall, today it is a marginal party primarily based in what used to be East Germany.

Normally PCG likes to scare monger about the far right in Germany but Palmer has no trouble demonizing the far left in Germany when the circumstances require it.
The Left Party has been winning significant support in regional elections—even joining the government state coalition in Thuringia after receiving nearly 30 percent of the vote. 
The extreme left is rising in Germany. The rise of the fringe-right Alternative for Deutschland certainly is concerning. But it is quite a ways behind the Left Party.
And then he strangely imply that the Nazi Party was somehow left wing and right wing at the same time.
It’s important to remember that “Nazi” stands for “National Socialist”—it was as much a left-wing movement as a right-wing one.
One critique of the spurious claim that the Nazi Party was somehow left wing may be seen courtesy of David Neiwert.

Palmer also appeals to Armstrongism's long history of anti-Catholicism by citing Pope Francis' comments about the G20 summit.
They received an even more high-profile support from Pope Francis. “The G-20 worries me; it hits migrants in countries in half of the world and it hits them even more as time goes by,” he said in an interview published by La Repubblica on Saturday. He said he feared it could lead to a “very dangerous alliances among powers that have a distorted vision of the world.”
PCG teaches that the final Pope will be an evil, miracle working person who will use miraculous powers, such as summoning fire from the sky, to prop up the future European Empire fated to conquer the United States.

Palmer scare mongers that these protests will cause the European Union to unite.
Meanwhile, the entire spectrum of the German press is outraged. Germany has a far-left extremism problem that indicates a far wider dissatisfaction with the status quo. But outside of those far-left extremists, there’s very little tolerance for this kind of violence. 
It’s early days yet, but there’s already a lot of talk on concrete actions in response. Politicians from both sides of the political spectrum are vying to outdo each other with their condemnation of the protesters and calls for action. 
Gabriel and Justice Minister Maas have called for a Europe-wide response, where countries share a database on left-wing extremists. 
PCG and many of the other COG splinter groups teach that the European Union is fated to transform into a militaristic superpower which will violently conquer the United States and take Americans back to Europe as slaves in what they call the Great Tribulation. The COGs have continuously been scare mongering about such a thing since the 1930s and yet their dire proclamations are never fulfilled.

Palmer insists that PCG's message of doom and gloom is finally about to happen.
The Hamburg G-20 summit shone a light on some of the biggest trends the Trumpet is watching. We saw the rise of radical extremism, the pope’s role in encouraging an alternative to the current U.S.-led financial system, and Europe working to build that financial system, even as it announced the outlines of a new trade block with Japan that would rival the North American Free Trade Agreement in size. 

Exactly how all these trends interact isn’t clear. Many Germans are clearly dissatisfied with their political system, yet at the same time abhor the violence exhibited by those protesters. 
But what is clear is that Germany and the U.S. are on different paths. America is becoming a pariah to the world; Germany is hailed as its new leader. America is threatening to raise tariffs on exports, while Germany is one of the foremost preachers of free trade (what it actually practices is another matter). America’s politicians cave in to the radical left; Germany’s rally around the rule of law. 
The radical left is weakening the U.S. But in Germany there is strength.
(Incidentally PCG has a long history of demonizing Japan. That reference to Japan is not just a throw away comment.)

I do not know what will happen in the future but it quite safe to assume that PCG's proclamations of doom and gloom are certain to fail. Since 1989 PCG has made at least 52 failed prophecies. Clearly PCG's leaders are unable to see the future.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

PCG's Gerald Flurry: German Dictator Could Arise by 2005 or 2006

Back in 2005 PCG released a booklet by their leader, "That Prophet" Gerald Flurry, entitled Daniel Unlocks Revelation. (This booklet was discussed in a previous post.) Near the end of that booklet in its original 2005 version Gerald Flurry says the German dictator that PCG and other COG groups insist is fated to conquer the United States "could" come on the scene by 2005 or 2006.
This man doesn’t think he would do murderous deeds (Isaiah 10:6-7). But Satan is going to get to him—he will experience a mind change (Habakkuk 1:11).  
That man could be coming on the scene as early as this year—2005—or 2006. There has been a dramatic shift in German politics and new elections are scheduled to be held in September of this year. Watch those elections when they come! Or see how a man could manipulate the system. Regardless of when this “king of fierce countenance” appears, it is going to be for an extremely short span of time. (Gerald Flurry, Daniel Unlocks Revelation, 2005 version, Chapter 4, p. 95.)
Unsurprisingly this reference to the future German dictator arising in 2005 or 2006 has been quietly removed from the current 2015 version of this booklet.
This man doesn’t think he would do murderous deeds (Isaiah 10:6-7). But Satan is going to get to him—he will experience a mind change (Habakkuk 1:11).  
That man could be coming on the scene very soon. Regardless of when this “king of fierce countenance” appears, it is going to be for an extremely short span of time. (Gerald Flurry, Daniel Unlocks Revelation, 2015 version, Chapter 4, p. 95.)
Clearly Gerald Flurry has as little knowledge of the future as any of us. This is yet another false, fear inducing prophecy that PCG has promoted to its readers. Since its founding in 1989 PCG has promoted at least 52 false prophecies. Gerald Flurry does not know what is going to happen in the future. We would do well to take heed of what is written in the Bible.
When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him. (Deuteronomy 18:22.)
There is no need to fear these dire proclamations.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Overview of the March 1998 Issue of PCG's Philadelphia Trumpet

PCG has been publishing their recruitment magazine, The Philadelphia Trumpet, since 1990 seeking to gain more tithes paying converts. The earliest issue of The Philadelphia Trumpet that can be read on their website,, is the March-April 1998 issue which was published during the time of President Clinton's impeachment.

Let's take a look.

This issue had a circulation of 70,000 issues.

The publisher and editor-in-chief was Gerald Flurry. The senior editors were Dennis Leap, the late J. Tim Thompson and the late Vyron Wilkins. The managing editor was Stephen Flurry. The assistant managing editor was Joel Hilliker.

Gerald Flurry has a personal article discussing the Titanic disaster in 1912 to insist that people should take his warning of cataclysm seriously even though the COGs have been making such dire statements since the 1930s.

Gerald Flurry has an article denouncing those who supported President Clinton during the impeachment crisis.

Stephen Flurry has an article praising the ideals of the Founding Fathers in order to denigrate President Clinton and his supporters.

(Gerald Flurry and Stephen Flurry's articles were later edited into a booklet entitled Character in Crisis which was discussed in a previous post.)

Dennis Leap has an article denouncing the high divorce rate.

J. Tim Thompson had an article bewailing that the United States is economically too reliant on Japan.

Ron Fraser had an article crudely scare mongering as only he could that the Catholic Church would introduce a "third way" in contrast to Western capitalism and Soviet Communism. PCG teaches that the United States is fated to be conquered by a future European Empire that will be supported by the final Pope, who is taught within the COGs as fated to be a sinister person able to perform miracles, such as summoning fire from the sky, with the power of Satan.

World News Watch mentions that El Niño was causing all kinds of weather problems; scare mongering about debt held by Americans; anti-war protesters disrupting a meeting held by President Clinton's cabinet to rally support for continuing to enforce the severe sanctions against Iraq; and German air force pilots training in New Mexico.

Nineteen years later PCG still preaches of doom and gloom generating millions of dollars in income for the organization. Even as early as 1996 PCG claimed to have more than $5 million in annual income. But since its founding in 1989 PCG has made at least 52 failed predictions. These failed predictions make it clear that PCG's 1% are unable to foresee the future. They are but false prophets. There is no need to give any heed to their dire proclamations.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Reading John Ogwyn's The Middle East-Will a New Millennium Bring Peace At Last? (1999)

The COGs think that events in the Holy Land, specifically in Jerusalem, will tell them when Christ will return. In 1999 LCG's recruitment magazine, Tomorrow's World, published an article by John Ogwyn (1949-2005) discussing the situation in the Holy Land in 1999 shortly after the election of Ehud Barak as Prime Minister of the State of Israel. (John Ogwyn, The Middle East-Will a New Millennium Bring Peace At Last?, Tomorrow's World, October-December 1999.)

There is this widespread idea within the COGs that the conflict concerning the State of Israel is all about Jerusalem. This idea is nonsense. While it is true that the status of Jerusalem is an issue it is far from the only issue sustaining the conflict. There are other issues that sustains the conflict such as the issue of the Palestinian refugees, what will be the territory of the proposed future Palestinian state, what is to be done with the Palestinian prisoners, etc. Nevertheless Ogwyn erroneously tells his readers that the current conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is all about Jerusalem.
Prime Minister Barak, shortly after taking office, "…set another deadline for himself: After campaigning on the promise that he would bring the Israeli army out of Lebanon within a year, he raised the ante... and set a 15- month time frame for negotiating peace with Syria and finalizing agreements with the Palestinians" (Jerusalem Post, July 23, 1999). According to this announcement, that would mean peace in the Middle East by October 2000. 
Will this happen? Can it happen? What does the future hold for this ancient and long-troubled corner of the world? Will Jerusalem, whose name in Hebrew means "city of peace," finally cease to be the sticking point for a long-awaited peace settlement? 
Make no mistake about it: events in the Middle East and in Jerusalem in particular will profoundly affect your world in the years to come! This ancient city is destined to play a central role during the years that mark the dawning of a new millennium. What will that role be—and what will it mean for you and your family?
In other words Ogwyn looks at events concerning Jerusalem to determine when Christ is supposed to return. What people are actually doing is incidental background to his quest to determine when Christ is to return by watching what happens in the Holy Land. What a dreadfully limited view of events.
For the 3,000 years since ancient King David captured the Jebusite citadel and made Jerusalem his capital, Jerusalem has been the most important of cities for the Jewish people. It was the city of King David, the location of Solomon's temple and later of the second temple, and the capital of the Jewish state until the Roman destruction in 70AD. It has been the subject of psalms, hymns and personal prayers and yearnings for most of three millennia.
The highlighted phrase is wrong. Between the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians and AD 70 Jerusalem was only the capital of an independent Jewish kingdom during the time of the Maccabees (164-63 BC). Under the Persians Jerusalem was under the rule of the Persian Empire then it came under the rule of Alexander the Great and his various Hellenistic successors until the Maccabees revolted in response to the tyranny of Antiochus Epiphanes and created an independent kingdom. But in 63 BC the Romans invaded the Holy Land and from that time dominated the Jews in Judaea. The Romans destroyed the Temple in AD 70 and later expelled many Jews from the Holy Land in AD 135. Since Ogwyn is so wrong about this what else is he wrong about?
Muslim control of Jerusalem lapsed when British troops under General Allenby entered the Old City in 1917. The British soon learned that capturing Jerusalem was much easier than administering it. The Palestine Mandate, as it was called, proved to be a troublesome burden for a succession of British governments over the next 30 years.
Actually Jerusalem was under Turkish control before British forces captured it. Ogwyn says very little about the era of the British ruled mandate territory or the tragic clashes between Palestinians and the Jews of the Yishuv, the Jewish community within Mandatory Palestine. The Great Arab Revolt of 1936-9 began as a general strike by the Palestinians and resulted in the crushing of Palestinian society by British forces. During the revolt British authorities aided the Yishuv and sent a remarkably skilled British officer to teach the Yishuv how to fight. His name was Charles Orde Wingate. By 1944 elements of the Yishuv such as the Irgun, a right wing leaning militia within the Yishuv, decided to launch an armed insurgency against the British. In October 1945 the left wing leaning Palmach chose to follow the Irgun's lead and began their own armed insurgency against the British.
Finally, in 1947 the United Nations passed Resolution 181, partitioning the Palestine Mandate between the Arabs and the Jews and internationalizing the city of Jerusalem. The Arabs, who were convinced that they could win all of Palestine by force of arms, vehemently rejected the resolution. The Jews, on the other hand, were fresh from the horrors of World War II and deeply anxious simply to have a place of their own. They accepted the UN resolution.
And so the war of partition began. However with the Palestinians having been routed during the revolt of 1936-9 by British forces the Palestinians were simply no match for the forces of the Yishuv by the time hostilities between the Yishuv and the Palestinians resumed in November 1947 after the passage of Resolution 181.
Before the British could even withdraw their troops, Jerusalem was under siege. By the beginning of 1948 the highway to Jerusalem was virtually impassable and the city's Jewish population was reduced to a state of near-starvation. In the fighting that followed, the Arabs destroyed 27 of the historic synagogues in Old Jerusalem.
How terrible war is. As the war progressed atrocities occurred. Some by one side. Some by the other. One atrocity that gained much attention was a massacre committed by personnel of the Irgun at Deir Yassin on April 9, 1948 in which about 107 were massacred. News of the massacre as well as the many Palestinian refugees fleeing into neighboring countries such as Lebanon, Syria and Jordan put pressure on the neighboring Arab nation states to fight the Yishuv and protect fellow Arabs, namely the Palestinian people.
On May 14, 1948 David Ben-Gurion announced to the world the formation of the new State of Israel. The Arab League reacted with predictable fury and its armies began advancing on all fronts.
The British mandate to rule over Palestine ended on May 15, 1948 consequently the Arab League did not officially go to war with the Yishuv until the British mandate expired lest they should end up fighting the British Empire. Before then fighters from neighboring Arab countries proceeded to Palestine and joined armed forces to fight the Yishuv.
Though the armies of six Arab nations combined with the express purpose of pushing the Jews back into the sea, events soon took a remarkable turn. On front after front the Arabs were fought to a standstill and were even pushed back. 
Under British rule society was divided between the Palestinians and the Yishuv with the British acting as mediators in between and lording over all. At times the British would favor one side and then another side in a divide and rule stratagem. During the Great Arab Revolt the British authorities chose to unleash the full force of their repression upon the Palestinians. Consequently when hostilities arose again after the United Nations vote to partition Palestine in November 1947 the Palestinians were at a military disadvantage compared with the Yishuv. Consequently the Yishuv succeeded in securing the State of Israel after hostilities ended in 1949.
The Old City of Jerusalem, however, formed the weakest link in the new state's defense chain. Finally a cease-fire was arranged and troops froze in position. Two weeks after independence, the last of the elderly Jews living in the Old City passed through Zion Gate, and the massive gate was irrevocably shut behind them. Thus Jerusalem became divided, and the Jews were once again denied access to their ancient city.
As hostilities ended Jordan had taken control of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

However Ogwyn never mentions in this article anything about the approximately 750,000 Palestinians who were expelled by the forces of the Yishuv during the Israeli War of Independence of 1947-9. After the war they yearned to return to their homes and their farms. But the Israeli government refused to let them return. Seeing that the State of Israel not allow the Palestinian refugees to return proved to the Arab world that the State of Israel was more powerful then the Arab nation states since the Israeli government could simply ignore the demand of the neighboring nation states to let the Palestinian refugees return.
For 19 years this remained the status quo. Then in June 1967 came the incredible Six Day War, and with it the Jewish recapture of the Old City of Jerusalem. As Jewish troops swept out in all directions, Arab armies fled in disarray before them. Israel advanced east to the Jordan River and also seized the strategically vital Golan Heights from Syria. Israeli forces quickly moved into the Gaza Strip and the region of Sinai. While much of this was of great strategic value, nothing could compare to the excitement of the moment that Jewish troops came through Zion Gate and seized the Old City. None who witnessed the event can ever forget the emotional fervor displayed as Jewish troops finally reached the western wall of the Temple Mount, better known as the Wailing Wall.
Intriguingly Ogwyn omits mention of the 1956 Suez crisis in which Israeli forces seized the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt in just eleven days. The State of Israel was militarily superior compared with the surrounding Arab nations in 1956. However President Eisenhower disapproved and compelled the Israeli government to withdraw from the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip in 1957. In 1967 the State of Israel still held a decisive military advantage over the neighboring Arab nation states.

"Arab armies fled in disarray" partly because the Israeli Air Force had destroyed much of the air forces of Egypt early in the war. With Israeli air superiority the Arab armies had no chance of defeating the Israelis. To stand and fight in such circumstances would have been futile.

While Ogwyn describes this war as incredible and exciting it seems to escape his notice that the State of Israel's triumph in the Six Day War of 1967 led directly to the rise of Yasser Arafat. The Palestinians had hoped that the Arab nations would defeat the State of Israel and let them return. Seeing that Egypt, Jordan and Syria were so decisively routed many Palestinians rallied themselves together and decided to fight the State of Israel by themselves. In December 1967 some left wing leaning Palestinians formed the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in response to the Israelis' triumph. Following the Battle of Karameh in Jordan on March 21, 1968 many Palestinians rallied under the banner of Fatah, led by Yasser Arafat, who soon emerged as the dominant faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
For centuries, religious Jews had concluded festival observances with the prayer, "Next year in Jerusalem." Finally, for the first time in almost two millennia, Jerusalem was united under Jewish control. It was quickly proclaimed as Israel's "eternal and undivided capital."
As far as I can tell when Jews said, "Next year in Jerusalem," while observing Passover they were not simply wishing to move from their homes and buy real estate in Jerusalem. Rather it symbolized their hope in the coming of the Messiah and the dawn of the Messianic age. It was certainly not a claim of ownership over Jerusalem since the nationalist movement to create a Jewish state only arose in the 19th Century, many centuries after those words began to be used in observing Passover.

Also when the State of Israel captured East Jerusalem there was a problem. The nation states that recognized the State of Israel only recognized its right to rule its 1949-67 borders and regarded the land acquired in 1967, including East Jerusalem, as occupied territory, that is territory ruled by the State of Israel but not actually belonging to it. This is why many nations keep their embassies located in Tel Aviv, not Jerusalem. Partly to counteract this legal view of East Jerusalem as occupied territory the Israeli government proclaimed Jerusalem to be the "eternal and undivided capital." It is called that precisely because of Israeli control over East Jerusalem is not recognized by any other nation state including the US government.
More than 30 years have passed since those momentous events. Since then, we have seen the Yom Kippur war, the Camp David agreements, the Oslo accords, and the Wye River peace agreement. What we have not seen, however, is peace in the Middle East. There have been stalemates, skirmishes, invasions and assassinations, but no lasting peace.
The Yom Kippur War arose in part because the State of Israel refused to hand back the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt. In 1971 President Sadat offered to make a bilateral treaty with the State of Israel without the other Arab nation states but the Israeli would not pursue this offer. Determined to reclaim this territory President Sadat led Egypt to war with the State of Israel in 1973.
Is Ehud Barak now destined to succeed where all of his predecessors have failed? Inevitably, all attempts at peace stand or fall over the issue of Jerusalem. What is to be the destiny of the "City of Peace" and what part will that destiny play in the future of the Middle East and, indeed, of the world itself?
This is complete nonsense. While it is true that the issue of Jerusalem is an issue it is not the only issue. This statement shows that Ogwyn is allowing his preconceived notions to dictate his views on this topic.
Just think of it. For centuries Jerusalem remained little more than a footnote to world events, notable only for historical and religious reasons. The Jewish presence in the ancient land of their forbearers was minuscule and impotent. Who could have foreseen that after so many centuries away, millions of Jews would be regathered to their ancient land? Who could have imagined that a formidable Jewish army would overwhelm neighboring states after a lapse of more than two millennia since such developments? 
There is a source, however, that did foresee just such events! It is your Creator's instruction book, the Holy Bible. A variety of prophecies in the pages of the Bible foretold that the Middle East, and Jerusalem in particular, would be a major focus on the world scene in the end time. Some of these prophecies are found in the Old Testament while others were spoken by Jesus Christ Himself, shortly before His crucifixion.
Ogwyn talks of the Holy Land as "their ancient land" but this loses sight of the fact that when the nationalist movement to create a Jewish state began to arise in the 1880s the vast majority of people living in Palestine were Palestinian Arabs and the vast majority of the land was owned by Arabs.

Considering the many false prophecies that Armstrongites have made over the years it is clear that the COGs do not see the future. Over the years the COGs have altered interpretations to fit their purposes. HWA said the King of the South was Ethiopia. Later Garner Ted Armstrong, Keith Stump and now many of the COGs fervently teach that the King of the South will be some sort of Islamic power that will provoke Europe into going to war. LCG tends to think it will be composed of Arabs. There are differing opinions elsewhere among the COGs.

As it turned out the hopeful optimism that there would be peace collapsed after the right wing opposition leader, Ariel Sharon, visited the Temple Mount with an armed guard of "hundreds of Israeli riot police" to insist that this ancient religious site, one of the oldest Islamic shrines in the world which is so beloved to Palestinians and which is located in East Jerusalem and therefore outside of the State of Israel's internationally recognized borders, would remain under Israeli control indefinitely.
"The Temple Mount is in our hands and will remain in our hands. It is the holiest site in Judaism and it is the right of every Jew to visit the Temple Mount," he [Ariel Sharon] said after his descent. (Suzanne Goldenburg, Rioting as Sharon visits Islam holy site, The Guardian, September 29, 2000.)
Traditionally Jewish religious authorities forbade Jews from going to the Temple Mount lest they should unknowingly defile the Holy of Holies since its precise location is not now known. In the 1958 novel Exodus, author Leon Uris described the Wailing Wall, not the Temple Mount, as "the holiest place in all Jewry." But with the rise of the national religious Israeli Jews to political prominence after the Six Day War some have insisted on visiting this site contrary to the previous Jewish tradition and regardless of the tensions these visits create.

Many Palestinians protested Sharon's visit under armed guard. Far too often lethal force was employed against the Palestinian protesters by Israeli police personnel and soldiers. The violence spiraled out of control and escalated into a cycle of violence.

The second intifada erupted and over 5,000 Palestinians and over 1,000 Israelis were killed in 2000-5. It escalated into an armed insurgency by Palestinians but the State of Israel had vastly superior equipment compared with the various Palestinian militia groups. The State of Israel had an army, an air force and a navy as well as about $3 billion in military foreign aid from the US government per year. The insurgency was gradually worn down by the Israeli military led by the Israeli government under Ehud Barak and then Ariel Sharon. It was the worse era of violence in the Holy Land since the Six Day War of 1967. Finally an agreement was made at Sharm el-Sheikh in 2005 which put an end to the intifada.

But LCG's prophecies were not fulfilled. Christ did not return as LCG's leaders confidently insisted to their readers. It is now eighteen years since Ogwyn wrote this article. This dreadful cataclysm occurred and Christ did not return. And yet the LCG leadership expect us to just wait again for their predictions to occur.

It is clear that God is not with the COGs. There is no need to follow them.