Tuesday, October 31, 2017

PCG's Attempted Rehabilitation of Nixon's Role in the Watergate Scandal

Recently I finished reading The Haldeman Diaries by H. R. Haldeman, President Nixon's chief of staff in 1969-73.

While he was chief of staff Haldeman kept a diary detailing what happened from when he started in January 1969 until he resigned due to the Watergate scandal in April 1973. It is an intriguing portrayal of events within the White House under President Nixon.

I was quite taken aback at just how crippling the Watergate scandal was from March 1973 onward. The Watergate scandal is mentioned from when it first reached public knowledge after the break in at the Watergate Hotel and yet at first the narrative presented it as merely a problem, not the problem. But in early March 1973 the situation escalated and the White House found itself caught by the scandal spending long meetings with lawyers or other persons desperately trying to navigate their way around the taint of association with the scandal and finding no way out.

Every now and then since the January 2016 issue of their recruitment magazine PCG's 1% have tried to rehabilitate Nixon from the shame of the Watergate scandal. One example of this as may be seen below.
There is a lot of evidence exposing the Communists’ deliberate effort to get inside the Democratic Party. Like Paul Kengor wrote, they wanted to transform it “from the party of Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy to the party of Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama.” 
A book published in 2015 ... documents how President Richard Nixon worked to prevent this from happening. He was part of the effort to convict Alger Hiss, a Communist spy who worked in the U.S. State Department. For that, Nixon became a target among those on the radical left. History shows that the way Nixon was prosecuted involved law-breaking and lawlessness far more scandalous than what he himself had to resign the presidency over. (Joel Hilliker, How Did Socialism Become So Popular in America?, April 24, 2017.)
This train of thought is seen again in the passage below.
The major media are working to bring down President Trump. In one way, it is like Watergate. The real scandal then, however, was not what happened at the Watergate Hotel, but the series of lawless moves taken by Nixon’s persecutors to bring him down. .... we discuss the long-lasting effect the real Watergate scandal has had on America. (May 17, 2017.)
Well, after reading The Haldeman Diaries it should be stated that Alger Hiss is mentioned a few times in it but never as a cause of the investigations concerning the Watergate scandal. Instead Haldeman states in this book that Nixon would at times recall the hard work he went through during the Alger Hiss trial to inspire his staff to work hard. But Hiss is not mentioned as somehow causing the investigations about the scandal in this book.

At one point John Dan is quoted as saying the real problem was the cover up to prevent people knowing that the Watergate Seven were connected to the White House as during the course of the cover criminal acts such as lying to investigators and destroying potential criminal evidence occurred. The cover up had to be investigated.

Another thing to mention is that among the political right is this story that the sexual revolution was the work of the Frankfurt School led by Herbert Marcuse who devised cultural Marxism to bring it to fruition. There is no mention of Marcuse, the Frankfurt School or cultural Marxisn in this book. Little surprise there since that idea only began to spread within the political right in the 1990s.

Monday, October 30, 2017

ICG's Mark Armstrong Vilifies Clinton Again to Discredit Trump-Russia Investigation

With the news that Special Prosecutor Mueller has presented a sealed indictment as part of the investigation into allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia certain Republicans have brought up the allegations regarding uranium and the Clinton Foundation. Mark Armstrong also brings this matter up in his latest weekly update (October 27, 2017).

First he begins by citing events and trends he does not like and presents it as a simple story of the the political left engaged in some sort of sinister conspiracy to bring about "the destruction of Western culture". He insists that "every imaginable left-wing cause" is part of this alleged threat.
For years we’ve been outlining the destruction of Western culture in these weekly updates, particularly in Europe and specifically here in the United States.  It appeared to be intentional sabotage of nearly all our governmental agencies, pushing for open borders, for unlimited importation of refugees, unimpeded abortion rights, homosexual marriage, trans-genders in the military and every imaginable left-wing cause.  Every governmental agency appeared complicit in this agenda, from the IRS going after conservative organizations, to the FBI lying and covering up everything from the Fast and Furious scandal to the State Department, the CIA and Benghazi.  The list is endless, and we’ve noted discrepancies between reality and the media narrative all along the way believing that it was over.
Reading this passage I cannot help but be reminded of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Back around 1898 the Tsarist secret service created a narrative of hate that presented all sorts of trends and problems as being part of a sinister conspiracy to destroy society and take it over. This narrative was created in response to the increasing difficulty of justifying the inequitable and authoritarian state of society. To prop up Tsarism scapegoats were presented by certain interests with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo to blunt the widespread calls for reforms. This narrative insisted that elements of the sinister conspiracy included the destruction of Christianity, the promotion of pornography, manipulation of the government, control of the press, etc.

But the subject of condemnation was different. Whereas Mark Armstrong condemns the political left in general this narrative of the Tsarist secret service accused one particular community, namely the Jewish community, of leading this sinister conspiracy. The accusation was complete nonsense but it would cause much pain and suffering to defamed and innocent people.

The world is complicated and confusing. It can be comforting to listen to someone who says he or she is sure about what the real problem is.

He insists gay rights, high immigration and integrating Muslims as threats to his audience.
It seemed that there would be no going back.  The American Congress, all the federal agencies, nearly all the educational institutions and major corporations seemed fully invested in a whole new set of “American values,” which enshrined gay rights, unlimited immigration, and particularly Muslim rights as somehow critical to America’s survival.  Our founding documents, the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights seemed minor impediments to the last administration, small hurdles which were overcome by the former president’s pen and phone. 
Being right wing in regards to politics he exults in Trump's electoral vote victory last year. Criticism of his administration is explained away by blaming the media. Widespread suspicions about alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia is presented as an attempt by the media to explain away Trump's electoral vote victory.
The mainstream media has convulsed with thinly veiled outrage at the surprising election of President Donald Trump.  It must have been a mistake!  A fluke of some kind.  It couldn’t possibly have happened unless there were outside interference, such as a secret Russian plot in collusion with the Trump campaign to undermine the ascension of Hillary Clinton to her rightful position as the first female president of the United States.  You don’t need a reiteration of how it has all played out, you’ve been living it!
Criticism of President Trump is explained away as attacks by a supposedly left wing dominated media.
The mainstream media has been pushing the narrative, at a fever pitch, constantly, for the past eight or nine months.  Trump takes orders from Putin… He’s unfit, unhinged, emotionally volatile, rude, uncaring, un-presidential, and of course he’s a racist bigot who’s populated the White House with a bunch of white supremacists!  The accusations are legion, and they haven’t slowed in the slightest, even though the lid has been blown off the mainstream narrative over the past week or so, and it will only get worse.
He insists to his audience that the Steele Dossier can be ignored even though it was initially sponsored by a Republican rival to Trump.
It’s beginning to look like the whole “Russian Collusion” scandal was instigated by the Clinton campaign to affect the election’s outcome.  Many of the charges contained in the infamous “dossier” were easily debunked, and therefore not published (by an NBC subsidiary) until after Trump was inaugurated.  But, the whole world learned this week that the spurious accusations provided by current and former officials of the Kremlin, were purchased by agents of the Clinton campaign.  It was a bomb-shell that has the expert panels on the national networks shouting, squirming miserably, and trying to get to the next commercial break without a meltdown. 
Clinton lost the election in 2016. Mark Armstrong's preferred candidate sits in the White House.  Robert Mueller has issued his first indictment in the investigation in the Trump-Russia scandal. But Mark Armstrong insists to his audience that the real collusion with Russia was by Clinton.
The smirks, flirts and pouts have turned to confused deer in the headlights.  Anchors don’t seem to understand or comprehend the news of Russian bribery, exported uranium or the tens of millions of dollars routed through third countries into the Clinton foundation.  They still insist that the REAL investigation is Russia/Trump collusion, even in the face of a tidal wave of evidence blowing them right off their stools.  Some of the networks are still ignoring the bombshells exploding in their faces.  It may take another week or two before they’re forced to report the news, and it blows their entire past year’s investment in subterfuge to bits. 
As part of simplifying events he presents the Steele Dossier as a pretext for the investigation. The possibility that it is an honest attempt to investigatin allegations of possibly criminal acts is ignored.
It looks like the false Russian-inspired “dossier” may have been used to acquire warrants to tap phones and spy on the activities of private citizens, some of whom were employed by the Trump campaign.  The “dossier” may also have been used to justify the massive investigation that is under-way, the one many at the news anchor desks were sure would put an end to the Trump presidency. 
He insinuates that various investigators are tainted by the deal concerning uranium with a Russian company.
Instead, the top investigators (Comey, Mueller, Rosenstein, McCabe) and intelligence agency bosses (Clapper, Brennan) appear to have been privy to the bribery and corruption that handed the Kremlin 20% of U. S. uranium reserves, and yet allowed it to happen without notifying Congress or the American public.  Talk about the foxes guarding the hen house!
It must be stated that Comey is not one of the investigators.

He then cites Proverbs and enjoys the possibility that those investigating his preferred president are somehow guilty.
Isn’t it just perfect that those pointing the finger, promoting dark suspicions and reaching conclusions of criminality may themselves be guilty of the very crimes of which they were accusing others?
Clearly the paranoid style is alive and well in the offices of this particular organization. No good can come from this. Unlike the COGs I make no claims to know the future but it is clear that it is not good for just insist that people one does not like can be ignored. We should learn from a variety of sources and not be afraid to confront issues that we may not wish exist.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Mark Armstrong Blaming Fires in California on Undocumented Immigrant

After the Armstrongite yearly conference Mark Armstrong, leader of the Intercontinental Church of God, is back to authoring his strange, misanthropic weekly updates (October 20, 2017). This time he condemns the mainstream media for not agreeing with the politically charged rumor, largely assumed to be untrue, that an undocumented immigrant started the fires in California.

It has long been a common practice among the COGs to state that some sort of disaster had occurred near them but it did not directly affect them. This is assumed to be some sort of divine favor. Mark Armstrong continues that practice here.
Thanks to all who contributed to making the 2017 Feast of Tabernacles a joyous occasion from coast to coast.  Our site in Panama City Beach dodged a hurricane that might have ruined everything, but came to shore well to the west as a weakened storm, only bringing rain and some wind gusts to our site. ... The last day of the Feast (preceding the Last Great Day) at Lake Tahoe, we emerged from the morning service to see that the entire basin had filled with smoke. ... The smoke that inundated Lake Tahoe that afternoon came from two fires nearer by, and not the horrific blazes that ... took 40 some lives in Sonoma County.
The world has watched in horror at the wildfires that have ravaged parts of California including Sonoma County. And how has Mark Armstrong reacted to this crisis? Cite a rumor to scare monger about undocumented immigrants.
Did California really, "Set itself on Fire"?  That's what one headline (out of the mainstream, found at the gatesofvienna.net) reads, the story indicating that an illegal alien living under a bridge in Sonoma is the chief suspect in at least some of the fires that caused more than a billion dollars in damages and killed at least forty people.
The Gates of Vienna blog's name alludes to the Siege of Vienna by the Ottoman Empire in 1683 and it portrays itself as a continuation of that struggle. It spends a lot of its time scare mongering about Muslims. (Incidentally this Gates of Vienna blog gained infamy for being cited 86 times in a certain manifesto.)

But Mark Armstrong complains that mainstream media sources are not impressed with this rumor. The possibility that they may be right is not considered.
Contrast that with the headline in the LA Times, "Sonoma homeless man accused of arson, but no link so far to massive wine country wildfires."  It tells of the diminutive "homeless man" zipping around on a small bicycle, occasionally lighting brushfires, and caught by police after lighting a fire Sunday along a creek at a park.  But the Sonoma County Sheriff is on the job, tamping down speculation that the "homeless man" had anything to do with the raging fires that have destroyed so many lives in his district.
The Sonoma County Sherriff's warning about this rumor is not enough to prevent Mark Armstrong from using this rumor to scare monger about undocumented immigrants and to vilify sanctuary cities.
The "homeless man" is a twice deported illegal alien, who has been released on his own recognizance repeatedly (five arrests in the past year alone) despite an ICE detainer which would have meant his deportation, were California and Sonoma County not committed to sanctuary policies.  You don't suppose there would be any legal liability connected to his repeated release in the event that he is proven responsible for the blazes that destroyed the lives of so many citizens?
In the paragraph above he provides two links to the far right, Mercer funded Breitbart media outlet.

He then muses of his desire for the mainstream media to somehow fall by the information he alleges are being suppressed by them.
Likely, the mainstream media will turn a blind eye, if it's remotely possible, and never report a story so damaging to its beloved diversity dogma.  There are a series of bombshells that the dominant media is straddling, many of which would blow the news narrative of the past year sky high, along with the reputations of the organizations themselves and their ever-so-diverse anchors and reporters.  Not only that, but key players in the former administration will be implicated, assuming there is anything left of truth or justice in America's most respected institutions.
He insists that "much of what passes for news is not."
Sorting the truth from fiction has become a full-time job for anyone who tries to understand what on earth is going on.  We all know, from recent years of painful experience, that much of what passes for news is not.  The truth, meanwhile, if it should damage any of the heroes of politically correct dogma, is not even known to those who purport to be "America's most trusted source..."
He fantacizes of the possibility of the mainstream media being "run over by the very stories they refused to acknowledge". Whatever that means.
We'll have to wait and see if the awful truth will ever be acknowledged by those who purport to report it, for now.  Hopefully, it will become widely known in spite of every conceivable effort to deflect, falsely accuse and endlessly speculate.  We know that everything hidden will eventually be brought to light, but wouldn't it be nice if the mainstream media got run over by the very stories they refused to acknowledge?
He seems to imply that this alleged suppression of this rumor of an undocumented immigrant setting the fire to be "one of the greatest dangers" facing the United States.
This is a time fraught with dangers ranging from international rogue regimes like North Korea and Iran, fielding ICBM's and working to perfect nuclear weapons; to terrorists that have been planted throughout the western world and pose a continuous threat.  But one of the greatest dangers, and perhaps the one that is tearing at the fabric of the United States and other western countries, is the deception to which the news media is wholly committed.  It may well be another sign of the times in which we are living.
What hatred and loathing must exists in his heart that his response to these terrible fires in California is to blame it on an undocumented immigrant and vilify the news media for not blindly accepting this politically charged rumor.

The post is available until Friday.

Guardian: No New Intifada Expected in Jerusalem

The Guardian has released a report meditating on the tragic divides within Jerusalem. (Hannah Ellis-Petersen, 'Fear is a fact of life': the rooftop view of Jerusalem, The Guardian, October 23, 2017.)

The article is well worth reading. Near the end it is stated that the consensus is that no new intifada is likely to occur at present.
While the current consensus is that another intifada is unlikely anytime soon, Alami says the tensions of the city are palpable. 
Will anyone in the COGs bother to mention this information to their followers?

May peace soon come to the Holy Land.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Reading Mark Mendiola's Article, Allies or Adversaries? A Unique Alliance Imperiled (2001)

The twelfth issue of LCG's recruitment magazine, Tomorrow's World (January-February 2001), featured an article by Mark Mendiola of Pocatello, Idaho entitled "Allies or Adversaries? A Unique Alliance Imperiled." (pp. 20-24.) This was the tenth of several articles Mendiola would write for this recruitment magazine. Here Mendiola discusses relations between the United States and Britain to scare monger that these nations would soon endure military subjugation by a future European power.

Mendiola talks of the United States as being created miraculously linking respect for the sacrifices of the American revolutionaries with his religion.
Through a series of obvious miracles and decisive victories, Americans were able to defeat the red-coated British troops, overcoming incredible odds and predictions of imminent defeat. Following British General Charles Cornwallis’ surrender at Yorktown, Va., in October 1781, British regimental bands appropriately played the tune—“The World Turned Upside Down.” Indeed, it was! (p. 21.)
He talks of the current friendly relations between the United States and Britain despite the history of war during the founding of the United States.
Despite what British officials considered brazen armed rebellion against royal authority, the two nations since developed a fraternal closeness unparalleled in history. That affinity has flared to prominence during times of crisis, when, invariably, Britain and the United States have come to each other’s defense like brothers. (p. 21.)
He insists that the political power of the United States and Britain is to be explained by their ancestry.
The extraordinary surge of the United States and British Commonwealth to economic and military global preeminence during the 1800s and 1900s can be explained by understanding their ancestral origins. (p. 21.)
But both nations also contain many peoples who happen to have no such blood relationship with those claimed to be modern Israelites among the Americans and the British. This problem is conveniently overlooked. Also other factors contributing to their political power are marginalized.
The United States and Britain have fulfilled remarkably God’s promise that Ephraim would develop into a multitude (a company, group or commonwealth) of nations, and Manasseh into a great superpower. History confirms unmistakably this incredible fulfillment. Collectively, the United States and Britain are modern Israel, and have been a blessing to people of all races, backgrounds and nationalities, as God promised, helping maintain peace, prosperity and civility throughout the world. (p. 22.)
Problems associated with territorial expansion of these nations are ignored. Due to the tragic fact that the Native Americans had no immunity to numerous diseases that existed among Europeans many Native Americans were killed by introduced diseases that reduced their population and rendered them unable to prevent being conquered by Europeans. Were these mass epidemics part of (LCG's) God's alleged miraculous fulfillment of this promise to Abraham as interpreted by British Israelism?

Also the conquest and dispossession of the Native American peoples are overlooked. The British Empire expanded by conquering the peoples of the territories upon which it expanded. Africans were abducted from the continent and kept as slaves in parts of the United States. These problems tend to be ignored among the Armstrongite COGs in favor of the discredited dogma of British Israelism.
Chronologically, the British Empire reached its zenith before the United States achieved its ascendancy, but just as the sun has set on that once-proud empire, the United States is now in decline, giving way to an empire forming on the European continent. ... Britain’s decline, from the most powerful nation in the world to a small offshore European island, was as swift as the rise of the United States. (p. 22.)
But why did the British Empire end? It is often assumed in COG writings that (their) God just ended it but this ignores what really happened. One of many reasons why it collapsed was that the colonized peoples could no longer believe in its claimed legitimacy. As the colonized peoples ruled over the British Empire gained more education and learned more about their colonial rulers they perceived that there was no kind of superiority that entitled the British to rule over the colonized peoples. Once a critical mass of the colonized peoples perceived this fact British colonial rule became nonviable and eventually the British government cut their losses and granted independent to the colonies in response to the widespread calls for independence. De-colonization was, among other things, a pragmatic concession to the fact that British colonial rule could no longer justify itself to the colonized.

Mendiola then talks of the various aligned interests between the United States and Britain in the 20th Century. But since this is an Armstrongite publication Mendiola then scare mongers that a future European Empire threatens Britain and the United States. He also stirs up crude sectarian hostilities by presenting this threat as part of a wider clash between Protestants and Catholics.
Since King Henry VIII’s split with the Roman Catholic Church in the 1530s, the British defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 and the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century, British-descended nations have been bastions of Protestantism, most directly challenging Catholic religious supremacy throughout Europe and the western world. 
Just as the 20th century has been called the American century, the 19th century was the British century. As we enter the 21st century, the international dominance of those primarily Protestant peoples is being challenged by a resurgent Roman Catholic Europe, which for centuries has been at odds with British and American interests. (p. 23.)
HWA and many of the COG splinter groups teach that in the near future a European Empire will arise and militarily conquer the United States and Britain.

Mendiola then presents Britain as facing a choice aligning its political interests with the United States or the European Union. Note the crass appeal to anti-Catholic paranoia.
Queen Elizabeth II swore at her 1953 coronation “to govern the peoples of the United Kingdom according to their laws and customs” and “to maintain the Protestant Reformed religion established by law.” [A eurosceptic author] points out these pledges are being negated by Britain’s deeper integration with the European Union. Relations between the Vatican and London have become increasingly close in recent decades. (p. 23.)
He then scare mongers that the Britain under Prime Minister Blair was aligning itself with the European Union by helping to place some of the British armed forces under the command of the European Union. This claim is somewhat unusual among the COGs as they tend to assume that Britain and the United States will remain aligned with each until both nations are conquered by the future European Empire.
[Margaret] Thatcher has exchanged sharp words with Blair over the direction Britain should take. She favors maintaining a close relationship with the U.S., while he supports a pro-European course. Baroness Thatcher denounced Blair’s decision to commit troops to a European rapid deployment force apart from the U.S.-dominated North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which has maintained peace in Europe for more than 50 years. She called it “monumental folly.” (p. 24.)
He scare mongers that British military personnel would be propping up the European Union and would be dominated by Germany.
The European Union hopes to have 60,000 ground troops ready for deployment by 2003. British troops would account for about 20 percent of that force and would bear the EU’s 12-star insignia on their uniforms and vehicles. Ultimately, the force would have at its disposal more than 100,000 troops and some 400 aircraft and 100 ships ready to respond to crises. It would be dominated by Germany, whose militaristic past has thrust it into armed conflict with Britain and the United States in two devastating world wars. (p. 24.)
It is so strange how the COGs keep living as though we are in 1938 and not today. After World War II the United States placed military bases in West Germany and those military bases are still stationed there. How could a future German government possibly conspire to militarily conquer the United States if there are US military bases within German territory? But the COGs choose to just let HWA's dogmatic statements do the thinking for them.
The future of that historic fraternal relationship—that “grand alliance” [between the United States and Britain]—will be tested to the extreme in the years ahead.
Since the 1930s HWA and his imitators have constantly insisted that catastrophe would soon occur in the United States. Often (though not always) they have insisted that Germans would be the main perpetrators of this future military conquest. And always this dire threat has always failed miserably.

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.

Alternative For Germany Deputy Leader Said "Islam Does Not Belong to Germany"

Recently the COGs have been scare mongering about the Alternative for Germany party as a sign that the far right is on the rise in Germany. By chance I listened to an interview on BBC Hardtalk with Beatrix Von Storch, the deputy leader of the Alternative for Germany party. I found myself not particularly impressed with this party.

In one part she said that "Islam does not belong to Germany" claiming that "Islam" is plotting to impose Sharia law upon German society. This claim of Muslims in general plotting to impose Sharia law is a misconception common among Islamophobic demagogues. 

In real life many Turks moved to Germany after World War II to work as part of the reconstruction of West Germany. There have been many Muslims in Germany for decades and it sounds so strange to say a politician like Von Storch to say such a thing.

Monday, October 16, 2017

PCG Says California is Cursed by (PCG's) God

Currently the State of California is experiencing massive wildfires that have so far killed at least 40 people. PCG's response to these dreadful events is to insinuate that these fires are a sign that the State of California has been cursed by PCG's God. (Richard Palmer, Why Yet More Californian Wildfires?, October 14, 2017.)
Why is California being hit by so many fires? This is not merely a freak incident. According to California governmental statistics, the state has experienced nearly 6,000 fires so far this year. Over the same period last year, that figure was 4,400. 
The total area destroyed is also increasing. This year over 300,000 acres have burned. The five-year average over the same period is 200,000.
"Why is California being hit by so many fires?" Palmer asks. One could mention the baneful influence of climate change caused by the excess emission of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Let us look at another source to note how climate change appears to have exacerbated this dreadful situation.
Nonetheless, the California fires do align with what researchers expect to see as average temperatures rise. 
“The length of the fire season is increasing in the Mountain West,” said the University of New Mexico’s Hurteau. “The mechanism for that is in part because [as] the atmosphere warms up, the air expands and can hold more moisture.” 
This warming draws moisture out of plants, creating drier conditions earlier in the season. It also causes an earlier snowmelt in the spring, leading to more arid conditions in the summer. 
“We could have a lot more fire on these landscapes,” Hurteau said. (Vox, October 15, 2017.)
But as noted previously PCG's 1% have a history of denying or minimizing climate change in order to promote other "explanations" for various natural disasters that have occurred, such as claiming that such events are some sort of sign of the wrath of (PCG's) God for behavior contrary to PCG's teachings.

Palmer then quotes a booklet originally produced by PCG in 2011. This leads to Palmer making the following statement.
God is behind these weather disasters, and it appears California is being singularly pummeled
Palmer links to a 2007 article by PCG's leader, Gerald Flurry, which insinuates that the State of California is cursed because of the receivership case with WCG in 1979-80. Gerald Flurry's PCG is an offshoot of WCG which was founded in 1989.

These allegations are ridiculous. It is grossly grotesque that this absurd and offensive superstition is being promoted while so many people are suffering. PCG's 1% are wrong to claim that the State of California is somehow cursed by their bizarre, misanthropic version of God.

Incidentally this also shows why PCG's 1% historically have insisted that climate change is not real. If they admitted that the excess emission of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases were causing or exacerbating natural disasters and bringing about climate change then they could not make this absurd and superstitious claim that the State of California is somehow cursed by PCG's God.

If PCG's 1% admitted that climate change is real then they could not claim that these fires were some sort of sign by their hate filled parody of God.

It is strange to see that people who could say something so terrible and dreadful also think that they are worthy of being followed and getting tithes from the lay members and donors outside of the organization who are called "co-workers."

Sunday, October 15, 2017

PCG on Colonialism in New Zealand

New Zealand flag.

One peculiar claim HWA made was his insistence that in the Millennial reign of (HWA's) Christ all of humanity would speak one common language. Recently PCG has released an article citing the New Zealand Wars (1845-72) to prop up this bizarre claim. (Jeremiah Jacques, Does the World Need a Universal Language?, October 12, 2017.)
Does the World Need a Universal Language? 
A study of the main cause of the New Zealand Wars points emphatically toward the answer.
He presents this article as a study of "the main cause" of the New Zealand Wars. Let us assess his article.

First he talks about a battle in Opotiki that occurred in October 1865.
This bloody October 1865 clash was just one short chapter in the nearly-three-decades-long conflict now known as the New Zealand Wars. All together, the violence of these wars claimed the lives of some 2,150 Māori and around 745 representatives of the British Crown.
What a terrible situation! And yet this historical fact is now going to be used to prop up HWA's bizarre claim that there will only be one language among humanity during the millennial rule of Christ.

The article gets its chronology confused.
Historians agree that the seeds of the conflict were sown 15 years before that Opotiki clash. 
The author is in error saying 15 years. He actually means 25 years referring to the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 as is seen later in the article. PCG cannot even get that detail right and yet they expect their audience to believe that PCG's leadership is somehow uniquely connected to God.

[Update: October 31, 2017. Someone at PCG has since corrected the "15 years" statement to "25 years".]

Let us continue with the article.
Historians agree that the seeds of the conflict were sown 15 years before that Opotiki clash. Ironically enough, they were sown in pursuit of peace: Māori chiefs were seeking protection from sailors, convicts and merchants who were bringing strife into their villages. The Māori also wanted security from any potential takeover by colonizing powers such as France, and to bring an end to the intertribal Musket Wars that were killing tens of thousands of their people.
On the other side of the negotiating table were the British who sought to expand the reach of their stabilizing empire.
The author insists that the British had a "stabilizing empire." But this view depends on who you are talking to. In order to rule over so many peoples and territory it was necessary to subvert, cripple or even destroy whatever governmental institutions existed among those persons and within those lands.

PCG and many of the other COGs teach British Israelism, the idea that the white British and American peoples are descendants of the ancient Israelites mentioned in the Old Testament. Part of their teaching is that when the northern Kingdom of Israel was defeated by the Assyrians in c. 720 BC part of (their version of) God's punishment on this people was to withhold bestowing blessings upon them for 2,520 years until AD 1800 onward. At that point (their version of) God blessed the white British and American peoples with vast material blessings. They insist that the vast colonial expansion of the British Empire was ordained by (their version of) God.

Jacques then mentions that about 535 Māori chiefs and the British signed the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 but the Māori chiefs were using a version of this document translated into Māori whereas the English version used different words.
But due to mistranslations in the Māori version and misunderstandings, many on the Māori side did not think they were giving up sovereignty. Instead, they believed they were assimilating themselves into the British legal system and giving the British the right to keep the peace, but that the treaty allowed them to maintain the right to rule themselves and to manage their own affairs. ... 
During the months after the treaty was signed, the conflicts caused by these “different understandings” grew increasingly intense. They eventually erupted into war. ... 
And the dispute did not entirely end at the conclusion of the New Zealand Wars. To this day, the Treaty of Waitangi remains the subject of heated debate and disagreement between factions on the two sides. Disputes about the Treaty’s meaning continue to cause strife that is the antithesis of the harmony it was intended to bring about.
Jacques links to an article about remembering the New Zealand Wars of 1845-72 but it seems he has nothing to say about the article's discussion of the pain that the Māori people have endured since those times, an common experience for those who have been colonized over the centuries. That is a shame but unsurprising. Armstrongism's views of British Israelism leads people to think that colonization was a good thing and causes them to ignore what it wrought to the colonized such as the Māori, Native Americans and indigenous Australians.

But Jacques puts aside the issues of colonization to prop up HWA's bizarre claim that in the future there will be one language spoken by all of humanity.
In a world of 6,700 languages and 39,000 distinct dialects, communication problems are inevitable. ... Often, as in the case of translating the English word “sovereignty” into Māori, approximations must be used. ... In most cases, the confusion stays within the realm of embarrassment and inconvenience. But sometimes—as in the example of the Treaty of Waitangi—it ends up veering into more serious territory, and causing long lasting problems.
It is terribly naive to imply that difficulties in translation were "the main cause" of the New Zealand Wars. When one overthrows a government by force, such as the governmental institutions that existed among the Māori before colonization, it is not a misunderstanding. It is not because the colonized and the colonizers just spoke different languages. What an absurd thing to say.

Jacques insists that after the second coming all of humanity will speak a common language.
The Bible plainly shows that after Jesus Christ returns to establish the Kingdom of God on Earth, the peoples of all nations will come to speak just one universal language. ... this future worldwide language will also be free of the ambiguity and imperfection that corrupt all modern languages. It will be free of the type of impurities that contributed to the Crown and the Māori lifting up weapons against each other in the New Zealand Wars.
Again, it is naive to imply that "the main cause" of the New Zealand Wars and colonization were misunderstandings in a meeting in 1840.

Also why does he think it necessary to destroy all of our languages? Many languages are endangered and many people are struggling to preserve their languages so that the unique insights they contain and the heritage of their ancestors may be preserved. Many languages have already fallen out of use among humanity. It is not good that these communities all over the world are losing their languages. But this dogma of HWA's that there will be one language in the Millennium ignores the problems that the lose of languages presents to all of us.
In the present world, rife with linguistic confusion that contributes to frictions of all kinds, it is difficult to imagine such a bright and harmonious future. But the Bible makes clear that the dawning of that age of pure speech and lasting peace is very near.
HWA's promises, including his insistence that there will be a single language shared by all humanity in the near future, are empty words which will never be fulfilled. It is clear that Jacques' claim that misunderstandings were "the main cause" of the New Zealand Wars is completely wrong.

Reflections on Armstrongite Yearly Conference (Feast of Tabernacles)

Banned by HWA has a very fascinating post pointing out that many of the sermons taught at the Feast of Tabernacles are still very similar to what has been taught within the COGs for decades.

Feast of Tabernacles 2017 Sermons..."Don't these people's brains rot after listening to the very same thing for decades?"

Considering that what is taught is so similar this calls into question why is it necessary to attend these yearly conferences for eight days every year just to hear the same things?

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Bibliography of Roderick C. Meredth's Plain Truth About the Protestant Reformation

Over the last few issues of LCG's recruitment magazine, Tomorrow's World, they have reprinted a narrative that the late Roderick C. Meredith wrote back in 1958.entitled The Plain Truth About the Protestant Reformation. The purpose of the narrative was to discredit the founding of the Protestant churches as illegitimate in order to make joining his own organization seem like the righteous thing to do.

What follows below is a list of the books he cited in this narrative. It should be noted that even taking into account that it was written in 1958 he instinctively referred to older books, many of which date before the start of the 20th Century.

One wonder why did he choose to get his information from such old works? Did nothing made by more recent historians at least made him curious to learn about what they were saying?

  • Hislop, Alexander. The Two Babylons. 1853, 1858.
  • Schaff–Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, third edition, 1908-1914. Named after Johann Jakob Herzog (1805-1882) and Philip Schaff (1819-1883).
  • Walker, Williston. A History of the Christian Church. 1918. [Link omitted due to quality issue with at least one previously offered source.]

PCG Implied "Technocrats" Want to Confiscate Firearms (2013)

The idea of the federal government confiscating firearms at present is very unlikely and it is not a serious proposal despite the terrible massacre in Las Vegas. Those who wish to implement gun safety laws are more concerned by other issues such as restricting bumper stocks (which turn semi-automatic rifles into automatic machine guns even though automatic machine guns were banned from sale in 1986) and high capacity magazines. But despite this state of affairs PCG's Joel Hilliker once scare mongered of this largely exaggerated fear in his article, Beware the ‘Well-Educated Technocrats’ (November 11, 2013).

Here Hilliker is lambasting government officials he labels as "technocrats." At the time the presidency was held by a member of the Democratic Party and true to PCG's political stance towards the right they tended to condemn that political party.
These are the people who believe that monitoring the digital communications of all citizens is essential. They believe we’re only safe if they are the only ones with guns.
Who proposed that only the government should have guns? No one. What kind of guns is he referring to? All firearms? Does this include include pistols and hunting rifles? Or do such restrictions only apply to semi-automatic machine guns? He does not say. But these words make people fear that they might lose all their guns when in fact this fear s largely unfounded.


Also Hilliker's article also states that a certain congressman (who is now currently a senator) had given a presentation at PCG's Armstrong Auditorium back on October 31, 2013. This article was mentioned in a previous post.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Last Year PCG Thought Muslims Might be Thrown into Walled Off Ghettos

Back on July 14, 2016 an ISIL sympathizer took a truck and murdered eighty-four innocent people. Following this mass murder PCG's Richard Palmer wrote an article speculating that France would be compelled to throw Muslims into walled off ghettos in response to such violence.
Armed guards and security scanners will not be enough. It would not have stopped this attack—it has not stopped terrorist attacks in Israel. There the nation had to physically wall off the majority of Muslims in the region and set up secure checkpoints before there was a substantial reduction in attacks. These are the only kinds of action that can end this.
Even now, that is anathema to modern Europe. But this is the direction it will be forced in. A couple of hours’ drive from Nice, the city of Marseilles is one-third Muslim. The same is true for many big cities in Europe. Walling off these populations would not be easy, and it would prove much harsher to local Muslims than Israel’s West Bank barrier. (Richard Palmer, Nice Attack: ‘We Should Learn to Live With Terrorism’, July 15, 2016.)
Now a murderer in Las Vegas murdered at least fifty-nine innocent people and injured over five hundred people. He was white. His brother says he had no religious or political affiliation. We must face reality: That dreadful and extremist Islamophobic idea would not have stopped this terrible massacre. The murderer would never have been able to commit such a dreadful massacre without possessing deadly weapons designed only with the purpose to kill and maim human beings in an armed conflict.

Shame on PCG for letting such extremism be published on their media outlet.

PCG's Gerald Flurry Cited Gun Control Measure to Slur President Obama as "Another Antiochus"

Back in 2013 PCG's leader Gerald Flurry slurred President Obama as "another Antiochus" comparing him with two individuals he loathes: namely Antiochus Epiphanes, the ruler of Hellenistic Syria who infamously persecuted Judaism and even set up an idol in the Temple in Jerusalem; and Joseph Tkach who implemented the changes within WCG renouncing much of what was taught under HWA. In making this inflammatory accusation Gerald Flurry cited President Obama's signing of twenty-three executive orders concerning gun control following the Sandy Hook massacre on December 14, 2012.
On January 16, 2013, President Obama signed 23 executive actions on gun control, and then urged Congress to pass even stricter gun laws. When he signed those orders, he surrounded himself with little children who had written letters to him asking, Mr. President, would you please do something about the violence in schools? Who wants to debate with him when he has little children all around him? 
The president is so eager to restrict guns. But what is he doing to stop drug cartels making inroads into America? What about stopping the drug wars between gangs in America’s big cities? What success has he had in stopping Chicago, his home town, from becoming the murder capital of the world?  
I am sickened by what Adam Lanza did. But what makes me sicker is somebody using that massacre to promote a political ideology! I think those 23 executive orders are really about getting around the Constitution and conditioning the minds of the people to accept the president saying, Don’t worry about the supreme law of the land! Listen to me! Just like Antiochus did! (Gerald Flurry, America Under Attack, Chapter 3, 2013.)
More details about this ridiculous and inflammatory accusation may be seen in the previous post: Gerald Flurry Says President Obama is an "Antiochus-type" Figure Just Like Tkach.

Catastrophe in Las Vegas

Thoughts and condolences to all those affected by the mass shooting in Las Vegas. What a horrible crime that has been committed and how awful it is that so many innocent people have been harmed.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Mark Armstrong Moaning About NFL Protests and of the "Promise of Government FREE STUFF"

Intercontinental Church of God's leader, Mark Armstrong, has another weekly update posted (September 29). This time he complains about protests held by the NFL as the Star Spangled Banner played before their football matches. And as is often the case in these weekly updates he also brings up many other topics as well in a confusing word salad.

At first he talks about the recent controversy regarding monuments alluding to the tragic events in Charlottesville. Here his ire is reserved for those who argue or call for the removal of monuments that are now out of sync with how society is today.
Greeting from Tyler,

It is obvious that we live in a nation deeply divided, with most of the media, and now even the sports industry intent on dividing us further.  RACIST, white supremacists!  It's come to this.  There was no doubt, when the “protest” mob began pulling statues and historical markers down, that it was only the beginning.  It was all but useless to engage in the discussion of statues of Robert E. Lee because anyone could see it was just a stepping stone.  We knew they'd be coming after the Founding Fathers next, then the Constitution and ultimately the Bible, assuming somebody would be left to defend it publicly.
In the words "ultimately the Bible" Mark Armstrong links to a WorldNetDaily article from August 2003. Many within the COGs seem to adore WorldNetDaily and rarely criticize that far right media outlet. More on the COGs' reliance on WorldNetDaily may be seen in the posts below:
Mark Armstrong's initial paragraph leads up to his main topic in this weekly update: the protests held by the NFL.
Well, they have.  Now Americans are being made to choose between their love of football and their love for country.  Most have little idea what's going on around the world, other than the devastation of Puerto Rico with blame heaped upon the head of President Trump for not caring. Because there's an unrelenting argument out of every media outlet, as to whether football players should be allowed to express themselves in protest during the national anthem.  Commentator Mark Steyn made a great statement the other night.  “The national anthem can be a ceremony honoring the American flag and what it represents, or an opportunity for self-expression.  It can't be both.”
He claims that "Americans are being made to choose between their love of football and their love for country" to make sympathizing with athletes who choose to protest as an unthinkable option and equating it with somehow hating the nation instead of educating oneself about the problems that brought about these protests.

He writes that, "Most have little idea what's going on around the world". What does this statement mean? If he is implying that most Americans have little knowledge of world affairs then that is simply not true. It seems to be a foreshadowing of his later comment about the rise of the far right Alternative for Germany party in the recent German elections.

No mention is made of the fact that the mass protests were in response to President Trump's comments regarding NFL athletes who had knelt during the performance of the national anthem.

Also the lamentable situation in Puerto Rico after experiencing the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria is mentioned to complain about people's complaints about President Trump.

He also complains about racial issues, absurdly demonizes colleges as teaching its students to hate America, condemns environmentalism, and makes the inflammatory accusation that such people are prepared to wage violence even though back in 2015 the far left were responsible for only 1% of politically motivated murders in the United States. White supremacist extremists have been far more dangerous in regards to political violence in America.
People on every side of this issue are all ramped up.  Some burning their memorabilia and season tickets, others crying RACISM, Police brutality, and “Trump is a white supremacist!”  How this got to be about race is unclear.  But what's not, anymore?  College kids are being “taught” to hate the United States.  They're being taught to hate capitalism on the premise that it's “destroying the planet.”  They're ready to destroy property, stab or bludgeon any who disagree with them, and they want the downfall of more than statues.  They're going after the Founders, the Constitution and needless to say, the Bible.
He says, "How this got to be about race is unclear." The first athlete is knelt during the national anthem was Colin Kaepernick and he did that as an attempt to highlight the problems facing the African American community such as police brutality. It is hard to understand how he would fail to notice that point.

He then excoriates those he disapprove of as condemning the Bible and complains that these controversies over race are making Americans not notice the election of the far right Alternative for Germany party (AfD) in the recent German elections.
As far as they're concerned the Bible is full of hate speech, even the New Testament, because it condemns homosexuality just as directly as in the Old Testament.  The “race” rhetoric is so hot now that most have no idea what is playing out across the pond in Europe.  As you know, Angela Merkel won re-election in Germany, but the AfD party also won seats in parliament for the first time.  That is the anti-immigrant party, but its emergence into government also raises the specter of anti-Semitic German nationalism, and it certainly has Israel's attention and that of Benjamin Netanyahu. 
The Armstrongites teach that Germany is fated to conquer the United States in the near future consequently they see any advance of the far right in Germany as a sign that Germany's conquer of America is just around the corner even though Americans soldiers are based in Germany to this day as part of the NATO alliance. While it is certainly concerning it is not a sign that Germany will soon conquer the United States.

He mocks the protesting NFL athletes as wanting "government FREE STUFF." Where did that thought come from?
But that's no big deal, because we've got disgruntled football players to worry about!  It seems that all involved are in for a revelation.  We love our country more than football!  The promise of government FREE STUFF is no substitute for the respect we have for God, family, the American flag and all it represents.  History is being rewritten and re-interpreted by universities, media outlets and corporations to try to shame us into they’re [sic] socialist group-think.  But we already know where we stand, and if they'll excuse us, we're pausing for the Day of Atonement and soon leaving to keep the Feast of Tabernacles!  
So he also mentions the festivals that Intercontinental COG is preparing to observe. One particular feature of their Feast of Tabernacles is that followers are expected to attend a yearly conference that lasts for eight days. They call that their Feast of Tabernacles.

This is very different from the Feast of Tabernacles described in the Bible and observed by Jews all over the world today. Jews celebrate this precious festival by building booths on their property and celebrating the festival in their homes. They do not take their children out for eight days out of school. They celebrate it at home.

But when the false prophet of 1975 adopted this festival, partly influenced by the writings of the independent Adventist minister Greenbury George Rupert (1847-1922), HWA had little understanding of the Feast of Tabernacles so he ignorantly twisted it into an eight day long yearly conference which has imposed many restrictions upon his followers. What a terrible thing HWA did caused partly by his failure to understand this precious and ancient Jewish festival.

He also announced the mailing of the latest issue of his organization's magazine.
P. S. We’ve been getting everything done, all the mailings out and requests filled, so that we can attend the Feast of Tabernacles knowing that we're all caught up.  We mailed the new edition of 21st Century WATCH magazine last week.  If you've not received your copy yet, we will have them on display and available for your perusal at each Feast site.  We bid you safe travel, and God willing, we'll see you there.
The Feast is something very different from what Jews observed in the time of the Old Testament and today. Jews celebrate the Feast in their own homes in booths on their property which they build. It is a happy and joyous festival celebrated at home. They do not go to some far away place with their families to attend an eight day yearly conference filled with religious services.

And so we see that Mark Armstrong has given his followers yet another serving of his vituperative polemics against anyone politically standing to the left of him.