Thursday, April 29, 2021

Mourning the Loss of Power: Overview of the April 2021 Issue of PCG's Philadelphia Trumpet

In late February 2021 PCG released the April 2021 issue of their recruitment magazine, The Philadelphia Trumpet. Here the PCG leadership were still processing their feelings about Donald Trump losing power to Joe Biden.

The editors for this issue are Gerald Flurry, Stephen Flurry, Joel Hilliker, Philip Nice, Brad Macdonald, Richard Palmer, Jeremiah Jacques and Dennis Leap.

This issue had a circulation of 247,023 issues.

Gerald Flurry has an article moaning that his preferred political party lost the 2020 election. As part of that he denounces the Mueller investigation even though the investigation was completed years ago.

Gerald Flurry also has a side article hysterically insisting that the left are somehow trying to "erase America." How a community defines itself is continuously negotiated within the community so it is natural that how a community identifies itself will change from time to time.

Stephen Flurry has an article exploiting a Time magazine article to portray the Biden election effort as being some sort of conspiracy.

Stephen Flurry has an article denouncing the left. The Democratic Party is hysterically portrayed as being nation destroying even though it was the Democratic Party that managed to get more people to vote for their presidential candidate in all but one presidential election since 1992, the exception being the 2004 election.

Brent Nagtegaal has an article negatively portraying the Biden Administration as weakening US allies in the Middle East. The PCG leadership are right wing in regards to politics so they supported the Trump Administration which was also right wing. So the Trump Administration looked for allies mainly among other right wingers including in the Middle East. Now the Biden Administration happens to be left wing consequently right wingers are somewhat displeased.

It is worth noting that PCG has a motive to denounce Iran. Back in 1994 Gerald Flurry dogmatically proclaimed that Iran would fulfill the role of being the "King of the South" fated to provoke the future European Empire into routing Iran as part of a sequences of events said to occur just before Christ's return. If peace were to ever be made between America and Iran such a peace would discredit Gerald Flurry's prophecy concerning Iran. All this helps fuel PCG's motivation to vilify Iran.

Richard Palmer has an article discussing the Gamestop rally. As part of this article he tries to discourage get rich quick schemes. While it is certainly right and proper to discourage such things it should be noted that Armstrongism tends like a get rich scheme. Join us and you will not be killed by a bunch of angry Germans. Join us an you will become a God being ruling over your own worlds. Becoming a God being is the ultimate get rich quick scheme. The only difference being is that the reward is deferred to the afterlife.  

Mihailo S. Zelić has an article denouncing George Soros for his financial support of left wing causes. The fact that the political right have their own sponsors (like the Mercers) is ignored.

Mihailo S. Zelić has a side article trying to link Soros with Barack Obama. Back in 2013 Gerald Flurry labelled President Obama as "another Antiochus," comparing him with Antiochus Epiphanes and Joseph Tkach, Jr. Because of this declaration PCG is determined to bring up Barack Obama in their constant denunciations of the political left even though Biden is the President.

The Infographic discusses forty-nine executive actions by President Biden. These measures are portrayed in an alarmist manner as happening too quickly.

Richard Palmer has an article insisting that America is about to be double crossed by a bunch of angry Germans in the near future. Armstrongites have been using claims of an immanent invasion by Germans for decades to make their followers afraid of the outside world and the future. And yet such an invasion has never occurred.

Jeremiah Jacques has an article denouncing evolution. Many others do so thus this position in and of itself cannot to used to "prove" that PCG is somehow uniquely worthy of being followed. 

Gerald Flurry has an article insisting that (PCG's interpretation of) prophecy is true. In this article he makes the following statement.

God's reward is SUPREME GLORY. Christ has invited all who will follow Him prior to His Second Coming to proclaim His Message to the word to rule with Him for eternity! What a reward! (p. 27.)

In other words: get rich quick once you are resurrected or after (PCG's interpretation of) Christ returns. 

WorldWatch discusses the strength of the German military; Mario Draghi becoming Prime Minister of Italy again; Schleswig-Holstein in Germany opening a detention facility for people who refuse to follow quarantine rules; Germany trying to maintain military relations with Turkey (they are both in NATO after all); Ethiopia arresting fifteen people for allegedly plotting to bomb the Emirati embassy on February 3 (it is claimed that this was the work of Iran); Iran testing its Zuljana rocket on February 1; mass protests in Russia supporting Alexei Navalny when he returned to Russia; China passing a law allowing its coast guard to use force in the South China Sea; and it is mentioned that China gets a lot of its petroleum imports via the South China Sea.   

SocietyWatch discusses some left wingers in Portland complaining that Biden is not left wing enough for them; two hundred colleges teaching about critical race theory which is denounced as being somehow too much like Marxism (PCG often condemn things too left wing for their taste as somehow being like Communism or Socialism); an increase rate of people driving under the influence of marijuana (probably not as much as people driving under the influence of alcohol); and President Biden signing an executive order calling for equality for gays and transgender people in schools.  

Fred Dattolo (yes, that person) has an article advising the reader how to study the Bible. However since 1930s Armstrongism has developed an elaborate and complex interpretation telling the followers of Armstrongism to interpret the Bible in a rather specific manner. There is nothing in the Bible about a bunch of angry Germans marching their way through the streets of Edmond or Wadsworth after nuking the American nation. To think the soldiers of a supposed future European Empire would want to walk in a nuked land is absurd. There is nothing in the Bible that say, Germany is Assyria. This is an interpretation that the Armstrongites have created for themselves since the 1930s. While lay members fear of a future catastrophe the one percenters within the Armstrongite organizations have lived off of the tithes and offerings of the lay members for decades. 

(Incidentally there are actual Assyrians who still exist today. Armstrongites ignores them.)

The letters section contains letters from people saddened that Donald Trump lost the election. It is insisted that the election was somehow stolen from the Republican candidate.

God will definitely ensure that the truth comes out involving this election fraud. After all, God does works in mysterious ways and His timing is always perfect.

Another letter says:

What an encouraging article. We pray daily for Mr. Trump, and it was heartbreaking to see what happened. Knowing all our lives it is wrong to steal, yet seeing this take place is mind-blowing. Thank you for wring this article.

Here's a letter saying many African-Americans support Trump.

You are right on target. Why do they say it's a small set of black voters for Mr. Trump? That's flat out not true. My friends who are black voted for Mr. Trump. He is the one who held back the laws that are trying to come into play now.

The letter above is an example of anecdotal evidence. While this account may very well be true in this person's personal experience it proves nothing about how the majority of African Americans view this matter.

Joel Hilliker has an article calling for readers to be hopeful because (PCG's interpretation of) Christ will soon return and solve everything. The PCG leadership cannot leave their followers to despair too much.

But there is no need to be afraid of PCG's dire predictions of the future before Christ's return. PCG has a long history of making false prophecies a long history of making false prophecies which prove that the PCG leadership cannot see what will happen in the future.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Denying a Presidential Election: Overview of the March 2021 Issue of PCG's Philadelphia Trumpet

In early February 2021 PCG released the March 2021 issue of their recruitment magazine, The Philadelphia Trumpet. Here Gerald Flurry's false prophecy that Biden would not assume the presidency met with ignominious failure and the PCG leadership had to desperately explain it all away. PCG's false prophecy of Biden not assuming the presidency is merely one of many false prophecies produced by PCG since its founding in 1989.

This issue had a circulation of 248,523 issues.

Gerald Flurry has an article trying to explain away his false prophecy that Trump would remain as president by implying that Trump would later return to power. 

The side article condemns President Biden's inauguration.

Stephen Flurry has an article denouncing President Biden and attacking his legitimacy to lead as president. It is absurdly insinuated that the January 6 insurrection was the work of left wing infiltrators. He cites the presence of one individual, John Sullivan, amongst the insurrectionists as evidence that the January 6 insurrection was somehow the work of left wing infiltrators. But a little fact checking reveals that Sullivan's presence proves nothing as may be seen here and here.

Stephen Flurry has a side article insisting that sometimes a leader is not legitimate if PCG's God does not recognize that person.

Gerald Flurry has an article condemning the judges for constantly ruling against the Trump campaign's attempts to somehow overthrow the result of the presidential election in court. The judges' decisions constitute powerful evidence that the presidential election was run properly and that Biden was legitimately elected consequently Flurry has to explain away the numerous rulings against the Trump campaign.

Richard Palmer has an article scare mongering that in the near future America will be harmed by an economic blockade. He recites HWA's claim that the "sea gates" will soon be taken away from America. It is not mentioned that as early as 1939 HWA thought the Axis powers would seize those "sea gates." Once HWA's false prophecy failed miserably he merely rewrote the script to fit post-World War II conditions.  

The Infographic discusses how many consumer goods are transported over the seas. Did the PCG leadership only just notice this detail of modern day life?

Jeremiah Jacques has an article in which he interviews a Uyghur politician in the United States in order to condemn the Chinese government for their management of Xinjiang in recent years. However everything written in the article is undermined when Jacques implies that problems like these will only solved after Christ returns.

In God's government, and only in God's government, there is hope for Uyghurs of the present, the future and even the past. And for you and me. (p. 22.)

But according to PCG dogma "God's government" in the present era only exists within PCG. 

It is worth mentioning that for decades HWA and his imitators have taught that Turkey will be killed off en masse at the time of Christ's return. It was taught that Turkey would work with the future European Empire against America and the State of Israel in the future World War III (which will never happen the way the Armstrongites say it will). In retaliation the Armstrongite God would destroy Turkey. HWA and his WCG taught that Turkey was descended from the people of Edom, the descendants of Esau. However HWA appeared to not be aware that the Turks of Turkey are one branch of the Turkic peoples and the Uyghurs are one of the Turkic peoples. If Turkey is descended from Edom then the Uyghurs are presumably also Esau's descendants. Are the Uyghurs a part of "Edom" or not?  

Jeremiah Jacques has an article condemning a trade deal between China and the European Union.

Richard Palmer has a side article to scare monger that the signing of this trade deal reveals Germany's power within the EU. 

Andrew Müller has an article denouncing Pope Francis as a leftist and as being anti-capitalist.

Andrew Müller has a side article condemning attempts by the Papacy to try to resolve a long running dispute with the Chinese government concerning ecclesiastical appointments.

WorldWatch discusses Armin Laschet being elected leader of the Christian Democratic Union in Germany; Sweden and Greece increasing military spending; governments collapsing in Italy and the Netherlands; Germany sending arms to Yemen and Libya; Iran announcing to their plan produce uranium with 20% purity partly as retaliation for the United States' breaking the 2015 agreement with Iran regarding nuclear facilities; the various natural disasters in America; Iraq devaluing its currency; Russia building up its presence in the Arctic Ocean; Russia and China conducting a joint patrol in the South China Sea; and Japan building more battleships. 

SocietyWatch discusses the video game industry getting more money as a side effect of the coronavirus epidemic; two Democratic Party congresspersons calling for America to be more secular; a legal argument over clinics giving puberty blocking drugs to transgender people; and citing a report from Britain to imply that people who go to university are somehow less happy. It should be noted that PCG has their own (unaccredited) "college" thus PCG has a motive to discourage people from going to other institutions. 

Ryan Malone has an article promoting observance of the Sabbath from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown. This is a practice that Herbert Armstrong took from the Church of God (Seventh Day), a church that Armstrong would spend decades denouncing as a 'dead' church.

The letters section contains letters from people insisting that Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential election, the same claim that incited hundreds of Trump supporters to invade the US Capitol to somehow stop the election, an unprecedented attack on the US electoral system. Despite the dire results of casting doubt on the election without substantiated cause, as evidenced by the numerous court cases the Trump campaign lost, some people nevertheless end up believe what the PCG leadership tells them. Here's one letter from a person saddened after reading and believing PCG's claim that the presidential election was rigged.

Very sad to read that U.S. presidential elections were rigged and manipulated by people who are supposed to be role models.... A fair investigation should be done, and those involved should be punished. America, please set an example; we are looking at you for standards and ethical values. May the Lord save this blessed nation. (p. 34.)

Here's a voicemail response from a person who is probably a PCG member. Gerald Flurry proclaimed Donald Trump to be like King Jeroboam II of Israel. Who else refers to Trump like that?

My neighbor just got her January issue of the Trumpet magazine with the president on the front.... I read it, and I just want to say keep up the good work! Trump is the end-time Jeroboam, and people are going to start noticing this little Church very soon. (p. 34.)

Here's a letter from a person mentions that about seventy-five million voted for the Republican Party candidate without mentioning that about eighty million voted for the Democratic Party's candidate. The person also states that the Bidens have committed "evil behavior" without elaborating this accusation. 

Seventy-five million people voted for Trump. I don't think they are going away. I will be praying for Trump and so will the people who love him. This election could be overturned in some way. The truth needs to come out about the Bidens' evil behavior. I don't think Trump has given up. (p. 34.)

Here's a letter that inaccurately states that Iran already has nuclear weapons and is testing them. That is not true. Iran does not have nuclear weapons. It is terrible that PCG's constant scare-mongering against Iran has numerous readers afraid.

North Korea already said they are ramping up nukes. Iran is testing nukes. And China is becoming a reputable force. You said Germany will come in, and I'm waiting and watching. (p. 34.) 

Joel Hilliker has an article discussing pornography. When the Armstrongites talk about pornography it is normally condemned and that stance continues here. 

And so we see PCG continuing to keep their followers in awe and trying to gain new recruits. However PCG's many failed predictions prove that the PCG leadership cannot see the future.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

PCG Denouncing China Before the European-German Invasion of America: Overview of the February 2021 Issue of PCG's Trumpet

In early December 2020 PCG released the February 2021 issue of their recruitment magazine,  The Philadelphia Trumpet. For this issue the PCG leadership adopted a let's be scared of China theme. But for decades Armstrongites have insisted that some Catholic European superpower would militarily conquer the United States in the near future. If the Armstrongites really believe this is going to happen soon then how does it make any sense for them to be afraid of China since Armstrongites say China will not conquer America?

The editors of this issue are Gerald Flurry, Stephen Flurry, Joel Hilliker, Brad Macdonald, Richard Palmer, Jeremiah Jacques, Dennis Leap and Philip Nice.

This issue has a circulation of 246,497 issues.

Gerald Flurry has an article once again denouncing Barack Obama. Back in 2013 he made a booklet which denounced Barack Obama as being like Antiochus Epiphanes and Joseph Tkach. Denouncing Obama is a way of restating that he was correct to denounce him in 2013.

Brad Macdonald has a side article insisting Barack Obama really deserves to be blamed for the Democratic Party being too left wing for PCG's taste.

Stephen Flurry and Joel Hilliker have an article scare mongering about China even though it is taught by PCG that a bunch of angry Germans are fated to somehow militarily conquer the United States.

Richard Palmer has an article bemoaning political tensions between China and Australia.   

Gerald Flurry has an article scare mongering that China will somehow block the Panama Canal to American commerce even though he tells his followers that it will be a bunch of angry Germans who will somehow militarily overpower the United States. 

Andrew Müller has an article insinuating that China is somehow in league with drugs cartels and using drug addiction to weaken American society from within. While it is hard to prove a negative this accusations sounds rather outlandish. The results of opportunistic criminal activity does not necessarily require some sort of political motive. 

The Infographic promotes the claim some right wingers made claiming the 2020 presidential election was somehow stolen from Donald Trump even though such claims were rejected in the law courts about sixty times. 

Andrew Müller has an article condemning the power of big internet companies. 

Stephen Flurry has an article insisting to his readers that they must find a "true church." PCG teaches that they are the only true church in all the Earth. Within PCG the word Christian is redefined to mean PCG member since it is taught that everyone one who identifies him or herself as a Christian outside of PCG are false Christians.

WorldWatch discusses the German Green Party calling for increased spending for the military (probably because they are afraid of Russia); the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline between Germany and Russia being resumed; Hungary and Poland vetoing a stimulus bill for the European Union; the assassination of General Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in Iran on November 27, 2020 which PCG states is widely assumed to the work of the State of Israel; Russia planning to build a naval base in Sudan; the outbreak of civil war in Ethiopia; Russia building more naval vessels; a claim that China is building up its nuclear arsenal citing a report from a newspaper which was founded by a controversial religious organization from Korea; and Russia helping to enforce a ceasefire in the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia which is negatively presented by PCG as a sort of power grab by Russia.

SocietyWatch discusses a Supreme Court case about restricting when places of worship can open during the ongoing coronavirus epidemic; a reported increase in the homicide rate; maths scores for US students falling; and a report from Fox News saying more people are entering the US through Mexico without authorization. Though considering that PCG says a bunch of angry Germans will soon conquer the United States it seems odd that PCG chooses to worry about desperate people trying to make better lives for themselves and their families by moving to the United States.

Stephen Flurry has an article extolling General Douglas MacArthur as a man who followed orders and worked harder than others. The fact that the General was dismissed during the Korean War for arguing with his commander in chief, namely President Truman, is quietly ignored.

For some reason this issue reprints a letter that was printed in the January 2021 issue. The February 2021 issue mentions this letter originated from Sandes Estes, Texas. The January 2021 issue only mentions that this letter was from Texas.

Just a brief note of appreciation for such a wonderful and enjoyable magazine you all have sent me all these years. I read everything in it thoroughly. I like that nothing is sugar-coated or beat around the bush on current events, but you stick to the truth 100 percent. There are so many great articles I sometimes read over and over again.

So someone liked this letter so much it got printed twice. Is PCG getting so few letters they need to recycle one of them?

Brad Macdonald has an article saying a cycle of partisan reaction and counter-reaction will only stop by changing human nature. In Armstrongite dogma it is often assumed that such an event will only occur after (PCG's interpretation of) Christ return.

In this article Macdonald says the following:

In America, politics have been split in two, with animosity and rancor separating them more and more. (p. 35.)

PCG does not help by vilifying Barack Obama as a modern day Antiochus Epiphanes.

And so the Armstrongite tradition of spreading a message of fear and anger to potential recruits continue.