Monday, May 31, 2021

Notes from Plain Truth Issues (1962)

Continuing on from Post 1 and Post 2 let us now take a look at what was written in The Plain Truth, the recruitment magazine for HWA's organization which was then called the Radio Church of God back in 1962. 

Among people influenced by what was taught in HWA's organization, the Armstrongites, the period between the founding of Ambassador College in 1947 and the first suspension of Garner Ted Armstrong over an adulterous affair in 1972 tends to be viewed as a sort of golden age when all was well in the organization. But once any person actually looks at what was happening one will see it was no golden age. Many of the problems that continue to afflict the Armstrongite organizations were already well present within HWA's organization. Authoritarianism. Dogmatism. Racism. Homophobia. McCarthyite paranoia. A scorn for anything contrary to what was taught by HWA's organization. Superstitious loathing of medical science and doctors. Tithing with the expectation of gaining divine favor. False prophecies that did not occur as was foretold.

A major reason why the organization was so united was that HWA and Co. had been teaching since 1953 that the Great Tribulation would begin in 1972 with Christ's return occurring three and a half years later in 1975. With this prophecy the people in the organization had a common goal and a shared feeling of excitement to encourage them to expand the organization. But by 1972 the cracks began to show in HWA's organization. 

But that happens later. For now in this post we focus on 1962, the year in which civilization as we know it was almost destroyed as a result of the intense rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union in the height of the Cold War.

March 1962

The letters section features this response.

The truth is very different and sometimes, for the natural man, very difficult to believe until you have proved it for yourself. The real reason most people don't agree with God is that they are unwilling to do what he says. (p. 2.)

In the personal Herbert Armstrong talks about the costs of distributing and delivering a mass circulation magazine such as his recruitment magazine, The Plain Truth.

David Jon Hill has an article fearfully describing the rise of West Germany.

Herbert Armstrong also has an article denouncing psychology. He denounces it as "idiotic." He shrilly insists that psychologists have been brainwashed.

Herbert Armstrong mentions a prediction that the world would end on February 2, 1962. What fools! The Great Tribulation was clearly going to start in 1972 with Christ's return occurring three and a half years later in 1975, according to HWA and Herman Hoeh at this time.

They got some "Swedish biochemist" to do a guest lecture at Ambassador College to say, "It is UNNATURAL to get sick." What utter nonsense. Then why does every other creature on Earth gets sick as well?

Herman Hoeh has an article insisting that historians were not seeking the truth and cannot be trusted because they say things contrary to what HWA's organization teaches.

Lynn Torrance has an article hysterically entitled "German Rationalism Exposed!" condemning various German scholars for interpreting in ways contrary to what was taught by HWA's organization.

Let's see. Plain Truth readers of this issue were told not to listen to psychologists, historians or "German rationalism." That is a lot of people to ignore. This is one of the characteristics of cults, they try to control what information you have access to.

April 1962

There are letters. There's a rhetorical one. In one a retired policeman requests a few free booklets to check if it is not a racket. Little does he know the racket comes in later after one voluntarily sends a donation and when the interested readers is told to tithe to HWA's organization.

There's a homophobic letter from San Francisco, California written in response to an article by Roderick Meredith. When this was written the LGBT community had little protection from the widespread social stigma imposed upon them at this time. At this time same sex attraction was even considered a disorder by the American Psychologist Association although psychologists at this time were starting to rethink such things.

"I have read 'The Shocking Truth About Queer Men' several times. The facts on the existence of effeminates are obvious and self-evident, but your analysis of the reasons and your quotations from the Bible are quite amazing. This may be the reason why I have been attracted to you. Most so-called Christian churches are effeminate in their very nature. They don't teach religion in a manly way. They paint Christ as a weak-kneed cream-puff.

"I am also amazed at the youth in your organization and I am sure that many of your listeners and followers are young people. I am 33 myself. Your religion is the most down to earth religion I have ever heard."

Here's a rhetorical letter from Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

You are either the biggest fraud in this century or the nearest thing to divine truth since Paul. If you are the former, God will deal with you in due time in His own way. If you are the latter, you are and could be the greatest blessing to this hellbent world that has happened in this century. I am persuaded you are the latter. 

Garner Ted Armstrong talks about John Glenn's orbiting of the Earth.

Herman Hoeh promotes their teaching that Jesus died after being stabbed with a spear citing an unusual reading of Matthew.

Roderick Meredith has an article assuring potential students that Ambassador College is wonderful. You have got to join.

Garner Ted Armstrong has an article explaining why Jesus was born in 4 BC (before Christ). In the article he cites Alexander Hyslop's anti-Catholic polemic, The Two Babylons, a thoroughly discredited book. It is presented in an alarmist manner as evidence of living in a paganized world.

Lynn Torrance's denunciation of "German rationalism" continues.

Garner Ted Armstrong gives parenting advice. Similar article appear in many issues of HWA's recruitment magazine at this time. In 1963 Garner Ted Armstrong would release a booklet entitled The Plain Truth About Child Rearing which was promoted within HWA's organization. Many survivors of Armstrongism say this booklet contributed to creating a culture of harsh, even abusive, treatment of children within HWA's organization in which corporal punishment was widely encouraged. Knowing these facts we reach the conclusion: Don't take parental advice from Garner Ted Armstrong's dreaded writings about child rearing. 

May 1962

Here's a letter from a lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia.

I am a lawyer by training and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the articles in The Plain Truth. You really enlightened me about being born again. I have checked you in the Bible and see that you are so right. I am glad that I am not as confused in Georgia Law as some so-called Theologians are about the Bible! (p. 2.)

Walter Martin in his book, The Kingdom of the Cults, was utterly unimpressed with HWA's interpretation of being born again. He even stated that he believed that HWA was maliciously lying about this doctrine. HWA had no professional training in reading the New Testament in Greek.

Here's a letter from Northern Ireland.

What you have been revealing from the Bible certainly seems to be taking place before our very eyes. It pays to watch world events. I read your magazine every month. There is nothing to compare with what you preach, and it is backed up by Scripture. (p. 2.)

Little did this person know but in just a few years Northern Ireland would be plunged into a protracted civil war. 

In response to a letter commenting on the stance of HWA's organization that there would be no war between the United States and the Soviet Union an editor of the recruitment magazine wrote this:

Many people wonder if this year will see war with Russia. Do you know? If not, write immediately for the free article 'Will Russia Attack America?' (p. 23.)

Later that year the United States and the Soviet Union very nearly went to war over Cuba. 1962 is the year civilization as we knew it nearly got destroyed. Thankfully the possibility of nuclear war is now much less likely.

Herbert Armstrong finds himself having to apologize for errors in his March 1962 personal regarding the cost of magazine distribution.

Gene Hogberg has an article scare mongering about elections in Argentina that favored Peronist candidates. The rise of left wing political parties in Latin America are portrayed in a hostile manner.

Herbert Armstrong denounces the idea that the law was nailed to the cross.

Garner Ted Armstrong warns of Europe rising up.

Garner Ted Armstrong has an article asking, how do you believe what you believe? Here this is a recruitment trick designed to make people doubt themselves in order to make them more likely to just go along with what HWA's organization says.

J. W. Robinson has an article saying that Jesus had four younger brothers and at least two sisters who were the children of Joseph and Mary after Jesus' birth.

Roderick Meredith has an article stating that baptism by immersion is necessary.

The Question and Answer discusses sports, namely which sports are allowed or not. What about gambling? In my experience LCG opposed gambling so it is reasonable to assume the same of HWA's organization in 1962. The other question concerns when Jesus was born.

Lynn Torrance has an article entitled "The real origins of Communism!"

Herman Hoeh has an article denouncing evolution because it contradicts what HWA's organization says on this topic.

Robert Boraker has an article speculating if West Germany was somehow colluding with the Soviet Union.

June 1962

Here's a letter from a serviceman in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina who said he just cannot find anything wrong with what HWA and followers are saying in their recruitment which is designed to persuaded to join HWA's organization.

For some time I have been studying religions and searching for one that really made some sense. Then one day a friend of mine told me about your program and I tried you out. At present I have been listening for almost 2 months and I do not know whether to fully believe you or to take what you say with a grain of salt. I must admit that what you say is quite logical but at the same time I am afraid that what you say might really prove to be true. Last night I sat down with the March Plain Truth and I spent almost 3 hours trying to prove that what you said was false but at the end of that time I found that I could not tear down one single sentence out of any article. Instead I found more truth in it than I had at first. (p. 2.)

They print a letter from minister who read up some of their recruitment writings are concluded, "Now I am certain it is the true gospel." 

Herbert Armstrong says Moscow was worried about East Germany's slugging economy. This topic is then used to promote his scare mongering about a future European Empire.

Gene Hogberg has an article discussing President Kennedy ordering the steel business to not raise the price of steel.

Jack Elliot has an article entitled, "What's wrong with science?" What is wrong? Namely scientists are not saying what HWA's organization says.

Roderick Meredith has an article about mental health. This is not a good idea. 

Herman Hoeh moans about the national debt reaching a trillion dollars.

Garner Ted Armstrong has an article entitled, "The CURSE of TELEVISION." Once again HWA's organization is trying to control what information their followers are accessing.

Albert Portune has an article asking "Is sin obsolete?" Of course not, is the answer provided by HWA's organization.

July 1962

There are letters. This is one letter condemning modern child rearing because HWA's organization told this person to view it that way. One letter from Burma (Myanmar). One Canadian letter says all the articles sound the same which, strangely enough, is meant as a compliment. One letter compliments the recruitment magazine for their "scoop" on the rise of the European Common Market.

Herbert Armstrong denounces Britain's attempt to join the European market. Little did he know that President de Gaulle would carefully keep Britain out. Britain would not enter until 1972. HWA then recites his teaching of a future European Empire. While reciting this teaching he says this:

Meanwhile the chief bishops of the Church, at Rome, became more influential than civil rulers. In 554 A.D., at the behest of the chief Bishop of Rome, now called the Pope, Justinian restored the Empire in the west. He was crowned by the Pope. He knelt before the Pope, acknowledging his supremacy. (p. 25.)

How did Herbert Armstrong know that Justinian was crowned by the Pope? How did he know that Justinian bowed before the Pope? It would be good to know if there are any historical sources to back up these claims of his. I welcome clarification. But until someone does so I am saying this: I think Herbert Armstrong made those details up.

Herbert Armstrong has an article saying education will be so much better after Christ returns.

Herman Hoeh has an article scare mongering about President de Gaulle stoking up nationalist feelings in France.

Lynn Torrance has an article scare mongering about the Communists. He confidently insists that the political moves of the Soviet Union in international relations can be easily explained by reading some statements Lenin made decades ago in a drastically different political setting.

Well-meaning people speculate, theorize, and rationalize that what the communist leaders have written they do not mean, but history clearly shows that they have not deviated from this blueprint, from this plan of world conquest--one iota. (p. 4.)

Back in Lenin's time, aside from World War I, America tended to adopt an isolationist stance regarding European politics and tried to stay out of their squabbles. This approach was abandoned only after the Pearl Harbor attack and Hitler's declaration of war against the United States which was decades after Lenin's time.

On page 16 there is a photo of a university building with this mean spirited caption. In this context "materialists" is used as sort of like a euphemism for Atheists, just slightly more specifically connected Communists.

This massive, cold-appearing University of Freiburg, Germany, teaches German rationalism. How many cold-blooded materialists has it produced?

Roderick Meredith has an article promoting what he calls seven laws of radiant health. His seventh law is avoid bodily injury. What profound words! How could anyone outside of HWA's organization figure out something like that?

Herman Hoeh again has an article denouncing historians for not agreeing with HWA's organization's teachings regarding history.

J. W. Robinson and Gene Hughes has an article denouncing radiocarbon dating as a "fraud" because they were being used to justify an interpretation of history contrary to what was taught by HWA's organization.

August 1962

There are letters. 

  • One letter is from a person who listened since 1934 and only asked for a subscription now. 
  • Another from South Africa is written in a humble manner. 
  • One letter from Ireland speaks of gross materialism and praises HWA's recruitment magazine for being free. 
  • One letter denounces TV and says it will be removed from the house. 
  • There are four letters praising tithing insisting that it will miraculously give good financial fortune to any tither. 
  • One letter from Detroit is from a person who says he is not interested in ordinary programs anymore after listening to what was produced by HWA's organization. 
  • One letter from Ohio letter praises a positive approach in the pages of the recruitment magazine not knowing that Armstrongism is very negative about society outside of its influence and control.

L. E. Torrance has an article denouncing a supposed proposal within the Kennedy Administration to seek some sort of agreement with the Soviet Union.

Garner Ted Armstrong has an article superstitiously denouncing ill health as a curse.

Autobiographical installment mentions the marriage of his younger daughter.

L. Leroy Neff has an article advising readers how they can listen to their recruitment radio broadcast if they are having trouble listening to it.

Garner Ted Armstrong has an article explaining why his readers need a church, specifically HWA's organization.

Roderick Meredith has an article saying that Christ's return is necessary.

David Jon Hill has an article assuring readers that hell fire is not real. Instead HWA's organization taught that one is annihilated for all eternity in the Lake of Fire. It tends to escape the notice of Armstrongites that this is functionally speaking the same thing. HWA merely removed consciousness from his interpretation of the eternal punishment, imitating the Jehovah's Witnesses. As he did with many doctrines. 

September 1962

There are letters. One letter says there really is no follow up by HWA's organization. The follow up only happens after you pay. To use an unwitting letter to imply that there there is no follow up is deceptive. 

One letter from Tasmania letter says HWA's organization are the warning sent by God and this person knows this because the Armstrongites told him to believe that.

Herbert Armstrong denounces Pablo Picasso as a bad painter. He cites Picasso's confession. HWA assures his readers it is genuine. It was fake. HWA cited a fabrication to denounce Pablo Picasso.

Herbert Armstrong has an article telling his readers what the twenty-first century will be like. Back then he was saying that Christ would return in 1975.

Dibar Apartian has an article about France becoming more nationalistic because, can you believe this, a nation will pursue its own interests and sometimes those interests will contradict those of another nation. How horrifying.

David Jon Hill has an article telling his readers why the vast majority of people of the Jewish community do not choose to be Christians.

On page 20 in Herbert Armstrong's autobiographical installment he mentions a Catholic bishop, namely Bishop Hunt of Salt Lake City, giving an address during the founding of the United Nations. At the time HWA very talked up that address as a sign of the rise of the future European Empire. But here it is presented as just another detail. This detail of history was no longer useful to him in scaring his followers of some coming catastrophe.

Herbert Armstrong has an article insisting that Christians are supposed to observe the seventh day Sabbath, Friday sunset to Saturday sunset, contradicting the vast majority of Christians throughout history. This is a useful wedge issue which is used to cause readers to become disillusioned with their churches since the vast majority of churches worship on Sunday. However when Christianity began to be accepted among non-Jews a consensus was reached that it is not necessary to become submit to Jewish religious rules in order to become a Christian. This may be seen in Acts 15 and Paul's letter to the Galatians which, contrary to what some Armstrongites have mistaken thought, is actually a polemic condemning "Judaizers" who were telling non-Jewish Christians at that time that they needed to be circumcised to enter the Christian faith. 

Roderick Meredith has an article presenting what is called "the inside story" of The World Tomorrow recruitment radio broadcast.

Herbert Armstrong has an article about fasting. HWA's organization taught followers to fast as a religious ritual. Fasting is one of the rituals associated with the Armstrongite Day of Atonement and it is also encouraged to be done on a somewhat regular basis as a religious ritual.

October 1962

Here's one letter from a person in Cincinnati, Ohio who had lost faith in his church after paying attention to HWA's recruitment materials.

My wife and I have requested that our membership in a local church be dropped because the minister said you probably preach the second coming of Christ. When questioned on his views of German Rationalism, he said he agreed with the rationalistic approach. His entire philosophy of 'religious belief' seemed to me, at least, to be based on a theory that the Biblical truths are merely of historical interest, and that modern psychology and rationalistic beliefs are the answer to the present day unmoral and amoral outlook.

Here an anonymous letter from a person excited after hearing HWA saying they are preparing a history book.

On a recent broadcast you mentioned a new and unique history book that is about to be published--unique in the fact that it considers the fact that God intervenes in the making of history! I wonder if you would inform me of the title so that when it comes out, I can acquire a copy. 

The recruitment magazine's editors responded as follows:

Only the Compendium has been written. When the entire book is published, it will be announced.

This is clearly referring to Herman Hoeh's Compendium of World History. It was never released to the public. It was largely based on a book publicly available since 1952. In his later years Hoeh himself would disavow this book. Only with the innovation of the Internet has this narrative of Armstrongite pseudo-history (Volume 1 and Volume 2) become available to the public.

Herbert Armstrong has article insisting his supposed future European Empire will soon change everything. HWA taught that this future European Empire would rise into great power and militarily conquer the United States and take Americans as slave labor back to Europe in the three and a half years just before Christ's return. Fifty-nine years later the Armstrongites are still waiting.

HWA's autobiography reaches 1945.

Page 15 features portraits of Richard David Armstrong and Garner Ted Armstrong taken in 1945 when they were about seventeen and fifteen years of age respectively.

Herbert Armstrong continues to tell his readers what the 21st Century will be like. In this article HWA recites his interpretation of Ezekiel 38 and 39. He interprets those passages as predicting a massive invasion of what used to be Mandatory Palestine by the Soviet Union, China and others allied with them. HWA asserted that the Holy Land at this time would be inhabited by Americans, British and Jews recently liberated from the future European Empire. HWA insists this invasion would occur a few years after the return of (the Armstrongite) Christ. HWA asserts that (the Armstrongite interpretation of) Christ will supernaturally kill them off in an instant and in this manner the rule of the Armstrongite God Family will spread over all humanity.

Herbert Armstrong continues to insist that Christians are supposed to worship on the seventh day Sabbath, namely Friday sunset to Saturday sunset, instead of Sunday. This is one way how he denounces and vilifies the vast majority of Christian churches 

Roderick Meredith continues his account of the recruitment broadcast of HWA's organization, The World Tomorrow. The article contains a photo of Dibar Apartian on page 45.

In that article Meredith boasts about Herman Hoeh's upcoming world history book. It was never published for the general public. Why would they refuse to publish revelation from the Armstrongite God? Was it too costly to publish? They published HWA's autobiography but not Hoeh's "World History." Or maybe they realized that even they, the leaders of HWA's organization, could not bring themselves to publish such a flawed book. Apparently it was largely influenced by some other author. Hoeh himself in his latter years would disavow this narrative work of his.

Here's Meredith writing up about himself.

About Your Author

... As I told you last month, I came to Ambassador College in the fall of 1949 after having had one year of college in Missouri first. Later becoming student body president, I graduated from Ambassador College in 1952 and soon found myself immersed in conducting baptizing tours from coast to coast and up into Canada, preaching, teaching, writing and editing. 

I have had the privilege of taking three trips to Europe, and one through Central and South Africa. And I have conducted six evangelistic campaigns--two here in America, and four in Great Britain. I have been blessed with a wonderful wife and three children--and have found that serving in this great Work of God is the most interesting, challenging and rewarding career on earth today!

For unlike the ordinary preachers or college professors, those of us directly in God's Work have the realization that we are in a tremendous CRUSADE. Although countless overtime hours are taken out of the night, sacrifices are made in many ways, nevertheless there is tremendous JOY experienced in seeing human lives really CHANGED from wretchedness and sin, to lives filled with peace, overflowing love and happiness. (pp. 46-47.)

Meredith said, "I ... have found that serving in this great Work of God is the most interesting, challenging and rewarding career on earth today!" But how could he know that? He spent his entire adult life working for Armstrongite organizations.

November 1962

This issue features a lot of letters responding to the German language arm of HWA's organization which was headed by Herman Hoeh at this time.

Meredith continues describing the radio broadcast of HWA's organization, The World Tomorrow. Includes a write up of his uncle, C. Paul Meredith, the doctor of veterinary medicine.

Robert Boraker has an article scare mongering that Nazis at the time in 1962 were plotting to unleash World War III on the world. At one point there is an article heading entitled, "The Germans Lack Imagination."

On page 8 is a photo of several books presented as further evidence that the Germans are plotting to launch a third World War against the United States. (Please note: Links are not endorsements.) Here they are: Book 1 (1945), Book 2 (1942), Book 3 (1961) and Book 4 (1944). Boraker also cites Book 5 (1944) and Book 6 (1953). So four books written before 1946 are presented in 1962 by Boraker to insist that the Nazis have gone underground and will rise up again to conquer America. He is imitating what HWA said in his booklet, 1975 in Prophecy (1956). What nonsense. Fifty-nine years later the Armstrongites are still waiting for the European attack.

Garner Ted Armstrong has an article scare mongering about Germany rising up as a great power.

HWA's autobiography heads into 1946. It features a photo of Eva Armstrong (née Wright), HWA's mother.

Herman Hoeh has an article saying that historians are wrong to say that humanity has existed for more than six thousand years because this contradicts HWA's interpretation of Genesis 1 and 2. Hoeh's article contains racist photo captions describing inhabitants of New Guinea.

His "world history" is presented as being "forthcoming." It was never released to the public by HWA's organization.

Roderick Meredith has an article saying you need to change because the Armstrongite Christ is about to return.

December 1962

There are letters. Four letters are responses to the German language arm of HWA's organization. Two letters condemn the banning of traditional holidays like Christmas, Easter and Halloween by HWA's organization for their followers. One letter from Sarawak is from a person who reads them from the public library.

Here's a letter from a person from Fort Bliss, Texas who says he studied the Sabbath issue for himself.

I accepted your often-quoted challenge of 'Prove it for yourself' and took a seven-day leave from the army purposely to determine the truth of the Sabbath Day. For one week I poured through historical literature from the greatest minds of the centuries, and the product of my search, without a doubt, firmly convinced me that the true Sabbath is not, as I have always been led to believe, Sunday, but rather the traditional Jewish Sabbath; Friday sunset to Saturday sundown.  

HWA was not trained in how to understand early Christian history so he failed to understand what happened and tragically passed on his misunderstandings onto thousands of people. The first Christians were Jews so they celebrated the Sabbath because they were Jews. But once non-Jews started accepting Christianity the question was asked, Are they Jews as well? The consensus in the early Christian church was, No, they are not. That is why in Acts 15 the council in Jerusalem did not tell non-Jewish Christians to observe the Sabbath. They were told to do other things but not that. There is no need for a Christian to observe Jewish religious rules such as the Sabbath.

A juvenile girl in Texas writes them a letter asking them to no longer send her the recruitment magazine.

Would you please stop sending me The Plain Truth magazine. I am just 15 years old. I don't read your magazine and I don't understand it, besides my pastor said it was not good to read. You are wasting God's money by sending it to me. 

The recruitment magazine's editors petulantly responded to this juvenile girl in this manner. They let themselves sound like a bully. 

Well, of course, you can't understand it if you don't read it. But your pastor wouldn't know anything about The Plain Truth unless he were a regular reader himself!

There are all sorts of reasons why a pastor in Texas may have become aware of HWA's organization and realized he needed to guide the lay members of his church away from HWA's organization.

Here's a tragic letter from Albright, West Virginia. It is from a person who has decided to start tithing to HWA's organization even though this person's financial situation has progressively gotten worse and worse.

We havn't been tithing for some time, but we should have been. After we quit tithing, things did get rough. It seemed as if there was always something popping up to take twice the amount of our tithes. And we have gotten further in debt than we ever were before. Things aren't any better than they were a year ago, but I have decided to tithe anyhow. In fact, things are a lot worse, but this time I have already promised God that I will tithe, even if I starve to death.

HWA's organization responded to this letter with an ad for the reader:

More of our readers need the booklet, "Ending Your Financial Worries." 

Garner Ted Armstrong has an article assuring that his readers that he knew that the United States and the Soviet Union could not possibly go to war during the Cuban Missile Crisis because HWA's organization had insisted that a future German-led European Empire would militarily conquer the United States instead. In reality those two great powers got very close to going to war. It is entirely possible that the Cuban Missile Crisis could very well have sparked off a full scale nuclear war unleashing destruction on a vast scale in 1962. It is good that such a dreadful thing did not occur. The sheer horror of mass nuclear destructions makes it an most unattractive option for political leaders and people of conscience.

Herman Hoeh has an article discussing a border war between China and India. At this time HWA's organization taught that India would be conquered by Communists so that they would be part of the invasion described in Ezekiel 38 and 39. It was said by HWA's organization that this would take place several years after Christ's return.

HWA's autobiography discussed acquiring the property that would become the unaccredited Ambassador College. Page 16 contains photos of the Armstrong family.

Herman Hoeh has an article denouncing Christmas as forbidden to be observed by the followers of HWA's organization.

Herman Hoeh has an article insisting the vast majority of Christians are wrong to worship on Sunday but rather they must observe the seventh day Sabbath, Friday sunset to Saturday sunset. Unfortunately many Christians do not know how to respond to this rhetoric attack against the vast majority of Christians. When non-Jews began to accept Christianity it was decided that these non-Jewish Christians did not need to become Jews in order to be Christians. This may be seen in Acts 15 and Galatians which is actually a polemic condemning "Judaizers" who insisted that Jewish ritual law must be observed if one wishes to become a Christian. An Armstrongite will say, But the Sabbath was in the Ten Commandments so you cannot change it. Armstrongites don't want to change but the New Testament did.

And anyway the real purpose of HWA's organization telling their readers, You must worship on the Sabbath, is get them to leave their churches and join HWA's organization. One of the duties of members is to pay three tithes to HWA's organization. It is a trick to control the reader and then live off of them.

Herman Hoeh has an article insisting that the Christian practice of worshipping on Sunday was derived from ancient Babylonian mystery religions which were imported into Christianity shortly after the time of the Apostles in a grand conspiracy inspired by Satan.

This epistle, or letter, is filled with many inaccuracies, triflings and absurdities. It is a complete contrast to the inspired New Testament epistles. It is written in confused, mysterious language. Yet this is the kind of rubbish that is used to support Sunday. Its origin is of the Devil himself. (p. 24.)

Or, to say it in a less emotional way, worshipping on Sunday is contrary to what HWA's organization teaches therefore Hoeh forbids his readers from doing so in this article. 

Herman Hoeh has an article scare mongering about the rise of West Germany. HWA's organization taught that the Germans are descendants of the ancient Assyrians. 

Page 27 features photos of actual modern day Assyrians in the Middle East. It is insisted that they look like Germans and do not look like Arabs.

Roderick Meredith has an article asking if you really understand your own religion. This is a recruitment trick designed to make you doubt yourself and let him answer your questions for you.

Herbert Armstrong has an article telling readers that (his interpretation of) God is fair.


And so 1962 ended with civilization still intact and 1963 began. But this post ends here.

There is no need to listen to false prophets.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

HWA's First Girlfriend

This is from Chapter 1 of HWA's Autobiography. HWA is describing something that occurred when he was about 16 years of age.

My first date with a girl took place at about this time -- a date to escort a next-door neighbor girl in my class in high school to some school function. At that stage I was pretty much in awe of girls, and felt awkward in their presence. It has always been a puzzle to me that so many boys around that age are afraid of girls, ill at ease before them, and yet girls seem not to be shy or bashful in any way in the company of boys. For the next 8 years I continued to date this girl on and off, (not what today is termed "going steady," however), but never did I put my arm around her, kiss her, or as they would say today, "neck with her." (It was called "loving up" in those days.)

In the September 1957 issue of The Plain Truth (p. 22) this paragraph has another sentence at the end. It is also present in the 1973 edition of HWA's Autobiography (p. 31).

It just wasn't generally done in those days--or, if it was, my eyes had not yet been open to the practice.

So Herbert Armstrong, when he was about 65 years old, wrote, "girls seem not to be shy or bashful in any way in the company of boys." That is not true. What an astoundingly sexist and ignorant thing to say. What a fool this Herbert Armstrong was.

And to think a man so narrow minded about women would dare tell his followers what to do and how to view sexual matters. Everyone would be better off finding better instructors on these matters.

Also it seems odd to see him present a relation that existed in some form or other for eight years as not being that important.

And why was that last sentence cut out? Did they worry that it would show HWA as being woefully naïve about real life?

On another matter it is impossible not to think about certain things that HWA did from around 1933 until 1943.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

HWA's Alleged Friendship with Yitzhak Shamir

Herbert Armstrong wrote the following in his December 27, 1978 co-worker letter after a visit to the State of Israel. Here he boasts of meeting several prominent political leaders of the State of Israel including the Speaker of the Knesset. HWA claims to have been a friend of the Speaker for ten years. Since 1968. That year was the year HWA began to visit and meet with leaders of the State of Israel. But nevertheless, for whatever reason, HWA neglects to mention the Speaker of the Knesset by name.
I had meetings with President Navon, with Prime Minister Begin, Yigael Yadin (leader of the Democratic Movement for Change Party), Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan, Speaker of the Knesset (a friend of ten years standing), Shimon Peres (leader of the leading Labor Party), Mayor Teddy Kollek, Knesset member Gideon Hausner (who prosecuted the German Eichmann as Attorney General for Israel,) Professor Benjamin Mazar, who directed our great archaeological project adjoining the south wall of the Temple, Dr. Joseph Aviram of the Hebrew University, and many others.

According to Wikipedia's list of Knesset speakers at this time that role was held by Yitzhak Shamir who held that office from June 13, 1977 until March 10, 1980. Shamir would later be Prime Minister (1983-4 and 1986-92).

HWA says he has been friends with Shamir since 1968 but, as far as I can tell, Shamir is never mentioned by name in any of HWA's co-worker letters. What sort of a friendship is that? 

At present it seems that HWA's claim of being a friend of Yitzhak Shamir for ten years sounds awfully hollow.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Gerald Flurry's False Prophecy: More Violence in the Holy Land

One way the PCG leadership has tried exploit the recent war centered in the Palestinian Gaza Strip is to claim that this round of violence fulfilled a prediction by their leader, Gerald Flurry. In an article dated May 2, 2021 Gerald Flurry wrote the following while indulging in yet another rant bad mouthing President Biden and the Democratic Party. 

Biden is empowering Iran so it may soon obtain nuclear weapons. I am certain we will have more Palestinian terrorist attacks now because of who is in charge. (Gerald Flurry, What Will Happen After Trump Regains Power, April 2021.)

Then a few weeks later tensions escalate into full scale war in the Gaza Strip partly because of unrest in East Jerusalem. Over 200 people were killed. And the PCG leadership tried to exploit this deadly tragedy into evidence that their leader in Edmond, Oklahoma can somehow see the future.

Three weeks ago, before the current violence, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry warned our readers to watch for increased terrorist attacks in Jerusalem because of the Biden administration’s position. ... Almost immediately after that statement was printed, the violence in Jerusalem increased. The connection to the Biden administration’s pro-Palestinian positions is unmistakable. (Brent Nagtegaal, Watch Jerusalem Now!, May 10, 2021.)

These tensions have been ongoing for decades. The court case in Sheikh Jarrah has been ongoing for decades. It is essentially inevitable that rounds of unrest and violence in the current political situation will occur. That is a dreadful shame but that is the way things at the moment and has been for decades. 

So it is factually unfounded for the PCG leadership to claim that those words Gerald Flurry wrote in April 2021 somehow predicted the future. Anyone who pays attention to the situation in Jerusalem could have said the same thing.

Once again we see that the PCG leadership are false prophets. They cannot see the future. There is no need to be loyal to the PCG leadership to get close to God. Paying tithes and offerings cannot get divine favor. The PCG leadership are but false prophets.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

When HWA's WCG Encouraged Abortions (1985)

Amstrongite organizations tend to take an anti-abortion position teaching their followers that abortion is contrary to the will of (the Armstrongite) God. Nevertheless in 1985 HWA's organization, that which was called the Worldwide Church of God, published an article which seems to say that abortion is permitted in instances of rape and incest. This may be seen in Ronald S. Toth's article, "The Plain Truth About Abortion! Why So Little Understood?," from The Plain Truth, April 1985, page 2.

Of course there are the relatively rare tragic cases of girls becoming pregnant through incest. These sad cases naturally draw compassion and sympathy. 

And women need to protect themselves against rape. Local police or reference librarians can provide much needed information about rape. Any woman who becomes victimized by a rapist should seek professional help immediately. Don't delay. Don't wait three months or three weeks or even three days. Seek medical advice immediately.

But the abortion issue today does not center on such tragic cases as incest or rape.

Is it not odd how there no discussion of the responsibility of the rapist? Rape is a crime and rightfully forbidden by law. People need to be taught that it is not permitted to rape.

Now even though the author then proceeds to avoid the issue of pregnancy by rape and/or incest by saying most abortions are not affected by those issues this statement seems to be a recommendation for victims of rape and incest to get abortions. Now there's one aspect of Armstrongism that the Armstrongite one percenters don't tend to talk about to their followers.

PS: At present it is not possible for me to verify what became of Ronald S. Toth after the Tkach changes.

The Danger of Ignoring Medical Science in Connection with Covid-19

Parts of Stephen Flurry's anti-vaxxer article, "Gotten Your Jab Yet?" in the June 2021 issue of PCG's recruitment magazine, The Philadelphia Trumpet, were lifted from an article by Andrew Müller which was posted on March 24, 2021 which has the alarmist title, "America Ignores COVID-19 Vaccine Deaths." Müller even cites an "anti-vaccine organization" in his article in a passage that also appears in Stephen Flurry's article. As far as I know neither Stephen Flurry nor Andrew Müller have professional medical training. Medical science does not appear to be their expertise. Why listen to such people?

It is a dreadful shame to think that people will be influenced by such talk into foregoing getting vaccinated. Every day such people run of catching this dreadful disease, namely Covid-19. 

Here is a testimony from one individual who has learned that an "elderly aunt and uncle" have caught the coronavirus. The quote below is from this individual. Not myself.

So I just found out today that my both my elderly aunt and uncle have tested positive for COVID 19.  Both of them belong to a very conservative church, and have like so many Americans been fed a heavy stream of lies and misinformation.  Though several members of the family had pleaded with them to get vaccinated, they both resisted, despite their age and several additional health issues.  Of course, they did not.  Why?  They refused to get vaccinated because their church has been vehemently opposed to every single measure to address the virus since the beginning; starting with the “hoax”, pivoting smoothly to “little flue”, then digging in hard to “personal freedoms”.  There were some added sprinklings of “government plot”, “it’s in gods hands”, “liberal political agenda”, “trying to make trump look bad” and a brief return to “hoax” from time to time. (Source.)

This person's relatives are facing a tragic situation that many within the Armstrongite organizations are also facing as Banned by HWA recently highlighted here and here. We need to follow what science is telling us about this disease and protect ourselves from it. Just because some people like Stephen Flurry and Andrew Müller have gone down the proverbial rabbit hole and adopted an anti-vaccine stance you do not have to. No one can legally force you not to get vaccinated.

If one is afraid they should consult with their doctors instead of reading some scary sounding anti-vaccine article that could have been (and most likely was) written by people lacking medical expertise.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Israeli Archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar Passes Away

It has been announced that Dr. Eilat Mazar, an archaeologist of Israel, has passed away on May 25, 2021 at 64 years of age. PCG has mentioned this here and here.

My thoughts and condolences to her family and friends.

Monday, May 24, 2021

What About Jewish Ritual Washings?

So Armstrongites often insist that parts of the Bible that Christians tend to view as not applicable to them need to be observed by "true Christians" today. But where in Armstrongism does one decide what must be followed and what can be ignored in the Bible? Has any Armstrongite wondered how this passage of the Bible applies to Armstrongites today?

And if any man's seed of copulation ["semen" in the NKJV] go out from him, then he shall wash all his flesh in water, and be unclean until the even. And every garment, and every skin, whereon is the seed of copulation, shall be washed with water, and be unclean until the even. The woman also with whom man shall lie with seed of copulation, they shall both bathe themselves in water, and be unclean until the even. (Leviticus 15:16-18. KJV.)

Any Armstrongite wanting to practice these rules might be comforted by knowing that, according to the Penguin Classics edition of the Talmud, this only applies to abnormal emissions of semen.

The truth is Christians have no need to practice Jewish ritual practices such as those described above to be a Christian. Herbert Armstrong was never professionally trained in learning the history and teachings of Christianity and Judaism so he misunderstood many things. He thought certain Jewish rituals and practices mentioned in the Bible are to be applied to Christians today. 

He did not understand that when Christianity first began to be accepted by non-Jews a consensus was made that non-Jewish converts did not need to practice Jewish rituals to be a Christian. These non-Jewish converts did not need to observe Jewish ritual law. This may be seen in the council in Jerusalem described in Acts 15 and Paul's letter to the Galatians which was a condemnation of "Judaizers" who were telling non-Jewish converts to Christianity that they needed to be circumcised to be a Christian. Armstrongism tends to ignore that feature of Galatians. 

Herbert Armstrong failed to learn these things and adopted mixed up and confused views about these matters and unfortunately passed on his errors onto thousands of people. But thankfully many former Armstrongites have since studied what others say about these matters and realized that they do not need Armstrongism.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Anti-Vaxxer PCG: Overview of the July 2021 Issue of PCG's Philadelphia Trumpet

(Update: May 21, 2021: It is publicly known that some of the Covid vaccines, such as the Astra Zeneca vaccine and the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, can have a rare side effect of causing blood clots. With the Johnson and Johnson vaccine this side effect appears to mainly occur among women younger than 50 years old. Covid also produces blood clots. Nevertheless the CDC has recommended continuing to use the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Anyone worried about such matters one should consult with one's doctor. We need to decide what do to based on medical science not the fear that Armstrongism often promotes or the hope that somehow their false prophecies will soon be fulfilled thus solving all our problems. We must face reality.)

In early May 2021 PCG released the July 2021 issue of their recruitment magazine, The Philadelphia Trumpet. This issue was released before the recent round of deadly strife in what used to be Mandatory Palestine. Even though hundreds of Americans are still being killed by Covid-19 every day PCG's leadership has decided to scare their readers about the vaccines that immunizes people from that dreadful disease, Covid-19. Anti-vaxxerism has been long term problem in the United States and elsewhere. Thankfully many people such as Voices for Vaccines, are trying to stand up against this dangerous and unscientific tendency. It is unfortunate that the PCG leadership has chosen to adopt an anti-vaxxer stance regarding Covid vaccines.

The cover illustration is by Gary Dorning. Here getting vaccinated against that frightful disease that is named Covid-19 is labelled as a form of "coercion" and the widespread attempt to encourage people to get vaccinated is presented as being somehow threatening. It is astounding that PCG's leaders choose to present the Covid vaccines as a threat to their readers rather then encourage them to protect themselves against that awful and sneaky disease that is Covid-19.

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

This issue has a circulation of 241,917 issues. For the May-June issue it was 243,028. For the April issue it was 247,023. For the March issue it was 248,523. For the February issue it was 246,497. For the January issue it was 247,820. The circulation stays in its previous position.

Gerald Flurry has an article discussing the immanent succession of a new Chancellor in Germany. He speculates that the Christian Social Union in Bavaria might break away from its alliance with the Christian Democratic Union and run in all of Germany as its own party.

Gerald Flurry has an article insisting that Donald Trump will return to the presidency. It is even implied that he might return to power in a military coup. Even though Biden was elected Flurry continue to stir up anger at the incumbent President among his followers and give them false hope that somehow Donald Trump will return to the presidency without needing to run in the 2024 election. This is partly an attempt to explain away his failed prophecy that Donald Trump would win the 2020 election and once it became clear that Biden had won this failed prophecy was altered to fit changed circumstances.

Stephen Flurry has an article condemning the political left once again. This time he cites statements by various leftist politicians calling for further reforms of policing to say that these leftists will never be satisfied therefore there is no need to listen to them or try to meet them halfway or anyway in managing American society.

Condemning Covid Vaccines

Stephen Flurry has an article saying that vaccines that protects us from the dreadful Covid-19 are somehow dangerous. He falls for the logical fallacy of the false equivalence, namely he compares the deadly disease Covid-19 with vaccines designed to stop Covid-19. That is like comparing apples and oranges. He outrageously calls the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic as merely "a fairly standard flu epidemic" on page 11 even though Covid-19 is not a flu at all. Currently about 675 Americans die of Covid-19 every day.

Richard Palmer has an article scare mongering against vaccine passports. As more people get vaccinated to protect themselves from the dreadful disease we call Covid-19 people and businesses will find it easier to manage people by only letting vaccinated people to gather in certain venues. He says such a hypothetical is not the "mark of the beast" but then he dilutes his previous point by saying it may lead up to that. Such scare mongering is unhelpful in the current situation. The PCG 1% would not have any need to be worried about being inconvenienced with not having a vaccine passport if they just did the socially responsible thing and make America stronger by getting themselves vaccinated against that frightful disease.

It is shameful that PCG chooses to stir fear and doubts about vaccines against Covid-19. Alas, Armstrongism has a long history of adopting a hostile attitude towards medical science. Much pain and misery has been caused over the years by this hostile attitude that Herbert Armstrong and his hirelings promoted to their followers. For decades Armstrongism has caused people to be afraid of, and even refuse medical treatment. 

One of the most detailed records of this dreadful aspect of Armstrongism is William Hinsom's book, Broadway to Armageddon (1977). It is wise to heed the warning contained in this book.

Aren't PCG's leaders afraid that someone might unnecessarily place themselves in harm's way, or even die, reading their words on the matter of getting vaccinated to protect oneself from Covid-19? As far as is publicly known based on PCG's writings Stephen Flurry or Richard Palmer do not have any training in providing medical care. This is also true of Herbert Armstrong. They are talking about matters for which they have no professional training. The rise of particularly dangerous variants of Covid-19 such as those originating in Britain and India make it necessary to get as many people vaccinated against Covid-19 to reduce the danger of this dreadful threat. Those who are in doubt about vaccines against Covid-19 should go consult with their doctors about this topic, not unqualified people passing on unscientific scare stories.

Forgetting America's Indebtedness in the 1940s

Robert Morley has an article bemoaning so-called free money as having negative consequences. So the government chooses to be generous in providing financial assistance to help people in their time of need in this ongoing pandemic and Morley chooses to complain about the government spending money trying to help people. At one point he makes the following absurd complaint.

The national debt took more than 200 years to reach $1 trillion. It took only 26 more years [from 1982] to rise to $10 trillion in 2008, and only 12 years to exceed $27 trillion. (p. 17.)

The problem with the above statement is that Morley neglects to take inflation into account. A dollar in  1982 is worth more than it is today. A more accurate way to assess the size of the national debt is to compare the national debt to the nation's GDP instead of just looking at numbers that change due to inflation. Viewing it that way one would learn that the US reached a record level of debt in the 1940s and early 1950s due to World War II which is never mentioned in Morley's article. And that debt was greatly reduced as a percentage of GDP by about 1955. The national debt's record in and immediately after World War II has only been equaled by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a pandemic which ironically is often downplayed by the PCG leadership.

Morley used to be a regular author of articles in PCG's recruitment magazine. For whatever reason that is not the case at present.

The Infographic bemoans the decline of the US dollar's purchasing power. Instead of comparing the national to the size of the GDP it is measured compared with the price of gold which has the effect of making appear that though the US dollar has become drastically undervalued since the dollar's convertibility with gold was abolished in 1971. In the Infographic a complaint is made that abolishing the US dollar's convertibility with gold made it possible for the Federal government to print as much money as it liked but even so the national debt did not match the previous record height set because of World War II until the current coronavirus pandemic. Also the infographic does mentions that inflation is an issue when studying financial statistics but the implications of that fact is astoundingly ignored everywhere else in this recruitment magazine.


Joel Hilliker has an article saying that lying is wrong. While introducing this topic he goes on a right wing political spiel including questioning the legitimacy of last year's presidential election.

Look at the role of lying over just the past year with COVID-19, with irregularities in America's election last November, with truth and facts being censored by media and Big Tech, with leftist causes being promoted in spite of contrary facts. There is an epic amount of lying in the public sphere today. (p. 20.)

Jeremiah Jacques has an article about Elizabeth Anne Everest, the childhood nurse for Winston Churchill.

Gerald Flurry has an article saying the Former Prophets are also prophets who predict the future. It is mentioned that this article was published in PCG's other recruitment magazine, Watch Jerusalem, which is specifically targeted at making converts out of Jews.

Gerald Flurry has an article discussing Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's split away from the British royal family which he hysterically denounces as causing division between America and Britain. This is an absurd claim to make. America and Britain need each other to pursue various common interests. This family rift, as tragic as it is, cannot change that fact. This is the second full length article in PCG's recruitment magazine mentioning this family split with the previous issue containing an article by Richard Palmer on this topic.

WorldWatch discusses France conducting its first military space exercises; Denmark trying to get Muslim immigrants to leave; saying the "fringe right" in the Netherlands did well in their elections even though it was a mainstream party that gained power; a petition among French police officers and soldiers claiming France is on the verge of civil war with the Muslims in it; Germany pledging $2 billion in aid to Lebanon which is portrayed as an attempt to influence that nation; Brigadier General Esmaeil Qa'ani visiting Iraq for two days in the early part of April 2021; Russia making deals with Cuba and Venezuela; President Putin signing a law that could let him remain as President as late as 2036; President Biden's decision to withdraw US forces from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021; and China opening up more coal plants while America and Europe close theirs down since it is not needed so much anymore. 

Also contained in WorldWatch is a little article scare mongering that America may soon experience hyper-inflation like in Venezuela. What PCG do not mention here is that a major reason why Venezuela is in such a mess is because their economy is heavily dependent on one resource, namely oil. In contrast America has many sources of income and consequently numerous options for managing the nation's finances. Also the US government's decision under Donald Trump to impose economic sanctions on Venezuela further exacerbates the situation.

SocietyWatch discusses the rise in gun violence in America over the last year (which is partly caused by political reluctance to change rules on this topic since such attempts are constantly blocked by the National Rifle Association, which is not explained in this little article); the problem of children finding ways to see pornography on the Internet in Britain; the introduction of military uniforms for pregnant women in the US Air Force which is portrayed in a negative manner; and reports indicating that many Canadians happen to have few savings.

Stephen Flurry has an article saying that the Fourth Commandment also requires one to work on the other six days. In this little article he condemns those who criticized Herbert Armstrong who making buildings when HWA had said Christ would return in just a few years. Stephen Flurry neglects to mention that it was Herbert Armstrong who told his followers from 1953 onwards that Christ would return in 1975.

Some people criticized Mr. Armstrong for continuing to expand the work of God's true Church by constructing new buildings when they thought Jesus Christ's return was immanent. [Stephen Flurry then cites Herbert Armstrong's August 28, 1967 Co-Worker Letter to settle his point.] (p. 33.) 

The discussion board has three letters condemning Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Here's a letter from a person in North Carolina who has disconnected himself from mainstream sources of information.

I quit watching and listening to the mainstream media several years ago and now depend on the PCG for almost all my news. I read the Trumpet from cover to cover every month. I listen to your podcast as often as I am able, making sure that I hear the weekly wrap-up every week. My life just would not be the same without you.

It is frightful to imagine a person such as the one cited above choosing to take this issue's statements about Covid-19 vaccines at face value. By depending on PCG to provide the news for this person alternative perspectives will be harder to notice or listen to for this person.

Here's a letter from a person bemoaning gay people. The letter is in response to an article complaining about the transgender community and efforts to make society more responsive to the needs and concerns of the transgender community.

The only answer to this is the Word of God. ... Most churches have become one with the world, with their gay flags flying. We have kicked God out of churches, the home, schools and government, and have become a lawless society. Man has caused the problem, but man can't fix it. Only God can.

Joel Hilliker has an article denouncing the political left in Britain for supposedly exaggerating the problem of systemic racism. 

The left has no interest in significant, documented improvements in race relations. That is because their power comes from dividing people. (p. 35.)

But PCG also creates divisions between people. Those labelled as "Laodiceans" are shunned by PCG members for either not being in PCG or for being removed or choosing to leave PCG. PCG publishes a book, namely Mystery of the Ages, that demonizes the doctrine of the Holy Trinity as a blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which is viewed by some Christians as the unpardonable sin. Also in this book interracial marriage is condemned as contrary to (HWA's) God's will. Furthermore PCG teaches that it is the only true church in the world thus dividing PCG members from the rest of the world. PCG is very divisive.

And so we see that PCG continues to try to attract new members and keep current members persuaded to remain within PCG. However there is no need to be afraid of the PCG leadership's words of doom and gloom about events supposed to occur before Christ's return. Since its founding in 1989 PCG's leaders have made numerous false prophecies that failed to occur thus proving that the PCG leadership do not know what will happen in the future. And since they are wrong about their claimed ability to predict the future why listen to the PCG leadership about vaccines either?

As for vaccine hesitancy many have been dismayed by the prevalence of this tendency among some people. Many have wondered how they can be persuaded to get vaccinated. But just because some people choose to do this you don't have to do so. Those who get vaccinated against Covid-19 will make America, or whichever nation they happen to live in, stronger against that dreadful disease. Those who get vaccinated protect themselves and those around them from Covid-19 by getting vaccinated. 

That dreadful disease can and will be put under control if everyone do their part.

(Update: May 21, 2021: I had accidently allowed a paragraph to be placed twice in this post. It is exactly the same as the paragraph immediately under the second picture of this post. The duplicate mention of this paragraph has been removed.)

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Current Fighting in Israel/Palestine is Not a Sign of Armstrongite Prophecies Being Fulfilled

The State of Israel's blockade against the Gaza Strip could never create peace. Only a political solution could stop another round of fighting. Without a political solution it was essentially inevitable that fighting would break out again. In the six years since previous war in Gaza the Israeli government did not forge a political solution so now the dreadful prospect of war has been brought to pass. 

It is not possible to know with certainty what is going to happen with the recent dreadful upsurge in violence. The situation may calm down soon as in 2012 or it may get far worse. Sadly the latter seems more likely at the moment. 

There are many things in life which it is not possible to know definitively but there one thing can be known: These recent events are not a sign that (Armstrongism's interpretation of) Christ will soon return. 

Surely the Armstrongites will get excited regarding these events and say that this time their prophecies of the Great Tribulation and (their interpretation of) the Second Coming will soon actually occur. But what will happen is that time will pass and the Armstrongites' false prophecies will fail miserably yet again. Paying tithes to the Armstrongite organizations will not get any supernatural favor from God for those paying tithes.

Some Armstrongites or former followers might fear that these events may indicate that the end is near. There is no need to be afraid of that. The Armstrongites are false prophets. Their predictions of doom and gloom are empty words that will never be fulfilled.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Beautifying Mars as a God Being: Overview of the May-June 2021 Issue of PCG's Philadelphia Trumpet

In late March 2021 the PCG leadership released the May-June 2021 issue of their recruitment magazine, The Philadelphia Trumpet. Let's see what the PCG leadership has to say this time.

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 has a circulation of 243,028 issues.

Gerald Flurry has an article which mentions the Perseverance probe on Mars in order to promote the Armstrongite dogma of the God Family. It is taught that believers will become God beings as fully God as God is God though of a lesser rank. This is a doctrine that HWA plagiarized from another source. Among ex-COG people it is often believed that he took this idea from Mormonism. I suspect HWA acquired this doctrine from an early teaching of the Watchtower Society.

There is a side article discussing the search for extra-terrestrial life.

Richard Palmer has a side article insisting intelligence alone cannot solve humanity's issues.

Richard Palmer has an article condemning wealthy persons who are here labeled as being in league with the political left.

In this article Palmer promotes the harmful and false stereotype that HIV/AIDS is somehow associated with the LGBT community.

Pharmaceutical giant Gilead sponsors homosexual pride parades--while charging over $2000 a month for an anti-HIV drug. Signaling their support for the LGBT movement is much cheaper than lowering the price of a drug that would predominantly help those in that community. (p. 6.)

In the article Palmer also denounces the LGBT movement.

Mr. Flurry wrote this before the LGBT movement really took off. Now businesses are going along with or supporting a movement that destroys our children's future. It fills them with warped ideas about marriage and family, destroying their potential to have a happy life and making it much harder for them to have a relationship with their heavenly Father. (p. 32.) 

Philip Nice has an article speculating about the nature of society after the establishment of the millennium after Christ's return. He makes all sorts of fantastic predictions such as saying that there will be no interest on loans and no taxes in the Millennium. Instead the government of PCG's interpretation of the Millennium will imitate PCG and rely on tithes and offerings.

Under God's government, the individual would pay no income tax, business tax, sales tax, property tax, health-care tax or death tax. Instead he would pay his first tithe (10 percent of his profits) and offerings of his own determination.... This would produce the spiritual blessing of developing humble, loving, giving character, which would facilitate further blessings by God, the least of which would be financial abundance. (p. 10.)

Armstrongites have been continuously waiting for the future paradise of the Armstrongite Millennium to just happen without any effort on their part since the 1930s and yet somehow it just never happens. In that time many people have boldly strived to improve society instead of waiting for the Armstrongites' predictions to just happen.

Joel Hilliker and José Michels have an article condemning the nomination of Rachel Devine (since confirmed) because she is a transgender woman. Being transgender is labelled as "transgenderism," a label designed to imply that transgender people somehow chose be that way instead of merely expressing what they actually are like. An earlier version of this article was discussed in a previous post.

Jeremiah Jacques has an article portraying Russia as trying to rule over the other nations that were formerly within the Soviet Union. Even though the PCG leadership chooses to vilify Russia in this issue they teach that it will be a future German led, Catholic dominated European Empire which will conquer the United States and Britain in the near future before Christ's return. If they believe this then why are they telling readers to be concerned about Russia?

The Infographic discusses President Putin and the Russian Federation getting more powerful.

Richard Palmer has an article about the interview of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle with Oprah Winfrey. The article later turns into a denunciation of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Harry and Meghan's departure from the royal family last year helped open the door for the radical Black Lives Matter movement to spread to the United Kingdom.... Within months, Black Lives Matter protesters were vandalizing statues on Britain's streets.... Black Lives Matter ... is a radical Marxist group fundamentally opposed to Western civilization. (p. 21.)

Seeing such overheated rhetoric from Palmer in this instance it is worth remembering that once Palmer called the Srebrenica massacre as "a crime of passion".

Brent Nagtegaal has an article about the state of the Middle East. It is asserted that President Biden's attempt to restore the nuclear deal with Iran is somehow setting the stage for PCG's (false) prophecies to be fulfilled just before Christ's return.

In the article Nagtegaal condemns the Obama Administration for making the 2015 agreement regarding nuclear power with Iran. He even claims that the 2015 agreement saved Iran's government even though Iran has been enduring American sanctions since the Trump Administration broke the agreement in 2018 including during this ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

Not only did the Obama administration do nothing to stop Iran from attaining nuclear weapons, it actually drafted a deal to legitimize its path to nuclear power and provided massive, immediate financial incentives that probably saved Iranian radicals from losing power. (p. 23.)

Even though Iran does not now have nuclear weapons it is assumed that Iran is plotting to make nuclear weapons even though Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei issued a fatwa in 2003 denouncing the possession of nuclear weapons as contrary to Islam.

Also in this article Nagtegaal cites an article by Melanie Philips who is often quoted in PCG's writings.

Gerald Flurry has an article about the Armstrongite interpretation of the two witnesses. He also alludes to his teaching that his book, Malachi's Message, is the little book of Revelation 10. However many of the ideas within Gerald Flurry's booklet, Malachi's Message, were plagiarized from The Letter to Laodicea by Jules Dervaes which were written between December 1986 and January 1988. Dervaes's work was sent to 237 WCG ministers including Gerald Flurry and John Amos. Once on September 26, 1990 Jules Dervaes even sent a letter to Gerald Flurry denouncing Malachi's Message as "a direct and clear plagiarism" of his work.

WorldWatch discusses lockdowns which are hysterically portrayed as a threat to democracy instead of being attempts to manage a frightful epidemic; German troops remaining in Afghanistan until January 2022; Switzerland having a referendum on March 7, 2021 deciding to ban full face coverings which is interpreted as a ban on the burqa; rocket attacks against American bases in Iraq; a call by certain politicians condemning the International Criminal Court taking up a case regarding the State of Israel; the threat of cyberattacks to Americans; China's introduction of a digital currency; Hong Kong making a law giving the police the power to forbid certain individuals from leaving Hong Kong in certain circumstances; and Russia preparing to host military exercises with eight neighboring countries. 

SocietyWatch discusses British Columbia seeking to decriminalize certain drugs; condemning a Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon calling for the British flag to be lowered and replaced with the European Union's flag; AT&T trying to lobby the State Department to keep China Telecom off of a list a sanctioned companies over Xinjiang; and hysterically denouncing a proposed reform of immigration policies.  

Dwight Falk has an article telling people not to laugh at inappropriate jokes. How humorousless.

The discussion board features a letter which asks if the presidential election was somehow stolen from Donald Trump then why is it that no one has been prosecuted over it?

If all this information is true and accurate, is there something that can be done to prosecute the known people who were responsible? (p. 34.)

This assumes that the allegation is "true and accurate" but the allegation that the presidential election was somehow stolen from Donald Trump is unfounded.

Here's a letter from Ireland saying God is opposed to the liberals all over the world.

America has to repent and return to Almighty God and ask for forgiveness and help.... The same laws are forces over the heads of believers in Northern Ireland. We know that our heavenly Father is absolutely livid with the state of the liberal way of life all over the world. (p. 34.)

Richard Palmer has an article saying that fake history can have negative consequences for people today. Here's an example of fake history: saying all was well in HWA's organization in the 1950s and 1960s. A major reason HWA's organization was united and stable at that time was because from 1953 onwards it was taught that the Great Tribulation would begin in 1972 with Christ returning three and a half years later in 1975.

In the article Palmer complains about lockdowns which are bizarrely portrayed as a sign of weakness instead of as a vital public health measure to counteract a extremely dangerous disease. The recent tragic events in India reminds us all yet again how awful this disease is.  

Now we crave nothing and hunker in fear of a virus that at least 99.9 percent of healthy people survive. Our politicians lack the courage to make decisions--and instead delegate to "experts" who see catastrophe around every corner. Even after their forecasts of doom are proved wrong time and again, we still cower at their warnings just in case this time they're right. (p. 35.)

And so we see that the PCG leadership continues to try and find more recruits for their organization. However since their founding in 1989 the PCG leadership have made numerous false prophecies thus proving that they do not know what will happen in the future. There is no need to be afraid of their dire predictions.