Wednesday, October 27, 2021

PCG Blaming Obama for the Taliban Takeover: Overview of the October 2021 Issue of PCG's Philadelphia Trumpet

(Warning: This recruitment magazine discussed in this post is produced by an organization that has chosen to take an anti-vaxxer stance against Covid-19 vaccines. Such a stance encourages people to leave themselves vulnerable to getting that dreadful disease. The easiest way to reduce the risk of getting that dreadful disease is to get vaccinated. Many are encouraging people to get vaccinated subject to medical advice.)

Disclaimer: Page 10 features a disturbing photo of a child injured during a protest in Afghanistan.

In early September 2021 the PCG leadership released the October 2021 issue of their recruitment magazine, The Philadelphia Trumpet. In this issue the PCG leadership exploit the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan to vilify President Biden ignoring the fact that it was President Trump who made a peace agreement with the Taliban behind the back of the Afghan government. That agreement was what made the tragic Taliban takeover possible.

The editors of 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 240,656 issues. The September issue had a circulation of 240,596 issues, a difference of only 60 issues. The August issue had a circulation of 239,545 issues. For the July issue it was 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. The circulation for PCG's recruitment magazine appears to be slightly declining.

Gerald Flurry has an article insisting that the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan is part of a plot to destroy America. He blames Barack Obama and Satan. Back in 2013 Gerald Flurry labeled President Obama as "another Antiochus" comparing him to Antiochus Epiphanes and Joseph Tkach, Jr. Consequently Flurry often brings up Obama in order to "prove" his earlier condemnation of President Obama.

In the article Flurry refers to the Taliban as "barbarians" and "thugs." 

In the article Flurry accuses the Taliban of letting the suicide bomber into Kabul airport even though so many Afghan citizens were killed as well.

He also claims that Obama somehow planned for President Biden to get blamed. Flurry is so determined to stir up anger and hostility against Obama even though he has not held public office since January 20, 2017.

I believe Barack Obama intended Biden to take the flak for what has happened here. (p. 31.) 

Joel Hilliker has an article seeking to explain why America was unable to prevent the Taliban's return to power. It is insisted that the fall of Afghanistan is a sign of (PCG's) God's punishing the United States for being unrighteous, that is behaving contrary to PCG's dogmas. This is magical thinking that serves to devalue attempts to understand and explain how the fall of Afghanistan happened. Because of this the fall of Afghanistan is presented as something that just happened. The Taliban takeover is many things but it is not an accident. There are many reasons why this happened, not the least of which being corruption within the Afghan government.

Brent Nagtegaal has an article scare mongering that the Taliban takeover will somehow work to the benefit of Iran. It is insisted that Iran has been working with the Taliban since at least 2015. Since the early 1990s Gerald Flurry has taught that Iran will be the future King of the South consequently PCG's vilification of Iran serves to "prove" to their followers that Gerald Flurry can see the future.

This article features the following paragraph which focuses on the headlines used to describe the rise of the Taliban instead of discussing what is written in these articles. Links have been added in for convenience.

Yet when Kabul fell to the Taliban, prevailing media opinion was that Iran feared what would come next. “Taliban Surge Will Force Iran to Forge a New Defense Strategy,” reported Haaretz on August 13. “Iran Braces for Life Next Door to the Taliban Once Again,” Bloomberg headlined on August 19. Germany’s Deutsche Welle wrote, “Afghanistan: Taliban Offensive Puts Iran in a Bind.” These three headlines represent the broad consensus that while Iran might be happy America is gone from Afghanistan, it is terrified of the Taliban. (p. 8.) 

Since the Taliban's rise to power there have been reports that the Taliban have been persecuting people belonging to the Hazara ethnic group. Most Hazaras are Shia Muslims like the majority of Iran's population. Such reports will do nothing to foster friendly relations between the Taliban and Iran.

Richard Palmer has an article saying that Europe is adversely affected by the Taliban takeover. At one point on page 11 Palmer quotes the right wing British columnist Melanie Phillips who is often reverently quoted by PCG's writers. For decades the Armstrongites have insisted that predominantly Catholic Europe will soon militarily conquer the United States. This dire prediction has never occurred.

The article features this passage scare mongering about immigration. One moment he says the fall of Afghanistan is a terrible thing. Next moment he says be afraid if the resultant refugees move to your nation. 

Even before the Taliban took over, 30,000 people fled Afghanistan each week. ... an aid worker in Afghanistan, warned, “We can assume that up to 3 million Afghans will make their way to Europe in the foreseeable future.”

Less than half that number of refugees from around the world—1.3 million—arrived in Europe in 2015. The resulting political crisis shook the foundations of governments across the Continent and sparked an outbreak of political extremism not seen since the 1930s. Can European politics as we know it survive the arrival of 3 million Afghans? What if, as has occurred repeatedly in Europe, that mass of refugees harbors even a few terrorists? (p. 12.)

Governmental authorities are empowered to manage these issues but PCG's recruitment magazine irresponsibly foster fear and panic over people fleeing the Taliban, even slurring them as potential terrorists. 

Richard Palmer also has an article speculating that the Taliban takeover will strain relations between the United States and the United Kingdom. It is insisted that Britain is so alienated with America's withdrawal that they are aligning themselves more closely with Germany and France.

In this article Palmer includes a quote which accurately notes that the agreement to withdraw American military forces from Afghanistan was made by President Trump as part of an agreement with the Taliban.

“The American decision to withdraw was not just a mistake—it was an avoidable mistake, from President [Donald] Trump’s flawed deal with the Taliban to President [Joe] Biden’s decision to proceed, and to proceed in such a disastrous way,” said Sir Ed Davey, leader of the Liberal Democrats. (p. 14.)

Under the Trump Administration's plan this withdrawal was supposed to be completed by May 2021. However this information is presented as merely a quote. Palmer does not state that it happens to be true that it was Trump who made an agreement with the Taliban to withdraw American forces from Afghanistan. 

Jeremiah Jacques has an article insisting that Russia and China are happy that the Taliban have conquered Afghanistan.

The Infographic discusses the cost to the United States of waging war in Afghanistan. It is stated that the Taliban gained the equivalent of 116% of the military spending of India, the third largest military spender. This obscures the fact that the United States is by far the largest military spender in the world.

Josué Michels has an article scare mongering that Europeans' attempts to manage the spread of Covid-19 are paving the way for some sort of authoritarian rule instead of viewing them as being sincere attempts to contain and minimize the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic. At one point he even refers to the current Covid-19 crisis as "the so-called coronavirus pandemic."

The global trend toward authoritarian governments has greatly accelerated during the so-called coronavirus pandemic. (p. 20.)

While condemning lockdowns Michels cites figures from California and Florida dating back to March 2021 before the more contagious Covid Delta variant began to predominate among American cases of Covid-19.

Comparing restrictive California with open Florida is telling. As of this past March, in Florida, 8,979 people per 100,000 were infected; in California, that number was 9,079. The death rate in Florida was 146 per 100,000; in California, 135. Clearly, lockdowns are not the cure-all they were purported to be. (p. 20.)

Michels cites a difference in death rates of 11 per 100,000 but all those people in California just got saved from dying of that dreadful disease. 

Josué Michels also has a side article scare mongering that the US dollar is on the way out. PCG so often uses this thought to scare their readers.

Gerald Flurry has an article saying that empires are great and wonderful. The inaccurate dogma of British Israelism blinds the Armstrongites from understanding why European Empires has now largely collapsed. It is hard to run an empire once the colonized realizes they are as worthy of respect and self rule as the colonizers. Why bother studying such things as decolonization when one believes such events are merely caused by the will of the God of Armstrongism?

WorldWatch discusses wildfires in Europe; France passing a law regulating religious groups; Italy introducing a green pass as a proof of vaccination; Iran getting a new Foreign Minister, namely Hossein Amir-Abdollahian; the announcement of the construction of a new terminal for an oil pipeline in Iran; Cuba shutting down the Internet in response to protests, which this recruitment magazine also blames on China; President Putin claiming that Ukraine is not independent; China making more nuclear missile silos; the cyberattack against Kaseya; and the passage of a $1.2 billion bill by the US Senate. 

SocietyWatch discusses how some companies have benefitted from the lockdowns; the Biden Administration's condemnation of anti-vaxxer misinformation on social media which is portrayed in PCG's recruitment magazine as an attempt to control social media websites; and an alarmist claim that the Biden Administration has somehow spent the American people's savings. The PCG leadership gives themselves so much time vilifying the political party they oppose.

Joel Hilliker has an article saying that being humble is the way to achieve greatness. 

The Discussion Board has letters. Four letters are persons stating that they used to enjoy listening to Herbert Armstrong and reading his recruitment magazine. This ignores the many problems concerning Herbert Armstrong and his organization. Much of what Herbert Armstrong was cobbled together from various sources like the Jehovah's Witnesses and British Israelism to create his own syncretistic system of belief. 

Joel Hilliker also has an article insisting that (PCG's) God will provide a way of protection from the future catastrophe PCG and the other COGs insist will soon occur. The Armstrongites have been insisting that some sort of catastrophe will soon occur since the 1930s. Such a catastrophe has never occurred. And even when this current pandemic is causing so much pain and suffering some within the Armstrongite organizations have chosen to minimize this crisis under the pretext that this is not the crisis they have been scare mongering about since the 1930s. PCG's leaders have made numerous false prophecies since the organization's founding in 1989. PCG's leader are but false prophets. There is no need to fear their predictions of the future.