Friday, January 25, 2013

Edifice Complex and Armstrongism




I am sure by now you have noticed how the leaders of various splinter groups of the Churches of God have built monuments to the glory of their vanity.  First there was Herbert Armstrong with his Ambassador Auditorium.  11 million dollars worth of tithe and offering money for a building filled with gold, rare onyx, expensive marble, exotic woods and fine crystal.  Hundreds of millions of dollars were spent to support a concert series that never made money but impressed people.

When construction began on the auditorium the Church was one year away from fleeing to Petra.  Construction began in 1971 and the date we were going to Petra was in 1972.  Countless letters leading up to 1972 begged for as much money as possible to finish the work.  Then a building campaign kicked into gear to pay for HWA's monument.  Yet, we were supposed to be fleeing because WWIII was about to be unleashed.




Then there is Gerald Flurry.  A little man who's ego needs to be stroked so much that he too had to build his own edifice.  Flurry can't do anything without imitating Herbert Armstrong. I honestly don't think he has an original thought in his head. Even his foundational document legitimizing his church was copied from Jules Devries. He copies booklets, uses the same names predominate in Armstrongism, started his own college, made an ass of himself kneeling in front of a dirty old rock he dug up in Oregon that supposedly HWA prayed at, and then had to build his own auditorium.  His campus has become a whore house dedicated to all things Herbert Armstrong.

All of this too was built with tithe money and offerings of poor members who were being prepared to flee to Petra.  The end was near and Flurry told members to sell belongings to fund their way to Jordon.  Then all of a sudden he started building a new monstrosity in the middle of Oklahoma that nearly bankrupted the Philadelphia Church of God.  They still have not recovered financially from this mess.


Then there is Dave Pack.  Can anyone's ego ever match this guy? Pack claims to run the world’s largest, most important Church of God on the face of the earth. This is none and never will be anyone like him. Unlike Flurry, who got to buy lots of HWA memento's, Pack did not have the opportunity.  His edifices are monuments only to himself.  While he claims to follow HWA, but this is really all about him.

Pack also has been prepping his members to flee because the end is nigh.  Yet, he too, has taken tithe money and offerings to build his monuments to himself. He now is struggling financially because of his grandiose building plans.  Instead of his entire complex being done by the summer of 2013 now only one little building will be close to being finished.

Have you ever noticed how all of these men build their buildings filled with phallic pillars?  All three with erupting fountain in front of them.  It’s too funny not to make fun of!

All three men had/have ego's that cannot be contained. They feel they are God's gift to the world. People tremble at their sight.  They instill fear every where they go.  They are not the "beloved" leaders they think they are.  A path of death and corruption lays in their wake.  Lives destroyed, marriages broken, suicides and damaged relationships.

The Worldwide Church of God is gone.  It will never come back.  None of the hundreds of harlot daughters of the WCG will EVER reach the same heights of "glory" that the WCG did.  In all actuality it never made any impact in the world either.  The world still does not know WHO the Church of God is.  They only thing some know is that money is the most important message of the Church of God.  Money greases the palms of the countries they want to go into, it builds glorious edifices that will be decaying relics within a few short years.  It builds lush grounds and gardens meant to impress the world, while their members struggle and suffer.  All the Church of God is capable of doing now is having one snit fit after another and splintering off into yet another group.  Hundreds and hundreds of groups with hundreds and hundreds of egotistical little men in charge, all of them doing what they see as right in their own sight, and all accomplishing nothing.

The only thing these edifices all have in common is that they will all be sold off to other people eventually and used for "worldly" purposes because the Church of God is dying.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

The money spent on buildings and lavish grounds is money that will not be spent on media that is used to suck people into their cults. So my advice to men like Flurry,Pack, Merridith and the leaders of the UCG is, build, build, build, build. This will hasten the day when your abusive organizations go bancrupt.

Anonymous said...

Ambassador is being known worldwide. But not for Herbert Armstrong.

With TBS displaying "Nerds", Microsoft using it for "Surface", and other filming shoots at the campus, it's fast becoming a place perfect for Hollywood.

I'll bet there will be the day some producer rents out Ambassador Hall for a totally and completely different kind of production. With 70s wah wah music, dim lights and... Herbert absolutely rolling around in his grave. I sure am not going to watch that one, thats for dang sure, but, LOL, it would be the final desecration that would perfectly fit the alleged lifestyles of at least one the very higher uppers back in the 70s.

Assistant Deacon said...

The disconnect between church leaders who preach that the end is near, yet embark on huge building programs, is astonishing.

But this paragraph is one of the most direct and indicting I've ever read about Herbert Armstrong and his copycats Flurry and Pack:

All three men had egos that cannot be contained. They feel they are God's gift to the world. People tremble at their sight. They instill fear every where they go. They are not the "beloved" leaders they think they are. A path of death and corruption lays in their wake. Lives destroyed, marriages broken, suicides and damaged relationships.

Worth reading again and again. People need to be free of this nonsense once and for all.

Allen C. Dexter said...

I was there when Herb built the monument to himself and called it a "house for God." Makes perfect sense now that I know who that God was -- HWA.

We all thought that the physical plant would still be there when the great kingdom was set up and we would be there also as glorified beings. Delusion has a way of doing such things to people. It also took several years for the reality of the collapse of Hitler's reich to set in with a lot of Germans and I'm sure many went to their graves as still fanatic Nazis.

There are still a lot of fanatic worldwiders who can't accept the fact that it was all a delusion and a con. It has to be out there somewhere and they frantically scurry from group to group looking for the old "fix."

Anonymous said...

Matthew 6:19-21

"19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

verse 24: "24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."

It is my opinion that these men serve money, and idolize money and possessions, large buildings, accumulations of wealth, in the name of corporate greed. And then there's the other one - the one that didn't build a world headquarters, but just spent the wealth and bought all kinds of personal possessions with all the millions. BMW's, diamonds, you name it, making up lies and promises through the whole thing using fear to gain. The common denominator of all of this? The auditoriums? The materialism? The gems and crystals and luxuries?

They take money in the name of God by calling it tithes. Worse then that, they appear to be indiscriminate with who they take from. Poor, povertish, families, the needy, the widowed, the destitute - "send it in!" And on top of that, they use SCRIPTURE to support their taking and greed. And since it is in the name of religion, there is no law to stop it - well, unless you're stupid enough to think you can take not only from the poor and destitute, the widowed and the needy calling it tithes, but to think you can also take from the United States Department of Revenue. One rotten soul is about to spend three and a half years in a personal Great Tribulation thinking about that one.

There should be a way to stop these people in their tracks. But with US religion laws as they are, they can get away with it, and run a tax free, "non-profit" enterprise using scriptural old testament tithes to get filthy, dirty, rich, and they know it.

I wish I had an idea of what to write to my congressman to about this problem and see if there was some way "non-profit" laws can be changed so this can't keep happening. Maybe that should be a major project among all of us, together.

Anonymous said...

"Have you ever noticed how all of these men build their buildings filled with phallic pillars? All three with erupting fountain in front of them."

Kind of reminds me of the old saying "The smaller the [slang word for the male sexual organ beginning with the letter D] the bigger the Harley!" I think it very much applies to these gurus and their pretentious monuments.

Allen wrote: "There are still a lot of fanatic worldwiders who can't accept the fact that it was all a delusion and a con."

In one simple sentence I think Allen has effectively summed up the present lunacy currently on display in the splinter COG's. It's hard to admit we were all conned by HWA and the WCG. But to refuse to acknowledge the fact only serves to compound and magnify the damage. Astonishing how many people still - after all these years, and all the bad fruit - refuse to admit they were simply duped.

I know of someone who has been let down by many splinter groups, and yet refuses to learn from experience. They now have most recently run to Dave Pack's odd little group claiming he's now the one that will really "do the Work, etc., etc., etc."

Truly, the level of insanity begotten within the minds of COG members is truly a tragedy to behold. They just can't kick the habit of Herbert.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 8:00 wrote: "They take money in the name of God by calling it tithes. Worse then that, they appear to be indiscriminate with who they take from. Poor, povertish, families, the needy, the widowed, the destitute - "send it in!"

It's well documented that the vast majority of those who throw their money down the statistical toilet by buying lottery tickets are those least able to afford it. COG gurus operate on the same principle. I would guess the vast percentage of those who support the latest Apostle or prophet are folks of extremely modest circumstances who just can't wait to send their funds in to anyone who is the latest HWA Jr. Human gullibility truly knows no bounds.

Michael said...

Allen-
I have to agree. What you describe "fanatic worldwiders who can't accept the fact that it was all a delusion and a con. It has to be out there somewhere and they frantically scurry from group to group looking for the old "fix."" seems to be the biggest problem for many people.
For some, there was not some fundamental problem with the religion and cult mentality, but just some tweaks need to be done. So the quest for finding "God's true church in this end time" continues, and can lead to nothing else but, ultimately, frustration. This is one of those cases where the baby does indeed need to be thrown out with the bathwater. Bad analogy perhaps, but if the whole tree is rotted, you're wasting your time trying to find the right branch to nest in....

Anonymous said...

Michael, I use the analogy of the needle on an old record player that somehow gets caught in a damaged grove on the vinyl record it's playing and constantly replays the same small, narrow segment of the record over and over and over - until something is able to nudge the needle forward to continue playing the rest of the recording.

And COG gurus recognize and exploit this phenomena as it manifests in gullible COGer's. The gurus themselves are often in the same repetitive mindset. Rod Meredith is an example of someone who just can't seem to progress beyond his very old, obsolete ways of looking at things.

I saw this in myself in my own post-WCG years - and I recognize the same dynamic happening in many current COGer's. They have so many mind-limiting conceptions that were fed into their minds by the WCG, much like Catholic parochial education brainwashes young minds. "Give us a child when he is young and he will remain a Catholic all his life" captures the concept quite well. But unfortunately, so few people seem willing or able to move beyond the narrow, restrictive "truths" that religious organizations have fed into and reinforced in their minds through many years of indoctrination.

I see most COGers - both individual members and collectively as groups - in the same mental rut the Catholic Church was when it quite violently opposed heliocentrism back during the days of Galileo. Moving beyond established church doctrine was just so terrifying a prospect to contemplate for them that they just refused to accept what increasingly became more and more obvious. Same thing with 21st century COG members.

Anonymous said...

The entire dysfunctional family of Armstrongist splinters and schisms continue propagating the gross errors of HWA-WCG by either reading into God's Word or taking out of it whatever fits the warped worldview that was HWA-WCG. Tithing, mind you, was just one area that demonstrated our woeful ignorance and naivete of all things Biblical. Look at Malachi 3:8-12, for instance. "Tithes" and "offerings" weren't money. The "storehouse" (v. 9) was not a bank and the "meat" (ibid) was not made out of paper or precious metal. So what do you reckon God's "tithes and offerings" consisted of then? Obviously they were produce and livestock for temple sacrifices! And look at what the Almighty promised in return, that is, much needed seasonal rain and an abundant harvest (vv. 10-12). Nothing about money multiplying in your pockets! Those who have taught lies about tithing on money (let alone triple tithing as HWA-WCG advocated!) have been driven by a selfish, Shylock-ish huckster mentality equating physical wealth and riches with God's approval (2 Cor. 2:17; 1 Tim. 6:5). Thus, all of these "churches" aren't robbing God so much as robbing His sheeple to erect massive monuments to Mammon (and they still are doing this today!). Rather than instruct their members to freely donate their money and wealth to the poor and needy (e.g. homeless, jobless, widows, orphans, migrants, sick, etc) they claim you owe them(!) at least 10%+ of your earnings to "do" God's Work--in essence what could be labeled "God's Tax"! And yet didn't Christ correct Peter, who without thinking told some people that He did pay tax when in fact He and His followers are supposed to be exempt (Mat. 17:24-27)?! And didn't Peter (after obviously learning his lesson) later correct Simon the Sorcerer for trying to buy God's free gift with money (Acts 8:20; 1 Pet. 1:18-19)?! Well then it's no wonder why these "churches" are being laid desolate now is it (Mat. 23:38)?! They're all "cursed with a curse" because of their Armstrongolatry!

Redfox712 said...
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Redfox712 said...

No2HWA said:

"Have you ever noticed how all of these men build their buildings filled with phallic pillars? All three with erupting fountain in front of them. Its too funny not to make fun of!"

Try watching this PCG propaganda video with that thought in mind.

Warning: Gerald Flurry speaks for first 43 seconds.

http://about.pcog.org/yavideovault.php?v=YouRaiseMeUp

But, seriously, this video perfectly illustrates what No2HWA was saying. It prominently features PCG's HQ building as a backdrop for the singers. This grandiose building was created to satisfy the Gerald Flurry clique's desire to be viewed as important people.

***

Also useful for this topic is this PCG propaganda video, Rise:

http://about.pcog.org/yavideovault.php?v=Rise

This video shows the construction of Armstrong Auditorium.

It is filled with the vain grasping for power and glory. These power deluded men think the Auditorium will show how mighty and powerful they are. Oh how materialistic they have become! Pride comes before the fall, as Proverbs said. May it come soon.

Stephen Flurry, in his book Raising the Ruins (Chapter 2), stated that Ambassador Auditorium was not a burden to WCG's members. Speaking of Ambassador Amditorium he called it, "Yet another legacy that was neither heavy nor burdensome."

Eat your words, Stephen Flurry.

The construction of this white elephant has caused PCG to be $7 million out of pocket.

This act of vanity in constructing Armstrong Auditorium is committed by viciously exploiting thousands of PCG members.

Gerald Flurry forbids women from wearing makeup, saying it is vanity and therefore forbidden. But his vanity in creating these expensive, grandiose buildings at his headquarters complex is far more vain and far more harmful than any woman wearing makeup.

Gerald Flurry is the vain man, not women wearing makeup.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to hear these guys give a "Sermon on the Amount" all this costs and where they actually get the money to do this. What kind of banker would loan under such circumstances unless they did zero homework. Or does one just get so much sent in that it seems doable and an unending supply of funds?

I thinking forced tithing gives the guru waaaaay too money to play with.

Redfox712 said...
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Redfox712 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Redfox712 said...

Bob Thiel's been boasting again in his new letter.

"Did two radio interviews this past week. And while no further ones are currently scheduled, based upon audience estimates as provided by the radio hosts, we of the Continuing Church of God have reached more people in our first few weeks of existence than any non-GTA group that was part of the old Worldwide Church of God or the old Global Church of God.
Since our first month is still not over (and while it may be for radio, it is not for the internet), God willing, I intend to provide statistics related to our reach in the letter next week."

Notice how he did not mention LCG.

Also he promised statistics before confirming these ridiculous claims of his. He has not even bothered to supply these before restating his most arrogant boast.

How can anyone not see how extremely biased Thiel is regarding any statistics he will provide? He is lying.

How is that not bearing false witness?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 8:00 PM wrote: "They take money in the name of God by calling it tithes. Worse then that, they appear to be indiscriminate with who they take from. Poor, povertish, families, the needy, the widowed, the destitute - "send it in!"

There are a bunch of evil fruits mentioned in Romans 1:29-31.

By their fruits you/we know them. One of those major fruits describing what was/is done to those people mentioned by Anonymous 8:00 PM is:

UNMERCIFUL!

Guess who the author of that fruit is? It's another spirit:

"Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?" James 4:5

I suspect there aren't many who thing about that scripture, but it was not said in vain...

John

Anonymous said...

let's not put the blame for their own human nature and mental disturbances along with out of control ego on wicked spirits John. That is the 2000 year ago explanation. Human accountability and oversight is not a spirit issue, it is one that followers should demand but COGs seem to have those folk under a spell of some kind

Douglas Becker said...

It always goes from Edifice Complex to Edifice Wrecks.

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

NO2HWA said, "When construction began on the auditorium the Church was one year away from fleeing to Petra. Construction began in 1971 and the date we were going to Petra was in 1972. Countless letters leading up to 1972 begged for as much money as possible to finish the work. Then a building campaign kicked into gear to pay for HWA's monument. Yet, we were supposed to be fleeing because WWIII was about to be unleashed.

MY COMMENT – NO2HWA, that is so true! I remember it well. It was also the first wakeup call to me personally creating cognitive dissonance in all things WCG. Even as a young teenager, I could not put the two competing messages together in my mind – the great tribulation was to begin in 1972 culminating with Christ’s return in 1975, and HWA was building “the House of God” as it was originally sold to the members. It was the first time I ever started questioning the Church. I even heard HWA say at Mt. Pocono FOT as late as 1971 that the work could be over in January, 1972. So, why are you building "The House of God"?

Your observations about the harlot daughter churches of the WCG and their various leaders are right on point!

Richard

Anonymous said...

How many buildings did the 1st Century church build ?

Joe Moeller
Cody, WY

Anonymous said...

"The smaller the dick, the bigger the Harley"

You might not want to walk into your local Hells Angels clubhouse or bar to repeat that little generalization. You may learn that fighting proficiency is another tool of "overcompensation".
affriGahr 2113

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

No2HWA said, "The only thing these edifices all have in common is that they will all be sold off to other people eventually and used for "worldly" purposes because the Church of God is dying."

MY COMMENT - Oh, I wonder if
No2HWA wrote this statement to be inflammatory? It's sooooo true. The dumb sheep tithe slaves pay and pay and then the Church leaders sell the prperties and pocket the profits.

Little Joey Tkach and his generations will never have to work or be without the finest things in life all thanks to the hundreds of millions of dollars sent in to HWA by the dumb sheep tithe slaves to build his religious business empire....ALL so little Joey Tkach could someday be a multi multi millionaire.

We were taught by HWA the bible verse that "God calls the weak and base things". I say this is a mis-translation. God didn't call the stupid and the morons of the world to be tithe slaves so little Joey Tkach could be a multi multi milliomnaire.

"It was like stealing candy from a baby", said multi millionaire little Joey Tkach as he puffed on his cigar and blew smoke on a portrait of Worldwide Church of God founder Herbert W. Armstrong. "We have some of the most stupid people on the planet as members of our Church" added Tkach before he left on his European vacation. Tammy and I will never have to work again and we will never be without the finest things in life, and we can dine with the classes - all thanks to the dumb sheep of the Worldwide Church of God".

Richard

PS - Thanks No2HWA for the inflammatory statement. As you can see, it got me going.

Anonymous said...

"There should be a way to stop these people in their tracks."

You might reduce their profits by inducing them to pay taxes, but you won't stop people from giving them money. People will stop giving money to religious institutions when they stop believing in imaginary beings.

Paul Ray

Anonymous said...

Did HWA raise money for the auditorium, then, when the time came to pay for it, financed it all through loans? I had heard or read that some time ago.

Anonymous said...

HWA predicted the return of Jesus in his lifetime. ADD ANOTHER FAILED PREDICTION....