Disillusionment has been rampant in Armstrongism down through the decades. With one failed prophecy after another, the death of the apostle, abusive pastors, abusive spouses, ministers living the high life while members suffered, etc.
1956, 1971, 1972, 1975, 1986, 1996 are all major dates in the COG where the apple cart got turned upside down and people lost hope.
Now with over 700 some splinter groups people quickly become disillusioned with one group and jump to the next. Splinter group leaders can't maintain income any more, they cant draw in members that they think should be flocking to them, on and on the list could go. Its no wonder the COG is filled with thousands and thousands of people with mental health issues.
So what happens when we become disillusioned? Is it a good thing or a bad thing.
The exact moment when a person becomes aware of facts that go against what is believed to be true, they experience what psychologists call cognitive dissonance; it is that tense, uncomfortable sensation that what one sees is so out of sync with what one already believes to be true, that the mind instantly rejects it, even when the facts are plain and indisputable.We see this happen daily in Armstrongism. People in Dave Pack's cult and Gerald Flurry's know they are following mentally unstable men yet they sit there and make excuses when they hear things that disrupt their thinking and raise red flags. That is the only reason Flurry and Pack get away with the garbage that they do.
The experience of disillusionment is one that is common to all. It is safe to say that at some time or another, every human being has had the experience of believing in something that turned out not to be true. The initial shock that comes when one’s perception of the world is revealed to be at odds with the hard facts of reality can range anywhere from mild disappointment to a feeling of overwhelming psychological trauma.Check out the entire article here: The Necessity of Disillusionment
Whatever the degree of deception, the realization that one has been believing in a lie is a painful experience, not only psychologically but physically as well. Like a punch to the stomach, it can feel like one’s breath has been taken away. And because our beliefs about the world are interconnected with other beliefs fixed in our brains, the destruction of one belief can often lead to a cascade of collapse of many others.
“Nothing is more sad than the death of an illusion.”When a person is confronted with facts that contradict currently held belief systems, they have one of two choices. The first choice is to go into denial mode by rejecting the facts as being untrue in order to prop up their chosen belief system and continue living as before. The second choice is to accept the new data and try and reconstruct a new internal paradigm or map of reality that accommodates the new information, which may mean putting into question all other beliefs associated with the old model.
~ Arthur Koestler