Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Dennis On: "I'm Just Joshin' Ya"

"Another theory refers to a man named Josh Tatum, who was accused of passing "Racketeer Nickels" in Boston. Mr. Tatum was unable to either hear or speak, so he never actually said that what looked like five-dollar gold pieces were really gold-plated nickels -- he just gave them to clerks and accepted whatever change was given him. No one was able to testify effectively against him, and he was allowed to go free. Since this happened (if it happened) in1883, about forty years after josh meaning 'banter' appeared, we can also discount this theory.

According to the Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, the name Josh was regarded in mid-19th-century America as a typically rural name. A Josh was 'a country bumpkin' or 'a hick', a rustic who was rather slow and not too bright. Here's an 1863 quotation from Hearsill's 1491 Days: "We were 'gobbled up' and taken to the Arkansas Battallion H'd Q'rs ... Luther says that the only thing he regrets in the affair is to be arrested by 'Joshes'." Lacking evidence of any other source, it seems likely to me that josh meaning 'to make fun of' has its origin in this use of the proper name. Joshes, then, were the ones who were joshed, rather than the joshers."
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Dennis Diehl - EzineArticles Expert AuthorThe tale may be apocryphal but the stories are appropriate with regards to the upcoming but now obvious claim by the Apostle Joshua C. Pack that he IS the fulfillment of the historical Joshua the High Priest, who along with the political leader and governor Zerubbabel in the sixth century BCE eventually shamed the people into rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem after years of captivity.  Of course, this is ridiculous.  Anytime a man sees himself specifically spoken of in the Bible, it always ends in disaster because, of course, it is not literally true.  Such men do not need to congregations.  They need medications.
It is not my purpose here to quote the many assumptions, analogies, imaginings, twisted scriptures and loopy comments of the Apostle Pack.  You can pick out the ones you like here http://rcg.org/sep/news.html  as they are very public and very bold.  But in the final anal-ysis, the Apostle Pack is just "Joshin' the Brethren."  Detailed analogies based on ancient texts written for their own times and not projecting ahead thousands of years do not make truth.  I would challenge the Apostle Pack to practice "in a multitude of counsel there is safety," and bounce his prophetic meanderings off a few genuine theologians or Old Testament scholars.  I am sure they would be more than interested in hearing his interpretation of the meaning of the minor prophet Haggai's experience in rebuilding the Temple after an Israelite return form captivity in the 500's BCE.  I'm thinking the conversation would not last long and when these men returned to their own students would probably share their experience with their students about "I talked with this fundamentalist preacher over the weekend who told me he was Joshua the High Priest and the fulfillment of the mere type Joshua in the minor prophet Haggai.  Let's turn to Haggai for a minute."  
First of all let me get this said and out of the way.  Why do I take such personal exception to David Pack?  I've known him since he was in college.  I have worked around him in adjoining church areas and he was my parents and siblings pastor in Rochester, NY for a time.  My dad spent many hours with Dave visiting as a Local Elder.  We have our own family stories about Dave.  Aside from that, I have come to deeply resent the idea of religious men (not just Dave) who take titles to themselves and then use it to control people or convince them of things that ultimately and simply are not so.  I resent the taking of monies not earned by these types of self appointed ego driven types.  Commanding others to give based on fear, guilt and shame , as the Apostle Pack is very good at, is not earning one's living.  It is taking it from others and unearned.  The Apostle Paul pulled this on people in I Cor. 9 as well where he said something to the effect that if he supplied them spiritual things, what's the big deal if he reaped their physical things.  Please don't ever take any analogies between the Apostle Pack and the Apostle Paul, from me, as a compliment.  They both pulled the same stunts with people, had no intention of cooperating with others and either were in charge or they didn't play.  Bending the rules to suit them was also a stunt both were often wont to do.  In the end Paul had to eat crow on his grand views about prophecy and his place in it as will Dave.
We have witnessed the title taking tour of several lone, "I am an Apostle," "I am THAT Prophet," and "I am A Prophet" types since HWA was also christened an Apostle by Dr. Hermann Hoeh.  Big titles, in my experience, are for small men.  I recall once I was at a gathering in Manchester, Kentucky at a member home and I was talking with some fellow I didn't know.   I introduced myself and he said,  "I'm the Mayor of Manchester", but he said it in a way that it was clear I was supposed to do something or say something that was amazed by this fact.  I just said, "nice to meet you."  I was tempted to say, "Weren't you just on 60 minutes as a rather shady character," but I resisted.  60 Minutes ran a segment on Manchester, KY because it was a place where getting killed or disappearing was not all that uncommon.  I had a deer rifle with a really BIG scope on it put to my head there by a women that was pretty sure her husband was not going to be baptized by me anytime soon.  "Shoot him, not me," came to mind.  The story of my escape is awesome but I spare you :)
Another time in KY, the mayor of Somerset,Ky "bought" five cases of oranges from a church member but did not pay.  The member was nervous to deliver them so I did. It was obvious this small man, who had a striking resemblance to GTA, was expecting me to give him the five cases of oranges.  Bzzzzzzzzzzzz, thanks for playing now pay.  I sat there and made it equally obvious he owed for the oranges.  He got the hint and since he did not know me nor could figure me out, he paid.  I assume I would not get any good ol' boy favors from him should I need them in the future. Arrogant little pr.....
In some ways I feel sorry for Dave Pack and in other ways I am intrigued by his personality and claims.  He has not changed one bit since I knew him in his early 20's.  This is who he is and how he thinks.  Whether it be narcissism for which there is precious little successful treatment or possibility of change or something else, it is a dangerous path to go down when mixed with religious zealotry and ideas of special ness, being even spoken of in the Bible.  Those who sit in services hoping that these statements of special ness,  both for themselves and of their Apostle, are going to get hurt.  I have listened to more than one non-member mate talk to me about the damage that is being done to their children and member partner and everyone's relationship to each other.  The Apostle Dave is building up both a following and an anti-following who follow him.  It is no surprise to me that if you are uninvited to RCG or show up on the property without permission, getting the police called on you is pretty much a given.  You can't demand a member destroy the personal family resources and wealth along with retirements and such and not expect some backlash.  The Clarion Call sermon is still to me one of the most stupid, bullying and obscene sermons any minister, real or fake ever could have given.  I would love to see that quoted in the Akron Beacon Journal to balance the community smooze.
At any rate, The (also self appointed) David C. Pack is Joshin' everyone but it is really not funny.  It is a lie based on an analogy that has no reality in fact.  It also is going to lead to lots of heart ache, resentments, ruined lives and lessons once again learned about trusting religious leaders who lose sight of their own humanity and self.  While we may poke fun of Dave's statements, ideas and puff age , it is not really funny because of where it is going to end up.
We are all able now to look back at the legacy of the Armstrongs.  When we were caught up in it, and please understand, I believed in the WCG view of the Bible with all my heart until I didn't, you could not have driven us away.  Had anyone told me what I know myself because I have done the homework to reeducate myself, back then, I would have simply thought it was Satan endeavoring to get me off track.  I could not be here if I had been there is simply my own explanation of the whole experience.  I may have thought like a child, and those in the various one man driven splinters still do in my view, but experience will drive the child out of you if you allow it to.  I have never been sure the Apostle Paul actually wrote I Cor 13 because it is so unlike him in his other writings. But perhaps the man, seeing that all his bluster and egocentric rants and ideas were bullshit, woke up and realized what an ass he had been on many topics and how many people he had not shown love to, which was the greater goal than promoting failed prophecy.  Prophecy frankly is for fools.  Where has "prophecy" ever taken sincere members of most fundamentalist churches?  Into madness or skepticism I'd say.   
Recently, Gary has been running pictures of the tearing down of the physical campus to make room for more profitable ventures.  I can't say it is not emotional and not painful to see the pictures.  I got married in the Fine Arts Hall and "educated" in all things Bible in it.  It's demise and being hauled away was prophetic of both.  Had someone told me at 18 when I sat there listening to Roderick C. Meredith teach me the "Harmony" of the Gospels, how I was going to understand them later in life and all that was going to happen, well...I would not have believed it though one rose from the dead as they say. 
My experience with WCG reminds me of the Buddhist explanation for how we often experience life. 

When I was young, mountains were just mountains, rivers were just rivers and trees were just trees
But when I got older mountains were not just mountains, rivers were not just rivers and trees were not just trees
But now that I am old, mountains are just mountains, rivers are just rivers and trees are actually just trees.

I suppose if you don't get the meaning of this, I can't explain it to you.
So....The Apostle Joshua C. Pack is "Joshin'" everyone with  his newly adopted title and calling.  Somewhere along the line he either went from "Watcher" to "Evangelist" (although he may have skipped this step as I don't recall him calling himself this), to Apostle and now to Joshua the High Priest.  To me it sounds both terribly silly but also insane.  He is this to himself and I suppose he is this to those who endure the hour upon hour and line upon line of proof speaking and texting to get the mind to accept this, but it is still not true.  Dave Pack has woven a clever analogy taken from an obscure book that most Christians never heard of and making it mean what it never meant.  Ministers make scriptures, analogies and stories in the Bible mean what they never meant all the time.  Even the "Matthew" of the Gospels , is master at this with his 'thus it was fulfilled' passages about the birth of Jesus, in which he twists and manipulates the Old Testament to mean what it never meant to tell his story. He does this because he has no real clue how, when or where Jesus was born.  "Luke" of course never read "Matthew's" account so tells a completely different story.  Both are inaccurate and made up.  That is a theological fact and not at all hard to see if you take an honest look.  You know.."sit before the facts as a little child..." and all.
Those who get "Joshed" by this new rendition of Haggai's High Priest are going to get hurt.
Simply said, Dave Pack is not an Apostle in any reality (whatever Apostle means in our day and age),  unless sending yourself counts. Yes, even the Apostle Paul did this too so I guess one can claim that as the authoritative Biblical example.  It's a lousy example and thousands of men and women have used it to promote their own silly or dangerous agendas throughout history, but nevertheless, a common way of separating oneself form the pack...no pun intended.   The recent defecation of Dr. Robert Thiel, formerly of LCG, and selp appointment as a Prophet is equally as silly.  Dave Pack is not any real Joshua the High Priest.  That is his analogy gone haywire.  It is merely and analogy and we all know how analogy minded HWA and WCG could get to claim powers they did not have and perspectives they really should not have taught.  Being born on eagles wings and Aaron and Miriam contending with Moses come to mind as analogies pulled out of the hat when needed to inspire or warn.   Korah being told "well Korah, with ideas like that, really big things are opening up for you," also comes to mind.
Personality, I am nobody.  But I am not willing, with my background and lessons learned in WCG to give Dave Pack, or anyone else who makes great claims for themselves, a pass if they are going to be so public about it.   No one stood up to the Armstrongs when they claimed special things about themselves to stood up to those who made those claims for them.  I sat through many a Gerald Waterhouse spiel saying nothing when in my head it was a constant "like you can prove that," "that's the most stupid thing I have ever heard," or "this guy needs a woman."  The day came when I told him, finally, that when he visited the area, he caused more problems than he solved and I was no longer going to answer the questions and concerns he raised in the minds of the members.  I would simply refer them to him to answer.  He just looked at me like I was stepping out of line.  It was then I also asked what he was going to say when HWA died.  As I have said before his answer took me down another few notches towards giving up on WCG.  "I'll believe it after three days and three nights," was his answer.
I thought he was Joshin' me.............He wasn't and neither is Dave Pack which is equally as disturbing and does not bode well for the emotional, mental and spiritual health of those that allow such foolishness to go unchallenged. 

"In utopia.....The mastermind is driven by his own boundless conceit and delusional aspirations, which he self-identifies as a noble calling. He alone is uniquely qualified to carry out this mission. He is, in his own mind, a savior of mankind, if only man will bend to his own will. Such can be the addiction of power. It can be an irrationally egoistic and absurdly frivolous passion that engulfs even sensible people. In this, mastermind suffers from a psychosis of sorts and endeavors to substitute his own ambitions for the individual ambitions of millions of people.”

contact Dennis at   DennisCDiehl@aol.com


Douglas Becker said...

Davie Pack is disturbing, appalling.

But his followers are disturbing and appalling too.

Dennis, your description sure sounds like the people Dr. Phil was describing in his book, "Life Code" -- you know, the people who are out to get you.

Anonymous said...

I don't care for all these "prophets"; but the associating the name of Joshua with being a country bumpkin is curious to me, if not ironic, considering the fact that the name Jesus is merely the latinized version of the Hebrew name Joshua, who was a man from a rural backwater called Galilee.

DennisCDiehl said...

Anon said:

"...considering the fact that the name Jesus is merely the latinized version of the Hebrew name Joshua, who was a man from a rural backwater called Galilee."

Yes, Dave may as well call himself Jesus the High Priest. LOL

It is interesting though to use the name Jesus, when he probably was considered a country bumkin as were the unlearned disciples. (This is why their perfect Greek in later writings is more than suspect)

Since Jesus left no personal writings and all we have about him are others saying what he is to thought to have said and even they were not eyewitnesses (The Gospel names were added much later to annoymous original Gospels) , he may have been less than educated and may not have even been able to write.

DennisCDiehl said...

From what I understand from insiders, there were tapes of the Clarion Call and other topics that DCP meant only the members. Of course, due to their nature, some non-members copied their mates copies which got all the originals recalled. Dave had the children attendees of a non member turn the house upside down for the tapes they had copied. The brainwashed kids told the parent "not to make us do this and turn them over." The non member mate was "marked" by RCG and the threat by the kids was that they would have nothing more to do with that parent.

Pretty sick stuff. Dave plays hardball when he gets angry and defensive. He needs to be careful of those he angers with everything from taking family monies, retirement, 401's etc, to shoving wedges between parents and children or husbands and wives who were just fine with each other until RCG/DCP showed up.

Those scriptures about "a man's enemies shall be they of their own household" are used by every religion on earth of every belief and crazy idea to justify drama when families get really pissed off at what a church or minister is doing to them.

Everyone claims persecution when it is just the result of ridiculous ideas, minding the business of others and making claims that are more than suspect.

Anonymous said...

Dave also banned the parent from sons graduation from his Bible Propaganda Course, which they sincerely wished to attend

Anonymous said...

Dave Pack has demonstrated what a coward he really is because he will not answer his critics. Instead, he cries that he is attacked and tries to rally sympathetic weak minded followers to pity him and stick even closer to him. Do you know why one cannot just walk into a service and listen?, because they must first be screened to determine if they are the kind of person who can be brainwashed and believe the crazy stuff that "Mr. Pack" is selling. You know why the "Letters to Brethren and Co-workers" are secret?, because they contain outrageous propaganda and attacks on the all others outside of RCG and the United States of America. The IRS needs to take away the 501 c3 charitable non profit designation for the business; because there is no cherity or goodwill to anyone out side of the RCG; tell me how they help anyone outside of their organization! And the Attorney General needs to take action against Pack because the man knows that he is copying the business model of Herbert Armstrong and he know that Armstrong was a fraud; so Pack is also a fraud and he is enriching himself. Who owns the new "church" building?, Pack does. Where is the accountability for the money, where are the financial reports? Isn't it frustrating when our Government is informed of these types of criminal activity and they do nothing.. until something bad happens, then they are exposed for having had many clues, complaints, and information that they never acted on! Get the FBI to look into this criminal organization. Don't be scared, it's not a church as they say, it is a fraudulent business and people are suffering at the hands of these men! It is a RICO case!

Anonymous said...

Dennis is right!

Anonymous said...

The theology in Battlestar Galactica was more plausible and firmly grounded than Dave Pack's.

Anonymous said...

Actually it would be more correct to say that "Jesus" is the Anglicization of the Hellenization of the Aramaicization of the late Hebraicization of "Yeshua" from the earlier "Yehoshua."

Online Etymology Dictionary says:

late 12c. (Old English used hælend "savior"), from Greek Iesous, which is an attempt to render into Greek the Aramaic proper name Jeshua (Hebrew Yeshua) "Jah is salvation," a common Jewish personal name, the later form of Hebrew Yehoshua (see Joshua).

Anonymous said...

If it wasn't for Pack, half of the RCG would be PCG members by now, but the entrance exam is easier, and the waiting list is shorter at Pack's place, and the other half are total PCG-rejects that are at their last resort.

The RCG is the community college of the COG.

Byker Bob said...

It would be nearly impossible for Pack not to be aware of what I will euphemistically call our "constructive criticism" of his methodology and organization.

For one thing, this blog has become very high profile. It's like a clearing house for ACOG information. It facilitates one myrmidon learning what all other myrmidons are doing. It can also be used to telegraph or spread disinformation, and don't kid yourselves, one or more of these manipulative bastards are most likely resorting to that.

For all of the regular posters here: You may be quite surprised at the extent to which our writings can be lifted from here, excerpted, or fully quoted on other blogs and forums related to the Armstrong experience. You don't believe me? Google your name or handle, as I did this past week, and you will discover blogs you had no idea existed! They are not all flattering, either, nor do some allow comment or correction. But, that is a small price to pay if we can prevent our fellow humans from being victimized, or facilitate their escape.

Happy Independence Day, everybody!