Sunday, August 18, 2013

"When it comes right down to it, being lied to about Santa Clause did far less damage in my life than being lied to about 1975."

There is a great post on All About Armstrongism today about the Church of God's greatest LIE that was fostered off on tens of thousands of gullible members are pure truth.

The Church for generations taught the “evils of Christmas” to the Church, condemning it with fervor and blasting out about how “Satanic” the day was,, it’s origins, “Saturnalia”, and of course, teaching how it was lying to their children about Santa Clause.

Truth is, they really needed to shut up about it – they were involved in their own lying. Even Herbert Armstrong said they got “carried away”. And the subject to bring that point home is 1975.

1975 is one of Armstrongism’s biggest embarrassments. And biggest fears. With members fearing losing 1/3 of “their friends” that they knew at that time (which was stated with certainty in the book) to world disasters on Armageddon proportions,  they were scared. Scared stiff. Some to the point where they had everything packed and ready to go. Children were told that they would have to leave “at any time”. Some children were so scared of this, they were literally traumatized at that time – mostly by the fearfulness and panic of some very zealous parents who listened – and believed wholeheartedly – to the patently false speculations of Herbert Armstrong, who, according to an article in “Tomorrow’s World” magazine published by the Church, “regretted it deeply”, regarding the church’s – as he called it “appearance” or “coming close to” setting dates.

Check out the entire article here: "Let's Get Real"


Douglas Becker said...

A copy of 1975 in prophecy may be found at (among other places).

The lies continue with the various sects merely changing a few details (like the year, for instance) and recycle the garbage for the sake of money.

What sort of person knowingly tells lies to make money?

Those with Criminal Minds.

Byker Bob said...

All true! And, this summer has been a continuation of those types of lies and damage through the incredible barrage of bull compost promulgated and broadcast by one David Pack!

We've discussed the "trapped" syndrome at length here in times past. Apparently, it worked on some of our parents, and we were dragged along. Now, Dave Pack knows that many members of ACOG splinters have certain sites which they are actually forbidden to visit, under penalty of the Lake of Fire. So, his access to many of the ACOGs for purposes of spreading his message is very much restricted. The people to whom he has free access are basically the defiant ones, and the former members. I believe he thinks he can mess with us.

Much like Tecumseh's curse, Dave's message about ACOG leaders dying might suddenly take on a kind of superstitious meaning after the fact, provided that a leader or two were to suddenly meet his demise. And, considering age and accidents, it is never an unwarranted assumption that people do die. As for most of us ex-members, we made our WCG cost-benefit analyses long ago. So, basically, "Mr." (gotta compensate for that jealousy of doctors) Pack secretly knows that he is just messing with people's heads. And, "somebody" has a really big karmic debt for all of the threats, negativity, and desire to trap and take control of others.

I sincerely hope and pray that this sort of negative evangelism, this "trapped by wolves" syndrome gets turned around against those who are preaching it. I would take a lot of vicarious delight in that. It would provide partial compensation for all of the bad things that Herbert W. Armstrong introduced into all of our lives!


DennisCDiehl said...

I was in Pasadena '68-72 and I don't recall much if anything about the 1972/75 thing. It was on the wane evidently thought maybe more out in local churches which I had up to that point never attended. I went right from Sunday keeping and ham sandwiches to WCG the next week!.

Besides, I recall watching them build the auditorium and figured that whoever was into 1972 had not seen what was being built. Today we call that Packstruction which means, "My Lord delays his coming but not to worry, we will be found so doing and that's a good thing"

Secular-Humanist Buddhist said...

I believe it is extremely evil to cut people off from their families at the usual holiday times, as that is often the ONLY time some families get together. It is just as EVIL to cut children off from their culture, make them feel odd or undeserving because they can't participate in normal holidays or get gifts or Easter eggs or valentines.(I realize that I sometimes emphasize words like that old nasty creep, Armstrong did. I guess I looked at too many "Plain Truth's by accident. I tried to shut them real quickly as soon as I realized their psychotic qualities.

Byker Bob said...


We've all discussed our regrets from time to time, and I can tell you that had I known the world was not coming to an end in 1972-75, I never would have gone to Ambassador College! My interests were technical and musical, not at all theological or in doing social work.

I remember brethren during that era in the headquarters area making remarks to the effect that they were safe with their licenses because they didn't expire until 1976 or that the car they had just purchased would probably be their last one before the end. But you are totally correct in that the Armstrongs had made every attemp to blunt their false prophecy, and were furiously backpedaling as 1972 approached. They had reprogrammed many of the brethren, yanked 1975 in prophecy from publication, and, as if in the midst of a communist purge, were removing any incriminating evidence.

It wasn't considered politically correct to discuss this nonevent in terms of failure, but there were a lot of people who were troubled by it. Many just latched on to HWA's big lie and started parroting the line about the church never having set dates. But, then there were those three problematic mathematical equations from Bible class.....


Glenn said...

I was in Pasadena and a student and an employee from 1967-1976. Beginning is 1967, Rod Meredith started to say things like, "World events have slowed down" and "Prophecy seems to have slowed down in its fulfillment recently. We may have a little more time than we thought."

When GTA started his "America Listen" campaign, I had students in my dorm calling their parents and telling them, "It looks like this is it. Yep, this is the final push before the end."

Then, of course, we got HWA proclaiming in the PT or TW, "I am NOT a prophet!" And the big news was Readers'Digest has opened their pages to us! Eight million circulation throughout the world. This is a great leap forward.

I also remember when HWA talked about borrowing money to finance the Auditorium, he said something like , "Well, we will be here to make the payments but if the lenders are now around for us to pay then its not really our fault is it?" And the audience laughed because we KNEW what he meant

Nobody in authority really ever pulled down the 1972 prophecy marker, they just edged away from it. But make no mistake. The 1975 booklet and the we shall flee in 1972 prophecy did huge damage to the church and started a lot of people on the road out. If he can be wrong about 1972-1975, what else is he wrong about?

I still have a hardbound copy of US and BC that was printed in 1967 or 1968 in which HWA wrote to that these things were SURE to come to pass in the next 12-15 years at the most.

Dave Pack will be hurt by his own stupidity in the coming months. I hope it causes his efforts to dry up and blow away.

Glenn Parker

Michael said...

Dennis wrote:
"I was in Pasadena '68-72 and I don't recall much if anything about the 1972/75 thing."

Sounds about right considering WCG marketing policy.
Wasn't the business concept:
1) Keep those at HQ revved up about an expanding empire (of which they were to be leading part). This helped keep them loyal to HWA who was necessary to maintain the structure, as its leading guru. They had no need for constant reminders of fleeing, the work could end at any time, etc. Instead, what they needed was the sense of future and purpose of being part of a "big work".
2) Keep those outside HQ in a state of anxiety about the future, that the call from HQ could come at any time to flee. This kept them scared shitless and loyal to the church, and most importantly, willing to sacrifice financially.

Although it might be somewhat contorted hindsight on my part, I seem to remember before AC that the emphasis was on how short the work was going to be.
During AC, however, i recall no such emphasis. It was all on "growing the church".
Not so much "this could end at any time! Do not expect to graduate from AC, you freshmen!"

DennisCDiehl said...

That was my experience Glenn and Bob, as well. I was 18 and not all that familiar with WCG in how it worked or thought behind the scenes. I never knew anything about a Loma Armstrong and she died just one year before I came to college. It was like she died twenty years earlier if you went by any indication it had just happened before I got to AC.

Also, I had never been to a local church congregation until I had gone to AC and then came home to Rochester the first summer from what I recall. I do recall getting a ride to Rochester Church from a German family and the father seemed like a WWII Nazi refugee which for all I know he was. He was one angry kinda guy and here I sit in the back seat of a VW and he is yelling something for some reason. I should have taken the hint and saved myself a lifetime of poor choices.

But, you could not, at the time, have ever talked me out of it as I well know and believe.

Anonymous said...

DD said: "I should have taken the hint and saved myself a lifetime of poor choices." Yeah it's funny how the universe works, subtle hints and all ain't it?!
I remember being a naive and ignorant 19 yo about 1995 when the WCG was imploding and some guy who got a job at my workplace told my sister about how he'd been a member of the WCG and now he wasn't. It was his opinion they were only after money. I regret never questioning him about his experience, which in hindsight (like yourself Denny) I'm sure would've spared me a lifetime of poor choices as well! ;-) I've started to wonder if such people come into our lives or other kinds of hints are at play from the cosmos at crucial moments and if we're open to receiving the wisdom they have to share we have the chance to avoid a lot of heartache and loneliness that would otherwise come our way. Sadly, for me at least, I failed to heed the warning and no matter how much I wish I could go back to fix things I can't. Makes me want to die sometimes, I admit. But, I know and believe one day my broken heart will be mended and my tears wiped away for I will see it all clearly at that time and know I am loved.

Anonymous said...

I know some ACOG people who REALLY REALLY REALLY HATE Santa.

(Never mind that he's mythological, and never mind that the WCG's analysis of the mythological Santa are "junk-theology" at best, like most all of the rest of what HWA/WCG taught.)

But, many ACOG'ers have a deep need to hate Santa, in order for them to be comfortable with the extremely flawed mindsets they cling to.

To think otherwise would require entering a place of painful and difficult cognitive dissonance that the most entrenched of ACOGers avoid at all costs.

Byker Bob said...

Oh, speaking of hatred, I remembr in art class at public schools, we were assigned to draw pictures of the Easter Bunny. Like a good little WCG boy, I went to the front of the room, and explaind to the teacher that I could not do this for religious reasons. She smiled, and said, "Well, that's OK Robert, just draw a picture of a bunny rabbit."

For whatever reasons, I returned to my desk, picked up my crayons, and drew a picture of a cartoonish rabbit, complete with devil horns, and named him "Evil Orville".

I think that later I heard of other kids in our congregation who were told to draw pictures of Santa Clause, and you can imagine the shock of the art teacher upon receiving a portrait of "Satan Clause". We "knew" the Germans were going to get all of these pagans, so pitied rather than holdng it against authority figures who wanted us to be like the rest of the world.


Anonymous said...

When I worked at the Canadian headquarters in Vancouver from 1967 to the end of 1970,I remember hearing of some people who wanted to hurry up and have the number of children they wanted before Mr. Armstrong instructed people not to have any more children.


DennisCDiehl said...

Let's face it. We were young. Impressionable and had poo poo for brains. We actually did grow in Grace and Knowledge. It was just not how we anticipated doing so.

Glenn said...

When I entered AC Pasadena in the fall of 1967 we were told "You will probably be the last class to ever graduate from Ambassador College. You will have the opportunity to serve and be leaders in the place of safety." Instead of fleeing early in 1972, I got married in June of that year and soon after started thinking about how to get myself and my wife out of wcg without destroying our marriage. It took another six years to get to the point where she would leave the organization with me. We had our 41st anniversary a couple of months ago.

I also remember Howard Clark saying my first year that the bombs would start falling at 5:00 a.m. eastern time and 2:00 on the Pacific Coast because that was the time the US would be most vulnerable. I miss Howard Clark - he was one of the few ministers I felt comfortable talking with.

And BB, I too remember Richard Plache drawing timelines on the board in class showing how everything converged in 1972. He was very cutesy about "not setting dates" but it was clear that was the intent.

Glenn Parker

Byker Bob said...


I don't think Richard came up with those dates on his own, either! He would have been sanctioned bigtime for teaching such a thing without it being pretty much official church dogma. If they microsupervised and spied on all of us, they had to have been doing that on the ministerial level as well.


Anonymous said...

Speaking of Richard Plache... Word is he is working in San Diego, hauling those inflatable houses to kid's birthday parties.