Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Worldwide Church of God and The Jehovah's Witnesses - Plagiarism Buddies?




Check out the chart here: Which Came First? WCG or Watchtower Bible Society?

What I had never heard before was that JW leaders may have plagiarized Hebert's writings, just as Herbert Armstrong plagiarized JW, COG7 Day, Mormon and Adventists writers.

In HWA's basement in the old walk-in safe, HWA had lots of books from the SDA's, JW's, and other Adventist groups.  He had underlined passages in the books and marked them up from much use.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

And you would know this, because...? You are Not the type of person Mr. Armstrong would of let in his house, let alone his walk in safe. Or did you even get his permission? Or is this all hogwash, with no shred of evidence?

Joe Moeller said...

There are similarities between JWs and COGs because they have a common background.

Charles Taze Russell, the founder of the JWs was first influenced by Adventist ministers and studied with them circa 1870. Primitive Adventists were different than current Adventists in terms of being non trinitarian and non Pagan day observers like Christmas and Easter.

We all share similar ideas such as "soul sleep", and a future millenium and the literal second coming of Christ, as well as an end time eschatology.

Herbert Armstrong was greatly influenced by the Church of God Seventh Day, which up until 1910 was known as The Church of God Adventist. In the 1800s there was much movement between Adventist ministers and members and the COG of that era, and there was obvious cross pollination.

In putting together a "family tree" of religion, it is safe to place the JWs in the Adventist family of Christianity as a cousin church. To find sociological and doctrinal similarities is certainly no surprise.

Joe Moeller
Cody, WY

Silence said...

Fascinating comparison. There are no original ideas. None of these groups are as special or unique as they claim to be.

NO2HWA said...

Anon: Hate to burst your bubble, but I worked in his home for over 20 years.

DennisCDiehl said...

It's really not a big problem. Matthew copied directly 600 of Mark's 666 verses or 678 depending. Luke copied right at about half. John just made stuff up that no one else ever heard of and put it in an order quite different than the others.

Everyone copied books that disappeared from view .

Luke copied Josephus's perilous sea journey and gave it to Paul for added drama.

Everyone copied the virgin birth stories of the gods and the astro-theological story of the journey of the Sun through the 12 signs of the zodiac ending in death, birth and taking away the darkness of the world.

Without copying, plagiarism and forgery, we'd not have the truths we have today.

Anonymous said...

Dennis said: “It's really not a big problem. Matthew copied directly 600 of Mark's 666 verses or 678 depending. Luke copied right at about half. John just made stuff up that no one else ever heard of and put it in an order quite different than the others.”

Such dogmatic statements such as these do not factor in the reality fact that the history of the development and growth of Christianity is a lot more complex than what you presented. Since none of the historians have first hand information their opinion depends on what they have read and accepted to fit their rational thought. Those who factor out the existence of a Being higher than human life are still just guessing since human life can pass on oral tradition as the source of some of the material the biblical authors used as the source material.

There is a lot of speculation in this area, but the fact that Christianity is alive and well for the most part should tell us something.

A. Boocher

Anonymous said...

More on HWA's plagiarism can be found on the site devoted to the topic.

www.allen-armstrong.org

Anon: If HWA said God revealed something to him, how would you know? Did he let you in his house? Were you there when it happened? Did you see God appear? Did you read God's mind? Is there a single shred of evidence?

Anonymous said...

"Herbert Armstrong was greatly influenced by the Church of God Seventh Day ... "

He sure was. He stole most of their doctrines then lied and said they only had about three truths when he met them. What a pile of manure.

Anonymous said...

"Without copying, plagiarism and forgery, we'd not have the truths we have today."

Without copying, plagiarism and forgery, we'd not have the lies we have today.

Head Usher said...

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I think the point of this thread was not to frame the context of WCG in terms of its obvious history and to ink WCG into its obvious place in the family tree of church evolution. That's kind of an obfuscating reframe, isn't it?

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I think the point was to show that the sources of Herbert's doctrines were NOT the source that Herbert claimed, and that he was a liar and a plagiarist. But we already knew that, right? At this point, this is certainly no surprise, is it.

So let's just call a spade a spade. HWA was a plagiarist, not because of common background or because he borrowed, but because he borrowed without giving credit where it was due, and instead lied about it, claiming it was "revealed" to him "by Jesus Christ" himself because he was the and only latter-day "apostle" after "1900 years," and as such claimed that all sorts of scriptures were prophesying his arrival on the world scene, such as "he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children..." etc., all of which was complete and utter bullshit from start to finish. Or basically the exact same trick Dave Pack is now plagiarizing down to a T. But we knew all this too, right? No surprises here either. You can't be an HWA apologist without being a Pack apologist too.

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

Joe Moeller said, "Herbert Armstrong was greatly influenced by the Church of God Seventh Day, which up until 1910 was known as The Church of God Adventist. In the 1800s there was much movement between Adventist ministers and members and the COG of that era, and there was obvious cross pollination".

MY COMMENT - Excellent post Joe! That is what my independent research found as well.

There was also other Sabbatarian "Churches of God" that grew during the late 1800s and early 1900s that were completely independent of the mother Church - The Church of God (Adventist) later known as the Church of God Seventh Day.

One is a Church of God founded in the early 1900s by a black minister (William Crowder if my memory is correct) that had identical doctrines as the Worldwide Church of God. He was a dynamic minister that attracted crowds of up to 5,000 in Chicago. What I found interesting was that this minister who was street preacher was preaching in Chicago when Herbert and Loma Armstrong lived there in the 1910s and 1920s.

Do you remember Loma's dream and where it occurred? It was in Chicago! Coincidence? I don't know, but there is a whole group of Sabbatarian Churches of God that did not come from the Seventh Day Adventists or its offshoot Church of God (Adventist)/Church of God Seventh Day.

We were never taught this Church history from the pulpits of the WCG in the 1960s or 1970s.

Richard

Byker Bob said...

Plagiarism is not considered to be a bad thing amongst the preachers of religion. Someone catches someone "copping" one of his lines, and it becomes just one more person jumping on the bandwagon and preaching "his" gospel.

BB

Anonymous said...

(shrug) I see comments from prople regularly who have taken on statements, doctrines, etc from some book or speaker. HWA did the same. Its nothing special or uncommon in itself. Where HWA went over the line into "plagiarism" was in then presenting those same arguments claiming he was the recipient of divine revelation...
Some will say, well, thats not really plagiarism as the courts describe it. That can be true at times, but youd be surprised to see some materials (of nonreligious nature) that the courts have ruled as plagiarism.

Redfox712 said...

That quote strongly indicates to me that the Watchtower Society leadership plagiarized the idea that Armageddon would come in 1975 from HWA.

Back in 2009 I looked into the topic of the Jehovah's Witnesses predicting Armageddon in 1975. It turned out they only started preaching that in 1966.

On the other hand HWA and Herman Hoeh started preaching the 1975 false prophecy in 1953, thirteen years earlier.

So it is impossible for HWA to have plagiarized that idea from the Jehovah's Witnesses. But the opposite might have occurred.

That quote strongly indicates to me that the Watchtower Society was actually plagiarizing HWA with that teaching.

Also see this comment fromxHWA at As Bereans Did when we discussed that possibility.

As far as I am concerned, after seeing that information, I am now convinced that Fred Franz was plagiarizing HWA when he also predicted 1975 to be the date for Armageddon.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:13PM wrote: "Where HWA went over the line was in...claiming he was the recipient of divine revelation...Some will say, well, that's not really plagiarism as the courts describe it."

Umm but it sure smacks of insanity imho! It's bad enough if I'm delusional & have deceived myself. But, to deceive others by giving the false impression that I'm in direct communion with the Almighty & have received insight about the future that no one else on this earth has been given is diabolically dishonest in the worst form! Utterly insane!

Btw I've been personally interested in this aspect of Armstrongism for some time now. I'm aware HWA plagiarized a lot of material from COG7 even down to copying entire booklets if theirs! But, there is 1 book I really like & have always wondered if he (or GTA or whoever wrote it) sourced it from somewhere else? The book is "The Modern Romans." I think Gibbons listed some points re the social condition of the Roman Empire prior to its fall in his "Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire," but I wonder if someone wrote an article, book, college paper etc which WCG then used as a basis to compile its booklet? If anyone knows anything more it'd be helpful. Thanks!

Joe Moeller said...

Armstrong making claims of "divine revelation" and secret "gnosis awakening from God" is silly. In order to create market uniqueness, claims such as this are used to separate one in the marketplace and to make claims such as "the only true church", and thus the ONLY place where someone can get to God through their exclusive franchise. In other words, it is a control mechanism.

Give credit to both the COG 7th Day and the UCG for not claiming to be the "ONLY" true church or unique collection of true believers, or "the only exclusive way".

Holy Days and the like were not unique to HWA either. John Kiez, a COG 7 leading minister from back in the 20s and 30s advocated the Holy Days, as did GG Ruppert from the 1880s to 1920s. Both were heavy influences on HWA when newly in the church. Herbert Armstrong did not come up with the idea of keeping HDs exclusively on his own self and alone.

Jehovah WItnesses originally believed that Christ would return in 1914. When this did not happen, they invented an idea that there were 144,000 JWs sealed at that time (1914) who would still be alive at the second coming of Jesus. This would be the so called "Last Generation" that would see all things accomplished. HWA pushed this kind of idea too, that all would be accomplished in one generation.

The JWs came up with 1975 independent of HWA and it is coincidental. They were reasoning that there still had to be 144,000 surviving JWs from 1914, and this was about the time limit for this to happen , before death and attrition made that number impossible.

JWs have abandoned their sealed 144,000 from 1914 being alive at the second coming idea here in 2013, because it is an impossibility. The UCG has discretely been peddling away from the idea that "all things" will be accomplished in one "last" generation, (being that of the Armstrong generation era) and idea based on "Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place" (Matthew 24:34)

Well, the generations have indeed passed! We certainly live in interesting times, perhaps we are near the end of the age. However, we are only guessing at it if we do. It is safe to say that HWA/GTA were NOT precursor indicators of such, or fulfillments of specific prophecies or end time generations or Biblical characters.

Apparently there is still a small marketplace for those like Pack or Flurry, in trying to maintain a special Biblical relevance to all things WCG, but in reality, the march forward of history and common sense, tells us otherwise.

Any future for the COG, will have to jettison HWA as any sort of authority, or even iconic unique visionary, as the facts will not match up with the reality. Even the idea of a nostalgic "father figure" , with an idealized past will not work either.

I think many in the UCG membership and leadership realize this, and it is a process that is slowly and incrementally taking hold. The UCG of 20 years from now will be very much Armstrong independent and influenced. Yes, even the picture at the home office will be gone too. Give it some time, for this is definitely the direction of UCG for the future in creating its own unique and diverse leadership and culture away from strict hierarchy and the baggage of the failings of the WCG.

Joe Moeller
Cody, WY


Anonymous said...

Armstrong making claims of "divine revelation" and secret "gnosis awakening from God" is silly.

It's not "silly"- it's a lie from a lying liar who caused many many more deaths than Charles Manson ever caused.

Joe, ride your horse into the UCG headquarters, lasso down their large portrait of Herbert Armstrong, and have your horse stomp and piss and shit on it!

Anonymous said...

The UCG is making progress, but much slower than we would like.

What the UCG can not deny is that without HWA's dishonest and erroneous preaching they would not have come into existence.

That should tell them something.

DennisCDiehl said...

AB noted:

"There is a lot of speculation in this area, but the fact that Christianity is alive and well for the most part should tell us something.

A. Boocher "

Wicca, Scientology, Hinduism, Islam also are alive and well so what does that tell us?

DennisCDiehl said...

Anon said:

Anonymous said...
"Without copying, plagiarism and forgery, we'd not have the truths we have today."

Without copying, plagiarism and forgery, we'd not have the lies we have today."

That's what I meant...

Anonymous said...

Dennis said: “Wicca, Scientology, Hinduism, Islam also are alive and well so what does that tell us?”
So you are comparing Christianity with all of these religions. I can see you never understood Christianity as I understand it or you lost it somewhere along the way. I pity you and can see why you make such an aggressive effort to destroy the faith that those who find comfort in their belief in God and the life they live.
The people I relate with in life share many different views of the Christian faith, but they all have a positive outlook on life and see the bible from a different perspective than what you seem to have developed. I am sorry that I interfered with your preaching against the biblical story, but there are better views of what the bible is telling us.
A. Boocher

Anonymous said...

Yep, Islam is alive and well. There are 1.5 billion people that believe in Islam.

The adherents of that primitive lie often say "1.5 billion people can't be wrong." It's the bandwagon fallacy.

They also forget that there are 5.5 billion people in the world who think Islam is junk.

Anonymous said...

"That's what I meant..."

I suspect that ... but I wasn't sure. After all, it's not _all_ lies.

Anonymous said...

Joe said: "The UCG of 20 years from now will be very much Armstrong independent and influenced"

That's assuming the UCG will even exist in 20 years!
I reckon members of it, along with all the other large WCG splinters, will probably have been absorbed into other mainstream Xian groups. Perhaps there might be some individuals still around in another 20 years sticking to Armstrongist views or may be some home groups still, but such would be tiny and fragmented compared to mainline Xianity. Thus imho Armstrongism will be totally obliterated. That's irony for ya!

Anonymous said...

The fellows over at "All About Armstronism" posted this recently:
As the de-evolution of Armstrongism continues, what exactly would be expected to evolve? How will they change? And, where is the line drawn from Armstrongism and the deviated churches? What truly makes an Armstrongite church, and what makes a church cross the line out of Armstrongism into a different “Armstrong-like” organization?

Classic Armstrongism is, in principle, this:

One-Man Government, Top-Down Rule
Sabbath and Holy Day Mandatory Observances
Holy Days as Taught, No Additions or Date-Changes
Doctrines taught Exactly as Herbert Armstrong taught them
Avoidance and Condemnation of the World, Separatist
Absolute Ministerial Authority
Triple-Tithe standard funding with offerings
Strong Disfellowshipment Policy
Campus Building Obsessions
A College or Teaching Institution.


I would say that UCG has already moved past all of these except three: The Sabbath, the holy days, and a college. The Sabbath and holy days are a fundamental belief and won't change regardless of whether HWA taught them or not. If that makes UCG forever an Armstrongist church, so be it. As for a "college", yes, UCG has a learning institution. About 30-40 each year attend a 9-month set of courses. As for the rest of the Armstrongism principles, they no longer exist in most of UCG. This fact has earned UCG derision from Meredith and others, and was a big part of the COGWA separation. Remember COGWA wanted that big centralized campus in Texas, not to mention a more centralized government. So, UCG is moving forward, leaving Armstrong behind, and disregarding the critics.

Anonymous said...

So, UCG is moving forward, leaving Armstrong behind, and disregarding the critics.

But, did they get rid of the large portrait of HWA hanging prominently at their HQ, yet? That would be an indicator.

Anonymous said...

Classy, Boocher. The guy wanted you to clarify what seemed to be a non-sequitur statement and your response was to climb a high horse...