Friday, April 25, 2014

Bob Thiel: Is He Lying About The Number of Congregations That Belong To His Personality Cult?

Are we to really believe that Bob Thiel's claim to have gathered together a lot of African churches that are bringing in over 300 members to his ranks?  Almost all who have read his side of the story immediately smelled a rat. Given that he lied about being ordained and set apart to start his own personality cult I guess we should not assume he would fudge the numbers in order to make himself look bigger than he really is. Thiel has set himself up to be the laughing stock of the Churches of God.    Thiel has knocked Ron Weinland off of that pedestal now.

It is a well known fact that African "churches" will claim allegiance to the highest bidder. This is not only true in the Churches of God but also in evangelical and other Protestant churches operating in that region.

African ministers are taking in money from all directions and becoming wealthy while their members are dirt poor.

In March this year, David Oyedepo, a Nigerian cleric generally believed to be Africa’s wealthiest gospel preacher, acquired a Gulfstream V jet for US$30 million. Oyedepo, who presides over the Winners Chapel, one of Africa’s largest churches, now owns a private collection of four aircraft. In addition to his latest acquisition, he previously owned two Gulfstream planes and a Bombardier Challenger Aircraft. He is also reportedly creating a private hanger to accommodate his flying toys.

Oyedepo is not the only Nigerian clergyman to own a jet. Pastor Enoch Adeboye, the revered overseer of Nigeria’s largest congregation, The Redeemed Christian Church of God, is also a proud jet owner. In March 2009, the great man of God spent $30 million on a Gulfstream jet amidst widespread criticism. Pastor Sam Adeyemi, another cleric and founder of the Daystar Christian center, a flourishing Pentecostal congregation which repeatedly preaches financial prosperity, is also a jet owner.

It’s not cheap to own a private jet. On average, it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to maintain a personal plane. The majority of Nigerians frown at such flagrant displays of opulence, particularly on the path of their clergymen, given that 60% of Nigerians still live below the poverty line.

From a reader here:

...the idea that Bob Thiel "has" these congregations in the first place is ignoring the realities and economies of the situation:

1) What can Bob possibly do for them that they can't do for themselves already? If these "congregations" are already organized and functioning, why would they need a Bob Thiel? Why would they let Bob waltz in, take them over, and then start calling the shots? Tinkering with their doctrines? Each of these congregations already has it's own belief structures and hierarchies of bigshots. Bigshots don't go out looking for bigger-shots to submit to unless there's something in it for them, like subsidies and/or a chance to extend their influence by building a bigger empire in their own backyard. I would be very surprised if Bob could do anything else for the church bigshots in Africa. He certainly can do nothing for the average member of these congregations.

2) What can the Africans do for Bob? The African bigshots aren't the only ones trying to build bigger empires for themselves. Bob wants to show up LCG by building a bigger empire than Uncle Rod. It's unlikely he'll succeed, but he's gonna give it the old college try. Since it's unlikely he's going to convince these far-flung pre-existing congregations to see things his way doctrinally or prophetically, or allow Bob to re-brand them as CCOG, the only thing these groups are going to allow Bob to do is send them his money. What does Bob get in return for his money? The right to boast of a bigger empire? From a desperate point of view, perhaps. In a perfect world, his money would buy a better safety net for the members of these congregations living on the edge. In reality, we don't live in that world, do we?

3) Does Bob have enough money to afford to be scammed by 20 congregations at once? If anybody is being "had" it's Bob, not the street-smart Africans whose cultures often support very different ideas about "right" and "wrong" that are foreign and unexpected to the simple uninitiated American like Bob. Often their take on Christianity is also foreign with the same words meaning very different things. But I guess I could say similar things about narcissist and sociopathic Christian leaders here in the US. The successful ones tend to be just as street-smart, the less successful ones, like Bob, tend to be naïve blobs of neediness and egotism. Who's zoomin' who? Take another look and tell me, Bobby.

4) Bob is trying to play church Monopoly. Bob cannot acquire and "have" new congregations at the drop of a hat like hotels on Baltic Avenue. Congregations that Bob did not build through his own influence are congregations he can never "have" regardless of what price he pays to buy them. They'll never follow him or believe him, though they might take his money. But Bob's US following is too small to afford to buy many other properties or put houses or hotels on them. We all know this intuitively and discount Bob's boasting, don't we?



Most of the upstart COG leaders talk about numbers in far-flung regions of the world.

Flurry and Pack did the same thing back in the early years of their personality cults.

I distinctly remember Flurry or one of his regional directors bragging about 700-1000 from India.

Pack himself got off on all the growth in Africa and the Caribbean.

Some how most of these people who live in poverty and struggle for daily food have incredible TV and Internet reception to tune into these 3 clowns!

Connie Schmidt said...


I am declaring myself a COG minister, (and with and by the same authority that Bob claimed his title).

I am also declaring that all my friends, acquaintances, family and neighbors are also members of "MY CHURCH" underneath me.

These total at least 500, and maybe as many as 1000 people.

***I also declare allegiance and "loyalty" as subjects of Mr. Thiel of my following, and allow for him to have the title (of his choosing, or as many as he would like) of Apostle, Prophet, Overseer, Minister, King, Dictator, Emperor, Regent, Fuhrer, Grand Pooh Pah, or Guru.

PRICE TAG---An "AID" check for just $10,000 for "spreading the Gospel of Thiel" in New London, NH. Make check payable to me immediately. You do not even have to bother with a visit or even calling. You can claim my 500+ "followers" as your own, without followup or any effort whatsoever!.

Offer only good until Sunday April 27th.

Mr.Minister said...

Well my church has hundreds of thousands in Siberia and the tundra areas. We also have a congregation of 10,000 in the Brazilian rain forest. They are hard to visit and we did lose one minister to pirana and another to head hunters but, all in all it's worth it.
I stay home and oversee the work from my McMansion HQ with the checkerboard lawns. Soon I will be flying to do some baptisms in Bermuda for a week or two. I have to pack my bathing suits now so tat.

Black Ops Mikey said...

Though exact figures are not available at this time, I have approximately 2.3 billion followers on the Planet Neptune.

I have not had the opportunity yet to visit them yet, but I know that they are faithful to my precepts and totally loyal to my cause.

When I get there, I do NOT expect a cold reception.

[You of those with the IDC may now choose the billing code for this particular disorder should treatment be sought -- it needs to be clear treatment is affordable, if needed. Exchange rates are going to be a killer.]

Anonymous said...

He is a COG minister. That is completely synonymous with being a compulsive, psychopathic liar.
Case closed. These people should be behind bars, in a space reserved for small animals.

Redfox712 said...

I can well recall back in 2000-1 Meredith claiming that LCG was in negotiations with a church in India for it to merge with LCG. He said that their teachings were very similar with LCG's and that they were settling though some issues. I have no idea what became of these negotiations.

Byker Bob said...

In reality, I am actually the Rev. Byker Bob. About 6 years ago, I received my ministerial credential from Universal Life Church. As part of my personal ministry, I'd like to claim all of the homeless. Thing is, rather than having them tithe to me, I've been their absolute fool, giving away money to every hardcase that happens to approach me on the street. And, when they get a huge smile on their faces and thank me, the only gospel I preach is one short sentence: "Hey, God is good!"

Axially, I've been doing this for years, and not just because I know it was highly frowned upon by the ACOGs. We can analyze things too much, and justify not giving by quite rightly pointing out that the "panhandler" just wants the money for a shortdog of Thunderbird wine. But, maybe that wine will help him or her get through one more cold night on the streets, and tomorrow, if he survives, could be the day on which something happens to turn his or her life around. Or, not. A small percentage of the homeless simply enjoy an uncomplicated existence. In that case, hey Dude, have a treat on me!

I guess the real reason I do this is that it makes Jesus smile! You know, the man who said that if someone asks you for your coat, give him your cloak also? And, remember, if you are ever in a jam, it is the people who understand hardship that are going to bail you out. Not Mr. and Mrs. Sochie Citizen!


old EXPCG hag said...

"My house is bigger than your house"...That's third grade.

"Oh, grow up stupids!"

Anonymous said...

lordRedfox is right again. As I recall, Meredith crowed about 3000 Indian people coming with LCG! What breathless anticipation! But it never happened, and as Meredith always does, he trumpets the good news to high heaven, and not a peep about the negative. Just look at television. Meredith announces so many new stations, you'd think his network is larger than any other! But, alas, they lose almost as many stations as they gain, and we never hear about those. Rather than just keeping his nose to the grindstone and letting God take care of his image, Meredith still fantasizes that he is the one, true HWA successor, and he can't let any negativity ruin that.

Byker Bob said...

What would we expect from a movement that was founded by someone from the marketing or advertising profession? Truth in terms of doctrines, prophecy, or numbers and statistics?

Advertising and salesmanship are based on taking control of the decision-making process. Everything else is secondary.


Anonymous said...

Even that old, spiritually dead Church of God, Seventh Day (which Herbert W. Armstrong taught was the Sardis era of the true church) still has only about 5,000 people in the United States. In spite of this, some people claim that it is alive, vibrant, growing and thriving with 300,000 people in other parts of the world.

How anyone ever comes up with such large numbers never seems to be clearly explained, nor is it ever clearly explained why it is supposedly so alive everywhere else on earth while so obviously dead in the United States. Having a name that says it is alive, and a few spiritually dead promoters, does not bring it back to life. If these mysterious 300,000 people are anything like the godless, greedy, con artists that Bob Thiel has attracted like flies, then this church could end up really, really dead--and broke.

old EXPCG hag said...

Anonymous said...

Even that old, spiritually dead Church of God, Seventh Day (which Herbert W. Armstrong taught was the Sardis era of the true church) still has only about 5,000 people in the United States. In spite of this, some people claim that it is alive, vibrant, growing and thriving with 300,000 people in other parts of the world...

And speaking of the Seventh Day Adventist...I watched Investigation Discovery the other day. It was about a Seventh Day Adventist boy whom had been raised in the church highly religious. He met a really nice girl,outside the church that he decided he wanted to marry. She was a very carefree, happy and very religious herself, but she also had tattoos that when she started attending his church other members looked down on her for. She also was one to question the minister about sermons, etc. which the minister did not like.
Eventually the young man was disfellowshipped and his family disowned him for choosing this young lady to marry instead of one of their own. But really it was about CONTROL. Do not question the ministers, right?
To make a long story short...after the disfellowship and his family disowning him, the young man started becoming angry and basically blaming the young woman. She decided she might not want to marry this guy and wrote her thoughts in her diary which he found. He ended up holding her hostage in his van in a parking garage for many hours all the time yelling and throwing fits and scaring her to death. He raped her(they had not had sex yet)and got himself worked up into such a frenzy that he stabbed her to death. I believe she had almost thirty stab wounds to her back area, especially on her tattoos.
This shows how a young person raised up in a strict religious church and then abruptly abandoned by them and family can end up. This is the same way Herbert W. Armstrong taught and his legacy churches teach now.