Thursday, September 25, 2014

Dwight Armstrong's Step Daughter In Vintage Cult Expose Video

Worldwide Church of God members tell their story at the 5:20 mark on video.  One woman tells how her family was ripped apart and how her mother went on to marry Dwight Armstrong.

"My mother sincerely decided that she wanted to become a member of the Worldwide Church of God and in order to become a member at that time which was back in about 1955 she was required to leave my father. And at the age of ten I lost my father to the Worldwide Church of God.

"She spent hours on her knees crying and praying in order for God to give her the strength to do this. She had been married to my father for twelve years and they had a happy marriage.

"Shortly after that she married the youngest brother of Herbert Armstrong, Dwight Armstrong."

ht: Redfox


Black Ops Mikey said...

Does Dr. Walter Martin know about Dr. Phil exposing Yisrael Hawkins?

For that matter, does he know what Dr. Stanley Schmidt said about Gerald Flurry in an Analog Editorial?

Honestly, Armstrongist leaders are such sick monster predators.

Anonymous said...

Walter Martin is dead. His heir turned out to be Hank Hanegraff, which caused the Martin family to disavow Hanegraff and his work and methods of cult watching, especially after he got in bed with WCGs transformation.

Assistant Deacon said...

Anon 3:45, Hank Hanegraff was not Walter Martin's heir. He was on the board of Martin's organization and essentially jockeyed to take over after Martin died. Over time he and Martin's family definitely parted ways, and Hanegraff's scholarship and veracity were challenged (he was accused of plagiarism, much like HWA was over the years). During that period Hanegraff had embraced the WCG's doctrinal revisions.

Regardless, none of that has anything to do with Dwight Armstrong's step daughter telling her story of a family ripped apart by Armstrongism. It was one of many. The Armstrongs (HWA and GTA) ripped families apart for decades while behaving like a couple of pigs. It was tragic, and, looking back, I'm ashamed that after witnessing such things as a child and teenager, I continued in that tradition for many years before finally washing my hands of it and saying enough was enough.

Redfox712 said...

Thank you, No2HWA.

I saw that documentary and when I watched that I was just astounded by what I was seeing.

And then learning that she is Dwight Armstrong's step-daughter. That was just so sad to learn. I was amazed that I had never heard of this brave lady before.

Anonymous said...

Part 1 of 5

I just watched a 3-part BBC documentary, "The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler," and there were quite a few parallels that stood out to me between that political cult and the WCG, the cult of Herbert Armstrong. It also seems to me that the rise of Adolf Hitler to prominence as a political leader, and the rise of Herbert Armstrong as a religious leader at about the same time was no accident: world events played into their hands, making the general population more susceptible to their message. I invite you to compare this with what these people say about these charismatic leaders, including Herbert Armstrong, and the systems that each of them created to do their bidding with the following 10 items:

1) "Connection" With a Mass Audience:
"[Hans Frank:] '[Hitler] struck a chord with all of us. He uttered what was in the consciousness of all those present.' This is a key insight into charisma, because charisma does exist on its own in anyone. It exists only in an interaction between an individual and an audience, an individual like Hitler who was telling the audience what they wanted to hear. Many of them longed for a charismatic leader to lead them out of misery."

The cornerstone of the success of National Socialism and the WCG was in oratory. Both Hitler and Herbert Armstrong were speakers who had the ability to "connect" with large audiences and inspire them to take action. Like Ronald Reagan, both of them were "great communicators." Whether over the radio, on television, or in the written "co-worker letter," Herbert Armstrong had the power to get people to listen, and then to do whatever he asked them to do, and so did his son, Ted. In fact, his "golden voice" was a valuable enough financial magnet, that so long as he was using it preach over the radio, he could do whatever else he pleased as well.

2) Hope:
Since 1920, Hitler had been the leader of a small revolutionary political party. As of May 1928, the Nazis had yet to gain any real influence, and in the election held in that month, the National Socialist party got just 2.6% of the vote. Herbert Armstrong had come along seven years later, starting to develop his ministry in 1927. It was the misery brought on by the Great Depression that made people receptive to their messages, and in both cases they brought messages of hope to people in need.

But while WWII was Hitler's downfall, Hitler's agression was an even greater gift for Herbert Armstrong than the depression had been. Not only did it play into his British-Israelism prophetic theories about Germany being modern-day Assyria once again being sent to punish a modern-day Israel, with 60M dead, 1M of whom hailed from the US or British Commonwealth, Herbert Armstrong preached a message to these bereaved families that they could see their lost loved ones again, and a future in which all the injustices of this existence would be put right.


Anonymous said...

…Continued: Part 2 of 5

3) Mysticism:
"[Hermann Göring:] 'We love Adolf Hitler because we believe firmly and profoundly that he was sent to us by God to save Germany.'"

"No one even thought it odd when Hitler told them what they were doing would last for a millenium. One foreign correspondent who attended the 1934 rally wrote that some of those present looked on Hitler as a messiah. This wasn't an accident. Hitler later talked of being guided by a mystical force he called 'providence.' And this belief in himself as a kind of messiah was a key part of his charismatic appeal."

Herbert Armstrong too claimed to be guided by a mystical, supernatural force. In Armstrong's case, this mystical force was called, "Jesus Christ." While he didn't claim to be the messiah himself, but instead as the one-and-only latter day "apostle." He claimed to have been personally selected and sent by the messiah, finally, after 1900 years, as an "End-Time Elijah," or John-the-Baptist, "a voice crying out in the wilderness," to prepare the way for the coming of the messiah. As such, he claimed to have a special connection with Jesus Christ, in which he was personally influenced and directed by Jesus Christ as no other man on earth had been since the first century apostolic church. He told us that by our response to his message, we had proven that we were those prophetic "firstfruits" of the bible, whose job it was to usher in the millenial rule of Jesus Christ on earth as kings and priests. He told us that he had been sent by God to save us, and we believed him.

4) The "Führer Myth":
"[Joseph Goebbels:] 'Via the creation of the Führer Myth, Hitler had been given the halo of infallibility.'"

"[Hermann Göring:] 'When a decision has to be taken, none of us count more than the stones on which we are standing. It is the führer alone who decides.'"

The Nazi regime created the "Führer Myth," and WCG created the "Apostle Myth." Due to his mystical connection with Jesus Christ, he too had a halo of infallibility. Not that this was without a safety valve: he confessed to being a "poor judge of character," and this "thorn in the flesh" could be pointed to whenever it became obvious he, himself, was fallible. However, when any decision was to be made about doctrine or the "correct" interpretation of scripture, no one else counted. It was the apostle alone who had the ability to "hear" the decision of Jesus Christ. In like manner, whenever we had a decision to make, we were encouraged to "counsel" with the apostle's representatives, the ministers, to put us in touch with that infallibility, the infallibility of Jesus Christ, who was manifesting his influence in the world through one man: Herbert Armstrong.


Anonymous said...

…Continued: Part 3 of 5

5) A Special People:
"In the 1930's, Hitler made the most ambitious boasts imaginable about what lay ahead. And just a few years later, it seemed that Hitler had indeed created a future that belonged to them. In 1941, when this film was taken, Hitler was all but worshiped by his followers...Hitler was more than an ordinary leader. By now, he was considered to be almost superhuman. And it wasn't just Hitler who was thought to be a superior being. His connection with those Germans he considered 'racially pure' was based in part on a shared sense of superiority. Millions of Germans, especially the young, had been told that they were special too. [Maria Mauth interview voiceover:] 'We'd been taught that only the Germans were valuable human beings...We devoured it, and we were absolutely convinced that we were the greatest.'"

"[Gerhard Münch:] 'We were better soldiers than the Russians. We were better. It filled us with pride to advance that far to east, further and further.'"

Just as Hitler told everyone that he was special, and told ethnic Germans that they were special too, Herbert Armstrong did likewise. He told us that we were superior to "the world." Ethnic Germans were superior due to their heredity. We were special because we were, "called, chosen, and elect." We were special because we were "predestined," selected from the foundation of the world unto "glory." We were the privileged few to whom secret knowledge alone had been granted about the way to live, and about what was going to happen in the future, that allowed us to be prepared for that future when it arrived, and finally reach our mystical "human potential" as rulers over all things in new, supernatural bodies. Like Hitler's ethnic Germans, we too were absolutely convinced that we were the greatest, just different greatness and for different reasons. We were better than "the world." We were better.

6) The "If Only Hitler Knew" Myth:
"Hitler came to be seen as a leader far above the squabbles of everyday life. As a result, it became possible for Germans to dislike particular Nazis they dealt with, and yet still respect Hitler. [German Police Report, 1935:] 'There is great sympathy amongst the population for the führer and Reich-Chancellor Adolf Hitler. I have never heard any negative comments directed at his own person. Rather, one hears now and then: yes, if Hitler could do everything himself, some things would be different, but he can't keep a watch on everything.' This myth that 'if only Hitler knew' about unpopular aspects of the Nazi regime he would change them was a safety valve in the system, one that protected Hitler's image as a charismatic leader."

I don't know how many times I heard people say: "If only Mr. Armstrong knew, things would be different." No, if only Herbert Armstrong had known and had the power to do everything himself, things would have been even worse.


Anonymous said...

…Continued: Part 4 of 5

7) No Rational Justification:
"Since Hitler boasted that the Germans were a superior race, he believed that victory over those he considered racially inferior, like the people of the Soviet Union, would be relatively straightforward...[In 1941] Hitler had even gone so far as to say that the Red Army had been defeated...But now [in 1943], Hitler was starting to appear all-too-fallible. He had told the German people that the Red Army would never rise again, but it just had."

"[Ulrich de Maizière:] 'He had an enormously strong will, you know. And he had powers of persuasion that could gloss over any rational argument.'"

We had no rational justification for believing Herbert Armstrong's ideology. But it was seductive because it gave us hope, a reason to think we were special, and a readymade meaning. Herbert Armstrong suffered "setbacks" too, when the words he had spoken about future events also failed to come to pass. We had no rational justification for believing him in the first place, and in the light of such disconfirming evidence, we had rational justification to disbelieve him. But Herbert Armstrong was charismatic, his message was persuasive, and he and his "ministers" had the power to gloss over any rational argument. And more importantly, we liked his message, and we wanted to believe it. And so we did anyway, even in spite of disconfirming evidence. We were looking for hope, and he was the man who could give it to us, if only we believed. And so we embraced irrational ideas like, "He's still right, but his timing is 'a little off.'"

8) Sense of Entitlement:
"The arrival of the Russian winter brought the first major military setback for the Germans since the end of the first world war...Hitler and his generals had been so confident of swift victory the soldiers hadn't been provided with proper cold-weather equipment...In the cold Soviet forests the soldiers might die, but that's what soldiers were supposed to do when asked. [Adolph Hitler:] 'Do you think Fredrick the Great's grenadiers were happy to die either? In the same way I consider myself entitled to ask every German soldier to lay down his life.'"

If you read through a random sampling of Herbert Armstrong's co-worker letters from the 30's until his death, they always seem to end with a harangue asking the reader to $5,000, $10,000 or more. He implies that his "work" should be more important that you, than your marriage, your children, your solvency, or anything else. He considered himself entitled to ask everyone on his mailing list to lay down, not their life perhaps, but certainly their family and their entire estate. He felt entitled to ask people to divorce their spouses, disown their relatives, or their children. This is what he thought his followers owed to the Hebrew God, and therefore, owed him, and were supposed to do when asked.


Anonymous said...

…Continued: Part 5 of 5

9) Confidence:
"Then there was another aspect of Hitler's leadership that which was to prove crucial: his absolute certainty that Germany would win this war against the French. Despite all the objections of his generals, his certainty—his complete confidence—began to have an effect."

This too was true of Herbert Armstrong. His appearance of utter certainty that all these things he was telling us were absolutely true and would come to pass had an effect on us too. It is the same effect that all "confidence men" have on their victims. Just as Hitler "conned" a nation, Herbert Armstrong "conned" his followers. We had confidence in his confidence.

When Hitler convinced his generals through his unshakeable confidence that, unlike in 1914, success against France was inevitable, and then they achieved in 6 weeks what they had failed to achieve in 4 years of trench warfare, the German generals were lulled into a false sense of security in Hitler's mystical "providence." When Hitler asked them to conduct the largest invasion in world history, against the Soviets, they now readily believed this outcome too, was a foregone conclusion. Ultimately, it became clear this "providence" was an illusion. Instead of leading them to be the kings of the world, he too had led them to catastrophe and shame, even worse than the Kaiser before him had done. But both Hitler and the Kaiser were now dead, and whatever they had promised didn't matter anymore.

If there had been as many early "confirming" events for what Herbert Armstrong had said as for what Hitler had said, surely the WCG would have consisted of millions of members instead of only a hundred thousand. Ironically, the early "confirming" events for both ideologies were the exact same events—the rise of Germany under National Socialism.

But just as events eventually turned against Hitler, events would eventually begin to disprove Armstrongism. "Christ" did not return in 1972, or 1975, or during the 80's or Herbert's last-ditch time-frame, the 90's, and science has now resoundingly disproven his "key to bible prophecy," the doctrine of British-Israelism. It ultimately became clear that this "Christ" was an illusion, and nothing that Herbert Armstrong had told us had been true. But he is now dead, and whatever he promised doesn't matter anymore. Remarkably, there are still thousands who haven't figured this out yet.

10) Führer Knows Best:
"Charismatic leadership relies on a connection between the leader and the lay—a connection based on faith that the leader knows best."

Even though he preached a faith in the Hebrew God, in fact, everything he did was intended to instill a faith in him as the charismatic leader who should have power over you, and over your money, because he knows best—certainly better than you do. We were always told not to lean to our own understanding, but to trust in the Hebrew God. But that was the same as saying to trust in Herbert Armstrong and his ministers over and above any trust you should have in yourself. In fact, all along, Herbert Armstrong was trusting us to save him from an ordinary existence, devoid of adulation and wealth. And while he was alive, we did. We allowed him to live out his fantasy of being elite. But now he's dead, and he's already gotten everything he wanted from us.

Connie Schmidt said...

HWA was right about Hitler!


Hitler is alive and well, and residing in Wadsworth Ohio!

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Wadsworth, the furniture has now been moved into the stunning new World to Come studio in the magnificent Media Center. I'd recognize that desk and bookcase anywhere (no crooked bookcases here)- even the paint color on the wall is similar.

Finishing touches are expected next week.


Anonymous said...

Only problem is, the "world" that Dave is gonna use that studio to preach is gonna "come," isn't.

No more than HWA's "World Tomorrow" is going to come. HWA said his messiah would show during the decade of the 90's "at the latest." Why does tomorrow never come? It's because that messiah and his 1,000 year reich isn't coming.

Dave can say build whatever he wants in which to say whatever he likes. The whole thing was, is, and always shall be, nothing more than hot air.

James said...

Anonymous said...

Part 1 of 5

Very good! We could say that Hitler was the founder of the Radio Church of God. Herbert just put the Fuehrers propaganda to work for himself. Old man Herbert never had an original thought. He wanted wealth, power and prestige and he would take any road to gain such.

Like Herb, Hitlers empire fell into disrepair and disgrace, but his followers live on. Just as I personally know of people who's parents were Nazis, Nazis who longed for the vision of Hitler to come to pass, those who are still in armstrongism also hope for the same. Just as the old Nazis they too shall go to their graves in utter disappointment.

Anonymous said...

"We could say that Hitler was the founder of the Radio Church of God. Herbert just put the Fuehrers propaganda to work for himself."

It was not my intention to say that Herbert was copying Adolf or plagiarizing his propaganda and putting it to work for himself.

My working hypothesis in doing the comparison is actually that charismatic leaders tend to perceive the world and other people in similar ways and tend to do similar things, not because they're copying each other, but because they have similar charismatic aptitudes as well as insights into how people can be manipulated.

I anticipate that we could do similar comparisons with Mussolini, Napoleon, and Augustus Caesar, with Jim Jones, Charles Manson, and David Koresh, etc. and we would find all of them doing similar things, but not because any of them were copying. I think Herbert was just one of that sort. Some of them go into politics, others start churches. The ones whose aptitudes, skills, and insights line up with reality most closely are the ones who are most successful, and hence, the ones we've heard of.

Byker Bob said...

Anon., historically, many leaders did not have the "dark" side that Hitler and HWA had. Often, leaders do exhibit behavioral patterns which we would normally classify along with the attributes of sociopaths, like the capacity to make non-empathetic "hard" decisions, but they keep these in check, using them only as a painful last resort.

Hitler and HWA were quite comparable, no need to distance yourself from suggesting such a thing. They were hardly "benign". The badness in them was so overexpressed that it invalidated any good.


James said...

Anon penned:
"My working hypothesis in doing the comparison is actually that charismatic leaders tend to perceive the world and other people in similar ways and tend to do similar things, not because they're copying each other, but because they have similar charismatic aptitudes as well as insights into how people can be manipulated."

Agree. Human behavior. And in some people, the worse of.