Sunday, January 25, 2015

Is Rod Meredith Running LCG for the Benefit of His Family and Friends?

A Comment from the previous posting about the Meredith family empire.

Not long ago, I was shown a letter written by an LCG member to a minister in another ACOG. Here is the letter, with some personal information removed:

Dear [minister’s name]:

[Family member and] I are at our wit’s end and don’t know what to do. [Family member] was baptized in [YEAR], and for a while we were both very excited to hear Dr. Meredith and the other ministers preaching from the Bible, teaching so many wonderful things.

When [my family member] moved to Charlotte, I was so happy for [my family member]. Unfortunately, what we have learned since then has torn us up inside.

The shocking truth is that Dr. Meredith is a constant liar who runs LCG for the benefit of his children and their friends. His children have broken civil laws and moral laws that would get any other member kicked out, but family members keep collecting their paychecks. The sheer amount of sin among Dr. Meredith’s own family members is hard to believe unless you see it for yourself. What is even harder to believe is that not only does he tolerate it, he rewards it with office jobs and big salaries. I know this is so hard for loyal LCG members to believe, but [family member] has seen it and could testify in court if required to. It isn’t false rumor.

Even aside from his own family members, Dr. Meredith puts other liars and abusive ministers in positions of authority, and when innocent people ask him about this he attacks or even disfellowships them. Because of this, LCG’s income is down, and Dr. Meredith may soon bankrupt LCG, just as he bankrupted GCG, though the liars around Dr. Meredith are taking big steps to hide this from members.

Behind their backs, Dr. Meredith says awful things about some of his top ministers. Ambitious younger ministers trash-talk Dr. Meredith and are eagerly waiting for him (and other older ministers) to die, so they can move up in the organization. There is no love or loyalty among the ministers in Charlotte, only competition.

Other LCG members have told us these kinds of problems are found in every Church of God headquarters office, and that it was even worse under Mr. Herbert Armstrong, so we should be glad it isn’t even worse than it is at LCG.

My question to you is simple. If [family member] moves to [Home Office city], will [family member] find more of the same, and become even more discouraged? I am concerned that if [family member] moves and only finds more of the same, the discouragement will be too much for either of us to bare.

Please, no more lies. Is [group name] a place where the leadership sincerely tries to live by the bible, and where people do not get ahead through lies and cruel acts? Or must we wait until Christ’s return to find peace and truth and decency in the ministers we rely on?


Black Ops Mikey said...

Let's face it, Armstrongism is a secular business, so they should take a page from the business play book of successful boy bands and figure out how to appeal to their DEMOGRAPHIC!

Connie Schmidt said...

Communism and "centralized planning" never works over the long haul. It lacks the constant free market inputs, information and corrections that allow for adaptation for future growth and sustainability.

The Armstrong model is a communist model, and does not motivate entrepreneurship, self ownership, nor necessary new input. Christianity was always about an individual and his God, and at its largest level, a local congregation, not an International, centrally controlled "Corporation".

Whenever you find such central control in the world today, whether it be business, political or religious, there is ALWAYS power, money and control issues, AND a wide variety or corruption and sin. I know of no exceptions.

Retired Prof said...

Yes, Connie, centralized planning can't be sustained indefinitely.

It's one of the reasons that I suspect the universe is self-organized rather than centrally managed.

Byker Bob said...

This is not an unusual setting, or set of circumstances for Armstrongism. Even when old Hog Jowls was alive, there was nepotism, a caste system, with the "upper" members of that caste having their needs super-served, their sins and breaches of ethics being ignored until the issue was forced, accompanied by the promotion of incompetence.

Punishment was meted out, no mistake about that. However, most of the punishment was directed towards acts of disloyalty, or the questioning of authority and what authority said.

What are the consequences today? Why, all of the splintering, of course! You can't blame the overwhelming number of splinters on failed prophecy or the disproving of British Israelism. You have to rule those out as factors because the members do not acknowledge or accept them. No, the seeds for the splintering were planted during an earlier era, rooted in the so-called "golden" era of WCG.

Anyone who ever read Eric Berne's book "The Games People Play" realizes that values and games alike are passed from generation to generation by those closest to us. HWA was closest to the first generation of students at AC, and they were the ones who were directly mentored by him. Rod Meredith is perhaps the last surviving member of this exclusive (but not necessarily desirable) group. By the time I arrived at AC, HWA had at best been transformed to the status of celebrity guest lecturer, and would not have known most of the students from Adam upon chance meetings around Pasadena.

Considering the near Christ-like reverence for HWA, Rod Meredith is seen in certain circles almost as was St. John as the Apostolic era drew to a close. But the key difference in mentorship here is that Jesus' private and public images (the source of John's education) were identical and the same. HWA and those close to him promoted one image as the public one, yet, taking from the many anecdotes, in reality, those close to him experienced a completely different one. People expect Rod Meredith to embody HWA's fabricated public image, not realizing that he is acting in HWA's real, or private image.

This is not only a problem in LCG. The same flaws and problems afflict all of the splinter groups. There is none good among them, no, not one, except to those who wear blinders.


Anonymous said...

Good grief, did this person actually ask how long they had to wait to find truth and decency in ministers?

How about: Not at all? If there's no truth or decency, then call them what you want, just don't call them ministers.

The capacity of people to check their brains at the door is mind-boggling.

Anonymous said...

"Is Rod Meredith Running LCG for the Benefit of His Family and Friends?"

Does a bear shit in the woods?

Anonymous said...

The headquarters of the Living Church of God is a cesspool of backbiters who are willing to lie, cheat or steal to advance themselves. It's the men who take credit for other's ideas, spread hurtful lies about co-workers and in general act aggressively that get noticed by Meredith and get promoted. Those that do things in a softer more Christian way get trampled down by the power hungry. Aggressive tyrannical males get Meredith's attention.

They used to be able to keep the fact that working at LCG headquarters is a total nightmare under wraps but in the last couple of years the truth has slowly spread to outlying congregations like a fire they are no longer to contain.

If you are a true Christian they will chew you up and spit you out. If you are willing to be a Meredith soldier who is willing to do anything to promote yourself, you will rise to the top.

It's sickening.

Redfox712 said...

What a sad testimony of the distress that immoral behavior by those are supposed to lead the COGs have caused to so many people.

Anonymous said...

frankly i question the righteous indignation of the posts: are you all against the evil that such cults do or are you merely against anything cog?

if you are against the evil, bravo, because there is a long line of evil doers out there that have done much much worse than these folks; i hope to hear more criticism of all evil doers, else you are merely cog haters with questionable motive.

if you are merely posting because you hate the cogs you should simply say you hate the cogs...

Anonymous said...

(Tongue in cheek). Why would we expect anything different from them? These are some of the people who rebelled against God's new apostle, Mr. Joseph W. Tkach!

~Miguel de la Rodente

Anonymous said...

The free market, the way it is rigged today to benefit the few, leads to a handful of extremely wealthy, which leads to central control of the oligarchs, which is what we basically have today in the USA.

Anonymous said...

4:19 questions the righteous indignation of the posts here.

Yeah, that's the point of the blog: you know, to question the people who actually experienced Armstrongism in its various forms. Good one.

Try jotting another line when you catch up, will ya?

old EXPCG hag said...

You know...just read the Bible...really...
1To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. 1 Peter 5:1-4 NIV

k-baradanikto said...

But why do the leaders of religious businesses do such stupid things? Yes, you can make money with religion, but so many leaders of such money-making enterprises seem to shoot themselves in the foot. They do silly things like treat people like crap, engage in egregious nepotism, waste money, etc., etc. This is not limited to the COGs. In the 1980's Jim Bakker and his wife were enormously successful in the religion business. They ran a theme park called Heritage USA which was the third most popular theme park in the United States. They could have continued with that and their other religious activities and they would have made a very good income for the rest of their lives. Instead, Jim Bakker got embroiled in a sex scandal, he fraudulently sold non-existent theme park lodging, he gave Heritage USA to Jerry Falwell, and he ended up serving several years in federal prison. (He's back on the air now, hawking items such as survivalist generators and diet powders. Some things never change.) Ron Weinland's trajectory mirrors that of Jim Bakker, although on a much more modest scale. And then you have Flurry doing stupid things, and Meredith doing stupid things, and the dumb things the late great HWA and GTA did, and the endless splits, shits, and schisms of the COGs. Even the Mafia seems to run a tighter ship. Are these religious types idiots, or what? Why don't they just run things with some semblance of balance to keep their various churches stable, rake in the money, and enjoy it? Instead there is endless drama. I'm not saying that what they are doing is right. It's just that so many of them can't even seem to do the wrong thing the right way.

Black Ops Mikey said...

"Is Rod Meredith Running LCG for the Benefit of His Family and Friends?"

No, it's all about him.

Anonymous said...

Narcissists in power sometimes get the feeling that they are above the law, bullet-proof, untouchable. Richard Nixon famously said to David Frost, that If the president does it, it isn't illegal. GTA and HWA were in the power seats and they got away with behavior that underlings were fired and disfellowshipped for. Power corrupts. Some start to believe the myths that they create about themselves. Surrounded by Yes men on the board of trustees, they are told what they want to hear in exchange for nice homes on Waverly Drive, offices and titles. The top underlings are just as corrupt, though oftentimes less talented and know there are few options outside the church for them to find "success." HWA's top lieutenants must have known that they have sold their souls for the power and positions they clung to. They must have known of their limited abilities and credentials in the world of religion and academia. But where else could they go? What else could they do? One person who outsmarted them all was Stanley Rader. He controlled the money, the source of power and he controlled HWA. He got the huge salaries from all of the corporations that he headed in service to the WCG.

Byker Bob said...

K, it is becoming more and more difficult for religious leaders to get away with fabricating and teaching stupid things because we all have a type of artificial intelligence available thru the internet. As an example, nobody today could get away with teaching that Simon Magus had started the Catholic Church. Upon Googling Simon, one would learn about Irenaeus, one of the early "Antenicene" church fathers, who repudiated Simon's "doctrines" in his magnum opus, "Against Heresies", and branded him as the father of all heresies.

HWA/WCG condemned the Antenicene Fathers, labeling the entire group as being "Catholic" (I blame HWA's idolization of Hislop for this!), but were not above lifting occasional quotes from context to exploit for their own purposes. Actually, this collection of teachers were the disciples of the disciples of the disciples (and so on) of the original disciples.

Armstrongism seems to have liked Polycrates, a Greek-speaking Gentile Christian leader, largely because of his stance in the Quartodeciman controversy. Polycrates was an advocate of using the Jewish calendar of that day to determine when to memorialize the death and resurrection of Jesus.. But, the problem actually ran deeper than just a date on a calendar. Passover was supposed to occur either on or after the Spring equinox. However, this was prior to Rabbi Hillel II cleaning up and systematizing the Jewish calendar, and Nissan 14, through calendar creep, was actually taking place prior to the Spring equinox!

This becomes somewhat sticky, in that while the Spring equinox is one of the benchmarks in marking time and season, it has also been used (as has everything else!) in pagan worship. The early church fathers determined that a reliable and independent method for calculating Passover should be used, and this is totally reasonable. If a patch of time is holy and sacred, it makes perfect sense to reference that time specifically to a yearly event on the solar-lunar-earth clock that does not change like a solstice or equinox. That way, you know that you are hitting the mark.

Forget for the moment failed prophecies and failed dates for those prophecies, incest, genetics and British Israelism! The more you know about real history, not just cherry-picked "proofs" lifted from context, the more you realize just how preposterous Armstrongism actually is!


Anonymous said...

Interested in what other splinter this author wrote to for answers. One is just as bad as the other, and the advice will be the same, "come on over to us, we're the REAL COG." Yeah, right.

Anonymous said...

To put it more succinctly, you can bet that megachurch pastors will blather a bunch of garbage like this.

Anonymous said...

It's the men who take credit for other's ideas, spread hurtful lies about co-workers and in general act aggressively that get noticed by Meredith and get promoted.

An LCG friend tells me that several of the most productive and hardest workers at LCG HQ have begun to search long and hard for other employment. If that happens, the "men who take credit for other's ideas" won't have any ideas to take credit for.

They used to be able to keep the fact that working at LCG headquarters is a total nightmare under wraps but in the last couple of years the truth has slowly spread to outlying congregations like a fire they are no longer to contain.

It doesn't seem to matter. It seems that there is always another power-hungry sociopath, or another chronic unemployable, eager to come to Charlotte to devour or be devoured.

Anonymous said...

As an ex-member of the UCG I came to realize that the UCG is controlled by a centralized government. It is not one person that dictates over the UCG but one committee that dictates over the UCG. Local churches don't really have much say.

Black Ops Mikey said...

Grandma is their target demographic.

Anonymous said...

The free market, the way it is rigged today to benefit the few, leads to a handful of extremely wealthy, which leads to central control of the oligarchs, which is what we basically have today in the USA.

In the last several years, I've seen successful propaganda from the top tier "handful of extremely wealthy", convincing average people to see "Job creators" as almost gods, while demonizing any constraints placed on those "Job creators"

I've even noticed people extolling the view which claims that Jesus was a free market capitalist who would be against regulatory checks and balances of present day corporations!

It's an example of the power of slick propaganda, and it's ability to convince ordinary people to be all for something which is actually against their own self-interests.

Byker Bob said...

Jesus, a free market capitalist? Wow, is that putting Him in a box, or what?

It never ceases to amaze me how people define the members of the deity in such a way as to place them into their own tidy, neat, controllable boxes, usually to advance their own beliefs or agendas. Imagine, as an example, how we all once believed that when Jesus soon returned, He was going to install Armstrongism as God's government on earth! Even today, there are those who will state that if you don't actively believe this, then you are hating and rebelling against God. They've allowed HWA's teachings to redefine everything they believe they know about God, and to suit the Armstrong agenda.

It is not hating God to hate a false Herbopomorphic redefining of God.


Anonymous said...

For you Atheists and Agnostics:
Good 'old Greedy Human Nature is unfortunately alive and well. What is truly disgusting is that an
organization that is supposed to set a higher standard is setting a LOWER ONE.... I've met Pagans and Atheists
that are better human beings! Nothing like a little nepotism to give out the goodies!

Anonymous said...

Should anyone be surprised that there are those that are still desparately organization-shopping, because they've fallen for the doctrine of Armstrong's various imitators yet became disillusioned with its administrators?

We've got some right here on this blog who still have allegiance to the doctrine and are really only here to complain about the cast of characters.

Black Ops Mikey said...

Wrong title (missing a letter):

"Is Rod Meredith Ruining LCG for the Benefit of His Family and Friends?"

Think Globally.

Anonymous said...

"Jesus, a free market capitalist? Wow, is that putting Him in a box, or what?"

That view is most often from very conservative Christians who are fans of Ayn Rand's writings.
It's strange which bedfellows extremist ideologies make, considering how Ayn Rand was such a staunch atheist.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that Ayn Rand should come up. During my "Christian" days Rand Theory was not a real problem, In practice it had less compromise with principled than the Christianity I had seen in practice by so many. Mostly during my ACOG time. Yes you can peg me as very conservative (not religion) but Social and Economic.
Might be worth a note: I have never, to my knowledge been swindled out a dime by an "Atheist".
The other group the louder the adherence the higher the risk .


Anonymous said...

Anonymous 6:04 AM wrote:

I have never, to my knowledge been swindled out a dime by an "Atheist".

Actually, you have been. His name was Herbert W. Armstrong.

A religious man won't use atheism in his con game. An atheist, however, knows that by using religion he can con the innocent and the gullible, and since he doesn't fear any divine retribution for his lying, stealing, raping, etc., he can pretty much devour any sheep who wander into his pasture, all the while teaching them not to fight back but rather to "turn the other cheek" and "endure to the end."