Monday, February 9, 2015

Garner Ted Armstrong On Members Being "...shriveled-up, rotten, vile, filthy, sinning hulks of rotting human flesh..."


The following quote was made by Garner Ted Armstrong many years ago.  This is the kind of stuff that the ministry, from HWA, Meredith, Waterhouse and most others shoved down out throats week after week.

" you come to really SEE yourself as you ARE--as GOD sees you--as a self-centered, hostile, shriveled-up, rotten, vile, filthy, sinning hulk of rotting human flesh, unworthy to breathe the free air God gives you! "
Is it any wonder that so many in Armstrongism have been permanently scared by this kind of deviate beliefs?  Low self-esteem was rampant in the church and still is today.  What is a person to do when they are told what filthy they are week in and week out.  When the constant mantra is that "you at never good enough" what hope does a person see in life?  That's what lead Terry Ratzmann to murder Living Church of God members in church on Saturday.  It leads to horrific child and spousal abuse and much, much more.

There are Facebook groups, with combined total memberships into the thousands, that are filled with people who have suffered from this abuse and openly speak about it.  Yet the favorite mantra there and elsewhere from present day COGlet members is, 'Get over it."  How does one get over being treated like a pile of steaming shit their entire church life?  Why do so many present day COG member continue to let their ministurds tell them the same thing today?

26 comments:

old EXPCG hag said...

" you come to really SEE yourself as you ARE--as GOD sees you--as a self-centered, hostile, shriveled-up, rotten, vile, filthy, sinning hulk of rotting human flesh, unworthy to breathe the free air God gives you! "

I guess all those ministers believed it...
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Proverbs 23:7

Sweetblood777 said...

GTA saw in himself what he accused others of being.

Yahshua Himself,explained this method as a method of Satan.

Did not David say that mankind was wonderfully made? Did Yahweh go out of His way to make something inferior? No, He did not.

Byker Bob said...

That was then, this is now, and what a difference. God sees us as His children, in much the same way as we see our own children. Beings for whom He has great hope, but beings that make mistakes while going through the learning process. He loves us more than He hates sin (missing the mark).

Actually, there is a scripture that states that God removes our sins as far as the East is from the West. He sees them as having been forgiven through Jesus' work on the cross at Calvary.

What horrid, damaging theology they used to teach us! I had honestly forgotten about statements such as this one!

BB

Anonymous said...


The following quote was made by Garner Ted Armstrong many years ago.


" you come to really SEE yourself as you ARE--as GOD sees you--as a self-centered, hostile, shriveled-up, rotten, vile, filthy, sinning hulk of rotting human flesh, unworthy to breathe the free air God gives you! "



That was GTA talking about himself.

And, yes, I did come to really SEE GTA as he WAS—as GOD saw him--as a self-centered, hostile, shriveled-up, rotten, vile, filthy, sinning hulk of rotting human flesh, unworthy to breathe the free air God gave him.

Black Ops Mikey said...

GTA was uniquely qualified to understand being a self-centered, hostile, shriveled-up, rotten, vile, filthy, sinning hulk of rotting human flesh, unworthy.

This is one of the core things that "Take Back Your Life" covers -- to understand your guru so you can recover from your cult: And this is a pretty good list to understand your Armstrongist leader so you can make a free break from your cult.

Ed said...

Isn't this what religion in general teaches us?

Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saves a "WRETCH" like me.

The general message even from mainstream christianty is that we are nothing but a pile of crap.

They all heap a lot of guilt and shame on us. This is what fills the seats in the churches. People go to church because they feel a need to rid themselves of guilt.

With-out guilt the churches would be empty.

Certainly you get a full strength, heaping helping of shame and guilt if you attend any of the COG's but this is much more wide-spread then just the COG's.

Anonymous said...

" you come to really SEE yourself as you ARE--as GOD sees you--as a self-centered, hostile, shriveled-up, rotten, vile, filthy, sinning hulk of rotting human flesh, unworthy to breathe the free air God gives you! "
Realistically every human being will see themselves described in at least some if not all of these words at some time in their life. What needs to be communicated is how to be transformed into a product worthy of eternal life.
AB

Connie Schmidt said...

From the Ambassador Report back in the 1970s...

It was written by a former minister and regional director of the Western portion of the United States.

The article was entitled "The Profligate Son." Said GTA, "'Al, lets get one thing straight. I'm a no good fornicating,adulterating, son of a bitch'.

These highly emotional words initiated a private conversation between Garner Ted Armstrong and
the minister at 10:15 A.M. on Wednesday, May 16, 1973

Anonymous said...

The bible itself is the culprit in wrongly defining all humans as miserable..and wretched deceitful sick. I don't buy into this bs any longer. Born right the first time comes to mind

Ralph said...

February 9, 2015 at 8:27 AM
Byker Bob said...
"What horrid, damaging theology they used to teach us! I had honestly forgotten about statements such as this one!"

GTA is dead and gone. Do we really need to be reminded of his depraved manner of thinking?

Anonymous said...

"The bible itself is the culprit in wrongly defining all humans as miserable..and
wretched deceitful sick. I don't buy into this bs any longer. Born right the
first time comes to mind"
We do not need to buy into that, but we do need to accept the fact that being born right does not offer eternal life. No matter how perfect a person lives their human life they will end it as a hunk of rotting flesh or a little box of ashes, The only hope of anything better is given through a transformation reveal in the eternal life offered by one defined as Jesus Christ.
My comment was directed to show that no matter what someone says about the badness of human life whether true or false; they need to focus on the transformation that gives the hope of eternal life.
AB

Anonymous said...

Actually, the WCG did a lot to boost my self-esteem. Spokesman club helped a lot. A lot of people had low self esteem to begin with, and got better. I think we all know that's true, let's not pretend otherwise.

Who is the greater hater? GTA or his critics?

Anonymous said...

"The bible itself is the culprit in wrongly defining all humans as miserable..and
wretched deceitful sick. I don't buy into this bs any longer. Born right the
first time comes to mind"
We do not need to buy into that, but we do need to accept the fact that being born right does not offer eternal life. No matter how perfect a person lives their human life they will end it as a hunk of rotting flesh or a little box of ashes, The only hope of anything better is given through a transformation reveal in the eternal life offered by one defined as Jesus Christ.
My comment was directed to show that no matter what someone says about the badness of human life whether true or false; they need to focus on the transformation that gives the hope of eternal life.
AB

Anonymous said...

That GTA quote sounds like something the feminists say about men. All men are jerks. Yeah, you've heard it and you know where it comes from.

Anonymous said...

GTA could have been a pedophile or mass murderer and there would still be Armstrong worshippers who would say he did good glossing over all the lives he destroyed in the name of his god. Oh yes, just get over it and move on. Nothing to see but good and loads of self esteem for a few and massive damage to lives of thousands of others. Get over it......sigh

Anonymous said...

"Did not David say that mankind was wonderfully made? Did Yahweh go out of His way to make something inferior? No, He did not."

"The bible itself is the culprit in wrongly defining all humans as miserable..and wretched deceitful sick. I don't buy into this bs any longer. Born right the first time comes to mind"

Looks like we have a contradiction. Who is right?

What is nature? Isn't it just what god made? What is human nature? Isn't it just how god created us? Did god create us inferior? Does that make sense?

Of course not. Doesn't the bible say we're fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalms 139:13-16) in his image (Genesis 1:27)? Yes, it does.

And yet, if you read the *rest* of the bible, it has *nothing* good to say about "human nature," (Ephesians 2:1-3) or as Paul puts it, "the natural man" (1 Corinthians 2:14). We were born in "original sin" (Psalms 51:5), and have a "desperately wicked" heart (Jeremiah 17:9) out of which no good thing comes (Matthew 15:19). Even at our best, we're disgusting filth (Isaiah 64:6).

It looks like you're both right. So, if there is a contradiction, it really is right there in the pages of the bible.

Why is there a contradiction in the bible? It's because that contradiction is an INTEGRAL part of the christian "recipe," which goes like this:

"One day, a very wise man founded a company. He built a company town, and he opened a company store. I am his 'representative.' You're lucky, because even though you don't measure up to his 'usual standards' he "mercifully" decided to give you a job. If you measured up to the 'usual standard' then he could pay you more, but you don't." (Every week, after you get paid, you pay the rent on your room, and you show up at the register at the company store with what you need to get by, you're short, and you go into debt a little bit...)"

Of course that's a parable, isn't it? This "wise man" never existed, only those who claim to be his representatives. They built the town and opened the store. They need you to be bad, horrible, in fact, so that you have to shop at the company store. They also need you to be just good enough that you don't quit. They need you to be salvageable. They have created both the "problem" and the "solution," and as long as you're not *perfect* then they can *saddle* you their "problem" so they can sell you their "solution."

Let's face it. The bible's many parts were written by a lot of people over a long period of time. The "books" of the bible, which were written as stand alone parts, were not originally intended to be part of a larger anthology, nor were they intended to be interpreted in the "light" of the other "books" which they've now come to sit together with. In addition, there's plenty of evidence that many of these individual books were cobbled together and interwoven from numbers of earlier texts, from which the "author" cherry-picked the ideas he liked and filled in the gaps with his own creativity. And out of hundreds of such "books" the Jews and then the early christian church fathers would choose 66 of them, which "seemed" to work together. I'm sure they were careful, but still, they don't really work together because they were never intended to work together, UNLESS, of course, these contradictions are all part of the "recipe"...

Anonymous said...

GTA is dead and gone. Do we really need to be reminded of his depraved manner of thinking?"

"Actually, the WCG did a lot to boost my self-esteem. Spokesman club helped a lot. A lot of people had low self esteem to begin with, and got better. I think we all know that's true, let's not pretend otherwise. Who is the greater hater? GTA or his critics?"

Yeah, let's whitewash Armstrongism by cherry-picking the "hits" and conveniently forgetting the "misses." Is this not the textbook definition of "confirmation bias"? Next time could you guys be a little more subtle about it, so that I don't notice? Whoops, too late, because I've already figured you out. Geez, guys. You got straw for brains?

There's nothing like the dank, musty aroma of nostalgia to make one's heart glow with warm memories of yesteryear.

Anonymous said...

"GTA could have been a pedophile or mass murderer and there would still be
Armstrong worshippers who would say he did good glossing over all the lives he
destroyed in the name of his god."
This comment reveals a lack in understanding of people and how their needs in life. If they were worshipping Armstrong that would be an accurate statement, but I doubt that anyone believed they were worshipping Armstrong even if they were. Most of those I know were forming a way of life that they believed (right or wrong) was the way human life was designed to live. Many including myself built a strong healthy productive life. Some (too many) were followers that allowed themselves to dominated for reasons they themselves may not have understood. The major problem was not the flawed nature of those in leadership roles, but the flawed understanding of the character of God the character and purpose desired for human life to develop, which is love, joy, peace, self-control, humility, etc
AB

Anonymous said...

This comment glosses I ver those that never worshipped the Armstrongs but we're severely abused by ministers and the church because of legalism and gracelessness.

Britain Stevenson said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, the WCG did a lot to boost my self-esteem. Spokesman club helped a lot. A lot of people had low self esteem to begin with, and got better. I think we all know that's true, let's not pretend otherwise.

Who is the greater hater? GTA or his critics?

Self-Esteem? You mean Puffed Up?...that sounds like the opposite of..."Days of Unleavened Bread".
And it's the ones with low self- esteem who went to spokesman club and went overboard with their newly acquired "self-esteem " we had to FEAR...which is of the devil too!
Come to think of it now you mentioned it...what did spokesman club do to boost the women's self-esteem since you seem to think a lot had low self esteem?
Nothing??

Byker Bob said...

Spokesman's Club was a mixed bag. Some folks discovered that never in a million years would they ever feel at ease in public speaking situations, while others found that they had a previously undiscovered flair for it.

Personally, I always hated club. It seemed like a sinister plot to cram as many people as possible into the deacon or elder mode, and I prefer to be just a regular guy. Skilled in my craft, of course, but not a natural presider over everything. My communications skills have always manifested themselves best in one on one situations.

BB

Anonymous said...

GTA's diatribe is the kind of thing that led directly to a Terry Ratzmann failing to value his life and the life of his fellow LCG members.

March 12, 2015 marks the 10th anniversary of the Living Church of God mass murder. Seven (plus Ratzmann) were killed on that day; four were wounded. How many other lives has Armstrongism ended or ruined in the last decade?

Sweetblood777 said...

I would like to clarify my comment by stating that when one is born they are pure in Yahweh's sight.

As the years go by, many but not all, descend into grievous sin and they do need a savior to free them from their sins.

If one is fortunate, they will find Yahweh, or at least a friend that would help them to leave the gutter into which they have fallen.

Once one begins the journey of repentance and then strives to do what is right, Yahweh casts their sins away. These are then the precious fruit that Yahweh looks upon as His very Own.

They are no longer in the gutter, and GTA had no right to call them rotten as they were no longer rotten in Yahweh's sight. For GTA to say such things to Yahweh's people, clearly shows that he was not in a humble state, nor a righteous one, but in the grips of Satan.

I can think of no other person that was blessed physically as much as GTA.

Think about it. He was really handsome, had a great voice, was extremely articulate, had his pilot wings and a falcon aircraft to zoom around in, had more money than one needed, but threw it all away due to lust and ego.

What a waste.

Anonymous said...

"I would like to clarify my comment by stating that when one is born they are pure in Yahweh's sight."

That's a nice thing to state. I am not sure how you justify it, but it's a nice statement. I wish all nice things were also true things. No really, I do.

I'm not a catholic, and while I don't like the idea of "original sin," I think they've got at least some biblical justification for it:

Psalms 51:5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me

1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Ephesians 2:3 Among whom also we all in times past conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?

Isaiah 64:6 But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags

WCG always held to the doctrine of biblical inerrancy: the entire canon is "god-breathed scripture" as in 2 Timothy 3:16, these are the very words of god, and every single one of them must be true, lock, stock, and barrel. I'm not saying 2 Timothy 3:16 is necessarily a true statement either or problem-free, but it does provide at least an internally coherent doctrinal position.

If biblical inerrancy is false, then it's open season on the bible, and each person can decide whether to pitch the whole thing, or if they're not ready to do that, begin carving and dicing his bible to suit his own taste, and begin making his own god in his own image. That's what was always so horribly wrong with those horrible "liberals," because, i.e. the bible would say that homosexual acts are "an abomination" (Leviticus 18:21-22, Leviticus 20:13, Romans 1:26-27) but they would simply cut those verses out of their bibles and reformulate a new god for themselves who only says nice things that they like.

I'm not telling anyone what or what not to do with their bibles, but IMHO EITHER we're all intentionally created by god in an iniquitous, defiled, unclean, and desperately wicked state as "children of wrath," that is our "nature," and we will remain so until such time as supernatural intervention changes that initially created state, OR you can pitch those bibles, as they're not worth that nice onion-skin paper they're printed on. But that's just me. It's fine with me if you want to cherry-pick like the dreaded "liberals" do.

I'm not going to tell you what any of the gods do or do not say, for I would never pretend to "know" such a thing. But there are some concepts that are coherent, and others that are incoherent, and unless I miss my guess, the incoherent ones are just a whole lot less likely to be true.

Retired Prof said...

Anon at 10:33, I'm not a Catholic either, so when I first heard about it, the concept of original sin was very exciting. I started a series of experiments to try to commit one. Big disappointment. Every time I thought I had one, it turned out somebody else had done it first.

Another theological idea that intrigued me was the Calvinist "doctrine of total depravity," which uses the same definition of human nature that GTA is credited with in this post. A backwoods yayhoo I used to work with went on and on about what scum all human beings are, and to clarify his stance I said, "Wait a minute, V___, do you believe in the doctrine of total depravity?"

He paused a long time before answering. Finally he said, "Yes, R___, I do, if it's lived up to."

So GTA and V___ agreed on the application of the doctrine as well as the definition.

Anonymous said...

Sweetblood777,

After reading things you wrote about GTA, ["I can think of no other person that was blessed physically as much as GTA.
Think about it. He was really handsome, had a great voice, was extremely articulate, had his pilot wings and a falcon aircraft to zoom around in, had more money than one needed..."]

I can't help but think you have a "love/hate" relationship with him. Your description of him says a lot.