Thursday, August 20, 2015

Jim Staley: Sabbatarian Minister Sentenced To 7 Years In Prison For Fraud

In May I posted an article and video about Jim Staley, a Sabbatarian minister that many COG members follow, had been found guilty of fraud.

That article is here:  Jim Staley, Sabbatarian Church leader Found Guilty of Bilking 3.4 Million Dollars From Elderly Investors

The latest is that he has been sent to prison:

Pastor at 'Passion for Truth' church  sentenced to prison for swindling the elderly.

Jim Staley, 40, was sentenced Wednesday to 7 years in prison and ordered to repay elderly investors $3.3 million. He pleaded guilty to four counts of wire fraud and profited $570,000 in the scam of elderly people who trusted him because of his Christian faith and family values. Some of them were suffering from dementia.
The article quotes one member who said this:

“The dishonesty was a big problem for me,” Josh Ernst told the paper. “I started to see a pattern — he used the same sorts of excuses, blamed other people, and nothing was ever his fault or his responsibility. That happened one too many times.”
Armstrongism has always been filled with this same kind of corruption.  In Pasadena gold and silver investment scams went on all the time.  Church members believed the other members and ministers and gave them hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars in money.  Even single one of them lost their life savings.  The prevailing thought was, if it was a church member saying this then why would they lie?   Why would our minister lie to us?

It wasn't only men who led these con games.  There was one woman in Pasadena that took hundreds of thousands of dollars from members.  She got away with the con game.  Her own children refused to do anything about her when confronted.  They were beneficiaries of her money so why would they. Widows suffered greatly because of this women and led one to an early grave.

You can read more about Staley and his Sabbatarian movement here and here.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

UCG: With Income Above Normal, Home Office Takes Money From "Charity" For Poor Africans To Build Play Set For Privileged HQ Chidlren

While the privileged UCG elite in Cincinnati get a new playset 
the refugees and poor in Africa have to make do.

The latest quarterly report of the UCG Council of Elders is out.  It is the usual rainbow, lollipops and cotton candy report that the Council sets froth to the gullible brethren.  No Church of God has ever had the amazing growth, best TV responses, Internet ministry or above normal income as the UCG consistently claims.

It includes the following glowing report:

Peter Eddington thanked God for His blessings and went through some statistics:
  • United News circulation is the highest it’s been since Aug. 2010.
  • Coworker count is now the highest it’s ever been (43 percent higher than a year ago).
  • Our donor list now includes 8,306 people. That’s a 90 percent increase over the same time last year.
  • Combined with our coworkers, we now have more of our readers and viewers contributing to the work of the Church than the total number of members in the U.S. and abroad.
  • Pieces of mail containing donations for June 2015 were 7,033—the highest since December (8,233)—and the second highest in UCG’s history.
  • U.S. Good News subscribers are the highest they’ve been since November of 2013. The additional advertising is bringing very good results.
  • The Church’s Beyond Today YouTube channel has had 4.2 million views, has 10,120 subscribers, and hosts 1,425 videos (the most watched program being “The Next Superpower” with 195,000 views).

But it also included this, which has irritated a LOT of UCG members in the Cincinnati area and around the country.

Home Office Grounds: A new playset for children was put up on our grounds. It was largely financed by LifeNets.

UCG members are asking WHY it is that UCG had to take money from Vic Kubik's "charity", that is supposed to be helping the poor and destitute in Africa and elsewhere, to install a play set that UCG SHOULD have done on their own.  With income coming in at more than they expected this year, members are wondering why a thousand or so dollars could not have been spent on this playset.  A playset that only the children of the privileged  UCG employees and some few members will get to use.  God forbid of the unwashed children of the Cincinnati area played on it!

This also has led to more grumbling from UCG members as to why Vic Kubik is running his "charity" LifeNets while being President of the UCG.  Many see this as a deep conflict of interest especially when UCG tries to guilt trip members into donating to Vic's pet cause.  A cause that gives the impression to the world that it is a charity for ALL in need, but in reality it is geared towards UCG members in poor countries and some non-aligned sabbatarian groups in Eastern Europe.  A few good works do go towards those outside the small sabbatarian world, but its main focus is inward.  Many UCG members feel that he needs to resign from either LifeNets or the presidency position.

Apparently a play set for the privileged elite at HQ was more important than clean drinking water or life saving mosquito nets for the disenfranchised in Africa.  Jesus must be pleased. Privilege does have it rewards!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Things You Never Heard Herbert Armstrong Mention About His Name

Below is an interesting comment left on The Sensuous Curmudgeon blog in relation to the story about Gerald Flurry's "Dodo Bird" anti-evolution nonsense.

It is in regards to Herbert Armstrong and the legacy of the name "Armstrong."  This is certainly something that was NEVER mentioned in the comical snow job and totally untrustworthy autobiography of Herbert Armstrong.

I should start collecting stories about how sects like Armstrong’s schism.

That surname is alone enough to ring alarm bells. Sure it was the name of the first man who walked on the moon, but it descends from one of the foremost of the English-Scots border “riding clans”. These are the people who invented the words “blackmail” and “gang” (meaning a group of criminals) and spent centuries enthusiastically practicing the arts of demanding the former and applying the latter.

Troublemakers supreme, some of them were transplanted, with difficulty, to North America, often via a stint in Northern Ireland as official headkickers, where they added anti-popery to their cultural values. Their peculiar mixture of downright belligerance, virulent Calvinism, alcoholism, clannishness and contempt for learning flavours American right-wing politics and evangelical religion to this day.

Their saving grace is that they’re no better at tolerating one another than they are at tolerating anyone else. Possibly less so. The practical result is that their gangs, including their sects, invariably schism, sometimes into less versus more crazy, sometimes into crazy versus other crazy, depending usually on rivalries that break out around the deathbed of the old chieftain. That’s what happened to Herbert Armstrong’s gang, it seems.

But the “contempt for learning” characteristic still applies, and we see it in full grotesque flower here.  August 12 comment.

Belligerent towards others, clannish, high rates of alcoholism in the church, and anti-intellectualism is  a perfect description on how the Churches of God operate.  Troublemakers reigned supreme in the COG.  Just look at how the church produced over 700 splinter groups in its 80 years of existence.  It took Christianity centuries to do that, yet God's most perfect church accomplished it in under 80 years.

Look at how intolerant the present day Churches of God are with each other.  Flurry despises Pack and Meredith, Meredith hates anyone outside his group.  Pack hates them all and claims that his god is going to strike down thee of the larger groups leaders.  Almost all of the hierarchy of the larger Church of God's operate like thugs terrorizing members with threats and intimidation.   Pack, Flurry and Meredith are each on the verge of imploding as small groups schism off.

Herbert Armstrong's death sure stirred up mess!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Living Church of God: How Many Lies Can Rod McNair Speak In 15 Minutes???

More from Charlotte

Living Church of God's Rod McNair imagines himself as a great theologian and preacher.  As a preacher we all know that when a Church of God minister speaks something from the pulpit that they NEVER say anything that is not true.  As God's chosen mouthpieces that is an absolute least in the Living Church of God culture.  When LCG ministers speak, especially Rod McNair, it is to let members know how benevolent they are towards the members. Being the benevolent loving leader that he is, he wants all LCG members to know that they CAN disagree with those in authority in the LCG without ANYONE disciplining them for doing so!  Who knew?  Is that really true?  Living Church of God members know this is blatantly NOT true!  Just look at the trail of destruction, McNair, League and Meredith have left in their wake over the last year or so.

Below is a clip from a recent sermon of McNair where he says that members can disagree with those in authority in the LCG without fear of discipline. Really????  Many Living Church of God members know this is NOT true!  Just look at the recent purge of LCG members who disagreed with the new "upgrades" in the church and for the church's stance on British Israelism.  The repercussions to that were swift and vicious. They were supportive of the church on big issues. Just not willing to swallow all Winnail and Ames "new understandings" and other non-Biblical teachings.

"McNair2" LCG says they don't kick people out for a time period "not so long that could discourage them beyond being able to recover themselves." Really?  Some of the recent purged victims were told specifically that no one from LCG would even talk to them till a year had passed.  Most COG members would agree that one year is excessive, but not McNair.  Even his boss, Rod Meredith, whined and moaned about being exiled to Hawaii for a year by HWA.  He felt that was way too long, yet he does the exact same thing to his own members.  The only difference with Meredith is that he was restored to power again as a minister, while those he disciplines are rarely restored to anything other than being a money making machine for the church.   One's position and credibility is destroyed but those dollars sure look good!

The following clip is of McNair stating that the LCG does NOT disfellowship anyone if they have voluntarily left the church.  Those in Charlotte know this is not true! One member from the Charlotte congregations was disfellowshipped AFTER he had left LCG on his own.  McNair publicly stated that the reason they did this was specifically because the person had disassociated themselves from the church.  When McNair, Meredith, Ames and others do this they are using this as a tool of control over LCG members who have doubts and questions.  Fear is a great tool in preventing members from leaving and being publicly humiliated. Plus the threatened of losing ones salvation by being kicked out of the "true church" is a mighty weapon of control.

The "McNair3" clip below shows once again how McNair and the LCG lie through their teeth.  He says that the ministry of the LCG "strives" to NOT make comments that would impeded a wayward members journey back into their congregation.  Really dude?  Really? Character assassination is the modus-operandi in LCG. The ministers share with their wives who in turn share with the other ladies who in turn share with their husbands and before you know it LCG members in other congregations have some altered version of the original story. LCG wants to villainize ex-members. It's often the only way they can justify their harsh treatment of people who in many cases aren't deserving of the punishments inflicted.

The clip below warns LCG members to "withdraw from brothers who don't walk according to the tradition that he received from Jesus Christ."  Many LCG members have been struck by how many of the recent LCG members who were disfellowshipped by the church have remained LOYAL to standard Church of God beliefs.  McNair wants to use this verse to admonish loyal LCG members to stay away from those severed from the body but if they are still believers how does that work out? Maybe McNair should re-write the scripture or perhaps not use it at all since it really didn't apply to the majority of purge victims who are still keeping the commandments and the holy days.

This last clip is of McNair stating that before anyone is "marked" by the church that they receive counseling beforehand. Well over 200 members in the Charlotte congregation know this is not true at all!  In fact this has never been true in the Church of God culture whether it was in Pasadena or Charlotte. I have seen the letters that Meredith sent out to disfellowshipped members in Pasadena and from Charlotte.  No counseling was ever involved.  It was a cold, clinical letter that was devoid of any love or compassion.

Rod Meredith and the Living Church of God had a great opportunity when they jumped ship from the Worldwide Church of God to start anew and do things "right."  Power, narcissism and ego remained the dominate factors of the church hierarchy that carried over.  That is why the Living Church of God has been incapable of growing in significant numbers or even maintaining its present members.  They carried over the abuse and fear tactics that Meredith and others used while in WCG and terrorize LCG members with it to this day.

What new things and truth do they have to offer anyone?  What love does the LCG offer to their  members?  Is being lied to from the pulpit love?  Is being publicly humiliated in front of Charlotte members or local congregations showing love?

If the Living Church of God is supposedly a foretaste of the soon coming Kingdom of God then people should really think twice about being part of the LCG.

You Know You Grew Up In The Church of God Continues On....