Sunday, July 24, 2016

Van Robinson: The Passing Of My Beautiful Daughter

Van has been a guest writer on this blog for several years.

My princess daughter Lisa Brown, passed away four days shy of age 32 in her home in North Carolina, after a long hard battle against breast cancer which metastasized to her brain.  Her suffering was horrific and being a highly intelligent young woman and in fact a registered nurse, she fought it with all her might.  She pursed the orthodox medical procedures of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, and ultimately sought alternative possibilities.  The medical system was an abysmal failure, because it destroyed her immune system, which made it impossible for alternative possibilities to work for her.

My wife and I, along with her very supportive and loving husband attended to her during all of her struggles, as well as having her two beautiful children by her side.  Lisa of course suffered immeasurably physically and emotionally, while we all were on a constant roller coaster of emotions of both hope and despair endless times.

My daughter deserved to live, and her passing proved to me beyond a shadow of doubt that God DOES NOT heal or answer prayer.  In fact in my view God abuses human beings by subjecting them to horrible suffering in countless ways and ultimately death, and no human being escapes this fate.

I no longer accept excuses for God or fictional Bible promises about "ask and you shall receive" or "they shall lay hands upon the sick and the sick will be made whole or well".
The fact that the many Bible promises don't work, is proof that the Bible does not speak for God, but it is 100% human imagination.

No human being has a clue who this God is they think they know.  The only thing humans know about their imaginary God, is entirely based upon ink on paper, about a fairytale being no one has seen or heard from directly.

I would suggest from personal experience that God may be a brilliant being in terms of creating an awesome universe, while being an abysmal failure with his experiment called human beings.  He placed humans in an environment of wicked human nature, which tends towards violence, greed, lust and self-centeredness, war and never-ending lies and propaganda.

Pastors prayed for my daughter and none of their prayers resulted in her healing.  Countless Christian friends and family members prayed for my Lisa, and the combined prayers of all met with the same result---God was no where to be found.  Why?  I get sick and tired of Christians and their man-made bible God that not one of them have ever seen or heard his voice.  Are they weird?

I have read on thousands of Internet websites and the voices of bible defenders are deafening.  Not even one of those voices has seen this "God" they worship, except through INK on PAPER.  And that is their God.

Where is the love of God in human suffering and death, and why has God subjected human beings to a hell on earth?  Why did God create the human body to be so weak that it is very fragile and subject to sickness and disease?   What purpose does human suffering serve for God or for humans?  What gain to God is human suffering?  Obviously it makes no sense.

And still, church goers will praise God for human suffering and death,  and act like this is a "victory".  Yeah sure!  And when will God trade places with my Lisa and go through the hell she went through?  How would God like to go through the hell of breast cancer and then the double hell of having that metastasize to his brain, resulting in an agonizing slow death?

Millions believe that Jesus died for their "sins", when their God is totally responsible for this thing called "human nature".  Blood sacrifice makes no sense whatsoever, yet millions will go to their grave believing this fantasy.

Does God "need" to be worshiped, and is the worship of God the only reason for human beings?  So if indeed God only created humans to worship him, is he insecure or is he so vain that he created billions of humans for no other reason than to praise and worship him for all eternity and that is the purpose of human life?

Well folks if God is indeed the most intelligent being in the universe, then why does he sit by and watch humans suffer and die?  Every human ever born will be subjected to death.  Why?   Why did God not create a utopia in the first place?

I would gladly give my life for my beautiful, loving daughter Lisa, if she could be resurrected now in the flesh and be restored to her children and husband, family and friends, but God is not willing.  Why?

Why is God so cruel to human beings?  Oh hell, don't tell me that Jesus "suffered" for humans.  Blood sacrifice is a man-made myth.

The grieving Van Robison


Anonymous said...

God didn't create humans so that He could be worshipped. Worshipping is a means, not an end in itself. God created humans so that He can, long term, trade with them. God did give your daughter 32 years of life. You seem to ignore this, and her coming resurrection. My condolences.

Cheers TradingGuy

Gerald Bronkar said...

I too have witnessed numerous family members and friends endure pathetic misery and suffering on the way to their graves, and you have my deepest sympathy. In many cases there were many heartfelt prayers for their healing that went entirely unanswered. The reason for that, which it seems you understand, is that no one is listening.

Unfortunately, man created god in his image, and not the other way around. The god so many people want to worship and believe in, simply is not. It is pointless to be angry with an entity that does not exist. I still drift in and out of this realization. When my sister was put in the care of hospice, and it took more than a week of convulsions and starvation to finally make her die (and she is better off) I thought I was angry at god for allowing her to suffer. I was just angry at the circumstances, and the god that had been created in my imagination.

There may be some life force, or level of consciousness out there that began life somehow, I don't know, but if you take a good look around the world, it is obvious there is no loving god who cares about our pain or listens to our pleas.

Bart Ehrman wrote a book he entitled "God's Problem, How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question--Why We Suffer". Long title, great book! Free will does not begin to explain suffering in the world. Reality is available, but we must choose to look for it.

Anonymous said...

If you read on "thousands of internet sites" and rejected their explanations, why come here bitching against God?

Anonymous said...

This rant against God is very different to Jobs "the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord."
You should be ashamed of yourself Van Robinson. Shame, shame, shame.

Byker Bob said...

Van, obviously you and your family are in a world of grief right now, and many thoughts are pouring through your head. Unfortunately, the only thing that I can do is to offer you my sincere condolences.


Anonymous said...

So sorry for your painful loss. My wife's beloved daughter died just seven weeks ago, so we know a bit of the pain you are suffering. Rejoice in the fact that you see clearly what so many refuse to see, that the god they so passionately believe in is pure fiction. Here's what I wrote on Facebook just a few minutes ago before I saw this:

"People here in the USA generally have a superstitious reverence for a god named "Yahweh" or Jehovah. One fanatical sect even claims they are his special "witnesses." Most never bother to ask where he came from.
It's all rather hazy, but basically, he came from the Canaanite pantheon. Ancient societies had their god families, and so did the Canaanites. Their god family was known as the Elohim. El (pronounced "al" most of the time, I understand) was the father god like Zeus among the Greeks and Jupiter among the Romans. The family was collectively known as the Elohim.
The god family included wife Asteroth, children like Baal and Yahweh and daughter, Anath, maybe others. Specific tribes chose their champions, and the ancestors of the Hebrews settled on Yahweh, a jealous guy who got really mad if you showed any allegiance to his brothers or sister or anyone else .
Thanks to Emperor Constantine, we're stuck in this western world with Yahweh and his fictional son, Jesus. You can get a whole lot more about all this by online searches. Don't you think it's time to get the facts instead of worshipping you know not what?
Have fun. It's kind of a substitute for Grimm's fairytales, but you're too old and sophisticated for them." Allen C. Dexter

James said...

My condolences to Mr. Robinson. I have known others that have died from this and it not a pleasant thing to watch, and no doubt to experience.

I wish there was something else I could offer you but there is nothing that I can conceive for such a situation.

Glenn said...


I am sorry to hear of your daughter's suffering and her passing. I wish I could be of some comfort to you and Lisa's other family members but I have no answers to your questions. I have come to believe that there are no answers and that all life is subject to random circumstances and events. I think the best we can do is to treat people with love and respect and to help each other as we can.

Glenn Parker

Anonymous said...

Admin, his grief does not give him the right to a blasphemous rant against God. Why leave out comments to this effect.

DennisCDiehl said...

Anonymous said...
Admin, his grief does not give him the right to a blasphemous rant against God. Why leave out comments to this effect."

Every human being who experiences the reality of life and can admit so has every right to express themselves as they see fit. Whoever and whatever any god might be should be man enough to understand human pain and doubt. Job gave us 42 chapters of pure rant with his useless "friends" trying to get him to admit that he must have done something wrong or he would not have suffered his losses which , of course, is pure BS. While Job may have been put back in his place with all of God's "where were you"s etc, that line of reason and argument does not wash today as we know exactly where and how snow, weather and the ways of birds and most other creatures work.

One client shared with me , when she lost her only child to suicide , what the pastor said. "Well, God lost his only child too" to which she screamed, "NO!! In THAT story, Jesus knew he was coming back. God knew he was coming back and in a mere three days over a long weekend. Jesus got to live again better than ever. IF I knew she'd be back in three days, I'd be getting the party ready but she is DEAD.

The minister apologized and I bet went home to think over the "weekend inconvenience" angle of it all along with "shouldn't a sacrifice stay dead?"

Leave people to grieve as they need and wish. If there is a God, he/she should be big enough to handle it . It is quite noticeable in scripture all the promises made that never quite seem to work out as promised and when they don't, the human gets the blame for being defective and not the god for not making good on rather clear and concise promises that contain few pre conditions.

Mickey said...

I am so deeply sorry for your loss.

Ralph said...

to Van Robinson:
As a widowed grandfather of four, I grieve with you and can empathize to a certain extent. You did write:-

"Why did God not create a utopia in the first place?"

I believe he did, in the first place; but someone messed it up and a new way had to be found.
I don't have answers to most comments that will probably be shot back at me.

with sadness

Byker Bob said...

Look, 3:39, this poor guy is hurting beyond belief right now. It is not written in stone that what he is feeling and writing at this specific point in time will be his permanent spiritual condition. Please remember that Jesus cried out "Eloi, Eloi lama sabachthani!" in His time of deepest pain, and have some Christian compassion on a man whose very soul is breaking. This is probably the worst thing that has happened to Van in his entire life. Surely we can endure his pain with him for a while!


Ralph said...

on July 24, 2016 at 3:39 PM
another 'Anonymous' wrote:-

"Admin, his grief does not give him the right to a blasphemous rant against God. Why leave out comments to this effect."

I suggest that no one has such a 'right' but you, 'Anonymous', seem to be a little out of touch with humanity.


Anonymous said...

Dennis, the family is entitled to their grief, and I believe God will shrug off their lashing out at him. My point is that opposing points of view should not be banned. He has expressed his point of view publicly on this blog, so morally, others have a right of reply. Many times as a member, I was attacked for disagreeing with a stated opinion, and on a few occasions, threatened by the minister for 'offending' those I disagreed with.
You state your opinion, then I have a right to express mine. This has a name. It is called trade. Political correctness, sensitivity, etc does not over ride this right.
My response to those who are offended by a certain reply is the proverbial 'if you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.' People should not express their opinions if they are unwilling to let others express theirs.

My view on God allowing suffering is that God is hemmed in by basic reality. He cannot reproduce Himself without allowing the monstrous evils and sufferings in the world. He tried the Mr Nice Guy approach with the angelic program, which we know didn't work out. God is not above basic reality, even with His awesome power.

Anonymous said...

Lets see, Christ was scourged, had a crown of thorns placed on his head, beat on the head with his 'crown' on, sadistically mocked by the soldiers. Then nailed to the cross, and hanged there for six hours. His scourging was such, that his back muscles were shredded, hence another had to carry His cross. Yet you call this a WEEKEND INCONVENIENCE. How do think God the Father felt witnessing this? He is not a machine you know.
The child you mentioned, will be resurrected, just like Christ was.
Oh, I left out the venom directed towards Him at His 'trial' with the 'crucify him' chorus. Nice. Another weekend inconvenience.

Anonymous said...

"out of touch with humanity." Ralf, I cannot see how this is so, hence please enlighten me. I'm all ears.

Hedgehog said...

I am very sorry for your loss and your pain. It is obviously excruciating for you and your family at this time. You see, there is no proof of "Big Daddy in the Sky" who will always take care of us, protect us and give us what we so badly want and need. Unfortunately, even on this website where people have tried to get away from lies and false prophets, there are those who insist that if you just beg hard enough "Big Daddy in the Sky" will fix everything, will heal the sick, will give us what we ask for. Right now the sunlight of truth has shined through to show you that there is probably not a "Big Daddy" or at least not the want we wish for. After your pain subsides will you, too, go back to telling people just to pray harder, read the bible more and have unlimited faith or will you try to live with the truth of this life. "Old age, illness and death" are the three realities that the Buddha had to come to terms with and after a long and hard struggle he found and taught a kind of peace even knowing that these realities are there in most lives, except for those who die before old age comes.

Anonymous said...

My condolences, Van. The thoughts of others on this blog are with you.


Anonymous said...

How can some say her suffering and your grieving is blasphemy to god!? and do they refer to the very same god that failed you?
Having lost my mother 2 months ago, I have re-experienced the grief of losing loved ones. We all have and will continue to do so. But I can only imagine how much more painful the grief is when you lose a child. She was your future and now she is gone. The love you have for her and the love she had for others can still continue on, though. And no religion is even required to authorize that love. Religions, being secular or supernatural, almost never do good things, they just steal the glory of the good things and disavow any accountability for the bad things.


Anonymous said...

Ralph said:"I don't have answers to most comments that will probably be shot back at me."

That's why questions can be more important than answers.

Anonymous said...

It is disgusting reading the comments from the self-righteous Armstrongites here that are put off by Van's anger and frustration with God. These morons know noting about the biblical history and only rely on the idiocy of the leaders that tell them that it is inappropriate to question God.

The entire history of Judaism allows for people to question and get angry at God. Doubt is NOT something to run from but to embrace. Only in ones doubt and questions do people learn.

Redfox712 said...

So sad to hear of her passing away. My thoughts and condolences to her family and friends, particularly to Van Robinson.

Anonymous said...

I am sad for the passing of your daughter, i am sure you love her very much that you even you will give up your own life that your daughter may live. That is unselfish. Did it ever come to your mind, that your existence and having a life is God given? What if God had not given you life, you will not even meet your daughter Lisa in the first place! You will not love, you will not hurt, you are just nothing, no existence, no life. As if YOU DON'T EXIST! Have you ever stopped and consider the beauty around you. The beauty of a rose, of oceans, of white beaches, the smell of sea breeze, the taste of apples, pears, wine, bread, cheese, any food you like. The beauty of flowers, the songs of birds, the laughter of young children? Did you ever appreciate it? Who made them and for who? Stop for a moment and look at the great masterplan God is giving us, the universe is ours for the taking, but God will not risk it again for beings / people who will not believe Him that His laws are laws to be followed that we may live. All these evil that we see now are products of our haughtiness, of being ungrateful and our desire to be more than others, better than others, better than God and of not believing God. Analyze His laws. do you really believe they are man made? The laws of man are many, you can find them in courtrooms, senators, congress. they made many laws and all they accomplish is bicker and fight one another. But God's law is only one. You know that sum. Why should your heart be so shattered and cold when we know that this is not the last time you see Lisa?

Byker Bob said...

The reason why Armstrongism never embraced the Jewish traditions of question and dissent in the synagogues and temples is that if members believed that it was acceptable to question or be angry with God, then they might also conclude that it was OK to question (gasp!) the ministers! Now, we just couldn't have that, could we?


Anonymous said...

Using the tragic death of a young woman to push the 'God doesn't exist' cart, is hitting below the belt.

ashley froud said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

"How can some say her suffering and your grieving is blasphemy to god!?" That is not what I said. How about intellectual honesty rather than your dishonest straw man argument. I can think of no example where Christ twisted others words, then used it as a club against them.
If you having been tithing, demand that the church refund your money, cause you learnt nothing.

Sane Con said...

Yup, this proves the Armstrongites have no empathy whatsoever. Just keep you mouth shut and obey. Relationships and feelings are of no use.

Anonymous said...

10.33 PM very nice post except the "our desire to be more than others, better than others." If people did not want more, society would stop progressing, eg no improving smart phones. Christ commended the person who got the most talents, in the parable of the talents. Christ did not condemn the two disciples for asking for the top positions in the kingdom. The only qualification is that we must work for what we want, rather than stealing it.
Yes, I want more, I want the best, I want to be better than others etc. I'm proud of this, and won't be intimidated.
I want maximum profit. The commie /socialists who want my stuff, can weep and gnash their teeth.

Cheers TradingGuy

Anonymous said...

Why is it that when something doesn't go right in someones life they blame God and somehow think they know more than he does instead of not realizing maybe it is they who are wrong, or maybe they don't understand as much as they self righteously think they do, when they don't get it or understand it, instead of thinking maybe they are the ones that are missing something, they just say God is a fairytale, or just blame him or accuse him. Once a person is at that point it is going to be hard for them to see what they don't see, and can't help but go around on a regular basis telling others there is no God, or God is man made and so are the apostles, especially Paul and on and on they go. If you don't believe in God fine, but don't slam or try to tell others that they are wrong just to try and justify your own belief, after all, maybe it is because you are the one that is wrong and maybe because you are missing something. There are a few on here that don't have much else to say except to blame God or try hard to say he is a myth and doesn't exist

Questeruk said...

I am really sorry to hear of the suffering and death of your daughter.

At this moment in time there is little that can be said that would help. I too lost a daughter, she didn't suffer a lot, as far as we can tell, but never the less it is still a great loss.

They say time is a great healer – well, that is partly true. You are bound to be hurting greatly at the moment – it will lessen, but it will never entirely go away.

I will say one thing, and don’t pass judgement on it either way for the moment:-

Which is better – to believe that there is no god, everything has happened by chance, your daughter lived, suffered, and died, and that is the end of the story.

Or – you were given the gift of a wonderful daughter, you shared her life for over 30 years – there was a time of suffering – but that you will see your daughter again in the future, you will have even more time with her.

And more important than that, you will be able to ask the creator of the universe just exactly why she suffered at this time, what was the purpose? Yes, you will be able to confront God with your questions – and I sincerely believe that God will be able to answer these questions, detail by detail, and you will understand why these things happened.

So which is the better of the two beliefs? I suggest you don’t even try to answer that question until some time has past.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to read of such a tragedy for not only your beautiful young daughter, but for all family members and friends who truly loved her.

What you write are things that I have felt and wondered about for years. It doesn't add up. Nor can I buy into much of what we have been taught. It didn't make sense to me the first time I sat in a religion class at age 5 or 6, and it still doesn't make sense to me now, decades later, either.

Anonymous said...

One in four couples find that they cannot have children. These people would envy someone who had a child, even if it only lived to age 30. There is still a lot to be grateful for. How do you think these childless couples feel? And is modern infertility really Gods fault?

Anonymous said...

After being married 17 years and receiving 2 hugs I was divorced by my first wife. A year later I meet a beautiful, affectionate lady who was abused by her prior husband and overwhelmed trying to rear her kids. I the first hour of our first date, she told me she only see out of one eye due to brain cancer that went into remission 4 years before. She also told me her greatest fear why dying a painful death.

Well, 3 months after we were married she was told she had 4 months to live with the cancer returning. I got a hospital bed in our living room and watched in horror as she turn into a skeleton and in tremendous pain. Losing her destroyed me. I was very angry at God and in this life will never understand why some must suffer that much for no apparent reason.

I have proven their is a Creator. No logical doubt in my mind, but I don't have answers to why our world was created this way. I understand the death part, just not the extreme suffering many humans endure.

Sweetblood777 said...

Some times the best thing to say is nothing. This is one of those times.

Jim Baldwin said...

I was a member of the WCG for 25 years. I went through the hoops to become an elder for 16 of those 25 years. During the collapse of Armstrongism I decided it was time to find out what the hell was going on after HWA's death. I can tell you I was a true believer. I worked for a number of pastors during my career. After Joe Sr. started trashing the doctrines allegedly delivered to HWA that was it for me. Thanks to John Trechak an early whistle blower and others I was a walkaway in 1992. If I had hung on through the times of change I would have gone crazy. A deacon who had served in my area for 30 years agreed with me. He resigned a year after me. There was a total of 55 years for the two of us.

In 1995 I read up on just what atheism is and I realized I had become one. I no longer had any belief in the make believe. The more I educated myself the less I needed the crutch of Biblegod. Religion is just a racket. Look how many of ministers were trained to become pastors. Now they are opening their own branches of the racket on order to avoid having to go and find honest labor. Some pastors I knew have retired with comfortable pensions earned from the lies they told to the fools in there congregations.

I don't know if the ordeal of your daughter's suffering led you to reject Biblegod. But I was glad to read how you are free now. I hope you can stay free. And realize that the invisible god and the non-existent one look very much alike.

When I was in my troubled time a good buddy of mine was dying of cancer of the esophagus. That was before the WCG changed the healing doctrine. He was waiting on Biblegod to heal him. At the same time as I was getting ready to resign from the WCG a very good lady friend was also dying of breast cancer. She also was waiting on Biblegod to keep a promise. She died at 43. These sufferings I saw and I don't compare them with your ordeal but I loved these people who are now dead. During my time in the WCG I saw many die after I anointed them.

I thought it an interesting comment on the human side of the blog and this letter of yours.
Some don't even have the balls to identify themselves. And many of the Anons were as heartless and cruel as Biblegod was in the OT. Now, I don't speak out to all of the Anons. Why not use your name?

Those folks being cruel and judgmental in the comments are just well-trained by their handlers. They are like the Biblegod who reared them. Non-thinking and lashing out during your time of suffering.

I thank the editors of this blog who allow our freethoughts to be expressed.

Jim Baldwin said...

To an Anon-

"I have proven there is a Creator. No logical doubt in my mind."

There are believing scientists who say there is no proof of God. Give me your proof and I'm sure I can refute it. You may have found a proof the scientists have overlooked.

Jim Baldwin

Sweetblood777 said...

I use the name Sweetblood777 and it is not because I am hiding. I don't belong to any church, so no one would know me by my real name anyway, but my identity is none of the governments business.

Horst Obermeit said...


I'm sorry to hear about the death and suffering of your daughter and her entire family.

Sincerest condolences,

Horst Obermeit

Miller Jones said...

After reading the article and comments, some thoughts from an old post of mine:

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said..."How can some say her suffering and your grieving is blasphemy to god!?" That is not what I said. How about intellectual honesty rather than your dishonest straw man argument."
July 24, 2016 at 12:58 PM
Anonymous said..."This rant against God is very different to Jobs "the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." You should be ashamed of yourself Van Robinson. Shame, shame, shame."

I also said, "and do they refer to the very same god that failed you?"
You tried to shame him by disavowing his feelings about his family's tragedy! You claimed he was sinning against YOUR god.


Anonymous said...

July 24, 2016 at 10:48 PM

Anonymous said...

Jim Baldwin, I watch a documentary where the scientists interviewed believed in God. Their 'proof' was that the fundamental constants are just right to sustain life. Even slight differences would result in a very different universe. The also mentioned the question of the laws of physics and chemistry. Where did they come from?
Yours is purely a argument from authority, ie it is true cause some daddy somewhere says so.

Anonymous said...

"Those folks being cruel and judgmental in the comments are just well-trained by their handlers. They are like the Biblegod who reared them. Non-thinking and lashing out during your time of suffering."

Gawd dammit! You are right! The ONLY way they know how to get over thyings is by authority and entitlement. Just goes to show you that you can't teach love if you are already lacking in the experience of it.


Anonymous said...

"...but don't slam or try to tell others that they are wrong just to try and justify your own belief..."

Fascinating. You did exactly that in your reply. You would try to silence the man's raw grief just so you didn't have to hear anything against your precious god. Heal thyself!

Anonymous said...

42.39PM thank you for your write up. It's educational listening to your viewpoint. The bible doesn't really promise Gods healing in every instance. This makes a mockery of God sitting on a throne, and treats Him as a slave to humans. Healing is a service that He performs, and he owns. It is His private property. He has a right to heal or not to heal. This is private property 101. This is an example of the concept of ownership being trashed in the churches with HWAs 'give way.'
God is not a slave, a beast of burden, a sacrificial animal. He has a right to NOT heal, which should be respected.
God doesn't exist to pick up after people, or pay for their irresponsibility. People fail to honour the reality that God created, then blame God for the consequences. The problem lays with sin, not God.

Cheers TradingGuy

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, interesting to see how many of us have been indoctrinated by the COG's of remaining detached and unemotional when a loved one dies. We were given that carrot on a stick that promised us that we'd see them in the Kingdom, if we remained close to God and tithed to our organization faithfully. You tithe, you get to see your Dad or Mom or spouse in the after life. My Mom became a widow at 43, I was 11. She was never comforted, allowed to grieve. We moved away from our hometown and moved past it. As kids, we were not allowed to cry or talk about our Dad because he wasn't a member when he died. My 2 older brothers died at way too young an age. Again, their lives were obliterated from my life like they never existed. The COG's do not encourage affection or grief or other displays of humanity. It is a sign of weakness. Raising my own kids, I did better, but regret not being a more hands on Mom, hugging and saying how much I treasured my kids. BIG, BIG MISTAKE. Can you possibly think that people did NOT shake their hands at God in the Bible when a death occurred? Do you not think that God can't handle that display of anger and grief, and yet love us still? It's not my job to convince anyone of my own personal faith. What I can do is offer my deep sympathies to Van and his family, and offer a prayer for their comfort anyway, even if he cannot accept it personally. Peace.

Byker Bob said...

Sadly, WMW, many of the comments were highly polarized, unenlightened, very predictable, and did not rise towards the common ground we share as human beings for the purpose of comforting Van in his time of loss. As a group, we could have done so much better.


Jim Baldwin said...

to TradingGuy

In your view there is no difference between a non-healing God and a non-existing one.

Anonymous said...

BB Van came here attacking God non stop with all sorts of nonsense. I have no interest in comforting a God hater. I can humanly understand lashing out at God with the 'where were you' routine. It's a common reaction. But she went way beyond that, which parallels the persecution Christians experience in everyday life. She gets people to warm up to her because of her loss, then sticks a knife into everyone with her anti-God tirade. This a Satanic.

RSK said...

Oh please. Someone disagreeing with you theologically is persecution? Get a life.

Byker Bob said...

Ah, come on, 1:00! You mean to tell me none of your children ever cussed you out? If you raised them in Armstrongism, that had to have happened at least once or twice! If so, did you disown them, or did you continue to work with them, nurture them, and mentor to them, kind of redeeming them, as it were?

I once had a Christian business associate who while he was in college, threw darts at a picture of Jesus. Now, it doesn't really matter whether the churches of Armstrongism believe that it was a picture of Jesus, only that the man throwing the darts thought that it was. But, he later became quite a dedicated and exemplary follower of Jesus Christ, having bitterly repented of having thrown the darts, and the attitudes which prompted it.


Anonymous said...

Bahahaha! Sweetblood777, stalked by the government! Yeah, right.

RSK said...

"Ah, come on, 1:00! You mean to tell me none of your children ever cussed you out?"

You can't ask a breeder a question like that, BB. They start trying to position themselves as the Parent of the Year when you do that. ;)

Jim Baldwin said...

I just went back and read Mr. Robinson's letter again. I never met him or even read anything else he has written. Everybody has a story. The one he wrote here only covers a brief part of his life during a time of extreme human suffering--emotional on the part of Mr. Robinson and family, physically on the part of his beloved daughter.

He then offered his anguished thoughts to an audience of mainly self-righteous, inconsiderate, hard-hearted lovers of Biblegod. These then wrote many angry letters created by people hiding behind fake names defending a make-believe entity called Biblegod by unbelievers. (The name is taken from the fact of the thousands of other gods men have created in the past. Something is terribly wrong with humans to create beings who have such contempt for their fellows. Yahweh is one of the worst of the fake gods).

Many of the haters of freethought on this blog have now spewed their venom. We're drawing to a close of these comments and this thread will draw to a end. I was thinking this morning that I would like to read Mr. Robinson's response sometime after he has had time to recover from the ordeals of his loss and the pain offered by the self-righteous prigs on this blog.

And get this, I am not a God-hater for no such being as God exists except in the befuddled minds of too many humans throughout history.

Anonymous said...

Van Robinson, I've taken the time to read about "The Passing Of My Beautiful Daughter" as well as some of your previous writings on this blog, and based upon that it is understandable why you wrote about Lisa Brown the way you did. And it is a sad thing when anyone dies, especially when it involves a close relative. You have our sympathy, but that does not bring your daughter back.

The Bible speaks about Thy Will Be Done, and I see what is Your Will Be Done.

"...I would gladly give my life for my beautiful, loving daughter Lisa, if she could be resurrected now in the flesh and be restored to her children and husband, family and friends, but God is not willing..."

And as you know it will not be Your Will Be Done; however, I suggest that we (you and I) have not seen the "end of the matter" yet, but we shall. We could go into all sorts of "what if this" and "what if that," but who needs that.

I will just share a little of what I believe is part of that "end of the matter," and then time will tell.

Although your daughter will not, and cannot, be resurrected now in the flesh she, like Job, will one day be resurrected in the flesh. She will have to be saved then, won't she? Healed too? Ancient King David knew he would see his son alive in the flesh again some day, but that "end of the matter" has not arrived for them yet, but it's coming.

Jeremiah was inspired to tell us:

"Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise." Jeremiah 17:14

I believe that; you probably do not, but time will tell...both healing and salvation!

Death is a real enemy. It will be the last enemy, and we each will experience that death is like. It really is all part of a Plan, a perfect Plan of Salvation, where by God intends to save all humanity, including your daughter, and subsequently destroy Satan and his angels, who have a lot to do with sin dwelling within us and evil being so present with us. We are learning to hate evil. I'm confident that you hate evil. Your daughter came to hate evil, but once resurrected she will never experience it again. We are learning to hate sin also, whether we like to or not, whether we believe that or not.

After the second resurrection occurs your daughter will be amongst people brought to life and some of their thoughts will be such as:

"O LORD, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants’ sake, the tribes of thine inheritance." Isaiah 63:17

There will be other similar questions, and they will all be answered then, if not beforehand. That is all part of the "end of the matter."

Did your daughter have sin dwelling within her life? We all have it. Evil present with her? We all have it. If that is true, who is going to do anything about it? It's obvious, very little if anything is being done today, but we have yet to see the "end of the matter," some of which is this that Isaiah looked forward to:

"Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead." Isaiah 26:19

Your daughter will arise when Isaiah arises in that second resurrection...along with billions of others.

If what you believe is true, then you will never see your daughter alive again. You may believe whatever you want to believe, but I believe you will again be reunited with her and at that time you will eventually come to see the "end of the matter" regarding her. We can't answer all of your questions, but I believe they will all be answered, but it will be in accordance with God's Will that Will Be Done, and not our will be done.

And time will tell...


Anonymous said...

5.16 AM if all gods are 'fake gods' to you, then why are here on this blog?

Jim Baldwin said...

To one of the anons:

"Why are you here on this blog?"

What is the point of your question please?

The simple answer is I am an atheist who once was a Christian. Haven't you been following this thread? I'm trying to wake up some of you to do some study as I did and get free.

Anonymous said...


You wrote: "...The simple answer is I am an atheist who once was a Christian. Haven't you been following this thread? I'm trying to wake up some of you to do some study as I did and get free..."

I was just curious about something, and you do not need to respond if you don't want to, but in your view is there any future for an atheist? In other words, after death, after your death, then what? Will your death be the end of you and you will be as though you never existed?

Christians, professing or not, think they have a future whether it be in Heaven, purgatory, hell, living again on this earth, etc. Is there any kind of a future in store for atheists? Or, is this life all that there is for an atheist? Please cite a reference source for your belief if there is something available.

Thanks, in advance, should you reply.


Jim Baldwin said...

Okay, John here is my answer:

Neither one of us knows the "what" after death. The believer is believing whatever lies and myths he's been fed, he is not knowing. As a non-believer, free for lo, these 21 years of accepting atheism I made the best choice I could under the circumstances of being poorly educated and then robbed of my future in this life by the evil and sick Armstrongism. My story is one of being a stooge and cashcow for about 30 years. I was robbed of my education, wealth and the ability to plan for my future unshaped by lies and make-believe promises. I was a fool among fools.

Your future is "pie in the sky after you die bye and bye". My future is what I have got. My little apt., my SS, freedom, my curiosity and my books. I am free every morning, no praying, no Bible study and I can come and go as I please without cares or threats. Each day I revel in my freedom. Did I say I was free? There are no gods, demons or other fairy tales to direct me. My sunny days are shaded by the poor folks I know who are wasting their lives by walking in my steps as an elder. Many are following the lies I regurgitated from Armstrongism. But there are folks trying to help the blind see the falsities of the Christian lies. Happily, I came among them. You could, too. I am adding my little experience to set more free as I am.

At this point in the sad tale is you have the empty promise of faith, making believe you know what you don't know. I no longer have to lean on that broken reed.

I would ask you, what are you reading? Have you ever had your faith challenged by books written by people better educated than the Armstrongs? I never had my faith questioned as a member. I was a stooge and a "True Believer". I got along by going along. The cult of Armstrongism help me immensely in understanding the Nazi history. And I have a very good education in the cult world in which we find ourselves in this culture.

I read about 30 books on atheism after my escape from the cult. Here are some to consider:

The True Believer--Eric Hoffer. This a book everyone should read.
Atheism: The Case Against God--George Smith
The God Delusion--Richard Dawkins
God id Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything--Christopher Hitchens
The End Of Faith: Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason--Sam Harris
Godless--Dan Barker. The deconversion of an evangelical preacher.
The New Atheism: Taking a Stand for Faith and Reason--Victor J. Stenger
50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a god--Guy Harrison
The Seven Mighty Blows to Traditional Beliefs--A. J. Mattill, Jr.
36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction--Rebecca Goldstein

I dare you to read some of these and then hold on to your make-believe. The one who won't read is little better off than one who can't.

Thanks for giving me an opportunity to answer your questions. It feels good to defend my situation to which I have given much thought for these years of trying to answer what the hell happened to me back in the 1960s. I could write a book.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for your reply. You wrote: “...I read about 30 books on atheism after my escape from the cult...”

I showed your reply to my wife, who still attends with the United Ass. She read it and said, paraphrasing some because I can’t remember her exact words: “Atheism?! He played around with fire. Did he think he could play around with fire and not eventually get burned?”

But what you wrote above implies that you were not studying atheism BEFORE your escape from the cult. If my implication is correct, what is the one or two major items that inspired you to turn away from anything WCG/Armstrong and set you on your journey towards atheism?

My wife also commented that the cult of Armstrongism did not rob you of anything, did not rob you of your education, did not rob you of your future, etc., because those were all your decisions. WCG/Armstrong did not force you to do anything. You, with your free choice, free moral agency, made those decisions, so why blame others for your poor decisions?

Speaking for myself, perhaps you did get robbed, you were some stooge, you were some cashcow, you regurgitated lies from Armstrongism, etc.

I too was a part of the WCG organization for a quarter of a century. I considered that I had learned some “milk” (basic doctrines) and copious amounts of “junk food” (lies, false prophecies, etc.) and very little “strong meat” (truth that makes one free) there.

You said: “...My sunny days are shaded by the poor folks I know who are wasting their lives by walking in my steps as an elder. Many are following the lies I regurgitated from Armstrongism...”

Well, who made those choices to do that? Were you forced somehow? Was anybody being forced to walk in your steps as an elder? Today, 30 July 2016, your footsteps continue on in an atheistic direction. Can you really be confident that more “poor folks” won’t be “wasting their lives” by striving to walk in your steps today? Is it possible that you have just made another set of poor choices and you haven’t seen “the conclusion of the matter” yet?

Joe Tkach senior told us he would not walk in HWA’s shoes, but he would walk in his footsteps. He spoke the truth there, but who would believe that report? HWA’s footsteps only, at death, went backwards, so Joe headed in another direction ...back into Protestantism. You went in the direction of atheism. What’s the difference? Is there any future life embedded in either direction?

Regardless, I agree that you and the deacon (mentioned in your earlier reply above) that you got your noses (me included) rubbed in lots of junk food, lots of evil. I have been learning to hate evil, and it appears that you have also learned to hate evil, but have you only exchanged one evil for just another evil?

I’m not judging/blaming you regarding any of this, but how can you tell me that: “Your future is "pie in the sky after you die bye and bye"?” How do you know that about me?

Again, after death, then what? That was basically the question I asked you in my last post, but you seem to give no future. It is as though one should just: “eat, drink and be merry,” because there isn’t anything else...except to please the self. What is the future for atheism? The future of anyone who should desire to follow in your footsteps now?

These are just some thoughts that have come to mind, since reading your latest response, that I thought I’d share with you, and there is no need to respond if you do not want to do so.

Again, thanks in advance, and good day to you.


Jim Baldwin said...

Hello, John-

I welcome your wife to this discussion as this is an open forum with whatever problems that creates. I now have to deal with a person I know even less about. But the fact she is in one of the spin-off cults complicates the discussion I welcome. With her mindset she is unable to think clearly. She has committed herself to handlers that were well-trained in Armstrong thought control. That fact is clear since she blames me for my choices as did the pastor who read the disfellowship notice to the WCG group I served. Of course I was not allowed to tell my side of the story. That would have called for fairplay, a forbidden concept among the COGs. Right off her comment was ill-informed and emotional as you reported. I can only guess who is in charge in your houshold that you didn't correct her lack of knowledge of my story.

As I prepare for my passing I have to take into my confidence my younger brother whom I ignored for the 25 years I was under thought control. He is going to be in charge of my estate after my death. I wanted him to understand the choices I made back in the 60s. I also had a few friends who were likewise befuddled after my full commitment to Armstrongism
in 1967. One of them reported to his wife back 30 years ago, "Something terrible has happened to Jim". And "no one held a gun to your head" as one inconsiderate woman wrote years ago who was ignorant of cult manipulation as other folks are on this forum.

As an aid to my brother I wrote a 10-page essay about my craziness. I wanted him to have a little understanding about my commitment. Also, I wanted someone to have a report of my life as I was the 10th generation of the Baldwins. Ten ancestors (and more) had passed without notice to the descendants of their lives.

I was considering asking the editors here if I might offer my paper to be read in this forum. It is the story of one poor fool seeking understanding in the wild and wacky 1960s.

In the meantime I will be glad to send you a copy by snailmail if you will send me an address.

The essay will help in understanding. It takes my story up to my entry to the cult. I am planning another essay to cover my 25 years in captivity. Maybe it will be helpful as a volume 2. In the meantime perhaps you and your wife might do some research in critical thinking. It isn't taught among the COGs and other cults and it is clear you folks have had no interest. But I can help that situation. And I warn you and your wife, it is all about gaining knowledge, not a thing held as much value among the cults.

By the way, I wondered what is the last book you've read? What one reads can tell a lot about what the mind engages. When one won't read that is no better than being unable to.

Jim Baldwin said...


While awaiting a decision by the editor on my suggestion about sending in my essay I have some time so I wanted to address your wife's outburst about atheism being like fire. I wondered about her fear of atheism. Why was she comparing that to fire? I've delivered hundreds of sermonettes and sermons and never spoke about the dangers of atheism going to burn anyone in a figurative sense. I know she was wrong in her assumption but what was behind this emotional outburst? Armstrong was quite uninformed about the subject of atheism as well as many other things. Maybe one of HWA's poorly educated ministers spoke against the subject one time? They were masters of frightening the audience. It's a control feature.

Retired Prof said...

It is said that no anguish is greater than the death of a son or daughter. None of us should condemn Van Robinson or any other parent for expressing such deep grief, no matter if the words might dismay or offend us if uttered or written in other circumstances.

That said, some of the discussion here raises important questions about how humans approach death--their own as well as the deaths of loved ones.

Specifically, John, on July 28, 5:25 PM asked,

"[I]s there any future for an atheist? In other words, after death, after your death, then what? Will your death be the end of you and you will be as though you never existed?"

Four days earlier, at 11:08 PM, ashley fraud had already given her answer:

"If you don't hope for the resurrection you are indeed most miserable."

My answer is different from Ashley’s. Perhaps she has not had enough heart-to-heart talks with people who have no hope for the resurrection. Less than a month ago we scattered the ashes of a good friend of mine (I’ll call him John B__) who had no more hope for the resurrection than I do. He had rejected Catholicism as thoroughly as I have rejected Armstrongism.

Five years ago he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Two of our colleagues had suffered through that and died in the past few years. He knew what to expect. I went to visit and offer my sorrow and support. John B__ was a passionate devotee of movies, and he was always a great jokester. He met me at the door with a movie title: “Dead Man Walking.” I replied that all of us are dead people walking, it’s just that some of us have a clearer idea than others how and when death will come. He agreed. He said, “I’m not afraid of what’s going to happen; the process will be interesting.” He was referring both to the medical attempts to lengthen his life and the experience of finally losing it.

He kept doing the things he loved to do as much as possible. We hoped we could hunt together some more, but the chemo weakened his feet and lower legs so much that he could not do the walking. In other pleasures he was more successful. We fished a few times, being very careful that he did not get pricked by a hook or a fish fin because chemo had compromised his immune system. Where he really could get pleasure was in music. He was adept on saxophone, bass, drums, and other instruments I can’t recall at the moment. He kept on playing in various jazz bands whenever he was not too debilitated by chemo. His best musician buddy arranged to acquire a massive collection of recordings on behalf of the local university, and got it named the John B__ Jazz Library in his honor. The dedication, in which people honored John by testifying to the joy his music and his jokes had brought them, was sort of like a combination coronation and funeral. A year ago, his 75th birthday party was similar. He was determined to wring as much joy out of his remaining days as possible and kept up his music in defiance of the toll taken by the disease and the treatments, until a couple of months ago.

Retired Prof said...

Part 2:

Finally the chemo infusions came so close together and debilitated him so miserably that they drained his life of all pleasure. He decided to call a halt to treatment. His wife supported his decision. So did his daughters. So did his friends who knew about it. No one urged him to do a deathbed confession or assured him he would be resurrected or warned him his resurrected self would be hurled into the lake of fire. He would have scoffed. He always said he expected life to be symmetrical in that his nonexistence after death would feel the same as his nonexistence before birth. His final advice to me was simply, “Don’t get this disease." He died within two weeks after entering hospice care. For his memorial service jazz musicians came from all over the state and rotated in and out of various combos for four hours of the kind of music John loved best, interrupted occasionally by testimonials to his memory.

And as to commenter John’s question, those of us who knew John B__ believe that although John himself will again be as if he never existed, none of US will ever be the same as we were before we knew him. He enriched all of us he touched. As I said at his memorial service, nobody can show objectively that he has a spirit that departed his body and will live on forever. But if we consider the word “spirit" to mean the same thing it does in “the spirit of ’76” or “the spirit of the law,” we know for certain that John’s spirit will live in our hearts and minds as long as our memories last.

I am touched by what Sweetblood777 said above: "Some times the best thing to say is nothing. This is one of those times.”

Several friends and family watched one of John B__’s daughters scatter a portion of his ashes around his favorite deer stand. Though nobody suggested a moment of silence, we all recognized the principle Sweetblood mentioned and stood mute for quite a long time after the young woman finished her task. We were each wrapped in memories, keeping the spirit of John alive in our hearts.