Saturday, February 25, 2017

Musings: More Closure or More "Ugh"?

In a couple of weeks, details escape me at the moment, there will be a Ambassador College Reunion held in Las Vegas.  I assume what happens in Las Vegas won't stay in Las Vegas with regards to this blog, nor should it.  Attendees at the reunion are asked to drop the church talk and just enjoy seeing old friends again.  I like that.  As an add on to the reunion and probably not for the faint hearted is an additional last day sponsored by the original authors of Ambassador Report.  This event is completely separate from the reunion and will cover the how and why of Ambassador Report back in the day.

Ambassador Report was the bane of the ministry including my own in my days of naive belief in the message of WCG and by extension, my part in it.  I thought it was where I was supposed to be and as corny as it might sound, felt "called" to the ministry for personal family reasons going back to some things my dad told me years after the facts.  Nuther story.

I spent many a day and night getting hammered by members who received their copies in the mail.  I got my own of course compliments of someone and promptly threw them out.  Denial truly is not just a river in Egypt.  It was a most confusing time for me personally as a very new minister and pastor in Chicago and then Ohio during the 70's when  the corpulites hit the roting wind machine.  Between the demise of GTA, the Receivership  ("Not many Wisemen now are called" for those who understand) and the Tkaches, Ambassador Report was causing me personally unending stress and conflict of mind.

It was like having molasses on one hand and feathers in the other, smacking them together and then being told to pick out the feathers.  Not possible.  What a mess.

I recall knowing that the 60 Minutes expose' with Stan Rader etc was coming on Sunday night and I made a point to be out visiting to just keep it off my dreading mind.  Of course the phone rang off the hook all Sunday night.

In the hind site of age, change , drama and trama along with dis-illusionment mixed with not a small amount of anger at both myself for being so stupid and naive and those over me who seemed even more stupid and naive or just lying to me, was killing me with anxiety and depression while having to wear the faithful minister mask.  My own brother in law, as pastor, who stayed with WCG thru it's change to GCI died of the disease his son said was actually his broken heart over how it all went. He was a very sincere and well loved guy. He gave up the love of his life career, forest ranger in Idaho , to go to AC.  I know he regretted that .

Weeks ago, I determined not to go to Vegas for the Ambassador Report portion.  I might could do the reunion but time is money for me in my practice and no one pays me for being gone etc.  I also got to thinking about what's really good for me personally.  Forgo it for the sake of moving on and not having all my past anxieties and memories about those days stirred up, or go face them and learn the story behind the story?  There are men who I would love to meet and only know because of correspondence or through BannedHWA and they have expressed a desire to meet.  Would it be "fun" or ignite personal issues once again?  Would it bring more closure or resurrect unnecessary memories and issues once again?

Currently I am content with my simple life here in beautiful Portland.  Simple living , a career where I still work 5 days a week , 40 hours being the caretaker I am and earning every last penny honestly without criticism.  I can sit quietly with my 4.5 Billion year old meteorites that were around before the moon formed or there was life of any kind on earth and appreciate what is actually true as opposed to what I naively was led to believe in my youth.  It's nice to not even mind being stardust with consciousness studying itself .  :)  Do I want to risk that banging my head on the table in Las Vegas?

We all handle our experience with WCG and all that occurred and followed differently.  At this point I am opting to pass on Vegas for all the above reasons for me personally.  I admire those men who took it on back in the day to confront the Armstrongs and WCG excesses at the top and problems with ministers and churches.  I wish I had helped them then but I was not the man then I am now.  I never thought WCG had a proper vetting process to put a truly caretaking , balanced and teaching type personality into the ministry.   ALL the splits, splinters and slivers,  Gerald Flurrys, Dave Packs , Bob Thiels, Rod Merediths, James Malms and countless horribly informed men who claim to be theologians is the end result of that and our lunatic entertainment here on Banned.

Joe Tkach Jr reacted very "ain't going to happen" when I suggested personality testing etc for those going into ministry.  It took me a very long time to wake up.  I stayed way too long for many reasons.  I

I believe I will pass as an exercise in good mental health for me and maybe meet the gang sometime in LA in the future.  I would encourage anyone to go if it can bring understanding and closure to your own experience.  It's not too late.  No2HWA can supply you with all the details I am sure if interested.


Connie Schmidt said...

As I have heard it, the era was a great boon for the small newspaper called "The Pasadena Star News" which ran stories on the WCG and the Armstrongs, in a bit of an expose' way as well. People would subscribe by mail for the newspaper from around the country.

The internet certainly has "pulled back the curtain" on the COGs. A hat tip to the tireless and thankless efforts of the Ambassador Report and even to the Pasadena Star News.

Byker Bob said...

It would have been nice to keep this as a stealth event with secret invitations. There actually are some mentally unstable people out there who would like to kill some of us.


NO2HWA said...

Hi BB: It is no longer a stealth meeting. It was advertised here a few weeks back and on the Painful truth blog. The organizers gave permission to post it. Several have replied to it and will be attending that otherwise would not have heard about it. I will repost that invite tomorrow to give Dennis's post some time to garner comments.

Black Ops Mikey said...

I don't drink booze.
I don't gamble.
Though I used to, I don't like crowds.
There probably are no people there with which I share common interests.
It really isn't worth the expense, but the only reason for attending would be to have a confrontation with Dixie Cartwright. I'd be willing to bet (if I gambled) that some of you would secretly would pay good money to see a shouting match between us, but it simply isn't a compelling reason to tolerate hours of air travel and stay in a city that has one arm bandits in the men's room.

Perhaps it would be productive me to attend the local ComicCon coming up (or the Supernatural Official Convention in Seattle April 7-9). After all, British Israelism worst science fiction ever may eventually have it's own appeal to the Sci-Fi community. If there's ever a movie made based on it, it's a surety that it will be featured in an episode of Science Fiction Theater 3000 spoofing it -- I'd be willing to attend the SF3000 screening.

Gerald Bronkar said...

Hey Dennis, you will be missed at the reunion. I am certain you could add considerably to many of the discussions that will occur, but I completely understand your thought process, and reasons for not attending.

As we have discussed, we were both on campus (Pasadena) at the same time for a number of years in the late 60's and very early 70's but probably never met, and if so, only briefly.

I was not particularly memorable, and had a low-key job in Personnel, writing job descriptions, with the hope of developing a meaningful salary administration system. My contribution was interrupted when I was fired and sent packing in 1973. I experienced major trauma, but much earlier than you, and not for as long or to the same degree. I experienced my first Feast is 1960 in Big Sandy, my Junior year of High School, and was gone 13 years later. There were good times and bad times, and an incredible learning opportunity...mostly what not to do and believe. What a trip!

At the reunion, I'm sure I will relive many old experiences...mostly good ones I hope. I plan to be in attendance at the last session (The Last Great Day) to hear stories from some of those who put together "The Ambassador Report". Had I still been around and interested at that time (late 70's), I am sure I would have tried to involve myself somehow. I was long gone, and trying to adjust to the real world, which I learned was not nearly as despicable as I had been told. The politics, back-stabbing, cunning deceit, and double standards of the world have nothing on the WWCG. I can never forget HWA's co-worker letters. What a phony con-artist!

My years at AC and the years after as an employee were filled with fear and dread. That is what they teach! It is so great to be free to be myself, and no longer subject to the old intimidation factor. We must not do that to each other.

I hope to see you in Portland in July.

DennisCDiehl said...

Be great to meet and talk Gerald!

Black Ops Mikey said...

Another consideration concerning not going is that I don't have access to Secret Service protection.

Anonymous said...

I didn't go to the one in Pasadena, not only because I couldn't afford it but because it would just stir up painful memories and, with my outspokenness, I don't think I'd have enjoyed much camaraderie. Yeah, I could enjoy seeing some people I'd known for a few minutes, as long as the conversation was kept general. Good luck on that! I know too much now to remain silent on old cliches and assumptions.

So, I won't be going again, even if finances suddenly became available. I also need to be here at home with my elderly wife who needs me around. Trips are pretty much out of my future if she can't go with me. I live in a vastly different world now and really have no true connection with most of those who will be there, but I suspect the crowd will be much smaller than at the last one, partly due to inevitable deaths.

Allen C. Dexter

Chuckles said...

Allen C Dexter...Good choice on not going Allen, you won't be missing anything, although if you did go you would be missing something, that is of course your wife, best wishes to both of you.

Anonymous said...

The internet has certainly 'pulled back the curtain' on the COGs.
This is another benefit of my invention, the internet

Cheers. Al Gore

Anonymous said...

Ironic ... all the self-righteousness that came out of Pasadena, the condemnation of worldly things, sex, drugs, organized crime, gambling, alcohol ... and they plan a reunion in Las Vegas ??

Glenn said...

My wife and I attended the AC reunion in Pasadena a couple of years ago and plan to be in Las Vegas for the one coming up in March. We will also attend the Ambassador Report group meeting. We very much enjoyed visiting the campus last time and it was good to see everything again before the Academic Center and the Hall of Ad were torn down to build more condos. Visiting with old friends was enjoyable. There were very few public mentions of religion or HWA or "the church". Most of the focus was on seeing old friends and catching up on developments in their lives. This may be the last big get together for awhile as the organizers of these events have decided they are going to leave it to someone else after the Las Vegas event. For some of us the reunions are pleasant events. For others they might be traumatic. Each person decides for is best for himself.

Anonymous said...

Common sense that Dennis would be regarded at the meet as 'Dennis the apostate.' yep, wise to stay away.