Tuesday, July 4, 2017

PCG Asks: Is It Normal to Hear Voices in Your Head?


Of all of the Churches of God out there, one would never expect Gerald Flurry's group to be asking this question:  "Is It Normal to Hear Voices in Your Head?"  

PCG'S Sam Livingston writes about this very important topic.
People who hear voices in their head are more common than you’d think. The largest survey ever conducted on the subject found that between 10 to 15 percent of Americans have had some sort of audible or visual hallucination. That’s according to a 1991 survey aimed at discovering how widespread these sorts of experiences are outside the mental health clinics. Over 25 years later, this subject is grabbing a lot of attention. And the big question isn’t how to stop the voices, but how to manage them. 
Is there a Church of God splinter group leader out there that do not hear voices in their heads?  That is how every single one of them got started!  They heard a voice in the heads that told them to set out and start a new group.  They heard a voice that told them they had insider knowledge about how God was going to finish the work.  They heard a voice that gave them new revelations.  The problem with COG leaders and false prophets is that not a single one of them ever asked how to stop those voices, instead, they let their minds rampage unhindered.

Livingston proceeds on with this:
The Hearing Voices Movement is a growing network of support groups designed to help people who hear voices. “The groups encourage an approach in which, with the help of a facilitator or counselor, hearers listen to, speak back to, and negotiate with the message they hear in hopes of learning to cope,” Frankel wrote. The New York Times reported that these types of groups “have tripled in numbers over the past several years, to more than 80 groups in 21 states.”
It was around the mid-to-late-1980s that the Hearing Voices Movement began to gain momentum. In the Netherlands, a woman named Patsy Hage began hearing voices. She sought the help of a psychiatrist named Marius Romme. The two of them are credited for revolutionizing the way society handles “hearers.” They stopped diagnosing people who admitted to hearing voices and started a global network that encouraged people to talk to and entertain those voices. 
Isn't that what Gerald Flurry, Dave Pack, and Bob Thiel currently do?  They all talk to and entertain the voices in their heads.  How else could these three guys come up with the absolute crazy stuff that they do?  It certainly is NOT from God! 

Livingston continues on asking "who is controlling who?"  Is Bob Thiel controlling the voices in his head, or are the voices controlling him?  What about Dave Pack?  Are his voices controlling him?
Psychiatrists will admit they don’t know much about the science behind voices. For the intellectual community, it’s hard to decipher the physical cause of what appears to be a spiritual problem. Some think it has to do with the way the brain interprets its own thoughts. The list of theories could go on, but frankly, no one in the scientific community has an idea that can be backed by evidence; they’re wandering through this trying anything they think will work.
Encouraging people to embrace the voices in their heads is a new approach and it is quickly becoming the accepted course of action for “hearers.” Corlett and Powers want to help people control the voices in their heads, but what they’re really doing is telling people to submit to those voices—this is incredibly dangerous.
You will have guessed by now who Livingston claims the voices are from:
Encouraging people to embrace those voices and then trying to normalize that behavior, is the most dangerous approach yet. Doctors will try anything. Well, almost anything. If you tell them this is a spiritual problem, you’ll be shot down. Voices, they reason, are just a product of physical abnormalities and we have to learn to live with them. There couldn’t possibly be any other explanation.
The answer is clear and simple, however, if you believe in God, read the Bible, and understand that there is a spirit world. 
Revelation 12 explains that Satan the devil “deceives the whole world.” The Bible says he was cast down to Earth along with the demons! This may sound strange or old-fashioned to the intellectuals of this world, but if they would work from this foundation, understanding that this world is held captive by the devil, they would be able to understand why so many people are hearing voices and why those numbers have increased since the mid-1980s. They would understand that encouraging people to entertain those voices is the most dangerous prescription they can give! It is incredibly dangerous for society to try to normalize this sort of behavior! 
So there you have it!  Demons are controlling Bob Thiel, Dave Pack, and Gerald Flurry!  Livingston says so! We all knew that was coming, though all three of these guys claim their god is telling them what to do and say.  It never could be that their minds have short-circuited and need some serious medication.

Livingston then goes on to tell us what we should be doing when we see these guys and hear them.  

Livingston uses Paul's words:
The Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:11, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” In the Revised Standard Version it says, “but instead expose them.” This is exactly the opposite of what doctors are advising people to do.
Anyone with half a mind can see the fruits of darkness in the improperly named "continuing" Church of God, Philadelphia Church of God and the Restored Church of God.  Things just are not right in these groups. 

According to Livingston, as these end times rapidly wind down, Satan and his crew are normalizing the voices in people's heads.  Apparently, this is now various COG leaders justify their irrational behavior.  Of course, there is a remedy for this.  Read The Mystery of the Ages and you will never hear voices again!  Oh, and Gerald Flurry can help you stop those voices too!
Society, under the sway of Satan the devil, wants to normalize behavior that directly contradicts what God teaches in the Holy Bible. Undoubtedly, the media and the so-called educated of this world will label this as a progressive stance—but just keep watching, because the more people embrace this sort of behavior the crazier this world is going to get. The academics of the world are just as confused about how to solve the problem as the people going to them looking for answers. But it doesn’t have to be a mystery. You can understand why this is happening. You can understand who is involved and how they’re involved. And you can even know when these problems began to intensify. Chapter 2 of Mr. Armstrong’s book Mystery of the Ages and Trumpet editor-in-chief Gerald Flurry’s booklet America Under Attack will help you straighten out the confusing mess you see in the world today.
If the psychiatrists of the world set about examining all of the present day COG leaders they could publish hundreds of volumes on the craziness that fills the minds of these deluded guys.  While our craziest leaders today might be Thiel, Weinland, Pack, and Flurry, this does not let off the leaders of other COG groups.  While they are a little more benign, they are just as deadly in the end.

13 comments:

Byker Bob said...

I think we can safely predict how they will use this information, but it is fascinating that someone from Armstrongism would even be acknowledging and discussing it. This sort of thing could blow their gig!

There are a number of mental phenomena experienced by a small percentage of the population, not mainstream, therefore there is stigma attached, and those gifted won't reveal or discuss them. Synesthesia affects supposedly 4.4% of the gen pop. It involves cross perception of senses of various combinations. Some see numbers printed in black in specific color. As an example the number 2 might always appear to them in blue. Some see distances between written numbers which approximate the distance from one another on the actual table or scale. Some musicians or composers who have perfect pitch perceive musical notes not only by their sound, but also in color. It is as effective as tuning one's guitar by meter. Most people experiencing synesthesia are normal and highly functional in everyday life, and we wouldn't know who they are unless they trusted us and let us in.

I don't have this type of "gift" My gifts and vibes are in tune with electro-mechanical devices. But, I'd have a big problem with most of the types of people with mental gifts who parlayed it into a guru type situation and took it upon themselves to tell others how they must live. There are also people who fake these gifts. I can't fake mine. Either I have your equipment up and running or I don't know my ox, ass, or maidservant from a hole in the ground. But a good effective orator can convince you that the voices he hears are from God, manipulating you out of your life and soul.

You might pay me well to support your machinery, but as soon as it's up and running, you're going to earn back my fee in short order. Now, if only we could get the religious charlatans to do that, we'd be on to all of the things which they pretend are so!

BB

I knew Bob in LCG when the voices started talking to him said...

Now guys, be careful! One of those voices in Butthurt Bob's head may just angry with you for pointing out he hears voices. I don't think the fine folk in Africa want to know that Butthurt Bob has voices running around in his head.

John Cafourek Is An Asshole said...

I hear voices in my head, they ask questions and I answer! Problem ???

Michael said...

"understanding that this world is held captive by the devil, they would be able to understand why so many people are hearing voices and why those numbers have increased since the mid-1980s."

Pretty amazing: here are church leaders actually admitting their own delusion.
This article is seriously arguing that voices people hear in their heads are actual voices of other entities (demons or the devil).

Not hallucinations or other mental phenomena.

They are therefore as deluded than the people who actually experience the phenomena.

Byker Bob said...

This is unrelated, but I wonder if any of the prophecy moguls of the ACOGs are making anything of the fact that the North Koreans call their ICBM "HWAsong"?

BB

nck said...

9:33

1st
Asians are known for their patience in any endeavor.
GTA was a Korea veteran after all, having assisted in the seperation of South from North, or vice versa depending on your place on the map!

2nd
In the "magnum opus" US &B in prophecy HWA spefically mentions the destruction of
"London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, New York, Washington, Philadelphia,
Detroit, Chicago, Pittsburgh

So the first to be concerned would be the East Coast which North Korea cannot reach yet.
AND those with offices in Birmingham and London. Which would have been Gerald Weston's base, PCG and remnants of WCG. HWA did not mention West Coast cities like Pasadena.


nck

DennisCDiehl said...

Of course every prophet and significant Bible character is a significant Bible character because they trusted, followed and obeyed the voices in their heads, attributed to God of course and not any Satan. Judaism is founded upon the voices in the heads of the patriarchs and Christianity by the voices in the heads of Gospel Jesus and Damascus Road Paul. The hallucination of religion is founded upon hallucinations that others did not experience but are supposed to trust as good and true.

The Apostle Paul, hedging a bit on the fact he was speaking of himself, notes:

Paul's Revelation 2 Cor 12
1I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to gain, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. 2I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of it I do not know, but God knows. 3And I know that this man—whether in the body or out of it I do not know, but God knows.4was caught up into Paradise. The things he heard were too sacred for words, things that man is not permitted to tell.… "

Here Paul claims there is no point boasting and then goes on to boast. (Like Dave Pack) Paul goes to all the trouble of telling all he's special but that he can't tell anyone what he heard in his head or thinks he saw. (Dave again). Paul simply was establishing his specialness with a tall tale, (Like Dr. Bob)but could not tell you what he saw or heard because it never happened and he couldn't make anything that spectacular up.

Aside from obvious schizophrenia, which is a mental illness that generally strikes late teen into the twenties and sometimes in men midlife. It is a very complicated and debilitating condition. It may be the person hears his own internal dialogue but the brain does not recognize it as it's own voice. Perhaps not.

But plainly, this article on hearing voices would attract the God/Satan haunted types with a simplistic explanation. It is bullshit Bronze Age baloney. It is also a simplistic danger to people who have genuine issues that are not in any way related to Satan or religion. Religion however can draw these types to itself and rather than get help, get delusional and untreated.

Specific criticisms of the hearing voices approach include:

Using ideas that don't support science-based ways of understanding illness

Undermines people's trust in medical help that might be crucial to their wellbeing

Encourages people to focus on their voices when they may be having a hard time differentiating between what's real and what's not real

Doesn't recognize the very different needs of people with severe mental illnesses
by failing to differentiate between the needs of people who actually have psychotic disorders and those who don't, HVM poses serious risks

Poses real danger for the substantial number of people who lack insight into their psychotic disorder

People struggling with psychotic symptoms shouldn't be advised to emphasize the meaning of auditory hallucinations

Byker Bob said...

"People struggling with psychotic symptoms shouldn't be advised to emphasize the meaning of auditory hallucinations"

AMEN!

If indeed the Armstrongs and original leaders of the WCG realized it, it was probably why they emphatically stated that God did not speak TO THE BRETHREN in auditory fashion. I know of people whose lives were altered and lessened by people who did not accept that, no doubt because of the intensity of their auditory phenomena. There are also people in the mainstream that either hear these auditory hallucinations or fake them, and believe me, they do try to control or manipulate others with them, and unfortunately, naive people allow them to do it.

The question everybody should be asking themselves is whether an all-knowing God who is aware of diseases of the mind that have probably existed from the beginning of man, and of the enemy, would use this form of communication with humans in the first place. Who is going to be bold enough to attempt to "vet" God? And, Satan would just lie.

BB

Anonymous said...

I guess none of these religious leaders have tried drugs - I mean the psychedelics. It would pretty much explain a lot of those auditory hallucinations. A certain percentage of people get both visual and auditory hallucinations without drugs and without being crazy, but it can be explained by some kind of brain chemical blip. I doubt it there is any way a human being could know for sure that what they witness is not an hallucination. Generally from day to day we know something is real because it is something familiar to us that other people around us are also experiencing, but if you see a purple unicorn what would you think? first maybe someone turned a horse into a unicorn using a fake horn? and then we would check if others around us could see it too. If no one else sees it chances are its an hallucination. If a person has taken psycho active drugs then at least there is the expectation that you might see or hear something not real.

In the present material and scientifically advanced world, a loving god wouldn't choose to reveal himself through hallucinations, because not only would people not believe it, but we would all think the person seeing such things (including ourselves) was insane.

There are even such things as mass hallucinations, where a group of people see the same unreal thing, but generally this occurs in a shared drug experience. Things like shamanistic ceremonies often involve the use of drugs.

But if Jesus or some heavenly figure appears to the whole earth in the future well I think we would believe it only if everyone else is experiencing the same thing......

Connie Schmidt said...

I don't have voices in my head. Rather, I get text messages in my head! LOL!

Anonymous '74 said...

When I was attending GCI, long after all the changes, their were people in my local assembly that believed angels spoke to them in dreams. Yes they were kooky but I looked over it.

the Ocelot said...

Voices in their heads? Maybe WWE superstar Randy Orton should join the PCG

Redfox712 said...

People who hear voices in their head need to seek appropriate medical advice. How dare this Sam Livingston should say that they are the voices of demons. Shame on him and those above him who authorized this garbage to be published. Hearing voices that are not there is very distressing. The last thing they need is to hear superstitious nonsense like that. All that is happening is that their brain is not quite working right and is hearing and seeing things that is not actually happening. Such persons need seek appropriate medical attention. Not the COG "minister."

What appalling behavior from PCG.