Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Abomination That Is Carob

Anyone with a long history of being a Church of God member surely knows about the "food" that was fostered off on us in the late 60's and early 70's that was carob.  Has there ever been such a vile food substitute as this?  Even turkey bacon was better than the abomination called carob.

We were told to eat this crap while God's almighty servant, Herbert W Armstrong, was eating real chocolate in his home prepared by his personal chef.  Only the finest chocolate would do! Flown in from Harrod's of London, or bought at the local high-end Jurgenson's Market in Pasadena, it was the best available!

Can you imagine Herbert Armstrong eating a carob cake with thick carob icing?  What about a steaming hot cup of carob!  We would be in Petra before that ever happened!

The New Yorker: How Carob Traumatized a Generation

A wry disgruntlement will forever unite those of us who were children during the height of the nineteen-seventies natural-foods movement. It was a time that we recall not for its principles—yes to organics, no to preservatives—but for its endless assaults on our tender young palates. There was brown rice that scoured our molars as we chewed, shedding gritty flecks of bran. There was watery homemade yogurt that resisted all attempts to mitigate its tartness. And, at the pinnacle of our dietary suffering, worse even than sprout sandwiches or fruit leather or whole-wheat scones, there was carob, the chocolate substitute that never could.
In the nineteen-seventies, carob infiltrated food co-ops and baking books as if it had been sent on a cointelpro mission to alienate the left’s next generation. “Delicious in brownies, hot drinks, cakes and ‘Confections without Objections,’ ” the 1968 vegan cookbook “Ten Talents” crowed, noting, too, that it was a proven bowel conditioner. “Give carob a try,” Maureen Goldsmith, the author of “The Organic Yenta,” encouraged, but even her endorsement came with a hedge; in the note to her recipe for carob pudding, she confessed that she still snuck out for actual chocolate from time to time—though less and less often! No one under the age of twelve could stand the stuff. Not the candy bars that encased a puck of barely sweetened peanut butter in a thin, waxy brown shell, nor the cookies—whole wheat, honey-sweetened—studded with carob chunks that refused to melt in the mouth, instead caking unpleasantly between the teeth. My mother—who, to her children’s lasting gratitude, never compromised her pie recipes, even during her peak whole-foods years—told me recently that she was never that fond of carob, either.
See full story here: How Carob Traumatized a Generation


Anonymous said...

Carob was one of the most disgusting things we had to eat, that and turkey ham.

nck said...

I would like to compliment No2Hwa for this particular posting. It is one of the first times I see a coupling of atrocities experienced in wcg (for those who will recognize it) AND general society (american in particular).

I brings a different tone to "I am a survivor" or "You are not alone."

All had different experiences.
I remember the Ovomaltine at my 7th day adventist grandparents house.
Then there was the humanist aunt bringing chocolate when we stayed there.

And in my local church area there was the camp survivor who shared chocolate to us kids every sabbath.

But hey I know my cousins were abused by having to eat self made yoghurt and there was this fad of making bread yourself. Ah well the seventies. Who wants to relive that.


Anonymous said...

I once had a 'health nut' in Herbs church chew me out for eating some chocolate. I recall her telling me that it destroys vitamins X,Y,Z etc. That was over thirty years ago, I'm still alive while she died from cancer a few years after that encounter. We were a similar age.
Enjoy your chocolate folks.

Anonymous said...

I ate what I could afford to buy. The worst thing about the COA was that people would tell the local minister every detail of their personal life including what they ate. Keep your private life a secret from the ministry, it's that simple!

Anonymous said...

HWA liked to talk about the "trunk of the tree" when referring to important, basic issues. Yet the church always seemed to focus on the small twigs like unrefined sugar, carob, duration of prayers, hair and skirt length. If he spent as much time of the fruit of the Spirit as he did on some of these minor issues, the church would be so very much different (and better).

Hoss said...

While I don't recall ever having snacked on carob, I remember how it was pushed as the COG alternative to chocolate.
I do remember several weeks of voluntarily imbibing a horrible concoction that the local Mormons drank as a substitute for coffee.

DennisCDiehl said...

LOL.... ghastly days! Carob with just a little water was excellent for repairing brick walls, setting cinder blocks in place and securing patio stones

DennisCDiehl said...

and could wash it down with "Slender Now" and many of the pyramid products touted by ministers and members that would prolong life on into the millennium. Any spills could be easily cleaned with Amway products which you could also safely drink or use as a pesticide.

Near_Earth_Object said...

This may seem like a whimsical topic but let me point out a dark dimension. A question I have considered for years is: How do we know whether HWA was purposely dishonest? He may have been wrong yet sincere? All of the processes set up to extract money from people he did not know may have just been based on an honest misinterpretation of the Bible or may have been intentional extortion. Did he think he was really an Apostle or was that a role he played to sustain his "business" of religion.

Most people will immediately come down on one side or the other of this issue feeling whatever hearsay they have is enough to justify or condemn. But how do we know? Like Donald Trump, there is all kinds of smoke but nobody can find the fire.

To this day, I do not know if his intent was sincere though wrong or just dishonest. A small indication of the direction of his inner moral compass is the fact that he permitted himself freedoms that his ministers, acting on his behalf, forbade to lay members. This may be the only credible "smoking gun" we will ever find.

Anonymous said...

NEO asked:

How do we know whether HWA was purposely dishonest? He may have been wrong yet sincere?

If you believe the testimony of a couple of witnesses (not The Two) who affirm that they saw HWA eating on the Day of Atonement, it is hard to consider him sincere by any meaningful definition of the word. If you believe the testimony of a couple of people who affirm that they saw HWA's "flog log" then it is similarly hard to consider him sincere.

My impression is that he went along with Loma's religion in order to have a happy home life, then dove in deep when he realized that he could make decent money at it. Aside from his alleged incest, he isn't reported to have strayed very far from the straight and narrow until after Loma died, so I take it that she was his anchor to reality and to decent, moral behavior.

Anonymous said...

Hang on, you mean the church taught that shit??? I was in the church back in the 1980's and I never heard this. I'm in the Assembly of God and they don't dictate what a person can eat or not eat.

Anonymous said...

Herb kept saying "in the name of the living God, I tell you that there are only 3 to 5 short years left." He kept saying that for over 40 years, so yes he lied. He was building the auditorium while 1975 approached, so he lied about that as well.
He lied about the 'two ways.' He knew it wasn't true. He knew that God's way wasn't tyranny, so he lied with his non stop 'government is everything' and instituting minister tyranny in his church.

He believed that 'doing the work' would cause God to overlook these sins, giving him a high position in the kingdom. It's the bully mindset of the end justifies the means.
If people were hurt by his lies, well, it's only 'collateral damage.' Life was cheap in his eyes.
So no, he won't be in the kingdom, and neither will those ministers who chose to follow him rather than Christ.

Connie Schmidt said...

In many ways extreme, and used for Pharisaical judgement of others, still , the WCG appears to have been ahead of its time in promoting good health and good eating.

Raw food, honey, whole grains, avoidance of fats and lard, staying away from Hydrogenated Fats, breast feeding etc.

So in that one sense the WCG was progressive, while at other areas, possesing extremes very backwards and regressive. A strange concoction indeed.

nck said...

People make hilarious assumptions to prove hwa was not sincere.

Like that "he was building the auditorium" argument.

Men, I should ask, were you blind and dumb hidden in a cave not noticing we were building according to the blueprint from 1967.

As if this was secretely plotted. What a load of crock.

Many people ate at atonement, those with afflictions or elderly if necessary. It was a feast day, not torture chamber. Unless if course you have proof that hwa never fasted and always dined at atonement.

HWA was sincere. I have seen him preach at 92 years old for over an hour in a tent under temperature to children while he could just as easy have stayed in his five star hotel and make a flyby or something.

He was still typing nearly blind. Doesnt sound like a con artist enjoying his millions.

I m not saying he was right. Just driven to get his message across.

Btw. At first others called him apoatle and he was not convinced. Later of course he probably accepted lofty titles because the "accomplishments" were there, according to his definition.


Allen C. Dexter said...

No one was really an anchor to decent moral behavior where Herb was concerned. Not only his incest with his daughter, his eating and drinking on the Day of Atonement, his keeping a "flog log" about his personal practice of masturbation while he condemned this almost universal sexual release in others and a multitude of other hypocrisies we'll never be able to ennumerate, all attest to the fact that he was right up there with all the other great hypocrites of history. He was a flaming narcissist, an habitual liar and a ruthless, power mad dictator. That's just a few of the facts.

Still Learning said...

I'm probably in the minority here, but.....I actually don't mind the taste of carob.

True, it ain't chocolate by any stretch! (and I prefer chocolate)
But it's not that bad--to my palate, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Trouble with carob is that it isn't in any way a substitute for what's bad about chocolate (the refined sugar).

Anonymous said...

Ambassador Auditorium was built from 1972 to 1974. If Herb had believed his 1975 date, he would have funneled the auditorium monies into radio and TV instead. The 1975 date was his attempt to coerce God into bringing down the end time curtain prematurely to hide then failure of communism. Of course he had his hybrid Christian version in mind, which was and still is the unofficial church culture. Which is why ministers go through members cupboards.

I remind you that he kept telling members that 'nothing else mattered except the work' while he lived in a mansion and used silver and gold dinner ware. Rather than leading by example, he did the exact opposite.

nck said...


Defenitely NOT.

The auditorium was planned from 1962. Postponed in 1965 and finalized according to blueprint on the dates you mentioned. All in the open and with pleas for funding to members and co workers.

It is the ultimate proof that your narrative is plain wrong. Unless you were born without eyes, brain or a head altogether.

It seems your word diareah is trying to cover a huge edifice built in secret to deflect from errors in teaching. Well, your narrative and reasoning is plainly ridiculous.


nck said...

In 1968 a room in Bricket Wood contained the entire masterplan for the pasadens campus since decision making eas taking place all over since hwa was not around very much to enjoy his silverware.

In the seventies he was away 350 days per year.


Allen C. Dexter said...

Where carob was concerned, I have an "ehh" attitude. The older I get, the less fanatical I become about dietary matters. I just quit listening to taboos and panaceas. I try to eat a varied diet of good foods, and yes, that includes some sugar and fats, occasional chocolate and refined flour, even pork and shell food, etc. My body is pretty good at extracting what it needs and eliminating what it doesn't need. Only a small amount of what we ingest actually gets absorbed. We all know what the remainder becomes in urine and fecal matter. I think I'll have a bedtime snack now and maybe even a shot of Canadian whiskey. I'd do fine without it, and if it happens to trigger something bad, well something is going to cash us all out someday. I'm not worried about some imaginary god sitting on the other side of a non-existent "firmament" watching everything I put in my mouth and passing judgement on it.

Anonymous said...

Personally, even though I am an atheist, I do try to eat healthy foods and the dietary laws within the bible are actually good to go by.

Anonymous said...

White sugar, white bread were definitely verboten but not chocolate. The carob trend went around the NYC area but it was never mainstream. My mother always had a stash of M and M's out of reach from us kids.

Anonymous said...

I remember the carob. I found it to be grainy, but not altogether or completely distasteful. Maybe better than no snack at all.

What bothers me more were the "natural cure" foods touted because the WCG had such a huge bias against doctors (even though Armstrong and his top ministers often relied on these "doctors of the world", including HWA flying overseas to get a penis implant to "pleasure" his young secretary)- like apricot seeds and almonds for cancer, and other 'natural cures', which caused MANY MANY church members to die unnecessarily.

Retired Prof said...

It was my chemistry class in high school that turned me against my father's pronouncements about healthful food. Refined sugar was a slow-acting poison, whereas raw sugar was the kind his god intended us to eat, and commercial brown sugar was almost as good as raw.

Chemistry class made it clear that the sugar molecule was exactly the same in all three. The brown color came from caramelization and made no improvement in nutritional value.

That got me thinking that the gelatin in Jello derived from pork connective tissue (which we were forbidden to eat) was not significantly worse for us than the beef-derived stuff in Knox gelatin, which was okay to eat. I reasoned that the health claims my father parroted from church literature must be bogus.