Saturday, March 17, 2018

A Most Dangerous and Tenacious Church Myth



Just what exactly is so safe about The Place of Safety?  Of all the motivators to remaining in your seats, The Place of Safety is always the place one will not make it to unless they abide in church, depending on which one of course. Even growing up as Presbyterian we sang "Abide in ME!" meaning Jesus but that theme seems to escape those who foolishly incorporate The Place of Safety mantra and myth into their teachings.

Why on earth anyone would believe that moving to a waste howling wilderness within striking range of...oh everyone in the Middle East,  is a safe place to await the Don't Count On It Second Coming of Jesus?  Gerald Waterhouse touted the POS as "A Place of Final Training" but that was before distance learning became are safer option.  Even as a pastor, and I hated this fairytale that always lurked in the recesses of Churchthink , "oh hid me in the grave until thy wrath is past" always seemed easier to swallow and endure.  I liked the "In a moment . In the twinkling of an eye, we shall be changed" far more and as more practical than this POS nightmare. I never had any intention to uttering the words "Herbert Armstrong has announced it is time to flee..." ever.  It was always a repulsive and dangerous teaching my mind and thought it would die with HWA.


SIQ and YE SHALL FIND

Taught as the only way in, the Siq gave the perfect impression of how safe it would be.

Still safe....single file please

Well, ok. Maybe it was just an impression .

Once you got in...oh...Hmmm.  I thought it had a cover or something over it.

Looks like easy pickings  for modern weapons of warfare and I'm not seeing why this place is so safe yet. Can we stay in America and go to Zion National Park or Bryce Canyon?



The moment you "flee"  you become what the world knows as refugees and you will live like them...waiting...waiting...waiting....

We know the Exodus stories, and they are just stories but you won't really get water from a rock. You'll wait for it like all refugees do

It may get messy so you'll be hearing much about Captains of 50's and 100's . They'll probably have yellow plastic grocery bag armbands.

Get over your clothes won't need washing or your shoes wear out

If your lucky.  "You said you'd bring the tents!"

You'll end up saying "I wish we had died back in North Carolina, Ohio or Oklahoma!

I understand all the apologetics for just how safe and how good Petra will be all taken from the Israelite's sojourn in the Wilderness.  Shoes that don't wear out, clothes that last for generations, food from heaven and firewood from...from...somewhere.   Be very careful you don't complain about anything . When the Israelites said "we thirst" which seems a natural thing in a waste howling wilderness with no water marching by day to who knows where, Moses had a fit beat a rock and ended up being told he was not going to make it into the Promised Land for his attitude.  Now if the leader mucks up and gets barred from the "It was a conditional promise land", what chance do you have?  Remember if you take the analogy too far, no one who originally left Egypt made it.  

(The Exodus never really happened as reported)

All one picture is worth a thousand words aside, the teaching of The Place of Safety is a dangerous belief that can go very very wrong quickly.  Your Apostles and Prophets are making scripture mean what it never meant and certainly never means for YOU TODAY.  


If you are bound and determined to find a place of safety and final training waiting out the last three and half years before Jesus comes back for sure because Ron Weinland, Dave Pack, Bob Thiel or Gerald Flurry have it all figured out....

May I suggest:

The Columbia River Gorge between Washington State and Oregon?  It is just outside Portland and you can tour all the HWA hotspots of Church history such as The Hinson Baptist Church where HWA was baptized or even go to the Portland Public Library and sit in the very rooms where it all started.  At least you'll have something to do. 



58 comments:

Anonymous said...

Somehow, when I thought we ended up in Petra, everything would somehow stay exactly the same COG culture as it was "back in the States". I thought there would be a lectern, choir risers... the whole shebang. I never thought about logistics or anything. We'd all be in the desert and would still hear "Well, Brethren, would you all..." "All together now".... "Fantastic weather we're having"... and in the distance.... whistling rockets....booms.....etc. etc....

Honestly, the whole COG Petra Story would be a heck of a fiction novel. Volume One could be about "The Fleeing". Volume two could be about "Wilderness Adventures", and volume three could be about "The Return". Chapters could deal with all the drama that could have gone on.

It makes one laugh even harder when you realize the entire COG alternate reality IS a heck of a fiction novel written by a guy name Herbert and turned into the Neighborhood of Make Believe on a pretty grand scale. I would say it was silly to but into the Petra thing. But when you realize we bought into the WHOLE fantasy, which has been proven to have failed over and over and over again - it isn't funny anymore. It's tragic.

Anonymous said...

Think of how different WCG culture might have been if Loma had instead read an article about Nauvoo or Runnymede, or even HWA's hometown of Des Moines, perfectly sensible places to which Manasseh or Ephraim might flee.

Hoss said...

In an ICG or CGI sermon, GTA told the story about how the place of safety doctrine evolved from his mother reading a National Geographic story about the "Rose City" of Petra. And they did live near the City of Roses (Portland) and moved to the city of the Rose Parade (Pasadena)...

Anonymous said...

Petra or Jonestown, it's gonna get you killed if you listen to the religious lunatics.

Byker Bob said...

If you go to www.nabataea.net/prophecy.html you will learn of a minister, W.E. Blackstone, who was so certain that Petra would be a secret haven for the Jews who might escape from the Battle of Armageddon, that he invested $800,000 to place boxes of Bibles which contained both new and old testaments in the caves of Petra to assist these Jews in understanding what was taking place, possibly resulting in their spiritual salvation. He had done this in the 1920s before the rebirth of Israel as a nation.

I suspect that HWA knew about this. In an environment of rampant plagiarism, somehow this became one of the unique or distinctive teachings of Armstrongism, a little known theory masquerading as revealed truth to HWA.

Here, many decades later, we know that the stone infrastructure of Petra is actually crumbling and dangerous, another little factor which bespeaks the time and date stamp of Armstrongism. Petra has also become an international tourist destination, and is no longer the secret which it once was.

Connie Schmidt said...

Im PETRIFIED of PETRA!

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

There goes Dennis again bringing reality into the Armstrong Church of God fantasy "make-believe" land.

Mr. Westby gave a memorable sermon on the "Place of Safety" to Washington, D.C. Worldwide Church of God congregation about 1969. The memorable points were: 1) We WON'T flee, we will be TAKEN - I remember well the comment that the Work delivering the most powerful witness and the warning to America is not going to cowardly flee to a Place of Safety - we will be TAKEN; 2) He said if it ever got too hot in Petra, God would provide adequate cloud cover to cool us. And 3) If we ever got hungry, God would rain manna from the sky.

Of course, there was the Gerald "Go water the House of God" Waterhouse sermons on Petra and the Place of Final Training as Dennis points out. In the Worldwide Church of God, Luke 21:36 was preached as the reward for being a Philadelphian era Christian - "Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man".

Being Philadelphian meant escaping the Great Tribulation. Nowhere does scripture say Petra, and as Hoss points out the doctrine (yes, it was a doctrine) evolved in Church lore and took on a life of its own - like so many things in WCG.

Perhaps Hoss heard the same tape sermon I did of GTA at his Church of God, International - free of his Father Herbert. In it, GTA suggested YOUR HOME could be a Place of Safety.

One thing is certain, nowhere in Luke 21:36 does it imply following any ACOG Herbert W. Armstrong clown wannabes. Almost Arrested Doubly Blessed Elijah Prophet Bitter Dr. Bobby Thiel is clueless (hasn't Thiel already failed as a Prophet with his Hillary and Mayan Books?), and Luke 21:36 doesn't say "WATCH YE THEREFORE THIEL, AND PRAY TO THIEL that you may be able to escape all these things".

Unfortunately, the Petra Place of Safety doctrine grew out of Church lore and took on a life of its own. Herbert never stopped it, and now it has been used and is still being used as a carrot incentive leading ACOG people to be lifetime tithe slaves to provide an income stream to the Herbert Armstrong wannabees. There is the Plain Truth!

Richard

Dennis Diehl said...

As a UNESCO World Heritage site fleeing to Petra would be like trying to set up camp at Masada or Megiddo, also UNESCO World Heritage sites. It'd be thinking you could just walk in to Westminster Abbey and ask for the Stone of Scone to be handed over to haul back to your no name college.

nck said...

Richard is right BB is wrong.

The "petra" location evolved from church lore. Either from the article hoss cited or loma and herbert middle east trip extending into iraq or a combination with the early 1920's theory.

Never did HWA say it was revealed knowledge. He said it "could well be" but that he wouldnt like it, for its inhospitability.

Of course that was before the 5 star accomodations were built for the "bedouin experience".

It is a wondrous place.


Only follow the tourists if you are fat and western affluence disease ridden. Go see the edomite high place and get a feel of what the later centralized jerusalem temple priests, who wrote the ot, were so embarassed about and tried to hide and blacken and edit from the ot. Their original religion, as excersised by "the host of the lord" to whose leader josuah had to bow down and pay respect when the warior-priest declared the ground holy with priestly authority. (probably deborahs father, that odd female priestly woman authority figure the scribes forgot to edit out)

Nck

nck said...

Dennis,

I would NEVER go with your proposed site.

That is just up "Timberline Lodge" which is the location of Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining."

And I am not talking Shining Steuben Chrystal here.

nck

Anonymous said...

Practice fleeing to Petra, go and find a near by gravel pit or rock quarry. You will now camp out there for 3.5 years. See how long you last. Practice digging a very large hole for your excrement. A minister will last a few hours in these brutal, primitive conditions. Don't worry he will pull out his credit card and go the Hilton hotel. You will have to stay behind.

Near_Earth_Object said...

First, I have serious doubts that the Book of Revelation belongs in the canon. The book is a "play ground" for all kinds or prophecy weenies, hoping to make a buck off of fear in religion, including the many varieties of Millerites, notably the Armstrongists and their ideological brothers, the Branch Davidians.

Second, someone would have to explain to me why the "Woman's" prophesied flight to her place in the wilderness in Revelation was not fulfilled by the Jerusalem Church moving to Pella. Why is this fulfilled prophecy retreaded to become a prediction for the future. Just saying....

Anonymous said...

Back when I was a kid, and learned that Petra was the POS, I assumed it was out in the middle of no where. Apparently everyone and their uncle knows about it now, and visits it on a regular basis. Unless God has told someone of new plans, this is about as bogus as anything else I was taught.

Byker Bob said...

It wasn’t a contest, nck, and there wasn’t any right or wrong. There was a W.E. Blackstone, just as there was a G.G. Rupert. There are “official” versions of everything that is part of the Armstrong gnosticism, many of which were concocted by an ad man whom we have proven took many liberties with the truth. In my studies over the years, I’ve even run across teachings in the books of the Apocrypha, and in some of the apocryphal gospels which were unique to the teachings of HWA.

We’ve had some pretty brilliant minds perform a forensic retrospective analysis of Armstrongism over the past twenty years, and even so, there are most likely so many things which we will never know about our deceiver.

BB

Anonymous said...

Nck
"fat and western affluence disease ridden?" The life expectancy at the beginning of the twentieth century in the western world was something like 50 and now it's 80 plus.
You paint the wrong picture.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:44 AM, let's notice that although U.S. life expectancy has dropped in the last couple of years, the overall trend since WWII has been a noticeable increase. When FDR established Social Security, he set the eligibility age at 65 because barely more than half of 21-year-olds would survive to 65, after which those survivors would live for an average of 13 years to collect benefits. Today, more than three-quarters of 21-year-olds can expect to live to 65, after which they will on average collect 20 years of benefits.

The point is that the ACOGs preach about God withdrawing HIs blessings, as shown by America not winning a war since WWII (we almost won the Gulf War, but ruined that with Gulf War II). Yet, in the midst of what are supposed to be God's curses for disobedience, and His withdrawing His blessings, Americans are living longer and healthier lives.

Furthermore, HWA's message is no longer meaningful thanks to a major change in America's demographics in the last 80 years. As of today, people of German descent are the single largest ethnic ancestry in the USA. The second-largest group are African-Americans. Next come the Irish and the Mexicans. The "Manasseh"-ites are only the fifth-largest ethnic group in the 2018 USA.

nck said...

No BB. You were wrong. It is in print and on tape that hwa says "it might be petra, but I dont hope so. I dont care about those " brilliant minds" I go to the original source.

10:44

It was just a disclaimer and warning to not climb to the high place if you are a fat american. It might kill you, visiting that wondrous place.

The irony of my vusit doing the alternative walk along the "lion image" was that BBs ad man had brought me there while apparantly as I later learned the lady who joined me was the daughter of the best known and influential ad man on earth. As if it Mathered somehow.

Nck

Byker Bob said...

Well, nck, as others have noted about your comments in the past, the methodology described in your first paragraph explains much about your contributions here. When the so-called original source is a known liar, one must consider other sources. I mean, there are still people floating around who believe that HWA never set dates!

BB

RSK said...

That was just the film, nck, not the location that inspired the book. I enjoyed the lunch I had at the Timberline, even if it was a bit overpriced.

RSK said...

While I have no particular opinion about Petra (it was de-emphasized during my time), I do remember these...

Feb. 25, 1982 Co-Worker letter from Herbert W. Armstrong: "I hope to arrange for the use of Petra as a possible refuge or place of safety during the Great Tribulation when I see King Hussein. Pray for this please."

July 16, 1982 Co-Worker letter from HWA: "Incidentally, I know many of you seem to have your hearts set on going very soon to Petra as "the place of safety" during the soon-coming Great Tribulation. Well, GET YOUR MINDS OFF PETRA. Brethren, I HAVE NEVER said that Petra definitely is the place of protection where God will take us. I HOPE IT IS NOT!"

Odd... why did he need to arrange it?

nck said...

BB

HWA never set dates!
Also look at RSK s contribution.

Where did HWA lie??

My opinion.

I do get the "within 10 or 5 year" interpretation as a way of setting dates.

I do believe HWA did believe what he said. Perhaps believing qualifies as lying by extension.

Nck

nck said...

RSK

HWA arranged for things until they were disproven. The masterplan for HQ was almost ready at 1967. But the funds were not sufficient. This was interpreted as if god had other plans at the time. It was a sure thing and negotiated that the message would go out to Israel. Than the war changed plans also in 1967.

In 1947 negotiations and planning for ac at lugano italy was in an advanced stage. At that same trip hwa realized geneva would of course be the best location for gods college. Then plots of land came available in pasadena.

It seems the modus operandi was that something was true until it was disproven. The true spirit of an entrepreneur.

Nck

nck said...

"That was just the film, nck, not the location that inspired the book. I enjoyed the lunch I had at the Timberline, even if it was a bit overpriced."

Ok, Sorry RSK and apologies to the staff.

I will consider it as a possible "safe haven" then!
Or better "save" for lunch.

I feel that the moment I step in the music will haunt me, as has Wendy's face for decades.

Jack not so much after I saw the "behind the scenes, just before the shooting on you tube totally ruining the magic of movie", and the scary nekkid lady from the bathtub is a nice old lady in england nowadays, I learned.


nck

Byker Bob said...

You are apparently class of ‘94, and I am class of ‘75. HWA stopped setting dates in ‘72-75. Prior to the great disappointment, all the early church brethren naively believed that we’d be “thru in ‘’72”, would flee to Petra, and Jesus would return in ‘75. This is most certainly what they taught in Bible Class at AC, and they supported it with three math equations which I’ve shared with you before, and some of my classmates stepped forward to confirm what I shared. You’ve got a problem, nck. And, it’s why people tend to think you are bogus.

BB

RSK said...

LOL! Well the interior looks nothing like the film, though its interesting in its own right, especially as a WPA project. But the bunderfleisch is surprisingly good.

RSK said...

I do remember a line about it in the original edition of "The Bible Story"... connected with Miriams death, I think. "Could be the place where Gods people will be protected". The line was culled in the reissued version (blue cover).

RSK said...

I had always assumed (though with no particular attachment to it) that Petra was probably de-emphasized later in response to the Jonestown incident. But it could be a smaller scale "Great Disappointment" in play as well. Thats for you who attended in earlier years to hash out. :)

nck said...

BB

HWA did not set dates. Or did he teach your math class?

I am class of '73 not '94 so I do learn from your experience which apparently does not reflect "the envoy" '71-75.

My experience starts when yours ends, as I cannot fathom churchmembers building and paying for the auditorium if they really had mathematically calculated christs return or believed it would. So your little class excercise in prophecy calculation really never reached the 75.000 other members, therefore being inconsequential except for perhaos your decision to go. Which is good for you after what your (by the standards of any religion or philosophy) unconverted parents put you through.

Nck

nck said...

Bundnerdfleisch. Great stuff from "the league of gods house".

It would remind me too much of pemmican in that location, regarding the allege theme of shining as the native amwrican holocaust.

But hey, bundnerfleisch. Originating from that great kanton. Setting of that other hotel, of Thomas Mann fame on "the magic mountain".

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

Herbert Armstrong DID set dates by creating the expectation for years prior to a January 1972 Great Tribulation and a 1975 Return of Christ.

He preached 19-year time cycles for years all reloving around his start of the Radio Church of God broadcast on KORE radio in 1934. It was widely preached in WCG in the years leading up to January 1972 that the end of the Work and beginning f the Great Tribulation would be in the first week in January 1972.

The Church published a book authored by HWA entitled "1975 in Prophecy" which the Church took out of circulation for obvious reasons when 1975 came and went.

I myself heard Herbert W. Armstrong say live at the 1970 Feast of Tabernacles in Mt. Pocono, "Our Work COULD be complete in the first week of January 1972.

Richard

Byker Bob said...

Class of ‘75, Class of ‘95 have been used to identify the particular mass exodus in which we left, nck. Not the time at which one graduated from Embarrassing College.

I’m still wondering if the k in nck is for Kitchen. Of course HWA set dates, and then lied and backpedalled and said he didn’t. There was even a PT or Good News cover article called “We Saw Petra!” back in the ‘50s. There was great hysteria over the place of safety and the dates that were set.

BB

NO2HWA said...

BB, you are right. The church absolutely set dates. At one holy day in Columbus, Ohio the minister stood on the stage and shared information that he received when he was in Pasadena. We were to come back from lunch on time because the doors would be shut when he discussed this. He had a large chalkboard onstage and proceeded to chart out down to the month that we were supposed to flee. My mother copied this crap down and posted it in our kitchen cupboard where she proceeded to mark the months off until the time to flee was to happen. As we all well know, it never did, the church lied and all the while was sucking money out of members to build the auditorium and other buildings because they realized that nothing was going to happen and yet did not have the fortitude to apologize and say they were wrong. The church never felt the need to apologize for any of their lies. It was all a test to see if we would open them

nck said...

BB

No not kitchen, nor kuhn, nor kook.
I was there for about 23 years and would have left one day after I would have heard a date set But never saw it.

I agree, there was lots of hysteria, including families in my church area leaving and living in Pwtra for a while. They were lovingly welcomed back and only divorced in the tkach era when all collapsed.

I found them sad people, overzealoud and enotional and avoided them after their petra stint.

Our main man joked about hwa's "blue book" containing the fleeing date in hwa's safe in pasadena since the late seventies. It was a regular joke in our church, since we believed "no one knows the time, but be prepared, bible verse".

It seems I was part of one of the more rational churches of god areas. RCG so to speak. :-)

The 1950s petra article is about the loma trip i referred at. 1975 booklet I cannot find fault in (regarding what we believed at the time).

Nck

Byker Bob said...

The church went through a bunch of fundamental changes in the 1970s. The great dissappoinment, mass exodus of some of the better ministers, receivership, the loss of its most effective spokesman (GTA) and HWA demanding loyalty oaths. Except for the doctrines, it’s difficult to even see it as the same church.

So far as a building program so close to flee time, do you really think any members would have been vocal about this? Most were so cowed that they did whatever they were told, and believed it was not their prerogative to criticize “the apostle”.

BB

RSK said...

"We saw PETRA!" was written by Hoeh.

nck said...

There is extreme difference between "criticizing the apostle, vocally", and believing the extremely opulent building program 1964 masterplan.

I cannot believe both are possible
I d say 90% of the members believed " no one knows the date" narrative.

The auditorium is the most powerful statement 90% believed in a date not set although hopes were high.

The "deflection" argument of the auditorium is beyond over simple.

Nck

Byker Bob said...

Of course, nck. A bigger deflection was the simply huge door that was opened at (wait for it, one, two, three, four, five) Readers Digest! Be still my thumping heart!

Come on, nck, we are regularly shocked retrospectively as we reminisce about the ridiculous and often non sequitur beliefs, plans, and policies of Armstrongism. Many of these seem to be conflicting, but then again, HWA was the author of cognitive dissonance in all of his accolytes’ minds. I guarantee you that we never heard the new cliche “Brethren, I have never set dates” until we got well into the year 1972, and it appeared that the dates might have been soft. The loyalists didn’t do critical, objective thinking. They treated this the same way as they did the reversal of several other doctrines like D & R, Pentecost, and the see saw that revolved around women’s cosmetics.

Tell you what. I’ll respect your intelligence again if you admit that HWA did set dates, and he did inflict himself sexually on his daughter!

BB

Anonymous said...

Nck
I started reading church literature in the mid 1960s and was straight away led to believe that the end would happen in 1975. I've heard through friends of other readers of church literature believing this date.
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck...., yes it's a duck. Herb had people believing in 1975.

What's with your strange, obsessive defense of this historic lie. Perhaps you need a lay down on Freuds couch.

nck said...

BB

I watched "Ex Machina" this weekend. On invitation a young programmer becomes part of an experiment in interacting with AI. He constantly asks questions as to why and how the AI is acting while the "maker" responds, yes but what do you feel?

It seems some humans are more prone to respond to the "gut", while others like exact calculations in the observance of human behavior and the explanation thereof, both seem true for humans.

It follows then that people were part of wcg for more and other reasons than "fear only" or, exact calculations as to when human or personal suffering would end. In 1974 there might have been disappointment but it does not seem to have affected more than 15% of the members at that time. And of these 15% some even left because they felt wcg "liberalized" by d&r and cosmetics rulings. I guess people felt somewhat relieved even that things had not come to pass, yet. As a matter of fact, the generation I was part of had lived through most atrocities that some seemed to have feared. They had seen empires and civilisation ('60) collapse, see it replaced with the benign american empire and the new religion that accompanied it. The only concern was the Soviet empire and the 68000 American nuclear warheads keeping it in check and the incredible level of terrorism holding civilisation in grip. Moreso the desire to have this confusion end than the exact prediction as to when this would transpire. Therefore my claim that wcg's mission ended when gorbachev handed the keys to bush sr.


I answered the "why did hwa send out "emergency funding letters" while expensive items were acquired. Part of it is a difference in interpretation regarding, cash flow and assets etc.

I answered the "allegations"question. The only admittance I accept at this time is intelligence akin to such admittance, resting at the court within the divorce papers. No one has ever retrieved those papers unfortunately, since it would in one fell swoop finalize what this blog attempts. I accept no information leaked by lawyers of the opposition to a local newspaper. I will not discredit others who have given interviews since frankly I do like most of them despite some obvious flaws.

I answered the "setting dates". I am willing to "extend" the interpretation of setting exact dates to: "within 5 to 10 years". Those have years have expired in the eighties and are one of the 100 reasons I chose to pursue other venues.


nck (yong-il, chief negotiator)


nck said...

"What's with your strange, obsessive defense of this historic lie. Perhaps you need a lay down on Freuds couch."

Look at it this way.

I was part of the wcg. A church (period) 5 times the size of your church (period), rcg.

No one of the 200.000 people processed through wcg (my period) believed that 1975 was a date of importance. (since it had transpired). "We" did believe that HWA would lead us into the WTM. But we should have known by 1980 that it would come to nought since Stanley Rader prophesied iin print that no leader would succeed HWA, which turned out to be true, he was succeeded by the people who closed shop.

Therefore, at best, my defense gives the old geezers ( I should say seasoned brothers) an opportunity to explain their point. (since the booklet "1975" does not, there is nothing in there making your point)

nck

Anonymous said...

BB Have you not realized by now that NCK is the ONLY authority on church history, world history, finance, and Chinese music. Get with the program! He is the one who cannot be criticized. He is the original Dos Equis man.

nck said...

12:42

Yes! And you still got me stuck at A on my way to Z. But I tred lightly on the truth, as not to hurt your sensitivities too much.

Oh yes movies, you forgot movies. Don't get me started.

Just a week ago 250 million people could have seen your tithe money at work if it would have pleased them, as 'Paper Moon" was broadcast twice, as a reminder of our lasting legacy. I am not even trying to speak untruth.

Man, come to grips with reality, it is so much more fun.than grim lies to exonerate your regretful personal mistakes 12:42.

Nck

Byker Bob said...

I have to admit, I had to Google “Paper Moon”. Apparently a 1973 movie about a father and his daughter, with Ryan and Tatum O’Neal. In attempting to figure out why I knew nothing of it, I believe 1973 was my third tithe year. We were fortunate to even have furniture. I remember a turquoise vinyl couch with one broken leg, a bed that had been given to us by my mother in law, a second hand bed and crib for the kids, and an old kitchen table. What’s that you say about my tithe money at work through this movie???

BB

Anonymous said...

Nck
What are you smoking. When I started attending services in the late 70s, I was told of the many horror stories, such as members selling their farms and homes because of the 1975 date. One former AC student told me that his teacher threw his lecture notes at his face and walked out of the church, when 1975 failed. Others told me that they lost the will to live as 1975 approached.
So your 'no one of the 200,000...believed in 1975' is a untruth. You have a mental issue friend.

NO2HWA said...

BB....AICF sponsored 2 movies with tithe payers money Paper Moon and The Wild Geese

http://armstrongismlibrary.blogspot.com/2010/10/aicf-putting-tithe-money-to-work.html

RSK said...

Loma's Middle Eastern trip account is amusing to read though. She complains about so many aspects of the trip, even saying that an entertainer shocked her by dancing "the dance of a demon". I have no idea how Loma knew how to discern a demon dance from any other dance.

Anonymous said...

Herbert was probably trying to seduce her with one of his naked dances.

nck said...

2:03

Interesting comment. Thank you. We joined 1972 and in my area I only recall growth in numbers (until the gta ousting twice, which was more of a deal). But I am considering your experience.

BB I adressed 12:42. Apologies if my tone reached your ear. What I find most interesting about the award winning movie is not so much the actors, but why Stan would sponsor a movie with the theme of a religious con man from the thirties? It baffles me.

RSK

If only more people would look up the sources I use (and you and BB apparently did on own account). It would make life so much more funny and amusing.

For instance the theme I just cited.

The truth is baffling, amazing and funny to the core, unless one was taking it all literally and legally observing the world from turqoise coaches (or carpetry) instead of turqoise glasses.

Nck

Byker Bob said...

Wow. Now it make sense! Based on all of the news reports, Ryan O’Neal, was similar to all of the WCG parents in the ways in which he exercised his lack of parenting skills. Had he been a member of the church, his picture could have easily been in the versions of that booklet which were out in the ‘70s. Would have fit in just perfectly with the Armstrongs, although I doubt that HWA or GTA ever tooted any blow.

BB

nck said...

RSK

It is amusing isn't it. An account of a true Victorian age Lady visiting the Middle East.
Having problems with the food and mostly the filth, which she especially associates with the Arab life style, houses and airports. It is not unlike those group of clean white washed and polished american ladies (18-20 year old) I encountered at base camp in Arusha TZ preparing for their ascent of Mt Kilimanjaro), yelling and screaming at the spiders in the showers, releasing repellent like mustard gas and being picky on the food.

I find it endearing when Loma is so disappointed and surprised to find out that the "jews", as she calls them (not Israelis,) from Tel Aviv, are not bothered at all with the sabbath, although most shops are closed. It is clear she is looking through religious american eyes, not the local experience of socialist/zionist jews having lost their entire families just 10 years before. It is all very naive and endearing. As is HWA's description of foreign nations. Sketchy, broad and generalisations from Disney pictures. I do like his choosing of the Dorset Hotel. From 1947, growing from food stams for their guests to the 5 star in 1980 where the British ministry paid hommage to the man.

There are many gems in the article. For instance that they take the car from California on the SS New York to England. Today's American Express travellers would have a car waiting at the airport.

In the three part installment there is no hint of hysteria regarding Petra. Just a tourist, a well informed tourist, who visits most of my exploits in life. It is also interesting to see that they walk and stroll around as ordinary tourists at places where HWA just 20 years later is escorted with presidential motorcades or even military fighter jets. Although there are hints at his later career, when they visit with the Saudi Ambassador to Britain in Cairo.

I do find one thing disturbing adjacent to this fairy tale, although the installments are making a point that Petra until at least 1956 was not regarded as "a place of safety", the other articles are filled with the disturbing images that BB was haunted by.

When I read these articles and see the disturbing ww II pictures, I personally see images of my family history on all theatres of war, all over the world, which I have studied since I was extremely young.

To me they are "just graphic imagery", emphasizing a point made in a "compelling" article. I would skip certain passages in the article, since "we" (my church and family context, not me personally) had lived them already some 15 years before, fleeing from crumbling empires, while bowing and kneeling for emperors, working their railroads and try and escape POW camp from the heart of the Nazi empire to neutral territory poker faced crossing borders. (I very much did empathize with my wcg minister blowing up nazi trains as a youngster and his desire to see war end.)

However I also really do empathize with that 10 year old boy from California seeing these pictures in the 1956 PT and be disturbed and haunted by the pictures of his parents religion, while lacking the context and experience of a previous generation at that critical young age and formative years.

nck



nck said...

RSK

Oh yeah the other gem in the 1956 article.

"Mr Armstrong found NO proof, of any hidden divine messages in the pyramids."

Now, isnt't that tongue in cheek????

I would say so. Loma is a funny lady.

nck

nck said...

The exact moment HWA, Dick and Loma were in Egypt my family redirected their voyage from Port Said to Cape town since Australia was rendered inaccessable because of the Suez Crises. Another one of those family realities from my personal experience that engrained the "anglo's are in posession of the seagates through abraham's promise mantra". Until I learned what "a world held captive" really means.


nck

Byker Bob said...

Even if Armstrongism ever had a valid or legitimate message, nck, they presented it in a very botched and repugnant way, one that nearly guaranteed that the majority of people with clear and logical thinking processes or those who recognized and despised arbitrary authority would reject.

Look at the sheer arrogance of the splinter leaders today. Members have been conditioned to constantly fight and repress their natural, God-given defense mechanisms.

BB

Byker Bob said...

With the right stimuli, my memory simply astounds me. I recall another PT cover story from that same era “Strife over Suez, What Does it Mean?”. The picture showed ships either stopped or disabled as I recall.

Several weeks later, I asked my dad what had happened, and why we were not hearing any more about it. He told me that the UN had put a stop to it. Well, that was the first I had heard of the United Nations, and I thought about how wonderful it was that a committee of powerful nations could step in and fix an impassible destructive situation. But, I got another civics lesson that summer when my parents read to us either “1975 in Prophecy” or “US/BC in Prophecy” When we got to the part about the Germans, I quickly stated, “But, the UN will stop this!” Of course the answer was that they wouldn’t be able to. So I went on to my next thought, “Well, if this ever happens, I’m going to take my wagon around and collect soda bottles, and metals, and newspapers for the war effort so we can beat those Germans!” I was told it wouldn’t do any good, because this was going to be God punishing the United States for forgetting His laws. Obviously, I’d been reading a lot of Boy Scout’s material, knew about their activities during WW-II and was really looking forward to being one, but soon learned that they were pagan and worldly, so would never get to be one. Many of my classmates were Boy Scouts, so for the first time in my life, non-participation mandated by Armstrongism began to marginalize me, and this would continue until all of that stupid stuff failed in 1975, and I left.

It all seems so silly and surreal now, but there are still followers who believe the prophecies have just been delayed.

BB

nck said...

Yes. The brain is amazing. Let's not force too many bad.

We have a lot in common. Except that religion was not enforced upon me and negative imagery was kept away. As a matter of fact when this nice church lady visited us and gave me a childrens book about this funny leprechaun I was not able to finfld it after she left. After inquiry I learned the church ladies present was thrown in the bin since leprechauns are phantasy. To this day I do not know if I feel sorry for the nice lady or for my loss.

To this day I have been an adamant advocate for the free flow of information and data. (Child trauma?)

I used to annoy my parents with my huge 20 volume encyclopedia and ask why Mr Armstrong was not listed under A.

To this day my colleagues call mr Mr google and my memory is 100 percent.

During lunchtime at elementary, I would ask philosphical questions of my poor mom doing the revised correspondance course for the umptieth time, like " if our plane would crash in the Andes, would we be eating other passengers or unclean meat or would god strike us for such behavior?

But my mom did allow me to join the other kids at kindergarten and have christmas fries with them. She did pay for presents that were distributed at school. And at my birthday she made the food items to be distributed in class.

I was never ostracized at age 7 like my poor jehovah witness classmate who had to leave class when our religion teacher told biblical stories.

At my seventh day adventist grandparents house I sifted through data directed to children that suggested that Jesus could have had long flowing hair and was as blue eyed caucasian as my "Viking" family. I figured it looked good on Jesus although my jewish family was very dark, especially dark were those that were processed through Auschwitz.

My religious extended family told ne at
age 11 that one of the reasons they would not join our church was that they would not be able to express their religious feelings freely through guitar and mouthorgan. I figured well I like Dave Brubeck better than your emotional chanting.l anyway.

I think I"lk stop at age 11, since the stories will grow wierder and more annoying by the year.

Nck

nck said...

Oh yeah. After a rousing and emotional sermon by a canadian minister at the last great day, I would, as a 12 year old walk up to my ordained family members and tell them that the time sequence and calculation for prophecy as presented was impossible in my mind, and ask how we would usher people into the world tomorrow after nuclear holocaust, while it would take millions of years for nuclear fall out to break down.

My family immediately referred me to Mr Behrend, but I figurred that a seesaw and a nice heart to heart talk with a 13 year old lady would suit me better at the time.

Nck

Byker Bob said...

Nuclear winter was a powerful anti-prophecy device. 6,000 years for man, holocaust, then 1,000 for God? Really???. But we were told that when Jesus split the mount of Olives releasing the living waters, they would go forth healing the earth. So I had always pictured the mount of Olives with a really high elevation. Oops, another surprise! They had it all worked out.

We were also shown films of the death camps for Saturday night at the movies at SEP in Texas, plus Trial at Nuremberg, and then later, Third Reich films at AC, and a British nuclear war simulation film. So, the images were perpetrated on youth by the church even if parents tended to be more protective. Nightmare fodder! And for some reason, the ministers forbad horror films like Dracula or Frankenstein. No sir, kiddie kiddies! Can’t have you desensitized or you might not fear the Germans! Boogah boogah!

BB

nck said...

BB

Yes. For SEP my time place continuum differs. The most shocking thing I was subjected too were the awesome destructive powers of sugar, not nuclear winter. I fondly remember that extremely competent surgeon lecturing us with graphic imagery, which most youth seem to favor.

Regarding Germans, the most pressing issue bothering our minds was: Do German girls shave their armpits or do they not?

Nuremberg I was quite the expert in at age 13. "Im sinne des anklages.....nicht schuldig...." Later of course I was somewhat alligned through legal culture with those at the Tokyo tribunal. And being lectured by those in defense of the state of Lybia in the Lockerbie trial etc etc etc

It seems RCG, until 1970 focussed on "the punishment of the anglos" since they had "abandoned God. WCG after 1975 seems to have focussed on "mankind" not knowing the way to peace because they were cut off from God.

It is important to note that since 1975 the focus shifted from WWII atrocities, to WWI.
In the early seventies HWA was awarded a prestigious honor by the former and deposed Belgian King. It was an award forged on the battlefields of WWI. In the narrative the french sep site was placed on the battlefields of france as a symbol of swords turning into plowshares.

The focus on WWI was more a focus on how humanity had failed to find the way to peace. Whereas the RCG narrative seemed to have focussed on how the anglo's had forsaken God by hearkening to christmas and altar calls. From radio it was growing "worldwide" therefore shifting the focus from the anglos to a more universal message.


In American culture such shifts occured too. Most of the "American songbook" of those years, like "White Christmas" are thought to be christian songs. As a matter of fact ALL of them are jewish songs. What about a "white christmas"? No where the mentioning of Jesus. I saw a documentary on Irving Berlin and the composers of the day. All forged a new american identity. An identity that was acceptable to the many, to the newcomers instead of catering to the "new england", presbyterian, white dominant culture only. The real shock set in when this lady from Brooklyn with the name Barbara became a new symbol of identification for many people, women, girls who simply could not completely identify with the former symbols like the lovely Doris Day or the other blonde bomb shells.

A society in transition and a church offering answers. What a match.

nck