Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Insiders/Outsiders: Its Impact On Church Members




This was a comment in regards to the previous Insider/Outside post.  It deserves a separate conversation:

This is the way it was in WCG. Exactly. No exceptions. It is a clear picture of the way things were. 

I spent my teen years in Y.O.U. in the Worldwide Church of God. 

There were the teenagers of the big contributors and the "important" people. The money makers, the pastor and assistant pastors kids, the "cool" kids, and of course, the athletes. They had their groups completely set.

Then there were the rest of us. The shy, the loners, and the children of the poor and quite frankly, the weird and wacky. I was one of those. 

Putting it nicely, you knew your place. I'll call the former group group "A" and the latter group that I was in group "B". 

There was no way you could get into group "A". They'd mock you, make fun of you. The girls would make it totally clear they were not willing to dance with you at any Y.O.U. dance function. I still see the "grimace" on one girl's face that time I asked her to dance with me to this day. It was the day my self-worth and self-confidence really took a nosedive. I remember the time they made fun of how I dressed because I was wearing suits 20 years out of date because my parents could not afford new suits because of the tithing policies, in part. I remember the looks they'd give me from their cliques when I walked in, or how they'd walk away when I approached. During events when they HAD to interact, it was cool and forced. A relative of mine of the same age, under peer pressure, even ignored me completely because I was in group "B". They were the insiders. I was an outsider. We were in the same group, and the same church. And I knew it. And the parents sanctioned or supported this behavior. Some may be quick to judge that it was somehow my fault, because I was poor or trying to hard to make friends, or home-schooled, and the church was my only source of interaction. Maybe, but that's not the point. The point is the clear insider-outsider behavior and the impact it had on people like me. 

This makes sense when you think of what became of the "Insiders" in the WCG back in the day. Who became the pastors? Who got sent to Ambassador College? Who were the ones that had such incredible experiences and memories in the church? Who ARE the ones today who sit in high places casting judgement and condemnation at their whim? I submit they are the very ones who were in "Group A" 20 to 40 years ago - who's attitudes and behaviors never changed a bit from the way they were back then. The very ones who were arrogant, condescending bullies who made fun of the weak and the poor I submit are the very ones who occupy the pastor's chairs or the leader's chairs today. They are also the very ones who think we're crazy or it's our fault when we share our experiences because they can not relate. 

It's this insider vs outsider clique culture which explains so much of the behavior of the COG's, from the top to the bottom. 

45 comments:

nck said...

How strange for all this to have happened in church while at school you were among the jocks and the prom queen was eager to sleep over.

Most of what you describe sounds like those blockbuster american teen movies.

I did watch "revenge of the nerds" at the time with the school nerds.

Remember, Bill Gates, Bezos and Elon were nerds too. Nerds just get to the fun part a little later If lucky.

If not, at least they grow out of their pimples or astma and some even acquire a taste for clothes or marry someone who has.

Nck

Anonymous said...

I was a child when my parents left WCG and went with Living Church of God. I ended up working for the church in Charlotte. I can say that everything mentioned above is exactly the atmosphere that permeates the headquarters area. The elite are the intermarried families of leaders and the big money donors. There was a clear class distinction and it was blatantly obvious at times. If you were not part of the elite circle you were excluded from all kinds of things and made fun of in staff meetings. I ended up leaving a couple years ago and it has been a wonderful blessing to my life and my wife's. That overpowering atmosphere of tension is gone.

Anonymous said...

I have to wonder what church NCK attended. Everything anyone writes here that is critical or tells their story, he has to invalidate it. So what if it happened in high school! We are talking about the church. The church that claimed to be guided by Jesus very hands and filled with 1st-century Christian love. I think we all know how unloving the church has been because we have experienced it.

Byker Bob said...

Normally, one would expect “the brethren” to be more enlightened, and to realize that church is a sanctuary or haven for all. It’s where you go for support when “the world” beats you up.

Unfortunately, Armstrongism is not a nurturing religion. Often, one gets beat up by those on the inside far worse than by those on the outside.

At age 35, while reading yet another in a series of self-help books, I learned that in life, everyone has an environment in which they can thrive. If you have ambitions of “qualifying”, developing your talents, or learning, the correct alchemy must be in play. You should have at least one such environment present in your life, and should be applying the majority of your efforts within that environment, because that will be the source for your most noticeable positive feedback.

The problem for us as Armstrongites was that the environment was mandated. We were told the church, “the work”, should be where our treasure was. So, growth was inhibited by the powers that be and their pets in what should have been a very positive area of our lives. That is the major failing point of Armstrongism. It did not improve members’ quality of life, or assist in developing Kingdom skills. It produced frogs and zombies.

BB

nck said...

11;44

I'm just saying it would have happened regardless. First of all because the USA is a very competetitive society. Very cruel at times and NOTHING in the posting has not happened large scale in most american schools (thats why political correctness is such an issue today) and for certain in business as I ve experienced. That"s why American business managers are so hated all over the world in my experience.

I meam "the world series" for a sport no one hears about outside of the USA, that type of arrogance.

I know for certain that the vast majority of wcg did not experience the extremes mentioned at this blog. I do believe however that the vast nmajority in the splinters is experiencing worse than reported on this blog. Although they do not seem to feel it that way or even voluntarily subject themselves to an outdated model.

This has happened in all personality cults for instance chrystal cathedral where the 2nd generation was not equipped to continue as they were, while the 3rd generation seems to be picking up the pieces in modernized way. Chrystal Cathedral the only ministry continually beating the World Tomorrow at Arbitron. Its what happens when skilled people think they are so special they should start institutions of education based on their personal skill set.

Nck


nck said...

11:44

This person is specifically talking about non baptized teens. 99% of the times I am adressing issues raised by people who cannot read, like you, since you are adressing something else. I am biting my tongue most of the times when I hear whiny types like you for the specific reason as NOT to invalidate what happened to the original poster.

If you were able to read you would have seen that I am not invalidating his experience. I am able to read your weakness though straight through your whiny post.

Nck

Dumbhead said...

I would say that insiders and outsiders probably happen everywhere. In grammar school and high school. That's the way it is with those that are not adults. Although in the YOU camps the adults could have tried to spot what was going on and helped out the ones that were considered group B. The same at Sabbath services. The younger adults in their 20's and 30's could help out. When I attended services I was young and quiet. I still remember what was said because of it. People don't have brains or feelings sometimes. But down the road I got confidence in myself and I don't care WHO it is, they are not better than me.

Anonymous said...

That overpowering atmosphere of tension is gone.

This. I'm not going to say that there are no other workplaces as tension-filled as LCG, but then again LCG pretends to operate on the basis of Godly values, not cut-throat worldly values. I have never worked in a "worldly" office that was anywhere near as hostile and tension-filled and political as LCG HQ. I left LCG for a number of reasons, but looking back I came to realize just how unhealthy the LCG workplace really was, and what this implies about its legitimacy as "God's Church." Rod McNair, for example, gets away with conduct that would get Gaylyn Bonjour fired. Jonathan McNair is almost as stupid as his brother Rod, but both he and Rod are favored in a way that Doug and Scott Winnail will never experience. However, the Winnails have their own kind of insider status that lets them get away with minor rebellions that would get an ordinary member kicked out of the church.

Anonymous said...

"How strange for all this to have happened in church while at school you were among the jocks and the prom queen was eager to sleep over."

Did you not read the part where I said I was home schooled? because I was not allowed to be in the world? And because my parents thought "the world" would be a horrible influence on me? So where did I turn - the Church. It's all I had. Do you get this?

Do you not understand that I believed that this was "God's Church?" Do you not understand that beyond what I experienced in "God's Church" that I had absolutely no social life? Do you even get that I REALLY THOUGHT these were the children of the "leaders of the world tomorrow to come in like three years", and I just couldn't get the disconnect? Worse than this, are you joining in what the kids did to me when I was young by referencing me as a "nerd"? Do you understand what you are saying? Do you not get or appreciate the impact that they had on my young adolescent life where I was absolutely starving for friends and some sort of LIFE? How did you become to appear so uncompassionate? Your reaction is what I'd expect from a WCG minister if I told them of my concerns.

Why is it that those who are sympathetic and apologists to HWA always seem to not understand when someone like me comes to this forum and tells their story? In one comment you have attempted to invalidate my story, compared my experience to a typical high school experience (which I did not have, again), and alluded to the fact that somehow I was a "nerd". And NCK, thanks for the slam on the clothes that I wore. I get the feeling that if I knew you back then, you would have been part of the problems I experienced. I'm not impressed by your post. You seem very cold and calloused to what I experienced - if only the small portion I allowed to make it to print here, to protect the identities of the ones I'm referring to.

I wish to thank 11:44 for understanding. I appreciate when someone tries to get the experiences I went through. NCK is just one of those that does not get it.

Oh, and yes, I did have "asthma". Turned out it was an un-diagnosed heart condition that led to much more serious problems later that I did not get taken care of then because of the Church's anti-doctor policy - my parents still held to that because they were ultra-conservative old-schoolers. I live with the consequences of their actions every day.

You have done nothing to promote your cause of Armstrongism or Herbert Armstrong. Congratulations. I did take a very neutral position of all your posts over the last who knows how long, because you seemed to be able to listen and take other people's thoughts into consideration. My position, now, diplomatically put, has been further evaluated.

Anonymous said...

None of us can figure out why nck left Armstrongism. The only people who are more vocal in defending it are the Kitchens.

Anonymous said...

"This person is specifically talking about non baptized teens"

Oh yes. Thanks for exposing ANOTHER WCG Insider/Outsider thing. Baptized vs. Non-Baptized. And the biggest doctrinal policy that really hammered that home was the Passover service. This is not to start a doctrinal debate. This is simply to expose the culture of the church.

The Non-Baptized (Teens or not) were the less-than people. We all know they were not only not able to perform certain functions within the church, they were looked down on as "those who have not received the Holy Spirit". I believe many were labeled as just "attendees" of the church. They sometimes were labeled as the "unconverted" because they were either "denied" baptism, or simply haven't taken the "step" to take the dunk.

The Baptized thought of themselves as the better, the converted, the saved. The Baptized got to participate in the rite of Passover. The men knew they were now eligible for promotions of ministry - starting rivalries of who would "make it" to Deacon, and etc. The Baptized could now attend Graduate Club. (I don't remember if regular Club members had to be baptized). If you were a man, you could even give an Opening or a Closing Prayer, and finally get to stand behind the Lectern. You were finally REALLY a part of the church.

And this opens up ANOTHER Insider/Outsider flowchart within the church! Men/Women. I won't go into the details on this. We ALL knew that there was "Male Privilege" within the church.

I'd LOVE to see a flowchart of all the Insider/Outsider relationships within the church. I think upon examination there's a lot more then we knew. Or, simply ignored. Tithers/Non-Tithers. Ministers/Non-Ministers. Men/Women. In-Teens/Out-Teens. Black/White. Poor/Rich. Attractive/Ugly. Educated/Redneck. Brown-Nosers/Rebels. It even stretched to the Feast. (Best hotels/Motel 6'ers). It was an atmosphere of judgement at every turn which caused the insider/outsider problems. No one was immune to it. You either had it good or bad because of what side of the fence you were on.

There was an old advertisement on TV of a pop called Slice. It said "either you got it or you don't." "Got it, got it, don't got it". This entire conversation reminded me of that commercial. And it applies exactly with the COG's. Either you got it or you don't. And your COG experience was defined by that judgement in a jungle of levels defined by the ones who "got it".



RSK said...

I'm confused about the OP - first it says he was in "group C", then indicates a "group B" shortly after. I'm assuming they are actually the same.
Anyway, yes, among the "church youth" in any congregation you could, for the most part, draw a line between the privileged and the not-privileged. The thickness of that line probably depended on the individual congregation's dynamics.

But if you played your cards right at regional functions where those things couldnt be communicated so easily...

Anonymous said...

This insider/outsider business also reared it's ugly head in Biblical Days. Jews/Gentiles.

When the Holy Spirit descended on not just the Jews but the Gentiles as well, this was probably the greatest controversy ever to hit the church. A controversy that sparked a revolution of doctrine within the church that led to the Jerusalem Council of Acts 15.

This led to a statement that was considered extraordinary at the time:

"There is neither jew nor greek, slave nor free, male or female.. ALL ARE ONE in Christ".

Even Peter was subject to rebuke because of the insider/outsider problems in the early church at that point. Some apostles were attempting to magnify their opinions that the Jews (and their worship systems) were superior and that the Gentiles (the outsiders) had to be subject to it. You know the rest of the story. But it's the "neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free" statement that really puts the cap on the Insider/Outsider problems that have persisted for millennia within the church.

Truthfully, when HWA came along, he took the "Slave nor free, Jew nor Greek" doctrine, threw it out, and made HIS church "the Insiders" and everyone else "the Outsiders", and fed, fueled, and ignited that belief in every aspect of COG life, using every possible reason to fuel his beliefs.

Byker Bob said...

Let us not forget two subsets of the baptized, namely the “converted” and the “unconverted”. And then you had the deeply converted, etc. I was walking up the street to my dorm one time during my freshman year at AC, and suddenly heard someone behind me call out, “Hey, Carnal!” Now for those readers who might be from East LA, this guy put the emphasis on the first syllable. In East LA Chicano slang, with the emphasis on the second syllable, it is actually a compliment, like “homie” or “brother”. But, coming from an Ambassador student from the midwest, it was definitely not intended as a compliment. Just another divisive term.

BB

Byker Bob said...

Let us not forget two subsets of the baptized, namely the “converted” and the “unconverted”. And then you had the deeply converted, etc. I was walking up the street to my dorm one time during my freshman year at AC, and suddenly heard someone behind me call out, “Hey, Carnal!” Now for those readers who might be from East LA, this guy put the emphasis on the first syllable. In East LA Chicano slang, with the emphasis on the second syllable, it is actually a compliment, like “homie” or “brother”. But, coming from an Ambassador student from the midwest, it was definitely not intended as a compliment. Just another divisive term.

BB

Anonymous said...

2:52 -

you're correct. I meant to type "B", but was thinking of the "C groups" back in YOU Days and inadvertently typed "C" instead. I meant "B". Sorry for the confusion.

Anonymous said...

BB said:

Let us not forget two subsets of the baptized, namely the “converted” and the “unconverted”. And then you had the deeply converted, etc.

Never Converted Definition: One who was either converted or deeply converted - and left the church. This automatically puts them in the "worst" category - never converted.

Used in a sentence: "He was never converted in the first place. This is why he left the church."

Unconverted Definition: One who attends church and is baptized, but has "liberal" tendencies toward the Sabbath, Holy Days, Music, Appearance, Dress, etc.

Used in a sentence: "He has no problem going to a restaurant or watching TV on the Sabbath. He's unconverted and just doesn't get it."

Semi-Converted Definition: One who attends church, is baptized, is mainly a conformer, but speaks out on differences of opinion, but not enough to "cause division".

Used in a sentence: "Yeah, he's alright and all, but he's only semi-converted. He doesn't understand everything the pastor says. He isn't full in."

Converted Definition: A Baptized, conformed Member who has everything he is supposed to be and do down to a tee, and who never disagrees with a minister on every count.

Used in a sentence: "Oh yes, he's converted, let there be no doubt. You can just see it in the way he talks and acts and understands."

Deeply Converted Definition: A wealthy, Baptized, conformed member who is a solid contributor to the church, who is always in agreement with the minister on every count. Most likely to be ordained to deacon - or more.

Used in a sentence: "Oh man. This is a deeply converted person. Not only does he understand everything in great detail, it's in the way he talks, walks.. everything. And he always tithes without missing a paycheck."




NO2HWA said...

Changed the "C" to a "B"...

Anonymous said...

I can totally relate to this post. I was in the B group and as adults the A group still treated us as the B group even into our 30's, married and with kids. It never changed. Leaving and just getting out was the best thing.

nck said...

Look, I didnt know about the clothes, the "asthma", the other cliches etc etc
You made my point that the cruelty of kids is about the same topics, in all cultures and religions and all places.

I guess evolution is in our genes. But some cultures are less competitive I agree.

Look I m not cruel. If any teen reads this he will acknowledge that nck is right and may reconsider his behavior.

Do you believe for a moment that teens feel sorry for the things you wrote and now think "I must change my ways?" I m telling them (if they read) that some of them are self absorbed, competitive, selfie taking, pricks and abusers.

In most cultures teens gather like a clique or band. Some cultures send them away to kill a lion.
But at our age we know it is evolutionary behavior dictated by hormones sustained by a nations culture.

And in wcg I heard about a hundred sermons on not to form cliques at the feast, sep camp, youth functions. But hey. Evolutionary behavior is a fact.

Nck

Anonymous said...

Anon says, However, the Winnails have their own kind of insider status that lets them get away with minor rebellions that would get an ordinary member kicked out of the church."

That would be because the Winnails have enough insider info to sink the ship.

Anonymous said...

NCK

Yes. You are correct that this happens much more often than it should. Yes, it happens in high schools. Yes, it happens in pretty much everywhere you find teenagers.

*I* did not expect it to happen in the set apart world of the only people set apart by the One True God in the One True Church. This is the point I am really attempting to drive home to you. I was always told that I would be able to get AWAY from the "world" in the Church. No. The "World" came at me *in* the church. Full force. Exactly, as you said, like would have happened had my parents had allowed me to go to high school.

There was NO DIFFERENCE between the Kids of "the world" and the kids of "the church". Not one iota of a difference.

It did not matter that they went to church on the Sabbath. It did not matter that they kept the Holy Days. It did not matter they were said to have been "set apart". Whatever the kids did "in the world" they did "in the church". Anyone who thought otherwise was living in as much of a delusion as the adults who were thinking their utopia was going to come in two to three years. At SEP, my disconnect was even furthered when I saw two high school workers totally making out full face and all that in one of the activity rooms when no one else was there. There was the way it was supposed to be. Then there was the way it was. There was truth not only to the "feast flings" but the SEP Birds n' Bees. I found this out only through the school of "Armstrongism Expectations vs. Reality 101."

Regardless of these explanations. Yes. I know it's all the same everywhere. The point is - and understand this clear -

IN THE ONE TRUE CHURCH OF THE LIVING GOD, SO I WAS TOLD, IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN TOTALLY DIFFERENT. I should have felt like God was there, and that people - even the kids - would take on some kind of Christian Goodness at the very least. This was not the case. The Church youth, divided into Groups A and B, were absolutely as carnal as any kid in the world - and in the theology that Armstrong taught over and over and over again, IF he was correct, THIS WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN. The only thing you have proved over and over again in your posts through this whole thing is exactly my point.

There was NO difference between the World and the Worldwide Church of God.

I've renamed it in my own mind:

"THE WORLDLY CHURCH OF GOD."





Angela Storey said...

There were some nice people in the church but the overall atmosphere was extremely toxic. Proud nasty people scrambled for supremacy and mistreated others. Herbert created the framework Christ said we were not to lord it over others as the Gentiles did and of course Herbert ignored this. Herbert practised the way of Take and people worshipped money and success. It was disgusting. Herbert made a fortune by preaching certain laws of god which are right but ignored all the urging of Christ for us to love people and look after the poor. Making people who had no real increase brought shame and lack on many. Herbert was so greedy for money he didn't care. God is generous and doesn't want people to tithe on their wages and be unable to look after their families. When Israel went into the promised land god gave them houses and farms with crops and trees growing already. He gave them an abundance. Tithing did not beggar them. God doesn't want people to tithe on low wages and to deprive their families. God is Kelly me generous and good. The church was not. If a farmer bred ten animals he could tithe. If he only produced nine he didn't. So not everyone who works earns enough to tithe. It's not about tithing on everything you earn as Herbert taught. I'm so sorry for what the original poster went through. It was nasty and I believe him. I'd rather have known you than the people who mistreated you.

Angela Storey said...

Notice a few typos in my post. Did it on iPhone and couldn't check it properly. Re Ncks posts he seems to be an enabler of abuse. Seems to misread what others write and defend the old guard no matter what. Minimising and denying the abuse of another person adds to their suffering. I find this very nasty.

nck said...

A) Angela Storey is a nutcase.

B) 1:21 I do not find much that I disagree with in the 1:21 post.

EXCEPT for the flagrant generalising (which is unacceptable in most argumentation but perhaps true in your case that "98% percent of campers were nasty)

And I find your entire premiss that kids in the church would be different naive. Making my point on the evils of home schooling by not socializing people for society.

It is doctrinally unsound also for churches teaching baptism at later age. That was the whole point of "the special blessing" to "protect" the non baptized "until" the time and age of their discernment.

I agree about the "worldliness" of "church kids" and met some nasty pk's in my lifetime. There are songs about "the son of a preacher man" even.

I hope you have found your sanctuary where "everything is different from the world", all youth are kind, the lion eats grass, a world without homeschooling for perhaps your kids if you have been blessed to not repeat mistakes of the former generation.

Nck

RSK said...

"At SEP, my disconnect was even furthered when I saw two high school workers totally making out full face and all that in one of the activity rooms when no one else was there."

Sorry about that. That pastor's daughter just couldn't quit jocking me. (Well, there were a couple of pastor's daughters like that, but no, I wasnt at SEP.)

RSK said...

All good, 6:18. Just wasn't sure if there was a missing section in your post.

Anonymous said...

". I'm so sorry for what the original poster went through. It was nasty and I believe him. I'd rather have known you than the people who mistreated you. "

Angela:

Thank you for your kind words. If I had at least one or two people back in those days that even tried to have known me, perhaps I would feel differently today and would not have to generalize the way that I did. Thanks again.

NCK Said (concerning Angela's statement about NCK):

"A) Angela Storey is a nutcase."

Really, NCK? In the very next statement you go on about how flagrant generalizing is unacceptable in argumentation, yet just above that statement all you could do is make an extremely general slam on Angela's observations by just calling her a "nutcase"? Unbelievable. But about what I would expect from your typical Armstrong Apologist.

The truth is, there is nothing nutty about the reality of the statement that Angela made and the way that you are responding with your posts. The way you are responding with your sarcasm and judgements towards others (and half-reading before you respond ) is pretty classic how people who ARE enablers of abuse act. The fact that all you could say was "she's a nutcase" is the lowest form of what is unacceptable in argumentation.

Concerning your response. If you walked in my shoes, you would have seen that the "generalizing" that I did was accurate. I am not attempting to over-generalize here, or make something worse than it was. I am describing it exactly how it was. I'm not going to name names. I could. But I'm not lowering myself to that level. I stand by my assertations, regardless of how "flagrant" it is to you.

Also. I do not care how "naive" you think it is about my premise that church kids would be different. You do not have enough information about my life, or my history, or how I was "reared" as a child to even begin to make such an assumption. My reasons for thinking so were very solid, and were real to me. This is how I thought it was.

Finally. The sarcasm that you have described in the last point - hoping that I have found a sanctuary where "the lions eat grass" and "all youth are kind" is yet another cold response without compassion. I'm finding myself growing increasingly irritated by how judgemental and sarcastic you continue to be. Remember. I was only a child at the time all of this happened - an extremely impressionable child who happened to believe everything I was told about "the church" and what it "would be like" if I went and joined in the Y.O.U.. Of course I understand the way things are now, and of course I know better.

Look. You are entitled to your opinions and your right to post as much as I am. But all you have done is convinced me, more than ever, that those who are apologists to the church as it was are some of the most judgemental, cold, and unfeeling people you'd ever meet. Again. I could not care less about what you "agree" with or "don't agree" with, or what you have "found" or "not found" about my post. This was my reality. If you do not agree with it, or find it "wrong" in your view? The only thing I have to say to you?

Tough. Freaking. Shit.

Thanks again Angela for your kind words. They were much appreciated.


Near_Earth_Object said...

"Then there were the rest of us. The shy, the loners, and the children of the poor and quite frankly, the weird and wacky. I was one of those."

To the author of the above: From this statement it is clear that the inner circle people got you to believe that you were a human discard. They won! You still believe that they were cool and you are in the unwanted dork class.

They were not cool!! They were arrogant, self-centered, lacking in respect for other people and morally impaired. You were a sincere person trying to do what was right but without the social position that money can purchase.

You need to go over this again in your mind and process it. They were the little monstrosities - you were not. If they read what you have written, and some of the no doubt did, they are laughing at you. How funny those people who exited Armstrongism are in their minds.

I just looked at a UCG newsletter a few days ago. It contains a nice picture of a guy who I knew from AC. He was a paragon of arrogance and disrespect for other people. Now he is a minister of some rank in UCG. People who did not know such ministers as students think of just the smiling face, the expensive suit and the ordained position. When I flip through the pages of these publications, what is I see a rogue's gallery of pathological people that you really would not want to ever set foot on your lawn.

All I can recommend is that you make a serious effort to reprocess this or these people will have you enslaved to their inhumanity for the rest of your life.

Anonymous said...

NEO:

Yes, I am making a serious effort to reprocess this - professionally. This is a process of "reprogramming" that entails far more than just this one issue. That's why it takes so much time and effort. As you can see, I'm not there yet. There is much more work to be done, I admit. But the fact is, I'm making the effort. Those that may laugh at me - that's their problem, not mine.

I do take great comfort in those in this thread that confirmed exactly what happened to me was not isolated, and was a constant issue with many who grew up in the church. Bullying was, and is, a huge issue in the church. No matter how under-the-rug it was made out to be.

Heck, even BIG BEAK was the outsider among the insiders. ;)




nck said...

6:11

NEO speaks wise words.
I find it encouraging that you are irritated perhaps even maddened and that you have persisted in engaging my posts.

You have come futher than you may believe. And yes Big Beak was the ultimate outsider.

Just sing a song.....whenever you think youre not good enough...

Nck

Byker Bob said...

Sometimes you have to invert all of the old Armstrongite cliches and turn them back on them. They had a favorite all-purpose scripture “Let the dead bury the dead”. Well, they themselves are in most cases the dead. So you walk away, and let them bury one another. Obviously there are exceptions whose decency and sense of humanity didn’t get killed off by a toxic system.

I don’t have time for arrogant or abusive people. Those are the kinds of people who get the absolute minimum from me. Of course they will be treated fairly, but no extras, and they never get to be left inside of my protective barriers. Only the kind and trustworthy are accorded that privilege. Good people will receive value-added services from me, not the arrogant tyrants.

There is another thing which is very important to remember. People who bully and lord it over others are often compensating for their own feelings of inferiority. Tough to deal with if they are your minister, boss, parents, etc. In many cases, their repulsive facade is very fragile. You can level them sometimes so that at least you can have a tolerable working relationship with them, but caution is wise because there can be consequences for the leveling.

BB

Angela Storey said...

6.11pm thanks for writing what you did. I think we must have struck a raw nerve for him to have replied in such a nasty and immature way. It's important to write about what you experienced in wwcg. It might give some of the sbusive people an opportunity to wake up. I feel sorry for people looking like Nck who blindly support and endorse a nasty toxic environment. If he's so sure he's right then I wonder why he doesn't post under his real name. If he's on the payroll of one of the cogs today I'd like him to say who he is and come clean.
I wish you (original poster) all the best in your recovery from what you've been through. Sometimes I can't believe that we all let ourselves be treated so badly. We just st thought we had no choice. I'm so glad I woke up to what was happening and got away.

Near_Earth_Object said...

A historical and linguistic note: At AC/BS there was a term that was used to make the first, coarse sort between outsiders and insiders. The term was "balanced" or "unbalanced." If you heard a high-caste student refer to another student and say that he is "not balanced" that meant he was an outsider - someone who was "not one of us" - one of the Untouchables. If this ad hominem criticism caught on, it could be a devastating condemnation that would follow a student throughout his four years at AC and result in no job after graduation - which was the point.

When someone was said to be unbalanced it was usually not accompanied by any explanation as to why. It was presented by the inner circle people as something that should be understood intuitively. And using this term is different from saying "he has a bad attitude." People with "bad attitudes" form a loathsome subcategory of people who are unbalanced.

What this term really means is that the unbalanced person does not conform to a collection of unwritten and mostly unspoken standards. Let me try to give you the sense of how wrong this is. The person who exemplified the ideal of Balance at AC/BS was Ron Kelly. He was referred to by some of the students as the "Oldest Living Ambassador College Senior." GTA, the Millerite Apollo, as a model, was beyond the reach of most. I will not further characterize Ron Kelly but the degree to which someone departed from his controvertible example was the measure of the lack of Balance.

An AC education was about an unfortunate and ungodly Caste System that evolved within the WCG. The Insider-Outsider issue and the use of terms such as "unbalanced" simply fit into this Caste System implementation.

And what fruit did it bear - much in many ways. One outcome that is easily understood is the Holy of Holies. This Holy of Holies is the faculty (men only) locker room at AC BS. This is where the great, Millerite, spiritual titans collected on Sunday afternoon to watch the Dallas Cowboys and drink beer (HWA departed from Miller here and gave his people beer. This is how we know that HWA was a more advanced thinker). The average church member who paid for this luxury would never be permitted to set foot inside. Lay members dwelt in outer darkness while the sons of light quaffed suds in their own private Sports Bar.

Anonymous said...

" This is where the great, Millerite, spiritual titans collected on Sunday afternoon to watch the Dallas Cowboys and drink beer (HWA departed from Miller here and gave his people beer. This is how we know that HWA was a more advanced thinker)."

I don't think it had anything to do with being an advanced thinker.

HWA just liked his alcohol so much he couldn't bear anyone being banned from that. ;)

Anonymous said...

A lot of this discussion reminds me of the Feast 2011 in LCG. Rod Meredith's Opening Night Message was just another installment in his "get over it" series. He was really into the idea that people should just not complain about anything. He had no recognition of the fact that legitimate grievances existed outside his own inner circle. To him, it was all just "murmering", complaining like Israel in the wilderness. That opening night just set a nasty tone for the whole thing. Not for the in-crowd, though, I'm sure.

Of course this was only for the "little people". The insiders could complain about the pettiest things and you better believe it was going to get dealt with. Outsiders being genuinely mistreated were "murmering", or "just got their feelings hurt".

Anonymous said...

". Lay members dwelt in outer darkness while the sons of light quaffed suds in their own private Sports Bar."

Yeah, they loved their suds so much I hear that they moved that private sports bar into the Admin Building at Mt. Pocono.

Would you all pick up your beer stein and rise.

How cold and how sudsy
for ministers to drink.

O How love I thy Bud.

Thee will I love O Heineken.

Behold the Belch will Come.

Slurred and Happy Is the Drunk, who shall Always Walk Astray...

Turn Thou From Coors Light, Drink What Is Good....

Like A Drunk In Some Poor Service, I Can't Believe My Ears.....

Why Do the Pastors Drink Beer In Vain...

O how Love I Thy Beer.. It Is Ever In Me....

Pour, O My People, and I'll Drink, Oh Budweiser by Name....

Blue Ribbon Pours Most Beautiful... The Joy of All The Men....

Glorious Things of Beer are Spoken... Golden City of The Ordained...

Twas Not A Foe.. Who Hath No Beer... In Gulps Great They Guzzled Down....

O Pity Me, I'm Such A Drunk....

Unless the Pastor Pours A Beer.. The Weary Pastors Speak in Vain....

The Cold Beer's White Foam Pours High Above, It is Mighty, It Is great......

I will Drink Thee, O Budweiser, I will drink down all thy foam.....

Drink the Beer, Let Belches Hear... For the Cold Beer's now In Hand......

How Looooooooovely Are Thy Beer.... All the Beer within Thy Hands....

How excellent in allllll the beeer.... Bud, Oh Bud, is thy name.........

;)

Byker Bob said...

Ah, yes! In Pasadena, we lowly weight lifters would also hear GTA holding court in the faculty locker room with yet another set of insiders, the basketball players! From the vents in the student locker room, we could hear enough to realize that beer was involved. Amazing how many basketball players ended up being sent into the field.

BB

Anonymous said...

@ 9:43 AM wrote:

Rod Meredith's Opening Night Message was just another installment in his "get over it" series. He was really into the idea that people should just not complain about anything.

Meanwhile, Rod Meredith complained over and over about anyone and everyone who would not kiss his ass sufficiently. Even though his son David was working his way up at LCG HQ, despite the disingenuous assurances Rod gave to HQ employees.

RCM Letter About David Meredith

By FOT 2011, insiders had to acknowledge that Rod had lied about his plans for David, but Rod didn't want to hear about it. If David Meredith didn't like you, you had no chance of being accepted into Rod's "insider" group, but if you dared to point out David's ongoing rebellions against the standards that applied to everyone else (especially the outsiders), you were quick on your way to becoming an outsider yourself.

Anonymous said...

" Amazing how many basketball players ended up being sent into the field."

Well. That explains 6'7" Pack, doesn't it..........

Anonymous said...

Hangovers shall them seize!

~<:-)—€——<=

Anonymous said...

This reminds me very much of something I never noticed as a child.

At the Feast in Dayton, Ohio, at the Hara Arena (yeah, I know), there were two electronic bulletin boards. One to the left of the stage and one to the right of the stage. Both, at about the 9 and 3 locations looking toward the stage from the back. These were the signs that would display messages before services saying things like "Shabbat Shalom" and "Hag Samiah" (sic) and other messages concerning the Feast in bright multicolor 80s style lighting.

On each side of these electronic message boards were two large beer advertisement lighted signs. One of them said "Busch". The other one said "Bud".

You know, even though we were at a "tabernacle", a "sanctuary", a "holy place", no one dared cover up the "Busch" and "Bud" lighted advertisements on the electronic boards. But if you saw anything at all at even a church FUNCTION, not even related to a worship service, that was remotely either protestant or worldly-church like, or holiday themed - you would not believe how fast the deacons would get out the tarps or the barricades or the cubicle walls or the garbage bags to get those things covered up.

I remember once a pastor at the Feast even said at the Pulpit, blaring loud over the Arena sound system, that you should take note "of the announcement which will be displayed on the message boards between the Busch and the Bud." He said it with a pleased kind of tone. If I remember right - the man who said this was a minister at the time who headed up the Dayton Feast by the name of Ray Meyer. I'd recognize his voice anywhere to this very day.

You can best believe that if the images on these electronic boards had been anything else worldly at a service they would have been covered up because it was interfering with the holy atmosphere of our worship services.

But I guess there was no problem at all with having good old Busch and Bud there through the whole service for all of us to stare at while hearing the monotonous messages blast at full volume during the services.

An image of what we saw, taken at a non-COG event years later, after we stopped going there (and when they took down some of the roof for some reason).

https://www.w9az.com/dayton99_2.jpg

Anonymous said...

Oh, here's another one....

Oh, Budweiser, be not far from me,
Oh, beer, you've got to help me,
I've got to give a sermon now
help me not to screw it all up

I'll drink you down until you're gone
I'll drink until the fi-irst sing,
I'll drink until I feel like preaching,
Oh beer, forsake me not!


Oh Budweiser, you golden lager,
I'll drink you now not later,
I'll drink up every drop and then
I will drink some more again,

I'll drink you down behind the stage,
I'll drink you down though I'll be dazed,
I'll drink you throughout all the service,
Oh beer, forsake me not!


Anonymous said...

The funny thing about outsiders is that, without them, the insiders would be broke.

LCG 2017/2016 AUDIT

Looks like the "inside" is shrinking quite a bit over at LCG!

Anonymous said...

Hi. Please delete my prior comment (published too soon) and post this updated one with grammar corrections. Thank you!:

I have been in the church my entire life. I was one of the poor ones and my family was not part of the in-crowd. I remember an in-crowd mother asking me where I got my dress. I told her and she and the other women were silent. They all shopped at the mall’s department stores and we were too poor to do the same. My dress had style though. This mom didn’t want us around her children either. She was snobby. Anyway, they all left. All her kids are educated and do well. But me, I am the one that has the graduate degree, they don’t. I live in an expensive place in CA, they don’t. They live in cheaper states. I make well into six figures. Ok, maybe they are close but my husband makes that too. So our household income is very high. I doubt they come close. Maybe even less than half. I have everything I ever wanted and I’m stylish. I can buy whatever I want. My husband owns a home in a nice area, a super wealthy area. Our house is worth millions and is paid off. The school system is one of the best in the county. I stayed in the church, they didn’t. My blessings overflow. I realized from a young age that in WWCG, there were educated people and the poor, uneducated. I saw this and got educated. LCG brought less off the educated with them. That is what separates the crowds. People are attracted to those that are like them and there is a hidden social ladder in most countries based on education, income, and interests.