Fred Dattalo has been wreaking havoc in the Philadephia Church of God now for many years. Dattalo hooked on to Gerald Flurry's cult when the Worldwide Church of God wouldn't use him in the ministry. He was always known around Pasadena HQ as a conceited self-serving ass and extremely disliked by many. Sadly, that reputation has carried over into the PCG cult where he is even more abusive than he ever was in the WCG. His actions have led to the suicide of at least one person and possibly another.
Datttalo envisions himself as a highly educated minister, which he is not, and has a reputation of saying things that are totally unbiblical.
Exit and Support Network has the following up from a letter that was sent to them about one of Dattalo's recent "sermons". I left ESN's comments in and then added my own snarky ones...
Get Ready for Persecution
Members are to “get ready for persecution” and this persecution will be “more than it’s ever been” and “more intense” because of PCG’s “high profile.”
Persecution has been a fantasy of Church of God leaders for decades. They believe that the words they speak and print are going to get them persecuted. In the fantasyland they all live in it that might be true, but in reality, no one, other than a few handfuls around the world even know who Gerald Flurry and the Philadelphia Church of God are, NOR do they care!
PCG will be persecuted by: (1) the media (PCG may go to court again like they did in 1979); (2) the Laodiceans; (3) the government; and (4) the Catholic church.
COMMENT BY ESN: It was back in the late 60’s when 1, 3 and 4 were to befall members of the Worldwide Church of God before they fled to Petra (the Place of Safety). All religions, especially the Catholics, were going to come against “God’s one and only true Church.”
Bob Thiel and Gerald Flurry are both screeching like little girls that the media is persecuting them right now. The problem is, both of these guys are posting heretical nonbiblical bullshit up as a so-called "gospel" message that has absolutely NOTHING to do with Jesus Christ.
COG groups are not persecuting the PCG either. They could care less, which is part of the COG problem. Many COG's out there know that some of these splinter groups are heretical cults and dangerous, but they won't speak up and hold them to account. To do so would expose them as being part of the same corrupt theological system, and, they foolishly think they are "brothers" in a broader sense because they are all really one big COG family.
The Catholic church no more cares about Flurry than they do Bob Thiel. The COG has always needed bogeymen to do their bidding and the Catholics are the best bogeymen they can latch on to. The fact that Rod Meredith stupidly thought Bob Theil would be a major force in exposing ht Catholic Church is the most laughable thing ever. Not one single thing he says, or that Gerald Flurry says about the Catholic Church has not already been said a million times over for centuries. All these two do is plagiarize the words and writings of others and try to pawn them off as original god revealed facts.
Dattalo them makes this incredibly absurd comment:
The main reason the Catholic church exists is to “destroy the Work.” It’s good to think about that once in awhile because Satan is the one who orchestrates all this persecution that is coming on “God’s church.”
COMMENT BY ESN: This is nothing but a recap of everything Herbert Armstrong–the man GF looks up to and emulates–broadcast decades ago.
The Catholic Church was not created to last for thousands of years till the 2020's so it could specifically persecute the PCG. That has to be the stupidest thing ever!
The battles, stress and hardship we’ll suffer–which are needed to build character in order to rule with Christ–will get more severe, and we can “expect problems” when we support “God’s Apostle” (one of GF’s many titles).
COMMENT BY ESN: The words “building character” are not found in the Bible. However, in a controlling, abusive group, those words are interpreted as what happens when the member grows more and more in obedience to the government of the organization.
The battles members face, the stresses, and hardships are not God-ordained things piled upon them to build character in them. These things are a result of the lies and heretical teachings of Gerald Flurry. Deliberately suffering because of the lies of a human is not character building but stupidity! Suffering for standing up as a follower of Christ and dying for that belief, as many are doing in Iraq, Syria, India, and in Muslim strongholds. These are the real martyrs, not COG members who follow liars like Flurry, Pack, Thiel, Weinland, Weston, and others.
Those Who Leave or Marry on the Outside
He attempted to frighten the singles and members from leaving as he went on about Satan stalking us and exploiting our weaknesses. He said everyonewho has left and married outside “the Church” comes back with “horror stories” and said “what do you expect?”
COMMENT BY ESN: This is true only if the person who left is still holding to PCG teachings and doctrines as “the Truth” and and marries someone who has a different belief system. Then this would apply: How can two walk together unless they be agreed? (Amos 3:3) How can you be yoked with someone who believes the opposite than you do? Or doesn’t believe at all? (II Corinthians 6:14)
He went into all kinds of “stories” about what would happen if you left PCG with your mate still inside and there were children involved. He described what the wife (in PCG) would want compared to what the husband would want; i. e., taking the children to services with her. Then he told one wild scenario about how the wife could say, “If you leave me (leave PCG), I’m going to kill myself.” He insisted these stories he was telling were true and he could give even more cases.
COMMENT BY ESN: These “horror stories” are not because someone up and left or married outside PCG, but because PCG is known to destroy families by splitting the family up with one person in PCG who is wanting to take the children to services (even wanting to divorce the mate) and the other one who is not in PCG not in agreement, along with being cut off from those in PCG, even perhaps from their own children. The other scenario of being forced to stay and not leave because the wife “threatens to kill herself” is another result of entanglement with PCG and its destructive doctrines.
Myths and Contradictions
“When Herbert Armstrong died people’s world fell apart.”
COMMENT BY ESN: How many remember that happening? HWA wrote a letter prior to his death that was mailed out to all the members, preparing them to “carry on” after he died. It was the changes in 1995 when the Tkach Sr. video came out that caused people’s world to fall apart and to become confused with many leaving.
If some people's worlds fell apart it was because they looked to a man as their savior instead of the one they should have been looking to, but this is the COG after all and Jesus was not the focus then and still is not to this day.
Instead of saying “false prophecies” of GF, he called them “speculations” that might happen and might not happen.
COMMENT BY ESN: those are words false prophets always use when they give false prophecies. Its aim is to cause the person to keep looking to the man in spite of his false prophecies.
"Speculation" is the same deceptive way to dance around failures just like Bob Thiel does. Speculations are made by weak impotent little men who do not have God on their side nor a real conviction them to speak boldly. Instead, they use the stuff of the nightmares as if their creature god was speaking to them
Told a story about one member who was convinced he knew who the two witnesses were and now one of them is dead. (He laughed at this.) He tied this in with “speculating” to make us believe GF false prophecies were speculation and that God is “testing us.
COMMENT BY ESN: There are those in certain offshoots who to this day say HWA’s over a hundred false prophecies were merely “speculations.” John Ritenbaugh is one who has said this. See footnote #2 at the end of Did Herbert Armstrong Set Dates? where it talks about John Ritenbaugh.
Ritenbaugh was seen by many in the Southern CA area as a real prophet and a speaker of truth. People flocked to his church and spread his sermon tapes around the world. The problem with him was that he was as big a liar about prophecy as HWA, Waterhouse, Blackwell, and others were. ESN is right that Ritenbaugh covered up for HWA's lies. By calling it speculation gave the ministers the right to say anything they damn well pleased and the members were supposed to suck it up as the gospel truth. Here we are 35 years after HWA's death and hundreds and hundreds of his failed prophecies and people are still making excuses or dreaming up even more fantastical prophetic scenarios like some of our current false prophets are doing.
We don’t know all the details about how it will work out when members go to the place of safety but they “better be walking with God and looking to Godbecause it’s going to take faith to flee because it “may not be crystal clear” when the time comes.
COMMENT BY ESN: That is the same thing HWA and Herman Hoeh said decades ago about having faith to flee. (Refer to first part of Philadelphia Church of God and the Place of Safety beginning with “To Just Mention a Few”) Again, God in PCG=PCG government.
This is the same crap that Bob Thiel is teaching. Everyone is apparently too stupid to know when the time to flee will happen. People can only rely upon certain COG gurus to tell them the true time to flee.
Imagine the shock they will all have when all the COGs arrive there at once and all of the COG leaders start brawling over who will be in charge. I imagine many COG members will then turn around and walk back out through the Siq to Wadi Musa and check-in to the nearest Marriot and go have a cold beer.
To give the appearance of boldness, he said if anyone wants to pick a fight with “God’s Church,” he is going to “bite off more than he can chew.” Related a story about how GF is as “cool as a cucumber” when there is a problem because he knows “God will fight the battle.”
COMMENT BY ESN: One reason GF may seem so fearless is because he is known to have an array of high- powered, shrewd lawyers to defend him, not because he knows “God is with us.”
Gerald Flurry's brain is so addled with alcohol poisoning that he is unable to fight anyone. He picked a fight with the WCG over literature he stole, got sued, hired a bunch of lawyers to do his dirty work, lost the case, and ended up dropping over 3.5 million dollars for the right to publish certain HWA books. Flurry has never let God fight his battles, only his lawyers do that.
It still amazes me that church members sit there, week after week, lapping this bullshit up like dogs eating their vomit. They spend decades being treated like dirt, lied to by ministers, and financially drained, and yet they hang on to an unattainable hope of something better than the dreary life they are currently are experiencing a the hands of COG leaders.Their salvation seems to rest in the hands of these charlatans because it is only through them do they see any hope. They don't know that inconvenient dude that is never discussed, so their hope and rest are unattainable.