Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Does Eating Meat From Stupid Unclean Animals Make You Mentally Challenged?

I haven't laughed so hard at Armstrongite stupidity as I have tonight.  I was forwarded the following from one of the weird COG Yahoo groups.  As usual it was an entertaining mess filled with  racist, bigoted and idiotic comments. I have always wondered why so many Armstrongites are such hate filled humans pretending to be Christians or pretend Jews.  Can you imagine living in their "worlds" in their world tomorrow when they are ruling with iron fists?  It would be pure hell!  Being thrown in the lake of fire would be a relief!

According to this person, Arabs are stupid human beings.  They are stupid because they eat camel meat.  Camels are "stupid" and therefore Arabs that eat stupid camels end up being stupid themselves.

The best part is the venom dripping towards the people sending me this info, and towards me for posting it.  Considering the numerous death threats I have received from other COG deviates I consider this simpletons comments hilarious.

Have you ever wondered why the Arabs eat camels, rabbits, and horses and snakes and why Israel was commanded not to eat such unclean animals?

Perhaps there is a lot of symbolism associated with certain animals.

If you stop and think about it, the animals included in the unclean category
include intelligent animals and stupid animals. For example we don't eat frogs or lizards or snakes.

So if someone eats an animal that is considered stupid, well there is much that could be said here about that. There sure is a lot of stupid people in the

I forgot to add just about everyone else along with the Arabs eat unclean

I wonder what the ratio of stupid people who eat unclean stupid animals is to
that of highly intelligent people who abide by the food laws and do not eat
unclean stupid animals. I don't think any animal is really stupid per se but
there are those who don't have the intelligence of other animals. I wonder if
people who consume the lesser intelligent animals are affected in some way, say maybe a biological chemical reaction in the brain takes place caused by some substance in the not so intelligent creature.

And people who eat creatures like the shrimp, they might as well go eat a
cockroach. I mean really, if you think about it, when you step on a cock roach and squish it, it is about the same thing with a creature such as the shrimp.

Really not much difference.

I was also thinking that maybe people like the blogger who likes to read our
posts and steal them and post them out of context on his blog, just perhaps he has suffered some kind of brain damage from eating all of the unclean lesser intelligent animals that he most likely indulges in. He is really not a very intelligent person, mocking God and God's laws the way he does.

Oh and blogger if you have come here to read this, you really are not so
intelligent now are you.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Charles Hunting 1919-2011


Charles Freeman Hunting (commonly known as “CFH”), a figure well known in Worldwide Church of God (WCG) circles and its offshoots, died at a hospice in Sarasota, Florida, on 11th of November, 2011 – Veterans Day (or Remembrance / Armistice Day). He was just short of his 93rd birthday.

CFH was a strong and colorful personality, handsome in appearance and very persuasive in vocal delivery. Friends and opponents alike considered him a person of charm and warmth, with a mischievous streak. Charles could be insensitive and overly candid in expressing his opinions, although he had a reputation for being honest. He was a gifted speaker who could both inspire and instill fear. At the height of his career in the WCG, he was one of the top five executives, and met dignitaries, presidents and royalty in many countries, including Emperor Haile Selassie, Golda Meir, Yigal Yadin, Gideon Hausner, King Leopold, and the presidents of Lebanon and Egypt. His life can be conveniently segmented into three stages – the roughly 35 years before joining the WCG, the 20 years as part of that organization, and the 35 plus years of a relatively quiet life after separation from the group. 

Charles Hunting was the second and last child of Charles and Esther Hunting, born on 11th January 1919 in Santa Monica, California. He attended Redlands High School, then 3 years at San Bernardino College and one year at UCLA. Shortly thereafter WWII started and he volunteered for the Navy as a trainee pilot, received 6 or so weeks of flight training for combat fighters, and was dispatched on an aircraft carrier to the Pacific theatre. During the battle of Guadalcanal in late 1942 he was shot down by “friendly fire”, wanted to bail out, but his parachute was riddled with machine gun fire and full of blood. The plane crashed into the ocean, he survived and was rescued by locals paddling out on canoes. CFH continued to fly fighter and dive bombing combat missions from carriers till the end of the war, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Purple Heart.

During the war CFH met Miss Veryle Cheney who served in the navy’s Medical Corp. After the war romance blossomed and in 1946 they apparently eloped across the border to Mexico where they were married. The coupled settled in Long Beach, California and had three children. CFH started a business refitting and refurbishing electrical transformers, having learnt the basics for the trade from a relative. It became very successful. Charles remained in the Navy Reserves and was training on jet planes when he abruptly resigned in 1956, just six months before he was to qualify for a Navy pension. He was a Lieutenant Commander when he retired. This unusual action was triggered by Charles’s decision to dedicate his life to the WCG church, which had been founded in the 1930’s by Herbert W Armstrong (HWA), and was a pacifist organization.

The family moved to Pasadena where in 1958, aged 39, CFH enrolled for a BA in liberal arts at the church’s training institution, Ambassador College (AC). His credits from previous tertiary studies reduced the normal time of four years by one, and thus he was never a sophomore. In his freshman year his first part-time job on the campus was on the garbage collection crew, but his progress within the organization thereafter was rather meteoric. His junior year saw him in charge of “the mail reading division” which handled the thousands of inquiries and requests for church literature, and appointed the lead on a two man team visiting church supporters. Charles was also a sportsman of note. In each of his two years at the Pasadena campus, he was the tennis champion and best hand ball player. In his senior year he was the Student Body President, ordained a minister in the WCG and transferred, with his family, to the Bricket Wood (Hertfordshire, UK) campus in March 1961, three months prior to graduation. In June 1961 he received his BA in the first graduation ceremony for the English campus, and was then given a flurry of responsibilities --- appointed as a lecturer at the English campus, made its bursar, appointed to Business Manager of the WCG’s activities in Europe, ordained a minister of the WCG, and designated the pastor of the Bristol WCG church. In 1962 he was raised to the level of “preaching elder”, and later in the same year ordained as a “pastor” rank minister. In January 1964 he was ordained an “evangelist”, bringing the total number of evangelists in the WCG to 12 at that time. In December 1969 he was appointed as one of the nine Vice Presidents of the WCG. He formed an effective team with the Regional Director for Europe, Raymond McNair.

In the mid-1960’s, HWA began to form personal friendships with a number of powerful figures, particularly in Israel, Germany and Asia. These included kings, dictators, high officials, as well as elected presidents. CFH, as one of HWA’s trusted advisers, was a frequent traveling companion (often along with his wife Veryle) on these trips, which took them across the globe. These travels were undertaken while still performing all his other responsibilities. Unfortunately, Charles’s wife Veryle died of cancer in 1973 and was buried on the campus grounds. Apparently in that year HWA indicated to CFH that he would eventually be elevated to the number two position in the organization, and that he would need to move to Pasadena. However there was considerable opposition to this plan and it never eventuated. Instead in 1974 CFH was appointed the regional director of the entire WCG activities in the UK, Europe and the Middle East, whilst the incumbent in that job, Raymond McNair, was transferred to Pasadena. 

During this time the WCG began to experience a series of crises. Various scandals shook the church, and several senior ministers and internal theologians began to question some of the doctrines. CFH was persuaded that some of the core teachings were in error. He spoke out, and his relationship with the WCG ended in late 1975. He resolved not to take a salary again from a religious organization; however, he never lost his faith in God and Christianity.

CFH threw his still considerable energies into making a living, and became involved in, among other ventures, construction in Dubai and golf courses in Spain. In 1980 he married again. His new wife was Barbara Greville-Smith, an English widow whom he had met in Spain, and whose best friend was Mrs. Yolande Farrell of Sarasota. Yolande and her husband Dick Farrell formed a longstanding close friendship with Charles. The Hunting’s moved to Vero Beach, Florida, where they lived in a duplex that CFH built. He resumed studying biblical doctrines privately and with help from Sir Anthony Buzzard was soon convinced of the Christian non-Trinitarian view of God, and co-wrote a book with him on the subject. He became a supporter of Buzzard’s Restoration Fellowship for many years. 

The year 1997 was traumatic as first his mother died, then both his only sister Frances and her husband Jack Bryan also died, and finally his wife Barbara passed away from cancer. Although Charles, now 78, became a man of considerable means due to his brother-in-law and sister’s estate being left to him, he chose to live his remaining years without flare or extravagance. He briefly moved to Atlanta, Georgia, and shortly thereafter in 1998 bought a modest 2 bedroom stucco semi-detached cottage close by his friends the Farrell’s in Sarasota, where he lived happily until his death. He supported humanitarian projects in the Philippines and Africa, making overseas visits on several occasions there and to relatives and friends in Australia until his health made it impractical. As with many hard-driving, successful men, his great regret was that he was not closer to his immediate family members.

About four years ago his health began to decline and he eventually needed kidney dialysis. CFH outlived his close friend Dick Farrell. Mrs. Yolande Farrell helped care for him in the last years of his life as he became increasingly infirm, although she herself was already in her 80’s. Charles was admitted to hospital in early November, and a few days before he died was moved to a hospice. His youngest son, Paul, daughter Sidni and her husband Dennis, together with Mrs. Farrell, were with him in his final days. His eldest son Chris, in Australia, was unable to travel there. CFH died in his sleep, and was buried in the Department of Veterans Affairs Sarasota National Cemetery.

Charles Freeman Hunting is survived by his three children, Chris, Sidni and Paul, as well as nine grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren. Chris Hunting suggests the following should be his epitaph:

“A unique individual who achieved much. Respected and admired by most, 
feared by many; a truly larger than life character, but not without human flaws”

[Obituary prepared by Dr. Garry de Jager, Robert Gerringer and Chris Hunting]

Apostle Has Identified "The King of the South"

God has apparently been talking to Apostle Malm a lot lately.  God has revealed to him who the "King of the South" is.  It's not who UCG, LCG, McFlurry and others are spitting out right now.  Those fools all think it will be Muslim countries.  But NO!  It is NOT!  It is Israel, Egypt, Ethiopia and Libya!  Holy Cow!  I can rest easier tonight not having to think about this now.

Ptolemaic Empire

My friends, I have tried to explain the the King of the South is Israel AND Egypt many times. (You stupid idiots just don't get it!) This map of the King of the South should make the location and countries comprising the King of the South abundantly clear.

The King of the South is the modern nations of Egypt, Israel, Libya and Ethiopia!  They are combined today in a web of alliances even as they were in 200 BC!  And backed up by the Anglo Americans within that web of alliances.  The modern King of the South consists of that web of aligned nations; and is NOT some Islamic extremist or even moderate grouping.

Apostle Begging For Money

Apostle Malm is back to begging for money.  It seems that some of his acolytes are urging him to start Sabbath services so that they can all tune in.  He has denied numerous times that he is trying to start a following, but now seems to be reneging on that.  So in order for him to start doing weekly Sabbath messages to the faithful he needs some money!  He is deeply in debt and wants you to bail him out.  Plus, like all good Armstrongite leaders, it is all YOUR FAULT!  You are fence sitting laodicians who have not been moved enough by his message to send him money to support his vital and most important end time ministry. It sounds like Apostle Malm may have a  Ubastard issue he needs to deal with first.

I have had requests from many for a Sabbath service, and while I have openly said that I am NOT trying to build an organization; I am looking into various options to do Sabbath audios. I am also looking into various options for doing a public outreach including audios.

This site is about one third COG news and one third doctrine with about one third prophecy.  This blog will continue in that manner, however the doctrine and prophecy can be made public as part of an Outreach effort.
What I am looking at, is making audio programs with a strong world news- prophecy content and introducing much doctrine, to take advantage of the strong public interest during the coming conflict.  Of course radio or TV are very expensive and I am looking into alternatives that will still reach a maximum number of people at a minimum cost.

I am deeply in debt and have no money for this project, as the thousands of regular visitors to these sites are mostly fence sitting and very few provide any support.  In my research I do think I have found some solutions that will allow  at least the beginnings of a more public  warning message, which can also be heard by those interested from this Blog.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Dennis On "Churches Need the Skeptic Like the Oceans Need the Sand"


Churches Need the Skeptic 
Like the Oceans Need the Sand

Dennis Diehl - EzineArticles Expert AuthorI have always had a very skeptical side to my perspectives and in what others tell me is so.  I have been this way since I was a kid and do not credit with WCG with "making me this way."   I'm Dutch.  I have to be skeptical!   

But  all during my tenure as a WCG pastor, I had topics that easily aroused my skepticism.  One, and one I never gave a sermon on, was the speculation about the Place of Safety.  All crazy proof-texting aside, I knew in my soul that I would never deliver the message to "flee" to any congregation I was pastoring.  I simply did not believe it and the risks far outweighed the benefits.  "Hide me in the grave," was ok with me on this one.  I simply did not trust any human to get this one right.  Gerald Waterhouse kept my skepticism at an all time high and on red alert with his serious yet nutty speculations that he made sound like the way it all is.  I can honestly say, I took Gerald Waterhouse with more than a grain of salt when he came to town.  It ended for me finally telling him that his visits caused me more problems than they were worth, and that from now on, any fears or questions the membership had about what he said would be directed to him personally to answer.  I was not standing in for him.  

Dates when this or that Biblical event would come to pass always left me terribly skeptical simply because , to date, everyone had been 100% wrong 100% of the time.  The odds were on my side. 
I was skeptical about whether it made any difference if a woman wore makeup or parents had their kids immunized.  I had mine immunized in 1974 which was my second year into the ministry. I was skeptical of the Divorce and Remarriage question and never kept a current couple apart if that was their decision regardless of their past marriages.  I just didn't feel i was smart enough to decide such things and had no clue what the Bible formula for such things was anyway.  On many topics my skepticism just manifested in telling the member to do as they saw fit and as they understood it.  I have never regretted that. 

Perhaps it is more common sense that I am speaking of.  It seemed in so many to be in such short supply. but a healthy skepticism can protect one from a lifetime of believing the unbelievable and following the wrong guy with the wrong ideas down the wrong road.

If I were you in RCG/PKG/PCG/ and whatever other combo of alphabet soup you can come up with, I'd listen up.   Your first clue would be that ONE man at the top who knows it all, decides it all and declares it all.  A bit of skepticism expressed can save you a lifetime of regrets. 

With this in mind, let's expand a bit on the topic of being skeptical.  Is it possible that when a minister stands every week giving a sermon on a given topic or quoting the various "And God said..."  or "And Isaiah said..."  he might simply be passing on hearsay?   We sooooooooooooo easily assume that what everyone said, did, did not do or told everyone else how it all is, is true and was truly said.  

Can we sometimes see the Bible, especially the parts where people can be motivated to do terrible things or believe harmful stuff, may just be hearsay, inaccurate and not intended for today?  Do you have enough of a skeptic in you to protect you from the wild ideas of ministers gone nuts?  Let's ask ourselves a few questions on this topic of skepticism and the Bible itself.  

First, a definition of hearsay.
Evidence that is offered by a witness of which they do not have direct knowledge but, rather, their testimony is based on what others have said to them.
And herein lies the rub.  Everything written in the Bible about everything from Genesis to Revelation is mere hearsay.  I was not there.  No God said anything unto me.  I never knew Adam or Eve, Cain or Abel.  I only know what someone said they said, or did or why they should not have done it.  
I never knew a Noah or his family or got to actually see how righteous he was or how bad the rest of mankind had become.  I only have some one else's word for it and they got it from someone who got it from someone who got it from who knows who.  

There is not one story, event, conversation, declaration , idea, truth, practice, misbehavior, sin, righteous behavior or quote that I ever actually was there to see or hear for myself.  I have no idea what was really said, by whom and for what reason.  They say the winners write the story anyway?  Winners of what?

I am told someone named Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible. But there is evidence that this is not so. It is more likely they were written by the captive priesthood during the 5-600 BCEs while in Babylon to give their obscure people a dazzling pedigree. But I can't know. I wasn't there. I didn't see who wrote what and how it got put in the mouth of some one named Moses.  

I am told hundred of thousands to a couple million Israelites left Egypt "that same day."  Really?  How do you do that.  I can see how long it takes to get a marathon of hundred or a few thousand going.  How do millions do that in a day?  How do you tell them to stop before those in front are pushed into the sea or a sand dune and suffocated?  Why is there absolutely no evidence of this event in archaeology or secular history?  It's all hearsay as far as I can tell. 

Whoever wrote it and told the story had some great details about who was related to who, but then could not once name a Pharaoh in the whole story.  Why would you not mention the name of the presiding Pharoah. It would help place the story. Or maybe no one really knew of one specifically and besides the story was more important that who the stars were.  Yet, it's all hearsay.  I simply have to trust the storyteller knew the facts. But how can I do that?  Where did he get them? 

I am told that Adam named ALL the animals on earth.  Really?  How did he do that and why can't you write down what he called them then.  Or are we just led to believe that this is why a hippopotomas is not called a hippopossum?  Who named the Polar Bear and the Walloby?  Where did the platypus and the kangaroo get their names?  Who wrote them down and passed them along.  Could Adam write?  The story is merely hearsay.  None of us were there and we couldn't prove it if you put a gun to our heads.

Hundred of times we are told, "And the Lord God said...", or "And God said..." Really?  I didn't hear it and yet so much seems to ride on my absolutely believing that someone told someone who told someone who told someone what some voice said to someone at sometime over something important that God wanted us all to know.  How can I believe that is how a God communicates such important things?  

A woman once told me that while I was not aware of it, I was , in fact an angel.  She meant that I was a real Angel in disquise on this earth and that even I did not know it.  Trust me, I did not believe her.  So if I would dismiss something like this I heard yesterday from the source who said, "God told me...", why on earth could I reach back and trust something supposedly said 2000 or 3000 years ago and not even to me!  I can't. 

Churches base entire prophetic musings on what they READ the Lord God said to an Isaiah, Jeremiah or and Ezekiel who then turns around and tells us that God said for them to tell the people this or that.  How can we know that.  What if Isaiah was schizophrenic and no one understood that then?  What if Jeremiah was on egg short of a dozen and nuts needing counseling or medication and not followers?  What if Ezekiel was paranoid or Amos a bit daft for spending so much time in the hills tending sheep?  How can I trust that.  The very people who were told such things rarely believed them.  Why 2500 years later would I take their written words, (are they really their words?) seriously?  I was not there and evidently even if I was , I may have laughed them to scorn as we are want to do of our own Prophets, Priests and Apostles in the COG quackery.  

On top of that, all I actually have is a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy , copies without end of what someone was originally told before anyone even wrote stuff down.  Really?  

The biggest mistake the compilers of the New Testament made was to include four Gospels.  At least now we can see how hear say works.  None of the four agree and are far from harmonious no matter how sweetly one inserts, "we believe the entire New Testament to be the inerrant Word of God."  Really?  Have you read it. What we end up with are four different accounts of hearsay.  Someone later called Mark for convenience told us his view of "And then Jesus said..."    Someone, later called Matthew for convenience gave us his rendition of "And Jesus..." amending a few of Mark's more embarrassing memories of Jesus or why John baptised Jesus, since it was for the remission of sins, which of course, Jesus had none of. 

You should know by now the Birth Narratives of Jesus must be hearsay.  Mark knew of none. Matthew had his version very different from Luke, while John said Jesus was born from the foundation of the world.  Nice touch?  Was he there?  No. He just heard it from someone who heard get the point.  We have no idea what Jesus said himself as Jesus either could not write himself or chose not to.  Big mistake.  Letting others get it right decades if not a couple hundred years later is not very dependable.  I can't remember or quote my dad from 1963 much less my Great Great Great Grandfather from who knows when. 

And don't even try to figure out what happened at the crucifixion and resurrection.  Those four books can't even get it straight.  Who wrote down what Jesus said when they were all asleep and he prayed privately to God?  Who wrote down or was told to pass on what Pilate's wife dreamed and said to her hubby about letting Jesus go?  Beats me. But that would have to be hearsay for sure. No one was there.

Was there an earthquake?  Was there not?  A man in white?  An Angel, Two men in white. Two Angels?  Depends who you ask.  Who went to the tomb? Peter and John.  Just the women?  Which women?  Did they believe or not?  Did they tell anyone or not?  Depends on who you ask.  Hearsay.  

And finally...the COG of God Manuel for Church Growth....Revelation.  One man, named John, whom is assumed to be the John of the Gospels but may not be at all, has a vision.  Really?  And I am supposed to throw my heart and soul, money and time, belief and loyalty into this vision of dragons and demons, vials, trumpets, trombones and the occasional saxophone?  Is this not hearsay?  Would you believe anyone today who had such a vision.  We don't believe Dave Packs view of himself or Ron Weinland's view of himself.  We don't really think Gerald Flurry is "that Prophet," do we?  Some very few do, but they do so on hearsay as well as God did not actually speak to the brethren about these great truths.  Ron Weinland just makes it up as he goes as do most but loudly proclaims "God  wants...", God says..." , "God inspires me to say...."  "God needs us to...."   Really?  All hearsay that you choose to believe without proof.  And to your harm I might add.

So here in lies my problem.  God did not speak any of what is contained in the Bible to me.  Oh yes, I know..."That is what faith is all about."  But I am not so willing to give my mind over to that easy out for the Prophet, Priest, king, Apostle or Witness.  Much too much at stake to allow myself to give in so easily to someone else's vision of what God or Jesus is doing, how and when.  I'm sorry. I just can't do it.  It is all hearsay or made up to sound like something official from on high. 

When HWA used to say,  "God says," or "God is doing...",  I sorta believed it and I sorta had the attitude of "well, we'll see i guess."   Nothing HWA said God was doing or saying or inspiring or anything was really true in the long run.  It all was hearsay on HWA's part and then on ours if we bought into it.  None of us, not even the leadership had any direct experience with any of it.  It was mere Bible readers seeing themselves in the scriptures as some still do today and all they have to say is mere hearsay about who and what God is , and what is expected of the congregation.

Ron Weinland declares there not enough time now to bother with marriage or divorce issues  in the church so there will be none, no dating and no marriages.  What a fool.  Even I know the hearsay in the Book says, "In the latter days....some shall depart from the faith,  forbidding to eat meats and to marry," or something like that since that too was hearsay passed on.  And while Ron, or Dave or Gerald or whoever may say it with conviction, what.  It's all opinion and hearsay and no one has ever yet been right about how it all is. 

So, the next time your guru tells you who said or who did or what God said or Jesus did or did not do, ask yourself, "Really, and you KNOW this?  Or did you just read that somewhere?"  Because there is a 100% chance that they got it from someone who got from someone who got it from someone who wrote it down and made a copy of a copy of a copy for the next 3000 years.  All hearsay and something that would never stand up as evidence in any real ability to prove anything really happened or was said as advertised. 

Faith is what we require of ourselves to keep the story alive. Faith is what we have to bridge the gap between what someone says happened, or is said to have happened, and what really happened or did never happen which we can never know.  We simply weren't there. Faith is all too often what we cruise on until the facts present themselves.  Most of the facts may not present themselves in our lifetime which is annoying to me. 

God created skeptics to keep the clergy honest  and the laity on their toes, though it doesn't work all that well from what I can tell.  

"God said it. I believe it. That does it for me,"  just doesn't work for me and many others who filter such things the same way.  I wasn't there.  It is mere hearsay. 

Maybe it's just me. Amen for now...

Dennis C. Diehl

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Human Misery at Christmas

One of my favorite blogs to read is "Stuff Fundies Like"  It is geared towards the craziness of fundamentalism.  They had a great entry the other day in relation to Christmas which sounds exactly like what most of the Armstrongites believe.  If you follow any of the COG Facebook pages you will see similar comments to this.

‘Tis the season to be jolly! And I hate it. Just look at all those sinners thoughtlessly making merry with their booze and music and not even realizing that God’s wrath hangs over their head. How dare they celebrate as if they had some right to enjoy this holiday when they haven’t ever darkened the door of a bible-believing church. Those of us who have worked tirelessly to spread the gospel are the only ones who truly deserve such festivities
Now certainly some will have an appropriate amount of melancholy as befits their lost condition but even those will be too blind to know that the answer to their “depression” lies in a trip to an old fashioned altar not the liquor store or pharmacy. But most of the heathens, and perverts, and Calvinists will be out dressed in their finery, eating, drinking and being merry. It makes me sick to think about.

I can only hope that some of them get taught a lesson before the season ends. Perhaps a few well-placed car crashes or house fires will set the proper tone as besuits these heathen’s lost condition. One can only hope that God in his infinite mercy will send such calamities to soften their hearts. What a wonderful Christmas present that would be.

But they do look merry, don’t they? They must be so deceived. Smiles and laughter fill the air. Satan is certainly at work here. They can’t really be happy. Only obedience brings happiness. Only the obedient like me should be so happy.

I wish I were.

Dennis On "A Monkey Named Ubastard"

A Monkey Named Ubastard

Dennis Diehl - EzineArticles Expert AuthorI have a monkey. His name is Ubastard. I named him that because that's what he calls me when I let him. He lives in my head and is the monkey on my own back. I suspect I have befriended him by now and give him a comfy place to live in there, but I wish he would go away.

Ubastard has an amazing ability to bridge the gap between my mind and my emotions. Once he starts his dialogue with me, I can literally feel him connect the two. Since emotions are the body's reaction to the spinning of the mind, the little booger seems to have the amazing ability to start the processes of anxiety or a bit of depression at will. Ubastard!

I believe UB has live there since I was a kid but spent most of my own childhood just growing up himself. I don't remember all that many discussions with him when I was kid. I didn't even know his name was Ubastard until I went to Bible College. It wasn't really a seminary. The way the Bible was studied was to simply read it and weave it together in one complete incoherent whole. There was no study of the who, what, where, when, why and how's of scripture. I have had to do ALL that during my time as a Pastor and since.

 Let's face it, when you go to a denominational school, you get the denominational spin. I would have done better at Harvard Divinity School where one no doubt can freely admit to other perspectives on the topic. As a life long liberal Dutchman, I am sure I could have been persuaded to let go of guilt, shame and fear aspects of religion and enjoy the philosophical study of theology. But oh no, I had to affiliate with the literalists who feed Ubastard and inserted him in my mind when I was either deep in prayer or sleeping.

Anyway, at Bible College, one gets molded, shaped and eventually cloned into the very image of God, even though you don't. I remember sitting in first year Bible class which was a survey of the harmonious Gospels which later I came to see aren't. We heard a lot about the life and times of Jesus and his merry men, but a lot about sex as well. Ubastoring young people on the topic of sex in Bible College is a must. While I was wondering how the 12 could go so long without intimacy or sex, I was being assured that they had become Eunuch's for the Kingdom of God's sake. Ewwww.

I did read where Peter had a mother-in-law, and thus a wife, but then she faded quickly out of the picture. For either one year, or three or ten, depending, these guys must have been serial killers at heart walking around in the desert and saying "behold" all the time. Guys who don't experience intimacy and sex do this I believe...and are very angry inside. I get curious when a pastor dwells on the evils of sex. But I spare you.

The should not's and must nots were endless. We were entertained with the professor prancing around the stage acting "queer" as that was the in word then and we all were supposed to laugh and be men about it all. We tried to talk in deep masculine voices and not wear pink so as not to be confused with the enemy. Once, he counted slowly to four to illustrate to the women in the class just how quickly a man could aroused over their not dressing discretely. My buddies and I estimated he was more than two seconds off on the slow side and that what a girl wore had little to do with it. Add to all this weekly in class meme programming, weekends of Bible Study and Sermons, and Ubastard has acquired an endless supply of criticism to throw at me when I left him out of the picture and fell short of the expectations of others or the Book they thought knew how we all should and must be.

Of course, we had to become perfect in all things. We had to think like Jesus thought and Act like God in all things. I once called someone a fool just as Jesus did from time to time, but got reamed out for being in danger of hell fire as Jesus taught would be the fate of those that called people fools. I'm confused!

I could have come up with the "What would Jesus do" thing years ago, but I was too busy feeling inadequate, fearful, guilty and shameful as was expected to think I could do what Jesus would do. Years later I came to wonder just what exactly Jesus was doing with Mary Magdalene who it seems ended up on the right hand of him in DaVinci's Last Supper. I can see where the part in the Gospel of Thomas with Peter chiding Jesus for kissing her too often on the lips, didn't make the NT cut of acceptable books. I believe he also asked Jesus why Jesus loved Mary more than the guys, but Jesus is said to have replied, "Why does she love me more than you do?" Whoa...nice comeback!

I remember the couple that found themselves the first semester and got kicked out by the second. They married and I spent the next three years wondering how their sex lives were going. All the rest of us were in limbo over this and Ubastard was in full swing by now. "ONE, TWO...doh" I tried all I could to get to FOUR, but I was evidently a particularly perverted Dutchman. I found out later that the only ones allowed to break the rules of God, as laid down by the professor, were the kids of the Evangelists, faculty kids and those that grew up in the denomination and were only allowed to go to this particular school being programmed from their youth to do so. Actually they didn't have a Ubastard from all I can tell. There is no freedom like the freedom church kids have when they grew up soaking in something they had no intention of doing.

Ubastard thrives on the sincere.

At any rate, Ubastard still lives and chatters too much in my mind. Some believe this is good as his purpose it to direct me to the straight, narrow, righteous and true. Some say God put Ubastard there as my monkey on my own back guide. But personally Ubastard, the Monkey on My Own Back is a creation of my mind to keep me less than authentic, under the control of the powers that be and kept in line with guilt, shame and fear, which a the trinity of worthless emotions if ever there was one.

Guilt, shame and fear are all imposed upon one in some way as a way to keep one weak, compliant and pliable, to the will of the tribe or church if you will. They all assume there is just one way to be as a human being and any stepping outside of the the organizational box produces these emotions to get you back in. Maybe back in is not where one really needs to go.

There are several ways to defeat Ubastard. One is to breathe through when his fear, shame and quilt shatter provokes anxiety which is projected fear into the future or the fear of future consequences for not getting back into Ubastards camp. Just breathe...slowly, from the tummy and breathe. I don't know why he does not like that, but he doesn't seem to thrive in deep slow breathing. Ubastard is more of an upper chest breather and does it quickly. Maybe opposites defang him. Maybe his way of making my body breathe sends my brain the chemicals he loves to bathe in, which of course is fear, quilt and shame. Slow breathing might send the message to my mind that all is well and that it can keep the fear, quilt and shame juice but feel free to send the love, joy and acceptance juice on down! I think that's how it works. That's one of the few times Ubastard calls me Ubastard, and leaves me alone for a time.

Of course meds can be helpful. Whoever created Ativan must work directly on the right hand of God. On occasions breathing won't cut it and Ubastard has the upper hand. So as not to have a completely worthless and anxiety ridden morning, I take it. I don't like to, but I do and it's my decision. I know when Ubastard is on the offensive, I need some keymasters to help out. It runs right to the favorite cell receptors for Ubastard's mix but blocks them so his keys are worthless and he can't get into my breathing, tummy or thought spinning cells. Ha! Locked out! Take that Ubastard! I'd like to think, in time and with skills of thought that this amazing biosuit I wear to transport my spirit and experience my world in a limited five sensed way, could take over and simply remove Ubastards keys once and for all.

There are hundreds of sites with wonderful information on defeating Ubastard the Monkey on your own back. I think I tolerate him because I am supposed to keep him around for my good, but he doesn't feel good and in both the short and long haul, doesn't serve me much good. I have watched thousands apply the rules of Bible School to themselves all my life. Some do nicely but admit to a certain duplicity behind the scenes. Some claim no duplicity, but seem sad and unfulfilled. Some seem happy and and bouncy and I consider these the most dangerous of all. I always want to know what's really going on with them. Me thinks you gush too much in Jesus. I am often proved right down the road. Many are stuck in relationships that feel more like brother-sister stuff. Nothing much to look forward to. Nothing much left to say. And no creative intimacy or talk about how one really feels down deep inside. Certainly they are not going to explore anything the church would disapprove of, even if the minister was doing that himself.

Ubastard seems to govern just how much one allows themselves to speak about as well. Let's face it, it is no fun sharing when, in fact, one is supplying the one spoken to the bullets with which to shoot back at you. As a result, there are many quietly desperate human beings who neither speak their heart nor share their thoughts out of anxious fear , guilt for doing so or shame over what they feel they need in life, before it goes away. Human stuff really and Ubastard, the Monkey on One's Own Back, seems bent on keeping the human in line with a thousand soul sucking organizations, churches and denominations , that feed him endless shoulds, musts, should nots and must nots, but never free to find no need for them and seek an authentic self.

This is why "Born Right the First Time" is quite a dose of poison for Ubastard and I am pretty sure he simply can't handle the thought. It would take away his power of control and his litany of reasons one has qualified today as Ubastard. All I know is that it does not help and does not serve me personally in any meaningful way to strive for a perfection the book says we must and yet not know one single person on the planet to point to as having done well in that. Perfect people are scary people and duplistic beyond measure behind the scenes. Perfect people, with the perfect understanding of the perfect on set of perfect truths are perfectly scary and often make a big splat when they fall and join the human race. Ted Haggard, former head of the National Association of Evangelicals comes to mind as an example of struggling with Ubastard all one's life and never just being authentic. Of course being authentic often means you lose your job and high position in the minds of others who know Ubastard only too well themselves. 

Sometimes a church congregation is content to let a pastor be the sacrificial life of goodness and light, while they can tell Ubastard to go to hell anytime they wish. As long as the pastor type proves it can be done as expected, all is well. Let the pastor prove himself way too often in open conflict with Ubastard, and out you go. Scares the people that they might get caught next.
One hint to me is that all Ubastard seems to say to me is that you really aren't good enough as is. You need to be more like someone else, who I am not sure is who I really ought to be like or even need to go to the trouble of being like. I haven't found another human on the planet , save maybe the Dali Lama, who appeals to me as the kind of person I'd rather be. And I am also not so naive to think that wanting anyone else's dirty laundry is a good swap.

So here we are. A little piece of consciousness contained in our limited five sensed carbon based wetsuit for a short time of experiencing this world as best we can. It's all a wonder and I believe benevolent more than malevolent, though some people let Ubastard take over and loose themselves completely in becoming the sharped fanged nasty Monkey personified. No longer is UBastard the monkey on the back of a person...he is the person. The monkey ate the man.

I'm not advocating exterminating Ubastard completely. But I think there need to be some rules of engagement.

1. Ubastard shall not endlessly repeat one topic over and over. He will understand that I am usually way ahead of him and don't need to keep hearing it over and over.

2. Ubastard will not use fear of eternal punishment when a human life is less than a hair width's experience in the arena of billions of years of galactic, star and planetary evolution.

3. Ubastard will acknowledge that "born right the first time" has merit and never being good enough is a tool of control and results the unhelpful experiences of anxiety and depression in which nothing good gets done.

4. Ubastard is not allowed to only quote ancient texts of Taliban perspectives in his onslaught but is now assigned to read and understand Conversations with God by Neil Donald Walsch, The Power of Now by Eckart Tolle, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz and The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff. No bananas if he refuses to read and apply these books.

5. Ubastard is not allowed to disturb sleep time.

6. Ubastard is not allowed to quote only from the King James, New International, and the Bible for Modern Dudes in promoting guilt fear and shame.

7. If Mebastard finds Ubastard not to have done and understood the above mentioned assignments, let him be banished to the forest of guilt, shame and fear where he seems to thrive better anyhow and there are millions backs he can easily jump on....just not mine anymore

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Are You One of The "Unclean" Ones?

Apostle Malm has been on a rampage lately ripping UCG up one side and down the other for their "apostate" leanings they are supposedly moving towards.  Apostle Malm thinks that UCG is starting to focus too much on love and not enough on the extra law keeping they should be doing.  The burden and heavy yoke of the law is more worthy than showing love to fellow humans.

This however was not necessarily all UCG's fault that they are falling into sin.  It all started with HWA when he started getting a big head after Loma died and when he allowed the leaven of GTA to infect the organization.

We are commanded to “Cry Aloud and Spare Not” and when HWA did that up until the 60′s, he received a quality response from quality people who really had been “Called Out” and understood,  When HWA began to water down the outreach by Ted and himself; a lower quality of response was received by many people who did NOT ruly understand and were not truly “Called” of God, cme along with those truly called out.

Consider what happens when you mix a hot with cold?  What do you get?  Lukewarm!

Yes there was growth in numbers and even in funds, but the quality of the whole system doctrinally began to unravel as the “unclean” were mixed with the spiritually “clean” in a big way and the leaders watered down doctrine further and further to bring in more people as they became addicted to numbers and wealth.

According to the Apostle in the early years of the church when Herb "cried aloud and spared not" the spiritually pure came in in droves along with their money.  They were the "called out ones" who were the driving force behind spreading the gospel.  Then Loma had to go and die which then lead to Herb getting big headed and arrogant.  He started taking on all kinds of titles and revelled in the accolades of world leaders and dignitaries.

It was during that time that the "unclean" started coming into the church which eventually lead to the apostasy and the huge exodus of fake, worthless, and unclean believers.  Because you are spiritually unclean you no longer believe in the teachings of HWA and are therefore reprobates.

All I can say, Thank God I am a REPROBATE!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Are You Prepared For HWA Yelling At You Again?

For those of you who never quite got enough of Herb yelling at you from the pulpit 
or shouting at you in the member letters, 
rest assured that HWA is coming back to rip you up one side and down the other! 
Instead of dealing with Jesus at the resurrection 
you will have a showdown with Herb 
and boy is he pissed!

But Mr. Armstrong was clear, too. He preached the whole gospel. Indeed, I wouldn’t understand any of the gospel at all save for what God taught me, and many of us, through the words of Mr. Herbert W Armstrong.
Did Mr. Armstrong recognize that the gospel taught by mainstream Christianity was disastrously off? Of course! If anyone reads anything Mr. Armstrong wrote and doesn’t pick that up, they haven’t read much at all! He recognized that the “gospel” being touted by most was simply a story about Christ—not the actual Divine Message that He preached at all! Most cut the very heart of the gospel right out: the coming Kingdom of God! And the part they tried to teach about salvation, he recognized was a counterfeit that didn’t explain salvation, at all!

Plenty of quotes could be provided from Mr. Armstrong demonstrating that he understood this—and many provide such quotes. That Mr. Armstrong recognized that the shallow “gospel” about Christ had replaced the actual gospel OF Christ is a given, as easily demonstrated by ample amounts of “quotable quotes.” Who disputes that? I don’t. No one I know in the Church does.

But what about the quotes that those who attack the gospel don’t give? What about the quotes that illustrate Mr. Armstrong understood the gospel more fully than those who attack his message (while claiming to believe in it) give him credit for? Why don’t they provide those quotes, as well? And in the rare case when they do provide one of them, why do they insert their own commentary into the middle of Mr. Armstrong’s words, making him out to be the world’s worst writer instead of the powerfully effective “plain truth” preacher that he really was?

Again, for the sake of emphasis: The Bible record is clear about the gospel brought by Jesus Christ, and I am humbled to be allowed to be a part of a Work that continues—just as Herbert Armstrong did—to preach that gospel. If anyone would like to prove to me that what we preach is not that gospel, they are free to open their Bibles and try. I’d rather be shown to be wrong and be right with God, than to be declared right but be wrong with God. Really: Show me. Put your Bible where your mouth is.
 However, this post isn’t about that. It’s about the fact that many continue to, in effect, slander Herbert W Armstrong by saying that he preached an incomplete gospel—all while claiming to “stand for Herbert W Armstrong.” Some seem to do so with good intention, being honestly deceived by those skilled at quoting a lot without (wink, wink) quoting too much (nudge, nudge). Those who are self-deceived by their Jeremiah 17:9 hearts are another matter. It’s one matter to believe a lie out of confusion, but another entirely to continue in a lie because it serves one’s ego. As for which category one falls into, thankfully it is not my task to judge, but His. I’d rather assume the best until I have good reason to believe otherwise.

LCG On Pine Trees With Dripping Blood Splatters

delightful dripping blood splatters

On one of many of the seasonal fluff that the LCG and other COG's dump out for Christmas each year there is a choice little piece by Gary Ehman on the evils of pine trees.  His article is just another fine mess which is a result of proof-texting.

Ehman wants to make sure all of you reprobates that put up a pine tree for Christmas that you know exactly where that tree represents.  Low and behold it has nothing to do with Nimrod or his testicles.

It all has to do with this isolated quote from the Bible:

Notice His commands: “These are the statutes and judgments which you shall be careful to observe in the land which the Lord God of your fathers is giving you to possess, all the days that you live on the earth. You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. And you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and burn their wooden images with fire; you shall cut down the carved images of their gods and destroy their names from that place. You shall not worship the Lord your God with such things” (Deuteronomy 12:2–4).

Ehman get;'s his new information from " The Golden Bough"

The man-god Attis, after an unsuccessful courtship of the goddess Cybele, mutilated himself, “under a pine-tree, and bled to death on the spot. ... After his death Attis is said to have been changed into a pine-tree … [in worship practices] a pine-tree was cut in the woods and brought into the sanctuary of Cybele, where it was treated as a great divinity … Stirred by the wild barbaric music of clashing cymbals, rumbling drums, droning horns, and screaming flutes, the inferior clergy whirled about in the dance with waggling heads and streaming hair, until, rapt into a frenzy of excitement and insensible to pain, they gashed their bodies with potsherds or slashed them with knives in order to bespatter the altar and the sacred tree with their flowing blood.” (The Golden Bough, Sir James George Frazer, “The Myth and Ritual of Attis” Chapter 34).
Attis’ bloody act under an evergreen tree, along with—as the historical record points out—subsequent duplications by Attis worshippers, has provided paganism with its seasonal red and green motifs.
How could I have missed the blood red ornaments on my tree as blood splatters upon the altar?  Or as the idiot from Australia pointed out the the other day the tinsel was representative of ejaculations.  Crazy people just fascinate me!

It is obvious that “green trees” and what takes place “religiously” under them, is of great concern to God. Any association between the Christmas tree, with its wretchedly rich pagan roots (pun intended), and Jesus Christ, is not found in the Bible. In fact, every aspect of Christmas with its traditions of mistletoe, holly, wreaths, pine boughs (all green with blood-red accents), gift exchanging, wassailing, December 25 (time of the winter solstice) is not found anywhere in God’s Word, except, maybe, the reference to serving their gods“under every green tree.” Green Trees and Jesus

Ehman equates the "green trees' in Deuteronomy with Christmas trees.  That is about as stupid as saying that Jeremiah describes Christmas trees when it talks about people cutting down trees and covering them with gold.

Pork Memoirs

As far as the world was concerned, we adherents of the Worldwide Church of God were neither Christians nor Jews. Branded heretics by some and idolaters by others, we kept approximately the same liturgical and dietary traditions as the Karaite Jews, including the avoidance of pork. Though unlike the Karaites, we embraced Christ as the Messiah. I was born and raised in this group, with no exposure to any other religion for the first twenty years of my life.

Then “the changes” came. Our leader decided he wanted to become an Evangelical Christian. Instead of going alone and leaving the faithful in peace, he decided to try to force the rest of his church to bend to his will. My family was one of the casualties of this force-feeding; however, my parents, who were once secular Christians, had no issues in transitioning into what we would have once considered a purely secular lifestyle—one that I had never could have imagined.
Check out the rest of this story here on Pork Memoirs

Does Being A COG Member Make You A Better Citizen Than Your Neighbor?

According to this Armstrongite, being a COG member makes you a better citizen of the country you reside in.  Of course in his thinking only COGgers are "true Christians".  And only "true Christians will be keeping all 10 of the commandments.

Don't they ever get tired of saying this kind of crap?

Many people continue to tell me that members [true Christians] of the Church of God are not living in reality. The politicians and false christians involved in worldly politics [which is spiritual fornication] will continue to vote for fallen men and women thinking that some how they will usher in a “better world”. True Christians are in God's Church government. The best citizen that any country in this fallen world could have is a true Christian who obeys the Ten Commandments.

The Christian seeks God's kingdom first! The true Christian knows that only God's kingdom will bring ultimate peace. Just as Jesus was persecuted and ultimately killed for believing such things [if people are going to call true Christians crazy then they must be putting Jesus in the same camp] so shall the true Church of God be persecuted and killed during the “Great Tribulation”. Most so called “christians” are not ready to truly test their beliefs to see if they are genuine.

So those in false fallen apostate Christendom will continue to try, through fallen man, to create a better world. What will you do?


LCG Wants To Know if You Are A "Peacemaker?"

LCG's Winnail sent out the following missive the other day:

Are You a Peacemaker?  As the world approaches the end of December, we will hear about “peace on earth” and the need for “peaceful relations” among the peoples of the world.  Yet, the Bible reveals that human beings do not know “the way of peace” (Isaiah 59:8).  In light of this crying need, it is not surprising that a fundamental aspect of Christianity involves learning how to be a peacemaker.  Jesus taught, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9).  The Apostle Paul advised Christians to “live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:17-21). Paul explained that we can become peacemakers by not seeking revenge, by not mistreating others when we are mistreated and by overcoming evil with good.  Solomon wisely observed, “A soft answerer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).  Solomon also stated, “He who covers [overlooks and forgives] a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats [talks about and won’t let go of] a matter separates friends” (Proverbs 17:9).  Peter mentions that getting rid of pride and learning to work together with humility leads to peaceful relations with others.  Real peacemakers will go to their brother or sister when problems arise and talk things over in a spirit of meekness (Matthew 18:15; James 3:17-18).  The Bible reveals that the key to peace and peaceful relations with others is to love and follow the laws of God (Psalm 119:165).

Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail

Maybe we should ask Winnail if his boss is a "peacemaker."  Rod has a reputation of being anything but peaceful.  He was disruptive and spiteful when he was over the ministry. He was spiteful with Leona McNair which cost the church hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and court judgments.  He broke up hundreds of relationships and marriages over the years. He was angry with HWA which caused him to be exiled to Hawaii.  He connived and was disruptive behind the scenes when Tkach was bringing the changes down the pipeline.  He conspired with various elders and deacons to form Global Church of God while he was still in the employ of WCG.  He had a non-peaceful meltdown when Global refused to let him have his way and then proceeded to take all of Global's money when he formed Living Church of God.  He was being anything but peaceful when he allowed Raymond and Eve McNair to grovel on their knees in front of him "with trembling lips" begging forgiveness for rebellion against him. His hate filled sermons lead one of his followers to murder five people in Wisconsin during a LCG Church service.

In light of all of that I can easily say that Living Church of God and Rod Meredith are anything but peaceful.
Nor, do I want anything to do with the "peace" they think they have to offer!

New Book By Former WCG Minister: "The People of the Sign"

 "What do divorce, alcoholism, kidnapping, radio evangelism, ancient prophecies, 
the collapse of the Soviet Union, church schism and the Stockholm Syndrome 
have in common with the music of the Beatles? 
The People of he Sign effortlessly weaves these together, 
proving once and for all that truth really is far, far stranger than fiction."

There is another book ready to be published about life in the Worldwide Church of God.

This one will be a little different from the previous books that have dealt with people exiting the cult. This book is by a former minister of the WCG, who jumped ship during the changes to UCG, then jumped ship to David Hulme's little group and then over to David Antion's group.

From his posts on Facebook and elsewhere he seems to be very unapologetic about his role as a minister and his stance on sabbath and other COG issues. 

It will be interesting to see how people react to his book.

This is what was on Facebook today:
Hi all - I'm a former full time WCG Minister (1989 - 1995) who was then a "local church elder" successively in UCG, David Hulme's COG aia and David Antion's COG SC. I also supported Leon Sexton's Legacy Institute, including several trips to India - and some memorable baptisms there.

I've written an autobiographical book about my journeys - called The People of the Sign. It's being published on 1.16.2012 (couple of tie-ins there - anyone want to venture a guess?)
 My personal experience withing the WCG was overwhelmingly positive, though in my book it is discussed - warts and all, and people from across the experience spectrum will find history to relate to and disagree with.
 It will list on and Barnes & Nobles for $19.95, but is available on pre-order direct from me for $10, which includes shipping.

Let me state, openly, I've worked over 4 years on this book, and I'm not ashamed to say I hope it more than pays for itself. A laborer is worthy of his hire.

Let me also say, one of the reasons for putting up with some of the heckling and attacks that I endured in WCG survivors is that I and the other ministers in WCG and its offshoots do have a lot to answer for. There is pain, hurt, disappointment, suffering, and sin to account for. Those in positions of leadership, such as myself during that time, are held to a higher divine standard than those who looked to us as "ministers".

My goal in participating in open discussions is reconciliation.
By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another. Cheers!
 Wade Frannson
People of the Sign

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Recognizing Con Artists, Tyrants, and Spiritual Abusers in Leadership

Recognizing Con Artists,
Tyrants, and
Spiritual Abusers
in Leadership

Available in both PDF and published hardcopy
FROM THE INTRODUCTION:    Suppose you move to a different area, and are keeping your eyes open for a good group to belong to (a social club, a church, a synagogue, or service organization). You visit one such group where the people are very friendly, loving, and give you individual attention. The group has a variety of programs: a rehabilitation program for drug addicts, services and nursing homes for the elderly, help for the poor, and free clinics. The leader inspires the disillusioned, the disenchanted, and those who have been rejected elsewhere. He is well-known and respected in the area, and the mayor gave him a position as Director of the City Housing Authority. Would you join this group?
    Suppose you spend four years in college and nearly two years in graduate school to prepare for a career in Christian music. Then the ministers of your home church tell you that you are not needed in their music program. Shortly afterward, you find a new group that welcomes you with open arms. They really care for people. The leader of this group has fascinating Bible studies. You and everyone else are able to sit and listen to him for several hours at a time. Would you stay in this group?
    If you answered "yes" to the first situation, you joined the church led by Jim Jones who led over 900 of his followers into a mass suicide murder. If you liked the second group, you became a follower of David Koresh who led over 80 of his followers to die in a blaze of fire.
    A wolf in sheep's clothing is a short and simple description of a cult leader – as these men were.
    Are there any warning signs that a group and its leader are dangerous? That’s largely what this book is about. 

To read more about this subject, click here to download Stephen Martin's e-book.

Dennis On: "Well, That Was Stupid..."

Well, That Was Stupid...

Dennis Diehl - EzineArticles Expert AuthorLast week I broke my own rule.  "Whenever  you have a choice between the thinking in your head about something and the feeling in your stomach about it, your stomach is telling you the truth."

It was just minutes before a couples massage session with another therapist. This was the chocolate covered strawberries, champagne and cozy fireplace kind of session.  Actually it's not all that cozy as four people and a burning fireplace (Kerosene) sucks up most of the oxygen in a few minutes and I don't remember much about the session!  Anyway, it looks nice.

The fireplace was out of kerosene so in a room that only lights up so much, I  filled it.  Actually, I must have overfilled it unknown to myself.  Something told me, as I pointed the igniter at the grate not to pull the trigger.  I had no reason not save for the reasoning’s in my head and the feeling in my stomach.  I pulled the trigger.....

Poof!   Now the floor is on fire. The wall is on fire. The decorative Christmas tree on the bench is on fire.  And i am on fire.  Funny how you can block out stuff for the sake of the great good.  I grabbed the tree to get it out of the room and the faster I went the more the flames came back on my hands. 

The tree went out. The smothering of the fire worked. And my hands were really really red, but it seemed ok.   We moved the clients to another room (they didn't see what happened) and did the massage session. 

As the hour went by my hands really were hurting more and more.  Trapping them between the client's back and the table made it much worse as the heat from my hands was trapped.  I got through it and went home.

Over the week my fingers went numb on the ends and turned white in places.  No blisters meant I avoided 2nd degree burns but alas, now the blistering starts. It just took some time.  But they are healing and I did everything I knew to do to get through the process.  Well not everything.  I  skipped the doctor part because I have no insurance so I asked myself, "What would Tecumseh do?  And just took care of business myself.  But it is healing and it is interesting to see that in every disappointment, accident, mistake, trial, goof up, misunderstanding, stupid idea and stuff that makes up our own story along the way, healing does occur.  Sometimes shortly and sometimes over much more time, but it does come for most.

I lost the love of my life partly because of "you're stuck in the past."  I can't deny that but have chosen not so much to be stuck but to help others, including myself get unstuck by taking a good look at the whole experience.  It was taking too long. 

I believe some have been helped by my not just walking away as if it never happened.  But I mourn the personal loss which has left me learning another lesson I still have trouble going into.  Now I am somewhat stuck in another kind of past.  I wonder if it ever ends?  I have learned that alone and me do not get along. I have the kind of heart that seems to need to share it with someone who half understands me, but I digress.

The stages of loss and trauma are well known. 

7 Stages of Grief...


First we go into denial that what is or has happened , has really happened.  When I saw the fire spread, I went blank for a second or two and heard myself call myself a name.  That didn't last long because i had to move and solve the immediate problem.  But denial is not so easy.  I was in denial for years over all the WCG drama.  My prayer was simply,  "May God bless and keep the Administration and Most ministers far away from me."  And for the most part it worked...until it didn't. 

Many Christians are in denial of many things.  The  delay of or non- existence of the Second Coming, their own mortality, that tithing does not come back to you as advertised, that ministers really do get whacky and their getting to give the sermons does not mean they speak the truth etc.  Those older in the faith and having lived a life of "we who are alive and remain," simply can't imagine they simply will die like billions before them.  It's not easy to face these things. 

Next comes the pain and guilt.   Plenty of that to go around for sure and if anyone can be the monkey on one's own back, it is me.  Pain you can't help.  Guilt is useless (I did a bad thing,) as is shame, (I am a bad person).  Bells can be unrung.  However, this does not mean they will easily let you go.  I still have an issue or two that are so painful and guilt producing, I want to scream.  So scream, see if it helps!

A simple and heartfelt "please forgive me" will not fix anything because the answer is "no" or "I forgive you, but...."   That but is a big but.

Anger and Bargaining.  Oh, plenty of that to go around.  Anger keeps us stuck until somehow we feel we have experienced all we can stand and see it does not really serve us.  Bargaining is the , "if I do this and never do that, we can fix this right?"  Wrong most of the time.  People or the gods aren't that easily swayed. It never seems to cross their minds they need to be forgiven for a few things as well.  I find the solution to the enigma of forgiveness not feeling all that helpful is simply giving up the need to forgive.  I don't need to forgive anyone anymore and perhaps they don't have to forgive me either.

Depression, Reflection and Loneliness.  Ugh...this is a tough one. Some days are diamonds and some days are stone when it comes to these topics.  Medication is not the answer to issues not faced.  I forbid myself from buying a gun "to protect myself in case society collapses," knowing full well I had my moments where I no longer cared about many things or couldn't "figure out," how things could work out. Who can?   The reflection part is why I write and the loneliness part is what I suffer as if you could not tell.  It's what everyone feels depending on their story

The last three are the "you're on your way stage" and what take time to get to. It would be nice if we could just will ourselves into healing but these burns are going to heal in their own time and in the proper order for such things. 

It's all a process and there are times where you can even fall back from one to the last one you thought you had seen enough of.  But let this well known process work it's miracle.  Where are you stuck in all this?  What part can't you get past?  It's ok. It's just how it works and time does heal not that you won't have some scarring.

Whatever 2012 has in store I'm pretty sure it will be nuts.  Life does what it does with or without us so relax if you can.  It's all just a story. We all have one.  

Burns heal. Skin grows. Nerves feel again.  The wisdom of the body should show us how to view the wisdom in our hearts. 

Dennis C. Diehl