Saturday, April 9, 2011

The End Times Are Here! Or, So Says Church of Malm

End time guru of wanton death and destruction is blasting his trumpet that the "end times are here!"  No, I am not talking about Flurry, Meredith, Pack or Cox.  There is another voice that is God's end time mouthpiece. God only has ONE true end time mouthpiece that is TRULY warning the true remnant COG. James Malm has been in high gear in the last few weeks promoting that message.

Bedsides demanding that TRUE Church of God members should be worshiping the moon, Malm is giddy with delight that Israel and Gaza are now engaged in battling each other.

Malm writes:

This is the first in a series of posts that will show how very close the end time events are getting.  These posts are NOT designed to set any specific date or year; they are intended to make it very clear that we are now in the end time... (i.e. 2011)

Here is how Malm comes up with his convoluted date: is interesting that the first permanent English colony in America was assured with the first harvest and a thanksgiving  in 1621. Add 390 in light of the prophecy.  Again this shows the closeness of the end times and may NOT be exactly accurate as to a year; since we do not know for certain that this period started at that time. 
2011.  Yep, the end times are here!  Death and destruction will be pounding on the doors of the Untied States, Britain and Israel.  Death, famine, destruction, Germans, rampaging Muslims and DC 10 plane trips to Petra are in our forecast this year.  Forget Meredith's2012 prophecies.  Malm is the TRUE end time date calculator!

Where does Malm come up with the 390 figure?

These things were all prophesied thousands of years ago. Ez 4 Thou also, son of man, take thee a tile, and lay it before thee, and pourtray upon it the city, even Jerusalem: 2And lay siege against it, and build a fort against it, and cast a mount against it; set the camp also against it, and set battering rams against it round about.
Ezekiel is told to portray the city of Jerusalem under siege by setting up a model of the city under siege as an instruction and sign for the people.
3Moreover take thou unto thee an iron pan, and set it for a wall of iron between thee and the city: and set thy face against it, and it shall be besieged, and thou shalt lay siege against it. This shall be a sign to the house of Israel.
Yet, during the days of the siege, an iron plate or wall is to be placed between the city and the besiegers.  At this point Ezekiel is told to bear the sins of Israel for 390 days [190 LXX] and to bare the sins of Judah for 40 days; this being symbolic of a day for a year in fulfillment.

The same thing will happen to Joseph-Israel  [Ephraim- Manassah] as God bears their sins and blesses them for 390 years; after which he stops bearing their sins and stops their blessings as well.

This developing war is setting the conditions for a peace deal 1 Thess 5; exactly how long it will take for this war to run its course and for a peace deal to be finalized remains to be seen.  We can KNOW that the tribulation is now very close.

COG  false prophets have been spitting this kind of nonsense for close to 70 years now.  Not ONCE in this entire time span have ANY of them been right about ANY of their utterances!

HWA's prophecies failed, GTA's have failed, Flurry's have failed, Meredith's have been a laughing stock for the church. Waterhouse has been proven to be a complete imbecile.  Blackwell's have all failed, Hoeh's have all failed. Weinland has published books listing in dated detail the exact moments of the end time...FAILURE!  Neville Stevens has been posting his stupidity for several years now and has proven himself to be another Armstrongite fool.

When will COG ministers stop lying to their members?  When will members stop letting themselves think they are so incredibly special that billions of other people are going to die so their sorry asses can be saved?  A few thousand gloating in the desert of Petra are more special than 6 Billion other souls?  Isn't Armstrongism grand!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Truth Shall Make You Free: Chapter 14: The Courtroom

published by: 

The Truth Foundation
11 Laurel Court
Freehold Township, New Jersey 07728

Chapter 14  The Courtroom

(pg 209) The same day, Friday January 5th, a hearing was held before Judge Vernon Foster, with attorney Allen Browne moving for a lifting of the receivership.

He said: “Checks are bouncing like crazy.  As these checks go bouncing along, this Church is going to be ruined.”

To support this courtroom maneuver, Rader had seen to it that bus loads of Ambassador College students, employees and Church members were on hand to create a sensational media event.  Judge Weisman testified before the court that he had been totally unable to obtain Church documents for protection during the investigation. He said that the college facilities manager, Ellis LaRavia, was reluctant to cooperate.  Chodos, in his pleadings before the court said, “If the receivership is dissolved, the Church will be gone by the time we are back to your courtroom.”

He was referring to the upcoming hearing of January 10th, which was the return date on the subpoena. Chodos said; “It will only take Rader twenty minutes and a pack of matches to do away with crucial evidence.”  Then in a dramatic presentation, he produced a shredding machine from Rader’s office which had been confiscated by court officials while church employees, including Rader’s secretary, Virginia Kineston, were allegedly in the process of using the machine.  As an indication of the type of evidence they hoped to still uncover, Chodos produced an executive payroll (pg 210) checkbook for the Church which had been confiscated at the Worldwide Advertising Agency offices in Century City.

The day prior to the imposition of the receivership, checks had been drawn as follows:

                Herbert Armstrong         $40,000
                Natalie Rader                     1,144
                Virginia Kineston                2,500  (marked bonus)
    Stanley Rader                     4.940
                                             35,000  (marked bonus)

Judge Foster, at 8:30 P.M., well past sunset and already into the Sabbath, issued an order modifying the receivership wherein Weisman was to not interfere in the normal day-to-day operations of the Church, pending the hearings on January 10th. However, the receivership was maintained.

The following day, on January 6th, a most unusual Sabbath service took place at the Ambassador Auditorium.  For three and a half hours, the Church members were subjected to the ranting and ravings of Ellis LaRavia, Roderick Meredith, Rader and Rader’s law partner Ralph Helge.

Meredith said, “We are in a war.  Let’s see if we are faithful warriors.”  He must have forgotten what he had written in the September 1964 issue of The Plain Truth regarding civil disobedience.  He said that a Christian’s obligation to civil power was in accordance with the statements in the 13th Chapter of Romans as quoted only a couple of days earlier by Wayne Cole in his statement to Church employees.  Meredith went on to state in his article, “Those who resist the civil power shall receive to themselves DAMNATION!  They are resisting GOD HIMSELF who allows that authority!

“Your Bible proves government authority and power are ORDAINED OF GOD!-Yes, your Bible reveals that it is God who has ordained human officers of government and those officers must be respected.”

Meredith is condemned by his very own words.  The fact that he made that statement in 1964 makes it quit plain that he knew he was wrong now.  In 1979, he was calling the Church members to be warriors against civil authority. At the end of his sermon Meredith then announced that Wayne Cole, David Antion, Robert Kuhn and (pg 211) Ben Chapman were all being disfellowshipped. H claimed that all of these men were part of a satanic conspiracy to destroy the Church and overthrow Herbert Armstrong. Ben Chapman was apparently included, as due to his past executive positions in the Church, he was able to verify and authenticate financial statements that were included as past of the court filing.  As a result of his verification of those documents, he was considered to be a traitor.  His involvement in this way also served as a basis for the claims that later would be made that Garner Ted Armstrong was the moving force behind the entire lawsuit.  Those claims were partly based on the fact that Ben Chapman’s wife, Lois, is the widow of Richard David Armstrong, Garner Ted’s older brother, who had been killed in a car crash in 1958.

In the entire three-and-a-half hour service, most of the speaking was performed by Helge and Rader.  They are lawyers, not ministers.  What a strange parallel to the days two thousand years ago, when religious leadership had fallen into the hands of the legalistic Pharisees, the lawyers of their day.  Helge claimed that the judge and the courts were all agents of Satan and “we are fighting Satan.”  HE was only partly right.  This was a satanic struggle; however, whether he realized it or not, he was among the collaborators of Satan.

Rader accuse Cole of being comparable to a Nazi collaborator for his efforts to cooperate with the courts. He then went on to say, “We are going to have ministry that is not divided, we are going to have a Church government as it was here up till about ten years ago.  We are all going to know what the doctrines are, and we are all going to agree.”

If anything smacked of Nazism, it was statements such as this from Rader, rather than Wayne Cole’s attempts to fulfill his Christian responsibilities.

Rader then went on to say, “The major problem is an internal spiritual matter which is now under control because these people have been fired. We cut off the head of this conspiracy, the collusion between these people and the plaintiffs.”

It was expected of Rader that he would attempt to promote a conspiracy theory to divert attention from the real cause of the entire problem, that, of course, being predominantly Stanley Rader.  By the time these men were done, they had so distorted the minds of the people listening to them that had they decided to do so, they (pg 212) could have instructed the people to commit just about any act.  By the time the tape recordings of the service were played in all congregations the following Sabbath, the massive brainwashing campaign of the entire membership was well under way.

Over the next few days there were constant confrontations, lockouts, and attempts by Rader loyalists to illegally remove documents from the Church property.  One can only look at this incredible turn of events and wonder what kind of an incredible hold Rader had on Herbert Armstrong.  How could it be that Herbert Armstrong had been soliciting Wayne Cole’s help only a few days earlier in an attempt to push Rader aside from his most influential position?  To appoint Cole temporarily in charge and then suddenly do such an about ace, leaving Rader more solidly in charge than he had ever been before?  Perhaps when Rader called Armstrong’s attention to the fact that he was not going to escape this thing, Armstrong was convinced that he need Rader’s help. But one must wonder if that could be sufficient reason for Armstrong to literally hand over reigns to Rader.  Or is it something else that Rader knew, something else that he could do that would enable him to have an ever-tightening grip on Herbert Armsrong?  While there was much speculation on this, no one could yet be sure at this time.

As a result of the notoriety surrounding the Worldwide Church, Garner Ted Armstrong was now speaking out more in interviews.  He said in the Dallas Morning News that enormous amounts of the Church’s money had been spent on kings and presidents and other rulers.

He said; “If the truth were known it would blow the lid off the nation of Japan alone.  Senators there would be literally tossed out of office.  I can’t tell you how many around-the-world-tickets were paid from Church funds and slipped into Japanese officials in return for getting Church officials into the inner circle of the country.  I’m talking about tens of thousands of dollars in trips alone.”  He stated for the Dallas Times Herald that the things he warned his father about in the 1960’s were coming home to roost in the late 1970’s.  The Times Herald said: “He said his father’s mental and physical abilities have diminished markedly with advancing age, and that the elder Armstrong had fallen increasingly under the control of Rader and a group of ‘right wing reactionary ministers’ who ‘would have us in uniforms and jack boots.’”

(pg 213) On January 10th, a hearing took place before Judge Julius Title to determine if the temporary receivership would continue.

By this time the Church’s problems were the subject of national news coverage and the entire situation had become a major news event in Southern California.  The morning of he hearings, the Los Angeles Times carried Bert Mann’s story which included many of the details from the “Pastor General’s Report” that I had given to Mann. He had sat on it until the right time and the publication of those expenditures was a blockbuster.  The Ambassador Report referred to it as a “major scoop.”

The article also stated that Allan Browne confirmed the existence of a Swiss bank account, and of gold bullion.  This was in reference to a letter written in 1974 by Dennis Stauffer of the Church business office to the Union Bank of Switzerland, in confirmation of a Telex sent to that bank.  The Telex had instructed the bank to buy one million francs at the current exchange rate and to debit the U.S. dollar amount for the ten percent margin requirement.

Buying foreign currency on margin is clearly a speculative type of financial transaction and, while in itself not wrong, is a risky venture.  The chance of loss is as great as the chance of profit.  In handling fiduciary funds, this is a highly improper transaction.  Regarding the Swiss account of gold bullion, Browne said, “Is there anything wrong with that, is this the beginning of the State telling the Pope what kinds of robes he can wear?  Or that he should not live in such splendor in the Vatican?”

This was one of many comparisons that would later be made between Herbert Armstrong and the Pope.  It seems so strange that the Papacy would be used as a benchmark against which the actions of Herbert Armstrong and Stanley Rader would be justified.

In court proceedings, Chodos claimed not only had money been used for purposes other than for which the money had been contributed, but now something even more ridiculous was taking place.  He said, “We have shown you, your Honor, and I believe we will show you today that the money is not being used for God’s work.  It is being used to pay Mr. Browne to represent Mr. Rader.  If that is true, your Honor, the court ought to welcome your supervision and not resist.”

Only by hiding behind the shield of a religious organization could an officer of an organization under accusation of malfeasance use the funds of his employer to defend himself (pg 214) against charges of defrauding that very same employer.  Browne again justifying Armstrong’s position as head of the Church said, “He sits there as the Pope does.”

Actually, Browne was stating a greater truth than he realized.  In fact, the Roman Catholic Church was at one time the Church of God in Rome.  This was two thousand years ago when Apostle Paul was preaching in that part of the world.  The Church grew and finally became what is known as the Universal Church of God.  Armstrong has often pointed out that the early Church, now the Roman Catholic Church, and all of its daughters of Protestantism went into total apostasy by the mid-300’s, have become spiritually corrupt and morally corrupt.  Perhaps Herbert Armstrong does sit at the head of the Worldwide Church of God as the Pope does at the head of the Roman Catholic Church. However, there should be no great honor to be known as the one who initiated the descent into degeneracy and apostasy of this latter day Church of God.

Chodos continued in his attempt to convince the court that Browne was dealing with a conflict of interest by representing both Rader and the Church.  He said, “Mr. Browne should not be permitted to get up on behalf of the Church and say that the Church doesn’t want a receiver. Because when Mr. Browne speaks, the hands are the hands of Esau, but the voice is the voice of Jacob.  That is the difference, Your Honor.”

Chodos would often use references of this nature both in and out of the courtroom.  He fully understood and appreciated the nature of the entire problem and had a definite understanding that was totally lacking on the part of Rader’s attorneys.  In fact, we could often see that the hand of God often moved in working things out in such a way that we would have Chodos fighting to save the Worldwide Church of God, while all the time being accused of being the enemy of the Church and an agent of Satan.  We often wondered if it was more than just a coincidence that we would have an attorney who had also received intensive rabbinical schooling.  Chodos’ first name, Hillel, means in Hebrew “Praise God.”  He had been well named by his parents, for his very conduct, actions, and sensitivity to the true nature of the Church’s problems was such that he did in fact praise God just by his daily conduct.  More and more it would be seen to be such a contrast to the conduct of Rader and his attorney’s.

In the hearings which continued the following day, Browne (pg 215) attempted to justify the expenditures by Armstrong and Rader on various prominent government leaders.  He said, “And it is true they come here and visit Herbert Armstrong. He doesn’t take them to McDonalds and I hope that is not slander, he takes them to Perino’s.  He’s proud of that fact.  You can’t take a head of state to a mediocre restaurant.  So there is no doubt about the fact that he has done that.  But that’s the way in which he has developed the Church assets. In order to make money, you have to spend it.  And the Church has made the money and developed the word of Jesus by developing it in his style.

Of course one must wonder from such a statement whether the propose of the Church is to preach the gospel to make money, and to develop assets.  Such logic could get to be a merry-g-round, as the statements of Rader claim that the Church’s assets must be spent on world leaders.  It would be hard to conceive of a better way to have a self-perpetuating money machine than this.  The lifestyle that the leaders of such an organization can enjoy would strike envy into the hearts of not only many corporate leaders, but some of the most prominent government leaders, and members of royalty throughout the world.

Later in the hearings, Stanley Rader was placed on the stand as a witness. Chodos then introduced into evidence the contract of employment between Stanley Rader and the Worldwide Church of God, dated July 30,, 1976.  Chodos asked Rader, “Mr. Rader, who drew this contract?”

Rader then answered somewhat uncertainly, “This contract was drawn probably by a young associate in the firm of Ervin, Cohen and Jessup after discussions with me.  I think his name is Greg somebody, I don’t know his last name.”

In further examination, Rader stated that his law firm prepared the contract, based on information that he had provided. This is the same firm of which Allen Browne is a member, and the firm represents Rader.  Through further convoluted testimony Rader attempted to evade the fact that he was counsel to the Church and was in fact advising the Church on the preparation of his own employment contract. 

Finally Chodos said, “Who was counseling the Church and its related entities?”  Browne then objected and was overruled by the Judge.  Chodos then continued, “As I read this contract it provides (pg 216) that Mr. Rader is to get $200,000 a year for acting as chief advisor to Mr. Armstrong for a period of seven years.  If his employment is terminated for any reason, other than his own death, habitual refusal to work, or if Mr. Armstrong becomes disabled or incapacitated where he can’t receive advice, Rader’s status is to be converted to that of a senior consultant and he is to get $100,000 a year plus expense until the year 2003.  Now it seems to me, Your Honor, that is a three-and-a half-million dollar employment contract that Mr. Rader had drawn up, and had Mr. Armstrong sign for the Church a couple of years ago, when he was general counsel, director, executive vice-president. I believe it is pertinent to your Honor to note in terms of who shall be left in control of the financial affairs, whether Mr. Rader in view of the presumptions of civil code, Section 2235 and he sections which preceded it, whether Mr. Rader has in the past used his influence and his office as a trustee to benefit himself to this extent, without getting independent counsel for the Church and by telling, by arranging with Mr. Armstrong that they should have contracts of this magnitude.”

Continuing further in his questioning, Chodos said, “Mr. Rader, who advised the Church about the advisability or the propriety or the desirability of this contract?”

With further convoluted reasoning, Rader replied, “Mr. Armstrong is God’s apostle; he is Christ’s representative here on earth at this time. He by the powers that have evolved upon him spiritually and which I understand after constant review with my counsel Mr. Helge, he has the power to hire and fire, set rates of compensation, things of that nature, and has done so consistently for thirty-six years.”

Chodos: “Mr. Rader, he is not a lawyer, Mr. Armstrong, is he?”
Rader: “No, sir, he is not a lawyer.”
Chodos: “Did he have any other lawyers advising him besides you and Mr. Helge about this matter?”
Rader: “Mr. Armstrong calls upon lawyers when and if-“Interrupting, Judge Title said: “Mr. Rader, I think it will help us all if you will listen to the question. You are a lawyer; respond only to the question, all right?”

It was quite evident that Judge Title was annoyed at Rader’s evasive maneuvering, and his impatience was beginning to show.  Agreeing to cooperate, Rader asked Chodos to repeat the question.

Chodos responded, “Did he have any other lawyers besides you (pg 217) and Mr. Helge advising him about entering into this contract from the Church when he did so?”

Rader finally responded with a long sought after answer.  He said: “Not to my immediate first-hand knowledge.”

It was becoming more and more obvious that Rader had skillfully maneuvered himself into a position where he controlled all aspects of the Church and was able to literally write his own ticket and Armstrong would sign it.

Going further regarding his purchase of Church-owned homes, Rader testified that Armstrong did not have any independent counsel regarding any transactions between the Church and Rader.  Rader either directly or through his lawyers controlled both sides of the deal.  Rader also admitted that he kept well over one million dollars profit on the sale of a home that he had purchased from the Church in 1972.  This was a home, that according to Ray Wright’s statements to our attorneys Pearlman and Herrmann was essentially paid for with monies given Rader by the Church for that purpose.

Chodos then proceeded in the matter of leasing companies in which Rader was a principal, which had been organized to own jet airplanes and then lease them to the Church.  After lengthy questioning, Chodos was again frustrated by Rader’s refusal to give a direct answer as to whether or not Armsrong had independent counsel in the transactions between Church and the Rader-owned leasing companies.

Finally Rader said, “I don’t know whether Mr. Armstrong has consulted independent counsel, but it’s because Mr. Armstrong is inclined to consult independently of everybody with other people and I never know with whom he is speaking at any onetime.”

To this, Judge Title responded, “Your answer is you don’t know.”

Rader then said, “Yes.”

And so it went, one intriguing maze after another which if perused far enough, always seemed to come back to Rader sitting at the center.

The testimony of Jack Kessler seemed to confirm that Rader’s withdrawal from the firm in 1974 after Jim Johnson’s complaint of conflict of interest to the State Accounting Board was somewhat less than a true withdrawal.  Kessler testified that the firm, now (pg 218) known as Rader, Cornwall, Kessler, and Pallazzo, was purchased from Rader by the remaining partners for no money, just an exchange of promises.

In explanation of the exchange of promises, he said, “Well, we promised him that we would take up the current clients they had and perform to the best of our ability. He promised us that he would not compete with us and that we could use his name.”

It is hard to imagine someone giving away his interest in a prosperous business for nothing more than a promise on the past of the purchasers to carry on that business.  It appears that the entire maneuver was nothing more than a sham; a means of taking care of the problems caused by Jim Johnson’s reports tot eh State Accounting Board.

Next to testify in the court proceedings was Virginia Kineston, Rader’s secretary.  Under questioning by Chodos, Mrs. Kineston testified that she had on many occasions used a paper shredder in the office.  Chodos asked her if the paper shredder had been used to and including the day that Judge Weisman entered the office?”

Responding in her clipped, tersely-worded testimony which was her style throughout the entire proceeding, she said, “Of course.  I have never denied that.”

Chodos then read to her a declaration that she had signed a few days earlier.  “At no time have I or any other person working in this office destroyed any document, book, financial record, or other matter generated or belonging to the Church, Foundation or College.”

It was apparent that under Rader’s pressure to sign a document, she was quite willing to attest to whatever she was asked to, but under pressure of cross-examination, inconsistencies were being revealed. 

Chodos then presented as evidence reconstructed documents that had been retrieved from the paper shredder basket and laboriously pieced together by State officials.  The documents were messages that had been intended fur Judge Weisman which were never received by him.

Next on the stand was John Kineston, Virginia Kineston’s husband.  He was employed as Rader’s chauffer and administrative assistant.

Chodos went right to the heart of the matter.  He said, “Mr. Kineston is it correct that on Wednesday, the 3rd of January, (pg 219) sometime in the middle of the morning or toward noon, you took a limousine to the transportation building and took a quantity of documents from the transportation building and put them in the limousine?”

Kineston responded, “That is not true.”

Chodos:  “Did you take any documents from their usual location, from the location where they were on Wednesday and transport them somewhere else?”

Kineston:  “I did not.”

Chodos:  “”You didn’t take any documents?”
Kineston:  “I took no documents over to…and my wife have taken any documents, I don’t know what they are in a sense.  I don’t deal with documents.”
Chodos:  “All right. And do you have any recollection, Mr. Kineston, of taking the limousine to the transportation building on Wednesday morning and then going from there to the airport at Burbank?”
Kinston:  “I have no recollection of that whatsoever.”

And so the questioning went on with Chodos continuing to delve into whether or not Kineston removed documents from the premises with Kineston denying all allegations.  In his closing question to Kineston, Chodos said, “Are you telling us, Mr. Kineston, you have never since you heard Judge Weisman was on the premises, you have not taken or removed any records or anything to do with Church records?”

Quite definitively Kineston responded, “Absolutely correct, that is true.”

Concluding his questioning of Kineston, Chodos then called Chester Roberson to the stand.  Robertson, a member of the Church, had been employed by the Church for twenty-five years.  Originally, he had been employed as a gardener and, ore recently, a small engine mechanic for the past six years.  Roberson’s testimony was indirect contrast to that of Rader’s supporters.  While the Rader supporters seemed to be extremely tense and always maintaining eye contact with Rader during their testimony, Roberson spoke in his relaxed Southern drawl which to set him part from the Rader loyalists.

Chodos directed the questioning to Kineston’s presence at the transportation building on January 3rd.  He said, “And did you see Mr. Kinston at the building on that day?”

(pg 220) Very directly, Roberson stated, “Yes, I did.”

Roberson then testified that he had seen Kineston coming from a parked car, from a garage, with record books in his hands.  He then testified he saw a secretary had Kineston a transmittal envelope, the type used for inter-office communications to Kineston.

Roberson continued:  “Then Mr. Kineston handed whatever he had in his hand to a man named Bill. Bill Whitman.  He asked him to place it in the Cadillac, then Mr. Kineston had to go to the bathroom, and then Mr. Whitman replied: “Do you want me to fill it up with gas?”  And Mr. Kineston says: “No, I’m afraid I will be seen on my way to Burbank.  I will pick up gas.”

Roberson then stated that a few days later, on a Saturday evening, he again saw Kineston on the college campus.  He stated that he and one of the relators, Dave Morgan, saw Kineston entering the Data Processing Building.

Describing what he had seen, Roberson said, “First Mr. Morgan and I saw four people, no, five people, including what looked like a guard standing by a car, and they had a flashlight over the hood of the car and at the time I didn’t know who they were.  And then when we went around the block and came back again, and by that time four of these men were up in the building itself, the data processing center, off of Pasadena Avenue.”

The guard that he had described was apparently one of the Church’s regular security guards. In his further testimony, he stated that as he and Morgan drove around the block again, they observed these people standing in front of the data processing building.

Roberson said, “Mr. Kineston was one of the men and Mr. Dave Whitman was one of the others.  The other man was a bearded man I did not recognize, the other man was the guard.”

Chodos asked, “What were they doing?”

Roberson said, “They were…we stopped the truck and watched and they were entering the building.”

In cross-examination, Church attorney Allan Browne asked Roberson, “Are you aware of the fact that David Morgan is one of the plaintiffs in this action?”

Roberson: “yes, I am aware.”

Browne: “You are aware of that?”

Roberson: “Now, yes.”

(pg 231) Browne:  “At the time you were driving with Mr. Morgan you didn’t know that he had been one of the persons suing the Church?”

Roberson: “Yes I did.”

It appeared that whether or not Roberson knew of Morgan’s involvement with the suit was the main thrust of Browne’s questioning.  The next day, Chester Roberson was fired from his job of twenty-five years for “disloyalty.”

Concerning the Saturday night incident, David Morgan, who was later called tot eh stand stated, “I observed a security guard standing in the door and I observed Mr. Whitman with a flashlight and I observed Mr. Kineston and there was also another party with a beard, but he was in the shadows you know, the dark.  I couldn’t. ..I don’t know who it was.  And when we saw this, Mr. Roberson stopped immediately and when we stopped Mr. Kineston turned and there was no mistaking it.  He must have a twin brother if he says he wasn’t there, because this party looked identical to him as far as I could see.”

The following day, on January 12th, the court heard arguments from Browne and Chodos regarding the continuation of the receivership.

Browne said, “I think the court would agree with me, I would hope, that there has not been one shred of evidence implicating Mr. Herbert Armstrong of any wrong doing.  The most the court could say was that he was overly generous.  I think that he was…if you were going to say there was any fault, which is what you would have to say.  Take that as very best.  The man has spent forty years developing this Church.  If a receiver is appointed, your Honor, he’s the man that is most effective. He’s the spiritual leader of the Church.”

After all that had been shown, Allan Browne was bold enough to actually suggest that one of the foxes be put in charge of the henhouse.  To make such a statement claiming that Hebert Armstrong rather than Judge Weisman would act as trustee for the Church’s funds through the receivership was the height of absurdity.

In Chodos’s argument referring to Browne, he said, “Counsel told you that a receivership is the most drastic remedy and that may be where the court attempts to interfere with private rights.  This money is public money, the court is the guardian of it today, it was the guardian of it last week and it will continue to be the guardian (pg 222) of this money as long as the charitable trust continues to exist.”  Going further, Chodos referred to Armstrong, Rader and their henchmen, “who are part of the palace guard, who have been brought here to court to foist their claims against you, are the takers, not the givers. The givers are the people all across the country who send in their tithes and their double tithes and their offerings, and that, your Honor is not because they have faith in Herbert Armstrong, but because I presume they have faith in God and because they believed that Herbert Armstrong and the man he has unfortunately chosen to deputize with control of this Church are faithful trustees of God’s Work.  And they themselves, as you Honor sees in the moving papers, do not blush to remind people that this is God’s tithe money.  But real truth, your Honor, is when they come into court and they talk about it as though it were their money.”

Referring to statements that Rader had made later, Chodos said, “And he comes in here and tells you it takes money to make money.  And Mr. Rader is saying buy low, sell high.  I don’t take stupid pills.  Well, he doesn’t take honesty pills either, your Honor.”

Proceeding on to the transactions and contracts that Rader had with the Church, Chodos continued, “Now, Your Honor, the problem in this Church is that nobody but Mr. Rader ever reviewed Mr. Rader’s transactions. When Mr. Rader wants some money, he draws up an agreement or has his long-time counsel, Irvin, Cohen and Jessup draw up an agreement.  He takes it to the Church, presents it, and shifts to the other buttock and signs it.  Mr. Rader has twelve hats in this Church and every time he changes hats, makes a few bucks.  And that is what has happened for the last I don’t know how many years.”

After hearing the arguments from both sides, Judge Title dissolved the original receivership and imposed a new receivership naming Judge Weismann as the receiver.

In his order, he stated: “Now the receiver is to take possession and control of the Church, including all of its assets, both real and personal, tangible and intangible, of every kind and description except as I otherwise provide in the order.”  He then gave the receiver full right and power to monitor and supervise all of the business and financial operations and activities of the Church, including the right to hire and fire employees.  The receiver was also given the (pg 223) power to hire and employ his own counsel, accountants and other personnel as he deemed necessary.  Judge Title made it quite clear that the receivership was only to concern itself with the business and financial affairs of the Church and not ecclesiastical matters.  He stated, “Now it is not the purpose of this court nor the intention of this court to allow the receiver to interfere in any way with ecclesiastical functions of the Church as distinguished from the college or the foundation, and the receiver is ordered not to do so. “  Judge Title went on to order that al books and records be made available to the representatives of the plaintiffs for use in preparing of the trial and the action.

Continuing his order, he instructed that the receiver be authorized to conduct thorough audits of the financial and business dealings of the Church and to review all allegations of malfeasance concerning the financial and business affairs of the Church.

In spite of this clearly stated guideline of the court, Armstrong and Rader clamed that the Attorney General was out to take over control of the Church and remove Armstrong as its religious leader.  Rader was stunned by the outcome of the hearings.  For a short period of time he was virtually silent, and when questioned by the press his only answer was “No comment.”  That silence was short-lived however, as he was later to become champion media hound, as he would seek to distort the facts regarding the case in order to gain public sympathy.

Chodos was more than satisfied with the outcome of the hearings.  He said: “We got 99.9% of what we wanted.”  Those present in the courtroom who were sympathetic with the purpose of the lawsuit were elated.

Later that evening, I was awakened by a phone call from Earl Timmons. As he related the event of the court proceedings to me, and told me of the outcome, I could not control myself.  I was in tears of happiness as I responded with comments that finally now perhaps the Church would be free of the satanic control of Stanley Rader.  None of us, however, anticipated how violently Rader was to respond.

COG/Adventist Phone Alert

Here is a phone app for all of you backsliding Adventists and COGers who love that sausage pizza when no one is looking, or Dungeons and Dragons on the Wii till mom walks in the door and you start trading HWA and Spanky or YOU trading cards.  The parallels with the silliness of Armstrongism with Adventism is hilarious!

Should we design a COG app? Will it set off a tone when you approach another COG member while wearing mixed fabrics, or right after you smoked a great cigar, or had one the best Honey Baked ham sandwiches ever?  Will it have a Philadelphian and a Laodicean sensor?  Will it have  PCG or LCG sensor so we will know whether to speak to the person or not.  Or a disfellowshipped sensor?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

About to Flee to Petra and Worried About Your Pets?

Who's going to take care of you pet's when you run off to Petra with Gerry Six-Pack or Spanky Rod?  
Are they doomed to suffer through the tribulation without you?  

While you are sitting in a steaming hot desert for your final training 
you can ease your wandering mind about your pets 
who will most certainly be tortured by the invading German army. 

You can now relax! 

There is Petra/Rapture Aftercare available though this organization. 

They will rescue your pets from those horrible Germans and take care of them.  

Then once you return to earth with HWA who is directly under Christ (can't say Jesus - too effeminate) 
and after you have been named a ruler of a world, 
you can reclaim your kitties and doggies
to be rulers of the animal kingdom in your neck of the woods.
(Isn't Armstrongism grand!)

The Law

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

'Last Great Day' Book Published

The year is 1969. Henry Conroy is a minister in an American doomsday cult based in England. Becoming a father for the first time, Henry moves his family home to Australia where his wife, Elizabeth, is reunited with her parents and pregnant, sickly sister.

When, as a result of their beliefs the family suffer a series of avoidable tragedies, Henry begins to question the true character of his leader. Elizabeth, however, driven by grief and guilt holds ever tight to her faith and, even after a harrowing encounter with the man she and her husband once so revered, refuses to face the shocking truth.

Disheartened by failed prophecies and impelled by disturbing rumours of sexual abuse, a defiant Henry relocates the family to church headquarters in California. There, he faces an agonising choice between continuing to live a lie and the possibility of losing his family forever.

Benjamin Grant Mitchell sent me a note to let me know that his book is now for sale.  Because of high shipping costs from Australia ($25.00 US), he recommends that those who do not want to pay the shipping fee to order it from Amazon as a Kindle or other reader download.  It is only $19.00 that way.

For more information go to Benjamin's web site:  Benjamin Grant Mitchell

Amazon Digital Version

It's Okay NOT to be a Seventh-day Adventist (or Sabbatarian)

Those of us that have left Armstrongism know that we have deep ties into other Sabbatarian movements.  HWA borrowed all kinds of stuff from Adventism and William Miller.  COG 'historians' love to link Armstrongism to William Miller and the Rhode Island Sabbatarians.  Even though HWA took a lot from Adventists he conveniently loved to ignore that part.

Teresa Beem has a great blog that is about her journey out of Adventism after 40 years immersed in it.  So much of her journey and her reactions are exactly like what many of us have went through. All we need to do is replaced her SDA names and places with WCG names and places and it could be our story.

She obviously grew up with a healthier version of Sabbath keeping than most of us did in Armstrongism with some of the foolishness that Armstrongite ministers had attached to it.  Like Armstrongism, Sabbath keeping was the identifying mark that kept her in the church.  Like her, Sabbath keeping was used to set us apart from the evil  world around us and to make us into something special in God's sight.  We were chosen, set apart, and special in God's sight.

Her comments in the last paragraph quoted below perfectly describes Armstrongite thought processes.

 "At night I would lay and imagine dancing with Jesus and singing with Him. I pictured the Second Coming. I prayed so hard that I would be able to be alive to see it. I would even go through having bamboo shoots shoved up my fingernails. I would be strong to death for Jesus’ Sabbath-- for I knew that I would someday have to be put in prison and tortured for the Sabbath truth. When our class read something like Project Sunlight, (I’m not sure that was the book) my fear of the last days went from hoping Jesus would wait to come back just until I got my first kiss to something far more horrible. In the last days, the Catholics would drag my family into court and torture them in front of me to get me to crack and go do church on Sunday! That was a pretty terrifying picture to put into a fifth grader’s imagination! Nevertheless, as creepy as that was, I didn’t ever worry about my or my families’ salvation.

 My dad was so liberal as to almost be a universalist. We were not into rules and my parents didn’t guilt us into sabbath regulations. We drank Dr. Pepper, went to movies, wore jewelry, danced--at home for fun. My dad’s music taste was conservative and he wasn’t too fond of the Heritage Singers. But over all, I couldn’t WAIT till Sabbath because I loved church and we would stop and get donuts on the way and go out to eat at a good Mexican food restaurant with friends afterwards. Sabbaths rocked in our house. Our parents made it the funnest of all days!"
 "I was as entrenched as an SDA can be and truly loved being Adventist. You see, I was especially blessed by God, I was an enlightened Adventist. Our intelligent, taboo-shunning version of Adventism was so far superior than those fundamental Adventists hovering around the periphery of truth. You know, those that actually thought Ellen a prophetess and still clung to silly beliefs such as the sanctuary message and the last-day prophecies. We believed in a non-judgmental, non-legalistic Sabbath--a Sabbath that was a blessing! The rest was for--you know--the conspiratorial crowd (we would smile sympathetically but condescendingly.)"
 "What kind of God could be so unthinkably cruel as to allow such nice, sincere people to be so deceived? Everything I trusted in, my whole world and worldview was submerged, steeped, marinated in and permeated in Adventism. My earliest thoughts had been formed around its paranoia, my hopes and dreams shaped by its restrictions and taboos. Liberal SDA or not, Adventism was the warm and fuzzy fabric of my life. My heart was made secure by its doctrines of what was right and wrong. I happily colored within the Adventists’ lines and the picture was really, really pretty (even if my color choice was shockingly bright for SDA standards!)

But then when I checked Adventist doctrine’s accuracy with the scriptures, the foundation of my life was wiped out. When finally I rejected the false doctrines of Adventism I felt like I had jumped off a cliff into a deep, black hole. I had looked down and realized that underneath what looked like the gentle, protective godly fundamentals of Adventism, was the diabolical smile of the Father of Lies.
How could my parents have bought into it? Was I in the Truman Show or in M. Knight Shyamalan’s The Village? Or better still--was that Rod Serling’s voice I heard and am I a part of an episode of the Twilight Zone? (My husband’s transition out of Adventism was a piece of cake because he had never been a part of it. He had always thought it was insanity and had kept his heart protected by being an Adventist atheist--like many of my generation. He--by the way--is now a believing Christian.)"

"All those years of participating in mind-numbing circular arguments with the SDA scholars--like an eternal swirl of a toilet flushing never actually going anywhere! Why didn’t God see our zombie-like devotion to a false prophet and our sincere but total brainwashing and rescue us!! Why did we not matter enough to Him to send an angel or earthquake or something to shake us from the stupor of our imbecility? How embarrassing to let such nice people give their lives and hearts over to, to, to such... senseless drivel. And how embarrassing that we actually believed it. Why would a loving God allow that?"

"After all, out there in non-Adventism land it is worse than inside Adventism. You know, they had a little error mixed with a lot of truth which was, of course, much worse--much more evil than.... a little truth mixed ......with lots of error Adventism.... wait? Was that right? That didn’t make sense and yet that is what many Sabbath School teachers had said to our bright, innocent and gullible eyes through the years. They said that it was the 5% error mixed in with the 95% truth that was the most deceitful. Hmmmm....
No matter what, we had the Sabbath truth.... no matter how many babies our hospitals killed in abortion, no matter how many sexual abuse cases were covered up by the conference, no matter how many despicable things happened at the Adventist academies, no matter how much our SDA church school failed in educational standards, no matter how hypocritical, unloving, negligent or abusive our families were, no matter how dysfunctional and historically inaccurate our doctrine---in the end, none of that mattered for we were sabbatarians. Which, if the Sabbath IS the end times test for Christians, would be a very good argument. However, that is just a pure fantasy of the church’s visionary pioneers which takes a bit of twisting of scripture to arrive at."

Read her entire article here:

It's Okay NOT to be a Seventh-day Adventist: Obedience in the Darkness: "I haven’t wanted to do this. In fact I dread it. But perhaps it will be helpful to many former Adventists out there. I am not a big fan o..."

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Symphony of Science: We Are All Connected

In the class I facilitate on the study of Hebrew, Christian scriptures, church history  and Christian thought, I have different people bringing an open and a closing each week to for the class.  One of the guys brought this in tonight and played it for the class.  He found this to be significant in his understanding of his place in the universe.

It is from the Symphony of Science web site. The Symphony of Science is a fascinating site that takes excerpts from speeches and lectures by prominent scientists and puts them to music. The artists uses scientific knowledge and philosophy in the musical pieces.. 

(Carl Sagan's lyrics written by Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan and Steven Soter)

[deGrasse Tyson]
We are all connected;
To each other, biologically
To the earth, chemically
To the rest of the universe atomically

I think nature's imagination
Is so much greater than man's
She's never going to let us relax

We live in an in-between universe
Where things change all right
But according to patterns, rules,
Or as we call them, laws of nature

I'm this guy standing on a planet
Really I'm just a speck
Compared with a star, the planet is just another speck
To think about all of this
To think about the vast emptiness of space
There's billions and billions of stars
Billions and billions of specks

The beauty of a living thing is not the atoms that go into it
But the way those atoms are put together
The cosmos is also within us
We're made of star stuff
We are a way for the cosmos to know itself

Across the sea of space
The stars are other suns
We have traveled this way before
And there is much to be learned

I find it elevating and exhilarating
To discover that we live in a universe
Which permits the evolution of molecular machines
As intricate and subtle as we

[deGrasse Tyson]
I know that the molecules in my body are traceable
To phenomena in the cosmos
That makes me want to grab people in the street
And say, have you heard this??

(Richard Feynman on hand drums and chanting)

There's this tremendous mess
Of waves all over in space
Which is the light bouncing around the room
And going from one thing to the other

And it's all really there
But you gotta stop and think about it
About the complexity to really get the pleasure
And it's all really there
The inconceivable nature of nature

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Good Night WCG-Gracie/A Few Final Thoughts

Good Night WCG-Gracie/A Few Final Thoughts
Dennis Diehl - EzineArticles Expert AuthorTo begin with, this letter is for me and perhaps part of my own life experience and healing after a 26 year run as a Pastor in the Worldwide Church of God. I came to the Church philosophically at the age of 16, having grown up Presbyterian in a very stable and loving family. The teachings of the WCG appealed to me and made more sense if one was to read and take the Bible as a fundamentally true document in all the areas that it claimed to express it's truth. The world of the 60's was chaotic. Presidents were assassinated, politicians were gunned down and civil rights protesters and leaders were being beaten, hung, drawn and shot. The Middle East was on fire as were many American cities. The Bible seemed to say that the end of something was near. I was also young and naive, but with wonderful intentions.

I went to Ambassador College against the wishes of my parents, who simply allowed me to make my own decisions. What a wonderful concept, allowing your kids to make their own religious decisions, even though I recently told my dad, now near 90 and a former elder in WCG, that I wish he had slapped me silly for even thinking of going. Of course, at that time, that would have only proved to me that it was the right thing to do since I was being opposed and at the time, I just knew I had to be there. I had to study and wanted to see the world through the eyes of the Church. It just seemed right to me and any ego loves believing that God himself was doing the calling. I was not drawn by the Armstrong personalities at first. There were many times at college where they annoyed me and I knew that what was spoken so brilliantly and with charisma, was in fact, not actually true, or simply speculation about the times in which were living. The information is what caught my attention. I was a very serious thinker at a very young age. There are reasons for that that I now understand completely, but I spare you.

And so I went to Ambassador. I wanted to be a pastor and even though I heard that God had to call you and, of course, the administration had to choose you, I studied as if it was all up to me. I had a 3.96 grade average. I enjoyed studying the Bible. I simply wanted to know "the truth". I got corrected for hair too long and not enough attendance at basketball games. I didn't care about basketball, but to make me show up, they made me be a flag something-or-other in a white coat and I felt like an idiot. I should have said no, but complied. I complied a lot over the next 26 years over more serious topics, though teaching and encouraging the congregation was more important to me than enforcing silly or reckless rules about various topics.
After graduation I went into "the field". Five states, 14 congregations and 26 years later, in a five minute phone call at 9:30 in the evening, I was terminated. Strangely enough, it was the anniversary of my baptism at 19 years old.

Now is the moment I have to be honest about me if I am to continue. I currently am a skeptic as to the origins and history of the Christian Church. That is my business and the result of my own study and perspectives. The WCG experience caused me to really look deeply into origins and I personally found I was not told near the truth about the matter. They didn't know near as much as they pretended to know. I was coming to some of these conclusions during the last few years as a pastor. I can hear some of this skepticism in some of my last Festival sermons. I felt that if a whole church administration can publicly flip an entire organization's belief system and expect compliance, I can certainly entertain the doubts and contradictions I have seen in the Bible quietly by myself. I could have easily walked off with most of the local congregation if I wanted to have years of local politics and doing what Christian Churches do best... argue, judge and fight, but I was done. I will never lose my interest in theology. I still want to know the truth even if it is not the one I set out to understand. I simply will not join another church again. From my perspective the Old and the New WCG was and is ill informed as is all literalist, evangelical and fundamentalist Christianity. That may not be true for you, but it is true for me. My favorite observation is that most Christians are piously convicted but marginally informed. That is true to me.

Most pastoring years were personally rewarding. I did not have to work in large cities playing games with other pastors who had empires to rule and egos to feed. I simply did my job, love those I met, laughed with them, cried with them, married and buried spouses, children and relatives, along with growing churches. I drove approximately one million miles (really) visiting, being a friend and believing I was doing the right thing.

There were lots of guys and families like mine. It's the narcissists that got all the bad press and still do. Towards the end, when every visit turned into a slug fest over what the Tkach's were doing in the Church, any capacity was a burden and not a joy. It was a miserable experience. Your friend one day became your lost friend the next. On top of that, I was in the American Southeast where being judgmental and critical of others not like you has been raised to an art form. Around here, every third male thinks that if he can read and tell a few stories, he is a Pastor. It's one of the few professions where one with no education or meaningful credentials can claim ultimate authority from God, and be someone.

By analogy, I came to a hockey game and at half time, someone came out, melted the ice, put up hoops and demanded I not only play, but coach Basketball, which if you remember...I don't like. Suffering a personal depression and a lot of regret over having given my youth and energy to the ever-changing truth, I made some mistakes that would be considered unacceptable as a pastor. Outside of the ministry and its neurotic demand to "become perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect," it would just be what it was and a common, oft told tale and theme of what I would help many a member with and through. But as a pastor, I could be criticized and I accept that. No one can live the life, feel the feelings or have the thoughts of another. Not in a real world.

At any rate, I stayed to encourage the local congregation. It did not work. The assault on what we must now think and do was relentless and those who did not participate simply had to go. If you were a minister, you simply lost everything and had to reinvent your life after being "uncalled" if being "recalled" and retrofitted did not make you a good little evangelical, hand waving, "cross" eyed, freak. YOU, not I managed to reduce my local congregation from just under 400 very sincere and faithful people to around 25 now meeting in some hokey storefront giving out Halloween candy with scriptures on the wrappers! Oh barf (it was a printable story on spreading the Gospel in the WN) ...winning converts with Scriptural Halloween candy!! It is simply pathetic to see a congregation and a MINISTER reduced to that nonsense. YOU, not I managed to reduce all my previous congregations by 90%+ Nice work.

Anyway...It simply came down to that five minute call one evening out of the blue informing me that I was done in the ministry and that I could call personnel for the details of the severance package. It was six months pay to get a new life and signing off on any future retirement, unless WCG, which means Bernie Schnippert, deems you loyal enough to support. Of course, I was not so that's quite a savings right there.... Perhaps one can imagine the position that puts one in when in my youth, the church had all ministers sign off on Social Security with the promise that "we will take care of you". Well actually you have taken care of me... but good.

My dad worked for Eastman Kodak, has been retired for years and you know, he once bought Fuji film, and Kodak still gives him retirement. Retirement is not based on loyalty. It is based on years of service.

You can't ask people to be loyal to something that was pushed upon them and with which they had little agreement. Most of the people in WCG came FROM where you wanted to go. You can't ask people to change their minds, hopes and faith just because YOU think they should agree with you. Life, much less the human mind does not work that way. Frankly, those of you who "administer" the church, should have left long ago and asked Benny Hinn, TBN , and the Harvest Crock Church to take you in as spiritual refugees. I realize you could not continue to grant yourselves lifetime income and security by doing this, but it is what YOU should have done and left the Church, whose perspective you scorned, alone. If it was wrong for YOU, then leave it, don't destroy it and drive most to despair, skepticism and in some few cases literal suicide. Instead, you made everyone else leave. Now that's power...stupid, self-serving and egocentric power. Benny Hinn has a rule that he does not want people looking him in the eyes. He makes it a rule wherever he goes. He does it as part of his holy farce, fake and failed prophecies ministry because he believes he is more special than others. Perhaps a similar rule would save you all from seeing the pain, hurt and spiritual confusion in the eyes of countless good people, including former ministers who gave just as much and more in some areas a congregant could not appreciate.

You need to remember that the monies you realized in the sale of the campus which you will now "invest" into an almost non existent "worldwide church" and give yourselves and as few others as possible a lifetime income, is labor from the 1950's, 60's 70's 80's and 90's. I'd say you should calculate how much real giving YOU inspired. Real giving, from the heart during your Sheepling of the Sheep and not the efforts of others, whether you agreed with them or not. And you can't count the guilt or habitual giving types. You can only count the purely evangelical fundamentalist "New and Improved Church of God" giving. That's your money to work with. That's the fruit of your labor in "Him" as some say. I'd also like to ask that when you go to eat out, or take a cruise in the fall to not keep an archaic, and Jesus embarrassing non-festival. Or when you pay a mortgage or get a new car or have your health needs taken care of, and do whatever your good Christian Evangelical heart wan ts, you might remember what others might be struggling with just to keep up. I know my own father was able to survive because Kodak had a plan,

I am not so sure about myself at this moment in my life. By others, I include former members also, but mean former pastors with whom I also have had great experience. Please remember when you are tempted to judge or put people in categories of worthy or not worthy, that you're coming to "know" Jesus and reinventing the wheel of truth, and discovering the "old old story", which is older than you can possibly imagine, has cost others a lot. It cost some who were unable to distinguish between the emotional death of their hope and faith and literal death, their lives. That is not a judgment. That is just the way it has been for some.

Being a hard wired sensitive human being (ENFP-let him who reads understand); I understand that feeling and shock. The depression I have wrestled with is really internalized anger, and the sarcasm I am capable of is simply that anger turned sideways. Neither you nor the previous administration were particularly easy people to reason with or explain things to. You are always right it seems, and to date, a rather emotionally cold and calculated group outside your circle and towards those that have reacted to your administration. I have always said when the common folk simply have had enough and say "NO" to childish posturing and the phony authority ministerial administrative types put on, all of a sudden, God inspires a new and better understanding. But in fact, it is simply realizing one can't dismiss the common sense perspectives of educated people and survive.

We get depressed because people don't listen and we lose our bearings with little or no genuine support. You all need to understand that. Personally, I am still amazed that since that one fateful personal call that my career was over, no one ever contacted me again...ever. This is what I mean by cold. I encouraged the local church in my last sermon to continue to support you. I have since regretted the content and misplaced loyalty of my last sermon. I believe that was back when I had just been assured that "we will not be changing" this or that, and it all changed that month.

The emotions that people direct towards the collective "you" for reckless change and indifference to the spiritual and physical sacrifices made by thousands and which now result in your having more money than you need to "do the work", is quite normal. I suspect, as do others, you knew what your losses would be, but did not care, and still don't. Maybe even you don't know why you do and did what you did. Perhaps that would take a professional to sort out.

I don't know the games you played with your Evangelical supporters behind the scenes but I do know that "the Bible Answer Man" and others you have embraced also show a pattern of financial gain through religious manipulation and theological ignorance. Hank Hanegraaf's perspective on evolution and literal human origins is simply ignorant. He is not qualified to write on such topics as if he knew. His mistake as well as that of the Fundamentalist and Evangelical mind-set is to take the text as literally and historically true from the start without question, but that is another whole topic. I can't tell you how many Evangelical type ministers I have met in my other life now that have said, "I know you are right, but I can't teach that, I'd lose my job." Grab a copy of Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism, by John Spong and then try to say the Bible is all harmonious and literally true. It's a very simple read and with your backgrounds, you should be very capable of grasping it's message. The same is to be said of many of the theological articles you now write. Pious conviction with marginal information.

Finally, and I know I will always be able to think of more to say, I wanted to comment on your "Ministry of Reconciliation." While I am all for Black/White reconciliation, it is majoring in the minors at this point. I know how difficult it is to communicate with those you have offended. Or maybe I am only seeing this topic through my own eyes and for you it is not difficult at all. I don't know. I do know that reconciling with races is not your main problem. It is the inability to reconcile with people that has been your undoing.

It may take a few more years, but this lack will leave WCG dead and buried in just about any form. Only a small group of people will have a lot of money. I imagine you can afford to dabble in just about any Evangelical fantasy you choose. You can associate with whoever is the most emotionally satisfying regardless of how anyone left in WCG feels about it and whether it represents their hopes and dreams. I also feel that the new owners of the property are another religious scandal waiting to happen. Men with that much emotion, power, influence and ridiculous religious showmanship wear many masks and cannot maintain all of them all the time. Truly spiritual people don't need others to define them, but Sheeple remember, need Shepherds. I will say that if I hear or see any of you standing with Benny Hinn in the Rededication of the Ambassador Auditorium, to a new and improved God from the last time it was dedicated, I will vomit. It will however prove that the unchangeable God changes often depending on who gets to write the script. It would be a great symbol of everything that is wrong with all those various denominations that know the one true mind of God. God is so often in the image of the men who speak for Him. At any rate, put some thought into who you really might need to reconcile with and see what you come up with. I won't hold my breath.

I thank any and all for listening to me open up and express these things. I realize I can be sarcastic. I realize that I still have anger I don't wish to have and regrets about not speaking up in times past I can only remedy by speaking up now. I also realize I have nothing to loose, which even Janis Joplin defined as true freedom.
I wanted to be a pastor from a very young age. The reasons were probably rather hokey, but they were sincere. The WCG seemed right at the time. I had to be there. I accept responsibility for being there and also for being here now. I simply ask you to reconsider your perspectives and responsibilities. You might be able to dismiss it because " we weren't responsible for the past." I will simply say. I am not talking about the past. That is over and done with. If you can't take some responsibility for the past, then you can't control the money you have now gotten from the sale of the past. It's that simple. I don't expect you take responsibility for the past administration's way of being and doing. But your way of being and doing in the recent past is more than enough for you to take responsibility for and do whatever you really think your new Jesus would do.
Warm regards and thanks for listening,

Dennis C. Diehl