Monday, April 29, 2013

Dennis On: "This Will Be Like Nothing I Have Ever Quite Taught This Way Before...."

"This Will Be Like Nothing I Have Ever Quite Taught This Way Before...."

The Bewildered Apostle asks:

" Why do no other leaders understand ANY of the awesome and incredibly detailed prophecy that I am about to present—the what, when, where and how this reunification will occur?"

Because you're making it up?

Because they have a strong feeling it is just cleverly hidden proof-texting  
that always comes back and points to Dave Pack?

Because you are not a likeable person in real life?

Because they have read the experiences of others 
and their shelf life with you seems limited?

Because the few who left one COG to align themselves with your COG 
seem to disappear into the void after they confess you?

Because you are arrogant in your presentation and demeanor?

Because you use the word "awesome" to often?

Because you have said three of them will die all on the same day 
and that will prove you to be awesome?

Because working with and for you may increase 
their Rolaids budget too much?

Because working with and for you may get between them
 and their meager savings?

Because saying "yes sir, whatever you say sir," 
makes them feel like shit not actually agreeing with you?

Because when their wives say, 
"You gonna let that guy tell you everything to do, think and believe?" 
and it will make them feel emasculated and weak?

Because they think you just make it up as you go?
...oh sorry, already said that. 

Because like your incredibly detailed sermon on 
"And Yes Brethren, I am an Apostle" 
will make their asses sore listening 4 hours to the incredible details 
and not actually see how those incredible details are connected in reality?

Because you love the kind of member and minister that says, 
"whatever you say" and they don't?

Because you are one of the most arrogant human beings ever
 not actually called to be "the leader" they have ever read or met? 

Because you have left a trail of tears and drama behind every place 
you have ever been or landed? 

Because it really is all about the numbers?

Because they know they would have to 
check their own brains at your door?

Because they have already learned that fair speeches 
with conviction and pizzaz do not truth make?

More Apostolic Opinage:

"So obviously, for God’s people to be together, ALL organizations but ONE must “go away,” meaning everyone must leave them to enter that ONE organization—the ONE Church that Christ built. Continue thinking at the most basic level. EVERY splinter leader would support this, but of course only if HE led that one organization."

Because when you say, "think at the most basic level," as you do, 
they know you mean, 
"Come on simpletons not as wise as me, this is not rocket science."?

Because they are pretty sure you are the one who will 
come out on top as the leader and that is a no-show?

Because when you say "every splinter leader would support this
...if HE lead that one organization,"
 really means, 
"They won't come to ME as the leader of Christ's one true church."?

Because, as far as they and I remember, 
you never could work for anyone very long in your life 
before it all blew up and it seems you aren't happy, 
or ever have been unless you run everything 
and get the credit for the awesomeness of it all?

The Awesome Apostle thrills with:

"Next Friday I will start bringing the scriptural details of the prophecy revealing that all of God’s people will soon be back together. In time this will include exactly HOW and WHEN this will occur. The first elements of this “explaining” process will take three or four Friday announcements."

Perhaps they fear "the scriptural details of THE PROPHECY, 
will be a mish-mash of long winded explanations, analogies, 
types and bullshit badly woven together into a out of date garment?

Perhaps they understand you have mastered the art of making non-prophecy 
mean what it never meant and prophecy 'so called' 
apply to you when of course it does not?

Perhaps they are concerned yet another "HOW" and "WHEN"  
is just more not really that way or now yet ?

Because some even realize you are not actually a trained theologian 
but rather a spiffy Bible Reader who doesn't even know the context of
 "Line upon line, line upon line, here a little , there a little," 
which is NOT a formula for how to study the Bible?

(Hint: God is mocking with baby talk what the priests 
say and do in their drunken state.) 

Because they don't want to be brought back together 
under your leadership in the first place?

Because some think you will drag this out to August when ...well you know?

The Apostle predicts our reactions:

"The announcements of coming weeks and months will shock you beyond imagination!"

But what if they are already burned out on the overarching,
 awesome, incredible and amazing past stuff 
you proclaimed and can't get it up for more?

What if they can imagine more than you can imagine they can imagine?

What if they wonder if you know all the announcements already 
why not get to the point and save them some gas money?

What if after all this all most can come up with is 
"Man, this is a bunch of bull shit it I ever heard it."?

What if they decide they have been too hard on their pastors and leaders
 after meeting you and go back to them apologizing 
for being too judgmental and unhelpful but grateful to God 
they don't lead like you do or adopt so many titles as you need?

What if United and Living actually united and came alive?

What if being "shocked" is getting old and in hind sight, 
not all that shocking actually?

The Apostle Rejoices Over:

" Repentant ministers and many faithful splinter employees will carry on,
 serving solely in God’s Church."

What if ministers won't sign your terms of repentance forms?

What if faithful splinployees won't sign 
your terms of repentance forms?

What if repentant ministers figure out no one who ever repented into RCG 
ever got to speak or teach again publicly as far as we can tell.  
Did Dale Schurter die?

What if you can't find enough repentant splinployees to mow the grass, 
ride in the electric carts you like so much 
or polish your statue?

What if a repentant minister or fake board member 
finally wakes up someday soon and says, 
"Hell no you don't need a corporate Jet!"?

What if some repentant splinployee or treasurer 
advises Whitman Chocolates instead of Steuben???

And Finally Brethren:

"Make no mistake. The last three paragraphs are TRUE! 
Read them again, this time more carefully."

So you think we're too stupid to get it the first time?

(You'll have to give these next awesome sermons 
over a few times so we get it.)

What if we really don't want to make a mistake either 
so coming back to you makes no sense?

What if the way you spin the Old Testament in the coming weeks 
and proof text an idea you already accept 
as true turns out to not really be true?

What if we share tapes of your sermons with other theologians 
and get some input from them?

I guess we covered the arrogant part already...

I kinda like these observations, still valid today about questionable Apostles, in this case the Apostle Paul but don't take these as compliments.

Bishop John S. Spong (Episcopal Bishop of Newark)

"Paul's words are not the Words of God. They are the words of Paul- a vast difference." 

Carl Jung (Psychologist)

"Paul hardly ever allows the real Jesus of Nazareth to get a word in."

Albert Schweitzer

(Insert Apostle Dave for "he" and "Paul")

"Where possible he (Paul) avoids quoting the teaching of Jesus, in fact even mentioning it. If we had to rely on Paul, we should not know that Jesus taught in parables, had delivered the sermon on the mount, and had taught His disciples the 'Our Father.' Even where they are specially relevant, Paul passes over the words of the Lord."

David Hume

"When men are most sure and arrogant they are commonly most mistaken, giving views to passion without proper deliberation which alone can secure them from the grossest absurdities"

Because we're just gonna bet you have not bounced any 
of your prophetic ideas 
off real men (or anyone) who could really stand up and say, 
"that's the biggest load of BS I have ever heard.  
That's not what those scriptures are meant to mean. 
Have you considered a counselor"?


Byker Bob said...

One of the horrible character flaws many of us picked up from WCG is the incessant use of hype (short either for hyperbole, or hypocrite?). I hadn't even realized that this was a problem in my own life until about ten years ago, because it just seems so normal, and even honest, to the one applying the hype, or it's first cousin, spin.

Now, when you read what a David Seapack has to write, it immediately smacks you in the face. Why would a real gospel message require hype, pressure, fear, sugarcoating, exaggeration, downplaying of certain elements, or excuses? The answer is that it would not! And, that should be the tipoff, right there.

The subtilties of the particular infection just keep on surfacing, decades after one has left, don't they?


Anonymous said...

They do BB you are right about the need for constant and unending surprises, awesomeness, incredible breakthroughs and such. It gets really old and is mentally exhausting, and spiritually probably to people. Living a quiet spiritual life from the inside out is unacceptable evidently. I guess it makes you hold more on to your money and hype squeezes it out of you for the next "just around the corner," and "soon."


Douglas Becker said...

Drama queens are not mentally healthy for you.

Anonymous said...

Dave is all about hype. He must watch a lot of "news" (actually propaganda) on TV. Maybe he took a degree in "journalism" (actually propaganda). Y'all know the sea levels have risen 2000 feet since Al Gore's movie and we are all under seawater now, right? Y'all know Iran will have nukes by next year (they have been saying that for 5 years), right? Y'all know Israel is in grave danger from Iran (Israel has 300 undeclared nukes and everybody knows it). Y'all know Dave is an apostle-god, right? (Frankly, I could make up the same shit he does).

Head Usher said...

Good point, BB.

In my experience, when you come into contact with things that are really true that you did not "get" before, which is to say, not just true, but stated in such a way as to be relevant and helpful, it needs no sales pitches, fanfare, hyperbole, puffery, fearmongering, etc. I will often have a kind of V-8 moment when I come across a helpful truth, because once I've heard it and fully understand it in its proper context, it seems so obvious that I wonder why I never thought of it before.

When I come across truth that I have been lacking and needing, and have in fact been suffering because I was missing it, I don't need anyone to "sell" it to me. It's like my whole subconscious brain resonates and lights up with it, because of it. Sometimes I'll have to watch a documentary several times before I figure out consciously what the exact principle is my subconscious is responding to.

All pressure, sugarcoating, and exaggeration are just marketing. Any time someone has to "market" an idea, it means it's an idea that will benefit the one who is speaking, not necessarily the one who is hearing. I am quite capable of knowing what information I need without any "extra help", thanks.

And when you think of it that way, the info that you specifically are missing, that will help you ditch your old baggage and live your life more fully, that has to be unique to you and your circumstances. There is no reason why anyone else should know what info you need, as opposed to the info you've always had and take for granted. There is no formulaic package of info that is going to be universally helpful to everyone. There are some belief systems out there that, at least in principle, recognize this fact and that one should, as A.A. says so simply, take what is useful and leave the rest. Of course the major world religions like Christianity and Islam do not recognize this fact. And controlling cults such as Armstrongism takes pains to not only ignore this fact, but to make it seem like their formulaic package of info is exactly what everyone everywhere needs.

One of the things that I don't understand about churches of all varieties is that they all just repeat similar lectures on topics from their formulaic package, which are not, in a way, dissimilar to a lecture you might receive in high school or college. How many times do you have to hear about how, for example, Jesus died for your sins, before you "get it" already? How many times do you have to hear about how the quadratic formula works, or the mechanics of how an earthquake happens, or the difference between an adjective or adverb, before you "get it"? Nobody thinks you should continue to attend high school or college and have those lectures repeated over and over for the rest of your life. Why do they think that about the lectures at church? Why aren't you expected to attend church for a few years, and then they give you a diploma and expect you to graduate to real world practice? For so many, not just in Armstrongism, but in all churches, "religion" always remains on the level of academic theory or a nice lecture series, and never turns into anything practical. Why is that acceptable for so many people? I don't get it.


Head Usher said...


For me, Armstrongism ran out of anything relevant or helpful to say pretty quickly. And that is where the marketing, high-pressure sales techniques, and hyperbolic language begins to be "necessary." Not necessary for you or me, though. Necessary for others. It is not in the "best interests" of churches for their "students" to ever graduate, or to grow, or to ever get rid of old baggage or to ever clear monkeys from off their backs. It is in the best of interests of churches for their parishioners to never be able to solve any of their problems. This is a real conflict of interest for churches, and Armstrongism's organizations are no exception. And, after a while, the church itself becomes part of your baggage, and one of the monkeys on your back. So the conflicts of interest grow over time.

There are billions of people who hold to some form or variation of the "lifelong church" paradigm. But I'm through believing that there is safety in numbers. I am done believing that the great mass of people always gravitate around things of value. If I don’t see the value, that means for me, there isn’t any there. I guess I owe Armstrongism a debt of gratitude for teaching me this lesson, and how to be self-reliant instead. Now I believe the great mass of people represents nothing more than the lowest common denominator. I graduated from high school a long time ago, and believe it or not, I still know what "lowest common denominator" means. Put that in your censer and smoke it.

"If you maintain a dead church, contribute to a dead Bible-society, vote with a great party either for the government or against it...I have difficulty to detect the precise man you are: and of course so much force is withdrawn from your proper life...A man must consider what a blind-man's-buff is this game of conformity. If I know your sect I anticipate your argument. I hear a preacher announce for his text and topic the expediency of one of the institutions of his church. Do I not know beforehand that not possibly can he say a new spontaneous word? ...Do I not know that he is pledged to himself not to look but at one side, the permitted side, not as a man, but as a parish minister? ...This conformity makes them not false in a few particulars, authors of a few lies, but false in all particulars. Their every truth is not quite true. Their two is not the real two, their four not the real four; so that every word they say chagrins us and we know not where to begin to set them right."

Self-Reliance, Ralph Waldo Emerson

Anonymous said...

Hey Dennis and others- That was a fine blog entry, and some good comments, too.

I'm reminded of something I heard once, that seemed right...
It went something like this-
"The reason hormones rage in puberty is for it to be a kind of magnified event, so, in later more mature years, one can better understand and better deal with the emotions and reactions involved with adult living."

In a way, I see experience with the WCG or other (secular or non-secular) 'high control' organizations (and that "experience" can be having a friend or family member involved, and not necessarily that a person joined such an org) as having a similar "magnifying effect" that can be helpful in evaluating other organizations later.

Take the Daystar or TBN Christian TV networks, for example... They are full of Christian hucksters who use use many conniving techniques that are more easily identified and laid bare if one has had experience with other high control huckster-led groups.

Heck, watching "Doctor" Creflo Dollar "operate" and preach for a few minutes raises many red flags for me, and my previous experiences help me see him as the con-man and huckster he is.

When reading Dennis' blog entry, I thought of another 'response' aimed at "Doctor Dollar", which was, "Because my elbows are still sore (despite your healing them in front of tens of thousands of people) from polishing your Rolls-Royces every day?"

Sadly, not everyone leaves the mindset inculcated in a 'high control' organization when they THINK they're "leaving and totally getting out" and they join another similar org(although happily, it's sometimes less controlling)....The many splinters of the WCG are evidence of this phenomenon.

DennisCDiehl said...

I agree anon. It's almost like an innoculation. You have one first experience and then as in the case of WCG, the virus multiplies or you come in contact to more of the same , it is easier to fight it. I seriously doubt I will ever again be taken in by any one man or organization that pretends to be the one. Perhaps those who still look for more virus to infect them simply didn not learn anything or develope an immunity the first time "the truth, plain, real or restored," blew up on them.

A meme is a mind virus that multiplies like a virus. In the WCG and COG world the memes are...

There is one true church
I am an Apostle
God made me the Watcher
I am like Joshua
I am a prophet
HWA was the Elijah
Christians so called
How did you come into the truth?

None of these are true but they are true to those who are not immune from them or those who could have been but it failed to take. In other words, they learned little or nothing from the past infection beginning with WCG which may have seemed like a vitimin but turned into a virus.

CGI/WCG Tkach merel reinvented old viruses thought dead . I guess they dug them up from rotting corpses when they met the Four Square bunch. Hank Hannagraaf was a carrier from which Tkach was not immune. The insuing plague killed off most of the brethren. The survivors either crawled to another infected leper colony or were genuinly immune from the experience.

You know, that which does not kill us makes us stronger.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dennis,

You wrote,
"You know, that which does not kill us makes us stronger."

I agree, but would add, that sometimes it doesn't kill us, but remains as a higher (or lower level) infection.

I think it's apropos to consider a mindset inculcated in such an environment to be a virus and a meme.

Corky said...

BB said...
Why would a real gospel message require hype, pressure, fear, sugarcoating, exaggeration, downplaying of certain elements, or excuses? The answer is that it would not! And, that should be the tipoff, right there. should. Now, go back and read the NT canon again.

Corky said...

Head Usher said...
For so many, not just in Armstrongism, but in all churches, "religion" always remains on the level of academic theory or a nice lecture series, and never turns into anything practical. Why is that acceptable for so many people? I don't get it.

It really wasn't supposed to be that way. It was supposed to be a "short work" (Rom. 9:28) in the "last days" of 2,000 years ago (Acts 2:17). They were supposed to "graduate" and become teachers themselves (Heb. 5:12).

I reckon they want "the first principles" to be taught to them over and over and over again because they don't want to graduate and "go on unto perfection" (Heb. 6:1) and quit laying the foundation that is already laid.