No Shambhala Here...
“Shambhala” is the name of a mythical kingdom in Central Asia where the people enjoyed harmony, good health, and well-being. The basis for such an enlightened society is the people’s confidence and respect for inherent goodness, wisdom and dignity–in themselves, in each other, and in society. The wisdom that enabled the culture and community of Shambhala to flourish has been handed down from teacher to student...The kingdom of Shambhala is a model for the creation of enlightened society here and now.
(Not to be confused with properties in Wadsworth, Ohio)
Over the past few years some affiliated with or partners of those affiliated with Dave Pack and the Restored Church of God have spoken with me angry and frustrated with the toll Pack is taking on their family and finances. Dave Pack has "for members only" sermons along the way of which one of the most disgusting is the infamous "Clarion Call.
I tend to quote it and keep it alive because it is so absolutely appalling in its tone and content. Occasionally a for members only sermon tape will escape the inner sanctum and The Clarion Call was no doubt one of them. Dave is known to go to great lengths to get free floating sermons not meant or public consumption back into his hands. RCG family members have been ordered to get them back and it seems any way it takes is permissible.
One former office worker for RCG, who had seen and had enough and resigned along with the rest of the office staff a few years back pointed out that the property now being assembled as the new Shambhala Campus of the Restored Church of God was first discovered in 2007. The Clarion Call , went out in November and December of 2007 ostensibly as the big push because of "prophecy coming alive" in the flow of world history and Dave Pack. It was the FINAL push. He made the point that if the members were not ready to distribute their worldly goods to Dave, then they simply did not believe the flow of prophecy. Dave may already have been dabbling in his scriptural roll as spoken of by the Prophet Haggai in this same time frame . He notes that he personally had understood his role in Haggai "four years ago."
The Clarion Call was not given so much for any final push or prophetic reasons so much as Dave found the property he wanted to build his permanent and personal kingdom on and he needed the resources of the members to do it. Dave also states in places that his building program is "debt free" but in his 2013 Festival presentation someone admits that monies had to be borrowed from the bank. If true, any bank that would lend to Dave doesn't do their homework well. I can't , or I can imagine, how Dave sold them on the idea with awesome and overarching stats. While Dave is not about the numbers of course, I bet it was awesome. It probably left them gyrating in their seats. Knowing how Dave had no conscience about undermining his own family members in business, nothing would surprise me about what he would do or say to get what he wants.
Giving The Clarion Call sermon was probably one of he more foolish sermons Dave Pack has ever given. There have been many. Posting it before disappearing it was probably one of the bigger mistakes he has made to date. The content, tone and cultic demands of that sermon are pure evil and the intimidation, in the name of God or Christ (commonly known as Jesus) is not just ill advised, it is criminal. I have given up trying to understand the mindset of the average RCG member. After all Dave's mistakes and missteps in theology and an obvious need to control and one who promotes himself with various and sundry ridiculous titles, those that waste their time and resources on RCG probably can't be helped. After all, Dave probably simply needs to give a sermon on "if they persecuted me, they will persecute you," and they will fall back into line covered with fear, guilt and shame. These three are too often the great motivators in cultic one man religious circuses.
So let's review. If there are lurking Wadsworthinans here at Banned, you might take note. From The Clarion Call...
"Yeah, I know, one or two can leave and say, 'Hey, you stopped preaching and started meddling, now you're messing with my goods here on earth' "
"First Timothy 6 verse 17...'Charge them that are rich in this world'...If you were born in the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, then you're rich"
One or two? This is what you say when you really mean "Most of you won't like this but if I say "one" or "two" you will think it's just you doubting my common sense and the vast majority of members are thrilled with this. YOU are defective and faithless and need to get on board. Millions in these countries are hardly "rich." Dave is rich. Charge yourself Dave.
"If you hold those riches, I'm telling you, you trust in them"
This is a lie. People generally don't really "trust " in riches. These are called resources based on hard work of average people. They use these resources to pay their bills, put a roof over their heads and educate their children. They have seen enough of their "rich" friends die along the way to know they are not the answer to immortality.
"Go get a big chunk out of your home. And put your money where your mouth is and send it here. And I'm not talking about one, two, three thousand either. How about ten, twenty, thirty, fifty, or one hundred thousand dollars?
Go do it."
Put my money where my mouth is? How about a fist in love where yours is? Arrogance and rudeness is something Dave needs to apologize to his congregation for. Only in a Church of God could a man even think he could get away with this arrogance and bullying. Again, I can not explain why the average RCG member would not just gyrate in their seats and head for the door. They must be children needing a stern daddy.
"Wives, you can be independent in this. You have 1/2 the worth of whatever you have in your house.
I'm officially telling you this...Wives, legally you have the 1/2 the funds. What are you going to do about it?
...Husbands...'well, my wife is not in the church'...tell her...'you don't have a voice woman' "
"The wives in the faith will say give everything you can...We don't have the luxury of waiting years...today, leaving everything in your will simply doesn't work"
Dave is telling wives here in the faith what to say.
Obviously, wives outside
the faith have no say but those in the grasp of Dave Pack and RCG have
total control (over the money). This is because whoever is under Dave's
influence has the say about giving it all to Dave. There are no
"biblical principles" at work here.
"We are not a splinter"
Sure you are. You are just one more delusional and under trained theologian, falsely so called, who fell out of the WCG debacle.
"I do not covet your silver or gold...the gold and silver is God's and He will get it someway"
Yes Dave does. Dave is said to personally open the mail with money in it. Dave is said to use funds designated for one thing, such as the classic "3T" for other things. Besides, God doesn't really need gold and silver anymore than God really needs the cattle on a thousand hills. That's just poetic talk. If God really needs silver and gold he can really sell some his real cattle on his real thousand hills. No God actually needs human money. Dave means, "I need your money. I will get it someway..."
"I'll say it again, we are talking about liquidating existing assets...it all belongs to God and the brethren"
No Dave. None of the assets of anyone really belongs to God nor does God need them. It does not belong to the brethren either. Christians in the questionable book of Acts "shared all things in common" for a very short time because they were told Jesus was coming soon. The sharing wore very thin quickly as it was obvious this was not the case. When more "wealthy" people came along, they weren't about to share their wealth with "the brethren" on a regular basis. The practice faded very very quickly and never was meant to be a way of life amongst members of the church.
"We have a lot of plans so big going on in this office it would cause just this room to to rock and gyrate if you knew what was going on. We just need a lot of money and we need it post haste...I would give more if I had it"
First of all, anyone can make big plans and a lot of them with other people's money. So, for starters, sell that really nice home you have there Dave which may by now be called "The Ambassador Center." Herbert always opined he had no home of his own and only his suits. Of course, this was a lie. He lived in a millions of dollars mansion on Orange Grove Blvd in Southern California and had access to all the money for his suit pockets he wanted. I imagine the brethren would rock and gyrate if they knew what was really going on. You just had found the land you needed to buy, after all, because Christ was coming SOON. I believe you said in a not for public sermon, around 2016.
"Let us know how much you plan to send and when you plan to send it...You must be willing to communicate... If you do need to counsel, please do that...If you are not ready to distribute what you have...you don't believe the flow of prophecy"
Obviously the bank needs to know what Dave's projected income was going to be? Telling good folk what they believe or don't believe is risky business. Dave has had to rework the "flow of prophecy" of late so I'd not get to hung up with him on what he thinks or his idea that "the timing is NOW." The summer of 2013 was not such a easy flowing prophetic one for Dave so you can forget this admonition.
"This is announcing the last blast, the clarion call as it were, to finish the work...Whether it is 4,5,7, 9 years to go, God knows...This is liquidating assets...I have the authority to tell you to do it... I have the moral and spiritual, and ecclesiastical authority to tell you to do what I have also done"
No you don't. Just because you put your own resources into your own Kingdom doesn't mean others must. I don't expect my neighbors to fund my roofing project. Of course this is no "last blast" at all. It was another lie. 2007 + 9 = yep...2016. God does know Dave and you didn't last summer know as much as you professed to know. We're not fooled by "certain expansive elements to the prophecy." We know that simply means "I have to have time to think up more stuff to stretch this out." It seems the last blast was really the first and there was land to be purchased, "post haste" as Dave likes to say.
"Get it now when it requires faith... when you are dead you don't need it... if you named us in your wills, it can take us months or years to get it"
It would require faith later too. And when one is ALIVE they do need it. "To get it.." That's a telling phrase there Dave. I can hear HWA telling us for the one millionth time, "God's way is the way of giiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive, not get." Of course, he was the getter and now you are. To say that one does not need money when one is dead, so send it in, qualifies for the most stupid kind of reasonings on the planet.
"Now you just have a second mortgage... and frankly we flee before most of it ever becomes due"
"...some may think that they want to tap their 401k--maybe you want to let us know that... why would you want to tell us? We are starting to prepare a budget now, the needs are now...it would be nice to know now"
"Think big...Pull big triggers"
Money lenders...are you paying attention? Cult watchers...are you listening?
"There is only two positions you can take regarding all that I have mentioned, only two, there is no middle ground. You're either going to yield, to submit and to follow, the clarion call that the time is now or you're not. And postponing a decision is deciding not to do it...It's saying I'm going to wait until it gets closer because it is not there yet...Don't say that I'm going to wait until it gets closer, when I can see... And this is the real test of Laodicea... either hold on to your assets... or give it...God is in this decision, no question. Testing the church's faith"
Yield, submit and follow. Pray, Obey, Pay and Stay. All the same. There are far more than just two positions one can take on this. Of course God is not in any of this and questioning it all is just good mental and spiritual health. No God is testing the churches faith over these rantings. Dave is testing the members and pushing them in a rather in your face way.
"We live in the most materialistic age in the history of the world. People trust in physical things. They trust in bank accounts...If you have excess and don't need it, those verses mean you...That's the Laodicean attitude...Put your money where your mouth is...Empty your assets"
Dave..you gotta watch that "put your money where you mouth is" thing. Excess? Ok, this is about just excess funds. I can keep the necessary ones. No wait..."empty your assets." Dave must have caught himself on this one and corrected what must be sent in. All of it. Besides I knew few COG members who had "excess." There is a tremendous amount of theological spin in these statements. I am sensing making scriptures mean what they never meant to mean here Dave.
"There is only one place He works...Where the...work is...that's where God is working...one elder commented here at headquarters, if people can't be motivated by a clarion call to finish the work such as this, why will those same people somehow believe the internal signal given to the church of the 1335? Why would they believe it?"
We're not talking about finishing any work here and Dave knows it. We're talking about beginning it, building it up permanently and saying very loudly "my Lord delays his coming," so build, build, build. None builds a physical empire for just three more years. I was rather oblivious to the 1972/75 in Prophecy thing when I arrived at AC as a newby to the WCG. But it took no genius seeing the Auditorium being built the years I was there , that HWA had no real conviction that God was going to do any "short work." "Internal Signs" should trouble RCG members. Maybe this is where the literal voices of God in the heads of RCG members comes in. Soon we're suppose to see the birth of the BCSCOG. (Bi Cameral Schizophrenic Church of God).
"This is the Laodicean age...Be careful that you don't tell us how to spend your assets... It belongs to God.. You don't tell God or His servants how to spend it"
"Your faith is being tested. Think about that"
No, it's the last few hundred years of the Age of Pices, the two fish. You be careful David C Pack about how you spend the monies of those so bamboozled. Ron Weinland probably had the same attitude about being told what to spend and on what. We know how that worked out. It's not faith that's being tested here. It's stupidity and gullibility that is being tested. Most RCG members are failing miserably.
"We will all fast on November 17th...I have to...ask you for a very special financial sacrifice for God's work"
"The purposes of the fast...(a). To fast for God's intervention...(b).Fast for personal faith and courage to follow what I am asking you to do...(c). Fast for personal strength...(d)...Fast for faith and courage in others with more than you to give...Go get a big chunk out of your house...their assets, IRAs, and pension funds...(e). Ask God to move specific properties...that they have told us they want to sell. Pray that these properties move...that is part of what this fast is about"
It was always a puzzle to me how fasting was necessary to twist God's arm over some issue. What kind of Deity is looking for that? Perhaps the jealous one of Exodus 20, I don't know. This kind of fast is probably one of the more crass reasons to fast. I may be mistaken, but I recall no such reasons in the Bible for fasting. Dave is running a Fast-A-Thon actually. He's evidently not the kind of human being to fast for humility and the recognition that "all flesh is grass."
The Clarion Call was truly one of the most crass and inexcusable "sermons" ever given in the history of religion. I apologize if I quote it too often but is the ultimate symbol of religion at it's worst. It is a stunning example of what humans will allow others to do to them in the name of religion. True spirituality is not going on in any sense in Wadsworth, Ohio behind the Giant Eagle Grocery in Wadsworth, Ohio. Those who took it heart will rue the day they ever did. Those who think it reflects the mind of any real God will learn the hard way it did not. I hope some lurking Wadsworthian might look a little deeper at what may be going on in town. Dave Pack has restored nothing of value in religion. He has merely restored the same mistakes and evil that any one man show in religion has to offer. With NO ACCOUNTABILITY to anyone or anything, men like Dave, fake theologians, can do and say whatever they wish and they do. Surrounded by his 16 awesome agreers, the circus can continue unabated until the tent falls down and the show gets cancelled.
I'm thinking it may be time to move on myself in all things associated with the my own experience with the Worldwide Church of God. Processing my mistaken choices as a kid who meant well seems long over due to come to an end. As I have told myself time and time again, just to get through it, "it's just a story." I am convinced had i chosen the Methodist Seminary in Rochester that accepted me rather than Ambassador and the Worldwide Church of God, which seemed more correct to my young literalist mind, the story would have been a bit different but I would have come to that mid-life understanding that denominations don't tell you everything you really need to know about the Bible, it's origins and history. They tell you what fits the agenda and the need. They probably have no clue for the most part themselves.
My dad was an elder under Dave Pack in the day. My dad stood up to Dave Pack nicely when pushed , which is something Dave wasn't used to seeing in members. My dad always took Dave both "under advisement," and "with a grain of salt." When Dave declared my sisters young girls, who made noise during one of his sermons to be "demon possessed,' Dave never knew how close he came to getting his teeth handed to him in a bag. Of course, Dave was so important in his own mind that it was really the Great Satan who has stopped in that week to distract the audience from Dave's awesome and overarching wisdom and knowledge of the scriptures.
Dave is NOT an intelligent person. I know that will drive him nuts. He is a clever person. One is long term good and one is short term dangerous. "Intelligent" cleverness is dangerous. If he were halfway intelligent, he'd not think the earth was 6000 years old as is the COG custom among other things. He's not really believe the 19th Century view of British-Israelism. Those were also the days when Native Americans and Moundbuilders were the descendents of the 12 "lost" tribes. A simple cheek swap for DNA would kill off British Israelism and the Book of Morons in one fell swoop. Dave Pack, like others, never read a booklet they wrote they didn't like. Books on the other hand escape them. RCG members grown in neither grace nor knowledge nor do their ministry.
Dad passed away yesterday peacefully in his sleep at 97 good long years old. He lived to know George Eastman, the founder of Eastman Kodak and he lived to see it go bankrupt. They took very good care of him right up to the day he died. He has since been cremated and as like to think , returned to stardust from which we all have come. It's an end of a story for me as well. For 15 years, since termination and realizing I really do wish I had pursued paleontology in my youth instead of religion, I have grown a lot. I have learned experience is indeed the best teacher and it is the only one. All else is hearsay. I have made mistakes and taken missteps along the way in dealing with the anger and disappointment that arose from allowing myself and choosing myself to think the Armstrong or the Tkaches had anything of value to offer. To me, they did not. I accept that. My disdain for Dave Pack and RCG is merely because he is reinventing all the same processes that will come to haunt those who have yet to learn the lesson of following others , doing what others say and believing what others tell you to believe, proof texts included free.
For fifteen years I have made an honest living working with my hands and heart as is my way of being. I started no church and I followed no others. I met myself for the first time. I may be right in my views about life, spirituality, the Bible and all of cosmology, or I may be wrong. It's not about being right. It's about seeking and learning and being inspired by it all. I may be a created being or I may be a hairless ape with conscious awareness. Both are good. I got to hold a real Tiktaalik fossil (fins/feet, gills/lungs), with the man who found them and I got to stare with tears in my eyes into the face of a 200,000 year old Neanderthal face at the Israeli Museum in Jerusalem. It made me rock and gyrate in my seat...