Herbert Armstrong's Tangled Web of Corrupt Leaders
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Saturday, March 21, 2015
The words “moderate, enlightened and liberal” do not describe the Church of God International
Lonnie C. Hendrix
Among Armstrongites, the CGI has enjoyed a reputation for being more moderate and enlightened in its approach to many of the Worldwide Church of God teachings. I guess such a reputation would have some validity if we were comparing them to the groups led by Flurry, Pack, Thiel and Meredith. However, if we take a closer look at what they preach and publish, we can see that the initial impression gives way to more of the same old stuff.
For example, The International News has been running a series by Bill Watson entitled “Is a Caliphate in the Making.” In Part One, Mr. Watson writes that the United States and its allies: “refuse to call these Islamic radicals for what they are. Instead, they opt to “shade” it in gray, obfuscating the direct terminology for more politically correct terms that insinuate criminals, lone wolfs, illegal immigrants, gang members, etc.—actually preferring in some cases to categorize obvious terrorist attacks as crimes, or ‘work place violence.’ The result of this kind of abstruseness does nothing for properly characterizing the real dangers, risks, and potential chaos; the destruction, death, and jeopardy these Islamic radicals pose to the open and free lifestyles of Western Civilization—most throughout North America and Europe just DON’T GET IT!”
In other words, the deceived and ignorant folks who are running the Western Democracies simply refuse “to call a spade a spade.” Never mind that ISIS, al Qaeda and Boko Haram would like nothing better than to turn the war against terror into a fight between the West and Middle East – between Islam and Christianity. What Mr. Watson (and many others in the Armstrong Church of God culture) fails to understand is that language matters. If we concede to them the language and begin speaking in terms of a war against Islam or Muslims, we have handed them exactly what they wanted – they win. Fortunately, the leaders of the Western world understand that these terrorists must be marginalized and separated from the majority of the Muslim world. To win this war and defeat this evil, these folks must be recognized by everyone (including the vast majority of people in the Middle East) as aberrant abominations who don’t have any allies in the world at large.
In Part Two of the same series, Mr. Watson writes: “Many today don’t accept the biblical connection of the United States and the British Commonwealth nations being the result of migrations from the ancient cultures of the “Lost Ten Tribes” of Israel, and consequent recipients of God’s Abrahamic birthright blessings of physical wealth and affluence.” That sure sounds like British Israelism to me! This teaching many not appear in the CGI statement of their beliefs, but it sure looks like it appears here in one of their chief publications by one of their leading ministers.
Need more proof? Look at their series on “The Chronicles of the Early New Testament Church.” Although it is a slick production, it is basically a rehash of the same old dribble about the grand conspiracy to change the day of worship from the Sabbath to Sunday and introduce a surfeit of counterfeit holy days (for which there is not a shred of objective historical evidence). Consider these other recently featured discussions and articles on their web page: “Passover? Lord’s Supper? Seder? 14th or 15th?” “Exploring the Pagan Roots of Easter” “What Choice Do I Have?” (a negative message about homosexuality).
Same old stuff wrapped in a prettier package!
Our favorite self-appointed false "profit" of Armstrongism has a new look. "Profit" and Chief Overseer Bob Thiel has left the crooked bookcases and door knobs behind for vintage 1960's curtains that many say remind them of the Sound of Music. Remember that scene where Julie Andrews makes clothes for all the kids out of curtains...
The self-appointed profit should send those drapes to Africa to make clothes for the 336 kids that he counts as members of his splinter cult.
Friday, March 20, 2015
Is It A Sin To Stop At Starbucks On Saturday? "Horrified" Legalist Has Seen Church Members Going Into Stores!!!!!
The legalists that claim to follow every word of God faithfully are the biggest law breakers around. While they spit and snarl at church members stopping at Starbucks on a long drive to church or grabbing a warm doughnut, they click their tongues in disgust and indignation.
A Malmite writes:
Once paying people to work for you [Supposedly converted people] is considered “okay”, it certainly is a slippery slope. Next thing you know it’s “okay” to stop at 7-11 or Starbucks for coffee on the way to church, or it’s okay to fly home from the Feast, or buy some donuts for Sabbath brunch, or to conveniently stop at the grocery store for something to bring for after services, or BBQ a huge dinner for guests, or why not have a reunion picnic with family who don’t keep the Sabbath, or have a workman service your plumbing problem or play some backgammon. Next thing you know it’s just like a Sunday service you go to on Saturday with all these other distractions that aren’t even Sabbath related! I have seen all these things and many more in LCG!! Horrified I even saw someone run to the store on the Sabbath for Club Soda so they could make more mixed drinks for their guests since they ran out! Wow!! The list could go on and on. I certainly think HWA was wrong to put his stamp of approval on “eating out” but he probably would roll over in his grave to see what is considered Sabbath observance today by ELDERS and brethren!!
UCG's Scott Ashley Lashes Out at James Malm's "Vomit" While Calling Him a "Congenital Liar" a "Lying Fool" and a "Useful Idiot"
James Malm has been working overtime to stir up a stink in the UCG over the idiotic nonsense of who is using the right calendar. Various other useful idiots over the decades have written countless papers attempting to prove which calendar is to be used, which dates are proper dates, when the first grain of barley is found in some forsaken field in Israel or when the faintest glimmer of a new moon is sighted in Jerusalem. These apparently are supposed to have relevance to people in other countries who are a part of the minuscule chosen remnant who pretend to be "christian" Jews who place more importance on keeping the law than on anything Jesus ever said or did.
Scott Ashley did not take kindly to James recent rantings.
I see from your comments below and a look at your website—which I haven’t looked at for about 2 1/2 years—that you remain a congenital liar incapable of telling the truth.
As recently as last week your website continues to beat the dead horse that UCG plans to change the Sabbath—even though more than four years have passed since the cogwa split and the United Church of God has made none of the changes you’ve predicted. You seem to fail to grasp that you were used as a useful idiot by those who left UCG to form cogwa, knowing that the only way they could attract a following was to allege that UCG was going to change doctrine—a charge they knew was false. But they couldn’t state the real reasons for the split, which were that they demanded to be in control. They found in you a tool they could use to spread those lies, and you were too stupid to realize that you were being used. I feel sorry for you that you were too blind to see what they were doing, and were able to use you as a tool for deceit and division.
You say “It is widely reported in UCG that you and Gary Petty have said that the paper ‘the Defense of the Biblical Calendar’ has merit.” Really? I find that impossible to believe since the only people who have ever asked me about it or said anything about it to me are the family who gave an earlier version to me and one other elder I passed it on to as a heads-up. I’ve said nothing to anyone about the merits of the paper since I hadn’t read it (and still haven’t). So in your message to me you write two more lies that have no basis in fact.
For the record in the interests of truth, I do not know when or if the paper will be looked at the Doctrine Committee (of which I am a member). If it has been submitted according to the defined process, we have not been notified yet.
PS—As for your book, I have no interest in reading it since your track record of predicting the future has been so abysmally wrong over recent years (as in UCG is planning to change the Sabbath, UCG is planning to introduce the Trinity, UCG is planning to change the Holy Days, ad nauseum). You’ve shown by your track record that nothing you write is worth my time reading. I have no time for lying fools whose mission in life is to slander and spread division—which I have no doubt you will try to do with this calendar issue. Take your vomit somewhere else and don’t waste my time.
Revelation 21:8—“. . . and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
Romans 16:17—”Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.”
Thursday, March 19, 2015
Its that time of year again and the false prophets of Armstrongism are going over board in denouncing Lent, Holy Week and Easter. Almost every single one of these guys have gotten their information out of church related works, the debunked Hislop's Two Babylons and other anti-Catholic screeds in print. Reading their drivel makes it painfully obvious that they are totally oblivious of anything connected to the season. This is especially true of Bob Thiel, James Malm, Gerald Flurry, Rod Meredith, Dave Pack and UCG.
As Bereans Did has an interesting posting up about Easter and all the various myths that continue to float around Armstrongism about the season.
Did Easter start in Nimrod’s day?No. That is an outright lie built on terrible etymology and pseudo-history, and passed off as fact due to repetition. There is nothing remotely in the realm of reliable historical evidence to demonstrate this. All of these sorts of Nimrod, Ishtar, Tammuz, etc claims find their beginning with Alexander Hislop. He’s the one who made it all up in the late 1840’s. Maybe you didn’t know that Hislop is completely unreliable. I can hardly blame you for not knowing this. Among the people who promote his writings are Herbert Armstrong and thus the leaders of every one of the COG splinter churches, Dave Hunt, Chuck Missler, Richard Rives, the Christadelphians, the Jehovah’s Witnesses – the list goes on and on. But if you really want the truth about Hislop, then please send away for Mr. Ralph Woodrow’s book “The Babylon Connection”. It will give you the information that you need to know about Alexander Hislop.Think about it… Some people, following Alexander Hislop, say Easter is an ancient Babylonian holiday that was kept continuously by the Catholic Church since Nimrod’s day. But if it was always being kept then it cannot be the result of the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD. It cannot be both.
If it was the product of the Council of Nicaea then it cannot be the result of the Catholic Church which only sent two representatives to the Council. It cannot be both.
The first mention of Eostre is in the eighth century, not the first century, nor the fourth century, and certainly not 2,000+ BC. They can’t all be right.The early church called it Pascha and only several centuries later came the name Easter. If Pascha is centuries older tha Easter then Easter cannot be the source of Pascha. It cannot be both.
The article goes on to cover these qucik facts:What kind of coincidence could possibly cause the holiday to be called Easter by the Babylonians, then Pascha by the Greeks and Latins, then Ostern by the Germans, then Easter once again by the English?These contradictions cannot all be true. Who will you believe? Don’t make up your mind yet. There’s more.
Other links they provide:Is Easter a pagan holiday coopted by the Catholic Church?
Was Passover replaced by Easter at the Council of Nicaea?
Should we call Easter by the name Passover?
Is the King James Version right in translating Acts 12: 4 as “Easter”?
Is Easter tied to the Spring Equinox because of paganism?
Is the Pope responsible for the change from Passover to Easter?
Is Easter named after a goddess?
What of the goddess Ostara, then?
What of the Austriahenae inscriptions?
Was Ostara’s consort a hare?
Is Eostra/Ostara actually Ishtar?
Did Ishtar hatch from an egg?
Did Ishtar have rabbits and eggs as her symbols?
Where does the tradition of eggs come from if not from paganism?
Where does the tradition of the Easter Bunny come from?
Is the cross just the first letter of the name Tammuz?
Does Lent come from the weeping for Tammuz?
Where did Lent come from if not from paganism?
How can we fit “three days and three nights” into Friday evening to Sunday morning?
Does the Holy Week support a Wednesday or Thursday crucifixion?
Was there a holy day then a weekly Sabbath in the crucifixion week?
When did the women prepare spices?
Wasn’t Sunday worship itself adopted from paganism?
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
The absurdities of the Philadelphia Church of God continue to march onward leaving a trail of destruction in its path.
Exit and Support has the following story up from an exPCG member.
March 17, 2015
I’d like to tell you just how controlling and obsessed the ministry of the PCG really is.
A couple years after my wife died I decided to take my boys on a little vacation. The South East region of the PCG was having a 4th of July family camp out. I decided to attend with my boys. I signed up and got an email from the event coordinator. The email told me what I should bring and reminded me to bring a few dozen cookies. Well, I had just lost a lot of weight and had health problems so I suggested that perhaps all those cookies would not be the healthiest thing for me to bring. A few days later I got a call from my minister Aaron Eagle. He got onto me for saying what I did about cookies and told me not to bring it up again. I was shocked!
This is what struck me about this. If the man I made the comment to did not like what I said he should have said something to me but what did he do? He called his local minister who called Craig Winters the Southeastern director who called Cal Culpepper the Northeastern director, who called Aaron Eagle my local minister, who then called me. Two ministers and two regional directors had to get involved over a cookie comment.
I am so grateful that I am free from all the obsessed, controlling ministers of the PCG.
Thank you for your website. --Dan Moffett, KY
David Passover Pack imagines himself to be the most educated and soundly biblical man to ever exist in the Church of God. His god directly speaks to him and reveals all kinds of secret knowledge. When that happens Dave puts in in print to show his dwindling flock what a mighty tool of god he is. Now, more and more frequently those rantings are coming back to bite him.
Dave feels that he is incapable of being deceived. His god will not allow it. But if he ever did, then he wanted his members to not listen to him because he was going to paint things in such a way that he would deliberately try and get people to forget his words and follow him.
I want to make a statement about me now. If I became deceived, I will never tell you what I’m going to tell you now. I am telling you, if I go off into strange ideas, misconduct, rebellion, you name it, don’t follow me. I want to tell you that now, because if I start doing that, I’m gonna try to get you to follow me! I’m gonna come to you and tell you it doesn’t apply, it doesn’t mean me. No, no, no, no, no, no, it’s ok to follow me, because ABCD and XY and Z. Do you understand what I’m saying? Listen to me now, when I tell you, don’t follow me if I go off into weird ideas, or if I get off into other things that are total absolutely unscriptural conduct, because if I do, I’m gonna paint it with a different face and try to get you to follow me. Do you understand what I’m saying, brethren? Please remember that, because I promise you that, if I become deceived, I’ll forget it, and I’ll want you to forget it. And I hope you’ll remember it well enough to quote it right back to me. (1998)
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
I have received permission to post the following story from a woman who shared about her experience at SEP where she was molested along with two other girls. Kermit Nelson, Dennis VanDeVenter and Mr. Burnett attempted to cover the molestations up.
This brought her story forward when she learned of the Jehovah's Witnesses child abuse case that is portrayed above. Nightline has a program on tonight about abuse in the Jehovah's Witnesses cult. The parallels in the JW story are exactly like what has happened over and over in the Church of God and CONTINUES to this day in the Philadelphia Church of God, the Restored Church of God, Living Church of God, United Church of God, COGWA and other groups!
Sharing a Nightline Special on sexual abuse coverup from Jehovah Witness leadership. She won a landmark court case! How familiar is this video?
This hits close to home, as I was 13 at SEP, first time away from home so far and so long, and me and two other girls were molested and I was almost raped by an 18 year old guy in our brother dorm. He got no real punishment, but me and the two other girls had to tell our stories, emotionally falling apart but with no support or guidance, in front of Dr. Kermit Nelson (director of SEP), Mr. Dennis VanDeVanter (who baptized my parents and was our minister for a while, but by this time had been transferred to the upper ranks in Pasadena), and Mr. Burnett (our dorm minister and the women's BB coach at Pasadena AC). Our phone and mail privileges were revoked as they didn't want the word of this "to get out and spread through the congregations, then parents will be reluctant to send their children to SEP which could save them spiritually." (as SEP was fun at times, but it was indoctrination-based)
When they said we couldn't call/write our parents anymore or anything else, it felt like *we* were the ones getting punished because we came forward, they said, "If this gets out, it will spread like wild fire through the congregations worldwide. Do you really want the eternal lives of who knows how many young people on your head?" Guilt squashed our need to contact anyone or seek emotional healing. They even made me dance with him at the end of camp to show there were "no hard feelings" - and he managed to do even more damage during and after that dance.
No cops were called. No parents.
My parents got worried when my every-other-day phone calls stopped abruptly.
They called the camp. Dr. Nelson and Mr. VanDeVanter both lied to them initially and said they didn't know of anything going on, and that we were just probably caught up with the fun of camp.
Finally, my parents got the truth out of them when they demanded to speak to me. My parents were furious, but still didn't occur to them to call the cops, and at this point there had not only been the molestation, but neglect and coverup by the church.
I was told that this matter went all the way up to Mr. Tkatch from Dr. Nelson when they were deciding how to handle this.
I relate with so much of this girl says in the Nightline story. Hopefully this will open the door for more lawsuits won against cults and their slimy legal/PR tactics. And hopefully people will see that the JW's and Mormons and other cults aren't just "nice people that believe things a little different" but their secrecy and closed door policies when it comes to these issues.
Monday, March 16, 2015
It has long been known by Church of God members how much Rod Meredith is obsessed with sex.
Of all the stories I have heard none compares to this one:
Rod is completely obsessed with ALL types of sex, not just homosexual. Despite the fact that there are many young children and impressionable teenagers in his audience he often goes into disgusting detail of various sex acts. Things I would never say to a child. On one occasion he told the entire Charlotte congregation that his wife had shown him all kinds of "disgusting sex acts on the internet including women with women, men with men and beastiality and every other unimaginable abominable thing". The audience is thinking, what in the world! Why are you looking at the stuff in the first place and then why are you openly admitting to it in public? Meredith is a grade A pervert.
Why is his wife looking at porn in the first place? Why is she looking at bestiality porn? Why did Rod watch it with her? Kind reminds me of the Adam and Eve myth. Eve gives Adam the apple to eat after he watches her picked it off the tree. He freely indulged, but it was all her fault. Kind of like the time he was caught coming out of the porn shop in Old Town Pasadena in he early 70's. He was only in there to do research for an article...on sex....
Richard was Herbert's most favored son that he had envisioned to be the leader of the church. He was the studious and devoted one, unlike his brother Garner Ted who was a womanizing, hard drinking and rambunctious young man.
Richard Armstrong was killed as the result of Alton Billingsley not paying attention to a divided road in central California. The resulting accident was a head on collision that sent Richard to the hospital in San Luis Obispo.
While Alton Billingsly was driving north on Coast Highway 101 in California at about 1:15 p.m. on July 23, 1958, Richard had his briefcase open, checking his list of people to visit and planning their next few stops. The four-lane, divided highway had merged into a two-way highway. Somehow neither of them noticed it. A half block or so to their left was another paved road running parallel to theirs; Mr. Billingsly supposed that to be the other two lanes of the highway. They moved over into the left lane—the lane of oncoming traffic—to pass, believing it still to be a divided highway. Just before they passed the car on their right, a Cadillac came over a slight hilltop. Mr. Billingsly swerved left, but the cars were moving toward each other too quickly. The oncoming car hit them head-on, just to the right—shearing off much of the right side of the car. Had Richard not dived toward the driver just before impact, he would have been killed instantly.
Although Mr. Billingsly was not seriously injured, Richard was taken to San Luis Obispo Hospital and placed in critical condition. His pelvis and right elbow were badly broken; his jaw was broken in several places with several teeth knocked out; his stomach and intestines were knocked up through the diaphragm against the left lung, collapsing the lung and shoving his heart over on his right side.
A week later, Richard’s kidneys were failing. They would have to move him to Los Angeles where they could hook him up to artificial kidneys. Because he was in traction, moving him could have killed him. So they carried him in a special bed that kept him in traction, slowly driving to Los Angeles in the middle of the night.
Here ends the "facts" that traditional church historians recognize. Before we turn to to the Philadelphia Church of God's fantasy interpretation, lets first look at the definition of what martyr is.
Merriam Webster defines a martyr this way:
martyrnoun mar·tyr \ˈmär-tər\
- a person who is killed or who suffers greatly for a religion, cause, etc.
- a person who pretends to suffer or who exaggerates suffering in order to get praise or sympathy
- a person who suffers greatly from something (such as an illness)
Full Definition of MARTYR
Malone continues on quoting Herbert Armstrong. Armstrong, in his typical fashion, turned the focus off of Richard and onto the membership. Richard's accident and impending death was a sure sign of faith. If Richard lived then the membership was proving that they had faith that Richard would be completely healed. If he died then the membership were guilty of having no faith. Even more appalling is that Armstrong used Richard's accident as weapon to make the members give more money!
- a person who voluntarily suffers death as the penalty of witnessing to and refusing to renounce a religion
- a person who sacrifices something of great value and especially life itself for the sake of principle
He wanted God’s people to build faith from the experience. Driving from San Luis Obispo to L.A. the night of July 29, Mr. Armstrong said he struggled deeply to keep his mind in a state of faith. The Sabbath after Richard’s death, Mr. Armstrong debated going to Church services back at the college. “But then I realized it was my duty to attend …. I realized that some of the students had erroneously assumed that ministers were under such divine protection that no such tragedy could occur to one of them. Dick’s accident and death might shatter this faith. I knew I had to bring a message that would bolster and strengthen, not destroy, faith” (Autobiography, Vol. 2).
Another co-worker letter, dated August 28 of the same year, states, “Some had thought God would never let such a thing happen …. But nothing would please Satan more than to see us now lose faith.”
Can you imagine having a father that made your suffering into a tool of fundraising? This sadly was the main tool that Herbert Armstrong used continually over the years. He used the health of his son, his wife and other church leaders in order to extort more money from members. The sicker the person got the worse the membership was blamed for their lack of faith and support for the work.It’s no wonder why God, in the same chapter known as the “faith chapter,” goes into detail about the martyrdom of so many of His saints. The Church and its co-workers received perhaps the biggest lesson in faith it had ever received! In a co-worker letter written after the accident, before Richard died (on July 27), Mr. Armstrong scolded many of them for letting down in their prayers and offerings. “Co-workers, will you not only pray for my son’s miraculous and speedy recovery—but also for the financial salvation of the Work of God?” Throughout the letter, with the call for more believing prayers, Mr. Armstrong called for more faithful offerings. He said Satan had struck one of God’s “very chiefest laborers,” but that God’s Work needed more co-worker laborers “who help with their urgent heart-rending prayers, and with their tithes and generous offerings, regularly every month, or even every week.”
Does a person who dies early in life, without ever being tortured or persecuted for ones beliefs, make them into a martyr? Richard was not killed for his religion. He was not persecuted for the message he was preaching. Neither has any other living or deceased Church of God member over the last 80 some years. No government has jailed any leader for their beliefs and no one has died for their beliefs.
Flurry and Pack's personality cults are not being persecuted though they certainly are being mocked. That is not persecution! What this blog does, what The Painful Truth, Silenced and many others do is not persecution either. Pointing out the foibles and asinine sayings of church leaders is not persecution.
If Flurry, Pack and Thiel want to see REAL Christian being persecuted then they need to look no further than Syria, Iraq, India, Pakistan and Central Africa where Christians are being slaughtered for refusing to give up their beliefs. Those people are martyrs. There are no martyrs sitting in Wadsworth, Edmond, Cincinnati, Arroyo Grande, or Charlotte. Never have been and never will be.