Friday, September 23, 2016

Prophet, Magician or Liar?

Bob Thiel is nothing more than an astrologer, palm reader, fortune teller, or other sort of cold reader.

His "prophecies" are generalized statements about often mundane things that it's not hard to forecast based upon the past or upon current trends, couched in metrics so vague you'd be hard pressed to say if many of them had come true or not. He carpet bombs with a couple dozen of these so-called "prophecies" and then waits for 6 months, a year, two years or more, until he can arguably say this one or that on "came true." Of course, it's so vague there's little basis to say so one way or the other for sure. But as long as he can crow victory eventually over 10 or 15 of them, that's all that matters to Bob. The rest he'll keep quiet about, and hopefully those who notice the failures won't be enough to notice. You'll certainly never find Bob admitting to having uttered any "prophecies" that turned out to be false. It's kind of like prophesying that the price of an ounce of gold or a barrel of oil will hit $x. Sure, given enough time, it's bound to happen sooner or later. And when it does, does that make you a "prophet"? Of course not!

If Bob really were a prophet, that is to say, receiving information from "beyond" about the future, he wouldn't need to resort to these well-known cold reading techniques. No, he'd be making highly specific predictions about things that matter, that shift the balance of power in the world. And he wouldn't need to carpet bomb. He could pronounce them one at a time, and he could predict the timing as well. And he could nail every single major event without missed opportunities or missteps. Instead his "prophecies" have the grubby fingerprints of a hoax all over them.

But not Bob. No, Bob is a "prophet" in the same sense that a "magician" is one who works "magic." He's not breaking the laws of physics, there's nothing supernatural about it, just sleight of hand. The only difference is that a magician deceives people honestly, for entertainment purposes. Bob deceives people dishonestly, to enrich himself at other's expense. Bob has to know there's nothing supernatural about his deliberately vague and often inconsequential prognostications.


Miguel de la Rodente said...

In some ways, he's just like everyone else: He wants to be important, for his life to have some significance. The problem is that he has chosen a path that we know is bogus, yet he tries to make it work (in our faces), and he has set himself up as being above us. What can a poor boy do, except to attempt to bring him back to reality???

Minimalist said...

He should latch on to the Astrologers' favorite prediction:
"California will soon experience a minor earthquake"

Hoss said...

Poor Bob. Suddenly he went from an unordained but highly public splinter member acting as an adviser in his special interest areas of prophecy and doctrine to being a prophet and overseer of another fledgling splinter church. Remember the Peter Principle?

Being highly public, he is open to scrutiny. Just as John the Baptist and Jesus were scrutinized and tested by the Pharisees, who “sat in Moses’ seat” to assess whether they were the real thing or pretenders, Bob opened himself to similar scrutiny. Now some of the Pharisees did go too far, and acted out of envy, and made false accusations. But, make a claim to be holding a church “office” and expect some testing, as well as some envy. The envy is more likely to be from COGs, and not COG-critique blogs; but then, we have some stone-throwers too.

Bob definitely needs some minions, to take the pressure off, and allow himself to limit his workload to his special interests. I realize with the volume of material being churned out, it can be hard to dedicate sufficient time to details - a proof-reader and fact-checker would come in handy. I’ve read and heard a few blunders that should have been avoided, and I don’t mean mispronunciations and typos! But then, just like the “errors” in those 20,000 LCG Church History booklets, is anyone going to notice?

DennisCDiehl said...

I'm going to predict, and quite accuragely, a 24,000 word rebuttal including:

Specific references to specific people who said specific things about being given a double portion just as Elijah was given.

Specific referrals to specific "Presiding Evangelists" who specifically said, "Bob, you may be a prophet." ( I bet his tone was not , "You may be a Prophet" but more along the lines of "Sheesh Bob, you MAY be a prophet for all I know. I don't know. But give it a rest will ya!.")

Specific references to specific now deceased Evangelists of French persuasion who expressed doubts over specific people in LCG

Specific references to the fact that his dreams are not nightmares nor the result of gas and the dreams of others are about him too.

Anonymous said...

If Bob was really so close to Dibar Apartian, why is he making in Africa the SAME MISTAKES that Apartian made sure that LCG would not make?

James said...

If Bob is going to at least look like he MIGHT be a prophet then he needs to spend time on government intelligence websites. Meredith used to and most likely still does look at these sites. Your chances of your prophecies coming true increase several fold.

For example, the CIA thinks Israel has around 10 years left before it goes under. Work on that Bob. Read some scriptures to prove your point. If and when this comes to pass, your income will increase and perhaps someday you to can have a Gulfstream!

Connie Schmidt said...

The Mystery








Your total?

No, not


Not one of my believers yet??? Use a calculator and verify! and send your tithes and offerings to ME!

Anonymous said...

When this blog really started going years ago I thought how could it ever survive. Sure there were idiots in charge, but they seemed to be benign morons. Lo and behold, every single day one of the idiots in charge of a COG open their mouths and say or do something incredibly stupid. Armstrong could never have imagined the hell hole that the COG has disintegrated into. These men are sick, mentally and spiritually. Thiel, Malm, Flurry, Pack, Meredith, Kubik, and others have proven they have mental health issues. These guys are all in need of good psychiatrists.

Anonymous said...

Should we send him a Pittsburgh Steelers Jersey?

Anonymous said...

It has been said, by athiests no less, that God's native language would be Mathematics.
I remember freaking out some gullible family members by demonstrating that I knew how "Jesus Christ fed the crowd" of 4,000 or 5,000. Their momentary looks that I might be supernatural too, was priceless.

ps:Believe it or not, but the miracle is still valid in some mathematical way.

Anonymous said...

"ps:Believe it or not, but the miracle is still valid in some mathematical way."

I'm not convinced using the undefined nature of the concept of infinity construes any validity whatsoever upon the hairbrained notion that finite sums such as 2+5 are just as likely to equal 5,000 as 7.

Nor am I convinced that "miracles," which by definition are supposed to be supernatural events, a break in the natural order, could be described by valid mathematics. If mathematics describes natural events, events that precisely hew to observed principles without deviation or exception, then any attempt to model supernatural events with valid mathematics must necessarily end in a false, untenable, absurd, or contradictory result.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for responding. I think you forgot that you were adding your finite sums to infinity. Infinity + 7 = infinity! Infinity + 5,007 = still equals infinity! We can't wrap our minds around infinity but we have begun to use the concept of infinity. The Banach–Tarski paradox. I don't understand it fully myself, nor can I even explain it either. But people said the same things about the "ghosts of departed quantities" and imaginary or "complex numbers". Look at how well those mathematical concepts have been useful to us. And then there is this Standard model of "Quantum Mechanics" that has given us the modern age even though we still don't know 'why' it works, yet. If any of this is new to anybody that cares, start with Feynman's Two-slit experiment talk. There is still no better introduction than his. Besides, he is more entertaining than any preacher I ever heard.
So, for the sake of running way ahead and stating briefly that which I wanted to share. Information physics has begun to explore the quantum mechanical and thermodynamic properties of cosmic information structures, especially those that were created before the existence of human observers. "It is too beautiful not to be true."


Anonymous said...

"Thanks for responding. I think you forgot that you were adding your finite sums to infinity. Infinity + 7 = infinity! Infinity + 5,007 = still equals infinity!"

In the story of the feeding of the 5,000, where does infinity enter into the equation? Show your work, or else no credit.

By not addressing it, I will take it that you concede the point of my second paragraph. Progress!

Anonymous said...

OMG! If Jesus Christ decided to keep on going, wouldn't we be so sick of fish and bread?
According to the miracle, Jesus started with something, made more somehow, and then decided to stop because there was already leftovers from those that he was feeding. He even had the people to be fed, sorted into groups. ;) Making a clone of something from nothing was the original premise. Right? How someone or anything could have done this? I don't have a clue other than possibly maybe The Banach–Tarski paradox.

If you are such an expert on the "natural order" or have a firm understanding of 'valid mathematics' then maybe you can resolve the Banach–Tarski paradox. You could win the Fields Medal or at least world-wide recognition.

My point of view is still shared through those links if you are still interested. No homework is due and no test will be given either. Just remember that "complex numbers" were considered useless and crazy mathematics by some people in its debut. We wouldn't have been able to build the modern world without them.


Anonymous said...

Complex numbers are nothing more than a mathematical shortcut. I thought YOU were claiming to be the expert here, saying that "miracles" were borne out by "valid" mathematics.

You don't have a clue how someone or something could have worked a "miracle"? No shit, Sherlock. I don't have to resolve the Banach–Tarski paradox. That's your burden of proof, not mine. Until you do, your claim that "miracles" are still "valid in some mathematical way" remains a hypothesis in search of a proof.

What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof. NEXT!

Anonymous said...

I never claimed to be an expert. I was pointing out a 'clue' to you, Dr. Watson. What I don't have, is a fuckin clue as to why you would respond as if I was being condescending to you. Although now, you did fail to listen to what I originally said. I referred to one supposed miracle, not 'all miracles'. "There is still a possibility that the miracle was still valid in some way." And that being a parable, an illusion, or a vague reference to an as yet undiscovered mathematical concept.
What if the supposed miracle that we have been talking about, was just an illusion and a magic trick done by The Amazing Randi. Could this have been the method of achieving the illusion? Then that reminded me of the Banach–Tarski paradox. I found it amusing, and fail to see how I was dogmatic about it.
But what if the miracle was real, could science explain it? Let's take another supposed miracle like when Moses parted the Reeds Sea. Is that article the down-to-earth explanation of what actually happend? And along that same line of thought, I wondered if the Banach–Tarski paradox could explain the magical capability of Jesus's Miracle Food Court Cart.

Lighten up with a midrash:
After a three day journey, Abraham and Isaac arrived at the mountain, Abraham looked up and saw the cloud of God’s presence on the mountain. Turning to Isaac, he said, “Do you see it too, my son?” “Yes, my father, I see it too.” Then he turned to the two servants. “Do you see it?” “No,” they said. “We don’t see anything.” Abraham replied to his servants, “You stay here with the donkey, because he doesn’t see anything either!”