Monday, October 24, 2016

Cult Witness

ht: Painful Truth


Anonymous said...

They describe the 'BEAUTIFUL OPENNESS" of someone wanting to learn.

Folks, watch how much you are willing to open your mind for these leaches!

Some wacko people repeat manipulative garbage, like, “Your mind is like a parachute; it only works when it is open.”-

(I've seen that manipulative technique before, and I'm sure I'll see it again.)

The truth is, that people are trying to get you to put yourself into a vulnerable state, so that they can more easily influence you.

The last thing anyone here needs, is to become sure of a wacky mainstream Christian's message!

Anonymous said...

So how does this apply to God's true church? Sure there are dangerous and manipulative cults out there, but no one in God's church is forced to do anything they don't want. God's truth does not allow anyone to be abused. Those that end up complaining and making accusations are usually those who never tried to prove God's word reveled by Christ to the church. We have always be told to prove it for ourselves. Many are not willing to do that.

The Painful Truth said...

Anon, October 24, 2016 at 11:43 AM

Very good. You learned, a lot of others are stuck on stupid.

The Painful Truth said...

October 24, 2016 at 11:53 AM

Posting on a holy day shows that you are not as sincere as you think.

Anonymous said...

Those that end up complaining and making accusations are usually those who never tried to prove God's word reveled by Christ to the church. We have always be told to prove it for ourselves. Many are not willing to do that.

How many RCG members proved to themselves that Herbert W. Armstrong was the Elijah to come? How many of those same RCG members then proved that David C. Pack was the Elijah to come?

How many PCG members proved to themselves that HWA had restored all things to the church? How many PCG members then proved that HWA was more or less the warm-up act for Gerald Flurry's thunderous rain of new revelation?

How many GCG members proved to themselves that RCM was right about church government when he left WCG and assured other evangelists that he would practice a brotherly collegial approach? How many of those GCG members went right over into LCG when RCM said that the people who had proved this were wrong and that he had rediscovered the lost truth of one-man nepotistic family government? And how many of those LCG members proved what HWA taught about the end-time falling away and the resurrected saints reigning on the earth... then proved that they had been wrong all along and that the new LCG teachings were right where HWA was wrong.

How many COG-PKG members proved for themselves that three top evangelists would die in 2008, paving the way for Christ's return? Then how many of those members proved for themselves that Ron Weinland had been right all along, but that the date had changed, again and again and again?

Face it. Proving all things is a hook the church uses ONCE on each outsider to bring them in to the church. Once they're in, it's pay, pray, obey and stay.

Byker Bob said...

When an agnostic writes a blog piece on forgiveness, and a Christian is able to find truths in it, and to find common grounds on which the two can agree, it underscores what a universal truth forgiveness is and how it serves as a basis for civilized society. In fact, heads of state practice this value on a regular basis under the label "diplomacy".

One would think that this is one of the human activities on which there would be 100% agreement, like a decision as to whether or not to breathe. And that of course is with the possible exceptions of places like North Korea, Russia, the nations in which Sharia law is practiced, or at other historic venues such as Third Reich Germany, or in the 1960s Mafia.

I can't imagine why some would feel so insecurely about their own beliefs that a common belief which also happens to be part of the mainstream Christian faith, that they would need to reject it as "the camel's nose under the tent flap". It makes no sense at all, unless someone hates someone, or aspires to be a troll.


Anonymous said...

no one in God's church is forced to do anything they don't want.

Peer pressure is a powerful force. People want to have friends, and they want to be thought of as spiritual, and they want to receive the pie-in-the-sky the minister promises.

Also: "You can be God as God is God, as long as you send us first tithe, tithe of the tithe, third tithe and a little bit for our special fund, as long as you don't make waves about abuses you see." Maybe that's not force, but it's unethical bribery.

RSK said...

Of course, in the COGs, "prove it for yourself" often means "read our booklets giving a list of disconnected verses and vague paraphrasings of old books". It's not quite the same thing... like the TV infomercial that swears you get a money back guarantee, but actually try to return the product and you find you have to jump through fifty hoops.

RSK said...

But hey, I'm also overly familiar with the egotistical COGlodyte who says "I proved it but all those other people didn't!" Well, you can elicit applause from yourself if you like, but most of us aren't really into watching a random Anon stroke himself on the internet.

James said...

"When an agnostic writes a blog piece on forgiveness, and a Christian is able to find truths in it, and to find common grounds on which the two can agree, it underscores what a universal truth forgiveness is and how it serves as a basis for civilized society. In fact, heads of state practice this value on a regular basis under the label "diplomacy".

Excellent observation Bob! But will they the cult member ever learn from their mistakes.

Anonymous said...

“Your mind is like a parachute; it only works when it is open.”

some people forget to pack the chute!

Anonymous said...

Troll:"This is what I already know. You make the mistake by not pointing out their mistakes! How else can they learn?"

Anonymous said...

A one hour video is far too long. After all I'm not immortal, and my days are numbered on this planet.

Anonymous said...

"prove it to yourself" should be a ongoing life long process. This involves reading from a variety of sources, plus first hand experience. Most people sadly default on this personal responsibility. Human wolves exploit this default.

Anonymous said...

If you don't believe LCG is a cult, ask their leaders why a woman was told to leave LCG's Vermont feast site for daring to speak truthfully about what she witnessed while attending LCG, and for saying truthful things about Rod Meredith that were far less severe than what other LCG members have heard their ministers say.

When people are punished for speaking the truth, and when your ability to get away with speaking the truth depends on where you are in the power structure, that's a CULT!

Anonymous said...

BB's "parachute" saying is actually rather lacking, along with many other sayings that sound good at first but are blown to pieces upon further examination.

Byker Bob said...

There is nothing wrong with the parachute analogy. That principle works just fine in companionship with the scientific method as you are following an evidentiary trail. The only place it can't work is when you are forced to ignore it by some teacher who professes to have all the answers and wants your mind closed to everything else.


Anonymous said...

If we're going to get into a debate about how literally one can or should take the parachute analogy, please consider this.

For a parachute to open properly and to perform its function without failing, it must first be prepared and packed properly.

If you open your mind before it is properly prepared, you can be sure it will fail, and it may very possibly kill you.

That's how Armstrongism works. It packs your mind with catchy little ear-worms that take hold in minds that haven't been properly prepared. Then, once you have the ACOG ear-worms firmly implanted, you can open your parachute and falsely assume that you have accepted Armstrongism with your open mind.

Byker Bob said...

OK, 6:53, I got it, I finally realized your problem. You think that I'm an Armstrongite. I'm not. I'm in fact a charter member of the A.B.A (Anything But Armstrongism), and have been since the disappointment of 1975. In fact, I would agree with you that the people stuck in the cult are still there because they are locked into parachutes that have been packed with lead weights provided by false prophets. Obviously that keeps their parachutes from opening.

You must be new here, because I've been speaking out against Armstrongism on these blogs and forums since 2001. Still, if you are looking to put me into the old strawman's box, try this label: Grace-based Theistic Evolutionary Panentheist Christian. Now remember those modifiers any time you take me or my pithy little sayings to task for anything, because that's where I'm coming from, and knowing those things is critical if your challenges to me are going to make any sense.

Warm Regards,

RSK said...

I dont see where BB mentioned parachutes. He did say something about camels noses under tent flaps.

Anonymous said...

Byker Bob contends, "There is nothing wrong with the parachute analogy."
Perhaps he's being closed-minded about that.

With regard to the "parachute analogy thingy", here's a few points I'd like to offer-

Almost everyone considers themselves to have an "open mind"

In actually, everyone has "selective open-mindedness", based on conclusions they've come to adopt.

When in disagreement with another, a person will regard the "other" as not having an open mind.

Time is a factor. We all, with time, change our decisions on which concepts are closed, and which concepts are open for re-evaluation. (There is a natural targeted opening and closing process.)

It's wise to be wary of people who value their ability to influence others. Do not buy into the idea that you need to answer the challenges and questions from such persons, much less even give them your time- which they'd like to take from you to gain space inside your head- especially the religious types, lol!

About disagreements and agreements-

They're both "closed-minded" type of things, though that's not necessarily a negative. We all need to come to our own conclusions.

If you convince someone of something, it was your goal for them to come to agree with you, and therefore, for them to become closed-minded about it!

Simple inertia of the mind (aka stubbornness), is a natural resistance to sleazy salesman types (think HWA). Instinctively, and to our benefit, we resist such intrusions, but perhaps not often enough.

Use your ability to reason! It's a guardian of your progress.

Black Ops Mikey said...

Keep your mind sufficiently open and people will throw a bunch of trash into it.

"Life Code" by Dr. Phil should be required reading, which is saying a lot, since I don't often agree with him philosophically.

Byker Bob said...

The parachute analogy still holds true. Basically, you take umbrage with "the thing", while the objections you have presented pertain to the "use of the thing". Had HWA used the parachute analogy, it would have been a manipulative tool in the hands of a false teacher. I doubt seriously that any of us would object if Neil DeGrasse Tyson used it to encourage open mindedness to scientific principles. If Aron Ra used it, probably many of the Armstrongites would be screaming "Antiochus Epiphanes!" or decrying Helenism.

Bottom line is it's just a catalyst. Further due diligence is required on the hearer's part. It's an exhortation to think. What objection could there be to such a neutral suggestion? Frankly, in most arguments, each side leaves convinced that his/her original position was correct anyway. We've even seen that with one or two flat earthers, an assortment of holocaust deniers, and some young earth creationists. Some folks clearly need for someone to stimulate them to be open-minded and to think for themselves.


Anonymous said...

With regard to what Byker Bob said, that, “Your mind is like a parachute, it only works when it is open.”

Byker Bob's retorts to those who took exception to his "philosophy by bumper-sticker" parachute analogy have starting sentences, including,

"There is nothing wrong with the parachute analogy"
"OK, I got it, I finally realized your problem."
"The parachute analogy still holds true."

I'm thinking that Mr. Bob may be missing pertinent points that have been made.

It's not a bad thing to have an open mind when insightful comments are made.
But, missing out on such is no big thingie, and maybe it's to be expected given his history on this blog where he's defended wild claims(and bullied questioners) with zero evidence- like the crazy claim that people were now being raised from the dead in Jesus' name.

Anonymous said...

BykerBob said:"Grace-based Theistic Evolutionary Panentheist Christian."

"I am a philosophical theist. I believe in a personal god, and I believe in an afterlife, and I believe in prayer, but I don’t believe in any established religion. This is called philosophical theism.... Philosophical theism is entirely emotional. As Kant said, he destroyed pure reason to make room for faith."
— Martin Gardner, 2008

Does that equate with your definition?


Anonymous said...

You may want to step away from the crack pipe there 11:15. You and BB seem to be making the same point ~ don't check your mind at the door when in the presence of mind-closing gurus. Guess you just don't like the parachutes for some reason or other. Bad experience in your Y.O.U. group?

You also seem to feel as if Bob should be embarrassed by some of his past statements of belief, and I might add, while you make your potshots from a comfortable position of anonymity. Gerald might call that cowardly. Don't know many of the name guys and gals who would disagree with him. Sure wish ol, Cowboy Joe were still around. You might just be the anoni-mouse that ran him off!

Anonymous said...

"parachute analogy thingy"
"...from you to gain space inside your head..."

a tandem jump?

I wouldn't rely on cults!

Besides, who would want to jump out of a perfectly good airplane.


Byker Bob said...

Speaking of parachutes and open minds, over at the Painful Truth blog, James and I have been indulging in what for most of us ACOG dissidents would really be a taboo! We've been reading, dissecting, and discussing Stanley Rader's book.

When James first starting posting it, I had imagined that specific people would have been extremely interested in the materials contained in it, and might have made some really insightful comments. Just a suggestion, but in case some were not aware of this event, you just might want to check it out! No salesmanship, no manipulation. Just another part of our shared history.


DennisCDiehl said...

Ted, like Flurry, Pack, Thiel, Meredith and etc will, died in theological disappointment, misunderstanding, ignorance and magical, uncritical thinking. Some call that. " the faith".

Anonymous said...

Smiles at Anon at 8:42!

No crack pipes, or other odious implements- including Bibles- were involved.

You may be right that me "and BB seem to be making the same point ~ don't check your mind at the door when in the presence of mind-closing gurus"

Too often it seems, a simple matter of semantics can lead to unnecessary arguments.

I don't know who the "Gerald" you refer to is.
I do remember the 'Cowboy Joe' (Mr. Moeller?) contributor you referred to, but I am not the "anoni-mouse that ran him off"
Frankly, although I do remember an "anoni-mouse" contributor, I don't remember that person as being one who was against the comments which Mr. Moeller contributed here.
Perhaps your recollections are more accurate than mine.

Byker Bob said...

Yeah. Partially. That's a better, more accurate umbrella or framework than that offered by the posters who indulge in strawman arguments (lumping anyone who is Christian or a believer in with young earthers, and legalist fundamentalists for the sake of arguing with them).


nck said...


I saw your somewhat bewildered comments at the PT.
I cannot post there for technical reasons and unpopularity.
I quoted many times from the book or related materials only to be called a silly person.

I still have not found out what surprises you so much about the book.
But perhaps I have to keep in mind that by 1979 your life was already on a different road.
Where for us it was just one of those books you got handed out at the feast.
To me actually it inspired me to commence law school.


Anonymous said...


ps: no wonder that I stand in agreement with both of you guys +90% of the time

Anonymous said...

not fast enough!

Byker Bob said...

bewildered: completely puzzled or confused

Nothing bewildered about my comments there, nck. A better choice of words might have been "fascinated", but certainly not to the extent of the proverbial deer staring into oncoming headlights.

I had heard about this Gates of Hell book before, but had never been inclined to read it. Stanley Rader had not made a positive impression on me during my tenure in WCG, although I always recognized that he possessed a keen intellect. It's the very rare authority figure whom I would respect, though, so that lack of repect is nothing terribly new. And, of course, it was completely absurd to ordain him as an Evangelist.

Having said all of that, had he not believed to some extent in what HWA was doing, I feel certain that HWA, with his obvious suspicious nature, would have picked up on that. HWA had an awfully lot of people boxed in. If nothing else, he was a powerful manipulator.


RSK said...

My father had that book, BB. I'm fairly familiar with it, though I hadnt been born yet when those events occurred.

Anonymous said...

Aaah, Stan Rader...
Oh, the memories!

He was an enigma.
From what I remember at FOTs, he was given a "sermon slot", and often 'preached' later in the the day or two after the day that HWA came to our FOT's "big top"

I remember him always proffering lots of numbers, and noticing his unusual eyeglasses and smooth voice- that had just a very faint hint of raspiness to it.
(And, that he was given many passes as to why he should be accepted as "the real deal" by the rank and file ministers because of some obvious red flags.)

At the Feasts, all those numbers he spoke of made me sleepy, even though us members had an "open mind" that led us to accepting what he'd preached.

Byker Bob said...

Yes, the voice and manner of speech were inconsistent with the hyper-macho style taught in Spokesman's Club, Ambassador Club, and AC Speech Classes. The red flag many of us had questions about back in those days concerned what we used to call sexual preference.