Sunday, July 23, 2017

Richard Armstrong and the Church of God Tradition of Beating Children into Submission

"You may be very familiar with God's laws, but if you don't obey them, you will go into the lake of fire for the knowledge that you do have. You may agree on every doctrine that is preached in the Bible, but if you don' t live by them you will be burned as so 'much refuse in hell'. Many of you have felt that perhaps it would be better to leave your children at home, but the Bible COMMANDS you to bring them into the services and it commands them to BE QUIET!"  Good News, May 1981

There have been long running conversations on various Facebook closed groups about how people were beaten as kids in the church. Corporal punishment was the expected ideal for all church members to practice on their children.  Far too many in various COG groups today deny it ever happened that way.  One LCG member said,

"If this is the church I'm familiar with, I have never heard of this training before. My parents didn't do this and I never saw this. The church did a lot of things wrong that's for sure. Teaching God's way wasn't. I'm glad I wasn't raised in "your" church!"
The problem was, this IS the exact same church that LCG is part of.  Her recent leader Rod Meredith actively preached corporal punishment for children and even claimed he spanked his wife when she disobeyed him.

In Cincinnati when Carn Catherwood was the minister, he told the congregation that he wanted to hear 20 swats on the bare skin of the children when they were spanked.  He also wanted to hear them cry while he preached his sermon.  This led the Spokesmen Club to sell paddles as a fundraiser.  These paddles were two feet long, an inch thick and had holes drilled in them for wind resistance.

While certainly, not all parents listened to this bullshit, far too many did. The stories of physical abuse are appalling.

Here is what Richard Armstrong railed at his Fresno congregation in 1958

Richard Armstrong letter to Fresno COG congregation:

Herbert Armstrong writes:

Every member of God's Church around the world should read every word of this letter. 
   The following letter was written by my son, Richard D. Armstrong, four and a half months before he died from an automobile accident.  
   He was then pastor of the Fresno, Calif., Church of God. Destruction resulting from lack of training and supervision of children had occurred at the hall where the church met. One more infraction would have put the church out of the hall.  
   Such a thing as this could happen at any church. It was promptly corrected at Fresno, but it should sound a loud and emphatic WARNING to the members of all other churches that such an incident is never allowed to be repeated elsewhere.  
   As I reread this letter, the realization comes forcibly upon my mind that many of our brethren — especially those newer in God's Church — may not fully realize the SERIOUSNESS of strict training and vigilant enforcement of the behavior of children at Church services.  
   Brethren, we need to be REAWAKENED!  
   We need to realize the extreme seriousness of this matter. GOD IS HOLDING EVERY ONE OF YOU PARENTS RESPONSIBLE!  
   My son Dick, as we called him, loved the brethren at Fresno. Previously he had been pastor of three churches, at Houston, San Antonio and Corpus Christi, Tex.  
   He had told us with feeling how, although he was younger in physical years than many members, they seemed like his own spiritual children — and he loved them as a parent loves a child.  
   At Fresno it was the same. Possibly Richard D. Armstrong was the most loved minister in the Church of God — because he, himself, felt such deep love and concern for Christ's flock, over which he was a shepherd.  
   I do not think my son really wrote this letter, except as God's instrument. The living CHRIST, I feel, actually authored it.  
   But it contains a dynamic SERMON on the responsibility of parents for the training and the behavior of their children at Church services. 
   As the brethren at Fresno were his spiritual children, and God held him RESPONSIBLE for their behavior in controlling their children, this letter is also an example of how to deal with children. My son patiently made the truth PLAIN to them — explained thoroughly. But he also TOOK ACTION! He took such action as to prevent a recurrence of the mischief.  
   I want every minister of Christ, in all the churches, to take the same action, that parents may FEAR to neglect the. discipline of their children, lest they be publicly and severely rebuked and held to account before all.  
   I want every member to read every word. 


March 12, 1958

   I received some very sad news just as I was leaving church last week. Mr. Kelly, the janitor who sets up the chairs for our meetings and through whom we rent the hall, came to me visibly shaken and very nervous, but he had a very great problem he had to tell me about. Mr. Kelly has always been most courteous and friendly to all of us.  
   He said that he hated to tell me, but our children had torn apart one of the toilets on the third floor where we hold our meetings. They had torn the float clear out of the toilet, taken all of the paper from several of the toilets and poked it into one and tried to flush this toilet and flooded it all over the floor.  
   He said that they had left it in a complete, total, disgraceful mess and that furthermore, several of our children had gone down to the second floor and gone into a meeting. The lodge members who own the building were complaining and asking Mr. Kelly to make sure that it didn't happen again, or we will be thrown out. We shall not be allowed to meet here any longer IF THIS EVER HAPPENS AGAIN!  
   The Church of God Almighty, the very Body of Jesus Christ, must not suffer such a humiliating thing because we are not obedient to God's commandments. We shall not allow such a condition to continue. I hope you can imagine how I felt after the joy of having the chorale and such a wonderful meeting, and then to have a blow such as this.  
   I hate to have to give an answer for the church, and I feel that I should go to those who are responsible — you, the parents. We don't know which child was responsible. But we do know that this type of incident happens when we have children left unrestrained to play about on their own before, during and after church.  
   God says in Hebrews 13:17, "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you."  
   Brethren, I have to give an account to God when something like this happens and it is up to me to see to it that it doesn't happen again.  
   Go right on in your Bible and read through the first chapter of James. We are having our trials of faith that we should count all joy, because it works out patience and builds stronger character in us. We do have these problems. They must be solved, and they must be solved by the Scriptures — God's way.  
   In verse 13 of this first chapter of James, God says, "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man." We are tempted of our own lusts, and even so is a child, and if there is no parental control any child, and every child, does get into mischief.  
   I want to make this clear. There is no child who is specifically at fault, but all the children without exception have been too noisy, have been left to run free to themselves at services, and this must cease. God says in Hebrews 12:14-15: "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby MANY be defiled." It is up to us to settle this particular problem according to God's will and from the Scriptures, and not let any root of bitterness spring up in us.  
   Notice James 1:22: "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." It is not taking you into the Kingdom of Heaven if you simply agree with everything that God's Church teaches concerning such doctrines as heaven and hell, the Holy Days, paying of tithes and training your children if you do not do these things. You have to live it.  
   You may be very familiar with God's laws, but if you don't obey them, you will go into the lake of fire for the knowledge that you do have. You may agree on every doctrine that is preached in the Bible, but if you don't live by them you will be burned as so 'much refuse in hell.  
   Many of you have felt that perhaps it would be better to leave your children at home, but the Bible COMMANDS you to bring them into the services and it commands them to BE QUIET! Let's read the Word of God.  
   In Exodus 20 are the Ten Commandments. Notice the commandment about the Sabbath. "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it HOLY" (verse 8). God made it holy; we keep it that way. "Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God" (verses 9-10). Now notice how you are to keep the Sabbath: "In it thou shalt not do any work, thou, NOR THY SON, NOR THY DAUGHTER, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates" (verse 10).  
   So as you are to keep the Sabbath holy and keep what God has made sacred time, so are your son and daughter, your children. The Sabbath is holy time, sacred to God, and as such our children should not be allowed to run loose like so many wild animals.  
   I think that most of you know, as I have said before, that at home I have a little dog. My brother gave him to me as a wedding present. I have to teach that dog. I have to teach him to sit still, and to stay still. I have to teach him there are certain pieces of furniture that he dare not touch or come near. I also have to teach him that though he smells food, every nerve in his body quivering, while my wife and I are eating at the table he cannot sit and beg, but must lie in the other room with the door open.  
   I don't have to pen him or cage him like a wild animal, because he is tame. He has been trained. If I can train my dog, you can train your children, and I mean this sincerely. Two hours a week is not too long for your children to sit STILL and listen to the services, and to stay still AFTER the services are over. It is the Sabbath day and it is holy, and your children are to keep it holy as well as you.  

The Ten Commandments include your children and the command to keep the seventh day holy. Your children must be IN CHURCH, and they must keep the Sabbath HOLY the same as you do. This is part of the Ten Commandments. 

children must be IN CHURCH, and they must keep the Sabbath HOLY the same as you do. This is a part of the Ten Commandments, and there is no use in kidding ourselves. You are just heading for the lake of fire if you don't obey this. Remember it is the parents who are held responsible.  
   Notice the next command: "Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee" (verse 12). It is a dual command. It is not only to the child, it is certainly understood that the parent must teach the child obedience to that command.  
   These are the commandments of God. Have you ever wondered why in Exodus 21: 15 Jesus Christ, the Logos, the Spokesman, says, "He that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death"? And in verse 17, "He that curseth [the word here means "reviles," not curses, or as it should be even more correctly rendered, "sasses" ] his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death"?  
   I think most of you remember the example in II Kings 2:24, when Elisha looked back and cursed these children who were sassing him and God caused two she bears to come out and tear 42 of them in pieces, but have you ever stopped to realize why?  
   Because God was so kind that He was not going to let them go on and live building the wrong kind of character that would lead them to the lake of fire. God had them destroyed before it was too late so they could be resurrected in a better world, where if their parents had not taught them any better God would use His force to keep them in line and keep them from living a long life of disobedience that would finally imbed so deeply the wrong kind of character that they would have to be destroyed in hell fire, and would be totally unable to ever live by every Word of God and build good and honest character into themselves.  
   Your children are living under a different dispensation. You know and understand the laws of God in a way that they couldn't then, and you are held responsible and so are your children. I want you to notice that the same Christ who gave these laws said later, "Suffer little children to come unto me" (Luke 18: 16).  
   You have to shape and mold and develop the character of your children so they will learn to love God and hate evil. Turn to Leviticus 19:32. Starting in verse 30, God says: "Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord. Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God. Thou shalt RISE UP before the hoary head, and HONOUR the face of the old man, AND FEAR THY GOD: I am the Lord."  
   How many of our children are so quiet and obedient that when an elder comes into the room they will rise? How many of our children address their minister as "Mr." rather than by his first name? How many of them address you as "Father" and "Mother," and not just as "Pop" or "Mom," or by your first name? They should literally obey this command in Leviticus to rise before those who are elders and learn to show honor and respect them.  
   This is the Word of GOD! Are you willing to obey it? Are you LIVING by it?  
   Notice Deuteronomy 6:7. God gives us commandments and judgments, and one of them is that we teach DILIGENTLY all of these unto our children.  

You know... the laws of God... and you are held responsible and so are your children.... You have to shape... the character of your children so they will... love God and hate evil. 

Frankly, brethren, one of the major reasons that we are having these problems is the fact that you are not holding Bible studies in your own homes with your children. You are not fulfilling your responsibility, your duties toward them I to teach them to live by the Word of God. You should not try to wheedle and plead them into looking at it your way. You should COMMAND them. You are the AUTHORITY of God Almighty to your children. God has given you that authority. It is up to you to exercise it.  
   Notice Leviticus 20:9: "Everyone that curseth [the King James says curseth, but this should be rendered "sasses"] his father or his mother shall be surely put to death... his blood shall be upon him." Brethren, I have seen children stand and sass their parents right here in the hall where we meet. This should not be, but I can't correct it — only you can.  
   There is one thing that I can correct, and that is the situation of the children running loose and wild during church. Now I have asked one of the men of the Fresno church to get up and go out several times during the services and see if there are any children outside, and if they are running around playing on the stairs or in the toilets, he is going to bring them in and we will stop the services — interrupt them right there — and ask you, the parents, to give an account.  
   We are the Church of God. We bear the name of God Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth. We cannot destroy property that does not belong to us, but that God blessed us with. Again, let me say that this shall not happen again. I have given this man instructions to grab any child he sees misbehaving during church by the nap of the neck and haul him right in to me and I am going to ask you, the PARENT, what is wrong. I am also requiring henceforth that EVERY CHILD STAY INSIDE THE ROOM WHERE WE MEET UNTIL YOU THE PARENTS ARE READY TO LEAVE the building.  
   Now, I wish you to understand that this is done in love, but I am trying to live by every Word of God. I am trying to fulfill what God has said in Hebrews 13:17, watching for your souls as one who must give account to God Almighty, and I do not intend to have the Church of God suffer the humiliation of being thrown out of the place that God has given us to meet because we cannot keep our children in check: So henceforth, your children will stay inside the meeting room and KEEP QUIET. They shall not play. It is the Sabbath, sacred, holy time to God, and your children are commanded to keep it. 
In the name and by the authority of Jesus Christ,  
Richard D. Armstrong,
Church of God,
Fresno, Calif.


DennisCDiehl said...

The Bible is the problem when it comes to child rearing

Redfox712 said...

Good on you, No2HWA, for highlighting this shameful letter.

It is just awful that Richard David Armstrong behaved in that way. Why did he trust the janitor so completely? He should have at least tried to discuss this matter with the landlords himself. What if it was landlord's kid who messed up the toilet? I cannot help but think it strange that he seems to trust the janitor so completely and without reservation.

Also relevant to this topic is a sermon he gave on child rearing on October 13, 1957. It may be listened to at the following link:

Here' one sickening anecdote from Richard David Armstrong's sermon. Here he describes how a son of his brother, Garner Ted Armstrong, behaved.

"One of the cutest things I've ever seen....And I've seen, and it's fantastic. I've never seen anything like this before. I've seen that boy ... take off his belt, hold it up to him, and say, Daddy, I was supposed to get a spanking this evening." (Audience laughs.) "I'm not lying either. That's a fact. I've seen it happen. I've seen him remind his father that he had a spanking coming. I never did that." (Laughter.)

I remember when that letter gained attention back in 2013 thanks to the now defunct All About Armstrongism blog. At the time I wrote about Richard David Armstrong's sermon here:

It is absolutely appalling what was taught on this topic within the Radio/Worldwide COG. Just dreadful and vile.

Questeruk said...

So HWA says of his son Richard Armstrong:- "He had told us with feeling how, although he was younger in physical years than many members, they seemed like his own spiritual children — and he loved them as a parent loves a child."

So he loved the members as 'a parent loves a child' - so this explains why there was so much member abuse - treat the members in the same way as the ministry expected members to treat their own children - i.e. 'spank' the members mercilessly for any infraction whatsoever.

I think that explains a lot.

I Know Gerald Flurry Is A Fake said...

There is a proper way of punishing a child without beating on them like a rag doll.

Night Owl said...

Thanks for posting this. It brings back haunting memories to relive my childhood.

RSK said...


Connie Schmidt said...

GTAs book "The Plain Truth About Child Rearing" is an absolute mutant heinous monstrosity.

Anonymous said...

I remember my days in Radio Church Of God from 1963-1967, I seen kids that acted like they were scared shitless of their parents. Shame on the ACOG!

Anonymous said...

As the brethren at Fresno were his spiritual children, and God held him RESPONSIBLE for their behavior in controlling their children, this letter is also an example of how to deal with children.

If God is holding Rod McNair responsible for the behavior of LCG's Charlotte congregation, poor little Rod may be headed for the Lake of Fire.

Hurt said...

Having been 'spanked' with a paddle at school, they chipped my tail bone with the thing and I have serious bladder problems to this day.
I am sure some will find this hillarious but, trust me it is horrific, I have horrible pain from clitoral pain as well a direct result of having been hit at the base of the spine. You might laugh if you are a church of God sadist like Garner Ted.
See the nerves controlling sexual functions, bladder and bowel function are in that area of the spine and so harming the tail bone with heavy paddling at the tail bone can cause permanent disability.
I was left bruised and with a patch where the skin was removed from that paddling.
I had deep tissue trauma.

In essence the fool hit me on the upper part of my backside around the hips and tail bone more often than on the sit upon area.
If some one tried to hit my child for discipline I would ram the paddle up their behind.
Hitting children is a form of sexual perversion.
And being that both Herbert and his son were sexual deviants, this is what caused their preoccuption with spanking.
Sick stuff. Sick, sick 'church'

Anonymous said...

They love to use "spare the rod". However, can anyone show me a good shepherd that ever beat his sheep?
You beat off wolves, lions, bears etc. but you never beat the sheep. But, this is the church of god where sheep are regularly beaten and exploited.

nck said...

Anglo Saxon common law ranks the anglo saxon nations amongst those in which it is legal to treat children in that manner. Petition the US government to abide by the UN treaty on child abuse.


Anonymous said...

These letters probably are more indicting of the Armstrongs than anything I've read. I still attend a COG simply because of the Sabbath and people I like there, but have for years disapproved of the ministry's opinion of themselves. The part where HWA says the members are Richrd's spiritual children is vile. I guess they must be the real children of God. Though not as overt in some COGs, this "spiritual children" attitude yet lives.

Gordon Feil said...

There are other sabbath keeping churches with likeable people.

Anonymous said...

nck said...

Anglo Saxon common law ranks the anglo saxon nations amongst those in which it is legal to treat children in that manner. Petition the US government to abide by the UN treaty on child abuse,

This is one of the few times that I agree with nck but this will never happen with the Republicans in control.

Anonymous said...

Hysteria and lies.

NO2HWA said...

7:19 wrote:

"Hysteria and lies"

So there you have it folks, child spanking and abuse is all a lie in the Church of God. It never happened. Disgruntled ex-members are lying in an attempt to discredit God's glorious innocent church. Conversation over. Just get over it already.

RSK said...

Well, Gary, the pattern I notice is that these folks will show up, spit out some short line of that type, then never reply when someone asks for clarification. On the rare occasions when they do reply, its usually a complete change of subject. I get the impression that most don't know how to read critically, even though its a grade-school skill.

RSK said...

So yeah, Anon 7:19, which part of Dick Armstrong's diatribe reproduced above do you believe to have been falsified?

Hoss said...

Using the ever-popular COG method of predicting in reverse (like, California drought was punishment for same-sex marriage legislation) one may say Richard's accidental death was punishment for advocating child abuse - or for having allowed children to run amok in the first place. Take your pick.

NO2HWA said...


Critical thinking has never been a strong point of the church. Even its leaders are incapable of using critical thinking. Critical thinking requires church members to look at all sides of an issue or doctrine. Critical thinking has been pushed to the back burner because the church claimed it would help destroy faith, hence a drop in money flow. Some of the greatest theologians in church history were people who never lost faith but were willing to look at all sides of belief. Reflecting theologically on a subject is not something that the Church of God has ever done. A leader says it, members believe it, end of the story, no thinking involved.

Can you imagine COG leaders and members ever doing this:

"Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. In its exemplary form, it is based on universal intellectual values that transcend subject matter divisions: clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, good reasons, depth, breadth, and fairness.

It entails the examination of those structures or elements of thought implicit in all reasoning: purpose, problem, or question-at-issue; assumptions; concepts; empirical grounding; reasoning leading to conclusions; implications and consequences; objections from alternative viewpoints; and frame of reference. Critical thinking — in being responsive to variable subject matter, issues, and purposes — is incorporated in a family of interwoven modes of thinking, among them: scientific thinking, mathematical thinking, historical thinking, anthropological thinking, economic thinking, moral thinking, and philosophical thinking."

Anonymous said...

Critical thinking is a tool of Satan used to discredit the teachings of the church and Mr. Armstrong.

anonymous63 said...

Sure Anon. 8:35 PM and God made you with a brain and a mind that he didn't want you to use so you could be herded into services and be spoon fed pablum by others who supposedly did all the thinking FOR you. Right?

How about the teachings of God and His Word! Use that beautiful mind you were given!

Byker Bob said...

I deleted an earlier comment because having experienced "child-rearing, God's way" (sic, or sick, take your pick) growing up in Armstrongism, and having already spent considerable time and moneys on therapy, and also having made many comments in the past on this topic, it actually works counter to my continuing recovery to revisit the insanity. Gotta ratchet it down in my mind to maintain!

However, this latest revelation involving Dick (Freudian name?) Armstrong explained something enigmatic that had happened in my childhood. I was using the mens' room in the big tabernacle in Big Sandy, our first feast, when suddenly, in walked Herbert W. Armstrong with his entourage. I mean, here was my parents' idol, bigger than life! (They had never had such an idol before!). Suddenly, as I was carefully washing my hands, HWA turned to me, and said, "Now don't make a mess!". I mustered up courage and replied, "I won't." I thought this strange at the time. However, now I realize that this was just several months after the Fresno church bathroom fiasco, and Dick's death. Those events would have been recent history, and very fresh in HWA's mind. And, of course, what happened next also fit the pattern! When I related the incident to the parental units, they told me that I should have used the word "Sir" in my response to HWA!

I believe every single one of even the most extreme personal experience testimonies regarding our shared personal holocausts, most of which lasted much longer than the supposed tribulation. There have been horrifying stories of beatings, forced fasts, exorcisms, and back in the day, teenagers being coerced to do tours in Viet Nam. Some didn't come back! And, of course some of the parents who perpetrated these things were discovered by the overseers to be diligent ones, faithful in all things, and worthy of ordination. Some of the Imperial kids had it the worst, because they would also receive punishment at home for having needed punishment at school. Most parents did not nurture or administer to their childrens' emotional needs. Parents primarily punished offenses which would interfere with their practice of Armstrongism. If you read Herb and Dick's letters above, that's pretty much the purpose they assigned to punishment!


nck said...


Interesting connection you make between abuse and sexuality of the abuser.

While in a third of US states corporal punishment in school is allowed, non of the states prohibit this in the domestic plane. Family groups lobby this as an infringement on sovereignty and the right for parents to educate particularly on religious and sexual matters.

Like gun violence victims they are somehow viewed as collateral damage in the cause of freedom.

That at least leaves a responsibility to some sort of massive education program in problem areas.


John Cafourek Is A Nobody said...

You Should Be Thankful The Rich Democrats Aren't In Control.

Anonymous said...

8.35 PM
Your trolling comment is in fact the secret belief of the ministers. They believe that if they could lord it over members faith, there would have heaven on earth. I used to get long dirty looks from the ministers for the 'crime' of thinking. You see, only AC educated ministers have a right to think.
So if you think for yourself, you are defrauding the ministers.

Only the big people have a right to think, and the little people should know their place and do what they're told.

Anonymous said...

Gary, I thought you might find this interesting:

I see a lot of parallels, especially in the 'At a Glance' section:
*Although Christian-based, the group believes that the traditional Christian Churches have deviated from the true teachings of the Bible, and do not work in full harmony with God
*The traditional Christian Church does not regard the movement as a mainstream Christian denomination because it rejects the Christian doctrine of the Trinity
*Jehovah's Witnesses believe that humanity is now in the "last days" and that the final battle between good and evil will happen soon

Anonymous said...

BB, you said "...back in the day, teenagers being coerced to do tours in Viet Nam."

I'm confused--I thought military service was always discouraged and even forbidden. That's what was taught in my time, anyway--late 80s and onward.

Anonymous said...

Yes, they might make you learn when capitalization is appropriate. Such a scary thought.

Anonymous said...

Yes this is true. You are right it is the secret belief of the munistry. Thinking and natural talents or hard earned skills can be treated with contempt and snide ridden insults that ypur satan, satanic or demonic.

Byker Bob said...

Oh, it was. The lecture was, "Since you obviously don't want to live by the teachings of God's Church, it would be dishonest for you to use the church to escape your military duties." Kids then ended up either not registering as conscientious objectors, and being drafted, or enlisting.

Personally, I saw what was happening and told my parents that if they didn't lighten up, I would enlist in the US Marine Corps. And, of course that was only marginally effective, but it bought me a little slack.


Anonymous said...

Anon 10:12 you are libtard idiot.

Byker Bob said...

Officials at Ambassador College would also invoke the spectre of Vietnam when "counselling" students whom they could not control. This isn't frequently written about now 40+ years after the fact, but it illustrates how manipulative Armstrongism is and always has been. It made quite an impact, too. A younger sibling has frequently commented that it hurt him deeply that both of his older brothers were threatened with Viet Nam. Believe me, these horrible people didn't just stop at intense spankings. When the threat of the Germans no longer seemed immediate, the enforcers of Armstrongism invoked the Viet Cong!


Anonymous said...

Well, I'm glad I got spanked when I was a kid, otherwise I might have ended up like some of you.

Anonymous said...

My mother was very proud that she swatted my 3 week old sister with 3 fingers to stop her from crying in the middle of the night, as learned from Carlton Smith, who did this to his own baby back in '62. A 3 week old newborn. F ing unreal.

Anonymous said...

You might be interested in seeing that there are COG groups that are making efforts in providing helpful parenting information.

Anonymous said...

Carlton spanked Aletha with much more than three fingers! She got a real wailing once at our house for some inconsequential offense. Obviously, our parents took it as a sterling example of God's childrearing methods.

Anonymous said...

Spanking is pagan. It was used in ancient fertility rites, thought to make women more fertile. Google it and prove it for yourself.

RSK said...

I do recall Vincent Panella being of this type, very harsh regarding children. Some other pastors I dealt with at the time were not.

Retired Prof said...

It is true that kids need to learn to sit quietly and not interrupt meetings and performances. They need this element of socialization for participating in adult society.

It is also true that kids need a lot more time to run around and yell than adults do, and they need to do it more frequently. Free play: another element of socialization they need. A typical COG sermon is too long for any child (as well as most adults).

Our kids learned, and our grandkids are learning, both elements in Suzuki music lessons. They learn when and how to greet a group formally, when and how to do the same thing others are doing and when to wait silently. None of the lessons last more than twenty minutes, with breaks for moving to a different room and sometimes longer breaks if a particular kid doesn't have back-to-back lessons. They learn not to make excessive noise inside the building at those times, but that it is okay to go outside and run around.

The teachers never use punishment and rarely even deliver stern admonitions. They rely on encouragement. They model the desired behavior and encourage students to follow their example.

This is not an infomercial for Suzuki music schools. The same techniques used there could be adapted for other group activities in other settings.

Hoss said...

Some years ago I found my parents tried to raise me by the methods of Dr Benjamin Spock. This was a real surprise, as GTA claimed that was a method of indulging the child and no punishment, which was definitely not the way I was raised.
However, indulgence and no punishment was the life of my younger brother, who wasn't raised on Dr Spock (nor Mr Spock) but Dr Seuss.

In the midst of my WCG years, a book on Parent Effectiveness Training became popular, and was harshly condemned by HWA. I remember one member saying the one thing that was very obvious from HWA's criticism of PET was that he never read the book.