Thursday, December 14, 2017

Sexual harassment and the women of "me too"

Sexual harassment and the women of "me too" 
by Greg Doudna

This is from the ACPasadenareunion site and is used by permission of Gregory Doudna.  Besides being an authority on the Dead Sea Scrolls, he is the author of the excellent book published in 2006,  "Showdown at Big Sandy: Youthful Creativity Confronts Bureaucratic Inertia at an Unconventional Bible College in East Texas"

Before our eyes there is a sea change, a threshold, seemingly a quantum level, a tipping or turning point in America, on sexual harassment, with powerful men falling right and left, with a new reality that behavior formerly often considered a joke but which caused real pain to women, no longer beyond the reach of accountability. Is this what a national repentance looks like?

In retrospect, how would WCG history and our own AC experience have been different if the unspeakable allegation concerning HWA had been known?

"Unspeakable" because it is literally unspoken, like the family secret that is never named, including in my own book "Showdown at Big Sandy", even though I knew of it and believed it was true. I have never heard it even mentioned on this forum, perhaps for similar reasons as why I simply could not bring myself to do so when I wrote my book. When I first heard the allegation long ago I felt like throwing up, a feellng which lasted for days. That it was apparently true seemed indicated on a number of grounds brought out in past issues of Ambassador Report, with a long track record of consistently highly accurate reporting. Yet I could not bring myself to name it, it was so sickening to me.

There is a European tradition that politicians can have mistresses or infidelities and no one cares so long as they are competent at their job. That is not what the current issues in America, the "me-too" stories coming out like a tsunami, seem to be about. It is rather about issues of abuses of power, and nonconsensual violation of body.

In late 1973, just as the dissident outbreak of Shreveport and then the larger regional directors of 1974 was breaking, I among a thousand others heard GTA in a sermon at Big Sandy say that there had been an early allegation of adultery against his father, HWA, back in the early days in Oregon. GTA did not say the allegation was true. In fact everyone hearing it would have assumed it was not true, a false allegation, in GTA's telling, though to the best of my memory GTA did not directly say it was false either, even though that was the default assumption. But what was that all about? I had never heard of such an allegation before regarding HWA. Barely two or three months later, Ronald Dart (resident deputy chancellor at Big Sandy) in a sermon or a student forum (I forget which it was but I was present and wrote in real-time notes the exact wording), said with emphasis: that in all of the criticisms of HWA that were being voiced by dissidents one thing that was not being raised or questioned was the content of HWA's character. "His (HWA's) character is as pure as the driven snow" said Mr. Dart with great rhetorical impact and force. I interpret that as that by early 1974 Mr. Dart had literally not yet heard the allegation.

Yet the allegation did later become known, based on GTA's telling a few people and the word was out, GTA having learned it firsthand confidentially from the victim. The allegation was never denied by HWA or the victim, and as reported by Ambassador Report, both the victim and her husband had been receiving church payments for decades, even though not employed. As the story was being voiced privately among people in contact with GTA but before it was yet publicly reported or known to church members, I remember a co-worker letter of HWA in which HWA spoke of some undefined supreme, master stroke of Satan, some utterly devastating master blow against the church which may be coming which would exceed anything the members could imagine. I wondered what was that all about? Of course HWA spoke in hyperbole in nearly every co-worker letter, so it was easy to read and dismiss that as more of the same, i.e. nothing specific. But in retrospect that comes across in a different light, like a man fearing a horrible skeleton becoming exposed. The spectre of how effective that master attack of Satan (as HWA put it) would be in HWA's telling--how many brethren HWA believed would fall away as a result--reads like a fear of the effect of a devastating, true allegation.

That is past history now. But what should--should--have been the proper response, when this allegation became known? What should ministers and members do, if it occurred today? Should HWA have been forced to resign? But, the way it was set up, HWA alone decided who should be forced to resign at his level, and everyone else should trust in God who was responsible for guiding HWA in his decisions, and God had not led HWA to decide that HWA should resign. This was believed to be God's government in operation.

I cannot imagine that I, or my father before me in Akron, Ohio, would have come into the church in the first place with a leader credibly having the nature of the allegation against HWA. It would have changed everything for me, or my father. But, when the allegation did become known, it did not change everything, in fact, outwardly and seemingly, it changed not much of anything. How could people like Meredith and other old-timers with similar mindsets, for example, still have continued to uphold HWA without addressing that? Did they think the allegation was actually fabricated? Did they think that it was irrelevant?

Toward the end of my time at AC and afterward, I discovered and read what to me were riveting writings of John Howard Yoder, a Mennonite theologian, books like "The Original Revolution", "Nevertheless", and "The Politics of Jesus". Yoder argued with great intelligence, insight, and humility the anabaptist case for Jesus as a "revolutionary pacifist", who was nonviolently upsetting the political order, that the point of Jesus was changing history by means of the church being a witness and an example in history of doing things in better ways, demonstrating more peaceful social relations internally, witnessing against war, civil disobedience like refusing to pay war taxes, standing for the poor of the world, living the sermon on the mount, returning good for evil, proclaiming Jesus's message of a biblical Jubilee of economic relations, the followers of Jesus being the mechanism for at some point bringing about the possibility of the kingdom of God on earth. It was enormously inspiring to me, my transition stage to Quakers. It was so inspiring--something real about the Gospel and the sermon on the mount read in ways I had not heard before, and the history of anabaptists, that I thought: this is real, this is so different from the barrenness of wcg spiritual culture (despite some genuinely good people). The anabaptists of the 1600s had talked the talk and walked the walk, suffering martyrdoms in large numbers for nonviolent attempts to live out the sermon on the mount of Jesus. I learned some of the anabaptists had even been sabbatarians. Anabaptists, the forerunners of today's Amish and Mennonites, Hutterites and Church of the Brethren, pacifist honorable peoples all, at the time were the radical left wing of the Protestant Reformation, hounded and killed and massacred at the behest of Reformers like Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin, all for having shockingly subversive views of equality of human beings and rejection of authority of nobles and priests and state apparatuses of such.

I applied to the Associated Mennonite Biblical Studies seminary in Goshen, Indiana, in order to study under Yoder, with a vision in my mind of truly living for God in a way that I had not found at AC. My application was rejected on the grounds that I had not completed my undergraduate degree at AC, which in any case was considered skeptically due to the lack of accreditation issue. I went on to find my roots and home among the Friends (Quakers), which were my ancestral roots which anabaptists from Germany were not. I spoke several times to Yoder personally, including at conferences where I would see him.

But in later years Mennonites have grappled with a wrenching and distressing problem involving much collective soul-searching: all the time of Yoder's brilliance at making the anabaptist case for the pacifist Jesus to the wider world, and inspiring a generation of committed pacifist Christian activists in the name of a literal interpretation of the ethics of the sermon on the mount, Yoder had been a serial assaulter of women. Not in a full-rape sense, but in repeated unwanted and disturbing physical interactions, unwanted graphic language, serially over many years despite many behind-the-scenes pleadings and appeals from administrators to stop. Meanwhile, the stories of women piled up. Eventually Yoder was disciplined and fired, but still the reasons were covered up until the point came when they no longer were covered up. Yoder died in 1997. Today, the Mennonites--good people, honest people--have sought to come to terms with Yoder's legacy, find out why this could have gone on so long, what kind of cultural changes and institutional mechanisms can protect women going forward. This is a drama I was spared by having been turned down for study for the ministry at the seminary at Goshen, Ind., where Yoder had taught.

The Mennonites had this discussion, hard as it was for those involved. It was wide-ranging, participatory, thoughtful, the women were listened to, there was repentance and there were outcomes. Have the WCG or any of the lettered successor Church of God groups had this discussion? No. Is there any mechanism by which such a discussion could even occur? It is hard to imagine. Are Church of God people better off for this "see no evil, hear no evil" practice toward iconic founder figures?  


Anonymous said...

Doudna wrote more than 1600 words about people charging HWA with "adultery," yet not even ONCE did he use the word "incest." What a load of nonsense! Adultery, as destructive as it may be, may well be consensual. Father/daughter incest is an entirely different level of monstrous sexual offense. Herbert Armstrong paid his daughter to keep silent about a years-long sexual relationship. That's not just grabbing a pussy or fondling a breast. It's not mere adultery. It's rape, it's incest, and It's a horrible, evil, violation of the parent-child relationship. Why does Doudna refuse to call it what it was?

Anonymous said...

While you are bitching about what he is supposedly missing, why don't you write an article about it? I am sure the blog owner will post it, as long as it is factual.

Connie Schmidt said...

Im surprised that with the recent revelations of "groping" and untoward behavior of sexual harassment by those in positions of power, that there are not now more women of the COG community not coming out and naming such behavior as was done to them by ministers. There have been a few over the years, but Im sure that the problem was a lot more prevalent than has ever been reported.

Anonymous said...

The women of the church have been conditioned for decades to never question the ministry. To do so would put one's salvation at risk. As God's anointed, the ministry was not capable of making mistakes, and even if they did, it was a burden the women and the members had to bear as a test to see if they would qualify for the kingdom. Thankfully in UCG, the women were heard,and Melvin Rhodes was quickly canned, though he remains amember in good standing. However, they stood by and defended a stalker minister who harassed a woman in the Northwest. They even lied on the stand and had members lie to the judge about the credibility of the minister. The church has never taken women seriously when it comes to abuse.

Anonymous said...

Rod McNair lost a lot of respect in the eyes of some LCG men when he went on a vicious campaign of slut-shaming Elizabeth Scarborough. McNair even told several LCG men that Elizabeth was "like a whore" simply because she wore period-appropriate attire when performing a WWII-era song at an LCG fun show. Strangely, the minister's wife who performed alongside Elizabeth escaped all criticism.

Had McNair acted that way in the modern American workplace, his hateful and duplicitous conduct would have resulted in a slam dunk lawsuit against him. Unfortunately, because he was acting as a "minister of Jesus Christ" he could get away with the kind of hateful conduct that the real Jesus condemned.

Gordon Feil said...

"Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof" by not changing. One of the greatest testimonies to God's power is a changed life and nature. Maybe there was real repentance and change in HWA, a statement at which most responders to this blog are sure to hoot.

Near_Earth_Object said...

Not far from where I live, back in the mountains to the west, there is a small village. In this village there was for a long time a RC ministry for priests who were sexually abusive. They dealt with this issue in their denomination by this kind of retreat with intensive therapy. What do other denominations do?

It is really stupid to apotheosize a man. It is really stupid to believe that a denomination is pure and without wickedness. Anybody who naively has that as a requirement for their belief will inevitably be disillusioned or will have to frequently lie to themselves. Only among Armstrongists do you find the odd notion that the ministry and the denomination should both be perfect. Both the ministry and denominational organizations have a practical role and it is not in the realm of perfection. One should always be cautious in dealing with any ministry and any denomination.

I don't know of anyone who is perfect. But I appreciate people who try to do what is right.

And I am unconvinced that HWA ever committed the sexual abuses he is accused of. Many testify but nobody seems to be able to produce any incontrovertible evidence. Somebody writing a letter just doesn't cut it. I do believe it is probable that his errant son and associates of his son trumped this up for whatever self-serving reasons.

Byker Bob said...

In the secular world, I really don't believe that America is undergoing a repentance. What I believe is happening is that we're seeing stigma applied to the past behavioral pattern of our president, for the purpose of invalidating and removing him. If that's true, it would not necessarily be a bad thing, and for a lot of reasons and on many levels. It would certainly be nice for all women (and their husbands!) if this did end up being a raising of the societal bar, so to speak, but without some history behind the movement, it's difficult to see it as other than a temporary fad.


Anonymous said...

the difference between mankind and animals is the Spirit of God, the overwhelming controller of the urges of the flesh...

by default a man with a pair of nuts will behave like a dog, or a male herd animal during the rut; its just nature...

the only way to self control is by strength of spirit, or so called mind over matter, even the force; that force is the Holy Spirit...

by it Jesus remained pure; by it i have remained celibate for more than 12 years since my divorce, having witnessed how adultery and fornication in my own family devastated a generation, and affects my siblings and cousins (seemingly endless cycle)...

i believed the Scriptures, understood the principles behind the Commands, and i was determined that the buck stops here, and my life is simpler because of it, and i dont have burden of having hurt someone on my conscience...

do i wish i was still married? do i still desire a woman? certainly, for as long as i got gonads this will be the case; but as long as i am not married i will not be having sex, or pursuing any illicit sexual desires; and if i were to get married again i wouldnt be committing adultery cuz i believe in the principle that spiritual matters must supercede matters of the flesh, especially if it is a matter of sinning against God or ur fellow man...

Anonymous said...

This is a little off topic, but it relates to how GCI/WCG deflects any and all responsibility for past 'crimes' against it's members - in this case it relates to emotional damage caused by WCG but this answer would likely represent the same denial of accountability for it's past or present leader's behaviour of any sort, including sexual.

This was a question asked of Joe Tkach Jr at a ministerial conference in Montreal, Canada in 2004.

Q. "With the sale of the AC Campus, will any of the funds be used to help those who have been emotionally damaged by the teachings of HWA? Maybe the WCG as an institution has a moral responsibility to help."

A. [Joe Tkach Jr. speaking] "When we come to this term emotionally damaged, this is a loaded term that can be used to shift responsibility for one's poor decisions to another person. The question presumes both that the people have been damaged and that HWA's teachings are the cause...You would have to prove that HWA's teachings caused emotional damage and I don't see how anyone's going to prove that. Almost everything HWA taught, I can find in another protestant denomination. Another problem would be that for every single person that you bring up saying this person was damaged by HWA's teachings, I'll bring 10 up saying that their life improved by his teachings; it's just barking up the wrong tree. There's no doubt that some people were abused, but let's never forget that a lot of the people who come to us (WCG) are dysfunctional people. They're going to have the same set of problems whether they came to our church, or Mormon, Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist...They come with this baggage of dysfunction and it's just not absolutely fair or honest to blame it all on HWA's teaching."

With this kind of transferring responsibility, there will never be any voluntary 'repentance,' or 'coming clean,' on the part of any past or present WCG / GCI or offshoot leadership.

Anonymous said...

The self-proclaimed "progressives" are working towards a world where if you look at a woman the "wrong way" (which the women always get to define and distort) and you will be crucified.

Anonymous said...

Women in the COGs always got special treatment, even while they treated the poor and uneducated men like dirt; they wouldn't even talk to some of them. The ministers pounced on and attacked some of these slightly inept but good-hearted poor guys so they could appear to be the knights in shining armor by picking on the weak, the powerless, and the ostracized ones.

Anonymous said...

Half the women in Australia and England were prissy snobs anyway. Good riddance.

Where were the real men in WCG? said...

If the women in Austraila and England had you in their congregation I can see why they were prissy. You sound like a disgruntled perpetual bachelor who was ignored at too many singles events. They knew how miserable their lives would have been married to a pissant like you. Wait, are you James Malm?

Anonymous said...

All this sexual abuse is unexpected. If you want to do evil and get away with the crimes, the 'solution' is to demand that people not pass moral judgment or go soft on crime. This is what permeates modern 'Christianity.'
It endlessly preaches, forgiveness, mercy, kindness, turning the other cheek etc. Members are constantly hit over the head with 1Cor 13 (ie shrug off abuse).
The result? A paradise for abusers. Not forgetting, many ordinary members go along with this culture of 'tolerance' in the expectation of getting away with their private sins as well.

So like chickens coming home to roost, abuse was and is common in these churches.
And that a John Yoder who taught Christian pessivism was abusing women, well, to be expected.
As I have mentioned many times here, much of modern Christianity is the fox preaching to the chickens.

PS Christs accusation of a den of thieves comes to mind.

Anonymous said...

7.09 PM
As I recall, photocopied court records of Herbs divorce proceedings were posted on this blog. The court transcript has Herb confessing to his incestuous relationship with his daughter.
His daughter never denied the incest allegations.

nck said...

2 things:

To me it is not clear if Mr Doudna is talking about the "unsubstantiated" incest allegations or a case of adulturous behavior.

If it is about past adulturous behavior then what is the fuss about. It happens and people should repent! But we are talking about the strongest force in the universe here, not love!

A R Meredith stated in his lectures often. Young people could in a technical sense be yoked to 90% of the other species. As a matter of fact entire continents have the parents decide on marriage partners. The "being in love thing" is overrated as proven by 35% divorce statistics.

The remarks about HWA's pristine character are laughable in the sense that HWA wrote thousands of words, articles and books stating that his personal character was not pristine and even more "passionate" than average. He stated many times that he hoped to be counted worthy and of course he would not be HWA if he thought he would. Darts remarks are ridiculous.

I find the historical piece about the anabaptists quite interesting. And Mr Doudna and I have had our discussions on the historical "cog". I assume he is familiar with the history of Munster where ridiculous fanatics established a kind of Utopia that dissolved into chaos. But hey, it offered an alternative to the Roman Catholic churh that just today broke the news that only in Australia more children suffered sexual abuse by the priests than WCG had members.


nck said...


I have found Mr Doudna one of the most agreeable persons to discuss issues or at least exchange opinions.

Very different exchanges from the shouting matches my parents had with their 7th day adventist parents when they gifted John Robinson's book to my mother. This "gift" or proof texting finalized a lifelong rift between them. I do believe that parents should respect some decisions their children make not alienate them completely even if they disagree.


Anonymous said...

With the exception of Garner Ted and his cronies, it is not young WOMEN who are most appealing to the predators in COG land but young CHILDREN. I only realized this myself when I had children of my own. It is safer to stay away than bring your child and the ministry are useless and blind to it.

Anonymous said...

When I learned that HWA had incest with his daughter that was it! That indicated to me that I was in a cult for 13 years. I left in 1995 and have never hooked-up with any of the armstrongite churches. Why does anyone who knows about HWA's sick behavior stay with his religion? That mystifies me.

Anonymous said...

HWA NEVER denied it at all. If it wasn't true there is 100% certainty he would have gone ballistic relentlessly. And that was just one example of hundreds demonstrating his terrible character...

Miller Jones said...

Byker Bob, You may be right, but I hope you're wrong. As this started with Harvey Weinstein and Hollywood, I think that it's highly unlikely that Trump was anyone's crosshairs at the genesis of this. And, for those who might be attempting to harness this phenomenon for the purpose of removing him, I wish them well (but I don't see them being successful in doing so). After all, this has hit Democrats and Republicans (liberals and conservatives, heterosexuals and homosexuals) with equal force, and the nation was aware of Trump's behavior in this regard when they elected him.
As the father of two daughters (and grandfather of two - soon to be three granddaughters), I hope this represents a true sea change in attitudes toward sexual harassment. I hope that this phenomenon will make it harder for people in power to exploit the people who work for them for their own perverse gratification. If that happens, I think this will represent a very positive course correction for society (even if we choose not to call it repentance).

nck said...

"As I recall, photocopied court records of Herbs divorce proceedings were posted on this blog. The court transcript has Herb confessing to his incestuous relationship with his daughter."

Today you got yourself a free lesson in self delusion!!!!!!!!!
No one ever produced the court records of the divorce proceedings, ever.
Take a look in the mirror and contemplate the word hearsay!

'HWA NEVER denied it at all. If it wasn't true there is 100% certainty he would have gone ballistic relentlessly. And that was just one example of hundreds demonstrating his terrible character..."

Please take lesson public relations lesson a and 1 for public figures, politicians and religious leaders. And you will learn that to react to such allegations does more harm than to deny.

Miller Jones
With you I hope that this will have a lasting effect on a male dominated sexixt culture.

I must disagree with you that this is not political.
The story broke in "The New Yorker" which in the course of history has been a small publication. However this publication has been used in the past as leverage by the extreme economic free thinkers, like the council of foreign relations to leverage ideas. I spoke to former owners. (who by the way manage about 800 billion dollars).

This of course was a direct attack that struck at the heart of the leftist Hollywood sponsor clique of the Democratic persuasion. The fall out is far from over and has and will damage many sponsors of the Democratic party. Republican "victims" are collateral.

My take.


Anonymous said...

Yes, in many cultures parents choose their children's mate. And the divorce rate is lower because divorce is simply not tolerated. A few years ago, the cover photograph on Time Magazine showed the face of a young Islamic woman who escaped her abusive husband. Her nose had been cut off as a consequence. Keep you planned marriages.

Anonymous said...

"A. [Joe Tkach Jr. speaking] "When we come to this term emotionally damaged, this is a loaded term that can be used to shift responsibility for one's poor decisions to another person....)

wow, never ever would I have thought that I would agree with anything Joe Jr. would say.......but he is right on in his answer to the question.

that also explains the existence of sites like this...people "damaged" by trying to be a part of something they were not called into.

but not to worry, God loves you dearly and He will take care of you....and I suspect that a good many of you will ultimately be in the Kingdom.

Anonymous said...

I suggest you have a look at the YouTube video "Incest and the apostle Herbert W Armstrong."
Ambassador Report 27 (online) quotes from the court deposition. Reading this report, it really looks bad for Herb.

Anonymous said...

7.21 AM
Accusations of 'responsibility shifting' is typically blaming the victim. I've been hit several times with this response when I complained of mistreatment at services.
You and Joe deserve each other.

nck said...

6:08 I am not in favor of parents choosing a mate. I'm just saying that this "love infatuation thing" is a luxury item. It has never been the nirm for over 125.000 years. Look at the speckled redheads with their neanderthal genes. Result of love mating?


nck said...


Seriously. How long have you been om this blog. Dont you know that I know everything that transpired in WCG?

I dont need to read ambassador report since I know no one ever produced legal proof of the incest. Thank you very much for your suggestion. Unless you are referring to the transfer of church monies , real estate and free education hwa provided for his children, cousins and grandchildren.

I dont like that true, but there s nothing there about incest.

I have challenged many to get the transcripts but no one ever does!

Then there is BB s testimony talking to Matson. Unfortunately he is hardly impartial and certainly not legally schooled. HWAs disgruntled niece. Well I dont think shes quite reliable at present. Hardly a witness I would summon. The story is simply unproven. (until you get us the divorce papers)


Anonymous said...

"You sound like a disgruntled perpetual bachelor who was ignored at too many singles events. They knew how miserable their lives would have been married to a pissant like you. Wait, are you James Malm?"

And how would you know any of that? You are just making stuff up. Who are you? Satan? You sound like a prissy spinster nobody would date. All the guys knew how miserable they would be married to a fat ugly lying nag like you.

Anonymous said...

"... a young Islamic woman ... Her nose had been cut off as a consequence"

Which is why liberals want more diversity. They hate women.

Anonymous said...

"...our president, for the purpose of invalidating and removing him. If that's true, it would not necessarily be a bad thing, and for a lot of reasons and on many levels."

That's exactly what the neo-cons and neo-libs and other Trotskyites. You have certainly earned the right to be regarded as a treasonous Trotskyite. Congratulations, Trotsky.

Anonymous said...

it is Written: the women are their rulers, and the children are their oppressors...

this stands to reason: if the pendulum is swung to one extreme, shall it not rebound to the other?

Anonymous said...

Your 1.08 PM reply reminds me of Christ's condemnation of the lawyers with their 'but who is my neighbor' games. Your 'legally schooled' got O J Simpson off the hook. They too found the allegations 'simply unproven.'
As far as I'm concerned, the body of evidence proves that Herb is guilty of incest. The legally schooled can go eat cake.

nck said...


Fair enough.
In the case of the Simpson jurors the legal system provided for a possibility to have PEERS make the ultimate decision wether the accused should be punished.

The peers were convinced by the lawyers to have other considerations. (like the race card)

The use of jurors is meant to be the ultimate democratic right to sway from the truth or facts as presented. (this protective democratic right led to atrocities in the deep south, when "white peers" decided on kkk behavior in relation to trees".

In the case of the incest no facts have been presented!

So there is no reason to compare the swaying mode of the simpson jury that swayed from the truth for reasons known between them and their community.


Byker Bob said...

Nck, as I've stated many times before, out of consideration for the Mattsons and their advanced age and past suffering, I never spoke with them even though they were listed in our local phone directory and live about 5 miles from me. Oddly enough, it was allegedly someone from one of the ACOGs who boldly and inconsiderately contacted Vern sometime after Dorothy's death, and wrote that Vern had confirmed it all. At the time that that was reported, you commented that if it had actually been me who had called Vern, you would have been more inclined to believe my report than that of this other person.

Personally, I've always said that I wish the incest had never been brought to light because people are diverted to arguing about it instead of discussing and exposing all of the bogus doctrines. While some in the ACOGs will waste many words defending HWA, the broad majority of the people "in the church" believe that even the worst misbehavior or corruption of people at or near the top of the authority structure does not invalidate the doctrines. And, although it is seen as the icing on the cake, we really don't need the incest to debunk Armstrongism. We already have a plethora of materials which accomplish that.

Information regarding the incest, the relationship between dna and British Israelism, and the continued failure of the Armstrong prophecy mold are all very powerful and compelling, but in a way, these are all somewhat beside the point. The essence of the whole mess is bogus and disprovable doctrine, and an authority structure that doesn't allow the Holy Spirit to function within the hearts and minds of church members. So basically, even if the doctrines were all true and solid, in Armstrongism nobody is really qualifying for anything. We know this from the continued fruits of the movement which are consistently beyond bad, and the ridiculous level of outrageous claims and behavior of the current so-called leaders.


Byker Bob said...

Hey, if it floats your boat, keep on demonstrating your mental instability, 5:21, so that everyone can see it. Can I send you some Reynold's Wrap for Christmas? Woo! Woo!


nck said...

Well yes. I would trust BB on jury call.

Although I prefer the Ronan law system over the anglo saxon, which has its merits.


Byker Bob said...

The only possible "facts", nck, would be a rape kit, used condom, illegitimate child, surveillance video, sworn witness, direct testimony from Dorothy, or HWA's confession. All of these are impossible considering 1940s technology, and the death of both principals. And, who knows what the statute of limitations might have been at the time the events are said to have occurred. By remaining silent, and settling with Ramona, HWA and his lawyers did a pretty damned good job of preserving plausible deniability.

I do feel that the information coming from interviews of some of the Armstrong grandchildren, and the testimony of David Robinson carry enough weight so that there is very little doubt that HWA greatly sinned, while he was supposedly having the so-called restored truths revealed to him, and that that corrupted and cursed his entire ministry. It's responsible for the horribly cursed state of the ACOGs that we see today!

However, it is useless to attempt to deprogram Armstrongites from their toxic cultism using the incest. It's best to go to the core and present a doctrinal approach that makes more truthful and accurate usage of scripture. Better yet, wait for an Armstrongite to encounter problems which cause him/her to requestion and revisit everything they thought they knew, and just be supportive.


nck said...

Indeed! As I have been saying. The closest factual available evidence today would be proof of a settlement on the incest within the divorce papers.

Excuse me I am not going by the press or statements by generally disliked ministers, I am sorry. A written settlement would settle the deal for me.


nck said...

And I need not remind you that there are a billion adherent to a church whose priests sexually abused tens of thousands of children in Australia Alone.

Or 800 million adherents to a religion whose prophet married a 13 year old girl.


Ekklesia said...

nck, not denying is evidence of wrongdoing. Public relations people do advise not to respond to every accusation, but a simple denial about something serious (especially when it is widely stated) is important. He would not need to make a formal announcement, but a simple denial should have been made. To me it indicates he just wanted to let the dog lay and hopefully let others talk about King David and others who sinned. When you know you are guilty that might work best.
If you are guilty-- to then deny it can make it worse because it might cause those that know you are guilty to respond and provide additional proof. In law, providing your own "evidence" of innocence can then allow previously inadmissible evidence against you to become admissible.
It didn't help HWA that no one came to his defense, that no family came to his defense even now; that he apparently did not have a good relationship with any of his family. This says something. Though the evidence points to guilt to me, it may possibly be untrue. But, his lack of family support and love at least indicates someone that did not have it together and thus greatly diminishes the idea of HWA having divine (gulp) inspiration.

Anonymous said...

So when it comes to accused criminals, the evidence must be in the 'practical certainty' category for a conviction. Yet when criminals deals with others, an accusation is a judgment. It's dishonest rule rigging.
One standard for me, another for thee.

nck said...


I'm not sure what you mean. However it is true that different standards apply for type of crime in the body of evidence.

For me personally any sign of "dealmaking" on incest in the divorce papers would be the most substantiating evidence possible today. Unless a written letter by Dorothy at a notary is found.

A newspaper report is hardly reliable and could be part of the 5 million extortion plan her lawyers had for a 3? year marriage.


No one is required to insane acquisations.

In the case of public figures even a denial sticks forever and is harmful from a pr perspective.

As you can see! People believe anything especially when there is no evidence and conclusively when a powerful figure denies it. (obama american citizen? Hmmmm he says so so he must be kenyan right.)


Byker Bob said...

We would be remiss if we failed to make the observation that in Armstrongism, the authority structure always applied Anon 1:13's concept of the criminals' accusational justice on church members. No right of appeal, no due process. Not even freedom of speech. Just mafia-like retribution. It was therefore hypocritical of HWA and his myrmidons to seek the higher justices and protections as afforded by our US Constitution.


nck said...

"It was therefore hypocritical of HWA and his myrmidons to seek the higher justices and protections as afforded by our US Constitution"

Interesting observation in light of the recent upheaval in Australia, where parliament is demanding changes on celibacy for catholic priests after the recent scandals.

I am reminded of that minister who in one lengthy conversation with hwa was fired and rehired 5 times. I am always impressed by those few people who seem to be able to deal with tiger and lion type characters and command respect regardless.

My personal hero was one of the few/only who managed to stare Hitler down and still be promoted.
I guess true inner nobility does not require much apparel. (Life) experience, a set of universal values and the will to act upon those values will carry a person far. (Looking the part helps too. (for posterchilds :-))


whatmeworry said...

My kid sister was groomed and inevitably raped at the age of 15 by an Armstrong married grandson in the 70's. When this came to light, my mother and sister were called in to the "Council of Elders" led by Rod Meredith who then blamed the entire affair on my sister. Unbelievable but absolutely true. My mother, meek and cowed, apologized, afraid that she would be put out. My sister, asked to use the bathroom, walked out and left the building. Almost 40 years later, mother still thought it was her fault! That's how twisted and satanic that den of snakes were. Sadly there was never a "Me Too" movement in the WCG. We would all have been in a healthier place somewhere else.