Monday, January 29, 2018

NPR All Things Considered January 29, 2018

For Heaven's Gate Podcast Host, Cult Tragedy Hits Close to Home


Twenty years ago, in 1997, a bizarre story hit the national news: Thirty-nine people had killed themselves by drinking poison in a mansion near San Diego. All 39 were dressed identically and had the same haircuts — and they were all members of the Heaven's Gate cult.
In their videotaped farewell messages, they insisted their suicides were not a final death; they were simply shedding their earthly bodies in order to meet a UFO they believed was trailing the Hale-Bopp comet — a UFO that would transport them to the kingdom of heaven.
Their story had a powerful impact on Glynn Washington, host of WNYC's Snap Judgment. "I couldn't stop watching," he says. "I was staring ... because it, in a lot of ways, it felt like that was something that my group could have done."
When Washington was growing up in Michigan in the 1970s and '80s, his family belonged to a different apocalyptic faith organization called the Worldwide Church of God. Washington recognized a lot of what he saw in that 1997 news story, and now he brings that recognition to Heaven's Gate, his 10-episode podcast about the cult and its members.

.......Continue

And to be continued:





56 comments:

Anonymous said...

No church of God group has done this and I really can't see it happening. They don't believe in suicide. The members wouldn't go for it, and the leaders wouldn't want the loss of income.

Byker Bob said...

Sadly, most of the stalwarts, rather than getting an actual clue or gaining some real perspective as to the insidious nature of their cult, will dismiss this as the rantings of a “non-Israelite”. Because in the wonderful world of Armstrongism, hair length or skin pigmentation place much higher in importance than intellect or ideas. Happens all the time.

BB

Anonymous said...

if a person wanted to give religion a negative reputation or paint it in a bad light, what would be the most effective way to do so?

so if you know this, wouldnt satan also know this?

c f ben yochanan

nck said...

Even when I grant Glynn 100 percent artistic license, I don't think it is an accurate assessment of the time period in which he visited wcg. I don't think even individual cases that happened had anything to do with "joining God" or something. The entire premise was to safe ones body at a place of safety and built something new on earth. So contrary to HG.

Not that there should not be warnings about cults or perceived similarities in current split offs, under the radar. I'm for accountability, sure, artistic license, nice.

nck

Dennis Diehl said...

The issue for Pack and Flurry devotees will not be suicide of course, but "when we flee"

Connie Schmidt said...

The few Heavens Gate followers still believe that their "leaders" are still alive, "at another level".

After HWAs death, there were some who believed that he would be resurrected , in a very short while, like one year later. I believe there was a WCG minister named Philepello (or something similar), who taught this and ended up having to be disfellowshipped.

There are likely still some that believe that HWA will be resurrected to the flesh to be one of the end time "two witnesses".

Anonymous said...

Gerald Waterhouse and some others would have killed themselves for HWA.

A few nuts would kill themselves for Flurry or Pack.

A few would have killed themselves for Meredith.

Nobody, and I repeat, NOBODY, will kill himself for Weston or Kubik or Franks.

DennisCDiehl said...

The fears that the COG instilled in it's youth and members was that of rampaging Germans "climbing through the windows leap..." What the hell was that hymn about anyway???:)

For the COG member, family and minister as well, was the fear that HWA was going to say "it is time to flee." I had made up my mind early in the game after hearing Gerald Waterhouse spew nonsense in all my churches that "you go without us" would be the appropriate message. I never gave a sermon on the topic and referred members fears and questions to GWaterhouse since he was the one stroking the fires of fear about the topic. It was and is truly one of the more sinister and stupid teachings that Pack and Flurry still use to control. I don't know if they believe it nor do I know if they would actually give up their own stuff for such a risk.

With Dave Pack's track record at knowing the mind of God, he better stay put. On the other hand buying jets and building campuses, does not smack of "time is short" either.

So I understand this man's fears and perceptions even though I don't see any Marshall Applewhite events in the future for the church. I doubt there will ever be a "time to flee" event, but it's out there, taught and used as part of the COG arsenal of motivators and one of the fears people keep and ponder in their hearts. I suspect most don't believe it and simply hope it goes away and they never have to actually deal with their loon pastor's ideas about it all.


Byker Bob said...

Right, Dennis. For all we know, there could be a “wink, wink, nod, nod” undertone amongst the more thinking “brethren” regarding the British Israel and Petra “doctrines” these days.

Still, after hearing the initial breaking reports about the events at Waco, having at one point already learned that the group was sabbatarian/apocalyptic, I remember saying to myself “David Koresh??? He must have been ordained after I left.” I wondered about all of the guns, because the WCG wasn’t exactly part of the gun culture, but then I recall one of my AC classmates being put out of the church, and one of the areas where he had apparently gone off the deep end was that he had acquired an anti-tank weapon that he intended to use on the Germans. So, there were always people who departed from “WCG-normal”. Still, I was relieved when additional facts came out, like the name Branch Davidian, and that these folk were an offshoot of the SDA. I had known various Seventh Day Adventists over the years, and they just didn’t come off as being cultic like we were in WCG.

BB

Anonymous said...

Gerald Waterhouse was a very sick sycophant. Always blowing smoke up HWA and GTA's ass. I'll never forget being in a big Chicago auditorium and Waterhouse screaming and ranting away for his "normal" 3 hour torture and he's says, "If the Armstrongs are not the two witnesses, than the Bible is not true. I got up and walked out.
He was very abusive to members. No Christ like leader should have allowed this nut case to go around the world, playing every golf course he could find, spreading a Satanic message of fear and of worshipping men.

Dennis Diehl said...

I agree BB.Between that and Jonestown all antennas of mine were up and running

Dennis Diehl said...

Connie...most Christians believe their leaders and loved ones are alive at another level. Heaven or Hell

Anonymous said...


Anonymous on January 29, 2018 at 8:13 PM said...

“if a person wanted to give religion a negative reputation or paint it in a bad light, what would be the most effective way to do so?”

“so if you know this, wouldnt satan also know this?”



One of the best ways to give religion a negative reputation or paint it in a bad light would be to send Gerald Flury and David Pack to totally garble everything that HWA had taught and to do it all in the name of God.

Satan knew this.

Satan has already done this.

Dennis Diehl said...

Anon 813. That's known in theological circles as "Diabolical Mimicry". It's the apologetic for why so much Christian history, practice and belief seems pagan and must be copied by Satan to deceive.

nck said...

"he had acquired an anti-tank weapon that he intended to use on the Germans"

Now there we have a person of living faith.

An anti tank weapon, while we were dining with Strauss.

No wonder German intelligence kept an eye on those visits. I could see Orlin painting a nice lady on a "Huey" though. Flying over Braunsfelss Texas. Screaming "Dont you love the smell of napalm in the morning."



Dennis. What I recall from my kin is that this "fleeing" business was not so much a time of fear but of hope. I do agree that the fear of being left behind was a powerfull motivator and in my area I had families travel there preemptively until they rejoined us having seen there folly.

I mean what were they thinking. 5 star hotels were only built in Petra in the late nineties.

I had BB's experience with that Ratzman thing. When the news broke that people were hurt in a church on saturday I knew that was not good. The Waco thing grabbed my attention quickly too. But since it was an ugly compound, not sufficiently groomed to Ambassador Standards, without an air strip, I instinctively felt that it could not be wcg related. I mean "the elite of the elite don't shower from water tanks.

nck


Anonymous said...

nck wrote:

I had BB's experience with that Ratzman thing.

That wasn't a mass suicide.

Sadly, it's the likeliest end-game scenario for a number of the more extreme cults. What might happen after a once-loyal member finds himself bled dry by Pack, or isolated from loved ones by Flurry. If it's a minister who snaps, several murders at a ministerial conference could effectively put an end to the church. If it's a member, just hope that he hasn't already paid for his Feast accommodations and instead will shoot up a small local congregation.

As Anon 5:48 AM wrote, nobody idolizes Weston, Franks, Kubik or most of the more mainstream ACOG cult leaders enough to feel homicidal hurt when disappointed by them. It's the Pack/Flurry level of idolization that is most likely to lead a disenchanted follower down the path of murder/suicide.

Anonymous said...

Dennis wrote:

That's known in theological circles as "Diabolical Mimicry". It's the apologetic for why so much Christian history, practice and belief seems pagan and must be copied by Satan to deceive.

The devil, of course, is so much smarter than human beings that he actually mimics many Jewish and Christian practices before they become part of Judaism or Christianity. Satan knew about the seventh-day Sabbath and at least a couple of Israel's annual holy days, so he taught them to the Babylonians before it came to the ancestors of Israel. Satan knew about Jesus' virgin birth, so he arranged virgin birth narratives beginning at least a thousand years before Christ.

...and if you believe this, I have a cave at Petra that I would like to sell to you.

Byker Bob said...

Just so that we’re clear, nck, it wasn’t Orlin who had acquired the anti-tank weapon. Orlin was my dormmate and friend, and was actually a stablilizing influence as a friend. Like myself, though, later on, he proved to be an adrenalin junkie with a penchant for involving himself in exciting and dangerous things, and he indulged in these things in high level ways that became available with his status and stature. I sometimes think of him as our own version of a Hunter S. Thompson. But, that is how the repression of Armstrongism caused a certain percentage of us to react and to conduct our lives. I, on the other hand, did many exciting and dangerous things more on a street level. Even now, although I could easily go out and buy a new Corvette, or a limited edition Bullitt Mustang, I stick to my six cylinder Impala for primary transpo, because the old inner street racer just never does go away with age.

BB

Near_Earth_Object said...

I agree with Diehl that this is not about mass suicide in regard to the Armstrongist fragments but about going to the place of safety. I cannot conceive of a Jonestown or a Heaven's Gate outcome for the Armstrongists. There are other scenarios.

For example, another plausible scenario: One of their leaders announces the flight to Petra. Requires that lay members, on faith (to demonstrate that they are worthy), liquidate all they have and deposit their funds in a special Petra Account. And then they assemble at the port of Galveston waiting for Carnival Cruise Line to pick them up and take them to Petra. Then, like good Millerites and after sleeping in their cars for several days eating whole wheat crackers, they discover the dates were wrong and Carnival is never going to show up for them. But in the meantime their leaders have fled to Brazil (a better venue than Petra) and have absconded with the Petra Fund. And then they are all being interviewed by 60 Minutes standing on a wharf in Galveston and the authorities are putting all their children in foster care.

Group suicide would not happen. But the scenario above could happen. It just takes the right leader, with the right slime factor. I hope I have not given anybody ideas.

Back when I was a good Armstrongite, a church member called me up about ordering some food products from him. But he started off the phone conversation, as a joke, by saying in serious tones that he was letting me know that it was time to flee to Petra. For a moment, my heart was in my throat. Psychological conditioning is everything.

An alternate scenario is that a Millerite leader of great charisma, like David Koresh,
could rise up and unite and weaponize the Armstrongist fragments, and execute some violent doomsday theatrics - no doubt getting a bunch of people killed. There are people in Armstrongists congregations that are violent - they just do no have dominant influence at this time.

Religious deception is serious stuff.

Anonymous said...

Somebody wrote, "Nobody, and I repeat, NOBODY, will kill himself for Weston or Kubik or Franks."

Dear Somebody,

I hope you are right.
But, I hope you're not trying to say that it makes Kubic's crap something to be admired!
Kubic's crap is pure poop, and more than worthy of being pooped on.

Love,
Triumph

Anonymous said...

The WCG came dangerously close to this during the receivership when so many had barricaded themselves in the auditorium.

Ironically (yet tellingly), Scientology's efforts ultimately helped diffuse the standoff at the auditorium.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ January 30, 2018 at 7:50 AM,

Do you really believe that crazy Pack's stuff and crazy Flurry's stuff are because of what you see as a plan by Satan to disrupt the propagation of "truth" that Herbert Armstrong brought?
If so, you are an example of the delusional cult-inspired nutcases that our government should forcibly remove weapons from.

Anonymous said...

Gerald Waterhouse's sermons lacked intellectual content. He just talked up the church. I don't see why Herbs church didn't hire intellectual types to spoon feed material to the ministers. It's obvious that some of the better tele evangelists do this.

Anonymous said...

NEO
Most members are in their 70s, have grown in independence, and have learnt from the school of hard nocks to be less trusting of their leaders. So I don't believe that a charismatic leader could unite the fragments or have a great impact.
After all, not many followed Mr Charisma GTA. Even if he kept it in his pants, it would not have made that much difference.

Anonymous said...

10:58, I was in the Hall of Ad (which is where most of the action was, not the Auditorium) when it was locked (never saw any barricades; as required by law, the doors open outward which makes it hard to barricade them from the inside). Of course, there were reporters and TV cameras in there as well so if there were anybody thinking about fleeing or suicide, they kept it to themselves.

nck said...

Oh man Neo.

Do they get to show up in pairs. Male and female each according to their kind at the Warf?

While filling in the paperwork in the port, should I tick the "race ethnicity" box or write an essay on the fallacy of such distinction confusing customs. Can we have a stop at the Cayman Islands? I will need an hour only including tender. Can we have the regular on this blog talking about "the mickey mouse millenium" on the Disney Cruiseship.

Your scenario is so Leon Uris Exodus.
(I was about to see that ship in Haifa but the Israeli kicked me out for the Syrian stamps in my passport.
Gave me more time to see Elijahs cave next to the museum.

Nck

nck said...

In Gibbons The rise and fall of the Roman Empire, it says that the predecessors of wcg defended the border of the Byzantine empire before it finally succumbed to the Turks. That, and me shooting clay pigeons at SEP are the only weaponry associated with wcg as far as I know.
Nck

Byker Bob said...

The preceding program has been brought to you by the National Broadcorping Castration!

That’s right, autopsies after the mass suicide showed that many of the members of the Heaven’s Gate Cult had either castrated themselves, or had been castrated. Now hopefully, they were not multiply weird, by being against medications such as anaesthetics, because that would have been very painful! (Note the skillful use of the dipthong for the benefit of our fellow gentiles of the British persuasion!)

Any strength practiced to extreme becomes a weakness! Hedonists often die over-pleasing themselves, while ascetics die denying themselves even the basic human needs. Yet another poignant example that either polar extreme is out of balance, and actually harmful to living creatures. When predators cultivate and place themselves in charge of ascetics, it is a lethal combination!

BB



Anonymous said...

Anon6:45PM wrote:

"No church of God group has done this and I really can't see it happening. They don't believe in suicide. The members wouldn't go for it, and the leaders wouldn't want the loss of income."

Whether we liken the cult of Armstrongism to Heaven's Gate, Jonestown, Branch Davidian, the Manson Family, or some other, the fact remains that Armstrongism was a cult, and now exists as hundreds of mini cults.

The problem with the cultic dynamic is that people give unchecked power to the cult guru, and that is an environment in which a psychotic groupthink can devolve into dangerous scenarios, and abuses can lead to radical attempts to find a way forward when an individual member or the group as a whole becomes cornered.

And one of the problems with fundamentalist theologies is the exaltation of purity. For those who find themselves caught in the labyrinth of mirrors that the quest for purity is, there is no rational or logical end to it. There exists no extreme to which you may go that it is not possible to see yet a greater purity, and an even more virtuous place to be, just around the next corner, regardless of how insane and unworkable your current extremes may already be. To the sincere believer seeking an ever greater assurance that he can indeed expect to receive his pearl of great price, is there any sacrifice which is too great? Especially considering the extreme asceticism championed by Jesus himself as portrayed in the synoptic gospels. The fact that "purity" in religious terms is not even a coherent concept only goes to show the vain and senseless nature of the entire quest, right from the start.

And given these risk factors, Armstrongism not yet having an entire splinter group come to tragedy one way or another is not a matter of good planning, but just dumb luck. While the larger splinter groups like UCG, LCG, COGWA, and perhaps a few others, may have lower risks, either structurally, or because their guru happens to be rational enough for the moment, that doesn't mean there isn't a smaller splinter out there, that is spiraling dangerously out of control right now, or that a presently "stable" guru couldn't become dangerously unhinged next month or next year.

DennisCDiehl said...

NCK noted: "Dennis. What I recall from my kin is that this "fleeing" business was not so much a time of fear but of hope. I do agree that the fear of being left behind was a powerfull motivator and in my area I had families travel there preemptively until they rejoined us having seen there folly"

It was just a most disturbing "belief" for me and in my churches I don't recall many if any thinking it was about a fear of being left behind, though that could be a natural belief among zealots. It was a fear of "what if it's not the time to flee?", "What about my kids, mate, dogs...." "How would that work" etc. I did meet a few Waterhouse groupies in each congregation but I think they kept their know how it all works ideas to themselves. My lack of enthusiasm for Gerald Waterhouse visits probably showed to those with an oz of perception.

I told many an older widow or couple that they did not have to feel they needed to drive a long way and sit a long time for his screeds. It was just too hard on him. I had to hear it three times in three nights once. My kids called him "Mr Watermelon" and the last time he came to NY my son and I were playing a game of estimating how long it would take the waterglass to wander off the table as each time he pounded the table and said "Mr. URMstrong" it moved a bit closer to the edge...lol. It finally fell on the floor and we had a good laugh.

Someone needs to write something on why the "Place of Safety" teaching is bogus.. :)

What About The Truth said...

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake the same shall save it.

Jesus Christ (27-30 A. D.)

What About The Truth said...

Dave Pack no longer believes or teaches that his group will be going to the place of safety. In his "Greatest Story Never Told" series he emphasized a two kingdom theory with three comings of Christ. The first coming will be to Wadsworth, Ohio in his first century form (Son of man). At this time Dave Pack and his ministers and members will be given resplendence and power. This will be the time of greatest work of all time (Marvelous work and wonder). At this time HWA will be resurrected and go to Jerusalem (Judah) as Zerubbabel the governor. Dave Pack and the son of man will go to the House of Israel for 3 1/2 years. In his time-line of years, 3.5 years followed by 1000 years followed by 1000 years there will be people called during all of these periods. None of these will reach the status, brilliancy, and power of Dave Pack and his group. He states that the fleeing to the place of safety will be a group of converted people late in the first 1000 years living in the Jerusalem area. Of course all of the above is subject to change and change again when another piece of the puzzle is found.

Anonymous said...

it just occurred to me: theres no logical reason for a person what truly has been negatively affected or has disavowed armstrongism to be coming on a site about armstrongism and talking about it in any way, form, or fashion...

surely some continue to have some degree of armstrong fetish, or maybe to voice ones tacit preoccupation is therapeutic...

c f ben yochanan

What About The Truth said...

Someone needs to write something on why the "Place of Safety" teaching is bogus.

The COGs teaching about the "Place of Safety" is easily exposed as a big pile of ....... with just a little bit of critical thinking. Their teaching is that at the 1335 (Days before Christ's return) the church will be "blessed" Dan 12:12. It then goes to Jerusalem and flees at the 1290 (Abomination of Desolation). It takes 30 days (1260) to arrive at Petra. The first question to ask yourself concerning this scenario is how to you go from blessed at 1335 to just 45 days later being told "woe unto them that give suck" and "pray that your flight be not in winter or on the sabbath day? And by the way, Satan is going to be sending an army after you. What kind of a blessing is that? The second question to ask yourself would be, how does a church member get from wherever they live in the world into Jerusalem or Judah at a time when it is ready to explode into the Great Tribulation and do it before 45 days? And by the way have time to purchase a house and field - "Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of HIS HOUSE. Matt. 24:17-18. The third thing to ask yourself is; if you already know the days (1335,1290,1260) you are able to count the days down from 1335 (Blessed) and know when the Abomination of Desolation takes place exactly. Does the church just play act being surprised at seeing the Abomination of Desolation when they already know the exact day ahead of time when it will happen? Matt 24:15. There is more to consider, but that should be enough for most COG members to head to their local farm store and purchase a pitchfork.

nck said...

It was always a time of real excitement when we had visiting ministers.

Especially Waterhouse. Wow. Nice eating during spring festivals and a hall full of excitement when he showed the "order and sequence of things" for the future.

Of course when I was old enough to join his 3 4 hour sessions it was a huge disappointment, extremely boring and to top it off, bogus.

But I do remember the excitement of visiting ministers.

Of course the teaching is bogus. But very powerful for a generation not having been able to escape. And of course, with all things Armstrong, proof texts can be found if you are into that.

Nck

Byker Bob said...

Gerald Waterhouse was in his prime during the timespan of my membership, was widely respected, and people looked forward with great anticipation to his encouraging visits. But, that was before the big Petra bust. I would imagine that his career and fortunes ran parallel to our great disappointment. At the college in Pasadena, he had an apartment at 80 S. Grand for when he was in town in the building in which my dormitory was located. The students had great respect for him and the work that he did. People didn’t do little pantomimes based on him as they did with Uncle Roddy.

Considering all of that,it almost sounds funny to learn of a later era in which there were a few “Waterhouse nuts” in each congregation, because before 1972-75 we were all Waterhouse nuts. That was part of our naive mainstream!

BB

Near_Earth_Object said...

I always wondered if Waterhouse's presentations were vetted with Pasadena. Did he work in isolation or did he feed specific ideas to local congregations, ideas that were carefully engineered by WCG leadership? He talked up prophecy in a big way, with a lot of odd ideas, and I heard more about the Place of Safety from Waterhouse than any other WCG preacher.

The local congregations received an additional dose of 1) false prophecy preached by Waterhouse and 2) racism preached by Blackwell. This is not a bad strategy if you want to "stir up the base" to shell out more money.

The idea that I heard marketed often from the pulpit was that the Place of Safety was going to be like the Feast of Tabernacles. The WCG would go off to experience three and a half years of inordinate self-indulgence while the rest of humanity got what they deserved. This is an ugly, compassionless and un-Christian idea.

Another idea that was often used was the threat that those that were not perfect in their practice of Armstrongism would have to undergo the Tribulation. But I can't say that this was the central fear that afflicted most lay members. I think it was somewhat abstract for most in spite of Waterhouse's great efforts to make it concrete.

In the history of Israel, there was a place of refuge. Elijah according to tradition took refuge there. It was called Mt. Carmel. This was the name of the Waco compound where David Koresh, the Millerite radical who claimed to be a kind of messiah, made his stand with some followers. The idea of a place of refuge can be used as a tool to control people. It can both the stick and the carrot. Overall, it is a useful and effective implement in the hands of cult leaders.



Anonymous said...

c f ben yochanan wrote:

"it just occurred to me: theres no logical reason for a person what truly has been negatively affected or has disavowed armstrongism to be coming on a site about armstrongism and talking about it in any way, form, or fashion..."

You truly are dumber than hell if you believe that. There are hundreds of us who left the cult and lies of Armstrongism and we DO come here to discuss the abuse. We have been doing it for years.

Dennis Diehl said...

The modern place of safety as not spoken of in Revelation is destroyed by the fact it was written in 68 to 70 AD for those about to be scrapped off the earth by the Romans. This is seen in the context. The late 90s date is inaccurate. Soon meant soon and shortly meant shortly. Behold I come quickly also meant quickly. Problem is it failed to come true. PRETERISM

I think there was no HQ agenda with Waterhouse. They didn't know what to do with him so he free wheeled it. I could be mistaken. I was not in the know loop. Just my impression.

Dennis Diehl said...

Oops...Preterist

Anonymous said...

Who cares what that Washington goof thinks? Who the heck is he? What a nobody.

Anonymous said...

"Sadly, most of the stalwarts, rather than getting an actual clue or gaining some real perspective as to the insidious nature of their cult, will dismiss this as the rantings of a “non-Israelite”. Because in the wonderful world of Armstrongism, hair length or skin pigmentation place much higher in importance than intellect or ideas. Happens all the time."

Some people find a way to make everything into a racial incident. Usually it's a progressive attacking white people for racism before anyone says a word that's racial. Then these progressives speak falsely about other people's priorities. Happens all the time.

Anonymous said...

The church preaches strongly against suicide. They are not going to commit mass suicide. Get real. Some of you people are paranoid. But it's all posturing to defame people you don't like. Posturing. Fake analysis. You know. Happens all the time.

LCG Expositor said...

The Case Against The Place Of Safety (part 1 of 2)

Points:
1) There are two groups of people in Revelation 12:13-17. They are clearly described in the immediate context. One is “the woman who gave birth to the male Child”. Every preacher I have ever heard promote the place of safety glosses right over this. At most they give a passing reference to the woman being the church, but they never address how the church could possibly have given birth to Jesus, since the church didn’t exist then. Some might argue that there is only one continuous woman from the time of Abraham down through today. But Revelation 12 clearly talks about TWO sets of people and makes clear distinction between them. The second set of people is “the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Rev 14:12 describes the saints as “those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus”, a nearly identical description as the second set of people, those in Rev 12:17. So, it appears that Revelation 12:17 is the saints (the church) and 12:13 is not. So, who is the woman of verse 13? It can only be the Jews. It was the Jews who gave birth the the male Child; it is the Jews who gave birth to the church; it is the Jews who will be taken to the place of safety. Further, the faulty teaching that the church of God gave birth to the man Child, is made worse by the inference that since only the Philadelphia era of the church of God will go to the place of safety, the Philadelphia era of the church of God must have given birth to the man child. That is stretching the scripture far beyond the breaking point. So, the conclusion is that it is the Jews who will be taken to a place of safety, not the church.
2) The place of safety that the woman fled to for 1260 days in Rev 12:6 is singular, as is the place of safety in Rev 12:14. Yet the church has contradicted itself by teaching that the place in verse 6 was not a single place yet verse 14 is.
3) Matthew 24:16 says “let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains”. It specifically says nothing about those who are elsewhere. Who is in Judea now, the church of God or the Jews?

LCG Expositor said...

The Case Against The Place Of Safety (part 2 of 2)

4) The KJV refers to the people of Rev 12:17 as the remnant. The Greek word is not explicit on what remnant means. The concept of remnant in common English is that of leftover scraps after the good stuff has been taken away. However, the Biblical concept is quite different. “Remnant” is referred to as “very holy” when used for the offering portion remaining for the priests. The book of Ezra refers to the returning Jews as a remnant. Isaiah and Jeremiah talk of a remnant returning to the land. Ezekiel talks of a remnant that shall be saved. The point is that the remnant of Rev 12:17 need not be some inferior Laodicean Christians, but could be the choice elect. There is no indication in Rev 12:17 that they are anything otherwise.
5) Revelation 13:7 says Satan shall war against the saints and overcome them, they don’t escape. Daniel 7:25, too. It doesn’t say that some will escape and some won’t.
6) There is a promise of protection for the faithful Christian at the time of the end, it’s just not the place of safety of Revelation 12. Revelation 3:10 clearly says that the faithful will be spared in the time of trial, but says nothing about a place of safety. “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world” This is addressed to the church at Philadelphia. If you believe in church eras and therefore conclude that it is the Philadelphian era that is going to the place of safety, then you confronted with trying to explaining how the Philadelphian era gave birth to the man child. The same group of people who gave birth to the man child are going to the place of safety Read Rev 12:13-14 again. Luke 21:36 also promises end-time protection to those “worthy”, but says nothing about a place of safety.
Observation: The place of safety doctrine is the Church of God’s own rapture theory that has been invented and abused by church leaders to manipulate people into staying in a human organization, thinking that this is the only way to be protected during the great tribulation. This, of course, gives more power to the leaders, both in terms of more money and in terms of more personal loyalty. Once this place of safety myth is shown for the fraud that it is, people are then more free to follow a leader because he follows Christ, as opposed to following a leader only to save their own skin.

Anonymous said...

Washington is black so if you disagree with him you must be a racist and an Armstrongist. That seems to be the "logic" of some people. So you have to accept that the CoGs are all about to kill themselves. And get on the bandwagon and bash them for something they have not done.

Anonymous said...

The Koresh people did not commit suicide. As I recall they died in a fire that broke out because they were surrounded by police and hemmed in. I think they started the fires to keep warm or their electricity was cut off, or some such thing, and the fire started by accident. It was an accident brought on by police over-reacting to a situation. The whole thing escalated out of control. Some think the authorities went after them because they were just different and that made them an easy target.

They had guns. Nothing wrong with that, but the CoG do not really have guns, except for a few hunters among them. They don't believe in fighting with guns and have few guns so cops can't pretend the CoG are dangerous that way. Some people here would like to pretend that though.

nck said...

Contrary to popular belief I don't think there was a "sinister agenda" to "mislead" people. Even if as early as the early seventies some more young ministers had taken psychology courses. People believed as they did, or had convinced themselves that they did and ministers were out there to "protect" the flock and the body. That is the general idea.

Now in the case of Waterhouse. He was an evangelist, which equalled something like a general in modern society. People of that "rank" have considerable leverage to speak and act freely and creatively in order to draw, persuade, convince, lead larger crowds, within a greater framework.

What I mean is that the "thought police" was not sitting next to mr Apartian when he was speaking to "le french speaking nations" or garner ted could ad lib on the radio, and other evangelists could promote their pet theories within the general philosophical framework as laid out by hwa, "to fill in some gaps" or explain larger principles.
So as Neo said I believe Waterhouse just pushed the party line (as an evangelist should speaking to larger crowds within a governance role) and filled in gaps with personal ideas. Dennis also alludes to that fact since Dennis has studied the first evangelists from the NT and came to the conclusion that they do not always seem to have synchronized their message or rather differ at times.

It is telling that the later tv evangelists in the Tkach years were "scripted" speakers. It made for a more professional format, but it seemed the original charisma and "personal draw" and persuasive personal touch of someone from the "general rank" had diminished somewhat.

Nothing what I said in any way implies I agree with the scenarios described by Waterhouse. I'm just talking general management.

nck

Anonymous said...

and your willingness to engage in childish name calling (especially to someone what has done nothing to you personally: abuse?) speaks volumes about the kind of person you are: clearly you didnt belong in the Church of God...

c f ben yochanan

Anonymous said...

Yochanan
According to your 5.28 PM comment, it sounds as if you have not been negatively effected by the church. Did you attend services or were you a minister?
All organizations love excessive privacy in order to hide their mistakes and immorality. You shouldn't be criticizing blogs which expose mistreatment of others. There is no right to privacy when it comes to criminal behavior. The many recorded stories in the bible is a proof of this. Or do you think that these accounts should be torn out of the bible?

Anonymous said...

c f ben yochanan wrote:

and your willingness to engage in childish name calling (especially to someone what has done nothing to you personally: abuse?) speaks volumes about the kind of person you are: clearly you didnt belong in the Church of God...

Thank you! I'm glad we agree that when HWA called Raymond McNair "Buffie" (for "Buffoon") he demonstrated that he didn't belong in the Church of God. If HWA didn't belong in the Church of God, that makes sorting things out a lot easier for the rest of us.

Dennis Diehl said...

Nicely put NCK. Freedom of speech in the ministry was also from the top down. There was none below Evangelist

Anonymous said...

C f Ben yochanan.
'It just occurred to me, there's no logical reason for people .... to have rights.'

You are dictator at heart and cannot tolerate dissension. This makes you a fool.
And no, it's not name calling, but rather a fact.

Byker Bob said...

Hey. Ben sounds like a typical Armstrongite from my era. I guess some of them never grew. The guy who is always posting about milk is probably right.

BB

Anonymous said...

first off, you are simply projecting: i have expressed dissension among the many posters, and as you said, it is a right: yet you call me a fool after i expressed my opinion...and in addition you have proven to be a biased hypocrite (and frankly typical), and a person what insults someone that has done nothing against you personally, and that is a fact...

your calling me a fool when you have done exactly what you have falsely accused me of doing speaks for itself...

c f ben yochanan

Anonymous said...

Some people did commit suicide, of a sort for HWA. They committed intellectual suicide; financial suicide, matrimonial suicide and indirectly physical suicide by refusing medical care when needed.