Sunday, April 15, 2018

LCG: Dramatic Readership Decline


The Living Church of God has had huge issues over the last few years in its ability to retain readers of its flagship magazine, Tomorrow's World.

News of the Churches of God has this up:

Living Church of GodThe March-April 2018 issue of Tomorrow’s World magazine is now on-line. 
The circulation figures continue to tumble 
March-April 2016: 539,000 
March-April 2017: 417,000 
March-April 2018: 257,000

Now that its namesake Rod Meredith is no longer around, the magazine does not have much appeal to members or to those from other groups interested in LCG.  Gerald Weston is not the draw people thought he would be.  Given his track record of mistreating people in his field churches he was assigned to and his overbearing strictness towards the youth in his areas he has has not garnered many accolades from those people.

LCG is creating its own decline due to the distrust many members have with Headquarters leadership and the blatant nepotism and financial waste of the elite.


Anonymous said...

The magazine image is not the "Social Media Monster!"

That's more like an image of a COG Minister having a counseling session with a member!

Title should read:

"Tame the Ministerial Counseling Monster!"
"Is it time To De-Friend your Abusive Pastor?"

Byker Bob said...

What’s funnier than rubber dog poop is the timing of this gleeful cover article, what with the Zuckerberg inquisition and all. After all, these ACOGs have been praying for years for a reversal of all the internet tools and trends which have held them accountable. I doubt that that part will change, despite the current controversy.


Anonymous said...

Another thing, how many get that rag and do not even open it? Do they get it and place it in file 13?

Anonymous said...

Richard Ames in latest TW magazine states:
"..some will accept the testimony of a historian like Josephus, yet ignore the eyewitness testimony of Jesus’ contemporaries. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.."

Obvious the shrinking fundamentalist LCG-doomsday-cult does not inform its zombie followers about contemporary scholarship.

Anonymous said...

A 50% drop in 2 years is pretty significant. I wonder if this would qualify in reverse under the old (now truthful) mantra of HWA “30% DECREASE” every year”

That seemed such a selling point when bragging about the growth in WCOG and I’m certain truth in advertising would be HWA’s goal, if he were still alive (totally tongue in cheek)

Anonymous said...

tis to be expected in personality driven organizations...when the lead personality is gone, the organization declines...

I never understood the draw of RCM...but I guess he appealed to some.

ICG seems to have pretty much faded away too, since GTA is no longer there...they held on for a bit until Shirley died, but now there is nothing left to hold on to.

Anonymous said...

That the readership has plunged because Rod has kicked the bucket, means that the readers didn't know the real Rod and/or were in love with his Pharisaic mask.

Hurndall said...

Anon 9:56 PM, I was thinking the same thing when I saw the magazine image. I remember back in the 80's a friend of mine got kicked out of the WCG because the minister kept being a smart-ass so my friend bitch slapped the taste out of that ministers mouth.

Connie Schmidt said...

Newspapers and Magazines have been in decline for years. The COGs have been a little late to the reality that 1960 marketing techniques are now obsolete, amongst many other obsolete ways of managing, promoting, and socializing that they still do.

Anonymous said...

The subscription decrease is more complex -

Firstly, the subscription numbers were highly inflated in the Rod Meredith years due to underhand, dishonest tactics. All so that Rod could boast about them reaching half a million a few years ago - something to keep the morale of the church members up when there was talk of the work shrinking.

Secondly, there has been an active encouragement by the church to get members to accept the online version of the magazine for several years now. Due to the dwindling amount of money being spent on "the work" (money being spent elsewhere, plus less coming in from tithes and offerings)they want to spend as little as possible in sending out those magazines to members who don't need to read them to be recruited.

Therefore, the huge decrease is rather smoke and mirrors considering it was never that high a number in the first place.

Near_Earth_Object said...

I'm stunned. I would have expected the circulation figures to be a couple of thousand.

The Philadelphia Trumpet is in the magazine rack at my Doctor's office. I don't think anyone knows what it is. I don't remember seeing anybody reading it. I would guess this counts as a subscription.

Anonymous said...

Tomorrow's World isn't even doing its own artwork anymore. The cover is clip art that has been used by many other organizations:

DownloadYouth Ministry

Pinnacle HR Solutions

This article is especially funny after all the messages Rod Meredith gave about the Work changing its focus to move away from old media and to use the "powerful new door" of the Internet and social media. Now that they realize the Internet and social media are forces beyond their control that actually reveal the truth about the ACOGs, they seem to be having second thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Those circulation figures document something that can be seen elsewhere in LCG as well. Rod Meredith used to tell members that LCG was different from other Church of God groups because it put its priority on preaching the gospel to the world as a witness. It spent more on its TV, print media and Internet efforts than on "feeding the flock." But then something changed, and LCG started spending more money on feeding the flock than on preaching the gospel, just like nearly every other Church of God group.

LCG hasn't had just a "Dramatic Readership Decline" (and Dramatic Viewership Decline). It has had a Dramatic Purpose Decline.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:17AM wrote:

there has been an active encouragement by the church to get members to accept the online version of the magazine for several years now.

Even counting individual Feastgoers of any age, there are fewer than 12,000 members in all of LCG. The circulation drop is in excess of 250,000. It seems Gerald Weston is going in a Dave Pack direction of cutting subscribers off if they don't become donors. That may be good business, but it's not the "give" way of preaching the gospel as a witness, the way HWA or even RCM did it.

Anonymous said...


You could maybe make a case for some of these groups being "stuck in their ways" Sort of like when I started listening to classical music back in the 70's. Some people did not want to try anything new like 20th century classical or soundtrack music. Or like someone's grandfather blah blah about how it was better in the 30's

Near_Earth_Object said...

I live in the American outback. Yet, in my Doctor's office there is a copy of the Philadelphia Trumpet. You have to stop and wonder why all of these Millerite fragment churches publish a magazine as their mainline medium and these magazines end up at some really unexpected places.

Initially Herbert had few local congregations - his was a "start up" church engrafted on the Millerite branch and root stock. So there was the Radio Church of God. A radio program and a magazine is a low cost, low service infrastructure. It is more like a para-church than a real church. Yet it snagged enough people to build an income of around $50M/year in the golden era. Someone had to be crazy with jubilation over that outcome.

I think many of the fragment churches are hoping for a repeat of HWA's shrewd use of media. But for some reason, this technique doesn't work like it used to. I think people have become more skepical of media evangelism.

Zippy said...

I find a hundred -thousand a month hard to believe anyway.

Anonymous said...

It's indeed true that many who were once members of HWA's church are now "TOTALLY STUCK IN THEIR WAYS!"

However, I'm willing to forgive them when they show signs of joining the human race again.
(I know some people who have done that.)

Anonymous said...

I am an LCG member and have to admit I don't read the magazine anymore. It is the same stuff I have heard for decades in the church and in WCG. The world is evil, people are evil, sex, sex, and more sex, submitting to church government, law, law, law, etc. It is tiresome and frankly BORING!

Anonymous said...


The Dead Sardis Era of the True Church

Church of God (Seventh Day): The COG(7D) has a Bible Advocate magazine for those who are not spooked by the idea of reading something rather dead and boring from a dead church.

The Philadelphia Era of the One and Only True Church

Worldwide Church of God: Herbert W. Armstrong died on January 16, 1986. The Plain Truth magazine designed for the world, and the Good News magazine designed for WCG members, are no longer in print. Some old issues of these magazines from the HWA days can be found preserved online. Such a sad ending for such a true church. These magazines were sent out totally free of charge, assuming that you do not count the tens of thousands of dollars that you might have ended up willingly sending in to help The Work and avoid burning up in the lake of fire.

GTA's Rebel Groups

Church of [Playboy], International and Intercontinental Church of [Playboy]: These are Garner Ted Armstrong's diddly little rebel groups that amounted to nothing after HWA finally had to kick his own fucking spoiled brat GTA out of the WCG openly and permanently in 1978 after having tried repeatedly in the past to cover up GTA's sins and set up GTA as his successor. So, Joseph W. Tkach, Sr. became HWA's successor to lead the WCG. Just a guess, but GTA's favorite magazine was probably Playboy, unless he was into something even raunchier than that.

The Apostates

Grace Communion International: GCI is the Apostate Joseph Tkach, Jr.'s leftover wreckage of what was previously called the WCG. The Tkaches' Great Apostasy of January 1995 caused the WCG to explode into many little pieces. Those still left with the apostates are now mostly ham-eating Sunday-keepers. There does not seem to be much need to read anything by these newbie sinners when the world is full of the literature of ancient, professional, ham-eating, Sunday-keeping sinners.

Continued below...

Anonymous said...

...continued from above.

Some Splinter Groups in the Laodicea Era

United Church of God, an International Association: The UCG has a Good News magazine that cannot hide the bad news that the UCG, which always had many unrepentant, unconverted unbelievers in its midst behaving very badly, has now become a haunt of demons and newly credentialed, adulterous, killer ministers since its last major split in 2010 when it lost about two-thirds of its ministry to COGWA. When the mobsters that these adulterous so-called “ministers” try to hire on the dark web to kill their wives just steal their bitcoins without hurting anyone, these fake ministers do the job themselves but try to blame it on someone else. Totally irresponsible.

Church of God, a Worldwide Association, Inc.: The COGWA does not yet offer any hard-copies of its online In/One Accord thingies. Too many of the leaders in the COGWA like to sit around watching movies rather than working hard. This is the opposite of how it was at the beginning of HWA's church, when an angel in a dream told HWA's wife Loma that there was much work to be done and that there would be no time for movies. As with the UCG, the COGWA cannot really say anything in its online magazines because it does not want to “attack” anyone, or hurt anyone's feelings, or offend anyone, or get sued. The prime objective is still to collect a paycheck. In his old age, HWA had made it appear to be so easy to grow the church into a huge worldwide work that everyone else thought that they could do it too. In fact, they thought that they could do it even better than HWA had done. Now, after about 32 years since HWA's death, this is what things have actually come down to. Everybody had carelessly assumed that the Laodiceans would be rich and increased with goods. Nobody had realised that that was merely what the Laodiceans were prophesied to be saying about themselves. Nobody had ever expected that the Laodiceans really would be so wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked.

Living Church of God: The LCG still has its Tomorrow's World magazine. This is probably the last of the true hard-copy hardliners. Maybe Roderick Meredith could have done more if he had not wasted so much time in futile competition with the dead HWA, always trying to put his own stamp on his church with such heretical doctrinal changes as the hybrid gospel, the marriage supper in heaven, and the great falling away being out in the world. RCM is now dead and Gerald Weston carries on in his place. Stay tuned to see what, if anything, happens next.

Continued below...

Anonymous said...

...continued from above.

Some False Prophets

Philadelphia Church of [Satan]: The PCG has a Philadelphia Trumpet magazine that used HWA's name and photograph to help That False Prophet Gerald Flurry attract HWA's old WCG followers and then totally pervert in the most satanic ways everything that HWA had ever taught. The magazine can entertain you with stories of all the evils and disasters and dangers out in the world, without warning you about any of the evils and disasters and dangers that lurk inside the PCG. The PCG is actually rather good at its “new commission” of preaching “another gospel” of family wrecking and promoting sexual immorality.

Restored Church of [Satan]: The RCG has a Real Truth magazine that was supposedly going to bring “responsible understanding rather than reckless speculation.” Unfortunately, that did not stop klepto-Dave Pack of Lies from vomiting uncontrollably all over his followers later on. David Pack's doctrinal changes will leave you not only breathless, but penniless. If you really want a hard copy, send lots of money. Otherwise, read it online so Dave will not yell and spit quite so much about you stealing from his church.

Anonymous said...

I am an LCG member and have to admit I don't read the magazine anymore. It is the same stuff I have heard for decades in the church and in WCG. The world is evil, people are evil, sex, sex, and more sex, submitting to church government, law, law, law, etc. It is tiresome and frankly BORING!

And that's the gospel?

If you, a MEMBER, have problems reading it, do you really think the GENERAL PUBLIC, who are not even members, get anything out of it? There's no proclamation of any gospel with their magazine. According to your member testimony, it's more like:

You're bad! You're bad! You're evil and you bad!
Bad Bad Perverts you are bad, you're bad!
The world is so bad, so bad, so sad!
Perverted sexual deviants so bad, so sad!

But WE are so good! So good! So good!
And when we say to jump, jump high, you should!
What we say to do, you do, you do
Do what WE SAY, NOT what WE DO
Do what WE SAY, NOT what WE DO

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

I always enjoy reading the periodic postings of Anonymous April 16, 2018 2:21, 2:22 & 2:23 PM and the analysis of the "current State of the Splintering Work" here on Banned. He/she provides excellent perspective to the current state of affairs and the legacy of God's 20th Century Apostle Herbert W. Armstrong - and the fruits of the most important Work being performed on earth (or so we were told).


Anonymous said...

When I was in LCG I would fan the magazine out on my coffee table but I would never read them.

They were so uninspired.

It seems that everyone knows that LCG is a dying church... except LCG.

Byker Bob said...

They know, too. That’s why they go to such lengths to deny and defend.