Sunday, April 22, 2018

Why Do COG Leaders Try To Rewrite History?

https://www.hwalibrary.com/cgi-bin/get/hwa.cgi?action=getmagazine&InfoID=1401967224

Click on above screen snap for full article


There was great discussion on  a Facebook page today about the Church of God propensity to rewrite history to fit the interpretation that the church was looking for.  There were only a few COG leaders who were actually educated in a "worldly" college and received their Masters and/or PhD's.  Most got their Masters/PhD's from the church run Ambassador Colleges which were not known for pumping out the most highly educated world visionaries or authorities on much of anything.  Though it should be acknowledged that quite a few AC grads went on to higher educational institutions where they received a real education and made something of their lives.  However, that does not excuse the COG historians.

The writer on FB said:
I had a discussion with my sister and bil a few weeks ago. I realized that the only way the cogs are surviving is that they've rewritten history and have convinced the sheeple that they're right.
Just because a self proclaimed authority figure writes a book doesn't make it true.


One of the biggest con-artists in church history rewriting was Herman Hoeh.  His PhD that he garnered from AC was purely based upon the Compendium of World History.  It was used to support the idea that the Church of God had a continuous linage through out history.  The church eventually pulled it from circulation.  Hoeh even admitted later in life the book was filled with multiple errors and that no one should use it as a real guide to world history.




The late Gavin Rumney had this up about Hoeh:

Having known Herman Hoeh (like many others) for nearly 20 years and worked for him for part of that time, if someone had told me that he had adopted elements of the edicts of Zarathustra, I can't say I would be surprised. An intensely private man, Hoeh was an enigma in the truest sense of the word.
If he was anything (and I actually write this with respect), he was an apologist for whomever was in power at the time in WCG.
1) For example, when HWA announced in the 1950s/1960s that the Egyptian pyramids couldn't have survived the Great Flood, Hoeh responded by simply rewriting history. Borrowing heavily from Immanuel Velikovsky's controversial work, Ages in Chaos, Hoeh reworked traditionally accepted Egyptian and Babylonian dynasty chronologies so they fit HWA's Flood scheme. He subsequently published them as "new truth" in the first volume of his legendary Compendium. When HWA later allowed for the pyramids to actually have "survived" the Flood, Hoeh looked like an idiot.
2) The "theology" for HWA's title and rank of "Apostle" came directly from Hoeh. HWA actually initially rebuked Hoeh for calling Armstrong an Apostle, but as we all know, gradually accepted it (although HWA didn't use the title openly for nearly 20 years).
3) In the last months while HWA was dying, Hoeh basically either flat-out hand-wrote sections or heavily edited prior HWA works for the book that became Mystery of the Ages. (Sheila Graham also played a significant role in the production of MOA, which should give Flurry fits). Mystery of the Ages would be more appropriately title "Herbert Armstrong's Greatest Hits," edited by Herman L. Hoeh.
4) Hoeh heavily edited HWA's original Authobiography after Armstrong's death (again with aid from Sheila Graham), adding in HWA letters and the initial pieces about Joe Tkach. The result was a politically tinged tone that produced a quasi-"balanced" view of WCG's founder and made it seem like the selection of Tkach as successor was an orderly process (which it was anything but same).
I had a great deal of respect for Hoeh (particularly in how he and his wife were true servants of humanity), but truly to really understand what he "believed" at any given moment was like trying to nail a wet noodle to a wall.  The Enigma of Herman Hoeh
Rod Meredith's current version of church history being published by the Living Church of God is another case in point.  The same goes to Almost arrested but not arrested Bob Thiel's take on COG history, Catholicism and world history. And then there is Ron Weinland, Gerald Flurry and Dave Pack's appalling take on church history and world events.  All of these foolish buffoons do this in order to make their church look like the "only true church."

All of them are church apologists that go out of heir way to support the teachings of Herbert Armstrong.  Without him none of them had the wherewithal to ever come up with an original idea so it is important to defend Armstrongism in order to stay alive as a group.




42 comments:

Anonymous said...

The guy keeps telling us how much he respects Hoeh even though he keeps telling us Hoeh was full of poo (which he probably was). Sorry, but destructive lying dirt-bags deserve no respect. Liars get respect, the truth gets none. And then people wonder why the world is a mess.

Anonymous said...

Confirmation bias. Everyone does it. Dawkins does it. Creationists do it. Atheists do it. Fundamentalists do it. The media does it. It is the way of the world. Grow up. Don't do it.

Byker Bob said...

The ACOGs have always believed and practiced that the ends justify the means.

This may be apocryphal, and I can’t cite chapter and verse, but HWA was once quoted as having said in a ministerial meeting that he would lie, cheat, steal, or do anything else he thought was necessary to get out the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Kind of brings back to memory one of our satirical mini-skits from the seventies. We made this incredibly popular in Pasadena: (enunciating with deeply affected pseudo AM disk jockey voice) “At Ambassador College, above all things (wobble head and point to ceiling), we’re sincere! (emphasize with oily, fake toothy grin).

BB

Anonymous said...

History as we know it isn't always fact.

DennisCDiehl said...

The pyramids were clearly constructed by Moses , using the plans he got from Nimrod and Noah who was the greatest builder of all time. Joseph stored the abundant grain of Egypt in them. The Destiny Stone, or Stone of Scone originally was ballast on the Ark and is probably the original capstone of the Great Pyramid now under the Throne in Pestminister Not too Shabby. Dr Hoeh knew this and kept it from the world suspecting Gerald Flurry easily obtain, without even one protest, the Stone of Destiny to Oklahoma and gain unimaginable power and prestige. This knowledge is scrolled away in a Buddhist Monastery where Christ will retrieve it at His Second Coming and take it to Wadsworth, Ohio to create the initial seat gyrating in the country that will spread around the world. You'll see... Time will tell.

Connie Schmidt said...

ANNONYMOUS WROTE: "Confirmation bias. Everyone does it. Dawkins does it. Creationists do it. Atheists do it. Fundamentalists do it. The media does it. It is the way of the world. Grow up. Don't do it."

MY COMMENT: That is not true! I do not have that bias! I love ALL CONFIRMATIONS equally, and show no favor to any of them.

In fact, I even attended the ONE MILLION CONFIRMATIONS MARCH in Washington DC two years ago.

Connie Schmidt said...

The COGs made the "GREAT PYRAMID" with their "TOP DOWN" , non accountable , centralized governmental structure!

Byker Bob said...

The field of History shares one thing in common with the field of Science. There is peer review, and a vetting process in both fields. You can get a pretty good concensus of reality by using multiple references on any given topic or event. Of course, conspiratorialists are going to experience the same misgivings and paranoia in dealing with history as they do with science. Some pretty average folks elevate themselves to the status of being “special” or “enlightened” by embracing the irrational or bizarre.

BB

Near_Earth_Object said...

I think the overall article is insightful but I do not entirely agree with the detail.

1. The Compendium of World History had little to do with the history of the Church. It was all about how the race of Israel (US and UK) had always been the dominant force behind civilization on earth. Israel was the source of the royalty or ruling class in most nations. The Compendium forms the foundation for the White Supremacy doctrine found in the WCG. Ironically, Hoeh would argue later that the WCG was not a racist organization.

2. In the early Seventies, Hoeh came to AC BS and in an assembly announced a revised belief in world history that included Pre-Adamic man. This, in one stroke, took WCG out of the Young Earth Creationist camp. He also announced that the pyramids were pre-flood. This was alarming to many in the audeicne because it meant that the pyramids had not been built by Israelites as mentioned so often in sermons around the Days of ULB. I heard Ron Kelly remark that he was going to have to revise his view ot history on this. The point is Hoeh went against the current of what was then widely believed and cherished in the WCG and did not seem to bat an eye. Maybe he had been the great rationalizer at one time but this seems to have changed.

3. I regard Hoeh's largest mistake to be the supporting of a doctrine of God that identified god as a Demiurge rather than God as understood in the Christian Movement. I think HWA originated this characterization of god but Hoeh lent support. And to that average church member, Hoeh was unchallengeable when it came to anything philosophical, historical or academic. Hoeh, for instance, believed that God was like a man, a human engineer, and had to experiment with many models before he could come up with the design for homo sapiens. I saw this statement in material he presented to ministers at a Ministerial Conference in Pasadena in the Seventies. HWA and Hoeh both believed that God was more like a superhuman than the omnipotent God of the Christian movement. And this still influences the thinking of many Armstrongists and ex-Armstrongists.

Near_Earth_Object said...

An Addendum:

Back in the Seventies, I spoke with Dean Blackwell about an error in the Compendium. He had made use of this error in his sermons about race. Instead of addressing the issue directly Blackwell resorted to the argument that the Compendium was not intended for me. He stated that there had been a great debate among the leading ministers about whether to permit lay members to even see the Compendium because they would misunderstand and misinterpret it. I thought this was disingenuous on Blackwell's part.

This approach, of course, is not the sole property of the old WCG. I have asked questions in GCI about points of doctrine to be told that I could not understand the issues. And on one occasion that the understanding of theology was a special gift that people like me did not have. Old Armstrongists habits die hard.

nck said...

"and had to experiment with many models before he could come up with the design for homo sapiens'

yeah, I heard that too at the time. Good for him to try to explain the existence of pre adamic man and acknowledge that.


The theory of God experimenting is not irrational at all.
Neo sounds a bit like a chinese engineer taking an I phone apart and concluding how rational and logical the design of the product is.

If God is some kind of superpower, the dealings of the flesh would be extremely alien to this super duper thing. I wouldn't mind him/it/she experimenting with stuff that must be new and really odd and foreign to that "super uber existence."

nck


Anonymous said...

Isn't it surreal that people like Blackwell, Hoeh, GTA, Herb and others were regarded as junior gods in the church, yet are now all dead. They so exalted themselves, that they gave the impression that they would never crock it.

RSK said...

(chuckle) I read the linked article. Damn, that was awful. Job builds a pyramid to the Hebrew god, and the later Egyptians "admit" they cant duplicate it (a twisted reference to the cheaper construction of the 5th Dynasty and beyond), but quietly omit the fact that "Cheops"(Khufu)'s father built at least two of his own, plus the two Giza pyramids that came after? Ugh. They really were relying on their readers' ignorance.

Near_Earth_Object said...

NCK:

God does not experiment, he decrees. He is omnipotent and omniscient. Experimentation takes place across time. God is not bound by time - he created time and is himself timeless. He can make the results he wants. He does not have to manipulate the system to produce the right outcome.

I believe God used directed evolution to produce the diversity and complexity of life on this earth but he was in complete control of every design.

HWA and Hoeh took a turn in the wrong direction about the nature of God when they let all the anthropomorphisms in the OT go to their heads. They began to think of God not as God but as a Demiurge.

TM said...

I knew HLH somewhat, and like Gavin Rumney, had quite a bit of respect for him. He was always presenting new stuff, which we called the "doctrine du jour" and other names. We wondered what HWA thought of this, whether he approved or even knew. Here are a few other memories.

1. I arrived at AC Pasadena in 1972. It had been an assignment for all the students to read the Compendium of World History and make a timeline chart. My class was one of the first that didn't have to do this. I don't know if HLH told the administration to take it out of the curriculum or if they decided on their own. (They were pursuing accreditation at the time, which is a whole other story.)

2. I was in HLH's Ambassador Club September to December 1973. I clearly remember one comment he made was that those in the Club who had accredited degrees would receive much more respect from academia than he would. In that audience he was referring to me and one other person; we had quite a discussion about that after the meeting.

3. I was at the FOT in China in 1984 with him, and about 500 other people. Several had brought along some HLH publications, notably the Compendium and the article about the Taiping Rebellion. HLH was quite embarrassed about that. He told me that the entire Compendium was discredited (I don't remember his exact word, but something like that), and we shouldn't try to learn anything at all from it.

4. He never stopped regarding nationalities and ethnic groups as important. I never looked on that as being racist, but now a generation later I see it might have been.

5. He was regarded as a curiosity, such as how he lived in his house in Sunland and had goats. He would milk his goats and give it to some of his friends. After the split of 1994-95, he was thought to be the only minister allowed to address congregations of both WCG and UCG. And he studied Buddhist doctrine and worshiped at the Thai temple in Los Angeles; supposedly HWA allowed it because Buddhism did not have a God or something like that.

Anonymous said...

You can get a pretty good concensus of reality by using multiple references on any given topic or event.

Yep, you can get a pretty good FALSE consensus that way, which is what they do, choosing their references selectively. Confirmation bias.

Anonymous said...

And on one occasion that the understanding of theology was a special gift that people like me did not have.

Well then, we can't be expected to believe it either then.

Anonymous said...

Some pretty average folks elevate themselves to the status of being “special” or “enlightened” by embracing the irrational or bizarre.

You couldn't have described yourself any better.


English Rose said...

Anon 4:53 AM, well said. My husband teaches world history and the information we have has been slightly changed and altered by politics & religion.

Anonymous said...

The truth does not fear investigation, but those who limit themselves to the official church or other establishment viewpoint certainly do. Hoeh was just one of many hacks who made stuff up and towed the line to support the powers that be. He new what side his bread was buttered on.

Anonymous said...

Clearly, some people on this site were never spiritual, never converted, never belonged in any serious church, and were just out to save their skin. They have nothing to complain about. The sincere victims can complain but the unconverted infiltrators can't because they are more disingenuous than the ministers they constantly deride.

RSK said...

And by availability of information, English Rose. Nowadays, you can look up any topic you want on your smartphone or Internet terminal and at least gain a general knowledge of the subject. But it also means that you sometimes have to discard less informed sources.

Hoss said...

From some ministers back in my WCG days I heard comments about the Compendium undergoing continual revisions - and in what would seem to be insignificant detail, such as names in the many dynasties listed.
Back in the counting of Pentecost matter, HLH was said to have told HWA that if he wanted it to be on Sunday, he could provide proof that it was Sunday; if not, he could provide proof that it was on Monday as HWA originally claimed.
As for Pyramids, although some have disputed this, HWA was into Pyramidology. He even mentioned something about it in an early PT. In Ralph Orr's document on the history of BI in the church, I believe he also confirmed HWA's interest in pyramidology.
As Dr Laurence Peter (who was, among other things, a hierarchiologist) quipped, Some can sit on the top of a pyramid and still miss the point.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:42 PM, one of the biggest problems in WCG and its splinters is that the unconverted infiltrators were/are the ones most likely to be ordained as ministers.

Anonymous said...

Clearly, some people on this site were never spiritual, never converted, never belonged in any serious church, and were just out to save their skin. They have nothing to complain about. The sincere victims can complain but the unconverted infiltrators can't because they are more disingenuous than the ministers they constantly deride.

Clearly you know these people well enough to make such an intellectual judgement. Do you know these people well enough to say that each of them have never belonged in any "serious" church? Do you know their life story to say they were just "out to save their skin"? Are you fully aware of their depth of "conversion"? Did you sit in their bedrooms and listen to their prayers to judge their spirituality? Were you there when they did their spiritual things "in secret" as the scripture tells us to do? Who are you to judge those whom you have never met, never counseled, never dined with, never spent time with, or never knew? Your statements of judgement are presumptuous at the least. You may think you can diagnose someone's spiritual condition by such a limited amount of information. Just the fact that you make that attempt clearly indicates you know absolutely nothing about spiritual counsel. I surely hope you aren't one of those COG "ministers" (Bob?) who are so prone to counseling - but have absolutely no clue as to what they are doing. I can only hope you're just a rogue member who isn't sitting in judgement and control of others' lives. And if you are - for those members - God help them. Seriously.

DennisCDiehl said...

Anon 4:42 PM, one of the biggest problems in WCG and its splinters is that the unconverted infiltrators were/are the ones most likely to be ordained as ministers.

That's a glittering generality if ever I heard one...

RSK said...

Interesting that NEO mentions Hoeh's "pre-Adamic" comments as far back as the 70s. I didnt think he'd really gone there until 1988ish. Surprised, but not really.

Anonymous said...


Dennis
Glittering generality?? Anecdotal evidence suggests that AC students were deliberately chosen as ministers because of their poor character. A trait of all organisations, no matter what their characteristics, is to self protect and expand. Historically this is observable with all empires and cultures.
The last minister just out of AC that our church area had was a thug. He didn't feel that members had any rights. Even by the poor church standards, he stood out. For instance, he would ask the most intimate questions that most would be too embarrassed to ask. As far as I'm concerned, he was made a minister to perpetuate the Gestapo church culture.
As usual, ex minister Dennis white washes the ministers, since it reflects on him.

Byker Bob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nck said...

Neo 2:46

I'm not an expert so, ok if you believe the "directive" creation. I'm not disputing.

I was also following the "logic" of god showing some "remorse" or "change of mind" after the noah flood, or when people like moses "pleaded" with him on behalf of the people, he changes his "mind/plan. So it seems to be a "learning" or adaptive entity.

Also "freedom to choose" (genesis) is at least "huge risk taking" amounting to experimenting. We'll see how far man will let Artificial Intelligence decide.

After the fact of having a finished product it is easy to see the logic and rationality of it all, not before. (re leonardo da vincis flying machines)

I doubt if I would come up with "human anatomy" if I were a superbeing floating in a universe of insane powers and black holes. Something like spiderman would be more rational or "the man from atlantis" with all this water around.

Just that, just thinking out loud.

Nck

Glenn said...

I can confirm that I heard Hoeh talk about "preAdamic humanoids" in sermons in Pasadena during the early 1970s.

Byker Bob said...

Hypothetically, if beings were created in another being’s image, and the created beings had the ability to develop projects and to learn more about those projects from experience, couldn’t we infer that the superior being would also have those same capacities? As below, so above.

I have no problem with a God who collects experiences and learns. Learning is a good thing.

BB

nck said...

"I believe God used directed evolution to produce the diversity and complexity of life on this earth but he was in complete control of every design."

The more I ponder the subject the more I feel that God has as much control as oneself over ones off spring being, blonde, black haired, red headed or evolving into a girl or boy for that matter,involving large percentage of random chance, within certain parameters.

I sure hope your God has a feel for the random and the incidental, the funny and that he got some joy out of platypus "appearing" or a panda bear developing a taste for bambuu and suddenly pretending to be a vegetarian in order to trick everyone watching in wanting to cuddle it laying around on its lazy bum.

Perhaps I am still looking at "creation" from "inside the box" through my human trappings. On a cosmic scale God might be like a cigarette smoking regular joe airman, carrying universe around like the hiroshima bomb, occasionally dropping it on the tarmac by accident before loading enola gay on the direction of his commanding officers in the 33th dimension in washington. All the superpowers and black holes quite mundane when one knows how to contain them and beyond comprehension and control when unleashed.


nck

Hoss said...

Several comments have been made about HLH's "pre-Adamic man" being a 70s thing. Yes, I distinctly recall a few discussions on this that definitely occurred in the mid-1970s. One of these discussions was in an after-service gathering - apparently this "New Truth" conflicted with a book a minister was about to publish. On leaving, one fellow told me he didn't accept this idea, as he thought it was too much like agreeing with evolution.
I don't remember any ministerial announcement, but the idea floating around was "pre-Adamic man" was "human without the spirit of man". This places the idea after HWA's "Restored Truth" of the "Spirit of Man" was announced, again, mid-1970s.

nck said...

Early seventies was the moment when Dr Kuhn introduced the concept of human brain versus animal brain and spirit. Before that hwa understood satan as sending radio waves. Today hwa would have examples like wifi, vpn or artificial intelligence networks to explain concepts in his interesting state of the art teaching.

Nck

RSK said...

Interesting. I've only a faint memory of that topic, but I do recall a Flurry publication seeing Hoeh's "preAdamic times" as a purely Tkach-era move.
Maybe they didn't remember the earlier occurrence either, maybe they were being dishonest.

RSK said...

That was a Kuhn introduction? (was before my time)

nck said...

The basic tenets of wcg doctrine had been there from the thirties.
Things evolved and god expounded upon. Especially after AC was founded and more "research" capabilities became available.

At times doctrines got boosts through the progress of science. For instance our understanding of our place in the universe increased with the global shift in consciousness when the lunar space craft sent the first pictures of our blue planet taken from "out there" in 1969.

Examples from Satan's communication methods were likened to radio waves.

The man versus animal and the spirit of god connecting with the spirit in man got a boost in the early seventies with the kuhn publication. These articles formed a basis for "the awesome human potential" book from I believe 1978.


Personally I didn't think it mattered whether the pre humanoids were pre adamic, pre flood mutations, or not human at all. To me it were sincere attempts to blend the biblical with scientific finds.

What worries me a bit are the recent scientific discoveries signalling that man mated with these "humanoids". It worries me if scientists might find evidence that certain modern humans might just be partially human partially mixed.

To believe that all type of modern humans descend from an early complete human carries the benefits of the idea that are men are equal whatever color.

On the other hand if science would really find solutions (to disease, death, illness) in the probable diversity brought about by our ancestors and is able to mend malfunctions of the body through genetic research it might turn out to be a good thing.

I am not worried about people bashing theologists reconciling scientific data with holy books. I'm more focussed on the ethical implications of modern scientific discovery. Whatever we find it should be imbedded in ethical systems and be brought to use for the benefit of mankind (which I hope should not be redefined by definition)

nck




Byker Bob said...

Some scientists do believe that Neanderthal did not go extinct, but was assimilated by modern man, nck. There are groups today that appear to have Neanderthal genes. At that point in history, perhaps not that much of a gap had developed between Neanderthal and modern man.

Ethics are always important, as you observed. In a sense, it is that recognition which drives this blog. Ethics within Armstrongism were either completely lacking, or a marked departure from what was generally taken with the high road. That’s the chief problem with the ACOG splinters today. Bad ethics are practiced, excused, and even promoted because Armstrongites do not repent of the sins of their founder. They laud and promote them, and use them to excuse very bad behavior towards members and fellow man.

BB

RSK said...

I have some friends who found they had a significant number of Neanderthal genes. I myself do not, though there was an odd link to some old remains found in Stuttgart. As remains go, that old guy had a lot of teeth left. Musta been a ladykiller in those days. :)

nck said...

RSK

Redhead friends?
You are related to someone in Stuttgart??????? Another naughty GI Joe?
Still having his teeth might imply he was a vegetarian, guess he was a babe magnet.
I feel for those plump low iq neanderthal populations and suddenly those "jock' humanoids get to conquer all the goodies with their slick talking and use of language and narrative.

nck

Hoss said...

Bob Thiel again used HLH to support his latest warning on Germany. Posting his article "Germany in Prophecy" (PT, 1963) Bob noted that HLH's warning was "many decades off".