Saturday, May 4, 2019

What Is it that makes Armstrongism SO appealing to those who support it?

It's a valid question.

What is it exactly, that makes Armstrongism SO appealing to those who fully embrace it's completely flawed ideologies? What is it about Armstrongism that has caused people to completely deny reality in their quest for truth and understanding?

Despite the full brunt of historical evidence which is a free and open library for the browsing, Armstrongist supporters wear blindfolds and earplugs in the face of such dramatic affronts to their concepts and mindless imaginations. Despite the full brunt of hardships and assaults on rightful living, and despite the full brunt of even half-ways intelligent rebuttals to some of their most easily dis-proven theological embarrassments, they continue to relish in the madness of constant deceptions and continual delusion. They do not believe it is deception, nor do they believe it is delusion. To them, it's reality - even though clearly, and without any legitimate dispute, it is anything but reality. It is clearly, and unarguably, complete non-sense - made up by one man, with one vision, and one dream, fueled by vanity, ego, conceit, and power.

With that framework clear - what is it, then, that makes Armstrongism SO appealing to those who support it? It is the clear embracing of the concepts and imaginative dreaming of exactly the mindsets of the one who started it all. Namely, vanity, ego, conceit, and power.

Armstrongism is a fairy tale land of make-believe for many who did not, in real life, achieve, attain, or grasp the lifelong dreams of authority they may have wanted in their human lives to that point. For others, it was an avenue to create within that very structure the very embodiment of real power, using ego, and vanity, and conceit to achieve just such.

For others, traditional religion had, for one reason, or another, burnt them severely - whether it was Catholicism, or Protestantism, or any other form of organized religion which had shown itself, to them, as a fully evident fraudulent system - Armstrongism provided bucketfuls of theories as to why Corporate Christianity was as untruthful as they had observed it to be. With stories of abuse and freshly laid paths that all led to evil and paganism from within their horror stories of Corporate Christianity past, they were more than eager to embrace a different, seemingly refreshing concept of what they took to be a new light of truth.

This new light of truth, in fact - was the spark that all of these people began to fully indoctrinate within themselves, regardless of what exactly their specific reason was. Their leader, Herbert Armstrong, or whichever splinter leader they bought into later on down the road - spoke with enough convincing argument and authority that - when juxtaposed against the lies they had bought in the past, simply seemed to make sense and were appealing to minds that rejected what they thought was correct in the first place. Perhaps, in previous experiences, they experienced the abusive Southern Baptist Pastor, or the deviant Catholic Priest. Perhaps, in previous experiences, they remember the commercialism of secular Christmases, or the perceived emptiness they may have felt chasing Easter eggs on Easter morning. Or, perhaps, they simply were not taught the tenets of actual, authentic, Christianity - instead trapped in a televangelist-oriented, money-abusing system bent on money, authority, and power - and fled it, only to be attracted to the exact same system by someone else who told them they, well, were not after their money, and were not, initially, believing the system was about money, authority, and power. In short - they were duped once, then were duped again.

In a majority of so many of these cases was one common characteristic that was embraced. The idea that what was before was wrong - so what is now must be right.

And you have to admit, from the surface - in the worldview that it was in the 20th Century - it seemed right. It certainly did seem right! Technology - the space age - in fact, the nuclear age - made a convincing argument to Herbert's theories. The rapid rise of Armstrongism and growth led a sense of credibility to the argument. It's hard to argue when your emotions are completely overtaxed with 14,000 other people who are believing what you believe, and are of the same mindset! If they are right, and you are right - well then, it must be right, and that's that, right?

And that - right there - was the seed and the trap that made it all appealing. Here's a new and different way of living and thinking that opened up new doors to a whole new world of opportunity. But with all of the available opportunities and traditions were the acceptance of unquestioned and unchecked power from those in charge of the system they were embracing. The kicker that said "I'm in" The belief that down the road, in just a few years - is the absolute assurance that Herbert's ideas were true - including you being a part of a World Rulership where you, yourself, would be one of those in the King's Inner Circle, ruling and governing in - you guessed it - authority, luxury - and power - right back to square one.

The only thing is?

Herbert's ideas were not true. They were lies. They were built on financial greed and empirical lust. They were built on irrational concepts of racism and superiority. They were built on worldly business models, with the capstone worldly treasures that would make the top rich and powerful in their world, and the poor impoverished and shackled. The promises of a Utopian government in 3 to 5 years were false. The promises of interpretations of prophecies were also just as false. The ideas of the majority of the ministers were - you guessed it - false. In fact, Herbert's empire was just as scandalous, just as abusive, just as divisive, and just as greedy as anything you'd find in what they came from in the first place. The end result was disappointment, disillusionment, and a deep hunger for facts without the emotional and/or spiritual concepts that hurt them so much in the first place. And what was created? Dysfunction, Distrust - and in many cases, agnosticism and atheism. And in most cases? Anxiety, depression, trauma - to name just a few behavioral issues that were born from the cesspool of Armstrong's Atrocities.

Bringing it back around to the original question. What is it then, NOW, that makes Armstrongism SO appealing to those who support it - despite all of the above, or the reasons, and what not?

It can only be one thing. And it's best described summarily in just five words.

It is, what it is.

Their entire lives, full extended families, decades of memories, and a host of other entrenched webs are simply worth more than what it would be to start new. So, even though there are other more appealing options that look available despite the disgust of the deceit they plainly see, not changing anything would be, to them - a greater risk of collapsing their entire life's structure than it would be to leave the structure and build new. In other words - they fear it would all collapse on them before they get out to start new.

Thus, the appeal the remains, honestly - in totality -  is for many - rooted in just ONE word.


by SHT

"How The Persecution of the Church by a Restaurant Foretells Bible Prophecy".

Churches of God have got a whopper of a problem, now that Burger King has unleashed it's "Unhappy Meals". Especially because of some of the names of its meals. 

Two of Burger King's newly named meals are bound to cause their angst to become flame-broiled - especially the "Pissed Meal" and the "DGAF" meal. 

You can almost hear the dress shoes clacking their way to a McDonalds' now, can't you? 

"I can't have the word 'Pissed' on that cardboard box in my house", one was rumored to have thought. 

"Do you know what the 'F' in DQAF means? It's just GHASTLY!" Another was rumored to have said. 

"It's sowing division, frankly", a prominent COG Pastor didn't say. "It's unacceptable. This could definitely keep you out of the Kingdom if you buy these boxes", he didn't conclude. 

When it was pointed out that they simply could tape off the offending verbiage, the prominent COG Pastor was rumored to become even more rageful. 

"That's defacing and vandalizing property! You can't do that" He allegedly yelled. 

"You own it now, it's private property, you can do whatever you want!", This journalist was rumored to have said. 

"I'd never buy something with those words on it!" He allegedly shouted with zeal. 

The prominent COG Pastor then allegedly wrote a sermon for the next Sabbath: 

"How The Persecution of the Church by a Restaurant Foretells Bible Prophecy". 

Apparently something about the love of many going cold, or the reference to flame-broiled meaning Gehenna Fire, or something....

(relax people, it is only satire, though Bob will take it personally)

Friday, May 3, 2019

Dean May, Former UCG Minister and Former WCG Department Head Arrested On Felony Burglary Charges

A reader here sent in the following.  Apparently, it made the evening news here in Los Angeles last night on almost all the channels. Dean May, was arrested for burglary and has had a high bail amount set.

Dean May, has a long history with the church.  A graduate of the "world-class" Imperial Schools here in Pasadena, known as the "Jr. West Point" by many employees and members.  He was good buddies with the circle of men who surrounded Joe Tkach Sr. as he rose to power in the mid-1980s.  May was ordained as a minister in the Worldwide Church of God and served as the head of Transportation Department here in Pasadena.  He also traveled on many of Joe Tkach Sr's trips.

Dean May left WCG when United Church of God formed and was a minister for them where he served in Oregon.  He later moved back to Southern CA to the City of LaVerne.  

When Dean May worked here in Pasadena he was known as a condescending little prick who had quick temper and would run off at the mouth, asserting his authority.  After he had been kicked out of WCG, he mouthed off to someone here in the area and they beat the crap out of him.

The fact he was arrested on burglary charges was not a real shocker.  He was known for stealing things while he was employed in Pasadena, but the administration covered up for him.  

LA VERNE, Calif. (KABC) -- An apartment building manager was caught on video appearing to case a tenant's home, and he's suspected of stealing several expensive items, including her grandfather's Rolex.

Video of the alleged burglary inside Suzy Wrate's La Verne apartment was caught on hidden camera, with the incident lasting about 30 minutes.

She installed the camera after several pieces of jewelry and the high-priced watch went missing, suspecting the apartment manager of being behind it.

Her suspicions were confirmed when she saw 69-year-old Dean May walking around her home.

"I saw our apartment manager coming in our front door, putting on a flashlight, going through various things in my home. He then disappeared into the bedrooms for about 10 minutes," Wrate said. "Everybody in the complex has had packages stolen, and sharing with neighbors, it has become pretty obvious that he was the one responsible."

May was arrested the next day for felony burglary.

Wrate said May and his wife ran the La Verne Woods Apartments for several years. May's wife was not arrested, but she was terminated by the property's owner.

"Personally, I find it hard to believe that she didn't know something," Wrate said.

News of the arrest came as a shock to tenants.
"We thought he was honest. We thought he would go around making sure everything was OK," resident Denise Reyes said.

But, like her neighbors, several items have gone missing from her home and porch.

Wrate and her husband helped some tenants recover some of their stolen goods from the dumpsters.

The Unspoken Splinter in the Church of God Experience-The High Price of Losing Faith in Faith

                                       When Leaving The Faith Costs Your Everything

According to studies, institutionalized religion is losing its grip in The United States. Those who identify themselves as religiously unaffiliated (“the nones”) in America—persons who check “atheist,” “agnostic,” or “none of the above” on surveys—rose from 16 percent in 2007 to 23 percent in 2014. According to Pew Research, atheists make up 3.1 percent of American adults today; in 2007 it was 1.6 percent. Evidence shows that “the nones” are quickly losing their belief in God and becoming increasingly secular.
While there are significant demographic changes occurring in the U.S., as a phenomenon, atheism is still a long way from having the lion’s share of the American identity; religion still dominates our social world.
America is still “Christ haunted”—to use the words of Flannery O’Connor. Fears of public shunning and the risk of losing family connections and employment, keep many atheists quiet about their identity. There is a significant difficulty in being honest about disbelief in a country where prominent religious leaders warn that it leads to a nation’s demise.
“This liberal godless kind of what they call ‘reason’ should concern every freedom-loving American,” said Franklin Graham, about The Reason Rally on Facebook. “Here’s a warning— If you remove God, you remove God’s hand of blessing. That’s been shown over and over throughout history.”
In a study from 2014, which asked Americans to rate how open they were to having some religious and nonreligious persons becoming family members, the only group that ranked lower than atheists were Muslims. For those Americans who have left a faith and felt the costs, this is not shocking news.
“I have 5 grandchildren now, and 4 of them I have never held,” says Dave Warnock, a former pastor and now board member for The Clergy Project (TCP), a safe place and network for former religious professionals who no longer have supernatural beliefs. (Full disclosure: this author is a member of TCP.)
“They [his children] also withhold relationships from my wife—their mother, simply because she stays married to me, an apostate. They really do believe that the best form of love is to shun me and pray that the pain of that will bring me to repentance and back to God—from whom they think I am just running. They cannot conceive of the fact that I no longer believe that a supernatural god exists.”
Dave is one of 710 members of TCP, whose reach is global. Most have a Christian background, but a few are from Buddhist, Jewish, and Muslim traditions, though not all are out of the closet about being nonbelievers.
After 36 years in the Evangelical Charismatic movement in Tennessee, Dave left his faith. “For me,” he says, “it all started with a critical examination of the Bible and how it came to be…when I quit making excuses for the inconsistencies and contradictions, it started to have some gaping holes in it.”
After enough time in rigorous study, he says he saw the Bible as a collection of books written by very human individuals. Now he’s a stranger and pilgrim in a foreign land. “I feel like an alien here in the south. It’s all about where you go to church here,” he says.
Dave is not alone.
“My faith was the deepest, most sincere kind,” says Samantha (last name withheld), a former conservative Christian, who was firmly entrenched in the world of biblical inerrancy and Creationism. “Every thought in my mind was literally, how can I please God?”
Featured at the website of Answers in Genesis—the controversial creationist organization responsible for the Creation Museum and the forthcoming Ark Encounter—for her promotion of Creationism and awarded a scholarship from another creationist organization, she was a true believer. She was married at 19—saving herself for her husband to be—and like many evangelicals, submitted to a patriarchal order once married.
That is when her problems began, she says.
“Marriage was a very harsh disappointment for me,” she recalls. “He…took advantage of my beliefs that a wife is supposed to submit to her husband, and was very controlling and verbally abusive. It was like a very cruel game of Simon Says.” But she believed that it was God’s will for her, so she stayed married.
Her faith didn’t begin to unravel until she took a class on the Bible in college in 2011. She discovered the historical context in which the Bible was written, how it came together, and the more she learned about it, the less she believed. She also discovered that she had to leave her ex-husband, simultaneously coming out not only as an atheist, but also as bisexual.
While her siblings and parents continued to embrace her, she found other relationships crumbling.
“I knew I was leaving my husband, but I did not expect to lose my whole social structure of Christian relationships and support. I was shamed for leaving my marriage, abhorred for being attracted to women, and I was even told that my newfound confidence came from the devil.”
While she misses the community she had in her church and her marriage ended in divorce, Samantha has found that through her initial trial she now has a richer life.
“I feel like I gained more than I walked away [from]. I do not feel inequal as a woman. I have had delightful sexual relationships with men and women—none of which have ever made me feel ashamed about my body as my husband did.”
Gender and sexual identity as presented in the Bible are common themes among those who leave Christianity.
“I came out as an atheist publicly almost two years ago,” says Alexis Wesley, a former missionary and now an orphan advocate living in California.
“I spent 30 years as a very devout evangelical Christian,” she adds. “I became disillusioned with the Bible only after many years studying it.” For a while, she was able to explain away its passages that portrayed women as seductresses, as weaker than men, and as their property, but eventually she came to see how damaging this was to marriages.
She and her husband, who remains a Christian, immediately felt the ramifications of her leaving her faith in her social life.
“I was told by a close family member that I should stop fostering or adopting, and definitely not have another biological child since I shouldn’t bring them into an atheist household.”
Those who helped support their adoptions financially began openly expressing their regret.
“Another Christian friend in my adoption support group said during a discussion [that]…it would be better for kids to die orphans who loved Jesus after hearing a missionary talk about him, than to bring them into homes where ‘Christ wasn’t honored.’”
Those closest to her didn’t yell or threaten to disown, as she expected. “It’s been harder in some ways than that,” she tells me, “cold shoulders, strained looks, nervous conversations, forced prayers, and fake pleasantries….hide heaps of anger or hurt.”
Others found steep economic and personal identity costs in their departure from their faith.
Mark Farmer was a dedicated missionary and in ministry for most of his life. “We had been totally committed as missionaries who had no fixed salary and never requested donations,” he tells me. They lived on the hope of God leading others to send them money through their missionary society. By his 40s, and after he and his wife, Jean, raised three children in Western Europe, he managed to secure a position with salary and benefits while continuing his ministry.
It was that dedication to his faith, as well as liberal arts and seminary educations, that pushed him to study his faith deeper and presented troubling questions about the Bible.
“In my early sixties, serving as pastor of an evangelical church in the Midwest…it dawned on me that not only was Christianity a human construct and the Bible a thoroughly human book, none of it was plausible any more….I no longer believed in a supernatural god.”
His children had already left their faith after becoming adults, though Jean remained a liberal Christian; they remain happily married. Deconverting meant breaking with a significant part of his wider social network—he separated amicably with his church, though he did retain some Christian friends. It cost him a “sense of self,” and left life economically unstable, he says. “The idea on which I had based my life had turned out to be an illusion.”
Stories like these are not uncommon among nonbelievers. Many reiterate that departing a faith is not something they take lightly, but they often have to choose between being honest about who they are and losing family, friends, a job, or all of the above.
As more deconversions happen, it may produce less of a social shock for these unaffiliated expats. Until then, events, like The Reason Rally, and its sponsoring organizations, are representing the concerns of secular individuals and encouraging others to make their presence known as well.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Is it wrong to criticize or mock self-appointed prophets in the Church of God?

For over eighty some years now the Armstrong Churches of God have had hundreds of self-appointed prophets popping up and proclaiming a message of death, gloom, and utter destruction. For eighty some years now, each and every one of these men (and a couple women) have been proven to be liars. That sad track record has never stopped new ones from popping up in the church.  Hardly a year goes by now that some know-it-all comes forth proclaiming a message to the church that is supposedly coming directly from God.

Every time these self-appointed prophets started making their prophecies, the church leaders in Pasadena would start mocking them because they knew it was just another whack-a-doodle hitting the scene.  Even the men in the church that many called prophets ended up being made fun of. The last official prophet of the church to be ridiculed was Gerald Waterhouse.  The older this guy got the crazier his claims became. When he started justifying Joseph Tkach Sr. in biblical terms, his credibility went down the drain.

Seeing the utter failure of Gerald Waterhouse in action has never been a deterrent to those that continue to self-appoint themselves as prophets and church leaders.

The Great White Bawana, the new savior of the African peoples is NOT happy about a recent post here on Banned.

God's prophet starts off by quoting Jesus, shocker, I know, but Jesus only works when ACOG leaders can use him as a threat:

04/26/19 a.m. Jesus warned:
11 "Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:11-12) 
So, prophets will be improperly spoken against. Jesus would have not mentioned that if there were not to be prophets after His departure from the earth.
There is a HUGE difference in the Prophets of old who actually prophesied things as compared to today's upstarts who self-appoint themselves and lie through their teeth. THAT is the history of prophets in the Armstrong Church of God movement.
Now, consider something that Jude admonished:
17 But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: 18 how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. 19 These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit. (Jude 17-19) 
Why mention any of that here today?
A reader here made a "funny" about his Supreme Delicateness which was offended and did not see the humor in it. 
Well, I saw the following posted at the Banned by HWA site which was specifically directed against me that was made last night:
A COGprophet said to one of his evangelists, “Who do people say that I am?” The evangelist mentioned a few names, and the COGprophet said, “Who do you say that I am?”
The evangelist answered, “You are the end-time prophet of the most faithful remnant of the Church of the Philadelphia Era”, to which the COGprophet replied, “Blessed are you, for this was revealed by our Father in heaven”.
“Oh, no, Pastor” the evangelist exclaimed, “you told me yourself, many times! Don’t you remember?”
Another commenter at that site seemed to enjoy the above--although I never a conversation like this with our only evangelist.
Seriously dude? Did anyone ever claim you did?  It is sarcasm, oh most Delicate One! All you have done for several years is tell us over and over WHY you are a prophet. Anyone that has to justify himself over and over and over and over and over, already proves he is not a prophet.  Your actions should speaking mightily better than incessant boasting.

Anyway, The Great Bawana continues on to do the exact things that was made fun of above.  He has to PROVE to all of us how great the is.

Now, while I rarely look at the comments at that site and even rarer make any posts about the mocking done there, consider something that post brought to mind. 
Did God reveal anything to CCOG's evangelist related to me or not? Or did everything come from my comments like the Banned commenter seemingly wants everyone to believe? 
Here is a written report from Frederick Ochieng (the son of CCOG evangelist Evans Ochieng) on two dreams he had:
Dear pastor
Greetings pastor.  I believe you are doing good though you are having great thrust of fulfilling Matthew 28:19 of which we must do before the return of Christ. ...
I had two dreams 
1. Before our family joined CCOG my father was then working with voice in the Wilderness Church of God. When I was sleeping I had a dream and in my dream I saw a light and the light was not normal, the one who was standing by the was You pastor Bob according to my dream. Then I had voice shouting, "Arise you who are sleeping, for the Lord is near." I again I heard another voice shouting, "Come up Evans and let us do the work we are called to do." I then saw a man dressed in white clothes join hands with my father walking together towards a very big lake then I woke up. 
2: In my second dream some weeks after my first dream and in my second dream I saw almost the same dream and now this was in New Zealand. I did not know about the CCOG group in New Zealand before I had the dream. 
Dreams are an important "proof" that Bawana Bob likes to toss out as proof of his prophethood and his appointment to start a new splinter personality cult called the Continuing Church of Bob.

Now consider something that Jesus taught:
15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them. (Matthew 7:15-20) 
The CCOG has been--by far--the fastest growing x-WCG COG in the 21st century. CCOG clearly has the fruits that Jesus indicated that a true prophet would have.
People should really heed of the stories in the Bible that talk about how Satan can come across as an agent of light and righteousness: 
He masquerades in costumes of light and righteousness. 
In 2 Corinthians 11:13–15, Paul says that some people are posing as apostles who are not. He explains like this: “Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is not strange if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.”
In other words, Satan has servants who profess enough truth to join the church, and from inside teach what Paul calls “doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1). Jesus says they will be like wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15). Acts 20:30 says they will not spare the flock, but will draw people away to destruction. Without God’s gift of discernment (Philippians 1:9), our love will be suckered into stupidity.
If any scripture describes Bob Thiel perfectly, the above does!

Bob Thiel is NOT a prophet. He is NOT an apostle.  I can state that as fact.  I have no fear in saying that nor do I fear that I am "mocking" a true prophet of God. I can rest assured in that fact too.

Anyway, it is not only the anti-COG types at Banned who seem to delight in spreading inaccurate information about me--various ones once part of GCG have done so as well. 
Sadly, few will accept the biblical criteria for a prophet but prefer to be mockers.
Thank goodness a COG group had some balls and stood up against Bawana Bob's lies!  The rest of he splinter cults give he free run to do all the damage he can.  After all, its just poor Africans who are being hurts instead of money giving Westerners.   Only when splinter groups see their income drop do to defections to other splinter groups do they ever speak out.

Bawana ends with this:

While some denounce dreams, God had Peter remind people that they would occur in the end time:
17 'And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,
That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your young men shall see visions,
Your old men shall dream dreams. (Acts 2:17)
Many seem to forget and/or discount the biblical fact that God said He revealed himself to prophets via dreams (Numbers 12:6). And many of those once part of the old Radio/Worldwide Church of God seem to forget that that work was proceeded by a dream by a woman--which also happened prior to the start of the Continuing Church of God...
And we have seen the MESS the dream of Loma has caused in the thousands of lives lost over the decades because of church lies and false teachings.  That is NOTHING to brag about as a "proof!"

The Chosen One ends with another warning to NOT mock him:
But instead of accepting the truth, many prefer to be mockers.
If Bawana Bob was genuine then there would be no need to mock him.  The problem lies in our history of over 80 years now of these self-appointed turds rising up and making proclamation's about their uniqueness. 

I will state again:

Bob Thiel is NOT a prophet. He is NOT an apostle.  He is NOT a legitimate Church of God leader.  I can state these things as fact.  I have no fear in saying that nor do I fear that I am "mocking" a true prophet of God. I can rest assured in that fact too.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Carla Powers Mother Has Died

Mary Ann Holloway Powers wrote the final page of a remarkable life story on April 28, 2019.
Born September 17, 1932 in Wooster, Arkansas to Doyle Patrick Holloway and Cordie Delia Matchett Holloway, Mary Ann was the fourth of five children. Growing up during the Depression on a sharecropper’s cotton farm, she was ready for a new life when Charles Daniel Powers came calling. Married April 4, 1949, at age 16, the couple settled near Conway, Arkansas where Mary Ann worked as a clerk at Sterling Drugstore while Charles learned auto repair and later served his country during the Korean War. After Charles returned from the service, their first child, Carla Anne, was born in 1955, followed by Charles Steven in 1958.
Their lives took an unorthodox turn when Charles joined the Radio Church of God, a religious cult founded by Herbert W. Armstrong. Required to separate themselves from nonmembers and cut off from the world by adherence to the church’s unusual practices, the family moved to the church headquarters in Big Sandy, Texas in 1960. It didn’t take long for Charles to become disenchanted with Armstrong’s dogma and soon disenchantment turned into violence. Four years later, their third child, Daniel Franklin, was born. In 1968, Mary Ann escaped from Charles with the three children, taking only the clothes they were wearing.
After relearning to live in the world, first in Jackson, Mississippi and then in Minden, Louisiana, Mary took it by storm. She got an education, worked as a legal secretary and became a realtor. By 1980, she owned her own real estate company in Longview, Texas and during the 1980’s was one of ERA’s top brokers. After orthopedic issues ended her real estate career, she joined son Steve to form Propulsion Technologies in Shreveport, Louisiana. PowerTech Propellers was a success and she was honored by the Small Business Administration as a Woman of Enterprise at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. In 2000, she retired to her home on Cross Lake in Shreveport.
Mary is survived by her three children: Carla Powers Herron (Spicewood, Texas), Steve Powers (Shreveport, Louisiana), and Dan Powers (Austin, Texas) and four grandchildren: Andrew Herron (Houston, Texas), Connor Powers (Shreveport, Louisiana), Evan Powers (Austin, Texas) and Samantha Powers (Shreveport, Louisiana). She was preceded in death by her parents and three siblings: Dortha Holloway Hightower, Bob Holloway and L. D. Holloway. She is survived by her brother, Doyle Patrick Holloway of Conway, Arkansas, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. Bossier Press
You can read more on Mary Ann and Carla's time in Armstrongism in Carla's book:

Matches in the Gas Tank: Trial by Fire in the Armstrong Cult

Carla Powers was Daddy's princess back in Arkansas in the late 1950s. Then Daddy got religion.

That religion, based in the teachings and deprivation of narrow-minded, punitive ministers, tormented her dangerous alcoholic father and her entire family. Growing up, Carla never knew a woman could do anything more than she was asked—or demanded—to do. She definitely never imagined that other worlds would open up to her and she would rise to become a powerful attorney.

Matches in the Gas Tank tells the story of life inside the Radio Church of God and the influence of Herbert W. Armstrong, the Church's founder and prophet. Under his influence, Carla's family moved away from relatives and friends to Big Sandy, Texas, an enclave in which everyone lived by strict and unforgiving rules arbitrarily determined by Armstrong. His vision of how to get to "The Kingdom of God" and avoid a sea of flames consisted of unending lists of rules covering everything from food consumption, to financial responsibilities, to sexual behavior. The only way to rise above the poverty level was to become a minister, and the only way to become a minister was to continually police your neighbors for sin. Ministers were allowed to barge in a home any time of the day or night to inspect everything from the cleanliness of a family's kitchen to the contents of their tax returns.

This is the story of how Carla escaped the control of the church and found a way to deal with the legacy of abuse and shame left to her by her father. As she embraces her difficult childhood, she comes to understand that while those we love have the power to hurt us, they can't destroy us. We can find strength in unexpected places.

Anyone who has had a less-than-perfect family, has struggled with the faith of her fathers or has gone through recovery from abuse, perfectionism, or any cult of personality will connect with the power of redemption in this moving memoir.

The Lies Jehovah's Witnesses and Church of God Leaders Say...Notice the Similarities

Submitted by a reader here

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Satan continues his attacks by trying to scam highly favored prophet of God, but who is REALLY being scammed?

Satan has been working overtime to discredit and humiliate the greatest prophet and Church of God leader the church has ever had in its midst.

The Chief Overseer and self-appointed prophet of Arroyo Grande went into detail the other day on how people at trying to trick and deceive him.

CBS put out a report a while back about what one author believes are the top six scams that affect people in the USA:
Overall, the nation’s most prevalent scam remains a fake check con, which involves “overpaying” for a product or service and asking the recipient to refund the difference. By the time the victim realizes that the check used for payment was bogus, the con artist has walked away with the consumer’s money…
The top six scams in order:
1. Fake checks
2. Bad Internet sales – products never delivered or misrepresented
3. Sweepstakes/prize/free gift cons that request payment to get your winnings.
4. Advance fee cons that promise a loan or line of credit, if you pay them first.
5. Phishing scams that attempt to get personal information to get access to your accounts, your tax refund or to open credit cards in your name.
6. Recovery/refund cons that promise past victims a recovery of swindled funds in exchange for a fee.
Of course, there are also other scams. 
As far as these six go, a while back someone tried the fake check scam for a business I own. I did not fall for it. The only one in the list that someone has not directly tried to involve me in is number 4 (although I may not have read every loan offer enough to see if that was the case). Otherwise, numbers 3, 5, and 6 are very commonly pushed to me. But other than number 2 (I have made some purchases over the internet that were misrepresented, so took action), I have not fallen for any of the scams. 
 The prophets of God have to be constantly on guard! Satan is a tricky dude!
Sadly, many people are greedy and do not care how they harm others. Scams are based upon lies, theft, and deception. Scammers are, according to what Jesus said, a type of destroyer and murderer:
44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. (John 8:44)
10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. (John 10:10) 
The Bible teaches “love truth” (Zechariah 8:19) and that those who do not have the “love of the truth” will perish (2 Thessalonians 2:10).
Lying is prohibited by the Ten Commandments:
16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (Exodus 20:16)
20 ‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (Deuteronomy 5:20)
Bawana Bob claims he is immune to scams yet he has been scammed by some of his African members for some time now.  They are playing him for money as they also seek money and items from the Seventh Day Adventists and other Sabbatarian groups.

Even worse though, is the scam that Bawana Bob is concocting by claiming to have been doubly blessed by God and set apart to start a new splinter group of the already fractured Armstrong Churches of God.

Elijah Bob tosses out scripture to state that lying is wrong, yet he has lied from the very beginning of the start of his splinter personality cult.  God no more blessed him to start a new group than God made Bob the modern day Elijah, Elisha, Joshua, Amos, or any other crazy personality's he wishes to be associated with.  He preaches lies in his sermons and leads sincere people away from God.

Elijah Bawana Bob's followers in Africa do not need some "white savior" to come and save them. They do not need a church leader from America preaching Westernized religious cultish bullshit at them, particularly when it is tainted by so many heretical teachings of Armstrongism.

Bawana Bob is too blinded by his narcissism to see what he is doing.  He defiles himself with his heretical nonsense,
Those who scam defile themselves. 
Those of us who believe the Bible, have read the Bible, and believe in keeping the Ten Commandments have long realized that telling the truth contributes to happiness. Notice the following:
18 Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law. (Proverbs 29:18)
14 Happy is the man who is always reverent (Proverbs 28:14).
Since he doesn't believe the Bible he claims to follow, he is incapable of preaching anything about Jesus and the New Covenant.  He thinks it is easier to follow a bunch of rules and be kept in the safe box of legalism, all safe and comfortable than it is to be lost in the wild abandon of grace and freedom.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Update on Kevin Dean

The latest from one of his victims:

He is in jail and they won't let him post bail because he is a flight risk. He was in Germany for a time but they caught him in Mexico and he was extradited to the states.