Sunday, April 5, 2020

Why People Are Appaled At COG Leaders Insane Decisions About COVID-19





BREAKING- Wadsworth, Ohio: Restored Church of God Defies Social Distancing while Neighboring Giant Eagle Announces Covid-19 Positive Employee


Update:  This article broke in a local Wadsworth community list and in a matter of hours spread to numerous Facebook pages.  Now, over 20,000+ (and still counting) people have read this article. 

It has now made several regional Ohio Facebook pages, including The Akron Beacon Journal. Many do not expect the ABJ to do much about this story.  They were warned by many people several years ago about the issues with the Restored Church of God and the religion editor made the decision to not pursue it. 

With Dave Pack's "prophecy" last week that end times would hit by Saturday, April 4, this group has the potential to become deadly.  The lives of the employees and its members are a deep concern to many, including family members who have loved ones enslaved by the group.



In defiance of Governor Dewine's social distancing recommendations for church gatherings, Dave Pack has insisted his headquarters congregation gather to attend services and hear his sermons in person. This reckless behavior is fueled by the fact Dave is literally preaching that Jesus is going to return any day now, having named several (now failed) dates in recent months.  

Ohio Governor Dewine fielded a question this week about churches: “Any pastor who brings people together in close proximity to each other, a large group of people, is making a huge mistake. It is not a Christian thing to do. It is not in the Judeo-Christian tradition to hurt people.”

Today, April 4, more than 100 congregants attending Saturday services and were in very close proximity to each other. Their cars in the parking lot pictured here. 


Dave's own wife, who was a nurse prior to marrying Dave, stands by her man through all of this. This in the face of her professional training that would be screaming to not hold services. 

This happened two days after Giant Eagle (the neighboring supermarket) announced one of their employees tested positive (https://www.gianteagle.com/store-cleansing). Every RCG staff member shops there often.

Several days ago, this was sent out by the Headquarters ministry to the whole church: "Keep watching! Based on all we can “forecast,” another Sabbath this side of the Return of Christ, does not appear to be on the horizon. None of the ministers here at Headquarters can see it."

Obviously, that didn't happen. RCG is in a prophetic tailspin.

Dave putting his congregation in harm's way is no surprise. He's already tapped them out of their money, why not their very lives? Sickening, in the extreme.

From an RCG source

Crackpot COG Leader Tells His Followers ‘Get Ready: The World is About to Need You’ Thanks to COVID-19 Virus



Life is never dull in Church of God land as one idiot after another makes outlandish predictions on how vital they are in getting a message out to a hurting world. As if anyone would want these fools touching their lives.  Truly hurting people would NEVER turn to these narcissistic men and their groups. Real Christians never act like these guys and are doing far more to help their neighbors than any of them ever have and ever will.

The sick part is these fools are expecting people to join up with them, along with their money, to join their push to bring the end times into fruition.


‘Get Ready: The World is About to Need You’ 
According to a secular source, related to COVID-19, Matt Smith wrote, “We could have been better prepared.” He also went over many issues, including lockdowns, illness, and deaths that should be anticipated related to COVID-19. But he then said, “Get ready. The world is about to need you.” Are you willing to step up spiritually and support the Philadelphian work? Most end time Christians are prophesied not to do so. Do the words the Mordecai passed on to Queen Esther have meaning for you today? Could you have been called into the Kingdom of God for a time such as this? What are the plans that God might have for you? Are you one who may have been prophesied to “instruct many” in the end time? Are you watching and praying? Are you cold or lukewarm when it comes to God’s work? Are you mainly a hearer of the word of a doer? Dr. Thiel goes over these subjects.

Why People Believe in Conspiracy Theories




Following is a recent email, name withheld, sincere I am sure, and typical of what we now often see in the New and hardly improved Churches of God or those disillusioned with it all.  In it I was reminded...

"C’mon man-Coronavirus?

Did you eat the Coronavirus poison apple?  Are you wearing a face mask and practicing social distancing?  If so, I can guarantee that you watch the pitiful propaganda “news” on television, where your brain is turned into mush.

Try “nofakenews.net” for a totally different perspective.  Wake up world!  Television “news” is mass propaganda and you are being massively deceived.  This entire common cold called Coronavirus is nothing more than a distraction from some other sinister evil being perpetrated on humanity, by a few individuals at the top of the pyramid of power, control and super $wealth.

Can you believe  false statistics?  No!  Can you believe the “news” media?  No!  Can you believe governments? No!  Can you believe false positives of the medical profession? No!  Can you believe the “Center for Disease Control? No!  Can you believe the vaccine industry?  No!  Can you believe the pharmaceutical empire? No!

Distrust in the humans in power and institutions of men is very widespread.

Is there an answer?  Common humans have been bulldozed by madmen in power, from the beginning of human history and it still thrives in life on earth.  War is always for ulterior motives and is always orchestrated by sick minded sadistic humans in power.

Coronavirus is nothing more than mass-deception and distraction for other hidden motives by psychos in power.

Don’t be deceived!"
and...

 Social Distancing?
"Have you not lived your entire life without social distancing?  I am... (withheld)  and have never ever heard the term “ social distancing” in my life.  Who is behind this demonic scam? You can rest assured that television “news” is the primary source of fearmongering.  Who are these freaks that promote fear and why?

What a sick world!  Why are grocery stores so complacent and insisting that customers practice 6-feet distance apart?  Oh the magic number of “6.”

Well folks, you have been intentionally hoodwinked, and this entire Coronavirus scam is from the pits of hell."
 Mark Armstrong's rant also comes to mind and it is fascinating to see how far right, political and conspiratorial many if not most of the surviving splinters have become. Long gone are the days of "non-worldly"  participation in the brawl we call government, by the churches of God it seems.   
"There has been a growing interest in recent years in why people believe in conspiracy theories. Recent controversial examples of such theories include the belief that terrorist attacks and mass shootings were staged events orchestrated by the U.S. government. Other examples include the belief that the pharmaceutical industry intentionally spreads diseases or that vaccines cause illness rather than prevent them.
While it might seem like these beliefs are rare or even pathological, research has shown that they are surprisingly common. A study found that half of all Americans believe in at least one conspiracy theory.1

What Is a Conspiracy Theory?

A conspiracy theory can be defined as the belief that there are groups that meet in secret to plan and carry out malevolent goals.
What explains this common and often deep-rooted belief that powerful, sinister, and secretive groups are conspiring to deceive others — particularly in a day and age where we have more access to information and facts that might debunk many of these ideas? Researchers suspect that there are a number of psychological mechanisms that contribute to these beliefs, many of which may be the result of evolutionary processes.2
In a world where you might feel powerless and alienated, it can be appealing to believe that there are forces plotting against your interests. Once these beliefs take root, cognitive biases and mental shortcuts reinforce and strengthen them. Many of the same factors that fuel other types of problematic thinking, such as a belief in the paranormal, also contribute to conspiracy theories. And while such paranoid ideas are not new, the internet has helped transform the way and the speed in which they are spread.

In order to understand why people believe in these conspiracies, it is important to explore some of the psychological explanations and the potential effects these beliefs have.

Explanations

Researchers suggest that there are a number of different reasons why people believe in conspiracy theories. Many of these explanations boil down to three key driving factors:
  • A need for understanding and consistency (epistemic)3
  • A need for control (existential)
  • A need to belong or feel special (social)3

Epistemic Reasons

Epistemic explanations refer to the desire to derive certainty and understanding. The world can be a confusing place filled with events that may seem dangerous and chaotic. People are driven to explain the things that happen in the world around them. Doing so helps them build up a consistent, stable, and clear understanding of how the world works.

Factors That Increase Conspiracy Belief:

  • In situations involving large-scale events, where more mundane or small-scale explanations seem inadequate
  • In situations where people experience distress over uncertainty
When people encounter disparate information, it is only natural to look for explanations that connect the dots. Conspiracy theories offer explanations that provide this connection. They also suggest that the underlying causes are hidden from public view. When confusing things happen, believers can then assume that it is because they are being intentionally deceived by outside forces.
There is also a connection between conspiracy beliefs and educational levels. Lower educational status tends to be associated with higher levels of conspiracy belief.
Having lower analytical abilities and less tolerance for uncertainty also play a role. As a result, people turn to conspiracy theories to provide explanations for events that seem confusing or frightening.
The confirmation bias can also play a role in the development of conspiracy belief. People are naturally inclined to seek out information that confirms their existing beliefs.4 So when they run across a theory that supports something that they already think is true, they are more likely to believe the information is also true.

Existential Reasons

There is also evidence that people turn to conspiracy theories as a way of feeling safer and more in control.5 When people feel threatened in some way, detecting sources of danger can be a way of coping with anxiety.

What The Research Suggests:

  • One study found that people who feel psychologically and sociopolitically disempowered are more likely to believe in conspiracy theories.
  • Another study found that people are also more likely to believe in conspiracies when they are experiencing anxiety.
While researchers understand these existential motivations, there is little evidence that believing in these theories actually helps people satisfy their need to feel control and autonomy. In fact, by believing in these theories, people may actually be less likely to engage in actions that would potentially boost their sense of control (such as voting or participating in political activity).
So while people may be drawn to conspiracy theories as a way of making sense of the world and feeling more in control of their own destiny, the long-term effects may actually leave people feeling more disempowered than ever before.

Social Reasons

People can also be motivated to believe in conspiracy due to social reasons. Some researchers have hypothesized that by believing in conspiracies that cast out-groups as the opposition, people are able to feel better about themselves and their own social group.2 Those who believe in the conspiracy feel that they are the “heroes” of the story, while those who are conspiring against them are “the enemy.”

People Believe In Conspiracies When:

  • They are on the “losing” side of a political issue
  • They have a lower social status due to income or ethnicity
  • They have experienced social ostracism
  • They are prejudiced against “enemy” groups they perceive as powerful
Such findings suggest that conspiracy belief might arise as a sort of defense mechanism. When people feel disadvantaged, they are motivated to find ways to boost their own self-perceptions. Blaming others by linking them to malevolent plots provides a scapegoat on which to lay blame, thus improving how conspiracy believers view themselves.
The belief in conspiracies is also rooted in what is referred to as collective narcissism. This is the belief that your own social group is better, yet less appreciated, by other people.
People who feel that they or their social group have been victimized are also less likely to believe in government institutions and more likely to believe in conspiracies.
The way in which people encounter and share these ideas should also be noted. It’s easy to dismiss a story shared by a random source that you don’t trust. But when multiple people in your social circle who you do know and trust all seem to believe the same story, it starts to seem less like a silly conspiracy and more like a trusted fact. Sharing these kinds of stories within our networks gives social credence to such conspiratorial thinking.

Effects

While researchers have some good theories about why people believe in conspiracies, it is less clear what the ultimate effects of these beliefs are.
What researchers have found is that while these beliefs are motivated by a desire to understand, exert control, and feel socially connected, these aren’t the effects people are deriving from their beliefs.3 Rather than fulfilling these needs, believing in conspiracies seems to reinforce feelings of confusion, isolation, disenfranchisement, and loneliness. It is a destructive cycle - negative feelings contribute to the belief in conspiracies, yet the belief in conspiracies results in negative feelings.
Believing in conspiracy theories erodes people’s trust in their government, their leaders, and their institutions. It also diminishes trust in science and research itself. This distrust may discourage people from participating in their social worlds. It might also cause people to stop seeing themselves as valuable contributors to society.
Rather than helping people cope with their feelings of social alienation and political disenfranchisement, conspiracy beliefs seem to create a cycle of distrust that leads to even greater disempowerment.

Risks

Believing in things that are not true poses a number of dangers, which can have real effects that impact individual behavior and ultimately have a ripple impact on society as a whole. A resurgence in Measles outbreaks in the U.S. has been largely attributed to a refusal by some individuals to vaccinate — a refusal that stems largely from the conspiratorial belief that vaccines cause autism and other health ailments.6
Failing to address dangerous misbeliefs presents a potential danger to public health and even the political process itself. Faulty beliefs lead can lead people to not vaccinate, not vote, or, in some rare cases, even engage in dangerous or violent behavior.

Overcoming Conspiracy Theory Beliefs

In the age of disinformation, finding ways to refute conspiracy beliefs seems more important than ever. Social platforms claim to be buckling down on those who peddle and profit off of conspiracies, but is it really possible to change such views once they’ve taken root?
One problem faced when trying to disprove conspiracy theories is that people who hold these beliefs also tend to suspect that there are factions engaged in covering up these activities. Those trying to debunk the mistaken beliefs are then viewed as simply being actors in the conspiracy itself.
While it might be tempting to simply mock conspiracy theories, especially the more ridiculous ones, this usually causes believers to dig in their heels and deepen their commitment to their belief.
Many factors that contribute to conspiratorial beliefs, such as educational background and personality, are not easily or quickly changed. Researchers have found one tactic, however, that is effective — encouraging believers to pursue their goals.7
People tend to take one of two approaches in the pursuit of goals.
  • Those who are "promotion-focused" believe that they have the power and control to shape their future.
  • People who are "prevention-focused," on the other hand, are more focused on protecting what they already have rather than on achieving their goals.

Feeling In Control Reduces Conspiratorial Thinking

So what does this have to do with conspiracy beliefs? Researchers found that promotion-focused people were more skeptical and less likely to buy into conspiracies.7 Why? People who believe that the future hinges on their own actions have a great deal of personal agency and control. It is this sense of autonomy and agency that makes people less likely to believe in secret plots and nefarious plans.
What the researchers also discovered was that giving people a nudge in the direction of a more promotion-focused mindset could actually reduce belief in conspiracies.7 In practical terms, promoting messages that help people feel more in control can minimize conspiratorial thinking.

Write It Down

Researchers had study participants write down their aspirations, which helped them focus on their goals and what they could do to achieve them. This simple activity encourages people to take a more promotion-focused mindset and reduces conspiracy belief.
While researchers have been able to reduce conspiratorial thinking in the lab, how applicable is this in the real world? In workplace settings, managers might employ this strategy to help minimize water-cooler worries, office gossip, and interpersonal friction. Regular discussions that center on employee goals and strategies to achieve those goals can help keep workers feeling more in control and less subject to corporate whims.
In terms of public health, organizations might start by promoting messages focused on realistic things people can do to take control of their own health. Building this sort of action-oriented mindset may help discourage belief in health-related conspiracies and build greater trust between medical organizations and health consumers.

A Word From Verywell

Conspiratorial thinking can be problematic and dangerous (Pizzagate, anyone?), but this does not mean that skepticism of institutions, marketing, and media messaging is not warranted. After all, not all conspiracies are false (the Tuskegee experiments and Iran-Contra are just a couple of examples).

As you encounter information from various sources, it is important to be able to distinguish between false conspiracy theories and real threats to personal security. While it may be tempting to ridicule conspiracy believers, remember that these sort of beliefs are actually pretty common — you probably even believe in some of them. In a world where people feel the very real effects of power imbalances and distrust in leadership, conspiracy theories will naturally flourish, which means discouraging this type of thinking is not always easy.