Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Noone Anticipated This

Noone anticipated the kind of upheavals that would happen all over the world after the death of Herbie on January 16th 1986. Now, almost 24 years after - almost a quarter of a century - the energy is fast running out among many organizations.

Or, perhaps more correctly, one should say PATIENCE is lacking because people have seen the dangers of Armstrongism, both in the form of power struggles, but also in the forms it has taken among many of the offshoots. Some of them are truly competing to become "hard-liners" in a time where some think compromise is at the core of the current crisis in many groups.

Noone could have anticipated what type of chaos would come about. There were a dozen splinters in a couple of decades while Herbie was alive - but now, an avalanche of groups has broken off from offshoots at a pace that makes any list of current offshoots very difficult to maintain in an updated form.

But, my dear readers, I want to bring order amidst chaos with the information I bring, and I do thank each and every one of you for reading this blog. I hope you will continue to do so in the year 2011 - and wish you all a Happy New Year. :-)

Monday, November 29, 2010

If Armstrongism Was Compared With an Airline

If Armstrongism was compared with an airline, it would be mighty interesting to behold the thoughts about the announced return of Jesus in 1975 in the booklet "1972 in Prophecy".

Imagine an airplane that had been waiting for 35 years. Pilots and cabin crew would have retired long before the airplane had taken off. Other passengers would have taken other planes - yet faithfuls still extract their belief in a return of Jesus in their remembrance of Matthew 24:48 which says:

But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming


Even the term "last generation" is subject to the understanding of the day. When World War I happened, everyone thought that was the worst war - when World War II came, that was the worst. The war on terrorism is equally damaging for both international relations, but also for our own understanding of privacy...

Now that the Internet is globally available, news is at out fingertips. We know of terrorist attacks on the other side of the globe within minutes from the actual event. Anyone that claims we have peace - viewed as merely the absence of war - would be considered highly naïve.

Isaiah 59:8 said long ago:

The way of peace they know not; and [there is] no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.


That has been translated by ministers of Armstrongism into a mindset that tried to get people to believe world leaders were evil. The war on terrorism has shown that nations have come together to FIGHT terrorism.

Who would have guessed that NATO would negotiate with Russia to get the missile system, that was disavowed when Reagan was President, to include numerous former enemies?

The doctrine of Armstrongism has long ago shown it was a failing mindset. Only the most ill-informed could agree with the type of literature emmanating from the offshoots of Armstrongism, and the truth must be said so many more can begin to understand how the world REALLY is, instead of each creating their own monsters.

Friday, November 12, 2010

20 Years Since Proposal of the Internet

It is today 20 years ago that Tim Berners-Lee published the formal proposal of the WorldWide Web - commonly known as the Internet.

Imagine what our information levels were before that wonderful Internet was established. For cult history workers considerable letter writting was involved, and you had to wait for postal services to send things all over the world - sometimes by surface mail, often involving weeks of waiting...

Nowadays, we can download a PDF-file directly to our desktops, and we can start analyzing materials in a matter of minutes from finding new materials.

It is an amazing difference that Tim Berners-Lee has made, and globally we all use the Internet, whether sending mails, writing blogs or creating websites, writing on the Usenet etc.

There is much to be thankful for when people initiate new ideas, and the Internet has really been a source of freedom for us all.

Have a nice weekend everyone. :-)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ronald Weinland

Ronald Weinland wants to claim divine authority, but before you ever get involved with this guy you need to check out this biography.

Ronald Weinland is playing the ultimate trick in the cult of Armstrongism. He has now written a completion of Herbie's last book "Mystery of the Ages" - and calls it "The Rest of Mystery of the Ages".

For further information about Ronald Weinland, you might also want to check the blog available at http://ronaldweinland.info/falseprophet/

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

World Freedom Day

Today is the "World Freedom Day", described in the following words on Wikipedia:

World Freedom Day is a United States federal observance declared by then-President George W. Bush to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe. It started in 2001 and is celebrated on 9 November and the year 2009 marked the 20th anniversary of the historic event.


For people who have survived Armstrongism this day is highly relevant since we have also separated ourselves from a cult with exactly the same firm grip on people as the former Russian empire (and satelite nations) had upon their people.

For many the question is still: "Why are memories from those years so strong?"

That is a perfectly legitimate question, and I fully understand where this is coming from. It's one thing to understand that Armstrongism was a cult based upon erroneous theology - but quite another to know that friends are still caught up in the errors of mind control. We have all spent a number of years (and many even decades), and thus built up numerous friendships with a large number of people.

Many of these friends could be helped if only they were willing to listen to facts about their idols. But even in situations where people don't agree, at least the effect of interpersonal relationships could help them realize there IS indeed a world outside "the faithful few"...

That's why the World Freedom Day is rather thought-provoking to many of us.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Day of Rest

The day of rest, the Sabbath, was instituted during creation week. We all know that from the book of Genesis. In the Worldwide Church of God - and offshoots - that was translated into a day of travelling long distances to come listen to either an audio or a sermon, depending on which country you lived in and whether you had a residing minister.

The idea was that since the faithful were so few in number it was logical that there could not be local congregations but only very few congregations meeting. People felt unique.

That one feeling was CORRECT. But not correct from a Biblical perspective.

People who didn't have cars had to take public transportation, and that means others had to WORK so "the faithful" could get to their Sabbath meetings. The day of rest, furthermore, became a day of burdensome work for deacons (and deaconesses) who were often faced with setting things up before people began coming in...

The team spirit needed to assist was few and far between. I know because I was one of the few who assisted our local deacon at the time, William F Pentecost, with setting things up in Copenhagen. Translators (of which we were three to five in regular attendance) arrived early since we had to set up the translation box so listeners who couldn't understand English got a Danish translation - or vice versa when the local church elder preached in Norwegian, when people then needed English translations.

Don't misunderstand. I am grateful for the experience in direct translation. That part has qualified many of us in the art of translation at a level only few have experienced. But it could hardly be called a day of rest...

That remembrance has also come to mind when I later discovered the many areas of christianity where things are "explained" away. It lies at the foundation of the confusion of which Armstrongism was a big part for the many who were members of either WCG or the offshoots such as PCG and LCG.

A day of rest, as God intended it, is a day of worship of God, rest from work and focusing upon the important things in life. Supporting others that work on that day is hardly letting lights shine in the way the ministry wanted to indicate.

What are your thoughts about your experiences in the WCG or offshoots? You are welcome to comment. :-)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Spanky seeking new markets?

Have you ever wondered what Spanky would want to do with swahili, russian, hindi, hebrew, chinese and arabic versions of his website?

Don't just believe me - believe their footer on their website.

Footer from the Spanky website

The funny part is that it seems much of it has been machine translated. "Our annual meeting of worship" should have read Feast of Tabernacles - and if they had contacted Victor Kubik from the United Church of God, he could probably have advised them of a better translator.

This is rather funny, actually, because much of the history of the Armstrongite movement has been centered around people being members (through baptism by immersion) before they could perform translations... One has to wonder what swahili and indian members they would have to perform that task.

But, anyway, Spanky is looking for new markets for his brand of Armstrongism. One has to wonder why they hide it at the bottom of their website instead of having flags as they have with the other main languages in the left hand menu... :-)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Silence Before Stormy Weather?

One cannot help but wonder whether the current silence is a type of silence before stormy weather? At least certain information sources read this blog because some channels of information have shut down. Churches that claim you should not read "dissident" information are themselves practicing active censorship... :-)

We know these groups have been busy with their "fall holy day season", but nevertheless it is quite interesting to consider how these groups shut off information thinking there will be less new content on blogs such as this.

I am preparing a number of new articles so stay tuned. This blog WILL continue - and thanks to the many who send information to my e-mail adress henrik@blunck.dk. It is much appreciated. :-)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Art Gillmore Passing Away

I just read news that Art Gillmore had passed away last Sabbath - reference: http://lifeafterwcg2.wordpress.com/2010/10/02/in-memoriam/. I also send sincere condolences to the family of this famous voice from the World Tomorrow programs.

Art had a very special voice, and we all fondly remember the clarity with which he did voiceovers.

Thanks for your service - rest in peace.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Right Perspective

In october I will be releasing a series of articles that originally appeared in Danish in the anti-cult magazine EtSectEra that was published by cult experts Britt and Cyril Malka. A special issue was released about Armstrongism, and I believe it would be useful for English readers to read both the interviews and other things relating to the WorldWide Church of God.

Some of the material will already be known by those who have read the Ambassador Report, and subsequent Ambassador Watch - but there might be new material for those just coming out of the cult, or any of the splinters.

I considered releasing this as an e-book but I don't want to put a price on the product, fully realizing many wouldn't be willing to pay even a few dollars to get this content. Many feel so betrayed by religion that free material is the way to go.

But great thanks go to both Britt and Cyril for their insistence that I shouldn't pay anything for spreading this - and that deserves big praise. This loving couple has sacrificed decades helping others get information about cults.

But I have also considered whether there should be a possibility for future authors to get a hold of information they need to print new books about cults focusing on the many splinters: Philadelphia Church of God - Living Church of God - United Church of God - Restored Church of God and all the many other splinter groups.

I hope you will enjoy the series, and highly recommend you subscribe through RSS so you won't miss a single article

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Spanky's Homophobic Rules at Their Living University

Spanky has now, again, proved he doesn't learn much from history. When Ambassador College went through the process of accreditation many points were discriminatory, and today that practice is STILL done at the Living Church of God university, Living University. You can see that in their LU Catalog, which can be read directly here: http://www.livinguniv.com/Documents/LUCatalog.pdf

"Live a moral life which includes, but is not limited to, abstinence
from all sexual relations outside the bonds of heterosexual marriage
." (Page 56, point no. 7)


That is blatant discrimination against homosexuals - and regardless of what your personal opinion on that subject is, it is also clear that they require you observe the laws of the land.

"Obey, honor, and sustain the law of the land." (same page, point no. 5)


One of the key elements to get state funding is that you don't practice any form of discrimination, and the wording could have been changed to the following to be legal:

"Live a moral life which includes not practicing any pre- or extra-marital sex on campus."


That type of wording would have been in accordance with the laws of the land, but apparently the homophobic belief that other people's practices could be "contagious" are still believed in cults such as the Living Church of God.

They are setting themselves up for persecution, but - once again - that would be used as yet another sign of "being faithful" using the standard chapters of Matthew 24 combined with the book of Revelation. A clever plot to instigate the martyrdom they so wish as proof of being somehow special.

Be attentive when investigating such a group because they will use any trick in the book to appear righteous - and thus get more donations because they can afterwards claim they don't get any state funding when that would have been available to them if their terms of admissions were in accordance with "the laws of the land."

Sunday, August 22, 2010

An Article Worth Reading

I will make it very short this evening, but I just stumbled across an article that I felt I wanted to share with all of you. It's entitled "Counterpoint: The "Good" that HWA And WCG Did", and can be found right here: http://shadowsofwcg.com/?p=615.

The article will open in a new window, so you can either click the title or the link to read the article.

Happy reading. :-)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

An Ideal Time To Clean Up Your Homes

In the Armstrongism-churches there is great focus on "de-leavening" just before the foot-washing ceremony and Passover, but have you considered that the end of the summertime could be just as ideal a time to clean up your homes? Get rid of all the stuff you have saved. Check up what you need, but certainly also what you could just as well get rid of...

I have often given the advice that you can't build new habits if you keep repeating the same mistakes [ref: "How Can You Change Your Life If You Keep Repeating the Same Mistakes?" and "New Habits Require New Thinking"].

You need to remember that principle, because if you keep lots of clutter around your home you will end up with bad conscience because you never quite get around to cleaning up, but even more importantly: it will be more difficult for you to decide what IS truly important to you.

Many families have had floods in their homes, and in those circumstances they were FORCED to throw out everything. By deciding what is a keeper and what is to be removed, you will be taking an active role in making that decision instead of losing everything as a result of a natural flood.

So you might as well free yourself from the slavery of clutter and old habits. That will bring you even more space to focus on what is truly important to you and your family and friends.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Pre- or Post-1978?

I have noticed a funny thing about the hwa-admin guy posting on Usenet in the group news:alt.religion.w-w-church-god. He often includes this comment:

Warning: Some of the statements and teachings
Warning: in these earlier issues of The Plain
Warning: Truth (earlier than around 1978) were
Warning: later changed or discarded.


Why don't they play with open cards as to what was considered valid past 1978? How would outsiders know what to expect when faced with such a "warning"?

The very subject of thought and mind control was an issue in the cult of Armstrongism ever since the 1934-article that in fact spoke out AGAINST ministers controlling the sheep as dictators. That article was virtually impossible to get a hold of in any of the WCG splinters, and the Worldwide Church of God itself since the crisis in the 1970s.

Herbert Armstrong WANTED control, and had no problem in using the name of Christ to create the foundation of that control. Stay tuned... More will come on this blog. :-)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

"Pay and Pray"

The motto of many splinters of the Armstrongism groups seems to be "pay and pray" - often referring to the fact that the ministry doesn't want lay members to have any teaching functions whatsoever, either online or offline.

In a concrete example, one COG-leader had an issue with a member who had released information about a competing church organization simply because this was not published by himself. As Pastor General (a popular term for a church leader in the circles of Armstrongism), this person believed it was only ministers that should publish anything online.

The issue was never the actual content of the site, but what was viewed as rebellion because this person was not willing to take down the website. [Later, the webhost supplying the website was merged into another service, and the original site disappeared.]

When you go through newsletters from these COG-groups you quickly discover the negative angle in which the internet is often mentioned. It's all part of the angle that the ministry need to make the internet appear negative - despite knowing very well that this would be like saying books were bad just because some bad novels are published every year.

Everything depends on the eye of the beholder. It's an excellent networking tool offering fellowship through social media like we have never before seen, so on the social side, there is a big potential for friendships across time zones.

Likewise, you could take any online information database and find minor errors in details. Usually an e-mail to the webmaster with relevant documentation can upgrade their databases, and such errors are pruned constantly by people who do offer feedback on whatever might be in error.

But the intentions of the ministry in many groups is mind control, and you should never fall for this type of control. They often use "prove all things" when attracting people as co-workers and members, but once they are caught like fish, the principle becomes "pay and pray" instead of actively involving people in the development of the organization.

Stay informed - regardless of what anyone else might recommend. :-)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Armstrongism - The Ultimate Guide -- Why You Need This Blog

There is a vacuum when it comes to information about Armstrongism. As you can see from the list of links in the menu there are only very few sources for information on Armstrongism.

From a branding perspective, the restructuring of doctrines has succeeded in the sense that many cultwatchers have fallen asleep. This goes for Walter Martin (who deleted the previous part on the Worldwide Church of God/Grace Communion International, and totally overlooks the survival of the ideology in the many splinters), but also Rick Ross and many other so-called cult-experts.

So the question, among some, is: "Is Armstrongism really that dangerous?"

The answer is YES, indeed.

If you check out the latest Philadelphia Trumpet published by Gerald Flurry and his PCG, you will find many quotes of old HWA articles pointing out that the financial 9/11 was predicted over twenty years ago.

For the unlearned and unschooled, that is a very easy claim. When you point out that good financial stewardship is important, and that increased debts creates a credit rating problem, that is the EASY PART.

On the other hand, when you look at statement of accounts from several of the COG-organizations you will find that they INVEST in stocks. They wouldn't do that if it was a bad strategy, would they? That could cost them lots of tithe money that would then not be available for spending in their "doing the work".... :-)

If pointing out such basic information is proof of being a prophet, then anyone can become a prophet - and might be so in their own minds. But it doesn't bring any spiritual validation of their roles.

The danger of Armstrongism lies in OVER-SIMPLIFYING things to the extent that you can both claim you are talking in general terms, but when things then come to pass they can also say: "Look at what WE predicted!"

That is at the root core of the problem of cults. Mind-control is much easier once people have relaxed their attentiveness [read: parked the brains at the entrance ;-)]...

So you do need the information from "Armstrongism - The Ultimate Guide", and I do hope you will send a link to friends who might benefit from this blog. We need many more readers for the leadership in these organization to take notice. We need linkbuilding, and we need a buzz to be created on Twitter, Facebook, Hubpages and many other places to get people to notice this problem.

If we don't make an effort to share what is going on, more people will be victims of this dangerous ideology, that so boldly claims "freedom of religion" to continue their quest for more money and influence in the lives of people who know no better because noone told them.

That would be a shame, I should think.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Jesus Christ - Personality Or Idol?

It is a big mystery to many why some Christians hate Dan Brown's books so much. They are just novels with a little spiritual twists.

But recent times have proved that religion is becoming a dangerous matter. When you say something controversial you can end up alienated - or even under a death threat - for stating your opinions. Why has our society gone so far into the dangerous pit of fundamentalism?

Where is the democratic spirit of people who want to repress others for stating their opinions? Is their faith so little that they need total suppression of free thinking to abide by their faiths?

Jesus - Personality Or Idol?
When Christians state their opinions that their savior was the son of God, no one is threatening them for believing that. But if you dare challenge this christian opposition some Christians become rather verbally abusive because you dare doubt that claim. Why is this so? Could it be because Christians know their are worshiping an idol?

When Christians read the Hebrew scriptures they can clearly see the commandment against idolatry - and yet people wear crucifixes and have drawings of their crucified Jesus hanging in churches and homes without ever questioning their activities. But when you dare point this out, showing Exodus 20:4 as one of the scriptures they break, they don't know what to say.

Jesus as Lawbreaker
It is no big surprise that Christians generally don't know the aspect of what is God's law compared with what is just christian speculation. This Jesus character is quoted in many places as saying "ye have heard.... but I say unto you", thus placing bigger authority upon what man says over what God says.

Numerous parables have antisemitic tones in their presentation of what God's Law actually was, and that is probably at the root of why many Christians hate laws. They have a rebel lawbreaker as an idol, so why would they ever enjoy laws when it would be so difficult to actually define whatever that law actually is.

It is in such tumultuous circumstances that many Christians find Dan Brown's books very challenging. They know there is something fishy in both having brothers and sisters, yet claiming eternal virginity of Mary. No woman could ever give birth to a child, and remain a virgin. The hymen would break.

Such obvious problems are things Catholics won't talk about. Whenever you ask whether this Jesus would ever have had any relations with a woman they turn just as fundamentalist as some of the other religions others would normally look down upon.

So I would think Christians need to review what they actually believe before being offended because others think this religion has more questions than it ever answers...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Spanky Rekindles the Pale vs. Cross Debate

According to the article "Why the COGs Deny Jesus Died on a Cross" with a link to the article from the Living Church of God site, Spanky and his ministry is rekindling the debate of whether this Jesus was postified - palified or crucified...

Douglas Winnail has written the July 8th update you can read right here: http://cogl.org/cgi-bin/cogl/weeklyupdates/cogl-wkupdates.cgi?category=WeeklyUpdate1&item=1278806423.

These copycats should really read my article "How to Start Your Own Religion" because it seems anything is useful in their quest for members.

The more unpopular an idea is, the more it seems to attract the ministers of Armstrongism.

There is nothing noble in turning people off, but apparently the "counting the cost" principle in Luke 14:33 has all the implied ideas of denying medicine, questioning crucifixion/postification/palification, and many other tenets we know were taken from the Jehovahs Witnesses...

Armstrongism continues...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Monetization

Monetization is such an evil word. Especially when cults need to defend themselves. They will claim their opponents are just trying to "monetize" off their message. But when you see no donation button on that opponent's site, where is their basis for claiming people are trying to monetize? When they DO have donation buttons, and claims of how much they perform a "preaching message", and needing more co-workers etc, WHO is it that is trying to get MONEY?

I ask again: when people have spent literally thousands of dollars in tithes, feeling it was perfectly fine they wasted that money on an organization that was driven by MONEY, why would an ad on a site be something "criminal"? Those ads keep content free, and you can just look away from those ads if you wish. Noone is pushing you in the direction of any ads whatsoever.

Similarly, when I speak out against the DISunity saying people are driving one another away from each other striving for more money, those words hurt the people who KNOW they are guilty of participating in that DISunity with the sole purpose to get more tithe-payers. Watch the attempts by the Restored Church of God to get followers from the crisis in the United Church of God. That was documented in February in the article "The Resurgence of Armstrongism".

Cults leaders don't care about you or your family. They want your money, and claiming to do a work for God is a darn good venue to opening the wallets of the gullible.


Read that again, please.

Those are the two most clear sentences describing Armstrongism (and others cults) you will find anywhere on the internet.

This is the primary reason this blog continues to fight the curse of Armstrongism. I KNOW just how dangerous and destructive this set of doctrines can be, and I dare speak out against it.

Will you listen, and participate? Please do write your comments - and I hope you are indeed inspired by this blog. There IS a good life after Armstrongism where you can SHARE and HELP others through sharing what you know.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Is Healing By Itself Proof of Being of God?

There has arisen a great misunderstanding - much like what happens with other "faith healing ministries"... The idea that IF someone is healed, then that proves the minister is "of God".

One such comment has arisen on news:alt.religion.w-w-church-god because a letter to the editor had been published by "hwa-admin", a.k.a. Don Wheatley - to which I commented:

> Title: Letters to the Editor
> Publication: The Good News Magazine
> Publisher: Herbert W Armstrong
> Editor: Herbert W Armstrong
> Issue: Nov 1961
> Number: Vol 10, No 11
> Page: 8
> Type: Letter
> Type Media: PDF
>
> Doctors Astounded
>
> "I am writing to thank you for your
> prayers and the healing cloth. The doctors
> had told my husband and myself
> that if our son did not improve in 24
> hours, he would die. The next day, he
> showed improvement. The next, he was
> ready to go home. Doctors remarked
> that it was amazing how quickly he
> recovered."

Later, the WCG insinuated that "the faithful" did not need to consult doctors, but should rely upon God alone for healing.

WHEN did "the faithful" ever expect science was such an evil thing, and that we should sit passively by and expect God to do for us what we are perfectly able to handle by using the talents He gave to man?

In fact, even HWA went to doctors as recounted in the autobiography on the subject of the rhesus negative issue with one of his kids, so why the sudden "need" to demonize medicine?

Worth remembering, I would say. Though it was, of course, good that there was a recovery of health...


This caused hwa-admin to write:

Henrik,
I have been healed numerous times after requesting an anointed cloth from a minister.
Your lack of conversion is quite evident if you were never healed by God supernaturally.
I wonder how many others who once supported Mr. Armstrong were never healed via anointings.


I wrote this in reply to Don's statement:

Den 05-07-2010 05:42, hwa-admin skrev:
> Henrik,
> I have been healed numerous times after requesting
> an anointed cloth from a minister.
> Your lack of conversion is quite evident if you were
> never healed by God supernaturally.

Have you read the book of Job?

Some of us were lucky to be healthy - and never needed any anointings. ;-)

> I wonder how many others who once supported Mr.
> Armstrong were never healed via anointings.

You wonder in vain. Healings and miracles happen in many places. Signs and wonders ring any bells?...


From the christian perspective, Matthew 24:24 is clear:

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect.





Don't ever let yourself be annoyed by people's attempt to draw your conversion into doubt. It's a mind-trick designed to try to circumvent the discussion into a defense of your position.

Realize that you must first of all use your MIND to "prove all things" (1. Thess. 5:21) as they so gladly encouraged you to do BEFORE you came in. Why would that stop just because you were "in" the flock?

Use your common sense, and you won't be tricked by this type of circular reasoning... :-)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Truth Hurts (For Some)

Truth hurts for some people. The truth is that the theology of Armstrong was filled with error, and the organization he founded was subsequently filled with that error. Groups clinging to those doctrines are also filled with error.

Elementary? Not quite. Because there are many sentiments buried with the kind of commitment people have made to the organization. They HOPE that at least that commitment will be blessed with eternal life - regardless of what the Scriptures say.

I won't interpret the Scriptures for anyone, but will say this: when people ask me what the purpose of this blog is, it IS indeed to help those who want to exit the fallacies of Armstrongism, and to help them into seeing that there IS a world outside the cult.

That is sometimes misunderstood, and misinterpreted - as you can see from a couple of articles where the comments show that the words hurt. These words hurt because they are true, and truth can't be overlooked. When Armstrong lived in splendor while the members had to turn every cent to make ends meet, there IS something wrong. When John Trechak worked his butt off documenting all the many errors as he did in Ambassador Report, those truths DID survive him. They survived him because they were true, and because others ARE willing to share that information with the rest of the world FREE of charge. Not semi-free or almost free, but TOTALLY FREE OF CHARGE. Noone requesting ANY money whatsoever.

That is also the primary reason why you won't find any donation button on this blog. I don't want any donations to help cover the expenses involved in writing this blog. I prefer to GIVE the information I learned in recognition of how the information I got helped me, and I want to pass on as much as I can while still prioritizing family matters, work, friends etc. Sometimes you will read many articles, and at other times there may be less to say (or write).

The secondary reason is that I don't want the insinuation of "ulterior motives" because that is usually the best defense cults can make. "Look at this man. He's just in it for the money" or "he is assuming some calling" as we have heard all the different splinter leaders say - including Meredith, Flurry and Pack...

The worst testimony to the kind of disloyalty we saw in recent times was the tirade of Roderick C Meredith against Raymond F McNair when he left the Living Church of God. These two men had been friends for a lifetime, and how Burk and Jonathan McNair could ever accept that type of speaking against a family member just shows how deep the commitment of people wallowing in the mire of Armstrongism is.

Those are harsh words, indeed. But they are nonetheless true. I feel it is a disgrace to calling oneself a "man of God" to behave in that manner. "You shall know them by their fruits" is a famous saying among christians - and sometimes it seems people can't distinguish between pears and apples, or lemons and bananas when they are so screwed up as to speak in such a manner about a long-time friend.

I wish you all a happy week. Keep helping one another, and behave well. People will know YOU by the way YOU act towards brothers and sisters everywhere. No matter whosoever ever tells you to behave any differently, I would hope you would remember the principle of loyalty towards all - even foreigners because they could be future friends you just haven't met yet.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Summary of Articles Published This Week

Once again, it's time to recapitulate the articles that were published during the week:






Have a nice weekend everyone. :-)

Armstrong Became The Same Victim of Forgetfulness

For those who remember "The Seven Laws of Success" written by Herbert Armstrong, one could say he also became the victim of his own description of forgotten successes - if one even dares to insinuate Armstrongism could have anything to do with success... :-)

Read this:


Then there were two great bankers whom I knew, one of them quite intimately. This was Mr. Arthur Reynolds, president of the then second largest national bank in America. I first knew Mr. Reynolds when he was president of a bank in the city where I was born. Later, as an ambitious and rising young advertising man in Chicago, I went to him often for personal counsel and advice. He was always interested, helpful. And I always considered his advice sound, and followed it. Mr. Reynolds won a measure of national and worldwide fame.
Some thirty-five years later I walked into his great bank and inquired of one of its many vice-presidents whether he knew where Mr. Reynolds had moved, and where he had died. I had heard that he had retired and moved to our headquarters city, Pasadena, and died there. This vice president had never heard of Arthur Reynolds.
“Who was he?” he asked.
He inquired around. No one remembered Arthur Reynolds. Finally the public relations secretary sent to the bank’s library, and presently a clerk brought a newspaper clipping. It was the sole record the bank seemed to possess of its former president, who, with his brother, was largely responsible for building up this bank to its great size and importance. The clipping was from a San Mateo, California, newspaper. It told of his death in that San Francisco suburb.
After reading it, I handed the clipped obituary back.
“You’ll certainly want to keep this,” I remarked. “It must be valuable to the bank.”
“Oh, no” he replied. “If you knew him, take it along.”
And thus I carried from that great bank what probably was the only record of this man
in the bank of which he was so long president. His “success” was not lasting. It was not long remembered.
During his busy lifetime, this man applied the first SIX of the seven rules of success. Yet whatever success he achieved was fleeting, and although he had accumulated money, acquired a nice block of stock in the bank, lived in a fine home, became recognized as important in his lifetime, all of his “success” died with him!


It is quite ironic that the organization he founded also strove to "forget" him in every way possible. So his impact died with him in the mother church - but has been greatly cultivated in the splinters who remain faithful to the ideals of Armstrongism.




Have a nice weekend everyone. :-)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Article You Should Read

Today, I want to recommend an article you should read. It's entitled "A Retrospective Look at the Socio-Cultural experience in the Worldwide Church of God" written by Damon on the Life After WCG-blog. You can read the article by clicking right here: http://lifeafterwcg2.wordpress.com/2010/06/30/a-retrospective-look-at-my-socio-cultural-experience-in-the-worldwide-church-of-god-by-damon.

The link opens up in a new window or a new tab so you can keep reading afterwards.

This article is a real eye-opener for those not familiar with life in the WCG, and it's highly recommended reading for those who think a name change and a new doctrinal slate is any proof of change. The entire mentality is still brutally destroyed by the mindset of the Armstrong college - so-called "Ambassador College".

The month of June brought in 21 articles on this blog. Let's see how many will appear in the month of July. Your comments are highly welcome. :-)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Plain Truth About Why HWA Focused So Much on Genesis 1-3

The plain truth about why HWA focused so much on Genesis 1-3 must be told. There are so many misunderstandings in the theology of Armstrongism, but the one thing he could understand himself was the concept of the garden of Eden.

A man is never responsible beyond his own level of competence. :-)

So he stuck with whatever little he felt he COULD understand, and borrowed everything else from many sources as documented in so many other places.

It is no wonder that the mother church was confused. They were left with very little REAL understanding. Everything else is left to be reading cult literature and "proving all things" in light of that literature.

So the article was nice and short. There was not much to say about the idol of many...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Proselytizing Among Ex-Members

When you look at the search engines for information about Armstrongism it quickly becomes clear that many are only in this field to proselytize for more members to their own church organizations.

This blog is DIFFERENT from all of that.

I don't want to prescribe what is right or what is wrong for you. I prefer inspiring you to think for yourself, and I strongly believe that independent thinking is the best protection against future cult involvement.

You NEED to be able to stand on your own two feet to be able to withstand temptations to "get back under" yet another (spiritual) parent. You MUST realize that there is no intermediary between you and God. YOU CAN THINK FOR YOURSELF, IF YOU'RE READY TO BECOME TRULY INDEPENDENT.

So today's inspiration is to THINK for yourself, and feel welcome to make comments to articles if you wish. Feedback is one of the best ways to understand what is good and what can be improved when I write.

Thanks very much beforehand for your comments.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Summary of Articles Published This Week

This week the following articles were published:

Today - You Can Survive Armstrongism
http://armstrongism-ultimate-guide.blogspot.com/2010/06/you-can-survive-armstrongism.html
Yesterday - Ron Weinland - COG-PKG
http://armstrongism-ultimate-guide.blogspot.com/2010/06/ron-weinland-cog-pkg.html
Wednesday - After the Terry Ratzmann Tragedy
http://armstrongism-ultimate-guide.blogspot.com/2010/06/after-terry-ratzmann-tragedy.html
Tuesday - Cults - 5 Keys to Surviving the Cult Experience
http://armstrongism-ultimate-guide.blogspot.com/2010/06/cults-5-keys-to-surviving-cult.html
Monday - Cults - When Parents Rob Their Kids of Normal Joys
http://armstrongism-ultimate-guide.blogspot.com/2010/06/cults-when-parents-rob-their-kids-of.html




Have a nice weekend everyone. :-)

You CAN Survive Armstrongism

The final thought for the week that may very well be the beginning for many who are examining splinters from the WCG is to ensure you all that there IS a time after Armstrongism. You can have all sorts of reasons for leaving - ranging from ministerial verbal abuse to all other types of serious complaints - and you can be sure of ONE THING. Those who remain in that fallacy WILL abandon you under the doctrine of disfellowship.

They will do so out of so-called "love", obviously... :-)

I had a rather interesting word exchange with a person calling himself "hwa-admin" - behind that alias is Don Wheatley.

I had written an announcement on the Usenet group "alt.religion.w-w-church-god" with the following wording:

Hi everyone
I have created a new blog about Armstrongism, with the following description:
"Armstrongism - The Ultimate Guide is your FREE resource that helps you keep track of the many offshoots of Armstrongism based upon the doctrines of Herbert W. Armstrong who died in 1986. Even a quarter of a century later his ideas are still widespread in the many splinter groups - and the cultic tendencies of Armstrongism so clear to see."
Check out the blog right here:
http://armstrongism-ultimate-guide.blogspot.com/


This caused him to write the following (20th June):

Hi Henrik,
Didn't you fully support Mr. Armstrong just a few years ago?
How could you turn in the opposite direction in so short of time?
I pray that you will repent and hold fast to all Mr. Armstrong taught.
Time is getting short.
My heart is for you and I hope you will consider my words.
hwa admin


I answered the following:

Hi Don
On 20-06-2010 you wrote at 22:14CET:
> Hi Henrik,
> Didn't you fully support Mr. Armstrong just a few years ago?

We all become wiser once we let "prove all things" include proving all things, and not just reading the things that confirm what is already known...

> How could you turn in the opposite direction in so short of time?
Miracles happen - and the eyes of the blind can be opened.

> I pray that you will repent and hold fast to all Mr. Armstrong taught.
> Time is getting short.
> My heart is for you and I hope you will consider my words.

No need to pray for that, for you will be praying in vain.

I am only all too glad to help others who exit the delusion, and announcing that on the Usenet was part of that mission.

Shalom to you all. :-)

--
Sincerely,
Henrik Blunck - Denmark
Are You In a Cult? => http://hubpages.com/hub/Are-You-In-A-Cult
Cults - 5 Keys to Surviving the Cult Experience - http://bit.ly/bJTug2





The Strategy That Never Changes
You can be sure that is ONE thing that will NEVER change with Armstrongism followers: they will try to play a guilt trip on you, expecting you would somehow bow to their idol solely based upon having been in agreement in the past.

You need to study the life of Sir Winston Churchill, former Prime Minister of England. He was a brave man, and he stood by his decisions. He changed party when he was in disagreement with his fellows. You need to do exactly the same when you disagree with what goes on.

The plague of Armstrongism will continue if noone speaks out, so therefore it is IMPERATIVE that you take a stand to stop the abuse that continues in the name of God. How they even DARE to call themselves servants of His with attitudes such as theirs....




Have a nice weekend everyone. :-)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ron Weinland - COG-PKG

Ron Weinland runs the "Church of God - Preparing for the Kingdom of God", and amongst other titles has released "2008 - God's Final Witness".

Like all other cult-leaders running in the tradition of Herbert Armstrong the setting of dates is one of the many speculations. Always done while claiming "we are not setting any dates, but..." introducing some type of end-time scenario according to the spicing of the specific minister.

Ron Weinland says this about his mission behind his book:

"The year 2008 marked the last of God’s warnings to mankind and the beginning in a countdown of the final three and one-half years of man’s self-rule that will end by May 27, 2012.
On December 14, 2008, the First Trumpet of the Seventh Seal of the Book of Revelation sounded, which announced the beginning collapse of the economy of the United States and great destruction that will follow. The next three trumpets will result in the total collapse of the United States, and once the Fifth Trumpet sounds the world will be thrust into WW III.
The Seven Trumpets of the Seventh Seal, as well as the Seven Thunders of the Book of Revelation (which the apostle John saw but was restricted from recording) are revealed in this book.
Many of the prophecies of the Seven Thunders are being fulfilled and will continue to increase in strength and frequency throughout this final three and one-half years of man's self-rule on earth.
The prophecies revealed in this book explain the demise of the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, and much of western Europe, which will be followed by man's final world war. This last war will be the result of clashing religions and the governments they sway. Billions will die! The destruction of this time will far exceed the very worst times of all human history.
As these events unfold, the world will increasingly become aware of the authenticity of the words in this book and realize that Ronald Weinland has been sent by God as His end-time prophet.
This book is primarily directed to the people of the three major religions of the world (Islam, Judaism and Christianity), whose roots are in the God of Abraham. Ronald Weinland has been sent to all three."


The bad part for Ron Weinland is that on May 28th 2012 all will know he WAS a false prophet.

When someone even DARES to claim he is sent by God and then utters a false date, that person is a FALSE prophet. One year eleven months and four days will pass, and then Ron Weinland will be faced with the challenge of explaining away why he was wrong - not a new thing because Armstrong also explained away the 1972 scandals and many other false prophecies.

Certainly an interesting perspective for those who are members of his group. :-)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

After the Terry Ratzmann Tragedy...

I found a very interesting video on YouTube that focused on the Terry Ratzmann tragedy, and here is the description on YouTube

A must see for those who are in an alternative religion such as the "Living Church of God" spin off! Was this "worse" mass murder in Wisconsin's history due to the LIVING CHURCH OF GOD'S doctrines? Or was it the results of one sick mans loneliness? Alone and isolated from the love of a women not yet found, Terry expresses his frustrations.... AN EXERCISE IN MURDER!






The leadership in the WCG have long held strange beliefs about fellow human beings. Some of the statements you will find in the Manpower documents will truly bear testimony to the fact that these ministers don't know the first thing about either decency or helping others.

Read them for yourselves over at: http://www.hwarmstrong.com/ar/Manpower.html

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cults - 5 Keys to Surviving the Cult Experience

There are some vital keys to surviving the cult experience, and I want to share these with you so you can once again have a balanced view of the world around you. Getting over the cult experience is based on these 5 keys:
  1. There is no "us vs. them"
  2. People outside your comfort zone are friends you haven't met yet
  3. You can become balanced again
  4. Realizing your full potential lies right at your feet
  5. There is no intermediary between you and God


Monday, June 21, 2010

Cults - When Parents Rob Their Kids of Normal Joys

Members of some cults forbid their kids to take any part in birthday celebrations or Christmas decorations. The basis for doing so is that they don't feel it is biblical to celebrate birthdays, and they quote scriptures that talk of people getting drunk at such parties.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Introduction Video

I forgot to upload the video I did as an introduction to this blog, and therefore I want to share it in this article. I have also added it to the first article on this blog for new readers to see.





Please do remember to register as a follower, or subscribe through RSS so you won't lose any articles as they are released on this blog.

And please feel welcome, any time, to leave feedback. It's much appreciated to know what you think.

Beware of David Pack and his "Restored" Church of God

Anyone thinking David Pack and his "Restored" COG would be an improved form of fellowship should read this article "David C Pack Declares Himself an Apostle" from the Exit Support Network.

David Pack is the ultimate version of Armstrongism, and you should definitely read this while you have time so you are warned about the nature of his message.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The coming week, articles will focus on recovering from the effects of cults by reprinting some of the articles I have already written on EzineArticles on the subject.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Friday, June 18, 2010

Gerald Flurry - 5 Quotes That Should Shock You

When talking of PCG-leader Gerald Flurry, who claims to be "that prophet", you will very easily find that he is an authority freak. I have gathered the five quotes that should truly show you what type of mentality he has.

  • "Following God’s Man is actually following God."
    [Source: That Prophet pg. 11 paragraph 5]

  • "The people urgently need to back that one man..."
    [Source: That Prophet pg. 18 bottom]

  • "Remember, when God places a man in charge, He gives that individual something extra spiritually – an added power to lead God’s people. That places him at an advantage, prompting the people to look to him."
    [Source: That Prophet pg. 62 paragraph 4]

  • "So it is very important that we all fully support that prophet. But at the same time, deeply understand we are following God, not a man."
    [Source: That Prophet pg. 120 paragraph 4]

  • "There will be decisions made where we’ll have to know that God is using “the elder.”... I am “the elder” in this end time. How much will you rely on “the elder”?"
    [Source:That Prophet pg. 94 paragraphs 9-10, 95 paragraph 1]



Before anyone ever considers joining this man's cult, they should definitely read the information on this site: http://www.pcog.info/

The quotes above stand in sharp contrast to the CLAIMS of Armstrong when he wrote this in the article "Should We Listen to OTHERS?" published in The Good News in May 1960:

In God's Church, we ministers do not tell you what to believe, and command you to believe us, without even looking into your Bible. That is what the Roman Catholic Church does -- but not God's Church. … But suppose, when you study your own Bible, you come across something you feel is contrary to the teaching of the Church? Must you hide your eyes from what you see in your Bible? CERTAINLY NOT! … God's ministers will go into it with you. If you are right -- if you have found any place in the Bible where we are in error, then WE WANT TO KNOW IT. We hate error, and love truth, even though the truth correct and reprove us! Bring it to us. If YOU are wrong, we will patiently show you, and explain it more perfectly to you. If we are wrong, we will correct it BEFORE THE WHOLE CHURCH, so that ALL the Church may, with one mind, believe the TRUTH, and speak the SAME THING!"


All who know the history of Armstrongism know that HWA was speaking softly on such issues, but acted very differently when meeting opposition. Numerous people were summarily disfellowshipped with any of the patience and longsuffering in explaining that they claim was a fruit of the spirit...

All splinters have misapplied this so that they CLAIMED you should "prove all things" (1. Thessalonians 5:21), but once you were "in the flock" you were disfellowshipped if you DARED to think for yourself.

It would seem as though the ministers who did this were doing people a favor because many have afterwards proved all things from a whole new angle... :-)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Required Reading for PCG Attendees

It is quite interesting to read the Pastor General's Report dated 5. November 2004, because in that issue you can read:

Mr. Gerald Flurry has set the policy that the required reading for a prospective member prior to attending services be limited to Mystery of the Ages, Malachi’s Message and That Prophet. It is far better for our new contacts to thoroughly understand these three books that cover the major doctrines of the pcg than to “overload” them and set the bar for attending services too high. Th ere may be times in individual cases, however, that another booklet may need to be read prior to attending services. This decision lies with the discretion of each individual regional director.
[Source: http://www.pcog.info/PGR/PGR%202004-11-05.pdf]


You would have thought that reading the Scriptures was important, but the PCG emphasis is on HWA's & Gerald Flurry's writings.

Further down that issue there is a thought-provoking statement regarding visits to prospective members. Dennis Leap, who wrote the article, says:

Some prospectives may be co-workers. So we must work hard not to off end them or embitter them against God’s Work.


That is translated Armstrongism for: beware of losing tithes and offerings. Apparently because their primary concern is MONEY.

Further down the article by Dennis Leap, it is written:

Then, after being invited to attend, it would not be a bad idea to also require them to read and study the WCG Doctrinal Changes booklet, God’s Family Government, and The God Family Vision.


In the future, Stephen Flurry's "Raising the Ruins" is probably also going to be on the recommended reading list...

So, as you can see, the PCG really wants their members to be schooled in their own literature. This is a major STRENGTHENING of the ties when compared with the WCG which originally spoke of people normally having completed the Bible Correspondence Course when invited. But these booklets were not required reading. Attitude was a bigger issue then, whereas Gerald Flurry really wants closed doors.

That is most clearly proved by quoting the Pastor General's Report from March 11th 2006, where it can be read:

All regional directors should do an immediate review (and continually monitor the spiritual condition) of the men that receive and/or play our tapes and CDs. We must ensure that these men are deeply loyal and will not pass our tapes/CDs onto outsiders. It could be evident that some of our tapes are being passed onto the Laodicean groups at this time.
[Source: http://www.pcog.info/PGR/PGR%202006-03-11.pdf]


So, as you can see, there is one type of message that goes out to the public, and a very different one that is shown to the ministers and members. You just saw proof of the straight-jacket of the PCG in fulfilling their devotion to Armstrongism

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Case Study: United Church of God - David Hulme et al


The history of the United Church of God, originally established by David Hulme, is one very different from other parts of Armstrongism in one key area. Where almost all splinters from the WCG had very strong leadership from the top down - in an effort to claim this should be "theocracy" - then the UCG tried to establish a form of democracy. This democracy was claimed to be in effect through the Council of Elders.

David Hulme was somewhat offended when he was removed from office of President as you can read in Ambassador Report, issue 68 from April 1998 in the article entitled "United Dethrones Hulme".

David Hulme went off to establish his new magazine Vision, and apparently has a teaching assignment as "lecturer in Middle East Politics at the University of Southern California" [source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Hulme]besides presiding over Church of God, an International Community.

Recent Events
When you read the paragraphs under the subheading "History" on Wikipedia, you get a feel for the fact that the people on the Council of Elders could need a course in communication.

All the leaders were instructed in the authoritarian leadership style so widespread in Armstrongism, and it is therefore no wonder that seniority and jealousy befall people who have been used to being tails that moved as the dog wanted. Now that each tail tries to wag the dog, confusion comes.

If these people had been trained in what many of them tried to identify as "servant leadership" they would have discussed the points instead of insisting on their own little petty points. In such an environment they could have cooperated instead of fighting against one another.

In Comes David Pack on the Scene
If you read the article "The Resurgence of (Herbert W.) Armstrongism" you can see that David Pack, in an effort to get more donors for his Restored Church of God, has started an offensive to get more members and donors.

It is rather logical - when seen from his Armstrongite perspective - that he now wants to claim that all would have been well if only they had chosen his "theocratic" form of government. His dedication to Armstrongism is so deep that he would never even consider if there was something wrong with humans trying to define what would be "the government of God" when all groups have been so big sources of disagreements, strife and envy.

The history of Armstrongism is filled with people being expelled/excommunicated/disfellowshipped for speaking their minds. Instead of carefully assessing whether there was validity behind the arguments laid forward, it was often called rebellion by leadership - and consequently the impression of many is that they should just "Shut up, pay and pray"...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Garner Ted Armstrong - The Death of a Legend

It is rather interesting to see the website of the Church of God International (which was originally founded by Garner Ted Armstrong) because they rightfully mention being established in 1978, but no mention of Armstrong is made. Their statement of beliefs are identical to those under the leadership of GTA, but they try to separate themselves from Armstrong's name.

You can read more about GTA on Wikipedia in their article which is available here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garner_Ted_Armstrong

You can read more about the events leading up to his demise from the CGI and his subsequent creation of both the GTA Evangelistic Association and Intercontinental Church of God by reading the paragraph "Post 1978 Ministry"...

Oddly enough, the people succeeding GTA didn't want to make any mention of the CGI in their announcement of GTA's death in 2003, since the webpage http://www.garnertedarmstrong.org/thisweek2.shtml reads:

Armstrong was founder of the Intercontinental Church of God and Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Association, and son of Worldwide Church of God founder Herbert W. Armstrong, who died in 1986.


You will see in one of their online booklets "The Long Tradition of Prophetic Insight and Accuracy" [visible here: http://www.garnertedarmstrong.org/pubs/PropheticInsightandAccuracy.htm] that they are still playing the HWA-card. No mention is made of the many disagreements between father and son which are so well-documented by John Trechak in the Ambassador Reports, and an attempt is made to get tithes from people who believe they are still following in the footsteps of their great idol, GTA - a revamped edition of his father, HWA.

This organization is stuck in a time capsule with a decreasing number of donors as they die out.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Raising the Ruins by Stephen Flurry - The Ultimate Review

Raising the Ruins is Stephen Flurry's account of the legal battle between the Worldwide Church of God and the Philadelphia Church of God led by his father, Gerald Flurry. The battle was about the writings of WCG-founder Herbert W. Armstrong who led the church until his death on January 16th 1986.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Link to Ambassador Report

John Trechak deserves great praise for publishing a total of 72 issues of Ambassador Report during his life. He was a great fighter against organizations that took in millions of dollars of tithe money, and messed things up very bad for a lot of people.

In these many pages you will find explanations why Roderick Meredith is known as Spanky, of why Gerald Flurry can rightfully be called a dangerous man, of why Garner Ted Armstrong nearly destroyed the splinter Intercontinental Church of God coming out of Church of God, International -- and so much more.

These pages are filled with information about the entire movement of Armstrongism, and noone could ever set up a blog without linking to this valuable resource which you can find right here: http://www.herbertwarmstrong.com/ar/index.htm

Happy reading everyone.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Case Study: Living Church of God - Roderick Meredith

The next casestudy among the major splinters from the WCG is the Living Church of God, presided over by Evangelist Roderick C Meredith.

Roderick C Meredith in the beginning insisted upon being called Dr. - and wrote this in numerous articles until this was pointed out on Ambassador Watch (and other sources). It is however still used on their website in the "About Us" page.

In this connection it must be remembered that in the world of Armstrongism, it is traditional to always adress any of their ministers with "Mr. Lastname." No first names - even in personal conversations or during counseling.

In the world of coaching it has long ago been established that the best forms of coaching happen in a power-free environment. Much like when you go to a therapist to get some form of advice. You pay for a service, but the therapist has no authority over you. He (or she) can give all forms of advice without insisting that you do as you were advised to do.

In the world of cults, there is a clear line of authority - and the Living Church of God is NO exception.

Richard Ames has been appointed as the future leader in the event Roderick Meredith passes away.

As was the case with the original WCG much emphasis is put on "passing on the baton" as Herbert Armstrong did with Joseph Tkach - and Roderick Meredith wants to assure a trouble-free transition since statistically he doesn't have much time left.

There is widespread speculation about a potential power struggle if Richard Ames passes away shortly after Roderick Meredith, a.k.a. "Spanky".

Shootings and suicide are among the skeletons in the LCG-closet. Terry Ratzmann is one example, and when the ministers say you can know a tree by its fruits, it's safe to say the LCG-tree isn't nearly as healthy as some would like to believe.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Case Study: The Philadelphia Church of God - Gerald Flurry

As you can see in the left hand menu there are a couple of videos showing Fox25's investigation on the PCG. Gerald Flurry is among the most famous COG-leaders - not due to popularity, but simply because of his book, Malachi's Message, which was sent to most WCG-members in the formative years of the PCG.

His tv-show, Key of David, is a surprising mixture of anglo-israelism combined with elements of antisemitism mixed with out of context scriptures to give credibility to the prophet - which is how Gerald Flurry sees himself.

The lonely wolf in troubled waters...

As in the case study on the RCG, Gerald Flurry relies heavily upon government to keep his body of believers faithful to his version of Armstrongism. His main message was in the beginning one of getting as many members from the WCG, and now he tries to scare his audience with various end-time scenarios. The anticipation, more or less implied, being that only those faithful to the PCG will be taken to the place of safety.

The practice of disfellowship is done immediately when someone is found to be critical of his interpretation of scripture. In the beginning he claimed you could know a tree by its fruits, but since his conviction on DUI he has taken a much more firm grip of his organization - and questions are not welcome any more.

You will no doubt want to read my article on his son's, Stephen Flurry's, book Raising the Ruins which is rather enlightening as to the character of Gerald Flurry. You can read the article entitled "Raising the Ruins by Stephen Flurry - The Ultimate Review" by clicking the title.

As always, your comments are welcome.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

First Case: The "Restored" Church of God - David C Pack

The first case study is interesting in the sense that they themselves claim to be different from all the other COGs - source: http://www.thercg.org/sep/articles/sep_htrcgd.html.

When you check out their "Splinter Explanation Packet" page [source: http://www.thercg.org/sep/home.html] it quickly becomes clear that the ONLY answer to critics they want to give is the claim that since Jesus promised followers would be persecuted, then the very fact that people speak out against the RCG would somehow be an approval of the RCG.

Picture of a scrapyard
This would be like claiming that if your husband was a shitty driver, and someone pointed that out, then it would be "persecution" - even though the facts showed you had numerous cars towed away to the scrapyard... :-)

In the middle of the page you will see numerous videos, and the last one should probably be viewed first. "Should Accusers Be Answered - Do You Believe Obvious Lies?" is the obvious excuse, once again, for continuing the authoritarian government while claiming this should somehow be "the government of God". Saddam Hussein also claimed he was a man of God - even though that was an arab version of that same type of government.

Much abuse has been going on in the COGs through the years, but what really hurts them - also in the other Armstrongism groups - is that ministers can no longer hide the facts as they could when they simply disfellowshipped people, and then "faithful" members would stay away from these people. Freedom has come from the internet because now people can check up on these matters on the internet themselves.

Of course, people such as David Pack, Roderick Meredith, Gerald Flurry and many other "leading ministers" will speak out against this - and have done so - but this was only to "protect the flock" as they will claim. Would anyone ever suspect them of being self-serving? Probably not within the COGs, but people who have exited know better, because one must be very isolationist to believe these explanations from so-called ministers.

Armstrongism is cultic and isolationist, and these mini case studies should serve to enlighten you on the various groups, and offers a good opportunity for people who exited each group to offer comments on the particular group being reviewed.

Feel free to comment.

Introduction of This Blog on Armstrongism

I won't repeat what I have already written on my HubPages "Are You In A Cult?" and "Armstrongism", but I will say one thing when introducing this blog.

I have no church affiliation whatsoever. I have left christianity definitively. I am studying Judaism with a great respect for the many things that were sorely misinterpreted while so-called ministers preached from pulpits in the various COG-groups. The antisemitism shown by their preaching is a sad proof of their misguided zeal - but I won't run any missionary campaign on this blog.

My mission is, however, to help those exiting cults, and I want to be a welcome place for those who take a stand against the doctrines of Armstrongism. There are so many splinters out there that an exhaustive list is almost impossible to give. Even if it was I hesitate about listing links to any of these cults since I don't want to improve any of their PageRanks in any way whatsoever.

Armstrongism - The Ultimate Guide must be your "new beginning" regardless of wherever you find yourself after the cultic experience in any of the splinters.

For many of us the exit procedure is both very identical, and yet also very different from person to person. We each had different levels of personal involvement in the various groups, and subsequently also different levels of time needed to fully recover.

My hope is that everyone will be helped by this blog as I add new articles, and I shall try to cover all questions asked on this blog. Your comments are more than welcome, and I do hope you will be so kind as to share whatever is on your mind. The only rule when commenting is that I kindly ask we don't turn to swearing and bad language. Saying the truth always, and realizing the effect of our words is so much sharper when said with clarity instead of profanity.

Welcome to this blog.

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Update: June 20th 2010:

I forgot to upload the video I did as an introduction to this blog, and therefore I want to share it in this article.