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
Yesterday - Ron Weinland - COG-PKG
Wednesday - After the Terry Ratzmann Tragedy
Tuesday - Cults - 5 Keys to Surviving the Cult Experience
Monday - Cults - When Parents Rob Their Kids of Normal Joys

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:

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. :-)

Henrik Blunck - Denmark
Are You In a Cult? =>
Cults - 5 Keys to Surviving the Cult Experience -

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:

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:

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.

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.

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:]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:

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 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:] 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:

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:

When you check out their "Splinter Explanation Packet" page [source:] 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.


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.