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(For the record, AW regards British Israelism in any form as irredeemably fallacious, totally discredited, and intellectually indefensible.)
Silence of the Lambs

Ten persons who speak make more noise than ten thousand who are silent.
     --Napoleon Bonaparte

Injustices of the Past

As quoted from the Missing Dimension of April 27:

From a posting on the UCGia Yahoo group. Under discussion were the accusations Suzanne Black made concerning Roderick Meredith and Herbert Armstrong.

I was in a church which fell apart. It fell apart because we had a host put over us to give sermons, counsel etc. He used to be a minister. But we found out he had a 20 year history of sexual misconduct, which included accusations of rape and child molestation. When people in the church wrote to the ministers they were threatened to be kicked out. Turning this person into the authorities was discouraged.

This person disfellowshipped half of our congregation by the time he was through. Before he was finally disfellowshipped. 22 different families and individuals issued statements which were mailed to district attorneys in all of the counties the incidents happened in. I asked the presiding evangelist why he put this person there, when he told me he knew of his history in WCG. He told me because his wife told him on the phone he had repented.

This person was Roderick Meredith. This was in the Global Church of God. So... why would the wife of this individual stay so long with her husband [who] had several affairs and molested several children? Who knows. Maybe denial. This host, never went to jail, because the actions were covered up by the ministry and if anyone turned to the authorities they were told they would be kicked out.

So my point is, I am not judging whether or not Mr. Armstrong did the things he was accused of. I was not there. But I would like to point out how easy it would be for HWA or any minister to do things like that and never be held accountable. And lastly, Roderick Meredith is not a very credible source in this accusation, since he has protected people that did much worse than what HWA was accused of.

The minister sent to fix this mess told me some of the other details and was going to write an article for The Journal about psychopaths.

The problem is that they lost their interviewer [I have the e-mail from the editor] and had to postpone writing the article.

Then the Council of Elders stepped in and said that there was nothing to gain by writing the article.

Finally, the minister declared during the Days of Unleavened Bread in 2003, that evil had been put away from the church and that the ministry was free from those who would pursue the works of the flesh and the pride of life.

The rapes, incest, domestic violence, abuse, drunkenness and all the offences of the past have been put away, and more importantly, we are not to dwell on them any longer.

This will be a great comfort to those who genuinely want godly peace in their lives.

The war is over.

Or is it?

Anyone who has done any investigations of the practices of the Churches of God should recognize that Dr. Roderick Meredith has always used the same processes to deal with challenges. Those who have read the Manpower Papers recognize that it is not out of character for Roderick Meredith to slander and libel people. Furthermore, he was Director of the Ministry for the Worldwide Church of God for twenty years, receiving complaints about ministers from people all over the United States for the same things recounted in the article above, and much more.

Most of the ministry who were in Pasadena knew what was going on and did nothing about it. Do you think that "the leopard" will change its spots? Corrupted leaders in a corrupt system?

What the minister who was sent by Roderick Meredith and Guy Ames to "solve" the problem does not realize, is that they did not want him to solve the minister's problem. He is an honest, forthright man who did his best to put the minister in question in jail. The problem is that he has never understood that the Churches of God do not want to solve problems, they want them covered up. Unless or until the minister realizes that, he will continue to be put in backwater churches without rising in rank or prominence within the Churches of God. He must learn to set aside his desire to be of substance and learn to project the right image. He must learn to do the expedient thing and sweep everything under the rug and not bother to go any further. Actually solving problems is problematic and can only lead to problems.

As it is, he must reconcile many of the things he must do in the ministry to keep his job, even though they don't make a lot of sense.

Even ministers are expected to maintain their silence.

You can't even agree with them

From the May 5, 2003 Missing Dimension:

Herbertís apoplectic shepherds: From a posting on JLF:

I learned something about talking to Armstrongite ministers many years back. If you ask a question they will give you an answer. At that point you must respond by not questioning any further. And, by all means, you do not want to say things like "I think you are right about that" or "I agree with that" or "That makes sense". They don't care if you agree with it or if it makes sense or if you think it is right. In their eyes you are the scum around the bathtub and do not qualify by their standards as being sentient. I used those expressions with [a named] WCG minister, and he became almost apoplectic he was so angry.

Can two walk together except they be agreed?

Maybe so.

Just so one of them keeps quiet about being agreeable.

Long term problems

Matthew 18: has long fallen into hard times to settle disputes--if it were ever used.

This is especially true if someone is perceived to be "lower" than the person who has committed an offence: Rank has its privileges and one of those privileges is getting away with stuff.

There are several sources of frustrations to the receiving of justice for the average Norman and Norma Normal from the Churches of God, and these sources include:

  1. Fundamental inequality within an hierarchical structure

  2. "Networking" among those in the ministry and administration within the Church Corporate making for trust within but suspicion without

  3. Arrogance

  4. Confidence in the "rightness" of the organization

  5. Justice is a nuisance

  6. Ministers aren't always that bright and don't get the facts

  7. Ministers just don't listen

If you are not part of the ruling hierarchy and you have a legitimate beef, you are probably doomed.

These guys talk back and forth to make implicit "deals" mutually beneficial to each other, and you are probably not seen as having any worth, let alone benefit.

They are right and you are wrong because they are superior in training and experience to you. So it's OK for them to talk on the cell phone to someone else while you're sitting right there in the restaurant counseling with them.

The collective engages in self-preservation by assuming that its processes, goals and vision are both consistent and pure; indeed, how could it not?

Do you know how much trouble it is to drop everything--to deal with objections--when you are trying to get out magazines, booklets, Internet articles, sermons and set up for the Festivals, so you can feed the flock, preach the gospel and make more money so the organization keeps growing?

Justice is such a nuisance that, at least one of the Churches of God, has made public statements, to the effect that, they are not going to pursue justice at this time: We're all going to have to wait for the Second Coming to straighten everything out. Meanwhile, just deal with it. We're too busy. This is Satan's World [where nothing can be changed--so we won't even try].

It is extremely difficult to make an intelligent wise decision in a vacuum without the facts. That has never stopped a minister from doing it.

Listening is hard. It's easier not to listen. No one will notice. Besides, no one is worth listening to anyway, except peers and superiors. It's better to pretend to listen. Or worse, go away and forget what you heard.

If you insist upon justice, judgment and equity:

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You are ignorant

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You are flawed

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You just don't understand

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You must let go of the negatives of the past

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You are Satan's Pawn

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You are in a bad attitude

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You must abide by the decisions of the ministry

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God will work it out even if decisions are wrong

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You have to accept that you are wrong

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You have to submit to authority

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You deserve no apologies--ever

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You are to trust the ministry and administration implicitly because they rule over you

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You lack faith if you don't agree

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You must continue to pay your tithes and offerings or you won't make it into the Kingdom

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You must accept our correction

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You must always respect us

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We have the keys to the Kingdom

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You must keep silent

Those who have not learned these lessons will live to regret it, if they choose to stay within the confines of the Church Corporate.

One must resist divulging all those "inconvenient little truths".

A time to be wrong

Dr. Stanley Schmidt wrote an editorial, "A Time to be Wrong" for the June 2003 Analog where he points out that students need the freedom to make mistakes [A Time to Be Wrong [Analog Science Fiction and Fact], by Dr. Stanley Schmidt. Montreal: Dell Magazines, June 2003, Vol. CXXIII No. 6. Pages 4-8.]

He points out that so much of our education

...has long tended to make students feel that they're always on trial. Teacher's deeds, if not words, say that the ultimate goal of education is not wisdom, but good grades--and that means that even when teachers say they encourage class discussion, anything wrong that you say in class will be held against you. So unless you're really sure you're right, it's best not to say anything at all.

Analog, June 2003, Page 4.

For the longest time, the Churches of God have held the scepter where they insist that

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the ministry is perfect

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they are our teachers

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we are always on trial

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we are stupid students learning at the feet of our superior masters

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If we say or do something perceived as wrong in church, it will be held against us

It's bad to make a mistake in church--it's not a safe environment to make mistakes.

A real problem arises though, when you know very well the minister is wrong, the Church is wrong and it is not a matter for factual dispute. It is at that point the shoe is on the other foot; however, the ministry and administration will simply not acknowledge that they are the ones who are wrong.

We are supposed to be the very picture of Hebrews 6:1-2 where we go on to perfection; we are supposed to be perfect, even as our Heavenly Father is perfect.

The only problem is that our "teachers" haven't figured out that it is not for them to give the final test: They are only the teaching assistants at best.

There is a time to allow those who are learning a time to be wrong as long as it is not fatal.

People need an opportunity to make mistakes without constant criticism in order to grow in grace and knowledge. Standing over people to insure that their every deed is compatible with the current church thinking is counterproductive. Making them feel endless guilt by making them sing Psalm 51 over and over again will not bring positive results. And making them feel that they do not measure up to the ministry is actually destructive.

It is particularly destructive when the ministry is wrong.

There is no tolerance for people who object to wrong thinking and actions of a minister. Ministers have been trained from the very beginning that people are to follow them. They insist that people do what they say, no matter what [and in the cases where they are wrong, "God will take care of it"].

This does double damage:

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First, the people attempting to correct the problem of the minister are not heard

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Second, the minister doesn't benefit because he just doesn't accept the correction and change

In fact, the minister may disfellowship people because they were right and had the truth, all because he could not accept the premise that there is a time to be wrong [and he was the one who was wrong].

Setting the example

If one understands that the Churches of God have never wanted to solve problems in the Church, they simply want them to disappear by sweeping them under the rug, one can understand the basic reasons why many times the actions of the Churches of God make no sense.

Inappropriate behavior is tolerated in the hopes that it will simply go away if everyone waits long enough.

It is the reason why people have seen such screwy behavior by leaders and ministers for over seven decades: Even after 70 years there are still issues.

Letters and telephone calls about minister will do no good and there have been any number of problems brought forth:

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pedophiles

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rapists

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ministers practicing hypnosis on a congregation during services on the Sabbath

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mentally ill allowed to harass attendees

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thieves

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psychopaths

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domestic violence

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child abuse

It even happened that I had an accident and was stuck in a store well after the Sabbath had begun, waiting for someone to pick me up. I found a minister there still shopping, and he said, "Well, the Sabbath really sneaks up on you". I was dumbfounded that not even the ministers were careful to keep the Sabbath.

Herbert Armstrong had a cup of coffee and a donut on the Day of Atonement "because he was old". I know a lady 103 years old who has never had anything to eat or drink on the Day of Atonement since she was baptized. [Even at 103, Ethel still doesn't use glasses... nope, she drinks straight from the bottle!]

Some members set a better example than the ministers.

It takes work to set a right example by being genuine.

Further more, confrontation is difficult when you must face the fact that someone is sinning who is an equal or above you in a hierarchy.

No one will stand up for justice because they are afraid to put their money where their mouth is.

Many in the ministry really do not want to give up the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and, maybe most important of all, the pride of life: Power and status are powerfully corrupting to those who have even the smallest weakness and inclination for them as they have a taste of them.

Perhaps it is too late for those so corrupted to ask the question of what kind of example they are setting.

Do they really want others, particularly in the church to follow their example?

More important, would they want someone who followed their example to be in charge of them?

Do some of you have one shred of empathy for the individual attendees of your congregation? Or do you call out on your cell phone all through lunch at a restaurant while a "member" is pouring his heart out to you? Does paying for the lunch make it all right? Jesus said, "if you do it to one of these little ones, you have done it unto me". So... if the theory is correct, haven't you insulted Jesus Christ and treated Him with profound disrespect? Can you say, "Incompetence"? Well... we do not hate or despise you any more than we would hate or despise a poisonous snake or a scorpion, for it is your nature; nevertheless, perhaps you could understand why we might tend to avoid you, if you had any empathy to understand what anyone else felt. We tolerate you. It is what Jesus would do.

And what of the wars amongst the various Churches of God? What sort of example does it set that men professing the same doctrines have separate organizations among them? What example does it set to this world? How do you explain this to the so-called unconverted? How will you explain that to Jesus Christ when He returns?

A good example goes a long way.

A bad example goes everywhere.

Mahatma Ghandi said:

An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it.

A living faith cannot be manufactured by the rule of majority.

A "no" uttered from deepest conviction is better and greater than a "yes" merely uttered to please, or what is worse, to avoid trouble.

During India's struggle for independence from British rule,  a man named Mohanda Ghandi,  The Mahatma, as he was know (Mahatma, means "great soul") pioneered the use of active, but non-violent resistance as a means of achieving his goal of freeing India.  It was well known that in his struggle for independence, Ghandi often quoted Jesus' sayings and parables from the Gospels, and was especially fond of that passage in Matthew's gospel that we call "The Sermon on the Mount."  Yet, he was not a Christian and steadfastly rejected any suggestion that he become a Christian.

That fact intrigued a Methodist missionary in India named E. Stanley Jones.  He met with Ghandi on one occasion  and asked him, "Mr. Ghandi, though you quote the words of Christ often, why is that you appear to so  adamantly reject becoming his follower?"

Ghandi replied, "Oh, I don't reject your Christ.  I love your Christ.  It's just that so many of you Christians are so unlike your Christ."  Ghandi's rejection of Christianity grew out of an incident that happened when he was a young man.  During his years studying law in Britain, he had become attracted to the Christian faith, had studied the Bible and the teachings of Jesus, and was seriously exploring becoming a Christian.

One Sunday, in South Africa where he had gone to practice law after getting his degree, he decided to attend a church service.  As  he came up the steps of the large church where he intended to go, a white South African elder of the church barred his way at the door. "Where do you think you're going, Kaffir?"  the man asked Ghandi in a belligerent tone of voice.

Ghandi replied, "I'd like to attend worship here."

The church elder snarled at him, "There's no room for Kaffirs in this church.  Get out of here or I'll have my assistants throw you down the steps."

From that moment, Ghandi said, he decided to adopt what good he found in Christianity, but would never again consider becoming a Christian if it meant being part of the church.

Mohandas (Mahatma) Ghandi said, "Christianity is the best religion.  I would have become a Christian myself but I have not found one true Christian."

The ministry of the Churches of God need to consider the example they set because, like Mahatma Ghandi, a lot of us aren't seeing any Christian conduct there.

Simple solution

Most of us understand what is wrong with the ministry [from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), by The American Psychiatric Association].

Many of us have discussed it among ourselves, and have concluded that you are what you are, and you are never going to change: You are vain, arrogant, boastful, full of yourself--the very picture of II Timothy 3:1-5.

It's true you are talented, but we wish you would be more modest about it.

It's hard to get past your narcissism to find the gems of truth you may have to offer us.

You have to know that we haven't missed the fact that you are totally unapproachable.

Some have already left: The ones still believing the eschatology of the past have gone independent and have found peace without the negative sermons and sermonettes, the senseless failed prophecies, the war of politics and just plain abuse.

For those of us not yet inclined to split, here's what we've decided: We're going to tolerate you--not unlike the advice Jesus gave to His disciples concerning the Scribes and Pharisees sitting in Moses' Seat.

So you can be as mean, petty, nasty and vicious as you want to be; you can make those snide remarks to us; you can be as disrespectful as you want to be to us--it simply doesn't matter to us any more.

We see you as tares. We bide our time and wait it out.

We glean from you what we can and ignore the rest.

Collectively, we are smarter than you are, but we are going to make sure you don't recognize it.

We've tried to warn you, but you just haven't listened. You will have to bear your own highhanded arrogance and narcissism. We were doing you a service with all the materials we passed to you on mental illness, alcoholism and a wide variety of other topics, but you just weren't receptive, with your own agendas and all.

So that's it--you'll never know what hit you.

You might see us at the Feast, but we know you won't be keeping track of us because you don't really care about us, and you won't notice that we haven't been there every single day--just on the High Days... maybe.

What you don't know won't hurt you, as you run around with all the business at the Festival, preoccupied with minister type things and endless meetings amongst your regal clan.

You won't notice us missing.

We've already make our reservations elsewhere.

And we won't miss you as we independently gather together in peace and not have to participate in your frenetic activities, the noise and chaos, being lost in the crowd, listening to your messages of mayhem and murder, hearing more failed prophecies, and perceiving your nasty little wars....

You can fight them alone and leave us out of it.

The 100 sheep are NOT going looking for the lost shepherds; we're going to cut our losses and cut you loose.

We'll be polite when you ask us for something, but we aren't volunteering anything either.

And if you don't figure things out, those who recognize how wrong you are, will also go completely independent.

You aren't that essential, particularly when you lie, and we shall endure to the end without you.

We won't say a word.

You're on your own.

That's what you want isn't it?

The Silence of the Lambs....

Also visit http://www.cultabuse.com

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Last Updated: Monday, January 17, 2005