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No. 37  APR. 2003

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Covering developments and advocating accountability in the Worldwide Church of God and related groups
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29 APR. UCG SINGS HARD LINE, HWA AND THE ORIGINAL "BORN AGAIN" BOOKLET, SEAMUS' MOA. Mail: Good luck Lorenzo, Burkard hit by 500 pages of Fred Coulter and survives to tell story!

Hymns? Hmm...  According to a report carried in the March 31 issue of The Journal, which has just been released, the UCG is clamping down on "unauthorized" hymns at sect services. In a move that might sooner have been expected in more fundamentalist Armstrong splinters, the Council of Elders has effectively banned "supplemental hymnals" because some could cause "the vocalization of lyrics that conflict with UCG doctrines", causing "disunity and confusion." Whoa! Whether the old WCG hymnals are considered "supplemental" is not immediately clear.

The Journal website can be found at The use of WCG hymnals in splinter services is the subject of forthright comments in the latest All2True column, Let's make a deal.

Speaking of UCG, the following bold claim appears on Jerold Aust's website:

The United Church of God, an International Association, traces its origins to the Church that Jesus founded in the early first century. They follow the same teachings, doctrines and practices established then.

Oh really? We wonder if JW could find a single scholar in the field of early church studies who would agree with him.

Born again - another "steal" by Herb: If you were once a member of the WCG, chances are you still have a copy of the HWA booklet "Just what do you mean... Born Again?" (earliest copyright date 1962) stashed away in a box somewhere. Recently Craig White drew attention to the existence of a 1902 booklet by David Nield that laid down the WCG doctrine decades before Herb adopted it. That booklet is now available online in a more accessible format than the PDF files already available (see link Apr. 16).

The Bard speaketh on MOA: The latest poetic offering by Seamus is out, entitled The Mystery of the Ages. A sample stanza:

In idol-worship it seems they partake,
A musty old work they wish to remake.
And would if they could this canonize,
A venture uncertain with costs to the skies.


You'll be sorry! The subject line is my message to the Church of God, 7th Day splinter group that recently merged into the Worldwide Church of God. The WCG, as we all know, is not kind to those who join its ranks. History shows that once a person's exploitation value is exhausted, the church will chew him up and spit him out. Even die-hard fanatics like Rod Meredith and Gerry Waterhouse, both of whom were blindly loyal and devoted their lives to HerbertArmstrong, were cast aside by Pastor General Joseph Tkach the First when he found them to be nuisances. They were stripped of their prestigious positions and either retired or placed in insignificant posts on the periphery of the church. It's not unlike Vyacheslav Molotov, the Soviet Foreign Minister under Joe Stalin, who was demoted and sent into exile as Ambassador to Outer Mongolia once Stalin did the world a favor and kicked the bucket. It didn't matter how valuable Rod Meredith and Gerry Waterhouse were to Herbie Armstrong. They were of little use to Tkach the First, and were embarrassing reminders of his predecessor.

The ex-COG,7D pastors will be welcome as long as they provide the WCG with good publicity and tithe money. Once they begin struggling within the WCG's hierarchical straitjacket and start demanding the independence of action they had prior to the merger, they will find themselves very expendable. The WCG hierarchy values control above everything except money, and will not tolerate the presence of anybody who threatens either. I predict that it will not be long before some of the ex-COG,7D pastors end up as disappointed ex-WCG pastors. You can't go too far wrong if you expect the worst of the Worldwide Church of God.


Passover Puzzle provokes: Thanks doubtlessly to your mention, "The Passover Puzzle" brought a response like few articles I've posted. I even received a tape and 500-page book from another Church of God, challenging me to correct my conclusions!  Was I scared by this, for daring to go against the "lockstep" of God's True Church? (Or at least this branch of it?) After reviewing parts of the book -- naah, not really. My reply is now posted in in the "Your Question Please" section. 

Richard Burkard

MD: Confusingly, is Richard's site title, not a link. To visit you'll need to point your browser at


In 1994 Joe Junior was smooching up to COG7. 

In 2003 it's a different matter.

Slash ‘n Bash I: Remember the early days of the WCG “reformation”? Joe Tkach Jr. was best buddies with several COG7 leaders. Indeed, it seemed all hugs and kisses for a while. Obviously the nice folk in Denver didn't know what they were letting themselves in for.

Times, it seems, change: the May WN sports, along with a new logo, a vicious attitude to Christian groups WCG leaders consider beyond the pale. And, lo and behold, COG7 now seems to be among those Joe and Co. wish to cast stones at. And more than chucking rocks, Joe Junior has been out doing a spot of sheep stealing.

Lorenzo Arroyo, now a Tkach minister, is a former schismatic COG7 member. He writes:

… we found a heretical sect that was more than glad to have us! They gave us emotional support, Bible studies, literature centered on the seventh-day Sabbath, and a place to belong… In 1978, we became members of the General Conference of the Church of God (Seventh Day).

Could we have read that right? A WCG minister in the cult’s official publication is labeling COG7 as “a heretical sect”?

Arroyo goes on to publicly air some of of COG7’s dirty laundry for the edification and delight of WCG members. It seems he left that church in 1996, became leader of a splinter sect, and contacted Joey soon after. The Pastor General was apparently only too willing to give comfort and support to the COG7 malcontents. Then last year the “Evangelical Church of God” decided to “merge” with the WCG.

Indeed, separately the WN reports that the “main event at the [recent Southwest district] conference was when seven Hispanic pastors received ordination certificates and church charters April 4. The pastors and their congregations were formerly part of the Church of God (Seventh Day).” We imagine the attendees all applauded like trained monkeys.

Well, that puts paid to the wails you sometimes hear emanating from the Hall of Ad when somebody (like MD for instance) dares to criticize the cult (Joe once publicly, after a post 9/11 rush of blood to the head, accused MD of “spiritual terrorism.”)  Yet here we have WCG itself clearly putting the boot into another church - a church that was among the first to extend the right hand of fellowship to WCG a decade ago.

Can we all say “hypocrite” together? 

Members wise up – March income down: WCG income dropped again in March. According to Controller Kelly: After two months of contribution increases, regular mail donations took a bit of a drop in March. Donations in March were just under $1.5 million, while last year, March donations were right at $1.9 million… We project member donation income to average about $1.6 million per month… With the decrease in March donation income, our Small-Step program to return cash to the local congregations did not have the numbers we had for January and February. You may remember from last month’s WN article, we returned cash to 60 percent of our local congregations. For March, 35 percent of our local church congregations will receive funds back.

Accountability series complete: Douglas Becker has provided a new introduction to his series on accountability, along with a sixth (and final?) installment. No need to mourn the loss though, Douglas has already penned the next column, entitled Let's Make a Deal.

Did Spanky cover-up ministerial abuse? 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.

Memorial service: From the Longview News-Journal:

A memorial service for Dean Clark Blackwell, 72, will be held at 2 p.m. May 4 at New Beginning Fellowship Church, 204 S. Tyler St. in Big Sandy. Friends are encouraged to attend. Mr. Blackwell died April 14. Arrangements are by Lakeview Funeral Home in Longview.

Ordination for Women? How goes the struggle to ordain women in the Tkach cult? Longtime WCG writer Sheila Graham has contributed a study paper in favor of the proposition. It is available online. Our question: why would any self-respecting woman (or bloke for that matter) want to join the ranks of such a morally compromised, paternalistic, abusive, ethically bankrupt bunch of yobbos (honorable exceptions - if there are any - exempted)?

Dateline Pasadena: The DUB in Glendora: The Glendora WCG church swelled during the traditional 'holy days' this year.  Services were held on the traditional days with offerings and sermons related to the old teachings-but with a new covenant twist. They even held the Night to be Much Observed with a large meal at the meeting hall for all that wanted to attend.

It was also reported that several people showed up at Dennis Pelley's home for services on the traditional 'holy days'.  You do have to wonder about those people--why were they attending a service in the home of a minister that disagrees with every aspect of the traditional reasons for keeping the days. There is no way he was going to teach things as Herb did.

While all this was going on, the WCG campus was a beehive of activity as employees did not have the 'days' off.  People went about their usual business.  The campus was not de-leavened and matzo's were no where to be found!  There were a few employees that did not come into work on those days though because they still cling to some remnants of the past.

Dateline Pasadena: Bibles for Africa? A former Pasadena employee (Bill Scott) that was terminated a couple of years ago has now started up a non-profit group that claims to be sending Bibles to Africa. I was with a group of friends at a local restaurant recently and saw him and his group of former members enter. It was made up of several disfellowshipped people and others. We could overhear some of their conversations. Herb was praised up and down as God's end-time Apostle who taught the ONLY truth. They hold to Herb's teachings prior to 1986. They meet regularly for Bible Study in different homes and frequently in local restaurants. They now send their tithes and offerings to support this Bible program and to assist those in need in the area. They seemed filled with anger towards a lot of people. 

Dateline Pasadena: Racism, Herb and Spanky: In the new book by Patricia Ann Laessig called On Angels Wings: A Spiritual Journey, she quotes some interesting comments made by HWA concerning race.

On and on Armstrong explained that it was forbidden by God for the races to intermarry. Not only intermarry, but even to socialize!

"Social fellowship between races is FORBIDDEN by the Word and Laws of God!" "God has planted His People ISRAEL as a people of pure racial stock. He compares them to a grape vine. They were of a PURE SEED-A PURE VARIETY. They became a WILD VINE by intermarriage with the Canaanites. Israelites were WHITE-of PURE white stock. But they intermarried with the Canaanites, many of whom were BLACK."

Then in another book The Truth Shall Make You Free: Herbert Armstrong's Empire Exposed by John Tuit another interesting comment about race is made. This one coming from Rod Meredith:

"Roderick C. Meredith, a top ranking evangelist who was later to become Director of the ministry [said] "...that one of the signs of God's displeasure with America was the fact that blacks were ruling over us." A direct slam at the then Mayor of Los Angeles, Tom Bradley. Meredith then went on to state that " black should ever rule over whites."

Slash ‘n Bash II: Not content at venting spleen against the Church of God (Seventh Day), the May WN goes on to pour vitriol on the Community of Christ. Michael Morrison interviewed Paul Trask, identified as a “former minister of the Reorganized Latter Day Saints Church (RLDS)”.

Strangely, neither Trask nor Morrison seemed aware that the RLDS church adopted the name Community of Christ some time ago. Trask, it turns out, was a pastor in one of the wacky RLDS splinter groups, which have the same relationship to the Community of Christ as, say, the Philadelphia COG does to WCG.

Trask’s real objection to the Community of Christ is – surprise, surprise! – its “liberalism”.

“… the surviving RLDS church [after the fundamentalists left] has become increasingly liberal. Whereas Joseph Smith claimed for his church exclusive truth and authority, today’s RLDS church now openly promotes religious pluralism.

“Pluralism wrongly teaches that God authored and is at work in all of the world’s religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam, and that salvation can be found in them all. Pluralism also promotes dialogue among the world’s religions in order to create a high level of tolerance and respect for each others’ religious heritage.

“It is in this sense that today’s RLDS leadership continues to identify with the religious heritage left them by Joseph Smith."

Tolerance and respect for other people’s beliefs? Oh how awful! Poor Mike, we can see how he’d be upset by such wicked ideas. We all know true Christians should be intolerant and contemptuous toward other faiths (except when there's a chance to sell off your copyrighted garbage to one for $3,000,000.)

Those of us, however, who have had some contact with members of the Community of Christ know full well that this is not a dangerous sect, and, speaking personally, this writer can attest to meeting some fine Christian people who also happen to be RLDS members. In fact the Community of Christ is a much healthier and more balanced movement than the WCG, and the most effective critique of traditional Mormonism has actually come from within the church (e.g. McKiernan & Edwards. The Restoration Movement: Essays in Mormon History). Try critiquing WCG from within (unless you're one of Joey's inner cabal) - its a quick one way ticket to disfellowshipment. Moreover, unlike the top-down hierarchic WCG, the Community of Christ has a well developed system of accountability (a-c-c-o-u-n-t-a-b-i-l-i-t-y Mike) for church leaders and administrators, including a World Conference where delegates (yes Mike, elected delegates) vote (v-o-t-e Mike!)  No mere rubber stamp, the conference has more than once voted down proposals put to it by the church’s leadership. When did that last happen in a real cult – like WCG for example? Any thoughts Mike? Oh, we forgot. No voting, delegates or General Conference in WCG! Just cult fuhrer Joe and his myrmidons. Perhaps WCG might like to set its own house in order before climbing on the cheap end of the anti-cult bandwagon.

Related reading: WCG's Mormon Connection  

UCG reports increases: In the UCG's April 24 Home Office Update Roy Holladay notes that the first DUB figures looked healthy for the largest Armstrong splinter: Attendance was up 3 percent over last year, and the offering was up 4.6 percent. Total U.S. attendance topped 13,000!

23 APR. OPUS 5. Mail: Den as JarJar? Herb and the grave robbers

Life as an ATM: Fifth in the series of Accountability and Government is now ready at:  Hopefully, the last in the series will be ready soon. Douglas Becker


Meanwhile, on Planet New Hope: [see 20 April, A long time ago...] As much as I hate to do this...(because I love the Star Wars characters)...what about Dennis Pelley as JarJar Binks?  Or maybe, taking from Harry Potter...Professor Quirrel?

Herb resurrected!! Gavin: I received an email to fix a broken link to make the gilmore.mp3 audio file play on my web site and I noticed that the "error" note was still coming up - so I checked other links and discovered that HWA's virtual gravesite has gone off line. Is this a temporary thing or has someone pulled a "copyright" plug on that web site so that we cannot take a virtual tour of the final resting place of HWA's corpse? If you know of an alternative link to a similar site perhaps you could let everyone know. Sort of a case of the virtual body snatchers, if you see what I mean. In the meantime my link obviously doesn't work. 

John England

21 APR. A SHAGGY GOAT STORY, ROLY-POLY APOSTLE. Mail: A neologism especially for splinters, critical of "critical thinking"

Making a goat of himself? Bob Thiel notes, on his COGwriter website, that Willie Dankenbring is up to it again. Dankenbring has found George W. Bush located in prophecy! Here's the passage Thiel quotes:

Gulf War II in Prophecy! Daniel’s Amazing Eighth Chapter Revealed!...In 1984, God Almighty began to reveal to me [lucky Willie!] the most amazing and mind-boggling keys to understanding Daniel’s enigmatic and mysterious prophecy of the “2300 days” (“evenings and mornings”) found in Daniel, chapter 8. It’s time we take another look at this pivotal Bible prophecy and its awesome, intriguing significance for us today! ... George W. Bush, then, with American power, represents the end-time anti-type of the “shaggy goat” from the West. America and Britain represent the “white horse” of Revelation. But this is just the beginning of the end-time prophecy!

Isn't it wonderful how God reveals this stuff to Willie!

Portly Pastor General: Douglas Becker is on a roll. Having in short order penned parts 2 through 4 of his excellent series on accountability, MD's newest columnist has diverted his attention momentarily to deal with THE HIGH AND HERBAL ONE HIMSELF. This latest offering is entitled The Roly-poly Apostle. Douglas assures us that the accountability series will continue.

Welcome to the morgue: For some time now The Missing Dimension site has outstripped its allocation of megabytes on the Ihug server. Rather than delete pages permanently, we're in the process of moving some of the less viewed material to the server. Already relocated are the Helge letter to Robert Ardis, the correspondence surrounding John Jewell's removal from UCG-UK, and the Henry Sturcke transcript.


Someone contact Websters! It looks as though many of these WCG offshoots are inspirted.  ;-) [see Pack-free RT, 20 April]

Inspirted - inspiration given in spurts; an inconsistent flow of inspiration.

Thanks for the laugh.

Tom Brooks

Critical thinking: Mr. Hohmann's article on the Sabbath requests his readers to use two points to test teachings. Number
1 is to "Subject religious claims of belief or doctrine to "Critical thinking".

First off, this will fail from the outset. His audience has no capacity to think critically. Certainly life in the WCG or any of its spin=offs will equip no one for that task unless he or she is on the way to freedom.

And secondly, if they could do it they wouldn't likely even be Christians, let alone Sabbatarians and the point of the article would be moot.

Mr. Hohmann needs a heavy dose of critical thinking himself. He should begin to question his assumptions before attempting to teach others.

One could start at 

Jim Baldwin


Den is asking for ideas for a New Hope logo. Perhaps a ball and chain? 

In a galaxy far, far away: Remember the first Star Wars movie? The words appeared on screen: "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away..." The theme music began, and then the text appeared that scrolled upward and away into infinity: "Episode IV: A New Hope."

We're sure George Lucas would be delighted to learn that Pasadena's Worldwide Church of God congregation has re-branded itself as New Hope Christian Fellowship

Our new congregational name is: New Hope Christian Fellowship a congregation of the Worldwide Church of God. If you think of a logo design that would fit our new name, please e-mail Leonard Olive ... or Dennis Pelley. (Pasadena bulletin)

How apt. The parallels are freaky.

Star Wars had The Force. WCG uses force to drive through its autocratic agenda. Star Wars had the Galactic Empire, WCG was known as the Armstrong Empire. Star Wars introduced us to Jabba the Hutt, WCG has Joey the jabberer. The Evil Emperor was clearly a thinned down version of Herbert Armstrong - and then there was his sociopathic sidekick Darth Rader, er, Vader.

But what we obviously need is a significant role for Den Pelley. Any suggestions?

Pack-free RT: When Dave Pack chose The Real Truth as the name for his cult's new flagship publication, was he aware that the name was already in use? Mark John Allen has recently revivified his ezine, curiously entitled The Real Truth. According to Allen:

For about 2 years or so, this website has lain fallow.  Now, God has inspirted me to begin updating it again. We are in the process of fixing broken links and adding new material, and will soon begin promotion again.

We're not too sure what "inspirted" means, but we're fairly sure the Ayatollah Dave will be less than impressed to discover his precious magazine has an unexpected identity crisis. And to compound Dave's dilemma, Allen's website proclaims:

The Real Truth is different... There is no other publication like this anywhere, either online or offline. 

To make matters even murkier, the word "restored" in the Pack cult title (Restored COG) might also be confused with Allen's "Restoration Times." Tough luck Dave!

19 APR. SABBATH STUFF, ACCOUNTABILITY CONTINUED, MARK TWAIN'S WAR PRAYER. Mail: Prince Charles and the World Tomorrow, Flurry's 2nd Bible.

If Joe Sr. came back - what would he look like? Graphic courtesy of a MD reader

The Sabbath's Fatal Flaw? MD reader Bill Hohmann has produced another substantial article on the Sabbath question.

Perhaps the most influential monograph on Sabbath observance is Sabbatarianism Reexamined, along with the subsequent Digest and Jesus and the Sabbath. These articles by theologian Robert Brinsmead were published over 20 years ago, later becoming required reading material as the WCG reform process moved into full swing.

Then there's a totally different perspective available on a site sent in by another MD reader. Back in 1946 Joseph Lewis, an atheist, wrote The Ten Commandments, devoting a major section to the Fourth Commandment. The language is a bit dated, but some of the observations are still provocative. This delightful little tale appears there.

The Rev. M. S. Banfield, Seventh Day Adventist clergyman, offered $1,000 to the Rev. William M. Ivy, Methodist, if the latter could prove by the Bible that Sunday was the Sabbath day. The wager was accepted and a debate held before a Methodist congregation of six hundred. The Rev. Mr. Ivy used the King James Version to show that Sunday, and not Saturday, was the day to be kept holy, and the congregation voted for him. The Rev. Mr. Banfield, however, refused to pay, saying that he was not yet convinced, whereupon the Rev. Mr. Ivy brought suit!

Who could forget those cheap "certified banker's check" taunts both Herb and Teddy used to make on The World Tomorrow for anyone who could find a proof text contrary to their position?

Accountability IV: The next in the series by Douglas Becker is now online. Douglas has also drawn our attention to an article on the UCG site. He writes:

... you might want to take a gander and pass along to the readers of the MD the article by Matt Fenchel on the UCG web site entitled "Principle or Politics"

Mr. Fenchel is concerned about accountability and this might make a nifty addition to the topic. 
Matthew Fenchel is one of the good guys and we love him dearly.  From the looks of the article though, we think that Matt has spent too much time in the Home Office.

The War Prayer
by Mark Twain
written approximately 1904-05

It was a time of great and exalting excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and spluttering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spread of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory which stirred the deepest deeps of their hearts, and which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country, and invoked the God of Battles beseeching His aid in our good cause in outpourings of fervid eloquence which moved every listener. It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast a doubt upon its righteousness straightway got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety's sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way.

Sunday morning came -- next day the battalions would leave for the front; the church was filled; the volunteers were there, their young faces alight with martial dreams -- visions of the stern advance, the gathering momentum, the rushing charge, the flashing sabers, the flight of the foe, the tumult, the enveloping smoke, the fierce pursuit, the surrender! Then home from the war, bronzed heroes, welcomed, adored, submerged in golden seas of glory! With the volunteers sat their dear ones, proud, happy, and envied by the neighbors and friends who had no sons and brothers to send forth to the field of honor, there to win for the flag, or, failing, die the noblest of noble deaths. The service proceeded; a war chapter from the Old Testament was read; the first prayer was said; it was followed by an organ burst that shook the building, and with one impulse the house rose, with glowing eyes and beating hearts, and poured out that tremendous invocation

God the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest! Thunder thy clarion and lightning thy sword!

Then came the "long" prayer. None could remember the like of it for passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language. The burden of its supplication was, that an ever-merciful and benignant Father of us all would watch over our noble young soldiers, and aid, comfort, and encourage them in their patriotic work; bless them, shield them in the day of battle and the hour of peril, bear them in His mighty hand, make them strong and confident, invincible in the bloody onset; help them to crush the foe, grant to them and to their flag and country imperishable honor and glory --

An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness. With all eyes following him and wondering, he made his silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the preacher's side and stood there waiting. With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his presence, continued with his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in fervent appeal, "Bless our arms, grant us the victory, O Lord our God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!"

The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step aside -- which the startled minister did -- and took his place. During some moments he surveyed the spellbound audience with solemn eyes, in which burned an uncanny light; then in a deep voice he said:

"I come from the Throne -- bearing a message from Almighty God!" The words smote the house with a shock; if the stranger perceived it he gave no attention. "He has heard the prayer of His servant your shepherd, and will grant it if such shall be your desire after I, His messenger, shall have explained to you its import -- that is to say, its full import. For it is like unto many of the prayers of men, in that it asks for more than he who utters it is aware of -- except he pause and think.

"God's servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two -- one uttered, the other not. Both have reached the ear of Him Who heareth all supplications, the spoken and the unspoken. Ponder this -- keep it in mind. If you would beseech a blessing upon yourself, beware! lest without intent you invoke a curse upon a neighbor at the same time. If you pray for the blessing of rain upon your crop which needs it, by that act you are possibly praying for a curse upon some neighbor's crop which may not need rain and can be injured by it.

"You have heard your servant's prayer -- the uttered part of it. I am commissioned of God to put into words the other part of it -- that part which the pastor -- and also you in your hearts -- fervently prayed silently. And ignorantly and unthinkingly? God grant that it was so! You heard these words: 'Grant us the victory, O Lord our God!' That is sufficient. the whole of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words. Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory -- must follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!

"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle -- be Thou near them! With them -- in spirit -- we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it -- for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.

(After a pause.) "Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits!"

It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said.


Charles meets an Apostle: Unfortunately a lot of people do not tell the truth about a lot of things - I am referring to your "Apostle of Incest" email from Myra McQueen. I am not suggesting that Myra is not telling the truth, but I am suggesting that Buckingham Palace tells lies! First of all the sources quoted include the "News of the World" which was and is one of England's first big sleazy newspapers. It is suggested in both that paper and further on in other quotes incorporated by Myra that Buckingham Palace had probably never heard of HWA or his church. Ha! 

In the 1960s "The World Tomorrow" could be heard in much of the British Isles and certainly at the London location of Buckingham Palace, as many as three to four times a day! More than this, the premier 50,000 watts offshore station of those days was "Big L" ("Wonderful Radio London"), which had an audience in the millions - including young Prince Charles who was one of "Big L's" original and leading card carrying fan club members! So Charlie had known of HWA for years - since he was a little boy - or those big flopping ears of Charlie are a cover for his deafness! 

How do I know this? Well the founder of "Big L" was a Texas friend of mine and before he died I recorded the only interview with him about his offshore broadcasting activities. I posted one clip from that interview on my web site at in mp3 format. It will play if you click on the picture of Prince Charles with HWA (wait for it to load - it is sometimes slow!) and you can hear my late friend - the founder of "Big L" - tell you in his own words that Buckingham Palace wanted the connection between Radio London and Prince Charles kept quiet! 

The Palace lies and so does Maggie and all of the rest. I am convinced that HWA was on the air for political purposes which this recent war in Iraq has now brought to the surface (to understand what I mean read the copy on my website which I wrote before France launched into a total confrontation with the USA over Iraq.) I can only find hints from insiders of the WCG - like Orlin Grabbe - but no one has so far come forward with documentation. I believe that HWA was what he appeared to be - a clever ad man who used religion as the means to an end. He gained wealth from preaching one message to his flock and another to the masses. He saw no contradiction because he did not believe any of this crap. I think that HWA was a basic deist and that is all. 

I also believe that he was the type of person who could be used by the CIA and was used by the CIA quite willingly. If you dump the religious superstition you will find that HWA was basically a very clever individual who led a good life. The fact that he needed a flock was of no concern, it was only a means to an end. The end was a political message and personal wealth, and he succeeded at achieving both very well. I am afraid that those who were duped were no match for HWA. But back to my main point, don't believe what the "News of the World" prints and don't believe what Buckingham Palace says! 

John England

MD: For the record, the article Myra cites is actually by Malcolm Heap. Your comments raise the question, does the prince's well known concern for environmental issues stem from the truckloads of apocalyptic material WCG published on pollution concerns ("Our Polluted Planet", and "Famine - Can We Survive?") in the late sixties and early seventies? If so, maybe we have something to thank GTA for after all!

Herbal bulldust: False prophet Gerry Flurry says: "Mr. Armstrong's writings are the foundation of all that we believe.....We have a critical message for a dying world. But the world can't fully understand without Mr. Armstrong's revealed writings."

One wonders why the folks in the PCG cannot see the plain indication in Flurry's words that the Bible isn't enough.  We have to have HWA's explanation of the Bible? (And that is, of course, a bunch of nonsense.)

I will quote HWA's often stated, but never practiced motto:  "Don't believe me, believe your Bible."  When he said this, he never counted on the fact that once people followed his advice, that no one would believe him, or any longer follow his false teachings.   Here's hoping that at least a few folks in the PCG will finally see through this stuff.  One wonders what it will take for some people to wake up.


17 APR. FLURRY'S VICTORY ISSUE, WCG - WATCHMAN OR VOYEUR? Mail: Craig White puts the record straight, Malcolm gives Herb heaps.

Beware the Flurrywock, my son!

The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

Beware the Edmond bird, and shun

The frumious Herbiesnatch

With apologies to Lewis Carroll. Jabberwock illustration by Lloyd M. Williams.

The frumious Herbiesnatch: From the soon-to-disappear PCG forum on Yahoo (condensed):

Just got the May 2003 Trumpet today. The front cover says "PCG Owns All Copyrights", a photo of the MOA book, and underneath it "VICTORY" in gold letters.

Page 1, Gerry's "personal", emphasis is his:

"Why are these works so important to us? This whole world needs to understand why.

"Mr. Armstrong's writings are the foundation of all that we believe. We teach his messages to our people quite diligently. However, we have been unable to teach them to the world. These works were blotted out by the WCG. We could not offer them to a deceived humanity – until now! And we believe that God commands us to proclaim Mr. Armstrong's works to the world as a witness (Matt. 24:14; Rev. 10:11).

"That is our God-given commission. SO WE BELIEVED THAT WE HAD TO WIN THIS CASE!...

"We have a critical message for a dying world. But the world can't fully understand without Mr. Armstrong's revealed writings. Roughly three-fourths of God's end-time message is finally available to mankind. The one-fourth we could proclaim along the way could be fully comprehended only by those who already understood Mr. Armstrong's writings.

"Time is running out. We must get this message out now WHILE THERE IS STILL TIME."

Page 2 has a large article by young Stephen (the dean of students) called "Copyright PCG", and behind that title is what is obviously a brown leather Bible cover. It shows me "whose" words they value the most!

"My dad believed something dramatic would happen, whether in court or out, that would eventually turn the tide in our favor. "If God is with us" he said, "we will win this".

Page 8, middle column head "Sealing the Deal" (I thought this was supposed to be a miracle!)

"On Thursday morning, January 16 – 17 YEARS TO THE DAY AFTER HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG'S DEATH – the WCG agreed to sell us ALL the copyrights..."

Then [Stephen Flurry] says this about Ralph Helge of the WCG –

"I can't imagine Helge being nearly as high-and-mighty as he was months ago during depositions, in his letter to Ardis or his interview with the Journal, but I'm sure he'll think of some kind of positive spin he can put on the final outcome of this case. "We finally made them pay for the price of their thievery". Or, "See, we would have sold those works to them before all of this got started, if only they would have asked"."

Page 9: "Over the course of six years, including the $2 million we paid at settlement, we spent about $5 million on this lawsuit..."

These articles can be read in full, if you've the stomach for the task, on the web.

Becker trilogy on accountability - with more to come: It's getting hard to keep up, but All2True columnist Douglas Becker has his third commentary on accountability and the WCG online. Here's an excerpt:

One of the most disturbing and confusing aspects of the teaching and practices of Herbert Armstrong was that we were supposed to be separate and apart from this world, and yet, most probably because of British-Israelism, there was this incredible propensity to have an intense interest in world affairs and politics, particularly that of the United States and Britain.

The premise seems to be that we were the watchman to the House of Israel based on the analogies of British-Israelism; and if you assume that you are the watchman to the House of Israel, it gives you free license to go and declare to the leaders of Israelitish Nations their sins.

This is a very disturbing idea; first of all, the Armstrongs didn't seem to have a very good handle on being righteous themselves, and the concept that they should declare punishments from God in the form of prophecies for the sins of the people and the leaders of the US in particular, bizarre in the extreme...

If anything, if you are going to declare to people their sins, you really should start with US Corporate executives, because they seem to be the worst liars in history; if you think that God is really involved in warning people that the ceiling is going to fall down around them because they are lying, stealing, cheating scoundrels without any integrity, one would think that the place to go is the Fortune 500.

It's so much easier to ramble on about the common people committing adultery--a terrible thing to be sure--but one wonders if it has done anywhere as much damage as Enron, Global Crossings, Arthur Andersen and a whole host of other unethical corporations now picking up the pieces from their evil misdeeds.

Indeed, listening to some of the wild-eyed evangelists of Armstrongism, you'd think sex was the only sin worth mentioning (the lads are doubtless projecting their own hang-ups onto a larger screen.) Indeed, no-one has ever, to our knowledge, accused WCG or its many fundamentalist splinters of either social awareness or prophetic witness (in the forth-telling rather than idiotic foretelling sense).


Born again booklet: Dear sir, I notice the following on your site [Born again in Auckland item quoted from April 16]. This gives the impression that I feel that this was a fallacy. Instead, I posted this on my site because I support the doctrine. Could you please change the wording to state something like: "Craig White has tracked down what he says ..." 


MD: Craig White is a well known and extremely staunch traditionalist and supporter of HWA's doctrines. He moderates the Original WCG Yahoo group, and contributes to several others.

Apostle of Incest: Just doing some research on a kind of out of the way website and came across this letter from (of all people) Malcom Heap - you know the 'Midnight Minister'. Anyway he claims to have obtained this from the original article in the AP (during the Armstrong divorce proceedings). Check it out if you can and let me know what you find - because if this is from the 'horse's mouth' (so to speak) HWA was documented as having an incestuous relationship with his daughter - by the Tucson AP.  

You have to read down about half way and Malcolm has what looks like the published results of the testimony leading to the divorce agreement and it may be that your contributor who claimed that Ramona got her way because of threatening to bring up the incestuous relationship during the trial was right. One would have to know what was in the original AP article published during the pretrial period.

Myra McQueen

MD: See also the Dallas Morning News story, (April 2, 2000) quoted on this site.


Dean Blackwell dies: Dean Blackwell passed away this morning (Monday, April 14, 2003) around 8:00 a.m. Texas time. A memorial service will be held in a week or so. Arrangements are pending. Reg Killingley

We have received word that Dean Blackwell died this morning, Monday, April 14, in Texas, following a series of strokes. Mr. Blackwell came to Ambassador College in the fall of 1952 and served in the full-time ministry from June, 1953 until he retired in 1996.  Even in retirement, Mr. Blackwell continued to serve on the Board of Directors of the Worldwide Church of God.  He was preceded in death by his wife, Maxine, who died just a few months ago. Funeral arrangements are pending. WCG announcement via Dateline Pasadena.

Becker on accountability: The next in the All2True series is now online.

Born again in Auckland: You learn something new every day. For example, who would have guessed that there was a Church of God (Seventh Day) presence in Auckland, NZ way back in 1902? And enough of a presence to justify having a pastor? A pastor, moreover, who was expounding on the fallacies of the born again doctrine decades before Herb wised up (was this guy ever original or what?)

According to Craig White that's exactly what happened. He's tracked down what he says is a 1902 tract by David Nield, a COG7 minister, produced in New Zealand. A PDF copy can be found on White's Origin of Nations website. 

News of the mysterious Elder Nield came as a surprise to this Auckland-based writer. The Dugger COG was represented in the city in the seventies, but was founded after the local group leader, Ralph Perry, met Raymond McNair in Britain, then later switched allegiance to the Jerusalem sect. The membership in the mid seventies was largely drawn from the Nuiean Island community. This group no longer seems active. A COG7 group of some sort predated the Duggerites, but reportedly fell apart when, according to a 1979 conversation I had with Perry, their treasurer absconded to Australia with the tithes, possibly in the early seventies. Anyone able to flesh out further details?


Artful slants response: I stand corrected, you are right.  It is true that the regime is not entirely dead, and that the victimization continues.  My comments were made in reflective least Armstrong IS gone, and Joe Jr. is
certainly no Herbert W. Armstrong (though others may disagree.)

Herbert Armstrong ruled with a "reign of terror", and the sword of "disfellowshipment" was swift retribution for any who did not "fall into line."  Yes, the current administration has "disfellowshipped" members...but it cannot hold a candle to what HWA did.  Clearly, their distaste for "anything Armstrong" has caused at least some veering away from cloning his tactics.


Bye bye PCG, hello splinters: PCG Yahoo moderator Stephen Blade has announced that his group is to disappear into the ether at the end of May. The torch has been passed to a new Yahoo group called WCG splinters. Here's what Steve wrote:

I've decided to close the PCG group effective at then end of May 2003. Longtime member and seldom poster Gunter Langely (aka Mithra45102) is picking up the torch by opening a similar group called WCG Splinters (see the link below). I'll be joining it and hope all of you make the move as well. I'm also going to try and send him as much of our content (files & links) as I can. I look forward to seeing everyone at:

Also starting up is a new Yahoo group called Women of WCG. Moderator Linda Ruder states:

This is to invite any women who have been involved with (or still are) the Worldwide Church of God (Armstrongism), as well as the splinter groups. Feel free to share both good and bad experiences while in the church(es). As you know, many women were made to feel inferior, unworthy and made to have low self esteem. Many women (children and men too) suffered much abuse while in "the church".

Come heal! Get your life back! Make new friends and maybe find some old ones. Men are welcome too, if they can play nice! This is NOT a doctrinal discussion group! Go elsewhere for that please! All opinions and beliefs welcome. Please be respectful to other members. See you there!

The URL is 

Sloshin' Foot washin': UCG member Richard Burkard has added a new article to his website: The Passover Puzzle. Richard reaches the conclusion that grim, stuffy, formal and stiff doesn't have to describe the tone of the annual observance. Valid point, but we suspect Richard has never sat in on a dour, traditional, Lutheran eucharist. In comparison the COG version can be downright bouncy.

12 APR. HOLLADAY EPISTLE, WCG SITE REVAMP. Mail: Armstrongism lives on, Joe the used car dealer.

Money and modesty: UCG president Roy Holladay has written to members April 10 in part, at least, to remind them about those important Holy Day offerings!

We would also like to ask for your prayers for the Holy Day offerings, that God in His mercy would bless the Church and provide for our needs to do the work we have been given. As most of you know, a significant portion of our income comes from the annual Holy Day offerings. Your prayers for God’s will and blessing would be greatly appreciated.

He also notes that: a videotaped sermon by Jim Franks titled “Godly Modesty, a Vanishing Virtue,” will be mailed out to all pastors next week. Any chance of getting a copy to Garner Ted?

WCG website gets botoxed: The WCG's official website has always been a bit dowdy and amateurish. Now the front page has been tarted up slightly, though it still looks cheap compared to the UCG site, or even the Canadian WCG. More a Botox injection than a facelift.


Artful slants: I am glad to know that the person who declares freedom from the tyranny of Armstrongism is free. But as far as that system being dead - it is not... People are still held in the captivity of the hierarchies that have become more disguised in the divisiveness of the current leaderships that have added their own little artful slants to the doctrinal mire of the past...

Cult cash back: This is what Tkach had to say about his "Small Step" program  in the Apr 2 Weekly Update:  "This month the number of congregations that will receive cash back dropped to 35%." (this was how he punished his wicked tithe payers for giving less in March than February - they get back less - a few piddling cents on the dollar). Big deal!  

I did a double-take when I saw the phrase "cash back".  Isn't that what more and more companies - especially GM car dealers - are offering as sales incentive in these economically tough times:  "Factory Cash Back !" - "Cash Back on Impalas; Malibus, Cavaliers & Corvettes; Cash Back on Trailblazers; S-10's, Silverado, Avalanche, Tahoes & Suburbans!" Has Tkach turned to Madison Avenue gimmickry to boost the flagging fortunes of his crumbling cult?  This shouldn't come as too much of a surprise when you consider that General Motors and the Tkach cult are in a similar pickle:  both have unfunded pension liabilities they can't afford. In the case of General Motors, it's $30 billion!  Tkach is already spending 20% of revenue on pension dole for the rapidly expanding ranks of retired WCG employees while income inexorably shrinks !  

Meanwhile, with what he thinks is state of the art marketing savvy, Tkach attempts to differentiate his product in the crowded religious marketplace: The Methodists might have 'Open Hearts, Open Minds & Open Doors' but they don't have Cash Back !

11 APR. DON'T SIT UNDER THE APPLE TREE WITH ANYONE ELSE BUT TED,  BLACKWELL UPDATE. Mail: Plaid truth? Anyone seen a bronze statue of Herb? President Hanson

Sock censorship?

Put a sock on it Ted! 1995 was a tough year for the COG's highest profile evangelist, Garner Ted Armstrong. ESN has just published (April 8) a story about the masseuse incident which we haven't seen before, although it seems to have been written by site founder Lin Stulman back in 1995. 

It seems however that current webmaster Dee has edited the reference to "the sock" out of the article in the last 24 hours, and also replaced the word "genitals" with "parts". The offending passage now reads: Another massage therapist in Tyler who made him [cover his parts] during a session. We think she should have stuck with the original text!

And will anyone who read that original version be able to ever look Ted in the eye again without surreptitiously glancing down to check out his socks first?

Blackwell sent home: From JLF: I just got off the phone with [a family member] and what he was told by Dean's daughter last night is, Dean was taken off the life supports and sent home with hospice care. He is unconscious but still breathing on his own but he shows no upper brain activity. 


Handwashing: As a courtesy to MD readers and considering the season of the year, once again, an updated version of "The Handwashing Service" at is offered for a limited time only--to the end of April.

Douglas Becker

Herbert Hussein: I realize that MD wishes to take no position on the war... fair enough.  But might one pose a comparison of dictators?

As I've watched the war unfold I have been repeatedly struck by the "coincidental" parallels between HWA and Saddam.  Of course, Saddam is (hopefully was) a vicious, murdering dictator... but there are still some alarming parallels...

Opulent life style while the "people" live near or in poverty. How ironic.  Saddam's palaces and wealth.  Marble inlay everywhere, the most expensive, the BEST, of course.  A GOLDEN TOILET?  I can only imagine how HWA would have loved to put his "Aposolistic" backside on one of those...

Hussein running from here to there... hiding, protected... while his poor loyal, foolish people stood directly in the line of fire.  During the "sit in" of the 70's, I "sat" in the Hall of Administration with families, husbands, wives, small children and students...  All the while, the Pasadena police had gathered at the Rose Bowl, fully dressed in RIOT GEAR (I saw them myself)... prepared to "tear gas" the "cult" at Ambassador if necessary.

And where was HWA?  Hiding like the coward he was in Arizona.  So much for being an "Apostle"... that he even DARED to try to add his name to Peter (crucified upside down), Paul, John, James etc... beaten in the name of the Lord... imprisoned.  WHAT A JOKE... WHAT AN INSULT.

An oppressive, spying, punishing group of "elite guard" who do his bidding. One cannot help but draw a parallel to the the Ministers, Elders, and the (Fedayeen) DEACONS...who watched your every move...quick to move in and strike for any "infraction" real or otherwise.  One can only be grateful they were not allowed to carry any "weapons" except disfellowshiping and verbal ridicule!

Women living in COMPLETE TERROR and SUBMISSION... without any voice whatsoever.  Totally AT THE COMMAND and will of their husbands (and the men and ministry of the church)... hidden, "blanketed" if you will... literally... invisible.

The list goes on and on.... As they pulled down Saddam's statue today I watched the men and boys of Iraq beating the statue with anything they could find.  The women, still in fear... could only stand back quietly and watch. But one can only imagine... were no one looking, what they would have done to the statue themselves.

The men were angry... but at least (even in their own homes) they had some voice, some "power" over their lives.  The women have been made to stand back in the cold darkness silently nodding... in fear... repeatedly beaten... sold into marriages.... raped.

I still remember the day that I realized THEY (the Church) could no longer hurt me--verbally abusive me with my "worthlessness", terrorize me with the Lake of Fire, threaten me with disfellowshipment...I walked out of the
Ambassador Auditorium knowing I was FREE... "FREE AT LAST...FREE AT LAST...I THANK THE LORD I'M FREE AT LAST!"

I'm glad they pulverized HWA's signature and footprints in the garden cement... took down his pictures... AND removed his statue.  Interesting too, that Nebuchadnezzar stated, "All this I have built"... then was weighed, measured and found wanting.  His palace, not far from Saddam's also lies in ruins.  It will not surprise me if ALL THAT HERB BUILT does not fall to the bulldozer as well.  He didn't build in GOD'S NAME... he built in the name of ARMSTRONG.  How many people could he have fed with just one of the Golden Salt cellars?  The crystal?  The art... scrape the gold leaf off the Auditorium... sell the onyx and marble... and feed the homeless...  YEAH, RIGHT.

SO MANY PARALLELS.  Thank God... both regimes are DEAD!!!

MD: Aposolistic?

Maryland's Man: It was noted that Bernard Kelly pointed out that:

"...John Hanson was the first president of the US (and not George Washington), "

FWIW, this is true, with a caveat. Like Hanson, I am a native of the US state of Maryland. He was the first presiding officer of Congress (and thus "President" in those days) to serve a full term under our "Articles of Confederation" immediately after what we term the "Revolutionary War" or " War of Independence." (this was before our current Constitution). He is popularly known as the first president under the Articles of Confederation, but the caveat is that there were 2 that preceded him, although with partial terms.

In Maryland, there are many places that bear his name, including the low income housing in my home town of Frederick. What an honor!

Brian Drawbaugh

09 APR. BERNARD KELLY RESURFACES. Mail: Proselytizing Filipino Muslims, Herbal article wanted, Mixing margaritas on Orange Grove Blvd.

Kelly re-launches "Expositor": Bernard Kelly (, described by Ambassador Report in 1996 as "President of Royal Embassy College and Managing Director of Trans-World Publishing which operate out of a motel room across from Santa Anita Race Track in Arcadia, California" has re-entered the ranks of active purveyors of post-Armstrong Armstrongism. After killing off his newsletter The Expositor some time ago, Kelly is now producing The New Expositor, and the first issue (dated April 7) seems to have been emailed widely. All articles are by Kelly. 

We were able to glean from the first issue that somebody called John Hanson was the first president of the US (and not George Washington), a potted history of a Jewish group called the Sephar-vaim, that the Ten Commandments were in force before the Noachian Deluge, and that George W. Bush invaded Iraq because Saddam traded in his US dollars for euros. So now you know!


Wisdom? Could anything be more dangerous than trying to switch Muslims from Allah to Jesus ?  The Koran instructs fundamentalist Muslims exactly how to deal with such a situation.  Yet this is exactly what WCG members are attempting to do in the volatile southern islands of the Philippines according to the April WN 'Update'.  

As local pastor Nilo Belarmino says: "We need wisdom in reaching out to them" - no kidding !   It seems sect boss Joseph Tkach can happily countenance this push for new members (provided that he is safely an ocean away in his Californian mansion). 

MD: A failed and disintegrating fringe sect has the temerity to try to sell their cancerous form of pseudo-Christianity to the "benighted" folk in a distant land. Imagine, if they can't even treat their relatively well educated first-world members in a respectful, adult way, the overwhelming paternalism and smugness they must bring to the proselytizing task in second and third world nations.

Seen, not heard: Hello, I was wondering if you have access to a Mr. Armstrong article titled, "Be seen and not heard". Thank you for your time.


MD: The title seems to illustrate the ethos that kept us all in our spiritual minority for so long. Anyone able to help?

Suggestions for Schnippert: 1)  Set up a free, all-you-can-consume margarita bar and Valium dispenser along Orange Grove Blvd. every day till kingdom come. 2)  Stand on the street corner and hand out hundred dollar bills to everyone who passes by, every day till kingdom come. 3)  SHUT UP (and stop making more of an ass out of yourself), withdraw your stupid housing development plan, deed the Ambassador property over to the city of Pasadena, and resign already!!!


British World Tomorrow sinks: From the website, based in the UK.

Mr. [John] Jewell [deposed UCG boss in Britain] is maintaining that he is in charge of the company, World Tomorrow Media, which is a company created by the UCGBI [UCG - British Isles] to handle the affairs of the broadcasts...

From The National Announcements, 15th March:

"In the last few weeks, one of the assets of the charity, a dormant company called World Tomorrow Media that was set up by UCG-BI for the benefit of the Church, has been claimed by Mr. and Mrs. Jewell, both of whom have resigned from UCG-BI. It has been necessary to find out what the Charities Commission would expect the trustees, members of the National Council, to do in this situation and to seek legal advice on what defensive measures are open to us.

A letter has been sent to Mr. and Mrs. Jewell stating the Church's case and requesting the return of, among other things, the books of that company and any other items associated with it.

At the same time, we have found it necessary to stop the production of new World Tomorrow programs for the following reasons:

Both the scripts and the production are being claimed as copyrighted by World Tomorrow Media, and the Church is being asked by World Tomorrow Media to pay the presenter's salary and the costs of airing the program with Manx Radio through that company.

In effect, programs would be aired on a mass media outlet in the name of United Church of God, without any editorial input from the Church. We would be paying a company set up by the Church for the benefit of the Church but no longer under its organizational umbrella. The Church regards this as unacceptable.

Until this situation has been sorted out, we will be repeating several earlier World Tomorrow broadcasts and taking steps to produce another series of programs adapted from the US scripts of the Good News Radio program."

Rod's "Exclusive Brethren" Passover: The Meredith faction has tightened procedures around its version of the upcoming Passover/Lord's Supper observance. These directives from Charles Bryce.

I thought it would be helpful to cover a few Passover matters discussed at our last Council of Elders conference. It was reiterated, and all agreed, that only baptized members should participate in the Passover service, including the foot-washing. The foot-washing, the bread and the wine all go together and are all connected to the deep meaning of the Passover. Therefore, only baptized members of the church, who have examined themselves and are prepared, should take part.

The question of unbaptized members attending the Passover, just to observe, was discussed as well. The conclusion was that this should not be done except for the rare exception. In such cases, it is left up to the Church pastor’s discretion to make that decision, keeping in mind the quietness and privacy of this most important occasion.

Two other points discussed with Dr. Meredith recently are: 1. Only ministers should conduct the Passover service. We have many fine deacons and leaders who can coordinate the service, if need be, and play the H.Q. Passover tape if the minister is unable to be there. 2. All Passover services should follow the format and cover the material in the official ceremony from Headquarters. Please be diligent in starting on time and ending on time. 

In contrast the Church of God (Seventh Day) position is: Confession that Jesus is the Christ and belief that Jesus cleansed us from our sins entitle us to eat the bread and drink the cup of communion. The text of the COG7 booklet on the subject is online. Also notable is the following statement from COG7's Doctrinal Beliefs: We extend charity toward those who may observe communion at other times. Can anyone imagine that appearing in an LCG article?

Update on Blackwell: Former WCG evangelist Dean Blackwell's situation has not improved. This posting from JLF.

I got a call this morning from Dean's cousin... [he was] told... that Dean developed blood clots and they believe him to be brain dead and that the doctors were waiting on the family to decide to pull the life supports. Please remember the Blackwell children as this is such a sad time for them and to think they might loose another parent so soon is heartbreaking.

The WCG Gulag: Not to be missed: Douglas Becker is back with his second All2True column. Intelligent, insightful commentary. A schnippert, er, snippet: 

During its heyday until its demise in 1991, the USSR was known to its own people for the heavy handed oppressive government with few freedoms, represented by its own flagship publication "Pravda", which means something like "Truth" in Russian--always replete with propaganda, and for those paying attention, the analogies involving the USSR vs WCG are not lost in such details as heavy handed government with few freedoms and the flagship publication, "The Plain Truth".

Paganism alert!  We advise sensitive souls to avoid checking out the latest poetic provocation from MD's poet laureate, the back-sliding Seamus. The pseudonymous Bard tackles a sticky seasonal subject, with scant disregard to biblical strictures on the subject of fertility symbols. But we've fixed him... we've published Seamus' picture alongside the offending verse!

Iraq: MD doesn't intend to take a position on the war in Iraq, or - please note - publish letters on that subject. But it's hard not to notice partisan positions being taken by many COG members. Here are one person's views which appeared on the CEM forum and were forwarded to MD.

The overwhelming victory of the British and American forces is the greatest most one sided victory in the last 1000 years. Iraq was the seventh largest army in the world! We have literally had one thousand fall on one side and one thousand fall on the other. The Iraqis act and speak like a confused army, much like God caused upon the enemies of Israel in the past.

Our victory here is as tremendous as any found in the Bible. Our righteousness, kindness, courage, and love shown by our troops is a historic high... It is obvious that God has blessed us with victory at minimal cost, and confounded our enemy. Our President is a righteous man and fears the Lord to the best of his understanding. Our forces are acting righteously and with uprightness and mercy towards the innocent...

President Bush is a righteous "King". I feel we are being blessed under his leadership, just as we were under the leadership of Ronald Reagan.

Apparently he is completely serious. In contrast Bruce Porteous, a longstanding COG member in Auckland, has taken a strong anti-war stand on several news boards, raising hackles among supporters of the invasion.

I find it difficult to accept how the American media and the propaganda from the Bush administration has [whipped] up this nationalism as we see in America today, and supported by people who call themselves Christians.  Quite frankly, it scares me.

America will live to regret this act of stupidity in invading Iraq, a war which it will never win.  They have only seen the start of what is to come.

An interesting American COG perspective, and one probably at variance with the majority position, is that of Norman Edwards, editor of Servants News. His open letter to George W. Bush is available on the SN site.


UCG Backtrack? Concerning your report on UCG's clarification that tithes belong to UCG and not LifeNets.  It could very well be that since UCG's teaching on 3rd tithe differs from the traditional COG teaching, they are finding themselves in the same situation as Joe Tkach when he changed WCG's teaching on tithing.  As Joe Tkach had to do a 180 on this to keep the money flowing in, we now see UCG making their first steps on a turn around concerning their stance on 3rd tithe.  Even though UCG leaders approved a pay increase for themselves this year, they are experiencing a "tightening-of-the-belt" in other areas.  Ordinarily, when UCG changes any teaching, they will never admit to a change.  I'm curious to see that since this involves church income, they may find the humility in this case to make such an admission.  I find it interesting as well that in this letter we see that your time and efforts can be given to any good cause, but your money belongs to UCG.

Concerning LifeNets, I would like to remind you of a posting on your Mar. 8, 2003 installment entitled UCG-speak.  Also, a few days ago someone wrote in concerning the Terre Haute church once under Victor Kubik.  It reminded me that I thought it was very fitting that Victor Kubik was engrossed in his LifeNets project, while his church was falling apart back home.  If he wants to be so dedicated to this project, he needs to forego shepherding a flock.  His responsibilities to his members are greatly compromised by his desire to keep LifeNets alive.

Continue shining the light on the activities of those who have such control over the lives and finances of others in the name of God. 

Floyd Brooks

06 APR. TREE MASSACRE, SUGGESTIONS FOR BERNIE, KILOUGH ON LIFENETS, PROPHETIC FAILURES. Mail: Bernie's "Happy happy, joy joy" message, David Covington reassessed, Where are they now?

75 Year old Pines given chop: The Pasadena Weekly reports on the felling of trees on a property recently sold by the WCG to  "developer Mike Balian, who recently purchased the property from the Worldwide Church of God, owners of nearby Ambassador College..." The story is currently available online, but probably only for a short time. Dateline Pasadena

Bernie's One Desire: As we reported yesterday, Bernie Schnippert has publicly stated: We wish to make every single person in Pasadena happy and have no agenda to do anything except that. 

We, of course, believe Bernie unreservedly, and would never suggest he was just schmoozing. Which is why we're asking Pasadena readers how Bernie could make them happy. If you live or work in or near Pasadena, drop us a line with your wish list. We'll publish the suggestions next week so Bernie can get started straight away. 

UCG and LifeNets - sect boss sets boundaries: Clyde Kilough has written to UCG members, April 4, attempting to disentangle the relationship between UCG and Victor Kubik's LifeNets. He begins with a statement most Christians would endorse:

We strongly encourage individuals, families, congregations, youth groups, our ABC classes, etc., to regularly donate some of their time and activity to humanitarian causes as they are able. Much suffering exists in the world, and we are not to stand idly by and wait for the Kingdom of God to come to solve all the problems. Jesus Christ will indeed solve all the problems, but His way of thinking that will govern His Kingdom must be in the hearts of His people today. In a world where iniquity is abounding and love, as a result, is growing cold, it is important for our own good that we maintain a heart of compassion.

But you have to wonder whether, having paid tribute to "Mom and apple pie", the real purpose of the epistle is revealed further down.

We do not consider that sending money to help LifeNets in its humanitarian efforts, or any other aid organization, is the same as sending in assistance or tithes to the Church to help the needy in the Church. As Mr. Holladay wrote, the Church has a continual need to provide money for those in need of food, clothing and other basic necessities. These tithes and donations provide the means for filling the humanitarian needs within the Church that no other outside organization can fill, including LifeNets.

Therefore, we do not believe that sending tithes to LifeNets would be any more appropriate than sending tithes to other humanitarian organizations such as the Red Cross, the cancer society, United Nations relief funds, etc. Donations of time, money or resources should be made to help the suffering, but the tithe is for the God-ordained use of the Church.

Perhaps we do not normally think of it this way, but the Church’s assistance fund is truly a “humanitarian relief organization” as well, supported by your tithes and donations. Over the years the Church has distributed hundreds of thousands of dollars in aid, but because such assistance is usually done quietly and confidentially, it receives little publicity. You would be encouraged, though, to know of the many, many personal cases where brethren turned to the Church and were literally pulled immediately out of their stressful dilemmas—all made possible by the tithes and donations their fellow brethren had made.

Does this amount to a wrist-slapping for Kubik?

Still fringy and peculiar: From a website called "If at first you don't succeed, fail, fail, again."

Finding workable prophecies for future events, however, is a little dicier. As Herbert W. Armstrong of the World Wide [sic] Church of God discovered, to his chagrin.

Using reasoning powers that would impress any modern tabloid psychic, Herbie concluded that the world would fall down, go boom in the last half of the ‘70’s by using the following formula: Assume God made the world in 4025 BC. Assume, also, that the world has a timer set for self-destruct in 6000 years. Now, take Leviticus 26:18 “I will punish you seven times more for your sins.” quote, call it a prophecy and date it at 717 BC. Decide that the prophecy means 7 years of 360 days (7 x 360) and conclude that the resulting 2520 refers to the years God will withhold his blessings from the chosen people (as opposed to “The Chosen People”...see 1936 on page 1) subtract 717 from 2520 and you’ve got 1803...which is a problem, since even Herbie could suss out that the world hadn’t ended then.

So, casting about wildly, he latched onto Micah 5, which speaks of the remnant of Jacob being cut off. (oh, stop it...) Falling back on Anglo-Iraelistic wackiness, Herbie determined that the “remnant” was Great Britain and America and decided that God had extended his blessing period another 147 years. Why? ...Why not?! Anyhoo, the blessing times, they was clearly over, since Britain’s Empire was all but extinct by 1950 and not long after, America had gotten seriously heinie-whipped in Korea and Viet Nam.

In addition to all that, Herbie had this “thing” for the number 19. He was certain that God worked in nineteen year cycles, marked by conjunctions of the Earth, sun and moon. The most recent of these magic conjunctions came and went in ‘72 and as far as a Trib tripping event was concerned, that was all the confirmation Herbie needed. The End Times simply had to be ripping down the road before ‘79... Hadn’t they? Well, reality bites and Herbie tried hard to back-peddle and find another date. But, the mistake came at a bad time for the cult in general and it helped cause even further schisms amongst the rank and file which are still being fought over today. In the years since Armstrong’s death in the mid-eighties, the WWCoG has moved away from millenarianism and dropped much of its earlier, extremist doctrine. Still fringy and peculiar in many ways, they’re nevertheless swimming ever closer toward the mainstream.


The Artful Dodger: Hey guys, maybe Bernie was more accurate than he intended: "We wish to make every single person in Pasadena happy and have no agenda to do anything except that,' said Schnippert. "But we have to do it in a professional, skillful, artful, sensitive way given the laws and social policies' of the city.

Webster's New Universal Dictionary: Artful adj. 1. crafty; cunning; deceitful; tricky: artful schemes. 2. skillful in adapting means to ends; ingenious: an artful choice of metaphors and similes. 3. done with or characterized by art or skill: artful acting; artful repairs. 4. Archaic. artificial.

I pick 1 and 4.

Douglas Becker

Second thoughts on Covington: Upon exploring your website, I came across copies of David Covington's open letters to WCG and several references to him in print and just wanted to share with you:   I was a young member of the Memphis, Tennessee congregation in the USA in the early 90's. David Covington was an associate pastor there at the time. He had previously worked in Nashville and would later go on to pastor Roanoke, Virginia. I freely admit, many of us in the congregation disdained him at that point in time... I think the common comment among the men was "...  give him time." And remembering certain things about that time, I can't say I blame anyone in that period for feeling that way. He simply didn't win over a lot of folks in his attempt to fit in at that point. Not for lack of effort, it just didn't happen in a way they responded to, and it wasn't entirely his fault. What we weren't to find out for at least a few years after the fact was just how much [strength] David really has, and re-reading these old letters really brings it all back to me.

WCG Exodus: I was surprised at the question regarding whatever happened to... Did the writer leave the church before 1974 and the WCG exodus?

Check out the Ambassador Report issues posted on the Painful Truth web page and you'll see where they all went and why.  Maybe he was asking where they all are today, and if so, that would be something else altogether.

Kathleen Kakakcek


PSN reports on Bernie's whittlin': This article by Gary Scott appeared in the Pasadena Star News, April 3. Comments in square brackets are MD's.

The Worldwide Church of God has whittled 29 units from its planned Ambassador College campus development and is hoping [like heck that] the reduction will be favorably received by neighboring residents.

In what church planning director Bernard Schnippert said is an attempt to make a "better project,' the church has "fine tuned' the plan by dropping to 1,431 the number of homes that will be built.

Another 60 units will be eliminated if [hell freezes over and] the Ambassador Auditorium is preserved, Schnippert said.

[Cue violins:] "We wish to make every single person in Pasadena happy and have no agenda to do anything except that,' said Schnippert. "But we have to do it in a professional, skillful, artful, sensitive way given the laws and social policies' of the city.

The city has 30 days to review the church's master plan application and decide if it is complete. Church officials expect the first public meeting to determine the scope of the environmental impact report will be held in May or June.

Charles McKenney, vice president of the West Pasadena Residents' Association, said he will wait until he sits down today with church officials to review the plan before commenting on the changes...

Full text appears on the PSN site.

Meeker interview: The latest United News features an interview with retiring minister George Meeker about "the good old days." Despite the "sunny side up" spin, it contains some interesting historical anecdotes. Good also to see references to some non-UCG luminaries of the past, including Garner Ted Armstrong, Raymond McNair and Ernest Martin.


Dear Ron: In the April WN 'Update on Finance and Planning', I can't believe... WCG executive Ronald Kelly actually said: "Does anyone ever have enough money?" Gee, well believe it or not Mr. Kelly, some of us actually don't think that way.  But we're coming to believe that WCG executives have a money obsession - especially when you won't give us details of your six-figure compensation packages.

Kind of reminds one of  what another millionaire WCG executive, Stanley Rader, once said:  "It takes money to make money" (he said this in court defending extravagant spending on one of those 5-star WCG "missionary" junkets). Stanley Rader chose to - and could afford to - live in the ritzy LA suburb of  Beverly Hills where they have another saying:  "You can never be too rich or too thin".  Though interestingly, and delectably, both he and the super rich Joseph Tkach Snr. were taken out by cancer, proving you CAN be too rich and too thin ! 

MD: Very comforting, particularly as, ahem, some of us are in little danger of being either. 

04 APR. PBS TO FEATURE AUDITORIUM, CULT DONATIONS DROP. Mail: Whatever happened to..., Beam resurfaces

A last look?  Huell Houser has produced a show about the Ambassador Auditorium and the Pasadena Campus gardens.  The show is to air in Southern CA on PBS (KCET) on April 9 and April 17 at 7:30 pm.  Check local listings for other PBS stations -, - Dateline Pasadena

The all-important moolah: From the WCG Pastors Report: 

After two months of contribution increases, regular mail donations took a bit of a drop during the month of March. Donations this month were just under $1.5 million, while last year March donations were right at $1.9 million... The drop in March income brought the year-to-date contributions and other sources of income (excluding property sales and litigation settlement) for the first quarter of this year down a total of six percent compared to 2002. On the other hand, for the first three months of the year our expenses have been almost $5 million less than the cash inflow, thus allowing us to anticipate maintaining a positive cash flow and actually see an increase in our cash reserves.


Forgotten Honchos: I remember the name of Dean Blackwell, but what exactly did he do in the WCG, and how did he get to his prominent position?  He always seemed to be in the background.  What was his expertise?  Whatever happened to other WCG leaders of the past, such as Albert J. Portune and his sons, Alfred Carrozzo, Richard Plache, etc.  It would be interesting to see a page of two of news entitled, What Ever Happened To ____?  With short sketches of where some of these people ended up. 

MD: Great idea. Now all you need to do is find someone with the time to undertake the project. 

Houston enigma:  Did you ever hear what happened to Chris Beam and the missing Houston church?  Chris seemed to be in just about every issue of the WN. Suddenly, he dropped out of sight and then I read your notice that he and his congregation are gone.  Thanks again.

Wes White

MD: Beam is mentioned in the current WN as a training coordinator for Community of Hope lay chaplaincy ministries in Houston 

03 APR. TERRE HAUTE UPDATE, SABBATH DAZE. Mail: PCG's "alimentary" prophet, Gerry and Jesus.

Whatever happened to Terre Haute? Back in January the small UCG congregation at Terre Haute, Indiana exploded into prominence among COG watchers when it decided to disaffiliate for a three month trial period from the UCG-AIA. What's happened since? Well, they do have a website up: Judging by the counter on the site - 528 visits - nobody much knows that it's there yet, so do click across and help turn the numbers over! George and Pam Dewey will be speaking April 12. In a Likeminds posting Pam writes:

George and I are going to be visiting the Terre Haute, Indiana, Church of God on Sabbath April 12. I'm scheduled to conduct an open discussion session at 12:30 and George is scheduled to give a sermon for the 2:30 worship service.

I checked with Jeff [Osborn] and the group does, indeed, have plenty of room for visitors in their building... There is a map and more details at the Terre Haute website.

Meantime somewhat dated news of the Kubik remnant may be found at

Which Day? Once upon a time Herbert W. Armstrong wrote (or perhaps plagiarized) "Which Day is the Christian Sabbath?"  Bill Hohmann has produced a critique, the most exhaustive commentary we've seen on this - or perhaps any other - Herbal opus. Be warned - this is a long document - so grab a coffee before you start!


A Mighty Instrument: As you know, since the death of Mr. Armstrong, God has used Gerald Flurry as a mighty instrument (when Mr. Flurry is sober; when Mr. Flurry is [not], God is so concerned about his safety that he sends the police to wake him up) in two important ways. First, just as God used Mr. Armstrong to restore the truths He revealed to the early apostles (especially his predecessor, Peter, the former head of the church under God and Jesus Christ, whose position Mr. Armstrong assumed when he was appointed apostle for the end-times), God is using Mr. Flurry to restore the truths He revealed to Mr. Armstrong, the apostle to the end-times. Secondly, God is using Mr. Flurry to reveal new truths to the world. Mr. Flurry is the vessel, the alimentary canal if you please, through which the new truths pass from God to us. Malachi's Message is only the most notable example of the new truths revealed to us through Mr. Flurry. Since we now have all these new truths, Mr. Flurry has to update Mr. Armstrong's works to take into account all the new stuff. As we are all shocked to realize, Mr. Armstrong didn't know everything, and Mr. Flurry has been filling in the gaps since the most important date in history, January 16, 1986, the day Mr. Armstrong assumed room temperature.

This explains why Mr. Flurry has to whip out the blue pencil. Although Mr. Armstrong gave us the truth, he did not give us the whole truth. Just as a medical textbook written on January 16, 1986 would be missing the new discoveries made since it was published, Mr. Armstrong's books must be revised and updated to take into account the new eternal truths discovered since his death. And since Mr. Flurry is the only man to discover new eternal truths since Mr. Armstrong's death, only he can be counted on to revise Mr. Armstrong's works in a fair and impartial manner.


Gerry and Jesus - Can YOU tell the difference? This is just my thoughts in why Flurry has to rewrite the booklets, it's because Mr. Armstrong says "THAT PROPHET" is Christ. And Flurry is saying Mr. Armstrong is wrong, it is him, so  Flurry has to change the booklets to make him "THAT PROPHET" not Christ.


02 APR. SPANKY EPISTLE, DEAN BLACKWELL UNWELL, STATS AND STUFF. Mail: Herb to get revised, The amazing disappearing 3T trick.

Spanky "Cries Aloud": LCG "Presiding Evangelist" Rod Meredith has written to his tithe-paying public in a letter dated March 18. Excerpts follow with helpful and supportive MD comments in square brackets:

God commands His true servants, "Cry aloud, spare not; lift up your voice like a trumpet tell My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins" (Isaiah 58:1). The continuing increase in our vile sexual perversions is a stench in the nostrils of Almighty God... [Why is it that Rod always seems to think sin means sex?] Yes. The wrath of Almighty God was prophesied to come on a people such as ours. Especially so since we should "know better"!... So as our people turn further and further away from the real God of the Bible, our Father in heaven is going to chasten us—nationally and individually... [Rod's god apparently has this S&M thing] Dear brethren, as I am sure all of you do, I love the American and British-descended peoples. I still often get a chill up and down my spine when they play the "Star Spangled Banner" or "God Save the Queen." But now I see that all the prophetic events we have preached about for decades are coming into focus!... we in this Work should all see the "handwriting on the wall." The great God who guides the rise and fall of nations is now orchestrating world events so that other nations will increasingly feel righteous in carrying out God’s punishment on the descendents of Ephraim and Manasseh!... May the Eternal God help all of you to grasp the significance of what is happening and to become increasingly involved in the vital Work Jesus Christ is now doing through His human servants. [Send Rod money!] I want to remind you again that we are up and running here in Charlotte, NC, so please send your tithes and offerings [ahem] to our new Charlotte address which will be placed at the end of this letter.

If any MD readers are unclear who's being referred to by "His true servants" and "His human servants", we're sure Rod - who is obviously too modest to point it out - won't mind if we disclose that this means Rod himself and those of his chums at the top of the LCG hierarchy. 

Dean Blackwell suffers stroke: The following item by Pam Blackwell appeared on an alumni board March 29.

As many of you may know, Maxine Blackwell died a few months ago. Since then, Uncle Dean has been trying to get on with his life, and we thought he was doing fairly well. However, last Saturday, he suffered a series of strokes. He has been in the hospital this week, and has seemed to have lost the will to live. Tonight, they took him off the ventilator that has been keeping him breathing. His choice, along with his kids, is that if he can breathe on his own, OK, and if not, that's OK, too. Having lost a parent, I know how hard it is on kids. But I also have seen how hard it is for people to live without a spouse. So whatever happens, I think everyone is OK with. 

Could you just say a prayer for his family, that they will be comforted, whatever the outcome, and if it's God's will (if God does have a will about this), could you pray that either Uncle Dean goes peacefully, or he has the strength and will to recover fully.

Blackwell seems widely regarded as one of the more decent individuals who attained high rank in the Armstrong ministry.

The View from Down Under: So far this year the website has registered some 125,000 page views, contrasting with 73,657 in the first three months of 2002. This month there has been a minor redesign of the AW page. Also uploaded today is the latest column by "the Whistler", his 19th for MD.


Flurry to wield blue pen: Flurry says "Not doing the television program will free me up to update about 10 of my booklets. Also there will be some updating to do on a few of the 19 works."

But I thought the importance to PCG of MOA and the other 18 works was that they were the God-given Words of the Apostle, which is why Flurry (although writing new booklets with "new revelations") wouldn't do what all the other significant offshoots have done, and rewrite them in their own words (how many different versions of US&BC in Prophecy are there now from all the different Churches?). But now he's going to "update" them. Anyone willing to do a line-by-line comparison when they start appearing? Any bets on which classic HWA teachings will be modified? 


MD: In a posting to JLF, Richard Burkard remarks (doubtless with tongue wedged firmly in cheek): "UPDATING works?!?! The works of THE modern-day Elijah? How can he DO such a thing? Tampering with these God-inspired works might as well be like tampering with God's Word itself, isn't it??? How dare this man water down these volumes which were repressed and suppressed for so long!  I'm shocked -- SHOCKED!"

Third tithe travesty? Can You tell me if there is any way I can find out if the 3rd tithes sent to the WCG in the 60s& 70s went into a special fund or was it put into the general fund?

Earl Woods

01 APR. JESSE ANACONA DIES, FLURRY BRAGS. Mail: The missing million, GTA and racism.

Remembering Jesse: Jesse Anacona, who wrote extensively on the WCG, died March 28. According to Keith Hunt, who hosts her articles on his website, "It is with great sorrow that during the night of March 28th I learned that Jesse, my co-worker in the Lord's work, quietly fell into the sleep of death at her home in Calgary, Alberta, in the year of 2003. She was with her immediate family of her husband, and her only child and daughter. Jesse had been fighting cancer for the last two years. She fought as hard as she could against this terrible disease, but it finally took her life. She was 46 years old."

Hunt's tribute is online, and her material will continue to be available, including her best known article "Lying with the Truth." 

Flurry crows: God's VIP Prophet, Gerald Ray Flurry, has trumpeted his cleverness to cult members. Sifting through the blather there are some interesting disclosures. The cult is, for example, now completely off all television, including WGN, and there have been staff layoffs. Not surprising then that Gerry encourages members to "be as generous as you can with your holy day offerings." Excerpts.


... It was all prophesied in the book of Habakkuk (printed in the September/October 2000 Issue of Royal Vision magazine). I URGE YOU TO RE-READ THAT ARTICLE NOW THAT WE HAVE WON PRECISELY AS HABAKKUK PROPHESIED! ...We told them if we paid $2 million, that we must own ALL of the copyrights. We were astounded when they agreed. Our lawyers had already told us that our court trial expenses could cost about $2 million. 

The final settlement was out of our control. They accepted our offer on January 16 ­ the anniversary of Mr. Armstrong's death! If you don't understand the significance of that date, future articles by me will explain it to you. Their agreeing to the settlement on that date just underscores this miracle by God! Every person on Earth will become familiar with that date in the near future. Even one of our lawyers asked, "Isn't that the date Mr. Armstrong died?"

January 16 is a sign in two ways. First, it points to the end-time Elijah; and second, it sheds light on the people who are doing the Elijah Work today. Only we emphasize that date and the miracles that occur on it. And we have been doing it for years.

This sign is a reminder that God always directs His Work. The Laodiceans are to blind to even see the miracles.

There was an enormous amount of symbolism in our settlement. It points to the mother church, which has sold its priceless, eternal birthright. It also points to the people who refuse to ever sell their birthright ­ the PCG. All of God's Laodiceans must come to see that, even if it takes the Great Tribulation and the lake of fire to teach the lesson.

This world is in almost total darkness ­ the blackest kind of deceit. That is because the WCG stopped us from printing Mr. Armstrong's writings. Satan used them to obliterate God's light from the world. But now the lamp and light of God will be burning brightly.

Three-fourths of God's revealed truth for this end time is in those writings we just received. The other fourth is in the PCG. But in general, the world could not understand our writings without first studying the works of Mr. Armstrong. We couldn't truly let our light shine for the world until we won this victory.


The world can't even understand the book of Daniel without Mr. Armstrong's and the PCG's writings. The Laodiceans have abandoned God's message for the world. We must do the opposite and sacrifice for the world. That is the only way we can do God's work.

This victory has strengthened our faith. That means our future Work will have more power and impact. So let's rejoice in our greatest victory ever. It should live in our memory eternally.

We had an income of $13 million in 2002. Before we cut back in television, we were spending $5 million a year in that one area. We are not a tiny work.

Now we have paid $2 million for all the copyrights. We had $1 million in reserve and borrowed $1 million. We almost exhausted our financial reserves. That means there had to be some cutbacks to pay our bills. We have cancelled WGN, which means we have no more television stations. But THAT WILL ONLY LAST A FEW MONTHS, AND WE SHALL COME BACK STRONGER THAN EVER!

We have also laid off a few employees and stopped a few projects.

Not doing the television program will free me up to update about 10 of my booklets. Also there will be some updating to do on a few of the 19 works. I also want to start sending our regular co-worker letters.

Because of our court battle effort, we believe God will give us special blessings to get this message out quickly. And we ask you members to be as generous as you can with your holy day offerings.

We have to understand that this Work is about to grow as never before! We now have three to four times the books and booklets that we had before the lawsuit. And we are going to see a corresponding growth. I fully expect this Work to double or triple in its worldwide impact. However, it will take a little time to get geared up for the final push. Remember this, WE WON THE COURT CASE SO WE COULD REACH THE LARGEST AUDIENCE POSSIBLE! God gave us Mr. Armstrong's writings for a worldwide purpose. Let's not lose sight of why God called us today, before Christ returns.


The missing million: I think I know why the PCG says they only put out 2 million and the WCG says 3 million. I was listening to the last tape that Flurry sent out and he said they put 2 million out, but their insurance company paid some out. Flurry did not say how much the insurance paid. I am curious about really how much Flurry put out for the whole thing including lawyers fees for 6 years.

GTA and Racial Stereotyping: The following excerpt is from an article entitled "The Pride of Our Power - Or Weakening Resolve?" by Garner Ted Armstrong:

"However, even as democracy will fail in Europe, so any attempts at democracy among the peoples of Islam is doomed to failure. Some peoples, given their history, their race and their religion, simply cannot function in a democratic society."

Race? How does race contribute to a people's inability to function in a democratic society?

It appears that the GTA Adoration Society will give their bizarre little hero a pass on everything from immorality of Clintonian proportions to offensive remarks like the one above.


Letter policy: When MD was launched nearly two years ago, there were only a few correspondents willing to put their names to published emails. As the site has become established, a greater openness has developed, and named letters are becoming much more common. However we still understand that some people may not be comfortable with their names appearing. A problem arises when it isn't clear whether a writer wishes to remain anonymous or not.

If an email is received which is signed at the bottom it will, if published, usually appear under that name unless there is a note attached which asks for anonymity. When signing a letter, writers have a variety of options from full name to initials, and everything in between (e.g. Bart Simpson, B. Simpson, Bart S., BS ...) If the email is unsigned at the bottom it will, if published, usually appear anonymously, unless the writer has already expressed their willingness to have their name attached. 

MD often receives mail that is "not for publication." This is always respected. Just be sure to clearly state that the content is private.

email MD: email Dateline Pasadena: 


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