If anyone looks closely enough at the characteristics of any two people, then some parallels will always be found. However, throughout this world, parallels in actual character flaws always find a lot less similarity than a comparable evaluation of peoples’ overall, general, or normal characteristics. While we all have faults, it’s decidedly odd that two remotely located people on this planet could ever have the exact, same collection of repulsive similarities in character deficiency . . . unless of course, the dark spiritual energy behind each individual was identical.
My voyage into a religious cult three years after graduating from high school in 1962. Note: Beware of those who claim to be owners of “the truth.” I call my story The Royal Blue Satin Dress….a dress given to me by my friend and high school classmate.
The truth is I was an unwilling participant at Ambassador College. I had a very good job before coming to AC. I was an office manager for a Union Office in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio for three years. I worked alone and had many, as well as varied responsibilities. At eighteen I had my own bank account and loved my challenging job. Alas, under pressure from the local minister in my area and pressure from my father, an obedient me ended up where I did not belong, back in school in 1965-1968.
My education, motivation, personality and good fortune had already provided me with what I wanted, a sound, secure working position. I found out I could depend on a job and upon myself early on. Prior to coming to Ambassador College, I was not looking for a husband. I did not want to be a minister’s wife. Silly me, that was exactly what their three college campus locations were about. I did not yet get the picture. Orders were to go, control was final and I was under their manipulation. I was older when I came to AC and had zero romantic interests. That would not have been allowed anyway until it was approved by someone in authority. I saw others with boyfriends though.
One girl in my local church dated every young man that walked through the door and hung out with them as well. As far as I could go with romance was a crush on a singer. I was twenty 21 when I came to AC and 24 when I left. I came into the cult group at age nineteen. I had no prior training in Biblical studies. I did not date in high school, a restricted home life taught me not to question that policy. No proms or ball games for me, no after school events, no parties. No, there would be none of that, instead it would be school, home, clean, do dishes, feed the farm animals, bring in hay, weed the garden and then repeat that. Thank you very much. I was already well on the road to becoming the invisible girl.
One year after graduation and while I was working, my father found “The Truth.” He praised the Lord and handed this new found church his wallet. This cult needed a Skull and Cross Bones Warning pasted on it. The magazine this “Truth Cult” published was The Plain Truth Magazine. Their radio broadcast was called The World Tomorrow Broadcast, the deceptive ones at the microphone were Herbert W. Armstrong and his son Garner Ted Armstrong. I blindly entered the cult alongside my father. Smack down time, life was going to get really ugly, more restrictive and difficult than it had been already. Immediately the brain washing is done, now with no brain, you do as you are TOLD. I was told I would give up my three year (great) job and I would be sent to Ambassador College in Big Sandy, Texas. There is where they produce the young minds filled with mush who spread THE UNHOLY WORD. I was unaware of that fact and truth at that time.
I was scared and sickened to go, but just to imagine God saw me, I thought maybe I was special, perhaps an honor? Maybe? It never worked like that before, but this is supposed to be the ONLY true church (according to my father) and it comes already equipped with an Apostle whose lineage is undeniable, he is the ONE…passed down and ordained by God from Biblical days, oh my, from the beginning; through fragmented churches, scattered remnants of God’s truly CALLED ones. Besides, these holy men were in charge of my life, guiding me, they were doing that for my benefit with all sincerity and on top of that they had direct orders and truth from God. I was going to be special, all the dull days of my previous life would be worth it, right? All is well, surely it will end well and the experience will have some sort of terrific blessing.
There was another even grander opportunity for me, the challenge to dig my own cave with a spoon in Petra. Yep, I heard that “truth” in a sermon one Holy Sabbath Day in Cincinnati, right here in River City, the year was 1963. The cult members would somehow be transported to Petra “the rock” the Apostle would stay in a hotel, the rest of us common folks would dig ourselves a cave with a spoon. I was thinking to myself, please don’t forget to take your spoon! The portly Apostle (who was a degenerate predator, always protected and surrounded by YES men.) He would be transported to Petra on one of his private jets, with his private pilot at the controls.
The flock of dumb sheep paid 30% of our gross salary for the Apostle’s grandiose lifestyle. His closest partners in crime did just fine too, lavish homes on faculty row. These homes existed for the elite on the three campus locations. The richest and finest appeared to be in Pasadena, CA. I never saw the ones in England. The Apostle owned lots of homes, that sat empty, filled with fine art and furnishings like unto an oil tycoon. Upon reflection, I honestly do not know how we escaped becoming Kool-Aid drinkers. We must have been worth more to them alive. Death would cut off the money flow, otherwise I could picture some us receiving a good old Biblical stoning or poison laced Kool-Aid, drink up flock!
I do think that act of insanity (a poison drink) was on the menu, we just somehow escaped that little ditty. The self-appointed Apostle did not have a death wish, that was the saving grace more than likely. He wanted to live forever, he said in a bulletin he was getting younger. That was to prepare the sheep for his marrying a much younger woman. He let his wife die, when simple surgery would have saved her. He blamed her death on our sins. After the Apostle and his yes men would make good their escape from the coming holocaust and I listened closely, I did not hear that the Apostle would be coming back to get us when the HOLOCAUST began.
Once ensconced safely in his fine hotel, I am thinking that the jets would be grounded somewhere, maybe Israel and the dumb sheep would have to wait for a miracle, such as the parting of the red sea to get ourselves out of harm’s way. I did hear one bright minister mention eagles. As long as that eagle has a hidden pocket under one of those feathers for my spoon to dig my cave with and a seat belt, I guess I would be good to go. Yikes, what a site. I bet the environmentalists would find a way to protect the eagles who were flying the wacky cultists out of the USA. I can see it now, thousands of humans tumbling from the sky, shot right off the eagle’s backs. Fly away birds! Go fly free! This is not credible at all, but relieved of your brain, fairy tales seem to have a message. This craziness was preached in sermons on Saturdays. The world would be ending in terror, flames, plagues horrors too awful to contemplate.
The sermons worked the sheep in the audience into a dry mouthed, bunch of bug eyed, terrified, mind numbed robots. Petra was to be “the rock, the place of safety for the chosen ones. The END of days would be 1972. We would remain in Petra for three years while the rest of the world screamed in agony tortured by flames, rodents, boils, hot hail raining down on earth. If I get that cave dug out, will I get manna to go with that or are hot lunches being served ONLY at the Philadelphia Hotel housing The Apostle and gang.
These gentlemen, the Apostle and his son have long since expired, no trip to Petra for them. Their ill-gotten gains were unable to pass through to portal with them. Although the fine art and gold doubloons could not go with them to their final resting place, these guys had one fine time while exploiting and plundering their flock of sheep. They were womanizers along with many of those they ordained into the ministry.
Those stories have probably already been written. They read like a cheap pornographic novel. I was a willing sacrifice and just too brain washed to know it. The perfect empty vessel. Wow! Silly me, I actually thought AC just might provide me with a social life involving (perhaps) communication with a decent young gentleman, surely I was old enough to engage in talk, legal age of 21. God had better hurry up with this plan for my life, it is now 1965, if I am going to complete boot camp, learn more unholy doctrine, plus kick up my heels a time or two, we must hurry. We need to get this show on the road, the end of days is just seven years away. Hurry!
To be continued…
King Herbert Marries.
After the king’s first wife died, he thought of himself and his beastly urges, saying to himself: ‘I am in need of a queen for my urges are many and my need are unfulfilled’. One day while walking among his sheep, the king spotted a women whom caused desire in his loins. And the king courted the women and the women the king, for he had riches and she had none. The future queen accompanied the king on many trips to different lands. One morning, the king found all that he had wished for came to pass. The king began to pave the way for the people to accept his impending marriage. He began relating how God allowed the first queen to die, because she could not have kept up such a grueling pace, could not have remained a companion and wife to him in this new phase of his kingship. He took the women half his age in marriage, and the pretty became the second queen who would sit with him at many banquets in other lands.
Wealth of a Nation.
Over time the king and all the kingdoms leaders demanded supreme respect, because they had the most gold and silver. As long as their empirical selves and power base was not shaken, the king could do as he pleased. While the governors of the land did what they wanted and ripped off everyone, the king kept the people happy with wonderful scenarios of a coming world kingdom. Day after day he served up to the people a dose of mush, brainwashing the people into thinking that the land of milk and honey was soon to materialize.
The king thought that the people would continue to fear him and that they would never break the laws of the land, and thus the civil and ruling authorities would be safe from any rebellion or coup and could continue their criminal activities against the people. It was the perfect setup. And for this, the governors were allowed any gold or silver that they could shake from the general masses of people in the name of God and king. Both the governors and the king lived happily together, as each needed the other. For the king had a legislative board to pass laws that suited his purpose and had those who were willing to crackdown and brutally enforce such legislation at the point of a sword. As wealth is an instrument of power, force is the instrument of policy.
Disenchantment in the Kingdom.
And it came to pass that many of the people became more and more disenchanted with the lifestyles of those who ruled over them. They came to see the hypocrisy of the king and that of his henchmen. The king could now no longer placate the mesmerized masses that formerly rocked together with arms raised and eyes closed in a hypnotic stupor within the court of the king! The lavish quarters of the king, expensive chariots, luxurious homes, costly clothes, and the finest cuisine caused the people to grumble. For the people lived in squalor and drove chariots that would lose their wheels, their clothes tattered and worn, and their food was of the lowest quality. The king had even forbidden the use of shamans when illness was to strike a family member, yet the king was exempt when he himself was afflicted.
Divorce and Scandal.
After some time, the king became increasingly disenchanted with his marriage. The mighty ruler had grown disgusted with his queen, and it was his belief there had been a plot to remove him from his kingship and place him into a mental institution. But what could he do to save face?
The king had wanted it to appear that the queen was committing a lawless offense so he could invoke the scripture of old which said: “If the unbeliever depart, let him (her) depart….” As king he could change the laws of the land on a whimper. And change the law he did! The king disallowed the women of the kingdom the one luxury that they had to hold onto their self esteem. The king outlawed the painting of faces! An old custom that the king made legal in order to please the queen before they married!
So it came to pass that the court of the law was to grant the king and his queen a decree of divorce. The queen had disclosed to the court that the king had boasted of an incestuous relationship with his daughter from the first queen. The court not wishing the king to suffer, forbade the telling of the incest to the people of the kingdom. But not all wished to protect the king, for there was found within the kingdom a governor who spoke truth. A man who had moral direction.