The Self-Made Armstrongist Experts

Herbert Armstrong didn’t even complete high school, but some how he read material in the Central Library in Portland, Oregon from G. G. Rupert, wrangled a ministerial certificate from the Church of God Seventh Day and for no particularly good reason was granted the title of ‘Apostle’ by the very Conference he later betrayed, going on and becoming one of the most prominent false prophets in the United States in the early Twentieth Century with nutty ideas and even nuttier kook predictions which fell flat, but yet, he became a foremost expert in the minds of his deluded followers. Continue reading “The Self-Made Armstrongist Experts”

He Was Right!

Punxsutawney Phil
Punxsutawney Phil

 From where I’ve been sitting – with cool breezes, sunny blue skies and mountain greenery – I’d say Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction for an early spring in 2016 was correct. Now I don’t live in western Pennsylvania, so your call may be different.

Even so, Phil’s accuracy rating is given as 39%. (Several websites quote this figure; for example, see Livescience.com). Speaking as a one-day wonder has-been in the WxChallenge (a weather forecasting competition) I’d say Phil’s score as a general forecaster is not very good. But, in his position as (to quote a character in Ground Hog Day) “seer of seers, prognosticator of prognosticators” he’s going well. Certainly Phil the Punxsutawney Prophet scores higher than the Des Moines Doomsayer, HWA.

In the pages the Painful Truth, some 300 false prophecies of HWA and his minions are listed. And that doesn’t include those of prophecies of splinter leaders who followed in his wake. But – how many of his predictions actually have come to pass?

In the words of HWA’s grandson, he was touted as an insightful prophetic wonder. From memory, I think he was credited with about three or four good calls. To begin with, the USA never had a direct military conflict with Russia. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt, and limit that to the now defunct USSR, and give him a point.

Germany reunited. Well, the majority of it was, but if HWA’s WWII prophecies had come to pass, Germany wouldn’t have any need to reunite. But, give him another point.

Trouble in the Middle East – ignoring his early claim that the modern nation of Israel wasn’t going to happen, give another point. And give him a bonus point for the “prophecy” of the Six-Day War, which he wasn’t expecting to happen in 1967. And let’s ignore the Radio Jerusalem contract.

So we’ll give HWA four points for the accuracy of his undated predictions. Out of 300, that makes his accuracy rating less than 2%. Maybe he was better than that, but nowhere near Phil’s score.

Of course, Phil makes specific weather predictions. In the standard repertoire of titles in the splinters, one may find a booklet, article or sermon with a title like God Controls the Weather. The tone used by different COGs varies from God using weather favors or disasters for specific reasons, to God micromanaging the climate down to every drop of rain that falls (whether a flower grows or not).

The best splinter “predictions” for weather events – apart from generalized future events – have been in hindsight: why things occurred. So we are told Katrina hit New Orleans because it was a wicked city, drought in California was because legalizing same-sex marriage, and so on. And I’m not going near the different takes on Global Climate Change. They seem to forget that prophets such as Elijah warmed specifically what would happen before it happened.

So perhaps God actually has Phil’s ear – he made a prediction that came to pass, and not an excuse for something that already happened.

empty promises

Matching the questions to the answers may be problematic!

Within the context of 1971 when it was written, the WCG was living in its last days.

Everything about it is provably false.

Your worries are just beginning!

Only if you spent much of it involved with Herbert Armstrong

That's really rich, coming from the Worldwide Church of God!

Uh... Hello! This coming from Herbert Armstrong? He had a $5 Million divorce!

Really???!!!

Written in 1971, the answer appears to be no!

Financial conversions are not covered! Sorry! If you are talking about religious conversion, well, be aware that in the WCG nothing changed for the better!

R.I.P.

WCG

If you are wondering, Herbert Armstrong was against serving in the military. Unfortunately, if you were a conscientious objector, the last place you wanted to be was serving out your I-W program at Big Sandy, Texas for the WCG! The hypocrisy was horrendous and men were persecuted and abused for their religious beliefs by the religion that taught them!

The WCG never did either.

Is this a choice or are they the same??!!

Which doesn't exist any more!

Yes... no... and NO!

Totally wasted in the WCG!

Lost at last!

Gotten totally wrong!

Still missing: Gone AWOL because of Herbert Armstrong

As opposed to the decline of the WCG

And not one word about teens and cell phones!

The truth is that if it's serious, you should go see a doctor!

Should be titled: The Proof of the Old Testament Using Fulfilled Prophecies (some of which failed). Talk about not living up to its promises!

Garner Ted Armstrong

- Gambler

- Adulterer

- Boozing Alcoholic

- Serial Rapist

Yup! He knew Jesus!

Written by Roderick Meredith in 1955. He should have researched to find out how to prevent his diabetes.

Failed to include planning.

Would have helped for planning his succession....

Written in 1964: The truth really changed in a decade!

Fail! Fail! Fail! Fail! Fail!

We have proof the United States and British Commonwealth are not from Israel!

The WCG predicted by Revelation???!!

The author didn't have a clue!

Not any more: Doesn't exist!

The WCG sure knew how!

It's hard to pick one out of the 40 written!

It's more important to know what science can discover about the human mind poisoned by boozing alcoholics of Armstrongism!

Given the Waring tribes of Armstrongism, it would be interesting to know!

If only you stay away from Armstrongism, you'll have a much more awesome future, unless you define awesome as totally dysfunctional.

Oops!

Herbert Armstrong wrote a lot of booklets which made promises — actual and implied. When we go back through and review the booklets he and his staff wrote in the light of what has actually happened, it is clear that the great swelling promises and prognostications were profoundly empty. Looking back, the booklets now seem crassly hypocritical. The Radio Church of God, Herbert Armstrong and the Worldwide Church of God never measured up to the very standards they set. The slide show includes only 39 of the booklets:

  • Answers from Genesis (1973)
  • Are We Living in the Last Days (1971)
  • A True History of the True Church (1959: ‘Dr.’ Herman Hoeh)
  • Ending Your Financial Worries (1959)
  • Has Time Been Lost? (1952)
  • Hippies, Hypocrisy and Happiness (1968)
  • How to Have a Happy Marriage
  • How to Understand Prophecy (1972)
  • Is this the End Time (1971)
  • Just What Do You Mean Conversion? (1972)
  • Life After Death (1973)
  • Military Service and War (1967)
  • Never Before Understood: Why Humanity Cannot Solve Its Evils (1981)
  • Pagan Holidays or God’s Holy Days? (1976)
  • Seven Proofs of God’s True Church (1974: Garner Ted Armstrong)
  • The Bible: Superstition or Authority? …and can you prove it? (1985)
  • The Incredible Human Potential (1978)
  • The Key to the Book of Revelation (1952)
  • The Mark of the Beast (1952)
  • The Middle East in Prophecy (1948)
  • The Missing Dimension in Sex (1964)
  • The Modern Romans (1971)
  • The Plain Truth about Child Rearing (1963)
  • The Plain Truth about Healing (1979)
  • The Proof of the Bible (1958)
  • The Real Jesus (1971: Garner Ted Armstrong)
  • The Seven Laws of Radiant Health (1955: Roderick Meredith)
  • The Seven Laws of Success (1961)
  • The Truth about Make-Up (1964)
  • The United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy (1964)
  • The White Horse: False Religion (1976)
  • The Wonderful World Tomorrow: What Will It Be Like? (1973)
  • This is the Worldwide Church of God (1971)
  • To Kill a People (1971)
  • What Is the True Gospel (1955)
  • What Science Can’t Discover About the Human Mind (1978)
  • Why Were You Born? (1957)
  • World Peace: How Will It Come? (1978)
  • Your Awesome Future: How Religion Deceives You (1978)
  • 1975 in Prophecy (1956)

Moral Mazes aptly describes what is represented by this list of Armstrongist publications:

From the standpoint of public relations, the journalistic ideology closely resembles the social outlook of most college seniors — a vague but pious middle-class liberalism, a mildly critical stance toward their fathers in particular and authorities in general; a maudlin of championship of the poor and the underclass; and especially the doctrine of tolerance, open-mindedness, and balance. In fact, public relations people feel, the news media are also constructing reality. They are always looking for a “fresh” and exciting angle; they have an unerring instinct for the sentimental that expresses itself in a preference for “human interest” rather than substance; and they arrange facts in a way that purports to convey “truth,” but is in fact simply another story. In reality, news is entertainment. And, despite the public’s acceptance of journalistic ideologies, most of the public watch or read news not to be informed or to learn the “truth,” but precisely to be entertained. There is no intrinsic reason, therefore, why the constructions of reality by public relations specialists should be thought of as any different from those of any group in the business of telling stories to the public. Everyone is telling stories and everyone has a story to tell. Public relations men and women are simply storytellers with a purpose in the free market of ideas, advocates of a certain point of view in the court of public opinion. Since any notion of truth is irrelevant or refers to at best what is perceived, persuasion of various sorts becomes everything.

And there it is. Armstrongism isn’t about truth; it is simply about manipulating perceptions to evoke responses to their story telling. Herbert Armstrong was an ad copy writer, after all. As such, he lined up some facts, threw in some colorful descriptions and weaved his fictional stories. The booklets in the slides presentation above is representative of this magical world of the ‘magic lantern’, creating illusions illustrating imaginary constructs of perceived ‘reality’. There is neither truth nor reality in any of it. It is all fake.

Moreover, it isn’t just about Herbert Armstrong and his ‘public relations’ advertising hirelings, it is also about The Journal, which is exposed for what it is in the brief description given by Robert Jackal; to wit: the pursuit of a “fresh” and exciting angle with an unerring instinct for the sentimental that expresses itself in a preference for “human interest” rather than substance; and the facts are arranged in a way that purports to convey “truth,” but is in fact simply another story — in reality, it is merely infotainment. The editor reveals his true self when he speaks of the doctrine of tolerance, open-mindedness, and balance — while secretly harboring contempt for the “farmer theologians” who deign to advertise in its pages.

Moral Mazes has framed it and nailed it in the landscape of the church cult corporate of lies, deceits, conceits, fiction, fantasy — all parading as religious truth — which, if it be told, can be demonstrated as pure rubbish if you but stand back and look at the chaotic mess it represents.

Dr. James Milam, in his book, Ending the Drug Addiction Pandemic: Discovering the Liberating Truth, in Chapter 2: Core Evidence (page 17), says:

Within the big lie all of the component falsehoods have been carefully crafted to support each other in concealing the whole truth. To assemble the abundance of decisive scientific and clinical evidence comprising the biogenic paradigm it is necessary to identify, define, and disentangle each piece of the truth from the corresponding part of the shroud of disinformation that has so carefully hidden for so long. Surrounded by the support of the others each falsehood has become an inarguable given truth. It is therefor necessary to confront and discredit them one by one until the whole fabric of disinformation is disposed of.

He adds this sentence in Chapter 3: The Language of Denial (page 34):

The familiar comes to seem normal and every big lie develops its own familiar language of deception that conceals the truth while purporting to represent it.

In the end, Armstrongism promises the truth and fails to deliver. What it delivers instead is empty promises which can never be fulfilled.

Self-Deception

Herbert Armstrong was the master of self-deception. Not only that, but he trained us all to be adept at self-deception. And self-deception is exactly why people stay with the Cult of Herbert Armstrong Mafia.

Watch this TEDx Event Presentation by Dr. Cortney S. Warren in her talk, “Honest Lies: The Psychology of Self-Deception”:

At the core, we lie to ourselves because we don’t have enough psychological strength to admit the truth and deal with the consequences that will follow. That said, understanding our self-deception is the most effective way to live a fulfilling life. For when we admit what we really are, we have the opportunity to change.

There are core strategies which we use to practice self-deception:

  1. Denial: Refusing to believe something is true, even though it is;
  2. Rationalization: Creating a reason to excuse ourselves;
  3. Projection: Taking an undesirable aspect of ourselves and ascribing it to someone else;
  4. Cognitive Distortions: Irrational ways in which we think;
  5. Polarizing Thinking: Thinking in extremes;
  6. Emotional Reasoning: Thinking that our feelings accurately reflect reality;
  7. Overgeneralization: Taking a single negative event as an infinite spiral of defeat.

From an existential perspective, we deceive ourselves to avoid the ‘Givens’ of life, the fundamental realities of “being human” that we must face:

  1. Death — we’re all going to die;
  2. Ultimate Aloneness — we were born as a single person housed in a solitary physical body;
  3. Meaninglessness — our lives are inherently meaningless unless we give them meaning;
  4. Freedom — we are responsible for ourselves because we have the freedom of choice.

To avoid these realities, we frequently lie to ourselves:

  • Deferring responsibility for choices;
  • Believing in ‘specialness’ so that there is a unique protection from harm;
  • Compromising to meet cultural norms.

Self-deception leads to massive amounts of pain and regret. To avoid being honest, we frequently make choices with harmful consequences to ourselves and others — we may use drugs, alcohol, eat, shop, gamble, steal, lie, leave people or pass our emotional baggage down to those we love the most. Or, we may choose not to change even when we are miserable or causing profound harm to those around us. Looking back at life with regret is incredibly painful, because you can’t change your choices in the past.

When we don’t take full responsibility for who we are, we hurt ourselves and everyone around us.

The way to change is:

  1. self-awareness — become observers of ourselves;
  2. examine the contribution to the conflict in our lives;
  3. admit to insecurity and confront the choice.

Not changing when confronted with the truth is a choice. Although we cannot control the many circumstances we encounter in life, we are responsible for our reactions to all of them.

Confronting our self-deception is a lifelong journey. We change and the world offers us new opportunities to understand ourselves. There is always more to learn.

It is now time for those who embrace the Cult of Herbert Armstrong Mafia to be honest with themselves.

Isolation
Isolation

Here are just a few of the truths Armstrongists need to face:

Herbert Armstrong was not an apostle;

Herbert Armstrong was a false prophet;

Herbert Armstrong committed incest with his daughter for ten years at the beginning of his ministry and, therefore,

Herbert Armstrong was not actually converted, and,

Herbert Armstrong was never qualified to be a minister;

Herbert Armstrong is dead;

Herbert Armstrong knowingly allowed his son, Garner Ted Armstrong, to be second in command as the top evangelist, even though GTA was an adulterer, alcoholic boozer and a gambler;

There is no place of safety and there never will be (and Petra is an absolutely terrible place to try to survive);

British Israelism, as the key to prophecy, has been thoroughly debunked and no prophecy based on it will come true… ever — it’s extra Biblical;

The True History of The True Church was nothing of the kind, plagiarized from Ellen G. White and thoroughly, provably wrong, particularly about Waldensians supposedly keeping the Sabbath and Holydays (they considered themselves to be good Catholics);

The leaders of the major sects of the Cult of Herbert Armstrong Mafia have proved themselves inept and to be false prophets;

Jesus isn’t returning in your life time;

There may be tribulation, but the Great Tribulation won’t happen in your life time;

The Bible commands “from such turn away”;

There is no such thing as a Christian narcissist;

Armstrongism is a religion of physical rituals, not of spiritual content;

If you are an alcoholic, you must stop drinking or you will not just die badly, you may seriously injure and kill others;

If you are diabetic, you cannot drink alcohol;

If you are diabetic, you need to manage your condition because it’s not just going to ‘go away’;

Anointing for your chronic diseases will not make them go away;

There is not and never was any such thing as ‘second tithe’;

If you are a farmer and you try to keep the seventh year land Sabbath, you will either go broke, have to borrow money or lose your land because you simply won’t get double income in your sixth year because, just like the Feasts, the land Sabbath was given only to ancient Israelites in the land of Israel — the land ‘the Lord gaveth thee’ — under the Old Covenant only — a physical covenant for a physical people devoid of the Holy Spirit given promises of physical prosperity only;

The United States and British Commonwealth are not lost tribes of Israel, and, more importantly, none of the doom, devastation, destruction is going to occur because of their supposed sins against an ancient religion which was never given to them;

Your ministers are in it for the money and the ego trip — they are totally selfish and don’t really care about you;

Your ministers and leaders know nothing of morals and ethics;

Your ministers are terrible at counseling;

Your ministers are liars;

Your ministers don’t actually know how the Bible was put together, or if they do, they are lying about it;

You still can’t put new wine in old wineskins, even though that’s what Armstrongism is all about;

You don’t really know what other members of your sect really believe, even though you think you’ve known them for decades;

There is no loyalty — you can incur someone’s wrath and be disfellowshipped at any time;

Your family isn’t really safe;

You are wasting your money;

You are wasting your time;

You don’t really believe in science, you believe in magic;

By allowing someone else to define right and wrong for you, you’ve become a sociopath with a flexible adapted conscience;

No one is exactly what they seem;

It’s all quite insane.

Once you get through and eliminate these lies of your self-deception, you will still have a long way to go.

The only way to be free of your self-delusion is to stop feeding it by severing contact with those in the cult who are holding your mind hostage.

Ninth

Do you believe that if someone tells a lie, but does not know they are telling a lie, they are not liars?

If a man tells more lies to be consistent with the initial lie, is he a liar?

What if a leader tells lies all the time to support his position, bolster his ego and make money, is he a liar?

The Progress of Popular Opinion

In the 1950s, it was the standard, at least in the United States, that, all things being equal, a man was as good as his word: Credibility was built on telling the truth and keeping promises. Oh, sure, there were exaggerations, but most of the time, companies and leaders had a reputation for honesty: AT&T (The Bell System), IBM, General Electric, Old National Bank, Kraft Foods, Sears, Montgomery Wards, Ford, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Chevron, RCA, Motorola and a whole collection of others we trusted for excellent products and service. Leaders like President Dwight D. Eisenhower, with his Vice President Richard Nixon, were widely admired. Even religious leaders were widely admired: Who can forget the first Televangelist, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen? He even won many Emmy Awards over the years. These were the years of Billy Graham Crusades.

Somewhere between then and now, there’s been a refashioning of public thought: Times have changed. Once well respected branded names have become sullied. Montgomery Wards has gone out of business, Sears isn’t looking so good these days, Richard Nixon will be forever known as Tricky Dick, who’s heard much about RCA? A couple of auto makers mentioned above had to have a Federal Government bailout to survive. And religious leaders? Well, for cringe worthy names we could easily include Harold Camping, Oral Roberts, Jerry Falwell, Jim Baker, A. A. Allen and for one of the worst public reputations EVER, Garner Ted Armstrong.

Through the years the attitude of people toward lying has changed. It has gone from enraged shock (how dare they lie to us) to major irritation to grumbling acceptance to white noise to “well, we know he lies, but we like him, so what?”; “What’s the big deal?”; “Everybody lies” (a proposition which can never have a great enough sample to have statistically significant basis). In fact, most people, especially the younger generations, have come to accept lies as part of our culture and have adjusted accordingly. One might reflect in passing that, like birds nesting at the airport which are alarmed at first, but adapt to the noise, it can’t be particularly good for us.

Herbert Armstrong was a man who lied. He flat out lied. He flat out lied repeatedly. He said that he refused to take salary from the Church of God Seventh Day when he disagreed with their doctrines and took off, but he continued to collect a salary for years afterward. He lied about originating the booklet “Has Time Been Lost” — and here’s the thing about that: When you lie, you had better remember doing it, because in this case, the Worldwide Church of God went to sue the Church of God Seventh Day for copyright violation and the CoG7 pulled out the original from their file cabinets that they wrote in the 1930s and Herbert Armstrong plagiarized. Herbert Armstrong lied in 1975 in Prophecy. Read the booklet. It’s downright embarrassing. He lied when he said he never set dates — the coworker letters, Plain Truth Magazines and The Good News proves it.

Nevertheless, the churches of God have come to accept the lies of Herbert Armstrong and even excuse the lies and false prophecies. The Fragmentation of a Sect: Schism in the Worldwide Church of God by Dr. David V. Barrett quotes Richard Nichols, Herbert Armstrong and Richard T. Rittenbaugh to show how this works:

The offshoots deal with the problem of Armstrong’s failed prophecies in different ways. Richard C. Nickles, of Giving and Sharing Ministry, quotes Armstrong himself from an early World Tomorrow radio broadcast:

A terrible famine is coming on the United States, that is going to ruin us as a nation inside of less than twenty more years. Alright, I stuck my neck out right there. You just wait twenty years and see whether I told you the truth. God says, if a man tells you what’s going to happen, wait and see. If it doesn’t happen, he was not speaking the word of God, he’s speaking out of his own mind. If it happens, you know God sent him.

Nickels comments, “The twenty years is long past! Herbert Armstrong labeled himself a false prophet.”

But Richard T. Ritenbaugh, of the Church of the Great God, comes to a different conclusion. Although he accepts that Armstrong “made many predictions during his ministry, and many of them have not come to pass. Some were plain wrong. Some were vague. Some were specific,” he then argues:

So what are all those predictions Herbert Armstrong made? Rather than call them prophecies (which they were not) and him a false prophet (which he was not), his predictions were more correctly speculations, theories based on true but insufficient and unclear evidence. Speculation is not sin.

People just blandly accept the lies as docile domesticated slaves.

Today’s Liars

Roderick Meredith, Davy Pack, Gerald Flurry, John Rittenbaugh, Ronald Weinland, Jim Franks, David Hulme are all liars (extracted from the Silenced Rogues Gallery). They all lie.

Now some may say, “But they are sincere and they don’t know they are lying”.

Baloney.

But suppose that it really were true (which it isn’t — witness all they lies they get caught in at Banned!)?

The problem with that is that they all tell the biggest lies of all: The lies they tell to themselves.

Once someone has been dishonest about his true state of integrity, the lies pour forth not just flowing fully and easily, but with dynamic force of apparent belief: Credibility is shored up by the apparent confidence and sincerity. This is why it is called a “confidence game”. They are all cons. They all have to escalate to generate more and bigger lies to support the lies they’ve already told.

The Big Lies of the Cult of Herbert Armstrong

These are the main central lies which support the Cult of Herbert Armstrong in the various splinters:

  1. British Israelism
  2. Church History
  3. Prophecy
  4. Law keeping to gain salvation
  5. Respecting and declining to Authority is the greatest virtue

Without these, the Cult of Herbert Armstrong could not exist.

Making it all work

There is only way to make this all work: The Ninth Commandment, Thou Shalt not Bear False Witness, must be excised from the Ten Commandments. The leaders, ministers and administrators must gloss over and completely ignore this precept to make their cult work. If they could not lie, they could not do business. While they blast forth their evangelism, replete with Law Keeping, spreading the gospel of the Commandments and championing the Old Covenant, they must conveniently ignore being the watchmen to Corporations to tell them that lying is resoundingly condemned in the New Testament by Jesus himself and that Satan was a liar and a murderer from the beginning. Include that in the meeting with world leaders telling them about the two trees and see how far you get.

Now the amazing thing is that it really all does work. The ministers lie and the people lap it up. One only need look at the double talk of Ronald Weinland over at False Prophet Ronald Weinland to see the abject nonsense of it all. The problem is that he is just an example of a liar who got caught and went to prison. The same sort of lies lay in the weeds at the other 300 to 700+ sects of the Cult of Herbert Armstrong. All you have to do is do a little research and find the lies and lies and lies and lies — they never stop. Roderick Meredith said, “I have never committed a major sin since being baptized”. Maybe he doesn’t know what major sin is, but whatever it is (like lying and being a false prophet — which reward is death), he’s committed it — not only committed it, but has for a very long time and it appears he will not repent but he will keep it up until he dies.

Reaction to enforced lies

There is an observable cycle consistent with those who are living under an oppressive regime where they are lied to but must act as if the lies are the truth and perfectly rational.

First, the people probably don’t know they are being lied to.

Second, the people learn about the lies but they cannot do anything about it. In this phase, there is usually much grumbling behind the scenes, but the people continue to submit to the lies in misery.

Third, there is a glimmer of hope that there may be a way of escape from the oppressive lies. The expectation of the people is lifted and they have hope.

Fourth, they find their way and they rebel. Mostly they will leave.

Fifth, often the people will seek retribution.

The end result is that if there is a steady progression to this end, there will be freedom. Lies are slavery. They are also often costly.

Despite the popular opinion

The majority is wrong. We know it feels right to think that if a person who lies is sincere, he is not a liar. This is wrong.

People who lie are liars.

Lies have consequences.

Honesty is still the best policy and it always will be.

Can we have the Ninth Commandment back now?

Arrogance

While the actor Johnny Depp was still a bachelor, a single man asked him if he could give advice on dating and Johnny Depp’s response was something like:

Don’t ask me, I don’t know, I’m as screwed up as everybody else.

It’s a good honest answer of the sort we wish we could get from the leaders and ministers of the Cult of Herbert Armstrong: Herbert Armstrong never gave such answers himself — being a “know it all” kind of End Time Apostle — and his followers since have followed in the same rut he established decades ago in the last century, being full of instant answers backed by booklets, literature, magazines and websites of every stripe answering every kind of question and even answering quite a few that were never asked, projecting full confidence that their answers are all true, useful, scientific and unassailable.

The Cult of Herbert Armstrong is full of itself, puffed up in full arrogance, confident in its overweening ego, that the only truth is here with them and you dare not go anywhere else because, if you do, disasters will surely follow, you will be in deep trouble, you will have terrible problems, living in want and fear with no one to rescue you: You will be sorry, because you should have listened! The entire venue is designed to put you in fear so you will submit to the superiority of those who dominate and manipulate you. These self-made Gurus are experts in every subject — at least every subject of any importance. They are the only ones with wisdom and knowledge of any use.

These arrogant Gurus suck you in with something you’ve never thought of, attracting you with curiosity, snaring you initially with something you agree and believe in, gaining your trust with something familiar and then leading you down the primrose path of kook insanity.

Here is an analogy which may help you understand the process:

The world is NOT Flat!!!! We can prove that the earth is absolutely NOT Flat!!!! Brethren (gaining your trust by sucking you into the conspiracy of the brotherhood), you KNOW what I am saying is true!!!! You KNOW I have the truth!!!! You all know (making you part of a collective) the Earth is not flat!!!! People who tell you the earth is flat are WRONG!!!! They know it is wrong, yet they continue to spread this terrible lie!!! I can prove the world is not flat!! You know what I say is true!!! Haven’t you wondered about this truth???!!!? Have you proved it for yourself???!!!?? Write for our free booklets, The Earth is NOT Flat and Seven Proofs the Earth is not Flat! You need this information, never brought to you before!! For 1900 years, this truth has been hidden — a few have known — but now you can know!!! There is no obligation, no one will call on you — it is all free of charge.

Now you know the world is not flat, but did you know that the sun revolves around the earth???!!!??? You may not have thought about it, but you see it every day: The sun comes up over the horizon of the round earth and runs its course in the heavens and sets in the West!!! You’ve never heard this truth before! Scientists are trying to cover this up! But don’t believe me, believe your Bible! The Earth is round and it is in the center of the Universe because God has chosen us to make us gods! I am the only one with this truth! You can become God as God is God, but only if you believe in the truth of key to Godhood, which is that the sun revolves around the earth!!!! Be sure to write for our free booklet, You can become God because the Sun Revolves Around the Earth!

This is all delivered with confidence to the point of arrogance so you will believe that he believes and in believing he believes, you will believe.

Johnny Depp said:

I think everybody’s nuts.

There may be some truth to that.

Consider the absolute arrogance of a man who belongs to an organization and then begins to think that he, and he alone, has been touched by God with an understanding that no one else has, and his mission is now to go forth to preach this new truth to everyone, no matter how silly and stupid it is. Often, this “revelation” is accompanied by a psychotic break, leading to the manic phase of the bipolar disease cycle. This self-styled Guru will insist that he was humbled — a recounting of his initial depression — where he was nothing but “burned out junk”, but when the manic phase kicks in, he will be able to recount the “joy” that his God has renewed him and given him a spirit of understanding that others do not have. And then we are off and running.

Even as unqualified as our new Guru may be, steeped in arrogant incompetence, he manages to dig himself deeper into his pit of arrogance studying without any real understanding of subjects he’s undertaken in his pursuit of his new “truth”. He’s already lost his business / job. He is mentally incapacitated. Yet he is self-deluded that he’s been given brilliance given to him by the endorphins stimulated by sleep deprivation in his manic mode. He has “up” times and he has “down” times. Sometimes the “down” times leave him in such a state of depression he can’t even get out of bed, or, if he does, he won’t be up until mid afternoon. He can disappear and be unavailable for weeks at a time, shunning human contact or at least severely limiting it. After months of this, he finally emerges fully engaged in arrogant narcissism to take on the world as some new savior just emerging from his cocoon. He then thunders his message to the world. Or if he’s like Robert Thiel, he does significant squeaking.

The problem is that arrogance is infectious, like a virus that mutates as it is transmitted from person to person. Once caught, the arrogance does its damage and often becomes chronic. Now when it is transmitted from Guru to simple follower it is transmogrified to be an arrogance that the follower now knows special secret knowledge — but much less than the Guru. This sort of infection makes the follower proud, but it also propels him or her to infect others, but in the process, the followers do not gain infected followers for themselves, but direct the newly diseased to the Guru.

Moreover, the Guru, finding a modest success in infecting others through his arrogance and making them arrogant themselves, but still subservient to him as “Patient Zero”, he trains some of a small cadre of followers in his special laboratory of infectious virtual mental disease to be special carriers of the virus of arrogance. These manifest the disease with different symptoms: They are special and seize arrogant power over the followers of the Guru while remaining in his domain of disease. They lord it over the followers as being superior by virtue of the fact that they know more crap than the follower simpletons do and the followers are impressed with the advanced qualities of the leaders as being superior to them.

It should be noted that this sort of arrogance of ignorance is widely spread. According to the Watchers of Deniers, scientific literacy has reached ever plunging lows showing that United States Adults and Students believe:

  1. Sound travels faster than light (14%);
  2. Disagree that the center of the earth is very hot (20%);
  3. Disagree that the Earth goes around the Sun once a year (33%);
  4. Disagree that astrology is not at all scientific (41%);
  5. Think antibiotics kill viruses as well as bacteria (45%);
  6. Think that ordinary tomatoes do not have genes but genetically  modified tomatoes do (49%).

According to the article — to be much more clear — one-third of of American Adults / Students believe the Sun revolves around the Earth.

Really.

They believe.

33%

We’re stunned.

Very disturbing.

Imagine if you must, how much damage an arrogant Guru can do?

Imagine if you must, how much damage an arrogant Guru can do by inducing his followers to believe in British Israelism as the Key to Prophecy — managing to get all of the prophecies wrong — but having the followers believe that he is the End Time Elijah, which we must point out, that Elijah was a prophet, so no matter how you slice it, Herbert Armstrong actually was a false prophet.

There is, however, a built in mechanism to defend the arrogance of the leader, authorities and followers against being inoculated with the truth: Bald face arrogant lies. The Fragmentation of a Sect: Schism in the Worldwide Church of God by Dr. David V. Barrett quotes Richard Nichols, Herbert Armstrong and Richard T. Rittenbaugh to show how this works:

The offshoots deal with the problem of Armstrong’s failed prophecies in different ways. Richard C. Nickles, of Giving and Sharing Ministry, quotes Armstrong himself from an early World Tomorrow radio broadcast:

A terrible famine is coming on the United States, that is going to ruin us as a nation inside of less than twenty more years. Alright, I stuck my neck out right there. You just wait twenty years and see whether I told you the truth. God says, if a man tells you what’s going to happen, wait and see. If it doesn’t happen, he was not speaking the word of God, he’s speaking out of his own mind. If it happens, you know God sent him.

Nickels comments, “The twenty years is long past! Herbert Armstrong labeled himself a false prophet.”

But Richard T. Ritenbaugh, of the Church of the Great God, comes to a different conclusion. Although he accepts that Armstrong “made many predictions during his ministry, and many of them have not come to pass. Some were plain wrong. Some were vague. Some were specific,” he then argues:

So what are all those predictions Herbert Armstrong made? Rather than call them prophecies (which they were not) and him a false prophet (which he was not), his predictions were more correctly speculations, theories based on true but insufficient and unclear evidence. Speculation is not sin.

It is if you sign it “In Jesus’ Name”.

Richard T. Rittenbaugh.

Liar.

What a Dick.

At minimum, a religious leader that makes wild prognostications [make that read: Prophecies] which do not come to pass, simply cannot be trusted to get anything right [make that read: Is a false prophet]. Read 1975 in Prophecy again [published in 1956] and if you aren’t embarrassed to have believed it at some point, there’s something seriously wrong with you.

It is arrogance that moves the leaders to declare that white is black, black is white, lies are truth, truth is lies, love is hate, hate is love, poverty is prosperity, prosperity is poverty, speculation isn’t prophecies and that failed prophecies don’t make a man a false prophet, but it gets worse, because if it were just the arrogance of the leaders, the membership would bolt like scared rabbits.

It is arrogance that keeps the members in place, even after their leader is proved to be wrong, a false prophet, crazy and even a convicted felon. Members of Ronald Weinland’s Church of God – Preaching the Kingdom of God (PKG) continue to not just follow him but continue to give him their money so his wife can go travelling, buy underwear from Victoria Secret and have all those diamonds she sports, even as he sits in prison for Income Tax Evasion as a convicted felon. He isn’t going anywhere for the next three years and neither are his followers. They believe in him. They lap up all the crap he spews at them. They won’t leave. They continue to defend him, even though his absolute set dates (multiple and progressive) for the return of Jesus Christ come and go, come and go and still, no Jesus. The next date is coming up less than 50 days from now. It too, will come and go, but the PKG membership will stay because of their infernal arrogance. They will not admit they are wrong. They will not change. They don’t stop following their false prophet proved wrong again and again. That takes a LOT of arrogance.

1956

History has repeated itself: You just wait twenty years and see whether I told you the truth. God says, if a man tells you what’s going to happen, wait and see. If it doesn’t happen, he was not speaking the word of God, he’s speaking out of his own mind. If it happens, you know God sent him. The only thing that is different is the time period. Ronald Weinland said essentially the same thing. He’s proved himself a false prophet. Since the other Cult of Herbert Armstrong sects have been making the same prophecies (but most don’t set specific dates — it’s always 5 to 7 years away), they too are false prophets. Ronald Weinland is just one who’s the worst one caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Roderick Meredith has been able to be a false prophet for 60 years — a record hardly anyone in the CoHA sects can rival, but he keeps going on and on and on (he may die shortly, so if he does before this article is published, I apologize, but, after all, I didn’t prophesy it, one way or another).

The arrogance of the leaders and the membership is asinine, but one man, Dixon Cartwright, has put together The Journal which manages to keep the arrogance alive and prosper in one place. He knows that most of the stuff in the rag is pure drivel, but he publishes it anyway. He gives nearly everyone to have a dialog, even though it should be obvious they are spewing. The Journal actively supports and promotes arrogance in its own way, to keep the arrogance alive, thereby giving the arrogant advertisers opportunity to promote their emphatic empathy entropy and the writers an opportunity to have arguments which are totally meaningless given that the assumptions upon which they are based are quite daft. There is month after month, page after page publications of stupidity disguised as arrogant confidence.

No one is about to give up the arrogance. It holds everything and everybody in place. It is the glue that holds the cultists together, except they aren’t glued together, they are screwed together — but they are too bull headed to admit there’s anything wrong with their wrong headed religion. It can’t work and it doesn’t, but they aren’t about to admit it because of their arrogance, so the dysfunctional disease continues unabated. A few escape, but often it takes quite a lot at the personal level to prompt them to leave when they get to the point they just can’t stand it any more.

And after they do leave, they look back at the arrogant “friends” and “family” they left behind, with their glorious erstwhile leaders, and see, even if not perceive, the great arrogance of the cult which held them prisoners for so long.

There are over 7 billion people on planet earth. Each one of us is just a small part of a giant crowd. Very few rise to the level of being noticed — but what if, what if, you had something that distinguished you as special? Suppose you had secret knowledge? Suppose that you were one of just a small few that was selected of God to have truth that no one else has? Suppose that you could feel different, special, superior? Suppose that you are so very special that you have the entitlement to be arrogant? Suppose you will become a king, priest, god, to lord over all your former critics, enemies and those who don’t even notice you, let alone pay any attention to you? You can now ignore science. You can now ignore the experts. You can now ignore anyone who disagrees with you. You can remain confident that you are better than anyone else (except your Guru and his appointees) and no one can tell you anything. You are right and everyone else is wrong. You are better. You are superior. Soon, the whole world will see how special you are. You will be validated. You are a winner!

This is really heady stuff. It is the stuff of arrogance. It is for losers.

If you need to know, the earth is not flat and the earth revolves around the sun.

The rest you should be able to figure out for yourself if you’re not too arrogant.

Swindlers

Herbert Armstrong’s Crime Syndicate

Mr. Davis stood there with Mr. MacFarland discussing the repairs Mr. MacFarland had made for Mr. Davis. Mr. MacFarland was a remarkable man, since he was blind from action in a foreign war, but was still a top flight mechanic. He was remarkable in other ways. For example, he was giving his wife grief because she could not park the car. She said, “Fine, you park it!” not expecting he could respond. He got out of the passenger’s seat, measured off the distances between the auto and the two other cars in relationship to the parking space between them, got in the driver’s seat and proceeded to park the car perfectly. She certainly didn’t have much response to that. Our illustrious Mr. Davis handed Mr. MacFarland three one dollar bills and thanked Mr. MacFarland for the excellent work he did, and Mr. MacFarland thanked him for the $30 dollars owed, thinking it was three ten dollar bills. He was blind you know.

Swindlers have been an endemic epidemic within the Cult of Herbert Armstrong since the 1950s: It isn’t just the leaders and ministers, it’s the members. One estimation is that about one-third of any given micronanocult of Herbert Armstrong may be swindlers. Dr. Robert Hare and Dr. Paul Babiak give us a clue in Snakes in Suits: Psychopaths are attracted to unstable environments that lack controls for process — and even lack process. A group that is in stages of development or drastic change are particularly vulnerable, since swindlers take advantage of the lack of standards by which “right” and “wrong” within the group are measured. They marginalize what rules there are through doubt and casting aspersions, making people within the group vulnerable to their inevitable psychopath games.

A girl named Cara, a member’s daughter, came home one day with the rest of the family from Sabbath Services and proceeded to tell them about her best friend in church: Marta was 12 years old and her father had been committing incest with her. The family also found out that Jan, Cara’s other best friend, had a father who was a psychopath with an interesting story. Barto had come into the church from the Philippines and promoted the idea he was a doctor, but because of United States rules, he could not be certified — or so he said: The real truth is that he was a swindler with a con game who had no medical training at all. Barto became best friends with Dr. Johansen, a church member who was a real licensed practicing physician. Barto proceeded to dupe Dr. Johansen into promoting him as a physician. The end result of this game was that the real doctor, Dr. Johansen, lost his license, his practice and was disgraced while the psychopath Barto dumped Dr. Johansen to leave him fend for himself after Dr. Johansen was ruined, lost his license and his practice — forced to change careers. Barto remarried. His daughter, Jan, and Cara, the daughter of the family in view here, went to meet with the psychopath’s wife, Jan’s stepmother, who just happened to have schizophrenia. They knocked on the door and from inside a voice said, “You are here to kill me! No wait, that’s not reality!” The three girls, Cara, Mara and Jan, often went off together to Nordstrom’s to shoplift expensive scarves. They never got caught.

Recently, the elder pedophile who had a penchant for young boys in the church died and had his funeral, which brought up the memory of the leading lady in the church who informed the father of the young son what the man who was his YOU teacher had been doing. She related at the Night to Be Much Observed that the leading ladies in the church tried to bring the matter to the Headquarters at Pasadena but were rebuffed. The best they could do is “keep an eye on him” during services and particularly on the Holydays.

Many are familiar with the stalkers in the cult who declared to their obsession, “You are mine!” after their obsession was married to someone else. Imagine the embarrassment of a married man returning from his honeymoon having the lurker in the church spring from behind a column where she hid herself to declare this.

There have been all manner of scams, swindles and cons, not just by the Takers who are leaders in the church with their ministers, but the members as well. The cult is a dangerous environment and that is because of what Dr. Phil in his book, “Life Code” describes as the BAITERS:

  • Backstabers
  • Abusers
  • Imposters
  • Takers
  • Exploiters
  • Reckless

Though virtually invisible to most naive sheep members, these BAITERS lurk in the background like the crows at the neglected Ambassador College before it was sold to Harvest Rock. They are dark evil beings at what may be thought of at the fringes of the cult, but are very active and very much a part of it — it’s just that people don’t recognize them.

Last time, we examined the Evil Eight properties of these BAITERS:

  1. They see the world through a lens of arrogant entitlement and frequently treat people as targets
  2. They lack empathy
  3. They are incapable of feeling remorse / guilt and don’t learn from situation to situation
  4. They are irresponsible, self-destructive and disregard the well-being of others
  5. They thrive on drama and crisis
  6. They brag about outsmarting other people
  7. They have a pattern of short-term relationships
  8. They live in a fantasy world marked by delusion

This time we will examine the Nefarious 15 “tactics,” behaviors, or strategies BAITERs will use to “get to you,” hurt you, and take what is yours:

  1. They infiltrate your life, seducing with promises and flattery
  2. They define you as a conspiratorial confidant
  3. They are way too focused on getting your approval — as though their very existence depends on your accepting them
  4. They are always gathering data and “building a file” on you. Everything they do, every interaction, is for a purpose
  5. They consistently misdirect and maintain a mystery about who they really are; they answer questions that weren’t asked; they obfuscate
  6. When confronted with problems, they always blame others
  7. They lie, either by misstatement or by omission; they understand that lies with a kernel of truth are the most powerful
  8. They are frauds; they cheat, and they steal property, information, and credit for other people’s work and claim false competencies to gain trust and reliance
  9. They isolate their victims and foster dependency to obligate you and gain leverage and power
  10. When in a position of power and authority, they abuse it with self-dealing and egomaniacal conduct
  11. They ID your sensitivities and hot buttons to gain leverage
  12. They have “selective memory” and are revisionist historians; they reframe reality
  13. They are two-faced; they spread lies and gossip — pretending to be your friend and ally to give you a false sense of security while being disloyal
  14. Because they are paranoid, they “get you” before you [can] “get them”
  15. They are masters of passive-aggressive sabotage

Our pilgrimage would be incomplete if we did not mention the methodology used by Herbert Armstrong — the one still in use today by all the cult leaders: To reduce the prospective members to think of themselves as worthless.

Those of us who were in the cult in the 1950s and 1960s remember well this indoctrination. As we came to “the truth” (which was nothing of the sort), we were taught that nothing we knew was worth anything, nothing we ever did amounted to anything and we were convinced that we were so worthless that we had to start from the very beginning to rebuild from the ground up.

Herbert Armstrong, of course, knew everything that was worth knowing — he was the Apostle and no one could trump him! He was the one that God chose who was the only one through whom any truth could be revealed — from the top down. No one could tell him anything, and if they tried… well, he had a temper and he was used to getting his way. He was the top dog and he was the only one who had the quality to take the message of Corporate Christ to the leaders of this world (by using vague stupid references to the two trees which meant absolutely nothing). He was the only one who could go to evil despots and dictators to present them with Steuben Crystal from tithed blood money. All the rest of us were pathetic nothings who needed to know our place in the hierarchy, which was pretty much to supply this egoist with $2 Billion to $4 Billion to provide for his excessive personal life style. He was so close to God, no one dare oppose him.

By the put down and treatment with contempt, the people fell into line, devoid of what might be laughingly called self-esteem.

This was doubly bad because the children of the church members were treated the same way: They needed to know their place among the gods — playing less than any insignificant role as less than anyone else, save for the domestic companions of the family. As serfs and slaves to the serfs and slaves, having absolutely no rights, knowing nothing and having not one shred of power in their insignificance, they were prepped for a future slavery of underachievement, discouraged from ever aspiring to the dreams and goals of their schoolmate peers. Many of them thought that this dysfunctional family life was the norm and everyone lived this way, not realizing that it was a profound aberration designed to keep them captive to a slave mentality system of the peasants.

You are nothing.

You will be god.

Be satisfied with that.

Or you’re out.

There’s nothing like intimidation on the worthless to keep them in the prison especially designed by the swindlers of the cult.

The Cult of Herbert Armstrong employs all of these methods. They are evil. They corrupt.

And again, there is not one reason in this world you should give them the benefit of the doubt. None. They are not worth your time, let alone your money and other resources.

To be clear: Herbert Armstrong was a failed ad copy writer with barely an eighth grade education with delusions of greatness, plying lies, deceptions and fantasies as reality upon duped naive sheep type followers. He had no real worth. The only thing he really understood was “quality” things, possessions; and his great swelling ego making him above and beyond those of accomplishment, talent and achievement who could have been great, but were ruined by his selfish meddling. He was a swindler — a BAITER.

And all his followers now making themselves leaders are also BAITERs.

This is the time to understand who these people are, understand how they work and guard against them, lest they take who you are and destroy it.

Abandon the swindlers and don’t let them claim ascendancy.