Yes, friends, it is true! The Painful Truth has been used by Armstrongism to select a new leader! This is a first! A real triumph indeed!
It all began with our blog entry, obituary, where we outlined the qualifications for selecting a new leader within the ranks of a sect of the Cult of Herbert Armstrong. It turns out that the leadership in the Living Church of God has been terribly anxious about the decline of their Fearless Leader, Roderick Meredith. Apparently — and the details are sketchy, especially because the whole process was kept a secret by the LCG Council of Elders — the leadership took the qualifications from our article, did a search among their own and came up with a fully qualified dictator to take the place of Fearless Leader.
Bob Dixon commented on the qualifications presented at The Painful Truth:
I must give [the Painful Truth author] highest regard for this profound job application. What [the Painful Truth author] has done as well as I have ever seen, is roll out a beauty, that will only attract, and fully describes, a total ass by any imagination, for the job.
To understand our triumph, you must first remember the words of the recently retired former United council chairman, Robert Dick:
If you do things the same way, under the same circumstances, you will attain the same results.
He also commented:
When peer pressure reigns it is hard to remember your principles, but consider one thing: When most of your accomplishments have been forgotten the principles you lived by will still be remembered.
With aphorisms like that, you have to wonder why the UCG hasn’t been more of a success. After all, if you follow the right processes, you should — in theory — achieve the best results. Isn’t that what “The Seven Laws of Success” are all about?
Nevertheless, the Living Church of God, an International Association [oops! scratch that last part — it’s so easy to get lost in the alphabet soup of the CoHAM], has followed process, matched up the qualifications and come up with a pretty much unknown, Gerald Weston. It seems that he’s going to move in to the Homequarters area and get started early — before Meredith kicks the bucket — to take over the reigns of the Government of the Corporation of God. Roderick Meredith will become the Evangelist Emeritus. This is all secret, mind you, since the Council of Elders doesn’t want this information to get out to the general membership.
We know that Gerald Weston had responsibility in Canada for some time and that is why we were able to come up with this artist’s conception:
Our congratulations to the new Fearless Leader. We’re pretty sure that there are still plenty of maidens, rope and train tracks along with mortgages to foreclose on hapless fatherless and widows to make them homeless fatherless and widows to make the move to the United States worthwhile.
Nevertheless, critics have pointed out that Gerald Weston lives currently in England as the European Regional Director. That would mean that he has had direct responsibility for the LCG church in Potsylvania. Perhaps, when he gets to Charlotte, North Carolina, he will have Boris and Natasha establish a Feast site in Potsylvania.
Ames, it seems, is suffering health problems and Meredith, himself weighed down with the infirmities of age, has felt the need to designate a new successor. If you were expecting the elevation of Jim Meredith or one of the second-stringers on the Tomorrow’s World telecast you’d be disappointed. The Weston decision was rubber stamped at a recent meeting of LCG’s Council of Elders and the dauphin is reportedly now in the process of relocating to the sect HQ in Charlotte, NC.
A shudder should be running up the collective LCG spine. Weston is, according to Gary, well known as a conservative hardliner in a church that is already somewhat to the right of Attila the Hun.
If Weston ascends to the Throne of Roderick what can we expect?
First, every new broom sweeps clean. While heavily emphasizing continuity, you can be sure that Gerry the Unready will want to make his mark swiftly. Already the soon to be announced dauphin will have his little list conveniently tucked into a jacket pocket. Those who are offside with the boss-in-waiting should be afraid, very afraid.
Second, LCG has a surfeit – a veritable glut – of ministers with an abundant sense of self entitlement, many of whom will consider themselves far more suitable for the task. Weston will not ascend to the pontificate without cost. Initially things may seem fine on the surface, but the currents of ambition run deep in hierarchical organizations as we’ve seen demonstrated again and again. Expect a blood-letting without months, perhaps weeks of the transition (and you couldn’t entirely rule out days and hours).
There are even suggestions that Weston may be enthroned before Meredith shucks off this mortal coil, leaving the former Presiding Evangelist in an emeritus role. In Rome they locked away Benedict so he couldn’t interfere in his successor’s pontificate. Somehow, given Meredith’s personality and history, this doesn’t seem even remotely likely.
Mind you, there’s many a slip between the announcement of an heir and the actual placement of the crown on their sacred bonce. But isn’t it nice to know that the soap opera, with a longevity greater than The Simpsons, still hasn’t completely played itself out? Fun times ahead!
So it is possible following process may be wasted effort for the LCG. Nevertheless, using our guidelines for the process is excellent practice. By following it, Living can come up with yet another shrewd, calculating, cold, conservative, hard liner continuing to preach British Israelism for yet another four decades of false prophecies until they go through this all again.
Here at the Painful Truth, we analyze trends and project them forward; we do not predict, prognosticate: We are a non prophet organization.
So are the nanocults of the Cult of Herbert Armstrong (CoHA), if you look at their record… well, yes, they do have false prophets, there is that, but that’s not what we mean.
Consider our amazement then when 2012 pretty much ended up in ways we projected it might, with the caveat that it was actually a lot worse and certainly screwier than we could have imagined, and around here, we have pretty fertile imaginations: Some of the CoHA nanocult leaders did things beyond all reason, providing entertainment for some and a great deal of pain and embarrassment for others. Many of the scenarios were truly jaw-dropping.
The end of 2012 provided us with the greatest breath-taking events. I suppose you could say that we should have foreseen that Dr. Robert Thiel was going to start his own church after he had left Roderick Meredith and the Living Church of God, but, again, we aren’t prophets: We took our last crystal ball, bored holes in it and went bowling.
To begin with, we would have never guessed the name, which is Continuing Church of God Overseer and successors, a corporation sole. Technically, the abbreviation would be CCoGOaSaCS (I think the spell checker just committed suicide), but in a rare act of mercy with an even rarer flash of insight, Dr. Bob decided to use CCoG, which is a good thing because ccg is taken and so is ccg.org — much to the chagrin of the Canadian Coast Guard. He’s already got a mailing address, where he encouraging LCG members to send tithes as they wend their way from the fold of Meredith to the fold of Thiel. We rather assume that Dr. Bob will certainly have the Feast Days and the Feasts all planned out, replete with five star hotel accommodations and such. Maybe in California. Maybe not.
No matter what, projecting out past trends, we would expect a great deal of dampened enthusiasm as Dr. Bob works out the Church Corporate thing. He’s the heart and sole of it all. He may or may not have been planning this for awhile. He apparently severed from his membership with Living July 14th, 2012, which is 10 days after the celebration of the Declaration of Independence, which probably has no real bearing on anything.
Dr. Bob does bring a few pluses to the table. For one thing, there’s that PhD in something or other he bought online from some outfit in India. He doesn’t say much about defending his thesis, which we rather think is 2012: The Rise of the Secret Sect. We know what you are thinking. Maybe, just maybe, the book was about him and the Continuing Church of God Overseer and successors, a corporation sole. We suspect that he may have had that in the back of his mind, seeing as though he got the idea from Doug Winail that Dr. Bob himself (speaking of himself in third person, which is kind of weird for a PhD guy and more like a Felon Mental Patient) is not just a prophet of God, but he is one of the two witnesses. We’re not sure how many sets of two witnesses there are, but there have to be hundreds at the minimum.
We think that Dr. Bob should see if Baron Karl zu Guttenberg might join him in collaboration. It would be a perfect pairing: Dr. Bob, God’s Prophet and one of the two witnesses and the Baron as the Beast of Revelation. Maybe the Baron could run the office using his Beast Powers, if he’s not too busy. Instead of “Headquarters” or “Home Office” they could call it something like “Castle Greyskull”.
Which brings us to the topic of Ronald Weinland, who is also part of a set of two witness, of the which, he is the active member and his wife is the Silent Witness. We’re not really sure how that works out. One would think that a witness who stands up for the Word of God would say something, but apparently not. We don’t pretend to know the mysterious ways of the CoHA and its nanocults. Now if we were to take a wild guess, we’d probably say that Ronald Weinland, as a convicted felon with the tracking bracelet of humility giving sermons over the Internet from his basement as a sub dude, is going to be safely ensconced in Federal Prison for three and a half years around about Groundhog’s Day, but we’ve seen delays before, so we aren’t going to put a large bet on that one. He ran afoul of the Internal Revenue Service for Income Tax Evasion and was convicted in Federal Court by a jury of his peers (even if he does not see them as such). You’d think that as God’s Prophet, he could have seen that coming, but you’d be wrong.
We can wade in reverse through the dregs of 2012 briefly: It was the year that the United Church of God, an International Association found that it’s income is stable, but insisted on a fast for the budget, requested by their new chairman of the board, Robin Weber. Expenses are up, probably because of hiring some ministers or something. The biggest percentage cut seems to be 44% off the International travel budget. This does not mean that the UCG, along with most of the others didn’t have their Christmas Family extravaganzas. The non Armstrongists have something like that every summer and it’s called “Super Sabbath”, but having the CoHA celebration at XMass is awfully suspiciously like some sort of pagan celebration they should really avoid, lest they have the appearance of evil. We project that they will have one of these in 2013 as well. We’ll see. Budget, you know. We suggest they cut the biggest expense of all and slash membership by 100%. Of course, the only reason that Robin Weber became chairman is that Melvin Rhodes stepped down and out at UCG because of some past undisclosed indiscretion.
No posting like this would be complete without mentioning false prophet Roderick Meredith at least twice (it’s like mentioning Hitler: It has to come up some time as some sort of law). Roderick Meredith prophesied, yeah, verily and forsooth, that the Price of Gasoline would drop so LCG members could keep the Feast. This was a major fail, especially in some areas, where, like in California, the gasoline prices went up to a record high just before the Feast and came down a few weeks later. We’re still looking for Meredith to fail predict the past which has already happened, but he just didn’t get the message. Now we aren’t saying the old fool hasn’t failed to predict the past accurately, we just don’t have an obvious example to point to. Living is still unable to escape being under the shadow of the Ratzman shooting and we can certainly say that attending could very well be hazardous to your health. We wonder if Dennis Luker is sizing the drapes. Thiel may have first dibs.
David Hulme with his Church of God, an International Community, apparently is on the skids. We wouldn’t have noticed, except for the posting at Banned! This is really small potatoes among the nanocults, folks.
Davy Pack is our personal favorite with his Restored Church of God. We’re not sure what it’s restored from, but they may want to do a little more remodel over there. Shovels have been turned for Davy’s theme park to rival Ambassador College, but the banks just weren’t buying it for the loans. Something about ROI and that’s even without the internal member letters and documents being leaked. We say, if you want to keep your secret, don’t tell anybody. Davy blabs. Probably an ego thing.
We’d mention CoGIC, but it’s so obscure nobody much ever pays attention to it. Apparently, in 2012, people paid even less attention to it, if that’s possible.
Jim Franks over at the Church of God, Worldwide Association was up to his chin with alligators draining the swamps again in 2012. The CoGWA still has not significant media presence, were forced to start media projects from scratch (although using Flipping Books on their website was a master stroke, even if the material is garbage). Some of the members are still visiting the UCG and really lack a commitment to one of the newer nanocults of the CoHA. Nevertheless, it does appear that our illustrious Mr. Franks did a bit of damage by exposing Melvin Rhodes to the United Leadership to force his exodus, proving once again that politics in the Armstrongist Churches of God is alive. Not alive and well. Just alive.
Craig White (Europe to sell Alaska to Russia for helping to invade the United States), “Apostle” Malm, E. W. King (with multiple insignificant generalistic type prophecies fulfilled), M. John Allen (Yahweh is a reptilian extraterrestrial from the planet Nibiru [no mention of whether he comes through the Stargate at the bottom of the ocean]), Gerald Flurry of the Philadelphia Church of God and a host of other colorful characters litter the dump of the CoHA nanocults.
After all of this, do you want to know what could possibly happen in 2013?
We think we see trends and we suspect they will continue:
1) Expect the unexpected;
2) It seems likely there will be more scandals to rock the CoHA nanocults;
3) More divisions may be coming (well, duh!);
4) Weirdness will increase;
5) Budgets will fall;
6) Hyperbole will increase;
7) Indecision will continue;
8) Problems won’t find solutions (but keep looking, innovation may not help, but it sure could be entertaining);
9) Very few things will be hidden for long, in spite of the best efforts of cover up;
10) Jesus will refuse to return in 2013 and won’t even bother to initiate the Great Tribulation as the start of the end of the end;
11) But you can be sure, someone will predict it anyway.
Will people keep the Feast of Tabernacles in 2013? Yes.
Will there be fewer people attending the Feast of Tabernacles in 2013? Yes.
Will it be more difficult for people to attend the Feast of Tabernacles in 2013? Yes.
Will it be more meaningless to attend the Feast of Tabernacles in 2013? Yes.
See! We’re not all negative!
We enjoyed rereading Daughter of Babylon: The True History of the Worldwide Church of God by Bruce Renehan again in 2012 (in the new Flipping Book version) from AmbassadorReports.com. We were reminded that the True History of The True Church is nothing of the kind, but pure rubbish stolen from Ellen G. White through the auspices of Dugger and Dodd. Bruce Renehan actually went to the effort to write to the Waldensian Society to prove they were never Sabbath Keepers, let alone kept the Feasts: They considered themselves good Catholics at the time and are now Protestant.
What is so unsettling about this is that during his research, he found others he had known in the Worldwide Church of God also searching the archives. Many of them were or had been ministers. They all knew that the History was a lie, but continued to teach it as if it were true.
This is the magic of Armstrongism in the Cult of Herbert Armstrong in the nanocults: They know they are wrong — totally wrong, but they teach and preach it anyway. By this time, they all know that British Israelism is pure rubbish, easily scientifically disproved once and for all, but they still hold to the Herbert Armstrong fallacy that “British Israelism is the Key to Prophecy”. You can see how that worked out: Herbert Armstrong was a false prophet and so are they all.
They also know that their teaching on tithing cannot be supported Scripturally. Moreover, because there is no such thing as a “second tithe” (look it up in an exhaustive concordance — we’ll wait), there is no funding at all to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. You are on your own time and money on that one. And yes, it could be a blessing, if it weren’t for all those doomsday sermons based on British Israelism you hear in Feast sermons to addle your brain. Everywhere you look, the cult religion falls apart. There is no viability in it at all.
Armstrongism is a purely physical ceremonial cult religion which was the only thing a non spiritual Herbert Armstrong could understand in his ego and greed as a failed ad copy writer going through a psychotic break he interpreted as a religious conversion. He admitted in his Autobiography that he could go weeks at a time being “off” and unable to produce anything and then having a burst of energy to be able to do “brilliant” work. Anyone who owns a DSM-IV ought to be able to suss that one out as bipolar disease manic-depressive illness. This is not to say he wasn’t a sociopath as well, having, as it were, an adaptive conscience which enabled him to lie successfully as the basis of his “Executive Ability”.
With this background, his “descendants” in this dead end evolution at the shallow end of the gene pool populated with a crowded community of alpha males looking to be top banana, having cemented their Folie à deux permanently into a distorted perception of cult mentality, went forth with their delusions and hypocrisies to form their own cult organizations with them in control with no integrity and no accountability — knowing perfectly well that what they taught was pure unadulterated recycled swill.
As the realization of this dawns, you can rest assured that there is not one shred of possibility to trust these men. None. You cannot trust them. They are unreliable. They just make up stuff. What’s so maddening is that we all can prove that they just make up stuff which has no reality whatsoever and they can perfectly well ignore the dissidents. In some cases, they even threaten those who tell the truth. They have a lot of incentive to keep the lies in place. It is their ego, their salary and their retirement. It is their power base.
And so it is no stretch of the imagination at all and take does not take a rocket scientist or nuclear physicist (with a real PhD and experience working with the HADRON collider) to understand that this is all going to continue into 2013. They will lie to you and take your money.
These are the trends we think we see.
Nevertheless, if you are a member in the Armstrongist churches of God, you may just want to do yourself a favor and skip 2013.