If the Churches of God (COGs) are so wrong, why did I become a Worldwide Church of God (WCG) member in the first place? The answer, if we wish to analyze it from every angle, is somewhat complex, but it all comes down to one bottom line, one fundamental reason: I was tricked by dishonest literature.
We know what you’re thinking. How insensitive. How rude. How horrible.
It’s hard to believe that none of any of this exists today, save for the Last Man Standing, Roderick Meredith.
And we’re pretty sure that the “Inside Story” isn’t really the complete story.
And thanks, GTA, but what are “True Facts”?
Is that opposed to “False Facts”?
1963… Nostalgia just isn’t what it used to be.
Professionalism is stunningly refreshing after experiencing the leadership of the Armstrongist churches.
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.
So we have triumphed either way.
Don’t argue with us — we’re experts!
Herbert Armstrong was a science fiction writer: His genre was a special kind of science fiction known as alternative history science fiction. This manifested itself in a number of ways. The first was his science fiction history of the world where there were lost tribes of Israel which migrated and became the United States and British Commonwealth. This never happened, but it makes for interesting science fiction to explore the possibilities should such an unlikely event ever happened. The second was his science fiction history where Nazi Germany under Adolph Hitler won World War II. This never happened, of course, but if a few minor events in history had happened differently, the alternative history could have been a reality. For Herbert Armstrong it was a reality, for he lived in an alternative universe where the Nazis had won World War II. He wanted this delusion so badly that he never gave up on it even though his prophecies based on his distorted perceptions, mainly derived from the writings of G. G. Rupert, were proven wrong time and again. He would have been delighted if Hitler actually had won because it would have ‘validated’ him as being a viable prophet.
For those not familiar with alternative history science fiction, here is a video which explains it using the book written by a well know science fiction writer, Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle:
This frightening and dystopian science fiction has been ‘fleshed out’ in an original Amazon Prime series, The Man in the High Castle:
It portrays the United States divided up into three parts: The West Coast, occupied by the Japanese, the East Coast, occupied by the German Nazis and the middle of the country as the Neutral Zone.
It’s difficult to say how Herbert Armstrong would have fared if this science fiction alternative history actually came to pass. It would be a world to his liking, if only he could have positive attention from the Nazis and had his own ‘8 Japanese Sons’ of the occupied west coast. Remember that Herbert Armstrong predicted during World War II that Germany would win, which gave him some difficulties for a time as The World Tomorrow was suspended by the United States Government (it was subversive for war time), but if the Germans had actually taken over, he might have been given credit (and a free pass) for predicting the downfall of the United States. Herbert Armstrong wanted it to happen really, really bad! Elements of the Third Reich would have agreed with him: Homophobia, enforcement of laws, racism, sexism — all perfect for a man like him. It’s clear from the Amazon Prime series, alcohol would have been readily available, which would be perfect for the alcoholic Herbert Armstrong. As unlikely as it might seem, Herbert Armstrong might actually have ended up a multimillionaire, friend of the Nazis and maybe a personal friend of Adolph Hitler, particularly if he used his skills to promote the Third Reich and betray the freedom of the people. He might actually have been good at it. Heaven knows that he was successful in his advertising campaigns to promote his alternative science fiction to the few who found resonance with his delusions.
Who knows what could have been with just a tweak or two in history?
It might be noted that Herbert Armstrong was in much the same path as another science fiction writer, L. Ron Hubbard, who wrote his own alternative science fiction history and turned it into a religion.
This science fiction alternative history would not be complete without mentioning the Third Reich of Roderick Meredith: The First Reich was the Radio / Worldwide Church of God, the Second Reich was the Global Church of God, and, of course, the Third Reich is the Living Church of God. Those who know his history would find him a credible candidate for Nazi occupation — he’d fit right in.
The truth is, Herbert Armstrong and Roderick Meredith have lived in an alternative universe unconnected to our own. Let’s be grateful for that.
We’ve had quite enough with men lusting to be in the high castle.
But the series’ greatest masterstroke is that the vast majority of its characters, including our heroes, don’t really seem to care about the evils being done right under their noses until they’re forcibly confronted with said evils. High Castle forces viewers to see what’s human in Nazis, right down to Adolf Hitler himself.
In so doing, it suggests that all of us live in societies where we find at least something, no matter how small, completely unacceptable. And yet we do nothing, because it is more comfortable to stay put. This is the series’ deepest, richest theme, and when the material supports it, it pushes the show into another realm entirely.