The very last thing Herbert Armstrong wanted for anyone was Mental Health Awareness. He wanted people to be slaves to him and the last thing he wanted was for people to have freedom. His method was to lie to them, confuse them, oppress them, practice deception on them, to steal from them and make a great pretense that what he was doing was sane.
In like manner, the last thing Roderick Meredith, David Pack, Gerald Flurry, Ronald Weinland, Robert Thiel, David Malm, Aaron Dean, Yisrael Hawkins, John and Richard Ritenbaugh, Clyde Kilough, Mark Armstrong, David Hulme, Wade Cox, nck, Dixon Cartwright and others want is for people, particularly people who may follow them, to be sane because it just isn’t profitable for them. They use distortions and excuses to keep people confused and confined to their little ghettos.
In short, the sects of the Cult of Herbert Armstrong Mafia Nazis are bad for your mental health. Don’t criticize. Don’t investigate. Don’t ask questions. Don’t oppose them. That’s what they want. In order to do what they want, you have to abandon science, technology, engineering, math, logic and sanity. You must accept British Israelism worst science fiction ever. You need to go into an altered state of magical whimsy to accept their debunked rubbish. Accepting what they say means that you must take leave of your senses.
being around and associating with people with mental problems
excessive continuous anger
being subject to oppressive authorities
attacks by bullies
attacks by narcissists, sociopaths and psychopaths
being subject to people with borderline personality disorder
Certainly Armstrongism has most of these dangers embedded within them.
What can you do for yourself?
If you are some sect of the Cult of Herbert Armstrong Mafia Nazis, you need to leave and take as many people as you can with you. It is dangerous not only for your mental health but for your well being and the well being of your loved ones, particularly the most vulnerable, such as children or seniors. Make this May the end point of your association with the evil and craziness of the ACoGs to achieve better mental health.
*UPDATE* The situation that made answering this question anonymously a necessity has passed.
I hate doing this, but I have to answer this anonymously. I am a diagnosed sociopath and according to Quora statistics, many of you have seen and liked my answers, questions and blog posts.I am probably among the most fortunate of my particular set in that I had a great family. My Father was a very even keeled man who never finished high school because he figured he knew everything he needed to know at 13. He was a “been here” in our little community, a branch of a family tree that had roots in our small town going back six generations. My Mother was a loud, social butterfly who formed the hub of the local rumor mill. Both of my parents were socially active; Moose lodge, VFW, County Fair, Grange Hall; these were the places I grew up.I was the weird kid in school, the guy who didn’t “get it.” There was a very good reason for that, I wasn’t attached to anything. If you watch people as they go about their normal lives, and I have spent my entire life doing so, you will realize that there is a social mandate at work and it shows up very early in our children; that’s why neuro-typical kids pretty much all act the same. As they grow they become more complex but are little more than collections of well known stereotypes.The general call and response of daily life was largely lost on me as a child. I have no talent for rote memory, because I have no desire to learn anything that demands rote memory. Even at 5 and 6 years old I had dozens of songs and television shows and movies memorized, but I didn’t care about the “times tables” or “presidents” or anything else that demanded memorization by benefit of it’s existence. But after a long while I learned to do it because I was laughed at, called stupid and ugly (I never understood the correlation, so I put it down to limited vocabulary) and generally bullied by my peers.Then I learned something wonderful, something so amazing that it changed my life forever; I learned that people don’t want to hear the truth, they want to hear what is expected. So, I learned how to lie to people so I wouldn’t be abused any more. I learned this early, I couldn’t have been more than six or seven.So there is one of the first questions people ask about sociopaths answered. Why do they lie and manipulate? Because people punish you when you tell them the truth.
We’ve already covered the fact that members of the Armstrongist churches are sociopaths previously.
Armstrongist leaders MUST lie because people don’t want the truth.
It’s as simple as that. If you are currently in an Armstrongist cult, you do not want the truth and if the leaders and / or ministers told you the truth, not only would you not like them, you’d leave them.
How do we know this?
The scientific method.
David Hulme found this out the hard way awhile back. He hinted that he was going to eliminate British Israelism and excise it from Church of God, an International Community. Almost immediately, some of his leading ministers rebelled and split off, forming an ACoG of their own. David Hulme was a onetime World Tomorrow presenter and founding president of the United Church of God (which he subsequently abandoned) to form the CoGaIC. He had a semi-successful sect of the Armstrongist cult and even had a printed copy of his magazine, Vision. He’s had to stop printing it and now it is just an online website. It’s amazing how fast things can go to hell in a handbasket after only 16 years. If only he had continued lying to his ministers and members about the viability of British Israelism, he’d still be in good stead –because Armstrongists hate truth, and if you have the audacity to tell them the truth, they will hate you, make fun of you, oppose you and leave you.
The other Armstrongists have realized this. Roderick Meredith at the Living Church of God even has a course at Living University for British Israelism. More and more, ACoGs have realized that British Israelism is the fundamental core of their religion and are finding more and more ways to promote the idea.
It’s all a lie of course. British Israelism is bunk. In keeping with the sociopaths in Armstrongism, though, the sects of the cult promote it. Armstrongist leaders MUST lie. They must lie because people don’t really like the truth.
So all you Armstrongists out there, watching the insanity of your headquarters / home office as it disintegrates and the leaders become more and more egocentric and eccentric, just remember: You are responsible for all of it because you don’t want the truth.
Armstrongism is a cult, after all and you shouldn’t expect anything but lies if you can’t handle the truth.
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.
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:
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:
They see the world through a lens of arrogant entitlement and frequently treat people as targets
They lack empathy
They are incapable of feeling remorse / guilt and don’t learn from situation to situation
They are irresponsible, self-destructive and disregard the well-being of others
They thrive on drama and crisis
They brag about outsmarting other people
They have a pattern of short-term relationships
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:
They infiltrate your life, seducing with promises and flattery
They define you as a conspiratorial confidant
They are way too focused on getting your approval — as though their very existence depends on your accepting them
They are always gathering data and “building a file” on you. Everything they do, every interaction, is for a purpose
They consistently misdirect and maintain a mystery about who they really are; they answer questions that weren’t asked; they obfuscate
When confronted with problems, they always blame others
They lie, either by misstatement or by omission; they understand that lies with a kernel of truth are the most powerful
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
They isolate their victims and foster dependency to obligate you and gain leverage and power
When in a position of power and authority, they abuse it with self-dealing and egomaniacal conduct
They ID your sensitivities and hot buttons to gain leverage
They have “selective memory” and are revisionist historians; they reframe reality
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
Because they are paranoid, they “get you” before you [can] “get them”
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.
– Social isolation as a result of having been cut off from all contact with the outside world
– Difficulty in finding the way back into a normal social surroundings
– Depression as a result of the loss of ones own identity
– Recurring nightmares
– And the list goes on …
PTRS usually arises in that aftermath of:
– having left a religious sect or cult
– being excommunication by a religious sect or cult
– end of a religious sect or cult
– rescued from a religious sect or cult
– being unwilling forced into a religious sect or cult as a child or spouse
Discovering that someone suffers from PTRS is often very difficult. In almost all cases the individuals can hid their experiences behind a world of indifference. Most people avoid contact with religious sects and are therefore immune to the idea that they can be so harmful, it’s what I call public indifference. You could almost say they feel ashamed to have been part of an religious sect, raped by it, and they just don’t want to talk about it. It’s difficult for a victim of this abuse to “Out themselves” since society cannot imagine that it’s possible to suffer in anyway as a result of bad religious practice. Religious sects and cults do damage to people, it’s a fact that nobody want to believe.
The buried emotional state of mind of a PTRS victim results in some very strange behavior that is often misunderstood by family, friends, and the world in general. The outing process is difficult, often with an imagined stigma, that isn’t all to imagined but very real. You get labeled, therefore you begin to hid even more behind a facade of underlying emotions. These can often span throughout the whole of a life span. Younger victims can have lasting side effect right up till their deaths.
It takes a lot of persuasion for a PTRS victim to connect back into the main stream of daily life. Detoxification is a form of deprogramming that requires a willpower that would seem for others as super human. Most give up, since the effort is simply to big. The result is a return to another religious group in most cases a little less extreme. The sheltering effect is returned and the stigma not so hard to bare. For those who do discover the can make the jump back the experience is almost intoxicating, a new found self, a world of freedom and hope for a self defined life.
It goes without saying that although there are no statistics with respect to suicide rates of victims of PTRS, the number of deaths whether mental or physical are there. For an outsider to pick up on the trauma that is brewing under the surface that is so well hidden, very difficult and almost impossible for an untrained eye. We live in a world where shutting out anything thing that isn’t in the norm is the norm. Discussion seems useless since for most the idea of being tricked into joining a sect or cult is out of the question. How can anyone fall for this trap? Therefore discussion is out of the question. Faced with a world of indifference the victim of PTRS is now even more isolated then before. Breaking the isolation is the most important step to escaping to a more balanced way of life, a way of accepting the past and putting an end to it. Only then can a Victim truly live a normal life and avoid the depressions that can lead to suicide.
I’m not sure how help groups would function with this problem. The programing by religious sects is often very difficult to decode. The brain is not easy to wash clean from years of indoctrinated programming. The coding is so deep in some instances that it would be nearly a miracle (if you believe in miracles) for someone to walk away without having permanent side effects. I would go so fare as to call it a form of Programmed Brain Damage, or PBD.
Since we are in life designed to be influenced by ones self and by others the question is, who is to be taken account of for the influences we experience? Is it the person who’s been misguided, or the persons who are misguiding? Our brains are hard-wired to accept new programing, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to evolve through life. This in itself is proof enough that nothing is static in our world and that we can influence change in more ways then one. Religions can use this instinctive human drive to grab at anything that will provide a victim with a satisfactory answers to their basic instinctive need to understand why we are. Religions plug in on and transfer their idea directly into the victims mind, burring it deep inside, with roots that grow deeper the longer the exposure.
It’s is strange but educating people about the dangers of cults and sects is of little priority in our world. Religions get to much freedom to act without any form of self control that truly puts the facts on the table. We’ve simply rule out any form of self critic with respect to the abuse of peoples rights when it comes to sects, cults and religions. Without allowing for critic there is no way that you can make any of these organization accountable for their actions today. There is not real policing of religion, it’s taboo to question.
So in the coming years the explosion of religious extremes in America will continue, and many more children and adults will suffer from PTRS should they leave the closed surrounding of a religious sect or cult. As long as America and the rest of the world tolerates the spreading of lies under the disguise of religious freedom, we shouldn’t wonder why there is so much social unrest and division within the populations of the world.