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.

The Joe Schmo Show

 

Herbert W. Armstrong. Bounty Hunter
Herbert W. Armstrong. Bounty Hunter

The Joe Schmo Show is a funny near reality show on the Spike TV involving an innocent honest unsuspecting participant, unaware that the entire scenario is a total deception and scam.

Here’s the setup from the show’s website:

The Joe Schmo Show is a one-hour, 10-episode series featuring a real guy who believes he is on an over-the-top reality show looking for America’s next bounty hunter and the chance to win $100k. What he doesn’t know is the entire show is FAKE. For over a year his entire world was carefully planned by a team of writers, producers, and actors all performing for him. His “competitors” are actually actors representing every classic reality show cliché, including the Buddy, the Jerk, the Model, and even Lorenzo Lamas, playing a washed-up version of himself. The actors must do their best under these insane circumstances to follow a pre-determined script.

The actors around Chase Rogan, the Joe Schmo for this series, have to keep the deception going for this 28-year-old all around nice guy to convince him he is a viable contestant to change professions from groundskeeper to a full fledged Bounty Hunter. This is harder than you might think, because Chase is a really smart guy who catches on to stuff really quick. One actress is pretending to be deaf with her own “interpreter” but has had three muffed incidents where it’s clear she can hear. The whole production crew has had to cover up and convince Chase it’s all “normal”. None of the production crew know anything about being a bounty hunter beyond watching “Dog”, including the supposed top Bounty Hunter conducting the contest and the actress playing his blonde bimbo wife. There’s slip up after slip up and Chase is getting suspicious.

Chase should have been suspicious since the beginning because the situations are preposterous. Moreover, the language and the little speeches, particularly those at the insane Eliminations replete with a giant gold Blind Justice lady the “contestants” enter to “vote” who will be ejected from the contest after communing with their spirit guide. Chase has a llama as his spirit guide.

This is all done in fun and Chase will be “rewarded” at the end of the show, though it will never satisfy his adventurous nature by bringing him closer to be a Bounty Hunter.

Those of us who have been in the Cult of Herbert Armstrong have lived through our own Joe Schmo Show: It is all fake — the joke is on us.

Sure, none of us like the idea that we are a clueless Joe Schmo, but there’s not much of an excuse these days since the deception is so obvious.

You know, it might be OK if Herbert Armstrong missed one or two of his “prophecies” and we could have given him a free pass, but since they all went south, we should have known we were duped Schmos. The same can be said about the CoG-PKG concerning Ronald Weinland — he’s in Prison now as a convicted felon for five counts of Income Tax evasion to serve 42 months. Hello?!?!

As entertaining as it was every time Gerald Waterhouse came to town, after a few times through everybody should have realized that he was the master of fantasy spin. British Israelism: Fake. Church History: Fake. An apostle: Fake. A prophet: Fake.

Paying up to three tithes should have been a dead giveaway.

If you are honest with yourself, you’ll admit that you have been a contestant on The Joe Schmo Show.

In his new book, Life Code: The New Rules for Winning in the Real World, Dr. Phil McGraw points out that the old value of giving everyone the benefit of the doubt is an unworkable ethic and will make you a Loser. He describes the people who are out to cheat you as BAITERS:

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

Dr. Phil points out that you need to know these people because they certainly know you. He lists the “Evil Eight” Identifiers of the BAITER:

  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 list pretty much describes the leaders of the Cult of Herbert Armstrong.

These people are out to take what you have for their own benefit. They may pretend to care about you, but, in the end, you are but a means to their ends and their ethic is always that the end justifies the means. The end is the end they plot out for themselves.

You cannot give these people the benefit of the doubt.

It is deadly.

The bottom line of getting real is to pay attention when the warning bells go off. We tended to trust and turned off our defenses to the people working to harm us all and take advantage of us, while turning on the RADAR to those who might actually alert us to the danger of engaging with the BAITERS before they could turn our world into dysfunctional chaos.

Next time, we will look at bad guy’s BAITER secret playbook.

Sacrifice

 

Here is all I have; I give it to you!
Here is all I have; I give it to you!

Herbert Armstrong was certainly a proponent of sacrifice.

Perhaps it is because he read the Scripture in Romans 12:1

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

 Many of us are familiar with the ministers standing up at the Feast seven times in a year just before the offering is to be taken:

Give until it hurts!

The expectation has always been from the beginning that we all give our all to “The Work” because God demands it of us and that the Apostle (sometimes with another title with the word ‘General’ in it) is the one to whom we give the money in God’s (or Jesus’) Name. If the children of your family need to be sacrificed, who are you to question the needs of God’s Work? You need to give your effort to The Work. Something has to give somewhere, so if you are short time, you take it from your family; if you are short money, take it from your family. Your needs to even survive pale to insignificance to saving this world. You must bribe God for your salvation, but even more, you need to give everything you have for spreading the Gospel to prove that you love the Leader set here by God / Jesus. If you starve, so much the better: Consider yourself a martyr; if your family starves, they are martyrs too.

But it goes so far beyond money: It is also time, expertise, labor and any other free resource that can be exploited and enslaved — it doesn’t belong to you, it is for the Apostle (Evangelist, Prophet, …’General’).

There is a problem, however: Some of you are Laodiceans and hold back a part, like Ananias and Sapphira!

Many of today’s End Time Apostles / Prophets have called you on this. David Pack, Ronald Weinland, Gerald Flurry, to name a few, are not pleased with half-hearted participation! They demand more! For example, some of them, like David Pack insist that you gouge your unconverted spouse for the money. You should leave your inheritance of real property to the church and not your worthless family who will just waste it on such things as having a place to live, clothes to wear and food to eat. The Work needs a new campus! You need to give to that building fund! The Work needs a new studio for TV and Internet work! The Work needs an extra million dollars this year (and the UCG isn’t the only one) to preach the gospel in Islam Countries, like Saudi Arabia! You must sacrifice. This is all explained by The Supreme Commander of The Supreme  Cult. Please note that there are Five Tithes on your income before you even get one penny before taxes!

Note what the leaders have said in the past, like what Garner Ted Armstrong said that we give to God (well, not actually, we give to some guy in an expensive suit) and that is where our responsibility ends: After that, it’s God’s responsibility — He will take care of it and we need not worry our little heads about whether or not The End Time Apostle uses the money frivolously! Or maybe we are supposed to check up on it — there seem to be different readings on accountability.

Nevertheless, we are to GIVE, freely, thankfully, because God just loves a cheerful giver! No grumbling. Just because those leaders in your church have taken everything away from you and have all the good stuff you want and even more than you could have imagined, doesn’t mean that you have to ruin it all by having an ATTITUDE! Heavens no! Some day, if you have just the right faith and you have done absolutely everything you should do quite perfectly and you have the right attitude and wait in patience, willing to suffer loss quietly, then you certain just might have a glorious inheritance! Maybe! You could inherit the Kingdom. No promises though, since you have to give to just the RIGHT cult! See, if David Pack and the Restored Church of God is the absolutely only place of salvation and you are in the Living Church of God with Roderick Meredith (should he live so long), you lose big time. You have to be in exactly the right cult to make this work! You can’t just join any old church and be sure of salvation. On the other hand, if Gerald Flurry with his Philadelphia Church of God (the name sounds right!) and you are with James Russell in the Church of God in Truth, you will be sure out of luck! You may be bowing down to the Meredithites instead of the Russellites! God is definitely a respecter of persons! You need to get it right or repent and then get it right!

God looks at your attitude, which, at the moment is a pretty awkward position. You need to be on the straight path with the narrow gate or else you are on the broad road to perdition with a whole lot of company. It’s all rigged, of course, since all of the Armstrongists are wrong at the core, so you can’t possibly pick the right one!

Give Me the Money!

As the decades roll by, realities crop up and the First Love of sacrificing all you have gets to be not just tedious, but progressively more difficult: You don’t have enough money to cover your expenses; you don’t have enough vacation to cover all the Feasts; you don’t have enough time to give; you don’t have enough energy for yet another cult function.

And then you find out where the money has been going.

And it gets to be ever more difficult to justify your sacrifice.

Laodocean!

That’s what your cult leader accuses you of. He makes you feel guilty. He tells you that holding back is a sin of selfishness. He implies that you don’t have gratitude toward God who gave you everything! He threatens you by saying that you will not continue to receive God’s blessings (not that you’ve been noticing them lately). He then tells you that if you don’t give, you will be under a curse.

This is known in some circles as extortion.

In some limited legal circles it is considered a crime.

Certainly, in the case of Ronald Weinland and his silent witness wife, it was considered a crime by the Internal Revenue Service that they didn’t pay Income Tax on $3.5 million of undeclared personal income from member monetary sacrifice. Weinland spent the money on luxury BMWs for himself, his daughter and his son. He went to Las Vegas to an expensive hotel to hold his ministerial conference. Laura had expensive jewelry designed for her to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. This is the sacrifice that the members of his church made for him: Personal luxury living, having nothing to do with “Preaching the Gospel” whatever that might mean. In this case, the Gospel was in the form of books written to predict what was to happen in 2008, which never did, making him an obvious false prophet. No matter, his cult followers continue to sacrifice for him. Heck, the widow lady across the street attending his church got a lien on her house to pay for his $300,000 bail money. You just can’t sacrifice enough for your leader.

Herbert Armstrong was wont to do the same thing, back in the day. The Kessler Letter refers to the incidents where Herbert Armstrong routinely grabbed $50,000 personal spending money before each trip. The Ambassador Report mentions the trip to Monaco where he rented a yacht for his family to sail around the Mediterranean. If this were done today and it came to the attention of the Internal Revenue Service, it is likely the Justice Department would have had Herbert Armstrong convicted of felony Income Tax Evasion too. We’ll never know. The internal mechanisms for cover up at the time were too sophisticated for anyone to actually get caught.

Web Cult Criminal

Others of the Armstrong cults have other various means to absorb all that their members can sacrifice. Currently, the United Church of God, an International Association, is promoting their “million dollar faith initiative” to extract an extra $1 million this year not in the budget to go preach the gospel to Islam nations. It won’t have any real impact in preaching the “gospel” (of British Israelism) to the Arabs, but it does wonders for member’s morale!

Davy Pack is having a high time building a multi-million dollar campus in Wadsworth, Ohio these days. The members are encouraged to sacrifice as much as they have, as much as they can wheedle from their spouse and in the happy fortune that member with money dies, Davy is to get the inheritance money (don’t leave it to the kids — not providing for your own cult makes you worse than an infidel).

Who knows how much money Gerald Flurry still owes on Ambassador College out there in the wilds of Oklahoma. It’s millions for sure. Members should sacrifice to be able to make payments. Perhaps one day after Gerald Flurry dies, the campus will be sold, just as Ambassador College in Pasadena was, with buildings being razed for some commercial enterprise, although none of us can think of what sort of enterprise would want property out in Oklahoma unless oil was discovered underground.

With over 700 subcults from which to choose, those people with borderline personality have a cornucopia of a plethora of unworthy causes to make their sacrifice, to pretty much engage in practices guaranteed to reduce their quality of life for a very long time to come.

The point of all of this is not to point out that the Armstrongists are charlatans and thieves — they are that — it is to uncover something much more sinister.

In The Last Days, we examined the disturbing chaotic immorality embedded within Armstrongism. Even though the venue seemed benign, behind the scenes lay an horrific hypocrisy of unacceptable cover ups perpetrated within the Armstrongist Community: Armstrongism is rife with moral ambiguity which systematically destroys people and families within the cult environment.

There can be no claim for self-righteous right-wing pandering pseudo Republicans (who don’t vote or supposedly participate in governmental involvements — even to refusing jury duty, let alone military service) to say that they are for God’s Law and support Law and Order. The truth be told, and we’ve told the Painful Truth over and over — that the founders, leaders, administrators and ministers live a privileged life above and apart from the masses where crimes are committed and covered up, immorality abounds and everyone seems to have lost their moral compass, if, indeed, they ever had one. There can be no real trust and there is absolutely no justice. This self-absorbed community of ego, power, privilege and money built on the sacrifice of those treated with contempt has absolutely no socially redeeming qualities.

Moreover, if we accept the somewhat skewed view of Charles Darwin with evolution being “the survival of the fittest”, we have a dead end religious evolution in which the dinosaurs left over from the devastating mass extinction event of the death of Herbert Armstrong are slowly dying off, having not adapted well to the world around them, attempting to do the same useless things they have always done without realizing that they will never get anywhere near the same results with a depleted environment long subjected to entropy. The rule is to change and adapt, or you die. They are not changing or adapting. They don’t even repent of the evil and wicked they do as a matter of course.

Note this letter to the Exit and Support Network entitled, “Nothing Less Than Hoodlums and Gangsters (February 12, 2012):

Much thanks for your work. The fourth quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009 were very disturbing for me as I “unbelievably” came to learn that the WWCG and its splinter groups are nothing less than hoodlums and gangsters. This is sad but what is more sad for me is that I knew Jesus as my Lord and Savior and this knowledge was diminished gradually as a result of all the indoctrinations of The Restored Church of God headed by David C. Pack.

I am repulsed that these men, in these splinters, continue in the shadow of Herbert Armstrong. Yet, I am more confused and saddened that their members don’t see what seems so obvious–that they are caught up in a religious cult where they sacrifice the God-given gift of their intellect. And for what? I have spent much time deliberating why these so called ministers and “apostles” would continue as they do. I could take the easy road and say that they themselves are/have been deceived by HWA. But, nay, not all! Surely they have “a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof: from such turn away.” (II Tim. 3:5).

I remember asking one of the members why is it that Mr. Pack has such a nice and large home and nice vehicles. The member said to me, “he has to because no one will follow or listen to him if he does not have them. You know how people are.” I could not believe my ears because if David Pack truly believes that he is God’s appointed then surely he would not depend upon his worldly possessions to entice new membership. But then again, that’s what their business is all about–to attract, allure, persuade… Tragic.

Surely, these men have not a clue as to what it really is to present their bodies a living sacrifice and that they be not conformed to this world and the ways of this world. (Romans 12:1-2)

Finally, I have just read the critique of Mystery of the Ages, chapter two. All I can is gangsters, gangsters!!

I pray that you all be increased with right knowledge and wisdom from above. Thank you again.

With my warmest regards, –Impacted by Restored Church of God

Those of us at The Painful Truth approve this message.

So those of you who are still addicted to making sacrifice for Armstrongist cults, understand that your efforts are futile: The leaders will waste your money, you will live a diminished life and, in the end, there will be nothing left to show for it.

Meanwhile, you will find that with being surrounded so long with immorality under the covers, you will eventually be so warped that you cannot even determine right from wrong.

And that is the real sacrifice you have made.

 

Trust

trust-lg

“Trust”
Who do you trust? Do you trust your Armstrongist minister? Should you trust your Armstrongist minister?

by

Douglas Becker


Who do you trust?

Do you trust your Armstrongist minister?

Should you trust your Armstrongist minister?

The answer to the last two questions is “No!” and “No!”.

Let me tell you why.

Now it may be that your Armstrongist minister in whatever ACoG you may be attending might be totally sincere. Perhaps he is very nice. Maybe he is even helpful at times. But in the scheme of things, is that enough?

We live today in May, 2012, on the cusp of yet another meltdown of the membership of an Armstrongist Cult, as the target date of the false prophet for Christ’s returns comes at Pentecost and goes, without so much as a whimper of a hint of a whisper of the event taking place. Ronald Weinland has set up the dupes of his little cult for yet another “Great Disappointment” to rival the one of 1844. No, Jesus isn’t returning, the Great Tribulation won’t have happened, there is no Beast Power over the 10 nations of Europe and there isn’t any possible that the Two Witlesses Witnesses will die in Jerusalem after prophecying there for 3.5 years and be resurrected in 3.5 days after which Christ will take a near pass and spirit them away to heaven for the Great Bridal Shower.

But they trust him!

If we knew the answer to why, we could know a lot more about the Universe.

accountant

In business accounting, there is something called “Goodwill”. Goodwill is an accounting concept meaning the value of an entity over and above the value of its assets. The term was originally used in accounting to express the intangible but quantifiable “prudent value” of an ongoing business beyond its assets, resulting perhaps because the reputation the firm enjoyed with its clients. This is important in the sale of a business when the sale price is above and beyond the actual tangible assets of the corporation and is used in the accounting ledgers to represent the gap as a firm dollar value.

Like it or not (we don’t), the branding of Herbert Armstrong is a monetary asset advantage which trades on the principle of “Goodwill”: The religious product thus branded has earned the trust of a small cadre of consumers, not unlike that of Amazon.com (which has a much larger cadre of loyal consumers). To them, the Goodwill has been earned over the decades (for no particularly good reason, as we shall see), and anyone who trades on the trust in the religious product automagically inherits the Goodwill.

There are limits, of course.

Some of the customers are rather picky over which particular branding they select: For some it is United, others, the LCG, CoGWa, CoGBS or a whole host of alphabet soup Armstrongist communities. They become loyal to the sub brand they have selected. It’s sort of like which washing detergent a person chooses. You tend to stick with it because it works for you: Whiter, brighter, whatever. The choices aren’t, in this case, particularly rational. It is based on emotions and feelings. It is based on how the leader impresses and how you might fit in with the rest of the crowd. In extreme cases, like the PCG, RCG, CCG, PKG, it makes no sense at all: It’s just how you feel about it.

Objectively speaking, there are a lot of problems, challenges and consequences to choosing emotion over logic and it can lead to a lot of ugly results down the road. The future is not always what it seems to be, particularly in the Armstrongist Churches of God, where no one is exactly what they seem to be. Sacrificing resources for the hope of some big score at the end may feel good, but in the end, it is all a con game whose end game is that they lie to you and then take your money. It wouldn’t be so bad if they just lied to you (no matter how sincere they might be), if they didn’t take your money, but you trust them and they do take your money. In fact, in the final analysis, it is the love of money (mostly in the form of salary and retirement), along with ego-stroking narcissistic self-agrandizement, which is a root of all evil there in the ACoG groups. The hidden agenda never becomes public until it is too late for most folks.

There are three major things wrong with Armstrongism: British Israelism is a fraud and it leads to false prophecies by false prophets; church history is a provably concocted fraud (plagiarized from Ellen G. White) and the entire religion is based on rebellious heresy. No one in Armstrongism wants to look at the facts because it just doesn’t feel right to them. Besides, they are afraid of what is behind the curtain — it may show them that they have been wasting their time in fear, false hope and a sense of well-being through associating with people they think of like mind (the WCG / GCI certainly proved how wrong that concept was), achieving a level of comfort participating in what can be termed “Old Testament Christianity” under Old Covenant Laws. To think of giving up would be unthinkable.

But it gets worse.

The narcissists, sociopaths, psychopaths, many of whom came from Ambassador College, have the background to grant them credibility to gain that all-important Goodwill trust they need to prey upon duped fools. It is a world of golden opportunity which is difficult for the covetously minded idolators to resist as they plunge in to embrace the con for their own gain.

Trust.

In the case of the Preaching the Kingdom of God (PKG, also known as the “Pathetic Kook Group”), the experience they are going through is a consumate betrayal by a man plying contemptuous fraud. Ronald Weinland’s little collection of sheople will find themselves sheared, especially after going to trial for Felony Income Tax Evasion Fraud when the Great Disappointment is past. People are maxing out their credit cards, doing foolish things with their careers and their associations and choosing a path of self-destruction because it is inconceivable that God would let anything happen to them: After all, aren’t they faithful to God by following His Apostle Prophet?

It is a tragedy, of course, but it serves a useful purpose in the scheme of things. Think for a moment: Is Ronald Weinland that far from someone like Roderick Meredith who, himself, has been a false prophet for fifty years? Are any of the false prophet apostle leaders within Armstrongism really that far from what PKG portrays? They all have the same basic doctrines. Maybe they don’t say that specifically Jesus Christ is returning next Tuesday, but it is the very same spirit of deception working within them.

L. Ron Hubbard founded Scientology in the 1950s after a semi-successful career as a science fiction writer. He deliberately rebranded his alternative earth history into a religion and wrote about it in Dianetics, specifically targeting actors in Hollywood. It is pure fantastic fantasy, but people have bought into it, believing sincerely with all their being that this is it! This is the truth! When Armstrongists look at Scientology, they see a weird false religion that is so obvious that they wonder how anyone could ever be a part of it.

The answer, of course, is trust. It is that Goodwill.

Since this is so clear to the Armstrongists, perhaps it is time they stepped back and looked at themselves and their chosen religion. It too, is based on an alternative earth history which never happened and cannot happen. The future is simply not going to happen the way it was predicted by Herbert Armstrong. In fact, all of his prophecies failed in his lifetime. If you are skeptical, just ask a member of the PKG after May 27th, 2012 how well their trust worked for them. There will be reasoning and excuses even as they are proven yet again so very wrong.

All of Armstrongism is at risk because of Ronald Weinland. Even as Harold Camping did great damage to Christianity, so has Ronald Weinland done great damage to the followers of Herbert Armstrong. Furthermore, all Armstrongists should consider themselves nothing more than Sabbath keeping, Feast going Scientologists. It just isn’t going to work out. You are wasting your time. You are also wasting your money. Most of all, you are wasting your trust.

Trust.

Sometimes it is best not to just give it away: It needs to be earned.

Just How Can We Trust Them?

trust-them

How do you place your trust in men who seem to never do what is right?

by

Adrian

 

 

Trust: noun

1. reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.

2. confident expectation of something; hope.

3. confidence in the certainty of future payment for property or goods received; credit: to sell merchandise on trust.

4. a person on whom or thing on which one relies: God is my trust.

5. the condition of one to whom something has been entrusted.


Good question. How do you place your trust in men who seem to never do what is right? Men who serve the interest of themselves first and the interests of the member last?

Adrian from Australia wrote with these questions in mind.

    •        In a my 3rd church service members were instructed to burn booklets published by the wcoa. 1975(72?) in prophesy was one of these. What type organization burns records of their teachings to cover their traces?
    •        The organization claimed to be inspired and led by an infallible God, but had policies on makeup and birthdays that constantly changed from one policy that was the opposite of the other. A contradiction indeed.
    •        The religion claimed the just shall live by faith, but then contradictorily claimed to be able to prove there is a god.
    •        The religion published books like the proof of the bible that was later withdrawn because of errors.
    •        The church claimed that everything was inspired by the ministers who promoted members to leadership roles only to find out later that the member claimed a false baptism.
    •         GTA was disfellowshiped, but was given around  $200000/yr in 1970’s money and  tithe payers money paid for this.
    •         The church claimed to be the church of brotherly love. My wife often said to me that if that’s what the church people are like then she didn’t want to be a part of the 1000 year reign with them. I agreed. I wondered how come my own family who I was told to reject as worldly, were always kind to us despite us not giving birthday presents to them and having Christmas etc. Despite the bible saying that if you see your brother in need and you do nothing about it how can God’s love dwell in a person. My physical family always helped us materially, church members didn’t ever.  Of course I forgot about all that free advice about how bad you were from members,  but I don’t think that qualifies as helpful. The bible says by their fruit you shall know them. It bothered me that they claimed to have brotherly love.
    •        Wearing second hand clothes from opportunity shops because the church took our money, and then being told by the ministry you are not blessed because you don’t have the material possession that they have.
    •        Being told to pay third tithe despite making yourself  the key candidate for financial assistance.
    •        Reading scriptures in Galatians,  Colossians for example, rereading Armstrong’s  teachings of these verses and trying to convince myself what he said made sense. Never saying  anything  because you would be told you weren’t converted if you questioned anything.
    •        If you didn’t understand (blindly) everything then you weren’t converted.
    •        How members would rush to open the minister’s car door the rudely treat other members with disdain.
    •        That this is only the beginning of my list and there is so much more…that really bothers me.

Giving Your Power Over To Another

 

 

In my article, “Politicians, Priests, and Pornographers” I touched on how people give their hopes and dreams to others, often compromising their personal integrity in the process.

In the next few blogs, I and another blogger, Bob Dixon, will touch on how easy it is for people to forsake their freedom and give their hearts and minds over to promises made by the less scrupulous among us.

To get started, here is a short video by Bill Abram entitled
“THE CRIME OF THE CANADIAN BANKING SYSTEM”
httpv://youtu.be/q7HMt5MgsDg

“For nearly 40 years, Canada – the people of Canada – had control of their own currency! Imagine! They founded their own bank and issued their own currency with no debt obligations to banks.”
Bill Abram

Politicians are putting people, corporations, and nations in debt. Religious pimps are putting people, communities and societies in peril as they exploit the naive masses, building a base of blue ribbon tithe payers who sacrifice all for the lie of a glorious future.

For example, when the COG’lets decide they need a multimillion dollar auditorium they borrow money from a bank, and in the process put the entire congregation into debt. If you signed a support pledge to your church, you are stating that you are personally responsible for some of that debt.

Exploiting the world for profit by any means is something all of us experienced in and out of Armstrongism. We were told the fairy tale that our tithes and offerings honored God and paved the way for a new and glorious world tomorrow. In the end it was all a lie. We were put into unnecessary and unending debt. Many of us never recovered financially.

Why then do some of us who have abandoned religion now embrace and put our faith into another man made disaster? Politics.

 A man who wanted to buy an Ass went to market, and, coming across
a likely-looking beast, arranged with the owner that he should be
allowed to take him home on trial to see what he was like. When he
reached home, he put him into his stable along with the other asses.
The newcomer took a look round, and immediately went and chose a place
next to the laziest and greediest beast in the stable. When the master
saw this he put a halter on him at once, and led him off and handed
him over to his owner again. The latter was a good deal surprised to
see him back so soon, and said, “Why, do you mean to say you have
tested him already?” “I don’t want to put him through any more tests,”
replied the other. “I could see what sort of beast he is from the
companion he chose for himself.”
-Aesop’s Fables.”The Ass and his Purchaser”