"Herbert Armstrong’s Utopian Society"
This extensive article in its length requires some working knowledge of high demand authoritarian religious groups.
An extensive study on the Armstrong utopia ideology and how the Kingdom of God on earth philosophy turned into a dystopian experience for tens of thousands.
"Utopian" describes a society that's conceived to be perfect. Noun: 1. An imaginary island described in Sir Thomas More's Utopia (1516) as enjoying perfection in law, politics, etc. 2. An ideal place or state. 3. Any visionary system of political or social perfection. (example: religious collectivism, or kingdom of God on earth)
“Dystopia” describes a Utopian society in which things have gone wrong. Noun: 1. As bad as can be; characterized by human misery, squalor, oppression, disease, and overcrowding. (example: experiments in socialism)Characteristics of a Utopian Society: • Information, independent thought, and freedom are promoted. • A figurehead or concept brings the citizens of the society together, but not treated as singular. • Citizens are truly free to think independently. • Citizens have no fear of the outside world. • Citizens live in a harmonious state. • The natural world is embraced and revered. • Citizens embrace social and moral ideals. Individuality and innovation are welcomed. • The society evolves with change to make a perfect utopian world. Controls of a Utopian Society: (Sourced from Sir Thomas More’s Utopia and Cliffnotes, as a Utopian society has never existed)
Characteristics of a Dystopian Society:
Controls of a Dystopian Society:
Most dystopian works present a world in which oppressive societal control and the illusion of a perfect society are maintained through one or more of the following types of controls:
Starting Lesson From History:From Wiki we read : Intra-religious utopias: Intra-religious utopias are based on religious ideals, and are to date those most commonly found in human societies. Their members are usually required to follow and believe in the particular religious tradition that established the utopia. Some permit non-believers or non-adherents to take up residence within them; others (such as the community at Qumran) do not. The Jewish, Christian, and Islamic ideas of the Garden of Eden and of Heaven/Paradise may be interpreted as forms of utopianism, especially in their folk-religious forms. Such religious utopias are often described as "gardens of delight", implying an existence free from worry in a state of bliss or enlightenment. They postulate freedom from sin, pain, poverty, and death; and often assume communion with beings such as angels or the houri. In a similar sense, the Hindu concept of moksha and the Buddhist concept of nirvana may be thought of as a kind of utopia. However, in Hinduism or Buddhism, utopia is not a place but a state of mind—a belief that if one is able to practice meditation without continuous stream of thoughts, one is able to reach enlightenment. This enlightenment promises exit from the cycle of life and death, relating back to the concept of utopia.
Some Jews believe that, at some point in the future, the prophet Elijah will return with the Messiah and set up a worldwide religious utopia, heralding in a Messianic Age.
The Amana Colonies were communal settlements in Iowa, started by radical German pietists, which lasted from 1855 to 1932. The Amana Corporation, manufacturer of refrigerators and household appliances, was originally started by the group. Other examples are Fountain Grove (founded in 1875), Riker's Holy City and other Californian utopian colonies between 1855 and 1955 (Hine), as well as Sointula in British Columbia, Canada. The Amish and Hutterites can also be considered an attempt towards religious utopia. A wide variety of intentional communities with some type of faith-based ideas have also started across the world.
The Book of Revelation in the Christian Bible depicts a hypothetical time in the future after the defeat of Satan and of evil. One interpretation of the text sees it as depicting Heaven on Earth, or a new Earth without sin. Many details of this hypothetical new Earth, where God and Jesus rule, remain unclear, although it is implied to be similar to the biblical Garden of Eden. Some theological philosophers believe that heaven will not be a physical realm, but instead an incorporeal place for souls.
The proverbial war of all against all is a staple of a dystopian society. Sometimes it entails the most brutal struggle for survival and other times it gives rise to rampant paranoia.
Everybody is suspicious of everybody else, and they can't tell a friend from foe as the lines between the two are so blurred that virtually everybody and everything poses a potential threat to life and limb.
Though dystopias vary in things like the system of government, level of state control and living standard, to name just a few, they, nonetheless, all have a lot in common, so much so that just as you can easily distinguish one dystopia from another you can also always tell a dystopian society from one that is not.
Category One: The Dystopian Society
Just what is a dystopian society?
Why Terry Ratzmann lost it and shot up his church may have been his latest attempt to recapture his former self. If this is so, then he waited until the stress was so overwhelming that he could not deal with it in a logical and rational way.
Truly, no one ever enters such authoritarian high demand groups with fully informed consent. Deceptive groups deliberately withhold their secrets and refuse to let potential recruits fully understand how the group actually works, what it is really all about and what its ultimate demands may be. Full disclosure does not serve the organizations best interest. It is up to the recruit to do his "due diligence" before committing themselves to a collective.
The process that leads to having self doubt about your decisions in life is healthy and can lead you into a more fulfilling existence as you bid your time here on earth. Being truthful with yourself and having the skills to refine new information as it comes available must become a lifetime process. The inability or unwillingness to deal with new information in a logical and orderly fashion will always lead you towards a faulty conclusion.
When the conditions of your life are extremely dismal due to deprivation, oppression, hardship, or even terror, it is due to the choices you made. Your decisions and your abilities to act on them will result in endless joy or a deep despairing scar upon your soul.
CATEGORY TWO: Conditioning
Read that again. "a corrupt government creates or sustains the poor quality of life, often conditioning the masses to believe the society (their society) is proper and just, even perfect."
The poor quality of life as all of you know (or should know) was caused by the church's three tithe system, accompanied by the burden of federal and state taxes. This life choice impoverished the membership. Then to add to our financial hardship, we had the endless building funds, financial emergencies, and other extraordinary fund raising activities that these group leaders scamed their members with.
But this is "God's church" we would tell ourselves, justifying our staying in the group as we suffered silently. All the while as you suffer, the leadership lived among palaces. If you think about this a bit longer this is what happens in third world countries where el presidente rules from the gold plated palace, and you suffer in your filthy dirt covered shanty. They dress as kings and you wear the rags of a peasant.
Is it your excuse to be a lazy sheeple and allow these men of the church to do with you as one would with a slave? Many in past years sacrificed their entire families, their way of life, and the future of their little children to remain in compliance with the church (God). Back in those day we were told and we believed that to rebel was to say no. We submitted by turning our backs on our families and bowed before the altar not of grace, but of Herbert Armstrong.
Talk was always cheap in the WCG. When it came to the government of the USA, well I heard many a time, talk of rebellion against the ruling authority. But that is just talk. Cowards are cowards and sheep minded people are sheep, readying themselves for the slaughter. Generally speaking, the Armstronites are inconsistent, hypocritical, and abusive to those on the outside that do not share their views. And to my shame, as a member of the WCG at the time, I (was once) as they still are, speaking evil of outside groups (as the WCG no longer exists.)
To the current membership of whatever ACOG you belong to, you take pride in your ignorance, laughing at those of us who don't share your confirmation bias. You think of yourselves as the salt of the earth but have become fools with your narrow minded views and magical thinking. However, this is not entirely your fault. You have been conditioned to believe that which you hold sacred, all without having a clue as to what is being done to you. You have been promised utopia if you endure to the end, and live your life never bothering to questioning the promised future, made by men who make claim that they speak for God.
Listen to your inner voice and discover who you really are and then act on it. Logic and rational thought cannot be long suppressed. To do so jeopardizes your mental health.
And as with Edward Bernays, his tried and true theory on conditioning the masses toward conformity using the vehicle of propaganda, your conditioning was based on religious theory and propaganda. (Much of it stolen from other religious groups by Herbert Armstrong.)
This is why I say "Herbert Armstrong constituted the one who was to lead us to our great and shining future. Instead we were taken on a drunken wild ride with Herbie as the driver, impairing our lives with his debauchery, half-submerged logic that was contaminated by perverse inclinations most prefer not to acknowledge."
CATEGORY THREE: Nightmarish Extremes
Any social/cultural change big enough to shape an entire nation or society happens in long waves spanning generations. One example of this that comes to mind is the scripture that the church is so fond of quoting, and that would be the one where "women shall rule over you". As social trends go, women are now found in offices and local governments around the USA and contribute to the support of their families, paying taxes, and bettering the lives of everyone around them. Why the discrimination? Is a man better than a women? Label this as: nightmarish that a women be over a man.
Then there is the funny nightmarish comedy story fiction from the Armstrongites that comes to mind about a time yet (so saith the Armstrongites) to come where women and men shall eat their children due to the lack of available food. (Was that with A-1 sauce or without? I forget!) Now of course they took this from some ancient scripture and have been twisting it endlessly for the last eighty years. Label this: dystopian fiction, satire.
CATEGORY FOUR: CONCLUSION
The Handbook of Human Slavery: Universals in Human Behavior
As long as humans remain a single species, Homo sapiens, which can be clearly separated from other species on the basis of genetic, anatomical, or other criteria, it is perfectly legitimate, and scientific, to speak of human universals. -Dario Maestripieri, Ph.D. Professor of comparative human development, evolutionary biology, and neurobiology at the University of Chicago.
I quote this dear reader in case you have been asleep. I realize that most of us are aware of what's happening during these most interesting time we live in. No matter what the future holds for us, know that the ACOG's will exploit those who have small minds and shrinking wallets. They will take the news and distort it, taking any downturn or disaster to the extreme. New fears shall be planted into the minds of those who are gullible enough to believe that the end is near. It is not. The end is only near for the ACOG's as they grow more and more irrelevant. There is no future for the dystopian society. In the information age, Armstrongism is now obsolete.
When You Reach Utopia you're in Dystopia
From Utopia to Dystopia
There are many visions of Utopia from the Marxists and their dreams of worldwide communist revolution, to the racial and eugenic purity of some Nazi Utopia or even the 'aborigine' vision of life put forward by some environmental nuts. The various version of the perfect society ideology all aspire to create a new world, a heaven on earth, the ideal society where everybody is happy and no one is dissatisfied with their lives.
In the world of the fictional Utopia, the highly structured society is operated under strict authoritarianism, limited freedom and scarcity. What seems to be a life of harmony and peace is anything but.
The idea of dystopian Utopia’s have a very long history within science fiction stories. One example: In H.G Well’s Time Machine, we are given a example of a post apocalyptic society. Here is a group of young people who have no desire for work, everything is provided for them. The day is spent lounging by the river, frolicking with the opposite sex, not a feeling of pain or want. They have available to them many books who's care has not been looked after and they rot upon the shelves. The very thought of further education has never come to mind. They are in Utopia. With a serene and stress free life, the Eloi find themselves dependent on the cave dwelling Morlocks, who in return for such a blissful life, are used as a food source. Source: The Time Machine (YouTube)
In the end game, there are so many conflicting visions of what an ideal society would look like and all of them are radically at odds with one another and probably irreconcilably so. In the hedonistic paradise of Brave New World, with a rigid caste system of Alphas, Beta, Gammas, Deltas and Epsilon’s, all are conditioned from birth and seem to be happy in their place. Content to be nothing more than a cog of a societal machine. But this is fiction. Such a society cannot exist as a reality.
So here we are at the end of the story, which is really the beginning. The collective utopia known as the Kingdom of God and the Wonderful World of Tomorrow is still preached with little variation from what the Armstrong's taught. Try as they may, few in this information age are buying into the tall tale of a utopian world tomorrow. *The Armstrongites lack of foresight crucifies them in the end, for they fail to realize that when you reach utopia, you have arrived at dystopia. Your pursuit has destroyed you.
END. * Utopia always reverts back to Dystopia and never vice versa. This is why Utopia is fiction. It cannot be attained. The tyrannical governance in the various church of God leads to human suffering, oppression, mental illness, suicide, etc, therefor they cannot be the kingdom of God in waiting. They have always been a dystopia collective since the beginning. There can be no change.
—Article by James. The Painful Truth © 2016