The Self-Made Armstrongist Experts

Herbert Armstrong didn’t even complete high school, but some how he read material in the Central Library in Portland, Oregon from G. G. Rupert, wrangled a ministerial certificate from the Church of God Seventh Day and for no particularly good reason was granted the title of ‘Apostle’ by the very Conference he later betrayed, going on and becoming one of the most prominent false prophets in the United States in the early Twentieth Century with nutty ideas and even nuttier kook predictions which fell flat, but yet, he became a foremost expert in the minds of his deluded followers.Scientists do attempt to provide the most accurate information possible, following the scientific method, having peer reviews, performing statistical tests, but in spite of it all, they can make terrible mistakes. Consider the following:

You can read further about this phenomenon at PLOS Medicine: Why Most Published Research Findings Are False.

Quite obviously, in spite of this, science, technology, engineering and math do get a lot of things right: Witness the technological world around us. Science, technology, engineering and math does perform experiments and finally find out and ‘prove’ what works and we know this because we have the Internet, WordPress and smart phones. But it isn’t easy, in spite of the fact that sometimes it does look easy. Consider this from Quora:

Jack Fraser

Jack Fraser, Undergrad Physicist at Oxford University (2014-2018)

I can’t remember who on Quora originally said this, but credit goes to whoever formulated this general idea:


We expect being a doctor to be really hard – that’s why they have to go to medical school for 7 years before they are allowed to call themselves a doctor.

Anyone who tries to claim they understand all about being a doctor without any training is frankly laughable.

And yet, with physics and maths, everyone seems to think that they, with a bit of intuition, can add something – or since they don’t believe something, it can’t be true. Here on Quora I see about 15 questions a day that say “can’t XX solve YY” where XX is dark matter and YY is consciousness – or whatever.

So why do people think they can contribute to physics/maths when they would never dream of saying to a doctor “have you never tried stopping the bleeding? That could stop people dying!”

It seems an odd dichotomy in humans.

So, without wanting to be mean:

Physics Research is hard. That’s why people have to train for 4 years to say they’re a physicist – 4 years of nothing but physics. How can it not be difficult if it takes that length of time to learn?

People who try and disprove physics with “logic” are essentially trying to skip this 4-year training phase – so should you take them seriously? Of course not – in the same way you shouldn’t take my advice on medical matters.

In conclusion: yes, advanced physics is very hard. It can take upwards of seven years to understand it to an acceptable level – and possibly even longer before you can even begin to make an impact on the subject.

So it takes education, training, experience and talent to come up with right answers — at least in, say, physics. A novice can’t just come along and jump right in to give the right answers. It is usually chaos.

So when someone comes along, like Herbert Armstrong, who turned out to be wrong about nearly everything, how is it that he has gained such credibility, even though he had such a dismal record, and for those who have an objective bent, had absolutely no real training, experience, education, talent and did no real valid research and work to obtain answers: He cheated and just copied all of that from someone else and assumed he had the right answers.

Are we supposed to take him seriously?

Seriously, no!

So how does it happen that this poorly educated, lazy plagiarist, fly-the-seat-of-his-pants philosophy salesman get such attention?

The truth is that Herbert Armstrong really didn’t know what he was talking about. That should be obvious from his failed prophecies based on the thoroughly debunked British Israelism.  The error was compounded by those trained at Ambassador College learning from those who do not know and they are busy training their legacy in ignorance as well. Meanwhile, they all assume that they know their stuff when they don’t. Anyone who is competent and qualified can see right through their abject nonsense, yet they have such hubris that they disdain people who oppose their insanity and actually treat them with contempt.

Here is something utterly aggravating:

Dr. Michael P. Germano

Back in 2008, Dr. Michael P. Germano worked for GCI and proved British Israelism false using DNA. Then he left for greener pastures and joined Living University to be the Chancellor of the ‘University’, which was the flagship educational vehicle for the Living Church of God under Roderick Meredith.No one can say that the LCG doesn’t know British Israelism is a crock and yet, British Israelism is now offered at Living University as a course, with the course code of THL 215, and it is entitled “The Lost Tribes of Israel”. No tribes were lost… not yet, anyway.

The faculty has to know that there are absolutely NO lost tribes of Israel. The course is being taught by Douglas Winnail. Here is the Course Prospectus For THL 215: The Lost Tribes of Israel in History and Prophecy.

Let’s have a quick look at the required reading list:

  • The Bible, preferably the NKJV [The NKJV is preferred mainly by proof-texting fundamentalists with little or no grasp of biblical scholarship.]
  • Bennett, W. H. The Story of Celto-Saxon Israel. Heber Springs, AR: The Covenant Publishing Company of North America, 2002. (ISBN 0818702907). [Can any good thing come out of Heber Springs? Call me cynical, but this doesn’t sound much like an academic textbook.]
  • Capt, E. Raymond. Missing Links Discovered in Assyrian Tablets. 13th ed. Muskogee, OK: Artisan Publishers, 2010. (ISBN 0934666156). [Capt was the author of a variety of crackpot works including A Study in Pyramidology and The Great Pyramid Decoded: God’s Stone Witness. He was also a fervent BI apologist.]
  • Ogwyn, John H. The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy. USA: Living Church of God, 2008. [This is on the reading list? A 48-page booklet? Not even an ISBN number.]

This is preposterous. The whole thing is a scam. It is yet another product of The Self-Made Armstrongist Experts who know nothing at all, but you’d better believe that if you oppose them you will incur their wrath. We’ve seen that on the various anti Armstrongist blogs: Angry people filled with hate making threats against those who have just proved the pet peeves of the Armstrongists to be kook ideas. Since they are self-made experts, they know that anyone who opposes them is wrong and feel free to let fly some of the most unChristian things you have ever seen, declaring that the targets of their wrath will assuredly suffer at the hands of God, seeing that, as one crackpot put it, “my angel is ever before God” and you can be sure that vengeance will be taken against anyone who opposes the self-made expert. We should observe that Ronald Weinland declared death upon several people for exposing him as a false prophet. That was back in 2008. The cursed people have lived on and prospered quite nicely, making the rest of us jealous that we weren’t cursed by the felon knucklehead. Perhaps new curses with different despots will invoke the Malachi 2:2 curse in reverse: Instead of cursing the Armstrongist 1% blessings, God will see to it that the Armstrongists 1% cursings will be turned to blessings. You never know. Hopefully, we don’t know because we aren’t the self-made experts the moronic fools of Armstrongism are.

Rely on Deuteronomy where it says to ‘fear them not’.

Unless you know that they have really good expensive lawyers.

With consultants like that, they don’t have to be experts in anything but choosing really good expensive lawyers, not that did any good for Ronald Weinland for his Felony Income Tax Evasion trial by the Justice Department, so maybe even if they DO have really good expensive lawyers, their incompetence will catch up to them.

The trouble is that they have been affected by the Dunning-Kruger Effect: They are so incompetent that they cannot even conceive of their incompetence. They are incapacitated.

The bottom line is that there is no reason to trust any of these Self-Made Armstrongist Experts. In fact, you shouldn’t listen to them at all. They don’t know what they are talking about.

And they haven’t even put forth ‘best effort’.

If there is a Lake of Fire, as they are thrown into it, they will be angry that God is being unfair and will not have a clue as to what they’ve done wrong….

Which brings us to…

Post-truth

What the??!!!

Post-truth has been designated as THE word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries:

“relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”

In other words, lies based on emotions used in order to distort the truth for the sake of making convincing arguments. It is useful for politics and religion.

But wait!

We’ve seen this sort of thing before… just where was it…?

Oh, yes, it was Stephen Colbert! Check it out at Comedy Central, October 17, 2005! From Wikipedia:

Truthiness is a quality characterizing a “truth” that a person making an argument or assertion claims to know intuitively “from the gut” or because it “feels right” without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or facts.

American television comedian Stephen Colbert coined the word in this meaning as the subject of a segment called “The Wørd” during the pilot episode of his political satire program The Colbert Report on October 17, 2005. By using this as part of his routine, Colbert satirized the misuse of appeal to emotion and “gut feeling” as a rhetorical device in contemporaneous socio-political discourse. He particularly applied it to U.S. President George W. Bush’s nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court and the decision to invade Iraq in 2003. Colbert later ascribed truthiness to other institutions and organizations, including Wikipedia. Colbert has sometimes used a Dog Latin version of the term, “Veritasiness”. For example, in Colbert’s “Operation Iraqi Stephen: Going Commando” the word “Veritasiness” can be seen on the banner above the eagle on the operation’s seal.

Truthiness was named Word of the Year for 2005 by the American Dialect Society and for 2006 by Merriam-Webster. Linguist and OED consultant Benjamin Zimmer pointed out that the word truthiness already had a history in literature and appears in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), as a derivation of truthy, and The Century Dictionary, both of which indicate it as rare or dialectal, and to be defined more straightforwardly as “truthfulness, faithfulness”. Responding to claims, Colbert explained the origin of his word as: “Truthiness is a word I pulled right out of my keister”.

Stephan Colbert was understandably ticked with the Oxford Dictionaries as having ripped off his term and expresses his ire on The Late Show:

Perhaps this is a bit above your intellectual level, so let the Wizard of Truth explain it:

 The truth is, as we have seen above, that Armstrongists are no strangers to Post-truth truthiness lies. Herbert Armstrong started with them in the Radio Church of God back in the 1930s and his hireling henchmen legacies have carried it forward to this very time. Yes, we can prove British Israelism is a fraud objectively, but what about the feelings that it is true? No one can certainly deny the feelings! So because you feel it is true, it really is true!

This raises a certain concern about some of the post Armstrongist blogs. Today [and we MEAN today!], Armstrongist apologists with absolutely no leg to stand on and not one shred of objective evidence take over blogs with their blathering claims, appealing to feelings. For example, Ian Boyle insists that the Gospels are reliable, while even the most supportive respondents say,

Byker Bob said…

Define “reliable”.

Regardless as to who wrote them, they do contain major nuggets of wisdom and Christian living principles that one would be wise to observe. An author’s name will neither diminish, nor enhance the basic goodness inherent in that.

I’m just not sure that one can use them to establish absolute legalism, as was done in our belief system of the past. That would be an unwarranted leap.

BB

and

Byker Bob said…

For me, the critical issue is the ability to recognize and practice good principles. What do atheists tell us? Many of them have commented that you can obtain the higher principles contained in the Bible from other sources, that they have been identified through the entire history of man amongst all civilized peoples, and are not exclusive to the Hebrews or those who lived in New Testament times. Paul commented that the gentiles often seem to have these resident in their minds as a natural law unto themselves.

So, you can trust recognizable goodness contained in the gospels. If they were about Gandhi, instead of about Jesus, would we even be having this discussion?

While objectively there is no proof, as long as we get something we feel good about, it’s worthwhile. Here, the approach is relatively harmless, but in other places it gets downright nasty:

Over the years you have academically speaking been completely dishonest in your analysis of our past experience. Statistically you have been wrong on 99 percent of everything you ever said. Your inability to ask questions speaks volumes.

Mikey is not sane

I would apreciate such humor if it weren’t for your continual lies. (which serve a good purpose I admit but you are a liar nevertheless, albeit for a good cause)

You are wrong 99% of the time.
You are also crazy.
Everyone can see that your research skills are nill to zero.

After this psychopathic nonsense a commenter finally responded:

Miguel de la Rodente said…
 

61 comments by nck. That’s got to be some kind of record. My critiques would be that in the course of that, he attacks someone who is known to be one of the more sane and rational voices on these blogs. Also, he poses as the all knowing teacher as if presenting priceless gems that some “finally get” so that his work is done and he can remove his posts. Those acts are rather telling. I don’t believe I’d want to do Dos Equis with this guy. Clearly, he’s not the worlds most exciting man. (See Dos Equis beer commercials for reference)

23 October 2016 at 03:29

What is happening on the post Armstrongist blogs is that there is a concerted effort by a few to make post-truth truthiness statements and, in this case (and the one to follow) to take advantage of a blog owner who is dying in order to get away with their lies (a rather contemptible practice).

In his Farewell to Arms, the last posting by Gavin Rumney before he died, Tom Mahon took advantage of the death of Gavin to spew forth his own brand of post-truth truthiness:

Well, well, well. Those that have read my comments here and elsewhere know that I am not noted for any sentimentality, but for analysing cause and effect. Cicero observed, “we must be able to see the effects, while they are still in the womb of their causes.”

I must confess that even I, with the eyes of an eagle, don’t always see the effects, but God, in his mercy, often closes the womb before it gives birth to effects that would overwhelm me. Thereby protecting me from the consequences of things I might say or do.Sadly, others have not been that blessed, so they have said things about God servants and his word that have been very foolish.

We all appreciated the perceptive observation of Opinionated:

Tom Mahon is another delusional crackpot. Typical armstrongist.

Mahon just kept the insults coming and here is the last one we’ll post here:

Anyone who attacks me is just harming him or herself, as my angel always beholds the face of my father who is in heaven.

I don’t personally have anything against Gavin, as I don’t know him. But over the past ten years or so, he spoke very ill of Mr Armstrong, the Apostle Paul and in his last post on Otagosh, he implied that the book by Grayling was better than the bible. That is blasphemy.

In addition, any time I posted a reply to much of the theological nonsense that Gavin supported, he moderated out my comments. At one time, he even blocked me from posting to his blog, while allowing idiots like Dennis, Douglas and all the others who are now saying what a nice guy he is or was.

Well, according to God, Gavin was not a nice guy, for he was hostile to God’s servants, and promoted theological heresy over the wholesome teachings of the bible.

So, he and his supporters have got some surprises coming, and I can assure him and them, they won’t be pleasant.

Even though Armstrongism entered the Post-truth era long ago, 2016 has been a banner year for the Cult of Herbert Armstrong Mafia to really show their colors as liars — rather strident obstreperous post-truthers, without one shred of humanity, befitting their narcissism, hubris and the lack of morals, ethics and propriety. It is chilling to imagine the long term effects of Armstrongism in the post Armstrong era, invoking the wonder of pondering the question of what the yet unseen and unaddressed issues there may be for those of us who have left the realm.

Meanwhile, while Armstrongists wallow in their cesspools of lies, distortions and delusions, we do hope that vainly that they will repent of their misdeeds. At the very least, we hope that there will be another Exodus, this time from the liars of the 1% who can never be trusted.

In the next post, we will consider 2017: What’s ahead.

In the meantime, consider this from AsapSCIENCE:

14 Replies to “The Self-Made Armstrongist Experts”

  1. Interesting, in reading the materials of both Ian Boyne and Tom Mahon, one comes away with an appreciation of the profound differences possible between two men of color. It’s a lesson in diversity to any who might be prone to the ignorant and unkind stereotyping and racial profiling generally learned in Armstrongism.

  2. ‘Back in 2008, Dr. Michael P. Germano worked for GCI and proved British Israelism false using DNA. Then he left for greener pastures and joined Living University to be the Chancellor of the ‘University’

    Germano and those who hired him have no ethics. It is like hiring someone to teach ethics that has several convictions for theft. What the hell, why is it no one in the LCG calling them to task on this?
    __________________________
    Miguel de la Rodente wrote:
    “Interesting, in reading the materials of both Ian Boyne and Tom Mahon, one comes away with an appreciation of the profound differences possible between two men of color.”

    Well Ian might be seeking answers, one cannot know for sure, Tom is picking fights. He has made himself known as a heartless sob. The vindictiveness of his posts is evidence enough against him.

    Ian I can agree to disagree with. He is peaceful enough and I would hope that he is trying to do the right thing in his eyes.

    Mahon on the other hand replies with the exact same line he did 10 years ago. I found many comments by him in the old version of Ambassador Watch. Most are exact copies, a cut and paste response.



    Clayton Bigsby; The Black, White Supremacist.
    This is humor by the most excellent Dave Chappelle.

  3. Ten years? It’s definitely a pathology then with Tommy. He needs a 12 step program to receive healing. Can you imagine all the negative karma and even persecution that has to have come his way as a result of that attitude of his??? Huge shoulder chip there!

  4. I am reminded of the Bob Newhart show, the one that portrayed him as a psychologist.

    He had a black man as a patient who insisted that people discriminated against him and didn’t like him because he was black. He had quite the temper and unleashed against people around him.

    Finally, Dr. Bob told him the truth and the man went outside the office to vent his rage in private.

    What Bob Newhart told him was that it wasn’t that people didn’t like him because he was black — they didn’t like him because he was nasty.

  5. I really believe that all of this started with Herbert Armstrong. He had this ethic that the end justifies the means. There are actually very few situations where this is an appropriate ethic to hold, but he had it consistently throughout his life. He’d lie and cheat because he thought that these were necessary to gain the end result he thought should happen. He just had to buy Steuben Crystal because he just had to have it to get into world leaders so he could “preach the gospel”, a ‘gospel’ it should be pointed out that was no gospel at all — it was some mythology about two trees, supposedly representing the gospel of give instead of get. Herbert Armstrong was blind to the fact that he should have had faith and have the ethic ‘to do the right thing because it is the right thing’ and trust that doing the right thing would always result in the right result. He was blind to that, even though he taught it. It’s an irony of hypocrisy where he so tightly compartmentalized that he could commit incest with his daughter without it bothering his conscience. He could demand tithes and preach false prophecy at the same time because it was the means to achieve the Kingdom of God… for HIM. He didn’t hold out much hope that the rest of us would ever make it unless we sacrificed everything to serve his interests so we could get into the Kingdom, just barely, on his Apostle assured coat tails.

    Are Ian Boyle and Tom Mahon any different? They firmly believe in the ethic that the end justifies the means and that one has to ignore any discrepancies brought forth objectively, because the Bible must be true, no matter what. Anyone who disagrees is fair game. Playing the bully and ignoring any rational discussion is absolutely necessary to attain the goal of achieving the results.

    In this scenario, there is absolutely no latitude for any other point of view. Period. The end justifies the means necessitates to preclude any other view but the very narrow restrictive compartmentalization which neither allows them to be wrong, nor their critics to be right.

    All’s fair in love and war, goes the old saw. The end justifies the means. The real end they are seeking is to maximize their dopamine levels. It makes them feel good — very good — to be right. They are religious junkies, high on the addictive drugs produced by their own bodies through the extreme behaviors they follow. Do NOT underestimate how POWERFUL this drive is. If they had humility and acknowledged that they are wrong, it could send them into miserable withdrawal, creating a circumstance where they could suffer extreme depression.

    To say, that’s really a sad commentary, but, really, it’s not my problem. Too bad.

    We’ve tried to help, but they aren’t hearing one word of it. They can’t. They would quickly deteriorate and be miserable. They just can’t have that.

    [You know, this is what I get for reading Quora which produces such gems about dopamine and proclamations by self-declared psychopaths who make it clear that if anyone opposes them, those opposing them will regret it because the psychopath is supremely confident in manipulating people and has no qualms to express his superiority publicly. And where have we heard that before?]

    A word to the wise should be sufficient.

    All others can suffer for their lack of wisdom. Life can be tough and challenging, particularly for those who aren’t paying attention.

  6. Miguel,thanks for your generosity of spirit.Much appreciated.Is the writer of this blog suggesting that I have been exploiting Gary’s openness to my contribution to his blog, and that Gary should censor me ?Is it his view that Armstrongites are not welcome on post-Armstrongite blogs? Just want to be clear.It is not my intention to impose myself on anyone or to turn up where I am not welcome.

  7. Anyone know where “Germs” stashed his proofs that B.I. was bogus? I found his old Bibarch website from 2,001, but couldn’t find the original article that I clearly remember reading probably sometime in 2003. Maybe it was purged, but as we all know, the internet is forever.
    Gotta be somewhere!

    I’m also curious about what new evidence or conclusions would have led to reverting back to the original Armstrong teaching, to point where he could actually teach it at Living Uniperversity.

    BB

  8. Ian,

    Of course your welcome here. We don’t censor anyone unless they start responding with riddles and as such.

  9. I’m sorry for the confusion Ian and perhaps you were not the best example in this situation. I apologize. You’ve conducted yourself well with respect and we admire that.

    Here’s a suggestion which may prevent any further grief: Sometimes the best way to ‘disagree’ with a position is to ask innocent looking questions — sometimes asking for clarification — to make the point that there may be much more to the issue that one with another position may have considered. At least that keeps the lines of discussion open.

    That said, many of us here at the Painful Truth have really had it up to here with some people who are strident with hubris, supremely confident in their nutty views who just won’t listen, nor consider factors which might prove them to be the nonsensical morons they are. Fortunately, we don’t consider you to be one of them, but, you know, sometimes there is collateral damage as we vent our frustrations, taking out our bile on people who absolutely won’t listen to reason and, better yet, have no conception of their own incompetence as we gleefully undermine them with our black humor and sarcasm — which many of them just don’t get, because it never occurs to them.

    This particular article was about the Armstrongism (and we’re aware of the discomfort of the term expressed over at Banned! so we have been trying to convert everyone to using CoHAM as being more accurately descriptive) with all its extreme idiotic outright lies, post-truth (more lies) and truthiness (which is, surprise, more lies). We like to make it clear that if we catch someone deliberately engaging in post-truth truthiness, we will get out the heavy artillery to shoot them down, hopefully leaving not much left but a few wings and feathers.

    Most of all, we strive to be cheerful adversaries, employing humor to rip the perps to shreds.

    And if we become irritating from time to time, we do expect folks to take it in stride with good humor.

    It’s the best way to live.

  10. Thanks, Mr. Editor, and Douglas for your kind and welcoming comments. And I am just realizing that it was you, Mr. Editor, who had commented favorably on Miguel’s kind reference to me. I am deeply grateful. I think we can incarnate the respect, generosity of spirit and honor that is possible between people who disagree intensely.
    This does not mean you guys have to be less strident . While I would welcome that, I don’t require it for dialogue. We can maintain respectful dialogue despite vehement disagreement.
    As humans we are fallible and, therefore, epistemic humility is a rational requirement. I am always acutely aware that I could be deluded.(And I know you are certain I am! LOL ) This does not cause me to suspend my beliefs, but it does prod me to be open to other perspectives. Thanks, guys, for your welcome and courtesies.

  11. ‘ I think we can incarnate the respect, generosity of spirit and honor that is possible between people who disagree intensely.’

    Yes, and that is what makes discussions fruitful. Mutual respect. I am not one that shuns the Golden Rule. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule

    So where would you like to start?

  12. I think we have already started! We simply have to continue in the same spirit. All the best for 2017.

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