"RCG Fruits" and More!

The following contribution is

by “Hoss Cartwright”


Dear Painful Truth,

After seeing articles like “RCG Fruits” and critiques on the latest singularity in the COG universe, I came up with this

 – To the tune of the Stonecutters song, The Simpsons, S06E12.

 

Who has all the doctrines right,

Who has the most well hit website?

 

We do! We do!

 

Who has the best Alexa score,

Who beats those who came before?

 

We do! We do!

 

Who says watching football’s bad,

Who says birthdays make God mad?

 

We do! We do!

 

Who proves all the others wrong,

Who has the best clone of Armstrong?

 

We do! We do!

We do! We do!

httpv://youtu.be/_ZI_aEalijE

 

James,

Thanks for the invitation to share some experiences. Also, another little ditty…

 

There is a saying, If you’re not confused, you’re not paying attention. Perhaps this is why I have no bad memories of my WCG days. Probably the strongest words a minister said to me came as a stinging critique of my first Spokesman’s Club speech, or during a sports event. (The aggressiveness of some ministers could lead one to write Should a Christian minister play basketball?).

 

Far worse were my religious experiences at home – my father’s family was strong German Catholic, my mother’s was anti-Catholic Scottish Protestant. I was the child brought up Catholic, to first communion and confirmation. Then one Sunday after summer vacation overseas I was told we’re all going to my mother’s church. I refused to go and got a one-week reprieve, but from the next Sunday, I had to attend Sunday school, services, fellowship, membership classes, outings, the works. My father’s decision to leave Catholicism and forcing me to join a Protestant church had more lasting impact than Joe Senior’s dismantling of HWA’s core doctrines.

 

The first time I heard GTA on radio, he was doing a “Panorama of Prophecy” series – a few months after a friend showed me a book about Nostradamus. The WCG did lead me to solving my Catholic/Protestant problem; when I left home I became a member.

 

My post-WCG enlightenment was realizing the poor, downright sloppy scholarship of HWA, Dr Hoeh and others. I never joined a splinter – each seemed to be based on being a “true” successor to HWA, along with many of the mistakes. I got involved with a Jewish community, and discovered the faulty premises of HWA’s exegesis. Instead of reading Rupert, Allen, and Mein Kampf, Herb should have used the Talmud in his research.

 

Reading stories in the Painful Truth, it is appalling to learn what some have suffered in their WCG and splinter experiences. So why do I stay involved in discussions of HWA and things of the past, which I personally survived unscathed? Perhaps it’s the same dreadful fascination we hold for things like Hitler and the Nazis. Or, as why George Bernard Shaw said he liked to listen to Brahms: To remind myself how bad he was.

 

In my Catholic days, I used to joke about Long Mass, Short Mass, and “Very Short Mass” – which I said consisted only of collection. “Collection” of course meant collecting money once or twice during mass. It’s interesting that the tithing doctrine finds itself in Catholic, Protestant and Cult groups; it’s one “Jewish” law that Christians keep but Jews don’t. When I started attending WCG services, stories were circulating about the infamous intellectual “Dr Martin” – but I didn’t know about his tithing research until years later. And to think that Joe Tkatch proclaiming the abolition of the triple tithing doctrine was meant to increase church income…

 

A blog author mentioned that Bob Thiel might get contributions from “a wandering Armstrongite”, which inspired this parody:

A Wondering Armstrongite I

– to the tune of the first ten lines of A wandering minstrel I, from The Mikado, Gilbert and Sullivan.

 

A wondering Armstrongite I

Of mind in tatters,

Unsure of just what matters,

And if and to whom I should tithe…

And if … and to whom I should tithe!

 

The list of COGs is very long,

Of every doctrine ranging,

With only one not changing,

To whom I must send my tithe!

To whom … I must send my tithe!

 

I’ve looked at Gerry, Ted, and Ron,

(Both Dart, and Weinland)

Wherever I could find them,

Of course they will tell you to tithe!

Of course… they will tell you to tithe!

 

Then there was Rod and Dick, and Dave,

And now I’ll visit Bob T,

The latest Herbert proxy,

Who says I can send him my tithe!

Who says … I can send him my tithe!

 

And then one day it dawned on me

That I could form my own COG,

With bank account and web log,

So now you can send me your tithe!

So nowyou can send me your tithe!

Ancient Athens didn't have politicians.

 By Tom Atlee


Few people realize that in ancient Athens – the original democracy from which modern democracies supposedly grew – no one was elected to be a representative. There were no public offices elected by the people. They just didn’t have politicians.*

They had voting, of course, because it was a democracy. But they voted for proposed laws, not for candidates. And they had a Council of 500 (the “boule”) who proposed laws for all the citizens to vote up or down in Athens’ participatory Assembly. Ah! So that’s a powerful role, being able to create the proposals that the people voted on! So how were those 500 council members chosen?

Well, believe it or not, those powerful people were ordinary citizens who had been chosen by lot – by random selection. And Athens’ democracy didn’t stop there. No way! Nearly EVERYONE holding public office or serving on a governing board was an ordinary person who had been chosen by lot. (The only exceptions were top military and financial posts, which constituted about 100 of the nearly 1000 government positions to be filled.)

In other words, Athens – that ancient city-state we consider “the birthplace of democracy” – was governed by randomly selected ordinary citizens.

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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.