From the standpoint of the Memorial Day Weekend in the United States,
May 26 – 28, 2012, many former members of the Armstrongist Churches of
God have questions: How does an obviously insane lying false prophet con
men become so entrenched in a cult like the PKG and why do people
continue to follow him even though it should be obvious that he has
As we introduce the answers anticipated by puzzled people, we call
attention to the Armstrongist Venn Chart above. Some people may say,
“Are you serious?” and “That can’t possibly be true!”. We are quite
serious and it is true, but it does require an explanation.
Venn Charts are graphic representations of the intersection, overlap
and exclusion of mathematically based sets. In this case, we represent
the intersection of the Abuser, the Narcissistic Psychopath and Liar. At
the region these three sets intersect, we find the Armstrongist Church
of God Minister. While an initial skepticism is anticipated, we will go
through the reasoning process to explain the conclusion.
First, we want to make it clear that every major problem in the
Armstrongist Churches of God came originally from Herbert Armstrong.
These problems are rooted in the narcissistic personality disorder of
Herbert Armstrong where he had no empathy for his followers. It should
further be noted that he had a set of delusions now thoroughly disproved
which formed the “collective conscience” of the basic church cult. At
the center of the delusions was British Israelism, the proposition that
the United States and British Commonwealth are supposed lost tribes of
Israel and that British Israelism is the Key to Prophecy for the
understanding of all key events to follow. This heresy of a preposterous
science fiction style alternative earth history was and is indeed the
Key to the failed prophecies of the Armstrongist ministry and leaders
from the very beginning in the Radio Church of God starting with Herbert
Armstrong, following down to this very day, where Ronald Weinland has
prophesied that Jesus Christ will return this weekend. British Israelism
is at the heart of it all and it completely invalidates all the
teachings of the Armstrongist Churches of God.
The delusions were extended through the silly history of the church
stolen from Dugger and Dodd who plagiarized it from Ellen G. White who
just made up the whole thing. We know and can prove that the Waldensians
considered themselves good Catholics and nothing more, never kept the
Sabbath, let alone the Holydays. This “True History of The True Church”
was nothing of the kind. It is thoroughly debunked and has been long
rejected by the original Church of God Seventh Day. In fact, The Church
of God Seventh Day had an article showing the folly of British Israelism
in The Bible Advocate in this past year.
Unfortunately, the mind set is obsessive and the current members of
the Armstrongist Churches of God simply refuse to look at the truth, let
alone accept it, particularly those following Ronald Weinland in the
A regular contributor to this forum mentioned in a posting that the
military made him a psychopath. This stems from the misunderstanding of
the difference between a psychopath and sociopath — a distinction which
is important to make because the goal of all major entities today,
including the Military, Corporations, Academia, Government and Religious
Corporations is to produce sociopaths to run them.
A psychopath has three major components [those who are interested in the details may check Snakes in Suits
by Dr. Paul Babiak and Dr. Robert Hare]: Narcissism encompassing a
complete lack of empathy, being devoid of conscience and game playing.
Psychopaths have a cycle of three acts: Assessment, Execution and
Abandonment. The first step of Execution is to wreck the credibility of
those who can expose the con for what it is. Psychopaths love to play
games and cut it close in brinkmanship to see just how far they can push
Sociopaths, by contrast, usually don’t actively play games, but more
important have something called a “conditional conscience”. This
“conditional conscience” is extremely important because it sets the
bounds of what the Sociopath generally will do and won’t do. An example
of this is the Mafia where any illegal or immoral act may be committed
from prostitution, murder, drug trafficking to identity theft, upon
those outside the Mafia. The “conditional conscience” is endemic to
protect the Mafia itself and such activities are severely proscribed
from being transacted against the internal members of the Mafia.
This is important, because of issues of loyalty which underlie the
core basis of a group. In the military, for example, the soldiers have
their conscience suspended to go out and kill the enemy, but if the
military goes too far and produces psychopaths instead of sociopaths,
there will be a discipline problem and internal chaos will result. The
same principles apply to Corporations, Academia, Government and
particularly Cult Religions. Certainly, the end justifies the means, but
the Leader is sacrosanct, raised to the level of a saint or even a god;
his lieutenants also have a great deal of prestige for the purposes of
group survival and stability.
Thus it is that Herbert Armstrong established Ambassador College for
the effective generation of Sociopaths. Given the characteristics of
Sociopaths and having had Herbert Armstrong as the first Mafia Don, the
success of a consistent generation of Sociopaths to “do the Work” is
consumate. It was an amazing job to take moral, even decent students
entering the machine in their freshman year and to have their
consciences turned and burned into conditional ones in four short years.
Delusion, fear, guilt, avarice and many other clever devices were used
to transform simple students into polished socially ept attractive
The real problem was that the world has changed and eventually, the
one holding the entire cult together with the force of his will died.
The 700+ cults are having difficulty with the competition from
Sociopaths within and outside the Armstrongist “community” in at “dog
eat dog” world of survival of the fittest. Evolution has left
Armstrongists in entropy.
Sociopaths and psychopaths traditionally have poor behavioral
controls. This is well exhibited in the temper of Roderick Meredith or
Don Haney. This is further degraded precipitously by temptations: Both
money and narcissistic appealing ego stroking are nearly irresistible to
those who have been brain washed into the thinking “quality” of things
is superior to actual intangible values. It is no accident that there is
a heavy dependence on rigid rituals: What to wear to church, what you
can and can’t do on the Sabbath and Feast Days, what percentage of your
income you give and for what purposes, what you can and cannot eat and
so forth. These are set as limits for the Sociopath “contextual
conscience” because making real moral and ethical choices can be quite
confusing to the Sociopath. When in doubt, have an explanation for every
little thing and have rules which can be remembered easily (or better,
written and posted by the door).
As the personal restrictions were lifted from those who were under
the Draconian and arbitrary control of Herbert Armstrong after he died,
those who had sufficient power threw off the shackles to indulge
themselves to wallow in the new freedom from behavior controls and
restrictions. There was War. As things sorted themselves out, many
became leaders in their own right with a fiefdom of their own to be
absolute gods over the hapless and often clueless sheople.
Abuse abounds in such venues as both assault and neglect. Abuse may
simply be a matter of collateral damage of self serving self interest
amongst the narcissists in power who really don’t care much about anyone
Whether conscious of it or not, those in power have been liars from
the beginning. Since those of us in an Anti Armstrongist role have
exposed the fraudulence of the lies, particularly in the last two years,
the ministry and administration has no excuse and at some level know
the truth, but they continue to lie to you and take your money.
These are only part of the temptations they face and they yield to
them, thus passing from Sociopath to the games playing psychopath role.
There is one more factor to complete the picture of our Venn Graph: A new term known as “Psychopath by Day”.
This should be familiar — at least in principle — to those who have
read “Moral Mazes” by Robert Jackall. As a mid manager said in an
interview for the book, what is right and moral is what the guy above
you wants from you. That is to say, a “conditional conscience” loyal to
the leadership in the hierarchy.
This is made possible by bracketing misdeeds through
compartmentalization. Thus a CEO can lie, steal, even murder, pollute
the world, outsource, destroy careers and the competition, then go home,
be a wonderful father, husband, sit down to tea with the utmost social
graces and recycle. Make no mistake: Many of the Armstrongist Ministers
are monsters, but can appear pleasant and affable to those who may have
impact on their agenda. It should also be pointed out that neurology
research has demonstrated that those who deliberately lie actively
destroy portions of their brains to make it into white mental mush.
This, in turn, makes it easier to practice deception effectively. Being
able to practice deception and lie convincingly is called “Executive
Ability”. In recent studies, it has been shown that these “Executive
Abilities” stem from childhood and set when children learn to lie
effectively. So remember, the higher the rank of the minister, the more
“Executive Ability” he has, and it is likely you can determine exactly
how much he has if you were able to be privy to his brain scans (which
would also reveal tangibly whether he is a psychopath or not).
Thus we validate our Venn Diagram.
The Venn Diagram also explains such people as Ronald Weinland.
But what of the followers?
We will cover that next time in Part II.