Did you know that there is a group of Sabbath keeping Mormons?
Certainly, the Armstrongists do not have a lock on claiming to keep
the Sabbath as a part of keeping the Ten Commandments as a part of
keeping God’s Law. Certainly, there is the Church of God, Seventh Day —
several of them, in fact — so many of them you might not be able to keep
them straight. There is the Seventh Day Church of God, which not only
keeps the Sabbath, but has kept the Holydays since 1919: They took
notice of Gilbert G. Rupert early on — long before Herbert Armstrong was
taught personally by Jesus Christ to keep them [the author hopes that
those reading this have a finely honed sense of irony]. [In case you are
wondering, and do not have access to the Herald of Truth, Paul
Woods produces the Holyday Calendar for the Seventh Day Church of God
presently.] There are also those who actually don’t much deserve
mention, such as the Seventh Day Baptists and the Seventh Day
Adventists. In a totally illogical way, these two groups manage to keep
the Sabbath (?) and Christmas and Easter — and to the Armstrongist mind,
that’s just wrong.
One wonders with all the claims and counter claims of those keeping
the Sabbath, and some of them managing to declare themselves holier than thou
in spite of some nagging inconsistencies in their actual practices,
just how deep the sincerity of committment might actually be? As one,
myself, who lives on a good example of others,
it certainly gives me pause to observe people coming into Sabbath
services with an obviously fresh latte they just purchased at a drive
through; it gives me pause to hear talk of their plans to eat out
immediately after services and long before sunset, at Denny’s, Sherri’s
or something even more upscale. There are those disturbing accounts in
Ezra and Nehemiah about related commercial enterprises, after all.
Now mind you, Grace Communion International, A.K.A WCG, if only they
could get the State of Washington to recognize their name change,
corporately speaking, really doesn’t have a problem. Any day and every
day is good to worship the Lord and spend time with him. Last Sabbath,
Larry Pate pointed out while giving a sermon on I Thessalonians that we
should have Jesus Christ as our Lord. It was his perspective that in the
old Armstrongist Worldwide Church of God, it was far too often that the
Law was our Lord, not Jesus Christ. Even if I don’t agree with the
Grace Communion International, I have to admit that Mr. Pate has a
Nevertheless, this is not a discussion of religion, per se. It is not
a discussion about theology. It is not a discussion, even about
the Sabbath, per se. This is about hypocrisy. Let me just say that the
examples that I see among all the Churches of
God — and not just the Armstrongist ones — is a tad disappointing. I
don’t care myself if you keep the Sabbath or you don’t keep the Sabbath.
My concern is about people who claim to keep God’s Law, the Ten
Commandments and claim to keep the Sabbath, and, yet, offer
irreconcilable contradictions in their practices.
I’m not the only one to wonder about this issue. Art Bradic and
Dennis Fischer coauthored a book called “A Sabbath Test” where you can
find over at the Eternal Church of God Website: http://www.eternalcog.org/ecgbooks/stdirectory.html Their
approach was just to lay out the case that we should not engage in
commerce on the Sabbath by eating out on the Sabbath — if we’re going to
keep the Sabbath, anyway. Their approach is something like: we’re comrades at arms, spiritual brothers — we’d like you to consider this.
It isn’t in the typical Armstrongist take-no-prisoners,
you’re-headed-for-the-lake-of-fire, cut-off-from-God approach. But for
all that, the reaction, particularly amongst the ministers and
leadership of all the major Armstrongist Churches of God is nothing
short of astonishing: Everyone of them is vehemantly opposed to the
Bradic / Fischer approach and have universally condemned them for their
efforts. Dennis Fischer documents this fairly well over at his website: http://www.blowthetrumpet.org/HonoringGodsSabbath.htm
There’s stiff opposition from United, Living, Restored and the Church
of the Great God. John Rittenbaugh, Director of the Church of the Great
God, declared that the authors of A Sabbath Test were, at minimum, demon influenced, if not outright possessed, making that conclusion without reading a single word of the text.
It was just a few years back, three or four, I think, if I remember
correctly, that Dennis Fischer told me at Sabbath services at the UCG in
Redmond, Washington, that many of the brethren were beginning to
consider the questions brought forth in the booklet. At the time, he was
good friends with Dennis Luker and often gave Bible Studies in his own
home. The leadership in Cincinnati, as they do, set forth to study the
issue. Usually, such commissions to the Council of Elders drags on for
years, what with their bureaucratic processes of governance and all, but
this time, the retribution
decision was as swift as it was decisive: Dennis Luker [the next
president of the UCG, presently packing his bags] had to tell Dennis
Fischer that even though they were friends, well… you know…. Bible
studies in Mr. Fischer’s home soon were dropped mysteriously from the
UCG church schedule and finally, he moved away to Montana, to be in more
direct contact with Art Braidic and the members of the Eternal Church
of God there.
United, for sure, uses the ad hominum argument that Art Braidic has done something
which would prevent them from allowing him to be a minister in the UCG.
I would like to remind the UCG that they have some much more dirty
laundry in their closet which I disclosed a while back and their
performance was less than stellar. I paid the lawyer’s fees for the stalked couple
and I sat in the courtroom after all. I really don’t think that United
has any cause to cast the first stone, so to speak, but, then that’s
ancient history, as is the events which they recount in United
concerning Mr. Braidic. If they’d like to use that as an excuse, then
they probably don’t have much to say about the coauthor. What a bunch of
But there’s more.
There wasn’t just opposition. There were excuses. Can you imagine how
many excuses the Armstrongist Churches of God could possibly give for
breaking the Sabbath by eating out in a Restaurant? Would you say 5? 10?
20? 25? Nope. Thirty excuses. As my friend Wally Hensen in the Seventh
Day Church of God says, “If you need an excuse, any one will do”.
I am well known for being that take-no-prisoners, in-your-face
approach to hypocrisy. I’d probably be fighting along side the
Maccabeean brothers. If you remember, the last thing I said to the
Armstrongists, particularly to the UCG, was: judgment, if any, awaits. I
figure that after all of those years of being yelled at as being evil
and wicked and made to sing Psalm 51 year after year at the “Passover”,
while considering that great and perfect stellar example of the ministry
and the Armstrong lead Worldwide Church of God — and the even worse
judgmental Radio Church of God — it is high time that the Armstrongists
get a taste of their own medicine, particularly since they seem caught
up in their own self-righteous narcissistic universe. It is something
they long richly deserved.
On the other hand, is the kindness and gentle, if not genteel, loving
approach of Art Braidic. He just wants his brothers in the church and
ministry to have the blessings of God.
I plan to see Art Braidic this September in Montana. I might even consider singing The Holy City again
at the Feast after a four year hiatus from the Red Lodge site. And I
have a question for him — albeit a rhetorical one: Just which approach
has worked with the leadership and ministry of the major Armstrongist
churches of God — mine or his? We all now know the answer, but it will
be fun to ask just the same.
Speaking of the Feast, has anyone considered that $832+ and on up to
$1,552 cruise out of Seattle to Alaska, offered by the Church of God,
Big Sandy? They meet the first two days of the Feast of Tabernacles at
the Edgewater Inn in Seattle. On Friday afternoon, they board the
Holland America Cruise Lines ship, the M.S. Zaandam, arriving at their
first port of call in Juneau, Alaska that following Sunday. Services
will be from 8 to 9 AM daily except for Wednesday, September 29th, when
services are not planned. The Last Great Day will aboard ship as they
arrive in the evening in Victoria, B.C. Canada. Sounds fun. Not too much
religion at one hour per day — but it is awfully early. And on the
Sabbath and the Holy Day, the manservants and maidservants of the
Holland America Cruise Lines will be at your beck and call to cook up
and serve you anything you want. Even if you choose buffet, the Captain
and First Mate are in the wheel house on the Sabbath and Last Great Day,
sailing the ship. The Church of God, Big Sandy, as you recall is one of
the 40+ churches split away from United, and the CoG, BS is growing a
lot faster and have a lot of fun programs (like the Boy Scouts) for
participating members. One wonders if Ezra and Nehemiah are rolling over
in their graves.
The CoG, BS cruise is reminisent of the single’s United Cruise down
to Mexico. On the Sabbath, the ship was in port. Most of the members
went out on the beach to go parasailing, while the minister hid on board
ship. I’m guessing that the UCG has to keep the fun stuff for the 20
somethings to keep them interested, keeping the Sabbath be damned. …and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play. Or
maybe United is a bit closer to the Grace Communion International folks
than we would have surmised. Given United’s recent woes, the time may
be ripe for some sort of corporate merger — if only the Chairman of the
Board can somehow be persuaded to embrace less conservative values.
Beware of the leaven and all that. Like so many corporate sociopaths,
they’d like you to accept what you are told and go your way. I have for
the past 2+ years [and had great peace, finally walking away from the
Armstrongist cultists], but every once in awhile it’s good for folks to
have a reality check again — particularly with people we all know are
about as far from reality as their high concepts can take them. They can
hearken back to Herbert Armstrong, but I’ve had side conversations with
his personal chef awhile back and as sure as death, taxes, revenge and
the fury of a woman scorned, cannot, for the life of me, understand how
anyone can claim to be keeping the Sabbath while demanding that his man
servant cook something up for him on the Sabbath because he has a
hankering for some food morsel or other. Perhaps, someone should do an
investigation of what ever happened to that peacock on the AC campus.
Delicious, was it? Cooked on the Sabbath? We wouldn’t wonder.
Meantime, I’m just as puzzled as ever: The claims about keeping the
Sabbath make no sense at all — the behavior and bad example confuse me.
The excuses anger me. If you’re going to keep it, keep it; if not, just
give up making any claims about it.
I just had a thought: I wonder if I could find some Sabbath keeping Scientologists to visit. It makes about as much sense.
Herbert Armstrong, Spiritual Mafia Godfather
I have to admit that sometimes I can be pretty dense, although, in my
defense, even highly qualified experts who should know better sometimes
miss the point. It was only last year did something come clear to me
because of an experience I had with a young man who was not exactly who
he seemed to be. As a result, it would seem time to clarify the
distinctions between the pure narcissist, psychopath and sociopath.
My introduction to the concept of narcissists came from William D. Meyer over at the main website for the Painful Truth:
It was very helpful to me, personally. I wondered about some people I
knew personally, and this helped me immeasurally in my personal and
professional life. It suddenly made sense to me when I dealt with people
who were the center of their own universe and could in no way relate to
others in a personal way or even acknowledge other people’s worth
except for what they did personally for the narcissist himself or
herself. I also had unfortunate interactions with Dr. Sam Vaknid and
bought his book. I can agree with one thing he said in his book, Malignant Self Love — Narcissism Revisited:
“My disorder is here to stay, the prognosis is poor and alarming”. The
Narcissist has no empathy for others. The Narcissist will never change.
Everyone else who comes into the life of the Narcissist will probably
end up to be collateral damage.
So I thought Narcissists were really bad. But there are worse things
in this world. I was in the locker room at Balley’s Pac West after a
workout when a retired doctor who also worked out there told me about
Dr. Robert Hare and his book: Without Conscience — The Disturbing World of Psychopaths Among Us.
“It’s a fun read,” the retired doctor said. After my experiences with
them, and especially a Church of God psychopath leader [well documented
by a psychiatrist], I conclude that the read might be fun, but actual
experience with them, not so much. I’ve never been so miserable in my
life as when I’ve been forced to deal with psychopaths. Dr. Hare wrote
another, more useful and useable book with a colleague: Snakes in Suits — When Psychopaths Go to Work. Snakes in Suits
unveils the basic patterns of the Psychopath: Evaluation, manipulation,
abandonment. They are the risk-taking game players. Ironically, a story
in the book tells of how a psychopath ripped off a church. It appears
to me — and this is just my thinking — that the highest concentration of
psychopaths are in Jails / Prisons, Corporations, Government and
Churches. Otherwise, they are 2% or so of the general populace. However,
statistics are hardly comforting if you end up being on their radar.
You are going to be toast. They have the talent to con just about
everybody and rip them off royally.
Along the way, people have asked me whether Herbert Armstrong was a
psychopath. I have told them universally that I did not know. For one
thing, anyone with a high vocabulary is not easy to spot as a
psychopath, and, although, as with everything with Herbert Armstrong
exaggerated to be bigger than life, and although perhaps his vocabulary
was not as high as he’d like to have believed, it still would certainly
cloud the issue.
Two years ago I encountered a young man who seemed sincere and quite
religiously pious. He said and seemed to do all the right things. He had
quite a family history which many would find somewhat disturbing, but
he seemed OK. My radar was on for Narcissists and Psychopaths, but I was
missing the final piece. I could not for the life of me figure this guy
out. I wondered what was going on. He seemed to familiar to me, but I
couldn’t put my finger on it.
After quite a bit of research, I discovered the rather unexpected
answer: He was a sociopath. Before you begin jumping to any conclusions,
let me say that Dr. Robert Hare says that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
(DSM IV) is wrong. It confuses the distinction between sociopaths and
psychopaths. A little more research revealed the difference: While
psychopaths are narcissistic, have no conscience and play games with
people, the sociopath is narcissistic, has a situational conscience and
is an opportunist.
What is a situational conscience?
A situational conscience is a conscience which is activated within a
sociopath for a particular venue. That is to say that a sociopath may
very well have no problem at all murdering, lying and theft with the
general public, but for his particular social association, he may hold
it anathema to do so with a particular segment of his social group. For
example, the sociopath I knew hates all other men and he would have no
problem hurting them — even killing them, but he would NEVER even think
of hurting or doing anything bad to the women of his own family.
A perfect example of sociopaths is represented by the Mafia: They may
murder, steal, lie, run illegal gambling and prostitution rings, cheat
and sell drugs. Nevertheless, Mafia members would never do that to other
Mafia members. It would probably mean death. Their sociopathic behavior
is compartmentalized to the world outside of their own social group.
And, of course, the one who holds the whole thing together is the
If you view Herbert Armstrong as the Spiritual Mafia Godfather, it
explains a lot. In the Radio Church of God and later in the Worldwide
Church of God, his behavior was not that far off the mark as a sociopath
acting as a Godfather. He generally took care of his family. He
protected his son, even as GTA committed reprehensible acts. He took
care of his wife and daughters, albeit there seems to be some
aberrations in that regard. He took care of his closest lieutenants, as
long as they did what he wanted them to do. He viewed the rest of us as
the sort of plebians which carried out the operations and supported the
main Family. At this point, Tkatch’s “We are Family” just doesn’t seem
that appealing. It would be natural for him to fall prey to a sociopath
who made outrageous claims of being connected to the Mafia.
The Worldwide Church of God was filled with outrageous anomalies. Men
who became ministers married coeds who had been date raped by GTA. Some
of them made it all the way to be Evangelists — all the while knowing
the truth. It was natural that Roderick Meredith would be seen by
Herbert Armstrong as his loyal “enforcer” — hard, harsh, cruel, but
loyal to the Godfather himself. People ended up engaging in and subject
to all sorts of conduct that was illegal, immoral and unethical. Herbert
Armstrong himself said it was OK to lie to the general populace in
order to bring them to “the truth” whatever that was. Personal opinions
of the Godfather became doctrine, just as does in the Mafia. He had all
the control and power. No one could oppose him.
Herbert Armstrong could be very nice to those he though were
“important” and could be of use to him. I think, though, as aggressive
and manic as he was, Herbert Armstrong was an opportunist. He didn’t
aggressively play games and play people, but he wasn’t above engaging in
opportunities when they came his way. For example, he honored and held
up his eight Japanese “Sons” and even threatened to leave us all in
favor of them. Stanley Rader was an opportunity he could not pass up,
particularly because Rader straightened out the business end of things.
But to make him an Evangelist after baptizing him in a bathtub? Well,
you know, it’s important that Godfather makes it clear what kind of
treatment of honor and respect someone gets in doing his work and
providing him service. After all, the end justifies the means, just as
it does in the Mafia. As long as the Godfather and his work was
promoted, all else could be forgiven.
So now my training is complete and I have the trinity of narcissim
well defined and nailed down: Good enough for practical use in daily
life. My advice to you is the same as I take myself: As much as lies
within us, avoid Narcissists, Psychopaths AND Sociopaths. Our lives are
better off for it. Unfortunatly, I work for them, so there isn’t that
much escape, but at least I understand their deviant nuttiness.
I hope that my experiences will be of practical benefit for you.
Years back, I had the responsibility to do some work to prepare the
Weyerhaeuser Mill in Valliant, Oklahoma for the Year 2000. I wasn’t
certain what to expect. What I found was most unexpected.
The then Weyerhaeuser Mill was the largest mill of its kind in the
world. In scale, you might think of a gear the size of one inside a old
style Swiss watch or even a gear in a car. In the mill, a gear was
typically a minimum of 6 feet across (about two meters for you in the
rest of the world). Everything there was huge!
Paper mills work using wood pulp “digested” and pressed into kraft
paper using 430 degrees of heat. The “digesting” part causes sulphur,
turpentine and chlorine to be airborne and quite pervasive. The smell of
the place was not unlike a hospital surrounded by a forest in hell. It
got into everything. The way to survive it was to go to the mill to do
the work, return to the motel room and take a shower. Taking a shower in
the morning before leaving for the plant was useless. Before the
shower, I would put my clothes I wore that day into a black plastic
garbage bag and put that bag inside another black plastic garbage bag.
One of my colleagues had travelled by jet back to corporate
headquarters. He had papers from the office at the mill in his brief
case. All he did was open the briefcase. Immediately, the smell was all
over the jet cabin and many people on board became sick.
I thought I would be smart: When I arrived home, I got the washer
started and dumped my clothes on the bed, thinking to put them in the
machine presently. Immediately, everyone in the house wanted to know if
the sewer had backed up. I should have dumped the clothes directly from
the garbage bags into the washer, but it was far too late. It took two
hours to air out the house — with the plastic garbage bags outside in
The mill controller told me that a very clean living Mormon family
man had worked at the mill for 20 years and retired. He moved away and
shortly died of cancer. The controller told me that he was convinced
that the chlorine, sulphur and turpentine had killed him. It was
difficult to see it any other way.
The remarkable thing was that after almost exactly six months, people
who worked continuously at the mill stopped smelling the chlorine,
sulphur and turpentine. Anyone who suddenly told their coworkers that
they couldn’t smell it anymore had their coworkers go, yup, he’s been here six months.
In 2009, I went to the first day of the days of unleavened bread with
the UCG in Tacoma. It had been over three years, and I was only
there for my wife’s sake. I no sooner walked through the door than the
minister came by and told everyone in hearing range that I was stubborn.
He later told my wife to force me to return to United. Her reaction was
that she couldn’t make me do anything. Besides, who was the minister to
make such outrageously presumptuous demands? I remembered very well the
circumstances with my last contact with the minister: He lied to me,
broke his promises, falsely accused me and lied to others about me [I
can ruin my own reputation just fine on my own without help from a UCG
minister, thanks loads]. Besides being vain to the point of considering
taking group photographs of himself, he engineered some of the most
illegal, immoral and unethical acts I have seen outside corporate
In order to make the whole stalking case go away, he offered the UCG couple a bribe. What do you want the most,he
asked? “Oh, I’d really like to go to the Feast in Alaska,” was the
reply. So instead of doing the I Corinthians 5 thing and putting the
immoral stalker out of the church for a time until he, well, stopped
stalking church members, the minister offered a bribe to keep the whole
thing out of court. He issued a check out of third tithe, taking it from
whatever hapless widows and orphans there might be, and gave it to the
stalked. Before the ink dried, they deposited it and got tickets to
Alaska… and filed suit in court. It was a win-win for them. United, not
so much. You must admit it was a clever ploy, though. I think the
minister more than met his match.
So when I walked into the UCG services in 2009, the arrogance of the
minister hit me every bit as hard as the stench of the Weyerhaeuser
mill. It stinks, it really does. I realized then that I had been in the
stench since 1964 when I first attended with the Radio Church of God. I
was 17 and naive. My sense of discrimination was simply not present. I
could not sense the arrogance. I thought these people were gods — a
simpleton from the hinterland of a farming community subjected to the
sophisticated city folk. I was, in that environment, under those
circumstances, extremely poor and cut off from my own folks, subject to
the tender mercies of those godlets in sheep’s clothing, persuaded to
commit the best and the rest of my life to Herbert Armstrong with no
hope of being or achieving anything in this life. Hooray, I was on the
bottom. The lowest of the low. I had no status whatsoever. I lived as
best I could on less than minimum wage. Often, I fasted because I
actually had nothing to eat. I paid my full tithe on my gross income
before anything else and “Second Tithe” as well. At the best of times, I
had $3.25 to last me a fortnight until the next paycheck. Needless to
say, I lost a lot of weight and was quite gaunt. It wasn’t really that
healthy, but I thought I was happy, giving my life to God and all.
It was only later — much later — that I realized that I was giving my
life to a parasite who never even knew who I was: Just another face in
the crowd of 6,000 people for the two hours he stood at the podium at
the Feast of Tabernacles. I was dirt poor and he was wealthy beyond the
hopes of avarice. Because I grew up in a Catholic Parochial school, I
thought Herbert Armstrong had a vow of poverty and chastity, just like
the Catholic Sisters. After all, he said he didn’t really own anything.
It was later that I began to see the arrogance of Herbert Armstrong. I
got to perceive the arrogance of Roderick Meredith. I’ve gotten
experience first hand with the arrogance of Joseph Tkach, Senior.
It stinks. It all stinks. It stinks to high heaven.
Well, you know. After being out of the stench of Armstrongism for a
few years, you don’t appreciate what you are missing, until the day you
walk back into it. Then it hits you. It is overpowering. But then, I
didn’t and don’t have to put up with it. I don’t attend United any
longer. I don’t attend any Armstrongist church. Oh, a visit now and then
for reasons other than spiritual health, because they don’t offer much
in the way of anything spiritual. They don’t recognize the fact that
they are empty. If you attend services with the Armstrongists, it is
highly likely you will hear about their support programs, or,
Scripturally, be regaled with the minutia and unnecessary details of the
weights and measures of utinsels in the Arc of the Covenant.
They are utterly devoid of spirituality, let alone humanity, because
they are used to they way they are treated: With dignity, honor and
deference. They don’t seem to realize that I’ve very much outgrown them
and have no need for them any longer. They never had that much to offer
in the first place and they have nothing to offer now.
I also have the benefit of the experience of the non Armstrongist
Sabbath keeping churches of God. You’d be surprised how like the
Armstrongist churches of God are at first glance. There’s not much
difference in the doctrines, but there is a very great difference in the
way people are treated. The minister is an unpaid volunteer who has a
day job. I can actually talk to and relate to the minister. He’s just a
regular bloke without the “halo glow” about him. There’s equality among
the people. The standards are quite different. After awhile, you recover
from the stench of the Armstrongists and wonder what you ever saw in
them. They no longer seem bigger than life. The Armstrongists merely
seem terribly pathetic.
The arrogance of the Armstrongists hit you when you come through the
door. You can smell the stench when you read their magazine. You get the
stench from their website. You can see the stench from the telecasts
and podcasts. And heaven fore-fend, you can really get the stench at the
Feast of Tabernacles when they declare the Word of the Lord and how the
Statutes, Laws and Judgments of God are going to be applied in the
Millennium and in the Second Resurrection: An eye for an eye and a tooth
for a tooth, as the judges determine. You can get the stench of
nuttiness from their arrogance from their sermons — they are right and
you are wrong and THEY ARE IN CHARGE! THEY HAVE THE POWER!
In case you were wondering about that Weyerhaeuser Mill in Valliant,
Oklahoma? Weyerhaeuser sold its entire Containerboard Packaging Business
in 2008, replete with over two dozen plants and several mills,
including the one in Valiant, to International Paper Company.
International Paper was under-capitalized and nearly immediately closed
one of the three lines at the mill and laid off 60 people — a hard hit
in an already depressed part of the country. I presume that the stench
continues, just at a diminished capacity, for a mill that opened in 1982
and decreased the adult illiteracy rate from 55% in that area to 45%.
I’m thinking that illiteracy will go even higher than original. It’s sad
that the buffet 14 miles from the mill, featuring deep fat fried
catfish will have fewer customers. By the way, if you ever go there, or
anywhere in Valiant, be sure to bring cash, because no one accepts
credit cards, not even Visa. But the King’s Motel still accepts paying
guests by the hour.
So I hope you learn something from this: There is a stench to the
arrogance of the Armstrongists. But beware: Stay with them for six
months and you won’t notice it any more. But it could kill you.
Those fun guys at the University of Toronto have done it again!
They’ve discovered the secret to Executive Ability! After gathering all
the data, the jury is in. Executive Ability is developed early in a
child’s life. After the age of six or seven, it’s too late to develop
it. One has to have the practices of Executive Ability down pat early
on, in order to win the favor of, and, direct others. The methodology
must be seamlessly integrated into the child’s life to be successful as
an adult. Otherwise, expect to be second rate: You’ll never rise to the
Executive Levels of say, the President of the United States or be a
successful Cult Leader, which is the same in the thinking of some
circles. Corporate America falls all over itself to secure these people
who have achieved Executive Ability as Children. Corporate HR is
interested in seeking you out if you have it.
What those lads at the University of Toronto found is that children
who learn to lie successfully and skillfully develop Executive Ability.
No one else need to even bother to apply. You just don’t have what it
takes to con your way into a comfy position.
It’s bad enough that people with influence are delusional, but it’s
really terrible when they look you right in the eye and lie to you
without so much any kind of indication of lying.
Lying is not limited to the Armstrongist Churches of God. Neither are
takeovers. Excesses and abuses are universal and you can find bad
examples nearly anywhere.
The Church of God Seventh Day had a fairly strong presence in the
Tacoma area at one time. There were were as many members in CoG7 as
there were in the WCG back when. They had developed their own property
and built a church building. In due time, though, as things would have
it, eminent domain took over and they sold the property and moved. There
is an hospital where the old church building used to be. The
transaction netted them $300,000.
They rented a nice facility across the bridge and met there. Things
were going pretty well, but some of the younger members wanted more,
especially for their children — a step up, if you please, from the more
traditional services. They hired a Church of God Seventh Day youth
minister from Lodi, California — a man who had grown up in the church
and who wrote his master’s thesis on Dugger and Dodd. His wife also is
related to one of them. His dad is a minister. He has five brothers in
They brought him in and things began to change. He and his wife were
attractive and charismatic. They were both musically talented and sang.
They formed a praise worship band for church. He was so smooth, butter
wouldn’t melt in his mouth. He could charm the socks off a fox.
At this point, I’m reminded of the story of the Arab and the camel.
The Arab set up his tent in the desert at evening and went inside to
sleep. The camel complained, “I’m cold, could I stick my nose in to get
it warm?”. “No,” the Arab said! “But it’s just my nose,” the camel
whined. “No,” the Arab said, “you’ll stick in your nose and the next
thing you’ll come right in, lift off the tent, walk off and I’ll be left
in the cold!”. “No, I won’t,” the camel promised, “please!? Please!!??
PLEASE!!!??? I promise”. The Arab began to lose his resolution. The
camel continued to whine and promise. Finally, the Arab said, “OK, but
just your nose!”. So the camel stuck in his nose, his body followed, he
lifted up the tent and made off with in into the desert, leaving the
Arab high, dry and cold.
The man — we’ll call him Chris — got tight with all the younger
families. He made himself the chairman of the church board. Chris made
himself the head of the Christian Rock Band Group with something like
twelve members, including a synth keyboard player whose name would be
familiar to all of you in this area. There was a lot of praise worship
involving music at over 85 decibels, the threshold of pain. I know
because I brought a Radio Shack sound meter with me. Everybody was sort
of happy. But there was all that $300,000 in the bank, calling to him,
calling to him.
Chris took over the church board and did away with bylaws of the
Church of God Seventh day. It didn’t take long that he was changing the
name of the church to something like what happened in the Armstrongist
realm — something that sounded a lot more evangelical. There was more
and more music for services. He was making friends with the Sunday
churches and proclaiming that the church was going to become a community
based Christian church. He got the board to buy a piece of property in
Gig Harbor for much of the money in what became his little “slushy”
fund. He proceeded to get the church to pay for his continuing education
with Azuza Pacific University. He gave himself a 20% raise out of what
money was left of the $300,000. He started paring down the sermons to 20
minutes of cloying religious vagueness. The rest of the time he, his
wife and his band played the gospel music, while the rest of the
congregation sang along. He also moved to split from the Church of God
At the same time, he moved to disfellowship a member of the church
board and oust him from the church. He made it sound like a disagreement
about administration, while the truth was that the board member was
protesting the break from CoG7. He reported the board member to CoG7 to
get him disfellowshipped and at the same time proceeded to cut off his
newish church from CoG7 — starting by not paying the portion of money
that was to flow there [and good luck for those contributors: There were
never any receipts cut for contributors to report to the IRS]. The
ousted board member went to the Regional District to protest and his
ministerial credentials were saved — but only just barely — and only
because the news of the now Chris church had reached the Regional
Pandemonium pursued. Older members were told they weren’t welcome and
that Chris wanted church members his age and under. A full 75% of
contributions came from the board members, and most of those left, so
regular income dropped like a rock. Oh, there were still all those
appealing programs with all the appealing people — and all those special
events like Super Sabbath Weekend and a gigantic Christian Music Rock
Concert at the Columbia River Gorge [not connected with the church in
Gig Harbor, which at last count dropped to something less than 15
Church support in this newly created church in Gig Harbor fast
disappeared. The ousted board member set up services across the bridge
with some regular members still loyal to the Church of God Seventh Day.
There wasn’t enough money left to even get permits to build a new church
facility in Gig Harbor. Chris couldn’t scrape up enough money to pay
the property taxes, and, besides, it’s now partly a wetland because
building a nearby freeway ended up making it one. Some of the members —
some of the older ones in service to the old regime — are now in United
and serving there. Chris and his buddy have apparently fallen on hard
times and it’s really gotten around to the other Sabbath keeping
Churches of God, but there’s still one thing he has: Chris is in charge!
And his dad is none too pleased with him, by all accounts.
The remaining church board member in Gig Harbor offered to sell the
property at a substantial discount to the Seventh Day Church of God.
After discussing it amongst themselves and contracting with a lawyer,
the Seventh Day Church of God declined the offer and promptly tied up
the property by putting a lien on it. They still own it and they’ll
probably get it back in the end. In the meantime, they’re going to
change a few rules about the ownership of Church of God Seventh Day
properties so this doesn’t happen again.
I’ve talked to someone who knew Chris at Vale Academy. He told me
that “It was hard to pin down what it was while I watched Chris play,
but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it”. No doubt it had everything to
do with Executive Ability — that’s something that always sets a person
apart from his lesser fellows. His other peers who grew up with him have
defended him by saying, “We know who he is!”, ironically and weirdly
paralleling the purported words the demons said to Jesus, “We know you”.
This story isn’t ended for sure. None of us may live that long.
Nevertheless, in the end, I’m personally persuaded that the Universe
does balance things out. It may take awhile, but lying just isn’t the
way to get your way in the long term.
Yes, those lads at the University of Toronto really have something:
Lying is the successful path to Executive Ability. It should also be
noted from those stalwart fellows from the University of
Tuebingen, Germany, that deliberately told lies impact the Cebral Cortex
by rerouting and destroying brain cells. They have found a way of
synthetically virtually suppressing the neurons involved to make better
liars of people. Perhaps it will be a cornerstone to finding ways of
making adults Executive material, having missed their window of
opportunity and all.
My experience: People who are subjected to lies become apathetic, if
they can do nothing about it, say, in a work environment. Listen for the
words, “Nothing ever changes around here”. That is a lie, of course.
Things are changing, just not for the better. But give the oppressed the
hint of freedom, THEY WILL REBEL! Count on it. It’s a process — one we
can see reproduced with regularity in social circles from governments to
religion. It’s unfortunate that there are no studies about what happens
to the brain cells of the people that are lied to, although we sort of
know already. We’ve seen it in the religious venue we participated in as
the CoG Collective: Lie to me and I WILL regret it! The liars are
causing billions of brain cells to die, turning into those Unidentified
Bright Objects found in brain scans where not much exists but fluids.
Consult your neurologist, for all the help that will be — brain cells
gone for good, executed by scoundrels with executive ability.
It’s clear that Chris has Executive Ability. How’s that working out for you Chris?
Yet another example of someone accepting no authority but their own with poor behavioral control.
What a disappointment!
It’s high time that folks realized that narcissists, psychopaths and
sociopaths aren’t folk heros, they don’t offer any freedom, they just
offer their own brand of slavery that ends badly for the slaves.
And did I mention that Lodi is idol spelled backwards?
In the late 1960s, I often went up to the city on the weekends to
stay with my brother at his boarding house. He had grown up during a
paranoid era of the cold war and was always seeking an avenging hero
which could show that the majority was wrong and, more importantly,
empower him with the promise that some day he could be in charge to
right the evils of the world. He wasn’t exactly a religious hobbyist,
but he was definitely seeking — not a higher power — but someone or
something with superior power. As some of you know, he finally found and
settled in on Armstrongism and eventually it killed him: In pain,
alone, in fear, abandoned, betrayed.
After his death, people from the WCG came by his apartment as my
mother was wrapping up his affairs. You might think that they came to
express their condolences and relate how Bruce improved their lives. If
you thought that, you would be wrong. They came by and wanted his stuff:
His precious stones he polished himself, his telescope, his cameras he
built himself, his electronic gear. It was like they had some sort of
entitlement. Later, two church boys, who had joined the military, had
the gall to come by our folk’s home to stay over on the way to the
Feast. My folks put them up and fed them because they claimed to know
Bruce. My mother showed me the letter from Haffely, the minister, who
admitted that Bruce had called him for help when he was having the heart
attack, but the minister just advised him to go to the hospital
emergency room. My brother’s trusting delusion that the church would
take care of him when he was in trouble killed him.
It didn’t end with his death. My mother received a letter from
Pasadena after Bruce’s death from the massive cardiac infarction. The
good folks at Pasadena were certain that my brother had left them
absolutely everything in his will: Tens of thousands of dollars, and
they wanted it. They demanded that my folks produce his will they were
certain my mother was hiding, because everything of his was theirs now.
Of course, they had no rights at all to his small fortune built up from
his industriousness, conservatism and use of his technological skills,
but they were certain our family was hiding something that would prove
that their selfish arrogant avarice was well founded. They took
advantage of his generosity in life and were determined to take
everything that was left after his death. My mother showed me the
letter. It was really pretty nasty and vile. I have concluded that
though my brother may have been delusional, but the scoundrels at
Pasadena always knew precisely what they were. It occurs that the
Churches of God have declared war on my family nearly 50 years ago and
I’m just now waking up to the fact that they are still at war with us.
There had been incidents long before this. Bruce was kind and
generous. As a bachelor, he prepared dinner every Sabbath for different
people in the church. He did his best to “serve” at church functions. He
gave a lot of extra money to the church as he had occasion. For awhile,
my brother was prosperous. He lost his job. He had a large apartment
with several bedrooms. A man in the church moved in with his wife and
children and mooched off of my brother for several months without
providing one thing in return, ever. The man didn’t have a job and Bruce
ended up supporting the whole family — a family which was not related
to him. He was of the delusion that the church WAS his family. He
couldn’t get rid of them. When things got really bad and he was running
out of money, he asked a deacon in the WCG for help. The deacon laughed
at him to his face. Remember that this was after my brother had spent a
year at Ambassador College. He got into the college by giving and
loaning a considerable amount of money to the church. It turns out that
Herbert Armstrong was impressed by men of power and / or money. If you
had enough money, you could buy yourself into nearly anything in the
WCG. I can guarantee that my brother would never have gotten into
Ambassador College without his giving them tens of thousands of dollars,
back in the early 1960s.
While I was a still a teen and before my brother entered into the RCG
/ WCG environment, those weekends with my brother were most
illuminating. One Sunday, I was going to catch the Grayhound home and my
brother’s landlady — a true believer and relgious hobbiest — asked me
if I’d be interested in a talk some religious leader was giving in a
room at the Davenport Hotel. I said, OK. What can I say, I was 17.
Here was this hefty but short 40 something professor-looking dude
with a beard and glasses. As he gave his talk to about 20 or so people,
it got stranger and stranger. He told us the world was hollow and people
lived inside the mantle of the earth. They had flying saucers which
flew out of the North Pole. His “proof” was colorful: “I can prove it,”
he said. He protested that people [read that scientists] taught
that the earth had a molten core. I remember his colorful
demonstration: “Build a fire and put a wooden box over it,” he said;
“What happens? The fire burns through the box! This proves the earth
does not have a molten core — it is hollow! People live inside!”.
I had a background in science. At the age of 13, I built my own 24
volt regulated DC power supply. With relays I found in the city dump
from the AT&T Radar relay TV station, I designed and soldered
together a binary counter, replete with a panel of flashing lights. I
read the book, Earth, Wind and Fire, to learn
about how the earth was formed 4 billion years ago. I performed my own
electronic and endless chemical experiments. I used home made hydrogen
to fill lighter than air balloons [the part about tying thread to them,
spooling the balloon up to the ceiling, lighting the thread and making
the balloon go POOF! I will leave out!]. Anyway, here I was — my first
real delusional cult leader confronting me.
After his presentation, he singled me out and stood between me and
the door: “What did you think of my talk,” he said? I was a naive
country farm boy with a penchant for science experimentation. I had
found the arc light at school and put it together with the projection
microscope for the first time in seven years when my other brothers last
did it. My dad taught me welding at the Lincoln County Shop where he
was foreman. I fixed the pendulum clock for grandmother. And here I was.
And here he was. I thought of the volcanoes which blew up and which,
incidentally, proved that the earth had a molten core. But this was an
authority figure. What to do? What to do?
“It was interesting,” I said, and left, caught the bus and went home.
How, you might ask, is this relevant to Armstrongism? Well, you should take a look at Ralph Orr’s article over at:
It is a wonderland of British Israelism, related false prophecies and
Pyramidology. Herbert Armstrong was a nut case every bit as bad as the
hollow earth core dude, but with more people impressed with his
credibility. He sounded credible. His overweening positive manic
approach evident in his enthusiasm for everything he did, including THE
VERY WORK OF GOD, was persuasive. Today, it doesn’t look that credible,
the empire has crashed and burned in disgrace and Herbert Armstrong is a
mere footnote in a long list of delusional cultists.
Back in the 1950s, a then young man, was interested in the Sabbath.
He went searching. He had done his homework and studied the Bible. He
went in to a meeting of the Radio Church of God. At the end, someone
asked him, “What did you think of Herbert Armstrong?”. His reply, “You
should ask me what I think of Jesus Christ!”. Now this guy was tall and
heavy and fit. It took two deacons to literally pick him up and drop him
off outside the door. He later went on to become a minister of the
Seventh Day Church of God. I know his 85 year old widow, Marion, who
told me the story.
Anyone with any shred of objectivity should tell any nut case, “Prove
it”. I would be inclined to continue, “And just who died and left you
That anyone would fall for the preposterous psychotic delusions is
testimony of where the generations led us all to. In the movie, Generation Zero, there are four basic steps posited which brought the current world economic crisis:
The crisis: World War II
The High: The easy prosperity of the 1950s
The Awakening: The 1960s Hippie Movement
The Unravelling: Spoiled entitled people leading to Financial Meltdown
In all of this, objectivity, data, facts, even science are all
ignored. People don’t want logic. They don’t want science. They want
what feels right and what feels good. Mothers who lived in want pampered
their children and gave them everything they wanted and needed,
instantly. Disposable diapers are an example of something both immediate
and personal. Spoiled children grew up to become selfish entitled
adults, leveraged by the explosion of technologies spearheaded by the
space race. People awakened to self-awareness to protest perceived
injustices. They insisted upon and got the opportunity to express their
opinions: To have their say and go their way. During the Clinton
Administration, the Clintons capitalized upon this with their Health
Care Plan Summit. There was no solution at that time. But the
stakeholders came together in Washington D.C. to discuss the issues.
Once they were satisfied that they were all given an opportunity to be
heard, they all went home, confident that the issue was taken care of
without any commitment, involvement or effort from them.
This past couple of years, the chickens came home to roost — or
vultures and velocerapters, more like. Psychopaths became bold, arrogant
and downright pushy and got their agendas passed, plying the suspicious
point of view to pressure the public. After all, it was what the people
wanted. And the sociopaths of the business world pressed the advantage
to empty the coffers, affecting generations to come. Meltdown has struck
and is with us, but most of the Boomers and New Millenniest breed seem
to think that meltdown is a good thing, sort of like cheese topping.
Dr. Phil has said, “Emotions got you into this and emotions will get
you out of it”. That’s a lie. It can’t possibly be true. No, emotions
got us into the problem and determination, discipline, logic and a lot
of resources with a great deal of effort is the only way to get out of
it — if it is even possible. Unfortunately, the modern generations are
just plain lazy. They want the instant fix without the character to
build to viable solutions [think The BP Oil Spill]. Like some rebellious
teens who declare their independence by rebelling against authority,
when they are in trouble, they cry out, “Mom, Dad, save me”.
In the July-August 2010 The Sabbath Sentinel is this interesting entry:
“I’m Spiritual, but not religious!”
In a recent CNN article
writer John Blake examines the trend among young people who believe
that they don’t need organized religion to have a life of faith.
However, James Martin, a
Catholic priest, believes that this trend is essentially egotism.
“Religion is hard,” he says. “Sometimes it’s just too much work. People
don’t feel like it. I have better things to do with my time. It’s plain
But offer people something fun and easy
like websites, blogs and tweets, and they’re all over it. Use those cell
phones to send [mostly] and receive text messages. Try to put them to
real work, and they’re outta here.
Likewise, if it feels right and sounds
right, most people today just stop there and don’t look behind the
scenes. They accept what is and get drawn into the most preposterous
belief systems. The con man is adept in structuring everything to sound
right to selfish egos, for example: You will be Kings and Priests in the
Kingdom of God, if you DO THE WORK! Throw in some proof texting and
there you go. The earth is hollow and people live inside. We can prove
In the same The Sabbath Sentinel is an article by Brian Knowles called Out of the Box — Defeating the “Religious Spirit”. Here is part of what he said:
there have always been obsessively religious fanatics who have wreaked
havoc on the civilized parts of society. Instead of advancing mankind,
or emancipating it, they have plunged it into dark ages of superstition,
torture, unjust imprisonment, the illegal confiscation of property and
Brian goes on to give four keys to avoiding the religious spirit:
Is it idolatrous?
Does it tend to freedom or bondage?
What are the fruits?
Beware of isolation
Prove all things. What a concept. Which
takes work. Unfortunately, people don’t want the truth, they just want
to feel good — with as little effort as possible. People don’t really
want science. Don’t confuse them with the facts. And, by the way, if you
think that what his religious spirit is restricted to religion, be
apprised that he is also talking about such things as secular ones, such
as [but not restricted to], ardent environmentalists [AKA
eco-terrorists], save-the-whales [yes, I am a bit overweight, but they
don't help me!], animal rights, Islamic terrorists [say, isn't that
religion?], neo-Nazis, left-wing socialists, health food fanatics,
fanatical communists and other nut case groups.
Once the scoundrels get entrenched it is
almost impossible to get rid of them or their silly ideas. Think British
Israelism. They pave the way to becoming ensconced by wrecking the
credibility of legitimate authorities, among them scientists. When you
hear someones philosophies and they try to convince you that scientists
are wrong, beware. Of course scientists can be wrong. For example, those
weather stations which “prove” global warming are in asphalt parking
lots and next to the exhaust of air conditioners. The criteria is the
same: Lax and lazy scientists are not to be trusted, particularly if
your life depends upon it.
Nevertheless, it is possible to debunk most
of the urban legends. Which falls faster? A bee-bee or a cannon ball.
The scientific method proved they fall at equal rates at 32 feet per
second per second by pushing them off the Leaning Tower of Pisa at the
same time and their landing at the same time. Which is lighter, oil or
water? OK then, why does the oil float on the water, then? These
embedded belief systems taken for centuries with no examination is
partly the responsibility of the generation of religionists and
scientists of their time. I had a discussion with the chief scientist
over lunch in the Weyerhaeuser cafeteria. He related to me the history
of science from the perspective of the acceptance of new scientific
discovery. Every generation rejected the truth until the next generation
accepted it. Newton’s Law finally gave way to Einstein’s theories, but
not without a lot of disagreement. The establishments wants the status
quo and hates change.
Unfortunately, change oft comes with the
abandonment of truth. Perhaps it is that Herbert Armstrong took some of
the best of the Church of God Seventh Day [or not], but along the way he
seriously corrupted and mangled it to become indistinguishable from
psychotic delusions. Unfortunately, for the same reasons as given above,
far too many people were convinced of his follies.
I should point out that children, as
innocent victims of this nonsense, followed the same path as everyone
takes when they are bound involuntarily by lies: They rebelled.
Unfortunately, sometimes, rebellion does a lot of unintended collateral
My heartburn is not with the ones who
spread the delusions so much as those who absorb them and lap them up.
What sort of people are they? What do they want? Are they so warped that
they grasp at every hope that comes by? Are they so desperate that they
grasp at straws? Why do they never seek beyond the veneer to find the
real truth? This is all very disturbing that so many people get hooked
up with fantasies, delusions, myths actively without delving into facts.
Perhaps it is true that some people have a convincing “patter”, but now
with all the knowledge out there about EVERYTHING, it is surprising
that people will actually spend money and risk themselves and their
families on flim-flam.
We should be grateful that Herbert
Armstrong came along. He was among the first and largest of the cultists
[in more ways than one] to deceive people with his admixture of raw
facts and delusional fantasies. At least, when we were finished with
him, we have been well positioned to apply the suspicious point of view
to the rest of the narcissists, psychopaths and sociopaths which come
our way — even though it seems small comfort for the ruined lives for
which he is responsible: We’ve learned Caveat Emptor the hard way, but
we’ve learned it first and more thoroughly than others. It’s a lot
harder to deceive us now, particularly with delusions.
Nevertheless, so many people never learn a
thing: They may turn against all that Herbert Armstrong taught, but they
turn back to delusions. Former cultists have a way of going back into
the system of delusions when they put their trust into government
figures who tell tall tales or other unbelievable stories. They look for
their heroes, their saviours.
I am reminded of one of the worst
cultmeisters of the Churches of God. The man was evil and oppressive. He
played games. He was even exposed publicly through government records.
When people had a chance and finally left him, what did they do? They
took all of his nutty ideas and doctrines and created their own church
group. It was all the same except for the leader they had ousted. Same
doctrines. Same rules of governance. All the same people [who, by the
way, don't seem to have ever read the Book of Hebrews, or figured out
that the writing of Islam are equivalent to New Testament Epistles].
It’s difficult to understand the mindset of people who insist on
retaining nutty toxic delusions at all costs. One would think that they
would want freedom from such things.
But now today, if you stand between me and the door, and ask me what I
think, you can be pretty well assured that I will answer, “It was
It’s been nearly 50 years now — five decades; half a century — that
the Armstrongist churches of God have declared war on my family. I just
hadn’t realized it until now. I’m a technologist. Stupid fool people
stuff is not my thing.
It always starts out the same. I’m curious, perhaps to an
unprecedented degree. Curiosity drives me as a truth seeker. As a truth
seeker, I embrace new things which have promise rather immediately.
After all, if it is true, it is probably a good thing to pursue, right?
The truth will set you free and all that. More than that, truth is
interesting. The problem is with that tiny little word, if.
It isn’t long that people associated with this new “truth” (new to me and maybe not so true) begin to notice that someone
is rooting around in their root cellar where they don’t want anyone
looking. Those things lurking were never supposed to be found. The lies
and deceptions upon which the “truth” were built threaten to destroy
their prosperous little enterprise. This works for churches,
governments, business and academia equally.
Instead of welcoming correction, these people position themselves
well to protect the lies upon which their social order is constructed.
They aren’t just defensive, they are downright aggressively vicious and
will rally themselves to galvanize against any invaders. It’s like that
Disney nature video where the wasp falls into the ant nest. Soon there
is nothing left of the wasp but wings and feathers.
And so it is with the Armstrongist churches of God. They seem so
sociable at first, hoping for your support in the form of money and
giving over your personal power for the aggrandizement of their
narcissistic leadership. The lies always threaten to sink their
leadership, take away what they come to think is their money and cause
their rather tenuous built-on-a-house-of-cards structure of outright
delusional destructive fantasies to crumble.
It isn’t enough for me to gain the proof of how anachronistic the
social order is. I must do the high concept thing of projecting the
logical conclusion of the outcome, if everyone does exactly what they
are supposed to do in the nonsensical framework of absolute dysfunction.
Let me give you a concrete example from the real world.
I work for a county which has built a rather magnificent Emergency
Operations Center (EOC) for $10 Million. It is an impressive work. It
looks like those centers you see on TV with all the monitors high on the
wall in every direction, dozens of tables with PC workstations and
telephones. Just what you need for some emergency, like an earthquake or
Mount Rainier blowing its stack. Not to be outdone, they also have a
$600,000 mobile EOC in a massive trailer which can be moved at any time
with the attached semi. Now mind you, I’m not certain how effective the
mobile EOC would be in an emergency with all the communications gear and
such, because it is setting right next to the EOC building in the
parking lot. If you can’t get to the EOC building, how could you get the
mobile EOC? These are the sorts of questions that county officials just
hate to hear. In fact, they don’t hear them: They don’t listen to
criticism at all, constructive or not. They made the decisions, and the
decisions are wise ones. Who are you to question THEM!?! How like the
churches of God. Anyway, the location of the EOC is secret. Did I say
secret? With a simple search of about 10 minutes, you can get not only
the location of the EOC, but detailed floor plans and building
specifications. You see, the county had to go out to bid. Part of the
bid process was to find vendors to build the thing. To find the vendors
for the RFP, they had to post the plans on the Internet, and, as you
know, things posted on the Internet never really go away. So there you
have it: In times of terrorists, the terrorists will probably have the
location and layout of the EOC. Brilliant, I say!
The EOC has a computer room. You would expect that. Important stuff
would be on computers to help with any emergency. Planning was a bit
lacking. There has been unending battles to try to keep the air
conditioning operationally adequate. During hot days in summer, they had
to open the doors and use portable fans to cool the room. Later, they
got portable air conditioners and vented them through the open doors.
Then there was the circuitry. You have to know that the toaster and
microwave oven are on the same circuit as the servers in the computer
room. And, yes, people have taken down the servers with their toast and
heating their lunch in the microwave. My suggestion is that they don’t
use both the toaster and the microwave at the same time, or their
servers will be toast. There’s nothing like great planning! Nothing like
it. It doesn’t seem to exist. They can conceptually plan for an
emergency, but the Devil, as they say, is in the details. And remember, a
county is a complex place. And this is just one SMALL example.
Anyway, you can imagine that the Armstrongist churches of God are not
at all pleased when people come along and point out that the Emperor
not only doesn’t have any clothes, but he has a nasty rash that needs to
be treated. We have a more contemporary version of the fable of the
Emperor’s new clothes (which don’t exist). The kid points out what
everyone sees, but don’t admit. “The Emperor has no clothes,” the kid
says. The crowd gives the parents a nasty glare. The parents shush the
kid up. “But he doesn’t!” The parents, with the “encouragement” of the
Emperor’s staff find a psychiatrist to treat the poor kid for his
delusions. He’s put on Ritalin. It doesn’t help him of course. The last
we heard of him, the kid grew up in a mental institution, is in a
straight jacket, given psychotropic drugs and is safely hidden away from
ever being able to tell the truth. You might agree that this could have
happened in the old Soviet Union, but folks, the United States
Corporations have adopted the worst of the old Soviet Union Corporate
model and implemented it badly — replete with ineffective five year
plans. Government has adopted the worst of the Corporate model and
implemented it badly, with twists of its own, since government doesn’t
have to make a profit and will survive no matter how far in the red it
goes. I’ve never heard of a government agency declaring bankruptcy, but
it seems like we’re about due for a massive declaration any time now.
All because people don’t want to face the truth. Better to live on lies
than do the real work of dealing with the difficult challenges by using
reasonable process and discipline. The quick fix of lies in a
dysfunctional environment is far preferable to the long uphill hard work
which is really needed to resolve the problems.
And so it is with the Armstrongist Churches of God which declare that
if they find the truth, they will adopt it and correct everything that
is wrong. It is a lie. They lie; they cover up the lie; they cover up
the cover ups; they make everything undiscussable and then go on to do
something really stupid. If you need an example, look at the UCG. They
spent years getting established in the Cincinnati area. They bought
property and built their buildings. They paid it off. Then why, in
heaven’s name, did they decide to move to Texas a mile or so from a
Superfund Toxic Waste site? And they weren’t about to, in typical
Armstrongist fashion, back down until the whole thing became
excruciatingly and unavoidably public. It is only excessive force that
will at all influence these suspicious people from doing all the wrong
things for all the wrong reasons. The innocent are destroyed as a casual
collateral damage because in their preposterous egoism, no one else
counts but them, because they are in charge, and, by cracky, you better
believe that Almighty God put them in charge and if you oppose them in
any way, you will be dealt with by the rather Retentive Creator of all
the universe who is offended by the slightest hint of rebellion, no
matter how well intentioned it is to keep people from utter destruction —
or more like, rather inconvenient consequences. When you have money and
power, you can cover up your mistakes rather handily, it seems.
The story of my brother, Bruce, isn’t the only skirmish in the war
that the Armstrongist churches of God has declared against me and my
family. There are too many incidences to recount in one place. The CoG
cultmeister from Australia springs to mind, but he’s not the only one by
a long shot. It’s not even just about my family. The Armstrongist
churches of God have declared war on many other families. Today, we will
examine one of them.
Back in the early 1960s, a psychopathic con man came from the
Philippines and ended up associated with the Radio Church of God. He was
married to a very sincere devout white woman who had grown up as a
Catholic, but has become very much a part of the Armstrongist church of
God landscape and who is totally dedicated to Armstrongist teachings.
Her husband claimed that he was a doctor in the Philippines and had
managed to convince a real medical doctor in the church, state board
certified to be a practitioner, that he was he, too, was a qualified
doctor. The man from the Philippines, as you would have expected, ended
up wrecking the real medical doctor’s career. There was nothing left of
Dr. J’s practice when R finished with him. But R had established his own
reputation and credibility in the church. Even though people were
proscribed from have medical doctors treat them, R’s opinions in the
church were highly regarded, particularly in the ministry. He was
regularly asked for his advice, which turned out to be nothing more than
opinions, and bad ones at that. He took one look at our daughter’s
birth mark and declared that it was cancer and that she would die from
it. Our pediatrician told it was a mere birthmark and would disappear.
It did. Our daughter is still alive after 30 years. Pediatrician 1;
The con man and his wife J had children. The divorce was inevitable.
Now the wife had no place to live with her children, so a self made
millionaire in the church provided her and her children a place in his
guest quarters. Now the millionaire was quite prosperous. He has his own
home theatre. His son’s bedroom is larger than most people’s living
rooms. They are well-to-do. Now they were good friends with the
minister. Their son married the minister’s daughter and their daughter
married the ministers son. The grandchildren are double cousins. The
wedding for the millionaire’s son to the minister’s daughter cost
$25,000. It was an impressive event to attend. Of course, the
millionaire lets everyone know that he is a millionaire because of God’s
blessings from his obedience to God. The minister has been very happy
to have a very rich relative by marriage. This particular minister has
always been telling people from the pulpit how worried he is about his
retirement and that he doesn’t have enough money to retire. It is the
case, though, that the minister will probably be OK, since he is now the
President of United.
It was an accident in the apartment the millionaire provided for the
woman who had been married to the psychopath. Something went wrong with a
space heater. The fire destroyed the small apartment in the
millionaire’s property where she took refuge. This had implications. The
millionaire blamed her for destroying his property. He made the
minister fully aware of his displeasure. The poor woman went on the
minister’s bad list — and he ended up supporting a psychopath rather
than helping a genuine church member in need.
There came a day in the divorce proceedings that the question of who
would get the children came up in court. The church had an attorney
assigned to the woman and paid for the legal fees — up until the day
before court, that is. When the day approached, the woman called
Pasadena to find out what happened to the lawyer and the church paying
the legal fees for the custody of her children. Victor Kubic let her
know that she lost the church’s support. She had no legal representation
because the church stepped away. As a result, she lost her children and
her erstwhile psychopath husband won a major battle.
Once on a minister’s bad list, always on the minister’s bad list.
These people have a long memory for vengeance and they play the long
game. This same poor woman went about doing good in her church. She
helped a man who had a mental disorder. Because she was nice to him, he
fixated on her and began stalking her. He continued stalking her after
she was remarried for seven years. The couple being stalked begged and
pleaded with the ministry which had passed from the Radio Church of God
to the Worldwide Church of God to the United Church of God an
International Association. The minister staunchly supported the stalker.
You can guess why. The couple went to the Council of Elders. No dice.
The minister in question is well connected. In fact, during his sermon
on Pentecost, he made the comment that he had a talent for putting
people in touch with the right contacts. He knows that because I told
him that when I gave him my book, Assertive Incompetence — an Introduction to Management Malpractice.
At least you can’t say he hasn’t learned anything from me. But I was
hoping he would see himself in the book and make changes, like that
would ever happen.
You know the rest. God intervenes. Or at least sensible judges in
civil court do. The restraining order and all. I’m not certain who
really won in this particular part of the war. To make the point: The
war with that particular family is not over by a long shot.
The thing is, we might not know who the ministers are, but we
certainly have a view of what they are. The Apostle Paul commented that
we are not ignorant of Satan’s devices. I think he was wrong about that
one thing. We don’t know Satan’s devices, although, I must say, they
look a lot like the practices of the Modern Church Corporate. We do know
a lot of things, such as what happened to the son of the minister,
leaving his wife and going to San Francisco and all with his roommate. I
wonder if the guys ever married.
The base problem is what it has always been: After the dust settles,
it is clear that those with their lies, delusions and deceptions are not
at all what they represented themselves to be; and the truth finally
comes out. The only problem that’s left is to find a way to put a spin
on it for plausible deniability. And that’s damned inconvenient.
We have had accounts of how crimes are covered up in the Armstrongist
community for years now. It isn’t sin, it’s crime. It isn’t like
someone works on the Sabbath once a year or skips paying a tithe or
something. We are talking about crimes for which the perpetrators should
have gone to prison. GTA date raping Ambassador Coeds. The various men
committing incest with their daughters. When our daughter was 12, she
told us that her best friend in church was being raped by her father.
The church did nothing about it but cover it up. It sort of turned out
and justice was done: He was working on the toilet holding tank on a
ship and it broke open and the contents washed over his face and head.
He died shortly after that. In church, a certain elder was known for
molesting boys. The leading women (ones who had no position) in the
church went all the way to Pasadena and had no response, so they
“watched” the man, particularly on holy days. Ironically, I did not know
it at the time, but the man was the Sabbath school teacher for my own
son. Universally, the Armstrongist churches have followed the corporate
policies of covering up crime, not fixing it.
United is interestingly different. As a church corporate, the other
state incorporated Armstrongist churches could learn a great deal from
them. They are progressive, and while they adopt the worst of the
corporate model and implement it badly [and I'm the one that gave them
the corporate stuff from Weyerhaeuser, which they adopted], they are
brilliantly, devilishly clever about it. They learn from reading forums
like this to use ever new methodologies to cover up crimes committed by
their ministers and members. What they do is NOT solve the problem. What
they DO is to bribe the victim! Remember the stalker? They seduced the
couple being stalked by giving them a bribe. It sort of solves the
problem without solving the problem, but it makes it much more palatable
for the victims to continue to bask in the warmth of the church
corporate cesspool without retarding the laps the ministry and
administration are doing in it.
It would be nice if we never hear another incident of a 70 old elder
fondling a sixteen year old girl in front of people of the congregation,
for example. They are perfectly comfortable to remain secure in their
church corporate. I would remind everyone that a corporation is an “It” —
a thing. It has no empathy. It is amoral. It exists for no particularly
good reason except to exist. It does everything it can as a non person
to continue its existence. The end justifies the means. If it takes
murder, rape, incest, theft, lies, deceptions, so be it. If you are
doing a good work, doing evil to keep it going is a must. The only rule
is, DON’T GET CAUGHT at it.
Scripture speaks of the leopard, how it can it cannot change its
spots. The Armstrongists don’t seem to be able to change, but it isn’t
mere spots. It’s more like stripes — and not the stripes by which we are
healed, either. It’s like stripes on a skunk.
If we consider that the Armstrongist community is the ultimate in
church corporate, it follows that they are not for us. Anyone who is not
for us is against us. Anyone who is against us is our enemy.
While the leaders of the Armstrongist community may be our enemies,
to each other, they are more than enemies: They are competitors. Any
Armstrongist champions out there looking for some sort of confederation
of the various clan sects of the different flavors of Armstrongism can
just forget it. If they have made the lower than dirt peasants of their
fiefdoms their enemies from the start, it is certain that they will
never give up their own power and freedom to their competitors. Any
fantasies to the contrary should be treated by a competent mental health
It is important to know that if you don’t have money and you aren’t
well connected and don’t have any power, and if you are a truth seeker,
the Armstrongist churches of God will declare war on you and your
children for generations to come, for as long as the
Armstrongist community lasts.
My book, Assertive Incompetence — An Introduction to Management Malpractice, has been a worthless failure, because… we’ll get to that at the end.
Armstrongists don’t realize that there is an entire Seventh Day
Church of God out there, publishing literature world wide and keeping
the Feasts annually, including the Feast of Tabernacles. The Feast of
Tabernacles with the Seventh Day Church of God is a totally different
experience than the one in the Armstrongist churches of God. It is more
like a Bible Camp. Actually, it is a Bible Camp. There may be
some tents that people put up, but there are campers these days with a
bed and a simple sink and toilet with running water and enough
electricity for a light and a few small appliances. There is generally a
communal kitchen where the ministers and members together cooperatively
prepare the meals. There are a few motel style cabins available. You
see where the Feast was kept in Washington State in 2008 here:
The “services” are quite a bit different too. It isn’t all hymns,
opening prayer, sermonette, hymn, announcements, hymn, sermon, hymn and
closing prayer, although there is often a flavor of that. Services are
bit more informal and there may be, occasionally, some gospel singing
group come in and perform. There is Bible Study at 7:00 AM, breakfast,
activities, services, lunch and… well, it varies. At night, around 7:30
PM, there’s another service with a sermon. It is as quaint and rustic as
you might expect, and about 25 miles from the nearest town of any size.
The Seventh Day Church of God has been keeping the Feasts since 1919 when Gilbert G. Rupert championed them.
The Seventh Day Church of God has noted the problems with the
official Jewish calendar in general use: The Spring Equinox is not April
6 / 7. That’s not scientific. Therefore, they prepare their own holy
day calendar which is published and sent world wide each year. Paul
Woods is the minister who currently maintains the calendar. I did talk
to Mr. Woods [who is the current editor of The Herald of Truth] about
the calendar in 2008, briefly, but there were a couple of other things
we discussed. One of them was about the Lord’s Supper and the Passover.
Those are separate events as one can see from the Scriptures — 24 hours
apart. The Days of Unleavened Bread begin on the evening of the Passover
— which the Armstrongists keep instead as the Night to Be Much
One of the things we discussed was the topic of Herbert Armstrong’s
baptism. It turns out that Herbert Armstrong was baptized by A.H. Stith,
of the Seventh Day Church of God and the baptism was witnessed by Mr.
Stith’s daughter. My response was, “Herbert Armstrong lied? I’m
shocked!”. I wasn’t really, but fortunately, Paul Woods has a fine sense
of irony as well as being a very nice minister.
That the Seventh Day Church of God keeping the Feasts falls well
beneath the radar of the Armstrongists, should not be a surprise. Who
would tell you? Herbert Armstrong? What incentive would he have?
Nevertheless, there are some customs and practices which are
universal. One of those involves the power and privilege of special
classes of people in the Churches of God. Remember that the Sabbath
keeping Churches of God have been around a lot longer than the
Armstrongist ones. People grow up in families in the Churches of God and
they know each other with a long history of association. Word gets around and they are a tight knit group.
A family was going to attend the Feast of Tabernacles with the
Seventh Day Church of God. The rule was, first come, first served. If
you got there late and didn’t get the better accommodations, that was
just too bad. Like or lump it. Except, except. Some of the ministers
were going to come in late, so, against the official rules, certain
accommodations were set aside to make provisions for them. Sound
familiar? So the family came to the Feast in plenty of time, but were
told that they would have to take other accommodations — the not, shall
we say, very good ones. So the teenager, Nicholas, had to stay in a very
small cramped space in one of these campers. Night passes. He sleeps.
He wakes up and 18 inches from his face is this big RAT! He shrieks!
They’re outta there. That’s just what power and special privilege can do
And where there’s one rat, you can be sure that there are plenty more.
You can be sure the ministry had better digs. After all, aren’t they
worthy of a double portion? Maybe so, back in the days of the First
Century AD, when ministers could be and were martyred. These days, the
real risk for the ministry is dropping dead of a heart attack or stroke
from excessive consumption of meat and drink.
If you were looking for the finer things of life at the Feast, count your blessings.
The story is reminiscent of the one where a poor married man with an
unbelieving spouse came to the Feast alone and ended up in a motel room.
First night off, he hears noises. He turns on the light. The
cockroaches scramble for cover. He’s got an infestation. He goes to the
motel manager, tells him the story. The motel manager says, “There you
go, just keep the lights on!”. The poor man left.
Rats and cockroaches aren’t the only infestations in this world. There are many more, for example, termites.
My first experience with termites was as a lad. My dad had a pile of
wood and pointed out some termites in it. Fortunately, that was pretty
much my last experience with them. They are so insidious: They come into
a building and set up shop. They start doing what comes naturally and
begin eating up the support timbers. They are good at hiding. If they
happen to break through the wall, they cover it up immediately to
prevent discovery. No one hears or sees them until the day the whole
If you are not convinced, then you should see articles about the
Formosan Termite imported in the wood of the crates made to ship
property of GIs home from the Pacific after World War II. They have made
a meal of much of the New Orlean’s French Quarter. They have spread far
and wide throughout much of United States warm and wet South. They are
aggressive and love all things cellulose, including, but not restricted
to, wood, paper, fruits, nuts, cork and live plants, and they’ll gnaw or
squeeze their petite little bodies through virtually anything to get to
their food, including electrical wires, plaster, plastic, and the
tiniest cracks in concrete. They get into everything.
Several tell of the story of the water skier on Lake Loma that came
down in on an island on the lake into a nest of poisonous snakes and,
according to the account, died instantly. I have my doubts: There was
probably a lot of pain and agony for a few minutes.
Most of the time, an infestation begins with only one. That was
certainly the case with the Radio Church of God — which then became the
Worldwide Church of God. And not to put too fine a point on it, after
the nest is established, some break off to establish a new nest, and
then, later, they break off, and so on and so on. The Tkatches were
interesting because they were an internal infestation, infesting the
Now, Herbert Armstrong was bad enough, but Roderick Meredith has
managed to spin off toxic infestations — a lot more than you may think.
And, yes, United has managed to spin off dozens of infestations, while
Gerald Flurry’s and John Rittenbaugh’s nests have been mostly contained,
but Meredith has really done a lot of collateral damage in ways you can
barely begin to imagine. Global: Now there’s a nest that managed to
implode in on itself. The pests, sometimes called “ministers”, scurried
off to invade communities far and wide. But you know, it isn’t like we
shouldn’t have been able to see it coming: You should take a look again
at his “Manpower Papers”. If that didn’t give us all a clue to the
future, nothing would. These infestations always do what they are
programmed by the Universe to do — what comes naturally to all
psychopaths, sociopaths and narcissists. Without them, there would
probably never be any infestations.
Today we will concentrate on a small infestation in Oregon which you
may have never heard of: The Church of God in Peace and Truth — terms
which are manifestly self contradictory. The progenitors of the nest are
the Haneys, which, again, you are probably blessed never to have heard
Every year, it is always a challenge, for my wife wants to go
somewhere really good for vacation. To me the Feast of Tabernacles is
not a vacation. It is a lot of inconvenient effort which generally ends
up to be “interesting” as in the old Chinese curse, “May you live in
interesting times”. Last year, I chose a spot which looked benign, Bend,
Oregon. Safely nestled between the Independent’s Feast Site and
United’s, I figured, what the hey, what could go wrong, right? We knew
people who were relatively civilized who were attending, so it seemed
like a good idea — sort of like the movie, “The Magnificent Seven” where
the guy explained why he jumped into a cactus patch without any clothes
on: “It seemed like a good idea at the time”.
It was a promising start. Nestled in the high desert country of
Oregon, the Shiloh Inn in Bend had a one bedroom apartment with a full
kitchen, a leather couch and big leather chairs in front of the
fireplace. It was the nicest accommodations there — and most expensive.
The entire Church of God in Peace and Truth had come to the Shiloh Inn
complex to keep the Feast of Tabernacles and my wife and I had the best
accommodations, right across from the conference room where the services
were held. The deacon and the deaconess who had been a part of the
defense with United against the UCG stalker at the court that issued the
restraining order were there as well, since their son was married to
the daughter of the presiding minister. The people attending were really
nice people. The main congregation was based out of Gold Hill, where
there were about 50 people. The minister, Don Haney, was first in
Worldwide, then in Global. The main congregation was from Living and
they ended up the way they were because their Living minister was very
terrible to them in ways that are hard to imagine, but have become
standard fare. We were well set up and things looked promising (for a
I knew from the first that trouble was ahead. Don Haney said in the
first third of his sermon, “I am going overtime” — in a church that
proclaimed they lived by the Ten Commandments, one of which is, “Thou
shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor”!?! Stealing our
time?! That’s just rude! He saw me cross my arms and we were off and
running in an adversarial relationship. I got to see how bad things were
by reading the first few chapters of his booklet [I couldn't stomach
reading the whole thing], “Satan’s Seat of Tyranny,” where he took his
misgivings concerning the Living Church of God and Roderick Meredith to a
whole new plateau. From the front cover: “Its damaging rule over the
Church of God” and “The bonds of restraint broken by the freedom of
God’s Truth!”. From the back middle paragraph:
“However, Much of God’s Church Has Been
Subjected to a Pyramid of Power and Intimidation, Which Has Hurt and
Unnecessarily Divided God’s People, Thereby Impeding the Spreading of
the Good News. Those in “POWER” Have interpreted Scripture for and
Exercised Authority Over Those They Have Subjected to Themselves for So
Long That They Seem to Have Cultivated an Even Greater Influence Over
Some in God’s Church Than the Direct Authority of God’s Written Word!”.
I have to admit that I understand the sentiment: Roderick
Meredith is like a community organizer whose sole purpose is to create
havoc, divide people, for the sole purpose of self aggrandizement. His
swelling ego was a result of his winning the Golden Glove regional
boxing championship and then finding his way to Herbert Armstrong who
was impressed that Meredith was “a man of quality”. It’s all heady stuff
to be set on a pedestal by a highly successful cult leader. The
admiration and its results differ little from the current U.S.
government political landscape. Roderick Meredith ended up having a lot
of power and influence: He was over the students at Ambassador College
and he directed the ministers from headquarters. After Herbert
Armstrong, he was a god in his own right. His opinions were law and he
could oppress people, insult and abuse them, just about any way he chose
as a harsh, hard slave merciless slave driver who assumed that he was a
Man’s Man because of his being a winner. He didn’t see the real truth:
He was a testosterone poisoned, brain shunken despot whose cruelty was
legendary. He ended up spawning rebellious leaders who couldn’t wait to
get out from under his control, only to set up their own fiefdoms of
despotism. After all, he bankrupted his own church, Global, just out of
It was as if Roderick Meredith said, “You haven’t treated me as the
GOD I know I am, so I’m going to sink you and do a number on you!”. The
sermon in Kansas City was one to remember when he told his congregation
that he “would abide by the decision of the council” of elders in
Global. He lied. You have to remember that Roderick Meredith has said,
“I have never committed a MAJOR sin”. You know, like Adultery. At least
not in the carnal sense. I suspect he has missed something in Revelation
22. You know the part where it says that liars will not enter into the
Kingdom of God? He doesn’t seem very well positioned for repentance. I
occasionally wonder in an off moment whether he has committed the
unpardonable sin. It is this rebellion that has, in itself, spawned even
more rebellion among those chaffing under his harsh relentless
despotism, promulgating even more despots rebelling against his
egocentric malignancy. I do often wish he would repent to reduce the
massive harm he has done, but I doubt that he can really face himself in
the spiritual mirror.
Trust me when I say that Satan’s Seat of Tyranny
is the worst written booklet I have ever seen, but is filled with
totally rank hypocrisy. [And yes, the author DID capitalize all those
words!] He took his hatred and anger of the administration of Roderick
Meredith to a whole new level. His basic theory: We will all come to
live under the Laws, Statutes, Judgments and Testimonies of Scripture,
and, from the Return of Jesus Christ on, it will be an eye for an eye
and a tooth for a tooth as the judges determine — and to hell with what
Jesus said in Matthew 5:38-39. He was the very picture of the Pharisee
as an Old Testament Christian. Here’s how it works: You are just fine as
long as you do everything he tells you to do and wants you to do,
without any hesitation. He is perfect. And under his administration,
there’s no room for mercy, just blood letting. His congregation was fine
with that. I suspect they were Stockholmed. If Haney really wanted to
see Satan’s Seat of Tyranny, all he had to do is look at his backside in
I met a young man at the Feast. His father was an Elder. His mother
was with United. He had set up shop, so to speak, with his girlfriend in
Eugene, and while things had started out fine with their live in
arrangements, he was out of a job and not doing well. He got enough
money to leave the Feast in the middle, to go back to his live-in
girlfriend and get into the State’s job program. Since Don Haney made so
much of how we were all going to [be forced to] keep all the Old
Testament Laws, Statutes, Judgments and Testimonies, that I told him my
expectation: That he, as the minister of the church, would obey the
judgments in the New Testament and obey the Apostle Paul in I
Corinthians 5 and put the fornicator out of the church. His response,
“He’s left the Feast”. No can do. Not my problem. It took care of
itself. And the whole congregation felt good about themselves for having
No wait! What!?! Hey, hey now!
You see, I didn’t really care about the man committing the
fornication. This was a matter for the congregation and the minister.
After all, if you proclaim that the Laws, Statutes, Judgments and
Testimonies are going to be kept — all the way for beatings and
replacing sheep and oxen, to death for those who commit kidnapping —
surely, SURELY, the minister is going to keep what the New Testament
says to do in his own congregation today. The truth is, he won’t. That
also explains why Garner Ted Armstrong was able to get away with
committing date rape with 200+ [by his own estimate] Ambassador College
Coeds, in full view of Herbert Armstrong, who was responsible for the
whole mess. Instead of prison, he got lots of money, fame and position —
until he didn’t, only because the whole matter became too public and
SOMEBODY HAD TO DO SOMETHING, even though the damage was done: Leaving a
legacy of hopelessness for the ministers who later married the coeds
and have had to deal with clinical depression from their anger ever
since. It’s too bad so many get locked into the infestation in their
warm little nests.
In the end, we lived well — even in the ankle deep snow that fell in
early October, snarling up traffic and making it impossible for some to
get to services in Sun River and Redmond. We sat in the big comfortable
leather chairs in front of the fireplace in our own little fiefdom. We
ate well [I fancy myself to be a good cook]. We slept soundly. We had
peace, though not the peace of the Church of God. If living well is the
best revenge, then we had our revenge. It is also best to observe a
drama without getting drawn into it. We also really yucked it up by
taking Haney’s preposperous propositions to their logical extreme: We
supposed that we should all carry paddles at the Feast for when we
needed to relieve ourselves! No one could figure out why my wife and I
were breaking out in laughter! Hey, it’s the Law… or maybe Statute: We
have to do it! That’s what everyone will do in the Millennium, so we’d
better get used to it now! Forget toilets and water closets: God wants
us to carry paddles!
The people in the Church of God in Peace and Truth are still nice
people, except for the minister. I assume that afterwards, the minister
took his posse and went hunting in the wilds of Oregon as he said he
would. He lives a comfortable life and he is master of all he surveys.
Things would be perfect for him, except for ALL THAT ANGER. It just
can’t be good for you to hold it like that. It’s all a comfortable
little nest of infestation which will continue for some time to come.
Near the end, I encountered someone I had first met in the Radio
Church of God in 1963. I told him United was a cult. He told me that I
had the root of bitterness. It is interesting that when an infestation
is exposed, the nest bands together immediately to cover up their
incursion. That’s how they manage to stay the cults they are, and “the
root of bitterness” is yet another tool of the tools who make up the
infestation. It’s what narcissists, psychopaths and sociopaths always
do: Seek first the destruction of credibility of truth seekers and ye
shall inherit the nest of infestation. Next time you hear that you have a
root of bitterness, just point out that they are attempting a coverup —
they don’t want the truth at all because they like their lies too much —
and they’ve just proved the points you just made ["Truth! You can't
handle the truth!"]
This year, the Church of God in Peace and Truth moves their venue for
the Feast of Tabernacles from the desert mountain high country [God's
country?] to the beach [and there will be no more oceans] at the Embassy
Suites in Mandalay Beach, California. For us? Never again. High concept
about how things should work out is often disappointing in
unanticipated ways — and we do not fear a tidle wave — it’s just that
the hypocrisies of these infestations are not something I want during
the only really good time to get away — even if it isn’t my idea of a
fun time. I’ve had one too many laps in the cesspools of the Churches of
God to appreciate the kind of hypocrisy home grown in the toxic
infestations of hypocrisy. Better it is to be with someone who’s made a
terrible mistake and learned from it than to join with those who are
self righteous ungodly godly people who ARE IN CHARGE! I can get all I
want of that from work at taxpayer expense.
I don’t know, but I suppose that if I were God, I would wonder if the
leaders of the Churches of God would ever do what I said to do of their
The infestation of the Armstrongists is the worst kind of
infestation: The leaders are parasites, living off the host. They take
the resources of the host and live from it, providing nothing in return
and making the host progressively more sick. When the host can provide
no more, it is cast off. The infestation of the Armstrongist parasites
then moves on and finds another host to live on.
Yellowstone Park has signs, DON’T FEED THE BEARS!
Each year there are a few who do not heed the warning. But the bears
have such appeal. So some roll down their windows and give the poor
bears a sandwich. Have you ever heard the expression, Hungry as a bear?
It’s a reality. The people who run out of food soon find the bear goes
from fun to frightening. They will tear the car apart looking for more
food. So the Armstrongists seemed to have such appeal. We fed them our
“tithes”. That wasn’t enough. They wanted offerings. Then they wanted
long term loans. Then, heck, send everything. Then they tore us apart.
To add insult to injury, they grabbed the wheel and drove off, leaving
us stranded along the side of the road. DON’T FEED THE BEARS! Let
them survive or die in their natural habitat. Otherwise, you will have
an infestation of parasites you will have a difficult time
Moreover, all the sacrifices you have made for the parasite
infestation — that made you feel so good about yourself — are completely
useless, since you helped support something which was harmful, not just
to yourself and your family, but to the rest of the Armstrongist
community. Now the toxins left behind by the infestation are even harder
to rid oneself from than the parasites themselves, because the toxins
not only have weakened you, but left guilt and the feeling of stupidity
besides. What you have to remember is that this is what they do and they
are not really a part of you and never were. They just fed off of you.
It will make it easier to walk away by putting the blame on the real
culprits: They had a good spiel, we paid for it, now we have an
opportunity to get better. Learn from the con and move on to live your
own life, not theirs.
Like so many other kinds of infestations, those involving scoundrels often start in the same place and end the same way.
As for my book, Assertive Incompetence — An Introduction to Management Malpractice, being
a worthless failure, it’s all because the information is all there
about narcissists, psychopaths and sociopaths: Their methods, approaches
and processes — but no one actually uses the information but me.
Properly used, it could have prevented the current administration, but
people love their little nests of infestations, living off of hope,
which is merely an unfulfilled illusion, relying on useless
saviors, which leads to disappointment.
That’s all I have to say. For now.
The noisy brain is well known concept among mental health professionals. Dr. John Ratey expanded on that concept in his book, Shadow Syndromes.
Autism can lead to a condition where most of the brain generates an
electrical storm when someone touches those who have it. Schizophrenia
causes overload from too much mental noise. Teens with ADHD notice when
they are on Ritalin that the noise level drops. One son told her mother
when he got back from school after taking Ritalin, “Mom, it’s so quiet!”.
Mentally ill people generally have noisy brains from a genetic
predisposition. Often stress can set in motion a psychotic break when a
person can no longer tolerate the noise aggravated by stress.
At the second Hope and Recovery Conference I
attended, my wife and I were sitting at a table during lunch with a
young woman working in the mental health profession. I had realized from
my experience with those who were mentally ill that the standard mental
illnesses, such as Bipolar Disease, Schizophrenia and Psychosis involve
distorted perception. The young woman said she always knew it: It made
sense. She was very unhappy when she couldn’t demonstrate that she had
ever thought it about it before.
That’s the trick, you know: People say things others immediately
recognize as an aphorism, and they believe that they have always
believed it. This is, of course, distorted perception.
Distorted perception certainly seems to be implicated in a noisy
brain. Moreover, as the “noise level” in the brain increases, the person
usually becomes dysfunctional.
Organizations often seem to be victimized by distorted perception
resulting in a high noise level which leads to a completely
dysfunctional environment. Communications break down from the noise,
there is a lack of standards, there is no auditing of results or ongoing
processes; in fact, there can be no measurement of any kind of metrics,
since nobody seems to know what the immediate and long term goals are.
Armstrongists have a firm belief that they know where they are going:
The Kingdom of God! Armstrongists know how to get there: Keep the Ten
Commandments — along with a whole lot of other stuff they can’t prove
that’s required. Armstrongists know the future because they have the
only roadmap on the face of the earth — the one created for them by
Herbert Armstrong. To tell an Armstrongist that he or she does not have a
clue will only end up their telling you that you have “A root of
bitterness” — a self fulfilling prophecy if there ever was one.
What the Armstrongists don’t seem to understand is how utterly
pathetic and directionless they are. They got that way because of the
very common structure found universally among those with noisy brains:
Lack of planning
Lack of commitment
Lack of communications
Arbitrary change in direction
Noisy brains [a tautology here!]
Unrestricted flow of ideas
Lack of discipline
Armstrongist community leaders are infamous for these traits.
It can’t be healthy.
Anyone going back through the history of postings in The Painful
Truth should begin to get a pattern of the scenario that results from
the noisy brain. For example, one man working at Ambassador College
noted to his superiors that there were patterns to income. What a
concept — that there were reasons for the ebb and flow of money, and, if
they noted, analyzed and graphed the waning and waxing of the dollars,
associated with various events during the year — such as feast offerings
— the administration should be able to plan. He was rebuffed, of
course. No planning required. Just have faith in God: He will provide.
Of course, Proverbs does advise us to be diligent to know the state of
our flocks and herds, but Armstrongists don’t actually use Scripture for
a practical guide in their lives. They are fools: They only listen to
what they want to hear.
That is why, when you point out that British Israelism is a lie and
Herbert Armstrong was a false prophet — 1975 never happened — they
bluster about how we should respect Herbert Armstrong because he brought
us the truth. The truth?! Wait! What?! Hey, hey now. Let’s face it: He
just made stuff up. Mostly. Or robbed other people’s ideas and pretended
they were his. Two weeks ago I talked with a minister of the Church of
God Seven Day. He brought up the fact that Herbert Armstrong plagiarized
material from their booklets and then the Worldwide Church of God sued
the Church of God Seventh Day. It didn’t get far when the CoG7 produced
the booklet they wrote in the 1930s from some file in a basement
somewhere. But that’s the danger from all that noise, you see: They make
big mistakes because of the delusions from their distorted perceptions.
This isn’t to say that the Armstrongist community leaders are mentally
ill. It’s more complicated than that. They are also often criminals.
All of the noise leads to chaos.
So many things in the Armstrongist community make no sense at all:
UCG wanting to relocate near a Superfund Toxic Waste Site [now there's a
real failure to plan]. How about the front page of The Good News with
that picture of the latest, greatest tool of God’s Work, the IBM Data
Cell. It was back to the hard disk drives within the year because the
product was a failure and not such Good News after all. The
Armstrongists are terribly inconsistent. Sure, they keep the Sabbath.
Then they go out and make their manservant and maidservant work for
wages on it. That is not consistent with Nehemiah and Ezra. If you’re
going to keep the Law of Scripture, then you need to use all the Old
Testament Scriptures, if you expect to be an effective Old Testament
The folks who worked in the Data Processing Center at Ambassador
College told me of the internal chaos in the Data Center there. They had
to roll with the punches. One described how they had to stack chairs on
top of tables and work there while a channel was cut in the cement in
the floor. And you have to know, not all of those runs on the Sabbath
were totally unattended, though most were.
People would be accepted for a job at Ambassador College, sell their
homes, pack up, move clear across the United States, only to discover
that their job with the church had disappeared on the way. This didn’t
just happen once.
I remember well in the local church, a girl who had appendicitis. She
could not get treatment from a doctor. She survived, but her health was
never what it should have been. Just 10 years later, the church changed
the doctrine so people could see doctors and “be healed” by them. The
ministers were advised to hide the faith healing to prevent the church
from being sued: Lie for the sake of the church.
The real indication of how chaotic the church really was, though,
lies in the fact that Garner Ted Armstrong committed date rape against,
by his own estimate by 1972, 200 coeds. In spite of the fact that his
father knew about this [and even though he claimed he didn't, he was
still culpable -- but, then, he really did know] and was an accessory
after the fact. These were criminal acts. Herbert Armstrong covering it
up was a criminal act. They should have all gone to prison. Roderick
Meredith — that paragon of virtue [in the utterly ironic sense] — also
knew about it, did some mental wringing of his hands, gritted his teeth,
and preached sermons about keeping God’s Law. The men who attended AC
and became ministers knowingly married the women who had been raped.
Then they went on to allow themselves to be directed by the very man who
had raped the women who had become their wives. This, in turn, resulted
in a great deal of bitterness and years of anger for those ministers
who compromised themselves by keeping quiet, saying and doing nothing,
tolerating the intolerable, pretending to be good friends with GTA and
Herbert Armstrong, all the while driving themselves to distraction with
the noise of the dysfunctional environment leading to the utter chaos.
Now some of them, at least, have a psychiatrist treating them for
clinical depression. That is something of an irony, given the teaching
of the original Radio Church of God.
The Armstrongist community makes no sense. Furthermore, they can’t
prove that they can get you to the Kingdom of God. The leaders are of no
worth, and, today, are struggling themselves to come up with a reason
for their own being. There doesn’t seem to be much more than keeping
their salary, trying to keep a cushy but dysfunctional job and getting
retirement. That — and for some of those in the upper echelon of the
so-called leadership, which is nothing of the sort — basking in the glow
of people who worship them in their idolatrous admiration. Furthermore,
even though they know all this, they won’t change a thing. They don’t
to risk anything left of the Armstrongist Empire of which they may still
have a piece.
It’s like the Keystone Cops and the Three Stooges trying to maintain the Winchester Mansion.
You really should ask yourself the question, just how can these
people make my life better? They don’t seem to be doing a very good job
of running their own lives. Why should we expect anything at all from
them except noisy dysfunctional chaos?
The best peace you can have is moving as far away from the
Armstrongist community as possible, for, if you keep drinking from the
poisoned well, you will take on their chaos.