Musings on many recent (email) posts.
20 MAR 2008
I recently rediscovered the Painful Truth website after ignoring it for over two years. I had assumed that it was defunct due to the efforts of some arrogant, tyrannical swine to shut down all websites that disagreed with his insane ideas. I downloaded all the articles that had been posted while I ignored the website, read them, and would like to add a few comments on some of them. This email is therefore a potpourri of short comments and not a lengthy rant on any one subject, as I was wont to do. The posted articles I mention below are in chronological order as found on the 2006 Articles link on the home page. I wish I could write more lengthy posts, but I exhausted my store of anecdotes with my writings in 2001-2005. I’ll keep reading the Painful Truth’s new posts, as I still have much to learn.
(1) Re: Herbert W. Armstrong’s Inside Joke, et al., by John B.
John mentioned Raymond McNair’s nickname “Buffy.” I agree that RM was a buffoon, but had never heard this legendary derivation for the nickname. I assumed that it was a familiar form of “BUFF”, which is an acronym meaning Big Ugly Fat Fucker. RM was a little heavy, but not truly obese like Rowlen Tucker, who was my pastor in 1975 in the Boston area. I grew to loathe Tucker’s sermons, as he was trying so hard to be hip, and liberally sprinkled meaningless, au courant phrases like “that’s the heavy bread” into his messages. But Tucker really liked Gordon Lightfoot music, so he had at least one redeeming feature. We sang some good Lightfoot songs to my guitar strummings at a church social sing-along once.
As for Roderick Meredith’s nickname Spanky, I always assumed that came from his stern child-rearing practice of when in doubt, spank the child. HWA could also have been named Spanky because he spanked his monkey (masturbated) quite a bit. He even kept a journal of the times when he did so. The journal received the nickname of “the flog log”, since flogging one’s log is one of the countless euphemisms (e.g., choking the chicken, pounding the pud, greasing the grommet, etc) that men have created for masturbation, as well as all things genitalian in general.
(2) Re: Betty Brogaard’s article “From Whence Comes the Unbeliever’s Happiness?”
She wrote “The continual and limitless “pursuit of truth” has become one of the delights of my life and is one of the sources for my happiness as an atheist.” That sums up my definition of “truth”, also. We can “know” the whole truth about a concrete object that we perceive through one of our senses, such as a rock on the ground or our own existence, but it is impossible to arrive at the “truth”, e.g., of where did the earth come from, who murdered John F. Kennedy, why the U.S.A. was involved in World Wars 1 and 2, the existence of the alleged 1st century Jesus, etc. All we can do is to keep searching, researching, reading, thinking, discussing, etc. As we learn more facts and opinions, we can choose to disregard some things we have already learned as probably not true. Thus truth is really a process rather than an attainable goal, much like striving for perfection. Truth is really the absence of known falsehoods. If we believe X about subject Y one day and the next day we learn that X was false, then we still might not know the truth about Y but at least we know it was not X. Truth is whatever is left over after all the obvious lies have been eliminated. Or at least it is as close to the truth as we can get at that time.
(3) Re: Jim O’s article “Can THIS Be “The Holy Spirit” at Work? Or Why I finally left the cult!!!!!!!!!!”
He wrote “At that time I felt the force (Holy Spirit) pulling me somewhere else. It wasn’t the force though – it was ... REALITY!!!!!!! I had to say, “CAN THIS BE THE HOLY SPIRIT AT WORK!?!?”
Whatever made us think that any such thing as the “Holy Spirit” ever existed? We all just assumed that there was because (1) it is mentioned in the Bible, (2) HWA and other “authorities” wrote dogmatically about it as if it were real (can we all say “reification” here, boys and girls?), and (3) we tried some of the Headquarters-suggested experiments (prayer, meditation, and “walking with God’, whatever that meant) that made us sort of think that maybe we felt something different in our lives. Therefore it must have existed and been as powerful as our con-men authorities told us. Let’s deconstruct those proofs. (1) The Bible is now known by us ex-conned true believers to be: (a) a mish-mash of fables, folklore, plagiarized writings from ancient “pagan” Greek philosophers; (b) prophecies written long after the fact and foisted off on unsuspecting readers as if they had been made before the fact; and (c) really cool wisdom that can usually be found in many other ancient literary sources as well. Anything and everything the Bible says must therefore be suspect. (2) HWA and other “authorities” are far more suspect than even the ridiculous Bible. (3) People see, hear, and believe anything they want if they want to badly enough. For absolute proof of that claim, take American politics.
(4) In your reply to an 11/11/07 email to the editor, you wrote “My answer to Christmas is that, yes, it’s a pagan holiday, but so what? Even the names of months and the days of the week are pagan. We are a product of where we came from, and the entire world has filtered down from pagan roots.”
Why do we all believe that “pagan” must be equated with bad, primitive, unenlightened, ignorant, barbaric savages who lived several thousand years ago? I’m not suggesting that you believe this, but this is what most civilized, educated, enlightened, and heavily indoctrinated people today believe. From the Merriam-Webster online English dictionary we learn that the etymology of “pagan” is this: “Middle English, from Late Latin paganus, from Latin, civilian, country dweller, from pagus country district.” We would today call such a person a small-town person, perhaps rural, a hick, redneck, or some such similar pejorative term. This allows those of us who live in cities to feel better about ourselves than those living in less densely populated areas. So why did ancient arrogant Roman citizens living in the hub of the universe look down on country dwellers in the rest of what is now known as Italy? Because the country-side dwellers were more conservative and reluctant to accept new religious ideas than the smart, successful, forward-thinking city-dwellers were. Whenever any new religious idea was put forward, Romans wanted to check it out. They did this in ancient Athens, too. There is a New Testament verse that I could quote here, but I won’t since I think that there are already far too many Bible verses posted on the Painful Truth website in recent years. I’ll paraphrase it instead: The people in Athens didn’t care about much of anything except learning and gossiping about new ideas. They loved learning, and they carried that love of learning with them when they were sold as slaves to Romans and used as tutors of their Roman masters’ children. Athens was renowned in the ancient world as one of the main centers of higher education, learning, philosophy, thought, research, etc., and they passed this love on to Rome when Rome displaced Athens as the most powerful force in the Mediterranean area.
Merriam-Webster says the main, modern English meaning of “pagan” is this: “heathen… [or] a follower of a polytheistic religion (as in ancient Rome)”. Of course, the word “heathen” also has negative, unconscious baggage meaning someone who has either no god or the wrong god, is primitive, etc. But the origin of “heathen” is the same as “pagan”, as it comes from an Old English word meaning “heath”, which means wasteland or uncultivated land. In other words, someone who does not live in an energetic city filled with enlightened modern people who are au courant in everything intellectual, such as religions.
These ancient “pagans” were not unenlightened or uneducated at all. In fact, they were as highly educated, learned, and civilized as the several million people living in and around Boston, Massachusetts today. Boston is often called the “Athens of the New World”, since the main industry in Boston is higher education. There are about 100 to 150 colleges and universities in the greater Boston area. Ancient Athens was the same, except the colleges were much smaller in size. One of these colleges was called “The Academy”, where students would learn philosophy from some of the greatest thinkers of all time (Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, etc.). Students would engage Socrates in learning experiences which Socrates thought would force the students to use their minds to the maximum. The Socratic method was to ask students questions designed to “encourage fundamental insight into the issue at hand” (from the Wikipedia page on Socrates).
People weren’t educated in the same subjects anciently as they are today. E.g., they didn’t study aerodynamics, rocket science, electronic circuit theory, etc. But they studied other subjects just as diligently as college students are supposed to be doing today. Philosophy was not the only area in which “pagan” ancient Greece excelled. They also had highly developed forms of music, singing, drama, literature, medicine, science, ethics, and libraries. One of the main reasons why the “pagan” cultures in ancient Athens and Rome are denigrated today is that people in those cities were tolerant of all religions, and there were plenty of different religions to pick from. They believed in many gods. Then along came the weird new idea of monotheism, which required absolute intolerance of all other religions. Monotheism spawned the three evil religions that all look to Abraham as their source – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Their collective intolerance was manifested in such wonderfully religious, enlightened, and non-pagan events as the Crusades, Spanish Inquisition, Salem witch trials, convert-or-be-killed paradigm of Islam, murder of thousands of Huguenots in France all on one day, and burning alive of hundreds of “savage” American Indians in New England in the 1600s. One such mass live burning was even celebrated on Thanksgiving Day.
And we enlightened moderns think that the ancient pagans were bad.
The vile pagans also had slavery. Life was very comfortable if you were lucky enough to be born in to the ruling class, but if you were a slave then life was just as miserable in those enlightened pagan societies as it has always been for slaves. Modern, supposedly “enlightened” Christianity allowed, and even encouraged, slavery for hundreds of years.
So the word “pagan” should not be used indiscriminately to refer to a time when things were worse than they are now. One of the greatest lies taught to us in our public schools under the guise of history is that the course of human history has been one of constant and agonizingly slow improvement over the millennia, and that the main reason why things are so wonderful now is that Christianity has freed us from all wrong thinking. This is a monstrous lie. Here are some quotes to give you an idea of what life was really like in the past:
“…the first surgeon in Christendom was driven out of Europe in the 16th century by the Christian Church, to die of starvation on an island.”
“In England… up to the 16th Christian century, everyone ate from a common pot, there were no knives, forks, or spoons, and no tablecloths or napkins to dry the greasy fingers and mouths. The clergy then denounced from the pulpits of England the use of table cutlery as contrivances of the devil, and poured out their eloquence against any improvement in the sordid way the people were then living.”
“… if Constantine had not made Christianity the state religion of Rome, and, if the christian Church had not taken the place of the Roman emperor when the Empire collapsed, education would not have been obliterated as it was.”
“…by the beginning of the 6th century, all the schoolmasters had been either murdered or exiled, and their schools confiscated.”
“When Rome fell, and the Christian Church took over control, all intellectual life ceased, the consequence being that this, the earliest newspaper [a public copied announcement of the decisions of the Roman Senate beginning in 60 B.C.], ceased publication. Not until 1566 did a newspaper again appear in Europe…”
“…how foolish it is to disparage Paganism and elevate Christianity, when, during the reign of the Christian Church, nearly everything good in Paganism was destroyed and that which was evil predominated.”
“Instead of knowledge continuing to spread, as it had done over the preceding six hundred years, a black curtain of ignorance descended upon the most virile portion of the human race… Knowledge was now regarded as sinful, ignorance was elevated to rank as a virtue…”
“That which is based on falsehood and intolerance produces evil, and the record of the Christian Church is in keeping with its origin. Righteousness was never its mission, but rather to protect and continue the Pagan beliefs, now called Christian.”
All the above quotes are from Paul Findlay’s 1947 book The Curse of Ignorance: A History of Mankind from primitive times to the end of the Second World War, volume 1.
(5) Re: Diane Yoder’s January 11, 2008 horror story.
She wrote “For eight years he [some minister swine named William D. Gordon] let my dad beat my mother to a pulp. Once my dad nearly killed her when he threw her across the kitchen and she cracked her head on the cupboard.”
Whenever I hear of domestic abuse like that, I always wish that (1) the abused victim (almost always a woman) would have shot and killed the abuser (almost always a husband), and that (2) I would be on the jury that would have the glorious opportunity not only to declare her innocent of all charges but also to proclaim her the town hero and Mother of the Year.
(6) Re: The 10/24/07 update on Richard Markland
I read Leslie Turvey’s ravings with a profound sense of sadness. He wrote “… if God wants Richard in prison, who are we to question His methods? Perhaps God put a “lying spirit” in the little girl, or hardened the jury’s hearts the way He did Pharaoh’s. If this is God’s will, we should be rejoicing that Richard was framed!”
This is exactly the kind of closed mind that cultmasters desire. No matter what happens, it must have been God’s will. Or it can be speculated upon, without breaking into hysterical laughter at the lunacy of the idea, that it might be God’s will. After all, how can we possibly know the will of an infinite being? Let’s deconstruct this absurd idea. If God wants Richard in prison so much that he (or she) would put a lying spirit into a little girl, then maybe God’s Holy Spirit moved mightily upon [Terry Ratzman] as he stood in the room, gun in hand, and “inspired” [Terry] to shoot all those people. After all, it was really critical that Richard be put in prison somehow. And maybe God really wanted a few people in Russia to become spiritually mature and learn how to forgive others, so it (or he) moved mightily upon Stalin and caused him to order the murders and/or fatal Gulag internments of twenty to thirty million people. Then later a handful of people could develop true forgiveness. Who are we to question Gawd’s methods? Turvey’s reasoning is so sick that I can only shake my head and wonder just how much longer this vile phenomenon we call humanity can be allowed to continue. The only redeeming feature of the WWCG and its exponentially growing number of splinter offshoots is that they are each so small that they cannot influence very many people any more. Unfortunately, new cults keep springing up as new narcissists are born and mature (?) into full-fledged adult psychopaths.
The logical extreme of Turvey’s mental diarrhea is that literally everything that happens has to be God’s will. Since it happened, therefore God allowed it to happen. Therefore God knew that if it happened some good result would come one, two, or perhaps a thousand years later. Or maybe a million years later in our fifteenth alternate universe. Right.
(7) Re: John B.’s article “CanYou Spot a Con Man?”
John wrote “Other stories tell of men who romance lonely widows, sometimes even marry them, then clean out their bank accounts and disappear.” I knew a divorcée who was romanced by such a swine. They were married, and about one week later he disappeared along with all her silver and anything else he could find in her house that was worth any sizable amount of money. Someone like her can at least learn to dread the fire after having been so badly and obviously burned. We didn’t learn to dread our conmen because they did it to us slowly over a long period of time. And they kept re-convincing us of the godliness and necessity for all the looting and plundering.
John also wrote “The power of the con man is that you don’t recognize him for what he is. If he’s really good at what he does, he can operate for a lifetime…” Such a conman is a parasite, but one who is probably living in a symbiotic relationship with the victim. That means that both the parasite and the victim benefit from the parasitical arrangement. The parasite gains by not having to work very hard to earn his daily steak (while the victim works hard to earn his daily crust of bread), and the victim gains by feeling good about himself, since he is able to donate to such a worthy cause as that which the parasitic conman has explained so lovingly to the victim.
This perversion of natural human relationships happens so often in our culture that we now have specific terms for all the players involved. The parasite is now known as the one with the obsessive-compulsive disorder (this makes him sound so much less vile – he merely has a disorder instead of being a lazy, manipulative scumbag). The victim is the co-dependent of the parasite, and the victim needs to be taught how to stop “enabling” the one suffering from the OCD. The victim has to be convinced that “tough love” is necessary in order to help the parasite. So the family of an alcoholic have to kick him out of the house. Or the cult member has to learn to tell his apostle to go to hell. This takes a lot of courage, and cult members don’t do it very often.
Another example of a parasite is the meme. This word means a mental virus that worms its way inside someone’s mind, infects him with weird ideas, convinces him to try to “help his fellow man” by getting them to believe in the same weird idea, and thus the memetic virus reproduces itself and spreads from human to human. We have learned how to stop many physical viruses from spreading, such as by isolation or quarantine. We also need to apply the same kinds of techniques to mental viruses. Loonies and psychopathic losers who are in charge of cults need to be quarantined. Put all the cult leaders and other psychopaths in the same small town encircled by high walls of solid steel so they can never break out, like the city of refuge in the Old Testament of the alleged Bible. It’s a really good idea, but that doesn’t mean that all the rest of the Bible is true or god-breathed.
(8) Re: What is Truth? by Retired Prof (07 FEB 07)
He said “They can't change because they have too much of their lives invested in their beliefs. To admit that they have been wrong for so long is something they can't accept.” I already commented on this in my 30 Years in the Worldwide Church of God series (Part Two) by referring to what is commonly known as throwing good money after bad. I just want to add a little more explication now that I have had 7 more years of re-education after I wrote that. The idea is that it is better to keep on doing what deep down inside you either disbelieve or else secretly doubt, because it makes you feel better than it does to dwell on your secret doubts because if you were to give in to your secret doubts, then you would have to admit you had been lied to and you believed those lies, and then make drastic changes in your lifestyle in order to keep from going insane and living a total lie. Drastic changes in lifestyle are not comfortable, and that would make you feel bad, so it’s better to feel good superficially than to think about reality. After all, you’ve already invested (wasted ?) 25 years of your life in this (worthless) pursuit, so what’s another 10 years? Just hang in there and don’t rock the boat and maybe you can die happy and still deceived as to what was really going on.
I think people who do that must not value their life very highly. I gave up on my failed belief system because I was only 53 when I came to my senses, thought I might live at least 17 more years (to die at 70), and did not want to waste my last 17 years. My life is much more valuable to me if I spend it doing something that I at least do not know for certain is stupid and a waste of time. I may find out next year that what I am doing now is a waste of time, but I don’t know that yet so I’ll keep on doing it. But I learned for sure that religion is a grand waste of time, and cults are even worse. So no more of either of those two kinds of insanity for me, please.
(9) Re: Rod Meredith – An Old Softie? By Retired Prof (12 FEB 07)
He wrote: “Outline the book if it helps you understand it.”
I never did understand the supposed good of outlining books. In the case of Gibbon’s The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, outlining that book would be an even more egregious waste of time, as Gibbon himself outlined it in his Table of Contents. That was the writing style when Gibbon was writing his magnum opus. Many other excellent books written in previous centuries have significant outlines given by their authors in their tables of contents. Even novels have been written that way. Another thing that a young student can do is to look for an outline or discussion of the heavy tome on the Internet. I fully agree with the Retired Prof that requiring students to turn in an outline of a major literary work is stupid. That doesn’t prove that you either read it or understood it. It could be that all you really did was to flip through the pages and copy down the titles of all the chapters, sub-chapters, etc.
I started trying to read Gibbon’s book once myself, and quickly discovered that it wasn’t a book, it was a set of 6 books. Most people today read only a summary of Gibbon’s books that have been condensed down into only one book for modern readers who have been turned into impatient and puerile non-thinkers who get bored and give up if there is not something exploding on every other page. Gibbon originally wrote so much on the subject that it took him six books to contain it all.
(10) Re: “O thou of little doubt, wherefore didst thou believe?, Part II” by Retired Prof (03 APR 2007)
The gifted writer Retired Prof wrote: “My fellow student’s excellent question, 'So who created god?' implied the rational idea that the 'eternal, omnipotent creator' explanation for the universe doesn’t really solve the underlying mystery of ultimate origins at all.” This question, when discussing the ultimate origin of everything, is improper for several reasons. One is that it implies that you must be able to answer the question with a specific answer. E.g., you could say “I have positive evidence that Abraham Calvin Smith created God on August 13 in 20 billion B.C.” But you would both instantly know that is absurd. The fact that you lack the ability to provide a specific answer is assumed. That leaves the hearer of the question with only two alternatives: (1) you must take on faith that god exists even though you cannot tell him who created the god that you take on faith must exist, or (2) you must therefore conclude that there is no god since you can’t possibly answer the question. How about this answer: “I don’t know and I don’t care.”? If you should somehow be able to answer who created god, then the next question must obviously be “Who created the one that created god?” Why not just quit trying to gain the upper hand in an endless debate and both of you agree that no one can possibly know where everything came from 15 billion years ago? Then agree that you must disagree, go drink a beer together, and talk about something else which it is possible to understand, like maybe how great the Boston Red Sox are.
(11) Now for some philosophy and technical thoughts.
How do you “prove” something to be true? That depends on what the something is. I can prove to myself that the keyboard on which I am typing now is real because I can see it and feel it. How do I prove one theory or another about how the universe was created, which god (if any) is the only real god, what happens to us when we die, etc. etc.? In other words, how do you prove something that can’t be proven by direct and palpable observation? The answer is that you can’t. You can disprove certain ideas by showing at least one case where the idea fails. This is known as falsifiability. If you can falsify something by showing at least one situation, or designing at least one experiment, in which the theory fails, then you have proven the theory false. But you can never prove it true. Einstein is reputed to have said the following on proofs:
(1) “The question is much too difficult for me.” [when asked what constitutes scientific proof]
(2) “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.” [on his theory of relativity]
If you can never prove the existence of god or any of these other imponderables, you can either (1) realize and accept the futility of that line of thinking, thus becoming either an agnostic or atheist, depending on how you choose to define atheism and how aggressive you want to be, or (2) pick some failed belief system to believe in and thus feel better about yourself and the world around you because now you can explain everything that happens in terms of some mystical, supernatural thing that your imaginary pantheon has done. E.g., bad things happen because Satan did them, or because God wants to try our faith. Good things happen because our imaginary god wants to bless us. Things will always get better overall because our mythical god really loves us and doesn’t want bad things to happen to us most of the time.
(12) More thoughts on Intelligent Design.
The phrase “Intelligent Design” with both words capitalized carries certain baggage with it, because this phrase is now used to designate the only allowable alternative to evolution, at least the only one allowed by all those who use the false logical proof called The Fallacy of the Excluded Middle. This means that you argue thus: There can only be two possible explanations for what we are discussing, theory A and theory B. Since we know that theory A is impossible, therefore I have just proven that theory B is true. The first problem with this “proof” is that there may be more possible explanations. The second problem is that you assume that theory A is impossible without proving it. I like to use the phrase “intelligent design” with both words beginning with lower-case letters to mean something different than when spelled with capital letters, namely that someone with some intelligence inside his brain uses his intelligence to design something that was not there before. I do this all the time with the computer software I develop. I utilize intelligent design to solve computer problems. Also genetic researchers and other types of scientists use their intelligence to design what they believe will be an improvement in the DNA of some living organism. This has been going on now for at least 25 years that I am aware of. Genetic modification happens all the time around us now. This is intelligent design. Pre-existing DNA is modified by someone who, after thinking intelligently about the DNA, gets an idea on how to change it to solve some perceived problem with the DNA. Crops now all ripen on the same day and grow to the same height so they can be more efficiently harvested by machine. The profitability of major agribusinesses is driving a lot of this intelligent re-design, if you will, of DNA. Another major driving force is man’s inherent need to project power over other people, so our American military, CIA, spook industry, and other black projects are researching ways to create new bio-weapons, how to modify certain diseases’ DNA so they kill only people of certain ethnic groups (if some correlation between that ethnic group and their DNA can be determined), and other equally hideous ideas.
But this is merely dancing around the Intelligent Design issue. I think it is possible that some space aliens either invented our DNA or modified something else’s DNA at some distant time in the past, placed this DNA on the earth, and sat back to watch their experiment to see how it turned out. Or maybe they did this to produce billions of people whom they can harvest as food some time in the future. We can speculate over all sorts of reasons why we might have been invented to suit some need of whatever more intelligent thing built our DNA. If that is what happened.
Of course the aggressive, in-your-face atheist then immediately jumps down my throat and says “Who created your space aliens?” I don’t know and I don’t care. I am only taking my speculation backwards in time one generation. If my theoretical space aliens want to think about who or what designed their DNA or created them somehow, then that’s their problem, not mine. The same goes with the question of who created god. I don’t know or care about that one, either. If the one true omnipotent god really cares to find out, he can do that, but, again, that’s his problem, not mine. I do not believe that either the Theory of Evolution or the Intelligent Design theory of the origin of life is correct or can be proven. Neither theory can yet be falsified. I can see certain evidence that both theories are working here and now on the earth in limited situations. Organisms are obviously evolving. And DNA is obviously being redesigned intelligently. My conclusion is that this question can not be proven one way or the other with our current knowledge, so I choose to think about other things that seem to me to be less a waste of my short remaining lifespan.
Another problem with the Intelligent Design baggage is that the believers in this theory are the same ones who argue that since we know we were Intelligently Designed, therefore the whole Bible must be true and we must blindly obey every word in the Bible and take every word as literally true. First of all, if we were intelligently designed (lower-case letters), then that does not mean that we were suddenly created out of nothing. Our modern genetic researchers do not produce modified corn DNA out of nothing. They start with corn DNA that has been working perfectly for thousands of years and make a small change to it. Secondly, even if we were Intelligently Designed (capital letters), then that does not mean that the Intelligent Designer was the same as the schizophrenic, warlike, perverted, angry, male sky god of the Bible.
The Retired Prof also wrote “I don’t have faith that we were created…”. Nor do I. And neither do I have faith that we evolved, either out of previously existing DNA or out of nothing. I think it is far more likely that something intelligently modified some previously existing substances, if for no other reason than to speed up the natural processes that might have let us evolve sooner or later. My limited mind is incapable of conceiving the possibility that everything suddenly created itself out of nothing, or that everything that exists has always existed, which is what the in-your-face atheists would have us believe. Astronomers and cosmologists have theorized that the universe is in a steady state of expanding, slowing down, collapsing, and then exploding with another big bang to begin expanding again. And they are changing their theories over time. The jury is still out on where we came from. I think it is ill-advised to convince oneself that you know dogmatically how it all came to be, as dogmatism always leads to coercion over others to accept your dogma.
More musings on recent posts
22 MAR 2008
An email to the editor on 01/24/08 said this: “Larry Salyer (WashDC 1980’s)”. I was there from 1975-1996, and here is a more accurate history: Larry Salyer was on top of the food chain there from ca. 1974 to 1977 or so, when he was moved to HQ to become the new superintendent of despots (ministers). Sherwin McMichael came to DC then to fill the void and be the new (malad)minister. He lasted until around DEC 1980, when he went off the deep end and found that demons were influencing about 20% of the DC congregation. He was shit-canned by HQ and replaced with Richard Frankel who reigned until ca. late 1990 when he was moved to Chicago and John Comino came to fill the great void in authoritarianism left in the now-vacant top dog slot. Comino moved back to his native Australia ca. JAN 1997, which was shortly after I left the arms of the loving church for good. I don’t know or care who came and went after that, but I am vaguely aware that the quality (educational level, e.g.) of the several successive “pastors” who presided over what was left in the ashes of Comino’s departure and HQ’s self-immolation was steadily going downhill. I remember the man who immediately replaced Comino moved to Indonesia a few years later so that his wife could get a job as a secretary somewhere, I think maybe at the US Embassy in Jakarta. The story was that they would have a much higher family income over there than with his being on the steadily shrinking ministerial payroll in the expensive DC area and with her not working, as ministers’ wives must not work. And so it goes, steadily onward, spiraling downward, and circling the drain faster and faster in all congregations everywhere.
Another emailer asked to have her email address removed from your publicly posted pages. I would like for you to do the same with mine, if it is still on any of your pages. I am now getting at least a dozen spams every day, many of which are from idiots in Nigeria trying to get me rich quick with their secret bank accounts that must be moved to the US if only they can find a very honest American, like me, to help them, and they will give me 20 to 30% of the $40 million if I help them.
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