The Painful Truth About The Worldwide Church of God. The Painful Truth About The Worldwide Church of God
The First Fairy Tale

Dale K. Brown



Six thousand years ago, 9:00 a.m. Middle Eastern time, on or about October 26, 4004 B.C., God created the universe with the earth in the middle of it, flat.

In the midst of this waffle he placed two naked human beings he'd created and told them they could eat anything in the world except apples. Naturally, they developed an immediate, all consuming hunger for Granny Smiths. One can only speculate, but the mess humanity finds itself in today might well have been averted if only rutabagas and spinach had been the items placed off menu.

For their impetuousness, this tarnished pair was ejected from the garden. With little to do for a living but jerk weeds they were forced to resort to sordid, disgusting sex for both pleasure and recreation. It might have made up for a lot (the sex that is) until they found themselves with the first of many squalling mouths to feed and realized that, from then on, they would have grub in the dirt for a living, forever.

Their offspring quickly grew up but, due to a lack of eligible marriage partners, brother married sister and vice versa. Because of the high mutation rate inherent in such unions, kings, priests, and assorted politicians quickly evolved.

Soon the locale of Mesopotamia became sparsely populated by Homo Sapiens the life form whose name implies, but does not guarantee, intelligence. As the years slid by knowledge of their divine origins became garbled and, eventually, lost in verbal transmission. Not knowing whence they came, or whither they went (barring the obvious), or even what they were supposed to be doing while they were here, seriously impeded the establishment of social order. Still, for awhile, life was tolerable.

It wasn't long, however, till total rot set in. Mutations continued to occur in mutations and pariahs arose; bigger, meaner, and uglier than their predecessors. They quickly became jealous of those who were smaller, nicer, and better looking, so they exerted their bestial superiority, formed what was, in their view, a more perfect union, dedicated themselves to the hallowed principals of enlightened self interest, and attempted to take over the world.

The reach of expanding populations soon exceeded the grasp of these self appointed rulers, however, so they created invisible friends with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men and, thus, primitive religions were thrust upon a disorganized populace who already had problems to spare. To make matters worse, each freshly frocked deity seemed born with a permanent case of the ass. They were pissed at everything, so it wasn't long before hellfire and damnation made their way into the public lexicon.

If one tribe had gods, all tribes had to have them, because it didn't take any of them long to figure out that, for their group to survive, they needed either a perpetual supply of ice water and Preparation H or a newly minted "god" a lot more powerful and awe inspiring than their neighbor's. Thus, every incarnation necessitated the addition of divine character attributes.

If those ancient and legendary gods of old had one thing in common it was impotence. They couldn't reproduce naturally and they couldn't do their own killing. They had to hire it done. This was a job description tailor made for true believers, and what an excuse! "I didn't want to rape, plunder, and burn; God told me to do it! I was minding my own business and a voice from heaven said, 'Kill 'em all; it'll teach 'em a lesson!'

Inhumanity became a sacred obligation with divine instructions from above. Still, there were drawbacks; a shortage of 747's and plastic explosives, to name but two. So for several centuries, the up close and personal approach was required; a sword through the guts, excruciating torture, and/or perfunctory decapitation. These were, at the time, the only means available for displaying one's utter devotion to the holy cause.

Admittedly, these crude methods may not have engendered the closeness with God one experiences by blowing up airliners and watching eternal re-runs of the blessed events on CNN, nevertheless, after a hard day at one's priestly office, hacking, slashing, and bludgeoning mounds of unrepentant sinners, one was left with the feeling that God was alive and well and all was right with the world.

Eventually, war itself became holy and there were definite advantages to this. For one thing, the inconvenient rules of the Geneva Convention, which so burdened down secular troops were suspended for holy warriors. Indulgences were granted, exemptions extended. Such homilies as "thou shalt not kill" and "turn the other cheek" were summarily overlooked, while such minor infractions of the code of the west as the wholesale slaughter or extermination of entire civilizations not only were permitted, but gloriously rewarded with promises of eternal paradise in the heavenly realms.

As time went on, what with each new god having to be just a little bit tougher and smarter than the god next door, their job description began to incorporate the fantastic. It didn't take long for any deity worth his salt to be required to predict specifics. After all, how could disciples have faith in the hereafter of a God who couldn't handle the here and now? None of them seemed to be particularly good at it though. Initially, priests were blamed for malfeasance and, depending upon the level of offense taken by aggrieved potentates, either censured or boiled in oil.

Being a priest began to carry with it a certain amount of undesirable baggage. Perfection in prediction was unattainable, that much they knew. So a new device was fielded; the shotgun approach to prophecy. It worked like this: Disasters were bound to strike somewhere, sometime, so predict them all! The only hitch was they had to be vague enough on their time line so that when volcanoes belched, the earth shook, or the sky rumbled they had a sufficient quantity of previously released prophecies to fall back on.

There were, admittedly, a few drawbacks to this system; the age old problem of totally unpredictable enemies and disasters or a king who got drunk and demanded specificity. "I don't give a fuck about the end of the world! What's going to happen tomorrow, you bastards?" These refused to go away. But with a little subterfuge, the latter could be dealt with. A bit of double talk, a few bows and scrapes, that was all that was necessary. As for the former, when in doubt, predict victory. As time wore on, most problems were dealt with in this manner. As for the rest? Hell, something had to be left to the gods' discretion!

Priests had led lives of comparative ease and pleasure in those earlier days, but they were beginning to have their hands full trying to please impossible monarchs while maintaining control of the growing populations. As time went on, more and more specialized knowledge was requested and required both by kings and the peasantry. But the more knowledge priests discovered, the more advantageous it seemed to keep those discoveries to themselves. On the one hand, knowledge was power and, as far as priests were concerned, ignorant monarchs already had more than enough for their own good. On the other, they had to say something profound every now and then, or else.

So, priests were left with the sticky problem of how to disseminate enough information to keep their heads while reserving sufficient data to retain their office. Darwin's process of natural selection weeded out those who were unsuccessful in these endeavors, leaving only survivors to pass on their ever evolving skills and knowledge. (Although Darwin had not evolved yet, the process he was to discover had!)

Having solved these problems to the best of their abilities they were, they thought, once again free to turn their attentions to wine, women, and the sackbutt. But like everything else in life, success brought only more problems.

Since heaven was the abode of choice for the gods, it followed that the ministry, being on at least a "How ya doin' good buddy?" basis with its denizens, should know more than most about what went on up there. This was a belief nurtured and encouraged by soothsayers everywhere. The rub came when the gods who, as a breed, were a mischievous, unpredictable lot, set fire to heavenly objects and sent them careening through supposedly immutable night skies and did so with no prior warning to the hapless priests!

Many a head rolled in those days when comets and other debris left over from creation lit up the night skies for miles about. The problem was this; the gods lived in heaven, they were perfect, ergo their habitations must be as well. Otherwise they'd live down here on the cesspool called earth with the rest of creation's afterthoughts.

It was the priests' job to keep these gods mollified, thus preventing divine manifestations of holy wrath while keeping ignorant subjects appraised of their duties in order to avert those displays. And if priests weren't up to the job, they got the ax.

In their quest for enlightenment priests were finding out by default how natural systems really worked. It wasn't comfortable lore and often times conflicted with both faith and common sense, so such science as there was usually had to take a back seat to mysticism for the good of hearth and home. Still, knowledge, battered and bruised as it was by these conflicts, emerged. Some of the greatest advances in science and the humanities were actually discovered early on only to be lost again as the generating civilization either declined in power or began attending revival meetings.


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