Herbert Armstrong can be seen as bad source code of particularly malicious aggressive religious malware,
difficult to detect and even more difficult to remove.
On the False Prophet Ronald Weinland blog, an anonymous contributor commented:
I am ashamed for
becoming caught up in this. I am very naive and trusting, and was really
hoping for a better more just world, and excited to have a sound
framework to live by. But that leaves people open for being taken
advantage of. I have learned now to be yourself and trust your instincts
no matter what anyone says, I just hope it is not too late to rebuild a
Those of us who have been infected with
the Armstrongism malware understand and empathize with this
perspective. We can heartily recommend Take Back Your Life: Recovering from Cults and Abusive Relationships by
Janja Lalich and Madeleine Tobias from Bay Tree Publishing as a
recovery and guard against cult malware. It has the best in-depth
coverage of the religious cult malware of any resource and can serve to
inoculate unwary users from the nasty effects of religious malpractice
hackers, such as Roderick Meredith, Dennis Luker, Jim Franks and others
dedicated to spreading debilitating religious viruses and worms to the
The original source code for this
religious malware stems from Herbert Armstrong, who used snippets of
script from various religious hackers of previous decades and centuries.
He was no Biblical coding expert, but he was able to cut and paste from
various illicit sources like some novice teenager unqualified to
produce viable products but plagiarized source in order to create havoc
and chaos. Although, at first, he set upon his discoveries in the
Portland Public Library, his repertoire, as we will see later, was built
upon a foundation of another whose influence can be seen in his works
and was expanded by the pseudo-intellectual, Dr. Herman Hoeh.
Some may wonder how the Source Code is
built. It’s not that difficult to understand, even for the naive novice
unfamiliar with the processes to create illegitimate applications
destructive to their users. The basic process is to build on snippets
that are created out of the imagination. Once someone creates the
snippet, another comes along and quotes the first “creator”. Then the
first creator quotes the second source, forming a double-bond of
self-referential substantiation with no substance at all. This is
scalable to a much larger community of sources.
John D. Keyser at Mysteries of the Bible website, in the article The
Coronation Stone — Jeremiah in Ireland, debunks the whole idea of Jeremiah being in Ireland, ably assisted by Dr. Greg Doudna’s Showdown at Big Sandy: Youthful Creativity Confronts Bureaucratic
Inertia At An Unconventional Bible College in East Texas.
John Keyser debunks the myth that Jeremiah was in Ireland, establishing
that the premise that he (in the company of his scribe Baruch) took
King Zedekiah’s daughter to Ireland where she founded a line of Davidic
kings that has continued on down to this day. It never happened. Herbert
Armstrong wrote in The United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy wrote:
Then, in 569 B.C.
(date of Jeremiah’s transplanting), an elderly, white-haired patriarch,
sometimes referred to as a “saint,” came to Ireland. With him was the
princess daughter of an eastern king and a companion called “Simon
Brach,” spelled in different histories as Breck, Berech, Brach, or
Berach. The princess had a Hebrew name Tephi — a pet name — her full
name being TEA-TEPHI.
Modern literature of those who recognize
our national identity has confused this Tea-Tephi, a daughter of
Zedekiah, with an earlier Tea, a daughter of Ith, who lived in the days
This royal party
included the son of the king of Ireland who had been in Jerusalem at the
time of the siege. There he had become acquainted with Tea-Tephi. He
married her shortly after 585 — when the city fell. Their young son, now
about 12 years of age, accompanied them to Ireland. Besides the royal
family, Jeremiah brought with them some remarkable things, including a
harp, AN ARK, and a wonderful STONE CALLED “LIA-FAIL,” or “STONE OF
….many kings in the
history of Ireland, Scotland, and England have been coronated over this
stone — including the present queen. The stone rests today in
Westminster Abbey in London, and the coronation chair is built over and
around it. A sign beside it labels it “Jacob’s pillar-stone” (Gen.
The royal husband of
the Hebrew princess Tea was given the TITLE HERREMON upon ascending the
throne of his father. This Herremon has usually been confused with a
much earlier Gede the Herremon in David’s day — who married his uncle
Ith’s daughter Tea. The son of this later king Herremon and Hebrew
princess continued on the throne of Ireland and THIS SAME DYNASTY
CONTINUED UNBROKEN through all the kings of Ireland; was OVERTURNED and
transplanted again in Scotland; again OVERTURNED and moved to London,
England, where this same dynasty continues today in the reign of Queen
In view of the linking together of biblical history, prophecy, and Irish history, can anyone deny that this Hebrew princess was the daughter of King Zedekiah of Judah and therefore heir to the throne of David?
Well, yes we can!
It’s all nonsense.
Here’s the answer from John D. Keyser:
References! In preparation for the writing of this article, and several
others on the royal house of Britain, I searched out and read literally
DOZENS of books written by British-Israelites in order to more accurately understand the BASIS for the Jeremiah/Tea-Tephi legend so eloquently penned by Herbert Armstrong. I also consulted primary and secondary sources on the Irish and Scottish annals.
my surprise, I found that the British-Israelite books all REPEAT the
same Tea-Tephi story (with slight variations), each aggressively
claiming that the story is found in the ancient annals. In my research I
have NOT FOUND a single British-Israelite book that actually gives a
REFERENCE to WHERE in the Irish and Scottish annals the supporting
material may be found! Armstrong’s booklet does not — nor does Joseph
Allen’s earlier book on the subject.
also discovered by Greg Doudna (former Ambassador College student, now
with the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Cornell University),
“they all seem to draw from previous British-Israel writings. They speak
so confidently it sounds like there must be something in the annals to
which they refer. The NAMES mentioned in the Tea-Tephi legend appear in
the annals, true enough, but I have discovered they are TOTALLY
DIFFERENT PERSONS IN THE ANNALS than the British-Israel legend makes
them out to be. The annals simply don’t say what the British-Israel
literature, or the Worldwide Church of God, SAY they say. It is a LEGEND
that someone somewhere within British-Israel circles began, stated it
as fact, and it has been repeated as fact within British-Israel circles
ever since, down to the present day in which the Worldwide Church of God
repeats it to millions. It may make an interesting story, but IT IS
COMPLETELY FABRICATED.” (“Afterword on British-Israelism”, p. 121).
The bottom line here is that one
“expert” historian quotes another and that one quotes the first and a
third one quotes the previous two and so on and so forth. It’s like an
urban legend where you can never find the original source. Scratch that —
it’s not like an urban legend — it is an urban legend.
This is a #1 law for religious malware: If you don’t have the source,
just make something up, then find someone else to quote you and then
quote that as a legitimate source to make the whole thing legitimate. No dishonesty has been harmed in the making of the myth.
British Israelism is another example of
this phenomenon. As nearly all Armstrongists know by this time,
originally — and though there may have been a few others who threw
around the idea previously — Richard Brothers was the primary source of
British Israelism. Oh sure, there were predecessors as is told by The True and Noble Origins of the Anglo-Israel Message, but Richard Brothers was a focal point, with his first publication, released in 1794, The Revealed Knowledge of the Prophecies & Times.
The prologue had this to say:
First wrote under
the direction of the LORD GOD & published by His Sacred Command, it
being the first sign of Warning for the Benefit of all Nations;
Containing with other great and remarkable things not revealed to any
other Person on Earth, the Restoration of the Hebrews to Jerusalem by
the year 1798 under their revealed Prince and Prophet. London, Printed
in the year of Christ, 1794.
He only had 4 years to wait before his prophecy failed. The rest of us have had to wait a lot longer.
It should be noted that Richard
Brothers, in connection with his odd ideas of British Israelism, was
committed to an insane asylum as being a danger to himself and others.
Thus it is that British Israelism was popularized by a kook madman.
It took John Harden Allen with his Judah’s Scepter and Joseph’s Birthright
published in 1902 to truly give Herbert Armstrong the fodder he needed
as he preached the True Gospel as The End Time Apostle and Great False
Prophet, the source code basis for the Key to Prophecy. Low and behold,
major portions of it were plagiarized for The United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy,
all of which has the curious propensity to prompt us to recall the
riddle posed by Professor Maximillian Arturo, played by John
Rhys-Davies, in the science fiction television show, Sliders:
Why doesn’t the sun set on the British Empire?
Because God can’t trust the British in the dark!
British Israelism was the source code to set the stage for the angst ridden prophecies of hyperbole, aptly described in the November-December 2012 Church of God Seventh Day Bible Advocate article, It’s Doomsday Again!
Written into the
folk memory of all peoples is the concept of an “end”. It may be a
subconscious memory of the worldwide destruction of the great Flood. But
disasters do happen and failed predictions of such an end abound.
The article notes:
factors can be found in Scripture and are highlighted by most who write
about prophecy, often with a barely suppressed sense of glee!
As it turns out, fear of gloom and doom are big business:
Many prophecy buffs are excited by the thought of the end.
If you are still wondering about the
source code which produced Herbert Armstrong, one might consider
“Questions and Answers” in the latest Bible Advocate:
Andrew N. Dugger became editor of the Bible Advocate
magazine in 1914 and a popular president of the General Conference
(1921-27; 29-30). He injected futurism into the Church’s prophetic
interpretation, and championed futurist doctrine amid the controversy
that led to the 1933 division between Stanberry and Salem.
In Summary, Elder
Dugger believed 1) the two-horned beast would be a revival Roman Church,
enforcing its mark of Sunday keeping on Sabbath observers; 2) the
Church of God’s main task was to give the third angel’s message, warning
believers against the mark of the beast; 3) the seven plagues were
literal and future judgments upon those who received the mark; 4) the
giving of the third angel’s message and the outpouring of the plagues
would lead to Christ’s return; and 5) Christ’s descent from heaven to
receive His kingdom would occur in the midst of Armageddon.
argument for the imminent fulfillment of his end-time prophecies in the
1920s, 30s and 40s led the Church to become disinterested in his failed
version of them. For more than a generation, the Church struggled to
recapture its true mission to preach salvation in Christ and His grace
alone, rather than serve as a prognosticator of events.
The Church’s return
to its heritage of preaching Christ and His advent without enigmatic
add-ons was reflected in its doctrinal revisions of 1994 and 2006, which
dropped the futurist predictions and suppositions that prevailed for
much of the past century.
– Elder Robert Coulter
It is difficult to imagine that the
fiery preachments of Andrew N. Dugger did not impress the impressionable
Herbert Armstrong as he began on his quest for ministerial truth. The
extremism of futurist ideas of Andrew Dugger impressed on Armstrong’s
impressionable young mind was enough to provide the source code upon
which to build the religious malware foundation of the heretical extreme
cult religion. Apparently, the Church of God Seventh Day eventually
outgrew it, while Armstrongists remained trapped in the eternal
childishness of seeking the thrills of thinking they have special
knowledge of what comes next. This foolishness has spun off over 700
versions of the original malware, just waiting to infect the
uninoculated unsuspecting innocent.
Protect yourself: Prevent damage by
avoiding downloading any more malware from the Internet pages of the
UCG, LCG, CoGWA and the whole host of religious malware servers.
And for heaven’s sake, don’t allow them to charge for the service.