The Painful Truth About The Worldwide Church of God
Stick With The Script, It Works
By Bob E.

 "Now, if you'll step in here," requested my prospect, "we'll show you our telemarketing facility. We are really proud of this department, because they have achieved the highest closure rate in our industry. Our secret is the special script which was created by Pantron, our marketing research think tank!" I entered a room filled with telephones and cubicles. There was a major hubbub of activity. "Bob, this is Jack Martin," my host announced, Jack is my vice president in charge of telemarketing, and will be showing you how our communicators go about their duties." I was handed a pair of headphones, similar to the ones normally passed out on intercontinental flights for the audio portion of in-flight movies. "Bob, we're going to listen in on my best communicator, so that you'll understand how the system works. Don't worry, she is not only very poised and confident, but is also accustomed to being audited, so this will not bother her a bit!" proclaimed Jack. As Gina worked her magic, I could definitely tell that the script was very effective. She quickly closed for not only the basic product, but also 90% of the upgrades. I was thinking that the new Corvette I had seen in the parking facility on the way in was probably hers. "Wow, Jack," I observed, "that was very impressive."  "It's all in the script," he beamed. "Watch this, we'll zero in on one of our new hires, so you can see the difference." I listened to a young man falter a bit, whereupon Jack flipped a switch allowing him to communicate with his employee thru one side of the head set, inaudible to the customer the young man had engaged in telephone conversation. "You're losing him, Brandon. The problem is that you are off the script!" said Jack. Quickly, Brandon found his place on the script, re-took control of the conversation, and closed for the order. He didn't sell the upgrades, but adhering to the script had at least saved the main order.

Rewind the tape of life and go back to 1974. I am seated, along with my bad boys from the Ambassador College Press, in the Long Beach Arena. This has been used by the Worldwide Church of God as a Feast of Tabernacles site for many years, but Paul, Allen, and I are not here to listen to a sermon. We are there for the farewell Humble Pie concert! We had, of course, partaken of the obligatory herbs to put us in the right mood for what was going to be an outrageous evening, and were all feeling quite toasty. The only negative, if there could be a negative, to this scene was that the opening act for the Pie was Iron Butterfly. Now Iron Butterfly was stark, gloom and doom. If Franz Kafka had been a musician, and had put together a rock quartet, this would be it. They were a one-hit wonder, best known for their opus, "Inna Gada DaVida" so named because the writer of the song had been drinking cheap wine while working his musical wonders, and when his band mates asked him the name of his composition upon their return from dinner, he tried to tell them "In the Garden of Eden", but was so drunk at this point that he slurred the words, and it stuck. In the middle of this song, I suffered a severe Worldwide Church of God flashback, as I was just in the process of leaving that cult. I flashed on a nuclear bomb exploding, and German tanks suddenly appearing from out of nowhere. Goose-stepping Nazi soldiers were bayoneting everyone in their sight, men, women, and children! "Oh, shit!" I thought. Suddenly the song was over, and I looked over at Paul and Allen, and realized that even if this were really happening, I'd be going out in style. Here I was, enjoying life with my friends, and if anything happened, we were all together. In the old neighborhood, if anything heavy went down, worst case was that I would go down swinging! Having re-discovered this old survival attitude, after years of repressing it in the Worldwide Church of God felt good! I enjoyed the Humble Pie concert thoroughly, and many more concerts thereafter. From this point onward, in my own disciplined way, I did what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it, and did not worry about any Armstrongian Swords of Damocles. This story perfectly illustrates how pervasive and effective the scare tactics of the Worldwide Church of God and its imaginary holocaust can be.

This past week, I conferred with one of the points men for the Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Association. I confronted him with the genetics study recently published on the National Academy of Science website, proving that British Israelism is a myth. Common genetic markers were found in Jewish and Arab subjects, but not in the descendents of European subjects in the USA or UK. Basically, I asked him whether any modifications to Garner Ted Armstrong's approach were forthcoming, since British Israelism had been totally debunked. I shared with him my opinion that the gospel could be preached very effectively without the artificial aid of scaring people with a holocaust. He flatly told me that they did not recognize my science, and that they had their proofs that Britain was Ephraim, and the U. S. was Manasseh. Further, he shared with me their position that although one did not need to believe in British Israelism to obtain salvation, Christ would be teaching it in the millennium.  Never mind that they and their predecessors had been scaring generations with dire forecasts of global nuclear warfare, manipulating these people into doing all sorts of unnatural things that they would never have done in their normal state of mind, it was still their job to warn the world, so that they could be prepared. He then proceeded to lay on me a litany of scriptural quotes, as if this had the power to disprove the science (which he attributed to Satan!) of genetics. I didn't even read half of them, they meant as much to me as would the Koran quotings of a turbaned Islamic fundamentalist. When I finally succeeded in getting my true believer friend to read the study on the PNAS website, he was unfazed, picking it apart. We parted agreeing that we disagreed. I don't hate him, he's me thirty years ago. But it is obvious that at least this particular offshoot of the Worldwide Church of God intends not to modify their approach in the face of new, thoroughly debunking truth. Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead! Stick to the script, even if it is no longer true, because, damnit, it works! The tribulation is starting right now, so you better be placing your treasures in heaven. Send us your tithes and generous offerings so that we can get out this end time message, remodel our homes, buy new luxury cars, and put in new swimming pools!


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