Sunday, December 11, 2011

Thoughts On William B. Hinson's Broadway to Armageddon

I'm sorry I have not been posting much. I am well and hope you are as too.

Regarding the last post containing Roderick C. Meredith's family destroying letter I wish to express my heartfelt thanks to Exit and Support Network for directing me to the 1977 book Broadway to Armageddon by William B. Hinson which contains the letter.

In the book comments from the author and placed within the letter. I have chosen not to include them. Also the letter contains many italic words. Most of them I chose to ignore. Some emphases have been retained however.

I found Mr. Hinson's book very difficult reading as it most vividly describes the monstrous abyss of tyrannical Armstrongism and how it quite literally destroys people.

The author himself tragically lost his own son to Herbert W. Armstrong's anti-medicine superstition. (An idea Herbert W. Armstrong stole from the 1921-1952 Jehovah's Witnesses.)

The book is to a large extent a collection of letters, personal testimonies, and recollections made by WCG ministers and members crying out for reform within HWA's WCG, pointing out the many terrible shortcomings within WCG (largely due the authoritarian manner in which HWA lorded over it) and how they were cast out of the vicious cult as HWA and his cronies proceeded to destroy any attempt at reform to secure their power over the eternally abused flock.

It provides an important account from the those who strived to correct injustices within WCG before the mass defections of 1974. It certainly is well worth reading.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

RCM's Manual on How to Destroy Families

From William Hinson, Broadway to Armageddon, Chapter 9, pp. 150-6.

World Headquarters
Pasadena, California
Herbert W. Armstrong
President and Pastor
Office of
Roderick C. Meredith Second Vice-President

July 18, 1969

Special instructions: SAVE!

Dear Fellow Ministers:

This is a special letter of instruction regarding the handling of divorce and marriage cases. I hope all of you will read it very carefully and follow these instructions in handling these cases/

Appeal to them to be open-minded and candid about any pertinent information or intimate details of their past marriages. Let them know that you have gone into intimate details of dozens of cases and that you are not going to to be shocked at all. They should not hold back anything about any pertinent romantic or sex relationships before marriage. Tell them--if these factorsa apply--that you are God's minister and are married, have children and know about sex. Also, that you are bound as God's minister not to divulge any of it to anyone, and that, in fact, you forget most details anyway as you go through more and more cases....

There are ten basic questions you should ask and write up for review by your District Superintendent in regard to the previous marriages. Go through each question in detail, and be sure your write-up is thorough. Get specific answers, not general ones. Use the first names of the people involved throughout the write-up to avoid confusion, and be sure to go through each case chronologically. Keep in mind that the ministry is not a detective agency. It is the responsibility of the people to get the facts, not the ministry. We can only base our decision on the facts that they present. The basic questions to ask are as follows:

1. Has either party been married before? How many times? If so, go through each marriage in chronological order covering the following points to finally determine their present status. Remember to ask about any "common-law" situations or "arrangements" while the man was overseas in the service, etc.

2. When did the original couple become acquainted? (Approximate date and their ages.) Ask the family background, religion, etc., of their parents.

3. How long and what type of courtship did they have? Did they have formal dates? Was petting involved? Fornication?

4. Did they discuss home, family, children?

5. What were the ages when both parties married? Were their ages legal?

6. Did the parents grant permission for the marriage? If not, did they try to annul it? Did they follow through on annulment or acquiesce?

7. What kind of marriage was it? (Justice of the Peace or church?) What were the circumstances of the wedding--elopement, shotgun wedding, church, etc.

8. What were the attitudes of each party involved before and at the marriage? Did they really intend to be husband and wife? If not, why did they marry? Ask and pull it out of them. This is a key factor. You may need to keep going back asking about their intentions in marriage over and over throughout the entire discussion. Ask about it in different ways, but get this point thoroughly established if possible!

9. What fruits of point #4 above were evident? Did they buy furniture and dishes, rent an apartment, set up housekeeping, or live with their parents, etc.? Did he properly support her or at least try to be a husband in this regard? Did they make a home and perform the duties of a husband and wife? Did he provide for the home? Did she cook, sew and keep house? Did they have normal sex relations?

10. Was there previous fornication with anyone else or fraud of any kind involved?

We must judge the spirit of fraud as well--lesbian or homosexual, absolute alcoholic, dope addict, demonism, etc. These are matters affecting the character and being of the individual. The question is "Did God bind the marriage, or is either party the victim of a fraud?" Once the fraud is discovered, they must separate or else God will then bind the marriage if they continue to live together with the knowledge of the fraud. If the couple has lived together for a number of years and fraud is discovered later, and if the man then puts her away for that reason, the marriage is not binding. If he forgives her or "tolerates" the fraud and continues to live with her, God then binds the marriage.

Tell the people that what they told us is the basis of our decision. If they have not told us the truth, then they are sternly accountable to God Himself as were Ananias and Sapphira!

When all the facts bearing upon the case have been written up, do NOT inform the individuals of your decision based upon those facts unless the former marriage was clearly binding and you are SURE the case is cut and dried. In this instance, they may make their decision to separate sexually (though you should not "tell" or command them to do anything!) But do not advise one or the other to move out until the decision has been confirmed by your District Superintendent. In cases where the former marriage does not appear binding, or where there is some doubt in you[r] mind as to whether or not it was binding, do not give them the decision until it has the final approval of your District Superintendent. Give them the benefit of the doubt until the decision is final.

So that everyone will now have a complete, thorough and uniform approach to divorce and remarriage cases, I will give you vital guidelines that all of you should now be following. We here on the Headquarters' "team" have spent dozens of hours working out and reviewing these guidelines. So SAVE this special letter and use it regularly in handling D& R cases!

First of all, before you tell people they are bound to a previous mate according to God's Word, you had better be sure that they are. You can be sure, of course, only after the whole case has been written up in detail and submitted, first of all, to your District Superintendent for approval of the decision. The minister in charge should be handling these cases and making the decisions, not Local Elders.

Do NOT tell the people before the decision is made that you think their present marriage is "probably" valid or "probably" not valid in God's sight! Just tell them that you cannot advise them on their situation until you have the full details about the previous marriages and also check with your District Superintendent. Giving people false hopes can make an eventual separation even more difficult than it would be normally, or make the individuals involved bitter against God's Church and you personally if the case doesn't come out the way you indicated that it would.

Don't go into the case unless you have the time to go into it thoroughly. Begin by asking them whether they have counseled with anyone else--a Catholic priest, etc., or one of our ministers--in regard to the validity of their marriage. Then ask if they have read our booklet on Divorce and Remarriage. If they havn't, you may advise them to write for it and postpone further discussion until they have read and studied the booklet. If they have read the booklet, ask them if they agree with the Bible teaching on divorce and remarriage. Find out if they are willing to go along with the decision reached and separate, if necessary, in order to obey God. If they won't, then there is no need to pursue the case further.

Explain that we don't tell people to separate, but if they come to us wanting to become a member of God's Church, we merely tell them what God requires of them before He will put them in His Church. It is just a matter of whether they are willing to obey God, and if they are, God will put them in His Church.

If one of the mates is not interested in the Church, just explain to him or her that just as any club has its own membership rules, God has set down certain requirements that must be met before a person can become a member of the Church of God. It is our responsibility as His ministers to explain these requirements, but what the individual does about it is his own private and personal business.

Try every means to induce the unconverted mate to talk freely and give the necessary information about any previous marriages. If the converted or interested wife does see fit to separate or threatens to separate sexually until a decision is reached, this is often a powerful means to induce the man to co-operate and be willing to sit down and discuss the case.

If an antagonistic mate simply will not divulge information on previous marriages, try to find out the basic details from the converted mate--or other relatives or friends--and you may be able to be sure from that. We cannot assume that the present marriage is not bound without adequate facts. It is up to them. If the unconverted mate is not willing to discuss it, what the other does is up to the individual. We will tell neither what to do--though if the weight of the evidence indicates, the converted mate probably should separate until the decision is made.

If they are willing to abide by the decision reached and if they want a decision made based on God's Word, let them know that this is a very serious issue and may be a turning point in their lives which could affect their eternal salvation. Warn them that they may be tempted to twist the facts, gloss over certain facts and even lie about certain aspects of their previous marriages. Remind them of what happened to Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5 in explaining God's attitude toward those who lie to His ministers. Ask them if they have already made up their minds about whether their past marriages were binding. If they have, there is no point in pursuing the matter further.

Do NOT send the information you have written up directly to Headquarters! Send the information--along with the decision you reached if you were able to reach one--to your District Superintendent, and be sure to keep a copy for your local files. He will then either approve or disagree with the decision. Or on those which you were not able to decide, he will, if possible, make the decision and forward the case write-up and the decision to Headquarters for our records. The District Superintendent need NOT keep a giant file on all case write-ups--just those for the churches he personally pastors.

We will make the decisions only on those that the District Superintendents refer to us to decide. In these cases, we will then send both the local minister and the District Superintendent a copy of our decision.

If the final decision was that they are not bound to their present mate, tell them verbally, in person, that according to CHRIST'S TEACHINGS THEY ARE NOT BOUND AND THAT NOW THEY NEED TO DECIDE WHAT TO DO IF THEY WISH TO OBEY God. But once a case like this has been fully gone into and decided, the people must NOT be allowed to attend if they insist on living in adultery!

Do not, under ANY circumstance, put the decision in writing! It could be used against us in court, as occurred in one case that all of you are familiar with.

When one of the mates is not being called, emphasize again that we are not telling them separate, but that we are only telling them what God's Word says, and be especially discreet when the mate is antagonistic. If a woman decides to separate against the wishes of her unconverted "husband," we cannot help her to make the separation in any way. After she has made the decision to obey God and has separated, we will then help her in any way we can--again, using discretion, of course.

If they both agree to the separation, we should offer help and advice in carrying out their decision. They should separate geographically--at least a state away in most instances, and in every case should be in different Church areas.

Only in very rare circumstances--perhaps when one or both are senile and when one or the other is crippled or severely disabled--might a brother-sister relationship be approved. In no case, however, should you hold out this hope until this arrangement has been approved by Headquarters! We have found that brother-sister relationships just do not work--even though they might, and I say might, be able to remain sexually separate. They are still living in a husband-wife relationship in their minds. Only in very unusual and extreme circumstances would this arrangement be approved. We have learned some hard lessons on this through the years!

We have enclosed a list of the ten questions with this letter on a separate piece of paper so that you can carry it with you on D & R counselings. This will help you include all the important information in writing up the cases. You can just write the number of each question and take notes on each answer in order to write it up in complete, thorough form later. You should then go over the completed write-up with the individuals involved to get last-minute clarifications and to verify that the information is accurate since the decision may hinge on certain vital facts, and their accuracy is very important.

Take time to do a thorough job on these, fellows, and be sure your write-ups are easily legible (preferably typed) and in order according to the ten points we are giving you. We all know how these decisions affect people's lives, so let's all prayerfully do our best as God's representatives.

Your brother in Christ,
Roderick C. Meredith

P.S. We will only send you a couple of sample copies of different types of cases because of the importance of writing these up correctly.

P.P.S. Remember! From now on send your D & A write-ups ONLY to your District Superintendent. He will confirm or reject your decision, decide those in question, and he will forward the case write-ups to us. Also, he will ask Headquarters to decide those crucial cases even he is not sure of--hopefully, very few!

So study, keep and USE this letter as a basic "manual" on handling D & R cases from now on!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Gaddafi's Fall

I have heard that Gaddafi, the man who ruthlessly lorded over the people of Libya since gaining power in a military coup in 1969, is dead.

I would have preferred for him to be brought before a trial, but that did not happen in this war situation.

I am truly amazed and awed at how the courage and bravery of the Libyan people were able to overthrow that tyrant, even though that murderer killed so many people in a futile attempt to protect his power.

That murderer brought this catastrophe upon himself. He did this by refusing to show any mercy to the protesters, by being so astoundingly contemptuous of human life, by oppressing the Libyan people for so long. He decided that he had every right to murder as many people as possible just to protect his privileges and power, and that is why the Libyan people were forced to take up arms and overthrow him.

I hope that the Libyan people will be able to create a peaceful Libya and wish them luck in their quest to create a new Libya.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Occupy Wall Street

Let me state here that I truly hope this protest spreads and grows. It is wrong that those responsible for the global financial crisis of 2008 to escape prosecution. It is wrong that the middle class and the poor are expected to make do without to suffer for the failing of the world market. Failings caused by elites, not ordinary people who inevitably suffer during rounds of austerity. the big banks who bought toxic mortgages, which were fostered onto people who were viciously tricked into entering mortgages that they could not pay off, just as many of us were tricked into joining Armstrongism without knowing what we were getting into.

I wish the protesters well in their quest for justice. If you can help I encourage you to do so. Spread the word.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sydney Hull Has Passed Away

Recently I looking at the stats of the blog and discovered that someone had arrived at this blog after typing in a search phrase saying that Sydney Hull had died. Intrigued I looked through issues of Living Church News and discovered on page 31 of the July-August 2011 Living Church News that he has indeed passed away.
Mr. Sydney Hull died March 13, just a few days short of 81 years. Mr. Hull was baptized in 1964 and ordained an elder in 1974. He served as an evangelist and as the LCG Regional Director in South Africa for a number of years. Mr. Hull is survived by his wife, Mrs. Dot Hull.
I am saddened to hear to hear of this. I wish to express here my sympathy to all those who mourn his passing.

[Update: I have just seen that his death was reported by LCG apologist Bob Thiel as soon as it happened. Somehow this information escaped me. I was probably too busy watching the events in Libya and Syria to notice it. I have been taking a long break from watching the saga of the COGs.]

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years After 9/11

It has been ten years since since 9/11. For anyone interested I related my personal experience of 9/11 elsewhere.

It is very sad what happened to those and that their loved ones have lost them.

I feel sad that the US government, in response to 9/11, has eroded personal civil liberties in ways that are wrong. I feel particularly strongly on this issue after learning of the useless and vicious 'enhanced pat downs' that were instituted by the TSA in airports last November to coerce passengers into entering controversial full body scanners.

So often I hear people say we live in a changed world after 9/11. That is true, but this fact should be used as justification to surrender liberties to the state, letting them poke and prod in our lives in ways that would have been unjustifiable before 9/11. We also should not forget that Al Qaeda has been severely crippled, not least after the wicked mastermind himself, Osama bin Laden, was killed by US soldiers. We must not let the fear of Al Qaeda permit our government to erode our liberties.

I would like to share here the following books I have read concerning 9/11.

God @ Ground Zero by Ray Giunta and Lynda Rutledge Stephenson.

One chaplin's personal account of his experiences in Ground Zero. This book really helped me learn to be more sympathetic with those who endure traumatic experiences. An unforgettable account of those who responded to this catastrophic emergency containing moving stories of peoples caught up in this most terrible crime. It provides a glimpse into the lives of those who respond to disasters.

The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright.

An astounding and superb account of the history of Al Qaeda up to December 2001, with emphasis upon the lives of Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. Essential reading for any one wanting an account of how those two men came to lead that most infamous terrorist group.

I found this book unexpectedly comforting. This was the book that made me realize clearly that Al Qaeda is actually a bizarre, small, Islamic based cult and that the vast majority of Muslims are very different from Al Qaeda. To imagine that the majority of Muslims are like Al Qaeda is like imagining every American is like the Ku Klux Klan.

Old WCG Was a Doomsday Cult, Bob Theil

Bob Theil made an article: Australian Wrong: Old Worldwide Church of God Was Not a Doomsday Cult. In response to the release of a semi-autobiographical novel written by an Australian ex-WCG member, Bob Theil insists that old WCG was not a doomsday cult.
There are a lot of misunderstandings about the old Worldwide Church of God (WCG).
But it was not a “doomsday cult.”

Those of us who were part of the old WCG and in the current Living Church of God (LCG) are not like the Jim Jones’ followers–we do not plan on drinking poisoned flavor-aid to end our lives.
This statement is very deceptive. What the old WCG under HWA did do was forbid followers from using medicine or going to doctors causing tragic and needless deaths. Herbert W. Armstrong appears to have gained this anti-medicine superstition from the Jehovah's Witnesses, in which members were also forbidden from using vaccines from 1921 till 1952. Here Bob Theil shamefully ignores this most dreadful and atrocious behavior HWA forced upon his followers and banishes it down the memory hole.

Let us now continue:
Although some are expected to die in persecutions, LCG church members mainly hope to live until the return of Jesus Christ and the establishment of His kingdom, and hope to proclaim the truths of the Bible to the world as a witness until the end (Matthew 24:14)....

As far as preaching prophecies in the Bible that show that the Anglo-descended nations will be chastised if they do not repent, yes the old WCG and current LCG taught that .... But urging repentance is not a sign of being a doomsday cult. It is a sign of trying to follow what Jesus said to do.
Bob Theil is wrong. Old WCG was a doomsday cult. HWA and his cronies constantly abused the Bible and viciously used false prophetic interpretations to sow fear of being caught within the Great Tribulation to force followers to follow the dictatorial rule of the so called ministers.

HWA taught that Jesus Christ would return in 1936, then after World War II, then in 1975, then he declared in Mystery of the Ages that He would return by 2005. (PCG removed that embarrassing false prophecy in their version, so you will not see it there.)

Those were not just speculations, as was deceptively taught after these failures, but preached as definite facts. They failed. These false prophecies prove that HWA was never a man used by God.

But these facts are simply ignored by HWA's followers, such as Bob Theil, pretending these things did not happen and deluding themselves that HWA was a man sent from God when he most certainly was not.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Tripoli Rises Up Against Gaddafi

I have heard that the people of Tripoli are now raising up against the forces of that murderer Gaddafi. It will be good when he is removed. I hope that this overthrowing of that murderous dictator is accomplished as cleanly as possible so that the proud and noble people of Libya may live in a free society and are able to enjoy peaceful lives.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Thoughts on S&P's Downgrading of US Bonds: The GOP is Responsible

I have just heard that Standard & Poor has downgraded US bonds.

As far as I am concerned this fact can be entirely blamed on the Republicans in Congress who decided to politicize the debt ceiling, something that had never been done before.

Before 2011 whenever the debt approached the debt ceiling limit Congress simply raised in a proceedure as mundane as looking at both sides of the road before you cross.

But the GOP in Congress chose to politicize it and refuse to raise it unless they got what they wanted. From the very start experts, such as Geithner, warned that this was very dangerous.

This makes me angry. I have no doubt many innocent people within the good old USA are going to suffer because the stupidity of those who decided to use the debt ceiling to humiliate President Obama. That decision deserves to be labeled as nothing less than stupid and horrendously irresponsible.

Thank you John Boehner, Eric Candor, and Mitch McConnell for bringing this reverse to the USA.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bob Theil Fails to see Crisis in Debt Ceiling Crisis

LCG apologist Bob Theil appears to have no understanding of why the debt ceiling crisis is a crisis. Obama Says He is Trying to Avert ‘Armageddon’.
Since the USA seems intent upon increasing debt (as the current ‘crisis’ has to do with RAISING the DEBT ceiling AGAIN), this will continue to insure that the USA is the most indebted nation in the history of humankind....

Right now, the USA crisis is that it wants and hopes to increase debt and borrow more from its foreign creditors, yet its leaders believe that not increasing debt will be a greater calamity.
I am amazed that he is so apathetic about this issue.

If the US gets more debt that is fine because those willing to invest in US bonds are willing to buy them, the US government meets its financial obligations, and these matters will be dealt with later in the future.

If the debt ceiling is not raised...

No. Wait. I don't even want to imagine what would happen if that occurred.

The reason why not raising the debt ceiling is a problem is that it would force the US to not pay their debts.

The entire world economy is based around the belief that you can trust the US dollar. You invest in a US bond and it will be paid back to you. You can't be too sure about any other thing you invest in, but you can trust the US bond.

If the debt ceiling is not raised then the US bond, something in which people all over the world have invested in, rich people, poor people, Americans, others, some who are reading this, all their holdings in US debt become unreliable. None of them can be sure that they will be paid back. The US Treasury will not be able to pay the necessary financial obligations of the US.

I recall hearing President Obama saying that Social Security checks will not be made, Soldiers will not be paid, if the US Treasury is unable to meet its financial obligations because Congress did not raise the debt ceiling.

And it cannot but be recalled that back in 2008 when just one major Wall Street bank went bankrupt it caused the entire world economy to freeze, have a heart attack, and brought the world economy to the precipice of another Great Depression.

Far more people are invested in US bonds than was the case with Lehman Brothers.

A lot of people fear that if the debt ceiling is not raised, thus forcing the US government to not pay their debts, we will have another Lehman moment which will freeze the entire financial world.

This is the crisis that Bob Theil pretends that this is not a real crisis. He even puts brackets around the word crisis as though it is not a real crisis. It is a real crisis.

All of that will be avoided if Congress simply raises the debt ceiling.

Somehow Bob Theil seems to think that the US government shirking its responsibilities to its debtors, and causing soldiers to not be paid, Social Security checks to not be paid, etc, and possibly creating another Lehman Brothers moment is less of a problem then for the US government to honor its obligations.

PCG, Behold The People of Free Libya

Recently, citing "a report from two French think tanks", PCG has been trying to slur the Libyan rebels as Islamic fundamentalists. The report, as presented by PCG, have even charged that Al Qaeda is the main force of the armed resistance against Gaddafi.
The al Qaeda-affiliated Libyan Islamic Fighting Group is the “main pillar of the armed insurrection,” the report says.
If you believe that please make the time to watch this video.

How can PCG tell us those vast multitudes are Al Qaeda? Or Islamic fundamentalists?

They are simply people struggling to gain basic human rights consistently denied them during the 42 year tyranny of Colonel Gaddafi.

Gaddafi has had a terrible impact upon the world. Bombing the cafe in Berlin, bombing the plane over Lockerbie, contributing to the terrible wars in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Darfur.

The sooner he goes the better.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

PCG Blind to EU's Current Divisions

PCG just posted the following tweet:
Herbert Armstrong, July 22, 1984: a global financial crisis could "suddenly [trigger] European nations to UNITE as A NEW WORLD POWER"
It needs to be stated that the current financial crisis in the European Union is actually dividing the EU.

I am sure the Greeks are very angry at other nations for imposing the current austerity measures. The Germans are bitter over having to bailout Greece. Here is one example from the German newspaper Der Spiegel:
Given that Germany is shouldering risk to the tune of hundreds of billions for a life-threatening euro crisis, it may seem absurd that Berlin is perceived abroad as 'euro Nazis' rather than as a benevolent leader. ... Germany is in the impossible situation of having ponied up hundreds of billions of euros but is nevertheless being pilloried. Some Greek newspapers refer to Germans as "euro Nazis," and not as a benevolent leading power.
How is this situation supposed to unify Europeans together and become a militarily unstoppable empire?

This simple fact needs to be stated.

Friday, July 1, 2011

PCG Slur Libyan Rebels as Al Qaeda

I was just reading PCG's Week in Review. In it PCG continue their shameful denigration of the brave persons seeking change in the Arab world.

Here they accuse the Libyan rebels of being Al Quaeda.
A new report by two French think tanks indicates that the West is on the side of Islamic terrorists in the war against Muammar Qadhafi in Libya. The report concludes that jihadists have played a predominant role in the eastern Libyan rebellion, and that “true democrats” represent only a minority in the rebellion....
Here's PCG's opinion on what arming the Libyan rebels means.
The al Qaeda-affiliated Libyan Islamic Fighting Group is the “main pillar of the armed insurrection,” the report says....Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry pointed out on May 5 that “NATO is considering arming the rebels. That’s practically handing Libya over to the radical Islamic camp!”
Please watch this TV report, Libya responds to Bin Laden death. It is an report in which Libyan freedom fighters speak about Osama bin Laden upon the occasion of his death. The ones in this report are unsympathetic towards him, state that he was a terrorist who murdered innocent people, destroyed public property, and had his terrorism rebound back to him. They also note that the Gaddafi dictatorship often accused suspected opponents of having links to Al Qaeda.

I cannot help but believe that the real reason PCG has taken such a negative view of the Arab Awakening is that the PCG leadership fear that their eternally abused flock might try imitating the protesters who have shaken the Arab world to its core.

As for Libya as far as I am concerned the sooner Gaddafi is overthrown the better. I hope he is removed as soon as possible.

Below is the relevant section in full. Note how shamefully there is no concern here over the literally thousands of peaceful protesters who were murdered by Gaddafi's shoot-to-kill thugs.
A new report by two French think tanks indicates that the West is on the side of Islamic terrorists in the war against Muammar Qadhafi in Libya. The report concludes that jihadists have played a predominant role in the eastern Libyan rebellion, and that “true democrats” represent only a minority in the rebellion. It also found that the justifications given for Western military intervention in Libya were largely based on media exaggerations and “outright disinformation.” The two organizations sent a six-member expert mission to Libya at the end of March to evaluate the situation and consult with representatives on both sides of the conflict. The report reveals that the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) is comprised of four factions: “true democrats,” which are a minority; partisans of a restoration of the monarchy that was overthrown by Qadhafi in 1969; Islamic extremists seeking the establishment of an Islamic state; and former figures in the Qadhafi regime who defected for opportunistic or other reasons. Many of the monarchists are also Islamists. The president of the NTC is a “traditionalist” who is “supported by the Islamists,” according to the authors of the report. The al Qaeda-affiliated Libyan Islamic Fighting Group is the “main pillar of the armed insurrection,” the report says. “Thus the military coalition under NATO leadership is supporting a rebellion that includes Islamic terrorists,” the authors write. “No one can deny that the Libyan rebels who are today supported by Washington were only yesterday jihadists killing American GIs in Iraq.” Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry pointed out on May 5 that “NATO is considering arming the rebels. That’s practically handing Libya over to the radical Islamic camp!” It appears the current military campaign in Libya may well facilitate that country falling to Islamists and into the Iranian orbit—an outcome prophesied by the Prophet Daniel.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Children Made to Sweat in Philadelphia Youth Camp

Recently I read this terrible story about how one father in PCG was horrified at the neglectful treatment his children endured at Philadelphia Youth Camp. There have long been stories insisting that Philadelphia Youth Camp does not come up to scratch in looking after the children in its care.

Those concerned about such matters will not find any comfort in Brad MacDonald's article:

Parents, Make Your Child Sweat!

(In the context of PCG I find this title quite cringe inducing.)

In five weeks, 144 teenagers from around the world will arrive on the campus of Herbert W. Armstrong College for our annual youth camp. Our camp is designed to ensure these young people go home mentally charged and focused, their attitudes and spirits refreshed and renewed.

We also plan to send them home utterly exhausted.

For three weeks, these teens will spend their days mountain biking, canoeing and practicing archery, as well as playing basketball, water polo, soccer, softball, volleyball and flag football. They will walk, and sometimes jog, between activities, as well as to breakfast, lunch and dinner. In the evenings they will engage in other taxing activities, including a track and field event and camp dances. And if all that activity isn’t strenuous enough, much of it will occur in daytime temperatures hovering in the mid 90s.

If you’re like me, simply reading that paragraph is enough to make you sweat.

Those unaware of what PCG is like will simply assume that this is a simple exhortation for people to look after their health by embracing a physical pursuits. But knowing that PCG is an authoritarian group, in which their leaders are given far too much leeway and the fruits of authoritarianism are allowed a very free hand within it, I find these exhortations concerning.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Gerald Flurry's New Doctrine: The Psalm 83 Nations are not with the King of the South

Gerald Flurry has changed Mystery of the Ages, The Proof of the Bible and Who or What is the Prophetic Beast?

Now he has changed how prophecies concerning the future King of the South is understood among PCG members.

The future King of the South is taught among many COGs to be a great Arab-Muslim combine who will arise, help to enslave Israel (the USA, Britain, and Israel) and later somehow provoke the European Empire to conquer the Arab world in a blitzkrieg attack.

PCG teaches that Iran is the King of the South. Most other COGs are more inclined to say it will be mainly composed of Arabs. Not least because Iran is east, not south, of Israel.

Daniel 11:40 is used to support this theory.

Another Scripture often used in regard to this is Psalm 83. As I understood it this Scripture was used by the COGs to say that later the Arabs will ally with Germany (Assyria) to defeat Israel (the USA, Britain and Israel).

However Gerald Flurry has put a new twist to this interpretation. He now says that the King of the South and the Psalm 83 nations are separate and distinct, and the Psalm 83 nations hate Israel even more than the King of the South.

He has revealed this 'new light' in the article A Mysterious Prophecy (The Philadelphia Trumpet, May-June, 2011).

These peoples’ enemies want to cut them off from being a nation (they are the descendants of the ancient nation of Israel). Their enemies don’t even want the world to remember the name of Israel!

The leader of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has vowed to wipe the Jewish nation off the map. The enemies of Psalm 83 have what appears to be an even deeper hatred. They even want to obliterate the biblical name of Israel forever! ...

“For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre [Lebanon]; Assur [Assyria or Germany] also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah” (Psalm 83:5-8). Here are the modern names of these nations, as taught at Ambassador College under Herbert W. Armstrong: Edom—Turkey; Ishmaelites—Saudi Arabia; Moab—Jordan; Hagarenes—anciently dwelt in the land known as Syria today; Gebal—Lebanon; Ammon—also Jordan. (We cannot be extremely precise in this understanding, but it gives a good general idea of where these nations are today.)...

Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Libya and Ethiopia are missing from this list. They will be allied with Iran when they are conquered by a German-led Europe (Daniel 11:42-43).

It appears Iraq, with its massive oil reserves, will be solidly in the Iranian camp. I have predicted this would happen since the early 1990s!

This Psalm 83 nations doctrine is a completely new prophetic doctrine that I have never encountered among the COGs.

As far as I can tell it is true that Gerald Flurry preached that Iraq would be allied with the King of the South BUT Gerald Flurry has never taught that the Psalm 83 nations are distinct from and unaffiliated with the King of the South (Iran) before now.

Therefore his "I have predicted this [Iraq will ally with Iran] would happen since the early 1990s!" statement must be regarded as simply a distraction obscuring the fact that Gerald Flurry has changed this doctrine.

Those of us who understand these things must make it clear that Gerald Flurry has opportunistically changed this doctrine.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Thoughts on the Incident at Jisr al-Shughour, Syria

So today I hear that Syrian state media are now claiming 12o of the Assad regime's security personnel have been killed by armed gangs.

As far as I am concerned this is a lie or extremely distorted message produced by the Assad regime. Until this is independently confirmed one way or the other I will assume it is a lie or extremely distorted. I feel it is more likely the Assad regime itself murdered them and is now blaming the protesters. That is what one local resident of Jisr al-Shughour told the BBC:

But opposition websites insisted that their protests had been peaceful, and they scorned the government's talk of armed gangs. A Jisr al-Shughour resident told BBC Arabic that the protesters did not have any weapons and blamed the authorities for Monday's deaths. "The soldiers were coming our way, then they were shot in the back by some Syrian security elements," Abu Nadir said....

Others said that members of the armed forces had changed sides and joined the protests. Some also said the town had been relatively calm until a mutiny at the security headquarters, where so many deaths were reported. "I think they executed policemen who refused to open fire on demonstrators. There was a mutiny in the security service," one told the AFP news agency.

This is an excuse for the murderous and devious Assad regime to continue their reckless murders and tortures and their frightfulness that have already claimed more than 1100 precious lives of peaceful protesters, more than the uprising in Egypt.

I have read about how dictatorships operate. I remember reading in Berlin Diary how British Prime Minister Chamberlain was impressed by the crowds welcoming him on his visit to Germany. Safire wryly commented that he did not know that those crowds are organized by the ruling party.

Already I have heard of rumors that people are paid by the Syrian dictatorship to lie and claim to see atrocities committed by alleged armed gangs that did not happen.

I will admit for a little while I thought Bashar al-Assad would murder his oppressed victims into submission and win, but recently I now feel he will fall. And it cannot come too soon.

PCG Calls Srebrenica Massacre "a Crime of Passion"

PCG has always been supportive towards Serbs in regards towards the Yugoslav Wars. This was made clear in a previous post and PCG's hack writer Richard Palmer's article, What Really Happened at Bosnia continues in this tradition.

In this article Palmer, who has written for PCG since August 2007, breathlessly cites various atrocities committed by non-Serbs against Serbs, as though all of this information is being kept hidden from you. He cites one claim from the then Yugoslav government that

Yugoslav envoy Vladimir Pavicevic claimed that 15,000 Serbs were dead in Krajina, and that this total included slain refugees and soldiers who had already surrendered (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Aug. 14, 1995).

He completely ignores the fact that Serbian state television has just apologized for its role as a propagandist during those dark and terrible days.
In the week of his [Ratko Mladic] arrest, Serbian state television finally apologised for its role in inciting the barbaric war through misinformation, deception and propaganda thinly disguised as news.

AP reported:

Radio Television of Serbia, or RTS, said in a statement posted on its website yesterday that the station's programme was "almost constantly and heavily abused'' by Milosevic's regime with the aim of discrediting his political and ethnic opponents and spreading official propaganda.

Liberal politician Marko Karadzic described the apology as a "positive step'' but said the television's managing board did not distance itself clearly enough from the past.

"RTS's programme was an organised campaign of support to the policies of extinction and violence which we cannot view as insult or slander,'' aid Karadzic.
(Remembering War Crimes and Media Obligations, Danny Schlechter.)
Contrary to what Palmer's assumption that the world, due to perfidious German influence has been blinded to the excesses and atrocities of non-Serbs the article above cites RTS's apology as an opportunity to call for Croatian TV to apologize as well.

It's time for Croatian TV to make a similar statement: this statement clearly defines the often complicit relationship between war and media showing how TV networks promote wars in the guise of covering them.

Too many media organisations took their cues from state propagandists.
Also in my previous post I cited an article, The Devolution of Ratko Mladic by Sumantra Bose, and it freely acknowledged that many Serbs did indeed suffer during those wars.
It is not that Bosnia's Serbs did not suffer during the 1992-1995 war. Far from it. There are numerous well-documented cases of Bosnian Serb civilians being murdered, forcibly expelled from their homes and tortured in detention camps by Bosnian Muslim as well as Bosnian Croat forces, and of Bosnian Serb combatants taken prisoner being brutally mistreated and even executed.

The Bosnian Serb army led by Ratko Mladic lost 20,649 soldiers, killed in action during the war. But the overall picture is unmistakable. Bosnia's Muslims, about 45 per cent of the population, account for two-thirds of the total deaths and - most telling - a staggering 83 per cent of the civilian dead.

That is the real reason why there is so much attention upon what Serb forces did during the Yugoslav Wars. It is not because of some German conspiracy to trick you into supporting moves designed to cripple Serbia's power. No one pretends that Serbs did not suffer during these wars.

Palmer also insinuates that the stresses of waging war contributed to the massacre at Srebrenica.

It was this hatred and circle of revenge that lead to the Srebrenica massacre....The Serbs finally reacted to [Bosnian Muslim] Oric’s provocations. When they took Screbrenica far more easily than they thought they would they took their revenge on the men they found there. But, unlike Oric, they let the women and children go....The full context presents a very different picture of Srebrenica. It was not a cold-hearted Nazi-style final solution for Bosnian Muslims. Instead it was a crime of passion—still a crime, but one that was provoked by crimes on the other side.

Palmer wishes to make us sympathetic towards the murderers of Srebrenica by calling it "a crime of passion". First of all everyone loses people in a war, that is why we all hate war.

I do not feel that rounding up unarmed men to be killed in a vast logistical operation involving 8000 people deserves to be whitewashed as "a crime of passion". As far as I understand it it is illegal to arrest people and then simply kill them. To call that "a crime of passion" is obscene.

If PCG wishes to support Serbia thinking it will weaken Germany and prevent the creation of the false prophet of 1975 Herbert Armstrong's European Empire then it is their affair but to whitewash the horrendous crime at Srebrenica as "a crime of passion" is obscene and, as far as I am concerned, is not a statement people of conscience would allow themselves to say, and therefore deserves to be condemned.

Friday, June 3, 2011

PCG Puts Royal Wedding on Trumpet Cover

In the new Philadelphia Trumpet (July 2011) the editors at PCG have chosen to put a picture of Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding.

How dreadful that something so beautiful and joyous should be exploited by a cult which tears apart families with its No Contact rule towards ex-members and members of other Armstrongite groups, that inflict incalculable suffering because of its anti-medicine superstition which Herbert Armstrong plagiarized from the Jehovah Witnesses who from about 1921 till 1953 were forbidden from using vaccines, that create a dictatorial society that has inflicted terrible suffering upon thousands.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

PCG's Germany-is-more-powerful-than-the-US Myth

In Gerald Flurry's article Germany Rules the Balkans he accuses Germany of having greater will to do what it wants than the US. Germany is portrayed as active. The US is portrayed as hopelessly passive and drunkenly meandering to destruction.

Germany was so determined to recognize Croatia! But why would the U.S. support such a move? At first, America did not. But that quickly changed once Germany flexed its political muscle. ... Germany forced the issue and revealed how weak America and the West really are!

If the US is really as weak as it is portrayed by Flurry then why is it that the US invaded Iraq in 2003 over Germany's opposition? Where was Germany's power in 2003?

Why is the US intervening in Libya while Germany has expressed reluctance about this decision? Where is Germany's power?

PCG has a prophetic scenario and they relentlessly push this viewpoint in every Philadelphia Trumpet magazine. Contrary facts be damned.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

PCG's Support for Serbia in the Yugoslav Wars

Last Thursday I heard the news that Ratko Mladic has been captured by Serbia and will soon be extradited to the Hague.

This reminds me of PCG's stand concerning the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s. PCG has long viewed the Yugoslav Wars as German imperialist bullying of a nation (Serbia) which had been the ally of the USA and Britain in both world wars. Hence PCG has long viewed Western intervention in that conflict very negatively.

This attitude may clear be seen in these articles published in 2002 Germany Rules the Balkans, which discusses the Yugoslav Wars of 1991-5 and The Kosovo Disaster which concerns the Kosovo conflict in 1999. Here Germany and the Vatican are accussed of using NATO and the USA of intervening against Serbia simply to expand Germany's power in the Balkans.

Here's a sample from the second article:
The Serbs fought on our side in two world wars, and Germany fought against us in both of those wars. How strange to see that alliance reversed today....The only real winner in 1999’s war in Yugoslavia was Germany. Time will show that America and Britain were the great losers. The Kosovo conflict made them weaker as Germany grew in power....

Germany recognized these breakaway republics and then supported them with troops and armaments. America (and almost the whole world) strongly opposed Germany’s plans in the beginning. But the U.S. weakened and then even decided to support Germany in its war to control the Balkans!
Now why is it that the West chose to intervene against Serbia then?

It is universally acknowledged that all sides in that war committed atrocities.
However it was the Serbian army which committed more atrocities than any other side. That is why Western opinion was so negative towards the Serbs.

This fact is succinctly expressed by Professor Sumantra Bose.
the overall picture is unmistakable. Bosnia's Muslims, about 45 per cent of the population [of Bosnia], account for two-thirds of the total deaths and - most telling - a staggering 83 per cent of the civilian dead.

There is thus no doubt whatsoever as to which community suffered the most in the Bosnian war, just as there is no doubt that the atrocities committed by the Bosnian Serb army and allied paramilitaries were significantly more widespread and more systematic than those perpetrated by the belligerents of the other two sides [the Croats and Bosnian Muslims].

Moreover, most of the worst atrocities of the war were perpetrated by Bosnian Serbs - the violent uprooting of tens of thousands of Bosnian Muslims from in and around the north-western Bosnian town of Prijedor in the summer of 1992, the punitive attacks on Sarajevo over more than three years, the Srebrenica killings in the summer of 1995. (The Devolution of Ratko Mladic.)
That is the real reason why Western opinion is so negative concerning the Serb armies and paramilitaries in that war.

But these painful facts are completely absent in Gerald Flurry's Germany Rules the Balkans. Assuming that Germany will become an evil European Empire the PCG leadership chose to ignore the terrible atrocities which Serbian military forces committed and opposed intervention. They chose to oppose supposed German bullying and ignore these terrible events.

As for myself I am very glad that Mladic has been arrested so that he may answer for his alleged crimes. So often I read about the Yugoslav Wars and it was dutifully mentioned that Mladic was still evading justice. It is very good that that fact has been changed and that Mladic will be held accountable for what happened then.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

PCG is Blind to the Hopes of the Arab Awakening

PCG has viewed the historic protests in the Arab world very negatively. No doubt this is caused due to the Armstrongite teaching that an Islamic Caliphate will rise up and assume great power, until it provokes the European Empire into conquering it in a blitzkrieg attack. PCG are afraid that these protests will cause the Muslim world to unify into a mighty Caliphate which, according to PCG, is to be dominated by Iran. Therefore PCG are quite negative towards the protests.

I think it is very sad that these persons have chosen to view the extraordinary events in this highly pessimistic manner.

Before the revolution began I was aware that human rights protections were not the strong point of many Arab governments. Before 2011 reading about events in the Middle East was, while very interesting, was also terribly pessimistic. I was aware that torture of prisoners and detainees did not occur just in Iraq but occurred in many Arab countries. I heard about an Egyptian taxi driver suing the police for torturing him. As I read stories about the Middle East I was struck how so often I heard that prisoners are tortured.

No wonder so many of them have chosen to rise up and protest against the many injustices that the people are forced to endure at the hands of dictatorial rulers.

Contrary to what PCG teaches I feel that these protests are very good. It is great that the people of Tunisia decided they had enough of being exploited by the Ben Ali regime. From what I hear it sounds like Tunisia was a hopelessly corrupt society, with a large share of the nation's wealth being cunningly diverted to the well connected while the rest are casually left to rot. No wonder they protested.

But PCG does not care about these things. They are worried that it will lead to an Iranian dominated Caliphate.

From what I hear it sounds like Egypt was also hopelessly corrupt. Police had free license to torture detainees, or even kill people. No wonder the Egyptian people revolted.

But PCG does not care about these things. They fret that the USA 'betrayed' a friend in Hosni Mubarak. What about the over 800 people murdered by security forces to protect Mubarak's hide? Are they are not a good reason for the US to disassociate itself from his regime? Does the blood of 800 count for so little among Gerald Flurry and his close associates?

Also note how the US, Britain and France united together to oppose the murderous Gaddafi regime. I remember during the build up to the Iraq War France and Germany bluntly disagreed with the US's decision to invade Iraq. The COGs taught that this was merely the beginning of further isolation for the US, ending in national conquest. That France and Germany's opposition signaled the beginning of a hostile relationship with the EU that will end in war.

Today, the USA, Britain and France are united together in military operations against Gaddafi. This is yet another false prediction made by Armstrongites that have hopelessly failed.

PCG portrays the Egyptian revolution as an event which will cause Iran to prosper. PCG exploited Iran's support for the Egyptian revolution as a sign that we should be afraid of it. Just a few months afterward the people of Syria rise up against the notoriously despotic Baathist regime of Bashar al-Assad. Even before the revolution I knew of Syria as an austere, dictatorial society. It is ruled by a dictatorial regime dominated by the Baath Party, the same Party of which Saddam Hussein belonged to, although those two regimes hated each other despite their common origins.

Iran is closely allied with Syria. So naturally Iran opposed the Syrian uprising. How do these Syrian protests help create an Islamic Caliphate since Iran oppose them?

My heart just breaks knowing about the terrible things the Assad regime is inflicting upon its people. Especially because at first many were highly skeptical that protests would occur there. I hope that justice is done for the protesters who have lost their lives in the uprising. No wonder so many there are willing to risk everything to protest against these intolerable injustices. May the Assad regime soon fall.

I think it is an act of inexcusable ignorance for the PCG leadership to view these tremendous and historic events as simply a stepping stone in the rise to power of Iran and therefore it must be feared and opposed. It is evidence of the moral blindness of the PCG leadership and further evidence that they must not be listened to.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tornado in Joplin, Missouri

I heard about the terrible destruction that occurred due to a tornado in Joplin, Missouri which killed about 124 people. It is very sad to know that such things have been happening.

When I heard of this I could not help but remember that this city was where Roderick C. Meredith grew up in. The land of his nativity, so to speak.

I wish all those affected by that terrible tornado the best of wishes and hope that Joplin will revive once again.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Porn Found in bin Laden's Compound

I was quite amused to learn that among the treasure trove of intelligence which US forces took from Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad was a "fairly extensive" collection of pornography.

Reuters broke the story.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Has the Pride of America's Power Been Broken?

I remember after September 11 how the COGs explained this event as simply the start of the fall of the Israelite nations which will lead to the Great Tribulation. The COGs warned us that things will get much, much worse, indeed, the political situation would deteriorate to such an extent that all of humanity would be wiped out, but this would only stop because of Jesus Christ's return.

Roderick C. Meredith mentioned Osama bin Laden near the beginning of his booklet, Who or What is the Antichrist?, which was published around 2002.
Horrifying events are beginning to happen in America and much of the western, professing "Christian" world. The destruction of the Twin Towers in New York, and the devastation of the Pentagon in Washington, DC, focused the minds of millions on Bible prophecy. They now wonder: "What is God's purpose in all of this?"

Indeed, prophesied events are truly speeding up. As Jesus instructed, we all need to "watch and pray." For—within this generation—truly awful, Satan-inspired tragedies will begin to strike much of humanity. The "Antichrist" will be directly behind many of these events!

After September 11, 2001, many began to wonder: is the sinister Osama bin Laden the prophesied end-time "Antichrist"?
(Meredith teaches that the Antichrist is the final Pope, as Herbert Armstrong taught.)

I also recall reading the November 2001 issue of The Philadelphia Trumpet published by PCG during those terrible days.

Well the prophetic scenario created by Herbert Armstrong has hopelessly failed many times and now the murderer Osama bin Laden has been killed by US forces.

Does this mean the pride of America's power has not yet been broken as the Armstrongites tell us?

(But it must be remembered that Anglo-Saxons and Celts are not related to Jews as the doctrine of British-Israelism, which Herbert Armstrong plagiarized, falsely teaches.)

I well recall how LCG's so-called Bible Study Course insinuated that Christ would return by 2017. Back in 2000-1 this seemed quite possible to me, especially after 9/11. But it is simply another Armstrongite false prophecy. Looking at that prediction now it is impossible to believe, especially coming from the followers of a man (Herbert Armstrong) who said Christ would return in 1936, then after World War II, then in 1975, then by 2005.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Thoughts On Osama bin Laden's Death

I wish he renounced his terrorism. But that did not happen.

I wish he was captured alive and put on trial and convicted for his crimes. But that did not happen.

I am glad he lived to see the Arab Awakening currently shaking the Arab world.

When I saw the momentous events in Tunisia and Egypt and elsewhere I often thought to myself, "Ha! Take that Al Qaeda! They did not need you to overthrow their oppressors."

The No. 2 man in Al Qaeda, Zawahiri, long strived to overthrow the Mubarak regime. And then in 2011, after 18 days of popular uprisings, Mubarak was overthrown. The Egyptian people did not need Al Qaeda's help.

It is good that those who have suffered because of this evil man have been avenged.

Osama bin Laden was an evil man. He created and embraced and propagated an insane ideology that permitted the murder of innocents. He had no regard for the collateral damage of his terrorist activities directed against civilians. He selfishly believed that his grievances against the USA, against Muslim majority governments he regarded as apostate and compromising, gave him license to kill off anyone, in order to intimidate those he hated. He willfully decided that there are no innocents therefore it is permitted to kill anyone to pursue his objectives. He arbitrarily decided that he had the right to murder anyone in order to pursue his objectives.

It is good that he will no longer harm anyone.

The world is better off without him. I am sorry to speak of a human being in that way, but I will make an exception for him because he was a murderer. He had no fear of taking innocent blood. Such a thing is monstrous.

Monday, April 25, 2011

How Could Iran Become King of the South?

PCG has long taught that Iran, which is mainly Shiite Muslim, will be the king of the South.

Recently I was looking at this group of photos from Radio Free Europe. The first photo shows an Iranian woman protesting outside the embassy of Saudi Arabia. Seeing this made me dwell on the PCG's leadership complete ignorance of the politics of the that area.

This teaching completely ignores the fact that most Muslim majority states, practically all of which are dominated by members of the other sect, Sunni Islam, are in fact extremely suspicious of Iran. They fear that Iran could destablize their Shiite populations. Iran's doctrine that the Shiite leaders should rule over the government greatly distresses other Muslim countries.

Another thing that needs to be considered is that Iran, unlike most other Islamic majority countries, is Shiite.

There are two main branches of Islam, Sunni and Shiite. They arose from a disagreement over who should succeed Muhammad after he died in 632. Some felt that Muhammad's closest relative, his counsin and son in law, Ali, should take over, but another man took the leadership. Those who supported Ali gradually became Shiites, while those who did not became the Sunni. Over the centuries they became more and more distinct.

For a long time Iran was mainly Sunni but several hundred years ago the Shiites came to become the majority in Iran.

Now most of the Sunni states are highly suspicious of Iran.

When I was an Armstrongite I found the thought that Iran would become the King of the South impossible to accept.

Recent events have made this thought even more harder to accept.

Recently, as part of the Arab Awakening gripping much of the Arab world, the Shiites of Bahrain, who are actually the majority population of the country, have been protesting against the predominently Sunni government.

In response Bahrain invited forces from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to enter the country and effectively suppress the protests. This move has quite naturally deeply offfended many Shiites from Iran and Iraq.

With this recent grievance now coming between Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, how can they be united together as a great force which is to challenge the European Empire as proclaimed in PCG's prophetic scenario?

Of course it must be said that PCG members are taught that the false forecaster of 1975 Herbert Armstrong and Gerald Flurry are men sent by God. It does not matter to them that events at present make it seem unlikely that Iran will assume command of the Islamic World. Because they believe that HWA and Flurry are sent by God they assume that future events will correct what we now see. Furthermore PCG supply writings in the Key of David broadcast, the Trumpet magazine, and in weekly sermons where this prophetic scenario is constantly taught to them and they are taught to view things in this incorrect manner.

(Also knowing that you can be disfellowshiped and shunned by PCG members if you leave or are kicked out also make it very difficult to express dissent.)

So even though one were to explain these things to a PCG member it would not surprise me if they would still continue to believe PCG's propaganda.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Are Atheists Smarter? Exposing a Superficial Survey

A few months ago you may have heard about a survey conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

This survey led to media stories implying that Atheists and Agnostics have a greater knowledge of religions then any other religious group.

The survey in question is a series of 32 questions which may be seen Are you smarter than an atheist? A religious quiz, courtesy of the Christian Science Monitor (which happens to be owned by the Christian Science cult. The link goes to a secular anti-cult web site).

At the end of this blog I shall answer that question in the article's title.

Here are the results of the survey

Atheists and agnostics, Jews and Mormons are among the highest-scoring groups in a 32-question survey of religious knowledge by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. On average, Americans got 16 of the 32 questions correct. Atheists and agnostics got an average of 20.9 correct answers. Jews (20.5) and Mormons (20.3). Protestants got 16 correct answers on average, while Catholics got 14.7 questions right.

How will you do on the quiz?

I tried it out. Once I started I did not consult anyone or anything else on the Internet to help me with my answers.

I got 31 questions right out of 32.

The one I missed was Question 4 about nirvana.

I remembered as I was doing it all the media stories based on this which implied that this showed that Atheists were more knowledgeable about religion.

I remembered one time watching a left wing radio host (who happened to be Atheist, but that is not the point) saying (I paraphrase), Look at all these religious fundamentalists. This survey shows that they do not know what they are talking about, even about their own religion.

I remembered one time reading a political commentator I greatly respect and admire (who happens to be Baha'i, but that is not the point) saying religious people should be humble knowing that on average Atheists are more knowledgeable then they are.

I think this survey is pointless. An exercise in futility.

As I was going through this quiz I strongly felt, Wait a minute.

So what if, let's say a Catholic, does not know that Maimonides happened to be Jewish?

Does that mean Mormons must be viewed as more knowledgeable then Catholics?

So what if a Hindu did not know that the fast of Ramadan happens to be Muslim?

Does that mean Hindus must be judged as being more ignorant than Atheists, Agnostics, Jews, Mormons?

So what if someone does not know what the majority religion of Pakistan happens to be?

Do you see what I am getting at?

This is pointless.

Most people are leading busy lives desperately trying to get the bills paid, perform well at work, finding work, spending time with family, solving problems, watching movies, reading books, making plans that it is only natural that people never got around to knowing that the Sabbath happens to start on Friday evening.

(For those of us who are/were involved in the COGs, other Seventh day Christians and Jews that question is easy. It's not so easy for everyone else.)

This survey has been all too easily used by people for their own reasons as an excuse to stereotype religious people as being ignorant.

People, particularly in the media, have thoughtlessly rushed to the conclusion that Atheists are smarter when the evidence is simply not that clear.

Why are Atheists, Agnostics, Jews, Mormons higher on the list?

Let me ask some other questions.

Well are the people in the survey educated? Are they not? Do they love to gain knowledge? Are others slightly less inclined? How enthusiastic are they in knowing information? Do they know someone who often talks about these matters?

There are many reasons why an individual would happen to know the answers in this quiz.

It is, I feel, wrong and misleading to say one group holding a particular worldview/faith to be more knowledgeable about religion based on the results of this survey.

I would not read much into the results of it.

There could any number of hard to detect reasons why the people in the survey happen to know the answers for this quiz.

Perhaps a disproportionate section of Mormons happened to be missionaries and so had to be knowledgeable about these things in order to perform that role. Perhaps some of the Atheists were ex-Christian, some were ex-Jews and this coincidence caused the Atheist score to go higher. Perhaps the Jews had an advantage because some knew the answers to the Jewish questions and knew enough about the other questions from the simple fact that they are a minority in the USA and information from the other religions seeps into the consciousness from everyone else around them.

None of these circumstances should allow anyone to cruelly demean and mock an entire people as being ignorant and less knowledgeable based on this superficial survey.

Should Christians think that Atheists are smarted than them simply because some of his or her co-religionists happened to not know the intricacies of the US Constitution (Question 21) and US Supreme Court rulings (Question 22)?

Should a Mormon regard Atheists as more knowledgeable about religion simply because some of his or her co-religionists did not say "Jonathan Edwards" when answering the question about the First Great Awakening?

This survey is pointless as far as I am concerned.

We must not stereotype an entire people holding a particular viewpoint based on the results of this superficial survey.

And now to answer the article's question: Am I smarter than an Atheist?

According to this quiz, I am. In fact the average Atheist score was 20.7. I got 31. So I, a Christian, am way, way smarter than the average Atheist.

(I hope the reader may tell I was being sarcastic in the last paragraph.)

As far as I am concerned this survey is utterly pointless.

I think it is a tragedy that people will thoughtlessly assume that Atheists are smarter, everyone else is more ignorant because of the increditably ignorant and embellished manner the media have presented this survey.

It would be a dreadful mistake to label people who hold a particular worldview based on the results of this survey.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Petition for a No Fly Zone over Libya Now

There is a petition at calling upon the UN Security Council to impose a no fly zone over Libya.

If your conscience will let you I encourage every reader to sign this petition.

The people of Libya deserve to be free of Gaddafi the Murderer.

Hat tip to the Al Jazeera live blog about the events in Libya.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Murderer Gaddafi Will Fall

I am not a prophet in any sense of the word but reading about what's going on it seems to me that it is very likely that the murderer Gaddafi will soon fall.

His No. 2 man has resigned. Although it seems that he has been kidnapped. Diplomats are resigning.

Jet fighter pilots and even a battleship have defected because they courageously refused to commit wicked murder for that unspeakable villain.

Tribes have given their support to the Revolution.

The Murderer has already lost control of the eastern half of Libya, including Benghazi and Tobruk. Recently a CNN reporter went in from the Egyptian border and reported that there is no sign of the state.

It is my earnest hope that the people of Libya will be free of the Murderer and live to see happier days.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Massacre in Libya

At the moment Gaddafi's regime in Libya has inflicted astounding violence against the people who choose to protest. The death toll seem to rise to frightening proportions on a daily basis.

Many peaceful protesters have been murdered.

Here's Al Jazeera's Live Blog on Libya for more information about these terrible happenings. (Warning: Contains disturbing images, and links to websites with disturbing images.)

Helicopters have fired on protesters.

The Internet have been shut down.

Phones are no longer working.

This is part of what dictatorships often seek to do upon their people, the atomization of society, in which people are unable, afraid to speak to each other, support each other, and are forced to be alone so the dictatorship can regain control.

As far as I am concerned the main focus towards these many protests in the Arab world must now focus upon Libya. The Libyan state has revealed itself as being especially vicious towards peaceful dissenters and the terror they inflict on them must be exposed to the world.

If we speak up we may force the Libyan authorities to relent on their oppression.

If there is any way you can spread the awareness of these terrible happenings I encourage you to do so.

Evil hates being exposed to the light. Therefore let it be exposed.

That is why I feel moved to speak of these things.

Gaddafi is a murderer.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Tragic Persecution of Said Musa in Afghanistan

In Afghanistan Said Musa, a convert to Christianity, and worker for the Red Cross, has been sentenced to death for apostasy.

This terrible act of persecution has gained attention among websites concerned about the plight of persecuted Christians.

Afghan Rights Fall Short for Christian Converts

Write Prisoner Said Musa

Nato sides with jailed Afghan Christian convert

Red Cross Neglects Arrested Afghan Employee for Converting to Christianity

Execution Trial of Afghan Convert is Illegal

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Reading for Valentine's Day

Even though this article came out only a short while ago here is xHWA's article about the origins of Valentine's Day.

And, no, it's not as simple as Herbert W. Armstrong suggested at all

Friday, February 11, 2011

Congratulations to the Egyptian People

My humblest congratulations to the Egyptian people in this historic day when Mubarak, after 29 years of authoritarian rule has resigned.

The pro-democracy demonstrators have shown extraordinary courage, showing up to strive for freedom even though they knew they could be killed, as far too many indeed were.

Tomorrow the grand and difficult task of rebuilding Egypt will begin but for now I wish to share, however humbly, in the joy that this news has sparked and say my deepest congratulations to the people of Egypt.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Christian to be Hung in Afghaistan for Converting

Just heard this sad and terrible story from Afghanistan:

Red Cross worker to be hung for converting to Christianity.

The story is from the Daily Mail.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Protest Action Against PCG

I saw this tweet from Stephen Flurry:
Today's Trumpet column "Will the Muslim Brotherhood Close the Suez Canal?" linked on and Nice!'
Alas it is true.

Here's the article mentioned.

Let's respond to this.

I have sent the following email to the editors of
After reading this tweet ( I learned that your website offered a link to a story by one Joel Hilliker, entitled "Will the Muslim Brotherhood Close the Suez Canal?" He is an employee of the Philadelphia Church of God (PCG) which runs

I am concerned that you may be unaware of the true nature of this organization.

This organization has been known to engage in destructive behavior and hence is widely known as a destructive, mind control cult.
  • If any member should wish to leave they are shunned by all members. PCG members are required to have "no contact" with those who leave.
  • Furthermore PCG members are strickly forbidden from having contact with members of their parent organization, the Worldwide Church of God, which was founded by Herbert W. Armstrong, or any other organizations springing from WCG. Those who belong to such organizations are denounced as "Laodiceans" who are viewed as cursed by God and not worthy of any social contact. (See:
  • PCG members are also required to pay three tithes.
  • Their leader, Gerald Flurry, is held to be "That Prophet" and an Apostle.
  • They do not believe in the Trinity, instead they say God is a family of beings into which believers can be born into.
If you wish to see more information about this organization you might wish to investigate the following sites:

Ambassador Report on PCG

Exit and Support Network

The Plain Truth about Malachi's Message and That Prophet (written by a former member)

Because of these facts I have put this to your attention. This is the organization which Joel Hilliker represents. I fear that this fine website has allowed a such a man to be mentioned without being aware of the facts about this organization.

I emphasize that I do not bring this organization to your attention because of their viewpoint regarding politics. I bring them to your attention because of the abusive practices which are forced upon members, particular their fear of medicine and their No Contact policy.

I have brought these facts to your attention in order for you to be aware of the true nature of this organization. You deserve to know what sort of organization PCG is.

Because of these terrible things I ask you to look into these matters and delete the link to Joel Hilliker's story (ideally with an explanation as to why) and not to link to them. I ask this to honor those who are suffering because of these cruel practices and to hopefully prevent anyone else falling into this abusive cult.

Thank you in advance for your attention on this matter.
I greatly encourage you to send a similar email to them. If we speak up together there will be a greater chance that they will act upon this concern.

Another PCG No Contact Horror Story

It is impossible for me to verify this account.

ESN has just published another letter (see the February 2 letter) that exposes the horror of those whose lives are torn apart by PCG's ruthless No Contact policy.

Due to Philadelphia Church of God's cut off policy, I lost my wife who passed on in 2009. Two of my children had been cut off because they decided to marry outside the PCG. My other son was to be cut off by December 2009 if he didn't make a baptismal commitment. This was too much to bear.

In June 2010, I was required to cut off important people outside the PCG (a group of 17 families in the neighbourhood who have been very supportive of my family for years). I gave reason why I didn't think of cutting them off (we discussed ideas and supporting each other during happy and sad occasions). This didn't go well with Max Rumler. He had all kinds of schemes to get me submissive. Max Rumler (Regional Director) gave a married lady US$300.00 to divorce her husband and she was told after the divorce went through that she should get married immediately. I wondered who else they expected her to get married to. When I eventually told Max there was no way I would marry this lady, I was accused of knowing nothing and not being close to God and that I allowed people who had not studied the formerly seven books (and in June increased by another two) to come into the PCG. I was suspended and told I was going to suffer for putting the PCG at risk. Strange enough, all these people have been pursued to come back to PCG and some have been calling me to tell me about it. This showed how dishonest the Regional Director has been.

Sure enough, I knew nothing as I came to discover. But what didn't I know? It wasn't what Max had in mind. My research through the internet for the truth is what I didn't know. Now I know the disappointment of Max and his boss. Max has been preaching that he had told me not to visit the website but I disobeyed the "government of God." He says the website is a lie. My question to Max is if all website is a lie, what makes you think PCG's is not? On the contrary it has proved to be the greatest lie.

What was intended to control me turned out to be the best thing that happened to me. I am out of PCG and NEVER TO GO BACK but at what cost? Loss of my wife and family.

The sad thing is no one of all those that I have tried to help see what PCG has been doing to people will believe me. They strongly believe I am in the bonds of Satan. --[name removed]

In case you want a picture here's one of Max Rumler.

Alas, within PCG, members are brainwashed into believing that having no contact with former members is actually loving. It is a most wicked thing when the "ministers" dare to lie and tell their followers that No Contact is Love. Such a sentiment is as nonsensical as saying a Square is a Circle.

It is precisely because of these things that I encourage readers to warn people about PCG, hence why I have released my previous post calling on members to inform those who gave PCG a platform to preach without while possibly not knowing their true nature.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Here's Something You Can Do About PCG

Among those of us who are familiar with the abuses of PCG or other COGs there is a lot of anger. Let us use this anger strategically in the right place.

Therefore I encourage every reader to take note of this situation and just take five minutes of your time and send an email, cut and paste my email if you want to make it easier, to expose the true nature of PCG.

Let us, who know the true nature of PCG, inform such persons of their true nature and insure that PCG will not be able to come there again.

Recently I saw this tweet by PCG's Stephen Flurry:
Columnist Joel Hilliker to be interviewed on a Birmingham radio station in about 20 minutes. Stream:
The link in that tweet goes to

It is the website of WYDE-FM, an AM radio based in Birmingham, Alabama.

Here is their contact page.

It asks for details.

I sent them this message.

Here's my email:
According to this tweet ( it seems that one Joel Hilliker, who is an employee of the Philadelphia Church of God (PCG), was interviewed on your radio station around noon on February 3.

I am concerned that you may be unaware of the true nature of this organization.

This organization has been known to engage in destructive behavior and hence is widely known as a destructive, mind control cult.
  • Members hold this superstition that using medicines is somehow an offense against God and members have been known to refuse to take medical treatment. Some have even died because of this doctrine of death, such as Australian member Garth MacDonald in 2006 (See:
  • If any member should wish to leave they are shunned by all members. PCG members are required to have "no contact" with those who leave.
  • Furthermore PCG members are forbidden from having contact with members of their parent organization, the Worldwide Church of God, which was founded by Herbert W. Armstrong, or any other organizations springing from WCG. Those who belong to such organizations are denounced as "Laodiceans" who are viewed as cursed by God and not worthy of any social contact.
  • PCG members are also required to pay three tithes. They trick potential converts by offering their writings for free, thus creating a sense of obligation to them in the reader, which they use to suddenly spring this terrible burden upon them. This is a terrible financial burden which has caused many members to be impoverished and forced to go without in order to meet the demands of this cult.
  • Furthermore their publication is designed to interpret the world events within an apocalyptic narrative. They teach that nuclear World War III will soon erupt and the world will be on the brink of nuclear annihilation. This fearful interpretation is used to scare people into clinging themselves onto PCG.
  • Their leader, Gerald Flurry, is held to be "That Prophet" and an Apostle.
  • They do not believe in the Trinity, instead they say God is a family of beings into which believers can be born into.
If you wish to see more information about this organization you might wish to investigate the following sites:

Ambassador Report on PCG

Exit and Support Network

The Plain Truth about Malachi's Message and That Prophet (written by a former member)

Because of these facts I have put this to your attention. This is the organization which Joel Hilliker represents. I fear that this fine radio station has allowed a such a man to be on its station without being aware of the facts about this organization.

I have brought these facts to your attention in order for you to be aware of the true nature of this organization. You deserve to know what sort of organization PCG is.

Thank you for your attention
It is impossible for us to know what this radio station knows about PCG, so let's make them know.

I sent my email, but I am only one.

If many of us sent such an email to them it will give them a clear message on how dangerous this group is and what a harmful influence they have been. Let us expose PCG.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Attacks on Social Security Blocked by Senator Reid

In regards to the Social Security situation I am happy to report that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has declared that proposals to gut Social Security are off the table.

It is not true that Social Security is in the midst of a crisis. That is simply deceptive propaganda ultimately spread by the Right in order to take control of its money.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Jesse Ventura Sues to Resist TSA Tyranny

Recently saw this heart breaking story about the TSA's tyranny at the airport security, how it has affected one man who has chosen to resist this disgusting, inexcusable, useless attack upon the liberty of every American citizen, and upon those who travel through their airports.

Jesse Ventura sues TSA, says body scans and [enhanced] pat-down searches violate rights
But when Ventura set off the metal detector in November, he was instead subjected to a body pat-down and was not given the option of a scan with a hand-held wand or an exemption for being a frequent traveler, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit said the pat-down "exposed him to humiliation and degradation through unwanted touching, gripping and rubbing of the intimate areas of his body."

It claims that under TSA's policy, Ventura will be required to either go through a full-body scanner or submit to a pat-down every time he travels because he will always set off the metal detector.
He does not deserve to be treated like this. No US citizen or anyone peacefully traveling through US airports deserve to be treated in this useless and terrible manner.

As I said before this monstrous policy must be abolished immediately. (And the full body scanners as well, but I regard the enhanced pat downs as the major priority.)

I certainly wish Jesse Ventura well in what I am sure will be a hard struggle. I hope he wins.

Al Jazeera Report on Pakistani Christians

Al Jazeera has just released another news report about the situation of Christians in Pakistan who, along with other religious minorities are forced to live under the shadow of an abusive 1986 blasphemy law.

Pakistan Christians feel threatened.

For more information on this topic presented earlier at this blog see: The Oppression of Pakistan's Man Made Blasphemy Law.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The False Scare: Fear over Non-Existant Social Security Crisis

The Daily Howler has once again published a post discussing how the Right have created the widespread false perception that there is a crisis in Social Security.

Many reports about Social Security often presents information in such a way that readers assume that Social Security will go bankrupt by 2037. This is an incorrect message. What will happen in 2037 is that, “Social Security would collect enough in payroll taxes to pay out about 78 percent of benefits” as stated by a source in the linked article.

So you would get 78 cents for every dollar from 2037. It is not going to disappear.

And it is relatively easy to solve this problem, as seen in this previous post:
Myth: Benefit cuts are the only way to fix Social Security.

Reality: Social Security doesn't need to be fixed. But if we want to strengthen it, here's a better way: Make the rich pay their fair share. [More on that here.] If the very rich paid taxes on all of their income, Social Security would be sustainable for decades to come. Right now, high earners only pay Social Security taxes on the first $106,000 of their income. But conservatives insist benefit cuts are the only way because they want to protect the super-rich from paying their fair share.
So it is not going to disappear. Social Security is secure as is, and as seen above it is easily sustainable well past 2037 if only the rich paid for Social Security over the rest of their income and not just $106,000 of it.

There is no Social Security crisis in fact. However the Right are doing all they can to convince people that it will not be there for them in order that they may cut it. After all, if you think Social Security won't be there for you, why wouldn't you let the Right just cut it in order to make it better, as they incorrectly tell you.

Any such cuts must be resisted and not allowed to be put in force.