Saturday, November 30, 2013

Sheryl Meredith Passes Away

Banned by HWA has reported that Sheryl Meredith, the wife of Roderick C. Meredith, has died, November 29.

This is sad news. I wish all those affected by her passing my condolences. No doubt her family are going through a dark time with her passing.

I just found this from a previous post:
1977: November 20: [Roderick C. Meredith] Marries Sheryl Ann Hensley of Bakersfield, California (Worldwide News, January 2, 1978, 'Evangelists Honored on 25th Anniversary', pp. 1, 3). They would later have two children.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Roderick C. Meredith The Matchmaker

Keith Hunt, a former WCG member who continues to believe and teach many of HWA's teachings, has left for us this anecdote regarding Roderick C. Meredith, showing once again the highly authoritarian behavior that was so common among WCG members under HWA's rule.

In his website's reproduction of Chapter 6 of John Tuit's book, The Truth Shall Set You Free, Keith Hunt has inserted the comment shown below. This chapter discusses the release of the second issue of the Ambassador Report. After John Tuit discusses the infamous Manpower Papers Keith Hunt inserts this comment.
(You think the above "screening" was the invention of AR [Ambassador Report] ... well it was NOT, listen to this. As a young guy in the WCG, I had a friend (a young guy also) who was accepted to AC (Ambassador College) - two years later he returned to the town where I was and called me on the phone and wanted to speak to me in person. We met. This is the story he related: He had fallen in love with a young lady in AC and she with him. Rod Meredith and company pulled him into their office and told him that he must have nothing to do with her as he was NOT ministerial quality, but she was the quality to be a minister's wife. He was shattered. What could I tell him, there was nothing he could do; obviously she was not about to leave AC and both of them go off and get married. I never saw my friend again - Keith Hunt) 
Once again here is more evidence of the abusive behavior that appears to have been so common within HWA's WCG.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Stephen Flurry Says Teens Taking Over Society (Like HWA)

Stephen Flurry has written an article or the December 2013 Philadelphia Trumpet, The Teens have Taken Over!

This article slavishly imitates what HWA wrote in The Missing Dimension in Sex. This only shows once again how PCG's leaders slavishly imitate HWA in order to bedazzle PCG members into thinking they are in the one true church. Never mind that PCG have altered HWA's writings or teach doctrines contrary to what HWA taught for their convenience, such as claiming Prophets have a right to rule church members. (HWA taught that New Testament Prophet had no administrative power over anyone and are unnecessary because we have the Bible.)

It is sad that PCG continues to oppress their followers.

Cult Leaders Use Fear of "Race War" to Manipulate Followers

Recently I bought Freedom of Mind by Steven Hassan. In Chapter 10, 'Unlocking Phobias' he lists some of the phobias cults seek to implant into their followers in order to exploit them more effectively.

One of them is "Fear of race wars".

I admit it. I chuckled when I read this as I instantly recalled how PCG has recently been fear mongering as I noted in this previous post in which I discussed a post written by Joel Hilliker in which he exploited news regarding one extremist African American to say "devastating racial violence" would soon occur.

Most likely Hassan is thinking of Charles Manson, the Ku Klux Klan, and other types of extremists but this sort of fear is often used by cult leaders to exploit their followers.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Eighty North Koreans Publically Executed for Possessing Bibles, Watching Foreign Films, Etc.

Korea JongAng Daily has reported that eighty North Koreans were publicly executed on November 3.
Some 80 people were publicly executed earlier this month in seven cities in North Korea excluding Pyongyang, the first known large-scale public executions by the Kim Jong-un regime, the JoongAng Ilbo reported.

The executions occurred on Sunday, Nov. 3, according to a source familiar with internal affairs in the North who recently visited the country.

The people were executed for relatively light transgressions such as watching South Korean movies or distributing pornography. ...

In Wonsan, eight people were tied to a stakes at a local stadium, had their heads covered with white sacks and were shot with a machine gun, according to the source.

According to witnesses of the execution, the source said, Wonsan authorities gathered some 10,000 people, including children, at Shinpoong Stadium, which has a capacity of 30,000 people, and forced them to watch....

The Wonsan victims were mostly charged with watching or illegally trafficking South Korean videos, being involved in prostitution or being in possession of a Bible.

Accomplices or relatives of the executed people who were implicated in their alleged crimes were sent to prison camps. 
Oh what monstrosities! Once again the elites of North Korea inflict yet another atrocity upon their oppressed subjects just in order to maintain their power and control.  

Monday, November 11, 2013

Dave Pack's Followers Discouraged from Using Medicine

Kerwyn Rand, a commenter at Silenced, has reported a most disturbing trend that seems to be happening within Dave Pack's Restored Church of God. (Hat tip Banned by HWA.)
the recent sermons are also (yet again) reminding the chosen fools that they are not to use modern medicine under any circumstances unless it is a dire emergency. “Pray on it, and God will take care of you” is their suggestion. I suppose if the flock really adheres to this mandate there will be far fewer of them in the next few years since many are elderly and infirm.
This is a most disturbing development. How dare Dave Pack spread anti-medicine superstition! As if what he has already done was not terrible enough.

The COGs have a long and shameful history of preventing people from getting necessary medical treatment. It is tragic that Dave Pack willfully chooses to continue this shameful and deadly superstition.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Branch Davidians Committed Mass Suicide (1993)

Regarding the tragic demise of the Branch Davidians in their compound, some people believe that the US government was at fault for causing the deaths, that the US authorities were responsible for the death of the Branch Davidians, or that it was some sort of sinister mass murder committed by an evil government out of control. Is this true?

Those people might like to look at the facts regarding the Branch Davidian siege as noted in the following article from noted anti-cult activist Rick Ross, at his blog Cult News, Associated Press perpetuates Waco myths.
Republicans, not particularly friendly with President Clinton or his Attorney General Janet Reno, concluded within their report that such conspiracy theories about Waco were completely false. Here are some excerpts:
  • The Davidians started the fire.
“The evidence presented to the Subcommittees conclusively demonstrated that three distinct fires began in three separate parts of the Branch Davidian residence within a two minute period on April 19. In light of these facts, the Subcommittees conclude that the fires were intentionally set by Branch Davidian members in order to destroy the structure. Supporting this conclusion is that fact that the fire review team found that a number of accelerants were present in the structure, including gasoline, kerosene, Coleman fuel, and other accelerants.
Given that these accelerants were used to contribute to the spread of the fire, the Subcommittees conclude that the Davidians used them as part of a plan to destroy their residence.”
  • The use of “tear gas” (methylene chloride) specifically did not cause the fire.
“One of the theories forwarded to the Subcommittees comcerning the origin of the fire is that methylene chloride, a chemical used as a dispersant to carry the CS riot control agent injected into the Branch Davidian residence, may have ignited and started the fire. During the hearings Dr. Quintiere testified that it was his opinion that the methylene chloride in the CS agent neither caused nor contributed to the spread of the fire.
In light of this testimony, and the other information reviewed by the Subcommittees concerning the flammability of methylene chloride, the Subcommittees conclude that the presence of methylene chloride in the Branch Davidian residence did not cause the fire nor contribute to its spread.”
  • The Davidans could have left the compound freely, but chose to stay and die instead.
“Throughout the morning of April 19, none of the Davidians left their residence. After the fire broke out, however, nine persons left the building. This indicates that at least some opportunity existed for the Davidians to safely leave the structure had they wanted to do so. One of those who escaped the fire left the residence almost 21 minutes after the breakout of the first fire. Clearly, some means of escape from the residence existed for a significant period of time after the fire broke out.
An important question, however, is whether the Davidians might have been overcome by smoke and prevented from leaving the residence. The autopsies of the Davidians indicate that deaths from smoke inhalation or asphyxiation from carbon monoxide poisoning accounted for only half of the Davidians who died in the residence. The other causes of death were gunshot wounds, burns, or other trauma. Thus, even after the fires began to consume the structure, at least half of the Davidians were not so affected by the smoke and fumes from the fire that they were physically unable to leave the structure.
Additionally, the location of the bodies of the Davidians indicates that few of the Davidians actually attempted to escape the building. Many of the bodies were huddled together in locations in the center of the building. Few of the bodies were located at points of exit from the building, and the cause of death of several of the bodies at exit points were self-inflicted gunshot wounds or gunshots from very close range.”
The subsequent independent Danforth Report came to the same conclusions.
  1. Government agents did not start the fire at Waco;
  2. Government agents did not shoot at the Branch Davidians on April 19, 1993;
  3. Government agents did not improperly use the United States military;
  4. Government agents did not engage in a massive conspiracy and cover-up. There is no evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of Attorney General Reno, the present and former Director of the FBI, other high officials of the United States, or the individual members of the FBI Hostage Rescue Team who fired three pyrotechnic tear gas rounds on April 19, 1993.
  5. Responsibility for the tragedy at Waco rests with certain of the Branch Davidians and their leader, David Koresh, who shot and killed four ATF agents, wounded twenty others, shot at FBI agents trying to insert tear gas into the complex, burned down the complex, and shot at least twenty of their own people, including five children.
Likewise, the Davidian survivors legal claims for damages were repeatedly rejected.
Despite these clear facts some people choose to believe that the Branch Davidians were not an extremist authoritarian cult that behaved in a dangerous way, but they are instead romanticized as ordinary Christians who were bullied by some evil government.

These people choose to believe that the Branch Davidians did not commit mass suicide, as the evidence shows, but instead delude themselves into thinking they were martyrs murdered by the US government.

They ignore the fact that by murdering four government employees and refusing to let US law enforcement officers into their compound the Branch Davidians were effectively in a state of aggressive armed rebellion against the US government.

They ignore the fact that David Koresh murdered the Branch Davidians and instead falsely claim the US government killed them and use this thought to produce all kinds of wacky, inaccurate and paranoid anti-government conspiracy theories.

One man believed these incorrect ideas regarding the Waco siege so strongly he launched a terrorist act against the United States that killed 168 people. He was later executed for that monstrous act.

Some within the COGs have also incorrectly taught that the Branch Davidians were murdered by the US government, such as M. John Allen, as was shown in a previous post:
This attitude [claiming there was a government cover up regarding the siege of the Branch Davidian] exists among other COGs, such as M. John Allen, leader of Restoration Ministries, as may be seen in his book The Restoration of Truth, Chapter 7. After speculating that Christians should live in a commune he somewhat abruptly changes the topic to say that Waco was an act of tyranny and compares US law officers with Nazi storm troopers. He even suggests, without any evidence (he has "a feeling") that Jim Jones' mass suicide in 1978 was the same thing.
I feel it is no coincidence that government storm troopers were sent into Christian communities like Waco and Jonestown, with cover stories that these people committed suicide. The facts have come out about Waco, showing it was really a government hatchet job against innocent, law abiding people. We will probably never know about Jonestown, but I have a feeling it was the same type of thing.
How can he say that about Jonestown? He has no evidence, just "a feeling".
I present this post in the hope of allaying unfounded concerns caused by paranoid conspiracy theories centered upon this incident.

(Incidentally the Branch Davidians are an offshoot of the Seventh Day Adventists and thus related to Armstrongism as a common descendant of the Millerites of the 1830s-1840s.)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Kennedy Assassination As Told by the Reporter who was There

The Daily Telegraph has a fascinating article regarding the Kennedy assassination as encountered by a reporter, Richard Aynesworth, who was there at the Kennedy assasination.

I found his comments regarding the widespread conspiracy theories regarding it particularly worthy of note.
Over the 50 years since, he has gone deep into the background to events ... and running down “oh gosh, dozens and dozens of conspiracy theories”.
Watching fruitcakes and frauds get rich peddling hokum to an eager world (he reserves special contempt for the Oliver Stone film JFK) has been tough for him. “The only lucrative business from a reporting standpoint has been conspiracy,” he said. “For every book that tells the exact truth, or tries to, there are 25 conspiracy books.”
But he has always refused to make a killing from the killing. “Who do you think, given my background, would like to 'solve’ the assassination more than me? God! All I can say is, there’s not one scintilla of evidence to the contrary [that both Oswald and Ruby acted alone].”
“He’s a beautifully humble man,” chips in [his wife] Paula. “If he was a liar, he’d be so rich.”
Aynesworth’s conclusion should be the final word on the events of half a century ago, but he knows it never will be. “We all love a conspiracy. No one wants to believe two nobodies could change the course of world history. But they did.”
He wrote two books about the Kennedy assassination, November 22, 1963: Witness to History, and JFK: Breaking the News.

How One Man Left a Cult and Started an Anti-Cult Group

Here's the story of one man, Ian Haworth, who was recruited into a cult. 

What it's like to escape from a cult (Daily Telegraph).
Six years into my stay in Toronto, I was doing some shopping at a major intersection in town when a very attractive woman approached me. I was very single at the time, so I was quite amenable when she asked if I’d like to take part in a survey.
She asked me a series of short questions and ticked off my answers on a clipboard. What did I think of the world? Could the world be a better place? The whole thing was done in less than a minute. At the end, she said: "The way you’ve answered these questions I think you might be interested in joining a community group." I wasn’t sure. She said: "Isn’t it time you gave something back to to the community in which you live?" Part of me respected her to have the guts to say that, and part of me felt rather guilty and selfish. So I agreed to go along the following week. 
Find out what at the link above.

Hat tip: Cult News Network.