Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Death of Roderick C. Meredith

LCG has announced that Roderick C. Meredith has passed away aged 86 on Thursday, May 18, 2017. It had been announced earlier that he had terminal cancer. His funeral is to be held Sunday, May 21.

I wished he had lived longer. My thoughts and condolences go to his family members.

We human beings are complicated. We can treat those close to us well while neglecting those not so favored. I will not speculate about those who were close to him. But for those of us who participated in and saw the fallacies of what Roderick C. Meredith taught it is sad to see that he used up his working life promoting and sustaining a religion that is severely flawed and has caused much pain to the many people who have grown disillusioned with it.

As HWA's organization grew HWA and those immediately below him including Meredith had few restraints upon their authority. In a situation like that abuse of that power were practically certain to occur.

Infamously, as may be seen in his July 18, 1969 letter, he helped enforce HWA's astoundingly brutal divorce and remarriage policy which gave ministers of HWA's organization the power to order couples to end their marriages for arbitrary reasons. This frightening policy was in force until 1974.

In 1992 HWA's organization had to pay $750,000 to Leona McNair to settle a libel case that started after Meredith made public statements about her in 1979 that she denounced as libelous. At one point of the long running case a jury awarded her $1,260,000 in damages for Meredith's libel on August 23, 1984.

Last year Meredith was sued again by the Scarboroughs for alleged bad behavior against them when they were disfellowshipped out of LCG. However that particular lawsuit failed.

Although Meredith often played up his associations with HWA he actually fell out of his favor long before HWA's death. David Robinson stated in his book, Herbert Armstrong's Tangled Web, that HWA no longer favored Meredith as early as 1972. He insisted that Meredith was only placed over the ministry in 1979 in order to bolster HWA and Stanley Rader's power over HWA's organization during the receivership crisis. Once he had served his purpose in reasserting HWA's authority over the ministry he was immediately replaced by Joseph Tkach in July 1979. Even after Rader lost HWA's favor in 1981 Meredith was not returned to that position which he previously held. HWA's actions indicate that he did not view Meredith as a possible successor.

While Meredith was over the ministry in January-July 1979 he disfellowshipped numerous ministers. The authoritarian nature of HWA's organization allowed Meredith to wield such frightening power even over other ministers.

In 1992 as the Tkach changes got closer to transforming the organization founded by HWA into essentially another Protestant church Meredith left it and formed a splinter group. In 1998 a schism erupted and he left to form yet another splinter group. While leading these organizations of his he hosted a telecast. And even though there had emerged hundreds of splinter groups which taught many doctrines very similar to what he himself preached he would still say things like, "You will gain precious insights and information available nowhere else," letting his audience falsely think that no one else taught what he did. How is saying a statement like that not a con?

Meredith also had a long history of demonizing and vilifying the LGBT community. While such hostility is common among the splinter groups originating from HWA's organization Meredith seemed especially obsessed with vilifying them. One shudders to imagine the effects of his vindictiveness upon those who paid attention to his words. One wonders why he was so bitter and nasty towards them,

It is clear that Meredith was badly served by his uncle C. Paul Meredith who seems to have helped lead Meredith into joining HWA's organization in Meredith's teenage years. Serving HWA's organization led to Meredith promoting all kinds of misinformation that were simply untrue such as British Israelism. It would have been better for himself and those around him if Meredith had pursued another avenue of employment that would have prevented him having such a negative influence over other people. But he made his choices and the consequences of his choices have to be addressed.


Roderick C. Meredith's death has been mentioned elsewhere.

Banned by HWA. (Here and here.)

As Bereans Did.

Painful Truth.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Overview of the May-June 2017 Issue of PCG's Philadelphia Trumpet

PCG has released another issue of their recruitment magazine (May-June 2017) to attempt to gain more triple tithes paying converts. Back in 2012 one of PCG's booklets boasted that PCG had an income of about $19.5 million. Even as early as 1996 PCG boasted of enjoying more than $5 million in annual income. Recently PCG has even bought its own plane.

Let's take a look.

The editors of this issue are Gerald Flurry, Stephen Flurry, Joel Hilliker, Brad MacDonald, Richard Palmer, Robert Morley, Jeremiah Jacques, Dennis Leap and Phillip Nice.

This issue has a circulation of 263,551. April's circulation was 267,569. March's circulation was 271,949. February's circulation was 273,591. January's circulation was 267,992. November-December was 277,131. October was 280,116. September was 282,121.

Intriguingly several articles contain quotations from their leader, Gerald Flurry. MacDonald's article has one on page 6. Palmer's article has two quotes on page 32. Jacques' article about race relations has one on page 17. Nagtegaal's article has three quotes on pages 20, 21 and 36. Jacques' article about Asian politics has one on page 25. WorldWatch has one on page 29.

Gerald Flurry has a personal article denouncing the German Holy Roman Empire as the most frightening and terrible thing.
You are going to see that crown [of Charlemagne] take on more than just symbolic meaning. That empire is prophesied to rise again! It is ready to burst on the world scene shortly—perhaps even in 2017! (p. 1.)
He mentions that Mein Kampf has begun to be published in Germany and has sold 85,000 copies but he does not mention that this occurred because its copyright expired (p. 2).

Brad MacDonald has an article denouncing calls for the British public to carry on and live normal lives after the mass murder in Westminster on March 22, 2017 in which five innocent people were murdered by sympathizer of ISIL.
Truth is, this contemporary interpretation of “keep calm and carry on” is destructive. ... 
In some respects, the calmness was admirable. But it exposed profound passivity and apathy. One would have expected an attack of this magnitude and the publicity to arouse greater indignation, to provoke much more reflection and self-evaluation. ... 
This, sadly, is the state of Britain (and America) today: These nations wish to be humbugged! In Britain, neither the leaders nor the public have the will to discuss the truth about Islamist terrorism, and certainly not to take serious actions to confront radical Islam. The U.S. has the same willful blindness. ... rather than using each crisis as an opportunity to reflect, to ask some searching questions and then to take meaningful actions that will prevent the crisis from happening again, these nations choose to keep calm and carry on. (pp. 4-5.)
MacDonald casts suspicion upon those who were acquainted with the murderer even though he is no position to investigate that issue.
Why didn’t [the murderer]’s “moderate” friends and acquaintances inform the authorities about him? (p. 5.)
After the mass murder twelve people were arrested in connection with it and by April 1 all had been released without charge.

MacDonald insists that multiculturalism has failed.
Instead of encouraging her people to carry on as normal, Prime Minister May ought to have been bolder.... Braving the accusations “war monger” and Islamophobe, the prime minister should have stated the obvious—radical Islam has burrowed deep into Britain. That it is a threat to the nation, to its institutions, culture and communities. That multiculturalism has failed. That Britain, if it is ever to truly solve this issue, will have to take meaningful actions on a large scale. (p. 6.)
To its shame PCG is Islamophobic and has a long history of scare mongering about Muslims in general. (See PCG's Demonization of Muslims: Part 1Part 2 and Part 3.)

Richard Palmer has an article insisting that mainstream political parties in Europe are shifting to the right to counter the rise of right wing populist parties citing the Dutch elections.

Andrew Müller has an article denouncing evolution as leading to immorality and hopelessness.

Joel Hilliker has an article about how men are to behave and gain respect as being a man.

Jeremiah Jacques has an article about one Daryl Davis, an African American man whose decision to talk to a Ku Klux Klan member to learn about racism led to some rather unexpected results.

The Infographic lists twelve prophecies to watch insisting that PCG's leaders can foresee future events. Here are some of these predictions.
The moral breakdown of American society will culminate in large-scale looting, rioting, violence and murder in America’s most densely populated areas. (p. 19.)
This is an allusion to PCG's false prophecy of "race war," a racist teaching which claims that African Americans will launch a wave of riots against the white majority. Such fears are nonsensical and when directed at one specific race such as African Americans such an idea is racist.
The American monetary system will crash, draining its superpower status and leaving it vulnerable. (p. 19.)
The United States has the greatest military power the world has ever seen and the federal debt is not at present a danger to US stability.

Brent Nagtegaal has an article scare mongering that Iran will disrupt maritime trade using the Houthis in Yemen. Various attacks by Houthi militiamen on the sea are mentioned, some of which resulting in fatalities. There is no talk about the severe humanitarian crisis afflicting the people of Yemen on the land because of the cataclysmic civil war that has raged since 2014 between the internationally recognized government and the Houthis with the terrorists and murderers of Al Qaeda's arm in Yemen also seizing territory elsewhere and fighting the other sides. It is also left unmentioned that the Houthis' enemies control the skies and have bombarded Houthi held territory from the air since March 2015.

In this article Nagtegaal mentions that Flurry is telling his followers that Iran will soon "push the world into an all-out world war."
On February 3, in a letter to supporters of the Trumpet and other Philadelphia Church of God projects, Mr. Flurry wrote that the aggressive king of the south is about to push the world into an all-out world war. The increasingly violent actions by Iran and its proxies in the Red Sea are one part of that push; a push that will ultimately succumb to a violent and forceful counterstrike by a superior force from the north. (p. 36.)
How terrible it is that Gerald Flurry is scaring his followers like this. There is no need to fear his dire and futile predictions. He is but a false prophet.

Jeremiah Jacques also has an article scare mongering that various Asian nations such as the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam are turning towards China and allegedly moving away from close relations with the United States.

The "Bible study" article insists that (PCG's) God wants the reader to listen to the Bible. However PCG's leaders insist that only they properly understand the Bible consequently reverence for the Bible is twisted into a prop to back up PCG's claim to be the only ones who understand the Bible properly.

SocietyWatch mentions
  • that the European Union has approved the creation of a military command; 
  • that China is now Germany's leading trade partner instead of the United States; 
  • that Hamas has produced a new charter which endorses the creation of a Palestinian state on the 1967 lines and breaks away from the Muslim Brotherhood; 
  • that Japan is to send the battleship, Izumo, on a three month cruise into the disputed South China Sea; 
  • that there is speculation in Israel that Iran may acquire nuclear weapons from North Korea; 
  • that Russia has adsorbed the armed forces of South Ossetia, a province of Georgia which had seceded in 1992 and since then has been de facto independent under Russian protection; 
  • that intelligence stated that Russian operatives plotted to assassinate the Prime Minister of Montenegro on October 16, 2016 but were stopped just hours before implementation; 
  • and South African President Zuma's endorsement of the possibility of forced confiscation of white owned farmland. Back in 1913 most farmland in South Africa was forcibly confiscated and handed over to whites.
SocietyWatch mentions
  • that judges blacked President Trump's order to stop immigration from seven countries which is condemned by PCG's writers as "a dangerous act of judicial overreach" and "judicial activism"(p. 31,); 
  • that the Heritage Foundation has ranked the United States' as falling to seventeenth instead of sixth back when Obama assumed the presidency; 
  • and that Mexico is still enduring a cataclysmic wave of drug related violence citing the murder of three Mexican police officers abducted from Veracruz principality in January 2017. 
Stephen Flurry has a small article calling upon readers to rekindle their first love in their marriages.

Andrew Müller also has a small article denouncing the scandal of some members of the US Marine Corps distributing nude photos of their female colleagues acquired without their permission. This foul exploitation of women is mentioned in order to condemn sexual conduct contrary to PCG dogma.

The back page features advertising for a booklet by Joel Hilliker entitled Biblical Manhood.

There are also letters (p. 34). Here's one letter commenting on the difficulty of maintaining trade barriers.
I repair bicycles and maintain a couple of expensive road bikes.... The tires I prefer are Continentals—made in Germany. They are already expensive at approximately $75 each. A 35 percent tariff would put them out of reach cost-wise. I can’t imagine why anyone would believe an America-first policy on trade would help us. We depend far too much on the rest of the world for supplies.
Such trade barriers would also invite the possibility of retaliatory tariffs.

Here's one letter from a person worried that President Trump has not dealt with "left-liberal control of education."
President Trump, with a $20 trillion debt to deal with, will soon have a funding crisis and possible government shutdown.... He already looks like he is weak, as per this analysis, in not dealing with left-liberal control of education.
The federal debt is not quite as much of a pressing matter as this person seems to think.

Here's one letter from a person who condemns those who look after undocumented immigrants as a "pro-illegal lobby."
There’s a video on YouTube where an undercover reporter asks pro-illegal immigrant protesters if they are willing to put up an illegal immigrant in their own home.... They all replied no. The pro-illegal lobby is so generous with the money of other people and their endangered lives.
No one is illegal. A person may break certain laws but he or she should never be called illegal as though the individual him or herself is somehow illegal. Furthermore such persons are unable to vote consequently politicians have little incentive to be nice to them but some of them can mobilize against them without fear of these undocumented immigrants voting against them. Such persons are easy targets for political grandstanding.

Here's one letter from Michigan from a person who tries to spread the word about what PCG's leaders say in their recruitment magazine.
Your magazine the Trumpet honestly proves so much. I am just astonished. There were some things I didn’t believe, but when I looked them up they are true. All I can say is thank you very much. It is very eye-opening. I am trying so hard to spread the word but there are so many people that get upset when you do that.
One may hope that this person will realize what this organization actually is and cease such talk.

Here's one letter from South Carolina from a person who acquired PCG's recruitment magazine from a doctor's office and is now reading one of HWA's books and advising other people to take a look at their writings.
I thank God every day for that church out there. I just finished The King of the South and now I am reading The Incredible Human Potential. You all are a blessing to me. I got the Philadelphia Trumpet magazine from the doctor’s office. I asked him if I could have it and he said yes. I had never heard of you before but I have spread the word around this area as much as I can, giving people your address and phone number, because I think you people are amazing!
I would strongly advice a person in this position to give no heed to what they say. God is not with PCG. They do not know what will happen in the future.

Here's one letter from Alabama from a person who praising PCG's recruitment magazine for "exposing the corruption in our government" in all likelihood having no awareness of the problems within PCG.
I had canceled your magazine, but I changed my mind. I don’t agree with everything that you say, but you are saying things about the government and the world we live in and I need to know what’s going on. You are opening the eyes of people. Our country is in bad shape. Thank God we have a magazine like yours that is exposing the corruption in our government.
And so we see that PCG had produced yet another issue of their recruitment magazine to attempt to gain new tithes paying recruits and keep their followers mesmerized into thinking that PCG's leaders can see the future.

However since its founding in 1989 PCG has made at least 52 failed predictions. Getting a British columnist to talk at their headquarters cannot change that fact. Clearly PCG's leaders are but false prophets. There is no need to fear their dire proclamations about the future. They cannot see the future.

Monday, May 15, 2017

PCG Produces More McCarthyite Red Baiting

A generation ago the peoples of eastern Europe overthrew the Communist regimes of eastern Europe and the Soviet Union (which was dissolved) and China embraced a market economy and PCG's resident McCarthyite, Andrew Müller, is still trying to make PCG's followers scared of Communists, a numerically small political group in the United States, in an unreasonable way. This may be seen in a recent article (Andrew Müller, California Mulls Allowing Communists in State Government, May 11, 2017).
Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) introduced a bill into the California State Assembly last December; a bill that that would remove the ban on Communist Party members working in state government positions. Banta argued that California law should not focus on “empty labels” and political affiliations, but should focus on an individual’s actions. He calls this legislation a “cleanup bill that removes archaic and outdated references to the Communist Party in our state laws, specifically those stating that a public employee may be dismissed from employment if he or she advocates or is knowingly a member of the Communist Party.” ... 
Whether this bill successfully passes the California Senate is a moot point. The fact that politics is at a point where Communists may soon run for office isn’t tremendously significant. It is the fact that American culture has come to a point were those believing in Marxism are considered electorally viable that is terrifying.
Maybe Andrew Müller should run for office himself or work against such candidates if he is so terrified. However PCG and many other COGs forbid their members from running for political office.

He insists that social science professors are more inclined to identify themselves as Marxist, thuds condemning education institutions.
According to a 2006 survey, 3 percent of American university professors self-identify as Marxists. This figure rises to 5 percent of humanities professors and 18 percent of social science professors. This survey found that a social science professor was three times more likely to be a self-avowed Marxist than a conservative.
He then cites WorldNetDaily (March 3, 2011) and (April 11, 2012) to use the Communist Party USA to slur other American leftists such as the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
The Communist Party USA endorsed both Obama presidential campaigns and has referred to the members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus as ideological allies. The Congressional Progressive Caucus, which was founded by the Democratic Socialists of America, now encompasses 14 percent of Congress. It is increasingly evident that Marxism is not dead. It is alive and well in American universities and spreading into other areas of society.
This is classic McCarthyite red baiting. It was the practice during the era of McCarthyism to use any connection with the Communist Party to slur unwanted voices. The Congressional Progressive Caucus is not the Communist Party USA but Müller links them together to make his audience fearful and not listen to them.

He scare mongers that the Congressional Progressive Caucus has 14% of Congress ignoring the fact that the Republicans have a majority in Congress.

At the end he reveals that he is not just focused on Communists in California as the article's title would suggest.
Today, the 1960s New Left student radicals are the leaders of the modern Democratic Party—and we’re not only talking about fringe politicians in California. These radical leaders are now shifting their party even further left to gain the support of the millennials—a demographic that leans overwhelmingly Democrat and even socialist. This type of strategy can only lead to civil unrest and violent revolution.
One moment Müller is complaining about Communists in California being allowed to pursue state employment, next moment he condemns "the leaders of the modern Democratic Party" as "radical leaders" thus showing that this McCarthyite scare mongering of Communists is actually an attack against the left in general including "the leaders of the modern Democratic Party". The Communists are used to slur the left in general.

The spirit of McCarthyism is alive and well in PCG's headquarters. No good can come from this.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Misleading Recruitment

One practice of toxic religious groups is that they will present a few doctrines to potential recruits while carefully hiding their more esoteric doctrine until the member is conditioned to stay in the group. In one recent article PCG's Dennis Leap projects this practice onto God in an interpretation of the Book of Exodus that does not necessarily support his interpretation. 
While Moses was preparing to leave Midian with Zipporah and his sons Gershom and Eliezer, God appeared to him and said, “Go, return into Egypt: for all the men are dead which sought thy life. … When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go. And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn” (verses 19, 21-23). These are fascinating verses for several reasons. 
First, it was not until Moses was fully committed to leaving for Egypt that God revealed to him that all those in Egypt who wanted to murder him were dead. Another interesting point is that God didn’t spell out so clearly to Moses at the burning bush that Pharaoh would not be an easy man to convince. With Moses now on the move, God gave him information that may have discouraged him before this moment. Moses, Aaron and the Israelites would have a tough fight, but God gave Moses a dire prophecy for Pharaoh: God would slay his firstborn son if he refused to let Israel go. (Dennis Leap, Zipporah: Moses' Wife, February 2017.)
However the COGs often practice this selective presentation of doctrines to new recruits. For instance doctrines such as second and third tithe tend to be rarely mentioned in writings for the public. Doctrines contrary to what is taught in most churches such as their denunciation of the Trinity or second and third tithe are often not readily apparent in writings or television broadcasts produced by the various COGs. How many would have joined any of the COGs if they knew from the start about the COGs' unorthodox positions regarding various Christian doctrines?

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Reading Mark Mendiola's Article, Marriage vs. Immorality

How do the COGs maintain themselves? In many COGs including LCG lay members are required to pay three tithes to the organization and are required to adhere to many rules and regulations promoted and imposed by the organization.  How do the 1% within the COGs keep the congregation together and maintaining itself smoothly. One could imagine how they would resent this and would one day revolt and just leave but even though LCG and the other splinter groups are pale imitations of WCG's heyday it still maintains itself and commands the loyalty of thousands. One reason the lay membership do not suddenly revolt against the ministry is that they are told to be fearful of others outside of the organization and even among themselves.

The third issue of LCG's recruitment magazine, Tomorrow's World (October-December 1999), featured an article by Mark Mendiola entitled "Marriage vs. Immorality" (pp.  22-25, 30.) This was the third of several articles Mendiola would write for this recruitment magazine. Here he condemns attempts by mainstream society to to be more accommodating toward the LGBT community.

Being accepting of the LGBT community will lead to the destruction of the nation shrills Mendiola.
The United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand are in the throes of a major shift in attitude toward the sanctity of marriage that bodes ill for their future. Can a nation that abandons the traditional family unit continue to survive? History and common sense teach otherwise.
So Mendiola says that "a nation that abandons the traditional family unit" might not "survive". In other words it is implied that his nation, the United States, could be destroyed if sexual conduct contrary to LCG dogma is too prevalent. Since LCG members are told that the nation will soon be destroyed it is little wonder that they would devalue society outside of LCG thinking it is destined to soon be destroyed in the Great Tribulation. So they stay.

He bewails that the leaders of the white "Israelite" nations are behaving sexually in ways contrary to LCG dogma.
Britons, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders and Americans in recent years have had to cringe in embarrassment at the spectacle of sexual scandals aired like dirty laundry from Buckingham Palace and the White House.  
The infidelity of members of the Royal Family, the president of the United States and delegates in Parliament and Congress has further lowered the moral standards of English-speaking peoples who historically have looked to their leaders to set exemplary examples.  
Instead, the actions of these leaders have succeeded in persuading many people in "Christian" nations, where the Bible historically has been preserved and widely distributed, that the laws pertaining to marriage and family within its pages are antiquated and irrelevant for the modern age. Adultery, fornication and even homosexuality are considered acceptable. Meanwhile, the traditional family unit of husband, wife and children suffers as marriage comes under heavy assault. Society’s bedrock principles are being blasted out from under civilization!
Such complaints are merely a warm up to what he really wants to focus on here: vilifying gays. Getting LCG focused on being scared of gays serves to distract LCG members from addressing the problems among themselves. It is reasonable to assume that there are gays within LCG. Such denunciations of them serve to divide LCG members against each other. Instead of getting irritated at those over them in the organization their anger is directed instead against gays. No wonder those still in LCG do not revolt en masse. They are worried about a numerically small group outside the organization and among themselves.
Perhaps one of the most dramatic developments in Anglo- American society, underscoring the extent to which fundamental moral codes have been discarded, is the increasingly widespread acceptance and outright promotion of the so-called gay rights agenda. 
He condemns President Clinton and the National Park Service.
On June 11, U. S. President Bill Clinton issued an unprecedented presidential proclamation declaring June 1999 as National Gay and Lesbian Pride Month, a move that infuriated many religious leaders. Earlier in the month, the National Park Service added the Stonewall Inn—a gay bar in Greenwich Village, N.Y., where a homosexual riot occurred 30 years ago—to the National Register of Historic Places. 
The Stonewall Inn riot of 1969 is often cited as a landmark event in prompting the LGBT community to begin political activism to improve their social standing and resist the widespread stigma against them.

He condemns President Clinton for attending a dinner and confirming an ambassador for Luxembourg.
Clinton is the first sitting President to speak at a gala dinner of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay and lesbian political organization. He recently circumvented the normal Senate confirmation process by appointing James Hormel—a homosexual San Francisco millionaire—as U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg during a congressional recess. America’s first openly gay ambassador’s nomination had been blocked in the U.S. Senate for 20 months.
Is this why Mark Mendiola's God is preparing to destroy the United States, kill many Americans in the Great Tribulation and have "Israelite" Americans deported into slave labor in Europe? Because President Clinton appointed a gay man to be ambassador to Luxembourg? What a joke. What a sickening absurdity.

Even though Mendiola lives in America he focuses on Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand in order to reinforce the idea that white Americans and white British are common descendants of the biblical Israelites, an idea that has been long ago discredited as nonsense.
Britain also has been rocked by sex scandals in its government. At least three cabinet members in Prime Minister Tony Blair’s government have been exposed as homosexuals. There are so many homosexuals in Blair’s government that one British newspaper wondered if it isn’t being run by a "gay mafia."
Mendiola leaves it unstated which newspaper made that inflammatory claim. Even though it is LCG that has constantly demonized LGBT people Mendiola should dare vilify gays in Britain as being like the mafia. What venomous rhetoric this is.

He even complains that partners of employees who happen to be part of the LGBT community get healthcare benefits from work.
Thirteen percent of all U.S. employers have quietly extended health benefits to the partners of homosexual workers, according to an annual health insurance survey by KPMG Peat Marwick, an accounting firm. For companies with more than 5,000 workers, the figure is one in four.
What does Mendiola want? Does he want these individuals to get sick and die because of a lack of access to healthcare? Healthcare is vital and necessary for everyone. It needs to be as widely available to everyone. In some ways this is the worst statement in the article. It indicates that he does not care about the health and well being of fellow Americans. What sort of attitude is this? This is frightening.

He then exploits Matthew 24 to insist that the Great Tribulation will occur in a time of great prosperity.
Christ also contrasts Lot’s days with Noah’s days by making a conspicuous omission. He makes no mention of marrying and giving in marriage to describe Lot’s society as opposed to Noah’s time because Sodom’s culture was immersed in homosexuality and other illicit activity.
Is Mendiola implying that people will simply stop marrying in the United States? If so that is ridiculous nonsense.
In addition to its widespread sexual immorality, Sodom also was a very prosperous, decadent metropolis like a New York, London, Toronto, Sydney or Auckland today. 
This was written just one and a half years before the 9/11 attacks. How dare you talk New York in such a way, Mendiola.

He then complains that those taught by British Israelism to be "Israelites" have produced pornography.
In what could be the most prosperous time in all recorded history, the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand have squandered their wealth by producing, promoting and exporting some of the most sexually explicit materials imaginable. Pornography in all forms is widely consumed and readily available via the Internet, cable television, videotapes and magazines. 
It should be noted that nine years after this article was published the United States did endure a severe financial crisis. But it was not caused by pornography. It was caused by predatory lenders who foisted sub-prime mortgages onto people who could not afford them.

He vilifies American society as being like ancient Greece and Rome.
As a result of this breakdown in sexual morals, marriages and families in British-descended nations are rapidly deteriorating, following the downward spiral of Greece, Rome and other civilizations. Commenting on his times, the Roman statesman and philosopher Seneca stated: "They divorce in order to remarry. They marry in order to divorce." God is no respecter of empires! History is replete with accounts of great nations that have rotted from the inside out and collapsed. 
Seneca died in AD 65. The Roman Empire endured for hundreds of years after his demise. And even though the Western Roman Empire was dissolved in 476 the Eastern Roman Empire did not even bother to fall but continued to maintain itself until 1453. Today we call it the Byzantine Empire but the Byzantines themselves called themselves Romans.

He then cites Leviticus 18.
In Leviticus 18, God outlines laws of sexual morality that forbid incest, adultery, homosexuality and bestiality, which He says defiles entire nations. Peoples who indulge in such behavior will be vomited out of the land, He warns.
But which land was meant? The land under discussion there was the Holy Land, not America. Mendiola is talking that passage out of context.

Mendiola insists that "extreme punishment" will soon fall upon America and Britain. Again how is this talk any different from an Iranian saying, "Death to America"? Is this because of that ambassador to Luxembourg?
Yes, a time of extreme punishment is coming on the British and American peoples because of their blatant disregard for divine laws of sex, marriage and family. The consequences of embracing and endorsing a sexually immoral lifestyle diametrically opposed to Biblical tenets [LCG dogma] that have served as our nations’ mainstays will bring unthinkable heartache and suffering. We have sown the wind and will reap the whirlwind! Destruction worse than the days of Noah and Lot is looming.
He ends the article with a promise that soon Christ will return and create a wondrous world of happiness.
Yet, beyond that waste and desolation lies a wonderful world to be established at Christ’s Second Coming. Parents will be honored, children reared in happy homes and the marriage institution restored and exalted in the Kingdom of God. ... 
Just think. Marriages and families will be happy. Divorce will be obsolete. Promiscuity and the grief that accompanies it will be abolished. Sexually transmitted diseases will be unknown outside of history books. Leaders setting irreproachable standards will govern society. It is almost unbelievable to contemplate in this licentious day and age, but God’s Bible plainly shows that day will be ushered in by Jesus Christ. God speed Tomorrow’s World and that glorious Kingdom of God!
And all this is to be done after America gets destroyed by Mark Mendiola's God for appointing a gay man as ambassador to Luxembourg.

Mendiola insists that in the millennial rule of LCG's Christ humanity will be led by leaders who will set "irreproachable standards." But what about HWA? He divorced his second wife, Ramona Martin, a fact often completely forgotten within the COGs. And before he married his second wife he took in two Filipina lovers for a time. And back in the 1930s-1940s he committed a most foul and dreadful thing. The COGs cannot even produce such a wondrous society today. How do they expect us that they can do such a thing after Christ returns?

And so Mendiola's polemic against the LGBT community ends. Once again LCG's followers had been told that people outside of the organization are the problem and that they should be scared of those people instead of those who demand three tithes as payment for the organization.

In September 2006 Mendiola left LCG and joined Dave Pack's Restored Church of God. Around 2008 he left RCG and joined Don Billingsley's Church of God-Faithful Flock.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

PCG Headquarters Hosts Melanie Phillips' Lecture

In PCG's latest attempt to gain prestige and importance PCG's headquarters has hosted a lecture given by the British columnist Melanie Phillips on May 7. She was introduced to the stage by Joel Hilliker. The lecture may be seen here.

This lecture was first mentioned in a previous post.

PCG has a long history of citing Phillips in their writings. The PCG leadership likes her writings a lot.

PCG's leaders are but false prophets. Since its founding in 1989 PCG has made at least 52 failed predictions. They cannot see the future. There is no need to fear their dire predictions.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Reading Mark Mendiola's Article, Who's Winning the Culture War?

The second issue of LCG's recruitment magazine, Tomorrow's World (July-September 1999), featured an article by Mark Mendiola entitled "Who's Winning the Culture War?" (pp. 24-28.) This was the second of several articles Mendiola would write for this recruitment magazine. Here political contentions are viewed in a religious manner. Those opinions of which Mendiola approves of are presented as standards set by LCG's God while those which he disagree with are vilified as the opinions of secularists who are possibly influenced by Satan.

Let's take a look at the article.
This massive conflict pits those striving to maintain traditional religious values against secularists who reject any public place for God—especially a God Who requires obedience to standards of human conduct. The conflict is keenly felt over such hot-button issues as abortion, homosexuality and euthanasia, but the war extends far beyond those flashpoints.
He says the culture war is not going well for his side.
The horrifying Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colorado and the tepid response to scandals surrounding President Clinton leave many Americans wondering whether the culture war’s tide hasn’t turned dramatically. Many observe that our society dishonors or even mocks those intent on preserving the fundamental values that have helped carry the nation though its most difficult periods for more than 220 years.
He then condemns the entertainment industry.
Perhaps nowhere is the culture war more evident than in the entertainment industry. This “industry” programs gruesome video games full of senseless and violent killings. It creates rock, rap and even country music that glamorizes illicit sex. It produces movie after movie mocking and undermining traditional values. Americans shockingly spend more than $8 billion a year on pornography, making the raunchy porn industry one of the most profitable businesses in the United States!
He complains that "even country music ... glamorizes illicit sex." Is his apparent attachment to country music an indication of his background?

He condemns television networks.
United States television networks ... export for worldwide consumption banal situation comedies, outrageous talk shows and movies filled with sex and violence...
He insists that the religious views of the Founding Fathers are being maliciously suppressed by revisionist historians.
In her 1991 book The Rewriting of America’s History, Catherine Millard states that revisionist historians relegate to mere footnotes—or omit altogether—any references to religious influences that forged the nation’s character and destiny. Such matters are deemed politically incorrect and socially unacceptable.
If that is really the problem then perhaps he should encourage people to read widely. But the real purpose of this recruitment magazine is to get people to join LCG.

He denounces secularists for causing a monument of the Ten Commandments to be removed in Alabama.
A century ago, who would have predicted that a jurist would be prohibited from displaying the Ten Commandments in his courtroom? Yet Alabama judge Roy Moore has incurred the secularists’ wrath by doing so.
Roy Moore is now running to be a senator for Alabama.

He then cites the Mayflower Compact of 1620, the Declaration of Independence, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and a ruling of the Supreme Court in 1892 to note the important role of Christianity in the United States to condemn these secularists.

He also mentions the sacrifices of those American founders who fought for freedom from the British.
Those 56 colonists were willing to stand up and lose everything—they were willing to die for their convictions. Indeed, by signing the Declaration of Independence they were signing their own death warrants and declaring their dependence on Almighty God. The Declaration’s closing words solemnly declare: “With a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.” Of the 56, five were captured by the British and tortured before they died; 12 had their homes sacked, looted, occupied by British troops or burned. Two lost their sons in the army. One had two sons captured. Nine of them died in the war. Against tremendous odds, they and many other Americans were willing to lay down their lives in defense of their cherished values.
Reading that one would never know that LCG forbids its members from serving in the armed forces.
Seventy years later in 1962, the United States Supreme Court ruled that voluntary prayer could not be allowed in the nation’s public schools. The following year, it ruled that the Bible could not be read in classrooms, either. Following those rulings, conditions took a dramatic turn for the worse for the United States. In 1963, a few months after the ruling against Bible readings in school, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The remaining years of the 1960s also were disastrous for the United States. 
More than 50,000 Americans were slaughtered in the Vietnam War, the first war conclusively lost by the United States. Drug abuse, illicit sex and hard rock music were integral elements of the counterculture embraced by the younger generation. Destructive riots and political assassinations wracked the land. These were the fruits of a generation no longer exposed to the Bible nor allowed to pray in public schools!
It is disturbing to see Mendiola imply that the assassination of President Kennedy was somehow connected to the Supreme Court's rulings on this matter. What a strange idea to imply in writing. What a thing to do to use the terrible assassination of President Kennedy to condemn rulings by the Supreme Court. It is sad to see.

He denounces "leftist radicals of the 1960s" who supposedly control the nation and those who opposed the nomination of the late Robert Bork to the Supreme Court.
A key thesis of Robert H. Bork’s 1996 book Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline is that the leftist radicals of the 1960s now control the dominant institutions setting the nation’s cultural tone, including universities, churches, the entertainment industry, print and electronic media and the judiciary. Bork himself is often seen as a victim of the “culture war”—nominated to the United States Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan, Congress rejected his nomination as many labeled him “too conservative.”
He cites the late Paul Weyrich who was a prominent leader of the right. That Mendiola would cite Weyrich reveals the right wing tendencies of LCG's leadership. I do not condemn the COGs for choosing to be right wing but it is important to note that they are right wing because that fact explains so many of their political stances.
Paul Weyrich, president of the Free Congress Foundation and the man who coined the term “moral majority” during the 1970s, also takes a pessimistic view of which side is actually winning the culture war. In a letter sent to conservative leaders earlier this year, Weyrich says he no longer believes a majority of Americans share traditional values.
Mendiola then says that these problems are all because of Satan.
It generally is not understood there are underlying evil forces of darkness behind the all-out assault on the Judeo-Christian culture. These forces are intent upon snuffing out that beacon of illumination.

... it is Satan who surcharges the very atmosphere of our society with attitudes of disobedience, rebellion, lust, anger and violence so prevalent and amplified in today’s modern age by the latest in technology via the mass media. In other words, this diabolical spirit being is waging war against our very minds!
He scare mongers that Satan is seeking to make society hostile to people like himself and his audience.
Yes, it is a struggle in modern society to control our thoughts and obey God’s law and the commandments of Jesus Christ. Satan and his demonic forces are turning the very society in which we live against those striving to fight the good fight and defend God’s way of righteousness.
He then cites Alexis de Tocqueville and Thomas Jefferson. Here is Mendiola's discussion of Jefferson.
Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States and author of the Declaration of Independence, made an even more sobering assessment: “God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever!”
Jefferson had ideas about the Christian religion that most in the COGs would vehemently deny.

He ends his article with an appeal for action hysterically insisting that "the very survival of Judeo-Christian civilization" is somehow in peril.
The battle lines have been drawn in the culture war, and the stakes are high. Nothing less than the very survival of Judeo-Christian civilization hangs in the balance. No longer is the United States one nation under God. The United States has squandered its many God-given blessings, and unless its people repent, a time of terrible suffering lies ahead ... as the world moves toward the end of the age. Those who repent may be spared the suffering, and those whom God calls may be saved, to rule with Him upon his return, in that millenial time we call “Tomorrow’s World.” What about you? Which way will you choose?
And so we see that Mendiola presented himself in this article as quite sympathetic towards the religious right but in fact LCG and the other COGs teach doctrines that are greatly at variance from is taught in most evangelical churches. They denounce the Holy Trinity and instead teach this strange God Family doctrine. They denounce Christians who worship on Sunday as bearing the Mark of the Beast and fated to endure (LCG's) God's wrath shortly before Christ's return. How is it right to present oneself as being like evangelical Christians and presenting sympathetic words to such people while actually working for an organization that denounce evangelical Christians as false Christians?

In September 2006 Mendiola left LCG and joined Dave Pack's Restored Church of God. Around 2008 he left RCG and joined Don Billingsley's Church of God-Faithful Flock.

Reading Mark Mendiola's Article, Generations in Crisis?

The first issue of LCG's recruitment magazine, Tomorrow's World (May-June 1999), featured an article by Mark Mendiola entitled "Generations in Crisis?" (pp. 18-21.) This was the first of several articles Mendiola would write for this recruitment magazine. Here he complains that younger generations are more flawed than the previous generation which went through the Great Depression and World War II.
Every month, approximately 3,200 World War II veterans die. Aging leaders like Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Helmut Kohl have given way to younger men like Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and Gerhard Schroeder.
Note how the revered aging leaders are all right wing while the younger men are all from left wing parties. His political tendencies are already quite evident.

I do not condemn the COGs for choosing to be right wing but it is important to note that they are right wing because that fact explains so many of their political stances.

He condemns some of "today's younger generation" as not appreciating the values and achievements of previous generations.
By contrast, today’s younger generation has too often undervalued or even ridiculed the values and achievements of their parents and grandparents, embracing lifestyles in many ways contrary to the standards for which today’s senior citizens fought when they were in their youth.
He bemoans that America lacks the sort of leadership it had during World War II.
Gone are Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur and so many others who displayed tremendous leadership qualities and courage during World War II. Would this modern generation be able to rise to the occasion if another crisis of such magnitude were to erupt — or have we become too soft and complacent in the prosperous post-war decades?
One would never know reading this that LCG actually forbids their members from serving in the armed forces.

He then disparage the democratic choice of the American people in the 1992 and 1996 elections by saying that Clinton's opponents were both World War II veterans. Once again right wing politicians are compared favorably compared with a left wing politician revealing that LCG's leaders tend to be right wing in regards to politics.
In 1992 and 1996, American voters were given a clear choice between two generations. They could have elected World War II veterans — George Bush or Robert Dole, representing more conservative values — or Bill Clinton, the first president born after World War II, representing modern liberalism and the Baby Boom generation.  
Both Bush and Dole were nearly killed in combat. A Navy Air Corps pilot, Bush had to be rescued after his plane was shot out of the sky by the Japanese during a bombing run, and he lay adrift in the ocean for hours. Dole nearly died from infection and other complications after he was gravely wounded in an assault on a fortified German position in the Italian Alps. After a series of operations and painful therapy that lasted more than three years, Dole never regained the use of his right arm.
Once again I do not condemn the COGs for choosing to be right wing but it is important to note that they are right wing because that fact explains so many of their political stances.

He whines that the young are insolent towards their elders.
“Insolence” sadly describes a far-too-prevalent attitude held by the young toward the elderly who gave up so much for their nation to help ensure the quality of life now taken for granted by many insultingly contemptuous in their speech and conduct. Today, age and maturity are considered outmoded liabilities. Corporations ruthlessly fire older employees on the verge of retiring, replacing them with young people who may themselves be discarded as they age.
He insists that the best qualified people are reluctant to take leadership.
... the most qualified leaders today decline to run for president, opting not to take charge, leaving the lesser qualified to assume positions of authority.
He denounces sexual conduct contrary to LCG dogma.
It is no coincidence that in the same context of this crisis in leadership, Isaiah described a blatant flaunting of sexual immorality and deviance. Today it is blared all over television, newspapers and magazines for people of all ages to consider — topics which people in the not-too-distant past would have been ashamed to even mention! The sexual sins of even our top government leaders are exposed for everyone to ponder. Yet, there is widespread indifference and lack of outrage at scandals that would have been the political death knell for elected officials not long ago.
He then also criticizes the older generation he supposedly defends for not giving God proper glory in the victory of World War II.
Despite all its laudatory characteristics, even the generation that Brokaw describes as the greatest is not without its sin and blame for conditions in society today. Often today’s senior citizens did not properly instruct their offspring, spoiling their children and grandchildren, and they themselves were too materialistic. Too frequently they have taken credit for “winning the war” without acknowledging God’s miraculous intervention in crucial battles, turning the tide against the Axis powers.
He insists that (LCG's) God can easily cripple the economic prosperity of the "Israelite" nations.
The same God who has blessed the United States, Canada, Britain, Australia and New Zealand with astonishing wealth and high standards of living can remove our stockpiles of food and riches just as He has removed our strong leaders. This generation’s boom could turn to bust suddenly, just as the roaring ’20s came to a screeching halt with the stock market crash of 1929, followed by the Great Depression.
He then ends his screed against the younger generation by insisting that (LCG's) Christ will soon return and usher in a prosperous thousand years of peace and happiness.

The problem with nostalgia is that it encourages one to remember the good things about older times and ignore the problems. This article encourages that nostalgic view. There are problems in any generation or society if one looks at it hard enough.

In September 2006 Mendiola left LCG and joined Dave Pack's Restored Church of God. Around 2008 he left RCG and joined Don Billingsley's Church of God-Faithful Flock.

PCG on Trump's Executive Orders on Political Speech by Churches

Recently President Trump signed an executive order lifting restrictions on political speech by religious leaders. PCG commented on it implying that this move may lead to PCG getting persecuted by the US government.
The Trumpet carefully monitors the Trump administration’s relationship with religion because our editor in chief Gerald Flurry has said that President Trump will increase his connections with religion in America, a trend that will ultimately lead to a confrontation between two religious groups, and to a dark chapter in U.S. history. In the Trumpet’s April issue, Mr. Flurry wrote, “Mr. Trump received over 80 percent of the white evangelical vote and a large portion of the Catholic vote. He really is leading most of America’s ‘religious’ people. But where is he leading them?” (Jeremiah Jacques, President Trump Boosts Political Power of Churches, May 5, 2017.)
Other sources indicate that PCG has taught that President Trump will later persecute PCG as may be seen in Banned by HWA and Exit and Support Network in the January 24, 2017 letter.

Anti-Vaxxers Spark a Measles Epidemic in Minnesota

Since about 2008 anti-vaxxers have been telling the Somali immigrant community in Minnesota that vaccines cause autism. Previously vaccination rates among the Somali community in Minnesota had actually been higher than the general population. There is no evidence to link vaccines with autism. And what has been the result? A record breaking measles epidemic is now ravaging Minnesota. It is the worse epidemic the state has endured in thirty years. It is particularly affecting the Somali immigrant community that had been misinformed into believing that vaccines were dangerous.
The US state of Minnesota is dealing with its largest outbreak of measles in nearly 30 years, with 41 confirmed cases reported since April. And most of the cases have occurred among a community of Somali immigrants, which the state health department says have been "targeted" by members of the anti-vaccination movement. 
Minnesota's measles outbreak is the largest outbreak so far this year, and a prime example of the very real consequences of the growing anti-vaccine movement. Prior to 2008, vaccination rates in Minnesota's Somali immigrant community, the largest in the country, had been as high or higher than those in the white population. But in 2008, anti-vaccine activists began holding one-on-one meetings with families, stoking fear among parents that vaccines were contributing to autism in their children. 
Among those meeting with members of the community was Andrew Wakefield, the discredited researcher who launched the anti-vaxxer movement. Two decades ago, he published a study suggesting that a popular vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella could cause autism. Though he lost his medical licence and the study was widely debunked and retracted, he nonetheless built up a following. (Anti-Vaxxers Are Responsible For Minnesota's Horrible Measles Outbreak, GizmodoMay 6, 2017.)
The epidemic is still only in its early stages.
MINNEAPOLIS -- New numbers from the Minnesota Department of Health show the measles outbreak in the state is growing, CBS Minnesota reports. 
There are now 44 cases reported in Minnesota, which is up from 41 on Thursday. The outbreak is primarily in the state's large Somali-American community, where many parents avoid the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine because of unfounded fears that it causes autism. 
All but two of the cases involve unvaccinated patients. ... 
"We're very early in the outbreak," said Dr. Shane McAllister, assistant professor in pediatric infectious disease and immunology at the University of Minnesota's Masonic Children's Hospital. "We're going to be seeing this for a while." (Doctors warn Minnesota measles outbreak still "early" as cases increase, CBS News, May 5, 2017.)
The anti-vaxxers held meetings among this particular group and even invited Andrew Wakefield who published a since discredited study claiming the MMR vaccine cause autism. That study has since been rejected as fraudulent but he is still revered by anti-vaxxers.
[Anti-vaxxers claim that] the MMR vaccine triggers autism, a discredited theory that spread rapidly through the local Somali community, fanned by meetings organized by anti-vaccine groups. The activists repeatedly invited Andrew Wakefield, the founder of the modern anti-vaccine movement, to talk to worried parents. 
Immunization rates plummeted, and last month the first cases of measles appeared. Soon there was a full-blown outbreak, one of the starkest consequences of an intensifying anti-vaccine movement in the United States and around the world that has gained traction in part by targeting specific communities. 
“It’s remarkable to come in and talk to a population that’s vulnerable and marginalized and who doesn’t necessarily have the capacity for advocacy for themselves, and to take advantage of that,” said Siman Nuurali, a Somali American clinician who coordinates the care of medically complex patients at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. “It’s abhorrent.” 
Although extensive research has disproved any relationship between vaccines and autism, the fear has become entrenched in the community. “I don’t know if we will be able to dig out on our own,” Nuurali said. (Anti-vaccine activists spark a state’s worst measles outbreak in decades, Washington Post.)
Measles was declared to be eliminated from the United States at the dawn of the century but as some people chose to not vaccinate their children due to misplaced fears about vaccines measles has returned to the United States.

Some in this community that had been targeted by anti-vaxxers insist that measles is preferable to taking vaccines to immunize against measles.
Fear of autism runs so deep in the Somali community that parents whose children have recently come down with measles insist that measles is preferable to risking autism. (Anti-vaccine activists spark a state’s worst measles outbreak in decades, Washington Post.)
How terrible it is that dangerous misinformation has caused this terrible measles epidemic in Minnesota.

Armstrongism has a long history of promoting anti-medicine superstitions. Far too many people connected to Armstrongism has suffered because of the anti-medicine superstitions HWA and his collaborators promoted. It is terrible that such misinformed views continue to wrack havoc upon vulnerable communities.

Down with anti-vaxxerism! Get vaccinated. Get our children vaccinated.

All Americans Deserve Health Insurance

Health insurance should be available and easily accessible to all Americans. Access to health insurance should not be restricted and made difficult to access but should be easily accessible for all Americans.
One of the most popular provisions of the Affordable Care Act — supported by 87 percent of Americans in a March CNN/ORC poll — barred insurance companies from discriminating against those with preexisting conditions. This bill guts those protections. 
Were you born with a heart defect? You’re out of luck. Did you have an illness in your teens that might come back? Tough. Other victims hidden in the fine print include kids in special ed programs, which could face severe cuts in Medicaid funding. 
It gets worse. This bill would cut $880 billion over a decade from Medicaid, which provides health care to about 74 million Americans — the poor, the disabled, the elderly — and another $300 billion that now goes to helping those who cannot afford it buy health insurance. (E. J. Dionne, Washington Post, May 5, 2017.)
Slashes insurance subsidies. It would provide $300 billion less over 10 years to help people who do not get insurance through employers and have to buy their own policies. This would hurt lower-income and older people the hardest. For example, a 60-year-old living in Phoenix and earning $40,000 would have to pay an additional $12,370 a year to buy a policy, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Many people who find themselves in this situation would have no choice but to forgo insurance. ...

Guts protections for people with pre-existing conditions. An amendment by Representative Tom MacArthur of New Jersey would allow states to waive the requirement that insurers sell policies to people with prior health problems and not charge them higher rates. The chief executive of Blue Shield of California said the bill “could return us to a time when people who were born with a birth defect or who became sick could not purchase or afford insurance.” Republicans say they will require that states with waivers offer high-risk pools and find other ways to help treat these people. The bill offers $138 billion over 10 years to help states pay for such programs. Experts say this is far too little; Larry Levitt of the Kaiser Foundation estimates it would take at least $25 billion a year.
Makes insurance less comprehensive. The bill would also let states waive a requirement under Obamacare that insurers cover a list of essential services. This means people in some places might not have access to maternity care or cancer treatment. This provision could also hurt people who get insurance through work, because federal regulations allow employers to opt into the rules of any state for the purposes of determining annual and lifetime limits on coverage, according to an analysis by the Brookings Institution. (Editorial, New York Times, May 4, 2017.)

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Overview of the April 2017 Issue of PCG's Philadelphia Trumpet

PCG has released another issue of their recruitment magazine (April 2017) to attempt to gain more triple tithes paying converts. Back in 2012 one of PCG's booklets boasted that PCG had an income of about $19.5 million. Even as early as 1996 PCG boasted of enjoying more than $5 million in annual income. Recently PCG has even bought its own plane.

Let's take a look.

The editors of this issue are Gerald Flurry, Stephen Flurry, Joel Hilliker, Brad MacDonald, Richard Palmer, Robert Morley, Jeremiah Jacques, Dennis Leap and Phillip Nice.

This issue has a circulation of 267,569 issues. March's circulation was 271,949. February's circulation was 273,591. January's circulation was 267,992. November-December was 277,131. October was 280,116. September was 282,121. August was 278,357. 

Gerald Flurry insists that there is an end time Jeroboam in his personal article. Other sources state that he is talking about President Trump.

Brad MacDonald has an article scare mongering about trade wars.

Richard Palmer has an article scare mongering that the United States protectionism will cause Latin American countries to seek alternative business.

Richard Palmer also has an article scare mongering that Russia and Germany have ties to each other. PCG teaches that Germany is destined to launch a crushing military attack upon the United States and conquer it shortly before Christ's return.

Jorg Mardian has an article criticizing the measuring of one's intake of calories.

Andrew Müller has an article scare mongering about sanctuary cities and makes the paranoid claim that sanctuary cities will somehow plunge the United States into a second civil war. 

The Infographic scare mongers about illegal immigrants. It even lists a scary list of statistics of crimes allegedly committed by "criminal aliens" even though immigrants commit less crimes than the rest of the population. It is easy to condemn those who are not citizens and who cannot vote.

Kieran Underwood has an article scare mongering that Germany may soon decide to have nuclear weapons of their own.

Stephen Flurry has an article discussing the northern Kingdom of Israel's establishment of a shrine at Tell Dan to discourage the people from worshiping in the Temple at Jerusalem during the time of King Jeroboam. The article is illustrated with a picture of stones of the ruins of Tell Dan, one of the centers of worship in the northern Kingdom of Israel. PCG's 1% lavish so much attention on ancient ruins. But what about all the other peoples who lived there? What about the people who live there now?

Gerald Flurry has an article promoting HWA's highly flawed God Family doctrine insisting that humanity has the potential to become God beings as fully God as God is God though of a lower rank. This contradicts what is taught by the vast majority of Christian churches.

Joel Hilliker has a little article calling upon readers to remove one's own flaws before doing so to others.

Sam Livingston has an article scare mongering that the State of California is cursed by (PCG's) God citing the temporary evacuation near the Oroville Dam. PCG has taught for decades that the State of California is cursed for hosting the headquarters of Tkach's WCG.

WorldWatch discusses renewed fighting in eastern Ukraine; the Bundesbank retrieving 583 tonnes of gold from vaults in the United States and France; tensions with Iran; Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov's announcement of the Russian government hosting a conference in Afghanistan in February; increased Russian military presence in the Arctic; Russia and China improving their weapons; Chinese President Xi's speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland; and scare mongering about Mexico and the European Union speeding up negotiations about updating their free trade agreement.

SocietyWatch discusses police raids against human trafficking in California; scare mongering about Obama's endorsement of anti-Trump protests; and protests that descended into a riot in Berkeley that stopped a speech scheduled to be given given by Milo Yiannopoulos (who would soon be tossed out after he went too far one too many times).

This issue has letters. Here's one letter from Canada persuaded after reading one of PCG's articles that Japan is on the path to militarism. PCG has a long history of scare mongering that Japan will soon become a powerful military power.
How sad that Japanese leadership would lead its people down the same path to destruction! .... God help them remember an elderly man who went to Japan in the 1980s and told the leadership at the time that “a strong hand from someplace” was mankind’s only hope.
Here's one letter from Oregon from a person who wished more people would pay attention to PCG's recruitment magazine.
I just read Mr. Flurry’s “Great Again” article, and I wish more people would give the Trumpet more priority. A lot of people scoff at the idea of a church also being a provider of news; yet at times, it seems like the Trumpet is the only provider of true journalism.
Here's one letter from Alabama which cites a deadly attack to insist that PCG's speculations about the future of the Holy Land is correct.
Amazing, before the ink has dried on this article..., East Jerusalem suffers this horrible terrorist attack with a Palestinian man ramming his truck into a crowd of Israeli soldiers. This shows the veracity of your report, and the sureness of Bible prophecy.
How awful it is that this act of violence is reduced into speculation fodder to present PCG as being able to see the future. Those who suffer deserve better.

And so we see that PCG had produced yet another issue of their recruitment magazine to attempt to gain new tithes paying recruits and keep their followers mesmerized into thinking that PCG's leaders can see the future.

However since its founding in 1989 PCG has made at least 52 failed predictions. Getting a British columnist to talk at their headquarters cannot change that fact. Clearly PCG's leaders are but false prophets. There is no need to fear their dire proclamations about the future. They cannot see the future.


Coming soon in a future post: An Overview of the May 2017 Issue of PCG's Philadelphia Trumpet 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

British Columnist Melanie Phillips to Speak at PCG's Headquarters

PCG has persuaded the British columnist Melanie Phillips to speak at the (unaccredited) "Herbert W. Armstrong College" on May 7. PCG's writers very often rely on her writings for their articles. They trust her a lot. As part of promoting this lecture PCG's Joel Hilliker interviewed her for a broadcast of PCG's Trumpet Hour. (The Trumpet Presents Melanie Phillips in a Free Public Lecture, April 26, 2017.)

I encourage people not to attend a lecture associated with PCG in this way. PCG's 1% are but false prophets who cannot see the future.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Mark Mendiola's Articles for Living Church News

Continuing from a previous post let us continue to note Mark Mendiola's written contributions to LCG. This post will note Mark Mendiola's contributions to LCG's magazine for its members, Living Church News.

In the January-February 1999 and March-April 1999 issues of Living Church News he is listed as the publication's managing editor.

Mendiola is listed as a contact man in Pocatello, Idaho in every issue of 1999.

January 2000: "We Still Must Preach the Gospel!" (pp. 12-14.) Here he calls for LCG members to preach what LCG teaches is the Gospel.

February 2000: "Truly "Knowing the Lord."" (pp. 10-12.) Here he condemns mainstream Christians for often talking about the Lord and not observing the Sabbaths and the annual Sabbaths as is taught in LCG.

March-April 2000: "Lessons from the Red Sea." (pp. 12-15.) Here he draws upon the crossing of the Israelites through the Red Sea to call upon LCG members to adhere to (the LCG leadership's views about) God's will.

March-April 2001: Mendiola is listed as a contact man in Pocatello, Idaho.

November-December 2003: While reporting on the (improperly observed) Feast of Tabernacles it is mentioned that Mendiola preached to LCG members gathered in Florence, Oregon.
A lively 200 brethren rejoiced in fellowship and rich spiritual food in Florence, Oregon, in a majestic Pacific Ocean environment, with daytime temperatures in the 50s and 60s. Brethren heard inspiring and encouraging sermons from Mr. Bryce, Mr. Carl McNair, Mr. Don Haney, Mr. Terrence Graves and Mr. Mark Mendiola. (p. 20.)
March-April 2004: "Refined Gold." (pp. 8-10, 18.) Here he encourages LCG members to expect and graciously receive fiery trials as (LCG's) God's will to refine LCG members into righteous persons as pure as gold.

While discussing this topic he mentions his hometown, Pocatello. Even when mentioning a plant in his own hometown he denigrates the American people as being impure and like tarnished dross.
Outside Pocatello, Idaho, the world’s largest elemental phosphorus plant operated before it was shut down in December 2001. It used four massive electric furnaces to refine phosphate ore into a chemical, consuming nearly 15 percent of the state utility’s total electrical output. About 250 megawatts were used to fire up those furnaces.  
One of the byproducts of its refining process was molten slag tapped from the furnaces and channeled into waste ponds. It was dross or scum that had to be removed from the elemental phosphorus. It was waste or foreign matter, an impurity.  
Because of national sins, God considers His tarnished people dross. He will put them through tremendous heat to refine them and melt away their impurities. (p. 10.)


In September 2006 Mendiola left LCG and joined Dave Pack's Restored Church of God. Around 2008 he left RCG and joined Don Billingsley's Church of God-Faithful Flock.