Lilies of the Fall

 

New note added 2/26/11

In the event someone I know from my early years, maybe an AC friend, happens to go back to read my posts here, I wanted to say a cheerful “Hello” and encourage you to make contact, if my entries here are not too upsetting.  I’m also on facebook, so go there if you prefer.

Now the original post:

 

Does this fit under “legalism?”

This being my final post as guest editor for February, I thought I’d have a little more fun with words and meanings before concluding with a few sincere personal thoughts.

No, I’m sure the above heading doesn’t strictly relate to the term legalism as typically used, but I thought I’d toss it out there. The reason the odd header came to mind goes back to 1963 and my introduction to the way the RCG treated words. It was a cavalier approach to the words others had written and a kind of abuse of copyright. This is probably why I see it as bordering on the legal field.

When I began attending church services, I suddenly had to learn to sing The Battle Hymn of the Republic with a change in lyrics. This was merely the first time I noticed the fix-the-words phenomenon within the true church (I speak as a fool), but it instructs me more today in retrospect. Almost as jarring to a person who loved singing and had spent some early childhood time learning lots of songs while going to Baptist and Nazarene church services, was the change applied to Onward Christian Soldiers. In the CoG, we had to sing “With the word of Jesus …” in place of the originally written “…cross of Jesus” because it was HWA’s very pointed instruction that the term “cross” in the King James Bible was a mistranslation of the word for “stake;” therefore, we couldn’t sing about a cross… going on before, as the song phrase concludes.

[Re-reading this now I wonder if memory serves me correctly on where I ran into the Battle Hymn “fix.”  It could have been while singing this song with the Ambassador Chorale a year after I began to attend services.  Someone with access to the gray paperback hymnal from RCG days could correct me on this.]

So Herb had a thing about semantics. This was something I shared – still do today – and my interest in semantics was well established prior to my interest in the CoG.

In the Battle Hymn (a revolting oxymoron as a title, but legally the choice of its Civil War period composer), it was the [lack of] the word lilies that caught my attention. More than that, the words born and borne. They were completely and absurdly misused and blown out of proportion by either HWA himself or his brother Dwight or other devoted follower, perhaps Dr. Bogdancik at the Big Sandy Campus.

When I found myself singing the well-known old song and stumbling over lilies as others sang the printed replacement word of autumn, I didn’t know what to think. Someone later explained that Jesus wasn’t born in spring, when there would be lilies about, therefore the word was simply changed to autumn to fit with when He was actually born. Even as a minimally educated teen, I found this incredible. Yet if it was the way this wonderful church wanted it, so be it! Yuk! Sickening now to even reveal my blind acceptance of all that crap back then.

Just think of this! If the leaders of the church were going to take liberties with composers’ written words, which was unethical and probably illegal, at least it should never have been done without clear and meaningful reason. This very subject of changed lyric lines was a huge part in my excitement over the new hymnal that came out in the early 1970s.

To the blog participant who goes by PurpleHymnal, my sincere apologies.  I realize now that you might have been one of those toddlers on the floor during some of my own rousing sessions of song-leading, then were probably forced to stay on the drafty floor next to that purple monster placed at your mother’s feet during the sermons.  No surprise you have a far different perspective!  The same shout-out goes to all others who began your developmental years on the drafty floors of WCG meeting halls.  Hopefully you developed much more than colds and hatred for the hymnal! 

My reason for liking the new hymnal was that most of the lyrics of the many new songs were fairly direct quotes of biblical passages (which I thoroughly approved of at the time) and no longer so many strange aberrations of old protestant songs.  Of course, many of the old songs remained, just fixed and reprinted (illegally) in the new book.  But back to words. Borne being mistaken for born? How utterly foolish! The context didn’t even make any sense with that slant.

Even back in high school choir (prior to my conversion) when we had performed this song in four-part harmony, I was aware that the word borne meant carried. I probably wasn’t aware that the idea was related to the “Lord” being carried on the back of a donkey and brought to the place where he “died to make men holy.”  But when we singers in the choir reached that moment of beginning the last verse, we were coached in the need to retard the tempo and slip into a reverent pianissimo to begin the phrase, “In the beauty of the lilies…” and I somehow understood it had to do with the biblical reference to the traditional time (in spring) when the crucifixion had taken place.

Imagine my surprise to find that someone had decided the line needed fixing because it was important to avoid any connection between spring and the likely time when Jesus was born. Amazing misapplication and lack of logic!

Many such examples of correcting texts or lyrics could be cited, and most of them are now quite as laughable. That’s right, Mr. Becker, I choose to laugh about it all now. Because I can! We can and probably should laugh at much of our past foolishness if we want to find any sanity. Were we all, in the WCG, guilty of many misguided actions and ideas? You bet. Did we all follow too willingly without enough intellectual curiosity? Oh, yes! Was I personally guilty for being so caught up in what I perceived to be right when I was in my late teens, that I should apologize to all who even knew my name back then? Okay, again, I am very sorry. Not only to PurpleHymnal but to thousands of others who might have seen in me a solid connection to truth which later crumbled and ceased to exist. Our connection is what crumbled; it did so because I finally discovered that the truth I wanted so much apparently had never proven to exist.

Insert:  A just-added comment from admin has suggested I sign an apology page.  Maybe this is the same thing Becker’s note was suggesting by placing a link for me.  Never checked out the link; don’t do blanket apologies for anything!  Part of being a complete independent is not adding my name to lists. There are also degrees of guilt; my offense was like a misdemeanor in the scheme of things.  A duped kid, groomed to be a minister, preached at others for eight years and then said “forget it.”  I readily and openly apologize for anything I actually do or have done that may ever hurt anyone.  This has been evident throughout my writing in this blog, though it appears some have missed the apologies because they weren’t couched in heavy language of loathing, hating myself and those who abused me.  I do not wallow in hatred and I do not do sack cloth and ashes!  If my involvement in this “dumping ground,” as admin has named it, is to be of any benefit, I can see no route more hopeful than to reveal myself as a survivor who can speak from a new, happy place.  Pushing someone up from quicksand is quite difficult; far better to lift from a footing on solid ground.  

If we could learn to laugh at ourselves and our past delusions, we would all likely be happier. Yet those of us who are managing to do this come under criticism of some who cannot or will not laugh. In your own words, Mr. Becker, in a comment following my previous post: First, there is nothing true about Armstrongism. It is stupid. Everything based on British Israelism is stupid. No one here seems to care about which Armstrongist group survives over another. They should all fail. They are wrong. Some of us here are actively working to hasten the fall of Armstrongism. [You have my total agreement and appreciation! – markman]
Now if it were only for the fact that Armstrongism is wrong, then a great approach is to just walk away. But that’s not all there is. What there is, is a great deal of abuse going on, as a legacy of what Herbert Armstrong started.
Abuse is the real reason Armstrongism should die permanently.

My sincere effort has been (from the beginning contribution to this blog) to be of help to anyone who might find something positive in my words. That includes the encouragement for anyone capable of taking that step (as a fish with new-found legs) to completely reject the black fishbowl and all its environs. It is your own admission that “a great approach is to just walk away.” This approach could become a reality for you and many others. I have tried to give everyone the handle on my life of freedom by pointing out that though Armstrongism is quite unquestionably wrong and damaging, it’s merely a tiny part of the massive blight on a humanity that looks to phantoms.

An apparent need still exists to punish HWA, GTA, RCM, the WCG, UCG, and/or others from the alphabet of madness, because there is still “abuse going on.” Ending all abuse at the hands of crackpots and their legacies would be truly wonderful. I hope there are people (other than myself) actively working to end the abuses begun by Ellen G. White, Oral Roberts, Billy Sunday, Pat Robertson, Joseph Smith, Billy Graham, Rick Warren, Jerry Falwell,  Pope Benedict, all the former popes, Saul of Tarsus, Jimmy Swaggert, Mary Baker Eddy, Mohammed, John Calvin, Ron Hubbard, Martin Luther, etc., etc., ad nauseum. From my perspective, now free of the tyranny of belief, they are all part of the one insanity.

[There are actually many people trying to help others to better understand life and humanity. Bob Kuhn, former Armstrong follower, as many of you know has an impressive website called closertotruth. Three other websites I appreciate are longhighsurvival, ageofreason, and thebrights. And many sites relating to Humanism are quite interesting.]

Later in your own comment to me, Mr. Becker, you seem to want me to be a personal extension of Armstrong so you might have someone still living who can be blamed and cursed in some way – perhaps wanting to see me also “die permanently.” Alas, I shall eventually satisfy that desire and be dead permanently. As will we all. Living for today, however, is something I intend to continue with pleasure and not wallowing in guilt. You think I should be apologizing more, which I thought I did in proper measure.

To sum up, let me use a simple analogy. Religion, to me, is a disease, of which Armstrongism is a minor strain. As with physical maladies, some people contract virulent strains and die; others fight off major illness and live long, happy lives. Some are exposed to AIDS or other horrible strains and suffer no ill effect; others get germs through simple blood transfusions (are totally innocent) and die painful deaths.
I fought off the ill effects of Armstrongism and the experience inoculated me against other belief germs. My life is peaceful and strong because of the fight and the recovery. Some of you have not been so fortunate. I have deep compassion for you, but I did not infect you. That was just the luck of the draw, as it was with me. No point in blaming my late mother who was a carrier. I possessed free will; I made my own decisions. In the last few weeks here I have tried to share my story of recovery with any who want to hear it. No single remedy works for all, but you’re welcome to mine if you can use it.

Hasta lumbago,
markman

24 Replies to “Lilies of the Fall”

  1. “I readily and openly apologize for anything I actually do or have done that may ever hurt anyone.”

    To anyone here who has found themselves hating all of the former ministers of Herbs wretched cult, let it be known that Mark Salyer (Markman) has apologized for any offense. Thank you Mark, that does mean a lot to myself personally.

    Apologize
    You have joined the ranks with those who have contributed to the good of all those who suffered or are still suffering from Armstrong-ism. Perhaps some day we will hear from the likes of a few other good men who will find it in their hearts to understand the pain they may have or did inflict on their fellow human beings.

    “I do not wallow in hatred and I do not do sack cloth and ashes!”
    Nor do I. I have learned to forgive and I am a better person for it. For those ministers that believe they have nothing to apologize for, I say “to hell with you.”

    Mark, the Armstrong ministers to this day still try to capitalize on economic chaos, racial tensions, and social discontent. They try to motivate people to join their cult by using words like “humanity”, “compassion”, “love” and “unity.” In them, you will never see what appears to be warmth, joy, love, or compassion.

    The pro Armstrong cult crusaders are an abomination. Nothing unites people like a common enemy, and in the cults, that enemy is humanity. With malice aforethought, they seek to make members indifferent toward their family members who are not part of “Gods church.” The PCG is very active in this form of abusive mind control!

    The claims these cults make as to representing God, and doctrines like British Israelism, prove that they need to be scrutinized as carefully as a letter of recommendation from a job applicant’s mother. The cheap suit or nice ride of the minister does not make him respectable as humans go. Sincerity and a humble attitude towards others is a good start, but that is not possible as long as they preach the gospel of hate, division and discontent. To those who just might fit the bill of respectability, I say quit and rejoin the human race! Quit being a religious pornographer!

  2. Thanks for a very edifying month of blogging, Mark. Since I have been privileged to know you personally after our chance meeting in Scottsdale many years ago, I know firsthand the sincerity of your stand and the charity of your approach and count you as a real brother and friend.

    Like you, I’m sure, I was shocked to learn that the lady who called herself “Purple Hymnal” has relapsed into reinfection with the virus she once escaped from. Human minds experience unfathomable quirks that leave one bewildered at times. In the final analysis, her life is her personal business, and I hope she attains to some measure of happiness and fulfillment without messing up too many others.

    Time now for you to relax a bit, but I hope you will soon get your own blog going as you have many things to offer the world. It’s truly wonderful what modern science and technology has placed in our hands. Guttenberg started it with his printing press and what that has grown into truly changes the world — witness what has been happening in Africa and the Middle East recently. The masses can no longer be cut off or silenced. It’s wonderful!

  3. Thanks for the link! I haven’t got as much traffic out of it, as from Mike’s blog, but it is starting to come up in search engines.

    I would also like to take this opportunity to extend my apologies to any here at the Painful Truth who I have spoken badly of, and to, in the past: Please know that, in my heart, I really am not that type of a person (and never have been). I fell foul of the paradigm imposed upon me by my persecutors four years ago, and chose the latter option between the very black-and-white, “Either accept the Baptists’ version of Jesus, or be an angry, bitter atheist!”

    I’m sure everyone is more than well aware of the path I decided to take. It was all part of God’s plan for my life, though, as it kept me safe from spreading my hands to false idols, and from believing in false doctrines, about the person of Christ…instead of the teachings He was begotten of God, to bring into the world.

    Again, my sincere apologies to all of you for my past behaviour, and thank you for the referring link!

  4. “I fell foul of the paradigm imposed upon me by my persecutors four years ago, and chose the latter option between the very black-and-white, ‘Either accept the Baptists’ version of Jesus, or be an angry, bitter atheist!'”

    Here we go again with the old myth that to be an atheist you have to be angry and bitter. That is nonsense. Yes, we get angry about a lot of things, but that is a common emotional response to everyone and everybody and to our animal cousins. Our little dogs can give me very disgusted and put out looks under the right conditions.

  5. Hi Al,

    From what I read I did not see Velvet saying that an atheist is necessarily angry and bitter.
    Frankly, I can’t in good conscience believe what Velvet is saying, though. Me, myself, Ive actually thought about tricking people that into thinking that I believe in what HWA taught, but only to the extent of parody.
    However, I’ve noticed that Velvet has tended to have an EXTREMELY strong response when she’s been (in her opinion) “slighted”, so I’m wondering if her current website isn’t a “spoof”, however extreme, as a response to the “slights” that she sees as having been against her and her efforts. So, presently, I am taking what she is writing with many grains of salt.
    If, some years from now, Velvet is still on the same shtick, I’ll have more of a tenancy to believe she’s sincere.

    And I’m sure that whether she’s presently sincere or not, her sincerity will be questioned. She’ll expect it.

  6. Thank you, Al.

    And thanks to James and this blog for the opportunity to reach a few readers, in pain or healed. It was a privilege to make the effort.

    To all, LIVE LONG AND PROSPER!

  7. Markman,
    I forgot to thank you for your articles/posts here. IMO they have been excellent. I’m more of a listener than a responder, so although I have found some points I disagree with, I have agreed with the majority of what you’ve said, and so this is my response. Thank you for contributing, and may you also live long and prosper.
    Hopash

  8. Thanks, Hopash!

    Glad to know there are some readers out there other than the few who frequently comment.

    To James, I forgot to thank you for the link to the old gray hymnal. The one uploaded actually was advanced beyond the Radio Church days and showed “Worldwide” on the cover, yet when I got to the page in question, the “fixed” words were manually lined out and others hand printed above. “Autumn” was there, as I first recalled!

    And finally, I’m now in pain! My ridiculously good memory for lyrics caused me to have instant associations with almost every single page until I reached “Battle Hymn of the Republic” in the book. And I clicked through them at high speed! Now I literally need to go and turn on some music I like in order to flush out dozens of tunes and words from that once memorized rag of a hymnal.

    But again, thanks for the thought to include it here.

  9. “Here we go again with the old myth that to be an atheist you have to be angry and bitter.”

    I agree it’s a myth, and I agree it’s untrue. Unfortunately, the way I was manipulated in the past, caused me to act out that myth/stereotype…and that’s just the way the FLIP side of that myth, the professing Christians (or at least, the Mastermind behind them all) wanted me.

    “I’m wondering if her current website isn’t a “spoof”, however extreme, as a response to the “slights” that she sees as having been against her and her efforts.”

    Nope. And you’re right, my reactions were extreme. But that’s just the way they (or the Devil) wanted it. And yes, I’ve already addressed my sincerity being questioned. I’m hopeful that going through the whole hymnal, instead of distorting bits and pieces of it, will demonstrate my sincerity. But, really, others questioning my sincerity is the least of my concern right now. I have spent four years in darkness, labouring under the pseudo-personality imposed on me by a very (Baptist, as it turns out) black-and-white world.

    My next big challenge is not to be bitter about that; the words of the Gospel have been a great help to me in that regard, and I try and read them daily. Haven’t quite got up the courage to pray properly yet, but lots of little, silent prayers throughout the day, when I find myself slipping from the path.

    One thing is certain: Despite the trials in my life remaining the same, I don’t feel as stressed out as I used to. Whether this is real, or an illusion, does it really matter, in the end?

    Still strange to see my real name all over the place all of a sudden though. A sign of better things to come, I hope! 🙂

    1. Hi James!

      Hmm, dunno how appropriate “Purple” is as my moniker anymore, but I’m certainly not about to deny or make excuses for my past. I will answer your questions, if you’ll permit, in the order asked.

      1. No.

      2. The only groups local to me are apostate from the teachings of the Church, and are also too far away for me to attend. I did have some leanings towards the new Worldwide group, but I prayed for guidance before I acteed.

      The Holy Spirit has opened my mind, and shown me just how far CoG-aWA, too, has drifted from the truth, through reading their own website(s). (At the very least, it provides a warning, in the vein of “Let those who read, understand.”)

      I was an atheist before the vain manipulations of the Prince of the power of the air through his chosen instruments in 2007, but I was by no means an angry one; thus, I was of little use to Lucifer, and those under his dominion, who sought to twist me up into the bitter, venomous, angry atheist who poisoned the Internet against the true Church under the nickname “Purple.”

      3. I have no dog in that hunt, James, nor any piece of that fight. Anything I have said over hte years, about “injustices … experienced…” have all been regurgitations of statements made, by others, on the Internet.

      The very first post I made on the Shadows of WCG discussion forum was, “My congregation was great! The Church really wasn’t that bad!” Meaning, it wasn’t as bad as all of the websites are portraying it. (Yours included, I’m sorry to say.) Which it really wasn’t.

      Needless to say, this view was much excoriated, and I was eventually worn down (through both social engineering, and verbally abusive private messages, sent to me by the administrators of the forum on an almost weekly, if not more, basis) into exactly the mold of the stereotypical atheist that they needed.

      To wit, I was an angry atheist, for them to be in “conflict” with, to parade around, and show off, as the antithesis to their (completely undisclosed, even deliberately concealed, another proof of their fruits) Baptist false doctrine that they sought to convert all who encountered the discussion forum, over to.

      Bear in mind that they only recruited me for the role, by deceptively claiming that the Shadows of WCG forum was “open and accepting of those in all walks of life”, which sounded excellent in theory, but was the diametric opposite in actual, practical fact.

      So. Injustices done to me by the Church? Not by a long shot!

      Trying to keep foremost in my mind that forgiveness of my enemies is a paramount commandment of the Most High, whom Christ commanded us to worship?

      Yeah, I’m working on it.

    1. Thanks, Admin

      I looked into this linked page but it somehow seems out-dated and I found it not completely user-friendly. At least that’s the take on it from a tech-challenged senior citizen. Plus, no names popped up of people I knew back in the days of yore.

  10. *sigh* Once more, without typos, and sans links to BibleGateway (shouldn’t have put those in anyway, I guess:

    Hi James!

    Hmm, dunno how appropriate “Purple” is as my moniker anymore, but I’m certainly not about to deny or make excuses for my past. I will answer your questions, if you’ll permit, in the order asked.

    1. No.

    2. The only groups local to me are apostate from the teachings of the Church, and are also too far away for me to attend. I did have some leanings towards the new Worldwide group, but I prayed for guidance before I acted.

    The Holy Spirit has opened my mind, and shown me just how far CoG-aWA, too, has drifted from the truth, through reading their own website(s). (At the very least, it provides a warning, in the vein of “Let those who read, understand.”)

    I was an atheist before the vain manipulations of the Prince of the power of the air through his chosen instruments in 2007, but I was by no means an angry one; thus, I was of little use to Lucifer, and those under his dominion, who sought to twist me up into the bitter, venomous, angry atheist who poisoned the Internet against the true Church under the nickname “Purple.”

    3. I have no dog in that hunt, James, nor any piece of that fight. Anything I have said over the years, about “injustices … experienced…” have all been regurgitations of statements made, by others, on the Internet.

    The very first post I made on the Shadows of WCG discussion forum was, “My congregation was great! The Church really wasn’t that bad!” Meaning, it wasn’t as bad as all of the websites are portraying it. (Yours included, I’m sorry to say.) Which it really wasn’t.

    Needless to say, this view was much excoriated, and I was eventually worn down (through both social engineering, and verbally abusive private messages, sent to me by the administrators of the forum on an almost weekly, if not more, basis) into exactly the mold of the stereotypical atheist that they needed.

    To wit, I was an angry atheist, for them to be in “conflict” with, to parade around, and show off, as the antithesis to their (completely undisclosed, even deliberately concealed, another proof of their fruits) Baptist false doctrine that they sought to convert all who encountered the discussion forum, over to.

    Bear in mind that they only recruited me for the role, by deceptively claiming that the Shadows of WCG forum was “open and accepting of those in all walks of life”, which sounded excellent in theory, but was the diametric opposite in actual, practical fact.

    So. Injustices done to me by the Church? Not by a long shot!

    Trying to keep foremost in my mind that forgiveness of my enemies is a paramount commandment of the Most High, Whom Christ commanded us to worship?

    Yeah, I’m working on it.

  11. It is always interesting to see the arrogance of those who were a part of the entitlement of the Armstrongist domain.

    It isn’t convincing that Markman ever just walked off and left it all behind after being the target of his verbal abuse.

    But then, maybe he can walk away so easily because he was never part of it, or maybe he never did leave the abusive arrogant portion of it behind: Being part of the well paid royalty where the commoners are collateral damage become a permanent part of the mental landscape where us peasants are expected to know their place. Ah, the good life.

    It’s nice to be superior and blame the victims once again.

    Nothing ever changes.

  12. Douglas: I was where you were, not so very long ago. Have you ever noticed, though, how it seems all of your comments, on all of the blogs, sound like you’re stuck in a feedback loop? Or black-and-white thinking: To your mind, “Armstrongism” was evil, THEREFORE, the Church was evil, THEREFORE, all the ministers were evil. That’s just not reflective of reality, man. (And I say this, having incorrectly subscribed to such a black-and-white mindset myself.)

    Sure, the ministers I knew weren’t exactly provided with the best leadership tools they could have been (The Gospel, versus the “Government” that the Church brought in at a late date, part of which led to the apostasy…proven by the fact that said Church Government still thrives, even though the apostasy has flowered.), but that doesn’t make them out-and-out evil.

    You’re still stuck in the paradigm, Douglas. Time to wake up and smell the coffee! The Church was it was, and what remains of it, is what it is. The Church itself was not evil, and I daresay the majority of the members of the Church were not evil, no matter that Satan always planted a few bad apples in our midst.

    I wish there were stories of the good deed ministers in the Church did, and the good ministers in the Church, plastered across the Internet, instead of the <10% or so who were bad apples. (And how many members fit that profile, out of the 131,000 of us there were, at the Church's peak? 5% or less? 1% or more?) That skewed perspective only lends credence to the unbalanced view that the Church was ALL evil, ALL the time. Which it wasn't.

    Are there evils going on in the splinter groups right now? If the hearsay about Flurry's "child-rearing" techniques are correct, beyond a doubt! Is Flurry's abusiveness the Church's fault? Judge for yourself: Deut. 13:1-5.

    Part of "the evil in [our] midst" on the Internet is not only the anecdotes about the faults and flaws of certain Church members…part of the evil is the fact that the Adversary exaggerates these faults and flaws, so that they become the only reflection of the Church. Which just isn’t true, nor reflective of reality, in any way, shape, or form, whatsoever.

    Balance in everything, I always say!

  13. So Purple, what you are saying is only a few of the ministers were assholes? Look at the Manpower Papers again. This was the leadership. When you have an Nazi like authoritative leadership, you have the same passed down to the ministers.

    When I asked above “Do you plan on fighting any injustices you have experienced in the past at the hands of the cult” you answered no.
    So I take it when you see the wrongs you experienced when you were a member, you will stay silent. Is that correct? Just for the record, tell us.

    You mentioned “Shadows” twice in your post above. You blame “J” as if he is some demon. The reality is that you went full ahead with your wordpress site with open eyes and vigor, and now you blame others for what you posted. Who’s in control of your behavior, “J” or you? I just won’t buy blaming “J” as an excuse!

  14. To any new visitors here:

    I certainly hope another guest editor comes along soon. It’s difficult to return here myself to check for contacts because I have to wade through all the material piling up that is unavoidably “attached” to my writing but appears to come from some fairly “detached” minds. My posts and the comments section appear to be from two different websites!

    Still, I must thank admin for allowing my February entries. I can say I had the experience of blogging, though I may have had enough.

    markman

  15. Mark,

    The only comments from another other website are the ones for Dick Armstrong. We also have a RSS feed on the front page and here on the side bar (Entries RSS.)

    I want to thank you for your blogging Mark, and wish you well on your life endeavorers. I hope you understand now where people are coming from. The experiences many had in the Armstrong cult(s) for the most part are entirely negative.

    The purpose of this blog is to allow all a voice as to their experiences in Armstrong-ism. I mostly serve as a facilitator, who is helping others to draw their own conclusions about HWA and his still breathing minions. I am the “guide on the side”, not a “sage on the stage.” Some of my observations follow.

    The surrendering of YOUR independence, for the purpose of following a charlatan, is to give another dominion over YOUR life. To submit to it year after year is to declare YOURSELF a slave. To rebel is to declare that YOU have a mind to do what YOU want to do, go where YOU want to go, acknowledge or ignore God (if there be one) in the matter of YOUR choosing.

    The membership is gaining a deeper understanding of how their ministers have no guilt for any of the harm they cause. They are starting to understand that a totalitarian dictatorship is not the best form of church government that they could possibly have. They are seeing how the ministry wraps every supposed actual fact in six layers of embellishment within their doctrines. They suspect that financial predators, those who preys on the elderly, the gullible, and the vulnerable are within the ranks. They’re sick of being daubed over with the viscid slobber of tyrannical drivel devised by these mindlessly hypocritical morons.

    Some members, when they are at the end of their rope, write the Painful Truth with suicide in mind. This is when you realize just how seriously twisted things have gotten in the Churches of God. For some, death is the only option out of the system.

    This is what we are dealing with here Mark. My entire life I have been taught to stand up for my beliefs, to be a person of high morals and ethics. That’s why I feel obligated to continue on with the PT and expose the impious animalism that continues unabated before and after Armstrong’s death.

  16. Thanks, Mark, for your contribution of posts. I would have commented sooner but my wife has been in the hospital for the past couple of weeks with triple heart by-pass surgery.

    Mark, there is no minister who has committed all the things mentioned in the “list”. I can understand why no one would sign a blanket apology for things they haven’t even done.

    Aggie, PurpleHymnal, Velvet Delorey – you are right, in a way, the church didn’t do all those terrible things but the doctrines did. I don’t know about the percentages of good vs. bad in “the church” but the Armstrong doctrines murdered my mother. That’s all I need to know to condemn it as harmful to humans.

    My own atheism is not due to “the church” though, I’m atheist because science is on my side and even though science is not ever 100% correct, it has been right 100% of the time while religion has been wrong 100% of the time. I could never embrace religion ever again, and Aggie, I don’t understand how you could either but — I am glad as hell that it isn’t me. Love you anyway, Corky.

    1. I have to agree with you, Corky, that the majority of the people I knew had no evil intentions, including me as a humble letter answerer in a job with ministerial overtones.

      Also, as with you, I am not atheist because of the church. When I left, I was still pretty much a believer but disillusioned with Armstrongism. My atheism has developed over time from study and intellectual growth.

      1. And I commend you and Corky both for intellectual curiosity and the ability to see logic.

        To others who fail to even search into reason, I say, May the FARCE be with you!

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