British Israel Propaganda And Deceit

“The goal of “Communism” is identical to that of British Israel and they emanate from the same source and serve the same masters. Capitalism finances Communism and Russian Communism is state capitalism. Communism promises a perfect society and British Israel promises a paradise on earth. Are they the same?”

The Union Jack”
-Published ca. 1970


Today a friend sent me a link to an article entitled “British Israel Propaganda And Deceit.” In this article we read the following:

“Americans who believe that Christ’s kingdom is of this world are ushering in world government. They have a sickness called Communism of the heart or spiritual Communism. Spiritual Communism is a political religion. It is a religion dedicated to a world government kingdom in which national states vanish under the central authority of the political theocracy.”

Although the Painful Truth does not necessarily endorse the conspiratorial views of the above article, there are a few points I would like to make.

British Israelism.

In mind control, cults teach that you are powerless, and can never achieve enlightened without their group and that torment and destruction awaits you if you leave the group. The power of sin is not death, it is control over your mind. Why do people need a minister to come between them and God? The answer is that the ministry exploits a basic human need. A need for understanding about life after death. A need of purpose. A need for a thousand philosophical answers. Needless to say, tens of thousands have left the Armstrong religion after figuring the scam out.

British Israelism is used as a form of mind control along with other cult doctrines and rituals for the expressed purpose of having the group stand out from mainstream groups. The purpose of this chosen method is to coax the true believer into believing that the cult and the members are special. Words spoken from the pulpit enforce this view onto the true believer. “You are Gods chosen people.” “We are the true church.” “We have the correct doctrines revealed by God.”

Is British Israelism a biblical re-educational process that is leading people away from their national identity and merging them into a world government through religion? The Armstrong sects teach that a Kingdom of God is coming soon, but is it? Or are they just “useful idiots” that are propelling their followers to support unknowingly a one world government?

The term “useful idiot” comes from the cold war era in which the Russian KGB used teachers, preachers, social workers, students, environmentalists and others to unwittingly support a malign cause through their ‘naive’ attempts to be a force for good, furthering the cause of expansive Soviet communism. When the goal is reached, the useful idiots are executed. This is the understanding of control through subversion. If you can get someone to believe a certain way, half the battle is over.

To understand why British Israelism is expounded endlessly, you must first understand those who put forth the heresy.

Part One

The Armstrong Religion.

The Armstrong religion is nothing less than Phariseeism, in that it observes a strict and hypocritical interpretation of the “letter of the law.” The aspect of true piety, the spiritual experience, is subverted through useless doctrines such as British Israelism.

The promised Golden Age in which there is no war or poverty, human misery is alleviated under this Christian world government. Herbert Armstrong at his pseudo bible college, preached that all nations will be destroyed at the time of the “Great Tribulation” so all things can be made new and that perfect peace can begin. That day has yet to arrive after the endless setting of dates.

His followers deny biblical grace by centering their attention and hope on a future religious political system which promises a material, glorified earthly paradise. A paradise which will never materialize anymore than it did when the Pharisees thought Christ was to be a political king ruling the world from Jerusalem.

The promotion of a material earthly kingdom is taught not just by the Armstrong cults but also by some mainstream religions. Without this kingdom we are told, there shall never be peace on earth. But Christ is quoted as saying that his kingdom is not of this world. So I ask you, just what do you mean by the Kingdom of God? Is it the new world order?

The Armstrong religion builds a society within a society. They don’t vote or participate in mainstream society and often quote the bible passage “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.”
2 Corinthians 6:17. You see, they claim not to be of this world but are up to their necks in it. All of life is in vain because they are sure that Christ is coming back to set up His world government and to “rule with a rod of iron.”

However, the true believers participation in basic Christian tenets are lacking. We have yet to see the corporate Armstrong churches set up charities that feed the poor, cloth the needy or contribute to the general welfare of society. Once upon a time, people lived their religion. It was a way of life. Families spent their time in service to others regardless of religion or race. They served the more unfortunate ones in society. They contributed a useful purpose that edified the country, promoted good values both at work and at home. They set the example for their children as to what good works are. In the churches of God, few go out of their way to make a difference, the whole movement lacks the motivation and willingness to contribute something positive.

If you need proof dear true believer, go look at any of the Armstrong church websites. Do any of them have a link to assist those in Japan who have been slammed by earthquakes, then a tsunami and now a near reactor meltdown? If the churches of God are not contributing to society, just what is the purpose of their existence? What is their real motivation for preaching Christ crucified? It makes you wondering about who is really behind that religious info-commercial you may have seen Sunday morning and why they want me to send for that glossy magazine.


The horrifying fruits of Armstrong-ism can be seen in this video.
Former Armstrong student and AC attendee, Lyn Benedetto.

More on the next blog.

14 Replies to “British Israel Propaganda And Deceit”

  1. “The Armstrong religion is nothing less than Phariseeism, in that it observes a strict and hypocritical interpretation of the letter of the law. The aspect of true piety, the spiritual experience, is subverted through useless doctrines such as British Israelism.”

    My comment: Without a doubt, that is the most succinct description of what is wrong with Armstrongism that I’ve ever seen. When I was a student at AC, although I often “acted out” due to frustration, basically, I was in search of the spiritual experience that seemed to have been promised in sermons and the college catalogue. But, alas, everyone seemed to be attempting to fake that. Sincerely, but nonetheless, indulging in wishful thinking and self-delusion. I had no idea at that time that the focus on physical ritual and legalism rendered a spiritual experience impossible.

    It really is no surprise at all that so many people who were once part of the Armstrong experience have ended up disillusioned and unbelieving. It didn’t work. Yet, it was one of the most intense physical experiences a person could possibly go through.


  2. This is an excellent post and as Byker Bob has said, gets to the core of Armstrongism.

    There are a number of issues which are directly related to British Israelism and perhaps some can enlighten me.

    It just seems to me that Herbert Armstrong patterned the Worldwide Church of God after the British Empire. Perhaps I am overstating the case, but it certainly was a “class” society, with those ranks equivalent to King, Princes, Dukes, Earls and the Peerage with commoners below them, upon whose common hard labor and contributions, as was the British Empire, the entire structure was built — with no appreciation about how back breaking it was — with the ones at the top getting all the glory of the Empire.

    If this is true, it follows that there was very little respect for the “commoner” in the church and even less toward those outside the “Empire”. There was no appreciation of either the feelings or the sacrifices which were made to keep the “Empire”, represented by the Emporer — the Pastor General — #1 in the world, with even greater asperations in the future. Those of the peerage could demean and even assault the peasants without fear of reprisal, as it were, because there was no “law” outside that of the “Empire”. Things were covered up. Deaths occured, but, oh, well, if you lost a few along the way, as long as the Empire prospered, nothing was more important.

    Such an Empire would see a complete loss of normalcy, so, hence, there were a lot of problems, including, but not restricted to, mental illness — which was to remain outside the realm of treatment, for it ran counter to the image of perfection of the Glorious Empire.

    If this is really true — and there seems to be a good chance it is — then care and respect for human beings of society at large remains unfulfilled. The Armstrongists can only seek events which seem to support them in their lust for the power of “being right” amidst the delusions where they are provably wrong.

  3. Very good, James. However, it was not really the Pharisees that were the greatest hypocrits. It was really the Saducees. The Pharisees were mainly the humbler common people. Somehow they got bad press from the predominant Greek writers who composed the New Testament long after the generation that included Jesus and his disciples.

    Armstrong and company would have felt quite at home among the Saducees.

  4. Douglas,

    I would think that Armstrong-ism would be best described as “religious Gleichschaltung.” Let us understand the process and condition of “Gleichschaltung.”

    Gleichschaltung (pronounced [??la?ç?alt??] meaning
    “making the same”
    “bringing into line” –
    by establishing a system of totalitarian control and tight coordination over all aspects of the church.

    The goal of this was to eliminate individualism by forcing everyone to adhere to a specific doctrine and way of thinking and to control as many aspects of their lives as possible using an invasive police force known as “The Ministry.”

    In Armstrong-ism, even hobbies were regimented; all hobbies (whether they be for chess, football, or woodworking) were brought under his control by the regime. The Armstrong organization also provided for mandatory vacation trips and duties (feasts, inventory of stores, hall setup, spokesman clubs, and so forth.)
    armstrong coat of arms

  5. I’m still processing religious Gleichschaltung because it is a lot to take in.

    It is also an explanation: The Worldwide Church of God under Herbert Armstrong had the greatest success when it had the greatest control of people’s lives. When he died, a good measure of that control ended. A lot of it seemed to be that he had a near perfect balance between the stick and carrot where it was that if you defied him, you were subject to eternal death and really bad miserable things in this life time, and at the same time, people were promised absolute glorious despotism to do their pleasure to masses of people under them with no accountability while living in decadent luxury, while at the same time, offering promises of hope and prosperity in this life… if only you followed his program to the letter.

    This is not something any of the Armstrongists can offer today. They don’t have the power over the people to that great extent (well, some seem to, but they are minor players and the people seem more apathetic than anything). All of the spit-off British Israelism Armstrongist cults seem determined to recapture the glories of the Armstrongist Empire, but today most people are more concerned about their own welfare and have access to the facts through the Internet. Indeed, knowledge (of cult leaders and their methods) has increased and people go to and fro in the earth, learning what they could never learn under Herbert Armstrong. It’s getting so very hard to use fears, uncertainties and doubts along with glorious promises of power and prosperity, these days.

    I still believe that Herbert Armstrong patterned his own Empire structure as on the British Empire, though it was also rooted in Marxism, Hitler’s Germany and past empires such as the Babylonian and Roman. The ranking of power of his Reich is a dead giveaway: Absolute authority within a framework of a rigid hierarchy, with a complete loss of freedom at the lowest levels of the hoi poloi, peasant, serf and slave.

    And coming out of all that, I think, can oft be compared to the Israelites coming out of Egypt, if you don’t mind my saying so: The release from slavery accompanied by an almost impossible deliverance which many people never really achieve while they wander aimlessly in the wilderness for the rest of their lives.

    An alpha male eighth grader short fat loser with narcissistic delusions of grandeur, yelling to underscore his infantile absolute confidence in his distorted perceptions to bully people into docile submission to gain his selfish ends — now there’s a formula for misery. The biggest wonder of all is that anyone listened to him in the first place, long enough for him to get started.

  6. “The biggest wonder of all is that anyone listened to him in the first place, long enough for him to get started.”

    I see what you’re saying, but people listened to Hitler too. Certain personalities have the ingredient of super presuasion that gets them a long way, and when they achieve absolute power over the disillusioned nad strry eyed, the sky’s the limit. History is full of the horrendous results.

    Looking back, it’s hard for me to fathom how I couod have been so stupid. Herbert nurtured a longing and need in me and captured my devotion for more than twenty years. Ah, so soon old, undt so late schmart!

  7. “I see what you’re saying, but people listened to Hitler too.”

    Yes, but did Herbert Armstrong resolve unbridled inflation in Germany (or any country, for that matter)? Did he get the trains to run on time?!?

    Big difference! Hitler got results!

    Herbert Armstrong, not so much.

    And actually, it wasn’t getting smart. It was learning how to deal with people with mental disorders.

  8. HWA got lots of results. I assume you have seen that magnificent campus and auditorium he got people to pay for. He had his run of success just like Adolf did, and he had us all goose stepping behind him. Of course, it all came crashing down just like the thousand year Reich.

    I don’t know if you’re trying to belittle what I said or what. I’m puzzled by your response.

  9. Al, I was being funny. I would not deliberately belittle you. I think of so many of those who were at “headquarters”, you were probably one of the most advanced people there. I don’t specifically remember the articles you wrote, all I remember that at the time, I was quite impressed.

    You have a lot to contribute and I do appreciate your observations because they have enriched my thinking.

    As for Herbert Armstrong being a success, I seriously doubt that he ever set and achieved goals. He more or less seemed to live his life more by happy accident than anything else. He never seemed to plan anything. He was an opportunist who made the most of opportunities which popped up, but being any kind of real success… let us just say, that’s a point of view.

    I am very disappointed in him and all the ministry. I am learning the biology of morality currently and from what I have learned, I have concluded that Herbert Armstrong and all the ministry has been and still is, quite morally immature. They basically live off of the authoritarian punishment framework instead of even approaching some sort of intermediate socialization. That is why the minister aways has to be right. There’s no basis for morality outside of the authority they all assume they have — which they don’t: They are morally bankrupt and virtual babies when it comes to anything beyond simple do’s and don’ts, understandable to ancient Israelites, but hardly having any spiritual content at all.

  10. Glad you cleared that up, Douglas. I only had one short thing in the PT way back. I was answering mail and not very visible in the organization. I Just never seemed to be able to come up with anything to write about as opposed to now when I have difficulty stopping sometimes. Maybe there was a subconscious kind of thing going on.

    I’m convinced that Herb was bi-polar. You’re right about his not planning too much. He just threw money at everything and kept up the din for more and more. Al Portune was his salvation in the financial arena, but by that time, it had gotten huge enough that the financial restraint in some aread was really an aid to his overall extravagance. I remember being told how he went through mail processing once before a trip with Rader and some others and took cash out of the bins and handed it out, throwing everything into a record keeping nightmare.

    Hitler was a similar personality. He doomed himself and Germany by over-reaching. If he hadn’t attacked Russia or hadn’t jumped the gun prematurely and held off a couple of years to start his war by invading Poland, I think he would have been successful and the world have been quite different than it is. He almost was successful as things were. Thankfully, he was a tactical fool, but like Armstrong, he thought he was a genius and had a lot of fanatical followers who were convinced he was. We “goose stepped” in a rather lively fashion, didn’t we?

  11. There have been many speculations about Herbert Armstrong’s mental condition. One actual real mental health professional did evaluate him in the spectrum of bipolar disease. My opinion is that he seemed more monopolar hypomanic. Nevertheless, his alcoholism sort of overrides any other condition. The organization he created (mostly by accident and not by plan) is typical of one under the control of a substance abuser.

    Little known is something called the ICD — which stands for the International Classification of Diseases. I have the DSM IV and the DSM IV-TSR. For some time I have been waiting for the DSM-5, but now find it is coming out in May 2013, as a best guess by the Project Team for the American Psychiatric Association. The reason that the ICD is important is that it is used for billing codes in the United States, rather than the DSM (which one would think would be used for billing purposes for classification of mental disorders). I have ordered the “2010 ICD-10-CM, Standard Edition DRAFT (Softbound)” because it has better details and classifications for not just mental disorders, but ALL medical conditions.

    Beyond that, “Hardwired Behavior: What Neuroscience Reveals about Morality” by Laurence Tancredi has been quite a revelation. I’m only about 15% through the book, but he has stellar observations. One would expect that because he is both a certified Psychiatrist AND a practicing Attorney — just the sort who could sort out the sort of issues we’ve faced with Herbert Armstrong.

    In addition, it is my perspective that Herbert Armstrong was a sociopath, differing from a full fledged psychopath because he had a “conditional conscience” and he was an opportunist, rather than a games player. You can think of him as a Mafia Don. Certainly, his behavior is consistent with what we have seen.

    Finally, I have said it before, but I believe that Herbert Armstrong was a criminal who committed incest. What should have happened in the 1930s is that he should have been sent to prison, where, the other inmates would have ended his career and his life and we would not be having this discussion.

  12. I’ve never made an exhaustive study of psychiatry or psychology, so I’ll defer to your obviously superior knowledge in this area. What you say makes sense. There are many things we can only speculate about.

    I also agree that he should have gone to prison long before he ever started AC and set the ball rolling that is still careening down the precipitous incline through all those he set on the fanatic path. Some were good men and women and I knew a lot of them.

    I understand, through my sister, that Wayne Cole, a basically good man, has had to have bypass surgery. A few decades ago, he’d have probably just died being loyal to Herb’s insane approach to medicine. He has to be
    in his 80s.

    He certainly covered up and hid his alcoholism. Being top dog made it possible because he was answerable to no one else. It wasn’t until some time after I was already out of the organization that I became aware of it. Since I have an alcoholic native american step-son my wife adopted at birth, I know firsthand how horrible that condition is. That poor man has spent more time in jail during his adult life than out and that’s where he is right now. When he gets out, it’s a constant round of low pay jobs, fees, penalties and fines he can’t handle, etc. It’s enough to drive many to suicide. He just can’t win. I really have a hard time calling our “justice system” a system of justice.

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