Mythunderstanding

 

 

A Wolf in Sheeps Clothing
Baaaah…

 

 

Armstrongists aren’t very bright.

But they would like you to believe they are.

It’s so amazing that the world of the intelligent laugh at them as being stupid fools and they can’t see it: They assume that the ones who don’t adopt their religious beliefs are “unconverted” without “understanding”. The Armstrongists actually mock people who are educated, scientifically brilliant and knowledgeable. It is a tragic mistake for them to do so — to treat those who could help them out of their superstition with such contempt. It is a defense mechanism.

 

 

A moron has an IQ of 50 to 70.

An imbecile has an IQ of 25 to 50.

An idiot has an IQ under 25: Mental age of 3 (or less).

A fool can have any IQ.

The Armstrongists mock the intelligent as a defense mechanism — defense against truth, reality and sanity.

Consider the fact that Herbert Armstrong, born in the 19th Century, barely made it past eighth grade, but became the profound guru filled with all spiritual understanding and knowledge. Just how does that happen? In a word: Advertising.

Create your myth cobbled together from unreliable sources like Ellen G. White and John H. Allen, not to mention William Miller, flesh out the eschatology with impressive sounding credentials including Biblical proof texting, put up your shingle, be patient to wait awhile and the money will come rolling in. Be sure to sell, sell, sell your idea with tenuous connections to current news filtered through hyperbole based prophecy and it is sure to make you a success — especially if you make empty promises of supernatural rescue in false prophet style “the end is coming” prognostication.

Establish a religion. Send out booklets. Put up a Magazine. Clutter the airwaves with your claptrap. Make sermons. Get a social group together to support each other in their stupidity. Make it sound reasonable and attractive and you can sell any kind of kooky crap to the weak minded careless fools. Make it so they will agree with some of your major points without reservation and then they will swallow the rest, hook, line and sinker. Then prepare to live in a mansion, eat the best, wear the best, associate with the best and travel the world. It hardly matters that the religion makes no sense at all and can be readily proved objectively with science. Make empty promises and they will come with money in hand, ready to pay for the privilege of being duped and abused.

Just be prepared to dumb yourself down to their level.

Anyone who is suspicious about all this may want to examine the evidence provided by Ronald Weinland who represents all of Armstrongism in a microcosm. His prophecies about the end of the world were proven false. Moreover, he is now a convicted felon. Yet, a widow in his church provided $300,000 out of the collateral of her home to insure his freedom for four months when it has been amply demonstrated that his trustworthiness is less than stellar. His Evangelist dupes are still supporting him without one shred of any evidence that they have two active brain cells left to rub together to support a spark of intelligence. His infantile followers lap up his swill with abandon.

Take note that Ronald Weinland is very little different from the original Herbert Armstrong who did much the same things — using income of the church as his own personal cash machine to use as he saw fit for his own personal lust fulfilment. Gold, diamond rings, travel, staying at posh hotels, taking vacations, spending money on his wife and children: Except for the name on the door, you can’t tell whether we are talking about Herbert Armstrong, Ronald Weinland or any of the other host of 700+ cults of Armstrongism. They are all pretty much the same. For example, United spends 80% or so on minister’s salaries, retirement and other maintenance and some of the percentage left is used for evangelism. The UCG doesn’t have local church buildings for the greater percentage of their congregations and renting halls hardly inspires confidence in the abstract notion of stable churches. In fact, they have had split after split after split over who knows what — mostly “governance”. This, in turn, seems to be reduced to the concept that only the money is important, but that may not be fair: Egos also must be considered.

Given that British Israelism as the core belief of Armstrongism and their Key to Prophecy has been disproved and that their church history has been shown to be a fraud, it is a wonder that anyone with half a brain is left hanging on to the dying proposition of false prophecies and false hopes of a world which will never come. It would be better if they all grew up, left and got a life. Alas, that does not seem to be happening because it appears that people get some sort of enjoyment in being terminally stupid: This is not an issue of faith, it’s an issue of intelligence.

Armstrongists can be fat, dumb and happy, believing that they are rich and increased in goods (but are, blind, naked, poor and going bankrupt supporting their cultmeister in the lifestyle to which he wants to become accustomed) as long as they don’t look at the environment around them and see reality.

Consider the realities of SIGMA, for example. Arlan Andrews, Senior presents the article, “SIGMA: Summing up Speculation,” in the September 2012 Analog Science Fiction and Fact, with the subheading:

In a fast changing world, who’s best qualified to anticipate future problems–and solutions?

Certainly, not the Armstrongists who have a dismal record of such things — failed on all accounts.

Dr. Andrews writes:

As a science fiction writer speaking to U.S. government authorities at meetings in 2008 and 2009, I had said that dictatorships would fall when people had cell phones and texting and other communications devices: “Think of the revolutionary social changes, spreading around the world at the speed of light.” I used the term “flash mobs” back in those ancient days.

As founder of the science fiction thhink tank SIGMA, making such forecasts is one of the things I am privileged to do. My forty SIGMA colleagues, science fiction writers all, do the same thing.

Armstrongists are having their own experiences of having their dictatorships undermined by modern technology.

Dr. Andrews continues:

I wanted to provide this new service to government bureaucrats who never had the opportunity or the mindset to appreciate science fictional ways of thinking. Too busy worrying about their funding and the political aspects of their decisions, they seldom ventured far from the straight and narrow. Never did I hear any of them discuss disruptive technologies, destructive political events, or widespread natural calamities. Linear thinkers, all.

Not unlike the Armstrongist leaders with their “linear thinking”. They may talk about disruption, destruction, doom and death, but they offer not one whit of thought to preventing it or dealing with it in a productive way — other than making money off of it.

The original SIGMA team started by Arlen Andrews included, Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Doug Beason, Dr. Charles Sheffield, Dr. David Brin, Dr. Geoff Landis, Dr. Robert Forward, NASA astrophysicicist Dr. Yoji Kondo (“Eric Kotani”), Dr. Stanley Schmidt of Analog and Dr. Gregory Benford.

Some may wonder what these and other highly qualified luminaries did for the United States since the establishment of SIGMA?

Over the intervening years, though not acting as a group, individual SIGMA members were called upon to participate in government projects, some brainstorming for DARPA on new technologies for education; other members maintained paid consulting arrangement with other agencies. I even lobbied unofficially for the Air Force’s DC-X Single Stage To Orbit (SSTO) project in the White House, bringing in Air Force officers to brief the new Administration on it, and continued that effort for several more years. While at OSTP, I also wrote the first White House endorsement of molecular nanotechnology, published in The President’s Report to Congress on Science and Technology in April 1993….

…We made other suggestions to DHS (Department of Homeland Security), many along low-tech lines, items that would help first responders in emergencies, ideas for border security, comments about how the chemical/biological detectors in cell phones that DHS was proposing should be utilized. The ideas and comments were technical, social, cultural, and political….

…Other government agencies, some that prefer not to be named or even mentioned, have called on SIGMA to brainstorm on future developments in communications, computer applications, politics, sociology, demographics, and culture.

These forward thinking futurists were the first to introduce NATO planners to the concepts and importance of social networking and texting. They also predicted the potential for drastic overnight, overwhelming social change, facilitated by handheld devices in the hands of disatisfied or revolutionary “flash mobs”. Further, the influence on government has been to affect the thinking patters of those SIGMA has worked with to think realistically about the future and has produced tangible benefits.

Contrast this with the “stick in the mud” thinking of Armstrongism: A vision of the dark ages unleashed upon the people with a tightly controlled government preceded by anarchy and followed by a static rigid society making no social progress whatsoever. It isn’t just the false prophecies of Armstrongism based on their “Mythunderstanding” using the Key to Prophecy, the thoroughly discredited British Israelism and their insistence upon deceiving people with their fraudulent church history, it’s the ugly missteps of people like Roderick Merdith writing such stupid crap as The Shocking Truth About Queer Men and claiming that Hitler is still alive, ready to usher in the Fourth Reich. All of Armstrongism is centered on fears, uncertainties and doubts with an eye to building empires with lots of money and power for those at the top — certainly not as a public service to do what can be done to make the world a better place today. In place of futurists like SIGMA helping build the future and find solutions, Armstrongism is a degenerate cancer undermining the very fabric of society, causing it ultimately to deteriorate wherever it goes. The 700+ splinters should have taught us that.

Armstrongism has also brought us something else for which we need to find a new term: Herbert Armstrong was one to take advantage of those at the bottom of the social pyramid to put himself near the top. Ronald Weinland has followed in his footsteps along with his peers, such as, but certainly not restricted to David Pack, Gerald Flurry, Roderick Meredith, John Rittenbaugh, Don Haney. People have been searching for the words to describe these reprehensible people and we now have our suggestion from the Urban Dictionary.

Bottom Feeder:

1) leech, or in other words a total lack of responsibility to provide for oneself. Relies heavily upon friends, neighbors or anyone really for sustenance. a slacker through and through.

2) a loser who profits from the fortunes of others. A low or despicable person.

5) The absolute lowest and filthiest form of life, that is so much of a scumball that every living and non-living piece of matter would benefit from it’s/their death.

8) One of higher social standing, attractiveness, or intelligence level whom chooses to prey on those whom are poor, weak, or vulnerable.

22 Replies to “Mythunderstanding”

  1. Over the intervening years, though not acting as a group, individual SIGMA members were called upon to participate in government projects, some brainstorming for DARPA on new technologies for education; other members maintained paid consulting arrangement with other agencies.

    I recomend the movie Prometheus, it outlines the SIGMA map for our future. Set as science “fiction” of course.

    1. Actually, no, Prometheus is the product of the vision of Ridley Scott, nothing more — and given his record, he’s not particularly impressed with big Corporations, which is the real source of the problem, whether we are speaking of Armstrongism or society at large.

      I do admit though, the vision of Weyland Industries at http://www.weylandindustries.com/ is rather compelling (and funny as sort of a parody on the take of Big Business in our future).

      No, SIGMA is helping our government avoid Prometheus scenarios as well as assisting with the design of infrastructure to deal with the future. If anything, Arlan Andrews foresaw “flash mobs” and societal transformation through technologies tending to create freedom, rather than restrict it as the Weyland Industries vision does. (Weyland is painted as a narcissist not unlike Herbert Armstrong. Just imagine that instead of Weyland, Herbert Armstrong is the head of Weyland Industries and you will be able to see a glimpse of what might be).

      If anything, Herbert Armstrong is the religious version of Prometheus. (And the point of the whole thing was to prolong the top executive’s life, just as Armstrong tried to do.)

      1. I read the movie opposite to the superficial entertainment of the storyline Doug. The movie is actually telling you they are the cultists, and SIGMA is going to remove our “divine fire” Freedoms, invidualities, who lives and dies, independent thinking, and choice as they have done already in the past. The writers portray how SIGMA is the “Corporation” that wants to live as god forever.

          1. I am glad we still have freedom still to have a different preceptions. The more you look into SIGMA the more you will realize. Anyway, glad you enjoyed the movie!

  2. The main defense used by modern “linear’ corporations is statistics. The use of numbers for all applicatrions of “mass democracy” tend to either convince or confuse, but either work well to obfuscate , in ordfer to prolong the power of centralized systems. I used to wonder when corporations would get rel offensive toward vcell phones. They are a complete reveraal of hierarchical structures. BTW, I’m exploring the evolution of this process over at http://hwarmstrong/doojie

  3. My experience in the major Fortune 500 companies is that they are entirely hierarchical and have absolutely no use for democracy, mass or not.

    As near as I can tell, the business model today is based on the Roman Army and the majority of Corporations and Government Agencies use the hierarchical model from the top down. The masses have no say. The ethic is the end justifies the means and don’t get caught. Statistics are used by corporations to validate the nutty decisions of the narcissistic corporate officers in power — nothing more. They make up their mind and then use the stats to fit their opinions.

    I lived in it in both government and corporate business.

  4. Some of the Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 companies with whom I worked do have some admirable human resources policies. However, my frustration was the politicking and multiple levels of accountability involved in getting anything accomplished. Eventually, I decided that it was not worth the frustration, went to work for a smaller company, and finally started my own.

    Regarding intelligence and common sense, one of the points supporting the massive chauvinism amongst Armstrongites was the alleged fact that supposedly no other church groups actually studied their Bibles. Since leaving that organization in 1975, I’ve become aware that that truism is patently false. Lots of other Christians do study their Bibles regularly and prayerfully. The reason that WCG taught that no other groups were as scholarly and dedicated was that other groups’ studies caused them to arrive at polar opposite conclusions to what was taught at WCG. How many times did we hear from the pulpit that Billy Graham was insincere because a man as learned as he must certainly know and be actively denying “the truth” about the sabbath?

    A group that has to put everyone else down must certainly feel itself to be on shaky ground!

    BB

  5. Bob,
    Armstrong had a problem with Billy Graham. I can recall listening to tapes on long drives where Herbert came off as an authority and Billy was the heretic who ignored the sabbath. The difference between the men is an extreme. Although I think Billy liked the money religion bought to him, I know that Herbie craved, chased, and coveted everything that someone had that he did not. In a true game of brinkmanship, such as a debate, Herbie would have had his ass handed to him. After all, he was a high school drop out with a excessive masturbation problem.

  6. Douglas writes:
    “As near as I can tell, the business model today is based on the Roman Army and the majority of Corporations and Government Agencies use the hierarchical model from the top down.”

    No doubt. This was pointed out by McLuhan in “Understanding Media”. The Roman solduier represented the industrialed labor force that would spring up later in Western Europe. Obviously corporatios form arou nd their own goals and “internal circuitry”. That’s why they exist,and that’s what they’re created for. The process of mass deomcracy, mass media, mass communications, allowed those at the corporate top to “spin” our conclusions for us. As Peter Drucker wrote in “The New Realities”, mass movements were actually invented right here in the U SA, by men such as Hearst and Pulitzer, who found it useful for thier own power-seeking goals.

  7. Byker Bob writes:

    “Lots of other Christians do study their Bibles regularly and prayerfully. The reason that WCG taught that no other groups were as scholarly and dedicated was that other groups’ studies caused them to arrive at polar opposite conclusions to what was taught at WCG.”

    Yes, and that tells us nothing about who was wrong and who was right. The simple and logical fact is, they’re all wrong , which I explore in depth at http://hwarmstrong/doojie

    BB says further:
    “How many times did we hear from the pulpit that Billy Graham was insincere because a man as learned as he must certainly know and be actively denying “the truth” about the sabbath?”

    Yes, the sabbath and the “holy days” were good selli ng points. But Graham was wrong, just like Armstrong.
    BB writes:
    “A group that has to put everyone else down must certainly feel itself to be on shaky ground!”

    A bit of a straw man there. If a group is actually correct, and it puts everyone else down, then there’s nothing shaky about it. Herb had a good li ne, and he actually did have some great introductory about the logical flaws and inco nsistencies between mainstream christianity and the bible. Many of those inconsistencies still stand, but the sabbath isn’t one of the great points. Graham, however, was an average man with a bit of charisma as a speaker whom Hearst chose to support with his newspaper chain. Graham offered nothing that would challenge the power Hearst sought, and Graham taught a homogenized concept of christianity that fit quite well with industrial era “mass democracy”. Graham basically set up the pawns to be manipulated by the corporate powers Douglas describes above.

  8. Just to be clear here, Corporations have always been hierarchical and have had deficiencies in the department of the humanities, but truly, the past 50 years have transformed the landscape of corporations to an unprecedented degree.

    There used to be a time when corporations truly had a commitment to excellence in producing products and offering services. Not only that, but some researchers were given a free hand in doing pure research with the idea that it might lead to something profitable.

    These days, its the crass bottom line and, mostly, the products and services are just barely good enough to keep the public buying them. It’s all about profit. And management has become quite daft — doing stuff to aggrandize their own egos and position without doing one thing for the company, and in the meantime, trampling the workers as fodder in the collateral damage their incompetence in a dysfunctional environment does to everyone.

    The list is endless, but the likes of Enron lives on in so much of the corporate world.

    And while we are at it, we should not forget government, for government has adopted the worst of the corporate model and implemented it badly.

    It’s just a matter of time to see who will win: The Soylent Corporation or the Weyland Corporation.

    It may be a safe bet to buy stock in both.

  9. Douglas,

    You forgot to mention the “partnership with government” that corporations now have. This marriage (influence of financial measures/instruments, and supplying of products for the suppression of American liberties) has another word. Fascism.

    Your liberties and freedoms are being sold down the road for corporate profits. Those in government are no longer the servants but the served. Take the idiot politicians that have tried numerous times to suppress Internet freedoms for the benefit of corporations. Then those moron politicians who signed the NDAA law that allows the government to arrest you for dissent and jail you without trial. And who’s the clown who signed this bill when he said he wouldn’t? A real champion of liberty and freedom that Obama character. Bullshit!

    Scum dons a suit, a tie, and a whip. Dictates are handed down from these psychopaths, sociopaths and narcissists who scratched their way to the top and implemented their heavy handed tactics we see today.

    So you can see, corporate America is the same as the corporate minded government of the once good ole USA.

  10. James, that video is perhaps the most clearly explaio ned I’ve heard yet. As yopu know, my studies on common lawe and its origins are now published in a book by Reed Kinney. I should point out that common law, as shown by Blacksone. never acceped corporation s, since corporations are creaton s of Roman law, also not recognized by common law. While corporations were allowed into common law of England(like the camel getting its nose in the tent), they were only permitted by permission of the King of Englad, and they were subject to the king’s review as a “legal person”.

    The US Constituton recognizes no ki ng, and a study of history shows the Supreme Court has no jurisdiction over common law, so it cannot create corporations. What was just read in the video by the lady merely points out that the US government, is fully immersed in both Roman law and world law, but the states now and have always had jurisdiction over common law. Wherever you see the phrase “due process”, it was understood by the founders to mean “common law”(see Joseph Story’s Commentaries)”. As you can see from a readin gof Madison;s word in “The federalist”, all such “due process” decisions were to remain within state jurisdiction. None of this is changed by the 14th amendment(see “Slaughterhouse”)

  11. I should point out, for those less versed in the terms, “Roma n law” is generally recognized as “civil law”, and “common law” embraced by the colonists in the Declaration of Rights 1774, is the common law of England.
    I should also further point out that corporatio ns are the creatio ns of the states, not the federal government, demo nstratin g that the “kingly” power of incorporation was retained by the states and never give n to the federal government. This in itself means that the states were intended as sovereign, a nd the powers defined by the US Constitution declared only those powers and no more(10th amendment). Common law, in all processes involving life, liberty, a nd property, fall under “due process”, and are to remain with the states. No power is given to federal courts to ignore decisions handed down by jury under common law(7th amendment).

    What this means, basically, is that corporations are subject to citizen control in whatever state they reside, and if they dont like it, they can move to hell.

  12. It does look as though through two centuries, States’ rights have eroded in favor of Federal Control.

    What is especially disturbing is that power and money can get people anywhere — if you are a member of the elite — but the lower caste has neither any say, nor are they really allowed to even own property (don’t pay your property taxes and you land gets taken away — which says the Government owns everything).

    What’s worse is that more and more, under the current arrangement, local governments are going bankrupt. This can only mean that the Feds have even more power.

    It is very disturbing that if someone is declared a terrorist (even without proof), they are subject to imprisonment without due process — to disappear forever — and even the family may be impacted to the point of being turned out on the street (with property seized) to be homeless and starving.

    To me, Corporations and Government together represent the very core of what Armstrongism has always intended to be under the covers.

  13. The problem is, even with the most sincere intent, if the organization begins to succeed, it starts to follow a kind of “algorithm”, best described in general terms by Hoffer in “The True Believer”. It is the actual unification that creates the evil, as people “renounce self” in order to belong.

    I was also reading a few minutes ago a book by physicist Paul Davies, writing about complexity and algorithms. If the universe is composed of highly organized patterns they are “logically deep” because they require many complicated steps performed to generate them. Religions and governments don’t organize and function around “logically deep” patterns. They seek to simplify and create regimented regularity, as in our present industrial era, and even our mass media. Mass media operates by what Alvin Toffler calls the “engineered message”, a message that is “coded” repeated often, non-repitive in its content, and aimed toward goals that drive us toward certain behaviors, as in the old Sci-Fi movie about the guy who got a special pair of glasses that allowed him to see the hidden motivations no one else could see.

    Erich Fromm points out in “Escape From Freedom” that we often think that we are independent thinkers, but in fact our thoughts are shaped in advance by various media. We learn to respond to “coded’ messages or what psychoanalyst Philip Slater calls “inner circuitry”. This has been the pattern of civilizational development since Egypt. The system grows until it becomes so large it loses adaptability, and it becomes extinct. Its called overspecialization.

    At present, the coded messages that charge our collective thoughts are so simple that we have no capacity for “logically deep” patterns of thought because those types of thought are dependent on dialogue and discussion at the personal level regarding programs and rules. We’re so deeply in debt to the system that we have no time or freedom for such discussions, and we would have no clue as to how to solve the problem even if we did have dialogue. Simply look at the confusion on the internet. Most people, faced with uncertainty, will tend to ‘go for what they know”.

  14. Most people, faced with uncertainty, will tend to ‘go for what they know”.

    A refinement to that may be, people will tend to ‘go with what they feel’, replacing rationality and logic with emotions and passions. With this, all discipline disappears as people find ways around accountability to do ‘what feels good’ because if it feels good (to them) then it must be ‘the right thing to do’.

    This, in turn, negates all concern for the future.

    Unfortunately, the Universe is totally unimpressed and enforces entropy anyway, leading to misery among those with little foresight (as well as insight).

    Go ahead and smoke that cigarette: After all, you’ve smoked before and it isn’t as if you are going to break out with lung cancer, heart disease and a stroke tomorrow or even next year. Anyway, it feels right now and there is always (abundant) hope that you can beat the odds.

    That’s the package the United States has been sold. $15 Trillion in debt? What does that even mean? There’s no real problem: Let’s go ahead with our programs of ‘hope’ (we don’t get into more trouble than we think we are getting out of).

    Oh, sure, violate the inviolate laws of the Universe. It will be OK. And we probably won’t be around even if it isn’t. Let someone else worry about consequences — if only we can get what we want now.

    Bankruptcy, anyone?

    I don’t believe that people don’t want to deal with the complexity of the Universe — I believe, rather, that people can’t deal with the complexity of the Universe and they don’t even want to know it exists: It would cause them pain and confusion of the sort they would have no way of comprehending nor managing.

    Religion, governments, corporations (often all one in the same) want the reduction of complexity to control what it sees as an attempt to manage limited resources. Reduce the workers to ciphers and cogs in the machinery in a “plug and play” “mix and match” robotized environment and the problem of dealing with that complexity is solved.

    Until new problems from the absurd reduction of complexity occur which cannot be solved by the simple minded hierarchical linear thinking of moronic management unforseen because of their sociopathic mindset.

    “Shoot! Whada we do now?!”

    Like they knew in the first place how to run our affairs better than we can when they have proved incompetent to run their own.

  15. There’s a principle in Artificial Intelligence (or just plain old computers) that says if it can be defined, and translated into language, it can be translated into algorithms and programmed.

    IOW, if the government actually could figure out the answer, WE could figure out the answer, si nce anyting they could actually communicate logically as a solution would be open to logic for all. If we don’t know the solution, THEY don’t know the solution. Government follows the same principle as religion in Matthew 24:23, “If any man says, Lo, this government provides the answer, or that, believe it not”.

    That also applies to the idea of “God” and “deep logic”. If life is ordered of such complexity that the most powerful computer has problems generating it in simulation, then “God” as creator of that complexity, would be of such an order of complexity that no human could possibly represent “Him” in such a way that we should follow that person. Multiplying the number of people “computing” merely multiplies confusion.

    Jesus actually gave the solution: ” Consider the lilies of the field…”

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