Sourcecode

Herbert Armstrong can be seen as bad source code of particularly malicious aggressive religious malware, difficult to detect and even more difficult to remove.

 On the False Prophet Ronald Weinland blog, an anonymous contributor commented:

I am ashamed for becoming caught up in this. I am very naive and trusting, and was really hoping for a better more just world, and excited to have a sound framework to live by. But that leaves people open for being taken advantage of. I have learned now to be yourself and trust your instincts no matter what anyone says, I just hope it is not too late to rebuild a life.

 Those of us who have been infected with the Armstrongism malware understand and empathize with this perspective. We can heartily recommend Take Back Your Life: Recovering from Cults and Abusive Relationships by Janja Lalich and Madeleine Tobias from Bay Tree Publishing as a recovery and guard against cult malware. It has the best in-depth coverage of the religious cult malware of any resource and can serve to inoculate unwary users from the nasty effects of religious malpractice hackers, such as Roderick Meredith, Dennis Luker, Jim Franks and others dedicated to spreading debilitating religious viruses and worms to the public.

The original source code for this religious malware stems from Herbert Armstrong, who used snippets of script from various religious hackers of previous decades and centuries. He was no Biblical coding expert, but he was able to cut and paste from various illicit sources like some novice teenager unqualified to produce viable products but plagiarized source in order to create havoc and chaos. Although, at first, he set upon his discoveries in the Portland Public Library, his repertoire, as we will see later, was built upon a foundation of another whose influence can be seen in his works and was expanded by the pseudo-intellectual, Dr. Herman Hoeh.

Some may wonder how the Source Code is built. It’s not that difficult to understand, even for the naive novice unfamiliar with the processes to create illegitimate applications destructive to their users. The basic process is to build on snippets that are created out of the imagination. Once someone creates the snippet, another comes along and quotes the first “creator”. Then the first creator quotes the second source, forming a double-bond of self-referential substantiation with no substance at all. This is scalable to a much larger community of sources.

John D. Keyser at Mysteries of the Bible website, in the article The Coronation Stone — Jeremiah in Ireland, debunks the whole idea of Jeremiah being in Ireland, ably assisted by Dr. Greg Doudna’s Showdown at Big Sandy: Youthful Creativity Confronts Bureaucratic Inertia At An Unconventional Bible College in East Texas. John Keyser debunks the myth that Jeremiah was in Ireland, establishing that the premise that he  (in the company of his scribe Baruch) took King Zedekiah’s daughter to Ireland where she founded a line of Davidic kings that has continued on down to this day. It never happened. Herbert Armstrong wrote in The United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy wrote:

Then, in 569 B.C. (date of Jeremiah’s transplanting), an elderly, white-haired patriarch, sometimes referred to as a “saint,” came to Ireland. With him was the princess daughter of an eastern king and a companion called “Simon Brach,” spelled in different histories as Breck, Berech, Brach, or Berach. The princess had a Hebrew name Tephi — a pet name — her full name being TEA-TEPHI.

Modern literature of those who recognize our national identity has confused this Tea-Tephi, a daughter of Zedekiah, with an earlier Tea, a daughter of Ith, who lived in the days of David.

This royal party included the son of the king of Ireland who had been in Jerusalem at the time of the siege. There he had become acquainted with Tea-Tephi. He married her shortly after 585 — when the city fell. Their young son, now about 12 years of age, accompanied them to Ireland. Besides the royal family, Jeremiah brought with them some remarkable things, including a harp, AN ARK, and a wonderful STONE CALLED “LIA-FAIL,” or “STONE OF DESTINY.”

….many kings in the history of Ireland, Scotland, and England have been coronated over this stone — including the present queen. The stone rests today in Westminster Abbey in London, and the coronation chair is built over and around it. A sign beside it labels it “Jacob’s pillar-stone” (Gen. 28:18).

The royal husband of the Hebrew princess Tea was given the TITLE HERREMON upon ascending the throne of his father. This Herremon has usually been confused with a much earlier Gede the Herremon in David’s day — who married his uncle Ith’s daughter Tea. The son of this later king Herremon and Hebrew princess continued on the throne of Ireland and THIS SAME DYNASTY CONTINUED UNBROKEN through all the kings of Ireland; was OVERTURNED and transplanted again in Scotland; again OVERTURNED and moved to London, England, where this same dynasty continues today in the reign of Queen Elizabeth II….

In view of the linking together of biblical history, prophecy, and Irish history, can anyone deny that this Hebrew princess was the daughter of King Zedekiah of Judah and therefore heir to the throne of David? 

Well, yes we can!

It’s all nonsense.

Here’s the answer from John D. Keyser:

No References! In preparation for the writing of this article, and several others on the royal house of Britain, I searched out and read literally DOZENS of books written by British-Israelites in order to more accurately understand the BASIS for the Jeremiah/Tea-Tephi legend so eloquently penned by Herbert Armstrong. I also consulted primary and secondary sources on the Irish and Scottish annals.

To my surprise, I found that the British-Israelite books all REPEAT the same Tea-Tephi story (with slight variations), each aggressively claiming that the story is found in the ancient annals. In my research I have NOT FOUND a single British-Israelite book that actually gives a REFERENCE to WHERE in the Irish and Scottish annals the supporting material may be found! Armstrong’s booklet does not — nor does Joseph Allen’s earlier book on the subject.

As also discovered by Greg Doudna (former Ambassador College student, now with the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Cornell University), “they all seem to draw from previous British-Israel writings. They speak so confidently it sounds like there must be something in the annals to which they refer. The NAMES mentioned in the Tea-Tephi legend appear in the annals, true enough, but I have discovered they are TOTALLY DIFFERENT PERSONS IN THE ANNALS than the British-Israel legend makes them out to be. The annals simply don’t say what the British-Israel literature, or the Worldwide Church of God, SAY they say. It is a LEGEND that someone somewhere within British-Israel circles began, stated it as fact, and it has been repeated as fact within British-Israel circles ever since, down to the present day in which the Worldwide Church of God repeats it to millions. It may make an interesting story, but IT IS COMPLETELY FABRICATED.” (“Afterword on British-Israelism”, p. 121).

 The bottom line here is that one “expert” historian quotes another and that one quotes the first and a third one quotes the previous two and so on and so forth. It’s like an urban legend where you can never find the original source. Scratch that — it’s not like an urban legendit is an urban legend. This is a #1 law for religious malware: If you don’t have the source, just make something up, then find someone else to quote you and then quote that as a legitimate source to make the whole thing legitimate. No dishonesty has been harmed in the making of the myth.

British Israelism is another example of this phenomenon. As nearly all Armstrongists know by this time, originally — and though there may have been a few others who threw around the idea previously — Richard Brothers was the primary source of British Israelism. Oh sure, there were predecessors as is told by The True and Noble Origins of the Anglo-Israel Message, but Richard Brothers was a focal point, with his first publication, released in 1794, The Revealed Knowledge of the Prophecies & Times. The prologue had this to say:

First wrote under the direction of the LORD GOD & published by His Sacred Command, it being the first sign of Warning for the Benefit of all Nations; Containing with other great and remarkable things not revealed to any other Person on Earth, the Restoration of the Hebrews to Jerusalem by the year 1798 under their revealed Prince and Prophet. London, Printed in the year of Christ, 1794.

He only had 4 years to wait before his prophecy failed. The rest of us have had to wait a lot longer.

It should be noted that Richard Brothers, in connection with his odd ideas of British Israelism, was committed to an insane asylum as being a danger to himself and others. Thus it is that British Israelism was popularized by a kook madman.

It took John Harden Allen with his Judah’s Scepter and Joseph’s Birthright published in 1902 to truly give Herbert Armstrong the fodder he needed as he preached the True Gospel as The End Time Apostle and Great False Prophet, the source code basis for the Key to Prophecy. Low and behold, major portions of it were plagiarized for The United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy, all of which has the curious propensity to prompt us to recall the riddle posed by Professor Maximillian Arturo, played by John Rhys-Davies, in the science fiction television show, Sliders:

Why doesn’t the sun set on the British Empire?

Because God can’t trust the British in the dark!

British Israelism was the source code to set the stage for the angst ridden prophecies of hyperbole, aptly described in the November-December 2012 Church of God Seventh Day Bible Advocate article, It’s Doomsday Again!

Written into the folk memory of all peoples is the concept of an “end”. It may be a subconscious memory of the worldwide destruction of the great Flood. But disasters do happen and failed predictions of such an end abound.

The article notes:

Such fearsome factors can be found in Scripture and are highlighted by most who write about prophecy, often with a barely suppressed sense of glee!

As it turns out, fear of gloom and doom are big business:

Many prophecy buffs are excited by the thought of the end.

If you are still wondering about the source code which produced Herbert Armstrong, one might consider “Questions and Answers” in the latest Bible Advocate:

Andrew N. Dugger became editor of the Bible Advocate magazine in 1914 and a popular president of the General Conference (1921-27; 29-30). He injected futurism into the Church’s prophetic interpretation, and championed futurist doctrine amid the controversy that led to the 1933 division between Stanberry and Salem.

In Summary, Elder Dugger believed 1) the two-horned beast would be a revival Roman Church, enforcing its mark of Sunday keeping on Sabbath observers; 2) the Church of God’s main task was to give the third angel’s message, warning believers against the mark of the beast; 3) the seven plagues were literal and future judgments upon those who received the mark; 4) the giving of the third angel’s message and the outpouring of the plagues would lead to Christ’s return; and 5) Christ’s descent from heaven to receive His kingdom would occur in the midst of Armageddon.

Elder Dugger’s argument for the imminent fulfillment of his end-time prophecies in the 1920s, 30s and 40s led the Church to become disinterested in his failed version of them. For more than a generation, the Church struggled to recapture its true mission to preach salvation in Christ and His grace alone, rather than serve as a prognosticator of events.

The Church’s return to its heritage of preaching Christ and His advent without enigmatic add-ons was reflected in its doctrinal revisions of 1994 and 2006, which dropped the futurist predictions and suppositions that prevailed for much of the past century.

Elder Robert Coulter

It is difficult to imagine that the fiery preachments of Andrew N. Dugger did not impress the impressionable Herbert Armstrong as he began on his quest for ministerial truth. The extremism of futurist ideas of Andrew Dugger impressed on Armstrong’s impressionable young mind was enough to provide the source code upon which to build the religious malware foundation of the heretical extreme cult religion. Apparently, the Church of God Seventh Day eventually outgrew it, while Armstrongists remained trapped in the eternal childishness of seeking the thrills of thinking they have special knowledge of what comes next. This foolishness has spun off over 700 versions of the original malware, just waiting to infect the uninoculated unsuspecting innocent.

Protect yourself: Prevent damage by avoiding downloading any more malware from the Internet pages of the UCG, LCG, CoGWA and the whole host of religious malware servers.

And for heaven’s sake, don’t allow them to charge for the service.

13 Replies to “Sourcecode”

  1. Many prophecy buffs are excited by the thought of the end.
    As in the lcg. They want the end of the world so that they can feel superior. It is a pipe dream that morons could rule a lemonade stand.

  2. They want the end of the world because the world stinks and they believe a better one is coming. Feeling superior was never what it was about. But if they feel superior to the many liars, cheaters, and ruthless creeps in the world today, well, what normal person wouldn’t?

  3. “But if they feel superior to the many liars, cheaters, and ruthless creeps in the world today, well, what normal person wouldn’t?”

    You must be speaking of the “liars, cheaters, and ruthless creeps” in the armstrong movement. Not all the people are bad, mostly those above the masses and those who lie to themselves in order to believe the bigger lies such as, the guru is always right, you are always wrong, group-think, suspension of disbelief and the list goes on.

    Remember, cults are not kind to truth. I don’t care if its the Armstrongites or the Mormons, all follow these two rules:
    A) Independent or critical thinking is discouraged, especially critical thoughts about the leader or the group or the cult’s teachings.
    B) Positive thoughts and statements about the leader and the group are encouraged.

    If you find that you can’t tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, when speaking to or about your church, that you have to censor your own speech, and can only say certain things in order for what you say to be acceptable, then you should strongly consider the idea that you are in a mind control cult.

  4. “The End” was their boogie man on steroids. It was the control factor. If you wanted to be spared, you had to vigorously buy into everything HWA taught, even his grooming and musical tastes. I’m convinced that that’s why he created the Philadelphian and Laodecean stereotype which became so cliched.

    An ACOG member, especially those in the more extreme splinters, has special reason to want the end to come! He or she is trapped in a totalitarian system, yet scared spitless to leave. Their only hope is that Jesus will provide more loving leadership, unify their families and loved ones, and correct all of the error. That’s why even all of the horrendous events they’ve been told will happen to humanity seem to be so worthwhile. People in Haiti and other depressed/oppressed nations have the same attitude towards apocalypse.

    BB

  5. For an amusing look at Armstrong, may I suggest, Armstrongism: Alive and Still Sick

    Gotta love:

    As the court battles went on, first one side winning and then the other, both groups announced after its [temporary] victory, “This proves God is on our side!” We would like to offer a third possibility, one we think is much closer to the facts: Satan was pulling for both sides in this struggle! In fact, the one thing we enjoyed about this book was how both sides (WCG and PCG) called each other everything imaginable and both said the other was a bunch of liars, hypocrites, deceivers, frauds, fakes and false prophets. In our mind, they are both right. (It reminded us of political organizations – which they are, of course, religious politicians – by the way they knife each other in the back and cut each other up.)

    To offer an example, here is one quote from the WCG side about its glorious founder, Herbert W. Armstrong (called HWA hereafter), whom PCG is defending and glorifying: “a self-absorbed, racially bigoted, religiously biased, uneducated hack who taught heretical doctrines and bizarre prophecies while wielding dictatorial control over the Worldwide Church of God.” And again, from the PCG side, “… we were supposedly a racially bigoted, misogynistic fringe group, led by a self-proclaimed dictator.” We couldn’t have said it better for both sides!

  6. James, what makes you think I’m in any church? I was, but I’m not. I’m not even a Christian. But when I was, I wasn’t in it for the ego. Some people think that’s what it was all about. Ego, ego ego. Nothing more. Nonsense.

  7. Radical Jack,

    I never said you were in any church.
    As far as ego, some are in it for just that. “Gods True Church” mentality is alive and well. They feel superior to others because of the loaded language they display as part of their identity.

  8. As some of you know, Andrew Dugger spent time in Jerusalem.

    What most of you may not know, Andrew Dugger established quite a number of church congregations in the United States. He visited with a minister of a Sunday keeping church in Tacoma and had him come to a conference in Oregon, after which the entire congregation began keeping the Sabbath and became members of the Church of God Seventh Day conference.

    The son of the minister remembers that in 1971, Andrew Dugger came to visit in the minister’s home and told of the time he was in Jerusalem when he saw Herbert Armstrong in a Limo. Now you have to remember that at one time, Andrew Dugger and Herbert Armstrong were firm and fast friends. On this occasion, though, Herbert Armstrong refused to speak to him or even acknowledge him.

    Andrew Dugger related how hurt he was to be spurned by his former “friend”.

    And that, dear friends, is just one illustration of the ego of Herbert Armstrong: Once he achieved his goal of being a god dominating people in the WCG and taking their money with having the intoxicating attention of the “high and mighty” of this world, he spurned and treated those he deemed beneath him with contempt — he was truly one really mean-spirited rotten guy.

  9. “The son of the minister remembers that in 1971, Andrew Dugger came to visit in the minister’s home and told of the time he was in Jerusalem when he saw Herbert Armstrong in a Limo. Now you have to remember that at one time, Andrew Dugger and Herbert Armstrong were firm and fast friends. On this occasion, though, Herbert Armstrong refused to speak to him or even acknowledge him.”

    Same thing in Pasadena. Herbert ignored all these people trying to shake his hand and give him kudos after a sermon once. He ignored them. After all it was a holy day and was time to go to the bank to deposit his ill gotten gain!

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