2015: Stagnation

Stagnation
Stagnation

Herbert Armstrong established an empire which could only end in the stagnation of fetid rotten pockets of stale sluggishness where even revenue flow is stagnant. The stench of stagnation with entropy drifted everywhere among the Cult of Herbert Armstrong Mafia sects in 2014 and trends indicate that 2015 will continue the stagnation. No one should expect the return of the Laodocean rich and increased in goods in need of nothing prosperity of the 1970s Worldwide Church of God because it is never coming back. Frankly, it may well be that 2015 may not even be as good as 2014 was and 2014 just wasn’t all that good.

Thumbs Down
Thumbs Down

A recent anonymous commenter on Banned! succinctly described the problem in a comment about United:

After 80 years of Armstrongism, you would think they would have gotten somewhere. Instead, Armstrongism is predicated upon stagnation, constantly reinventing wheels, and misguided attempts to “really get serious this time.” As a result, “depth” is something no one has ever achieved. Armstrongism’s idea about “going deeper” is to double-down on strategies that have proven to lead only to failure, and to go around in an old, familiar circles yet one more time.

How “deep” or “exhaustive” has any COG minister or member’s attempt to understand the bible or live like Jesus ever been? Armstrongists keep on using words like “deeper” or “more exhaustive,” but the fact is, these now-trite sayings are incoherent. Either something is exhaustive, or it is not. It is not possible to do a job “more exhaustively.” All this means is, “We were wrong about saying we did it ‘exhaustively’ last time (like every other time) and we’ll probably be wrong this time too. The reason why they can’t even come up to “the world’s” standards is because, for all their talk about “mooring” they’re completely unmoored from reality. Everything they say is without any objective referent to anchor it. The only thing that’s possible is more pie-in-the-sky talk and meaningless platitudes. They’ve never been serious before and they’re not about to get serious now.

The trouble is, when one really does make the personal decision to “get serious,” it winds up in that person realizing that he needs to leave Armstrongism behind, because the COGs, in and of themselves are an imposition to “getting serious.” Acceptance of the tenets of Armstrongism bind you with shallowness and stagnation. They make the abandonment of seriousness incumbent upon the believer. Instead, they divert any “seriousness” they might have had into useless old testament rituals like “deleavening” their homes. Ritualized “progress” takes the place of any actual “progress.” The only thing ministerial types like Robin Webber have ever been “serious” about is coming up with that extra 5 inches.

Armstrongist Leader Ponders 2015 Business Strategy
Armstrongist Leader Ponders 2015 Business Strategy

Perhaps we can expect statements of the state of the Work by the various cult leaders again this year. It may be that David Pack will issue Pastor General Yearly Letter again this January as he did last year with glowing reports of explosive growth for the Restored Church of God, but in reality the operative word here should be ‘implosion’. It looks like he’s been buying more property without sufficient resources to pay for it and that Steuben Crystal at the office looks like it will collect dust. Meanwhile, Davey will keep his member abuse program going in high gear, but that’s hardly an effort which will create an enthusiastic energy for his compound.

David Hulme learned something about tampering with British Israelism last year and it is very likely he will not recoup his losses.

The Future of Roderick Meredith
The Future of Roderick Meredith

The Living Church of God continues to have a name that it is Living, but it’s in the stagnant doldrums and the only possible excitement in 2015 could be the death of Roderick Meredith. There would be a great deal of frenetic activity temporarily, overriding the stagnation, but if it were to occur, the ultimate result would be even more stagnation from entropy, with possible help from a major split or two.

Robert Thiel has been off to a slow start and it does look like it’s going to decline from there: Expect stagnation.

PCG British Campus
PCG British Campus

Gerald Flurry keeps making noises about how good things are going at the Philadelphia Church of God, but a word of advice: When your outgo exceeds your income, your upkeep will be your downfall. Flurry has been spending money he doesn’t have and has bought a new campus in England which may well have as many as 8 students and it may well be the British may require diversity classes. Brad MacDonald will be moving in to be headmaster of a glorified high school called ‘college’ or ‘university’. It’s too bad he couldn’t get Bricket Wood and this is certainly not the same level of culture being represented, but it made him feel better to buy it and after all that’s said and done, raising the dopamine levels in a geriatric Armstrongist leader is what’s important here. It’s tempest in a teapot time and the water in the teapot has stagnated.

Ronald Weinland continues his prison term, so the PKG can’t expect much progress — it’s stagnation squared, while Weinland issues doltish daft decrees from his cell. He will continue to do so, and the troops in the trenches will continue to get the manure falling from heaven.

James Malm will continue to more or less accurately portray the faults and evils of his compatriot competitors without ever looking in the mirror.

The United Church of God, an International Association will have all things continue as they have from the beginning… of 2014. They have noted that their average congregation size is 20 to 30 people (that’s an average — some are hundreds and some could fit in a phone booth). That is not cause for optimism, because there is a bottom line. In the stagnation, there really isn’t much new blood and ministers continue to retire. In this long slide of entropy toward irrelevance, the average rank-and-file member will have less in the way of personal ministerial contact, not that has ever been a priority in the Armstrongist churches, but it will get ever worse… slowly. Changing the name of the flagship magazine from The Good News to Beyond Today can do nothing but lend itself to stagnation. It was about time to change, though, since the UCG hasn’t really come up with much good news, although… there may not be much beyond today for them — eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you could retire. It’s truly unfortunate that The Originals have passed from the administration, taking their expertise and vision with them, so in the interest of helping out the Council of Elders, we highly suggest this book for their support:

Church Cult Corporate for Dummies
Church Cult Corporate for Dummies

Hope it helps. The members have received the very last Good News they will ever get from United.

If the UCG is having challenges, one can only suspect that it will be worse for the clowns at the Church of God Worldwide Association. Everybody is aging out on the average from senior to geriatric in Armstrongism and the CoGWA certainly isn’t going to be exempt from stagnation. The dream of establishing a college or university just isn’t in the cards and they likely overestimated the possible prosperity on the way out of United. There are not a few people wondering why they are in CoGWA at this point, because, except for the name on the door, you really can’t tell much difference from the UCG. Their flagship magazine is One Accord. Ha, ha, ha! That’s really funny when you consider they split with the UCG. One Accord. Is that all they have left of their transportation fleet?

The House of Yahweh with Yisrael Hawkins isn’t going anywhere. It is likely that HoY will be featured again as an expose on Dr. Phil and legal problems will continue, but at a low level, befitting the state of stagnation into which it has fallen.

The Church of God in Truth with James Russell? He said himself that “we haven’t learned anything new in 40 years”. He does claim that because the other Churches of God don’t keep the Feast Days at the right time, they will be those described in Revelation 3:9, “Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.” Yes, friends, all the other Armstrongists are the synagogue of Satan saying they are Jews but are not, will suffer in the Millennium while CoGIT members will be God as God is God, lording it over everybody else. With this ‘holier than thou’ attitude, there is no chance that there’s going to be much change: Expect stagnation. If there is an afterlife, someone is in for a BIG surprise! You should all get their flagship magazine, Prove All Things. It’s worth it for the misprints in every issue. For example, a favorite is “Herbert Armstrong Pasture General”. Replete with manure? Watch where you step? They have something every issue. It’s hilarious! They should Proof Read All Things.

And there are the Rittenbaughs of the Church of the Great God fame. Oh, maybe you’ve not heard of them? Perhaps fame is too strong a word? Let’s just say that they are of the same conservative ilk as the rest of the Cult of Herbert Armstrong Mafia, except no one much notices them or their flagship magazine, Forerunner Magazine. If you didn’t know better, you’d think it had something to do with Toyota. Prognosticate that they will see stagnation in 2015? It’s a little late for that. Try obscurity instead. We wonder what happened to their minister who raped 16 teenage girls and 8 of their mothers? Still preaching or not with them? Who cares? This sect doesn’t even rise to the level of apathy and will continue that way through 2015. The founder was a welder at U.S. Steel for 16 years. It’s like Johnathan and Martha Kent at their Smallville farm setting ecommerce up from their farmhouse living room to market organic produce to the Luthorcorp employees cafeteria, except in this case, there’s not really much of a product and not much of a market.

We’d mention Mark Armstrong and the Intercontinental Church of God, but if you look at their website, you’d swear that Garner Ted Armstrong was still alive, so what’s the point?

Dixon Cartwright will continue reporting about the Cult of Herbert Armstrong Mafia in The Journal as a journalistic exercise in irrelevance in the modern world for those addicted to the preposterous idea that it’s all one big happy family of specialized believers when he knows very well it is nothing of the kind, with some of the weirdest ideas ever being promulgated in the ads while some of the real news is being covered up: It’s an impressive effort to ‘report’ on the stagnation where everything is presented in such a positive light when the underlying core is utter garbage, much of which is generated with people who have severe mental disorders. It wouldn’t be half as bad if he didn’t know better and didn’t pretend everything is OK. It’s called enabling; Dixon Cartwright is a enabler. He has The Touch: He can make the daft seem respectable; just don’t think about it too long.

In all of this, Herbert Armstrong will continue to remain very dead all the way through 2015.

The Worldwide Church of God transformed itself into Grace Communion International in 2009. Originally, Joseph Tkach, Senior ‘inherited’ (hostile takeover) from Herbert Armstrong when Herbert Armstrong died in 2006. After Joseph Tkach, Senior died, his son, (Dr.?) Jo(seph)[e] Tkach (,Junior) finished taking the WCG into pseudo mainstream Christianity replete with Christmas, Easter and the Trinity which was much less mainstream than it may have appeared — retaining the autocratic nature of the ‘leadership’ but projecting a more benign ‘liberal’ religion. It became stagnant long ago as masses of people left either for the more traditional cult Armstrongism or became atheists and agnostics. Congregations shrank significantly to pathetic little groups, some of which kept Sunday, others keeping Saturday still and still others kept both Saturday and Sunday. Feasts were slowly but surely eradicated, but not before the Feast of Tabernacles was kept in August so it was more convenient to get time off work and school children (the few that attended) wouldn’t have to miss any school. The ‘headquarters’ was sold to provide riches for the few at the top and the ‘administration’ moved to Financial Street in a nearby city. To tell the truth, there’s so much stagnation that those still left would be better off in local mainstream Christian churches with the people, doctrines and facilities and sever their connections with GCI once and for all. GCI has become totally irrelevant and those with the beliefs espoused by the GCI would be better served by going elsewhere. It seems unlikely that 2015 will change much for them.

Unfortunately, stagnation cuts both ways. There was a time not too long ago that those of us working to expose the sects of the Cult of Herbert Armstrong Mafia had an impact. Expect that to slow in 2015. Herbert Armstrong originally created the Pavlovian response by getting members conditioned to respond to prophecies of death, doom, destruction, devastation, deviancy (in the world) so whenever they heard or saw news reports, particularly those which engaged British Israelism in their heads, it invoked belief, strengthening their faith in the prognostications. Of course, Herbert applied a layer of snow on top of the toxic dump to make it attractive by plying his wiles to create visions of a brave new world of prosperity where the members were to become God as God is God: Ring the bell and the salivation began.

Typical congregation meeting in living room
Typical congregation meeting in living room

Rex Sexton of the UCG wrote in a church bulletin that church members were like dogs being trained by the Master, Jesus Christ. He has something there: Doggie members have two basic rules for their control — keep them on a short leash and don’t let them bark. It is useful to let them out free to romp in a dog park once a year to socialize at the so-called “Feast of Tabernacles”, and if you’re with the right trainers, you might even get out to play at the so-called ‘Winter Social’ which is really the Winter Solstice Social. There will be fun exercises and special doggie treats — for the ‘good dogs’. The one thing every mutt fears is the minister calling them ‘bad dog!”. That will bring about howling. No, the leaders must be careful in their regimen. Every dog has his day. And being in the Restored Church of God gives new meaning to ‘running with the Pack’. Dogs. They’re all dogs. Care must be taken not to mention Revelation 22:15.

The spit-offs have continued to ring the bell and the salivation continues, but the dogs are old and can’t do a much as service animals any more. For one thing, because of the decline in membership and the fact that the seniors are becoming geriatric, the bell has to be rung ever so more loudly for a response. The pooches are finding it harder and harder to hear and even more difficult to get around.

On the other hand, the old dogs aren’t getting up and roaming any more. Youth is gone and so is the spry. The Armstrongist Churches of God are beginning to realize that they have to let the dogs lie because their get up and go has gotten up and gone. This means that members don’t become strays much any longer. They lost their curiosity (and a lot of other things). They aren’t that swift on the uptake any more and the cultists have a captive audience in their little dog pounds. One would hope that the leaders — the hounds of hell — would be bitten by their mother when they return home to the kennel.

The implication of this is clear: Disorganizations, such as the PKG with Ronald Weinland, have had most of those who are going to leave, leave. The rest just stay and stay, no matter how little sense it makes, and continue to wait until Weinland rings the bell again from Terre Haut, Indiana.

Avalokiteshvara at the False Prophet Ronald Weinland adds one extra dimension to this discussion:

The COGS attract narcissists who lust for power and glory so the COGS are where they flock to. And then when they start seeing the real evil that Weinland and Flurry and all the other maggots do they use their intelligence to explain it away as if it is GOD’s Will or a righteous way to behave. They love the idea of a hierarchy, a place where they can treat everyone like they are already GODS because they are now in a highly ranked system. The Gospel of Christ and Heaven are not enough for a COG member. They want more. Power! Riches! Planets! GOD at THEIR right hand side!

The COG members that stay in these fake churches LOVE thinking they are better than everyone, and to leave the PKG or PCG or whatever is to lose their justification for bullying, lying, theft, misogyny, and all the other things they love to inflict on others to feel like they are GODS.

COG leaders are merciless, greedy, arrogant narcissists who reward their followers with the chance to share in this greed and lust and brutality – in the abuse of others (in the name of God) as long as these aspiring anti-Christs keep the tithes coming to the lead anti-Christ! And once you invent a reasonable story in your head to justify what you know DEEP DOWN is wrong, you get intelligent people acting unwise (evil). It is so easy to see that the Fruits of the Spirit in these COG leaders are CLEARLY Satanic, you MUST fool yourself in order to think they are godly!

Wolf Minister
Wolf Minister

It’s easier if you remember that dogs are the descendants of wolves. It’s a dog eat dog society — a result of bad breeding.

Stagnation has set in, in a big way and the dogs of war don’t much give as much as a woof any more — and it looks like that’s the way it’s going to stay in 2015: It’s all going to the dogs. The ACoGs should buy new deck chairs for the Titanic so they can constantly rearrange them — if only they could afford them!

2015: Stagnation — one implication is that a mediocre equilibrium of evil will be achieved by the Armstrongist leaders who will continue to act like 9 year old schoolyard psychopath alcoholic boozing bullies extorting lunch money so they can have prime rib with Dom and those who they have robbed will continue to dig in the trash bin to find something — anything — to eat. The glass ceiling between the elite and the Proles will become thicker and more opaque than ever, ever more impenetrable to the peasants as the Oriental Potentate and his henchmen continue their oppression upon the helpless who they see as social misfits who the elite have made that way.

There may (or may not) be more ministers / elders who are convicted of pedophilia in 2015.

It will be OK: The mediocrity will not bother you as long as you remain clueless.

Do we really have to say it? Stagnation means that the old guard will remain because you can’t teach old dogs new tricks or science, for that matter.

Just watch where you step.

Lost, Confused, Unsure, Unclear, Perplexed
Lost, Confused, Unsure, Unclear, Perplexed

Grow in grace and knowledge?

Not likely.

Because they all stopped accepting correction a very long time ago.

7 Replies to “2015: Stagnation”

  1. Within the past year, I noticed a drop in both the output and the number of participants on the various dissident blogs. The last real peak coincided with Dave Pack’s Zerubbabel farce, about 18 months ago. ACOG stalwarts have been anxiously awaiting the reunification of the Armstrong empire, and most feel that this would happen almost automatically with the clear emergence of a specially blessed splinter group that suddenly stood head and shoulders above the others. The problem is that all of the leaders have tried to make it appear that theirs is that specially blessed emergent group, but actual facts and statistics and (ahem!) their visibility do not support their empty claims.

    Part of the allure of splintering is the belief on the part of those who found the new group that if they get their Armstrongism right, they will be the special group. It is a false Pied Piper. All that happens is that splintering causes the major surviving parts of the empire continue to shrink, bringing more disillusionment and angst.

    The jig is up for them, but realization just hasn’t sunk in. They anxiously await a miracle that just won’t happen, because organizations that teach lies such as British Israelism bring on curses or bad Karma. Not blessings.

    BB

  2. Priceless! Absolutely priceless!

    Your are so right on all counts but you forgot to mention Billinsley’s group, the ‘Geriatric Church of God’. It is also dying out and with the old mans death, will go the way all of them do. Split, splinter and divide by 3.

  3. Yes, James, I did not mention Alton “Don” Billingsley, who is 88 years old, nor his Church of God Faithful Flock because I was showing my level of contempt. In fact, I did not mention many of the 700+ splinters because of my level of contempt for them. I also have contempt for the ones who made the list. I guess it’s a lose-lose proposition for them. I have immense of contempt for them because they have been given an opportunity through us to actually accept the truth and they have refused to do so.

    I did note the interview of Billingsley at The Journal where Billingsley absolutely positively promotes the idea that all the protesting daughters of the Cult of Herbert Armstrong Mafia are going to get together again, proving his level of delusional fantasy. Of course, we also remember that he’s the one who responsible for killing off Richard David Armstrong because of his driving (on the wrong side of the road). He made sure Armstrong wouldn’t live by selecting for him to refuse medical treatment which would have saved him. The interview also shows what sort of person Dixon Cartwright is.

    His and his group is the ultimate in stagnation.

    Byker Bob, you are quite right that it’s all over but for the shouting, but they all persist in their useless belief that some how, some day, it’s all going to come together for them and it will all be good. And that’s after 80 years. How long will it take them to catch up to reality? They are a little slow.

    And they have absolutely positively no excuse because we’ve been at this for over a decade and they still haven’t gotten it.

  4. As I was mentioning over at Silenced, I believe that the developments surrounding Bill Cosby, and the public’s possibly belated reaction, are indicative of some sort of shift in the attitudes of Westen civilization towards sex crimes. This can’t help but to further tarnish whatever legacy ACOG members thought their “apostle” had built, and is bound to act as a repellent the moment prospectives learn that a particular group has its roots in HWA, and continues to revere him.

    So, watch for this to contribute to the stagnation. His defenders, unfortunately, are faced with the dubious task of proving a negative, in the face of formidable circumstantial evidence, and fairly credible testimony and court records. Actually, he’s pretty much had it at this point, as has his former empire. The setback is terminal. The system of beliefs would need an entirely fresh proponent, unrelated to Armstrongism, and willing to finally jetison British Israelism and German Assyrianism.

    BB

  5. Byker Bob, it isn’t just Bill Cosby. Law & Order SVU (Special Victims Unit) dramatizes the pursuit of justice for sex crimes. In this pursuit, the program periodically has a marathon during which they actively advertise their association with NoMore.org, a site dedicated to promote that together we can end domestic violence and sexual assault. There are many more taps into this pursuit and society is beginning to explore this and is beginning to become more aware with the view to taking action to stop not just sexual assault but domestic violence.

    One of the issues with all of the Cult of Herbert Armstrong Mafia is the blindness with which they treat the topic. I am appalled at the stories at Ronald Weinland False Prophet about domestic abuse that appear from time to time and how it is supported by the PKG and the Weinlands. I sat in court personally as the couple sought an injunction against a stalker in UCG, which also has cases of stalking and fondling. I personally know of circumstances of incest amongst WCG family members — where the church did absolutely nothing about it. That they would ignore the incest of Herbert Armstrong is not surprising. I believe it is because the collective conscience — if you could call it that — of the Armstrongists have been so compromised that it is no longer viable.

    I recently got ‘slapped upside the head’ by an aggressive Armstrongist leader calling me out on wrong information — information that he actually gave me himself in 2010. Now I have to deal with that and I will, but I need to do some background work before I do. I have already talked to the ministry of the Church of God Seventh Day and determined what they would do if this man were in their ministry: He would have his ministerial credentials revoked and afterward they would have an inquiry. United absolutely will never let this man be a minister. I talked with the Pastor of the New Life Church of God who was also the Pierce County Jail Chaplain for 16 years about this situation and he has determined that their church would not let him be a minister. In the next week or so I shall call Paul Woods in Caldwell, Idaho and discuss with him what the Seventh Day Church of God would do about this man. After that, I plan to post a response to the minister who committed adultery on his wife while she was dying of cancer. The Scriptural answer seems clear enough, but I want to exercise my option to additional counsel — the man should no longer be a minister, let alone run his own cult as a sect within the Cult of Herbert Armstrong Mafia. It is my hope that some will consider and reconsider their position, although I personally think this is a long shot given to what extent the Armstrongists will go to protect the lies they believe. At least they should have the option to know who they are supporting.

    Of course, it’s also a point of view concerning the Church of God Worldwide Association. They have a minister who is divorced and remarried and some are disturbed and uncomfortable with the situation. I can understand that: How can you trust marriage counsel the man may give? How does this fit with being “beyond reproach” and having “a good report of those who are without”? I already know what Paul Woods has said and he is firm that no one who is divorced and remarried should be a minister.

    So we have a spectrum, from that which is condemned by all societies for all millennia to that which was condemned for a time in the Worldwide Church of God. It never ceases to amaze me the accommodation that the churches of God make concerning those who ‘rule over them’. They had Garnet Ted Armstrong at one time. Well, actually, one of the sects still does and act as if he never died and they never saw the video of him from international television. They just sort of accept it and move on as if its no big deal. No big deal? Gee, what are they going to say in the final judgment? I liked his sermons? I doubt that would hold much water. Not that I necessarily believe that things are going to be that way in the end, but if the members believe it, what makes them so comfortable with their sociopathic collective conscience, pray do tell?

    Meanwhile they ignore society around them as if it has no bearing on their lives.

    Just what use do they think their little cult has, anyway?

  6. Yes, Douglas, Rush Limbaugh used to complain that the “feminazis” gave Bill Clinton a pass on how he exploited women in his personal life so long as he continued to support their agenda. I think the same principle applies to Amstrongites, and the sins of their ministry, so long as the ministers continue to support the classic doctrines. Let an adulterous minister repudiate British Israelism, however, and the sword of Damocles will rapidly descend on both counts.

    I think the weirdest Armstrongian lapse of ethics and morality I’ve ever encountered on forums and blogs concerned a woman who rescheduled an abortion for a week day because she thought it would be wrong to get it on the sabbath!

    BB

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