Professionalism

Professionals
Professionals

Professionalism is stunningly refreshing after experiencing the leadership of the Armstrongist churches.

Signs Of The Professional
Signs Of The Professional

Professionalism is rare in today’s world and is totally nonexistent in the Cult of Herbert Armstrong Mafia. Discern the marks of professionalism from the above sign: Competent, expert, talented, knowledgeable, skilled, reputable, reliable, credible, qualified… in short — professional.

Contrast that concept with the recent lawsuit brought against The Living Church of God, Roderick Meredith and Rod McNair for “The Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress” and “Defamation of Character” (Slander) by members of the beleaguered members of the Scarborough family. Details of the breaking news may be found at the Banned by HWA! Books, News and Observations About Armstrongism and the Churches of God:

Roderick Meredith has done this before with Leona McNair, wherein Meredith viciously attacked her:

After her divorce Leona led a quiet life in Pasadena. But underneath the reserved exterior was a woman deeply hurt by the “Ambassador experience.” Perhaps for that reason – and because she still had friends and relatives in the WCG – she continued to follow the antics of the Armstrong church, especially through the pages of Ambassador Report. The years of subservience to the Armstrong patriarchy and later the shunning by many friends and relatives in the WCG had taken their toll. But at least she was free of the Armstrong organization’s oppressions. Or so she thought, until one day in June 1979 when someone showed her the June 25,1979 issue of the Pastor’s Report, an official WCG publication. It contained an article by Roderick C. Meredith, then the director of the WCG ministry. In it, he castigated Leona as having been the cause of the McNair marriage breakup three years earlier. In an attempt at justifying Raymond McNair’s 1976 divorce and subsequent remarriage, Meredith described Leona as being a family deserter:

“A classic example of this [marital desertion] would be Mr. Raymond McNair’s situation. His wife refused to be a wife to him for over two years – to sleep with him, cook for him, or even civilly communicate with him in a decent manner. Rather, she had left God’s Church and was actually FIGHTING God’s Church and Mr. McNair, turning his children against him and literally cursing him to his face. Finally, upon advice of Mr. Armstrong and Ted Armstrong, he was finally forced to make legal the already existing FACT that she had deserted him and was no longer his wife in any way whatsoever.”

Unknown to Leona then, but later discovered, was the fact that six months earlier Meredith had also made similar statements in public. In early January of 1979 the state of California had brought a civil suit against the leaders of the WCG. HWA, distrusting the “liberal” wing of the church, put right-winger Meredith in charge of the WCG’s entire ministry. At an emergency ministerial conference held in Tucson, Arizona, it was announced that such “liberal” practices as voting in elections and keeping birthdays would again be taboo in the church. Then, on the last day of the conference, Meredith, for some reason, felt it necessary to spend five minutes attacking Leona before 1,000 WCG ministers and wives. In court, a tape recording would reveal how Meredith, in strident tones had exclaimed:

“…his [Raymond’s] first wife [Leona] had left the Church and was virtually cursing him, cursing Mr. Armstrong, with curse words, spitting literally in people’s faces and as hateful as a human being could be. And God does tell us and the whole Church of God decided long before this ever came up with Mr. McNair back in I Corinthians 7:15, ‘But if the unbelieving depart’ – and I tell you before God and Christ, she sure departed. I mean she departed so far that she is one of the major enemies of God’s Church in Southern California and remains so to this day and has been working actively and ferociously with the Ambassador Review. [She] tried to call me personally and get me to give them an interview here a year or so ago which I would not do. And everyone else that attends their meetings, attended Dr. Martin’s meetings, fighting us, and fighting us actively. And ‘if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage’ …and we’ve come to realize that what God has bound he can unbind. That’s part of our understanding on divorce and remarriage which the whole Church came to back in 1974. And so after about two solid years of living without a wife and a virtual hell on earth Mr. McNair was encouraged by Mr. Armstrong and by Garner Ted Armstrong, and this is not a matter of a secret because he told me that he’d done that with Raymond and he told others – Ted Armstrong, that is, and Mr. Armstrong. Both encouraged Raymond to put her away and divorce her since she was just simply wanting to keep him on the string and get a free ride while she cursed him and would not have anything to do with him. There was not even a way of saying hello in a friendly way, living in opposite ends of the house and an armed truce or an armed hell, and the way to do [it] was to put her away and do what I Corinthians 7:15 said on the advice of the two top men in God’s work. And so he had done that after about a year and a half, or whatever, and finally, also, several months later, married his present wife. And he is not married to anyone else but his present wife according to the understanding God’s Church came to back in 1974. Thank you very much.”

In the end, Leona prevailed: It took five years of exhausting pre-trial discovery, mountainous paperwork and endless legal maneuvering followed by a grueling seven-week trial. But in the end, it was all worth it for Leona McNair. On August 23, a Pasadena, California, jury awarded her $1,260,000 in her libel and slander suit against the Worldwide Church of God.

Further details of this can be read at The Ambassador Report #29, October 1984.

Over the decades we have watched as the leadership of the various Armstrongist Churches of God have bungled whatever they think their assignment in this world is through their lack of professionalism. David Pack predicted three leaders of the major churches of God and all the members would come to him. Ronald Weinland was convicted and went to prison for 3 years for felony tax evasion. United can’t seem to figure out what the gospel is. Gerald Flurry and his Philadelphia church of God has a no contact rule for just about anyone who isn’t specifically part of the PCG. The House of Yahweh is featured periodically on Dr. Phil. The list goes on and on. Stalkers have had a field day in the WCG and beyond. Pedophiles — some of which are elders — pursue children and the ACoGs do nothing.

Which way? Professional or Amateur
Which way? Professional or Amateur

Armstrongists have veered off to the left.

Just so we are clear here, the following are the 15 traits of a terrible leader from www.success.com:

  1. Lack of Transparency
  2. Not Listening
  3. Dismissing Ideas Other Than Your Own
  4. Valuing Experience Over Potential
  5. Ego
  6. Working 24/7
  7. Lack of Empathy
  8. Forgetting About Leadership Development
  9. Being Overly Conservative
  10. Permitting Negative Gossip
  11. Poor Communication of Strategy
  12. Close Mindedness
  13. Assigning Blame
  14. Inconsistency
  15. Being Too Slow to Adapt

Just remember, the professionals making the list know nothing about any of the Armstrongist leaders, which means that lack of professionalism is universal.

It may come as something as a shock that in this world, there are qualified, competent professionals who provide premier services and products for a reasonable price.

Nathan Weller is a consummate professional who works as a freelance blogger and content consultant for websites ranging in topic from Art, Graphic Design, Web Design, UX/UI, Freelancing, and (most prominently) WordPress. He has various projects, one of which is producing Divi Nation podcasts for Elegant Themes, a company which makes WordPress Themes, of which Divi is their premier product. Brian Gardner is the Founder of StudioPress and a partner at Rainmaker Digital.

Pay close attention to this recent video interview by these professionals  and think about the vast difference between these people’s approaches versus how the so-called leadership of the Armstrong cults approach those they say they serve:

This gives an in-depth look at professionalism. Refreshing, isn’t it? Take a look again at success.com where it gives the 7 personality traits of a great leader:

  1. Learn to be Strong but not Impolite
  2. Learn to be Kind but not Weak
  3. Learn to be Bold but not a Bully
  4. Learn to be Humble but not Timid
  5. Learn to be Proud but not Arrogant
  6. Learn to develop Humor without Folly
  7. Learn to Deal in Realities

Isn’t that the kind of Professionalism you want to encounter?

Ask An Expert
Ask An Expert

If you want answers, ask an expert: Professionalism still exists in this world. You can trust that a professional will render the best possible advice honestly. It is a refreshing (and jolting) change from what we’ve come to expect after the cult experience of decades.

Unfortunately, you won’t find it among the Cult of Herbert Armstrong Mafia.

Look elsewhere.

23 Replies to “Professionalism”

  1. The facade, the smoke and mirrors of the advertising industry, was a contaminant introduced into the religious world by Herbert Armstrong. For years, he was very successful financially, which is of course what the advertising field is all about. Unfortunately, many sordid activities were required to prop up and perpetuate the empire which was built upon the facade. Many can see through it all today, as humanity has become more sophisticated. Armstrongism is no longer a growing concern. However, as with scams in general, sooner or later scammers will become more sophisticated as they attempt to get ahead of the curve!

    BB

  2. Number 7 ‘Learn to Deal in Realities’ is a deal breaker for the ACOG’s. Reality is not something they care to deal in. When I look at lcg or ucg, any of the acog websites, they look like something a con put together. Tell a story to many and a sympathetic ear will be found that buys into the lie. A fool can be separated from his/her money for next to no cost.

    Just how can you trust them one might ask?
    By their fruits, and the fruit bearing of the armstrong trees are rotten to the core. Cut down the trees, destroy the poison fruit that they bear and plant something worthy of supporting life with abundance.

  3. Ah, the façade of professionalism. Something many a splinter leader aspires to master, while others bask in the illusion that they already have.
    Even when used in a compliment it rings of phoniness. I remember when our minister told us of a presentation given to a television network to promote the ‘GTA’ program, or the PR of the AICF, or whatever, he would tell us that officials and leaders would say we ‘appeared very professional’. Yes – ‘appeared’ professional.
    I can’t help thinking of the empty buildings in Wadsworth, or the edifices in Edmond as being an ‘appearance’ of professionalism – or perhaps a substitute.

  4. ‘I can’t help thinking of the empty buildings in Wadsworth, or the edifices in Edmond as being an ‘appearance’ of professionalism – or perhaps a substitute.’

    How about the pcg and rcg having warehouses to store books, pamphlets, etc, old technology ways to distribute the writings of their respective apostles. Is that professionalism? No. Incompetence. Even the tv shows that these idiots make are far from professional quality. To have professionalism one needs to know their audience to start with. They lack the understanding that when they a church lay claims to something, people will confirm or deny. It is the information age, not Herbie’s era.

    When the day comes, perhaps a decade or so, when these old sobs who run their little family cult of horrors die, a younger generation will rise up. Will they make the same mistakes their fathers did? Perhaps so if they are stupid, perhaps not if they realize that the nation/society has changed and some of their doctrines are like a bag of flaming dog shit burning on your porch.

    1. At times I had thought that new COGleaders believed, ‘If it worked for HWA, it will work for us’.

      Now I think the strategy is to aim for the luddites and low-techs – who follow instructions (looking up selected verses as “proof”) and not checking the internet. The answer is always send for another booklet or reprint. These are people who will write for booklets and send checks in the mail. Perhaps that is why LCG refused to ditch thousands of booklets when Bob told them he disagreed with something…

  5. Thomas Jefferson developed what is now known as the “Jefferson Bible”, basically by cutting and pasting and retaining the passages about Jesus that he thought were credible. For years, there have been former ACOG members who found a lot of the HWAcaca to be over the top, and therefore not credible. They distilled from this a basic package of doctrines that they say had been together for hundreds of years, and they got rid of the British Israelism and related prophecy mold, church eras, Petra as a place of safety, authority from the top down, the “true history of the true church”, anti-Catholic conspiracy theories, and some of the other assorted inanities cobbled together by our favorite snake oil salesman.

    I no longer believe in any of the doctrines preached by HWA. However, for lack of a better term, the Jefferson Bible version of HWA’s basic package could probably be preached or marketed successfully today, without all of the fear rhetoric, and might meet with greater success in our contemporary times than the old school stuff that UCG, Pack, Flurry, LCG, and all of the little wannabes are attempting to promote today. We used to favorably compare a non-cultic version of the WCG with the less cultic SDA’s, but SDA problems remain with “Mrs. Eggwhite” vegetarianism, and assorted other oddities. Even they could stand to “Jeffersonize” their basic program.

    Professionalism often requires tact and patience. Armstrongism took an almost Mohamed-like approach, using fear instead of conquest, as a short-cut to buildng his empire. The limitation with fear compliance is that in the absence of fulfillment, one must constantly escalate in order for it to remain effective.

    BB

    1. Jeffersonian Armstrongism – An interesting concept, which was possible to achieve. But instead of just trimming the fringes, the Two Joes gutted the WCG and produced a new strain of Authoritarian Mainstream.

  6. Bob wrote: Thomas Jefferson developed what is now known as the “Jefferson Bible”, basically by cutting and pasting and retaining the passages about Jesus that he thought were credible.

    Is this not what Ian Boyne is doing? He is trying to retain some of the discredited apostles doctrines. Doctrines like BI. The BI doctrine is like the myth of American exceptionalism. If America is exceptional, what are the other nations of the world? Losers?

    America has been running around for many decades calling itself the indispensable nation. That in a nut shell is absolute bullshit. Look what we did to Libya, Ukraine, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran who has gotten the short end of the stick since the overthrow and installation of the Shaw in the 50’s. Gee, I wonder why they hate us???

    Back to BI. The idea of a God FAVORING ONE PEOPLE OVER ANOTHER IS WHAT? The idea of God putting all his blessings on one or two nations while ignoring all the others is what? Favoritism? Yea, it seems to be. God takes these nations which are primarily white and bestows riches on them while at the same time, takes the people who’s skin ain’t so white and visits calamity upon them. And why does this God do this? Because Abraham believed (had blind faith) God and obeyed him. Utter bullshit. Ian doesn’t see the big picture, he sees Herbert W. Armstrong. A man after his own heart! He is a man who cannot remove the fiction he learned from Herbie and apply knowledge that is easily accessible here in the information age.

    Ian’s pdf entitled ‘Man’s Awesome Destiny’ is based on a book many call the word of God. I say prove it! You cannot prove it. It is sheer speculation and in my humble opinion, an attempt at gaining a following. The book about a Christ figure who is suppose to be a redeemer of men’s souls is a method of control using fear and emotion. I will not buy into it. It is a lie.

    If I was a person with a predisposition towards religion, I would go by my own ideas because men always have an agenda. Why else would they spend so much time to print up an elaborate scheme to gain hearts towards ideas that they themselves foment? Follow the money. Money is power. Power is influence. Influence is money and control.

        1. Sigh. Not a WordPress feature for comments at present. Sorry. Not sure when or if it will be.

          Everyone should note though that WordPress will be having a release change within a month or so which fixes 25 major long standing problems with comments.

          Those who watched the video should note the professionalism of those working to improve WordPress. One of the most impressive things is the entrepreneur trusting other professionals with development projects so he can actually have a better of quality of life: It is a mutual respect with the professionalism that makes it possible. Besides, the interviewer has such a cute cat. It should be noted that the Divi theme from elegant themes is currently being used for Ambassador.Report. Future development is planned to use the Dynamik Framework with Genesis and Beaver Builder using WordPress Multisite (for those technologicially inclined).

          Mutual respect among professionals — even those who are technically competitors, as was the case in the video interview — is utterly impossible with Armstrongism. For heaven’s sake, the men in the administration of United can’t even keep it together without having major splits.

  7. Even a mere woman was better at spin-control than HWA with the “Great Disappointment”. If you’re wrong turn it into a holy day and keep on going. Don’t hide it, embrace it! That didn’t fool me. But having come into armstrongism through GTA and also ignorant of 1975! etc., I like to think that HWA would have botched that technique and had a much more visible history of errors, then I could have started to see the big cracks. Oh well, live and learn.

    Hoss:”…thinking of the empty buildings in Wadsworth, or the edifices in Edmond as being an ‘appearance’ of professionalism…”

    Those are the only successful things that can follow through and be consistent in their behaviour. PROFESSIONALISM. That is what they are proud of, Appearances. I’ll bet that Pack and Flurry lust and prey for the sheeple to behave as beautifuly as their buildings and furniture. Because that is all that they are willing to show to the world. That is what makes them proud. But, where are the people? Think about that. The apostles for god have only succeeded to rob peter, to pay paul, to hire a capable mary(most likely not a member),to build some epic(so-called) buildings with nice furniture. Praise Gauwd! And we now have his address!! Let the TROOTH be told!!!

    drive-by-philosopher

  8. Hoss:”…thinking of the empty buildings in Wadsworth, or the edifices in Edmond as being an ‘appearance’ of professionalism…”

    Those are the only successful things that can follow through and be consistent in their behaviour. PROFESSIONALISM. That is what they are proud of, Appearances. I’ll bet that Pack and Flurry lust and prey for the sheeple to behave as beautifuly as their buildings and furniture. Because that is all that they are willing to show to the world. That is what makes them proud. But, where are the people? Think about that. The apostles for god have only succeeded to rob peter, to pay paul, to hire a capable mary(most likely not a member),to build some epic(so-called) buildings with nice furniture. Praise Gauwd! And we now have his address!! Let the TROOTH be told!!!

    drive-by-philosopher

    1. ‘Where are the people?’

      In Wadsworth, they were in Dave’s imagination. His “come together” prophecy was another flop based on BI, Church Eras and the Mythical True Church, etc, and his apostolic arrogance. Take them outside their niche doctrines, and COG leaders fail in simple big-picture biblical exegesis.

  9. So glad to see that my Jefferson Bible analogy made my point without my needing to name names!

    Armstrongism was so deeply flawed in so many ways that it really can’t be cleaned up. If you uninstall software in a PC, often, you really need to go to great lengths to be thorough, or corrupted information stored in files outside of the software can repopulate the new version, and reintroduce problems. Even thirty years of atheism or agnosticism didn’t completely purge me of the contaminants that can potentially disrupt the practice of classic Christianity. So, I know from deep within my psyche that even “diet” Armstrongism is a complete impossibility. Too many ghosts, too many lies, and horrible memories. It was a false and toxic system, and one must kick it entirely! There was no professional way of presenting it.

    BB

    1. I was reluctant to let go of some of that dogma myself. I was always willing to hold out for that rare individual who saw HWA for what he was from the very beginning. People from SDA are the only ones I could find. I am sure though that ignoring and rejecting HWA is one of the reasons why they are still around. Some dreams die hard and to try to do Armstrongism without Armstrong is kind of like running a unicorn farm.

      DBP

      (To the blog admin, you can remove my double post. I didn’t post my first comment with my alias and the delay caused me to think I didn’t post it yet.)

  10. I believe Ian, for his own reasons, may have wanted to “reach” some or all of us. I believe him to be sincere, and that as a professional communicator, he may have felt that he could inspire us to re-examine our positions.
    Let’s face it, most of the people from the Armstrong movement who made their voices known in the past have done so in a taunting fashion, calling us bitter, and invoking the tribulation and Lake of Fire. They laud HWA, rather than acknowledging (as Ian freely did) that in many ways HWA was terminally flawed.

    While I believe that Armstrongism cannot be cleaned up or reformed, a part of me hopes that we did not offend Ian. He did, after all, take an entirely different approach. I believe that in his own way, he is attempting to make things better. It’s just that in the case of Armstrongism, much more radical surgery is required.

    BB

  11. Quote from the Jamaican CGI Booklet, “Evolution: Fact or Falacy”:

    “Going further, common usage of the word “evolution” conveys the idea that living things in our
    world have come into being through a long unguided naturalistic process starting from a primeval
    mass of subatomic particles and radiation over a period of approximately 1520 billion years (give
    or take a few billion depending upon your authority).”

    Ahem.

    Give or take 13.n something Billion Years. Where they got the 1500 billion years off is anybody’s guess, but it certainly doesn’t inspire confidence. If you get the simple things wrong, who’s going to trust that you get the tougher stuff right.

    Actually, the latest cosmological theory (for which the math works much better than Big Bang and is now under peer review) is that the universe has always existed. If this were really the case, then a Creator and Creation is rather irrelevant. But the next sentence is rather in your face:

    “If evolution be true, the burden of proof is on its proponents, not creationists. In truth, the theory of evolution is an attempt to explain the creation without a Creator.”

    Two things: If the universe has existed forever (one of the things that is simplest and makes the most sense), there is no “creation”. Therefore, the burden of proof is on the creationists.

    My personal experience is that Armstrongists just make things up. The Armstrongist in question claimed to have an extensive library, whereupon I asked if he had my book and he answered that he didn’t, but did offer a completely wrong answer what the book is about. The positioning of someone desperate for validation with that sort of process and ethic (if you don’t really know something, make something up and hope you can pull off the deception) is rather insulting.

    As for the booklet in question — at best, it is a terribly written text. It isn’t organized and by the time you get finished with it, you don’t really realize that he’s talking about humans becoming God(s). Unfortunately, the pattern of it all is taken directly from Herbert Armstrong who was wrong at so many levels, saying that we will “be God as God is God” which is utter tripe. If God exists, He’s going to maintain His position in the Multiverse and not give a bunch of godletts all His Power. The most Scripture promises is that we are to be sons of God, which is absolutely not the same thing as being God, no matter how much spin is put on it. Ignored is Revelation which says that God will be our God and we will be His people. Of course, perhaps it’s just as well that they ignore Revelation which was put in the Bible by the Catholics who wrote it on a whim which was not altogether appreciated by others on the committee to assemble the Scriptures — and you know what people say about committees: It’s not complimentary.

    The good news is that Herbert Armstrong would more likely than not consider this group to be a bunch of heretics and would have disfellowshipped them outright.

    And frankly, if they are not willing to do the research, follow the truth and actually listen, instead of pushing their silly ideas on people, there’s not much reason to pay them much heed.

    What we would prefer is that such people would give us a definitive exposition of what God is really like. Does He have a favorite color? Does He like Italian Food? What’s His favorite wine? What kind of pets does He prefer around His Throne? (Revelation supposedly gives us clues, but who could ever trust it?) What is His take on the 2016 elections? Is Tesla the way to go with transportation? Is cold fusion possible and will He help us use it, if it is? Will all of Israel be saved when Revelation shows that Dan and Ephraim are missing? You know… that sort of thing. We’d like and exposition that is reasonable and believable. So far, there’s lots of opinions, but nothing that looks anything like facts, just empty opinions dressed up to look like facts.

    1. There is also an extreme and inexplicable disparity between the writing style Ian manifests in his booklets, and the writing style we see in his blog contributions. I’ve considered several possible causes for this, but hesitate to publically speculate.

      BB

  12. ‘So far, there’s lots of opinions, but nothing that looks anything like facts, just empty opinions dressed up to look like facts.’

    These acog type look at the scriptures like its an onion. On the surface they see God, but doing the work and peeling the layers off to get some facts, well that takes some doing and with their educational level, impossible. Now if they want to speculate about some pet theory just for shits and giggles, well that is fine and dandy and everyone can participate.

    After all, that would be fun, not an exercise in dogmatic trite.

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