Memorial Day 2016

President Barack Obama repeated the now infamous words of George W. Bush, declaring: “We are at war…” Yes, and we have been, ever since 1776.
President Barack Obama repeated the now infamous words of George W. Bush, declaring: “We are at war…” Yes, and we have been, ever since 1776.

The U.S. was born out of ethnic cleansing, a violent process that had started long before 1776 and would not be complete until 1900.  In other words, more than half of America’s existence (about 53%) has been marked by the active process of ethnic cleansing of the indigenous population, which was ultimately all but destroyed.

Below, Danios (from a blog dated December 20, 2011) has reproduced a year-by-year timeline of America’s wars, which reveals something quite interesting: since the United States was founded in 1776, she has been at war during 214 out of her 235 calendar years of existence.  In other words, there were only 21 calendar years in which the U.S. did not wage any wars.

To put this in perspective:

* Pick any year since 1776 and there is about a 91% chance that America was involved in some war during that calendar year.

* No U.S. president truly qualifies as a peacetime president.  Instead, all U.S. presidents can technically be considered “war presidents.”

* The U.S. has never gone a decade without war.

* The only time the U.S. went five years without war (1935-40) was during the isolationist period of the Great Depression.

Year-by-year Timeline of America’s Major Wars (1776-2011)

1776 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamagua Wars, Second Cherokee War, Pennamite-Yankee War

1777 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Second Cherokee War, Pennamite-Yankee War

1778 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War

1779 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War

1780 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War

1781 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War

1782 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War

1783 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War

1784 – Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War, Oconee War

1785 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1786 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1787 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1788 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1789 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1790 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1791 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1792 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1793 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1794 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1795 – Northwest Indian War

1796 – No major war

1797 – No major war

1798 – Quasi-War

1799 – Quasi-War

1800 – Quasi-War

1801 – First Barbary War

1802 – First Barbary War

1803 – First Barbary War

1804 – First Barbary War

1805 – First Barbary War

1806 – Sabine Expedition

1807 – No major war

1808 – No major war

1809 – No major war

1810 – U.S. occupies Spanish-held West Florida

1811 – Tecumseh’s War

1812 – War of 1812, Tecumseh’s War, Seminole Wars, U.S. occupies Spanish-held Amelia Island and other parts of East Florida

1813 – War of 1812, Tecumseh’s War, Peoria War, Creek War, U.S. expands its territory in West Florida

1814 – War of 1812, Creek War, U.S. expands its territory in Florida, Anti-piracy war

1815 – War of 1812, Second Barbary War, Anti-piracy war

1816 – First Seminole War, Anti-piracy war

1817 – First Seminole War, Anti-piracy war

1818 – First Seminole War, Anti-piracy war

1819 – Yellowstone Expedition, Anti-piracy war

1820 – Yellowstone Expedition, Anti-piracy war

1821 – Anti-piracy war (see note above)

1822 – Anti-piracy war (see note above)

1823 – Anti-piracy war, Arikara War

1824 – Anti-piracy war

1825 – Yellowstone Expedition, Anti-piracy war

1826 – No major war

1827 – Winnebago War

1828 – No major war

1829 – No major war

1830 – No major war 

1831 – Sac and Fox Indian War

1832 – Black Hawk War

1833 – Cherokee Indian War

1834 – Cherokee Indian War, Pawnee Indian Territory Campaign

1835 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars, Second Creek War

1836 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars, Second Creek War, Missouri-Iowa Border War

1837 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars, Second Creek War, Osage Indian War, Buckshot War

1838 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars, Buckshot War, Heatherly Indian War

1839 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars

1840 – Seminole Wars, U.S. naval forces invade Fiji Islands

1841 – Seminole Wars, U.S. naval forces invade McKean Island, Gilbert Islands, and Samoa

1842 – Seminole Wars

1843 – U.S. forces clash with Chinese, U.S. troops invade African coast

1844 – Texas-Indian Wars

1845 – Texas-Indian Wars

1846 – Mexican-American War, Texas-Indian Wars

1847 – Mexican-American War, Texas-Indian Wars

1848 – Mexican-American War, Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War

1849 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians

1850 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Yuma War, California Indian Wars, Pitt River Expedition

1851 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, Yuma War, Utah Indian Wars, California Indian Wars

1852 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Yuma War, Utah Indian Wars, California Indian Wars

1853 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Yuma War, Utah Indian Wars, Walker War, California Indian Wars

1854 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians

1855 – Seminole Wars, Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Yakima War, Winnas Expedition, Klickitat War, Puget Sound War, Rogue River Wars, U.S. forces invade Fiji Islands and Uruguay

1856 – Seminole Wars, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, California Indian Wars, Puget Sound War, Rogue River Wars, Tintic War

1857 – Seminole Wars, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, California Indian Wars, Utah War, Conflict in Nicaragua

1858 – Seminole Wars, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Mohave War, California Indian Wars, Spokane-Coeur d’Alene-Paloos War, Utah War, U.S. forces invade Fiji Islands and Uruguay

1859 Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, California Indian Wars, Pecos Expedition, Antelope Hills Expedition, Bear River Expedition, John Brown’s raid, U.S. forces launch attack against Paraguay, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1860 – Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Paiute War, Kiowa-Comanche War

1861 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Cheyenne Campaign

1862 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Cheyenne Campaign, Dakota War of 1862,

1863 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Cheyenne Campaign, Colorado War, Goshute War

1864 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Cheyenne Campaign, Colorado War, Snake War

1865 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Colorado War, Snake War, Utah’s Black Hawk War

1866 – Texas-Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Snake War, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Red Cloud’s War, Franklin County War, U.S. invades Mexico, Conflict with China

1867 – Texas-Indian Wars, Long Walk of the Navajo, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Snake War, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Red Cloud’s War, Comanche Wars, Franklin County War, U.S. troops occupy Nicaragua and attack Taiwan

1868 – Texas-Indian Wars, Long Walk of the Navajo, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Snake War, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Red Cloud’s War, Comanche Wars, Battle of Washita River, Franklin County War

1869 – Texas-Indian Wars, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Comanche Wars, Franklin County War

1870 – Texas-Indian Wars, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Comanche Wars, Franklin County War

1871 – Texas-Indian Wars, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Comanche Wars, Franklin County War, Kingsley Cave Massacre, U.S. forces invade Korea

1872 – Texas-Indian Wars, Apache Wars, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Comanche Wars, Modoc War, Franklin County War

1873 – Texas-Indian Wars, Comanche Wars, Modoc War, Apache Wars, Cypress Hills Massacre, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1874 – Texas-Indian Wars, Comanche Wars, Red River War, Mason County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1875 – Conflict in Mexico, Texas-Indian Wars, Comanche Wars, Eastern Nevada, Mason County War, Colfax County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1876 – Texas-Indian Wars, Black Hills War, Mason County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1877 – Texas-Indian Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Black Hills War, Nez Perce War, Mason County War, Lincoln County War, San Elizario Salt War, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1878 – Paiute Indian conflict, Bannock War, Cheyenne War, Lincoln County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1879 – Cheyenne War, Sheepeater Indian War, White River War, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1880 – U.S. forces invade Mexico

1881 – U.S. forces invade Mexico

1882 – U.S. forces invade Mexico

1883 – U.S. forces invade Mexico

1884 – U.S. forces invade Mexico

1885 – Apache Wars, Eastern Nevada Expedition, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1886 – Apache Wars, Pleasant Valley War, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1887 – U.S. forces invade Mexico

1888 – U.S. show of force against Haiti, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1889 – U.S. forces invade Mexico

1890 – Sioux Indian War, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Ghost Dance War, Wounded Knee, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1891 – Sioux Indian War, Ghost Dance War, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1892 – Johnson County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1893 – U.S. forces invade Mexico and Hawaii

1894 – U.S. forces invade Mexico

1895 – U.S. forces invade Mexico, Bannock Indian Disturbances

1896 – U.S. forces invade Mexico

1897 – No major war

1898 – Spanish-American War, Battle of Leech Lake, Chippewa Indian Disturbances

1899 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1900 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1901 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1902 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1903 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1904 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1905 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1906 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1907 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1908 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1909 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1910 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1911 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1912 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1913 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars, New Mexico Navajo War

1914 – Banana Wars, U.S. invades Mexico

1915 – Banana Wars, U.S. invades Mexico, Colorado Paiute War

1916 – Banana Wars, U.S. invades Mexico

1917 – Banana Wars, World War I, U.S. invades Mexico

1918 – Banana Wars, World War I, U.S invades Mexico

1919 – Banana Wars, U.S. invades Mexico

1920 – Banana Wars

1921 – Banana Wars

1922 – Banana Wars

1923 – Banana Wars, Posey War

1924 – Banana Wars

1925 – Banana Wars

1926 – Banana Wars

1927 – Banana Wars

1928 – Banana Wars

1930 – Banana Wars

1931 – Banana Wars

1932 – Banana Wars

1933 – Banana Wars

1934 – Banana Wars

1935 – No major war

1936 – No major war

1937 – No major war

1938 – No major war

1939 – No major war

1940 – No major war

1941 – World War II

1942 – World War II

1943 – Wold War II

1944 – World War II

1945 – World War II

1946 – Cold War (U.S. occupies the Philippines and South Korea)

1947 – Cold War (U.S. occupies South Korea, U.S. forces land in Greece to fight Communists)

1948 – Cold War (U.S. forces aid Chinese Nationalist Party against Communists)

1949 – Cold War (U.S. forces aid Chinese Nationalist Party against Communists)

1950 – Korean War, Jayuga Uprising

1951 – Korean War

1952 – Korean War

1953 – Korean War

1954 – Covert War in Guatemala

1955 – Vietnam War

1956 – Vietnam War

1957 – Vietnam War

1958 – Vietnam War

1959 – Vietnam War, Conflict in Haiti

1960 – Vietam War

1961 – Vietnam War

1962 – Vietnam War, Cold War (Cuban Missile Crisis; U.S. marines fight Communists in Thailand)

1963 – Vietnam War

1964 – Vietnam War

1965 – Vietnam War, U.S. occupation of Dominican Republic

1966 – Vietnam War, U.S. occupation of Dominican Republic

1967 – Vietnam War

1968 – Vietnam War

1969 – Vietnam War

1970 – Vietnam War

1971 – Vietnam War

1972 – Vietnam War

1973 – Vietnam War, U.S. aids Israel in Yom Kippur War

1974 – Vietnam War

1975 – Vietnam War

1976 – No major war

1977 – No major war

1978 – No major war

1979 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan)

1980 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan)

1981 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua), First Gulf of Sidra Incident

1982 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua), Conflict in Lebanon

1983 – Cold War (Invasion of Grenada, CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua), Conflict in Lebanon

1984 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua), Conflict in Persian Gulf

1985 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua)

1986 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua)

1987 – Conflict in Persian Gulf

1988 – Conflict in Persian Gulf, U.S. occupation of Panama

1989 – Second Gulf of Sidra Incident, U.S. occupation of Panama, Conflict in Philippines

1990 – First Gulf War, U.S. occupation of Panama

1991 – First Gulf War

1992 – Conflict in Iraq

1993 – Conflict in Iraq

1994 – Conflict in Iraq, U.S. invades Haiti

1995 – Conflict in Iraq, U.S. invades Haiti, NATO bombing of Bosnia and Herzegovina

1996 – Conflict in Iraq

1997 – No major war

1998 – Bombing of Iraq, Missile strikes against Afghanistan and Sudan

1999 – Kosovo War

2000 – No major war

2001 – War on Terror in Afghanistan

2002 – War on Terror in Afghanistan and Yemen

2003 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, and Iraq

2004 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen

2005 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen

2006 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen

2007 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen

2008 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen

2009 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen

2010 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen

2011 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen; Conflict in Libya (Libyan Civil War)

It should be noted that American plans to dominate the Middle East date back to at least the end of World War II, when it was decided that the region was of critical strategic value. Now that the U.S. has followed through on this plan, do you think “radical Islam” is really “an existential threat” just as American Indians were “fierce savages” waging “an exterminating war” against the “peaceful inhabitants” of the United States; or how Mexicans were “violent” and “terrorized” people; or how Central Americans were “dangerous bandits”? The rampant Islamophobia that abounds today is part of a long tradition of vilifying, Other-izing, and dehumanizing the indigenous populations of lands that need to controlled.

Happy Memorial day…

Loyalty Based on Fear

Blast from the Past…


Loyalty Based on Fear
Loyalty Based on Fear

By John O.

It’s usually pretty windy on the Valley Isle of Maui in Hawaii. It’s especially noticeable when it’s regularly blowing across the commercially, sub-divided and sea-level land mass that’s comfortably sagged low in between the two mountain areas. Sugar cane is the main product grown there, and the yellow-green stalks are usually bent to a flattened top by the blustery, humid winds. The lively airport at Kahului has a reputation – besides Aloha – of having bouncy runways to land on, and since a buddy of mine and I fought a choppy landing there down Runway 2, in a Cessna 150 many years ago, we can confirm the constantly blustery and often touted gusts of ten to thirty knots. You flair for landing, start to settle, get a gust and fly again. And people wonder why aircraft often bounce their landings on Maui. Wonder no more.

It was on such a gusty day and in a state park near the Kahului airport that I spoke to a deep-rooted Worldwide Church of Goder may years ago. He and his wife were seemingly nice enough, outwardly, but they had an inflexible loyalty to Herbert W. Armstrong, and supported the Worldwide Church of God madness that was coming to one of its climaxes at the time. It was near the end of my Worldwide Church of God stay and it was obvious that I wasn’t getting through. It had finally occurred to me what the whole she-bang at Pasadena was doing. This was all a business, and every current member was getting screwed. I tried to explain. The two of us sat on a log in the park, and he confidently spoke to me with his observation.

“You know,” he said, “my wife and I have thought it all out, and we’re convinced that what God really wants from us in this end time, is LOYALTY.” When I left for Oahu, I was depressed. He didn’t get the obvious. And I felt I’d failed him . . . and her.

Loyalty was a big thing in those times, and still is – from what I hear, and a person is judged by the cult as to how “loyal” they are. The nazi approach is “in” and to question anything is “disloyal” and anathema. Some people may think I exaggerated when I say that members would (like the Jim Jones cult) have gladly drank poison in 1979 if Herbert W. Armstrong had said asked it. This is NO exaggeration, as I heard people say it. Cult madness goes this far . . . and beyond.

This is the extent to which blind loyalty can take a person . . . to their death. And the unfortunate thing is that people who are still in cults cannot see that their brains are continually being so fried that they lose all objectivity and perspective. We all know about the Jim Jones case, but David Koresh was similar. From what has emerged later, we know that Koresh ran a cult that was willing to stick together to the end. They actually thought (from ex-members) that this was the end, and whatever happened was God’s will.

Personally, I feel that it’s no one’s business as to what a person thinks or believes. Nor do I give a hoot what weapons they may have had on the premises (2nd Amendment rights), as long as it was all legal. While it now seems evident that the FBI and ATF possibly started the fire that killed those dozens, the whole situation would never have evolved if it hadn’t been for blind loyalty on the part of the followers. This aberrant behaviour (and snitchers) is what attracted the authorities. While it’s no one’s business what the cult LEGALLY did within the confines of their own boundaries, such loyalty should never have reached such a hysterical level. Koresh was wrong, but did anyone learn from it? There is a spirit of dumb, blind, and unswerving loyalty that magnetizes certain of us, sucks us in, and if we don’t escape it in time, it could undoubtedly kill us. History is our best teacher.

Herbert has multiplied. Cultic madness, it seems, appears to flow like sewerage. It’s amazing when so many upper “rank” hirelings KNEW of the falsehoods of Worldwide Church of God that they now continue to teach this rubbish under their own cult banners. And the loyalty issue is no different. It’s all a part of the same deceptive package. If any of these ego-driven characters can really convince a congregation that they are truly God’s servants, then who knows what the outcome will be? What happens if there’s an investigation into their own predictably profitable corporations? Can the Guyana syndrome be far behind? NO, many will scream, that could NEVER happen. But who could have predicted the 1979 insanity?

A cultmaster will always keep his congregation following on an “alert” basis. The brethren are always looking for the enemy “out there,” and cannot see that the real enemy is actually standing right in the pulpit. This is because they have been duped into a false idea of “fear” loyalty. They surely all feel they’re right, but they haven’t really proved all things – much like we didn’t – and as such, they’ll surrender their thinking over to the leadership to take them into the fires of hell, if need be . . . right to a brightly colored and sugar flavored vat of cyanide.

It may be easy to scoff at the possibility of a “loyalty call to the death,” but to ignore the lessons of history would be unwise, and to disregard the capabilities of malevolent cults is simply irresponsible. Hindsight is great. We’re all philosophers when it comes to the past. But no one predicted Jonestown. No one predicted Waco. No one predicted Pasadena 1979. We came so close. And which town is next?

Let’s not kid ourselves, while there are cults, there’s a danger to people in them. While people listen to ANYONE as “God’s servant,” then there’s a danger of mental and spiritual abandonment to some man whose ideas will always fizzle. Men die, and that includes this one, and our ideas will ALWAYS be replaced. Please, watch always for the cultic signs. There are many agendas and different approaches, however, that we can look at to guide all of us. And one big one is LOYALTY.

Loyalty, of itself, is NOT bad. We all have loyalty to our families, friends, neighbors, and naturally, our country. This loyalty is good, and for the most part, healthy. But this is a loyalty based on LOVE. We love our families, friends, country, etc. And we hold to those ideals because we believe in the love of one another, and the love of our country and the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and Bill of Rights, and the forever spirit of a great people. But all this is a loyalty spawned from love. We hold and treasure these things. This is loyalty because we love these things.

But there is another type of loyalty, and that is a loyalty based on fear and coercion. This is where Communism gathered so much momentum over the years. This is where the teachings of Mao’s madness once earned domination. Loyalty in China didn’t happen because of love. Loyalty only happened, because if you weren’t loyal, then you’d earn 2ozs of brass-coated lead propelled through the back of your head at over 2k fps. And so, everyone sang the ego-maniac Mao’s praises. And they all read his silly little Red Book which, in the spirit of Herbert W. Armstrong, he plagiarized from Confucius, Lao Tsu, and other earlier Chinese philosophers.

And so it was, in the 1930’s and early 1940’s in Germany and it’s dominated territory. So many people knew they were dealing with a bunch of lunatics in the Reichstag. But, when the S.S. passed by, all smiled, clicked heels, and chanted “Heil Hitler.” Fear dominated over so many of those people of Europe, but the average person had no recourse. They either conformed or they were shot.

However, if we are to chart the rise of Hitler or Mao in their early years, we can see that neither had enough power, at that initial stage, to ensure unswerving loyalty to their causes. In their earlier times, anyone who disagreed with them was simply kicked out of the organization, ridiculed, ostracized, and ostensibly . . . marked. Sound familiar? That was the beginning. But, it was allowed to grow.

Cancer starts from a single cell. If unobserved, it can take over a whole body. That’s why doctors recommend regular checkups. And spiritual cancer starts also with a single premise. One cancerous premise is – loyalty based on fear. If undetected, it can take over the whole congregation, organization, and who knows what will happen from there? Remember Jim Jones? Remember David Koresh? Remember 1979?

Alarmist? Maybe. But let me direct the reader to the 1930 Jewish attitude in Berlin, Warsaw, and Vienna. All this led to Dachau, Treblinka, Belsen, Auschwitz, et al. No one took any notice there either. No problems, guys. It could never happen, people said, but it did. And that SAME, IDENTICAL spirit of human domination and cruelty washes through the cults of Worldwide Church of God+ groups to this day. While this is NOT an accusation, it IS a call to watch the progress of your favorite cult.

Where will it all go? Who can tell? If many of these Christian cults (and we’re loaded with them – more politically called “Organized Christianity”) ever get together, then this will form a solid barrier of problems for any ensconced member. Fear can control a lot of people. The State of California learned this in 1979. Herbert W. Armstrong always bellowed that Worldwide Church of God was the “one and only” true church, but when push came to shove, like always, apostle Herbert took the coward’s way out. He invoked the right of ALL religions to do their own thing, and yelled (from a great Tucsonic distance) that “we” are all being persecuted. And suddenly, a remarkable thing happened . . . and – like the theme of CAMELOT – it came for only “one brief, shining moment.” Worldwide Church of God was an integral part of everything it hated. It had suddenly now become as Protestant as everyone else. And all the Worldwide Church of God loyalists gullibly nodded in approval.

We’ve seen the brainwashing and what has happened. So, what COULD happen?

The loyalty syndrome in the hireling ministry is usually based on one thing. And that’s security. There’s always a fear of losing that mammon, and I’ve spoken to many who’ve made that decision. Since I had a previous career, the transition was easier than most, but for those who did it without question with nothing to fall back upon, then my hat is off to them. Many, I’ve since heard, have fallen on hard times, but many have prospered. I don’t know why many have it hard and others don’t, but I do know the hirelings that stayed with their cults, invariably do so out of “loyalty” to their mammon – a pittance of what’s absorbed totally by the cult. Sure, these hirelings always try to justify their behaviour, but they’re fooling no one. Money talks.

Loyalty should only be based on love, and can never be honestly based on anything else. If anyone’s loyalty is driven by demand, fear, greed, or guilt, then please – from a former cult member and hireling – please question EVERYTHING.

Should You Be ASHAMED?

Blast from the past…


hwa-copy

by John B

How many times have you been to a church function — formal dinner, potluck, or just a picnic — and heard a minister intone a prayer that included the following words: “Thank you, Father, for this food, and help us appreciate the fact that many in the world don’t get enough to eat”?

How did you feel when you heard that? How well did you enjoy your meal? How big a shadow was cast over your pleasure in the event? Did you feel ashamed of having enough to eat?

When you were a child, did your parents ever admonish you for doing something and tell you “you should be ashamed of yourself!”, or “don’t you have any shame!“? Did either of your parents ever tell you “I’m ashamed of you!”?

If it didn’t happen to you, have you ever seen it happen to someone else?

 

The Unholy “Trinity”

A great deal has been said, on this site and elsewhere, about the role of guilt and fear in religion. Shame also fits into that category. Guilt triggers fear, but shame triggers guilt. If there truly is a “trinity”, it is those three: shame, guilt, and fear. They are the cornerstone of a “successful” religious experience — without them, many people would never be religious at all.

Not all guilt comes from shame; Herbert Armstrong and his ministers were very good at creating guilt out of the failure to obey biblical laws such as the sabbath, tithing, clean and unclean meats. Once they were able to convince you those things were actually required, you felt guilty if you disobeyed them.

But more often than not, shame came from the local ministry. Those who merely read The Plain Truth or listened to the broadcast were never subjected to the level of degradation reserved for church members. At the local level, ministers delved into your personal life. They talked about sex (a LOT!), and by the time they were done you were ashamed of even having sexual organs, never mind what you did with them. You were shamed for casting a lustful eye at a skimpily clad model, for occasionally relieving yourself when the wife wasn’t in the mood (or if you were single), and (for couples) of not achieving orgasm at the same instant (a virtual impossibility with most people).

You were paying three tithes and giving “generous offerings” of your remaining dwindling funds, yet you were made to feel ashamed for not giving more. You were made to feel ashamed for having enough to eat when people in third-world countries were starving (even if you were living on macaroni and cheese). You were shamed for eating white bread and white sugar. You were shamed for not wanting to sacrifice your only day off (Sunday) to raise funds for the local congregation, or paint some elderly person’s house.

And, assuming you were not guilty of any of the above transgressions, you were made ashamed of not spending more time with your family.

In God’s True Church, you simply could never win. More than that, you couldn’t break even.

 

It Starts With Children

If it was bad for adults, imagine what it was like for the kids. Little children, completely innocent, were portrayed as being filled with “angry, hateful human nature” (thank you, Garner Ted!). They were evil from birth, and the evil had to be beaten out of them with the “rod of correction” — usually a flat board with holes drilled into it that, if used in Abu Graib, would be grounds for court-martial. The ministry spoke of “paddling”, which, translated, meant “to within an inch of your life”. (How many times have you seen parents, during services, take their small children out and hammer them until the child could no longer cry? Perhaps you’ve done it yourself.)

Children are innocent by nature. They are born with natural instincts that were placed there by whatever force of nature — be it god or evolution, created them — just like small animals of all species. Those instincts are placed there to ensure their survival, or at least give them a fighting chance. In the human species (or whatever you choose to call it), we have rules that need to be obeyed for the greater good of all, and those must be taught to a growing child. Violence toward others needs to be corrected, but simply beating a child because of inherent “human nature” should, on the face of it, be obviously wrong. Yet that is what the Worldwide Church of God taught when I was growing up.

I fear many of the splinter groups are teaching the same thing today.

 

The Effects of Shame

I’m not a psychologist. I’m not trained in any of the social sciences. But I do have eyes, and I do have experience. I spent several years in Alcoholics Anonymous, fighting my own addiction. I learned more of value there in three years than I learned in the WCG in 40 years. One of the things I learned, which I could relate to my own behavior, is that shame is the source of many of society’s ills. Shame has a curious effect on people.

By nature, we want to feel good about ourselves. When we don’t feel good about ourselves, we instinctively (and usually unconsciously) do things to try to make ourselves feel better. Some people drink, some people smoke, some people overeat; some are obsessed with sex. Some people take drugs, others steal, and many resort to violence. In general, much of this behavior is subconsciously aimed at making us feel better. A person who feels really bad about himself may bully others to make himself feel better (this may account for the attitude of much of the ministry). In a church setting, some will be arrogant and self-righteous — because it makes them feel better.

The root cause of much of this behavior is simply shame, and it usually stems from childhood. Parents who scream at their children, in an ugly voice, “Shame on you!” have no idea how violently those words scour a tender psyche. The parent is looking for a certain behavior, and once the child conforms, he assumes he has control of the situation. But the damage! That child is now wounded, and that wound will never heal (unless the parent realizes his error and makes amends, or perhaps decades later in a counseling session); that wound will fester and abscess, and eventually result in some kind of destructive action.

It may be self-destructive, or it may turn outward. Sometimes it results in robbery, assault, rape, or even murder.

 

Sexual Shame

There are many sources of shame, but sex seems to lead the charge. It begins in the bible — a woman who has her period is “unclean”. A man who “touches” a menstruating woman has committed an abomination. A woman who commits adultery gets stoned (any idea what a “cruel and unusual punishment” that is?), but a man who rapes a virgin gets a pass if he’s willing to marry her afterward, or pay a “bride price” (but if the virgin didn’t scream loud enough, she gets stoned!). To put it in street terms: in the bible, women take it in the shorts!

It was even worse for homosexuals.

It isn’t only women. Using the bible (presumably) as their authority, modern-day ministers add their own twist to the tale. Masturbation is worse than murder. Reading Playboy, telling off-color jokes, watching MTV — even dancing — is an “abomination” toward god. This is especially prevalent in fundamentalist churches, and few are more fundamental than the Armstrong cults.

George Carlin, in one of his HBO specials, made a statement to the effect that (paraphrased) “if we ever abolish religion, in a generation or two 90% of all sex crimes will disappear”; George wasn’t kidding, and I think he’s right. How many rapists, when caught, have confided to court-appointed psychiatrists that they suffered traumatic childhoods? How many had religious backgrounds? How many were themselves abused, often by “someone at church”? In many cases, the worse they were abused, the more violent were their crimes.

Jim Bakker, of PTL fame, told Barbara Walters that he was sexually abused as a child by “a member of our church”. Jimmy Swaggert, who roundly condemned Bakker for simply having sex with a woman other than his wife, was later caught (twice) consorting with prostitutes. Garner Ted Armstrong, already infamous as a philanderer, faced sexual assault charges for trying to force himself on a masseuse. And leaders of several COG splinters have been cited or arrested on a number of morals charges, from the homosexual rape of a minor to passing out drunk in a car at 2 am on a college campus while indecently exposed.

And, of course, closest to home, Herbert Armstrong himself raped his own daughter for ten long years!

I have no idea what kind of shame most of these men felt that caused them to perform as they did. But I’d bet your next paycheck it had religious roots. These men, as outrageous as their acts may seem, were simply trying to feel better about themselves. To accomplish it, they did unacceptable things, but that was almost certainly the reason they did it.

 

What’s the Solution?

So what’s the point of all this? What’s done is done — if we live with shame, what can we do about it?

Again, I’m not an expert. But in my view, we need to understand a few things. Many of us need to travel, in our minds, back to our earliest memories, and recognize a few basic facts. Not only recognize them, but accept them, believe them. For example:

· When you were born, you were an innocent creature. You were not evil. You were not bad. You were innocent. You had nothing to be ashamed of.

· As you grew older, you did things that your parents, your teachers, or your church found unacceptable (we all did). You were corrected, sometimes severely, for doing things you had no idea were wrong (or that weren’t wrong at all). Such correction may have been in the form of making you feel ashamed. But you were not a bad person! You simply didn’t know any better.

· As you neared puberty, you had sexual feelings for the first time. You found the opposite sex interesting (or the same sex, if you were so inclined), and you may have “experimented” with certain activities. If you were caught, you were most likely shamed beyond belief. You came out of that experience with a deep-seated guilt, a shame so horrible you couldn’t deal with it. You felt dirty. You did nothing wrong! You were simply dealing with intense physiological pressures that are common to young people. There is no shame in that.

· As a teenager or young adult, you may have had sex before marriage. If you had a religious background, you felt guilt and shame over that, but you may have continued to have sex, and each time you did, your guilt and shame compounded. The bible notwithstanding, as long as both parties were consenting (and of legal age), there was no shame in it. Nature ensures the survival of a species by endowing the young with sexual desire. That’s why it is so powerful, to make sure the species reproduces! The church has decreed that marriage should come first, but nature does not!

Here are a few facts that should be self-evident…to anyone but a WCG veteran:

· People need to feel good about themselves.

· It is not a “sin” to be proud of yourself

· People with proper self-esteem are more likely to treat others with respect.

· Sexual desire is NORMAL.

· You have a right to defend yourself, whether against physical violence or false accusation. This includes “talking back” to a “minister”.

· Respect goes both ways, top-to-bottom as well as bottom-to-top. This means your teachers, your parents, your “minister”.

· Competition is a good thing. It causes people to improve themselves.

· Vanity is not necessarily a bad thing, unless it leads you to harm others.

· If something causes you to feel shame, analyze the reason and eliminate it. This may mean quitting your church or recognizing that your parents were abusive.

The bottom line is that children are like other small creatures; they have been born with certain survival instincts, and must learn how to use them, like kittens learning to hunt. They do this by trying things out to see how they work (and making mistakes). Guidance is needed, but it should be gentle, not degrading. Guidance by religious people is usually negative, and has damaging, lifelong effects.

If you see a child who is a bully, I’ll wager he already feels bad about himself. And the more he bullies others, the worse he feels.

 

Who Should Be Ashamed?

Small children do not possess, nor do they deserve, feelings of shame. Shame will only ruin their lives, and in many cases, cause them to harm others. We are all humans, and humans, like other animals, have natural instincts. To suppress or deny them is self-defeating. As long as we don’t harm others, our natural instincts are generally right for us. No human being should feel shame for being human, or for the natural urges that drive us. We are what we were designed to be, and once we recognize that, we will all be a lot happier.

But shame does have its place. Those (especially religious leaders) who instill shame in the innocent are guilty, in my opinion, of a form of genocide — the murder of our innocence. For that they should be ashamed!

A Child Speaks

By John O.
Ex-Worldwide Church of God Pastor

December 28th. It’s fun being a child, and I am eight years old. My younger sister Becky and I are still playing with our Xmas gifts. The tree is still up and the lights are still twinkling. My birthday was only a month ago and I got presents then too. Boy, am I lucky. Becky’s birthday is not until next July. She’ll have to wait. But we share our toys. I love my mom and dad. I love my sister. I love our whole family.

Mom and dad love us very much too. They always listen to us when we have something to say. Then they always think about it, and try and help us to make up our own minds as to what we want to do. I hear that’s the way loving parents supposed to be. They teach us to stand on our own feet, and they are always there to help us when we make mistakes. They are good people. We love our parents. I always want to be just like my dad. We think that mom is the prettiest girl around and dad is the handsomest guy. They always smile at us and tell us that we’re special. We feel wanted and loved. We’re happy in our family home.

January 4th. The tree is down now, but we all look forward to next year, all those presents, and our happy family. Today a package arrived in the mail. It has a lot of paper stuff and little books in it. Mom said that it was something dad had sent away for. My dad comes home, kisses mom and hugs Becky and me. My mom shows dad the package after dinner, and my dad reads all the stuff that’s in there. He has suddenly lost his smile. I hear him talking to mom long after we’ve gone to bed. He didn’t hug us goodnight. Why?

March 8th. Dad comes home and eats his dinner quietly. Mom is not talking too much lately. She seems to smile less and less. Dad hardly smiles at all. They always talk a lot after we’ve gone to bed. We miss our hugs.

April 14th. This evening, dad calls us all together. He and mom sit while Becky and I stand up. He tells us that he has discovered the plain truth about life. God, he says, has shown him the truth through a group that God has led him to. Dad tells us that our ideas of God are all wrong. God, he says, demands certain things from all of us, and since we are such sinners, we must give into God and His appointed government. Mom nods her head in agreement. She and dad have talked a lot about this.

April 20th. Two men arrived at our house this evening. I don’t like them. They’re not happy people like we remember mom and dad once were. They are stern and cold. These men are not loving. They tell mom and dad to send us to our rooms. Mom and dad obey and then talk to these men alone for about an hour.

April 25th. It’s a Saturday and Becky and I wanted to go play today, but dad said no. Mom said to go get dressed in our best clothes because we were going to a meeting that was ordered by God. We go to the meeting and listen to some men yelling at us. We’re no good, they say, we’re sinners and need to go to God to get forgiven. They alone will tell us how. I’d rather be playing. What’s tithing?

May 16th. Dad said that we’re taking these services of God too lightly. We’re old enough, he said, to listen to the speakers who are anointed of God. We can finally learn something from these men about how evil our lives had been, and how we are now learning not to be pagans. What is an apostle?

September 12th. Tonight we listened upstairs as dad told mom that their bills were getting too high. He said that tithing and offerings came first, but after all that was paid, there was little left for anything else except food. He said he owed a month’s mortgage on the house. He’s going to sell mom’s car so he can continue to tithe.

September 25th. We were sent to bed at seven o’clock at exactly the time when those two ministers came to the front door. I still don’t like them. Becky and I listened, as always, and we heard a lot of yelling from the men. Dad answered a couple of times quietly and mom said nothing. They needed his finance statement, they said, with a list of all the money he spent every week. Then they said that they would show dad and mom how to tithe properly. What does “carnal” mean?

October 15th. Today a woman, called a realtor, came to our home and looked around. We heard dad tell mom that the only way we could reconcile with God is to sell the house, and with the little profit remaining, send in that money to church headquarters to pay for back tithes owing. We are going to lose our home. I don’t think I like this God.

December 13th. We’ve now started to live in a small, cheap apartment. It’s not all that clean. I don’t like our neighbors because they’re always picking fights with us. Becky and I share a bedroom. Mom and dad are fighting. Becky is crying. I am hurting.

December 25th. No Xmas this year. Dad told us that it’s pagan and against God’s law. Becky and I miss our tree and our presents. What’s wrong with Xmas? The ministers say the whole world is pagan. If that’s so, then what’s wrong with keeping Xmas since everything else we do in this world is pagan? Why do we stop for Xmas? At school they think we’ve gone weird. I don’t like this God of theirs at all.

December 28th. The minister said last week that we’re special to God and we’ll rule over nations with a rod of iron. We will beat any nation into submission that does not comply with the laws, statutes and ordinances as set out by the church. Yes, he said, we may feel deprived right now, but in the future world – ruled by church ministers and deacons – we’d have all that we want. I hope this future world comes quickly.

January 17th. Becky is sick. We couldn’t afford to keep the heat on all the time this month and now Becky is coughing. The ministers came and performed something called God’s divine healing. No doctors, they said. To spend all that money would show lack of faith. God’s power was stronger than any medicine. When they finished, they looked for a moment at our small apartment, shook their heads, and left. They didn’t like our little home at all, but it’s all we have now. Becky is still coughing. I’m worried. I want our old life back when things were happy. What’s anointing?

February 2nd. Becky is much worse and mom is crying. She wants to take Becky to the doctor but I heard the minister from the other end of the phone yelling at mom to have faith and rely on God. Tonight I saw dad drink from a bottle. I’d never seen him do this before. I think he was crying later and praying in their bedroom. I love my sister. I want Becky to get well. Please God . . .

February 15th. Becky died. The minister told mom and dad at the funeral service that they both lacked faith, otherwise Becky would have lived. This was God’s testing and they had both failed the test. After the burial and back at the apartment, dad says we must continue to submit to God’s government otherwise we’ll all suffer the Lake of Fire. Dad’s drinking heavily now and mom’s sobbing. I miss my Becky. I miss my little sister. I miss my best friend. I hate this God.

March 18th. Dad’s been laid off from work because of drinking. Mom’s taking in laundry and I’m helping her. Let’s hope our washing machine holds up because it’s making a loud clanging noise. Everyone makes fun of me at school because my clothes are old and we can’t afford to get new ones. Dad got his first unemployment check today. He gave some money to mom for the rent and food. He bought himself a large bottle of whiskey. He only buys the large bottles now. Mom cries every night, and there are many nights where I cry too. What’s alcoholism?

April 9th. The ministers came this evening and told us that we were all in the hands of Satan, and that sin was living among us. They told dad he was a hopeless, drunken alcoholic and that he was too far from God to be blessed again. While they didn’t mind his drinking, they said, it was wrong if that deprived the church of its monetary dues. As such, he was headed for the Lake of Fire. He should develop more character, they said, and then he wouldn’t drink too much. He was obviously too far from God and His government. They asked why he had stopped tithing.

April 27th. Today, I met a couple of my church friends whose parents had left the church. They all felt good about it, my friends told me. They all felt free again. They told me that the church and its ministry were nothing but a bunch of bullies that were in the religious business for their own ego and money. What’s a cult?

May 4th. All the ministers ever talk about is getting close to God, and this is done by loyalty to the church government. Maybe they’re right. Maybe that’s the reason I’m suffering. Maybe I’ve been rebellious and disloyal. Maybe I’m just too far from God? I don’t want to be thrown into that Lake of Fire.

November 15th. Today is my tenth birth date, since we don’t keep actual birthdays. Mom and dad are much the same, life is sad, and dad works off and on. He still drinks heavily but sobers up to work. Mom cries off and on. None of us smile now. Mom and dad don’t laugh or cuddle up together anymore. I don’t get any hugs or squeezes. It seems so long ago. I don’t miss Becky so much now. Maybe sometimes. I’m still hurting from time to time. Maybe God will help me . . . please, God? I’m sorry I’m carnal. I’m sorry I’m still pagan. Please don’t hurt me anymore.

December 4th. God has answered my prayer. God has seen fit to take away my pain. He showed me that dad keeps his whiskey bottle under the sink. Last week, I took a sip, and it eased the pain. Praise God! Today, I took two sips and the pain was even less. Dad never knows how much is left in the bottle. He’s always too drunk to tell. I can take this whiskey OK, but I don’t want to drink too much because I don’t want to be like my dad anymore. He’s just a old drunk.

January 18th. Life could be better but at least it’s not painful. No one’s caught me sipping from the bottle and no one suspects what I’m doing. Dad still works occasionally to pay the tithes and drink. Mom has taken a counter job at a store to pay the rent and food. I’m on several big sips a day now and it feels really good. Each week I find I can handle more and more. But, I space my drinking so I don’t get too much at once. I have a few sips in the early morning before mom and dad get up. The ministers still come by occasionally but always stay only a short time. They say that they care about our salvation, and they always ask about the tithe money. But who cares? It’s not my problem, and I generally feel good each day. Tell me . . . what’s a third tithe year?

April 27th. Today my dad died . . . and they called it a suicide. He jumped off a downtown building when he was drunk. Why did he do it? Why? Doesn’t he know what he did to us? To me? Where am I going to get my whiskey now? Where?