Ashes to Ashes

Armstrongism is dying.

Grab your shovels, it’s time to get ready to bury it.

There’s no better indicator of the health, or lack of it, than The Journal: Over at Banned!, NO2HWA, in the article, Latest Issue of The Journal: News of the Churches of God is out. he asks the question, “Is it me or are the people that pay for those ads getting crazier by the day?” The answer is that it’s not him and it’s not just the people that pay for the ads, it’s Dixon Cartwright, the staff at The Journal, the people contributing one way or another and the Armstrongists who read it. No sane person would even begin to accept the premise that it’s as benign as it postures itself to be. There’ neither any objectivity nor is there one shred of sanity. The editor fancies himself to be a Journalist, but he’s something quite different.

In fact, let’s see what a real journalist says about journalism:

The Journal is Fake News, but rather than pretend that it’s a sincere attempt to find truth, let’s call it what it is: An attempt to put a Public Relations spin on a cult using the old corporate magic lantern technique, casting shadows and creating the story. After all that is said and done, it is creating the mythology using the story, no matter what chapter of the story is being presented at the time. This is an attempt to make a toxic waste dump an appealing magic fairy land by covering it in a pure white newly fallen snow to disguise the ugliness underneath. It is the kicking of the flat tires on a dead hearse. No new life will come from the stinking feted death beneath, no matter how well the story is told.

At the center of the problem is Dixon Cartwright, the Editor, who has embarrassed himself, first at Ambassador Watch and then at Banned! with his childish tantrum hissy fits that finally left commenters wondering, “Gee, what’s with him?” He has been exhibiting narcissistic borderline tendencies lately, making him as friendly as an angry hornet when someone even suggests that his worth as a journalist is somewhat less than a first year student of the subject. He wants and demands respect, dammit! No matter how stupid or crazy his topic may be. He has the talent to transform ox manure into a blooming rose garden, and you’d better be respectful or you’ll be sorry!

This behavior came to light further this past March at Las Vegas as partially reported in Issue No. 193 (March 31, 2017) episode of the continuing soap opera of The Journal. It was the first all-campus Ambassador College reunion. Yes, highlights of the event were reported on page 1 and page 4, and there were even pictures! What is blatantly NOT mentioned is the honor bestowed upon the Editor of the Painful Truth for the work done on the color version of the first three issues of The Ambassador Report by Bill Hughes and many of the other contributors to the Ambassador Report. It was a big deal. It was not reported.

This is typical Dixon Cartwright, looking daggers and gritting his teeth as he saw someone else getting some credit, while knowing in his heart that he should get ALL the attention.

Here is a comment at Banned!:

And of course Dixon never mentioned the Ambassador Report get together March 16th what so ever. Like it never happened.

Of course if any member never heard of the Ambassador Report and started to read it on line that could start a different type of shit fest for old Dix. There are after all a few who write the Painful Truth to mention that they just discovered the Report and they are in shock at what they read.

In my opinion, it was very dishonest not to mention the meeting as if it was a non event. He ate their food and drank their booze at the party that evening.

It seems Dixon has something in common with CNN, the fake news channel. Don’t report what might damage your own selfish interests. After all, the Journal is Dixon’s bread and butter.

That certainly exemplifies the approach that The Journal has.

James received a standing ovation. Dixon Cartwright gave a bland account of the event without context or real meaning, having confused writing down what happened instead, with journalism.

On Page 3 of The Journal is the article “Think about lessons concerning leaven” by David Havir. We’d rather not. There are several reasons, not the least of which is the fact that recently both Banned! and The Painful Truth have pointed out that there was no Exodus, so keeping the Days of Unleavened Bread based on a myth of an event which never happened is rather senseless. There can never be, as was written in his stupidly moronic article, any Old Testament lesson, because said lesson doesn’t exist. The New Testament ‘lesson’ is partially based on the Old Testament lesson, so no joy there. It’s hard to believe that Jesus’ sacrifice is our Passover, since the Passover itself never happened. Does this mean there’s no salvation? Is there any relevance to grace? In fact, if none of this is true, what opinion should we have of sin?

It’s not so much what David Havir says, though. It’s his codependent relationship he has with Dixon Cartwright which should be of concern. While it is true that David Havir says some brilliant things, such as that Herbert Armstrong was no servant leader and proves the point, there’s a lot of chaff as mental noise (often based on book reviews) which has to be sifted through. Since David Havir provides Dixie with lots of narcissistic source, though, we should be cautious about what we read from both of them. The Journal shouldn’t exist anyway and does because of useless nostalgia for curious atheists who once attended Ambassador College. It’s that temptation to resolve the mystery of what happened to all those people your curious about but certainly don’t really care about any more.

As for the “Ashes to Ashes” title, there is definitely a rationale. It turns out that someone at Banned! took umbrage at a presentation of entropy — a rather brilliant one — because they insisted there was a balance in the universe and stupidly quoted a Wikipedia page to ‘prove’ their insane non 3 dimensional little mind’s inane belief, not understanding one thing about STEM. The mentally deficient should realize their limitations.

Here’s the deal: It’s cold; you have a fireplace; you have wood that’s been burned down to ashes. Now… light the ashes and burn them to keep you warm! It should work. There’s this… this… equilibrium, you see. The ashes should burn. All the materials were there are still there somewhere, so just recycle, dammit!

How’s that working for you? Still cold are you? Are you finding it’s taking more energy to burn the ashes than you get out of burning them? Sure, it’s possible, but you have to take energy from somewhere else to locally reduce the entropy in the fireplace. Magnesium strips would be handy right about now. It may cost you more than it’s worth, but darn it all, you’re going to burn those ashes just to prove there’s equilibrium.


And that’s the way it is with Armstrongism. It’s been burned down pretty much to ashes. Now people like the staff at The Journal need to keep it going because… reasons. It’s just that it’s going to take more and more to get less and less. Armstrong is dying. Grab your shovels. It will soon be time to bury it.

And entropy? For those who are mentally deficient, we’ll try this again, but we’re not hopeful for the enlightenment of scientifically challenged Armstrongists:

3 Replies to “Ashes to Ashes”

  1. I wonder, all things considered, if it is even possible to produce a newspaper which serves the membership of a religion that has failed, a church that has splintered so profusely, and one with extreme rancor and name-calling amongst the leaders of the various remnants.

    How do you walk the line, develop an acceptable circulation, somewhere along the way financing the paper through subscriptions and paid ads?

    I believe that what we see each month is quite predictable, considering that the paper has a slightly pro-Armstrong editorial policy. It is what it is. And that makes what we see each month totally predictable. Fact is, I usually skim the articles and obituaries for news of people whom I once knew. Aside from that, it is perfectly obvious that the splinters have all got the same old prophecy rot, and the same toxic doctrines and church government that they always had.

    Still, I hope that Dixon will correct his oversight, and actually do a write-up on the AR Reunion. It might offend a few, but back in the day, a huge percentage of the WCG membership relied on the AR as the only accurate source for information on their own church. It would be interesting to see which publication, AR or the Journal, would have done best if they had ever competed head to head.


  2. Bob,

    A real journalist reports facts and does so regardless of negative repercussions. That is called professionalism. But how is that possible with Dixon holding allegiance to a Armstrong church?

    If he reports outside the approval of the UCG does he get the ax and sent down the road where there’s weeping and gnashing of teeth?

    To be a professional journalist entails more than reporting a news event. It takes a conviction that the process be unadulterated/altered by personal objections. Otherwise, one does not have to agree with the story to report it.

    I propose that Dixon does not have what it takes to be objective, hence, why we call the Journal fake news.

  3. We should expect huge differences between a typical major city evening newspaper and a glorified church paper attempting ecumenism. The evening paper might be a tad liberal, but the church paper is going to be infected with doctrinal bias and agenda.

    Realistically, we should expect nothing of value or integrity from anything rooted in Armstrongism. In other words, although it would be nice if he adhered, we would be misguided if we even expected any sort of big city professionalism from Dixon. Just like the chick that does all the flattering pieces about Dave Pack in Wadsworth’s community throw-away paper.


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