To be clear: Herbert Armstrong was a failed ad copy writer with barely an eighth grade education with delusions of greatness, plying lies, deceptions and fantasies as reality upon duped naive sheep type followers. He had no real worth…
Mr. Davis stood there with Mr. MacFarland discussing the repairs Mr. MacFarland had made for Mr. Davis. Mr. MacFarland was a remarkable man, since he was blind from action in a foreign war, but was still a top flight mechanic. He was remarkable in other ways. For example, he was giving his wife grief because she could not park the car. She said, “Fine, you park it!” not expecting he could respond. He got out of the passenger’s seat, measured off the distances between the auto and the two other cars in relationship to the parking space between them, got in the driver’s seat and proceeded to park the car perfectly. She certainly didn’t have much response to that. Our illustrious Mr. Davis handed Mr. MacFarland three one dollar bills and thanked Mr. MacFarland for the excellent work he did, and Mr. MacFarland thanked him for the $30 dollars owed, thinking it was three ten dollar bills. He was blind you know.
Swindlers have been an endemic epidemic within the Cult of Herbert Armstrong since the 1950s: It isn’t just the leaders and ministers, it’s the members. One estimation is that about one-third of any given micronanocult of Herbert Armstrong may be swindlers. Dr. Robert Hare and Dr. Paul Babiak give us a clue in Snakes in Suits: Psychopaths are attracted to unstable environments that lack controls for process — and even lack process. A group that is in stages of development or drastic change are particularly vulnerable, since swindlers take advantage of the lack of standards by which “right” and “wrong” within the group are measured. They marginalize what rules there are through doubt and casting aspersions, making people within the group vulnerable to their inevitable psychopath games.
A girl named Cara, a member’s daughter, came home one day with the rest of the family from Sabbath Services and proceeded to tell them about her best friend in church: Marta was 12 years old and her father had been committing incest with her. The family also found out that Jan, Cara’s other best friend, had a father who was a psychopath with an interesting story. Barto had come into the church from the Philippines and promoted the idea he was a doctor, but because of United States rules, he could not be certified — or so he said: The real truth is that he was a swindler with a con game who had no medical training at all. Barto became best friends with Dr. Johansen, a church member who was a real licensed practicing physician. Barto proceeded to dupe Dr. Johansen into promoting him as a physician. The end result of this game was that the real doctor, Dr. Johansen, lost his license, his practice and was disgraced while the psychopath Barto dumped Dr. Johansen to leave him fend for himself after Dr. Johansen was ruined, lost his license and his practice — forced to change careers. Barto remarried. His daughter, Jan, and Cara, the daughter of the family in view here, went to meet with the psychopath’s wife, Jan’s stepmother, who just happened to have schizophrenia. They knocked on the door and from inside a voice said, “You are here to kill me! No wait, that’s not reality!” The three girls, Cara, Mara and Jan, often went off together to Nordstrom’s to shoplift expensive scarves. They never got caught.
Recently, the elder pedophile who had a penchant for young boys in the church died and had his funeral, which brought up the memory of the leading lady in the church who informed the father of the young son what the man who was his YOU teacher had been doing. She related at the Night to Be Much Observed that the leading ladies in the church tried to bring the matter to the Headquarters at Pasadena but were rebuffed. The best they could do is “keep an eye on him” during services and particularly on the Holydays.
Many are familiar with the stalkers in the cult who declared to their obsession, “You are mine!” after their obsession was married to someone else. Imagine the embarrassment of a married man returning from his honeymoon having the lurker in the church spring from behind a column where she hid herself to declare this.
There have been all manner of scams, swindles and cons, not just by the Takers who are leaders in the church with their ministers, but the members as well. The cult is a dangerous environment and that is because of what Dr. Phil in his book, “Life Code” describes as the BAITERS:
Though virtually invisible to most naive sheep members, these BAITERS lurk in the background like the crows at the neglected Ambassador College before it was sold to Harvest Rock. They are dark evil beings at what may be thought of at the fringes of the cult, but are very active and very much a part of it — it’s just that people don’t recognize them.
Last time, we examined the Evil Eight properties of these BAITERS:
- They see the world through a lens of arrogant entitlement and frequently treat people as targets
- They lack empathy
- They are incapable of feeling remorse / guilt and don’t learn from situation to situation
- They are irresponsible, self-destructive and disregard the well-being of others
- They thrive on drama and crisis
- They brag about outsmarting other people
- They have a pattern of short-term relationships
- They live in a fantasy world marked by delusion
This time we will examine the Nefarious 15 “tactics,” behaviors, or strategies BAITERs will use to “get to you,” hurt you, and take what is yours:
- They infiltrate your life, seducing with promises and flattery
- They define you as a conspiratorial confidant
- They are way too focused on getting your approval — as though their very existence depends on your accepting them
- They are always gathering data and “building a file” on you. Everything they do, every interaction, is for a purpose
- They consistently misdirect and maintain a mystery about who they really are; they answer questions that weren’t asked; they obfuscate
- When confronted with problems, they always blame others
- They lie, either by misstatement or by omission; they understand that lies with a kernel of truth are the most powerful
- They are frauds; they cheat, and they steal property, information, and credit for other people’s work and claim false competencies to gain trust and reliance
- They isolate their victims and foster dependency to obligate you and gain leverage and power
- When in a position of power and authority, they abuse it with self-dealing and egomaniacal conduct
- They ID your sensitivities and hot buttons to gain leverage
- They have “selective memory” and are revisionist historians; they reframe reality
- They are two-faced; they spread lies and gossip — pretending to be your friend and ally to give you a false sense of security while being disloyal
- Because they are paranoid, they “get you” before you [can] “get them”
- They are masters of passive-aggressive sabotage
Our pilgrimage would be incomplete if we did not mention the methodology used by Herbert Armstrong — the one still in use today by all the cult leaders: To reduce the prospective members to think of themselves as worthless.
Those of us who were in the cult in the 1950s and 1960s remember well this indoctrination. As we came to “the truth” (which was nothing of the sort), we were taught that nothing we knew was worth anything, nothing we ever did amounted to anything and we were convinced that we were so worthless that we had to start from the very beginning to rebuild from the ground up.
Herbert Armstrong, of course, knew everything that was worth knowing — he was the Apostle and no one could trump him! He was the one that God chose who was the only one through whom any truth could be revealed — from the top down. No one could tell him anything, and if they tried… well, he had a temper and he was used to getting his way. He was the top dog and he was the only one who had the quality to take the message of Corporate Christ to the leaders of this world (by using vague stupid references to the two trees which meant absolutely nothing). He was the only one who could go to evil despots and dictators to present them with Steuben Crystal from tithed blood money. All the rest of us were pathetic nothings who needed to know our place in the hierarchy, which was pretty much to supply this egoist with $2 Billion to $4 Billion to provide for his excessive personal life style. He was so close to God, no one dare oppose him.
By the put down and treatment with contempt, the people fell into line, devoid of what might be laughingly called self-esteem.
This was doubly bad because the children of the church members were treated the same way: They needed to know their place among the gods — playing less than any insignificant role as less than anyone else, save for the domestic companions of the family. As serfs and slaves to the serfs and slaves, having absolutely no rights, knowing nothing and having not one shred of power in their insignificance, they were prepped for a future slavery of underachievement, discouraged from ever aspiring to the dreams and goals of their schoolmate peers. Many of them thought that this dysfunctional family life was the norm and everyone lived this way, not realizing that it was a profound aberration designed to keep them captive to a slave mentality system of the peasants.
You are nothing.
You will be god.
Be satisfied with that.
Or you’re out.
There’s nothing like intimidation on the worthless to keep them in the prison especially designed by the swindlers of the cult.
The Cult of Herbert Armstrong employs all of these methods. They are evil. They corrupt.
And again, there is not one reason in this world you should give them the benefit of the doubt. None. They are not worth your time, let alone your money and other resources.
To be clear: Herbert Armstrong was a failed ad copy writer with barely an eighth grade education with delusions of greatness, plying lies, deceptions and fantasies as reality upon duped naive sheep type followers. He had no real worth. The only thing he really understood was “quality” things, possessions; and his great swelling ego making him above and beyond those of accomplishment, talent and achievement who could have been great, but were ruined by his selfish meddling. He was a swindler — a BAITER.
And all his followers now making themselves leaders are also BAITERs.
This is the time to understand who these people are, understand how they work and guard against them, lest they take who you are and destroy it.
Abandon the swindlers and don’t let them claim ascendancy.
Blast from the past. Originally published 2013.