Herbert Armstrong created a cult which introduces and aggravates comorbidity within his followers. This is pernicious, creating confusion about the symptoms and treatment of the insanity induced by the cult environment.

For individuals struggling with an addiction to alcohol or other substances, overcoming such an addiction can be compounded by the need for treatment of co-occurring disorders or “comorbid” disorders such as depression, anxiety, or even physical problems such as liver disease.

Substance Abuse and Mental Illness

The tragedy of comorbidity of substance abuse and mental illness in particular is that both conditions exacerbate one another. As a person’s tolerance to alcohol grows, for example, they will require more and more alcohol to feel relief from their mental state. Conversely, alcohol and substances increase feelings of depression and anxiety, causing a downward spiral in the user, who may become physically addicted to a substance as their body requires it to function.

Co-Occuring Addiction Treatment

Fortunately, current methods of treatment of alcohol and substance abuse are designed to approach the problems associated with addiction from the perspective of treating underlying issues, as well as the addiction itself. Individuals being treated will often experience counseling and support groups to help them understand how their coping mechanisms have shaped their approach to problems, and the families of those in treatment greatly benefit from similar therapy programs.

While we do not endorse the specific treatment program in the following video, it may help to explain the concept of comorbidity:

The issues concerning Armstrongism within the sects of the Cult of Herbert Armstrong Mafia are not as easy as treating, say, either depression or alcoholism, which occur frequently in the various sects of Armstrongism — rather, Armstrongism itself, with its extreme insanity creates conditions that are co-occuring, such as alcoholism with depression or bipolar disease with PTSD and diabetes. Having to reconcile insane and very wrong concepts, such as British Israelism with the supposed eras of the church while attempting to reconcile the unacceptable behavior of the leaders of the cult, such as the incest committed by Herbert Armstrong, creates insane chaos of mental instability. Reconciling the absolute requirement of tithing with profligate unnecessary spending, such as David Pack purchasing Steuben Crystal for desk paper weights or Ronald Weinland being convicted of felony Income Tax Evasion creates severe mental instability attempting to make sense out of conditions which should never exist in a healthy environment. Striving to believe prophecy which has not only never happened but obviously never will and remain faithful and loyal to obvious lies creates brain damage through distorted perceptions and useless compartmentalization.

Click here for the National Institute on Drug Abuse facts on Comorbidity.

Let us take a common and very real example of comorbidity which did occur within Armstrongism.

By 1972, Garner Ted Armstrong, by his own admission, had date raped some 200 Ambassador College coeds. Considering that these virgin maidens were ensconced within a highly religious environment, one would have expected that they would just give the #2 man in The Work a solid “No” when approached, but they did not. It is a wonder that they were neither were protected by the Holy Spirit nor did they have sufficient integrity to resist his advances. Garner Ted Armstrong was not only an adulterer and serial rapist, but he was also a boozing alcoholic and gambler. The women that he date raped later graduated from Ambassador College and became wives of ministers. Let us select one minister at random for purposes of illustration.

The minister had been a professional with a University degree working for a Fortune 500 company when he encountered the Cult of Herbert Armstrong Mafia. He abandoned what he had and attended Ambassador College where he met his wife. She had been date raped by Garner Ted Armstrong. After graduation, he went out a minister to be preaching elder, pastor, Regional Pastor and finally an evangelist with this background of having Garner Ted Armstrong as his boss, hating him, because he knew what GTA had done to his wife. As the decades rolled by, the minister made it clear to his congregation that he had been abused by his parents while he was a teenager and was the son of alcoholics. Furthermore, he expressed his concern, particularly during the days of the instability of the Worldwide Church of God after Herbert Armstrong’s death, about his continuing salary and retirement. It also turned out that he was a parent of his gay son (who had abandoned his wife to be with his guy). During sermons he would say he was depressed and then said he wasn’t depressed. We observed that he made frequent trips to another state, where it just happened a psychologist in the church resided and had his practice. When the psychologist moved to another state, the minister made frequent trips to the other state. It’s clear he had multiple problems and these multiple problems exacerbated and magnified each other. The question is, where do you begin to resolve a situation like this? There are far too many points of focus to work on just one at a time.

It would be easy to say that he should have just left the toxic environment of the Worldwide Church of God — put the issues of the past behind him. Certainly, to remain indentured to a man you absolutely hate who has so much power over you would be quite the incentive. Perhaps this one resolution could have allowed him to attain a tipping point in his life — to be free and build a new life, but he chose slavery instead, all the time thinking he should be in charge.

This is a great problem with the various Armstrongists: They remain faithful to an extremely toxic environment to never really address their situations, and, hence, remain in miserable lives of slavery to people who see them as nothing more than components to a giant cash machine. People may have financial problems along with severe family problems, long term health problems along with delusions and fantasies of prophecies which will never occur, lending additional toxic frustration and anxiety. Sometimes some of them may look to resolve one problem, say, alcoholism — which is a very great scourge in Armstrongism, unaddressed by the so-called leadership too selfish to be concerned about the welfare of their congregations — and even perhaps solve that to a degree, but even with some improvement life remains miserable because of the interactions of other difficulties in their lives, particularly the narcissism of their psychopathic leaders.

To understand comorbidity, consider this presentation by Brittany Fichter that shows how she deals with her disorders:

Understanding comorbidity and its treatment is a relatively new development. Much of the development of treatment programs, such as that at The Way Out, have only developed over the past decade. Since it is relatively new (even though elements of it have been understood by medical professionals for quite some time), there is a lack of understanding within general society and certainly within the Armstrongist community. That is why we have the insane situation of the PKG still believing the insane lying false prophet psychopath Ronald Weinland. The same thing could be said about Roderick Meredith, David Pack and so many others like Robert Thiel.

Make no mistake: Armstrongism is toxic and is itself a presentation of comorbidity, creating an environment conducive to creating, aggravating and amplifying problems.

It is also the best reason to debunk the idea that we should keep the social groups of Armstrongism together — they should be totally abandoned because the interaction of the membership keeps the toxic misery alive.

Lake of Fire Pizza

Lake Of Fire Pizza
Lake Of Fire Pizza

Excogger gives us this gem from False Prophet Ronald Weinland:

Wait! Now it all makes sense! I have finally figured out Revelation 11, etc.

The two FaceBook pages are the Two Witnesses. They have power to block, intimidate and take down the FaceBook pages of their opponents and critics. Not only that, but Ron’s publicist can hack the computers of ANYONE who would dare mock or criticize PKG and their pages. This is the Great Tribulation: there will be much gnashing of teeth and visits to computer repair shops.

The PKG pages will operate for 42 months, until the Israeli Government internet security takes them down for exactly 84 hours. Then Ron’s god will fly into Jerusalem and set up 144,000 Facebook Pages. He will establish a new Operating System which will replace Windows, OSX and Linux. Social media peace will ensue and all hackers will be forced to work making pizzas at the Lake of Fire Pizza franchises.

Consider this scenario at the Lake of Fire Pizza:

Server: Is there a problem, sir?

Customer: This pizza is burnt!

Server: What did you expect?

For far too long we’ve been advising the Armstrongist leaders to repent. The alternative is… well… unpleasant to contemplate.

Deuteronomy 18:20 —

But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.

Revelation 19:20 —

And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

Revelation 22:5 —

For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

Hebrews 6:4-6 —

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

So here we have the False Prophets: Among them are Roderick Meredith, David Pack, Gerald Flurry and Ronald Weinland, along with dozens and even hundreds of others spouting prophetic nonsense in the Name of God — with churches, insultingly enough, named Church of God — based on British Israelism which has failed, illustrating quite pointedly that God did not send them, is not working with them and certainly doesn’t validate them with any success in their prognostications that they claim they are making in His Name. God has to be pretty ticked. He has declared the death penalty upon them — “that prophet shall die” [in the case of Gerald Flurry that’s a double entendre]. Furthermore, they are liars and will not be in the Kingdom of God, if we are to believe Revelation. And if we don’t, then why listen to these predatory hustlers at all? They are sorcerers, idolaters and love and make lies. Furthermore, if any think they will get a second chance in the second resurrection, the Apostle Paul [if, indeed, he is the author of Hebrews] makes it clear that they’ve had their chance (for quite a number of years — even decades) to embrace their endarkenment.

It gets really frustrating when Scripture so clearly describes these scoundrels in II Timothy 3 and then tells Christians everywhere, “from such turn away”. Both Roderick Meredith and David Pack claim that they have not committed a “major sin” since baptism. What would a major sin to them be, do pray tell? Having a romantic date with another guy? Is that it? Certainly, speaking lies in the Name of God would seem to be particularly heinous if it weren’t for the oppression they ply on their congregational prey. It gets to be pretty intense. You can’t go to the bathroom, no matter how bad you need to, during David Pack’s sermons? And Ronald Weinland — hey, he’s a convicted felon, convicted by a jury of his peers during prosecution by the United States Justice Department for Felony Income Tax Evasion. Assuredly, he, of all people, should sort of get the idea that he’s done something wrong, and, maybe, he might just consider that his prophecies which he wrote and published in books have failed.


We have tried and tried to get through to these thick-headed narcissistic morons to no avail. The Bible says… if you don’t repent, you are going to die. What part of that don’t you get? Are you all atheists? Don’t you believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God? Your behavior more than suggests that you don’t believe and you don’t think that Scripture has any authority.

Here’s the deal: If you are right that God and the Bible don’t matter, logically speaking, you don’t matter either, because you claim you base all your teaching on God and the Bible. You are irrational and chaotic. You have no worth whatsoever.

And so it is, if the Words of the Book come to pass, as you scream with excruciating pain from the many stripes and are in abject terror as you plunge into the flames of the Lake of Fire with fourth degree burns, we will attempt to shout to you above the roar of the conflagration,

What did you expect?

2016: What’s Ahead?

Road to Nowhere

We examine the trends again to try to determine what the future might hold for the Cult of Herbert Armstrong Mafia. Given the back pedaling, entropy and weak pathetic attempts of the CoHAM Armstrongists, we can certainly look forward to another year of mediocrity. The culture of the elite has produced depressive dissatisfaction in a less than stellar showing of activity. In 2015, United again spent a lot of time, effort and money on a failed extensive media campaign turned flop. Now there will be no Good News Beyond Tomorrow. It seems so very pointless, particularly if you have seen Beyond Tomorrow. The UCG can barely see beyond today. The one thing they have as an absolute is that the United Church of God, an International Association exists solely to provide the first and second tier ministers with a salary and retirement. Robert Dick has retired. Of course, it was all downhill the moment he stepped down as chairman of the board, since those at Homequarters do not have the competence to grow the cult. Many of the first tier ministers have retired… now all United has to do is get all the second tier ministers retired and then the UCG can go out of business, since there is no other reason for its existence. The Living Church of God continues to provoke their membership with inequities, Ronald Weinland missed yet another prophesied Great Tribulation, Robert Thiel has resorted to using his dreams to prove he is a prophet, the PCG keeps losing ground in spite of its spiteful recruiting measures, David Pack continues to be an embarrassment to the Restored Church of God (just where is Dale Schurter anyway?). Moreover, Davie is buying up property with money he doesn’t have. This is typical of people with Manic Depressive Illness: They go into a funk and spend themselves out of it and then go manic, making questionable decisions. It’s important to boost those dopamine levels when you’re depressed, but manic mode can be a killer wherein, the bipolar must find additional funds from somewhere to make up for their profligate spending. At least David Pack is following the time honored traditions of Herbert Armstrong who seems to have had the same problem. Eric King seems to have fallen off the grid (maybe whisked away by those demons piloting those flying saucers?) , Apostle / Prophet James Malm continues to have financial problems — the list goes on and on. One word could be used to describe this — mediocrity — but it’s more than that (or less, depending on your point of view).

The future of Armstrongism in 2016 seems to be that of mediocrity in all its infinite variations, but the mediocrity road to nowhere results inevitably in something else — something we are seeing more and more of all the time. The trend of elitism seems destined to overtake the entirety of all the congregations of the cult. Armstrongism is doomed to incompetence.

At the Feast of Tabernacles, at least a couple of years running the minister in charge of the proceedings said words to this affect in his sermons:

I had just been ordained an elder and was attending the Feast in the Poconos. The ministry had a meeting with Garner Ted Armstrong. I sat at a table with a woman across from me. She asked me when I had attended Ambassador College. I told her that I had not attended.

She then turned her nose up into the air, talked to the person next to her and ignored me for the rest of the meeting.

It’s interesting that the Wizard / Warlock, Herbert Armstrong, established his own Hogwarts, Ambassador College — little better than a glorified high school for near adults — which produced hubris of pride in those who attended and automatically separated the class society of the cult into well defined strata, wherein those who had not been gifted to grace the halls of the school of wizardry and magic were relegated and consigned to second class citizenry to be treated as the untouchables. This was true of those who were actually ordained as elders, destined to be treated with contempt and disdain as lesser entities as Proles not privy to the outer party, let alone the inner circle.

The story of this man is interesting in that Armstrongists in his area asked him to be their minister. With great gladness, they attended the Feast of Tabernacles with him in 2010. It was a glorious time. As with many of these more benign version of the cult, there was great happiness that there was finally a(nother) place for refugees of the despotism of United and the other church cult corporates that grace the dystopian alternative universe of Herbert Armstrong. It was quite the site: Away from much of the worldly stuff, but with just the right balance of the perks of Corporate Conference Culture: There was an indoor water park for the kiddies and waterlogged adults with a gondola ride just a few feet away. 2011 was also a joyous time with many, particularly those from Canada, rejoicing in their triumph to be free of their warfare with the United Church of God an International Association Council of Elders. There was also a refugee from the megalomania of David Pack — who invaded their home for a weekend and spewed hurtful nonsense at them the whole time. It was a time of peace and harmony with happiness along with bike riding and hiking.


The hint of trouble began in 2013 when many of the singles opted to go to other feast sites — there just wasn’t enough ‘social’ to keep them interested. For one thing, there were only two viable restaurants in the town and one of them was closed for the month during which the feast was held. The nearest real grocery store was two miles down the freeway. In 2014, the problem was even worse where virtually no singles attended and there was nothing to keep them there — they went for greener pastures.


2015 came and went. People have been agitating for a ‘better’ feast site. The festival coordinator is out looking for prospects.

At the same time, the Seventh Day Church of God (Caldwell, Idaho) with Pastor Paul Woods had another glorious Feast near Deer Lake Washington. This joyous group focused on Jesus. As it was in the past at Fruitland, everyone got together and had lunch together each day, with the ministers doing some of the cooking and serving. There was special music, events for the adults and children, all far away from the distractions of industrialized civilization. They were quite happy with it because their focus was religious not on frivolous activities devoid of spiritual content. There was harmony. They were not bored nor agitating for more exciting digs. And as Paul Woods told me, the typical cost of going to the Feast with them is around $20 a day — not thousands of dollars for the whole feast. The people go there not out of obligation but because they love Jesus and want to be closer to God the Father — not for a glorified hot spot vacation and shopping spree, replete with the free flowing alcohol so endemic, pandemic and epidemic for Armstrongist Feast sites (expect long lines at the liquor stores — if there are liquor stores).

Boredom seems to be the watchword for 2016. Sure the election for the President of the United States will be taking place and there’s a lot of stimulation for the non political Republican Dog owners of the Armstrongist churches of God watching Fox News, but as far as the cult itself is concerned, it’s I’m bored, bored, bored out of my gourd. And why not? Decades of failed prophecies, demands for more and more money, no growth, no church facilities as a center of a church community all add up to apathy in entropy.

Meanwhile, the Church of God, Seventh Day — ten times larger than all the Armstrongist churches combined — keeps right on going in its own social context, having just successfully transitioned in the leadership and moving forward with their own work. It’s a venue Armstrongists simply cannot understand and the Armstrongists think that the CoG7D is just like them minus the Feasts. The fact the Armstrongists don’t understand is that the CoG7D is so very different from Armstrongism that there is no way to contrast the social structures. For one thing, the focus is not on the leaders and the individual congregations are largely autonomous. It’s not vertically integrated and simply does not have The Man in the High Castle. Armstrongists are uncomfortable with the CoG7D because of a lack of hyperbole and stimulation for them — the Armstrongists are addicted to chaos and constant disruption of dystopian futures impinging on their sensibilities from every direction — every news report is construed as a fulfillment of prophecy — a stimulation to high energy for the end just around the corner. As so many Armstrongists have said, “I can’t wait for it to all be over”. The statement is reflective of clinical depression, which the CoG7D avoids by concentrating on what is spiritual, not physical.

There is such a thing as over stimulation. The constant bombardment of potential prophetic fulfillment raises adrenaline levels, but at some point the body just plain wears out after decades of impact to the endocrine system. The pancreas, pituitary, thyroid and adrenals just don’t continue at the same levels of production over time when they are abused. Dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine production diminishes. With Armstrongism, the additional impact of alcoholism also has devastating effects on the body of the Armstrongite. You can’t just abuse your body with delusions and false prophecies without paying the price. Your get up and go will have gotten up and be gone.

The only real viable solution to this problem is to leave the stressors causing it. Unfortunately, cult living is addictive. Every day requires a new fix. Every year that goes by, the doses have to get greater and greater. As a junkie, you have to pay more and more to your dealer and it never delivers the same high. Never.

The result?


And that’s the way it looks for 2016.