Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Beyond Dismay

Best ever COG blow-hard?
I've just caught up with the fact that the Untied, oops, United Church of God is buying time on local channel Prime (Sundays at 7am) for its tele-proselytising programme Beyond Today.

Other COG sects have thrown truckloads of green-backs at Kiwi broadcasters over the decades - Ted (and Herb), Gerry, Rod. To be honest, I still think motor-mouth Ted (Garner Ted Armstrong to the uninitiated) was the pick of the crop way back in the 70s. At the very least he was entertaining, and even knew how to chuck in a bit of winsome self-deprecation from time to time (however insincere).

Of course Ted, to paraphrase something Churchill once said about a lady of his acquaintance, had much to be self-deprecating about, what with stewardesses and massage appointments.

The UCG though? Oh okay, I'll record it and give it a gander later. "To keep my disgust fresh," to quote a certain Gibraltan poet, sage and ethnographer. I mean, it can't be as awful as LCG's Tomorrow's World - which has the 8.30 slot, also on Prime. Can it?

As an aside, Troy Fitzgerald has an interesting interview with former UCG member Jeff over at Secular Safe House.
Jeff, the oldest of 5 kids, was born and raised in the Worldwide Church of God, but at the age of 11 his parents  left to join a new church, United Church of God, which split off of the WCG due to massive doctrinal changes they did not agree with.  He was home schooled and largely taught himself, which made him self-reliant and independent. An analytical, science-loving student, by the time he was a teen he was already beginning to secretly doubt the teachings of the church, and before he was 18, he didn’t believe in the religion or Christianity at all. He watched his friends who left the church be shunned and ostracized and, despite being hounded for his “rebellious attitude,” he continued to attend until he was 21 when he could move out on his own.
Jeff discusses how the church sent his tithing (donations) records to his parents prompting his mom to confront him about his not contributing for the previous year,  about his ultimate exit from the church and religion at the age of 21, and how his relationship with his family — all of whom still remain in the church — has evolved. He opens up about the emotional turmoil and heartbreak, years later, watching his mother succumb to cancer all the while resisting modern medical treatment and how the church practiced the avoidance of medical intervention (faith healing) despite the unspoken policy not being official doctrine. Finally, he offers his advice to others having doubts about their faith.
I shudder to think what Prime has got sandwiched in between UCG and LCG. Oh dear lord, I just checked and it's Hour of Power. With that combination you'd hope they'd preface each show with a prominent warning about the likely side effect of viewers experiencing a steep drop in their IQ.


  1. I don't think that these programs will have much of an impact. All of the descendants of the Worldwide Church of God have pretty much turned into maintenance organizations for the dwindling number of old timers from the parent church. The world is no longer receptive to this type of message. Even if one of these shows happens to spark some interest among a very limited potential audience, there is so much information on the internet that a quick reference to Google would likely extinguish such interest. I think that even Garner Ted Armstrong would have a hard time selling this stuff in today's world (even if he could start over without all of the baggage of his own misconduct).

  2. More money out for no benefit. A win-win! A win for entropy and a win for extinction!

    Besides MinusIQ, warnings should be issued that the material is inappropriate for those of all ages and may lead to fits of anger over misrepresentation of fact; some may experience danger of dying from uncontrollable laughing (as when they mention anything related to British Israelism).

    A cult religion founded by Herbert Armstrong: Herbert who? Most people wouldn't recognize the name. Herbert Hoover probably has greater name recognition.

  3. "Hour of Power", wow, what became of that after they "did a Tkach": selling the Crystal Skyscraper/campus to the deep-pocket Catholics.

    Like with Tkach, one wonders where the money went. Also like GCI they seem to still have a loyal sycophantic following, though perhaps not the donors who gave huge gifts toward the Crystal Cathedral/campus who were to be honored through ages by having their names in the Walk of Faith garden on campus (a tacky emulation of the nearby Hollywood Walk of Fame).

    Stop Press: the Catholics have just announced they have ripped up this hokey waste of space. Too bad, but a lesson to mega donors like those selling homes for Flurry/Pack: these epic follies soon hit the wall.