Monday, 9 March 2015

Armstrongism Updates

The latest issue of The Journal is out, and you can access the full PDF here.

Being a bit of a radio nut, for me the biggest story was actually buried on the last page. The Flurrydians are launching their own radio station on their Edmond compound/campus.

KPCG (what else!) is licensed as a low power FM station. That means it wont have much juice to reach beyond the local area (34 watts, just under 10km reception radius). But these days you don't really need to, you simply stream online. According to the brief article in The Journal, the PCG aims to do just that, starting sometime this month.

Photographs on the PCG website show a larger than expected transmitter tower being erected. I don't know a lot about the requirements for low power stations, but this one seems a tad on the big side. Hmm, a touch of Freudian overcompensation perhaps?

And what audio delights can you expect to hear on KPCG? The Key of David programme, Trumpet Daily "analysis", musical treats from the in-house Philadelphia Singers, probably old Herbert Armstrong audio and "maybe concerts at Armstrong Auditorium".

Oh goody, can't wait.

Also in this issue of The Journal a truly head-banging article by Brian Harris which, despite initial indications to the contrary, isn't intended as satire. Nope, Brian is a dyed in the wool British Israelite believer. I'm sure he is sincere and quite a smart guy, but I find it hard to imagine nonetheless how anyone who writes stuff like this manages to tie his own shoelaces.

Finally brethren, if you've got a dollar or two to spare (asking price $11,000,000 - I suggest you haggle), there's a bargain going in the Pasadena Real Estate market.
The Historic Merritt Mansion was built by Hulett C. Merritt, one of Pasadena's most celebrated Millionaires. After his death, the approximately 17,329 SF mansion was sold to Herbert Armstrong and became part of Ambassador College. This spectacular property features 9 bedroom/dens, two bathrooms, a fully built-out basement with 6 additional rooms, two security vaults, and an underground swimming pool and locker room. The Formal East Garden showcases stunning and expansive grounds designed by the famed landscape architect Garrett Eckbo. The gardens are a frequent and desirable wedding venue accommodating up to 1,500 guests outdoors. Seller will lease-back the mansion while new owner completes renovation plans. Please contact listing agents for lease terms, income and tenant information.Property Highlights: 1.81 Acres of Land, Stunning and Expansive Italian Gardens, Located on Ambassador Collega [sic] Campus, Incredible Architectural Features. 
Two security vaults?

(BTW, whoever wrote that copy might consider taking up a remedial course in written English, starting with the correct use of the upper case!)



  1. None of this ostentatious display cost Flurry a single dime. All the money is being provided by a group deluded, religious people who can't discern between good and evil.

    1. There are those who wonder what sort of good could come from a hypothetically double minded man, assuming that that man were capable of completing his Bible study for the evening, and then heading up to his daughter's bedroom. That would pretty much define the dichotomy between good and evil, n'est ce pas?


  2. His radio station and TV show are a joke; Herbism is impossible to sell.
    Who are these Flurryites and Packites?
    They are old converts from the GTA era; only Pasadena's Playboy Preacher could sell this.
    He was gifted, like Joseph Smith & Elmer Gantry, but they needed women, lots of women!

  3. It is a shock to see British-Israelism in print. I have been out of touch with Armstrongite organizations for so long, I grew to feel that B-I was passé. The fact that it is alive and well is disconcerting. It is a lame idea and has no demonstrable scientific foundation. The Germans are not Assyrians. The people of Germany in the west are haplogroup R1b and are related to other nations along and near the Atlantic littroral of Europe. The central and eastern Germans are R1a, are classic Indo-Europeans and genetically belong to the Eastern European and Russian populations.

    There are surviving Assyrians in the Middle East and they are haplogroup J as are most other Middle Easterners. The Bible accommodates the Jews as descendants of Shem being related to the Assyrians. Following this line of reasoning, we would expect to find that the Assyrians are also haplogroup J and this is the case.

    Just because there is some evidence in ancient times, if it is not wholly legendary, that an Assyrian prince named Trebeta founded Trier, Germany, this does not convert the entire German population into Assyrians. Just as wandering Jews in ancient times in various parts of Europe cannot be presumed to have converted the local indigenous populations to Jews.

    Moreover, I have looked at ancient frescoes of the Assyrians in pictorial works and they look just like typical Middle Easterners. They are not blonde. They do not look European. I asked a WCG minister about this years ago and he could not explain the appearance of the ancient Assyrians. He said that Herman Hoeh would probably know. If Hoeh knew, he never said.

    -- Neotherm

  4. Not to mention the British Monarchy Royal Family are German.

    The Journal does a very good job of reporting on the evil legacy of Herbert Armstrong -- just look at the chaotic mess he built.

  5. An addendum to my last comment: The fact is Hoeh did not make mistakes only about the U.S. and Britain. His interpretation of the Table of Nations in the book of Genesis was almost entirely incorrect. Modern genetics can identify racial groupings and even suggest plausible migration patterns. Although this is now arcane knowledge, Hoeh placed the German and Slavic people in the Semitic branch of mankind. He then placed the Russians in the Japhethic branch of mankind (Tubal and Meschech). Modern genetics indicates that the central and eastern Germans, the Slavs and the Russians are all genetically similar and are predominantly haplogroup R1a. Many Scandinavians, whom Hoeh classed as Israelites, are also R1a. There is some R1a among the Brits that seems to have been imported by some of the Anglo-Saxons. Most of these peoples, in their scant national histories, trace themselves to central Eurasia, the great Indo-European homeland. Hoeh knew this and linked them to the Lost Tribes via displacement from Palestine into central Eurasia by the Assyrians and then subsequent migrations. But genetics tell us that this is untrue. The Lost Tribes would be haplogroup J and haplogroup J people to this day dwell principally in the Middle East. There is an enclave of haplogroup J people in central Italy and this may be attributed to ancient commercial ties to Phoenicia.

    Armstrongites have long maintained that the key to understanding Biblical prophecy was the identity of Israel. Hoeh used connections between similarly spelled names and dubious ancient histories to identify nations. Had genetics been a more developed science in the early 20th century, BI would have never gotten off the ground. From Hoeh's errors we may next deduce that the Armstrongites know nothing about Biblical prophecy yet this remains their religious forte.

    -- Neotherm

  6. Hope you don't miss that Dixon Cartwright has been disfellowshipped and turned over to Satan along with the entire The Journal by Ambassador Ogorek.

    He deserves it, I guess.

  7. I have always wondered how Cartwright would fare with the various Armstrongite sects. Armstrongism in principle enforces strict control of all information. If the information does not have the Armstrongite leader's imprimatur, it is without credentials and may even be deemed Satanic. For most of these organizations, Cartwright operates outside the pale of their information administration, although I am sure, like me, many of them consider Dixon and his paper to be guided by Armstrongite orthodoxy.

    -- Neotherm
    -- Neotherm

  8. To Neotherm. Thanks, I think. Not sure "guided" is the right word. --Dixon Cartwright

  9. The excellent series on the history of Big Sandy will pick up again next month in The Journal.
    The next installment should cover insider details of the whipsaw volatility under Tkach
    where fortunes were poured into the property to make it an accredited college just before TSHTF - a real modern day financial catastrophe!

    1. Yes, it was a financial catastrophe for pretty much the entire ministerial cadre. But not to worry, Joe Jr. is still living quite comfortably.

  10. It's hard to say how The Journal is guided, given the extreme excessive nonsensical opinions it allows from obviously irrational people engrossed in their own delusions.

    Meanwhile, coverups smooth over the grossly inappropriate behavior of the heavy hitters.

    It really isn't clear why The Journal exists given that Armstrongism has been thoroughly disproved and Herbert Armstrong, the founder, has been shown to be a false prophet -- Scripture says emphatically "from such turn away", but The Journal encourages embracing them.

  11. To Black Ops: You do not understand where I'm coming from. I pick up from Gavin and his little comments now and then that he pretty much does. "False prophet"? Interesting that you still are tuned in to the concept of false prophet. That strikes me as a religious and conservative-theological way of thinking that I try not to do anymore. It's like saying someone's a heretic. For a person trying to stay above the fray, some of those concepts make little sense. People obviously have strong religious convictions, and I think that can be an objective statement. But lamentations about false prophets and heretics and interpretations of Scripture and doctrine are not. --Dixon C.

  12. And there it is: Yet another attempt to give Herbert Armstrong a shred of viability. Herbert Armstrong founded his entire religion on prophecy -- he got people to join up because they thought he had 'truth'.

    Let's see now. How to remain above the fray? Oh, let's pretend Herbert Armstrong brought religious spiritual truth. OK, then. His predictions have to be ignored. We can't engage in investigating how his eschatology lines up with the Bible. There. He's a great spiritual leader.

    Here's a concept for those attempting to lie and employ delusions to 'stay above the fray': Let's look at the fruit. And the best way to look at that fruit today is to read The Journal -- a window into an insane asylum. I suppose that if Herbert Armstrong wasn't a false prophet, David Pack isn't either. And neither is Roderick Meredith. How about Gerald Flurry? And while we are at it, could Gerald Flurry be an heretic, declaring himself to be Christ in the flesh as 'that prophet'? Does anyone want to say that Ronald Weinland is a good guy and not a false prophet?

    This sort of thing is described so well in "Moral Mazes" by Robert Jackall in the chapter on the Magic Lantern. Yes, spread the propaganda to justify the failings of a cult. It's all right to call Armstrongism a cult isn't it? Make it all go away by claiming that it's irrelevant.

    Meanwhile, people are getting conned and the cultmeisters are lying to you and taking your money. It's about power, ego and money. Just so everyone knows, Robert Dick is retiring and so are some of the others who were there for the founding of United. Dennis Luker made it so very clear from the beginning of the UCG that he was so very concerned about salary and retirement.

    And The Journal is also all about excuses -- finding excuses for the continued existence of a rotten failed religion of physical rituals having little to nothing to do with learning about God.

    But that's just fine.

    Dixon Cartwright can now find some way to rescue the Bible, seeing as how so many of the books have been forged.

    And don't be surprised by the tactics: It's not relevant -- we have to be 'above it all'.

    1. I don't see it that way at all, and not even you Douglas can accuse me of being a fan of HWA or any of the cloned wannabes. Whether one likes it or not the COG movement endures, albeit in much depleted numbers. Screaming invective at those who remain is unlikely to help. The Journal provides a range of perspectives in its coverage and, say what you will, is largely objective in its editorial content. I think that helps steer the movement toward greater openness. Yup, there are occasional articles that are irritating beyond measure (the Brian Harris one is a case in point), but then there are the regular contributions from reasonable people like Dave Havir. Even yours truly has occasionally appeared in print there. I value The Journal because it encourages a conversation - which is why some of the loonier splinters loathe it. I've never met Dixon Cartwright - exchanges of email once in a blue moon are as far as it goes - but I judge him to be fair minded, and The Journal fills a needed role.

    2. Perhaps this will help: Pseudoscience and Extraordinary Claims of the Paranormal: A Critical Thinker's Toolkit.

      Armstrongism is nuts -- a kook religion (thanks to Donna Kossy and her Kooks: A Guide to the Outer Limits of Human Belief; after concluding that Herbert Armstrong founded a kook religion of the paranormal, there's no rational discussion left concerning its viability.

      The posting here by DCJ is an ad hominem attack using weasel words -- it may be sophisticated, but it's still a logic bomb. Of course false prophecy is relevant... unless you don't believe in the Bible as a standard. If one is seeking God, heresy isn't relevant? What sort of weirdness is that?

      The Journal is a window into an insane asylum and ignoring the ads that are such a part of it doesn't make the problem go away.

      I think the truth is something like this: A craftsman is wasting his time producing a worthless electronic rag newspaper so people can sate their curiosity about other people, giving them a voice so they can waste their time expressing worthless opinions ignored by everybody else and The Journal is used to keep a ridiculous paranormal society afloat when it would be so much better that everybody disband (not that 700+ sects of the cult of Herbert Armstrong is really keeping it all together). The said craftsman has a powerful innate desire to be seen as a 'good guy' whose primary love language is words of encouragement and leverages his efforts to feel good about himself.

      Let's ask this question: Is The Journal doing more harm than good? Is it really an agent of change?

      Or is it simply a tool so everybody can feel comfortable living in delusion when they'd be a lot better off doing something else and not risk being abused and oppressed?

      I've tried to make it work. I've attempted to work with any number of Armstrongist groups. In the end, it's futile as long as they stick to false prophecies based on British Israelism and their ministry is seeking little more than recognition, ego boosting, money and power. Christianity (as I have found) is supposed to be about redemption. Herbert Armstrong made it about something else, his hirelings carried on and, truthfully, I have never found anything that could remotely fix the cult mentality, outside of leaving it entirely.

      But Gavin, I am very grateful to you: You clued me in to British Israelism and lately, your exposition concerning the Bible has been extremely illuminating. If The Journal openly had that sort of presentation, I might reconsider, but I'm pretty sure it's not going to happen.

  13. The ads. The ads, and the people who place them! If Peter and Paul had a first century newsletter, would they have allowed Simon Magus or Alexander the coppersmith to purchase ads, just because they had once been part of the "family"? I shudder to think of someone assuming that if a group advertises in the Journal, that group is "kosher", making that phone call and getting involved with one of the really deranged predators!


    1. Yeah, I hate the ads too. Though they're good for a laugh occasionally. Frankly I don't think very many people pay much attention to them - they seem to amount to "vanity publishing" in most cases. I know of one guy who bought a full page and filled it with the kind of print-dense content that's so popular among those who buy space in the Connections section of The Journal. He then sat back and waited for the response. That was around three years ago - maybe more. The poor guy is still waiting!

  14. OK, then, here are my FINAL words on the topic -- a challenge.

    Let me write an extensive article in The Journal about British Israelism [I will accept approved editing, but not censureship]... it may be several pages (and I may have help from James at the Painful Truth, Silenced and even Byker Bob).

    And this time, I'm not paying for it.

    Put up or shut up.

  15. To Black Ops: Did I hear Gavin refer to you as Douglas? Are you Doug Becker? That would explain a lot including your hair-trigger temper. You make so many assumptions -- straw men, really -- about me and The Journal that aren't accurate, but then you attack them. At least it gives you something to do, huh? It is not part of my job, as I see it, to keep Armstrongism afloat. If Armstrongism sinks, I have no problem with that. However, Armstrongism is a fact of life in the COGs. There's no getting around it. On another forum I noticed you attacked me because you perceived me to have turned against the Boy Scouts. Nothing could be further. I have supported the Boy Scouts for decades. I'm still a member of the BSA Order of the Arrow. My son was and is an Eagle scout. You make assumptions about people, then attack them whether they're accurate or not.

    Above in this forum you write: "Dixon Cartwright can now find some way to rescue the Bible, seeing as how so many of the books have been forged."

    This shows you don't actually read my newspaper (I'm not saying you must read it; it's certainly not for everybody), specifically my articles about the origin of the Bible and the canon.

    Byker, above, writes: "If Peter and Paul had a first century newsletter, would they have allowed Simon Magus or Alexander the coppersmith to purchase ads, just because they had once been part of the 'family'?"

    My response: I'm not Peter, I'm not Paul, and I don't want to be either one of those guys. Simon Magus is probably politer than Black Ops Doug, so, yes, I'd consider an ad from him.