Sunday, 8 November 2015

Spanky through the decades

Few figures have been as influential in the ongoing soap opera of Armstrongism as Roderick Meredith. Gary Leonard draws attention to a chronology of Meredith's life and ministry from a critical and completely unauthorized source. Let's face it, if it was authorised it would be useless given the apologetic imperative, so this was a necessary decision. It could well be a valuable resource for those intending to write an obituary for the great man, a task probably not too far distant.

Accepting that this is not a friendly assessment of the man some refer to as "Spanky", a moniker I modestly claim credit for, the author ("Redfox") has taken pains to get accurate information and provide links to much of the reference material that's available online, some from church literature, some not. It's a project that should be appreciated by many whose lives have been impacted by Meredith - which is basically anyone who has had connections with the former Worldwide Church of God, let alone one of Meredith's splinter sects (the Global Church of God and the Living Church of God). I picked up a few items of information that were new to me, and was intrigued to find my name cited a couple of times along with links to my retired blog Ambassador Watch.

To offer a little positive criticism, there's a bit of editing and proof reading still needed. While it's clearly titled Roderick Meredith - A Biographical Sketch on the inside pages, the all important title page features a howler of a typo: Roderick Meredith - A Biological Sketch. (Now there's a disturbing image.) That needs fixing quick smart. It would be great to get someone to run through the complete text with an editor's eye; there's not a writer on the planet - including the professionals - who should pass on this stage.

And - an old bugbear of mine - a lot of credibility gets flushed away if a researcher uses an obvious pseudonym. Better to simply keep it anonymous, but best to provide a real name. This is a valuable enough project to be cited, and a cut-down email moniker will dissuade serious writers from doing that.

But those are minor quibbles. My compliments to "Redfox" - well done. I'd love to see it in PDF format too. You can access the ebook either through the link on Gary's blog above, or directly here.

Addendum: the text, according to a comment by the writer posted on Gary's blog, dates back to 2009. The ebook production, just released, is the work of Douglas Becker.


  1. It's been fixed.

  2. You may also be interested in Herbert Armstrong's Prophetic Record over at Ambassador.Report.

    By the way, not allowing access to the PDF format was a deliberate choice because for reading online the flipping book format is arguably the easiest format to negotiate along with the iSpring Presenter Pro / Suite. It keeps things simple.

  3. Two things. 1). If someone known by a moniker were to publish on his blog such a work, credited to his own name, perhaps just once, most folks would simply assume that it was outside reference material. They probably wouldn't assume that they had discovered the real life identity of the moniker, unless they were told that that was what it was. 2). We had attended a church movement that based much of its teaching on biology. Initially, when I saw "A biological sketch", I assumed that there would be materials covering Rod's dna and heritage, maybe even debunking that he was what Armstrong theology calls an "Israelite". Wouldn't that be ironic, considering all of the racism? After having read a page or two, I realized that the correct label was "biographical".

    So, now that this work has been "peer reviewed", I believe it is ready for wider publication!


  4. Since the leaders of the C of G think they have the authority and ability to evaluate the spiritual maturity of its members, why not make a list of the fruits of the Holy Spirit and the Qualifications of the Elders (I Tim 3) and in a second column, list the antonym and opposite of the required traits. Then we can have members who know these people give then ratings, 1-10 for each trait. Then we can the average person. Might we find that some of the people in leadership positions are the least mature, least qualified to be in any position of authority? Let's see, how would HWA score on "not greedy" or GTA on "self-control" or RCM on "kindness"?

  5. And while we're at it, try the colorized 1975 in Prophecy replete with spooky music.

  6. Linked from Bio:
    WN article says 1st Mrs Meredith died at age 40!!! from cancer. Very easily preventable with screening, check-ups!!
    But not when your life is controlled by anti-intellectual fanatical dumbclucks like HWA and RCM.
    She paid the ultimate price; she should have walked like Leona.

  7. Thank you for mentioning it. I am glad you found it helpful.

    I will take your words into consideration. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    And let me just say here thank you for your Ambassador Watch blog. It was very helpful to me after I saw the truth about Armstrongism. I will always remember how your writings helped me at that time. I really needed it at the time.

  8. I would also like use this opportunity to thank Black Ops Mikey for releasing it in flip book format.

  9. Why did you spell "unauthorized" with a z but "authorised" with an s? Was this simply a slip of the finger? Is a Kiwi tradition? Z is the American/Canadian spelling while s is the spelling for English outside of North America. Is it simply a matter of spelling, or is there some deep Freudian meaning to the difference between z and s? Should I look for a conspiracy in this matter?

    1. You're an observant reader! To quote from the "About Otagosh" page:
      "Otagosh alternates between American forms (because most readers come from the US), and British forms (because that's the Kiwi way) with absolutely no logical consistency. Anything else is probably a typo."
      I don't normally choose both options in the same post, but hey, I thought I'd live a little dangerously...