Monday 11 September 2006

Bits & Pieces

The Journal

The latest issue of The Journal is out (it reached the email in-tray on the same day the snail mail copy of the previous issue hit my letterbox.) The new issue includes:

* The shortest essay I've ever seen in The Journal. Congratulations to James McBride, who knows that an economy of words is worth more than an avalanche of over-explanation.

* Mark Kellner has a travel article (for lack of a better description) after visiting the sites of the Seven Churches of Revelation. Kellner's name last cropped up when he produced an article for Christianity Today that effectively pulled Rod Meredith's nuts out of the fire after the Wisconsin Sabbath shootings (many sins can be forgiven, Mark, but I'm not so sure about that one...) The writer has become a devotee of Ellen G. White and Seventh-day Adventism, and now serves as a PR official for the General Conference of that denomination.

The first and last pages of The Journal are available as a free download.


The Marmite mystery has been solved. John Morgan's otherwise excellent book contained a minor gaffe on the famous yeast extract (see the review.) A correspondent clarifies: "it was Vegemite that we were told not to eat, because Kraft would, in those days, neither confirm nor deny whether Vegemite contained extracts of animal blood in the recipe. Blood was the point at issue, whereas Sanitarium, as you pointed out, vigorously denied using any such ingredient on account of their religion! I remember it well. Marmite was rather too sweet for my taste, and I remember the sigh of relief I passed when Vegemite was at last "kosherised", around 1978."

Ambassador books

An American correspondent - one of the heroes of the old AW - passed on a Press Release concerning the Ambassador College library in Big Sandy. You can read it here.


The following comments were posted after the Dennis Leap item.

"LCG’s last update reported:

"This morning, Mr. Meredith called a Headquarters staff meeting to motivate us just before the Feast of Tabernacles. He told us to work harder, with more zeal and determination. He exhorted us to become bigger and sharper minded, to improve our skills—and not to waste time.
"A friend at LCG headquarters told me what really happened at that meeting. Meredith went on an angry rant, threatening to fire or demote people. He said the staff wasn’t working hard enough, and said they were stupid and lazy compared to the businessmen (the big tithers?) who advise him. Meredith was so cruel and harsh, he made some of the women cry.

"My friend said office morale has been trashed, and said last week's meeting isn't an isolated incident. Meredith has recently been screaming at people a lot... Many in LCG believe Meredith has lost his mind."

Mark Kellner take note.

The Devil's Web Browser

And finally, I confess that I've been trying the new Internet Explorer browser (IE7), and, um, *sob*, it's good. Up till last week I've used Firefox almost exclusively, with an occasional switch to Opera. Now I'm tempted to return to Holy Mother Microsoft. Somebody slap me QUICK!


Anonymous said...

Gavin, you are right about Mark Kellner being way too soft on Rod Meredith. Rabbi Shmuely Boteach has this saying, "Those who are kind to the cruel are cruel to the kind." Mark was unfortunate in his judgement when he said that "Armstrongism is wrong but not murderous". Armstrongism is a heretical, damnable, spiritually violent and hateful religion. Anyone who asserts Armstrongism is a religion of peace is needs their head examined.

Anonymous said...

When I first encountered the Roy Hammer Library, the collection looked as if it had been developed from the bibliography of Hoeh's compendium of World History. In other words, it would not support a liberal arts program.

In the mid-Seventies, a head librarian who was not a church member was hired and he disposed of some of these cherished but useless tomes. He also got rid of the Ambassador Yearbooks. I recall that Dixon Cartwright came over to the library from his office one day to look up something in an early Envoy and found them to be gone. He asked me to relay his displeasure to the head librarian. I did this and the head librarian said that the old Envoys had no place in the collection.

The head librarian had some difficulty in adjusting to how AC was operated. A minister came to the library and confiscated some of the material generated by GTA's Systematic Theology Project. The head librarian could not understand how mininsters, any ministers in the WCG, could dictate policy to the administrators of the learning center. On several occasions, he had WCG ministers tell him what to do regarding policy matters that really should have been within his purview and properly within the
boundaries of academics. He, of course, did not understand the abrogation of the spirit of inquiry that was present at AC.

Overall, the Roy Hammer Library was probably the most unused facility at AC. It was a small, biased collection and was seldom crowded. I believe there were many students and faculty members that never set foot in the library at the time I was on campus (pre-1995). The racquetball courts, on the other hand, were like Grand Central Station. The nicely appointed "Faculty Lounge" was located there (men only) and its principal attaction was beer on tap and sports on TV. Recapturing true values.


Anonymous said...

Meredith is acting just like he did in 1998. Ranting and raving like a lunatic.
Beware of some changes though as he has rubberstamped a brand new addition to the Council of Elders to shore up "Rod's Church".
He does not want to lose control again. There are some at Hq who have tried to make needed changes by extolling those in charge to be more dilligent in their scholarship. Of course those at the top think it does not apply to them, because God has not come down to correct them (the Wisconsin shooting was the brethrens fault because they did not pray enough). So with this mentality from Rod and others, the same old -same old- will be the rule of the day.
One friend of mine who recently died had a prominent web-page and threatened Rod with exposure if he did not make some changes to his writings. I have a letter from Rod to this webmaster stating he(Rod) had been too busy
to make the changes but would do so. This two page letter shows that Rod had made the exact same error in writing about this webmaster's book twice before .
Seems like the old Rod up to his usual tricks.
I have a friend who forwarded me all his correspondence to LCG as well. It is very interesting as Rod usually is the last to know about problems. He is very isolated. I personally called him only to get the brush off. After services he is too tired to talk to anyone except some light hearted conversation.
Rod has some new staff that actually question some of the accuracy of his wild off the cuff remarks edited out before going to the general membership. Of course it does not get passed one certain individual who has seen the bad side of Rod's temper personally. This guy knows not to make waves, and will use the silliest ways to explain the "Lie" camoflaged as "truth".
Meredith was indeed let off too easy by the writer because he Lies, Lies, and Lies, and the "TRUTH" is not in him or LCG.
Anyone who disagrees with my assessment need only to take Rod up on his admonition to "Prove all things".
rod 2

Anonymous said...

"I did this and the head librarian said that the old Envoys had no place in the collection."

Well that's pretty stupid. Why wouldn't a college library find space for an archive on the college's history? But I guess he was a "librarian" and not an archivist.

Anonymous said...

To Jared:

Oddly enough, I have encountered the idea of not keeping yearbooks in the library at a number of places. Our local high school does not keep yearbooks in the library but rather sequestered off somewhere in an office.

I think in the WCG we placed a lot more emphasis on the Envoy than other institutions place on their yearbooks. I recall the 50th Anniversary Envoy was hawked at Feasts and was replete with pictures of HWA. But, in any case, I think the old Envoys should have been archived in the library for those who would ever be interested in such records.


Anonymous said...

I have no comment on anything else you wrote Gavin, but I do want to comment on IE7. Since you liked it so much I downloaded and installed it ... and froze my computer to hell'n back!

I was forced to remove it and reinstall IE6.

Thanks for the trip!


Anonymous said...

Talk about throwing the baby out with the bath water, The Bible stands on it's own, it does not need the name of any man, the bible is very clear to understand,