Saturday, 9 September 2006

Dennis takes a flying leap


Dennis Leap has gone. The PCG's Grand Vizier has been dumped by the Supreme Ayatollah, according to reports on the Web. There are rumors about depression, and the removal of ministerial credentials. Excerpts:

1. "It seems that the PCG just had a Ministerial Conference this summer and Dennis Leap was conspicuous by his absence. Absolutely no announcement has been made about him, but the speculation is flying through the PCG."

2. "I was told that Dennis Leap was at the 2006 ministerial conference in Edmond, Oklahoma, but that he had no speaking role, which was highly unusual for him. No one will say why, but it is strongly believed by others there that he has had a nervous breakdown."

3. "Saturday, the last tape of the Ministerial Conference was played. At the end of it, it was announced that Dennis Leap was no longer Regional Director or Minister. Nothing was said as to whether he was suspended or put out, or whether he would have to move out of his house. The members were further told that they had nothing to fear about reporting abuses directly to Flurry."

4. "There was a taped announcement about Dennis Leap in services this Saturday (August 26). It went something like this: Dennis Leap in a deep state of depression and has "suspended" himself. He will not be back to services."

5. "I can't help but wonder if Leap will now form a splinter group."

From the same source comes news of the death of Garth Macdonald, a young Australian studying at PCG's college. The sect's rejection of medical intervention is apparently a factor.

Then there's a lovely example of cult-think. The AICF (American-Israeli Cultural Foundation) has taken exception to the Flurry front organisation, Armstrong International Cultural Foundation, using its acronym. Ryan Malone writes: "We believe this is quite a positive step. Pastor General Gerald Flurry strongly believes God wants us to use Armstrong International Cultural Foundation and that not using the acronym will help people more quickly draw the connection between the PCG's college and its cultural efforts. Whereas using AICF might take a while before others started connecting it to us, having to use the full name allows us the opportunity to forge a more immediate connection with the community and perhaps even those in places where Mr. Armstrong worked with the Ambassador foundation."

So there you have it, the bad news is good news, Big Brother says so!

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

WOW!!

I know a long time ago on the classic AW it was stated that there were troubles in PCG. I had no idea about Leap's mental health, but almost cannot imagine otherwise. I think if he truly has issues right now we should pray for his sanity. I dont know much about him or his standing w/ HQ. If Leap starts a splinter organization, than I pray for a lot more people, although I dont know much about his personal beliefs.

Either way it is truly sad to see a man who is genuinely trying to follow God had to suffer such things...and likely drag down a few with him.

I hope many readers have information and that AW follows developments. It will be interesting to see what happens.

Anonymous said...

How could such a young man as Garth MacDonald die, in only his junior year? The medical examiner should investigate for the true facts ASAP.

Richard said...

Assuming this is true about Dennis Leap -- what a shame.

I would think Churches of God would be against the "survival of the fittest" concept as being evolutionary -- but isn't what the ministerial leadership of PCG has become to some extent?

Look at what happeend to John Amos, for instance.

Byker Bob said...

Uh, Hello! Aren't "God's" ministers supposed to have something called "Holy Spirit", as in the mind or power of God, which would be a natural antidote to depression?

Guess we all now know what's lacking in PCG, as if we ever had any doubts.

BB

Douglas Becker said...

Mental illness is hereditary: You get it from your cult leader.

rod of irony said...

Mental illness is hereditary: You get it from your cult leader.

Good point. However, let’s not forget that the problem of mentally ill COG leaders who like to abuse their followers goes way beyond just Flurry/Leap. Look at Rod Meredith, for example. 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, and has been caught telling even more lies than usual. Many in LCG believe Meredith has lost his mind.

Maybe Leap could join with Meredith? They seem to have a very similar approach to handling members.

Anonymous said...

Many in LCG believe Meredith has lost his mind.

Meredith has developed a reputation for instability, even among his "supporters". Check out these August 2006 comments at Gary Scott's XCG site:

http://xcg.kingary.net/2006/08/21/more-signs-and-wonders#comment

In particular, note the comments by rocky and rod2.

Douglas Becker said...

Good point. However, let’s not forget that the problem of mentally ill COG leaders who like to abuse their followers goes way beyond just Flurry/Leap.

For the leader himself, it is not mental illness -- which could be forgiven after a fashion -- but it is personality disorder about which we are speaking. Mental illness is quantifiable and can be traced to physiological anomalies in the brain. Personality disorders are defects in the character of a person and generally are generally excluded from mental illnesses as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders by the American Psychiatric Association. Even though there is a physiological component to being a psychopath, personality disorders include narcissists and psychopaths, both of which categories contribute arguably to a significant portion of interpersonal relationships.

In particular, Gerald Flurry, David Pack, Roderick Meredith -- especially Roderick Meredith -- Wade Ewart Cox and a whole host of splinter owners, are at minimum narcissists and one of them seems to be a full blown psychopath.

When a person with a narcissistic personality disorder gains control of a group, it will always be a disaster for the individual members -- always. The component most lacking is love. There is no love. Narcissism is marked by a total lack of empathy.

Mostly, everything is AOK until someone disagrees with the narcissist [this does not have to be true of the psychopath, who is into game playing without regard to mere response of the game drama participants]. The narcissist expects everyone to be a narcissistic source -- to provide ego building and just generally contribute to the notion that the narcissist actually exists. The narcissist is empty. There is really nothing there, except for the anger when things don't go his way.

People will do their very best to respond to such a person. They will be loyal and try to make things work. The narcissist / psychopath will continue to up the ante. The environment will continue to get more and more extreme and demands escalate.

For a person targeted by the narcissist / psychopath, there will be an understandable escalating stress as the person attempts to continue to try to make things work as the demands become more and more outrageous. Whether it is attention to the cult leader, or money, or labor or any other resource, there will come a time when the delivery simply cannot meet the demands. At this point, the narcissist / psychopath is finished with the person who can't respond as they wish and the narcissist / psychopath will abandon their pawn / patsy.

The abandonment phase can be devastating to the person ejected. The person has a huge investment which has just been trashed. There isn't anything left, really. The person is drained physically, mentally, emotionally, psychically, spiritually and financially. It was a deal with the Devil in the first place, and after a person can no longer give the Devil his due, he or she is rejected by the adversary. Often, the narcissistic source will crawl back to the victimizer to "repent" only to be rebuffed by their Lord and Master. The most graphic example of this was Global where Raymond McNair wept on his knees before his god, Roderick Meredith, to be accepted back -- with an heartfelt "repentance".

Those who are "neutral" to such shenanigans see how pathetic the victims are, but often realize that any interference to rescue the victim would lead to disaster for anyone who would participate in the rescue operation. The narcissist / psychopath is a dramasist who is an expert in manipulation. Anyone who interferes will be in deep quicksand immediately, and the end won't be pretty.

It should not take a rocket scientist to figure out that being under the thumb, subject to the narcissist / psychopath, will lead to severe problems, one of which might very well include insanity or a mental breakdown of some sort.

Anonymous said...

RE GArth Macdonald. It appears that his family took him back to Australia and he died there. That would explain why the medical examiner did not investigate his death.

Dennis said...

Aside from chemical factors etc...in a cult like group with s narcissistic leadership so well defined by Doug, which does indeed suck your soul out over time, depression is also internalized and unexpressed anger that one does
A. Not feel one has a right to express freely and..
B. Not expressed because the cost of being honest is too high.

I expect Mr. Leap has been suffering from both conditions under Gerald Flurry. I hope he might, at his age, be finding out that he doesn't believe his own press and can change once he faces the issues that plague him personally. I know many men who behaved and spoke as they thought they were expected to, trying to believe it, or acting as if they did, or perhaps believing genuinely it was the right thing to be and do. But personal authenticity is a difficult thing to keep under wraps forever.

I certainly don't agree with Mr. Leap in anything that I have known him to practice, say or do, but I do wish him well in dealing with the issues that depression can expose. Depression is a symptom of underlying anger and lack of control in ones life.

Douglas Becker said...

Dennis, what you said. Lies lead to apathy, then to rebellion. We have all been expected to be "good little boys" and do what our leaders say to do.

I came into the Radio Church of God as a teenager. I was willing and fully expected to be a martyr for what I believed. My expectation was that in this life, I would be expected to give my life and sacrifice to die, even in excruciating pain, to do and have God's will in my life.

Imagine the shock and surprise when I discovered that except for the very rare few, none of the ministers were willing to sacrifice or be martyrs. Instead, they want their cushy retirement and a good living -- as they are worthy of a double portion. No one had the courage to stand up to Herbert Armstrong and tell him that he was wrong and to do something about his son. No one had the courage to face Tkach and tell him that "we must obey God rather than men". It was nothing like that.

The ministry gathered themselves together in secret conspiracies, wove their web, and when they were sure they could win at keeping their salaries and positions, then they struck out on their own to form 1,000 splinters.

There has been no courage. There has been no sacrifice. Not anyone preaching today that I note would risk being a martyr. I would know. I have watched ministers and leaders cringe in terror as they were frightened by Wade Ewart Cox threatening to sue them. Some of them went so far as to do everything they could to betray confidences to save themselves.

As far as I have been able to gather, the ministers and leaders of the various churches of God are abject cowards who portray the works of the flesh and are devoid of the fruit of the Spirit.

The irony is that they continue to blather about the consequences of nations disobeying God -- breaking the Sabbath and all -- when they do it themselves. Besides being cowards, they are hypocrites who some how expect only good things to come of what they say and do because somehow, God is with them and somehow God is against everyone else who commit the same breaches of ethics and morals and do illegal things.

The PCG is only one of such organizations which, if the Bible is true and God exists, can only look forward to utter destruction because of a lack of commitment and no accountability whatsoever to anyone: They get to do whatever they very well please and care nothing of those under their charge.

Douglas Becker said...

Redemption: One wonders what it would take to straighten out the entire mess of the churches of God.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the picture - I always wondered what the arsehole looked like.

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