Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Calling Dr Freud

Violence against women is a serious issue, and it's good to see Presiding Evangelist Meredith addressing it, however hamfistedly, in a TW editorial. But what does one make of this little tirade?

"Even back in the 1940s, my mother and her friends - no doubt like millions of mothers all across the United States - had pushed me and dozens of my classmates to attend "dancing school" - where we were taught to dance face to face and chest to chest with young girls barely entering puberty. We were just little children who wanted to play baseball and "kick the can." God does not forbid dancing, of course, but He does command us to "flee sexual immorality" (1 Corinthians 6:18). Why did our mothers push us into the kind of semi-romantic, semi-sexual behavior involved in that kind of dancing when we were only twelve years old?"


"We were so embarrassed at holding these girls in our arms that we simply took off running - not knowing what else to do with ourselves. It would be several years before we were truly ready for such "romantic" involvements even in an innocent way. Why were our mothers pressuring us into this kind of precocious behavior?"

Rod's childhood was traumatised by dancing lessons at age twelve? Rod - now a septuagenarian - still has unresolved issues with his mother?

As they say, "who'd have thunk it?"


Anonymous said...

Is it significant that another COG leader, Gerald Flurry, also has "mother issues"? Flurry has written about his emotionally distant, abusive, alcoholic father, from whom he says he inherited his alcoholism. Flurry has often said he was much closer to his mother, and that he at first disapproved of her coming into the Radio Church of God, but that he eventually (in his mid-twenties) came into the Church as a result of her influence.

Emotionally distant father, idolized mother. Hmmmm....

Anonymous said...

Is Freud in the house? Maybe he can connect "Rod" Meredith with his "Spanky" moniker and issues with all this.
rod 2

Anonymous said...

Although RCM had family issue when he was a child and now obvious in his own family. RCM's biggest issues are he suffers from the Napoleon syndrome.

Anonymous said...

Maybe his mother issues also caused his golden gloves syndrome. When he was boxing he could take his sexual frustrations out in violence. I also believe that his homophobia stems from his mother issues. Herbie was correct in stating Merrydeath was effeminate.

Anonymous said...

Meredith's commentary shows just how much of a liability he has become to LCG. I'm hanging my head in embarrassment after reading it -- it's garbage like this that makes me hide my affiliation with LCG from certain close friends and family.

The Ex-Christadelphian said...

I reckon that concludes my theory that those at WCG headquarters during Herb's reign were all sex fiends. Birds of a feather and all that, you know.

Dennis said...

This is actually fascinating and telling to me. Having sat for hundred of hours listening to RCM stay from the intended topic of the day it is another small piece of his puzzle. (We all have one by the way..) I so often remember him using the work "sissy" along with his rants on weak and effeminate men. Perhaps this was just the wrong thing for a mom to force a boy like himself to do? Perhaps he took a lot of mocking and ribbing over this perhaps? It was in his teen years he went into Golden Gloves, perhaps to counter to, what for him, was an embarassing and deeply troubling thing. He grew up in an age where "counseling" was almost unheard of and into a church where it was also considered another weakness.

This is very interesting. I would never make fun of a man who felt he had to share that for some reason. I'd say it is unresolved. I imagine I have things unresolved that might pop out a few decades from now, if I live that long.

Maybe we can get of the man's back on this one at this time in his life. He maybe trying to understand himself and this has sufaced. 12 years old is a very tender time when relationships are developed with onesself and the opposite sex. Obviously he has kept this one in the memory bank for a very long time.

Everyone I know has issues that go far back and deep. I get more understanding of people doing massage than I ever did with a suit and tie. Touch does that I think and the good chemistry of massage seems to make newly met clients, friends rather quickly. As I have written in the past, everyone wears masks. We have to survive but getting older and perhaps near one's personal end often finds one wanting to peel them off. Maybe he didn't express it as one might wish, but I think this one is coming from his soul, is sincere and I imagine he would really like to know the answers to the questions that were raised in his young 12 year old mind. It accouts for a lot of how I remember him in class for sure..

Anonymous said...

It didn't take long sitting in his Bible classes at Ambassador to realize he had serious sex problems. How much more we could have learned if he had used the time he spent talking about sex to teach what he was really supposed to be teaching.
And yes, there were more than enough men in 'leading' positions at HQ that had their sex problems.

Anonymous said...

A man who refused to take his wife to the annual Spring Church Dance, said he couldn't stand to see other women's breast moving. Pray tell, why was he looking at any besides his wife's?

Neotherm said...

Dennis: I get a different impression from this article. I do not believe RCM is soul searching. I think he is pointedly and truculently indicting mothers who make their sons dance in the kind of context that he believes emphasizes sexuality at an early age. No doubt all the LCG members will suddenly and zealously disengage their children from any activity that even resembles what RCM describes. This is a clarion battle cry, not a whimper over some unresolved feelings. My guess is that RCM is one of the most resolved men any of us will ever encounter.

-- Neo

charlie kieran said...

Dennis,I agree with your sentiment...However, Rod should be wise enough at his age to keep his private life private.

Ex-christadelphian and anons: Sex was an obsession in the WCG - I can only assume that it remains a huge issue in the various COG's. YOU dances were not too bad, but to anyone that went to SEP back in the 80's, I'm sure you can remember the six inch rule, lectures on what positions are appropriate, where one is permitted to kiss, etc. Heck, we were even told how to urinate without making more noise than necessary!

"A man who refused to take his wife to the annual Spring Church Dance, said he couldn't stand to see other women's breast moving. Pray tell, why was he looking at any besides his wife's?"

Who did this? Rod??? Hard to believe someone would say this. I can't think of a thing wrong with the movement of breasts no matter who they belong to. What are women to do? Buy concrete bras?

Jared Olar said...

"Pray tell, why was he looking at any besides his wife's?"

Uhhh, do you really not know the answer to that?

fyiagain said...

I'm told that once while talking on the subject of oral fixation Dr Freud was asked if the cigar he was smoking might indicate an oral fixation of his own. He is said to have replied "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar".

Let me put it another way: Sometimes there isn't anything between the lines, so be careful what you read there.

In an age when modesty was still considered a virtue, it was not uncommon for an adolescent boy to be uncomfortable with dancing such as he described. I don't think there's anything more to it than that. Just because it seems strange to our modern sensibilities does not in any way indicate anything more than what it was: an adolescent boy's all too natural shyness.

Yes, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Dennis said...

Neo...that might be so as well. RCM had the uncanny ability to begin a class on the Lord's Prayer and end up talking about women's breasts. I remember once in Hornyme of the Gospel class him asking how we thought it would feel if a woman got her breasts caught in a washing machine. I think this was my first experience with a numb stare wondering what the heck brought this up? I still can't get that picture out of my head..ha.

Someday, if ever appropriate, I'll have to share a conference seminar on what kinds of sex were appropriate. It was hilarious and a French pastor stood up and ended it by saying that if the church ruled on thus and such, the entire French church would cave....That was the last one we ever had.

AW fan said...

I remember being told that before each year's graduation, a committee would look at the AC student pictorial and evaluate the senior men for hiring potential. One of the evaluations, we were told, was "NMH" -- the kiss of death, apparently.

NMH stood for "needs more hormones" and apparently was a shorthand way of referring to male students who were deemed not "manly" enough. I have no idea whether RCM had any involvement in this process, but all these comments reminded me of this.

When I first heard it, back in the early '70s, I thought it was funny. Looking back, I now believe it was demeaning and wrong.

Another memory is of an AC grad who told us of the damage that his vocal cords had suffered as a result of his attempts to forcibly lower his natural range. He had a high register and was apparently told at college that he needed to bring it down to a more "masculine" level.

Ah, the ignorance.

John Karagiannidis said...

Sooo....was it the jitterbug, waltz, cha-cha, rhumba, samba, salsa, foxtrot, virginia reel, hava nagila, zorba's, or boot skootin?

Gimme a break

Neotherm said...

I had a buddy who was sacked from the ministry because of lack of hormones. Actually, he was a ministerial assistant and he was treated contemptuously by his regional director. This was back in the Seventies and this guy had the gall to leave AC without being married. The regional director referred to him by the moniker "hormones."

The regional director involved now has his own church organization and website. When I think about the checkered history of some of these guys, I get a little nauseous.

I would like to see Dennis give us an expositon of what leadership was, as taught at AC. In the local areas, it meant being able to shout loudly on a number eight speech in Spokesmans Club. I always thought that some of the guys that were least mentally stable in Club, people with no sense of dignity, were able to do this best.

RCM is an historical artifact. He is what leadership was at AC in the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies. He is worth studying. No time machine needed.

-- Neo

Anonymous said...

I remember RCM and family in Wyoming for the FOT years ago where after we had heard a sermon or sermonette on eating out on the sabbath was not right, There was Meredith and family eating out before sundown at a place if i recall correctly was something like 'The Rocky Mountain Oyster" cafe. The reason i bring this up is (1). He was eating out at a resturant on the sabbath and (i was told he had to grab a plane or something like that and it was ok for HIM to do that).(2). The murals all over the walls of this establishment was of "BuLls Balls" and and Bulls with their balls hanging large there Maybe RCM was fixated on thios as well. After all he constantly yaks about wretling with a boy for hours in the moonlight in Missiouri. Freud again please!,
rod 2

Anonymous said...

I did not edit my last post, sorry . "Wrestling" not "whetling". The others should be easy to figure out,
rod 2

Anonymous said...

I want to hear more of Dennis' conference story. It sounds hilarious.

I once knew a young women who grew up in the church and had been taught that oral sex was wrong. If definitely created problems for her relationships.

Strangely enough when the question came up at AC, the red-faced instructor somehow managed to admit that there was nothing biblically wrong with oral sex.

I wonder how many women were negatively affected by church teachings on sex (it seemed to affect them more then men).

It seems to me that women who grew up in the church have a more difficult time have orgasms than those who grew up outside the church – but that might just be based on my limited sample size :-)

Dennis said...

Neo said "give us an expositon of what leadership was, as taught at AC"

That is what is still amazing to me. We had classes on normal stuff and I remember Druker being popular at the time. Actually there was no regular "here is how to run a church" teachings or classes that I remember. This is why I am often floored by the reputations some that I knew as nice kids with nice girlfriends got after they hit the ministry. Perhaps it was being under little supervision, though I knew many under way too much supervision.

We went to endless "refreshers" that exhaused me but were nothing but ministers listening to sermons by other ministers. One guy had a session on marriage and started in Genesis and went through Revelation with all the scriptures on Marriage to tell us what marriage was. It told me how lazy he was to prepare anything meaningful. I left about halfway through.

We had spokesman club too every week and I suspect it was used to "get to know" us.

I personally read a lot of outside stuff during my college experience. I often went down to Fuller Theo. Sem. to study and read. I must have been in a coma not to figure out all this sooner. AC was not difficult as the whole point seemed to be to know WHAT was in the Bible and How to find it. It was a Bible College and the "not only how to make a living, but how to live" idea was bullshit of course. It was a BIBLE college.

I have to say that the average guy I knew understood well where things were and what the Bible said. We got little training on the why and how because it just said what it said, what more do you need. Bob Jones University is the same here in Gvlle. The Internet is heavily filtered. The Bible is taught and kids that get Internet priviledges taken away due to this or that straying from acceptable content, get to learn about Jesus from 40 year old books in the library that Dr. Bob Sr. approved of way back when.

Actually BJU today makes AC look like a liberal nest of atheists to this day. Those kids are going to be screwed up for years to come. AC was never as restrictive, even at it's worst, as BJU is.

Anyway, I live in a town where the only two schools are known as BJ (Bob Jones) or FU (Furman University) The hot items on campus are running shorts with the initials on the butt.

Sometimes I think that AC leadership was based on the "Charisma" model that we had with the HWA, GTA thing. Not that you could be them, (whew) but a guy that was a guy that showed some iniative got further as long as you knew your place.

One example of RCM not meaning what he said when I was in college. He was sometimes late for class and chided us for just sitting there waiting and that we should have a discussion or something...OK, so next time he was late, self righteous boy..ME, got up and lead a discussion. He walked in and I got my ass chewed..ha. Between that and GTA hauling me up to his office to ask if I realized he was yelling at me at services to get out if I didn't like it (Long story) and then asking me why I hated him in his office....I was dating the same girls he was evidently, it's an unfortunate miracle I was sent into the ministry. Seemed right at the time I guess. Argh!

Anonymous said...

Without a strong father figure in the family, many boys grow up and embrace homophobia in order to hide their TRUE sexual feelings. A reading of "Queer Men" by the LCG authority on such subjects,
one could surmise that the author, may have a “beef” with such men who have such a disposition as to homosexual thoughts or behavior! However, we should all have respect to such an individual that is born, or by choice, chooses this live style. Unless of course, they have a history of demeaning such souls who themselves, have embraced the truth of their being! That would be dishonest and would justify a fitting response!


Anonymous said...

Dear Jared and Charlie,

"A man who refused to take his wife to the annual Spring Church Dance, said he couldn't stand to see other women's breast moving. Pray tell, why was he looking at any besides his wife's?"

Actually a minister confided this to me about a man in Spokesmen's Club, because I asked why so-and-so had not made his reservation.

And I don't recall that dancing lessons, both folk and ballroom were all that tense. If on had rhythm, one didn't mind music and dancing. Maybe RCM was tired of stepping on little girls' toes or he had so spring in his step?

lussenheide said...

I will be the first to admit that a little levity, satire and fun are "A-Okay". Some editorial insight, and introspection, with humor can benefit all.

However, the responses in this thread are downright mean, not very funny, and offer little insight or observation.

An appropriate line from the ending of the movie "Good Morning Vietnam", where the cranky old staff seargent gets transferred to Guam, after destroying the main character Adrian Kroneaur....

"Dick, I've covered for you
a lot of times 'cause I thought
you was a little crazy.

But you're not crazy. You're mean.
And this is just radio."

And folks, me's thinketh your a tad mean. And this is just internet!


Anonymous said...

I don't see anything mean in this discussion at all. RCM should be called into account for his words and actions. As far as I'm aware, I've never heard him apologize for anything -- and certainly not for the mean actions and words he spoke against individual church members.

It is obvious that he is losing control of his mental faculties, probably as a result of diabetes. The delusional beliefs he has espoused for years are likely not helping his mind any, either. One can only hope he will repent of his severe and horrible mistreatment of others before he dies.

ned said...

Those who live by the sword...

And let's remember that Meredith's own words are the source of the latest embarrasment.

The real issue isn't Meredith's possible hangups, but that there's nobody in LCG with the ability or courage to say to him, "Rod, we can't print that, you'll look a laughingstock." I guess nobody wants to get fired - they all remember the way he took Global down on the altar of his own ego.

Richard said...

John K. raises a good question. What dances does Dr. Meredith want children banned from doing?

"Not semi-sexual, not semi-romantic" -- does that permit square dancing? Are circle dances which liberal groups do OK? (Naah -- probably not. Round is wrong, like wreaths and orbs.)

Maybe if we clean up the Electric Slide a bit, all ages can do that.

I smell new rules coming here. God loves rules, you know.

Dennis said...

I don't find the thread one bit mean and actually has given a few we don't know, well ok we can't know all the annonymouses around here, a chance to show some compassion even when in disagreement with the source.

Human sexuality can be a source of unending comfort or pain. I find many if not most middle age types to be unable to communicate need and desire to a partner and generally there is a church stuck right between them either present or past. "I could never bring that up," is a common theme or "we make a great brother and sister these days."

The Bible is so full of crazy sexuality and phoney reasons why this or that is right or wrong. People don't realize that they are buying into a middle eastern almost Talibanic mindset when it comes to their sexuality and thoughts when they use the Bible to define it for them. And again, it's always single guys that seem to be the authority on just how others MUST think. It's just nuts.

I always get a chuckle when some feel compelled to rant and rave at "pictures available on the Internet." I remember finding a Playboy magazine once when I was a kid and my first thought was, "gosh, that's beautiful." Once ins spokesman club, I kid you not, a guy gave an anti porn speech and brought the centerfold in and tacked it to the lecturn during the speech, yelling, "just look at that filth. God hates this." It was then I learned that God was nuts. Well you know what I mean. She was beautiful too! The director made him take it down and chided him for being too graphic. I got a million of 'em!

Maybe it takes a few decades and few experiences with Tribal expectations on the topic but most are saying one thing on the outside and feeling something else or wanting to experience something else on the inside. The desire for intimacy and new things does not go away with age and sometimes it increases because everyone needs comfort and quiet time. God, I am sure is just fine. The world is nuts and there is usually a church or a minister that needs to mind it's own business when one runs into a conflicted person that protests too much. I never thought the guy giving the speech really thought she was all that repulsive and that much of an abomination :P

Neotherm said...

Dennis wrote: "Actually there was no regular "here is how to run a church" teachings or classes that I remember. This is why I am often floored by the reputations some that I knew as nice kids with nice girlfriends got after they hit the ministry."

Yet, in spite of having no monolithic approach, pre-1995 WCG ministers seem to have been made by the same cookie cutter. The same legalism, judgementalism and class consciousness. This supports my belief that this uncanny homogenity was produced by the fact that a single dark spirit permeated the pre-1995 WCG.

If I were to reflect on many of the pre-1995 WCG ministers I knew, and from this collection of experiences were to induce what they were taught as leadership, I would hypothesize a style of leadership founded on authoritianism, manipulation, ego-centrism, legalism, sarcasm, control of information and insensitivity. But clearly, this is not what was taught at AC, as Dennis has related. So where did this pathology come from?

I think my guess is a good one.

-- Neo

Byker Bob said...

Sometimes it's hard to make a call on these topics. By the time I was 12, I had been dragged into the cult by my parents. My mom thought I should know ballroom dancing, too. But, it seemed to me like the ACOGs were stuck in the 1940's. That stuff was L7, strictly "squaresville", man! I wanted to learn to do the Dog, the Watusi, the Mashed Potatoes and the Frugue. Knowing those dances would have given me the then contemporary social skills to better relate to the opposite sex in high school. Ah, and then there was Tina Turner, but that's another topic completely!

Our teachers told us what usually happened at junior high school dances. The boys stood on one side of the auditorium, and the girls on the other. Virtually no dancing. I went to one and found that it was true. So, Rod's description might not really be that far off, considering the adolescent mindset of years past. A lot of things that Rod has said and done, Freud really would have a heyday analyzing. But, perhaps not in this case.

On the topic of mean-spiritedness, I believe that over the years many of us who suffered through the "Ambassador Experience" have already had ample opportunity to mock and mimic RCM. If he didn't come up with at least one or two "Roddisms" during each day's Bible class, it was probably because he was having an off day. And, boy, they were so outrageous, that we did have fun in the dorms play-acting with them. For me, the stuff is now cliched, exhausted after so many years of repetition. But, I can understand that some other folks, with their new found freedoms, might like to indulge themselves a bit. Many have finally discovered that bears won't suddenly appear to eat you, if you happen to say "Go up, thou bald head!" to one of the ACOG ministers. And, that's probably a good thing.


Anonymous said...

Ironically enough I learned to swing dance though Y.O.U. and S.E.P.

And that skill has helped me to get in bed with a beautiful women at least once.

Thank you WCG!


Anonymous said...

I think this thread has probably worn itself out by now, but I can't resist adding one more comment.

I have known RCM since the sixties and will guarantee that he has not changed one iota in the time since then. His manerisms, stories, idiosyncrasies have only become more pronounced and clich├ęd. His concept of manliness is encompassed by a loud deep voice, smart suit, silk tie and wing tip shoes. He was the main selector of manpower for the ministry for many years, hence the "yellow pencil" appearance. Even our good friend Dennis was selected by him!

I just watched part of one of his sermons (taken from LCG's website) on tithing ("Tithing is Mandatory!") and is was almost word for word the same as the ones he gave 40 or more years ago. Just as bogus, just as weaselling. What he believes has become a part of his DNA and is ineradicable.

I don't think he is a cruel man, just heartless.


Reluctantly Reforming said...

Don't have much to add except for a few RCMemories from Big Sandy in the early 80s. Early on in our imprisonment, we students figured out that it was a Special Opportunity and Privilege whenever a Leading Man from Pasadena would condescend to visit us out in the sticks. RCM would arrive on campus with a bit of fanfare, and would guest-lecture, say, the sophomore speech class and the Tuesday forum. He couldn't talk for more than a few moments on any subject without launching into a mini #8 speech - usually on sexual deviancy of some sort, but always with verbal punctuation of the Weird! Twisted! Perverted! sort.

And no class or lecture would be complete without some way of chiding us fellows for our lack of manliness. "The girls on this campus are beautiful! If you young fellows had any sense you'd be all over them! Maybe you need to be eating wheat germ!"

The man had issues. I believe a central one for him was and is a deep-seated sense that he doesn't quite measure up. He doesn't know what to do about that (since at a very basic level he doesn't comprehend the gospel IMO) so he does the one thing he knows, the thing that has always worked for him: blustering, posturing, keeping his followers on their toes, etc.

Anonymous said...

i just saw a news item from the Charlotte Observer that talks of unidentified lights(ufo's?) sighted over Charlotte. Since LCG and spanky are there, maybe there is a connection. But since it did not stay long, it probably thought there was no intellegent life there and went on.
rod 2

camfinch said...

No intelligent life here? I must beg to differ, because I live in Charlotte! So at least I am, in my humble opinion, intelligent life! No doubt, if I had been outside at the time that lots of folks saw the mystery light, I would've likewise seen it. Maybe if the light had spotted me, it would've seen a reason to linger longer! (Some speculate that the light might have been space debris crashing back to earth, since the light finally split into a few segments and destructed.)

But maybe, when it wandered over and above LCG HQ, it simply got scared, and skedaddled!

Anonymous said...

Maybe it just hovered over LCG HQ.

Anonymous said...

He didn't seem so heartless when he gave a sermon some time ago and got choked up and cried a bit. It was good entertainment though if not a good act.

jorgheinz said...

Gavin has given us a decorous photo of a very young couple,perhaps tweenies,dancing,proper all correct.

One thing we ardent "Ephraimites" (heresy) used to comment on in Worldwide Days was the worship of matriarchy in American society.
They pander to women.Heretic, wash your mouth out.Old Herb worshipped at the altar of Diana and GTA perfected the process.

The church presented Americana as dogma,God's view of things.And women were taught to expect a certain standard from the men in the church.Except, that in the Colonies we blew a raspberry to the Ministry on this matter.

American women are very assertive and assured, which qualities have spread to the rest of the civilised world.I, a staunch Ephraimite, look somewhat askance at American society and wonder why, with their adulation of women they have not allowed one to become President before now.My other Granny, an American,bless her cotton socks (she was Missouri born) would turn in her grave at my comments.

But we have an aspirant at last,though the name has been sounded for at least all of GWs reign as being his possible successor.And we wish Hilary Rodham Clinton all the best.Her treatment of the English language will not grate so heavily on the ear as did George's.

Funny where a photo leads.


Anonymous said...

I remember in the early 80's when 'square' dancing was the only acceptable dance lessons allowed.

Dennis said...

So Camfinch....If you live in Charlotte, why aren't we having lunch together again?

camfinch said...


Greenville/Charlotte hookup? I'll send you a personal email.