Friday, 6 April 2007

Herbraic memorabilia

Oh dear lord, why doest thou tempt me so... and more importantly, can I bid for these items using third tithe money?

Just think what that armband could do for me next trick-or-treat! Assistant deacon! Such exhalted heights to aspire to! And - gasp - it's a sanctified pre-1967 RADIO Church of God armband... Maybe if I take out another mortgage...

"Imagine the power you will have when you strap this felt badge on your arm over that polyester suit! Feel the blood throbbing in your veins as power is FINALLY given to you to rule over people."
Does David ben Ariel have one of these? Does Geoffrey Neilson? Will Craig White be putting in a bid? This thing is priceless.

And then there's the limited edition, original Systematic Theology Project... be still my beating heart! David, Geoff and Craig, though, will probably want to give this one a miss

"This is an original copy of the famed and often maligned STP Project of the Worldwide Church of God from the early 70's. This is the project that was done to set into writing the beliefs of the Worldwide Church of God. In spite of the denials of HWA in 1975 and later, he was fully aware of ALL the articles that were done for the project. It was NOT done behind HWA back inspite of the lies that some of the splinter cults put out. This is also what helped lead to the downfall of GTA (among other fun 'things'). The STP Project has been in plastic sleeves since 1975. The STP Project was handed out at a ministerial conference and then several months later [was] recalled by HWA who had them all shredded. I was one of two people that shredded them. Somehow one just followed me home one day! There has been some highlighting of some of the papers."

Live dangerously! Lean to the Laodicean side... Bid now, bid often.

Meanwhile I think I'll just make a weak cup of tea and go and have a lie down while my wallet cools off in the freezer...


jim m said...

If you look closly you can see a swastika in the arm band(it)

Neotherm said...

I have heard of the notorious Assistant Deacon armbands but this is the first photo of one I have seen. It brings back memories of attending the Feast of Tabernacles in sweltering Big Sandy and watching deacons and their helpers scanning the audience for Black members who strayed out of their assigned seating block. One of my Black buddies was sitting next to me in the White section and and one of the zealous ushers motioned for him to leave. I later asked one of the ushers why this was done and the explanation was that "God's Church believes in segregation."

I made copies of the STP when I was at Big Sandy for my own reading. When the directive to destroy copies came out, I called Harold Rhodes in Austin, Texas, where we were living, and asked him what I should do with them. He blew his stack and spoke to me as if I were a criminal. Lots of interrogation, lots of suspicion and lots of irritation. Essentially, he spun this tiny issue up to be something gigantic. I explained that I was in his congregation and how I had gotten legitimate access to the documents and he did not know who I was. Oddly, my wife and I had been in his congregation for over a year. Like many laymembers, I was not memorable to the elitist Armstrongite ministry. I destroyed my copy.

All of these things should be preserved. All the Armstrongite "Winston Smiths" in the "Ministry of Truth", will no doubt make every attempt to re-write Armstrongite history to make it an matter of glory. The only thing that will prevent that is what we are able to keep in the way of artifacts and write as history.

-- Neo

Anonymous said...

I suspect the seller of the STP is Ron Kelly who is reported to have sold his gold trimmed gift set of Herbert Armstrong's writings to Gerald Flurry for $5000. Mr. "we will take care of you" seems to know how to take good care of himself and make a buck off the miracle Jesus performed in WCG.

Gavin said...

No, the seller is definitely not Ronnie.

lussenheide said...

ITEMS Id Like To See On EBAY...

* Festival Stickers. Imagine what the locals must have thought when the COG Hordes came by the 1000s with stickers on their cars telling these locals "FT". If I didnt know better, I would have thought they were "cussing" at me!

* The Chicken Suit from "Big Geek" , ala the Festival Films.

* Uncensored version of the "GTA Maseuse Video" (I would double my bid if it was also GTA autographed !)

* Medal given by that tremendous human being and lover of mankind Ferdinand Marcos to HWA.

* Video of GTA when he sang on "Hee Haw" circa 1977, (Put your hand in the hand of the man who stills the water !!...)

* Rumored to exist "Lochner Tapes" of HWA confession to illicit activity.

* YOU lettermans jacket.



Mel said...

I'm sure that one can prove, using the King James version of the Bible, that when Radio/Worldwide Church of God memorabilia is being sold on eBay, we are truly in the end times.

I plan to take the image I copied and wear it as an armband on Sunday as a bit of a prank. Thing is, that the people that I'll be with, ought to get it.

BTW, I have a board game that was long ago put out by some WCG folks, called "the Talent Game". You roll the dice and move your little guys along the squares toward "THE KINGDOM"(which is representeted by a big crown in the middle of the board).
The object is to reach the Kingdom with the most talents. Of course, you pass all the Holy Days(as interpreted by HWA) along the way as well as lots of trials, where you have to take cards and answer questions, the answers to which are all in line with Herbert A's take on Bible meanings.

We've had lotsa fun with that board game, as I'm sure others have had and will continue to have fun with other Radio/Worldwide Church of God memorabilia.


Byker Bob said...

Boy, when I used to see those armbands, I would be in awe! At the F/T, in my younger years, I'd say to myself, "Those are the ones with authority!" Later, at SEP, I was just so proud when I was made an Assistant Monitor!

But, something snapped. It just didn't work. Authority comes to you from the way you carry yourself, not because somebody "gives" or "grants" it to you. In the real world, people hold you in high regard because you display a certain amount of intelligence, and exercise leadership with concern and fairness.

By the time I entered Embarrassing College, the whole concept of authority had no appeal to me whatsoever. It was something that I literally did not want on ACOG terms. It has been really revealing, reading decades after the fact what some of my nice guy classmates did to their congregations once authority was bequeathed to them by the R/WCG.

Assuming their consciences remain intact, I hope the really bad ones remember the effects of their leadership on people.

Oh, and those little orange F/T stickers were totally worthless except as a control measure when the deacons were directing traffic. If you and your family broke down on the way home from the Feast, it was really disheartening watching all of the cars with those stickers just pass you by. But, I guess when you are conditioned to ignore the plight of "Satan's people" you really wouldn't be watching for opportunities to help your brethren. "Satan's people" were very kind, and did stop and help us, until we could afford better cars.


Dennis said...

I remember hearing a woman yelling at her husband as they sat in the parking lot at Mt. Pocono, "so you had to see where all the green stickers were going...!"

I always sold the extra handicapped stickers for $50 each to suppliment my income and retirement. They allowed you to park near the stage and sit up front. :) Just kidding. I have no retirement. :(

Anonymous said...

Oh! The trip down memory lane, the lust for one of them Assitant Deacon arm bands, THE POWER, THE POWER of those armbands and how little Hitlers were spawned by it.
Oh Yes and don't forget the FOT stickers, the nice orange ones that alerted thieves to the short time vacationing Feast dwellers. The cops told those poor unfortunate victims of break ins, that it was a bad idea to advertize yourself that way. Of course the church just said you were not praying hard enough for protection.
Oh! The memories. I would pass on most on E-Bay as i do have a copy of the STP, but i really do WANT one of those Assitant Deacon arm bands. Maybe i will trade someone my STP for the armband if i don't win. Oh Maybe the non existant medal Herby got that is in the Autobiography - something like the "Star of Constantine". I would bid on that one - if it really existed.
rod 2

Neotherm said...

On the serious side, I wonder what became of the extensive archive of records that pertained to the Armstrongite years of the WCG? My guess is that these records are under the control of Joe Tkach, Jr.

At the same time, I have wondered why the Armstrongite splinter groups, despite their vitriolic denunciations, have not aggressively pursued litigation against the current WCG.

Is it because Tkach knows where all the skeletons are buried and can produce the documentation?

It will be a great tragedy if these records are one day disposed of. Then Armstrongites will be able to manufacture history at will.

-- Neo

Doug Ward said...

Looks like Mike Germano has the top bid so far. Will the old STP be incorporated into the LU curriculum?

charlie kieran said...

What exactly was the Systematic Theology Project? I had never heard of it before. Does anyone know what it contained? That will probably go a long way to explain why herbie wanted it destroyed.

Dennis said...

charlie kieran said...
What exactly was the Systematic Theology Project? I had never heard of it before

It was a relatively sincere attempt to right the obviously foolish and shortsighted applications of "Bible Truth" to practical living and experiences.

It addressed such things as , tithing-all three, healing and anointing vs. healthcare, make-up, and divorce and remarriage. I am sure I forget a few other topics.

It was one of the brighter moments where a church stood at a practical crossroads of common sense Biblical applications. However, HWA, not being a part of it directly and Ted on the verge of self destruction, squashed it. Satan and libersals got the blame. We went to a 3 week reindoctrination program where I should have known better and left while I was young. After that, WCG never had another genuine chance to grow up until the Tkaches came along and reinvented the wheel in Jesus name amen...Reckless change and imploding seems rather fruitless as well, so it all worked out the same again only better.

It's really the story of Satan thinking he could knock God off His throne, again, and having to be thrown back down to earth where he belonged. I'm gonna get a career where whenever I screw up, I can blame Satan and have lots of verses to back me up. That's like the perfect situation for a CEO.

charlie kieran said...

Thanks for the explanation Dennis!

Sorry about your retirement. Perhaps you can author a book on the WCG years from a former minister's perspective.

Neotherm said...

To this day, Armstrongites have never produced a Sysematic Theology. All they have is a collection of booklets and articles. The closest thing they have to a work of Systematic Theologoy is HWA's book "The Mystery of the Ages."

I believe that if a group of them ever sat down and really tried to develop an ST, the people involved would abandon Armstrongism. The perpetuation of Armstrongism is directly related to staying on the surface of the Bible and not looking too closely. My guess is that there will never be an Armstrongite Systematic Theology because it would be toxic to that belief system.

-- Neo

Gavin said...

While I think the WCG STP was a good idea at the time, I'm also convinced that "systematic theology" is an oxymoron.

The Bible was written over millennia and forcing Christian belief into some kind of plastic-coated box ignores all those "creative tensions." Calvinists and chartered accountants may get a buzz out of lining up their proof texts in neat rows, but that comes at huge cost.

Which is, perhaps, why I still prefer Luther (warts 'n all) over that thin-lipped little Frenchman Calvin. Untidy thinkers make the best theologians. :)

jorgheinz said...

When you try to systematise theology,somebody starts up a new church because they cannot agree with the dictum,the dogma and didactics that are being spewed forth.

Luther's nailed treatises opened up a can, oops, a trial of Worms.

And yes, the STP,was in hindsight,an oxy-MORON","guidance" for gullibles who do not want to think or are in capable of doing so.

jorgheinz said...

Gavin,with the official title of blog "Moderator", are you not following in the steps of at least one of the mainstream churches who employ that title ?

Aye,and all that.

"Untidy minds make the best theologians".

Perhaps untidy minds are multi-dimensional, whereas tidy minds have a narrow focus.These latter are not the innovators,the thinkers who have given society its broad range of physical and "spiritual"(not religious) benefits.Every one has a soul and in this respect they are spiritual.

Tidy minds tend to work within squares and oblongs,whereas untidy ones indulge in circles and ellipses.


jorgheinz said...

"Anonymous" says those armbands spawned little Hitlers.Amen, to that.Supervisor of the Festival carpark,with outstretched arm pointing the way.

I am sure that many AW readers with German ancestry had rellies who wore the real thing.

Genuine armbands awarded by the BIG boss,der Fuehrer himself.

I could offer the armbands of a genuine SS Lieutenant General, if I knew where they were.This was real power..this guy had charge of 250,000 inmates/slaves/prisoners at one time.


Anonymous said...

The extensive archive went to Meredith and the then GCG.I believe it was 5-6 years ago. Some were asked to destroy the archive and they loaded up the trucks and went to San Diego and gave it to Meredith. I heard it ended up in Wyoming though. Don't know for sure but since Wyoming is a small state and not much Gcg/lcg members, it should not take too much to find out.
rod 2

Dennis said...

I have my book being edited at the moment called, for now, "Born Again...Again" (or All Over Again,) Originally it was going to be "From Pastor to Bastard" but I got too many reminders I was a Bastard forjust being a Pastor and there was nothing to go

It's not so much about my COG experience. Others had done that much better than I could have. Mine is more about my personal belief tranformation from good boy to skeptic and hopefully a more fully grounded human being in a real and not religious sense. I have no personal use for any organized theology as by nature it can't be correct in a group setting and allows no room for growth or change.

Frankly, my COG experience wore me out emotionally, physically and spiritually. It has been costly and painful in many areas. Last week "old friends" shunned me when they saw me at the desk at the hospital, again. I get tired of that though now it more amuses me than offends.

I am not willing to trade the peace and quiet for another ringing phone being blamed for things that were not my doing and having to learn the hard way that when the Tkaches said yes it meant no and no meant yes. I was so stupid and frozen in place at the same time.

Things just are as they are now and while I have deep regrets over roads not taken and more rewarding careers no longer available, I don't miss the drama.

The title reflects the journey. How I got here is becoming less and less important to me. When I write my last post, I'll know I have dropped feeling any need to identify my self with my past. It's not who I was or am.

Anonymous said...

"Herbraic Memorabilia". Very subtle.

May I suggest an alternative rendition..."Herbraic Memorabilious".

A Nonny Mouse

DennisDiehl said...

"Untidy minds make the best theologians".

Absolutely. The tidy mind that outgrow the box have two choices. Leave the profession or teach it, never to return to a congregation because they won't understand.

A liberal and open mind promotes growth and new perspectives, usually the expense of the one with the open mind. They don't end up speaking their truth in groups of tidy minded conservatives. I'm not sure a tidy conservative mind ever go burned at the stake, but probably one lit the sticks.

A conservative and tidy mind promotes sameness, especially in religion for, as said before, religion thrives on sameness, tradition and the old old unchanging story literalized.

Tidy liberal minds get us to the moon and down the rabbit hole of quantum physics and what is matter, light, energy, consciousness and a human brain. They see possibilites.

A tidy conservative mind gets our taxes done properly, things built right, and good ideas about things that might just be as they are or need to stay the same for them. They see threats to sameness.

Church denominations tend to sort out by personality and these two types of minds, or better yet...thinking. When one kind finds themselves in the others turf, that's where we have "discussions." It's what fuels these postings. It's why neither side is convinced by the others perspectives. And it's all ok. The trick is to respect the type of people we all are and it's always going to be different. There are 16 basic personality types on the planet so what we perceive is a need to convince or stay unconvinced is probably more a function of the hard wiring in the first place. It takes 16 different types of personalities to get keeps the world from being completely nuts and singularly insane.

Anonymous said...

Did seller offer the armband to Flurry?? Might be worth a try considering the price he paid for some other items at the auction.

Anonymous said...

STP - Slowly Turning Protestant

Dennis said...

STP=Something Truly Positive
=So That's Progress
=Some Thought Perverse
=Suddenly Turned Poopy

byker bob said...

Somebody Thought Progressively.

But, alas, apparently somebody else did not appreciate an opportunity for discussion and growth, so they decided to stick with the original questionable programming. Such thinking is still prevalent today in certain circles, and for certain people of certain mindsets.


Anonymous said...

That arm band reminds me of the SUPER DEACONS in COG congregations.
What bunch of %^&*#!

Well I have an autographed copy of HWA autobiography 1967. Does anyone want to buy it? It is a hard copy and I have it for sale.
Please tell Flurry.

Anonymous said...

If you are in the US watch the latest episode of South Park on Comedy Central. The Pope is a rabbit.

Questeruk said...

Systematic Theology Project appeared, and still appears on the Intercontinental Church of God website, although it has now got a bit of a low profile.

Does anyone know if this is the same as the original STP project?

Dennis said that "HWA, not being a part of it directly and Ted on the verge of self destruction, squashed it."

I always thought GTA was one of the main people pushing STP, and the fact it followed him around on his various web sites seems to add weight to that.

Does anyone know? Just curious.

ConnedNoMore said...

STP latest bid $78.50.

And to think that I was about
throw an original copy in the trash
while cleaning out my basement storage area recently. Guess I
will have to scan it and offer it
to Gavin and/or John over at the PT site.

Too bad I threw out so many other
precious WCG artifacts over the years--before there was an Ebay.

Anonymous said...

The STP on GTA's site is almost identical to the origional. A causual reading would not even to appear to be different. That is why i wondered why Herb had such a tizzy over it.
rod 2

boston blackie said...


The final winning bid for the $TP project was US $202.50.
After looking at my own collection of 60's memorabilia, maybe I can afford to buy that Toyota Hybrid after all.


BambooBends said...

What's even more amazing was that bid was an automated EBAY snipe in the last 30 seconds of bidding when the previous bid was around $120.

Somebody wanted that really bad!

Anonymous said...

Something amusing happened at services yesterday ... the person being introduced for the closing prayer ... a sermonette giver in the xcg will give the closing prayer
I turned to my significant other and said, "Did I just hear what I thought I heard?"
I almost laughed outloud!