Saturday, 21 April 2007

Moderation in all things ?

The livingcog Yahoo moderator has changed that group's policy, and thusly inspired so have I.

My Livingcog yahoo group is now "closed" rather than public, at least for now anyways. Lurkers were getting posters into too much trouble!
Jackboots and Bibles perhaps? Nothing quite like an Internet heresy hunt. Freedom of speech is obviously a Laodicean virtue in LCG. This group is the most active of the COG boards. The picture is... the moderator's avatar? Looks like a Ron Dart disciple to me.

As of about five minutes ago AW is again unmoderated. However no more anonymous postings are possible, so you'll need to register with a gmail account if you haven't already.

Believe it or not, the first anniversary of this blog is only days away. Only one year? Feels like decades ;-)


lnrd said...

Douglas Becker said...

Believe it or not, the first anniversary of this blog is only days away. Only one year? Feels like decades ;-

Forums and blogs tend to make the owner / moderators age more quickly than the natural process would effect.

How many of us wish we knew decades ago what we know today.

Truthfully, freedom of speech is overrated. While most of the posters here at Ambassador Watch are highly intelligent and reasonable, and I have learned quite a lot, there are some who make it seem some days that the best way to redeem the time is to watch Captain Janeway in reruns of Voyager from SPIKE TV on the DVR and spend more quality time with our cat.

Nevertheless, Ambassador Watch is a noble and worthy effort to create a community which does grow in the exchange of knowledge and ideas for which most of us are very grateful.

DennisDiehl said...

Gavin has provided a real service in the process of many finding their voices and regaining perspective along the way. I have always deeply appreciated the balance and consistency he has shown in this labor of love actually which serves so many needs in a recovery process.

Jim Butler said...

Good move, Gavin. Anonymous posters are cowards. Although most will still not identify themselves, this will improve the comments section of this blog considerably.

Thanks, Jim

Lussenheide said...

Ambassador Watch is an interesting phenomenon.

I "The Lussenheide" am a Sabbatarian, attend and am quite involved with a local "COG independent group" , I go the FOT et al.

Despite this, I have received emails denigrating me as a "reprobate" or a "threat" to the "Church of God" because I post to Ambassador Watch, or to its previous incantations.

I am not an "Armstrongite", nor a "Hierarchist" and dismiss most of the fringe ideas of the COG movement like US/BC, Doctors, Makeup, Birthdays, "one true church only" , HWA apostleship, etc.

Yet, I find it fascinating that so many in the COG ORGs find this site so threatening. Upon a little reflection I think I have a theory.

The COG ORGS operate as a centralized, COMMUNIST style oligarchy. If you remember old Soviet Russia, they had to lock their people in, control their access to information, and retain the right of empowerment (whether for work or initiative, assets or thought) only to the state. There was no free market cleansing mechanisms that would allow for failing enterprises or leaders to be removed and replaced by better or more relevant ideas.

Ultimately, it was the computer age that undid Communism. In order to be up to speed militarily and economically, the Soviets had to allow for more access to information or be doomed. Yet, this very access to information led to their destruction anyway.

The COG ORGS face a similair fate. They realize that control of all information will not work in todays world or with todays under 50 generation. Some in the ORGS even espouse empowerment to the individual member. However, just like Soviet Russia, once empowered, an individual realizes how little they ever really needed the "State" anyway and will desire to be unshackled by its restraining and oppressive thinking.

This process should not be feared. Those that are merely compliant to a system, yet are not self actualized to its philosophy are merely slaves. There is nothing to fear from freedom other than the hard truth of viewing reality of what "truly is".

Thus, AW or the internet is not the "threat to the Church" that some email me about. The true threat to the "Chruch" is truth. The true threat to the "Church" is freedom.

I believe that God is very interested in knowing you and what your decision process is without the threat of outside influence or pressure. This is the "true you".

For me, this still entails the doctrine of the historic COG, similar to that of the COG 7th Day. For others, this liberation has led to disillusionment, agnosticism or even atheism.

None-the-less, I much prefer reality than living in the illusionary world of the "Matrix".


Douglas Becker said...

However, just like Soviet Russia, once empowered, an individual realizes how little they ever really needed the "State" anyway and will desire to be unshackled by its restraining and oppressive thinking.

As always, a sensible, reasonable post -- one which edifies and informs to expend our perspectives.

It isn't so much that we realize how little the "State" was needed as it was how little the "State" actually provided.

The church of gods has been a high maintenance despotic drain on resources without a corresponding return on investment.

These days, that has little appeal to anyone under 50 and for those of us over 50, it's not so hot any more either: Why bother? What benefit does it hold? For those who are sincere in their commitment to be decent people helping others when they can, it holds no appeal.

Neotherm said...


Thanks for dropping the moderation policy.

-- Neo

Corky said...

Hey! This is a good idea, if the "Leave your comment" box would remember my username and password instead of having to "sign up" with google account each time because of getting a wrong password error message.

Maybe this time will do it . . .

brave anonymous poster said...

"I am not an "Armstrongite", nor a "Hierarchist" and dismiss most of the fringe ideas of the COG movement like US/BC, Doctors, Makeup, Birthdays, "one true church only" , HWA apostleship, etc."

it appears that we are a LOT alike, lussenheide


DennisDiehl said...

Thanks Corky..that explains it.

DennisDiehl said...

Main Entry: Aposta-Internet-tacy

Function: noun, to control
Inflected Form(s): plural -sies
Etymology: Middle English aposta-Internet-asie, from Late Latin aposta-internet-tasia, from Greek, literally, revolt, from aphis-ta interet-thai to revolt, from aposta-Internet + histasthai to stand -- more at STAND up on the Internet.
1 : renunciation of a religious faith or discussion of a topic on the Internet usually discouraged by a church afraid of new ideas.
2 : abandonment of a previous loyalty : DEFECTION to the Internet either in conjunction with or apart from church services and the answers given by the One.

Usage: "Say boy, I understand you are getting your theological questions and perspectives via the Internet. Are you some kind of Aposta-Internut comitting AspostaInternetacy or something?"

Mark Lax said...

A year certainly does fly fast. I wonder what this website with newsgroup turned blog with comments will be five years from now? Or five months, for that matter? When I was younger I read a book called Future Shock—and I didn’t buy a word of it.

Today it is my life.

In the end, I am not sure if ‘moderation’ is/was ever worth the effort. Sometimes it is better to suffer fools then silence them.

In any case, here’s looking forward to yet another year!

Mark Lax

boston blackie said...

This is a good idea, if the "Leave your comment" box would remember my username and password instead of having to "sign up" with google account each time because of getting a wrong password error message.

Right... and continually telling me to use a different google account is a bit strange also!


DennisDiehl said...

And now...the end is near.
It's time to take, the final curtain.
My friends, I think it's clear.
We've had great chats, of this I'm certain.
Ol' Gav has been just great, and may I say, not in a shy way.
But now, but now I think, It's hit the highway.

Regrets, I've had a few, But then again, too few to mention.
I think, I think you knew, I only had quite good intentions.
We laughed, we cried, we yelled and often not much in a shy way.
But know, we spoke our truth and so can head on down the highway.

Oh there were times, I think you knew.
That we bit off more than we could chew
But through it all, we left no doubt.
We ate it up and spit it out.
The blog posts show, we took the blows...and did it rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! :)

And so, the end is near.
I guess I al..ready have said so.
My friends, let's make it clear
We learned a lot, sometimes we must go.
I know, I'm kiddin are the only friends I can name.
Addicted yes, I know that's me
To Gavin's bloooooooooooog fame.

Ok I tried, but I don't smoke!

Bill said...

Happy birthday to the Ambassador Watch blog.

Oh wait... can we do that?

Bill said...

Happy birthday to Ambassador Watch blog.

Oh wait... can we do that?


DennisDiehl said...

Happy Birthday AW?

No Bill you can't say that!

1. Herod beheaded John the Baptist on his birthday
2. Better is the day of your death than a birthday.
3. Life is not all about AW
Obviously you never understood the deep theology of Birthdays..sheesh

Anon LCG said...

I really like the livingcog yahoo group. It is a place where I can openly discuss my concerns over LCG and get opinions from others as to where I might be mistaken. I recently posted this:

I have been upset over the church's consistent pattern of keeping things from the members that I think the members need to know. I have cited Charles Bryce leaving the council of elders and no announcement made. I have cited Larry Solomon's termination and no announcement made. I have cited Raymond McNair's hiring and no announcement made. I have cited the whitewashing of Michael Germano's heretical past. One item I forgot about was Don Davis being kicked off the council of elders and no announcement made. It has finally dawned on me that the administration of the church feels these issues are none of my business. That the membership doesn't need to know who is on the council of elders; doesn't need to know when an evangelist is hired; and doesn't need to know that one of the chief educators in the church was a recent heretic. So, maybe I was wrong to criticize the church for these positions. It was intentional on the part of the leadership and I can expect these practices to continue. So, the only question now is whether or not I can stay in a church that practices these policies.

DennisDiehl said...

In my personal experience, WCG and by extention these men who sprung from that culture and now repeat their own only "mentioned" what was either obvious or unavoidable. The rest you had to "did ya hear" or stumble upon yourself.

If you hear a big rumour, don't call and ask about it, trust me. I still have Joe Tkach Sr's "SQUELCH IT" command ringing in my ears when I asked about HWA getting divorced. Again, the rule is "yes means no and no means yes." Works 100% of the time in my humble opinion and experience

The Implacable Berean said...

Greetings Gavin, and I too would like to wish you a happy blog anniversary.
I concur with the other regular posters here, this is fine blog, and a good way we can all learn from one another. I personally hope you as our host will break new ground with many more of the likes of fine subjects you have posted so far, and that this forum can continue unabated.

Ladies and Gents; I say we all draw a tall pint of our respective favourite beverage, and offer a well deserved toast to our fine host.
Three Cheers, Gavin!

PS; Ah, Dennis?, May I politely suggest that you not quit your day job to start a singing career in the local nightclubs?
The version of that otherwise fine song that you have attempted to sing, a few postings up, at least the version that I prefer, was done by Frank himself, and it goes something like "I did it my way"....
Or were you just trying to do the "Bob Jones South-Klinah Version"?... :-)

lnrd said...

go to the link for your first blog year survival card.

Doing fairly well.


Douglas Becker said...

One of the significant results of Ambassador Watch is that it truly does transform lives with glimpses of data backgrounding the truth. Without it, we are significantly diminished in recovering from a plethora of wrongheaded ideas spawned from the delusions of distorted perceptions.

Here we can experiment with ideas in a fairly safe environment where we can make nonfatal mistakes denied to us within the church of gods.

It is also a sharing which brings opportunities to the table of such developments as Chosen Realm.

kscribe said...

To Mr. Becker,

Excellent article on the Chosen Realm. What if herbert became president of the USA? Who would he wage war on? Well first the splinters would have problems with the IRS. After that the war would go to the people of America in order to convert there minds and soul into "herbertites." After that, to exterminate them in the war against the "unbelievers."
The apostle (McHerbie) was a nut case, and if he was alive today, those who would follow his tenants of heresy would become the brown shirts of tomorrows movement. Yes in the end, we would have a new form of religious fascism. A religious state. Proud, and yet made up of imbeciles marching to the drum of Herbert W. Armstrong! Learn more:

Douglas Becker said...


Glad you liked the Chosen Realm.

The link to Fascism was fascinating.

This link to
an article on Tyranny
seems appropriate to this discussion.

You may have hit the nail on the head by saying that Herbert Armstrong was a nut case. I remember the syndicated columnist Mike Royko once speak about people who weren't mentally ill -- they were just plain nuts -- and he then went on to prove his point: It isn't a disease, but it is a condition, one in which the despot is a jerk and the best description for his behavior was that he was nuts.

It is doubtful though that saying "would become brown shirts". I think there's enough evidence lying around that those in the "classic" WCG regime under Herbert Armstrong were bullies of the first order for the service to their Guru.

It is a small thing, but what would make you think that Herbert Armstrong would have been satisfied at being president of the United States for life?

Oh, right: White House state dinners for the prestigious and rich leaders of other countries -- but then they would have to be despots. Do you suppose that Saddam Hussein would have been invited and that history would be so much different than it is now? It's so amazing that Herbert Armstrong was so nuts, he paid for the privilege of photo ops to fawn over despots -- it's so reminiscent of an Ezekiel 16 moment where Scripture is complaining about Israel buying her lovers.

Mark Lax said...

Mike Royko is currently the focus of a Freedom Museum retrospective. Unfortunately, during his final years Royko converted: to nut job.

kscribe said...

The Guru article is as fiting as a shoe gets when you try it on in the realm of armstrongism!
Under this heading:(The Socialized Psychopath or Sociopath) we read this: (The guru) is always surrounded by and leaves behind a trail of dysfunctional organizations,(think RM) destroyed businesses, ruined careers, stress breakdowns and unexplained suicides.(AND SHALL WE MENTION MASS MURDER?)

THEN WE READ THIS: will often engineer himself or herself into a position of authority as gatekeeper of the organization and thus the person through whom all information must flow, and the person to whom all requests for services must be referred - which he or she then takes delight in denying. THE GURU TAKES DELIGHT IN DENYING! This is the control freak who is acting guru or the gurus apologist. Ministers, elders and other ilk fit this wcg and spit-off portfolio. Absolute power over others! Then there is the The Wannabe: Motivation: craves respect for being competent and professional despite lacking in competence and professionalism
Mindset: deceptive
Malice: low to medium; when held accountable, medium to high

similar to the attention-seeker
is one of life's chronic underperformers and is best described as ineffectual in everything
craves undeserved respect and attention and will go to considerable lengths to acquire them hangs around the fringes of a profession not professionally qualified but claims they are a professional because they sit next to a professional or work alongside or near or in the midst of professionals, or provide services to professionals
This reminds me of a certain RM apologist. Calls himself a Doctor, but is he really? And if a Doctor, then of what may he be a Doctor of?

Yes in the cog kingdom of lies,and deceit, we see the tyrants imposing injustice in more than one way! The agents of the (cult) have to spy on the community to discover those who are breaking the (cults) laws, which is why tyranny can be defined as rule by informer. Once again, a control issue!

Yes Douglas, I remember my time in the armstrong cult! The spies, the purges, accusations, the spiritual executions (when disfellowshipped.)
The almighty control over peoples lives in order to enhance the financial income of the guru who OWNS the cult as is evident in the structure of it's constitution. A document the blue ribbon tithe payer will never see! A document they must never see!

The Implacable Berean said...

Greetings all, whilst we have pondered the topic of world government, may I suggest a rather thought provoking article with some good comments?

Gavin, any thoughts?

knotMpressed said...

Like Lussenheide, I too attend a COG, keep the feasts, etc; but as my favorite WHO song says..."we wont be fooled again"...Yes, I listen to classic rock...

Moderation in all things is a good credo - but so is Prove All Things; something I'm glad to see more people doing, and not being satisfied to be kept in the dark and fed fertilizer.