Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Just what do you mean - Affiliated?

Bob Thiel is shocked, shocked!

Brian Knowles once wrote for the Plain Truth. But now is affiliated with ACD, a unitarian group. It is shocking, to me at least, that CG7 would include an article in one of its publications from one who apparently does not believe that Jesus is God.
Leaping to conclusions is the exercise form of choice for many old-time COGgers, and this seems a perfect example of the sport.

(1) Brian once wrote for the PT. Very true. In fact, he was the editor as I recall it, and one of the best that publication ever had.

(2) But now he's "affiliated" with ACD. Well, he writes commentaries at Ken Westby's invitation, and contributes to their blog. If that's what "affiliated" means, I guess that's true. Does he receive a salary from Ken? I very much doubt it. I assume Brian knows Ken from way back, and it's highly doubtful Brian had to sign a unitarian article of faith before his material was cleared. Brian wrote for The Journal too (basically the same articles that appeared on ACD), does that make him "affiliated" there as well? But, shock, horror! Bob has also written for The Journal, does that mean Bob is "affiliated"? I can sense the need for Bob to write a new, very long and ungrammatical article of explanation for his website: Just what do you mean... Affiliated?
(3) ACD is a unitarian group. I have no idea if ACD has a board, or who else is involved in running the group, or even if it is much of a group. It started out as the Associated Churches of God, then downsized to something more manageable. Ken Westby is now a Biblical Unitarian, as are a number of other ex-COG worthies including Charles Hunting and Sir Antony Buzzard. Neither Hunting nor Buzzard are ACD "affiliated" as far as I know, though they may be involved in some of the One God seminars. Nor have I ever read anything by Brian Knowles that suggests he is of that persusion. Having opinion pieces on Ken's site doesn't make someone a unitarian anymore than having an article in the Bible Advocate makes one a binatarian.

(4) Bob is shocked that the BA would publish an article by someone who doesn't believe that Jesus is God. Actually there's a long Arian strand to COG7 theology, though it seems to have died out in recent decades. Dugger and Dodd were very complimentary about Arianism. COG7 also publishes articles by Trinitarians from time to time.

But what I want to know is, how does Bob know that Brian denies Jesus' divinity. Has Brian written that somewhere? Has Bob interviewed Brian and asked him? Or is Bob just leaping from vine to vine in the jungle, yodelling Tarzan cries and pounding his chest. Supposition is hardly evidence Dr. Thiel.

Bob qualifies his comments with the word "apparently." I'm not sure how he finds it "apparent" though. Maybe he can enlighten us.

As a matter of fact, I'd be delighted to hear Brian's views on the question of Jesus' nature. Whether you agree with the man or not, he's usually worth reading because (unlike certain LCG writers) he actually has taken the time to think issues through.

The Church of God (Seventh Day) deserves to be complimented on the range of writers it draws on. LCG could learn a lot from their lack of anal dogmatism. Brian's articles have appeared in the BA before, and hopefully will again. After all, he shares a common tradition with the Denver-based church, and he's a fine writer to boot...

At least when he steers clear of politics. ;-)


Bamboo_bends said...

A very close friend of mine in is deeply involved in the UU movement.

The Unitarian Universalist Church is not a organization based on an single set of beliefs. In fact, depending on the individual church charter, a UU church can have Christians, Buddhists, Wiccans, atheists (yes some of the go to church) and Muslims.

I won't go into the entire history of the UU organization, but its quite remarkable what they have done over the last 200 years. They have been some of the strongest supporters of human rights on the planet.

I have a copy of UU Church Governance handbook should Mr Thiel want to spearhead a move of the LCG into the UU fold.

I doubt any xCG movement would last long if in an environment that precludes self righteous indignation of people with different beliefs.

They simply can't comprehend a community of seekers who don't claim to have the answers, but who dearly love searching for the answers.

They can't comprehend a congregation held together not by fear and common dogma, but rather of mutual respect as fellow human beings.

If that had that capability, the WCG would have never split. And they would not be spitting venom at sister groups who doctrines hardly vary by nat hairs from their own.

DennisDiehl said...

Dr. Thiel notes:

....Thus, the foundation of evolution is beyond being highly improbable.'

Unless, sady and of course you don't look the little offspring of our common ancestor, posted with the topic, in the eye :)

Concerning UU.

Bamboobends says:

"They simply can't comprehend a community of seekers who don't claim to have the answers, but who dearly love searching for the answers.

They can't comprehend a congregation held together not by fear and common dogma, but rather of mutual respect as fellow human beings."

That's exactly right and my personal experience with UU here in town. Their clergy is extremely well trained (

DennisDiehl said...

(Yale Divinity School) and it's the openmindedness that is so refreshing. One does not have to be exactly right on all things God, were that to be possible. Well we know it not only possible but probable in the COG's. Of course it isn't really.

Maintaining an incomplete or less than real, can't change it now, interpretation of the Bible is far more draining on the spirit than living a life that is open to possibilities as we learn new perspectives on old ideas.

Now go look that little chimp in the eye and tell me you can't see what fundamentalists must filter out to keep up the illusion.

Douglas Becker said...

Shocked! Shocked! Utterly shocked, I say! That Bob Thiel would be associated with a false prophet who is polytheistic! Has he never read: "Hear O Israel, God is One God!"? For that matter, has he even read the Bible?

The Church of God, Seventh Day has been around for around 150 years and the Bible Advocate is one of the most respected religious magazines around. Not only that, the people of the Church of God, Seventh Day are loving, warm, personable and their ministers are not only smart and nice, they are actually educated and attend religious universities and do such things as study the Dead Sea Scrolls. It seems that the Armstrongist Churches of God have been beneficial to the CoG7 because between 10% and 25% of many of the congregations are made up of disaffected former WCG and UCG members. [Advice to the Armstrongists: Go home! Go home to the Church of God Seventh Day! Herbert Armstrong was an anomaly!]

Anyone want to give odds on how long the Living [Dead] Church of God which has a name that it is living, but is dead, will last? You think 150 years? As a relatively stable organization which has a most excellent reputation [except for rebels who get some wild hair up their... um... anyway... and split? again and again because they don't agree with some nit pick doctrine or false prophecy or other]? Which ravening wolf will pick up the slack when the chief cook and bottle washer who can't even get his Scriptures straight on air anymore dies? Oh, well, in the New Testament, the penalty for being a false prophet was to be blind for a season [stoning is more appealing] and certainly Dr. M. avoided it the first time with [corrective] laser surgery. Let's see how he weathers the diabetes. Remember that Herbert Armstrong was legally blind just before he died. Sometimes judgment is not executed speedily, therefore the hearts of false prophets are fully turned to evil.

So with someone so tapped into false prophecy, following and supporting a false prophet, why would anyone expect Bob Thiel to understand the Scriptures where it shows that there is only One True God [and not Allah, the Arab Pagan Moon God Sin]?

Perhaps Bob Thiel needs to actually listen to others: It builds better judgment. The One God Seminar in Albany, New York has just ended, and the participants are indeed impressive: Victor Gluckin, Nathan Crowder, Noel Rude, David Sielaff, Gary Fakhoury, Sir Anthony Buzzard, F. Paul Haney and Ken Westby. It isn't clear whether Steve Collins showed up.

If there isn't One True God, just how many are there? And will we all be God as God is God [but not God] or mere [gasp, choke] sons of God? Herbert Armstrong just wasn't prepared to settle for second best! He had to be God! Will you insist on being God too! [For that matter, sign up with ULC and become an Apostle like some of the rest of us have! Thousands of modern "End Time Apostles" is what we are striving for!]

That Bob Thiel does not believe in One True God is most disturbing! It is no wonder that in all the decades of the existence of the Radio Church of God and Worldwide Church of God, the ministers never seemed to actually know God as the Father -- but only as a harsh judge and critic, not at all loving and merciful. I guess that's what you get when you make God in your own image instead of finding the One True God.

Shocked! Utterly shocked, I tell you!

DennisDiehl said...

Actually, sadly and of course, those in God's Church would understand that Dr. T enjoys looking for any opportunity to use the word "affiliated."

One is once affiliated with either WCG or Global, but never LCG. None-the-less, they were. If you do amazing things, then indeed and happily, you are affiliated with the News of LCG, but if you do bad things..even if affiliated when the badness occurred, well, at the exact moment of badness, you become either affiliated with WCG or Global but NEVER LCG.

So the word affiliated is the way you keep Satan out of your church and bad things instantly on the other side of the line...

This I deem correct :)

Bamboo_bends said...

Anyone know anything about the lastest "Prophet"?

Check this site out: http://ronaldweinland.com/?page_id=5

Not since 1975 has anyone had the balls to set dates. But this guy not only interprets prophecy...he gets it straight from the Big Guy!

I know the collapse of the Armstrong empire was traumatic for some, but are people losing it completely?

Doug Ward said...

Several articles that I have written are posted at Ken's website, but I'm a trinitarian, not a unitarian. An article by Jared Olar, another trinitarian, was posted there a few months ago.

In the old WCG culture, we had the idea that people couldn't fellowship together unless they were in agreement on a very long list of items, many of them pretty obscure. "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?'', we would ask. Thiel is still of that mindset, but Ken Westby definitely is not.

Douglas Becker said...

An author whose first book has now been read by people in over 100 countries, Ronald Weinland is first and foremost the pastor of God’s Church. He has been a minister in the Church of God for more than twenty-five years.

But how many has he been kicked out of?

Although the Church of God has not been accustomed to having a prophet for nearly 1900 years, God made him a prophet in 1997.

They conveniently forget Herbert Armstrong. No wait, that's not the image they were looking for! Too late! That's the image they will be left with!

2008—God’s Final Witness reveals the Seven Thunders of the Book of Revelation, which the apostle John was not allowed to record!

Wait just a darned minute! If the apostle John was not allowed to record what the Seven Thunders said, how would WeenieLand know? Hearing voices? Off his meds?

Well, you know. After Hillary, his prophecies will seem to have come to pass. Note: His prophecies. At least the United States will briefly benefit from Bill as Roving Ambassador, who is an expert in Foreign Relations and Foreign Affairs.

But this all is off topic.

We were talking about Unitarianism.

Douglas Becker said...

Speaking of Unitarianism, there really is quite a spectrum of beliefs. Here is yet another take, which most people would not be familiar with:

In the beginning, God. Hear O Israel, God is One God. For by him, all things are created.

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

No other God before me.

My Father is greater than I.

One Unitarian view:

God existed always. At one point, God creates the Word out of a part of Himself, thereby creating a Divine Being who emptied himself to become human [the son of man] and become Savior of mankind, but who before, as The Word, Created Heaven, the angels and the Universe before creating the earth.

As such, The Word -- a part of God, but not God the Father, became the Son of God. After this, all humanity will have a chance to become sons of God, but not at the same depth as Jesus Christ and certainly not God as God is God, but certainly higher than the angels.

A small segment will become "the Bride of Christ" as having an especially close relationship with The Word who became the Messiah and the Last Prophet.

This resolves some of the problems of Arianism, but still retains the Unitarian notion of God while honoring the Son. As such, it is Scriptural and certainly from some viewpoints, the best heresy money can't buy.

DennisDiehl said...

"Father", "Son of God", "prophets", "the Word out of Himself", "sons of God not at the depth of Jesus", "Angels (All Bible Angels are Male..all gift shop Angels are Female)....that's a lot of men there.

Let's see... the sons of God, not at the depth of Jesus who is a part of God, but not God, but higher than male Angels, gets to be the Bride of Christ, well just a segment, who also is their elder more depth brother...ewwwww Are the god's from up the Hollows?

How come the only female relationship the small segment of "sons" get to have with Jesus is the female one of wifeness and of being property and subservient to their elder brother and High Priest, who they marry?(ewww again).

I know, the women get to be "son's of God" while the men get to be "Brides of Christ" so that makes it even.

We need a Consort and Mom around here somewhere to fix all this totally male reward system.

"On the other hand, the Israelite God Yahweh became associated an "Asherah," a term everywhere else in the ancient Near East referred to a supreme female goddess."

(Twilight of the Gods-Polytheism in the Hebrew Bible - Penchansky)

Radical monotheism characterizes only a small sliver of Israelite/Judean religious beliefs. the reason why it dominates our reading of the OT is because the radical monotheists from the Babylonian Captivity had the ear and support of the Persion emperor who's forces occupied Palestine. With some poor editing, they were the winners and able to rewrite the text of the OT which contains references to God, his consort, other gods and the Council of gods.

Let's just say "Let us make man in our image.." was not God talking to Jesus. The reason Adam and Eve were forbidden the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and Life is because that is "god food" and not for humans. Once they did, the God laments--"now the man has become like one of US," so out they went with another male Angel keeping him out to the East. (Actually the Constellation Orion rising in the East with his big sword :) I guess it never occured man could get back into the Garden from the N,S or W where no one was watching for them. Asherah was more than just a pole...

Anyway, it's a mystery....and shame on me for noticing the simple story of the evolution of the polytheistic God of the OT.

When God says he is a "jealous" god and Israelites are to have "no other gods before me," He was not kidding. They all knew they existed in the OT concept BUT Israelites were have "no other gods 'before' me" in the sense of not to bring other gods into the presence of the chief god. This implies a belief in them as well and that they could inadvertantly brought into the presence of God and arouse jealousy.

It's the story of the evolution of pagan, polytheism to radical monotheism. Don't ever think the God of Abraham was anything like the God of NT writers or what modern Christians fantacize in their theologies today.

Douglas Becker said...

In some ways your posting could be from Wade Ewart Cox in some places.

Jesus pointed out that the angels neither marry nor are given in marriage. Maybe male angels are the masculine gender the same way as... is it tables are in French? In other words, no gender at all, but the language did it to us. Like thinking of sailing ships as "she". And not to put too fine a point on it, Jesus did say in that context that we would be as the angels, not marrying or giving in marriage.

But if you really want a male oriented religion, take Islam [please!]: When the guys die, they get 72 virgins which will, we presume, make them so happy for all eternity, that they will probably forget all about Allah, so what's the point? Allah is the real loser here. Besides the women, whose fate it is [I have heard] to stare into the face of Mohamed forever. Doesn't that like make him a god in competition with Allah? Again, I can't see where Allah comes off ahead here. But what do I know?

Anyway, it was a good posting. With all the lies, maybe we should use the
Channel Most Evil
defined by
Dr. Michael Stone's Scale of
and use it to determine to figure out the
for the church of gods.

DennisDiehl said...

"In some ways your posting could be from Wade Ewart Cox in some places."

Gee thanks! Actually most of it was from "Twilight of the Gods--Polytheism in the Hebrew Bible. The concise work give a very good background of that worn out "Let us make man in our image" and God being "uni-plural" speculation from HWA. Any soundling like WC is purely coincidental. I've never read anything the small psycho- fish has said.

I view angels much like would the Four faced creatures in the Bible.

We have the Autumnal Equinox in Leo the Lion, the Vernal Equinox in Aquarius the Man, the Summer Solstice in Taurus the Bull, and the Winter Solstice with the Eagle. These are all 90degrees or 3 months apart in the circle of the zodiac as we count spring, summer, winter and fall.

In the NT we have:

"... and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come." (Revelation 4:6-8 KJV)

In the OT we have:

"As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle. Thus were their faces: and their wings were stretched upward; two wings of every one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies." (Ezek 1:10-11 KJV)

These four "faces" are in the four quarters of the 12 signs of the zodiac and symbolize the seasons.

The six winged types are each quarter of the circle or season divided into six parts. The "covered with eyes" are stars.
Long story I have mentioned before.

Bear with me:

Rev 4:4-8

4"Surrounding the throne"

This throne is Cassiopea in the north that rotates around the north star and never sets.

"were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders."

These are the 24 hours in a day that are complete in one rotation of the throne

.... "Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits[a] of God."

before or "across from" we find the seven stars of the big dipper rotating opposite and known as the seven spirits (beings) of God. Stars in the Bible are considered living beings.

6"Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal."

Get a astronomy program and see that the Milky Way...the sea of Glass goes right through the middle of the throne Casseiopea. The Milky way is also the real body of water Jesus (the sun) walks across and is not literally true. (Right after Taurus the Bull lies the Milky Way, that starry band that lies like a lake across the night sky. The sun crosses the Milky Way around May 20 to June 4.
17. The Sun “walks on the water”.
At this point in Jesus' travels we have the story of Jesus crossing the lake by walking on the waterL"

"In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. 7The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. 8Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come."

The 4 seasons as mentioned above.

All this to say that what may be an Angel to us today was never the symbolism meant in Revelation. It also may mean that what the COG's feel the Book of Revelation is....isn't.

DennisDiehl said...

Due to the procession of equinox, the sun in each season was in those signs when today that would not be so. The sun was leaving Aries the Lamb 2000 years ago when the "Lamb of God", the sun was slain and the Age of Pices the fish (fishers of men and symbol of Christianity) began. Pices is ending now and the sun is going into Aquarius etc....Perhaps the reason literalist christianity is taking it on the chin is because the age of the Fish is ending:)

Mithriasm came to end with the slaying of the bull, Taurus (the sun going out of Taurus at spring equinox) 2000 BC.

It's all cool stuff and either significant or the worlds biggest theological coincidence.

DennisDiehl said...

Sorry to blather. I find it all interesting but I know have said this all before. It's why I need to just move on and practice "shut up Dennis" :)

Douglas Becker said...

Well, there's much more in the Book of Enoch. There aren't just four -- there are a lot more archangels. If you want mythology, you just can't beat the Apocrypha. And it is obvious that so much of the Scripture is based on it -- magical mystical things.

Dennis, I just don't think you go far enough. Start looking at ancient stuff new to you and the first thing you know....

However, I thought the original posting was about Unitarianism and just thought a few fresh views on the topic might be amusing. Note that for the most part, Unitarianism is anathema to Armstrongists.

However, one thing I do admire is that Ken Westby and others had the gumption to get up and go in the early Seventies when they realized what Garner Ted Armstrong was doing and what Herbert Armstrong wasn't doing. He and others formed the Associated Churches of God and plain flat out left.

[We remember the Sabbath services being canceled and a fast being called -- and wondering what in the world the whole thing was about. Now we know, but back then....]

What is so amazing about that is that they were pretty much the only ones. The rest of the ministers chose to stay and tolerate compromise. "Oh, I have to keep my salary because my family needs it: I'm sure God understands" just wasn't what Ken and the others of the ACG were all about. The ministers back then were cowards and couldn't face Herbert Armstrong, so they took it out on the people in the congregations in a weird sort of transference.

The ministers who left had the faith and courage that if they did what they believed in, that they would be taken care of -- as opposed to those who accepted the evils about them, pretended they didn't exist and tried to make the dysfunctional evil environment work, all the while knowing that it couldn't possibly.

Whether or not the effort was effective or even wrong-headed [no one could ever *make* Herbert Armstrong be accountable] is irrelevant: At least a few protested and left without having to be threatened with expulsion.

It was rather a rare thing back then, I think.

DennisDiehl said...

I was a mere 22 and working for the Chicago regional director who was also a best friend to Ken Westby. In my idealism of the time it was the most confusing time I had ever experienced. In hindsite it was my first chance to get out but missed it.

I was fired over the phone because it was assumned I was "one of them" but in hindsite was being left out of the talks behind the scenes. I remember sitting in a back seat going somewhere with my "boss" while he rated all the ministers as to whether they could be trusted or were headquarters guys. Deacons and elders were spying on the house and I was so naive "in the Lord."

The issue at the time was GTA and all the issues that lead to the Systematic Theology Project which gave me hope but later was reversed by HWA as we know.

The ministry were not cowards. They were confused and sincere. Those that stayed had just as much personal faith and courage as those that left. It is neither fair nor correct to judge the men and women of those times with such either/or criteria. Anyone who stayed due to their personal faith in the message and that Biblical perspective was trying and hoping for positive change. The reality of that not happening took time to evolve.

I know what you mean, but I was there, on the inside, in the thick of it and knew the players and their hopes, disappointments and fears.

I can't speak for HWA or even GTA, who didn't care for me and I know why. I believe I understand them as people and their personal problems. I wish they had been more able to listen and drop the superstar mentality but they didn't and couldn't.

Leaving without being thrown out was not common because the message still seemed bigger than the players. Those that left from Chicago and during the Ken Wesby time were just people and have gone on to having all the same life challenges, divorces, deaths and reactions to it all that is normal to all who have been through this ridiculous experience.

We're all here to learn..groan :)

DennisDiehl said...

One final thought:

Don't idealize those that left to start their own churches, get their own followings for whatever they felt were their more accurate ideas about all things theological.

I was stuck in rooms where the players being mentioned and others who left with nobel intentions discussed how many members it would take tithing to support them in their transitions. This of course during a time when these very men were questioning tithing. Old habits are hard to break.

My old "boss" has been divorced twice and works outside of any church affiliation as far as I know feels somewhat as I do about literalist religion.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick. WCG provided living proof of that to tens of thousands. It's painful to be skeptical but it is what my own experience has taught me about religion. I can't say I have prospered materially myself after all this but that, for me, seems not to be the point of living anyway. But with a dad who retired from Kodak thirty years ago and to whom they have been very loyal in doing what they said for him and my mom, it's a difficult contrast to live with getting screwed by a church.

nuff said

ok, nuff said

Douglas Becker said...

The ministry were not cowards.

No, not the rank and file; not the ones at the bottom of the Church Corporate hierarchy. The problem was, as it always has been, at the top. I was speaking of those at headquarters who were not confused and those insiders.

G'Kar the Narn warned the Rangers at Mimbari, "Just remember, at Babylon 5, no one is exactly who they seem to be". That isn't exactly what it is at headquarters in the church of gods. It's more, "Just remember, when you are at headquarters, no one is exactly who they pretend to be".

The Daleks and Cybermen of Dr. Who and the Borg of Star Trek the Next Generation and its spinoffs give us an effective aphorism of religion -- and this applies beyond the confines of the church of gods. The root of the problem is the seeking of perfection without bounds and limits. Nothing but perfection matters: Not humanity, not individuality, not love or empathy and sometimes, not even money and greed. What matters is that damned perfection -- as defined by the collective.

Anything different than the collective is to be absorbed. The perfection is to be acquired, all else is discarded.

At the core of seeking perfection is evil. The end justifies the means. The collective is protected. Worse than that, it is unassailable because, after all, isn't seeking perfection the perfect goal? Methods don't matter. The individual doesn't matter. The higher concept of perfection is what matters. If you have to murder, maim, dismember, destroy in the name of perfection, it is but a small price to pay. The seeking of perfection becomes the perfect justification to insulate from any accountability.

Thus we see the seeking of perfection of many groups that "suck", such as the Scientologists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Radical Moslems, the churches of God all together representing the ideal perfection and the seeking of perfection. The religions are self-righteous and their goals look to be unassailable, but the fruit of their doing is a lifestyle and lifetime of misery for the individual sucked into their eschatological black hole.

In the end, they are all evil to one degree or another. It isn't that power corrupts, it is the flawed view of what perfection is and more importantly how to attain it.

And in such a venue of the Church Corporate which has adopted the worst of the Corporate Model and implemented it badly, the seeking of perfection will destroy us all if it is not checked.

Fortunately, the church of gods has embedded in it a self-destruct mechanism. The focused power has been dispersed through entropy, beginning with those who began to see that the collective was nowhere near the perfection it claimed to have. Affiliations won't help much when the entire collective is so flawed that it cannot survive intact.

Douglas Becker said...

Seeking perfection is a total waste of time and becomes an enormous high maintenance resource hog.

DennisDiehl said...

"I was speaking of those at headquarters who were not confused and those insiders."

That was more experience as well and belief. Ted was at play and probably not doing in life what he may have wished to be doing. HWA was being pumped up in his mind by himself and others such as RCM, Dave Pack and many who have evolved into positions in UCG and those that have gone on to keep the pardigm alive and well.

I could never figure out the Rader, Gotoh, Tkach connections until later. I had a brief but intense time where JT Sr. took me out to talk until 3 am on a number of occasions. I was not sure why or what might be going on but perhaps he was scoping me out in some way. My sense was he was more one to manuever and connive than study and be all that people oriented. I observed him abuse people verbally and treat those he was "training" in ways that were troubling.

He always noted he was the widow's elder in some way of amazing compassion. I hear that may have had other applications in having access to third tithe monies. He seemed a man you would not wish to cross.

At any rate, I can appreciate all our experiences. It's been a bit of a slow month and I get a bit withdrawn and too introspective about it all at times. Probably Father's day stuff. I tend to be more open and chatty when it gets lonely and I probably need to drop it all for my own sake. It feels like I'll cut myself off from those that understand however if I do. Can't win!

Good weekend to all.

Douglas Becker said...

I had a brief but intense time where JT Sr. took me out to talk until 3 am on a number of occasions. I was not sure why or what might be going on but perhaps he was scoping me out in some way. My sense was he was more one to manuever and connive than study and be all that people oriented. I observed him abuse people verbally and treat those he was "training" in ways that were troubling.

Dennis, I believe you would be well served and it would benefit you a lot if you reviewed the article on Psychopaths.

From all the documentation we have on Joseph Tkach Senior, if you assess him with the PCL, you may very well come to the same conclusion as I have.

You are most probably correct: He was in assessment phase to determine whether you were to be a patron, pawn, patsy, a threat or simply irrelevant to his designs.

His designs at the time you met him seemed to be focused on eliminating anyone who became a threat to him in his pursuit of power and position within the Worldwide Church of God.

If you have suffered, just remember, there are others who probably suffered more, such as Dennis Luker.

For a more chilling picture of all that he and many of his competitors really were, you will undoubtedly find it useful to acquire "Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work" by Dr. Paul Babiak and Dr. Robert Hare. Within its pages you find echoes of your experiences of the men you have mentioned and many more you have not in the confines of that seeking of perfection church of gods venue.

Douglas Becker said...

Regrets are useless.

Just be satisfied and grateful you have a son who has supported you on the Painful Truth and that he is not terribly mentally ill -- in and out of mental hospitals most of his adult life.

Some of us don't even have that.

DennisDiehl said...

I have good sons who, inspite of WCG, I gave plenty of leeway too to make their own decisions, had no expectations that they be anything less than themselves and told them early in the game that I would prefer they didn't go to AC and did other things than what I thought was what I had been "called" to do.

I am sorry for the pain you must have behind the scenes and of course, it explains why as adults we feel a need to inform to prevent it for others. In my experience, the most outspoken are those that have little left to lose, and those who never speak up are protecting their assets.

It's probably why a man like Joe Tkach Jr. has never been heard to utter any kind of apology or recognition of his part in gutting the hopes of those he and his father were entrusted with, even if the beliefs were not correctt.

WCG has a whole department (or at least a place for tokenism) dedicated to reconciliation with minorities and nothing to reconcile with the majority...member and minister. Majoring in the minorities is smoke and mirrors compared to reconciling with their stupidity and reckless ideas about how Jesus has worked his great miracle in the church.

When it comes to WCG, I believe Jesus wears a bracelet that says WDIDT "Why Did I do That?" Or maybe, DLAMIDDT..."Don't look at me, I didn't do that!"

If any WCG leadership types read AW....You're Karma is going to run over your Dogma.

Douglas Becker said...

Reflections on Fathers' Day concerning the xcg experience:

Bamboo_bends said...

Father's Day thought:

My daughter was born in 1994, and has never really known the WCG, she was a baby when we attended and except for a couple of visits to her Grandparents congregation later which she remembers as "long and boring" she has no memory of the organization!

I have much to be thankful for!

When we tell her of our experience she just marvels at it all. She wonders why we stayed so long. So do we.

Kscribe said...

Douglas wrote......
Dennis, I believe you would be well served and it would benefit you a lot if you reviewed the article on Psychopaths.

Once again, a priceless article that allows the reader to understand the man behind the curtain...your local cog cultmaster!