Monday, 9 July 2007

Something Wiki This Way Comes

Russell Miller and the "J Source" have teamed up, and the Herbolatrous remnant should be quaking in their boots: it's a team to compare with the Two Witnesses.

Okay, so that may be taking poetic license a step too far, but this latest project by two talented and articulate ex-members documenting the Armstrong enterprise shows great promise. You can read about it here. Russell is a man of forthright opinions (he contributed several items to the old AW), and "J" (whoever he or she might be) operates a blog that has my nomination for best new COG commentary site.

We all have a stake in making sure that the facts don't conveniently go away, and this Wiki project may play a big part in that. One thing is for sure, Stephen Flurry and his ilk can't be allowed to get a free ride in whitewashing the history of the WCG.


Douglas Becker said...

Not that you have to -- we all enjoy Ambassador Watch -- but you can retire now if you want to!

Others are popping up and this venue is getting to be very good indeed.

Of course, there is always a danger that xcg ministers may threaten lawsuits and have web hosts take down these new sites.

It has been known to happen.

It is good to see these efforts being pushed forward.

DennisDiehl said...

This is just me...and where I perceive myself to be or wish to be at the moment.

I registered for both the blog and forum. With all the sites that currently are and all the detail this site is asking for such as "opening prayer" "song leaders" all categories of church people, ministers etc, I have to ask myself is this good for me? Does it ever end? Who is being "helped." Is this just endless stories, bitching, moaning and groaning, which I am very capable of myself, but just no longer serves me in any positive way?

I'm leaning towards yes it is just more of the same and it does not serve me personally anymore. I don't know who my own comments help either and if it is genuine help.

I would assume Mormon, SDA, JW's, Baptists, Bob Jonesers, Kodak, the US Government,could maintain such sites for the marginalized and all the corporate chaos and changes in the world. But does it serve me? Does it serve me is the only question I personally have to answer for me.

Aside from being snarky, theological or frustrated and a bit angry with myself at times for my choices, mistakes and such, my goal is to become that innerly quiet and accepting human becoming (not just being), so to speak.

I had wonderful times and experiences in the past along with the craziness of WCG leadership. I have good boys now men and can't get over, if that is what one does, my failures in my marriage and such. It and I couldn't survive the church church church 24/7 routine and all the pressure caused by caught between Administration and Congregation. I personally was more of the congration first type, but when it was all said and done, they all disappeared as well and were not helpful in transitions. They aren't even friendly for the most part. So in that area for me the minister, it was lose/'re on your own.

When the congregation was at about 125 (down from 400 and now less than 10) I was asked to consider taking it on "our own." I knew I was done and don't regret not going that worn out route. I had changed and the church was not well aware of it, though if they had been listening to the sermons, maybe.

I find my personal help in AW. And while I wish to be helpful, I am endeavoring to find a center again for me. No one else has to believe me, but I put church and others way ahead of lots of things for decades to my harm.

I started saving part of my tithe for my retirement because they weren't. No good. I put "excess 2t into the mix for the future, and that was nixed. They set up a "investment fund" and that was cancelled. I was trying to do what they promised they would and I knew they wouldn't. It's why I still ask where are the millions Joe? Sorry, got off topic.

XCG is ok, but for some reason, the participants there talk more AT each other, they don't talk TO each other as it seems more here. I need personally to talk TO people and for them to talk to me.

'Yeah?" "Oh Yeah!" doesn't work for me. I comment at the new site but realized, I simply don't want to keep commenting on every thing my mind wants to forget about and keeping it all alive. It's over. It's different if I can be of help, or frankly it helps me. Being authentic is important to me though painful and leaves one open to more criticism. So what. I know so many people living in two worlds it's fascinating. Most church members and ministers did anyway. I did.

I don't give a rat's ass what anyone believes theologically when it comes down to it. I ony have to live with myself and I wish that to be a spirituality from the inside out and not just another form of religion I spend the next twenty years apologizing for because they are just as corrupt or controling with only costume changes.

Ok, it's a Monday, hot and slow. Getting too long here. I still offer my phone number to anyone who wants to chat more personally just be friends, or as Buddhism says, "sometimes there is nothing left in life to do but have a good laugh. (864 905 5804)

So, I'm hanging out here as long as helpful but not adding any more sites or stories of the pat to my brain.

G'day G'avin! G'reat site!

Russell Miller said...

Hi Gavin,

I host the wiki site, and my provider is rather immune to kooks. It is possible that the site could be taken down, but it's going to take a supernatural (heh) amount of effort.


I absolutely see where you're coming from, but frankly this site is not for me, and it is not for those who have "gotten over it". It is for those who have memories to process and emotions to deal with - the hope is that this will help others reach the stage of "getting over it" - and maybe even helping to pull a few currently entrenched out of the morass of armstrongism. I know where you're coming from, but I feel a duty to help in this way.

Anonymous said...

Hi Russell, Dennis here.

I completely understand. That's why I emphacised that this is just how I feel. There will always be a need for those at different stages along the way and for those still stuck in it. Actually, like everything in nature, sites evolve to fit the current needs and your site continues that process.

Good luck!

G. Scott said...

The thought had occurred to me to make a WCG Wiki (a WCGiki?), but quite honestly, the thought of it was a little daunting -- too much involvement. My interest in all things COG is waning...

At the same time, I can readily see the importance of this. Keeping the facts alive is important.

I fear, though, that a Wiki on COG-dom will be even less accurate than Wikipedia, which is constantly in some controversy or other about entries on controversial topics. It's pretty safe to go to the site to find out the Latin name for the Eastern White Oak (Quercus alba), but for religious matters, it's fairly notorious.

I think it could be even more problematic in this venture.

Still, I wish the creators success.

Russell Miller said...

One of the driving factors behind this wiki is accuracy. Anything that is inaccurate will be edited or deleted. I realize that it is sometimes troublesome deciding *what* is inaccurate, so for controversial matters we will rely on sourcing and verification for validation. For example, if you can't prove something controversial through a reliable source such as Ambassador Reports, don't bother posting it. We're also striving for a lack of bias - we won't accept bias towards the anti side anymore than towards the pro side. Which means if there is a fact that is flattering to HWA, it will get as much airtime as facts that are unflattering to HWA. Now, if there are more facts that are unflattering, well, nothing we can do about that.

100% accurate is not possible, but it's what we're striving for above all else. The *last* thing we want to do is give an apologist reason to say "see? it's wrong!".

I will consider it a success when apologists are reduced to calling it "evil", "wicked", and perhaps "heretical", rather than having any actual substantive arguments.

Anonymous said...


You have knowledge that is useful to others, whether personal observation, experience, or historical reference. Your contributions fit into the bigger picture of things -- something those of us who were held psychologically captive by the WCG were never capable of seeing.

We're here for balance, for different ways of processing what we were once absolutely, 100% sure was correct; yet couldn't have been further off base. It's not about burying the past, but making a positive leap forward to develop the understanding and leadership to guide and inspire others.

I have certainly learned more from a religious standpoint reading the posts and blogs on these sites, than all my years of formal religious education and church-going. Says something, doesn't it.

Anonymous said...

Dennis here: I get tired having to always resign up to comment. Quirk of somekind I don't understand

Thanks, I try to be helpful. I've had my goofs and gaffs and messy life transitions from minister to being a bit more authentic and ok with it, warts and all.

You're's about moving ahead. My own moving ahead has been encouraged by making friends of many persuasions here and a couple other places. Friends at least in the give and take, though if you put every one of these folks here in a restaurant at the next table, I'd not know them nor they me.

My new face to face friends are from my therapeutic massage practice and it's almost like church folks but they are more honest about how things are really going for them. For some reason, people who come to me now are also seekers and in transitions. I think it's hilarious and almost karmic that as a pastor, I had to leave the door open, not meet women in public or private for sure and always had to take another guy, deacon or warm body along with me, which I hated for all concerned. I never thought people should have to talk about personl things with another member of the congregation sitting there, no matter their title. It was none of their business and when I took them with me, I knew I'd get less honesty.

Anyway... Now people call me, we lock the door, turn down the lights and up with the music, they get minimally comfy, and I take them off to la la land or get them past a backache, injury or headache literally. Then they pay me! It's very funny to me in respect to all the past "you better never"s. People are just people.

Anyway, I find AW a kinder, gentler experience for where I am and need less and less of all the stories, including my own, that keep me in the past too much or at least too long.

I have appreciated Gavin's posting the kinds of topics, of late, that lead to learning and sharing the kinds of things that help us keep moving.

Lussenheide said...

Lussenheide writes:

Hey, why stop here? Why not our own WCG History Channel on cable?

All we have to do is superimpose the images of heads from the various icon leadership of the WCG past and put them on already existing Nazi footage being played regularly on the REAL History Channel!

The storylines and commentary would only need minimal editing!


Kscribe said...

Lussenheide said... All we have to do is superimpose the images of heads from the various icon leadership of the WCG past and put them on already existing Nazi footage being played regularly on the REAL History Channel!<<<

Damn, maybe you should take over my video site! I too am growing tired. Tired of making videos. The purpose has been served.

I hope the videos made you laugh or cry. The serious ones were a work of love, the funny ones, well...just plain fun!!! But all good things come to a end at some point. I just need to draw that line in the sand!

Charlie said...


You don't have to resign up every time to comment. You just need to create a gmail account. Then write down your new email address and password. You can use that every time. Worked for me anyway.