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Monday, 3 September 2007

Painful Truth passes first decade online

Ten years of The Painful Truth. Quite an accomplishment. Here's the announcement over at www.hwarmstrong.com
That's right, folks -- the Painful Truth has been on the web for ten years! For a full decade now hundreds, perhaps thousands, have visited these pages seeking information about Herbert Armstrong's Worldwide Church of God. Scores have contributed articles and emails, and hundreds have written to thank us for providing the information.
It hasn't all been roses. We've been thrown off the web twice, been threatened with lawsuits and even death, but as the Bible says..."The [painful] truth shall set you free"!
To celebrate this small anniversary, a few loyal readers have contributed articles for your enjoyment. More articles are anticipated (and you are free to submit your own). To begin reading, follow this link.
Among the contributors are M.A.M., who'll be known to those who frequented the pre-blog AW, the Most Rev. KScribe, the indomitable Douglas Becker and some dude with a name very similar to mine with the exception of an errant vowel.

The PT began through the vision of Ed Mentell Sr., and after a brief period under Mike Minton passed into the stewardship of John B. It's been attached to a variety of URLs over the years, so if you lost track, maybe it'd be wise to bookmark it. I can think of few other websites of this kind that have lasted the distance. All the best John.

72 comments:

Douglas Becker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Congrats guys!

PS: Kscribe, you never cease to amaze me with those videos. Brilliant work.

Tom Mahon said...

>>Seriously, congratulations to John B., Ed Mentell, Senior and the Painful Truth without which we would not be where we are today, where ever that might be.<<

"Where ever that might be?" is indeed the crucial question, which cries out for an answer. For the question implies that you don't know where you are.

Perhaps we can get some indication of your unconscious location, by analysing the mind set of your admirers. Your admirers have spent the last 10 years criticising everything that Mr. Armstrong taught, and kicking themselves for, allegedly, allowing themselves to be duped by him. So whether where you are was your intended location or not, you have unwittingly arrived at the edge a very slippery precipice, over which you and those who sing your praises will eventually fall.

For it is impossible for you and your admirers to denigrate and abuse a servant of God, HWA, with impunity.

Corky said...

"For it is impossible for you and your admirers to denigrate and abuse a servant of God, HWA, with impunity."

What? That old bastard Herbie? The dead rotten corpse of a daughter molesting pedophile? WOW! I can hardly wait for his trial at the great white throne.

Anonymous said...

"Your admirers have spent the last 10 years criticising everything that Mr. Armstrong taught..."

Is this not what Armstrong and his admirers have spent decades doing? Criticizing not only mainstream Christianity, but humanity at large? Why should Armstrong be exempt from criticism? Do you not analyze the doctrines of religious groups yourself against your own standard? It is rational criticism that we humans are able to view the world around us. Why is criticizing what Armstrong taught considered "abuse" while he was and is lauded for criticizing literally everything around him and it is considered "upholding the Truth?"

Paul

Anonymous said...

"...you have unwittingly arrived at the edge a very slippery precipice, over which you and those who sing your praises will eventually fall."

Mmhm. I suppose you refer to the Second Coming, or one of the other resurrections? Wasn't that suppose to occur in the mid-Seventies? I won't hold my breath. I won't sort out my own salvation in Fear and Loathing. What I will do is live my life to the fullest, striving, achieving, not only for myself, but for humanity. You on the other hand, will wait, hat in hand, sedentary and bitter, for your diety to return. I won't even attempt to hope that you will even try to contribute to this world, besides your own deluded self righteousness.

Long live the Painful Truth.


Paul

Lussenheide said...

Response to Tom for ALL:

The biggest pain that I feel is the amount of people who have lost faith in God because of the cultic, abusive and whacked out WCG system.

It is not so much a doctrinal thing, for there are well adjusted Sabbatarians (in general) , such as the Seventh Day Baptists and the COG 7th Day. People who respect themselves and others and can have good and productive relationships with those both inside and outside of their faith and still have commitment to the 10 commandments.

However the MANAGEMENT SYSTEM of the WCG , and its dictatorial hierarchical structure lent itself to abuse, monetary extravagancy, power whoremongering, politics, weirdness, sexual misconduct, narcissim, and lack of ANY open accountability, ultimately killed the faith of many people.

It was a cult.

For many people, the only way out of the morass is to reject both GOD and the WCG.

For me, my faith in God is not shaken by the idiocy and ego of the management of WCG and its daughter org splinters. I guess I have always had a "personal experience" with God, and realized that this experience was completely seperate from my "personal experience" with mere carnal men and their foibles.

HWA or GTA or JWT or any other human is irrelevant. One does not have to have faith in any of them to have faith in God. One does not need to "find the true Church ORG" in order to find truth or know God. God did not give "franchise rights" to anyone. A Bible and a heart for truth and good,is all that is needed in this mysterious journey called life.

WOE, WOE, WOE to those who have bewildered, hurt and killed the faith of the innocent sheep. They are indeed very guilty.

My hope for the many who now deny God, who read this forum, is that they find faith again. That they can seperate the legitimately felt madness of their religious experience with the true salvation of their loving brother Jesus Christ. I hope that they can find joy again in their life, in whatever fashion, for I read on the blogs, many times, the bitterness, disillusionment, betrayl and emptiness at times in peoples posts.

Tommorows sunrise will be beautiful and this life is a gift. My prayer is that the ball and chain of the madness that the WCG created can be removed from your soul.

Your Friend,
Lussenheide

Anonymous said...

"...people who have lost faith in God because of the cultic, abusive and whacked out WCG system."

Yes, there are some out there. But many did not lose their faith over a system, but pure and unadulterated lack of evidence. It's that simple.


"I hope that they can find joy again in their life..."

Joy? I never knew real joy until the day that I realized that God (having nothing to do with HWA) didn't exist.

Cheers, Bill.

Paul

Douglas Becker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom Mahon said...

I am not so foolish as to believe that HWA never made any mistakes, or sometimes did things that he knew to be wrong. But doesn't that describes us all? Don't we all make mistakes, and sometimes say and do things that we know are wrong? No honest person would deny that this is the way we all behave. So why do we expect a higher standard from Mr. Armstrong than we demand from ourselves?

However, admitting that we are sinners is no justification for wrong doing, whether it was done by HWA or is currently being done by us. Like King David and Paul, to cite two powerful examples, we all need to be led by the grace of God to repentance and newness of life. For, according to Peter, Christians are called to glory and virtue.

Many of us once believed that God called us into his church, which was then under the dispensation of Mr. Armstrong, just as he called people under the dispensation of Paul's ministry. So for anyone to argue that HWA or Paul was a false prophet or a charlatan because they made mistakes is completely illogical. God has never called anyone to follow a false prophet or a charlatan.

If HWA or Paul was a false prophet, any baptisms or ordinations under their dispensations would be invalid. Yet none of the ministers or members who were baptised or ordained under HWA's dispensation, and who are now reviling him, is willing to repudiate their baptism or ordination. Such a stance is not only illogical, it is madness!

Sadly, The Painful Truth, which is indeed painful, but has nothing to do with the Holy Spirit of Truth, reminds me of Dr.Johnson's celebrated essay of on criticism. Interested readers will find it much more enlightening than the vitriol being spewed out by the cabal of bitter, twisted critics who contribute to The Painful Truth.

Anonymous said...

Tom said: So why do we expect a higher standard from Mr. Armstrong than we demand from ourselves?

Well, Duh!

Because the "apostle" put himself on his own pedestal, that's why! He claimed he had a direct hot line to Jesus Christ, that's why!

Double Duh! BTW, most WCG members DID have higher standards than their drunken, child molesting, thieving, arrogant late "apostle." I know I did! Your mileage may vary, of course.

Armstrong also demanded WAY more than what he needed in terms of an adequate salary, making almost 20 times what the average tithe payer made (in 1978) - not to mention every perk known to mankind.

Perhaps this was that same Jesus Christ telling him what a great apostle he was and that his status as such made it OK for him to live like Diamond Jim, on the backs of tithe payers?

God has never called anyone to follow a false prophet or a charlatan.

You are assuming that the God of the Bible actually exists and has some sort of "calling" plan in mind. You are also assuming that this "God" had anything to do with the WCG and Herbert Armstrong. Your entire assumption is built on nothing.

Herbert Armstrong was nothing more than just another con man who used the cloak of religion to make his fortune and build his empire. And in a few short years, after his last living "ministers" are dead, after the fight over the tithe pie is finished, people will be saying, "Herbert WHO?"

Corky said...

I sure am glad that I have all that Armstrong garbage out of my system.

It's strange to me though, that some people are down on HWA's critics, as if he is above criticism, but yet are ready to defend HWA tooth and nail.

It would seem to me to be a bass ackward approach to a psychopathic pedophile to apologize for his crimes for him.

If he wanted forgiveness from his victims, maybe he should have asked them.

Interested readers will find it much more enlightening than the vitriol being spewed out by the cabal of bitter, twisted critics who contribute to The Painful Truth.

Pitiful is what you are, my man, pitiful and deserving of contempt.

Felix Taylor, Jr. said...

May the Painful Truth site last for many decades, making many more people free and tormenting those who hate freedom of the mind and soul.

kscribe said...

Tom wrote: you have unwittingly arrived at the edge a very slippery precipice, over which you and those who sing your praises will eventually fall.

Well Tom, I won't have to be thrown into the lake of fire for bashing the alleged servant of Gauud. For if the herbster was a servant then I will jump into the lake feet first! Your Gauud has no morals! Repent Thomas, REPENT!!!

kscribe said...

Tom said: But doesn't that describes us all? Don't we all make mistakes, and sometimes say and do things that we know are wrong?

One big difference here Tom. We don't go around molesting children! Do you?

Anonymous said...

Look, folks. I don't believe anyone became associated with the organization at the point of a gun. We may have been brainwashed but once we see through that it's time to fill the brain with something else.

I note several things at this site:

1) Most if not all of the bloggers are men.
2) The predominant role is one of Victim.
3) There is no acknowledgment of personal responsibility.
4) There is apparently no awareness of the dominant features of a cult, which I suggest as essential reading to all who would be free of this morass in which they find themselves: not in and not out.

"... and the Painful Truth without which we would not be where we are today, where ever that might be."

Ask yourselves, where are you - really - today? Still rehashing the issues that trouble you, perhaps led to your departure. For some of you that is many years. Kinda reminds me of all the men I've known in my life who are sitting on a bar stool, or elsewhere with another vice, nursing the wounds of a divorce they precipitated, refusing to acknowledge their responsibility, and crying in their beer. And where are the women (or those who refuse to play the Victim role)? They have moved on, care for the children (or other responsibilities), do the healing and live a productive life on another plane. I implore you to do the same.

HWA is no better and no worse than many other would-be intermediaries between God and man (and I knew him quite personally). In fact, his membership was never so large as some. Have you read the news? Have you seen them exposed? It just goes with that sort of type of finds religion a very convenient source of power over others. The real question is why do people follow them? What are the needs and/or weaknesses in the followers that make them have to follow someone like this, be it HWA or any other? And why can't they let it go? There are many serious questions to ask yourself and endlessly haggling over HWA is a dead end. HWA and WWCG is not the issue. YOU are! HWA is just a molecule in a drop in a bucket of the history of mankind on Earth. Put it in perspective. And forgive yourself for letting yourself be duped by the guy and don't let yourself be duped again.

You might also ask yourself why you still have this need to belong? Do you not have the confidence in your ability to read the Bible for yourself? Pray and have a personal relationship with God? Or leave religion altogether? I suggest you reread the message of Christ and understand that he came and died to release us from the OT obligations of a priesthood. His message is the antidote for this insanity and unhealthiness.

I don't consider myself religious or a Christian, but I know that the answers you seek are in Christ's word. There have been many wonderful spiritual leaders, most of them saying the same basic things. As you are familiar with both the Bible and Christ, it would be a good place to start and the time spent doing that instead of haggling on this site will heal your soul. And listen to our own inner voice. The answers are there.

And let me make it clear that I am not defending HWA. I know only too well his sins and failings - hubris being at the top, I would say. But he is responsible for what he did. You are responsible for what you do about you. If you still believe in God, do you really think he is going to say when you appear before Him, having wasted years of your life on this small stuff, "Well, it's okay that you hid your talents in a napkin because HWA made you afraid to have a real life. We have a special place in the Kingdom of God for the damaged like you." Kinda like a mental ward.

Perhaps a study of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder might be helpful as well. And then the realization that many people have suffered much worse things at the hands of various and sundry dictators. Put this in perspective and for God's sake and your own get a life! I mean that as kindly as I know how to say it.

A Former True Believer

Anonymous said...

I ran across a stellar example of HWA's "Christianity". With the proliferation of the internet, there have been many interviews published with COG-7 officials over the past several years.

HWA is seen by these officials as having killed all possible growth in their group for decades by branding them Sardis. So, here, by pseudo apostolic fiat, the church which spawned that "apostle" is ruined, simply because they choose to maintain their authority structure and preserve their doctrinal integrity, rather than bowing down to the mighty Herbster, and embracing some of his nonsensical theories, such as British Israelism.

You might say HWA rendered impotent the voice of moderation and common sense. I don't believe that COG-7 embraces the destructive and toxic cultic behavior which was practiced by Classic Armstrongism in the WCG's heyday. A whole lot of people would have been much better off if COG-7 had never attracted Loma, and Herb had never assumed any leadership responsibilities in that group.

God's "Apostle" indeed!

BB

John Bowers said...

When I was a member of WCG I feared and hated anyone who made any criticism of WCG or HWA. Feared them because I had been brainwashed to believe criticism came from Satan, hated them because I was afraid.

The fact that Tom and others like him feel threatened by the Painful Truth is proof that we are still needed. We will remain outside the barbed wire, a refuge for those who are still imprisoned when they finally come to their senses and push open the doors to their cells. The doors aren't locked, all they have to do is walk outside. We will be waiting to embrace them and help them discover the sunshine and fresh air.

Step outside, Tom!

Corky said...

Anonymous Armstrongite preacher says . . .

Perhaps a study of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder might be helpful as well. And then the realization that many people have suffered much worse things at the hands of various and sundry dictators. Put this in perspective and for God's sake and your own get a life! I mean that as kindly as I know how to say it.

Just walk away, forgive and forget and don't worry about any others who are still victims of that cult.

You'd like that wouldn't you? Ain't gonna happen. We are going to hound your sorry a**ses until hell freezes over!

Douglas Becker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Douglas Becker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Anon. said :

I note several things at this site:

1) Most if not all of the bloggers are men.
2) The predominant role is one of Victim.
3) There is no acknowledgment of personal responsibility.
4) There is apparently no awareness of the dominant features of a cult, which I suggest as essential reading to all who would be free of this morass in which they find themselves: not in and not out.


Let's look at these points one by one.

1. Women are not much interested in these controversial issues. Or when was the last time you ever saw a woman leave the old WCG (or even the new ACOGs) ahead of her husband? Now THAT was a rare event.

Most women (despite the feminazi rhetoric) are followers, nesters and home makers. They avoid conflict (except with each other) and tend to have a socialistic view of the world. They will take security over liberty in an obvious attempt to protect their offspring. They are not boat rockers or hell raisers. But many men are. As they saying goes, men are from Mars and women are from Venus.

2. That is incorrect. Victims don't fight back the way many here (and on other forums) have. Victims never move on. I left WCG in 1995 and have never looked back. But I will never forget the way the Armstrongs spiritually sodomized me! And, as the Jews cry, Never Again!

3. Wrong again. I am personally responsible for my involvement in the Armstrongological cult. And I "personally" decided to leave after 22 years. But I am NOT personally responsible for the spiritual rape that went on by the "ministers."

4. DUH! If we had known how cults operate many of us would never have joined the Armstrong cult to begin with! Double DUH!!

I joined up, just as I was ready to join up with the U.S. Marine Corp in 1969, out of a sense of wanting to believe in the "mission." Only, in this case, Armstrong's mission was no better than the one in Viet Nam.

And now, please tell us why you joined the cult and why you stayed as long as you did. And if you truly knew the Herbster personally then you must have also known how sick he really was. So, what did you do about this at the time, please?

Anonymous said...

Tom said...

For it is impossible for you and your admirers to denigrate and abuse a servant of God, HWA, with impunity.



ROTFLMAO!!!! HWA's MEMORY AS THE ULTIMATE TABOO. Might as well carve a Tiki on a dead palm tree and put HWA's face on it.

While my mind is in French Polynesia, the French soldiers in Monty Python's Holy Grail had an apt quote, "I fart in his general direction!"

Those that should fear their God are those who KNOW what that old man did, and the lie of that man's life and still tout him as God's end-time servant or practice his form of abusive church structure.

I have no fear of what God will say to me about HWA, except maybe "what took you so long?" At least we tried to put a stop to the madness.

Anonymous said...

"Critics and Skeptics"

The Bible is filled with histories of skeptics and critics and all of them will have their rewards. There is neither verse in the Bible that rewards skeptics or critics, but verses abound about rewards given to those who keep their mouth shut and refrain from giving venomous outburts. As God said they neither know their left hand from their right. I praise Tom as he said he depended HWA. As I sad before others are just plain cowards they could not even give their real names.

Great rewards also await Gavin. He is a cockpit owner and relishes from outside as he watches protagonists from both sides hurl invectives towards each others.

And the winner is Gavin.

Hatred is plenty in the mouth of the ungodly but the righteous knows how to shut their mouths. The ungodly digs up evil but the righteous maintains their peace.

If there is somebody who will rewards these cockpit and their patrons who sing praises that rewards will not come from Jesus Christ but from the evil one. The Evil One.

James Andrade
Philippines

Anonymous said...

"I am not so foolish as to believe that HWA never made any mistakes, or sometimes did things that he knew to be wrong. But doesn't that describes us all? Don't we all make mistakes..."


If I had a nickel for every time this was put forth by Armstrongites in defense of HWA. The difference between you and I and Armstrong is that you nor I are the physical and spiritual leader of a vast religious organization that has complete dominance over the lives of it's members. We hold our governmental figures to a much higher standard than ourselves, for our well being is placed in their hands. Armstrong, being a religious leader to boot, also must live to the religious standard that he himself set up. And yes, people make mistakes. But governmental and religious leader's mistakes affect millions of lives in a real way, much more than our individual mistakes. And what is a mistake? A cross word, burnt toast, sleeping late, forgetting your wallet, leaving the faucet running, these are mistakes. Proclaiming false prophecies in the name of God is not a mistake. Living a life of luxury off the sweat earned tithes of members is not a mistake. Causing marriages to be broken, the ill dying for lack of medical treatment, the abuse of members by the ministry, ect., through the promulgation of your doctrines, these are not mistakes. All of the aforementioned are not condoned by the Bible. I wonder, do you rush to the defense of other religious leaders when they also do the same things? Do you defend Benny Hinn? Popes? Jimmy Swaggart? Do you implore others to understand that these men simply made mistakes and we all make mistakes, so let us not hold these men to a higher standard? I doubt it. Hypocrite.

Paul

Anonymous said...

Anyone seen this on Gavins best bud, Bobby Thiel?

http://www.servantsnews.com/sn0201/thiel2.htm

Now that is the real picture of a servant. Self serving!

Anonymous said...

In response to Stinger, his sexist views are amazing! Obviously that part of his indoctrination is still present. Or maybe it's just a natural thing for him.

For the record, I am a woman. I am not a "feminazi," which is just a name for women who challenge male entitlement and therefore threaten small men who are not their equals. I am probably the Number One fan of male liberation and see how clearly "the system" oppresses them, which includes the activities of WCG which I railed against to good effect in the congregations where I was in a position to do so.

I was at one time very interested in these controversial issues (I have very strong logic, very high I.Q., and am very scientific in my approach, having made my career in very logical pursuits) until it became obvious to me how trivial they were and not worthy of my energy if I were to be a truly spiritual person, able to link myself directly to "god" without anyone telling me how to do that (the Bible alone would be sufficient though I no longer believe it is "God's Word).

I did in fact "rock the boat" and left the church nearly 30 years ago, while married to a minister who is still carrying on this ill-fated activity. I took my issues to church leaders who I will not name because it really doesn't matter. What matters is that I stood up for what I believed, most particularly the oppression of the followers. I am a very powerful leader and almost never a follower, in addition to being a bona fide nester and homemaker. Women can multitask with great adroitness. Your stereotypes are as inappropriate as the many stereotypes by which I could define men.

I am genuinely sorry you do not see your victimization stance and that your sense of personal responsibility is to go after others and "help." That is exactly what the ministry thought they were doing. The truth is that each person is answerable for himself and when he is ready, he will find the way. He doesn't need to follow you or anybody else and I find it the very height of cruelty to shake loose a person from his faith, having nothing to replace it. It is a very difficult transition. Very painful. While it is true that gaining support from others is helpful, arguing biblical or doctrinal issues merely replaces one evil for another. But it would be like men not to discuss how they FEEL about this, wouldn't it?

As for the responsibility for the ministers about which you rant, don't you think God can take care of that, if you still believe in God? If not, life will take care of it. It is simply not your responsibility and none of your business. You are not appointed as Judge. I would think it would be enough to take care of yourself, which is true for all of us.

Like everyone else who became a member of the cult, I was a believer. I was very young, on my own for the first time in my life and experiencing tremendous peer pressure as well as from the college teachers. My personal reasons were quite different from those espoused, I suspect, and I found that I was never able to follow hook, line and sinker and always questioned everything I heard. So much just made no sense whatsoever and I didn't believe it.

Yes, I learned about HWA's imperfections. We all have them. He also had many good qualities. We all have them, also. What I did was discuss this with those in my peer group, one of leadership. Most were too fearful for their jobs, of their spiritual futures, not yet ready to face these difficult things, whatever, to be supportive so I just got out. Believe me, it made a lot of waves! Setting an example can, by itself, be a powerful assist to others.

A part of my staying was that I truly loved my husband and children, didn't want to break up the family (he could not tolerate an openly unbelieving wife), and I loved the people of the church - who loved me back.

You are only looking at this from your perspective. There are many others, depending on where you found yourself in the organization. This is no less true for large corporations or government. I learned all about that in the church. Invaluable.

I didn't know what "cult" was for some years. Then I began to see it. I read about it and all the earmarks were there. I chose to educate myself and come at this in an intelligent manner, not merely emotionally, which includes anger. And I knew, based on the history of cults, exactly what would happen to the organization upon his death. You are acting out a part of that prediction.

Sure there was anger! And I paid a huge price for my choice in leaving. But a clean conscience is a marvelous commodity and I have learned that forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. We hurt no one but ourselves when we refuse to forgive. No one! This does not justify the vile actions and, quite frankly, the forgiven need never know about it. This is something you do for yourself, recognizing your own imperfections, ways in which as a member you said or did things which set your teeth on edge now, in your ignorance and misplaced belief. At the time, I found Christ's teaching extremely helpful. I have now moved considerably past that but would not recommend my path to anyone. It's just what works for ME.

You might ask yourself why did people follow Hitler? Or the horrible despots of Africa? Or Attila the Hun? Or join the Crusades? Certain people have a message and a charisma that moves certain other people. Especially in the name of religion. The followers must accept their responsibility, while forgiving themselves for their error, which was probably not at all obvious at the time. And the most powerful thing they can do is withdraw, actions speaking, as they do, louder - much louder! - than words.

We age, we learn, we grow. We mellow, we change, we learn to laugh at ourselves.

I am sorry the HWA and his leadership cadre could not do this, but that won't stop me. If they hadn't followed him, they've have found Jim Bakker, or Ted Haggarty, or Oral Roberts, or Jim Jones, or any number of other men (why is it always men?) who have the audacity to pronounce that they, and they alone, have God's truth and to assume the awesome responsibility for something so profound and delicate in others, who set themselves us as saviors and heroes and sages. That alone should make them questionable, but hindsight is 20/20, isn't it?

To the extent that it has been possible, I have contacted others to apologize for events in their lives (not an easy thing to do if you have been disfellowshipped and people are forbidden to speak with you), whether I was responsible or not, and to assure them of my love for them and wish for their best success and joy in life. I am still in touch with some few because our love transcended our differences. We never talk about the church but about our lives as we experience them now, closer to death than birth.

I believe you give HWA considerably more weight and power than he deserves and I hope that you will find a way to be free of that. Until you do, he still has you under his spell and that is really a crying shame. You are just wasting precious energy that could be yours to use for yourself and those you love in more meaningful, peaceful ways.

A Former True Believer

Anonymous said...

If there was never an "Ambasador Report",and the developement of web sites like "The Painful Truth". Many thousands who have had their eyes opened to the destructiveness of "Armstrongism", and are being freed from its clutches, would still be inprisoned in that system of mind control and abuse.

Thanks to all that have provided me with a chance to live a normal life by expossing the con-job for what it is.

Long live "The Painful Truth" !!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said,
"I praise Tom as he said he depended HWA."

Did herbie wear Depends, and did Tom diaper him?

I'm more familiar with the poop that ushered forth from his mouth.

Maybe Tom has a perspective from the other end.

Two sides of the coin, I guess. Either way, it stinks.

~Mel
PS: This is not a dig at any decent members of our civilization that have a need to wear adult diapers.

And a PS to Tom: I understand that herbie flew to Europe to have a popsicle stick duct-taped to his little weener, so he could pretend to be a real man. Did you have to un-tape and re-tape that when cleaning up his messes, while changing his diaper? And what brand talcum powder did the Big Baby prefer?

Anonymous said...

"The Bible is filled with histories of skeptics and critics and all of them will have their rewards. There is neither verse in the Bible that rewards skeptics or critics..."


Of course there isn't. To believe in the god of the bible, or any god for that matter, you cannot be skeptical or think too critcally. You have to abandon reason and the faculty to assess data and base logical conclusions upon it. It is the same with someone who believes in a flat earth.

Paul

Anonymous said...

"I have very strong logic, very high I.Q., and am very scientific in my approach, having made my career in very logical pursuits) until it became obvious to me how trivial they were and not worthy of my energy if I were to be a truly spiritual person, able to link myself directly to "god" without anyone telling me how to do that (the Bible alone would be sufficient though I no longer believe it is "God's Word)."

Martha??


Paul

Anonymous said...

"You'd like that wouldn't you? Ain't gonna happen. We are going to hound your sorry a**ses until hell freezes over!"

That is true. These folks will never give up. It is best to leave them alone and not be drug into "Gavin's web..."

Anonymous said...

"It is best to leave them alone and not be drug into "Gavin's web...""

Yes,or for that matter, "reality's web" or "science's web" or "two thousand years of biblical exigesis's web."

Stay cocooned in the comforting cave of Armstrongism, picking over old bones and scrawling markings on the cave walls, fearful of the light outside. Enjoy, and I hope your God comes back soon and appoints you to Lord Over Hazzard County.

Paul

Paul

Douglas Becker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Excellent post, Becker.

Paul

John Bowers said...

<<< Hatred is plenty in the mouth of the ungodly but the righteous knows how to shut their mouths. The ungodly digs up evil but the righteous maintains their peace.
>>>

Go read the Hate Mail pages at the Painful Truth, then come back and try to sell that argument.

Unknown said...

Tom said: So why do we expect a higher standard from Mr. Armstrong than we demand from ourselves?

Stinger>>Because the "apostle" put himself on his own pedestal, that's why!<<

According to the bible, Apostles are appointed by God to preach the gospel, you might be surprised to learn.

Stinger>>He claimed he had a direct hot line to Jesus Christ, that's why!<<

All Christians have direct access to God through Jesus Christ. Note what Paul was inspired to write: "For through Him we both have access by one spirit unto the father"(Eph.2:18). Therefore, God will judge you, HWA and Tom Mahon by the same standard, which is the law of love.

Tom

PS. For technical reasons Tom Mahon is Vistaadmin.

Anonymous said...

Tom said: So why do we expect a higher standard from Mr. Armstrong than we demand from ourselves?

According to the bible, Apostles are appointed by God to preach the gospel, you might be surprised to learn.


HELLO ?? You just answered your own question! You claim that the Herbster was an apostle. And then you have the DUH-ness to ask why he was held to a higher standard! That is the real surprise here.

Your problem is, you don't realize that Armstrong was not only NOT an apostle (except in his own mind) he was nothing more than a cheap con man, who as I said, used religious deception to build his empire. And you obviously bought into it.

As far as people having access to God via this magic spirit, that's just another dodge on your part. Armstrong said that while all Christians are equal, some are more equal than others (to paraphrase a line from Animal Farm). And he was the most "equal" of all, right under God and Jesus Christ! I saw Armstrong's "org" chart in the Good News on this.

You wanna keep wasting your time defending that lying sack of dog dung then go right ahead. Be my guest. Charles Manson could use your help too.

Douglas Becker said...
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Corky said...

Hooray for the Painful Truth and congratulations to it's editors, both past and present.

"... and the Painful Truth without which we would not be where we are today, where ever that might be."

Yep, we might be believer, unbeliever, agnostic, atheist or deist. One thing we all are and that's free from Armstrongism.

We realize that Armstrongites can't understand freedom of thought and freedom of speech, seeing as how they are under mind control and living in fear. They think in terms of "one doctrine", "one church", "one voice", "one apostle" etc. and cannot understand the diversity of ideas at "The Painful Truth" as if freedom doesn't mean we can be different. All they know is conformity to certain sets of beliefs.

The Armstrongite reminds me of an old episode of "Star Trek" where everyone on a planet had to surrender their thoughts to Landru, "you-will-be-ab-sorbed--you are-not-of-the-body-of-Landru--you-will-be-ab-sorbed . . ."

Unknown said...

Becker>>And here is hoping that(sic) >>the Painful Truth will continue as long as it is needed to help victims.<<

To help victims? Shock horror!! Are you serious or completely deluded? What help have The Painful Truth provided for the mass of deceived, disillusioned former members of WCG? Unless, of course, they conformed to the maxim that, "misery loves company," and they find some perverse satisfaction in joining you, in hurling abuse at HWA.

The Painful Truth, (or is it The Painful Lies? I will let readers decide for themselves)and its contributors remind me of those spectators who stand on the touchline of a football game and shout abuse at the players who they think are performing well. But when asked, "what would you do to improve the performance?" They replies often indicate that they don't have the faintest idea.

The Painful Truth would gain the respect of decent, intelligent people if, in stead shouting abuse from the touchline of despair, it created a structure, with wholesome teachings, where people from every walk of life could grow and reach they true potential. But such an approach would be much too positive for those who find the blandishments of abuse much more congenial than the wholesomeness of virtue and peace.

Tragically, the PT's contributors and misguided supporters don't understand the terror of Lord. So they will continue to abuse his former servant until judgement returns to righteousness.

Tom Mahon

PS.Why are some people afraid to put their names to the views they express?

Corky said...

Tom Mahon says . . .
"The Painful Truth, (or is it The Painful Lies? I will let readers decide for themselves)and its contributors remind me of those spectators who stand on the touchline of a football game and shout abuse at the players . . ."

"Touchline"? What the hell is a touchline? I see you have no more knowledge of a football game than you do of the contributors at The Painful Truth.

PS.Why are some people afraid to put their names to the views they express?

Perhaps they are not "afraid" to put their names to their views but do so out of privacy. Get a life and please . . . watch a football game, you may enjoy it.

Sincerely,
Almon McCann

Gavin said...

What's a touchline?

www.answers.com/touchline&r=67

Corky said...

Aah yes, soccer and rugby . . . the UK "football".

Anonymous said...

Tragically, the PT's contributors and misguided supporters don't understand the terror of Lord.

A strange statement from someone engaged in idolatry.

Do you not fear God?

Just a matter of curiosity, do you eat out on the Sabbath at restaurants?

Your pride will be your destruction. But remember, as one of the tares, it will take you a long long time to get there.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Judgment, if any awaits.

Anonymous said...

It's clear that VistaAdmin doesn't understand God either.

Douglas Becker said...
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Anonymous said...

Very good VistaAdmin!

Douglas Becker said...
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Douglas Becker said...
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Unknown said...

TM>>Tragically, the PT's contributors and misguided supporters don't understand the terror of Lord.<<

>>A strange statement from someone engaged in idolatry.<<

If you had the courage to add your name to your comments, I might reply to them.

Tom

Douglas Becker said...

If you had the courage to add your name to your comments, I might reply to them.

You lie.

Unknown said...

DB>>Just how do you think you are going to get to the Place of Safety without your idol, Herbert Armstrong, to lead the way?<<

Pray tell, where is the place of safety?

DB>>Here's hoping [not really, stupid] that you happened to have picked THE one and only right splinter from the 1,000 spit-offs to lead you where Herbert Armstrong cannot go.<<

What were you saying about the ability to write sentences? However, unlike you I don't clutch at straws.

BD>>I don't make many predictions and am not a false prophet [although 80% to 95% of my prognostications do come true -- 100% if you count my election predictions],<<

There is a great deal of difference between a prediction and a prophecy, you might be surprised to learn. But you are not unique in getting some prediction right, lots of other people make successful predictions.

DB>>but I would say this: I think you are going to look like an utter fool one of these days. Maybe posthumously.<<

You "think?" Why aren't you absolutely sure? Well, I am absolutely certain that you are wrong!

BTW, the rest your post lacks substance, so there is no point in me replying to it. Plus I don't intend to engage in a futile slanging match with you or anyone else. If you want to conduct a sensible discussion about the issues that led up to the break up of WCG, and the current folly that permeates cog-land, then, I am more than happy to do so.

But I don't see how constantly abusing HWA is going to help us in our walk with God, if that is indeed what we desire to do.

Tom

Douglas Becker said...
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Douglas Becker said...
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Douglas Becker said...

I have decided to go back to someone much wiser than myself and tap into the Orange Papers.

I have formatted the Propaganda and Debating
Techniques by A. Orange into a summarized web page called 'Lies'
. This covers about all the tricks and techniques used by Armstrongists over the years.

Note the "Slippery Slope" under "The Either/Or Technique -- Bifurcation -- the Excluded Middle"
and "Argue from Adverse Consequences".

Unknown said...

>>A Former True Believer<<

According to the inspired text, a much more apt description is: "The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire"(2 Pet.2:22).

Very pitiful!

Tom

Unknown said...

DB>>Do you eat out on the Sabbath and Holydays?<<

I reserve the right not to answer silly questions. However, I don't normally eat out at all, but if the need arises, I will eat out on any day, except Atonement. Happy now?

Douglas, you are a very troubled soul. For it is evident from the contents of your posts and your own admission, that you are often angry and incensed by anyone who has a kind word for HWA, or who believes that in spite of his faults, he was a servant of God.

Anger is very corrosive, it robs its victims of impartiality, objective and it undermines logic and reason. For example, if you believe that God calls people into fellowship with his son, Christ Jesus, then it is illogical to argue that he called you through the ministry of a false prophet. Unless you are prepared to argue that God deceives people?

Yet you continue to believe that you are a Christian, but HWA was charlatan. This stance is completely illogical. But your stance exactly illustrates how anger uproots reason and leaves its victims vulnerable to the wiles of the devil. You ought to remember the proverb: "He that is soon angry is like city left without defences." And Paul to the Colossians: "But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth"(Cols.3:8). Your posts are replete with all these. Can't you see how Satan has marched into your city, and has taken you captive?

If you can't see how troubled you are, and illogical your stance is, then, I rest my case.

Tom

Anonymous said...

However, I don't normally eat out at all, but if the need arises, I will eat out on any day, except Atonement. Happy now?

I have been raising this issue since I left Armstrong's Worldweird Church over 10 years ago. According to the part-time, pick & choose "law" keepers, it's OK to employ ones waiter or waitress on God's "holy" Sabbath. Because, after all, that person would be working anyway. Right?

Such specious reasoning is quite common among this pick & choose crowd. And yet they want to come on here and challenge anybody who does not agree with their hypocritical doctrine. Like that Pharisee praying at the front of the temple, they suppose themselves to be servants of God, while the rest of us peons are not worthy to be in their presence.

Armstrong-ology: a theology that produces supreme self-righteousness and hypocrisy.

And every single time you employ your waiter on any given Saturday you illustrate this hypocrisy to all who are watching. Your own sacred writings proclaim that if you violate just one single principle of your law then you are guilty of violating ALL of it.

And, IMHO, you Armstrongologists are among some of the most guilt ridden people on this planet because of this. Which is why you point the long bony finger at everyone who disagrees with you - to assuage your guilt.

Douglas Becker said...
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Douglas Becker said...

I reserve the right not to answer silly questions.

Yes, of course. You say you don't answer questions because people don't post their names. And then when they do, you claim the clause "I will consider" answering the questions: Double talk and weasel words with no truth at all.

You err not knowing Scripture: Ephesians 4:26.

You use the techniques to tell lies given in the Orange Papers.

As Stinger has said, you have exposed your own hypocrisy as a modern day Pharisee.

If you are so for the positive and so dislike people exposing Herbert Armstrong for the charlatan and false prophet he was, then why don't you enlighten us as to what wonderful legacy he left?

Finally, here's a fair description of what we've seen of you thus far:


The Suspicious Point of View

Douglas Becker said...

Raising the steaks

Stinger, since the time of merely having cafeteria righteousness -- a practice which has grown in the last generation -- another dimension has been added: It's not just "they would be working anyway" any more.

United, Living and Restored have all declared that it is good and pleasant for people to eat out on the Sabbath. It brings people together. Furthermore, it pictures the millennium where the great unwashed will be serving the gods as gods but not God, hand and foot as slaves. Particularly the service gets really demanding as massive sacrifices are given on the altars at Jerusalem, world headquarters, the beginning of the International Date Line. The righteous may have their problems today, but they will be free to do as they please as their victims... er... humble servants work hard to give them pleasure on the Sabbath.

The big difference will be that they won't be paid and there won't be any tips.

Ezra and Nehemiah would have fits, but who are they to complain?

And people castigate the Painful Truth. Idolatry has become so fashionable among the devout these days. If they can't make it past the First Commandment, what makes you think they could keep the Fourth?

Unknown said...

Stinger>>I have been raising this issue since I left Armstrong's Worldweird Church over 10 years ago.<<

This is the milk of the word, which you are not even drinking. If you understood what is meant by, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath," you won't have condemned the guiltless.

Tom

Unknown said...

Douglas

I rest my case, as it is a waste of my valuable time to continually cast pearls before swines, who just trampled them under foot.

Tom

Anonymous said...

I rest my case, as it is a waste of my valuable time to continually cast pearls before swines, who just trampled them under foot.

We've heard that song before, and many times from you Armstrongologists, when you run out of defenses for your hypocrisy. And you may like to think this is what you are doing, as taught by the Armstrongologists in their supreme self-righteousness. But you are not.

Your "pearls" are nothing more than the Herbster's plagiarized doctrines that he "borrowed" from diverse groups in order to develop his religious empire. In that sense, you are doing nothing more than casting dog dung at people, whom at least have the good sense of smell to reject the religious poop you are casting.

And you can justify employing your waiter all you want to on your sabbath day with this double-think that you preach about God's Law. But in the end you WILL stand convicted of your own sin by violating that Law, which you have willingly placed yourself under.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand this fuss about the Sabbath and other COG teachings, from people who no longer find any relevance in it. Is this an ongoing crusade againt HWA, his teachings OR his "deceived" followers - or all of the above? Do you call this an attempt to help the "victims"?

I find mostly villifications, name-calling, accusations, insults - rather than helpful, redeeming comments.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand this fuss about the Sabbath and other COG teachings, from people who no longer find any relevance in it.

The "fuss" is about people who DO find "relevance" in sabbatarianism, but who do NOT practice its tenets, as spelled out in their holy books. They form that pick & choose, part-time law keeping crowd that likes to think they are holier than thou because they know the "true" god -- and you don't. And when you ask them why they are employing their servant-waiter on their sacred day of rest you get all kinds of very telling excuses.

The end result of all of this, which they will never admit, is that Every man does that which is right in his own eyes. Their religious philosophy shifts like the tides, while they proceed to tell us with a straight face that they are worshiping, the one, true, eternal, never changing, always consistent God. Uhuh. Sure they are. Just ask their waiter.

I found years ago that it is far better for ones mental health to just admit that we all do indeed do that which is right in our own eyes -- and all the time. For that is the only way a rational man or woman can truly live. It's the irrational Armstrongologists (and other assorted religious kooks) that cause most of the trouble in this world by refusing to acknowledge this fact.

Anonymous said...


The "fuss" is about people who DO find "relevance" in sabbatarianism, but who do NOT practice its tenets, as spelled out in their holy books.


Granted you are judging COG members correctly [and I contest that] - what is that to you?

Can't you just let others do what they do - and go on with with your own life? After all, they are not harming you, do they? You are only showing that you have never gotten over your own bitterness - which is the only explanation I know for this never-ending tirades against things COG.

Intolerance mind you, will rob you peace of mind - even rot your bones.

Corky said...

Anonymous said . . .

Can't you just let others do what they do - and go on with with your own life? After all, they are not harming you, do they?

You mean "are they" and no they are not - but they are harming other people in the same way we were harmed and we know about it. So, that kind of makes us responsible to let it slip about the cogs being a con-game.

You are only showing that you have never gotten over your own bitterness - which is the only explanation I know for this never-ending tirades against things COG.

See above for another explanation that makes more sense than yours does.

Intolerance mind you, will rob you peace of mind - even rot your bones.

Then why hasn't all of Christendom lost their peace of mind and their bones rotted? Especially the COGs, they are even intolerant of their own family and ex-friends who are not unfortunate enough to be a member of that particular COG.

Anonymous said...

Some of us actually seem to act as "Watchmen" to warn the Churches of God about their sins.

Forget the sins of this world and the wrath of God. The sins of the churches of God are so much greater, particularly because they claim to be warning the world about the penalties of the same sins they are committing -- and some that the world wouldn't even think up themselves. The example stinks almost as bad as the credibility.

If judgment begins at the House of God, Armstrongists will be the first to get it.

Anonymous said...

Anon said :

Can't you just let others do what they do - and go on with with your own life? After all, they are not harming you, do they? You are only showing that you have never gotten over your own bitterness - which is the only explanation I know for this never-ending tirades against things COG.

I am going on with my own life, thank you. But the religious cults DO continue to work their religious mischief upon the masses, with great harm to people. THEY JUST WON'T LET US HAPPY non-religious PEOPLE ALONE!

Consider me one who has now escaped their pernicious religious (and whacky) influence (the flu virus of religion).

And you?

Anonymous said...

Check out Ed Mentell's son's website at:

http://home.insightbb.com/~teachingyeshua/index.htm