Monday, 19 November 2007
CGI keeps us guessing
True confession time: I was a foundation member of the Church of God, International in New Zealand. Hey, it was a long time ago.
Back then I had quite a collection of sermon tapes from Garner Ted Armstrong and Ron Dart. CGI was, on reflection, a halfway house on the road back to relative sanity. I still have the preview issue of Twentieth Century Watch, the glossy magazine that was designed to take on The Plain Truth. For a short time it appeared that Ted's splinter would take off and provide a credible alternative to WCG, then groaning under the senile ego of Herbert W. Armstrong.
Then there was a major walkout by the group's top talent as Ted threw a hissy fit over who was boss. Al Portune and Wayne Cole came and went, TCW editor Alan Heath dropped off the edges. Greg Doudna and Gary Alexander (both early contributors to the magazine) slipped into the murky waters and swam to shore, David Antion detached. The little Kiwi fellowship quickly wised up and fell apart.
CGI downsized but survived with Ted and Ron, the Dynamic Duo, running the operation till Ted had a close encounter during a therapeutic massage session. Ron bailed and the board belatedly dumped Ted, who then set up shop again with the hilariously misnamed Intercontinental Church of God.
But you can't kill weeds, or so they say. CGI "consolidated" and battled on.
But has The End now finally arrived? Or is CGI merely coiled to spring out on an unsuspecting world with a stunning new presence? What is certain is that the website is temporarily (?) down. They say they'll be back, but if so, why take down the old site completely?
The armor on the seal, by the way, was modeled on a suit Ted bought on a British junket back in his cash-rich WCG days and had mounted as some kind of anachronistic trophy (medieval armor isn't what the pseudonymous author of Ephesians had in mind.) Ted was booted out, presumably along with his antique armor, but the silly seal remained. If I remember correctly they decided to turn that particular lemon into lemonade by naming their cable TV show Armor of God, though "Armor of Ted" would have been more literally true.
Will CGI return? I guess we'll just have to hold our breaths...