Monday, 14 January 2008

Putting Humpty Together Again


The latest Journal is out, and though the news content accounts for only six of the pages, they make up in quality what they lack in quantity.

The most surprising item (on a points decision) is the re-appearance from long hibernation of Al Carrozzo, the man who blew the whistle on Garner Ted in the mid-70s. Al has teamed up with Art Mokarow in an effort to bring about "the restitution of all things mentioned in Acts 3."

Al wants the various "fragmented groups" to get together in Dallas, Jan. 20 - Feb. 2, to discuss "Law and/or Grace."

Frankly, he'd probably have more luck herding cats. Carrozzo specifically says he's not interested in a return to the “restrictive and stifling” structure of the old Worldwide Church of God, but even a loose umbrella structure seems unrealistic. Elsewhere in the same issue Dr Bob Thiel fairly foams at the mouth at the suggestion that UCG and his beloved LCG might be courting.

Carrozzo is a key figure in the history of the Worldwide Church of God, and many of us owe him a debt of gratitude for exposing the moral hypocrisy of the church over GTA's lifestyle. It is remarkable that he is now one of those "old-timers" seeking to resurrect the rotting hulk.

To find out more about Al Carrozzo's initiative and his organization, Associates for Restored Truth (ART), you just need to hit the link to download the complete article, along with the rest of the front and back pages of the Nov-Dec Journal (you'll also find Bob's loud protestations of non-interCOG coitus in the Notes and Quotes section.)

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

"COG old-timers planning
January Dallas conference"

Better known as Old COG-gers

Anonymous said...

Why put humpty dumpty WCG back together again?

What purpose does it serve other than to bring some old timers back together again to solve "world hunger" in a dying church movement.

Richard

Corky said...

The cat of truth got out of the bag of Christianity over 1900 years ago with the failed prophecy of Jesus' return.

Yes, the ball has been dropped in spite of 1900 years of apologetics. Things just didn't happen according to the program and proved the whole show to be a hoax.

Jesus will still have not returned in ten or a hundred years and not even a thousand years, he's not coming back at all.

"Restored Truth"? Phooey! It was never truth to start with.

Anonymous said...

Acts 3

19 ¶ Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

Bamboo_bends said...

Ya mean the "...EU beast power concentration camp soldiers marching us unrepentant Americans soaking wet into the snow to freeze..."-Carrozzo is on the loose again?

Oy vey! Hide the children - they're gonna have nightmares! I don't think any minister more than him gave me night mares as a child.

He's certainly a picturesque speaker!

Anonymous said...

I think I have said this before, but only in the oddball Churches of God movement would Bob Thiel be considered a doctor. He is no such thing. Check out his website for his credentials and see for yourself. The truth will set you free!

Also from the back page of The Journal: Many “have been financially destroyed by this kind of abuse,” he said. “Families have been rent asunder by the dictates of so-called ministers. It’s enough already!”—Mark Armstrong

Which makes me wonder: Is Mark about to kick mom off the payroll and fold shop?

Mark Lax

Corky said...

Anonymous said...
Acts 3

19 ¶ Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.


When John the Baptist began to preach, he warned everybody to repent because the kingdom of heaven was near (Matt. 3:2). When the people and their leaders came out to see John, he emphatically told them that the Day of Judgment was not far away (Matt. 3:7-12; Luke 3:7-9, 16-17).

After John the Baptist had been imprisoned, Jesus continued to preach repentance. The reason was the same -- the time had come and the kingdom was near (Mark 1:14-15).

When Jesus sent out the Twelve to the people of Israel, they were instructed to preach that the kingdom was near. He warned them that they would be persecuted because of Him. However, Jesus assured them that they would not run out of cities to flee to before He returned (Matt. 10:5-7, 22-23).

Bamboo_bends said...

.....from the back page of The Journal: Many “have been financially destroyed by this kind of abuse,” he said. “Families have been rent asunder by the dictates of so-called ministers. It’s enough already!”
—Mark Armstrong



Very reminiscent of his father's tone circa 1972-ish. "Deacons take off those Nazi arm-bands!"

At least he was spared the cognitive dissonance his grandfather heaped upon his father.

I wonder if he's setting the stage to claim the grandpappy's mantle or looking to step outside it? Now that would be something to see! I suspect he's got in mind the Flurry/Pack/Meredith crowd?

Anonymous said...

Mark Armstrong has Dave Pack's Clarion Call to Stupidity in mind.

minimalist said...

Bamboo_bends said...
"Ya mean the "...EU beast power concentration camp soldiers marching us unrepentant Americans soaking wet into the snow to freeze..."-Carrozzo is on the loose again?

"Oy vey! Hide the children - they're gonna have nightmares! I don't think any minister more than him gave me night mares as a child."

I just noticed over at JLF that its Editor, - and what an aggressive censor/editor ! - Mark Tabladillo, mentioned that he was a WCG prisoner since childhood. I can't imagine how tormenting that would have been for those forced to attend as children. Thank goodness I had a churchless youth.

Tom Mahon said...

Stingerski said...

Tom saith :

TOM>>>If you intend to join the discussion and make a sensible contribution, please answer the question, if you can?<<<

>>>I answered your question with your own question.<<<

No you didn't! You just ducked the question, as everyone here does. You all are just critics of a system, but when asked, what would you put in its place? You and the cabal erect a wall of silence.

>>>As I said, unless you were an Armstrongite in the womb, you did exactly what you accuse others of here:<<<

I was predestined before the foundation of the world to be called, called to be justified, justified to be glorified. And I have the promise from Him who cannot lie, that nothing can separate me from the love God, which is Christ Jesus.

However, before I was called, I participated in the lies that my parents inherited from their parents, by keeping Xmas and most of the other pagan festivals; being deceived and deceiving other people by lying to them, which is the way of the world.

>>>you left your previous faith behind to take up your new faith of Armstrongology.<<<

You are sadly mistaken! WCG was the first church I ever attended. I was introduced to the Plain Truth when I was a few months short of my 16th birthday and was called into the church in 1974. I was baptised on the 2 June 1975, around 2pm, by Arthur Suckling, who is now with UCG, 19 days short of my 30th birthday. The whole process took place under Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong's ministerial dispensation.

In spite of HWA's faults, which I doubt are as many as those in the cabal, he laboured for 50 years to teach people like you the importance of the Christian calling, and how to live a life that was pleasing to God. But you and the cabal have rebelled against God's servant, and by doing so you have rebelled against God.

The consequences of your rebellion is much too awful to contemplate!

PS. Gavin, I have copied my reply to this new thread. I hope you don't mind?

Anonymous said...

Tom - You really are in need of a reality check my friend.

Anonymous said...

Tom - Find a thesaurus and use a new word. "Cabal" is getting old.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of cabal.

I didn’t know that this blog was composed of a secret group of persons who are plotting
an underhanded conspiracy

What are you guys scheming to do?

If it’s so secret, how could I get here?


Is Tom Mahon a COG CIA agent who 'ferrets' out secret groups?

Anoneemoose

Anonymous said...

Quote of the day by
Mark Armstrong

>>>>>...."it‘s time to cry ‘wolf‘ about ”several shameless self-styled heirs of my grandfather Herbert W Armstrong………....
Since when are ministers suppose to be strong-arming hapless well meaning members of the Church of God.
Many have been financially destroyed by this kind of abuse” ……(yada yada yada)quote"<<<


I thought the Armstrong name meant
“ strong -arming “

Anoneemoose

Corky said...

Tom Mahon says.
No you didn't! You just ducked the question, as everyone here does. You all are just critics of a system, but when asked, what would you put in its place? You and the cabal erect a wall of silence.

How about putting nothing in its place? What do you put in the place of cigarette smoking? Cigars? Chewing tobacco? Snuff?

No, you put nothing in its place. We need food or we starve, we need water or we dehydrate, we need clothes and shelter or we die of exposure to the elements.

Without religion nothing happens. The reason is, we don't need it. It is totally unnecessary for our survival, or for our happiness and totally unnecessary for our well being in any way, shape or form.

We simply - don't need it. On the contrary, religion needs us, "the duped" - to support it or else it will fold up like origami.

A god doesn't need your money and property to operate, the parasites do.

I know Tom would like to be a parasite and rule over people with an iron fist - but - he just ain't good enough.

Anonymous said...

Corky said: 'The cat of truth got out of the bag of Christianity over 1900 years ago with the failed prophecy of Jesus' return.

Yes, the ball has been dropped in spite of 1900 years of apologetics. Things just didn't happen according to the program and proved the whole show to be a hoax'

The article in New Horizons Sept/)ct 2007 addresses this. See www.cgom.org

Anonymous said...

some great sage said:

"Men need religion like a fish needs a bicycle."

ned said...

Mark Armstrong had a hernia after reading about Dave Pack and his "clarion call." Poor old Mark, torn between loathing of his childhood religion and the need to keep mom and himself in the style to which they're accustomed.

Bamboo_bends said...

Mark Tabladillo, mentioned that he was a WCG prisoner since childhood. I can't imagine how tormenting that would have been for those forced to attend as children. Thank goodness I had a churchless youth.


Oh it wasn't so bad if you didn't mind being told you were born wicked evil and selfish from the womb, didn't mind being the weirdo at school and getting beat up for not keeping Xmas, so that you could attend sabbath services where they gave you no credit for what you tried to do at school, only to be told you have an evil heart. Your education as a members kid is lacking because you didn't attend God's Imperial Schools and you couldn't possibly understand anything spiritual because you weren't baptized. If you didn't mind deacons spying on you every minute (with attitudes like Tom Mahon).

It wasn't so bad if you didn't mind paying enough money in 3 tithes over 34 years to a church that you could have put yourself through med school and invested in a retirement.

Not bad at all.

What doesn't kill you just makes your life shorter.

PS: Imperial schools is now flat as a parking lot. Do I believe in God? You bet! Only God has the sense of humor to destroy Herbie's grand elite empire through the very elite Imperial School children he created. The wheel-o-karma spins around.

Anonymous said...

Great, another CoG to add to the watch list - Mark Armstrong is a real piece of work. E. g.,

"The activities of the Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Association are paid for by tithes, offerings and donations freely given"

Ummmmkay Marky Mark, "tithes" are never freely given. Cognitive dissonance much?

Anonymous said...

Humpty Herbert sat on a wall
Tom is sure he just can't fall
All the Kings horses and all the Kings men
Have re-assembled the pieces together again.

Hickory Dickory Dock
Literalism is such a crock
God's no more one
It's no more fun
Hickory Dickory Crock

Hey diddle diddle
Got stuck in the middle
The clowns gave the brethren the boot
Evangelicals laughed to see such a site
And the PG ran off with the loot.

Little Joe Peep has lost his sheep
And doesn't care if he finds them
Leave them alone
They'll find a new home
Clapping our hands without them

Twinkle twinkle see our scars
How we wonder what they are
From head to toe..can make ya cry
Like a meteor from the sky
Twinke twikle , lots of scars
Crazy, looney, bunch of liars

Ba ba black sheep
Shouldn't feel that way
Yes sir,yes sir..you caused it day by day
Bucks for the master
Some for the dame
None for those that found it insane


Herbert had a litte lamb
And fleeched it well you know
And every where that Herbert went
The Gospel went to hell

Anonymous said...

sorry....the pedantic tempestuous was a bit off on a couple of those

Anonymous said...

I see that none are eggs-actly scrambling to put Humpty together again.Perhaps a friar might do the job.Who wants a yoke around their necks again.


Peetter van Huygentromp

Robert said...

>>> many of us owe him a debt of gratitude for exposing the moral hypocrisy of the church over GTA's lifestyle.

Well Gavin, you certainly haven't pondered the good book if you think GTAs lifestyle was anything to raise our eyebrows at!

Consider how God told Hosea to take a prostitute for a wife (because the land itself was defiled).

"Go take yourself a wife of harlotry And children of harlotry." (Hosea 1:2).

God even allowed those poor destitute of His people to benefit from the "hire" of Tyre (fornication), it was to be set apart for the Lord, "it will not be treasured nor laid up, for her gain will be for those who dwell before the Lord". (Isaiah 23:17-18).

God is no prune, He even commanded one of His servants to marry a prostitute!

Well I would say perhaps God is not as moral as I thought, demanding one of His servants to marry a whore, but you know it is us who demands absolute holiness, not God! Let's remember that before pointing the finger at Garner Ted!

Anonymous said...

but but...the Bible is the world's best and final authority on morality!

It's a good thing God's chosen ones were also rapscallions so that when we rapscallion, we can relax.

We're all men after God's own heart..whew.

Anonymous said...

I propose a conference for ex-members and ministers on how to best encourage those who are still traped in armstrongism to leave these distructive groups by helping them to see armstrongism for what it is.

Gavin said...

Robert stated: "God is no prune."

Agreed. She isn't a rhubarb or a fig either... surely you meant prude?

What amazes me, Robert, is how you can use those OT passages to excuse Ted's bonking and abuse of power while "preachin' the gospel." That's just one step away from living the life of Reilly oneself and saying...

heck, ain't so bad, Ted did worse
and David and Hosea.

In fact it's almost an antinomian position. Which is an exceedingly strange posture for a Messianic like yourself.

Byker Bob said...

Getting back on topic, allow me to rehearse the self-obvious reasons as to why Al Carrozzo's good intentions will fail. I believe that too much time has elapsed, and too many rigid hierarchies have been formed for there to be any sort of ecumenical movement amongst the ACOGs. Big time ego is involved in all of the splinter groups, or miniature "personality" cults if you will. There's also been way too much name calling, and the hard feelings that accompany it. You can only call someone Laodecean so many times (as if there were such a thing in the first place!). There have been accusations and counter accusations of heresy, as well.

About the only positive aspect to having so many splinters is that a member of a real hardcore splinter can join another if he/she is ever disfellowshipped. I know of any number of people who have successfully, and in some cases unintentionally, transitioned away from the whole Armstrong movement by sequential membership in several of the major splinters.

Having said all of that, I am sure that Al Carrozzo is sincere in what he is suggesting. He was certainly one of the early reformers, and I can't think of a better person to attempt what he is suggesting. Still, probably his best chances would be in promoting unity amongst those who consider themselves as non-aligned, or independent. But, hasn't Ron Dart already done this to one extent or another through his organization?

You also have to ask yourself, is the Armstrong movement even worth saving? I believe that not only is it a spent force, but also it is forever tainted by the horrible leadership methodology which permeates the entire ministry. This is largely why the Tkach era WCG failed. You can take away the bad and toxic doctrines, but you can't elliminate inbred and engrained bad governance which ends up contaminating the new, more Christian doctrines.

Incidentally, if anyone wants to see some real teaching, go to the Shadows blog, and read some of J's most recent and very excellent work. Oh, I'd remiss if I didn't add one targetted and specific recommenndation: Tom, please don't go to read at J's blog. We want you to stay in Armstrongism the rest of your life!!!

BB

Anonymous said...

On the comments about Mark Armstrong, I have never met him, have little in common with him from what I know of him, but his public condemnation of greedy COGS operating in his grandfather's name sounds sincere and like a glimmer of honesty and growth, and I for one respect him for it and am uncomfortable with the negative comments expressed toward this particular public statement from the leading male heir of the clan. Apart from right-wing political views and the fundamentalism, there seems to be a sincerity and less conning in Mark Armstrong than many of the others. As someone once said, he's got a mother and two disabled younger brothers to support with the family business. Somehow Mark Armstrong gets slightly more sympathy from me than most of the other COG leaders, don't know why for sure. Maybe because I've never heard stories of him meaning to hurt anyone.

Byker Bob said...

I second that, Anonymous. I don't want to bring up any of the familiar details because we all know them. I simply submit that we can NEVER know what Mark has been through.

GTA is an easy target, but throughout his life including the very end, his family remained intact, and was there for him. Considering WCG doctrines, I don't know how this could be, but it seems there must have been a lot of unconditional love in GTA's family.

And, as always, I hope everyone feels free to bash me or my opinion if it makes them feel better. For the record, I never was one of the AC/WCG "good ol' boys".

BB

Tom Mahon said...

Bamboo_bends said...

>>>>Mark Tabladillo, mentioned that he was a WCG prisoner since childhood. I can't imagine how tormenting that would have been for those forced to attend as children. Thank goodness I had a churchless youth.<<<<

The above comment is loaded with irrational prejudice. What about all the other children that have attended, with their parents, all the other thousands of churches in the world: were they also prisoners? Or was it only WCG that had barb wire and watch towers around its perimeter to prevent the children from escaping?

Anonymous said...

Although I agree with this: "Apart from right-wing political views and the fundamentalism, there seems to be a sincerity and less conning in Mark Armstrong than many of the others. As someone once said, he's got a mother and two disabled younger brothers to support with the family business."

I really can't help but think Mark could do something more productive with his time. And his mom can go get a job. Ditto the deaf siblings. Anything short of closing the place down is a shame.

Mark Lax

Anonymous said...

Tom Mahon saith: The above comment (Actually his following comment) is loaded with irrational (rendering evil where none was given) prejudice. What about all the other children that have attended, with their parents, all the other thousands of churches in the world: were they also prisoners? (Yup, basically,such is the evil of religion, now you are catching on)Or was it only WCG that had barb wire (Straw man, irrational)and watch towers (Another straw man and irrationality)around its perimeter (Irrational)to prevent the children from escaping? Why not ask if there was a moat?

Mind control, scare tactics and physical abuse were used on children to keep them in HArmsrongism, or haven't you read any testimonies from child survivors of armstrongism.

So are you now flip flopping and implying that it is better to grow up in an ordinary church, (which is false religion in your viewpoint) than it is to grow up as a churchless youth? No one can grow up and be special like you because they are not special like you so they are stuck with false religion or no religion.

BTW, all children of religious adherents are raised to be the next generation of that religion.
Including yours, unless your wife is righteous and is barren.

Anonymous said...

>>>>I really can't help but think Mark could do something more productive with his time. And his mom can go get a job. Ditto the deaf siblings. Anything short of closing the place down is a shame.

Mark Lax<<<<

What type of job do you suggest Mark's 70+ year old mother get?

Would you kick your elder mother out to work when she's not worked outside the home before?

Anonymous said...

>>>>Mind control, scare tactics and physical abuse were used on children to keep them in HArmsrongism, or haven't you read any testimonies from child survivors of armstrongism.
BTW, all children of religious adherents are raised to be the next generation of that religion.<<<

Not so for everyone.


My parents didn't abuse me or use mind control and we didn't abuse or use mind control on our children.
In fact it was our children who opened our eyes to what was really happening at HDQ when they went to
AC.

Just because one was in the WCG doesn't mean they left their common sense outside the door.

There were loving parents in the church. Just as there are abusive parents out in the 'real world' who have no religion.

Anonymous said...

Sorry if I touched a nerve with my comments re: Mark Armstrong. I am basing my view not just on The Journal's "Time to cry wolf" headline of Mark's comments, but on the COGInternational web site which, if you spend more than five minutes reading through, it is plain to see that it's just another splinter like clever Gerry's or the Pack party faithful.

Excusing a minister of misery just because his family members are old/disabled is still no excuse for fleecing tithes from the membership. And saying Marky Mark needs to support his two brothers because they're Deaf pretty much refutes everything the Americans With Disabilities Act has fought for, for over twenty years.

So, sorry, if my view of Marky Mark offends some. But I'm not changing it. He's cut from the same cloth, and seems to be following in Daddy's footsteps pretty closely.

As for anonymous' comment, re: Marky Mark's sincerity, how can you judge that sincerity, if you've never met him, or know little about him? You must know even less about the CoGs, because Marky Mark's schtick about how "All the other CoGs are mistreating THEIR members, but let them all come to MY church!!" is a fairly standard misdirection tactic used by the ministers of misery.

Of course, your protestations to the contrary, I believe you're just another Armstrong shill, as is clear from the way you're so staunchly defending Marky Mark.

Tom said...

Well, glad to see our symposium has generated so much discussion. Most of the comments have validated the concept my Dad and I had in the beginning, over a decade ago, when we thought of this idea in the first place.

Just to set the record straight: We have no intention of resurrecting anything of our past association with the WWCOG! We are starting off in a brand new direction by reaching out to our former associates as well as many other sabbath keeping and non-sabbath keeping groups alike. Members of CG7, Seventh day adventists, LDS, Catholics and others have all expressed an interest in what we are doing. One group has transitioned 25 Sunday keeping congregations to keeping the Sabbath and Holy days! Something is definitely going on!

There is a long and fascinating story of how all of this came about that is too lengthy for this forum. However I can say that our intention is to get the latest streams of thought from the most capable scholars, ministers and lay people we can on every issue to see if we can arrive at a consensus and a core of beliefs that we can agree upon. There is a new breeze blowing accross the landscape as it relates to religion. I believe we will see many amazing things as we come together in the right spirit with the intent of simply seeking the truth. All are invited to participate; all are included. The old hierarchal structures have collapsed and I say Thank God for that.

Please reserve a modicum of judgement if you can because I believe something new and exciting will emerge from our symposiums. We already have requests for up to as many as 4 more in different parts of the country. We'll just have to wait and see where it all leads.

Thanks so much to all of you for your interest. I hope to meet and talk to some of you as we go forward.

Tom Carrozzo

Tom said...

Oh, another thought occurred to me! I read one comment about a resurrection of the old ideas on prophecy..... I must tell you that if you knew the conclusions Dad and I and the Scholars have come to independently of each other on this subject you would be astounded! One of our Scholars has studied the book of Isaih for over a decade and he agrees totally with our conclusions! The prophetic picture for the not to distant futher, in my opinion will shock you! It could not be in more diametric opposition to what some have formerly believed! Let me say this: as far as I am concerned it is all good news! But then, as I stated, this is just my opinion. However, I was delighted to find that several lettered Bible Scholars are in total agreement with me!

I just want to know the truth!

"You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free."
John 8:32

When in any of your past experiences has the so called "truth" set you free? I remember the "truth" of our former association as putting people in bondage! That is not to say there wasn't some valuable information and training received because there most definitely was.

What I am saying is there is a brand new thing emerging...so I urge you to "just Watch"! See if what I am saying is true!

As the apostle Paul said: "Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind."

We have entered the "information age" and along with it the emergence of the power of the individual! I believe we are in for some very exciting times!

Tom Carrozzo

Anonymous said...

Tommy-boy, you're forgetting one thing, in your zeal to present your own legalistic (and, one presumes, zionist) CoG religion as being the best brand of butter that's ever been spread:

The "bible", as it exists today (as it has existed in point of fact for many thousands of years) is a work of FICTION.

Keep the Sabbath. Keep all the Holy Days you want. Keep fleecing your dad's membership for money.

(Ever read the book "The Tithing Dilemma?" Really good read. I highly recommend it to all ministers of CoG misery.)

Keep living in the style to which you have become accustomed. (Not a shabby one at all, I would wager.)

The fact of the matter is, there just ain't no Kingdom coming, sonny-boy. Even Junior admits that. (Hell, Senior admitted it, with his sermon from the mount, well over a decade ago.)

If (and I state this as a very qualitative IF) there is, indeed, something, somewhere, "out there", that's bigger than us, the universe, and everything the universe contains, do you really, truly believe that that thing, whatever it may be, cares one iota that you went to the Feast of Tabernacles faithfully every year, and that you sang all the white supremacist songs and that you had X number of people giving you their hard-earned money?

All of my above rant doesn't even touch on the fact that your daddy dearest just wanted to get the name of his church into The Journal, so CoG-hoppers looking for another splinter to try on for size, would try his(yours) on for awhile. Presumably, until they got tired of giving you and your pops thirty percent of their income, and decided to hop to another splinter, in search of "the truth".

I refuse to dignify your breathless defensive "We're not like all the other CoGs!! Really really really we're not!!" When you immediately follow that declaration with "But we keep the Sabbath and the Holy Days!" Bla-bla-di-bla-bla.

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it must be a flying pig. Gotta love CoG logic. It never, ever, changes.