What Aggie calls the "whitewashing" has commenced as a number of Tkach-sect websites waste no time in undergoing a makeover from Worldwide Church of God to Grace Communion International.
"One ministry blog has already been whitewashed. The Surprising God Blog has not (yet). One Pennsylvania congregation has been whitewashed. WCG’s vulnerable and at-risk youth recruitment propaganda has not been whitewashed (yet). One TN congregation has been whitewashed. Anybody speak Spanish? Looks like this congregation has been whitewashed, but I can’t tell for certain." (From ISA)
The move is clever. We all know the sect is still Joe's stolen sinecure. Legally it's still WCG, but a new name creates further distance from the past. Those of us who are past members of WCG have effectively been cut loose a second time... we were never members of anything called Grace Communion International. Joe has put on a silly hat and a plastic nose, "can't see me!"
And it is a clanger of a name. GCI doesn't have the x-factor when it comes to church marketing. I don't think the Glendora mullahs will be too worried though, their downsized sect will continue to rake in returns on legacies and assets for a long time.
One of the interesting revelations that came out in the recent Monte Wolverton interview was that (and I'm heavily paraphrasing here) Pope Joe and Cardinal Mike put the hard word on Monte to hand over his father's Bible Story artwork to the WCG/GCI, even though he had possession. Why? Well, it's obviously worth at least thirty pieces of high grade silver. Because Basil was in church employment at the time the drawings were made, they had the legal right to demand them. Morally speaking though, it was the pits. So if you're wondering why the Wolverton Bible has all those obsequious references to Joe, Mike and WCG... look no further. This is how they treat their friends.
The point is, Joe and Mike are anything but mushy marshmallows. Behind the goofy appearance and sanctimonious exteriors lie hard, calculating men. Their Achilles heel is that they rarely get those calculations right, for which we can all be grateful.