Sunday, 12 July 2009

Testimony continued

Part two... as for the final few seconds, well, all I can say is "holy smoke!"

38 comments:

choicessas said...

Sounds like another unfortunate case of a child raised by a couple adults(?) who (at least one or both) became involved with the Church simply for the sake of seeking a sense of belonging somewhere.
Just as with most negative comments about the Church on your site most folks seem to have a real resentment about the fact that they were trapped or betrayed.
I have found, over thirty five years associated with the Church of God that if one sincerely proves what they believe from the Bible, they need not feel trapped by a man or an organization. LEAVE! If graft and corruption are discovered, leave and don't look back. Mark it up as a bad experience and get on with life!
But if one proves what they believe from scripture, then cling to that belief.
Just because we are disappointed at times in our life, do we have to throw all our beliefs out the window and and start smokig WACKY BACCIE?

Anonymous said...

As with the first video, I found this a very straightforward, factual presentation. Very reflective of my experience in WCG.

The Skeptic

FT said...

Too bad that wasn't a doobie! I would have gladly joined! LOL!!!

Anonymous said...

The first entry was alot better than this one. She is young, and of course, has memories alot different than those of us that left as adults. Ask any of my kids about their experience in the WCG and they will all have a different slant on it. Anyone can make a video and put it on Utube, so, have at it. (And I think it WAS a doobie)

Anonymous said...

What bothers me about testimonials like these is that the person only vents frustration with Biblical teachings that were often misapplied in the Armstrong churches, but which are clearly part of the culture handed to the people Israel by the Creator.

There is nothing wrong with Sabbath observance, tithing, Holy Days. What is wrong is the insistence that non-Israelites are obliged to observe a sign between God and Israel. What is wrong is insistence that Christian ministers have a right to demand monetary tithes on authority that agricultural produce and livestock were once used to support an Israelite priesthood. But tithing, apart from "the Law," is historically supported by Abraham's and Jacob's voluntary tithing long before Moses got "the Law" at Sinai.

It is wrong to insist that Christian churches are required to observe days once given exclusively to the people Israel. The only such observance to be required of non-Israelites during the Messianic era is the feast of Booths, or Tabernacles. Not even the 8th day, or Shmini Atseret, is required of non-Jews.

It is sad to see a young lady reject several valid and eternal teachings that make a framework for the Israelite culture as if there were something wrong with the teachings themselves. They're magnificent teachings.

Her problem is that in her experience these teachings were not adequately understood or applied. This pretty much applies across the board in the world of Armstrongism. They were on a right track, but no amount of "right," applied wrongly, can ever be completely appropriate. At worst, wrong application of "right" teachings can be much worse than avoiding the teachings altogether.

Anonymous said...

This lass has a skewed understanding of where the money went during HWA's lifetime. There is no doubt that he eventually received a hefty salary, but it was set by professionals outside the church environs, and was based upon the impact of his labors within the organization. Most of the money went to marketing a gospel message via radio, television and multiple publications, including multi-language periodicals, books, booklets, correspondence courses -- and a vast worldwide ministry.

Jesus did say that a rich man would have problems entering into the Kingdom of Heaven, but he must have known that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were fabulously wealthy, as were many of the other heroes of our Bible. Should we infer that poor people have no troubles entering into the Kingdom? Under normal circumstances, poor ways make poor people. Great wealth is one of the pirques of obedience to the terms of Israel's covenant with God; and the Proverbs are full of principles for building and keeping wealth. Rich or poor, there's no easy road to glory, period.

I commiserate with her disenchantment, but her credibility is lessened by incomplete research and a commensurate misrepresentation of wrongdoing. She would make a better case with more facts than hearsay. There was plenty of wrongdoing, but this presentation is seriously off-balance and dare not be taken at face value.

Anonymous said...

I think some of the defenders of HWA have been taking Stan Rader's "stupid pills." HWA is the guy who flew around the world to acquire an "Ambassador quality" dildo and get treatment at an exclusive European sex clinic. Obviously these people haven't bothered to read John Trechak's Ambassador Reports.

Baywolfe said...

No matter how you feel about what she's saying, she is a very brave young lady for saying it.

It's very easy to post Anonymously (although you're not really, you leave your IP footprint behind, SO THERE!) but quite another thing to let it all hang out with your face exposed to the world.

Hope she keeps it up. Love or hate the WCG, this is her legacy and many, many other people like her.

Russell Miller said...

Wow. I didn't even watch the video, but she must be having an impact if the Herbvert fellaters are coming out of he woodwork.

HWA was corrupt. That fact is beyond dispute. Deal with it.

Tom Mahon said...

Baywolfe said...

>>No matter how you feel about what she's saying, she is a very brave young lady for saying it.<<

I will say amen to that, and also add that she is not afraid to say who she is.

Meanwhile, here, we have a gaggle of anonymous commentators who are terrified to say who they are. But then, any views that are so ill-thought-out, deserved to be anonymous.

Richard, I hope you are still at Mizpah.

Anonymous said...

"Wow. I didn't even watch the video, but she must be having an impact if the Herbvert fellaters are coming out of he woodwork."

Watch the video. She tells it just like it is, and was.

Russell Miller said...

Tom, considering that a large fraction of the anonymous commenters are Armstrong fellaters, I *gag* agree *hock ptooey* with you.

Neotherm said...

No doubt some Armstrongites will view these videos by sientspirit. We must ask what their reaction will be. They will regard sientspirit as "just another second-generation ingrate." Armstrongites have a ready-made and well characterized category for sientspirit. No doubt any debate will center on whether she is queued up for Gehenna or is she just a Laodicean who will repent during the Tribulation. So she starts from a significant deficit position with regard to Armstrongites.

But Armstrongites are only a part of her audience. Essentially, she is promoting atheism and using the WCG as a vehicle for doing this because the WCG was her particular experience.

What we must look for in her presentation is whether Armstrongism drove her to atheism or Christianity in general drove her to atheism. I know many people who became atheists on the direct rebound from Armstrongism and sill to this day do not know what Christianity is about.

We must also look to the genuineness of her experience. She was born in 1984. She missed the prime time of abusive Armstrongism, unless she was in some reactionary backwater.

The message here for Armstrongites is that while they may scoff at sientspirit, there are many young people in their congregations who have the same viewpoint. They should ask themselves why they are such failures as preparing the next generation of Armstrongist believers. Is it possible that they lack credibility?

-- Neo

Tom Mahon said...

On listening to the second video, the young lady did not mention the death of the two people she referred to in her first video.

As the young lady is now 23 years old, she was only 2 when HWA died, and probably 9 when her parents left WCG. Assuming that her parents left as late as 1995? So most of what she understands or believes was fed to her by either her parents or other disillusioned members, who now believe that they were abused by HWA, whether directly or indirectly.

The fact that she lit a cigarette at the end of video, with air of defiance, is typical of many young people who can't wait to rebel against the values of decency and good behaviour.

I believe she ought to be pitied rather than admired. One wonder what else she is doing to destroy her health, and bring about a premature death! How sad!

Anonymous said...

Actually, Tom, she doesn't say who she is. Even though her picture is there she is using a pseudonym.
You seem to have a hang up about anonymity. Why can't you simply read what's written, or hear what's said, and evaluate it based on that? Some people may have good reasons for hiding their identity, some of which may well have to do in protecting themselves from condemnatory and prejudiced people like you.
Incidentally, this young lady was two years old when HWA died so what she repeats is hearsay, no matter how you slice it.
Healing is apparently a big thing with her but from McNair's comments it's clear there was a spectrum of practises on that. In any case, right after HWA died JWT changed the 'doctrine' and the Passover service was altered to reflect that.
I'm not defending the teaching on healing and I'd use doctors if I thought they were needed and encouraged others to do so if it were appropriate.
BTW, Tom, did you approve of her puffing on a doobie? She didn't hide that either!

Lochinvar

Anonymous said...

Tom saith...Meanwhile, here, we have a gaggle of anonymous commentators who are terrified to say who they are. But then, any views that are so ill-thought-out, deserved to be anonymous.

Well Tom there are some sick people out there in the world and many are religionists such as yourself!

By the way, you look like you need a haircut!

Anonymous said...

This video was just as BORING and unattractive as the first one. It just goes to show that ANYone can make a video and put it on the internet. What is her motivation for making these? Nothing else better to do (boredom)? She's 25 years old, and passing on hearsay from others. Big deal! I think she is neither brave nor any more intelligent than any other 20-something year olds whose parents exited the cult and shared personal horror stories with their off-spring.

I have 3 children (one in his early 20's) and have never had any desire whatsoever to share my stories and experiences of religious abuse & addiction with them - and I cannot understand why other parents would.

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

Well done Tom!

You kept your word about your photo and you appear to be a handsome man.

I know you said that you were only joking about the old photo of Dennis Diehl, but it didn't come across that way when you first made the reference. No hard feelings.

I will be in Bethesda if you need me.

Richard

Bamboo_bends said...

«They will regard sientspirit as "just another second-generation ingrate."»

With that attitude they still wonder why they lose young people?

Anonymous said...

"In any case, right after HWA died JWT changed the 'doctrine' and the Passover service was altered to reflect that."

Eh, what?! As someone who was never dunked (had to wait my turn in the Kingdom for that, natch, had to be "healed" first), I never got in the doors of a Passover service; what was the change they made, Loch? (Or anyone else who wants to answer.)

DanJer said...

I'm constantly amazed by the defiance of logic and refutation of facts exhibited by the Armstrong faithful. She speaks about an abusive upbringing and all you can focus on is misapplication of scripture and how "evil" it is that she's an atheist now. Absolutely inhuman.

Anonymous said...

Boo Hoo! Cry me a river. Folks, get over yourselves. You can't keep blaming the Bush administration for your present failures in life (oops, I forgot we are talking about Mr. Armstrong.) What I meant is, you can't keep blaming the church for your failed lives. Quit with your whiny woe-is-me attitudes and start living. If you can't do that, go pay one of those high priced psychoanalysts to tell you everything is going to be alright once you realize your stuck in some past developmental stage that you missed growing up. Please, just get over yourselves! Joey Jr. destroyed all the physical things Mr. Armstrong built. You'll get better when you realize that the church's doctrines, the things Christ built, can't be destroyed and there's always going to be a remnant of us around to continue his work. Get over it, you can't destroy the spiritual things.

Anonymous said...

It's ironic that Tom has such an issue with anonymity in the forum. After all, the vast majority of the bible was written by anonymous authors.


The Skeptic

Anonymous said...

I agree 100% with Anonymous 01:37 when he says "you can't destroy the spiritual things". How true! You cannot destroy things that don't exist!

The Skeptic

Bamboo_bends said...

Anonymous said...

What I meant is, you can't keep blaming the church for your failed lives. Quit with your whiny woe-is-me attitudes and start living. If you can't do that, go pay one of those high priced psychoanalysts to tell you everything is going to be alright once you realize your stuck in some past developmental stage that you missed growing up. Please, just get over yourselves!


I think psychologists call this projecting ones personal issues on others.

Joey Jr. destroyed all the physical things Mr. Armstrong built.

Actually its the physical stuff he can't quite seem to keep his mitts from.

You'll get better when you realize that the church's doctrines,

Brought to you by HWA!

...the things Christ built, can't be destroyed

HWA = Christ?

....and there's always going to be a remnant of us around to continue his work.

Until demographics reduces the remnant population to zilch.

Get over it, you can't destroy the spiritual things.

Name 'em!

Why do these diatribes always sound like some bad sermon we all have heard? Almost like Bush talking points aren't they?

Its people like this that think those of us who left Armstrongism are going to turn them in when the Beast Power comes to be. Yeah right. Can't trust what we say because we are traitors to the "faith once delivered"! Just because your paranoid doesn't mean weren't not out to get you! Buuuuhahahahaha!

I say "Who has bewitched you?" A little man on radio and TV!

The little wizard with white hair, a big voice and a monstrous ego who hid behind his Orange Grove curtains with his BIG LIE and his solid gold flatware.

All that's missing is the flying monkeys...oh wait that's the Church lawyers....ever willing to pay off or fix every scandal the Apostle's compulsions doth bringeth forth!

In Armstrong's OZ, Dorothy doesn't fare too well.

Byker Bob said...

Jesus promised that there would be deceivers and even miracles of a level where they could deceive the very elect in the end times!

The way to discern who is or is not one of God's people is the fruits produced by the Holy Spirit in their lives! The problem is, these were non-existent in WCG/Armstrongism. This is why we had the faking of the gift of prophecy, HWA being too embarrassed to even mention Jesus Christ to the world leaders with whom he met, and a cruel system of intrusive authoritarianism supplanting the normal workings of the Holy Spirit within individual members.

It's also why, following HWA's death, the "leaders" couldn't shed their own personal splinter-causing egos and agendas, achieving neutral thought so that the Holy Spirit could work within them in a unified and unifying fashion.

WCG was a false church, built upon the physical gifts and determination of a man. HWA.

BB

Anonymous said...

"She speaks about an abusive upbringing and all you can focus on is misapplication of scripture and how "evil" it is that she's an atheist now."

That was one of the Christians, actually. Neo's not an Armstrongist anymore. Or so he claims; ISTR he still attends GCI.....Hell, maybe he is still an Armstrongist, in that case; Cthulhu knows, Larry certainly is.

Bamboo_bends said...

Byker Bob said...

The way to discern who is or is not one of God's people is the fruits produced by the Holy Spirit in their lives! The problem is, these were non-existent in WCG/Armstrongism.


That's also true of much of Christianity. I can't really get angry at what you write, I was saying the same thing myself 10 years ago. I expect you too will change in 10 years as much as I did.

I kind of feel like any person can start a church anytime they want. Including Armstrongists.

Just don't ask me to believe they are the chosen ones, and the rest of humanity isn't.


This is why we had the faking of the gift of prophecy, HWA being too embarrassed to even mention Jesus Christ to the world leaders with whom he met, and a cruel system of intrusive authoritarianism supplanting the normal workings of the Holy Spirit within individual members.

I can't think of one Christian prophecy that has come true.

It's also why, following HWA's death, the "leaders" couldn't shed their own personal splinter-causing egos and agendas, achieving neutral thought so that the Holy Spirit could work within them in a unified and unifying fashion.

Neutral thought? Is that like unbiased Journalism?

WCG was a false church, built upon the physical gifts and determination of a man. HWA.

BB


My experience in Christianity is of a bunch of well meaning people who sit around congratulating themselves they have God's Holy Spirit and thanking God they are not like the rest of us poor folks.
The idea of the Holy Spirit is a convenient construct, you can't prove a person doesn't have it, and its easy to say outsiders don't. I'm inclined to believe that the Holy Spirit and the Human Spirit is one in the same. But many humans would rather live like animals that walk in the Spirit.

I don't read about Jesus looking at common folks in that exclusionary sort of way. Quite the opposite.

The sword that kept Adam from the Garden of Eden, wasn't an angel, its mankind's preference for the sword and conflict for solving its problems. Cain was a blacksmith and metal worker (was the "Mark of Cain" a big nasty burn?).

Gardens can only be built and enjoyed during times of peace. Not much peace in Armstrongism - only a certain dread for the future.

Corky said...

Byker Bob said...
Jesus promised that there would be deceivers and even miracles of a level where they could deceive the very elect in the end times!.

You forget that the NT says over and over and over that those were the end times.

How come no one wants to take their word for it? After all, they only say it about a hundred times.

"this generation", "these last days", "the end of all things is at hand", "short work" etc. etc.

Anonymous said...

I'm just not impressed by gross mutts who want to reject God's ways so they can go smoke cigarettes and do other stupid things.

Can't they ever point out the faults that unfortunately did exist in the WCG without turning to even worse things?

camfinch said...

"I'm just not impressed by gross mutts who want to reject God's ways so they can go smoke cigarettes and do other stupid things.

Can't they ever point out the faults that unfortunately did exist in the WCG without turning to even worse things?"

Don't know what you mean by "gross mutts", but it sounds uncharitable and hateful.

I think that her happening to light up a ciggie (whether hand-rolled tobacco or something more "sacramental" doesn't matter) is in and of itself far less of a stupid thing than to have hung around theocratic B.S. Good on her! Brave young woman. We should all learn from her example.

Anonymous said...

Russell Miller said...
"Wow. I didn't even watch the video, but she must be having an impact if the Herbvert fellaters are coming out of he woodwork.

HWA was corrupt. That fact is beyond dispute. Deal with it."

HWA was a 20th century phenomenon. Conversely, Tithing, Sabbath, Holydays, wholesome ethics and morality are phenomena that first enter human history in the opening chapters of Genesis.

Why should Herbert Armstrong's personal conduct be factored into an ancient Hebrew record that claims to reveal the Way of eternal life? He wasn't there in Eden; he didn't speak to God on Sinai. He never spoke with Jesus, James, Peter or Paul.

How does one dismiss Biblical teachings on allegations that one man's life was corrupt, particularly when the bulk of Biblical teaching was already on parchment three millennia before that man was born?

By the way, I'm not an Armstrongite, do not have membership in any group derived from Armstrong's ministry. Nor do I support his errors, whether personal or theological. But I have seen his campus, have experienced magnificent concerts in his auditorium, and during my youth received no small amount of encouragement from his radio broadcast. Should I deny the reality of his positive impact on my life because the same man may have had egregious character flaws?

Forgive me if I offend, but don't we all have to take responsibility for our own lives?

Anonymous said...

"Tithing, Sabbath, Holydays, wholesome ethics and morality are phenomena that first enter human history in the opening chapters of Genesis."

No, they aren't. That came later, in Leviticus, and around the 4th century.

larry said...

Anon 06:30,
A word of advice...don't believe everything you read on this board about HWA, especially from Russell!

Anonymous said...

Born a slave to religion?

Became a slave to sin!

Anonymous said...

"A word of advice...don't believe everything you read on this board about HWA, especially from Russell!"

Would Gavin like to restate for benefit of the commenters here(or more properly, state, since he has never stated it to my requests at all), his exact definition of "an ad hominem attack"?

Because the above sure looks a hell of a lot like ad hominem attack, to me.

Corky said...

Anonymous said...
Born a slave to religion?

Became a slave to sin!
.

. . .He said from his ivory tower of self-righteousness.

Byker Bob said...

Get real, Aggie! You and Russell make ad hominem attacks all of the time on your blogs, and what's worse is that you make them against people whom you have banned, and who therefore have no avenue of response!

Let's just be happy that Gavin refuses to defile his blog by allowing posts here calling your enemies your personal favorites. (George Carlin's "seven deadlies"!)

BB