Wednesday 2 September 2009

Record Month

Hard to say why, perhaps something to do with UCG's administrative travail, but AW had a very good month in August with a twelve month record: close to 19,000 visits. Which makes it all the harder to pull the plug at the end of the year. "Snarky but authentic" is the way you might describe the tone of this blog, but the question is whether it (or I) have reached a "used by date" for that approach. Hopefully there will be some ideas to share at the end of September.


        AMERICAN KABUKI said...

I think you are just coming into your stride!

Anonymous said...

off a cliff with a bit of luck ;--))

Anonymous said...

but only a handful of posters?

maybe people watch this blog for the same reason that people watch a train wreck.

just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Bad Billy L. writes-

Sell the "AW" stock now!

It is in a market bubble driven by Ex-COG speculators!

sargentlane said...

Speaking for myself, this is a valuable site for me to keep tabs on the continuing circus represented by all of the COG's.

Byker Bob said...

Don't go away!!! How else will we be able to be flies on the wall in all of the ACOGs? Besides, I'm thinking that the Council of White Elders of UCG is going to need special scrutiny this year! All of the others appear fairly predictable!


jack635 said...



You may not pull the plug. Take a few weeks off or even a month. Your soul belongs to us now.

Wow! I sound just like a COG minister.
Or prophet.
Or watcher.
Or witness.
Hey, how about saint. Has anyone used that one yet?

Saint Jack prohibits you from pulling the plug on your blog under penalty of being disfellowshipmentally shunned. And you will die in the next three years........uh hold on, I have to do some math.

Okay I got it. You will die in the next 21 years if you pull the plug.

I have spoken.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, pull the plug. All this "I know better than you" from all the posters has gotten really old.

Tom M (not Mahon) said...


I really appreciate your blog, but your essays look like oeuvres that have been a lot of time in preparation. And you seem to do your own moderation, because a lot of comments appear in the morning, NZ time.

So here are some suggestions. For some articles, give the news with little or no comment. Delegate out the moderation of the comments so some trusted individuals (if there are any in the CoGs who can be trusted). Put a limit on the length of comments, perhaps 200 words or 1000 characters. I see this comment is already 103 words and 579 characters.

Mr. Scribe said...

Who can blame you Gavin. HWA video might be shot down the tube at the end of the month. Sick of the whole thing. Let others pick up the mantle and run with it.

Anonymous said...

I would really miss AW if it is closed down. With numerous extended family members in various groups of the ACOGs, including Little Joe's, I consider it a valuable resource for keeping updated on what family members are thinking and talking about.


Anonymous said...

I read this blog most days and would miss the inciteful comments on the CoG universe. Keep it going Gavin.

VonHowitzer said...

Love the blog, Gavin, and usually visit every day. But I find myself no longer caring so much about WCG and her splinter children as time goes by.

I'd like to see the blog go on, but best wishes to you if you don't want to continue. Besides, that last earthquake moved NZ a whole foot closer to OZ - if this trend continues, you'll need to focus on disaster preparation.


Anonymous said...

Its time to move on.

Topics are really just endless reruns of the same old stuff, and the posters are ranting the same old vitriol.

It all is sort of like listening to some old lady, still complaining about her cheating old man that she divorced 30 years ago.

Mission accomplished, time for better and more productive things.

Lake of Fire Church of God said...


Your Ambassador Watch website has been very healing for me, and it filled in the time gap I had of what happened in the WCG after I left in the mid 1970s. I grew up a loner in life because I was just too weird and different than others outside the WCG, and never dreamed in the 1960s/1970s WCG that I would some day be a man in his 50s in this life since I was indoctrinated to believe “time is short” and “Christ is coming soon”. I missed a normal childhood as we lived by every word of the Apostle of God that America was about to fall in the attack of the Germans in 1972.

I never married because of the inner feelings of my WCG experience as I was “the weak of the world – a base thing”. Who would want such a person? Besides, we were taught that we were not allowed to marry outside of the WCG. So, this aspect of the WCG experience has angered me the most as I look back on my life which I guess is why I took personal interest in the Terry Ratzmann Meredith Church shootings. Although I would never go ballistic, I could relate and empathize with Ratzmann’s feelings – all that the guy ever wanted was a compatible girlfriend and life mate, and was frustrated that he couldn’t find what he wanted in “God’s Church”.

It has been healing to read the stories of others on this website who recount similar childhood experiences. I would not wish the WCG of the 1960s on any child.

Thank you, Gavin, for your tireless efforts to cover developments and advocate accountability in the WCG and its splinters. I would be sad to see you leave the internet.


Anonymous said...

The blog continues to serve as part of the healing process.

Thanks to everyone who contributes.

Baywolfe said...

I think the people that don't post, are the ones that need your site the most. They're afraid to enter into the dialog, but they are most certainly listening to the arguments.

As has already been stated the rest of us here are just "chewing on old soup". US ain't gonna convert THEM and vise versa.

Anonymous said...


Readers/posters on AW are aging just like members of WCG offshoots.

You're a talented guy. Time to spend your creative efforts elsewhere.

All the best...

Corky said...

Pull the plug?! Okay, then what? Turn off the computer and watch tv?

Gavin, you will have to have a blog or a web site because you are addicted to the Internet.

Kidding...sort of. Everyone has to get tired of kicking the same old dog to death.

Crap! I'll have to play Internet checkers or something to round out my day.

So far I have avoided playing dominoes, shuffleboard and bingo at the local VFW club...

Nope. I'm not ready to quit yet.

Coco Joe said...

As long as the COG's are doing their thing, I believe there is a need for websites/blogs like this one.

Having come out of Armstrongism myself just recently, I find that websites such as this one have been very helpful towards healing.

And to share opinions and experiences with ex-COG-ers and others who want to express themselves against the cults, is very therapeutic.

Also, there are always people coming out of these cults who can be helped with websites such as this one.

You've done a great service here, and if you decide to call it quits, that's to be respected, because you've given it a good go.

Hopefully someone else will "take up the mantle", should you decide to pull the plug.

Anonymous said...

I went through withdrawal the last time you shut it down, now I am going to need therapy!

Neotherm said...

I am of a divided opinion. I am tired of the debate about the COGs.
At the same time, if AW goes away, will there be a similar forum somewhere? I think not.

I do believe that the innards of Armstrongism should be revealed. It is a tool that continues to be used as a means of deceiving people. And it lurks in secrecy. AW is a sane forum for keeping the magnifying glass on the Armstrongists.

The Bear

papal said...

I agree with Anonymous, «Mission accomplished, time for better and more productive things».

Leonardo said...

Baywolfe wrote:
"I think the people that don't post, are the ones that need your site the most. They're afraid to enter into the dialog, but they are most certainly listening to the arguments."

Yes, I agree with your observation completely, Baywolfe.

There are indeed many folks who are watching and listening, yet who rarely if ever actually offer a comment.

There are more ministers and insiders (former and current) than most of would realize "listening in" on the various discussions as well.

This site is of great value, not only because it deals with foundational issues of ultimate concern to us human beings, but also because it seriously addresses the many religious hucksters out there who take unscrupulous advantage of the legitimate human longing to understand such issues - and so Gavin has provided a wonderful service here that MANY appreciate.

It would sadden me to see it come to it's end.

Papal spouted a few words with even fewer reasons behind them:
"Mission accomplished, time for better and more productive things."

Like what, Papal? What is more important than delving into the ultimate metaphysical issues that lay at the foundation of most topics discussed here?

Spending even more time blurring the line between reality and fiction in our minds by playing computer video games? Watching another exciting, stimulating, mind-expanding episode of "Dancing With The Stars" perhaps, or the many mindless situation comedies that blot our airwaves?

Judging from some of the lame comments that folks often make here, it seems to me they could benefit from the intellectual stimulation this site provides – maybe in the long run it will do them some good, and may even wake them up out of their mental slumbers.

Ex-Android said...

How about turning the work over to Leonardo? He has been the most articulate spokesman I've encountered on AW. I mean, of course, in addition to your own blog leads.

Anonymous said...


Although I do not agree with you on a lot of your views, I personally am grateful for the work you have done over the years. Even just a one time a week consistent update with other news of the what the jerks in the COGs are doing is helpful.

Your links are valuable to a lot of folks. And with things getting crazy in the world, people like the most recent two witlesses will keep popping up and popping off.

I am sure you have a lot of people lurking, I myself send in one or two comments per month. There are the occassional visits from the favorites of the past and the continued posts by favorites like Byker Bob.

There is still a need and a place for people to post their dissatisfaction with the current state of the COGs. Some of us still attend and still have beliefs akin to the past, although modified, in part because of some of the things posted here.

Where would many of us be without the insights of Dennis and others who have been through the mill?

You know, maybe like the others this was a form of cleasing for you to do this, but it seemed like so much more.

Maybe a one time a week update on happenings like you did with the old AW. That was really a blog before blogging even existed. You could have a way for people to give you news whether they say who the are or not. There could be one blog that you write from your research and interests, and one that is a massive email update like the AW of old.

People can tell you whether they want something posted as a response to the blog and or whether it is news.

It is a great service to others. Gavin, you have created a community here. Even though most posters are not known to the others, the banter, the understanding of the hurts, and the reasons for holding on when it hurts is an underlying thing we all have in common. Even though we do not agree with each other, we have all been through the same thing.

You have helped in more ways than you know. You have been balanced in your approach and have allowed people to speak their minds.

Thanks Gavin for your work.

Anonymous said...

If AW goes away I suppose these folks will have to start living normal lives and stop re-living (whining about) the past.

It does take a lot of time to maintain a website, even if it's just a blog.

Paco said...

I think that some of the anonymous posters who are encouraging Gavin to shut down AW may be people who want it to go away precisely because it continues to be effective and is a constant source of irritation for them. If it is so tired and worn out, then why do they continue to come here?

On the other hand, Gavin, I can't imagine the amount of work involved in keeping the site current and fresh. If you decide to ride off into the sunset, then you have my heartfelt thanks and appreciation for all you have done.

Wess said...

Gavin and all:
To those who post and have posted on AW and its predecessor,I personally wish to extend my most heart felt thanks, for your contributions. With the exception of Gavin I will not attempt to list names for fear of omitting somebody. With no exception that I can recall, all of what you have invested of yourselves on this Blog has had value to me .. Many times I do wonder where some of the thinking facilities of those on some sides of issues, reside. But without the courage to express their thinking I would not have thought that perspective could exist.
It is obvious the post have changed but so do we all.
I will not ask Gavin to sacrifice any more of his time than he is willing to keep this life raft afloat . Hell we may be in shallow water now and just don't know it. Again Thanks for the ride. Your future endeavors should be productive if what I have seen here is an indicator of your potential.
No smoke intended.