Saturday, October 24, 2009

In Search of... Bob's Th.D

The mystery of Bob Thiel's Th.D may be solved, and it's a pretty strange tale.

Bob may have acquired a mail order degree from Trinity School of Apologetics & Theology in Kochi.

Kochi?

TRINITY??

Following up on an anonymous tip in the previous comments section, a web search revealed that Trinity is a fundamentalist institution in India which has a Calvinist orientation, and offers "Free Apologetics/Theology Graduate Distance Programs." It's listed in places like Conservapedia and Creationwiki, and is sited next to Cochin University, but from what I can tell is definitely not part of that institution (although to read the Trinity website you might assume it was!) T of CU would then mean Trinity of Cochin University, which seems to be a clear misrepresentation.

Here's what Walston's Guide to Christian Distance Learning has to say about this institution (see graphic).

Not exactly positive.

And lo and behold, there is a Bob Thiel listed under "graduation news" on the Trinity site.

Now let's recap.

(1) If this is the source of Bob's Th.D, one can only wonder at his choice of an institution which wears its trinitarianism on its sleeve.

(2) To all intents and purposes, the accreditation that this institution claims is highly dubious.

(3) Bob has misrepresented it by calling it TCU. The correct acronym is TGSAT. The impression that he has graduated from Texas Christian is highly misleading. The impression that TGSAT is part of Cochin University is also misleading.

It appears that Bob's Th.D - if this is its source - isn't worth the paper it's printed on. No wonder Bob has been less than forthcoming about its provenance: it's a huge embarrassment.

However, on the positive side, Bob was being at least partially truthful. He does have a piece of paper with a recently minted Th.D., the quality of which is fully commensurate with the quality of his scholarship.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

It may interest readers that on this business' website, under ThD, then "Resisting Mind Manipulation, Lesson 19", then "Christmas", there is reference to the writings of David C. Pack. Much of the material on this part of the website appears to be similar to ex-COG stuff. Please note that the business is operated by Johnson Philip, not Philip Johnson. Regards, John B (Sydney)

Bamboo_bends said...

The mind boggles.

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

If the Bob Thiel of TGSAT is the same Bob Thiel of the Living Church of God, then Bob Thiel’s lack of honesty about his academic credentials is scandalous!

On the Armstrong COG scandal scale, I wouldn’t rank Thiel’s misrepresentation as scandalous as Garner Ted’s various "sexcapades" involving young AC coeds and a masseuse. It’s certainly not up there with the preponderance of evidence about HWA’s incest with daughter Dorothy. However, it does make the COG scandal scale.

Think of it, if it is true and he is the same Bob Thiel, then here we have an outspoken proponent of Armstrongism obtaining a theology degree from a worldly mail order degree factory mill containing in its school name a doctrine that was vigorously denounced by Herbert Armstrong. What an embarrassment for Thiel and the LCG.

I have observed a long history of Armstrong COG leaders failing to practice what they preach. Condemning the medical profession from the pulpit under Lake of Fire eternal damnation only until Roderick Meredith needs a surgery comes immediately to mind. A true adherent to Armstrongism wouldn't obtain a theology degree from an institution containing the word "Trinity" in its name (unless it was before the adherent was introduced to Armstrongism).

What next? I suppose someone is going to tell me “the final push” – “the last gun lap” – before the Germans attack the United States in January, 1972 was all a big hoax to extract more money from the obedient "dumb sheep" tithe slaves?

Richard

Anonymous said...

"However, on the positive side, Bob was being at least partially truthful."

Which is all lay-members of the church ever needed, in order to be able to spin fantastic tales of deception and embellished versions of reality.

I wouldn't trust a word that comes out of an Armstrongist's mouth. So much for "Thou Shalt Not Lie".

They twisted that one too. It was always OK to lie to the worldly because the worldly were under Satan's deception already. So it's OK to lie to those who are already deceived.

My head hurts. I haven't twisted around my thinking like this in years. Bonus points!! If you think other church members are deceived too and aren't 'truly converted' or are lacking faith, then you got free licence to lie to them too!

gls said...

If you scroll down to the very bottom of the Trinity site (http://trinitytheology.org/), you'll see that what I suspected when the site initially loaded: it's a WordPress site. I'm not going to say that the use of WP means it's simply a blog, but it IS primarily used for blogging because of its ease of use. It's something any Joe Blow could set up in about ten minutes.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have my own college of philosophy to go set up before heading out for yard work...

Please Quit Asking said...

Robert Thiel has to know this is being discussed and questioned. Perhaps it is a "oh shit" moment for him. Or he may have a good explanation.

My sense is we will never hear it from him until he:
A. Prays it goes away without comment
B. Comes up with a tolerable explanation such as "I never meant...' or "I never said.." and then it can go away.

Anonymous said...

This is so embarrassing it makes me cringe. It's obvious that Bob is just stocking his curriculum vitae with "filler" to expand and make it sound more impressive. What's next? A PhD in paleontology from the Kent Hovind Mail Order School of Science?


The APostate Paul

Dr. Rob Diehl TH.D said...

Some have asked "Just what do you mean TH.D?" I feel responsible to give an answer to my critics.

"Ummm, well.....ok, let's see....hmmmm. Ok, ok.....give me a minute. ok....my heart was right. God's ways are not your guys ways. God doesn't see as a man sees. The way of man if foolishness with God. The wisdom of man is foolishness with God. How'm I doin?

Ok ok...try this. Scholars in India are better at Bible apologetics than westerners so it is a vey fine credential. That's why they are better in physics too. They understand that God is one..no wait, two...doh...well you know what I mean.

Ok ok..it was in the budget ok. So what's wrong with being frugal? You got a problem with that. I have to tithe 30% of my income to that %%#&^%@%&# church to stay on their good side and sell my book. Well excuuuuuuuuuuse me! What's wrong with that? The children of darkness are wiser than the children of light..no wait...not that....

Ok ok...hmmm...i give up. Sadly and of course you caught me."

Let Angel's Prostates Fall said...

I have to admit to attending a satanicly blinded church. That said, I would like to ask Dr. Thiel a question that only a TH.D, could answer.

In our church we sing a hymn, based on the Bible I would expect called "All Hail the Power of Jesus name."

In the verses we sing, we come to "Let Angels prostates fall."

That really threw me. If Angels prostates fall, then what chance does Dr. Thiel believe, and I want scripture, we mere mortal men have not to have the same problems in life. I mean, if Angel's prostates fall...then what chance do we have?

I anxiously await an answer to this.

Seems Angels aren't so well designed eithr.

Questeruk said...

Anonymous (Sun Oct 25, 12:43:00 AM) said...

“It was always OK to lie to the worldly because the worldly were under Satan's deception already. So it's OK to lie to those who are already deceived……….If you think other church members are deceived too and aren't 'truly converted' or are lacking faith, then you got free licence to lie to them too!”

Come on now, criticism is fair enough – but those statements are absolute rubbish.

Never, in all my many years in COG have I ever heard from the pulpit someone suggest in any shape or form that lying was OK.

Now, in all honesty, did anyone else hear such a proclamation, that the commandment against lying somehow doesn’t apply if you are talking to those outside the church, or even the ‘weak’ in the church?

A lot of things did happen, but there is no need to start going into this sort of fantasyland.

God's Chosen said...

"Now, in all honesty, did anyone else hear such a proclamation, that the commandment against lying somehow doesn’t apply if you are talking to those outside the church, or even the ‘weak’ in the church?"

I think this might be being mistaken for the concept in the OT that God's chosen people were forbidden from charging each other interst but could screw the gentiles anytime it was possible.

I also think it is the principle of "thou shalt not kill each other" but everyone else's husband, wife, child or livestock was fair game.

It also might remind us that God's chose OT types could not eat polluted meats etc, but could sell them to the gentiles for a tidy profit.

What a dumbass book of love.

Corky said...

Questeruk said...
Never, in all my many years in COG have I ever heard from the pulpit someone suggest in any shape or form that lying was OK.

I don't know where you were hiding or why you weren't listening back in the day but I heard lying suggested several times and I was only in the cult for 5 or 6 years.

It wasn't worded the way you say but evasive answers and misleading answers to questions from non-members is a form of lying.

Omission of facts is also a form of lying and how many times have you been told not to mention 2nd and 3rd tithes to prospective members?

The only thing I can think of is that you must not have been paying much attention to instructions.

Anonymous said...

To Q and others: the commandment in the decalogue about lying only pertains to a very specific kind of lying: bearing false witness against thy neighbor. I've always found it interesting that the commandment is specifically against this, rather than against lying.

I do realize this particular thread is off-topic.

So, to get back on topic, I want to express my desire for Gavin to do everything he can to ensure that this specific posting on Ambassador Watch comes up anytime someone googles "Bob Thiel" or "LCG" or "Living Church of God" or "Rod Meredith".

I wonder if old Spanky is aware of how much embarrassment Dr. Bob has just brought down upon the name of LCG and the name of Rod Meredith by fibbing in such an egregious manner.

And, I wonder, how many Merry-death's followers will take offense to this.

Just one more nail in the coffin of LCG. Thanks, Bob!!!!

Anonymous said...

Well, well. It looks like the good doctor Bob wrote an article a couple of years ago slamming the degrees granted by PCG's college. Have a look:

http://xcg.kingary.net/index.php?id=849

How amusing, that Bob would rain such critical commentary down upon the worthless diplomas granted by six-pack Gerald's farce of an educational institution, yet then acquire a fake degree in order to impress others?

Hypocrite.

Mr. Pot, meet Mr. Kettle.

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

Gls said, “Now if you'll excuse me, I have my own college of philosophy to go set up before heading out for yard work.”

MY COMMENT – And, I have my own College of Church Administration to go set up before I go wash my dirty laundry. My College is an intense 30 semester hour course work leading to the confirmation of my newly created on-line mail order Masters of Church Administration (MCA) degree. Here is my curriculum:

• Flock Fleecing 101
• Foot Washing For Fun and Profit 102
• Setting Prophetic Dates and Explanations To Provide When They Fail 103
• Witnessing the Two Witnesses 201
• Thieling around with Bible Prophecy 202
• Public Marking every Mark, Dick and Harry 203
• Principles of Triple Tithing and funding the Building Fund 301 (Prerequisite: Flock Fleecing 101)
• Deceptive Discipleship – Hiding Church Sex Scandals and Then Blaming Satan 302
• Make-up Matters and Other Fringe Topics Important to Salvation in the Churches of God 303
• Exploiting the Membership for Free Labor and Sweat Equity – A Case Study of Ron Weinland selling his house after members improved it, and then
rolling the gain into a larger new home and then repeating the process again 401 (Note – this is an advanced level Church Administration course;
Prerequisite: Principles of Triple Tithing and funding the Building Fund 301)

As you can see, I have designed a Masters of Church Administration (MCA) degree program that should prepare any student with a Church of God background to be prepared for Servant leadership and put puffery on any resume biography – and it only took me 5 minutes to design. Now I can go wash my dirty laundry.

Richard

Questeruk said...

.
Anonymous said...

“Well, well. It looks like the good doctor Bob wrote an article a couple of years ago slamming the degrees granted by PCG's college…….

How amusing, that Bob would rain such critical commentary down upon the worthless diplomas granted by six-pack Gerald's farce of an educational institution”



When accusing someone of Hypocrisy, it is best to be honest yourself.

I am not a particular fan of Bob Thiel, but check out what he actually said. The link provided to XCG just shows XCG’s OWN comment, namely:-

“I love the quotes around “diplomas.””


But click through to the newspaper article, and it is the newspaper itself that is using the quotes, not Bob Theil.

Theil extracts the article, and just comments:-

“The old Ambassador College was highly subsidized by WCG (but it did offer formal degrees). It is not uncommon for religious schools to receive financing from their affiliated church.”

Not exactly ‘slamming the degrees granted by PCG’s college, or ‘raining critical commentary’.

Check out the Theil original yourself.

http://www.cogwriter.com/1034news.htm


A little truth in journalism never goes amiss Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

"Never, in all my many years in COG have I ever heard from the pulpit someone suggest in any shape or form that lying was OK."

Did I say it was from the pulpit? This was the mindset of the members, and if you never had it, then you weren't truly converted.

Although I do quite clearly remember a sermonette given by a preaching elder, exhorting us to not "stir trouble" when asking time off for the Feast and if we were given trouble, to say we were Jewish. Said preaching elder is now somewhere up the food chain of the UCG.

But sadly and of course you're still in and so need to attack my witness. Have at it UCG member. I know the truth.

Leonardo said...

Questeruk wrote:
"A little truth in journalism never goes amiss..."


Agreed. So remember that the next time YOU are tempted to go "quote mining" in the creation/evolution discussions.

What works for journalism works just as well for research of any kind.

Questeruk said...

Leonardo said...
“remember that the next time YOU are tempted to go "quote mining" in the creation/evolution discussions."

Hi Leonardo,

The Anonymous contributor I was referring to here was not ‘quote mining’.

They did not use a quote at all! No doubt because there was no quote for them to use. They just said Bob Thiel was ‘slamming the degrees’ and rained ‘such critical commentary down’. An implication that had no basis.

For myself I deny using quote mining. It is true that I have used evolutionist’s quotes as a backing for SPECUFIC issues, but obviously I can’t use an evolutionist’s quote to deny evolution itself. That is quite a different thing.

Let me explain the logic. If in a murder trial I believe the accused ‘A’ is innocent, and ‘B’ is guilty, and someone else also believes ‘A’ is innocent, but they believe that ‘C’ is the guilty party.

It is quite valid for me to quote this person on his opinion of ‘A’ being innocent. What would NOT be valid would be to go on and imply that the other person therefore believes that ‘B’ is guilty.

The way I have used quotes is to restrict them to areas where the person I am quoting is in agreement with my view, on THAT PARTICULAR SPECIFIC issue. By also mentioning they are evolutionists should make it obvious that we are talking about the specific issue, not evolution itself.

Doing things in that way is not so called ‘quote mining’.

Anonymous said...

" Let Angel's Prostates Fall said...
I have to admit to attending a satanicly blinded church. That said, I would like to ask Dr. Thiel a question that only a TH.D, could answer.

In our church we sing a hymn, based on the Bible I would expect called "All Hail the Power of Jesus name."

In the verses we sing, we come to "Let Angels prostates fall."

That really threw me. If Angels prostates fall, then what chance does Dr. Thiel believe, and I want scripture, we mere mortal men have not to have the same problems in life. I mean, if Angel's prostates fall...then what chance do we have?

I anxiously await an answer to this.

Seems Angels aren't so well designed eithr."

I am trying to figure out if this was all in jest or not...but if it was not then the author is confusing the the words "prostrate" and "prostate". The former is a position...as in falling down in a prostrate (face down) position. Prostate refers to a part of the male anatomy. The line in the hymn is "angels prostrate fall". As opposed to the author's erroneous version "angel's prostates fall". In the correct version the word angels is plural not possesive. The word prostrate refers to thier body position (face down) when they fall. In the author's incorrect version the word angel's indicates possesive tense...as in possesion of their prostate gland.

If this was meant in some kind of jest, excuse my lack of getting the humor...

Anonymous said...

Ah,goodness,gracious me!!

Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren come to mind for some strange reason.

Bob is currying favour with the sub-continent.

India is a land of holy men,mystics,mystique.Even the Beatles valued their religious philosophy...the Luds from Liverpool.

I suppose Bob could do far worse.

Jorgheinz

Paco said...

Bob's ThD may be as valuable as Living U's Certificate in Biblical Archeology.