Saturday, 27 February 2016

Shepherd's Voice and MythAmerica

Norman Edwards has been a high-profile figure among the independent Churches of God, those post-WCG folk who have - wisely in my view - steered clear of the larger sects of Armstrongism which so delight in micro-managing. On the plus side the independents gain a lot of autonomy but on the negative side, it's hard to get much traction without working together. In updating AW I discovered that Norm is currently involved in a media project called Shepherd's Voice Magazine. That may not be news to you, but it was to me. Also involved is COG Big Sandy pastor Dave Havir. (Great Scott, there's even a letter in the most recent issue from Aucklander Graeme McChesney!) The magazine is produced under the aegis of the Chicagoland Church of God, a group I hadn't heard of before, on an occasional basis (5 issues since the first in 2012).

Another high-profile name over the years has been that of Pam Dewey. Pam has been involved in a number of projects and has always been a voice of reason and balance. While Pam appears to have closed most of her earlier websites, her Meet MythAmerica blog is active and well worth checking out. There is some COG-related content (see 1965: The Eve of ... the Zombie Apocalypse), but this isn't a COG-promoting blog, or particularly directed at that demographic. It includes some fascinating social history and commentary on things like race relations. A feature of the blog is the amazing visual content; photographs, magazine covers and more. Pam states:
I most assuredly do not reminisce about the Good Old Days. In fact I spend some of my time writing articles debunking the idea that any of the Old Days were all that good. Including the Fabulous Fifties when I grew up… they were anything but fabulous much of the time, except on sitcoms on TV. Mankind has been a mess for all of recorded history, and every generation has been a mixture of good and bad. I don’t waste time on nostalgia … I live in the now, and hope and work towards better things for the future.
The goal of my websites, and my blogs… including this Meet MythAmerica blog … is to offer some insight from my 69 years of experience, study, research, thinking, and dreaming into how mankind has gotten into the messes he’s created throughout history, and share what I am convinced is the path to a Better Way, in every aspect of life, individually and collectively.
For my money, one of the best blogs out there.


Connie Schmidt said...

Meet Myth America is certainly one of my favorite reads, and an immediate "go to" whenever I hear there is a new edition. IMHO, Pam Dewey has been the most influential woman ever in the COG universe and certainly a positive influence even beyond it.

Pam said...

Thanks for the kind words about my efforts, Gavin and Connie! (Your efforts were a big boost to my work for a long time, Gavin!)

In addition to the Meet MythAmerica blog, My "Field Guide to the Wild World of Religion" (with documentation and information and commentary on everything from the history of the WCG movement to Benny Hinn and the Jehovah's Witnesses) is still up and running at

And I just recently put up a Meet MythAmerica website. It has an archived collection of much of my material on historical topics from my various blogs in the last four years. Included are single articles, both on serious and on lighthearted aspects of US history, and whole series of articles on selected subjects such as the Trail of Tears, the Eugenics movement of the early 1900s (and its effect on today...), and the sordid history of lynching (primarily of black men...often men not guilty of any crime ...)in the 150 years after Emancipation. It's at

The MythAmerica blog particularly, but not always, is the place for extended series on chosen topics. I have another American History blog that specializes in shorter, one-off topics, such as the amazing story of the Kedoozle Stores ("Flash Gordon Goes Grocery Shopping"). It's called "Ameripics--an American Family Album."

The one thing that is now missing from my repertoire is the material that used to be on what I called the Oasis website. A few months ago, the server for that notified me that ALL my files had become corrupted by viruses. Their solution was for me to delete all files on their server and upload them all again fresh from my harddrive. What they didn't understand was that I had been adding to that material constantly from 1996 on, and the originals were scattered on harddrives all over the place. NO easy way to reconfigure it all. In coming months I may just rethink what I'd like to put back up of that (including such things as the book I wrote on "A Closer Look at Hell" debunking the ever-burning hell doctrine through examination of the history of it.) And I'd then create a whole new incarnation of the Oasis.

Quite frankly, though, my heart right now is specifically in the American History material because it is all SO relevant to current events. Most folks just do NOT know "how we got here" from our past! They have accepted a highly whitewashed and expurgated "American Narrative" spoon fed to them in grade school and high school. And thus they are often totally mislead on what rational solutions to our problems would look like. (Much of these same issues would apply in Australia and New Zealand too! Just substitute indigenous groups there for the Native Americans and African slaves from here, and the parallels are sometimes very eerie.)

Thanks again for the plug for my blog, Gavin. I noticed a spike in visits today and wondered what had spurred it. :-) On my stats page I could look up and see where folks were linking from, and that brought me to your blog.


Gavin R said...

Cool. Nice to hear from you Pam.

Black Ops Mikey said...

It might be well to recheck the Autobiography and note that Herbert Armstrong did spend months in the South early in his career working as some sort of paymaster. The experience should be noted because of his depictions of blacks and because the illness he contracted during that time left him with some very negative views.