Friday 18 August 2006

In Search of ... Spanky's Brain

"It's WWIII...!"

Time May Be Short!

How Will It All Turn Out? How Will This Affect You? What Lies Ahead?

The Situation Is Urgent

So wrote Roderick C. Meredith in a recent letter to Tomorrow's World subscribers. All in extra large, screaming bold font. The first statement was quoted (approvingly) from the New York Daily News, the rest is pure Spanky.

Meanwhile, over in Edmond, Oklahoma, the Six-Pack Prophet's most inflated organ, The Philadelphia Trumpet, features the cover story War in Lebanon: Is This World War III?

No, Rod. No, Gerry. Are these guys THICK or what? The cries of imminent doom have been their stock in trade for decades. The End is just around the corner, Bible prophecy comes alive! DIG DEEP, BRETHREN.

The blood and tears of ordinary, powerless people are appropriated to fuel the apocalyptic frenzy-making of these absurd "prophets". Nothing like a little fear and apprehension to tug extra tithe dollars out of the pockets of the credulous.

The Trumpet cover shows a young boy standing in the ruins of a destroyed Beruit suburb. Just grist for the mill as ghouls sit in their plush offices and monitor their donor income. Compassion? Not likely!

I suppose there are more despicable acts, but right now I'd find it hard to top this one: the abuse of human suffering in the cause of a loveless, legalistic, self-serving "gospel".

Christianity has rarely been reduced to a more shallow, facile, two dimensional caricature than this kind of apocalyptic fear mongering. And of all the sects of Christendom, Armstrongism is the most blatant. One example from the files: the February-March 1955 issue of The Plain Truth. The lead story? World War Is Here - Now! by Garner Ted Armstrong. Page 2 through 5 showcases two full page illustrations by Basil Wolverton with an accompanying article by Herbert Armstrong. The first shows volcanoes exploding and the earth opening up while terror stricken people attempt to flee. The caption begins: "STUDY THIS PICTURE. Will you be one of its terrified victims, when these super-tremendous earthquakes occur?"

The second shows ulcerated victims of plague. The helpful caption advises: "Now STUDY this picture... every movement of their sore-covered bodies will mean excruciating pain..."

The Wolverton apocalypse reappears on page 12 with fire descending from the skies on hapless men and women. "Could anything be more painful - more indescribably horrifying? ... Yet, if you won't really repent and turn to God now... then, when THIS plague actually scorches you with fire, you will only CURSE the very name of your Creator and Savior..."

Fear religion.

And who is listed on the masthead as the Associate Editor of this issue?

Roderick C. Meredith.

Decades pass. A half century. What has he learned?

Absolutely nothing.


Anonymous said...

I got that letter, too. It struck me as unusually crass and ignorant, even by Meredith's standards. Usually Meredith does a better job of pretending to be a news analyst, or even a preacher, but the "screaming" tone of this latest letter makes him sound like an ignorant aluminium siding salesman, desperate to make a sale. I wonder whether Meredith's diabetes is taking a toll on his judgment?

Anonymous said...

Decades pass. A half century. What has he learned?

I think he's learned fairly well that he can make his living off this relatively indefinitely. (How's that for an oxymoron?)

The question is, does he really believe this stuff himself? That's the difference between stupidity and, quite frankly, evil. Sadly, I think he does believe it.

Anonymous said...

Maybe old Rod thinks it's 1955. A sad situation.

Douglas Becker said...

But, but, but...

The end is near!

The end is apon us.

The time is very short.

The time of the end of the era of the false prophet is upon him as he nears the time of his death without his coming to pass.

Anonymous said...

Although they are dwindling in numbers, there is still yet another generation of pre-teens, and teenagers to scare half to death and harvest their tithes...With no regard whatsoever to the psychological and emotional harm they are causing.

Anonymous said...

The Armstrongites are not the only religious people who are stirring up excitement over the end of the age. Many Protestants are doing the same thing.

In a capitalist society, the market determines what gets produced and sold. Likewise, when it comes to religion in a capitalist society, what sells is what people want to hear.

Rod is just an example of the "Invisible Hand" in action. He is marketing what his constituency wants to hear. Rod shapes that constituency and that constituency shapes Rod. Both buyer and seller are happy. It is the thoughtful but ignored bystander that is saddened.


Anonymous said...

The time is now when you must repent and be anointed as a fully accredited tithepayer.

Too long have you ignored the siren call of brazen horns being sounded.

Verily,verily have the prophets spoken,and, forsooth, verily,will you know if their fauguries be fulfilled in the latter days.

Render to Caesar what is his and give Rod and Gerry the rest,yea,even to a deficit that thou mightest create for oneself,for the time is short wherein thou would be able to spend it.

(Though, we note, that our two worthies will find time, doubtless).

May the Times of the Gentiles caress and swaddle these two worthies,according to the rapacity of their souls.

And may the vessels of their own recompense be not measured in double aliquots,yea their own presages being returned in overflowing abundance,for the harm and hurt they have created for untold thousands over the many years.

And may the fruits of their ill-gotten gains be as a millstone around their own necks, to give to their own persons some of the suffering they have inflicted on the many.

Only an OLD FOOL would contribute to their "cause". But it seems that some people NEVER learn the lesson.

Some must like being whipped into subjection. If they want to be in bondage, the "world" offers far-cheaper options.The foremost exponent of such experiences doth no longer reside amongst us, and is thus in no position able to advise,yea, ironically one of their own ilk.

Indubitably, the flapping of their gums and their brayings will continue whilst fools will ever contribute to their pension funds and lifestyles till time hath wrought its own perfect work.

Yea, world without end,

Amen, Amen, Amen.

jorgheinz said...

Woe to the multitude for the land lies defiled.

Cheque in with Gerry and you can become a troglodyte for 42 months.

Your generous offerings will ensure you make it to's called PROTECTION MONEY.

Anonymous said...

Rejoice you cedars of Lebanon
Midst shot and rocket and shell:
Prophets proclaim you are upon
The very descent of Hell.

A select group will Petra grace
Who paid their tithes up front,
The "Book of Life" at Gerry's place
Will keep you from the brunt.

But desert sands promote a thirst
And six-packs are quite rare;
A region dry is just the worst
For hotels are not there.

Will Budweiser come by camel train
At very dead of night,
Black market rates will ever reign
All paid from tithes so tight.

If you would back a chancey horse
The "Filly" steaks we call;
Full of bull with no remorse
They push you to the wall.

BUT choose instead a safer way
As conscience will dictate;
And obtain wisdom as you pray
For a better path of "fate".

Anonymous said...

The Meredith approach has gone from being the spearpoint of the gospel being preached to being the one and only true church and everyone else is laodecian or worse. Maybe it is a result of what happened in 05 with Wisconsin and the death of John O'Gynn. Did he really ask for them to dig deep? He did that in a letter when they moved to NC a few years ago. This is all a game for these people, manipulating the little ones. I appreciate the informative nature of your posts, but in the 'comments section' for people to make light or even poke fun at something as serious as this seems somewhat obtuse, if not down right thoughtless.

Douglas Becker said...

All the false prophets are laughingstocks.

Have you not read of Elijah and the 400 prophets?

How many false prophecies does it take to make a false prophet?

A better question is how many on target fulfilled prophecies does it take to make a true prophet of God?

Unfortunately, for the Armstrongist Churches of God, Spanky is the oldest original false prophet yet left alive.

Richard said...

At least UCG didn't go as far as the others. In fact, I heard a UCG Pastor say it's NOT WW3 -- even though Newt Gingrich suggested it was.

(Or given what you quoted, was this really WW4?)

Anonymous said...

RE the search for...
Has anyone found it????????