Thursday 28 September 2006

Hull Breach

The LCG has lost one of their "evangelists" and Bob Thiel has been "marked." More fun from the fringes.

Syd Hull is a "Meredith evangelist", one of the privileged few to be raised to the highest ministerial office on Earth (other than Rod's of course!), and Regional Director for South Africa's LCG.

Or at least he was. Syd has defected, or "seen the light", depending on your perspective. Now he's teamed up with Dave Pack and launched a broadside at poor old Bob Thiel.

What is interesting is that the LCG keeps losing high profile people, and that, judging from the ones we know about, they're drawn to even more dubious ministries rather than, for example, the more moderate United Church of God. Pack has done very well by picking up disenchanted Meredith elders (bearing in mind that he is, himself, a rat who also fled the leaky galleon.) But so has Gerry Flurry (remember Fred Dattolo?) It seems the Lord is delivering quite a spanking to his faithful servant Rod.

Mister Hull (will Dave let him keep his Evangelist rank?) has immediately delivered a slap in the face to his former co-religionist Bob Thiel. Bob gets called a lot of colorful things:

"...ridiculous statements and poor logic on an unofficial LCG website hosted by Robert Thiel... this site lists a host of invented reasons why one should not go with RCG. The shallow reader will be taken in, but those with common sense will see the utter falsehood of this man’s misinformed confusion. God’s Spirit always cuts through the faulty logic of the unconverted." (Emphasis supplied)

Misinformed? Confused? UNCONVERTED? Now now Syd, don't hold back.

"Robert Thiel misrepresents these facts to paint Mr. Pack as teaching contrary to Mr. Armstrong and the Bible, when even cursory investigation proves otherwise. Given such circumstances, only a calloused self-promoter would say it’s more important to concentrate on people in the world, for whom eternal life is not yet at stake, than on those who have the Holy Spirit and who don’t just face physical death in the tribulation, but eternal death in the lake of fire! Mr. Pack should be credited and the LCG leader faulted, not the other way around! I have been a shepherd for over three decades and I know. In any event, the Work of RCG now dwarfs that of The Living Church of God, and has reached this point in much less time."

Calloused self promoter? Bob? Um, how 'bout that deeply humble statement "I have been a shepherd for over three decades and I know."

But, praise be, ain't it great to hear the sizzling of the Lake of Fire in the background!

Syd may have been a shepherd for over three decades, but it's hard to find much in his tirade that's reminiscent of the Good Shepherd parable. And let's just think for a moment about "ridiculous statements and poor logic." Syd states: "the Work of RCG now dwarfs that of The Living Church of God".


By what criteria?

Which sect has the most members? Which sect has the greater media exposure? Which sect has the larger mailing list? Which sect garners the most tithe income?

LCG. But Syd, feel free to set the record straight if I've got that wrong.

Apparently Syd thinks "the Work" means something else. Number of "hits" on a website perhaps? Syd, Syd, Syd; you really should drop Gary Scott an email so he can explain the facts of life for you.

On his own website Bob comments: "I have apparently been marked by RCG and my repentance to support RCG essentially is now publicly being asked for."

There are days I think the old soap opera has "jumped the shark", and the latest episodes are a mere shadow of seasons past. And then someone like Syd comes along and I know I'm still hooked. "Hull breach on deck 12 Captain Meredith! We're losing containment!" "Erect a level 6 force field Mr Ames and arm the phasers."

Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

Ouch! Touche!

See, this is my biggest complaint about LCG instability. As a member, I have no great love for Meredith's current approach - and recent comments on this blog by other members pretty much sum up the issues.

However, many of the more influential names among LCG who jump ship tend to go from the frying pan into the fire. Their issue with Meredith is not primarily his personality or leadership style. Rather, they perceive that he is deviating from the strait and narrow that was set by Armstrong. He's not as strict of an Armstrongite as they are - and that is unforgivable.

When Meredith actually came out in a recent sermon and named a specific sub-doctrine that he believed was incorrect in Mystery of the Ages, I was surprised and pleased. Meredith needs to read his Bible more and MotA less, anyhow. But that comment probably stuck in the craw of Hull and others who want to kiss the red carpet Armstrong walked on.

By the way, it's not entirely true that ministers formerly associated with Meredith all gravitate to reactionary Armstrongist groups. Larry Salyer served in WCG as its Director of Church Administration until little Joe got the job, then provided the same service to Meredith. He now sits on UCG's Council of Elders. Ben Faulkner's independent congregation in Tampa appears to be exploring the possibility that God might actually be Someone you'd like to know, Someone more interested in knowing you than giving you a laundry list of regulations - an unconventional idea among the CoGs.

But Faulkner seems too good a Christian to reach for the limelight. Salyer and McNair's coup was almost nine years ago. We're overdue for a good knock-down-drag-out. One wonders if it's finally beginning.

Anonymous said...

On you accuracy, Pack actually fled the Global group after ousting RCM.

Anonymous said...

Meredith knew back in i think in 1995 of the 12 or 14 major errors of Mystery of the Ages as pointed out by Raymond McNair at a ministerial conference i believe in San Diego in GCG . Spanky of course would gloss over it all in his gushing of Herb as his father figure.
It was one of my jobs to research what Raymond pointed out about MOA.
Raymond was very nice and gave our crew all the itemized problems including the major ones. Spanky and some others eventually stated that Herb and Aaron Dean had rushed to get the book out by the Feast of tabernacles in 1985 if memory serves me correct. So errors minor ones according to Spanky .Aaron Dean stated otherwise after going to UCG, another point of contention for Meredith .
As far as Pack goes , those following him had better have thick skin, they will need it when Old Dave blows his top.
Of course those gravitating to RCG will just love the dictatorial approach of that organization. They will feel right at home as if Herb was there lording it over them.
Now with Syd Hull going there is a bit of a mystery. Of course to shed some possible light on that would be Syd's misgivings about Rod and LCG not relying on God for protection for the South african Brethren.
In place years ago in either GCG or early LCG a plan and financial reserves were in place to get all the members of Rod's church in South Africa out of the country in case of racial tension uprising where all were in danger of murder. I don't know if it common knowledge in the various COG's, but Syd Hull's sister? was murdered while in a fortified compound a few years ago. A mystery as no one saw or heard anything. It was quite horrendous as told to us by the CAD at the time.
But Hull had mentioned the fact of his relying on God's protection and after the shooting in Wisconsin, maybe he and others woke up and smelled the coffee and realized that what was said just months ago in the Church that could not happened, in fact did.
Pack though is maybe a little more clever in hiding his own changes that are different than Herbs. Of course since it is "all about the Benjamins" or i guess if one does not know what i mean (MONEY), Pack will not jeopardize his power, money, prestige etc. because of that big ego of his.
But you can prod him into making enormous mistakes of judgement by questioning his and Herbs beliefs and watching him explode verbally and show his true colors. An example would be to confront him over the "18 Restored Truths".
He gets angry real fast especially as it is the basis of the name of his church.
As far as Syd Hull giving "mister doctor bob thiel" the royal treatment, maybe Syd ain't so blind and maybe will not last very long at RCG.
rod 2

Anonymous said...

Quite a, ahem, HULLabaloo.

Anonymous said...

I see Hull's long, hand-wringing epistle of self-justification is online at

Anonymous said...

Only 12 or 14 errors in MOtA??? That's all?? Or did you stop at page 1?

Thanks - I needed a good hearty laugh this morning.

FYI Again said...

I don't have many contacts in RCG, but I can make a few observations about them.

More than any other WCG spin off (with the possible exception of Gerald Flurry's PCG) RCG reflects 1 Corinthians 1:10 in that they "all speak the same thing" and are "perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment."

No doubt they would heartily agree with that statement.

They speak frequently of David Pack. It's "Mr. Pack" this and "Mr. Pack" that. "You should listen to Mr. Pack's sermon on..." or "You should read Mr. Pack's book called..." By contrast, very few people in groups like LCG or UCG speak of their leaders the same way.

I don't get the sense that they are giving Dave Pack standing ovations the way folks in WCG used to do with HWA, but can that be far behind?

Another thing that sets RCGers apart from other COGers is that they are *TOTALLY* convinced that they are right and everyone else is wrong. Granted, there's an element of that in most of the COG's. But as near as I can tell it's universal in RCG.

They are *SURE* that they alone are the Body of Christ and everyone else is "not connected to the vine" (David Pack's words, from one of his sermons).

They are *SURE* that they alone are the "Philadelphians", while all others are at best lukewarm, blind, naked Laodiceans on the verge of being spewn from Christ's mouth. In the RCG lexicon, all COG's outside of RCG are "the splinters" and they are spoken of with contempt.

They are *SURE* that HWA was Elijah and Christ's Apostle, just as they are now *SURE* that David Pack is the 21st Century Apostle, the Watchman to Israel, and the Messenger to Laodicea. And humble too. Let's not forget that.

They are *SURE* that the work they are now doing is the Matthew 24:14 work that will be "preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come." Along these lines, they are *SURE* that they will soon be making headlines around the world, and that Mr. Pack will soon be "brought before kings".

And whether they really are as sure of all these things as they seem to be, they dare not voice any doubts because in doing so they will stand out like a sore thumb.

When folks like Syd Hull, Mark Mendiola or Ernest Owino defect to RCG they are encouraged to write some kind of manifesto outlining their reasons for doing so. Every person I've known who went with RCG has done the same thing. The idea of course is to see how many people they can drag along in their wake.

Mark Mendiola at least had the decency to keep his manifesto semi private - available only by e-mail to those who specifically ask for it. I have his e-mail, and while I may not agree with his conclusions I at least appreciate the fact that he was unwilling to post it on the internet. That speaks well of him, and it tells me that maybe he was a little uncomfortable with RCG's policy of asking defectors to make public announcements.

I find it hard to believe that Syd Hull's "broadside at poor old Bob Thiel" was spontaneous. I'd lay odds that Dave Pack coached him on what to say. Bob Thiel has long been a thorn in RCG's side, and I'm sure Dave Pack would love to see him silenced. But because he has a policy of not "answering accusers", he cannot directly say anything. Therefore all attacks must be by proxy. And what better tool than a newly defected member?

What a sorry spectacle.

Unfortunately, I expect much more of the same over the next few years as LCG continues to disintegrate. The only question is how long it will take before there's nothing left.

Anonymous said...

It was what THEY considered Major Errors in the MOA. You are right that you can get that many probably from the first page. But know that the old guard of Armstrong would say that is something. Of course they would gloss over that bit of knowledge with the sheeple, but a few ministers and elders told their congregations this info. Caused quite a stir and of course damage control had to be done.
But in many ways a small rebellion occured just over Herb be the Elijah and all. Pack at the time was of course still in GCG and very vocal about herb being just that. Maybe now he can find a way to make himself the Elijah without offending the flock,
rod 2

you'd be surprised said...

Rod2, As I understand it, you worked for GCG in the 90's. If that's the case, I'd like to ask you about an buddy of mine you would know with a name similar to yours ;-) I'd like to get in touch with him. Can you help me?

jorgheinz said...

One could ask "what the HULL is going on here"?

Anonymous said...

What is his name,
If you want forward it to Gary and he can forward it to me if you do not wish it in a open forum as this.
rod 2

Anonymous said...

Sorry wrong site, GAVIN not Gary, may forward it to me if he would,
sorry for the mixup,
rod 2

Anonymous said...

Sorry Gavin, I know this is off topic, but I don't know of any other way to do this.

Thanks rod 2, his name is Rob Carrico. He left GCG HQ in the mid to late 90's. Not sure if he's still in to Armstrongism or not, just wanted to touch bases and catch up if you had his email address. Mine is my user name and yahoo :-)

Anonymous said...

Rob was in the Information Systems Department out in San Diego. At the split he was still with the few GCG folks and i lost track of him. A Brian Hoselton in Kansas would be the one to contact if you can contact him. I tried his site and it has folded up shop. The other thing would be to contact Dave Harris at the Global Church site in England. Dave is in Colorado i believe still but the church has only a handfull of members.
rod 2

Anonymous said...

There are not such errors you told in Mistery of the Ages, please stop slander Mr Armstrong memory, he really was an apostle inspired by God.

Anonymous said...

Funny thing is that knowing Mr. Pack and the way he operates, he wrote all the Syd Hull letters. Or, Syd wrote some other version and Mr. Pack and his group of editing clowns expanded, increased and ADDED MORE SIZZLE AND PUNCH! *probably the worlds of Mr. Pack*

Who knows, probably Mr. Hull was fast asleep in his PJs and one of Mr. Pack's flying monkeys flew to South Africa to get him to sign the letter after "modifications" to the original one. LOL. In the end, RCG is a little kid trying to hang with the big boys. They keep trying to compete with LCG when really they are simply an Internet presence. We are doing a HUUUUGEE work=we pay for Google Ads so we are the top choice to clock on through a search engine. YIPPEE!!! Is this the best he can come up with? You'd think that he would come up with something more clever after seeing how much he pays himself, his wife, his daughter and son-in-law, while eating at an expensive restaurant practically every night and lives in a Mc Mansion. And another thing, I wonder what Mr. Pack does in that little dark corner of his basement? Does he listen to Mr. Harold Smith sermons, take extensive notes then rehash the sermon as his own? I think so. Every sermo Mr. Pack gives he says "You have never heard this before..." That was true...until i started seeing all that Mr. Pack copies from Harold Smith. I guess if it worked for him copying HWA's literature (in a bruttish, ogre copycat kind of way) it should work for his sermons.