Saturday 17 May 2008

Growing Up WCG

This guy - a former second generation member - tells it like many of us feel, especially on the vexed question of reconnecting with another stream of Christian tradition, and coming to terms with the conflicted feelings that endure.

Thanks to Shadows of WCG who gave it first exposure.

Part 2 is here - also worth watching.


Anonymous said...

Also watch the second video.

This is a prime example of the damage done by Armstrongism: Confused youth attempting to make their way in the world after their world has been skewed by the wrong assumptions based upon the opinions raised to doctrines by sick cultmeisters with distorted perception.

Unfortunately, the focus of too many forums of this type is amusement. For the victims, Armstrongism -- and indeed, any cult -- is sad and tragic. But people don't seem to take these things very seriously. Rather than being a source of infotainment, it should be a source of righteous indignation motivating people to do their best to stamp out such evil once and for all.

Just how do such people recover from a lifetime of abuse?

There is always obvious cognitive dissonance: It wasn't so bad in some ways -- after all, the Feast of Tabernacles was a way to see a part of the rest of the world, wasn't it?

At what cost?

Chaos? Confusion? Displaced goals? Attempts to be an unwitting source for a high maintenance narcissist? Expending immense resources and getting very little in return? An underlying uneasy feeling that maybe all this is a waste and may not end up the way it's been painted?

The problem is that this is just one such example, showing the pattern of maladjustment based upon theories of an undereducated arrogant belligerent angry man wanting revenge because people didn't honor his ideas.

Our children paid for our lack of foresight and their children will also pay the price.

Neotherm said...

I noticed Tired Skeptic's use of "righteous indignation" instead of anger. Armstrongists played lots of semantic games. And, of course, the words hang on for a long, long time.

-- Neo

Lussenheide said...

Football identity says alot about a person. My wife is from Pittsbugh PA and the Steelers are still a part of her psyche even tho she isnt even a sports fan. But dont you dare bad mouth the Steelers to her!

My biggest concern for this young man is that he is a New Orleans Saints football fan. (as per his logo on his hat and wall poster).

With the Saints being the worst performing team over the last 40 years, (with a winning percentage of only .409) and being one of the few handful of teams that have NEVER won a NFL championship, the Saints historically have been the laughing stock of pro football.

This concerns me. Is it a lack of self image, or a form of identity and sympathy, that causes this young man to see himself in the New Orleans Sains? Could this possibly be related to a form of post traumatic stress of his WCG experience?

Me, a man whose heart was broken when the Los Angeles Rams moved to St. Louis, and then won the Super Bowl for the first time after moving! I suffered abandonment issues! LOL!

Bill Lussenheide, Menifee, CA USA

Weinland Watch said...

A hard question for Bill (forgive me if it's offensive, that isn't the intent):

Are you trying to lighten the depressing, but ultimately realistic, points made by the previous two posters, or are you simply(consciously or not) avoiding addressing the points raised in the videos?

Lussenheide said...


We are sorry, but the LUSSENHEIDE is now closed.

Any questions, autograph requests, or interviews should be directed to his agent at (951) 242-0421.


Anonymous said...

One of the many problems with Armstrongism is that it lacks any real emotional content. People within the WCG were often starved for affection which they were denied both by the WCG ministry and by the fact that the WCG did everything it could to isolate people from social interaction of any kind which did not contribute to the narcissistic source of Herbert Armstrong and his own man made religious Great Work.

This is one of the terrible legacies of emptiness left in the wake of the ravaging narcissism of Herbert Armstrong. The children felt it most, but the adults were not immune from it. There is a kind of paranoia when people realize just under the radar of consciousness that their worth is tied to what they contribute to their cult leader. The victim feels worthless because he can never measure up to the Great Leader.

These feelings -- and a lack of feeling -- propagate into every aspect of life. People come to the place that they feel worthless and have to "Rely on a Higher Power". Their initiative is killed. They don't see themselves as a success in the endeavors of their choosing. Furthermore, they never achieve their potential because they were told they were evil and worthless, over and over and over again. These days, if I ever hear Dwight David Armstrong's rendition of Psalm 51 ever again, it may take all the fortitude I have from ripping the heart of the song leader out through his nose. I won't do it, of course, but it will certainly be tempting.

Lost is the emotional content that Jesus loves you. Not only is it embarrassing in the Armstrongist context, but what does that mean exactly to an Armstrongist? In fact, what does love mean at all? What does "outgoing concern" do for you?

So it is with anyone wanting show someone else genuine affection and love. It's deemed to be syruppy sentimental slop. Worst case, you deserve to be in pain and misery because you sinned. Who knows what the love of God the Father really is? The ministry of the WCG never preached it at any time. Neither was there that emotional connection at any time for those who were sick and infirm. Worst case scenario: You did it to yourself. Why should we care? Oh. Scripture says we should pray for the sick and anoint them, so we'd better do it because God will be angry with us if we don't, even though we don't really want to do it.

Now it is the case that emotionalism can be a problem in itself, because it is often so very seductive, particularly for those who are emotionally starved for any kind of real affection. Children were to be automatons not making any noise in church and play quietly on their blanket. When they got older, they were expected to do adult things without question to be obedient, like fasting on the Day of Atonement. Fear is a great motivator. Especially, when you find those crackers in the back of the car on the way to the Feast in some parking lot after the grueling services and being so hungry you think you're going to die. For a kid of five years old, that's quite a challenge. It's little wonder the little wonders couldn't wait to leave church by the time they were teens.

And there was YOU. A stab at an attempt to keep the WCG viable because both members and their teens were beginning to get to the place where far too much was asked of them and they just could not comply any more, particularly in an emotional vacuum.

Many found that even what small connection they may have had for others vanished when someone somewhere found something about them incongruent with the church and they were BUSTED! Forgiveness for innocent mistakes was not an option. You bad! You were evil! The heart of man [and women and children] is desperately wicked and only the minister could know it -- and press the advantage to make sure you knew how worthless you were and what a fool you were. By this time, of course, now that the ministry has been caught with their pants down [in some cases, literally], they plead that the victims should show them abundant mercy. What is it Jesus told the Pharisees?

It didn't help that often the ministers were terribly un understanding and sided with those who were completely wrong. Mothers would be wrongly accused by their husbands [and often the husbands were committing adultery, which was the source of the problem in the first place] and the minister would side with the husband against the wife. Or depending, siding with the wife against the husband. This didn't just leave emotionally bereft children -- this left them terribly confused -- at a time when they were trying to work out for themselves just what was just and equitable in life and how they should treat others.

Unfortunately, parents often became narcissists by proxy, tacitly demanding their children to be the narcissistic source for people who were expecting the parents to be the narcissistic source.

For those who felt the loss most strongly, they went off to find satisfaction elsewhere, often with tragic results.

That is part of the legacy.

How do you feel about that?

Anonymous said...

I noticed Tired Skeptic's use of "righteous indignation" instead of anger.

Neotherm is full of it.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I raised my children in WWCG. They had "outside" friends, remember childhood fondly and the growing years with special memories, were part of 4H, school concerts, church sports programs and were very involved with others and life. Am I missing something? I could not watch the video in this section because my internet is sooooo slow. The youth in WWCG in my area just did not have a hard life. I am glad.

Anonymous said...

"The youth in WWCG in my area just did not have a hard life."

Make me laugh. Are you blind? Some WWCG youth were lucky enough to get past the effect sick, twisted, warped Armstrongism had on their lives and live to tell about it.

Anonymous said...

Dear tired skeptic said ...

I am, like you, righteously indignant (a perfectly good phrase that did not originate with Armstrongism)over the carnage left in the wake of Herbert Armstrong and others of his ilk. But how do you propose to "stamp out" such evil "once and for all"? Were you thinking of a re-opening of the crusades? Maybe a police state, such as John Knox's totalitarian Geneva?

I'm sorry, but as much as I hate Armstrongism (I grew up in it and I'm hell of a lot older than this kid, so I got a more undiluted experience, you might say) I understand the need for freedom of speech and freedom of religion more. In a free and open society these things have to be permitted to exist, if they will, in the hope that bad ideas will eventually sift themselves out against better ideas, because history has demonstrated time and aagain that you can't create a religious police state without horrifying results.

You need to understand that there are no acceptable long-term solutions to this very complex problem. There will always be families and individuals that conspiracy theories (and in some ways that's as good a description of Armstrongism as any other) appeal to. Armstrong cleverly made his mentally raped followers feel special, as though God had seen qualities in them that others had overlooked. We could have the best public school system in the world, and it will not protect against minds that have been programmed in this way. We could outlaw such religions, but it would simply drive it underground. The best thing is to let it be, but on an individual basis, reach out to the marginalized or misinformed. But I cannot endorse your idea that Jesus or any other imaginary friend can innoculate individuals against the likes of Herbert Armstrong. It might surprise you to know that most mainstream religions also lie to their members, and that when students go to a university and find out that their highly educated clergy, knowingly, and their parents, perhaps unknowingly, perpetuated myths (lies) to them, such students feel just like we did when we discovered that we'd been duped. Substituting one pack of myths/lies for another isn't going to help.

Steve said...

anonymous said..."Hi. I raised my children in WWCG. They had "outside" friends, remember childhood fondly and the growing years with special memories, were part of 4H, school concerts, church sports programs and were very involved with others and life. Am I missing something?"

MY COMMENT: I don't know. Are you missing something? Did you "raise" them, or just let them go on their own to the YOU activities? Good for you. You let them do other things outside of the cult. Did they get to go to the dances and sports activities outside of the cult? How could they if you "raised" them in the cult? You don't think that had an affect on them? If they're telling you "no", then THEY are missing something. Don't be so naive. Your kids were either "bullied" by kids in the cult, or kids in the "world". Or they were the "bullies". We were ALL bullied by the "minister". You had to have been one who wasn't involved directly in any activities.

Anonymous said...

One of the best resources there is for people who have been through the cult experience is Johnson O'Connor Foundation.

The basic problem is this: Generally speaking, many people do not know who they are and they do not know who others are. Armstrongism feeds off of the lack of identity of people. Those who have a very good idea who they are and what they can do may not be completely invulnerable to the seduction of such cults, but those with a good foundation will certainly have a better chance at holding their own.

Those seeking Armstrongism are seeking answers and Armstrongism is certainly more than willing to take advantage of that. There is always a "bottom line" where people get something out of such cults -- or at least they think they will.

Of course, it is a complex problem, but starting with basics is a good way to proceed. The young man in the video could certainly have a lot less chaos and confusion in his life if he knew where he really stood in terms of his inherited aptitudes and what he could really do. He could also help his wife and children with such knowledge.

The reason that there is complexity in approaching Armstrongism is that it seems to be such a big topic when it can be reduced to some fundamentals.

The first fundamental is that Armstrongism preyed upon people who looked for possibilities and did not quite have a good solid foundation of who and what they were themselves. Therefore, they turned themselves over to what they thought was bigger and better than they were in ignorance thinking that they could improve themselves and the world around them if only they could find the right belief system that had God behind it.

The truth is that the WCG was a sick organization because of the narcissism of its founder. It isn't enough to know who and what you are, a person must know who and what Herbert Armstrong was and the implications of what he was. Narcissism trivializes people and destroys them in ways from which it is difficult to recover. That's no great whoop, since so many other cults and organizations have both narcissism and narcissism by proxy embedded in their fundamental operation. People lose their identities and lose their ability to focus on genuine priorities. THE priority is satisfying the leader to the exclusion of all else, including for the people involved in such an undertaking to take care of themselves. Narcissism reduces the viability of people to take care of themselves and their mental, spiritual and physical health deteriorate.

Speaking of which, many alcoholics and mentally ill people were attracted to the apparent power of the WCG. Far too many people used the WCG teachings and the tacit example of the ministry to indulge themselves to their own furthered destruction. Herbert Armstrong and Garner Ted Armstrong were alcoholics. Anyone who has survived an alcoholic family life and come to see it for what it is should be able to connect the dots. For those who cannot connect the dots, it's simple: Life with an alcoholic / drug abuser is arbitrary. No one can rely on anything. There is no appropriate emotional content. People suffer abuse and are blamed for things that go wrong when they are innocent of wrong doing. The male alcoholic is often "macho" and homophobic because his own manhood has been reduced to chemical mush. No one can rely on anything and everybody has secrets. There are no solutions to anything except the solution of chemicals in the bottle.

My observation is this: Those who were practicing alcoholics within the confines of the WCG only set upon their way to freedom once they got their head out of the bottle. In that regard, there are tragic stories I will reserve for another time if I'm not shouted down off this forum. The point is that people in the WCG could not get out of the addiction of Armstrongism without eliminating the other addiction. Those of you here who still have the problem know very well how to end being a practicing alcoholic. If you have forgotten, Bill Lussenheide can enlighten you, I'm sure.

Pragmatism is one thing both alcoholics and Armstrongists like to think they believe in.

The mentally ill are a special problem. There isn't any fun or easy solution to the problem. Certainly being attracted to and being a part of Armstrongism no matter which crazy subsect of the cultism you are involved with will not resolve the problem. It's like, say, diabetes [but without the public support]: It might not be your fault [except when it is induced by illegal drug abuse by choice], but you are stuck with it and it is your responsibility to manage the challenges associated with it. In other words, if the medications help, stay on them. If you haven't sought help from mental health professionals do so. Armstrongism will not make your condition better, no matter what the claims of "healing" may be. Go ahead. Get anointed if you will. Then go off and get help from mental health professionals. God only helps those who help themselves [after the initial contact]. Note that a few of the ministers in the various xCGs are currently under treatment for such things as clinical depression. They can't help you because they can't even help themselves.

Stamping out Armstrongism isn't so difficult or complex, if, and only if, the truth can be disseminated and absorbed by the victims of it. That's the complex and tricky part.

There those, however, who would just throw up their hands in frustration and have us give up. Can't be done! We've seen this type of defeatist attitude before and we know the results already.

For one of the most seductive things about Armstrongism is that it claims that mankind can't solve its own problems: We all have to wait for Jesus Christ to return before anything can be done.


Even for those who believe in such things, there should be called a remembrance to mind that Christians should be found "so doing" in the interim. Armstrongists would have you believe there are no solutions. Or worse, only they have the solutions. Perhaps there isn't a satisfactory solution to every problem, but everyone can benefit to one degree or another through the elimination of ignorance and the application of diligence to do the things we learn how to do.

One more thing.

A good example goes a very very long way.

Anonymous said...

"These days, if I ever hear Dwight David Armstrong's rendition of Psalm 51 ever again, it may take all the fortitude I have from ripping the heart of the song leader out through his nose. I won't do it, of course, but it will certainly be tempting."

Hmmm, Neo has an anger problem?

Number of good points made in both posts, though.

Just Askin'

Anonymous said...

I won't do it, of course

Not so much anger as its first cousin, frustration.

Anonymous said...

The very short version of Armstrongism: It's a disease -- use the disease model.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the one big thing for those still addicted to Armstrongism is that if you can't take care of yourself and can't take care of your family, the reality is that you simply can't help anyone else.

Anonymous said...

I feel your anger.

Good, good.

Learn the power of the Dark Side of the Force.

Lussenheide said...

Those of you here who still have the problem know very well how to end being a practicing alcoholic. If you have forgotten, Bill Lussenheide can enlighten you, I'm sure.

Alright, I will take the bait and answer. Here is how you stop being an alcoholic. STOP DRINKING AND STOP NOW. You dont need a program, you dont need a support group, you dont need to relive your childhood and how crap it was , etc, etc etc.

Rational Recovery is truth. Once you resolve that you will never ever drink again, and decide to kill that inner beast/demon within you, and you see it for the immature animal that it is it will die right there and right now forever. Do not give it hope or quarter in your soul by saying you are "Recovering", or hanging around with others who are still tempted and need "groups". KILL IT, and kill it now. You are in total control of your hand, which must raise a glass to your lips. Stop it with the disease talk. Man Up!

Who the hell is the Lussenheide? I was around alcoholics and druggies and gangs all of my youth in the heart of East Los Angeles. My parents were alcoholics and nuts too.

Thru it all, and I could write a book on abusive situations, and I have suffered at its hand, in the most literal terrifying of ways... Yet I am happy, love life see the events as learning experiences that strengthen and mold, and never drink, never have taken drugs and have never had the temptation to do so.

Do not be a psychic bully or wimp. Be still and know truth. This applies to whacked out religion as well.Stop responding to life. Do not submit, do not get angry.

That which does not kill you only strengthens you. Pain is weakness leaving the body. You are in the image of God. Always remember who you really are, a son of God who is loved and is precious in his sight. Walk towards those arms always, and the path will make sense. All things really do work for good.

Your Friend,
Bill Lussenehide , Menifee, CA USA

Lussenheide said...

One more thing:

Learn to be and stand alone.

You do not have to "prefer" to be alone, but you must not fear being alone.

There are much worse things than being alone. Do not make weak choices, physically or spiritually out of fear of lonliness. God is always there. Be still and know.

Your Friend,
Bill Lussenheide, Menifee, CA USA

Anonymous said...

Great job, Bill.

In case you've forgotten your prediction in December, I'm doing my part to make it a false prophecy.

But thanks. It will help people.

Anonymous said...

Hi Again. I am the one who said I raised my children in WWCG and they had a good childhood... Something is wrong in some of the reasoning of what I read. I used James Dobson's books on child rearing for "bringing up" my children, followed core beliefs in the scriptures on the subject of tithing and taught it to my youngsters, holy days, unclean food, etc. Yes, I took them to the sports activities and we stayed in hotels for the district weekend activities...they attended "outside dances" and so forth.
I know some of these kids that were raised in WWCG, they are still observing some of the core teachings, a number are baptized and raising their children in the faith, one is giving sermonettes...I don't see the extreme hostility that is spoken about in these youth.
Some mistreatment took place, I am convinced, but there are humans in the church and out of the church and such is the world that we live in. There are wheat and there are tares and we all mistreat others at times. Apologies to all that I am sure I have not "done right by" over the years.

Weinland Watch said...

Tired Skeptic, I have a clip for you that should hopefully make you laugh uproariously, every time Psalm 51 courtesy of the Purple Joy Killer crosses your mind:

Rotten Ron Karaokes One of Dwight Armstrong's Greatest Hits.

Additionally, I find myself agreeing wholeheartedly with the Luss (don't everyone fall over from the shock now): I come from a booze-fuelled family background as well, and have never touched a drop myself. No drugs, or other illicit substances either.

Anonymous said...

Let's also remember the NT writings themselves and in particular the real or imagined writings of the Apostle Paul would have left just as many damaged first century people as WCG or any literalist church would leave in using those scriptures.

Paul screw up many a single in the early church and any relationship they had or wanted to have with his "it is better they stay as myself" and of course, "time is short." Paul messed up women with ridiculous ideas about their role and bogus applications of the Adam and Eve story to make his point. Paul divided families no do doubt with his teachings and people arranged their lives around the specialness he offered from being evil sinners to near royalty and a people special to God.

Paul gave out a lot of bad advice on practical end time living and then bailed out by saying, "Oh well, I fought a good fight, I finished the course, I I I I I kept the faith....bye..."

We don't have accounts of the early christians who felt used and abused by the early end time apostle. I bet there were plenty.

Religion and monotheism in particular is abusive by nature and leaves more hurt humans than Kings and Priests so far as we can tell.

Anonymous said...

Kill! Kill! Die! Die! Die!

Oh, hello. I didn't see you standing there. How long have you been there? Why are you looking at me that way? Why, I used to be the kindest, gentlest, merciful person you could have ever known.

My mother told me that when I was born, I didn't cry like normal babies did. I more like mewed like a kitten. People in school voted me to be the Junior Class President because I was the nicest person there.

Not a harsh word or unkind thought ever graced me. My parents reminded me of when I came home one day crying about the movie we had in school about the pagan babies. Tears were streaming down. I want to save the poor unfortunates.

And, not to boast at all, there have been any number of community services projects [not associated with any court order in any way]: The one for the Washington Occupational Information System to help students learn about careers by helping them select their interests, the freely given time to help the Spokane Public Library System build a computer tracking system for periodicals; the website work for the Criminal Justice League to help prisoners and so many many other projects.

And here I am today. Blood all over my latex glove covered hands [one must avoid unsanitary conditions lest one get something like e coli] with a still warm beating heart in my hands....

If you wonder at my transformation to violence, consider this: Armstrongism drove me to it with its inconsistent logic defying mysticism. There's just no way to remain sane with all the cognitive dissonance. Take that Psalm 51 rendition, for example. Some of us knew the minister who made us sing the song at Passover was committing adultery at the time. He's still in the WCG as a minister, you know. At least he didn't murder her husband. At least we don't know that he did. And here he was, making us sing that that that... song! The hypocrisy of it all.

So there you have it. Someone called 9-1-1. I hear the sirens. I see the flashing lights outside the window now. The officers in their black uniforms are coming to the door.... This might be my last posting.

So there you have it, you who still hang on to the teachings of Herbert Armstrong. Let it be an object lesson to you.

As for me, I understand from my lawyer that he thinks that I will be able to mount a successful defense, but I may be in the Insane Asylum for a very long time.

At least I won't have to hear that darned song any more.

Anonymous said...

Wait! Wait!

Scratch the above posting.

I fell asleep during the song and my wife caught me napping.

It was all a bad dream.

I'm all better now.

It never happened.

At least I don't think so....

Anonymous said...

The pain-body wants to survive, just like every other entity in existence, and it can only survive if it gets you to unconsciously identify with it.

It can then rise up, take you over, "become you," and live through you. It needs to get its "food" through you. It will feed on any experience that resonates with its own kind of energy, anything that creates further pain in whatever form: anger, destructiveness, hatred, grief, emotional drama, violence, and even illness.

So the pain-body, when it has taken you over, will create a situation in your life that reflects back its own energy frequency for it to feed on. Pain can only feed on pain. Pain cannot feed on joy. It finds it quite indigestible.

Once the pain-body has taken you over, you want more pain. You become a victim or a perpetrator. You want to inflict pain, or you want to suffer pain, or both. There isn't really much difference between the two. You are not conscious of this, of course, and will vehemently claim that you do not want pain. But look closely and you will find that your thinking and behavior are designed to keep the pain going, for yourself and others.

If you were truly conscious of it, the pattern would dissolve, for to want more pain is insanity, and nobody is consciously insane.

Anonymous said... thoughts "as a man thinks in his dreams so is he,"


"there is a dream that seems right to a man, but it ends in indigestion."

Lussenheide said...

A lullaby for you Tired Skeptic, courtesy of Napolean the 14th, his 1967 song and some Lussenheide editing!... Sing along (music here)

Remember when the church blew you a away and you got on your knees and begged for them not to
leave because you'd go berserk??

They left you anyhow and then the days got worse and worse and now you see
You've gone completely out of your mind.. And..

They're coming to take you away, ha-haaa!!

They're coming to take you away, ho-ho, hee-hee, ha-haaa

To the funny farm. Where life is beautiful all the time and you'll be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats and they're coming to take you away, ha-haaa!!!!!

You thought it was a joke and so you laughed, you laughed when I had said that staying in would make me flip your lid.. RIGHT???
I know you laughed, I heard you laugh, you laughed you laughed and
laughed and then you left, but now you know that you are utterly mad... And..

They're coming to take you away, ha-haaa,
They're coming to take you away, ho-ho, hee-hee, ha-haaa.
To the happy home. With trees and flowers and chirping birds and basket weavers who sit and smile and twiddle their thumbs and toes and they're coming to take you away, ha-haaa!!!

You ate kosher food, You tithed for the work, and this is how they pay you back for all your kind unselfish loving deeds.. Huh??
Well you just wait, they'll find you yet and when they do they'll put you in the ASPCA, you mangy mutt!!! And...

They're coming to you away, ha-haaa.They're coming to take you away, ho-ho, hee-hee, ha-haaa.
To the funny farm, where life is beautiful all the time and you'll be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats and they're coming
to take you away, ha-haaa!!!

To the happy home, with trees and flowers and chirping birds and basket weavers who sit and smile and twiddle their thumbs and toes and they're coming to take you away, ha-haa!!!
To the funny farm, where life is beautiful all the time... (fade out)

Luv and XXX
Bill Lussenheide, Menifee, CA USA

Anonymous said...

"as a man thinks in his dreams so is he,"

Quite the opposite: People dream up things they feel they can never be.

Anonymous said...

One caveat about alcoholism: In the third and final stage of alcoholism just before death, usually marked by hypoglycemia and those terrible migraine headaches, it is still necessary to stop drinking immediately, but it is also necessary to get medical help.

By this time, the body is so depleted of vitamin B complex in particular, that a person will need supplements at minimum during the recovery phase or they may still die from malnutrition.

It is true that taking the Brewer's yeast, in particular yeast grown on sugar beets, can be helpful, particularly to provide RNA, DNA and Chromium to stimulate the ATP cycle in the body, but it is still dangerous to merely self-medicate. It also may be helpful to supplement the vitamin C, iron, selenium and vitamin E, but caution is advised.

Qualified health professionals should be consulted.

Anonymous said...

Poor lost soul. Totally confused and moronic. Anybody who is a fan of the Steelers is mentally challenged. Go back and read your bible dummy.

Anonymous said...

A dork is a dork. What else can be said.

Anonymous said...

Military organizations practice "breaking down" recruits and then building them back up. This is particularly effective for young men between the ages of 17 and 25 during the growth spurt of the prefrontal lobes controlling the will.

Marines come from Paris Island after basic training with clear eye and purpose.

Cults are generally paramilitary organizations. The difference between them and the military is that cults break down their recruits.

Building them back up: Not so much.

Content Former Member said...
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Content Former Member said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Content Former Member said...

I too have trouble with fruitless condemnations of the HWA cult. Of course it was a cult, but all belief systems are cults, at least in the formal sense, and a few confused kids develop in them all. If anyone finds Armstrongism a little too bizarre, check into some of the more respected cults, like for example, Roman Catholicism. It’s no less a cult than any other belief system. One could spend a lifetime blubbering in his beer over their teachings. Down through the years they have committed horrendous crimes – but that was then and this is now. They too are human and have made terrible mistakes. Today they produce some remarkably fine people (and a few scumbags). And many non-Catholics take severe umbrage with their core teachings and practices. Such is life.

Armstrong made a big deal of the pagan origins of Christmas, Easter, the Roman Catholic substitution of Sunday for Sabbath, the Trinity and other accoutrements of mainstream Christianity most of which can be corroborated in popular encyclopedias. One must consult scholarly works for Trinitarian analysis. In other words, the Christian backbone of Anglo-Saxon civilization is permeated with paganism, and in the King James translation pagan ways are sternly proscribed. Most folks with a serious Judeo-Christian background want to avoid paganism. So on the surface it would seem that many of the most cherished parts of our culture have pagan roots, and there is no way to avoid these celebrations without partially retreating from the world we live in. Jews face a similar dilemma, no less bewildering.

The Protestant King James Bible, illuminated by Moffat's translation, formed HWA's Biblical foundation, and that combination became the early WCG foundation. The foundation was OK, but it crashed in the leadership's inability or refusal to keep growing intellectually.

Due to the research slowdown, intellectual savvy stopped developing. About this time Armstrong allowed himself to be elevated to a papal throne of his own, becoming a personal impasse as imposing as he had earlier been an open door to discovery. Some of his more trusted lieutenants had inadvertently cooked up his spiritual demise by concocting a witch’s brew called “church government.” To the neophyte it looked Biblical – but it created a rigid caste system contrary to the true Biblical paradigm. A little knowledge, particularly in the hands of those who aspire to power, can be devastating. It was precisely that in the Worldwide Church of God.

Paradoxically, Armstrong, who had always decried Catholicism, had been persuaded to adopt its governmental form. He began to discourage higher education while relying on church government as a substitute for truth. Nothing could be openly discussed unless Armstrong had already passed judgment on its acceptability. He had become truth’s final arbiter, and after the death of his wife, who might have ameliorated his thinking, the possibility for continued intellectual growth was all but gone. Income could grow, and men could ascend the hierarchy, kissing, slashing and burning their way ever upward. But the lid on greater Biblical knowledge had been slammed shut. “Don’t you dare think, and if you must, learn to keep your mouth shut!” The old game had been truth; the new game was church politics, for shame!

But what's bothering me most is seeing former members of the WCG staying locked on dead center, seemingly unable to advance while complaining about bad WCG teachings and nasty skeletons in HWA's closet. The disgusting parts of his private life need not touch anyone who avoids them. Leaving any cult will require substituting better or alternative beliefs for the ones left behind. It’s a matter of working things through – or better, finding people within the churches with courage and commensurate smarts to fix what is wrong without fear of inertia in the power structure. By no means was everything Armstrong taught wrong; we do live in a corrupt and deceived world, for which the Bible has answers – but the answers require more study than Armstrong & Co. were prepared to undertake.

The wretchedness of Armstrong’s D&R catastrophe, and the many cruel misapplications of James 5:14, still have serious need of revision in the WCG spinoffs. The importance of Sabbath and annual Holy Days needs honest re-investigation in terms of non-Jewish participation. The autonomy, dare I say SOVEREIGNTY, of the membership needs serious and courageous attention. The concept of dogma itself needs expulsion -- and the soul, the spiritual component of all human life, desperately needs nourishing. Yes, the soul most certainly does exist, and the old Armstrong nephesh argument is utterly insufficient.

Isn't it time to redeem the good, dump the bad, and advance the promise that got us interested in the first place? Victimhood is no answer. One might need help, but there is a way up and out for anyone willing to face both the rights and the wrongs of Armstrongism. In this free country, one is still free to mend a broken heart and decide his or her new path. It will take time though.

Isn't it a pity that American boys died to preserve the freedom of people who still voluntarily submit themselves to the opinions of an ill-informed ministry! Without a real voice, these too-trusting brethren can only go through a limited number of motions permitted by an elitist aristocracy determined to maintain its power position.

I ramble. Consider this. If Christ really is the head of every man, then anyone who intrudes between a man and his Christ is an interloper. The minister’s role therefore needs serious thought and revision. He should be a facilitator, and by no means a lord.

Something dramatic and courageous must happen soon or the Armstrong Churches of God will continue to splinter until there is nothing left of its early promise. As things stand presently, that day is inevitable and coming soon. Church administrations dare not bank on the ignorance of brethren any longer. Universities, public libraries and the internet aren’t “ministers only” zones. If presiding over the demise of a once promising, restorative church adventure is acceptable to those in power, then so be it. Those who won’t fix what’s wrong are disgusting cowardly twits, scared to death of employing the good minds God gave them for better things. They offer no real hope to those begging for help out of the morass created by false teachings and an abusive governmental form – and that is shameful. I have serious doubts that God is positively impressed by phony teachings and autocratic leadership.

There is still time for courageous church leaders to mend the errors and provide solace to souls shattered by the insensitive factions and practices within Armstrongism. It wasn’t all bad, but it is still in dire need of rethinking and massive repair. Would God that broken spirits crushed by unsavory practices within the Armstrong empire should be repaired by officials who still give a damn.

So fix things, those ministers among you who might sneak a peek at this blog. Care enough to mend the brokenhearted. After all, who broke their hearts in the first place?

Anonymous said...

"The foundation was OK"

And which splinter are you pushing pray tell?

Content Former Member said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

"....the only remotely realistic hope would have to rest with United."

That answers my question thanks.