Born to Win, the online presence of former WCG/CGI and now independent evangelist Ron Dart (www.borntowin.net), has disappeared from the web. Try clicking over to the Great Man's personal site (www.rondart.com) and you'll be stopped by the Internet Gestapo demanding a username and password - huh? I mean, why bother? (Update: the password protection was removed a short while after this posting appeared. The last entry - right wing political drivel - is dated Feb. 6. Born to Win is still MIA at this moment in time.)
The disappearance of Dart is probably a temporary situation, but maybe not. (Update 2: Ron is back, phew!) Regardless, a COGiverse without Ron's dulcet tones (in distinction to the relentless whine of Meredith) is barely imaginable. Dart was regarded by many as a better speaker than even the golden-tongued Garner Ted Armstrong. Whether the impressive preaching form is matched by actual substance is, naturally, a somewhat different question.
Works OK for me.
Maybe he has a heretic filter on his site.
I see Dart has authored 3 books with a new one to be published at some time in the future called "The Collected Sermons of Ronald L. Dart"
Excuse me will I barf! Who in the world would want to read the silly sermons of Dart??????????
rondart.com is accessible again, even for us "hairy-tics." Go figure. It was on password protection just an hour or so ago however.
Just goes to show, Gavin, that Ron Dart reads AW too.
By the way, if that's a picture of RD, why does he favor HWA so much?
Is that a rug Ron is wearing in the pic? How many other rug wearers are there among the aging alpha males of Armstrongism?
The Ron Dart I remember from 1960s WCG was as bald as a cucumber. Gee, how many WCG sermons do I remember as a teen on the subject of vanity (ooops, did I used the word “gee”)?
Gavin, I don’t mean to be cruel, but Ron Dart’s toupee is typical of the WCG. It obfuscates and hides the real truth. It’s sort of like the Living University (what a joke) putting that stock photo on their website of the beautiful attractive coed before it had any enrolled students – a fraud in other words.
Richard, Byker Bob once wrote about GTA pushing the Curly cut at AC. Maybe Ron was overzealous and ended up with the Larry look?
Many WCG leaders possessed widely divergent public and private profiles. It became a trite experience for me to be really impressed by the warmth of a sermon and then to meet the minister after services and discover that he is aloof and cold.
Ron Dart struck me as a classical example of this. He gave great sermons (as much as possible within the bounds of heresy)but was not friendly at all. An account circulated at AC Big Sandy that he flew with an AC student from Big Sandy to Dallas and did not speak a word to the AC student during the transit.
I believe it is a fundamental characteristic of Armstrongism that the public representation of the organization, the people and the beliefs diverges sharply from the disturbing private reality.
Just FYI, Alan Ruth once informed some of us that Dart had told him that he had made all the money that he will ever need(off his followers)
Maybe he has.
Actually, when I look at the photo of Ron Dart closely, I am wondering if Dart also has had a face lift?
Again, I don't mean to be cruel, but......
I am going on a forty year old memory of Dart, and besides being bald as a cucumber, I seem to recall Ron Dart also had facial issues - like a "crater face".
And, as pointed out by a previous poster, what is it about HWA clones that mimick everything about HWA including picture pose? The false profit (ooooops, I meant prophet) Ron Weinland did the same in his portrait pose.
And one last observation - I went to Ron Dart's website as a result of this blog, and discovered Ron Dart is on a select few 50,000 Watt AM Radio stations that previously carried the World Tomorrow in its hey day going as far as procuring the same time slots. In the case of WOAI San Antonio, it was Garner Ted Armstrong's CGI flag ship station following his excummunication by his father.
Of course, the Born to lose website offers a variety of ways to contribute to Ron Dart's religious business enterprise.
Oh vanity, vanity, all is vanity!
There were a handful of WCG ministers who had attended mainstream Christian theology schools or Bible Colleges prior to their entry into Armstrongism.
If I recall correctly, I believe that both Ronald Dart, and Richard Plache had such previous theology degrees.
I never had any conversations with Ron Dart, but Richard Plache seemed fairly personable in one to one settings.
In the business world, there are leaders who are great one on one, but fall apart in group settings. There are also those who can communicate with and motivate a group, but are lost when it comes to personalized individual conversations. Personality skills often vary with the setting.
I believe we probably hold members of the clergy to a different standard, because of beliefs regarding Holy Spirit related skills and issues.
The thing about Ron Dart that is most interesting to me is how he was able to carry on working with and for Garner Ted Armstrong for so long, when he had to know about Armstrong's double life -- he only bailed out on the CGI and went solo when the infamous videotape of the massage session was aired. Was he covering up for his friend, willingly turning a blind eye, or was he just kidding himself that Armstrong had changed?
I can barely remember Ron Dart since he went with GTA's church when I was not quite a teen.
With regard to a difference in personality from the pulpit to personal life, my experience, and speaking only for my experience, was that the character giving the sermon was very similar to the man off the podium. Four ministers in the WCG stand out as very outgoing gentlemen; Ozzie Englebart, Jim Jenkins, Marc Masterson, and Dan Biere. One in particular, Gerald Bachkus and his wife wrote to me several times when I was disfellowshipped for joining the US Marines which was before 'the changes' and officially a no-no. Others were not as nice but since I have had a rough week, I'm not going to drag up those memories and make it worse by naming names for the jerks. They know who they are.
"Actually, when I look at the photo of Ron Dart closely, I am wondering if Dart also has had a face lift?"
Nah, it's probably been 'shopped. (The background looks like one of the choices available in the free program Portrait Illustrator.)
I think it's hilarious that the site came back up only after it was posted about here on AW. You're the CoG flagship, Gavin, not Dart or Weinland or even Junior and Weazell!! ;-D
That just means one of Dart's members, specifically the one doing his website for free (come on you just know there's at least one programmer foolish enough to take pride in "helping the Work" for free), reads Ambassador Watch.
Having been born and raised in a post-Ted WCG, I have no recollections of Dart, nor did I ever hear any mention of the man, until I started hanging around the ex-CoG Internet sites.
I had the impression, from members and ex-members of Dart's splinter, that Dart was the most liberal of the liberalest liberals. I used to take that statement at face value.
Seeing the picture of himself in classic Armstrong pose? Not so much.
Oh noooooooo your not dissing Ron Dart ...... the is lots of youngish people out there who respect dart. I thought he was a bit different to the average run of the mill ministers you experience in church.
For starters young people like him cos we get the impression he actually knows scripture inside and out and genuinely wants to teach a love of scripture, Christ and God the Father.
If Dart is like those type that are very snobby and aloof away from preaching and wouldn`t lower themselves to pass the time of day with you then whats the world coming to. Jesus isn`t like that.
Regarding Ron/GTA, I'd say Ron was covering for a friend. In a post-tape sermon, Ron mentioned how he encouraged GTA to go independent, say that was what he always wanted.
In a BTW program, an example used to illustrate forgiveness vs consequences sounded like a fictionalized account of GTA's final fling. Sure, we'll forgive you, but you're not going to preach here anymore.
It's no surprise to me when websites disappear. If the sites return, I'll put it down to techical glitch, like a DNS offline. When a site doesn't come back, I suspect big brother in Beijing thinks there is a misunderstanding or someone was disrepectful of the Great Helmsman.
For a while, Wikipedia was off/on, and Senator Bob Brown of Tasmania was off for a long stretch after he insulted Canberra, Beijing, and international trade in one breath.
But after a few problems with various CEM sites yesterday, Ron is back.
Ron Dart with a rug?
Perhaps he is the HEIR to all things.
"If Dart is like those type that are very snobby and aloof away from preaching and wouldn`t lower themselves to pass the time of day with you then whats the world coming to. Jesus isn`t like that."
I see what you did there, anon. Newsflash for ya:
- Gerald Flurry isn't That Prophet.
- Roderick Meredith isn't Armstrong's "natural" successor.
- Ronald Weinland isn't the One and a Half Witnesses, nor is he even the spokesman for both.
- CGI doesn't know what the hell they're doing, all they know is they've got the Armstrong brand name in Marky Mark --- "Predicting prophecy for over thirty years!!"
- Don't even get me started on "Do you want YOUR sky to be made of green cheese? I think that's great! Will you please warm some seats at our church? Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease?!?!" Junior....
- Ritenbaugh isn't --- who the hell's Ritenbaugh?!
- Clyde Kilough's rug isn't more expensive than Dart's. Or maybe it's just the bright lights shining on his insect-like beady little eyes on Beyond Today.
- Bill Dankenbring will never know squat about "god's true calendar", no matter how many barley sheaves he sniffs under a full moon in Jerusalem. (Yeah. Nothing pagan about that.)
Finally, last but not least, dun dun dun DUN......
- Ron Dart is not Jesus. No matter how much he plays up the "I'm a patriarch of the God Family, yo!" schtick the evangelists always liked to play at.
That is all.
Are you saying Dr. Meredith was born to whine?
Dancing in the dark!
I grew up in the WCG and was never a Ron Dart fan. Most of what I had heard about him was not complimentary, some of it coming directly from people who worked with him.
Now, I am no longer part of the CoG system, but some little time ago, I became aware of Ron Dart again. I've heard some of his messages and talked with those who know him. All indications are that he has gone through some changes over the years - matured and mellow so to speak. acquiring perhaps even some humility which often comes with age.
Of the CoG-leader wannabe's, he seems to be among the most progressive and thoughtful of the bunch. From what I can tell, he's not all that interested in leading or fleecing, as much as helping out what remains of the CoG as it slowly dwindles.
If this sounds like a defense of RD, so be it. I do get tired of stones being cast at perceptions of people that may be decades out of date.
One Sunday morning not long ago, I was casually listening to some AM radio program while brewing my cup of coffee, getting ready to give the newspaper a good read.
An obnoxious commercial came on, so I spun the dial to see what I could find. Having been drawn in to the WCG though the radio, television, and free! literature in the first place, I knew what a dangerous habit spinning the dial could be. Old habits die hard, I guess.
Next, a kindly old gentleman's mellifluous voice, flowing with sweetness and honey came though the speaker. Who is that? I wondered. I have not heard him before.
So I listened a little while, and thought, well, I could agree with that; and maybe that, and that.
What program is this kindly gentleman with I wondered? After listening for a few more minutes, I figured this guy had to have been connected to the COGs in some way!
Then at then end of the program, to my horror and chagrin, I found out who had my attention - It was Ron Dart! I hadn't realized in the least.
Not remembering how Dart's voice sounded, he became another WCG pied piper leading me along the COG primrose path, yet one more time.
Funny thing about it is, all I knew about Ron Dart from the WCG era is that, based on photos in the WN, he was the only man in the world qualified to hold GTA's briefcase, and GTA could have had anybody he wanted to perform that assistance.
Ron Dart began wearing a toupee during the early 1970's. At the time he was in Pasadena and was either head of Church Administration or the International Dept. He has had a rug for about 35 years at this point.
I was glad to see him start wearing it because (to me) it represented a small step for individuality with the WCG.
When I was in the WCG, I would have seen Ron Dart's name and perhaps photo, but I don't remember having heard him speak.
Probably at biblestudy.org, I was listening to some GTA/HWA classics, and came across Ron Dart's "History and Prophecy". He was interested in looking at the historic context, not end-time sensationalism. More content than GTA, less rambling than HWA.
Ron Dart, Taking the world by storm!
To begin your plan, you must first kidnap a wall street executive. This will cause the world to sit up and take notice, stunned by your arrival. Who is this demon straight out of hell? Where did they come from? And why do they look so good in a corporate suit?
Next, you must seize control of the white house. This will all be done from a abandoned church, a mysterious place of unrivaled dark glory. Upon seeing this, the world will scream, as countless hordes of the religious right hasten to do your every bidding.
Finally, you must reveal to the world your armageddon clock, bringing about the apocalypse. Your name shall become synonymous with sheer dementedness, and no man will ever again dare interrupt your sentences. Everyone will bow before your mystical abilities, and the world will have no choice but to send you all their money.
Sounds like a plan Ron. Let's get to work!
Note to the anon. poster who began:
"Ron would have us believe that the worst kinds of homicidal delinquents..."
I'd prefer to see a name or identity attached before putting it on the thread.
My view on Ron Dart is rather mixed. I don't trust the man, but I do think he is an asset from moving people from Harcore Armstrongism to a more liberal, soft around the edges, Armstrong Lite. Which is a good thing.
Rather than appearing as one of the "watering-down liberals" of the 70s, Ron comes across as offering Armstrongism Lite.
His approach looks to be balanced, but in his commentaries he'll sometimes throw in a zinger. While discussing Young Earth and Gap as having flaws, the Genesis account as the Creation hymn and possibly allegorical, in another program comes "Evolutionists are running scared of ID." "Standing annoyed and rolling their eyes" may be more the truth, as "running scared" reminds me of Bugs Bunny in flight yelling "Run for the hills, folks, or you'll be up to your armpits in Martians!"
How old is Ron dart? And, how relevant can a person be at his age?
That would seem to be the main problem confronting the Armstrong movement at this point. There are plenty of people who have assumed the role of elder statesman, but no underlying layers of vibrancy.
Because of HWA's longevity, old age was glorified within the WCG community. But, the fact is that most creative or influential people peak at a much younger point in life. There will always be exceptions, like the oft cited Grandma Moses, but the general rule is that one is a spent force, more or less coasting on past achievements by the time one reaches retirement age.
From comments Ron made about his age, I'd say he's in his mid-70s, a few years younger than GTA.
He was a freshman at AC in 1959, previously studying at a Baptist college when he started listening to HWA.
It was always a curious thing to see various evangelists and ministers wearing their toupee's. Seeing them helped point out the blatant hypocrisy of the ministurds vs. the sheeple.
If a woman wanted to wear some light make-up to make herself look more beautiful, it was vanity, but if a ministurd wanted to wear a toupee it was not vanity.
When Uncle Herb started screeching about makeup on women in the early 80's he did it with great vitriol against women and vanity. Then his ministurds got up in the pulpit and spit the same nonsense out, all the while wearing their poorly fitted rugs on their heads (unless of course you were Ron Kelly who reported had his held on with screws.)
Byker Bob said, “How old is Ron dart? And, how relevant can a person be at his age?
That would seem to be the main problem confronting the Armstrong movement at this point. There are plenty of people who have assumed the role of elder statesman, but no underlying layers of vibrancy.
Because of HWA's longevity, old age was glorified within the WCG community”.
MY COMMENT – Interesting point. The difference between HWA and the others who have assumed the role of elder statesmen is that the entire WCG community believed HWA would live to lead the Church to a Place of Safety and usher in the Wonderful World of Tomorrow. I remember speculation that the two witnesses were father & son Armstrong.
I don’t know of anyone of the assumed elder COG statesmen, other than the psychopath and false profit Ron Weinland, who has tied the return of Jesus Christ to his own personal life longevity on this earth like Herbert Armstrong did.
Years ago, on the road in a rented truck one long afternoon, I was unable to find an English language station more powerful than the ambient static. For a while I listened to a Spanish broadcast, proving how rusty my Spanish had become, so I continued my search for something, anything, to share my noisy solitude.
It may have been an FM station, but the singer sounded a lot like Gerald Bieritz, the wonderful baritone I'd heard sing "Special Music" in bygone years. I remembered the fantastic job he had done with the part of Elijah in an formal AC concert. The piano accompaniment sounded so much like the old AC way of doing things, that I continued listening.
The gentleman doing the talking didn't sound familiar, but his message was well prepared and interesting. When he finished, an announcer said the speaker was Ronald Dart. I was impressed, particularly because Ron Dart had always come across to me personally as a cold fish -- but this was different. The man had greatly improved, at least in terms of the personality on the air that afternoon. I've not heard him since, but that brief encounter was memorable, both for the speaking and the singing.
Perhaps being on his own, no longer having to rationalize loyalty to a boss who couldn't force himself to walk the walk, has made the difference. At any rate, he had something to say, and he said it well -- and hearing the musical introduction lifted my spirits. The good memory still lingers...
Deliberately staying out of the leadership and doctrinal restrictions of a COG lets Ron get away from what he called wedge issues.
Along with this is only a token reference to BI, saying the US and UK spiritually fulfill Jacob's blessing of Joseph's sons. Also interesting is that he says if anyone is interested in further information "on that" (referring to BI) they should contact him and he'll give them an address where they can follow it up. I wonder who he's pointing them to?
While Ron says he gets some criticism over his political remarks, I think he keeps his expectations reasonable.
I could imagine what the CLU, constitutional lawyers and even the Christian Right would do if Pres Obama took Dr Bob's advice. It's possible that he could get away with allusion to Lincoln's call for prayer and fasting, but -
"A man's got to know his limitations."
--- Harry Callahan
Post a Comment