Wednesday 23 September 2009

The Plain Truth - Fruit Loop version

Behold, a dedicated "Plain Truth for Wingnuts" site. Links to World Net Daily? Joe "the bi-bull expert" Kovacs? Yup, the fruit loops are breeding. Subtitled "God's hand behind today's news," these nutburgers have managed to snatch the URL Huh? How did Joe or Greg manage to let that slip by? Remember when the WCG registered (and variations thereof) a few short years ago in order to stop AW from using it?

So who runs the idiot's clone of the PT? Click on the "about" link and you'll get a blank page... big surprise! Is the anonymous editor, cowering in the background, consciously attempting to copy the Plain Truth magazine of the past? Well, yes: read the intro to this posting and he makes it very clear.

Although our Plain Truth website has NOTHING to do with Armstrong or any Church (we are NOT a church organization) we do try and show our readers that to understand the news, one must understand God and HIS word. All the answers are there....

He then goes on to reproduce an article by your favorite Apostle and mine.

"God's hand behind today's news"? Nope. That's not God's hand bub, it's yours. And if you keep doing what you're doing with it, folk wisdom says you'll go blind.


Leonardo said...

The man claims that "one must understand God and HIS word."

OK, fine.

But, like I keep reminding our dear friends Byker Bob and Dr. Larry, if he really wants people to buy into this claim, then he FIRST must clearly demonstrate:

1) the God of the Bible's actual existence, and

2) that the collection of ancient writing now known as the Bible is indeed His Word.

Only THEN he might legitimately claim a little credibility to explain world events.

Until he does this, he’s just magically pole-vaulting to imaginative premises and thus blowing a lot of hot fundamentalist air.

Leonardo said...

Gavin, I visited the link to this site, and quickly scanned the kinds of articles this guy offers, and the topics of most of them pretty much says it all: yet another ultra right-wing fundamentalist blowhard claiming “inside information” of what’s REALLY going on.

So nothing really new there.

However, I scrolled down to one article which pointed out a book entitled "Nothing Created Everything" by a guy named Ray Comfort.

I went out to Wikipedia and found that Ray Comfort is a Christian minister originally from New Zealand.

So, my question is: do you have any knowledge about this guy or his ministry?

I noticed another title he authored is called "Evolution: A Fairy Tale for Grownups" - the bylines about the book boldly proclaiming:

"Millions of people believe in the theory of evolution. This alarming fact is proof of a massive amount of human ignorance. Ray Comfort’s radical book is a call to wake up and think—to consider the theory of evolution and see how this unscientific theory collapses under scrutiny."

Wow, that's quite a statement – but there’s a big difference between “saying” one can do this, and actually DOING it! Noble prizes and scientific awards by the boatloads await the person who can actually pull this off! Besides, what most folks are totally unaware of is that this claim has been being made by Christians now for about 150 years, and the hard evidence for evolutionary theory has only grown to massive proportions in the meantime.

But I’m considering purchasing both of his books to see what his arguments actually consist of. So, anybody have any other information on this fellow. I just want to know if his work is actually serious, and not just a boring recycling of the same old creationist arguments that have been soundly refuted time and time again.

Anonymous said...

I believe that may be Ron Dart behind the door.

        AMERICAN KABUKI said...

Anyone know if Robert and Tammy Barney are in the PCG?

Not sure if this is the ISP or the actual holder of the domain. Tamco Enterprises shows up in Bartlesville, OK which is not all that far from Oklahoma City.

Tamco Enterprises
(918) 333-8532
201 NE Washington Blvd Ste A
Bartlesville, OK 74006

You can view this illustrious piece real estate here:

The Plain Truth

Excerpted from the website description:

Today's news and God's role behind the news.


431 West 25th Street
Norfolk VA 23517 US


Robert R. Barney
757 436-1421

Related Domains


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Tamco Enterprises
c/o Network Solutions
P.O. Box 447
Herndon, VA 20172-0447


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Administrative Contact :
Barney, Tammy
c/o Network Solutions
P.O. Box 447
Herndon, VA 20172-0447
Phone: 570-708-8780

Technical Contact :
Barney, Tammy
c/o Network Solutions
P.O. Box 447
Herndon, VA 20172-0447
Phone: 570-708-8780

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Database last updated on 17-Feb-2009

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        AMERICAN KABUKI said...

Oh this is just too FUNNY! Tamco Enterprises are Vacuum Cleaner Salemen!!!! They aren't even an ISP!

Tamco Enterprises
Vacuum Cleaners
201 NE Washington Blvd Ste A, Bartlesville, OK

Suck up that tithe money!

Anonymous said...

Wow, 17 million Plain Truths a month! I think that number has some inflation in it.

As I recall, back in the day (mid 1980's), the most WCG ever claimed was 6 million a month. And even if you believe the 6 million figure, 90% of those were distributed via the "newstand distribution program". Translation: they ended up in the trash within an hour after they were placed on the newsstands.

As I remember, HWA used to assume 3 readers for every PT, which he called a "very conservative assumption", and claim perhaps 17 million readers. An extremely dubious claim at best.

After several months of distributing 6 million PT's, Satan attacked God's church financially and they were unable to keep spending more than was coming in. Many in God's church "didn't get it" and "lacked faith", failing to realize they were in the "gun lap" and failing to increase their donations. In effect they "stole from God", since all their money was really God's anyway.

Go figure.

The Skeptic

        AMERICAN KABUKI said...

If I remember correctly the printout I generated in 1985 from the merging of the Master file with the International data, the figure was about 6 million physical PTs mailed, and another 1 million in the newstand program. That was about the peak.

We knew from the statistical studies we ran that most of the newstands were ending up in dumpsters, and we told people that. But that knowledge did nothing to deter publishing and circulations from bragging about the program.

More PTs just meant more budget for Ray Wright and more staff for Mail Processing. It was about feathering nests.

HWA knew that membership levels tracked PT circulation, as there was a pretty constant 1/10 of 1 percent who were members at any stage. Since the late 1950s the WCG had a 30% turnover rate of baptized members leaving, being disfellowshipped or marked. So HWA had to keep people coming in to maintain the income stream. He kept an eye on those figures.

That was really when my eyes began to be opened about the nature of the organization. If those who left the WCG were going into the Lake of Fire (as we were taught) then God was pretty wasteful of human beings. That never sat well with me.

Dionysius de Gallo said...

Is it the "hand of God behind the news" really? How does one know this and how evil does that make this God who is behind things but never out front of them?

Do humans have to see God behind the news because they cannot abide the fact that it's other humans causing it all?

Do we think that just as Jesus is "about" to return, the God behind the news is "about" to intervene for us?

Does the "almost" give us the hope we need on a planet gone nuts, just to want to stay here?

As we know, Plain Truth has rarely proved either Plain or True. The NT uses the phrase, "The Present Truth" which at least is a bit more honest and acknowledges the ever changing nature of truth.

Personally I have presently concluded that the reason God can't intervene in human events and can't be the hand behind it all is because Jesus himself is sitting on his right hand making any action on the part of God quite impossible until Jesus gets off his bottom as well.

Leonardo said...

I worked for the Publishing Department and used to do visual graphic checks on the PT magazine, and so I can verify that Bamboo_bends is essentially correct in the numbers provided.

The mid '80's saw a peak of around 7-8 million issues (including newstand issues). The 17 million stat existed only in the wishful thinking of HWA, and of course other true believers around HQ at the time. But the objective stats said otherwise.

As Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said:
“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”

But imaginative made-up factoids was the stuff that WCG theology primarily consisted of.

If God's Apostle HWA said it, then it MUST be true.

Bamboo_bends is also right about the turnover rate of the WCG. My understanding was that within the time frame of about every ten years the Church had a 50% turnover rate in membership.

Anonymous said...

"I just want to know if his work is actually serious, and not just a boring recycling of the same old creationist arguments that have been soundly refuted time and time again."

Ray Comfort is your usual high profile Kreationist bottom feeder. They all recycle the same old arguments.

The Apostate Paul

Leonardo said...

Apostate Paul, thanks for the feedback.

Yes, once I further saw from investigation of Ray Comfort’s website that his work is supported by the likes of Josh McDowell (of “Evidence That Demands A Verdict” infamy) that was pretty much all I needed to know that his research most likely wasn’t any kind of serious work. (Josh McDowell’s pop works are even a joke among serious Christian apologists.)

Unfortunately, Comfort’s recent book on evolution (“Nothing Created Everything”) was not listed on Amazon so I couldn’t check out any customer reviews, but his “Evolution: a Fairy Tale for Grownups” was, and the handful of reviewers there confirmed that he’s just desperately grabbing into the old creationist magic hat for obsolete worm-eaten arguments that are still popular with fundamentalists, even though they’ve been discredited by serious scientists for many decades now.

I wonder if these folks can ever come up with some relevant arguments for a change, instead of just trotting out the old worn-out standards.

Well, what could I expect considering the website I originally saw these books advertised on anyway?

Why do I keep expectantly looking for some serious research to emerge from folks like this? Could it be I secretly harbor the fantasy of returning back to the comforting fundamentalism of the classic WCG?! Or am I getting ready to move up to the next rung of recovery from Armstrongism in the hopes that I can one day attain the heights of understanding of my hero, Byker Bob?

Naw! As the Apostle Paul, would say, “God forbid!!”

Anonymous said...

"The defining characteristic of all arguments with creationists is how damned ignorant they are...these advocated of creationism are typically loud and certain and have invested much time and effort into apologetics, but when you sit down and try to have a serious discussion with them, you quickly discover that their knowledge of basic biology is nonexistent.

It's worse than that. We're used to freshmen entering our classes who don't know much about the basics, and we can deal with that; these, though, are people with negative knowledge, whose brains are so packed with raging falsehoods that we have to struggle to overcome an unfamiliar hurdle.

For example, last year I got into a radio debate with a Discovery Institute creationist, Geoffrey Simmons. He had written a whole book for creationists arguing that there are no transitional fossils…yet he had never heard of any of the major fossil discoveries in the whale series, and seemed to have gleaned all of his understanding from a garbled misreading of a short Scientific American article.

It's infuriating. You want to argue against evolution? Then you'd better have some elementary understanding of what evolution actually says.

I have no illusions that we'll suddenly see a blossoming of enlightenment, but we now have tools to help us, a whole series of recent books that cover the basics. Everyone should read at least one of these, especially if you're one of those clowns who wants to argue that there is no evidence for evolution. Read and understand, please; we've already got enough idiots who claim to have read them and didn't grasp anything in them.

Read Donald Prothero's Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters(amzn/b&n/abe/pwll). Or Sean Carrol's The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution(amzn/b&n/abe/pwll). Or Neil Shubin's Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body (amzn/b&n/abe/pwll). Or Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution Is True(amzn/b&n/abe/pwll). These are all eminently readable, and are aimed at an audience that knows next to nothing about biology — they will quickly pull you up to a level at which you can at least ask intelligent questions. We even use Carroll's book here at UMM in our freshman biology course, with the idea that it will introduce them to the concepts they should have gotten in high school, but most didn't."

        AMERICAN KABUKI said...

Bamboo_bends is also right about the turnover rate of the WCG. My understanding was that within the time frame of about every ten years the Church had a 50% turnover rate in membership.

That figure might be correct. My 30% turnover stats were a running average back to 1959 to 1985(I believe - its been a few years). I don't recall checking what the average rate of loss was for the years 1975-85.

To clear up another myth, they did not keep personal information on the computer files, other than baptism date, disfellowship date, Date marked, Date reinstated, etc.

But that bit of personal privacy was probably due more to the expense of disk drives at that time that would be needed to hold all that data.

The most secure data files were the legal department text search engine (XMODE) and the field level encryption on accounting data fields. The encryption was a bit like the IDEA cypher, but invented in-house. I think Gary Shay found once that it was easily cracked if if you knew the algorithm and at least one item of data.

When Joe Tkach Sr came to power, he had Cletus and a few other highly trusted women enter into the text search engine every scrap of paper HWA ever saved. He did this so he could search for any subject about HWA's life.

Somewhere in a converted salt mine in Missouri, Nebraska or Kansas sits some magnetic tapes with a world of personal information about HWA's life.

They actually had some really state of the art online systems, far more advanced than anything IBM was selling, but they threw it all out for IBM PCs during Joe Tkach Jr's "modernization" plan.

Leonardo said...

Anonymous 10:31, it was truly refreshing to read your insightful comment about evolutionary theory, and the appalling ignorance of those who attempt to refute it.

It’s true: most fundamentalists are almost completely ignorant of what evolution is or what it actually does, though they speak with confident certainty that it is “unscientific” and “about ready to crumble in the light of the most recent advances in science.”

Yeah, right – and recently discovered scientific evidence now shows that the sun revolves around a flat disc-like earth!

I’ve attempted many times to discuss this delicate and controversial subject – although probably the single most proven of scientific insights of all time – with COG friends I still have, and am always astounded how dreadfully little they actually know about it, which in about 99% of the cases is literally NOTHING. All they “know” is that it’s totally wrong and unscientific.

Wow, what is wrong with this picture?! Vehemently disagreeing with something you know virtually nothing about?

Well, there you go, in the great COG tradition!

Honestly, I’ve often thought that of all the fundamentalist nonsense HWA taught the WCG, probably the single most teaching that has caused the greatest amount of damage in terms of keeping people in the medieval mindset of the Dark Ages is the erroneous belief that evolution is “only a speculative theory” and completely unproven.

And so now the COG tradition remains to this day one of attacking the cartoonish caricature of evolution promoted so ardently by the creationists, and to a lesser degree by those in the Intelligent Design movement. One of the most blatant of straw man arguments I’ve ever seen.

Evolution was a vital subject that I was extremely ignorant of during my WCG days, and of course, following along in the WCG party line, I would ridicule it while not knowing a thing about it!

But you know who called me on the carpet regarding the subject? – an old college buddy of mine who was then a WCG pastor up in Canada! Yes, you read that correctly – a WCG minister openly challenged the brash (though totally ignorant) anti-evolution comments I was boldly asserting in his presence one night at a dinner table!

He had been studying the subject intensely for several years by that time. It all began after being questioned on it by a college-age potential member (who was majoring in geology) during a ministerial visit, which turned out to be the beginning of an attempt on the part of the pastor to show once and for all “how false the concept of biological evolution really is.”

But he was an HONEST man, and when he began to see from his own exhaustive studies at a nearby university library how much irrefutable evidence had accumulated in support of biological evolution, he was stunned to the point of, one night after leaving the library when it was closing, looking up at the starry night and just weeping aloud uncontrollably for some time because it hit him like the proverbial “ton of bricks” that what he had taught all those years as a WCG pastor was wrong – and that this study into evolution, if he chose to remain honest with the objective facts, would require him to totally question everything he had stood for, believed in and lived by his whole adult life.

Fortunately, he chose the path of intellectual honesty and integrity over a paycheck, eventually resigned from the WCG ministry, and even wrote a book on his personal odyssey called “God and Evolution? - The Implications of Darwin's Theory for Fundamentalism, the Bible and the Meaning of Life.”

Byker Bob said...

You forget, Leo. I actually do believe in the theory of Evolution, and in the Big Bang! I just believe that these were some of the natural tools that Father God lovingly used to guide creation (Einstein helps us understand the time frame and other relativity issues). For me, evolution is in a similar category with the law of gravity, or second law of thermodynamics.


Leonardo said...

Byker Bob writes:
"I just believe that these were some of the natural tools that Father God lovingly used to guide creation "

Bob, "I just believe..." is the mantra of fundamentalism because they can produce no intelligible proof in support of their beliefs.

And, as I often tell you, you can truly believe whatever you want. Proving it, however, is an entirely different thing.

We have plain, demonstrable and abundant evidence for the Big Bang, thermodynamics, etc. But WHERE and WHAT exactly is the evidence for your "Father God" again?

And another question about your view: how can a “loving” God use the incredibly bloody, savage, wasteful, competitive process that evolution clearly is?

Am eagerly awaiting a detailed and intelligible answer from you for once - not just another briefly-worded vague assertion.

Byker Bob said...


Are you too lazy or closed minded to read your own Bible? I can't read it for you or open your mind so that you might understand. Poll after poll indicates that you atheists are such a very small minority, yet you constantly indicate that your group is the only one possessing any intelligence. I think that all of the HWAcaca simply made you and others angry with God. One of two things is going to happen sometime during the balance of your life: 1) God will succeed in getting in touch with you, or 2) He won't.

Bill F was so cool in sharing some of the details of his NDE here with us. Here was our fellow student, who was literally pulled out of the classroom for an experience with God! He then returned to the class, attempted to share, which should have been huge! I mean, we should still be discussing it now! But, this profound event was treated very superficially, and quickly allowed to die a quiet death. Shows how closed some of those claiming to be the most open minded tend to be.


Byker Bob said...

Oh, BTW, Leo. You don't get to set the criteria of discussion. That always stacks the deck. I'll continue to share, but in a manner of my own choosing. Deal with it!