... from triple-doc Bob Th[D]iel.
It's one of three videos Bob delivers in his attempt to sell copies of his book on 2012. This one is entitled Mayans, the others are labeled Obama and Catholic. They're all available here, click on "more from."
If you're willing to invest three and a half minutes of your life in inane, rambling waffle, this is for you.
Actually Bob, how about a short YouTube video explaining all about that ThD you've got from TCU?
One could hope Malachy wasn't writing from the same ambiguous playbook of Nostradamus. If the next pope is a Benedictine though, it will definitely get interesting.
This does remind me of a car bumper sticker I saw once:
Jesus is returning!
Quick, everybody look busy!!
Gavin, Thiel's "Th.D. in Early Christianity" at the "T of CU" could mean the Dept. of Religion and Theology [T] at Concordia University [CU], which has a dr. degree in "Early Christian Studies".
That seems highly unlikely, but I'd be the first to concede, apologize and congratulate Bob if it turned out to be the case. Which Concordia University are you referring to (there seem to be several)?
These 2012 people are nutjobs. Please read up on what actual Mayan scholars are saying. In brief they are saying, "These 2012 people are nutjobs."
The Wikipedia article on the matter should help greatly.
Several questions for the good "Dr." Bob:
What solid rational reasons do we have for accepting such predictions - other than to supplement your income from sales of your book, or contribute to the profit margins of Sony Entertainment, that is?
Also, from a historical perspective, MANY other such prophecies from different cultures have been foretold, and to date, not ONE of them has EVER come to pass as foretold. So, why should we accept the Mayan prophecies you've written about here in your book over numerous other similar predictions made throughout history that have also been eagerly anticipated, only to fail, over and over and over, across many different eras and cultures?
Why should the Mayan's (or whoever else piggybacks upon them) predictions be any different from all the rest?
And by the way, NASA (and other) scientists are now seeing a fairly rapid DECREASE in solar flares, some thinking this could possibly be early evidence that the earth could be heading into a period of global cooling. This same phenomenon last occurred between the years 1645 and 1714, contributing to what many refer to as Europe’s Mini Ice Age.
Please explain this observation from real astrophysicists as opposed to the rather obscure ancient prophecies you've written about.
(Note: Questions are literal, not metaphorical.)
Gavin try this: could Thiel's "CU" be "California State Christian University" of Fullerton, California? Unfortunately, they have been alleged to have a history of handing out dr. degrees to friends as honorary degrees. There is a website, but no pictures of buildings, no identification of faculty...no known ThD/PhD alumni so far which were not honorary degrees...
The blog writer below brings out some background on CSCU. Does Theil's prefixed "T" stand for a claimed parent institution of CSCU, "Tae Han Theological Seminary" in south korea?
best I can do,
December 21, 2012.
Quick, mark you calendars !!
I guess no Christmas presents in 2012 :-(
You know, the burden of proof is actually on Bob Thiel here - as he is the one who has made these affirmative claims publically in the first place, whenever he first wrote them on his COG Writer website.
I'll still be checking out the validity of his claim to a Master's of Science degree in Systems Management from USC (presumably from the University of Southern California), but I'm not going to waste a great deal more of my time attempting to "crack the code" like a cryptographer trying to determine exactly where Bob got all his claimed degrees from.
The most commonly accepted way a real scholar or researcher informs the public of his academic credentials is by means of providing a standard (and clearly written) curriculum vitae.
The fact that Bob hasn’t provided this anywhere – in his book, nor on his publishing website, nutritional website, or his COG Writer website, is fairly compelling circumstantial evidence that he really isn’t all that desirous for people to be looking too closely into his actual academic background.
Whereas a real and honest scholar would welcome it – having nothing to hide or keep from close scrutiny.
But my gut feeling tells me that Bob, who is attempting to market a newly-published book these days, probability isn’t going to be all that interested in dealing with the potentially thorny issue of proving that his claimed academic credentials are legitimate by providing a readable curriculum vitae any time soon.
This is getting ridiculous, all this guesswork.
But then again, we are dealing with a supernatural religious fundamentalist author here, so this should not be all that surprising after all.
Where would the COG's be if there was a rule..."No thinking you know nor speculating about what you think maybe might happen based on flawed or imagined Biblical or non Biblical prophhecies."
They'd go flat out of business or end up like WCGracie spinning tales with smoke and mirrors about concepts that neither inspire nor make sense in real life.
I believe I will start the MCOG...
The Mayan Church of God. Should last about three years but I could make a killing....
I just viewed the other videos Bob Thiel put out there on YouTube.
You know, although he appears to be utterly sincere, I actually think this guy is despicable in the kinds of ideas and concepts he is attempting to sell to the public.
He, like all fundamentalists, just gratuitously leap-frogs to unsound premises, and then cheaply slaps together his wild assertions from there. He doesn’t carefully build with facts or demonstrate his case at all – and then he assumes his readers will just uncritically lap this stuff up? Well, I suppose many will.
His basic premise seems to me to be that all these so-called “prophecies” from the Catholic Church, from Kenyan folklore, other past cultures, and from the pages of the Bible are somehow TRUE and bound to happen in modern times. But where does he get this idea from? His own imagination? Where's the evidence for this?
Whatever Thiel’s message is intended to be, it clearly is aimed at gullible folks who know virtually nothing of history and who are unskilled in critical thinking.
As I remember, the Aztecs have/had a similar calendar, but their date corresponding to 12-21-2012 is a little off the Mayan version. I've forgotten now, but I think their big date is a year and a day different. Maybe 12-20-2011. Something like that. But 12/21/12 is more fun, with its ones and twos all back and forth like that.
With the Aztec information, we can stay up all night, trembling and quaking, twice. And the coffee next morning should be just as good both dates.
Lyle, thanks for the link to Wikipedia.
“The 2012 phenomenon is a present-day cultural meme proposing that cataclysmic or transformative events will occur in the year 2012. The forecast is based primarily on what is claimed to be the end-date of the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, which is presented as lasting 5,125 years and as terminating on December 21 or 23, 2012, along with plenty of speculation, such as interpretations of assorted legends, scriptures, numerological constructions, prophecies, and alleged channeling from extraterrestrials.”
Anyway, I present the following scenerio as a humorous yet possible reason why the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar may have ended in December of 2012.
A Mayan priest/astrologer is slaving away over his stone drawing board, all kinds of parchments and scrolls strewn all around him, his back humped, his eyes red with fatigue, carefully calculating out the calendar until he hits December of 2012.
His wife suddenly calls in from the firepit out front, “Hey, Pantu, forget about that ridiculous calendar! I just heard that there’s going to be a lot of human sacrifices tonight up at Machu Picchu, and I want to go watch the commoners get what's coming to them! Now, it’s either me and the kids, or that stupid calendar! So make your choice!
Anonymous 01:17:00 PM NZDT said, “With the Aztec information, we can stay up all night, trembling and quaking, twice. And the coffee next morning should be just as good both dates.”
MY COMMENT - And I still have vivid memories of the dark and cold January nights of 1972. I would hide in my bed under my covers trembling in fear of the beginning of the great tribulation as prophesied by God’s Apostle and the church’s ministry. Occasionally, I would get out from under my covers and look out my Laurel, Maryland bedroom window to see if I could see the Germans that were ready to strike in my neighborhood as God’s punishment on America. Years of sermons, co-worker letters and congregational chat had prepared the way for the final climax with the German attack. There was even a gruesome Armstrong booklet entitled “1975 in Prophecy”. According to Armstrong theology, the great tribulation was to begin in January, 1972. God’s Philadelphian people were to be taken to a place of safety in the Middle East land called “Petra” while the remaining Laodiceans were to go through the horrible great tribulation with the rest of the world, and Christ would return to earth in 1975 commencing the wonderful world tomorrow.
Down through history many versions of Richard's heart-rending account above have occurred to countless people, both adults and children, in both ancient and modern times.
Think of it.
And Bob Thiel (along with Gerald Flurry, Ron Weinland, Willie Dankenbring and who knows how many other WCG-inspired nutcases) is out attempting to profit from foisting yet another edition of the whole “prophecy” spiel on the unending mass of gullible folks who don’t know enough to be able to intelligently analyze, question and refute the puke that he’s so ardently spouting these days.
I think this is beyond pathetic – it’s absolutely disgusting.
And then people wonder why folks like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennet and the like come across as so adamant that all this religious supernaturalism and superstitious nonsense masquerading as “revealed knowledge from God” must be curtailed and not allowed to be taught along side of the demonstrable facts of science in our public schools systems!
He, like all fundamentalists, just gratuitously leap-frogs to unsound premises, and then cheaply slaps together his wild assertions from there. He doesn’t carefully build with facts or demonstrate his case at all – and then he assumes his readers will just uncritically lap this stuff up?
This is yet more evidence to suspect the authenticity of Bob's Ph.D. and Th.D.
Why? Because the very essence of any doctoral degree is the scientific method. No respectable degree program would graduate a student with such a deplorable absence of critical thinking skills.
and everyone was shaking in their boots in 999 too, waiting for "1000" to hit and end the world.
What is it about being in a COG? Someone joins, gets what he thinks is a "Bible Education", and starts to believe he knows enough to be the next end time apostle.
Years ago, in a WCG congregation in the upper midwest I met a man shortly after he had started attending. A few months later, this twice divorced man had determined that God wanted him to reconcile with his second wife (not the first, oddly enough), that he saw demons behind the actions of the judge in his divorce/custody cases, that single members at Christs return would remain flesh so we could first enjoy the marriage state, and that he was more spiritual - whatever that means - than Harmstrong.
And all this from what? A smattering of sermons, articles, tapes, and a whole lot of self importance and self righteousness.
Witness all these itty bitty COG splinters, each headed by some man that determined that God needed him to speak to mankind, or at least, his 40 member world wide organization. What arrogance! What vanity!
Now we have Dr. Bob playing evangelist, easing peoples minds over a non-issue and hoping to sell a few books at the same time. Nothing against selling books, but if you list your credentials, Bob, why not tell clearly what they are and where they are from? If you're ashamed to say they're from some garage university then just don't list them. Keep them for your own satisfaction.
When I was in my second class in statistics for my MBA (University of Phoenix) I found that one of my classmates was an AC alum. Not proud of his educational background, he said his undergrad degree was from a small, private college in the Pasadena area. I dropped a couple of hints about my time in Pasadena, but he never picked up on it.
If he had, maybe he wouldn't have asked my to provide him with the work needed to complete the course with a passing grade. What an ass. I had to do some refresher work at the beginning of the class on my own, and got almost a week behind, but having done that, I was now doing well and did pass the course with an "A". This jerk wants me do jeopardize my degree by letting him copy my work? Not the AC standard talked about in the sermons.
Shut up Bob. Go back to being a chiropractor or whatever it is you do. You're probably good at it and it's a better service to humanity than arguing against trumped up prophesies.
Bob's degrees, even if real, don't impress me. The quality of his research is described over on this post.
"What is it about being in a COG? Someone joins, gets what he thinks is a "Bible Education", and starts to believe he knows enough to be the next end time apostle."
VonHowitzer, now THAT indeed is a question truly worth looking into, isn't it? It would involve many complex factors that we just don't have the space to get into here on this blogsite.
But, simply stated, here's my take on it:
As I’ve tried to inform numerous fundamentalists who blog here (in vain, I’m afraid), you can’t just magically pole-vault to metaphysical conclusions that the empirical facts of reality simply do NOT lead to, and which you can’t even remotely establish as being true. Yet this is the very essence of the fundamentalist epistemological “method.”
(As you note, Bob Thiel appears to be doing this in order to project the appearance that his nutty 2012 prophecy views have the backing of legitimate scholarship.)
And I think this is so because the Bible presents its dogmatic assertions from the standpoint of authority, not of reason – essentially pushing for the “might makes right” argument. And fundamentalists, wishing to align their minds with the inerrant Word of God, follow suit as ardently as they can.
Thus I contend that such fundamentalists merely PRETEND to have a form of knowledge they don’t actually possess. Instead, they mistake belief, desire, feelings, wishful thinking, spiritual tradition and sometimes outright mystical experiences like dreams and visions for legitimate knowledge. And this dangerous dynamic can easily lead one down the road to religious delusion (or to the claiming of false or misleading academic qualifications!).
But as I’ve tirelessly tried to point out time and again, there is an absolutely critical distinction that must be made between BELIEF and FACT.
And really, given the anti-intellectual environment so prevalent in all fundamentalist groups like the COG’s, and given the certain personality temperaments that tend to be inevitably drawn to the supernatural worldview, plus the possible added factor of underlying and undiagnosed mental illness in many of those folks, and past personal histories of drug and alcohol addiction (very prevalent in the old days of the WCG) – add any combination of some or all of these factors together, and I think it’s a fairy easy leap for some folks to delude themselves into thinking that the Creator of the universe has now chosen to use them as a vessel to reveal His Truth to the world.
I’m currently going through an audio course entitled “The Terror of History: Mystic, Heretics and Witches in the Western Tradition” – and just recently the professor gave a fascinating lecture on the subject of “Jewish Millennial Expectations.” Religious delusion has an extremely long and rich history, and incredible staying power since it has endured over the span of many centuries. Many Messiah figures have arisen, garnered a following, only to have their predictions fail repeatedly. But it’s something many people seem drawn to over and over again.
It seems to be the same essential dynamic repeating itself each new generation or so.
"The greatest lesson of history is that we do not learn very well from history."
I'd like to hear the opinions of people who are rank and file members of LCG. I'm sure some post anonymously here, and could share whether they find Dr. Bob's writings helpful and credible, whether they respect his degrees as being valid, and whether they feel that all of his work in maintaining COGwriter enhances and detracts from the mission of LCG.
Probably a site such as Bob's would not have been allowed by HWA in the old WCG. To that extent, he is unique.
Mike (Don't Drink the Flavor Aid), I went over to your supplied link, and scanned through it.
You wrote there:
"I've asked Doctor Bob on more than one occasion to provide his sources…so I could read them for myself. So far they haven’t been produced -- just vague references to some newsletter he might have read. I rather doubt that any such evidence exists, at least not from any reputable source."
Yes indeed, this does tell a LOT about “Dr.” Thiel’s terrible research and critical thinking skills. But that's been my experience with many religionists.
Again I say, it all goes back to my assertion that simple TRUTH, factual EVIDENCE and legitimate KNOWLEDGE doesn't count for all that much in their zany ideologically-driven belief system.
What really matters to them is whatever dramatic or sensationalistic nonsense can be easily slapped together and affixed to their many assertions in order to provide “proof” that appears to support their God-given revelations and other wacky beliefs they cling to. They have become so habitually used to the “Believe what I tell you or suffer the wrath of God” mentality such that it becomes unconscious second-nature to them, and I don’t think they ever actually realize they’re doing it.
They just expect readers to gullibly, passively and unquestioningly accept the momentous things they have to say about this, that or the other thing, and to hades with the need to provide verifiable information that others can look up for themselves.
In this Thiel is no different from the many other fundamentalist believers who frequently blog here.
Here’s a site (www.degreeverify.org) that academic degrees can be verified on.
However, there’s no guarantee that Bob’s alleged alma mater’s will be listed there since he refuses to specify the exact name of the schools he says he has earned degrees from. The list of institutions on the site is by no means exhaustive, nor does it include schools located outside of the United States.
Plus, there is a fee for EACH verification you request. Each separate school has a different fee (ranging from $6.50 to $11.50 in U.S dollars).
For example, I intended to spot check just ONE of Bob Thiel’s many degree claims: the Master’s of Science degree in Systems Management from USC - which I presume to be the University of Southern California (fee: $11.50 US). But, there are other educational institutions that have these very same initials, like University of Southern Colorado (fee: $6.50 US), University of South Carolina (fee: $8.00 US), etc.
Furthermore, here's part of the agreement requesters must agree with:
“A Requestor may obtain information from the Clearinghouse under this Agreement on behalf of an employer, employment agency, background screening firms or similar organizations, and may release the information to that other entity. The Requestor agrees that it will not otherwise release, transfer, distribute, share or redisclose any information that it has obtained from the Clearinghouse to any other entity or individual, whether for sale or free of charge, except to the student or certificate holder whose information was verified...”
And another legal requirement:
“In accordance with DegreeVerify’s terms and conditions, you must obtain the student’s signed and dated consent before submitting an online verification. In some cases, schools will not research their records for the student’s information until they see the signed consent.”
Bottom line: I’m not willing to spend my hard earned cash playing Bob’s deceptive“Try-to-figure-out-what-the-initials-mean” game - and even if I was, I would not legally be able to disclose that information here on the AW blogsite with the rest of you.
But I provide the above link for those who are so inclined.
The FACT that Bob Thiel refuses to publically specify in plain English the EXACT names of the educational institutions he claims to have attended, and the EXACT degree titles in a standard curriculum vitae should tell us that our suspicions are more than justified that Bob is indeed “padding” his academic resume to impress his readers.
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