"The idea that the western nations on earth today came from the descendants of the sons of Jacob whose name God changed to Israel is something that the elite intellectuals not only deny, but condemn."
Mark Armstrong, son of Ted and grandson of Herb, is an amazingly insightful commentator, as we all know. Somewhere, in an alternate universe, he's sitting in the big chair in an undemolished Hall of Administration, presiding over an unreconstructed Worldwide Church of God. That's the universe where Ted managed to oust Stan Rader and sideline Rod Meredith before the effluent valve blew in 1978. I imagine Mark, in that parallel reality, is ably backed up by the head of the Ambassador College theology department, Professor Robert Thiel, PhD., ThD. Joe Tkach is one of the deacons who hands out bulletin sheets for Auditorium AM services.
But back to Earth 1. Here Mark is holed up in East Texas, glowering out at the world from his ludicrously named 'intercontinental' bunker. It's a threatening world out there, what with people rabbiting on about global warming (what nonsense!), extending health care to those previously unable to afford it (socialism!) and the shameful travesty of a "black president". That's without even mentioning those nasty homosexuals (which Mark does, again, and again and again) who should, in any right and decent society, be tarred and feathered before being railroaded off to a gulag in Alaska.
But, here's the clincher, and I know we all will find this hard to grasp brethren: there are "elite intellectuals" out there who don't believe in BI! It gets worse (another exclamation mark needed)! These people actually condemn BI! They think it's (gasp!) racist!
No, I wouldn't make this stuff up (except for the alternate timeline of course, but then again, who knows?) Mark has once again risked rupturing his spleen in his latest Trump-friendly missive to the Intercontinentalites... hmm, maybe it would be more grammatical to say "missive to the incontinent". Whatever.
Of course, you have to discount all those articles in the Plain Truth that seemed to point to human-influenced weather calamities. And probably best to ignore those stories about Ted and his zipper problems (let alone the mention of a young Ted cruising the streets of LA for a 'manly encounter' - as recounted in Broadway to Armageddon). The important thing here, brethren, is that Mark has unknowingly identified many AW readers as "elite intellectuals".
I wonder if we can apply for a signed certificate...
You do know, don't you, that Garner Ted Armstrong is still alive, broadcasting from a secret bunker under Tyler, Texas? It's obvious if you go to the Intercontinental Church of God website and click on "Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Association". As they said in Red Dwarf, death is no longer an obstacle to a successful career (eventually the Association will get the holograms working -- look for the 'H' on the forehead of GTA).
So let us get this straight -- we can become elite intellectuals simply by disbelieving British Israelism? Is that supposed to be some sort of disincentive? Can we become 1%ers just by condemning BI? That would seem like a real plus. Personally, I've always wanted to be one of the elite, but never could figure out how to achieve it. Now, thanks to Mark Armstrong, all of us can achieve elite status.
But where does that leave poor Mark? His grandfather never even finished high school. Has he permanently eliminated the possibility of ever becoming elite and special? Has he not just shot himself in his foot? Maybe both feet?
Maybe instead of our getting a signed certificate, which we don't really need because Mark Armstrong has declared us to be elite, maybe we can give some sort of award to Mark -- you know, like the millennialist kindergarten equivalent of giving the losers in last place two silver stars so they don't feel bad about themselves, even if they are total losers and everybody else knows it.
During the decade leading up to the disappointment of 1975, I was in the Pasadena area attending AC for a couple of years, attending HQ church services, and working as an employee of the college. The children of GTA were always present and very noticeable, and I often wondered what it must have been like to grow up as one of the insiders of the founding family, and particularly as Mark, because he was the one of the three siblings with normal hearing and speaking abilities. At one point in time, there were great expectations placed upon him, and if GTA were the heir to the throne, the intentions were certainly for Mark to be groomed as some sort of heir as well. However, at that point in time, Mark appeared to be establishing his own identity, and his behavioral patterns often ran flagrantly counter to those outwardly taught by the church. Some observed that if he felt as if he could get away with changing his last name at that point in time, he probably would have. He not only had to face the geat disappointment as did we all, he also had to deal with his father's fall from grace, and all of the related implications that that brought into his own then young life. The empire in which he had grown up suddenly began to dissolve. It couldn't have been easy.
Also being a PK, I am sure that my parents expected me to eventually see the error of my ways, to return to the fold, and to begin taking a powerful role in the Armstrongite ministry. What they did not realize is that in order to do this effectively and convincingly, an individual must eat, sleep, drink, and breathe the Armstrong eisegetics, and spend a lifetime honing the attendant skills, so that one can be fast on his feet, grounded, and convincing. Even that is not any guarantee, as we all have observed. If you spend a lifetime acquiring other skills, and participating in activities outside of the scope of the belief system, then it is those skills at which you will be proficient. Age has much to do with this also. There is a time and date stamp, and a sweet spot, and those who don't apply themselves within that zone will generally not be able to catch up with those who have all along. This of course presumes that one has the requisite temperament, aptitudes, and skill set at the starting gate. Not all do, regardless of family heritage.
Unfortunately, Mark's written output often comes off as being from one of those who has returned to the game late, and is now attempting to catch up. He has not yet reached the point at which long term ACOG members, or ministers would take him seriously. He may be a little bit ahead of Bob Thiel, James Malm, and E.W. King in this, but not by much. But, hey, thanks, Mark, for thinking of myself and esteemed colleagues here as being elite intellectuals. I had imagined that that status applied to MENSA members and Rhodes Scholars.
So Gavin, what Mark Armstrong is saying is I am an intellectual elite for not believing in this BI bs crap? I knew only having a high school diploma and never attending college or university would eventually pay off! I'm now a 1%er - sweet. Where can I get a signed certificate? Can I also get a wallet size card as well? I can't wait to go to my low paying job tomorrow and let all of my fellow non-elite non-intellectual co-workers that I'm now in the 1%. Hey with that certificate maybe my company will promote me to head grounds keeper. I'm movin' on up - Sweet!
Mark Armstrong's words are pathetic. Demagogues have long made it habit to label people they do not like in such a way to make their followers believe that they are somehow heroic defying some snobs instead the truth is they are ignoring the strong evidence that shows British Israelism as the racist fraud it is.
At one point he even claims that the "world" thinks they are idiots. This is a rhetorical trick. Instead of dealing with the evidence that British Israelism is untrue he accuses the world of calling ICG members idiots in order to motivate them to stay in ICG and continue to believe British Israelism to, in their view, stand up against snobs. Believing in British Israelism is presented as empowering and proving oneself to be better then the "intellectual elites" they despise. This creates an artificial sense of elitism. He tells makes it about one's status and respectability instead of the evidence.
What pathetic and manipulative demagoguery.
So Mark Armstrong referred to President Obama as "the first black President" and rubbishes him. There are African Americans within the Intercontinental COG. What must go through their minds when they see him harshly condemn President Obama in such a way?
Redfox, as we all did from time to time during our own personal holocausts in Armstrongism, the A-A members most likely work to maintain "good" attitudes as defined by the church. This means avoiding being offended by any slights "God's" ministers deal out. It works for just so long as one can maintain the delusion that these ministers have members' best interests in mind. Once in a great while, one of them actually does. But when he does, it is a complete accident, and not a part of the cause-effect relationships resulting from the doctrines.
No doubt that is the case, Byker Bob.
You know, Mark Armstrong would have been much better off to say nothing.
By making this asinine statement, he's showing forth the irritation that all the Armstrongists are beginning to demonstrate and reacting to the years of pressure we've brought to bare against British Israelism.
This, of course, encourages us to make their lives miserable with the truth.
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