Sunday, January 29, 2006

Old Home Week at the PCG Compound

Prophet Flurry over at the Trumpet web site ( makes a plea in the current editorial for all of God's sons to return to Him. Flurry urges all ex-members to recall the glory days under Herbert Armstrong, the Elijah, and become like Elisha. The inference is that Flurry and to some extent the PCG is Elisha the Prophet crying, "my father, my father." If only the ex-members would return to their senses and to God they would come home to the Philadelphia Church of God. The eternal lives of these people hang in the balance.

Maybe I'm just getting too old and cranky. Perhaps I am truly lost and headed for eternal destruction. If it saves me from being ruled by Gerald Flurry, I think I will enjoy the peace and quiet of non-existence. There are many coggers I would rather not listen to for eternity along with the other zealots and religous tyrants of the past and present.

Many people are hung up on the idea of eternal life. It seems to be a top-seller among humans seeking devoted followers. We exist in a finite universe, and do not have the capacity of mind to contemplate eternity, but we want it anyhow. Most people don't want to die, myself included. That seems like a natural way of thinking for beings that know they are going to die. My guess is that bees don't spend a lot of time in churches praying.

A question one might ask is why do we think this way? Some say that god placed the human spirit in us. This is a black box in the human brain that you can't see on an MRI, but was invented by religious types as a matter of faith. It gives us our consciousness and the ability to ponder God. We can't detect it by our senses, but we know it's there because...why else would we act like this? Sound reasoning at its best. Oh yes, and this "spirit", well it can transcend the boundaries between the physical universe and the dimension beyond time (where god lives). Pretty slick.

I pose an alternate. Our genes combined with our environment make us act/react in the ways we do. No demon influences, no angelic hosts, no invisible spirits pushing and pulling at us. We are physical and act on physical changes in our bodies. That means thinking by electro-chemical changes in the brain.

Eternity--makes a nice bumper sticker, and fills the collection plate.

Friday, January 13, 2006

New Year's Predictions

The New Year has been rung in, many are working on their resolutions. Some at the PCG are considering revolutions instead.

"This year could bring major changes to the Middle East. The most dramatic will likely involve the Jews losing East Jerusalem—an event to watch for as Israeli elections approach in March."

The above quote is taken from As always the language is unclear. Every veiled prediction is qualified with words such as likely and could. Hardly language fitting for a prophet.

The staff here at the Lake has been sweating over our predictions for the New Year. It hasn't been easy, we do not put ourselves in the prophet or apostle class. Any predictions we make have only a bare chance probability of coming true.

Top 10 Predictions for 2006

1)Conflict in the Middle East will continue, including Iraq, and the Israel/Palestinian conflict.

2)Religious people all over the world will pray that God will wipe out their foes and restore true government and true religion to the earth. These people will continue to live isolated, non-charitible lives. Some will kill themselves in an attempt to please God. Men, not God will administer the required teachings.

3)Disease will continue in the world, killing millions this coming year. AIDS, malaria, influenza, TB and other diseases will top the list.

4)Earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and other natural weather patterns will occur.

5)Herbert W. Armstrong is dead for 20 years waiting for the resurrection.

6)The retirement fund of those left holding the bag at ex-WCG will continue to grow.

7)Dave Pack will buy several new suits and continue to brag about being God's man with The Plan. He will unleash several tirades against the opponents of God's Work.

8)For some people God's Plan will be vividly clear.

9)For some people God will continue to be a mystery.

and finally,

10)Gerald Flurry, in an attempt to trump Dave Pack will elevate himself to the status of a god, taking on the new name Dagon of the Philistine Church of God.

Have a happy and prosperous 2006.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Holiday Poetry

The holiday season is upon us and it seems that all the best sites are featuring poetic pieces. So, I have put together a little something I'd like to call...

Twas the Week Before a COG Christmas (with apologies to everyone)
Twas the week before Christmas
From the North to the South
The Prophets were crying,
"A pox on your house"

Gerry and Rod, Dave and yes Ted
He's still on the air
Yet he's definitely quite dead

Elijah has come, Elijah has gone
For twenty long years
He's been under the lawn

Faster than eagles
On wings he once flew
No Christmas for him
Nor Stan Rader, the Jew

Tsunamis still roll
Earthquakes still clatter
Apostles and Prophets know what is the matter

The Lord will descend in five
Maybe ten
The trumpet will sound at Armageddon

We're in the Last Hour
Last Minute, Last Tick
Last year for a parcel
From Jolly Saint Nick

So if you're out on the town
and spy a man in a suit
Briefcase in hand
and shiny new boots

White hair like the snow
His manner quite merry
And yes he does glow,
Nose red from the sherry

It's only a flashback
a dream or a spoof
Just like the man that comes
from the roof.

Happy Holidays.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Trade Your Mule for a Starship

Tis the season once again. For some to be merry, for others to dust off their quill, or website and start the yearly comparisons between Santa and Satan. Most like to point out that Santa is merely Satan spelled wrong, but a lot of us know that Santa really means Saint. The people warning us about Satan believe in a literal Lucifer the fallen archangel. I am not sure Lucifer exists, though my car did act up a few weeks ago. Could have been a demon attack.

Always ready with the answer, traditional coggers teach that Satan deceives us about his existence, making his job of destroying us a lot easier. They are not falling for it though, they know he walks around like a roaring lion waiting to get a toe in the door. And we know what happens if he gets a toe in--boom! Down comes the door and we get booted into the lake.

All religious holidays have their symbolism. It is when we ignore the symbolism and try to read a literal meaning into Biblical references that we get caught in the trap of proof texts, days and times, and the cycle of failing prophecy. For the good of all of us, lighten up a bit and see the underlying meaning of ancient religious practices. Parts of this book have not been updated for thousands of years!

Arguments over "the reason for the season" open up a real rat's nest of perplexing beliefs. Those nasty little details include the date of Jesus' birth, the virgin birth, non-Christian symbols and their appropriateness, wise men, stars and little drummer boys. There are some who even question whether Jesus existed, and can produce a fairly reasonable argument for their case. In the end most people behave in a manner taught to them by their family and society around them.

Two thousand years after the start of the Christian religion there is still no broad agreement on who or what God is and what he or she wants from us. Yet many persist in trying to convince others that they have the true path to righteousness. Labels get thrown around: heathen, pagan, barbarian, cult, Laodicean, Sardis and "the world". It's a mess and sometimes there is a war to set things straight.

For a long time I bought into the party line and withdrew from the world, came out of Babylon and spent many holidays alone while others celebrated and had a good time. I do not believe I resented it, I felt comfortable with that decision, I believed I was doing what God wanted of me. But it was a difficult struggle and I waited eagerly for those days to pass. Having gone through that experience, I do not believe that it contributed positively to my spiritual state, and it brought me closer to depression than to God. Armstrongism blames me for being weak in faith. I blame it for wasting my time.

I have since learned of the many false historical facts and religious beliefs preached by the WCG and can see that group for what is really was. I can also see that buying my grandmother a Christmas present would really not have been a huge deal. Too late now though.

My current view on Christianity is that it plays fast and loose with the facts of history and of science. To buy into it in its current form is asking too much. But I live in a society and a family that has parties and buys presents every year at Christmastime. I really do not want to live in a cave any longer, so my alternative is to share in those celebrations while maintaining my own self-respect. Yes, I do buy the odd present or two. But I don't go to any church services, or get mired in the myth and fable of the holiday season.

So to those that feel troubled at this time of year, and fight the loneliness on God's behalf I share my compassion. But I also believe that if there is an all wise and loving parent out there, his thinking would have to be way beyond the capability of those who wrote the Bible to even comprehend. Most of them rode mules. To that Being, all religious festivals and symbols would be utterly useless. The business of running a universe (or parallel universes) has little to do with ancient Hebrew slaughters, or Roman Saturn worship. Those are the domain of cave-men playing with sticks and stones.

I think God must be laughing at us somewhere, waiting for us to grow up.

Give a gift to the food bank this Christmas, and call your grandmother.


Saturday, November 26, 2005

A Message from your Future Leader

The following quote is from a person with the truth of God.

"Firstly, you may believe that HWA was a charlatan, but if we push that belief to its logical conclusion, it'd mean that you, I, and the thousands out there in cog-land were never called by God. For God does NOT call people to follow charlatans. This is not to say that HWA did not make mistakes, and lack understanding in doctrine and procedure. But the same is true of you and me. Yet we don't see ourselves as charlatans. Or do we?

Secondly, when it comes to the bible, I don't have any opinions. For an opinion is only the ignorance we express when we don't know the truth. If know the truth, why would we need opinions? Finally, it is said that imitation is the best form of flattery, provided of course we understand what we are saying."

It's this kind of short-circuited reasoning that traps many immature and unsettled people. Take apart the first paragraph, you get the assumption: "God does NOT call people to follow charlatans." The writer is sure that he knows what God does, and how God thinks and acts.

Also, is it possible that you or I were never called by God? Yes, it is at least equally possible one way or the other. Actually, coggish reasoning would have the probability of being called much lower than not being called given that "Satan has deceived the whoooooolllle world." How many times have you heard that one.

Making mistakes and not knowing correct procedures does not define charlatanism. The speaker is trying to dodge the real issue by throwing something else out to confuse the real matter at hand. Someone duped by a person perpetrating a fraud is not guilty of the fraud. This should be obvious. The people duped by HWA are not charlatans. Co-conspirators (ministers, evangelists, other henchmen) would be.

Beware of humans pretending to know the absolute truth. They have killed many millions of people. Claiming to know "the truth" about anything is a flawed human endeavor. We should not be too smug; reality sometimes proves us wrong a few hundred years down the line. In many cases these laws are good enough until something better comes along e.g. Newton's laws vs. Einstein's theories, God the Eternal vs Trinity vs Elohim.

As I have said before, religious zealots often get caught up in being right. They must be absolutely right in order to bolster their church's view of the world. To permit change is to admit failure. Failure in understanding what the church holds as truth. The implosion of the WCG shows us all what happens when a) you remove a tyrant b) you change church doctrine.

Ka-boom. Beware of falling tithes.


Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Lipstick and other Cosmic Questions

Master of Disaster Gerald Flurry has released the latest issue of the Trumpet magazine. I have not been fortunate enough to remove myself from the mailing list so far.

Inside is a littany of articles detailing the ultimate demise of Western, in fact worldwide civilization. The result of living contrary to God's Law.

Here are some of the article headings.

"Wake-Up Call"
"A Jewel in America's Crown-Lost"
"Urban Anarchy"
"Descent into Barbarism"
"Tragedy of Biblical Proportions"
"Israel's Bleeding Wound"

Those happy little eye-catchers are just from the table of contents. The chapter headings within the articles are jammed full of woe and foreboding.

One statement that jumped out at me was, "God controls the weather. The Bible says that earthquakes, droughts, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and tsunamis are anything but normal. These intensifying disasters are not God's fault. They are our fault. National tragedies are upon us, and will increase one hundredfold because of our disobedience to God's law and our rebellion against His authority."

[Note: The Bible also says that a donkey talked, and the earth stopped rotating.]

Same old song and dance. PCG logic is that God created a universal law. It is not His fault that you are disobeying this law because He created you a free moral agent. You could simply choose to do the right thing. In "Mystery of the Ages", Armstrong indicates that many have never even heard the name of Jesus. Think of a Chinese peasant living a few thousand years ago. So it seems that at some point along the line, like when Adam fell from grace, God gave up on humanity to follow their own devices.

But wait! God controls things like weather, and national governments. And God is calling out special people like Moses, David, Herbert Armstrong, and Gerald Flurry. So He is still playing with the works. Just like most things in cogdom, and in religion itself, there is always an answer. The answer is never clear, and the answer is never subject to scrutiny.

Religion asks, sometimes demands of us to believe in things that simply cannot be proved. When I say proof, I mean directly without needing any special middle man to show us the way. As our knowledge increases we understand things that people 1000, 2000, 6000 years ago did not. Why do we struggle with that? It seems very difficult, and I cannot explain why. We accept it in engineering and medicine, but we recoil at holding religious leaders to the same standard. At some level we feel comforted. But the facts rise up like a stench in our faces.

Millions upon millions murdered, misery, ignorance, hatred, politics, sexual scandals including multiple thousands of children abused. These are the things that religion claims to stand against. Yet these are the very things perpetrated by religion. Even the coggers that do not directly take part in war long for That Day when the Eternal descends with a shout and kills millions upon millions.

This kind of god seems like a human with bad behaviour given super-power status. Give me a real god for once.

Given that mahem and murder is gone out of fashion in most religious circles today, exception being radical Islam, many have taken to modernizing God's image. Ministers use the Bible to show attributes of God's nature that apply to today's surroundings. Pam Dewey's talk relating to the Matrix is an example of this. This is spin, and like putting lipstick on a 4000 year old pig. Nobody has answered the fundamental (or technical) questions around God's existence and what, if anything God requires of us.

Sure they claim to know, and they enjoy standing at the podium giving modernized presentations using their Dell Pentium 4 laptop or PowerBook G5 using their laser pointer. But the laser beam is still pointing at a black hole. A lot of people are talking, but God's not answering.

My current position on God, post cog, is very simple. God may exist. God may not.

Wishful thinking, circumstantial evidence (e.g. Moses saw His rear-end), rites or feelings will not bring God into existence. Also, we do not have the capability at this time to prove that beings other than ourselves do not exist in some other reality. We are stuck with reality as it presents itself.

Focus on the here-and-now and let eternity take care of itself. It's out of my control. All I can do is lead a peaceful life in harmony with nature and my neighbor.

Isn't that what God really wants anyway?


Saturday, November 05, 2005

The Apocalypse--Some Practical Considerations for Worldwide Domination

The following is a public service announcement from the Trumpet magazine.

With the Bavarian Benedict able “to win over and rally all the world’s
Catholics” and a rising political twin [Stoiber] who will likely lead Germany
and even Europe, it appears Europe’s future as a resurrection of the Holy Roman
Empire is coming very close to fruition.

The PCG's 2010 deadline for the end of the age places some near-term prophesies on the horizon. Yet, with less than 5 years to go, their articles are still laden with qualifications like "will likely lead". I am not a general, but I am thinking that it takes at least a few years to get an army ready for world domination. It takes things like trained soldiers, munitions, vehicles, planes, boats, nuclear weapsons and a public information campaign to name a few. The PCG's rhetoric must change to reflect confidence in their prophet--no more likes, maybes, or possiblys.

Germany is in fact spending on its military. For example, "The German Navy is seeking parliamentary approval for a contract for four Type F 125 surface combatants in the first half of 2006 and for the new warships to be commissioned at two-year intervals starting from 2012." This quote is taken from

Nothing seems to indicate the kind of spending and ramp-up required for an Apocalypse, beginning in a few short years. Another article outlining the stretched German military is located on the following site,

Some proponents of prophecy might point to the fact that the Beast power will be a combined force not just a single nation. However, doesn't it seem strange that the leader of such a massive effort is not super-capable in the final hour before battle?

Then there's the captivity part. Ever add up the total number of persons in "Israelite" countries? Try it some day if you are bored. If you are a future universe leader, you should have these numbers ready for the press conference. We're talking hundreds of millions of people here. Taking a round number like 500 million, even if 90% of them are left dead, that's still 50 million that must be carried off to the gulag. All of that requires ships for US (30 million), Canadian (3 million)and Australian (2 million) victims, and those walking from Sweden (800,000) will clog the roadways.

I checked the Carnival Cruises web site, and their largest ships hold around 3000 people. Given that the evil taskmasters will cram their captives in like sardines, let's up the capacity to 6000 people per ship. That's 5000 boatloads of captives from the US that must make a cross-Atlantic voyage. It was hard to determine the speed for an Atlantic crossing but one estimate puts it at 80 hours ( That's 400,000 hours total travel time, 16,666 2/3 days. Hey there are a lot of 666s in there, maybe I'm on to something after all. That totals over 45 years.

I won't continue this farsical exercise, but you can see from these crude numbers that to get everyone to the gulag before the trumpets start sounding, and to give the Laodiceans some repentance time, it would take about 30 top notch cruise ships going 24/7 for 730 days to transport 41,096 people per day at seven boats per day carrying 6000 people each. That number is probably not realistic given maintanance and other timing issues, and weather.

The raw numbers from this little exercise almost seem plausible, but they do not consider transit time from destoryed cities and rural areas, the manpower required to escort these captives and other resource issues. We saw recently the catastrophic results of Hurricane Katrina and the manpower required to handle a city of about 1 million. Can you imagine transporting 30 million people after a nuclear holocaust has destroyed infrastructure, and made the country radioactive in may areas?

Doesn't seem realistic when you look at the big picture.

This has been a small rainy afternoon exercise. The point behind it all was to think through just one of the many claims made by Prophets and Apostles. Such thinking and questioning is discouraged in many congregations resulting in accusations of disloyalty or demon-possession.

"Just believe", they say, "the Bible tells me so."