Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Fleecing the Flock from the Top Down

God's Government. Those who have spent any time with the WCG and its offshoots have heard a lot about it. Herbert Armstrong thought he had it then changed his mind and implemented something more resembling the Vatican than what we see in the New Testament. That Prophet and others are adamant that they are God's governors on Earth and that they will be slotted into the Heavenly Hierarchy as soon as the Last Trumpet sounds. But what have we learned about hierarchies? What have we learned about governance from the WCG and its offspring?

The WCG today hardly resembles the organization it once was. Organizational structure was one of the most significant things that Joe Jr. and his band of merry men kept in place. That structure is what keeps you and I from demanding our money back in a class action lawsuit. It is allowing Joey and a select few individuals to be the sole benefactors of 50 or more years of giving. Individuals lived in poverty and sacrifice responding to Armstrong's endless pleas for more money. Even those on the payroll are not safe. Everyone that can be let go will go to cut costs and increase owner equity. The owner: Joe Jr.

Articles and whole books have been written on Herbert Armstrong's spending habits. Web sites have documented pianos, gold, crystal and private jets. Warning: if your Apostle has his own jet and you are eating SPAM then something's wrong. I don't intend to document Armstrong's follies with the checkbook again here. Suffice to say that things just didn't go off the track with Joe Jr.

If you are living in a Western style democracy then it should be obvious that the government exists to serve the needs of the governed. In the past it was often the reverse. The government existed to serve the needs of a king or other regent. Flurry has stated that this is the type of government that God will implement in the Millennium. Several leaders seem to get giddy when shouting that God will rule with a rod of iron. Just after he spanks the nations. They see themselves as one of those that will be breaking the rest of us as potsherds.

The justification for this is always, "God is perfect. We will be perfect when we become gods. Therefore it would be silly not to demand total obedience." On the surface this appeals to some people. The assumptions are that there is a perfect, loving and caring God Family that will show us the way, and that if we don't "get it", they will kill us. Some say we will have 100 years to "get it".

How comfortable are you with your COG leader wielding omnipotent power over your life? Have you allowed this to be done already on a human level? Do you think that having unlimited power gives perfect character and the ability to teach and lead? Power=Power. That's all.

What has your organization done for you lately? Your community? The homeless? The hungry?

God's Government is not responsible for them? Pity. Just send your tithes to HQ and wait for the next financial statement.

Keep the Heat On

Mr. Asbestos

Monday, March 28, 2005

We're all Dupes

Meanwhile, down on the compound Gerry the Rockin' Prophet has unleashed another editorial in this month's Trumpet.

In the article Gerry utters, "We learn nothing from history. The “endless repetition” of catastrophes will continue until we become victims. That is what happens to dupes!"

Seems a little harsh. Perhaps a dog wandered too near the prayer rock that day.

Gerry covers a topic familiar to his readers. The warning message of Winston Churchill. Flurry often draws comparisons between himself and Churchill. Winston Churchill was called to save the Israelite countries, Flurry has a mission that has much more universe-shaping potential and comes with its own compound. Perhaps when the Trib draws nigh Gerry will don his hat and coat and start quoting Napolean. According to That Prophet the end should be around 2010. Though I am not sure if he means The End, Last End, Final End, Final Hour or Last Second. We will know when we see Herb coming in the Millennium Falcon to swoop Gerry off to Petra. In case you haven't heard, backing Gerry is your ticket to Petra.

One of the things that irks me with Flurry's message is that he seems to be itching for an all-out war. Time after time he berates America and Britain for being soft on, well, everybody. They've lost the pride of their power. Won their last war. Won't use their power. Scared to fight. No real men left. Leaving Iraq too soon. Need to teach Iran a lesson. Then at the end he closes with, "Thankfully, this is all leading directly to a peaceful and happy civilization. “It is darkest just before the dawn.” Thank God the sun is about to rise in this dark and evil world."

Seems to be saying that he wishes the US would blast "the Gentiles" from the planet. But he is willing to accept a compromise. Either the EU will take care of the situation or JC and the boys will clean house. Either way Gerry gets his body count.

Don't look for death Gerry. Enjoy life. Be kind to a stranger. Sponsor a child. Make a compassionate difference in this world. Maybe that will prepare you for the next one you so dearly long for.

Keep the Heat On,
Mr. Asbestos

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Spanky the Exhalted Rod of Correction

Just when I was about to turn my focus to other issues there seems to be more happening on the LCG front. Don Haney dared to breathe some fresh air and spent some time free thinking. Retribution was swift and the Rod of Correction was quick to
separate such a dangerous man from the flock. A letter was written by the apostle in waiting detailing a long list of sins on the part of Mr. Haney. I have summarized them as follows.

Personal attacks
Causing Division
Being the tool of Satan as Satan tries to discredit and confuse God's people (twice)
Going public
Not being a Team Player (I think he stole this from Dilbert)
Trash-talking the brass
Having unusual ideas
Making accusations
Being Satan-like (again)
Making accusations behind the backs of the brass
Causing Division (again)

Meredith quotes a letter from an enlightened member which states,
"I believe this letter [Haney's] to be a direct attack by Satan, and am quite sure that Mr. Haney has absolutely no idea what he does. Neither at the time I'm sure did Terry Ratzmann—which tragedy Mr. Haney is using as a platform to promote his own theories, and self-promotional opinions."

Meredith concurs with, "Dear brethren, the above letter certainly spells out the true nature of this situation." He then sums up with the following conclusion, "So any of you who follow this misguided man will soon find yourself in a "blind alley." You will end up in a tiny little group— cut off from having an effective part in the very Work Jesus Christ is doing in these last days. You will demonstrate to God—and to the loyal brethren—that you are able to be easily deceived and turned aside even over comparatively small issues."

Tiny, ineffective group? Perhaps Meredith should reconsider that statement given that a billion or more other Christians are celebrating Easter this weekend.

The strategy being used here has been around for about as long as humans have divided themselves into groups. Each group has cherished opinions, customs, Truths or skin colors that set it apart from other groups. History seems to show that only rarely do those in control decide to share authority.

The LCG form or government sounds all too oppressively familiar.

Group's leader: often aggressive male type either physically or psychologically threatening
Group members: in general agreement with group leader for reasons that work for them
Group's customs: beliefs or traits that make people feel special and set apart from other groups

What happens if someone in the group causes a stir? Someone stands up and says, "Hey. Why am I living in a trailer park eating pure beef Spam while the Grand Poobah is flying around the world in a private jet at my expense?"

Grand Poobah gets really riled at someone pushing at his cheese. He likes the control and the high living. Grand Poobah must therefore create a great threatening display of anger perhaps involving the waggling of jowels, finger shaking or Bible thumping. A few quoted verses from the sacred writings of the group are also helpful. The stiree is labeled with many anti-group names to make that person threatening and undesirable. Sometimes that person is offered a chance to humble herself before the group and remain a member with lesser standing.

In severe cases where the stiree has caused a greaaaat fuss such has not been from the beginning of the...(sorry flashback)...that person is said to have a daemon. Or in the worst of cases is in fact Satan's mouthpiece.

This scenario plays itself out all too often and sometimes results in witches being burned or heretics parted with their inner organs. In modern times burning at the stake is illegal except maybe in Texas. The outcast is left to suffer the psychological burden of a fate worse than death--the Second Death. Yes, friends. The Lake of Fire.

Keep the Heat On,

Mr. Asbestos

Friday, March 25, 2005

Theological Thermodynamics

Such a fitting topic for the Lake of Fire blog. Theological Thermodynamics.

Dr. Jeffery Fall writes the following paragraph on the LCG web site.

"God’s intention is that you receive this powerful spirit body, no longer subject to the second law of thermodynamics. But, God knows for you to be happy and fulfilled, as such a powerful spirit being, it isn’t enough to simply change your body, your mind must also be changed. Your mind needs to be fully trained in the way of peace and harmony and outgoing concern. What good would it be if one lived forever and yet had an angry, rebellious, miserable state of mind? Who would want to be miserable forever? God wants you to demonstrate in your life now that God’s way of life works for you, that you can fully apply His spiritual laws and be happy. God will not allow anyone to live forever escaping His physical law of thermodynamics until they have demonstrated they will follow His spiritual laws. Are you interested? Please request your free copy of our booklet, Your Ultimate Destiny.
This is Jeffrey Fall with commentary for the Living Church of God. "

Just in case you are a bit rusty on your physics the following site has an easy to read description of the Second Law.

Nothing like throwing in some pseudo-science with the weekly sermon. Appeals to the intellectual vanity of the experts in the crowd. Need I mention Compendium? For now we will pass over all of the "God knows" and "God wants". Who really knows? He kills the good, he kills the bad, babies and innocent animals. How can a person tell whether they are in the good books or heading to the Lake?

Unfortunately Dr. Fall doesn't actually explain how the laws of thermodynamics do not apply to God or other heavenly beings. We cannot validate his claims with repeatable experiments and observations. Unfortunately, that leaves me to conclude that he is BS-ing. Sorry Dr., that's a load of caca.

I know that people today demand answers. I have scoured the Net to meet the educational needs of my readers and I have located a real gem. Some of you are losing sleep at night wondering, "just what is the Lake of Fire really like?" Here it is. A site that actually calculates the temperature of the Lake of Fire based on official Biblical forecasting. Looks like it is quite a bit greater than 525 degrees C. The bad news for the born again crowd: it would appear that Heaven itself is 525 degrees C.

Keep the heat on,
Mr. Asbestos

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Words of a Fool

"And while these reports appear to be true, I would like to make a few observations about how the Red Lake shooting is being handled in the media compared to how some in it handled the Ratzmann incident.
As far as I have been able to tell:
1) No one is calling the Red Lake tribe a cult
2) No one is interviewing people who have a known bias against the Red Lake tribe
3) No one is asking members of the Red Lake tribe if they will leave it now
4) No one is asking why bother with psychiatric help or medications as they did not prevent this--even though the shooter was known to have made threats to carry this out
5) No one is asking for an investigation into the beliefs of the Red Lake tribe
6) No one is asking what each teacher taught that might have set the shooter off
7) No one is intentionally providing misleading information about the Red Lake tribe"

Taken from

The thoughts expressed above border on the idiotic. I am not sure who the writer is trying to convince. It would seem that the comments are addressed to someone already deeply in De Nile. (Thanks Dennis)

COGs are hell-bent on the Apocalyse. Their way of life is to be separate from society. They claim to be in the pre-saviour stage doing their best to warn a dying world that just won't listen. Poor us. If we would only tithe to an Apostle or a Prophet or a washed up Evengelist maybe there would be some hope in our future. In fact their theology claims that we are incapable of listening because we have not received a special calling. If you think that sounds like obtuse reasoning stay tuned. I'm just scratching the surface.

Why would the media or any other right-thinking person ask probing, doubt-casting questions to the poor, misunderstood, unappreciated LCG? Should the public be ashamed for bringing to light the doings of the many mini-Herbs claiming apostolic succession? NO WAY. We ask questions because these groups have been ruining lives since the day they were founded. And their ancestors ruined lives before them.

Sorry COGwriter, if your fearless leader wants to be an apostle or lead spokesman for God on earth then he'd better be able to step out and face humanity. He might enjoy living in the real world for a while.

Mr. Asbestos

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Risking it all in Milwaukee

Ella Frazier was a soul looking for answers when she stumbled onto a Worldwide Church of God radio commentary in the early 1960s.

She liked what she heard, started attending services, met her future husband at a church festival and never looked back. Today, at 61, the Milwaukee woman is a devout follower happy to send a good chunk of her income to the national headquarters to help grow the flock of the small Living Church of God, an offshoot of the Worldwide Church.
"It's the only way to get the Gospel to spread," said Frazier of funds that support the church's worldwide TV and radio ministry.
Frazier, along with her daughter, Chandra, survived the murder-suicide massacre at a Living Church of God service in Brookfield this month. The shootings, she said, were one more sign of Satan's work in a world marred by conflict and war.
Her faith is unshaken, and she will stay with the church. Leaving would mean risking final salvation, she said.
"You will end up in the lake of fire," she said.

Taken from the Journal Sentinel Online

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Is there really such a thing as a closed system in nature? I am not sure, but HWA and his followers attempted to create one based on their perception of a God-given government. That's giving them the benefit of the doubt that their system was created with honest intentions in mind. We should not be so certain.

They failed. The result was total system failure with bits being blown in all directions. Some landed in Texas, some in Oklahoma, and some in other parts of the world. Much like a virus, the organization attempted to copy itself. However, the growth rate of the original organization was not repeated and the explosive results were quicker, but less violent. Last week an LCG member murdered 7 people and turned the gun on himself. The virus turned inward.

How does one argue against a closed religious system? It will not submit itself to scientific scrutiny. It will not subject itself to periodic reviews of leadership or policy. The books are closed even to supporters. Alternate views of theology are heretic and discarded. Reading alternate books and articles is flirting with disaster. Warning: Lake of Fire Ahead.

Humans are imperfect and live in a material universe. We are subject to the laws of nature. The systems humans create need constant care and correction. We are continually discovering things about ourselves and our universe that seemed totally unknowable just a few decades into the past. The COG way was bent on self-destruction from the start. Just like any other system claiming perfection and being imperfect at its core. God did not save it, HWA did not save it. No amount of prophets or apostles will keep it alive.

Bring a Towel

C'mon everyone, we're heading to the Lake. The Lake of Fire that is. Bring your snorkel and your beach towel. Don't forget the sunblock.

I created this blog after reading about the events surrounding the murder of 7 LCG members plus the suicide of the killer on Ambassador Watch. This is a great site championing accountability in the COG community.

I was irritated over the response from those claiming the incident was some part of a divine plan. God is trying to show the rest of us Firewalkers that the Living Church of God is the chosen group to lead us in the New Millennium. If only we would wake up and "get it". Sure hope Gerry doesn't get his Prophetic cape in a knot. I can just see him hugging Herb's rock now for moral support.

What if we still don't listen? We will be more severely spanked. Next will be Houston, Boston, New York or perhaps London England. Whole cities will be destroyed unless we admit Herbert Armstrong was the Elijah, and come to submit to the glorious will of Rod Meredith.

That's heavy stuff.

I am dedicating this blog to those 7 people who died. I do not intend to change the world, but to add my voice to combat spiritual deception and abuse. Reason over blind faith. Questions rather than The Answer.

Mr. Asbestos