Mar 312015
 

The LCG crisis thread is getting very long but is constantly being updated with new information as it arrives.

Information is being shared by current and former members here and at Banned! and Living Armstrongism, so we’re seeking to collect and streamline as much of it as possible.

If you know anything about what’s transpiring within LCG, you’re encouraged to contact us or leave a comment.

Last update: May 23, 2015 – 9:16 p.m. EST

May 162015
 

A COGWA member asked us this on Facebook, but it lead to some interesting questions we have of our own:

Hi, miss you guys. Found something of interest. May make a good story, once the detail is understood. UCG has a church congregation in Portsmouth, 1253 9th Street, West Portsmouth, OH 45663. This is according to the website at http://www.ucg.org/congregation/portsmouth-oh. Yet when you go to the Facebook page of the same congregation they list themselves as NONDENOMONATIONAL. https://www.facebook.com/UCGPortsmouth . I posted a question on their Facebook page, which they promptly removed and did not reply to. What is going on there?

UCG as an organization — along with other COG groups — consider themselves nondenominational as opposed to Protestant, Catholic or any of the subsets therein. What interests us most in light of UCG’s recent desperate rebranding and focus on its “hundreds of congregations” as unique, Earth-shattering spiritual experiences to attend is that UCG Portsmouth seems to own a building. It appears to have a real, physical address in a permanent location with a sign outside and everything.

While WCG and other COG groups have always owned a certain amount of property — the tabernacle in Wisconsin Dells for the Feast, school campuses, Home Offices, buildings for large congregations in Texas — Portsmouth seems a little small to rate something beyond the standard school cafeteria or Masonic hall rental. We surmise it’s locally owned/rented/funded rather than supported by Cincinnati.

But this got us thinking. The congregation picker on UCG’s website can’t help but usually look pathetic due to the venues these groups meet in. UCG has to know this. So what efforts might they make in the near future to fix this? Will they ask for permission to hang signs outside their rentals? Or will they actually make an investment in land and property? It seems like the only way UCG’s congregation-focused growth strategy can possibly work. Because the photo for Portsmouth, while far from ritzy, looks way more impressive and inviting than most COG congregations anywhere.

UCG, like all COG groups, is really strapped for cash. But one has to figure they’re seeking some way to make their buildings and congregations more presentable to match with the expectations set by their new website and marketing strategy.

May 132015
 

We’ve been curating as much about LCG’s impending collapse as possible as of late. Amid this, the news that LCG and UCG are both seeking accreditation for their “schools” caught our eye.

While it’s not surprising that UCG is attempting this as it seeks to flee from the outward appearance of Armstrongism, for Living University to do the same is a head-scratcher considering HWA’s longstanding opposition to accrediting Ambassador College — and we all know how Meredith and cult leaders like him worship everything the old man did.

While Ambassador’s history with accreditation was inconsistent, it finally did solidly gain it towards its end as a university in Big Sandy. While LCG has sought accreditation before, achieving it would force both Living University and Ambassador Bible Center to broaden its curriculum — one of the chief reasons HWA was against it. This seems like a weird and desperately mainstream thing for LCG to attempt.

But within the comments on Banned! an anonymous poster shared a humorous class list one can expect to find at LU should it have to expand its curriculum:

Here’s a sneak peak at the new courses being offered next fall at Living University:

LU254- HOW TO FALSLY ACCUSE OTHERS AND GET AWAY WITH IT

LU865- TYRANNY AND ITS ADVANTAGES

LU840- WHY WHITES WILL BE RESURRECTED BEFORE BLACKS

LU326- FEAR MONGERING

LU478- WHY MATTHEW 18 IS OPTIONAL

LU195- WHAT WILL WE EAT AT THE WEDDING SUPPER WHILE WE ARE ALL FLOATING IN HEAVEN?

LU785- FALLING AWAY FROM A TRUTH YOU NEVER HAD

LU056- HOW TO DEMAND RESPECT WITHOUT EARNING IT

LU914- HOW TO CONVINCE YOURSELF AND OTHERS THAT LCG IS THE PUREST CHURCH EVER

LU890- HOW TO CONVINCE YOURSELF AND OTHERS THAT YOUR CHURCH IS UNITED WHEN ITS NOT

LU723- EFFECTIVE SHUNNING TACTICS

LU110- SURVEY OF TRUE LEGENDS

LU228- TITHING: YOUR BREAD AND BUTTER

LU355- GOD-ORDAINED USES OF DONKEYS

LU490- CHEMISTRY OF THE LAKE OF FIRE

LU531- METAPHYSICS OF DISFELLOWSHIPING: MINISTRY AND THE HOLY SPIGOT

LU611- PHILOSOPHY OF NON-HOMOSEXUALITY

LU722- ALL IN ONE CADILLAC: THE APOSTOLIC FLEET CAR PROGRAM

LU827- WWJD: WHO WOULD JESUS DESTROY

LU965- HYPOCRISY SEMINAR

LU144- FUNDAMENTALS OF JUDGMENT

LU299- YOUR THREE SERMONS

LU300- HOMOSEXUALITY AND YOU

LU404- SEGREGATION IN THE KINGDOM

LU580- PREACHING THE GOSPEL: CASTING OUR PEARLS BEFORE THE SWINE

LU666- WHY BARON VON ZU GUTTENBERG IS NOT THE ANTICHRIST

LU709- DEMONS IN YOUR GENITALS

LU888- YAHWEH AND THE WEATHER

LU938- PROPER PEDESTALS FOR HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG

LU-073 HOW TO EFFECTIVELY MONITOR MEMBERS FACEBOOK ACCOUNTS

LU-690 HOW TO EFFECTIVELY MONITOR BANNED BY HWA

LU-897 HOW TO DESTROY PEOPLE FROM THE PULPIT WITH SLANDER

LU147- HOW TO CONVINCE PEOPLE THE INCOME IS UP WHEN IT’S NOT & OTHER CREATIVE ACCOUNTING PRACTICES

May 112015
 

Living Armstrongism has an insightful post about the COG’s reliance on conservative pseudo-news site WorldNetDaily (the home of budding intellectual Chuck Norris’ writings) as a legitimate information source, even in the supposedly moderate UCG.

We’ve written at length about the supposedly apolitical, non-voting COG’s idealogical ties to America’s extreme rightwing by way of their confirmation bias fueled by a thirst for news from media sources that tell them exactly how horrible the world is in light of their prophetic wrangling. However one feels about the conspiracy theorists at WorldNetDaily, their bias for the right is as indisputable as that of the DailyKOS for the left. So when UCG and other cults draw on them as a source of neutral reportage as one would the Associated Press, it reveals lots about how their brains work and what the political affiliations of a movement supposedly eschewing the ideologies of “the world” really are.

Redfox712 has done a great job of calling PCG, LCG and other COG cults out for this obvious bias with many specific examples from their literature.

Because the other major COG groups are so authoritarian and dysfunctional UCG has tended to be viewed the sensible COG group.

I have not focused much on UCG because during my experience as a believer in Armstrongism I had little to do with UCG. Because I was never interested in UCG when I believed in Armstrongism I am not interested in UCG now even as one who woke up about Armstrongism.

But this reputation of being sensible seems to be somewhat exaggerated as, to my surprise, they seem to be even more dependent on WorldNetDaily for information than either LCG or even PCG. In one article UCG’s leaders even called it “a leading Internet news site”.

And just like PCG and LCG UCG’s leaders have not one bad word to say about WorldNetDaily. They seem to trust WorldNetDaily.

WorldNetDaily is far to the right when it comes to politics. The only way one could be even more right wing than WorldNetDaily is to become an actual right wing extremist. They are not just some respectable news organization. It is a far right wing organization. They are very far to the right politically speaking. You would never know this reading what UCG’s leaders say about them. UCG’s leaders have not one bad word to say about them. This is also true for PCG’s leaders and LCG’s leaders.

It amazes me that UCG’s leaders seem to have no suspicious about it. They have not one bad word to say about them. UCG’s leaders seem to be mesmerized by them. If they have any suspicious about it they keep such feelings very well guarded.

Some of UCG’s articles are interviews with an editor of WorldNetDaily, Joe Kovacs, talking about his two books, Shocked by the Bible (2008) and The Divine Secret (2012), which actually perpetuate many of HWA’s teachings. Banned by HWA reported on this fact.

The other COGs constantly compete with each other to get more tithes paying members. PCG even shuns the members of the other COG groups, demonizing them as “Laodiceans”. But they all seem to get their news from the same far right organization, WorldNetDaily.