For decades, the COG has promoted the myth of “free literature” with booklets and magazines produced only at vast member expense rather than public cost. Of course, this has always been a joke, since the a majority of those consuming COG literature are members themselves, who are thus being charged through the nose for the privileged of receiving one of these divinely-inspired doctrinal masterworks.
UCG was so proud when it released its “free” booklets on Amazon some months back, and has ardently defended them with a censorship campaign again dissenting comments and bad ratings. But now, the cult has covertly shifted its tactics, without noticeable announcement or fanfare.
Amazon is now charging for the digital Kindle versions of UCG booklets. This must have been a very recent development, since we keep a pretty good eye on the Amazon scene as UCG members pile praise upon books they likely haven’t read in years.
We have no idea why the prices vary by a few cents for each (perhaps page count), or why after decades of producing printed copies of literature at no cost to the public, there’s now a price attached to ebooks, which have little-to-no production cost. Is UCG’s financial situation really that dire?
We aren’t aware of any taxes or fees being levied by Amazon on Kindle offerings that would necessitate the price inclusion, though it could have something to do with its Select program and a 90-day window allowing the free distribution of ebooks, which it would seem UCG has surpassed. This could be Amazon’s default minimum price for Kindle books, and they’re likely to be the primary financial beneficiaries.
But if UCG is really serious about offering free booklets, why not eat that cost? Only 30.5 percent of its revenue is spent on stuff like this. Can’t a pastor go without an extra bottle of bourbon for a month? Sure, it’s only $1-something, but in a recession, everything counts.
And of course, once again, most of the readers are likely to be existing COG members with their Kindles, who have already paid to produce the literature, so they’re being charged again for the same thing.
Also of note is that The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy is at long last available on Amazon and has been reincluded into UCG’s literature library. We’re looking to scan through it for any notable changes to see whether Dennis Luker is sticking to HWA’s old guns about British Israelism or whether there’s been a change in tone in the light of contradictory scientific fact.
Thanks to S Harris for the link with the explanation from UCG. As we previously speculated, it’s Amazon’s minimum price.
But that link also verifies our other suspicions, which is UCG’s call for a propaganda campaign of positive reviews from members:
We Need Your Help
When we post a new e-book to Amazon we need your help to let them know its available at other online locations for FREE. Right now we have one e-book that is still listed for 99 cents—How to Understand the Bible.
We need just a few minutes of your time. All you need to do is have an Amazon.com account and follow the instructions listed on our Amazon volunteer webpage or visit our main How Can I Help? volunteer page (under the “I have free time” section). Once the e-book is listed for free at Amazon.com we will remove the request for that particular e-book.
You can also help by submitting a review of any of our e-books and leaving a comment that you feel would be helpful to any potential readers.
Please take a few minutes and help us with this project. It will really help our Web team at the homeoffice!
Of course, how many are going to identify themselves as UCG “volunteers?” Very few, if any. Trying to artificially bump up the positive reviews and deleting any negative ones on your own literature is intellectually dishonest. We put out the call for honest reviews from those familiar with these books and doctrines to share their thoughts. We haven’t added any of ours yet, but others who have tried had been met with deleted comments, tags and ratings. C’mon UCG.