This blog talks a lot about endings, from fake apocalyptic prophecies, to people leaving cults, to the potential ultimate destruction of the COG and all of its poison and corruption.
But how many churches actually ever really cease to exist entirely?
Based on the continued eeked-out existence of the tiniest among 700+ COG cults, every church or religious movement seems entirely diehard, no matter how crazy the beliefs, how damaging the culture or how feeble and insignificant the organization becomes.
People have been fleeing Scientology over the last decade, crushing the cult’s bottom line as its public image is forever tarnished by waves of scandals and exposes. Yet, it still commands millions of dollars and owns lots of expensive property.
Even some Shakers, a colonial American religious sect noted for its doctrine of celibacy, still exist scores and decades later despite essentially teaching a doctrine of self-extinction.
Even the religious traditions of long-dead pagan civilizations manage to find some sort of new life in the modern era.
So it seems short of a mass, horrible suicide, religious movements manage to soldier on in one form or another.
Religious organizations can apparently squeeze a lot out of little, even with huge debts and small membership like Gerald Flurry’s PCG, which somehow managed to shore up the funds to buy a new campus in the United Kingdom.
It’s why the COG -- which will continue to bleed money and members and prestige as its elderly leaders whither and die -- is likely to exist decades from now. Even as organizations splinter, break or merge, Herbert W. Armstrong’s ideas will somehow manage to live on. We’re already approaching a century of his teachings, depending upon when one marks the beginning of Armstrongism.
It’s why providing as many facts as possible about these cults is important to keep people away from their grasp, or at least help them to make informed decisions. Even the smallest splinter running the Armstrongite program can cause people a lot of hurt, and even though they can’t really attract new members, they can keep having kids, which will always make informational, historical repositories about the COG an important resource to promote and maintain.
We’re coming up on five years of Silenced and other XCOG blogs are much older than that. Here’s hoping even if we someday shutter up our digital doors that there’s someone always out there to shine the light, because the cults are going to linger like a viral remnant for the foreseeable future.