He Was RIGHT! So Give Us Your Money or Die!

Uh...no, he wasn't.

We recently got hold of the May 5, 2010 PCG Co-Worker letter. It was written much better than the most recent Co-Worker letter (about why Flurry is now an Apostle). This one is better because it has a very clear message: “He was right!”…and because he (Armstrong) was right and Bible prophecy is being fulfilled, then, basically, give the work your money lest you be left behind when everyone else goes to the place of safety.

In this letter Flurry plugs the booklet He Was Right and says how, well, “right” everything Armstrong said was. Well, was it? This is an important question, for if Armstrong was right—if prophecy is being fulfilled and the end truly is nigh—then we all need to start figuring out which WCG (now Grace Communion International) splinter group to support—and since there are at least 400, we better get a move on!

“A reunited Germany will dominate a soon-to-be-resurrected Holy Roman Empire! That was Herbert W. Armstrong’s keynote prophecy, which he forecast even as the flames from World War II smoldered amid the rubble of German cities.” These are the opening sentences for He Was Right. Most of us would recognize the above “keynote prophecy”. Who among us does not remember the astonishment our parents had as Germany recovered from the ashes of defeat? For us, it was maybe not so amazing since we weren’t old enough to see the most powerful nation in Europe brought to its knees…after it nearly succeeded in conquering all of Europe, Britain, Russia, and northern Africa. It was not so amazing for us to see it prospering since we did not see how terribly it had been bombed. But for many it was. That is why Mr. Armstrong’s prophecy that its resurrection to power (for the third time in a century) would happen was so striking—and frightening.

Unfortunately for us (and them) something had been forgotten.

“History repeats itself,” we are told. “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it,” we are admonished. How true it is. Because if these same people would have remembered–or knew (if they were new to the church post-war)–the truth of the matter, then the power of Armstrongism over our lives might have been avoided–just as many have said, “If Europe would have just paid attention to what was actually written in Mein Kampf, they would have known Hitler’s plans ahead of time and prevented the worst of it.”

One thing the sheep forgot can be found in the January 1939 Plain Truth, page 3 (PDFs courtesy of herbert-armstrong.org). “Mussolini’s soon-appearing re-born ROMAN EMPIRE is the ‘BEAST’ power, and MUSSOLINI UNDOUBTEDLY IS THE ‘BEAST’!!” (Emphasis is his, as you already know from experience.) Another forgotten bit was pg. 8 of the Nov-Dec 1940 PT, wherein Mr. A is careful to declare that the Bible does not say who the “Beast” is, so we shall have to wait and see. Why the sudden backing from his earlier assertion that “Mussolini undoubtedly is the ‘Beast’?” He tells you why: “At present, however, Mussolini’s star is fast falling, and Hitler’s rapidly rising…at present, Hitler looms up as the most likely candidate.” Without coming right out and saying it, he is admitting he was wrong about Mussolini in his prophetic fervor of just under two years prior, and that his authority for correcting himself comes not from any divine source, but from his observation of current events. (And he was also wrong about Hitler, of course.) He sounds like any old man of the world trying to make Bible “prophecy” fit into current news—not God’s divinely inspired end-time Elijah. Sure, many have said (like my dad), “Mr. Armstrong never claimed to be infallible.” True. However, when you think about it, shouldn’t a true prophet of the Living God be infallible with regard to his prophecies? Deut. 18:20-22 says if any man prophesies in the name of God, and that thing comes not to pass, then he is a false prophet.

Ohhh, well then, too bad Herbert. Thanks for playing “To Be a Prophet”! Time has shown you to be 100% wrong! Try again next time! Unfortunately for us, he did. But as you witness his tireless mulligans, remember Deut. 18:20-22, and the fact that none of the Old Testament prophets in the Bible ever had to re-do prophecies. This last point is especially important when you remember that many Armstrong supporters claim that being off in timing is unimportant. But, if you’ll remember, Mussolini is quite dead. So is Hitler. I mention Hitler because for quite some time Hitler was the Beast who was to conquer Jerusalem, and also for quite a while good old Herbert subscribed to the idea that “Hitler is alive and the Nazis have a secret base in Antarctica.” Yes. Seriously. And I bet you thought “I saw Elvis in a UFO” was a crazy conspiracy theory.

Ok, so, that was the first half of the first paragraph of He Was Right. What other goodies are there? They start off with “America’s Economic 9/11” and how Mr. A prophesied that back in the 60s, originally (I busted that myth in my recent History in Prophecy article), and more specifically in the 80s. I bet he did do a lot of talk about economic collapse and the fall of America in the 80s, since that was, until now, the worst economic time for us since the Great Depression. Of course, today’s crisis is worse than the recession of the 80s…but in the end it is not as bad as the Great Depression. Unemployment then was around 20%, and this time around has not yet hit 10%. So, not quite the financial apocalypse that was hoped for by the editors of He Was Right. And besides that, we lived through the troubled economic times of the 80s without the world coming to an end or America collapsing, so maybe, just maybe, this is all part of the economic cycle.

In the next section (“Is a World Dictator About to Appear?”), they talk about how Mr. A understood the prophesies of Rev. 17:10 even as far back as 1927! It talks about five kings that are fallen (supposedly allegorical of the seven resurrections of the Holy Roman Empire), one is, and the other is yet to come. “Herbert Armstrong came to see that the dictator Benito Mussolini was that one that is, at that time, in the 1930s, prior to and during the onset of World War II.” Well, no, he didn’t. We just read that in his own words…not in his double think memory from the 80s. At the time of his original writing he didn’t say “don’t worry—even though this looks terrible, fear not! This is only the harbinger of the yet to appear final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire (as prophesied in your Bible) that will fight the all-powerful Christ at his glorious return to this Earth!” If he had said that, then there would be some trifling “evidence” of his being something other than a down-on-his-luck advertising man who turned to religion for comfort (and possibly power, prestige, and riches) during the Depression. Not only did he not say that about Mussolini or Hitler, but he said in the June/July ’34 PT that “we have been in the tribulation since 1929 in the United States, and since 1928 in Europe.” Just for fun, look at the Aug ’34 PT…there’s a fun chart about the time-table of end-time events…we aren’t supposed to be here now. This is supposed to be the Millennium right now. So….he was right? Please.

Yes, there is currently a united Europe. Germany is a leading nation in that Union. So? We may yet see a militant German-led EU, but at the moment that is not the case—it doesn’t even look like a remote possibility, by all accounts that don’t have an interest in it being true, i.e., by all accounts that aren’t loony–and this is at least 24 years since the death of Herbert Armstrong, not to mention his prophecies from the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 1975 in Prophecy, etc. I’m not a prophet, and I’m not saying a militarily aggressive, German-led Euro state can’t someday form, but if it does form, it is not proof of the veracity of Herbert Armstrong’s prophecies! Yes, if you keep saying it will happen, then eventually the laws of probability will likely give you a win…but that can only be mistaken for a meaningful fact if everyone forgets the multitude of times you were wrong! I could say that an asteroid will destroy all life on earth. Well, sure, that seems a fair mathematical probability. Yay, I’m a prophet! However, if I say the asteroid Apophis will destroy the earth in 2036 and it doesn’t…well, was the Lord kind enough to allow the earth a little more time to repent and for me to preach to the masses that lest they repent then next time they’re done for? Or will this other line work on you? “Ok, so it wasn’t Apophis, but someday a giant asteroid will destroy earth—so says your Bible! Therefore I was right!” So, it wasn’t Mussolini or Hitler, but someday, eventually, Germany will take over Europe and America will be done for. Sure, but if so that’s only because of the historical fact that great nations/empires fall. The fall of the United States, if it even happens in anything like the context claimed under Armstrongism, won’t be because of God’s wrath–just as the fall of the Mongol Empire wasn’t.

However, I must make mention of page 11 of He Was Right. Herein is provided one of the strongest bits of “evidence” (thus far in the booklet) that maybe Mr. A was right after all. Here is quoted from a sermon by HWA given on Nov 27, 1982, where he is reading from the very first Plain Truth back in Feb. ’34. “Three or four short years ago many laughed and scoffed when we said that there would be another world war in five to seven years. They do not laugh and scoff today. Everyone knows the next world war is coming, and soon!” But unfortunately, what evidence we have of what he might have said “three or four years ago” is in the chart of the June/July ’34 PT, and it does not bode well for Armstrong’s prophetic acuity. Supposedly, the end of the age was going to be in ’36, with any further armed conflict culminating in Armageddon and Christ’s return. Also, from the history I’ve read, many already knew that the combination of the harsh terms of the WWI armistice upon Germany, combined with the Great Depression, would lead to another war.

The period between World Wars I and II was characterized by an effort to maintain an “uneasy peace” in Europe. After the 1920s, no one was under any illusions that Germany was not still a threat, though some were yet hopeful. The effort to keep Germany at peace with its neighbors escalated in 1932, when the so-called “Ten Year Rule” (a UK policy stating that another world war should not be expected for at least ten more years) was discarded–and reached a fever pitch when Hitler came to power and pulled Germany out of the League of Nations in 1933 (why didn’t Armstrong predict that?). Presumably it was for these geopolitical reasons (and not any attention on their part to Armstrong’s hysterical attempts at shoehorning then current events into Bible “prophecies”–since, after all, he hadn’t even started to do so yet!) that the UK dropped its plans for disarmament in 1934 and, in response to a rearming Germany, launched a rearmament of its own. Tellingly, it wasn’t until after or at least during these late developments that Armstrong began writing about an association between the obviously coming war and biblical Armageddon–and even then he was focused on the wrong “strong-man.” It doesn’t take a “prophet” to be prescient, and “the writing on the wall” doesn’t necessarily come from “above” (we would argue that it doesn’t even possibly come from above). And in point of fact, Armstrong was behind the curve with regard to the canny prognostications of his betters in the world of geopolitics. They were in the know, while Armstrong was in the clouds. Wrong, time and again! The only thing he got “right” was something everyone knew at the time: war was coming again to Europe. He certainly didn’t predict anything. And we know all of this from reviewing the available evidence.

But that’s one of the advantages of the modern world—the internet, and scanners. I’m sure 99% of those in the church in ’82 didn’t have access to that first issue of the PT, so they couldn’t see that Mr. Armstrong was simply quote mining his own work.

Perhaps there will be a part two, perhaps not. Really there’s no need to continue. Page after page has shown Armstrong to be off in his timing by 60+ years at best, to absolutely undeniably wrong at worst (with the latter being more often the case). But what’s worse than this is PCG proclaiming his “rightness” in an effort to frighten/inspire people to give more and more money to the work. In fact, a recent sermon from Stephen Flurry found him nearly screaming at the members to get a second job so they could give more to the work “because that is the only reason you are called out now!” (and they’re still in debt by $9Million). They’re saying, in effect, “Armstrong said all this for decades and NOW it is all coming to pass before our very eyes! The end really is close now…really!” They’re doing everything except saying “final gun lap”, and as I mentioned in my last article, they are glossing over how wrong he was for so long by saying “now, finally, everything he said would happen is starting to happen.” Except it isn’t.

So, at the end, we find them using the age old combination of fear, guilt, and awe of authority (Flurry is now an Apostle) to keep the people firmly in their place—because peasants and sheep need to mind their places, after all. Oh, and they need to keep supporting their oppressors financially (how else will these feckless charlatans keep food on their tables–by getting jobs themselves? God forbid!).

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21 thoughts on “He Was RIGHT! So Give Us Your Money or Die!

  1. If Christ is on His way back, why oh why did Flurry build that 23 million dollar palace in Herbie’s/Gods honor? Has the membership even questioned this?

    The blue ribbon tithe payers should ask themselves some of these basic questions and decide if there resides one morsel of truth in that organization.

  2. “Flurry is now an Apostle”. Correction. False apostle.

    All that HWA and Flurry do is interpret “current events” (i.e. yesterday’s news — past events actually) in terms of their misunderstanding of prophecy. This is not what a real prophet does. Anyway, there are no real prophets, even in the bible.

  3. Herbert Armstrong was never a prophet. There’s no getting around that. But I suppose sustaining the myth that he was, despite his obvious errors or prediction, gives current “prophets” more latitude for error: “Even the end time Elijah got some prophecies wrong.”

    Did Armstrong himself claim his predictions to be God-inspired prophecy, though?

    • Yes, obviously, both directly and by virtue of the fact that his “prophecies” were dredged from the pages of “your own Bible!” And if his failed prophecies were not claimed to be inspired by God, then what does this say about his supposed prophetic powers? Nothing. He was still wrong about everything. Do you think anything else counts?

  4. 1. Armstrong prophesied, so even if he did not officially call himself a prophet he took on the role of a prophet. So his prophetic failings make him a false prophet.

    2. He claimed to be an apostle, a role which in the new testament includes the function of a prophet. For example, the book of Revelation is all prophecy by the apostle John. So by claiming to be an apostle and making prophecy he was effectively claiming to be a prophet. So once again, his failed prophecies make him a false apostle-prophet.

    3. He definitely lied in order to claim he was an apostle. He plagiarized doctrines — like British Israelism — from other religious leaders then claimed God revealed them to him, just like God revealed things to Paul (see http://www.allen-armstrong.org).

    His main mission in life was to warn “modern Israel” (as the Ezekiel Watchman) so his plagiarizing of that doctrine was central to his false claim of apostleship, which was based on the claim he got things from God, not men.

  5. Prophecies are risky at best, especially when they predict the future.

    Often, Herbert Armstrong wasn’t able to predict the past accurately: Case in point, those Pirate Ships; or the Israeli Six Day War.

    But it gets worse! Much worse!

    If you ever received a coworker letter, you may note that Herbert Armstrong would make a false prediction which never came to pass and could never come to pass — making him a false prophet — and then, of all things, signed it “In Jesus’ Name”. Excuse me? He could claim not to be a prophet, but he signed his predictions “In Jesus’ Name”. That clearly meant that he was speaking on behalf of Jesus Christ. The logic of that is inescapable: If he was writing in Jesus’ Name, he was basically saying that Christ spoke through him to make predictions, clearly, very clearly, making Herbert Armstrong a false prophet.

    By this then, Herbert Armstrong was committing idolatry, blaspheming the Holy Spirit.

    As for “eventually the laws of probability will likely give you a win,” it is significant that Herbert Armstrong was 100% wrong: He defied even the laws of averages! Not one prediction he ever made came true in his lifetime. I’d have hated him as a weather forecaster. As it was, using him as a financial advisor was monetarily devastating.

    My law is this, when nothing happens, it is a sure thing that something will happen!

    All the Armstrongist leaders are so wrong in so many things, and yet, people still believe them. Can anyone tell me (as Dr. Phil says) what they get out of the bottom line here? Do these people really enjoy the pain of following someone who is not only wrong but spends all the money they give to someone who spends it on himself, one way or another — such as building a multimillion dollar pretty looking centerpiece in a God forsaken wilderness?

  6. Mikey wrote: “Do these people really enjoy the pain of following someone who is not only wrong but spends all the money they give to someone who spends it on himself, one way or another — such as building a multimillion dollar pretty looking centerpiece in a God forsaken wilderness?”

    They want to feel special as the “called by God” group. Yes it is a lie, but then again this group of people have accomplished next to nothing in their lives and will even tell you “God calls the weak of the world” to do his work. Its a badge of honor to them, but to the world they are not fools for Christ but fools for believing a false prophet(s).

    The bravest among them should stand up in church and declare Gerald Flurry/RM/RW false prophets. But there is not bravery or valor in the churches of god. There never was. What they have for membership can be described as cowards, and stalkers. The losers in life that behold themselves as the children of god, but in reality are unfit for any position of rulership.

    They have no compassion for those inside or outside the fold. My years in the confines of Armstrong-ism was a lesson that now applies to all of life decisions. Many of the members and former member have these several qualities. Back-stabbing, back-biting, exhibiting anger and hostility towards others they don’t understand or agree with.

    Just like all the people in the world.
    They are no different. They are not “special.”

    • Sorry, James but I have to disagree. Church members are not as cowardly and evil as you think. Some of them are, but others live exemplary lives. Many suffer because they are deceived, simple as that. They believe suffering oppression is the duty of a good Christian soldier, that God is testing their loyalty via the abusive leaders, building character in them, etc, so they put up with a lot of crap. The solution is not to condemn the victims en mass, but to help them see through this.

    • I agree with both James and Chuck. There are the hopeless True Believers (the sheep) and there are the people who are just genuinely deceived. There are people who are lions among the sheep, like I was, indoctrinated perhaps from a young age but exhibiting impeccable morals, naive yet bold, precocious, earnest. The sheep can be easily induced to bad behavior because they are lacking sorely in character. They are cowardly people, foolish, vain, and selfish degenerates for whom their religion gives further license to commit treacherous acts against themselves and others, acts which would be natural for them otherwise–the cults are pushing at an open door in their case. On the other hand, this inducement to abandon personal dignity is more difficult with the lions (who have such dignity to begin with), but it is possible, since they are also deluded, but only trivially so.

      In the words of physicist, Stephen Weinberg, “With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil — that takes religion.” And with the religion of the cults, bad people will do worse.

  7. just for my personal information – what other Biblical titles are there left to claim now? Apostle, Prophet – looks like the only way to go from there is “messiah”!

  8. Well, he already claims to be “that prophet” which is a reference to Christ, though Flurry uses it as a title for himself, so he is basically already calling himself the Messiah. And I think he already took to himself one of the titles of God the Father, but I forget which one. However, this is no different from the pope (the ‘papa’ — father) calling himself the Holy Father, and the Vicar of Christ. And GF often refers to HWA as our spiritual father too. Kinda freaky, now that I look back on it.

    John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

    So I think we know who their real father is.

  9. I saw a documentary on Jim Jones recently. As I understand it, he killed all those people for the attention it would bring to him. Considering Flurry is such an ego-maniac, I am starting to wonder if he might try a similar stunt. I wouldn’t put it past him anymore.

  10. No, I really can’t see him doing that. He’s a lot of things but a murdering psychopath isn’t one of them. Plus, I really don’t see the members falling for something THAT crazy. They may be deceived (some more willingly than others), but they know the general doctrine and a drastic change like that would not go through. I don’t think the tactic of slow change here and there while proclaiming to be in HWA’s footsteps will change–I mean, it has worked so well thus far! A JJ style massacre would be tragic, but not a lot more tragic than the mental slavery they’re in now.

  11. Chuck,

    You wrote the following: “Church members are not as cowardly and evil as you think”

    No I do not think they are evil, just deceived. They are listening to the voices of devils and following their lead.

    Is a Jim Jones event possible? Yes. However, I cannot know what course of events that would take place in order to drive the membership down the hill and dive into the raging current. It really is up to the leadership to constrain “that prophet!”

    I hope Stephen is up to the job!

    If such an event does occur, it will be when the PCG investigation is completed by the A.G./department of Justice.

    This will be the time of ultimate stress for the holy one, the chosen of god, the prophet that sits in the seat of Moses, the great deceiver of the masses. And may I add, the ultimate test for those who have itching ears for the deceptions that this man puts forth.

  12. Did you say that the PCG was $9 Million in debt.

    I’m giddy with excitement: There’s hope of their doom this year.

    Do you suppose they will predict their demise before it happens or wait until afterward? Their crystal ball seems to have gone black. They should drill holes in it and use it to go bowling.

  13. Yes, US 9Million in debt…ohhh, and Stephen F is angry! In a sermon a couple weeks ago he was really laying into the “brethren” w/ his high-pitched angry voice! He was saying things like “the only reason you’re called out now is to support the work! That’s the ONLY reason you’re here!!” And other fine gems about how you really should get a second job to help finance the work…because where your heart is there will your money be also! Then, to drive the point home, his dad came the following week to pound home GOVERNMENT and how nobody else has GOVERNMENT like the PCG does, oh, and REVELATION too. So, guilt them and then tell them how lucky they are to be in “god’s church” and if they don’t cough up some extra dough then god shall frown upon them.

  14. When question arise that you cannot be sure as to the answer, please consult with an expert. This limits your legal liability and will open doors that you never may have considered as reliable!

    Ms. Cleo may be out of business but there is another option. An option that offers clarity and focus, to the answers we may seek.

    All you have to do is to ask is “Will the PCG will go into bankruptcy”
    http://www.divine-oracle.com/magick-8-ball/

  15. Thank you James! I queried the Magic 8 Ball whether or not the PCG could pay the $9 Million, and amazingly it did have this response: “The Answer is No”.

  16. No, I’m not into magic, demons and mythology, although it appears the PCg is.

    It would be a rhetorical question to ask the Magic 8 Ball, “Who died and left Flurry to be God?” since we all know that it was Herbert Armstrong.

    Maybe this time the receivership will be successful when the PCg goes into bankruptcy and they have to give back their pathetic version of the Ambassador Auditorium. There in Oklahoma, I’d think it would be awfully hard to sell, since it isn’t Pasadena and it’s doubtful the Rock Harvest Church would want something that isolated.

    Yes, yes, this DOES sound a lot like Elijah taunting the priests of Baal, doesn’t it?

  17. Pingback: Totalitarianism and the Churches of God « Armstrong Delusion

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