Twenty-One

We here at AD have been remiss, as we missed the big news of the 21stanniversary of Germany’s Reunification! Of course, that could be a sign—a sign that it isn’t really that big a deal. There were no parades of proud military might and pomp. There were no bombastic speeches about a reunited Germany coming of age and ready to take her rightful place among the great nations of the world. No, there were cautiously optimistic speeches about “we’ve come a long way but there’s still a long way to go”.

Hurra Deutschland!

HWA “prophesied” for a great many years that Germany would reunite and then lead a united Europe to start the Great Tribulation and destroy the US, UK, and a few Mid East countries. Was he right? Well, he was right about German reunification, though most political analysts saw it coming, too. So, not particularly impressive—except that he was talking about it since shortly after the end of WWII (after his statement that “biblical prophecy shows that Hitler must be thevictor in his Russian campaign! He will defeat Russia and then be free to move his entire forces to the West!” failed utterly). So, he started fear-mongering 44yrs before it happened…and it happened a mere three years after he died! Yes, very ironically impressive.

Very impressive that he kept going on about it, saying, as always, “in the next 7-10yrs”; and kept on about it after the 1975 in Prophecy debacle. When someone keeps saying “it looks likely that the end will be here in the next 7-10 short years” for 40yrs, then the…shall we say gravitas…of their pronouncements loses a bit of its punch.

As for leading a united Europe on the war-path, eh, not so much—and by “not so much” I mean not even a little bit. The Eurozone is on such shaky financial ground it might not survive the winter. I know, I know…this is the crisis Europe needs to truly unify and take as guardian and high protector their strongest economy, Germany. We’ll see about that. True, there are many throughout the world saying the Eurozone is failing precisely because they have no strong central power structure and that if they want to survive then they need to get one. Noted. But thus far we have not seen “Europe tied to a newly unified, resurgent Germany” as Gerald Flurry yelled about oh so many years ago.

Seriously. Dude. HWA said all this stuff was going to happen for 40+yrs. And to date, only one thing has happened in the 24yrs since his death—and that wasn’t anything any good political analyst couldn’t have seen coming. So before everyone starts saying “oh, he saw this coming 70yrs ago!”, think a minute: is 70yrs of inaccuracy really a win? Is 70yrs of “it’s just around the corner” really piercing prophetic vision?

In conclusion: Happy (re)Birthday, Germany! May the fine Philosophical, Engineering, Scientific, and Artistic accomplishments of your past continue to flourish!

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16 thoughts on “Twenty-One

  1. One person who reminds me of HWA is Lyndon Larouche, who has been predicting the complete collapse of the world economy for at least 40 years now. When we did have an economic downturn in 2007-8, his followers claimed this as ‘proof’ of his ‘predictions.’ HWA’s ‘prophecies’ include the wonderful ones from the mid-50’s, that Hitler was either 1) not dead, but holed up in the Antarctic with ‘secret Nazi weapons’ or 2) dead, but about to be miraculously raised from the dead by the Pope. No wonder PCG, UCG, LCG etc. get upset if you look up back issues of Plain Truth, Good News etc. Just like Larouchies don’t like to be reminded what ‘Lyn’ said back in the 60s & 70s.

  2. Excellent post.

    And you may ask, “Why haven’t psychologists ever studied the phenomenon of false prophecies and what happens to the group when they fail”?

    There is an answer to that: They did.

    “When prophecy fails: A social and psychological study of a modern group that predicted the destruction of the world” by Leon Festinger, Henry W. Riecken and Stanley Schachter was first published in 1956. Say, wasn’t that the year “1975 in Prophecy” was published? Spooky!

    You can find out more on the Psychology Today website at http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-good-life/201105/when-prophecy-fails-the-sequel

    or see the reviews at Amazon.com.

    Everyone involved in these cults like to think they are special. False prophecy abounds. False prophecy fails. Everyone covers it up and goes, “Oh, it will happen some day”. Then one prediction seems to strike pay dirt and everybody in the cult goes all, “Told you so!” always ignoring the fact that 99.999% of the rest of the predictions went to crap.

    For everyone who thought that Herbert Armstrong was right about that prophecy, then consider: Attached to that was “Germany shall rise again and become the Beast of Revelation, ruling over 10 nations of Europe”. Furthermore, Herbert Armstrong was predicting it for HIS LIFE TIME. That being the case, his prophecy failed, since he wasn’t alive to see it happen. I hope all you Armstrongists got that:

    Herbert Armstrong’s prophecy for a reunited Germany failed!

    Moreover, none of the Armstrongist churches of God actually predicted the Berlin Wall coming down. They were as surprised as everyone else and caught absolutely flat footed.

    The Armstrongist churches lie and their prophecies are false.

    Note that Scripture itself tells us not to fear them.

    On the other hand, in the exceptional case that you are still a believer, take note of the command of Scripture: “From such turn away”.

    Or else.

    Suffer the consequences.

    Which are like a terrible, painful, chronic disease.

  3. When I left the PCG in 2006, I was still convinced that it was correct. The constant teasing of the end being only two to five years away for forty five years, along with other oppressing demands, turned me to an “I just don’t give a shit anymore” attitude.

    I think it was that attitude that finally allowed me to examine all the evidence of Armstrongism, both for and against, and to then realize it for the Bullshit it is.

    I think Douglas Becker put it best: “They lie to you then they take your money.”

    • Yes, the end is always right around the corner: http://www.thetrumpet.com/?q=8722.0.139.0

      That is a link to a new Trumpet article by Joel Hilliker–“Do You Realize How Soon the World Could End?” He’s making reference to all the Mid-East/North African revolutions and how that is putting the afterburners to prophetic fulfillment. Didn’t another period like this happen back in the 1970s? Isn’t that when the men who have just been ousted got into power? Yes, yes it was. So, is this such a unique, earth-shattering event? No. No it isn’t. It is just more “the end is almost here so give us your money so you don’t die!” Disgusting…

      • Yes, that is a very interesting read! I had heard of that study before, but I’m glad you mentioned it here. I’ve also read that part of the reason for the people not wanting to admit the failed prophecies are such is pride. The pride comes in not wanting to admit that THEY were wrong to trust the worthless preacher in the first place! I kind of think: which is worse? To admit being wrong and having been taken in, or continue to live with whatever restrictions the religious dogma of the prophesying organization has in place even when their prophetic failures show them to be nothing but uninspired men?

  4. Eric, I have a rising concern that it isn’t just pride in not wanting to admit to falling prey to a Ponzi Scheme with no redeeming value: It is fear.

    On other forums, I see people saying that they know the cult they are in is wrong, but they feel as if someone is going to “lower the boom” on them if they protest or leave. They have the fear of a god on them. In fact, in some cases, particularly with those who have a lot to lose because of family members, there may be another kind of fear of loss.

    I’m still searching for ways to help these people mitigate their fears. Some people are more vulnerable than others and it is painful to see the long term damage created by the Armstrongists. It’s nice to have a forum like this which can sort through the delusions and I’m greatful it exists and you cover topics such as this.

    • Yes, you are right of course–it is far more than stupid pride that keeps people in. The fear is real, even if what we are to be afraid of isn’t. A couple friends (who are now out) of mine from PCG days have said it took a while to free their minds from the fears of the Tribulation, even after the tremendous difficulty/fear involved in losing family and friends.

      Of course, that is a big part of the reason this site exists and why we write–educate the fears away! Yes, fear can stay around in an irrational manner even after the rationale for the fear is gone, but after finding out there is nothing to fear (but fear itself…) then it inevitably subsides.

      I should visit some of the other places/forums–see what people are saying and maybe get some more article ideas; get some that may be more relevant to people’s needs.

  5. ive been reading the “trumpet” for over 15 yrs now becasue i found it interesting and kinda fell for most of their prophesies untill recently i chose not to ever open another trumpet crap magazine. i no longer live in fear of the 10 headed beast from Europe ! i am free!

    • Wow, Anonymous, that’s quite a story! What changed your mind? And were you falling for the Fear Factor in it, or were you just finding it, as you said, “interesting”?

  6. German reunification talks were going on when Herbie was printing out his first copies of heresy back in the beginnings of his so called ministry.

    The brain damaged members see him as a prophet because of his printed words nearly a century ago, but the truth be known, he stole and sold this concept under the guise of inspiration from God. The headlines from his time reflected this concept of a unified Europe after WW1 and more so after the following war, WWII.

    Analyses of his writings concludes that his rag magazine in which we ALL know the name was a primitive copy and paste from the headlines of the days in which he enjoyed the best of times molesting his daughter and making a living doing absolutely nothing of value to promote the advancement of humanity.

    The man was a leach and a parasite on the ass of Americans everywhere. May God damn him into the lake of fire he so fondly spoke of!

  7. Eric wrote: “Of course, that is a big part of the reason this site exists and why we write–educate the fears away! Yes, fear can stay around in an irrational manner even after the rationale for the fear is gone, but after finding out there is nothing to fear (but fear itself…) then it inevitably subsides.”

    Don’t you ever forget those word young man. Don’t you ever allow your pride helping others build you up like those you despise. You are the future warrior in which sacrifices time and money is spent in order to help your fellow man in a time of need! Never loose the vision.

    My friend, I appreciate your article and wish you and the rest of the crew a long and prosperous future fighting injustices in the sick dark world of Armstrong-ism! Never allow evil to flourish and always watch you back. Read “Snakes in Suits.”

  8. Just read in response to some other blog post elsewhere (not mine):
    “This blog makes me think about why Bible storying is becoming so embraced and relevent. It is because it is all about Jesus- no frills, no flurry, but Jesus. He is the Son of God, part of the Godhead, our Savior, our great High Priest, our….He is our all, and He is all we need!”

    I don’t necessarily agree with this person but this comment caught my eye: “..No frils, no flurry!!”

  9. Pingback: Timberrrrrr! « Armstrong Delusion

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