OIU Volume Four
OUTSIDER'S INSIDE UPDATE™
Volume FOUR ... a newsletter of understanding ... Spring `97
VOLUME Four contents:
- PROPAGANDA and Dialectical Materialism (two techniques the WCG has used throughout its years in an effort to control)
- As the Whirlwide Turns™, Part Four
- When Prophecy Fails!!!
- Cognitive Dissonance
- The "HISTORIC" TKACHIAN THOUGHT REFORM PROGRAM
- Once Upon a Time (WCG has always operated as a secret society)
- Recapturing True History
- What Faulty Doctrine???
- The Pseudo Numbers Game (WCG manipulates the membership count)
- The Selling of Assets and Loss of Members
- The Evangelical Televangelist Scandal
- The Five Year Plan and the beginning of The Cognitive Dissonance Campaign
- David Hulme
- CRI Asks ESN for Help
- Spanky pays Hanky BIG $$$ for the PR propaganda
- What is Armstrongism?
- Divide and Conquer
- The Flock Scatters!!! Does it Really???
- In Transition??? How Appropriate a Name!
- Ronald L. Dart
- Armstrongism Adapts A New Identity
- Friends Of The Sabbath
Where have we been? A day doesn't pass without the phone ringing, requesting the latest OIU. Some have wondered if the Exit & Support Network™ (ESN) was still in operation. Those who have called have been updated and informed with up-to-the minute details regarding the ESN. To us it seems like Volume THREE was mailed just yesterday; others reading it for the first time conclude its content describes the exact events as they unfold this very day. We have good excuses why we have held off on re-issuing the OIU. Do you as a reader have a good reason not knowing what the ESN is up to these days?
The ESN is well into its fourth year although its accomplishments might suggest many years of operation. The successes of the ESN are largely due to the relentless dedication of several who are fully committed to assisting those caught in the web of religious deception. Listed below are just a few of the priorities and accomplishments:
- Monitored the WCG's orchestrated agenda with the dismantling of the previous structure and employment of the evangelical marketing strategy.
- Exclusively investigated and covered the Garner Ted Armstrong sexual assault lawsuit.
- Issued SIX detailed investigative reports to hundreds. The ESN did the arduous detailed research work, while fringe propagandists plagiarized the writings, claiming self-seeking fame and recognition. Details will follow!
- Maintained scrutiny on the evolution of the extension COG groups with research and investigation (R&I) detailing the reasons behind the events.
- Built the only available WCG conglomerate archive that rivals none, including the WCG itself!
- Attended several national conferences on topics such as: law enforcement, mind control, cults in today's society and studies of ancient religions.
- Conducted several seminars at professional conferences on deceptive religious organizations and the mainstreaming of cultic groups.
- Mailed hundreds of packets for info-requests and specific assistance.
- Accomplished several Research & Investigative (R&I) trips across the country relating to the reasons behind the events.
- Continued producing support assistance to hundreds seeking references, assistance or answers to their questions.
And that is only part of it! The ESN has been in the forefront of several traumatic events with individuals and breaking news. We have been active as a voice and proactive with the endeavor to expose the works of evil. The few of us who have dedicated the countless hours and sacrificed our personal lives carry the load of a major work force. The ESN's success is credited to the fact that we will not give up and our strong will-will continue to inspire us to unravel the rat's nest of decades of deception. Our collective voice will continue to help free those exploited by propaganda, mind control, religious fraud, corruption and political agenda. The sinister psychopaths who come in HIS name inflict slavery on the unsuspecting by cunningly assuming power and control while perpetrating their money hungry, occultic, New Age agenda on the souls of those who are looking for Christ.
The time lapse between reports has allowed us to gather critical information on those involved in the hypocrisy. There is no more time for ignorance or silence. While we cannot control the evil or do away with the perpetrators, we can expose them. Collectively, that voice will reach others as a warning. The least we can do in the name of God is help our fellow man from stumbling into the currently brewing cesspool refashioned from the leftovers of decades past.
The OIU mission remains the same as the day we started the first official WCG Network. We will continue to:
- State the facts.
- Report the true history of the WCG and counter the refashioned lies.
- Provide information that propels questions and critical thinking.
- Report the reasons behind the events.
- Foster accountability on behalf of those posturing as religious ministers or church organizations.
Yes! We've been very busy, now it is about time you know what is going on.
Please read the following articles carefully. The information covers techniques the WCG has used throughout its years in an effort to control. The OIU objective is to provide the necessary understanding of the composite theory behind the actual events of confusion. No one said it would be easy and we'd be happy to answer any further questions relating to the information in this OIU.
What is it?
"Propaganda is the expression of opinion or action by individuals or groups deliberately designed to influence opinions or actions of other individuals or groups with reference to predetermined ends."
Propaganda and Democracy
Many opinions or propaganda are highly charged with emotion, prejudice and bitterness. People make a virtue of defending their own opinions or propagandas. Many would deal with opinions or propagandas they don't like by suppressing them-by violence, if need be. But suppression of unpopular opinions or propagandas is contrary to democratic conceptions of government.
Propaganda conforms to democratic principles when it tends to preserve and extend democracy; it is antagonistic when it undermines and destroys democracy.
Democracy has four parts, set forth or implied in the Constitution and federal statutes:
- Political: Freedom to vote on public issues, freedom of press and speech to discuss those issues in public gatherings, in press, radio, motion pictures, etc.
- Economic: Freedom to work and to participate in organizations and discussions to promote better working standards and higher living conditions for the people.
- Freedom from oppression based on theories of superiority or inferiority.
- Religious: Freedom of worship, with separation of church and state.
Many are misled by propaganda antagonistic to democracy as few persons have had the opportunity to learn how to detect and analyze propaganda.
The chief danger of propaganda is its appeal to emotion and decisions made under stress of emotion often leading to disaster when the emotion crowds out cool, dispassionate thought.
"Free propaganda," wrote the Springfield Republican, Sept. 3, 1937, "is nothing but free publicity for views, interpretations, arguments, pleadings, truths and untruths, half-lies and lies of all creation. Propaganda is good as well as bad. We are surrounded by clouds of propaganda... It is up to each of us to precipitate from those clouds the true and the false, the near-true and the near-false, identifying and giving to each classification its correct label."
- All propaganda is associated with conflict in some form--either as cause, or as effect, or as both cause and effect.
- If we check our own opinions with respect to conflicts about which we feel strongly--on which we take sides--we see the direction of our own propagandas or opinions.
- Propaganda, which concerns us most, is today's propaganda associated with today's conflicts. It affects our incomes, our businesses, our working conditions, our health, our education, our rights and responsibilities in fields political, economic, social and religious.
- Our own opinions, even with respect to today's propagandas, have been largely determined for us by inheritance and environment. We tend to distrust the opinions of those who differ from us in those ways. Only drastic changes in our life conditions, with new and different experiences, associations, and influences can offset or cancel out the effect of inheritance and long years of environment.
- A fundamental step in propaganda analysis, therefore, is to analyze ourselves, to make clear why we act and believe as we do with respect to various conflicts and issues-political, economic, social and religious.
- The most effective way to deal with propaganda, once we recognize it, is to suspend our judgment until we obtain essential facts and implications involved in the propaganda. We must ask: Who is the propagandist? Is he consciously and intentionally trying to influence our thoughts and actions? For what purpose does he use the common propaganda devices? How does he use words and symbols? What are their exact meanings? What do they mean to the propagandist's interests? Do his interests coincide with the interests of most citizens?
- That fact that some words are "omnibus" words makes many the easy dupes of propagandists. Omnibus words are words extraordinarily difficult to define. They carry all meanings to all men. Therefore, the best test for the factual content of propaganda lies in specific, concrete definition of the words and symbols used by the propagandist. Moreover, sharp definition is the best antidote against words and symbols carrying a high charge of emotion.
How to Detect Propaganda
We are fooled by propaganda chiefly because we don't recognize it when we see it. We can more easily recognize propaganda when we see it, if we are familiar with the seven common propaganda devices. These are:
- The Name Calling Device.
- The Glittering Generalities Device.
- The Transfer Device.
- The Testimonial Device.
- The Plain Folks Device.
- The Card Stacking Device.
- The Bandwagon Device.
Why are we fooled by these devices? Because they appeal to our emotions rather than to our reason. They make us believe and do something we would not believe or do if we thought about it calmly, dispassionately. In examining these devices we note that they work most effectively at those times when we are too lazy to think for ourselves; also, they tie into emotions which sway us to be 'for' or 'against' nations, races, religions, ideals, economic and political policies and practices, and so on...
Abraham Lincoln must have had in mind citizens who could balance their emotions with intelligence when he made his remark: "but you can't fool all of the people all of the time."
[The above introduction to understanding propaganda was excerpted from Volume 1 of the publications of the Institute For Propaganda Analysis, Inc.]
It is absolutely not possible to discern or properly examine the events of the Worldwide Church of God (WCG) and extension groups, without understanding the sophisticated system of propaganda employed within its strategy. It is an art and a polished, learned skill, which is employed in and by every segment of our society in some degree. Many deceitful religious institutions along with their well-trained leaders have earned notable status in the pool of propagandists. They have successfully controlled and enslaved millions through their artfully postured techniques ensconced in manipulation and distraction as they propagandize one endeavor while simultaneously pursuing other goals surrounding political agenda and financial expansion.
In the 1930's professors of propaganda stressed:
1.) Learning to think independently, 2.) Coming to conclusions, and 3.) Respecting other men with opposite conclusions. "So far as individuals are concerned, the art of democracy is the art of thinking and discussing independently together." But times have changed since the 1930 propaganda tactics. The past sixty years have also introduced psychological technology beyond the thinking realm of the most scientific and prestigious intellectuals of that era.
"KNOW YOUR ENEMY is the first principle in any encounter, whether it be football or war (hot or cold)."1 The American events of this century have served as spawning grounds for creating and enhancing diabolical techniques that attack the citizen's mind, disabling him from having the ability to learn how to think independently, let alone objectively analyze events unfolding before his eyes. The wars of this century have taught the leaders how to capture their target through psychological means, as the physical techniques of the past become antiquated.
Propaganda became a staple in the American diet with the birth of the radio. The more citizens listened to the box in their living rooms, the less they exercised their thinking skills. The cracker barrel discussions2 of the last century gave way to opinions and thoughts entering the mind, leaving critical discussion a thing of the past. As the newspapers grew along with the radio monopoly, the citizen took on a new, more submissive role as sharp thinking skills eroded throughout each decade. Even before radio, the infamous KKK (Ku Klux Klan )propaganda movie, Birth of a Nation, paved the way for an onslaught of movie and TV propaganda.3
"Some of the devices now so subtly and effectively used by good and bad propagandists are as old as language. All have been used in one form or another by all of us in our daily dealings with each other. Propagandists have seized upon these methods we ordinarily use to convince each other, have analyzed and refined them, and have experimented with them until these homely devices of folk origin have been developed into tremendously powerful weapons for the swaying of popular opinions and actions."
The point of stressing this topic as an introduction to OIU Vol. FOUR is to accent the importance of understanding what is propelling the unfolding events. When one earnestly puts aside his biases, to educate himself about the tactics used by the WCG system and ministers in an effort to inhibit critical thinking of its members, one's mind opens up to a world of understanding and discernment surrounding the deceptions. It is through the educational process of looking outside the closed tunnel vision fostered by the WCG way of life that leads to learning the real truth behind THE PLAIN TRUTH. Then reasons behind the events easily unfold before one's eyes.
Religion is the Opiate of the People--Karl Marx
"The end of war is the control of a conquered people. If a people can be conquered in the absence of war, the end of war will have been achieved without the destruction of war. A worthy goal... and the glory of Communist conquest over the stupidity of the enemies of the People."
--Brainwashing, A synthesis of the Russian Textbook on Psychopolitics, an exposé by Kenneth Goff
"Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise."
--Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf
"The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names."
See Proverbs 8: 5-20.
Recently the OIU questioned several regarding their education on Communism. All replied that whatever knowledge they had was contributed through self-study. No one recalled covering the "topic" in any significance in their past education, which for all consisted of advanced degrees. Is there any wonder why?
As the 20th Century approaches its end, we become increasingly aware of the stronger governmental controls placed on individuals and society in general. Surely, many feel the controls and increased surveillance measures are welcomed as they, as citizens, are led to believe it is for their own well-being. That, along with the "security" feelings generated by those in charge of providing "these" measures, has led many throughout our society to be complacent and submissive toward the loss of personal freedoms.
Why, others wonder, do Americans sit on their laurels and allow the Constitution to be eroded by soft-sell propaganda? What creates such apathy and ignorance, which appears to replace the critical thinking, courage and energy needed to confront the issues of our day?
Unless one had majored in "history," chances are one's understanding of historical events are very shallow and rote at best. Schools certainly do not concentrate in this area and most students form a disdain for the word by 7th grade. This deficit of understanding has created a generous gap for exploiters or controllers with agendas opposite to the Constitution or our democratic society.
Those who neglect the lessons of history, are doomed to repeat them.
In our in-depth research the ESN was forced to delve into the history of the United States. We could not possibly understand the growth or history of the WCG without paralleling the events occurring in the United States or throughout the world. As time passes, the OIU will continue to define the reasons behind the events. As much as we'd like to sum it up in a few paragraphs, it is not possible due to the complexity and enormity of the issues related to our history in society and its connection with this century's Christianity.
First, a little history review will help to understand the origin of Dialectical Materialism.
"George Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel (1770-1831) was a German philosopher who was very influential during the nineteenth century. Though much of his writings are considered abstruse, what he was and is in reality, (as he continues to live through his ideas), is a master manipulator and an expert in the art of lying. The form of manipulation he espoused is what communists the world over use today. It is called the "dialectic," that is, thesis vs. antithesis which leads to synthesis."4
This is all very confusing! And that's just the point. If people knew of the manipulation and deceptions fostered upon them, the perpetrators would lose control. Two guides to dwell on: What we don't know, will hurt us and what seems laudable is actually a smoke screen for sinister purposes and motivations.
Karl Heinrich Marx (1818-1883) was a German economist, philosopher and revolutionist whose writings form the basis of the body of ideas known as Marxism. With the aid of Friedrich Engles he produced much of the theory of modern socialism and communism. Marx's father, Heinrich, was a Jewish lawyer who had converted his family to Christianity partly in order to preserve his job in the Prussian state. Karl himself was baptized in the Evangelical church. As a student at the University of Berlin, young Marx was strongly influenced by the philosophy of G. W. F. Hegel. Following in the footsteps of Ludwig Feuerbach,5 Marx applied Hegel's concept of "alienation" to ownership of private property, which he said caused humans to work only for themselves and not for the good of their species. He elaborated on the idea of alienation of an economic base and called for a communist society to overcome the dehumanizing effect of private property. Marx's close relationship with Friedrich Engels laid the foundation for their materialistic conception of history. They argued that human thought was determined by production. They developed a method of analysis they called Dialectical Materialism (DM) in which the clash of historical forces leads to changes in society.6
Facts and Points about DM:
- Dialectical Materialism is the underlying philosophy of most contemporary Communist governments.
- Dialectics is termed from Hegel's philosophy, which is a way of thinking about the world, in all its complexity.
- With dialectics, the changes and interactions that anything undergoes are brought into focus and emphasized and special attention is devoted to whatever patterns emerge.
- The uneasy tensions between historical forces promoting change, and the systemic ones promoting stability are captured in the idea of 'contradiction,' understood as a progressive pulling apart of what is functionally united.
- DM is a synthesis of materialism and the dialectic developed by G. W. F. Hegel.
- Change is viewed as the result of the interaction of opposites. Each thing that exists (thesis) gives rise to the opposite (antithesis); the interaction of thesis and antithesis is ultimately reconciled (synthesis) to become a new thesis. Marx and Hegel used these assumptions to analyze and explain historical development.7
In her book, The Rewriting of America's History, author Catherine Millard states:
"...The Hegelian Principle can be explained as follows: Change in a society is brought about in a three-step process: Thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. The first step (thesis) is to create a problem. The second step (antithesis) is to generate opposition to the problem (fear, panic, hysteria). The third step (synthesis) is to offer the solution to the problem created in step one-change which would have been impossible to impose on the people without the proper psychological conditioning achieved in stages one and two."
This proper psychological conditioning is a major power component to mind control. Propaganda is blindly accepted through carefully orchestrated steps used by totalitarian regimes to control people. "By deliberately creating chaos in economics, in crime control, and other societal problems, and then forcing change on people to supposedly 'solve' the problems they themselves created. Planned chaos brings about anarchy, and anarchy, being a terrifying state of lawlessness, finally causes people to throw up their hands and give up their freedom (change) for the relative stability of totalitarianism."8
What does all this have to do with propaganda? Propaganda is the distraction; dialectical materialism is the method of delivery. Propaganda is the lie; dialectical materialism is the contradiction. Propaganda is successful when the conditions are ripe and the audience is prepared. The following conditions are essential:
- Trust in the authority issuing the propaganda.
- An environment not conductive to inquiry.
- Information control.
- Apathy or submission created from confusion, trauma or change.
- Non-critical thinking; submission of personal will.
Dialectics can further be explained as logic of two opposites-meaning, two opposites fed in the mind at any given time. Anytime you accept simultaneously contradicting beliefs or concepts, you are rendered docile and indifferent to furthering arguments from either side. This is also known as doublethink. Contradiction is caused when two messages are stated at the same time. Opposing views, simultaneously stated, creates confusion and contradiction. The mental state of confusion and contradiction induces psychological trauma. The psychological trauma is equalized by submission to the newly propagandized view. Cognitive dissonance is the mental conflict caused by opposing views, which leads to a mental dissociative state, or trance-like state. The dissociative mental state allows the propagandist to manipulate his targets under his control without rebellion.
"Hegel's principles underlie Marxist socialism, where man is the measure of all things and the state is worshipped, inevitably leading to slavery. Socialism is simply a system, an idea, a mind state, a worldview that insists that people serve the government and man's arbitrary government is exalted uber alles. Heil Hitler! Have we learned nothing from history?
Hegel's dialectics (known also as the Hegelian Principle) is a glorification of the state over man and reveals an immoral end-justifies-the-means mentality. It is a crass manipulation of mind and matter, severed from vital spiritual principles that inform a normal, healthy person's bedrock character (don't lie, cheat, steal or murder)."9
The significance of understanding the origins of communism and the philosophies molded through the Marx/Engel era will be explored in future issues and reports, as it strongly pertains to what is happening in 20th century Christianity. An understanding of their Dialectics and Materialism is, however, pertinent to discerning the actual WCG events.
The carefully orchestrated events of these past eight years, initiated by the elitist controllers of the Worldwide Church of God have been largely implemented by the age old psychological techniques that have placed "historic" names such as Hegel, Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler and Mao in bold print on the pages of history.
As Herbert W. Armstrong accurately pointed out in his letter to the Brethren, Nov. 1967, "The biggest mistake Mao Tse Tung made was not having a 'GOD' at the head of the government."
Just like there are reasons behind the events, so, too, there are reasons why a WCG member, when asked about changes, so often responds, "Nothing's changed." Further on in this report, will be explained how dialectical materialism was carried out on the members of the WCG and extension groups and the devastating effects that resulted.
"Well what comes from the 1994 Feast of Tabernacles? Another exciting family reunion! A dawning of a NEW AGE and the wonderful world tomorrow, when the Feast of Tabernacles anticipates a worldwide harvest of redemption, a time when the earth is filled with knowledge of the Lord. A time when nature, government, economy, culture will work in harmony in bringing His children to glory and fulfilling our INCREDIBLE HUMAN POTENTIAL." Joseph W. Tkach, Sr. 1994
The one item left out of this telling statement of introduction made by Joseph Tkach, Sr. (JWT Sr.) way back in `94, is the fact that God's Great Plan of Salvation included one world religion along with the one world government system run by the Great Architect of the Universe.
Yes, it was a time when all would dwell together in harmony with the lion and lamb. A time when all leaders would turn their swords into plowshares and unite as one people. The truth would be open to everyone, as God's Way would rule the Universe. All would rejoice in the Government from the top down. All would be keeping the Sabbath, as it was the sign between man and God. Only those in the one true church, who endured to the end, would be the bride-to-be, changed at the twinkling of the eye at Christ's return. The one and only true church in His universe was being trained to be the leaders in the Wonderful World Tomorrow. The trials of this fleshy, carnal life, along with strict obedience to God's only true ministers and HQ church on earth, were to guarantee a name in the Book of Life. The Plan of Salvation demanded Sabbath Keeping and Law Keeping as defined by His instruments that He alone ordained.
Disobedience meant disfellowshipment from the vine, the body. Once discarded into Satan's world, all would be lost-Salvation-the Resurrection-the World Tomorrow-and Eternity would be lost forever. The end would be met in the Third Resurrection, when the loving God would raise the failures and allow them to view the wonderful Satan-less world just prior to tossing them into the Lake of Fire to be obliterated as if they never were, leaving behind those who endured to the end. Ah, the Mystery of the Ages. How incredible to be exclusively called by the living God, or "Great Architect of the Universe,"10 as part of His small flock of children, following His Apostle Herbert W. Armstrong.
Note: The OIU does not attempt to discredit personal opinions of doctrines, or to persuade anyone toward a particular belief. We feel intentional deception and exploitation in the name of religion has no doctrinal barriers. The OIU attempt is to explain how doctrine is exploited as: 1) a propaganda tool which in turn provides gross distraction to what is actually occurring with the organization. 2) A way to elicit control and obtain specific behavior from spiritually minded individuals that financially pay extreme amounts of money to the organization in question.
One book, which clearly explains the Tkachian THOUGHT REFORM strategy, is, When Prophecy Fails, by Leon Festinger, Henry W. Riecken and Stanley Schachter. Its subtitle, "A social and psychological study of a modern group that predicted the destruction of the world," includes 250 pages of well-documented historical examples of various religious groups, which, like the WCG, gathered huge followings. The many examples demonstrate how these groups, headed by prophetic, often charismatic leaders claiming to be God's only true human instrument, grow--become fanatical--and attach their total allegiance to the man who dictates the future for them.
What sets this book aside from others is the detailed explanation of why adherents to apocalyptic groups continue to support the group, even after the leaders die or are proven false or frauds. Time and again throughout history, religious leaders have claimed the coming of Christ, dated His return and documented prophecy predictions for all to view. In our in-depth research of the WCG we learned the format presented in this 1955 classic is verbatim to the propagation of the WCG chronology of events throughout the past ten years. The insightful research also invites a closer look into the well thought out Tkachian methods used to manipulate and deceive thousands into a new THOUGHT REFORM program.
If you are a current member of the WCG, you may have been privy to several comments made by Joseph Tkach, Jr. regarding "cognitive dissonance." We at the ESN were quite amused to hear the words flow from his lips starting on the January `96 "Bible Answer Man" show with Christian Research Institute's President, Hank Hanegraaff. The Tkachians take every opportunity to explain that the WCG change created a cognitive dissonance in its members. The ESN has been reporting on the subject of cognitive dissonance well before Tkach, Jr. started putting his public spin on the trauma-induced psychological problem. Our thorough and ongoing studies in mind-control, programming, hypnosis and on how cults operate, along with the real history of the WCG and Herbert W. Armstrong, were instrumental in uncovering and understanding the methods employed by the WCG leaders to recruit and maintain adherents. The well-trained ministers and business moguls have adopted the age old methods used by other "historic" groups and incorporated some of the latest mind control, manipulation and persuasion techniques known to man. The WCG psychological THOUGHT REFORM was keenly maneuvered and demonstrated through the "change" strategy stemming from the inner offices and secret compartments of HQ, which lead to the carefully orchestrated fraction of the WCG conglomerate.
What does all this mean? Most everyone who talks with us asks, "How have they fooled me like this?" or, "Why couldn't I see through the deception?" These varied questions always point to the same answer: "In our society today, what you don't know, will hurt you!" The deceptive, and often sinister tactics used throughout society in marketing, advertising and recruiting are aimed at the unsuspecting. No one can protect himself from being victimized by the spiritual rape artists' techniques, if not educated or skilled as to how to detect the perpetrators. That, coupled with religiosity and emotionalism, leaves even the most intelligent a perfect target. Millions of spiritual searchers have fallen into the hands of charlatans and deceivers throughout history. The search for salvation and truth has historically led many into destruction, poverty and death. On the other hand, perpetrators have stepped up their enlightenment on the slick and evil techniques needed to exploit and conquer the human nature of their fellow man. The God, Gospel and Salvation business has earned fame, fortune and name place in the books of history.
Where does cognitive dissonance fit into the picture? It was one of the carefully orchestrated psychological techniques deceptively used on the membership of the WCG organization. It provided psychological disarmament of members' thinking ability, which allowed implementation of the new THOUGHT REFORM. This induced a psychological trauma technique paving the way for the controllers of the organization to manipulate their well-planned re-structuring and eradication of the multi-million dollar religious empire!
Psychological journals, countless books and volumes of research work on stress and trauma clearly define cognitive dissonance and dissociative disorders. There are hospitals and agencies devoted specifically to the cure for this disorder. A clear explanation relating to the WCG may be quoted from When Prophecy Fails:
"Dissonance and consonance are relations among conditions-that is, among opinions, beliefs, knowledge of the environment, and knowledge of one's own actions and feelings. Two opinions or beliefs, or items of knowledge are dissonant with each other if they do not fit together-that is, if they are inconsistent, or if, considering only the particular two items, one does not follow from the other. For example, a cigarette smoker who believes that smoking is bad for his health has an opinion that is dissonant with the knowledge that he is continuing to smoke. He may have many other opinions, beliefs, or items of knowledge that are consonant with continuing to smoke but the dissonance nevertheless exists too."
"Dissonance produces discomfort and, correspondingly, there will arise pressures to reduce or eliminate the dissonance. Attempts to reduce dissonance represent the observable manifestations that dissonance exists. Such attempts may take any or all of three forms. The person may try to change one or more of the beliefs, opinions, or behaviors involved in the dissonance; to acquire new information or beliefs that will increase the existing consonance and thus cause the total dissonance to be reduced, or to forget or reduce the importance of those cognitions that are in a dissonant relationship."
"If any of the above attempts are to be successful, they must meet with support from either the physical or the social environment. In the absence of such support, the most determined efforts to reduce dissonance may be unsuccessful.""…Rationalization can reduce dissonance somewhat. For rationalization to be fully effective, support from others is needed to make the explanation or the revision seem correct. Fortunately, the disappointed believer can usually turn to the others in the same movement, who have the same dissonance and the same pressures to reduce it. Support for the new explanation is, hence, forthcoming and the members of the movement can recover somewhat from the shock of disconfirmation."11
The authors highlight this text with the history of the Millerite movement of the 1800's. When their prophecies, similar to HWA's prophecies, failed, the majority of the members did not disband, but instead regrouped and fractionated with renewed adherence to their leader's original prophecies. The history of the Millerites offers an insightful look into the behavior of those who are inflicted with "disconfirmation" and clearly defines the expected outcome for those who may choose to exploit the weaknesses in human nature.
For the full understanding of cognitive dissonance in this context, you should get the book. Though out of print, it may be located in the library or bookstores, which carry old books.
So what's the big fuss about cognitive dissonance anyway? As previously stated, it can be used as a destructive tool to manipulate and hurt the unsuspecting. Before explaining how the Tkachian strategy capitalized on this, let's take a closer look at what happens to an individual purposely inflicted with techniques related to cognitive dissonance. Psychological trauma causes mental stress. As the stress builds, normal mental capacity diminishes. The brain can hold only so much stress before it starts to shut down. When the stress is enhanced with contradictions and confusion, the person's mind is unable to exercise critical thinking skills. The contradiction and confusion leads to more stress and the cycle continues causing trancing and dissociation. Dissociation is a psychological component that mentally removes the person from his current stress. Normal dissociation could be explained by daydreaming. Abnormal dissociation impairs memory and functionality.
Victims of severe abuse, or incest, often handle the painful trauma by disassociating. The dissociation can often lead to splitting or recreation of identities. That disorder is known as Dissociative Identity Disorder, or DID. The dissociation alleviates the pain and trauma at the time of infliction, but the repercussions of the intense dissociation are equally devastating which often results in the inability to discern reality from fantasy. Cognitive dissonance and dissociation affects everyone differently. Perpetrators who intentionally create an environment that induces these phenomena have a general idea as to what they expect regarding results and work within those confines.
There are many levels or degrees to the dissociation process. The degree we are concerned with is that which was manipulated by the WCG religiocrats™ to mastermind their THOUGHT REFORM program. The recipients of the clever trauma-inducing technique involved members of the church, Evangelicals in the greater Christian community and the public at large.
The art of propaganda teaches us that the propagandist mixes lies with truth. The skilled propagandists also preach against what they are directly guilty of committing. A good salesperson knows he should always meet his objections up front and leave his customer with no questions or concerns at the end of his presentation. No concerns usually mean a sell or sealed deal!
When Joseph Tkach, Jr. started announcing the cognitive dissonance within the organization as an excuse for the traumatized members, he may have well admitted to implementing the strategy that inflicted the trauma on the members. The cat's out of the bag; his only recourse is to meet the objection up front like a good little propagandist.
Before delving into how the Tkachians strategized the cognitive dissonance, which aided their Cult In Transition historic campaign, please note the following:
- Based on Joe Jr's intellectual record, experiences and WCG history, we do not for a moment believe he has the in-depth sophisticated abilities to devise and orchestrate the THOUGHT REFORM program, or new marketing business strategy. For those who would attest that it is God or Jesus orchestrating the THOUGHT REFORM, we ask: "Is God a liar? Is God double-minded? Is God the same today, as He was yesterday?" Ponder these questions as you research the events regarding the history of the WCG organization and the men who held the power that corrupts.
- Tkachian is a term used to explain the methods and label current authors of the WCG revision and fragmentation.
- Based on the vast history of the WCG organization (some of which we reported and more of what we will report in the future) we strongly believe that the religious system/doctrines were used as a product to recruit members for one purpose, while maintaining subterfuge agenda pertaining to the covert multi-million dollar empire. The incredible unfolding of events has proven that the religiocrats are spiritually removed from the religious system they hide under, as they push doctrine in the forefront as a distraction to the actual game plan.
- Readers of the OIU come from all faiths and understandings; we at no time mean to insult personal belief. Our objective is to demonstrate how religion/doctrines have been used to manipulate and deceive thousands as the religiocrat™ capitalists conspire with power, wealth and political goals for their own personal gain.
The passing of Herbert W. Armstrong, in no way, marks the beginning of what many would term, the event of "change." Because the WCG has always operated as a secret society manifesting a cultic, closed system with severe information control, few have been able to critically consider the entire history of the organization. The leaders today and from the past are expert propagandists and revisionists. The WCG foundation has been historically supported by layers of lies surrounding the history of Herbert W. Armstrong; the inception of the Radio Church of God, the mission of the "church," and now the events of change, all of which domineered the WCG news these past several years. Few could contemplate the enormity and complexity of the actual history of this 62-year-old organization. This lack of awareness is greatly due to the psychologically abusive system fostered by its creators and supposed spiritual leaders. Exploration of the WCG history unveils a very different picture than that acquired while under the influence of its system. Often, researchers are devastated over the newly learned facts that were deeply hidden under the facade of "God's One True Church." While under the programming of the WCG system (often termed as Armstrongism), members lived under strict obedience to a law outlined by the controllers. That law mandated that members never deviate from the ministers' rule in thought, word or deed. Mavericks daring to test the minister were analogous to testing God and were quickly discarded like Satan-inspired rubbish from the flock. The reader should recall that salvation solely depended on being a member of the Worldwide Church of God; if you were cast from the vine, your destiny was the third resurrection and obliteration in the LAKE OF FIRE. Once programmed, the method of fear and guilt induction guaranteed a tight sovereignty on the members. This mental domination often allowed the leaders to carry on business as usual with sinister or clandestine agenda. The little flock was not cognizant of the leaders' mind control regime inflicted upon them. The WCG history consists of two views:
A.) The members' view
B.) The reality, or actual history, of the Worldwide Church of God.
The Tkachian THOUGHT REFORM could not have succeeded had the leaders allowed healthy behavior to flourish. [Note: "Healthy behavior" as in non-controlling] The following tactics represent a long list of behavior control coercion used:
- Submission to "the authority"
- The attitude of "Be Like Children"
- Strict obedience to man-interpreted "biblical laws"
- No viewing of outside literature
- No listening to "Satan's" Christianity on radio or TV
- No furthering of education at "Satan's" institutions
- No participation in the world activities, including voting
- Reporting on other members to the minister
- Shunning those who left, or were discarded from the WCG
- Cutting off family and friends leaving the WCG
- Destruction of personal will and identity
- Replacing self-worth with self-loathing
- Control of emotional environment
The closed WCG system dictated every behavior of its adherents making it virtually impossible for critical thinking to occur. In the future the OIU will discuss how hypnosis was used by the authority to deceive and control the members. Once programmed into the thinking that HWA was God's Apostle and the WCG was His only church on earth, it was near impossible to break from the embedded phobic fears tightly instilled by its ministers into the members thinking patterns through the keenly presented propaganda and verbal, mind-image torture program.
The Tkachians propagate that they have led the church out of apostasy to Jesus Christ. They play the innocent born-again role, claiming ignorance to the actual history of the WCG. As we continue to closely monitor the continuing abuse and deception fostered by the current elitists, we can easily visualize their smirks behind closed doors as they count their successes in multi-million $$$, as they dupe the remaining WCG members and onlookers that have sucked up the propaganda. One could only wonder what their feelings of accomplishments are these days as they adulate themselves for having carried their destructive talents into what was traditionally considered mainstream Christianity.
Beware! Wolves coming in sheep's clothing? No more, dear readers. The wolves don't bother to change costumes anymore. They have conditioned their targets so well that they can come, as they are, to get the job done and gobble up the goodies. And worse…. they come without conscience.
UPDATE: In 2009 Worldwide Church of God changed their name to Grace Communion International in the United States. (Some local church areas and countries may still carry the former name or a different one.) Church Multiplication Ministries is a ministry of GCI.
The OUTSIDERS' Inside UPDATE is published as a Christian service for those
researching and investigating the reasons behind the events
of the Worldwide Church of God demise.
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