Ron Weinland: Failure

Last month I sent an e-mail to Ron Weinland, yet another deluded “prophet of God” who has been discussed at length on my blog before. Ron had the balls to predict a specific date for the Return of Jesus, which to his credit lends his prognostications the attribute of falsifiability. Unfortunately for him, that date was last Sunday, May 27, 2012.

Ron Weinland False Prophet

Weinland has previously stated that he would admit his wrongdoing and apologize if his prophecies fail to come to pass:

Some can’t wait for me to say that I am not a prophet or to say that I’m a false prophet. Indeed, no one has long to wait, do they? May the 27th 2012 is not too far away. And if Europe hasn’t arisen by early 2012 and if China does not begin destroying the earth before that date, then the reality would be manifest much sooner. Obviously. You have to wait until 2012. Then the question that they ask “What would I do?”

Well, first I’d repent before God and the church. I’d acknowledge my sin and pray that God have mercy on me for being so horribly presumptuous. Candidly, I’d deeply repent of all those things that concern prophecies that I’ve given in the office of a prophet.

On the strength of this, I wrote him the following message last month (to which I received the standard faceless autoreply.)

April 30, 2012

Ron,

I grew up in Armstrong’s WCG, believing we were living in the last days. I grew up during the Cold War, having nightmares of nuclear armageddon. I was a true believer from my childhood and later, a baptized adult member. And, I still live in the world today: I see the ongoing threat of humankind to itself. So, I think I understand what you’re going through now. And, I just wanted to say a couple things to you.

I think you’re sincere in your “prophecies.” I think that, right now, you really think you are one of the Two Witnesses of Revelation, and that somehow, in just a month, a whole bunch of things must surely come to pass that will astound the world and prove you and your God ultimately right.

However (and I’m sure you realize this already) I don’t think it will happen. I don’t have faith: I only have evidence and reason to go on. So please forgive the presumption of what I’m about to say, as I know you don’t agree.

When May 27th passes with just the typical unrests and instabilities in the world that humankind has always experienced (albeit reported instantly by the electronic media) and when you and you wife wake up on May 28th and Jesus still hasn’t returned, and when you watch the sun set on the evening of the 29th, I hope you will finally turn from the ways that so many of your predecessors have trodden before you… the ways of self-righteous denial that Yisrayl Hawkins and Harold Camping, and yes, even Herbert Armstrong (although his predictions were not nearly as precise as yours) have trod… they who said that, in all their earnest calculations about the precise day of the End, they simply forgot to carry the 1— and that God’s word is true even if they, God’s “true endtime prophets”, somehow got it wrong. Or, that God has decided to show mercy for the “sake of the elect,” or other such hogwash. I hope that after reflection, and being a seeker of truth, you’ll come to see the need for a quite different path to your life: the path that begins with you awakening to the fact that you have been living and teaching a lie… the path that continues with a thoughtful examination of how you came to fall into a trap that has ensnared so many others… the path leads to an ongoing dedication to healing the harm the lies have caused, and educating others on how to avoid repeating the lies and mistakes.

You wrote, “There are many examples of events in the lives of God’s people that did not seem reasonable to them and to those around them.” That is because these stories of “God’s people” are myths, so of course they are unreasonable— even to the fictional characters that inhabit them. When viewed from that context, the only thing that is truly unreasonable about them is that some people still believe them. You know exactly what I’m talking about: the story of Muhammad riding to heaven on a winged horse, or Joseph Smith scrying the Book of Mormon from hieroglyphics etched into golden plates, are completely unreasonable to you too, yet millions of people believe them literally. After May 27th, I hope you will pause, step back, and see the world from that larger perspective. From that vantage, you will see that you have been preaching a myth exactly like all the others. If you can see that (and I fully understand how big an “if” that is) I hope you will discover the strength to admit it: to yourself, your wife, and your followers. If you do, I applaud you in advance: I think admitting a delusion is one of the bravest things anyone can do.

Since 1995 I’ve run a web site for former WCG non-believers. It is a chronicle in the words of people like you and me, of the harm experienced at the hands of other believers (usually) sincerely living the lie. Their expressions of pain and anger are part of their healing. I have also seen former ministers go through the posts there, leaving heartfelt comments sincerely apologizing for their role in harming others in the name of God. Clearly, they have learned their lesson and are now living better lives.

http://ironwolf.dangerousgames.com/exwcg/

I also want you to know that there is a thriving, growing, and vibrant community of former-believers who have moved beyond the myths: who love and live their lives to the fullest. They have healed, and they are ready to help you heal and find purpose… once you’re ready to admit the lie. I know that time isn’t quite yet— you have a big day of reckoning just ahead of you. But your opportunity is coming quickly.

After May 27th, if you want someone to talk with or correspond with, my contact information is below. I’ll be there for you.

Best wishes,

Robert McNally

Despite my plea, and despite his Ultimate Prophecy’s spectacular failure, he has apparently decided to maintain his public wall of denial and assert that he is still God’s True Prophet. This is a quote I have transcribed from his Pentecost sermon (link to MP3) that he posted on Sunday (17 minutes in):

So what about us? Well, Pentecost 2012 is proving to be incorrect as the date of Christ’s return. Because deep down inside I still hold to a desire that somehow on this day these things could still come to pass; that somehow, because the time zones haven’t completely gone around the world that perhaps somehow God would intervene and change this; that if there be some other way that it could still happen this way. But I feel I know where it’s going. And so I still have that hope— a desire— to the end of this day in the Earth, and the beginning of Pentecost, the last portion of the timing that goes around the Earth. So if indeed, as it appears that it’s headed that way, Pentecost 2012 has proven to be incorrect as the date for Christ’s return,does that make everything else untrue? Does that negate the fact that I am God’s prophet and apostle at this End Time? Absolutely not!

Now that Weinland’s own words have revealed the depth of his insanity, I of course expect nothing but more of the same drivel from him forever— he is a lost cause and therefore I can now happily ignore him, knowing that those who search for his name on the Internet will see all that has gone before and have the tools they need to make up their own minds.

In fact, at this point I have decided to retire from calling out false prophets entirely. I’ve made my point and gotten it out of my system. I have better things to do with my life.

However, I would make a final plea to anyone religious reading this: Weinland’s path took him to an obvious cliff of failure— one that is easy for the religious and non-religious alike to ridicule. But although you may smugly quote from Matthew that “No man knows the hour“, you really should consider that those still firm in their apocalyptic faith (which pretty much includes the vast majority of Christians who believe that these are the “End Times” and Jesus is “coming soon”) have no more to go on than Weinland did. Sadly their path never ends but only leads, generation after generation, deeper and deeper into the woods.

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Prepare (Yet Again) To Meet Your Doom

Ig Nobel prizewinner Harold Camping is still firmly predicting the end of the world on October 21— a little over two days from the time of this writing… never mind that his previous two predictions came to naught. From the Family Radio web site:

Thus we can be sure that the whole world, with the exception of those who are presently saved (the elect), are under the judgment of God, and will be annihilated together with the whole physical world on October 21, 2011, on the last day of the present five months period. On that day the true believers (the elect) will be raptured. We must remember that only God knows who His elect are that He saved prior to May 21.

So… this is cool! It’s like God’s given us each a lottery ticket and on October 21 we’ll all simultaneously scratch off the little silver spot with a coin and find out which of us are the lucky winners. Like a real lottery, most of us will be losers of course, and this is… The Lottery of DOOM! Even Camping himself isn’t positive he won, but he’s confident the little piece of cardboard he’s clutching is… really important, somehow. Pity he doesn’t realize that all he’s got is just a worn ticket stub to a cheesy B-movie we’ve all seen over and over on late-night reruns.

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Family Radi-D’oh!

The Bible Guarantees It!

It’s May 21, 2011, 6:00 PM on the Pacific Coast, and no apocalypse. But relax, I’m sure Family Radio’s Harold Camping can explain everything! (Update: Yep, here it is! Mark your calendars for October 21st.) The only question is, who now remains that is gullible enough to believe anything he says? Sadly, probably quite a few.

Even sadder, most “mainstream” Christians console themselves with the idea that their interpretation of the Bible forbids the prediction of dates for Jesus’ return, while conveniently ignoring the biblical authors themselves, who confidently made predictions that the Savior would return within their own lifetimes— failed predictions that set the tone for the ensuing procession of failed predictions that continue to this day. Oh, not predictions about specific dates to be sure. But even the Christians I know who refuse to commit to specific dates insist that we are living in the “end of days” and that Jesus’ return is imminent… to some personalized approximation of “imminent.” This itself is a form of prediction: a prediction which fails again and again as each generation of Christians watches their children grow up, and as they desperately indoctrinate them to carry forward that same defective prediction.

To Christian readers, whether or not you followed Harold Camping, or even if you don’t believe in “apocalypse soon” in some form, I hope that times like this can be “teachable moments” for you. And here is the lesson that I, as a former Christian, had to learn from times like this: to the extent that your beliefs promote the idea that this life is but a rehearsal for another, you become correspondingly more schizophrenic— dissociated from life and the people with whom you share the world. Please consider studying your beliefs from a more healthy, skeptical viewpoint. I guarantee that many of Harold Camping’s (formerly) most fervent followers are doing just that right now… and for good reason.

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Harold Camping: May 21, 2011 is the End of the World

…or he’s just another false prophet like the others I’ve reported on here— which is how I’m laying the odds.

Only 213 shopping days left!

For a man convinced the world is going to end in less than a year, Harold Camping was in a delightful mood.

I visited with Camping at his Oakland office two weeks ago, shortly after he’d returned from a business trip to prepare for his ministry’s last year on earth.

“There’s so much work to do,” Camping told me with some enthusiasm as he sat down. “And not a lot of time left to do it!”

As readers may already know, Harold Camping gained notoriety a few years ago when he announced he’d cracked a code within the Bible that revealed the date for Christ’s return: May 21, 2011.

Camping oversees Family Radio and his daily recorded sermons are translated into 54 languages, then beamed across the globe via short wave radio.(For some pics of his gospel’s reach into Ghana, Nigeria, the Dominican Republic, see this article from a South African web site.)

Read the rest at SFGate

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Wayne Bent AKA Michael Travesser: False Prophet

This is one of the more disturbing things I’ve seen lately. Wayne Bent, called Michael Travesser by the members of his sect, the Lord Our Righteousness Church, predicted the end of the world to come at midnight October 31, 2007. His story fits right in with the many other modern-day false prophets I’ve blogged about here. And like most of them, despite the abject failure of his prophecies and his obvious psychological (and possibly physical) abuses, his staunch followers remain at his side.

Bent… yes, bent indeed.

http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=84FAAC06B25287DC

Running time: 20 minutes.

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I can’t respond to everything, but I do read everything!

Paul Cohen and Victor Hafichuk Are Shown the Cold Side of a Warm Door

A final exchange with those prophets of FAIL, Paul and Victor.

Previously: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Robert,

Whether you score a 6 or a 60, without justification you have played the part of an antagonistic, caustic adversary. In other words, in the vernacular of our day, you are acting like an asshole. We don’t need a test to prove that. The evidence is right here in our correspondence.

Yes, I did prophesy that God would require respect and humility from you. That is not an evil thing or remotely resembling a curse. On the contrary, it is a very good thing. You are the one who made it a “curse” about your tongue. What you are telling us is that you would rather lose your tongue than use it for wholesome purposes; you would have God remove it first. We say, “So be it.”

I did say, “Mark your calendar.” All that meant was to note the time when you determinedly set your face towards destruction. And, no, I did not expect you to do this, or to understand. I also prophesied that when all is said and done, which will not take long, you will know that you have been dealing with the Real Thing; God is with us.

I said it will not go well for you. It can’t, not with the way you conduct yourself. The law of reaping and sowing has not been repealed. That is the truth, which does not require a prophet to pronounce.

Furthermore, even before you spoke up about your challenge of a week to fulfill the curse you determined on yourself, I prayed to God that He would give you to ask of Him what you should have for a judgment. I had no way of knowing you would actually do such a thing. But there you were, the very next day, asking that God would silence your tongue, and giving Him a week deadline to do so.

He has not. So what are you to make of this? Obviously to you it is reason to celebrate and ridicule us all the more. No doubt you will do the same with this letter. But we ask you to publish it. We certainly will. We have nothing to hide or fear.

Here is what I see: God is longsuffering, which fools mistake for non-existence.

We will now see what He does, and, as I said before, it won’t be long. It will also be on record, whether at your site or ours or both, for all to see and to fear.

Paul

Paul,

I’ve seen some pretty sad attempts at spin by false prophets in my day, but this is certainly one of the most condensed, steaming piles of pitiful backpedaling I’ve ever encountered. A straightforward reading of your earlier condemnatory statements is that you were indeed pronouncing a divine curse upon my tongue and/or my life, to be carried out in short order: divine poetic justice meted to an insolent reprobate. It evokes all the certainty and immediacy of the judgement pronounced upon Ananias and Sapphira— I’m sure it’s one of your favorites. In fact I just checked: A quick search reveals that no less than 27 pages of your site mention the story— one of the most vile tools of extortion antiquity has given us, and still in active use today by you and your ilk.

And, had perchance some grievous harm befallen me during my circumscribed “curse week,” is any reader of these words stupid enough to think that you would not now be trumpeting my downfall as an example of your divine authority?

But denied that pleasure, you now attempt to retroactively transmute your leaden threats into gilded, nuanced warnings to a lost child— manifestations of divine love, but still with the amorphous-yet-hateful “it won’t be long” barb attached. I conclude that you are either extremely poor con men, or else earnest but so tone deaf in the art of human communication that you simply don’t realize how clownish such statements make you look. You should do yourselves a favor, and “remain silent to be thought a fool, rather than in speaking remove all doubt.” Indeed the Bible says God chooses the foolish, and certainly there is a correlation, but I propose you consider the converse: the foolish choose God. And the Most Foolish give themselves over so completely to this choice that they end up believing they speak for God— in effect, they become their conception of God. But the punch line soaring over your head is that you are not unique: you are just another in a long and growing line of the “touched” I have personally encountered.

Recall that it is you who originally contacted me, with an unsolicited and impersonal message about another false prophet, Ron Weinland— one of your competition for that hot commodity, the credulous. Many of us call that sort of contact “spam,” and consider it rude from the outset, but I suppose you never picked up on that bit of etiquette before you found the Send button. The links in your spam lead to your site where you pronounce yourselves not merely humble seekers after truth, but in sole and solid possession of “The Path Of Truth.” Just as Ron Weinland (“God’s Final Witness”) does and just as Herbert Armstrong (“The Plain Truth,” and “Mystery of the Ages”) did. Your web site portrays two men on the same hubristic path that Armstrong and Weinland have trod. You are no better than they are, and you are just as deserving of an entreaty to humility, which is exactly what my one-line reply to your spam contained. No, my little note wasn’t perfectly humble, but neither are spammers, or the web sites of spammers (such as yours.)

And what sort of reply did my entreaty receive? The most arrogant possible: a clear statement that you consider yourself equal to the old-testament prophets: that your humility is “Elijah’s humility.” You went on to pronounce me a “casualty of a prophet of Baal” (presumably you mean Armstrong) in your very first reply. But you do not know who I am; you do not know what good I do in the world, and you would reflexively deny it if I told you. You do not know me at all.

You went on to challenge me on my understanding of humility and I tried to use an example you would understand, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” Did you say, “Yes, that is humility?” No, that’s not Elijah’s style. You didn’t even allow that it applied to you, as apparently your invisible friend has told you you’re perfect enough to go ahead and throw stones. You then attempted to deny me the privilege of quoting your own Bible back to you, and when I explained my understanding of that scripture more fully, you flip-flopped and asserted that your behavior accords with my interpretation of those words of Jesus. Thanks for granting some validity to my humanistic interpretation of scripture, although I doubt that was your intention.

I’ll leave you with another, more secular take on humility. Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, and quite likely our day’s most renowned atheist, entitled the core chapter of his book, “Why There is Almost Certainly No God.” Notice the qualifier there, “almost?” That is humility in action. That is an acknowledgement that there is room for doubt, even against the asymptote of certainty. That willingness to be wrong is one of the hallmarks of true science, and sadly, it is something you will probably never understand. Do you even dare to think the words, “There is almost certainly a God?” Unlike you, I make no claims to divine knowledge. With Dawkins, I think there is almost certainly no god, and I do so based upon the evidence I have encountered so far. If I ever receive sufficient evidence to change my mind on that matter, I will. Can you even conceive of evidence that would cause you to become an unbeliever? I freely admit I lack humility in at least one thing: I am proud of my ability to change my mind when warranted. After all, I already did once: I was a believer, and now I am not. No doubt you will gloat that I will change my mind again soon and become your brand of believer, but I warn you again against counting your chickens prematurely— a behavior to which you seem rather prone.

You can have your “Elijah’s humility”— that of your role-model slayer of those who believe differently. I’ll stick with Dawkins’ humility, thanks— but even Jesus’ humility seems preferable, when I can muster it.

See (no, I don’t suppose you do), it is you who do not understand the law of sowing and reaping: you have sewn the hot wind of arrogance from your very first piece of spam, and you have reaped the whirlwind of my words that ridicule you and reveal you as the bloodthirsty frauds you are— words that will stay on the Internet as long as it is within my power to keep them there. You think my words are to your advantage? Then publish all of our exchanges— unedited and in their entirety— on your web site, just as I have done so on my blog. I look forward to your visitors reading them there and making up their own minds as to the meaning and worth of our exchanges. If you feel really brave you will include a link back to me, as I have linked to you. But I do wonder whether you will publish them: you are obviously doing profitable business making up peoples’ minds for them.

In the teeming pond that is my life, you are a fascinating microbe, but other interests now call to me. Goodbye.

Robert

P.S. *plonk*

Update October 14, 2010: I noticed that Paul and Victor finally did get around to posting their version of our conversation on their Answering the Atheists page, as an article entitled An Atheist Tempts God. Of course, even though they started the correspondence, they wanted to end it too, and thus did not post my last missive to them, above. Rather unsporting of them, if you ask me.

And their web site now is now up to 52 references to Ananias and Sapphira.

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Paul Cohen and Victor Hafichuk Check on My Progress

Today my inbox received another shining example of Christian Love from Paul Cohen. (Can you shine a turd?) Paul is second-in-command to “God’s anointed” and snake-oil huckster Victor Hafichuk. Paul also appears to be in charge of Victor’s Department of Failed Curses.

Our previous exchanges: Part 1 Part 2

Robert,

How is your tongue, now that your specified week is over?

In “The Irrational Atheist,” the author describes you in a section on the intelligent and educated “High Church Atheist,” disclosing this interesting information:

“There is even evidence to suggest that in some cases, High Church atheism may be little more than a mental disorder taking the form of a literal autism. On one of the more popular atheist Internet sites, the average self-reported result on the Asperger Quotient test was 27.9. The threshold for this syndrome, described by its discoverer, Dr. Hans Asperger, is 32, whereas the average normal individual scores 16.5. In light of Wolf’s observations, it is interesting to note that those diagnosed with Asperger’s tend to be male, intelligent, impaired in social interaction, and prone to narrow, intense interests.

This idea may explain why the following pair of definitions have proven to be useful in distinguishing between the High Church atheist and the agnostic.

Agnostic: I don’t believe there is a God. Because I haven’t seen the evidence.

Atheist: There is no God. Because I’m an asshole.”

Paul Cohen
www.thepathoftruth.com

Paul,

So nice to hear of your concern for my health. I assure you, my tongue is just fine— in fact, today it got quite a workout! I spent several hours with one of my consulting clients (a Fortune 100 company that hires me to teach them about how to apply logical thinking processes more effectively within their organization) then drove across Los Angeles to the theatre where I had my stage debut as the fire-and-brimstone Reverend Jeremiah Brown in a new stage production of Inherit the Wind (based on the famous Scopes Monkey Trial.) I can tell you, performing in the role of a southern preacher who ends up damning his daughter to hell sure brought back memories of your little curse— and the little god whose authority you claim.

Now, a couple messages back you recommended I read “The Irrational Atheist” by Vox Day. And as I am a busy man, I challenged you to state the best argument against atheism from the book, and that if I found it compelling I would read the book. And here I was all this time thinking you had simply ignored my challenge (just as you’ve ignored my repeated calls for you to put some teeth into your juju curse by getting specific about the time frame at least.) In reality you were actually waiting— cat-like— to pounce with “evidence” from Vox Day’s book that atheists aren’t autistic! Yep, the average of the self-selected cohort of atheists from your unnamed site, while a little higher than “normal” doesn’t actually come close to the magic 32-point level of Asperger Syndrome, itself an extremely mild form of autism which approximately 78,000 people live with in the U.S. alone (some estimates are much higher.) And if “normal” people have an average score of 16.5, then what does that make me? See, I found and took the test you mention. It is called the Autism Spectrum Quotient, and was reprinted in Wired Magazine in 2001 as a sidebar to an article called The Geek Syndrome. (Use the manual scoring key at the bottom of the test if you choose to take it yourself— their automatic scoring script is broken.)

So how did I, someone Vox Day (and you, oh possessor of God’s Wisdom) pegs as a “High Church Atheist” score? I got a 6. That’s right: 10 points “less autistic” than “normal.” (I suppose you’re “normal” Paul? How about “Vox Day”, author of “The Irrational Atheist?” Is he’s as “normal” as his pen name?)

So touché, Sherlock. If that’s the best this book has to offer against atheism, I conclude that it really doesn’t deserve any more of my time.

“There is no God. Because I’m an asshole.” That’s funny. Actually, the reason I don’t believe in God is that if he existed, he wouldn’t let assholes like you speak for him.

Robert

Read the exciting conclusion here.

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The Juju Curse of Paul Cohen and Victor Hafichuk

Ah, nothing this evil ever dies easily. Today I received the following cursed e-mail (Arrr!) from Victor Hafichuk’s tweedledum, Paul Cohen. Apparently even though Victor agreed to shut up he didn’t apply that decision to Paul, who still wants to make a buffoon of himself.

Robert, Paul Cohen here.

We have dealt with many religious vipers. You have proven yourself to be just another of the brood by your reactions here, no different than those you thought to leave behind, except you are less restrained in expression because not bound by a false “Christian” front. You no longer have the need to justify yourself as righteous, so you don’t give a damn what you say to whom.

There is nothing, however, in what we have said or done towards you that is worthy of your derisive responses. On the contrary, we have been straightforward with you, something you prize in yourself, but for which you hypocritically despise us. We are not railing on you or condemning you, and have not said anything to you except what is pertinent and true.

Since you have despised all decent, wholesome conversation, and have thrown caution to the wind regarding the wisdom of a responsible, respectful tongue, your Maker will therefore require it of you.

You are not dealing with more religious phonies here. We know what we are talking about. What you have replied to Victor, you have said to God. In other words, you have spit in His face. Saying it will not go well for you is putting it mildly. Mark your calendar, and these words. It will not take long before you know the truth of them.

Paul,

Thank you for the entertaining response. My blog readers are already enjoying our adventures together, and I’m sure they’ll get a kick out of this turn of events.

Now, since you’ve started pronouncing voodoo curses upon those you despise, let’s get down to specifics: exactly when shall my maker “require my tongue?” You’ve said I should mark my calendar, but how convenient for you that you don’t provide a date. Shall I mark every single day from now to eternity as “Could die today?” Seems a little tautological. So, in order for your curse to have any remote amount of credibility, you really should put a time frame on it. If I die of mouth cancer 30 years from now would that count? And if pronouncing such a curse on me isn’t prophecy, then what is?

Or perhaps you mean for me to set my own deadline, since your God’s obviously shy about setting dates himself? How about this: if a week goes by and it “goes well for me,” and I don’t “lose my tongue” in some ghoulishly ironic way, let’s say I’ve beaten your little curse, shall we? After that, the board is again open for the many other curses placed upon me by God’s numerous other witch doctors who have prior claims.

I laugh. You are worse than false prophets. You are pious frauds who prey on others’ fears. Unfortunately for you, I not only don’t believe in your imaginary friend, I don’t believe in magic spells either. But I do have something you don’t that is far more powerful: public ridicule. The whole world is now watching: everyone who searches for your names will see our exchanges and deride you and Victor for the pitiful charlatans you are. Many who read your Path Of Truth web site will search for more information, find these pages, and turn away— relieved that they didn’t go anywhere near you. Even your own followers will find these pages and wonder where your power is. Some of them may even (horrors) learn to think for themselves.

Welcome to the 21st century, and try not to bang your head on it any harder than you already have, OK?

Robert

Related post: Facing Down Black Magic.

I leave you with an excellent rant entitled, “The Curse of Faith,” by my favorite atheist polemicist, Pat Condell.

YouTube Preview Image

Update! Part 3 of the madness continues here.

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I can’t respond to everything, but I do read everything!

Idiots to Avoid: Victor Hafichuk and Paul Cohen

The following is provided as a service to those searching the web for information on these guys, and who might be inclined to risk a few IQ points interacting with them. It is an e-mail exchange I recently had with Victor Hafichuk and Paul Cohen, two apparently inseparable buddies with beards who sell organic food and quack health gadgets, and also happen to think they, among all Christians, have been appointed by God (scroll to the bottom of that link for the money shot) and have the One True way of looking at things. Their web site includes a shit list of other Christians they’ve had arguments with. There is no shortage of Christian sites attacking their theology. Apparently they’ve been sending out these e-mails for years, trolling for converts. I think I attracted these fleas because I’ve written about fringe Christianity here and elsewhere. But as you probably know, I’m no Christian, and I quickly gathered that this is just more evidence of Christianity’s chronic auto-immune disease of internecine conflict. And as you’ll see, I was also in no mood to argue.

Ronald Weinland of “The Church of God – Preparing for the Kingdom of God” has predicted a nuclear explosion in the United States by July 16th, 2008; or, if this doesn’t happen, he will declare himself a false prophet. You may already know or suspect that he is a false prophet, but keep in mind that the fruit does not fall far from the tree. Weinland was spawned by another false prophet, Herbert W. Armstrong. In this writing we will show you how and why these men, while espousing some true doctrines, lead many in error.

Ronald Weinland – Son of Armstrong

Paul Cohen

www.thepathoftruth.com

“The Path of Truth.” Heh. You’d think after exposing so many false prophets you’d have a little more humility.

Robert

Robert,

In Elijah’s day, he slew 450 prophets, “solid citizens” and respected men of society right up to royalty, just like Herbert W., but Elijah was only one against so many, besides priests of Ashtoreth. We are few against many. We know Elijah’s humility.

Humility? What is humility? Do you know, Robert? What does one who, because of being deceived by a prophet of Baal, discredits his Maker (the Author and Promoter of humility) know about humility?

But know this, that those 450 prophets slew many spiritually before Elijah put them away. You are a casualty of a prophet of Baal.

Victor Hafichuk

Humility? What is humility? Do you know, Robert? What does one who, because of being deceived by a prophet of Baal, discredits his Maker (the Author and Promoter of humility) know about humility?

Yes. Humility is: “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”

Robert

“Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” Robert, presumably this means recognizing oneself to be guilty of sin. So what does that mean or how does it apply to me? Read Does God Speak Only Gentle Words? and tell me how you apply your understanding to the examples in the writing, including that of the One you quote. I’d like to know.

It is interesting that while you call yourself an atheist, you quote Jesus Christ, Who testified of His Father. The problem is that, as Jesus said, when you deny the Father, you deny the Son and vice versa. Why then would you quote those words? And when you quote them, do you really know what their meaning is? Read that article and let me know.

One who denies God, denies himself, as one made by God. He spirals downward to abject darkness and leaves nothing for himself. He ends up without understanding altogether. As Solomon said:

“Respect and obey the LORD! This is the beginning of knowledge. Only a fool rejects wisdom and good advice” (Proverbs 1:7 CEV).

You quote Jesus? I will quote Him:

“The thief does not come except to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep” (John 10:10-11 MKJV).

Why let the thief take it all and bring you to nothing by his false apostles? Why not believe God? Why not accept culpability for your deception, disillusionment and woes and receive the Truth? This is not about Armstrong, or Weinland, or Meredith, or Tkach…it is about you.

[Much additional blathering snipped.]

“Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” Robert, presumably this means recognizing oneself to be guilty of sin.

No. To you it means recognizing oneself to be guilty of sin. The Bible you say you believe says you are guilty of sin. Therefore, you should not be condemning others (“casting stones.”)

I, on the other hand, find the Bible to be not the work of a deity but of men, so I am only held to the things in it I find wise. I do not believe in your God, so I also do not believe in your concept of sin. In fact, I find it to be both laughable and repugnant. And I understand that scripture differently. Here is my own paraphrase: “In all situations (but particularly negative ones) humbly acknowledge your contribution. Blaming others is unconstructive.”

So what does that mean or how does it apply to me? Read Does God Speak Only Gentle Words? and tell me how you apply your understanding to the examples in the writing, including that of the One you quote. I’d like to know.

I did not read your article— I do not have the time. But I can gather from the title that it points out that the God you believe in not only blesses, but also condemns. This is true: your God is a homunculus that can be made to do anything anyone wishes in the entire spectrum from loving to vile. Truly, your God is the best and worst of the humans that created him.

It is interesting that while you call yourself an atheist, you quote Jesus Christ, Who testified of His Father.

There is some wisdom on the Bible, and I accept wisdom where I find it. That doesn’t mean I accept the broad metaphysical propositions that Christians accept. There is also wisdom in the Qu’ran, Bhagavad Gita, and Tao Te Ching. I quote the Bible to you because you know the Bible.

Unfortunately, you don’t know wisdom. Or humility

Robert

And where do you think wisdom and humility originated, Robert? From a rock, which came from some gases, which came from some spark to set them off, which came from…?

I have a recommendation of reading for you: “The Irrational Atheist” by Vox Day. If you haven’t heard of it, you will, or if you don’t, you lead a very sheltered existence or are willfully ignorant. If you don’t have time for reading it, as you say of our writings, you don’t have time to eat or sleep. So do as you please, and let me know periodically or just a few years down the road how you fare, if you ever have the time or opportunity to do so. You can check in on us and we can compare notes.

Robert, Paul Cohen here. [See? They really are Siamese twins!] According to your definition of Jesus’ words, there is no hubris coming from us. We have had no part in the Armstrong debacle and its messy aftermath, or in any of the wrongs perpetrated by others we expose. The Lord has taken us right out of all pretentious, man made religion. There is no hypocrisy in what we say.

Furthermore, we are not, as you presume, condemning others by pointing out the lies they believe and propagate. They only condemn themselves by continuing in those things after hearing the truth. We are, in fact, contributing to a positive resolution of the matter because we point to the Way out.

You, on the other hand, just sit there making unconstructive statements and judgments of us, adding to your own bitterness. Any alleged humility you might show by admitting you were once contributing to religious deception (which we are not hearing) is negated by your present cynicism and lack of forgiveness for those who took you for a ride. You have not left Armstrong at all; he still holds you prisoner – a disillusioned and ungrateful one, but one nevertheless.

You are a hypocrite, taking us to task on humility for exposing false prophets when you say you do the same thing:

“I’d like to put an invitation out to interested readers of this blog to journey over to my personal blog, where I have recently called out a number of modern false prophets.” [Link to where I wrote that.]

Or are you telling us that you call out false prophets without any truth involved? You are not making any sense, Robert.

In your present condition of indignant pride, you have no idea at all what you are talking about when it comes to the application of spiritual truth. You cannot properly judge Jesus’ words, or ours. Someday you will know this and readily admit it. We have not spoken to you in vain.

I have a recommendation of reading for you: “The Irrational Atheist” by Vox Day. If you haven’t heard of it, you will, or if you don’t, you lead a very sheltered existence or are willfully ignorant. If you don’t have time for reading it, as you say of our writings, you don’t have time to eat or sleep.

Summarize for me the most impressive argument it gives against atheism, and if I find it compelling, I will read the book. If I don’t, then I’m sure nothing else the book has to say will be worthwhile either. [Predictably, no response to this.]

So do as you please, and let me know periodically or just a few years down the road how you fare, if you ever have the time or opportunity to do so. You can check in on us and we can compare notes.

And exactly when shall we compare notes? And exactly what do you expect to see? Yes, give me something specific: something that I can take to the world if it doesn’t happen the way you thought at say: “See, here is yet another man who claimed to be able to speak for God.” Go ahead: curse or bless, I care not which, but put it in writing, and make it testable— or shut up.

Robert

Hi Robert,

I was not speaking of prophecy.

I could do the former of what you request, however, judging by your “wisdom” and “humility,” I choose the latter – to shut up. I’m done.

Hi Robert,

I was not speaking of prophecy.

Oh, then your remarks about letting you know “periodically or just a few years down the road how you fare,” were just making chitchat? Made for no reason? Just trying to be buddies?

Heh.

I could do the former of what you request, however, judging by your “wisdom” and “humility,” I choose the latter – to shut up. I’m done.

You were done before you started with me, Victor. You are just one more two-bit, hate-filled preacher with yet another “one truth”, a web site to put it on, and delusions of grandeur. Have a nice life.

Robert

Update! The hateful threats continue here.

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I can’t respond to everything, but I do read everything!

Ron Weinland: Discussion Part 17

With two days to go, Ronny’s wife (AKA the Speechless Witness) just called from Israel and asked that I play Ronny’s favorite song as a little surprise. So I’m gonna do that now, and dedicate it to Ronny and Todaysfate.

Where would the world be without you guys?

YouTube Preview Image

Click here for original music video (Embedding Disabled)

That’s great, it starts with an earthquake,
Birds and snakes, an aeroplane and Lenny Bruce is not afraid.

Eye of a hurricane, listen to yourself churn,
World serves its own needs, dummy serve your own needs,
Feed it off an aux speak, grunt, no strength,
Ladder start to clatter with fear fight down height.

Wire in a fire, representing seven games,
A government for hire and a combat site.
Left of west and coming in a hurry,
With the furies breathing down your neck.

Team by team reporters baffled, trumped, tethered cropped.
Look at that low playing! Fine, then.
Uh oh, overflow, population, common food, but it’ll do.
Save yourself, serve yourself.
World serves its own needs, listen to your heart bleed dummy,
With the rapture and the revered and the right, right.
You vitriolic, patriotic, slam, fight, bright light, feeling pretty psyched.

It’s the end of the world as we know it,
It’s the end of the world as we know it,
It’s the end of the world as we know it,
And I feel fine.

Six o’clock – TV hour. Don’t get caught in foreign towers,
Slash and burn, return, listen to yourself churn,
Locking in, uniforming, book burning, blood letting,
Every motive escalate, automotive incinerate,
Light a candle, light a votive. Step down, step down,
Watch your heel crush, crushed, uh-oh, this means no fear cavalier.
Renegade steer clear,
A tournament, a tournament, a tournament of lies.
Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives,
And I decline.

It’s the end of the world as we know it,
It’s the end of the world as we know it, (can’t I have some time alone?)
It’s the end of the world as we know it, (can’t I have some time alone?)
And I feel fine.

The other night I dreamt of knives, continental drift divide.
Mountains sit in a line, Leonard Bernstein. Leonid Brezhnev, Lenny Bruce and Lester Bangs.
Birthday party, cheesecake, jelly bean, boom!
You symbiotic, patriotic, slam book neck, right? Right.

It’s the end of the world as we know it,
It’s the end of the world as we know it,
It’s the end of the world as we know it,
And I feel fine.

Part 1 Basic info and links.
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5 FAQ
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11
Part 12
Part 13
Part 14
Part 15
Part 16

Comments? Send a tweet to @ironwolf or use the response form.
I can't respond to everything, but I do read everything!