I Know Nothing . . .
By John O.
How many of us remember HOGAN'S HEROES? This totally unreasonable and utterly impossible series (but well scripted) came onto TV and became a hit. The late Bob Crane, played Colonel Hogan, and Werner Klemperer played the World War II camp commandant, Colonel Klink. But, there was another character in that series, and his name was Schultz.
Sergeant Schultz was a loveable oaf. John Banner played this character, and several years after he gave this character life, John died and left us a legacy of one of the funniest characters on TV. His role of Sergeant Schultz, in the series, was perpetually thwarted by the Hogan gang. He would repeatedly come in on some Hogan nonsense, see what was happening, realize the gravity of what was happening, immediately know that Hogan and gang would certainly get away with it, and chose to play blind.
"I know nothing (or NUSSINGKKKK)," he would say. And the game continued.
When we look at the world of religion, and our ex-cults in particular, how many hirelings can we imagine have looked the other way (like Schultz) in the face of the obvious, and said: "I know nothing." Do we have any idea of how many hirelings actually KNEW that what they're doing is totally wrong? How many of those hirelings honestly had an abundance of information to make an intelligent decision as to the high level corruption with the Worldwide Church of God cults? Many do, and choose to ignore all the evidence. I know who they are. And I can name names. And they know who I'm talking about. But . . . their paycheck is far too important. They have ALL the irrefutable evidence of their organization's corruption, but they choose to ignore it. Why? Do they still choose to " . . . know nothing?"
John's character of Schultz maybe funny, but if such a thing is extended into real life, doesn't this willful ignorance affect the lives of many? If cult hirelings choose to ignore the facts for their own profit, and say - "I know nothing," can this not mean the futures, the finances, the mental stability, and the lives of many people?
What people do to their own lives is up to them personally. But when that conduct impacts the lives, finances, and general welfare of thousands of lives, then there's an obligation NOT to look the other way and say: "I know nothing."
Over the last few weeks, I've had some general correspondence with the author of DO OR DIE, as well as many other readers. Since I had little connection to Worldwide Church of God in those years that Sharon and many others were involved, I had less understanding as to their particular hireling's approach. So, I was curious. Sharon directed me to the UCG Website, only to mention that some of the phonies were on tape, and that they could be seen. I'd never watched these guys before. It was (for me) a 12 to 2 am showcase. It was a revelation, and, I was UNpleasantly surprised.
They hadn't changed in over twenty years. Make that THIRTY years. Etc. . . . .
There was the same smooooooooth approach. There were the same demeanors. There were the same hairdos, and sometimes wigs. There were the same traditional suits. There were the same smiles that emptied nothing at anyone, and the mellow voices that stunk of many practice hours. There was the same old oily tongues and golden throats that said NOTHING. It may have been UCG or LCG, but it was really Worldwide Church of God all over again. Nothing's changed.
Ignorance, they say, is bliss. But at A.C. it ran rampant. Nobody knew anything. Everyone was a Schultz. Toward the end of our tenure, I got a glimpse of what was happening in the PAD at Pasadena, and I've never seen such confusion. There were people and egos running everywhere, everyone was competing for an Oscar, because they all LOOKED busy, but in fact they made a pretense of blissful ignorance as the end of that administration came crashing, and everyone - typically: "Knew nothing."
All of us know the purpose of this Website. Ed has made it abundantly clear, and I totally support the purpose of its intent. It's to FREE people, and that's the greatest love that man can show for man. Like so many, we love to see people stand on their own feet, feel free, and open their hearts - if necessary, to everyone, to let the whole world know that cults CANNOT hold the human spirit and the spiritual heart that's in folks, and that is a freedom that's beyond price.
Playing the ignorant clown never works in the real world, and it's only because the obvious malfeasance continued so long that so many lives were damaged. There are a lot of Schultz's still out there. And by pretending to "know nothing," the damage that has been caused, and still is being caused, is enormous.
In defense of the average minister in the field, in most cases, he did "know nothing." Pasadena tried to keep the field ministry as brainwashed as they could and constantly perking about HQ being just "wonderful." But, where that field ministry must take responsibility is when they were (and they WERE) told to go against the ethical practices and Biblical morals that they supposedly stood for. When they closed their eyes to Pasadena's behavior, even if they were originally ignorant, then this "know nothing" attitude made them just as guilty as the goose stepping crowd at PAD.
It would have been so simple for the upper echelon at Pasadena to put a stop to the madness. Everyone KNEW about GTA. Many knew about Herbert W. Armstrong's sexual perversity, and his problems with an out-of-control ego mania. Everyone knew about the thefts from inside the accounting departments. Everyone knew that Meredith was dividing and disillusioning the whole ministry. Everyone knew what Stan Rader was doing with all the manipulation that was happening. But each, in their own way, said: "I know nothing." Why didn't a group of them ever speak up?
It was a corporate battle royal that no one could win. Rader actually disfellowshipped Meredith because of the latter's behavior and overall attitude. Meredith stayed (at tithepayer's expense) in Hawaii, on the island of Oahu at Hawaii Kai - a classy suburb not too far from Waikiki Beach. Some disfellowship! He was allowed to luxuriate in comfort until he could find in his heart to be loyal to Rader. Meanwhile, thousands of lives were being damaged and finances ruined as family after family left the cult, and still, no one knew anything.
Word had it that Rod and others actually signed a deal of loyalty to Stan if they wanted any more paychecks. Guess what? They all continued working.
How different it would have all been if each had the courage and gone to the perpetrators of wrong and faced them personally? But the big problems just continued when those upper hirelings joined in and also said: "I know nothing."
We're all at the crossroads. Where we go from here is up to each of us. That goes for women as well as men. I don't know, but I imagine that hireling's wives can also sign the APOLOGY PAGE. I stand corrected if that ain't policy, but wouldn't it be shameful if more women signed that page than men?
Everyone of us can help the suffering . . . . if we want to. Folks who are working the site and you who read it as supporters are a blessing. But those who are reading, in or out of these cults, do get the message. God cares for EVERY soul, and everyone is a treasure. Why let this needless damage continue?
But, it can only stop when men and women have the courage to come forward, address the problem, and demand that the right thing be done. With that ethical attitude, things can be better for all concerned and lives can be changed and saved. But it will never happen if we continue to say (like Schultz): "I know nothing."
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