By JohnO -
or was it John Lennon?
It must have been a thousand lifetimes ago that we were all in Worldweird (or Worldwide Church of God+ cults). It surely was a jillion years ago that we heard the rantings and ravings from idiot hirelings behind the pulpit (myself included) that told us of the moral decadency within our society. We pounded out the points that if you weren't exactly Worldwide Church of God perfect, then you were on the downward trail. Those were the days. Do we remember? Most of us do.
Hair MUST be of a certain length. If not, you could go to Gehenna. I was most careful, in those days, to make sure that even my nostril hairs were trimmed to "standard." Since Apostle Herbie and Son-of-Man Teddy, had no facial hair, then it was only Ok for a beard or moustache if you were a Stan Rader (and who knows why that was - and I'm NOT getting into the medical reasons), or a generous tithe payer.
Those were the days of discipline, prophecy, regimentation, and law. If we looked anything different than Herbie or his corporate "yes men," then we were all bound for eternal destruction. New folks came to "church" with longish hair, only to be reminded by the more self righteous that long hair was of the devil. Actually, Satan - it was said, let his hair grow long after his rebellion against God. This was the stuff of the demonic "Beatles." Since the Beatles had all perverted a whole generation of potential Worldwide Church of Goders, they were all going to hell anyway. Right?
It was in those days of Worldwide Church of God defined decadence that a hippie, a degenerate, and low life (according to Worldwide Church of God) called John Lennon wrote a song called "Imagine."
Can we imagine such a scenario? No war. No poverty. No crime. No racism. No lies. And most of all . . . no religion. It is within the words of this song that man's freedom is defined. There's no hatred here, only the elimination of ignorance. It is a tone poem that defines a hope for mankind, but a hope that religion keeps at bay. And that's what religion - including the Worldwide Church of God+ cults - seek to eliminate. They wish to keep their subjects in total ignorance . . . like zombies with no imagination.
Why not? The Catholic Church have been doing this for years. Please look at parts of Europe and most of South America. Their philosophy of living is a total wacko. Adore the church above all, but it's Ok to be an illegal alien. I know the name of a Church of God, Seventh Day minister who forges green cards as part of his "God given ministry." It's Ok (for an ACLU lawyer) to defend a illegal alien and criminal who's caught stealing, or beating and slashing his wife, but whatever you do, there are NO condoms allowed. Attend church on Sunday, stealing (to some) is justified, but pray to the Virgin. Ignorance abounds, and there's no imagination allowed.
Where there is no imagination, there is only regimentation and nothing more. Let's look at the likes of TBN for example. If Apostle Herbie had lived, who knows what type of lunacy network would have risen? Those who have the insanity of religious and cable TV in their homes know what madness is extant. This is never to say that decent men & women are not out there trying to help people. They are. There are always decent folks in the religious area. This is not a downer on anyone who is sincere. Unfortunately, they're too few in number. The ultimate name of the game for the most, is profit.
Imagination is a religious taboo. The madness on some of these religious networks, including TBN - this is a personal opinion - is beyond belief. There's no imagining. There's only fundamentalist thundering of the preacher's guttural utterings. The performances are beyond the Oscar category. Lotsa sweat, screaming, incoherent babbling, pink shoes (really - on men), and hysteria abounding. Forget the comedy channel. While the preacher dances, prances and sweats, the organ (on cue) shrieks its pipes, the crowd waves its hands, frenzy is in the air, and the money flows in.
While John Lennon sang about us imagining a better world, religion was fighting on the other side to muzzle men and women. John sang of freedom, religion sang of bondage. To imagine - is to let one's mind free to fly. To look to religion is to epoxy our freedom.
Hitlers at the helm, men and/or women who were moral cowards (Loma included. She knew better). And they always preyed on ignorance. They always surrounded themselves with other nazis who were incompetent humans, and were also moral and spiritual cowards, as well. These Hitlers had no power over anyone on this planet, unless they were surrounded by a bunch of hate-filled, politically oriented losers. Such losers formed the basis of the nazi party, and such typically also formed the basis for the likes of Worldwide Church of God. These losers formed the basis of the "yes" men to which the more ignorant in these churches gave credibility, thus increasing the egomania of these "yes" men, and their hatred of anyone who even dared to think different. They stifled imagination, and they stifled truth.
Although I'm NOT a Buddhist, I have studied comparative religions, and each has their own good and bad points. So, I stay away from them all. But, I do quote anything that's worth quoting if I find it dripping in the "spiritual" air, somewhere. It was Buddha that once said: "The biggest sin of all is ignorance." And without imagination, we are the most ignorant of people.
Religion - in general - would rob us of that inalienable right.
Conformity on the other hand, would muzzle our minds, hearts, and souls. In religion, we'd all goose step as a bunch of zombies, saluting the egos and perverted desires of the fanatical leaders of the cult. Meanwhile, imagination would be totally buried. This is what cultmasters would desire, because imagination means the ability to THINK.
This is not a reason to excuse ourselves, either. If we don't take a stand against such tyranny, then we willingly put ourselves into the bondage to their darkness. We're dealing with sick, egotistical minds here. Since cults are a deliberate operation to exalt the egos of the cultmasters and to make money for the upper echelon, then our tacit approval of their behaviour only enhances their mental aberrations.
They use imagination to their own twisted advantage. While holding up a picture of "The World Tomorrow," they're quietly cleaning out our bank accounts. While holding up a picture of dedicated men and women, doing "God's work," they're privately snorting and drinking during all sorts of good-time orgies, that even (as I understood it) included wife swapping.
There can be no justification for this type of deliberate behaviour. If any have doubts as to this conduct, then please check out the AMBASSADOR REPORTS.
But it was taboo for member to "think." If any were to use their imagination, then that was equal to consorting with the devil himself. So many times, members would ask questions only to have the idea scoffed at, or the member reported. I remember one time when I spoke to Jimmy Friddle, who was a hireling in San Diego at the time. Jimmy was not one to whom I gave much of anything. I personally have no time for perpetual "yes" men, or ones who WILL not think for themselves. He had heard from two snitches (and that's the way it was done in Worldwide Church of God) that I had some variant idea on a minor aspect of prophecy. His comment was a vacant: "But, Mr. Armstrong has never thought that way." When I asked him what his own personal thoughts were, he was again - vacant.
Without imagination, there can be no progress. Without imagination, we'd all be prisoners in the Worldwide Church of God cult - or the demented offspring. We'd all be like the living-dead. Without imagination, we'd all be "yes" men - or women.
It took imagination to start this site. Without that imagination, lives would not have been changed. Without the imagination to implement a challenge to all cults and "kick ass," then there would have been no "PAINFUL TRUTH" web site. Without that imagination, countless people would still be in guilt-ridden darkness. I know, I've seen the private email that even I get. Without that imagination, we'd probably all still be remorse filled folks looking for answers to our leaving the cult. Without that imagination, many would still be in bondage. But . . . . it all took imagination.
No religion, or similar group, will ever encourage their constituents to imagine.
Politics is much the same. We're always given two losers for which we can vote. But the outcome never changes. Like Bill Maher said: "When you vote, just think of which particular special interest groups you want to support." With politics too, there is no imagination. If there were imagination, there would be NO politics.
With imagination - there would be NO religion.
John Lennon had his drug, etc. problems. And who doesn't have problems? But, in fact, he gave more to this world that all hypocritical Worldwide Church of God+ leaders ever have. He gave us enjoyment, he gave us fun, he gave us pleasure, and he gave us a sense of freedom. He told us to imagine.
John Lennon is dead now. But his spirit lives on. "Imagine" is more than a song. It's a concept of the universe, our creation, and our future . . . if only we dare to dream. Some lunatic shot him, but that doesn't kill the John L. energy or the spirit that gave us the words:
"Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do.
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too . . . . . "
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