Gone With The Wind: It's Springtime!

Springtime at Tara

It's Springtime! Vagaries of the winds of war in the Churches of God are beginning to subside. Member allegiances, ministerial alliances, ownership of church real estate, territory and property continue to coalesce. Division of the spoils of the UCG-COGaWA war and reconstruction of what is left is on the horizon, if not already here. 

After the war - with money at such a premium, what better time is there to restart UCG's website. United's tattered, old website is getting laid to rest, while a new and improved UCG website gets debugged, ready for action.  

Here's the new UCG website marketing strategy, guaranteed to start high school dropout, adman and WCG founder Herbert W. Armstrong spinning in his grave, at warp speed:

UCG requires a validated email to register for their new website features, such as personal profile creation, connecting with website chat features, or messaging. It says that they "will NEVER give away your information to anybody else - we promise!". (Ed: Does "NEVER"  include not giving it away to that soon coming Assyrian-German army, invading to spank the United? Ouch!

Some new UCG website features:

  • · Website user accounts.
  • · Author pages with bio information, photo and content produced by that author.
  • · Online chat with other website user account friends.
  • · Better search engine.
  • · Mobile version.
  • · MP3 recordings of various booklets and publications.
  • · Recipe section (biblically clean).
  • · Commenting on posted content. (They can't really mean this, can they?)
  • · UCG congregation finder (by zip code). 
  • · Highest UCG contributors by zip code, congregation or pastor. (No, not really.) 
  •  · Ministerial salaries, bonuses and benefit payouts by rank or longevity. (Is that asking too much?) 

In this new website religious marketing scheme, UCG membership are expected to "encourage" one another, or anyone else that shows up at the website, forming a sticky glue of online connections.  Every relationship click to click to click of all 5,000 members of the UCG can be tracked, documents downloaded, database inquires analyzed, tithe records checked, online chat buzz monitored for dissident views. What's next, UCG online disfellowship? 

What UCG really wants to know is what happens when someone completely new shows up at the website; how much it costs and how long it takes to get them seated in a folding chair, loyally tithing every Saturday. One problem with that UCG church growth scenario is that Herbert W. Armstrong, Garner Ted Armstrong and the UCG's predecessor church, the Worldwide Church of God is now a failed and tarnished brand in the religious landscape. The Internet has a long and detailed memory of the fraudulent disaster that was Pasadena, back in the WCG's "good old days". 


God Willing

God Willing - Project 360 Preview from About Time Productions on Vimeo.

Mysterious World of Religious Cult is Explored in Evangeline Griego’s Personal Documentary God Willing

Film to air on Public Television Stations Beginning April 2, 2011 - check local  listings

God Willing is the wrenching story of families who have lost their sons and daughters to a Christian cult. Told through the journey of filmmaker Evangeline Griego’s own family, as well as Sandi and Marsha, two moms whose daughters also joined the cult, the film chronicles the struggles of families whose children turn away from them to become “Brothers” and “Sisters” in the group -- renouncing their past lives and the world often without ever turning back. God Willing will air on public television stations nationwide beginning on April 2, 2011 (check local listings or visit http God Willing movie for broadcast dates and times.)
Founded in 1971 by the mysterious messianic figure Jim Roberts, the group has survived for decades as a separatist society that preaches a strict path to salvation, proselytizes for new members, adheres to strict ascetic values, subsists on discarded food and refuse, and shuttles its members from town to town, often on the run from concerned parents and family members who try to see or communicate with their children.
God Willing offers a rare inside look at the group through interviews with both family members and former members of The Church.  The film shows how Roberts’ message appeals to the sincere spiritual yearnings of many young people, and the struggle that some converts face with fellow members and themselves when they find little more comfort in the fold than in their previous lives.  It also grippingly presents the anguish of parents and other loved ones who grapple with the urge to pursue and rescue their children, and the psychological, emotional and tactical impediments that so often get in the way of reconciliation.  Featuring extensive surveillance footage of the group and rare, candid on-camera encounters with its members, God Willing is a powerful examination of families torn asunder, belief systems at war, and the perilous balance of futility and hope.
God Willing is a co-production of About Time Productions and the Independent Television Service (ITVS), in association with Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB) and KNME/New Mexico PBS with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).
Visit http://www.godwillingmovie.com for more information on the film, resources about cults, a discussion board and more; the DVD is also available for sale on the website.
Director’s Statement
“Making God Willing was my educational journey to understand why my nephew, and young people like him, abandoned their former lives and families to be in the Jim Roberts Group. I wanted to give voice to the parents’ loss and pain as well as convey the cult members’ deep conviction and genuine desire to live according to God’s wishes. My film provides no clear-cut answers, but does, I hope, give us space and cause to think about cults with fewer preconceived ideas drawn from sensationalized accounts. The Jim Roberts Group is one of many cults based in the US. - Evangeline Griego
About the Filmmaker
Evangeline Griego is a veteran independent filmmaker, director, and media activist making her feature length documentary directorial debut with God Willing.

Ambassador Reports Rating: God Willing **** 4/5 stars. How families cope when when loved ones surrender their lives for years to the Brethern, a high demand, Bible-based cult run on a shoestring budget. Highly recommended for Worldwiders, who know how to spot a cult when they see one.