Thursday, June 10, 2010

Memorial Day

By S. D. Bruce>    I worked alone over this Memorial Day weekend, and I had some time to think. I'm a private investigator, which means most of my day is spent waiting for criminals to make a move, so I have an abundance of the solitude which is most conducive to reflection. I dedicated a few contemplative minutes to British Petroleum's parade of failures in the Gulf, a few more to Israel's penchant for shooting Islamist aid workers in international waters, and eventually I came back around to a topic which for me is a continual source of sad incredulity just as abundant and tragic as oil in the Everglades. Since you're reading on this blog I can assume you're already acquainted, at least in a limited way, with its focus: resistance to the mind control tactics of certain quasi-religious movements and the importance of rational thought to a balanced and fulfilled life. Nothing could bring these concepts to the fore more soberingly than the unconscionably sad story of a young man I counted as a friend for many years.
>     On this weekend dedicated to the memories of those who have fallen in the service of something larger than themselves, I'd like to call to remembrance the chronology of a young man who had the courage to live, and die, on his own terms. His life was cut short only months ago, and for many of us his passing is a wound which is still all too fresh and painful. But as we remember him there is also the hint of a great, dynamic life lived well despite it's short span. In his last days he dared to pursue his dreams, and while this may seem an unrealistic, frivolous pursuit to the more jaded among us, there is wisdom in a life lived with passion and with the courage to define it by stepping away from the dreary multitude and into the sun. Too many of us fail to risk anything in quest of our true selves because we fear persecution, ridicule, failure...or even success.
>    Jason Read Bacon was young, only 21 years old; he had rare musical talent and he was working hard to establish himself as a musician despite growing up in the same conformist, totalitarian theocracy as I did. He chose to rise above the limitations imposed upon him and labored to mold a career of his own choosing. I don't need to list the reasons this was a difficult transition, situated as he was inside the framework of the PCG's absolutist regime, but Jason handled it with aplomb. In partnership with his best friend, another young PCG member, he landed the first real gig of his career and they decided to celebrate in Las Vegas--a city Jason had wanted to visit for several years. Again, this took more courage than people without knowledge of the PCG's controlling policies would immediately assume. They went, and they LIVED; they celebrated their new found success and prospects, and they explored the city with the same exuberance and curiosity that Jason displayed throughout his life.
>     But fate is fickle and often cruel, and late one night close to 3:00 a.m. Jason went out onto the hotel balcony to get some fresh air. He overbalanced as he leaned on the railing, maybe to look down on the sea of flickering humanity below or to look up at the star spangled vastness of the Nevada sky; we'll never know the reason for certain, but in a matter of seconds his heady aspirations, his rising career and his former life were over.
>     Jason remained in a coma for days after plummeting to the concrete pool deck below his 8th floor hotel balcony; his spine was severed in the fall and his body was broken beyond hope of repair. Dozens of his friends and acquaintances, in and out of the church, told Jason's story and asked for prayers on his behalf. Jason's closest friend, who had been only feet away in the hotel bathroom when Jason fell, stayed by his side for a featureless eternity of seconds as Jason's life slipped slowly away in the hospital. Amidst this tragedy the response of the PCG ministry was shockingly cold; they had disapproved of Jason's recent choices, and they voiced the view that his tragic fate was the judgment of God against him for living his life without their sanction. They ordered Jason's friend to end his vigil, leave the hospital, and stay away from the funeral services; he reluctantly obeyed. Days later, as Jason's brain function faded to black, his family made the agonizing decision to take him off artificial life support. The last embers of Jason's dynamic life drifted into smoke on April 25, 2010.
>     Jason was laid to rest five days later, in a graveside service on April 30th in Westville, Oklahoma. Robert Brown, a PCG minister, presided over the service. But even as they stood over Jason's grave there was the foul hint of political machination at work; several of Jason's close friends and family who had left the PCG were told to stay away from the service, and Jason's father, who is in another splinter group, was allowed to come but was cut off again immediately after the service. A few PCG members from Edmond attended; more stayed away.
>    On the day after the service, a Saturday, a top-ranking PCG evangelist stood at the pulpit and reiterated his belief that Jason's passing was a judgment from Above because he stepped out of line; he berated Jason's friends and family for sending out prayer requests which were not 'authorized by the ministry', and callously capitalized on the opportunity by warning other youths of the dangers of disobedience, lest they share Jason's fate. In the aftermath many sat in stunned silence. A few had the courage to speak up against this outrage, but even those protests were guarded for fear of reprisal. Jason's family and close friends felt the strain most of all, and in the bleak wasteland of emotional ruin and spiritual assault by those who should have offered comfort, Jason's sister Crystal fell prey and (according to several sources) took her own life on the morning of Monday, May 3rd.
>     This story is without a doubt one of dark pain, betrayal and the icy depths of human suffering when a loved one is suddenly lost, but there is also the glimmer of something more. As I thought about it I came to realize a truth beyond the sadness and anger I felt: In his last days, Jason didn't just exist, he wasn't satisfied with complacent obedience or hollow shades of gray; he chose to LIVE, without conforming to the dogmas of those who wished to run his life, without apology, without regret. He died doing what he loved, exploring a city he loved, with a rising career stretching in front of him and his best friend at his side. No one can take that away from him, and none of us should miss the significance of his powerful decision to live on his own terms, free, in the last days of his life. I wish he was with us still; I wish I could hear the haunting guitar chords blended with flashes of cheerful melody he used to play at summer camp; but most of all I hope I'll live the rest of my life as well as he did. Memorial Day seems like a fitting time to remember Jason, not just because we are saddened by his loss, but also because of the memory of a life lived to the fullest despite the odds. May he rest in peace.

Afterword: If you're concerned or confused by the statements of several PCG ministers regarding Jason's tragic accident as a punishment by God for certain choices he made in the recent past, please take the time to read our upcoming article regarding scientific probability, "time and chance," and the rational analysis of these statements in light of the statistical facts. Hundreds of ex-PCG members, including the authors of this blog and many who supply information to us, have had unprecedented successes and are enjoying the best health and happiness of their lives thanks to rational decisionmaking and the freedom which comes with the honest pursuit of knowledge. We will explore the concept of divine retribution soon in an article titled "Time and Chance." We hope you'll read it and find greater peace as a result.

34 comments:

  1. Good article. This young man deserves praise for living his own life, not condemnation by religious idiots.

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  2. Thanks for reading, Ralph. This was written by my fellow conspirator, who is going to be helping me with this blog and is co-writing a book with me. Look for more by him; he's a great writer, a really smart guy, and a passionate anti-Armstrongist. Just the kind of person those religious idiots, who condemn and dictate from the pulpit, should be awfully afraid of.

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  3. Good luck on the book. Old HWA seems to have inspired a book in most of us.

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  4. Casey,

    I have an ad on my blog that would look nice as a counter to Geralds ad on this blog. Go ahead and download it to your blog and place it in the appropriate place.

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  5. I cannot believe you would post this about Jason without the consent of the family.
    You know full well that what has been said in this article is a LIE. Jason did not lean over to get fresh air. He was DRUNK OFF HIS ASS, and SO WAS HIS FRIEND...who was NO WHERE NEAR Jason at the time it happened.
    Also, there was NO risk involved as they told NO ONE that they were going to Vegas.
    "several of Jason's close friends and family who had left the PCG were told to stay away from the service"...this also IS NOT TRUE.
    Crystal did NOT take her own life, she fell victim to a problem she herself struggled with for YEARS.
    "They ordered Jason's friend to end his vigil, leave the hospital, and stay away from the funeral services; he reluctantly obeyed."...this also is NOT true.
    You say he died "doing what he loved?" So, are you saying that Jason's passion in life was drinking to excess?
    THINK AGAIN BEFORE YOU POST SUCH RIDICULOUS TRIPE...ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU'VE DONE NOTHING BUT LISTEN TO RUMORS FROM THOSE WHO ARE HOSTILE AND LOOKING FOR ANYTHING BAD TO SAY ABOUT THE PCG.

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  6. Sam, I can't believe you'd write something like this, especially when you know nothing upon nothing about it.

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  7. Hey "Anonymous,"

    Care to comment about anything else on this blog, or are you too much of a coward to face the truth that your cult is feeding you a pack of lies? It's easy to point out isolated mistakes (assuming we made one), but what about your entire belief system? That's ridiculous tripe if there ever was such a thing. If you want to challenge the central message of this blog you'll have to do better than that.

    But, while we're on the subject of truth, and since you apparently care so much about it, why don't you go ahead and tell us all what the PCG *did* say about Jason's death? We'd all like to know the truth. Remember to be honest and don't hold anything back. You know, since you "love the truth" so much.

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  8. @ Anonymous,

    Furthermore, we'd love to make the appropriate corrections to this post, we just need to know more facts before doing so. Just saying, "You lie!" in all caps isn't enough to satisfy our curiosity. Give us the cult's side of the story. Perhaps include some direct quotes from the ministry, things like that.

    That Jason had been drinking is apparently true: we already knew that, but, you know, you try to be sensitive for the sake of grieving family members--or is empathy not righteous enough for you? I know, condemnation of individuals to the glory of God (or to the further empowerment of an institution claiming to represent Him) is something we've all been conditioned to expect and participate in. But we here at Armstrong Delusion don't agree that this is moral behavior. To our minds, individuals are sovereign, with institutions and their idols answerable to them--not vice versa.

    Having been members of this cult ourselves very recently, we suspect (and have been made aware of, as you call them, "rumors" to support this suspicion) that PCG was engaging in just such a deplorable tactic as condemning Jason for disregarding the dictates of "church government," and insinuating that the cause of his death was rebellion against this "God" character (rather than mere earthly cause and effect, an accident that could have happened to anyone, even you, as holy and righteous as you no doubt are).

    If you could just set the record straight, that would be appreciated, and, as I said, we will make the appropriate corrections.

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  9. Anonymous, we really aren't afraid of the truth. Let's see if you are. Waiting for your response...

    Oh, just one question: Has Gerald Flurry, the leader of your cult, ever been drunk before?

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  10. First of all, Casey, I like how you assume I'm a PCG member just because I said that you look for bad things to say about the PCG.
    Secondly, I won't stoop to your level in this matter, as none of what you say has any relevance in the situation.
    The point is: don't post articles unless you have consent from the family (particularly his mother or twin), and more importantly - get the FACTS before posting lies.

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  11. "First of all, Casey, I like how you assume I'm a PCG member just because I said that you look for bad things to say about the PCG."

    My mistake. *Are* you a PCG member?

    "Secondly, I won't stoop to your level in this matter..."

    You don't have to. In fact, by clearing the names of your ministers (oh, wait, you're not a PCG member, right?) by telling their side of the story you could show just how wrong we've been. All I'm asking for you to do is tell the truth. Is that "stooping to my level?" I want to know the truth, but the truth is below you (sounds like a PCG member to me, or at least an Armstrongist of some stripe).

    "...none of what you say has any relevance in the situation."

    So are you denying that PCG preaches divine retribution for disregarding the dictates of "church government?"

    Listen, pal, I grew up in this organization. Thirty years of my life, diligently pursuing my "calling," it *was* my life, I lived and breathed those teachings. I know what I'm talking about. Now, that's who I am. Who the hell are you?

    "The point is: don't post articles unless you have consent from the family..."

    Oh, look! An authoritarian! Everybody listen up! "Anonymous" is going to tell us how to run our blogs from here on out. I think my assumption about your relationship with PCG was not so unreasonable, considering your behavior.

    "get the FACTS before posting lies."

    First, I'm not convinced by your mere say-so that our information was incorrect (much less "lies"). As for the facts, hey, friend, we're all ears. You have the platform. Give us the facts!

    "I said that you look for bad things to say about the PCG."

    Look for? I, and many people I know, *lived* those bad things. I don't have to "look for" anything. Can you honestly dispute any of the other assertions on this blog or not? It seems to me your reluctance to provide us with the detailed facts you claim to possess is an indication that you aren't as confident of PCG's righteousness as you pretend to be. Put up or shut up.

    And why don't you tell us your real name, coward?

    By the way, my reference to Flurry's little incident (in which he was arrested for public drunkenness, and in which he attempted to bribe a police officer) was in response to your EVIDENT AND DRAMATIC MORALIZING over Jason's intoxication (which was perfectly legal, unlike Flurry's--and in my opinion, far less hazardous than Flurry's, since Flurry was behind the wheel of a car, "DRUNK OFF HIS ASS," as you so delicately put it, to the point of passing out). So it was relevant; in fact *you* brought it up! What's good for the goose is good for the gander, Anonymous. So, there, I stooped to your level, so you don't have to "stoop" to mine. Fair enough?

    Still waiting for your elusive "facts"...

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  12. Minor correction. Flurry was not arrested for public drunkenness as I claimed. The actual charges were "Actual Physical Control" (similar to DUI) and "Transporting an Open Container."

    You can view a copy of the police report at http://www.exitsupportnetwork.com/mike_ep/flurry/flop.htm.

    And try not to laugh at the drunken antics of Flurry. Drunk driving killed 284 people in Flurry's state of residence during the year of his run-in with the law, so it's a serious concern. Thanks to an observant police officer, Flurry was saved from his own folly (not to mention any of his would-be victims), and was free to go on creating more victims of another kind.

    The risks of intoxication in hotel rooms is not quite as clear, and a freak accident is certainly not an occasion for self-righteous condemnation. It is an occasion for sympathy.

    Any normal person understands this. But someone whose morals have been twisted by faith in a vengeful god (and in the power-mad tyrants who peddle it) will pretend to know better than any normal person. Isn't that right, Anonymous?

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  13. Casey,
    Wow. You really have gone crazy. The hate that fills you is sad. I don't have to "clear the names" of anyone. There is nothing to clear. God knows the matter.

    You say:
    "Listen, pal, I grew up in this organization. Thirty years of my life, diligently pursuing my "calling," it *was* my life, I lived and breathed those teachings. I know what I'm talking about. Now, that's who I am. Who the hell are you?"

    First of all, I am not your pal. Your vanity has gotten the better of you. Secondly, the fact that it "WAS" your life concerns me. If it no longer is, and you no longer live and breathe the truth...are you already dead? Is that WHO you are?
    As for me, I am still alive, still living, still breathing.

    On this blog, I have only read the article on Jason. I will read no more. And, I will comment no more, as I will not be back on to read any responses you may have. So, respond as many times as you like...waste more of your time.

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  14. By the way, I just want to call attention to Anonymous' selective moralizing, and the exceedingly strange inconsistency with which his hammer of judgment falls.

    On the one hand we have Jason, who, in a perfectly unremarkable (and legal) situation (getting drunk in a hotel room with a buddy), ends up getting into a freak accident no one could have predicted--and, as far as Anonymous is concerned (and this is apparently PCG's official stance) this is grounds for his condemnation: "He was DRUNK OFF HIS ASS!" decrees our discerning arbiter.

    And yet Flurry's indiscretion is given a pass. Not relevant he says. But Flurry was "drunk off his ass," too. The only difference is that Flurry was drunk off his ass in a *criminally negligent* way, presenting a real and known, likely fatal threat to himself *and others.*

    But that's not important to Anonymous: what's important to Anonymous is that Jason deserved to die for flouting the "Philadelphian Standard." And that's a "standard" that is applied differently depending on where one is in the social hierarchy of the cult.

    At the top is Flurry, who fancies himself a king (seriously), and you don't judge a king. His servants, on the other hand, you are encouraged to judge. Anonymous is just following his inculcated sheepish nature when he condemns Jason and ignores Flurry's crimes in deciding who deserves to die. And despite his vacuous, nonfactual protests to the contrary, this is exactly how PCG (like all cults) operates.

    Care to defend your position, now, Anonymous, or maybe offer up some facts? Or are you getting tired of the taste of your own foot?

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  15. "Your vanity has gotten the better of you."

    Straight from the playbook. Are you proud of your ability to let others do your thinking for you? That's real vanity.

    "I will read no more. And, I will comment no more, as I will not be back on to read any responses you may have."

    Run back to your shearers, little sheep. Truth and freedom are much too threatening for you yet.

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  16. "God knows the matter."

    This is another way of saying, "I don't have to support my claims."

    What I say is the truth because God is on my side, and God is on my side because what I say is the truth.

    Interesting that someone who pretends to be so adamant about truth is also so disrespectful of it. A sheep will always be reduced to hypocrisy when the slightest pressure is applied.

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  17. "If it no longer is, and you no longer live and breathe the truth...are you already dead? Is that WHO you are?"

    What precious naivete. Who I am is a free man, no longer shackled to a system of lies that clouded my judgment and restrained my humanity, making me an alien on my own planet, dead to the whole world and blind to reality. Living is something you do despite the cult, outside the stifling grasp of its delusions. That you find it shocking that someone could get so totally free is an indicator of the bleak wretchedness of your thralldom. Prove *all* things, and the truth will set you free.

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  18. Note how Anonymous went from loudly proclaiming us liars and that he had the facts (failing utterly to produce any) to the awkward admission that it is not Anonymous who "knows the matter," but "God." "God knows" is what we say when we haven't a clue. But not having a clue didn't stop the supposedly truth-loving Philadelphian from falsely disparaging Mr. Bruce's article and all those associated with it. That's the kind of behavior one can expect from the "chosen few" who have been trained and conditioned to exhibit it.

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  19. Alas, I missed the fracas. This afternoon I returned from a much needed vacation, but I'm glad to see we've merited a response from several worthy readers. Casey has done an admirable job with this blog, and I'll just go on record as agreeing with his very logical counterarguments to *Anonymous'* insensitive, obtuse and downright stupid posts. On this blog we're all about finding and presenting the truth, so please: contribute to that cause with relevant commentary or shut up. Seriously. I wrote this article because I honestly believe Jason was a good person and he didn't deserve to be treated as he was. To mar his memory with sulferous, meddlesome comments as *Anonymous* did is the very lowest and most inhumane form of petty malice; to refuse to present the "truths" I supposedly lied about simply adds insult to that injury. Here we see cowardice unveiled--and let me tell you, it is disgusting, inglorious and pathetic. So again, thanks to my esteemed colleague Casey for challenging those absurd statements and shining the light back in the faces of GRF and his cronies.

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  20. I met Jason at PYC of 2004. We were in the same dorm. It was my first year of camp and i wasn't sure exactly what to expect. Plus i was homeschooled and not used to being around so many people. Jason was the first friend i made at camp. He helped me to make friends and told me to just be myself and not be afraid of what others think. We were in the same dorm again in 2005, and since then we have been practically inseperable. We lived far away from eachother, but we talked on the phone everyday for hours. One thing we had in common was a love and appreciation for music. We even tried to write a couple songs together, but we never really finished any of them. In 2007 I moved out to Arkansas and and we shared an apartment with his brother Justin. One of our favorite things to do was to chill out underneath the stars, drink a few beers, play some music and talk about life. We could talk about life for hours. We knew things about eachother no one else did. I never had a big brother, but since knowing Jason, i am pretty sure i understand what it must be like.
    Jason Bacon was a beloved son, brother, and uncle. He was also a friend, in the truest sense of the word. He didn't look down on anyone, or act like he didn't have time for you. He wanted to be your friend, no matter who you were. Jase truly cared about people. He wanted to see others succeed. He was excited about the future and what it had in store for all of us. He loved life, and lived it to the fullest. Thats who he was, and thats how I choose to remember him. I am grateful to have known you, Jase. R.I.P. Jason Bacon
    -David Wood

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  21. OK, I usually try not to get argumentative, (ok just kidding) but I feel that I need to say something at this anonymous person who thinks they have all the answers.

    First of all, I cant remember not knowing the Bacon family. We all hung out with the same people so they were just a constant fixture in my camp and FOT memories. However, being older and ever the cliquish teenage girl that I was; I never got to know Jason. And looking back, there are so few people that I really did KNOW. You know those friends. The ones you can tell about what you *really* do with your worldly friends. They ones you don't have to have the obligatory, "That sermon was sooooo inspirational" convo with after services.
    But from what i did know about Jason, he was real. I never felt i had to keep up appearances or stay extra godly around him..... Just a nice guy.
    So anyways let me bring this point full circle. Being the nice, real guy that he was: NO SHIT he was drunk. It's VEGAS. Did you think here was there getting a celebratory ice cream cake at the local Dairy Queen? No. He is human and wanted to hit up Vegas once for a good time like most normal people. I just went there myself. And he got drunk and had a horrible accident. However, I don't think the phrase, "Jason did not lean over to get fresh air. He was DRUNK OFF HIS ASS, and SO WAS HIS FRIEND...who was NO WHERE NEAR Jason at the time it happened." would be a very good addition to his eulogy...
    I also enjoyed the part where you instantly transformed into captain obvious and added, "Also, there was NO risk involved as they told NO ONE that they were going to Vegas." ANYONE who has ever been in the church as a teenager or young adult knows that if you ever wanted to go anywhere like Vegas, you don't tell. Because if you do, you wont be going. Simple as that.
    The truth is that this subject is so heated that none of us will ever hear a completely unbiased version of what happened. But the whole point is that Jason is HUMAN. Not just a PCG member. People die in accidents every day, and I just am happy that some people out there are willing to remember him for all the good he has brought to other's lives. I just hope that whoever anonymous is, dies from doing something truly great; like saving orphans from a burning building. Because if you die from something oridinary like most of us will, karma is a bitch.

    Bonnie Smythe (See, I put my name cause I am proud to stand by what I say)

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  22. Thanks for your post David. I know Jason's passing hit you especially hard, but I'm glad you have so many great memories of him. He was a truly unique guy and a lot of people miss him.

    And Bonnie, I loved your post. As always you can be counted on to tell it like it is. I'd love to get hold of *Anonymous* myself. Some people are just miserable tactless bastards. So f#(k them.

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  23. I attended Jason's funeral, and what really pissed me off is Mr. Brown had the balls to imply that Jason's death was a result of his "sin of over drinking" like you guys had mentioned earlier, it became a correctional sermon of sorts. I was there (despite what the ministry or members thought about it) and i heard it myself, along with 3 of his close friends. The only thing that kept me from knocking his ass out was respect for his family's wishes and the fact that we were at a funeral. After the funeral Wayne Turgeon actually came up and tried to talk to me and Jasons other friends. Do any of you know who gave the sermon the day after his funeral? I have a feeling it was Mr. Turgeon..
    -David Wood
    (It says anonymous cause i dont have an account on here.. please don't assosciate me with the ignorant prick who commented earlier)

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  24. I don't have a copy of that sermon so I can't be definitive, but based on the research I did it sounds like Turgeon delivered it.

    If you'd like to comment under your own name just select name/URL from the dropdown below the comment field. You can input your name and just leave the URL blank.

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  25. I dont believe i knew Jason as well as some of you did, unless some of you can refresh my memory with a picture or something.

    It sounds like his death really devestated his family.

    I really dont understand how people feel the need to blame someone for things like this. Theres an old saying "shit happens". I believe this is applicable to this situation, being that no one, including his friend that was there with him, can only speculate on how he went over the railing.

    The anonymous person: (OBVIOUSLY A PCG MEMBER)

    This is not an uncommon respose from one of your kind, it really doesnt suprise me at all.
    Its rediculous the way you get butt hurt over someone posting in a blog. Its like someone talks bad about you and you automatically go into defensive mode, forget all knowlege you possibly once had in your tiny sheep brain, and start puking bullshit onto the screen.

    If you are going to challenge someone on the internet at least have your facts ready to lay out and prove your argument--This isnt your church where you can tell people the key to eternal life is eating dog shit--they might do it, since you have scared most of them into thinking that if they dont listen, they are going to be banished from their family and friends still inside.

    Here is a little something one of your fellow PCG members sent to my "Honesty box" on facebook, not long after i left your cult. Notice the honesty box is completely anonymous as well. For those of you that dont know, the honesty box shows up on your profile as "What do you think of me?..." Well apparently i hurt this person.



    "really...i think your discusting, your entirely to into yourself,it discusts me to think of alll the meaningless sex you have had, you smoke, yeah your good looking, but hey so are alot of us,you used to be so nice and sweet and i just dont know what happened to you...You have gone down a path that makes my skin crawl and this probly wont even mean a thing to you but it sure makes me feel better to say it, im sure your still nice but i dont understand why you had to ruin yourself and yes you did you ruined yourself, i cant see how any girl would touch you with a ten foot pole with all of the things you have done. You have just cheapend everything you are worth.. You have dissapointed the hell out of me and i just dont know what else to say"

    I didnt even think you people were allowed of Facebook.

    -Brian Wollberg

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  26. I really figured when i left, my friends still inside would try their hardest to get me back in. I meen id understand the PCG telling them not to talk to me if i was actively trying to hurt them. But to completely cut off communication doesnt make much sense unless of course: The only reason they want you is for the paycheck.. they dont want a "bad apple" to spoil part of their riches.

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  27. Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

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  28. Oh, look everybody! Patmos Pete has learned to copy and paste random phrases from Bible.com! Isn't he a clever little monkey? Hey, Pete, let us know when you grow a brain, okay?

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  29. Malissa Wollberg DinkinsAugust 15, 2010 at 1:25 PM

    I was in the church 17 years, and left the PCG in 1997. I do not remember Jason, however reading this story makes me sick. This cult is ran by money hungry, mind controlling, self righteous pricks. They teach you that they are all you need, and force you to abandon anything else. then at the moment you need them the most they not only refuse to help you..they further bash you down and turn others against you. It is disgusting to see the way families and friends are torn apart because of the actions and words of these MEN.
    Jason sounds like a person I would have enjoyed knowing. One that left behind many friends that loved and believed in him. who will speak up on his behalf, when those who should are not.

    Samuel - wonderfully written document. It is sad to hear the horrible treatment and dis-concern by the church, yet not surprising.

    Casey - Thank you for being the argumentative man you are and pushing for the truth. For making pricks like "anonymous" eat their words and speak up or shut up. And wonderful point in bringing up the fact that their all mighty Flurry had himself been DRUNK OFF HIS ASS before. And unfortunately for the rest of us, he didn't have Jason's fate.


    Brian - Your post just reminds me of my past friends. I am saddened when I think back of all those still being controlled by this cult. But even more sad to think that to them I am already dead. It is hard to learn that your friendship is conditional. But to these animals it is, It ALWAYS is.

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  30. Im not a PCG member but I was a good friend of Jason's. I heard there was an article about him here so I thought I would give it a read. Starting out I thought this was an article on "Remembering Jason Bacon", but it was only a cover. The real article was "Lets use this poor kids death as an excuse to bash the church he was attending".I mean it even says Memorial Day right there at the top. I can see that most of the people here dont like the PCG but how about you guys just bash it without making Jason your excuse for doing so. Thats pretty weak dude, you should be ashamed.

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  31. No, Anonymous No. 2, you've got it exactly backwards. The cult used this tragedy as an opportunity to promote harmful superstitions, cynically capitalizing (financially and politically) on the misfortune of others. Don't you think they should be ashamed for doing that? If so, then why should we be ashamed for pointing out what you agree with?

    This blog is called "Armstrong Delusion" for a reason. If you want to read an article that doesn't criticize the cult Jason was in, then you're welcome to skip this one.

    But, since you're in the mood for imputing motive, I'll give it a shot myself...

    I began reading your comment thinking you might have something to say that is relevant to the subject of the article. After all you did say, "I heard there was an article about him here so I thought I would give it a read." But it was only a cover. You meant "read" only in the loosest sense. The real intent behind the comment was, "I support manipulative cults, so I'll just ignore all the content of the article and make ad hominem attacks against the author in an attempt to make their position appear weak."

    Now, isn't imputing motives fun?

    "I was a good friend of Jason's."

    Yeah? So was the author and many of the commenters you identify dismissively with, "most of the people here don't like the PCG." Did you want an obituary? We don't do obituaries here. Sorry.

    Do you think anyone who writes about the circumstances surrounding someone's death ought to be ashamed if they don't write a mere obituary? That seems a little strange.

    On the other hand, do you really think it is shameful to memorialize a friend while at the same time speaking critically of an institution that abused him and continues to abuse so many on a daily basis?

    This isn't a case of using Jason's death as an excuse to bash the cult (like we need one), it is a case of fellow victims lamenting the loss of their friend and his disrespectful treatment at the hands of cult leadership. Both the grief and the moral outrage are genuine and not contrived at all, and we won't be "shamed" by your impotent finger-wagging.

    Now for some advice. In the future, when preparing to read a blog titled "Armstrong Delusion," consider that any given article on such a blog is likely going to be critical of Armstrongism. Really, Anonymous 2, this isn't rocket science. Oh, and don't impute motives against people you don't know.

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  32. Hey..two things: One, Flurry is a nut whose sideshow embarrasses decent, well intentioned folks who actually do believe in living a life that harms no one and nothing; Two, everytime he opens his mouth and the excrement leaks out, somebody needs to hand his toadies the shovel and you seem to be doing a good job of it. OK, a third thing: Do you guys think all followers of Christ are fools or just the ones who act like fools? Christ had no problem telling people what he thought about their behavior...seems as if you have that in common, even if you do think he is a "mythological" character. Had a lot to say about manipulators and assholes. Anyway, carry on. --an old lady

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  33. @Deb:

    Agree with your assessment of Flurry of course. As for our stance on Christianity, we'd rather not get into it too much here. Our focus is on exposing the fallacies and abuses of the Armstrong cults specifically. But if it is of interest to you, the three founding editors of Armstrong Delusion are all staunch atheists and, in fact, anti-theists. In each of our cases we have arrived at this position through a deep and exhaustive exploration of the relevant arguments on either side. We do not necessarily think all "followers of Christ" are fools, as there are other excuses besides foolishness for maintaining unsupportable beliefs (emotional comfort, intellectual dishonesty, confirmation bias and lazy research to name a few). Anyway, if you want to keep following our work on Armstrongism, check out the new blog at armstrongdelusion.com. Thanks for the interest!

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  34. Hello...I went to high school with Crystal and we were pretty good friends...Jason was so much younger than us, unfortunately I didn't know him...if he was anything like his sister though, she was sooo precious and a gentle soul. I have no idea what the church is you folks are talking about (i'll google it after i get done here), but i want to assure you that not all Christians are freaks...I just found out today that Crystal has passed and I don't understand why?? I wish I knew what happened and I just want to say what an honor it was to know Crystal (I was also friends with Kim, their older sister)...what a tragic accident that happened to Jason....

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