Urgent in Ron’s Mind

A sermon file of interest came to my attention recently. In particular, an excerpt of it which I’ve transcribed below. You can also click on the player to listen while you read and double check the accuracy of my transcription.(Hyperlink for iPod and iPad users who can’t access Flash).

False Prophet Ronald Weinland speaking in his sermon titled “Planning Ahead” on Dec 28, 2002:

Also as a matter of keeping the church informed, I wanted to share something else with you.  Some of you I just mentioned beforehand here about Jeremy having an opportunity of going over to Austria this year. He’s going to meet up with some who came over from the feast from Holland and Belgium. And they had invited him to come over. Well, we just happened to take a look at some of the flights over and got a real good deal for him to fly over there. And so he’s going to go skiing.

The reason I’m mentioning that is because — backing up here, about a year ago when Laura and I went over to Belgium and to England, we also took a side trip which I haven’t mentioned to the church, I don’t believe I’ve mentioned to the church anyway, but we took a side trip to Switzerland. And one of the things, primary things motivating some of that was the opportunity to go to a bank there and talk to a banker for some time. We picked out a particular bank. Talked to them about the possibility of transferring funds over to Switzerland.

Because of considering some of the things that are going to come to pass and knowing what’s going to happen to the United States, and being convicted of those things, I started looking at some of that. It’s not just as simple as opening up a bank account like you live here in the United States. It’s much more complicated.  They gave me a book to read, basically. And I’ve gone through a few things there, discussed it with the elders. And they gave some different suggestions which I was very thankful for.  And that’s why we come together like that because as a council of elders for the purpose of counseling and listening to what they have to say and considering those different things, and looking to God’s spirit to lead, guide and direct us.

But anyway, Laura and I were going back again this year.  We’ve already scheduled to go back for Pentecost again this year to the same places. And we were going to go on down there to probably open up an account. But since Jeremy was going over in January, it became a little more urgent in my mind that we need to get this done quickly.  So we’re going to go on over there — I’m going to go over there. Laura’s not coming, but I’m going to fly over there to Zurich, straight to Zurich, and talk with a bank there. Possibly the same one that was in Geneva that I talked to, but it will be different people obviously but may be the same banking system. But talked with some in Geneva about opening up an account there in Zurich, and then flying back over and meeting up with Jeremy and flying back with him.

But I wanted to share that with the church, asking you to be praying about it.  Because we’re talking about maybe putting quite a bit of funds over there. We have quite a bit to work with, and haven’t known what to do with it. But it may be for a purpose of what’s coming.  We don’t know what’s coming, and in may be for a purpose of helping to sustain some things in the church. And it may be for a purpose of continuing doing some of the things we’re doing, being able to travel. An so we’re even going to try to get a credit card out of that, that allows us to go anywhere in the world and use those funds. Terry Wrozek had mentioned the possibility of something like that. So we’re going to check into that to be able to use those funds.

I wanted to share with you something else, because I don’t want to hold anything back. It’s going to be in my name, as well. It’s not going to be in the church’s name. So if someone hears about something like that, I didn’t want someone think “What are you going to do, take off to Europe? Whatever, these 200,000 or whatever over there?” No. We don’t want the church’s name involved. It’s going to be a personal account because Europe when it comes to religious groups and so forth, they’re not real keen on some of those things. So when we do transfer the monies we’re trying to think of different ways to put it in there.

We’ll probably put a lot of it into euros, some in Swiss francs. Nothing in US dollars. And that’s not to scare the church that people ought to be doing the same thing. Because it’s going to come down to this is just strictly, I believe deeply whether it would be for us or someone else that’s going to be able to use that money later on. And we have to plan ahead and think accordingly and I believe that’s what God is leading us and guiding us and helping us to think about and consider.

But this doesn’t mean it’s panic time for people in the church to wonder what to do with funds and so forth. The reality is that when things happen you’re going to have to rely on God, period, first and foremost in your lives, in your families, in your homes, and where ever you are. Because it’s not going to be a pretty picture on this earth. And it will be a total reliance , as we heard last sabbath, on God to bring us through these things. And that is a reality, it’s just a reality of life.

Of particular interest is that cassette tapes of this sermon were not sent out, as was Ron’s practice back in that time frame. The sermon tape of the prior week delivered by Paul Worth was sent out, and so was the tape of the following week’s sermon. The audio quality of this recording is consistent with one made at the other end of the teleconferencing hookup that Ron used.

As a reminder, it’s not illegal to have a Swiss bank account.  It is legal to have foreign bank accounts, but if the sum of your balance exceeds $10,000 (as did Ron’s accounts), you are required to file an annual FBAR report.  What are the odds that Ron did that?  The penalties for failing to file the FBAR can be quite severe. The penalties possible include:

  • a civil penalty of 50% of the account balance, or $100,000 (whichever is greater)
  • a fine of $250,000 and a 5-year prison sentence

Did I get this recording from a disgruntled ex-PKG member? No, not at all. Actually, I downloaded it myself directly from the PKG website. This recording was put up on the website in the last few months.

I’m wondering why Ron had Jeremy put this recording up. My speculation is that IRS Criminal Investigation is getting closer to a prosecution recommendation (or maybe it’s already happened), and that Ron is throwing himself under the bus to protect Laura. The important part is his statement that Laura did not go with him to open his Swiss bank accounts. I’m skeptical that such a legal strategy would work. Obviously Laura knew that Ron was doing this from this statement that was public within the environs of PKG back then. And I expect that Laura signed the annual 1040 tax returns since then, Schedule B of which requires one to list foreign interest sources.  We also have Ron’s statement that Team Member Laura handled their finances.  So much for the “innocent spouse”, so I doubt that releasing this recording would protect Laura legally.

I’m interested in your reactions, and your ideas as why Ron had this previously undistributed sermon posted now for the entire world and IRS Criminal Investigation to download.

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32 Comments

  • Baywolfe says:

    Dunno about his reasons and, truthfully, I never listen to/read one bit of his sermons except for what gets excerpted here. But, doesn’t he sound a lot more sane back in 2002 than now? Yeah, “the account will be in my name” sends up some huge red flags, but he actually sounds, reasonable.

    And, apparently, completely naive as to US Tax laws…

  • RK says:

    I agree with Baywolfe, I don’t know what Ron’s reasons might be either.

    It does look like an attempt by Ron to cover his behind in some way, in a “just in case” scenario.

    Also, it seems more likely than not, that Ron FAILED to file a Foreign Bank And Financial Account Report.

    The possibility of a civil penalty of 50% of the account balance, or $100,000 (whichever is greater) a fine of $250,000 and a 5-year prison sentence probably has Ron kicking himself (if he did indeed fail to file a FBAR) because that would be a considerable chunk of change going to the IRS.

    And if (IF) that be the case, that would be a really stupid blunder to make with “God’s money”.

  • Atrocious says:

    Myself, I don’t understand why he wanted to put it in HIS name instead of the church’s name, except that he wanted to have access to that account exclusively. Laura not going with him guarantees that her name is not on the account. I don’t know how the laws are in Switzerland, but here, if you have an account in your name, you have to pay taxes on it. Sounds like the plotting of a huge con, in my opinion.

  • JB says:

    It sounds like a huge con game to me too. Putting the account plus a credit card in his name only sends up red flags all over the place. Hopefully the IRS sees all those flags . Certainly it didn’t seem to bother his little flock. Even though he said they had a lot of money in 2002 it didn’t stop him from asking for everyone to sacrifice and give everthing the could a few years later. What happened to all that money he said they had? It seems to me that the money is just to promote him, his books and his life style.

  • Mike (DDTFA) says:

    His explanation for putting the money in his name instead of the church’s name is very very weak. Maybe if there was an issue it was that his church wasn’t registered in Switzerland to do business.

    Maybe he’s trying to set up a defense that even though the account was in his name, the money really, really belonged to the church. But even if the accounts had been set up in the church’s name, he would still have been required to file the FBAR forms.

    When you open a bank account in the states, you can set it up as a Pay on Death to a named individual. Since Ron went there by himself, he didn’t have a second signature on the account. If his plane had crashed in the Atlantic on the way back, I wonder who would have got “the 200,000″ that he said was going into the accounts.

  • angel says:

    My favorite part was when he said, “But this doesn’t mean it’s panic time for people in the church to wonder what to do with funds and so forth. The reality is that when things happen YOU’RE going to have to rely on God, period, first and foremost in your lives, in your families, in your homes, and where ever you are.”

    Niiice.

  • Mike (DDTFA) says:

    But Ron’s followers can’t see the irony in that statement.

  • Atrocious says:

    Yeah…that kinda struck me, too. Here he gets all the money (the love of money is the root of all evil) so he’s all set, and everyone else has to rely on God for their sustenance. In other words; “Ha, I’ve got your money. And you, you poor sheep, you can go rely on God for what YOU need! My god is money!”

    That whole sermon (or whatever you call it – I wouldn’t call it a sermon) should have caused red flags to pop up all over the place.

  • Whisper says:

    For a man with a limited life span left, in fact he knows the exact amount of time he has remaining, he seems awefully interested in money to sustain him (and not the rank and file mind you) even though he is a Witness of God, one of the Final 2 Witnesses and the most powerful of all God servants that have ever been. It would stand to perfect reason and faith that Ron needs no money or wealth of any type as God will sustain him absolutely as he is his one and only Spokesman.

    Mikes right, he’s sowing seeds that will, if need be, lead the IRS directly to him and not Laura by making these odd statements.

    So how much life does Ron have left, by his own reasoning? 24 months? 2 years and Ron is dead. Sounds rather morbid explaining ones own death in the future at the hands of someone else. Even harder when that “someone else” will not arise up, become a person, and act accordingly but that Catholic Faith and Europe will not, seemingly, accord to Ron’s desires. Funny that?

    Go figure?

  • jack635 says:

    What does a prophet of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, need money in a swiss bank account for? He should be able to do anything he wants without money, including healing the sick, walking on water, raising the dead, and even flying without and airplane. And then there is the thing that gets me the most: It is in his personal name instead of a corporate account in the name of the church.

    The most obvious conclusion is usually correct.

    Maybe Ron is saving up for his own jetplane just like his idol, Herbie.

  • Steve says:

    Ron said once that he had a place he bought in switzerland too so it would make sense….he has only ever mentioned it once and that was a couple years ago

  • Atrocious says:

    It’s amazing how it’s always “all about Ron”. PKG is “the church of Ron”. Do what Ron says (he is the voice of god), give your money to Ron; Ron has “power”, Ron this, Ron that. All about Ron. The only similarity between Ron and God is the O in the middle of the name.

  • Aggie says:

    “I’m interested in your reactions, and your ideas as why Ron had this previously undistributed sermon posted now for the entire world and IRS Criminal Investigation to download.”

    Dissension in the ranks? As for Weinland stating it will be in his personal name, don’t count on that being part of the long con; Armstrong did the same thing, when he fled to Arizona during the receivership.

  • Mike (DDTFA) says:

    “Dissension in the ranks?”

    Aggie, are you saying that a dissident posted this? I suspect that Jeremy’s the only one with the password to Ron’s websites, and he knows which side his bread is buttered. I believe that this sermon is on the PKG website because Ron wanted it there.

  • jack635 says:

    I believe that this sermon is on the PKG website because Ron wanted it there.

    I concur. He wants it on the net for a reason. And it aint cuz some member is complainin that Ron never told anyone he was putting all that money in his own name in a personal account.

    A true con artist weaves a complex web. I think it is now on the web site as part of his defense. I guess he has never heard of the web archive which stores a copy of every page of every website since about the early 90′s

  • angel says:

    “We don’t want the church’s name involved. It’s going to be a personal account because Europe when it comes to religious groups and so forth, they’re not real keen on some of those things.”

    Hmmm. Isn’t Vatican City in Europe? Doesn’t Switzerland have a long history of neutrality? How does that statement make ANY sense?

    “It’s going to be in my name, as well. It’s not going to be in the church’s name. So if someone hears about something like that, I didn’t want someone think “What are you going to do, take off to Europe?”

    Riiight. And he can be trusted just like when he said if what he predicted failed to come to pass he would quit preaching because to change his timeline would be insane.

  • Steve says:

    “Hmmm. Isn’t Vatican City in Europe? Doesn’t Switzerland have a long history of neutrality? How does that statement make ANY sense?”

    Exactly…ronny boy doesnt make sense period. His thinking and logic (or lack of it) is just like “Swiss” cheese…no wonder he likes Switzerland so much :>)

  • Atrocious says:

    In my opinion, Ron STOLE that money, put it in his own name to make it exclusively HIS! Looks like he’s a big-time, genuine, grand-theft, laughing-all-the-way-to-the-bank Tasmanian Devil, as well as an insane, lying, false prophet. Exactly how low can a person get?

  • angel says:

    Pretty low. This is a guy that can lie right to people’s faces, basically daring them to challenge what he’s telling them. He demands total trust from them, all the while showing them no proof whatsoever that he has told them anything that is true. Someone who still had a conscience would understand that these people are putting alot on the line in trusting him but instead if they show any signs of doubt he mocks them and if need be, throws them out in the cold after having fleeced them.

  • Aggie says:

    Maybe kiddo’s getting tired of the long con? Don’t forget that asking money to be sent in his personal name to AZ, is what got Armstrong through the receivership scandal — and heralded the “get the church back on TRACK” era, that I grew up in.

    Expect things to become very uncomfortable, for the children of PKG, in the near future….. :(

  • Mike (DDTFA) says:

    I don’t follow. “Kiddo” being ….. Jeremy? Not understanding how 1979 Armstrong ties in with Ron disclosing the personal Swiss bank accounts. Please explain.

  • Aggie says:

    Kiddo being Jeremy, yeah. Weinland saying the bank account is in his own name, is pretty much verbatim of a coworker letter I remember reading during the receivership scandal, how Armstrong was saying the government was trying to target “God’s Apostle”, and that all checks must be made out to him, personally, and not to the church.

    Like good little sheep, the brethren obeyed.

  • Aggie says:

    *I remember reading that was sent during the receivership scandal, that is. I was too young to remember clearly the events of the time, as it was going on around us, and our congregations always were remote from what was happening in Pasadena….

  • Mike (DDTFA) says:

    I doubt that Jeremy’s going to sabotage Daddy. I think he knows which side his bread is buttered on. There’s no upside for Jeremy to do this.

    I fully expect that if Ron goes to trial, that his followers will pack the courtroom in support.

  • Aggie says:

    “Pack” the courtroom? They’ll probably be lucky if they can muster up half-a-dozen, from the neighbouring four states!

  • Mike (DDTFA) says:

    Aggie, Ron has more than that many elders in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. I’ve got a list of PKG elders, and those are the ones for whom I have first and last names. There are a few others for whom I only have first names. If you have reliable information about how many members he really has, please share it.

  • Aggie says:

    It’s not recent intel, and is only hearsay, but between April 2008 and shortly before “If by Pentecost (June 8, 2008)” failed, I was informed by a recently-exited member that there were approximately 350-400 members, globally, and that all the “new baptisms” were really quick turnovers; non-CoG people tended to, apparently, get baptized and get out, almost as immediately as they realized what they were getting into. Not all of them, but most of them, from what I was told, especially after Pentecost 2008 came and went, and Weinland continued preaching (despite his promise that, if there was “not great destruction and death, then I will stop preaching“, on March 22, 2008).

    According to my source at the time, the bulk of PKG’s core “faithful” are former members of WCG, and all her harlot daughter churches; there are very few outsiders to the faith, in PKG.

    I am unaware if the above situation remains the same.

  • Mike (DDTFA) says:

    My intel is more recent than yours, from family members of people sucked in after Ron was proven to be an insane liar, that contradicts what you say. I wish it weren’t so, but I’m afraid it is. We have Mal as proof that it’s possible.

    The world has gullible people, and the Internet facilitates finding them. If there weren’t a few people who believed that buying a pill from a spammer would make you more manly, then there wouldn’t be spam.

  • Aggie says:

    I’m curious, what does your more recent intel have the membership of the church at currently, Mike? IIRC, there was a spike in membership shortly before the failure of the first timeline, that dropped dramatically, after it failed (and there were two or three public defections on the blogs/forums at this time as well).

  • Aggie says:

    Another thing to consider, is that Weinland may be ordaining ALL of his members; so, while the list of elders may be growing longer, I don’t think that represents an increase in membership, in the church; Weinland’s just holding out one more brass ring to his members, to ensure that they will remain invested, even after his third set of false prophecies fails, yet again.

  • Mike (DDTFA) says:

    What evidence do you have that membership dropped dramatically when the first timeline failed? Yes, there were some public defections then, as well as a few since the 2nd timeline. What’s not publicly evident is the correspondence that I receive from family members who have a loved one still stuck in the cult. What is public has been the few members who have posted here, as well as some sipping the Flavor Aid, like Mal here. I believe that Ron has lost a few, gained a lot, and his membership roster is higher than it was at the FoT 2007.

  • Aggie says:

    That’s unfortunate. I will note that there were a lot of publicly-supportive Weinland posters on the old Ironwolf blog posts, who all disappeared after the failure of the first timeline. Whether they were still drinking the Kool-Aid, or if they were too embarrassed to show their faces again, I don’t know. Obviously, I hope it’s the latter, and not the former. Like I said, my source at the time said there was a large turnover, after the failure of the first timeline. I never had any contact with anyone on the inside, during the failure of Weinland’s second set of false prophecies, and I’m not involved at all, now that he’s on False Timeline Number Three, so your intel is likely correct, if unfortunate; I do hope the trend continues, however, and that there is an exodus of some people (even though it may not be a mass exodus) after the third timeline fails utterly to materialize, as did the first two.

    When I was running the Weinland Watch site, there were three different people with whom I had contact, who had family members in; at least a couple did mention their loved ones did tone down the “it’s the end times” rhetoric, after the failure of the first timeline. There was a fourth person, but the “information” I was allegedly getting from them, was not consistent with the intel I was getting from another ex-member, which led me to believe that “family member”, wasn’t really. (I can remember several sermons from the pulpit when I was in WCG, instructing us that it was perfectly OK to lie to “the worldly” because they “were already deceived”.) I later heard (from a trusted source of a trusted source), that this in fact, was what was happening.

    Watch your back, that’s all I’m saying. You don’t know what kind of entrapment Weinland or his elders are going to get up to, to try and recoup any losses that a Federal conviction might yet incur….