Banned, Ambassador Watch, Living University, and my Ph.D. and Th.D.


Instead of admitting that he was wrong about lies he has posted about me last month, after I posted the following yesterday Let’s Deal with Some Lies from ‘Banned by HWA’, Banned by HWA webmaster, Gary Leonard, decided to post an old article from the late Gavin Rumney of the old Ambassador Watch. But Gary Leonard changed the title from The Remarkable Story of Bob Thiel’s ThD to The Remarkable Story of The Mysterious ThD and Subtle Deceptions of Bob Thiel.

Of course, there were no subtle deceptions from me.

But, there were some reasons for confusion, so, let’s clarify information on my education.

I possess the following regionally accredited degrees from USA based institutions:

Allan Hancock College, A.A.
University of LaVerne. B.S.
University of Southern California, M.S.
Union Institute and University, Ph.D.

I also possess other degrees from non-regionally accredited institutions as I wanted to learn more than mainstream universities taught. Although some have criticized me for being open to additional education, those that do so tend to be short-sighted or limited in their understandings of many matters.

Union Institute and University is licensed by the State of California to grant doctoral degrees. Yet, even though my Ph.D. university is also regionally-accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (one of the only one of six recognized accrediting agencies in the United States), the Ambassador Watch article denigrated that degree with such statements as:

2016 Postscript. Bob’s alma mater admits that it is indeed not accredited, no big surprise, so it seems his PhD is indeed only a pretty piece of paper, a vanity qualification. Vanity is one of the seven deadly sins, isn’t it?

My Ph.D. is from a regionally accredited university and is more than a “pretty piece of paper.”

Making a ‘sin accusation’ for attaining additional education is not right.

Bearing false witness is a violation of the ninth commandment, and Ambassador Watch sometimes did that and Banned seems to do that a lot.

Since it is often best to fight fire with water, misinformation can often be best fought with facts and proof.

Anyway, no, my Ph.D. is not a vanity degree. It took a lot of work and had serious academic oversight.

Want some proof?

Well, I am a published scientist. And published in journals with no connection to Union Institute and University.

Here are links to a few of the scientific papers I have had published:

Natural Vitamins May Be Superior to Synthetic Ones. This is the first paper published in a MEDline indexed journal since WWII that explains why all the essential vitamins are superior to synthetic ones.
Down syndrome and thyroid dysfunction: Should nutritional support be the first-line treatment? This paper advocates considering nutritional support for the thyroid and raises questions about thyroid medications.
Might Calcium Disorders Cause or Contribute to Myoclonic Seizures? This article provides an explanation as to why nutrition should be considered as a first-line treatment for myoclonic seizures.
Can Cognitive Deterioration Associated with Down Syndrome be Reduced? This article documents why certain nutrients (as found in foods) are expected to provide the greatest benefits.
Down syndrome and Epilepsy: A Nutritional Connection? This article documents apparent nutritional links between these seemingly unrelated disorders.
Orthomolecular Therapy and Down Syndrome: Rationale and Clinical Results
Presentation at the 8th Annual Scientific Program of the Orthomolecular Health-Medicine Society, March 1, 2002, San Francisco.
Facial Effects of Warner Protocol on Children with Down Syndrome This paper was published in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine.
Growth Effects of Warner Protocol on Children with Down Syndrome This paper was published in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine.

The first five papers listed above are indexed by PubMed, which is the National Institutes of Health database of scientific papers. I have also had about 60 scientific papers published in non-PubMed journals and magazines.

Here are some books, related to my Ph.D. specialty, I have either written or co-written:

Xue SA, Thiel R, Kenner D, Feldotov S. Integral Medicine and Rehabilitation. Publishing House of Ancient Chinese Medical Books, PRC, 2017

Thiel R.J.  Combining Old and New: Naturopathy for the 21st Century, 2nd edition, Whitman Books, 2011

Xue SA, Thiel R, Kenner D, Freuhauf H.  Holistic Medicine Rehabilitation.  B. Jain Archibel, 2010

Neumann C., Thiel R. Serious Nutrition: Incorporating Clinically Effective Nutrition Into Your Practice, Source Graphics, 2005

Thiel R.J.  Combining Old and New: Naturopathy for the 21st Century, Whitman Books, 2000

Furthermore, I still hold a license as a scientist from the State of Alabama.

My Ph.D. is real and I wrote a 120 double-spaced doctoral dissertation on a clinical trial I performed while earning it (plus took numerous, often gruelingly difficult courses, to be able to graduate–plus had to defend my dissertation before a group of five or so doctors).

Now, to Gavin Rumney’s credit, notice one positive thing he had in his Th.D. article:

I’ve always found Bob a scrupulously honest person, so it will be intriguing to follow this as it develops.

Yes, I have been honest, despite Gary Leonard often making claims to the contrary.

So, what about my Th.D.?

While I do not think that the story is remarkable, some might find it interesting.

Let’s start with some background.

In late 1994, my then Worldwide Church of God minister Ted Herlofsen urged me to write Joseph Tkach to rebut arguments being raised on the consumption of biblically unclean animals, and I did. After WCG responded, Ted Herlofsen then asked me to write back to give biblical responses to their unbiblical positions, so I did. After receiving WCG’s responses, it was clear to me that I needed to leave WCG, and I went to the Global Church of God (GCG).

In 1995/1996, I met Don Davis, who was then in GCG. He asked me to write theological articles. In 1996, my then GCG minister (Art Braidic) pressured me to start a local church website, which was originally named GCGArroyo. At first, I mainly posted information about why WCG’s changed positions on the Ten Commandments were wrong. In the Spring of 1998, then GCG evangelist, Larry Salyer, called me and said that GCG did not want any local websites to use ‘GCG’ anymore, so I changed the name to COGwriter. GCG published an article from me in the Global Church News later that year.

When the GCG split happened in late 1998 and the Living Church of God (LCG) formed, I posted a lot of news about that. For a short time COGwriter was LCG’s de facto website. After that crisis subsided, then LCG evangelist Carl McNair told me to keep up the GCG news and keep the COGwriter site going. That is when I began to post news about more Church of God (COG) groups, prophecy, doctrine, and later other religious news.

By 2004, was still often more popular than some of LCG’s official websites. But I recognized that if I wanted to reach more Catholics and Protestants, that I needed to understand more about their teachings. For example, I was curious as to their arguments about why they misunderstood matters like the Godhead and I knew little about Calvinism (Calvinism is something I believe was thoroughly debunked in my most recently published theological book, Universal OFFER of Salvation, Apokatastasis: Can God save the lost in an age to come? Hundreds of scriptures reveal God’s plan of salvation). Basically, I wanted to be a better COG apologist (an apologist, in this sense, is a defender of the faith–one who strives to explain doctrine to those who otherwise do not believe).

In September of 2005, Dr. Roderick C. Meredith (then presiding evangelist of LCG) formally asked if I would be a volunteer advisor to the ‘doctrinal committee’ (basically meaning an advisor on these matters to the Charlotte-based evangelists) in the areas of doctrine and prophecy. I agreed.

Also in 2005, I learned about an inexpensive foreign school that allowed people with real Ph.D.s to study for a Th.D. and it allowed its students to hold doctrinal positions that differed from the instructors. So, I decided to ask LCG evangelist Dr. Doug Winnail if he thought I should enroll in that program, which was from the Calvin Graduate School of Theology which was part of the Trinity Graduate School of Apologetics and Theology. Dr. Winnail advised me to do so. So, in November 2005, I did.

My intent was to get exposed to teachings and arguments that professing Christians had that differed from Church of God teachings and understandings.


So that I would be better equipped to deal with their positions with scriptures and historical support.

As part of the program, I also enrolled in the graduate (Masters program) church history course from Fuller Theological Seminary (which came with books and many lecture tapes, which I studied), plus purchased a series of tapes of lectures given by Dr. Bart Ehrman of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

After listening to lecture tapes provided by the Calvin school (and others), writing numerous papers, and writing a 589 single-spaced dissertation on church history, in November of 2008, I graduated with a Th.D. in Apologetics, with a concentration/major in Early Church History. Partially because of that education, I was able to update articles and write new ones with more information about why the true Church of God is the real Christian Church.

When my degree document arrived in the mail, I noticed it was sent from what looked to be Trinity of Cochin University (TCU). So, that is why I originally used those initials. However, much later I found out that the connection between the Calvin School and Cochin was not as official as I thought. Therefore, I stopped using those initials years ago. By around 2008, the Calvin Graduate School of Theology (CGST) had ceased with that name. Hence, that was the original reason why I did not list CGST (but later decided to list it in the Who is COGwriter? link which is in pretty much every article on this COGwriter Church of God News page as COGwriter–this is something Gary Leonard could have looked at if he had truthful interest in that subject).

CGST did claim some type of accreditation when I enrolled in its program, but that was not important to me. Why? Because my interest was in learning more how to counter anti-Church of God theological arguments, including those about church history. The way I did the program with CGST accomplished that. The fact that my doctoral dissertation was almost 10 times as long as my regionally-accredited Ph.D. dissertation should show all with interest in the truth, that I did a lot of work and research to attain the Th.D.

Anyway, the Living Church of God was informed about the Th.D. school and what I had been doing throughout the program. Dr. Winnail had me send a version of the ThD. dissertation in to help train some LCG ministers about church history. In 2010, I was asked to submit an application to teach at Living University (LU). Because of that degree, my written articles, etc., Dr. Mike Germano said that LU wanted to appoint me as an “Adjunct Assistant Professor for Theology.” He wanted me to teach church history and other aspects of theology. In December 2011, during my last visit to LCG’s Charlotte headquarters, I made several hours of lectures that were videoed taped for LU.

However, partially because I was one of the most vocal opponents of the 2012 new LCG “The Falling Away” teaching, those lectures were not shown.

Later that year, because LCG made it clear it would not make doctrinal changes to correct errors its evangelists admitted to me that it had, I decided I had to leave it as that made it clear to me that LCG could no longer hold the Philadelphian Mantle.

That led to the formation of the Continuing Church of God.

But this did not stop my interest in education in order to better address theological arguments from others.

My wife and I took some online courses related to theology in 2012 and 2013. And in late 2017, I completed a course from Dallas Theological Seminary as part of my research for a book I have been writing about the Bible.

I am not afraid of the truth, and continue to research and write. As the Apostle Paul put it, “I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22). Having accredited and non-accredited education helps with that.

So, hopefully this provides enough clarification about my education for those interested in the truth.

Some items of perhaps related interest include:

Why Be Concerned About False and Heretical Leaders? There have been many false leaders–here is some of why you should be concerned about them. Here is a related article in the Spanish language ¿Por qué estar preocupado acerca de falsos y heréticos líderes?
Banned by HWA and Ambassador Watch There are various ones that oppose the Church of God, but they will not prevail (Matthew 16:18).
Why Be Concerned About False and Heretical Leaders? There have been many false leaders–here is some of why you should be concerned about them. Here is a related article in the Spanish language ¿Por qué estar preocupado acerca de falsos y heréticos líderes?
Does the CCOG have the confirmed signs of Acts 2:17-18? Does any church have the confirmed dream and prophetic signs of Acts 2:17-18? Should one? Here is a link in the Spanish language: ¿Tiene la CCOG confirmadas las señales de Hechos 2: 17-18? Here is a link in the French language: Est-ce que l’Église Continue de Dieu confirme les signes d’Actes 2:17-18?
Church of God Leaders on Prophets Have there been prophets throughout the church age? Are any supposed to be around in the last days? What have COG leaders stated or written about prophets? Here is a link to a related sermon: Church of God Leaders on Prophets.
How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God There are many false prophets. How can Christians determine who is a true prophet? There is also a sermon-length video titled How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God. Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Cómo determinar si alguien es un verdadero profeta de Dios?
Dreams, the Bible, the Radio Church of God, and the Continuing Church of God How has God used dreams in the past? Does God still use dreams? Did He use any involving those in the Continuing Church of God? Here is a link in Spanish: Sueños, la Biblia, la Iglesia de Dios de la Radio, y la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. A related sermon is also available: Dreams, COGs, and One Man Rule.
Is the Genuine Church of God a Cult? There are misleading statements on the internet that this article tries to address.
Herbert W. Armstrong, the Philadelphia Church, & the Mantle Herbert Armstrong claims God had him raise the Philadelphia up. Are there reasons to believe that the Philadelphia mantle in now within the CCOG? Here is a link to a related sermon: Herbert W. Armstrong and the Philadelphia Mantle.
The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast This is a free pdf book explaining the what the Ten Commandments are, where they came from, how early professors of Christ viewed them, and how various ones, including the Beast of Revelation, will oppose them. A related sermon is titled: The Ten Commandments and the Beast of Revelation.
The Ten Commandments Reflect Love, Breaking them is Evil Some feel that the ten commandments are a burden. Is that what Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, and John taught? For a more detailed discussion of the first four commandments, please see the video The Ten Commandments: Loving God. For a more detailed discussion of the last six commandments, please see: The Ten Commandments: Loving Your Neighbor. Here is a link to a related article in Mandarin Chinese 十条诫命显示爱,违反诫命的就是邪恶的
The Philadelphia Remnant: It’s All About Love This is what CCOG teaches. It is important to remember. A related video is available: Nairobi Conference: All About Love.
COGwriter Position on Other Churches and Religions What is the fate of those who do not know Christ? What about those who profess Christ outside the Church of God?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui? Here is a link to a short animation: Which Church would Jesus Choose?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L Histoire Continue de l Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
501(c)(3): Why the Continuing Church of God chose a better option Many churches in the USA have put themselves under greater government control by registering as a 501(c)(3) charity. The Continuing Church of God chose a better option.
Why Bob Thiel Left the Living Church of God Several have speculated reasons, but here is the truth. (En el idioma español: ¿Por qué Bob Thiel dejó la Iglesia del Dios Viviente?)
The Falling Away: The Bible and WCG Teachings Who is 2 Thessalonians 2:3 referring to? Are there multiple falling aways? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: La Apostasía: Enseñanzas de la Biblia y de la WCG. There are also two YouTube videos on the subject that you can watch The Falling Away Part 1: From the Bible and Church History and The Falling Away Part 2: Positions Presented by Others.
LCG: What About the Living Church of God? Are there Doctrinal Differences with the Continuing Church of God? This article explains some information and doctrines of the Living Church of God, now led by Gerald Westin, and some concerns about them. (En el idioma español: ¿Qué hay acerca de la Iglesia de Dios Viviente? ¿Hay diferencias doctrinales con la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios?) See also Why Bob Thiel Left the Living Church of God.

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