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The Dirty Thirties

John Collins05/10/2013

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The Dust Bowl, or “Dirty Thirties” as some called it, was a terrible time for the United States.  The American landscape was bountiful for many years, but just as the American Indians warned, the inhabitants of the nation did not take care of the land.  Gutting the land of its nutrients without care against erosion and decay produced a land that was quickly turning into nothing but worthless dust.

Combined with drought, the erosion worsened.  If affected 100,000,000 acres of land, especially that of Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas.

When the Great Depression hit, times worsened.  Not only were the families of this nation suffering debt from gambling bank notes against an unregulated and highly crooked stock market, the land they owned became mostly worthless.

Presidential Candidate Roosevelt visited New Albany, Indiana in 1932 to describe his “New Deal.”  Roosevelt promised that under his presidency, he would establish new programs to help with not only the financial problems, but also the decaying state of the nation.

William Branham was there for the event.  He describes it several times in his ministry, somewhat angry that he had to be in the back of the crowd instead of being on the platform next to Roosevelt.  In 1959, he says this:

One time in New Albany, Indiana, when our late President Roosevelt was coming down to make a speech, and he came down by the train, and they stopped down at the river, I tell you, every place was filled up. And two or three of us preachers, little, what we call Holy Ghost preachers... I tell you, talking about a back number, we was. They wouldn't even let us get nowhere. So we had to stand way back up somewhere. But I thought, "Yeah, this is the day of man. But wait till the day of the Lord comes." Amen. -- 56-0403 SHEPHERD.OF.THE.SHEEPFOLD

President Roosevelt was the saving grace.  Roosevelt knew that if he could put the more than 25% unemployed back into the workforce, they would regain hope.  And hope is very powerful.

So in 1933, Roosevelt established the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).  This was a public work relief program that operated until 1942, and employed a total of three million men in the United States.  Workers from 18 to 25 could work for $30 a month for six months, of which $25 must be sent to their parents.  They also had to commit to an entire six months, and could re-enlist for six-month spans for up to two years.

The earliest recognized year Branham gives for his birthdate is 1907.  Speaking to the followers of the cult false prophet, John Alexander Dowie, Branham claims that he was born the day after Dowie died, which is 1907.  He tried to promote himself as the “Elisha” to Dowie, who also claimed to be “Malachi 4.”

But the CCC did not allow any person over the age of 25 to be enrolled in the program.  1933 - 1907 = 26 years old.  To benefit from this program, Branham could not use the birth date of 1907.

A year after the program began, 1934, William Branham married Amelia Hope Brumback.  On his marriage license, instead of 1907, Branham claimed to have been born in 1908.

Branham uses the title “Game Warden” in his sermons, usually stuttering after using the word “Conservation.”  “Conservation ... ahem .... game warden.”  His descriptions lead you to believe that he participated in the bank notes that caused the stock market crash -- he is extremely in debt, which all were who gambled their money on stocks before the crash.

Now, I remember, I had to the patrol, I went on... That's when I became into the conservation, working as a--a game warden. And I had to work; I was in debt everywhere.  --51-0722A LIFE.STORY

But there was one small problem.  Work was still scarce, and everyone was struggling.  And 1908 would have gained him only one year.  After signing 1908 on his official marriage license, Branham started claiming to have been born in 1909.

In 1935, very good things happened to the New Deal.  It was a huge success, and started receiving over a billion dollars in funding for the CCC, as well as to establish other similar programs.  And to those who were in the CCC, the age limit increased to 28 years of age.

One such program was the Works Progress Administration (WPA).  Under this program, new development of different types of business were created, especially those that would supply even more hope such as Arts and Entertainment.  Under the WPA, even ministers could be paid for their work!

In 1959, Branham mentions standing in line to receive money from the WPA, and his compassion towards the others in line

He had several little children, lovely wife. They were poor as poor could be, as we all are. And I seen standing on the step lined up waiting for that WPA check to come. The mailman come up the street, they were so happy. The next day was Easter. They were going to get some Easter candy or something if... when daddy's check come in. And when the mailman come, he didn't have daddy's check. To see that disappointed look on those little fellow's faces, and it always stuck with me, such a disappointment.

Considering the type of work that the CCC performed, the title to this sermon is ironic:  “Planting The Vine And Where To Plant (59-0920)”

Whenever Branham mentions “working in conservation,” there are strange blank spots in the tape.  Instead of the normal editors “[blank spot in tape -ed],” there is a “..?..” in those types of stories.  Did the homosexual Gene and Leo know this when they snipped out strategic portions of the tapes?

An example of this is in 1955:

And now, and then finally, we are not here to take up finances. I wish we didn't have to ask for one offering in the meeting. But just as soon as the... I never took a offering in my life; never in my life did I ever take any offering. And--but in my church, that I was pastor there, as a Baptist minister, for twelve years I never received one penny salary, but I--I worked for others. The Lord making me healthy, I could work, so why not work and pastor. Now, that's not the standard for every pastor, because...?... a minister of the Gospel can't go out and work, and pray, and then come into his church...?... He's got the visit among his members and so forth. And the little tithings and things from members and their offerings would certainly help take care of him. And I think the laborer is worthy of his hire. But in my case, I was working in conservation...?... 


The CCC took these men all over the nation.  And it was specifically called in to help with disaster relief following 1937 floods in New York, Vermont and the Ohio and Mississippi River Valleys.

There is no record of William Branham being a Game Warden in the state of Indiana, and his understanding of wildlife would suggest otherwise.  He did not even know that Eagles were birds of prey, birds that eat carrion.  Quite frankly, many of the cult followers, though many with passions for hunting to be like their great prophet, do not have knowledge in this area.  Show a follower a picture of an eagle eating roadkill, and they will start going into strange convulsions of denial.

And honestly, if Branham were in Roosevelt’s “Tree Army” as it was called, and if he lied about his age to get there, he was not alone.  There were many starving to death, lost home, land, possessions, and more.  It was a time in the history of America that you did what it took to both survive and provide for your family.

But most men own up to their lies.  Out of the hundreds of lies that Branham told during his ministry, not a single apology was given.  In fact, when cornered, Branham seemed to tell a bigger lie to hide the smaller one.

What is dreadfully wrong is to continue using the false birthdate of 1909, and tell a Pinocchio story about fortune tellers and angels to sustain it.

It’s shocking when you read the Life Story sermons or sermons like “Early Spiritual Experiences.”  Many of those stories are about riding on Greyhound busses or trains (which was common to those working for the CCC), and how he spoke with a fortune teller.  

The WPA “L.C. Project” had sections devoted to literary works for American Folklore, and one part of that project was “Fortune Telling.”  There were many types of American mystics that got involved as the program focused on different types of spiritualism.  Is this where Branham learned the many types of Wiccan spiritualism that he weaves throughout his sermons?

In 1952, Branham describes the “fortune teller” associated with his bus ride for the “conservation work.”:

And I thought, "That's not gentlemen like, but I--I don't want to talk to her." See? And I waited there. Then she said, "Say, you the conservation officer," said, "could I speak to you, just a minute?" I said, "What did you want?" She said, "Could I speak to you just a moment?" I said, "What do you want?" And she said, I thought, "That was nasty of you to act as a man," so just so indifferent, you know. And she said, "Are you a Christian?" And I said, "No. What's that to you?" See? And she said... She said, "Well, I just wondered." And she said, "Did you know you were borned under a sign?" Oh, my. I said, "Look, lady, I don't want to know nothing about that. See?" I said, "Not giving you any short answer, I've got a mother at home. See?" And I said, "I don't want to know nothing about that." She said, "Oh, don't be so hard." And I said, "Well, I don't want to know nothing about that stuff." See? I said, "I know nothing about it; I know nothing about any religious things, and I--I don't want to know anything about it." And I said, "I don't want to hurt your feelings." I just keep looking on ahead. She said, "My..." And she said, "You shouldn't act like that." And I said, "Well, I--I don't mean not to be a gentlemen; but I--I..." She said, "Look! This is nothing to do with religion." She said, "I'm on my road to Chicago." We was on a Greyhound bus. She said, "I'm going to see my son, which is a Baptist minister." She said, "I work in the White House." And she said, "Did you know the first thing, did you know this United States and all the astronomy, and how they do?" --52-0713A EARLY.SPIRITUAL.EXPERIENCES

Whatever his influence, Branham wove early American Folklore into his sermons.  His first “bible” was “nature.”  He claimed that the first Bible for the Children of Israel was “The Zodiac.”  He was deeply into numerology, which is a pagan practice followed to this day by Hindus.  

Deuteronomy 4 says this:

And beware lest you raise your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and bow down to them and serve them, things that the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.

The first Bible was NOT the Zodiac, although it would have been a great portion of Balaam’s spiritualism.  Balaam, who Branham praised as having the “same annointing as Moses.”

The perilous times of financial distress, drought and famine, wars, and rumors of wars produced many men like William Branham.  When men fear a common enemy, that fear increases and men turn to strange ideas for hope.  Many times, during the turmoil, men will start to claim the end of the world is coming, and seduce followers to believe them.  Branham did it for practically every major event during his ministry, from the World Wars to the overturning of the Mosque of Omar to Kennedy and more.  

But causing an entire world of good, Christian people to believe in pagan worship of numerologies, angels, and more is idolatry.  Had those Christians been founded in the scriptures, they would have recognized that it was in direct conflict with 1 Thessalonians 5. 

Paul writes, 

Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you.  For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.  While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

Though Branham’s fear tactics persuaded many, times of turmoil are not part of Paul’s roadmap.  Paul says that there will be peace and calm.  It will come without us being aware of its coming!

Paul’s followers were prepared.  To his followers, Paul says this:

But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief.  For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.  

In fact, Paul calls those who are crying “wolf” during times of turmoil “drunk.”  Not just drunk, but “drunk at night.”  They are both sleeping AND drunken!

For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. 

What should we do?  All we have to do is keep reading!

But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.  For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him.  Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 

That is the best advice of all, and it comes directly from the Apostle Paul.  Encourage one another!  Build one another up!  Not in earthly things, but in knowledge of the scriptures!

Cult leaders keep their followers enslaved by chains of fear.  They are constantly scaring people with fears of war, political unrest, and more. 

Branham often did during his sermons.  Listen to this one in 1958:

But said, "I am allowed to tell you this." He said, "They're fixing to do away with the army and with the aviation, the aviator corps, and so forth." Said, "They don't need them no more." He said, "They've got weapons so deadly that they could destroy the whole earth in one second's time." And said, "If they would let that be known, that people would go panicky, and go into the streets, screaming to the top of their voice." Said, "They've got a bomb that would drop on the earth, just one bomb would blow a hundred and seventy-five miles around, and over a hundred feet deep." 

I will never begin to understand what drove my fathers and forefathers to listening to nothing but fear.  It has created a family of conspiracy theorists, and they are constantly looking for the next disaster to come.  

Sadly, I know that some members of my family are more on the pushing fear side than on the receiving.  It hurts me.  Knowing that this type of oppression causes severe and chronic depression like I struggled with from age sixteen until recently.

I wish there were more men like the Apostle Paul today, men who encouraged and supported others.  Not just the staunch religious types, but also the sinners and struggling.  Those with addiction, those with fear and doubt.  

We need more Pauls in this world, and far less Branhams!

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