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Ambassador Watch  A weekly E-zine 


Ambassador Watch is part of the Missing Dimension web site - www.missingdimension.com . It is published online each Friday.  The contact address is: missingdimension@ihug.co.nz
Dateline Pasadena can be reached at datelinepasadena@yahoo.com
In This Issue: Stanley Rader dies, Pam Dewey on 1978, George Bush sent Armstrong opus, Joe in theological kindergarten, Spanky calls another fast, latest on campus development, Graveyard COG press release.
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Herbert W. Armstrong (WCG)
Garner Ted Armstrong (ICG)
Gerald Flurry (PCG)
Roderick Meredith (LCG)
United Church of God AIA

Obituary: Stan Rader

Whatever one may have felt or believed about Stanley Rader, and he was always a controversial figure, it is always sad to hear of the death of someone from a disease like cancer. While Rader was often portrayed as a Machiavellian figure, that was always more caricature than reality:  the truth seems to have been far more complex. 

Some may be surprised that Rader still valued his association with the church he once served, and that his credentials as a minister are prominent in the press release issued on his death. In many ways Mr. Rader's WCG odyssey seems to have been a defining experience which he found it difficult to move beyond. In that he shared an unexpected bond with many others. Our sympathies go to his family.

Those interested in reading Stan Rader's obituary in the Pasadena Star News can find it on the MD Yahoo group.

Issue Eleven  - July 5  2002

Stan Rader at the height of his influence watches as Anwar Sadat shakes hands with Herb

Stanley Rader dies: These reports were forwarded by Dateline Pasadena:

Stanley Rader died early this morning (Tuesday).  Graveside services will be held at 11:00 am Friday, July 5 at Mountain View Cemetery, Altadena CA.   Afterwards, Mrs. Rader will be hosting a reception at Annendale Country Club for family and friends.

The following press release was issued:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  Contact: Stephen P. Rader (310) 385-3660

Death of Stanley Rader, 71; Attorney/CPA, Author, Professor, Worldwide Church of God Minister,

PASADENA, CA, July 2, 2002 - Stanley Robert Rader died Tuesday morning in Pasadena just 2 weeks after having been diagnosed with acute pancreatic cancer. Mr. Rader came to public prominence in his role as General Counsel and Treasurer for the Worldwide Church of God. He traveled extensively with the Church's founder, the late Herbert W. Armstrong, visiting heads of state in furtherance of the Church's mission. He became a baptized member and later was ordained by Armstrong as a minister in the Church.

Born August 13, 1930, in White Plains, New York, Stan Rader came to California to attend UCLA, where he received his undergraduate degree in 1951 and met Natalie Gartenberg, his wife of 51 years. He became a CPA in 1954 and attended law school at USC, graduating first in his class in 1963. Declining offers for a Fulbright scholarship at Yale and a clerkship at the U.S. Supreme Court, he stayed at USC to teach law and continue to develop his law and accounting practices. The Church became an increasingly important client, until in 1968 he decided to retire from his burgeoning law practice in favor of devoting full time to making Mr. Armstrong's visions a reality.

Messrs. Rader and Armstrong traveled throughout the world delivering the Church's message. Never a mere tourist, Rader was decorated by Emperor Hirohito of Japan, lectured at Fudan and Beijing Universities in China, and was asked by French author Rémy to translate his tragic account of King Leopold III of Belgium (entitled "The Eighteenth Day").

His role as one of Armstrong's closest personal advisors was a source of controversy within the Church. His background in communications, law, and publishing, coupled with his general business experience, made him an ideal counterpart to the visionary Armstrong. As an example, while Armstrong envisioned Ambassador Auditorium as the crown jewel of the Church's campus in Pasadena, it was Rader who proposed sharing it with the community as a center for the performing arts. When rebuffed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Rader persuaded Carlo Maria Giulini to lead the Vienna Symphony Orchestra in an inaugural concert and then arranged for scores of top-flight talent to visit Pasadena, including Arthur Rubenstein, Vladimir Horowitz, and Luciano Pavarotti.

Some of Rader's other innovations to bring the Church before a wider audience included the foundation of the critically acclaimed but secular Quest/77 magazine, Everest House, a book publisher in New York, cultural centers in Jerusalem and Sri Lanka, and sponsorship of archaeological excavations in the Middle East, along with numerous other charitable endeavors.

In January 1979, the State of California placed the Worldwide Church of God in receivership over allegations of financial impropriety. Mr. Rader willingly became a lightning rod for criticism of the Church (including a stint on an oft-re-aired episode of 60 Minutes), but successfully defended the Church's right to self-governance. The allegations were never proved, and the suit was later dismissed. As the Church emerged from its legal battles, Rader fulfilled his promise to assume a nonpublic role in Church affairs, and he returned to a selective, private practice. His account of the receivership episode was published in his book "Against the Gates of Hell." Rev. Dean M. Kelley of the National Council of Churches called the book "the seminal work on church/state relations in the 20th century."

Mr. Rader is survived by his wife, Niki, his sister Joan Klein, his daughters Janis and Carol, his son Stephen, and five grandchildren. Memorial services are planned for 11 AM on Friday, July 5, at Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena.

Earlier in the week Dateline Pasadena noted: 

Several employees and former members have been visiting Stan Rader in Huntington Hospital this past week...  He told several people that he wants Joe Tkach to do his funeral. 

Joseph Tkach also sent the following memo to employees just a day before Mr. Rader's death:

Stan Rader has learned that he has what is most likely terminal pancreatic cancer with a prognosis that he may only have days or weeks to live.  He served the church as an employee for many years providing a broad range of service to the church during that time in ways that some people have never fully appreciated but are true non-the-less real.  For example, he served to assemble the campus in Pasadena into the integrated and unified whole that we know today. Although at times his efforts were misunderstood and maybe under appreciated, he non-the-less made a great contribution which those close to the contributions fully recognize and are grateful for. He has mentioned to those of us who have visited him that he has a great fondness for the church and since we are sure that his life service was largely geared toward helping the church, he is rightly proud of that service. It would be fitting for those who recognize and appreciate his service to send an acknowledgement in the form of a note or a card to his home.  We stress that the time remaining for him to receive and enjoy such cards or notes is probably short.  If you are motivated to make an expression of your love in this form please do it very soon.

Time Trip to 1978: Stan, Herb, Ted and supporting cast

Pam Dewey provided these memories of a pivotal moment in WCG history that swirled around Herbert Armstrong, Garner Ted and Stanley Rader. They were posted on the Battleground Board, and republished here with permission. Pam's website is www.isitso.org 

In early spring 1978, an announcement came out about an upcoming "Human Potential" seminar weekend in Milwaukee. This was [Art] Mokarow's baby, and usually consisted of a number of motivational talks by Mokarow and others similar to Zig Ziglar's kind of stuff. George and I and our closest friends were all excited because that was close enough for us to drive, so we paid our fees, made our motel reservations, and geared up to go.

Then just two weeks before the weekend, a cryptic letter came from HWA taking Ted off the World Tomorrow TV and radio, and canceling any upcoming speaking engagements for Ted. But while everyone's head was still spinning wondering what on earth THAT was all about, another letter came out rescinding the first one, and the appearance was back on.

So a week later we were at Milwaukee when GTA did his swan song sermon in the WCG. It was also REALLY cryptic to those of us who didn't know much of what was actually going on behind the scenes in Pasadena. Most of the sermon seemed to be an attempt to counter HWA's allegations that Ted had "watered down" the World Tomorrow program and was turning the college "intellectual" instead of spiritual. As I remember, Ted went over a list of recent WT topics and showed how hard-hitting he had been. Then toward the end he startled many of us when he pounded his fist on the lectern and practically shouted words I think I remember close to word-for-word even after all these years.

"It is a great abomination in the eyes of God for any man to get wealthy--materially wealthy--off the people of God. And God will PUNISH such a man!!"

At a social later that evening, we looked up another former pastor from our area and asked him who Ted's comments were aimed at. He confirmed that the reference was to Rader. ("Materially wealthy" is, of course, a relative term. A case could certainly be made that both GTA and HWA were living a lifestyle of the wealthy and famous also. :) But there is no question that the biggest PERSONAL fortune was being amassed by Stan.)

By the time we got home from the seminar, Ted was out of the church again. This time for the last time. The letter announcing this was equally cryptic and it was not at all clear what the "charges" were.

We later found out that it was all a swirling battle behind the scenes with Stan for who was going to have the greatest influence in the church. And over some of the double-dipping Stan was doing with all of his businesses doing business with the Church. The Travel agency, the airplane leasing deal, the advertising and more. Just before the final blow-up, Stan had held a meeting and closed down Ambassador without informing Ted. HQ was in an uproar.

Ted had been reassured by a number of leading ministers in the weeks leading up to the showdown that if he'd stand up to his dad, they would back him up. But when push came to shove, they all once again slunk away.

Ted had gone to a seminar weekend out east somewhere three weeks or so before he was due in Milwaukee, and had made similar cryptic comments sniping at Rader. Word had gotten back to Pasadena, Stan had a fit, and Herbert attempted to can GTA as a result. I don't know all of the details behind the scenes, but I'm guessing that Ted got back to Pasadena and tried to smooth things over with his dad temporarily, and succeeded for the moment. But then evidently he decided to go for broke in Milwaukee, believing that a groundswell of "popularity with the lay membership" coupled with ministers who he expected to get on his side in the battle with Stan would swing the victory to him.

He obviously underestimated Stan's grip on Herbert.

San Diego Exodus?  Rod Meredith's Living Church of God seems poised to up stakes and relocate. Excerpts from Spanky's letter:

I am asking ALL of you brethren to join in a special FAST for all members of the Living Church of God. The fast should be conducted on the Sabbath of July 13, beginning at sunset the previous evening. For the very few of you who cannot fast at this time, I would suggest that you fast within a day or two of this time so that we all are crying out to God at relatively the same time... a major decision lies just ahead of us in deciding what we should do regarding our Church Headquarters office. Our lease arrangement in our present Headquarters site ends late next year. By June 30 next year we have to "give notice" to our landlord of what we are planning to do... Certainly, it is important that Mr. Carl McNair, Mr. Ames, Mr. Apartian and I and all the other staff are able to live and work in a healthy climate so that we may continue working effectively. However, the prices for buildings and for personal residences are increasingly expensive here in the San Diego area. So it will be difficult for newer employees and younger couples to move here. This also makes it more expensive for the Work because of the expense of office space or possibly buying our own building. Therefore, we are considering the possibility of moving out of the state of California. This entire state is rather expensive, and it may be best for a number of reasons to move to the southern midwest or mid-south where the climate would not be too hot or oppressive, nor would we have to put up with too much snow and ice in the winter... and we might have health problems because of the increased humidity, allergies, etc. in some of these other places... So I ask you to fervently pray with us about this important matter! We are going to consider such a possible move at the Council of Elders' meeting slated for August 26 through 28. Please pray that God's will be done!

Perhaps LCG's gerontocracy could relocate to a trailer park retirement facility in Florida?

COG7 Sabbathfest: An announcement from the nice people of the Church of God (Seventh Day) for those in the Houston, Texas area. This event (August 3) follows the denominations' International Ministerial Congress gathering at which 27 countries will be represented.

George Bush and the Armstrong Gospel: Okay, everybody can relax now. A copy of Herb's magnum dope-us, "The United States and Britain in Prophecy", has been sent to the leader of the free world. In a covering letter, Robert Elliot, chief honcho of God's Church, Worldwide, sets the President straight. According to Rob the book "will be of inestimable value to you as you make preparations to retaliate" (for the events of 9/11). We're surprised Mr. Bush hasn't bombed Berlin already.

Internet Church of God: Yes, there is an Internet Church of God. And here's the photograph to prove it (click on thr thumbnail). These good folks are members of the Sarasota congregation of the Church of God, International. What they lack in numbers they seem to make up in enthusiasm. Their ICG online "library" features a wide selection of pre-Tkachian literature.

We regret to advise the Sarasota brethren, however, that there are others who use the name. Back in 1998 Bill Ferguson created a satirical site of the same name ("We're the one true church and you're not... so there!")

Rug rat Joe: Larry Nichols, a Missouri Synod Lutheran minister who co-authored Discovering the Plain Truth, is quoted in a response to Steve Dalton's review of Tom Lapacka's book as saying:

When George [Mather] and I interviewed Joseph Tkach and Greg Albrecht, they were quite literally in theological kindergarten

Nichols' point is that poor Joe and his mates shouldn't be judged too harshly. Why, they're still just "rug rats" and "ankle-biters". Give 'em a break. The arrogance of this position is astonishing. Joe, who Nichols clearly sees as some kind of theological incompetent, is sole leader of a church organization, and Greg Albrecht, another "kindergarten baby", is the leading voice of the church's evangelism arm!  Nichols ignores issues of accountability (which become even more acute if his analysis is right) and shows zero concern for the welfare of thousands of Christians who, to continue the analogy, suffer under the imperious misadministration of these terrible toddlers.

A Pastor Rethinks: One of the interesting things that happens when people leave a group like Worldwide is that they continue to ask questions. Many former members take temporary sanctuary in a splinter group, but then find they can no longer take trite explanations at face value.

This week we publish a short article by Dennis Diehl, a former salaried minister in the WCG for over a quarter century. Some readers may be disturbed by his views. We include them here because they are honest, consistent with what many scholars are indeed saying, and because questions won't go away just because we may feel uncomfortable with them.

The article is called Observations about Paul the "Apostle"

DP gets vote of confidence: JLF members were recently polled on whether Dateline Pasadena was providing a valuable Christian service. 21 people responded. Here are the results:

Strongly disagree - 0 votes

Disagree - 2 votes (10%)

No opinion - 1 vote (5%)

Agree - 5 votes (24%)

Strongly agree - 13 votes (62%)

Latest on Ambassador Campus: The following story from the Pasadena Star News was forwarded by Dateline Pasadena:

Ambassador Project to get New EIR

Decision by the Worldwide Church of God comes after neighbors demanded a new Environmental Impact Report when the church's development partner withdrew from the project.

Elizabeth Lee
Pasadena Star News

The Worldwide Church of God plans to revise the Environmental Impact Report for its proposal to develop a massive housing complex on the former Ambassador College campus.

The church's decision comes after some neighbors demanded that it prepare a new EIR because its former development partner, Legacy, has withdrawn from the project.

Church financial director Bernard Schnippert said the environmental study will include both old and new elements, although her couldn't provide any details. "We intend to fashion a new Environmental Impact Report for circulation; to bundle in(to) it any applicable and appropriate existing studies, but (we) expect there will be additional studies or expanded studies," he said.

For instance, a new city tree ordinance will require a tree inventory, and there are likely to be additional traffic and water studies as well. The church planned for years to sell the campus to Irvine-based Legacy Partners, a developer that would then build more than 1,700 residential units on the land. Legacy submitted a development proposal to the city and paid for the preparation of an Environmental Impact Report, an official document required under the California Environmental Quality Act for major construction projects.

An EIR outlines the effects of a development on surrounding neighborhoods and lists ways to reduce impacts.  The EIR for the
Ambassador campus project was released last summer.  The City Council would have had to certify the document if it approved Legacy's proposal. But the sale agreement between Legacy and the church fizzled in April, before Legacy's proposal reached the council.

The church then announced it would develop the property itself and this month submitted its won development application to the city. That prompted West Pasadena Residents Association President Vince Farhat to write the city and demand a new EIR.

"The city must require the church and its future master developer to prepare a new environmental impact report, including a new traffic study and a new tree inventory," Farhat wrote in his June 13 letter, "The change in applicant warrants an entirely new EIR."

When read Schnippert's statement on Friday, however, Farhat was pleased, despite the fact Schnippert talked only of revising the EIR. "That is a very encouraging development," said Farhat, who met informally with Schnippert last week in a get-to-know-you context. The church will hold a public scooping session before it begins revision of the EIR so residents can voice their opinion on changes, according to Schnippert. The church will also partner with a new developer, but the partner will act only as a consultant.  The church will announce its choice of a developer in two weeks, Schnippert said.

Mayor Bill Bogaard said he didn't know whether the church can use parts of the existing EIR. "But as time goes by, the chances of their doing so becomes less and less " because the facts become different," Bogaard said.

Bogaard noted the church still has not clearly defined exactly what it wants to develop or how many units will be included.  "The starting point is to develop a project."

And finally... We received the following press release from the Graveyard Church of God:

Graveyard Church of God
Headquarters Crypt
Tucson, Arizona
July 3, 2002

The Graveyard Church of God proudly announces the reunion of God's apostle and his right hand man, Mr. Stanley Rader. "Never has in the history of God's church has one man done so little for so few" said Mr. Armstrong from his Steuben crystal casket in Tucson. Now that his thirty year contract for hundreds of thousands a year was almost up, the feeling at the Headquarters Crypt was to bring Stan home where he belonged.  "When the well runs dry, its time dig a new well" stated statesman Armstrong.

After a ministerial transfer from Mr. Rader's first assignment in Altadena, Mr. Armstrong will have Mr. Rader re-interred in Tucson, where he plans to put him to work plotting a way to legally free the church from the receivership of The Painful Truth website and its control of the www.herbertwarmstrong.com  domain.  "No one moves the dirt like Stan Rader" remarked the late Apostle. "He will be a little stiff at first, but I will bet he will have the staff Headquarters Crypt turning over again...just like the old days."

email MD: editor@ambassadorwatch.co.nz email Dateline Pasadena: dp@ambassadorwatch.co.nz 


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