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Issue XV  - August 2  2002


The hog some say is quite unclean,
And few admit it’s choice protein.
A delicious pork pie may taste like heaven,
But is most indiscreet when avoiding all leaven.
Lean bacon is full of Vitamin B,
Excellent food you will agree.
Honey-cured ham tastes oh so sweet,
And is delicious food for one to eat.
A bacon bone boiled in with the soup
Is so delicious, gloop, gloop, gloop.
With well- buttered bread, it’s excellent fare,
And is the answer to a gourmet’s prayer.
For all flesh is good, each with its taste,
Let not that piggy go to waste.
Life’s never a boar, ride on the pig’s back,
Of choicest cuts you never will lack.
For if your conscience ever would baulk,
Just ask your merchant for kosher pork.


Believe it or not, the latest Servant's News, in a burst of synchronicity, features an item called "Kosher HAMS wanted." Check out the intended reference on the SN news page.

WCG Audit: Once again Ron Kelly appears to be hiding the WCG annual audit from public scrutiny. Here are some of his comments in the August WN:

Once again we are pleased to report that we have received good news from our independent auditing firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Our accounting and financial records have been given an unqualified opinion...

Church members should also feel confident that the financial affairs of the church are handled with integrity and in a professional manner. To issue an unqualified opinion, members of the PricewaterhouseCoopers staff spent several weeks examining the assets, liabilities, income and expenses of the church and reviewing church accounting procedures and financial reporting. If they were to find inappropriate record-keeping or would find that the church financial picture did not meet their high professional standards, they, of course, would not issue the desired unqualified opinion.

Yeah, yeah. Cut the bulldust Ron and get to the point:

Because the annual auditor’s report is quite lengthy and technical in nature, we do not publish it in the WN. However a copy can be sent to any Worldwide Church of God member who requests one. If you need a copy of the audit, send your request to Ronald Kelly, Controller, Worldwide Church of God, 300 W. Green St., Pasadena, California, 91123. In your letter, please note the congregation you attend.

Of course we’ll keep you posted on the general financial trends with our monthly update column in the WN. For most of our members, these monthly updates provide an appropriate overview of the financial affairs of the church.

Translation: The full report is too complex for common garden-variety members anyway, so you dumb bozos don't need to know more than we decide to tell you.

We wonder, in light of the thinly veiled disincentives to send for a copy, how many members actually have the intestinal fortitude to request one anyway.

Spanky's "Gun Lap": The world is goin' to "rack and rooney!" Has been, in fact, ever since Herb started waggling his tonsils on the subject back in the 1930s. This writer remembers reading with astonishment a Plain Truth article in the early 70s where spiritual paragon and moral pillar Garner Ted Armstrong declared "America has won its last war!" The Radio/Worldwide Church of God history is littered with dumb predictions of impending doom.

So it's no surprise that, with recent stock market fluctuations, speculation about a campaign to topple Saddam Hussein and further bloodshed in Israel, there have been more gleeful predictions of End Time calamity. And eternal pessimist Roderick Meredith has been quick to leap aboard the bandwagon. This quote from Spanky's latest LCG co-worker letter:

Truly staggering events are happening on the world scene. If these events had occurred 20 or 30 years ago--during the ministry of Herbert W. Armstrong--we would have been trumpeting, 'It's about time for the Great Tribulation!' But now, near the very end of Satan's allotted time to rule this earth, many of us seem to be 'asleep at the switch!' Many do not remotely have the sense of dedication and urgency that we really are on the 'last lap' of the race--that the Great Tribulation and Christ's return will soon be upon us. Consider: the newspapers are full of items showing that there are growing droughts, wildfires and related tragedies spreading across the entire North American continent...there is a shortage of safe drinking water. At least 80 countries already report water shortages...the Middle East is certainly on the verge of a major war, concurrent with an oil crisis and a continuing fall in the value of the American dollar as wealthy oil nations, European nations and others pull their millions out of the dollar and put it into the Euro, Swiss Franc and other currencies. In the next few years, this will contribute to an inflationary spiral in the United States if it is not forcefully checked.

Joining in the chorus of woe is LCG's Carl McNair:

Brethren, we are entering into a time of tribulation upon the whole world. Some have ridiculed those who have sincerely sought to fear God and draw near to Him. Too many have been influenced by the slippery tactics of the scoffers, and have lost their zeal for God... Those who have scoffed at the impending judgment upon the nations of Israel and the whole world are not going to be granted safety, nor are those who foolishly swallowed their vain words. I also believe the prophecy of Jesus, and I believe that we are in the end of this age. I believe the geo-political conditions are coming together to bring about the great tribulation.

Many scoffers and their adherents are going to suffer as Paul warned those who persist in wickedness (Romans 2:3) ... Those who are impervious to warnings will eat the fruit of their folly... Those who are careless about their relationship to God will not escape (Hebrews 2:3).

Living Church of God is not among those who have proclaimed "not to worry-all is well," to the world or those in the (scattered) Church of God.

Do these dudes know anything about apocalyptic literature? Have any of them taken the time to do some serious study on the genre of the prophetic books or their purpose?


Dateline Pasadena: Postings from HQ 

The Glendora CA church has told their members that unless they pay the registration fee for the WCG 'Fall Festival' they will not be permitted to attend.  No more visitors at anytime  It seems that too many non paying members and former members showed up last year at the Riverside 'Festival' site.  I guess the old WCG standard of Pay and Obey has to be met before you can pray or 'Celebrate Jesus.'


This item from the July 27 Pasadena Star News:

Legacy Partners, former developer of the Worldwide Church of God's now mostly vacant Ambassador College campus, made a number of friends and a number of permanently embattled opponents as it dropped millions of dollars before blowing town.  But most who worked with him agreed that Legacy Senior VP Bill Shubin was not only a smooth operator but a class act, and last month he sent out a "now that the dust has settled" letter thanking Pasadena for the memories. A couple of noteworthy quotes from the missive received by one local: "the end came suddenly and without warning (I now know how a major league pitcher must feel when pulled from the game in the ninth inning) - despite all our efforts we were 'voted off the island.'" And: "I wish that the massing model (of proposed housing) would have fallen off the delivery truck and been run over by a bus."

After reading these comments by Bill Shubin you have to ask the question, "Was Bernie truthful when he claimed Legacy backed out because they got tired of pumping money into the project?"  Obviously Bernie pulled the rug out from under them. The interesting thing about that time was that Legacy Partners had a meeting in the Auditorium a few days before WCG cancelled the contract.  Legacy was still very much excited about the program and was moving forward.  Then a few days later Bernie says he is in charge.  Every real estate deal Bernie has dealt with has caused the WCG headaches.  Just ask anyone that worked on the Big Sandy, Camp River Glen, and SEP Orr how things went and you will get a different story than the whitewash that the Worldwide News publishes.


From the August 1 Pasadena Star News:

Your editorial regarding a "new" chance for Ambassador College and the observation that "(Now) the church and its developer have a chance to start over … with plans that both pencil out and are agreeable to the city and to the neighborhood" ignores (purposely?) that the church and its new developer are "starting over" with their original plan for about 1,900-plus housing units — a density that, then as now, heads the list of things in the original concept that the neighborhood (and hopefully the city, if your distinction is intended to separate one from the other) find objectionable and totally out of scale with Pasadena’s so-called West Gateway.

The fact that the church and its new developer served lunch along with the same old pablum that remains the same old pablum the neighborhood couldn’t swallow the first time around — despite $12 million and three years of force-feeding, it amounts to nothing more remarkable than a "free lunch."

(Goody, goody!)

Now can we talk seriously about starting over with a new chance for Ambassador?

Joan Terry


Two more Dateline postings on the MD Yahoo group: DP has provided the text of the latest WCG advertisement, apparently written by the same 12 year old who wrote the earlier ads in the series. Also an article that appeared in the Citybeat section of the Pasadena Weekly, which comments on the latest real estate maneuvers. To visit the MD Yahoo group click here

(Addendum: on second thoughts we'd like to apologize to any twelve year olds reading this. Most writing by young people is a whole lot more authentic than the stuff that appears in the WCG ads!)

Prayer Rocks!  Anybody ever hear of prayer rocks before Gerry hauled Herb's putative hunk of stone into the spotlight? Now we're all familiar with the term (Flurry's one unique contribution to the COG heritage) it seems prayer rocks are springing up all over the place. Here's a junk email that is doing the rounds at the moment:

Order your very own prayer rock today!
It comes along with a special poem and reminder of prayer.  Order one for you and don't forget to order for your special love ones and friends.  Your prayer rock will make a nice gift or just to say that you are thinking about them
It's easy as 1-2-3-.  Only $12.95 plus $2.50 shipping & handling.  Send Money order to... Or Call ... with credit card info or either EMail card info to ...

Exciting stuff. And then an intrepid MD correspondent sent in a prayer rock link (from which the graphic is sourced.) Do we take it from this that prayer rocks are a part of Native American spirituality? If so, does this prove Herb's tendency to dangerous religious syncretism? Is Gerry's prayer rock proof of demon worship? Unreal!

Sabbath controversy: A quote from Gary Greenberg's bestseller 101 Myths of the Bible.

The idea of a Sabbath rest appears to be of late origin. Evidence that ancient Israel actually observed such a practice is faint at best. The Bible records no such observance in any portion of Israel's history prior to the Exodus from Egypt. True, in the story of the Exodus some biblical passages include a commandment by God to observe the Sabbath, but these verses also may be late additions. In fact, Deuteronomy 5:15, which reflects the views of King Josiah shortly before the Babylonian captivity, says that God gave Israel the Sabbath commandment not because he rested on the seventh day but as a reminder that he delivered Israel from slavery in Egypt...

Even after the Exodus and down to the late monarchial period the Bible remains virtually silent about observing the Sabbath.

For these reasons, it is likely that the idea of a Sabbath on the seventh day originated late in Israel's history. The concept may have originated in Babylon... Or, the idea may have been picked up from Canaanite agricultural traditions.

Sprats host FOT: The big boys on the COG block have a huge range of Festival sites on offer and an open invitation to come and blow your second tithe, holy day offerings and tithe of the tithe with them. Traditionally the FOT (Feast of Tabernacles) is one of the biggest revenue streams for these groups. But there are also a number of smaller "non-aligned" festival venues on offer. These are listed in the latest Servant's News. So, if you feel like a week in Eufaula, Alabama, this may be the option for you!

Quotable: from an article by WCG pastor Colin Wallace in the latest Northern Light:

Religious people are not well known for being open-minded and compromising. We tend to favor concepts such as certainty, holding fast to our convictions, and being persons of unyielding principles. Like the latex strands of a golf ball wound tensely around the liquid core, we defend and protect our tightly wrapped sense of having discovered truth, never wanting this to be loosened by unsettling ideas and difficult-to-answer questions...

Another Alumni Forum: Here's yet another choice in places to hang out on the Internet. Not to be confused with the MSN group, there's a new group at Delphi (not the same as Ollie's earlier effort.) This one has been created by Michael and Peggy and is directed at "WCG alumni" rather than AC/AU alumni..

Ted's Fascist World Tomorrow: Garner Ted Armstrong's "vision" of the millennial kingdom is online for all to read. The one-time vice-president of the WCG and cult media star lists these 18 sublime scenarios (emphasis supplied):

(1) All man-made religions will be banned. There will be no more Islam, no more Buddhism, Shintoism, Sokka Gokkai, Hinduism, Animism, Confucianism; no more “nominal Christianity” and no more man-made traditions in Judaism. There will be only ONE true religion; the God-ordained, Christ-led religion of the Bible. Hundreds and hundreds of “denominations” and “cults” will be outlawed, and will cease to exist. All human priests will be defrocked, and told to repent, and sent to work on the farm. 

(2) All human governments will be abolished. Fascism, Communism, Dictatorships, Oligarchies, Monarchies, Juntas, Military governments, along with Democracy, will be outlawed. There will be only ONE government; the government of God!

(3) Jesus Christ will rule as KING OF KINGS and Lord of Lords.

(4) The Ten Commandments, as magnified by Christ in His teachings, will issue forth from Zion. Instant obedience will be required. The wages of sin and rebellion will be death, to be carried out immediately, with no exceptions. Not a single advocate of “No death penalty” will be allowed to make placards, picket, or voice his or her opinion. Any who hold such opinions will be taught by a Member of God’s own family, and will quickly REPENT of such a stupid posture. 

(5) There will be no political movements; no cults; no special interests; no “gay rights,” no “animal rights,” no “same sex marriages,” and no “gay priests.” Before even two people could begin to discuss “political correctness” or subversive plots, a powerful member of the Divine Family of Elohim will suddenly appear to them and say, in a voice like thunder, “THIS IS THE WAY — WALK YE IN IT!” (See Isaiah 30:21).

(6) There will be no “churches,” cathedrals, basilicas, mosques, man-made temples, pagodas, shrines, groves, altars or religious meeting places of any kind except the new temple in Jerusalem. There will be no chants, beads, crosses, steeples, candles, icons, statues, relics, or “religious” objects of any kind. Men and women will not wear strange “religious” garb, such as dresses and robes, weird headgear, such as black beaver hats, or beanies. There will be no weird hairdos, no long ringlets, no required bushy beards or long hair. There will be no outward affectations of “religion,” but only the deep, personal, sincere love and honor toward the true God and the new world ruler, Jesus Christ. No woman will sing “love songs” to Jesus. Virtually ALL of so-called “gospel” music will be heard no more, for NEW and DIFFERENT music will be introduced, bereft of all smarmy, sticky Protestant sentimentality.  

(7) All man-made languages will be banned. A NEW LANGUAGE, bereft of paganism, slang, cursing or filthy expressions will be taught to all future generations, while older people will have their minds cleansed of their heathen languages, as they are taught the new world tongue. A gigantic, global BOOK BURNING will take place, as God abolishes all the printed lies, distortions, fables, myths, pagan philosophies, stupid, perverted, darkened wanderings of demented minds in the form of “Science fiction” and “romance” (or, “Do as the Romans do”). Children will not be taught fables, myths and lies. No Santa Claus, no tooth fairy, no “Hansel and Gretel,” and no Jack and the beanstalk, or three little pigs. Instead, children will learn the truth by observing the animals on their own farms, and being taught of loving, responsible parents and grandparents. Not a single television set will act, ever again, as an “automatic baby sitter!”

(8) There will be no stock markets, no bond markets, no futures markets, and no speculation about precious metals. There will be no labor unions, no insurance companies, no doctors, clinics, hospitals, hospices or nursing homes. There will be instantaneous HEALING for those who become sick, and all employers will be required to give fair wages for a fair day's work.

(9) There will be no police departments, no fire departments, no sheriffs, no constables, no FBI, no CIA, no INS, no “Justice Department,” no “State Department” and no other “cabinet level” departments! HUD will go. All bloated, fat, grasping, wasteful, inefficient, government bureaus in every country on earth will be abolished. All religious orders will likewise be abolished. Former priests will become farmers. So will all those listed above.

(10) There will be no women in the labor force; no “ NOW,” no “women’s rights” movements. Women will be required to become wives and mothers; subservient to loving, caring, hard-working husbands and fathers, who will be required to treat them with gentleness, goodness, meekness, respect and outgoing love and concern. The FAMILY will be the basic societal unit. MARRIAGE will be only between one man and one woman, and will be honored, upheld and enforced by law.

(11) There will be NO DIVORCE, ever! No desertions, no abandoned children and wives, no orphans, no child abuse, no abuse of wives or daughters. Divorce will be categorized as a GREAT SIN, and any person attempting to abandon a spouse will be guilty of sin, and be dealt with immediately! Dating will be bereft of any physical contact. Sex before or outside of marriage will be treated as a major sin, and dealt with accordingly. Families will be involved in their children’s selections of friends and future mates. Marriage will be once and for all, and marriage vows will never have to be “renewed” for God will HOLD each one to his or her original vows!

(12) There will be NO CRIME! Not even petty theft or vandalism will be allowed. Therefore, all prisons will be either destroyed, or converted into useful buildings for an agrarian society. Not a single child will steal a marble, a dime, or a neighbor’s strawberry! “Thou shalt not steal” will be a major law of the globe, and will be rigidly enforced. People’s homes, property and crops will be SAFE! 

(13) There will be no internal combustion engines; no automobiles, no airplanes (IF there is ever requirement for travel, people can be whisked to their destination easily, safely and instantly by having an angel take them there), no motorcycles or motorcycle gangs or cults. Since there are going to be no such vehicles, all the millions of workers who must toil at monotonous jobs in huge factories will be turned upon the land, to grow their own food in their own gardens.

(14) The cosmetics industry will collapse. Women and men will not fight the “battle of aging” any further, for older people will be revered and honored, and the white head respected. Women’s coloring will be that of radiant HEALTH, and not that of artificial colors from cosmetics. Women will not have purple, crimson and blue eyelids, or long, thick eyelashes, plastered with mascara. All artificiality will disappear. No wigs will be necessary, no plastic surgery, no implants, no pierced lips, eyebrows and eyelids. Not a single person will pierce their skin, tongue, or navels (or any other part of their bodies) and insert orbs, jewels, and rings. All tattooing will be outlawed, and not a single boy or girl will ever have a tattoo blemishing his or her body.

(15) There will be no pornography, no movies, no television, and no radio. All lies, distortions, exaggerations, minimizations, half-truths, false charges, distorted history and revisionism will disappear. There will be NO “media” whatsoever, other than Christ’s own announcements and those of God’s growing family, or announcements from powerful angels from time to time.

(16) Therefore, there will not be a single “preacher” or “televangelist” anywhere. All false prophets, shams, fakes, frauds, hucksters, thieves, liars and gurus will either repent or be put to death. No one will ever try to say to his neighbor, “know the Lord.” Any person assaying to speak as if for God, when God has not sent him to do so, will be instantly administered the death penalty.

(17) The tallest and largest building in the world will be the Temple of God, the HEADQUARTERS of the new World Ruling Government of Christ. All high-rise buildings will be destroyed. Not a single real estate agent, stock broker, money manager, advertising agent or other “executive” will drive in his or her automobile along choked freeways, to park in a jammed lot, to enter a little steel cage, to be taken aloft in a black shaft, hanging from a greasy cable, to a cubicle in a tall skyscraper, there to sit for hours in front of a computer, with a telephone in his or her ear, “earning a living.” Instead, he or she will spend a few hours tending the garden, working around the home, teaching children, working on fine handcrafts, enjoying the sunlight, and smelling the roses. Cities will be like sprawling villages, with each home on at least one acre or more, with room for animals, trees, plants, flowers, gardens, and a fresh, clean, flowing brook.

(18) Perhaps most importantly, there will NEVER BE ANOTHER WAR! All military and paramilitary establishments will be abolished. All intelligence (spy) agencies will be dismantled; their agents sent to their own farms. No “war college” will exist, and not a single military academy. Solar energy tractors will replace tanks. Hand weapons will become hoes and rakes. All explosives will be rendered inert and destroyed. Every single land mine will be discovered and destroyed. There will not be a single gun or bullet remaining in God’s Kingdom; not a single weapon designed to kill a man.

Do you doubt any of this?

Do we doubt any of this? Well, yes actually!  Ted's Wonderful World Tomorrow has all the charm and heady idealism of Pol Pot's Cambodian killing fields. God preserve us all from madmen. Just think, Herb once accused Teddy of liberalism!  In our view Armstrong should seek professional help - quick!

And is it our imagination, or are the references to tattooing, being defrocked, divorce, non-physical dating etc. just a bit Freudian considering Ted's personal history?

There is a no-nonsense commentary on Armstrong's article on The Painful Truth site. 

Ambassador Watch is part of the Missing Dimension website - 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
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