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Issue XXII- September 20  2002  

Ambassador Watch takes a break next week. We'll be back in two weeks time on Friday October 4.

Hoeh on Grand Junction: WCG's latest high-handed actions over the Grand Junction festival site seem to have "hit the fan." This report in from a reader in Southern California.

Word is rapidly flying around about comments Dr. Herman Hoeh is believed to have made after Atonement services in Reseda, CA  on Monday [to the small groups of Armstrong believers that gather together after services]

Dr. Hoeh reportedly told several groups of people that Dan Rogers is now scheduled to be in Grand Junction, CO for this years 'Festival'.  This means that Dan, Greg, Ted, and Gerald will be monopolizing the speaking schedule which will not allow those of a differing viewpoint to express their opinions.  Dr. Hoeh is believed to have told these people to make plans to attend the 'Festival' elsewhere. Many are already canceling reservations in Grand Junction.  For those that still want to attend there he is said to have recommended that they meet together privately. Many are arranging places to meet where they can listen to tapes and study old literature together.

Some ministers in Canada are also understood to have told their members not to attend Grand Junction.

Between a rock and a hard place: Yes folks, it's the moment we've all been waiting for: "after months of anticipation" the Flurry cult has brought home its moss-covered trophy. The rock has finally touched down in Edmond. Here's the surreal report from the July/August Philadelphia News (posted on the Yahoo Flurry Group)

Well, what can one say? We hope Gerry and the rock will both be very happy together.

Oi, waiter, another beer over here!

Rusty Key of David: The following item is adapted from postings on the Yahoo PCG Group.

In looking over the TV stations for the Key of David I was rather amazed at what I found... If you take out all of the duplicate listings (for nearby cities), there are only 18 stations [in the US] that carry the program.  

I took a look at the back of an April 99 issue of "Royal Vision" and counted about 65 stations in the US.  Some of those were dupes but it clearly shows that the PCG has cut back a large number of TV stations.  

Betty Brogaard's Ambassador Experience: Betty Brogaard is an Ambassador graduate, wife of a former WCG elder and one-time secretary to Herbert W. Armstrong. Betty has recently published a book online called Dare to Think for Yourself, with a forward by Earl Doherty, creator of The Jesus Puzzle site. Included in chapter 6 is a fascinating reminisce on life at "headquarters" in the days when Herb and Ted ruled the roost. A short excerpt:

After everyone had calmed down and I found myself alone in the office, Ted Armstrong came back in and questioned me about what Nevelene Swaney might have told me about him. 

I tried to answer him; but tears welled up, and I began sobbing.  He then admitted to me that he had done things he was ashamed of, that he had confessed on his knees before God and his mother and that he had been forgiven.  I was able only to dumbly shake my head.  After all, this was the second highest ranking minister in the entire Worldwide Church of God acknowledging his carnal sins to a mere female employee.

I was totally overwhelmed by his confession and by my own confusion and grief over what had happened to Nevelene Swaney.  As long as I worked in the penthouse, this subject was never mentioned again.  Of course, Ted’s sexual escapades continued long after my husband and I left Pasadena.  These things became widely known, and Ted was eventually ousted from the church by his father...

At the end of Fred’s final year at Ambassador College, he was ordained; and we were sent to Seattle, Washington. [Click here to read Dare to Think for Yourself]

Dateline Pasadena

Dan Rogers has been outspoken for several years that tithing is no longer a requirement of New Covenant Christians.  However, he now has a qualifier... since New Covenant Christians are far more blessed by God, they are to give of ALL of their first fruits.  Because NC Christians are so blessed they need to be giving MORE than 10% and to NOT worry about where the money will be coming from.  The more you give the more you will be blessed.  Is this Dan's version of the Health & Wealth gospel?  Seems like we have heard that old story before. Just send in your tithes, whether you have it or not and God will bless you 100 fold.  Don't worry about paying that electric bill or heating bill to keep your family warm, just send in your money and God will take care of you.

Ruthven encounters COG:  In the latest online version of the Hulme sect’s Vision magazine (www.vision.org) John Meakin interviews Malise Ruthven, former editor with the BBC Arabic service, over 9/11.  However Ruthven may have been taking notes of his own. In 1989 he wrote the ultimate sectarian travelogue, The Divine Supermarket: Travels in Search of the Soul of America. In a high spirited romp through the States in a battered camping van, the English broadcaster set out “in search of the manifestations – often bizarre and sometimes terrifying – of [America’s] religious spirit: a journey that took him from the dark woods of Puritan New England to neo-Nazi cults in the Rockies, from Mormons and Snake-handlers to fundamentalist groups who challenge the teaching of evolution, from channellers in California to the sexual and financial scandals surrounding TV millionaire preachers.”

Yet, regrettably, nowhere in the book’s 300 pages did WCG get a mention. We hope, now that Meakin has beaten a path to his door, Ruthven might decide to turn his not inconsiderable powers of perception and wit toward the world of Armstrongism. We all might learn a great deal in the process.nortonac.jpg (223421 bytes)

Antichrist exploded: Worried that the Antichrist may be about to be revealed? Will it be the next Pope, or maybe it's Joe Tkach? Here's a common sense article on the Antichrist question from beliefnet.com. 

And if you're not feeling like a serious discussion on Antichrist misconceptions, chill out instead by clicking on the "Norton Antichrist" graphic to see a larger version.

Mike hears voices: Michael Brandenburg, a UCG member who posts a regular column on AOL, must have surprised many of his readers this week. It seems Mike has been contacted from The Great Beyond, and by no less a personage than Herb himself. Alas, the Apostle’s mood hasn’t been improved by the passage of time… Mike writes:

...in my previous presentation series on the general "Church of God" newsgroup board on AOL, I drew fire for my admittedly frequent mention of my 1994 divorce from a "baptized member" of the Worldwide Church of God organization - and once, when I was going through a number of "flames" that had been posted in response to one such mention of mine, I found myself hearing this voice behind me - the angry voice of the late Herbert W. Armstrong yelling, "THEY DON'T GET IT!"

Later, in working to prepare another post for that board, I found myself writing yet again about my divorce from that particular woman, and I said to myself, "I've got to stop bringing my ex-wife up like this.  My audience doesn't like it." - but then came that voice again, "YOU LEAVE THAT IN!!!!"

We shudder to think what The Caretaker would do with this information!  

Restrictive Religious Groups: New to the Ambassador Files site is an essay by former Seventh-day Adventist Jim Moyers: Psychological Issues of Former Members of Restrictive Religious Groups. Jim is a psychotherapist practicing in Berkeley and Hayward, California. Some former WCG members may recognize themselves in Mr. Moyer's article.  

Pocono Nostalgia Part 2: Jim Baldwin has provided some photographs of the former Mt. Pocono festival site, as it looks today, along with notes and comments. 

Canadian reform?  What's happening in the Canadian WCG? These details posted this week on JLF.

In the latest Faith Today ( www.faithtoday.ca ) magazine (published by the Evangelical Association of Canada), there is a note about WCG:

Progress made in moving the WCGC national board to the Carver policy form of governance, which creates a highly empowered board that sets policies and then allows management to operate freely within the boundaries of these policies; hoping to complete the transition to policy governance later this year.

... I know a lot of people wish the WCG would change the way it runs itself - here in Canada it seems like it is doing so. I've seen the make-up of the current board and it is pretty broad - not just ministers.

Does this mean the Canadian operation is inching toward elected representative structures?  We'd like to think so, but we advise that nobody should be holding their breath.

Whistler conducts the classics: No, not Beethoven, Bach or Brahms. This week the Whistler lifts his baton to conduct the first movement of Canright's 1914 opus. Canright was a Sabbatarian of the Adventist persuasion who had a change of heart. The Whistler has dug up excerpts from his influential book on SDAism and presented them in article form as "Which OT Laws are we to obey today?"  He writes:

[This article] should be of special interest to all those who feel that Herbert Armstrong taught correct doctrine regarding old covenant law and the Sabbath.  Mr. Canright builds a most convincing case, point by scriptural point, directly from the Bible, that is guaranteed to have the sabbatarian reader scratching his head and re-examining his Bible, as previously misunderstood scriptures begin to miraculously take on new meaning.

This is part one of a two part presentation.

Ambassador Watch takes a break next week. We'll be back in two weeks time on Friday October 4.

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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