Ambassador Watch The Missing Dimension e-zine / 32





Sunday December 15 2002. Next issue due December 22


Mailbag highlights: Richard Burkard on the joys of the Bible Belt, an AC graduate on Greg Albrecht's marriage advisory service, we go nightclubbing with Herb in his proto-apostle days (or perhaps "daze"), and James McBride sets the record straight about remarks on a linked website. Click on the envelope.

WCG Announcement: The WCG has announced on its website the availability of Armstrong books and booklet titles "for historical research purposes."

Quotable: From the Wall Street Journal, Feb. 21, 2001: "Mr. Tkach Jr., who took over the Worldwide Church upon his father's death in 1995, says the founder's book [MOA] is "extremely faulty," and it is his "Christian duty" to keep it out of print."" Jess Bravin, Staff Reporter, WSJ. But then, silly us, that was last year.

AW schedule: Next week's issue, December 22, will be the last one for 2002. We'll return again on January 19. WCG news junkies needn't fret though, any news items in between will be posted on the MD Yahoo group.

CGI site makeover: Still battling on in the post-Ted era, the Church of God, International has given its website a much needed facelift.

New Poll: The Whistler has provided this week's poll question. We ask, when the roll is called up yonder, will Herb be there?

UCG Council Meets: The UCG Council of Elders is posting the results of their deliberations online. Despite various problems UCG shares with other splinters, the free flow of information is a healthy sign. How come the WCG can't do this? 

Quotable: These observations by Mike M on the Painful Truth site: The old Worldwide Church of God and various spit-ups and splint-offs? Sorta Jewish, sorta Seventh Day, sorta Third Reich, sort of a collegiate doctoral thesis in Advanced Advertising.

New Interview: In the next AW we feature the third in our series of interviews with former WCG members with a story to share. Two further interviews are in the pipeline for early in 2003. Already available: Pam Dewey and Jim Baldwin. Also in AW33 a seasonal guest editorial by MAM.

Joe's December PS: Pastor General Tkach's December member letter is full of references to the incarnation and Jesus' birth. But the sect's "supreme commander" couldn't resist putting in a plug for extra funds at the very end.

P.S. Please remember the financial needs of the church as the year comes to a close. It is through the faithful giving of members like you that we are able to remain the worldwide fellowship that God has blessed us to be. Thank you for all that you do!

Something members can do is write back to Joe telling him they'll cough up only when he sends them a fully audited financial statement, and that they require future statements to be published in the WN, in the spirit of openness, accountability and transparency necessary for a church which claims to be about the Lord's business. 

America's Greatest Prophet? Who would America's greatest prophet be? Joseph Smith? William Miller? Jerry Lewis? Jerry Lee Lewis? Maybe someone like Martin Luther King? Not according to South Africa's most devoted Herb aficionado, Geoffrey R. Neilson ("Bricket Wood 1964-7"). Geoff has a new site under construction called, you guessed it, America's Greatest Prophet. Its purpose is to promote Geoff's book of the same name.

This unique 252-page book can be ordered directly from the author for fifty dollars (US); or fifty British Pounds.

That seems a steep price for a slender volume. Is there anything in it to justify AW readers rushing out to purchase multiple copies? Here's Geoff's spiel.

--His message will affect your life whether you heed it or not.
--God promised to send The Endtime Elijah 2500 years ago, (see Malachi 4:4-6 in your Bible). Here's the proof God has kept his word!
--Known to millions worldwide--hardly anyone has recognized the real identity of Herbert W Armstrong.
--No prophet of God more clearly prophesied Britain and America's current condition, difficult future, and ultimate glorious destiny.
--For over 50 years this prophet warned Americans, and British descendants worldwide that they would be attacked by their enemies-- and defeated--unless they turned wholeheartedly to God. Astonishingly, genuine Bible prophecy reveals the worst of those enemies is going to prove far deadlier than Saddam Hussein, Radical Islamic Militants, Osama Bin Laden, or Russia.
--Mr Armstrong edited the 8,000,000 circulation The PLAIN TRUTH magazine and presented the daily, global World Tomorrow radio and TV broadcasts on over 600 stations. He also personally delivered a clear message from God to numerous heads of nations.
--Like all true Bible prophets, beyond the prophesied great trouble ahead, he foresaw the future literal Restoration of the Kingdom of God on Earth. The New Israel will be governed by the Messiah from Jerusalem, over a chastened remnant of the regathered 12 Tribes.
--This is the first book to comprehensively prove the identify of The Endtime Elijah . And show why nobody else can be that prophet.
--It also shows the only way you--as an individual--can escape from the coming worst Holocaust ever, of World War 3.
--The final Elijah proved from the Bible that Anglo-Saxon Americans and Britons are descended from the leading of the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel.
--Other Tribes include the main populations of Canada, France, Scandinavia, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Afrikaners, and Australasians.
--He showed the British Royal Family originated in Israel; and Queen Elizabeth II sits on the Throne which God promised King David's descendants.
--Herbert W Armstrong is himself, arguably the most important modern person of Royal descent other than the Queen.

You cannot understand the worsening world events--nor Bible prophecy--without knowing The Endtime Elijah's message.

Wow, all that in just 252 pages. But does Geoff mention Dottie, Harvey's Bristol Cream or the flog log? Perhaps not. According to the author:

I'm still trying to find an international book publisher interested in promoting this volume worldwide. 

Well, that's a surprise.

A Little Dense: From Ducky's Village:

The Pasadena Weekly Newspaper ran an editorial by staff writer, Judy Seckler, in the December 5th, 2002 issue titled A little dense. She wrote,

In the second of three planned open houses, the Worldwide Church of God gave the public plenty to see in plans to develop the sprawling Ambassador College Campus in West Pasadena into a gated, upscale planned community.

She also added,

... But there was precious little new information on exactly how the potentially massive housing development will ultimately shape up, nor was there any mention of how this revised vision for the Ambassador project will fulfill any of the city's affordable housing requirements.

The article stated that under Legacy's plan,

... the city law... would have required 6 percent of those units, or 114, to be set aside as affordable.

The percentage may be higher by the time a plan is finalized and approved.

Note, the newspapers' web site is slated to come online in January 2003. At that time hopefully you will be able to read the entire article on the web for yourself.

UCG Concerns: From Clyde Kilough's December 6 member letter:

On the agenda for doctrinal discussion [at the quarterly meeting of the Council of Elders] is our first review of a study paper on the subject of “born again,” and consideration of several questions concerning Sabbath observance.

We also have a host of miscellaneous issues to cover, including:

• Media and Communications Services update and future needs.
• Planning for the 2003 annual meeting of the General Conference of Elders.
• Proposed amendments and edits to the bylaws.
• Discussion about the focus and content of our general media messages.
• Updates on the work in Asia.
• UCG’s official relationship with LifeNets humanitarian efforts.
• Clarifying the question of whether operation managers, Ministerial Services team members or regional pastors can serve on the Council of Elders.
• Feast of Tabernacles matters, including a report on the past Feast, planning for next year’s Feast video and the issue of applause for music and messages.
• A plan to address the subject of “modesty” for the youth and Church as a whole.
• Ministerial credentialing and ordination requests.
• Several executive session topics regarding personnel matters.

Clyde probably won't be interested, but for what it's worth here's AW's input.

On the issue of applause. Yes. Suggestion: people in the back row could also be issued with those rattle things spectators use at European football matches.

On the issue of modesty. Yes, in principle, as long as hot pants are still deemed modest.

On the issue of next year's Feast video. Suggestion: "Harry Potter 3"

More seriously, on the issue of who may serve on the Council of Elders. How about a members' ombudsman, with the job of representing the interests of those like Barbara Fenney who have a grievance against treatment by a minister. Such an ombudsman could be a non-ordained person with experience in disputes resolution.

No, no Clyde, don't thank us, it's a pleasure. Just remember to settle our account for "consultancy services" promptly when it arrives in the mail. 

Toasting marshmallows in the Lake of Fire: Robert Kuhne is in very deep effluent, at least according to Edmond, Oklahoma's Prophet in Residence, Gerry "Six Pack" Flurry. Kuhne, readers may recall, has created a site dealing with the PCG, and is himself a recently departed member. "Elisha" Flurry is not impressed. This item from the COGwriter site:

Robert Kuhne recently posted that [Gerald] Flurry said the following about him, "I tell you Satan is getting to some of our people he, you’d think he shouldn’t get to. But that, but still God says, now if I tarry, if this tarries awhile, you wait, and you trust me, and don’t let Satan get to you. But he’s going to get to some.” ... (5:22 later) 'Is this guy that just deserted and left the Church, is he going to find God’s true Church out there? He’s not going to find anything – except Satan and the demons, and all the terrible problems of this world. Now he’s either going to come back here, or he’s going to die forever.' [G. Flurry sermon, Habakkuk-part II, 4/13/02...]"

This must be what a previous generation of WCG reformers (long before Joe came along) called "Fear Religion." 

Ephraim or Manasseh? The classic Armstrong rehash of British Israelism taught that Britain was identified in prophecy as the tribe of Ephraim, while the United States was Manasseh. In recent times some on the dippier fringe of Armstrongism have adopted a "new truth." Herb, it seems got it back to front. America is Ephraim and Britain is Manasseh.

Confused? Ken Westby attempts to ride to the rescue with the transcript of a discussion on the subject. Joining Ken are Clyde Brown, a former colleague of Ernie Martin in the Foundation for Biblical Research, and another FBR old timer, Gary Arvidson, both advocates of the flip-flop position.

All very fascinating, if you're interested in following a discredited theory past the point of total absurdity. But unfortunately the facts keep getting in the way. Michael Germano's Bibarch site, for example, has an article that British Israel buffs should consider carefully before leaping to any further weird conclusions.

Who Really Wrote The Missing Dimension In Sex?  We all know that Herbert W. Armstrong plagiarized freely, but did he steal credit for publications from his own colleagues and employees too?

Take The Missing Dimension in Sex. The book clearly claims to be by HWA, and HWA alone (and is now being sold by WCG on that basis.) Funny thing though, the first copyright date listed is 1964, and in 64 the book was published under the title God Speaks Out On "The New Morality."

So what? Well, here's how the title page was worded back in 64.

"The New Morality"
A Production of
By a collaboration of Faculty Members:
Ambassador College Press
Pasadena, California

Herb doesn't even get top billing! 

Poll Wars: Who would have guessed it? This last week the AW poll was evidently a battleground for feuding factions determined to see their cult magazine get top billing. While early results put The Good News and The Bible Advocate firmly in front, a sudden rush of votes suddenly rocketed the LCG's Tomorrow's World, until then lagging well behind, into 1st place. Hmm. But wait, there was more to come. Another day, another rush of votes, and the Plain Truth blasted into the lead. How bizarre! 

Checking a day later, votes had continued to set new records. And the PT had been gazumped as the Rodomites bit back. Yes, TW was in the lead once again. But not for long! Within hours the GN had garnered 36% of the total vote and snatched the top ranking. 

Results: There were 198 votes as AW32 goes online. We asked Which magazine would you be LEAST likely to chuck into the bin unopened? Plain Truth, 47 (23%). Good News, 72 (36%). Tomorrow's World, 45 (22%). Vision, 4 (2%). Philadelphia Trumpet, 9 (4%). Bible Advocate, 21 (10%).

This has been our most popular poll question so far.

Now AT LAST it can be Revealed!  AW publishes the following item exactly as it was received and without comment (some days getting the email can be such a pleasure!) 

For thirty-two years the world has known that President Nixon met with Elvis in December 1970 at the White House to make the King an Honorary Drug Enforcement Agent of the FBI. What has not been known, until now, is that there was one more ambassador without portfolio in the oval office that day...A recently discovered photograph in the National Archives shows the President awarding Herbert W. Armstrong as an Honorary Agent of the Child Protective Agency of the Department of Health and Human Services for "his distinguished undercover work" at the same time he bestowed similarly deserved honors on the King.

Believe it... or not!  Regardless, the photo would make a nice addition to Geoffrey Neilson's book, don't you think?

The big winners: And now for the feature you've all been waiting for, right? Last week we asked for entries on a Christmas theme with the leaders of the Church of God in mind. Here, then, are the finalists (in no particular order.)

(To the tune of Jingle Bells)

Herbert sells, Herbert sells,
the sheep have gone away.
They used to line up at the door,
just to pay and payaaaaaa,

We used to yell,
to the Gates of Hell,
Now what are we gonna do?
Incomes down, all around,
And we haven't got a clue!!

Joe, and Ted, and Rod,
Just to name a few,
Just give them a chance,
They'll tell you what to do...

Doin' Jesus' "work",
That's what they say they do,
Just send in His check,
They'll deposit it for you!!

Ohhhhhhhh, Herbert sells, Herbert sells,
The sheep did pay and pay,
Now they're gone, but they'll be back,
We hope they will somedaaaaaaay.....


Gerry the red-nosed pastor, had a very shiny nose... And if you ever saw it, you would even say it glows. All of the other despots, used to laugh and call him names... They wouldn't let poor Gerry, join in any power games.    Then one foggy power play,  from the mother church he ran away.  Gerry with your nose so bright, won't you have another bud light?  Then how the despots loathed him, as they shouted out with blame... Gerry the red-nosed pastor,  he's too "stoned" to play their game. (Steve)

Christmas greetings from us to Ted
Hope you wake up in the right bed
Be of good cheer
The end is near
If this card is returned we'll know you've fled


Silent Flock, Holy Mock....All are fooled, Ministers rule.........Round yon Herbert, mother church and child.....Holy appearance, so righteous and beguiled....Sleep in comfort blind sheep....Sleep in comfort blind sheep.          (Steve)
Top Ten Ambassador College Alumni Christmas Party Traditions: (forwarded, author not identified)

10. String lights on Joe Tkach

9. Rod and Garner Ted stop by with a few of their 'female elves'

8. Official reception for all new splinter group leaders discovered during past year

7. Send Christmas cards with photos of the top brass and their families having a great time in Pasadena to all church members

6. Special hillbilly Santa with stringy beard and sack full of possum

5. Instead of Yule Log, they set fire to bundles of tithe money

4. Young Ambassadors sing 'Silent Night' while top brass chugs bowls of eggnog

3. Some lucky 'female elf' gets to spend the night with Garner Ted

2. Santa GTA begs staff secretaries to sit on his lap

1. Two words: Tkach Nog

(via Tom)

It came upon a midnight clear
A bolt out of the blue
The creditors called in their loans
And Joey's goose was stewed


Hark the Pastor General sings
Many glib and shallow things
The new financial model's trialled
All bank statements reconciled
Born to ascend to Herbert's throne
And morph it to a Baptist clone
Hark the Pastor General shouts
Follow me or get ye out! 

Dashing through the Orgs....In a clergy power play....Slaying the sheep we go....Laughing all the way (to the bank)... Coins in our pockets ring....Giving us spiritual might....What fun it is to ride and sing a slaying song tonight... Jingle Tithes, Jingle Tithes, Jingle all the way....Oh what fun it is to fool the sheep we do slay.

Dashing through the church... Tithe money we reap... Over the fields we lurch... Fleecing all the sheep.  Sheep's clothing we wear... Tithe doctrines we sell... Oh what fun it is to scare... The flock with going to hell.  Jingle Bucks, Jingle Bucks, Jingle we do sway ... Preach by proof-texting, just like HWA.  (Steve)

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