December 2004 - Issue 56

Covering developments & advocating accountability in the Worldwide Church of God and related groups. 

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Upcoming: A third selection of quotes from Broadway to Armageddon

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More from Hinson: Further information from DP on the William Hinson book Broadway to Armageddon. Regarding health and medical problems:

The Armstrong ministry has a way of getting the member into a medical jam and conveniently stepping out and leaving the member holding the bag. Several other sects believe in divine healing but they don't hide it when confronted about their belief. At least they have the courage to admit what they believe. Not so with this crowd of the cloth.

As one of their ministerial letters by Rod Meredith puts it - If our true position becomes known we will be taken off the air. 

The following sickening directives were given to WCG ministers.


In order to act wisely in a case where a person dies, it is helpful to know how such cases come to be prosecuted. How does the District Attorney's office even become acquainted with information? Such information can come to them through a complaint by anyone that knew a doctor was not called or medical aid refused, such as a neighbor who was previously told about the patient's religious beliefs relative who happened to be visiting or from any other similar source. It may also come through more official channels, such as facts gleaned by police or fire officials called in as members of a respiratory squad. Also, it no doctor signs the death certificate generally speaking the Coroner's Department will hold an inquest to determine the cause of death. This will most likely bring out the fact that no doctor was called. Such a fact would be a 'red light' to the District Attorney.

Generally speaking, when these cases come before the District Attorney, he has the discretion as to whether or not he will prosecute. This is the type of circumstance where a 'contact' is invaluable. The Prosecutor might easily be persuaded by a friend to drop the matter so long as the newspapers have not made major news of it.

The fear along this line is that the case will fall into the hands of a newly-appointed Assistant DA. Such men are customarily extremely zealous. They want to make a name for themselves.


1. DON'T SAY ANYTHING! Avoid telling anyone how long the person was sick. Avoid telling anyone that you knew the person was seriously ill. Avoid telling anyone when the illness first became serious. Don't mention divine healing.

This general rule of not saying anything, like all others, has its qualifications. If a person would absolutely refuse to answer every causal question of inquiry, it would result in a full-blown investigation. But is this so bad? Even if an investigation is held, if it can turn up no detrimental facts, there is no problem. (Hinson comments: If you can lie enough and cover up, things will be ok.)

Remember there is absolutely nothing a State Official is going to be asking that is going to be to your benefit. The only information he is going to be seeking, is not information to free you, but information to prosecute you. Always keep in mind that everything you say that is detrimental will be fed right back to you in court.

In the initial investigation of the case, a little tact (Hinson comment: Lie) in refusing to answer these questions would be highly beneficial. Some practical reason should be thought of such as the parent merely saying, "please, sir, I'm just in no mood to talk to anyone or answer any questions. Please just leave my wife and me alone." If you are just a witness, there is no better way out than the old timeworn cliché, "Look, I just don't want to get involved."

Remember, if circumstances become pressing and time is needed, never forget the famous statement, "I'm sorry, but my attorney has instructed me never to say anything under circumstances like this until I've had a chance to talk to him first."

2. IF LEGAL CIRCUMSTANCES OR WISDOM DEMANDS THAT YOU ANSWER THEN BE SUCCINCT AND DISCREET. Keep in mind that the Official doesn't know everything you know, and the little they do know, they really don't fully comprehend. If the investigator should know something about anointing with oil, there is no need to assume he knows that the practice of medicine is held in disrepute. It might be good to draw analogy through the Catholic Church, and the fact, "We, as they, anoint with oil." (Hinson comments: This is Satan's way-put the blame on someone else.) When one minister at the scene of death was abruptly asked by an investigating officer, "Who are you?" he simply replied "A friend." (Hinson comments: Cover up) If you are known to be a minister, and asked why you are there, a general answer that might suffice would be, "I just came to perform my general ministerial duties of offering spiritual encouragement and as a family friend." (Hinson comments: Lie-he had anointed the child or person, and saw the person die. As a minister I have been there.) DO NOT MENTION FAITH HEALING UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. (Hinson comments: Are they ashamed of God's power or admitting they know they are wrong?) Deny all knowledge that the ailment was serious. Or if this cannot be done, then: (a) Place the time when the seriousness first became apparent as close to the time of death as possible. (b) Take the shortest period of time possible of the length of the illness. (c) If the question of a doctor should arise, it might be met with, "If I had any idea that she was that sick and that a doctor could have healed her, I certainly would have called immediately." (Hinson comments: Lie, lie, lie, lie)

3. BEFRIEND A DOCTOR WITH AT LEAST AN AFFINITY FOR OUR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS Unless a doctor held an affinity for our religious beliefs he could contact the District Attorney if the patient was a minor and request that a court appointed guardian be named. the court could then take custody of the child, and the guardian consent to such a course of medical treatment.

4. WHEN REJECTING MEDICAL SERVICE ON DRUGS PREDICATE THE REFUSAL ON THE GROUNDS OF RISK OR POTENTIAL ADVERSE RESULTS One of the most practical and valuable ways of rejecting certain medical services or drugs is to base the objection on the grounds of risk. 

(The letter then goes on to quote various Armstrong writings, "Faith In The Face of Death; "When Should You Be Anointed?"; "The Origin of Medical Science") Continuing from the letter:

Using medicines is Witchcraft. Those who don't repent of trusting in the false god of medical science - falsely so called are going to suffer the excruciating agonies of the seven last plagues...the Greek word Pharmakeia, this time as sorceries - this word means the use or administration of drugs...those who still won't repent...will have no part in the eternal kingdom of God...Druggist and Pharmacist or a poisoner...drugs are poisons and every poisoner is going to end up in the lake of fie unless he repents. The choice is ours. Which will you choose. (Hinson comments: Did you notice, this is the choice that is given when the church says that doctors and medical aid are left up to the individual.

Hinson then goes son to quote excerpts from various news magazines and articles about deaths and other medical controversies in the WCG. Several were news stories of children in the church that were refused medical help and died.

Hinson writes:

What kind of an inhuman monster would abuse and medically neglect children? or teach and instigate such practices? let his own son and wife die? refuse pain killers to a burned baby?

This cult in their writings have condemned the ancient religions because they offered human sacrifices - yet aren't such vile deeds by Herbert W. Armstrong's Worldwide Church of God, human sacrifices in the truest sense of the word? How many human lives have to be sacrificed all because of the doctrine invented by HWA - the man who claims to be God's own representative on earth - who rules over people who claim to be God's own elect. Without quoting one scripture one can be sure by the very results produced by this obscene practice that there is nothing God-like at all motivating this cult and its leaders - on the contrast, quite the opposite.

Revisiting the Meredith remarks on Hoeh: In our last upload we quoted comments by LCG's Rod Meredith which seemed to damn Herman Hoeh with faint praise. These remarks were quoted exactly as they appeared on Bob Thiel's COGwriter site. We omitted Thiel's own comments, which reinforced that impression. Bob wrote:

He [i.e. Meredith] and I... are two of very few to publicly and widely point out Dr. Hoeh's error in this respect. 

Since then we've had a chance to view Meredith's full letter, and feel Thiel's spiel was less than fair to the tone of the document. In fact Meredith's letter is surprisingly generous in spirit, and Bob's quote appears both unrepresentative and misleading. The Meredith letter contains some interesting reminisces, and is probably a genuine effort at a tribute. You can judge for yourself - the letter is now available online.

Another self-published masterpiece: Erasmus reportedly said: "When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes." There are some of us who can definitely identify with those priorities. But then, there are some books that should probably never be inflicted on any unsuspecting reader. Take David Ben-Ariel's Beyond Babylon for example. Ben-Ariel (an adopted name) is a former WCG member whose current affiliation is unknown, but his enthusiasm for the apocalyptic genre is boundless. His literary efforts have been ratcheted up a notch with this new book - a contrast to spam mail (with which AW has often been blessed). Due out in January at $19.95, we can only advise that it won't be on the AW library shelves any time soon.

Ted's "pecker tour": The following comments were provided by Robert Williams of Portland, Oregon.

Dr. Wilmer Parrish (AC Big Sandy campus doctor) told me in person, face-to-face, about a night at SEP, Minnesota, summer of ’75, when GTA got into the infirmary late at night, probably with his own key, and tried to get in bed with this voluptuous, blonde, 14-year-old girl named [deleted]. She yelled, terrified. Dr. Parrish caught him, or perhaps it was security who walked in first. I guess Dr. Parrish told me since I was working on camp security some nights and occasionally did maintenance in the infirmary. The incident was handled very hush-hush, attended by red faces, averted eyes, and mumbled tones, by a few faculty and college students. At the time, I couldn’t quite believe what I was hearing... I had heard other GTA stories (nothing so graphic or raw though), saw him ogle coeds at the annual Freshmen Reception, and I had seen him drinking like a fish at Nelson’s Resort along the Minnesota-Canada border... He was a slimy, disgusting, sometime charming guy, in retrospect. Simil justus et peccator, but mostly peccator.

For those of us whose Latin lies somewhere between rusty and non-existent, simil justus et peccator means (loosely) "both saint and sinner". 

Weekly Mailbag

More on Herman Hoeh: (1) Thought I'd throw my $0.02 in on Dr. Hoeh. My first exposure to him was as a freshman assigned to an "Ambassador club" where he was the director. I had never met him before, or knew who he was.

One evening, I had a speech, but had forgotten about the assignment, and I was the third speaker. While the first two spoke, I jotted down some notes on a napkin, and then got up and gave my speech.

Dr. Hoeh, in evaluating my speech, commented on how well prepared I was. Sitting next to me was Larry Gott (grandson of HWA) who had to fight hard to not choke or burst out laughing, as he saw what I had done.

Bill Hohmann

(2) At the Feast of Tabernacles in Cape Town in 1975, Dr Hoeh stood up and put on his spectacles, and looked at us with the words, "I've never seen Cape Colored people before". I sat with him and discussed his surname (means High), his Compendium, people in Tonga and Fiji, and his sermon that was about Adam not being given a law because God had taught him through personal example, e.g., the Sabbath rest on the seventh day.

I think he was influenced by the Buddhist approach in his latter years. I remember him saying that the Buddhists ask questions we don't even think of. Certainly, when one looks at the approach of the different religions, when a man is found with an arrow in his shoulder, the Buddhist will focus on removing it, while the Christian will obsess about who fired it and how it was made. Hence, Buddhists don't worry about creation and a creator.


(3) I remember asking Dr. Hoeh one time about governance. I used the example of the American colonists who rebelled against their British ruler and how their example had long been praised in WCG. He replied that if he had been alive in 1776 he would have gone to Canada and would not have joined the revolutionaries. So, even though I disagreed with him on this subject, he appeared to me to be consistent in his position, and that is definitely a mark of integrity. A sad loss -- I hope Mrs. Hoeh will be OK -- but what a peaceful way to go.


The Hinson story: (1) Normally I have tried to avoid responding to the negative post concerning people who are not there to even defend themselves but this I could not let slide. I know Bill Swanson and I have a different story to tell about him.

I was taken away from my parents when I was four years of age because of neglect and abuse. My siblings and I spent the next ten years in foster care, (the lesser of two evils.) When I turned fourteen, I located my parents. After a few months my twin brother and I were returned to my parents by the courts. This is when I learned about God’s truth, through my mother who was attending WCG at the time. Bill Swanson was our pastor. 

Within a month I understood why we were placed in foster care. My father beat up my mother all the time and he began to become violent to me. I was so stressed and did not know what to do so I went to Bill Swanson to talk to him about it. He was so upset that this was happening to me that he went to talk to my mother. He encouraged her to leave my dad and the church helped my mother, my twin brother and I move to another city. Bill Swanson advised my mother to stay away from my father for a year to give a chance to see the fruit and the change.

Well the church set us up in a home, and helped my mother pay the bill. Through the direction of Bill Swanson the church helped us get on our feet. For the first time I did not live in fear. But after a few months my father showed up and my mother took him in. She left the church and we moved back to the city that we left. My father was more violent and abusive than ever. Many nights I thought he would kill me or my mother. I finally at the age of 18, after a loaded gun was placed to my head, knew I had to get out. I left while he slept.

So for me, Bill Swanson tried so hard to help me and my family, he knew the dangers of my mother living with such an abusive man. He believed it so much that he had the church help us with money and a place to live. He regularly visited us to see how our family was doing. I will always be grateful for his help. It was at a time where ministers encouraged women to stay and work out the problem.

There are always two sides of the story. This is my side of the story and gratitude to Bill Swanson.

Janet Treadway

(2) I read the sickening account of this "minister" Bill Swanson's imperious and deadly edicts... The sad thing is that I am sure that there are more people like this man in the more ultra-conservative splinters of the XCGs. This is one of the reasons why I hope Ambassador Watch is around for a long, long, time. It is an effective tool on fighting evil.

Actually, there are many parts I agree on an article written by Shmuly Boteach on fighting evil, ... [These people] must be vigorous challenged and be given swift and harsh intolerance for their perverse ideology and behavior. To roll over and play dead or to be a robotic doormat is even a greater evil which only empowers their devious interests.


(3) Another heartbreaking example of how a literalist interpretation of the Bible permits people to justify bigotry. It also illustrates how members lost their sense of personal agency, often with tragic results. Mr. Hinson’s copy of the 1969 letter to the ministry regarding how the church instructed ministers to throw all responsibility onto the member, despite the ministry’s having systematically brainwashed him/her, illustrates, to my thinking, the extreme cynicism of the WCG administration. This letter virtually instructs the ministry to lie, using “in-speak” to twist meaning and justify the deceit the ministers were told to practice. It can be viewed on the Graveyard Church of God website, which I believe is located on the Painful Truth website: The pressures on those who still had some ability to reason and act on their own were enormous, as Mr. Hinson’s account shows. A pox on all their houses.

Kathleen Kakacek

AW: Probably the same letter included in today's upload (above)

Robinson request: Hi, I would like to know a little more about David Robinson. I would like to know where he was born, when and a little about his life please. Thank you.

AW: Anyone able to provide a thumbnail biography?

Grabbe's Wisdom: Gavin, regarding your notice of Lester Grabbe's commentary on the Wisdom of Solomon, I thought I'd mention the series of articles on "the Apocrypha" that I and Doug Ward have written. (Doug wrote about I Maccabees, while I wrote the rest.) My article on Wisdom was the third in the series. There's nothing earth-shattering or revolutionary in these articles, of course, since the point was just to do a survey or a personal kind of book review with the purpose of introducing the books to those who had little or no familiarity with them.

Jared Olar

AW: A review Lester's very erudite and scholarly study is due to be posted on MD later this month, tentatively titled "Holy Synkrisis!"

Pork chop crusaderism? The people of God are a conservative people? Exclusively? Is God political? Does He support conservative candidates? Does “President Bush … advocate policies consistent with the principles of the Bible?” Well, I don’t think so and I can’t let these comments from a concealed identity pass without responding because this is so nuts. 

So Bush is a “man of faith,” yet does Monsieur Énigma really agree with Bush’s brand of Christianity? Could they swap churches? Does Bush pray and study his Bible in a manner that this anonymuncule’s church would approve? Would they roll Easter eggs together or exchange Christmas gifts? Would he have his children baptized in Bush’s church? Would this unavowed person go to war for Bush or is he a conscientious objector? Does this bravely anonymous soul love his country enough to die for it if ordered to serve as an infantryman in Iraq or Syria or Iran? Would Bush condemn some of the No Name’s beliefs? Does the President keep the Sabbath and Holy Days? Does Bush agree with his views on heaven and hell? What about an afterlife? Would this innominate being eat pork chops with Bush?

Nameless challenged, “If any one of you doubts that God's people are conservative, I'd like to hear your best argument that secular liberalism can co-exist (sic) with the Biblical worldview.” This is an elliptical, reductio ad absurdum argument. And, it’s patently fascistic--does he really mean this? What does he really want to say?

Whether secular liberalism gets up and dances or it doesn’t with someone’s “Biblical worldview” will not prove “God’s people are conservative.” The argument lacks logical strength.

Anonymous makes a self-righteous assumption that “God’s people” have only a conservative Biblical Weltanschauung because a person can’t be both a liberal and a Christian (the term liberal Christianity being oxymoronic, of course). He thinks or has been told that people who believe they are Christian and liberal are not really Christians because they would have to believe in secular liberalism as he defines the term. Mr. Nameless has spent so much time isolated inside his circle of friends and ministers who think and speak and write like he does that he has lost his edge for critical thinking.

Nameless asks if liberalism can coexist with the Biblical worldview, but does he mean his American fundamentalist brand of religion when he says “the Biblical worldview?” 

Once, Jesus was confronted by conservative religious leaders who looked for Him to condemn a women caught in adultery. Instead, He blew the sanctimonious away by forgiving her sins. It seems like Jesus was a liberal for at least one day. The word liberal is summed up by “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Liberalism, secular or otherwise, can do better than simply coexist with others; it can get along well with whatever Biblical worldviews because conceptually liberalism tolerates differences in thinking. Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Bohemians, nihilists, numismatists, and nudists still have freedom to practice their beliefs.

Ironically, it seems that the authoritarian perspective advocated in anonymuncule’s “challenge” at best will only allow for a chilly coexistence with the rest of the world.

Former Senator Gary Hart wrote the following excerpts in the New York Times last month: “Liberals are not against religion. They are against hypocrisy, exclusion and judgmentalism. They resist the notion that one side or the other possesses "the truth" to the exclusion of others…

“There is also the disturbing tendency to insert theocratic principles into the vision of America's role in the world. There is evil in the world. Nowhere in our Constitution or founding documents is there support for the proposition that the United States was given a special dispensation to eliminate it…. Mr. Bush's venture into crusaderism frightened not only Muslims, it also frightened a very large number of Americans with a sense of their own history.

“The religions of Abraham all teach a sense of personal and collective humility. Whether Bush supporters care or not, people around the world now see America as arrogant, self-righteous and superior. These are not qualities of any traditional faith I am aware of.”

Robert M. Williams

Bruce buddy... The recent Internet article by Bruce Porteous (highlighted in the 27 November segment of AW) would be a rather odd perhaps even humorous read if it wasn’t so tragic. Bruce laments, “When I wrote at the beginning of the year, prior to the American and British invasion of Iraq, that the invasion would result in defeat and disaster, few believed me. Yet, as each day unfolds, this increasingly is becoming a reality.”

Bruce…Buddy…may I humbly suggest that the “reality” you spoke of stands in rather stark contrast to the ACTUAL situation in Iraq - at least when viewed with even a minimal amount of objectivity, and not through the fact-distorting lens of European, American and Islamic media, whose job is to sell copy and fuel various ideologies rather than actually report truth? Which “defeat and disaster” could you remotely point to since the war in Iraq commenced?

Recent operations that swept away Sunni and al Qaeda gunmen out of Fallujah, for example, left 53 American troops dead, as compared to inflicting over 3,000 enemy deaths. Islamic terrorists have suffered, and will continue to suffer, the overwhelming causalities in this one-sided war. Yet rarely is this rather important fact ever mentioned in media accounts. Liberal American (and especially Arab) media overly-focuses on specific coalition causalities, spinning such expected and rather underwhelming events into “disasters” for American forces on the evening news reports - while overlooking the overall reality in Iraq which tells a completely different story. Various Arab and al Qaeda “Freedom Fighters” were running like rabbits when confronted by American forces (which they and their leaders had boasted would turn Fallujah into a “graveyard of Americans”), and singing like birds (i.e., quickly revealing vital intelligence) when captured.

Of course, their leaders conveniently left town before the battle, leaving their gullible followers to suffer the glories of martyrdom - alone and abandoned. Insurgent forces “defending” Fallujah were killed or captured very quickly – and those who escaped are being ceaselessly hunted down.

So, Bruce, it seems that you - along with many other prophecy gurus of the COG – once again allowed your blind ideological expectations of the imminent downfall of “modern day Israel” affect your analysis of world events considerably more than simply allowing the actual facts speak for themselves.

Randy Martens

Devil worship? Check out John Kaminski's excellent 9/29/04 rant. This explains why so many of us were HARMed so STRONGly by [WCG]... I am trying to find an online machine-readable copy of Merritt's essay... Kaminski's piece has a good summary of it.

Bill Fairchild

AW: As fascinating as the recent political correspondence has been, the mailbag will be observing a recess on this subject for a while.

A Herbophilic Christmas

Behold, he comes as a thief by night
From regions that border the North;
And some mourn his advent, eschewing delight,
Though gifts in abundance he surely brings forth.

A Bible for Christmas brings horror and shock,
A gift from the Devil no less,
It gets the self-righteous all running amuck
As something most evil the Lord should suppress.

Some strangeness of doctrine some people espouse
That would strait jacket each fellow man;
For their WAY is RIGHT which bad feelings arouse,
And most of them will MYOPICALLY scan

For they are the killjoys and sober of face
Who walk in mourning all day,
For Christmas is evil, a shocking disgrace,
And a feast of the devil for which man will pay.

They follow poor Herb of memory most dear
Who brought joy and smiles our way;
Piety they preached, they made it most clear
That for blessings all HERBAL you dearly must pay.

To be Herbophilic is to hand in the brain
And submit to his every word;
And his "truth revealed" causes pain,
Yet the faithful obey in ways most absurd.

For the Herbal seer said you give gifts to Christ
At this pagan time of the year:
And the entrapped and believing were fooled by this heist
And parted with millions for his lifestyle dear.

For many deceivers in the Lord's name will come
And of Herb we still are not sure;
It's all about MONEY from the blind and the dumb,
And lives were destroyed by the QUACK HERBAL CURE.

Now Santa is coming to mine and to yours,
So put the bull mastiff on guard;
Block up the chimney, lock windows and doors,
Ensure that all portals are nailed and barred.

And in our houses will bright shine the light
As we join the pagans in lust;
For LUKEWARM our state, pathetic our plight,
In Gods' mercy, not Gerry's we ever so trust.


The Book Shelf
Good as New Dare to Think for Yourself In the Beginning When Jesus Became God Wisdom of Solomon

A radical and rewarding retelling of the New Testament from Britain (the introductory comments come from the Archbishop of Canterbury). Translator John Henson has looked hard at the existing canon, and included the Gospel of Thomas while excluding Revelation and a number of highly dubious epistles. Refreshingly different!


Former campus employee Betty Brogaard, wife of a WCG pastor, knew Herbert Armstrong and GTA well. She tells her story of how things really were, and how she left Christianity behind and embraced a rationalist belief. 

(not rated)


The true story behind the King James Bible






The first "Christian" emperor, Constantine, and two preachers, Arius and the incredibly obnoxious Athanasius, were the chief players in the debate over the nature of Jesus. Wonderfully readable and very informative.


Lester Grabbe, one of the few AC faculty members who could genuinely be described as a scholar, has produced this commentary on the deuterocanonical book of Wisdom. Last we heard, Grabbe was teaching at the University of Hull in Britain.

not rated

Our Rating System: * (brain dead) ** (avoid) *** (consider) **** (good stuff) ***** (read it!)
More Book Links


Hinson book: AW correspondent Dateline Pasadena (DP) has provided the following précis of William B. Hinson's long out-of-print book Broadway to Armageddon.

BroadwayTo.jpg (147818 bytes)Imagine having a minister of the WCG tell you to put your son away from view in a home! That's what happened to William Hinson, a former minister of the Worldwide Church of God:

"Bill Swanson, the local minister in the Nashville area under Burk McNair, told me with Burk's full knowledge that I should put my son away as far as I could and not go to see him. We had been advised by the Worldwide Church of God to take our son off all medication when we were baptized in the early part of the sixties. He was taking medicines for seizures when we got involved with Armstrong. Randy didn't even take an aspirin until we made a decision upon the insistence of the ministers, Bill Swanson and Burk McNair to put him away. Because of this advice in the past and the church's belief about doctors and medicine I knew what would happen to my son if I put him away. Bill Swanson told me, "If the doctors kill him, it will not be your fault." I could only sit there filled with emotions and cry with much disappointment. Bill Swanson said and I quote, "Mr. Hinson, your problem is you want people to feel sorry for you." Bill Swanson also said and I quote, "God's people should not be around abnormal people." (Hinson's son died one year later after being placed in the home from cerebral palsy)

Another story was included about a child that died in Arkansas of spinal meningitis. The minister in this case forbade medical care for the youth. He made a statement saying. "God killed the boy because had no plan for the dead child." "His father will receive a reward such as very few of you will have a chance to receive. If this happens to any of the rest of you, you are not to question!" "God heals and God kills!"

"God's people should not be around abnormal people"

There are also detailed letters from former WCG executives Al Carrozzo, Albert Portune, and David Antion. Antion's letter goes into great detail about the sexual escapades of GTA even naming various women that Ted was know to have messed around with.

The book also includes a detailed letter from Rod Meredith on marriage and divorce issues in the church. It has 10 points listed for ministers to use in determining if marriages were to be broken up. He also goes into detail on how they are not to write down the reason if they decide a marriage is not valid in order to prevent potential lawsuits. He also instructs them in how to interview couples on their sexual history. (Sex seems to be the predominant subject in any discussion about Meredith.)

There is also another letter that tells ministers how to act if they have went to anoint someone that they have told to refuse medical treatment. It tells them how to be deceptive in case coroners, police, family members ask them questions as to why the church member has died because they refused medical treatment.

Words fail - and those we'd like to use are pretty-much unprintable!

This month we take great delight in presenting several new offerings from the AW bard, Seamus. This is the first.


The "Journal" for Xmas is what we desire
Containing great words which tend to inspire.
But proscribed are these thoughts in places we hear.
And likewise the brandy, the rum and the beer.

And 'oft with the spirit we lovingly make
Whisky-drenched, fruit-rich Xmas cake,
And if you consume a doorstop sized slice,
The sleepy effects are really quite nice.

Choc pudding with cream you eat by the plate,
Discomfort ensures a helping so great.
But this is a trifle, (all smothered in cream),
Goodies so rich make one snooze and dream.

"Awake, awake," the purists will say,
"How dare you keep this pagan day."
But rejoicing is meant for the comfort of men,
Grab it wherever you possibly can.

The Xmas tree with baubles so bright
Is both a joy and inspiring sight;
Foil and bunting are draped all around
And presents galore all over are found.

And all that port and pleasant wine,
Are drink for the soul and supremely divine
An oversized turkey with cranberry sauce
Does never convict with pangs of remorse.

Bring on Santa with his pendulous tum,
His lolly handouts are really quite yum.
With a "ho, ho, ho" and a chuckle in voice
This affable man causes all to rejoice.

And who are these killjoys with finger who wag,
Each occasion of feasting they ever will bag.
Perhaps they all need to lighten their load
And change horses now in the middle of road.

With faces so long there is dolor of soul,
Their leaders oppress and will never console.
So get out the glad rags and put on a smile,
Christmas comes soon, so keep it in style.

(an Old Believer)

Hoeh memorial: The following item is adapted from a posting to the JLF board.

I had the opportunity to attend Dr. Hoeh's memorial service this morning. Over 300 people were in attendance and many people needed to fill overflow areas either outside or in an adjacent building. There were a few people who shared their experiences and fond memories of Dr. Hoeh. He was involved in interfaith activities, most notably with the local Thai Buddhist community. Several monks paid a tribute to him during the service by saying a few words and doing a chant. The stories all echo the same thing, how people were encouraged by him and his examples of service and humility. It was especially touching to hear the impact he had on people when they attended or worked at Ambassador college. There were a few humorous memories as well. A Tongan family paid tribute to him by singing a hymn in their native language and sharing thoughts about his connection with the Tongan culture.

There was a potluck afterwards which gave an opportunity for many people to reconnect with others they have not seen in a long time. The group of people was eclectic, some people from WCG, some from various splinter groups, and others no longer with WCG. I did not recognize any official representatives from the splinter groups, except for maybe Church of God Restored which meets in the local area... overall, it was a well done memorial service and the impact that this man had on many people was evident.

A second account was forwarded to AW. The following is a summary.

I was sitting outside as the main building was filled. They had chairs set up outside as well as in another building with the service piped in. The main building had seating for 135 but there were many people standing also. I would estimate about 300 people in all. The program we were given has … a picture of Dr. Herman L. Hoeh - December 3, 1928 - November 21, 2004. The program reads as follows:

Prelude - William Kessler, pianist
Welcome and Invocation - Pastor Rand Holm
Hymn - Onward Christian Soldiers
Gilda Hoeh Brockmeier, Rand Holm 
Remembrances of Dr. Herman Hoeh

Christina Kuo Graham
Curtis May
John Hopkinson
Gene Hogberg
Ron Kelly
Palu Lemoto, Jenette Lemoto, Marsha Lemoto singing the traditional Tongan funeral farewell for a loved one, followed by "The Lord is My Shepherd" in their native Tongan language
Wat Thai Temple Representative
Dr. Giorgio Buccellati
Valley Interfaith Council Representative
Manfred Hoeh
Pastor Carlton Green
Hymn - Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken
Gilda Hoeh Brockmeir, Rand Holm
Pastoral Remembrance - Rand Holm
Blessing - Pastor Jack Kessler
The Thai representative said Dr. Hoeh attended many of the Thai celebrations at the Temple and he was just like a Thai, not an American. 
Story - new computers were delivered to Editorial and someone asked Dr. Hoeh - "When are you going to join the 21st century?" Dr. Hoeh replied, "When all else fails!" 

Gene Hogberg mentioned that there was a series of articles in the Reader's Digest years ago entitled "The Most Unforgettable Character I Have Ever Met". Dr. Hoeh was the person he would have chosen to write about for this series. 

Manfred Hoeh gave thanks on the family's behalf for everyone's attendance and kind words. There are 3 daughters, their husbands, Manfred and his wife and a total of 9 grandchildren. It is our understanding that Mrs. Hoeh will be going to live with her oldest daughter, Karlina, in Alabama.

Perhaps predictably, though, one of Herman Hoeh's oldest colleagues, Roderick C. Meredith, just couldn't resist getting in a last dig in a statement republished on Bob Thiel's website:

Dr. Hoeh had a wide range of interests and was very helpful in the early phases of the international work of the Church, the foreign language editions of the magazine, helping establish some of the archeological projects in which Ambassador College students were involved and many other activities. Although many of us who loved him deeply felt he became confused later in life between the desire to follow the human organization of which we had all been a part and the need to practice and proclaim the full Truth of God’s Word.

Becker broadside: Many readers will be familiar with The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce. Now there's a COG improvisation on the theme, courtesy of Douglas Becker. Some selections.

Eschatology: The illicit relationship Joseph Tkach, Senior had with Ellen Escat right in front of his wife in their own home; also, The study of the end time and end time events; Eschatology is usually speculative, and viewed in the time frame of those studying the subject for the last two millennia; Some modern views on Eschatology appear to be more closely related to Scatology.

Disfellowship: Dissin' your fellow and sinking his ship

Apostate: The state in which the apostle is registered as a corporate sole

Moderation: Alcoholic Diabetic ministers having three glasses of red wine after they consume red meat at dinner

Passover: The minister didn't get his promotion and a raise; he was passed over.

That's only a taste... Douglas also has a couple of other new items on his website - one entitled Bananas, and another Rational Recovery.

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