THE MANPOWER PAPERS
In 1961 at the behest of the Armstrongs a "manpower committee" comprising 15 of the leading men of Ambassador College (AC) was formed. The noble purpose of this committee was to evaluate AC students-especially male students-and determine whether or not to employ them at AC or in the Worldwide Church of God (WCG) upon graduation. The Manpower Committee, however, quickly degenerated into a high-level gossip session in which a group of corporate misfits combined to destroy the reputation of numerous students whose only offense may have been intellectual resistance to the doctrinal intimidation and personal prejudices of AC/WCG officials while attending to their formal education.
Before any discussion of a student began, his picture was projected onto a screen. Then, as the members of this "spiritual jury" stared at the student's image, each one of them divulged information - often given to them confidentially in private counseling sessions - gathered on the student. This information often included a student's background, racial and genetic heritage, sex and dating problems, attitudes, and physique, in addition to biased personal assessments of a student's potential worth to the organization.
Below Ambassador Report is reprinting a number of statements made in these manpower meetings that aptly illustrate the mentality of the Ambassador College administration in the 1960s. Little if any concrete evidence for the allegations, innuendoes, or rumors in the following quotations was ever formally submitted, probably because it never existed. All students were tried in absentia and never given a chance to reply to the biased information disseminated in these meetings that sullied their reputations. Yet the essence of what was said in these meetings was carefully typed and distributed to several leading men at AC in Pasadena, the vice-chancellor of AC's Texas campus, and AC's Personnel Office. (In order to protect the identity and reputation of the students mentioned in the following statements, we will refer to all male students as "X" and to all females students as "Y." We have gone to great lengths to delete anything that we felt could lead to the identification of a student.)
"Like most Negroes he is reserved, timid, and not as warm and spontaneous as he could be.... Most of our Negro leaders are partially white and don't have the normal dull mind of the average Negro."
"X has a lot of ego. He is a Jew, and a Jew feeds upon applause, people appreciating him, living in the limelight, being a performer, so they are hard to convert-but once converted Jews can be the best instrument in God's hands there is."
"Mr. Meredith feels a lot of this apparent haughtiness and cockiness is the results of the English class distinction bred in him.... The English people tend to be that way.... The English do this naturally."
"He is converted, yet like most Germans, is hard to love.... It is most imperative that we all get to know him."
COMMENTS ON SEX PROBLEMS
"He has had a sex problem since he was ten or twelve years of age; and since he came to college he has been able to overcome it several months at a time, but continually lapses back into it."
"He is all but a practicing homosexual, has a masturbation problem, and apparently is only here to protect himself from the draft."
"He is starry-eyed, has a glassy stare when speaking, is hard to listen to because of his poor eye contact-this may be a result of excessive masturbation in the past."
"X was disfellowshipped from the Church several years ago because of homosexual problems."
"She comes from a mother dominated home, a pragmatic home, and she needs a 'he man' to solve her problems."
"Y has an excellent I.Q. of 123, but is neurotic.... She is unbalanced, she has sex problems and has masturbated from the time she was about 12 years of age.... She had an affair with a man in the... Church. She doesn't fit here, she is a wrong influence. She shows definite deep influence from demons."
"She acts like a lesbian, but is not-her fear and dislike for men is a result of demon influence as well as the result of an affair she had with a man that discussed her with men. She and her family have consulted spirits in the past...."
"He often looks glassy eyed, is washed out, enervated, which is unusual because he works out with weights and is athletic.... It's interesting-he gave an Attack Speech this morning on masturbation-people tend to attack most vociferously the very thing they are fighting."
"And although we would not say he is a weird personality, he has a few, weird, creepy characteristics. Dr. Hoeh wondered if he doesn't have mental sexual problems, that he may be an intellectual homosexual, not that he's ever physically committed such an act, but does he think about [it] ? We need to sound him out and find out."
"Y has had dating problems with the fellows, a strong sex drive, a record of instability…"
"He does confess to mentally fornicating with our girls every day of his life. Before he came into the church he used to masturbate twice a day-he is a sexual pervert in his mind. He has had demon problems...."
"X was also discussed as a possible man for the Sermonette List, but when we found he was also guilty of necking (though done very lightly), he was rejected from the Sermonette List.... Mr. Apartian had talked to X before and will talk to him again to find out whether this was a quick goodnight kiss or could be classified as petting."
"Mr. Smith said whoever counsels them in the final outcome should certainly write her father and tell him we will do all we can to discourage her marriage if he wants us to.... After further discussion we all feel best to advise them to throw cold water on it...."
"Mr. Meredith has already counselled him to postpone any engagement plans, primarily because Mrs. Armstrong was horrified when she heard about them."
"The Manpower Committee saw no objections to a marriage sometime in June."
"Mr. Hill said X had counselled him about marrying Y.... Dr. Hoeh did not feel, however, that she should tie herself down to him-she is a terrific girl, should be a Minister's wife.…"
"Mr. Armstrong just recently made an ironclad rule that any Senior who wants to marry a Freshman is automatically out of college and if he doesn't take that in a right attitude is out of the Church."
"X and Y were making marriage plans when advised to put it in God's hands, break off the wedding plans, and wait until a later date.... it is doubtful she can be sure she and X are actually in love."
"Mr. Portune said he called the engagement between X and Y off-that he did not believe X was stable enough or ready for marriage."
"Mr. Elliott brought up the problem of Senior men speaking for Freshmen girls a few weeks after they have arrived on campus.... We are not bringing girls to Ambassador College to marry Senior students after only being here a month or two-we are bringing them here to train them to be wives and mothers, which should mean at least two years at Ambassador College."
"X was going steadily with Y until Dr. Hoeh counselled him to consider marrying a Russian.... Mr. Portune brought out, however, that he had counselled them and told them that they could not get married for a year and a half after graduation and they both know that they cannot get married.... These students need to learn that unless God is with them they have no business getting married in the first place.... Let's give them the test, make them... quit running from one minister to the next... and wait the year and a half after graduation as Mr. Portune told them to do in the first place.... Take the emphasis off sex and marriage and get it on the desire to seek the Kingdom of God."
"Y and X are in love, but they were told they must not get married until the Feast of Tabernacles, 196- [1˝ years after this was written]. This will be quite a trial on both of them."
"He has effeminate tendencies and is definitely a fringer. We need to tell him we don't want to live his fife, but we advise him not to get married-that the marriage will not work...."
"Now Y is over there and she is getting romantically involved with a weak student named X. His stock is weak. If we were cattle raisers we would not begin to allow such mating to take place. Breeding is very important."
"X is too close to Y, we need to break them up-either he goes or she goes. He is too polished, he needs Texas [Ambassador College's Texas campus), he needs to get a little manure under his fingernails...."
"He is interested in Y.... Mr. Apartian mentioned being disappointed with both of their attitudes, because he told them to break it off-but she loves him.... She is sanctimonious, like he is, and we only have eight years left anyhow [8 years till 1975, the year the WCG predicted Christ would return]."
"Mr. Portune... says he [X]... is a clod... a clown in the eyes of the other students, a prolific eater-eats everything in sight. X is only $15 in debt. He wants to marry Y. She... comes from good stock, is a nice-looking girl, beautifully shaped, and is only $438 in debt. Mr. Hill [said X]... has an odd approach, hasn't produced, and can't identify himself with the problems. He is like an unemotional fish and needs to attack something and get stirred up. Mr. Blackwell wondered then if it might not be best to... separate he and Y for awhile... and let him know this is it-sink or swim."
"Dr. Zimmerman... counseled him... to put cold water on his plans with Y.... During the past summer he was sent to... look for work, primarily to separate he and Y.... He later came back to ask Dr. Zimmerman to ask again for approval to get married. Dr. Zimmerman told him again to throw cold water on it.... X felt he could.... Dr. Zimmerman doesn't feel any consideration should be given him toward marriage, that he should be told again to put cold water on it. Mr. Meredith said he should be told not to even think about marriage for one or two years at least"
"X is odd, he came to talk to Mr. Meredith about his inability to sweat in prayer, after Mr. Meredith's sermon on really putting your heart and all your being into prayer...."
"X was told he must lose five pounds a month."
"X is also odd, finky, but has a good mind.... He has been too steeped in music...."
"He was recently given a lie detector's test which shows him to be a liar and a thief, but since the test is not infallible, and he staunchly maintains his innocence, we cannot be sure that he is a thief and liar. The lie detector records only conscious thought, however, and he was grilled for more than eight hours...."
"X is... very hard to get to know-there is always a question in our minds as to what is going on in his mind."
"X... has had a perpetual health problem (constipation)."
"Y is weird; she is not normal; she is extremely neurotic. We wouldn't be surprised if she didn't someday try to destroy herself...."
"Some of the students just had a big party at which they played questionable music, with a wrong beat, drank too many beers, got involved in the wrong kind of dancing...."
"Mr. Meredith, when reading about the wretched background he [X] came from, added that X's mother and father get in real "knock-down-and-drag-out" fights, get involved in sexual perversion, and have a wretched relationship. She has a Pentecostal background."
"Mr. [Ted] Armstrong read the resume for X and the comments made at previous Man-Power Meetings-with the comment that X is an 'ass.'... Being an ass is no condemnation, it is far better to be an ass than to be effeminate, a weakling, or a problem."
"Mr. Garner Ted Armstrong opened the meeting.... Mr. Armstrong further stressed the need for pooling our information from both colleges [Ambassador College's campuses in Pasadena and in Big Sandy] by receiving their [man-power] notes for graduating seniors and supplying them with ours."
"Mr. Armstrong could see no reason why they should not get married. His future is already mapped out for him."
"He is somewhat boyish... having been reared without a man in the house, and has taken on many womanish ways-although we don't feel he is effeminate."
"After the previous Man-Power comments were read on X, it was brought out that he is a product of his environment. Richard Plache said his father is extremely odd, a character, is self-righteous, egotistical, and is a constant problem. Like his father, he goes to bed at night wanting to die.... he has a clinging, fishy handshake, showing complete lack of strength, character, etc.... Mr. Meredith explained the need for all of us, as Man Power Committee members, to get beneath the veneer of these men and fully know their problems...."
"Mr. Meredith... said... he is dull.... Richard Plache added... that... X's parents have the same slow, dull, sluggish ways In fact, he has a younger brother who is far worse than he is-is much more buffoonish , duller, and has almost no life or spark at all. Mr. Portune feels... we could send him out for a trial as a warm body... to the minister and assist the minister in some of the routine visits."
"Mr. Armstrong read the previous evaluations of X which included comments on his family background.... He is in love with Y and they eventually want to get married. Mr. Armstrong found it a little hard to understand a mutual attraction between them.... He is sincere and he assures us he really loves Y and that there is a mutual physical attraction as well as the intellectual. Most of us might not find her attractive because of her thick wrists and ankles and blocky build...."
"Mr. Armstrong said the Admissions Committee needs to be more strict and forceful in turning down people who have physical handicaps"
"Y is not a very pretty girl, she is not a great intellect, but she will make someone a very fine wife."
"Neither Mr. Armstrong nor Mr. Meredith feel that this is the right girl for X; she is a peasant-type girl, is slightly dumb and immature."
"Mr. Hill... says there are no problems except for a few effeminate flareups now and then, a womanish tendency, but he does have good dignity, a good mind...."
"He is a liar, a fink, a queer, and has lost job after job."
"X has a self-righteous attitude. He... has a semirebellious attitude... is another one of those whom we cannot seem to get to know."
"He continues to show disrespect for authority, talks disparagingly of the leaders of the work over the breakfast table... has many signs of hidden rebellion. His children are constantly on the spanking list at school.... He is a dirty player, fouls others continually."
"X appears to have a bad attitude some, or most of the time. The whole attitude of that family has never been too good."
"We need to get to know X and jar him into cooperation...."
"X is weak, effeminate, unable to rule his house and unable to master his marital problems"
"He is slow, dull, unable to think, and is all but completely lacking in zeal."
"X is a hard worker, but he doesn't seem to know his own mind."
"She had a breakdown in Mr. Buzzard's class the other day-she couldn't stop crying. We don't want 'odd' people-people obviously demon influenced. We should not hesitate to kick her out at the end of this semester, unless there is a drastic change."
"He is not emotionally unstable as girls normally are, nevertheless, he does have an emotional problem."
"X is still somewhat girlish, although not queer; he lacks the strong masculine quality. He has a weak voice tike Richard Nixon...."
"He did finally come to talk to Mr. Elliott, he told about kissing in the bedroom, where another student saw him, but he didn't tell everything. He went behind the science class building, behind Mr. Meredith's house, and fondled her breasts, etc., and she is the one who told this to Mr. Elliott."
"Mr. Ted Armstrong said there are still security leaks in our manpower committee that must be stopped. Word got back to X that we had discussed him in a recent manpower meeting, but what he heard was 5th or 6th hand, perverted, warped, and only a small percent correct."
"Unless he goes into the field [ministry], the draft may snatch him up. Someway we need to legally classify him as doing ministerial work of some nature. Mr. Hill classified X as an assistant to him, dealing with theological responsibilities, as a ministerial assistant, and he was reclassified without any problem. He suggests we write the same kind of letter he did to the draft board.... "
"X took Y, W, V, Z, and the girls signed out to go to the Student Dance. Instead they went to a football game, and when it didn't prove exciting enough they went to a park and played touch football themselves. Some other people joined the party... and they wound upgoing to the sister's house of one of the people they met and staying till 2:30 in the morning dancing and drinking. When they brought the girls back they were fearful of getting caught so they dropped the girls off on Orange Grove Boulevard. The girls cut through the Orange Grove Manor property and signed in-but they falsified their time.... His father is cocky, conceited, has constant financial problems... is often bothered with demons, etc."
"...the sewage of X's activity continues to flow through to us He is one of the worst scum who has ever walked across this campus"
Ambassador Report feels that the manpower mentality still predominates at AC. Some have cited the discontinuation of the comprehensive Manpower Committee in 1970 as a sign that all is now well. However, a memorandum from the committee's chairman, Gainer Ted Armstrong, indicates that there is still cause for concern:
"...it will be no handicap whatever for various departments to obtain useful information about prospective employees, or for a smaller group to make requests concerning prospective ministerial assistants...." (Memorandum to All Committee Members, Manpower, Jan. 8, 1970.)
Most of the men who made the assessments and final decisions in manpower meetings are still college administrators, student counselors, department heads, or policymakers for the general student body. They still advise and counsel students, becoming familiar with each student's most intimate problems. Yet the mentality of many of these men remains basically unchanged to this day. It is painfully obvious from their sermons and articles that their positions of prejudice and disregard for students' rights still exist, public pronouncements to the contrary. The reason these harmful prejudices still exist is because the mentality of "ministerial privilege" has never been significantly discouraged nor discontinued from private practice among Ambassador executives.
Ambassador Report feels that student and public awareness of AC's disregard for its students' rights is imperative in order to discourage further abuse by members of the administration. Also, we encourage all AC students to be aware that what they reveal to AC counselors and/or WCG ministers may one day be used against them or passed on to others.
A reliable source inside AC has informed us that one administrator currently secretly records his counselings with students and church members and later has the conversations typed by his secretary for future reference. In light of this report, we feel the need to notify all AC students of their legal right to complete confidentiality in matters of spiritual guidance and their right not to have their personal problems and identities divulged to AC or WCG officials for reasons of employment or any reason whatsoever.
California law clearly states that under no circumstance is a minister allowed to divulge or otherwise disseminate information supplied to him by an individual seeking spiritual guidance. Confidentiality is implied, and any breach of this confidence (especially for reasons of discrimination in employment) is prosecutable under the law.
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