Herbert Armstrong wrote a lot of booklets which made promises — actual and implied. When we go back through and review the booklets he and his staff wrote in the light of what has actually happened, it is clear that the great swelling promises and prognostications were profoundly empty. Looking back, the booklets now seem crassly hypocritical. The Radio Church of God, Herbert Armstrong and the Worldwide Church of God never measured up to the very standards they set. The slide show includes only 39 of the booklets:
- Answers from Genesis (1973)
- Are We Living in the Last Days (1971)
- A True History of the True Church (1959: ‘Dr.’ Herman Hoeh)
- Ending Your Financial Worries (1959)
- Has Time Been Lost? (1952)
- Hippies, Hypocrisy and Happiness (1968)
- How to Have a Happy Marriage
- How to Understand Prophecy (1972)
- Is this the End Time (1971)
- Just What Do You Mean Conversion? (1972)
- Life After Death (1973)
- Military Service and War (1967)
- Never Before Understood: Why Humanity Cannot Solve Its Evils (1981)
- Pagan Holidays or God’s Holy Days? (1976)
- Seven Proofs of God’s True Church (1974: Garner Ted Armstrong)
- The Bible: Superstition or Authority? …and can you prove it? (1985)
- The Incredible Human Potential (1978)
- The Key to the Book of Revelation (1952)
- The Mark of the Beast (1952)
- The Middle East in Prophecy (1948)
- The Missing Dimension in Sex (1964)
- The Modern Romans (1971)
- The Plain Truth about Child Rearing (1963)
- The Plain Truth about Healing (1979)
- The Proof of the Bible (1958)
- The Real Jesus (1971: Garner Ted Armstrong)
- The Seven Laws of Radiant Health (1955: Roderick Meredith)
- The Seven Laws of Success (1961)
- The Truth about Make-Up (1964)
- The United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy (1964)
- The White Horse: False Religion (1976)
- The Wonderful World Tomorrow: What Will It Be Like? (1973)
- This is the Worldwide Church of God (1971)
- To Kill a People (1971)
- What Is the True Gospel (1955)
- What Science Can’t Discover About the Human Mind (1978)
- Why Were You Born? (1957)
- World Peace: How Will It Come? (1978)
- Your Awesome Future: How Religion Deceives You (1978)
- 1975 in Prophecy (1956)
Moral Mazes aptly describes what is represented by this list of Armstrongist publications:
From the standpoint of public relations, the journalistic ideology closely resembles the social outlook of most college seniors — a vague but pious middle-class liberalism, a mildly critical stance toward their fathers in particular and authorities in general; a maudlin of championship of the poor and the underclass; and especially the doctrine of tolerance, open-mindedness, and balance. In fact, public relations people feel, the news media are also constructing reality. They are always looking for a “fresh” and exciting angle; they have an unerring instinct for the sentimental that expresses itself in a preference for “human interest” rather than substance; and they arrange facts in a way that purports to convey “truth,” but is in fact simply another story. In reality, news is entertainment. And, despite the public’s acceptance of journalistic ideologies, most of the public watch or read news not to be informed or to learn the “truth,” but precisely to be entertained. There is no intrinsic reason, therefore, why the constructions of reality by public relations specialists should be thought of as any different from those of any group in the business of telling stories to the public. Everyone is telling stories and everyone has a story to tell. Public relations men and women are simply storytellers with a purpose in the free market of ideas, advocates of a certain point of view in the court of public opinion. Since any notion of truth is irrelevant or refers to at best what is perceived, persuasion of various sorts becomes everything.
And there it is. Armstrongism isn’t about truth; it is simply about manipulating perceptions to evoke responses to their story telling. Herbert Armstrong was an ad copy writer, after all. As such, he lined up some facts, threw in some colorful descriptions and weaved his fictional stories. The booklets in the slides presentation above is representative of this magical world of the ‘magic lantern’, creating illusions illustrating imaginary constructs of perceived ‘reality’. There is neither truth nor reality in any of it. It is all fake.
Moreover, it isn’t just about Herbert Armstrong and his ‘public relations’ advertising hirelings, it is also about The Journal, which is exposed for what it is in the brief description given by Robert Jackal; to wit: the pursuit of a “fresh” and exciting angle with an unerring instinct for the sentimental that expresses itself in a preference for “human interest” rather than substance; and the facts are arranged in a way that purports to convey “truth,” but is in fact simply another story — in reality, it is merely infotainment. The editor reveals his true self when he speaks of the doctrine of tolerance, open-mindedness, and balance — while secretly harboring contempt for the “farmer theologians” who deign to advertise in its pages.
Moral Mazes has framed it and nailed it in the landscape of the church cult corporate of lies, deceits, conceits, fiction, fantasy — all parading as religious truth — which, if it be told, can be demonstrated as pure rubbish if you but stand back and look at the chaotic mess it represents.
Dr. James Milam, in his book, Ending the Drug Addiction Pandemic: Discovering the Liberating Truth, in Chapter 2: Core Evidence (page 17), says:
Within the big lie all of the component falsehoods have been carefully crafted to support each other in concealing the whole truth. To assemble the abundance of decisive scientific and clinical evidence comprising the biogenic paradigm it is necessary to identify, define, and disentangle each piece of the truth from the corresponding part of the shroud of disinformation that has so carefully hidden for so long. Surrounded by the support of the others each falsehood has become an inarguable given truth. It is therefor necessary to confront and discredit them one by one until the whole fabric of disinformation is disposed of.
He adds this sentence in Chapter 3: The Language of Denial (page 34):
The familiar comes to seem normal and every big lie develops its own familiar language of deception that conceals the truth while purporting to represent it.
In the end, Armstrongism promises the truth and fails to deliver. What it delivers instead is empty promises which can never be fulfilled.