Herbert Armstrong’s TANGLED WEB
An Insider’s View Of The Worldwide Church of God
From Herbert Armstrong’s Tangled Web…
HWA’S MARRIAGE AND ILLNESS
The whole church had looked on Loma Armstrong with deep respect and great fondness. She had conducted herself with dignity and love toward members of all levels. She was kindly and had the manner of a noblewoman. She certainly had the common touch as well. Her eyes exuded real warmth and concern for whomever she talked to. She stood straight, dressing with both modesty and real taste at the same time. She was a genuine lady. Her character was evident, and she was trusted. The whole church was deeply saddened by her death in 1967. She had meant so much to so many. The church sustained a loss far greater than it then knew. Her character had been far greater than her husband’s, and the church was a decade in finding that out. Because Herbert Armstrong is surprisingly easily influenced and because his wife Loma’s influence had been in the direction of Christian living, when that influence was gone, it was replaced by a different influence. On a number of occasions, even Herbert Armstrong is reported by his son and top officials of the church to have labeled that influence as of a wrong spirit. In Tucson, on July 4, 1979, he told me Stan Rader was only involved in the areas of accounting and legal work, and in no other! Yet, within three months, he had ordained Stan as an evangelist, the second-highest rank in the Worldwide Church of God! And, it is an ecclesiastical office, having nothing to do with those areas mentioned by him in Tucson!
This is the influence HWA complained of to Wayne Cole when Wayne was still director of the field ministry in the church. Tapes of those phone conversations have been widely distributed. Excerpts of them were even played on the CBS program “60 Minutes.” There are many who believe Stan’s influence took over where Loma’s influence lapsed at her death. There is ample reason for thinking so. Herbert Armstrong has been “in love” a number of times during the past decade. He said himself he had been “in love” with “Amy” when she was 25 years old. He reported this to a group at Big Sandy in 1974. He did say, when it was over, that he thought it might have been infatuation. But earlier there had been the young Filipino girl whom he had brought over to this country, according to widespread reports. However, he never did bring her to church with him! He apparently kept her under wraps.
Many think Ramona Martin, whom he married, was working for Stan. You still hear those reports. In any case, this marriage was some time in the making. There were stories circulated about the relationship and what happened on their trips abroad. As Herbert Armstrong is so fond of saying, “Where there is so much smoke, there has to be some fire.” Using this principle, there certainly had to be a lot of fire! Such stories still float around in shockingly graphic detail. Herbert Armstrong’s pending marriage delivered a massive blow to his reputation. When the age difference was combined with floating rumors, his real reputation could never survive among those in the know. While some still nominally supported him, that support was, in the main, based on salary considerations. The old solid respect had gone with the wind. Like Humpty Dumpty, it could never be put back together again.
Church literature was subverted to report the Tucson wedding in the most glowing terms. The May-December wedding was made to sound like a storybook romance, when, in truth, it was a travesty. While Ted relented at the last minute and performed the wedding, it still had grotesque overtones. Ted tells the story of his father’s relating to him the next day in unbelievable detail his oral sex with his new wife. Ted tells people he was so embarrassed, horrified, and repulsed he wanted to hide. Herbert Armstrong had taught for so many years that oral sex was totally wrong. But in his world travels he had changed his mind about so many things that now he was prepared to water down doctrine. It certainly had been church doctrine that oral sex was wrong before God. His deep interest in Masters and Johnson’s sex teachings seemed genuine, but there were grave doubts raised about this being the first time he had opportunity to practice the techniques of his teachers!
However, the fears of the wags were soon justified. He suffered a massive heart attack. Few were surprised. Young wives and 85-year-old men are seldom compatible. The inevitable occurred.
Ted reported his father very sick at Feast time, 1977. Ted flew by and visited with him before beginning the circuit. He said his father, in a low voice, begged him not “to take the church away from him” that year. He was not to hold ministers’ meetings, not to undermine him.
It certainly is evident that had Ted intended to do so, then was his opportunity. He didn’t do it. It would have been rather easy to hold a directors’ meeting and pass the necessary legal motion. Then it would have been done. But he didn’t do that, as he responded to his father’s sickbed request.
When Herbert Armstrong made the next moves against his real son in favor of his “other son, Stan,” his whole being was set to finish off Ted. This action reminded me of Constantine’s conduct in killing his son Crispus a short time before his own death. Many an old ruler who had such power has done such deeds just before he went to his grave. Among those who did such things was Herod the Great, of Bible fame.
As Lord Acton wrote, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
More on Herbert Armstrong’s sex problems HERE.