Post-mortem. Part Two

herbie-as-child-final-5

“The unexamined life is not worth living.
-Socrates

Socrates believed that the purpose of human life was personal and spiritual growth. Growth is not possible unless we seek a greater understanding of our true nature and take the time to examine and reflect upon our lives. Understanding our pattern of behavior gives us the conscious understanding of ourselves and the path that we are on. We see those blind spots and set a into a course of action that will correct our deficiencies.

Not so with Herbert W. Armstrong. Indeed, his life was a lavish and rich experience for the time he ran his family business. A life of elegance, surrounded with the finest things that life has to offer….for those with the money to afford such luxuries.  His source of wealth was a group of people who decided to shelf their own self-respect and self-worth and hand it over to a man who made great and boisterous claims. Herbert and the great Creator of the universe were forging the tools necessary for salvation within the 20th century. The “Church of God” was born to rule!

For over 1900 years the world lost sight of the “true gospel” we were told, and Herbie was here to correct that along with his Pal who created it all! Working his little fingers to the bone, the same fingers that fondled his daughter, Herb typed out all the things “god” told him. As his family business grew, the appeals for money went out to all those with insomnia, begging them for their lives. For ones time is their life. God was unable to provide the “true gospel” without these folks contributing their lifeblood to “God” and Herbie’s cause.

Herbie’s “god” was willing to starve families and destroy lives for the work. Starve them through the three tithe system, force divorce between spouses who remarried, and had Herbie hire on men who abused those who made his groups existence possible, and that also allow pedophiles to have their way with the children of other contributors. This was after all, the work of “GOD”!

On the flip side, shall we mention the contributors that find themselves driven towards suicide? Those believers who believe that eternal death (the lake of fire) is better than serving time in a Armstrong church? Herbie didn’t want you to know about that little fact.

Sins of the Apostle

For those who cover over Armstrongs many sins, may a pox be on your house. You continue to close your eyes and enable these type of men with your financial and monetary support. The bible and Christian living is not part of your equation. Your idolatry is however.

You follow men and not the “God” you claim to love and pray too. It is your cult of personality, your elite status of being part of the hoax known as “Gods True Church” that hinders your eyes and plugs your ears! You never live the life that Socrates spoke of and you never even tried to lived the life that Jesus Christ spoke of. The life that is constantly “examined” and that bears the fruit that the “Golden Rule” exemplifies.

 Fruits of the Work. Immorality Justified

  • The practice of drunkenness. Those who never drank come into the church where they are taught “Drink your wine with a merry heart” or “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”    These people become alcoholics and their lives are skewed by living the “unexamined” life. Much of this is learned at the FOT. Ask any maid who had to clean up after these groups.
  • HWA’s Incest. To the shock of many, time ago it was revealed that Herbert was fucking his own daughter. For those of us with a moral compass, we studies the matter and drew the conclusion that indeed the evidence was overwhelming, that this man who claimed he and “God” were on a mission of salvation for all of mankind, did things that should never be done to a innocent child. From AR59 we read:

    “It recently occurred to me that I’ve given the WCG thousands of dollars and only about thirty to AR in the last two years. Yet you folks have done more with the little you’ve been given than the WCG did with the billions they’ve spent over the past five or six decades….I owe you and the other AR contributors a large debt of gratitude. By late 1992 I’d developed several doctrinal disagreements with the WCG but still wanted to remain a member. About that time a friend lent me copies of every issue of AR which I finally had the courage to read. I was left shocked, enraged, and liberated from my blindness. Especially infuriating was the information on HWA’s sexual abuse of his daughter Dorothy between 1933 and 1943 (AR27). Initially I doubted it, but an inquiry of Mr. Gary Antion confirmed the awful truth and it prompted me to send a letter to 35-40 members who I knew personally. They received them on April 19, 1993 as the Branch Davidian compound burned on TV. But few of them were ever opened because the local ministry (Ray Meyer and Warren Heaton) ordered an emergency hotline message to all members saying I was disfellowshipped and commanding them not to open any mail from me. Most of the letters were returned unopened.The following Saturday I was “marked” from the pulpit and called a liar (even though Meyer, days before, had admitted he knew about Armstrong and his daughter). My old church friends and acquaintances were gone. The few who read the letter reacted with a “so what?” response and couldn’t believe I would consider this significant in any way. A decade of incest and hypocrisy had no impact on HWA’s credibility or his “apostleship.” One of those people was Victor Kubik who said he was amazed that I would be concerned about this “blip of history,” as he put it.Like you, I endured accusations of slander and malicious gossip. The truth isn’t for everyone. But for those of us who appreciate it, it is a gift from God. Thank you for helping me end my idolatry and grow closer than ever to God and His truth.”-Mark Thornton Wisconsin

  • Innocence lost. Many of us newbies, including myself, believed in and respected the God we were taught about in our early years. Years that were outside the confines of armstrongism. Most of us I would imagine had a religious background (conventional Christianity) from either our childhood or our early adult lives. I certainly did. We may have laughed at the obvious religious charlatans running their horse and pony shows over at the Trinity Broadcast System, and laugh we did. We thought that we could never be deceived by the religious charlatan. We thought wrong in our arrogance. So we spent time in the gulag participating in the rituals that we were told “pleased” God. After a time, when the scam was exposed, we accepted that we had been taken as fools for the benefit of unscrupulous men.

The time was right to “examine” our lives and the investment of time badly spent. The results of this examination varied between all of us. Some became rabid militant atheists, some embraced conventional Christianity, and others kept looking for that pipe dream, “Gods True Church”. Many of us claimed agnosticism as our mantle. We don’t know if a “God” exists. It is however the most honest answer one could make. You could always change your mind. Whatever decision that was made by the individual, that decision was based on whether or not we “examined” our lives and what values we held dear. For those who were born into the church, this process was life changing and the most difficult of times ever! One had to study a great deal to come to a conclusion. The results of this “examination” bore the results of knowledge accumulated and moral decisiveness on the part of the former Armstrong believer.

  • Suicides. Of all the crimes these cults are responsible for, suicide is the most hideous. How do you get another human being to destroy themselves? Is this not murder when you carelessly discard a person because they cannot meet an impossible criteria? Is it not murder when a person is disfellowshipped and believes his or hers salvation is lost forever? Then they kill themselves because they believe that there is no more hope left? Yes, this is murder! The latest example : Janet C. Privratsky, died by suicide. Her church, the Philadelphia Church of God led by Gerald Flurry, cited their no contact policy and cut her off from any contact from her family members who wanted nothing to do with the cult.

Think for a moment. We were all in a ACOG at one time. What do you think drove Terry Ratzmann to commit mass murder that Saturday back in March of 2005? The man was not disfellowshipped, nor was he in a bad standing within the organization. Could it be something to do with the sermons? Sermons that spoke of endless hopelessness and death? My summation says yes. The LCG is a doomsday cult. They have no hope to offer that one could embrace and gain strength from in order to endure the trials of life. Gerald’s PCG, and Pack’s RCG are the same sorry sacks of shit that were molded from Herbert W. Armstrong’s vision of the world tomorrow. A bogus vision that created a vast empire of wealth and opportunity for those who pull the strings of fear and compromise the integrity of the membership. Such is the conman. Amoral.

 Another Horror Story

I was sexually abused by an elder over probably a longer period of time than I choose to remember. He wrote to them and confessed, but I had no knowledge of this confession until I was twenty-one and the abuser had long since died in a sanatorium. I have four brothers and a sister. Out of the six children, five were sexually abused by people within the church. There have been several suicide attempts.

I am finding unraveling memories from childhood an extremely painful and emotional experience, as I recall instances and experiences which I now know were wrong and evil.

The damage done by this cult to the innocent victims, i.e. the children who did not choose to join and embrace this strange way of life, is irrevocable. My personality was shaped during the sixties and seventies to a degree that I don’t feel a part of “normal” society at all.

Your site disturbs me as the implication seems to be that pedophiles were quite common within the church. Is this the case? If so, what are the reasons?

I never felt loved or wanted as a child and this also seems to be a common thread. The child rearing booklet was probably responsible for that. Were children supposed to be merely a part of a great master plan?

Anna’s Horror Story
(This story was the most disturbing until former members from the Philadelphia Church of God started coming out of the darkness and into the light)

I apologize for the lack of proper English text, spelling etc…..I have just stumbled across your website. I am very glad to find that it exists. I don’t know if you want to hear another horror story…but here mine is….I am not pointing fingers at anyone…I don’t want to do that….this is still too painful for me…and I might go to hell if I point a finger and judge someone now won’t I?

My parents joined the church when I was 5. I remember the Christmas before…it was beautiful…the tree glowed in the living room…I remember opening one of many presents…a doll-which actually walked if you held her hand and walked besides it. That was my last happy memory spent with my parents while growing up. After my parents joined the church they both turned into strict authoritative parents–us kids went from calling our parents Mom and Dad to sir and ma’am. we were struck 20 times with a belt one at a time in a closed bathroom for minor infractions…as the church taught and believed in “spare the rod spoil the child”. Someone stole 15 cents….it was worth us all getting a turn with the belt. Thou shalt not steal after all……anyway the riches stopped for us kids after we joined the church….my parents went from being generous and loving parents to cold cheapskates, for lack of a better word.  I remember not having any clothes….except for a pair of pants and a few shirts.  I didn’t realize at the time that any extra money my parents had were being tithed.–and since my parents had quite a few children, money didn’t go far.  I didn’t even own a pair of underwear. …it wasn’t until I grew up and left the house that it made sense why we never had money for clothes-boots-underwear-pillows for our beds-and mittens (our mittens were socks with sandwich bags over them, and our boots were sneakers with bread bags over them….all tied on with rubber bands.)

 In a way I am glad I grew up so poor….I learned frugality…it taught me survival skill….but this is America after all………….and yet I also remember days of atonement where we all fasted for our sins.  I remember being 10 years old and starving so much I was sick…I remember finding an old crusty hotdog roll that must have been left out for at least a week wadded up with some dirty clothes–and I remember eating that…just to make the pain in my stomach go away.

But yet I digress,,,,I have many stories, but I should get to the point here….and here it is: from my formative years me and my brothers and sisters sat in that church for the 2 to 2.5 hrs every Saturday….we didn’t talk to many people in the church…we always felt like outcasts…maybe because we wore the same clothes week after week…..I don’t know, but we did feel like outcasts…so us kids kept to ourselves.  During sermons we played tic-tac toe, connect the dots and hangman. None of us really listened much to what was being preached…but somehow some of there message got thru to us…to me in particular…I truly believed that the church drove me crazy…as a young child i started having nightmares…I dreamt that my brothers and sisters and parents were all dying around me…I could do nothing to save them…for the days of tribulation and the end times were at hand…night after night.  I dreamt of their miserable deaths…and me? well I loved my brothers and sisters more than anything….but truly I believed I would see this….I remember praying every night to god in heaven and in Jesus Christ’s name to please please let me die first in exchange for my families life…i lived each day straining to hear the trumpets blow…and not knowing what to do if i ever did hear them but to run….and not even stop to put on my shoes, just run!!!!!—-so I grew up in fear….and later my parents quit the church when I was in my mid teens but the damage had already been done…now my parents were certainly doomed.  I believed that we kids all had a chance if my parents were still in the church but with their quitting and all we would certainly all starve to death and die of thirst at the shores of lake Erie with sores all over us while a big ass scary horseman chased us down to torture us some-more.

german-gestapo-officer-n-31Within months of my parents leaving the church I had my first nervous breakdown….where instead of dreaming of the great tribulation I also lived it while awake! Constantly I lived in persecution while the devil sat outside my bedroom window trying to break in…..after a year I came out of it and returned to school…and lived a somewhat normal life, hiding my insecurities from the world…and being as nonreligious as possible therefore blocking that part of my mind out that I couldn’t deal with.  15 years later I suffered another devastating nervous breakdown that took everything including my children from me….again,,,this nervous breakdown occurred when I tried to go back to the church….which only served to throw me back into the living hell that I believed in and still believe in….that nervous breakdown lasted 2 years…I have since moved on…I have won my children back from their father.  I own my own home.  I work…I am a professional…I haven’t set foot in another church since….I am still afraid to pray, thinking it will drive me crazy if I do.  I am still afraid of the monster that could be lurking outside my bedroom window (whether Satan the devil or one of those horseman from god)  I still feel that I am going to watch everyone around me die…I am still miserable…..I am clinically depressed though i receive no treatment for it…a huge part of me is still trying to die….I do not go on dates…I try not to be close to anyone….I am waiting for doomsday…I am waiting for the day of reckoning…I am waiting to watch everyone around me die while I live on in a modern day Hiroshima…I am waiting for god to come down and say ….you and yours just aren’t good enough…so good bye…I never loved you….another big part of me thinks maybe it will be okay …maybe I am forgiven…maybe it’s okay not to attend church not to ever be baptized…maybe I’m forgiven because the church destroyed me…so much that I am not allowed in my own mind to think of god but briefly without feeling unsteady in my own head….for fear of another nervous breakdown…I have no church…but I miss my god…I am sad for myself that not only did the worldwide church of god give me so much to dread and be terrified of in this world but they have also taken my ability to worship Jesus and god as I feel that they should be worshipped.  They have in a sense taken my god from me…and replaced him with a nightmare…not to be picked up, not to scrutinized but to be shut away in a dark corner of my mind…33 years later I am still traumatized still afraid of the things that go bump in the night.   

The Gerringer Letter.

 Even though many knew Herbert W. Armstrong as an evil man, and that the world would have been a better place without him, the facts remain that this man had a profound negative influence on the world. Plain Truth subscriber Denis Michael Rohan tried to set fire to the al-Aqsa Mosque. An event that started a global Islamic political movement. From Ambassador Report we read:

“Soon after Rohan’s attempted Mosque burning Mr. HWA began saying that neither he nor anyone else in the WCG had ever proclaimed that a literal temple had to be built in Jerusalem. When I heard him say it, I believed it — unquestioningly. After all, it would be virtually a sin to question Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong.

Could Mr. HWA’s denials represent a possible credibility problem? situation ethics? expedience? deception? The following quotes helped me decide:

PT, Oct., 1958, page 4, column 31 paragraph 4, HLH: “A temple or sanctuary is yet to be built by the Jews in Jerusalem! … it shall happen in less than 14 years from now!”

PT, June, 1967, page 2, column 2, paragraph 6, HWA: “There will very soon be a Temple in Jerusalem, with daily sacrifices once again being offered … They will invade Jerusalem, and take charge of the Temple.” Page 4, column 2, paragraph 3, HWA: “So there will have to be a temple there!” Page 5, column 1, paragraph 4, Herbert W. Armstrong: “So there will be a temple built on the spot of the old temple in Jerusalem.” Page 5, column 2, paragraph 4, HWA: “Then Revelation 11 shows there will be a temple in Jerusalem.”

PT, Mar., 1968, page 8, column 2, paragraph 3, RCM: “…. a religious center and Temple will be built there (Jerusalem) within the very next few years!” Page 41, column 1, paragraph 2, RCM: “The building of a literal Temple” and “a great religious leader making his Headquarters right in that Temple in Jerusalem” are to be signs that “the END OF this age” is near.

PT, Aug., 1968, page 41, column 2, paragraph 4 GTA: “Bible prophecy specifically states that there WILL BE A TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM.” Column 3, paragraph 3, GTA: “This reveals clearly. that the TEMPLE of which these prophecies speak must be a Temple IN JERUSALEM — on the same site as the one in which Christ spoke; the same site on which Solomon’s Temple had stood. This cannot be some other “temple” in some other area — it must be a temple IN JERUSALEM — or the prophecies of your Bible fail! … He will SIT IN A TEMPLE OF GOD” — ON THE TEMPLE SITE — IN JERUSALEM!”

Why did no one in the WCG speak out against Mr. HWA’s denial of the above statements?”

Another whack job from the 1990’s

Ray Willie Lampley a former WCG member and self-proclaimed “Prophet of the Most High” was arrested for conspiracy to manufacture and possess a bomb. “Sheriff Gray told the Enid News that it was his belief that the bomb about to be assembled was intended for a “test run” near the white separatist community of Elohim City. Said Gray, “From what I’m thinking they probably would do some bombing there and try to lay it on the federal government.” ~AR61

Conclusion

“Every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”

appleThe founder of the Worldwide Church of God was a morally deficient man. Herbert Armstrong’s lifetime work has bore the fruit of death and destruction. Ruined lives and suicides. Poverty and mental illness. Therefore, Armstrongism cannot be a moral religion. It is amoral. And those who are of the tree of Armstrongism should consider:

“The unexamined life is not worth living.
-Socrates

Bad Neighbor

 

final-2

Herbert Armstrong was certainly a bad neighbor. For the most part, he was a bad neighbor to the Church of God Seventh Day.

To picture this better, let’s compare this to the hit movie, Neighbors, where a young couple with a baby has a fraternity move next door. (The movie is so explicit that even some of the previews are rated ‘R’.) It’s what you might expect: The couple dotes on their new baby while the fraternity throws outrageous parties. The couple tries to “make nice” but the antagonist is not having any part of it. Delta Psi has a rich history of epic party moments. Teddy (played by Zach Efron) wants to have his picture on the fraternity wall of fame by throwing the most outrageous end-of-the-year party ever. What follows is a war between the couple and the fraternity.

Early on, Herbert Armstrong wanted his picture on the wall of fame as an apostle, seeking the most epic end-of-the-world party ever! To do this, he leaves the Church of God Seventh Day and begins his own fraternity replete with quite of lot of boozing and sex. The Church of God Seventh Day wants to live in peace with the Radio Church of God next door, but it’s pretty clear early on that there’s going to be war, even if it is a rather one-sided war with Herbert being the antagonist.

Here are a few quotes from Robert Garringer in the 1970s:

Here, perhaps are the real reasons why HWA left the Church of God as put forth by some of his fellow ministers:

John Kiesz: “The real reason seems to have been because of his uncooperative attitude…. Nobody can work with him.”

Brother Helms: “Herbert wouldn’t study…. Herbert was always the big man and everybody else was the little man.”

Elder Haber: “He [HWA] said that he didn’t have to pay any attention to anybody.”

Elder Straub: “Here was the point. We put him on the radio. It was the church…. But he wasn’t willing to study with the ministers, and what the Church of God was teaching…. There was no way of reasoning with the man…. He had his way, he ordered the people….

In 1935 the ministers offered him a study [of British Israelism], to sit together and study it out; they wanted to know. And he flatly denied and said, ‘There will be no study. I’m going to preach what I think should be preached.’ He’s definitely an independent man that takes nothing from nobody…. He won’t listen to any reasoning. What he says just goes. How can one man be so sure?”

It is obvious, then, from history and from the mouths of several different individuals that HWA did not receive his teachings from God by revelation and that he was both a member and minister of the Church of God-which he called the true church and which he left.

Furthermore, just being uncooperative was not enough: Herbert Armstrong decided that the Church of God Seventh Day was the Sardis Era of the church which had a name that it lived but was dead, while he, in his hubris, had concluded that he headed up the Philadelphian Era of the church known for its brotherly love. Herbert Armstrong made snide allusions to the Church of God Seventh Day as not living up to his expectations. He told of his encounter with the leaders and concluded that they did not “radiate power” — his expectation is that they were not ministers of Jesus but were Corporate Business CEOs, so by his evaluation, they weren’t important enough to be anything at all.

Herbert Armstrong was not the sort to love his neighbor as himself. For one thing, he committed incest with his youngest daughter starting at the beginning of his “ministry” continuing for 10 years until her marriage. Apparently, some of those in the Church of God Seventh Day knew of the incest. The incest has also been confirmed by his niece and grandson. This makes Herbert Armstrong the ‘X’ Rated Apostle — worse than the rating on the Neighbors movie.

If we consider the members of the Worldwide Church of God (represented as the fraternity, Psi Chi Gamma) as Herbert Armstrong’s neighbors, the picture gets even worse. Ambassador College may have looked impressive, but there are reasons that Herbert Armstrong himself called it “Satan’s College”, ironic since he was the high school dropout chancellor of the place. Many of the members did not know about the pot parties and beer busts the students of the 1970s era had, but it was not unlike the fraternities of the Greek System. To that add Garner Ted Armstrong who claimed he bedded 200 coeds in 20 years and you have a picture of campus life. Richard Roper of the Chicago Sun Times has to say about the antagonist of the Neighbors movie:

Zac Efron, shirtless through much of the film and sculpted to the point he looks like an entrant in Mr. Universe, Small But Mighty Division, plays Teddy Sanders, one of those guys who knows exactly how great-looking he is and exactly how to turn on the personality to seduce people, whether it’s for sex or “bromance” or to get out of trouble with authority figures. He’s one of those guys you want to despise, but then you meet him and you find yourself saying to the haters, “He’s actually not so bad.”

That pretty much sums up Garner Ted Armstrong: “He’s actually not so bad”. But he was. And not to put too fine a point on it, the same could be said of Herbert Armstrong — that he could be charming when he wanted to be but ruthless when he wanted to be, leaving people to say, “He’s actually not so bad”. But he was.

Now it may be that bad behavior of bad neighbors represented by reprehensible neighbors may be excused after they get through sowing their wild oats, but not so for Herbert Armstrong — his bad behavior persisted up until he died at 93 years old (in his 94th year). Richard Roper had this to say of the movie:

When Mac and Kelly are home, trying to catch sleep or cuddling in bed or spontaneously having sex (“This is happening!” cries Mac) only to be distracted by their newborn, “Neighbors” seems authentic. A couple of scenes between Teddy and Pete, where Pete tells Teddy it’s time to wake up and grow up and think about life beyond the frat house, also ring true.

Herbert Armstrong never did wake up, grow up and think about life beyond his frat house — the frat house was his life. He wasn’t above being vengeful to claim the glory of being right and proving other people who opposed him wrong. It was an ego thing.

Now new chapters of Psi Chi Gamma have popped up with their head frat guys wanting to have their picture on the wall of fame. Certainly, Ronald Weinland has left his mark partying on with his wife with her lingerie from Victoria’s Secret, paid for by the tithes of the PKG, having been convicted of five felonies for Income Tax Evasion. Then there’s bad neighbor, David Pack. He’s a real handful. It’s hard to imagine anyone but those on his payroll ever saying, “He’s actually not so bad!”. Gerald Flurry has his very own DUI online proving that he can party hardy, particularly on a Feast Day. The list goes on and on, but certainly Yisrael Hawkins over his little cult fraternity of the House of Yaweh takes honorable mention for having been featured on several episodes of Dr. Phil — a really bad neighbor, who has had boys 11 years old at labor with no pay for long hours a day (not to mention the polygamy, in some cases with minors). It’s just disgusting.

You’d think these people would grow up some day and abandon the sex, booze, noise, pranks and hubris of fraternity life. It should be inevitable. After all, the Scripture they claim their members should obey (and the hazing of initiation of the pledges is often excruciating) includes that part that false prophets shall be put to death. Each of them has a death sentence, yet they continue to party on other people’s money. They don’t seem to realize they are on probation. Don’t they fear God? Are they atheists?

In any event, they are bad neighbors. The fraternity has moved in next door. Don’t expect much peace. Don’t call the cops — they won’t help.

The best you can do is quietly leave and move away, because — unlike the frats in the movie — they are never going to grow up.

THE LITTLE “BIG MAN”

family-business

 

Chapter 10
Herbert Armstrong is a very complex person. He has partaken deeply
of the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” Stan Rader said in 1978,
“Dave, I know my man.” And he does. He has carefully studied him for over
twenty years. For whatever motives, he has pursued the subject energetically
and at close range.

Dr. Floyd Lochner, who had been a close traveling companion
of HWA for years, attributes many of his personality failings, as
well as his driving ambition, to his short stature. Dr. Lochner’s
theory holds that Herbert was rejected frequently during his early
life due to appearance and lack of physical stature. This, in turn,
fired him with motivation to “get even” with society. Rejection
during his early years would also have caused his life-long
paranoia and emotional instability in certain sectors of his life. He
was rejected frequently by women during those early years. This
left its mark.

Frequently, short men, especially those who are very conscious
of their lack of normal height, compensate in whatever way seems
open to them. Herbert Armstrong discovered he could be a “big
man” behind the pulpit. For the first time in his life he felt power
in a very real sense. And he realized that power came from a
transfer of authority from God to himself in the minds of his
followers. He must always identify God and himself very closely
in the minds of his listeners. More on this later.

Rejection by women early in life and even by his own wife in the
marriage bed (his story) intensified his feelings of persecution and
inadequacy and stimulated his need to prove himself. He wanted
people to think he was a “tiger.” He must prove he was as good
as, and even superior to, other men, even in sex. He had proven
his superiority behind the pulpit, or had he? Was he better than
Ted, even behind the pulpit? Pride, self-doubt, frustration, envy,
love-hate seemed to intensify with age. The old saying, “once a
man twice a boy” was again proven valid.

For instance, he wanted the whole world to know he was able to
perform sexually even in old age, so he had an article to that effect
published in The Worldwide News immediately after his
marriage. He talked long and plainly to college seniors on the
subject of sex – without pulling any punches. He was the “authority”.
He had studied Masters and Johnson and hence had become very “advanced”
on this subject. While he had earlier written the book, God Speaks Out on
“The New Morality,” his newest teachings conflicted quite sharply with his
earlier book. He still presented himself as having God’s view of sex, but
he failed to explain how or why God had radically changed his mind!
His views on sex, taught forcefully, affected the marriage bed of thousands.
He always taught “in the name of Jesus.” All his letters are so signed.
His association with divinity never ceased.He claimed to have
“the mind of God, more than anyone on earth.”

Even people who know of his flagrant disregard for the Ten
Commandments are a little afraid of Herbert Armstrong’s divine
authority! Ears that have heard him state that authority for so
many years have a hard time ridding themselves of that loud ring.
He can present himself as the kindliest and most benevolent of
men before an audience – radiating a real grandfather image. He
can come across as having only love in his heart and put on the
most charming smile. He can laud and praise a man above all
others and then turn and destroy the very man whom he has so
lavishly praised. He can brag powerfully about a man before an
audience, then turn privately, almost immediately, and lacerate
the same man unimaginably. As Sherwin McMichael said once to
me, “Mr. Armstrong’s back trail is literally strewn with the
wreckage of men who have faithfully served him.”

While Herbert Armstrong’s body is short and his shoulders
slope in unmasculine fashion, his voice is powerful. He has said
on occasion that he inherited his voice from his father. It was one
of the very best speaking voices of this century in America. One
need but compare his tapes of twenty-five years ago with those of
Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, and the quality of his
voice is unmistakable. If anything, it is better. It carries remarkable
quality of command. The sad part is that there is not the godly character
to match the voice.

During the time when Herbert Armstrong was in his formative
years, the ideal planted in so many Americans was to become rich,
preferably as an industrialist, be respected, live very well in a very
fine home, support the arts, travel abroad in style, and associate
with royalty. If there were a daughter, she should marry a count,
a lord, or even possibly a duke. When such people of that period
followed these practices and then returned home, they tended to
look down on ordinary people as inferior.

After all, had not they stayed in the very grandest hotels
abroad, and had not they been presented at royal courts? No
matter that some of the “royalty” were pretenders, and some of
the titles were not valid. No matter if many of those people were
profligate. It was the image, the illusion. That was what was
important. Americans of that period were prepared to spend
fortunes on such projects. That was the ultimate in living. And
throughout his life, Herbert Armstrong was very conscious of
image. That was more important than substance.

It seems that in Herbert Armstrong’s old age, he must live out
that illusion, live the earlier dream of another age, and now do
what he had dreamed so vividly of doing in his youth in Chicago.
His mixing with “the great and the near-great” of those days
must have inspired fantasies he attempted to live out just as soon
as it was possible – on church funds, even as an octogenarian.
Now, he was able to visit with “kings, emperors, presidents,
governors, judges, and rulers,” thus making up for the
deprivations of the past. If there is anyone thing Herbert
Armstrong despises, it is being poor and all that goes with it. He
has long bragged that he never looks to see what a steak costs
when he goes into a restaurant. That is beneath his dignity. His
restaurant bills are astronomical, and especially so when one
considers the financial state of his church. He does live “deliciously.”

His son, Ted, used to tell the story of his dad’s suit-buying
habits. He said his dad would much prefer to, and did, pay twice
as much to buy a suit in a store frequented by the very rich than to
get the same suit at another store where he might not be seen by
the wealthy. Again, it was all image. That is the important thing
to remember. One cannot understand HWA without understanding the
importance to him of image. He likes enormously riding in a black or
dark blue Cadillac limousine driven by a chauffeur. He rides in the back
seat, usually, like a potentate. He dresses to the hilt, and bystanders
would be hard pressed to think he is a preacher. They might think him to be a
movie maker, a rich visiting foreigner, an industrialist, or such,
but never a preacher or person involved in religion.

One could not imagine him riding on a mule, walking many
miles in the dust of Judea, suffering hardship, going in and out
among the people, evading the famous, or giving himself for
others, for example.

Many of those who have known him long, including some of
his own family, report he has always talked of conspiracy
against himself. He saw everybody, including his own family,
as collaborators against him. His persecution complex was
always strong.

When one examines the record objectively, it seems he himself
has been the greatest conspirator of all. Members of his alienated
family report his strange reading habits. According to these
accounts, he read, very carefully, even studied for a long period
of time, Adolph Hitler’s book, Mein Kampf. He was especially
impressed with Hitler’s methods of crowd control, his methods of
intimidation and domination of other men. He was impressed by
Hitler’s method of moving swiftly during the hours between
midnight and dawn when he wanted to pull off a coup. (Hitler
thought men’s resistance was weakest during those hours.) Events
of recent years abundantly demonstrate the effectiveness of such
methods. Of course, that was not the way Christ worked!

There can be no doubt at all that HWA uses intimidation
masterfully. Neither is there any doubt he will not have anyone
around him that he cannot dominate, or intimidate, except Stan
Rader. But that is a whole story by itself. He literally makes timid
those who work with him. It is as if he wanted to “possess” them!
When so much evil is done in the name of God, one must ask:
Could or would God really expect people to honor and obey
such a man? Is this man really “the only apostle of the twentieth
century”?

Herbert Armstrong explains that “in the name of” means “by
the authority of,” and when he speaks “in the name of Christ,”
he means by the authority of Christ. He means that Christ is
directing him. But there is a major problem. He makes too many
conflicting statements. Try this: Get out all of the letters, articles,
and proclamations he has written over the past twenty-five years
and attempt to reconcile them. That is a real exercise in frustration.
Confusion, which God is not the author of (I Cor. 14:33), is abundantly
evident. Yet all his letters were signed “In Jesus’ Name.”

All great confidence men are masters of rationalization. They
can give excellent reasons that sound completely plausible for
doing what they want you to do. Herbert Armstrong’s ability in
this field is unsurpassed.

None of his letters was more masterful than the one he wrote to
church members on November 22, 1978, to explain why Quest/78
should be kept by the church. (He had promised to dispose of that
questionable property a short time before.)

He was very proud of the letter he wrote to the membership in
1974 while on an emergency flight back from Manila to handle the
unrest in the church at that time because of stories about Ted. He
told me he stayed up all night writing that letter. Interestingly
enough, when I asked Stan about it, he said that was incorrect, as
he had written it himself!

Dr. Lochner, who should know, says that Stan actually “puts
words in Herbert Armstrong’s mouth.” He tells him what to say,
often verbatim!

Al Carrozzo, writing in the 1977 Ambassador Report in an
article entitled “The Profligate Son,” has this to say about
HWA’s true character and motivations:

“On May 22, 1973, at 1:00 p.m., Ted left me with no
doubts as to his father’s real motivation, intentions, and
modus operandi. In a private, three-hour meeting in his
office, Ted told me he specifically disagreed with his father
on many issues, including doctrine. He explained his dad
desperately wanted to be accepted by the world, and that
was the reason he was traveling around the world
continuously, seeking the favor and audience of world
leaders.
“Ted admitted he had seen his father ‘stone drunk’ on
dozens of occasions. He stated his father had told him that
he (Herbert) would do anything to keep the “Work” afloat
– including lying, stealing, and bribery. I was shocked, of
course, but later I personally saw Herbert ‘stoned’ on
several occasions and caught him in numerous lies. I began
to see those lies in his member and co- worker letters, and
these lies have continued to this day.
”The year of 1973 was one of revelation for me. I learned
of Ted’s profound and long-enduring sexual activities,
Herbert’s total cover-up, corruption at the highest level in
the WCG, Herbert’s pleasure blasts around the world under
the guise of preaching the true gospel, squandering of vast
sums of money on extravagant art treasurers, exploitation
of gullible and hard-pressed people, gross doctrinal error,
and suppression of human beings – mentally, emotionally,
physically, and spiritually. Yes 1973 proved to me that
dishonesty was a way of life with Ted and his father, and
that way of life hasn’t changed to this very day”

 

“Why I Don’t Celebrate Christmas”

Remember back in your school days that there were kids who didn’t celebrate Christmas? Maybe you were one.


Mr. Thompson: Now Billy will tell us what he is going to do over the holidays. Billy…

Billy: My family and I don’t celebrate Christmas because Mr. Armstrong said it was pagan. My minister at church says that Christmas really isn’t celebrating the birthday of Jesus, but that it is Satan’s holiday. And that Jesus was not even born in the winter season!

We don’t exchange gifts either because the wise men only gave gifts to baby Jesus. Our minister says we should give to God by sending extra money to the church instead.

Mr. Thompson: (Interrupting) Billy, this is suppose to be about what your going to do during the holidays! Continue please…

Billy: Ok Mr Thompson. My family and me are going to meet our church friends to celebrate our winter holiday. It is lots of fun playing with my friends. My dad gets to meet with the other dads over in the bar. They have lots of fun in there but my dad will probably get angry again. We don’t have the kind of fun that other people do by celebrating Christmas. There will be a tree at the winter holiday, but we don’t put it up. The other people don’t know that they celebrate Nimrod the mighty hunter against the Lord birthday. They hang up ornaments of angels on trees that represent dead babies. The other ornaments on the tree are Nimrods Testicles! Did you know that on Nimrods birthday the pagan people used to feed babies to the fire? It’s true and….

Mr. Thompson: (Interrupting again) Billy, that is horrible! Who teaches that kind of stuff to you??? Your parents?

Billy: Oh no Mr. Thompson, our church teaches us God’s word. It’s in the bible. Mr. Armstrong was God’s apostle and a special prophet and God taught him this stuff! He told us that Santa really is another name for Satan.

The audience is now in shock at this point….

Mr. Thompson: (Interrupting a third time) Billy, don’t you keep those Jewish days as a holiday? Do you know where they came from?

Billy: Yes Mr. Thompson. God gave them to ancient Israel. They were God’s special people and our church is descendants of them and the promises God made.

Mr. Thompson: Billy, those “holidays” that your family celebrates are also of pagan origin. Did you know that? In the old times, ancient Canaanite festivals were adopted just as Christmas was adopted centuries ago. These ancient Israelite festivals have Canaanite origins, and I can prove this because of the agricultural characteristics and because some ancient Israelite months have the same names as the Canaanite months for their own religious purposes. So you see Billy, all festivals are pagan. It is just in what spirit you keep them in. Remember, it is all about our attitude when…

Billy: (Interrupting) But Mr. Thompson, my family is part of God’s true church and God cannot lie!

Mr. Thompson: (Patience running thin) Billy, I know that you mom and dad keep Thanksgiving, don’t they? Is that also pagan?

Billy: No Mr. Thompson, it’s all right to keep Thanksgiving because God inspired Thomas Jefferson and Mr. Franklin to write our constitution. That means it is all right with God!

Mr. Thompson: (Sighing) Billy, the founders were mostly atheists. Did you know that? How did you pass your history class last year???

Billy: I don’t know…

Mr. Thompson: And for your information, Thanksgiving also has it’s origins in paganism. European harvest festivals copied and adopted by the new Americans.

Billy: Well, we don’t practice drunkenness and gluttony like everyone else does! And we don’t promote idolatry by having Christmas trees in our houses. Jeremiah 10 says “Do not learn the ways of the nations, the practices of the peoples are worthless. They cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman makes it with his chisel. The people decorate it with silver and gold. They nail it with a hammer so it will not fall over. Their idols cannot speak and they must be carried.” So you can see Mr. Thompson, Christmas trees are pagan!

Mr. Thompson: Billy! Jeremiah is condemning idolatry! The people back then made little statues of their gods! That passage you remembered so well is not talking about Christmas trees, but idols!

An idol is an image or other object representing a deity to which religious worship is addressed or any person or thing regarded with blind admiration, adoration, or devotion. What did you say the name was of your churches apostle?

Billy: (Looking down at the floor) Mr. Armstrong.

Mr. Thompson: Very well Billy. You may sit down and we will hear something from another student that may well be more uplifting and intelligent. Go on, sit! Mary, will you come up here and tell us what you will be doing this holiday season….