According to the following article,
ministers were instructed to lie,
but it was all for the
good of the church, I'm sure.
Harper's Magazine July 1973
"The Plain Truth About The Armstrongs and the World Tomorrow"
Begin Quote in the middle of a 6 page article:
The sacred canopy
The Armstrongs protect their sacred canopy with fanatical determination. Because the church's teachings on medicine and divorce are potential sources of damaging litigation and negative publicity that might result in loss of contributions, the original versions of the booklets Does God Heal Today? and Divorce and Re-marriage have been withdrawn.
Ministers have been instructed to continue preaching doctrine these booklets contained but to be extremely careful in any situation that might cause trouble for the church.
In a special instruction letter to ministers dated July 18, 1969, Roderick Meredith stated that, if a couple is told to separate, the decision must always be delivered "verbally, in person" "Do not," Meredith warned, "under ANY circumstance, put the decision in writing! It could be used against us in court ..."
Ministers in the Akron, Ohio, area received a similar set of detailed instructions on how to avoid legal problems that might arise when failure to seek medical aid resulted in death. This six-page document offers the following recommendations:
Don't say anything!
Avoid telling anyone that you knew the person was seriously ill.
... If you are a witness, there is no better way out than the old time-worn clich‚: "Look, I just don't want to get involved."
... Deny any knowledge that the ailment was serious...
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 him immediately."
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