Plagiarism and The Putz
By Roger Blakesley
Just because HWA combined ideas from other sources, is not proof that it is false.
Outright plagiarism is bad. It shows poor character. If any of us were trying to make some point about Herbie, which we weren't. It is that his poor character and inflated pride disallowed him from admitting that others might be more clever than he. And from that he leapt to telling lies. Lies about his sources. Lies about direct inspiration from God. Yeah, right, an "ANGEL" took over his steering wheel and drove him to a guy's house to be miraculously healed according to Herbert's conviction of what the man's theology should be.
Evangelists cook that crap up all the time. It's par for the course. Especially if you think of your audience as "drones" which Herbie and his ilk do.
And lies lead to cover-up. Lies make it easier to tell more lies. And more lies lead to bigger cover-ups, and hence a bigger shield of deniability around oneself. It, in short, (which Herbie was) leads to megalomania.
Jetting around buying 10-20 minute audiences with $250,000 charity cheques and Steuben crystal is what it leads to.
No, synthesizing things is good.
My example, the telephone: Bell synthesized the work of, basically, theoreticians:
Scott, for the diaphragm mike. Faraday for the electricity creating coil Oersted for the magnetism-mechanical proof And Helmholtz for creating electric vibrations back to sound.
(From James Burke's Connections book.)
What is falsifiable about Herbert W. Armstrong's doctrines is the fact that they don't jibe with the Bible, History, or Science. (Herbie used to be a 6000 year creationist. Until he stole the ancient Universe/recreated earth theory from Scofield.
In the early '80s it was announced that there would be a new version of Herbert's book WHY WERE YOU BORNNNN?????!!!! because of a technical error regarding the proof of God's existence because there was uranium.
The argument for God's existence based on the fact that there is uranium, which eventually decays to lead, is that if the Universe were infinitely old, there would be no uranium, it would have all decayed. Therefore the Universe isn't infinitely old, this implies that there is a Creator who made undecayed Uranium. Therefore the Bible is correct; The Universe is 6000 years old. Q.E.D.
Well, Herbert had long ago snitched Scofield's idea of a recreated earth after a satanic power struggle. But the uranium argument's implications continued to be published in WHY WERE YOU BORN!!!!!!???? unnoticed by the editors. Those editors, probably being a product of AC education thus had no scientific discernment with which to see the potential embarassment to Herbie. Well, eventually someone noticed. Probably a reader of the book who wrote Pasadena.
It was announced that the book would be changed.
Never admit to error. Like the New Yorker magazine.
Herbert Armstrong was a shameless plagiarizer, thief and snob. Just because he was a synthesizer doesn't make what he said wrong. What he said makes what he said wrong enough. One can hear clear Mozart influence in Beethoven's first two symphonies. That doesn't make them non-symphonies. But Beethoven went on to excel and to shine in genius as has not been topped since the Beatles. The Beatles were synthesizers. But what they used: Berry, Elvis, Richard; was fodder for genius.
Herbert did none of that. He copied. And then he stopped. He never shined or excelled. Except, perhaps, in the fact that he was a magnificent radio talent. Walter Williams, Paul Harvey and Rush Limbaugh are all in the class of radio greats with Herbert W. Armstrong. A great orator, I'll give him that.
But that's it.
Otherwise, he was a putz.
If you have anything you would like to
submit to this site, or any comments,
email me at:
CLICK HERE FOR EMAIL ADDRESS.
The content of this site, including but not limited to the text and images herein and their arrangement, are copyright © 1997-2002 by The Painful Truth All rights reserved.
Do not duplicate, copy or redistribute in any form without the prior written consent.