There was a great piece in the in the Pasadena Star News recently by Larry Wilson. The article is about Bobby Fischer and a new play about his wacky life. The interesting thing to me is the first few comments.
Pasadena has been home to the emergence of several wacko men who achieved greatness with their far out beliefs. L Ron Hubbard and Scientology, Jack Parsons of JPL and his descent into demonism and the dark arts, G G Green and his patent medicines and more. Add to that mix Herbert Armstrong and his empire and Bobby Fischers descent into madness through his affiliation with Armstrongism.
He starts the article off with this quote:
WHAT is it with Pasadena and wacko visionary celebrities of the oddest stripe?
Maybe not so much now - although several lurk.
But, in the `40s and `50s, L. Ron Hubbard when he was still a mere science fiction writer and JPL co-founder and dark arts practitioner Jack Parsons; in the pioneer era huckster geniuses such as Colonel G.G. Green - patent medicines - and "Professor" Thaddeus Lowe, the Civil War aeronaut who made millions in hydrogen and lost it all on the failed alpine resort at Mt. Lowe.
All three of the above lived on South Orange Grove Boulevard. So did a later wacko - or just off of it, at least. Chess genius and if anything deeper wacko Bobby Fischer moved to Pasadena in the 1980s because of a truly weird affiliation with the Worldwide Church of God, center of Herbert W. Armstrong's empire at the magnificent Ambassador College campus on the boulevard and just east of it.
Bobby Fishers association with Armstrongism is legendary. It made the news in Pasadena for many years. All the books currently out talk about how Armstrong and the Church exploited him for the publicity, then kept encouraging as he descended into madness.
Fischer was one of those creepiest of the creepy unfortunates in this world - a massively anti-Semitic Jew. So he latched on to the WCG as a port in his personal storm, when he'd achieved his lifetime goal of a world chess championship and then after a time declined to defend his title as he went more and more insane.Fischer found several compatriots that were anti-Jewish in Armstrongism. There has always been that undercurrent of antisemitism present in the Church. Many try to deny it, but it was there. Some of the men in LCG and UCG were the men who were passing around The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and other anti-Semitic books.
One would think that a church would not be involved in this stuff, would be setting the example on what it means to be people of faith and morality, but that has never been the case with us. It's been one news story after another. Adulterous leaders, fornicating Elders, rapists, murderers, thieves, preachers of aberrant doctrine and more. The list could go on for many more paragraphs. Armstrongism has left a sad trail of destruction it's wake. So much for being agents of the Kingdom of God! Like many others, I have to say "No Thanks!"
Read the entire article here: Larry Wilson: Bobby Fischer makes it back to Pasadena