Sunday, December 27, 2015

Vern Mattson On Herbert Armstrong Committing Incest

Here is an excerpt from a letter from a former COG member that talks about Herbert Armstrong committing incest with his daughter Dottie.
 They found that at this time, Vern Mattson resided in Sun City, AZ., the year being 2010. Upon finding their number, my dad simply called them. Vern Mattson picked up. Dad just told him that he was a member of the Philadelphia Church of God and had been for a few years, raising his children in the Worldwide and in the PCG. Then, he just told him what my mom had heard and could these things be true? And, if they were, our dad's big question was, to Vern Mattson, why didn't someone, somebody in their family come out years ago, and tell the WCG, the truth?  

First thing out of Vern Mattson's mouth was that he couldn't believe that there was now an actual college named after Herbert Armstrong in Oklahoma3, and why would they do that? My dad's answer was, starting with Gerald Flurry, right on down, they firmly believed that he (Herbert W. Armstrong) was God's man. Whatever, over the years, that the leaders or members have heard or seen, no way would it or could it be believed! He told him, it's who they are, it's their lives, just like it was ours.  

It's what our fathers have taught us and on down the line it goes!! My dad said it was pretty quiet on the other end there, for a bit. Then he heard the words, "Well, it's true. You can believe it."  

He said he really had no problem talking about it now, because his wife Dottie [Dorothy], had just recently passed.4 He said it made him angry, sickened them for a long time, because of the thousands of people out there, in the WCG, that really had no idea! He told my dad things that evening, on the phone, that my dad felt responsible to tell me.   

Vern Mattson said, over the years, with all that's out there now, on these computers, David Robinson's book, and plenty others written by his top ministers; he said, you got the Ambassador Report, full of documented facts and dates, exposing all the lies, mishandling of money, the incest with his own daughter.5 When I found out what he had done to my wife when she was just a young girl, you see we raised a daughter too, this was his own daughter, scaring and hurting her like that, over and over again, I was going to kill him!  

I won't forget her words, years ago, when she asked me, how could a great and loving God go against Himself like that, by calling a man to raise up His "one and only true Church," a man that would hurt his own daughter like that?  

To all the fathers out there who have a daughter, your little girl, how would you answer that?  

I can tell you how Herbert Armstrong answered that, because of the last thing Vern Mattson told my dad on the phone that day, something he said, he has never forgotten. 

His wife, Dottie [Dorothy], told him of an incident that had happened back in the late `30s or so, that he could never ever repeat, but what he could say, was that she was pleading with her father one night, she wanted it to stop. (Herbert Armstrong had her in a hotel room, and her voice was overheard by others, and a person who worked there came knocking on their door, wondering if anything was wrong?) His reply, his answer--the man we so strongly believed in--his answer when my wife, his daughter, his little girl, cried out to him, was:  "God gave you to me and it is my job to teach you. This will help you to be a better wife someday."  

So there you are.

The entire letter can be read here on the Exit and Support web site.


Anonymous said...

One minister said there were no witnesses to this crime so it didn't happen.
But the truth is established from 2 or 3 and those 3 are the state of Arizona, his brother's daughter and his grandson who say it was common knowledge in the family.
When I saw all this plainly, I was done.

Byker Bob said...

I live a couple of miles away from the Mattsons, and in fact, noticed back sometime in 2006 that their phone number was in my phone book. I made a conscious decision at that time not to call them, not to explore something that, if it did happen, had caused unimagineable pain in their lives from the late 1930s and into the present. People think that those of us who post on the so-called "dissident" sites are into it for the ego. Yeah, if I had made the call, I would have been the darling of all the Anti-ACOG sites for a while, and I knew that. But causing the Mattsons extra pain was not worth it to me. I felt that I had enough information already for me personally to know that Armstrongism was a false religious system, and that the extra mileage someone might get out of positive proof of the incest wasn't worth the extra pain it would cause to Mr. and Mrs. Mattson. Let's face it, if HWA had been caught fellating Boy George in a London bathroom, and even if he had been filmed on security videotape doing it, the ministers presiding over the ACOGs and the stalwart church members would just deny it anyway.

Having said all of that, I believe this individual whose father did what I was unwilling to do. Three strikes and you are out. Two of the Armstrong grandchildren, and one son-in-law confirm the guilt. I think the people who are still involved in Armstrongism have a decision to make. But, they probably won't.


Anonymous said...

Armstrongs personal sins do not directly harm church members. His church deceptions do. One instance, his 'give way' is simply the game of the unjust steward hidden by religious window dressing. Ever noticed that no supporting scriptures are given. Sincere members world wide are being robbed blind by church rednecks as a consequence. Not surprisingly, these rednecks endlessly sing his praise. What part of 'don't steal' didn't Armstrong and his admirers understand?

Anonymous said...

I am repeating a post I made a few days ago. I have rejected the "new truths" that HWA brought into the WCG while he was raping his daughter. British Isrealism and keeping the Hebrew holy days where brought in while he was engaged in this perverted behavior. How can God reveal "new truths" through a disgusting person like HWA? I have left the UCG and fellowship with the 7th day Advantist local congregation. I refuse to stay with a religion that was started by a pervert.

Some will say that Ellen G. White wasn't perfect but at least she wasn't a pervert!

Anonymous said...

Byker Bob - it may have made a difference for me and perhaps others, had you confronted Vernon and reported on the matter. I keep hoping the incest did not happen - not because I revere the old asshole but because I just don't want the rape of a daughter to be true. It may be easier for me to believe that HWA's enemies made it up than to believe any father could rape his daughter. Since I do not know of the integrity of the person who wrote this letter, hearing from another trusted source would help me accept the story.

Sane Con said...

Anonymous 10:10

Ellen G. White had other issues (plagiarism and the like). To be a sane voice in the SDA church, I recommend books and other works from Dr. Desmond Ford.

Byker Bob said...

8:21, there is already enough dirt out there, enough direct testimony, and enough disproof of the prophecies, theories, and doctrines. If "they" don't want to acknowledge the incest, we really don't need it on top of that already existing mountain in order to move forward with our lives. We can know with certainty that our past beliefs were theological garbage. Also, this is not like my confronting an ACOG splinter over the DNA evidence against British Israelism in '03 for Painful Truth articles. This is different, because it isn't about doctrine, it is about something deeply personal, that even many of us who are no longer in the church wish had never happened. It has to do with just letting an elderly man who has already suffered enough grief over it live out the rest of his days in whatever peace he can find. If Mr. Mattson ever decides to go public, Troy would probably be the best person to interview him. But, I'm telling you right now, people in the ACOGs would still not believe it. The minute they hear it, they think someone is blaspheming their apostle.


Lake of Fire Church of God said...

We are leaving out Garner Ted Armstrong in this discussion. There is an old Church of God, International booklet authored by GTA before he was booted out of his WCG splinter church for his own sexual misconduct where he told his side of the story of his ouster out of WCG. I don't remember the title of the booklet, but I have read it. In this booklet (now out of print I am sure because CGI had the copyright), Garner Ted had a confrontation with father HWA in which he told Herbert he "could destroy him!". He then stated, "I know you F&%K Dorothy". Herbert's reply was (according to GTA in the booklet), "there were times in my life when I was far from God".

Everyone who ever contributed to the Worldwide Church of God built a $200 Million a year cash cow religious business empire under threat of lake of fire eternal damnation headed by a pedophile pervert who sexually abused his own daughter while God was allegedly "calling him to restore all things to prepare for Christ return".

Oh, and Loma Armstrong, HWA's wife who had "the dream", HAD TO HAVE KNOWN ABOUT THE INCEST!
She had to have known!


Anonymous said...

As interesting as this is, unfortunately, unless Vern Mattson himself comes forward and gives his own personal testimony firsthand, this is just hearsay and doesn't really help establish the fact of the matter. I think we owe a debt of gratitude to Deborah Armstrong and Larry Gott for being courageous enough to do this.

But even without it, as BB said, there is already enough out there to establish that Herbert Armstrong was simply a man who spoke for himself and should be disregarded per Deuteronomy 18:22. Alas, if only Armstrongites would heed the advice of the man they've deified, instead of simply believing him, lock, stock, and barrel. Any Berean worth his salt eventually must leave Armstrongism as a bankrupt and parasitic institution. That he was a child molester too is simply the cherry on top.

Anonymous said...

Sane Con at 9:23 PM said...

“Ellen G. White had other issues (plagiarism and the like). To be a sane voice in the SDA church, I recommend books and other works from Dr. Desmond Ford.”

Walter T. Rea wrote a book called The White Lie about Ellen G. White's plagiarism.

Anonymous said...

Perv Armstrong is worshiped by the membership. It is the simple plain truth. His words mean more than scripture to them. Sadly the word of Christ comes in a poor second to that man's.
I believe many ministers know that he was not an apostle, an Elijah or anything else for that matter. I also believe they feel there are truths they want to continue to preach. That being said, they never go outside the booklets to read what the bible really has to say about born again, holy days, tithing, etc. And they really do teach works as a booster rocket for grace.
No one in the church ever has assurance of salvation and must constantly strive to "make it into the kingdom". It is awful.

As far as his personal sins not harming anyone I don't agree.
They do.
While people are so deceived that they allow a man with serious sins to be their leader they cannot know truth. Honoring a man who is sinful and perverted harms a person's own character in so many ways.
These people have standards that are extremely low.

Anonymous said...

I remember a dinner at HWA's house when I was a senior at Ambassador College. He invited the seniors around every year to enjoy the Czars plates and the gold cutlery and the excellent wine. I suppose it was nice that he shared his riches with us, and he didn't seem embarrassed by it.

The years I was there, 1972, was the time when GTA was being exposed. I remember HWA being quite upset and saying that it is sad that so many men of god had sexual problems. Of course the example of David was given. At the time we didn't know he was probably including himself.

The old testament is full of examples of women being abused and treated like sex chattels. What about Lot who offered his virgin daughters to the crowds? Face it women were of no account, but for mens pleasure. I knew a man once who boasted that he had numerous children who he had never met, and if he ever met his daughter he would like to claim her first. So maybe these horrible proclivities are not totally unusual.

Also I don't think his wife knew, HWA always painted her as been very innocent and sexually unadventurous. He said once that Loma was shocked to hear that some of the freshmen girls were not virgins when they came to AC. This was in principles of living class I think. Probably his wife found out about her daughter late in the game. Humans have a wonderful ability not to see things right in front of them.

James said...

HWA should have handed out a pamphlet like ISIS did telling you the believer how and when to rape your daughters. It would have been accepted by the membership that have/had no moral direction due to their blindness induced by religion. If Herbie did it, it must be blessed by Allah...err, God!

Byker Bob said...

It's difficult to know what Loma knew or felt. Women were generally silent in the church, and lived in their husbands' shadows. There were certainly many WCG ladies who lived in secret pain, no due process, and no rights of appeal. Even for people who left it all behind, that is the sort of mentality and baggage that is very difficult to shed. It takes years, and even therapy sometime, even if there was no perversion, such as incest involved.


Anonymous said...

Women really do have innate intuition. Any woman who does not know her husband is closet gay or cheating, is lying. Same goes for incest. A woman instinctively knows what and who her husband is doing. THerefore, Loma was, even if perhaps under duress, was complicit. She should have protected her daughter and exposed the sick bastard, HWA.

Byker Bob said...

The problem, 4:57, is that different people have different levels of consciousness, filters, or processing capabilities. Some people are just naturally trusting, and a bit on the naive side. There are also "false positives", born in the paranoia of naturally suspicious individuals. We all know how powerful HWA was in his ability to sell and deceive. So, I don't know that one could condemn Loma, based on general principles. I have met ladies who had no idea, right up to the last minute, that their husband was either cheating, bisexual, or gay.

There are people who are perceptive, and do know and overlook, or compartmentalize things, as well as people who make wrong conclusions, or invent and falsely accuse. One of the conditions people in long term marriages must often fight is emotional separation, or detachment. People are not going to be quite as perceptive if they are apathetic or ambivalent.

We can't know what may have been going through another individual's mind. Because we are talking Armstrongism here, we need to remember that generally it seems nearly automatic to assume either the best, or the worst. There are also possibilities in between the two extremes.


Anonymous said...

does anyone know if the az court records still exist? i have been trying to find something in the public domain other than that news paper archive...

also, one wonders if hwa settled the divorce in an effort to prevent the accusations from leading to a long protracted, distracting legal battle...

any thoughts?

Anonymous said...

anonymous, 4:57. I do not agree and I am a woman and I do have great intuition.

Both men and women have the ability to be blind to things in front of them. I believe some of it may be subconscious denial. There are many instances of everyone in a community knowing a man was having an affair, except for his wife. Also the perpetrator is usually very skillful at deception, especially toward his wife who is really his cover when it comes to child abuse.

Though I haven't experienced this in my family, I have witnessed strange things which I then concluded I probably had imagined. It takes a while for the truth to seep through the defences of the human mind.

I also look at how I believed what the WCG taught for quite a while, and now it is hard to think that I was so fooled.
At the time this was happening in HWA's family, I imagine Loma was very busy with her 2 younger sons. She was puritanical, this knowledge would have destroyed her, and yet she later played an active role in church activities and with the AC women as a counsellor etc. People used to say that Loma was really the spiritual leader of the church and when she died nothing was the same.

Byker Bob said...

Here is the problem with the archives, 10:24. When I went to the building in which they are housed, probably about ten years ago, I discovered several things. You can't just purchase a pdf file. They will only sell you printouts. Because this was fought so intensely, the court transcripts cover many pages, and they charge per page. The full set of transcripts were going to cost me a couple thousand dollars. It was suggested that I preview the records, identify the specific pages which would be of value to us, and have them printed. I attempted to do this, and found that it would probably require a couple week's vacation time to read, and find the salient points, plus per diem expenses for food and lodging, and there would be paralegals and others wanting to use those community computers at the
same time I was.

I did not need the transcripts for my own personal mental health. If the goal is knowing that the correct course is to leave Armstrongism, I already had all of the information to support that decision which I ever needed. Would I shell out a couple of thousand if it meant that my loved ones would make that same decision? Yeah. HELL, yeah! The problem is I know from their history that they will not do this. They reprogram themselves after each bit of news, or each new event, no matter how devastating, and just keep on truckin' for Herb. At this point, if Jesus actually appeared to them, I seriously doubt that they would even believe Him. I personally believe that every one of us will be in for some surprises, even the people who firmly believe that they have God's truth.
We're all in for some correction, and how could we not be? We are all imperfect, we're all driven by our emotions, and we all have faulty perceptions and filters.