Saturday, February 20, 2016

HWA's Financial Requests by Decade 1934 - 1959 Part 1

HWA's Financial Requests by Decade

Part 1,   1934 - 1959

Some criticized Mr. Armstrong for being too aggressive in his demands for money.  

Supporters indicated his approach merely demonstrated his commitment to his calling. 

What do the facts support?


Co-Worker letter, December 20, 1934:  “Will GOD’s PEOPLE be willing now to GIVE TILL IT HURTS – to GIVE UP THINGS – to SACRIFICE – that many may be saved for eternity?  The night is far spent!  Jesus is SOON COMING!  The MILLIONS are not awake!  We must WARN THEM!...
But if we are to grasp this wonderful opportunity, we must act at once! 

… Ezekial 3:17-21.  Turn to it and read it now.  If these scores of thousands are WARNED of their sin – of the coming PLAGUES – of the soon coming JESUS – whether or not they heed, we shall have acquitted ourselves before God.  And SOME of them will heed and be saved.  But – IF WE fail our Lord in this hour of crisis, HE SAY HE WILL REQUIRE THEIR BLOOD AT YOUR HANDS AND MINE!”

Co-worker letter March 1, 1935: “Tithes and offerings to keep this big campaign, now reaching many thousands, going, have slowed up considerably the past two months, and this whole campaign will have to stop unless the brethren come quickly to the rescue. GOD HAS BLESSED THIS WORK with the largest harvest ever experienced in Oregon. Shall we let a work thus approved of God stop?”

(Only four co-worker letters are available from the 30's)


The Dorchester (wikipedia) is a five-star luxury hotel on Park Lane and Deanery Street, London, to the east of Hyde Park. It is one of the world's most prestigious and expensive hotels.[1][2] The Dorchester opened on 18 April 1931,[3] and still retains its 1930s furnishings and ambiance despite being modernized.  
Co-worker letter Feb. 14th 1941:  “SPECIAL - AND VERY URGENT!"  "...There have been very few of the larger offerings of $25,$50, $100 lately. The need now is serious and URGENT. The work must not stop or let down---it must leap ahead!” 

Co-Worker letter May 14th , 1941:  “We are at another crisis---we must go forward, or go backward---no work can stand still!          The need is IMMEDIATE---and URGENT!  More so than ever before!

Co-Worker letter Dec. 25th, 1941:  “I call upon every co-worker now to ENLIST in this fight---
this SPIRITUAL fight for God and country---for the duration. We must dedicate our ALL to it. If we put our ALL on the altar---are willing to GIVE now to the very limit, God will give it all back
heaping with interest. If we now lose our heads, forget to put FIRST things first, try to SAVE our all, we shall then LOSE all--- all our material goods, and our souls as well!”

Co-Worker Letter August 24th 1942:  “Through you I know God will meet this present supreme crisis in our work. It will take great sacrifice on the part of many of you, I know. Better make that sacrifice now and SAVE EVERYTHING than lose everything in defeat in this war, and perhaps lose out with Almighty God besides! No sacrifice, now, is too great. I need a FLOOD of tithes and offerings from our small but growing family of co-workers to meet this present supreme need. We need LARGE amounts---$25, $50, $100, yes, even $1,000 or more---from all who can, even by great sacrifice, put such sums in God's work in this very crucial hour.”

Co-worker letter Dec. 23, 1942: “This work MUST HAVE an extra $1,000 AT ONCE, in addition to seeing regular income restored. We MUST get out another PLAIN TRUTH at once! It and many other things are waiting. God expects HIS CHILDREN TO GIVE---yes give till it hurts, in times like these. Please try to send an EXTRA AMOUNT---the largest you possibly can, by return mail. God's work is at stake. It is a SERIOUS CRISIS. Please RUSH---put this FIRST, before anything else. “

Co-worker letter Feb. 16, 1943:  “Regardless of the APPEARANCE of things at the moment, regardless of the war situation as we THINK it is, regardless of how many planes, and tanks, and ships and guns we produce and how many men we train, STILL God says He will send crop-destroying worms and locusts, and withering DROUGHT and FAMINE that shall literally STARVE us into defeat, unless we turn to HIM!"

"...WE MUST NOT FAIL! We must PLUNGE ON! The financial crisis is not over. I still need an extra thousand dollars, over and above regular weekly expenses.”

Co-worker Letter April 5, 1945:  “In the last BULLETIN I asked for pledges.  Well, many pledges have come in, but it is ONLY HALF ENOUGH….  .  ALSO I MUST TELL YOU WE HAVE RUN ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS SHORT OF REGULAR EXPENSES THE PAST THREE OR FOUR WEEKS.  Even to keep the regular established work going, we MUST now have a quick, liberal response from our faithful co-workers!  It is our solemn responsibility before God, laid on us by HIM!  We must not fail Him!  Whether you can only send a dollar, or are able to send $50, $100., or $1,000 for the work -- or a larger sum for the Mexican station —I know you'll send AT ONCE the largest amount you can, and GOD BLESS YOU for your loyalty and sacrifice for the GREATEST WORK ON EARTH!"

 Co-worker letter August 23, 1945 :  "I have sufficient faith in God to believe this BULLETIN will be read by someone—perhaps only ONE—who has the ability, if God makes the heart willing, to supply for this purpose a sum of between one and two hundred thousand dollars...    And this unprecedented great and glorious opportunity will be realized, I know ONLY if each one who has ability to supply such sums does so, to the very LIMIT of his ability."

Co-worker Letter May 17, 1946:  "A NEW EMERGENCY!   U R G E N T !  Now before closing, I have to tell you the receipt of money to carry on his great work has been falling off alarmingly the last two weeks.  Again it has brought the work into a CRISIS-- a very serious emergency!

Frankly, I know of no other work anywhere like this.  It is altogether GOD'S WORK, proclaiming GOD'S message, conducted and financed GOD'S way, as we find it revealed in His Word, the Bible."

Co-worker letter August 1946:  "But, again, our Co-Workers are FORGETTING, becoming lax ---MONEY IS FALLING OFF. Fellow Co-Workers, I have personally obligated myself to very great expense---thousands of dollars a month---to carry on this great work. I have done it in sheer
FAITH---faith that God will, thru YOU back me up in this increasingly powerful campaign for souls, and supply every dollar. PLEASE get under the burden with me---remember YOU HAVE
YOUR PART. God will hold us all responsible together. My office has just told me over long distance the financial situation at the moment is SERIOUS. Those of you who are able, I will count on you to send in AT ONCE, by air-mail or BY TELEGRAPH MONEY-ORDER, the very LARGEST offerings for God's great cause you can possibly send, even at great sacrifice."

Co-worker letter September 25, 1946 "God is surely blessing His work! BUT--MOST IMPORTANT AND URGENT for the moment, I find funds slacking off as I return home, and we are in a serious immediate emergency! It's so serious the whole work is in grave DANGER! We need, seriously, many offerings of large sums from those who are able---please WIRE the money if possible; and if you can send only the "widow's mite" please rush it."

Co-worker letter November 4, 1946:   "Again I must write you an EMERGENCY Letter.  For ten days this work has faced the most desperate crisis of the nearly thirteen years....  I can't very well go into detail explaining how the devil has tried to stop this most important work on earth..."  "This great work has grown until its expenses are now several thousand dollars a month.  I have assumed responsibility for this, yet I have NOTHING, but faith in God..."

Co-worker letter Jan. 9. 1947: " merely remind you that we are starting, new, on the month of the biggest test-of-faith we have ever faced. I intend to do MY PART, with my whole heart and with all my energies. And I know you will do YOUR part, too. I don't know your personal circumstances. God doesn't expect any to give into His work what they do not have, or are unable to give, but according as He has prospered them. But if you are one who is able, I know you'll double or triple your offerings for His work, from now. And I ask you, urgently, PLEASE double or triple the amount, earnestness, and faith of your prayers for me and for this work from now on. THAT, I know you can do, and PLEASE don't fail me or God in doing that."

Additional information about this time period

From all the co-worker letters of this period, one would assume that the work was barely hanging by a thread.  However, if one reads HWA's biography, you would also learn that in 1947 HWA also:

·      Traveled first class through Europe for 6 weeks·      Purchased a luxurious 4,159 sq-ft home in a very beautiful area
And, if you read HWA's later accounts of the church's financial growth, you'd realize that:
·      Church income had been growing at its fastest rate between 1942-1955·      The growth rate for this period was well over 30% per year
These facts make it more difficult to reconcile HWA's words with his actions. 

 Travel details:  

From Feb. 14, 1947 to Mar. 25, 1947 HWA and Loma embarked on a 6-week long First-Class overseas trip where they stayed in 5-star hotels and dined in very expensive restaurants.  All the details are provided in Chapters 52-54 (pages 81-106) of HWA's Autobiography Vol. II (available at "HWA Searchable Library").

From the specifics he mentions, this trip would have cost well over $1,200/day (in 2015 dollars) which would be over $50,000 for the whole trip.  For example, rooms at the Dorchester Hotel are $600-$700/night, lunch at the Dorchester Grill is $60/person, and rooms at Hotel Storchen in Zurich vary from $400 to 2,000/night.

House purchase:

Immediately after the trip to Europe, and amidst another apparent financial crisis, Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong purchased and moved into a 7 bedroom, 4159 sq-ft home on 345 S. Hill which is a very nice area adjacent to the California Institute of Technology In April 1947.  This home was valued at $2.4 million in early 2016. 

According to HWA's own description of this event in his autobiography, Loma was surprised they were even looking at such a luxurious home but HWA explained that his real estate agent had determined that they "could not afford not to buy this home."   He explained further that in order to buy a small tract home, he'd need a down payment whereas he could move into this mansion without a down payment.  Perhaps to some, this logic would still make sense.  Probably not for the majority.  A $12,300 monthly payment would be likely be more difficult for most to meet than a $2,500 payment.
Now back to the financial struggles...

 Co-worker letter April 7, 1947 "The ground-work is laid. But TIME IS SHORT. Soon it will be too late. The day is here, but the "night" is coming when NO MAN CAN WORK for God.
But now LISTEN CAREFULLY! We have returned from this most important, vital, fruitful trip to find the work here in a financial crisis that threatens its very life! It is in the most serious and critical emergency it ever has faced. It is a LIFE- AND-DEATH test!

"...I don't know how it happened. We left here with everything in good financial condition, the outlook excellent. God opened the way for us with actual miracles repeatedly at every turn—was with us throughout our entire journey. I've come back with just what I needed for the broadcasts -- for future articles in The PLAIN TRUTH.

Yet, before we had hardly boarded the ship it seems our co- workers— most of them (perhaps not YOU, but most of them)—seemed to delay or forget to send in their tithes and offerings...
Co-Workers, I have to ask you to sacrifice as never before. If you could see what we saw in Europe—how people shiver and go cold, how HUNGRY they are, how thread-bare their clothes—how TERRIBLE is their plight—you'd realize that ANY sacrifice you make for GOD'S CAUSE is as NOTHING compared to what has been laid on them! We and we alone in all this world bask in the sunshine of PLENTY—of LUXURY! We, too, can go without some things we had planned to get. It won't hurt us as much as we think. GOD'S WORK IS AT STAKE! Now, as never before, the work needs generous offerings..."

Co-worker letter June 7, 1947:  "FINALLY! AND MOST URGENT!  Finally, Brethren, Friends, Co-Workers, LISTEN! Two months ago we found this work in a life-and-death crisis. Suddenly it had gone thousands of dollars behind, because some of our Co-Workers had grown lax and careless. I sent out a very special emergency letter.

Coworker Letter August 1947 :  "Co-Workers, the work of God stands AT THE CROSS-ROADS!  It is in its greatest crisis.  The fate of Ambassador College hangs in the balance.  We have not more than TEN DAYS to get STARTED on the structural changes, or it will be TOO LATE to start the college this year.  The crisis is NOW!  We are all going to answer in the judgment for what WE do, each of us, as OUR part in this crisis, NOW!  God surely blesses those who serve Him well!  NEVER has this work so direly needed large and generous offerings of $1,000 and up to MANY thousand dollars.  Several of you are ABLE, if you permit God to make your hearts willing.  Lay up treasure in heaven, while you may, and see how God blesses you for it!  And, again, NEVER has the need been so great...

Coworker Letter October 1947:  "This means EVERY SINGLE CO-WORKER MUST NOW STRETCH TO THE VERY LIMIT OF SACRIFICE AND SELF-DENIAL, in a supreme effort, with me, to raise this money at once.  We must ALL pitch in, to the limit of our ability!  I must now ask YOU, and EVERY single co-worker, to rise to the supreme effort to send in the very largest sum you possibly can, as a very special emergency gift for this great work at this time.  It's WORTH sacrificing for!  This world is marching on at a faster and faster pace toward IT'S DOOM! ...

...  If you can LOAN the work anywhere from one to ten thousand dollars—or even $500 or less, please SEND THE MONEY AT ONCE AIR- MAIL, stating in your letter how you wish to be repaid—whether beginning now, or a year or two or more from now—whether by the month, or quarter, or how -- and in what amounts each payment.  If you want interest, tell me what rate.  As a minister of Jesus Christ I must say to you that God, in His Word, forbids Christians to receive interest from Christians—the whole interest and usury system is condemned in the Bible.  But Israel was permitted to PAY interest, and even to RECEIVE it from Gentiles, so a Christian can PAY it if demanded, or receive it from a non-Christian, if he deems that circumstances warrant.  I could never RECEIVE interest from any of you, but God does permit me to PAY it if you, after I have mentioned this Bible teaching, desire it—so just state your own wishes in the matter.  So if you can borrow money FOR us on some security you have—on property, or on securities or other investments—or if you have bonds to sell, or savings you can put to work for God, getting it back, if and when you need it, please send the money at once by return mail, stating how you want it repaid, and I will immediately make out a note binding our corporation to repay it on whatever terms you state, and mail it to you.  And WITH it, send the largest offering you can GIVE."

Co-worker letter Dec. 4, 1947 “It seems that due to the biggest Christmas-shopping spree in history, most of our co-workers and listeners have FORGOTTEN both gifts and obligations to CHRIST! And the financial condition of God's precious work has taken a nose-dive straight down toward a CRASH that will mean the END OF IT in five days' time unless by faith in God and enough of our faithful co-workers coming to the rescue immediately, the crash can be averted and the most important work on this earth SAVED... "

"Every individual who HEEDS this warning, turns to God, is WATCHING and PRAYING ALWAYS, being filled with God’s Spirit, living by every Word of God, with a life consecrated to Him, will be given special divine protection—taken beforehand to a place of SAFETY—preserved thru the final horrifying tribulation, time of plagues and human anguish soon to visit this earth!

But if we to whom God has revealed this terrible future thru His divine prophecies fail to heed it—if we fail to each play his or her full part in WARNING this nation and the world, now, while we may—then God says we shall not escape, but He will require the blood of this entire people at our hands!…
I tell you, ON THE AUTHORITY OF JESUS CHRIST, IT IS COMING! Many of you NOW, are in financial condition to DO A LOT MORE than you are doing for GOD’S CAUSE..."

January 29, 1948 co-worker letter “Co-Workers, THE ONLY THING THAT IS IMPORTANT NOW IS TO SOUND GOD'S WARNING TO THIS NATION -- TO PREACH AND PUBLISH WITH GREAT POWER THE TRUE GOSPEL TO THE ENTIRE WORLD BEFORE THIS ATOMIC-DAY COMES!  Frankly, I do not believe it will actually come in five years -- but it COULD!  But I do believe we have not more than seven or nine years to finish the work God has commissioned us to do!  Just BARELY enough time, and NO MORE! That is why AMBASSADOR COLLEGE had to start without a year's delay. ..

Listen, dear Co-Worker!  As I've said before, YOU won't be living where you are -- AS you are, enjoying what you are now, MUCH LONGER!  DOOM is hurling surely and relentlessly down UPON OUR ENTIRE NATION!  General Arnold sees it.  All great scientists know it!  They tell us they are frankly FRIGHTENED!  You may be sure General Eisenhower, President Truman, Secretary Marshall all realize it!  Yes, they all know more than they dare tell!  GOD foresees it, and WARNS US!

TIME IS SHORT and swiftly running out on us!  We STILL have time, and just BARELY time, to fulfill the Great Commission, before it's forever TOO LATE!  We can't stop, falter, slacken our efforts now!

And yet SOME FEW of our co-workers continue to write in after every urgent appeal I'm forced to sent out!  "Why is the work always in an emergency?  Why must it always need more money?"
Oh, dear Co-workers, LISTEN!  Let's all realize JUST WHERE WE STAND!  We are in the very LAST DAYS!  The only thing on earth that COUNTS, now, is THIS GREAT WORK OF GOD!  
...Yes, this work ONCE AGAIN is in a LIFE-AND-DEATH CRISIS!

February 11, 1949:  "It has been two months or more since I have written most of our Co-Workers.  Tremendous things have happened in that time, of world importance.
Yes, and what has happened to this work is destined to be of world importance!  We will all see that a little later."

..."PROPHECY is being rapidly fulfilled.  The whole world is swirling in the vortex toward the end of this world, into the WORLD TOMORROW!  And what is happening to this work which God has committed to you and to me is a most important part of these prophesied events!…

Brethren, Co-Workers, LISTEN!  This is as much YOUR call and commission—YOUR responsibility, as mine.  Together we must sacrifice for it.       ... So, YOU must be willing to sacrifice —to put this great Mission FIRST in your life and in the expenditures of your pocket-book.  ONLY A FEW YEARS OF THE PRESENT ORDER—THE PRESENT CIVILIZATION—THE PRESENT WORLD, remain.  After all, your money is not going to be worth any- thing anywhere ELSE, in a very few short years."
November 28, 1949 HWA: Dear Co-Workers, Please read this at once. It’s very important, It’s URGENT!  Somehow, I must make all our co-workers realize WHAT A TERRIBLE THING IS HAPPENING! My heart is heavy as lead. A colossal tragedy is happening. HOW can I make all you co-workers realize it?      ... I MUST, somehow, arouse ALL our co-workers. ...It’s a matter of final desperation now.

Would you see the only LIGHT OF THE WORLD extinguished? Read this carefully! The only light of the word is the TRUTH of God, and the true work of God proclaiming that truth in boldness and with power! Satan knows this. He hates this work of God causing that true light to shine in his darkened world! Satan is angry. He is furious. He strikes repeatedly at this work of God. He never lets up, but keeps attacking with increasing persistence. Consequently this work is brought into one crisis after another.

Unless this letter somehow can make ALL our co-workers REALIZE how urgently serious the situation has become, this true work of God will be put out at this true LIGHT shining forth over three nations extinguished the voice you’ve been hearing over the air proclaiming the very Gospel of Christ, which HE proclaimed, STILLED the PLAIN TRUTH stopped from publication – Ambassador College, where men called of God, Spirit-filled, consecrated, are being fitted for this precious work of God will be CLOSED DOWN!

That would be the greatest tragedy that could happen! But this precious and powerful work CANNOT SURVIVE ANOTHER MONTH- not even another week – unless somehow with the help of God I can at last AROUSE our co-workers – ALL of you – to be willing RIGHT NOW to make a real financial sacrifice for your Saviour who gave His LIFE for you – for the Christ who loves you so much He DIED for you – and to love HIM enough to come to the aid of His work immediately!


The SS United States, a truly titanic ocean liner shown departing New York City on its maiden voyage on July 3, 1952. Built for luxury and speed, the mammoth SS United States was 100 feet longer than RMS Titanic.

Note:  The June 19, 1954 Good News reported that the membership growth averaged 56% per year from 1950-1954 and the highest income growth occurred during 1942-1955 (well over 30%/year).

1952 Co-worker letter: ...CO-WORKERS, I MUST ASK YOU TO COME TO THE RESCUE BY RETURN MAIL WITH THE LARGEST SUMS YOU POSSIBLY CAN SEND. It's a dire need. It's an IMMEDIATE and URGENT need. This is the greatest work on earth. We need every dollar"— the widow' mites, and the larger amounts from those who are able."

September 9, 1953:  "The Festival is just TWO WEEKS AWAY—we are UNDER PRESSURE—it is now the FINAL, URGENT CRISIS—We simply HAVE to raise this money!  I know many of you have done almost more than you could.  But somehow we now simply MUST make one last MIGHTY SACRIFICE to put this over the top." 

January 15, 1954:  "Here is BIG NEWS!  It may mean the end of this present world is much nearer than even we had supposed!… "

"Again the need is URGENT!  It takes money every day and every week, to operate this greatest work on earth."

February 24, 1954 "Here is I can't hold back the truth from you any longer. I have to tell you we have reached the breaking point---the extreme LIMIT--- in this tight squeeze holding on to the powerful net-work broadcast! Unless God now performs a MIRACLE thru you co-workers, we cannot carry on another week!"

March 17, 1954:  "Dear Faithful Co-Workers for Christ: Thank God!--we're still on the air--world-wide! Yes, in this tight squeeze getting the broadcast established on a major network, we have been making it--so far! But now we approach the very crisis bottle-neck of this tight squeeze. Now comes the SUPREME TEST!"

April 4, 1954:  "This is a matter of life and death! Even now it may be too late, but I'm rushing this on Sunday---even a day's delay would be fatal. READ EVERY WORD before you lay this down! It's far more than the life and death of any person---we face this minute the death of God's all-important work." 

April 26, 1954:  Dear Co-Workers: The desperate life-and-death struggle to keep alive this greatly enlarged work of God continues. RIGHT NOW the fate of the work of God is being decided! It is being determined by WHAT YOU DO, these next two weeks! Right now we are at the turning point---one way or the other! It's the supreme crisis---and the answer is either the LIFE, or the death, of this tremendous program into which God has plunged us!"

June 16, 1954:  "... This must be short and brief. It's an S.O.S.  A drowning person does not take time for many words and long explanations---he just shouts "HELP!"    ..." Precious lives for ETERNITY are AT STAKE---waiting on your tithes and EXTRA offerings! This is more important than anything you have to do. It has become a terrible EMERGENCY! "

July 12, 1954:  "Never has our faith been so severely tried. This financial "tight squeeze" not only is still on---it is squeezing harder than ever before. Physical APPEARANCES make the situation look hopeless!"

Additional facts

Travel:  Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong again traveled in complete luxury throughout Europe for about 6-7 weeks, beginning August 5, 1954.  They departed aboard the fastest ship in the world, the S.S. United States, and then returned to the Dorchester hotel, and then traveled all over Europe and the middle east where he stayed at even more expensive hotels. He provided the details in his autobiography later on. 

House upgrade:  At some point during the 1950's, HWA moved from his large home near Cal Tech into an even larger home on Millionaire’s Row on 363 S. Orange Grove.  Then later on, he moved from that home into a 6,450 sq-ft home at 210 S. Orange Grove that was valued at $5.5 million in March 2015 (despite the adjacent subdivisions that have occurred on the old Pasadena AC Campus after it was sold).

Co-worker letter, August 9, 1954.  "Dear Co-Workers:  God's great work is still in its tightest squeeze. In His great wisdom God is giving us, the family of Co-Workers He has called to His work, a great test of faith to TRY us---to develop PATIENCE---to teach us the great lesson of ENDURING TO THE END--- never quitting or giving up!"


Co-worker letter, September 30, 1954:  " This letter is a matter of LIFE or DEATH -- far more important than any human life -- the very life or death of GOD'S GREAT WORK! Read this carefully and prayerfully. I am on the Atlantic racing home. I have just received word by long distance that the work is in an ACUTE CRISIS. I do not know at the moment whether we are still on the air."

October 25, 1954:  "I have returned to Pasadena to find this LIFE or DEATH struggle to save God's work is still with us---the very LIFE of the most important activity on earth still hangs in the balance!" 

November 17, 1954: “I have certainly had my eyes opened these past few weeks! We all need to WAKE UP!  We are in a time of DANGER! You are in danger! Our nation is in grave danger! God's great and precious work is in terrible DANGER---unless a very large number of you Co-Workers who have been indifferent or neglectful of GOD'S WORK are reawakened!" 

Co-worker Letter April 21, 1955:  "Here is the most important news I have ever been able to send you Co-Workers about the progress of God's Work!   ...LISTEN CAREFULLY!  This is, indeed the very CRISIS HOUR of the entire life of the work...      THAT'S the crisis bottle-neck we face.  THE VERY LIFE of the work of GOD depends on it!  THAT'S the mountain we have to hurdle!  
...CO-WORKERS, WE HAVE TO RALLY TO THIS SUPREME EMERGENCY!  If we should fail in this, God's precious work---the most important activity on this earth---would go down, and down,---and DIE!  NOTHING, now, but SUPERHUMAN EFFORT on YOUR part as well as mine can save the work!       
...And IF EVER we needed a complete DELUGE of widows' mites, that time is RIGHT NOW!  THIS IS OUR SUPREME TEST!   

January 19, 1956:  " ...but you Co-Workers will have to BACK me in this tremendous undertaking as NEVER BEFORE!  Never before have I had to call on you for such sacrifice—such intensive and earnest and continuous prevailing PRAYER as now!  

 November 20, 1957:  "This is a quick and short EMERGENCY S.O.S.!!!   This whole world has suddenly hit a stupendous CRISIS.  At the same time, the most important activity on earth—GOD'S WORK—faces a crucial emergency."

January 10, 1958:  “Here we are, in 1958!  Time is running out on us..."  "Brethren, WHAT ARE WE TO DO?  We can't go ahead with this Tabernacle unless YOU MEMBERS SEND IN THE MONEY!  We cannot take regular tithes and offerings away from the GOSPEL WORK around the world—WE CAN'T STOP GOD'S GREAT GOSPEL WORK—and put that money into the Tabernacle.

WHY, dear brethren, is it that unless I send out urgent appeals, most of you    forget all about this great need, and QUIT DOING YOUR PART?  W H Y ?  Don't you realize that GOD is noting all we do—or fail to do?  Don't you know we are to be rewarded according to our works?"

December 8, 1959:  "… As world conditions step up toward the grand-smash CLIMAX of world VIOLENCE, and the END of this world, God is stepping up the power of HIS WORK!  He is simultaneously blessing His people—CHRIST'S CO-WORKERS—with financial prosperity.  AND HE EXPECTS US ALL TO GIVE, GENEROUSLY, FOR HIS WORK ACCORDING AS HE HAS BLESSED AND PROSPERED US—beside paying our honest TITHES which BELONG TO HIM!

 ...Co-Workers, let us dedicate ourselves right now as Co-Workers together with            CHRIST, as never before" 

Additional facts

Figures HWA provided in 1978 showed the rate of growth for the income between 1955 and1968 varied from 3.2 to 35%, averaging 26.2% per year.  The rate of growth slowed considerably after 1969.
Part 2 will cover the period between 1960 and 1986.  Perhaps it is too early to draw conclusions but a thought does come to mind...

"In the beginning the church was a fellowship of men and women centering on the living Christ. Then the church moved to Greece where it became a philosophy. Then it moved to Rome where it became an institution. Next, it moved to Europe, where it became a culture. And, finally, it moved to America where it became an enterprise".  Richard Halverson

SUBMITTED BY: California Dreaming


Byker Bob said...

As we know today, the warnings he used as a pretense for his financial requests were lying warnings. None of his guesses came to pass, but he sure made eveyone paranoid.


Anonymous said...

Off and on I have been reading these letters when I first found them on the net and I can still hardly believe what I read. These letters are quite an eye opener of what HWA was all about. This guy has been conning us right from the get go for money and has brought in multi millions, but no matter how much was sent in it was never enough, he always claimed the need for money was so great that we would go belly up unless we sent in more as he flew around the world on trips he claimed was the work. He didn't preach Jesus Christ in his so called gospel, he preached another gospel, the gospel of HWA as he tried so hard to be a somebody in the eyes of others. On tithes and offerings he lived high on the hog, mighty high, and so did those who gathered around him even though they knew better. Anyway, it's these letters that helped me to see clearly how much of a fraud this guy was. He would buy for himself whatever his heart desired and squandered millions as we were left with our last dime, millions that was sent in for the preaching of the true gospel and millions that were meant for those in need, they didn't get it, he and others did. I feel like kicking myself in the rear when I think of how he begged for money and made me feel guilty if I didn't send it in for another building he wanted to build, and at the same time saying there was only 5, 10, or 15 years left, I must have been blind.

Anonymous said...

What an excellent piece of work!
The ending quote also exceedingly fitting to the subject at hand.
(comparing 1935 houseprices to 2015 perhaps a little of a stretch)
Perhaps someone in the future would feel compelled to fit within this framework the networking with the sheikhs aboard the ships before they became "oil sheikhs" and other contacts in the first class venues. Nevertheless compliments.


Anonymous said...

For those claiming HWA had to rebrand his business after the 1974 prophecy failure.

From the 1947 annals:
Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong checked in at London’s Dorchester Hotel. The next day, when Mr. Armstrong noticed several Arab officials in the hotel lobby, he asked the reception desk if Sheik Hafiz Wabba was in the hotel. He was not, but the sheik did come to this hotel quite often.
The next day, the sheik’s private secretary telephoned him. She told Mr. Armstrong that His Excellency had heard that he was in London, and wished to invite him and Mrs. Armstrong to attend a royal reception to be held that evening in the hotel’s ballroom. The sheik desired to speak with Mr. Armstrong again, as they had done two years previously in San Francisco. The reception—which was in honor of His Royal Highness, the Crown Prince, Emir Saud, who later became King Saud of Saudi Arabia—would be the only opportunity to chat, since the sheik planned to leave the next morning.
At the reception, the Armstrongs mingled with an international crowd of lords, ladies, earls, dukes, admirals, commodores, ambassadors and other dignitaries. Later, they were given a private talk with the sheik, who offered a statement that was later published in The Plain Truth.


Anonymous said...

It was some years later, it was let's see, it was 1958, I believe, we were in Cairo. The Sheik was spending the summer over in Alexandria. He and his wife came over to spend the afternoon with Mrs. Armstrong and me in Cairo at that time. So I became quite well acquainted with the Sheik.
Now I attended, after the San Francisco conference, I attended the first meeting of the security conference in New York; it was held in Hunter College out in the Bronx in New York. And there I met the leader of the Zionist movement that were pressing so hard at the time for a national home for Jews in Palestine.

..........and the rest of the story is history.

I know some billionaires who did exaxtly the same thing. Stay in the hotels where the owners of Nestle would vacation. Meet at lunch. Then ask for investment in their internet start up. Turn out a billionaire 4 years later.


Anonymous said...

I wouldn't begrudge him living in a mansion if he did his job right. But he didn't. He chose the controlling, abusive church model. And all those damaged lives from people who believed that the end is a few years away, 'on the authority of the Living God,' according to him. Since he kept saying this for 50 years, he must have known that he was lying. Likewise, telling his supporters that the end is nigh whilst building Ambassador College, was a obvious deceitful contradiction. In a letter to ministers which clumsy clod Dave Pack was stupid enough to publish in his government booklet (l assume it has been removed), he tells his ministers that they can be 'kings on thrones right now.' Herbie must have known this means verbal brutality and verbal murder by the ministers. He unleashed killers on his flock. He richly deserves the lake of fire.

Steve D said...

Let's not forget is income. 1981 his 1040 IRS form shows 421,000 in gross income with $47,000 in contributions declared on his itemized deduction. In 1980 is income was 388,000 and he gave only 37,000 in contributions. I bet most members gave a higher percentage of their income. Keep in mind, he also had an expense account that helped him a bit. And, he didn't have, at his age, some of the big expense that many of us have had, such as college expenses.

Anonymous said...

The foundation of the WCG was put in place by a slimy person named Herbert Armstrong. It was when he was raping his daughter that many of the "new truths" where put in place, such as British Isrealism and keeping the Hebrew holy days.
For those who hold on to Armstrongism, How can you still believe what you do after knowing what a piece of scum this man was?".

The foundation of Armstrongism is built on sand and it is no wonder that it is crumbling.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I knew HWA was a money hungry leech before but I didn't realize how much of an open parasite this man was until now. Absolutely disgusting. The fact that he openly admitted to how well the the church did in that time period later in his autobiography speaks volumes as to how he had absolutely no shame in his game. I'm suprised he never got hauled away after publishing it. And here I thought Meredith's coworker letters were bad.

*Did not grow up in WWCG but attended with LCG for about 10 years.

Black Ops Mikey said...

It's like this: In his manic mode, Herbert Armstrong would spend huge sums of money on himself, then realized what he had done to his 'Work', panicked and then demanded money from his 'coworkers' like some huge cash machine on demand.

He wasn't really that good at managing money because he couldn't plan.

Byker Bob said...

Well, excuse me as I quietly luxuriate in one of the few retrospective pleasures to this misguided life, knowing that someone was able to finally slam the brakes on this horrendous scam, and knowing that the once fiery embers are cooling down into warm ashes. How many of us would gladly have paid someone to do what the Tkaches, Joe Sr. and Joe Jr. finally did to stop it all? We really owe them a debt of gratitude!


Anonymous said...

Ever notice the format of his letters? He starts out with such great news. A new door has been opened up for the church. Everyone gets excited, then he tell us that there wasn't enough money to walk through the door that God has opened for His church. Then the arm twisting and guilt trip begins. Didn't he raise money to pay for the auditorium on the AC campus and then turned around and borrow money to pay for its construction? What did he do with the money raised for it?

Anonymous said...


If Robin Hood lived in Sherwood instead of Brentwood, I just might have.
Or if D. Cheney really saved us from Iraq instead of making a profit from Halliburton, then I just might have...


Connie Schmidt said...

Believe it or not, the old addresses to send in money or to call in still work!

PO BOX 111, Pasadena CA 91123

and 800-423-4444

I bet that money still comes in at times thanks to old booklets and magazines that are still floating about. Would be interesting to know how much!

Glenn said...

The money all went into one big pot that was used to pay ongoing expenses, even though there were technically separate accounts for first tithe and offerings, second tithe and third tithe. Justifications could always be found to use 2T and 3T for operations, especially for such things as aircraft operations and building and furnishing homes for ministers. There was never a long term endowment account for the college or church. In the early 1970s it was common for the cash on hand in bank accounts to fluctuate between $2 million and $8 million depending on the timing of holy day offerings. It was a cash based business and from HWA's point of view he never had enough cash. It is common for fast growing businesses to have cash flow problems because they have to pay for their constantly expanding operations.

I was the manager of the accounts payable section of the accounting department in Pasadena in the early 1970s and remember having an employee come to me with a $17,000 bill from an LA jewelry store for a solid silver platter that HWA had just purchased. She asked why HWA was spending money on such things while asking people to mortgage or sell their homes or farms so give money to "the Work." I had no answer for her as I had the same question myself. I have since come to believe that HWA was a sociopath who cared only for himself and held all the dumb sheep church members (and ministers) in contempt.

Monnie said...

Don't be too hard on yourself. There were tens of thousands of us taken in by this sociopathic deceitful incestuous con man and sex pervert. When I think of all the money that I and my deceased parents and so many others shoveled to this lizard and his minions, it makes me nauseous, and I hope someday God will let us know why he allowed the Armstrong curse to continue all those years. As much as the loss of money and trust hurt, my heart really goes out to the many people who lost their or loves ones' lives and marriages due to Herbert's destructive doctrines.

Monnie said...

Yeah, except the two Joe's were really little if any less the money grubbers as HWA. I'd love to know how much loot Jr. & Feazell & their buddies got away with.

Anonymous said...


Great contribution. First I wondered how the operation was to secure a 20 year lease on the auditorium. But of course I made a mistake in calculating 1974 dollars and 1994 dollars. Times have changed from 12% inflation to deflation levels nowadays. I wonder wether the auditorium was held by Stanley Rader and that is why Rader Lieutenant Tkach was only allowed to fold the church in 1994, right after the last installment.

I also wonder how much HWA was involved. In the sense that the jets were leased from Stanley Rader. And HWA was known to be flattered through silver "trouvailles" by his lieutenants.

Anyway, relating from my personal experience as a sales trainee my instructors ALWAYS instructed us to ASK. If one was not to ask high one was not to expect to receive high.
As I recall in the end the giver was the ultimate person in control and we were only to influence that proces.


Anonymous said...

Never mind prudent financial principles even worldly people know, not to mention Biblical admonition on managing our money and wise stewardship!

Sorry, I forgot myself for a moment...I thought this was a church! Imagine if we ran our households like this??

Anonymous said...

to "Glenn"

Thanks a bunch for that Insider's account! It concurs with what I know of the AC Seniors dinners with Herbert Armstrong. Lots of Gold and Silver and luxury items... a far far galaxy away from the grim sacrifices of the average church member.

Also,,,Quite a lot different than the lives of the Original Apostles, wouldn't you say?

Anonymous said...

Big thank you for putting this together and publishing it. May the so-called "dumb sheep" of cogs' (as their leaderships referred to members)awake to the sad and expensive truth that - we have all been screwed all these years- financially, emotionally and spiritually.

Glenn said...

The $17,000 silver platter was just one illustrative example. HWA was constantly buying gold and silver pieces, art work, furniture, etc. Click on the link for "Apostolic Treasures: The Treasures of Herbert W. Armstrong" found at the top of this site's home page for a great recap of many of the expensive items on which HWA spent the church's money. Also, when he traveled he almost always demanded and stayed in the MOST expensive suite at the most exclusive and expensive hotels. Had to keep appearances up as God's rep. I don't ever remember a single instance in which HWA cut back on his personal expenditures to save money for "the work."

Anonymous said...

When the world turns to turd, only the pigs will survive. It's all about being suited to the environment (society) we live in. On that point, Darwin was correct.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for exposing Herbert Armstrong as a con man and phony.
Ive been in Living for a long while and Global before that and WWCG before that and now I realize what a total fool I have been to fall for this scam.
Surely you must get lots of email from people you've saved from this awful situation.
I always was uncomfortable with things like the constant demand for money but I thought I was in the wrong.
Seeing the messes and the awful works of the ministry, who also live high on our dole, has finally gotten through to me.
I feel like such a fool for having been taken like this for so long.
God forgive me I spent my money on this scam while my family went without.

Anonymous said...

I don't mean to be a party pooper, but I contributed to the work financially, and God blessed me for it. At my workplace, I was given the most interesting and challenging projects. I recall a work colleague telling me that he envied me for all these projects I was getting. As the saying goes, 'you can't outlive God.' Assuming people were living by the ten commandments, God paid people for supporting His work. Seems everyone here is ignoring this.

Anonymous said...

Two other items re HWA.

(1) His contempt toward manual work (which was how many of the church members labored to support themselves): "In 1974, some 35 ministers left [the WCG] ... Where are they today? I know many of those former ministers have had to take jobs working with their hands to earn a living. That is JUSTICE!" -- HWA, Co-worker letter, July 30, 1978

Yes, working manually for a living, like maybe half the church members he was asking for money, was about as low as one could sink, in HWA's mind. HWA's specific reference may have been a report that one of the dissident ministers had returned to plumbing, while another was cleaning windows, which struck home to me personally since window cleaning was my business too. HWA did not make clear if he held the same contempt for carpenters and tentmakers...

That minister who was cleaning windows was bringing more clarity to the world than was HWA.

(2) John Robinson at one point edited a church of God newspaper called "In Transition" and in the Jan. 1997 issue of that publication John Robinson reported a witnessed conversation in 1975 in which HWA spoke candidly to a young minister he had just ordained, Marc Segall, and told him that "the New Testament reflected a collegial approach to church government and that what he wrote in 1939 [in which HWA attacked hierarchical church government as "the image of the Beast"] was the ideal" and that "if he had had more faith, he would have continued that practice, but he 'was afraid of losing control'." (J. Robinson, "WCG Church Government up to Tkach Era, Part II." The article may be somewhere in Dixon Cartwright's The Journal website.)

Anonymous said...

For those akin to the Tkach brand of the Gospel the Sotheby's auction list must have been hwa's/wcg greatest inheritance. All of the items of this great investment had increased in value. And all proceeds to be used for the new brand.
Oh the irony of the seventies dissenters complaining it was not used for the original intent.

Tkach was right when he prepared these "priceless" works of art for auction. The items did not serve it's original intent anymore. That is serve the church's dignitary guests, the kings and priest dinner for the seniors, and of course the one setting the standard of what Ambassador Quality pertained. A word I was familiar with passing the treshold of 5 earning me a new set of trousers every feast.


Anonymous said...

Anon 10:26, You have stated that God has blessed you for giving to him. How do you know that? Could it be that the blessings you think you got from God are actually just the result of using your talents and working hard to develope them. Could it be that the good results that you received would have happened even if you didn't give a penny to "Gods work"? Many people assume that God is blessing them when it simply is their hard work that results in what they assume are Gods blessings.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:26 You tithes and were blessed at your job. I'm happy for you. But so did many others tithe, willingly, cheerfully, etc. But they were not blessed, at least not in a tangible sense. Keep in mind that correlation is not causation. Your tithing may have had nothing to do with what happened at work. You were diligent in tithing as you thought you should and you were probably were very diligent at work, which led to being given better assignments, etc.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said, "I wouldn't begrudge him living in a mansion if he did his job right."

Actually, he DID do his job right!
HWA's job was being a lying, money-extorting con man, and he was excellent at his job!

Anonymous said...

10.41 PM
No one seems to have this hierarchical thingy in the church right. Every organisation on this planet is hierarchical. The structure might be flat (few layers of management) and the 'order of rank' informal, but it is always there. Hierarchy in a church refers only to minister/teacher responsibilties, like in a high school.

THe real issue is whether ministers only have a right to only teach members how to live, or whether the ministers have a right to live church members lives for them. When church leaders chose to live members lives for them, they change the meanings of 'hierarchy,' 'church government,' and 'administering Gods government.' They are adding to Gods word by changing definitions. Naughty, naughty.
Christ rejected this 'KIngs of the Gentiles' model:
Luke 22:25 And he said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors.
Luke 22:26 But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves.

Again in Peter:

Peter 5:3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

And again in 2 Corinthians:
2Co 1:24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.
Or as one translation puts it:

2Co 1:24 We are not bosses who tell you what to believe. We are working with you to make you glad, because your faith is strong.

Summarising, the talents that Christ gives to each person in the parable of the talents (control of ones mind, body, property, which is life itself) belongs to that person. It is not the property of the ministers, as is church custom. These ministers are stealing peoples lives. It's hardly surprising that the ministers hide the parable of the talents.

Cheers TradingGuy

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else read who reads this guy's ridiculous writing style find they can't help but shout the all-caps parts in the voice of The Ultimate Warrior?

Byker Bob said...

Herbert Armstrong, in his binary thinking, made work with the hands and work with the mind mutually exclusive. No matter what a person's craft or profession is, there are a deep fund of knowledge, diagnostic skills, and communication required as part of the underlying background which ensures vocational success. It isn't just the mindless stroke of a broom, the turning of a wrench, or the dig of a shovel that gets the job done. It is the thought and experience behind all of those which contributes to the overall success and functionality of the human ecological system. All have their part to do.

This "kings and priests" bullshit was used to foist more manipulation on the brethren than most people have ever stopped to ponder. Not everyone would even want to be a king or a priest. Most of us take pride in our own skill sets that God has given us, and would never want to be some sort of ruler with a rod of iron, especially if we had to enforce something as toxic as Armstongism for all eternity. If that were truly what we had to do for all eternity, it would be much better to skip the kingdom. Fortunately, that is not the only mandate or alternative!


Anonymous said...

8.12 AM 'kings and priests' does appear in the bible, after all. Everyone wants a better life in the kingdom, whatever that might be. I doubt God will have first resurrection Christians doing plumbing or car repair. Why would He have us endure persecution, if not to prepare us for dealing with people? You are also only considering the short term. The universe and eternity is a very big place. Galaxies, there are 200 billion of them, might require there own king/priest.

Ralph said...

on February 22, 2016 at 8:12 AM
Byker Bob said...

"Most of us take pride in our own skill sets that God has given us, and would never want to be some sort of ruler with a rod of iron,"

BB. Perhaps those "skill sets" will be carried over by those who inherit eternal life to enable them to teach others the same skills; not forgetting that there will still be human beings in existence and still be brought into the world when, and after, the Kingdom is established.
WRT a "ruler with a rod of iron," this could possibly describe a 'teacher' whose authority cannot be broken, not that such a one would 'rule' with harshness. Such an attitude is surely not one of love.


Anonymous said...

9:21, humans are different from members of the animal kingdom in that we are God-conscious, and, like God, we can exercise dominion. I am certain that the terms Kings and Priests refer to those qualities, and are not literal to the extent that HWA portrayed them. In a "type" situation, you might say that I already am a king and or priest in my current vocation. The words which were used to describe futuristic scenarios were understandable in bronze age agricultural settings in a completely different way from our understanding today. One who exercises dominion over a company today, and conducts training sessions on new equipment would probably have been seen as king and priest by shepherds.

HWA's problem is that he blasphemously assumed that humans were destined to become God as God is God, and would be enforcing Armstrongism throughout the universe. That made his church different from all the others, and was a key part of the elitist or vanity components of his scam. Many Christians believe that we're not going to be "ghosts" in the kingdom, but will have indestructable, non-aging bodies similar to the one Jesus manifested to the disciples, and allowed Thomas to examine.


Ralph said...

on February 22, 2016 at 4:50 AM
Anonymous said...

"Actually, he DID do his job right!
HWA's job was being a lying, money-extorting con man, and he was excellent at his job!"

and he's been dead for 30 years. Isn't it time to move along?? After all, who of the current generation, apart from our brethren of Judah, remembers Adolf Hitler, a most evil man?


Anonymous said...


It's a fine thing that some people who have moved past Armstrongism are willing to provide criticism of HWA and his church's harmfulness.
It can be a freeing exercise, and can also help those still wondering about it.
Don't forget that even though Herbie is dead, his legacy lives on in so many splinters that are still harming people, to name only one aspect of his destructive legacy.

Personally, I found such criticism to be helpful and cathartic, as I know many others have.

It's important to remember evil historic figures, and to understand the whys and hows of their evil.
Hitler? Of course!
HWA? Of course. It's important to know that Herbert Armstrong was responsible for far more deaths than Charles Manson ever was!

Christian V

Ralph said...

from February 23, 2016 at 5:52 AM

Christian V,
Yes, I have to agree. Sometimes I overlook the fact that this blog is geared to try and prevent others from making the same mistakes that so many of us have made by becoming associated and/or remaining associated with the likes of those organizations portrayed here.


Anonymous said...

Someone said...why not leave HWA alone....

In our area, HWA is mentioned 1-2 times/month by the minister and/or elders. Some have repeated the “Don’t believe me, believe your Bible” sales pitch totally unaware that HWA only used that to gain the confidence of the general public, and it did not apply to church members. About 1-2 years ago, our minister held up a copy of an old Plain Truth magazine and gave HWA credit for correctly predicting the European Union (without, of course, giving any hint whatsoever that HWA had borrowed that concept from others and that he had been dead wrong on hundreds of other predictions).

HWA may be dead in his grave but the myth and idolatry of HWA is alive and well in the splinter churches.