Sunday, May 15, 2016

Herbert Armstrong's "Failed Business Man" Home Street: Klikitat Street in Portland

Neighboring house on Klikitat Street in Portland, Oregon 
where Herbert Armstrong lived with his family 
while failing to support them as he spent 6 months in the local library.



Dennis made a visit recently to the area of Portland where Herbert Armstrong moved his family.  This is also the area he was living in when he was without work and spent 6 months parked in the library instead of supporting his family.

He loved to portray himself as a "failed business man" yet for someone who was such a failure he lived in an upper class home in Portland.  Just how truthful was Herbert in how description of the life of his family while living on Klikitat Street.

I happened to cross Klikitat  St. coming home the other day and realized it was where HWA lived and where Richard was born.  I went looking for 1831 but there was no such address between 17th and 18th that crossed Klikitat.  Close but not 1831.  I was impressed however with the homes.  Really large classy and I am sure the originals from the 1920's.  For being a "failed businessman" just three years earlier, he still had expensive tastes it seemed if that was the correct area of Klikitat.   ......photos of the homes closest to the address.  The homes put me in mind of smaller versions of those on the AC campus




In Fall 1926 while visiting Armstrong’s parents in Salem, Oregon, Herbert's wife Loma was introduced by her in-laws’ to Emma Runcorn. Mrs. Runcorn and her husband O.J. were lay leaders in the Oregon Conference of the Church of God, Seventh Day. They introduced Loma to the Saturday Sabbath doctrine. Hearing about Loma's new found religious fanaticism, Herbert became incensed. Loma challenged him to find biblical support for Sunday observance. Armstrong began an extensive study of scripture too prove Loma wrong.  
In Spring 1927 after spending many weeks at Portland Public Library, to his astonishment, his study revealed that the Sabbath was the seventh day of the week. As a result both Herbert and Loma began keeping the Saturday Sabbath. Armstrong frequently consulted with an evangelical minister and was then baptized in May/June 1927 by the Pastor of the Hinson Memorial Baptist Church in Portland, Oregon. Herbert once said of this Pastor, "The man is the most godly man in all of Portland." Shortly after that, Armstrong and Loma began fellowship with a Church of God (Seventh Day) group in Salem, Oregon.  
On October 13, 1928 Herbert & Loma welcomed their first son Richard David "Dick" Armstrong. The Armstrong family was living at: 1831 Klickitat St. in Portland. On February 9, 1930 Herbert & Loma welcomed their second son Garner Ted Armstrong. The Armstrong family was now living at: 839 E. 75th St. N. in Portland. In Spring 1931 the Armstrong family moved from Portland to nearby Salem (Mulino? Armstrong's parents?).  
In June 1931 Herbert W. Armstrong was ordained by the Oregon Conference of The Church of God, which took place in Eugene, Oregon but the Great Depression was beginning and he was later temporary laid off as a Minister. In December 1932 Armstrong took a temporary advertising job in Astoria, Oregon with "The Morning Messenger" newspaper. In February 1933 Herbert got his full time ministry back but was paid only $3.00 a week salary. Local membership, mostly farmers supplied the Armstrong family with vegetables and grains for meals and paid their house rent. Herbert W Armstrong: His Eugene and Portland Radio Days
========
But if these were the lean years finan- cially, they were years of coming into the true riches. Yet, I still had many lessons to learn. 
Not only was TRUTH to be discovered and dug Out of God's spiritual gold mine-the Holy BIBLE-but there was much character to be developed through hard, cruel ex- perience, the dearest teacher of all. 
I should not have thought so at the time-but God knew that I needed much more humbling-much more chastening and punishment at the hands of God! 
I had been humbled! 0 yes! And still, I know now that had God allowed me to have prospered financially at that stage of spiritual experience, self-pride once more would have seized me and the humility would have fled! The les- sons so far received by all this chasten- ing would have been lost! I was to have to suffer much more-and my family to suffer it with me! 
Gagging on Macaroni 
At this time, during 1928, we were living on Klickitat Street in Portland, Oregon. We were falling dangerously behind in paying the rent. The real- estate agent who collected the rent came very frequently to the front door. To others he was a kind and pleasant-look- ing man. He taught a Sunday-school class. But to us, he was a dark, fore- boding, frightening, almost devilish-appearing man, when, of evenings, he so frequently stood at our front ent a number of times out of his own pocket. 
At one time we were in darkness nights against our will. The electricity was shut off because the bill was de- linquent. My wife did her cooking on a small gas stove, and our gas was shut off. Only the water was left running. We were out of food, and out of fuel. Our heating stove was one my father had made, shaped something like an old covered wagon-with rounded top. 
The children were crying with hun- ger. My stomach gnawed with pain. Like old Mother Hubbard's, our cup- board was bare, save for a little maca- roni. But there was no cheese or any of the ingredients used in baking maca- roni. There was not even a grain of salt. AND, there was no money to buy any. door, demanding in a deep, bass, stern tone: "Can I have the rent?" 
We simply didn't have the rent! We began to live in darkness, without lights, in hopes he would think we were not at home. Whenever he came, we knew just how a whipped dog feels when his tail is between his legs. Actually, this man, who appeared to us almost as an enemy, was kind enough to pay our  rent.  Plain Truth September 1959

68 comments:

Anonymous said...

I never heard the phrase "failed businessman" until stumbling on the "dissident" websites.
Of course we all knew that his businesses failed just before the depression. Just as the advertising industry faced tough times in the latest depression.

I enjoy seeing the actual pictures to "the saga."
A stark reminder of the tastes of that time. A taste that was widely advertised at the ac pasadena campus in the summerhouses of the ones that built america.

One of the lessons in the psychology of "influencing and persuasion" re cialdini is that Losses loom larger than gains. I guess having been a succesfull adman, the loss of the business loomed heavily.

As an instinctive adman he also instinctively felt the following rule:

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Edward_Lawler/publication/228619675_Groups_reward_individual_sacrifice_The_status_solution_to_the_collective_action_problem/links/548f15c40cf2d1800d8620af.pdf

nck

Ralph said...

What is the point? Is it that of our brethren of Judah - NEVER AGAIN?

ralph.f

Ralph said...

ps. If it be so then why not just concentrate on the current apostates?

ralph.f

Anonymous said...

Herbie claimed, "There was not even a grain of salt."

Hahaha! That jerk sure had a flair for the dramatic!
Perhaps his greatest legacy is inspiring many other preachers to rip people off by such 'drama/heart-string-pulling/purse-string-pulling' tactics.

"There's gold in that thar bullshit!"

Connie Schmidt said...

The houses in the Klikitat area of where Armstrong lived are all worth in the $750k range and are in a desirable region of Portland according to real estate valuation site ZILLOW.COM. Estimated rent is @ $3300 a month.

The second location mentioned on 75th Street is much more humble , but still worth $331k , with a square footage of 1110 square feet according to Zillow.

DennisCDiehl said...

The point Ralph is that when I was young reading "The Autobiography" and HWA's dramatic description of of his hunger, poverty, wood stove and angels or something bringing him wood I pictured them living in a dump of a log cabin in the slums of town. Even his comment on finding a "spiritual gold mine" puts one in mind of his previous comment of finding a gold mine in religion and he meant real gold. HWA's idea of poverty, to me, is my idea of living too high on the hog just as his idea of a financial crisis in the Work was my idea now of "then stop flying all over creation in a private jet , buying expensive trinkets to win favor and sacrifice yourself a bit . It's building a 10 million dollar Auditorium in the midst of these crisis that was an obvious contradiction to my teen self especially since Christ was about to return. HWA already owned most of those incredible antique and silver "pots and pans" at those same times of "crisis" that went on the auction block shown here a few postings back.

HWA's mentality of "God wants us to have nice things" continues to this day in the likes of Pack and Flurry.

Dave Pack is given to the same kind of exaggeration in all things. The homes of these men are way beyond what is necessary for those who are supposed to have read and understood the Sermon on the Mount. I realize it is in the New Testament, but they still should have read it by now.

I have read much of Dave Pack's "Autobiography" patterned after HWA's and in several major parts of it, I was there with Dave. I was the "Boy Friday Elder" to the Regional Director and was asked if I thought Dave should be brought into the ministry. Sorry I gave the wrong answer but I was young. His grand description of his Chicago experience is not as I recall in the dramatic way he tells it and how he was making the area the fastest growing area in the country.. I was there. I sat next to the guy in YMCA hot tubs listening to grandiose everything.

I grew to resent, for the sake of my family, my parents and the average member the crisis calls while they spent it as fast as it came in. And so it is today.


DennisCDiehl said...

I could be mistaken but I have heard HWA paid for the honor of meeting certain world leaders as he pretended to be preaching the Gospel to all the world etc. I understand Prince Charles chided him to remember his place and it was not up with the Royal Family. Halls in Manila were filled by command of Marcos and not because most had heard of HWA or were wanting to listen his "Strong Hand from 'Somewhere" speech. I recall the near prophetic fulfillment spoken of by some who had a story of "man in a white suit" coming to teach or something like that. Of course, HWA wore the white suit, whether by accident or intentionally I do not know.

When Ambassador Report showed up in my mail and church area it made me sick and not because I did not believe it. I felt trapped between the Devil and some very sincere and wonderful local church folk where my work was.

I look back at what I kept inside me for way too long, but had the crazy idea I was "called" to be in the ministry and at the time it seemed the right one inspite of the leadership and that it would all work out etc. My time in ministry was a complete cognitive distortion which left me depressed and anxious not even sharing what seemed to be really going on behind the scenes with immediate family. I was in quite a bit of denial. Too soon old and too late smart as they say.

I also now tend to mourn the lost life as a paleontologist, geologist and teacher of Human Origins as opposed to the Biblical fairy tale and myth-information. Driving home from my current career choice and seeing Mt Hood, Adams and St. Helens off in the distance helps a lot. Up until moving here, I thought all the events of HWA took place in Eugene etc but I now live blocks from where it all began and it gives me pause for thought on the course of my own life.

Anonymous said...

The house in the top picture looks to be the same size as Herbert's Pasadena mansion. These homes were by no means humble homes even during the time they were built. These are not the bungalow kits that the middle class bought during the same time period. Even if he were renting, these homes still demanded more rent that the much small homes across town. Herbert stretched the truth yet again.

Anonymous said...

It is apparent what happens to the unconverted mind when you all left the Truth. Most of you fail to see that God provided all the needs for the Armstrong family while Mr. Armstrong was being trained n the truth. It should not be expected that God's chosen should be living in some tar paper shack in the poor part of town. No one would listen to him if he came from that area.

DennisCDiehl said...

To be succinct Ralph...HWA/WCG is the mold from which all current theologically cracked pot off shoots have oozed from and origins are important

DennisCDiehl said...

Anon 8:25. You're nicely programmed.

Anonymous said...

Dennis,

In all honesty. If YOU did stupid things yourself to others you should be ashamed. However I am pretty sure you have done good things for people during your tenure.
It seems you now tend to believe all information on the "dissident" sites.

But deep down you know this information is colored also.

Hwa went into a fit when he heard people in the Philipines were paid. His party however felt the action needed to fill the auditorium.
To give another example. A claim can be made that hwa paid to meet prince charles. (charity royal operahouse) Why not focus on the millions of people who until this very day enjoy (part of) those dollars at work. Today they even broadcast to your local cinema so you yourself can enjoy some of those tithes if not able to attend in London. There are many more examples in which "dissidents" claim hwa paid for the meetings but in reality you can enjoy many of the benefits of those programs until today. (Another example nowadays WWF fund is an established organisation. AICF funded part in its critical inception phase. So go out and enjoy those animals while you can. The glass is half full my friend.

nck

Anonymous said...

Actually, since "Gods Church" was meeting in Eugene at the time, it would not have mattered to them what part of Portland he had once lived in. Dennis' point is that the man exaggerated his circumstances.

Floyd 1944 said...

Anon 8:25. HWA was just s humble servant being trained by in the truth. He was a money hungry ego maniac. He didn't give a flying fig about the members. All they meant to him was how much money he could suck out of them. You go on telling yourself how wonderful he was

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:25. What palace did Christ or the disciples live in? None. And yet people still listened.

Anonymous said...

Didn't GTA say that much of HWA's autobiography was fiction? I wouldn't trust anything that any of these so called minister say about any subject at any time.

Hedgehog said...

Dennis, I thank you for your candor in stating upfront that you mourn your lost life as the person you could have been had you not fallen under the Armstrong spell. I, too, have regrets about paths taken and not taken but probably nothing close to what you have. I have never regretted my decision to get a master's degree in social work nor to work in that field for 50 years. As I have said before, I feel very sad that my brother fell under the Armstrong spell. His son, my only nephew (no nieces) committed suicide at age 19 and some in our family believe the teachings and "lifestyle" of Armstrongism played a major part in his hopelessness and despair. Yet my brother and his wife are still devout members of one of the splinter groups. I never had the opportunity to send my nephew a valentine, a birthday or Christmas gift and really had no opportunity to know him. I am a non-theist. No imaginary big man in the sky will tell me what to do or think. At first, I wrote into this message board under an assumed name or as "anonymous." Now I proudly and openly state my name and hometown. Dennis, can you tell me why these posters don't use their names? Just curious?
Gloria Olson, Topeka, Kansas

Anonymous said...

How is this relevant to Dennis' point?

DennisCDiehl said...

Hedgehog

Thanks for sharing too. I am pleased n grateful to now have a career where clients complain how difficult it has gotten to see me. I am who I am so dont like being anonymous. I don't know why others are but can guess many reasons

Anonymous said...

Nck,
You are very intelligent and you make a good point that much of the information on the internet can be colored. However, one does wonder if you are really being serious about some of the points you have made. Let’s forget everything anybody wrote about HWA. One can still merely read what Mr. Armstrong wrote himself and come to realize that we was not a man of integrity.
You brought up the fact that…
Hwa went into a fit when he heard people in the Philipines were paid.
Was this to point out that he was morally opposed to this? Regardless of who decided to pay for the people to attend, HWA was certainly not morally opposed to exaggerating about the circumstances.
As you are probably aware, on June 13, 1974 Colin Adair wrote to Leslie McCullough about the Manila Conference and how HWA’s exaggerations about it bothered him…
Dear Mr. McCullough,
Margaret and I have been feeling depressed since we received Mr. Herbert Armstrong’s co-worker letter of May 21. What we feared has happened. I just felt I had to “talk” to you about it because it has been in my prayers for days and going round and round in my mind. I would like this “talk” to be as minister to minister, brother to brother, rather than subordinate to superior, if you will allow me.
The exaggeration of parts of the letter really hurts. Gotoh and/or Rader [high-ranking WCG official representatives at the time] have misrepresented the facts about the campaign [in Manila, Philippines].... If Mr. Armstrong didn’t feel we had that many there (as you said when we spoke on the phone) I feel he should not have said what he did, knowing it was not true.
Let me point out the serious errors in the letter. On page 1, he (Mr. Armstrong) says, “...audience packed the huge 24,000 seat coliseum with only some of the peripheral outer rafter seats unfilled.” First of all the capacity of the coliseum is only 10,800. I have enclosed a Xerox copy of the floor plan given us by the coliseum authorities themselves. This is less than half of what Mr. Armstrong says. Many of the peripheral seats were unoccupied – I would say about 5,000 because this section holds 7,000 people altogether. At the most we had 5,600 that last night. The letter implies about 23,000 – “....audience packed...”
On page 5 near the top, the letter says, “The coliseum seemed well filled – a few empty seats here and there...” The general admission area was totally empty that first night – 7,000 vacant seats. We had, at the very most, 4,000 that first night.
On page 6... it says, “Not a soul was seen leaving until the end.” Each night there was a continuous flow of people leaving...
I feel the readers of the letter (brethren and co-workers) are being misled. I can’t agree with the “salesman” idea. We are not a worldly corporation. We should speak the truth at all times... I feel (this) breaks God’s ninth commandment.
This was the point of the story and it is valid.
About your second example…
A claim can be made that hwa paid to meet prince charles. (charity royal operahouse) Why not focus on the millions of people who until this very day enjoy (part of) those dollars at work. Today they even broadcast to your local cinema so you yourself can enjoy some of those tithes if not able to attend in London. There are many more examples in which "dissidents" claim hwa paid for the meetings but in reality you can enjoy many of the benefits of those programs until today. (Another example nowadays WWF fund is an established organisation. AICF funded part in its critical inception phase. So go out and enjoy those animals while you can. The glass is half full my friend.
Why not have even more dishonest pastors preying upon poor people so that they can give even more tithe money to other charities that can than benefit other people. Let’s overlook the deceit, coercion, and affects upon those children that did not go to college or fix their teeth. “Hey kids, focus on how your parents money helped others and quit complaining!”
Please help us understand your constant support for a corrupt organization.
-Kevin

DennisCDiehl said...

NCT: no members I knew of nor me and extended family tithed to fund AICF, opera, Royal Visits, expensive art and silver, pygmies or anything else but genuine church work. "Going before kings" was and is a theological fantasy and leaves the king laughing at you when you leave. No king would feel warned or enlightened by HWA's "ashamed if the gospel" coded presentation

Anonymous said...

Dennis,

I am only saying that our hard earned dollars did not completely come to naught. One can focus on the demolished campus and cry, (and even there I see our dollar kept up historic landmarks_), OR one can focus on the enjoyment millions of people have today because of some of our dollars. 100.000 dollar for the Shakespeare theatre. I am enjoing it whenever in London. NOt only for myself but also for those young students enjoying it. Great stuff.

Of course we NOW realise that "Going before kings was a theological fantasy", Right on! However millions were contributed by exactly your family and others to do just that. Isn't it great that some hilltribes pigmies in Thailand were helped by that.

I am happy about that. I would be very depressed if I had contributed the same amount toward Jerry Fallwell, The Bakkers, or Jimmy Swaggart. That would have been a 100% waste. Now I at least have some return UNTIL THIS VERY DAY.

Did I mention I just had a talk at the former Waterfield Institute in Sri Lanka. I talked to the principal. He had never heard of Ambassador College. However he is sitting in a building kept up for a while by our dollars and I saluted him for his continuing of education in that building. Than my driver honked the horn and I was of to my next tourist destination to see some elephant.

nck

Anonymous said...

And btw Dennis,

The King was not laughing AT ALL.
Gary and others here have branded my revelations here as conspiracy.

However I have commented on South Africa where hwa was regarded a great friend. Many African countries were supported by the cia during the cold war.

Just this weekend it was revealed that the communist Mandela was imprisoned because of cia cooperation. wcg was a great friend of the south african regime and there was a huge plain truth circulation relative to its white population.
It was no secret that hwa greatly admired ronald reagan who put mandela on the terrorist list. And I am not even beginning to talk on the Israeli - South African connection.


Man I could go on for months talking about the work of the foundation corresponding to us foreign policy. But Gary would ban me. So I leave it at hinting in the hope people do their own research about the cold war wariors and the gathering of intelligence. (if interested at all)

I have no intention to be banned here. Everytime I read a posting by Gary it makes my day.

nck

Anonymous said...

Gloria, why don't posters use there real names. Your kidding me. One of my relatives found out about my religious beliefs through gossip, and after that, every time he saw me he would be screaming critical comments and try picking a physical fight with me. It only stopped when one of his children almost died. Several of my work bosses who know about my religion, would stare at me as if demon possessed. I'm not sure what exactly goes through their minds when they have this facial expression.
The reason people don't use their real names is self protection. Perhaps you should ask yourself why you are being left alone? Maybe you are the one with the problem.

Anonymous said...

I don't agree with the complaint of HWA witnessing to world leaders using coded expressions. These leaders had assistants who would have filled them in on the specifics. HWA was simply exercising discretion. In the eyes of God, they were warned of the coming WW3, they were given an opportunity to repent, their or their nations blood is on their own heads.

Yes, yes, God used Herbert Balaam Armstrong. The basic prophecies of Balaam Armstrong are correct.

Anonymous said...

Hey Hedgehog, Your question on anonymity is relevant and has not been addressed in sometime, to my recollection! Speaking for myself and others with similar histories, I am now, an old man who was, somewhat visible in WCG locally
My term in WCG was & is a source of embarrassment to both family & friends . So in an effort to spare my family any additional shame I have elected to keep a low profile
where my association with WCG is at issue. There is much heartbreak that continues directly because of my association with ACOG . Tks Wess
PS Anonymous 10:09 Yes, this is somewhat off point . If Gary lets this pass no further policing on this point is warranted . {smile} Just kidding you

James said...

The truth is, Herbie lived in luxury while in Portland. The stories of poverty in his autobiography should be taken with the same grain of salt as when your parents walked to school five miles in the snow. It was bullshit.

Want to see what the 'poor' unlike Herbie lived like in Portland back in the depression?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hooverville

Someone wrote that no one would listen to a guy (meaning HWA) who lived in a tar paper shack. Well if God made man then he did something wrong in the design phase.

Is this the same God who wrote “Dear children, it is very hard to enter the Kingdom of God. In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”

Or: "Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

Rich's and position of honor was a condemnation for the pharisees, just like it was for Herbie.

May he burn forever and ever!

k-baradanikto said...

I thought he and his family were renting a room in that big house. I thought they were busted, with a cow that went dry and a hen that wouldn't lay, and that the county was going to haul their belongings away 'cause they were busted. Are you telling me for real that they had the whole big house to themselves? How could that be? He was just being paid with corn and beans as a minister, and during his tenure at the library he had practically no income. I seriously doubt that the whole house would have been rented. I think the landlord chopped it up into rooms and rented those out. That's a common situation, and that's something HWA sold earlier in his life: rented rooms. He knew rented rooms. Rented rooms were friends of his. He knew the ins and outs of living in a rented room. That's what I took from his bio: that he and his family were crammed into a rented room, poor as Job's turkey.

Byker Bob said...

A few random comments:

1) To Gloria ~ I plead the fifth with regard to using a handle rather than my real name. Amendment? No, commandment. My parents are active and well-known in their ACOG, and I don't want them hassled because of my beliefs. Church people feed on their own.

General comments to whomever:

2) The description of Herb's financial situation while living on Klikitat St. sounded familiar. But, we simply knew it as "third tithe year". We also liked variety, so alternated spaghetti with ketchup and macaroni and cheese.

3) Herbert Armstrong once closed the church commissary, where members were able to purchase their groceries wholesale, a great relief to their financial situations. His explanation was that he was not in retail. it was not part of his bottom line activity. Too bad he didn't realize the same about art collections and royal charities. He would have pitched a hissy if brethren had contributed to United Way, UNICEF, or UNCF, or even helped some poor homeless dude buy a bottle of Thunderbird to get through a freezing night.

4) Who amongst the world leaders that HWA purchased audiences with is actually alive and in power today? What good, or lasting effect did any of the coded warnings have? Pretty much all the substance of his glory days and life's work died with him.

5) So our misappropriated tithe moneys are still floating around out there and allegedly accomplishing good? Wouldn't it be nice if somehow they were attracting attention to Jesus Christ, rather than having passed onto the realm of the anonymous?

And, that brings us back to complete the full circle! Jesus' money should always use His real name, rather than a handle like AICF, or "anonymous"!

BB

Ralph said...

on May 16, 2016 at 8:29 AM
DennisCDiehl wrote:-

"To be succinct Ralph...HWA/WCG is the mold from which all current theologically cracked pot off shoots have oozed from and origins are important"

I suppose you're right Dennis, about the origins. It's simply that I prefer to leave all that old stuff behind, moving on to a life that is much more free. Puts in mind that old saying - "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, TODAY is a very special gift, that's why it's called THE PRESENT"

cheers
ralph.f

Ralph said...

on May 16, 2016 at 8:25 AM
anonymous wrote:-

"It should not be expected that God's chosen should be living in some tar paper shack in the poor part of town. No one would listen to him if he came from that area."

I wouldn't be too sure about that! Check out these men "from humble beginnings"

cheers
ralph.f

Anonymous said...

Please, lets not white-wash HWA,s legacy. What he built was at the expense of those he duped. He destroyed many lives. You could say that there where "some" positives from his dictatorial reign, but you could say that about Hitler as well. Hitler did raise the German spirit to make Germany a great nation but the end result was the murder of millions of Jews and the near destruction of the nation of Germany. The end result of HWA's reign was the destruction of many lives as well, but on a much smaller scale then Hitler.

Ralph said...

0n May 16, 2016 at 9:57 AM
Gloria Olson, of Topeka, Kansas wrote:-

"Dennis, I thank you for your candor in stating upfront that you mourn your lost life as the person you could have been had you not fallen under the Armstrong spell."

I also fell under "the spell" but eventually walked away, taking with me the "good stuff" I had learned over the years. If it wasn't for all that good stuff I could possibly have carried away that "root of bitterness" that so many seem to have today.
Sure I have some regrets for the experience I had but, thankfully, insufficient to turn me away from our Creator.

cheers
ralph.f
ps. I visited Topeka as a side trip after my first Feast in Wichita in 2003.

Ralph said...

pps. Topeka, an interesting town where they automatically play 'musical chairs' when the lights change at controlled pedestrian crossings.
Or Wichita, where daily at noon a siren is sounded that can be heard all over the town. (Maybe that was to warn of a new batch of chemtrails about to be laid, I really don't know!)

cheers
ralph.f

Anonymous said...

"Beverly Cleary never lived on Klickitat Street as Ramona does, for instance. Cleary changed Hancock to Klickitat in the books because she thought Klickitat, several blocks north, sounded more kid-friendly." http://www.oregonlive.com/living/index.ssf/2009/09/walking_with_beverly_clearys_r.html

Neither address given in HWA 'autobiography' existed, apparently. Anyone can look addresses up on portlandmaps dot com, which has historical permits, etc.

The second address is written in the style of street names in Salem, not Portland, but if it were a house in Portland, it's a tiny bungalow now.

The 'autobiography' was written just near the end of the years Beverly Cleary was writing her fictional accounts of Portland children's life (Henry Huggins and Ramona.)

Probably just a coincidence, but Klickitat is a very short street with a very large longterm proven appeal to small fiction readers.

Anonymous said...

LOL, and now there's the "glass half-full guy"!
God used HWA's moneypit for geo-politics!
What's next for zelig?

DennisCDiehl said...

OpenID k-baradanikto said...
I thought he and his family were renting a room in that big house.

That's a possibility but one HWA never mentioned. I certainly understand renting a room in a nice home as that is what I am doing a few blocks away. I have one room with all my "stuff" which is precious little as I either sold it all, gave it away or threw it away before moving here. It's a simple do over and I like it. I will work til I drop as there is no retirement of course from WCG and had I stayed for some crazy reason there still would be none as Tkach just sent out a letter telling the last hangers on that they would no more be paying it for them. My sister lost her passed away minister husbands retirement this last month from Tkach. Social Security is too meager to survive on alone so work it is and enjoy the scenery . Not exactly had imagined or was "promised" but who in WCG or it's watered down version where "Jesus worked a miracle and we have no money" (Ron Kelly) ever told the truth about anything....

Ralph...I have learned much I could learn no other way. We all used to say that experience is the best teacher but the tuition is high. Now I feel experience is the only teacher and everything else is just hearsay. Live and burn! :)

DennisCDiehl said...

PS I have a very excellent therapeutic massage practice in the area. I have more clients than I can handle at times and work at it 8 hours a day , 5 days a week and will do so as long as possible. It keeps me healthy and engaged. I'm good at what I do and every penny I make I earn the good old fashion way. I do await the day when some client asks me my background and says..."OMG...you're Dennis Diehl from WCG???? Lol. I came close a couple of times when clients told me after I mentioned I used to pastor in a sabbath keeping church that they had some crazy aunt who did that with some church out of Southern California......"Armstrong I believe.." gulp.......LOL.

Of course in Kentucky when I went to the bank once the teller saw my paycheck and said, "You work for Armstrong?" I said yes wondering what was coming next. She said, "I like Armstrong!!!!" I was relieved. Then she said. "He put in my new floors..." I fell out....

The area here had several large churches. I have contacted two former minister friends in the area from my past who are around but neither responded.

I think the Karma Fairy has brought me to Portland to put a few finishing touches on the whole experience and teach me a few more things along the way.

Anonymous said...

There is no evidence that Herbert Armstrong ever lived at the home pictured above.

Portland city directories show that he lived at 1831 Klickitat Street from 1927 to 1929, and that he was living at 839 E 75th N in 1930 and 1931.

By 1933 the streets in this area of Portland were renumbered, and what was 1831 Klickitat in 1929 is now 7137 NE Klickitat. Google maps and Zillow can give details of the two bedroom home, which was built in 1914.

839 E 75th N was renumbered to 3915 NE 75th. The reverse listing in the 1933 Portland city directory shows the former street addresses in parentheses – Klickitat 7137 (1831) and 75th Av NE 3915 (839).

This information can be verified in the Portland library.

RSK said...

"By 1933 the streets in this area of Portland were renumbered..."

I spent an afternoon walking around NE Portlabd a couple of years ago and wondered about that myself.

DennisCDiehl said...

Thanks for the clarification of address. I went with address as given. Perhaps i can update with a pic. The picture was only meant to show the neighborhood as the 1831 address was not found. This explains it.

Anonymous said...

Someone can "own" a house but even be underwater on it and the bank actually owns it and more. Can be difficult to tell financial circumstance from a house whether rented or 'owned.' And the 1919 era view could be smaller, if added to. These addresses aren't in ritzy NE area...

The early years could well have *seemed* financially difficult to HWA and maybe actually been so, as it actually was for lots of folks, even though his account seems exaggerated.

The rest of the WCG story is ... sickening.

Byker Bob said...

Hey, isnt this one of the things that blogging is all about? Investigating, and uncovering truth? It's all part of the adventure. Now we get to learn about HWA's stomping grounds, and to attempt to distill the exaggerations and dezadurations of the brochure with which he invented and marketed himself (autobiography).

There comes a time in all of our lives when we've discovered and enjoy what we are good at (which I believe is our gift or calling), and have the opportunity to pursue it whole-heartedly, with minimal distraction. That's a sweet spot, and Dennis, it sounds as if you have arrived at that. Best wishes, and much success!

BB

Anonymous said...

-At least DD has got us involved in some nice archeology project. I haven't had so much fun since discovering that Vernon Street was renamed into the Mason's St John's street right after the Auditorium was finished. The old St John's being a mile down.

I still contend that hwa mostly sincerely spoke the truth (as he understood it) (that was the truth compounded in his own brain) It is far more difficult for someone to be poor if you have been rich before. Especially salesmen have very short memory and are prone to compare circumstances.

-Message to DD. If in your current quest you are interested in real estate or architecture that directly relates to your genetic and therefore perhaps true inner spirit I would refer you to study and observe the Seattle Central library.



Yes, it would have been nice if Jesus name had been stamped on our charity. Unfortunately that was never the stated purpose. I dislike hwa for having used his own name to often, not for donating it to the great causes. Now I focus on the causes or great institutions. oxford china chair etc and medicine these donations went to, alive and kicking while hwa is largely forgotten.

Leaders that are still alive?
-The American King Bhumibol of Thailand
-Current president of the State of Israel
-The lovely American/Texan Liza Hallaby doing good works
-Some four years ago the minister of Education and Technology of Japan (AC graduate)
-Mubarak is treated well after the US changed their mind and reversed the military regime again
-Belgian princess still awards top academics from a foundation listing hwa and rader as founders. Belgium just sent the requested F16 to Syria in support of USA.
etc etc

But I'm not talking about people, I was talking institutions like WWF, UN, UNESCO, International Court of Justice etc etc et all recipients of part of our tithe dollars and still working toward the One World/Humanity goal. The millenial goal that was advertised as being the reason for solliciting the tithes in the first place, since Jesus supposedly had the same goals as the Rockefeller policy paper. (a family who btw donated the NY real estate for the UN and whose private funds are out of fossil fuel and into solar, hint hint)

nck



Anonymous said...

Dennis, didn't ministers have paid for church cars, and church paid rents? So why are the ministers financially broke? Didn't they save for their old age, By contrast, church members have gone on financial diets, walking around with holes in their shoes, in a attempt to pay off their homes and have financial security in their old age. Why should anyone have sympathy for the ministers financial plight. Let them eat cake!

Connie Schmidt said...

Annon at 8:16 provided excellent information about the address changing. The Armstrong house was much more humble than the posted Klickitat house, and was only 1100 square feet.

Looking at the price history, it appears that downtown Portland real estate has really boomed in price, with this $300k house being worth less than $200k just a mere 6 years ago.

Connie Schmidt said...

30 year mortgages did not exist in the 1920s times. Usually it was 50% down with a 5 or 10 year note.

DennisCDiehl said...

I had a lease car for church and paid a monthly part of it for any personal use. Rents and house came out of pay like anyone else. Sometimes they paid mortgage for a home on market in a transfer and repaid it to church after sale. Church dolled out 2T once in spring n then fall and was taxable income. Ministers all got tithe checked. By late 90's I personally was paid around 30k per year. Tithed n offeringed about 4K of that. Made much less when pastoring 3 churches, then 2 then one large at the end. I found out in time what inner circle minister with contacts made and i was not in that circle. I once estimated I "inspired" the giving of millions in 14 congregations. Never made more than my dad did at Kodak and they cared for all my brother's state hospital care for 22 years before state took over. They also met dad's retirement agreements n benefits to his passing st 98 even though Kodak had gone mostly down the tubes, the difference being Kodak had some worthy and real product to offer i suppose

DennisCDiehl said...

PS thanks for the standard "let them eat cake".

Anonymous said...

On page 6... it says, “Not a soul was seen leaving until the end.” Each night there was a continuous flow of people leaving... I feel the readers of the letter (brethren and co-workers) are being misled. I can’t agree with the “salesman” idea.

Yes, Herbert was a salesman all the way, making exaggerated claims to give himself status and lure in the money. Today, you can see the same types of exaggerated claims from televangelists such as Joel Osteen, Mike Murdock, Creflo Dollar, Joyce Meyer, etc.
These con artists think it's ok to repeat unproven (or invented out of whole cloth) claims if it "brings people to Jesus" and (perhaps more importantly) brings dollars into their pockets.

Of course, one might defend such lies by rightly saying that it's 'Biblical', and that God lies by proxy in order to deceive people to His own ends.

God's a tricky fellow. In fact, being God, He's the trickiest!
Since He's only lying "by proxy", that makes it 'A-OK!' - Plus, I'm sure there's no untruths in the Book He's given us, which is surely the "Word of God" that He's gone to great lengths to make sure is 100 percent accurate.

Anonymous said...

Kevin,
I’m sorry. I completely missed your last posting. Probably because contrary to custom I was being referred to as intelligent. My postscanning brain didn’t connect that with my persona.

Ok.
You ask about my seriousness about points. As I remember it was Gotoh and Rader who felt the need to “support” the attendance numbers. Many wrong assumptions are made about hwa. For instance on all the blogs people talk about the yaght that was hired in Monaco. HWA didn’t even go on that yaght as he was working and typing his articles. He was very disappointed about the cost of the yaght too.

Although there are probably many wrongs on HWA. Most people have no idea of the amount of control that was exerted from Wiltshire. In all seriousness. In the seventies HWA was away from HQ for 350 days per year.

All of the numerical information in the letter is clearly prepared by an assistant. You must be aware of the manner in which executives are briefed. Do you really think that an executive with the persona of hwa would be concerned about how many people fitted on the balcony like Adair. Of course not, they are generalists, they need the general impression from their assistants. And indeed the copywriter was hwa, since that was his profession. HWA was clearly enthusiastic that more people than expected attended, but he went into a fit when he discovered these people were paid to attend. I am even surprised Adair made a career after showing himself a little man, instead of a generalist with executive potential. (or am I mistaken and did he only make a career during the Tkach years, when the little, honey I shrunk the church, people took over.)

I am not even making the case that an advertising executive would make that actually more than 24.000 people attended since there seemed to be “a constant flow” of people.
In the same manner advertising agents claim that the PT reached 30 million people per month at its peak. Since every copy was touched or read by three people on average.
In the same manner it can be claimed that even though wcg had only 150.000 members at its peak, in reality some 500.000 people “had been in constant flow” over the years. That is how advertising people think. That is how they get paid by their corporate customers. Well at least I was paid 40 million dollars that way by my customers.

My second point about the tithe money still at work was in no way intended to exculpate the church about any extorsion of money that might have occurred. (Although I never had any request for money that I felt was extorsion.) (Like the exagerated claims that 35% tithing was required while in reality it was close to 12% I gather from those who made the calculation on one of these boards.

My remarks were merely directed to Dennis who said that he had coped with depression or others who might feel that ALL their dollars came to naught. My only point is that those dollars did and are doing good things until today. I was not talking about the manner in which they separated from the members paycheck.

I was there when my parents turned down every single handicapped person soliciting money at the door, while tithing and hwa donating that money to other causes. I am just saying those causes were OK. I only hold a grudge against hwa because he forgot to mention the people who donated that money and that it was not apostle hwa’s money. Even the Concert series that originally were intended to rake in that money were making losses after dissidents complained about wcg in the jewish la community. 

Anonymous said...

So any complaining kid that they didn’t get an education because of their parents tithing has every right to complain. I am only saying that a lot of that money was well spend after the parents decided to separate from that money. I am not saying that was the best ever decision.

I do not support a corrupt organisation. I have tried to paint a picture that reflects the truth. Every now and then I ask if this board is satire. Than I get rebuked that it is all very serious. Well don't expect satire in return then. If your parents decided to not vaccinate you for polio than that sure is a problem. I was lucky my mom had a pastor who had been a doctor. He anwered that is was my mothers call to decide to vaccinate or not. After 20 protestant calvinist kids got polio in my area my mother decided to go with the vaccination. She has been an upright member for 50 years now. Do I recognize the hurt of other children (now adults) in wcg who fell victim to such disease. Yes I do. I do recognize the stripes that BB recieved. I also know of many church areas that believe and acted completely different from the directives from HQ. Sometimes even obliged by local national law that did not allow for such stupidity.

Look I am only correcting wrong or colored statements now and then.

Even Dennis has proven to be wrong on the house. Does that matter. Yes actually it does. Again a wrong picture of hwa is painted. But I do like Dennis a lot. I love him like a brother and admire his effort to live in that area. The ultimate karma. He can redeem himself with a new picture of the actual house.

nck

Anonymous said...

8.01 AM. One of the biggest false claims taught by the tele evangelists today, is that a relationship with Jesus with cure people of all their mental problems. I hear it all the time. Millions of people study psychology, programs like Dr Phil are very popular, bookstores have a self help section, why even Tony Soprano went to a shrink. But according to these religious salesman, this is all unnecessary. This isn't to say that prayer and a belief that God is looking after you doesn't have some mental benefits. But it will not 'cure' deep mental problems. God does not clean people up, or solve mental problems, rather we do. This is because God cannot and will not make decisions for people. People who claim otherwise are under the spell of group think. Personal experience proves this. Certain mental hang ups that I had only disappeared after reading up on the topic, and coming up with mental exercisers that wiped them out. No amount of prayer or bible study alleviated the problem. The existence of wacko ministers and wacko church members is another proof of this. We cure ourselves. It's called over coming.

Anonymous said...

Dennis, when ?I was a attending member in the 1980s, I heard that the church had a independent outside panel determine the wage rates of ministers. I heard that their pay recommendations were based on people with the same education and experience, on the outside of the church. So surely minister pay rates would have been far greater than 30K dollars. Am I missing something?

Anonymous said...

I find nck's logic convoluted and not logical. As far as the tithing money doing good, well that is debatable. Money is not static it moves and flows. It only ceases to move if it sits in a safety deposit box or is buried in the ground or hidden in a mattress. Otherwise it becomes part of the general economy. If I go to my local drug dealer and buy drugs, then what happens to the money? Maybe he buys a big car, so the car salesman makes a living and perhaps tithes to his church or sends money to charity. Or perhaps the drug dealer gives money to a hooker who then decides to donate to a homeless person on the side of the road, and he goes right back to the drug dealer or one of the minions working for him.

I can't see that any of that tithe money did much good. Is trying to convince people of bs any good? At least some people had a good living standard for a while and some architects had work building buildings. Isn't that a typical trajectory for money? the poorer segment of society donating to the rich who are kind enough to employ them to labor while they sit on their arses and pontificate.

DennisCDiehl said...

That was my experience and never heard of that. They based pay i thought on Rank in ministry. I was ordained an elder my first year out at 23 lol. A preaching elder ten months later. Bit more pay. Pastor was next bit over the next 24 years n pastoring 14 congregations i got stuck at preaching elder. After the manpower meeting i was told by ________"for you the sky is the limit" but obviously only on low clouds day lol

Anonymous said...

12:36 PM:
I remember hearing (possibly from Stan Rader at an employee meeting in Pasadena) that they had hired a consulting firm to set HWA's salary (and possibly Stan's, I forget). The rationale was to make everything look above-board and to be in a position to pass any tax audits or other types of audits.

I never heard that a consultant had set the pay scale for anyone else. I can't say it didn't happen but I'm certain that I was never told that the pay scale for my unordained position was set by outsiders.

DennisCDiehl said...

Will get a pic asap. It's far east n near airport and rough rush hour trip

DennisCDiehl said...

Ok ..home. I'll have to wait to a Friday day off to get out to east Portland where the address change actually puts the home. It is 60 blocks east of the address given in the old lit etc. Better to head out that way when not during rush hour . Did not mean to mislead and did not know the address was bumped up to the far end of Klikitat . I am sure it is a more "humble" neighborhood and makes sense as the home where they had to move where GTA was born is just a few more streets to the East from there in the same area. Probably and area where finding a goldmine line of work like religion looked good! I find the local WCG history interesting for this short time but in the whole scheme of things I could not care less and life goes on.

Anonymous said...

12.36 PM. I heard it from several different people that an outside panel recommended (not set) the pay scales. They sounded confident in their tone of voice when they said this. Still, I wouldn't mind a authoritative source.

Anonymous said...

Dennis,

I was going to say. Don't waste your precious time unless of course it has some redeeming value. I personally was present at the Hall of Ad while "A Single Man" was filmed. At the time I didn't realize the redeeming value of a movie about Gay issues in the office of the Upper Echelon. I am not gay at all, but somehow the whole experience at the set brought closure.

1:14
I completely respect your position.
To clarify. I came to my conclusions after multiple visits at Versailles, The Pyramids of Egypt and many many more places and edifices I really admire. All of this was built by slave labor, multiple and excessive taxation, force and extortion.
All my comments are directed at those slaves and peasants so that they might find some solace that millions of American tourists are admiring their work until this very day. Although they themselves would have probably dreamed of another path for their lives.

That's all.
I am not defending the Pharao's at all. (although they seem to have good taste)
I am just in my personal convoluted way trying to honor those that made it possible.

Perhaps that dilemma is also expressed in that famous movie.
"Bridge on the river Kwai"

Do we sabotage the bridge. Or do we make the best possible as an expression of our personal values. Are we a victim or a winner in dire circumstances.
My family died at that railroad. So perhaps my aproach is too theoretical for those who experienced it. I apologize to all victims if I am mistaken.

nck


Byker Bob said...

Even with a fleet vehicle and clothing and car allowances, and expense account, it would have been very difficult to live on $30,000 per year in the late '90s. Ministers' wives generally were not permitted to work outside the house. Farmers in our area brought the ministers their first fruits, but some of that was nowhere near commercial quality, like the milk when the cows somehow got into the garlic patch. Pesticide-free fruit often had some "livestock" inside, just waiting to surprise you.

But, I remember some of the upper classmen buying Petrocelli and HSM suits, knowing they were going to need them for the field. Some of these new ministers and their wives had college bills to pay off during their first few years in the field!

BB

Anonymous said...

I heard it from several different people that an outside panel recommended (not set) the pay scales. They sounded confident in their tone of voice when they said this.

I also remember "confident sounding" things expressed as fact, and some were even preached from the pulpit-

Example: That during the Feast, the previous night's hurricane had "split in two parts, gone around(avoiding) the tent, and then the two parts- after avoiding the tent- joined together again and went on it's way"! The minister even said this information had been verified by the National Weather Service. Of course, that minister's words were pure bunk and unverifiable.

So, I'd be hesitant to accept as "fact" any claims made in a church setting, no matter how "confident sounding" the purveyors of such information may be.

Reminds me of someone posting here about people being "raised from the dead in the name of Jesus" at some church in FL. Turns out he was told about it from confident sounding people in a megachurch setting, and even though there was zero corroborating evidence, the person blamed the lack of evidence on a "biased media" who would not want to report such stories.

My point is to be careful about accepting statements which may be biased and emotionally charged by virtue of the religious setting from which they emanate.

Byker Bob said...

The original outside panel, if I recall correctly, was instrumental in setting HWA's salary, although the principle may have later set a new tone.

Throughout the 1960s, employees of the WCG, and Ambassador College were underpaid, which of course was typical amongst the workers in many top-heavy non-profit organizations of that era. While commitment to the mission was a primary motivator, church employees who were brave and honest would discuss their constant needs for emergency budgets, and the monthly bill roulette they had to play with their credit cards.

When John Egbert assumed the responsibilities over AC Press, he began to investigate the wage scale. Press workers tirelessly put in a lot of unpaid overtime to get the publications out. With his prior experience, John knew what resources to tap into to provide a solid basis for a realistic wage scale, and he had the unique skill set to sell that to his superiors. Once due diligence was performed, press workers received relief in the form of raises. This caused an immediate uproar amongst other department managers who considered their departments and their workers to be more vital to "the work" than pressmen and bindery workers. Suddenly, press workers were being paid at a higher rate than the editorial staff for the publications!

What ended up happening was that John's work had created a miniature revolution. Because irrefutable evidence supporting justice in wages had been created, the eyes of the powerful had been opened, and wages for church workers began being indexed to wages in the secular world as determined by similar study groups to those that John had originally used.

This was one time that the church managed to get something right, and it all traces back to the vision and courage of one man, a man whose name few remember today. I will always remember John. He was one of the good ones.

BB

Anonymous said...

I worked in the IT department, starting in the mid '70s as a student. Not long after I started, there were several rounds of layoffs. A couple of months after one of them I saw one of the programmers who had been laid off. He said being laid off had turned out to be a blessing for him because he had found another job at a far better salary. So wages, at least in IT, never reached market levels.

On the other hand, a year or two after this, several members of IT attended a conference. I think it was for IT departments of non-profit organizations. They met several people from a Seventh Day Adventist organization whose pay and benefits were so poor that it seemed by comparison that we were living like kings.

You are right that I don't remember hearing the name of John Egbert. If your account is correct, he is the reason we weren't living like those poor SDAs.

DennisCDiehl said...

I believe that would be in the early towards the end in the early to late 90's. I recall having a savings of $1200 and doing all I could to keep it there. Rarely was I able to increase it. I also had my boys cullinary college bills (Johnson and Wales) which took me the ten years of the 90/s to pay off etc. Plus by then , fleet cars were gone and we had to use our own and get mileage. And yes, a working wife was considered a couple less than into the ministry and church. Only the rebellious worked lol

DennisCDiehl said...

The bottom line was that I made enough to live on and never thought it too much or very much. Parents always helped along the way with downpayments and a start in a first home before I realized that in the church owning a home was a joke because you'd be giving it up shortly to move to where no one asked you if you wanted to go. I later learned some who had clout could turn down moves without consequences. I was not one of those. I moved to places that hurt my kids in both culture and education. They don't know where to call home to this day and lots of other prices to be paid . I am sorry I ever heard of WCG and save for the sons and grandies who'd not be here without it, regret not listening to my stomach instead of my head almost from day one.

Byker Bob said...

The pastor of a church I've occasionally attended (non-ACOG, of course!) had given up the family home, setting the example of putting the equity into the fund raiser for the land and church building that finally got them out of local high school auditoriums. He once told us that he was not rich in the realm of physical wealth, but rich through his collection of experiences. When you think of that in proper perspective, the memory of our experiences and relationships is all we get to take with us when we go. It's pretty zen or Christlike when you think of it in that way.

BB