Thursday, August 10, 2017

Ambassador Properties For Sale

Former faculty home: LaRavia's and Tkach Jr.

Welcome to the Dr. Henry H. Sherk House. This is a unique opportunity to own a part of the Ross Grove Landmark District along the historic South Orange Grove’s Millionaire’s Row, across from the prestigious Tournament of Roses! Famous architect JJ Blick originally built the Dutch Colonial Revival in 1892, and distinguished Pasadena physician/surgeon (Dr. Sherk) later commissioned another renowned architect (Edward C. Kent) to expand the home in 1908 into its current spacious layout — 6 beds, 4 baths at 4,482 SF.

268 S Orange Grove Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91105

Terrace Villa:  former women's dorm

Terrace Villa, a lavish 1924 Italian Revival Villa designed by noted California architect Walter C. Folland. This 8,000 s.f. +/- residence, flanked by the grand Mayfair & Merritt mansions, commands sweeping views of the vast Great Lawn & San Gabriel Mountains & once overlooked Terrace Drive on Millionaire's Row. 

Former women's dorm, home of Feazell's and Tkach Sr.

The Bella N. Scofield house, designed by famed architect Frederick L. Roehrig, is one of the largest remaining original homes on Millionaire’s Row. This home embodies the Prairie Style Craftsman architecture with its strong horizontal lines, sweeping porches and wide overhanging eaves with decorative details. 

Ambassador Hall: Used for class rooms and receptions

The Merritt Mansion, one of Los Angeles’ most historic spaces, is currently for sale for just under $8 million. Location on South Orange Grove Boulevard, the 17,329 square-foot residence includes nine bedrooms, three bathrooms, two security vaults and an underground swimming pool decked out with locker rooms and all. Built in 1905 by celebrated millionaire Hulett C. Merritt who made his big money in the railway and steel industries, the property was featured in the opening scenes of "The Millionaire," a popular 1950's TV series.


Fk'd by the WCG as only a real Christian organization can do said...

Amazing to consider these 4 houses are selling for almost the same price they sold the entire campus for. These 4 houses would have funded the entire retirement program for the church employees, but the Tkach administration squandered its money and now the retirement program has been ripped away from former employees. Only the top HQ admins and a few former evangelists and HQ high ranking employees are still guaranteed a retirement income. Screw everyone else.

Byker Bob said...

Life is all about control. When you get to make the key decisions revolving around your life and career, you have the capacity to do massive good, to inflict massive harm, or something in between. But, it's in your own hands.

In Armstrongism, part of being a member in good standing involved surrendering this control to "the work" in the guise of doing it for God (substitution axiom). The problem is, what happens when decades later you discover that the two were not equal or the same? Selfish ethics and exploitation were used both by the original Herbert W. Armstrong Worldwide Church of God, and by the Tkach era WCG. People from "Class of '95" seem to want to forget all of the confirmed and verified corruption and malfeasance exposed by John Trechak and others, related to "Class of '75".

Herbert claimed that the State of California had no right to impose reasonable regulations on the financial matters related to his church and people. If regulations had been in place protecting employees as they are protected in California in major corporations, this travesty would not exist. Because of false prophecy, WCG/AC opted out of Social Security, and had no retirement plan. Worse, third tithe was misspent and not used to relieve the poor. This was part of the mess inherited by Joe Sr, who was HWA's annointed, hand chosen successor. I don't believe that if the Tkach's had continued the HWA doctrines people would even be bringing up their role in the unethical treatment of members and employees, because certain people to this day will not criticize the policies practiced by their sainted "Apostle". The exploitation of average employees, the forced overtime without pay, and below minimum wages, coupled with three tithes made it very difficult for 1960s employees to live and raise their families. These conditions were improved in the '70s, but there were recessions throughout that decade, and layoffs without the normal safety net. The 1950s were even worse! Paychecks were not even a regular event until Al Portune took over the business office.

There were always problems for dedicated employees, whose quiet compliance was expected in return for their dedication for "God's work". Today, so many from different time periods have come to realize that their sincerity and dedication allowed them to be ripped off, and there is an assortment of scapegoats. The fact is, the most dedicated workers were always taken advantage of by this corrupt organization right from the beginning. It's not as if the organization were pure as the driven snow, and then suddenly the Tkach's corrupted it. Changing the doctrines did not change the crappy ethics all of the leaders had learned from HWA.

What most current Armstrongites would really like to have seen was all the assets going to their particular splinter group. They'd be pissed if the assets had been divvied up and returned to past, non-current tithe payers, or funneled into 401 K account including employees who had left the church. Their splinter leaders can't even agree or work with each other, and are just as blameworthy for any and all dilution as the doctrine changers. The whole movement was crappola from the 1930s on. (Gamaliel)


Connie Schmidt said...


...However, my terms and payment plan!

$1 down, and $1 a month for 22 million months! ;-)

Anonymous said...

It's like in the book of Daniel 5:26. The WCG was weighed on the scales and found wanting. The church was divided and given to others. Under Herb, the church was a paradise for criminally minded members. What happened is poetic justice.

What happened to the WCG is a type and a warning of what can happen to Americas prosperity if it rejects God.

Michael said...

Anon wrote:
"The WCG was weighed on the scales and found wanting. The church was divided and given to others. Under Herb, the church was a paradise for criminally minded members. What happened is poetic justice.
What happened to the WCG is a type and a warning of what can happen to Americas prosperity if it rejects God."

I doubt that... Just a rich church that acquired lots of properties sold off the properties and now they're up for sale for different buyers, that's all.

No biblical judgment going on here...

Retired Prof said...

BB points out, "If regulations had been in place protecting employees as they are protected in California in major corporations, this travesty would not exist." Farther down, he adds, "The exploitation [by the COG] of average employees, the forced overtime without pay, and below minimum wages, coupled with three tithes made it very difficult for 1960s employees to live and raise their families."

But, but. . . . What you say flies in the face of both libertarian economic theory and Christian morality. In theory, the results you speak of are impossible. Freeing businesses from all government regulations, as religious exemptions do for churches, allows the market's invisible hand to work its magic and bring about prosperity for all who deserve it. Also remember this: the Radio/Worldwide COG was owned and operated by Christians, who earnestly strive to treat other people the way they themselves would prefer to be treated. They would never take advantage of anybody, least of all their own employees or church members.

Since we are obligated to place undying faith in the words of Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, Ayn Rand, and their libertarian brethren and sistren, and even more faith in Jesus Christ--the very personification of the Word of God--the fault cannot lie in what they say. Their proclamations are guaranteed true.

The fault must lie in the nature of reality. It is treacherous. That is the only conclusion I can reach.

Byker Bob said...

RP, the most extreme conservatives would like to deregulate to the point where the capital class once again has total control of the working class, as it was in the pre-union, pre-OSHA early days of the industrial revolution. These people have never accepted the merits of Keynsian economics. Lest we forget, such earlier magnates are the people whom HWA worshipped. Every human is dependent upon someone who wishes to control and exploit them. I would rather rely on the safety net created by FDR for he American people than to be dependent on the good nature of the oligarchs.

Any strength, practiced to extreme, becomes a weakness. This includes extreme liberal ideology, and it includes extreme conservatism. Safety and balance lie not at the opposing poles, but between the poles. Middle of the road was not a facet of HWA's teaching. Armstrongism, run away and not controlled or regulated, is pure fanaticism. People who actually look forward to a "place of safety" should be aware of that, and fear it.


Anonymous said...

8.47 PM
Please point me to a similar church where the average age is 74.
This is no ordinary church.

Anonymous said...

Retired prof,
For a prof, your education seems lacking. If you educated yourself on economics by reading for instance Thomas Sowells 'Basic Economics' you will learn that Adam Smiths invisible hand does not work for charities. He mentions this in his book. This is because the discipline of profit loss in not present in charities. They get contributions basically regardless of performance. The inefficiency of charities is confirmation of the market economy.

Anonymous said...

Your "the most dedicated workers were always taken advantage of" is true in all the congregations, and is what's is really meant by Herbs 'give way.' The more dedicated members are, the more they give (ripped off by the church).

nck said...

Excellent posting Retired Prof....

People do not understand the nature of capitalism's free hand.
Karl Marx explained it's workings excellent in a rudementary way as he observed the rise of capitalism first hand.

Especially when the "haves" "set the example" by trying to exterminate their tax contribution to society or claim not to have or need pensionfunds or medicalcare funds themselves it becomes extremely dangerous.

Of course they don't because they can pay cash.

The self correcting mechanism of the invisible hand is ruthless and indiscriminate. It does not take into account human cost or lives. And today it operates on a global scale as capital moves like water to the point where it profits most, knowing no boundaries and no discrimination between peoples or nations. It just comes and goes like the tide.

My point. Larger truths may just destroy the little realities if the system is not checked by moral people. Over time most societies have come to realize that little realities may at times override the larger principles.


Anonymous said...

These property sales will eventually happen in Wadsworth, Ohio and in Edmond, Oklahoma.

Retired Prof said...

Anonymous August 11 at 12:53 AM, you are right; my education is lacking; I am almost completely innocent of economics. Never took a course in it, and trying to read about it on my own reminds me of why it is termed "the dismal science." I am like a spectator watching a sport without understanding the rules. Byker Bob's, being a player of the sport, is much more to be trusted. So I trust his pronouncement, "Safety and balance lie not at the opposing poles, but between the poles."

Ayn Rand could not grasp that concept. Being an intelligent woman, she understood that the opposite of bad is good. Since total state control under Communism is bad, then it follows logically that its opposite is good. The opposite would be laissez-faire capitalism.

She reminds me of a guy named Ernie, who raised gerbils. Ernie put their nesting box with its wood shavings, water and food dishes, and little exercise wheel in the freezer. The gerbils failed to thrive. That was bad, so he did the opposite. He housed them in the furnace.

Byker Bob said...

Also, RP, in making his case, 12:53 lumped all charities together into one sweeping generalization. In theory, what he says would be true if charities had an infinite source of donations. Very few do. An in depth overview will show that charities are not monolithic as a group. They enjoy varying degrees of success, they employ diverse and numerous methods of oversight and governance, there are outside accountability watchdogs which rate the efficiency and effectiveness with which they fulfill their mission statements, evaluate directors' salaries and other loading costs, and a charity's accountants prepare spreadsheets which detail donations and budgetary expectations from month to month and year to year. The majority of today's charities adopt and use many of the techniques practiced in for profit businesses. To be viable, they also must be very concerned with maintaining their credit ratings. A small businessman such as myself, with charities as customers, gets to observe these sorts of things from a front row seat. In the future, I may even volunteer some time with one of them, as has one of my executive friends who has recently retired.

A better example for 12:53 would have been entities which suddenly attract unlimited capital. These can come from anywhere. A newly popular singer or actor, an innovative manufacturer with no competition, a new .com concept, or a televangelist with a novel hook are all examples in which unlimited funds with as yet undeveloped restraint will skew all appropriate disciplines and ratios. These examples are where one often witnesses irrational and conspicuous consumption, and a degree of decadence and hedonism. And of course, these fall well within the capitalist realm.

Got a kick out of your final paragraph, RP! Reminiscent of a childrens' book (Epaminondas) read to us by our kindergarten teacher to equip us with life's basic thinking skills. Maybe some of our readers are familiar with that book!


Anonymous said...

"The self correcting mechanism of Gods 'you reap what you sow' is ruthless and indiscriminate. It does not take into account the human cost and lives."

Spoken like a social justice warrior. Have your noticed that all social justice warriors are totalitarians. It's the only way that peoples pockets can be picked.

Anonymous said...

Brings back memories. I helped plant those magnificent Italian Cypress trees. That was in about 1956, if I remember rightly. Aw, we were so certain "god's work" would go on into ever greater things right up to the coming kingdom which was just around the corner. Funny how I hardly ever think back to those expectations anymore. Reality has taken over in my life.

Allen C. Dexter

nck said...


Totalitarian?? Really? Gandhi, the elder Mandela? Mother Theresa perhaps as a catholic!

It started off when the wealthy merchants noticed that the poor caused disease that caused their children and wives to die. So they started raising money for the common good.

It doesnt work in larger communities. All monopolizers of money have always died by the mob throughout history.

And we are moving that way. That is why Trump got a chance by the growing mob.

God noticed that his cosmic reasoning does not work for humans.

First ue send us a rainbow to remind himself how stupid he had been. Then he apologized to pleading Moses. And God still didnt get it he attempted to understand us through Jesus.

You reap what you sow. Sounds like when God was still experimenting on cosmic scale.


Anonymous said...

Lots of kudos to Gary for relentlessly pursuing a variety of COG bad boys for all their evil and destructive deeds.

Byker Bob said...

Dennis's mention of Joe's old gas tanks reminded me of a long forgotten experience at SEP in Texas. My idols in High School were the greasers, the rock n roll hoods with the old cars, ducktail haircuts, cigarettes and girlfriends, as later depicted in American Graffiti. At summer camp in both Texas and Minnesota, old trucks were used on campus, and I always somehow managed to volunteer and position myself in the activities in which these vehicles were either being worked on, or used. On one occasion, an older, trusted Imperial student (we'll call him John) was the driver for a work detail involving a '47 Ford truck with a flathead V-8 motor, and a Columbia two-speed rear end. When I saw the vehicle, I was all over that noise, the first volunteer for the cleanup detail and trip to the dump, and nobody could figure out why. I ended up in the cab of the truck where all the action was. John drove it to the gas pump located in a remote area on the Big Sandy property. The gas pump was either a Wayne or Fry "visible". You'd hand-pump the upper glass tank full of gasoline, and then gravity would carry it down the hose, through the nozzle, and into the gas tank of the vehicle. This was the only time I had seen such a pump! All the pumps of the day at the service stations were rectangular, had a pump motor, and a small upper sight glass globe which the gasoline passed through, so that you could see what you were getting as the gas was being pumped into your tank.

John realized early on that I was extremely interested in the workings of the truck, and explained and demonstrated how the two speed rear axle worked as higher gears for highway driving. This was just one of the many opportunities that other campers didn't perceive or appreciate, but I had read Car Craft Magazine all the way in on the train ride to Texas, not realizing that SEP would provide some awesome interaction with some of the older vehicles from the magazine. It was just one of those illicit carpe diem moments, a blast from the past that has contributed to what I am today. I later learned how to adjust drum brakes at SEP in Orr, how use a feeler guage to adjust spark plug gaps, and how to drive a four speed.


Michael said...

Anon wrote:
"Please point me to a similar church where the average age is 74."

Is that really the average age in the COGs these days?

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

Anonymous August 11, 2017 at 6:09PM said, "Lots of kudos to Gary for relentlessly pursuing a variety of COG bad boys for all their evil and destructive deeds."

MY COMMENT - Agreed & Ditto. Standing ovation for Gary otherwise we would never know the end result of the massive amount of tithes, offerings, holy day offerings, building fund contributions, etc. made by first and second generation members of the Worldwide Church of God under Herbert W. Armstrong - all so that some day way in the future in the year 2017 (a year that was suppose to be in the Kingdom by now) little Joey Tkach and his generations could continue cashing out as multi-multi-millionaire inheritors.

Will a man rob God?


the Ocelot said...

Whaaaaat? Where's the (in)famoous Ambassador Auditorium?

NO2HWA said...

The Harvest Rock Pentecostal cult, led by Che Ahn owns it.

If you are into speaking in tounges, holy barking, pogoing, being slain in the spirit, holy laughter, then this is the place for you. It is creepy as hell walking around the place anymore.