Saturday, January 11, 2020

Gerald Waterhouse

Stupid things Church of God members heard from Gerald Waterhouse.  

How many more can you recall?

from Facebook


Miller Jones said...

I remember mind and butt numbing sermons that felt like they would never end. Talk about an obsession with prophecy - Pack, Flurry and Thiel seem like lightweights compared to him (and that's saying something)!

nck said...

As a kid I remember how worked up everyone was when he was around. I could stay home since the expected run time of his sermons, was 3 hours or more which my parents deemed too long for us kids.

The first time I decided to go and listen myself (at about age 12) I recall being flabbergasted that the hierarchy in the Millennium and Kingdom had already been established with HWA and David up there.

Quite a blow for an ambitious kid like me. I never liked him since.

The other time I was making funny faces and movements to the (big) car of my best rich church friends.

Until I saw the doors in the back open and Gerald stepped out. Apparently my friends had been assigned to pick him up from the hotel and take him to church.

I thought I would be banned to gehenna fire at the time. But my friends were just slightly amused. And one of them got to marry my sister. (as compensation)


Tonto said...

I heard Waterhouse speaking about Joe Tkach Sr. , right after Tkach took over the reigns of the WCG.

He actually said, that while they all played softball for the Chicago congregational team, that Joe played first base and led the team with 29 home runs. Waterhouse then added "and if that aint proof that he is God's next apostle, I dont know what is!".

Waterhouse also bragged that Tkach was a Navy gunner who was shooting at Japanese Kamikazees during World War 2. The truth of that was actually addressed in the old Ambassador Report which said the following:

Does it surprise you to learn that Joseph Tkach has lied extensively about his background and history? But this is only the beginning. Tkach and his supporters have also made a very big deal of his supposed military prowess during World War II. His leadership skills have been compared to General George Patton. In sermons it was claimed that Tkach had been a navy gunner who had gained fame and notoriety for his exploits in downing Japanese kamikazes in the Pacific theater. Tkach was a seaman on the USS Austin. Did the Austin ever encounter Japanese kamikazes?

The U.S. Navy's own records show that the Austin was not present at the battles of Leyte Gulf in 1944 or at Okinawa in 1945, when kamikazes attacked the U.S. Fleet. The nearest the Austin ever got to seeing action was during the landing of troops on Attu in the Aleutians on May 11, 1943, when Tkach would have been only 16 years of age -- too young to be in the Navy. After that, it escorted convoys between San Francisco and Hawaii, escorted ships between Alaskan ports, and finished up the war patrolling in the Carolinas and Marianas. The truth is Joe Tkach never saw action during World War II. The Navy's own records show that Tkach was not an antiaircraft gunner, but only a "fireman second class," indicating training in only elementary mechanical maintenance.

Further, Tkach's period of service was from January 17, 1945 to July 22, 1946. During this time he served on the Austin, too late to see any action, and on the U.S.S. Jupiter, a converted cargo ship. The Jupiter saw much action during the war, but only BEFORE Tkach came on board! The Jupiter's last encounter with the Japanese was at Iwo Jima, in March 1945 -- the very time Tkach was just completing basic training in Illinois. Thus Joe Tkach's war stories are nothing but thin air -- pure braggadocio -- concocted out of spun sugar. They have no more substance than cotton candy.

Tonto said...

One more :

At the FOT in Tucson, Waterhouse was speaking at the big arena there.

It was a sports arena, that could host hockey, basketball etc. It had a very large scoreboard , high on the wall, which was right behind the speaker's podium.

While going very overtime, someone in the control booth flicks on the bright red button on the scoreboard where it says "OT" , meaning "overtime".

The 8000 person crowd was obviously distracted , and were pointing an murmuring at the Overtime Light. Waterhouse asks "what's going on?". The crowd all point up to the scoreboard , and Waterhouse turns around seeing it.

Waterhouse then immediately leans into the microphone and with raise voice says "Whoever turned on that overtime light better turn it off right now or you are going to be disfellowshipped!". Within just two hearbeats , the light flicked off, which brought a loud raucous laughter from the crowd, which I think frustated old Waterhouse even more!

TLA said...

In defense of Gerald Waterhouse - he was not the worst or even second worst Gerald in the COGs.

And for those of us who loved science fiction, he was more entertaining than most.
Satellites using solar power when the sun went out....
No light sabers though.

Anonymous said...

I remember him talking about what a "brawler" Joe Tkach Sr. was. He told a story about a cop pulling Joe Tkach Sr. over. The cop made a remark about the young "hussy" that he had in the car with him. Tkach allegedly slammed the cop onto the car, and said "that's no hussy that's my daughter."

Gordon Feil said...

I recall tactfully (for me) asking him how he avoided being bored by delivering the same sermon night after night and year after year. He was quite friendly in his response, as he was the other couple of times I challenged him. I didn't feel like he was trying to shut me down, but was trying to thoughtfully engage. Admittedly this isn't how he came across in his public speaking.

Anonymous said...

So, how did Waterhouse get this unique assignment and why was he tolerated for so long? I suspect that some people who seem to have little to do, yet draw a paycheck and carry a title, usually has some dirt on someone further up. I wonder how many people were on the payroll just to be kept quiet? Was Waterhouse's role essential? In other words, if he couldn't do it, would someone else be tasked to fill the role? Was he kept on the road because he was a pain in the rear end at HQ? Here's something I read when I was teaching leadership in the Army. A German general categorized each officer into one of four categories: lazy, stupid, ambitious and smart. The lazy, smart would be made commanders. They will figure out an easy way to get something done. The smart and ambitious would become staff officers. Staff officers do most of the heavy brain work in planning, etc. The stupid and lazy officers could be slotted somewhere, they won't do much damage (because of their lack of ambition). But the stupid and ambitious have to be gotten rid of because they can do a lot of damage. So, was Waterhouse a stupid/ambitious person who could do too much damage at HQ, so they sent him out on the road? What did he do the rest of his time when not traveling?

Allen Dexter said...

I remember Waterhouse from the early days before he was anything but a perpetual down on his luck nobody. It's always been a mystery to me how anyone so inept as he obviously was could make it into ministry. He must have had the right pucker for ass kissing.

Allen Dexter said...

"What did he do the rest of his time when not traveling?" He studied numerology and other "woo woo."

Anonymous said...

When he wasn't travelling he was in gay bars.

Anonymous said...

He was also considered a "chief troubleshooter" by HQ, after Receivership crisis, and was sent to areas where there was 'rebellion' & sedition:

He was sent on numerous "troubleshooting" (and golf junket) missions to problematic Australian states. He makes side comment there about being turned off after seeing ladies showing too much skin on nearby beaches (a bit odd!?)

Then he says "suppose Mr Armstrong started dumping barrow loads of money off harbor bridge into water..if you have a problem with that then you don't 'get it' on 'government'".

Byker Bob said...

During my sophomore year at AC Pasadena, we had dorms in an apartment complex at 80 South Grand, several blocks off campus. It was kind of nice to live "off" campus. Anyway, Gerald Waterhouse had an apartment in that complex where he lived when he was not on travel. I don't know that he interacted with any of the students there to any extent. That may have been more the case at the handball courts. It seemed unusual for a minister of his standing not to have a fine home on Orange Grove or Waverly Drive. Rumor was that he was "bound", and unable to marry, so put all of his energies into "the work". I never did hear any of the students, ministers, or church members voice negative critiques about him until I began reading comments on the internet around the turn of the new millennium. He was known for his long presentations, and he actually revelled in that reputation. The church people were not terribly deep thinkers during that era, and most of the comments I heard were to the effect that the vision of the Kingdom he presented was very encouraging. I guess he became more like a cartoon caricature sometime after 1975, and especially after Joe Tkach Sr. was appointed as HWA's successor.

The minister who was pantomimed and satirized by students during the late '60s was Rod Meredith. That dude could never seem to shut up about masturbation.


RSK said...


Anonymous said...

I remeber when I was a child going with my siblings and parents to a service on a weeknight in Birmingham and waking up around 10:30 and he was still speaking. There was some elderly gentleman behind us snoring & sawing logs it was so loud til awakened by a "Super Usher."

Byker Bob said...

Question regarding "bound" Today, ithat term almost sounds like an S&M thing, doesn't it?

The church changed its divorce and remarriage doctrine in 1974. Prior to that, basically the policy was that you got one marriage for life, and if that had not worked out, and you had obtained a divorce prior to coming into the church, God did not recognize your divorce, and you were "bound" to your first spouse. There were cases where a happy couple with children, who had been married for ten years, was split up, because years ago, the husband, on drunken shore leave from the Navy, had married someone he met in a casino in Vegas, a marriage which had lasted about a week. The church considered that earlier marriage to have precedence over the current one. It was another one of those zero tolerance mistaken interpretations, along with the child rearing principles and the anti-medical doctrines, that made Herbert W. Armstrong's church a little shop of horrors.

A high profile minister being "bound" was good PR for the doctrine, because it illustrated that not even the ministry was exempt, and that a person could still be happy, productive, and encouraging to others while living with one of the harshest doctrines of the church. And, under the qualifications for a bishop, he was technically still the husband of one wife, the one to whom he was "bound".


Anonymous said...

Waterhouse also taught the Joe Tkach Sr changes from the pulpit. When pressed on the issue by the Philippine members shortly before his death, he gave the explanation that he knew the changes were wrong, but he taught then anyway since he did not want members to lose confidence in church government.

RSK said...

Oh, D&R, I get it. I thought your use meant he owed the church some sort of life debt or something :)

Anonymous said...

2:35 said “...he knew the changes were wrong, but he taught then anyway since he did not want members to lose confidence in church government.”

He’d have made a fine Catholic!

Anonymous said...

I remember I was a teenager when he came to eastern Canada and he talked about the big fancy desks we would have in God's kingdom.

Retired Prof said...

Anonymous Jan. 16 at 3:18 PM said...

"I remember I was a teenager when he came to eastern Canada and he talked about the big fancy desks we would have in God's kingdom."

This shows the managerial mindset of Herb's church: an impressive desk to shuffle papers on and to impress subordinates and visitors with. Note that the desk serves as a barrier to fend them off.

How about a pastoral vision? Lush pastures and clean watering holes for the sheep?

How about the same trade followed by Joseph and his son Jesus? Blueprints for useful buildings and good tools for shaping and joining wood?

How about making ministers fishers of men? Seaworthy boats and strong, durable nets?

Nah. Nothing with practical uses for Armstrong or Waterhouse. They saw the Kingdom as a hierarchical bureaucracy and themselves as top-level executives.

(Disclosure: I had a desk job too. But I constantly reminded myself that I could hold it only because the web of workers out there doing useful stuff made my job possible.)